Tuesday, November 13, 2012

a pinnie for your thoughts {round 2}...

 Something new on my blog - I know, it's a shock! Life has a way of getting busy, complicated, and overwhelming. There has been alot going on in my little corner of the world, life has been full and there has even been some crafty adventures happening {including my first craft fair booth!} If you're reading this, thanks for sticking with me.

My latest project has been round 2 of the Fab Little Pincushion Swap. Last round I made this owl and received this amazing little dog. I've said it before; I have a love/hate relationship with swaps. I love thinking up ideas, I love getting something from a new crafty friend, I love getting to know other crafters. I hate deciding if what I am sending will be loved by my partner. So after several drawings and drafts, this is the pinnie I decided on.

A real combination of my partners likes and my current bunting obsession. This was the first time I have tried my hand at wonky/free form log cabin triangles. Lots of fun picking out what piece of fabric would be highlighted in the center. The pictures make it hard to see, but there is a quilted cloud outline in the background. I made a couple of bird pin toppers {seemed fitting for the clouds}

Hope to have another post soon!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

finish-a-long part 3...

Isn't he darling - a sewing machine's best friend! He is the newest addition to my steadily growing pincushion obsession. My FLiPS partner Kristen was reading my mind - he came with a box full of goodies, including another pinnie [or rather, pin sharpener as it was filled with sand]. Probably one of the best swaps I have ever been in. Though, I have been one lucky crafter as far as swaps go! It has been great playing along with Rhonda's Finish-A-Long! It's officially the third quarter and I wanted to share with you the creations I will [fingers crossed!] be finishing this time around.

1. Another quilt needs binding!! I can't wait to share more of this Kaffe Fassett pattern very soon, the next time you see it, it will have the binding and hanging sleeve attached. This will be in our forever-being-rennovated kitchen :) I have the perfect spot to hang it up!

2. The final installment in my little venture into the circus world is all cut out. The lion ringmaster needs stitched together and embellished. He will have to keep the unicorn, mouse, seal, monkey, and elephant in line :)

3. I have two funky pincushions that have been sitting on my sewing table for too long. All I can say is, be careful, pinterest inspiration can strike at any time.

4. Finally, last quarter I finished The Flock. This quarter I am hoping to whip up some of the coordinating pillows and pillowcases. Feels good to finally be using the fabric and pattern I bought so long ago for their intended purpose.

Now all that's left is to get down to the business of sewing! The weather is cooperating for a little craftiness, it has cooled off this week. Last week it was 104F outside with no air conditioning inside - the thought of sitting in my upstairs craft room made me break a sweat :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

UFOs no more...

The second quarter of the Finish-a-Long hosted by Rhonda has come to an end. I am excited to report I finished all 3 of the previously UnFinished Objects that I posted about here! I shared The Flock quilt with you earlier, above is a picture of the spring/summer wreath that I finished.

After I made this one for Christmas, I kind of got wreath fever. [I think Pinterest should take some of the blame for this one] I was scouring the internet, looking through my yarn, and dreaming up color combos - but the only progress was a sad looking styrofoam wreath wrapped in yarn. I think it's come along way since then! The felt flowers are lots of fun to make and I think they would be great for headbands. You can check out my other wreath post for links to the tutorials I used.

Also making the deadline were 2 more additions to my Circus Life collection. The pattern was for a horse, but currently I am loving all things unicorn. A little paperclay horn, and voila!

[This is not the best picture I have ever taken, I know] The wool felt I used for the seal may have been a little dark - it's difficult to see his eyes/features. Being able to find just the right color is tough - I am limited by a) the colors actually produced and b) the colors my LQS carries. The underside of his flippers have a cute vintage-feel teal print, unfortunately you don't ever see it because, well, it's on the underside. I have animal to make before my adventure in circus land is finished: the lion.

I am off to dig through my pile of unfinished objects to prepare for the third quarter FAL. You should join in too - imagine the satisfaction of actually finishing projects + the chance to win some wonderful prizes!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

whoooooo doesn't love a pinnie?

There are probably a million punny titles for a blog post about a pincushion owl :) I have been in love with owls for quite a while now and it seems everyone else is too! I just finished up this round of FLiPS - Fab Little Pincushion Swap. You need to run over to the flickr group and check out some of the beauties that are now circling the globe on their way to new homes. Mailing deadline was Wednesday, so of course I mailed mine on Wednesday. Call it part procrastination, part failed first attempts - whatever it is I am always down to the wire sending things. I had more than a couple of ideas and one seriously botched, then abandoned pinnie before inspiration really hit. This little owl is what I came up with.

Her body is made of wool felt, but most of the rest of her is 100% hand-dyed wool. I find the wool felt is just a little stiffer and great for structure. I added two washers in the bottom so that she stands up straight - wish human posture correction was that easy!

Yep, I fell victim to the decorative pin trend. Her little rose on her neck and the leaves around it are also pins. These are not that complicated, but they were fun to make and I think add a little whimsy. Plus I'm not sure how many times I have pinned something in place, it looked perfect, then once it was sewn in place it had moved position or didn't look right. Decorations that are re-positionable pins are a great alternative!

I hope my partner loves her - as I have mentioned before, there is always that stress that what I make isn't really their taste or style. Fingers crossed! If I have enough interested commenters, I might be persuaded to put together a tutorial.

Hope your spring is going swimmingly and your garden has less weeds than mine :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

the finished flock...

I am off to a quick start with all of my finish-a-long projects for this quarter! Do you have any of those projects that can only be described as 'a long time in the making'? My flying geese quilt that I have dubbed 'the flock' is the very first full size quilt top I completed [it's a queen size], and probably one of the first big sewing projects I worked on. As I look through my stash I am reminded about my 'urgency' when it comes to buying things, especially fabric. I found this pattern in a quilt magazine in 2001, determined to make it, I bought all the fabric necessary along with ample fabric for pillows, pillowcases, even enough green solid to make a flat sheet. How ambitious, yes the quilt is FINALLY finished, but the pillow and bedding fabric remains folded or on bolts :)

This was before my 'modern' phase, so the colors are a little darker and distressed. It was also before I really knew what I was doing, so there are quite a few squished beaks on the geese.

LABELS: If you don't do this, you need to! I have quilts that my grandma and great grandma made - I think. There is no label, no information, no remembrance of when or for who. It is kind of sad to know that every quilt has a story, but it can't be known or told. This is a little big, but I like it all the same :) I used printable fabric; for more ideas on labels, check out this post.

Robyn Pandolph [who still designs, though not for Moda] designed this grouping called Morning Glory. The line included prints and homespuns [woven plaids] - which makes for an awesome assortment of textures. Still creating wonderful floral prints, you can pick up some of her newer RJR fabrics over at the fat quarter shop.

Quilt Started: 2001 / Binding Finished: 2012
Only 11 years to finish - do you have any projects that have been hanging around your craft area that long [that you're willing to admit]?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

it's a zoo + finish-a-long...

My name is Heidi and I love vintage kitsch. There is my confession. I enjoy my small, but lovingly currated, collection of vintage pyrex. When we cleared out my grandparent's farm before auction, I picked the items no one else wanted {furniture with "character", bits of old fabric, christmas ornaments in disrepair, rusty bits and bobs}. When I saw the Indygo Junction patterns for these little circus performers, I knew my shelves needed them!

The elephant came first... I think he is adorable with his little stick legs. That sparkly bauble is a button salvaged from my grandma's house.

This little piggy went to the circus. The elephant and piggy are similar in construction. I really enjoy the decorating and detail work on them - choosing that perfect trim or paper for their hats.

Mouse in the house. She is just adorable. What's cropped out in this picture is a little pink balloon made out of paperclay. Paperclay is a wonderful air-dry clay that is easy to work with and acrylic paint friendly. If anyone has some great suggestions on how to store paperclay long term, I would love to hear them. I don't use it often enough and it seems I am always throwing some dried-out bits away no matter how many ziploc bags I use.

Monkey see monkey do. I love this little juggler - again with the help of paperclay! In case you wondered what the rest of the monkey {& mouse} look like, here is a full photo. The legs are pipecleaners wrapped with floral tape and then painted - a new technique for me!

This post is two-fold: I wanted to show off my circus folks, but also share with you the Finish-A-Long happening over at Quilter in the Gap. I have long talked about my box of unfinished objects {UFOs}. Each quarter you share what you plan to finish, link up to her site, then add links to your finished projects at the end of 3 months. I'm excited to get to work + there are great prizes at the end of each round! Worst case scenario, I get some work done! So my first hope-to-finish is the last 2 circus animals that I want to make - a lion and a horse {possibly a unicorn}. I have all of the supplies out to make them - even little legs and arms all painted up for Mr. Lion. But these little guys are pretty time consuming with all their details.

Next up is this wreath. I had grand plans to get it finished in February for valentine's day. I want to make a variety of felt flowers just like I did for the Christmas wreath I made.

My last hope-to-finish is the binding on this queen sized quilt. I don't want to reveal too much until I am completely finished.

I hope you are enjoying Spring - it always seems like the best time of year for a fresh start!

Monday, April 2, 2012

giveaway winner + shop news...

In the last two weeks...
- I've been sick... CHECK
- I've had technology issues... CHECK
- I've had more work than 24 hours could hold... CHECK
- I've had some personal challenges to work through... CHECK
- I've been waiting for the promised delivery of the book I am in... CHECK
- My sewing machine needed serviced... CHECK
- Life has made me too tired to look at editing pictures and writing up posts... CHECK

Now that we are finished with the excuse portion of this post, now on to the apology section. I am so sorry that I have been a poor blogger! I ask your forgiveness for not posting a giveaway winner as I promised. To shed some light on my absenteeism, crafting and blogging are part of a very slim category in my life known as 'hobbies.' Crafting is a stress reliever, not work, something I like to do, just for me - I try not to step into the treacherous territory of 'having' to sew or blog. I really enjoy sewing and blogging, and I would like to keep on 'liking' them :)

Anyways... onto the WINNER!! The proud new owner of a copy of Seaside Home is [drumroll please] Susan! [special thanks to the random number generator!] Please email me your mailing information, and I will throw in a little something along with the book since you were forced to wait on this announcement. Thanks to all who read my blog and entered! If you didn't win, the book is available NOW in my etsy shop :)

Also, as pennance, if you use the code SUMMERFUN you can get 25% off any pillow in my shop. Hope to blog with you all again very soon!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

nittany round up...

{note: 1 more day - today - to enter into the drawing to win a copy of Seaside Home! Just leave a comment on this post.}

So, I think March 14th officially means that 2011 is over :) I finished these blocks some time ago, but wanted to share the last few months of the Nittany Block Swap. I really enjoy block swaps, but because of time [coupled with the fact that I didn't find a new swap that seemed interesting AND was looking for a new member] I am not currently participating in a monthly swap.

September: Kelly was going for more of a modern look. It was fun to have boundaries but still be allowed some artistic control. I am sure this will look amazing when she finishes with it!

October: Tammy wanted a Moda Bake Shoppe pattern. The fabrics are GREAT; I really like the secondary pattern that forms when you put these blocks together.

November: Shari is into upcycling men's shirts right now. I am a huge Kaffe Fasset fan, so the finished look is right up my ally. Some of them are still a slight bit wonky despite my best pressing and cutting efforts. Cannot wait to see all those shapes come to life in a finished quilt!

I have to get back into the project that the ladies helped me with!! The center is pieced, it just needs some borders and a few blocks for said border and it will be complete!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

ruffled feathers [tote tutorial]...

**note: there is still time to enter in the giveaway for new Seaside Home book! Comment on this post! I will announce a winner on the 15th :)

I was thinking the other day that sometimes it is loads of fun to ruffle someone else's feathers, but very rarely fun to have your own feathers ruffled. [I think alot of kids have figured this out] I am a fan of ruffles - and apparently I am not the only one - they are showing up everywhere! Not wanting to disappoint a trend, I made up this little tote.

Sweet and simple, I put together a little tutorial - here is a link to the pdf.
Hope your day is going well - here the sky is blue, my windows are open, and I can hear birds singing! Goodbye grey skies! [at least for the moment!]

Thursday, March 1, 2012

exciting news + a giveaway!

I am pretty darn pleased to announce that my little crabby pillow has made its way into a book!! The soon to be released book Seaside Home will contain one of my very own original patterns. I can't hardly believe it :D

Did you see my crabby cover girl in the upper left hand corner? Here is a bigger picture I took in case you missed it.

There are so many wonderful sea-inspired projects - don't you love that little beach house?! To roll out the red fabric for the book, I would love to giveaway a copy of the book. Just leave me a comment on this post to enter. There is also a blog tour in the planning stages. More details to follow; I will draw a winner on March 14.

Friday, January 20, 2012

put a pin in it...

Just a little post to prove to everyone that I am still alive! I have been traveling through one of those almost-too-busy-to-breath periods of time. Life is good, just a little overwhelming. I wanted to share some cute wrist pin cushions I made to sell a little while ago.

Fairly simple and straight forward: They are a 2.5" strip of fabric and some batting, folded in half wst, stitched and turned. Add a circle that has been basted, stuffed, and tied shut. I used a felt circle to cover the opening after I added the thread and buttons. [also, there is a cardboard circle in the bottom of the pin cushion to prevent pinning yourself] Velcro does the job of keeping it on your wrist and offering a custom fit.

This is a tutorial that I find pretty helpful, offering basic pincushion instructions. I do have some exciting crafty news to share with you! Check back here in the next few days :)