Kara

still dressin’ up

Seems like I just can’t stop making these little dressy tea towels. I’ve gotten rather fond of the little cuties, so much so that I’ve about decided to give them all names. I mean, after all…they ARE part of the family, and family members have names, don’t they?

The idea was to make a whole bunch for a Christmas bazaar at a friend’s church in November, so I made several…some of which I sold at the July Fourth sale, and many of which I just gave away. Time to make more! So I had several cut out and ready to put together, when another friend asked if she could take the ones I still had from the Fourth and show them to her coworkers.

I figured they might buy one or two. Sewwwwwwwwwwwwwww………..how many did they buy, you ask (you didn’t know I heard you ask that, huh?) I started counting on my fingers, went to the toes, and decided I needed to count on hubby’s fingers & toes too. I ran out of fingers & toes. They bought all but about three of the ones my friend took, and ordered more. I’ve counted up to 27 so far, plus a whole bunch of the tortilla warmers and microwave bowl wraps. Whew!! That’s a lot of little dresses. And I still need to make some for the November sale. I’m lovin’ it!!

As I worked on all those little dressy tops, it occurred to me that there might be a better way to sew the front and the sleeves. I’d found the fix here for the neckline that had given me such trouble before, and I found her instructions for doing the sides of great help. But I wondered if I could just pull the front through one of the arm openings and put a seam in before sewing the sleeve areas shut. So I tried it. it worked! I don’t know if these photos will help or hinder, but here’s a snapshot of how I pulled them through, put the front seam in, and pulled them back through. I did the sleeves the same way, after sewing the front. I simply pulled them through the back side (it doesn’t get sewn shut until the towel is inserted). It seemed to be a lot faster doing the seams this way than pressing and top-stitching them shut.

So, here are the little girls I just finished and sent home to their new mamas. I’m not getting rich from making these (moneywise, at least), but I am paying for the materials, and I’m having a BLAST making them. That in itself is getting rich, to me. What makes you feel rich?

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the c towel

So, what’s the well-dressed stove handle wearing these days?

Well, if I had MY way, they’d all be wearing the dressy tea towels I’ve been feverishly pumping out the last few weeks. A kitchen just isn’t properly prepared to receive guests without one.

Oh, and those bowls you so lovingly and carefully fill with microwavable goodness – and then wrap in a dish towel to keep from burning your hands? They’d be sporting a new wrap, the kind that bowl models dream of displaying in 8X10 glossies for fancy kitchen magazines. Dinner looks so much more photogenic wrapped in these.

My friend reminded me, two weeks before July 4th, of the upcoming Independence Day street sale, parade, and fireworks. I’d done the sale with her a couple of years ago and didn’t sell much, so didn’t mess with it last year (besides, we were on our cross-country trip at the time…seemed like a more fun thing to do). But this year I thought I’d give ‘er a shot, which meant some FEVER-PITCH sewing! So I spent the next couple of weeks working, sewing, and a little sleeping in between. Good thing hubby likes to cook, or we would’ve starved!

I ended up making more than 26 tea towels, five tortilla warmers, and several microwave bowl holders. I still had purses I hadn’t sold or given away, so I took those to the Fourth sale too. I did get all fast and furious and made one more heavy-duty tote bag, which my coworker ended up buying. You go, girl!! Love it when coworkers show up at these events and buy stuff.

inside zip pocket and 3 outer pockets - I love pockets!

inside zip pocket and 3 outer pockets – I love pockets!

But, as my late husband used to say, I’d never make a good car (or anything else) trader, cuz I’d trade myself afoot. Yep…I sold 8 of the tea towels and gave 7 away. I sold two purses and gave two away (hey, they were cute little girls, and they loved purses…what can I say). The rest of the stuff will wait patiently in the sewing room for the November sale at my friend’s church, and after that, they’ll make their way into the unsuspecting homes of other friends as Christmas gifts. Some may even make a long journey to family out of state. Hey, it could happen.

With all that said, reckon it’s time to get back to the sewing room and finish the orders that came in. Yes, some folks DID order things after seeing them at the sale, so that’s good. Right? Now I’ll be making some coffee filter holders and more tea towels.

I found a site online called 6diamondsintherough that really helped. I was having a pesky problem with getting the necklines done neatly. I was sewing the side seams first and then folding the neckline under and top-stitching it down, which wasn’t working very well, in my almost professional opinion. Her You-Tube video made all the difference! When I watched her show how it was done, I thought, “Hey, that’s kinda like when I did the yoke on hubby’s shirt.” It was a great time-saver, and made the towels look SO MUCH more professional.

I noticed that her pattern looked almost exactly like the one I drew up last year, with a couple of differences. I had a V-neck opening and the sides straight under the arms, while hers curve and the neck is rounded. I may try her way next, just to see if I like it. I did try the rounded neckline, and liked it.

I also got busy and made my son’s girlfriend that purse she wanted from the beautiful fabric she and my son got me for my birthday. I want one now. :-)

I love this fabric!

I love this fabric!

So…….what has been keeping YOU at fever-pitch this summer??

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close-up of the fabric...I want to make a Bible cover from this!

vividicity

So, I saw that this week’s photo challenge is “Vivid.” I guess that could be interpreted in  a number of ways. I consider it an invitation to share recent events that produced vivid memories.

We took another little short road trip this past weekend, up to Port Angeles, Leavenworth, and Wenatchee, WA. We had a nice long walk through the Olympic National Forest, at Hurricane Ridge. What a beautiful place. And what vivid colors! I tried making a panoramic shot, just to show the beauty of Hurricane Ridge. Enjoy the vividicity (just made that word up…it’s not patented. You can use it).

Doesn't this just make you want to travel!!

Doesn’t this just make you want to travel!!

Our stop in Leavenworth was very short – hey, it was HOT there!!! But we did visit a few interesting shops. I found some fabric (like I need more fabric!!!) at a cool little place that sported a Jewish flag and a Christian flag out front. We had to go in that one, even though we weren’t sure what they sold. I thought it was a fabric store, and hubby thought it was a hotel. Turns out we were both right. One side was a fabric store, and the other was a small hotel. :-)

I love the fabric, and can’t wait to make some fun stuff with it. I’m seeing vivid pictures of a Bible cover, and some mug rugs, and maybe even a new oven mitt. Hey – I could make a wall hanging!

close-up of the fabric...I want to make a Bible cover from this!

close-up of the fabric…I want to make a Bible cover from this!

After we left Leavenworth, we decided to visit Waterville, and ran into an old friend we hadn’t seen since her 8-year-old was a baby. What fun to see her and 3 of her kids (the 4th one was staying with my cousin for the summer, I discovered). No photos of the kids, sorry…don’t have her permission…but just take my word for it. They’re adorable!! Their grandmas are staying with them for awhile, and one has white hair. The middle son, age 10 (I think), looked at his grandma and then at me, and said, “Hey, you guys have the same hair…” Of course, you know what I thought right away……….. “yeah yeah, I know, I know, I’ve got no color left in my hair.” Then he finished his sentence, “…it’s curly!” :-)

We stayed a couple of nights in Wenatchee and visited with another good friend and family – who also have adorable kids. No pics of them either – battin’ a thousand in the family pic department this week. But the memories of the visits are worth a thousand pics, so that counts for something, doesn’t it?

We decided to come home early and get some work done before going back to work next week (y’know, somehow that just doesn’t sound right). We’re planning to fill the house with people this coming weekend, and it would be only fitting and proper if the kitchen were in usable condition first. I’ll share one or two shots of this project at some future time, when it’s finished.

I’m loving being at home these last few days, working if I feel like it, or sitting and doing nothing if I feel like it – but hubby gets a little stir-crazy. He has to be building something, or working on something, or going somewhere.  You know the old saying about three days’ worth of guests and fish? Well, for him, hanging out at the house for three days can produce the same side-effect. He’s been watering and pruning and transplanting plants, putting in the new kitchen sink (and the new pull-out garbage can holder), cleaning up the brush pile I made last week in the back yard, and now he’s finally sat…oh, wait…no…he’s started building the new greenhouse!

I’ve been sitting here in the back yard, soaking up the evening rays, writing my little posts, and thinking about doing some serious housework…sometime. But I can’t take all this feverish activity; he’s making me feel guilty with all that work he’s putting out. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to get up and do something. I know – I’ll go inside.

I’ll just sit in here and think about sewing. That always calms me down. Hmmm…maybe a new purse for my son’s girlfriend.  My son picked out all this fabric for my birthday – I think he’s got good taste. Most of it is fat quarters. A lot can be done with fat quarters. If I can make a purse from a whole bunch of little tiny strips of fabric, just THINK what can be made from a whole quarter-yard! Feast on this eye candy, and send your thanks to my son. :-)

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Hey, I might do something productive soon. It could happen.

 

anybody hungry?

who said that!!

In our travels, we’ve come across some interesting, often pretty funny, signs. Every once in awhile I actually get a chance to take a photo of them. On our last little short trip, I spotted this one in a field. Hubby was nice and pulled over so I could get a picture.

anybody hungry?

anybody hungry?

As we went on down the road, we stopped at a little second-hand shop. I had to get a picture of that sign! If I had some things, I could no doubt sell them here.

got any things you want to sell?

got any things you want to sell?

At a farmer’s market, I noticed a fellow selling flowers. Nope, it wasn’t around Halloween.

booquet

But this was the topper. I have a whole LOT of dust collectors in my house, but nothing like this. Hey, anyone else have a super industrial-size dust collector in your living room??

industrial-size for big houses

industrial-size for big houses

jes a lookin fer a home

resurrection…it’s a beautiful thing

Howdy, y’all.

I’ve been just on the south side of lazy for the last month, but feel like I should drop by my house and swap howdies with whoever may show up here.

We’ve been just a little messy around here lately, working on a kitchen remodel and other things. And I just haven’t been in the sewing room as much as I should’ve been, until the last few days. Y’see, it’s like this. I go in there, and I just get to feeling like a murderer. All those poor scraps lying there under the sewing table in a bag, waiting for me to give them a proper burial. Depressing.

I found one day that the guilt was too much for me. Hey, they’re my scraps, they’re in my sewing room, and they’re crying out to me. So I did what any self-respecting scrappy gal would do. I dumped them out on the sewing table and started going through them, looking for survivors. I came up with a whole bunch of little strips that had totally escaped my notice when I had that cleaning fit.

Perfect timing, too! For what had happened to me recently? I’d been to the grocery store with my trusty little chicken pouch (where we keep the grocery funds), and now it was time to replenish the grocery fund. But the pouch was gone! I looked everywhere I could think of, even going back to the store on the off chance that it had been turned in. Nope. Sad day. It still had over $60 in it! Anyway, I was feeling lower than the ground the hens scratched. Oh well, said I to me, now you have to make a new grocery pouch. Hmmmm….and off I went in search of all those little strips I’d just rescued.

I started sewing those little fellers together, and just couldn’t stop. By the time I ran out of them, I had a piece of ‘fabric’ big enough to make not only a new grocery pouch, but a matching purse!

Well, naturally, I got so carried away, I didn’t even think of taking photos of each step until I was completely done. Oh well, it wouldn’t have made a good story anyway; I kept making mistakes and giving my brand new seam ripper a workout (already need another one!) on the pouch. I finally got it ‘sort of’ how I wanted it, with a section for each of our cash funds: fun fund, gas fund, grocery fund, and my own allowance fund – plus a zipper pocket for coins.

And today I finished the purse!  I even tried my hand at quilting it, after my own fashion. I drew a LubbyGirl style rose pattern on the front and back, and on the flap. :-) And you know how I love pockets in a purse. Well, this one has six – even the flap has a pocket! It will hold my phone, or cards, or keys, or whatever.

What have you been up to lately?

(oh…and the chicken pouch? Found it after I made the new one – in hubby’s jacket! He’d gone to the store too, and forgot to put the pouch back in its proper place. whew!!!)