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Typewriter Cover

4 Sep

Spontaneous sewing. It happens. Suddenly, you have an idea for a thing and you have to put everything on pause until that project is done. This time, it was a bag, a laptop bag. I’ve never made a bag before, really, so I’m not sure why I was so certain I could pull it off.


I’m going to stick with the questionnaire format. Here goes!

1. Who is it for?
Me! It’s been awhile since I sewed myself something.

2. Why did you choose these fabrics?
I’ve been hoping to use this collection (Type by Julia Rothman) for a while. I love the old-school office supplies and the reminder of a simpler time. It makes me think of a typing pool (and how grateful I am for word processing). The complementary fabric was a challenge. I chose Bella by Lotta Jansdotter and Cotton Shuffle by Riley Blake, plus some gray polka dots from Hobby Lobby.

3. Why did you choose this design?
I’m not sure about others’ experiences, but I found designing to be much harder than sewing it.  Do I want a pocket? Do I want adjustable straps? Does it need a closure or clasp? I also fretted over how to incorporate all of the Type fabrics, but woke up one morning to the idea of making the little keystone nod to art deco at the top. I also wondered about which of the many-colored typewriters to use on the fussy-cut square so I deferred to 12 year-old me and picked her favorite colors, teal and orange. Done.

4. How long did it take?
A few hours total, over a couple of days.

5. Was it difficult to make?
It was different than anything else I’ve made, but relatively easy. I started with this tutorial from Sewplicity and it was very helpful.

6. What did you learn from this quilt bag?
I used the zig zag stitch for the first time (can you believe it?) to sort-of serge the raw edges on the inside. It made it look much more finished.

7. What music did you listen to while you worked on it?
I have a Pandora station that has become a Frankenstein-esque mixture of genres. It ranged from Michael Buble to Sam Cooke to Shaggy (and his timeless classic “It Wasn’t Me.”)

8. What would you improve, if you could?
I really like how it turned out, but I used some scraps where a full piece of fabric would’ve looked nicer. I also had grand plans for sewing the straps in between the layers and I sewed on the binding before remembering that plan. Oops.

9. What makes you happiest when you think of this?
It has a typewriter on it!

Now, Domo wants to show you the back and the polka dot lining:


Let me know if you have any questions!


Bathroom Window: Mini Before and After

1 May

When we moved into this house, it immediately felt homier than any other we’d shared. But it was also in need of the most work. As I think about it, that’s probably why I liked it immediately–it needed me and I needed it. I needed its high ceilings, its rooms full of uneven wood floors, its wall to wall windows in every room (26 in all!). It needed someone to scrape the gum off the floor, to paint over the scribbles on the walls, and tend to the overgrown brush in the yard.

One room in particular needed attention. No matter how much we loved the house when we moved in, Garrett and I were a little scared of that room–the hall bathroom. Everything was a different shade of white, from the three types of tiles, to the original bathtub, to the cheaply updated sink. Not to mention the trim and the walls and the wobbly toilet. It had something of an “abandoned sanitarium” vibe.

We ignored it for as long as we could, and even in the middle of the night, we’d happily take the extra steps to go to the second bathroom at the back of the house rather than risk the inevitable goblin attack in the hall bathroom three steps away. Eventually though, we took action. After weeks of fussing about what color would go with seven shades of white, I finally just grabbed a bucket of our leftover paint and took after it. (If you’re wondering, Valspar’s Filtered Shade isn’t so bad.) After adding that bit of color, the light bulb lit up and all sorts of colorful accessories were suddenly perfect for that space.

Until this week, though, the dilapidated mini-blinds were still hanging.  I was finally convinced of what to do about it when I saw this photo on Design*Sponge. The first photo connected the dots between that window and the chevron fabric I’d had in my cabinet for two years. After 45 minutes of measuring, sewing, and dusting, I had this:

Bathroom Window Shade

And it only took two years to get that from this:


(This is a cropped photo from my phone. Boo to me for not taking more before pictures of the house!)

There’s certainly more work to be done, but I’m happy to have this little project  completed. No goblins would dare live in such a cheery room!

Homemade Valentines

19 Feb

Garrett the Husband decided to make me some homemade valentines this year. I have a fondness for those cheesy, almost nonsensical vintage ones, with the puns that don’t really mean anything. And if there’s one thing he’s good at, it’s hilarious nonsense. I’m pretty sure he could make a living at it if someone would let him, so I’m sharing these in case any of you have a job opening for a Hilarious Nonsense Contributor or Director of Non Sequiturs. Or, you know, if you just need a chuckle. valentinesI’ve been on a quilt hiatus due to some six day work weeks and a bit of oral surgery, but I do have a few new squares to share. More to come later!

A Stitch in Time: Part I

25 Oct

This is where I work.

I started this quilt in an effort to preserve my sanity. I really needed to pour myself into a non-work-related project, and one day I suddenly decided that a quilt was the medicine I needed. The fact that I had never made one wasn’t going to stop me.

One great thing about quilts is that they have a clear starting point and a clear ending point. There are certain basic steps you have to follow, but you can bend the rules all you want in-between. I have a tendency to be overwhelmed by “the details,” especially when I’m learning something new, so I decided to keep this guy super simple. As in, don’t-even-cut-the-fabric-simple. You see, I tried this quilting thing once before, and I didn’t even make it past the “cutting tiny triangles with dull scissors” step before I decided I was in over my head. So rectangles it is!  I won’t win any awards for this little ragamuffin, but I will have a quilt at the end, and that’s good enough for me.

The Marriage of Two Bookworms

16 Oct

This weekend, two of our best friends got married on a hillside. At the rehearsal, the weather was chilly, windy, and a dense fog hung over the mountains. But on the day of the wedding, the sun shone and a breeze wafted gently through the trees. They couldn’t have planned it better.

Our friends are a couple of bookworms. They own hundreds and hundreds of books between them (thus the Great Summer Bookshelf Project of ’12). So, a few months ago,  when theys starting posting photos of handmade flowers and paper chains made of literature, I wasn’t surprised. But I was amazed. Here’s a taste:

You’re just my type

11 Oct

Mod Podge Typewriter


Typically, typewriters and glue need to stay as far apart as possible. Unless your typewriter came out of Life magazine and your glue is Mod Podge, then you’re probably okay.

I was feeling the urge to create a couple of weeks ago and started rummaging through my house to find the right combination of what-nots to match the kind of craft I felt like making. I wanted to paint a little bit, I wanted to decoupage a bit, and I wanted something vintage-y. I can’t say I had a plan in mind.  Even now I’m not sure how it came together, but it came together fast. I just painted some sun-streaks on the canvas, then picked up my Exacto-knife (okay, it’s really just a box cutter) and went to town on the first intriguing picture I found in an old issue of Life magazine.

I remember that I really debated on whether to spend the dollar on the magazine, but in the end I’m glad I did. The only problem I’m having now is, is the picture finished? Do I need to add lettering, more pictures, or leave it simple?



The one where I get started

11 Oct

This bingo card is one of the first things I see every day. That is, once I’ve woken up a bit… which is usually after I’ve made it to work. This card is also the first piece of decor I hung in my office. I get fairly frequent questions about its significance, but there isn’t a good answer. Is “I liked it” good enough?


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