Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Few Projects Done

The other night, I was spending some time in my studio, having just finished putting some blocks together into a quilt (see elsewhere in the blog) when I looked over and saw the box of goodies that I had re-packed to take to the quilt qroup in January to for show and tell.  I needed to unpack and put away all the goodies and kind of clean things up a bit - I could use the tub for other stuff.   I pulled out the following items:  a pillow cover (partial in the picture), pin cushion and a journal with a cover.  I love all of these items, but the one I am going to talk about today is the journal cover.   I like everything about this cover from the bright colors to the hexies and even the journal itself without the cover - it's bright pink with paisleys all over it!  What is not to love. 
However, as I was sitting there, I thought it needed something else.  A monogram.  I took the cover off the journal and decided how large I wanted my "N" to be.  There was some bright green fabric laying right in front of me and I only needed a 5" square so I cut that out and drew an N on it.  Looks wonderful, but I really should have put some adhesive on the back - so I did that and then cut it out.  Still looking fabulous.  I positioned it, ironed it on and then thought, how am I going to sew this down with the flap there?  I should have thought of that first, but I knew I could do it.  I simply turned the flap to the outside - it would be really sad if I sewed that down and couldn't put my journal back together.  If I can ever get the picture to download to this site, I will share with you my finished journal.  Now it is perfect and just right for me.  I love it!!

One other thing I got finished was the quilt top below.  (I even have the back finished!! - that is a minor miracle for me.  LOL)  This was from a jelly roll - can't tell you the name of it because I forgot.  I pieced the blocks awhile back and they were laying around my studio and I decided to put them together.  Then I took the leftover strips and made a piano key border for the top and bottom.  It looked like it needed one more thing so I added a little border of just white all around and I love it!  I am calling it "Boys Blocks" and it will go to one of the boys in my family for graduation.  Sometime in the next 10 years we will have 8 boys graduating and I am going to need a few boys quilts and this one is perfect! 

Last, but not least, my second iron caddy.  I just thought I had worked out all the kinks with the first one, but nope, had similar problems putting this one together, too.  I may have to make a third one to see if I can perfect this pattern.  (don't put in your request - I won't be making one anytime soon if I do make one)  This one fits my iron that I use all the time at home and I am hoping it will fit my friend Glenda's iron since this will be going to her house soon. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Iron Caddy and Quilted Bag

Found some pieces left over from the "Make New Friends" quilt and started piecing them together last Saturday at Bee Friends.  Last night I pulled them out and finished them off into a quilted bag.  I discovered and used a different fabric than what I used on the border of the quilt for the lining and handles on the bag.  Just plain straight stitching in a grid on the outside and a lovely bag is born. 
I have hidden away inside of this wonderful bag, the quilt top and leftover border fabric to maybe used on the back or in the binding.  This way it is all in one place and I know what the quilt is by the fabric on the bag.  This is about the 5th bag/quilt combo I have made and I love doing this.  It would make a great gift - if I ever gifted these quilts.  This one I do have plans for giving away once I get a back made, get it quilted and bound.  That my take awhile since I have started 4 other projects and am trying to wrap up and finish tops in progress - which this quilt top was one of the many unfinished tops hanging around my room.  I really am thinking about what I want to do for the back of this quilt, but I don't think I have any other fabrics that will go - yet!
This last Saturday at our Bee Friends meeting, Molly King, one of our fantastic members, taught us how to make an iron caddy.  I had previously about a year ago, cut out the rectangles and handle strips to make two caddies, but couldn't figure out all the folds, sewing lines, etc. from the pattern so they have been sitting nicely waiting for me to finally get back to it and figure it all out.  Thankfully, Molly did the figuring and deciphering of the pattern for me - she had a hard time, too, so it wasn't just me, thank goodness - last night along with the bag, I also finished this iron caddy.

It's for totting a hot iron and ironing - if you want, since it has Insulbright and the Teflon sheeting on the inside and lays flat when opened.  I had gotten the binding on earlier this week and put it all together and realized the buttons and loops were in the wrong places. Even though it didn't look that bad - just a little off kilter, I decided it would look so much better and I would know where to put the ones on another one, if I would just go ahead and fix it all now.  It wasn't hard to do, just time consuming.  I unstitched the parts of the binding necessary and moved the everything, stitched it back up, unstitched because I got part of the binding caught up, stitched it again, unstitched when another part of the binding got caught and finally got that one side all stitched back in place.   Then I went to the other side, since I learned my lesson,  I pinned down the binding to stitch the seam in place, so the second side went much smoother.  All that was left was moving the buttons to the right place.  This time I used a pink pearl cotton thread to sew the two buttons down and I liked it much better.  win, win!!  Now on to making one for my friend - who I had stolen the pattern from originally.  Thank you Molly for simplifying this pattern and making it understandable for everyone from the newbies to the oldies. 
Another quilter didn't think this fabric looked like me, but I think it looks exactly like me. It's a Barre J fabric that I picked up in a little town on the way to Austin.  I think it was Brady, but I am not sure if that is the correct town.  It's one of those places that I try to stop at every time I go through and I know exactly where the store is, but couldn't tell you the name of the place.  (they had even moved once and I found them again!) Anyway, her fabrics remind me of Philip Jacobs, Martha Negley and Kaffe Fassett fabrics and I love all of their styles.  (I love Brandon Mobley, too, but this doesn't look anything like his fabrics)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Gold and Silver Quilt

I finally have a picture of the silver and gold quilt I mentioned previously.  I actually call it the baby poop quilt because that gold color is the same color the painters paint (over and over again) the door frames at Odessa High.  They call the color baby poop.  However, when I recently posted a picture of a smidgen of this quilt one of my friends told me it was lovely gold and silver quilt.   Hmm.  I hadn't thought of it that way before.  When I read that, it immediately brought to mind the old girl scout song, " is silver and the other gold..."  (did you sing it in your head?)  It's a song about making new friends, but keeping the old ones, too.  So the name of this poop quilt it changing an morphing to something entirely new.  I don't know what exactly yet, but it may have something to do with friendship. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year - First Finish

Happy New Year!! This blog will either be really long or short and picture heavy one of the two.   I promised you some pictures of items from the Stocking Swap so we will start with that.  These are just a few of the items I received.  I love this pillow cover.  I have stuffed a 14" pillow form inside and it is fantastic!!  It's very bohemian and is so my style.  There is also a pincushion you will see in the next picture.  This is just strips of fabric sewn down the middle and randomly placed so the edges of the fabric are left loose and flappy.  (bad description, but truly that is how it is)  The little balls are fabric stuffed with fiberfill and then sewn around the ends and sewn onto the edge of the pillow cover and pin cushion. 
Here is the pincushion along with the journal cover and pen (you can just see the end of the pen on the top left of the cover. It writes in purple and that has become my favorite color to write with the last couple of years and is Kathy's favorite color - Kathy is the person who made the items and who I got the Swap items from)

The bag part of the Swap was a jewelry bag that gathers up to create a flower.  Here it is all gathered

Here it is opened up.  The edges of the inside fabric creates little pockets to store your jewelry plus being able to store it in the center section.  In the background you can see my new pink television!  I love it!!  On the screen is Ellen and her look back at Robin Williams' appearances on her show and how he made her laugh every time he came on.  It was a touching look back and very, very funny.  I was laughing at him and at her.  At one point she was almost curled up in the fetal position laughing so hard at what he was saying.   Anyway, I really love my new pink television.  My "gift" to myself this holiday. 

Every year Victoria of Bumble Beans and 15 Minutes Play chooses a word and makes it her word for the year.  Every year I would say, "I am going to do that" and then not follow through until last year when I chose the word "Social".  I worked at being more social almost the entire of last year.  This year I have chosen the word "Create".  I plan on creating many new things in the coming year, not just with fabric and quilting, but with paint and food and many, many other things.  I want to bring out more of this side of me.  Being creative makes me happy.  So, for the new year, I have made my new word quilt hanging.  I pieced the letters this year instead of appliqueing.  I really should have used Tonya's book  (she hasn't blogged in a really long time, but I just wanted to reference her blog here) and my letters may have been a little bit better, but I think they turned out okay for my first try at a word.  I love this background fabric and had picked up a few fat quarters for cheap (less than a dollar each) when a store was going out of business and knew that I wanted to use it as my background fabric.  That meant the other colors needed to stand out a bit since that was a busy print. 

Along with the pink fabric, I picked up a couple of this blue/green floral fabric in fat quarters, also.  This would be just right for the borders and I could pull the colors for the letters from this print.  Here it was on the wall last night when I went to bed. 

Today, I knew my mission was to get this quilted and bound and finished.  The quilting isn't the best - that is one of the things I need to work on this year in my year of "creating", but I like it "warts and all" as they say.  I used the pink to bind it and bring that color out to the edges and I loved how the little pig on the shelf is looking around the edge of the quilt.   I used a blue/green thread to do the circles and swirls on the outside and black thread to go around all the letters since they definitely needed an outline of black to stand out.  Now the only thing to do is make a label and a hanging sleeve - forgot about that until now -  and it is ready to put up on the wall.  


What is your word for the year? 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Last Finishes and New Project Plans

I don't know about you, but I have a ton of projects in the UFO (Un-Finished Object) stages.  Some of them are finished blocks that just need to be sashed or sewn together and then borders added (or not) and some of them just need one or two borders added to be a complete quilt top.  This year (2015) I am going to complete a few of those items (mainly because I need the plastic tubs they reside in for more fabric and projects).  Below is one of those items that just needed a few steps to be called complete.  I have blogged about this one before (picked up the jelly roll at the Lovington, New Mexico store on a shop hop a couple of years ago, tried to find yardage of this fabric - no luck, just need to finish blocks, add a border, etc.)  Well, now it is a finished QT (quilt top) and the next thing I will whine about is having to make a back for this thing and get it quilted, but not today. : )  I know this isn't the best picture, but I promise to get one made as soon as I return to school and can post it up on my white board.  I just don't have the space here at my house to do that.  Truthfully, I just needed to post a picture of the colors so my mother could see them.
While I have been on winter holiday, I have scrolled through some blogs and pinterest (just a bit) and found a couple of items I wanted to make.  The first of those was a trash bag for my car.  I read through the directions while I was writing them down and asked myself, why?  So, being me, I threw away what I had written down and did it my way.  Below is my prototype.  The fabric is from a pair of pants that had ripped, but I thought the fabric was interesting and would make cool grocery bags. So, I cut apart the pants and kept the usable bits.  Then I cut them up even more and made this bag.  Instead of having a separate lining and a timtex insert, I did a self lining and inserted the timtex in between (next time I will sew it in instead of trying to line up seams)  I have also included a handle with button holes that attach to a button sewn on the back (sorry no picture of that) The handle can go around the stick shift to hold the bag in place.  If anyone knows me, you know I have a problem with trash in my car (I have a lot of it) Maybe this will help me keep it corralled and make it easier to dispose of.  I can put a plastic trash sack inside this bag to keep it all in one place (and not all over the passenger floor like it is now)

 I need to try it out in my car - in a few days after all the ice has melted and it is safe to drive in town again.  (yesterday afternoon, according to the news, the police were working 20 wrecks that happened within a one hour period  AND by the 10 o'clock news, Midland police had worked over 100 wrecks!  That is how inexperienced and crazy people around here are on the ice and why I choose to stay at home!  I think most of these people think that if you just speed up, you can slide to where you want to go) I had a great time at the store yesterday morning (about 8:30 or 9 - before it iced over) meeting up with friends who were also stocking up on supplies and trying to get off the road before the crazies woke up.  I wouldn't have had to go if I had just remembered to get black eyed peas when I went a couple of days ago!  Oh, well, it was good to see my friends at the store. 

Now to go work on my word of the year.  Last year, you may recall, my word was

And even though I struggled with this at the beginning and ends of the year, I did get out and be more social.  (my friends may not think so, but I really did do a bit more stuff)  I will continue to try being more social this year, too, but I am adding another word to my list.  I will post it as soon as I have my quilted word done.  I think I will do pieced letters for this one.  (a new technique!)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Two New Tops

I am sitting here playing Candy Crush (don't hate me) and every time I begin this game (level 152) I forget that the sound of the boxes breaking sounds like my toe breaking and it makes me nauseous for the for a little while until I get used to that sound.  Speaking of which, how long should it take for a bone to heal?  It seems like it is taking forever for my toe to heal.  (it hasn't even been a month yet)  I don't think it took this long for my little toe to heal, but I have to remember that I shattered that toe back in the 70's and that every time I break it now, it is just the shattered pieces putting themselves back together in a hodge podge way to create some kind of stability in that toe.  I think I have broken that little toe about 6 times now.  The toe that it currently broken is the toe next to my big toe and it hurts!!  It has hurt since day one.  Sorry, didn't mean to start this out to make anyone else nauseous, too. 

What I did get on here to do was to post these two quilt tops.  I don't think I have posted them yet since I still had them on my camera and not in my computer files so here are the latest two tops I have completed.  A while back I asked for your opinion on which border you thought I should go with - the flowers or the plaid.  I only had one friend post and she said to go with the flowers.  That was the way I was leaning also so that is what I did.  This one I call Christmas Crosses and it was a lot of fun to put together.  I think I blogged about it here.  (hopefully I will go back through the blog and find the particular one in question and link it to the word here in the previous sentence.  Otherwise that sentence is useless)

This next one I have named Lovington Quilt.  This is from a $5.00 packet of fat quarters, some fabric from my stash and JoAnn's for the borders and here it is.  I think I blogged a bit about it here.  (see the part above about linking, etc.  Sorry if it doesn't get linked up, but it is 11:30 while I type this) 
Normally I like to start a new quilt this week or at the very least on New Year's day, but I am thinking that I really, really need to empty some tubs (so I can put new fabric in them) and get some of those blocks and partial blocks and projects finished up.  The last couple of days (okay - yes, it's been over a two day time period, but it has only been about 6 hours or so of actual working time) I have pulled one project out and finished up the blocks and they are now sewn into rows and then tomorrow I will put the rows together and try to find some fabric in my humongous stash to use for a border (or two or three).  This latest one was a jelly roll of very unusual fabrics that I picked up at Lovington two years ago on the first shop hop and there was no yardage at that store (I have checked several times in the last two years) and no yardage anywhere (at least not anywhere that I have found) that matches this fabric.  I can't remember the company, but I do remember it was one I had never heard about before.  I will hopefully be able to post pictures tomorrow.  We will see how I figure out to do that.  Or like before, you may have to wait until I go back to school and I can hang them on my white board like the two above.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Stocking Swap Exchange

The plan was to go to the laundry mat today and finally wash those chef jackets and hats from school.  However, it's a rainy cold morning and I am not sure I want to get out into that mess.  Maybe a little bit later - or like this summer, not at all, LOL.  Yesterday, a few of us met up at McAllister's here in Odessa and exchanged our Stocking Swap goodies  There were only three of us participating thing year - which is good, more is better - but, the fun part was there were 4 others that came along just to eat, visit and see what all we made and got to take home. 

Even though it's raining, that sounded like ice hitting the window just now.  I don't think it is, considering we have been in the mid to upper sixties to lower 70's for about a week now, but wouldn't it be fun to have a bit (just a bit) of the white stuff for Christmas?  I know it won't stick or stay around unless we have some colder weather, but a girl can wish, can't she?  I only say this because I know I might not be getting out on Christmas day and therefore won't be driving in any of it. 

Back to my tale of Swapping.   We were there almost 3 hours visiting and swapping goodies and it was such a pleasure being "social" with my friends in another setting other than Bee.  Even though I love going to Bee Friends group, it was just another special time with just a few close friends.  Maybe the next time (if there is a next time - we will see at the end of 2015 if there are any interested parties for the 2016 year Swap.   I only host them in even years!) we will have more that want to participate and we have to "rent" out a room somewhere for a special party.  That would be sooo cool!!! 

Oh, yes, the swap. I know you are biting at the bit wanting to see pictures so, here are some of the stuff I made that was swapped.  First up is a pot holder.  This one I made a couple of years ago - I couldn't find one I had made more recently when I was wrapping the packages for the swap.  (more on that later).  This one is made with Christmas fabrics and is quilted as I stitched.  I was demo-ing for our group and made this one.  As you will see, Liz got my Swap goodies. 

 Next up is the mug and mug rug.  I got the mug at Tuesday Morning about a year ago and made this specifically for this swap.  I loved the little houses on the mug (changing stations at the beach) and decided to make a rug that matched or was a close match.  This one was fun to do.  I may have blogged about it back in January, but that was a long time ago, so here it is again.  The mug is a delicate cup and I suspect it will be used for hot tea and cider instead of coffee.

My journal cover was an "I am not wanting to do the current project, so let me just sew some stuff together" happenstance.  After sewing "stuff" together, I thought I could use that fabric to make my journal cover, so I did.  I really like the way this turned out.  I even had fun quilting it (large triangles that sometimes go all the way to the top and definitely cross over each other) That band of fabric goes all the way around the cover.  With this one you also give a nice pen and I gave her a sharpie pen that writes in turquoise ink.  This cover is made to go over the standard size college journal books that can be found almost anywhere so once she fills this one up, she can just take the book out and put in a new journal.  *note to self - make yourself a journal cover some day soon!!  

This is one of my favorite pillow covers of all time and I didn't even make it and I can't believe I gave it away!!  I love this one.  I acquired this cover one day when a bunch of goodies came into our group and it all needed to go to a nice home or get thrown out.  Of course, when I spotted this jewel, I knew it had to go home with me immediately!  I have never used it and have just admired and petted it for years, but when it came time to wrap up the gifts, the pillow cover I had originally made for this swap, just didn't want to leave my house and this one volunteered to go in it's place.  Thank you for the sacrifice and now I need to make me my very own bull's eye pillow cover.  (I think it secretly knew it would be going to Liz's home since she was part of the bull's eye party that helped me make my own bull's eye quilt)


The placemats, there are 4 of them, came about because I had this fat quarter stack of fabrics and thought that they would make lovely placemats.  They all have insulbright inside so you can place a hot plate on them if you need to.  Each one of them is unique since I didn't have a pattern, but just cut  up squares and rectangle willy nilly and sewed them together quilting as I went.  Some sections got added in chunks, but for the most part it is a flip, sew and quilt.  The binding is all sewn down by hand.  

Okay, I gave in and purchased a travel sewing kit.  I know, it's bad to give in to peer pressure all the time, but in this case, I am glad I did.  I found this lovely kit at The Sewing Cottage in Andrews and in each one of our boxes/bags we all got a store purchased travel kit.  It's not what I had originally planned for this swap, but it works.  I made a prototype of a sewing kit, but haven't put it to the test quite yet.  I will show it in a future posting and then discuss the pros and cons of it.  This sewing kit has a good size pair of scissors inside and Liz loved the clear plastic case so she could easily see what this zippered pouch contained.  (also in this picture are the placemats and pot holder)

I had picked up two needlepoint stockings at an estate sale that I was going to include in this swap, but since I knew the three people swapping were all single ladies, giving two stockings (even though they could give them to someone else) seemed like one too much and I think these should stay together.  So, I went to my box of made goodies and pulled a stocking I made a couple of years ago.  This one is made from leftover fabrics from a quilt I recently got back from the quilter.  (I probably should have kept this, also)  It's a good size stocking and fairly light weight since the only part that has any batting is the cuff.  (it is lined so when you stick your goodies inside it doesn't mess up your seams and come unstitched.  A bright colorful stocking to hang on your mantle.  

Last, but not least, of the pictures I took and didn't delete off my phone, are the pillow cases.  I loved this fabric when I was making these, but didn't have a place/person in mind and they have been sitting in my quilt room for a couple of years.  Here again, when it came time to wrap pillow cases, these jumped up and volunteered to go and they are perfect for Liz.  

Along with these items, Liz also received a book, some nuts and candy, a pin cushion and pins, an ornament and a bag.  I had some pictures of a few of these on my phone, but deleted them because I thought I had better pictures previously posted on my blog, but I apparently do not.  Oh, well.  Maybe next time I will think sooner to get my phone out and take pictures of everyone's goodies.  Sometime this week I will post pictures of what I received (it's all still in the box).  
I think I am ready to post this.  I hope that it hasn't messed up with bits inside other bits of writing.  It has been randomly moving things around and deleting other items while I am typing (one of the pitfalls of typing on a laptop)   It deleted entire sections at one point and if it hadn't saved it on it's own, you wouldn't have anything to read at all.  Merry Christmas to everyone!