Archive for April, 2011

April 29, 2011

Sketchbook Archive | 04.29.2011


Summer 2005

April 28, 2011

Travel Tutorial Round Up


Speaking of vacation, I’ve put together a little round-up of  some fun travel related projects.

A needle case from Jamie at Sew She Sews.  
A travel sewing case from Dawn at Sew Mama Sew.
photo via Sew Mama Sew


A flat iron case from Char at Crap I’ve Made.

photo by Char via
A flat iron case turned heat pad from Staci at Crafty Staci
photo by Staci via


 A travel document organizer from Laural at Thimble

photo by Laurel via


A make-up brush roll by Susan at Freshly Picked

photo by Susan via


A boxy dopp kit from Kaelin at The Plaid Scottie

photo by Kaelin via
April 27, 2011

We’re Going on Vacation…


and  I finally get to use my Weekender bag!  We’ll see how it holds up in a jaunt across the country.  I plan to use it as my carry-on and I really hope it will stow safely under the seat in front of me. 

I’ve made a few other things along the way that get used when we go on trips.  The first thing was a request from Chris who travels the world for work: shoe bags.  He had gotten one with a super fancy shoe purchase and then we realized we both needed them. Badly. 

Here are some I made from a selection of his old dress shirts.  I’ve lined the interior of the bags with some soft flannel I had lying around for an extra layer of shoe protection.

please excuse this phone photo


And here are some I’ve made for my mom.  I learned a few things from the first time around, namely don’t be afraid to make them too big.  Ours are a little snug, but mom’s shoe bags are nice and roomy.  They are really just a simple drawstring bag (but a little larger) like this one here at Sew 4 Home

Another thing I’ve made, courtesy of last years February issue of Martha Stewart Living, is this tie envelope.  As previously mentioned, Chris travels the world for work and thus needs a way to transport his ties. 

Were I to make this again, I would defiantly add some heavy weight interfacing or maybe even cardboard to stiffen the sides of the envelope a little better.  Overall, however, it works pretty well.

Do you have any fun things you’ve made to travel with?  Do tell. And don’t worry, I may be going on vacation but I’ve prepared enough posts to get through my time off.  You wont even know that I’m gone!

April 25, 2011

Made | 04.25.2011

A trip to the fabric store where I bought this beautiful Echino fabric.  I know I’m a little behind here, but I could never spend the money to buy the Echino when I didn’t know what I would do with it.  I just admired it from afar.  Well, there was an Easter sale on Friday and I went for it and am so happy I did.  I’m thinking maybe an accent pillow.


A trip to the salvage yard where we looked at everything and bought nothing.

April 22, 2011

Sketchbook Archive | 04.22.11

I used to carry a sketchbook with me everywhere.  I did this for four years from 2002-2006. In an effort to rekindle my ‘sketchbooking spirit’ I’m sharing excerpts from those sketchbooks here, every Friday.

I spent the summer of 2005 studying in Scandinavia.  It was beautiful and perfect.  I briefly contemplated marrying a Dane so that I could continue to live in Copenhagen.  Alas, it was not to be and at the end of the summer I came home to Ohio.  I took a few small jaunts to other countries while I was over there.  It appears that on July 29th I flew to Vienna for the weekend with some beautiful ladies.  We wandered around the city staring at buildings that looked like they had been dipped in frosting and drawing, drawing, drawing.  This page is from that weekend.

July 2005


It’s a pretty typical page from my Europe sketchbook, a building, some vignettes.  What I really like about this page are these:

Those are building profiles.  Shading out the details really allows the ornate profiles to come through. Interesting.  You should try it.  How about now?

April 21, 2011

Bath Time Duck

My apologies for the photo. It was taken on my phone quite some time ago.

In need of a last-minute Easter project? May I suggest this duck from Martha Stewart?  This is a super easy project that comes together in no time.  All you need is 1 wash cloth.  I printed out the template from the website, bought my wash cloth at Target and got to work.  The pattern calls for the duck to be stuffed with sponge.  I originally made this duck for a baby shower and had a hard time finding organic sponges that didn’t come prepackaged with chemicals, so I just stuffed Mr. Duckie with scraps of the wash cloth.  Stitch on some eyes and a piece of felt for a beak and you have something that the Easter Bunny will love.  Pared with some baby soap and shampoo it also makes a really cute baby shower gift. 

April 20, 2011

What’s in Your Sewing basket?

In the spirit of “What’s in Your Bag” I ask you, “What’s in Your Sewing Basket?” 

My current sewing ‘basket’ started as a basic sewing kit from IKEA that was purchased in a college readying spree. 


While most of the original contents have moved on, I still use the plastic box to keep all my supplies in one place. 

My sewing box contains:

-1 pair of Martha Stewart Craft scissors given to me by my mom.  These are my go to fabric scissors.

-1 pair of Honey Bee scissors also given to me by mom

-1 opened package of class 15J bobbins. These don’t fit in my machine. I bought them almost a year ago because I thought they would and they have been in my sewing box ever since.

-1 box of Dirtz yellow topped quilting pins. I bought these after I was tired of the pins that came with the IKEA sewing kit bending and never being long enough. I love them and their plastic box.

-4 left over IKEA pins

-2 packages of assorted needles

-1 giant embroidery needle

-6 needles fallen out of their package

-7 medium-sized safety pins

-3 large safety pins

-1 package large opening clasps (for wristlets)

-1 white marking pencil

-1 .005 Micron Pigma pen

-1 fine tip air erasable marking pen in purple

-1 fine point Uni-ball pen in blue

-1 Prismacolor pencil in 90% warm gray

-1 Fiskars rotary cutter

-Red embroidery floss #321

-1 package of 3 black buttons. I don’t remember why I bought them.

-1 package of 3 gray buttons. I can’t remember why I bought these either.

-1 tiny bag full of beads from a fancy dress

-1 seam ripper

-1 spool Sulky bobbin thread in black

-1 package of snaps unopened

-1 miscellaneous metal piece, it may be for grommets

-1 list of projects to make and to write about

-1 X-acto knife

-6 bobbins threaded in white, black, gray, orange, red, and white again

-1 zipper foot

-1 miscellaneous clasp

-1 unidentifiable black plastic piece

-2 broken sewing machine needles

-2 in tact sewing machine needles

-1 small scrap of blue and black stripped fabric

Whew! I had no idea that little box could hold so much. So now I ask you, “What’s in your sewing basket?”  Let me know.  You blog it and I’ll add a link in my sidebar. Good? Good.

April 18, 2011

Made | 04.18.2011

Made this weekend:

Many brightly colored Easter eggs,


a trip to the races,


and another run around the lake.  I’m not getting any faster but I’m not getting any slower either.  I count that as a win.

April 16, 2011

Sketchbook Archive | 04.16.11

This post was supposed to go up yesterday but did not.  When you read this pretend it’s Friday, okay? Good.


Note: Some of those sketchbooks belong to Chris. That is not even our full collection.

In college I was in the habit of carrying a sketchbook with me all the time. They encourage that in architecture school. By year 4 my sketchbook went everywhere with me and contained everything from my class notes to general musings. I would buy purses specifically based on my current sketchbook size.  It’s a tragedy when your new purse doesn’t fit your sketchbook.  In fact, you know how in the front of Moleskines there is a place to put contact information and a reward? Well, the inside of my sketchbooks all looked like this. 


See how I told people the sketchbook was my child and offer them my undying gratitude? I would try to appeal to people’s passion instead of their wallets. Admittedly maybe not the best idea, I only ever lost one sketchbook but I never did get it back. Alas, I was a poor college student.
I’ve recently started looking through these old sketchbooks searching for interesting patterns and buildings to sew into pillows or quilt blocks. There are some pretty good/quirky/interesting things in those sketchbooks and I’m going to share them with you in hopes of rekindling my sketch-booking spirit. Every Friday will now feature my sketchbook archive. May you be entertained and maybe even inspired. I begin with something silly.

May 2006

Right next to my notes about septic systems, I find this underwater sea helmet. I’m not sure how they go together. I hope no one is going diving in a septic system. In any event I love the loose squiggly shading of that helmet.  Further down on the page I found this


May 2006


so maybe this diving helmet is just a hypothetical flight of fancy. Hmmm.
Happy Friday Lovelies.  I hope your weekend is filled with hypothetical flights of fancy

April 14, 2011

A Rainbow of Stitches


photo by honeysuccle via flickr

 Does two sightings a trend make? I’m not sure, but I’m going to write about it anyway. I first saw a photo of the most beautiful quilt posted by Shannon at Aunty Cookie I’m sure she’s not the first to take colored thread to white fabric but isn’t it lovely. Rows and rows of colorful stitching beautifully set off by snowy white fabric…such a great way to play. I think this would be perfect large-scale as a bed quilt or small-scale as framed art.

Sighting number two happened at Anna Maria Horner’s blog where she hand stitched this beautiful pillow. The possibilities with this technique are endless people and sure to be stunning! I’m thinking a white pillow covered in inches would be perfect. Perfect! I am, of course, adding it to my List for Doing for the quarter. You know, because I just crossed one thing off the list I have to put another one on, never-ending style.