Friday, March 7, 2014

I think I meant to post this in March...

Despite my absence, I swear I've been busy! Goose's second birthday was the last day of February. When we brought him home from the hospital (5 days later) there wasn't any snow on the ground. At 2 weeks old we went for a walk outside and I didn't have coat on. Therefore, I find it perfectly unacceptable that we were reaching the end of February with mounds of snow on the ground and more in the future. Woof. I needed a spring infusion and I needed it fast.
First thing I did was recover this large down pillows we had (you can see one in the background of the top photo with the floral print). They were hand me down pillows that I had recovered when we first moved into our house 4 years ago. I knew the covers were too small, but it wasn't until I went to update them that I realized how bad they were. It squeezed the pillow to half the size and was bulging out of the back. Double woof. 10 minutes later I had bright springy covers on them and they are the squishiest comfiest things ever.

So then I turned my attention to some other pillows that needed some TLC. The pillow form was an outdated pillow I bought from Pottery Barn years ago. I wanted a bright cheerful cover that, again, could be made quickly. I used the Economy Block Tutorial from Red Pepper Quilts and couldn't believe how easily it all came together!

Next my mantle needed a pick me up. I've been eying some paper piecing patterns out there and loved these Robins from Tartankiwi on Craftsy. They were perfect to dig into my scrap bag for (thought the background does take more than scraps). I ended up buying a couple of fat quarters for them when I got the end and realized I had used all my "good" fabric colors up already.

This one was my first and is my absolute favorite!

Though this one comes in a close second...

Here's a shot of them hanging over my mantle. I used a dowel pocket (not sure if that's the quilting term, but it's what we called it back in my trade show days!) on the back and a command strip on either side of the pocket to hang them. After changing out the mantle decor every few months that poor wall has had a lot of nails!

Lastly, I threw a "Gnome and Woodland Animal" themed party for Goose's second. There were quite a few sewn elements, including gnome hats for all the kids (that mostly ended up on the adults heads!) but this was my favorite piece of "decor".

It was the first time I had done a stacked cake and the first time I had used fondant beyond cupcake toppers. Obviously the leaves are a bit crazy and I would have assembled them different next time, but I kind of love this cake.

Though I think I should point out that it was never my intention to have a birch tree with oak leaves. I was picturing a stand alone house with birch siding and leaves for a roof, but the roots sort of just happened and next thing you know I had one very confused tree.

It was super hard to cut into (like emotionally difficult, not physically difficult)!

Project Bag Complete!

Whomp, apparently I've been terrible about updating. My project bag is finished...and has been for awhile now, but I put it to immediate use and never photographed it. Oops. And in my sleep deprived state (thank you toddler who can get out of his bed now and 3rd trimester pregnancy sleep!) I can't think forward enough to take a better photo than hanging off the chair in my makeshift studio/playroom!

Is it okay to be in love with a bag? I love this bag. The pattern is the Crafty Traveler from Ellison Lane. More on my cosmic connection to this bag in my last post. A brief run down again: the feather fabric is one I designed on Spoonflower, the vinyl leather handels are leftover from Goose's diaper bag, the orange pearl bracelet and green arrows are from the lovely $2.99/yd fabric store near me and the blue chevrons on the inside are my Spoonflower design as well.

The pattern is great, but I knew I was going to need a little more secure storage. First I added an interior pocket and in front of that pocket a large (full length of the side) slip pocket out of heavy interfacing. This is perfect for me to store small embroidery or felt projects without them getting lost at the bottom of the bag. I probably use this pocket more than anything.

I also added a recessed zipper on top. It's the first time I've tried this so it's not perfect, but I'm happy enough with the results. And it definitely works as this bag gets thrown around!

Lastly I chose to use the same outside fabric all the way around (this pocket with the Urban Threads embroidery pattern (the stitches are a little wonky because of the water solvent transfer paper I used that I won't be using again!):

I was trying to use supplies that I already had in my stash, especially after the cost of the Spoonflower fabrics! Luckily I had the zipper (though I would have preferred an orange one!), the fabrics, Thermolam and the heavy interfacing. I didn't have the Shape Flex. A little research told me that Shape Flex makes quilt weight fabric feel like canvas. You know what else feels like canvas? Canvas. And that I have plenty of so I used my trusty double sided fusible webbing to secure the lining fabric to the canvas to give it some extra heft. Definitely extra steps, but it didn't cost me a penny (I like to think money I previously spent just some how disappears).

Now to stuff my bag more full of projects...