Friday, July 29, 2011

Clothespin Holder

My poor clothespins have been languishing in a plastic store bag for several years, ever since the holder that I've had for more years than I can recall literally fell apart.  During one of my fabric buying trips to JoAnn Fabrics this spring, I picked up some fun fabric to make a new one. 

I used a McCall's pattern, #M6051, which contains a number of cute laundry room accessories, some of which would look great in other rooms of the house, too.

I made a couple of changes to the pattern.  First, I interfaced the lining fabric with Craft Bond to give the bag extra stability.  I chose the lining fabric because it was thinner than the outer fabric.  I also used packaged double fold bias tape because I still find making my own to be tedious. 

Now all we have to do is start hanging the laundry outside, instead of using the dryer.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lunch Bag

We broke a record on Thursday - 98 sultry degrees.  It rarely gets that hot here!  I decided that tackling a sewing project after dinner would be a good way to stay cool.

Sarah asked for a new lunch bag, so a couple of weeks ago, I started sewing one.  I kept asking myself when the lining should be added . . . turns out it was step two, and I was nearly done when I realized that.  So off came the pockets and straps.  With a little fudging, I got the lining sewn on and the bag completed.

The pattern is Simplicity 3822, View B.  I used purchased bias binding instead of making my own.

For the lining, we bought vinyl tablecloth yardage, an economical alternative to oilcloth or similar waterproof fabrics.

I will make some type of zipper pull, either beaded or a machine embroidered tag, depending on what Sarah wants.

Too bad Sarah's job is ending in a couple of weeks.  But maybe when she gets another job she'll be taking her lunch, too.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cats - Enjoying Some R & R

 Cassie has discovered that the sun makes nice pools of warmth in which to roll around.

Klaus, who is somewhere around 16 years old, much prefers sleeping on top of her scratching mat.  I guess when you are that old, you can do what you want.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Small Token

Another finish!  Woohoo!!  I started Small Token by Blackbird Designs immediately upon completing Buttons & Pins, which I mentioned in my last post.  These two designs, along with many others, are part of the Reward of Merit pincushion designs, of which  I believe I have one more chart to stitch at some point.  I am surprised how quickly this stitched up; now I can finish them both at the same time.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Buttons & Pins

Last August, when we went on vacation, I started Buttons & Pins by Blackbird Designs.  Like so many cross stitch projects I do, I found I immediately started making mistakes which I have to take out.  (Now you know why it takes me so long to finish anything!)  I set the project aside for a long time because I was having trouble with the satin stitching in the diamonds around the outside, probably because I used 28 count fabric instead of the 32 count that was recommended.  After much trial and error, I decided to simply cross stitch inside them; I am happy with the result.  All I have left to do is sew some buttons in the space between the diamonds on the left side, then follow the wonderful instructions and turn the piece into a pincushion.  I will be stuffing it with the recommended walnut litter, which I purchased at PetSmart.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Fabric

My daughter usually does the weekly shopping for me, something her dad and I appreciate greatly.  But occasionally, I do it, or we will do it together.   That is what we did last week.  The problem is that I will always deviate from my written list and spend more money than I intended.  But what else can I do when I find an outstanding bargain?  This time, I wanted to look in the fabric department for some vintagey fabrics, and while I didn't find exactly what I was looking for, I did find this:

It was marked down 30%, making it $3.50 per yard, and the bundle contains 2 yards composed of eight fat quarters.  The nice thing is that I don't have to make sure they all coordinate.  My plan is to make a purse from them.

I also found this:

which consists of 24 - 2.5" x 42" pieces.  The prints are the same ones in the fat quarter bundle.  I am not sure what I will make from these.  Perhaps I'll try my hand at a small quilt; since the pieces are already cut, and cutting is my biggest challenge, I might actually be successful.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Make Do and Mend Mondays

My blogging friend Heidi started Make Do and Mend Mondays back in May.  This week I am joining in!

We recently painted our master bathroom.  Not having a lot of money, we needed to "make do" with the items we already had, with the exception of the towel bars, hand towel ring, toilet paper holder, and light fixture, all of which I got at a great price.  Anyway, as builders are wont to do, our vanity is plain and not very functional, so we had placed an old bathroom storage cabinet in there to store our excess.  It always stood out since it was white, and the vanity is oak, so I decided to cover it - with contact paper.  I have had much success doing that in the past, including covering an old kitchen countertop in our last house (it held up well), so I took the cabinet apart, and painstakingly covered each piece before putting it back together.  I am pleased with the results, and that old cabinet no longer stands out.

I hope to have some more projects to share with you before too long.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Simple Joys

When I had to decide which cross stitch project to start next, I originally pulled out a Brightneedle Design, but quickly changed my mind in favor of another Little House Needleworks one.  This time I chose Simple Joys, which I am stitching 1/2 on 28 count Monaco evenweave in Antique White.  I have already made one mistake, and am not going to frog to correct it, so I am correcting for it as I go along.  It will be our (very public) secret.

I started working on some Christmas stitching when Sarah and I got together with my friend this past Wednesday, but that will have to remain a secret for a long time!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Singing the Blues

My card making has been put aside for a while so I can work on some cross stitch.  I love settling down on the couch in the evenings, finding an old movie or TV show to instantly stream via Netflix, and pulling out my stitching.  Although I had intended to sit on the front porch to stitch this summer, it has been too warm for me to do so comfortably, especially since the porch faces west and gets the intense afternoon and evening sun, so I instead sit in the air conditioned living room. 

I completed Singing the Blues by Little House Needleworks a while ago.  Or, I should say, I almost completed it.  I started to stitch the border, and as I got to the bottom left, I realized my count was off.  I fail to understand how I could have made two mistakes that canceled each other out, especially since I was carefully moving a Post-It Note from line to line as I stitched.  I am not sure what to do.  Should I frog the border and leave it off completely?  Should I somehow adjust the border to make it fit?  I do like the design - that zigzag seems to make the entire design pop.  So perhaps I just answered my own question.  I will have to contemplate the matter further.

I stitched this on 28 count "Mushroom" Monaco evenweave using the recommended Crescent Colors threads.  The Tartan color (blue) is one of the most variegated I have worked with, and I loved the effect.