Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Posh Pillowcases FYI

Wow...a rare couple of hours all to myself?!?  The kidlettes are off playing at a work for the day is done...the house isn't a complete disaster zone...SEW TIME!

My latest "posh" pillowcases.  I LOVE these ones.  I think the fabric on these is so old fashioned.  It reminds me of my beloved Grandma...(or Grandmother as she would prefer we call her...she would also prefer that I wear lipstick...I wear moisturizer??  Does that count?  And no, it doesn't, I know that)... and probably somewhere in the back of my memories it reminds me of my Grandma's Mom.  I have seen some fabric that my Great Grandma had and I am pretty sure these would be right up her alley.

I wasn't sure when I bought this fabric how much I'd like it.  I didn't really have a purpose in mind for it, it was just the fabric of the moment.  Everybody went wild when Denyse Schmidt designed a line for Joann' I felt I had to jump on the bandwagon...and then later regretted paying full price for this fabric.  See, the thing is I didn't even know who Denyse Schmidt was...still don't.  Apparently she is a fancy lass in the fabric business.  But now, I feel like it was the right choice as I used this line for the binding on my Oldest's Wizard of Oz Quilt and now for these pillowcases.  Totally worth full price.  I think.

The back side.  Cute yellow dahlias.  But, I've gotta say I just love the front the most.  Something about how vintage it looks just speaks to me in a pillowcase.

The pocket...of course I was going to show you the pocket.   And now that I have put my current pillowcases on mine and Mr. Because I Can's pillows, his pillow is in the pocket too! 

AHA!  That's right, I'll show him a little class and refinement...he might just like it...or he might go back to his corn dog ways.  We'll see.

I would like to make a special note in here regarding the making of the Posh pillowcases.  In my previous post I mentioned that you really need to be aware of your fabric images and if it needs to face a certain direction and if you just follow the instructions blindly, it will quite possibly be facing the wrong direction when you put them on your bed.  I also realized that you need to know which direction is "out" for your pillows.  If I was going to make an individualized one for myself that had direction specific fabric, the opening of my pillowcase faces to the left.  Mr. Because I Can's faces to the right.  So, this can be a problem and you will have upside down fabric if you don't pay attention.  So, really really be aware of the direction of your fabric images and the direction that you want your posh pillowcase to lay.  PAY ATTENTION PEOPLE!!    I cannot say this enough.  This is because more often than not, I am not paying attention, so I really really really need to focus on this myself.

There you have it.  Go make some posh pillowcases you will LOVE them!


Monday, November 14, 2011

The Iron Hiatus continues...

But...I have a 30% off coupon to Kohls...thanks be to my Sister.  So there shall be no mocking of her in this least not that I can think of...creative license and all that, something might come to me.

I have my own personal Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.  Isn't she cute?!?!  And she is turning 6 in mere nano-seconds, so I realized I had better get hopping on her birthday quilt.  You know, the one that I protested heartily because BLAH!  Who likes panels. Not me.  That can't even be called quilting. That's just...cutting and sewing.

So I got first ever quilt using a walking foot!!   I know, I know.  I am totally behind the modern times.  I mean, I cannot even attempt to call myself a modern quilter because I hand quilt everything.  So I've had this walking foot for months...I knew that now was the time to break it out and go for it.  Embrace modern technology!  It went pretty well.  I knocked everything off of my sewing desk thanks to this giant pile of quilt that was all over, but it was speedy and I liked that!

My trusty...assistant?    Puss feels it is her duty to be there for me in my time of quilt.  She knows I couldn't do it without her...especially her planting herself for a nap right on the quilt I am currently running through the sewing machine. 

Of course it makes it easier for you to sew with me on it.  Silly human. 

Here it is!!

 Mostly.  As I had nobody to help me take a picture of this, I had to hang it on the fence....and in the process...(Mr. Because I Can, you will appreciate this the most I think)...stepped in dog poop...while wearing my favorite bright yellow crocs.  If you ask my husband the most disgusting creation ever known to man.  He refuses to be seen in public with me if I am wearing the monstrosities.   Right then...

The other side.  This side I really wanted to make sure I got every color of the rainbow in the borders.  Because..Dorothy goes over the rainbow.   So check it.  Yay me!

I used hot pink thread to do my quilting and it really is adorable on those large white vertical borders!  So cute I love it.  I will never again do such a small portion of machine quilting as the 2nd white border in.  That was too much twisting and turning.  All the horizontal panels just have straight lines going through them.  Nothing fancy.

I also sewed on my binding for both sides.  What you see here is where the binding was sewn on the front.  You do see a line of stitches on the back side.  Which wouldn't bother me too much if I had done a particularly good job and hadn't pulled too hard in some places and caused my binding to be a bit wonky which in turn caused the stitches to be...

Not exactly what I would call straight.  There are worse examples than this...but I was in a rush so didn't look too hard for them.  But, I know that it is simply my critical eye that will see them and everybody else will just appreciate the cuteness of the Wizard of Oz I will enjoy it too.  Flaws and all...

Look, it was my first time with the walking foot.  I am not entirely sure how to NOT get the previous strings caught in the current round of stitching...oh well, with practise I will get better.  Mr. Because I Can was particularly impressed with the speediness of my sewing this.

Oh yes, and we have concluded that as a crafter...I am a semi-hoarder.  I feel that this is an honest assessment and I will own up to it.  As long as I am not a full-on hoarder like from the show on A&E which gives me hives.

Look, it is my prerogative to hold onto fabric that is from the 80's and every little scrap of left over bat and loose ends of ribbon and 1/2" size pieces of fabric and buttons and random patterns and magazine rip outs of cute stuff and notions and whatever else on the off chance the SOMEDAY I MIGHT USE IT!!!  But, we did decide that as soon as I stop crafting then it all must go.  I can agree to that. 


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fire alarms raging!

Sayonara iron.  It was destined to happen...we were ironing on borrowed time really...There was a bump...the iron crashed to the ground...things were jostled...irreparably...but we soldiered on...the husband is a 2/3 engineer after all he can work magic on mechanical things...but not all the way magic...just like 4 months magic.  So all quilting and sewing and mechanical crafting has ground to a very unfortunate hault...I wonder if i can get an iron on super sale...tis the season after all...

It was funny, the iron has not been heating up very well, so I've been ironing on luke warm pretty much for a week or so...I should have seen this coming.  But for whatever reason it started getting hot again...I mean...really hot.  There may have been a spark...maybe...I heard spark sounds.  So I have a feeling it was sparking internally.  There were fumes of burning innards...and I guess luckily for me we have a fire alarm directly above the ironing board...So I quickly unplugged...but then what? 

What in the heck do you do with a molten iron?  I of course did the sensible thing...take it outside and plunge it in the snow...Luckily we have a skiff of snow on the ground.  I'm pretty sure the iron burned through the snow and incinerated my layer of fallen leaves in 1 second flat.  So I do that about 10 times...each time it burned through the cold and wet like it was nothing.  Finally after much effort and cold toes, I got the iron down to a low simmer.  Does anybody have some soup they would like me to heat for them?  I think after several minutes out in the frigid air, it is still warm enough to at least make me a grilled cheese sandwich.  Oh well...I am now on the lookout for a deal on an iron.  Any suggestions are welcome.

So, since I will not be working on anything new...the least I can do is show you what I've got in the works...You have been getting a glimpse of it through my unfortunate tale...I have currently been buying very little fabric.  I've been on a bit of a hiatus from the loveliness of fabric shopping...which is just fine.  Luckily I've amassed quite a most of it, is what I can find on clearance...I don't always make wise choices...but in the case of this quilt...I am pretty happy with the wackiness.  Take for instance the blue fabric...yes, they are cat people...but not only are they cat people...I fancy them as British cat people.  They are very refined and sophisticated.  But even if that's the case...Why on earth did I think I need 3 yards of this?  Don't know.  Don't care.  It's totally awesome fabric.

The pattern is Swoon by Camille Roskelley

 She is so clever the way she has assembled the two quilt block patterns together. Flying Geese and half square triangles. Along with some squares and rectangles of course...

But what you get in the end...

Is sheer awesomeness!  I told Mr. Because I Can that this may just be my favorite quilt EVER!  It's true.  I love the jewel tones of the fabric. I love the crazy patterns of the fabric that I don't think I quite knew what to do with before.  I love the white.  I love the kaleidoscope feel to it.  I just love it!

So...I feel I should have a moral to this story...if your iron becomes made dead...possibly by your own clumsiness.  It is best that you just let it go...and not try and have your husband fix me on this...I am pretty sure it will take me days to get the smell of burning electrical bits out of my house.

2nd moral of the the pattern Swoon you will love it!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Christmas Tradition

Get your sewing machines ready friends, it's time to sew for Christmas Eve.  It is a common Christmas tradition to give and receive new pajamas on Christmas Eve.  This is something that my family has done since...forever. And I have always loved it.  But I discovered and new twist that makes it much more fun for me.  I make each member of my immediate family a new pillow case each year. Each one gets two different fabrics, one for the front side and one for the back side...they are interchangeable so you can choose which ever suits your fancy that day.  One that is pretty and can go with any bedding situation.  And one that is unique to their likes that year.

I will show you the beginnings of my Oldest and Youngest's Christmas Eve pillow cases.  They will soon be bedazzled...that's bedazzled Sister of mine...NOT vagazzled.  Let's just be clear...

They both have this fabric for one side.  It's pretty and modern and girly.

My Oldest's.  She has a thing for wolves...who can blame her.  She loves to play like she's a wolf and that we're a pack of wolves who are secretly living amongst the humans.  We have to be top secret and not let the humans know we are actually wolves....they can't know we really live in a cave and like to eat small furry creatures.  Now technically these are foxes.  I made this side out of Lizzy House's Outfoxed fabric line. 

See, they're pretty wolfish.  Plus they have cute Hedgies.

My Youngest's.  She has a thing for pink.  As long as it's pink it's her style.  This is Hoos in the Forest by Doohikey Designs.  It's got adorable creatures...deers, skunks, owls, hedgies as well as cute blue trees.

See, how cute are they!!!
Here's the awesome thing about this pillow case pattern...

They have pockets built in to hide the ugliness of a bare pillow!  They are deluxe!  Of course if you're Mr. Because I Can, then you disregard the pocket and just let your pillow hang out like a ruffian.  But, if you're me and my daughters, you definitely use the pocket.  Embrace the pocket, it will redefine your pillow case existence!

Please, if you want to make these adorable pillow cases, refer this website and tutorial as it is awesome!  Besides the awesome pocket, they are also edged in cute crochet.  I haven't crocheted their edges yet...obviously.  But here's an idea of what it will look like when I do...

Now, this is a cautionary you can see the birds on this pillow case are not facing up and down...they are sideways.  I followed the directions completely on the above tutorial...the only problem is, it doesn't take into account if your fabric needs to face a certain direction.  If this is the case, please cut you will see I have made a couple of these pillow cases...which brings me to an important point...PAY ATTENTION PEOPLE!

There are flowers on the top of those vines and cute little bugs that only go one direction.  Sigh.  But on a positive note...

The pocket on this one is darn cute!

The most egregious case of all...These kicking Kung Fu fighters.  Oh well.  Live and learn.  It's all good.

Be aware that you will need to use one of things thingamajigs...if you've ever wondered what they are and why you got them in a sewing's for hemming.  At least that what I use it for...maybe it has additional uses...but besides measuring...duh...and hemming I am not sure what.

These pillow cases are a pretty painless process and they are so cute and you can go crazy personalizing them.  So I say think a little bit ahead and make them for your families!  It's a fun family tradition.

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