Thursday, June 24, 2010

My DARLING Pincushions and some bags

Someone asked on their blog what was my favorite sewing notion. For me, it's the wonderful pincushions DL and Sagie have made for me. DL's says A pin in the cusion is worth two on the floor!! She made it several years ago and it hangs next to my recliner full of pins and needles. You cannot read the words since it's so full of pins, but of course, that's the point--pun totally intended! Attached to it is a little heart shaped one Sagie made for me...not usually any pins in it but it daily reminds me of her sweet love for grandma!! On my sewing machine are three more adorable ones Sagie made for me, also. One is crocheted (it's upside down but says I heart you), other two are sewn from felt and have embroidery designs on them. More reminders of one of her many talents, how much I'm loved and how much I adore her!
The bags were made for my dear friend, Kris, and her granddaughters. Kris's has a left over block from my pickle dish quilt on front and on back. The little girl's bag is for her to carry a drawing pad--she loves bugs, so shared some of my favorite fabrics with the little sweeties on them. The older one's bag is for her knitting--she loves playing the violin so found some strips of fabric with subtle clefs left over from another project. I always have fun making bags--have some really fun ones that hold material, work for travelling, hold medicines, and like to make them for friends that will fit their loves and work for them.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pickle Dish Quilt Top

Here is the top--isn't it just bright and so fun? I'm so excited and very, very happy with it. Worried that it might be too crazy and not as pretty as the one in Kaffe Fassett's book, but it looks just fine to me. I got the backing today--a white flannel with pink ladybugs and flowers on it. And ordered the material for the border. It is Kaffe Fassett's roman glass pink--very bright pink with rather crazy circles on it. Just figured if I'm going for vibrant may as well go all the way!! Hopefully, it'll be all done soon. Am going to try quilting it on my machine. Haven't tried anything too big, so we'll see, but it's about the same size as others I've done before. Planning to get some bicycle clips, quilting gloves and maybe a couple other things that are supposed to make machine quilting go more easily. Of course, it would probably help to clear off my sewing table!! Can you tell I'm so excited about this?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pickle Dish Blocks

Here's pickle dish blocks all done. Stressed a lot over these, but finally decided it just needed to get done. Randy laid out the blocks and took the two pictures--they look so pretty together. They're vibrant and definitely this isn't a subtle quilt! The rows are now sewn together, except for one corner that was the wrong fabric and needed to be changed. Sewed the blocks together with a long stitch first until can check each row. Getting really excited to have the top done. It calls for a vibrant border made of a stripe and using the same squares in the blocks. Not sure that's what it will end up with. I guess if it's vibrant, it's vibrant!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

4th of July In Progress And New Toy

The square with the appliqued star has corners that one place labelled snowballing. I put a smaller red square in the corner of a blue one, then marked it and sewed diagonally. Then trim excesses of both colors--so easy and love the look, which otherwise made the star look lost in the middle. Sorry, but I still can't figure out how to get pictures where I want them to be very well, so this seems a bit disjointed!!

These are squares for my 4th of July wallhanging. They're different sizes and will need some extra strips added to make similar sizes. Patterns were from various places--a couple books I have and blocks or ideas I found online and changed around each one some. One book I just got is 301 Country Christmas Blocks and came from through Goodwill. It was used and cost $2.41 and $3.99 to ship, but has a lot of fun pieced blocks, plus applique and other ideas. Little more than 2 cents a block! The star points in the center of the ladybug block were made using directions in Quilt In A Day's Victory Garden book. Really simple using her little ruler, but I think she has directions using a regular ruler, too.

I love this one with the red cross in the middle. It's called hearth and home and was just two colors with light in middle and outsides. All of them are really quite easy to make, some just take longer than others. Love the yellows in this one.

This is the first time ever trying the blanket stitch on my machine--thinking of tearing it all out--not really pleased with it. I love the corners of this though and the hearts themselves turned out well. Corners are pretty easy to make--lay two squares right sides together, then draw a diagonal line and sew 1/4 inch away on both sides of the line. Cut on the line you drew, press open and put the two squares on top of either other again and draw another diagonal line and sew as before and cut apart. shows how to do them. The picture doesn't look like they're all equal squares but they are!! A Is For Alligator is a baby quilt that had a center part I made smaller for the square with red check on the outside. I'll probably use the actual pattern for our soon to be born grandbaby if it's a boy. I'm rooting for a girl, and could use the same pattern in girly colors. The alligator pattern really showcases cute character fabrics and since a bunch of owly prints flew into my house this week it'd work really well for that.

I'm thinking about doing it quilt as you go. I've not tried that before so would like to try it on something smallish. On the 3rd our church is having an Independance Flag Ceremony and Breakfast, so may use these as little center pieces for the tables before they get sewn into the actual quilt. I'm really happy with all of these and think most of them would make a pretty quilt of one kind of block.
Got Donna Dewberry's strip cutter today and used that for the strips on two of the squares. It works just like the paper cutter I've used for years. Can cut strips up to 13 inches and 4 layers of fabric. I got it through Joann's and used a 50% off coupon, so felt like it was a very good deal. Always fun to have a new toy and new material.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Covers For Eileen's Chair

Randy got me this cool wooden chair a few years ago for the front porch. It sits there year in and year out--weathering nicely. A few years ago we got foam for it and it got covered in just a simple calico. Surprisingly those lasted for several years through hot, hot summers and cold, cold winters where they would be frozen to the chair before we could get them off!! I ordered this beautiful Waverly fabric last year but just made new covers this week. Isn't that material so pretty? I made them slip ons--wrestling the bottom cover on was interesting! Tried putting a plastic bag over the foam so it would slip more easily...not exactly easy getting the bag off. Hubby said to leave it, but I didn't like the crinkly sound, so he and I both struggled getting that out of there. Have several more yards of it and some plains in green and pink, and a couple fun prints I thought would make nice complimentary pillows or trim on here, or the benches and other chairs we have. Now I'm motivated to make more since these turned out so well. Hopefully, we'll have some nice weather and are over the rainy days we've had so many of lately so can enjoy this and the others that will follow!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Giveaway Winner, Angel & Accuquilt Musings

Randy pulled a name out of the little box. The winner is Janet, so contact me. I've sent you an email. If you've tried to respond and not heard from me, write something on here and I'll try again. Just had to include a photo--seems so boring on here other wise! This is the front of a purse made several years ago. Pretty sure fabric around angel embroidery and at the bottom of bag is Mary Engelbreit from a little fq set. Still have a few bits and pieces--am VERY stingy with it as it's so cute. Have some of one of the fabrics in the paintbox quilt in progress.

The giveaway picture to guess about was of some Accuquilt cut pieces--my first cuttings on it. Got it through and it was a good price. Bought two extra dies at the time--6.5 inch square and one with two 5 inch squares. It comes with a die that cuts 4.5 and 2.5 inch square and four little triangles that will make a 2.5 in. square. Didn't register that a cutting mat to fit the 5 inch square die didn't come with it--DUH! Oh, well...feel an excuse to buy another die coming on, so got the one that cuts three sizes of hearts--when they come out with the ladybug one, I'll be all set! At the same time it AGAIN didn't register that it needed a different cutting mat. Double DUH!! This time I sent hubby to JoAnn's to get it--less dangerous than looking online again, plus about the same cost when not having shipping.

Have had to add a piece of paper between material and mat to get accurate squares. Don't know if this is typical but it does say something like that at the bottom of the basic directions--of course I didn't figure this out until after cutting a bunch of squares, looking online about it, calling their customer service about it. Read the directions, Eileen!! Not particularly happy having to do this-- have a ream of paper in my sewing room and a bunch of scraps of paper. Of course, on the positive side...there are lots of wonderfully square pieces of paper to write notes on now. I did recut all the squares cut before--5's became 4.5's. A bit of a pain but wanted perfect squares and now have those.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Thinking of Christmas in June

Sleepy Santa--reminded me of sweet hubby when I saw this pattern years ago in a Tacoma area quilt shop. Just had to make him and put him in that cute little chair from a thrift shop. The velvet-clad Santa is also from a kit as I recall but I changed him around a bit. Love his beard. The lumberjack Santa is a tribute to my dear daddy who worked as a lumberjack, log hauler, lumber mill owner, lumber hauler, etc. in the 40's. He picked me up for school one day when I was in 3rd grade in California in a lumber hauler that drove over the lumber, grabbed it up and carried it underneath--rather like a spider thing--we had to climb up a ladder to the cab--it was very exciting to drive the 4 or 5 blocks to school that way!

Wanting so badly to do a fun Christmas quilt. Don't want it to be very big--probably a wall hanging size or a large lap size sort of thing. Love Kate Spain's 12 Days of Christmas line and think I just have to get at least some of her material, but not sure I can justify the whole set of fat quarter's! Choices, choices, choices. So far I've seen several places online ( and for example) that carry it, not sure my lqs does--never remember to call until they're closed. You might think of joining ebates as you can get rebates if you go through them and is one of the stores they list, not sure what other fabric shops might be on there.
I thought of joining a mystery BOM using Kate's fabrics but two reasons not to--quite expensive and there's just no way I can stand the idea of waiting a whole year to see the whole quilt!! So, think what happens is I'll figure out the blocks to use from a book just purchased today from just a bit over two dollars--more to ship the thing (301 Country Christmas Blocks). Well, there's some of my angst over what to do with that cute fabric. And I wanted to share some of the many Santas I have--most of which I made out of fabric or wood over the last 20+ years. Merry Christmas a few months early.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

First Paintbox Squares

These are the first two squares for my paintbox quilt. I know, I know--too many irons in the fire sort of thing, but needed a rest from the pickledish blocks with the curves that, well...curve!! Also, wanted to try to figure out if the plain pieces that are from a Robert Kauffman jelly roll would shrink a lot if washed in the squares or ultimately in a whole quilt. All the other materials used in this quilt will have been washed. There are several options--wash all of the strips in a pan of warm water--maybe swirl them around to replicate the washer? put them all in a pillow case and actually wash them? not wash them and take my chances? I don't deal well with all these conundrums! I haven't totally decided yet...any suggestions? Diannalynn thought they could be made into a little pillow cover and washed. I thought about adding some strings left over from other projects and then washing. Just can't figure out what to do, but one thing for sure...I LOVE them and am so excited to do a whole quilt. Any and all comments are welcome! Am sure there's someone else out there--maybe lots of someone elses who have had this dilemma before.

By the way, if you haven't been to see the bloggers quilt festival yet, you need to go. Such a marvelous array of talent--all levels and from all over the world. It's really a fun and totally inspirational place to visit. The link for it is on my May something or other post, but surely if you googled bloggers quilt festival 2010 you'd find it.

Have a great day. And look at my little giveaway post below for a chance to win a charm pack.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Trey and Adam's Quilt Strips & sort of mystery giveaway

The picture on the left is the strips for two of my grandsons' comfy quilts. Hubby laid them out so a bit hard to tell they're just strips. All you purists out there hide your eyes for the next sentence or two for my confession: all pieces of these were torn into strips!!!! smaller squares were then sewn into groups of four and cut with a rotary cutter. There are many different sizes of large squares in here--DUH!!!!!! can open your eyes again or come back up for air. This was before I became converted to rotary cutting, but I must admit I occasionally stray for some things especially if they're very long. Part of this is that I cannot sit in other than my recliner for more than about an hour because of circulation problems, or I can't walk after and my back goes nutso too--facts of life. I have figured out a way to have a mat on my computer "pillow" thingy and cut a lot of things that way but if there's a lot of large, long things needing cutting...well...just try to minimalize those. I also do a lot of precise measuring and cut with scissors--having done lots of scherinschnitze (paper cutting) am quite adept at cutting. Not so fast but it works when I'm watching TV!
Picture on the left is the giveaway challenge thingy...tell me what you think those are. Any answer will be ok, and know it's hard to see what's on the left. I'll have hubby draw names out of a hat and contact you to let me know what size and color of charm pack you'd like me to make up--mostly I'm into pinks/blues/purplys, but my stash is way too vast. It's all cotton, but from a variety of places, so don't expect Moda--don't think I have any, sorry!! You can choose from 5 or 6.5 inch squares. Will send 40 squares--if you would like some of those small pieces, will throw in some of those, too.
Anyway...comment away! FORGOT TO PUT A DATE, so let's say June 8th is cut off--i won't actually have dh draw until the 9th. Daughter just said the giveaway question doesn't make sense--soooooo...any comment you want to make about that picture is ok by me!!
Janet is the winner! I'll try to contact you via email, but haven't been successful yet in doing that sort of thing--if not, I should be able to leave a comment on your blog. (added June 9th)