Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Fixed the Newel Post!"

If you're a fan of Chevy Chase in the movie, "Christmas Vacation," you'll remember Clark Griswold's frame of mind when he shouted out this line.  He had just taken off the wobbly top of the newel post with a chain saw.  If you've never seen the movie, I'm sorry.  What does this line have to do with today?  Well, let's just say, I am exasperated, overwhelmed, and just out of sorts today.  I feel like Clark Griswold before he took his frustration out on the newel post with the chain saw.  So, what better time to just put the icing on the cake and rip out something you can't stand?  Take one top...

I hate the sleeves on this top - I will never wear it again, ever - unless I do something to fix them.  Hate is a strong word, but it is appropriate in this case. 

Grab a seam ripper and start removing the poufy bottom halves of the sleeves...

Have a piece of chocolate.

Measure the bottom part of the upper sleeve pattern piece so your new bottom part of the sleeve will actually be the same width as the upper part (remember no extra fabric was left over from this project - one shot at is all you get).

Eat a spoonful of peanut butter right off the spoon.

Cut the bottom cuff bands off the sleeves and this is what you have to work with...

Press the two pieces of fabric and cut each into a 12 x 16 inch rectangle.  Also cut two 2.75" x some length - I don't remember - strips.  Press the rectangles in half lengthwise.  Unpress the rectangles because you are a moron and you have to sew them into tubes first.  Sew them into tubes - forget to take pictures because you're aggravated.  Press the tubes in half so they are 6" wide. 

Have 4 Hershey's Cherry Kisses.

Sew the 2.75" x whatever into tubes lengthwise using a 1/4" seam and turn them right side out (don't you love turning skinny tubes right side out?  Yeah - me too).  Turn the raw edge in on one end of each tube and top stitch all the way around.  Sew - I mean baste (using reeeeally looooong stitches so they're easy to rip out) - the new sleeve bottoms to the existing sleeve tops making sure to attach one of the narrow tubes on the outside edge of each sleeve. 

Have several more Hershey's Cherry Kisses.

Naturally, since I basted these, they were done correctly the first time.  If I had forgotten to baste and used really, really tiny stitches, they would have been incorrect - it never fails.

Have a spoonful of Nutella (if you've never had it, I'm sorry).

Look all over the place for that tin that has about 1,000 buttons in it.  Tear through all the fabric drawers, cabinets, look under the beds, scratch your head, and finally say to yourself, "Screw it!  I'm going to Joann's."  Get into the hot as H#LL car, drive to Joann's (of course it starts pouring on the way).  Get out of the car.  Glasses fog up because it is a sauna outside now with steam coming off the parking lot black top.  Go into the store, pick up a four-pack of buttons for $1.75. Figure that you must buy something else so your 40% off coupon doesn't go to waste.  Pick up an art bin (great for storing fabric along with the quilt pattern, so you'll know what you bought that stack of fabric for when you make the quilt 20 years from now). 

Can you tell I'm in a mood?

Have a couple Tums.

Drive home.  Sew the buttons on.  Thread snarls several times while doing this.  Have a few choice words to say about it.  But when all is said and's a top that no longer has hideous sleeves.

My youngest daughter suggested this as a solution, and it worked like a charm (once it was done).  The sleeves are a good length - just to the elbow - hiding the upper arms that keep on waving even after the rest of the arm has stopped *sigh*

Have a Grrrrrreat - emphasis on the Grrrrr - weekend.

I need a drink!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


It's definitely one of the reasons I got into blogging - I found so much inspiration when I'd take the time and go browsing through quilting blogs. 

I ordered a half yard bundle of fabric from Fabricworm because I love the Heather Ross Far Far Away fabrics, but really couldn't see making an entire quilt with them.  First of all the fabric is heavy and we are in Florida, and second I can't afford buy scads of it.  So when I saw this one

I just about flipped - it is perfect!  It includes Heather Ross' Rapunzel and the Owl and the Pussycat.  The Denyse Schmidt and Anna Maria Horner fabrics are wonderful - I love the colors.  I'm waiting for the Sleeping Beauty in Plum to come in too.  Em loves Sleeping Beauty and the plum color will go very nicely with these fabrics.

When the fabric bundle arrived, I started to panic - how in the world was I going to put these together in a quilt?  Here's where browsing blogs and finding inspiration comes into play.  I saw this quilt that Ashley from Film In the Fridge posted on her blog - how perfect.  This quilt is so beautiful, and even though I don't have all the Heather Ross fabrics she has incorporated into it, I think the fabrics from this bundle will look very nice in a lattice quilt like this.  All the quilts Ashley makes are so fabulous and I love the way she photographs them too.

Then I was browsing around in various online fabric shops (very dangerous indeed) and ran across Castle Peeps - oh my!  How could I possibly resist making a couple of pillowcases for Em to go with the quilt? The colors are perfect, in real life.  They look a bit off in this picture because it was taken under incandescent lighting.

Pillowcases fit for a princess :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Quick Post

I finished the tunic - here's a pic.

I love the colors and pattern of the fabric, but I'm still unsure about the sleeves for this tunic pattern. They are really not "me."  I'm not someone who likes poufy or frilly, but I'm wearing it tomorrow regardless.  This Alexander Henry cotton lawn was a dream to work with and I used a pinking blade on my rotary cutter to finish the seams so they don't ravel - so much better than using clunky pinking shears.  The fabric is a little sheer, but will be perfect for the hot sticky Florida weather (as perfect as any clothes can possibly be anyway).

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Reveal and the Start of Something New

I can finally reveal my secret project that I posted about a few days ago here.  I had wanted to do something with the black, white and yellow fabrics I had.  Well it just so happens that my best friend and quilting buddy mentioned that it would make a really cute diaper bag or tote.  What perfect timing...her birthday was today.  So this was what I was making.

I think she liked it :)

Now for the something new.  Anyone that knows me, understands that I have no self-restraint.  When I get excited about something, I dive right into it.  The mail person left me a large envelope today containing some fabulous Alexander Henry cotton lawn.  It is similar to Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks voile - not quite as silky feeling, but it is nice and light.  As soon as I got out of my work clothes and into something comfy, I started cutting out another tunic.  I made a mistake when I ordered the fabric and didn't order quite enough, so  I had to be a little creative.  In the end I was able get all the pieces cut out of the yardage I had.  This is all that's left...

Just a few scraps, but isn't it beautiful?  I love the colors!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wiped Out!

We had a wonderful time yesterday celebrating Em's third birthday at the zoo.  It is such a wonderful place and all we had to bring is the cake and the presents.  The zoo supplied all the paper goods, drinks, and entertainment for the children (and the adults too).  No set up, no clean up - it just doesn't get any better.  Plus they are well equipped for a crowd of shrieking children.  They had the children coloring, making suncatchers, and playing all sorts of games too.  Everyone had a really great time, especially the little birthday girl.

I'm exhausted from all the excitement!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A sick sense of humor

Yes, sometimes I have a very warped sense of humor.  Take today for instance - after seeing that 25 years of love was showing on Myrtle, I decided she needed a bath before Em's party.  The new dress really accentuated her filthiness (the same problem with painting the walls in a room making the carpeting look old and dirty). 

This is where the twisted sense of humor comes in...
Remember Paul Simon's song, "Slip Sliding Away"????  Every time I hear that song from now on, this is the image that will come to mind *sigh*

I hope you're not scarred for life after viewing this picture

Sick AND twisted!

On a not-so-sick-and-twisted note, I finished Em's pillowcase dress this morning.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Looking good :)

Myrtle's all dressed up for the birthday party on Sunday.  I can't wait to see Em's reaction when she sees Myrtle in a matching dress.  At least I thought she was looking good until I took a closer look at the picture and noticed that Myrtle really, really needs a bath before the party.  She's loved a lot!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A present for Myrtle

Remember the post about pillowcase dresses?  These things are addictive, especially when you have a two (almost three) year old granddaughter.  This dress is for Myrtle - my youngest daughter's Cabbage Patch doll that now belongs to Em.  I just need to get hold of Myrtle for a few minutes when sweetie pie isn't looking so I can determine where to put the velcro on the ribbon for Myrtle's shoulders.  Naturally, there's a matching dress in the works for Em too. 

Not only are these dresses easy schmeasy, but they can easily go from a dress one summer to a top for another summer (or two) of use.  I used this pattern.  I would suggest a couple of modifications.  Instead of making a bias strip to make a curved casing for the ribbon at the neckline, I just folded the top edge of the dress over to make a self-casing.  The only thing to keep in mind if you do this, is that you should cut your armholes an extra 1.25" deep to compensate for the length lost when folding the top edge over to make the casing.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Plans...Thwarted!

I was supposed to get the stitches taken out of my finger yesterday, but when I arrived and the surgeon took a look at the knuckle he looked at me and asked me what I had been up too.  Well, I knew he was alluding to the fact that I had torn the sutures on one side of the knuckle.  It happened when I lifted Mr. Barky Barky I need to go out.  I was putting him into his crate in the back of the car to take him to the vet during the week and I felt the stitches pulling and then saw blood through the dressing (oops!).  So...he said that either we leave the stitches in until Tuesday, or he would remove all the stitches and put a couple new ones on the left side of the incision.  After dutifully promising him that I wouldn't bend the knuckle over the weekend, he left things alone *whew*

So, maybe I haven't completely kept my promise to the surgeon.  You see, I had a project that I wanted to do over the weekend (needed to do) and I can't show it to you yet because it's a secret.  Here are a couple of glimpses though.  I'm hoping I can finish it by tomorrow - I'm a little worried that I'm not going to make my goal which will be very disappointing indeed.  I think this fabric will look familiar to some of you...

I hope you all are staying cool and having a nice quilty weekend :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Finished Back

I got up this morning bright and early thanks to Mr. Barky Barky I Need To Go Out (this is him in his natural state - when he was a young stud)

so I brewed a nice strong pot of coffee and put on a Diana Krall CD called, "The Look of Love" (her versions of Cry Me a River and Dancing in the Dark are awesome).  I looked over at the dining room table at the fabric all laid out for the Snapshot quilt backing and decided to go for it.  I found myself getting seriously bummed yesterday - sewing withdrawal.  I did watch three movies, including "All The President's Men" which I had never seen.  Attempting to put together the backing made sense because I didn't have to do any serious cutting - I had cut all the pieces before my surgery.  It felt so good to sit down at the sewing machine, and check out how well the pieced center strip matched up - it's a miracle!  It needs to be pressed, but I can't lift the iron yet with my right hand, and am seriously clutzy using my left (that's why any rotary cutting and pressing have to wait - it's just not worth the risk - lol)

My next project is to correct the set up of my camera date - I must have am & pm mixed up because I noticed that the camera has yesterday's date in the morning and the correct date in the afternoon.  Here is a picture I took a couple days ago - the orchids are in bloom.

I almost forgot...I finished the binding on the Strip Tube Quilt too...see?

It is a large queen size quilt that was done completely in batiks and quilted in a swirly pattern.  Here's a close up of the quilting - complete with a stray thread that needs to be pulled off *sigh*.

I hope you all have a wonderful Independence Day!

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Short Post

Since I'm normally a rightie, but became a short-term leftie yesterday, this will be a short post.  Surgery went fine with the worst problem being a sore throat.  The surgeon did a nerve block in the hand, so no pain at all (a fabulous thing!).  I was a little surprised when I came to and saw my bandaged hand was bandaged and so well padded because of the nerve block - to prevent an accidental bump or thump to the finger as I would not have felt it. 

It is difficult to have time off and not be able to sew, but I can still play with fabric...See?

I picked up this Atkinson Designs pattern awhile back and think it will be cute made in these fabrics - finally one of my daughters' friends is expecting a baby girl.  Not sure if the background fabric will be white or pink though.  This will be the binding fabric.

Happy quilting!