Tag Archives: nephew

Instant Gratification!

Well perhaps not instant, it took me a few hours from start to finish, but close enough!

Fold Over Clutch - Medium

I’m really happy with how it turned out! Especially for a first run of a bag with lots of curves!

Fold Over Clutch - Medium

I made a few changes after I finished it. When attaching pattern piece B, the half circle piece with the snap on it, I had used the recommended seam allowance. After taking it around for a night, the focus fabric was already starting to come out and ravel. ¡No es bueno!

Fold Over Clutch - Medium - inside

Today I unpicked the seam, took the whole top apart, and turned it back inside out. I used a zig zag stitch over the edge to basically overcast it on piece B, and then noticed the whole thing was fraying like crazy! So I overcast all those edges as well, even though they are on the inside and no one will ever see them. If I spend time and money to create something, I want it to last!

Fold Over Clutch - Medium

I also didn’t care for the top stitching method on the flap. I would rather have done it all at once, from one side, around the semicircle, and down the next side. She has you do the semicircle when you make it, then to the rest last. I’m just not skilled enough with curves to match the top stitching exactly.

Fold Over Clutch - Medium

And the last change I made is that I stitched in the ditch in addition to slip stitching at the end. I’m not kind to fabric bags, so it really needed the extra reinforcement.

Very relaxing yet a little challenging. The pattern comes in three sizes, and I wish I had enough of two coordinating fabrics to make the large sized one. This medium one is pretty nice, and the focus fabric is from a fat quarter. I think that one a little larger would be fabulous though. With the medium, I had to do quite a bit of rearranging to get my essentials tucked away safely.

Bonus: my 5 month old nephew, little Jack, apparently thinks the fabric looks particularly tasty. A little baby drool never hurt quilting cotton, and it kept him happy for a while.

I’m tired of being a scrooge, but I’m glad the holidays are over! Last night we went out to hang with family, ate, played with nieces & nephews, and played cranium. Getting to sleep at 4am is way too late for me these days! Today we had the traditional corned beef and cabbage with my parents & granddad. Last year my dad also made his own version of Hoppin’ John (called Hoppin’ Kevin) and it was amazing. Sadly we didn’t have repeat appearance of Hoppin’ Kevin this year. Maybe next year!! Or maybe I could step out on a limb and learn to make it myself… ha! Then it was off to celebrate one of my brothers-in-law’s birthday, and a cracked but delicious chocolate layer cake my mother-in-law made.

I’m just really looking forward to getting back into a routine. I like structure. Breaks are always hard for me to know what to do while balancing relaxation & productivity. At least we didn’t waste our week off together! We got so much done and had a really good time just enjoying each other’s company.

Now its time for a late late dinner of my homemade hummos leftover from last night! (See what I mean about structure?! I don’t even know when its dinner time anymore!!)



I got the Christmas presents done and given. Big successes all around.

I got some bad news about a good friend tonight. I’ve been pretty upset, but my nephew is spending the night and playing video games with my husband, and its very funny. He’s pretty hilarious for a 7 year old.

Rather than sit around bored and sad, I decided to embark on my next sewing project. One of my girlfriends keeps telling me that I need to be sewing over break to be good to myself, and I’m finally doing it.

Its another Keyka Lou pattern, the Fold Over Clutch, sized medium.

Here’s a picture of a sample from her Flickr photostream.

Flower Garden Fold-Over Clutch

We’ll see how it goes. I’m using a fat quarter I bought from a quilt shop in my hometown, and some fabric I bought last summer to make a sash out of.

Hopefully it will be relaxing.

Goodnight and happy new year.

A gift for a soon to be born nephew!

Inspired by this tutorial at Lil Blue Boo, I made a little wall hanging for my nephew’s bedroom.  You should definitely go check it out, Ashely at Lil Blue Boo does some very neat projects.  I decided to go with a momma and baby fish theme because Jackson’s mom and dad are pretty into fishing (as is the rest of my family.)


I made mine slightly differently than Ashley did, mostly because I didn’t want to go to the store.  I just made it work with supplies from my stash, and that of my mother.    We didn’t have any hardboard, so I gesso’d up some mat board.  Next time I’ll use hardboard so I don’t need to worry about it curling up once its been gesso’d. I cut it out to have a quarter inch space on all sides of the frame’s mat.  Turns out, thats how big the pre-cut mat is.  So for my frame that holds a matted 8″x10″ picture, the window is only 7.5″x9.5″.  We didn’t realize this until we were mounting the thing though! Oh well!  It just doesn’t float.  Learn from my mistake,  measure your window first!


Here we have some of the mat board with painting experiments on it.

I drew out the design I wanted on some plain sketchbook paper, and then colored it in to help me decide if that was going to be too much blue, or too much green or whatever. I also used the design from a wall hanging I did previously for the seaweed. Then I began to trace the fish and seaweed onto a hard cardboard using some variety of carbon paper.  I wouldn’t use it again, because I couldn’t erase any of it.


cut out a piece of mat board for the dark blue strip down the side. Then I cut out my little fishies & seaweed flourishes with an exact-o knife.  I don’t know what that cardboard was used for originally, but it was tough stuff!  Cutting it out was by far the hardest part of this whole project.

My big momma fish is half on/half off the extra dark blue strip of mat board.  So I cut out a small triangle of mat board, and then glued it onto her tail so it would be supported and all on the same level with the head.


After everything was cut out, I started painting.  I painted his name with rubber cement first.  It acts like liquid frisket, and keeps the area under it the base color, in this case white, and provides sharp edges.  The rubber cement was a little harder to use than normal masking fluid, only because it isn’t really made to be painted with.  It was difficult to make sure that the whole area was covered in a pretty thick layer, but it worked out just fine.


Next came the background, the seaweed and the fishies.  I wasn’t too worried about it being precise and just free handed it.


And I ended up adding glitter to a lot of the elements.  Real fish are sort of sparkly, so why not have Jackson’s fish be sparkly?!


I glued everything down, and once everything was dry I started adding dots, and “sewing” outlines, and little jewels.  I’m not usually one to embellish things this way, but I think it really adds something.  So I just kept adding things.  Then I decided I wanted to put a quote in from Dr. Seuss.   Bad idea! I hadn’t planned for it, and it just didn’t look right.  Then my paint pen stopped working correctly and being really spotty.   So I ended up repainting the background sea part.  I don’t like the result as well as I liked the first one, but I was in a time crunch, and it definitely looks better than it did with the splotchy, unplanned quote.


After it was all dried and glued together and properly glitterized, it got a few coats of spray on acrylic sealant and then was framed! Framing is not my area of expertise so my dear mother helped me out.  We ended up gluing the piece itself to white paper that was glued to the backing of the frame and elevating the frame’s mat with double sticky foam like Ashley did.

When all was said and done with it, I decided I like it.  I gave it away as a baby shower gift the afternoon it was framed, and it seemed to be well received.  I am considering making another one for a baby niece who has a big room with empty pink walls right now.  It will probably be larger, and perhaps pink.  I’m not a fan of doing all the pink for girls!/blue for boys! stuff, but her room is pink.  We’ll see.  I collaborate with my mom a lot on creative ventures, and she mentioned that her cricut machine can cut mat board with a special attachment.  That might open some more doors since the cutting part was the hard part.

~~Amy Jo