Saturday, September 29, 2012

A is for Apple

A is for apple...

B is for bibs...

C is for crowns...

... all given as gifts!

My school instructors are expecting their first baby boy in November, and I wanted to make something celebratory! The husband has a background in computer programming and is an all-around Mac fan, so I thought the Apple logo appropriate for a few bibs.

Baby's two elder sisters are ages 5 and 3. They seem to be in princess phases, so I wanted to make a gift for them, too, in hopes that they could feel celebrated in the midst of all the fuss over the coming brother. I used The Long Thread's crown pattern, modified because I lined them in batting, not interfacing, and hand-stitched a few sequins and beads.

Mama and papa were thrilled and imagined future Instagram photos. I look forward to meeting the little one (stay in there awhile longer, Sir!) and celebrating him further when he comes!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stuffed School Assignment

Seems every week there will be a "creative component" to our homework. This past week, the assignment was to create a reflection of how we would like to be fathered (theme:  "the Father Heart of God"). In the description, paper media were listed, but an all-important "...or any material you choose" phrase had me at once deciding to do my own thang.

Eagle fathers take turns with the mothers in caring for the eggs and eaglets. They are hunters and opportunist, known for their keen sight and soaring. Though a golden eagle would be larger, I decided to go with the bald for recognition's sake. His wings are partially stuffed with downy feathers I've been finding all over the place - either from aquatic birds or grassland and woodland dwellers. I want to be fathered by a God who is both gentle and kind but also able to teach me to soar to great heights.

As I worked on my eagle, I cackled with laughter, incredulous at what I was creating but delighted at how it was shaping in my hands. Having looked at quite a few bald eagle images, I felt a bit like my grandfather, a former nuclear engineer who takes the same precision required in that line of work and applies it to the intricate woodcarvings of wildlife he creates. He is a master, and I love that, in this slight way, I am like him.

And I suppose that is the point coming full circle - creating something that reflects the way I'd like to be fathered, the act of creating itself reflecting the wonderful ways in which I already have been fathered!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Be-All End-All Bag

Lord, this one was hours in the making... in the designing... in the finishing... But well worth it, I think.

I've found myself making tote bags as new seasons set upon me, and this time was no exception. As much as I love my present tote, it has its disadvantages, namely the lack of organization, leading to much time wasted digging. Solution? A whole new tote entirely, and to be thorough, I decided to include a foam laptop sleeve.

Ambitious, no? Like I said, it was hours and hours of designing, figuring, cutting, quilting, piecing... And when I was done, my first reaction was, "AW DANG! I made a DIAPER BAG?!"

Well, maybe one day it will be... Until then, I'm happily hyper-organizing my pens, chap stick, and power cords.

Zipper pen pocket on the front messenger flap

Front pockets including elasticized pocket for power cord and sleeve for folders + clipboards

Side pocket for all-important Nalgene

Other side pocket for keys and phone

Interior pockets:  laptop sleeve with half-inch foam and velcro closure

Interior pockets:  larger space for journals, handwork tote, and  all-purpose purse

Packed out!

Double strap for comfort
I used my precious Tula Pink stash along with a few fat quarters of Joel Dewberry. The bottom is reinforced with denim, and the front, sides, back and flap are all quilted. The flap attaches to the bottom with a giant snap, and after I took these pictures, I added another so I could fold the flap in half when the bag is less full.

Over all, I am wildly pleased with my new tote! With all the design, material, and time that went into it, I think it's worth at least three Vera Bradleys, so despite the positive reception its gotten, I do not expect any custom orders in the near future. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the process of figuring out the math, hanging it all and slapping it together! And thus far it has served me quite well as my school bag - perfectly, indeed!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September Bee Blocks

Well, these have been done and back with their owners for awhile now, but I'm just now getting around to posting photos. Below please find Sew Blues Bee blocks for September!

Looking forward to sharing a more detailed project soon - but I'll save that for a moment when I have a bit more time and energy. In the meantime, don't let the suspense get to ya ;-)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

School Supplies

Orientation for School was Friday, and to celebrate, I made a new dress for the first day. I'd fallen in love with this print and bought 3 yards, then determined to make up another Simplicity 2363. Perfect combination, I think!

Oddest compliment I received:  "I love that it makes you look like you have no arms! Erm, almost..." (Don't worry - many other compliments counteracted this one.)

I especially had fun with the lining...

Front / back yoke:



At orientation, we were given nondescript marbled composition notebooks and told we were expected to use them for an ongoing assignment. My first thought:  "Bleh. Cover it with fabric!" So, despite subsequent hints that we will soon be collage-ing the outside, I went ahead and did my own thing.

This way I can take some of my favorite blues with me to school and be reminded of all my sweet Bee mates! Now to scrounge for blue ink pens to fill the pages...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Gift for a Baby Brit

My friends are having a baby! Mama is from London, so when a friend in the Sew Blues Bee wanted teacup blocks, I was inspired to turn my "practice" blocks into a gift for them!

Their baby shower was very fancy, but the couple loved the bibs, and I was gratified that they were passed around, examined, approved, and I was asked about an etsy shop (nope, not at the moment). This same couple received a quilt from me as their wedding gift, so I was happy to add a few more quilting stitches to honor their new addition. British Mama's green card arrived a few days before the shower, so the family will stay in the States for awhile. Although I'm sure it can't entirely subdue homesickness, I think it's lovely that she should relocate to another region of the world with a strong tea culture - though it would have been harder to render a tumbler of sweet tea on a baby bib.

In other news, it is exactly one week before I start classes parttime. I have two sewing projects to attack and finish between now and then and hope to finish at least one today. Hope you enjoy your Labor Day and find it, despite the name, quite restful and refreshing!