Monday, January 31, 2011

The weekend in review


 7 the number of relatives (or future relatives) visited last weekend
 165 the seconds of pure joy experienced while riding Space Mountain (double if you get to ride it twice!)
118,800 the embarrassing margin of defeat handed to me by MDH while riding Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster
29 the number of miles driven from Anaheim to Momen + (a Japanese fabric store in Torrance)
5  the margin of victory for the Kings over the Lakers on Friday night
16 the current temperature in Boston, MA, birthplace of Dick Dale, musician responsible for the Space Mountain theme song
58 the number of fabric stores in the greater San Diego area that I did not visit while on vacation
-16 the final score for Bubba Watson, winner of the Farmers Insurance Open this weekend at Torrey Pines
68 the number of days until I have to change the tagline on my blog
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Fed Express



What kind of Federer fan would I be if I didn't give a shout out to the greatest tennis player of all time after reaching his 27th consecutive quarterfinal in a major?  Roger Federer reached the quarters at the Australian Open after defeating Tommy Robredo on Sunday and quickly reached the semis after defeating his good buddy Stanislas Wawrinka.  Next up is Novak Djokovic.  Novak has been hot, but at my house, if you don't pick Fed to win a major, you might as well sleep on the couch.



So, in honor of the great RF, my pick for blog of the week (although it's technically probably not a blog) is Tennis-X which features a list of tennis blogs from around the world.  One of my favorite articles is taken from Fed's post-match press conference after his win over Wawrinka.  Read the whole article here.  


The man picks up his biggest rival from the airport, he sets off a fashion frenzy every year at Wimbledon, and he's tri-lingual!  In my opinion, Fed is unmatched by any athlete in any sport.


Go Fed!
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Zig Zag completed


My minky fabrics arrived last Saturday so I was able to complete the zig zag blanket.  I used extra strips of each of the Soul Blossom patterns and pieced together the binding.  With so many busy fabrics, I think you hardly even notice that the binding isn't all one pattern.


Here's a peek at the back of the blanket.  It's the super soft white dot minky fabric that I love so much.  It adds a nice lightweight cuddly touch.  


My next mission will be to find the best resource for the minky.  According to my crafty aunt, it's in the Fabric District in downtown Los Angeles where she tells me I can get all of my favorite fabrics for a fraction of the price.  Not only that, but just a few blocks from all of the fabric magic is the Garment District.  Department store sample sales, designer brands, $5 price tags.  The only thing that could make it better would be a Diddy Riese.  Sitting here now, I wonder how I ever left LA :)
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Have you ever gone to a big box furniture store and looked for a nice, reasonably priced desk, table or couch?  It seems like a simple enough task, but it can be frustratingly painful.  To me, the furniture shops in town just haven't updated their inventory in the last 30 years.  I found myself wondering, why doesn't someone just go to Pottery Barn and make a similar looking item for half the price?  Well apparently, somebody did come up with the idea.


It's called Pottery Barn Look-Alikes.  They take all of the work out of finding the less expensive versions of all of the Pottery Barn stuff you love so much from their thrice weekly catalogs.

Do you love owls?  Unless you've been living under a rock for the past five years, you know that owls are in.  Pottery Barn Kids has the "Brooke" line of bedding that features an appliqued owl sham and plush owl stuffed animals.  



Pottery Barn Look Alikes found this similar idea at Target.  And like the website says, isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery?


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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pardon my Dust


If you've visited Federlily lately, you may have noticed some big changes.  After dusting off the cobwebs of my code writing skills, I think it is finally getting closer to completion.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend.  Roger Federer, Australian Open Mix Channel, 3 day weekend, what more could you ask for?
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Simple Sewing Project

As I have mentioned, my sister-in-law recently had twin boys.  With all of the work I knew she would soon be facing, I wanted to make her something really useful.  One night she mentioned that she needed something to keep the door to the babies' room open.  The flashbulb went on and I remembered a book given to me by another sister-in-law.  It's called Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter and it's full of a wide variety of projects that are, you guessed it, simple.

This project was quite easy to make and it definitely functions as a unique and creative doorstop.  I was able to put it together quite quickly, my only problem was not having enough beans to fill the entire doorstop.  Not wanting it to weigh too much, after filling it about half full with beans, I filled the top with pillow stuffing.  It's probably better for the little ones anyway.


I love this book for easy to follow instructions and the sketches for each of the patterns.  I'm much more of a visual learner so the more pictures, the better.  A few years ago I made the All-Day Tote for another sister-in-law and, at the time, it was one of my more ambitious projects.  I didn't have any experience making bags back then, but the book helped me get to the finish line.  Unfortunately, I don't have a photo to share, so you'll have to trust me that it turned out alright.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tutorials for Everyone

One thing that I love about exploring tons of different creative blogs, besides all of the beautiful photos and inspiration, is a good tutorial.  Being that I'm basically a self taught, guess and check type sewer, I learn a lot of lessons online.  YouTube has plenty of great how-to videos demonstrating how to attach a binding or make a mitered corner.  I've also gotten my fair share of lessons from tutorials from other bloggers, which leads me to Diary of a Quilter, it's my...




Since at least half of everyone I know is either pregnant or raising a youngster still in diapers, I thought this would be a popular idea, it's a diaper clutch tutorial.  Maybe you've seen the fancy Diapee Wipees at your local baby boutique or maybe you didn't yet realize that you needed a cute little clutch to carry your diapers and wipes.  Why not make your own?


Diaper Clutch by Diary of a Quilter

My first attempt at a diaper clutch took a bit longer than I had originally hoped.  The trick is to figure out where to sew and how to insert the lining inside the outer part, but after that, it's actually not too difficult.  The great thing about online tutorials versus your average store bought sewing pattern is the number of photos.  Step by step photos and instructions are key to a great tutorial and chances are, if you get stuck, you can post a question to the author or others who've been following along. 

The next one I make I think I'll add some extra lining or maybe use a heavier duty fabric - oilcloth might be a possibility.  Another thought would be to make one with a more masculine feel, perhaps some camo - the Mossy Oak breakup!

Be sure to check out Diary of a Quilter's other great tutorials to find more inspiration and post your photos on the Federlily & Friend's Flickr page.
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Soul Blossoming Saturday

No I didn't spend the day meditating or exploring the deepest regions of my inner being.   Actually, I slept in, finished my latest Jodi Picoult book, watched some football and worked on another baby blanket project.  This one was done on a rather sophisticated color palette, for the distinguishing toddler.  It's the Soul Blossoms line by Amy Butler.  I started with a bundle of fat quarters and then stormed the internet looking for an exciting new quilting pattern.  




After a few hours, I finally settled on a zig zag pattern.  There are several patterns and tutorials on the zig zag, but I think the one I settled on was the simplest.  It starts with cutting 3" strips of each fabric.  (I used a white fabric in between the colors to try to keep the various patterns a little easier on the eye.)  After sewing the colored strips to the white strips, press the seam and cut them in to 5 inch squares.  Once that is done, the hard part starts.  You have to lay the squares in alternating directions until you have the zig and the zag.  Keeping the blocks laid out, you sew one row at a time on the diagonal.   Finally, once all of the diagonal rows are joined together, you trim the corner edges off until you have your rectangle!






The top is now completed and the next step for me is determining the backing.  I've decided to sew my leftover color strips together to make the binding.  I'll be sure to post the finished project, hopefully soon!

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

P is for Penny

Phew...the holidays are over.  It's the start of a new year, work has seemed to ease up a little bit and I'm starting to feel more like myself again.  With the new calendar, I'm taking the approach that all of the stress from 2010 is in the past and am now looking forward with optimism to the exciting unknown.  

Something that is known, however, is that the baby showers will keep on coming and all of the projects that come with them!  While this next project wasn't technically done in 2011, I'll let it slide.  I start with some new burp cloths (3.0?) using Amy Butler's Midwest Modern.  The backing for the new and improved 3.0 version is a Gerber cloth diaper.  I liked making this version because it seemed to have the perfect size already.  I don't know much about actually using a burp cloth, but it seems like a very practical absorbent and soft material.  (Props to my brother who trusted me and my lack of actual baby experience to pick up my one day old niece despite my fear and hesitation.)


In case you're digging the bag in the photo with the burp cloth, it's by Petunia Pickle Bottom and you can find it online here


On top of the burp cloths, I also added a custom photo frame and mat and this "P" blanket using more of the Midwest Modern fabric.  The back was my customary white minky dot fabric.  This one got finished and shipped off just in time for Christmas for little Penelope.

Well, it's life back to normal again, which, in our house means time for new sewing projects and even some man-crafting.  (More on that another day.)
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A New Feature



Recently while I was in the Bay Area for the famous Renegade Craft Fair, my 2 year old nephew graciously gave up his bedroom for MDH* and I to crash for the night.  I couldn't help but be inspired by all of the childhood cheeriness around the room.  I love the bold colors, the stuffed animals, and the striped "F" beneath the window.  In case you're wondering, yep, the windmill jungle theme quilt is an early project of mine.


My nephew - isn't he awesome?


So while many of the projects I make are for baby rooms, I often wonder where the Moms and Dads of the world come up with their baby room themes.  I recently stumbled across a blog from the Apartment Therapy folks called Ohdeedoh and it is sure to give you tons of inspiration for the room of your dreams and it is definitely bookmark worthy.  The mission statement for Ohdeedoh is good design for people who happen to have children.  Check it out here but beware, you may find yourself browsing the gorgeous photos for hours.  


Maybe you're new to blogging like me, or maybe you're looking for inspiration to mix up your everyday internet browsing.  In any case, I'm calling this my first entry in hopefully a new weekly (?) feature (sound the horns, du du duh dah)...




Let me know if you like what you see.


*my dear husband
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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy 2011!  I hope you had a wonderful and memorable start to the new year.  Just to make sure I started the year off right, I spent at least the last two hours browsing fabric shops online and dreaming of all of the projects to tackle in 2011.  I also gave myself a google search and discovered that my "Q" blanket was featured as a "Sunday Sewing Inspiration" at Fabric Shopper Online.  It was a very big day at the house to see a Federlily photo posted on another site...progress!


And speaking of progress, I have new photos of some Christmas projects that were recently completed.  (Note to self, do not wait until December to start Christmas projects.  It's okay to start working on Christmas gifts in the Fall, or earlier if the inspiration strikes.)  These pillows were created from my new stash of Christmas fabrics inherited from my Mother-in-Law.  




Her stash was also used for the garland on the tree this year.  I received so many great red and green fabrics that I was constantly spreading them all across our living room floor.  My husband and I lovingly referred to it as the fabric barf.  Lucky for our guests this weekend, the "barf" was neatly packed away in its new compartmentalized plastic storage bin before their arrival.  I think I'll make a resolution this year to better organize my fabrics, or at least keep track of all of the incredible additions before they can disappear to the underworld of the unfinished project storage bin.  That reminds me, my second resolution will be to finish the Christmas quilt from 2003 before Christmas 2011. 


Happy New Year everyone!  May 2011 bring you the inspiration and the courage to be your best!
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