Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Signs of Spring

I have been working on this table runner, which hasn't taken much work at all. It was part of a huge bag of partially completed projects that I bought at Goodwill. In this case, the entire top was already pieced, so I just made a sandwich and quilted it. Next comes the binding and it will be done!

Do you see that dark object in the background? It's a knitted scarf of mine that my cat made into a nest. I just leave it like that because it concentrates all the cat hair into one area. A great tip that I thought I'd pass on to you all. It isn't easy to trick a cat.

The woman (or man) that pieced this top really had some talent. Her corners are perfect. 

Here is the bag of scraps. Only after I purchased it ($6.99!) and got it home did I discover that all the scraps are either cut into shapes or sewn into blocks. They aren't true (messy) scraps like I have that are all random sized pieces.

Whoah, what's this? Looks like somebody is anxious to plant his onion sets! 

He will also plant radishes (I'm not a huge fan, but he is) and this year we are trying spinach. Last year we grew leaf lettuce and just kept cutting it and cutting it and it kept coming back for a long time. We ate it for quite a while until it started getting bitter.

Crocus. Is the plural crocuses, croci, crocus? Googling produces differing opinions on this matter. I'll go with crocus. 

Nice shadow; somebody needs photography lessons.

Don't know what these are (below). 
They bloom early with the crocus and they are much tinier than they look in this photo. 

That's all for now. 
Wisconsinites get pretty excited about springtime, hence the post full of signs of spring!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

If the fleece fits, wear it!

Just had to share. Jamie loves his fleece. Remember, he threw out all his other shirts, so he better love it. Ha, just kidding.

Doesn't he look cute?

Look here for details of the construction process. Make a Pattern from a Readymade Shirt

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ohhh, I had some fun today!

First I started with some mending. Then I shortened the sleeves on a couple of blouses. 
Ho hum. When does the fun start.

Well, I began with the dress that you see above. It was from Goodwill, just a simple back zip dress. 
I bought it with a plan in mind.

I cut off the bottom of the dress to make it into a top. 

Then I cut that bottom piece into two long strips and narrow-hemmed the long edges and gathered them into ruffles.

I like how it turned out, but it just needed a little bit of something. I scavenged through my trim box and came up with this beautiful trim. I hesitated, thinking the trim was too good for this blouse. Then, I told myself that I've had this trim stuffed away for years, bring it out and use it! (you all talk to yourselves too, right?) Anyway, it really added a nice touch and I'm glad I put it on this garment.

Funny thing is, I'm not a pink girl and I'm not really a ruffles kinda girl. But hey, this blouse will spruce up my spring wardrobe for cheap, and I'm looking forward to wearing it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Make a Pattern from a Readymade Shirt: The Reveal!

My baby boy (not really a baby, but MY baby) received his package which contained this shirt, so now I can show it to you! According to him, this is the best fleece ever created and he's going to throw out all his other fleeces (believe me, he has lots and lots of them). We know he won't do that but it's nice to know he is happy with this one.

Remember this post in which I went through the process of tracing a readymade shirt and making a pattern? It was fun and educational and I would highly recommend you try it on a favorite garment.

Jamie had ordered some fancy schmancy fleece online. Polartec, I think it's called. That made me all the more nervous. I didn't want to mess up. The price was good, though. I think it was about $7.99/yard and it was very high quality fleece.

Because of what you see below, I would highly recommend making a practice zipper. I searched and searched online and could not find instructions on inserting a half-zip in the front of a garment. I'm sure I've done this before in a sewing project years ago and it seemed to come back to me. But I didn't want to just cut a slit in the front and slap a zipper in. 

So, fortunately, ugly zipper ended up being inserted in a scrap. Whew! I won't lie to you. This process is not for the fainthearted and you need a basic knowledge of garment construction. 

Ugly zipper above.

Pretty zipper below.

Raggedy Ann looks fetching in the fleece. She's always excited to model.

Use your sewing machine's stretch overcast stitches to finish the inside seams and hems to make a more professional looking garment. I used stitches I had never tried before. Again, practice the stitches on fabric scraps first. Do some topstitching on the outside to get away from that homemade look. Look at a readymade garment to see where to topstitch.

Use a stretch knit needle in your machine.  I used Schmetz Jersey Ballpoint.

If you'd like more details, email me. I didn't take any construction photos, but I could explain parts of the process if you would like to make your own shirt. 

Be sure to visit  Sew & Tell Fridays. Lots of fun finishes this week!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pyrex and Fire-King

Recently, I found some cute Pyrex and Fire-King at my local thrift shops. 

I love the practicality and durability of these dishes, but it's always fun to notice that simple baking dishes have been dressed up with designs. Let's make cooking pretty and fun! A great way for a cook to get through the monotony of everyday meal preparation.

When I first saw the yellow dish on the bottom there, I thought it had cooking residue buildup until I looked it up online and saw that it is supposed to have a brownish speckle finish.

I like the divided dish above. How handy! You don't have to mix your peas and carrots!

Until I browsed the internet to find out more about these items, I had no idea there were so many different styles and patterns! I don't have the room to keep on collecting them, but I enjoy what I have and plan to use them for cooking.

I am linking this post to Vintage Thingie Thursday. Click on the icon below to see many beautiful vintage items!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


The winner of my giveaway is . . .

thasnifty said...

what a lovely giveaway! Thanks for sharing it.
A book organizer would come in handy in a big way at my house :)

I love the Teamson Design Magic Garden Toy Chest. The graphics on it are lovely!

Send me an email with your mailing address and your choice of natural or pastel for the bookshelf, and I will order it for you!
Thanks, all, for entering!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bearded Iris, Springtime, and Patience

Here is what they look like today. . .

and what they will look like soon. . .

Ahhh, patience.


I have a great project in the works and can't wait to show it to you. 
As soon as it is finished and has arrived at its wearer's house, I will tell you about it. 

Hope you are enjoying your week!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Vintage Winter Fun

It's time to take this down but I wanted to get a photo to show you before we store it away. We put this up every year, a vintage sled (ca. mid-1950s) and my skates from about 1970. It doesn't help the condition of the sled for it to be out every winter, all winter, but I really like it as a decoration. 

I see that it is time for me to clean out last year's perennials. I like to leave the dead growth as protection from the cold.

Here is the info from the back of the sled:

I am linking this post to Vintage Thingie Thursday. Click on the icon below to see many beautiful vintage items!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring Cleaning . . . and a Giveaway!

One subject that I find fun and informative in my little blogging network is the weather. We all seem to have a slight variation on whatever storm is passing through, or perhaps we are enjoying blue skies that day.

Around these parts, it's beginning to look like Spring! For a girl who has always lived in the northern U.S., Spring is both welcome and fickle. I know that March is not going to stay like this, and we most likely will be in for another few (or more!) inches of snow.

BUT, no matter where you live, springtime seems to ask you to throw open your windows and clean out the winter sludge and ORGANIZE!

I received an email from CSN Stores asking me to host a sponsored giveaway. After perusing their extensive selection of products (just about anything you can think of!), I decided to look at their kids furniture. So . . .

In the spirit of Spring cleaning and ORGANIZATION, the product I chose for the giveaway is this cute and sturdy bookshelf.

From day one, my kids were into books. How much more fun would it be to display your books like this and have your child be able to make a selection and bring it over and crawl up in your lap and read? Ah, sweet memories!

The winner of the giveaway will be able to choose from the bookshelf above in natural or the same bookshelf in pastel (item number 14225 on their kids furniture site).

How to enter the giveaway:
(open to USA and Canada ONLY)

1. Click the link above and then return to leave a comment on this post, sharing something you like from the site. (Required)

2. Follow and/or subscribe to this blog (Optional, for an extra entry. Comment again to let me know.)

3. Share this giveaway in a post on your blog, linking back to this post. (Optional, for an extra entry. Comment again to let me know.)

Don't forget to leave an additional comment each for extra entries #2 and #3. Entries will be accepted until Wednesday, March 10th, 9 p.m. CST. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Lucky Day (thanks, Suzanne!)

You guys are going to be so jealous. This box arrived in my mail. I knew I had won a giveaway but somehow all the stuff looks so much cuter in person! 

I have been following the Coloradolady and have even linked up some of my posts to her fun weekly link party called Vintage Thingies Thursdays. She gets quite a long list of links every Thursday. So many fun vintage items to view, plus some really great stories behind the items.

So imagine my excitement when I won her giveaway! Just look at this loot!

An adorable vintage tin with a sweet flower magnet inside, pretty pastel colored pens, file folders with roses (how fancy!), a quilt case pattern, and fat quarters. Not just any fat quarters, look at these:

Look at the rickrack! And the vintage aprons!

Paper dolls. What could be sweeter??

Be sure to bookmark and/or follow Coloradolady. She has a beautiful web site. Thanks, Suzanne! 

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