October Monthly Report

Monday, November 5, 2018

Happy November! It's time for October's monthly report. See past reports here.

Vast quilt top from Patchwork Essentials.

October was a really busy month over here. My parents came to visit, and a few weeks later Michael's grandparents visited too. While my parents were here we tackled a bunch of projects around the house, including preparing and planting grass in our backyard. It was quite an undertaking, but I'm glad it's in! We also took a trip to Monger's Market and picked up this set of vintage lockers. I've always wanted some, and they had a huge selection.

Despite all the work on the house that we did this month, I actually got a good bit of sewing done. I didn't finish anything huge, but I made progress on a number of projects that were lingering. I did finish a few small things, including this patchwork drawstring bag. I had some smaller pieces of my friend Anna's fabric collection, Forage, to play with. I chopped it up into squares and made an Artist size lined drawstring bag!

Patchwork Drawstring Bag Tutorial

I also made a zipper pouch for my friend Brianne's birthday! This is the cosmetic pouch (slightly upsized to fit the zipper I had on hand) from my Triplizip Pattern. I added a little hand quilting for an extra fun detail. It was fun to use some of this linen cheater print from an old Heather Ross collection, Nursery Versery.

To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I'm tracking my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track my here. Here is how I did in October:

October Fabric
Used up: 5.5 yards
Brought in: 4 yards
Net: -1.5 yards
Year to date: -15.5 yards

October Yarn
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: 0 yards
Year to date: +218 yards

Pretty happy with my intake this month. I bought some solid red fabric that I used up right away for a set of stockings (I'll share those soon!). Closer to the end of the month I ordered some more sweatshirt fabric. I finished a new sweatshirt this month, and that spurred me on to make more!

Here is the sweatshirt I finished! This is my second hooded sweatshirt that I've made, and I'm loving it. I drafted the pattern for it from my favorite Loft sweatshirt. It was really simple to create the pattern, and with this one I was able to further adjust it so the fit is just how I want it. For this one I used organic cotton fleece from Birch Fabrics. I'm not sure what color this is, I found it in a remnant bin at a local shop last year.

I started a new project with some of my indigo scraps! I had a bunch of skinny strips, and one day I decided to just play with them. I used the June quilt pattern from my friend Amanda Jean's book No Scrap Left Behind. I only made a few blocks because of the limited fabric I was working with. I'm not 100% sure where I want to go with it from here, but I'm not in a hurry, so I'll let it sit for a while.

This was the first Halloween in our new house, and so our first time handing out candy! We had been warned that Halloween was pretty crazy in our neighborhood, so we decided to dress up and decorate the house too. We went with a Stranger Things theme, I dressed up as Eleven, and Michael is Mike. We had a ton of fun and we went through an insane amount of candy!

Even George was sleepy the day after! And maybe a little grumpy! :)

Have a Great Month!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween from your favorite beanie baby bunny, George! (And Jeni + Mike)

DIY Enamel Pin Banners: New Sizes Added!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Happy Monday! Guess what? I've added two new sizes to last year's Enamel Pin Banner Tutorial! The original size is now the Large, and I've added a Medium and a Small option! You can find the updated tutorial here: DIY Enamel Pin Banner

Want to see the new banners I've made? Keep reading! 

After we moved, I couldn't find my original banner, so I made a new one! Actually I thought I'd given the original away, so I stopped looking pretty quickly. These whip up so quick, so in an afternoon I had a new one to fill. For this banner I used a nice gray Essex Linen and paired it with a fun minty pom-pom trim from my stash. I've added a bunch more pins to my collection, and I've listed as many as I can down below!

Bear Paw Pin by Patchwork Threads, You Seem Cool Pin by The Little Friends of Printmaking,  Leslie Knope Pin by Sweet and Lovely, Puffin Pin by Boy Girl Party, Bowtie Cat Pin by Boy Girl Party, Corgi Pin by Boy Girl Party, Hylian Sheild Pin by The Wooden Pin, No Regrets Pin by Colette Patterns, Hogwarts Castle Pin by Sore WinnersSinger Featherweight 221 Pin by The Singer Featherweight Shop, Vintage Sewing Machine Pin by Maker Valley, Bunny Knit Pin by Crafted Moon, Blerg Pin by Sweet and Lovely, Kawaii Bee, Mushroom, and Flower Pins by Em and Sprout.

Next up, a medium sized on for my Stitch pins! As you can see I have quite a few of these and I was thinking they'd look better on their own banner. So I chose details that I thought matched well with the movie (Lilo & Stitch). I used a print from Carolyn Friedlander's Euclid collection, plus some pom-pom trim and a couple wooden beads. I love how this one turned out, it makes me smile every time I see it.

These are all from Disney, purchased in the parks over the years!

Finally, a small banner! I recently picked up these spooky pins from Em and Sprout on Etsy, and they seemed like they needed their own banner! Plus a button I thrifted years ago. I used cotton chambray dots in black from Robert Kaufman, which is a real favorite. I liked that it felt Halloween-ish but is still a neutral that will look good with other pins if I want to switch it up!

Halloween Pins and Kawaii Baby Demogorgan by Em and Sprout.

Once I uncovered the first pin banner I made (seen above!), I wasn't sure what to do with it. Then I remembered my huge stash of buttons! I had more than enough to fill it up. I could probably fill up another one to be honest!

No links for these ones, apologies. I bought all of these in person or was given them at events or by friends. I did buy quite a few at Anthology in downtown Madison, a shop I really miss. If you're in Madison make sure and stop in for some great gifts (and a few goodies for yourself!).

Speaking of gifts, these would be perfect to make and give alongside some cute pins! Find the full tutorial here: Enamel Pin Banner Tutorial.

Happy Sewing!

My DIY Thread Storage Shelf

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Happy Tuesday! Today I wanted to share a recent project that I finished for my sewing room, a thread storage shelf! In years past, I've used a small thread rack to store some of my threads, but never had enough room for them all. I knew I wanted to make something customized to my needs and thread collection, so I set about coming up with a simple solution.

I was inspired by this shelf my friend Christina made for her longarm thread storage. I knew I wanted my shelf to be a simple design like hers, and that it needed to solve a few problems for me. It needed to be slim enough that it fit beside my machine, for easy access. It needed to easily store small spools and have room for cones. And finally, it needed to have bobbin storage. I really wanted to be able to store the bobbins right with their coordinating thread.

I managed to use plywood that I had leftover from a previous project, but you could definitely make one of these from sized lumber (like 1x4s or 1x3s) from your local home improvement store. I cut my plywood down into strips that were 3" wide. For my space this was as wide as I could go without inching too far into my sewing machine space, but you could use something wider or skinnier to work in your space. Here are a few quick measurements if you're thinking about making a shelf too:

Final Measurements: approx. 18" wide x 20.75" tall
(4) shelf pieces 16.5" long
(2) side pieces 19.25" long
(2) top/bottom pieces 18" long*

*I highly recommend waiting to cut these until the very end if you can, that way if your other measurements are off at all, you can cut these to fit!

I put my shelf together with a little wood glue and some 1.5" long screws. My plywood was .75" thick. The interior shelves are spaced approx. 3.25" apart, which easily fits the taller Aurifil thread spools. To finish it off I evenly spaced little 1"picture hanging nails along the shelf edges to hold bobbins. This is my favorite feature for sure! I had seen this done on a few other shelves like this one.

I'm so happy with how this turned out! Not only is it super useful to have all my thread stored within reach, it's such a pretty and cheerful piece in my sewing room. I can see right away what colors I have, and don't have to spend time digging through my bin of thread to find what I need. Yay for practical projects!

Happy Making!

September Monthly Report

Monday, October 1, 2018

Happy October! It's time for September's monthly report. See past reports here.

Above: Wonderland Log Cabin Quilt

I started a few new projects this month, and crossed some off my list too. I think overall it was a good balance of finishing and starting. One of the projects I have been meaning to start for months, is another monochromatic quilt. I'm making the Subtle quilt from my friend Amanda-Jean's book, No Scrap Left Behind. It's going to be my first leaders and enders project. I've always wanted to try making a quilt in this way.

Speaking of trying new things, I'm really diving into a new technique with my double gauze plus quilt. I'm hand quilting it! I never thought I had the patience for something like this, but so far so good. I've just started, so we'll see how I end up liking it in the long run. For now, it's fun!

I also finally indulged in making Christmas decorations. Now that we are in a house, I can have a full sized tree and I have a place to hang stockings! My first project is a tree skirt. I've been wanting to make my friend Christina's tree skirt pattern since she first made hers years ago. I actually have the top completed, but here is a photo of the tree blocks. I am loving how this project is turning out!

Why not sew for multiple holidays at the same time? I cut into some Halloween fabric (Boo by Cotton & Steel) for a new project bag. This is the project size from the lined drawstring bag pattern.

To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I'm tracking my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track my here. Here is how I did in September:

September Fabric
Used up: 21.5 yards
Brought in: 4 yards
Net: -17.5 yards
Year to date: -14 yards

September Yarn
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: 0 yards
Year to date: +218 yards

I'm in the negative! FINALLY! This year has been tricky for me and my stash. I'm very happy to be down in fabric yardage for the year, thanks to a bunch of finishes this month. Plus, I only brought in four yards this month! Not going to lie, I was tempted to by fabric quite a few times this month, but stayed strong. Hoping to continue that trend through the end of the year.

Fresh off my wonderland quilt finish, I pulled out another super old work in progress, my Tula Pink kaleidoscope quilt. I've been making slow but steady progress over the last few months. Now I'm finally constructing blocks!

Early in the month, the high heat finally dissipated and we started back in on our yard. Our backyard especially had pretty much gone back to nature, so it's been a huge undertaking trying to get it back in shape. One of the projects we tackled was creating a little patio and pathway with all the stone pavers we had wrangled from all across the back and front yard. It was satisfying to work on a project that had instant gratification. Now it's time to tackle the grass!

George bun! He often likes to scrunch himself up into only half of his bed. Doesn't look super comfy, but that's his style.

Have a Great Month!

Wonderland Log Cabin Quilt

Monday, September 24, 2018

Happy Monday! I'm excited to share a finished quilt with you today. This quilt has been seven years in the making!

I started this quilt when we first moved to Wisconsin in August 2011, making it one of my oldest works in progress for many years. It features the collection Wonderland by Momo, which even at the time had been long out of print. Thankfully, I still love the fabric just as much as I did then!

The plan for this quilt was based around the limited fabric I had to work with. I had managed to find a charm pack and a honeybun of this collection, plus some yardage and fat quarters of a few prints, mostly the scissors. I cut out the entire quilt before starting it, only making one complete block.

It was one of those projects that I just couldn't really get going. I'd pull it out every couple years, but never made much progress. Finally, in January I decided it was time to really work on it. I had thinned out my works in progress before the move, and the list felt a bit more manageable. I knew it would feel really good to get this one done.

I had to spend some time ironing all the strips and partial blocks before I could get started again, but once I started sewing, I was determined.

The quilting was done by Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting. I chose the Malachite pattern, which I wasn't super sure about, but ended up loving. It looks like a topographical map to me, and I think it's a great match for this quilt!

I wasn't sure what I was going to use for backing, until a friend swooped in and saved the day. She had seen my progress and offered to share her remaining Wonderland stash with me. It ended up being the perfect amount to piece together a back.

The binding came together right at the last minute. I got lucky and found someone destashing a half yard of this print on instagram, yay! I've been really bad about using my labels lately, but I remembered to pull them out for this quilt.

Read more about them here: My Custom Woven Labels

This quilt was in progress for such a long time, I honestly wasn't sure when I'd ever finish it. I'm thankful that I never stopped loving the fabrics, and that I was able to keep all the pieces and my notes together all this time. It felt really satisfying to cross such an old project off the list. It's motivated me to tackle another old project, hopefully I can get to finished this year too!

Happy Quilting!

August Monthly Report

Friday, September 7, 2018

Happy September! It's time for August's monthly report. See past reports here.

This is going to be a pretty short update! I'm taking a much needed social media/blogging break for the next week and a half, but wanted to get this report up before the month gets away from me.

It was a busy month over here, starting with our annual cabin weekend in Wisconsin! It was my first time back in WI since we moved, and it was really nice. I love getting together with my retreat friends, we always have a good time together. This year I made little thread catcher bins with indigo that I dyed at camp a previous year! I used this tutorial to make them.

I set myself up for success at camp and came with the squares all cut and ready for my double gauze plus quilt! It felt so good to whip up a quilt top in a few days. This is the biggest square size in the arithmetic pattern. I'm so excited to continue working on this project. Thanks to my friend Brianne for posing with me :)

Always making drawstring bags! This time it was a tiny one, which I don't make enough of. It was fun to use a print from Anna's Forage collection! The tiny size is in the pattern version.

To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I'm tracking my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track my here. Here is how I did in August:

August Fabric
Used up: 30.5 yards
Brought in: 13 yards
Net: -17.5 yards
Year to date: +3.5 yards

August Yarn
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: 0 yards
Year to date: +218 yards

Ahhh! I'm so close to being in the negative in fabric! I was able to finish a few projects this month, but I also took a big stack of fabric to our annual summer retreat. Not as much as I usually do since I had to fly, but still a good amount. And I only brought back 2.25 yards! I was pretty proud of myself for that, since there are always lots of goodies on the fabric table. Other yardage in this month was a backing for my pineapple quilt.

My Mom came to visit in August and we got into all kinds of stuff, including a little thrifting. Super pleased with this haul! The jello molds are going to become pincushions.

We also planted a few things while she was here. A few hours after we planted this butterfly bush, a monarch was checking it out! Looks like it works!

George turned 9 in August! I don't know how that's possible, since he's clearly still a baby bunny. Here he is wearing a basil hat!

Have a great month!

Using Tucks to Add Structure to Your Bag

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Happy Thursday! Today I'm sharing a video of the tucking technique used to add extra structure to your tote bag and a more boxy shape!

This was originally posted as part of the Workshop Tote Sew Along. Want to make a tote too?
Find all the posts here: Workshop Tote Sew Along
Pick up a copy of the pattern here: Workshop Tote Pattern
Share your progress here: #workshoptote on Instagram

This technique is also used in the Sew Portable Travel Set Tote.

Half-Square Triangle Workshop Tote made using Mariner's Cloth and Kaleidoscope by Alison Glass.

This is the last step in the Workshop Tote Pattern, and it's totally optional. You'll still have a lovely bag without this step!

Happy Sewing!


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