Monday, October 31, 2011

Coupon Wallet tutorial, and urgh - blogger issues.

I've been trying for two days to post a tutorial for a coupon wallet. Blogger wouldn't let me post more than 3 photos, and it's a photo-laden tutorial.. Urgh!
So, for now, I finally tamed the monster. For those of you who can follow instructions without the aid of photos, this would be no problem. (I don't qualify there!) For those of us who need visual aids, here goes!

Coupon Wallet

A fat quarter or two fat eighths, minimum Cut 2 pieces – one 18” X 9” (Outside fabric)

One 21” X 9” (Inside fabric)

Fusible interfacing - cut one 18”X 8” light to med weight

Heat N Bond - cut three 3” X 8” and one 2” X 8” and one 5 ½”X 8”

1” piece of velcro – both parts.

Instructions Read all instructions before starting.

Fuse large interfacing piece to wrong side of outside fabric , place 2” strip of fusible on top of the interfacing and two inches in from the left edge. Fuse in place fuse 2”X8”

Place 5 ½” piece of fusible on top of the interfacing along the right edge, line it up right at the right edge.

The interfacing and fusible will be ½” narrower than the outside fabric – this is for seam allowance.

Fold the inside fabric, wrong sides together and press along the fold.

Fold each side , accordion style so it makes a folded piece with three panels and two “pockets”

/\_/\_/\ Press well, then open and lay wrong side up.

Fuse the three 3” pieces of fusible to every other section of the wrong side of the fabric making sure the edge of the fusible is right along the folded line.

Refold the fabric, one section at a time and fuse each one. You should now have three vertical pieces joined at the bottom with a fold. Set aside.

Take your outside fabric and fold the 2” left edge over the fusible and fuse in place. Take care that it completely covers the 2” fusible piece.

Mark the outside edge center and sew the loop (scratchy side) square of velcro on the outside of the bonded area – right along the edge.

Fold the right edge over 5 ½” and finger press - DO NOT FUSE YET. Open and turn right side up.

Mark the spot for the soft spot of velcro right along the fold on the 5 ½” side. It should be on the 5 ½” side of the fold. Sew in place.

Fold the right side , right sides together along the previous fold line.

Mark the two outer corners along the fold line down to an inch down on the sides with a straight line or curve - whatever shape you want the front flap corners to be. Stitch along your markings from the fold towards the cut edge but stop your stitching at the edge of the interfacing. Do not go onto the seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance = only along where you stitched.

Turn this flap right side out and push out the corners, trimming where necessary.

Place outside fabric right side up. Fold the loose part of the flap up and pin out of the way.

Open the folded inside piece of fabric so one side has 2 flaps and the other 1 flap. Place it right side down onto the right side of the outer fabric so that the 2 folds line up along the 2” folded edge and the 1 flap lines up along where you folded the outer flap up.

Carefully stitch a ½” seam on the folded inner fabric from the spot where the top flap is folded, down to the folded edge where the 2 flaps and the outer folded edge meet. Grade the seams.

Fold the sewn part inside out so the seam allowance is now hidden inside. Press out the seam and fold the whole unit in half so the left edge is now equal to the other edge of the inner fabric. This makes the divisions of your wallet. The scratchy part of the velcro should now be on the outside edge of the folded part.

Take the upper flap part and fold the seam allowances to the inside. You may trim the excess seam allowance at an angle but do not go within an inch of the place where you stitched. Tuck the loose end of the flap inside the wallet between the first flap and the wrong side of the back of the wallet.

The soft piece of velcro should be on the inner edge of the flap. Fuse the top flap together, taking care along the velcro so it doesn’t wrinkle.

Topstitch from one bottom corner (through all layers), along the edge of the top flap and down the other side (through all the layers.)

Fold top flap down and secure the velcro.

You have your wallet!

Yeah, this finally worked.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fail !

I'm usually pretty good at math, and at quilty math. But I guess when I change my plan mid stream, and don't redo the math, well, I deserve this.

"This" was supposed to be a block challenge. The fabric was given and the rules say the finished block has to be 12 1/2" square.
I was going to call the block "Silly Goose" for the flying geese block in the corner that isn't in formation. But I guess it should have been "silly me."
Oh well.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tough love results, and shopping!

Since yesterday, my son and I have reached an understanding. Perhaps it came between the 45th and 50th wheelbarrow of leaves he helped his grandma rake today. He finished his writing penance last night - he fell asleep at 7, got up at 10 and thought it was morning but couldn't figure out why it was dark if it was 10am? Ha ha. Imagine my surprise when he didn't want to go back to bed at 11:30 until he finished his writing! Say it ain't so - is he finally 'getting' it? So, anyway, my mom and I had already planned that he would go there today to help out. I think it did both of us a world of good.
After I dropped him off, I went to a warehouse fabric store that's near my mom's place. Wow. It's a good thing I didn't bring money because I could have gone nuts in there. There is a franchise in my city, but it's a dark, dingy and dirty place. This store was bright, cheerful, lots of room and inventory? It was amazing. The cottons alone covered a 50' wall and shelving in between. They had the fabrics organized by the company. So if I was looking for Moda - go to aisle 3, if Northcott, aisle 5 etc. They had probably every notion on the planet. Their fleece collection filled it's own room.
I will definitely be returning to that location, even with the 30 min drive each way. It'll be worth it.
Now, just what shall I do to increase my sewing budget. hmmm

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mommy moments. Ugh!

I got an email from a teacher at my DS's school today. Apparently DS handed in a test today - blank. Last night I tried to quiz him on the content and he gave me a very hard time about it, then stated the information correctly - conjugating the verb "avoir" in french. So I know he knew it. But he insists he doesn't. And to make things worse, he has been "disconnected" in that class for quite a while. I know he doesn't like the class, he says "french hurts my brain." But that's too bad because it is a compulsory subject, and failing it is not an option. So, I had to play bad cop tonight.
When he got home, I gave him his snack. Then read the riot act. The playstation and the computer are 'gone' until he pulls up his socks. And there are three papers on the table. One has him write out the content 9 times.
The next he has to write it from memory 5 times.
The last page he has to write lines "I will not disrespect my teachers." since not participating, underachieving, and having a negative attitude, to me, is being disrespectful.
Well, need I say that it didn't go over very well? After several fits and starts, and mini temper tantrums, he has it half done, and went upstairs to cool off and is now sound asleep in bed. I guess he wore himself out. That's ok, it will be waiting for him when he gets up.
My mother told me there'd be days like this. She just didn't tell me there'd be so darned many !

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New project

I've been wanting to pull out the Hunter's star ruler that I bought recently. So, at yesterday's quilting group, it made an appearance. There are so many variables to making this block that it can be a bit mind boggling. 2 colours, 3 colours, 4? Which colours for the star, which for the block? What layout, what size block. Whew.
So, I got the strip sets made first, and then decided what layout to use. This is going to be a project that takes a while, I can tell that already. But, that isn't a bad thing.
So here's my trial block. What do you think? The "pink" is actually a deep coral and the "white" is a pale yellow print.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday Night SewIn Results

I did sew last night but it wasn't a whole lot. My DS has a Big Brother - a mentor for boys who don't have a Dad to turn to. It was Big Brother night at our house last night too. He came in sporting a very nice wool vest that his wife had given him for his birthday. But he had a problem. The wool on the standup collar was chafing his neck and driving him crazy. He asked if anything could be done for that - well, Lady McGyver to the rescue!!!!!!. I found a suitable fabric in my stash = see, a stash is a good thing. Then just traced the shape of the collar to make a pattern. Cut 2 of fabric and one of light weight fusible interfacing and sew around the perimeter leaving an opening of 3-4 inches for turning it right side out. Using scissors I graded the seam allowance and made notches where the curves had to turn inwards. Turn right side out, press and topstitch around the outer edge. I then sewed it by hand right into the crevice where the collar met the body of the vest. It turned out pretty good. Most of all, he loved it. Now he can wear his birthday present in comfort. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture before he left. Darn.
I guess I haven't lost my garment sewing skills by doing only quilting for the last few years after all. :)
Hope you had a productive evening and I'm looking forward to reading all the blogs and seeing your pictures!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My turn - argh !

I guess it was my turn. I've read other people's stories of the headache and hardship a computer crash causes. This time it was me.
A year or so ago, we had a foster puppy. His name was "Wolfie" and he was an adorable Pomeranian puppy the colour of a freshly baked loaf of bread - hence his nickname : Dempster. (a local bakery)
Wolfie had a thing for electrical cords. He never met on he wouldn't chew on just for fun. We went through a lot of cords during the few months he lived with us - the camera to computer cord, the cell phone AC charging cord etc. He also chewed on the AC cord for my computer. The damage seemed minor, and the computer was working fine, so I left it. Kind of a "let sleeping dogs lie" kind of mentality. It worked well, until my DS knocked over a cup of tea. At first I consoled him that my computer was fine, after all, it was closed, and just a few small puddles hit it, and most of the tea was on the floor. It wasn't until an hour later that I realized my laptop was dead. Dead as in - no lights, no power, no bootup, no battery backup. Uh oh. So, I started troubleshooting. In the process, I discovered that the cord still had power - when I burnt my finger and saw a small puff of smoke come from the break in the cord. Reality struck. I'd electrocuted my laptop. Crap. Double Crap because my son's laptop was in the shop for a cleanup of viruses and other nasties he picks up with his not so safe gaming sites.
I called my IT guy, afraid to nudge him to work faster because he has a family crisis going on (2 yr old daughter has leukemia-put her on your prayer list) and described the problem to him.
He figures I fried the motherboard, and yes, it probably was not worth fixing as the cost would be a good payment towards a new laptop. The darned things are almost disposable these days.
So, after going through withdrawal for two days, I started doing some research by driving to several local stores and comparative shopping. It's a lot easier to do online, by the way.
I found what I wanted, and they'll even give me $50 for my dead trade-in. So, now I'm the proud owner of a new, shiny Sony VAIO with more bells and whistles than I'll ever need. Once my IT guy returns my son's laptop, she'll go in for loading up of programs ( like Office, Panda etc) and whatever data he can recover from the Hard Drive on the old gal. Once that's done, the old gal's carcass will be presented to the store for burial, and as long as I present the receipt for the new girl, I'll walk out with $50. Sorry old gal, you've served me well, but I take your leaving me hanging personally, so "Bye Bye". Bring on the new.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A weak moment, and the aftermath...

Last weekend, I caved in. My mommy sense was not working very well I guess. I allowed my son to talk me into (with the salesman's help) buying a PS3. Now, I can rationalize the purchase, as in, the technology is moving to all BluRay, the controllers are more ergonomically friendly for the serious gamer, the package with the game was a really good deal, this system should last him well into University, etc ......
We already have a Wii, so there was NO WAY we were keeping both. So, we put the Wii console and games on Kijiji. I love that site. I've bought and sold a ton of stuff on kijiji over the years. Tonight, the console with 3 games sold. And another person in on their way over to buy another of the games. Only 5 more to go.
So now DS thinks that any $$ earned by selling the Wii should go to him and therefore to the purchase of more PS3 games. Uh, NO. He is a savvy shopper, and has no problem buying used games for less cost, but this time he caught me on a "tough mommy" day. So he got a stipend, and the rest went in MY bank account.
At least the cash gives me another reason to rationalize the PS3 purchase, for every $ I get back from the Wii, the cost of the PS3 becomes a better deal.
What have you blown the budget on lately? Care to share? No? Ok, I know the feeling. You get a pass this time.
As for sewing, I've started on the church banners - I got a 36" square photocopy made of the pattern at Staples for under $10. That sure beats me going through a package of ink and paper trying to blow it up big enough. Today I traced out the pattern on some fusible web so I can use that to attach the reverse applique pieces in place and prevent fraying of the cut edges at the same time. I am going to do a practise piece first though as I'm scared to start on the big pieces of satin until I've gotten my "sea legs" on a swatch first.
I also put in for a quote for the lettering from a local embroidery business. I don't have an embroidery machine, and I don't think this is a case for winging it. Hopefully their quote is within the budget.
Tonight though, I'm doing the couch potato thing. Doggie at my side, DS playing a far too life-like war game on the tv, and the darned cat going around meowing like her life depends on it.
That's about it for now.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Miscellaneous stuff.

I'm the first one to admit that I'm a less than enthusiastic housekeeper. Ok, I consider dust bunnies my friends. So, in an attempt to "pull up my socks" I've done lots of things - Flylady (too many emails, too frantic !!!!!), posting notes (too easy to ignore), setting out the cleaning stuff (I'm able to leap over the vacuum cleaner in a single bound), so I had to find something else that would work for me.
Enter the Blackberry.
For quite a while now, as many smartphone users know, the calendar on my Blackberry is the right side of my brain. If an appointment isn't in the Blackberry, it doesn't happen. So, I got this idea. Schedule my housework on the Blackberry! Kitchen on Monday, Laundry on Tuesday, Family Room on Wednesday etc. It's sort of working, I am doing more. Only one little problem. It's too easy to go into the menu and change the day lol .
So anyway, It is getting better.

Then there is the little (ahem) problem of the dog. She's getting just a tad too aggressive in sharing her love. She's not mean, she just thinks everyone that comes within her sight should come right over and pet, cuddle, feed or otherwise pay attention to her. So, she lets them know by barking furiously and lunging in their direction - which is funny because you'd think she'd know how long her leash is by now. But no, she charges at full speed until "yank" , she's at the end and almost does a back flip. It's the terrier brain - she just doesn't 'get' things.
Enter the battery operated dog trainer. I've tried the sonic collars before but there were too many false alarms - it would go off every time she shook her head or scratched. So this one is hand held - for me - and all I have to do is hit the button when she starts to do something wrong. Like bark at everything that goes past the window, or tackling the cat, or mooching whatever I'm eating, or grazing on anything my son leaves out for more than a nanosecond. I'm sure all the dog lovers out there understand completely :)
So far, so good. She immediately stops when she hears the unltrasonic beep, and looks around with a puzzled look as if to say "where the heck did that come from?"
Bottom line: it's working. Nothing else matters.

In the fabric department, the next project is to make a banner (2) for our church. I finally got out to the fabric store and found the right fabrics, even the right colours (woohoot) for the project. Now I just have to blow up the pdf picture large enough that I can use it as a pattern. I'm going to see if reverse applique will work for this. That way, I'll be able to use the same background thread colour around each piece. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Back in the saddle again....

It's been a hectic month. I've already bored you with the construction stories, and the wedding stories, but they're history now. The wedding was Saturday, and it was beautiful and it all came together, even with the saran wrap suspenders for the ring bearer whose tux pants just would not stay up.
Now, after a day of recovery yesterday, I'm back to quilting again. I'm finishing up a D9P in purples and blues, with some pink and green. The ladies from my Monday group donated the flannel for the back when they heard that it was going to a young girl in my son's class that was recently diagnosed with leukemia. She's in treatment right now, and having a rough time of it, so if you could send some prayers heavenward for Julie, I'd appreciate it. I should have her quilt done by tomorrow evening, so I'll bring it to her parents home so they can bring it to her.
I took the top to the classroom on Friday, and all the classmates signed a block. I hope she'll be able to bundle herself up in it and feel loved. Here's a peek.

A friend of the family started a "food chain." This is where families and friends cook dinner for this family so that's one thing that they don't have to worry about. The lady who organized it set up an account on What a wonderful website! It's a free service, where once the family account is set up, friends can log on and choose a date to bring a meal. You can see what was given the days before and after your date so you don't end up bringing spaghetti for the fourth night in a row. If you ever have to arrange meals, try this site. It is a great time saver, and a great organizing tool. There is even a sister site, which provides organization for a potluck dinner.
Check them out!