Crafting in a pet-full home.

Radiator, keeping me company while I stitch.
the poor thing only gets the teeniest edge of the quilt for a bed.

but watch out, he likes attacking the thread as it moves.

and here's Harper, in my scrap bin.

As he is the world's most patient and tolerant dog with my kiddos, I will be patient and tolerant about him being IN MY SCRAPS.

Posted by Picasa

Bath Ninjas!

I can't find any pictures of the original ninja (sad!), but this morning I made ninja #6...
For xmas last year, my sister suggested making her son a hooded bath towel that had ninja eyes, because my nephew was really into ninjas. So I bought some black towels, and whipped that out, but it seemed like a pretty meager gift. So I experimented a little, and used the scraps and some safety-eyes, and made a bath ninja to accompany the towel. And then D saw the testers, and fell in love, and then the bean needed one too. it's basically a stuffed toy mixed with a washcloth, and my kids are NUTS for theirs. 
So nuts that the Bean wore hers out. so today I had to make her a new one, and so here they are, playing with their bathninjas. (that's what they call them. bathninjas. one word.)
ninjas peeking over the tub
exploding attack
more peeking
close up of today's ninja
the original ninja

Let me know if you want the pattern/tutorial, and I'll try to get it done this week....

Easy Shorts!

Step 1. find an old/stained tank top. (or t-shirt).
Turn it inside out, fold it in half so the side seams are together (on the left in the photo below)
Use the existing hem, and cut the tank parallel to the hem as long as you want the shorts to be (plus 1.5-2 inches)
Cut a J, about 1.5 inches wide, and 2/3 of the height (you can see I started with a small J, and kept making it longer and longer.
Open the tank flat, and sew the Js together.(yellow stitches. I used my serger, but if you don't have one, use a stretch/ball point needle, and a zigzag stitch. Or don't, just leave the edges raw.)
Cut off the remaining side-seams (the part left at the bottom of the J), and line them up, with the J seams straight. (hmmm. I think the picture above is WAY more clear than my words.)
Sew those raw edges together (if you have a serger, these are the threads to tuck in, so you don't get itchy edges).
Turn right side out. Fold over the top, to the inside, and use elastic thread to shir through the fold, gathering the waist. I went around 2.5 times, and then my bobbin was empty, and the Bean didn't want to wait for me to wind a new bobbin. So these aren't tooooo shirred, but they're shirred enough to stay up. 
Because I'm sewing for a 2 year old and the tank is an adult medium, they're going to be roomy, so perfection in size doesn't matter. You don't need a pattern for something this simple....

Daily kitten fix, tute preview

Ok, so the cathedral windows quilt is by far the most difficult and therefore awesome thing I've ever made. Just looking at it makes me happy. Add in some fluffy orange goodness (times 2), and the happy-meter practically explodes.
Case in point:
also, after the kiddos go to sleep tonight, I'll show you how I made these REALLY fast (like under 10 minutes) shorts for the Bean out of an old tank top of mine...

Hand quilting demo?

I'm working on a big baby quilt right now, and I'm quilting inside each shape. I'm certainly no expert, but I was wondering if anyone would be interested in either product reviews (like "DON'T use the gold Fons and Porter thimble or your finger will turn green. Do use the cheap Dritz one on your middle finger to push the needle, and a super cool rubbery one (Japanese, Little House brand) on your thumb to help pull the needle" etc? ); or a tute on how I hand quilt? As a self-taught quilter, I can tell ya ALL the wrong ways to do things, and maybe help a little....
Anyway, let me know....

a "u" seam?

it's sorta hard to see, but I love how well it came out....
see the owls in the top left? it's 2 pieces! I set the corner piece into the block, because the green and owl parts were too small...

you can SORTA see it here on the back, but not really.

I'm super proud of how smoothly it went in....

Posted by Picasa


486 4" blocks (18x27), each made from 9.5" squares of Kona Espresso (that's roughly 35 yards of Espresso)

11 spools of Guterman Silk thread, 1 skein of white sashiko cotton thread, 1 spool of white silk button hole twist, 12 seams per block= 5832 seams (all the white thread is hand stitching).

2 charm packs of Kona Solids (the Dusty colors), plus, um, at least 4 yards of Kona White, cut into 2.5" squares.

no mojitos, but LOTS of television. and books on tape. LOTS. (TV: Covert Affairs, White Collar, SYTYCD, ANTM, Burn Notice, Bachelor/ette, The Tudors, BOT: The Other Queen, The Alchemist's Daughter, The King's Mistress, Thimble Summer. And LOTS of podcasts of This American Life)

72x108 makes this perfect for my Cal-King bed, as it's too heavy to fold over the top/hang off the bottom without falling off the bed entirely. it's almost like a "bed scarf," albeit a very large and heavy one.

it's MAYBE my favorite quilt ever. I especially love the personal meaning...
Now I've just got to finish embroidering my name/date on that one lone white square in the top left corner, and then it's actually really and forever done.
soooooo many hours.
so worth it.

Posted by Picasa

WF Wednesday!

its Works FINISHED Wednesday!

Aneela Hooey did this awesome QAL earlier this year, and I loved it. (she calls it pickledish, but here in the USA, it's a double wedding ring, and a pickledish is a quilt with triangle-y pieced rings, so I never know what to call it)... Anyway, I made like 2 rings, and then quit, because I couldn't keep up....

but then C went to Alaska for several weeks, and I was going nuts, so I pulled all the pieces back out, and whipped the entire top out in 2 weeks!

It has been steadily used, while being hand quilted at parks, and keeping me warm at night, and going to picnics, etc...
because I added the sashing, it's a whopping 110" square (sorta square, as I randomly curved 1 corner of the quilt. not sure why/how I did that)
It's ALL from stash. Konas and reproduction feedsack prints, and other random stuff, cotton and linen and blends...
I forgot to take a pic of the back, but I will do so soon, and post that too, it's got a few little pieces in it to make it slightly more interesting...

Posted by Picasa


So, I've had this silver thimble for a while, it's fine, CHEAP, and easily replaceable.... BUt I've been doing a lot of hand quilting lately, and so decided to buy a backup... I bought this Fons and Porter gold-colored (brass) one. Today, I used it all day, in lieu of the nice silver one... 
Dish soap and water does not remove this horrible green tinge from my finger. (Does any one know what I can do to get it off? I assume it's a chemical reaction of some sort?)
So, uh, be warned. Buy the cheap one. It won't stain your finger. 

more birthday presents....

I used some of the birthday present fabric I got this morning to make presents for the kidlets....

I love the pockets I made. they're angled, not curved, sorta like part of an octagon... (there're street signs on the pants)

I used a recycled t-shirt for a yoga-pants waist band... not sure if the shirt I used had enough lycra though... might need to add a drawstring.

My little dude has NO hips/butt, so I'm not sure ANYTHING will stay up on him.

I didn't hem the pants, but used the selveges. 

Easiest pants ever. self-drafted, 30 minutes, from cutting to wearing. LOVE. 

(The trick to awesome pants like this is awesome fabric, which unfortunately costs a bundle. But it was on sale at momen + for 1/2 off, so it was only $10/yd, I only needed 3/4 of a yard, it was in D's favorite color, and it was my birthday. So now he has cute Mama's-birthday-pants.)
Of course, I can't ignore the Bean. So, inspired by the pretty fabric, here's her Mama's-birthday-dress:

I'm loving the idea of it, even if the execution was slightly confused....

it's got a REALLY high twirl-factor.

It's long enough to cover her skivvies.

She think's it's comfortable, and likes the colorful horses....

but is ultimately unimpressed, as it is green and orange. The Bean is NOT a fan of green OR orange. so.... um... I guess I'll save it? it's got lots of room for growing.... I'd give it away, but the construction is a little messy, so I don't want anyone to see the insides....

Posted by Picasa

Hand quilting at the park...

I need to finish the hand quilting (hopefully by the end of the week) and then I'll do a big reveal. it's maybe my favorite quilt EVER. esp. since last week we were having a massive heat wave, so I'd pack up the kids and the quilt, and we'd spend the whole afternoon at the park, and I'd quilt and read aloud, and they'd run and play and collapse back on the quilt as I worked. GOOD times.