Thursday, June 30, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

OK, I really do KNOW that it is not Wed, but I missed Work in Progress Wed over at Lee's Freshly Pieced blog, which is always a great place to see what everybody is doing. Great inspiration there!! So I will go with it and just pretend! (I do live in my own little happy world!)

And speaking of Happy....

I won this layer cake awhile back and have been wanting to do something fun with it. So I found something fun...and happy! 

There is a great tutorial by Kati on her blog From the Blue Chair. (it is under the "tutorials" link at the top of her banner)  I love this blog, Katie has so many great ideas! This one is called  Stack & Whack Wonky Blocks. She does a great job explaining the steps in her tutorial, so I am not going to repeat it all here but I started by sorting the colors into batches of 3, and then added a plain white 10x10 square to each batch.

Then you start the cutting....and this is my kind of exact perfectly sized squares or nasty  triangles!!

Then you rearrange the pieces so that you have contrasting boxes. 

Using the layer cake which is 10x10 I cut 3 strips, and this leaves a finished block that is 8x8.

Kati does suggest working with only a few blocks at a time, because if you get them mixed up, it can be a disaster. What she did not say was that you should not eat, drink or chew gum during this process!!! (although at one point I was thinking a glass of wine might help !!!) I ruined one block, and finally had to cut some extra strips...fortunately it was the white fabric, so there was extra.

Here is the first 2 finished blocks. This is going to be so bright and cheery.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

catching some sun

not much time for sewing today... we have had a lot of family/house guests coming and going so have to catch up on the laundry...lots of errands to run..and need to get out into the yard.

It has been raining a lot in the past week, but today it hot and sunny, so need to get the grass cut and the yard tidied up.

The rain has been great for all the flowers...

Monday, June 27, 2011

wedding weekend

I don't get to attend many weddings these days, but of course I had TWO weddings ...both on the same day!!
Fortunately the timing was perfect, one was afternoon, and one was evening so I was able to be there for both of them.

I have posted quite a bit about the quilts I made for these weddings..
"Celebration" ..

for the Celebration bride and groom...

and "Kiss the Frog"  oops I mean "Ever After"

for the "Ever After" bride and groom.

The "Celebration" wedding was my nephew, so we have had a lot of family staying here, so things have been busy. It will seem very quiet today when the house is empty!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

On with the backing ..

I found some perfect material for the backing for the magic 4 patch quilt.....of course in the half price section!!
And with my superior mathematics skills...I figured and ciphered and .....still I managed to buy a yard too much !!!

Oh well, I am sure I will find another home for the leftovers!
So I have been working on the FMQ for the quilt...I am really enjoying doing this.

The more I do, the more comfortable I get with it. I love this machine.. my Janome Horizon for is soooo even and steady! I still am FMQ without dropping the feed dogs, and just setting the stitch length to zero. I works great!
There are still mistakes, and little jigs and jogs in places, but my stitching is getting more even. I keep using the same pattern/design for my FMQ... the echoed feather/teardrop thing.....maybe I am stuck in a rut...or maybe as I prefer to think about it ..I am perfecting a technique!

I did try something a little different for the border though...  kind of cute, aren't they??

And the back yard is blooming..I love to take a tour each day and see what is new out there..

Thursday, June 23, 2011

helping a blog friend

I am sure some of you know Kaaren from The Painted Quilt.  If you follow her blog you will know that she is taking a break from blogging because of a  serious health issue.  She is staying very positive, and we are all thinking of her and wishing her well.

Some very kind friends are organizing a special quilt to show our support.

Here are some words from  Allie at Allie-oops Sweet Happy Life
      " We would like her to know that she's not fighting alone, and Paulette from Sweet P Quilting and Creations and Leslie from Les Quilts and I have decided to organize a quilt for her."

Please consider contributing to this worthwhile project. Specific directions about what they want are listed 
here.  It is easy....even I can do this!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Love this stuff!!

I just have to tell you about this iron on fusible web...
It is called Lite Steam-a-seam and it is great! I use it to attach my labels to the back of my quilts.

Why I like it so much is that it is light weight, and it sticks on!
So I cut it to size, peel off the backing and the stick it onto the back of the label.(labels made  from Spoonflower)
Press with a hot iron, then let it cool for a few minutes. Peel off the paper and then I can fold over the edges, and they stick to the fusible webbing!

It makes it sooo easy! Then set it into place on the back of the quilt, press with a hot iron again, and presto!

it is fused in place.  I still hand stitch around it to make it secure..

But it makes it so easy when it is stuck down and doesn't move around!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday finishes !

Yeah ....I am making progress !!

I finished my very own "Kiss the Frog"...

for anybody who doesn't know the reason for this name, it is because I when went to buy the backing for the original Kiss the Frog quilt, which was for a wedding gift for a dear friend,  I found this fabric that was the perfect color of yellow. There were printed words "Princess", "Castle and Carriages" , "Crown" , "Once upon a Time" scattered across the fabric. It was perfect.....until I got it home and was working with it and noticed it also had very faint, subtle print..."Kiss the Frog" !!!  I had a few second thoughts about using it for a wedding gift...but that passed quickly LOL! Just hope they don't look too closely at the back!

And then because I loved the colors and how this one turned out, so I made one almost exactly the same ...just for me : )
 And I guess the name will stick!

I have also finished the top of the Magic 4 patch..

I love these colors too! Oh no....I might have to make one of these just for me too !! This one is going to a very special girl, who I don't see anymore, and I miss.

So I am off to find some backing for this one....and you never know what else I might find at the local quilt store!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

Another week....another project not finished ..haha!!

But it has been a busy week, on lots of different fronts. But I did manage to get some quilting time too.

The magic 4 patch is still in the works....

I really love these colors. They are so soft and pretty.

I spent some time working on the free motion quilting for the "Kiss the Frog" that I made just for me...
 I only have enough pins to baste 2 quilts, so that forces me to get busy and do some quilting !!  So now only  the binding left to do on this pretty little one!

I also have another tote bag in the works. This one is bigger...called a Day-tripper bag. Also a pattern from a magazine.(Izzy & Ivy Design)  Also made from home decorator fabric. I love those heavier fabrics for tote bags, it gives them a bit more durability.This one is quite stiff, and has Buckram instead of batting in the layers.

Now I need to find some pretty large buttons for the closure loops....maybe I will go check out Button Mad, they have such cool handmade buttons there.

Projects that are still sitting, and waiting patiently are "Java" and "Daydream"  But...
I had to buy (yes..I had to!) some more fabric. I ordered from 1 choice 4

They had some good sales on, and were so friendly to deal with. Now I am watching my mailbox!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Lady's Slipper

No, not a glass slipper, a little yellow Lady's is actually part of the orchid family. When I was a little girl I used to see these growing wild in a valley near our farm. So when I saw this in the garden center a few years ago I had to have one.   OK $17 is outrageous to pay for a little 2" bedding plant ...I know! I did it anyway.

I have been pampering this little thing along for 3 years now....well, DH dumped a wheelbarrow full of dirt on top of it last year....but I was very quick to dig it out! And it appreciated the effort, because it survived. I am always amazed that anything can survive over winter went down to minus 51 degrees last winter (with the wind chill...and only briefly !!) but it survived that too.

And now.....

isn't it beautiful? So worth the $17!!
I think Miss Piggy is watching over it now!

Friday, June 10, 2011

gathered bag

This week I took a break from finishing up quilt tops ( I know..another break!!) and made a fun bag. It was a pattern from a magazine. (designed by Laundry Basket quilts)

It went together very quickly too. I used heavier upholstery fabric. The local Fabricland has a whole wall of end of the roll sale fabric, and it is very wide, so great for larger projects. This bag is about 18" wide, so a good size.

The only thing I would change if I made this again is the way the lining was finished...
The pattern said to quilt the layers first, then cut it out. But of course I cut out the pieces first and then quilted then together because I didn't read the whole instruction page first !  But anyway, I got to the same place : )
Then after you sew the bag together you use bias binding to finish the seam on the inside. It looks OK, but not  finished as smoothly as I would like (coming from a clothing background I guess) but ok for a tote bag.

There is also a finishing touch of a little gathering on the front. I used a coordinating piece of cording, which of course presented some challenges. First of all it was like trying to push a wet noodle through that little pocket! Secondly, I tried to melt the ends with a match because they were unraveling... not try this at doesn't melt, it lights on fire!!!  So once I stomped out the fire (kidding) I wound the ends with crochet cotton. Hope it holds!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

Another Wednesday already !!

Time is just flying by.....and although I seem to have been busy, I really haven't accomplished a whole lot.....or maybe I just can't find it!!  And yes, that is a golf club you see there.. I have to add some elastic to the Sunflower cover because it keeps falling off when I am walking the golf course!

I know, I have to clean up my sewing room! But it is an organized mess, really!
What is under there? Well, Daydream is basted and ready to quilt, you can just see the orange colored backing in there somewhere. It is a big quilt, so I need a good stretch of time to start quilting this one.

You may recognize the "Kiss the Frog" quilt....well, I liked it so much I have made one for myself! This one to keep! There are a few changes, but pretty much it is the same quilt.
(can you spot them ?? sort of like trying to find Waldo, right??)

I have also started the "Magic 4 patch" quilt kit made from Buttercup by Moda.  Now I need to cut this all up into pieces and sew it back together again! Love these soft colors!

Wow what a giveaway!

Well, my "operating system" seems to have found its way home! Not sure what that was all about, but needless to say I backed everything up on an external hard drive........  Which I know you are supposed to do regularly, but I seem to only do it when I get a scare that something is going wrong! Oh well, maybe this was just a reminder glitch.

Speaking of finding...I found an amazing giveaway at 1 choice 4 quilting.  You really have to check this one is a whole bag full of goodies. And they have a big fabric sale too.

 I mentioned this blog last week when they were doing a giveaway...and I actually won a jelly roll of "Warm Memories" from Kansas Trouble Quilters by Moda.

I have just the quilt in mind for this little baby...stay tuned.  Meantime, I am going to browse around the sale at 1 choice 4 quilting!! I know that I need to finish other things, but really, once I am finished I will need something to work on, right???

Monday, June 6, 2011

What does that even mean??

When I got up this morning and turned on my laptop, it told me....

"Operating System Cannot be Found"

what does that even mean.?????..except that it is Monday morning, and seems to be off to a good start!!
It cant be good, that's about all I can say!

So I shut my laptop down, and went to work! I will see if it is in a better mood when I get home.  Keep your fingers crossed that it can find its way to the operating system by then!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Batting scraps

I know most quilters have trouble throwing out any scraps...I even keep scraps of batting !!

But I have found that they work great for making bags...small bags..
I have made a lot of these Buttercup bags....

It is a free pattern from Made by Rae. Really cute, and very easy. I added a zipper closure to mine, though.
I love these because they are great for fat for the outside of the bag, and one for the lining.

I find that those scraps of batting are great for these....I sew it to the lining...and those long skinny bits are great for the handle straps..

It is also a great way to practice some free motion quilting...

and really....doesn't matter if you make mistakes here because it is going to be covered by the pocket on the inside anyway : )  Really !

And now I have found a new favourite bag....

It is another free pattern called the Phoebe Rebeka Lambert over at Artsy Crafty Babe ...which is a very fun blog too!
I love this bag! It is even easier than the Buttercup, so goes together really quickly, and is a bit bigger. (although I think that the Buttercup bag comes in a larger size as well) My daughters, who each have a few of the Buttercup Bags, are already putting in requests!!  Great bag..thanks Rebeka!

..and if you look closely you can see one of those great buttons from Australia  (from Jan-Maree at Cherry Red Quilter) on this bag...perfect !!