Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wrap Around Skirt

I have been dying to sew some clothing for myself, but have been busy working in the garden, on a quilt, and have been gathering supplies for the Starlet Jacket and Skirt.  Because the Starlet project requires so much good quality fabric and so many supplies I don't have on hand, I didn't want to spend anymore money on fabric and supplies.  So I went hunting through my stash.  

I found a summery, somewhat Hawaiian print.  It was my daughter's, and I asked if I could use it.  She didn't remember it, but I did.  I said, "Don't you remember when I was busy, and your nice dad took you to the quilt store because they were having a sale?  And all the ladies there thought it was so wonderful for your dad to take you to the fabric store?"  Nope, she didn't remember so the fabric was mine to do with what I would.

I thought the print would lend itself to a summer wrap skirt.  I made it up as I went beginning with my A-line pattern I drafted several months ago.

I didn't want it to be completely straight so I opened up the pattern and added about an inch of flair.  I used my hip curve ruler to draft the waist and the curve at the bottom.  I cut two.  

I folded the two front pieces in half and used that as a guide to cut the back piece on the fold.

I surged the skirt together and tweaked the fit.

 I cut out and used the blue stripe to make a bias waist line with extra length for the ties.  I added a button hole for the tie to loop through. I also added two little "belt loops" in the back to keep the ties from slipping when tied together.

The finished product.

Lily's Quilts

Linking with Plum and June,Sew Country Chick (see sidebar), and Salt Tree.

Our DelightfulHome

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Are you ready for another young adult novel where the female protagonist has two love interests?  Are you ready for another trilogy that, if made into a movie, will have two movies for the final book?  And, if you think the cover of this book is enticing, then this book is for you! (The dress is gorgeous.)

This book, written by local author Brodi Ashton,  is a modern take on the Persephone myth.  The book is set in Park City, Utah so it was easy for me to envision the beautiful surroundings.

While I am getting somewhat tired of the mystical story in a modern setting idea, and tired of the "girl with two boys who love her" plot, I can't fault Ashton for writing what sells to young adults these days. 

Brodi Ashton  

To give the book some credit, there were items I liked about it. Nikki has been taken to the Everneath for 6 months where Cole feeds off her emotions until she is nearly empty. But the memory of her boyfriend from the surface, Jack, keeps her alive.  Nikki only has six more months to live on the surface before the Everneath Tunnels come after her for good.  She can avoid this by going with Cole and become an Everliving like he is.  Now to the part I liked.  Nikki was no wimpy girl.  She chose to return to the surface wasted and emotionally weak, not only for Jack, but for her family.  She wanted to make things right after her abrupt departure.  Unlike other young adult novels, Nikki knows that Cole is the bad guy and doesn't fall for him.  She stays true to the good guy, Jack.  And he really is a great guy.

Have you ever seen this comparison?  I know it has nothing to do with this story, but boy I'm tired of the wimpy, whiny Bella types, so I felt this sums it up for Nikki too.

Here is the super confession of Foster.  Near the end of the book, when the Tunnels come for Nikki, I cried.  Yes, I said it, am embarrassed to admit it,  and that is all I am going to say about the emotion I felt.  

This is an easy read and middle school girls will love it.  There is no overt lusty teenager garbage, just a few kisses and holding hands. It does not have a great deal of action like Hunger Games, (it was a little slow in the middle), but maybe that is to come in later books.  Yes, there are plot flaws such as why no one really questions where Nikki's been for 6 months, but overall, the story is enjoyable.  I won't rush to read the sequels when they are released, but I will eventually get to them.  

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Father of the Bride at Hale Center Theater

What a wonderful time my family and I had on Friday when we went to Hale Center Theater to see the play, Father of the Bride.

The theater itself is a theater-in-the-round which makes for a very intimate setting.  We were on the second row and could see everything perfectly.

I was a slightly concerned that my boys wouldn't find a show about a bride funny, but they were laughing the whole way through.  My youngest wants to see it again.   The main actors were superb and genuinely funny.  I felt the father's stress about the expense as I know that paying for a wedding will someday be in my future.  The only actor that wasn't fabulous was the assistant to Fronk, the caterer.  He overacted and couldn't seem to define who his character was. 

Of course, those late 1950's dresses were to die for.  I took in every detail.  Good thing I was on the second row!

I will be back to this theater again for another wonderful production.  

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Shopping Cart Cover and Some Gorgeous Parties

Do you remember that yellow baby hat I made for my niece a few months ago? Well, it actually didn't make it to my niece.  My husband went to Washington DC, and I told him he should take the hat as a gift for friends there who had just had a little girl.  After all, I had plenty of time to make another!  Then last Saturday I got the invitation to my niece's  baby shower for this Saturday.  No problem.

No problem that is until I stopped by the fabric shop last Saturday night and found a shopping cart cover kit by Whimzie Designs.  My mind had been changed.

Monday: Stop by the fabric store again to find high loft batting. They are out.
Tuesday: Try a different fabric store.  OK. Good. They have it.
Wednesday.  Iron and the fabric and notice it is dirty.  Maybe a little dusty from sitting on the shelf.  The directions say, "Do not pre-wash the fabric."  To heck with that, I'm not giving my niece something that is dirty.
Thursday: Lay out the high loft batting and immediately decide I don't like how it doesn't lay flat.  Begin sewing.
Friday: Continue sewing.  Notice that I don't have the right color of embroidery thread to tack the fabric to the binding.This is taking longer than I thought. I use hand quilting thread instead.

Tacking it together with quilting thread.
Saturday (today) 12:45 a.m.  I'd better go to bed...only a little left.

Saturday: 7:20 a.m. Finished!  Yay! Shower and go take pics for the blog.

Notice how the shopping cart seat belt threads through extra large button holes.

It's reversable!

Even though the project took longer than expected (it always does), it was an easy cover to put together.  I still don't like high loft batting, however. Maybe I got a terrible brand.

Since this morning when I got some crazy looks from people as I was taking photos of the shopping cart in the parking lot, I have been to two wonderful parties.  I am always amazed at the talent of the women I come in contact with.  My other niece (not the baby shower niece) had a Mother's Day brunch a week late for her grandmothers and aunts, that's me, and girl cousins. Here is a sampling of the beautiful handmade decorations and delicious food.

Look at the pink striped straws a the top of the plates.  Darling touch.

Love the paper flowers.

My sister made the food.  We had lemon ricotta waffles with sauteed apples, cheese and spinach strata, blueberry muffins, and fruit.  My sister is such a fantastic cook!  She got her recipes from Smitten Kitchen.  

As if I hadn't had enough to eat a my sister's, I left there and drove to the baby shower.  They served a myriad of dips, pulled pork, lovely fruit, veggies, shrimp, cream puffs, and these macaroons to die for.  Even though the picture is not the best, I still have to show you the macaroons.

I love to see other people's handiwork and there were some lovely examples of it today at the shower.

These were little cloth diapers wound tightly with baby socks for hats and washcloths for clothes.

A beautiful afghan.

These darling crocheted items were made by Aunt Debbie.  She has her own Etsy shop, Perfectly Sassy, in case you are interested.  And who wouldn't be interested in that fabulous flip flop for baby?  How cute is that?

My niece received other adorable homemade gifts, but I just didn't get good shots to post.

What amazing, and talented women I have been blessed to spend my day with.  5 out of 5 stars for a wonderful, creative day! 

And finally, look at this amazing cake my daughter's friend made for her birthday last week.  Like I said, I'm surrounded by talent!

Linking up with:

Our DelightfulHome

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Block of the Month Catch Up

How is it that I am always behind on my block of the month?  This month I was determined to catch up and even get the block for April completed before the Block of the Month meeting at Quilts Etc.  

I gathered all my fabric packets together and this is what I found.

I had four packets to complete.  I got busy and started sewing.  Each packet had a beginner option and an intermediate option.  I chose the option depending on how much time I thought it would take me.  If the intermediate was looked like it would take too long and would take too much fastidiousness, I didn't do it .

Here are the results.

Unfortunately, when I was all finished sewing this beautiful blue and white blocks together, and while I was cleaning up the sewing room, what did I notice?  February's fabric packet on the floor under the rocking chair. Back to the sewing machine.  What a shame.

This is a sneak peak at a long term project I'm working on.  The block is 14.5 inches, and each block will have on splash of color in the middle of the creams and tans.  After having taken the photo, I noticed that I have some ripples on the edge.  I must not be cutting exactly on the grain.  But not to worry. This is a free form project and very satisfying to put together so I'm not going to fuss over slight ripples. 

Finally, I picked up this Riley Blake "Apple of My Eye" charm pack on sale.  I thought the burst of bright color would look fabulous in my new project.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Patchwork Notebook Tutorial

I'm not sure where I came across this colorful idea to cover a notebook in fabric scraps.  It wasn't a blog because I've made these in the past before I ever got into blogging.  Maybe I came up with the idea.  Quit laughing! It could happen!

These make charming graduation gifts, and that is exactly what I am doing with this batch.

First, buy a Moleskine notebook.  I got mine in a three-pack at Barnes and Noble.  Any notebook that has a thin cardboard cover will do.

Make sure that you change your needle in the machine to a Heavy Duty/Denim needle.  Sewing through cardboard will dull your needle quickly so you may need to change your needle after 4 or 5 notebooks.

Take your fabric scraps and arrange them in a design you like on the cover of the notebook.

Remember your design or take a picture to refer to as a guide.  

Starting with your undermost fabric lightly glue the fabric in place.  Or just hold the fabric steady with your hands as you are sewing.  I found this to be easier as the stiff cardboard and the tight hold of the presser foot caused the fabric to shift despite the glue. I used the holding method for the 2nd notebook I made, and it worked better for me.  You will see the difference in the photos at the end of this post.  

Choose a decorative stitch to begin sewing with.  Don't choose one that is too complicated or goes back and forth too excessively.  That doesn't seem to work well with the cardboard.  I just chose a simple zigzag.  Stitch the fabric in place beginning and ending beyond the border of your fabric.  This adds a nice touch.

Make sure you clip all your loose threads after each fabric piece is sewn in place.  If you don't you will have a tangle of loose threads to deal with.  

Continue with the other pieces of fabric.  

On the inside you will have a multitude of stitching lines.  This can be a great place to write who the book is for.

You could also fold the first page in half lengthwise, stitch up the sides, and insert a cash gift for the graduate.

Two finished products!

Linking up with I Gotta Create and Fabric Tuesday.