Archive for July, 2009

canonjuly09 179, originally uploaded by Indie House.

Finally got around to helping Hettie fly! Pincushions are great but they take up valuable space on my sewing and cutting table and either seem to be constantly in my way or nowhere around. The perfect solution is my very own sewing buddy to hang out on wrist and carry my pincushions for me. This way I can skip between projects or rooms of the house without worrying where I left my pins and needles.

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If you want to make your own here’s how-

You will need:

Fabric scraps roughly 9 inches by 3 inches.
Interfacing or batting. (I used nonfusible fleece)
Coordinating Thread
Turning Tool
Velcro, snaps, buttons etc to keep the wrist band closed (I used velcro)

Step 1) Choose your fabric

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Step 2) Cut the fabric and interfacing/batting using your own wrist and preferred width of the band as a guide. Keep in mind you are going to lose 1/4 in on all sides for the seam allowance and you want the band to overlap to secure it. Mine measured 8 1/2 inches by 3 inches.

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Step 3) Sandwich the fabric together interfacing on the bottom, exterior fabric right side up on top of that, and exterior fabric right side down on top of that. Using a 1/4 in seam sew around 3 sides.

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Step 4) Cut off the edges of the sewn corners and turn your fabric right side out. Tuck the open edge in a little more than a 1/4 inch.

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Step 5) Topstitch a 1/4 inch around all four sides.

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Step 6) Optional add some quilting to add interest.

Step 7) Add velcro strips. You can purchase heat set velcro but I would recommend the sew on kind for added durability.

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Step 8 ) Pin your pincushion in place centered on the band.

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Step 9) Whipstitch or ladder stitch around the bottom edge of the pincushion to attach it to the wristband.

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Your done! I made my hedgehog into a pincushion but your kids may consider these great traveling buddies.

*** PERSONAL USE ONLY – do not sell items made using this tutorial. ***
Make them for as many people as you like, but please do not sell these.

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I didn’t get a chance to work on my pincushions today because I got sidetracked fabric shopping. I travel a lot for work and when I do I try to make time to visit local quilt shops because you never know what you will find.

Today I scored Lush, Heather Ross, and American Jane Wee Play for around $9 a yard each. I bought 10 1/2 yards and had to stop myself. I almost bought the entire bolts of the Sky Painter’s Palette and Deer but I forced myself to behave.

They had some other hard to find fabrics and a lot of current prints that I love. It’s a good thing this store isn’t right down the street!

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canonjuly09 149, originally uploaded by Indie House.

I think I’m in love with my pincushions..

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I made Hettie using the directions and template you can download here. If you are new to sewing felt I highly recommend Futuregirl’s post on just about everything you need to know about the blanket stitch.

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She’s cute but without something to stabilize her she tends to wobble. Perhaps she’s been sneaking cookies when I’m not looking? The other “issue” I have is that hedgehogs are two toned and the pattern is designed to use a single color for the entire body.

I easily rectified that by drawing a curved line on the template to separate the face and body.

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I cut them apart and used a tan felt for Harry’s face and dark brown for his body.

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Then I cut out a piece of cardboard slightly smaller than his bottom piece to help him stand up straight.

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Don’t tell Hettie but I like Harry a bit more. I’m not done with either of them yet so stay tuned to see what really sets these two apart from the other pincushions at the party. Update Hettie is done- see what completes her here.

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It’s hard not to be impressed by quilts like this that touch on every color in the spectrum but it’s daunting to think about recreating one. There are 52 different fabrics called for in this pattern (53 if you include the white) and I have collected six so far.

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I obviously have a ways to go… but I’m so excited to get started that I went ahead and cut out these spokes. It also “frees up” the remaining fabric from these prints for another project. I don’t know about you but if I want to use a fabric for a specific project I have to seperate it immediately even if I know I won’t actually make the project for weeks or months. Otherwise I know that I will accidentally grab it, use it in something else, and be severly disappointed when I realize what I’ve done. With a fabric that is currently in stores that’s not such a big deal but if the fabric is hard to find or out of print it could be devastating.

I have no idea how long it will take me to find 46 more fabrics so for now I’m going to be inspired by these examples of color spectrum quilts.

Rainbow baby quilt, originally uploaded by kicsoda.

Do you have a favorite color wheel or color spectrum project? Please post the link so we can all be inspired!

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How insanely fabulous is this pouch? I can’t decide if I love it so much because a) it is made from glittery elephant fabric, b) of it’s small but perfectly proportioned size, c) it holds my on the go quilting supplies or d) all of the above.

If you’d like to make your own see how below.

You will need:

  • 2 pieces of exterior fabric measuring 8 inches by 6 inches. (The longer side will be the top of your pouch, keep this in mind when cutting directional fabric)
  • 2 pieces of interior fabric measuring 8 inches by 6 inches
  • 2 pieces of mid-weight woven non-fusible interfacing (This helps add body to your bag, because without it it wouldn’t be very “boxy””
  • 1 12 inch zipper
  • Coordinating thread (this will be visible on the outside of the bag)

Things that will come in handy:

  • rotary cutter
  • cutting mat
  • shears
  • craft scissors
  • clear ruler

Step 1:

Choose and cut your fabric- is it just me or is this oftentime the hardest part?

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I like to use a right angle ruler (“borrowed” from my husband) to make sure my fabric pieces are nice and square.

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Step 2: Layer your pieces. Interior fabric right side DOWN, interfacing, and finally exterior fabric right side UP.

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Step 3: Stitch the layers together 1/4 in from the edge. You can use a 1/4 in foot or the edge of your presser foot. These stitches will not be visible and are only done to hold the layers together for the next step. Fold the edges under 1/2 in and press.

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Step 4: Places both sets of fabric with the pressed under edges on top of the zipper and sew together.

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Step 5: Fold the two sides right sides of the exterior fabric together. The right side of your interior fabric will then be facing up. Stitch a quarter inch seam along the raw edge. I also suggest using shears to finish your seams so they don’t fray with use (I forgot to do this…)

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Step 6: Press the fabric tube you have created flat ensuring you have centered the bottom seam on the zipper.

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Step 7: Move your zipper pull to the center and stitch a quarter inch seam on both sides. Make sure you go over the zipper 2 or 3 times to secure it.

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Step 8: Cut off the excess ends of the zipper leaving about an inch from your seam.

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Step 9: Pinch the corners out to form triangles and draw a line one inch from the point and roughly two inches across. A clear ruler is key! Pin in place and sew across the two inch line on all four sides.

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Step 10: Use your shears to cut off the excess fabric. This reduces the bulk and finishes your seam in one step.

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Step 11: Turn your pouch and admire your handiwork!

You can fill it with on the go sewing essentials like I did.

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Or use it as a change purse, first aid kit, on the go toy “chest,” cosmetic case, candy bag, etc

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Burda 7834, originally uploaded by Indie House.

I love my new blouse I just wish I could take a deep breath without worrying about busting a seam! Yeah it’s a bit tight around the rib cage, I made a size six which fits most of my measurements, too bad lower rib cage isn’t a measurement I could have factored in.

That said I still planning on wearing this shirt ALOT. It’s totally whimisical with the deep purple Lecien fabric and the orange polka dots. I don’t think I’ll be blending into the crowd on this one.

By now darts are a breeze for me but lining up the points when piecing the top front and bottom front was a bit harder. If you look closely you can tell mine isn’t quite right it should look like this-

nani iro top, originally uploaded by dorathy.

There isn't a whole lot of skill involved it's a matter of playing with the placement and then pinning it when it is "just so" and possibly hand basting before you stitch it. Oh well you can't really tell on mine unless you are up close.

The skill I did need to master was sewing curves! I got stuck when it came time to put the right side of the collar against the right side of the upper front, baste, stitch and then turn. When you read it and look at the fabric you think the curve of the collar should be matched with the curve of the blouse but it's actually the opposite. You should lay them together like this-

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So that when you stitch them together and turn the collar out the curves will match.

When lining up curves I like to pin the two edges first so you don’t get overhang or not enough fabric of any one side. That seems to happen when you start from one side and pin your way around. Then I put pins in any other key places like seams.

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Then I will alternate sides placing pins to evenly distribute the fabric. As I put the fabric through my machine I let it curve until right before it goes under the needle. If you try to force the curve straight it’s going to come out all wonky. When it should look like this

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And then turned out

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All in all it’s a pretty easy pattern that can be completed in a couple hours. When using two different fabrics it calls for a yard of each but I only had a 1/2 yard of the orange dots so all my facings are white Kona Cotton. It’s a great way to save some money and stretch your favorite prints.

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Sunday Stash- In Crowd, originally uploaded by Indie House.

Let me tell you how lucky I am. I started collecting fabric in the past couple months and by then this fabric was already impossible to find. So although I loved it I gave up on the idea of ever getting any. Imagine my suprise when Alison contacted me to see if I would swap some of my birds for some Alexander Henry In Crowd. It took me about two seconds to say yes.

I had to wait a little bit longer for the fabric to make its way from London but it was well worth it. Now of course the question is what to do with it. I have a 1/2 yard so I could probably eek out a small purse or wrislet. What do you think?

Speaking of what to do with a certain amount of fabric have you heard of One Yard Wonders? It’s coming out in October and will have 101 projects for use with a single yard of fabric. Made by Rae has a pattern in it that I can’t wait to try.

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canonjuly09 081, originally uploaded by Indie House.

How fabulous is this skirt?!

So easy to dress up or down, for work or for play and the perfect slate for the bright accessories I like to wear.

Want to see more pictures and find out more about making it? Check out my full pattern review at Fashioned by Meg on Monday.

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Hazelnut Brown Sugar Ice Cream, originally uploaded by starfin.

So I know this isn’t craft related but it’s really tasty so I thought I would share! My husband is a big hazelnut fan and for his birthday I planned on making gelato, unfortunately it never happened… So last weekend we finally got around to it, and while a little time intensive it was well worth it.


  • 5 oz hazelnuts (1 cup)
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

Step 1-

Toast hazelnuts and rub off any skins in a kitchen towel, then cool completely. Pulse with 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a 3-quart heavy saucepan and add milk and heavy cream. Bring just to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and let steep, covered, 1 hour.

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Step 2-

Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on and discarding solids. (We used the oil splash guard we have for our frying pan… don’t ask why it was my husband’s idea… a better idea is cheesecloth. Even if you decide to add chopped hazelnuts later on I would still strain the mixture to remove the grit from the ground nuts)

Step 3-

Beat together egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until thick and pale, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in milk mixture and transfer to cleaned saucepan.

Step 4-

Cook custard over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until an instant-read thermometer registers 175°F (do not let boil).

Step 5-

Immediately pour custard through cleaned sieve into a metal bowl, then set bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and cool, stirring occasionally. Chill custard, covered, until cold.

Step 6-

Freeze in an ice cream maker, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.

We use the ice cream making attachment for our kitchenaid and I will tell you our ice cream always comes out really hard. I’m not sure why and I like it since I prefer my ice cream hard but it makes it hard to scoop!

This only makes about a pint of ice cream, for two of us it was perfect, but if you are serving a larger group you might consider a double batch so you don’t run out.

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Study Hall Skirt, originally uploaded by Indie House.

It seems like some of you may be a ready to move past quilt making and back to garment making so ask and you shall receive!

This weekend I saw a posting by Meg asking for pattern review volunteers. I immediately signed up after all I already had the pattern, fabric and notions and now I would have the motivation to finally get it done. We settled on mid-July to post the review on her blog but it looks like I will be traveling fairly extensively for work starting next week so I need to get this finished before then. Once it’s done Meg can post at her leisure (don’t worry though I’ll let you know when it’s up).

If you are interesting in reviewing a pattern it looks like she is still looking for volunteers.

I can already tell you the Study Hall Skirt is going to be more involved than any skirt I’ve completed in the past. There are nine pattern pieces and almost every pattern piece corresponds to two pieces of fabric.

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Once you get it all cut out the next step is to zig zag or serge three sides of almost every piece. That step alone took 20-30 minutes!

It will be worth it the end though, how cute is this one?!

study hall skirt, originally uploaded by sofia sweetheart.

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