Tag Archives: 2011

Fascinating…a retirement gift

Mr. Spock

Way back in the Spring, I saw on Craft a post about a totally awesome Spock quilt. Event though there was a tutorial on how to design the quilt, I thought, gosh, I wouldn’t know where to start.  I showed it to some co-workers who thought it was awesome and that it would be a great gift for our boss, who is a Trekkie extraordinaire.  But ethics being what they are, it really wasn’t appropriate for me to make it for him.

Fast forward to Octoberish when our boss announced his retirement in early December.  I immediately thought of the quilt and did a search to find the post again. Lo & behold, not only did I find the original post, but I found that Carol, the brains behind the blog Funthreads, had started a really amazing, simple to follow, quilt-a-long!  It made the whole project a lot less daunting.

Carol’s quit-a-long makes a twin-sized quilt in eleven parts. I thought a wall-hanging would be much more appealing to our recipient (and also easier for me to complete!), so I printed out each week of the quilt-a-long and wrote in new measurements for the pieces.  If you want to change the size of a quilt pattern, do not skip this step!  Have you ever tried to halve or double a recipe without re-writing the ingredient measurements? I ended up having to triple a batch of cupcakes just recently because I thought I could do the doubling math in my head as I went!  When halving quilt measurements, be sure to take into account the 1/2 inch for seam allowances. Remove the 1/2 inch from the original measurement, divide the resulting number in half, then add the half inch back in.  This will give you the correct (finished) measurement and your full 1/4 inch seam allowances all around.  Also remember that when you halve both the width and height you are essentially making a quilt a quarter of the size of the original.

I free-motion quilted my version of this pattern only in the black/dark parts to make Spock’s face stand out more.  I also stuck mainly with white/cream and black/grey for the darks and lights.  I have to say I am exceptionally proud of this project. Not only was my boss thrilled with his quilt, but I really enjoyed making it – always key.  I’m looking forward to designing my own quilt next, using the Funthreads tutorial – I’m thinking a Dr. Who quilt in TARDIS blue next?

Baby’s first sewing project

Last night Caleb came out into the living room carrying one of his small chairs.
   M: Caleb, what are you doing?
   C: Mommy, I want to show you how much I love you!
   M: Ok…
   C: (climbing up on the chair and reaching as high as he can) I love you this much!
   M: Wow, that’s a lot! I love you too. How about we put the chair back now?
   C: I love you all the way to the moon and back!
   M: Well I love you all the way to the sun and back.
   C: Mommy, we can’t go to the sun because it’s too hot and we’ll get burned.

Baby's first sewing project.Caleb has been bugging me for a little while now to teach him to sew. On the surface, this is adorable, and oh golly gee, he wants to spend more time with Mommy! And wow, he wants to learn about what Mommy is doing! But when you really think about it, the 4-year-old kamikaze approach to life is not what I would call well-suited to the sewing room.

I’ve been working so hard on getting things ready for the Etsy store and other projects that I feel like I’ve been neglecting my mother/son bonding time. So this weekend I relented.

Our first project together was  this little stuffed felt heart.  I had to prop up the pedal so he could reach it.  Originally I thought he could sit on my lap and I could control the pedal, but I think getting to use the pedal was part of the appeal of sewing!  He had an amazing amount of control over the pedal, though.  You know, at age 4, those synapses are still building their neural pathways…when I said “stop” he would keep going for a few more stitches…but he never went fast enough that I got scared he would sew through his finger (One of my biggest fears in teaching a new person to sew).  And he seemed like he really, legitimately wanted to learn to sew, which is more than I can say for other people who have asked me for lessons.  I showed him how to leave a hole open on the edge and flip the heart inside out, how to stuff it and how to stitch it closed.

In hindsight I should have attached a little loop of ribbon to it and called it an ornament, but I didn’t.  It’s a little bit of a funny shape and so the 4-year-old boy that he is decided it was a boomerang!  He took it to school today so I’m sure to never see it again – hence the quickie cellphone picture.  At least I have something to treasure.  Of course, he was not happy about the picture either…

NaNoSEWMo math

Baby gifts completed: 2
Quilted Pillow Covers completed: 6
Cosmetic bag completed: 1

Total items completed: 9

Total items currently in process: 3

Days left in the month: 15.
Items left to complete: 21.
Days left until Small Business Saturday when I plan to reopen my etsy store (Did I forget to mention that?): 11.

So, I’m a bit behind, but I’m happy with my progress.

Pattern Review: McCall’s Pattern 5214

Cross posted from patternreview.com

McCall's pattern 5214Pattern Description: (from the pattern envelope) MENS’, CHILDREN’S AND BOYS’ MUSKETEER AND PRINCE COSTUMES: Tunic-length, lined doublet has collar, long sleeves and cuff variations; doublets A, B have belts and cap sleeves; doublets B, C have contrast sleeve and cuff; doublet C has contrast collar; loose fitting, pullover, lined tabard has mock sleeves, applique and back opening slit; cape E has contrast lining; all garments have purchased trim; doublets A, B have purchased crowns; doublet C, tabard D have purchased hat with feather and sword.

Pattern Sizing: Boys’ sizes 3-4, 5-6, 7-8; Mens’ sizes S, M, L, XL. Pictured/reviewed is a modified version of doublet A in boy’s size 7-8.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? yes/no. I made significant modifications to the pattern to get a specific look – but it looked just like I imagined it when I purchased the pattern.

Were the instructions easy to follow? They were very easy! I bought the pattern in a 99 cent sale intending it to be a quicky halloween costume. It wasn’t as quick as I had hoped, because of all of the steps, BUT, the instructions were good and easy to follow.

Caleb as Green ArrowWhat did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like how cleanly the pattern went together even with my modifications. It gave me exactly the look I wanted. I have to say I was annoyed when I looked at the length of the instructions, but it went together so easily, I quickly forgot my annoyance. I could wish there were less darts since I find putting together darts a very tedious process, but when the results are this nice, I can’t really complain.

Fabric Used: Kelly green corduroy for the outside, kelly green cotton for the lining.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: My son (4-year-old) wanted to be the superhero, Green Arrow, for Halloween. Here’s a picture of Green Arrow if you don’t know what I’m talking about: Green Arrow Model Sheet. My goal was to make something that was easy and comfortable for him to wear, satisfied my concerns about him being warm enough AND was simple enough for the teachers at school to handle. I decided to just make a doublet that could be worn over a shirt or jacket, and he could wear whatever pants he was comfortable in. That way he wouldn’t need to change completely while at school and he wouldn’t have to wear a coat over his costume when we went trick-or-treating. The picture here has him wearing it over his very heavy lined sweatshirt: Caleb as Green Arrow.

Green ArrowFirst, I shortened the doublet “skirt” to be more like a peplum (I think I went to about 4 inches, unfinished). I thought about not lining the doublet because I didn’t think it was necessary, but it actually made the pattern go together more easily. I left off the full sleeves, just using the little cap. I ended up binding the arm sythes to finish them. And lastly, I used grommets and lacing for the front of the doublet instead of buttons to be more “authentic”. It really needs one more set of grommets at the very bottom before the peplum, but otherwise, this is pretty much exactly what I wanted.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will and I do!

Conclusion: This was a really nicely built pattern with a lot of room for modifications so you can get the look that you desire. Recommended for beginners with a little experience to experienced sewers alike.

Wedding crafts

Wash stand - bubbles, flowers & programs

My friend, Valerie, got married this weekend on the beautiful grounds of the Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, VA. Helping her devise items for the wedding was quite a treat. This was one of our “concoctions” so to speak.

We found this amazing vintage washstand at Chartreuse & Co, a monthly vintage tag sale up in Fredrick, MD. There’ll be a post on that soon too.  Inside the upper bowl are little bottles of bubbles, and in the bottom, flowers floating in water.  The side pockets were designed to hold the programs using all materials I had on hand – linen from my old kitchen curtains, some embroidered linen upholstery samples that worked with the colors and floral designs on the invitations and brown grosgrain ribbon.  Pretty, no?

Wash stand - bubbles, flowers & programs  Wash stand - bubbles, flowers & programs  Arrival at the ceremony

P.S. This is a To-Do list project.