Friday, December 30, 2011

A Finished Affair

Aren't my titles punny? 

Moving on...
I have finished the complicated diaper bag.  It did not turn out as I hoped.  I picked a lot of stitches, poked my finger a hundred times while handstitching, and got fairly frustrated.  
This bag really did take me 3 days to finish.  Ridiculous!  Usually I can be done in a day!

I sure hope my sister likes it now because I have finished with it and have no desire to do anymore work on it. You know how it gets after working on something that frustrates you and takes longer than intended and then doesn't turn out how you envisioned.  You simply don't want to look at it anymore.

Here she is in all her baggy blue glory.

Pretty and innocent enough from the outside
But then you see it... the rotten recessed zipper.

I tried to find a good tutorial for inserting a recessed zipper and they all seemed fairly easy.  But none of them were exactly like I wanted.  Most didn't have the top bands or the width this bag has.  So I spent forever and a day finagling this zipper into this bag.  Overall, not a failure, just not how I envisioned.
Plenty of pockets on the inside, just as my sister asked.

In other, less frustrating ventures, I made butter.  

My dear husband brought home a can of cream from the dairy he works at.  I made some oh so yummy cinnamon buns with some of the cream and beat the rest into butter.  

Fairly simple.  Just beat the cream until you get past the whipped cream stage and the buttermilk and butter start separating.  Then strain the buttermilk and knead the butter in cold water to remove any excess buttermilk.  What you are left with is yummy wholesome whipped butter. 

And some buttermilk, which I used to make banana bread.

Sure smells delicious in here!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Complicated Affair

I am becoming a jack of all trades I think. 

Well, not all, but I am certainly sewing up a variety of things these days. Dresses, pillows, all different kinds of bags.
Right now I am working on a diaper bag for my sister who is expecting in May.  Her youngest now will be 5 when this baby arrives, so she needs some new baby things.  My calling was her diaper bag.

She chose an Amy Butler print, English Garden in Blue Stone, for the exterior.  

Lucky us, it was on super sale from Drygoods Design.  Must've been a good pick because it's now sold out.  

It's a gorgeous fabric, the nicest home decor fabric I have worked with.  I was surprised at how soft it still felt for being a heavier fabric.  It's also gorgeous!  The blue really pops against the the dark background.

Enough raving about the fabric.

I have made a few diaper bags before, and they were all messenger style bags - rectangular and with a flap pocket.
My sister wanted something different.  Something that resembled the shape of the Hobo bag.  So I searched and found this bag: 

Pleated, lined handbag.
I have decided it needs some modifying to be a great diaper bag.  First I decided to add some width by sewing a 3 inch strip of fabric all the way around the main pieces. 

I also changed the way the pleats lay.
Then it needed better pockets than the pattern gave, so I added full width panels of fabric with elastic on the top to make 4 large pockets all together. Perfect for holding diapers, wipes, extra sleepers, creams and the like. Just to keep things separate. 

 Lastly, instead of a magnetic snap closure, I am adding a recessed zip.  I have never done one before, but I shall succeed.  I figure a zipper will be better than a single point closure in keeping all those baby things where they need to be.

So far it is looking good.  I wanted to blog a finished bag today, but it is taking me longer than I anticipated.  That and I DO NOT sew after 9:30 because then it all goes wrong. 

Next time a finished bag.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Wedding Gift

Yesterday I went to the wedding of a friend.  She and I lived together for two years while going to our respective universities.  It was a good time and we were always trying to have the last word and had a lot of witty word wars.  I have to admit, she was a worthy opponent and gave me a run for my money.  

Somehow, though, I seem to remember, that I usually won out. 

Anyway, yesterday was the day she married her man and I thought that deserved a gift from the heart, something handmade.

She did have a registry at Home Outfitters, and I looked at the list and saw that she had herringbone pillows on her list.  I was a little miffed that I could not see a picture of them, even when I googled them.  So, I made my own version of Home Outfitters herringbone pillows.  Hopefully they are close to the real thing.

I searched online for a picture and then a tutorial and found this one at Our Humble A{Bowe}d.  It looked easy enough, though time consuming.  I think the pillows she wanted were red and black, so I made two pillow covers, one red with black stitching and one black with red stitching.  

I like them and kinda wanted to keep them.  But I have that with almost anything I make.  

I cut 4inch stripes, ironed them in half and pinned and sewed, pinned and sewed.

It was a lot of pinning and sewing.  As I said, easy enough, but time consuming.

I used the envelope style closure on the pillows again and I love how they turned out!

I wasn't sure I would like a black pillow, but I think I like this one better than the red!

Tomorrow, Christmas Day, we remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Saviour. 

From Luke chapter 2: 
 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I posted about the Wasp Bag I made a few days ago. It wasn't quite done as I needed to get a big button.

I couldn't find any that were big enough.
Yes, I was looking for huge.

Since I couldn't find one I thought would work, I resorted to a gigantic fabric covered button.

I think it looks pretty good!  I don't even mind that there are no threaded holes on the front.  I kinda thought the threaded hole look would look better than a clean and flat button. 

I'm quite happy with it.  And so is my friend.

I also made another bag last week.  It was a pretty simple bag and came together in probably about two hours - if I had worked steady on it that is.  Kids don't let you work steady on anything.

It is the Phoebe Bag from Rebeka Lambert.  Simple.  Clean.  And cute.

I scored some white linen at the thrift store and thought it was perfect for this bag.  However, it was too white so I tea dyed it tan colour.  The dying process was not uniform, but I think that adds to the character of self dyed fabric.  

The striped fabric is a Henry Glass print and a solid that simply just matched.

One lone pocket on the inside for keys and a phone, or pens and paper, or if you're like me,candies and chocolate balls 

Really, I don't carry those items for me.  They're for the princess who always asks for mooy aka more. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Just a quick and short weekend post to congratulate the winners of the three giveaways!

All winners were picked via
And if anyone can tell me how to get my comments numbered so I don't have to count through then to find #128, I'm listening. 

The winner of the three fat quarters of Hullabaloo is 

The next winner is 
The Monkey's Mama
She chose the art set for her prize.

And the winner of the follower appreciation giveaway is
Miranda L.

Thanks everyone for playing along!  I will be emailing the winners after breakfast and they have 48hrs to contact before I pick a new winner.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

All Done

***  If you are looking for giveaways, I have three going now!  Two for Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day, here and here, and one for follower appreciation.  One has only one entry!  Ack, a sure winner! 
They are all open until Friday.  ***

I went from W.I.P. to finished all in one day!  Yay me!
Well, not all the way finished because I simply don't have the right kind of button to finish off the bag.  I was thinking a big wooden button, but I don't have any big enough. 

What do you think?  Big wooden button?  Big white button?  
I am always so indecisive about these things.  

Today was also a good day to check my mail.  I not only got a card from my in-laws today, but I also got the ALFALC swap all the way from Tasmania!  And it was well worth the wait.  
Check it out!

A little can of Milo, 4 beautiful bits of fabric, a super cute card, vintage buttons (oh, how I love buttons) and fudge!  

I had mentioned to my swap partner that I had lived in Australia for 6 months when I was 19 and that I used to have Milo every night, but we don't have it here.  (Though I did once find it in Walmart.)  And being such a sweetie, she packed up a little can for me!  I remember my cousins always had it on top of cold milk and they would eat the crunchy powder before it could dissolve.  I liked it that way too.  But I was cold today, so I mixed it in with warm milk and, mmmmmm, I guzzled it down.  I probably should have just drank it nicely and enjoyed it, but I was too excited.  

Yeah, I'm a little nerdy that way.  But I am not alone in my nerdy state, and by my age, I don't really care what people think of me anyway.

And for one last shot... the fabric closeup.  A little fuzzy, but oh so scrumptious!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday W.I.P.

***  If you are looking for giveaways, I have three going now!  Two for Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day, here and here, and one for follower appreciation.  So if you are a follower, enter that one! 
They are all open until Friday.  ***

It's Wednesday again. Yup. I know it for sure this time. 

I think.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
I have another project on the go.  I just started yesterday night, but as I may have mentioned before, I am not one who should start sewing after 9pm.  Things just all go wrong if I even start.  I finished cutting the fabric by 9:30 and was lucky I didn't screw that up.  Ha!

Anyway, this is for a friend.  She asked for a bag for her sister and she picked on off the internet that she liked and I remembered a pattern that looked almost identical to the bag she picked.

So I am making the Wasp Bag. If you want, you can make it too since it is a free pattern and tutorial.  You can find it here at machen/machen.


My friend said her sister liked blue, so I used this pretty fabric I picked up from Ikea a while back. 

Yes, it is the same I used for my ironing board.  I like looking at my ironing board so much I thought it would look okay as a bag too.
The interior fabric is Caitlyn Stripe by Alexander Henry.  I picked that up from Drygoods Design, which is having their last day of 40% off everything!  Seriously, 40% off.  I went shopping.

I am going to go now and get to some sewing on this bag since little D is now napping.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Follower Appreciation

So, you all having fun entering giveaways from Sew Mama Sew?
I entered quite a few.  I have not yet won anything by entering these Giveaway Day giveaways.
I once won a few patterns via blogs, but never fabric.  Oh, and I did win the magnetic pin bowls which I use all the time.  So I can't say I never win anything, cuz that would not be true.  There was quite some fabric that I would love to get my grubby little hands on.  But then, so would everyone else, eh?

Anyway.  Why am I here.  I am here because I noticed that I gained a few followers via the giveaway posts.  Last I looked, I had 15 followers, and only four are family or friends!  That means that there are 11 of you who wouldn't recognize me from a hole in the ground, and yet you are here!  Kinda cool I think.

But on to the nitty gritty of the post.

As you may or may not have noticed, the SMS giveaways are not for followers only, they are for everyone.  So how about one for followers only?  A little treat?  And with any luck, entries will be low unless more people read my blog than I think, and chances of winning will be high.
Sounds good to me!

So, for my followers only, up for grabs is a 15% off coupon good for anything my my Etsy shop.

What!  You didn't know I have a shop!  Sure you did, right?

I also have an FB page, so if you like me on there as well, you get an extra entry.

For two entries, you have to do the following tasks:
1. You must be a follower.
2. Leave a comment telling me which item you like best in my shop.
3. Like Little D and Me on FB and leave a comment saying so with your FB name.

I will use the random number guy to pick a winner on Friday.  Yup, this giveaway closes on Friday and is open to all my followers!

Monday, December 12, 2011

SMS Giveaway Day 2

For the second giveaway, some FQs.

These are from Urban Chicks Hullabaloo line.

You like them?  Would you like them better in your hands?

Then all you have to do to win is leave a comment.
Tell me which is your favourite fabric line at the moment.

Easy peasy.
Thanks for stopping by!

SMS Giveaway Day!

I'm late.
I mean it's almost 10am here!
Well, better late than never, right?

Here's my contribution to the giveaway day!  I'm having two - you know, just for fun.

The first is Handmade Accessories.

AND you have a choice!

I have been making wallets - or trying to.  I had found a great tutorial for a wallet and I made myself one, but when I went to go make another, the page was gone!  So I have been trying to make a few using my own as a template.  Sounds easy, eh?
Well, um, it's not going so smooth as I would have hoped.

Here though, is the best one yet!
Zip pocket with a pocket behind, 6 card slots (though they could easily hold 2 cards each), and a pocket on the bottom to hold receipts or what have you.
Functional.  Pretty.  And one of a kind.

Or if you are so inclined, you could pick the art folder I made.  It'll hold pencil crayons, wax crayons and paper.  It closes with an elastic and button.

I hate having to do all kinds of things just to get an entry, so I'm gonna keep this simple.  Just a comment.  One simple comment and you're in!

And because I like having a prompt, how about a question to answer.
Where do you buy most of your fabric?  What is your favourite shop?

Just let me know in your comment which you'd like to win, the wallet or the folder.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Pink Pillow

On Wednesday, I posted my W.i.P - the chevron pillow. It is done now!

Am I quick or what?!  Yeah, um... Let's move on.

I wanted to make the pillow top a little heavier than just cotton, and I wanted to cover up all the seams on the back from piecing, so I quilted on a piece of batting.  Simple straight lines following the gray stripes.

Turned out kind of pretty, I think.  I chose to have the topstitching in pink to tie the pink fabrics and the gray together.

Then I decided to try something new (again) and add binding to the pillow rather than just do the sew and turn method.  (Is that even what you call it?  I'm going with it.)


I wasn't sure about the binding though once I had it basted on. It seemed to make things a little too pink.  Then I went through the work of handstitching the binding on so there are no sewing marks at all on the binding.  
Wow!  So many new things for me!  

I think it turned out nice.  Still not 100% on the binding colour.  It's not as 'hot pink' as it looks in the picture.  I think it's growing on me.

Moving on to the outdoors... We had a bit of chilly day here.  I have ice on my front window.  This is the most ice I have had on it yet this winter.  

I'm hoping for a new window next year.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Is it Wednesday?

You know, since I've had little D around, I very easily forget which day of the week it is.

Is that just something kids do you to you?  Unless of course they are in school, cuz I guess then you have to know what day of the week it is.

I think it is Wednesday... At least according to my husband's schedule it is.   That means the week is half over already!



In bloggy land it is also Wednesday.  And I know that W.i.P is on holiday until  January, I am adding the button now.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I do this because I do have a work in progress.  Another pillow cover, for another someone special.  
I love making handmade gifts.

This is why I am not a quilter.  Piecing squares seems unusually difficult for me.  I mean, how do those people always get things to line up perfectly!  I am in awe of those people for I am not one of them.

My first attempt at chevrons as well, they turned out surprisingly good.

Next Monday is also a special day in blog land.  It is Giveaway Day over a Sew Mama Sew.

I am hoping to participate, not just by adding my name to all those others who want to win something, but also to those who are making something to give away! 

What would you like to see?  Or to have, should I say.
A pillow cover, a wallet, a pin cushion, an ornament?  What?

Let me know and I will see if I can accommodate you.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oh, the Mail!

I should never have signed up for it. 

I should have left well enough alone. 

But I didn't and now I pay for it. 

Oh, those Fabricworm emails.

Lotta Jansdotter, Echo

Monaluna Organic, Taali

Natalie Lymer, Woodlands, Red
Kei Japan, Live Life   
Monaluna for Birch Fabrics, Organic Cotton, Circa 52

Friday, December 2, 2011

'Tis Done

 So, it is finished.  My cathedral window pillow cover is finished. 

I decided to make an envelope style cover and it worked much better than my first envelope pillow. 
I made sure to leave plenty of overlap this time. 
Yeah, you win some, you lose some.
The stinker just had to be in the photo.  Worked rather well since she even posed (gasp!).

Earlier this month I also made some slingers.  These things are nearly impossible to take pictures of, so pardon the less than stellar photos.  But you get the idea. 

I simply cut two triangles of fabric, sewed them together, and then sewed them into some thin bias tape.
Before I sewed them into the bias tape, I used some Wonderunder to secure the triangles to the tape.  I used 1/4 inch bias tape and didn't want to risk the triangles moving out of place and than me having wonky slingers.

I kinda like them.

Better than the plastic ones you can buy in stores.