More Hexie Love

Mom's tea towel (3 of 4)
My crafting life is all about hexies hexies hexies!  I just finished this tea towel for my mom.  I sewed the hexie flowers onto a piece of cotton/linen blend fabric.  I added a crochet edging.

Mom's tea towel (2 of 4)
Yesterday was her birthday, so I added a little embroidered sentiment.

Mom's tea towel (1 of 4)
and some flowers:)  I hand stitched the hexies, and machine stitched them to the towel.

Mom's tea towel (4 of 4)
I’m working hard on a goal of finishing up all of my in-progress sewing projects.  Next up on my work table, I have a small hexie quilt I’m making for my granddaughter, and I still need to finish the wonky log cabin table mats.  They are all pieced; I’m now assembling the layers and quilting.  I hope to be able to show my progress next week!

Monday Musing

August stitching 2014 (3 of 3)
I have lost my favorite crochet hook.  The last time I remember using it was in April at my mother’s house.  That’s how long it’s been since I’ve done any serious crocheting.  I needed a break from that, but I didn’t expect it would last this long.  Now I’m ready to crochet again, but can’t find the hook.

August stitching 2014 (1 of 3)
Back in April is when I discovered English Paper Piecing.  Most of my down time since then has been spent sewing hexies.  I’ve been pulled to other sewing projects as well, anything that lets me look at bits of pretty fabric.  I decided to try my hand at wonky log cabin squares.  I’m mostly happy with the way this table topper is turning out.  I wish I’d made some of my log cabin strips wider, and the sashing strips less wide.

This project is an illustration of just how out of focus my mind has been.  I didn’t read the instructions closely, otherwise I would have known to cut the sashing strips again.  I had a piece of black fabric for the backing.  I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing and I cut it too short.  At least I was able to salvage that to make the bias binding, but I’m getting exasperated with myself!  I’m lost inside my head instead of engaging in what’s happening around me.

August stitching 2014 (2 of 3)
This is some fabric I picked up last year and didn’t get around to using.  I cut it wrong too; I sewed the little cat fabric into a tube, cut it in half to make two, then realized that I had sewn it with the cats going sideways instead of up and down.  Luckily, again I was able to salvage it, but geesh!!

My goal for this week is to pay attention to what is going on around me and to what I’m doing!  I’m trying to put those thoughts that keep distracting me away for now.  I can come back to them later when I can actually do something about it.  For now, I need to go buy a new crochet hook apparently. And some more black fabric:)

Monkey on My Back

patchwork and embroidery (1 of 6)
They say the first step is admitting you have a problem.  Fine!  I have a problem, ok!  I am absolutely addicted to making hexies.  The squares and individual hexies in this box are a quilt in progress.  I still don’t know what the peachy flowers on top are for.   I’ve decided though, even if I wasn’t making anything out of them, I am quite happy to just sit of an evening and make these little shapes.  Feeling the texture of the fabric, looking at the colors and designs, and the needle pulling thread is so soothing and relaxing.  Except when I stab myself with the needle and draw blood, which I do at least once a night.   I don’t have to think about it so my mind can wander or I can binge watch Orange is the New Black.

patchwork and embroidery (4 of 6)
I’m still hand stitching the top of this kitchen cloth.  Again, even if I never finish, I just like looking at the pretty colors:)

patchwork and embroidery (2 of 6)
I have the triangles pieced for the bunting.  Now I’m sewing a muslin backing on each one.  When that’s finished, I plan to stitch them to a length of grosgrain ribbon and hang it over my kitchen window.

patchwork and embroidery (3 of 6)
I alternate between working on these and stitching hexies.

patchwork and embroidery (6 of 6)
This is another project I’ve been finishing bit by bit.  It’s a picnic set of a couple cloths to put over food and some napkins to match.  I have a big piece of blue and white ticking that I think would make a nice tablecloth to match.  It might be too blue.

patchwork and embroidery (5 of 6)
And finally, since I haven’t finished my other 393 projects, I felt it was time to start a new one.  Inspired by Pam at Gingerbread Snowflakes I’ve embarked on an embroidery piece that will celebrate the wheel of the year.  Back in April, Pam first posted about her embroidered Norwegian Primstav.  I was intrigued and decided to start my own interpretation.  So far I have part of a sun to mark the Solstice.  Perhaps I’ll finish that up by Saturday!  If I’m not sewing hexies.

Pam has been one of my strongest cheerleaders lately, working harder to promote my blog and shops than I am!  I was just tickled that she followed my tea cozy tutorial and posted the results.  Pam has a most wonderful blog herself, with lots of craft projects and yummy cookie recipes.  Do go check her out!  You won’t be disappointed!

Another Project Completed

pot holder Mom 2 (1 of 1)

I finished another project last week.  This time a pot holder and oven mitt for my mom.  I followed this tutorial by Amy at Nana Company for the pot holder.  Have you looked at her blog?  She has so much lovely over there! And lots of easy to follow tutorials to fill your home with lovely too!

The oven mitt is a modification of the pattern that came with my apron pattern (McCall’s M5825).  The fabric is Calliope by Stitch Studios for Riley Blake.  I am so smitten with this fabric! While sewing the gingham edging, I remembered a gingham skirt I sewed waaaayyyy back when.  It was my first big sewing project as a young girl.  Mom helped me through it.  I was making a tiered maxi skirt in sort of an aqua gingham.  If I remember right, I got the pattern instructions out of a teen magazine.  It was just three rectangles sewn together, gathered and with an elastic waistband added.  A good first project!

Do you remember your first sewing project?  Please share!

Catching My Tail

apron 1
I’ve been working my way through my fabric stash, finishing up projects I started ages ago.  I love wearing pretty aprons while I cook.  I have to wear an apron, because I’m a messy cook!  Wearing a fancy apron is a little like playing dress-up and I can get away with it;)  This one is McCall’s pattern M5825.  It was so quick and easy to put together.  I don’t know why I’ve been holding onto this fabric for two years!  The fabric is Moda from the Oh My by Sanae collection.

apron 2
This is some more fabric I’ve been holding onto for a couple years.  It’s also Moda, but I don’t know the collection names.  Sorry.  I love love love this apron!  It’s a tutorial I’ve had pinned for some time and finally got around to making up.  It was a bit more involved, but nothing very complicated.  It’s so pretty that I’ve decided I can only wear it while making yogurt or baking.  No grease or tomato sauce will come near this one!

Being a very amateur seamstress, I’ve mostly sewn using fabrics from the chain stores.  After sewing these aprons, I can really see and feel the difference using quality fabrics makes in the results.

sewing projects (5 of 5)
I’m still finishing up the English Paper Piecing projects.  I hand stitched the hexies to a length of linen.  Now I’m going to continue to hand stitch around each one.  I also switched over to triangles to make a little bunting to match.  I find that I don’t get quite the level of point-matching-accuracy with the triangles.  I don’t know if this is because I made my own templates – something I’m not likely to do again – or if triangles are just harder than hexagons.   I figure I plan to hang this up high, and one would need pretty good eyesight to see the mistakes, so it’s all good.

sewing projects (4 of 5)
I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with these hexie flowers yet.  More tea towels perhaps?  Or they might become coasters.  I kind of like that idea.

sewing projects (3 of 5)

Here are two more projects that are on my worktable for this week.  I’ll tell you more about them later!

Hexed!

hexies-0704
Oh dear.  I have a new addiction.  Paper piecing and Mini Charm Packs.  I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time, and decided it would be a good project for while I’m here with Mom.
hexies-0707
I love how easy it is to do.  It’s a perfect project to keep my hands busy while visiting or watching TV.  And I did squeal (several times!) at all those corners lined up so perfectly!  I have never ever been able to do that with regular patchwork techniques.

When I get home, I’m going to sew this piece to a rectangle of linen to make another kitchen cloth.

hexies-0709
Because I was out of little squares and jonesing for more, I had to run to the store!  I need some more ideas of what to do with my hexies.  I found this and this on Pinterest.  And I’m already dreaming of making a quilt!  I need to rein it in and focus on a few small projects first:)  Do you have any ideas for me?  What have you made with hexies?

Random Musings in the Kitchen

salad dressing

I’ve been away from home so much in the last few months that I can’t remember how I do things.  I wander around the kitchen, trying to remember where I keep the salad spinner.  I can’t seem to remember how to work the timer on my stove.  Recipes that I’ve made a thousand times, I can’t remember what goes in them.

pouch
It’s not just in the kitchen either; you should have seen me trying to thread a bobbin on the sewing machine!  It’s funny how we tend to operate on cruise control most of the time, and then when we have to actually think about what we’re doing, a common activity can seem alien.  At least that’s how it is for me.  Have you ever had this experience?

I have some fun posts lined up for the upcoming week.  That pink piece of fabric will be back tomorrow for a little tutorial;)

Working Through My Crafty To-Do List

oven mitt
As part of an ongoing effort to work through all of my crafty project pins over on Pinterest, I made myself an oven mitt. I used this tutorial from Jennifer at Sew Hooked.  I’m really picky about my oven mitts and have such a hard time finding ones that fit, feel right, and are pretty. I like to feel that I still have control of my hand with the mitt on.  Making my own mitts seemed to be the way to go.

I did modify this just a bit.  The tutorial called for using glue stick on the fabric layers before quilting.  I pinned and basted.  My glue stick is dried up and even if it wasn’t I still would have pinned and basted.  I know my limitations when it comes to sewing pieces of fabric together and I need lots of pins and other reinforcements!  The pattern seemed a little large, so I did a 5/8 seam instead of 1/4 inch.  I probably could have used the 1/4 inch.  Once you turn it right side out, it’s a lot smaller than it looks.  It fits well though.

oven mitt_1

I also added a contrasting cuff just because.  It’s not quite done.  I have some basting stitches I need to remove, but can’t find my seam ripper.  I have developed a very annoying habit lately of not putting things away where they belong.  I then spend WAY too much time looking for them!  The final touch to the mitt will be a bit of crochet edging around that cuff.
oven mitt_2

I’ve got to come up with a different solution for my sewing machine.  Because I don’t want to mess up my dining room table, I just stand at my work table to sew.  This is a very, very bad idea.  My back is killing me now.

What do you think of that old sewing machine?  I bought it when I was pregnant with my first child, 30 years ago, to sew his layette.  Sometimes I think I’d like one of those fancy new machines, but this thing works just fine for the little sewing jobs I do.  That sounded really old; I might as well have said, “one of them there new fangled contraptions.”

Up next on my crafty to-do list?  I still want to make this tissue holder and this apron, and I’d really like to have a couple of these totes.

What’s on your crafty to-do list?

Crafting Fun

tea towels and pincushion jars
I’ve been in a very crafty nesting mood lately. I made some more tea towels. Yellow and aqua is such a happy color combo, don’t you think?  I still think they look like burp cloths, but they are pretty in my kitchen:)

tea towels and pincushion jars_1
I added some crochet flowers to the front of one.

tea towels and pincushion jars_2
On the other one I used Diane at CraftyPod’s tutorial to make kansashi flowers and used them to cover up the places (some of the places!) where the corners didn’t line up.  Oddly enough, I had more trouble lining up corners on the second towel than the first, even though I went to more effort to make sure I was being exact!  I sewed on an upside down yo-yo to the top of my flowers.

tea towels and pincushion jars_3
I added a loop to one corner of each towel for hanging.

tea towels and pincushion jars_6
I’ve been trying to work through all the craft pins I have on Pinterest too! I loved these jars so thought I’d start there.

tea towels and pincushion jars_5
On the first jar, I followed the directions and glued down the excess fabric on the inside, with a hot glue gun, and added a paper circle to cover it up.  I did the same on the second, but this time it was too thick, so the lid wouldn’t screw back onto the jar.  I took it apart, heated up the glue with a heat gun this time, peeled it off and tried again.  Instead of glue this time, I sewed a fabric circle onto the back.  That was actually a little tricky.  If I do this again, I’ll use the hot glue, but make sure that the glue is closer to the center, inside the area where the lid screws onto the jar.

I have a stack of fabric on my work table waiting for my next projects.  I’m planning on this apron, and an oven mitt to match my tea towels.  And I love quick and easy projects like this tissue holder to give quick crafty gratification when there’s not time to finish a big project.

What are you working on this week?

Making Things

Rowan's quilt
While I was in Colorado, my friend helped me with this rag quilt for my granddaughter.

Rowan's quilt_5
I had the Charm Pack squares that I had picked up in Iowa back in January. I still needed some backing for the quilt, so we went to this adorable little fabric shop in Old Town Fort Collins, called Mama Said Sew.  I got the backing plus a few extras!

Rowan's quilt_6
She threw in a little surprise. I guess I’ll make a rug mug or pot holder from these.

Rowan's quilt_3
I just happened to pick up a postcard while I was in the shop that was the exact same size as my Charm Pack squares. I marked out the squares on the backing fabric and my cotton batting.

Rowan's quilt_4
The proprietor at Mama Said Sew helped me pick out this sweet grey fabric to match what I had.

Rowan's quilt_7
After I had all the squares cut out, I moved them around to find a nice composition.

Rowan's quilt_9
Then somehow, while sewing the squares into strips, I messed up my very carefully curated arrangement!

Rowan's quilt_8
My friend taught me a really neat trick to save on thread when you are sewing a bunch of small pieces together.  Have a piece of scrap fabric on hand.  When you get to the end of your seam, place the scrap there and sew a few stitches onto it.  Then you can snip the thread between the main fabric and the scrap, leaving the scrap there.  Then just turn the scrap away to start on your next piece.  Does that make sense?  I had trouble understanding what she was telling me at first until I could actually see it happening.

Rowan's quilt_2
I tried really hard to be exact, but as you can see, I wasn’t!

Rowan's quilt_1
Luckily you can’t tell from the front!  After sewing all the pieces together, I sewed all around the perimeter.  I snipped all the seams and threw it in the washer to fluff it up.

Now I have to decide what to do with that other fabric I picked up.  I was thinking perhaps an oven mitt from the green and blue floral, with a crochet trim of course!  I might make some more tea towels from the other, but haven’t made up my mind yet.  Do you have any suggestions for a cute and simple sewing project for the kitchen?