Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mini Stocking

Here is one of my few holiday creations for this year: A mini stocking, just perfect to hang on the tree. I made this for a swap with Postcard Mail Art.  We don't always just swap postcards in these groups.  Every now and then we get an itching to make something else.  This time it was these mini-stockings. 

Part of the instructions for this swap was to add some "bling" so I added some sequence and beads onto my mini patchwork stocking.  This was my first time ever making a mini stocking.  I think it turned out really cute.  If I didn't have a mountain of other projects, I just might consider making enough of these to decorate my whole tree.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Journal Cover

When I saw the tutorial on the Moda Bake shop for Journal Covers I just knew I had to make one, and I had the perfect person to give it to.  One of my friends loves to draw sketches but she has been drawing them on index cards, so I decided to get her an art journal so she can keep them all in once place.  It also allows you to rip the page out if you wanted to without ruining the book, so it is perfect for her. 

The pattern called for twenty one 1.5 inch strips cut into 4.5 in lengths.  I have a bin just full of 1.5 inch strips. - that is the smallest size of fabric I save. Anything smaller than that goes into the trash bin.  Since I had that bin of precut strips, most of them are leftovers from other projects, I was able to pick out the 21 different strips in no time.  The pattern called for some plain linen for the solid top and bottom pieces, but my fabrics were so bright, I didn't feel like it would go well together, so I added a nice bright yellow for the top and bottom fabrics and boy does it make the cover pop.  I love it! 

For a final touch, I added my friends name on the front. I like being able to add that personal touch to the things I make whenever I get a chance.  It just makes the gift seem so much more personal.

I like this cover so much I do believe I need one for myself.  When the holidays are over, I can get cracking on one of these for my art journal.  :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Finally back at the Machine

Wow,  I didn't realize how much I use my machine until it broke.  Even though I had my old one to sew on, it just wasn't the same.  It made me realize just why I bought the new machine in the first place.  My old machine was one headache after another.  It sure doesn't like to play nice.  So between house remodeling, and my broken machine I spent almost a month away from the sewing table.  But now everything is back to normal - well as normal as can be around here.  My regular machine has been to the doctor and all is well and the house remodeling has slowed down a bit for now so I was finally able to create some things out of my fabric.  Today I can only post one of them. The other few things will have to wait till after Christmas to be posted.  I don't want to spoil any surprises.  :)

One of the things I made after my machine got back from the repair was another Bow Tucks Bag.  I just love this pattern, and I love the way this bag feels.  It is so nice and thick.  I used pelon fusible fleece as the instructions say - "it is the best", and boy is it right.  From now on I only want to make bags with is this wonderful stuff.  It makes nice stiff handles and a wonderfully soft bag.  This particular bag was made for a special client who told me to pick what ever fabrics I think looked good.  So I went shopping in my own fabric stash and that in itself was fun.  :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Newest Project

I had to put my sewing projects to the side for now while I helped my husband build a set of stairs.  This is the bottom half of them.  When you get to the top of these, you will turn and then head up another small set to reach our soon to be new attic room.  We have been working on these for a few weeks to get them done in time for Thanksgiving.  All my relatives will be here for the Holiday's so we had to have it safe for all of them while they are here.  All I have left to do is finish mudding the drywall and then paint.  I want a color other than white, but I am undecided as to which one.  I was leaning towards burgundy, probably because it is in the family of my favorite color, but I don't want to make the stairway too dark.  Maybe I will start with one wall and see how it looks.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I've Zigged, now I need to Zag

I spent the evening last night sewing my Zigs together and now I have 16 diagonal strips hanging on my makeshift design wall.  Now all I have left to do for this top is sew these diagonal strips together and then trim the edges.  This is going to be bigger than I thought so it won't do for a cute baby blanket.  I will have to save it for something else.  I am liking the way it is coming out, but my husband always bunches up his forehead when he walks into the room.  He says it looks like a pink Charlie Brown shirt.....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Zig Zag Progress

Instead of using the yellow fabric I posted earlier for this new zig zag quilt, I decided to use a white tone on tone fabric.  Mainly because I didn't have enough of the yellow.  I was a couple inches too short in yardage to get all the strips I needed.

This evening I cut out all the strips and sewed them together.  Then I pressed them all and cut them all into 5.5 inch squares.  Each stack has 14 squares.  In the next couple of days I will lay them out and and see which order I like the pink colors for my zig zags. Hopefully I can do it sooner than later, but I am helping my husband build new stairs to our attic this week, so it may end up being later.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Starting a new quilt.

I have been itching to try out this Zig Zag quilt ever since I saw it on Crazy Mom Quilts' Blog.   So I picked out the fabrics today and put them on the cutting mat where they are ready to be cut into 3 inch strips.  I want to make this quilt for a little girl, so I decided to make it with various pinks and a yellow fabric as my base.  When looking through my stash, I realized I didn't have as many pink fabrics as I thought.  I barely had enough to pick out the nine I needed for this quilt.  I am a little wary about the pink and silver stars.  Hopefully when its all cut out and separated by the yellow, all the fabrics will play well together.  I haven't added any fabric to my stash for a couple years it has been slowly dwindling.  That is a good thing right??

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rag quilt for a boy this time.

Lately I have  been making pretty pink rag quilts.  So it was a nice switch to make one in blues and yellows for a little boy.  For this rag quilt I put the 4 patch blocks on the back.  So it is almost like a fancy double sided quilt.

I do believe the front of this one is my favorite so far, but then again I am partial to the blue and yellow color combination.  :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Matching Burp Cloths

I finished up these two burp cloths over the weekend.  They were made to match the rag quilt I made in September.  These beauties are fun to make using cloth diapers and my embroidery machine.  They are one of my favorite items to make for new babies.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Simple Halloween Postcards

I made a few Halloween postcards the other day.  I always did like blue and yellow together, and since the fabric I fussy cut these images from was blue and yellow, I decided to keep those colors for the background of the Halloween cards.  Not your traditional holiday colors but they look good to me and I really like how the the yellow blanket stitch pops against the blue fabric.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Practicing My Needle work.

Fabric postcards are a wonderful size on which to practice my needle work.  You can really practice any technique you want on these little beauties.  And I can't think of anyone who doesn't like receiving them in the mail.  :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Castle

I finally finished this cross stitch project last night.  It felt so good to have it finished.  I still like it just as much as when I bought the leaflet 16 or so years ago.   At first I thought it had only been 15 years, but I know I started this when I was in high school and graduation day for me was 16 years ago. Over the past 16 years I have started and completed many other cross stitch projects, as well as many afghans, quilts, and clothing projects, but they have mostly been for other people.  The projects I make just for me, like this dragon, usually get put aside or stored away.  I know I hadn't worked on this particular project in over 6 years, because I don't remember working on it in the house we live in now and we have lived here for 6 years.  But now this one is finnally finished.  YAHOO!!!
      What made me get it back out again was my daughter.  We were walking around the Hobby Hobby, and she wanted to buy some DMC floss to make a friendship bracelet.  Above the floss were little kits for begginner cross stitchers.  She asked me if I would buy her one because she wanted to learn how to do it.  I told her no, because I didn't think she would finish it, but she begged and pleaded and promised that she would.  So I decided to go ahead and get it, after all it was only $2.00, and who was I to critizise her about not finishing it when I myself had three at home not finished. 
    When we got home, she said I should get out something to cross stitch while I helped her, so we went looking through my nightstand where I keep my projects and saw The Castle.  I noticed it was almost finished. All it needed was outlining on the dragon's wings and lower body.  So I decided I would work on it till it was done.  It only took me a couple hours.  I don't know why I didn't finish it early.  But it is finished now and I am so thrilled.  I just need to get it framed so I can put it on display and enjoy it.  :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Scarecrow Postcard

I love this postcard!  First of all I just love this scarecrow design.  he is on my Halloween hat as well as some other projects I have done. His hands, hair, and feet are all fringed.  The design comes from Embroidery Library.  I really enjoy their designs.

I didn't want this cutie of a scarecrow standing all alone on brown fabric, so I fussy cut some pumpkins to go underneath him.  But then the top looked too plain, so I added some wavy hand stitching to the top to represent the sky.  I love how it turned out.  Hopefully Lori will too.  She was my partner for this swap.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mosaic Color Play

I have signed up for a fun swap at IFQ called Mosaic Color Play.

For this swap, my Partner sends me a 4 1/2 inch square piece of fabric that I have to use as the center of the Mosaic block. I add my fabrics to her square and mail back the completed block. At the same time, my partner is adding her fabrics to the fabric square I sent her.

It is a lot of fun waiting for the fabric square to arrive in the mail and then trying to find fabrics in my stash that compliment the square my partner has sent.

So far I have made and mailed three blocks. I have received two and am waiting for the third to come in the mail. As soon as my partner receives her block I will be able to sign up again.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Autumn Postcards

I have been busy the past couple days working on some fall themed postcards for my swap groups. The two similar ones are for ladies in Stashbusters, and the Pumpkin Embroidered one flies out my partner in Fabricards.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Embroidered Daisies Postcard

I spent the afternoon working on this postcard.  At first I was in the process of cutting out purple fabric for a quilt I'm working on. But as I was cutting, out of the blue, I thought that four of these purple triangles would look great on a postcard.  So I fiddled with them on a blank 4x6 piece of peltex and started adding more fabrics.  Then I thought to myself, it would look great with some hand embroidery on it.  So I got out my DMC floss and fiddled around.  I am still a beginner hand embroiderer and this is the first time I have done straight stitching to make a design, but I think it turned out lovely.  Now I just need to decide who should receive this in the mail.  :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Quilting Feathers.... Sort of

I have read online that one way to get better at doing freehand machine quilted feathers is to practice drawing them on paper. Well, I did just that, but I think I got a little carried away.  Can you still see the feathers I started out with in this doodle?

It started out as an all black and white image, but my son told me to add some red to it, so I did.  I don't usually doodle in color, but here is the results.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A place for my knitting needles

I spent most of this week working on a new knitting needle case. I have lots of needles but I don't really use them all.  I got a good deal on eBay a few years ago for a whole pile of knitting needles. For a couple of dollars I got the few sizes I wanted and a lot of sizes that I didn't need. But being the pack rat that I am, I decided to keep the ones I didn't need with the thought that I may need them for some future project.
As I was cleaning out my room the other day I decided it was time for them to have a good home.  For years they all have been sitting jumbled together in a drawer in my night stand, and I always end up looking through the whole pile just to find the size I need. So that very day, I went to the internet looking for a good pattern. I came across quite a few, but this one from Alexandra's blog was my favorite so I printed out her tutorial and got to work.  I could have made this case from a pile of fat quarters, but since I didn't have a pile of fat quarters, I had to cut the pieces from my yardage.  While I was cutting my large strips, I realized I only needed half the strip I cut, so instead of having lots of leftover strip peices in various sizes, I decided to make two cases at one time. 

I did alter that pattern a bit by sewing more lines on the first pocket row.  I did this so I could add my crochet hooks to the roll.  The pattern said these wider pockets were good for holding circular needles, but I don't have any of those and didn't want to make another smaller roll just for my crochet hooks.  So for the one I am going to keep, I have one inch pockets on the bottom right instead of two four inch pickets.  I also altered the pattern by adding some decor bond behind each of the pockets and a layer of fusible fleece to the outside fabric.  The main reason I did this was because I didn't want the case to be flimsy and feel individual needles while I carried the roll around in my hands.  I was worried at first that all that extra layers might make it too stiff to roll, but it turned out great.  I love it!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Orange Spider Web

I have had a change of pace from quilting and have picked up my crochet hook.  What started me in this direction was the other night when I was looking for a small quick spider web crochet pattern to put on my web postcards for Fabricards.  Instead, I came across this pattern.  Years ago I had printed out this same pattern with all the intention of creating this spider web. But for some reason I never made it.  So that very night I went to my closet and grabbed my orange cotton thread and my size 7 hook and got to work.  Three days later I finished it.  It spent another couple days on my blocking board trying to get it to stay in web shape.  Today I gave it one last spritz with the iron and took the pins out and everything stayed right where it was suppose to stay.  YAHOO!!  I now have myself an orange festive spiderweb doily to decorate my house this fall season.  Right now it is all by itself on the lazy susan on my kitchen table.  But next week I will get out the rest of my fall decorations and it will be lonely no longer. 

Friday, September 11, 2009

Indian Summer Mini Quilt

Here is my version of the "Indian Summer"  mini quilt swap for my Fabricards group.

 When I think of "Indian Summer"  I always think of changing leaves near a nice lake.  So I paper pieced some log cabins using fall colors and surrounded them by some blue fabric.  I had some left over fusible fleece just the right size for this quilt so I used it as the batting.  It sure gives it a different feel from the cotton batting I regularly use.  This quilt will head on it's way to Deborah in Florida tomorrow.  Hope she likes my interpretation of this theme.  :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tam's Pumpkin Patch Lap Quilt

This is my newest finish.  The block I used came from The Quilter's Cache.  It is called Tam's Patch.  This quilt has been sitting for awhile just waiting for me to finish the binding.  I didn't want another Halloween to pass without it being ready to use so I sat down last night and sewed down the three remaining edges.

For the quilting, I put the feed dogs down on my machine and just went to town.  I did some fancy swirls in the light colored blocks and did some close stippling in the black fabric.  The border also has some loopy swirls going up and down.

My Jack-O-Lantern fabric wasn't quite wide enough to fit the whole backing, so I added some black starry strips on each side to make the backing big enough.

I really love this quilt, but have decided to post it in my Etsy Shop in hopes that it can raise some money to help fund my quilting and fabric postcard addiction.  ;)   Fall is coming and those are my favorite types of postcards to make and recieve.   So you will most likely be seeing lots of fall postcards popping up on the blog soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Another Girly Rag Quilt

Another finished quilt.  I finished clipping all the seams last night but I didn't get it washed and frayed till this morning and since this is a rag quilt you can't really declare it finished until it has the ragged look.  This one is for another little baby that is due in the next couple weeks.  These quilts sure are soft and snugly. It makes me want to have a big one for myself.  :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Crazy Cat

Have you ever known a cat to pass up a pile of quilts to sleep on? I thought for sure as soon as I placed this pile of unfinished quilts on my bookcase it would become the new cat bed. But I guess they weren't quite soft enough for my cat, Jasper. Here he is sleeping on top of a row of hard books instead. Crazy Cat.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sweet Slice

This is my version of the Sweet Slice pincushion pattern. My son said he wasn't tempted to eat it, since it is a chocolate cake. So I suppose that leaves more for me right? :)

The pattern called for crushed walnut shells for the stuffing, but I don't have any stores near me that carry that, so I had to stuff it with polyfil. I really would like to try that crushed walnut. I think it might sit better on the table and not be so wobbly. I will have to wait for my next trip to the "big city" and hopefully I can find it there. For now, polyfil will have to do.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Design Wall Monday

Quite a few blogs I read post what is on their design wall on Monday's. So I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and show what is on mine. This quilt is what I made out of the 388 half-square triangles I squared up in July. I still have quite a few of the blue and yellow ones, but I plan to use those as part of the back of this quilt.

My design wall in this photo is really just a big flannel board. But it works for this small quilt. It currently measures 18x22 inches. I am debating what kind of border or borders to add to it. Should I add small ones and keep it a doll sized quilt? Or make them a bit bigger to make it a quilt big enough for a new baby? Decisions, Decisions... But first I need to make some cake, some fabric cake that is. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Another Bow Tucks - But Smaller

My daughter was invited to another Birthday party. This one is an overnight party down at the beach. She is very excited to go. But we didn't have a present, and when I kept asking her what she wanted to get her friend she said she didn't know. I suggested last night that she make her friend a necklace with her beading materials. She didn't seem excited about that. She did like my Bow Tucks bag though and kept telling me she wanted one like it but smaller, so this morning when we still didn't have a present, I asked her if she wanted me to make her friend one. She smiled and said yes but wanted to know if I could put her friend's initial on it. I told her that would be easy and I got to work. I also told her to start making her friend a necklace in case I didn't get the bag done in time.

I started at 9am this morning and spent the first 30 minutes trying to figure out how to make my regular pattern into a smaller size version. There is a mini bow tucks pattern, but I didn't have time to order that and wait a week for it to arrive, so I had to come up with the dimensions on my own.

By 1:20pm I had the bag finished, photographed, and wrapped. Her friend came to pick her up at 2pm so I had finished just in time to relax a bit before they got here.

For this version, I tried a contrasting pocket for the front. I'm not sure I like it. It is the same color as the center of the flowers on the top fabric, but it just seems to stick out way more than I wanted it to. I am also not liking the green. It is the same color as the tiny leaves, but it seems too bright now that it is all together.

My daughter says it is great though and she loves it. I sure hope her friend likes it too. I had my daughter model the bag for my camera. Her and her friend both have the same first name. So this bag could actually be for her too. :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bow Tucks Bag

This is my newest creation. I saw this bag last October at my guilds "Make it, Bake it, Sew it, Grow it Auction". It was a fun activity where we all bring something we have either made, sewn, grown, or baked and we have our own little auction to raise money for our guild. Up for auction was this purse, but in different fabrics. I bid, but unfortunately I didn't win. It went for more than my budget would allow at the time. But I asked the person who donated it what pattern it was and she told me it was the Bow Tucks Tote pattern. Well I got a hold of the pattern in February and finally just had the chance to make it. The fabrics I chose are some of my favorites in my whole stash. I have been looking at them for months not wanting to cut into them because they are so pretty, but now that I cut into them I realize I can carry my favorite fabrics around with me where ever I go. :) I really like this bag and it was the first time I used fusible fleece for a bag, and I must say I love it! If possible I plan to use fusible fleece in all my future bags.

I still need a button for this bag though. I don't have one in my button collection that fits the bag. You can see in the photo the button loop but no button to hook onto. So I am on a hunt for the perfect button....


Here is a photo of the inside of the bag per request. For the sturdy part at the bottom, I cut up my old cutting mat and covered it with matching fabric. I hated to throw out the old mat when I bought a new replacement for it, but I wasn't sure what to do with it. It turns out cutting it into bottoms for bags is the perfect way to salvage it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Heat Wave

It sure has been a hot summer. Makes us want to stay in all the time. I am fine with that because that is where my sewing machine is. :) Fabricards had a postcard swap with the theme of "Heat" in honor of the heat waves some of the members were having. As soon as I saw that swap I immediately thought of an egg frying on a sidewalk. So I signed up and made this post card. The bottom of the card looked empty so I added the text "Heat Wave" in yellow. The letters turned out OK, but I do believe I need to work on my freehand letters a little more.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Squaring Up 388 Times

I spent some time over the past week squaring up 388 1 1/2 inch half square triangles. They are scraps left over from a quilt top I made years ago. They have been in the sewing closet for over six years and I figured it was about time I turned them into something. So I got out an old flannel board and started laying them out and soon realized they were all different sizes, and not a one of them was square. I knew if I didn't square them up, the design I wanted to make would turn out horribly wrong. So I resigned myself to trimming them all to a 1 1/2 inch square no matter how long it took. I loaded Xena Warrior Princess Season 2 on the computer (which is right next to my cutting area) and got to work. By the end of Season 2 and partway into Season three, I finally finished. :)
Above is the leftovers next to all my half square triangles. Now I just have to figure out what to do with all these new leftovers. To the garbage I suppose... but, how small is too small for the scrap bin? Wouldn't they look nice in a clear Christmas bulb Ornament. Maybe I'll save them after all. Hopefully not another 6 years though.