"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pink and pretty!

I know I said I loved the purple and lime bag I made the other day, but I love this new one even more! As soon as I cut out the pieces last night I felt a surge of soft femininity wash over me. Do you like it? The fabrics are from Robyn Pandolph's 'Flirt' range .

This is going to be my everyday bag for a while, I can feel it! There is even enough fabric left to make a little coin purse to match...but I'd dearly love another fat quarter to use for the 2009 diary cover which I'm yet to make. The design and colours are right where I am at the moment - soft, fresh, womanly, romantic, and PINK!

The velvet ribbon adds a distinct touch of class, too.
I'm sure I needed that. ;-)

Happy sewing!

Bags, bags, bags...such useful things!!

My plan to make as many projects as I could from Amy Karol's "Bend the Rules Sewing" before returning it to the library on Monday came undone on Friday with the arrival of a doosey of migraine, one that left me bed bound for 24 hours. Finally, about 8pm last night it took leave and I set straight away to making these easy, but fiddly, little purses.
The patterns in Amy's book remind me of of the Pirate's Code (if you've seen Pirates of the Caribbean you will know this!) - 'they're not really rules, more a set of guidelines'.
So with guidelines laid out I made smaller purses that hers, cute little things to hold my migraine medication or for Blossom to keep her own personal things; those things that need a safe little place in your handbag, not to be left to float mindlessly along with all the other contents oft forgotten in the depths of a woman's hand luggage.
Blossom mentioned that she has always loved this lime fabric (after the apron, and the bag lining, I still have more!) so I used it for her little purse. The lining is in orange floral btw, but I forgot to photograph it open.

Mine is in black and whites, with just that touch of red ribbon for spunk. This was left over fabric from a quilt I made Blossom for her birthday last May. I used black and white polka dots for the lining this time.

And, indeed, I am totally hooked on the bags from Amy's book! I cut the fabrics for a shabby chic copy of the purple bag I made the other day - I have sweet pink velvet ribbon this time. If I have time this afternoon I'll whip this one up, then I have a couple more to make for friends.

I'm thinking of using these two fabrics for a larger sized one. What do you think? I'm torn between soft and feminine or bold and bright these days!

In the midst of this frenzy of Amy Karol fever I still have Christmas gifts to make....I just keep being sidetracked. Naughty me. :-)

God bless!

Friday, November 28, 2008

All finished!

This was a surprisingly easy bag to make after all - I'm a very visual learner, I watch and then copy, but as this was a book and not an actual pattern it required me to read slowly and take each step one by one, no running ahead. ;-)

This was my trial bag, but I'm definitely going to make more! I chose the fabrics I used on Blossom's apron a few weeks ago as I still had plenty and we just loved the purple with the lime at the time.
I also agreed with Amy Karol "..the velvet ribbon is optional, but really, how could you leave it off?"

I'll make a pretty, feminine (ala shabby chic) copy this weekend. I am definitely into my soft, pink, girly (as my husband calls it) persona at the moment.

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

And it's almost the end of November!

November is almost over and by Monday I need to have this book returned to the library so it can be sent back to the library my library borrowed it from...clear as mud? :-)
I love this book by Amy Karol! The projects are really simple, but gorgeous for Christmas gifts or for making a little something in an afternoon for one's own self. I shall be using it for both but so far I've only perused and not actually made anything! With it's return date only 4 days away I guess there will be some serious sewing going on here over the weekend.

I love this bag - I love the velvet ribbon, the bow, the casual yet confident way it travels at it's owner's side...yes, I can see that bag swinging cheekily by my side too. I intend to make it tonight...and if I love it as much as I think I will then I'll make some more. Different colours for different moods. Oh, and once Blossom sees it I'll be making one for her too - next to shoes, bags are her favourite apparel!

I'm trying to choose which fabric....don't you love that velvet ribbon!?

One of the reasons for my delay in making an Amy Karol project has been the current need in the Reynolds home for summer couture... yesterday I made this pretty top for Blossom. The fabric has been living rent free since October 07 in a plastic tub near the sewing machine, and the rent was due this week. It paid up promptly and she now has this sweet silky butterfly strewn blouse. It's hard to see in a photo but the fabric has that twisted texture about it.

From the same pattern I made this one for me, but I added some of those embellishments I used on my Bohemian bag. I've hinted to Blossom that a pair of turquoise earrings would match well...

The other thing slowing my rate of production is this cross stitch - but I'm not complaining! I hadn't done a cross-stitch in many years, and had totally forgotten the sense of peace that fills you as you methodically create a vision of beauty just one tiny stitch at a time. It is very time consuming, but oh so wonderful for the soul. I'm about 2/3 through now, so perhaps I will be finished by December 12th after all? I hope so.

Though not sewn with thread, these tomatoes were definitely sown with love! My tubs of cherry tomatoes are blooming beyond my wildest dreams - I have scores and scores of grape-like bunches in various stages of ripening at my fingertips each dinner-time. No matter what form the creative endeavour takes, it is most satisfying when you can see progress occurring - whether in the joy of a handmade gift, or in the delight of the palate! God has been so good to us.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Doing the tortoise...

My sewing has been so slow lately that I am feeling a tad like a tortoise. However....
it's time to focus on Christmas gifts for the family, and top of the list is my grandson Deegan's security blanket.
He loves the quilt I made him before he was born, but he needs something lighter and softer for the summer so I've chosen to print up some cute cow pictures his big brother Calab drew for me and use them in the blanket top - that way it's even more of a family enterprise (and I did pay Calab for them!). I've put some cute bumble bee flannel as the backing, no wadding will be used. This way he can drag it around with him and it won't be heavy or hot if he falls asleep with it. I'll finish the embroidery/quilting tonight and bind it before the weekend.

My cross stitch of Our Lady of Guadalupe is coming along beautifully, but slowly. I had forgotten how many hours are devoted to this craft, yet every stitch is a joyful prayer. I wanted to have it finished and framed for her Feast Day next month but I think I left my start too late.

This fabric is for the next skirt for Blossom - I'm very hesitant to cut it though. I bought it mistaking the price for that of another fabric, and once the 2 metres was cut I could not do anything about it. I won't say how much it cost but your jaw would drop...my husband was SO understanding, but I was in shock for hours.
I hope I build up the courage to use it before she leaves home. ;-)

I intend to make as many Christmas gifts as possible this year, but it may take ingenuity with the men. Any ideas??

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Free BOM

Esther Aliu has a free Mystery Block of the Month on her blog! Each month the new block will be up on the 15th, and the previous month's block will disappear.
I'm subscribing to her blog through Bloglines to avoid missing any.

Thank you Esther!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still on my apron kick....

Yes, I'm still hunting down apron patterns! My dear friend, Ruth, shared this tutorial with me today. It's Suzanne's design and she uses a man's business shirt to make the apron.
You can find the tutorials here - part 1 and part 2

Perhaps some of you would like to make one? Let me know if you do, I'd LOVE to see the results!

Tomorrow I'll be off to the local op-shop for my own shirt to play with. ;-)

Monday, November 10, 2008

40 free apron patterns!

I stumbled across this tonight!
40+ Free Apron Patterns
- some fabulous ideas for Christmas gifts!

Aproning again!

After making Blossom's skirt, then altering six more for the two of us, I felt the need to make an apron. Blossom loved mine and has patiently waited for me to make hers, so last night I did just that.

For some fun I added ruffles to the pockets...

...and a heart on the bodice, cause I love 'er so very much!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The result?

She said she loves it, but she doesn't want me to take her photo. Then she said -

"Well, ok, you can take a photo of the back."

"Alright, you can take a photo of the front, but not of me."

"Okay...are you happy now?"

\o/\o/ Yes! \o/\o/

A step to the left

It started off innocently enough. Blossom and I thought we'd go window shopping in our little remote town to see if we could find a few nice summer skirts, longish t-shirts/blouses, 1-piece bathers, and perhaps some cute shoes thrown in for good measure.
Ha! Apart from some blouses for me (that I bought out of necessity and not because they were the sort of thing I was looking for) we came home empty handed and full of woe.
Not being the kind of women to stay down in the dumps too long we discussed option 2 - we'd make our own!
Rummaging through the big plastic tubs that held all the clothes we'd cut up previously to be remade one day, we discovered some extra fabric we'd bought years ago and never used.
A plan was formed to remake those old things into usable house (and beach) clothes NOW, and use the other fabric for fresh projects...the time had come to push aside all the lovely quilting and hand stitching that I adore, and do something practical for my 14yo and myself.
Now, before we go further in this dialogue I should warn you that I do not like sewing clothes. Not at all. Not in the least! I do not own an overlocker and I use that excuse to...well...excuse myself from making our attire.

So, without further ado, I shall share last night's endeavours.
Blossom desired a skirt, a pretty white skirt that swished gently around her legs. I pulled the SKIRTS book off the shelf where it had been quietly gathering dust since it's acquisition a few months back (when I felt all inspired to actually set myself afloat on the ship of home-made summer clothing...of course, that idea lasted just a week in my mind and then never made it to reality, until yesterday!), and tried valiantly to follow an idea for a tiered peasant skirt.
The idea was good, the pattern was nice, (and easy) but alas the fabric had different ideas on it's eventual display. Still, not to be beaten by the twisted and embellished cotton we'd chosen to use, I persevered and made the skirt anyway. It was hideous. Atrocious. Sad!

I admitted defeat - even though Blossom comforted my waning confidence with, "It's okay Mum, I'll still wear it."
I'm a mother, I would not willingly choose to humiliate my daughter with that skirt, so I responded hopefully, "No. I'll work something out, leave it to me." She sighed softly, the relief in her eyes evident.
Unpicking the seams, and laying out the fabric again, I remembered something.
Back to the plastic fabric tubs I found our oldest pattern, the one that I'm sure my own grandmother could have made back in 1970, the one that we'd rescued from the op-shop reject pile.

Surprise, surprise...

I think it worked.
Before she models it, I've washed it and hung it in the sun to see if it's going to shrink. No, I didn't wash the fabric first. You're starting to understand why I don't make our clothes aren't you?

If this works out, by an act of significant grace from God, I'll get Blossom to model it and you can pat me on the back. That encouragement may push me to try another skirt. ;-)

Happy sewing!
(now hinting to dh that an overlocker may be a wise Christmas purchase....)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Another Sue Daley giveaway!

Sue Daley has another giveaway on her blog, and it's SO pretty!!

The postie came again!

Huge smiles when the postie delivered my gift from Kim at Honeysuckle Cottage - I won this a few weeks back when she had a giveaway on her blog.

Thanks Kim - I can't wait to make aprons for Christmas!

And as a bonus gift she blessed me with some really pretty peach spotted fabric...how did she know I *love* spots?

Monday, November 3, 2008

What arrived in the post today??

Guess what I'll be reading tonight? That is, after I fight to get it back off Blossom!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Just one little thing....

You know the Bohemian bag I made the other day?

I hung it on the linen cupboard handle and just allowed it to be in my view for a few days because it needed 'something' and I couldn't figure out what. Then I was hunting round in my buttons and bells box and found this embellishment - something I kept from an old top I threw away (actually I have 5 more so who knows what you'll see them on next time!).
It originally had blue seed beads hanging from it, but I gave it to Blossom (14yodd) and asked her to pop some turquoise beads on instead - she went a bit further with that thought and added in some goldstone as well. Now the missing piece of the design is on and the bag is really ready to be used.

Sometimes it's a little thing that makes all the difference.

Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Finally finished!

The Christmas Sack is finally finished! It's so much larger in real life than it appears in the pattern photo...you can see from Blossom holding it (and she is a good few inches taller than her mama) that it will hold an awful lot of lollies come Christmas.
Can you hear my family whooping with joy!!???

The opinion of the male contingent in our family is that it looks more like an elf's hat than a Santa sack.
What do you think?

I loved the added accents of tiny rusted bells hanging from the prairie points, and the huge (LOUD!) bell at the bottom. No-0ne will be able to steal lollies quietly.

Each year I make one new Christmas decoration and the sack is this year's, but I have a few UFO's floating around that are Christmas themed so I may pull them out and see if I can clear the backlog of partially made items ......orrrrrrrrrrrr I could start something new?

God bless your stitchin'!!