Sunday, January 29, 2012

Disney bound with Minnie and Princess dresses :)

We are on our way! I am not sure who is more excited- me and the hubs or the kids. It is going to be great. And so nice to escape the frigid weather here in favor of some Florida sunshine!

I was at my local Fabricland last week and saw some pre-shirred Disney themed fabric, so I decided to pick some up to make some quick and cute Disney wear for my girls. It was on clearance...and even so was (IMO) a huge rip off and cost me about $20 a dress (I made 3). Regular price would have been about $70/dress- seriously? What is it, spun gold? Anyways, what can I say, I am a bit swept up by the Magic of Disney at the moment, so I sucked it up and bought it. And it may have had something to do with those adorable big green 4 year old eyes looking up at me..."Mommy, please?"

In the end, I am really pleased with how they turned out. For The Middle Child, it fits like a sleeveless tunic and looks sweet with leggings. For LBNL, I added straps for an adorable sundress. I am sure they will get lots of mileage while away, I had to peel them off the girls to get them into the suitcase!

Will see you all in a couple weeks when we get home! While on the plane, I hope to do something with my pile of this:
(photo and wool from Tanis Fiber Arts, colorway is lemongrass. Dreamy :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

happy? birthday

I am another day older today, the ripe age of 38! I am not one to lament my age, don't worry ;) But it has been an interesting morning so far.

Before 8 a.m. this morning:

-my dog got into my bathroom garbage. Girly products shredded and strewn all over the place. THEN...he threw up 2 full tampons. I cannot even begin to describe how gross that is.
-we heard something in the wall: looks like we have a mouse (or something) in there! Right by a light switch, so I have to get the exterminator in here before it chews through a wire and burns down our house. Since we have had FIVE YEARS of renovations (and not the fun kind, the my-roof-is-leaking kind) that just finally ended in December, I am less then thrilled at the idea of someone coming over and cutting a new hole in my wall
- my one treat to myself in my busy day today- a massage- was cancelled due to illness. Sigh.
- long discussion with Big G regarding his use of the F* bomb yesterday......seriously. Already?

On the plus side:

-I enjoyed a nice workout with a friend, who sent me home with homemade soup and goodies for lunch
-I received some adorable homemade cards and lots of hugs and kisses from my children. The Middle Child even drew a "Disney Quilt" in hers to combine my quilting love with the excitement of our upcoming holiday :)
-lots of lovely messages from good friends and family

All in all, pretty eventful for this early in the morning! And I think, weighing it out, things will balance on the positive side, despite the early morning glitches! It is going to be a great day :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tutorial: iPad 2 sleeve

I am loving my new iPad, and it needed a home. So I made it this cozy quilted cover! It features a padded main compartment with a loop strap closure to securely hold your iPad inside. On the back I have added a convenient pocket, just the right size to stash some cash, your charger or some earbuds.Do you want a new sleeve, too?

You will need:

A fat quarter of home decor weight fabric for the exterior
A fat quarter of quilting cotton or other fabric for lining
A fat quarter of fusible fleece interfacing OR you can use scraps of quilt batting like I did :)
Scraps of coordinating fabric for pocket
Long piece of coordinating fabric for strap (15" by 4")
2 coordinating buttons

Cutting your pieces:

This pattern can be easily adapted for the original iPad, laptops or Kindles, etc. For thin devices, add 1.5 inches to the length and width of your device. If your device is thicker than 0.5 inches, then increase proportionately. Email me if you need any help with the calculations!

Here are the instructions for an iPad 2:

Exterior fabric, interior fabric and batting:
Cut two pieces from each measuring 11" wide by 9" tall. If you like, you can piece the exterior front panel like I did to a final size of 11" by 9" and use that!

Cut one piece from each for the exterior of the flap measuring 11" by 4". Fold in half width wise and trim at an angle (see photos and instructions below for back pocket flap).
Loop: cut piece measuring 2" by 3.5 " from exterior fabric, or coordinating scrap if you wish

cut piece measuring 15" by 3" from each both the strap fabric and batting.

For pocket body, cut one piece measuring 5" by 5" from each of the exterior and lining pocket scraps/fabrics and batting. Then cut exterior fabric, lining fabric and batting measuring 5" by 3" for pocket flap.

To make angles for pocket flap and sleeve flap:
Fold exterior fabric in half width wise (i.e. for pocket flap, fold the 5" end and for sleeve flap, fold the 11" end). This is done to ensure that the angles will be symmetrical.

Cut off fabric from one corner at an angle as shown. I started a small amount away from the folded corner so that the flaps would be flat at the bottom and not pointed, then angled to the flap outer edge. In the photo below (showing the pocket flap), I started 0.5 inches from the folded corner and angled back to about 1 inch from the corner of the outer edge. For the sleeve flap, I started 0.75 inches from the folded corner and again angled it to 1 inch from the outer corner. This is NOT precise, only a guide, so don't panic, you can make this angle whatever you would like! It will look great!

Once you have made the angle on the outer fabric, you want the other 2 layers to match. To do so, use the cut layer as a template, placing it on top of the other 2 layers to cut as shown:

Unfold, and you will have 3 identical flap pieces like these:


* All seams are 1/4 inch unless otherwise noted*

Make pocket:
Make fabric sandwich starting with batting, then exterior right side up, followed by lining right side down. Sew on 3 sides leaving the top open.

Use opening to turn right side out. Tuck in raw edges.

Press and top stitch.
Do the same for top flap of pocket. Add button hole of appropriate size to flap centered near bottom of flap using button hole function on sewing machine (refer to your machine manual, or visit the Sew Mama Sew tutorial here).

Pin pocket to back exterior panel. I layered it with the batting so that attaching the pocket would sew through all layers for added security. Insert a label if you would like!

Sew on along two sides and bottom, leaving top opening of pocket unsewn. Pin flap to exterior, sew on along top edge. I did this twice- once with the flap in the "up" position as pinned in the above photo, then I flipped it into the "down" position and top stitched it in place as shown below:

Make loop:
Take loop fabric and fold in raw edges along length to center. Press. Then fold in half along center line as shown:
Stitch along both sides:

Fold raw ends under and attach to bottom center or front exterior flap. Do some quilting of the exterior front flap by hand or machine with the batting layer, if desired.

Sewing sleeve exterior:
Make sandwich as follows: exterior back (facing UP), exterior front (facing DOWN), batting.

Sew along two sides and bottom, leaving top open. Turn right side out.
Sewing lining:
Arrange lining pieces, right sides facing. Sew along two sides and bottom as for exterior, but leaving 3 inch opening in bottom center.

Make strap:
Align strap batting on wrong side of strap fabric. Fold in half lengthwise with batting facing outward. Sew along raw edge.

Turn right side out (I do this using a safety pin, as seen in this tutorial) and press with seam along one side. Tuck raw edges in at one end- I did mine so that it came to a point, but it could be square or any shape you wish. Top stitch close to edge around all sides. Add a button hole of appropriate size approximately 2 inches from the end.

*Note: It is a good idea to refrain from adding the button hole to the strap until the final step, to verify its position once the sleeve is completed. Run the strap through the loop and back up, with your iPad in place, to accurately measure where to place the button hole. Otherwise, you could end up with a strap that is too long or short!

Note: the other end of the strap can remain raw as it will be sewn inside the flap.

Sewing the sleeve flap:
Make flap by assembling fabric sandwich as shown below: batting, exterior right side up, strap with raw end aligned in center of the flap bottom edge and button hole end pointing to top edge of flap, lining right side down. Sew along sides and bottom edge, leaving top edge open. Turn right side out.
Press, and top stitch by hand or machine along 2 sides and bottom edge.

Attaching flap and finishing sleeve:
Align flap with exterior fabric facing exterior of back of body. Sew with quarter inch seam to attach (Note- be sure to sew to back layer fabric only!).

Insert exterior bag, which is facing right side out, into lining, which is inside out. Tuck in flap and strap.

Sew with half inch seam all around the top edges.

Turn right side out via the hole you left in the lining.

Tuck raw edges of lining opening in and press. Sew closed along edge as shown.

Hand stitch buttons in place in proper relation to button holes. Measure and prepare strap button hole as discussed above.

You're done!

I hope you have enjoyed my iPad sleeve tutorial. Any questions? Email me at and I will be happy to help.

As always, my tutorials are copyrighted for personal use only. I donate many hours of my time to prepare this pattern for your use, so please be courteous and give credit where credit is due- link back to me if you blog about your newly made sleeve. I'd love to see your creations! Be sure to hook 'em up to my Flickr group! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

The start of something new.

It has been a long time since I have had a chance to sit down and quilt! In the little snippets of time I have had over the past months, it felt too overwhelming to use them to start a bigger project. But this past weekend, I took a little time, let the dishes and laundry wait, got the kids out of my hair with some video games...and I started to splice up some fabric.

(I admit the time was at the expense of my iPad tutorial....promise to have it tweaked and up for next week!)

This one will be for The Middle Child. May take awhile to get this to the finish line, but I am excited to embark on the journey. Feels so good to be back at it!

(And finally! My Heather Ross is out of its box!)

I have so many quilts in my head, and I wish so badly that I could just sit home and hammer them out! Do you ever just get so frustrated that you want to do something, but can't find/make the time to do so? I feel like I am spinning my wheels all the time, torn in so many directions. Each day is just a race to bedtime, and it seems all I have time to do is to put out fires, repeat the day to day necessities, and then the day is done and it is time to go to bed. Sometimes I wonder...what is the point?? Not that each day doesn't offer its laughs or joys, but so much of it is spent with the drudgery. And so many of the tasks that take up much of my time just have to be done again tomorrow.

I read a great article today about the ups and downs of motherhood, here. If you are a mom who sometimes feels the same, give it a look. Seems we are in good company- about 100, 000 and counting have apparently shared this one on Facebook this week!

I wish there was more chances to just bask in the little things that we love, be it fulfilling hobbies, cuddling our children (who grow far too fast), going for long walks, or spending time connecting (and I mean talking, not texting) with family and friends. I guess I should be doing that instead of typing right now..... ;) Off to spend a couple hours with girlfriends, then snuggle on the couch (under a quilt) with my hubs!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to warm a naked Mountie

My friend Alison of Little Island Quilting has been kind enough to send me a couple stacks of British craft magazines, called Molly Makes. It is fun to check out some crafting inspiration from across the sea! Lots of good projects in there.

They even had a review of The State of Craft, the craft book I contributed to!

Anyways, I was immediately taken by the mug cozies on the cover of one of the mags. A cute and quick project! I made a few for Christmas gifts for friends. Of course I had fun embroidering on cute quirky sayings...mostly plays on the word "hot," since all my girlfriends are so darn sexy ;) "I'm hot," "Hot stuff," "Too hot to handle"....stuff like that! Here is an example of one of them:

And this one I modified for take out coffee:

So I thought I would send a little something back over the ocean to Alison in thanks. Since she claims to be knitting-impaired, and she has this terrible cough every time I post about a hat I have knit, I thought I would make one for the poor dear to keep her warm. And I didn't even make one mistake on this one! Well, not after the third time I unraveled it and started again, anyhow. A bloody miracle. I am sure it will be revered ;) Check it, Peeps!

Alison had also requested that I send a "naked Canadian Mountie" her way. Unfortunately, I couldn't cooerse one into the envelope. If I come across one, though, I will be sure to knit him up one of these:

Or this?

Or, since you live on a little island, perhaps something nautical? That's a love anchor, right?
(Disclaimer: I did not make these wonders of nature. I have no idea who did, the photos were passed on via an email and I could not trace/credit the source. Nor am I acquainted with the gentleman model. View at own risk. I can not be held responsible for any swooning or horniness that may result from viewing these photos. Please do not view while simultaneously ingesting food or water as the combination may result in a choking hazard. Namaste.)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Miscellaneous yarn talk

Here's some odds and ends of "catch up" to share with you!

During December, some of my fantastic mom friends from the kids' school asked if I could teach them how to knit. Nothing makes me happier than recruiting new crafters into the obsession, so I was more than happy to oblige. We all gathered for a spirited stitch-n-bitch...we may have had more wine and treats that knitting, but it was awesome. We hope to make it a regular gig!

My one holiday-themed craft this year: another yarn wreath, as a gift. Click here to see last year's set.

Also knit up this simple ribbed neck warmer for Big G:

And a few more finished knit projects to show you soon, just waiting to be received!

In progress? A sweater for ME! The yarn I am using is Madelinetosh in Candlewick, and I love the golden tones. Hope to finish this before summer, but it may take me awhile!

This yarn bowl was a gift from my BFF Samantha for gorgeous is that? Prevents your yarn ball from rolling all over. You can get one here.

While I'm talking Christmas gifts, Sam also knit a set of rainbow legwarmers for each of my daughters for dance cute are these?? They are well loved :)

And for Big G.... she ordered custom vinyls for a white magnet board to make it look like a hockey rink! With matching Winnipeg Jets magnets!! How cool is that?!? His head pretty much spun off its axis when he saw it. It is now home to all his prized Jets ticket stubs.

Hope everyone has a great week!