Sunday, July 27, 2014

Successful project finished

This month I have been working a little at a time on a gift basket for my church's gala fundraiser. The fundraiser is in the fall, but I wanted to complete the gift basket prior to going back east again.


My contributions included one of my homemade baby blankets, a stuffed knit bunny, and a large bib. My mother, an avid knitter, contributed a beautiful knit sweater and hat. I finished the final details this week and collected some odds and ends to fill the basket out. I hope it raises a lot of money for the parish school!


Here are all the contents:

1. Hand sewn and embroidered baby blanket.

2. Hand knit baby sweater and hat.

3. Hand sewn baby bib.

4. Hand knit bunny toy.

5. Baby shampoo, lotion and diaper rash cream.

6. Key toy.

7. Pacifiers.

8. Hard book "Guess How Much I Love You?"

9. $25 Target gift card.



Sunday, July 13, 2014

Crafting in Colorado

Sadly, my trip home came to an end on Monday when I took a 5:50 am flight out of Boston back to Denver. But, my two sewing weekends in Rhode Island gave me the bug. I have quite a few projects prepped and some real deadlines coming up. As a result, I spent most of Saturday stitching away. Unfortunately, I seem to have moved home some of the things that I need here, so a few of the projects I wanted to work on, I couldn't. Even so, I made a baby blanket and a bib for a church fundraiser--I will show you that when I finish the last pieces. I also cut out a wedding gift and got it prepped to sew and finally started a Christmas gift that was previously prepped. tomorrow I hope to accomplish more, but I have some work to catch up on after our holiday over the 4th of July, so I won't get as much done. Even so, it has been nice sitting in my air conditioned bedroom listening to books on tape while creating things for people. It makes up a little for being alone again. I need to get home permanently.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Decorating progress

It feels as though my husband and I have been decorating our new house forever, although in reality it has been less than a year. Moving my things home at the end of May helped us to decide on permanent locations for some of the furniture, but we aren't anywhere near done. One reason it is taking so long is that I am home only part time. The other reason is that my husband and I both have strong opinions about how to decorate. It takes a long time for us to discus concepts and find the right colors and fabrics. When we finally agree, however, we are both happy with the results.


June was a decorating success. We went to our local fabric store and agreed on not one, but two fabrics for window treatments! In addition, the fabric was 50% off. The bad thing was that both fabrics had to be special ordered. The clerk told me that they would arrive in 4-6 weeks--long after I was leaving New England. In actuality, both fabrics arrived in less than a week so I had two weekends to work on drapes.


I started with the fabric for our bedroom--a silky, rust-colored, medium-weight fabric in a Jacobean floral print. I purchased a pattern for the bedroom windows. Since I haven't sewed in awhile, I felt more secure starting with instructions. We borrowed my step daughter-in-law's sewing machine and I started cutting.

Cutting fabric with four cats in the house is a real chore, even with sufficient space to spread out.


Thank goodness we have a huge eating nook off our kitchen. I was able to unroll the fabric on the hard wood floor and cut out the pieces without struggling too much, although I had to lock the cats in the bedroom because the fabric was too tempting for them. It took about three hours to cut both the main fabric and the dupioni lining for the two windows. My legs and back ached before I finished.

I joked that my sewing weekends were like working in a sweat shop, but I really had nice working space on the dining room table.


Even so, I worked diligently, and by the end of the last weekend of June, I had finished jabots and swags for both bedroom windows. The windows are different sizes, but I think that the treatment works well. I still have to make simple valances for the laundry room off the bedroom, but I made progress.


Downstairs, I began soft valances for the dining room. These I am patterning after some soft valances I made for my husband's boat. I will attach them to a mounting board and hang long sheers beneath. We will pull the sheers back to look like mosquito netting for our "Victorian Safari"-themed room. I was able to get all three valances cut out and sewn together this past weekend, but I still have to hand sew trim and then pleat the valances. The same gold-colored dupioni from the upstairs swags serves as the inside of the pleats. They will have to wait until I return in August to be mounted, but that will give my husband time to finish painting and put up chair rails in the dining room. There is enough left over fabric for table runners as well.

These are the boat curtains I am patterning the dining room valances after.
I will need to finish the dining room valances when I come home in August.


All-in-all, it was a successful decorating trip--especially since I haven't picked up a needle in three months. Now I can start working on all those September wedding gifts.