Friday, December 26, 2008

Look at all those reindeer.

These have nothing to do with fabric, unless you count the ribbons on their necks, but I wanted to post what I had been working on the past week and a half.
My husband and I worked together to make 11 sets of Reindeer to hand out this year at Christmas. Each set has two reindeer, one small one and one larger one.

We both took turns cutting out the reindeer on the band saw and sanding them. Then I stained them all and added the eyes, nose, and the bows and bells on their necks. They were a lot of fun to make. We handed out 7 to my family members, gave one set to our neighbors, kept one set for us, and made two extra just in case any of their antlers broke before they reached their destination.
While we were making them we had a couple antler casualties and had to remake a few, so we wanted to make sure we had a spare set just in case any deer broke an antler during our travels. Luckily they all made it safely to their destinations, but now we have two extra sets. Not sure what to do with those. Guess we will save them for next Christmas. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Puppies can't sew...

...and neither can I with a little puppy around. :) Santa came early for me this year and brought me a mini dachshund for Christmas. I got him on Wednesday and he is the tiniest little thing. He makes my cats look like giants now. I didn't realize how big my kitties really were till I got this little fellow. We named him Dean. Dean, the doxie. :)

He is just like a little baby, waking up at all hours of the night, wanting to be snuggled. I think he is still missing his litter mates and hope that he soon will sleep throught he night. I thought for sure my sleepless nights were over now that my youngest child is 5 years old. But here they come again. Hopefully they won't last as long as they did with my children.

I haven't been able to do much sewing in the mornings with the puppy around, he is just too cute for me to sit at my sewing machine. Plus I worry about him getting into things, so I have been spending most of my time with the puppy.

When the kids get home from school, they take him from me which gives me a couple hours to do some things, I would rather sew, but kids say they want clean clothes, so I suppose I should do that instead of play on the machine. It is a good thing I have finished my Christmas sewing, because I am having a good time playing with Dean. I do have a few Christmas projects I am still working on, but they are for me, so there is no rush or stress to get them done before christmas. Instead I will sit back and enjoy playing with Dean, my new puppy.

Friday, December 19, 2008

IFQ ATC Round 11

I signed up for 4 sets of ATCs for round 11 of the IFQ Alphabet ATC swap. I was assigned the letters "Y", "F" and the numbers Zero, and One. For "Y" I did an all Yellow card

For the number 1 I did "One lone snowflake". I picked up these fancy snowflake brads on sale and knew they would go perfect with some of the projects I am working on.

Zero was the hardest to come up with. I didn't want to send out a blank ATC with Zero stuff on it. I was stumped on this one for a while. I finally settled on a pure white card. It has ZERO color on it. I did some feather and meandering quilting with some white thread on some white muslin. Then I added some white ribbon and added a white satin stitch on the edge. It is hard to see the stitching in this photo, but it is there. :)

For "F" I did F is for Frog. I had lots of frog fabric scraps that were just the right size for these little ATCs. I added some iron on Gems and googley eyes to bring some personality to the frongs.

Again, I am dissatisfied with my scanner, it just won't scan objects well unless they are flat. The stuff up front is clear, but then the stuff in the back is blurry. I wish I could get it all of it to come in clear like I could with my old scanner. Bah, why do things have to break and the new things you get to replace them never work as well as the old ones. Ah well...
The picture posting deadline for this swap was yesterday, so I should find out soon who I will send my ATCs to. Can't wait to see what I get in return. That is the fun of the Alphabet ATC swap. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Candy Canes

For me, Candy Canes are one of the major symbols of Christmas. So I decided to put some in postcard and ATC form. This postcard was made for my Fabricards group. I punched out some candy canes with my Sizzix then used the leftover waste fabric for the border. I hate to throw stuff away even if it is a small bit and I can usually find a use for even the smallest scrap of fabric. :)

This little bitty ATC was made for ART4Mail's Christmas ATC swap. It has red and green holly and Candy Canes. Just a little sampling of some of the things that get me in the Christmas Spirit.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Trees

I made a couple different Christmas tree postcards this week for some different swaps I am in. One I did on my embroidery machine. I like this design because it has fringe incorporated on the edges of the tree rows. After I finished embroidering the design, I added some sparkly gem ornaments and did some freehand quilting around the tree and finished it off with a green zig Zag border.

On the other card I did an applique version of a Christmas tree, added some beaded garland and silver ornaments. I thought a nice shiny gold border would go well with this one to pick up the gold accents in the background fabric. It was fun picking out little ornaments for this small trees.

My kids did most of the decorating of our real tree, so these little ones were all mine to play with.
For some reason though, when I go in the living room I keep finding my cat, Sheen, in the Christmas tree. I'm not sure what the attraction is for him. My other cat could care less about the tree, but Sheen seems to think it is his personal climbing toy...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Crazy for Christmas

These Crazy Quilt Christmas cards were made for a Fabricards swap. I made one for each swap partner and one for me. I always have to make an extra for me. ;) These cards look much brighter and the beads are much sparklier in person. I really like the look and feel of them.

I am not sure I am liking my new scanner. I can't get it to scan the images like I want. Parts of them keep coming out blurry, and not as bright as I am use to. My old one was a scanner/printer in one and the scanner was working fine. But then one day the printer part, which has been acting up for over a year, finally decided to go crazy, it kept asking me to take out the cartridge and put it back in. But no matter how many times I did that, and no matter what cartridge I put in there, It kept asking me to remove the cartridge and put it back in. Well I would have been fine just keeping it as a scanner, but as long as I kept getting that cartridge error, I couldn't do anything else with it, I couldn't even use the scanner. So I broke down and got a new scanner/printer. But this new one doesn't scan three dimensional items well. For instance, when I scan these postcards in, the beads come out clear, but other parts are blurry. I think the scanner is focusing on the items in the front and not caring about the stuff in the back. Also, I can't use that nifty trick Janet taught me to get a black background. When I leave the lid up to scan, I just get a fuzzy gray background with a greyed edge image, instead of a nice crisp background. Most frustrating.

Ah well, Maybe I will go back to using my camera. On a happier note though, I am really liking this crazy quilting stuff. I think I am now ready to try it on a bigger project, I just have to decide which project to choose...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Cotton Field

This card was originally made for the "Landscape" postcard swap for ArtsNtheMail. I'm still fairly new to this particular style and I still think I need more practice. I just don't feel that mine ever seem up to par with the ones I receive.

This particular one is my version of the cotton fields around here. When the cotton fields are in bloom, it looks like snow to me and every time the kids and I drive by a cotton field I say, "Wow, look at all that cotton, looks like snow." I think my kids are tired of hearing that. They either go, "Ugggh" or "yeah yeah, looks like snow" before I can finish my sentence.

We don't usually get snow in this part of the world. We did get a big ice storm 5 years ago though. I remember that because it was the first winter in my new house. The ice was so heavy on the trees that it broke hundreds of branches in the neighborhood yanking out power lines as they fell. We were without out power for a couple days. For some reason though, my part of the neighborhood got power back first. A couple blocks down the road still had to wait a couple more days.

Here are some pictures of the Ice Storm of Jan 2004. Even though the clean up took some time, I really enjoyed everything encased in ice. It was very pretty.
My Birch Tree Another side of my Birch Tree
Walking around the Neighborhood My son at the Park
Trees around the Neighborhood
More Trees around the Neighborhood

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Blocks for the Quilt Guild

Today was the Swamp Fox Quilters Christmas guild meeting. It was a potluck lunch with regular meeting news and show and tell. There was also a quilt block raffle. A couple of months ago, we all had the opportunity to pay $2 for a fat quarter and a fat 1/8th and had to take those two pieces of fabric and turn them into a 12 inch block. We turned the blocks back in at the meeting today. For every block you turned in, you got your name put in the pot to win 12 of the blocks. There were 48 blocks, so there were enough blocks for four winners. I made two blocks for the raffle. I couldn't resist getting my name in the pot two times to better my odds of winning some Christmas themed blocks. Unfortunately I didn't win any, but it was still fun to participate.

The first block I made was Star of Virgina from the Quilters Cache site.

The second one was Star and Pinwheels also from the Quilters Cache.

At the guild meeting in November, when the president of the guild stepped out of the room for a moment, we all quickly decided to each make a 6 inch block and give it to her at this special December meeting today. She has been president for two years in a row and has done a terrific job. So to show our appreciation and thanks we wanted to surprise her with a stack of 6 inch quilt blocks from everyone in the guild. We decided to all stick with fall colors for the block since those are the presidents favorite colors. For my block, I used some neutral browns. The pattern I used was a paper piecing pattern. I have done some paper piecing once before and it wasn't too difficult, but most of the patterns I use are simple enough for me to just rotary cut, which I enjoy. I could have rotary cut all the pieces for this one, but I wasn't in the mood to figure out the math for all the small pieces, so I just printed out the paper pattern and sewed it together.

The block I made is called Hourglass and again, I got the pattern from Quilters Cache. Can you tell it is one of my favorite places to go for quilt blocks? :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Some Christmas Postcards

A couple weeks ago, I was asked to teach a mini class on making fabric Postcards. I knew some of the ladies were not very good with a sewing machine, matter of fact, most of them said they were not crafty at all. So I decided to demonstrate something that wasn't to scary yet had a nice look to it. So I decided on a 6 patch quilted postcard. I omitted the piecing on these and used wonder under to place the squares next to each other. Then to hide the raw edges, I did a close zig zag stitch around all the squares. Some fancy quilting stitches were added and then the back was put on. Then the card was finished off with a zig zag stitch around the four edges. This photo is of some of the cards I made for that class. I sent these to some of my group ladies.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Checked Inches

Every now and then an idea I come up with fits two different postcard swaps. That is what has happened with this card. This time the idea fit perfect for my PAW swap for Fabricards and my Checked theme swap for ArtsNtheMail. But before I went ahead and made enough of these cards for both groups, I double checked to make sure I didn't have duplicate partners for each swap. I wouldn't want to send someone the same card twice. The "checked" themed card was suppose to be made using a grid, and the the word I chose for the PAW was "Inch". Since I put one square of fabric on each square of the card it was perfect for this swap.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday Beading

I spent the days before Thanksgiving working on my Holiday QTC's for Fabricards. I used the same idea for each card, but each one turned out slightly different mainly because of the layout of the red fabric. These were fun to make. I made a total of 5, but forgot to take a photo of the 5th one before I put it in the envelope to mail out. Of course I made one for myself. :)