Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thrift store finds

About a week ago, I went out looking for thrift store finds.  I hit the mother load!  Not every day is like this at the thrift store.  Some days, you'll walk out empty handed.  This time, I was pleasantly surprised by all the great things.

I saw this box sitting quietly, waiting for me, I think.  I carefully stepped up and opened the box, wondering what I would find.  You can never be sure in a thrift store.  I was very pleased when I opened it up, too!
That's right, inside that pattern box 12 patterns were hiding.  I'm not too worried about them being horribly out-of-date.  They're mostly just the basic pattern waiting for the sewer's details to make them really pop, anyway.  Besides, when has a basic t-shirt ever gone out of style?

Total cost:  $6.25
Equals:  Awesome!

Friday, September 28, 2012


I was in Key West when I saw a girl with a hoodie shrug.  I thought to myself "I can make that."  That was months ago.  Today, I got the urge to make it reality.  I picked up this hooded sweatshirt at the thrift store a while back to create this shrug.  Here it is before I started to chop it up.
First, I cut off the bottom ribbing and made a cut about two inches below the bottom of the sleeves and opened up the front, being careful to leave room for the ribbing.
I pinned and stretched the ribbing to fit my new, shaped edge.  It gathers a little more than I like, but it does the job.
Here its, all finished up.  Of course, today the weather is too warm for it, but I'll be set when the cooler evenings start coming around more often.  Project cost:  $5 thrift store sweatshirt + 1 hour cutting and sewing.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pedal Pushers

It's National Sewing Month and I feel I've accomplished so little.  A quick post about my latest project.
I found a pair of jeans at the thrift store and thought they'd make a great pair of carpi-length pants.  I got out my scissors and took a whack at them.
The prior owner had hemmed the pants using stitch-witch so I used the top line of that as my cutting mark.
Then, I pinned up a short 1/2 inch hem and put in the about 2 inch fold I wanted.  I didn't just want to fold and hem, I wanted to make them look like they were rolled up.
You might look at this and think "hey, aren't those pins pointing the wrong way?"  As in, shouldn't you turn them around so you can easily remove them while stitching?  Of course I should have.  I realized it once I tried to put it onto the machine.  A couple minutes later I was on my way.
It isn't easy taking a picture of your own lower legs.  I tried, and this is the best I could come up with.  Not a great picture, but you do get the idea.  Although, now that the weather is starting to cool down, I should go back to working in fleece.  Gosh, I love how forgiving fleece can be.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wild Ones

I'm sure I mentioned at some point that I've created another quilt-maker.  It was mostly by accident.  Well, not really.  More like she wanted to learn and I just can't turn up a chance to teach.
I gave her the basic tools for piecing and she's run off and gone quilt-crazy.  (I think she's made... no less than five quilt tops and that's just this year.) That's right, she's my kind of gal!  She made this warm and wild quilt for her sister and left the quilting to me. 
I decided that a nice sharp stipple would best.  It almost echos the animal prints in this quilt.  That flannel leopard-print back makes it so snuggly.
She also put together this beauty for her mother.  The feel of the ocean is amazing.  
The pinwheels just pop out of the water.
I was a little torn about how to quilt this one, but I think I managed it without overdoing it or hiding the pinwheels.  The pattern is akin to gently lapping water.  No big waves here.
The back is light and this quilt practically floats.  Now that I've finished all the "work" I had to do, I can figure out what I'm going to do to relax.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Adventures at the Turtle Farm

While I was away, I had an opportunity to visit the Cayman Turtle Farm on Grand Cayman.

It was a wonderful experience.  We got to see the turtles at several stages of their life-cycle.

The Genesis pond is where they house the adult turtles.  You really don't appreciate their size in pictures.  These turtles are huge!
There are small pools where the young turtles live.  It doesn't seem like much room for them, but I'm not a turtle farmer.
The last stop is the room where they store the turtle eggs that are still incubating and there wasn't much to see. The best part was the pool were the yearlings were.  People were encouraged to touch them and pick them up.  This little guy is a little stressed about being picked up, but Kat got the hang of holding him safely pretty quickly. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Red is my favorite color!

I'm back!

What do you suppose my first project would be upon returning?  Sharing the great fabric finds I made while away... no.  Sharing pictures from the places I've been... um, maybe tomorrow.  Honey decided we should go to IKEA yesterday.  I have been wanting to update my sewing machine space, so we took a couple quick measurements and off we went.

Here is what I started with.  A student desk, made by my father, that I've been working at for... about twenty years (that's just the time I've been sewing at it, in high school I did my homework at that desk).  It isn't big, but it has worked for me for a long time.  The biggest drawback was that I had to come up with creative ways to hold the work on my left side.  In Montana, I slid the ironing board over next to the desk for that job.  Since moving to Maryland, I've kind of just been winging it, which means occasionally, the work was not as easy to move through the machine as it should have been.
Step one, move that desk to the other side of the sewing suite to make room for the new.  The moving about of stuff made me do a little organization, but just a little.  Piles and piles of fabric, batting and projects in various stages still litter the space.
At IKEA, we picked up two tabletops, six legs and a drawer unit.  The upside is that neither Honey or I yelled or cursed when the other smashed a finger, or two during assembly.  A pretty good IKEA project for that alone.
The unit where the machine sits only used two legs (in case you were worried that I couldn't do maths) with the other end supported by the drawer unit. Here it is, in its final configuration.  Plenty of room to work and for the work to be supported.
I couldn't resist taking another shot of it, isn't that red worktop amazing!  Have I mentioned that red is my favorite color?

Today, I put that new workspace to some use by piecing up the backing for a quilt.  A coworker of mine made a couple quilt tops and has commissioned me to quilt them.  I hope to have pictures of that in the next few days.  Along with any other crafty mischief I can manage to get myself into.