Happy Easter and a Coffee Cozy Pattern Review

There were Easter goodies found at our house this morning!

Found it!

The bunny plush kind of took over the whole basket.

The Easter loot!

But what’s that in the back there?

What's that?

An empty…cup?
A cup of ... ?

Ahhh, it’s a hot chocolate cup cozy!

A coffee cup cozy

The bunny had a bit of help from Mom this year. I saw a coffee cozy at Insanely Crafty (cool new blog I found just yesterday through Jennifer at Parrish Platz! I think Jessica is the lovely Corrinea’s daughter? Jennifer and Corrinea work at Patch Arts & Crafts in Stuttgart.). Anyway, I thought “I could make those for the girls for Easter” since the coffee bars around here on the Army posts are frequently out of cardboard sleeves! I didn’t have a cup on hand to use to make a pattern myself, so I went looking and found the Fabric Coffee Cozy Sleeve Tutorial at YouCanMakeThis.com.

I LOVE that site! Downloadable patterns for everything crafty! The tutorial was pretty good, though I’ll make a few changes if I make these again (and I’m sure I will because ITMan was feeling a bit left out because the Easter Bunny didn’t leave him one!). The pattern wasn’t exactly perfect; mine came out a bit small since the printer cut off the bottom of the pattern and I wasn’t sure how much longer to make it. The pattern could have been designed to be placed on the fold, and then it would have fit on a regular sheet of paper for printing.

Other than that, the method of sewing the bottom seam (and having to measure from the top seam first and mark the sewing line) was a bit fiddly, and could have been made easier by just designing the pattern to be exactly the right size in the beginning. I used Quilters Dream mid-loft poly batting between two layers of batik, instead of backing one layer of fabric with fleece, and it worked just fine.

The instructions called for a lot of gluing to hold things in place; I just used pins. The pocket instructions were good, but I added 1/8″ extra all the way around to the cut size of the pocket, so that I could just iron the edges under before sewing instead of gluing them. I wrote on the pocket after sewing it on with a Pigma pen and filled in the heart with Tsukineko Fabrico Markers and then heat set it. It’s probably better to decorate the pocket before sewing it on, of course, but I got a little ahead of myself!

I did make two of these, one for each girl, but GuitarGirl is a bit of a grump when it comes to things like this so her basket is still hidden, waiting for her to go find it. So no pic of that one yet. I did have fun pawing through fabrics to choose the perfect combo for each one that the girls would like! All in all, a successful project, and a nice little thing to put in an Easter basket for teens and tweens (and dads, too). Happy Easter to all of you!

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Crafty Sewing

Alexander Henry Thunderflower fabricLittleOne’s favorite color (at the moment) is blue and she loves anime, so when the lovely Kathy at Pink Chalk Fabrics got this Alexander Henry print in stock, I knew we had to order some. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out what exactly to do with the two yards that came in the mail, since LittleOne isn’t all that hip on quilting yet (and to be honest, may never be), so a quilt wasn’t top on the list. I even considered just mounting the fabric on stretcher bars and using it as wall art at one point, because it was just so cool the way it was, but we eventually decided to make a pillowcase for her bed.

We combined the anime print with Gradations #72, a pastel colored ombréd print from Caryl Bryer Fallert for Benartex, and used a little bit of Superior Threads Rainbows variegated polyester thread for top stitching.

Sewing

Continue reading Crafty Sewing

12 Ways to Recognize Bias in Your Fabric

  1. When you’ve oh, so carefully sewn two pieces of the exact same size together, yet one of them overhangs the other by yards at the bottom of the seam.
  2. When you’re trying to cut a simple thing like 1½” strips, and every time you move the ruler, the fabric twitches like it’s alive and you’re straight edge is just gone.
  3. When you’ve spent an hour tracing the template and fussy cutting the perfect piece for the center of the block, and as soon as you pick it up off the cutting mat, the bottom drops out and the edge wobbles like a drunken sailor on deck in a storm.
  4. When the edges of the quilt top have waves that could challenge Waikiki beach for the best surfing.
  5. When the borders look like they were sewn on with a ruffler attachment, but you don’t own one, and you’re not even sure what one looks like.
  6. When you take a quilt out of the washer to find that the beautiful red batik has bled, but the extra color has only attached itself to one other fabric in the quilt. Too bad it’s the background fabric…
  7. When you were so 120% positive you had more of that beautiful border print that you tore apart your entire studio looking for it, only to find 4 extra yards of it stashed carefully away just as you finish adding a completely different and much more difficult border treatment to the quilt.
  8. When you’ve spent eight hours searching for it online and waited weeks for it to arrive in the mail from some strange little shop in Timbuktu, the same fabric that made your best quilting buddy’s project just sing makes your quilt look like it has the stomach flu.
  9. When…

Continue reading 12 Ways to Recognize Bias in Your Fabric

A Needle Nest? Nook? Nanny?

I was totally sidetracked over the weekend by this little project. I’ve been meaning to make something like this for a while, and finally just did it.

If I have to change the type of needle in the machine, but it’s not really an old, ready to throw away needle, then I have to store it somewhere separate from the new needles, so that I can find it easily and use it later. And then there’s the issue with two different brands of needles as well, one brand that I use for some things, and the other brand for others, and the dang numbers are sooooo small and hard to see (or maybe I’m just old now and can’t see anymore!). Continue reading A Needle Nest? Nook? Nanny?

If the Shoe Fits

File this under “Possibly silly, but pretty cool:”

Paisley Pavane Shoes

Will you lookit that?!? Hmmm…where have I seen that design before? Hey, it’s my quilt, on my shoes! How. Cool. Is. That?!? I discovered custom Keds shoes at Zazzle.com a couple of weeks ago, and just had to try it out!

Paisley Pavane Shoes

I took bunches of new pics of the quilt, since the ones I had weren’t quite the right layout or positioning to get the designs on the shoes just right. Other than that, the creation process at Zazzle was pretty easy, considering that we’re talking about a pair of shoes here.

Paisley Pavane Shoes

I could wish that the quilting designs had shown up as well on the shoes as they did in the pictures and on the preview during creation, but maybe that’s just too much detail for the printing on canvas process. What a great thing this is: you upload your pictures, position them on the shoes, place your order, and Zazzle prints your designs on the canvas and custom assembles your shoes in your size.

Paisley Pavane Shoes

Pretty soon they arrive in your mailbox, ready to wear! Who knew? They’re very comfy, and the perfect size (I checked the sizing on a pair of Keds that I already had; for me, Keds seem to run about a half-size big). I’ll probably wear these when I travel and teach classes, since there’s always a lot of walking and standing on the feet all day.

Paisley Pavane Shoes

I think some Swarovski hot-fix crystal embellishments are in order to make these shoes even more special, especially since the quilt they were inspired by is covered in crystals! Watch out Jimmy Choo, I’m comin’ at ya! (Okay, in all honesty, Jimmy Choo is probably not in any danger from little old me and my Keds, but hey, a gal can dream!)

Check out Zazzle to make your own shoes, or buy one of the cool shoe designs already available (there are over 100,000 of them!). If you want to design something a bit more outre than a pair of Keds flats, check out Shoes—The Agony and the Ecstasy, an online exhibit from the Tyne & Wear Museums in the UK. There’s a shoe designer applet where your shoe dreams can become a reality, at least on the screen! Have fun!

The Invasion

We were invaded at Christmas:

Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart on the Wii rocks, even more than it did on the Game Cube or the DS. Just sayin’.

It’s also the only game all four of us can play together, and one of the only two that I could play for hours if I let myself, the other one being Tempest on the Nuon, which is pretty much a one-player deal (and I don’t even have that one hooked up right now).

In the interests of full disclosure, this may be part of what’s happened to my motivation. Maybe.