Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sewing Projects

Hasn't this year gone by quickly?  I know I think this every year but truly June was just here and now it's December!  The past few months have really tested me in ways I wish had not been tested.  I know I haven't been present here but hopefully in 2013, I'll be around more often.  There has been quite a bit of turmoil in my department at work.  Every time I believe we have a handle on it, something else comes up.  I have been working night shift and day shift and I haven't had a normal schedule in months.  I just want it to stabilize but I think it will go on for a while.  My boss is trying to get us some help but that's only a portion of the problem.  Anyways, I don't want to dwell on it, especially here.

However, I have been sewing... Of course, not as much as I want!  I believe most women who sew would say this.

I made curtains for my bedroom.  Fabric is from Hawthorne fabrics,  Michael Miller's collection fabric Feeling Groovy in Citron.  When I was looking at it online, it was hard for me to picture how it would look as curtains but I liked the pattern print.  Once I received the material, I was a bit surprised how small the print was which made it look very busy.  I wish the print was bigger.  I love buying fabric online but sometimes it's hard to picture how it really looks in person.  I'm sure I'm not alone in this!  I lined the curtains with twin size flat sheets!  I read someone's blog that recommended doing this.  I loved the idea, it only cost me $20.00 to line all these curtain panels.  

I haven't yet decorated for the holiday but to get me into the spirit of Christmas I made some snowman placemats:

I made the black tablecloth too.  It's made of linen fabric that I had purchased several months ago from; they carry the lowest priced linen.   I find sewing linen a challenge since it's slides around and can ravel easily but I do like it. 

I also sewed this tablecloth (below) from heavily discounted material I purchased years ago.  I believe it's also a linen material.  It's a very 70's print but I think that's the charm of it.  This  was the very first tablecloth I have made.  It's made from 54 inch wide fabric which is great if you don't want any seams.  It was also the first time that I mitered the corners!  It was a bit tricky but after a dozen tries, I can make them!  I learned how to do this from this tutorial from sew4home.  Have you checked out Sew4home?  It's a great site if you need inspiration.  It's full of fun, beautiful projects. 


I also sewed a laundry bag to store our down comforter in.  We purchased a new comforter this year and immediately put it on our bed.  We roasted!  It's not cold enough in Arizona to use it yet.  So meanwhile I needed to store it.  I made this with linen so that our comforter can still breathe!  I used this tutorial from I have to say.   I like that it's lined with no exposed seams.

That's all my show and tell for now.  I hope you all are doing great.

                                                               Sew long for now.... Kim

Friday, November 2, 2012


I know I have been MIA! There has been a lot of craziness at work: DRAMA!  So I haven't wanted to write until now.

I really love this time of year: FALL!!!  What's not to love.  The cooler days brings happiness to our lives.  Especially after this summer.  We had many days reaching temperatures of 117 degrees: totally insane to deal with.  But that's all behind us :)  Today I went to Pier One and bought this  beautiful   candle to help me bring fall into my home. It has the lovely smell of Pumpkin.  Who doesn't love the beautiful fall colors, rich browns and brunt orange.  I can't wait to sew some new placemats in those colors.

I have missed reading your blogs and plan to catch up and connect with all of you again.  I hope everyone is doing fine.

My Fall motto:  Keep it simple and enjoy the tiny joys in life.

Have a wonderful day....Kim

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ever Wonder about Sewing Machine Needles?

One of the questions I had when learning to sew was about sewing needles.  How do you pick the correct one for the type of job you're sewing?   I have sewn now for about six years and until today I really didn't know if I was using correct size or type of needles.  I came across a website that changed that for me.  Pat Bravo has a PDF on needles over at Art Studio Fabrics.  I found it very helpful and thought it might help other women who questioned their choice in needles.  Hope it helps!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wonderful Weekend

I am so in love with having weekends off.  Now I'm kicking myself for not trying before this year to get weekends off.  It's weird how we just go on with life day after day without much thought on how we can make our lives better.  It took me quite a while (about six months) to get a schedule change at work.  But like all really great things, it took time to make it happen.  The reason for my giddiness is that I feel like I'm newly married again!  It's so nice to have time with Zdenek.  It's nice to go out together and enjoy each other's company.

This weekend was full of fun times together:

First of all, we had morning coffee together on the patio.  It's still pretty hot in Arizona so morning is the only time we can spend on our patio.  But soon, we'll be having dinners out there.

On Saturday, we went shopping!!!  I haven't shopped for clothes in so long so I really enjoyed it.  I loved that Zdenek could tell me if  an outfit looked good on me or not.  Normally I would only do this with my sister but once in a while shopping with a man is OK!  I just believe my sister is the best person to shop with.  She has excellent taste, knows what looks good on me and we always have fun.  But she lives in Florida.  She wasn't available this past Saturday!

OMG...I almost forgot the best news of my weekend!  On Saturday, my niece had her baby!!!  Now I'm a great Auntie!  Sounds so weird to me.   My sister, Cindy, is the first of my siblings to become a grandma!  Her daughter, Brittany, had a little boy named Archer:

My sister, Cindy with her new grandson, Archer

On Saturday, we celebrated Octoberfest at a local German restaurant, Brat Haus.  They have a great outdoor sitting area full of long and short picnic tables under shade trees and umbrellas.  I didn't get a picture of waitstaff outfits but they wore old time German attire, I think it adds to the experience.  So we drank beer and enjoyed a sausage meal:

In addition to enjoying a meal out, we headed over to the park to enjoy Ballet in the Park!  Every year Arizona Ballet Company does several performances at different parks on a Saturday evening.  This was the first year we could go.   It was a beautiful night, the stars were bright and the performance beautiful.

(Of course, I had to have some Kettle Popcorn!)

(photo from AZ Ballet Company)

I did have some time to sew on Sunday.  I'm working on a project for a blog hop that I plan to write a post about this week.  It's all about English Paper Piecing.  It's a slow process but really great for my soul.  I love that I can make something by hand with just small pieces of fabric and thread.  This pattern is called Star Blossom by Rachel Hauser.  Rachel has a tutorial on her blog, Stitched in color.

Now, I'm wishing every day was a weekend :)

Friday, September 28, 2012


Today is my first day participating in TGIFF:  Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday!  Wow, I love how that sounds!  Although I'm still at work (don't anybody tell on me!) I did start and finish a project this week.  It's really a small project but I'm counting it all the same.
My bed needed a girly touch to it.  A few months ago, we purchased a whole new bedroom set.  Hopefully one that will last us the rest of our lives.  I couldn't believe how long we struggled to find one that both of us would like.  But we did find one!  Well, I need to take a picture of it for you but right know, I'm at work!  Anyways, our bedspread has geometric pattern so it really needed something girly on it so I made us some new pillowcases and I LOVE them. 

I found a great pillow tutorial on YouTube by Crafty Gemini.  There are only three seams to sew.  EASY PEASY!    I plan to make more.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Umbrella Paper Piecing

I really love how my first umbrella turned out:

I wasn't fast at piecing this together but I'm definitely improving on the skill part of piecing!  I hardly used my seam ripper.  It's teaching me patience too! It took me about 2 1/2 hours to put together!

I purchased this pattern from Kristy at Quiet Play who offers three varieties of this pattern.  Of course, I chose the easiest one to try first.  I'm not dumb!  I can't wait to make more of them so I can make something beautiful with them.  I guess living in the desert makes me wishful for more rain...hence my fascination with umbrellas.  Thanks Kristy, I really like your pattern!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cat in the Hat Quilt

Today I finished my quilt, Cat in the Hat, for my niece.  She is expecting her first little one in two weeks.  It's a small quilt  (measures 25x28 inches) to use in strollers and cat seats (opps! I mean car seat!)   Of course, I want it to be the quilt her baby loves!  I embroidered the baby's name under Thing One and Thing Two to make it more personable.  I purchased this pattern from Sheila  on Etsy.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Work in Progress

It feels like I haven't been here much...

However, I have been a busy bee :)

I am still working on organizing my fabrics:

All the fabric is better organized except
for my scrap bin.

All my fabrics are folded so that I can
see what's in each bin.  

I added more fabrics to this.   
 I haven't yet had time to organize the fabric by color but plan to do it in the next couple of weeks.

These are projects that I'm currently working on:

Dogwood Blossom Quilt:

I'm embarrassed  to say this project is still ongoing.  I work on this quilt a small bit at a time.  I'm still really on step two, which is the hand embroidery part that I have worked on for a few months.  It's hard because there are so many projects that are much quicker to finish so I work on them instead of this one.

Stash Attack!

Since organizing my fabrics, I realized I had way too many scraps.  I hate the idea of throwing them away because I think most can be recycled into another project.  Since learning English Paper Piecing method, I decided to dedicate some of my stash to make small projects such as these placemats:

Star Blossom, English Paper Piecing (EPP):

This was a project from Rachel's Handstitched: Camp Pearl class that I took over the summer.  I'm finally getting around to this project.  She had offered instructions for 16 projects!  Too many for me to do during the summer months so now I'm trying to get to some of them.  I'm really enjoying this project.  She's planning to offer the class again in 2013 and I highly recommend it if you're wanting to learn several different types of hand stitching.  I found her instructions very thorough, offering interesting and diverse  projects.  You can be a beginner  or advanced sewer.  On her blog, Stitched in Color, she offers several free tutorials where you could get a feel for her style.  At first, I couldn't get the hang of EPP but now I can hardly put it down.  I love the portability of this style of hand stitching.  I can even take it to work, whip it out and work on it when it's slow.

The finished project should look like this:

(photo by Rachel: Stitched in color)

Crochet Reversible Baby Blanket:

I'm so close to having this project done! I just need to stitch two sides of the fabric to the yarn and I'll be done :)  I'm making this for my niece, Brittany. She's having her first baby (a boy who's being named Archer)  in two weeks.  Brittany is the first of my sibling's kids to have a baby so it's very exciting for us.  I'm gonna be a Great Auntie... it is just so hard for me to comprehend this.  Surely, I'm not that old!  Anyways, I purchased this pattern from Sheila on Etsy.  (I love Etsy!)

( I embroidered Archer's name under Thing1 and Thing 2)

I made the same blanket for a friend's first grandchild, Leo: 

So I've been busy and hopefully I'll be able to report more progress next week.  My husband, Zdenek, came home from visiting his family in Czech Republic on Thursday; I'm enjoying some much needed couple time together.  I love having weekends off from the hospital.  I can say that having this time off so me and Zdenek can be together more often has made me a happier person.  

Sew long for now.....Kim

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A great Day..Fabric was Involved!

Just thought I would share a bit of my day...

1.) Organized some fabric:

I decided to store smaller pieces of fabric in this unused sweater keeper,
still have plenty of room for more!

Not sure this will work...fabric height too high  but at least organized!

2.)  Went for a pedicure:

I love the color Orange!

3.)  I had to go to Crate and Barrel warehouse to check out furniture that was suppose to be delivered tomorrow.  This is the third time they are trying to deliver inferior furniture.  Not sure what to do about this.

4.)  Picked up my sewing machine from the repair shop.  It was been there 3 weeks!  I know! You feel my pain.  Well, don't  feel too sorry for me, I have another machine so I have been sewing!  I have a Janome Jem Platinum  760  that  I purchased when I decided to learn quilting about 5 years ago.  It's considered a three-quarter's machine.  SMALL!   The machine that was sick was my Janome Memory Craft 6600.  The tension was broken and needed repaired desperately.  I was putting tape on the tension dial to keep in one place!  So finally, I broke down and took it in.  Well, it was an expensive repair...see the repair ticket!  That's right, $123.00 Big Bucks!  I hope after this repair that I can make better stitches!  I kept blaming bad stitching on my sick machine...what if it's me that's the problem????  Of course, not!

5.)  Fabric......Right next to the repair shop is a fabric shop. I was drawn to it just like a moth to a flame!  I bought a five fat quarter bundle last week at this shop.   I fell in love with this fabric.  It's Laura Gunn, Garden Wall collection.  The store ran out of the floral print :(  I asked the owner if she could get more and she is going to call and see tomorrow.  I was afraid that she wouldnt 't be able to so I went on line and found a fat quarter bundle on Etsy  from sewlovefabrics!  I was so excited that she had it; I bought it on the spot.  I also purchased a couple other fat quarters.  Wow.  I said I wouldn't buy more fabric this month because of the repair you think my husband will notice???   No worries...he loves me!  I'll cook him something nice ;)

(Picture by sewlovefabrics)

While at the store today, I picked up a Thanksgiving Charm pack and a yard of Laura Gunn's Orange Painters Canvas:

I plan to sew a table runner using the X and O quilting pattern found at the Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Well, as you can see, I had a full day....;)  

P.S.  I think I might need to go to a fabric anonymous meeting....

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I am a Winner!!!

Yesterday while working, I  quickly was looking through my emails and guess what!!!  I received an email from Kristy at Quiet Play.  She's the lady behind this blog hop:

 Practically Paper Piecing

And guess what????

I WON!!!

It made me smile for the rest of the day (actually I'm still smiling!).  That's not always easy when you work in a hospital!  

I won a $20 gift certificate for  Sew Lux Fabrics and Gifts!  I can't wait to go shopping ;)  Thanks Sew Lux for  being a sponsor of  Kristy's PPP blog hop.

Her blog has many post all about  paper piecing.  I actually used her tutorial on paper piecing for one of my first paper piecing projects called The Red Herring

Thanks Kristy for my new addiction!  It's so hard to stop at just one project.  Now I'm cruising the web for PP projects and it's all her fault!!!

Also this week: 

This week is the start of my new work schedule at the hospital.  I'm very excited.  First of all, I will have week ends off with my husband.  Other than vacation days, we haven't spent much time together because he travels for work during the week and I have worked week-ends for a long time.  Well, not any more!!!  I have worked 6am to at least 6pm (usually 7 or 8pm) for so long that my body thinks it's normal to be up at 4:30AM.  My new work hours are from 9:30AM to longer do I need to be up before the roosters!  This feels strange to me right now but I'm sure my body will get use to a new wake up time real fast.  Well since I have a new work schedule, I decided I need to rearrange my home schedule as well.  I now have Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday off.  I have decided to make Wednesday about home.  I'll clean, do laundry, do errands and try to do my shopping all on this day.  On Thursday,  I'll make it my day to enjoy whatever I want.  Which means SEWING ALL DAY!!!  Sounds pretty awesome to me!  Saturday and Sunday I want to devote to Zdenek.  I am working on some outings for us.  I can't wait.    If he has to do any work on these days then I can devote some time to sewing.  I really don't know how this will be for us but I'm sure it will be awesome.

Since it's Wednesday today; my day of cleaning...I decided I would  incorporate some of that cleaning time to making my sewing studio (really a room but studio sounds much grander!)  much more organized.  I'm starting with my awful sewing stash mess....

Everyday for the next week, I will take a basket of disorganized fabric and turn it into a working stash.  I don't even know what fabrics I have because of my lack of organization.  Here's the beginning of my fabric organized:

Now, I need to purchase some small bins so my fabric isn't lost and disorganized.  I also want to organize by color scheme.  I'll post a pic of my success when it happens!

Thanks for stopping by and happy sewing to all....