Monday, February 25, 2013

One of Those Days

I am having one of those days.  You know, you want to sew, you have the time to sew, but you sit at the machine and don't feel like sewing at all.  I cleaned the kitchen, did the laundry...still nothing.  So here I am, writing a blog post instead.  It won't make me feel like sewing either, but I do have a few things to show you, so at least there is that.  Here we go...

 I finished J's quilt and got it all washed and crinkly.  I love the way this quilt turned out.  I bought a fat quarter bundle from Fabricworm and then went back and bought another 1/2 yard of the airplane fabric.  My husband helped me figure out the arrangement.  I kind of had an idea, but he helped me to see how it would work.  He's good like that.
 All the fabrics you see on the front are from the bundle.  The only fabrics I purchased were the green for the back and the binding, which came from a recent addition to my stash.
 I used almost every single scrap of that fabric on the back.  I wanted nothing left over in the end.
 Here is a good shot of the quilting shown on the back of the quilt.  This again was my hubby's idea.  The cool thing about it is that it makes the airplanes look like they are flying loop-de-loops.
                            You can kind of see what I mean right here.
And here is the grey print border.  All in all I am pretty happy with this.  Hope J likes it too.

The other thing I want to show you is my tidied up fabric stash.  I stumbled on Jeni Baker's tutorial for fabric folding here and went at it.  I wish I had taken a before picture to show you the mess it was.

 I started folding late yesterday afternoon and quickly buried my sewing machine here.
 I got back on it this morning and finished folding everything that was on the shelves willy nilly and even some other pieces that were lying around.
 These are the bins where I keep lots of older fabrics and odd sized or shaped larger scraps.  I can't quite figure out a better way to organize these.  They are pretty much sorted by color.  This was my first sorting system I ever had.
 These are my scrap bins full of smaller scraps, sorted by color.  Even into my second year with the Sunday Morning Quilts Bee I have scarcely put a dent in them.  I keep thinking I will use more of them, but they never seem to go down in quantity.
And here is my newly tidied shelf full of folded fabrics.  The top shelf is fat quarters, quarter yards and half yards.  The next shelf is full yards and a few one yard plus cuts. On the left side of the shelf is 2 or more yards, which were either a great sale or bought for backing potential. What you don't see is that all those stacks on both shelves are two deep.  Eek! That's a lot of fabric!
Hope you have a great week.  See you soon.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Making Progress

One of my goals for this year was to finish some of last years starts...before the end of this year.  I took a mini vacay from work and stayed home for 4 days.  I did not sew constantly, but I did get lots done.

 First, I got one of my two March blocks knocked out for the Sunday Morning Quilts Bee.  This one is for Jeepgirl300 who requested that I do cream scraps. Others are doing grey, brown and black for this elegant quilt for her livingroom.
 Then I pieced my first block for the Retro Flowers Quilt.  Technically, it's a new project, but I bought the pattern last year so, I am counting it as last year's project.  I scrapped all the fabrics I had pulled for this one which have been in a pile in my sewing room for months and started over with a new idea.  I will share it soon.
 Then I whipped up this Open Wide Pouch from some of my Noteworthy fabric that I had picked out.
 I love how big and open these are.  Pattern can be found on Noodlehead's blog.
 The bottom is a bright crosshatch fabric that I love.  The name escapes me right now.
 Next up is this top, finally finished.  It is made with Lawn from Connecting Threads.  I am going to "quilt" it to some white flannel and use it as a summer throw.  It is so soft!
The last thing is this little beauty.  My daughter bought the fabric bundle in NY at the Purl a few years ago. She had delusions of making a quilt.  She is a wonderful and prolific knitter, and she can sew, but it is not her passion like it is for me.  She cut the fabric into 2 inch squares and put it in a zip bag...that's it.  So after about 6 months or more, I offered to sew them into something for her.  This is what I came up with. It is about 45 inches square.  There are still more 2 inch squares, but I was done! Now to get it quilted.
Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It's All About Me

Time now for another fabulous blog hop cooked up by Madame Samm and cheered on by our wonderful cheerleader, Marlene.  This is a fun one, folks.  Amy Bradley came up with this fun pattern and we all are going to make it our own.  Each one will be similar, yet different and individual.

Here is my lady:

 I have to smile whenever I see her.  She just cracks me up with her crazy hair and her know-it-all stance.  I had to make her dress yellow.  Anyone who knows me knows it is my favorite color. Even my car is yellow.
 I tried to do the words on top on the machine, but I didn't think it showed up too well, so I ended up hand stitching with embroidery floss.  Her glasses are red, because mine are a sort of metallic red. That was my hubby's idea and the shape is more like mine as well.  The grey streak in front of her hair is again, just like mine.  My hair is also short and kinda crazy.
 When I got to the pin cushion, I had this piece of fabric with the little bird and it was just right.  I used beads for the pin heads.
 The blanket stitch on my machine was new to me.  Never used it before.  Luckily I started on the dress and got my confidence going.  The letters were much harder to do because of all the turns. It actually looks better here in the photo.
 I also gave her beads for earrings, since I also were earrings most of the time.  I used only fabric and embellishments I had on hand.  Then, I decided to make her into a little pillow.  I love how it seemed to give her even more personality.
                This bright  and crazy strip seemed just right for the back.
And here she is again, in all her glory.  Thanks for stopping by to visit.  Please be sure to go visit all the other blogs and see how everyone else has interpreted this gal.  Here is the list of today's blogs:

Tuesday, February 19

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Tale That Will Make You Swoon

Let's go back in time, shall we?  About a year ago, Katy, at I'm a Ginger Monkey was hosting a Swoon Along for all interested quilters to make Camille's Swoon quilt pattern.  I loved it and bought the pattern and made my first block.  Challenging, but not too tough.  Okay, I can do this.

I did some quick calculating and decided that if I only did one block a week, in nine weeks they would be done.  Yeah...that so didn't happen.  I don't know how long it took, but I did finally get it all put together.  Then, I had to stop for Christmas sewing.  Yes, that's right 11 months later.

January I bought batting and pin basted.  I had decided to quilt it myself.  What was I thinking???  I was thinking I couldn't afford to send it out, even if it was 91 inches square.  So this is what I did to set up:

 I got a pair of gloves.  These came from the Traveling Stash box.  I have never used gloves before, but you can bet I am a fan of them now.  And yes, this poor little Bernina is what I quilted on.
 It slides on my desk, so I put pieces of foam cabinet liner under the four feet.  Worked like a charm.
 I had to duct tape the extended top in place.  It's the one thing that isn't made very well on the Bernina.  The plastic "clips" that held it in place broke off a long time back.  If you are doing any free motion quilting, it moves and falls off.  Bad news!
And I put on my knee pedal to lift the presser foot so my hands would be free to wrestle the quilt.  There is the roll of duct tape down there.

So I began...I cursed...out loud...a lot.  This was harder than hard.  I had to make myself go in there and work on it to keep moving forward.  I think it took me 3 1/2 weeks.  Finally, Sunday last, it was done.

 Here is the binding, all pressed and ready to sew...I had no fabric for the binding, so I went on Etsy and found the checked red from the Reunion line which I thought was just perfect.

 This is how I wind it to attach it.  I put it on an empty spool and let it feed off of that.  I don't use pins. Gasp!!

 And here it is in all its Swooning glory.  Quilted, bound, washed and crinkled.  It is so soft and nice.

 Here is the back. I decided to use big blocks of the rest of the fabric line and I am so glad I did.  I love the way it looks.
                            See how nice the red checks are as a binding?
 This is my last label from the first set I bought over a year ago.  I just ordered some more and I changed it just a wee bit to a script font.
 If you look where the grey and the green meet you can see some of my quilting stitches that are not very in the ditch.  That happened a lot when I was trying to subdue the quilt to pass it under the needle.
I quilted around each star and a bit of straight line quilting coming from the corners.  Very minimal, but about all I could manage.  Will I ever do this again?  Nope, nada,  nunca, huh uh!!!  But I do love my Swoon Quilt!  Thanks for reading this far.
Talk to you again soon.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Tisket A Tasket

A green and yellow basket.  No, not really green and yellow, but I have made 3 of these now and I L-O-V-E them!!  There are tons of them popping up on the Noodlehead flickr site and each one is unique with all the great fabrics being used!

This was the first one I made:

I love it and the colors are so bright.  I wanted to use it for Baby B's toys at my house but...

They don't really fit and there aren't that many of them.  So what to do?  As I was thinking on that, I made this one...

Which I gave to my daughter.  But we both agreed it was a bit small for what we wanted to use it to hold.  So I asked Anna (Noodlehead) if she thought it could be made larger.  She said go for it.  So I did.  I added 2 inches to each side of the pattern.  Let me tell you, two inches didn't seem like much until I was done, but here it is:

 It measures 13 inches by 10 inches and it's 9 inches tall.  I really had no idea how it would finish, but I am pleased with it.  I had a bunch of Sherbet Pips in my stash from oh so long ago and I decided to use it up.  It worked, not much left now.
 On this one I decided to put the front pocket on it.  I had left it off of the other two.  I really like it and I think it is much more useful on this larger size.
 Baby elephant fits right in this pocket.  The pocket is divided in half with stitching in the center.
 This is the Bag with all the same toys in it as before, but you can see there is still lots of room for more toys.  Yay!
 Here are the two bags side by side for a comparison.  I am going to use the smaller one for my stitching stuff.  I do love that fabric!
For this bigger basket, I didn't have any more of the web handle on hand, so I made my own handles with fabric and some twill tape that came on a Moda fabric bundle.  I always save that stuff for just such an occasion.  If you want a perfect little basket, or even a bigger basket for gifting or storing stuff, this is an awesome and very easy project.  Go see Noodlehead and you can purchase the pattern there.  I can't say enough good things about this pattern.  Okay, enough gushing.  Gotta go to work.
Have a great day!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fun Little Project

As I have been fighting to quilt my Swoon Quilt on my Bernina (dumb decision) I have needed some smaller projects to be able to get some gratification.  Here is one of those projects.

 This is the Noodlehead divided basket.  I have been wanting to make this since Anna first showed it on her blog.  This is the cutest and so many fun fabric possibilities.
 I chose Laurie Wisbrun's Perfectly Perched for my first (of many) basket.  I bought the fabric awhile back and was waiting to see what it wanted to be made into.
 I love everything about this little basket.  It is cute, functional and let me just say, the pattern is superb.  It is simple and every bit of it works just the way it should.  It comes together pretty quickly.
 And who can resist those adorable little chairs and birds?  I have a few more fabric combos lined up for these.
Then, I want to find some cute canvas or home dec weight fabric and try that too.  I am filled with a million uses...well, okay, maybe not a million.  L-O-V-E this basket!!!

This one was made for Baby B's toys at my house.  Guess I either better make more or figure out how to make it bigger!  Until next time, have a great day!