Monday, October 31, 2011

31 Days - 3

Not too bad for me, I managed to make it through 31 days of blogging and only missed three times. The perfectionist in me wanted to post-date for those missing days, but I wouldn't let her. No excuses, no covering up - I just didn't do it!

I have been busy stitching, though!I finished 6 Notebook sized journal covers with Paris themed fabrics. They came out super cute and fun.
A reversible luggage handle pad. I don't know whether I like the blue polka dots or the yellow floral the best. Both are fun and bright!

A folder holder with the white print. It is lined with the blue polka dot and has binding in the yellow print.
And last, but not least the Travel Duffle by StudioCherie patterns. Another hit! This is a great pattern, I did have a little difficulty understanding a couple parts, but when I just followed the directions step by step it all came together.

I think I might have to make more of these! (They would make awesome gifts for my family, I think!) I love the jute handles - the fabric on them really dresses them up and makes them nice for carrying. That side pocket has pleats so will expand to hold lots of goodies.

I've enjoyed doing this 31 days (well, lets just call it 28). I don't think I'll be blogging every day for the rest of the year, but hopefully I will be blogging more often and sharing what I'm working on. Thanks for reading, and commenting! See ya in November!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Yesterday I finished this beauty and sent it home to a very happy owner! We have been working on this top for over a year now. It is absolutely beautiful and I really enjoyed all the quilting that I put into it. All of the blue backgrounds are stippled, and most of the rest is a variation of echoing.The hearts have echoed hearts in a rayon thread - I was pretty surprised that I didn't have a lot of trouble with this thread breaking. I will definitely use it again, I like the subtle shine it has!
The doves were echoed in the different sections, and I really liked the way it brought out the shape of them.
But my very favorite was the hills and sky in the center panel. I'd love to do more landscape type work and this helped me visualize how to quilt this kind of a piece.

Today I worked on a block for my Crazy Jane quilt and blogged about it here.

I organized some projects that I'll be working on next week and made a shopping list for JoAnn's. I have a 30% discount card that I need to use tomorrow, so I want to get everything I need while I can! Now it's off to the recliner for some more hand stitching on that Flower Garden. I'll really celebrate when I get that done!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Congratulations to Sam who wins the banner of 7 Halloween flags! Sam, if you will contact me, I will send them ASAP - you might not get to hang them for this year, but they will be great for the future!

Patti, I'll bring the sewing kit to our meeting today!

Have a happy fall day, everyone, hope you get to do some fun stitching today - I am going to go embellish the stained glass quilt I've been working on, then off to have coffee with my lovely group of local Etsy gals.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sooo tired

Ah, tonight I am so tired. I worked at the quilt shop until mid-afternoon. Then I had errands to run, and quickly because I had to go to the post office and the bank and the credit union before they all closed. Then I needed to go buy milk. When I got home, I had to change and go to the track to walk 2 miles with my husband. This is our first week of walking together and I don't want to be the spoil-sport and be too tired. After walking I had to go home, start laundry, and the dishwasher and make dinner (next Wednesday we are having something in the crock-pot for sure!).

So now I am cozy in my recliner, reading blogs and catching up on my e-mail. In a few minutes I'll put the lap-top aside and pull this lovely thing onto my lap and do some stitching. And I will be relaxed and refreshed and happy. Aaah.

Don't forget, my giveaway ends tomorrow! Only two people have commented, so you might want to throw your comment in, since you have a good chance (please, please!)

I feel like a lonely blogger that no one loves....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quilted Journal Covers for Notebooks

Today I've been working on an order for a set of quilted journal covers for regular size spiral notebooks.This is one of them, so pretty in pink!

Love these fun fabrics, I'll have to make sure I get a picture of the finished set, for now...
back to the sewing room!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's All in the Details

For me one of the most enjoyable parts of sewing is all the details - I just love the small things that make each project something special! Even when I was sewing shirts and things for my daughters to wear to school, I loved the finicky little details that made the outfits look so sweet!Finishing up this duffle today, I definitely was grooving on the wonderful details! Found the eyelets which were the awesome antique tone that goes so well with the colors of the bag, and I got to use some of my stash of twill tape that has Moda printed on it! So wonderful! The cording and the little cord stop also were floating my boat today!

Then I finished this sweet bag off with a giant black button and loop closure. So great!!!
Isn't the inside so pretty, too?
One more look - I just love it

Then I finished up this Suzi purse insert - large size. It came out so sweet, what a fun afternoon in the sewing room. I missed out on working on my Dear Jane blocks today, but I'll do those over the week (cross my heart!)

Hope you had a happy day of stitching, or whatever you love, too!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bucket Bags!

Today was a good day for stitching! I headed for the sewing room right after breakfast and got out the pattern and fabrics for this cute number (pun intended!).

This was my first time working with laminate. It was interesting. I had difficulty with my tension. My teflon foot didn't help with that, and I really didn't have any issues with my regular foot, so put that back on to finish up. I added a zipper pocket and two patch pockets to this pattern.

This one was easier with regular quilting cottons. I also added an additional zipper pocket and inside pockets to this one. Love the fun fabric in it! I also started another bag, but it's not ready for a photo op quite yet - I'll finish it up tomorrow.

Bags made using Keyka Lou's Bucket Bag Pattern. I made the bags wider and added extra pockets to the lining.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ella and the Art Caddy

I woke up today with a sore and stiff back, so I'm feeling a little slow and off-kilter. Despite that I headed into the sewing room this afternoon and accomplished a couple of projects. The first one was The Ella Carry-All. Aren't the fabrics cute?
I've never made an actual duffle bag like this, so I was curious to see how it would go, and it went great! The pattern is very well written and quite easy to make. The trickiest part was the round bottom and the tips in the instructions made it a breeze! Instead of using the pattern, I put my handy circle ruler to work, the ruler made cutting the circle shape a breeze.
Sorry, no picture of the final product - I dropped my camera :( and it keeps shutting off. I'll get new batteries tomorrow, and hopefully it will work again. For more projects by the designer go here to see some great ideas and downloadable patterns!
After that I worked on making the Art Caddy - super cute! I'm getting pretty practiced at making this pattern. There's a lot of layers and fusing, but it comes out nice every time!
One of these days I'll have to make one for myself! Now, it's off to bed for me, hope my back feels better tomorrow, I have more projects to work on. Make sure you make a few minutes to go enter my Give Away before next Thursday!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quilting With a Friend

Today I helped a friend to work on her rag quilt. Technically I didn't do any of the stitching, but I did pin all the squares for her. Two hours went by really fast with chatting, pinning and stitching! I think that we might be able to finish getting the top together next week, but she is on her own with the snipping!

Time for a Give Away!

Ok, I found what I was looking for in my disaster area of a sewing room, took some quick pictures and am ready for action! I decided to have three prizes, and I will be running this giveaway for a whole week. Simply post a comment here telling me which prize you would like and I will put your name in the pot for that item. Would you like an extra opportunity? Follow my blog and leave me a comment telling me you did. And for a third chance, give me a shout-out somewhere (blog, facebook, twitter...) and leave me a comment about that! Ready to see what you could win?

Here goes:
One pattern for a Travel Sewing Kit and Knitting Caddy by Valori Wells. I used it to make a shop sample for the quilt shop and loved the results! I loved it so much I made two, so I have an extra one to give to a lucky person! It is made out of gorgeous batiks and a pansy print. It's got a nifty pocket with a flap and felt pages for your needles and pins.
And last, but not least, a string of 7 fall flags to hang on your porch or over your mantel for Halloween! (Also for sale in my Etsy shop, if you don't want to take your chances on winning it!)

I will ship to anyone, so no restrictions on entering, but you only get three chances!

Good luck! I'll choose three winners next Thursday at 8:00 am pacific time!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Trying Something New

Don't laugh, but I'm a bit vegetable challenged - growing up we ate potatoes at almost every meal, and usually had green beans or corn as a vegetable. I like a larger variety of vegetables now, but feel rather intimidated by cooking things that I've never eaten before. Today my boss gave me a cute little round spaghetti squash, and even though I'd never tried one before I decided to go ahead and serve it. My friend google found me some instructions for cooking it and I decided to go with baking it, then sauteing in butter and garlic. It was delicious, and now I've added a new vegie to my repetoire! Yay for trying something new!
And now for another something new - my sampler project. This is the first time I have ever made anything quilty with gray! I really like it and am excited to add the borders, I think it will be lovely! I am thrilled to be one step closer to finishing this big project, I've really enjoyed it and am looking forward to seeing what the completed project will look like.

Do you like to try new things, or do you stick with what's comfortable? I'm often guilty of sticking with the tried and true, but I do love to experiment sometimes and try a different approach.

I'm getting some goodies together and will post about my celebratory giveaway in the morning - I have some fun goodies that I want to share, so be sure to check in and see what I've got, I think you'll like it!

I'm a Winner!

I spent a little time hopping around blogs yesterday, and were there ever a lot of giveaways going on. Now, I don't enter these very often, mostly because I get discouraged when I don't win (call me a sore sport, I guess!), but yesterday I entered several just because I figured that if you don't enter you really can't win. This morning I was making my blog rounds and when I got to Gudrun's World I saw that I had won a copy of this awsome book:
I can't wait to make some of the fun projects in it! I think to celebrate, I might have to host a giveaway of my own - so you'll have to come back and find out more later this evening when I have it all together! For now, it's off to the quilt shop for work - wonder what new fabrics arrived this week? I'm hoping some laminate for the cute tote in the book I won!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One Done, One Begun.

Nothing like a deadline to motivate me, I got the Cross Stitch Quilt all finished up today.Here is a picture before the scallops were quilted, showing how I quilted all the short lines that are all around the edges. Instead of cutting my thread, I just let it travel between the two lines. I'll have to go trim up all of those later, but for now they are out of the way and I can quilt all the scalloped lines. (See the little dots between the two lines of cross stitched scallops? Those are the quilting lines on this quilt)
After the quilting was finished I trimmed up the edges to prepare for the binding. The binding is out of the same pink satin used for the back. I was a little worried, because this stuff frays if you look at it wrong. So I handled it very carefully, and it wasn't too bad. I stitched it to the back of the quilt first, then pressed it toward the edge, turned it to the front and top-stitched it down. It came out fabulous!
Before binding - so pretty! After I get the threads trimmed I will take some nicer pictures to document it. Rumor has it that the maker of the top has another for me to quilt - I'll look forward to it, this was a really nice project.
Here's the next one on the list. It's a beautiful stained glass quilt that my student and I have been working on for a year now. The top is finished and I get to do all the quilting. The pattern says to quilt cloud shapes on the sky - what do you think? I like it, and think the variegated thread is really nice here. I'll be adding some lines from the star to the outside in metallic thread later. The quilting is doing a great job of taking in the bagginess from the bias tape being stitched on. I'd like to finish this one by the end of the month, so you'll see more on it as I go!

Time to go work on my hand-quilting now. It was a good day for stitching!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cross Hatch Quilting

Today I worked on the cross hatch stitching on the cross stitch quilt (sorry for the poor picture, should have taken it during the day time). I use my walking foot for this, I was a little worried because the top was a little uneven because of the cross stitching, but it worked great. For this one I did a little back stitch at the end of my lines and trimmed the thread ends close. Tomorrow I will finish up free-motioning the scallops on the edge, trim it and bind it! It will be very nice to cross a project off my very long list!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

5 blocks in 4 hours - More Jane

I know why I have nick-named this quilt "Crazy Jane" but now you can all appreciate why also. I made 5 blocks today. Each block is 5 inches square. So for an entire afternoon of work I have a bit more than a square foot of this quilt finished! No matter, I know this wasn't going to be a quick and easy project when I started, so I shall just keep on until it's finished!
This is block E-2. I had background fabric and the two football pieces in a baggie. No fabric for the border. So, I pulled the freezer paper off and chose another fabric. The two footballs are appliques, then the border pieces are simply stitched on by machine. Took me about an hour. (I'm not a super speedy applique-er!)
Looks very nice!
On to E-5. I decided to do this using a paper piecing technique, then applique the circle. The hardest part was figuring out how big to cut the pieces for the rays. After that, it was just stitch, press trim until I got each half done. Pieced them together and appliqued the circle. Another hour.
I remembered to use starch on the edges of the circle when I pressed it for the most awesome crisp edge! Just spray a little starch in the cap, apply it to the seam allowances with a paintbrush and press. No basted needed at all and you get the neatest circle you ever saw!
Block E-6. This one was a little scary with some very small piecing and lots of triangles. I jumped right in and decided to just piece it normally using the strategy of cutting the pieces larger than needed and trimming for each step. The very center I made by adding white borders to a print square, then cutting the square in half diagonally to sew with two print triangles. This was then trimmed down to 1 1/2 inches!
After this I just sewed on the print borders with white squares, trimmed up again, then the white triangles and a final trim. I thought I was done at this point, then realized I needed to applique those squares on! They were cut at one inch, then (using spray starch again) I pressed in the two sides 1/4 inch, then pressed the top and bottom in 1/4 inch also. This made a nice tight square that I appliqued down using about 4 stitches in each side! This took an hour also.
I broke from the order to find a couple more blocks I could get done quickly. E-9 was a good choice. It's a simple lattice, and I did it using strip piecing.
I cut 4 colored strips, sewed them with 3 white strips, then cut into sections. Each section sewed together with white strips, then border with more white. 1/2 hour block!
And for the Fifth block - F-4. Been looking at this for a while, not quite sure how I wanted to approach it. The measurements were a bit odd, involving 1/16 of an inch, but I blasted through it and it came out great!
I made a 9 patch with the four large triangles and white strips with a blue square in the center. Then I added small triangles to the corner to fill it out. Another 1/2 hour block and I had time to organize and put away all my stuff. I'm happy to be making good progress on this project, and if I can keep up my current pace should be able to finish the top by my next birthday! (My goal for this year!)

Yes, I'm a little crazy, but aren't we all in our own way?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Another Day

That makes two days this week with no stitching! Definitely not the norm for me, but I hope to make up for it this coming week. The man of the house will be back to work, and I will not have the extra meetings and work this week myself. I did get two boxes with lots of sewing projects that I get to work on (the first box arrived yesterday!). My dear customer Margie has outdone herself with this batch of wonderful bags and goodies, I will be happily sewing for the next few weeks on these lovelies!

This is my Buster cat. He likes to sit in my lap and tries to compete with the computer. I can't decide if he looks pathetic or just plain spoiled! A little of both. We share this chair, and if I'm not sitting in it, he likes to nap in it. He only has one eye, but gets along just fine and is a sweet boy. He doesn't keep me company in my sewing room like his sister used to, but loves to snuggle when I'm blogging!

Such a life - doesn't he look like a neglected kitty? You should see when he tries to lay on the keyboard, we have our battles for sure!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dresden Plates - looking good!

I got a box in the mail last week with the pieces of a quilt that I was requested to finish for a customer. I need to get this one pieced and quilted by Christmas, so need to make sure I keep working on it so I make it for the deadline. We decided that I would machine stitch the plates to the background, which looks really nice. I used a lightweight fusible webbing underneath the Dresden plate so I could turn the edges neatly, and it worked like a charm! I then stitched around the edge of the inner circle and pressed the seam allowance to the inside. I top-stitched this edge also and was pleased with the result. One block down, 47 more to go - how many days till Christmas? Guess I'd better add this to my daily list for sure!

For a person who can't seem to finish her own projects, I'm pretty excited about finishing other quilter's. Guess it's easier to deal with someone else's stuff than my own - at least I'm accomplishing something, though! I did put together the top row of my sampler quilt today, I really am excited to get it all together. All in good time, I suppose.

Speaking of in good time, it's time I was in bed, I have a planning meeting tomorrow for our church Ladies Retreat and I want to be able to concentrate! Sleep well!