Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Lonestar UFO finally finished

I've have really been in a rut since we moved to Japan. I'm not sure if it was going from the tropical Paradise of Hawaii to a country even further from home or if it has something to do with losing an amazing (and very inspirational) view of the mountains and trading it for a view of a storage shed and garbage cans but I have been in a rut. Sewing has been a part of my life for years now, it's been my stress relief and my happy place mentally and so I'm really trying hard to get back up and continue on creating.

One of the things that might be overwhelming is the clutter I feel around me.  Going from a bigger house to a smaller house, bringing all my fabric and most of my sewing room furniture, I have yet to feel like there is a positive energy flow in my sewing room.  Yes, i'm lucky to be able to even have a sewing room but the smaller space means more clutter if I don't clean up after every project.  So gradually I'm going to take all my "UFO" projects...otherwise known as unfinished objects, and I'm going to do something with them.

Yesterday I started with this simple lonestar block that I created in Septemeber (yes, almost 1 year ago!!)  I love it but the background fabrics I chose didn't seem to go with any other background fabrics I have. I didn't purchase enough of that Toile fabric to make even more blocks.

I have had a pillow form sitting in the corner of my living room and of course, I restorted back to making yet another pillow cover.  In my house, we can never have too many pillows. I love the pop of color, I love that they can be moved around and I love how they add a little more interest to an otherwise plain couch.  I used the well written tutorial from Pretty Little Quilts blog.

I made my own piping, first time putting it on a pillow cover and I love the way it looks.
 This corner has a different piping fabric.

I decided to go with just straight matchbox quilting.

 The toile fabric was actually a quilting cotton I purchased from JoAnn Fabrics a long time ago. The star fabric is a mix of Tasha Noel's Vintage Market line and Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy line.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A lampshade makeover

I needed a pick me up today, walked into my sewing room and had an "uh-ha" moment. My old sun bleached lamp shade needed a makeover.

With 2 different fabrics (for the lining and exterior) needle and thread, a hot glue gun and my handy sewing machine I was able to whip up a new lampshade to make my room a little cozier and chic.  It's by no means perfect but perfect enough for me (for now!)  I seem to be on a roll with making old things new lately.  Last week it was repainting and adding decal accents to my 15+ year old Kitchenaide mixer! I saw a DIY tutorial for the kitchenaid mixer here.

Now for my new lamp, out with the old:

Basically, all I did was remove the fabric from the shade, used both the lining and exterior as my "pattern", made a binding strips and reassembled my new shade. Take a look at my photos and scroll to the bottom to see the finished product.

I used these pieces to create my own pattern for the new shade.

I labeled the binding strips so I new which was which when I needed to go make new binding strips.

A little bit of sewing both by machine and hand (to help keep the shade in place before hot gluing):

Lined up my bias tape before gluing it down:

And then just started gluing all the way around.

I couldn't wait to admire the finished product, now I'll have to look around the house to see what other shades I can recover for a new look to the room!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Valentine Quilt and String Cushions

I've been having so much fun with some very colorful projects.  I came across a V and Co. quilt that I just had to make, it's called "I heart You" quilt and it can be found here. It's a beautiful, easy quilt. I'm very used to working with patterned fabrics, I tend toward them quite a bit actually so using just solids is different for me and I actually kind of love it. I still haven' decided whether to make this a wall hanging or a throw quilt (and possibly a twin quilt if I stray from the pattern.)  My youngest daughter seems to have taking claim to it already and suggest a "thrown" quilt, I like the sounds of that! I'm half way through the heart. I misread the amount of squares and HST so it's back to the cutting board today.  

In between piecing all the fantastically pink HST, I made a string quilt pincushion. I am really fascinated by it.  What a great way to bust the stash of scraps.  Sometimes throwing in a fun, quick and cute little project that can be completed in one sitting, it just the right renewal to keep chugging along on a more time consuming project.  

And finally, we went out the other night and I found these magnets that I just could not pass up.  How perfect are they for a sewing room?  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sew on a roll

I'll have to admit that ever since I set up my sewing wonderland, I've been on a roll with knocking out projects on my list.  Just last week my daughters lunch bag went through the dryer and melted.  I wont name any names on who may or may not have sent that through (can't nag my hubs when he actually does the laundry) so that was one of my top priorities.  On one of my Japanese fabric adventures, in a small hidden nook of the store, i found this insanely adorable pug fabric.  Pugs, especially if they are dancing, are not things to be passed up.  So I just winged this pattern and put together this cute lunch bag for her.  It disappeared last night and I asked her what happened to it. You know it's always a compliment when your child tells you it was "too awesome" to just leave in the kitchen. She wanted to decorate her room with it.

These adorable Japanese fabrics are just killing me. I adore them all. After I found the dancing pugs I saw an email come through from fabricworm that they just got in new Japanese fabrics. This particular fabric was on that list and I added  a yard or so to my cart knowing that it was a much better deal online that I paid in the stores, even with the dollar/yen exchange.  But I never did complete the purchase. After posting a picture of it on Instagram and having people ask where they could find that fabric, I discovered that it's sold out. I'll be on the lookout for more pugs.

Today I knocked out a few more projects that have been on my list and they are these queen sized pillowcases.  I'll admit, I have NEVER made a pillowcase so each one I tried a different method and I'll have to say that the method that came out the best was this pillowcase using the "Spellbound" line from Cotton and Steel.  I'm in love and I hope they are just as loved when they go to their new home half way around the world.

Along with Spellbound there is Alice in Wonderland by Lecien and Snoopy & Friends.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The year of finishes

My goal this year is to start and finish as many projects as possible.  This American Flag quilt block is my first 2016 quilted finish.  I found the pattern for the block on the beautiful website Cluck Cluck Sew  I chose to use low volume fabrics for the white stripes and star.  I thought matchstick quilting would make this pillow more durable for every day couch use.

The back side is a decor weight Premier Prints postage printed fabric.  I used a metal zipper closure on the bottom of the pillow.

A little patriotic accent to an otherwise colorful and mixed up decor.

Here's to more 2016 finishes!

We've Moved

We left behind beautiful Hawaii and are not situated just outside of Tokyo, Japan.  What a whirlwind of a move it was.  It took nearly 2 months to get settled here, a majority of that time waiting for our stuff to arrive.  Who would think that our stuff would make it's way all the way to California before coming here to Japan?  Right, it made no sense to me either.  My fingers ached to create.  The few little things I could do here and there just was not enough.  Now that our stuff is all here and pretty much organized, I have been able to create little things to make this "new" home our own.  Curtains, banners, quilt blocks to pillow covers. I am finally in my happy place.

A few little things to adjust to, like no big open floor space to lay projects out comfortably. This morning I had to find any place I could to lay the fabric for curtains.  Interesting indeed but fear not, they are done and up on the windows.  Now when people tell me that I need blackout curtains before summer arrives, I can tell them I've checked that off the list and personalized it.  There are so many more options when you can pick out a quilting cotton, add a black out drapery material to the back and sew it all together.

Within the next few weeks I'll start getting my feet wet in my creative little wonderland. I hope to share more than 2015 so please follow along if you desire.

We've enjoyed exploring some of the stores out in town, especially the 100Yen shop.  Washi tapes, beautiful papers, funky pens and stationary sets around every corner.  I found this little glass dome and I thought what a cute idea to display some pretty washi tapes.  A new obsession are these tin boxes.  They are so cute to store sewing notions or trinkets in.  My kids love the treats inside, I get the tin box when they are done.  I have a feeling there will be many more before we leave.

We are so lucky to have an Ikea nearby.  Perhaps we are unlucky, must practice self control.  The rooms are super small in the home so we decided that at least one of the kids should have a loft bed so create a more spacious feel.  Stark white, metal loft bed needed some decorating so it didn't feel so oddly cold.  A pop of color with a fabric banner, some bohemian string lighting and little girly nicknacks did the trick.  Someone loves her bedroom.  Now, we might just have to get the other 2 loft beds as well.  

 Here's the other wall view, found a cute and inexpensive shelving unit that we placed at the head of her bed. Now she has her alarm clock within reach and a few other trinkets that make her smile.  The hot pink pin board was a find from Hobby Lobby years ago. It's now in it's 3rd home and the perfect framed in location.

My project this morning was to finish the curtains for my oldest daughters bedroom. In Hawaii I had such a large floor plan that there was always a spot to put large projects down to pin them and prepare them for the next step, here, the space is very tight and limited.  I will have to adjust my ways and take what i can get.  That meant moving some chairs in the dining/living room this morning to pin the cotton material to the blackout drapery material.  It was quite the project, especially when it came time to press it and make crisp seams.