Monday, July 8, 2019

New Pillow Covers

I have projects in the works. Some have deadlines, some do not. But some days, I don't want to work on any of the things I am supposed to be working on. When that happens, I do  something just because I feel like it. Today, it was new pillow covers. What drew me in was the fabric. I ordered a couple of new fabrics, which I do not do often right now to save money. They sat there looking at me until I caved.
The new fabric is the cat print and the little pink flowers. I had the blue on hand and I loved the way they worked together.
 And this is the way it came out. I love it. The colors are more muted than I usually use, but I am very happy with them.
 And on the back, I used a zipper, instead of the usual envelope closure I usually use. I used to avoid zippers, but I have done so many with the bags I am making for my craft fairs, I am no longer avoiding them. I just put a small flap over them to hide them.
And it looks like this when it's done. I love the way it looks and the zipper is hidden. This fabric was from my stash.
And then I wanted another one, same fabrics, different design. So I made this one. It too has a zipper, hidden under a strip of fabric. I used the same backing fabric.
And here they are together. The second one turned out a bit smaller than the first. My measuring mistake, but fortunately I had a pillow that fit into it anyway. Now I have to get back to my regularly scheduled sewing. Talk to you soon.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Rotary Cutter Problems

I L.O.V.E. rotary cutters. I began quilting back in the day when they were relatively new and I know I didn't have one for the first small quilt I made. In 1991 when I made my first bed size quilt, I knew I wanted to get one. Money was pretty tight then, so I couldn't afford a larger one, which I wanted, so I got this:
This is a 28mm cutter. It worked fine for me for awhile. When I bought it, I also couldn't afford a large enough mat, so I bought an 11"x17" self healing mat. I still have it and use it for sub-cutting and trimming. The 28 mm cutter I use for curves now.

Once I could afford an upgrade, several years into my quilting, I bought a larger mat and this:
This is my 45 mm cutter and I used this baby for years and years. This is now the cutter I use for paper and other non-fabric cutting.

When Olfa came out with this model, I though that might be good since the guard moved back into place when released and you could secure it with the red button when done. I felt like it caused my blades to dull even more quickly with the sliding feature, so now I use it for my specialty blades like the pinking blade you see here and it is a dream for that use.

So then, Olfa came out with the Splash cutters in the early 2000's I think, and I loved the new quick change blade feature. I felt that it was a lot safer way to go. So I bought one. But recently, there has been a problem with it.
See how the guard doesn't really cover the blade? This is, I feel, a recent development. But I couldn't figure it out, so I ordered a new cutter. Then I decided to mess with this, because what else could I do to hurt it if I wasn't going to use it any more?
 So right here, where my stiletto is pointing, I usually have a build up of lint, which I clean out every time I change the blade. I cleared it, and it still wouldn't move all the way into position. So I forced it.
And that's when I noticed there was a ton of build up between the cutter handle (blue) and the guard (yellow). I used a pin, a tweezers, a business card to slide in there and after about 10 minutes, I was able to clear out all the lint, pretty much.
And now, you can see, my guard is all the way up again. I wanted to share this, in case anyone else has had this problem. I tried to google it, but no hits. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think so. So if this has happened to you, I would love to hear what you did to solve it. If it happens to someone you know, you can pass this information along to them.

I still L.O.V.E. rotary cutters and have only ever used Olfa. And now I will have another one to add to my collection tomorrow. I bought a pink one this time! Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Long Time Gone

I sorta fell off the edge there my friends. I got busy doing things and I kept thinking when I had something finished, I would blog. I am now thinking that I need to just get on here more often and talk about what I am doing, finished or not. So this will be an update post.
 First of all, there have been lots of roses blooming here at the Garden House. This is a small selection of some of the beauty.
 This gorgeous rose is new this year. It is called Sedona and it's beauty is in the color variation from the center to the exterior petals. It smells lovely too.
 There have been lots of great strawberries at the farmers market and I baked this wonderful treat. It is a vanilla cake covered with a whole pound of strawberries. You can find the recipe at Smitten Kitchen.
 I am working on crocheting this blanket for my oldest daughter. I am almost half way done.
And I am participating in the Summer Book Club QAL with Kate Basti on Instagram. Never too late to join in if you are interested.
I have been working to restock my creations for my next craft fair in the fall. This is my box of ear phone tacos.
 And I had an idea for something and I went searching the internet for Grosgrain ribbon. I found a reasonably price source and bought a few colors to start.
And this zippered pouch was the result. Another new item for my craft fair. Plus, I am slowly working on quilting my big yellow slab quilt and am doing some quilts for Christmas gifts. So you see, I have been busy, even if I forget to document it here.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you soon.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Yellow Yellow Yellow

Yellow has long been my favorite color. It is sunny, warm and happy. I love all yellows. I have long had quite a stash of yellows, and when it starts to get low, I panic a wee bit and buy some more. I know this is my aesthetic, and not everyone's, but I try and incorporate it whenever I can.

When Cheryl and Amanda Jean released Sunday Morning Quilts, I learned about making slabs out of scraps. I loved the idea. I ran a flickr bee where we used the book as inspiration for three years. A lot of great quilts came out of that bee. But when that finished, I still hadn't had enough of slabs. I decided to start a yellow slab and see where it took me. That was 5-6 years ago and I am sorry to say that project has languished in a bin for quite some time. Yesterday I decided to pull it out and see how it made me feel.
 This is the big chunk I have done so far. So many of these fabrics are so old. Some ten or more years old. Some nearly 20 years old. I am so happy to see them again, like old friends. I remember buying them at my LQS, which has since closed. It melts my heart a bit.
Yesterday I made the strip on the left to add to the big chunk. I am thinking this will end up a comfortable lap size quilt.
 I still have quite a few strip pieces that I am debating exactly what to do with. I don't want just a bunch of long strips, so I may sub cut them after joining them together.
And I still have a bunch of smaller scraps as well. The goal is to use all of these up. I haven't yet decided if I will use any of my more recent yellow scraps, which all live in another different bin. Those scraps are more tame, as I began cutting my scraps into usable sizes a few years ago, so 2.5 inch strips, 2.5 inch squares, 3.5 inch squares and 5 inch squares. I did save a very few odd sizes, but not many. I did this with all my colors.
 As I was sewing and pressing seams, I saw this small strip of aqua colored Newspaper Butterflies left from a recent project, and decided to add it into the slab for just a wee bit of interest among all the yellow pieces.
And when I trimmed it to fit, I had this one small square, which ended up in a log cabin block that I love. This will also be incorporated into the slab, once I decide it has enough logs on it.

I am truly enjoying working on this once again. It is fresh and new for me and I am thinking of ways to quilt it, some machine, some hand embellishment. I am excited with this. I needed to find something to re-energize my sewing. I was in a funk. This may just have been the ticket out of the funk. Off to sew now. See you soon with an update and hopefully a finished top!

Friday, May 24, 2019

600th POST!!

I can hardly believe that this is my 600th post! I never imagined that when I started this little blog back in 2011. Boy, has blogging changed since then. Not for me, really. I still do what I do. I even go back and read some of my early posts to see what I was doing back then. It's like opening a time capsule. So, here's what's up here lately:
Last Friday was our anniversary, and so I made us a pan of brownies to celebrate. My husband isn't much into desserts, but he does love a good brownie and these are really good and fudgey.

 I had finished a blanket for the middle daughter, so now I am starting one for the oldest daughter. These are the first two rows, after frogging 15 rows that I hated the color order of.
 Now I think I am on the right track with this one. At least I hope so. It's coming along.
And these are all the yarn colors that will be in this very colorful ripple blanket. Pattern is by Lucy at Attic 24.
I whipped up these cutie shorts for Miss N, from leftover fabric. I made her a Geranium dress a couple of years ago, and she has outgrown it, but misses the "puppy" dress. This is the last of this fabric, which is a knit.
 And since I was able to use up a big chunk of my stash making bags and pouches for the craft fair, I decided to reinvest some of the profits in more fabric.
 These came from Fat Quarter Shop. I only bought things that were on sale. I wanted to get the best bang for my buck.
 I also chose things that I thought would be good for future bags and pouches, since I am planning to do another craft fair, or hopefully two, in the fall.
 These came from Hawthorne Threads. I love this Anna Maria Horner print. I think it will make a stunning bag.
 I have already cut out a ton of bags and pouches and began sewing them together this week.
My goal is to get them all finished up by the first of September so I have time to play as well. And I have a couple of quilts to make for some family members that are due by Christmas time as well. No idle hands here!

So if you are a frequent visitor here, I thank you. I hope you come back often. Now, on towards post number 700, the next big milestone. Have a great weekend.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Hands 2 Help...Done

Hi everyone. This is my final post for Hands 2 Help 2019. I finished two baby quilts for Jack's Basket, all while getting ready for my craft fair. Here are my quilts:
 Here is the first one. I had made these 16 patch blocks a couple of years ago from a jelly roll. But then I got stuck as to what to do with them next. Until now.
 This one is rather girly, with pretty pink flowers on the back. I was happy to find a use for this big chunk of fabric that has been in my stash for awhile.
 This is the second one. I feel like this one could go either for a boy or girl. More of the 16 patch blocks from that same jelly roll.
 And this fabric has been in my stash for more than 10 years. I used some to back a baby quilt for my first grandson. He will be 13 this year! Below is a close up of this backing.
And here they are together, right before I shipped them out to Jack's Basket. I hope they bring some happiness and joy to a couple of families. Great thanks to Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for once again bringing us together for some really great causes.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

A New Catitude

I have lived with my sister for 2 years now, I can can honestly say that she has come a long way in her understanding of quilting and sewing and all the components thereof.  I was working on a quilt for a friend in need awhile back and needed a few fabrics in blue, to augment my stash. My sister went to the LQS with me and found a line of fabrics called Cat-I-Tude. She fell in love and bought some of the ones she liked best. This is the post about what I made for her with those fabrics.

 She wanted a messenger bag made with some of the cats on the panel. I did not have a pattern, but I have made enough bags now, to come up with a plan. This is the front with the flap down.
 This is the beautifully striking paisley fabric for the sides and the bottom of the bag. It was in long strips and the colorful dots that were a part of that particular design became the strap for the bag.
 This shot is with the flap opened up so you can see the blue paisley lining that was also a coordinating fabric in the line. Also, there is a different set of cats underneath the flap.
 These are what I call the cat-cessories that go with the bag: two small pouches for business cards and any other small items you don't want banging around in the bottom of your bag.
And lastly, the beautiful kitty on the back of the bag.  Glad you dropped by. I will talk to you again soon.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Off to the (Craft) Fair

Remember when I said I was working on items for a craft fair? This was my very first craft fair as a vendor. It went really well, and I wanted to show you some of it.
 This is our booth set up. My sister helped me so much with set up and manning the booth. She also was so very helpful in how to arrange all the items to their best advantage.
 We used one of my quilts on one of the tables. I think we decided that as pretty as it was, next time we will go with white so as to not detract from the colors of the items.

I named my booth Six Sisters Stitchery. This is after my grandmother and her 5 sisters. 6 of the bags were named for them. So, for example, the makeup bag is the Nora Bag. Just a happy little nod to the wonderful women who helped me to be who I am today.
 And here are a few of the items I made to sell. This one I call the Ayumi Bag. The pattern is a free tutorial on Ayumi Mills' blog, the Pink Penguin. I wrote to her and asked permission to make a few of these to sell and she said yes. I made a tag to hang on each bag that gave her name and blog name as a source of the pattern. They were very well received.
 I made these phone stands, filled with crushed walnut shells. I love mine and these were also very popular with the fair goers.
And then, to use up my 2 1/2 inch squares from my scrap bins, I made these little patchwork pouches. I call these the Iva Patchwork Pouch. I love seeing the history of my quilting in these cute pouches.

I didn't take up close pictures of everything, but I had a lot of products and variety. All of the items were made from my stash. I only had to buy zippers, Pellon 809 stabilizer and some tassels I put on one of the zippered pouches.

I asked, and received permission for a couple of designers to use their patterns, in exchange for making sure my signs gave them credit for the patterns. I was happy to do that and to tell my customers about where the patterns came from. Most seemed to appreciate that I was giving proper credit to the designers.

Some of the customers were quilters too, and while they didn't want to buy anything, they were happy to stop and chat with me about our shared love of quilting and sewing. So a fun day for me all the way around.

Thanks for stopping by, and I will talk to you soon.