I started making a little something for the babies room a couple of weeks ago:
I’m now almost 33 weeks pregnant and have been on bed rest for a couple of weeks now. Nothing is really wrong but I’ve been having abnormal contractions so we’re just trying to keep that baby in there for a few more weeks.
So right when I thought I’d start trying to blog more regularly, I have nothing to talk about. Actually, I can probably speak at length about how there is nothing on television during the day, how it takes about 3 days to smoosh a couch cushion into an uncomfortable patty, and lots more that is totally irrelevant to this blog and just plain boring!
Pregnancy is not what I had expected at all. I believed that once I was pregnant I would go through the next nine months in total bliss. Worries would not worry me; stress would fall by the wayside. How could I be stressed when I was going to become a mom? That I was going to have my own little baby to take care of and love? But that is not what happened at all. I have many more worries now and the stress I feel can be near paralyzing. I’m confident that I am only experiencing the normal raging pregnancy hormones and – someday -- I’ll be fine. But it has been hard getting myself in the mood for hobbies even though they would have probably been therapeutic.
For baby #2, I plan on planning a bit better. Hopefully I can work the due date to be at a less stressful time of year. No major holidays, no bad weather. I’m sure there will still be anxieties but I hope I will be better prepared next time around.
I’m not sure where this blog is going to go. Hopefully it won’t go away. Maybe after all this turmoil, the baby will be good to me and let me enjoy some making time.
And hopefully he will wait in there a little longer. At least long enough for me to finish my little project for him.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I started making a little something for the babies room a couple of weeks ago:
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I have made one thing this fall, a baby doll bed quilt set for my niece's birthday. The doll bed is from Ikea and it came with a little mattress, pillow and blanket. But they were, frankly, ugly and not pink. And they needed to be pink.
I made the new mattress out of two layers of quilt batting and some pink ticking fabric. The pillow insert has the same ticking...
The quilt is an around-the-world pattern that you can see better here...
With the holidays here and a baby due in January I'm not sure how much crafting I'll be doing but this is a start, no?
Monday, June 30, 2008
I've been tagged by Four Patch. Good thing too because my mother says she misses my blog. I'm not promising any regular updates now that it's one million degrees outside and five thousand per cent humidity (I just can't wrap my head around quilts and such nowadays) but I'll do my best. I'll start with this tag...
I have been assigned to come up with six interesting things about myself. I don't know how interesting these are but they are on my mind.
- My favorite condiment is sour cream.
- I don't like green olives.
- I wish there was some ice cream in our freezer.
- I drink at least 72 ounces of water a day. (If you can't find me, I'm in the bathroom.)
- I am craving a black bean burrito right now.
- I'm pregnant! (Hence the theme of this tag list.)
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Maybe it's the warmer weather but I have been very lazy about sewing lately. And I wish I could say that it is because I've been outside enjoying the nice weather but I can't. I did quilt the zig zag quilt this weekend. And I'll be adding the binding this week. (Did you notice I removed the most recent post on that quilt? I had a bad feeling the person it is for might stumble upon this blog. I'll post it again once I give the quilt to them.)
Since I have nothing much to share, I thought I'd share some of what's going on with other peoples blogs:
Draw-string backpack (from Mama Urchin) - Tutorial to make one of those nifty backpacks you see everywhere nowadays.
Patchwork fabric basket tutorial (from ayumills at Pink Penguin)
Melly & Me is having a giveaway this week!
CraftStylish has a tutorial for reverse appliqué featuring a tote bag. Nice idea. And you can now upload your own projects to the CraftStylish site as well.
Posted any good tutorials or projects lately? Or found one on a favorite blog? Leave me a comment with the link so I can check it out.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I have finally got it together regarding the Crazy Mom Quilts Quilt-A-Long. I knew I wanted to do a red and white quilt since my Dear Jane quilt will not be done for a VERY LONG TIME and I need some immediate red-and-white satisfaction.
I had the red and white fabrics but I needed a redandwhite fabric for the blocks with multiple patterns.
And here is block #1...
Oh, and Happy Birthday to ME!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The zig-zag quilt top is completed. See how I totally copied the original? I think that is helping the project move along...no design questions, no new math to figure out, nothing. The due date for the finished quilt is on June 10th (baby shower day). So I still have two weekends to sandwich the pieces, quilt it, and bind it. Cinch.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I dug this baby quilt since the first time I saw it posted on the Purl Bee blog and I've just been waiting for an excuse to make one. A coworker is having a baby in a couple of months so this will be a gift.
I usually will chose a design and then modify it, not to the point of it being indistinguishable, but just enough to make it harder on myself. For this one I am following the instructions to the letter...even the color palette is the same blue and orange. I recommend this approach. Much less cursing.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I started this Dear Jane Quilt block a few weeks ago but only just finished it this weekend. It was sitting in my sewing kit with only a quarter of the circle left to appliqué! It was nice to just finish something.
I started a new project this weekend. A baby quilt for a gift. I'm using the Zig Zag Quilt tutorial over at the Purl Bee blog. It's coming together quickly and easily so hopefully I will have the top pieced by next weekend.
Friday, May 16, 2008
I'm still trying to catch up at work, with quilt blocks, the laundry... Turns out I missed the best baseball-play of the year as well! Manny Ramirez HIGH-FIVED a fan in mid-double-play.
See the replay here
As of this posting, he's still two home runs shy of the 500 milestone. Hopefully I won't miss his 500th.
(Thanks for the tip, bro.)
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I've always felt that if I didn't have anything to share, I just wouldn't post. But for some reason I feel compelled now that I've been away for a week. Like you might be thinking I died or something.
The vacation was very fun and relaxing. There was lots of pool lounging, cocktail sippin', and -- believe it or not -- roller coaster riding at Universal. I only caught parts of Red Sox games and only when they were on ESPN. No sewing was done...I decided against bringing my hexagon project along. I didn't miss it.
Oh! I almost forgot! I decided to go with the lighter sashing on my Dear Jane quilt. Maybe because most of you leaned toward that initially or maybe because that was my Mom's first choice. I think the dark would be too overpowering on such a complex quilt. Every block would become a star and some of them just need to be quiet.
Good to be back! Posting will be light until I get back on track.
Friday, May 2, 2008
I thought I'd leave you with a big list of stuff to do while I'm away next week. Sew, Mama, Sew just finished up their tutorial contest -- lots of new ideas going on over there. And here is a list of tutorials from other blogs to keep you busy. Hey, Christmas is coming so start working on those gifts!
Sites with many tutorials:
The Purl Bee (Lots of really excellent tutes. Check out the right column of the blog to find them.)
Wee Wonderfuls (Mostly softies)
Craft Tutorials has a ton of tutorials
Fabric flowers at Wisecraft
Snapped fabric box from My Little Mochi
Ironing board cover at Instructables
Chenille bib at happythings
Chenille-backed quilt at happythings
Baby cubes from London Mummy
Cloth shoes at Stardust Shoes
Quilted Lingerie Bag at CraftStylish
Drawstring Bag at happythings
Evening bags at Threads
Lindie Bag at Craft Apple
(Check out this older post for more bag tutorials.)
Elf Clogs at allsorts
Peace Dove ornament at Bella Dia
Wine gift bags at Under A Blue Moon
Corset Ornaments at CraftStylish
Lamb at Pattern Bee
Pears and apple at Lil'd
Toadstool from LucyKate Crafts
Hat at Curiously Crafty
The Eddie Cap (for kids) at Mushroom Villagers
Bloomers (for little girls) at Reclaiming the Home
Tiered Skirt at Kuky Ideas
Wide Wrap Belt at CraftStylish
Tie Top Tank from Belle Epoque
Summer Slippers are Lady Harvatine
Have a tutorial that you created? Or know of one you love? Share them in the comments please!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Doesn't look so hot does it? Kinda blah...boring...bland. Well, take a look at the lovely ladies on the cover of this magazine:
Can you believe that all of the outfits in this magazine were made from that cheerless pattern above?? Well, maybe you can. But it amazes me. I have had the pattern traced to make this jacket for months now. I'm going to forgo making a winter version from wool and will make a light weight denim one for spring instead. Hear that, internet? Now I have to do it.
PS: Check out another terrific version of this pattern at Erica B's D.I.Y. Style blog.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I can't be stopped! AmandaJean of Crazy Mom Quilts is doing another quilt along...this one is all star blocks. AND I SIGNED UP FOR IT. I'm going to change my blog name to "Crazy Jen Quilts"...or "Crazy Jen Starts Quilts But Never Finishes Them."
Way back here I mentioned this quilt that I started way back when. Nine Patch blocks with lots of pink and green fabrics. Someday this will look really pretty on my bed.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Kinda big. They had really nice cuffs at the bottom with red trim but the pants were so long I had to hem the cuffs to smithereens. Sean approves though...very comfy. And skully.
And ANOTHER Built By Wendy top for myself! ('Scuze the crummy mirror photo.)
Thank you to everyone who voiced their opinion on the sashing debate. With each comment I changed my mind again and again. So anyone who hasn't spoken up, please do so! We are not ready to declare a winner.
And Jacquie came the closest on the vacation guessing game. Even though her final answer was Tahiti (!) she did mention Florida. We are going to Orlando! Disney and sun is not our usual cup of tea but I got a super deal on a hotel...and lounging around poolside sounds pretty good to me.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Reverse appliquéd "Starflower" B-12 block.
I'm two blocks behind on my Dear Jane quilt. And another block is being assigned today. I was feeling a little anxious about it but then I realized, "Hey, it's a quilt." And I relaxed. I'll get farther behind before I catch up because we are going on vacation next week. But I will eventually get ahead again. No worries.
Here's where I am so far:
Over on the Dear Baby Jane blog and flickr group, there's been some discussions about adding the sashing (fabric between all the blocks) as we go. I would like to start adding it now but that means I need to decide on colors. That's where you all come in. Here's two options I'm thinking about. Take a look, ponder it a while and then leave a comment with your honest opinion.
Light version (darker than my block background but not too dark):
Dark version (helps the blocks stand out more but is it too much?):
PS: My mother called this weekend and asked me if I bought a bathing suit. She had read on my blog that I needed to get one but I hadn't followed up. Rest assured, a swimsuit has been purchased. As well as a cover-up, some flip flops and loads of sunscreen with an SPF of +5,000. Anyone want to guess where we're going next week?
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
There have been a bunch of great sewing books released over the past year and I've been perusing them online and in book stores trying to decide which ones to buy. When I saw In Stitches and counted three, four, five projects in it I wanted to make, I bought it.
One of the projects I counted was this cool kimono bath robe:
And when I spied this fantastic Japanese print at the fabric store, I knew what I would make with it...a short summery skirt. Duh! Then I remembered the kimono. Yes!
I'd love to have this made for our vacation in early May but I also promised Sean (husband) that I'd have his pajama pants done by then and April is flying by! And I wanted some more Built By Wendy tops by then too! I think I need a prioritized list of projects to complete by then. Buying a new bathing suit is number one though.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I was at a certain large craft store this weekend to pick up some gingham for another Built By Wendy top when I spied this crazy skull fabric and remembered a request from my husband: to make him a pair of pajama pants with skulls. I don't get it, but I'll do it. Cuz I'm a good wife.
I made my shirt first though.
Monday, April 21, 2008
When my mother gave me this mini ironing board this weekend I don't think she figured it would appear as the star of a blog post. It's perfect for doing patchwork projects -- a small piece of particle board with short legs to use on a table top. Just needs a replacement cover and some batting since it's a bit stinky from living in the basement.
I wasn't able to finish last week's Dear Jane blocks. It was a rough week and a busy weekend. Both blocks are started so hopefully it won't take much to get caught up again.
It's Monday already?
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Now, I am really starting to get suspicious about something. It appears that bloggers are able to read my mind. It's freaky. I want to try English Paper Piecing and Anina posts a tutorial, I want to try the Dear Jane Quilt but am too intimidated and Anina starts up a group and makes it so easy...OK, maybe it's just Anina who can glean my desires before even I can. Well, I just found out that the next themed month (May) from Sew, Mama, Sew! is Women's Clothing. Crazy.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Pattern is Built By Wendy (Simplicity 3835)...only THE MOST POPULAR PATTERN IN ALL OF BLOGLAND. I finally made one for myself.
Because of the heavier weight fabric I chose (basically a quilters-cotton weight), I lengthened it and added side slits. I thought it would be more like a tunic this way and the fabric wouldn't end up being such a bad choice. I may still add darts.
I'll make the top again...maybe with the 3/4 length sleeves with the cute ties...but I'll try a different type of fabric. Some thing a bit drapier.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
The rubber match of the Red Sox/Yankee series is on right now so no time to blab on and on. Just needed to post that I am 100% UP TO DATE on my Dear Jane blocks. The way I was going I really didn't think having all 12 blocks done for today would be an issue but I got stuck on "Rose of Sharing" (bottom center). It wasn't difficult, I just kept putting it off.
Now I'm eligible for the giveaway! Yay!
(From this mosaic, it's really obvious that these have been taken in different light. I may have a Dear Jane photo shoot some sunny day and see if I can't get the color truer.)
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I started this quilt top over five years ago. I've worked on it off and on for a while but then it went missing. I found it in the attic this weekend. It's a basic nine patch so it should really be finished by now! I plan on completing it someday but now I have too many other things that I'd prefer to work on.
I tend to have a lot of projects going but nothing completed. I'm pretty sure that too much MTV as a teenager warped my brain. My mind can't stay focused on anything for too long. I get distracted by something else or just plain bored. I think that's why I like doing the Dear Jane quilt along with the online group. Every block is different and the pace of two blocks a week keeps it moving but I don't feel at all overwhelmed.
And here is something else to distract me... CraftStylish.com launched this week! I can't wait for the upgrade that will allow users to post their own projects, have a journal, and I think there will be a forum as well.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Anina (Dear Baby Jane Leader) threated us with our lives if we didn't finish our Dear Jane blocks this weekend...just kidding, actually she offered a chance at a giveaway to all who were caught up. Which is really a much nicer option.
I did Friday's block already (Simple Simon M-10) so I only had to catch up with Monday's block, Chris's Soccer Field B-4. I saved it for the weekend because it is paper pieced and I had never tried that before. It came out really well. All thanks to the method and not the skill of the sewer, I promise:
And I even did an extra block, Rayelle's Fence C-3. I have to rip out the bottom third so the lines radiate outward like the top portion. I apparently was not paying attention when I sewed this one up:
That was about all I accomplished this weekend. Except for more hexagons sewn up during Red Sox games. (I don't even want to talk about this weekend's series. A travesty. I am looking foreward to tomorrow's home opener. I have the day off from work and plan on eating nachos at a local bar with my husband. Oh ya, while watching the ring ceremony and game...but I'm really most looking forward to the nachos.)
Friday, April 4, 2008
I am in a wedding a year from now and will have a few events to attend where I will need dresses. I fell in love with this pattern (Simplicity 3867, view A) when it was featured on the cover of a Sew Stylish issue. I attempted the blouse version but gave up after realizing that the fabric I had was a bit heavy for all that gathering and I sewed the "skirt" portion on inside-out. It's still hanging like that in a closet.
I recently saw a beautiful dark blue eyelet version on flickr and am totally inspired to try it again. I have all the pattern pieces traced out already (I like to do that so, if I end up liking a pattern, the pattern lasts longer since it's on heavier paper. I'm also not afraid to alter the pattern this way since I know I can always start over again with the intact original. More work but worth it.) All I need is some fabric.
I bought this pattern last weekend (Simplicity 3835) and some pretty purple fabric for a new shirt. I found time to trace out the pattern but didn't get to cutting or sewing yet. I stalled once I realized I had forgotten to buy the elastic! Maybe this weekend I'll get to it.
The Red Sox are playing a game at a normal time tonight! After the trip to Japan and then the west coast -- where the games were 6AM, 10PM or in the middle of the day -- I can finally go home and watch a game at 7:05 ET. I'll be sitting on the couch hand sewing my hexagons while it's on.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I did it! I moved my sewing room from our spare bedroom to the sun room this past Saturday.
There is much less floor space in the sun room and it's difficult to place furniture because of all the windows. But being downstairs and right off of the living room does encourage more sewing. It's easy to 'drop by' the sun room.
I had an old kitchen table as a desk before. Lots of table top space, yes, but it took up too much floor space. So I moved my current sewing table and grabbed it's twin from my husband's office (he has inherited the old kitchen table). I have my old drafting table from art school set up as a cutting table. And I was able to fit a small book case underneath it...it just made it too.
I originally forgot that I had to include an ironing board in there as well. But it also just made it in. There is enough room for me to turn around in here and not much more.
I was able to get all of my notions into that little wooden box on the floor. And some of my fabric is on the book case but most of it is still upstairs. A problem for another day.
I forgot to take a picture of the other side of the room but it is the same as it was. I did throw a blanket over that old green chair though.
Now I just need to make some pretty things for my one blank wall.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Not much to say about this one. It was the first time I have ever sewed curves for a block. Came out a bit wonky.
I was trying to do something fun with the circle pattern of this fabric but I'm not sure it translated as I had anticipated. I might, maybe, most likely will do this one over. I'm just not feeling this one.
In honor of the Dear Baby Jane Project (sounds like a 70s band name, no?) I will be giving a shout out to the Twiddletails blog today. Authored by the mega-talented Anina, her blog has beautiful pictures and lots of projects. I don't know how she does it all.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
More things I love about my house...This dining room window is pretty high up the wall and long and narrow. I think that's iron between the panes of glass. And the metal and glass is very wonky...flat in some places, leaning forward in others. This photo angle really exaggerates that. Looking at it head on you wouldn't notice as much. Oh, and ignore that chipped paint on the trim outside...we're working on it.
A sick day off from work yesterday equaled lots of blog reading. And it must be that everyone is excited about spring or something because there is a lot going on...
1. Stefani at The Blue Yonder blog is having a contest with lots of nifty prizes. To enter, just visit this post and comment on your most creative re-purposed project. On the first of every month she's going to have a new contest with a new theme.
2. Michelle of Cicada Daydream Studio and blog is having a giveaway for her birthday. Just add a comment to this post by April 6th to win a tea light embellished with one of her beautiful fabric prints. It's battery operated so no open flame to fear.
3. Sew, Mama, Sew! is also having a contest. A little more challenging though...Submit a new tutorial (must be posted on a blog or on flickr after April 1) for the chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the Sew, Mama, Sew! online store.
4. CraftStylish.com is a new craft website that will be starting up soon. In the meantime, you can sign up for their email newsletter here. The new site is from the publishers of Threads and SewStylish so I am going to bet that the projects will be fun, include great instructions and have lots of design ideas for personalizing your creations.
(Just so there is no confusion, the projects above are not mine. They are from a flickr group called Everything Patchwork. If one of these pictures is yours and you would like me to remove it, please send me an email at sewandsox [at] earthlink [dot] net.)
Patchwork and quilting have a bad wrap. Be honest, quilts + patchwork = grandma. And I'm not talking about your new young, hip kinda grandma (hi mom!) but the smelling-of-mothballs kinda grandma. Time for patchwork to get hip with the kids. Hang out at the mall and Txt Msg BFF.*
So here's some fun and modern projects that incorporate patchwork. Did you ever think you would see a women's skirt that looked so cool while featuring patchwork? Or how about those wristlets and note cards? Love 'um.
Click over to see larger images and lots more inspiring patchwork projects:
2. Coffee Cosies
3. Little Girl Dresses
7. Bath Mat
8. Photo Album Covers
11. Pot holders
* "Text message best friends forever" -- I had to write this in or my mom, the hip grandma, would email me to ask "What does 'Txt Msg BFF' mean?"
Monday, March 31, 2008
Wendy from the The Running Quilter blog has tagged me. Here are the rules:
1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post THE RULES on your blog.
3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 people and link to them.
5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.
Seven random things about me:
1. I hate playing sports and video games. Mostly because I stink at them. I think my hand-eye coordination is off.
2. I delivered newspapers when I was a kid. Not a fun job when you have to wake up early on a Sunday and lug those heavy issues through the snow. Uphill both ways.
3. I used to love to go shopping for clothes or whatever, but now I hate it. Thank you internet gods for online shopping.
4. Growing up I had a Lhasa Apso dog named Pansy, and a Siamese cat named Neko.
5. I have had seven teeth pulled. Three were baby teeth and four were molars.
6. I have never broken a bone...knock on wood and dance around the fire pit twice.
7. If I won the lottery I would travel a lot but in a nice slow manner. I'd want to stay for a while and get to know the places.
And on to the tagging...
1. Ms. Diary of a Suburban Twenty-Something
2. Ms. Betty Ninja
3. Ms. Canton Village Quilt Works
4. Ms. Tall Grass Prairie Studio
5. Ms. Heads Caroline, Tails California
6. Ms. Two Cold Feet
7. Ms. Rose-Kim Knits
Ug, what a weekend. I moved my sewing room (pictures to come) and caught a cold.
So rather than the typical "what I did this weekend" Monday wrap-up post, here's a little list of what's going on outside of my cold-infested and disorganized blog world:
1. The Humming Cat is having a pincushion giveaway. Cute pincushion too, so go take a look and comment on her post by this Friday.
2. I've been enjoying visiting, voting on and submitting to Craft Juice this week. Most people submit their own work and mostly items from Etsy (so they are trying to sell it as well). And while those projects can be inspiring, I've been trying to balance it out a bit by submitting works from other people's blogs that I find inspiring or that have a tutorial. If the site is supposed to work like Digg, it should be about what's current and wonderful in the craft blog world right?
3. Rather than doing my very long Bloglines list, I thought I'd start just featuring one or two blogs on random posts. Getting swamped with a big list probably isn't going to inspire you to visit them, eh? And yet some of these craft blogs are really amazing.
So, for my first installment, may I present Little Bits 'n Pieces written by Tamara. She's currently blogging on raising her cute little kids, preparing to sell her house, and some really beautiful embroidery-enhanced patchwork. Go take a look.
Friday, March 28, 2008
I use PhotoShop constantly to make graphics and tweak my photos. It's a very expensive program. The only reason I own a copy is because it relates to my profession as well (as a web designer).
But I can't imagine not being able to touch up my photos. Especially when they are shot a little dark or I want to crop them.
Well, Photoshop Express is a toned-down version of PhotoShop for FREE USE on the web. You alse get 2 Gigs of space to store your photos. (I haven't tried it yet. As soon as I do, I'll fill you in some more.)
If you want to go all out but don't have the cash for PhotoShop you can use a very similar but free program called GIMP. GIMP is an Image Manipulation Program that works a lot like PhotoShop but is free for anyone to download and use. GIMP is in constant creation by a team of developers who basically donate their time to offer this "freeware". (My husband really likes GIMP and he was afraid of it at first.)
So, go make your pictures pretty now that the resources to do so are F. R. E. E.
The sun room was a sitting room for a while after we moved in but we never sat in it. So I converted it to my office and I'm still not in there a lot. Now I'm planning on converting it to my sewing room/office. I just need to figure out furniture and storage, pack things up and move everything.
The sun is REALLY BRIGHT in here and so it gets pretty hot in the summer. I made those bottom-half cafe curtains a few years ago. They have enough coverage for some privacy but not enough to tame the summer sun. Some panels that just stick to the top of the windows with velcro hidden above the window trim might do the trick.
I'm pretty sure that if my sewing room was moved to the sun room I would get more sewing in during the week as well. It's easy to slip into this room and still be engaged with what is going on in the house since it is on the first floor. My current sewing room is upstairs at the end of the hall...miles away from the hub of the house.
I would love to get the move done this quickly but we'll have to see how the weekend goes. There's a lot of figurin' to be done before hand. I'll try to get some good before and after photos for you all.