Monday, June 29, 2009

Patterns, Patterns, Patterns

It's like Christmas in my house! I ordered a bunch of patterns and they all came last week or this week. I ordered some patterns from Fabric Hound, Sew Mama Sew, and Pamela's Patterns.

I made one Favorite Things - Little Prairie Girl top for Lola - except for the sleeves. I'm still afraid of them. I'll finish them - today? A great pattern. Easy to follow instructions. Shirt came together so quickly. Except for my fear of sleeves...

I ordered fabric for the Prairie Girl Dresses I'm going to make me. I have fabric for the Smarty Pants for me. Just need to try the pattern out on not so nice fabric first. I have fabric for the Artisan Pants from Indygo Junction too.

I had never heard of Pamela's Patterns before I read Sew Much Fabric, Sew Little Time. She was my partner for an apron swap. I read her blog now and then and let me tell you - the woman is amazing! She made 28 shirts with The Perfect T-Shirt pattern from Pamela's Patterns. With that many shirts made the pattern has to be good! I'll be trying it soon.

AND - I actually received a free pattern from 10th Muse Studios. I subscribe to Craft Gossip. Every day in my e-mail there is an e-mail from them with crafting links. One day, there was a link to a fabulous Halter Apron Pattern and it just happened the pattern was being given away. (Not anymore - now y'all will have to buy it). I'm so excited! I have some fabric for that too that I'll try to whip up - perhaps tonight? My thought - I'm not a great cook. Really, I stick to basic recipes. So - if I make something that might not taste great one night for dinner I figure my husband won't mind as much - as long as I look good.

Whoops - I actually see the SUN outside my window. Must try to get my vitamin D for the day before the rains return! Happy sewing! Beth

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tofu the Whale

Today we ventured up to New Hampshire (okay - we live about 10 - 15 minutes from the MA/NH border) to visit Tofu the Whale. I'm a fan of the Seacoast Science Center on Facebook. We are members and donated money to help bring Tofu the Whale to the Science Center. The new exhibit just opened up and my four-year-old insisted we visit Tofu. She's been talking about it for days. So, today, we went.

Tofu's Fluke- she was named tofu for her almost all-white fluke

On-line there is a slide show that tells about Tofu and her short life and her eventual journey to the Seacoast Science Center.

Watching informational movies about Tofu and whales.
The back of this bench is a life-size model of Tofu's flipper

Inside the science center is her skeleton, a bunch of new interactive exhibits about Tofu as well as the touch tank, tanks with fish, lobsters, seahorses, and other exhibits about the area.

The touch tank.

Lucy holding a sea urchin in the touch tank.

The kids and I love visiting here. We can spend a day on the rocky beaches (not good for swimming) searching the tide pools for crabs, mussels, hermit crabs, periwinkles, and whelks. We have seen loons and ducks. We are told seals hang out here but haven't actually seen them yet.

Lola posing in a boat inside the Seacoast Science Center.

Today, the girls collected rocks. My husband also helped collect garbage that was in the ocean as well as the rocks. I usually keep a plastic grocery bag in the car to collect refuse when we visit beaches but didn't have one today. Seacoast Science Center is located within Odiorne Point State Park. Thankfully the park had garbage cans (as well as bathrooms) so our refuse collection found a home in the proper receptacle.

Lucy posing as the tide comes in.

We found a net amongst the rocks. It was the perfect thing to hold Lola's rock collection.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Birthday Twirl Skirt

I did finish the skirt before the party. I used a tutorial found HERE. My daughter found a pink gymnastics leotard (that she is wearing backwards) and decided she did not want to wear the shirt - just the skirt and the leotard. So - the sleeves will be a project for another rainy day. Let's see - we're supposed to have another one tomorrow. Sigh - then maybe off to the Museum of Science.

Apron Giveaway over at...

There is a lovely apron giveaway going on at Tomato Soup Cake. Hop on over and enter!

Birthday Outfit

My youngest daughter has a December birthday. December 30th to be exact. Not a great day to have a party. No one is around. We decided we would celebrate her half birthday instead. Better weather (rain instead of snow).

I was making her a new outfit and asked what she wanted. She said a shirt and a skirt - at 9.30 pm she told me this. So- here it is. 2 am. I'm not done yet. I need to be done by noon. The shirt just needs its sleeves. And the skirt needs to be sewn together and I need to make the casing for the elastic. So - almost. Almost.

The shirt is pink while the skirt is the cupcake fabric along with stripes. Hopefully the half-birthday girl will like them.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Myrinda (FabricHound) Birthday Coupon!

It's Myrinda's birthday but the gift is for us! Use code "mybirthday" for 20% off today only!

I can't wait to order stuff later on!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Beach Therapy

I love where I live. I grew up in New Jersey and going 'down the shore' was always an ordeal. There was always traffic. Expensive parking on peoples lawns (yup, they will let you park there all day - if you pay them). Etc.

Living on the North Shore of Massachusetts has given me a new appreciation for the beach. We are 20 - 30 minutes from countless beaches. I love them all. They all offer different habitats for my kids to explore. And, after breathing in the salt air, frolicking in the barely tolerable water, and digging in the sand food tastes better and kids sleep better.

Today we found a moon snail.


And, as we were leaving, we passed this woman who was playing her violin on the beach.

Hope y'all are enjoying some fabulous weather and perhaps some beach therapy yourselves...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Q & A - Sewing Machine Meme

Sew Mama Sew is having a sewing machine month! They asked people to answer some questions on their blog sooo - here I go.

What brand and model do you have? BabyLock Quest

How long have you had it? One Year this month.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)? $1,000

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? Clothes, quilts, aprons, reusable bags, crayon rolls, etc.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? - I sew in spurts. I'll sew a lot for a few months (Autumn / Winter) and less in summer since my sewing room is the attic. Wear and tear - quite a bit. When I sew I sew for a few hours at a time.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I LOVE my machine. I went into the shop where I purchased this convinced I was going to get a different brand. After trying this one out there was no turning back. It is fabulous. She doew not currently have a name but now I think I should ask my children to name her.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

Lots of lightbulbs to illuminate my sewing. I had Lasik done a few years ago and really appreciate extra lighting at night.

A stop / start button that I can use if I disconnect my foot pedal. I have actually used this feature when using the faux embroidery letters on this machine. It's fun.

The auto-lock button. The machine will automatically sew three locking stitches and then stop automatically. LOVE IT.

An independent bobbin winder on top.

It came with a bunch of feet. I have used most of them.

It came with an extension table.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? It did not have a 1/4 inch foot so I had to buy a different ankle and a different foot and have to unscrew the one ankle to switch out to the 1/4 inch foot and it's ankle. AND the machine does not tell you when you are low on bobbin thread. So- you'll be sewing a quilt or a piece of clothing and eventually will figure out you are out of bobbin thread.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it! UMMMMM - my husband gave me a certain amount of money from our tax refund and said I could spend it on anything I wanted. I got this.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? Absolutely. It is a great machine to use. Easy to use. Easy to trouble shoot. Easy to thread. Easy to oil the bobbin area. LOVE IT. The independent button winder is amazing. See list of features I love above.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? Do you like how it runs? Take it for a test drive. Bring something that you would sew at home into the shop to try out and see if it has the features you need. If you use a 1/4 inch foot a lot and a machine doesn't come with one that would not be the machine you would want to purchase.

Do you have a dream machine? No. I'm really happy with this one.


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