Saturday, July 20, 2013

Happy Growing

Its been hot here and our Earth Day Garden has been growing. We had to move them off the stoop they got to be so big. I hope that we can get to them before the squirrels do. 
Our yard has turned into hay and started to crack. It is amazing to me that it can rain for 7 months straight and then this summer it is already dry. It seems like it just stopped raining. People don't really plant much into the ground with out a ton of topsoil or using container gardens. It has been quite lovely here. It is hot but, with out humidity and the constant breeze. I am rather enjoying it. We have done quite a bit of traveling, which I hope to share images soon.
 I am quite proud of our maters:
I am also quite proud of my Tater:
She turned 10 the other day! Kuma Bear, Tater Tot, Sweet Tater, Baby Girl, Fat one happy dog.  This is her favorite bone and has been with us for many years. She is doing well for her age, she is a bit stiff, lazy and sometimes grumpy. Who can blame a 70 year old! She still loves to play at her age, get dirty, and eat. She is my protector and best friend. 

I love having her by my side and she seems to love being there too. She is such a well behaved happy buddha! She sure has grown since we got her, back when hubby and I started dating. Its hard to imagine life with out her. Happy Birthday Kuma!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Adorable Baby Sweater

Don't you just love this sweater. Well, I adore it, and you should too.  I started off really wanting to crochet something and challenge myself all while making a baby gift. Ive never crochet much more than straight rows for scarves and blankets or spirals for hats, bowls and eggs.  I watched a few YouTube videos and settled for this one by Mickey. I liked there was room for a bit of creativity and I didn't need to count stitches much past the second row.  I loved this pattern and and see how easy it would be to size up. Ended up not being so challenging but, more eye opening. Here she is with no trim/border:
Looks so much cleaner with the white trim. I am flipping out I love this so much. I think my dear friend will too.  I want to make another one out of cotton yarn a bit bigger. This is out of acrylic from my stash. I went for the green I had on hand, since they want to go with gender neutral baby items, even though they know they are having a girl. 
I am over the moon also that it only took two evenings while trying to cool off in front of the T.V. Good thing it's a baby sweater since I would be melting while trying to finish this project up. Hopefully it will keep the little one warm in Fall. Maybe Hat to match? I think yes.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Homemade Baby Stuff

I started on the collection of baby stuff I want to make for my friend. She is having a baby girl and wanted a fairly gender neutral baby room. She lives in Boston and the baby will be born in October. I am thinking she needs some warm items for her first winter. So I pulled out the flannel to go shopping for more flannel. I started to cut samples and realized that I had about 10 yards of this awesome zigzag flannel (I got it 75% off when the local Jo-ann's closed). I determined it was gender neutral enough with the blue flannel. I ran with it. I am pretty certain she will think I have lost my mind. Its okay she did a long time ago. I am rather broke for the summer so I figured I should use up what I have. So here we go...
This is about the 8th baby sensory ball I have made. I love them, they are super easy to make, wash up well and look expensive. My mom purchased the pattern for me years ago when everyone my age started popping their babes out. I have remade the template for the two pieces but, lost the directions. I always seem to be able to make one after thinking I wont remember how. This one is 2/3 sewn together. I will say I dont think Ive ever made an all flannel one, and I dont love it. It came out really bumpy on the seams. Still learning on the 8th try.

This one came from Pinterest land. I don't spend any time with infants, but the few times I do, I get spit up on. I saw a similar design and looked at the tutorial and adjusted it to what I had on hand. I know I have seen some sad looking burp cloths in stores. I wanted super thick and absorbent pad with a shoulder cut out. I had white wash cloths I got at wally world in a huge pack with colors for a few dollars for ever ago and made travel toothbrush holders. I needed to use those up. I sewed two together and liked the size and then cut batting the same size and two pieces of flannel with a 1 inch allowance. I stacked them in the following order: batting, washcloths with seam down, backing flannel face up, top flannel face down. Pin all side then lay a plate down in the center and cut a semicircle. Stich edge closed twice by using and 3/4 seam allowance and leave a 2" opening on your longest side. 

Before flipping right side out, I trimmed the corners and excessive batting and washcloth from edges and snipped the inner curve so it would flip smoothly. 
I made two and plan to finish them by topstitching and basic quilting. Love them and hope to make a "Daddy" set, because I found more wash cloths I had stashed away. Only if I can find Celtics, Patriots or Red Sox fabric in the Pacific Northwest.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Canvas iPad Case

Today was an amazing beautiful summer Saturday, despite my hubby's attempts I wasn't feeling like leaving the house. I decided to get some sewing projects going. I spent some time on Pintrest looking a baby clothing ideas. One of my best friends is having her first baby!!!! I am so excited, I want to make one of everything for her and the baby!
When I sat down with my iPad next to the stack of fabric and a million ideas floating in my head. I settled for finally making a iPad case for myself and a tutorial for you instead. Oh, how my brain works...
I got started by getting out the computer case I made awhile back for my hubby. I wanted to make similar style cases so they could be used together. I refreshed my memory of things I wished I had done and recalled order that worked well when putting it together. 
First, I measured the iPad, which was 8x10, and I was able to figure the size of the pieces to cut:
- 2- 9"x11"-Sturdy fabric- I used Red canvas for outer fabric, later Side A and Side B.
- 2- 8"x10"- Peltex- Stiff flexible material that works for creating items that need to maintain their shape- I found this on a rack at Joann's -It is expensive compared to fabric but, makes this project seem store bought and create lots of padding for the iPad.
- 4- 8"x10"- Batting- I used scraps of cheaper thinner batting I had.
- 2 9"x11"- Flannel- I used Tan baby flannel I had for a lining fabric.
- 2- 5 1/2"x 7 1/2"- Sturdy Canvas- I used Black canvas scraps for a tab closure.
- 1- Polygon 5" x 11" x 7" x 9"- Sturdy Canvas- I used a Black canvas triangle scrap I had that was already very close to this size and simply trimmed the thinnest point off to make it a four sided polygon pocket.
- 1- Large Button- I used I big vintage black one I had in my stash.
When it was all cut out then I got to sewing:
a.To create Side A: lay out one outer canvas rectangle, center one sheet of batting, then add one Peltex and then another sheet of batting. pinning it in the middle with a one inch spacing from edge to hold while "quilting" it together. (see image below) Canvas side down I stich a few lines that serve two purposes in creating Side A. One, to hold the Peltex and batting in place. Two, when using contrasting thread to create some decoration on the showing side.

b. Quilt your lines in a pattern you like on to Side A, I didn't use any guide line. but it would help if you care about straight line, which I obviously dont. (see image above)

c. Take two small tab pieces and sew together on three sides, using a 1/4'' seam allowance and leaving one 5 1/2'' side open. Turn right side out and press.
d. Using a 1/2'' seam allowance top stich around the three sewn sides of the tab (slightly visible in image above).
e. Place and mark where button should go using pins on either side and use machine's setting to create a large button hole, cut open hole and remove canvas excess. (see image above)
f. Take canvas pocket piece. fold and iron over long top edge 1/4'' sew. Fold again and sew to create finished edge.
g. In order to create Side B, attach pocket by lining it up with other outer rectangle, with folded pocket edge facing outer side. Pin and top stich using a 1/4" seam allowance on three sides of pocket. I reverse a few times at tops of pocket attachment to outer canvas.
h. With Side B, pocket side down layer on: one batting, one Peltex, one batting centering with inch border and Pin.
g. "Quilt" a few lines that will serve three purposes; First, to "Quilt" batting and Peltex in place, Second in order to create a decoration cohesive to the other side. this may create a need for marking or pinning if you want items lined up. I of course just eyeballed it (Gasp!) and Third, to create pockets, yes pockets. One giant pocket with no closure just allows things to fall out , but when divided it gets tighter and better job of keeping items in and not sliding around. Plan out pocket "quilting" based on what you would like to carry in your case. I thought a pen and charger.
f. Attach tab to Side B, by centering it and pining open/raw edge of tab to the middle of 9" of Side B opposite pocket. Using 1/4" making a few passes.
g. Along same side as newly attached tab of Side B pocket facing up and tab folded in, line up and pin flannel lining rectangle. Sew along tab egde (9"side) using a 1/2"seam allowance, so our 1/4" tab seam allowance is covered.
h. Fold out (see image below) and fold back you can press flannel  that is rolled under edge of canvas and tab is sticking up, then top stich this seam only, using a 1/2" seam allowance.
i. Fold Side B lining back over to sew bottom pocket edge. This will later ensure that lining will close up at bottom of case, a mistake I learned from creating the computer case. Flip right side out and press bottom edge.
j. Take Side A and line up other lining piece to outer side. Sew both 9"sides and then flip lining around (see image below). Press so lining dosen't show over canvas edge.
k. Top stich one 9'' side you deem as the top, using a 1/2" seam allowance.
l. Line up top stitched edges of Side A and Side B with canvas sides up flannel down and line up tab of Side B onto Side A for placement of Button. Pin where button holes should be.
m. Hand sew button onto canvas side of Side A and test button hole. This will be easier to fix now rather than later once sewn together, lesson learned.
n. Line up canvas sides together Side A and Side B and stitch using a 1/2" seam allowance along 2- 11" sides and bottom 9" side, you should be close to Peltex edge when joining the two sides and creating a large pocket with tab at top. I sew this seam twice and reverse at pocket top edge.
o. Trim two bottom corners and loose threads (see image below).
p. Flip case and poke out corners with pencil eraser end.

Tada! iPad case completed in 2 hours. So happy I got around to making this awesome case and tutorial. I know my directions aren't super precise and neither is my sewing. I am a learner and creator, which isn't always perfect. I hope you will add your own style and make it your own instead of making one just like mine.

Finished Side A, with flipped over Side B tab closure.

Finished Side B
Now back to deciding which project to work on for the new Baby!