Friday, September 19, 2014

The Kid Giddy Studio

I'm finally posting these Kid Giddy Studio pictures. They've been around on the internet already since March I think...but not here on my blog. I have recently had people ask about the cutting table I designed and had custom made, so I wanted to get that up here too (the plans - not just the pics). I was posting some pics of the process - and then never shared the finished product. If you want to see those pics, you can visit the first, second and third posts.

When you come through the doors of the studio, there is a closet on the right, and then this table. I haven't seen the top of my cutting table this clean, probably since I took these pictures. I guess that just means creativity rules the roost and nothing else gets done. My photo box is set up in the corner with lamps on each side. One of the things I love most about this space - is all the natural light.
The doors to the studio are mini french doors with a side panel (static third door) and a glass panel up above, so you can still see the amazing wood and metal ceiling over the entryway (and the cool pendant glass tube lights).
Here's another shot of the table and the front windows. The closet is in the corner, so there are actually two entries. The side next to the table has double doors so they could swing open and not hit the table. The other wall near the studio entry has a regular door.  
Until my husband picks a desk of his own, he has taken over my porter desk (which used to be my sewing desk). Although we have an entire book wall, we still have more books in the studio. As the guys were building it, they were curious to know if we in fact had enough books to fill the wall. The answer is definitely yes. My Grandma Pratt's chair off to the right is no longer up in the studio - visitors kept sitting on it and I was worried the springs would give out any day and they'd fall through. Someday we will get a cooler printer's on the list.
Across from his desk, is my desk and my fabric stash. I decided to keep my fabric in the cabinet to prevent it from sun damage. So you can't see it - but it's in there. I promise. I also had some in the bookcases that run along the front of my desks, but had to take those off the cardboard bolts recently, as the bolts were ruining the fabric as well.

What you can't see in all these pretty pics - is the mess I made moving everything around that wasn't quite put away yet. So - just to keep things real...this is the area around my sewing desk during the photoshoot.
About the table: I drew up the plans based on what I needed. The long sides have two small drawers on the ends, and a long wide open space in the center. The door pulls down, not out, so I can slide large cutting mats and rulers inside, to lay flat. The short ends look like they have 3 drawers, but only the center ones works. The two other panels are fakes. We searched a local store for drawer pulls and ended up picking out some local artisan river stone knobs so no two are alike. The space underneath the table top is open and filled (as you can see) with 20 bins of craft and sewing supplies. I was planning on using larger bins or prettier baskets, but sometimes my wants are no so practical. I had all the bins in my closet and found I was getting them out constantly so I switched things around.  To download a copy of my plans for your personal use only - you can get them by clicking the image below. I called a couple of kitchen cabinet showrooms and hunted for the best deal - but I'm sure you can call a contractor too and see if they have someone that can make it on staff, or make it yourself.
We still have much to do to "finish" the studio space, and I'm sure it will always be a work in progress. Even a year later, the only thing I have hanging on my wall, is the light bulb bunting I made for quilt market. We are still trying to determine the best use of the wall space, while keeping it aesthetically appealing. We may even have to move the desks around a bit, but the pain of that could be worth it in the end. Eventually we will also have a little sitting space for meditating on life and it's meaning...(that's code for taking a nap because I like naps, it makes me more creative).

I'd like to thank Barn Light Electric for working with us to put these awesome lights in our studio space and in the entryway. They are made in America, and that means so much to me. You can read more about the lights we chose on the Barn Light Electric blog.  

Disclosure: Barn Light Electric provided these lights at a discounted rate in exchange for pretty pics for their blog and mine, as well as social media mentions. We had already chosen the lights, but I contacted them prior to purchasing to see about saving some money. Isn't that sweet?! They are such awesome people, and they have awesome lights. Check them out.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Turtle Love with Alison Glass Field Day Fabrics

I was so excited when Alison Glass contacted me to make a project using her new line Field Day for Andover Fabrics. She's such a sweet person and her fabric is so rich and colorful, so of course I said yes. While at quilt market, Alison and I talked about turtles - so when the package arrived I knew what I wanted to make.

 I probably would've only made one (a large one), but both of my daughters begged me for a turtle since they didn't have one yet (even though they have tons of other mommy made stuffy). Since I was sent FQ's I knew my only option was to make them mini. Who's gonna argue with that? Not me....and certainly not my girls. We love mini stuffies.

I had so much fun with them and took loads of pics. The more you make, the more fun they are because they are completely interchangeable. Here they are above in the turtle train...and below swapping shells.

We took them for a little vacation to the lake house and had fun with their very own photoshoot. They blended in nicely with the bright and rich colors around the lake, so they felt right at home.

 I didn't stop there and decided to keep going. Since I've discovered this whole paper piecing phenomenon, I also made a paper pieced turtle using her printed fabrics as the basis for the turtle and the Chambray fabrics (also from Andover) as the water.

I'm trying to plan out a little mini quilt with it, but may ultimately decide to use it as a block in a much larger quilt with other paper piecing patterns I hope to design in the near future. Keep an eye out for the turtle paper piecing pattern release on Etsy and Craftsy. I'll link it here when it's up.
For size reference: here is the large turtle from my book, with the mini turtle on top made with Alison Glass fabric.
If you want to make some turtles for yourself (large or mini), you can find my book on Amazon or in my Etsy shop - see the sidebar for links. To find Alison's beautiful fabric you can visit her AlisonGlass website or Andover Fabrics for wholesale info. If you'd like to win a Field Day bundle, you can enter her giveaway.

Thanks so much for visiting. If you are new to my blog, please be sure to click the follow button on the right, sign up for my emails (clicking the link below), and all that good stuff. Happy sewing!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Camp Doll Diaries - Cooking Up Fun in the Sewing Studio

This tutorial has been a long time coming. I first designed this quick chef hat pattern for all the young women at my church to make for girls camp. I wanted to post a tutorial, and then decided to write a book instead. Many months later since then, the folks over at Doll Diaries, contacted me and wondered if I wanted to share a tutorial for all their doll diaries fans. I have two American Girl Doll fans right here in my own home, so technically, we all jumped at the chance to participate in their 2014 Camp Doll Diaries event this summer. If you are coming from the Doll Diaries site - welcome to my Kid Giddy blog. This post will show you how to make the Chef hat. If you have come to my site first - you can make your hat and then visit my Apron post on the Doll Diaries site.
Hi everyone, I'm so excited you are here. We love cooking in the kitchen, but we also love to sew. Today we are going to sew this cute chef hat, and matching apron, so pick out some cute fabric you love and let's get started.

These chef hats and aprons are fairly quick and require a little bit of previous sewing skills, or the help of someone who already sews. The cost of making your own hat and apron will be approximately $3-$5 if you already have the basics, and I will share below some many options to personalize your hat and apron.

What you'll need:
2 fat quarters (your choice of fabric - it can be white or printed) (for beginners I recommend felt for the apron, as it is easier to hand sew, and less flimsy)
2-4 buttons
36" (or 1 yard) of grosgrain ribbon (satin is not recommended)
Basics: Pencil, paper, scissors, needle, thread, pins, sewing machine (helpful but is not necessary if you can and are willing to hand sew), and an iron.

What you'll do:
Step 1: Cut your chef hat band piece to 12.5" x 3". Fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew along the short raw edge, using a 1/4" seam allowance (green band). Open the band into a circle and press open the sewn seam (purple band). Fold the band in half so the right sides are facing outward and press (blue band).
Step 2: Press the band flat with the seam at one end (green band). Fold the band in half, and each half in half again (purple band). Press the whole band (blue band) to create crease marks for ease of use in later steps. Your band should look like the navy band above. Set the band aside.
Step 3: Cut out the chef hat top using any dinner plate that is approx 34" around. If you have a circle cutter or special ruler, maybe even a protractor - by all means use what you have that is easiest. I also recommend tracing on a piece of paper first to use as a template.
Step 4: Fold the top piece in half, and then each half in half again. Press all folds so you have crease marks to match up to the bands.

Note: These next steps (5-8) will be the most challenging as it requires a lot of pins. If you have wonder clips, those may work better for younger children, as will skipping steps 5-8 and start at 10.
Step 5: Open up the top circle piece and lay it right side up. Place the band in the center, with the raw edge up, and begin to line up the crease marks on the circle to the marks on the band. Begin with both sides, the top, and bottom.
Step 6: Pin the crease marks that are in between the sides, top and bottom that you just pinned. You should now have 8 pins (or clips).
Step 7: There are now 8 sections that are going to be divided once more. Pull each section to the sides to find the center and pin in place. Repeat this step to the other 7 sections.
Your chef hat should look like this, and have 16 sections.
Step 8: Option 1 - flatten and accordion each section in the center to create a box pleat.
Your chef hat would look like this.
Step 8: Option 2 - fold over each section to the right to create a knife pleat.
Your chef hat would look like this, and would have a sort of spiral effect.
Step 9: Once you have decided which way you want to finish your hat, place the hat around the arm of the machine and stitch the raw edges of the top and the band using a 1/4" seam allowance.
Step 10: If you do not want to pleat your hat at all, and would prefer to gather the edge for a completely different look, switch your machine to a larger stitch length. Leave a good 3" of thread on the beginning and stitch all the way around the top using a 1/8" seam allowance, and leave a 3" tail at the end too. Gently pull on one thread at time to find the piece that will cause it to gather. One will and one won't.
Step 11: Continue to gather the top piece from both ends of the thread, and space the gatherings evenly all the way around as best you can.
Step 12: Pin the band to the inside using the crease marks as your guide (same as steps 5, 6)
Step 13: Sew the raw edge all the way around using a 1/4" seam allowance, and remove the gathering stitch to finish.
Your chef hat will look like this and have a gathered fluffy look.

If you'd like to personalize the hat or apron you could add the following:
1. Name or initials
2. Pocket on the apron (2.5" x 3")
3. Applique shapes
4. Embroidery details
5. Fabric markers, paint or tie dye
6. Felt flower embellishments

Now that you have finished sewing your hats and aprons, it's time to get cooking in the kitchen. Some of our most favorite recipes are Cherry Salad (which is Gluten free!!! and has been pinned like crazy on pinterest), Wonton Soup, and my childhood memory Fluffernutter Balls!

There are so many ways to make this chef hat and apron set just the way you want it and yummy things to whip up. I would love to see your creations, and hope you'll share them with me. Please follow and tag me on Instagram and on Twitter @kidgiddy, or visit my Kid Giddy Facebook page to post a picture of your doll's new chef attire and be sure to use the #kidgiddydolldiaries hashtag. I can't wait to hear what's cooking in your kitchen. As for ours, it's smoothies galore these days, and a few bunny grahams. Be sure to check out the other Camp Doll Diaries events to see what other fun things there are to do this summer, for all your doll fans.

Thanks so much for visiting and sewing with me. If you are new to my blog, please be sure to click the follow button on the right, sign up for my emails (clicking the link below), and all that good stuff. Happy sewing!

Friday, May 30, 2014

A Little Sleep and Fun with Podcasts

The last two weeks have been full of after market sleep recovery, spending time with my amazing husband for our very own staycation, and these two fun podcasts.

This week I spoke to Stephanie Kendron from Modern Sewciety and had so much fun. I actually had a hard time keeping my southern Texas accent at bay and enjoyed hearing hers! It brought back a flood of memories.

Last week I had fun talking with Mark Lipinski on his Creative Mojo podcast and somehow missed seeing him at quilt market. He just might come up to Maine and come sew with me. Hopefully Stephanie will too.

I hope you'll give them both a listen - there are some other fun guests on these episodes as well. Thank you Stephanie and Mark for having me on your shows - I had such a great time chatting with you both!

 hope you all have a great weekend. I'll be playing with my new EQ7 software and can't wait to share what I come up with.