Jan 25 2016

Midnight Mystery Quilt — December

Published by under Miscellaneous

MeadowMistMysteryQuilt

We’re almost there! I lost some ground during the holidays, but I’m back on to it. This month I finished up December which was making the big blocks that will be joined to make the final top.

Meadow Mist Midnight Mystery Quilt December Block

Meadow Mist Midnight Mystery Quilt December Half Block

Sorry for the iffy quality of the first photo. I realized after I was downloading the photos to my computer that my better composed photo was actually out of focus. The big blocks are each about 24” x 24” so they’re quite large and I have to hold the camera above my head and try to aim it at the block to get it all in the photo.

Next I’ll be showing you the finished quilt!

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Jan 22 2016

Glitter Resin Bracelets Tutorial

Published by under Crafts

DSC_2392.jpg

So this is a *super* old post (I started writing it 4 years ago!) that I never got around to finishing. However, I finally got some pictures of the finished bracelets so I figured I’d post it and get it out of my draft folder.

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After doing the resin for the ring and cuff links, I was curious to try out some real resin. I really wanted some glitter bangles as I am currently obsessed with glitter just a little bit. While I was at my parents, I had managed to find some bracelet molds for resin (one skinny, one thick) at a giant hobby shop the likes of which we do not have here. I was able to get the resin at a local Michael’s but they had no molds there except for some soap molds in hearts and flowers and what am I going to do with resin hearts and flowers? Anyhow, here are the steps I took if you would like to do it yourself.

Resin bracelet materials

You will need:

  • EasyCast clear casting epoxy
  • Glitter
  • A mold
  • Disposable paper or plastic cups
  • Disposable stirrers (coffee stirrers, popsicle sticks, etc.)
  • Something to cover your work area in case you spill
  • A well ventilated area to do the resin mixing in

Mixing resin

First, make sure you are in a well ventilated area!

Start by measuring out equal parts resin and catalyst into one of your cups. I determined equal through very “scientific” means. I measured out what I thought was half of the total amount of resin I wanted in water in a cup. I marked the outside of a cup with a marker at the level of the water. I poured that water into another cup to save it. Then I filled the original cup up to the marker line with water. And then I poured the saved water back into the first cup, giving me twice the original quantity in the first cup. And I marked that amount with a marker as well.

So then I pour in the resin up to the first marker line. And then added catalyst until the mixture hit the second marker line. Hope that makes sense . . . Be sure to dry out your measuring cup before you pour the resin and catalyst in though.

Once you’ve got both of them in there, you’ll need to stir it for 2 minutes straight. Be sure to get stuff off the bottom and scrape the sides.

Pouring resin to second container

When 2 minutes is up, pour the whole mixture into another cup and stir for another minute. I don’t know why you have to do that, but that’s what the directions say.

Glitter added

Next, we add glitter! Just toss it in there and stir it up until you are happy with how well it is mixed.

Mixed in glitter

Here’s how mine looked when it was mixed to my satisfaction.

Resin bracelets

Next pour your resin into the molds. You can see I got much better on the second one (on the left). The resin went all over the place on the first one as I had no idea how fast it would come out.

And wait 24 hours . . .

More recent edit: In hindsight, this is not a great idea. It’s better to pour them a little less full than over full. It will making getting them out easier and you will have soooo much less sanding to do at the end.

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Your resin should be set at this point. Now comes the hard part — getting it out of the mold. I imagine for a heart or flower mold it’s not so bad. But for the bracelets, they were so skinny and deep that it was hard to break the seal.

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I really had to bend the plastic quite a bit!

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But I did get them out :)

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Next cut off any garbage that you can. You’ll probably still have some bits hanging off unless you are amazing at pouring or if you were smart and didn’t overfill like I did. But even then, you’ll probably have some sharp edges. Grab some sandpaper and just sand away. You’ll probably want to do this outside so you don’t breathe resin dust and possibly wear a face mask if you’re very sensitive. Depending on the grit of your sandpaper, you may need a polish step to make it shiny again.

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And you’re done!

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Jan 18 2016

More rope bowls — this time with sparkle!

Published by under Sewing

Two rope bowls

Making rope bowls is awesome. They are fast. They are fun. They are useful. And now I can make them with SPARKLES. So many wins in one project.

Perhaps you haven’t realized yet, but if I can add sparkle or bright colors to a project, it’s instantly better in my opinion. This means rope bowls are now even better.

Rope bowl with clover clips

First, a normal bowl. Still very cool and certainly very practical. The clothesline is very sturdy. I wanted to use up the rest of the clothesline from my previous rope bowl to get it off my sewing table.

Sparkly rope bowl

But now, a sparkle bowl! Just a hint. Not too much. But enough to put a smile on my face when I look at it.

Details: I had picked up this cording at OSH when I picked up the clothesline but just now got to make it. One package of the sparkle cording makes this bowl, a very convenient size.

There will be more sparkle bowls, no doubt.

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Jan 15 2016

Neon Quilt Finish

Published by under Quilting,Sewing

Neon quilt front

I finally finished my neon quilt which I started so long ago! I actually finished it in 2015 but I didn’t have a chance to take photos of it until 2016.

Neon quilt folded

I’m really super happy with how it turned out. I used a 15 piece layer cake from Riley Blake in Neon Basics and a jelly roll of Riley BIake Neon Basics for the binding. The sashing and borders are Hawthorne Hues in White from Hawthorne Threads. The batting is Quilter’s Dream Cotton Batting in White. I used Aurifil thread in white #2024 for the piecing and quilting. Mostly 40wt, but some 50wt on the quilting.

Neon quilt binding

I did matchstick quilting horizontally and vertically in the sashing. I love the look of it. From afar it has almost a chevron look because I went in opposite directions with each line of stitching but I actually think it’s kinda cool because it mirrors the chevrons in the print. The quilt itself is really soft and cuddly. I was a bit worried about it being stiff where the stitching is dense, but it actually isn’t at all. 

Neon quilt binding

And I love the binding. Although I see now why we normally do binding with a diagonal seam. Wherever I had a horizontal seam between colors, it meant when I was attaching the binding and sewing the final edge down, I was going through 10! layers of fabric plus batting. I probably could have helped this situation by pressing the seams open instead of the traditional press to the side. Live and learn. Maybe I’ll go back re-press the rest of the binding I have so I don’t run into this issue again.

Neon quilt back

I did the back by piecing together yardage of the neon basic in dots. I couldn’t pick one that I liked — so I went with them all! I realize if I look closely at the front picture, you can see the backing through the white on the front. It must have been the way the light was shining through it when I took the photos because I can’t tell at all when it’s right in front of me.

Neon quilt fold over

At any rate, I love how it looks. Definitely my new favorite quilt to snuggle up with.

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Jan 09 2016

Happy New Year!

Published by under Food,Sewing

Hippocrates towel

Happy New Year!

It’s taken me a while to get back to blogging since the holidays due to travel and other activities. I’ve been busy making but sometimes the path from camera to blog is slow. And now when I finally have time, the Lightroom->Flickr plugin is down :( so my other posts will have to wait. I have some fun quilt finishes, Sprout makes and more to show!

Where's The Food towel

Meanwhile, I have another little finish to show. These are some tea towels that I designed and made. The fabric is a linen-cotton canvas blend that I got printed via Spoonflower. They were having a BOGO (by one get one) sale on fat quarters and each of these is just a fat quarter of the linen-cotton.

Where's The Food towel mitred corner

After pre-washing the fabric — it washed up beautifully — it was just a matter of cutting off the excess and putting some cute mitered corners on them.

Hippocrates towel

The design for this one is actually available for sale in my spoonflower store. I made it as a gift, but the person doesn’t read my blog :( so I’m not worried about posting it. The design is on both sides — this view shows it folded it in half and the view below shows the other one folded up. That one is for *my* kitchen.

Where's The Food towel

I’ve wanted to try the tea towels and if I think of any more fun phrases, I might make some more, but they’re not as absorbent as my more “towel” like hand towels, so I’ll probably keep them decorative. But I am pleased with how these turned out.

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Dec 15 2015

Longarm Quilted One Hour Baskets

Published by under Quilting,Sewing

Pink quilted one hour baskets

Things have been busy around here with the holidays. It seems like everyone tries to cram everything in at the end of the year. I love the parties and get togethers, but it also makes it hard to find time for other things. I’ve been doing things, but just haven’t found time to post. Also, with this dreary weather (yay, rain!) it’s been hard to find sunlight to take some photos in. So here’s a little bit of what I’ve been up to.

Pink quilted one hour baskets

Remember the longarm certification class I took? As part of that class we did a sampler to test out different stitches. The leaves in the first were when we tested using a pantograph.

longarm quilting sampler

Well, I hate to waste fabric and this was a perfectly nicely longarmed piece of muslin. So I decided to make some one hour baskets out of it. I figured that’d be as good a use as any and would at least finally get it off my sewing table (that was the real motivation — I was tired of looking at it just sit there and take up space).

Cut longarm quilted pieces

Based on the width of the sampler, I could only cut it to 15 inches wide rather than 16.5 inches the pattern calls for). But otherwise, I followed the pattern as normal (as opposed to last time). So they’re a little stumpier than before, but I’m still pretty happy with them. The quilting is in purple and matches the handles. I didn’t have enough of the handle fabric to do the lining as well so I went with some pink I had. I think it still turned out nice and shows off the quilting, too. (Ignore the horrible paisley quilting — it was my first try at paisley. Ever.)

Pink quilted one hour baskets

I’m using them to store WIPs. I also like the way the top looks turned down and it actually works a little better for storing one of my projects. Yay for options!

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Nov 27 2015

Midnight Mystery Quilt — November

Published by under Quilting,Sewing

MeadowMistMysteryQuilt

Check it out — I’m actually caught up! Just in time to buy more fabric at Black Friday sales 😉

Midnight Myster Quilt November

For November we were really just putting together the pieces that we’d already made, namely the square in squares and the flying geese. We also made a couple of half square triangles used for the big pieces.

Looking at how this is coming together, I do wish I’d had enough of either the black or purple to do all of my fabric C in it (rather than splitting), but I’ll reserve judgement until it’s actually done. Who knows? It may still turn out cool. Either way, I’m learning a lot by doing it.

Above you can see the pieces we put together this time. Still no idea what it’s going to end up like . . .

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Nov 24 2015

Rope Bowl

Published by under Sewing

Rope Bowl

I’ve been busy working on a variety of things. There will be posts. For now, enjoy this rope bowl.

I made the bowl on my sewing machine using a tutorial from Flossie Teacakes that I found via the Sew Mama Sew Handmade Holidays. I’m amused that it’s listed under “hipster crafts” because it’s not really what I would consider hipster. More crafty or homey.

Anyhow, I used cotton clothesline that I picked up at the hardware store for a couple of bucks. It went together pretty quickly and seems pretty sturdy. It was fun! You can’t seem them in this photo, but I’m using it to store extra needles for now. This only used about half the clothesline in the package so I’ll guess just have to make another one. :)

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Nov 11 2015

Midnight Mystery Quilt — October

Published by under Quilting,Sewing

MeadowMistMysteryQuilt

I’ve now completed October’s instructions which means if I can get November’s instructions done in the next 3 weeks, I’ll be all caught up!

Meadow Mist Mystery Quilt Courthouse Steps

This month was courthouse steps. Big ones. They ended up 19” by 19”. But they were nice and relaxing to make and there were only 9 to make so it wasn’t bad at all.

Here are photos of each step:

Meadow Mist Mystery Quilt Courthouse Steps

Meadow Mist Mystery Quilt Courthouse Steps

Meadow Mist Mystery Quilt Courthouse Steps

Meadow Mist Mystery Quilt Courthouse Steps

Ta da!

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Nov 08 2015

Sprout Patterns Zippy Top by See Kate Sew

Published by under Sewing

Sprout Patterns Pumpkin Zippy Top

Sprout Patterns is a new online retailer which just opened officially. They sell patterns already printed on fabric which comes from Spoonflower. By working in tandem with a number of indie pattern companies, they allow you to preview the design you’ve selected on the garment. Any design — including your own custom ones — that is available through Spoonflower is an option. Once you’ve chosen your pattern and design, you pick your size and any other options and order it!

I was excited to try out this new method of ordering patterns. I ordered two patterns: the Zippy Top by See Kate Sew and the Myrtle Dress by Collette Patterns. There are now even more options than when I ordered although I suspect I still would have gone with these two. I didn’t use my own fabric designs. For the Zippy Top, I picked a pumpkin print (designed by Maya Pletscher) figuring it would be perfect for fall and all the appropriate holidays. For now I’m just going to talk about the Zippy Top so I’ll share what I picked for the Myrtle later when I post it.

Sprout Zippy Top Label

First off is the ordering experience. This is very very cool. Being able to visualize the design on the garment and rotate it around is amazing. Even if it’s not exact placement of the design, it’s so much better than my brain can do. It really helps you see if the design you’re picking is too busy or has too many repeats or doesn’t work with seams well. I loved this aspect. It’s so much fun to try out different designs on all the styles. I must have spent a couple hours just doing that. It really is awesome and you should at the very least try it (although don’t blame me if you’re tempted to buy afterwards :).

Sprout Patterns Pumpkin Zippy Top

After picking my designs and hemming and hawing about the size, I ordered my items and crossed my fingers. Once you start sewing muslins, it becomes a little bit of safety net in terms of knowing that your pattern will fit. No muslins with this service. No size grading either. :-/ Needless to say I was a little nervous.

However, I’m really really pleased to report that Sprout just announced that they are now giving the full pattern along with each order! This is amazing. It means that if you want to make a muslin before sewing up your pretty fabric, you can! It also means that if you want to grade your pattern, you can order the size up and then do it once you get it. This is really great news! And definitely will make me less anxious about ordering next time.

Interestingly, on the Zippy Top instructions that they make available for download after ordering, there are additional sizing instructions. I’ve already recommended to Sprout that it would be nice have those when ordering. Fortunately, I did end up with the correct size, so it all turned out okay :)

Here’s how the fabric looked when I got it (well after opening the little tissue wrapped bundle):

Sprout Zippy Top Printed

When you first get the fabric it’s really cool. I’ve ordered several samples from Spoonflower but it’s a whole other thing to get yardage. For the Zippy Top I got the Poly Crepe de Chine fabric. It was quite nice to work with and the colors are very vibrant on it. My serger wasn’t a huge fan of it though, so I ended up finishing all but two of my seams on the standard machine and that worked great. But it ironed up just lovely, drapes well and suits the pattern. Oh, and it’s also really comfortable!

After getting my fabric, the first thing I did was toss it all into the wash on warm and then dry it in the dryer on warm. That way if it accidentally gets tossed in the washer and/or dryer in the future, I’m safe. The colors were just as nice after the wash/dry as before. This is in contrast to some fat quarters I had recently gotten from Spoonflower printed on their Kona cotton that lost color where it was wrinkled during drying. That was disappointing. Strangely, Spoonflower’s basic combed cotton also washed and dried fine, so not sure what was up with the Kona cotton. But the Poly Crepe de Chine and the Performance Pique that the Myrtle dress was printed on both washed up great as well and I would definitely order either fabrics again.

Sprout Patterns Pumpkin Zippy Top Sprout Patterns Pumpkin Zippy Top

The whole construction took a little under 2 hours, start to finish including cutting, printing, taping & cutting templates, and sewing. I think that’s pretty good and about what I expected. I’m sure if I ordered another one it would be faster. I only had a couple of “bumps” during the process.

First, the Zippy Top pattern indicates that the front and back facing should be interfaced, but the pdf template that came with the instructions (at the time) only includes the back facing piece for cutting out the interfacing. I was able to trace my front facing piece to cut out the interfacing for the front facing, but it seemed like the template for the front facing should have been there. However, more disappointing was that I tried mailing Sprout about this twice through the online contact form, but never heard back :( I know they were probably busy with a recent promo they ran on zipper purses, but even an automated “we’ll get to you soon” email would be good. Of course, now that the full pattern is included with each order, this is no longer an issue — you’ve already got all the pieces!

Another bump was installing the zipper, specifically the topstitching of the zipper. To me, it seemed that you should go over your previous topstitching but really you need to go super close to the edge to catch the zipper tape and it would have been nice if they had indicated that it should be a second line of topstitching. The diagram in the instructions makes it look like the zipper top stitching is at the same distance as the previous stitching. I think it actually looks nicer and works better with the super close top stitching, but I feel the instructions could have been clearer about this one thing. Otherwise, they were very good with nice diagrams.

Extra fabric from Sprout Zippy Top

My last issue with the process was in the layout of the fabric. There was so much extra fabric! I was actually able to make an entire other top and some gift bags. If you’re curious, I tried out the Sorbetto by Collette Patterns with some modifications to fit it on the extra fabric. I’ll post about it later this week, but it’s free so you can try it too :) Anyhow, as someone who hates to waste good fabric (I’m still trying to figure out a decent scrap storage/organization solution), this was sad. I think they could have been better about layout, especially for smaller sizes. I understand from a software standpoint why this sort of feature wouldn’t be in version 1. I’ve expressed my thoughts to Sprout and hopefully we’ll see better fabric use in the future!

In general, it was a fun experience and I’ve recommended to several people that they at least try it. A great application for these patterns is for sewing classes. For example, have everyone in a beginner class order a zipper pouch of the design of their choosing. It’s a cool way to make it personal and I definitely hope to make use of it that way. Plus now that they include the full pattern, I’m more motivated to buy from Sprout when I can see what my fabric will look like and just order it, especially if I was going to order the pattern anyways. I’m definitely looking forward to using this service more in the future and seeing how it grows.

Below are some additional construction photos for those that are curious.

Zippy Top facing and back marked for zipper

Marking where the zipper goes.

Zippy Top back facing

Attaching facing to neckline.

Zippy Top zipper inside

Zipper has been inserted and topstitched in.

Zippy Top baby hem

Baby hem on bottom.

Pumpkin Sorbetto Tank Top

Serged side seam.

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