Film Noir

After about a year of sewing and researching and pinning…booooom, I have a quilt.

Ahhhhhh! I made a quilt! I made a quilt! I made a quilt!

This is a super easy quilt top (1600 Jelly Roll Race Quilt Top Tutorial) with simple quilting and binding. But of course it took me FOREVAH! It’s not that it was difficult at all, I just took baby steps in doing it. And I researched the shit out of each baby step. And over thought each baby step. Also, doing the binding by hand didn’t move things along with great speed either (blanket stitch on the machine next time for sure!).

Ugh, me and my “process”!

But look!!! A quilt with all kinds of crinkly goodness – that I made!

I decided to name it “Film Noir” because it reminds me of the old school black and white Hollywood detective/crime movies and tv shows (The Saint, Peter Gunn, Manchurian Candidate – the original version with Frank Sinatra, etc.). The technical definition of Film Noir includes the words “low-key black-and-white” which this quilt totally is. The black is pretty black but there are a lot nice grays and the white is way more of a cream than anything. The deep burgundy backing – a nod to the notorious femme fatales of this classic cinematic genre. Even in black and white you knew that their lipstick was dark and sexy.

Time to cuddle up with the puppy and watch some Perry Mason!

Quilt from above

(It’s 62 inches long by 51 inches wide)


Word Up

So I kinda love my Kindle…

When I first bought it, I didn’t take it out of the box for about a month. I would look at the box, go to touch it and then shy away. I finally told my friend that encouraged me to buy it that I wasn’t using it (due to it being in the box and all) and he pretty much called me a nut job. But once I opened that boxed and charged that bad boy up…

It was love at first book.

So sleek, so easy to read and so naked! Sooooo naked!

Enter fancy Kindle skin (and his buddy Book List)!

Here’s a clean view of the front…

And the back…

Cool, right!?!? (Just in case you can’t place the painting, its Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night.)

Although this change totally sexed up my Kindle, it still left it a little unprotected. All I could see in my head was me walking and reading with my Kindle (which I’m known to do – A LOT) and tripping over a water hose (which I’ve also done) AND DROPPING MY KINDLE (which, so far, I’ve managed not to do). But have you seen the prices of protective covers for these things?! Ridiculous!

Enter a Pinterest search and a DIY Kindle cover tutorial!

Adorable, right?!

Check out the inside!


But wait! There’s more! Check out the extra storage pocket!

I’m so in love with this thing I can barely see straight. A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E.

The majority of this cover was patterned after the Whipstitch Fabrics’ Kindle Cover Tutorial that I found on Pinterest (of freakin’ course). I added the pockets on the left – a feature I saw while looking thru pictures of other DIY’d kindle/nook/tablet covers. I figured they would be a nice place to store Kindle/Amazon/Starbucks/Panera gift cards and booklists (alwayssss thinking…).

Oh and by the way, this little project cost me under $5 dollars. I used some sew-in fleece that I bought on accident a few months ago. I already had the interfacing, cream lining material and thread in my sewing stash. The only thing I purchased was the elastic and the rippled (main) fabric. This project doesn’t take a lot of material and you could make one out of two fat quarters easily.

It’s also very quick to put together. I worked on cutting everything out and interfacing all the pieces over a course of a couple of nights. After that it was super fast – I put the whole thing together in one evening (an hour or two – I’m slow and I had some self created issues to work thru too).

Although I have no real reason to make another one for myself, I totally plan to make at least two more. One more for me and one for a friend of mine. Annnnnd maybe a couple of more for me…you know, so when I change books I can change holders. Variety is the spice of life right???

Keep Calm and Sew On

Timing is everything, right? Well the timing of my Brother sewing machine crapping out on me sucked. I was literally in the middle of a project/seam. Not cool. Not cool at all. Luckily for me, I never got rid of my old machine that my Dad bought for me for my birthday YEAAAARS ago – 10 years? 12 years? So to finish my project and to get thru until I got my new machine, I broke out my old Kenmore sewing machine (it doesn’t go backwards but whatevs).

Unfortunately, the Kenmore has an UGLY and dirty hardcover and the new Singer has a boring and soft plastic cover, so I wanted a new cover for them. I’d been looking for sewing machine dust cover tutorial for a while and just couldn’t find one to my liking. But, in the midst of my sewing machine hubbub, I came across this awesome tutorial from The Crafty Gemini here.

Cute, right!? This tutorial gives you all the basics you need to know to make a simple cover so that you can make it as simple or as super fancy as you would like. I went with the Keep Calm and Sew On fabric from Michael Levine because not only is it HILARIOUS, its perfect for this project.

I was going to use the material all the way around, but realized that it would have been toooooo much. Too, too much. So instead, I went stash diving and dug up this colorful fabric (which I used for Charlotte’s boxy bag for the bag challenge last year) for the top and side panels. I was so happy when I saw how closely the colors matched up!

Check out and follow The Crafty Gemini on YouTube – she’s awesome!!

Keep Calm and Stitch On y’all!

Out with the New

Remember last year when I got my new sewing machine? If not, feel my excitement here. I was soooooo excited because it was a super fancy, electronic, bells and whistle extravaganza Brother sewing machine with features I’ve never seen before. I oooooooohed. I ahhhhhhhhed.

Fast forward one month and a couple of weeks outside of my one year warranty…can you guess what happened?

If you guessed it started to crap out you win!

Mid project, I was sewing along and the needle started to shake and seize up. Then the damn thing stopped and beeped at me. BEEPED AT ME. I turned it off and tried sewing again.

More seizing, more stopping, more beeping.

I realized that something was seriously wrong immediately. And by “seriously wrong” I mean really expensive to fix.

Fast forward a couple of days…I called my local authorized Brother repair shop and asked how much it would take to fix my sewing machine – roughly. Guy on the phones says to me, “Well, the basic service fee is $169 and we always do the basic service. Anything else we have to do to make your machine work is going to be extra labor and possibly extra parts costs.”

Things only got better when I explained to him what was wrong with my machine and what type of machine I have, “Ooooooooo, it sounds like you have a MAJOR PROBLEM. You need to buy a new machine.” He called my model disposable. *tears*

To be honest, I figured that was going to be the case so I’d been looking at new machines the moment my Brother crapped out. I knew that fixing my machine was going to be costly and it simply didn’t make sense to spend more money to fix my machine than it cost to buy the damn thing to begin with. Soooooo…

Ta-daaaaaainsertjazzhandshereaaaaaaaaaa! My new sewing machine – a Singer 7258 Stylist

Yuppppppers. New machine.

I found this one on sale for $169.00 on (yup the minimum it was going to cost to fix my Brother machine).

But check this – before I ordered my new fanciness, I was going to try and take my Brother machine to the shop and turn it in for credit last Saturday. My Dad, at first, volunteered to drive to the service shop with me to look at new machines. But, when he heard I wanted to go super early in the morning and that I was already eyeballing the Singer for the price of getting my machine serviced, he offered to buy it for me.


Everyone is a winner! My Dad didn’t have to ride to Huntington Beach and I got a new machine!

Keep calm and sew on people!


Hmmmmm, fabric stash enhancements have been made…

Yummy, right? I swear, fabric is a sweet, sweet drug.

But unlike my yarn stash (which is slowly getting out. of. control.), I actually can use up my fabric fairly quick.

See! Already making a dent!

So first I whipped up some adorable boxy project bags for both Eve and I (mine on the left and Eve’s on the right). I combined two patterns together to make these little boxy numbers: Boxie Pouch Tutorial and Cosmetic Bag Tutorial. I like the no guts of the first pattern but I like the corner construction of the second pattern. I also made them nice and roomy – these guys are roughly 10.5″ long, 9″ wide and 4.5″ tall. So rooooomy.

I also made some of these too!

I originally made both of these for me because I was just testing out the pattern for future gifts and contest prizes, but Eve really fell for the red floral pouch. So hers it will be!

I have to say, I reallllllly like this pattern – DIY Pouch Sewing Tutorials – and its results. It was recommended to me by Amy Beth from The Fat Squirrel Speaks and its perfect – not a modification needed. I used home decor fabric (bird and vine) and outside decor fabric (red floral) for the outsides and twill for the lining without any interfacing. They whipped up super fast, which is good because I’m not the fastest seamstress in the world. But you can easily knock one of these out in an evening with the most basic sewing experience. (Do it!)

I used the measurements for the large version and they came out 13″ long on the top, 7.5″ long on the bottom, 5.5″ wide on the top and 7.5″ tall. A great size for a number of different knitting/crochet projects and any other trinkets you may want to stash into it. I so see myself making a ton of these in the future. TONS. TOOOOONS.

Must make all the bags!

Stripes and More Stripes

Finally! Some progress!!!  46 inches of progress!!!

Been knitting away at my Noro Striped Scarf (my project: Abstract Spectrum) and finally making some headway!

I know that a ton of people have commented about how boring it is to knit because its miles and miles of knit one purl one knit one purl one knit one purl one but I don’t mind it too much. Its football and basketball season so I can sit and watch a game and mindlessly knit on it.

However, this thing is eating up some yarn something serious. Naively (apparently), I only bought two skeins of yarn to make this scarf – one each of Abstract and Spectrum (Red Heart Boutique Treasure) – and started knitting. And knitting and knitting and knitting. Then one day I was reading on the KAL board and I noticed that someone bought four skeins of yarn. FOUR? Say whaaaaa?

I looked down at my two skeins and said to myself…”Shit. I’m not going to have enough yarn to make this as long as I want.”

But then I thought “Ohhhh, I get to buy yarn. Word.” Off to the craft store!

I’m about 46 inches in and still working on with my original skeins. Hopefully I will only have to use a little bit of the second set of skeins and have more than enough to maybe make a matching hat using the Turn a Square beanie pattern. THAT WILL BE CUTE RIGHT!!! You know, for the three days out of the year I will be able to wear them as a set. Cuz really, it was in the high 80’s today and it’s NOVEMBER.

Speaking of keeping warm and toasty, I’m also working on a quilt!

So how happenin’ is my quilt top? I used a Kona Cotton Solids fabric jelly roll called Silent Film (Robert Kaufman Fabrics) from Material Girl Chic on Etsy and this video tutorial to make this bad boy. SUPER FAST AWESOMENESS!!! Like four hours maybe? I still have the backing, binding and the actually quilting to take care of, but whoa! A quilt top! SUPER PLEASED.

But, as much as I love the quilt top, I love the look on Bailey’s face even more – “WHAT?!” Heeheehee…he cracks me up.

One last thing…not a project but a purchase. A sexy purchase! Heeeeheheheehehehe…

I finally bought my second set of Knit Picks interchangeable circulars – HARMONY STYLE! These babies FINALLY went on sale and I immediately bought them. They are so gorgeous and so nice and I want to cast on something new so I can get to using them. And don’t think I didn’t consider doing just that (almost cast on the Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief to be exact). But, alas, I showed some self control and kept on knitting on my striped scarf.

Look at me! Self control!…….Oh look! Chocolate chip shortbread cookies!

Two of Three

Bag #2 – my drawstring bag with a lining – is in the house for the Put it in the Bag Challenge!!!

I love this little bag! I was initially nervous about bringing together three different fabrics to make this per the tutorial – two for the exterior and one for the interior – because it’s simply not my strong suit. Two, yes. Three, no. But, I remember reading somewhere that if you buy fat quarters in bundles they will always work well together (it’s simply the way bundled fat quarters are suppose to work). And sure enough, I used three fabrics from a five pack fat quarter bundle and I love the combination.

So darn cute and more than enough room to hold a knitting project of the sock, shawl, fingerless mitt kind.

As for the tutorial, I really liked it. The instructions were very clear and concise and the accompanying photos were nice, clear and helpful. The only modification I made came when making the bottom of the bag square. Although it’s scarier than hell, I like to cut my corners out like in this tutorial over sewing the corners up first and then cutting them.

I just like working with less fabric and I find this method way less bulky and easier to work with when matching up seams/creases. Just a personal preference.

Yeah! Two bags done (here’s the first one) and one more to go to complete the challenge! As far as my next bag, I’m looking to make the tote from Brett Bara’s book Sewing in a Straight Line. When I thought up this challenge, this was the first pattern I decided on and I haven’t wavered. My only issue is picking the perfect fabric for it…granted I’ve purchased fabric for it, I’m just not completely sold on what I’ve bought so far. Of course. Fickle.

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