Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tokyo Subway Map Quilt - Head Start!

I'm getting anxious to start my quilt. Since I decided to just buy fabrics here and there, I don't have all the fabrics I need.

I am using Elizabeth Hartman's Tokyo Subway Map quilt-along instructions. I discovered Elizabeth Hartman when I was surfing the net trying to brush up on my quilting skills. I found her blog and I fell in love with Tokyo Map quilt. I kinda fell in love with Elizabeth Hartman, too....girl crush. She pretty much rocks.

SO, There are 1600 2" x 2" squares for the quilt. I got a headstart on cutting. I think before it's over, I'll end up closing my eyes and seeing nothing but little fabric squares.

Getting started cutting squares
Lotsa squares already finished! Yay!

Mia wanted in on the action
Mia was color coordinating the squares with the Tinkerbell fabric that she stole after I finished Wenny's purse.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dee < 3 Wendy

So Wendy is one of those people who is genuinely full of love. She finds fault! I'm always drawn to people like her. Mostly out of curiosity. I cannot figure out how, in a sea of so many stupid people, people are still full of kindness! My Mom was that way. My HS bff, Bobbi, is that way.

Genuinely and sincerely kind person.

Wendy is married to Scott. Scott and Wendy had been trying to have a baby for years. Through their hills and valleys of trying to conceive, there was obviously nothing I could do. Being a long-distance friend, I would just send random text pictures (poor girl, she ended up having to increase her text messaging to 'unlimited' because of me ha ha) to distract her from 'thinking' during the waiting periods. Mainly, I was just silly and did my part to make her laugh.  One time, I scribbled on a piece of paper "Dee <3 Wendy" snapped a picture of it and texted it to her.

One Christmas, I 'luckily' drew Wendy's name in a gift exchange.

I immediately set out to do something appliqueing "Dee <3 Wendy". I went through my stash and found a rag denim patchwork that I put together years before and grabbed some fabric from my stash (The orange was from a lining in a purse, the green was from the pixie dust halloween bag, the pink is lining in Pig Tote bag).

The problem is that it looked like crap. I hated the applique. It just didn't work well with the denim. Plus since the seams were rag-style, it just didn't sew well to the fabric.

So, I decided to take a trip to the fabric store. I found this awesome blue corduroy fabric and a pretty pink boa! I grabbed some felt for the appliqued letters. and.....drumroll please: 

 This is what I ended up with:  I think Wendy likes it :)

 Here is the Charm bracelet (with the following note to explain the charms)

Rose quartz are the beads of love and fertility. They are said to help promote pregnancy and to protect the mother from miscarriage.
Moonstone is said to have powers that aid in nurturing receptivity and balancing of the emotions. They should help prepare you to welcome new life into her body, and into her life.
Turtles are a potent symbol of both protection and fertility.
Purse represents the sisterhood.  So you always have us near your pulse reminding you that we are here for you to drop all of your emotions inside of us.  Let us hold onto your fears, your anger, your sadness. 
Laugh Often.  Love Much.  –This charm is a symbol of me.  I’m there with you everywhere you go.  Loving you and doing my part to make you laugh.

Wendy cried. 

She was pregnant within a few months. I firmly believe it's because of me. 
I got her pregnant.

The following June, we had another "just because" gift exchange and somehow, I 'luckily' drew her name again. She and Scott are huge Disney fans. She particularly likes Peter Pan - Wendy from Peter Pan is her favorite. I'm still scratching my head trying to figure that out. Hmmmm

So, with the same fabric I used to make the pillow, I decided to make her a purse. It was perfect because there were already embroidered stars all over the fabric.

Here is the front:

 The inside lining is licensed Tinkerbell fabric. I lucked out finding this fabric. LOL

This is the back. Tinkerbell and Peter are cool...but I wanted the purse to be all about "Wendy"

I started a coin purse to go with it. I ummm never finished it. Oops.

I also included a Peter Pan keychain that I made with Shrinkie Dinks. (I LOVE Shrinkie Dinks!). I didn't remember to take a picture of it (I didn't remember to take pictures of any of these, I stole them from Wendy ssshhhh don't tell her I steal).

When she got the Peter Pan gift set, Wendy cried.

 Sooooooo Now, we are expecting a little baby boy! When I asked Wendy what she wanted me to knit for baby, she picked some lame pattern just because it looked like it could be something he could keep for many years. I wanted it to be more special than that. When I saw the Disney theme of the nursery, a lightbulb went over my head.

A Handknit Disney Afghan!

This was my very first knitting intarsia project. I always go big when I try something new.
 Mia is my model for most things. She is here to show how big it is. It can fit a twin size bed. Methinks baby will be able to have it and use it for years to come. Just like Wendy wanted. :)
I used flannel for the back of the fabric and tied it together like a quilt.

As you can see.....

Wendy cried. :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

The first ever of it's kind, I introduce to you - The Ankle Wallet!

So, Pristy and I were talking one day about how we have to find a place to put our keys when we go running, hiking, walking, whatevs. She put hers in her bra (ssshhhhh that's a secret, she wouldn't want the whole world to know about that). I put mine in my shoe (ouch). I used to put it in my awesome fanny errrr uhhh Hip Slinger because my gps was on my phone. Since I got the Garmin Watch, I stopped wearing the fanny Errr uhhh Hip Slinger.

We were talking about what we could do to make this part of our exercising easier. I suggested a Hip Slinger to her but she was really Really REALLY against a fanny pack. Pfftttt next thing you'll tell me that scrunchies aren't cool! Together, over a few glasses of wine, we decided on an ankle band!

I introduce The Ankle Wallet:

I would take a picture of it in action, but I haven't shaved my legs. That would be gross. Maybe Pristy will send me a picture of it in action.

I honestly don't know how well it will work. I am not even sure it will fit. I'm not even sure if Pristy will even like it. I might have to send her a fanny pack instead.

THIS is not a Fanny's a Hip Slinger!

I used blue jean belt loops on the back, made a belt with more denim and added pretty purple buttons. TaDA a Hip Slinger! Worked well until I didn't need it anymore!

Road Block - Frog Crossing

Ok Hit a hurdle that only a frog could jump over! (haha I crack myself up sometimes)

I can only find one straight needle to work on the frog sock heel. It's in this mess somewhere. I will find it later. BUT I now have 2 rows of frogs completed! Yay for progress!

This photo is a much better view of the actual colors. I hate fair isle work...I don't like the tension of my stitches. If I pick it up again and still hate it, I might just take it all apart and make Brenda some plain old socks with no frogs on them.

Another project that currently working on

I forgot to mention the prototype ankle band I'm making for my friend Pristy. It would have been done by now, except I kept breaking needles on my machine. I'm sure it was an issue with the zipper foot, but I haven't picked it up since my last needle break.

Pristy chose the same fabric that will be used in Mia's jacket, the pink flannel

I had pink zippers still in my stash:

Here it is so far. It will be a simple seam here and a seam there, add some velcro and it's done!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Brenda's Frog Socks - we have progress!

First row of frogs are about complete!

Purses and handbags and totes - Oh MY!

Hopefully, I can post pictures of most of the purses I've made without any commentary. There are so many good stories that go with every craft, though!

The Zebra Print bag was for a 16 year old girl who was completely infatuated with zebra print at the time. I looked everywhere for the perfect fabric but never found just what I was looking for. Finally, just when I was about to give up and just make her a regular bag, I walked into a Hobby Lobby and found it! This is a hobo-style purse. No pattern - I just started cutting and all the design elements and piecing together was in my head.

Those are zippered pockets in the front of the purse.

One year, I decided to make a bag for Cody's teacher. It was a difficult year for him and his teacher was amazing at working with him socially, emotionally, and academically. Wonderful woman! My plan was to make something personalized just for her. I knew that she loved pink pigs. Pigs pigs pigs all over her classroom. Pig picture. Pig stuffed animals. Pig desk accessories. Pigs everywhere. I made her this bag.

I'm so smart. Ummm yeah, Nancy was his teacher the year before. He reminded me after the bag was 80% complete. Yeah, smart.


So, I started over for the teacher that was soooo amazing to my son (great impression she left on me, right? Honestly, I just had a brain fart! I have no idea why the entire time I was making a bag for the wrong teacher!).
In the end, two of Cody's teachers received a nice personalized book bag. I was the favorite mom of the year! HA

Here are some purses I've made over the years.

And for good measure....I didn't make this mask. Mickey made it just for me in the 5th grade! I displayed it proudly for as long as I could. She eventually begged me to take it down and hide it away. Pffttttt She should be proud of her work!!!!

Bags for kids!

Oooh one of my favorite projects was the backpack I made for Little Zachary. He was probably 2 or 3 years old and he was going to go to daycare. Cody and Mikelle always got a new backpack for school. We made Zachary feel better about going to daycare by calling it a school but he wanted a new backpack, too! Cody and his big fat mouth said that we could get Zachary a backpack just like Diego!
Didja know it was practically impossible to find a Go Diego! Go! backpack? The only thing I could find was a hard plastic was not a real backpack.

So, being the crafty Mom that I am...I was forced to make Zachary a backpack. I went about it in my usual fashion...I started cutting. I measured nothing. Yep - that's just the way I roll. Cut twice/measure umm never? Even the straps - I made one long strap then cut it in half to get them both the same size.

I participated in a Halloween bag swap one year. These are the bags I made for my partner's children:

For the older boy, I made a more backpack bag with a drawstring. I had no  pattern, I just started cutting and sewing. I wanted to make him something he could use after had to be cool enough for a boy to want to carry around.

This bag was for her little girl who was dressing up as Tinkerbell. She was pretty obsessed with Tinkerbell year round, so I wanted her to have something she could play with year-round.

Her pixie dust bag also had a little loop for her fairy wand!

For her baby, I made a super soft happy jack-o-lantern bag. I had this fleece in the house from other projects. I cut out the pumpkin shape and appliqued it to the bag.

The 'stem' of the jack-o-lantern was made from the same fabric used for the lining in the Pixie Dust bag. The photo looks blue, but it's really a rich purple violet color.