Tuesday, May 31, 2011

4 Day Weekend

I am coming off a four day weekend and trying to adjust back to reality. There was absolutely no crafting going on this weekend. Since there were no messes being made around my sewing machine, I was actually able to clean up my sewing area though.

Here are a few highlights from the extra long weekend.

On Friday we joined all the cousins for a trip to the zoo. The weather was perfect and we had a blast.




The rest of the weekend was spent on the yard. We are having Miller's birthday party in our backyard next weekend so there was a lot to do. We weeded, we planted and we picked up a gazillion sticks and branches from the storm last week.









The kids entertained themselves for hours with these squirt guns. The best $10 ever spent.


The daylilies even decided to start blooming by the end of weekend.


We did go creek stomping yesterday to relax a little bit. Then we went to see Kung Fu Panda 2. It was a perfect way to spend the long weekend.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Team-Up Thursday- Panning

Cara and I are panning this week along with the rest of the Team-Thursday crew. I have to admit that I googled panning just to make sure I knew exactly what we were supposed to do for the theme this week. I read a quick article on it and I was off. I set my shutterspeed to 1/30 and tried to follow my kids with the camera as they scootered around the driveway. There were lots of blurry ones. There were also a few cool ones, but half of the kids heads were cut off. So I settled on this one.

I love all the motion in Cara's shot. I can't look at it too long though because it starts making me dizzy.

Panning Dip

Head over to Mental Inventory for more Team-Up Thursday.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Easy Teacher Tote Tutorial

This week I worked on this super simple tote bag for Harper's teacher. Her last day of school is Thursday. Yikes. Can you believe it.? This tote bag would make a great gift for anyone and can be customized in so many ways.

I used the super cute Book Club embroidery pattern from Wee Wonderfuls for the pockets. I fell in love with these and knew they would make a great teacher gift, but didn't know for sure what to make with them. So I brainstormed and came up with the idea of a simple tote bag.

Easy Teacher Tote Tutorial

Here's what you will need:
Exterior Top: 2 pieces 15" (width) x 11.5" (length)
Exterior bottom: 2 pieces 15" x 5" (I used canvas)
Lining: 2 pieces 15" x 16"
Straps: 2 pieces of webbing 42" long
Pocket: 4 pieces 6" x 7" (I cut 2 of my embroidered pieces to this size)
Interfacing: 2 pieces 15" x 16" (I used craft fuse 808)


Place 2 of the pocket pieces right sides together. Sew along top edge. I used a 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat with the other 2 pocket pieces.
Pocket 1

Turn pocket pieces right sides out. Topstitch along the top edge. I decided to do two rows of stitches because I thought it looked nice. Repeat with other pocket pieces.
Pocket 2

Center the pocket piece in the middle of the exterior top piece. Baste along the sides and bottom. Repeat on the other side.
Pocket 3

Place the webbing on either side of the pocket like the photo below. Pin in place. Repeat on the other side.
Strap 1

Sew along both sides of the webbing. Repeat on the other side.
***Make sure to stop about 1/2" before you reach the top.***
Straps 2

Place the exterior bottom on top of the exterior top piece with right sides together. Sew along the bottom edge. Repeat on the other side.
Body 1

Unfold the exterior pieces.
Body 2

Iron the seam down on both pieces.
Body 3

Follow the manufacturer's direction for the interfacing. Interface both exterior pieces.

Place the exterior pieces together with right sides together. Sew along both sides and the bottom.
Bag Assembly

Pinch the corners together and measure 2 inches from the corner. Mark and stitch along this line. Do this for the other corner too.
Bag Assemby 2

Trim the excess fabric.
Bag Assembly 3

Place lining pieces right sides together. Stitch along both sides and the bottom leaving a 3 inch gap for turning.
Lining 1

Box the corners the same way you did on the exterior pieces.
Lining 2

Turn the exterior of the bag right side out. You can see here that I stopped stitching the webbing about a half inch or more from the top.
Bag Assembly 4

Stuff it into the lining matching up side seams and making sure the straps are tucked inside and out of the way. Pin in place and then stitch all the way around.
Bag Assembly 5

Now birth your bag. This is my favorite part. Turn your bag right side out through the hole in the lining.
Bag Assembly 6

Bag Assembly 7

Sew the gap in the lining. Then press the bag.
Bag Assembly 8

Topstitch all the way around the top of the bag.

You are finished.
Finished Bag 1

Finished Bag 2

Please make sure to add a photo to the flickr pool if you decide to make one.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Team-Up Thursday- Light

Cara and I took a little break from Team-Up Thursday, but we are back this week to show you some light. Cara is on the left. I am on the right. Cara's shot is so sweet. There is nothing better than a sleeping child. My shot was last minute (of course). Harper and I were reading in her bed, when I looked up and noticed how cool her light looked. I ran and grabbed my camera and clicked away. Who knew photgraphing a lamp could be so fun?


Join in on the fun over at Mental Inventory.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Day in the Life- The Questions

I know I have been negligent with my A day in the life posts, but I haven't forgotten about them. After listening to the non-stop stream of questions coming from my soon to be 5 year olds mouth, I decided to start writing some of the good ones down. Then I decided they would make a perfect A day in the life post because his questions are very much a part of every day.


Miller in the car waiting in the car pick up lane at Harper's school. The car is where most of his questions are asked.

That boy sure is inquisitive. And yes I swear every question he asks begins with "Mom......"

"Mom, where would I be if I was gone?"

"Mom, what does B-something-something-O spell?"

"Mom, do tarantulas eat worms?"

"Mom, is that the same truck that we saw in Louisville?"

"Mom, are birds faster than cars?"

"Mom, why does that car have a dent in it?"

"Mom, (then there is silence, I look in the rearview mirror and his lips are moving, but no sound is coming out.) guess what I just said?"

I love that his mind is always whirling. I hope he never loses his inquisitive nature.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fat Quarter Quilt- Part 2

I did it. I finally finished Harper's quilt. Woohoo. This is by far the biggest project I have tackled to date. I really think that I spent way more time thinking about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it than I did actually sewing.

It was a cold, dreary weekend so I had several uninterrupted hours on Saturday morning to knock it out. I can't tell you how happy I am to have this finished. It is far from perfect, but I am still proud of it.

I took photos so that I could share the process with you.


I decided to just stitch in the ditch, so it doesn't have a very quilted look to it. I was too afraid to do much more than this, maybe next time.


Then I trimmed the excess material.



Here it is all trimmed and ready for the binding.


I used the leftover fat quarters and scraps from the quilt to make my binding. I determined that 10 22 inch strips and 10 18 inch strips would make the binding long enough with some excess to work with. I made the strips 2.25 inches wide. If I had it to do over again I would do 2.5 inches though.


I sewed the strips together alternating 18 inch and 22 inch pieces. I also tried to distribute the colors evenly. Then I laid it out on the quilt to make sure it fit all the way around and also to get an idea of where to start attaching it.


Then I ironed the seams open.


Then ironed it in half.


Here is my lovely pile of binding.


I decided to attach the binding to the back and then bring it around to the front and topstitch it. I just could not imagine hand stitching the binding on and I knew that I would be able to make the topstitching neater on the front.

So I lined up the raw edges and stitched the binding on all the way around mitering at the corners.


Then I flipped the quilt over and brought the folded edge to the front and topstiched all the way around again.



Ta-da. All finished. I know I broke about every quilting rule, but I am ok with that.




I used some of my scraps to make this pillow to match the quilt. I almost used every bit of the fabric. Gotta love that!!


In case you missed it, here is Fat Quarter Quilt Part 1.


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