Sunday, July 14, 2013

Note Cards

Little Bird's birthday is just around the corner and I just love these thank you notes from Shutterfly!
Stationery Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Embroidery mania!

Embroidered this raggy applique on a plain hat today to make it just a little more special!

Find it here on my Ali.Parker Sews facebook page!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Something for ME!

So many of my projects are for other people. Gifts, things for Jonah, etc. But this pieced blanket was something I wanted to create just for me!

Fred and I took a road trip up to St. Louis a few weeks back and on the way there I realized that I really should have brought a blanket with me. If I'm traveling by car I always take my own pillow, but didn't even think about taking a blanket.

Upon getting back home, I took note that I didn't have a blanket that I really would have wanted to take with me on a trip.

I can do something about that! I surfed over to Etsy and found this fabric, Bohemian Festival, that I kinda just fell in love with - as much as one can love fabric! I ordered a layer cake and planned a VERY simple pieced blanket with a self-binding minky velour backing. Whew, that was a mouthful!

I sewed a simple window pane with a 1" border around each 10" square. 4 blocks wide by 6 blocks wide, then 4.5 inch minky border (with mitered corners)

Here is the finished product. It took me 2 days from start to finish.

I also bought a little extra fabric and made a pillow case that matches.
It has a 4" minky edge with a bit of pink ricrac for added detail.
So excited for our next road trip!!

My First *Real* Quilt

I bought a layer cake (25-10"x10" squares pre-cut), I bought a pattern and off I sewed!

I decided to make the Disappearing Nine, or Magic Nine, quilt square. It's one of those "this looks hard, but is really easy" kind of things. And it is true. It looks like this quilt took tone of time to cut and piece, but it only took me working in spurts over 3 days. And that includes cutting, which is my least favorite part.

Then I sewed.

And then? I quilted. I really honest-to-goodness quilted. And it was a pain in the tooshie! Trying to control all the fabric? Half of it squeezed under the arm of my machine? Now I know why people hand quilt! Even though, it really only took me about 2 hours to completely machine quilt. Of course, I did the most simple, basic quilting in straight lines. Also, it's a BABY quilt... only 38x50... Don't know how much true quilting I'll be doing in the future. May be doing a lot of pieced blankets with a bit of top-stitching.


I selected a coordinating grey sweatshirt fleece to back it with. Gives it a little heft, it's a durable fabric and added warmth without added bulk.

And, yes, our grass really is *that* green!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Another Day, Another Blankie

Jonah has a lot of blankets. The child will never need for warmth (...or kindling in the future). Anyway, I found this fabric panel at Hancock Fabrics and the flannel for the reverse at Joann.

I would normally have done basically a big pillow and then some top-stitching, but I've really been wanting to practice using bias tape. Especially around curves. So, in order not to have to miter the corners and to work with the bias tape, I rounded the corners. From all the tips I'd read online the key is to use lots and lots of pins and sew slowly. So that's what I did and lo and behold - it wasn't that bad! Really, it was quite easy and I am thrilled with the finished product.

Next time I want to try adding in a layer of think batting to give my top-stitching some real depth!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fat Quarter/Quarter Yard Storage

I cut 5"x5" squares out of cardboard.  And then I folded and wrapped the quartered fabric and then "filed" them away. So nice and neat and easy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Basket Liner Tutorial

All right here's my first tutorial completely from scratch. Most of the time, I tweek and pull from 2 or more tutorials to make whatever it is that I'm making. Unfortunately, after looking at 20+ blogs that featured basket liner tuts, I came away very disappointed. Even the "good" ones seemed to be incomplete. So I decided to just wing it and make it up as I went. Fortunately for me, and my baskets, it turned out exactly as I had hoped!

The baskets are the BRANAS baskets from IKEA in white. I have several of them in Jonah's room and decided that they'd be great in my laundry/craft/sewing room make-over. I got 2 and am kinda kicking myself already that I didn't get 3. Oh, well, I'll make do.
What you'll need:
3/4 yard fabric/basket
coordinating thread
20" ribbon/basket
enough elastic to encircle your basket + 2" overlap for stitching

rotary cutter and clear rule are very helpful, but scissors are sufficient!

First, I measured. Then measured a few more times to make sure I was getting everything straight. It's the old carpenter's line, "measure twice, cut once." Only in sewing I've learned to measure 3 or 4 times if you really want to be sure!
I cute my base piece first.
And because my sides are almost the same, but yet not, I marked the longer sides.
Using a 1/4" seam allowance, I sewed the four side pieces to the base. To ensure pretty corners, start sewing 1/4" (or your chosen seam allowance) in from the start and end points.
Iron all seams toward center base piece once all four sides are attached.

Then, back to the sewing machine. Line up aligning sides and sew a seam from the top of the basket liner in towards the base (makes for a prettier and much more even hem at the top).
Press seams open when all four side have been sewn.
I used my hem measure to then turn under one inch of the top to create a casing for my elastic. I pinned and ironed each side, allowing for ease where necessary.
After stitching my hem/casing seam, I trimmed the raw edge with pinking shears. I don't foresee these liners ever needing to be washed, so I didn't bother turning the edge under, though there was plenty of fabric to do that if you'd like.

I added button holes... which might seem contrary to the casing I just made, but I didn't plan on finishing the basket the way I did until it was too late to sew the button holes first then hem. I'll show you in a minute how I cheated! Also, I have an automatic button-holer now - it is fabulous!!!
Here is what I did. Sliced my buttonholes open, slid in a bit of ribbon and pinned it (after heat-sealing the edge with a lighter. Then I slit the inside piece of the hem with my seam ripper and fray-checked the raw edges so that I could still run my elastic through.
I decided to dun elastic instead of running ribbon all the way around because elastic is cheaper than ribbon and I had more on hand than of the ribbon.

Stitched my elastic together using a stretch stitch, and evenly distributed the gathers.
Slipped it on my basket and tied a bow with the end of my ribbon. When I had them tied I cut them evenly and heat sealed the ends.

And then I made another one...