yard sale saturday

First yard sale post of the season!

Yesterday was gorgeous and since I was in town and didn’t have plans until later, I headed out to the yard sale circuit. I got back into the groove pretty quickly and found a number of bargains.

At the first stop, I picked up two baskets for $0.50. I really just wanted the taller one to house sewing projects in, but the other one will be good for company or picnics. The picnic basket I got for $1 at another sale later in the day. It’s in great shape, UK colors and it’s collapsible! The boyfriend and I will have to go on a picnic soon.


Jackson is a big fan of the blue basket as well. It’s well suited for his napping purposes.


This cool art cover Moleskin notebook ($0.25) is for a friend.



Yarn extravaganza! This woman had a booth at the local Peddler’s Mall and was getting out the business. I got all this yarn for $4. Now to figure out what to do with it…




…though it does look nice in my new basket!


Next, a couple of household items.

A new market tote bag ($1) since some of my old ones are biting the dust. Yeah, I mostly bought it because of the blue edge but the penguins didn’t hurt either. The table was $2 and is just a sturdier upgrade of a table I already have.


Then I got some clothes of course.

A $0.50 robot shirt for the nephew.yardsalefinds414_06


Some ladies with good taste were selling these sweaters. $2 for the gray and purple, and $3 for the teal 100% cashmere cardigan. Both are super comfortable. The woman selling the teal told me she was happy it was going to a good home.


I sold a few things at the consignment store and came away with an awesome dress. Since I made some money, the brand new Limited dress with tags on cost me less than $7. It looks very Kate Middleton to me and it’s fully lined and has nice pockets.


And finally, I wrapped up the morning with a quick Goodwill trip. I have a big backlog of those to post about, but this time I just got two things. An IZOD madras skirt and fireworks shirt for $3 each.


I’ve had far more luck at the Goodwill near my house but decided to try a different location this time. The layout is cleaner and it’s usually less crowded and I didn’t have it in me to battle crowds and subpar dressing rooms after my morning of yard sales.

So there you have it! First yard sale Saturday of the year. As always, a shout-out to my yard sale crew in Alabama for teaching me everything I know. Hope you all are having a lovely weekend 🙂






winter buntings

I’ve been wanting to make a Christmas bunting for two and a half years. Now that I’ve finished a couple, some please tell me that the trend is still going!

Last Christmas, I got some things together to make a Merry Christmas bunting. The word Christmas is pretty long though so when I finished it a couple weeks ago all I had was the Merry, but the important thing is the sentiment of the season is conveyed in green and red. Maybe I’ll get to “Christmas” in a couple more years 😉



I just sewed green and red triangles together, put some bias tape across the top, and cut out some felt letters and zig-zag stitched them on to the triangles.


So simple it should have taken me way less time to complete!


While I was at it, I finished the “Snow” bunting I’d been wanting to make as well. Still could hang that one up this year as another winter storm warning is rolling through Kentucky tonight…


I sewed three layers of white broadcloth together for these since the white was sheer. To add some pizzazz, I cut out snowflake shapes and sewed them on with the letters.

I’ve started getting back into blogging a little this year with the occasional spring-like day being a good motivator. In the past couple weeks, I’ve also read blogs for the first time this year. I was expecting to see dozens of missed posts from all of my favorites, but instead I saw a lot of “sorry I haven’t been blogging much this year.” So it isn’t just me!

I did buy a couple of patterns to make myself some clothes recently, the Simple Blouse pattern from Running with Scissors and Pattern Parcel #1 which contains some very popular internet patterns like the Lady Skater Dress and the Ava Dress by Victory Patterns at a super crazy discount. Now to find some fabric… Any suggestions?

it’s so fluffy!

As of yesterday, I am off work for two straight weeks. Woohoo! I’m hoping to fit a lot of crafting in between now and then, but there will also be lots of visiting family, both the boyfriend’s and my own. This will be our 8th New Year’s Eve together.

Here are a couple more yarn-y things I’ve made lately.

The first is a scarf I whipped up for a scarf exchange with friends. We each brought a scarf and picked one out of the pile at random. There were only four of us so it wasn’t too random, and none of us ended up “stealing” each other’s scarves as we were all happy with the one we picked out. 🙂

Amanda used to crochet but has problems with her wrist, so I was really surprised and excited to get a handmade scarf crafted by her! She’s started working on a loom and as you can see it’s been going well so far.


I knew it was homemade as soon as I pulled it out of the bag, because I recognized one of my favorite kinds of yarn.

I forgot to take a picture of mine, so I had the scarf’s new owner, Lindsay, snap a few. She did an excellent job!


I really like how Lindsay has decorated her place. Love that rug.

I made it the same way as the purple scarf I made for Crystal last year (Super Easy Squishy Scarf), but it looks a lot different now that I learned the right way to purl. I used size 13 needles and Lion Brand Homespun in Tulips. I wasn’t sure how my friends would feel about the strikingly hot pink color, but they were all fans.


One more showcase of Lindsay’s photography skills. After I requisitioned the favor of her snapping some photos of the scarf, I realized I never took pictures of the coasters I made her either. Not super exciting, but I wanted something her dog couldn’t chew up like the cork coaster she had. He still tends to run off with them, but he can’t do as much damage.

I made a couple of square ones, and a couple of double layered circle ones out of a blue yarn bought with the gift certificate to a yarn store that she bought me for Christmas last year.


By the way, coasters are a super easy gift that are always useful if you are looking to make something last minute. I have several sets around the house that I use daily.

That’s all for now folks. I’m hoping to wrap up the rest of my Christmas shopping today so wish me luck! Jackson already assisted me in wrapping some gifts this morning.


super simple tree skirt

Back in May I went on a scrapbooking weekend with my mom and her friends. While I was there one of her friends (and my former middle school teacher) asked if I would like some fabric she didn’t want. I was already picking up two large bags of sewing supplies from another one of my mom’s friends (that she’d gotten from cleaning out her mother’s house) so I said why not?

She followed up with me when I was home over Thanksgiving and I went and picked it up. Two large plastic tubs of fabric. I’ve already found some cool things in there, and I’ll have get some pictures and post more about it.

We put up the tree the other day and the boyfriend commented that it needed a tree skirt. My Christmas fabric selection is slim, but when I took a peek in the box I found the absolute perfect thing. These two Christmas fabrics were quilted together and so with a couple packs of bias tape, I was able to make a reversible tree skirt in no time flat!


I was pretty excited when I realized how quickly this could come together. I cut the fabric out like you would cut out a circle skirt.


I skipped ties or buttons because I didn’t want to think about how to make reversible closures. I can do that next year 🙂 Right now I just safety pinned the skirt together on the underside along the bias tape.


Here it is under the tree! Don’t adjust your screens, people. The tree is actually super narrow. We’re hoping it prevents cats from getting any ideas about climbing it. Plus we don’t have a ton of ornaments right now.

I used to have more, but I’d brought a lot of my childhood ones back from my parents’ house to my apartment before the fire years ago and haven’t accumulated many more since then. And the old apartment was so small that I didn’t really decorate for Christmas last year. It was fun to get the ornaments out this year. There were some that had never even been hung on a tree!

I think my mom went on a spree at some point and bought me a bunch of ornaments. Here are three of my favorites.


Camera, cats, and crafts. That pretty much sums me up!

Next on the agenda: a stocking for the boyfriend, and maybe two more for some tiny furballs!

herringbone afghan

I started this black and white herringbone afghan for my friend Crystal at the beginning of the summer, and finished it around the beginning of fall. She’s a big fan of black and white and this pattern from Mamachee seemed perfect for her sense of style.

It took most of the summer to finished all seven strips of the pattern, but I liked how you didn’t have to sew each individual black and white piece together. I finished up with just a tiny bit of yarn left over from my two skeins of Caron One Pound.


Once the strips were created, there was a lot of weaving in ends and then I had to sew all the strips together. I was almost done with this part when Crystal came to visit, but I didn’t manage to have the afghan ready for her to take with her.


Jackson approved, as with all of the projects I place on the floor to photograph.

I finished sewing the strips together and put a double border around it at the end of September, and have been waiting for us to get together again so I can hand it over.I wouldn’t think of mailing it, definitely not after our latest attempt with the Unites States Postal Service. (By some miracle I got my package from her three weeks later, despite the “tracking” fiasco.)


My edges are never quite straight on “motif” afghans.

I usually stick with the free patterns, so you can tell that I really liked this one! I think it’s pretty unique for a crochet pattern and we’re both happy with how it turned out.

more Rallying for Roma

My mom saw my Facebook page post on Craft Hope’s Rally for Roma and wanted in on the action. She doesn’t get to sew as much as she would like so she took the opportunity to make a couple of quick blankets while stash busting some fleece.

She wasn’t sure what she’d bought the fleece for originally, but it was possibly to make something for my brothers. Either way it ended up as these awesome blankets for the people of Romania.


I love the satin blanket binding she used (purchased at Jo-Ann Fabrics)and will have to keep it in mind for future projects. Both blankets look lovely and got sent off earlier this week.

I’m so glad my mom has joined in on my charity sewing endeavors. We may be hours apart but crafting keeps us close!

P.S. My vintage sheet bag giveaway is still going on at The Vintage Sheet Blog, so check it out!

quilts for kids

Last June I was in a bit of an unproductive rut and posted a list of the projects I was working on at the time as a motivator. Here’s a quick update on where I’m at with those.

– vintage dress – This project did not turn out as planned. I learned a lot, but have already donated the pattern because there was no way I was making that unflattering piece again. It’s been hanging in my closet and after I photograph and blog about it, I’ll be donating the dress as well.

– square top – I finished it. I love it. It’s also been hanging in my closet since last summer waiting to be photographed and shown off on the blog.

– quilt top – that’s where I’m going with the blog entry and we’ll get to it soon 😉

– tool belt – done, check it out here. skirt to shirred dress – I was so pleased with how this turned out.

– fan afghan – finished a few months ago and given to my mom.

And the summery blouses are back on my list of things to make. I did make a few tops last summer (two tiny pocket tanks, the flowy jungle shirt, and the hacked up denim top), but I’ve got several more on my soon-to-make list. I’ve been much better about getting things done this year so I’m thinking at least some have a chance of finishing a few before/during summer.

So back to the quilt. I finished it and sent it on its way! Here are the highlights of its nine month journey from scrap fabric to a finished quilt.

June 2012

I cut rectangles from my coordinating Hobby Lobby scrap fabric that I’d accumulated over the months since I’d gotten back into sewing. I chose the size of the rectangles to get the maximum number out of each piece of fabric. Then I tried to create some sort of pattern based on the unequal number of pieces from all the different fabrics. I recruited the boyfriend to help me with this and here’s what we drew up.


Mine is on the left, his is on the right. I went with his because he had a more unique, less symmetrical idea.


Here’s his layout as seen in the original post. I made things difficult for myself by cutting out the blocks haphazardly…then I had to trim all the rows and pinch out any extra so everything lined up. I felt quite victorious when the top was pieced together and my lines were even.

September/October 2012

I took the pieced top with me when visiting my mom, the former quilting instructor, so she could tell me how to finish it. We measured for borders and she showed me how to make binding out of backing fabric. When I got back, I bought the border fabric at Hobby Lobby so it would (sort of) go with the rest of the colors I’d used.


November 2012

The quilt and I (accompanied by the attached border fabric) went on another visit to my parents’ house so my mom could tell me (again) how to finish it; we bought backing and batting so I would have everything I needed to finished the quilt.

March 2012

The backing and batting aged in my sewing area for several months until my parents came to see me. My mom was going to make me a spring wreath during her visit, but I decided it was time (with her help) to get serious about finishing this quilt. It was far easier than I realized, but she was the motivational catalyst I needed. I cut as per her instructions, she pinned my corners for me, and I sewed the backing/borders down after she left. Now my project had gone from from quilt top to full-blooded quilt.


I machine-stitched my borders, which were folded over from the backing fabric.


check out those hand-sewn mitred corners!

It was looking good, so I tackled my next new experience: machine quilting. I’ve hand quilted a whole quilt, but had never tried quilting by machine. I wanted this project complete and off my to-do list (finally), so I didn’t waste any time taking the plunge.

I started by stitching in the ditch with my walking foot after safety pinning all over to keep the layers in line. After I was done, I realized that the walking foot came with an attachment to help quilt in the ditch, so I’ll be using that next time… It didn’t turn out too badly though.


This is not the right attachment at all. I found the correct attachments in a sewing basket midway through my quilting.

This thing was a beast to maneuver. I completely understand the value of longarm quilting machines now.


with all its ditches stitched

Then I started sewing straight lines across the middle section. I used one of the correct attachments I’d found to make my lines (relatively) straight and evenly spaced.



Quilts for Kids guidelines state that the quilts should be quilted about 2 inches apart for stability since they’ll be washed so much. I did mine at about 1.5″ so I could fit three evenly spaced lines into a vertical row.

Then I quilted the borders.


And the quilt was finally complete!

It just needed to take one more trip to visit my mom so she could see the completed project and mail it off (after she generously stamped a homemade card to finish out the package). The mailing address was closer to her than me and she has shipping facilities at work that make mailing things much easier.  Bonus: her boss said that anything mailed for charity was on the house! Thanks Accutrex!

So I haven’t heard anything from Quilts for Kids yet but I hope to get an acknowledgement that it was received. I hope these bright colors and fun prints brighten some child’s day in the hospital. 🙂

Update: I just got an e-mail five hours ago saying that they’d received the quilt! Nice timing!