Sunday, April 28, 2013

French Poem Tea Towel Embroidery, Day 2

Bon jour!  The pattern for this embroidery project was originally set to napkins, but I thought it'd work well for tea towels, too.  Teresa Down Under used lines from a French poem entitled “Pomme et poire" and accompanied them with some cute sketches.  I'll be making four tea towels, so I'll just be using four of the five parts of the poem.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Week 15: French Poem Tea Towel Embroidery

I would really, really like to catch up on my blogging this week.  At last count I have 15 posts that I still need to work on, all for projects that have already been completed, so I'm hoping that this week's project leaves me enough time to catch up, even just a little bit, on the blogging.

I've gone back and forth about posting on this week's project, as it was supposed to be a surprise housewarming gift for my best friend (and she moved into her apartment years ago).  She's one of the five people that read this blog, so it won't be a surprise after this post, but I've still got a Christmas gift to give her, and it's been several months since I wrapped it, so when she finally opens it, it'll be a surprise to the both of us (hopefully it wasn't perishable).

Friday, April 26, 2013

Strawberry Pillows, Day 7

The day has finally arrived.  The day I had been avoiding all week.  Yup, today is the day I finish up the berries with hand sewing.

For finishing up the berry, The Purl Bee listed a cotton embroidery floss that was a size 12 thread.  All I had on hand was DMC embroidery floss, which comes in six strands that are each size 25.  I don't know much about embroidery floss, and even less about floss sizes, but apparently the higher the number, the thinner the thread size.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Strawberry Pillows, Day 6

Since I was still procrastinating on hand sewing up the Connecting Threads strawberry, I moved on to the patchwork strawberry.  I had about five different shades of red for the main body and about seven shades of green for the stem to work with.  I didn't have any real rhyme or reason when sewing up the patches together, other than to not sew up the same fabric next to each other.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Strawberry Pillows, Day 5

On the top of my list of things that I don't like about sewing is hand sewing.  For one, it involves dealing with sharps, and, as you may know, I try to avoid interacting with pins and needles as much as possible.  For two, it doesn't move as fast as, say, a sewing machine.  Or a racing turtle.  Or an ambitious snail.  And for three, I always feel like I'm doing it wrong.

So instead of sewing up my strawberry, I worked on the strawberry top.  I cut the two template pieces out, and I was fine with the stem top, but I was confused by the stem bottom.  It said to "Cut 2 and tape together along dotted line."  Did they mean to cut 2 of the templates and then tape them together before cutting the shape from the fabric?  And if so, would I cut one or two pieces from the fabric?  Or, did they mean to use the template to cut two pieces of fabric and then tape the two pieces of fabric together (for some strange reason)?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Strawberry Pillows, Day 4

Ah, to frolic in a garden of strawberries as big as my house!  Can you imagine how delicious that would be?  Berry delicious!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Week 14: Strawberry Pillows

Strawberry Pillows from The Purl Bee
Photo courtesy of The Purl Bee

The other day I was shopping at the local chain grocery store and was lamenting over the selection of out-of-season tomatoes.  I tell ya, there's nothing like the smell of homegrown tomatoes freshly plucked from the garden.  But we're not at peak tomato season yet, so I've had to console myself by browsing through the local farmers' markets.  We're lucky here in Northern California to have so many farmers' markets to choose from.  On some days, we actually have more than one to choose from!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Paper Pieced Union Jack Mug Rug, Day 4

Now that the five sections, A, B, C, D, and E, have been pieced and the edges trimmed, it's time to join them together to form one large piece.  

The pattern lists the sewing order as:
     A + B
     AB + C
     D + E
     ABC + DE

Don't worry - it's not a math nightmare!  This simply means that you first sew sections A and B together, then you sew the "A+B" piece to "C."  D and E get sewn together, and then you sew all the pieces together, "A+B+C" and "D+E", to make the one piece.  If you want it in mathematical format, (A+B+C)+(D+E) = Paper Pieced Union Flag.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Paper Pieced Union Jack Mug Rug, Day 3, Part 2

"From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here..."

                                                                      -Henry V, William Shakespeare

Paper Pieced Union Jack Mug Rug, Day 3, Part 1

An Englishman and a Welshman walk into a bar...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Week 13: Paper Pieced Union Jack Mug Rug

I was able to finish the Lazy Days Skirt in time for me to get back on track with my sewing, but I'm still not caught up with my blogging.  Ah, well.  As these two gentlemen (not) of Verona would say:

Shakespeare in Love from Miramax/Universal

Friday, April 12, 2013

Lazy Days Skirt Sew and Tell

The Lazy Days Skirt is a complete misnomer.  This piece is so quick and simple to make that rather than wanting to spend the rest of your day relaxing, you'll want to churn out a basket full of skirts in all sorts of colors, fabrics, and lengths.  Casual backyard birthday party for your daughter's ballet buddy?  Just whip up a pink mid-calf skirt with a satin ribbon hem.  Need to find a project for that popsicle and ice cream sandwich print that your neighbor dumped on you?  Sew up a knee length number and celebrate the beginning of summer!  Got a lot of odd-colored scraps piling up?  Practice your patchwork and make a tea-length skirt for your little girl to wear at her school's "Crazy Dress-Up Day."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lazy Days Skirt, Day 6

Now that the Biscuit Quilt is complete, I'm free to work on the Lazy Days Skirt.  I've stitched up the sides and made the waistband casing, so now it's time to run the elastic through.  You can use a safety pin to help the elastic along, or you can use a bodkin, which is what I will be doing.  The bodkin looks like a pair of tweezers but has a little ring to lock the ends down onto whatever you're pulling through the fabric.  It works really well, even with tight fitting casings like the one on this skirt.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lazy Days Skirt, Day 5

I decided to take a break from the triceps/biceps workout that is the Biscuit Quilt and spend about five minutes on the Lazy Days Skirt.  Even though I had four fabrics to choose from, I couldn't make up my mind on which two I wanted to make the skirt.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Biscuit Quilt, Day 9

When you eat a box of chocolates, are you the type of person that throws the paper wrappers right away, or do you just leave them there and move on to the next chocolate?  I don't like all that trash lying around, so I throw it out right away.

Breakfast of Champions, er, Chocolates.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Week 12: Lazy Days Skirt

This week is all about catching up with my blog posts.  At this moment, I've yet to complete my posts for the Biscuit Quilt, the Ruffle Top Romper, the Crinkle Quilt, Pretty Patches Placemats and Napkins, and the Chenille Hot Pads.  I'll therefore need to work on a project that is quick and easy, one that'll leave me enough time to finish my posts.

Lazy Days Skirt from Oliver + S
Image and design © Oliver + S

Friday, April 5, 2013

Biscuit Quilt, Day 6

I like the word "biscuit."  It makes me laugh.  I don't know how that started, maybe with Yosemite Sam's exclamation "My biscuits are burning!" and then there was that SNL skit with Beyonce where Justin Timberlake, et. al, claimed to be the "dance biscuits."  In any case, I giggle just a little whenever I see the word.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Biscuit Quilt, Day 3

Remember how just a few weeks ago I was raving about the warm weather we were having in the Bay Area?  Well, this last week has brought all sorts of inclement weather, including rain, winds, and quarter-sized hail, so I don't feel so weird working on another quilt.

Week 11: Biscuit Quilt

Biscuit Quilt from Buzzing and Bumbling
Photo courtesy of Linda at Buzzing and Bumbling

I'm more of a cat person than a dog person, so in the mid-90's, when my dad brought home a Bichon Frise-poodle mix, I was not enthused.  I didn't want to deal with the dog smell, the barking, and all other sorts of dog-related stuff.