Friday, November 30, 2012

Sewing Confrontations: Final Linkup and Posts 5 & 6!

Whew - November flew by! Can you believe it's almost December already? And, in that vein... did you try anything new and/or work on a previously-existing-but-needed-some-tweaking sewing skill this November? (scroll down to the bottom for the linkup!)

Confrontations can be scary, but in this case, not... right? :)

Today is a double posting! The first comes from my friend Kate who blogs at Swim, Bike, Quilt - I'm constantly enamored by her quilty creations, AND she does an amazing job with 100 Quilts for Kids every year! *Check out her post here on her confrontation, sewing with knits.

The second post comes from my real life friend from the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild, Kristina, of Ornamental Confectionary. Kristina quilts, bakes and sews up beautiful clothes - *you can see her post on making pants her (part 1)!
(*links will be updated later today, when I get home from work :))

Please visit these ladies and let them know your thoughts on their confrontations!

**I hope you enjoyed reading about the Sewing Confrontations of my bloggy friends! If you want to see what others have written about, click here for the full listing.** Thanks so much to them for all the work they did, and for the fantastic posts they wrote up!

P.S. Small update on my own challenge - my Luigi block and cutting accurately - I think I need to take Rebecca's advice on the 1/4th seam into closer consideration because the main problem I'm having is lining up all of those crazy seams.

I'm no perfectionist but some of them are way off, so I'm using my best friend (the seam ripper, of course) and will be back with a finish nearer to Christmas! I am SO SURE that all of my little 1.5" blocks are the right size, so I guess that I accomplished my goal. I've also been taking greater care with a new quilt I've been working on. So, I'm happy :). -endrant-

Now its your turn! The linky will close on December 5, which is when I'll pick a random winner!

Good luck!! I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone has accomplished this month!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fabric Scrap Christmas Tree: A Tutorial

My apartment needed some holiday love, so I started to brainstorm. I've been seeing little Christmas trees popping up all over Pinterest, so instead of going out and buying all kinds of scrapbook paper or yarn I don't have, I figured I would use what I DO have (okay, besides the styrofoam cone)! As a result, I have an easy, cheap, scrappy, and stylish Christmas tutorial to share with you today!


A bunch of Christmasy scraps - I raided my too-little-for-most-projects-but-I'm-hoarding-anyway scrap bin for white, red, and green (a mix of modern and traditional fabrics was my goal),

Said 18" styrofoam cone, which you can get from any of your local craft stores (mine was from Hobby Lobby for around $3.00) (you can also make smaller ones!),

A glue gun - mine is tiny and doesn't get too hot, which works really well for me. Sidenote: by the end of this project you will be encased in a spider web of dried glue, but it's worth it :),

A spool of coordinating (or non-coordinating!) ribbon - you won't use the whole thing (half or even less, depending how much you use it - you'll see),

And a Q-tip with its cotton picked off (haven't you always wanted to do that?) (okay, maybe I'm alone in that endeavor. Moving on.) You'll also need a small scrap of cardboard, a square of scrap yellow fabric for the star, and scissors.
Step 1: Chop your scraps into squares or rectangles - they don't need to be too precise. I would go for around the 2" mark, and you can use smaller or bigger ones, too.

Step 2: Make a line of glue about the width of your first scrap at half of its length, and stick your first fabric scrap WRONG SIDE FACING YOU onto the cone. See where I'm pressing my finger in the picture? That's where my line of glue was (even though this was taken a few rows up from where I started). Yes, this is the WRONG SIDE of the fabric facing the camera!

Step 3: Dot the hot glue at the very bottom of your scrap (or, if you want the whole thing to look neater, make a line of glue at the very bottom. I ended up adding more glue overall at the very end to clean things up). FOLD your fabric scrap towards you and press down.

You want the bottom scraps to fold over and hit the bottom of your styrofoam and not go over, NOT like the picture below shows. AFTER the first row, I glued only a quarter of the length from the bottom up initially, and then glued BELOW the fabric to cover the styrofoam, and overall, use less fabric. Hopefully the picture below explains that!

I ended up doing rows of inital gluing at one time, and THEN folding over. Then you aren't picking up and putting down and watching your glue gun fall over quite as much. :)

Step 4: Repeat and repeat until you reach about the last 2.5" of your cone at the top. You made it, hopefully without glue gun burns! That's the most lengthy part, though without taking pictures, this relaxing process probably took me about a half hour. Fill in any styrofoam gaps with small pieces of folded fabric (follow same process above).

Many of my fill-in fabric scraps were the solid green fabric scraps - I wanted to give the whole thing a pop!

Step 5: Likely, you're cursing me by now because you ARE encased in a spider web of dried hot glue. Brush it all away (I suggest using a lint roller on yourself AND the tree - it works!) Take your ribbon (I suggest just keeping it on the roll, don't cut it yet), and glue the end to overlap the tops of your last row of your fabric gluing spree. Carefully wind the ribbon around until you get to the top, gluing every inch or so. Cut off when you've completed a round around the very top and neatly glue at the end. Easy peasy!

Step 6: This is optional. I wanted to give my tree some more pizazz, so using the same process as above, I glued three other rounds of ribbon around different parts of my tree (see picture below). It also helps reign in some of those scraps.

Step 7: The star - every Christmas tree needs a topper, don't you think?! Free hand a star on a scrap of cardboard and cut out.

Place a dot of glue in the middle of the star and press to the back side of your yellow scrap. I used a scrap of Lizzy House's Pearl Bracelet in Yellow because, well, I'm obsessed. Cut lines into each inlet of your star - if that doesn't make sense, the picture below speaks a thousand words:

Complete each spike of the start individually. First, dot your glue on one of the star spike, and press the fabric onto it (see below).

Place another dot of glue on top of the fabric and fold the other part of fabric for that spike over.

Snip off the end of fabric that is left. Repeat for each star spike (is that even a thing? It is now, I guess!)

Step 8: Place a line of hot glue on the back of the star, and press the Q-tip on. Once it's dry, stick the Q-tip right into the top of your tree...

It's supposed to be scrappy, and a little stringy, and a little frayed - embrace it! :)

And you're finished! Take your obligatory pictures by your Christmas tree (and on your bookcase, if that's where you've chosen to showcase its beauty).

AH, I know, my real Christmas tree needs a skirt and a topper! I'm working on it!

The beauty of this project is that you can use any color scheme at all, and it will look beautiful! I would LOVE to see one in purple, blue, and gray or white. Use yarn instead of ribbon. Even paper would work instead of fabric!

That's it! This was a really fun project, and as soon as I can drive out to Hobby Lobby again, I'll be grabbing some smaller styrofoam cones. If you make one, please send me an email (see sidebar) or link it to this post so I can see it - I'd love to!

I have to go and get ready for work - it's been a crazy week but things are slowing down for the weekend. Yay! Also - don't forget about the Sewing Confrontations linkup TOMORROW!

Happy decorating!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Get ready for Friday: Sewing Confrontations Link Up!

Friday is not only the last two posts of the Sewing Confrontations series [from Kate at Swim, Bike, Quilt (Sewing with Knits) and Kristina from Ornamental Confectionary (Making Pants)]; it is also the link up!

Write a post about a Sewing Confrontation you had during the last month or so. It could be anything that you tried for the first time, or a skill you wanted to work on (and your progress). At the end of the link up, I'll use the Random Number Generator and pick someone to send some pretty fabric too. What d'ya think?

P.S. - I'm working on some changes to the blog still. Stay tuned :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

On A Harry Potter Embroidery Kick

You heard me - I finally got into embroidery and I'm just obsessed with cute patterns. I have at least ten ideas on a post-it... and a hefty rainbow of embroidery floss... and not enough time... especially now that watching Doctor Who is a priority in this house :)...

The first piece I completed is "Always", which is a pattern by my good bloggy friend Rebecca at Sew Festive Handmade (she sells her HP patterns in her Etsy shop). Since I'm a newbie, the stitches weren't all the same size (I did my best!!!), but I love it all the same. I also got to try the french knot, which isn't really as hard as I made it out to be.

"After all this time?" "Always," said Snape. <<One of the most beautiful love stories ever. It's true. It's hanging right over my desk, so I get to see it multiple times a day - and that makes me happy beyond belief! (PS - on that note, more from Project Color My Apartment very soon!)

Next, I custom designed "Siriusly" for my sister, Ris, and her 16th birthday. My favorite character (and evidently, hers, too) in the series is Sirus Black. I'm pretty impressed with my ability to draw, copy, and accurately embroider the shape of an oversized dog, I have to say.


Are you obsessed with embroidery, too?? Please don't tell me I'm the only one!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sewing Confrontations, Post 4: English Paper Piecing

I apologize for the delay today! (No, I was not out shopping, but I was spending some quality family time at the movies, seeing "Lincoln") (go see it!). Today's post is from my friend Rachel, who is another member of the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild.

All November Long:

Rachel tried English Paper Piecing, and I absolutely LOVE what she's done. Go check out her tips and the project she's working on! Thanks, Rachel, for the fantastic post and clear instructions!

Picture taken from Let's begin sewing...

One more week until the linkup! I'm starting to put together a package of fabric for one of the posts that gets linked up. So, start thinking - what sewing confrontation can you post about on the 30th? Also, next week, we have two more posts!

P.S. I hope everyone in the States had a wonderful Thanskgiving. I did!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I need a new project like I need more fabric.

I spent Sunday with the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild at our monthly Sewcial (grin)! Here's what I came out with.

I have the whole design on paper and I'll be sharing a tutorial soon! I'm excited because this quilt isn't strictly "Christmas" - it will be on my couch for the WHOLE WINTER. Now, to get back to all of those sewing deadlines I have… :P
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Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Gigantic Fall Wedding DIY Post, Part 2: Accessories

In my first post, I shared all of the decorations I made for our October wedding. This post is all about the accessories I made to wear/use on the day of!

First, one of my biggest accomplishments was sewing up 6 gathered clutches (used the notoriously awesome tutorial by Noodlehead) at once, and making them successfully. I also figured out how to add a strap so that my bridesmaids (and myself!) could just wear them on our arms (this was one of their gifts).

 Theirs were all varying degrees of purples (to match both their styles and their dresses), with white - mine was the opposite - a delicate white fabrics I had in my stash, and a purple band. They were a big hit and one of my maids of honor still uses hers on a daily basis. Score! They took a long time to make but I did one step at a time with all six, which, to me, was the most productive method.

Another accomplishment was remaking my mother's veil into one that was more my style (from the 80s... a hat... yep). First of all, I found that veils are WAY overpriced, and that, even if I didn’t have one to recycle, I definitely would have made my own! There are plenty of tutorials out there, and buying tulle myself would be much cheaper.
So, together, my mom and I cut the hat off (that was the easy part), spread the veil out (both layers), and cut it down to a more manageable length and width. I hand-sewed it to a comb and also hand-sewed little pearls from my mom's craft stash. I wanted something simple and (surprisingly, for me) somewhat traditional. I was so happy with it - and now it's stashed away so that I can pass it on to my own daughter(s?) one day. :)

Finally, I made all of the boutonnieres for the boys: the groom (red), best man, 2 groomsmen (orange), and fathers (yellow). I was originally inspired by this pin. I used extra silk leaves from our fake- flower-buying bonanzas. It was pretty easy - I used 2 leaves for each, and followed the directions from Pinterest. Then, I wrapped the bottoms in floral wire and brown floral tape, and finally, used a glue gun to wrap the bottoms in ribbon.

Finally, I made custom hair clips for the bridesmaids and flower girls. Unfortunately the pictures taken that day failed to capture them, but if I find a picture, I'll post it!


Moral of the story: wedding DIY can be budget-sucking (unless you are careful). It was very time-consuming (most of my summer) but VERY satisfying!

All wedding posts:

  Linking up to: Sew Modern Monday @ Canoe Ridge Creations, Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story

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