Tuesday, September 21, 2010

If all of the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrop(s)

pillows....oh what a world it would be........

Yep, making the Amy Butler Gumdrop pillows.  24" madness.  First let me say these are totally easy to make and adorable.  But, holy cow they take a ton of poly fill.  Right now, the whole back of my bug is full of bags of poly fill.  And the reason is, that I don't really have room for it to be loose in my apartment.   AND, I had to make one and wait to make the other till I'm done with my sister's dress.

So during my adventure to Hollyhill, I chose these fabrics:
Eight fabrics for Lulu's Room match her pillow sham and comforter
4 fabrics for Cece's Room that has a surfer girl theme.

Two birthday girls, one month.  In classic me way, I left the inside pattern pieces at home and just took the outside specficications with me. They outline what to buy if you are doing 2 alternating fabrics or 1 fabric, but again I'm me and decided to do 8 fabrics and 4 fabrics and it would have been great to have the pieces to know how much of each fabric to buy.   Luckily there were only two one way prints, and for both of those I just pieced them together.   Otherwise I would have had about 100$ bucks worth of fabric and lots left over-which could make a cute baby quilt of some kind later on.

Lulu's is the 8 piece jobbie.  The fabrics were all 5 on one shelf and I just scooped them all up and said cut'em baby.  Then I had to find 3 more that coordinated.  I think it turned out well.  Here's how it came together so you can see how easy it is:
Inside view of four sections
Here is the first section of four sew together.

Outside view of the four sections
8 sections sewn into two sections of four.
This is so easy to sew if you just sew the seam allowance each time.  Now you sew half of the two main sections together across the top from side to side.   Then apply the top piece by top stitching it to the outside of the pillow.   Notice that for some reason the edges of the octogon don't all line up with the sections- darn.  Not sure why that didn't happen.  But no matter, it's still super cute and really doesn't bother me.

Not completely stuffed but almost.
The other is not cut yet, so I'm not sure what my issues will be but they are florals so hopefully they are not one way- of course I didn't  check.  der.  1 down, 1 to go.....stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe & Mercantile, New Addiction

I always wondered if making quilts would be as fun as garments and after making the cutie pie little baby blanket, my thoughts are that yes it would.  No fit issues or wearibility problems makes for a successful project w/out issues, right?

Well, I picked up a copy of the Better Homes and Gardens quilters special magazine (or some such mag) after buying the little quilted projects book just for kicks.  They had a whole section showing cool quilt shops all over the country.  Low and behold the most beautiful one, is right down the road from me in West Linn, OR:  Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe & Mercantile, 1914 Willamette Falls Drive, 97068.

So, on my last half day Friday last week, I took myself down there, fighting the Oregon State Fair traffic on I5 all the way but it was totally worth it.  Here's a link to their blog and a shop "tour" with pictures.  I think it really shows the amazing selection and displays of fabrics and quilts. I pasted in a few images so you can see.  You would have to be totally blind to have trouble coordinating fabrics for a project in here.  See....
And yet, as I wandered through with the inspiration for my project I wasn't finding the bright childlike colors with whimsical prints that I needed.  My hopes were dashed.  Even the website shows Amy Butler prints so there should be some to choose from right?  Finally, I asked someone.  Low and behold there is a whole other "store" down the hall in the same building that is ALL BRIGHT AND WHIMSICAL fabrics, including the Amy Butler prints.  Hurray!!!

I spent two hours in there pulling fabrics for my project.  What a delight.  I'm not making a quilt, but I think I might need to take a little class and get myself going on my first one very soon.  In addition they have little kits for smaller projects and cute decorations for things like Christmas (which is coming sooner than later) and other little gems.  And the best part dear readers that don't live in Oregon.......they have a website and  you can shop on line!!!!!!!!!!!!  Fabulous.  Here's the link.....
Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe & Mercantile online.   So see, you can shop here with out moving here, because as I've stated, we are full.  Cheerio!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Vogue 8645: Failure of Figure Not Pattern

I like to see the things that don't work out that other people sew, it makes me feel like I'm not lame when my stuff doesn't turn out.  I think the projects that are the most successful have thoughtful fabric choices, creative well edited trims and carefully planned out patterns and construction.

But the one thing that trumps all that is when the style is not flattering on you.  Sometimes I look at the pattern envelope and think- "oh that's darling!"  Never mind that it is drawn on an elongated stylized fashion figure that doesn't exist in nature (sort of like Barbie).  And certainly it's not what my figure looks like.   Thus, we come to my very first project back in the saddle.  The one I've been hiding in a drawer and thinking about cutting apart for muslin usage. I didn't even press it for the photos. 
I made the garment out of a beautiful yarn dyed cotton lawn from The Mill End Store. I chose the pattern size based on my measurements: 16 (ACK!  All that working out and weight loss to go from a rtw 12 to a 6, shattered.) Not knowing or remembering that there is 75 miles of ease in all their patterns, and not having discovered the helpful Pattern Review website that could have helped me make a better choice in size, I proceeded with the 16.

I added a white batiste lining to this garment as the fabric was pretty sheer. I also carefully chevroned all the seams of the skirt and bodice, meticulously matching the stripes.   I even turned down a few dates with the then BF to finish my project and I was so excited to put it on and then when I did, it made me look like a puffy mess.  Perhaps gobs of fabric gathered at my waist and over my bosoms could be the problem.  I know for a fact I look terrible in things that gather over the chest- duh!  
Can you say perfect matching?  Gosh I'm good.  Maybe not on the sash- don't look at that.
Was this why I put the sewing machine away?  Well, besides that my friends all wanted me to peg their jeans for them (for free at a moment's notice on Friday night) in college, or was it that total disappointment that I chose the wrong style?   I used to struggle with the whole "how will the style look on me if I can't try it on till it's done?" problem.   But, don't I know myself by now?  Sheesh.

The garment looks exactly like what was on the envelope, and would have probably looked "darling" on me had it been the right size.  It was easy to construct and the instructions were great to follow.  I would recommend this to anyone, but would say make sure you know what your true size is.  Pattern review can be found here when I get to writing it.

I'll admit I have not been sewing lately but I started a new project for some cute kids birthdays.  More on that later.  I'm also drafting a dress for my sister for her birthday- based on a child's dress, should be interesting.  I flocked (by myself) to the JoAnne's Vogue pattern sale this weekend to pick up a few items to sew for fall.  And really, I think the def. of a few is three and I bought more than three + all the poly fill in the place. 

I need to start getting some things sewn for fall as it has hit just lst Tuesday in the form of a rainy day and instantly leaves are changing colors.  Guess the flip flops are finished.  My assistant says it's not cool to wear them with my down shell (that's what I wore to the office on Tuesday).  She's wrong, I'm sure of it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Things that Make me Happy- Hiking in the Gorge

You might get sick of me saying it, but I live in a beautiful place and am lucky to have the fitness and health to enjoy it.  Case in point: Angel's Rest in Bridal Veil, Oregon and the beautiful Columbia Gorge
This is a beautiful and slightly challenging 4.5 mile hike up to the pinnacle of a rock out crop that affords visitors and spectacular view of the gorge, the river and the mountains beyond (OK, we could see the tippy top of Adams in Washington).
View from almost the top looking west over the Columbia River
We left around 2pm and after getting lost by taking the wrong exit (thanks to XBF and his new Droid) I think we hit the trail about 3pm.  It took about an hour at an easy pace to get to the top where we hung out for awhile eating our trail mix and enjoying the view.  Good thing about hiking in the late afternoon, which I almost never do, is that you get that nice dusky light coming across the horizon that makes for a special effect on the water and the hills. 
Taken by random other hikers.   Thank you!!
Some people break up with each other and then never speak again.  XBF and I seem to have come to a place where we can hang out together and enjoy our same activities, which is great because ski season is coming!!!!  After a nice day enjoying the great outdoors we discussed resuming our training to hike Mt. St Helens this fall.  Next week Indian Point, 2800 feet elevation gain, 7.8 miles.  The week after will be Dog Mountain, 3000 feet elevation gain and I can't remember how many miles.

Again, if you've never been here there are many wonderful places to enjoy.  Just don't move here.  We're full and we don't want more people.  Keep Portland WEIRD!!!