Thursday, June 9, 2016

Summer Stitching

I cannot believe how quickly time flies. At the beginning of this semester, I thought I would be able to blog and accomplish so much more than I did. Unfortunately, I took on a heavy teaching load this last semester, so I was swamped with grading and dealing with students. Just when I thought I had gotten into a nice routine, the semester ended. It's summer, which I am so thankful for because it's major slow down here in Tucson. The students and snowbirds have gone, and things around here are quiet. Things have slowed down so much, that I can finally get back to projects and things I have had in mind to finish quite some time ago.

I initially had plans to make myself a springtime quilt with hand embroidered pillowcases. That plan is now a summertime quilt, with embroidered pillowcases.

If you follow me in Instagram, you know that I finished these pillowcases a while ago. It might actually have been during the Spring that I finished them. I found the pre-printed pillowcases for hand embroidery, while shopping for embroidery floss, and decided I needed to stitch them.

I love embroidered pillowcases, and have a few that I have stitched from this great company, Bucilla. I found this flowered pair here. A few years ago I stitched up this debutante lady pair, from the same company.

Back to the floral pillowcases, though. I decided they would be cute with a patchwork quilt. Being it that I love embroidery so much, I had to incorporate some onto the quilt. I found this darling pattern in Claire Garland's book, Embroidered Treasures for Children

I have been spending a little time here and there working on this embroidery. As soon as it is complete, I can finish up the quilt and call this project finished!

What are you working on?

Friday, January 8, 2016

New Year, New Inspirations

It seems that whenever I am elbow deep in projects, I drop everything I am doing to start something new. I picked up this darling book, This Is Sadie, by Sara O'Leary, with illustrations by Julie Morstad. I am an instant fan of the illustrations in this book (they reminded me of Heather Ross' fabric collections, which I obsess over) and decided I needed some hexies with similar prints and colors for a mini quilt project. 

It's been raining a lot in Tucson and with the cloudy dreary weather, the only real thing to do is focus on making, while staying dry indoors. Of course this is why my photos are not excellent. I couldn't get the lighting just right with the clouds rolling around outside.

I simply adore this book, and the illustrations make me want to play make-believe all day long with a fox doll in tow. In my case, I'll have a rowdy miniature pinscher who wants to steal my breakfast going on adventures with me. 

Incidentally, I am in love with this other children's book, Julia, Child, by Kao Maclear, also illustrated by Julie Morstad. My friend, Nadia, and I sort of look like the illustrations of Julia and Simca, and I am seriously considering adding neck scarves as a wardrobe accessory.

I am a total fan of Morstad's. Her illustrations really inspire me to make, create, and have daily adventures. 

For now, this adventure is a little hexie making while I wait for the sun to peak through the clouds. 

What is inspiring you to make and create in the new year?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hello 2016

Having some time off for the holidays allowed me to slow down and catch my breath after a very hectic year. I can't believe that the last time I posted here was in May! I am very grateful for opportunities I had in 2015, and even more thankful for the lessons I learned from helpful people... and not so helpful people. One thing is for sure, after how busy this last year was, I realized that slowing down and clearing different things out that weren't beneficial or productive, is essential to my overall happiness. 

That being said, hand embroidery and sewing makes me oh so very happy, so my commitment is to keep doing more of that in this new year, and share it here with all you fellow makers. I also adore hiking, I took the photo above when I completed my favorite in-city Tucson hike up Tumamoc Hill. I am hoping to do more stitching and hiking in the new year, as well.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I post with more frequency over there... I know, it's horrible that I would have abandoned my blog in that way. I have so many ideas and a new schedule for this year, so I am hoping to share more about what is being created, made, and dreamed up in the Bobby Pin Bandit lair. For now, here is a little year in review of the most loved photos from my Instagram feed from 2015. 

Here is to a new year filled with happiness, joy, and only good things for each and every one of you! Thank you for visiting my blog, my instagram feed, and staying in contact with me. I am so happy to know that I can reach out to the crafty community and always find inspiration in all of you, and I hope you all find inspiration here, too.

Cheers to 2016! Sending you all my best! Big hugs all around!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Where have I been?...

I suppose the time has come for me to apologize for not updating my blog as much as I should... er... as much as I would like to. It thrills me that anyone would stop by to read my blog, and so for those of you who might be wondering where I have been, this is where and why...

I promise, the reason for my absence here, is a good one. 

If you have read my "about" section, or have been following my blog or instagram, you know that I am a graduate student. I am finishing my PhD, and desperately trying to use up my words to complete the last two chapters of my dissertation. Funding, at this stage in my process doesn't come easy, so in addition to teaching university and college courses (which I've done for 8 years), I had to tap into some of my other work experience in order to secure more permanent work. 

While I was living in Albuquerque, completing my doctoral coursework at the University of New Mexico, I had a job in the main library. I helped catalogue and digitize new acquisitions into the library collections. You can see one of the collections I helped build and digitize here. I loved that job... LOVED. When I made the decision to move back home to Tucson and write my dissertation here, leaving that job was the most difficult. 

Needless to say, I am back in a library again. In addition to teaching traditional and online university courses (online classes seem to be the big thing right now), I have been working as an elementary school librarian since January, and IT... IS... AMAZING!

This is why you haven't heard much from me the last few months. I spend the majority of my time working with young students in the library, then writing my dissertation, and teaching college courses. I stitch and sew in the evenings, and share the majority of that work over on Instagram.

"I left my Heart in the Library" totes available in my shop.

So, that's where I have been, working with pre-school through 5th grade students. Don't tell anyone I said so, but they are way better than college students ;)

All that being said, I have made a commitment to myself to get back to sharing consistently on my blog. Even though I am busy with working in the library, writing, or teaching, I would be lying if I said there wasn't stitching and making going on around here. 

Personally, I thought this was a good reason for my absence around here lately. I hope you do, too!

Until next time!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Stitches & Freebie

I fell in love with green, and all the shades and hue variations of it, when I watched the Wizard of Oz. Something about the Emerald City was just way too appealing to me. When I was able to catch the musical stage production of, Wicked, in London a few summers ago, the costumes during any act that included the Emerald City were breathtaking. 

I assume that's why I love St. Patrick's Day. Usually red is my favorite color, which is why I love Valentine's Day, but I guess green is one of my favorites, as well. That being said, I wanted to combine all the colors of green that I love into a St. Patrick's Day-themed embroidery. 

If you would like to stitch one for yourself, you can find the pattern here.

What's your favorite color? Does your love of that color make you enjoy specific holidays or celebrations more than others?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stitchalong Update & Some Sewing Projects

I feel that February went by in a blink. I thought I would have so many projects finished by now, and instead it seems I have more to do! That's okay, though. I love having sewing and embroidery projects on my list of things to complete.

Something I did finish, was the #stitchthrough2015 Stitch-along that Monika from Bits of Stitching and I partnered on. Her patterns (see previous post for links) are so darling and I loved adding some fun stitches to my version to create some varied texture.

On a different, yet related stitching note - I had some Valentine's-themed embroidery that I completed last year and hadn't done anything with. Of course, I am a bag lady, so this year, I turned them into a Valentine's Day tote. I didn't have a chance to share that tote until now, but I did get to use it for a whole week before the 14th of February.

I had a stash of Valentine's Day fabric that was perfect for this tote. I especially love the fabric I used for the reverse side of the tote, it has this whole sewing theme - "sew in love."

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have taken to sharing more there than I do here. It's only because I forget to take pictures with my camera and I use my iphone instead, and really, I forget to manage all my devices. I guess a bit of a new year's resolution for me is to make sure I take more photos with my camera so I can share more projects here.

That being said, I realized I hand't shared my version of the Box Car Tote by Green Bee Patterns. I fell completely in love with the size and shape of this tote. It fits everything I cart around with me - laptop, books, embroidery projects.

It's no secret that I am a huge Aneel Hoey fan, her fabric designs and embroidery patterns really tug at my heart strings. I came up with an idea to combine some embroidery patterns from her Little Stitches book with fabric from her Little Apples line. I hadn't decided on a bag pattern until I saw the Box Car Tote pattern, and it all just came together perfectly. 

Here is the finished bag. The front pocket panel has the embroidery on one side and the fabric on the other. I tried to create contrasting accents throughout the bag, by using three different fabrics styles from the Little Apples line.

The inside has a pocket that fits my laptop perfectly. 

The reverse side of the tote has a large pocket panel, as well. I absolutely adore the fabric and the embroidery. I have only used the bag once, which is ridiculous, I know. I just stare at it mostly. I'll start using it up eventually.

There are my stitched and sewn projects from February. What did you work on this month?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Embroidered Tote Bag

When I caught a glimpse of the Tuesday Bassen for Sublime Stitching pattern, I knew I had to stitch it up. I had been wanting an embroidered tote (yes, I needed yet another one), and when I saw the Tuesday Bassen for Sublime Stitching pattern, I knew it would make for a perfect tote. I ordered the pattern and a tote, and transferred the design to fabric faster than it took the postman to walk away from my house after delivering it. 

I just adore all the elements of the pattern. They remind me of sketches in a notebook. I tried to use as many different colors as I could to make them vivid. 

I decided to add one of the patterns to the reverse side of the tote, as well. 

Now all I have to do is fill it up and use it up!

Time to get to the February Stitchalong patterns I shared in the previous post. Have you decided to join us?