Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A New Year Approaching

Christmas has come and gone, and now the new year approaches. This past year I entered into the wonderful world of sewing. In the short time since August, I have learned so much. I am excited to see where the new year will take me. I really want to concentrate on clothing, especially for my daughter. After making her Christmas dress and winter coat I am hooked. I am constantly looking for new patterns to try. I would like to build my skill and understanding of construction to start designing my own. I do intend to continue to quilt, but as I have a love/hate relationship with it, it will probably be sparingly.

I also want to enter back into knitting. I taught myself using YouTube, several years ago, but never really learned how to make anything but a (very basic) scarf. I would really like to learn how to read a pattern and make more intricate designs. Luckily, I will have a whole year to work on it.

I am also about to dive into the world of furniture restoration. I love the idea of turning the old and ugly into something new and gorgeous. I have an old desk in my garage that will be my first project. I haven't decided on the color yet, but I plan on putting it in the kitchen so it may become turquoise. My kitchen desperately needs a pop of color.

Here's a look at most of the projects I completed this year. Quite an accomplishment considering I started in August.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

From my family to yours, we hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Quilt Fiasco

I'm not sure what came over me, and why I let it happen, but I decided to start a Christmas Quilt last weekend. Once I have my mind set on something I have to get it done, so I made the quilt top. I thought I would have enough fabric and batting to finish it, but I was wrong. A trip to Walmart for batting and a sheet were in order. I got it home and started the basting. The backing just barely fit the quilt top. I should have stopped there and added more fabric or bought a bigger sheet. Did I? Nope. I was too impatient to get it done. Once the basting was done I had every intention to start quilting. Unfortunately life and illnesses got in the way, so it sat basted for about a week.

 When I finally sat down to quilt it, I couldn't decide on the design. I'm tired of stitch in the ditch. I practiced free motion stippling, but I ended up breaking two needles. Needless to say, I need more practice before I commit to a full quilt. I finally decided to outline the rows with squiggly lines. Something simple that would add some whimsy to my quilt. It looks good, except for the puckers in the corners where the stitching meets. They looked really bad before washing, but now are barely noticeable.

When I was done quilting I looked at the back. Several corners of the backing fabric ended up shifting and were now too short. There was no way to cover them with the binding. In order to fix it I simply hand stitched small pieces of matching fabric to make it fit. Once the binding was in place it is barely noticeable, just a few odd seams at the corners. I think it adds to the whimsy.

If there is one thing I learned from this quilt is that I need to have more patience. I also shouldn't try making a quilt with such a tight deadline. I was really afraid it was going to look like a hot mess when I pulled it out of the dryer, but it looks pretty good. I will definitely take more time with the next one. I will also start Christmas projects earlier, like January!

Here are a few pics.

I used Made By Rae's Story Time Squares Quilt Pattern. I made mine with an extra row of blocks. 

Texas MonkeyMaking

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Breakfast with Santa

Supplies used (all from

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A New Coat

We have been away for the past three days, so there was no sewing this weekend. Not to worry, I made up for it today. I made the most darling coat for my daughter. The Chic Cocktail Swing Coat Pattern and Tutorial from Heidi & Finn is absolutely AMAZING! I had no issues what so ever with this pattern. It was so easy to make. It took me, maybe a total of four hours to complete, and I'm sure it would take less time for me to do another. Here is my finished product:

The outer fabric is an embroidered wool from Hancock Fabrics. Isn't it perfect for little girls! I was looking for a plaid wool when I stumbled upon this, and there was a great sale. I lined the inside with a super soft pink and white plaid cotton. If I had wanted a bit of a heavier coat, I could have gone with flannel of fleece lining, but I prefer lighter weight coats for my daughter. (She is quite the little space heater.) I figured the wool will keep her warm enough with her additional layers. 

This was my first, ever attempt at sleeves. A piece of cake. Thanks Aunt Betty for the encouragement. I can't wait to make the tunic pattern I also got from Heidi & Finn. 

Hope you all had a great day and a wonderful week!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Christmas Dress

Finding a Christmas Dress for my daughter has been near impossible. When I would find something I liked, they wouldn't have it in her size. I nearly gave up and decided she wasn't going to have one this year. Then I stumbled upon a tutorial for The Party Dress. The PERFECT Dress is a more appropriate title! The Cottage Mama did a great job! I instantly fell in love an knew I would have to make it into my daughters Christmas dress.

As a novice, I found this tutorial easy to follow. There were a few hiccups, but I managed to work them out. My biggest hiccup would be this:
This little 'pleat' isn't supposed to be there. I think I cut the trim a bit too long so when I was sewing it on, this happened at the end. Normally, this would drive me crazy and totally ruin my day. Not this time. The skirt on this dress is gathered, so you can't really tell. (And if you can, don't tell me!)

Let's not put it off any longer. Here is The Christmas Dress.

How perfect will this be for pictures with Santa!

I will be linking up for Sew & Tell at amylouhow.

Monday, November 29, 2010

On a Roll

I have managed to make two more scrapbook layouts today. I probably could have made more, but I am such a perfectionist it takes me forever to get through one. I will list the file names of the supplies used under each layout. Most come from either or, some I have no idea. I have so many files now it is hard to keep up. Anyhow, here they are.



Sunday, November 28, 2010

An Apple a Day

Another layout complete. I was hoping to complete one a week, but it seems that I am lacking a bit of motivation. It seems I can only scrapbook when I have the urge, otherwise I just waste time doing nothing but organizing my hard drive. Glad I had the urge tonight. 

All of the supplies used in this layout came from The kits are Autumn Alpha, Autumn Harvest, and Fall Felties. I used one of their demo layouts as the inspiration to this page. (Not sure who made the original.) This was the first time I have used their products and am very pleased. They were having a great sale. I managed to get all three kits for only $3. A great price for something I can use over and over again. The best thing about digital is I can take these products, tweak them just a bit (i.e, change the colors), and have a brand new look for a different layout. 

I also used Perfect Portrait 2 from It is the perfect action for helping re-touch pictures. Trust me when I say the original photos were ORANGE. My daughter looked like an Oompa Loompa! I don't have the best lighting in my house. 

I am pretty pleased with the look of this layout. I may tweak the position of the tree, but over all I think it is perfect. 

A Little Fabric Shopping

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We certainly did! Enjoyed having family in town, but happy to have a quiet house again! Here is a pic of my daughter wearing the ruffle jumper I made last week. It fit perfect and was so cute with the black leggings!

I did a little bit of fabric shopping yesterday. The sales at Joann's and Hancock Fabrics were great. I managed to get exactly what I was looking for.
These will become a winter coat for my daughter. How cute is that embroidery on the gray wool?!

Can you see a Christmas dress? I can't wait to get started!

Corduroy was so cheap this weekend. I am going to turn this into a pleated skirt for my little one. It will look so cute paired with colorful tights.

I found two of these place mats at Pier 1. I plan to turn them into pillows as seen on Crap I've Made. I love easy, cheap projects. 

I better get started if I want to get everything finished by Christmas! Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A New Dress

I found some great patterns on Etsy. As a mostly beginner sewer, I am always trying to learn new skills. Yesterday I decided to step out of my comfort zone of Pillow Case Dresses and try something with more structure. I love this patten from heidiandfinn. It was super easy to follow and I received the PDF with in several hours of ordering. Before I go any further, here is the dress.

As you can see, I had some leftover purple corduroy from the purse. Still have some leftover. This really was an easy to follow pattern/tutorial. I managed to complete it in under 3 hours, except for the button. I really wanted a fabric covered button, so I had to make a run to Hobby Lobby for the supplies. I love how it turned out, even if there are a few mistakes. 

The only real issue I have is the sizing. It goes from 12 months to 2T. I wish there was an 18 month option. I ended up making the 12 month. It fits my daughter very well, but it is a bit short. I could easily adjust my pattern in the future. I think this will still look good with a pair of black leggings.

Looking forward to making another one of these soon!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Flower Stacks

I finished my "Flower Stacks" Quilt.

I'm pretty happy with the finished product. I tried the wavy line quilting, which is perfect for this quilt. I should have used my walking foot. The top kept slipping on me, even with all the basting I did. Lesson learned for next time. 

Now my daughter has her very own quilt. Well, she will on Christmas. She is getting a very special present from her godparents, that this will compliment beautifully. 

Hope everyone is having a good day! The weather here is quite gloomy, which is perfect for cuddling under a quilt and reading a good book! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Princess and the Pea

Happy Veteran's Day to all soldiers, both past and present, especially my wonderful husband! Thank you for your service!

I have completed the Princess and the Pea Doll Quilt. I love how simple and cute it is. It will be perfect as part of my daughter's Christmas present (her first doll, complete with cradle and bedding).

I really wanted to keep everything simple, so the embroidery really stood out. So I just framed the embroidery in two colors. Then I just did an easy, peasy wavy line quilted border. Simple, fast, GORGEOUS!

I made a crib sized quilt top (my first top) several months ago that includes this blue floral fabric. I plan to finish that quilt today and tomorrow, so that she will have a quilt her own size to coordinate with the doll quilt. I am going to quilt this with the wavy lines, cause it is simple and I think it will be perfect.

Have a Terrific Thursday!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I've Done it Again

I re-did my blog...again! I know, I know. This blog is only a few months old, so why the re-model. Well,  I just couldn't stand the look of it before. The banner didn't seem to work and the colors just weren't doing it for me. Just a bit to Sherbet if you know what I mean. I'm sure I will find issues with this new design at some point, but it is definitely more me. I like the scrapbook feel to it. I hope you like it too!

About Time

I have had the pattern for the Butter Cup Bag, by Made By Rae, printed and on my desk for quite some time. Like MONTHS! I have never made a bag before, so this was a bit intimidating. Then I found the Couturier Mommy blog. She posted a how-to video on making this bag. Perfect! So, I finally dived in.

I was pretty excited when it turned out looking like the original. I used a purple corduroy, I had on hand, and a black and white fabric for lining. Now, I won't be using this bag. First, it is a bit small for me. I like my bags just a touch bigger. Second, it doesn't have the structure I like in bags. I like a stiffer bag. Maybe if there was some interfacing of something it would be better for me. But this is definitely a cute bag for young girls. I am thinking of gifting it to a little girl I know for Christmas. I may add some fun embellishments to the outside, like fabric rosettes in the black and white. All in all this was a great purse to learn on. I can't wait to try other patterns. 

I also finally made more lounge/pj pants for my daughter. The fabric has been hanging on the banister for months as well. Time to put it to use. She should be set for the rest of this season, and hopefully they will last into next year as well. 

Next up on my list: Completing her Doll Quilt! Happy Wednesday!