Friday, October 29, 2010

Spa Day

I sent my sewing machine off for some "spa" time today. I'll see her again next week. The lady at the counter gave me some good tips on why things may have gone oh so wrong for me. I'll let you know how free motion quilting works out for me next time.

As for the crabbiness, sayonara. I spent Thursday with my daugther. A little finger painting, playdough mashing and kitchen sink splashing cured me.

In the end it looks like everybody got a bit of a "spa" day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Crabby Day Part III

So my husband brought us outside for a walk after my less than stellar afternoon. We walked along the canal path and pointed out the wonders of nature to our daughter. She was enjoying herself, despite the fact we have to fight her to do almost anything now a days. but at the apex of the walk she lost it. We wouldn't let her walk down a steep and not so stable embankment to fetch a rock to through the water, mean parents that we are. We said no and she lost it. Funny. God said no and I lost it. I hate life lessons.

I won't tell you everything is hunky dory now. It's not. I'm still a little mad. It doesn't help to have 5 months of pregnant hormones coursing through my body, but I'm still mad. And I'm okay with that. I will wait on my God. He will bring me what I need and I trust in that.

On a positive note I found these beauties during our walk. Aren't they just perfect for some printing/stamping? I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Crabby Day Part II

After 3 broken needles in one hour I came undone. I went into our tiny half bathroom and cried. I hate to admit this. I hate to admit how much I lost it, but I want to be honest and sometimes that means sharing the uncomfortable, the truth. I cried. I didn't just shed a tear or two and dab it away. I bawled. I let it out. I sat on the toilet in the dark and ranted.

Apparently I was upset over more than a few broken needles. I was mad at God. And I wasn't afraid to tell Him as much. Hey, if He's the God I believe in, He can take it.

I was mad at the great plans my husband and I continue to make for our family that always fall through. I was mad that I didn't know or understand His plan. I still don't. And I'm still not perky and happy about it. But I accept it. Because His ways are greater than my ways. And His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. I believe that and I try to remind myself of that, even when I'm sitting on a toilet seat yelling at Him. I also know He has a sense of humor in all of this. Why else would I end up in the bathroom?

When my husband came home I shared my lovely rendition of the day with him. He corralled the toddler into a coat (not an easy feat) and ushered us all outside for a walk...

Views of the backside of my free motion quilting experience

When I first started the backside had these loose stitches.

But the straw that broke the needle's back (corny I know) was when the tension discs for the top thread grabbed the thread and created these messy knots on the back. (Please note the really nice stitches to the right!! I did something right!) This is a regular occurance even when I straight stitching, but in the free motion quilting aspect it actually broke the needle. I'm taking my machine in for some maintenance. And hopefully I know enough about what I'm doing now to  guide the store employees towards correcting this problem. It's not as simple as adjusting the tension knob, something else is going on. If all else fails I'm going shopping.

And as always any advice is always greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Crabby Day Part I

This past Saturday was not one of my finer moments.
Do you remember those table runners I was working on? Well I was finally ready to quilt them. I have always stuck with the "stitch in the ditch" technique, too scared to try stippling or anything to do with free motion quilting. I finally sat down with my sewing machine manual (God Bless that manual) and verified on the internet (got to love the internet) and was ready to start scaring myself with some free motion quilting on my historic sewing machine. I took the foot off. I raised the throat plate. Ready Set Go. Not so bad for my first time, right? Don't answer that. I was proud of myself. That's all that counts.

But then I broke a needle, and another needle and another needle. Within an hour I had broken 3 needles and my inner reserves were crumbling. I came undone...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fear of the Cut

Remember that rainbow baby book I was telling you about yesterday? Well it obviously came from my pile of crazy rainbow blocks. But there's a see the original blocks are odd shapes for all the projects I want to do with them. So I've been forced to consider cutting them. Oh the horror of cutting up my sewing. It hurts my heart. But I had to finish this book and get it in the mail. I am a to do list kind of girl. I don't like to leave things undone.

So I faced my fear and sliced and diced. It was wonderfully freeing. Now I can make whatever my little heart desires. And I have all these fun new shapes to play with!

Lesson Learned: I'm not going to make so many blocks in advance again unless they're for a specific purpose. Making 35 blocks for inspiration's sake (and to use up scraps) almost sucked my soul dry and left me with some unusable blocks (for now).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy (Belated) Birth Day

I was a very productive sewer last weekend. Not only did I get my unfinished table runners off to a good start (is it a bad sign that my unfinished projects are still unfinished?) but I also finished a project for some dear friends of mine.

A young red headed man introduced me to my future husband in college. For that I am eternally in debt to him. Making a rainbow baby book for his newborn son was the least I could do.

Happy Birth Day Sebastian!

ps - if I do say so embroidery skills continue to improve!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Latest Project(s)

Could you tell from the sneak peek yesterday that I'm making table runners? No?

Well I've been pawing through my stash of fabric and finding all these unfinished projects. Bad Sarah bad. So I felt inspired this weekend to get them out and finish them. Cooler weather is here and I need some Fall and Christmas decorations around here.

I've been measuring cutting and ironing.
Now that I know how to make my own binding there is no stopping me!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm So Proud!

Look what my handsome husband finished last night!
Don't get any ideas that it's for me though. I'm just a model of his awesome work.
This little beauty is just for him. He got sick of looking for a thick knit scarf and decided to learn how to knit and make one himself. Yeah! Next on his list: make things for me. I should tell him that soon.

But don't worry...I've been crafty this past weekend as well. Here's a sneak peek...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mommy Monday

Wake up to an early bird toddler
Let her cuddle in our bed so I can get 5 more minutes of sleep
Enjoy sneaking out of bed for breakfast while she's still asleep
Breakfast is interrupted
Wave goodbye to daddy
Wrangle toddler into brushing teeth and getting dressed
Pharmacy (where I leave my wallet in the car - toddler learns new word)
Sesame Street/Teleconference
Toddler eats an entire bowl of watermelon, animal crackers, and grapes
Look for her hollow leg
Naptime - for both of us
An apple pie and veggie burgers are produced in my kitchen
Toddler wakes up
Convince toddler that putting on clothes and going to a play date will be "lots of fun"
Thank God for play dates and getting out of the house
Come home to daddy!!!!
Toddler watches whale videos on youtube/ I make pizza for dinner
Toddler actually eats pizza for once - 2 slices - check other leg to see if it is hollow
Bath time - immense gigling ensues for mommy and toddler
Bed time - mommy goes awol while daddy reads bed time stories
Mommy mysteriously reappears for cuddle time
night night

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Inspiration is Overflowing

I can't really sew during my lunch break (1. I can't lug my sewing machine around and 2. my boss wouldn't be able to hear himself think over the roar of the antique motor). So instead I gaze over my favorite blogs and search for items on Etsy that bring me to the center again. I thought I might share with you the things I love.

Checkout Girl
Melissa Crowe at Checkout Girl recently posted about this fabulous brooch that turned into a wall hanging. There are so many embroidery hoop wall hangings out there that I absolutely adore, but this one caught my eye for being the first felted flower one I've ever seen. You can also find her at her Little Pink House etsy shop

kim e-m
Someone recently sent me an article about this etsy seller. Kim EichlerMessmer at kim e-m hand dyes her fabrics and then quilts with them. This quilt alone makes me want to dive into that art form.

I found Yardwork through JezzePrints. The love and yearning for stamps and design possibilities are brewing in my heart as I get into fabric printing little by little.

Garlands of Grace
I have the hardest time finding cloth head bands that I like. I am itching to purchase one from Garlands of Grace. This one makes me want to embrace a pumpkin and celebrate Fall.
Add this to my Christmas list -seriously - Mom, add this to my list.

Studio Jarrah
Well it wouldn't be a complete day unless I found something cute for my daughter as well. I love all the prints available for children and nurseries now. The color and composition of this one by Studio Jarrah has stayed with me.

Not to mention my daughter asked me this week what whales sound like. We hunted you tube for sound clips. Humpback whales are creepy sounding. Why more people don't make Halloween soundtracks from their calls, I don't know. Beluga whales on the other hand sound like a mix between pigs and a flock of tropical birds. Now we know.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Live and Learn

I finally got my fray check to work. It smells nasty and requires a light touch. Unfortunately it does not work very well on nylon. Can you see the bubbly impression it left around the edges?

Nylon has also turned out to be less than ideal for block printing with ink. Maybe I'm not implementing the heat setting portion of the program correctly, but nylon is currently out of the running.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Do Lists Ever Get Shorter?

There are so many things I want to sew right now. I'm aching to reconnect with my sewing machine. The last thing I did with it was mending. Poor thing. My poor soul. I need more. Here's a list of things I want to make:

Halloween or at least Fall themed garlands and banners/flags
Shoulder bags - oh I have this gorgeous purple and blue fabrics from the quilt shop that are washed and waiting to be cut and sewn
Table runners - and no, not just because you (Mom) mentioned you wanted some last time I was home
Rainbow placemats
Rainbow baby book
Rainbow quilt
Rainbow purses and shoulder bags
Baby quilt - maybe 2???

Long story on the baby quilt. I bought gender netural fabrics at the quilt shop during their Fat Quarter Friday sales a long time ago in hopes of making a quilt for my 2nd baby. Oh, did I forget to mention I'm pregnant? Surprise! Actually I believe most of my faithful Seamingly Sarah readers already know this tiny little detail based on the fact that you know me in real life and/or are related to me. Gotta love family support! For those of you who have never seen my face, well thanks for reading the occassional sewing rambles of a stranger. I appreciate your faith in me.

Back to the baby quilt story. I go back to the quilt shop for another sale. Decide the previous gender neutral fabric I bought had too many flowers in the print. I decide to purchase all new fabrics - hey, it was a sale people, a sale - and make this for my gender surprise baby. We're not finding out the gender by the way. So now I have enough fabric for two baby blankets. What's a girl to do besides day dream about sewing them?

I forsee a vacation day coming up.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Calling Anyone Who's Ever Owned A Purse...

I don't own purses.

Okay, scratch that. I own two purses and both are in my daughter's dress up box right now. She puts them over both her shoulders and pretends to be me and go to work. Then she comes "home" and gives me a kiss. I love her.
Side note over.

To clarify I do not USE purses. I have all these rainbow blocks and one set is begging to be turned into purses, or maybe the right term is a clutch? But what do you as the consumer and daily purse user like in a purse? Do you want a wrist strap or a shoulder strap? Zippers or snaps? Interior pockets? With a bottom so it stands up? Stiff with some structure or floppy? I'm lost.
Help a girl out and leave a comment.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Creating for Your Toddler

Let's tally up the scores:

Color/rainbow book with hand embroidered message on the back
 FAIL - she looked at it once

Double sided magic cape with the two colors she chose
FAIL - she's worn it twice, on the front, and calls it a bib

Princess costume, labored over and loved by mommy
FAIL - I still can't get her to try it on

Carboard box house that took 2 minutes to make
SUCCESS - she spent hours putting toys in through the roof in order to see them fall out of the bottom

Conclusion: why do I continue to put in hours of sewing for her?

Jane Austen Anyone?

I think the Jane Austen novel I am reading right now is seeping into my subconscious. I sat down this weekend with a pattern for a princess costume and some pink fabric. My previous experience with patterns has been less than enjoyable (lets just go ahead and say it was heinous). I unfolded the pattern and saw that it was too big for my 2 year old. Being less than enthused to use a pattern to begin with I opted to make something up.

Scary, I know. Just in time for Halloween.

But I ended up loving it! Doesn't it look like a dress from a romantic novel by Ms. Jane Austen? In all honesty I had to make the top twice and had more tucks than I anticipated, but I made it up in my head and I think it came out quite well. I've always been scared to approach sewing clothes, but I'm feeling bold and envigorated.