Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Sister's Kindle Cover...

My little sister got her package yesterday (hooray!) and so I can show you the Kindle Cover I made for her.

note the (subtle) detail stitching on the front flap

I did a wrap-around binding for this project
the Kindle does fit all the way in, but is shown partway out just for display purposes 
I had so much fun making this -- my new favorite technique is to make stuff with these strips of fabric like this. What you do is to cut a piece of fusible stuff or thin batting and sew two strips at a time (right sides together, laid on top of the batting; sew down the far edge and then fold over the top strip) until you have covered the whole piece of batting. Such a nice, finished, polished look for such little effort!

My mom helped me choose colors, and we more or less matched our choices to the lining fabric. We doubled up on the maroon because my sister is a Texas A&M fan.  We included one strip of burnt orange because others in her family are UT fans ;-)

For a little finishing detail, I outline stitched one flower from the lining so that the quilting stitches showed, subtly, on the front flap. Just to give a little extra.

Here's a link to the Bookkeeper pattern I used*, from Moda Bake Shop. If you craft at all, check out that blog. Tons and tons and tons of tutorials, free to use, and beautifully easy to sort through. It's my new first place to look when I need an idea for a project.

Tomorrow, back to talking about Brazil.....The Chemist and I are trying to get our Brazilian driver's licenses, which is proving to be a multi-day process, just to transfer our US licenses to some kind of valid thing here in Brazil. Today we did several sets of photos, fingerprints and a medical exam; tomorrow a psychological exam and turning in the paperwork......but, that's tomorrow's story.

See you tomorrow afternoon!

*if you try making a bookkeeper, note that I used 10 strips, not 9. Not sure if the problem is my math, my cutting, her math, her cutting, or ??? 

Friday, August 5, 2011

What was in the packages...? Come and see!

The Pay it Forward packages have been received and it is now my pleasure to show you what was inside each one. I'm delighted that the recipients were pleased -- I love giving gifts to people and finding out I chose (or in this case, created) well. Makes my heart sing to give a gift that someone loves getting!

Inside this package....
BoonieSooze's package
....was a set of photo note cards that I made just for Susan!

homemade photo notecards
if memory serves,  I made 10 full color, 10 sepia
I used various photos that I'd taken during the Project 365 I tried to do last year, things I thought would be of general interest. I turned those photos into a collage using Picasa photo editing software, and made one version in color and one in sepia tones. Then I chose card stock papers from my scrapbooking supplies, and light colored papers for the insides and sandwiched everything together into a decorative card.

I made different sizes for different needs that Susan might have. My only regret is that I didn't have envelopes to send along with it; hopefully they are standard enough sized that she can use regular envelopes (sorry, Sooze!).

Inside this package....
June's present
..was a set of wine slippers for June, The Mendon Foodie. She and a group of girl friends get together for wine & food nights, and when I saw this pattern over at The Quilt Show pattern page  I just knew it was  perfect for June. (note: you have to be a member, though basic membership is free, to view the full pattern)

the wine slippers
I took the advice of the pattern and made each one a different combo of fabrics so that they can serve as wine glass identifiers, too; just remember your color combination and never loose your wine glass in a sea of glasses again!

with a wine glass, for sizing and scale
The pattern made zero sense to me when I first read it -- I could not wrap my brain around how it was going to work. Still, I trusted the pattern maker and just did what it told me to, one step at a time, and it worked beautifully! It had seemed way to easy, and it was very easy to do, and made such a lovely finished project. I'm planning on making sets of these for Christmas gifts this year, so if you use stemmed glasses at all and think you might be on my Christmas gift recipient list, speak up!

close up so you can see how the slippers slide onto the base of the wine stem

Oh! and don't you just love the wine glass itself?? That was an unexpected and delightful gift I received this past Christmas, and it is such a treat. I love to pour a glass of grape juice or iced tea during the day and sip from my wine glass.....it feels like a secret indulgence when I drink from this glass, even though it's just iced tea. Some people I know might receive a glass for Christmas, too.....there are all kinds of designs, from 95andSunny, aka Bottoms Up designs. Fun, fun, fun. 

Now I'm waiting on my sister to get her gift, and on camera batteries to charge so I can take a photo of the iPad cover I made for The Chemist. I can't wait to show those to you too! I'm still working on my larger quilt projects (the diary quilt and the red white & blue) but these little things are fun breaks for when I'm bored of one fabric, plus this sort of sewing fills my need for giving gifts and for completing a project.

It's so nice to take a break, spend two days doing something start to finish, wrapping it up and sending it on its way and then get back to the big sewing I have waiting on the side. Love that!

Do you like to give gifts? Have a favorite gift you love to give? Tell me about it! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The First Present Made It!!

I'm so happy to share with you one of the presents I sent off. It was the next-to-last present that I made, was not for the pay-it-forward but was just because, and was hard and fun and wonderful.

My mentor, Jules over at And Sew On...., has frequently gone above and beyond in email teaching me how to sew and quilt, and I wanted to finally thank her in some tiny tangible way.

She also recently started a Long Arm Quilting business and has had business cards made to promote that. Alas, she has --had-- nothing to carry her business cards in.

I hopped on-line and searched free patterns until I found the one I wanted -- an Amy Butler Business Card Keeper free pattern.  

I'd seen a picture on Jules' blog, about what her office would look like if she had an office. Modern, black & white with hot pink. Hmmmmm..... I sorted fabrics and found just the right choices in my stash.

Then I got to work...

Open -- the flaps inside hold business cards in place once it is folded closed.
 ....and made that pesky button hole.....

button hole close up

different view
...and did some detail stitching as an accent....

it's a little blurry, but I did black outline stitching around the pink flower on the back of the card holder

...and finally sent this off,

...all wrapped up, so that Jules can showcase her business cards in a nice fabric card holder. She can explain that a long-distance student she's never met made it for her.  That ought to spark some interest....

Have you ever received an unexpected gift? Or sent one? What was it?