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.