Monday, December 31, 2012

I sorta kind of made a dress

I decided to join in on the Sis Boom Rebecca Dress Sew Along.

Sew Sweetness

Since this was the first dress I have ever attempted to make all on my own, I decided to make a muslin dress first instead of cutting into this lovely Amy Butler fabric.

amy butler fabric

It was a good thing that I decided to do that. Why? Well, this dress is not flattering on me at all. I am sure this is due to my body shape and the fact that I have been losing weight for a few months now, and things just don't look quite right. Probably if I was to my goal weight everything would look wonderful, but alas I am at the awkward phase of losing weight.

muslin rebecca dress

Here are the good things. The dress is very easy to make. The directions were very clear, except how to do the collar. However, that is I am sure my inexperience in garment making. I am guessing that the sizing was spot on, I used my measurements from about a month ago, but the dress was loose again I think that is me. Seeing as my pants that would be in that size range are also pretty lose now.

So at this point I am calling this a win. I "made" a dress, I didn't do all the finishing since it was a muslin and I wanted to be able to pull if needed. However, had I finished it the skirt would have been shorter than I intended. Another win is the fact I didn't waste my cute fabric to be unhappy with the finish. So on the last night of the year, I pulled though with meeting one of my goals of "making" clothing.

One thing I learned is putting in a zipper is hard, and of course I had to go for an invisible zipper which the pattern did not call for. Had this been a "real" dress I would have had to redo the zipper for the 5 time. Yes 5 times with the evil zipper.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Snowman Cookies

I made snowman cookies for my husband's office mates for Christmas.

snowman Christmas cookies

Now that might not be shocking in itself, but this were inspired by this blog. I pinned it earlier in the day an made the cookies later that night. I decorated the eyes in the morning as soon as I woke up and now I know food markers takes longer than 45 minutes to dry (notice the smudges on the bags).

Christmas Cookies

I didn't get to taste them, but one of the office mates wives said they were yummy and I am going to believe her.

You might not know this about me, but I am slightly addicted to pinterest. I pin lots and lots of stuff and I spend way to much time looking at all the pretty pictures. But, it isn't often that I make things that I pin on pinterest. Sometimes I might try to follow a hair or makeup tutorial. I might even try a recipe. But actually making a project I pinned ins't very likely. Even though these are cookies and they could be considered a recipe, I am still considering this a crafting type tutorial because this required some artistic type skills and specialized tools (I had to stop by the cake decorating store for icing tips and and other cake decorating items). Not much artistic skills but some. Anyhow, here is a fun example of of a pin that became a reality.

Pinned version

My version

snowman Christmas cookies

Of course my picture isn't as set up as cute (it was 6 am while I should have been getting ready for work), but they both super cute and they were so fun to make.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Improv pillow

The Christmas/ the holiday fan fare is finally over here at our house. Everyone has gone home and all that is left to do is clean up and look forward to the New Year.

I have been wanting to post about this pillow for a while now. I even posted this instagram picture on December 15 and actually finished the next day.

Trying improv piecing for the first time #quilting

However, getting ready for family coming over for Christmas, got in the way of any blog type posting. It also got in my way of finishing the dress I wanted to make and wear for Christmas. Oh well. I think I always plan to much and then never get anything finished. 

Back to the pillow. I think it turned out super cute. I really like improv piecing. For me improv piecing  felt a little bit liberating and a little bit stressful at the same time. I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. For me not having a plan was a bit nerve racking, but it turned out super cute. This was also my first invisible zipper and I really like the way it turned out. It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be.

improv pillow for gramps

The funniest part was when I showed it to my husband and he told me my seams were not straight. I had to inform him that they were all straight just cut at angles and that it was supposed to be that way. I think got an oh that's nice.. I don't think he got it.

This pillow is for gramps' bed.  I also made some matching pillowcase, which I made a tutorial on if you want to make your own customized store bought pillows

Customized Pillowcase-16.jpg

All of this was to match his quilt that I made him this summer for his birthday. 

Gramps Quilt in his room

I can't wait to see it all on his bed, and see how all of it came together. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a very Merry Christmas. And to everyone else I hope you had a fantastic day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

An Instagram Work in Progress Wednesday

Oh my gosh. I have been so busy. As a teacher, I normally get the week before Christmas off. It gives me lots of time to finish last minute projects, go shopping and just get ready for Christmas. Well not this year. This year I get off work on the 21st. Which is no time at all to get ready for the holiday. That means that every night I am going home, eating dinner, and running my errands. That isn't counting the fact that I have had after school meetings.

Even with all of this, I have had some progress. This progress has been documented only through my phone camera and posted to Instagram. So here we go with my instagram version of work in progress.

I drew all the lines on my magic flying geese.

#quilting working on some magic flying geese.

Worked on some embroidery during my breaks at work to get my mind to turn off.

Embroidery progress for the week.

I am working on my very first improv piece that is became a pillow (more to come on that).

Trying improv piecing for the first time #quilting

I also started on my first ever attempt at dress making. I am doing a muslin first so I don't ruin my good fabric, which I have already found was a good choice.


There we go, that is it. I have one Christmas present left to make and finishing these projects and that will probably be it for this year. Well maybe, my mom is coming up for Christmas so maybe we will get to sew together for a bit.
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Linking up to: WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Quilt Album Software Winner

I had two giveaways going on for the Quilter's Blog Hop and Giveaway. This post is announcing the second winner. Once again thank you to everyone who participated in the Quilter's Blog Hop and Giveaway. I had so much fun reading your comments and I tried to reply to everyone that I could (some people were no-reply bloggers). I also want to thank everyone who decided to follow along and to like my Facebook page. I am super excited to have additional people following along. I also really like all my seasoned readers too :)

Now on to the part that you have all been waiting for, the winner of the Quilt Album Software is Julia B.

Winner of the Quilt Album Software

Congratulations Julia B! I am sending you an email right now. Please respond with in 72 hours so I don't have to pick a new winner.

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Central Park Charm Pack Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Quilter's Blog Hop and Giveaway. I had so much fun reading your comments and I tried to reply to everyone that I could (some people were no-reply bloggers). I also want to thank everyone who decided to follow along and to like my Facebook page. I am super excited to have additional people following along.

Now on to the part that you have all been waiting for, the winner of the Central Park Charm Pack is Maureen H.

Winner of the Central Park Charm Pack

Congratulations Maureen H! I am sending you an email right now. Please respond with in 72 hours so I don't have to pick a new winner.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Work in Progress

Once again I have been busy sewing. No quilting, just sewing. I needed to get a few things done

I finished my second pretty little pouch.

Pretty Little Jewelry Pouch #2

I also made this sweet little mouse pincushion for the Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild pincushion swap. I used this tutorial and the pattern is from 1, 2, 3 Sew: Build Your Skills with 33 Simple Sewing Projects.

Pincushion Mouse for SacMQG swap

And I finished another block for Embroidery 101 quilt along that ended last November. I so did not keep up with that one. This is block #7.

Embroidery 101 block 7 done

However, I still have 3 blocks left to go. Why, oh because somehow I skipped block 6.

Although this doesn't seem like much I am actually making good progress on my goals this month. I have 2 more x-mas gifts to make and I need to put together my Rebecca dress pattern for the sew along. The only progress I made on putting it together was I bought some tape :)

If you haven't entered yet, I am having two giveaways for the Quilter's blog hop and if you like Kate Spain fabric you should really check it out.

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Linking up to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and link a finish Friday  and finish it up Friday

New Winner for Sew Mama Sew

The first person I picked for the Simply Color Fabric Stack did not reply to the notification of winning within the 72 hour time frame. However, I still have a very lovely stack of fabric to giveaway. So I had to pick a new winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The new winner is: Entry #338 Kelly P. who liked me on facebook.

New Winner for SMS giveaway

Congratulations Kelly P. I have already emailed you, and as long as I hear back from you with in the 72 hour time frame  I will be sending you this lovely stack of fabric. If not then I guess I will have to pick a new winner again. 

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Quilter's Blog Hop Party and Giveaway!

Yep it is giveaway time again! I am joining in on the Blog Hop Party and Giveaway.

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

This year is Quilting Galleries 5th Birthday. Quilting Gallery has a fun blog to follow, weekly quilt contests, and a directory of quilting blogs. Each year they host this blog hop party and giveaway.

Now just in case you are new visitor, I want to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Jenniffier, I am a teacher and live with my two German Shepherd Dogs and my loving husband. I try to create on the weekends and after work, but often that doesn't happen, which is why this blog is my sometimes creative life. I like to blog about my quilting, sewing, cooking, crafting and sometimes life. Here are some of my favorite projects that I have posted on this blog.

Some of my favorite things from my blog

I also have a lot of projects that I am planning on completing this year. Plus I am sure more projects will gain my attention.

Upcoming projects on my blog

If you want to see more you can visit my completed quilts page, my sewing project page, recipes page and tutorial page.

On to the giveaway. I am actually going to do two separate giveaways with two separate rafflecopter widgets, which might take a moment to load. One for fabric, a central park charm pack to be exact, and one for some software. I thought about joining the two items into one giveaway, but to be as transparent as possible, the software is something I won in a package deal giveaway, and although it is a really cool software to document your quilt making, it just isn't something that I am ever going to do. I have had it for over a year and haven't thought of installing it. Ok maybe when I came across it again I thought of installing and then decided that someone else may enjoy it much more than me.

Anyhow, to enter the giveaways you must use the rafflecopter widget that right under the picture of the giveaway item.  You can enter by following the directions in rafflecopter widget to leave a comment. That is all that is necessary to enter. However, if you would like more chances you can do any of the other tasks in the widgets. Most are repeats so if you do the task in one, just click that you did it in the other. That is if you are entering both giveaways. Remember you don't have to follow in way shape or form, but if you want to or if you already do you can get an extra entry. That choice is up to you.  The winner will have 72 hours to get back to me or I will have to pick another winner. I will end this giveaway on December 15 (that is when the widget expires) and I will post and email that winner sometime on the 13th.

The first giveaway is for Kate Spain's Central Park Charm Pack. I really like the central park fabric, I have two bags made of Central Park fabric and I am making a quilt from the same line. This fabric is out of print and hard to find, but yet it was sitting on a shelf of my local quilt store just waiting for me to be able to give it away.

Central Park Charm Pack for Giveaway

The second giveaway is for Quilt Album software. From looking at the website this is a very easy software to create a record of you quilt making. Basically when you add a new project it asks you for the project name and then you drag and drop the picture into the software and you can fill out all the information that you want about your quilt. It also has different printing features so you have multiple choices about how you want to keep a record of your quilts. As I said super cool software to keep track a record of your quilting. The software is valued at $39.95. So if this is something you would like enter here too.

Quilt Album Software for Giveaway

Pretty Little Pouch #2

These pouches are so much fun to make I couldn't help but make another one.

Pretty Little Jewelry Pouch #2

They are just so cute and so easy and unless you forget to put the casing in to hold the cording in place the pouch can be completed in an evening.

Inside of Jewlery Pouch

Not that I know what forgetting the casing entails. It isn't like I came out to show the pouch to my husband and tell him I needed to go buy some cording for it to be finished. And it isn't like he started questioning you about where the cording goes. And I didn't by any chance give him complete attitude stating some like "You slide the cord through the button hole and you just pull it and all the sides come up and it squishes all together." To only be told "I don't understand",again. And it wasn't like I may have tried to point it out again speaking a bit slower, only to use some choice four letter words and start rambling about how I can't believe I skipped the casing step and mumbling all the way back to my sewing room to use the seam ripper to take out the stitches for the pockets. Hearing a voice  trailing behind me saying "I still don't get what you mean by casing." And then some snickering as he really I messed up.

Well, it is done now! Thank goodness.

Oh and case you were wondering, you can see the first one here or if you want to make your own here is the Art Gallery Tutorial.
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Linking to: Skip to my Lou

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Winner

UPDATE: The winner did not contact me back so I have to pick a new one.

First of all thank you for everyone who entered the contest and for everyone who decided to follow along. I am so excited to have you here to join my sometimes creative life's journey.  I have some fun projects planned. However, the question always is: will actually finish the great ideas in my head? I am hoping I am not the only one out there with this problem.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On to the most important part of this post. The winner of the lovely stack of fabric is Michelle S.

Michelle S. I have already emailed you, and as long as I hear back from you with in the 72 hour time frame  I will be sending you this lovely stack of fabric. If not then I guess I will have to pick a new winner.

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

Now if you are not the winner, you are still lucky to be following along as I have two more giveaways planned for this month. Tomorrow I will be posting the giveaway for the blog hop party with give-aways.

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

I know of three things I am going to be giving away for this giveaway. I may add some fabric, it just matters if I can make it to a LQS today.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

How to Customize your Store Bought Pillowcase Tutorial

I wanted to make some pillowcase for Christmas but, I wasn't into the whole making pillowcase from scratch thing. As far as I could tell, from the tutorials for pillowcases online, it was going to be a couple yards of fabric, just for the case, plus more fabric for the cuff. Although it look super easy, I started adding all this up in my head and though there had to be a better way. Plus as far as my sheets go they usually have a higher thread count and are much softer than quilting cotton. Plus pillowcases really don't cost that much (at least not as much as a couple yards of fabric. So I decided to find some really nice pillowcases on sale and customize the store bought pillowcase to match the quilt. Now just because I like to share, I thought I would make a little the tutorial for you. 

How to Customize your Store Bought Pillowcase Tutorial:
How to Customize Your Pillowcase -
- A pillowcases
- 9 inches x Width of Fabric (WoF) peice of fabric
-sewing machine
-seam ripper
-rotary blade, mat and ruler
-measuring tape

Step 1:  Start with a store bought pillowcase in your color of choice. Here you have two options, you have to look at your pillow and pillowcase to figure out the best option. You can either cut off the cuff or you can use your handy dandy seam ripper and pick out the stitching. I measured the cuff on these pillowcases and it was under 4 inches since my cuff was going to be 4 1/2 inches unfinished I knew I could just cut off the end and it would end up being the same size. If your pillowcase cuff  is smaller you may need to unpick and cut down to the right size. You might also check your pillow to see how big the pillowcase is compared to the pillow. It may not matter if you have a smaller sized pillow to fit in a much larger sized pillowcase.

Customized Pillowcase.jpg

Step Two: Measure the whole perimeter (P) of the opening to your pillowcase with your measuring tape and measure the width of your fabric.  It is important that you measure all the way around the pillowcase rather than just measuring one side. I found that the store bought pillowcase often bunched up and I wasn't able to get a good measurement without measuring all the way around.

Your width of  fabric needs to be 1 inch longer than your pillowcase to allow for seam allowance. With my pillowcase the perimeter (P) of the opening was 42 inches and lucky for me the WOF happened to be 43.

Step 3: Fold the 9 by (P +1) piece of fabric in half by matching up the long sides. Press with the iron.

Customized Pillowcase-1.jpg

Step 4: Open the fabric back up. Take the two short ends and match the right sides together.

Customized Pillowcase-2.jpg

Step 5:  Sew together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance to make the cuff.

Customized Pillowcase-4.jpg

Step 6: Press seam allowance open.

Customized Pillowcase-5.jpg

Step 7: Flip the cuff right side out and use the previously ironed line to help you make a nice cuff. Lightly press again.

Customized Pillowcase-6.jpg

Step 8: Turn your pillowcase inside out, so the seams are now on the outside. Put your cuff inside the pillowcase and pin well. Make sure right sides are together.

Customized Pillowcase-7.jpg

Step 9: Sew 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around. Make sure to start and stop by back stitching a couple stitches.

Customized Pillowcase-8.jpg

Step 10: Turn the pillowcase right side out and make sure everything look good. Look all the way around making sure that the fabric didn't slip at all and your seam looks good.

Customized Pillowcase-9.jpg

Step 11: Finish the raw edge.

Customized Pillowcase-12.jpg

I used a serger stitch, which a built in stitch and uses a special foot for my machine. If you have a serger you could just serger the edge. Or if you don't have either of these options you could zigzag the edge.

Customized Pillowcase-11.jpg

Step 12: Turn right side out again and press.

Customized Pillowcase-13.jpg

Repeat the process if you would like to make more customized pillowcases.

Customized Pillowcase-16.jpg

These pillowcases will go with the quilt that I made Gramps' for his 80th birthday! 

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Linking to: Skip to my Lou