Wednesday, December 31, 2014

End of the year Wrap Up

Wow, a whole month has gone by with no blog posts.  The month of December had very little time at the computer, which is a rare thing for me.  I did get a little sewing done but not as much as I would have liked. I haven't even completed any goals on my Fourth Quarter Finish-A-Long list.  I was so busy with work and vacation and holiday stuff that I didn't even get a chance to blog or have time to to take fancy photos.  Instead I have some late night cell phone pics, not the best, but still better than no photos at all.

So this post will be a December Recap and a 2014 recap. 
Before we left on vacation, I finished up a few sewing projects.  

First up is the first of two T-shirt quilts for a client.   (I'm finishing up the second one this week)

This is a small quilt using only four shirts. The backs of the t-shirts had some words printed on the back as well so I added them in the quilt.

Next up are the items I made for the "Twas the Night" blog hop:
a foldable needle holder, some small snap bags, crochet dish scrubbers, and a cute little Christmas bag to put wrap them all. These all went to Jane for the blog hop. She posted them on her blog during the hop, but I wanted to post them here as well.


I also made a few more snap bags as Christmas presents for some special friends of mine. 

Then it was time to hit the high seas.  We took another cruise this year for our family Christmas present and had a wonderful time.  We went to Jamaica, Grand Turk, and Nassau.  
We got back in time to spend the holidays with extended family and before I knew it December was coming to a close.

Even though the last quarter of the year was slower behind the machine than usual, I was very productive for the rest of the year.  Here is my collage of Finished Quilts for 2014.

Next up is my collage of the Smaller Projects I completed in 2014.

I'd say the year as a whole was a pretty good one at the machine.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Twas the Night Blog Hop

Oh my! Would you look at all this yummy goodness.  I must say Jeanie from Gracie Oliver Arts sure spoiled me.  Everything was wrapped so beautifully.

Here is everything fresh out of the packaging. Jeanie has such wonderful craftsmanship and I am happy to be the recipient of all this wonderful goodness.

  She handcrafted me four wonderful items:
1. A Christmas themed Matryoshka Bin, filled with some wonderful sewing themed fat quarters.
2. A coffee Koozie, which will come in handy for that cup of hot Chocolate and Christmas Wassail.
3. Four festive fabric coasters.  I love these little beauties and my hubby has already claimed one for his computer desk.
4. A 10 minute Table Topper. She picked out the perfect fabrics!
Jeanie also added some extra goodies, I oohed and awwed for each package: A lovely little snowman ornament, wonderful scented hand soap, gingerbread buttons, a 2015 Calendar, and a wonderful Gooseberry tote to carry everything in. (It has a lovely snowman print and is folded up in the picture behind the soap).

  And to top everything off, she sent me printed instructions on  how to make each gift! That is a gift in itself.  Thank you so much Jeanie!  I am one lucky gal!

For my quick gifts I started with something for my knitting friends.
It is a Triangular knitting needle case and the pattern came from the book Sew Gifts! by Martingale.
This case is pretty long so it will hold your longest knitting needles.

Knitted dishcloths also make quick gifts.
Two of my favorite patterns are the Ball Band dishcloth and the Knitted Basketweave pattern.

For my young friends I made a Card and Key Wallet. Perfect for giving gift cards or cash. This pattern is also from the book Sew Gifts!  I don't usually buy books unless I like at least half of the patterns and this book didn't disappoint. There are several other small gifts on my "to do" list from this book.

For my adult friends who like to bargain shop I made some Loyalty Card Wallets. This was a free tutorial from Nancy's Couture.  I altered the pattern several ways by adding interfacing in the pocket sections, extending the width of the pieces by half an inch, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, and adding a button/ponytail holder closure.  
I even made one of these for myself.  It holds all my loyalty cards and fits nicely in my purse.
No more rummaging through my stack of cards.  The fabric bowl can also be make pretty quick.  I made this one a long time ago from start to finish in a four hour class.

Next up is a gift for anyone who wants a unique way to charge and store their little devices.
I used the free tutorial at Positively Splendid.  She had a clever idea to use a command strip hook to hang the pocket on the wall next to the outlet.  I am going to do that too, that way I can use the charger holder for my android devices. Those chargers are too wide to fit through the grommet.

Last up is a small Christmas themed Cross Stitch. Right now I am deciding what I want to do with it. I have narrowed it down to either an ornament, the front of a Christmas pouch, or the focal point of a notepad holder.  I suppose I could make two more  trees and then I won't have to pick which project to use it with  ;)

  What was really helpful in stitching this tree was my new toy, the Beam and Read.  You can read all about it here.  I like how it gave me that little extra light to see my stitches better. It even came with a red or orange cover to give you a little different glow.  In the picture above I have it clicked on three light bulbs, but for my stitching I liked using all six.

Another thing the Beam and Read is good for is extra lighting for photo shoots.  Particularly when you play on the weekends and keep forgetting to take photos of your projects when the sun is shining so you have to take photos after you get off work in the evening when it is dark outside.
I turned on all the lights in the room and added an extra lamp, but I was still getting some shadows I didn't like. With the Beam and Read I was able to move the lighting where ever I needed it. Thus it saved my photos from being too dark and grainy.  I think I may take this light camping with me too. It's lightweight and super bright.

Make sure you head on over to Jane's Quilting to see what I sent her and check out the other hoppers as well to get inspired.

Thursday, Nov. 20
Quilted Delights - Me  :)

Thanks to Mdm Samm and Marlene for hosting a fun and inspiring hop!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

ALYOF November Goal

I'm usually posting my last month's finish and then the new goal, but for this month there is no finish for October. So I'm making the goal for November is the same goal from October.  

October was a crazy busy month and I didn't even get a chance to look at my dresden plates.
This month I am determined to get them finished.

Check out all the other goals for November here at the ALYOF link up party.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Black Cat Crossing Blog Hop

I am excited to show off my Black Cat Crossing projects!  I love this fabric line!
The colors are just my style.  I love the whole line and I wanted a little bit of each print.
The best way to do that was to buy some pre-cuts.  I bought two charm packs and two jelly rolls.
I also bought some yardage for the background on my first project.

This little quilt is a Schnibble pattern called Hook.
Schnibble patterns are cute little quilts meant for charm packs and the patterns are wonderfully written.
I took the quilt on a photo shoot in town.  This is at an old tobacco barn.
This particular barn was moved to town as a historical piece. The chimney which was used to dry the tobacco has been closed up, but it makes a great spot for photographing small quilts.

This quilt went together super fast.  This is one of those patterns that looks like it will take forever to piece together, but in reality it goes together really fast.

The picture on the front of the pattern shows the same background fabric used throughout, but I choose the option of adding a different color background triangle as suggested on Miss Rosie's blog and I am glad I did.  I love the look of the black.

Next I opened my jelly rolls.
I knew right a way that I wanted to make a Chevron quilt.
This particular version needs two of each strip so that is the reason I bought two jelly rolls.
The Little Fabric Blog gives a great tutorial on this method.  She uses three inch strips, but I went ahead and used the 2.5 inch strips and had 21 rows instead of 19 to make it a little longer.

You can use one jelly roll to make this quilt, but you will also need a solid alternating color.
Crazy Mom Quilts, whose version is called Zig Zag Quilt,  has a great tutorial using a solid background color between the zig and zags.

This is another fireplace on old tobacco barn.  I didn't know what they were for at first, but as I was taking pictures a fellow who was taking a Sunday Stroll with his granddaughter told me what they were used for.  He knew all about the barn and told me he was one of the guys who helped move it to its current spot near the museum.  It was fun talking to someone who knew about the history of it and could tell me more about how the buildings were used.

After making my Chevron quilt I had a lot of Jelly strips left.  Enough to start another quilt.
This is the start of "That 70s Quilt" from the book Strip Savvy by Kate Henderson.

When I bought my first round of Black Cat Crossing fabrics, I didn't know I was going to make this quilt, so I didn't get enough background fabric to complete it. Those two tan leftover strips from the jelly roll aren't going to be enough, but I still wanted to show off what I had done so far. I have 25 blocks patiently waiting for the background fabric to come in the mail.  
This is the quilt from the book and I am anxiously waiting for the background fabric to arrive.

My third project is a little drawstring bag. I used the tutorial from In Color Order. She also has a pattern for sell that offers measurements for different size bags.
Can you see who is sneaking up in the back.
Our neighbor had some kittens born in her shed a few months ago
and they like to come over from time to time to get snacks and some lovins.

This little black kitty is usually pretty shy, but he has been warming up to us
and he came over to see what I was doing.

He posed so purrfect for me.

His sibling couldn't resist checking me out too.

And before I was finished his other sibling, another black kitten, came over to see what all the fuss was about.  This is definitely a Black Cat Crossing area.

Thanks so much for stopping by and be sure to check out the other hoppers today.
Thanks go out to Mdm Samm and Wicked Wendy for hosting a fun hop!

Tuesday, October 28


Friday, October 24, 2014

Book Holders

 One of the Young Women leaders at church asked me if I would make some book holders for the girls to keep their little church books organized.

I say little because the books are about 7 inches high.  I didn't have any of the books that go inside so I didn't get to take a picture showing how they look inside.  I also didn't think to take a photo of them open, but you can see some open versions here.  On the inside is three slots for books and a small pocket for a pen.
The tutorial I used called for fat quarters, but I also used some of the larger pieces from my scrap bins

To decorate the fronts, I used some of the  flowers I made this spring for the 60's blog hop.
My son also helped make some extra flowers that matched better with some of the other fabrics.

These were fun and super quick to sew up,  I cut them out one evening, and then sewed them all up the next night.  I gave them to the Young Women on Wednesday night and they were a big hit.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Final List for the 2014 Finish-A-Long

I have enjoyed being part of the 2014 Finish-A-Long
It has definitely helped me tackle my UFO pile.
This quarter I am starting my list off with the last six that didn't get finished from last quarter.

My Strip Tube Quilt

My Polk-A-Dot Dresden Quilt

The Christmas Dresden Quilt

Finish the Quilting on my
solid Star Quilt

Pythagoras' Lute Quilt

One Block Wonder Quilt

These next ones are new to my FAL list. 

Finish up my animal paw quilt

Quilt this Halloween Panel.

Quilt this fall Panel

Finish up this fall leaf quilt

Come up with a way to finish
what I started with this.

Finish up this other
polk a dot Dresden quilt

I know this is a bold list for the last quarter, but I started the year with a list of twelve things so I figured I would end it off with a list of 12.  It will be fun to see how much I can actually get off the list during the Holiday Season.

I am linking up here with all the others who are working on their finishes.