Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Merry Christmas! I know Christmas has now officially passed, but I wanted to wish you all a belated, beloved Christmas. I hope that we can always keep the spirit of Christmas with us, even in the middle of July! I've been taking a little blog break and I'm planning on catching up a bit in the next few days. The little "gingerbread" house below is made of foam core and was fun, quick, and easy to make.
My Christmas was extra special this year, as my Sister-in-Law, Patti, was able to spend the holiday with me. I haven't had any family members celebrate Christmas with me in more than a decade, so this visit was the best gift of all. (I should note that I'm not having any family feuds, I just don't have many family members anymore.) Note my HUGE Christmas tree. Size doesn't matter, right!?
And here are Oliver and Gracie hogging the only spot of sun in the house. Lucky for them that it shines right on their cat bed, which is on top of my bed. Even on a bitterly cold day, between the sun and sharing body heat, they stay quite snug.
I forgot to tell you that Oliver and Gracie were very happy with their Christmas present.....a newly remodeled bathroom! (AKA....a new cat box and new vinyl runner underneath their box.) I kid you not.....they waited in line for it to be operational, then took their respective turns. ;)
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Here's a shot of the stocking that she made which contained all of the gifts she sent. The chocolate is already gone, I'm ashamed to say. ;) The black fabric next to the stocking is a beautiful Christmas fat quarter.
Kathy made this wonderful ornament too. Lots of crazy patch hand stitching and embellishments.
And last, but far from least, is the wall hanging that Kathy made. It's absolutely gorgeous! This picture does not capture the beauty of this hanging and all of the handwork involved! She has combined hand stitching, hand quilting, and machine quilting, to make a wonderful combination of textures. It measures about 22" x 26 1/2" and makes quite a statement. I have it hanging on the back of my front door so that I can admire it daily. Thanks for all of your hard work, Kathy! Your quilt will be cherished for years to come!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
This wall hanging measures approximately 17" x 19". Our finished hanging was to be a maximum of 20" x 20" and a minimum of 16" x 16".
This is my own design, but I used paper foundations for the trees and stars from EQ5 and Carol Doak. I just re-sized them to fit my design.
OK, it's quilted with my same, signature "swirl" pattern. I think this looks nice and fits the pattern design, indicating the wind and snow fall direction. I used a sparkly thread for the quilting on the top (plain white in the bobbin for the backside). You really can't see the sparkle very well unless the sun is shining on the hanging.
I'm off to the post office to get this en route! This was a fun project to make and I'm looking forward to receiving the hanging that my partner made for me. It should be here soon and I'll post pictures when it arrives!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
You start with 6-5" squares of fabric. These are ideal to make with charm squares and you could certainly make your coasters larger or smaller using 4" squares or 6" squares, etc. I may try 10" layer cake squares to make a great matching trivet. Two of the squares will be the bottom and the other four will be the top part of the coaster. Fold these top four squares in half and press. You could use all of the same fabrics, some of the same fabrics, or none of the same fabrics for a scrappy look....your choice.
The bottom two squares will be placed wrong sides together. Yes, wrong sides together.
On top of the two bottom squares, you will place your four folded squares in a pinwheel, layered arrangement. Hard to explain, but kind of a basket weave. It will make sense when you have the fabric in front of you and you are matching it to this picture.
Pin all of the stacked layers together and sew around the edge. After sewing all the way around the squares, trim off the corners and excess seam allowances. This will reduce the bulk when you turn your coasters to the right side.
Turn the coasters right side out. Use a pointer to push out the corners. Slip the pointer into each of the sections to push the corners out.
Here's the finished coaster, which has been ironed after turning. I think these would be fun to make in a round shape too by just sewing in a circle instead of around the edges. I like this project because there is no hand sewing at all. Once you turn the coasters, the raw edges are hidden inside. The coasters are 6 fabrics thick, so they have a fair amount of insulation. I had thought about putting some sort of waterproofing layer sandwiched between the bottom two squares, but thought that it would add too much bulk. I may still try this on my next set.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
As a bonus to taking the row by row class, at the end of the year long class, your quilt was long arm quilted at no extra cost. And this is where the trouble began.....
I won't mention the name of the shop that offered the class and quilting, but they are no longer in business for other reasons. Anyway, I finished the top and turned it in for quilting. The quilting was so sparse that I took it back and they added more quilting by quilting between the rows already quilted. There were areas of 10" to 12" with absolutely no quilting! You know how a quilt feels "quilty" after it's been quilted? It just has a wonderful feel and drape. This quilt felt like simple layers of fabric, nothing else, because of the sparse quilting. OK, so it gets more quilting which helped things immensely. It is far from being even moderately quilted, but I felt like I could put it in a washing machine without it completely bunching up and falling apart. Now.....when your long arm quilter isn't paying attention to the backside, it can turn out like this next picture. There were evenly spaced borders around the green center and now, on one side, the black border is completely gone! You can't see the scale here, but this is a long, skinny, twin sized quilt and those extra borders were about 8" wide. That means that when this quilt was placed on the long arm frame for quilting, it was 8" off center. An inch or so off center happens often, but 8" is negligence.
Well, at least this beast is finished! It's been sitting around in my craft room for ages, just leering at me and reminding me of the poor quilting. I lost my enthusiasm for completing the binding and put it away. It was a lot of work to piece this quilt and to see it finished with very poor quilting was hard to swallow. Oh well, life certainly goes on. At least this is a quilt that will get some use, as I won't feel like I need to save it for special occasions. I think it will make a great picnic quilt!
(Thanks for listening to my ranting!)
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Here's the cover of one of my cards. It's funny but certainly not far from the truth at my age!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The loan that I told you about in that post and made on that day, was paid back today. I have re-loaned the same money to another business woman, a 46 year old woman with a grocery store in Mongolia.
If you have an interest in Kiva, please check out my sidebar for a link. You will find information on each of the entrepreneurs, all waiting for your help!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Meanwhile, I was piecing the quilt below at my church this past Saturday. Everyone liked the quilt and suggested that I donate it to an auction that will take place on Saturday, October 17th to benefit the Woodburn Christian Children's Home. Yikes! Only one week (less than) and many other obligations to take care of during this time. I got it done.....the proof is in the pictures! Just goes to show you what you can accomplish when you set your mind to something AND there is a deadline...not to mention that any money that it raises will go to a great cause.
Does this quilt look familiar? It's the same pattern as the last charity quilt, just different fabrics. Same pattern, same quilting design. I needed a fool-proof and fast quilt and this one worked out nicely. The color of this quilt is actually a soft mint green....much prettier than this picture shows.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I finish lots of quilt tops, runners, tablecloths, etc., then panic when it comes to quilting the project. Thus.....I have tons of unfinished quilts stored away. The instructions with this organization specifically asked for heavy quilting in order for the quilts to stand up to daily washings. I knew that a simple stitch in the ditch would not be adequate, but what to do? After a long period of procrastination and several prayers, I jumped in with a simple wavy line, sewn diagonally across the quilt from top to bottom. It looked OK...didn't pucker.....looked fine on the back...... Then another line approximately an inch from the first line....and so on.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Before you decide that you don't want to match the stripes....keep reading. I used to make garments and always stayed away from matching stripes and plaids.....too much work and too many seams to rip out if they didn't match. This pattern, with clear instructions and a 60 degree triangle ruler, makes it super easy to cut exact pieces that will fit together perfectly.
My runner pieces, all cut out and ready to sew together. The 60 degree triangle ruler allows you to cut your fabric pieces without hesitation.
This is a picture of my almost finished table runner. After you sew it together and turn it right side out, you will need to close the opening that you used to pull the fabric to the right side. The pattern recommends closing the opening with a slip stitch but I wanted to get this done a little more quickly. I used a double faced fusible web to iron the opening closed. You can buy this in rolls like tape and they are great for many uses like a quick fix for a loose hem. Of course, I top stitched the opening and all around the runner, knowing this would secure the sides together, especially at the fused area.
The finished runner.
The backside of the runner with my coordinating fabric. You could certainly reverse this runner to get more use out of it. Different seasons, different colors, whatever.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
This is the bag in a snapped, open position.
Monday, September 7, 2009
September's BOM and the first of the new series. There were two colorways to choose from, a bright colorway and a more pastel colorway. By the time I signed up, the bright colorway was already gone so I had no choice but the pastel colors. After seeing the bright colorway finished block for September, I'm really pleased that I'll be working with the the softer colors.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Backside of the stars. Not many pieces and pretty simple to make. The block is 3" x 3" (finished).
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
As I said, this may become a tablecloth. It may also be a lap quilt, I may pipe the edges, I may just add flannel as a batting.....and so forth. It just needs some thought at this point and I will come back to it sometime in the future. Overall, I'm pleased with the results.
Sandy........ I'm thinking about you and sending prayers for your recovery, hoping that you are doing well today. Be tough!
My friend, Sandy, sent this to me several years ago and I just love it. It represents the four of us, high school friends then roommates in college. Two blondes, two brunettes. No, we aren't' goddesses, we're just plain ol' girlfriends that have known each other for many decades.
I hope you can read this poem that is on the back of the card. (Click on the picture for a bigger view) It really sums up the value of friendships. God directs people into our lives and we receive so many blessings from these contacts.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I made a 13th block to add to this series. The BOM series ended up having 8-12" blocks and 4-6" blocks. Unless you set them in kind of a medallion or even put all 4-6" blocks together to make a 12" block, the setting just didn't make sense to me. This extra block now gives me 9-12" blocks, enough to make a 3 x 3 block square tablecloth or lap quilt. I think my leftover 6" blocks will become pot holders. My kitchen is blue and they'll fit right in.