Easy Come, Easy Go

We are somewhat settled in The Estates (must think of a better name for this abode at some point, but for now, this works!), or as settled as we can realistically be when it’s only two weeks after moving day. There have been lots of changes, mostly for the better, and then some of the changes that I planned for got changed, so life is still a bit upside down.

The new house is truly a gem. We’re a bit hesitant to be very enthusiastic about it all just yet considering that we thought Matchstick Manor was pretty great when we moved in there and it was only after living there for a month or so that its faults, some minor and some not, started to become apparent and it went steadily down the smelly drain from there. It’s hard not to be happy with the new place though since it’s got so many nice extras and it’s built so well, so we just keep adding “so far” to all of our glowing compliments about it. I think we’re subconsciously waiting to discover some awful flaw that will tarnish our shiny new find.

The differences between this house and the last one are both amazing and huge. This is the kind of house we should have been living in all these years, but we couldn’t find one that we could afford to rent. I could go on for a few posts about it all, but the thing that’s uppermost in my mind today is the awesome separate studio I was supposed to have in the small house. Yep, you read that correctly: supposed to have. My shiny new studio has morphed into a much smaller attic type room in the main house that currently is so full of boxes that it’s going to be difficult to unpack and get organized. Easy come, easy go. Continue reading

Bloggers Quilt Festival–My Favorite Quilt

Paisley Pavane
Paisley Pavane
2005
59″ x 59″

I’ve decided that Paisley Pavane is my favorite quilt, if I’m just thinking about the design. I made this quilt for the New Quilts from an Old Favorite contest a few years ago, and I enjoyed every minute of it’s making. Every part of the quilt was a leftover from other (failed) projects, and it’s just so fun that it all came together so well. I used my embroidery machine seriously for the first time, and developed some really cool techniques to solve various issues along the way that I still use today. Continue reading

Happy Easter and a Coffee Cozy Pattern Review

There were Easter goodies found at our house this morning!

Found it!

The bunny plush kind of took over the whole basket.

The loot

But what’s that in the back there?

What's that?

An empty…cup?

A cup of ... ?

Ahhh, it’s a hot chocolate cup cozy!

A coffee cup cozy

The bunny had a bit of help from Mom this year. I saw a coffee cozy at Insanely Crafty (cool new blog I found just yesterday through Jennifer at Parrish Platz! I think Jessica is the lovely Corrinea’s daughter? Jennifer and Corrinea work at Patch Arts & Crafts in Stuttgart.). Anyway, I thought “I could make those for the girls for Easter” since the coffee bars around here on the Army posts are frequently out of cardboard sleeves! I didn’t have a cup on hand to use to make a pattern myself, so I went looking and found the Fabric Coffee Cozy Sleeve Tutorial at YouCanMakeThis.com.

I LOVE that site! Downloadable patterns for everything crafty! The tutorial was pretty good, though I’ll make a few changes if I make these again (and I’m sure I will because ITMan was feeling a bit left out because the Easter Bunny didn’t leave him one!). The pattern wasn’t exactly perfect; mine came out a bit small since the printer cut off the bottom of the pattern and I wasn’t sure how much longer to make it. The pattern could have been designed to be placed on the fold, and then it would have fit on a regular sheet of paper for printing.

Other than that, the method of sewing the bottom seam (and having to measure from the top seam first and mark the sewing line) was a bit fiddly, and could have been made easier by just designing the pattern to be exactly the right size in the beginning. I used Quilters Dream mid-loft poly batting between two layers of batik, instead of backing one layer of fabric with fleece, and it worked just fine.

The instructions called for a lot of gluing to hold things in place; I just used pins. The pocket instructions were good, but I added 1/8″ extra all the way around to the cut size of the pocket, so that I could just iron the edges under before sewing instead of gluing them. I wrote on the pocket after sewing it on with a Pigma pen and filled in the heart with Tsukineko Fabrico Markers and then heat set it. It’s probably better to decorate the pocket before sewing it on, of course, but I got a little ahead of myself!

I did make two of these, one for each girl, but GuitarGirl is a bit of a grump when it comes to things like this so her basket is still hidden, waiting for her to go find it. so no pic of that one yet. I did have fun pawing through fabrics to choose the perfect combo for each one that the girls would like! All in all, a successful project, and a nice little thing to put in an Easter basket for teens and tweens (and dads, too). Happy Easter to all of you!

Crafty Sewing

Alexander Henry Thunderflower fabric

LittleOne’s favorite color (at the moment) is blue and she loves anime, so when the lovely Kathy at Pink Chalk Fabrics got this Alexander Henry print in stock, I knew we had to order some. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out what exactly to do with the two yards that came in the mail, since LittleOne isn’t all that hip on quilting yet (and to be honest, may never be), so a quilt wasn’t top on the list. I even considered just mounting the fabric on stretcher bars and using it as wall art at one point, because it was just so cool the way it was, but we eventually decided to make a pillowcase for her bed.

We combined the anime print with Gradations #72, a pastel colored ombréd print from Caryl Bryer Fallert for Benartex, and used a little bit of Superior Threads Rainbows variegated polyester thread for top stitching.

Sewing

Continue reading

The Invasion

We were invaded at Christmas:

Mario Kart Wii addiction
Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart Wii,
by Nintendo

Mario Kart on the Wii rocks, even more than it did on the Game Cube or the DS. Just sayin’.

It’s also the only game all four of us can play together, and one of the only two that I could play for hours if I let myself, the other one being Tempest on the Nuon, which is pretty much a one-player deal (and I don’t even have that one hooked up right now).

In the interests of full disclosure, this may be part of what’s happened to my motivation. Maybe.