Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Monogrammed Make-up Bag

For my second foray into embroidery, I made this monogrammed make-up bag for my college roommate. I told her about 3 months ago that I'd make her a make-up bag, so since it took me so long to get around to it, I thought I'd add something special. This was done using split stitch, and a pattern from this website, which has lots of old embroidery patterns for monograms.

I can't wait to try out some new stitches and new patterns! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Whiskey's Bows ...




 and #4

... have we mentioned how cute our puppy is?!
We're just a little obsessed. 
And for the record, the bows are all me, Leigh would want me to back up the statement that she has nothing to do with this. ;)

Monday, January 28, 2013


I finally finished my first quilt! It isn't perfect, and it's definitely not square, but it held up through one gentle run through the washing machine, so that's a good start. Here it is all wrapped up and ready to be shipped!

This quilt was inspired by this beautiful quilt by craftyblossom. She makes such beautiful, simple quilts.

Here are some of many photos I took of the 160 squares I cut out... I was proud of just getting through that step!

And then sometimes we try to be artsy...

I embroidered a little note to my new cousin in pink, using stem stitch. I'm new to embroidery, but the Needle 'n' Thread website has a great tutorial for deciding which stitch to use for your lettering, and she has lots of other great tutorials on here as well.

Before I started I laid out the whole thing in powerpoint so that I was sure to like the final design. I'm not a very impromptu person when it comes to layout... or just about anything. Also, it is shocking how much calculation goes into making something look "random". (Leigh also helped quite a bit with this step!)

I also calculated my fabric cutting down to the last triangle so that I could have enough fabric. Stupidly, I bought it before doing deciding on the layout, so I had to make sure that I had enough of each color.

Also, I originally assumed that since I was using 1/4" seam allowances, I would have to cut out 4.5" squares, then cut them diagonally and be done with it... this is obviously not true, since there's that extra seam down the middle of the square. (I'm a great engineer, btw.)
After googling this (yes, I could have used trig, but I chose google instead), I found a quick method for calculating the needed size for half-square triangles using 1/4" seam allowances:
Finished Square Size + (2 x 1/4") + 3/8"
Finished Square Size + 7/8"

For most of the actual sewing of this quilt, I followed Quilt Class 101 on the Chasing Cottons blog. She provides multiple tutorials on different ways of doing each step. I was especially grateful for her binding tutorial, since that part was less intuitive than the others. I used the machine to sew one side down, and then hand stitched the other.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Stockings!

So my dad apparently decided this year that he no longer liked the stockings that my brother and I have had since we were little. He said they didn't match each other or anything else, so he bought some new ones to replace them. So as payback a surprise, I decided to just make the whole family new stockings!

I've had my eye on this pattern for a while, but didn't really have any reason to make a slew of stockings. I loved the reverse applique, however, so now that I finally had an excuse to make them, so here's the final product, followed by a quick run-down on how these came to be.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


First of all, I want to say hi, and welcome to our blog. We started this blog just to have somewhere to remember what projects we've done, and post some photos of them. I realized that over the years that we've been knitting/sewing/crafting/cooking, we've produced many things that we liked (and some that we didn't) but then forgotten. We'll give them away, and then never remember that we made it, or if we use it ourselves, not remember what type of yarn was used, so I don't know how to wash it or how to re-create it. I also wanted somewhere that I could document future projects that I am designing in my head. I usually want to combine a bunch of different ideas, and this will be a great place to compile them.

We will try to post all links to where we find patterns, tutorials, etc., but this is more for us to remember what we're doing, and less an instructional blog. I take a lot of ideas from other people or from existing things that I like, and then I try to reproduce them, or make them with a few of my own modifications.

The first few posts will be a mixture of what we've been up to for the past year (and maybe even before), and projects we're working on now. When I sat down to think about it, I realized that we have actually been making quite a few things, although my "to do" list is still much longer than my "have done" list. I'm sure that will be the case as long as Pinterest exists, and I don't want to think of a world in which it doesn't!

A little about us...
We are nowhere near professional crafters, or seamstresses, and we do not claim to be. I (Kelsey) am a structural engineer who just graduated last May with my Masters, so I'm out of school for the first time since kindergarten, and I'm finally finding the time to do all the projects I find on Pinterest. Leigh is getting her Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry, and will hopefully graduate in the not-too-distant future. So all of these projects are done in the in-between times that we try to make for ourselves. We also recently got the cutest puppy in the world:

the day we picked her up                                        ...and 3 weeks later

She's grown since then, sadly, but is still adorable and now looks more like this: 

(she really loves sticks)

She takes up a lot of our time and energy, likes to steal yarn and lie down on fabric, and do many other things that lengthen the amount of time that our projects take. But, she's totally worth it. And I'm sure you'll see a lot of her on this blog, because we take a LOT of pictures of her.

To end this post, just as Leigh did, I will leave one gratuitous wedding photo. (It has been 17 months and we're still just a little obsessed.) Maybe one of these posts will be all the things we (and all of our wonderful, helpful friends) did for our wedding.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

First Post!

I get to do the first post since I'm doing all the formatting and layout and Kelsey's designing a quilt. So there. This is now our blog. Hopefully, it will be a good way to document random things in our life together, like crafts, cooking, pictures, inspiration, various musings, etc... Ideally it will help us remember stuff we've done, liked, and made that we're so good at forgetting. It's mostly for us, but maybe we'll let others see if they really want to.

Either way, this is us, and this is our life.