Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sewing Aprons

I've been sewing on these aprons since Sunday. I just love sewing, all the pretty fabrics, I'm not real good at it, my mind wanders sometimes causing me to occasionally sew things out of order. If you don't sew.... well let's just say it's a big deal. I just hate ripping out freshly sewn stitches, so much in fact I tend to just keep on going, until I get to a point where I see clearly why, and so it takes me a while but I'm learning, and getting faster. I DID learn to use my iron! It makes everything so much easier.

 I've had this fabric for ages 

Country bib apron

 More vintage fabric I found in my closet.

One yard apron. There's only one tie which goes around neck and passes 
thru the sides of the bib to tie in the back, so it's completely adjustable.

 This is all I had left of that yard, think I'll add pockets!

 I plan to make more in this simple style too.

Here's some more fabrics I plan to use.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hurricane Ike - Squirrel Story

I was just outside playing with Ike. He has a teddy bear he loves to show-off and wrestle with. Derick has taught him to "kick that bears ass" for a peanut, and he does! He rolls that bear all over, then comes over for his treat. I never planned to have a squirrel, it just sort of happened. 

Hurricane Ike in 2008 blew down 8 trees on our property. On the morning after as Derick and I surveyed  the damage, a circle shape happen to catch my eye, it was in a puddle of water beneath a tangle of fallen tree limbs, and just looked out of place. As I looked closer I realized it was a baby squirrel curled up in a perfect circle! I picked him up but he felt cold and lifeless in my hand and I thought he was dead. I didn't have the heart to just toss him back on the ground so I was still holding it in my hand under my rain pancho wondering what to do with him, as we wandered around looking at the damage. 

The first time I felt something, I checked him again, but nothing, and I decided it was my imagination. A few minutes later though, I felt his little tail twitching! I took him into the house and dried him off real well, but he was still so cold I finally just tucked him into my sports bra to warm him up. We had no power! The next few hours I spent going back and forth warming him up and taking him back outside in a little towel in hopes his moma would come get him. Squirrels were all over the yard gathering up their babies, it was awful to see. One moma squirrel found 2 of her babies and put them in our boat, but she didn't want 'Ike' as he later came to be known. Little Ike's moma never did come for him, she probably died, we searched for more survivors, but found none. 

Ike couldn't maintain any body heat at all, and I was concerned about the snakes I'd already seen, plus he was dehydrated. I gave him some watered down evaporated milk (not ideal) with a small syringe, since I didn't have an eye dropper. (If you ever HAVE to do this, you must be VERY careful not to aspirate the baby.) The next day I finally got a call thru to the proper agency. I'll not name names, since they were jerks.... I was told ''all our licensed rehabilitators are overwhelmed with orphaned squirrels. Since it is illegal for you to keep him, the kindest thing you can do is to return him to the food-chain!" I couldn't believe he said that.... 

Well you can call me Outlaw! I hung-up the phone and named my new baby squirrel 'Ike'. We found Esbilac puppy replacement milk, the same thing rehabbers use, at our local Brookshire Bros. He obviously did just fine. He's a pretty happy squirrel I think. He has a big outdoor cage with a passage thru the window to his indoor cage. 

He's a very sweet little squirrel , check him out!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Ahh For The Love Of Fat Quarters!

I'm just stopped in my tracks, by colorful fat quarter bundles in beautifully coordinated collections in stacks, folded so neatly and tied with a ribbon. I love them, the hard work of matching prints is already done and I can already see how pretty they look together, and imagine ALL the things I could make with them! 

But a fat quarter isn't a matter of presentation. It' really all about the way it's cut. My friends ask what IS a fat quarter anyway, and what makes it so great? 
The simple answer is it's a square-ish block, as opposed to narrow strip of fabric, so there's more ways to use it.

Most cotton is 44" wide. It comes doubled over on the bolt. So if you cut a regular yard (.25), you cut 9" which is 1/4 of 36". So a regular quarter is 9" wide, by 44" long.

To cut a fat quarter, you start by cutting 18" (instead of 9") off the bolt, then cut that piece in half along the fold. Now you have 2 square-ish fat quarters, each one is 18' x 22'. It's a better size for projects. 

Oops A Daisy collection by Moda . 42 - 5" squares in this one. Sweet huh?

Monday, September 12, 2011

DIY Doggie Sleeping Bags

I recycled my old comforter to make some dog beds for the girls. I'm putting a drawstring on them so I can cinch them up like little bowls. My chihuahuas like to snuggle down under something, and I thought this would be perfect, like little round sleeping bags. I put a little extra stuffing in the bottom, but wish now I had added a whole thick layer to make it more 'poofy'. But as you see the girls were fighting over the first one I got done this evening. I'm supposed to be making aprons.... but had this brainstorm.

I cut three 24" inch circles

Cut and pressed some strips to make a band to run a rope thru, and sewed around the circle. 
Maggie got in it as soon as she saw it.

She knew exactly what it was for, curled up and went to sleep. 

 She eventually had to go get a drink of water, and look what happened.
Now Dixie won't get out of it!

Ahh well it's nice to have my handy-work appreciated. Tomorrow I put together the other two. 

Simple Denim Apron

Here's the apron I made in less than an hour for my Step-mother's birthday which was yesterday. We don't usually do much or exchange gifts for birthdays in our family these days (it's gotten too big to afford), but I'd noticed her old favorite denim apron had seen it's better days, so I had planned to make her one anyway. Her birthday 9/11, it's such a solemn day now.... She's never complained or even mentioned it, but I thought it would be nice to do something a little more special this year. So me and my sisters and family's met them for lunch after church. I'm glad we did it was nice. She was surprised and really sweet about it.

There are free apron patterns all over the internet, but I just used my own favorite apron. I folded my denim fabric in half, then positioned my folded apron on top,traced out the pattern, and cut it with a rotary wheel cutter. The pocket, neck and waist ties were leftovers from quilting projects.

I just left the fringe, sewing a tiny crease in the edge to keep it from unraveling

Yes those are curtain ring hooks.... She's short-waisted and I was concerned that the bib would be too loose, the neck hole would be too small. I did't want her to mess up her hair-do just to get it on and off, so I  used what I had on hand! What I wanted was those buckles like on suspenders, since it was after all, denim, but I didn't have any.

Now I've got it on my mind to make some more aprons for Christmas gifts, but I think I'll put a band around the waist so I can add a fuller skirt made of lightweight cotton. I'd like to be able to pick it up and use it to dry my hands and such, almost like a dish towel. Ooh, I could make them reversible! Ooh ooh ooh, what if I made the bibs removable, AND reversible? Hmmm maybe I could use buttons to attach them. Okay, back to the sewing machine.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Barn Wood Wainscoting

I love the idea of using rustic barnwood as wainscotting. 

I really like this one, I think it's the ledge along the top I like the most.

Maybe the ceiling is too much? I always thought if I paneled the vaulted ceiling in my kitchen, it would make it feel like a ships galley.

I wouldn't have thought this would look so good together but I love it.

I think scrapwood wall is fun, I definately like it!