Earlier this fall, I jumped at the chance to join the Twitter #ssswap (Secret Santa Swap) organized by the lovely @sukie80 (be sure to check out her fab blog, too). I was excited but a little nervous because I knew several of the folks involved and, well, it’s a little intimidating to think about sewing stuff for some of these folks since they might rethink our friendship upon closer inspection of my handiwork.
And then I got the email with my swap partner. And my heart was filled with joy.
Me with Jana at Quilt Market in Houston
I love this girl. And her family. Immediately the wheels were churning. Stalking her Pinterest only further honed my instincts. So early in December, I sent her a box containing this:
Three little packages all wrapped up in kraft (craft?) paper and lace ribbon. Inside the packages …
A scarf made with ruffle fabric in a pretty pink to add a little pop of color to her day (based on a tutorial from V&Co. because she’d already made what I had in my head). A footstool pincushion (modified version of a pattern by the oh-so-awesome Penny) because Jana needs a safe place to keep her pins. And a Fluevog all her own to love and fondle.
I’m not a quilter but I have been known to try my hand at the odd quilt pattern every now and then. There is no pattern for this, however, so I pretty much made it up as I went along. I was in the middle of working on my first Don’t Look Now! pattern (more on this tomorrow) so I decided to use that appliqué technique for this one.
I started out by photographing one of my shoes, then importing it into Photoshop and printing it out at the desired size to trace off for the appliqué pieces. It is a raw-edge technique with lots of free-motion stitching around each part of the appliqué (which I’m not very good at doing) but I think that just adds to the funky quality. I used embroidery floss for the running stitches detailing the shoe and some vintage buttons to replicate the leather-covered buttons on the strap.
I finished it off by quilting in a geometric sort of ray pattern radiating out from the shoe. There’s a small line of echo quilting around the shoe and I used that and the inner border as my guide for moving between each line of quilting. I finished it off with an embroidered label on the back (backing is from Sandi Henderson’s Farmer’s Market line):
It’s not a very big quilt (the background started life as a fat quarter) but it was stitched with a lot of love.
Imagine you enter a Provocraft giveaway on Twitter.
Then Imagine you win.
Today, I went from imagining to creating and enjoying, courtesy of the lovely folks at ProvoCraft. I don’t think I really believed I won their Cricut Imagine giveaway until the box showed up at my door this afternoon. The kids were off from school today, so I had plenty of helping unpacking it and setting it up. And help was needed — this sucker is HUGE. Like, “it’s going to need it’s own table” huge. For now, though, the dining room table seems to be working. At least until Honey starts grousing.
It took a little while to unwrap everything and then get the update installed, then the machine calibrated, but once it was? We couldn’t wait to play.
My prize came with three Cricut Imagine cartridges, including the Imagine More cartridge, which was the first one I popped in. Oh my, it was so easy to use! I still have so much to learn but I can definitely tell the learning process is going to be quite fun. Honey admired my handiwork and then ooohed and aaaahhed appropriately as I showed the Imagine at work.
Thanks, ProvoCraft! I can see that the Cricut Imagine is going to be right at home here.
Disclosure: I won the Cricut Imagine from ProvoCraft as part of a contest on Twitter. I was not asked to promote or review my prize. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and freely given.
Miss L has been rather insistent that she’s going to be a princess for Halloween. I have tried over and over again to convince her to be something else (namely, Little Red Riding Hood since I still have the Kinsale Cloak I made her last Halloween) but there’s been no swaying her. Princess, she’d insist. A pink princess.
She really liked the princess from Happily N’Ever After, so I sketched this dress, which I thought was a little more appropriate for a four year old. The foundation of the costume is Burda 9702 but mostly I just used the bodice and drafted the skirts myself. (The underskirt is very similar in construction to the inset ruffled panel tutorial I have here on my blog, although I did not turn under the top edge since they are obscured by the ruffle on top of each.)
Of course, in the middle of constructing this taffeta masterpiece, Liesl came home from preschool and announced that she was going to be a pumpkin for Halloween. That daughter of mine can be such a comedienne! As you can see, she didn’t get her way — not that she seems too put out by having to be a princess.
I added a beautiful lace trim to the sleeves, as well as a contrasting panel of fabric edge with pearly ribbon to the bodice. I do wish that I’d cut the contrast panel a little wider at the top; I miscalculated when making allowances for the seam at the neckline.
Those who follow my Twitter feed know that I had a small construction disaster yesterday: I attached the bodice with the right side facing in. Lucky me discovered this after completely finishing the waist seam, too, serging and all. Perhaps you heard the cussing? I have no idea why I deviated from my usual routine, which is to check that I’ve put the pieces together after I’ve pinned but before I sew; however, I can guarantee I won’t make that mistake again. The taffeta is so fine and I don’t think it would have held up to having the seam ripped open, so I just got out my scissors and literally cut the bodice from the skirt. I lost about a half an inch in length and it made for a bulkier seam at the waist, but I don’t think it’s too noticeable.
Her highness certainly isn’t complaining.
I love reading Devilish Southern Belle for many reasons (she’s a bit sassy, has teenage boys, has great taste in music and happens to be from my home state) including the fact that she loves techy-geeky things as much as I do. It never fails that she installs some cool plug in or widget on her blog that I then covet.
She’s the reason I’ve installed two new things: a comment highlighter and an email responder. The two more or less work together so I can respond to comments directly on my blog and the design of my responses stands out just a bit so you can see my posts.
I started using it last night and, while I think it needs a little tweaking, it seems to be working pretty nicely. I’m hoping to figure out how to get my comments to appear immediately below the one to which I’m responding.
There’s also a new toy in the sidebar. Yes, I’ve started to Twitter. Blame Lady M and The Diva. It’s quite addictive, which is exactly what I need when I have so much fighting for my attention. We’ll have to see how long I keep up with it — and how long I can keep it actually working in my sidebar since it’s already been a little erratic.