22 sewing fail.


There's been a lot of interesting discussion around blogland lately, starting with this post from Rachel at Stitched in Color, then her followup, and then this post from Deborah at Whipstitch that stemmed from the comments on Rachel's posts.  The fact that some people get down on themselves while reading blogs saddens me a little.  All this talk of quilt snobs and bloggers only showing their "perfect" lives worries me.  I just hope that we can all get along...after all, we do all love the same thing, don't we?  Whether it's modern or traditional, simple or complex, "perfect" or not, we all love the process of creating, and the satisfaction of knowing that we made something!  Don't get discouraged, just keep doing what you love!

I hope that none of you are ever intimidated by me or my blog or the things that I create.  I assure you that none of these things are perfect and I do not intend on portraying it that way, but I like to keep this blog positive because it is my happy place!  I am an optimist and prefer to focus on the good rather than the bad in my real life, so it is only natural for me to extend this philosophy to my blog as well.

That being said, one of the most interesting trends I found in the comments on Deborah's post was that people like to hear about the sewing failures just as much as they want to see the successes.  Let me assure you that I have had my fair share of sewing failures, and now that I know that you like to hear about them, I will start posting them more.

This pouch I made last night is a prime example of a sewing fail in my book.
Shall we go through all of the things I dislike about this pouch?  Let's start with my fabric choices.  They looked okay together when I picked out the fabrics.  But something about them together in the finished project just isn't working for me.  I think if I had used them differently, with the linen as the middle stripe, the gray Heath in the ruffle at the bottom, and the herringbone on the top, it might look a little better.  But I still don't like the gray and the linen together.  They look to me like I tried to make them match (and failed!).  I think maybe a difference in value (a darker gray with the same light-ish linen) would be an improvement...but I'm still not sure if I'd like it.

While we're talking about fabric choices, I probably shouldn't have made the ruffle out of the linen.  Since the linen is a heavier weight than the cottons, it would have been better suited for the middle stripe.  It looks bulky and sloppy and wrinkly as a ruffle.

So other than the fabric choices being poor, what really bothers me the most about this pouch are the proportions.  The pouch is about 10" wide x 9" high.  Too square without actually being a square.  The concept of the ruffled bottom would be better suited for a rectangular design, maybe the same width but only 6" or 7" high. Doesn't this cropped version look a little better?
Another thing that bothers me is the inside of the pouch.  I put a little inner zipped pocket inside, but I put the zipper down too far.  It would be much more useful if I brought that zipper up about 2".
I also couldn't get the zipper covers to sit correctly within the seam, and tore a hole in one of the covers with my seam ripper when I tried to fix it (sorry, I forgot to get a picture of this.  Might as well add a blogging fail to this post while I'm at it!).

Even though this pouch didn't turn out that great overall and I've deemed it as a sewing "failure", I don't regret spending my time making it at all.  It was a good refresher on putting in a zipper (it has been probably six months or so since I've sewn one in).  Now I'll feel a little more confident when I make my pouch for the Pretty {little} Pouch Swap!  It also helped me realize the issues with this design so hopefully I can improve upon it next time and make something much cuter!  
I'm sure I'll find a use for this pouch even though it's not exactly my favorite.  One can never have too many pouches after all!  Please keep in mind that even if you "fail" at making something, you are still learning, and as cliche as it sounds, that's what important!

Hope you enjoyed my sewing fail today :)  I can guarantee you there will be many more to come.

1 habitat.


I picked up some Habitat by Jay McCarroll recently, I love how different this fabric is from everything else out there!  I especially love the graphic print in the bottom right corner of this photo.
I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with it yet, and to be honest I have too many WIPs right now to even start thinking about it.  I find that as soon as I come up with an idea for a project, I want to start on it right at that second and everything else gets pushed to the bottom of the pile...which is not a good way to get things done!
So instead I'll just keep the stack together sitting on my shelf, waiting for it to tell me what it wants to become, while I keep chugging along on my other WIPs and checking things off the list. Not sure how long that will last considering an idea popped into my head while writing this post, but I will try my best to resist!

2 easter dessert.


I hope you all had a nice Easter weekend!  I spent part of my day yesterday baking Easter dessert.  I haven't baked much lately, so it felt good to spend some time in the kitchen!  After searching online for awhile, I decided to try something new and make a ricotta cake.

You essentially create a very rich rice pudding, and then mix it with ricotta, egg, and sugar to make a type of cheesecake.  I would've been happy just eating the rice pudding, it was so delicious!

I made two different sauces to go with dessert, a strawberry sauce and some lemon curd.

 Overall, I am very happy with the way the cake turned out, even if it did take an hour longer to bake than the recipe stated.

 I liked the lemon curd more than the strawberry sauce, but the combination of the two was even better!
 Everyone really enjoyed their dessert so I think I'll be making this one again sometime.

6 Make Mine Modern Swap Package.


Now that my partner Fi has received her package, I can share what I put together for her in the Make Mine Modern Swap!  Fi had posted a list of things that she'd like to receive, so it made it very easy for me to pick and choose what I wanted to make!  A fabric basket, sewing machine cover, and embroidery hoop to decorate her sewing space were all on her wish list.
She listed AMH Innocent Crush as one of her favorite fabric lines, and since I happened to have a stack of fat quarters I'd been waiting to cut into, I knew this would be the perfect time to do so!

I started out with the fabric basket, coming up with my own method of making herringbone blocks out of very small strips of each fabric.  Naturally I had to add in some linen, especially since Fi said she liked linen mixed with brights!
I got the idea for the embroidery hoop based on the flowers in the Innocent Crush "Maybe" print.  After stitching the flower, I wrote out a phrase that I often say (and coincidently, something that Fi says as well!) and doodled on some swirls to fill in the space.
For the sewing machine cover, I knew I wanted to stay within the linen/Innocent Crush theme that I had going, so I used some of the extra strips from my herringbone string blocks along with some linen for the front.
For the back, I just used the leftover large strips that I had cut into to make the small strips, and they ended up filling up the back perfectly!  I think I actually prefer this side, it's a little more fun than the front!
Fi had listed Tula Pink Parisville, Ty Pennington Impressions, Modern Affair by Patricia Bravo, and small animal prints as some of her favorites, so I put together a little bundle of fat quarters from those lines to send as well!
I added in a little chocolate, and the package was complete!
This was my first swap experience, and I have to say I have loved being a part of this swap!  I will definitely be joining again in the fall!

5 the bright side.


I am traveling for work again, and this time I got stuck in a serious snowstorm.  I think mother nature forgot it's the middle of April!  On the bright side though, I had a little time for retail therapy today while waiting for the storm to pass!
I wasn't expecting to find the new Denise Schmidt collection at the JoAnn Fabrics store near my hotel, but they had the majority of the prints there (possibly all of them...I didn't count)!  I couldn't help but pick up a few of my favorite prints.
 I am kind of tempted to go back for more on my way home!
Sorry for the blurry pictures, iPhones + fluorescent hotel bathroom lighting do not make for quality photos!

7 birthday sewing.


My youngest sister is turning 16 next Sunday!  I think her sweet sixteen warrants a little birthday sewing and an extra special gift this year.

We've had one part of her gift built since November, and I promise to share that part as soon as she gets it, but here's a sneak peek of the second half of her gift.

It's not quite finished yet, but it will be by the time Sunday rolls around.  Considering the fact that zebra print and bright colors are two of her favorite things, I think its safe to assume she'll like it!

6 mail day.


Sorry for the silence this week, I've been out of town for work and wasn't organized enough to plan posts ahead of time.  One of the only good things about work trips (outside of being able to get sushi for dinner and getting some necessary face to face time with my coworkers) is coming home to a pile of fun mail to open!  
Inside package #1, the first of the herringbone blocks from Inspire circle member Ly+Alan for our April do. Good Stitches quilt!  I'll share more details on these blocks once the rest of them arrive, but they are being made using my herringbone quilt block tutorial.
Next up, a couple fun fabrics from the lovely Jeni of In Color Order!  It's my little sister's birthday next week and I think I can make some cute little surprises with these to go with her gift.
Last but certainly not least, I received a fabulous package from Tammy (aka Karamat) for the Make Mine Modern Swap!
As soon as I opened the box there were beautiful handmade cards right on top... I'm not sure I can bear to send them out to anyone, they are so pretty!  
They're made with Sugar Pop, which is such a cute line!  I love the colors.
Here's a closeup so you can see how perfect they are!  Just look at that stitching!
Also in the package...the latest issue of American Patchwork & Quilting.  
And the first book by the creative genius that is Anna Maria Horner, Seams to Me!  I can't wait to read through this and the magazine.
Yellow and gray fabrics including Lotus from Amy Butler!  I love this whole stack!
And the most gorgeous item of the bunch, a notebook covered in my favorite color (gray of course) and the most beautiful Innocent Crush Dresden!  It's even got grid paper in it so I can use it for sketching out quilt designs!  
Thank you so much for this wonderful package Tammy!  It is absolutely perfect and I can tell just how much thought you put into making it for me.  I love it so much!!

Hope you're all having a happy mail day and/or Friday :)

3 experimenting.


I've been experimenting with some vintage materials today...thrifted wool twill, lavender antique lace and some vintage buttons from my mother-in-law (which she got from her mother).  Perfect materials for an iPad case, don't you think?  I love a mix of old and new!

In other news...my market tote tutorial was featured on How About Orange today!  And our bathroom redo was featured on the Design Public blog last week.  Yay!

6 more market totes.


Another shop update today...this time with more market totes!
My sister even modeled for me to better illustrate the scale.
Isn't she cute?

0 weekend sewing.


I started putting together my next quilt, some striped chevrons with colors that remind me of sherbet (and not of the Pips variety...I sadly do not own any of that type, yet!).
I made a few pincushions out of the leftover strips, and they're listed in the shop!

0 happy friday.


Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!  Here's one of the things I'll be working on this weekend, along with a few items for the shop.

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