Shop My Fabric Stash!

The holidays are around the corner and I’m gearing up with some holiday projects in mind. But instead of buying something new, I went through what I already own to see what I could put together!

Found some cute stuff in that box and now I’m excited to get started on something fresh like a table runner or some placemats!

Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for updates on our newest adventures!

TGIFF: Old Yeller

12 years ago I bought a fat quarter set. It was bright, obnoxious and I had NO clue what to do with it.

12 years ago I brought home this fat quarter set and decided to make something with it. Using a book, I sewed and cut and pieced and made a few squares of mismatched colors.

It was a mess. But I loved it anyway.

Then, I put it away with all my quilting things and forgot about it.

That was 12 years ago. And last night, I officially finished it.

This little project was probably my longest lasting UFO (unfinished object) and I really didn’t know what I was doing when I started it. Most of the blocks are crooked or wrongly pieced together. Even so, it’s got a sweet spot in my heart as my first attempt to piece a quilt together.

To me it’s beautiful and bright. It signifies for me my humble beginnings and also shows me where I need to improve and also how far I’ve come. It’s small so it’s not going on a bed nor will it be used as a blanket but I hope to hang it from my wall as a simple reminder of what I can do.

Now for pictures. I realized that I wanted this one done SO BAD that I didn’t take the time to really slow down and do things right. My binding is atrocious! So look away!

  

My big take away from this whole process is I need to learn how to bind. I mean, I know how to do it, but I think I need to learn over again. I’m not doing a good job of it and I could definitely use some tips and improvement there. In the past I’ve been proud of my mitered corners but I won’t be flaunting them today. They are just awful and I’m not sure what I did wrong but it’s definitely something I acknowledge as a weakness in my sewing and something that needs to be improved.

Yikes! As you can see, some MAJOR improvement is needed in the binding department. It’s very inconsistent and that bugs me… A LOT!

Even with all it’s flaws I still love it. It’s been nicknamed the Old Yeller project because it’s a hot mess and should have been put down instead of completed, or at least that’s what my husband thinks! He saw this “thing” while I was finishing it up last week and after I had pointed out all my mistakes, he asked me why I was still working on it. When I explained that I just needed to finish it he said to me that not everything needs to be completed. Some things I can “old yeller” and put down. HAHA! What a ham…

Here is my little man all ready for school this morning. He did his own hair and dressed himself all nice with a collared shirt because he’s getting an award. We don’t know for what so I’m excited to see what he receives today.

He very nicely modeled my finished project before taking off.

I adore that black and rainbow polka dotted fabric. I may need to do a whole project focused around just that.

Well I’m off to take a shower and get ready for the award ceremony. Here on the west coast it’s only 9:00am and I’ve walked the monster man to school, went on a 3.5 mile run and now this post is wrapping up. Feeling pretty accomplished so far!

After the awards ceremony, I’m heading over to my mom’s house to visit, make some body butter and also to record our very first crafty podcast. We don’t have a title yet but we’re hoping to create a reoccurring podcast about hobbies and crafts that I can post here!

WIP: The Zig Zag Whatever It Shall Become

Have you ever started a project without a plan in mind and just let it go where it wanted to go?

Not long ago, my son and I picked up some half priced bundles of brightly colored zig zag fabric. My son has a real eye for color and he’s draw to the primaries. Originally this stuff was meant for a mug rug for a teacher but we ended up making her a baggie for all her teacher goodies. As we wrapped up that project, I was left with a pile of this vibrant fabric just waiting to be used. So, I began teaching my son how to sew using the colors he picked himself!

20140525-111706-40626042.jpg

His first attempt came out great! Then I moved onto to other projects and this team effort got put aside.

After finishing a quilt I had been working on for years, I sat down to take a look at all the projects I wanted to start, continue with, or finish. I’m very ADD when it comes to sewing. I always have a project or two in mind along with a few I’m in the progress with. That’s when all those bright colors caught my eye and I thought it would be great for the two of us to get working on whatever this project turned out to be. My kidlet got into a spot of trouble this past week so all video games were off limits and he had a lot of free time on his hands. He saw me working in the sewing room and asked if he could sew too.

IMG_1197

And we did! He sat down with me and helped sew together a few strips. I guided the fabric through the machine as he was my “peddle pusher”. He worked on his pressure and watched how he could manage a slower stitch or a faster one just with a simple press of the peddle. There was no method to our madness but we had a good time picking up and stitching them together in any combination we grabbed.

IMG_1196

Then we got down on the cutting board and worked on cutting more strips of his zig zag fabric. Unfortunately, my little lefty really struggles with the rotary cutter. He was really having a hard time putting enough pressure down to cut through the fabric while rolling it forward in a straight line. He got so frustrated that one of his attempts skipped over the clear ruler and nicked my thumb. Nothing bad but enough for me to call a time out and to take over the cutting.

IMG_1198

After that we pressed the seams and I showed him how to iron it flat. We played with pressing the seams to one side versus pressing the seams open. It takes a bit more time but I found that my pieces laid flatter when I pressed the seams open. He got a kick out of using the iron but wasn’t too careful with it. I could tell he was nervous about getting burned even though I was there with him, guiding him. So I took over the ironing, too. We decided his job would be to sew the straight lines.

So, I have NO idea what this will be. I’m figuring it will be a blanket of some sort but it’s going to come about organically and based on both my ideas and my son’s. We have enough material to make a good sized blanket if we wish but with my son being only 8 and with a kid’s attention span and with me being all over the place with projects, it could turn out to be a pillow or two, some mug rugs, or maybe a table runner. Who knows!? The ideas are endless and I’m kind of excited to see where it goes!

 photo wip_zpsbbf761bc.jpgSew Fresh Quilts

Teaching My Son To Sew!

My son is 8 years old. He’s growing like a weed and venturing out into new and unexplored territory. This Spring he played baseball for the first time and he’s reading more and more.

It’s hard to believe that this baby…

102006 020

Is now this boy…

IMG_1129
And after all the years of watching me sew, he’s now interested in it himself. After I brought my sewing machine home from the repair shop, he’s been very curious about the story behind it and what I use it for. He’s watched me repair his costumes and create mug rugs and now he’s ready to learn how to sew!

My favorite part of being crafty with him is watching how his mind works. Seeing how he picks his patterns and colors amazes me. Even without knowing much, he’s got a great eye for color. The end of the school year is upon us and as a gift to his teacher, we plan to make her a bag and a matching mug rug. So together we walked to the craft store and bought some fabric to make her an adorable reservable bag.

He’s a little antsy to get the whole thing started but I had to explain how we had to clean the fabric first and get all the prep work done. He wasn’t thrilled. When everything was ready and it was time to cut, he was STILL frustrated that he couldn’t sew yet. So we sat down to cut our strips for the mug rug.

I’m keeping that pattern simple. Just 2 inch strips sewn together with a simple border and binding and solid backing. I taught Jake how to hold the rotary cutter and how to measure out the strips using the clear ruler and our green rotary pad beneath. Math is a WONDERFUL thing to learn when doing a hands on project. Makes it much more easily understood plus it makes fractions fun.

My lefty

My lefty

At first I couldn’t figure out why the rotary cutter wasn’t working for him then I realized my lefty was angled wrong. He was cutting from the wrong side of the blade so I had him switch his position. Much better!

He did get frustrated more than once with the cutting. He would roll it along the ruler and it would skip across the fabric, only cutting here or there. I explained to him it takes pressure against both the ruler and the cutting pad to cut through the fabric from one end to the other. And then I explained that the time it will take to become good at all this won’t be in a matter of minutes but over a longer period of time. That for some it takes years. This seemed to ease his frustrations and he continued to work on it.

After cutting enough strips we pinned two together and set to work on the machine. He threaded the needle (!!) and took his time to sew a straight simple line. I was soooo proud!!!

20140525-111706-40626042.jpg

And here he is with his first piece! It came together great and he did a fantastic job sewing and cutting. I plan to work a bit with him each day and to remind him that sewing isn’t an overnight project. It takes time and patience, something I hope he will learn to have more of. The side benefit, this project will hopefully strengthen his hand and eye coordination AND build his fine motor skills, an area in which he’s always struggled.

He may not be interested in sewing for long as all 8 year olds tend to jump from interest to interest but I’m thrilled to have someone to share my love of sewing with, even if it is only for the time being.

This mama is super proud!