Friday, May 9, 2014

Hand bags for Mother's Day

 I finished the top stitching on both of these two cuties this just this morning!  I packaged them up and sent them on their way as soon as the post office opened.  I am afraid my MIL won't receive hers until Monday, as she lives in Florida, but my Mom should receive hers tomorrow.  I used home decorating fabric and while it isn't as thick as duck cloth, it's not far off.  I needed a size 16 and the largest I had was a 14, so once I had bought the correct needles, they went together very quickly.  They feel very durable and I like how they stand up nicely.  there are six outside pockets on each side.  I am going to try to make one a lot bigger for a beach bag for my DD.  She just has to make a fabric choice.
I made two of these totes, yes they are the same ones I've made lots of.  I made one with a brown liner and that one is on it's way to Massachusetts as it is a birthday gift for one of my nieces.  Love the versatility of these and really want to make an black, white and red one for myself (someday)! Below are pictures of the happy little bags standing up all by themselves!  They definitely look like Spring time!  Happy Stitching!  Now to link up with crazymomquilts  and Finish it up Friday!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Throw Back Thursday . . . I Spy Quilt

This "I Spy" quilt came to be while I was planning a picnic blanket for my niece and her family.  I wanted the quilt to be kid friendly and fun to look at while they ate, played, or dozed in the sun. After much playing and pondering,  I combined a fun jelly roll, the striped material (both purchased years ago) with fabulous novelty fabrics that a friend generously shared with me.  I admit I had to buy two different fabrics as the alternating block before settling on the yellow.  I originally planned to quilt the pantograph pattern "Whimsy" on it, I actually had pinned it on the machine, laid the pattern down and while I was sewing the top down, I suppose the quilt just started "speaking" to me, and wow, did it have a lot to say!  What started out as a quick quilting job turned into a few days of fun.  I drew out the quilt on paper to plan exactly what to quilt and where.
The entire alphabet, letters 1 - 10, basic shapes, 4 words, a snowman, a tree, a car, a flower can all be found in the quilting of this quilt.  I further challenged myself by attempting to quilt a different
pattern on each of the jelly roll fabrics bordering the novelty fabric.  I also tried to quilt differently on each the striped fabric on the sides.   Fun, fun, fun!  I did not take enough photos because I was trying to get it done before my niece and her family came for Thanksgiving this past year.  I also didn't get a chance to post about it around that time due to the busy season!  It would have been nice to have shown the quilt at my guild meeting, but it was wonderful to give the quilt in person, instead of mailing it.
My great nephew's reaction was well worth it!!  He loved it and I was thrilled when he immediately noticed the quilting and saw the letters and symbols.  He had a blast playing I spy with his cousins and parents.  I am sure he will get a lot of use from this quilt.  The backing is a really fun fabric, and the colors really work with it.  I have additional blocks with much more girly fabric from the jelly roll and have the accompanying fabric purchased, now just need to find the time to sew that one together !   Happy Stitching!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mixed bag(s) of Finishes

 I finished two quilt bags this month, but forgot to take a picture of one before I gave it to my customer with her finished quilt inside.  drat!  While I was looking for fabric to go with the first bag, I came across these scraps that were from two coin quilts that I made.  The first I made and gave to my Gram before I blogged so I don't have a picture of it, the second I made using the leftover fabric from the first (blog post here) and eventually also gave it to my Gram so she could give it as a Christmas gift for some very lovely neighbors who help her out so much.  The bag is very large and I went pretty crazy quilting it, I may end up keeping this bag for myself!    My next finish for March, (finished last night) just in time for our Guild meeting!   Project number 5 was due for the UFO Challenge and I am so glad that it is finally done!  I bought the pattern and fabric in 2007 and cut out the eight sections before reading the full pattern.  yeah. not good!  I was supposed to quilt the fabric, then cut out the sections.  So, another mis-cut project put away for the sewing fairies to fix.  I put it on my very first Blog WISP list with no results, so I listed it on my list for Guild UFOs.   I was very busy the last few weeks finishing other people's quilts and I wondered if I would get to it in time.  Tuesday I sewed the sections together and cut and sewed the prarie point like triangles together.  I quilted it on Wednesday,
which was fun until I realised that it was meant to overlap a bit; made it rather interesting towards the end but I worked it out.  The ruffle called for 9 strips of fabric, I only used 6 because I wanted the ruffle to be more relaxed.  I also could not bear to make the prarie points by folding the fabric, I made the squares 1/2" larger and cut them in half diagonally, folded wrong sides together and sewed short edges together.  Turned inside out and Ta Da!  Only used 1/2 of the fabric required.  The original pattern called for a gold star to be appliqued in each section, I had the material but it seemed too busy.  It also calls for buttons to be sewn on each point.  I tacked the tip of each point down, to prevent flapping and folding the wrong way.  Not sure about the buttons, could make star buttons out of FIMO, but it is going to be under the tree, will things just get caught on the buttons?  I can always add them later.  I had a very pretty Thimbleberries fabric for the back, and since I can't find Thimbleberries fabric locally, I wanted to save it.  It would be nice as another tree skirt.  I was so thrilled to find this homespun in my stash.  Had to piece it to make it work, but I had enough!  This finish counts for my Guild UFO, OPAM, 1XMAS project and a blog WISP finish!  Wooo Hooo Happy stitching!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Too Much Tulle?

Is there really such a thing as TOO much Tulle?  I have known plenty of little girls who would think otherwise, and normally I would agree,  but . . . I'm afraid I used way too much tulle for my latest project for my great niece!
 The front view shows the uneven cuts of tulle, I believe they were even when I cut them,  it must have happened in the sewing!  I definitely prefer the posterior view.
 I just LOVE the satin sash!  I suppose you are wondering how this is too much tulle.  Well, it's too much if it measures 13" tall,  15 1/2" around the waist (just the waist band alone) AND if it was meant for a darling little girl who is only 4 months old.  Yes 4 months, not 4 years old!
 So back to the drawing board.  The dress below looks too skimpy as far as tulle is concerned, but that is all I had left after making the one above first.  The hem of the dress looks strange because it is actually folded up and hand hemmed.  I topped stitched the original hem, but that was several inches longer than the final hem.  I won't even embarrass myself by telling you how long it took me to make those two.  sigh.
 Of course I can't make something for the niece and not the nephew!  So very quickly I whipped up this Hugga-Boo Monster for him.  My nephew gives the best hugs and is such a sweetie!  They are supposed to receive this in today's mail, although that area was just walloped with snow, so I hope that their mail service is not interrupted! (I did not mail the tulle skirt, didn't want to have it crushed in the box.  I'll hand deliver that one eventually)
Still stitching each and every day!   Happy Stitching to you, and here's wishing a Happy Valentine's Day.  Now off to link up with crazymomquilts and finish it up Friday!

QOV Lasagne Quilt Finished!

 So glad to have another WISP/UFO done !  I started this a couple of years ago at a QOV workshop that I was hosting, and I was so busy helping everyone else that I barely got mine started that day.  Over all many people finished theirs that day and eventually I quilted several of them, but never got around to even finishing mine for the longest time.  I guess mainly because so little of it was done.  Now it is done completely, label and pillow case too! (Forgot to take a picture of the pillow case)
Just in time to turn it in at the guild meeting today.
Just love the picture of my DD and her kitty, Hermione.
A very natural smile!

                        Happy Stitching!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Storm of Finishes . . .

I wish I had a storm of finishes to match the last two weeks of snowstorms.  I'm afraid that kids home due to snow days, equals very little time sewing for me!  What I have completed are weather appropriate, all having something in common with the blanket of white outside my window!  The above were made from a kit I purchased about eight years ago.  It was supposed to be one larger table topper, but I used a tiny bit of the fabric for something else and I thought a couple of soup rugs would be a nice change.
 My favorite finish for the week is part of a challenge/project from my quilting Bee, the quilting sisters.  We were given a 14 X 15 square of fabric and we are to make a snowman doing something or holding something and then in February we will get together and decide if we want to border them the same or not, then I suppose we will finish them.  I have decided to make a snow kitty, I've had enough of snowmen lately (still trying to finish a few) so I needed to do something fresh.  Initially she was fishing, but I couldn't get the pole right, and had trouble with the fabric for the stick hands.  I've kept the fish, but decided to have her decorate a tree instead.  I used scraps of flannels for the tree and I love how it turned out!  This is actually my practice piece, that is why it is finished, it even has a sleeve in the back and a label.  It is also my first finished Christmas present for next year!  It is for my Father and Mother in law who have rescued tons of kitties over the years and currently have 7.
 I needed a practice piece because the kitty is made from some fuzzy leftovers from burp clothes for my great niece.  I put thin interfacing on the back so they wouldn't slip or distort and it worked nicely.  I actually prefer the lighter background fabric.  Above is the unfinished block with the background fabric that everyone is using.  It is very dark and it was hard to find fabrics to go with it, I'm really trying to work from my stash.  He will have buttons on his vest, and of course eyes, but they will be added last.  Also thinking about putting a derby on his head.  I embroidered a whisker and it looked horrible.  I took it out and you can still see it!  I am going to ask one of my friends to see if she can fix it.  You would think that I could at least embroider a couple of whiskers, right? Just ridiculous! On the bright side, still stitching each and every day.  So far, so good!  Happy Stitching !!  Now to link up with crazy mom quilts and Finish it up Friday!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Drip, Drip . . . Drip

No, that's not a faucet, that was my nose earlier this week.  Fixed the drip, but now I'm all stuffed up, that's a bit better since it makes it easier to sew!  I finished another bag that will soon have two completed quilts in it and off to it's new owner!  The bag is constructed differently because I am using scraps from old projects and most of the time the size of the smallest fabric dictates the eventual size of the bag!  It has a nice little pocket inside.  I do not have an inch of the inside fabric left, used every last bit!   The snowman wall hanging is a bit of a disappointment.  I started working on these snowmen (15 total) in early 2001.  I had all of the elements heat n bonded in place, then put it away  A couple of years later I blanket stitched around the hats and scarves and started on the embroidery, then put it away for quite awhile.  I started bringing it to Friday's bee as handwork if we weren't working on a project and one Friday pulled it out and all of the snowmen were done!  The disappointing part is that I don't remember how I laid them out or what was I going to do to finish them.  I had fabric with them that I though I intended to use with it, so I made this one and I just don't like it.  Of course in hindsight, now I would have used a light weight interfacing on the white so the background fabric wouldn't be visable.  I quilted it with
sewing machine and it turned out a bit baggy and my binding is ridiculously askew.  Not terribly excited about finishing up the remaining 12.  Boo.  Hiss.    Speaking of hiss,  I have never heard my sweet little Samantha utter that noise.  She barely meows.  She has her little spots in my studio, basking in the sun.  Doesn't she look gloriously comfy?   I guess I'll have to sleep on what to do!   Till then I'll link up with my crazy mom quilts for Finish it up Friday!                                         Happy Stitching!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Thousands of Stitches!

My stitch less spell is over, I have stitched every single day this year!  True, it is only the 10th of January,  but I am off to a great start!  I also had the gentle push of a Guild meeting guiding this latest finish.  The UFO club has begun again this year with the first finish due this morning.  I finished putting the label on this fancy lasagna quilt about 9:30 last night and it was nice to have everything packed up and ready to go this morning.  Typically I'm putting the last stitches on the label during the Guild meeting, so I'm ahead already this year.   This was a Jelly roll, The Water's Edge by Black bird Designs, Moda.  I taught my Grandmother how to do a Lasagna quilt about 1 1/2 years ago.  When it was finished she didn't like it, and said she did not care to ever do another one.  I think she felt that it was too plain, but of course that was before I put the borders on.  I had to get a little fancy with the corners, a lot of measuring and piecing, but it was well worth the effort because I think it really enhances the quilt.
 While long arming the quilt, I added the flowers, and that's how I figure I have sewn thousands of stitches on this quilt!  All of the flowers have three thread changes.  I copied the flower in the border, enlarged it, traced the elements in a graphic style, cut it out and traced onto the wrong side of fabric.
 This one does not have berries in the middle, I did not feel the need to put them in all of them.  I first started adding elements to the lasagna quilts when I would make them for Quilts of Valor, I added stars, it was a nice touch.  In fact, I have two waiting to be quilted for Quilts of Valor.
 I echo quilted in the border because, well, the border just begged for it.  I really had no other choice, I just couldn't bear to do anything else.  Thousands of stitches !  It was a lot of work to quilt this, but it was fun, challenging and I am very happy with my first UFO and OPAM finish of the year!  Now to link up with crazy mom quilts  and finish it up Friday!
 Happy Stitching!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year 2014!

I have not sewn in ten days, and that is ten days too long!  In the past ten days I don't believe I have spent even one solid hour in my sewing haven that did not involve Christmas decorations of some sort, and not only does that not feel right, it doesn't even sound right!  One of my new years resolutions is to STITCH EVERY DAY.  Yup, 365 days of stitching!  What kind of stitches?  Whatever kind of stitches that suit my fancy, or I that I find most convenient for that particular day.   The stitches can either be sewn, quilted, crocheted, knitted, embroidered, or needle pointed, etc., as long as I make/do/create some kind of stitch!  I just decided this on New Year's Eve, and since our New Year's Day activities did not include time in my sewing haven, the stitching I stitched yesterday was of the knitted stitching sort.  I finished a little scarf for a snowman wall hanging and this morning I started another one!  I also hope to squeeze in some time on my sewing machine sometime today, but that's not looking very promising.  Speaking of the snowman wall hangings, I made five, but they were pretty popular and I actually fell behind.   I need to make two more as Christmas presents for this past year, finish three I had already started and make one additional smaller one.  Not thrilled to start the year behind, but I'm going to try to get them all done by January 31st.  Now to post a few things I managed to finish prior to my stitching break.  The stars are paper pieced ornaments, they were fun and I'd like to do more paper piece ornaments this year, a nice use of scraps.  I made this kleenex box wrap with this fun
celestrial fabric.   I was going to make it from butterfly fabric, but after spending two weeks off and on looking for the fabric, I came across the blue and gold and figured that would do!  I think some major organizing and rearranging are in my future.  My last finish for the year was a book purse/tote that one of my nieces asked me to make for her.  She didn't have a specific fabric in mind, just purple and GLITTERY.   She didn't want it too fancy, no pockets or flaps, so without a pattern and just basic guidelines this is what I came up with.  She said she loves it, so I am very happy about that!  Happy Stitching !!
How is this for glittery?