Saturday, October 15, 2011

Inaugural Gussy's Inspriation Workshop Post!

I have been loving looking at these posts for weeks and weeks now, and figure it is about time I start participating myself. Especially since my sister introduced me to by saying that "If I wasn't pinning I wasn't winning" :) Between Gussy's weekly collection of posts and pinterest there is inspiration for days! All the pictures below are from pinterest and clicking on them will take you to the original or pinterest link-none of the pictures are my own. This weeks prompt was red, and I came across tons of ideas....

I love the color combo seen below, I would think you would have to smile everyday if this was how the outside of your house looked!
Pinned Image

I love the fall look pictured above. I have seen alot of stripes mixed with prints layered together and am going to try out the look very soon (like maybe tomorrow at Sunday brunch)!
I love the way to interject red into your wardrobe, seen below and think with a little brainstorming I could make a version of the beige tank top with roses seen below. Hmmm...Pinned Image

And finally I am loving the above wreath I found on etsy ( I have seen alot of these wreaths on the Internet and think it would make a perfect addition to our front door to celebrate the holidays.

Thanks Gussy for such a prompt to collect inspiration!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

First free-motion Quilt

I finally finished my first free-motion quilt. It was a gift for a close friends second baby. I really loved how it turned out, and its easily one of favorite creations up to this point.

Quilt Top
Quilt Back (my first time not doing a solid back- I like the look!)

Close-up of the free-motion stiching

Also my first hand-embroidery accent
The "Roaring Lion" Label

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

For the fans

To appease my readers (yep more than one!) here is a simple grilled chicken recipe that we made for dinner tonight for the first time and it was absolutely amazing (and so easy). Its from one of my favorite food websites, My Tasty Kitchen. (And while you are there check out the Pioneer Woman's Blog)

  • 1 pound Chicken Tenderloins
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • ¼ cups Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper

1. Put the chicken into a bowl.
2. Add all other ingredients.
3. Mix well, coating chicken on all sides.
4. Let chicken marinate for 1/2 hour to 1 hour, covered in the fridge (or longer if you wish).
5. Place chicken onto a screaming hot grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until the chicken is cooked through and has gorgeous golden brown grill marks.


Monday, June 20, 2011

A new toy

I have always read about sergers and they seemed to be pretty advanced. I figured I needed to master my sewing machine before I could take the step to owning a machine that made seams in clothes. Then every pair of pajama pants I made for my family fell apart at the seams-literally. Recently I mentioned to my husbands sister, who has done quite a bit of sewing, that I wanted to try a serger out. Turns out she had bought one used and it had been sitting in her closet ever since! In trade for figuring out how to use it so that I could then show her- I got to borrow it for a few weeks. Last night I got it up and running (after quite a bit of cursing) and its even better than I thought. It sews four rows at once! Here is what each side of the fabric looks like after one pass through the machine.

The search is on for me to find a great used one at a great price so that I can have one permanently.  Let the project runway clothes making practice begin....

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I am sure when my son's daycare asked us to write our child's name on their towel for water activities they meant with a marker on the tag. But where is the fun in that? A very quick project with double sided fusible web and appliqué stitching. Yeah for summer and running through the sprinkler!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I am in love...

Lately most of the sewing I have done has not been working out well. It has been incredibly frustrating that nothing I have tried has turned out the way I had hoped. That has helped make my newest attempt, which I loved immediately in its own right, even more exciting. I have been working on a quilt for a  friend's newest arrival. While I have made a handful of quilts, the have been mostly basic strip quilts that I have finished either by hand tying them or simply stitching along the seams of the strips. Inspired by a pile of quilts that I need to make (that correspond with a slew of new babies born this spring) I decided it was as good a time as any to try free motion quilting.  I was anxious to try something new, but given just how much time I have spent admiring so many of the gorgeous quilts on-line that someone else had made, i.e. like this one....
it just had to be tried. The above mermaid quilt is from a quilting blog I love reading, Oh, Fransson. I poured over her tutorial on free-motion quilting several times and finally decided to give it a go. Practice makes perfect so I took a few scraps from the current quilt top and from my stash and gave it a try. Below is my practice scrap front and back. It was much easier and less intimidating than I had thought. I have already started working on the actual quilt and I just love how it is turning out. More pictures to come. I have a feeling I am hooked!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

LPH's Art Bag

I just loved 2 little hooligans' tutorial that she posted on making a Tote Bag awhile back. It got me thinking that it could be the perfect bag for my friend LPH's new art room/studio in her house. So 1st step was to find the perfect fabric. I absolutely love Heather Ross's fabric designs. When searching for some of her out of print fabrics on Etsy I came across the Mendocino collection and knew it would be perfect.  The trick was going to be how to including as many of the prints as I could without it being too over the top. I also used this bag as an opportunity to use some new sewing gadgets I had purchased. First up was making my own bias tape. 

I cut out strips on the bias and used the above gadget and an iron and suddenly custom bias tape. This was the easiest of the "new" techniques I tried.  Next up was figuring out how to use one of my new feet, a bias binder foot. It took a bit to figure it all out, but very worth it. Not once prior to using this foot was I able to get bias trim on anything successfully sewing both sides. Using this foot you can not only get it perfect on both sides, but also only sew it once instead of the usual two passes.  I can't believe I ever sewed bias tape without this foot- it makes it SO much easier!


The tutorial was easy to follow, and the rest of the bag went together pretty easy. I made a simple pencil case to go with it. I was able to incorporate more prints by using different fabrics for the pocket interiors
I loved how it all turned out in the end. The perfect items to hold the first of the Roaring Lion labels.  Happy creating LPH!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Label Conscious

   It is my first "Roaring Lion" label to be put into an item!!! The reveal of what I made will have to wait, as the recipient hasn't gotten her gift yet.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Upcoming excitement

It would be no exaggeration to say that I love picking out the fabric for a project just as much, if not more, than the actual project. I have a whole collection of new fabric that has arrived this week which means a whole collection of new projects to complete. Here is just a sampling of my newest fabrics......

Monday, April 4, 2011

Coat Rehab

I have had this navy coat forever and have kept it around because I have a sentimental attachment to it. But do you notice the ridiculous velcro blocks instead of buttons? I have not worn the coat for several years for this reason. Recently I came across the coat in my closet and had an idea. I thought if I could rip off the velcro I would then be able to put buttons in their place. I could resurrect it just in time to wear it this spring. I searched on-line and in fabric stores and just could not find the buttons I had envisioned. I was looking for something that would be able to complement the yellow piping in the pockets. I finally decided I could only find what I wanted if I made them myself.  I used these to make my own fabric buttons. For the fabric I used scraps I pulled from my stash, since I would not need that much material. I followed the simple instructions included in the kit, and in about 5 minutes, with no sewing involved, the buttons came out just like I wanted.

Next step was making the button holes. The buttons, at 1 1/2" were larger than the button hole foot on my sewing machine. Not to be deterred, I thought if I could some how piece two button holes together I would have a large enough opening. The first attempt at my "solution" did not show much promise.

But, having just bought myself a titanium seam ripper, I was prepared to painstakingly rip the whole thing out and start again. The second time went much better and  produced what I had envisioned in my mind.
I repeated the "double" button holes four times, being careful that the two holes slightly overlapped. I did this so that when I opened up the button hole I could rip through the seam in the middle and maintain the integrity of entire button hole. After sewing on the buttons.. MAGIC... I have a brand new coat
with, if I must say, some really cool buttons

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Argyle Invasion

When my roommate after college started planning her sister's bachelorette party, I eagerly awaited the theme. I have enjoyed many a St. Patrick's day with these sisters, and over the years we have been all decked out in various costumes (think ridiculous yet awesome) , so I could not wait to find out what was in store for us to honor the upcoming nuptials. The theme was announced as a bar crawl, in the spirit of 9 holes of golf, and we were assigned to wear as much argyle as possible. Instantly I thought of some fabric I had being admiring for awhile and I had idea. I would make matching clutches for everyone, and in argyle no less, for the perfect addition to everyones' outfits! So I set about making 14 clutches using Noodlehead's gathered clutch tutorial. I even scored a pink golf cart ribbon on-line and the design all started coming together.
The first gathered front panel sewn....

And then one panel became 14 panels...

The maid of honor suggested I add a wrist strap; so everyone has less chance to lose the clutch during a night of drinking.  
Sewing that many purses was great practice for straight seams and adding zippers to an item. A bad habit I have is that of procrastination, and I waited way too long to finish the project. This meant I had to skimp on the interior purse lining by sewing an unfinished seam. Not something too noticeable, and it allowed me to make it to the party on time (I finished sewing at 5pm the day of the event, just enough time to shower and arrive 15 min late to the party). Here are a couple of shots of the final product in action, during what was an extremely fun night!

ps- The magic of the Internet allowed me to find thigh-high argyle socks, helping secure my win of "best dressed" for the evening :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

So it begins....

I can not think of any better way to kick this blog off than with the following post. This past Thanksgiving weekend it's yet another Kopitzke game night (they are legendary, as an FYI). It is the wee hours of the morning, and Lindsay and I are the last ones standing. What better time to discuss the dreaded "five years forward outlook"?  As we try our best to compress all the time we have been apart into a few brief hours of conversation, we cover what we would prefer to do other than our current day jobs. If there is anything I can count on Lindsay for,  after 18+ years of friendship, is that she can push me to achieve the amazing. More than once she has told me to keep a journal, and write down all those crazy things that make up my life. I have always loved how Lindsay captures those iconic quotes on cocktail napkins and scraps of paper to later report back to her own thick archives of journals. I have several started attempts, and for each of those few weeks I see it through, I love having them to reflect back on. But now there are even bigger plans in the works. 1- There is the internet and all its magic. & 2-We both have a larger world dominating plan than just a journal. So here is my first step into all those great ideas and plans we made in Tammy's kitchen in November 2010.  Lindsay, and I love you more than words can ever adequately express. I think its no surprise that when I thought of the perfect (-totally published in our high school yearbook front cover famous-) picture I wanted to use to kick off "The Roaring Lion" that there was none other than a lion in the background. May the Roaring Lion and Pinkerton Hall begin their successful world domination. -your forever FDA