Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tax Organizer

I hate to bring up the "t" word, but tax time is upon us.  I usually do mine in February.  That would give you plenty of time to sew up an organizer to brighten up the task!  This one has loads of pockets and can be sewn using your favorite color scheme.  Then you might even enjoy doing paperwork.  Get the pattern here

Friday, January 27, 2012

Feline Friday

So I really have been sewing this week, just no pictures to show for it yet.  I've been organizing my stash and planning future projects.  This week's cat is birdseed.  I had fun arranging him in my backyard and then waiting for birds to come.  Unfortunately, I could not stare out the window all day.  I missed the feast.

I don't know if squirrels or birds took apart my cat.  We decided to let Cloud finish the job.  I call it "Rodent's Revenge".

He enjoyed the irony of it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

Here is a tutorial for fabric fortune cookies!  Great for new years and also for Valentine's Day.  I will be sewing some later today for sure.  Actually it is also my birthday today so I always feel like this is my personal new year starting.  I refuse to do any chores today!

Here are some small quilted bags I did a day or two ago.  Slightly larger than
these in this tutorial. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Feline Friday- Stuffed Cat

I sewed this Color Me Cat close to 10 years ago and I've made a bunch since then as gifts.  This one's ears have seen better days.  It is plain broadcloth or muslin, stuffed, about 18" tall.  I always include Crayola washable markers because they are the most reliable for washing out.  My kids love drawing on their cats and then sending them through the washer so they can do it again!  Color Me Cat is great for 2-10 year olds for playing with and drawing on; then as teenagers they can use permanent markers and get all their friends' autographs.

I sewed Color Me Cat, Jr. this morning.  He is 10" tall.  I made more pronounced ears on him too.  I just free-handed the shape- I think it adds character.  Remember to add seam allowance.  Stitch around twice to reinforce the seam.  Clip the curves to the stitching before turning.  Stuff and sew the opening shut. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge with SewCalGal

SewCalGal is offering a sew along for Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) here .  There will be monthly practices to do and experts to help you learn and improve your skills.  This is not an actual class, but a very doable challenge.  I'm excited!  Here is my January assignment completed and I am ready for more!
I started with a 12"x12" quilt sandwich of fabric and batting I had on hand.  I was having so much fun, I did another sandwich until my thread ran out.

I found that controlling my speed was difficult at times and that I got the best results when I didn't go too fast or too slow (with my foot pedal and my hand movement).

I used regular sewing thread because it was what I had on hand.  I was inspired by the heart shaped leaves so I cut up my smaller sample and made valentines!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Feline Friday

On Friday 13th, I figured we all might need some good luck.  My daughter received this Japanese Lucky Cat as a gift.  I think it is really cute, so I used it as my inspiration for today's Feline Friday project.  The original is only 3" tall and ceramic.  I absolutely love marzipan and I actually had a can, so I made my own version of Lucky Cat.  The details are sprinkles and gel icing.  My daughter, who is taking Chinese in school, did the writing.  Not easy using a toothpick and working that small!   I hope Lucky Cat brings you a fortuitous day! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

SWAP or Sewing With A Plan

At my neighborhood American Sewing Guild Meeting yesterday, we were treated to an explanation and showing by Audrey who is very talented at garment sewing.  It was very inspiring and makes so much sense to sew this way!  SWAP is actually a contest you can enter, but you can also do it just for the reward of having a wardrobe that actually works.  Seeing Audrey's examples, I was impressed by the details and the workmanship, and the fact that they all came from her stash!  My stash mainly consists of pieces too small for a garment.  Guess I'll have to go shopping! 

First, evaluate your activities and lifestyle.  What do you actually need?  Then plan using your stash with tested and tried patterns.  Make a story board with pictures and swatches of what you will sew.  A good way to start is with an inspiration print, then take colors for other pieces from it. 
Organize fabric into containers with coordinated outfits, and sew one container at a time.  A versatile wardrobe could consist of 2 pairs of pants, 2 skirts (one solid, one print), 6 tops (matching and coordinating) and 1 jacket.  You could of course do fewer pieces for a vacation wardrobe or a fitness wardrobe etc.
similar contests on www.patternreview.com

Thank you Audrey!  Hope this brings the rest of us a little closer to a closet full of clothes that actually work together!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Feline Fridays- Collage Notebooks

Welcome to Feline Fridays!  I have been inspired by Noah Scalin and his make something everyday idea explained in his book 365.  I got the book for Christmas and I was immediately excited about the possibilities.  I tweaked the idea a little, in that I will be creating cats each week and posting them on Fridays.  I was not sure I could keep up an everyday commitment so this is a nice compromise.  I will still be posting my sewing projects, reviews, tutorials etc. the other days.  I chose cats because, well, it is pretty obvious it ties in with my blog's name.  I plan on exploring other mediums as well as fabric to keep my creative juices percolating! 

Collaging has been on my mind lately, so the first Feline Friday project is collaging on small notebooks.  I used bits of things I've collected over the years: calendar pics, music, a tag off a gift, etc.  I added a small pic. on the back of each so it is not forgotten.  Then I coated the front and back with mod-podge .  My cat, Emma, is inspecting the results. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 was a Great Year!

Happy New Year to everyone!  Doing what I usually do at the beginning of a new year- I look back over the old one.  The most popular pattern for 2011 was the Gig Bag !  Lots of musical sewing enthusiasts and friends out there.  My most recent release was the Chatelaine, to hold sewing tools .  It is too new to be the top seller yet, but I have great hopes for this year.  Most of my sales come from the USA, but I'd like to also thank my customers from England, Australia, Canada, Poland and other points around the globe!  I couldn't do what I do without any of you so thank you for reading my blog, checking out my etsy shop , and telling your friends about me.  I will have a new announcement on Friday but for now, my wish for you all is a happy, prosperous and healthful 2012!