Monday, February 23, 2009

a quick and easy clutch

This weekend I decided to whip up a little clutch for a friends birthday. It's the Artsy Clutch pattern from Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. The instructions were clear and easy to follow and I still managed to screw it up about 4 times before I got it right! Note to self: don't sew when tired and feeling rushed.

I love the end result though. I used Heather Bailey's Zag Stripe in Lime from her Pop Garden collection, and a coordinating forrest green solid for the lining. The pattern called for a cotton fleece between the layers, but I used a piece of thin cotton canvas from Ikea, and it worked really well. Not too bulky, and just enough stiffness.

For the button(s), I went digging in my button jar and found an oversized plain white button that I combined with a smaller peralised one and used some green wool thread from a button packaged attached to a sweater I purchased years ago.

It's a small triumph for me, since I tend to be so terribly at reading patterns (even great, easy ones like the Artsy Clutch!) but I managed to finish this little bag to my satisfaction and to the satisfaction of my friend Amanda who received it for her birthday.

Right now I am also working on a new purse to replace the one I have been using since August and is starting to look really sad. I found a link for a cute and easy shoulder bag on Tiny Happy that I love and so far I've only messed it up twice and had to rip it apart to re-stitch it. Once again, this is no fault of the pattern author, just my inability to read directions clearly. I'll post pictures as soon as it is done.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

almost time for some time off

In Alberta, Monday is Family Day, and that mean we all get some well deserved time off! I remember when I moved here from Ontario four and a half years ago, I had never heard of Family Day, but all I could think was "YES! A long weekend in February!" The truth is, it is so nice to have a day off to spend with my husband and relax a little from our hectic schedules. Of course, it will also be nice to get a little sewing done.

To make up for the fact that I could actually have had a nice, relaxing long weekend, I apparently decided to fill up my weekend until Monday. Last night and all day today I have been running tech for a big conference that is renting our church building. It's good pay, and it's fun, but it's certainly tiring. Tomorrow we have our regular Sunday which usually starts around 6am and ends around 3pm, but after that it's all relaxation all the time!

All this is to say, I'll post more after Monday when I've had some time to relax and time to create. Peace.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

all you need is love

So in the process of avoiding the quilt I am working on due to a large mistake I don't want to rip out, I've been coming up with smaller things to make that I can finish in just a few hours. Items like rice heating packs, little decorative pillows and a cute recipe card holder have been on my list recently, and I have to say it's nice to be able to get something done and feel accomplished. I've also taken on a few alteration projects for friends in an attempt to improve my clothes sewing skills. Right now on the WIP list I have 3 dress shirts that need to have their sleeves shortened, 2 pairs of pants that need to be hemmed, two sound board covers to sew elastic into so they don't rip being stretched over the boards and two denim laundry bags to sew together. I'm actually not the biggest fan of that kind of sewing, but it's a good skill for me to practice, and it's a nice thing to do to help out some friends.

Last night when I came home, I looked around and realized that our house was a disaster. But I could not fathom getting the whole house tidy in one night, so I decided to focus on one room at a time, and move on as I felt I had the energy. I started with the bedroom which has basically been in a constant state of messiness since we moved in (7 months ago!) but I can't figure out what to do with all the odds and ends that are being stored in there. I think this weekend calls for a major overhaul of the room and all the junk in it.

In the meantime, I was able to get ALL 3 loads of laundry done, remake the bed, clear off the dresser and my side table (Joel doesn't keep anything on his), and take a few pictures of my new decorative pillow on the bed. For a rental, our bedroom doesn't look half bad. The walls are a neutral (somewhat grimy) beige, with white trim, and there is a huge window on the front wall with a smaller one on the side. For now, I will just show you my side of the room which looks very clean and put together.

The little stuffed horse on the bed is my buddy Bruce. No matter how old I get or how "sophisticated" my style may become, he will always be on the bed. Period.

There's the pillow! It's my first attempt at embroidery, and I have to say, I think it turned out pretty well! I didn't have a hoop, so it got a little wonky near the end, and the pillow is a little lumpy because the stuffing isn't great quality, but I'm very happy with my Love Pillow, and am definitely going to try out some more embroidery. I also picked up a book on contemporary crewel work, so that should be a lot of fun.

Later this week I'll post some more pictures of the other little things I've been making. Plus, maybe I'll make a decision about the quilt. Let me ask...if you were quilting a relatively large lap quilt, and realized that the size of the quilting wasn't even, would you rip it ALL out or would you live with it? I don't know if anyone other an my family reads this blog, so if you do, speak up and let me know what you think! I'd appreciate some wisdom on this one.