Sunday, June 29, 2008

Getting it together

One of my goals for 2008 is to finally pull our house together. We've lived here for 4 years and the upstairs still isn't painted (except Lucy's room, of course), the carpet hasn't been replaced, and the light fixtures are in a desperate need of an update! We inherited so many fabulous pieces from our families; I really think that they deserve to be in a house that's a bit more coordinated! I will post updates as we progress.

My current focus is lighting. For the kitchen, I found the most perfect light fixture ever here. I really want the pink fixture but the orange would probably be more sensible. Our kitchen table is a 1970's orange with pink vinyl seats. The pink vinyl is going to be replaced this summer with a darker pink, almost rose vinyl but the table will still be the original orange. Other fixtures to be hung include a vintage chandelier in Lucy's room, another vintage chandelier over the dining room table and a 1970's glass ball fixture in the stairwell. I also ordered a bunch of fixtures from Restoration Hardware (on sale) for the bathrooms and to replace the builder "quality" fixtures in the ceilings.

I'm planning to consult with a really cool designer from Black-Eyed Susan. I think she'll help me pull all these pieces together. Yes, I could probably do it myself but sometimes it just helps to have an outsider's perspective.

And finally, the sewing room. We took the extra bed out - now the space is all mine. I'm excited and overwhelmed by the prospect. I know it will be great for me and Lucy to have a room to create in and for me to have cutting space as well as sewing space. For now, I'm really enjoying using my grandmother's table (pictured above). Next week I'm going to take the actual machine in to be repaired so that I can actually use it too! Plus, with the extra space, I may get another small table just for Dorothy's Featherweight.

I'm off to Jo-Ann's to buy a fold-away cutting table! Yeah! Maybe I should get a dress form too...

Bye. Happy Sewing!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Inspriation/stuff board

Inspriation/stuff board, originally uploaded by stitchingpink.

This is a picture of the board in my room. It's no so much as a design space as much as it is a collection of stuff that either means something to me or inspires me or both. If you go to my flickr page, you can scan over most of the items for a description.

I've been busy making some very very cute fabric gift tags for the shop's annual Christmas party. Really fun machine applique. I will post pics when they're finished.

I'm also busy trying to pull our house together. A while back we received a lot of family heirlooms, furniture, light fixtures, etc - sadly a lot of it has either been put in the garage for shoved in a corner. Now that I have a bit more time I want to get stuff hung, recovered, repainted and so on so that we can enjoy them. More on that as I get projects completed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Flirty Skirts

Over the last few months I have spent a large chunk of time each day sitting on a Septa train commuting to and from Phildelphia. Usually I read and listen to music. Sometimes I dream about sewing and knitting projects (a lot of the time actually.) These skirts were one of those dreams. I first saw the pattern here and then found a more refined version in the Summer 2008 issue of Quilts and More. I loved the simplicity of the pattern plus I could cut all pieces using a rotary cutter.

The first one I made was so simple that I immediately cut out fabric for the next one. Plus the blue and red one was a bit small for Lucy.

Flirty Skirts from Quilts and More

The second one I did out of Amy Butler's latest fabric collection.

Flirty Skirts from Quilts and More

And then I was having so much fun I just made this skirt with tiers of gathered fabric. Actually this one fits Lucy the best.

Amy Butler skirt for Lucy

Also, as I went along I changed a few things. For starters, I used french seams to join side seams. I also added a bit more fabric to allow for a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Since I don't have a serger (yet, hint, hint...) I finished the gather edges by doing the following: I sewed the 1/2 inch seam. Then I sewed another seam about 1/8 inch to the right of the first one. Then I trimmed the seam to 1/4 inch. Then I zig-zagged the edge. A lot of work but I think it will hold up better in the wash. Plus, I grew up with a mother who was always turning clothes inside out to check the finishing. She said that the true sign of a well made garment was in the finished details - the stuff no one could see. So, as much as I try to be quick and easy about things, I still hear her voice as I'm finishing a project. sigh.

I plan to teach this project as a class because I think it's a simple project for a new sewer and the resulting product is just very very cute. Also, once you learn the basics, you can improvise and make your own version.

Finally, thanks so much to Sew Mama Sew for posting the circles quilt on their Featured Creativity blog entry! I hope that those of you who are visiting for the first time will come back often. I promise to update with more frequency now that I have more time. I also plan to post a tutorital for making the circles.

Off to the quilt store.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Finished at last!

Circles Quilt, originally uploaded by stitchingpink.

Here it is. The circles quilt from Valori Wells' book "Simple Start, Stunning Finish." I never thought I would actually get it finished with my schedule of travleing back and forth to Philly for the last 3 months! I backed it in corduroy as well - yellow with blocks of pink, green and turquoise. I'll get a pic of that the next time I'm at the shop; since I made it as a shop sample/kit, it will be there for a while. Karen of Poppycourt Quilting did the machine quilting for me and put the bias binding on as well - I just handstitched the binding to the back of the quilt. Lucy likes it so hopefully the kits will sell quickly so that we can have it on her bed this fall.

I'm well. It's been an adjustment to working but the part-time schedule is going to be fabulous. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is an amazing place - I'm happy to be a part of the care that they provide to families.

As for sewing, I'm doing a lot of it - skirts, baby blankets, bibs, etc. I will post of those later this week.

Speaking of, Lucy is asleep so I'm going to run upstairs, put a Gilmore Girls DVD in, and get stitching....