Places to Party

Monday, October 28, 2019

Sewing Room Helpers Part 1

Confession here. I'm a chronic loser of needles. And finder of them. As in, "Ouch, is that a needle I stepped on/sat on?" On occasion so has my husband/kid/father. Yep, it's a problem.

My sewing room is no exception. Typically it's clean for about a New York minute before there is scraps and thread on the floor, coupled with the random chicken feed and various basket/glass/framing/painting projects.

And we like our crafting rooms to be pretty too. Mine is a spring green with an Arts and Crafts stencil around the top of the ceiling. While there are things I don't like and need to be repaired, it's a sanctuary and I can spend hours in there.

A while back I purchased two half dolls on eBay. I didn't check their sizes and while the one was large as I expected her to be, the other was tiny, I mean really tiny. I put them aside as I've been frantically attempting to finish the BOM and do yet another project that I'll show you later. Because my workplace has been demanding so much of my time lately, I haven't gotten a chance to do too much sewing or crafting as of late so I really wanted to make something that could be done quickly to take that "crafty edge" off.

Do you ever feel that "crafting edge"? When you just need to make SOMETHING or you'll be a horrible grouch all day because you feel that you haven't accomplished anything creatively? That's where I found myself, just thinking, if I could make something quick I'd feel so much better.

Then these half dolls came to mind. That was the answer.

I'm almost embarrassed to show you how I made them because the process was so haphazard. I basically choose a cotton fabric that had been washed, dried and ironed and cut a rectangle that fit around the doll's waist. The smaller doll I made about 3" x 5" ( I forget what side I did the larger doll) and I should have made the height bigger. I tapered off the top of the rectangle to bring it in more at the waist.  

After cutting my rectangle, I ran a seam of zigzag stitching at the very top to prevent as much fraying as I could. I followed this about 1/8" below with a straight gathering stitch at it's widest setting and back-stitched at the end so I wouldn't be pulling the thread out.

Then I sewed on three sides making sure I didn't go over my gathering thread.

We need to make the doll stand and that is relatively simple. Fold your skirt piece out and sew across the corners like so.

Trim off the excess.

Turn out and fill. Ideally, I would fill this with chopped up walnut shells or something similar that would sharpen my needles but I have some plastic pellets I bought about 20 years ago that need to be used up so that is what I used.

Apparently there is a limit to a blog post so we'll continue in the next installment....

Monday, October 21, 2019

BOM: October: Mittens for a Crisp Fall Day

As mentioned in the beginning of this BOM endeavor, I really was not fond of the 2nd month block, I believe it is supposed to represent a gingerbread house but it just didn't float my boat. Apparently I'm not alone as I found someone else doing the same quilt as I and she put in a Santa face for this same block.

I wanted to do something a little different. I have a fondness for mittens (I always am finding one random "magic glove" somewhere in the house-even in summer!) and so I decided to jump books and go to the "Vintage Christmas" book by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet. Page 61 contains the mitten block and it is so cute!

                     Grab your rotary cutter and mat and let's do this!

First let me just tell you that there is no getting around it, there are a lot of snowballing blocks in this quilt too. ::Sigh::

Don't you just love the snappy little snowman fabric out this year from Moda. I even got a "That is really neat, reminds me of my childhood" comment from my husband. 

 The cut sizes are in her book but as you can see above, it's not too extensive.

We start at the cuff which is simply straight squares and rectangles. I already sewed that in the picture above.

We work our way down to the shoulder of the mitten and here we encounter the first of many "snowballing". Luckily, the pieces are fairly big at this point so not too bad.

Now we have a choice. The pattern calls for four different fabrics for a scrappy heart. I considered just doing a red heart in the middle but decided that may be too plain. I didn't really want to do a scrappy heart only because I would have to dig through my scraps and as I was working on this midnightish-1am'ish, that really didn't appeal at that moment. So I ended up just keeping it as 2 fabrics.

Snowball the top and the bottom blocks to make the heart portion and add the side panels.

Consider fabric placement carefully! I wanted to get the snowman faces
and as you can see it makes the upper right panel look almost square.
I would have been better off if I had put the aqua portion of the fabric there.

The rest is just cropping corners with the snowballing technique for both the bottom and the thumb part of the mitten. Sew everything together and it comes out really cute.

One more block and we can begin putting this together just in time for the holiday season!