Friday, October 30, 2015

It's Peter Pan!

Every October I can't imagine topping last year's halloween costume but somehow I manage to pull it off. This year is no different.  You can check out all of the various halloween costumes I've made here (this link will also include this post, just FYI).

This year's costume is  -- PETER PAN!

All summer long, my son was obsessed with watching the movie and reading the story every night. It seemed only fitting that he dress up as Pan for Halloween. Of course, my first step was to troll around on Pinterest to see what I could find. I loosely followed this tutorial for the shirt and hat and I made the pants using this tutorial from Made by Marzipan and the Fat Quarter Shop. Both pieces hardly took any time at all. What took the longest was knitting the rope belt from some silky cording yarn I had in my stash.

What surprises me most is how little it can cost to make a great costume, one that is much better than something with a plastic mask, which is what I had growing up. Here's the cost breakdown for this costume:

  • Men's medium t-shirt:  $2.39
  • Knit fabric for pants & bag of red feathers for hat: $6.11
  • Waistband elastic for pants & felt for hat: $3.97
  • Silk cording for belt: $0 (came from stash)
GRAND TOTAL:  $12.47

You can't beat that! I have extra felt that I can use to make some boot-style toppers but since my son already has some brown shoes, I think we're just going to let him wear those. Bring it on, Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Stash Bee 2016 Sign Ups

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed participating in this year's Stash Bee (my first) and can't wait for next season. If you've ever wanted to join an online bee and have been reluctant in the past - take a chance! You won't regret it. I've learned so much about myself as a quilter, have tried new techniques, and just had so much fun!

Sign ups for Stash Bee 2016 opened up today and I hope you'll join me next year.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Crayon Caddy Conundrum

I'm so glad we've finally had a change in the weather here in Central Florida. My husband fondly refers to it as "Fallspring" since the temps are now in the upper 70s/low 80s during the day and 50s at night. It's GLORIOUS!

The change in the weather is my indicator that it's time to get crackin' on some holiday sewing. For my younger niece and nephew I decided to make them a portable art caddy. After seeing some different styles online I decided to use this tutorial that uses velcro instead of ties (ties can sometimes be tricky for little fingers). Here is how it turned out.

At first glance it looks very functional. It has individual pockets for crayons that are nicely snug, and 2 different pockets to hold paper and stickers.

But here's the issue. Those pockets work out nicely when the case is open but once you close it and hold it by the handles, things in those open pockets come sliding out. It's definitely a design flaw for what I intended to put in it, like a small notebook, a pencil sharpener, and possibly some craft scissors. Don't get me wrong, I think this is adorable, but I need to go back to the drawing board and just design one that is more of what I want complete with a larger zippered pocket.

My favorite aspect of this little caddy is where I was able to put my little label. It just makes it look so much more polished. 

And don't think that this is a total loss. I filled it with some goodies and it's being gifted to a friend's daughter when they come to visit. It might help her to pass the time on the plane ride home.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Classroom Prep

This past week I started teaching the 5th graders at our local elementary school how to quilt so that we can make their school wallhanging. So last weekend, I was working on lesson plans and gathering together all of the supplies we'll need in the classroom. For any teachers out there, I was introduced to a neat online teaching tool called Blendspace which allows you to house any media resources like youtube videos, powerpoint presentations, and graphics all within a lesson plan that you create.

I'd gotten 90% of the fabric cut out and placed into individual baggies. Thank you so much to Yvonne, Lisa, Cindy, and Darlene for sending me fabric. It truly was appreciated and is being put to good use.

In gathering up all of the various sewing notions that we might use, I realized that I needed some more pincushions. The students sit at 7 tables so I wanted a pincushion for each table but I only had 3.

I was able to whip up 2 on Sunday afternoon using this tutorial. Despite the wonkiness of the photo, they really are square.  I'm hoping I can make a few more when I get a spare moment.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The New Quilter's Planner

Today is an exciting day. Stephanie Palmer, aka the Late Night Quilter, has been working on an amazing planner designed specifically for quilters. It has a lot of great features to help quilters keep track of their projects as well as their everyday lives.

It also includes quilt patterns by some great designers and quilt blocks designed by various quilters throughout the blogging community, including me!

You can read more about it on Stephanie's blog. And if you think this is something you'd like to have, consider supporting this campaign and learning more about the planner here.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Nifty Little Glue Basting Trick

I've been fascinated about glue basting for quite a while but have never tried it until now. The thing that was holding me back was that micro-tip that all of the tutorials said you needed. None of my local quilt shops carried them and call me cheap, but I didn't like the idea of spending $10 (plus shipping) on a tiny 1 oz. bottle of glue with a special tip. Not when I know you can use regular washable Elmer's glue and get 4 oz. for $1.29.

Well, I found a super inexpensive solution in the form of a hair color applicator bottle that I kept in my laundry room. It can be found at your local Sally Beauty Supply store for less than $2.

I've started teaching my son how to do laundry and I have it filled with white vinegar (I use that instead of fabric softener and also make my own laundry detergent). The other day I took a closer look at that tip and thought it was narrow enough that it might work with glue.

I was planning on filling up the color applicator bottle with the glue but check this out! It's a perfect fit!

AND it dispenses glue in a very thin line too! (Don't let the photo fool you, it came out in a perfectly thin line but it started to bead up from me walking around with it and trying to find better lighting to photograph it.)

The important thing to remember with this applicator tip is that you need to put something in it when it's not in use so the glue doesn't dry out. I tried a few different size pins but the best thing that seemed to work was a large paper clip.

UPDATE: So I've had the paper clip in for a week and it is NOT a good option. The metal oxidizes and then your glue comes out brown. So I've switched it to a toothpick but a toothpick is a bit too fat for the small hole. I think it will do for now but I'll probably take some sand paper to it to slim it down even further so it fits nicer in the tip.

And there you have it. An inexpensive and easy solution if you want to glue baste!

Friday, October 16, 2015

October Stash Bee Block

While working on my midnight mystery quilt, I was able to get my October block done for Stash Bee.

I usually struggle with getting small pieces to line up well but I had no problems this time and the block turned out perfectly without needing to be squared up. I guess my piecing skills have gotten better.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Happy Little Rainbow Bundle

After a few days of not feeling well, I got this pretty little rainbow bundle in the mail that perked me right up.

I actually won it from Kat's Out o' the Bag on facebook and it's 2 yards of Kona solids. I'm starting to build up a nice little stash of solids and have the perfect pattern for them.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Girl and Her Quilt

I was so excited when I finished up my Pocketful of Posies quilt for my niece, but not nearly as excited when I got the photos of her opening her gift and snuggling with her new quilt.

I can't begin to tell you how happy my heart is today.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Low Volume Swap

I'm participating in the Tone It Down low volume charm swap that Chelsea and Michelle are again hosting. I still have all of my charms from the last swap and once I get this batch I'll have enough for a good sized project. I even have one in mind.

Here is what I've sent off.  It's One in a Minion fabric from Quilting Treasures. First off, let me say that I had a really hard time photographing this fabric but if you look closely you can see the minions. When you step back a bit, it's not very obvious.

I hope the others in the swap like it and don't think it's corny.

Monday, October 05, 2015

A Productive Weekend

Man, did I get a lot done this past weekend. I made a serious dent in my Midnight Mystery Quilt and have 80% of my square in a square blocks done. Since I'm make a queen size quilt, I need 48 of these. These were supposed to be done in September so I'm a bit behind but I know I'll be able to catch up.

I've also made some progress on this month's Stash Bee block. This block is a great leaders and ender project so I've been piecing it between my other blocks. I've got a few more 9 patches to go and then I can put the entire block together.

Lastly I've gathered some fabrics for my classroom quilt project. Thank you so much to Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl who sent me some! Now I need to start pressing them and cutting out some squares. Lots and lots of squares!

Unfortunately, my little one is home sick with strep throat so I'm not sure how much sewing I'll get done this week. Maybe that's why I pushed myself to get so much done over the weekend.