Monthly Archives: May 2009

Urban Blaster

I’m still working on those ‘top secret’ projects, but as I am getting closer to finishing up, I’m gearing up to start something new – The Urban Blaster from Switch Craft. I think I have all my supplies: exterior fabric (I picked a fun Tinkerbell print since Taylor is into her recently), ripstop nylon for the interior (the pattern called for a coated nylon), a nylon mesh (for the speaker cover), zipper, portable MP3 speakers, and a whole lot of interfacing!

Speaking of top secret projects… one down! I managed to put the finishing touches on the project I mentioned yesterday and am pleased with the overall result. I’m glad that this sample is behind me, the fabric made it a bit more challenging that what I had anticipated! Now it’s back to work – I have a second tutorial to write and the deadline is fast approaching. Hope everyone has a wonderful, productive rest of the weekend!

Hem


Check out that hem – nice and smooth – no wrinkles or bubbles! This is the fabric that has given me so much grief and it’s been tamed with a whole lot of knit interfacing. I had planned on using my coverstitch to finish this off, but was afraid that I would have a mess on my hands, wack off several inches, and have a project that was 10 inches shorter than what it was meant to be…. so I finished it with a twin needle. I still have a few finishing touches before this sample is complete. I guess it’s back to the sewing room then!
What are your plans for the weekend – sewing or otherwise?

Amy Butler Softwares

I’ve spent the better part of my evening this week playing around with my new toy Amy Butler Softwares. This is my first experience with sewing patterns on CD and I can honestly say, I have not been disappointed. This is a stand alone software (although it is compatible with Electric Quilt 6) for your PC or Mac systems that run Windows (with Virtual PC) and contains 22 unique home decor projects (8 quilts, 3 table runners, 7 pillows, 1 floor cushion and 3 bags). Also included are 9 ‘bonus’ projects which are a variety of tutorials that have appeared on Amy’s site.
The design of the CD is easy to navigate and is extremely user friendly – it allows you to start ‘playing’ immediately without spending time reading a manual. However, if you’re interested in some of the more complex aspects of the software such as customizing quilt patterns, all the instructions are available right on the CD. That’s right, you can take existing project patterns and make them ‘your own’ by erasing, flipping, rotating blocks, adding boarders, altering layouts, and changing fabrics! No matter what you chose, either the project as it’s written or complete customization, all sewing instructions are provided as well as fabric requirements (even if you alter the pattern!).
Also included in the CD is a sewing glossary, tips, and technique section, resource guide, list of available fabrics by Amy, and loads of inspiration projects and photos.
The Bottom Line: I can sum up this software in one word, Wow! Between the projects included on the CD and the customization features, I have a strong desire to sew up a quilt (and the floor cushions and a bag or two), stat! If you’re looking for something new, like to quilt, or in need of some new home decor projects, you’ll definitely want to give Amy Butler’s Electric Quilt Softwares a try!

Linky Thursday

Quilting Arts is giving away a free eBook – Seven Quilted Bags.
It’s the May Day Giveaway at Sew, Mama Sew! Be sure to check out their blog for all the participants in the handcrafted and materialsupply categories!
Make you own green picnic space even if you don’t have a park anywhere near you!
Make a pair of yoga capris from a set of shirt sleeves. [link via Craft Gossip]
I’ve always wanted a knitted tote made from recycled bags – CraftSanity TV shows you how!
Melly & Me have written a book… and I must own it!
This laptop sleeve is gorgeous. Looking for something simpler? Try this felt version.
A lampshade perfect for any sewing room! [link via Whip Up]
Are you a high school junior or senior (or have one in your house) and want to win an LA weekend? Find out more at Fashion Club Daily.
Fabric covered Moleskins.
Wear your pincushion as a ring!
Burda’s free ruffled clutch is so adorable – now I just need someplace to take it to (Bret, hint, hint)!

Fabric Woes

I know. Normally, I would have put up a post hours ago, but today I’ve found myself to be a determined sewer instead of a blogger. Why? I’ve found a fabric that has completely frustrated me. It’s a very thin organic cotton knit – not only does it want to constantly curl, but it’s also one of those fabrics that need interfacing every step of the way otherwise you’ll never be able to put in a proper hem, etc. Heaven forbid you make a mistake either – otherwise you’ve just made a permanent hole in the material! (I also swear that it also shrunk a bit after putting a hot iron to it as well). I’m finding that I need to pull out all those ‘knit tricks’ to make this fabric behave…….
Now that I’ve finally figured out how to work with this fabric, it’s time to take a bit of a break from the project – I think I need some R&R before taking it up again!
I’d love to know what fabric has given you the most trouble, is it a knit, a ravelly woven, slippery silk???? Let’s share our fabric woes!

Upcoming Projects

Well, ‘me sewing time’ didn’t last that long – with only 2 projects under my belt (I didn’t get as much done as I thought I would), I’m back to writing two new articles. Both will appear in an upcoming special publication that will feature 50 quick and easy projects and should be out at the end of this year. I’ve mentally planned out my tutorials, but it’s time to put my ideas on paper and do some sample sewing. Unfortunately, I can’t report too much on what I’ll be working on, but I will slide in a sneak peek as I finish them off! Now it’s time to head over to the sewing machine and get started!

Happy Memorial Day and The Winner

First off, to those of you in the states, Happy Memorial Day! I hope everyone has an enjoyable day spending time with their families and remembering those men and women who have served in the armed service as well as those who have passed.
Now, the moment I know so many of you have been waiting for… the winner of Amy Butler’s Hampton bag is (drum roll, please)….. Elena. She wrote, “This bag is my type of bag…big and wonderful. I would use it as an everyday bag and carry my life with me.” Congratulations!

A Few Unusual Purchases

While browsing online the other day, I came across a new pattern magazine that I’ve never seen before, a Japanese sewing title called Female. This summer issue had quite a few designs that I thought Taylor would be interested in so I thought that I would give it a try (besides I love the sailor pants). Anyone have any experience with it or know of a Flickr group that may have some finished projects?
Since Ebay is such an addictive site (I really think you can find just about anything), I also picked up a set of portable speakers for an MP3 player. What does this have to do with sewing? I’m determined to sew up the Urban Blaster Bag from Switch Craft (it’s the bag that’s on back cover) which uses a set of these. I still have a lot of other supplies to get, but at least I’ve get a head start!

Starting Off The Weekend

Wondering where Saturday’s post went? We decided to start out Memorial Day weekend off by going to the zoo (we needed to take advantage of the perfect weather)! Now that we’re thoroughly walked out, I’m not sure I have any sewing in me today. However, I do have enough energy to play with Amy Butler’s Electric Quilt software! So far it’s amazing. Not only can you use the existing designs, but you can also alter them in so many different ways that you create a completely new look. I’ll be posting a full review soon.
Speaking of Amy Butler, interested in a sneak peek of her two new patterns for summer? Spool Sewing met up with her at Quilt Market and gave us a little preview. I’m definitely planning on sewing up The Field Bag & Tote… it looks perfect for summer! [link via True Up]. She’s also hosting a new contest to launch her CD and new line of Midwest Modern fabrics – click here for details.
Don’t forget tomorrow is the last day to enter in the Hampton Bag giveaway!

Well, Crud

Do you know how to start your day off wrong? Write an incredibly long blog entry the night before and discover that it didn’t save. It’s gone! Vanished! Bret is taking the day off to go fishing and has taken Taylor with him so I just don’t have the time to go back and re-write it all. I guess I’ll try again this weekend. GGRRRR.
In the mean time, I plan to hit up Joann’s Memorial Day sale and pick up a few notions that I’m out of (not to mention thread). I think I may also soothe myself by doing some fabric shopping too. What are your plans for today and this weekend?