Shabby Miss Jenn

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Big Purse Alternative

I'm in two local quilting bees, one of which is Cyberbee.  We meet quarterly or so, and "talk" via email otherwise.  At our meeting a few months ago, Barbara showed us some darling purses made from placemats.  (Yes, you read that correctly.)  (ETA:  Barbara has been in touch and told me that she got the pattern from Threads magazine, if you're looking to try it out for yourself.)  These little, 2-pocket bags, in which you could put your license, credit card, check book, and cell phone, are a perfect alternative to lugging a big purse.  Great for quick errands, or kids' sports games/practices.

I ran out and picked up a few placemats, along with some pretty trims for shoulder straps and big, chunky buttons.  When selecting placemats, I found that really heavy/thick ones don't work very well (hard to fold, hard to sew through).  Placemats with pretty borders along one of the short sides worked best, as those borders become the flap and add a nice decorative touch.

Here are the 4 I made over the weekend (straps were tucked inside for the picture):

I made a minor change from Barbara's models - I sewed down a triangle of fabric on the outside of the front pocket so that it could be accessed more easily.  Here's a picture of an open purse, showing the pocket and the strap:

Lessons learned (the hard way, of course :) )
Figure out placement and sew the buttons on FIRST.
Add the button loop and the shoulder straps BEFORE you sew the sides together.
Keep the seam ripper handy. (Not a lesson from this project, but one I learned a long time ago and of which I was rather strongly reminded over the weekend.)

These will be given to Mom, Margaret, Kitty, and Cat.  Surprise!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Quilted and Needle Felted iPad Bag

For our 10th anniversary, Ryan spoiled me with an iPad2, with a slick little magnetic cover.  I love it, and it's been great for all the waiting-around time I have with the kids (carpool, games, practices, etc.).

At the NCQSI a few weeks ago, I got some fun fibers from the YLI booth - organic cotton, hand dyed lacings (think shoe lace like), which, if you pulled up one thread, ruched beautifully.

I pulled out my needle felter, some blue scrim, various wool pre-felts and wool rovings, and some silk carrier rods and had fun making this fabric.  After the wools and silks were attached, I machine quilted it using variegated thread in a plaid pattern.  I then ruched up some of the lacing and added it to the top of the piece.

Today I made it into a padded bag to hold my iPad.  While I had picked out a glorious sunflower fabric to be the back side, Jeremy wanted something a little less "girly looking" for when he gets a chance to use the iPad.  So I switched to this mosaic-style fabric instead.

I decided to use piping around the top edge, to give a more finished look, and a flap to make sure that the iPad doesn't fall out.  I had recently picked up some of Nancy Zieman's Wrap 'n Fuse Piping and decided to give it a try.

 I had two pieces of piping in about 2 minutes (cutting out the fabric strips and ironing it around the piping).  I made a 3" wide flap, added the buttonhole, both miraculously BEFORE sewing the bag together.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

End of the Summer Baseball Season

Matthew was on the Defenders team this year, and they did great, ending the season with a 9-1 record.  He missed 3 of the games due to a broken arm and the stomach bug, but really enjoyed being on the team.  Here are a few pix from last night's game, one of him batting (just look at the determination on his face), and one of him in the "ready" position at shortstop (taken from behind first base, with a runner on the base).

Jeremy could care less about baseball, and either plays in the adjoining field or - when Ryan gives him his iPhone - spends the time playing video games, as he did last night.

In the fall, Matthew will begin machine pitch.  Should be interesting.

Monday, June 6, 2011

NC Quilt Symposium

I spent Saturday and Sunday at the NCQSI, the annual state-wide quilt show, which was held at Peace College in Raleigh this year. I had Saturday morning free to view the show, and it was a nice one this year.

This was Best of Show, Swamp Hibiscus by Judith Heyward. It was beautufully designed and the machine quilting was marvelous.

This appliqued bird quilt was a real showpiece. It was entirely hand-quilted. The corners between the blocks had birds quilted into them, and it appeared that no two were the same. I think that the applique patterns were used as the source for the quilting patterns for the birds.

This spectacular quilt, Daffodil O'Keefe by Katherine McNeese, had me making second and third walks through the section it was hanging in so I could see it again.  So realistic you could reach out and pick it!

Maggie Trees a Coon, by my friend Jeanne

A marvelous miniature Baltimore album, and a detail of it. Just look at the hand quilting!

This beauty was made from an antique table cloth of the creator's husband's grandmother.  It was gorgeously quilted.

The vendor mall enjoyed my visit, too.  I got some wonderful wool roving from Annie's Keepsakes; to-die-for hand-died silk handkerchiefs, organic cotton ricrac (which will ruche automatically if you pull one thread from an unraveled end), and gimp from YLI; and a felting book from Schoolhouse.  After that, I sat on this marvelous rocking-chair porch in the quad and relaxed for a bit before meeting friends for lunch and my afternoon class.  More about that tomorrow!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Washington DC trip

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Washington, DC.  We took the subway (Jeremy's favorite) and walked around the National Zoo on Saturday.  On Sunday, Matthew and Ryan headed to the Nationals-Padres game, including batting practice prior to the game.  Here's Matthew after having his hat signed by Rick Ankiel.  They had seats on the 3rd base line, right near third base, and enjoyed the game.

Jeremy wanted no part of the baseball game.  He instead wanted to go to the Museum of Natural History and look at the gems in particular, and some of the other exhibits that interested him.  Here he is in front of a huge slab of crystals found in Arkansas.

On the way home we stopped into Ikea so I could get a few storage items for my office/craft room.  It was very hot here on Monday, and we were all glad for a swim in the afternoon.

It's hard to believe, but tomorrow's the last day of school for the boys.  I've made these crayon monograms for their teachers to thank them for their hard work and creativity. (These have been a hot item on all the crafting blogs recently.)