Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

I wasn't able to post before the 15th, or before I left on the 21st to spend Christmas with my family in Massachusetts but I was able to finish 3 more purses, another monster, and 4 more scarves! Of course the monster was a companion for the orange one I made for my great Nephew Gus! The backpack tote/purse with the snap bags is for a niece whose favorite color is purple. The photos directly below show the outside, and then the inside of one of the reversable purses. This one went to one of my nieces whose favorite color is yellow.
This purse went to my sister-in-law, whose favorite color is purple.
As usual we stayed with my Gram, who turned 99 in August. She had fabric set aside that she wanted to find some matches in her stash so she could start another rail fence! We found one match, but then went to the local quilt store and found 2 beauties that really make the quilt striking! She got all of the blocks done, sewn into rows, and by the time I left she only needed to sew the rows together. I'll add the borders when she sends them to me. I also cut rectangles for a lap quilt for her to work on. I brought home a lap that I'll need to add borders to, quilt, bind and return :) We had a wonderful Christmas, even though the kids were disappointed that there wasn't any snow. The picture below is of my niece and her scarf that I finished on the drive to MA, and a bit while we were there! Her purse is next to her, and one of my earlier finishes :)
And finally, I was a pretty good girl this year and so Santa, among others, rewarded me with some yummy fabric and tools to quilt with! Beautiful Samantha is pointing out my favorite and what I will probably use first ! Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Decorating for Christmas . . .

Is also a trip down memory lane! Sometime in late September of every year, I start noticing Christmas ideas, fabrics etc., and start dreaming of how I'd like to decorate my house for Christmas. This year I really started to dream after I discovered a website (do NOT go there unless you are willing to lose MANY hours of your precious time) I even created a board there, titled "Christmas" and started pinning my favorite ideas. I noticed that I was leaning towards ideas that were red and white, and I thought, it would be really pretty to do everything in red and white, I even bought some mesh to do a red and white wreath . . . Then we took the tree from the garage (real trees are too aromatic for me) and the decorations from under the eves . . . and then I remembered, sigh. Every box I open, every ornament I unwrap is a memory. Especially all of the ones that the children made - I love those more every year! Among my favorites are decorations or cards made from the hand prints of my children. Some, like those below, were made at my children's daycare. Dated on the back, they are perfect time capsules.
Others, like the wreath, I made for relatives when my daughter was 1 year old, but I remembered to dip her fingers in red paint to make berries in their wreathes! The tree was a brother/sister combination, with the little one's prints for the top, and big brothers paw prints for the base of the tree. Another year I used plaid fabric and heat n bond ultra hold for her hand print. It is plaid on both sides, I just fused the fabric together and used a permanent marker for the year and her name. I wish I had thought of that one when they were both infants, it would have been nice to have one for each year, just different fabrics. I also wish I had invested in better quality paper and paint to do the projects, but the ideas were kind of spur of the moment and I just used what I had on hand, I'm grateful to have them! So, I guess until I get a bigger house, I'll just stick to decorating with my memories!! Happy Quilting!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November Finishes

I keep thinking I had finished more things this month, and I guess I did, but other people's projects - not mine! I have done alot of long arm work this past month as people want gifts or wall hanging's done in time for Christmas. I am showing today one of the scarves that I made, but couldn't show earlier since it was a birthday present. These scarves are sooooo easy! They are knitted, which normally I can't do because of carpel tunnel and basal joint arthritis. They are made from premier yarns and is called Starbella yarn, (which I can only find at Benjamin Franklin Craft store) the yarn is like a fishing net, with a distinct top and bottom, just cast on 8 or 9 stitches and simply knit! It goes very quickly, although you have to knit slowly in order to open the top loop, I guess that's why my hands don't hurt so much when I do them! Lots of fun and really cute! Well, going to start dragging out the Christmas decorations and lights today, I bought the kid's chocolate Advent Calender a month ago . . . now where did I put them? Hope you have fun getting ready for your holiday! Happy Quilting!

Friday, November 25, 2011

November XMAS Projects

November already, as usual I'm a bit late with my 1XMAS showing. I finished the multicolor scarf today in the car while DH was driving us around as we did a little "Black Friday" shopping. All told, I completed 4 scarves for Christmas presents, intended to go in the purses that I am giving as gifts to my Nieces, Aunt's and one sister-in-law! I also finished 2 envelope purses for 2 of the many Nieces. I am so close to completing other purses - but close does not count for today! I also completed two Christmas stockings. Our guild made them for a local ladies group that is going to fill them with homemade goodies and present them to "Wounded Warriors" who attend a luncheon that the ladies hold for them. We held a workshop on the 17th, provided the batting, lining, cut strips and pattern for the ladies to follow. 18 were finished that day (my two were examples that I had done earlier in Nov) I have 4 more started and will be completed before the luncheon on Dec 15th. We are coming to the home stretch, I hope to have all of my Christmas projects done by the 15th. We'll see . . . Happy Quilting!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Finishes

Finished a lot of little projects this month, unfortunately no WISPS, they were all new starts, and some new ideas! Being QOV Co-Chair has become very time consuming in the past few months. My former Co-Chair, relinquished her post after two years and my new Co-Chair had surgery on her knee so has been unavailable or not 100% since June. I am glad the kids are back in school, that helps with time management for part of the day. In October we held a QOV workshop, we planned to make 1600 strip quilts or lasagna quilts. We supplied the 40 2 1/2" strips needed for each quilt and had material on hand for the border. We had 12 participants and I am sorry to say I forgot to bring a camera! It was a lot of fun and two ladies managed to complete their quilts, and most everyone else finished theirs except for attaching the borders. I confess I hardly got any of mine done, so now I have another WISP. I did make the door prizes for the workshop. (and then some!) Originally I thought I would buy fall fat quarters and fill them with chocolate and then tie with ribbon, but then I saw an idea on line for fabric pumpkins, and later that week I had night guild where I found that really cool orange soft and fluffy fabric (previous post) and so I decided to make the fabric pumpkins out of the fluffy fabric and stuff them with Dove chocolate and little Reece's Peanut Butter cups. I ran out of candy after 5 of them so I used high loft batting scraps to fill the rest. I used cinnamon sticks for the stem and leftover silk flower leaves for 6 of them and then I made leaves using cotton batting scraps in between 2 pieces of green fabric. I zigzag stitched all around twice and then sewed veins through the middle. I like the sewn leaves best!
I also made 9 pin cushions from a Halloween Charm pack that I couldn't decide what to do with. The ric rack can go from front to back and you can decide which side you want face up as the buttons are on both sides. I made the buttons from FIMO and used a button on hand to make the impression. While I was in the Fall fabric mood I made 9 little tissue holders and are saving those for November's QOV workshop.
I showed the ladies at my Bee what I had made and they asked me to teach them how to make them at our next Bee, which I happened to be hosting. I was running out of the fuzzy fabric, so I tried other fabrics, and although it was harder to join together, I think they turned out pretty well too! We used homespun, orange batiks and a stretchy, soft fabric. I then wondered how to make the pumpkin tall, instead of short and round, that did not work out, but I turned my mistakes into two candy bags - one full of m&m's and one filled with candy corn! Happy Quilting, and Happy Halloween to all that celebrate it :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October's 1XMAS Project!

Wow, I'm glad I get a few extra hours to complete my 1 XMAS every month, and this month it was down to the wire! I actually finished two other projects, but I can't show them until November. I made this little "monster" from orange fabric that was placed on our "giveaway" table at the quilt guild. It was so soft and fluffy, I just couldn't put it down, so I decided to take it and if I couldn't come up with a use for it I would bring it back during November's Guild meeting. I came up with a few uses, and the monster was the last idea I had, I'm not quite finished with the first use, so I'll post that before the end of the month. I used scraps for his eyelids and mouth. The horns were a little tough, fortunately he isn't supposed to be perfect! I was surprised how much it took to stuff him. He was fun to make and I hope my Great Nephew will enjoy him this Christmas! Happy Quilting!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

September Finishes

As the month of September is almost finished, I almost forgot to post my finishes for the month. I made Great nephew Gus a Diaper Tote bag to use at daycare, but didn't post about it right away since I wanted them to receive it before seeing it online. It was actually my first finish of the month. Then my son's band teacher from middle school who is married to one of his band teachers in high school, adopted a set of twins this month. Of course that happened so quickly, with little or no notice, so they were scrambling to get everything together. A boy and a girl, and the band parents and school held a shower for them. I already had a boy baby quilt waiting in the wings, but needed to complete a girl quilt quickly. Needless to say I had plenty of fabric available and used fabric from two charm packs and a couple of fat quarters to whip up a nice fluffy quilt for her. I have been doing a lot of longarming for my Gram as well as a few others, and I have helping out more with QOV, but more bindings, putting together backings, cutting batting etc., I am behind on completing my own contributions for the cause. I have a couple of things in the works that I am anxious to finish up, but I am glad I am going through a lot of old fabric. Everything shown this month is from my stash! : ) Happy Quilting !!

Monday, September 26, 2011

1XMAS September

I'm late! September has been a month of change for our family. My husband was transferred 3 hours away from here, and we decided that since it's so expensive where he was transferred and since my son is in a great high school and we don't want to uproot him, that we would stay here and my husband would rent a room and come home on weekends. This past weekend was the second one under this new arrangement and needless to say I do not spend any time sewing, blogging etc., while dear hubby is home. We miss him dearly, but at least we do get to see him on weekends and holidays : ) My 1XMAS project this month is very simple, one of the women from my quilting bee taught it to us. They are cute little ornaments, and I think I will put them on presents as little decorations! Happy Quilting ! !

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Getting Back to Normal . . .

We were very blessed and Hurricane Irene weakened prior to hitting us, and since we have been experiencing a drought this summer, we did not get the damaging flooding that many other areas suffered. We lost power a couple of times, but it wasn't too long and we had frozen plenty of water and were very well prepared. Fortunately it has cooled down, but (UNBELIEVABLY) The Great Dismal Swamp is STILL on fire! It is now 90% contained so I am hoping it will be out soon. We have not smelled the smoke recently so that's good! So we had alot of raking to do and cutting up the tree limbs that fell, but no damage. : ) I have nothing new to show since I really have not been in my sewing room. Once we got power back, there was alot of cleaning to do and we had moved to the ground floor for safety and everything was out of place. Now we are catching up to prepare the children for school. I hope to have lot's of Wild WISPs tamed by the end of September!

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

1 XMAS a Month (August)

Almost didn't realize that it was the 25th today! Have been so busy today trying to get ready the best we can for our very unwelcome pending visitor "Irene". Didn't pay much attention earlier since the media is so quick to sensationalize and exaggerate weather issues, but I guess it looks like Hurricane Irene is actually going to hit our area. It seems like she'll be hitting Virginia Beach, I'm in Yorktown which is about 50 miles up the coastline from Virginia Beach, I'm hoping she will only be a category 2 or less when she arrives. Since we are not native Virginians, we aren't sure what to expect, as it stands now we are going to try to stay and wait it out. Enough of all that, I am very happy with my FINISHED Christmas present this month. It is for my nephew who is in college, I love giving rag quilts as college quilts because they can spill whatever, do whatever, bundle up in it, go on a picnic, put it in the car etc., and there is no fuss since it isn't fancy! I wanted to do this for him when he graduated from High School, but my sister wanted me to do a T-shirt quilt for him instead. She hasn't given me the T-shirts yet (2 yrs now) so I'm done waiting. His favorite color is green, and I've washed it once already, and I'll probably wash it once more to get rid of the threads. I endured a 2 week, 2 rounds of antibiotic sinus infection this month, so it was nice to have a project that didn't require thinking, reading or any skill besides changing the bobbin frequently! Now that I am finally healthy, I will be glad when Irene is gone and I can get back to sewing and longarming! I finally caught Hermione on her cat bed and was able to get the camera before she awoke! Happy Quilting and please cross your fingers & say a little prayer for us all along the East Coast.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Christmas in July

I have been wishing for more Christmasy weather this past month, I am sure I will want it warmer when it is colder etc., but our Air conditioner has failed us for the 4th time since June. I have not done nearly the sewing I have wanted to, (o.k. of course that is always the case) But now I am so far behind on things I should have been doing. This time the freon is leaking from the outdoor unit. But now we have finally found a nice, honest reputable repairman so hopefully they will be able to fix that today. Fortunately it isn't nearly as hot or humid today as it was Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Enough of the excuses, I was able to complete a present this month. This beach tote is a Christmas gift for my brother's 12 yr old foster daughter. I made 5 total, but the other 4 went to attendees at my DD's beach birthday bash! They loved them! Unbeliveably I forgot to take a picture of them :( I had planned to make snap bags and sunglass cases for them as well, but didn't get to it. I finished the last one the morning of the party, my sewing studio is right above the garage - so when we don't have air conditioning, as the hottest room in the house it becomes unbearable and I can't sew at all. Well, I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed. Happy quilting to the rest of you!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

1XMAS Project (x2)

I have trouble throwing things away - I love to RECYCLE! So . . . what to do with my small scraps of bitty bits of batting? Save them for a few months, cut them pretty small, take leftover fabrics from other projects, use the gusset technique again (love it) and make three pet beds! I actually started with 2 1/2 bags of bits! One of the beds is for our kitty Hermione, the fabric matches her coloring. This is her favorite hangout spot in my studio. I hope to get a pic of her on it someday! There is a cool side and a snuggle side for winter. The cream is a very warm and fuzzy material, (not quite minke, but close)

The other two are Christmas presents ! One is for Dexter who is a very cute tiny little Japanese Chin and I haven't decided who gets the other one. Lots of kitties and pups to choose from! My last finish for June is this little pillow that my daughter started at a class in Wisconsin. The teacher had her sew it together wrong, she had used a quilting foot and stitches were right on top of each other. It took forever to rip out. It also needed to be clipped and washed, I came across it while cleaning up my studio and asked her if she wanted to finish it. She said no, so I've finished it for her and will surprise her with it tonight. :) Off to Massachusetts for vacation on Monday, Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wild WISP Wielded!

Ever read or say a word and suddenly it seems foreign and clumsy on your tongue? Or keep checking spellcheck because it just looks wrong? Wield is having that effect on me tonight and I haven't had any wine. Perhaps I should pour a glass? Anyway, I have successfully wielded one of my older WISPS, this one was started in January 2004. It is one of the first patterns I ever designed, and wow, what a pain that was! I had put aside quilting in 1997 in favor of scrap booking so that I could creatively document my precious 2 year old's life (DS). I would still do projects and start WISPS, but I had a horrible machine and the local quilt store (at the time) wasn't very helpful. I picked up quilting again after September 11 2001, I found it very comforting. I was caught up with my scrap booking and was at a loss as how to document the events of September 11th for both of my children's scrapbooks, so I simply didn't. We moved to Wisconsin and during the move I "found" fabric in my stash, and not having many books decided to make a pattern. HA! Anyway, it's called Butterflies in the Meadow, I would not piece it the way I did then, cause now I would do it in a much easier way (which would have been faster) but it was ALOT of fun to quilt! I have my purple butterflies with antennae on both ends because most days I don't know if I'm coming or going . . . so why should they?

Unbelievably - all I had to do to finish it was find the rest of the fabric for the border and finish the border on the last side. I had already purchased the backing while in Wisconsin, and the binding was part of the stash. I don't know how to begin to give myself credit for fabric usage - I didn't keep track of what I used on the front, some was yardage, the purple and yellow were fat quarters. I do know that had I finished this in Wisconsin I would not have been brave enough/experienced enough to attempt to quilt it as I have quilted it. I am so happy with the way it turned out, I'm glad I didn't finish it sooner! Happy Quilting!

Monday, June 20, 2011

June Finish

So busy with school finishing up, kids activities heating up! DS got job as a Lifeguard (YAY) which is nice, but since he doesn't have his drivers license I have to drive him and it's 45 minute round trip if traffic is good. DD has huge skating competition on Saturday, lots of practice involved. Got to the beach on Saturday, forgot the camera, but it was nice! Was happy to put this project in the mail today. Should get there in time for his Birthday party on Saturday!I don't know if you can tell, but it reads Happy Birthday Gus. I hope it works out o.k. It was a little slow going, the brown fabric was a nice thick fabric I bought at a quilt store, but once I put the heat n bond (lite) on it and started sewing it on the needle kept getting sticky and the tread shredded. Had never had that happen before, so I blame it on the thicker fabric. Was able to use rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip to clean the needle and then it went alot quicker. Perhaps I should have washed the fabric? Was also able to finish a pretty old WISP ! No picture today as my camera battery is recharging, tomorrow I'll take the pictures. Happy Quilting!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I didn't intend to show my latest two finishes today, although it is fitting, I just haven't had time on the computer and my hands have been hurting a lot more lately. These are the April and May Quilts of Valor. The Quilts of Valor are made for service members who have been wounded, and unfortunately some of them do not make it through their injuries. We also present the families with a quilt if there has been a service member who was killed from our area. In early May we presented two families with quilts; their Airmen were stationed nearby, but they were in Afghanistan and were shot by an Afghani pilot during a staff meeting. So tragic, so sad. April's quilt was done for awhile and just needed quilting, I have been experimenting with fancier threads and was waiting for a nice variegated red white and blue to quilt it with and then it seemed to take me forever to bind it (as usual) I was at my wit's end with May's quilt, I knew I was already "late" so what to do . . . quickly? During May Guild meeting various members shared quick and easy ideas (with directions) and Isabell Meekens shared her Quick Lasagna quilt made with a Jelly Roll. I knew I had red, white and cream jelly rolls in my stash so I was able to make the quilt in an evening - really! It seemed a bit plain to me, so back to my stash and I added the stars, I added them during the quilting process and also put a batting star 1" smaller underneath and quilted them in place. I used my stash for every bit of these two quilts as well as the two totes in the previous post - sooooo . . 15 2/3 yds out of my stash! Happy Quilting, and God Bless our Service members (and their families) !

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One Christmas Item

Been so busy, doing alot, but no finishing alot until . . . Quilt symposium! Our guild hosted the symposium and I took two classes. One was a wool stitching class, not finished, but more fun than I thought it would be. The other class was on how to make a "Chelsea Tote" by Lazy Girl Designs. It's a purse/tote/backpack and soooo cute! It was very easy, and I was able to finish the bag during the 3 hour class. My DD picked out the fabrics (from my stash :D) so I gave her the one I made in class. I had quilted a yard of the "cover" fabric so I had enough to make another which will go to one of the 11 people this year who have been earmarked as getting a purse/tote for Christmas!! The second one turned out nicer as I had more time. I hate throwing anything away, so from the scraps I made the sunglass cases and snap bags. I would have made the sunglass cases wider if I hadn't been using scraps. More to follow soon. Happy Quilting !!