Friday, August 29, 2008

80s embroidery

Spoiler Alert! If you know someone named Stella who is having her first birthday party this weekend, you might want to skip this post.

Honestly, it's been a busy few weeks on the crafting front and I had initially decided that I would purchase a gift for Miss Stella, but then I fell in love with Stitchado's unicorn embroidery design and decided it would be perfect for a fashion forward one year old. And, since the unicorn brought on a serious 80s flashback I couldn't resist creating a Strawberry Shortcake design to go along with it.

Embroidering on knit fabric was quite a challenge. I attempted to work with a t-shirt stabilizer but found it a bit unwieldy so in the end I just used a small hoop and tried to be mindful of the fabric tension making sure it was taut but not too stretched out. They are definitely not perfect but fortunately the cuteness factor of the designs covers up a multitude of sins.

If anyone has tips or suggestions for embroidering on knit fabrics please leave them in the comments. I'm thinking these might also be cute on t-shirts for older girls.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Big Reveal

Luke Wiley's mom, photo courtesy of Brenda

The secret can now be revealed. The bluebonnets shown here are featured on my friend Kari's new diaper bag. She's a proud Texan living in Boston and I wanted the bag to reflect her roots. For those of you who don't know, bluebonnets are the official flower of Texas. As a native New Englander, I have not seen many (or any) bluebonnets so I was a little afraid my artistic interpretation might not translate but I'm thrilled to report that they were instantly indentified by the transplated Texans in attendance. What a relief, y'all!

Here's a closer look at the bag, complete with changing pad and case. I used Amy Butler's "nappy bag" pattern. It goes together pretty quickly (if you leave out the embroidery) and as with all Amy Butler patterns, the directions are explicit and easy to follow. Also I like that the paper pattern pieces are sturdy and hold up to repeated usage (this is my 4th nappy bag this year!).
For those of us without infants, this bag would be a good size for the gym or the beach. Obviously, I would eliminate the bottle pockets and changing pad, although a modified version of the case might be perfect for stowing a pair of flip flops.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek of a larger project that I can't share just yet. I designed the bluebonnets and embroidered them by hand. It was particularly challenging because a transferred pattern would not show up on the dark fabric so I had to do the embroidery freehand. I won't lie, there was a lot of cursing along the way but in the end it's pretty close to how I had envisioned it.

More details on the finished project soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Crafting Olympics

I may not have won gold, but I got some snazzy new pillows on my couch. I'm finding the Olympics is kind of like an America's Next Top Model marathon (don't judge me). The hours go by and all sense of time is lost. Since TV time equals crafting time I got quite a lot done . Last night I made not one, but two new zippered pillowcases for my couch pillows. I recycled the zippers from my existing cheapo IKEA covers and used the old cover as a pattern. It was super easy and I'm really pleased with how they came out.

Zipper close-up

My couch looks great with the new facelift, but sadly the rest of the living room looks a like downtown Baghdad due to the flurry of sewing activity. Perhaps I'll put the crafting on hold tonight and do a little cleaning. Then again, I do have a few more things on the project list...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Flickr Fun

1. Portland Head Light,2. Del's" Pizza, 3. Eternity, 4. Orange is In..., 5. Heath Ledger .. One of my fav. actors.. Died at 28, 6. iced tea, 7. New Zealand Tree Fern Fronds, 8. ice cream puff, 9. happy happy..., 10. Josh Lounge, 11. Anaconda bridge, 12. max quilt

This was created by playing a little game that has been making rounds on a number of blogs. The idea is to type your answers to a list of questions into the Flickr search and choose your favorite picture from the first page of results (it's okay to sort by most recent, most interesting, etc.). Then put them together and make your mosaic. Here are the questions (and my answers):

1. Your first name (Elizabeth)
2. You favorite food (Pizza)
3. Your high school (Catherine McAuley)
4. Your favorite color (Orange)
5. Your celebrity crush (Heath Ledger)
6. Your favorite beverage (Ice Tea)
7. Your dream vacation (New Zealand)
8. Your favorite dessert (Ice Cream)
9. What do you want to be when you grow up (Happy)
10. What do you love most (Josh)
11. One word to describe yourself (Waard - Krista this one is for you)
12. Your Flickr name (lzyber)

Your turn Junie Blogger!


A lunchtime visit to the Salvation Army netted these fun finds. I love the red purse with it's adjustable strap. The sweet white pitcher will be perfect filled with flowers from the farmer's market. And every New Englander needs a lobster plate. This set of two plastic plates look like they probably had a previous life in a local lobster shack. They will be perfect for our next picnic. Not a bad haul for $5.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Making progress

Quilting is hard work! I finally finished sewing up the quilt top, but still need to do the quilting and binding. My first adventure in quilting has given me increased respect for my incredibly talented aunt who quilts entirely by hand. I think it's safe to say I will not be attempting that any time soon.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the quilt top. I cleared out a good chunk of my fabric stash and I think it's going to look good on the bed when it's done. I love the finish work on this brick path quilt. I think I may attempt something similar on the backing.

A detail shot with the normally camera shy Sophie.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Patchwork in Progress

In an attempt to use up some scraps from my fabric stash I've decided to try my hand at quilting. I chose this pattern because it seemed simple and a good way to showcase a variety of bold prints. I thought the biggest challenge would be cutting out the required 198 rectangles but arranging them in a pleasing manner was quite a project. Lucky for me, Max agreed to supervise.

Now I just need to sew everything together and quilt it. Thank goodness there are still a few months before winter. I suspect this is going to take some time.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sew Hip, Hooray!

I was so excited to read about this new magazine coming in October 2008! It promises new patterns, tips and tricks and interviews with sewing superstars like Amy Butler. Now the only question is whether to pre-order just the first issue or splurge on a subscription and get the free gift?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sweet Corn Soup

Sweet corn soup = summer in a bowl!

Made from this recipe using fresh ingredients from the local farmer's market. My market had red scallions instead of green so I substituted them for the garnish. It was very filling for a dish with so few ingredients. And, most importantly it was husband approved. Leftovers made a tasty lunch the next day.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Suitable for Framing

I'm happy to report I finally finished this crosstitch piece. I'm really pleased with the way it came out so I decided to splurge on custom framing for this piece and two smaller coordinating pieces. They should be ready to hang over my bookcase in 2-3 weeks.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Happy Trails

The lovely receptionist at my office just retired and is off in search of adventure in her RV. She's an avid quilter and loves bright colors so I made her this simple, fun tote for her travels. I based the applique on this embroidery pattern. I love the design but I chose applique instead of embroidery to add dimension and incorporate some fun fabric scraps and trims from my stash.

Bon voyage, Pat. We'll miss you!