Friday, August 30, 2013

Finish it Up Friday

I'm back today to show off my latest finish--The Julia Top.  This is another pattern created by Jenny from Seamingly Smitten.  The girl has an eye for fashion and for making patterns that are easy to follow at any skill level, that's for sure.

Jenny asked if I could proof this pattern for her Women's line.  It's a simple top with long or short sleeves, a blousy fit and easy style.  Of course I said yes!

I went with a silky print I had from JoAnns that I used to make a dress years ago that I've never worn outside the house.  One of those projects...  So I thought the extra fabric I had was perfect for this shirt, so I could actually wear it.

The pattern goes together incredibly quickly and simply.  I chose to french seam my shoulder and side seams and use bias tape on the neckline and hem, so that added some extra time to the project, but you could literally be done with this from choosing fabric to wearing it in an hour.

The pattern offers both short and long-sleeve options.  I chose the long sleeves but then shortened them up to 3/4 length because I felt it fit me better in this fabric.  

I always say this, but Jenny's got a real gift for taking the fear out of sewing clothing for yourself or your kiddos.  She takes all that mumbo jumbo that the big pattern companies give you in their instructions out and brings it down to the basics of constructing the garment for you.

I mentioned the other day that I'd love to make about 6 of these shirts right now.  I'd like to make a short-sleeved one, a full-length sleeved one, one with added length to make a tunic or dress, one in a quilting cotton that I could embroider or add patch pockets to...  The list is endless with this pattern as a starting point.

What have you finished up this week?

What are you planning on doing this long-weekend?  Any sewing plans or are you sending summer out with a bang?

I'm hosting out-of-town family after we watch the Gator game tomorrow and then I plan to get a bunch of sewing and household projects done before Monday night.  ;)  Wish me luck!

I'm linking up with Amanda Jean today for Finish it Up Friday.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Random Thursday

I started writing a blog post earlier this week and realized it was full of randomness, so I saved it for today.  :)  Funny how that seems to be how my brain works sometimes a lot of the time.

--All of the fabric from my last post has been scooped up and I'm waiting on one more address before I mail them all out.  Y'all made quick work of that.  :)

--I'm ALMOST finished quilting my Wonky Pinwheels.  I had to stop for a few days to do some other projects and I'm itching to finish it up.  Both because I love it and it's WAYYYY overdue but also because it'll be one less project weighing on my shoulders.

--I pattern tested for Jenny again this week and made myself a new top.  I'll show it off tomorrow, but I love it!  And now I want to make like 5 new shirts.  I won't...but I want to.

This was an in-process shot--I toned down those poofy shoulders A LOT!!

--I ran yesterday for the first time in weeks.  Between the summer heat, the summer thunderstorms and school, I haven't been able to run outside.  It felt great.  You know that "Only runners understand how sweating and breathing hard and pushing through the wanting to stop" feels great.

--I ordered note cards from Very Jane last week and they arrived the other day.  I didn't get around to opening them till this morning since there was no big rush on notecards.  Guess what--they spelled my name wrong!  haha  So, I've contacted them to get new ones.  It's a shame, because they're really cute.  Believe it or not, this stuff happens to me all the time.  Once my great-grandparents got me an engraved ornament for Christmas--yep, my name was spelled wrong.  On our wedding invitations--my MIL's name was spelled wrong.  When I ordered new checks from the bank--they changed my name and spelled it wrong.  I'm used to it, but I figured it would look weird with me sending out cards knowing my name is spelled wrong...

--I realized yesterday that Saturday is the last day of the month and I haven't even thought about making my bee blocks for this month!  AHH!!  Luckily I only have one to make this month and it's so cute!  I'll show y'all soon.

--I've got company coming into town this weekend and a house that isn't ready for them, so I'm going to jump off here and go remember how to use my vacuum.  :)

I'll be back tomorrow with pics of the finished shirt and I'm hoping to be back Monday with pics of a finished quilt.

What are you up to today??
Linking up with Cindy                           Really Random

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Thrill is Gone

***ETA--All of the fabrics are spoken for and mailed.  Sorry!!***

Do you ever have fabric that you've fallen out of love with?  You look at it, take it out of the cabinet, want to use it, but...the Thrill is Gone?  You just don't like it anymore?

My friend Lucy is helping us all out by hosting something that I think is a great idea.  I'd actually considered doing it myself but she beat me to it and I'm glad she did.

She's hosting a Fugly Fabric Swap/Giveaway Party.


This week you can link up any fabrics you've fallen out of love with and trade/give/sell to someone else.  I think this is such a great way to spread fabric and blog love with each other and also not waste as well.  Just because I don't love a fabric anymore doesn't mean that it's not exactly what you've been looking for.

And there are some people who'll take fabric no matter how ugly for scrap projects, charity quilts, really bad taste, what have you.  ;)

So, I've got a few offerings this week.  And I'm just flat offering.  Meaning--you let me know you want it and it's all yours.  I'll ship anywhere, but international readers--what say we split the costs??  Because really--fabric love knows no boundaries, right??

So, here's what I got.  Mostly fabrics my kids have outgrown or I've used and don't plan to use again, but some are fairly big cuts I just haven't got around to using.  Some are designer fabric, some aren't, but all have worked just fine for what I've used them for.  I'm giving rough estimates of size here for time's sake, but if you want details, let me know and I can actually measure for you and let you know.

1.  Rainbow fabric.  I've got 2 cuts of this.  The straight-grain piece is roughly 44" by WOF (width of fabric).  The bias cut piece is actually about a yard long, but with a bias-cut edge already in it--perfect for bindings on quilts or little girl's dresses.  I cut bias strips for seam bindings years ago on a dress for Emma.  It was precious!

2.  Cowboy print.  This is an old Alexander Henry print I've had for years.  It's a half-yard by WOF cut, but with some missing.  I cut two stockings out of it. :)  So, there's a good-sized 18" square of fabric and then some area to be used for scraps and then another big chunk.  How's that for accurate?

3.  Buffalo Check.  This one is roughly 3 feet by WOF.  I have had this forever and backed a few quilts with it.  Not sure where it's from, but it's thick and holds up well.  It's a burgandy/maroon red with a creamy/tan base color.

4.  Green prints.  2 fabrics here.  The green swirls are from JoAnn and it's roughly a 2-foot square.  A little bigger on both sides, but roughly.  The small check is a 9-inch by WOF cut.  These come together as they're such a small amount of both.

5.  Fall print.  I actually got this one at Walmart I believe, but it's sturdy, thick and held up great--almost like a really lightweight denim.  I made Em a dress out of this a few years back and she wore it a ton.  This one is like 44" by WOF but with some chunks missing.  There is probably a 12" by WOF section anyway and then some of the middle is missing in the rest.

6.  Fairy Princess.  This is a JoAnn special.  I've made a ton of stuff with it and little girls love it.  The skirt of each princess has a silvery glitter on it.  This one is about 36" by WOF with some missing.

7.  Beach Balls.  I bought this Moda fabric for a specific purpose and then never used it.  It's from the Malibu Monkeys line by Erin Michael.  This one is roughly 60" by WOF.

8.  Flannel Ballerinas.  Another JoAnn novelty.  This one is flannel.  It's roughly 20" by 42".  The other selvage is cut off, it's basically WOF.  I made Emma a nightgown out of this when she was in kindergarten that she still wears so it's held up just fine.  I've also backed baby quilts in with no complaint from the recipients.

9.  Mary Englebreit Panel.  I won this in a giveaway and just haven't used it yet.  I hate to see it wasted, so I'd love to share it.  It's just this panel, but you could certainly cut this apart to create multiple projects with it.  It's Moda from the Recipes for Friendship line.

10.  Rocket fabric.  This one's from JoAnn too.  I had planned to use it in Oren's Star Wars quilt, but waited too long and now he's "too old" for it.  It's a yard by WOF.  Feels high-quality.

And that's it for now!  As I said before--if you want it, it's yours.  First-come, first-served.  And you can have as much or as little as you want.  Leave me a comment with what you'd like and I'll email you for your address.  Make sure, of course, that if you're a no-reply blogger to leave your email in your comment because if I can't get ahold of you, I can't send it to you.  If you're international and you don't mind splitting shipping with me, feel free to ask for what you want as well.

Head over to Lucy's to see other available fabrics or link up yourself.  It's only this week, though so hurry!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Breakfast goodies

Is it fall where you live yet??

It's not even close here, although I could almost feel the beginnings Friday night at the football game.  2 hours after sunset, but still, it was almost there.  :)

I think fall may be my favorite time of the year.  You can go outside without sweating.  You can wear sweaters and scarves and boots.  There's football and bonfires and you know--the whole not sweating thing. :)  Fall brings apple and pumpkin desserts along with lots of cinnamon and spices.  The colors darken and even my aqua-loving self finds comfort in mustard and burgandy and even, gasp! dark purple!

My point to all of this is I started my fall baking!  Well, actually, our PTO hosted the first coffee bar yesterday and a friend and I were in charge of bringing muffins.  We serve coffee to the teachers twice a month to help brighten their Mondays and usually, another group sells breakfast goodies alongside.  But they're not up and going yet, so PTO footed the bill and fed the teachers this time.

So--what do you make for teachers??  Something with apples of course!  I scoured my fall and breakfast boards and decided on these winners right here.

Apple Cinnamon Roll Muffins!


You know, I'm not sure I'd ever made cinnamon rolls from scratch before.  I don't know why not, because they're really easy to do.  Yes, there's a time commitment with the rising process, but the actual hands-on work isn't bad at all.

I would recommend this recipe for sure.  I ended up taking about 20 muffins and they were gone in an hour with other goodies available too.  But, I will also say that next time I make them, I'll bump up the flavor a little more.  These were definitely tasty, but if I'm going to invest in the calories inside a cinnamon roll, I really want those calories to be worth it, you know?  ;)  I'd also add that it might be best to not add the apples to the mixture but just sprinkle them on the dough before rolling.  I had them filling mixture sitting for 5ish minutes and it was already juicy and messy on my counter during the cutting step.  Delicious and the smell--oh my!  But still messy.

I will also add that I didn't remove these from the pan after baking.  I got busy quilting and waited a few hours and I did have a few stick (why I only took 20) to the pan.  Actually, it was just the liner that stuck, the muffin was in great shape, but I can't really serve someone with only half a cupcake liner, you know??  So, I would remove these after 10-20 minutes and let them cool on a wire rack.

If you're ready to start your fall baking, this is a great place to start.  Or check out my pinterest boards for more inspiration.  I've got a bunch there for you.  Pinning recipes is almost as good as eating them, right??

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Ahh, the sound of quiet in the house during the day.  I almost feel like I might be able to get some stuff done this school year. :)

Of course, I'll still have a lot to balance, especially when I start subbing, but I am hopeful...

Today I'm working on an embarrassingly-old WIP.  My wonky pinwheels quilt for the Empower Circle of do. Good stitches.  I got behind on this one when some other deadlines popped up and then I realized I was out of batting without literally piecing together like 80 strips, so I had to wait till I could get enough (on sale!) to move on.

So, I'm basted up and ready to start quilting.  I've got my quilting plan all worked out--now I just have to get it done.

I'll try to pop in tomorrow with a sneak peek of how the quilting is going.  Cross your fingers for me, would you?

To see what everyone else is up to today--head over to Lee's WIP Wednesday link up party!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Up, Up and Away

I mentioned yesterday that I'd finished up my nephew's quilt that I agreed to make for his nursery.  My sister fell in love with the balloon prints from the amazing artist at Trafalgar's Square.

She ordered 4 of the prints, all with different colors and different animals long before she knew when there baby would come or what gender he'd be.

So when baby James arrived, she asked if I could make the crib quilt coordinate with these prints.  We batted some ideas around and I took her to JoAnn's to pick out the fabrics she wanted.  The nursery is gray, so she wanted that for the background.  We agreed on good old Kona Iron as Coal was way too dark and Ash seemed a little too light for the room.  She wanted navy accents in the room, so that was the perfect balance to the gray and then she picked 4 solids to match the balloons.

I apologize for the pictures.  I didn't take any before the shower so I had to rely on my non-quilt-blogger sister to take these for me!  And she does have a newborn to deal with too...
Her directions to me were gray background, navy border (she meant binding), and a big version of the balloons floating with James' name embroidered like I'd done on a few other baby quilts.  Other than that, she told me to use my judgement.  We considered adding one of the animals like he was holding all of the balloons, but she decided she didn't want that.

So I first embroidered James' name.  I just did a simple outline stitch and had it done in a day or two of watching TV at night with Chris.  Then I made the back.  She gave me no direction for the back whatsoever other than to make it match the colors from the front.  I wanted to try and use up as much of the fabrics we'd bought and the navy I had here, so I played on my EQ5 and came up with this basic design.

I actually really love the back and think it would make a great quilt top all in itself.  Like, I seriously want to throw my to-do list out the window and just make a giant version of the back.

I used the rest of the quarter-yard sections of the solid colors and then incorporated coordinating prints in each color to add a punch of fun.

Up next--the quilting.  I told her I thought it would look best to quilt the layers together before adding the balloons so the quilting really became part of the background.  I had it in mind that I'd quilt clouds all over.  But my machine did not agree.  Numerous times.  Seriously--my machine had NO interest in free-motion quilting clouds this past weekend.

So instead of giving up, I decided to go with a looser interpretation and quilt random lines across the quilt like wind maybe.  It was that or hand stitch the clouds and I really considered that option, but time waits for no man or baby shower so I went with the "wind."

Up next were the balloons.  I drew a circle onto Heat N Bond and then ironed that to my solid fabrics.  But then I cut out each balloon a quarter- to a half-inch bigger than the adhesive.  I wanted the balloons a little bigger than I'd originally thought and I thought the raw edge might add a little more whimsy.

So I sewed them down individually and then sewed down their strings.  Carrie wanted them to come together in a bunch but that was her only direction.  So I thought a lot about how to do that best and then just sat down and did this in 20 minutes.

Sometimes you have to plan things out and sometimes you have to just let creativity be in charge.  As I had to use my presser foot (remember my machine said NO FMQ) the balloon strings are a little pointier than I had envisioned, but you know...

Again--sorry for the pic quality.  I swear, that balloon is navy and not black!

My sister said she loved it at the shower and I can't wait to see it in the crib.  With school starting our baby visiting is definitely being cut short, so Emma and I are anxious to get some more sweet love for our special boy.

What are you up to this Tuesday afternoon?  We're off to Oren's Open House...  Ahh, the busy life begins again!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to School...Back to Routine!

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!  :)

Ok, not really, but today was the first day back to school around here and for most of the state of Florida.  So it was actually quiet in my house during the day today.

My kids were excited this morning and are looking forward to new adventures, new experiences and not looking forward to homework.

I am excited and am looking forward to a cleaner house, more sewing time and precious memories of my kids' school activities.

Here's some pics from this morning:

I'll be back tomorrow with a finish to show off.  I finished up my sweet nephew's quilt and delivered it to the baby shower yesterday and can you believe I didn't take any photos of it??  And I call myself a blogger...

I'm putting my sister on the job and will hopefully show it to y'all tomorrow.

Happy First Day of School everyone!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Just what the doctor ordered...

Hi y'all and Happy August!  We're home from the beach and content as can be.  We had a great week.  Oren managed to keep his cast mostly dry and sand-free.  We all managed to wear enough sunscreen not to get burned.  And we all managed to laugh a lot, eat a lot, love a lot, and have a great time together.

We got home Saturday night and had a special surprise.  My sister and brother-in-law became parents and we got to meet their sweet new arrival.  I'll wait till I get the OK to show pictures since it's not my kid, but I have to tell y'all--I am in love with my sweet nephew!!  He is so precious!

I am working on his crib quilt and can show off a work-in-progress of it.  My sister and I talked through a rough idea of what she wants and now we're texting back and forth to get it laid out before I start sewing.  Here's where we are right now. 

The white circles will be balloons of different colors and that mess at the bottom--I'm going to embroider his name there.  But again--not my kid, not my info to give out.  

I think this is going to be really cute when I'm done and there are a lot of non-Kelli things going on with it.  Applique, thread-drawing, quilting as part of the design, negative space...

I'm kinda excited to get it done and kinda scared to get it started!  :)

And on that scared note, yesterday evening was my first downtime at home in quite awhile and I wanted to sew.  But not get out a big project and put the weight of it on my shoulders.  So often my sewing lately has been to finish something--a dress for my class, bee blocks, old WIPs, quilts that need to be finished up, etc.  I felt like I never get to just sew for fun.

So I did.  I keep a bag full of 2.5" scraps.  Some are squares. Some are strips.  And I just sewed.  After discussing with Nicole the joy in brown-paper-bag piecing, I went for it.  

I decided to piece 12.5" blocks and then decide what to do with them later.  I assume this is like Amanda Jean's slab quilting that she has become famous for, but I have yet to buy her book.  As I mentioned, I feel obligated to finish my MANY unfinished projects sometimes and I let it hold me back from enjoying some good responsibility-free creativity and inspiration.

So far I've got 7 done and wish I could do nothing else but make these!!  

I don't have a plan for these yet, so I don't know how many I'll make or how I'm going to turn this hot mess of scrappiness into a quilt, but I'm purposely not worrying about that yet.

This is supposed to be fun and I want to keep it that way.

And it's way better than school shopping or cleaning house or admitting that Chris goes back to school next week and the kids go the following week.  YIKES!!!  Where has our summer gone???

So...what do you do when you feel like you're in over your head?  Do you keep plugging along or start something new?  And what what kind of sewing sets you free?  Improv?  Following a pattern so you don't have to make decisions?  Finishing something and getting it out of your sewing room?

Inquiring minds want to know...