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Not a snap to be found…

When I went to get out my snaps to finish off this pretty stack of card wallets, I discovered I only had 3 heavy duty snaps left. And they’re apparently not so heavy duty anyway. The first one I installed broke off the first time I tried to pull it open. Anybody got a good heavy duty snap recommendation?

Update: Nevermind. My heavy duty snaps are just poor excuses for snaps. I tried with some simpler pearl snaps, and every wallet is now finished, and plenty sturdy. First dibs at tomorrow’s farmer’s market. Second dibs on the website probably on Sunday.

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Vertigo (and Cookies)

I’ve had vertigo all weekend, but I’ve still managed to make it somewhat productive. Saturday, I went out the farmer’s market, and despite the heat it was a good morning.  Of course, then I wasted most of Saturday afternoon taking a post-market nap. I used up a bunch of CSA veggies making Curried Chickpeas and Rice (tasty, but I think maybe it needs a can of diced tomatoes added next time) and Kale with Sundried Tomatoes and Chickpeas. We are big chickpea fans around here.

Today, I started working on 18 new card wallets made from recycled fabric (a.k.a., old pants. Recycled fabric sounds nicer, doesn’t it? The pants were fine, just a little frayed at the hems, and perfectly clean, but still… which would you rather, “recycled fabric,” or old pants?)

I also finally got myself out to see the last Harry Potter movie, and was surprised to see I wasn’t the only one at the theater. I was a little wary about going to a movie while feeling dizzy, but fortunately if I stare straight ahead, I do alright, and there were only a few dizzying scenes in the movie.

I’m wrapping up the night by baking Pumpkin Spiced Cookies (no icing necessary), after getting all inspired by JCasa *handmade’s post mentioning pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and finding a can of pumpkin hiding in the back of my cupboard.

Now, if only I could lose this vertigo. I don’t know where it came from, but it’s been hanging around for a few days now, and I’m tired of feeling at sea.

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Tiny Buttons

Tiny Buttons

I’ve been making a pile of tiny covered buttons lately.

I have a very hard time parting with even the smallest scraps of fabric. Of course, that means I have a seriously out-of-hand collection of scrap fabric. I’ve starting turning some of it into these tiny buttons, which will ultimately become push pins.

I’ve also used bits of scrap fabric to make appliques. My pile is big enough, though, that I need to come up with some more good projects for scrap fabric. Any ideas?

Also, I’ve been loving this Pandora station lately, built around the Kate Nash’s song “Merry Happy.” You should check it out.

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Another Quilt-in-Progress

Finishing the Zig Zag Quilt really motivated me to tackle some other works-in-progress I’ve had hanging around for much too long. I have had the squares cut out for this quilt I’m making for my own bed for almost as long as the Zig Zag Quilt has been hanging around.

I sewed all the blocks into long strips, and then joined the blocks with thin strips of cream fabric. As you can see in the photo, Yoda is helping, as he usually does with my quilts. I did this a couple weeks ago, and have since been distracted with another project, which I hope to be posting about soon. I still need to make and attach some borders of cream fabric around the edges of the quilt, then actually quilt it and bind it, but at least I’m making progress! It’s an actually top now, instead of just a collection of fabric squares. Too bad I can’t Yoda to help with cutting out the borders I still need…

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Handmade Holiday Ideas: Parties and Decoration

As the holidays fast approach, this blog seems to suffer a bit. My handmade holiday project list is long, and I’ve been working hard on it (and end-of-the-semester school tasks.) I’d love to share my entire list here, but I don’t want to give away all my secrets to possible recipients. I guess that’s the drawback to having family care about your blog. One thing I am working on is another quilted bag, for SciFi Man’s grandmother. I should have that done today. The quilt is still in progress, but it should be finished in time.

How is all your holiday crafting going? As if your plate wasn’t full enough, here are few more crafty holiday ideas I’ve seen lately:

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Black Friday Shopping at the Fabric Store

Fat Quarter Bundles

I stayed up too late last night. It was a stupid thing to do, and I’m not sure why I did it, but I did. I set my alarm for 6:30 this morning anyway, and it woke me up at 6:51. It’s nothing new for me to sleep through an alarm, but SciFi Man didn’t hear it go off at all. We must have been pretty tired after feasting on pot pie and homemade ice cream (which turned out wonderfully).

I got to the fabric store at 7:30 and it was already full of crazed women pawing through the flannels (at 99 cents a yard, it was a good deal. I still can’t figure out what they were going to do with so much flannel, though.) The awesome thing about the flannel sale, though, was that it kept everyone’s attention away from the quilter’s cotton, which is what I was after. I actually had some time to decide which fabrics I wanted, and good thing, because it took me awhile to match everything up. I got enough to make two queen size quilts (a Christmas present and a wedding gift) and probably a bit to spare. Everything I bought aside from two fat quarters was on sale, plus I had coupons, which satisfied the bargain hunter in me, and I bought so much fabric that they just left one of them on the bolt for me.

There was a long line to check out, but mostly everyone was nice and friendly. Except one snotty woman who stood behind me in line at the fabric counter and was apparently not content to simply eavesdrop on my conversation with the woman cutting my fabric. She had to add her commentary and snicker with her companion about how ridiculous I was to think I could make a quilt before Christmas. Too bad I won’t have an opportunity to let her know she’s wrong. I’ll share the finished product with you, though.

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Machine Quilting: Some Basics

Charm Party Tote from Quilts Illustrated

Last night I got started on putting together a tote bag. A friend of mine bought a kit to make the tote and, not being a seamstress, had some trouble with the directions. I think the finished product is going to be very cute. It’s a patchwork design with some large interior pockets and a cute envelope-style pocket on the outside. The finished tote is quilted, and since quilting is still new for me, I thought some research on machine quilting was in order.

Machine Quilting: Tips and Designs

AllPeopleQuilt.com has all sorts of clear tips to take you through the entire quilting process. In the article Machine Quilting Like a Pro, they provide direct suggestions for the best needle to use when quilting and ways to make the actual work of quilting go more smoothly. While tips are great, I wanted to know more about different quilting designs. Being a general quilting resource, AllPeopleQuilt also listed the common quilting designs:

  • Stitching in the Ditch: This involves stitching just inside the seam line, and results in stitches that are less noticeable.
  • Outline Quilting (also called echo quilting): stitching 1/4″ from a seam line, this type results in more visible stitches.
  • Stipple Quilting: Stitching in a random pattern. Specific shapes, such as flowers or stars, can be added into a stipple design.

Stipple quilting is most appealing to me, as it seems like the most “artistic” approach to quilting. I know many of the quilts I have admired have been stipple quilted. Of course, it also seems like the most challenging quilt design, as there’s no safe straight lines to rely on. Since this tote isn’t for me, I think I’ll resist my urge to experiment with stipple quilting and stick with outline quilting. With a patchwork design, it should be fairly easy to outline the squares.

Helpful Basic Quilting Links