Monday, July 30, 2012

July Bee Blocks

I managed to pull myself away from watching the Olympics for a little bit this weekend to sneak in some sewing time.  I have to admit, the giant baby was a little freaky during the opening ceremonies, but since the games have started, we've been glued to the TV.  It's amazing that just being "the Olympics" makes you fans of sports that you never would have dreamed of having an interest in...when the hubs started yelling at the TV last night about scoring in Synchronized Diving, I knew it was bad.  We had a good laugh when I pointed out that he was getting worked up about the scores in Synchronized Diving, but continued to be just as interested none the less.

Anyways, like I was saying, I did take a few hours and holed up in my sewing room yesterday to get to work on July's bee blocks.  Every month I say I'm going to get them out of the way first thing, and then the 30th of the month rolls around and I'm scrambling.  


These blocks were for Heidi in the imagine circle of Do. Good Stitches.  She requested 2 blocks using Lynne's tutorial for her paper pieced ET Phone Home block.

Imagine Circle- do.Good Stitches July

Imagine Circle- do.Good Stitches July

While these blocks were quite time consuming, I really love the end result, and can't wait to see her completed quilt in these pretty blues and reds.


These two blocks are for Jess in the Stash Bee.  She wrote up this great tutorial for a woven chevron type design, and I just love it!  This would make a great scrappy quilt, and the fact that this block was super easy to put together?  Double bonus.

Hive 4-July

hive 4-July

Jess asked that we use prints that were similar in color to Kona Surf and Kona Orange.  After digging out my Kona color card, I sifted through my stash to find these prints that I think match pretty well.  These blocks will be off to their new homes.

Next month is my month for do. Good Stitches, so I'll be back with a large (20") block tutorial to make a quick and easy quilt this week! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

traveling in style

***edited to add:  tutorial available here***


I spent this past weekend with good friends from college celebrating birthdays and babies.  Some of my very best friends were made during my time spent at Penn State, and amidst all the scandal as of late, it was nice to catch up with friends that were the main reason that my college experience was as amazing as it was. We've all grown up, most of us are married, and a few have kiddos, one of which is expecting the birth of her second in about a month and half.  We celebrated one thirtieth birthday, and "sprinkled" soon-to-be baby D with love and warm wishes.

You would think for all the sewing I do, I'd have a bag or handmade container for just about any purpose I could possibly need.  But that's just not the case, it seems I give most of what I make away to friends and family as gifts, and don't keep much.  When I spied my friends jewelry roll she purchased at The Container Store, I thought it was high time I upgraded my ziplock baggie I had brought my jewelry in for the weekend.


After looking at her jewelry roll for a few minutes, my thinking immediately shifted to "I could make that!" so on my way home from work yesterday I stopped off for a few zippers and some clear vinyl, and got to work last night figuring out how to make it work.


I had never sewn with vinyl before, and really was surprised at how easy it was to work with (aside from being a little slippery).  My measurements ended up off a little bit, I think mostly because you really can't pin this stuff without leaving a hole in the vinyl.  I think the trick for next time will be to start with slightly larger measurements to leave room to trim down to a uniform size.  


After trying it out last night, it really can hold a good bit of jewelry!  I'm super pleased with how this turned out, and really love that I was able to make it a little more fun than a plain old jewelry roll by using some fun fabrics.  I immediately knew I wanted to use some of my Riley Blake Chevrons as the "see through" part on the inside, and couldn't resist digging into my new Tula Pink Birds and the Bees FQ Bundle for the outside part. 


I'm excited to give this little guy a whirl on our upcoming vacation! 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Christmas in July giveaway winner

UPDATE:  Unfortunately GG never has come forward to claim her prize, so I have drawn a new winner:


Congrats Gidget!  I'll be emailing you for your contact info, thanks to everyone who entered!


Thanks for all the lovely comments about the e-reader sleeve, and its so nice to hear about everyone's holiday sewing plans...It makes me feel so much better knowing many of you are like me with the best of intentions, but end up scrambling at the last minute!

Without further ado, Mr. Random has selected a winner...

Congrats GG!  I will be passing along your info to Elizabeth, who will get you your Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate.  

Thanks to all who entered, and happy Christmas in July!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Christmas in July: E-Reader Sleeve Tutorial

Hi everyone and welcome to the second stop on the Christmas in July blog hop!  I'd like to first thank Elizabeth for putting this whole sha-bang together, to start getting us ready for the holidays, and I'd secondly like to thank the Fat Quarter Shop who has generously donated a $50 gift certificate to one lucky blog reader!  Check out the bottom of this post for how to enter to win.   


If you are anything like me, you have big, huge, grandiose plans and ideas of making boatloads of handmade gifts for the holidays, and are shocked when the middle of December rolls around and you have nothing done.  Hopefully this blog hop will at least give you some inspiration for handmade gift and decor ideas, so the holidays don't sneak up this year and take you by surprise.  Today's gift idea is a super simple tutorial for an E-Reader sleeve, which will fit any full sized Kindle or Nook Color/Tablet (or any e-reader measuring approximately 8" x 5" x .5").

A good handful of my friends and family are big readers who have made the switch from actual books to e-readers (myself included), and I thought a nice slim fitting E-Reader sleeve would be a great gift idea.  Hopefully you can use this tutorial to check a few gift recipients off your list as well!



For e-reader measuring appx. 8" x 5"

Outer fabric: 7" x 18"
Lining fabric: 7" x 18"
fusible fleece: 6.25" x 17.25"
outer pocket fabric: 7" x 11.5"
outer pocket lining fabric: 7" x 13.5"
(2) pieces very stiff interfacing: 5.75" x 8.5" (Pellon 70)
fabric covered button kit
fabric square for button: 2.25" x 2.25"
elastic hair tie

edited to add:
For Nook Simple touch, or e-reader measuring appx. 6.5" x 5"

Outer fabric: 7" x 15"
Lining fabric: 7" x 15"
fusible fleece: 6.25" x 14.25"
outer pocket fabric: 7" x 9.5"
outer pocket lining fabric: 7" x 11.5"
(2) pieces very stiff interfacing: 5.75" x 7" (Pellon 70)
fabric covered button kit
fabric square for button: 2.25" x 2.25"
elastic hair tie


1.  Center the fusible fleece on the wrong side of your outer fabric and press into place


2.  Align the outer pocket fabric and pocket lining fabric right sides together.  The lining fabric will be longer than the outer pocket fabric, but align the short edges and pin in place.  


3.  Sew each short edge with a 1/4" inseam.


4.  Turn pocket piece right side out.  Press so that the lining fabric is exposed 1/2" on each short edge.


5.  Measure 3" in from each short edge (2.5" in from each short edge for Nook Simple Touch measurements) and make a small mark along each long side (make sure your mark stays within a 1/4" inseam).  This will mark the placement for the outer pocket.


6.  Align the short edges of the outer pocket with the marks you made in step 5 and pin into place.


7.  Baste wrong side of pocket to the right side of the outer fabric using a 1/8" inseam.  I find it helpful to stitch with the wrong side of the outer fabric/fusible fleece facing up.


8.  Layer outer fabric/pocket piece and lining fabric right sides together.  Pin into place.  


9.  Take your elastic hair tie and put a pin at about a quarter of the way in on each side of the hair tie.  This will help hold the hair tie together to sew it into the inseam.


10.  Along one of the short edges (which ever edge you would like to be the backside of your e-reader sleeve) make a small mark at the center of  the short edge.  Place your pinned hair elastic so that approximately 3/4 of the hair tie is sandwiched between the right sides of the outer fabric and lining fabric.  approximately 1/4 of the hair tie should be sticking out.  Pin into place.


11.  Leaving a 5" opening along the opposite short edge (without the hair tie pinned into place), and stitch around all sides using a generous 1/4" inseam, being sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of your line of stitcing.  Clip corners and turn right side out through the 5" opening along the short edge.   Press seams.


12.  Top stitch along the short edge with the elastic sticking out, being sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of your line of stitching.


13.  Use the opening along the short edge to insert the pieces of stiff interfacing.  Insert them one at a time, making to work the first piece all the way against the top stitching of the opposite short edge.  Insert the second piece so that it buts against the first inserted piece.  Be sure to center each piece as well.


14.  Fold the raw edges of the opening in towards the center and press into place.


15.  Top stitch along the short edge, being sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of your line of stitches to close the opening.


16.  Mark the center of the short edge you just stitched closed, and measure down 1.25" -1.5" (ignore that my ruler is aligned at 1.75" down).  Mark a small mark using air/water soluble marking pen.  This will mark where to attach the button.


17.  Using the 2.25" square piece of fabric, follow the manufacturers instructions to make a covered button.  Sew covered button onto the spot marked in step 16.


18.  Fold in half lengthwise, aligning the top edges.


19.  Stitch along each long edge using a generous 1/8" inseam.  Be sure to go slow and use a heavy duty needle, as you will be sewing through quite a few layers of fabric.  Make sure to back stitch at the beginning and ending of your line of stitching.


20.  Ta-da!  Stand back and admire your new stylish sleek e-reader sleeve, and check off one of those gifts from your holiday sewing to-do list!


Thanks for visiting, I hope you enjoyed the tutorial!  If you decide to make an e-reader sleeve using this tutorial, I'd love to see it!  Be sure to add it to the Stitching with SewCraftyJess Flickr Group 

Now onto the good stuff, to enter to win the $50 Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate, leave me a comment on this post, telling me if you plan on doing any holiday sewing and if you've started yet.  I'll leave the giveaway open until Friday morning, and then Mr. Random will draw a winner.


Be sure to checkout the rest of the stops on the Christmas in July blog hop, there's a giveaway at every stop!  Here is the schedule chock full of talented quilty bloggers with all sorts of holiday inspiration (and giveaways!)

Monday 7/16 - Don't Call Me Betsy
Tuesday 7/17 - Sew Crafty Jess
Wednesday 7/18 - Pink Penguin
Thursday 7/19 - Freshly Pieced
Friday 7/20 - Sew Sweetness
Monday 7/23 - Happy Quilting
Tuesday 7/24 - Comfort Stitching
Wednesday 7/25 - Diary of a Quilter
Thursday 7/26 - Felicity Quilts

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Is this thing on?

Hello!  Things have been quite quiet in these parts, and I really don't have an explanation as for why.  I've been squeezing in at least a little sewing time in the evenings, yet seem to be making no real progress on any of my projects.  I thought I'd just pop in and do a quick refresh, more to keep myself from feeling like I've been a stitching slacker!

Tula Pink Birds and Bees

Now, I may not have been doing an exceptional amount of sewing, but I've certainly been doing a great job of online fabric shopping!  This fat quarter bundle of Tula Pink's The Birds and the Bees came from Ruth at SewLoveFabrics.  I completely forgot that Ruth lives about 10 minutes from me (I've actually been to her home to fabric shop a few years ago!), so when she saw my order come in at the end of last week, she messaged me to see if I wanted her to just drop off the fabric I had ordered in my mailbox, as she was going to be out near my house this weekend.  Of course I said yes, and Ruth (a.k.a. the magic fabric fairy) delivered this stack of goodness on Saturday morning.  I've just been admiring it so far, but have plans to cut into it soon and will be using Tula's Snow Globes pattern.


I also picked up this pretty bundle of Birch organic fabrics from Del Ray Fabrics along with some Ruby Star Shining typewriters (now out of stock) and a few fun Heather Ross prints that aren't pictured.  I have no plans for that stack or the extras just yet, but it sure is pretty, and those organic prints are so nice and silky, I have been randomly petting them at least daily as I walk by.


What I have been stitching up a storm is a project I can't share just yet, but here are the trimmings to show I have been working on something!


One more sneaky-peek- check back on Tuesday for a fun gift tutorial as part of the Christmas in July Blog Hop!  The festivities kick off tomorrow over at Don't Call me Betsy, and will feature 10 different gift/decor tutorials to get a jump start on your holiday sewing!

Monday, July 9, 2012

geese any which way


I've been seeking relief from the recent heat wave down in my sewing room!  Now don't get me wrong, we've done our share of sweating it out at cookouts and family get togethers as well, but I've certainly not been complaining while hiding out in my downstairs "cave" which is a solid 5 to 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the house.  The hubs thinks I'm crazy wearing a sweatshirt when its 100 degrees outside, but its cold down there!!


Ever since my stack of Essex linen arrived from Pink Castle Fabrics, I've been itching to sew something with it.  Believe it or not, I've never used linen in a quilt before, and thought that this was the time to break that trend.  I used Essex linen in Sand and pulled a bunch of pinks, light greys, and a few pretty aquas and melon-y oranges, as seen here.  


I'm thinking of quilting this little guy with straight lines following the sort of zig zag shape the opposite rows of geese make.  I may even throw some pink pearle cotton into the mix for a few lines of hand quilting as well, just to change things up a bit.  (Seeing Bree's hand quilted postage stamp quilt has me inspired!)

On a complete aside, I'm still getting used to my new camera, and have been trying to play around with the manual mode (using the bajillion tutorials I've pinned), and I'm not sure if its the picture, or maybe just the display, but I keep getting these sort of hazy wavy lines (sort of reminds me of on a hot hot day when you look far in the distant and see that sort of hazy "movement"??) mostly when I try and take up close pictures (if that makes any sense, which it may not).  Now I swear it was even there when I uploaded my pics to edit them (and when I saved the picture) but when I uploaded to Flickr, the mystery wavy-ness was gone.  It seems to happen mostly with solids it was very apparent when I drew that arrow, I swear!!


Anywho, just thought I'd see if anyone else has run into this before, and if there is a simple solution to fix it (very likely operator error).  Thanks for any helpful hints or tips!!  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

WIP Wednesday: 4th of July edition

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Happy 4th of July everyone!  I'm guest hosting WIP Wednesday this week over at Freshly Pieced to help Lee out on her summer vacation, be sure to head over to Freshly Pieced, check it out and add your WIPs!