Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Finishes and March Plans

Well, after a great big bountiful January, it looks like I got nothing done in February! To be fair, it is a short month... and we got hit pretty bad with the Norovirus. I did manage to finish Little Loo's grocery seat cover, although that doesn't overly impress me.

March though... March will have two big finishes... for sure. No ifs, ands, or buts!

1) I have made the commitment that the auction quilt will be done by the end of March, and ready to be hung on display in the Middle School the first week of April. The auction isn't until April 27, so I am thrilled that my deadlines haven't been pushed back at all despite the craziness.

Now that the blocks are starting to come back to me, I will have more updates on how they all look, but here's a taste. First, the child's original drawing and then the hand embroidered version for the quilt.

2) One of my goals for February was to fix up my sewing space. Well, this week, I did a bit more than fix it up. I moved it to another space altogether! I plan to finish it all up in the next week or so and then do a full reveal of both spaces in a blog post.

Anything else above these two finishes will just be gravy!

One more thing... There are still 7 1/2 hours left (from post time) to enter my giveaway! Good luck!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Slow and Steady Wins the Race... I hope.

So, progress on the auction quilt for my daughter's school is slowly coming along. Blocks are being embroidered and decisions are being made, despite Mother Nature getting in the way. First it was Superstorm Sandy that put us almost a month behind before we even started, then a snow storm that shut things down for another week or two. We finally got on the move and had scheduled our Embroidery Hoop Group (aka Stitch and Bitch) when this last snow storm rolled through cancelling school! THEN we rescheduled the Hoop Group to the following Wednesday and my family got the Norovirus. Ugh. I can't even think about it... I was starting to lose hope... until I saw some of the blocks come back. They are beautiful! I am so pleased, and I can't wait to see the rest.

One of the other things that we seem to be having issues with is the backing for the quilt. We just cant seem to decide. My initial thought was to take artwork from the invitation and create our own fabric. Here is an idea of what that might look like...

Thoughts?? I'd love to hear them.

Thanks for stopping by. Don't forget to check out my giveaway if you haven't already!

Linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP today.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Little Loo's Sanitary Safehaven and a Giveaway!

Well, I finally did it. I finally put together that shopping cart cover I have been wanting to make for Little Loo. Now that she is 9 months old, and sitting up really well, I figured it was about time.

Before Little Loo was born I knew that I was probably going to want to either make or buy one. I had one for Diva, but I hated it. The thing was ginormous-- that's right, bigger than gigantic. Sure it had a lot of super plushiness, but at what cost? The thing practically took up my entire back seat, so most days I just left it behind hoping Diva was the kind of kid that wouldn't spend the trip sucking on the handlebar. Most days I was right.

When my local JoAnn's was closing down their original store to make room for the super-mega store that opened earlier this month, I found the fabric I had used to make Little Loo's changing pad and bought the rest of the bolt. The fabric has since been discontinued, so I'm glad I went ahead and followed my gut. The quality, while not super luxe, is perfectly fine for these kinds of projects and the print is just too cute! I especially love that it is gender neutral too.

Now, I had a lot of trouble finding a free pattern/tutorial for a shopping cart cover that would be on the slimmer side. After A LOT of searching, I finally came across Jan Andrea's Grocery Cart Seat Cover page. The instructions were practically non-existent, but she did have a great diagram with some measurements that helped. I figured I would give you a run down of what I did in case you were interested. All in all it wasn't so bad to put together... but the measuring and cutting ugh. Ok, so here is the layout from Jan's site.

Since I wanted the seat and back to be a bit softer, but without too much added bulk, I decided to cut the 20"x 16" block (the back and seat base) out of some pink minky fabric I had picked up as a remnant. I then cut 4 more pieces of fabric: the back extension, 2 sides with side extensions, and front and handle extension and sewed them together to create the configuration above. After that was done, I added some straps to the handle extension to hang toys off of.

Because of the fact that my fabric was 43" wide, I was able to cut out the whole panel (less the two side extension pieces) in one fell swoop to be used for the back side. I didn't bother cutting out the leg holes yet, since I wanted to do that after the front and back had been assembled to make sure everything lined up. I did end up needing an additional 20"x 6" piece added onto the back extension since I had cut the back first and there ended up being some unanticipated stretch from the minky fabric I used for the front.

Once both pieces were ready, I put them right sides together and sewed them up leaving a little opening on one side to turn it out. After turning everything but the piece of the side right side out, I sewed that gap closed and pulled the side arm right side out the rest of the way using the opening in the leg hole. I might have been able to pull the whole thing through that way, but I didn't want to take the chance of pulling too much fabric through and ripping or stretching the leg hole.

Once everything was turned right side out, finished cutting the leg holes out of the back and used bias tape around three sides to cover my edges. I then put in my button holes for the strap. A word about button holes. Button holes have always scared the crap out of me. I don't know why, maybe its the finality of it. If you've never put in a button hole, rest assure, its near impossible to screw up. The machine literally does all the work for you. Anyway, then I sewed up the side pieces to the front and back respectively only along their angled edges, not all the way up. That way there will be flaps to fold over the cart (although if I ever made this thing again I think I would make those two side extension pieces even longer! ...maybe 10"x 14" instead of 10"x 6". And there it is. A shopping cart cover. 

But wait! There's more! Remember I said about how my old one took over my whole backseat? Well, I didn't want this one to have the same problem, so I made one of those self folding bags for this thing... you know, the one I put on the twin's birthday gifts. Ok so here's the quick rundown. 
I cut two pieces of fabric 17.5"x 13" and cut 3" squares off the two bottom corners. Flip them right sides together and sew everything but the very bottom edge (the section between the two cutout squares. Then flip it right side out again.

Next take the two short corners that you have created and join them together. You haven't sewn that bottom edge, so don't worry if they don't meet up at the ends.

It should look something like this when done.

Ok. Next pick a spot on your seat cover. I chose to sew mine so that when the cover was in use the stitches would be concealed by the minky on the other side. Make sure to pin it too so that everything comes out straight, and fold in the exposed edges on the bottom. Then just sew around the sides and bottom. When you flip the cover into the bag you get a great, little, portable shopping cart seat cover. Because of my placement, the safety strap even doubles as a handle!

I added my own strap because, lets face it, babies put everything in their mouths. Just the thought of that shopping cart's strap in my Loo's mouth gives me the heebie-jeebies!

Ok. Because I love this fabric so much, and because it is discontinued... and because I bought the whole bolt, I'd like to offer you a chance to win a yard of it! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linking up with Let's Get Acquainted Monday, Sew Chatty's Made with Love Link Party, and Blooming Homestead

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Just thought I would stop and take a moment to say Happy Valentine's Day to all of you. If you haven't seen it already, please enjoy this short animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios entitled Paperman. It has been nominated for an OSCAR for Best Short Animated Film, and is perfect for this holiday!!