Monday, March 28, 2011

Kindle Tutorial- part 1.5

If you have a small Kindle, your hexagons should end up pieced together in a rectangle-ish shape measuring 8.5" by 14"-- PLEASE be sure you are measuring from the shortest points, ie the dip in between hexies wide and the last full hexie edge long, NOT any pieces that hang over.

If you have a Kindle DX (the larger one) or an iPad, since it's within a few tenths of an inch in dimensions from the bigger Kindle, you will need to piece your hexagons into a piece that is approximately 11.5" wide by 18" long.
I have no idea how many more hexagons you'l have to piece. Sorry. Just keep stitching until you have these dimensions.

I hope this answers any questions about optional sizing- everything else will be the same.

Found it!

I found some motivation! I sewed another row of RRCB (shh, I know I've taken a terribly long time- it's been laying on my sewing room floor for weeks...), and then I went for my first run since Thanksgiving!!!

I also added a button on my side bar... I've been drooling over their selection, and wishing I had a "real job" so I could do more than drool. Lily has a gorgeous blog, and and will be having a giveaway later this week... and they're the sponsor!

Anyway. I need to get back to sewing before the motivation leaves again.

Confession time

I have big plans. Big things to do. Well, big to me, anyway. But I seem to be stuck doing nothing.
I blame the cold for my lack of motivation. Having been in Florida, it feels so much worse when Indiana reminds me where I am and dips down into these wintery temperatures.

I have a pillow to make. I have a potentially cool quilt design living in my head waiting to be made. I have that fat quarter bundle waiting to be cut into and made beautiful. I need to finish the second part of my Kindle tutorial. And I need to make our Easter baskets.

But I can't seem to find any reason to get started TODAY.

While we're confessing here, I also broke my Lenten resolution- I ate half a bag of candy yesterday-- with good reason, I think. I've been having stomach issues, and as a last resort decided to eat the candy in case this was sugar withdrawal. Honestly, I did feel better last night than I had any of the previous three nights... am I really that big of a sugar addict? Possibly.

Lunch is in the oven already. Maybe by the time it's done I'll have at least started something. Maybe. Don't hold your breath- my Kindle and a sunny window are conspiring against all thoughts of productivity!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kindle Sleeve Tutorial Part 1

Ok, hexagon lovers! Here's the Kindle Cover tutorial I promised! These instructions are for the smaller-sized Kindle- if you have a larger one, or wish to adapt this for an iPad, you'll need more hexagons than I specify.
I'm doing this in two parts since it will probably take more than a few hours for you to make... :)


paper hexagons- I used 92, each with 3/4" sides-- I printed them here. Just scroll down to hexagons, and put .75 in for the side length. I love this size because they can be made from pieces as small as 2" wide strips, and yet are large enough to show off each print. You will need to print off 3 pages if you plan on making all the hexagons first, and fewer if you baste and stitch together as you go.
scraps of fabric- enough for the above-mentioned 92 hexagons
Scrap of binding about 42" long
thread- I recently switched to Mettler silk finish (50 weight). I find it tangles less. I also use a natural tone. You will also need perle cotton (#8) if you plan on hand quilting.

Ok. To start with, baste your hexies, doing a tiny backstitch to tack down each fold, with a small knot at the last corner. I do not baste through the papers.
By doing it this way, I can reuse the templates- I flatten them with a hot, dry iron in between uses- this crisps them back to normal. I've been able to use some 5 times now! The other benefit to this method is that you don't need to remove your basting stitches!

Baste all 92 of these little buggers! If you keep your supplies gathered in a small baggy, it can become your purse project- something easily tossed in your purse when you know you'll be waiting somewhere.

Got 92 hexagons now? Great!

Lay them out in some sort of pleasing fashion...

It needs to be 8 rows wide. If there are some scraps you don't love so much, use them on the edges and corners since these pieces will be trimmed once we square it up. Any hexagon that hangs past the main piece will be trimmed, too... so keep that in mind.

Stay tuned for part 2!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lucky me!

If any of you read Stash manicure, you probably laughed already today at the description of Cavemen husbands. I am blessed to NOT be married to a caveman-- in fact, I am blessed to be married to a Man Who Appreciates Quilts!!! My husband loves the quilts I make, and knows how much thought, time, and effort goes into them.

On top of that, he likes to spoil me every once in a while... like yesterday...

We had to run up north to get some errands done, and he took me to my formerly-almost-local quilt shop! I would have been happy with a few random FQs... but he kept pointing to bundles and trying to find one I loved, and he did, which is how I wound up with a bundle of Boutique Chez Moi. Can you believe he picked it out? That's how awesome my husband is- not only does he spoil me, but he knows the colors I love! 

I also learned from him that I'm not "earthy." I was pointing out the Origins line, and told him I really like it because it would go with out house wall colors, but I don't like it enough to actually buy and use- I would rather have something brighter. Which he diagnosed as me not being earthy. :D
What am I, then? I tend towards bright red, yellow, intense blues, lively greens...hmm, sounds a bit like I might be LOUD!!!!!!!!


Tomorrow I'll have the hexagon Kindle Cover tutorial. If you want to make one with the same size hexagons I used, you will need 92 hexagons with .75"sides in various scraps. It sounds daunting, but being that this is a hand=-pieced project, it's not meant to be fast! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tickled Pink

I am absolutely tickled pink at the response from my last post on Stash Manicure! So many have loved my Kindle cover, and I've received several request for a tutorial... so, if you can bear with me while I make another one, I'll have one ready by Friday (earlier if possible!).

Stay Tuned!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Home again, home again, jiggity jog!

While I wish I could have brought the beach home with me, I sure am glad to be back! I had a great time- we had beautiful weather for my dad's memorial and spreading at sea, and again the day we revisited his spot. I can't complain about the weather at all- every day was perfect! I got just enough of a tan to look like I went to Florida, but no so much as to look like I should be on Jersey Shore. I even found some good deals when we went shopping- a pair of Lucky jeans for $32 instead of $98 (score!!), some cute platform flip flops, and a green cardigan all for me, plus 2 mugs for Tim and a coozie for each of us from Master Bait & Tackle. I also ate way too much good food!!!

I got a tiny bot of hand sewing done- only 4 more diamonds made from my hexies- but, while I was gone, a lovely lady by the name of Donna offered me some of her scraps- and they arrived today! My, some of them are bringing back flashbacks from my doll-quilt making days... and some I had used for button doll dresses.... oh, the memories! Make me want to make a button doll, and a mini quilt to go with her!!!

I'll leave you with some shots of Florida...

Look how calm it was 6 miles out where we spread my dad's ashes... so peaceful. Perfect.

Sunsets always look great on vacation!

There were dolphins in this pass almost every day we went through it!
 Last but not least, my favorite, the grumpy pelican:
Someone's not a morning bird!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I'm on vacation. 
But I had to bring these along.

A recycled plastic case makes a great sewing caddy. 
This one came from our recently-purchased black-out curtains.

Scissors were a dilemma, though... for a minute. Then I remembered one of the "favors" from the shop hop I did last fall.

A needle threader and thread cutter!!!!

Now you know: my sewing kit meets TSA regulations!
Happy traveling, indeed.

I'll be home soon- I've only sewn a couple more diamonds, but what can I say- I've been "busy" sitting by a pool, or walking around outdoor shopping areas, or riding a sweet boat around in the ocean... yes, busy indeed!

I miss my husband and dogs, though- three great reasons to come home!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Boating Quilter???

Ok, so I'm in Florida, and I've been trying to stay offline (and have for the most part) but I saw a boat next yesterday that I just had to point out (sorry no photo yet): It's named BOBBIN ALONG!!!

How many of you would also assume it's a quilter???? Plus, Kevin, our host, said it's a BUNCH OF WOMEN who take it out al the time and they read, too!!!

If I had a boat, I'd have to give it a name like that- a good old-fashioned double entendre. I'm sure most men think of fishing with Bobbin Along, but we know better, don't we, ladies? ;)

Let's see, you could use fabric types, or quilt block names.... I call Monkey Wrench in case I can ever afford a boat!

The sun is almost up- I think I'l take a walk so that I won't return to my husband any, uh, fuller than when i left.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

While I'm on vacation...

Charm pack + remnant of red solid.

After hours of pondering, I decided to make a Double wedding ring table runner with my charm pack of 1930s Buttercup. I only was able to cut enough pieces from it to make three "blocks," but I think it will be a great table runner size when finished. Finally, I'm using those templates I got on clearance so long ago!
I think the red will really make this pop. It will also make it festive for summer- my goal is to have it finished by our anniversary (which just happens to be the 4th of July!!!).

Do you have any favorite traditional quilts? Or any favorite charm pack patterns?

I'm still in Florida, but I'll be back soon!!!!

(This post was written ahead of time... thank you, scheduled post option!)

Friday, March 11, 2011


Part of this project is traveling with me!
Have hand work, will travel.
 I'm off on vacation for a bit... Tim had to stay home and work, and watch our dogs. 

My hexies are coming with me, as is my Kindle. I'm ready for anything- or nothing at all! 

While I'm down there, we're finally spreading my dad's ashes. The Gulf oil spill got in the way last summer, and I don't think Mom was ready yet. We ALL are ready now. 

I'm so excited for some SUNSHINE!!!!!

See you later, alligator!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

An ode, almost.

It's been another sad half hour of job hunting... seriously, because our town is so small, it takes a half hour tops to do a job search within a feasible driving distance. But, on the bright side, not having a job gives me oh-so-much time to cook, sew, and engineer domestic tranquility.

This leads me back to the hexagon obsession. Last night, I sat here stitching one hexie to another, basting about 50 more, and loving each and every one.

Why do I love them SO MUCH????

Hexagons let me slow down.
They let my otherwise jackrabbit quick brain slow down.
They allow me to make a fat quarter's worth of fabric last for a whole day, rather than ten minutes.
They help me keep sewing despite an almost non-existant fabric budget.
They allow me to feel each and every piece, to analyze patterns, play with colors.
They remind me that simple isn't boring.

Hexagons, in a way, are helping me continue to heal my soul.

This gathering has turned into 52 (at the moment) diamonds built from 9 hexagons each. Many of them came from fabric scraps given to me by a dear friend. If only she knew how many hours of enjoyment her "trash" has given me so far.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mardi gras!!!

In honor of Fat Tuesday, how about a tutorial?

 Mardi Gras Headband!
Scraps of green, purple, and yellow.
Small piece of elastic cord
Plain headband
Needle and thread
You only need one green... I just pulled out a couple, knowing that whichever one didn't get used would be cut up for more hexagons :)

(Did you know the purple stands for justice, green for faith, and gold for power?)

Take a piece of green- mine was from a 2.5" strip, and about 4.5" long. Fold your raw edges in, tack in place, and curl around itself.
See? Flower-like. Take a few stitches where necessary to secure the shape...
Then make the next flower. And the third flower. All on the same thread.
You should have something like this. I took a couple more random stitches to secure all three together.
Now, tie a knot on either end of your elastic cord (make sure your headband will fit once stretched!) and tack it on to the flower.
Slip the headband through the elastic, move the flower where you want it, and take an awkward photo that makes your nose look huge. Ta-da! Happy Mardi Gras!!!

I hope that by posting this tonight, anyone who wants to make one will have plenty of time. 

You could sew it right on to a headband, but I have another fabric flower I made that I want to put elastic on so that this headband will be multi-holiday. :D

It's true.

Spring must be coming. Produce prices are returning to something close to affordable.
And there were boxes and boxes of strawberries!

My favorite part of spring= better tasting produce!!!!

Which is another reason I'm looking forward to my trip to FL. 


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Finished Hostess Gift

 It's done, and I love it.
A perfect hostess present.
Around 16 hours to make it total.
I'm ready for Florida!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cathedral windows

I can't sell my Kindle cover. Just can't do it.


I CAN give away something that will take as much time if not longer...

See this?

It is going to be a cathedral window wine bag.

The usual conundrum has arisen where I needed a gift, but have limited spending money... so hand-made it is! And, along the lines of what it would "cost," this gift will be perfect.

It's for our friends who are graciously hosting my mom and I when we go to Florida. They have been so wonderful to our family over the years. 

All I can do is stitch my gratitude.

See, I could never charge someone an "appropriate" amount for handwork. But I can gladly give it away to a couple who deserves more thanks than words can express. 

Back to work. I have a fast-approaching deadline!