Sunday, June 19, 2016

Chistmas in July - Oh My


Have you heard, Christmas is coming, Christmas is coming... in July.

Yes it is, starting July 14th with 26 quilters showing their stuff. In addition our lovely Hop Hostess  Sarah from Confessions of a Fabric Addict will be doing a sew along Christmas quilt throughout the hop.


I'm posting on the 17th and I've been a very busy elf.  I will be posting several quickie gift ideas. If I used a tutorial or know of one I will be sure to include it so you too can get some gifts done early.  Actually I believe that all of the items I will be posting I've made before, using different seasonal fabrics, for hostess gifts or house warming gifts. All were warmly received.

In between and around the Christmas stuff spread all over the quilting room I have been making mesh totes.  They are my latest obsession.  I really don't usually make one of anything.  The totes are no exception, I am up to 6 of them in various sizes and fabric choices. 4 of them have already gone on to new homes. And I have 2 more to make and mail out this week.

Gone

Gone

These are actually the same size, the one on the left is gone


These 2 are currently mine, The back one is from the photo above.
The front one is an experiment in sizing.

And this one is also gone, it's my fun favorite.  yes they are skeleton heads.

I have a niece who is really into this kind of thing.

 In addition to not knowing how to make one of something I also have a NEED to know issue when it comes to how long something takes to make.  I didn't have a pattern for this bag.  I just saw it in passing on the shoulder of a shopper in a local quilt shop. My first one took almost 3 hours which included coming up with a good size and placement of the accent fabric,  number 6 took about an hour and a half.

Fun story, I took some of my Christmas goodies and one of the mesh totes to my neighbors for show and tell.  I walked into her quilt room and there on her table were 3 of these totes. She had just gotten back from a class on making them.  Hers were all done in fun beach patterned novelty fabrics for her grand daughters, they were wonderful, yep small world.


I've also managed to whip up a couple of hats with matching scarves for the local chapter of Angel Snugs. I am glad to be doing something positive where someone is benefiting from my inability to sit still while watching TV or sitting at a meeting or in a waiting room. You know when you go for your mammogram how you wait to be called in, then you get undressed and wait to be called for the photos and then you wait for results and then you get called in for more photos because one wasn't clear and then you wait for the recheck and then you wait for the chat with the doctor to confirm that you can go.........well I got a whole hat done while I was "waiting".  Of course they looked at me funny when I had a skein of yarn sticking out of my purse but by the time I was done they were all smiling. You really couldn't miss that orange.



I also found this great Hexi Potholder pattern. They were fun, fast and easy to make. Great scrap buster.



Last but definitely not least are these Rainbow Heart blocks. Several of us are making blocks and Linda of Flourishing Palms will coordinate the making of the finished quilt with additional help in the quilting and binding department. She will also see that the Orlando MQG gets it for distribution to victims and victims families. The blocks are made using the tutorial by Cluck Cluck Sew



Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Two Tops, A Tote and an Organizer

I've been on an a major roll over the past couple of weeks.  Went through some boxes in the garage and purged lots of stuff.  Organized my sewing space and purged in there also. But I also was on a major sewing toot.


I had been working on this quilt top for Honor Flight for a couple of weeks and decided it needed to be finished.  Ok it still needs to be quilted but the top is done. 


Last week there was a tutorial on Missouri Star Quilts for using striped fabrics.  I was fascinated.
Headed to JoAnns with coupon in hand and this is the result.  It looks nothing like her samples.  The stripe pattern and the widths of the strips make such a difference quilt to quilt.


Mine finished at about 42 x 50.  It was quick and easy.  Can't wait to do another with a different stripe.  But I do need to quilt these 2 tops before starting another one.


Last week I saw a lady in the LQS carring a bag very similar to this one.  I had it on my mind for the whole week. When I went to buy the striped fabric I picked up the mesh. Last night I had to do it. I used a generic tote pattern that was in my head from doing many totes over the years.  It took me about 3 hours from start to finish.

It's base is a plastic screening/mesh. The fabric with the straps forms 6 outside pockets. It is unbelievably light. I had to weigh it down for the picture, it kept blowing away.

The best part of organizing the garage was that I finally found my missing crochet hooks.  I had't been able to locate them since we moved 16 months ago.  Every time I started a new project I had to go get a new hook.  Then last month I got all of my late MIL's hooks. Well I now have 60 plus hooks.


I really needed a hook organizer.  Not only because I have so many hooks but because I can't always read the needle size without my glasses.


I used a large muslin scrap and a tie from a fabric bundle and I'm all set.

Tomorrow I have a sewing date with my sister to do pillow cases and then I must buckle down and sandwich those 2 tops.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

H2H 2016 - Another year for the record books

Congratulations to Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict who has organized another terrific Hands to Help Challenge.  A record number of quilters have participated this year creating a record number of quilts for various charities world wide.  If you click on the link it will take you to the linky party for the event. People will be posting their contributions through Saturday.

I decided to make 3 quilts, 1 for each of this years primary organizations.

When I went back to link my quilts I found that I never posted them completed.  I did post each of them as in progress but never as finished.

So I will post all of them here and now.


I'd been wanting to make a plus quilt for awhile.  Thought it would be a great time to try it out.


Didn't use a pattern but figured it out from the hundreds of posting on pinterest.  Busted some of my stash for the front.


I tripped over a pattern on Moda Bake shop called Lawn Chair Quilts.  I started it many years ago. Found it in a box in my sewing room and determined that this would be a great time to finish it up.



 and last but not least

I started this one as a leader/ender  a couple of months ago.  Started to run out of time and just had to go for the blocks as a project to meet deadline.  I finished it this afternoon. Used up lots of 2.5 squares.


I got the block pattern from Linda at Flourishing Palms. This links to her quilt using this block with her scrap squares.  She chose a different layout for her version.


The girls felt the need to help with the pictures.  They have claimed the wall as their own. They have both demonstrated their agility by jumping over it.  Very scary to witness since they have rather low centers of gravity and rather short legs.


Thank you Sarah for all of your hard work and the untold hours spent sewing and coordinating this challenge for all the recipients around the world who will benefit.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Congratulations


Congratulations go to Jeanna of the Slammin' the Screen Door blog. MJ picked her as the winner of my fun pouch and pincushion.




Congratulations go to Jeanna of the Slammin' the Screen Door blog. MJ picked her as the winner of my fun pouch and pincushion.

I've contacted her for her shipping info and hope to have a package out to her this week.


Monday, May 9, 2016

300th Post - Pouches, pouches, pincushions and a giveaway.

As I mentioned in my last post I was fascinated by the Zipper in the Becca Bag pattern by Lazy Girl.
In that post I showed my first 2 attempts (successful). I had been talking about them so much that I ended up promising a few friends from out of state that I would send them each one.

This is a picture of how the zipper looks.  You only use one side of the zipper and the tab and you sew it all in at once and skip the seam on that side of the bag. VERY easy to do.


So on Saturday morning I cut 2 contrasting 6 inch by wof strips for the outsides and 2 strips of lime green solid for the lining and started my pouches.  The first one was shown in the previous post.


I didn't follow the pattern except for the zipper portion where the instructions for deconstructing the zipper and then using only one half and the pull for the closure are explained. Very clear instructions.


I cut each of the strips into thirds and charged on.  I wanted to make 6 little bags.  My finished bags are about 5.5 by 5.5 give or take.  The size was determined by the zippers I had on hand.  I practiced improv curves for the outside of the first 4 bags.  Loved how they turned out. I got bored with that process before the last 2 bags so I just cut the last 2 sections into strips and went from there.


Love how they turned out and will get them in the mail sometime this week.

When I chopped the wof  I ended up with 13.5 in. sections. I quilted the sections before cutting to the size I needed for the bags. This left some nice size chunks of quilted fabric that I couldn't toss out so I whipped up some pincushions. There is always someone around who could use a pincushion, right?


And since This is my 300th blog post I think I will give away one of my little bags and a pincushion. I'll pick a name from the comments list on Sunday, May 15. I'll ship anywhere.

Thank you all for stopping by for these 300 posts. I appreciate you, one and all.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Baby quilt, vacation crafts and pouches

Last week was a very happy week in our family.  My niece and her husband had the good fortune to adopt a beautiful baby boy.  This joy has been a long time coming and we are so happy for the 3 of them.

I've been waiting along time to quilt this for the newcomer. The alphabet pattern is by Temecula Quilt Company.


This was a great place to use some of the fabric I got on my trip to NJ last week for the backing.  It's all little gears.  


Hope he feels the love coming from this aunt every time he snuggles in it.

This week we went to Disneyworld for 3 days. 1 day it rained and the next day MJ wasn't feeling very well.  This left me with a lot of time on my hands.   Good thing that I always travel with things to do.


In between the reading of 200 pages of a new book I crocheted this hat for Angel Snugs


and stitched up 6 circle blocks for my Quilty 365 project.


Going to Disney meant that the girls had to spend 3 nights at the kennel. They are way more active at the kennel than when they are home so when they get home catching up on sleep is a top priority.


Sleep on the couch is only second best to sleeping on the bed and since I was trying to share that bed while they were sleeping there are no pictures.

We all got home by dinner time yesterday and I really had to make one of those Becca Bags by Lazy Girl that I mentioned in my previous post.  The one where you use only one side of the zipper and the pull.

I only used the pattern for the how to on the zipper.  This pouch is just my dry run using one of my curve class blocks and previous pouch making experience.



Last month I received a whole bunch of crochet hooks and thought this odd shaped pouch would be perfect.


The only problem I had is that I lost my grip while taking pictures to capture the zipper and I had all of those wonderful hooks all over my sewing room floor.

This morning I got up and before breakfast I did stitched up another pouch.


From the pieces below to the pouch above took 17 minutes.   The pouch is about 5 x 5.  As you might notice the outside piece had already been quilted before I decided to time the project. If you used fusible fleece and minimal quilting you might add 3 minutes to the process.  Again I didn't follow any particular pattern for the pouch itself.


Since the zipper is sewn straight along the entire top of the pouch, you only have 1 side seam and the bottom to close.


This is the back. I'm showing it so you can see how my curve wrapped around the bag.


I don't like raw edges that are zig zagged on the inside of my bags if I can help it. The Becca pattern called for that type of seam for the bottom and side.  That would probably have cut down on the time needed to make this bag by a couple of minutes.


Wrapping up.  I love the zipper. I love the speed of the project.  (not sure why I am so obsessed with the time it took to make this)  I need to make up at least 3 maybe 4 more today. I think I will try changing up the pull tabs and the zippers, Maybe a black zipper with a gray pull and vice versa.  Should be a fun couple of hours.






Monday, May 2, 2016

Catch Up Post - Pouch Swap, Curves and Scraps

I really need to stop and post more often.  I sat down this morning and realized that this should have been at least 3 posts.  Sorry it may run a bit long.

First and foremost - last month I participated in the  Scrappy girls club zipper bag swap. I'm really late in posting what I received and what I sent.  Very sorry about that.

These are the wonderful goodies I received.


Ok, so there is the zipper pouch that contained those grate pieces of fabric and then the zipper key ring followed by the little zip bag that contained clips all with the great little card that came with a great dip recipe.


I am facinated by the zipper technique that she used. I hope you can see it in the photos.  It is only half a zipper circled around. It is so very cool.


All three of the items used this zipper technique.  The key ring had two pulls and opened in multiple places.


Even the little bag had this great zipper.  After a little research I found the pattern for the bag I received. And of course I had to buy it so I can try this out as soon I get a free minute.  


I did read through it and it looks so easy to do.  Maybe by the weekend.

In return, I made my partner a Lola Pouch.


With a matching eyeglass and  tissue holder.


I made a note card using a scrap form the lining.



Next up - I took a class on curve piecing.  I did make a quilt many years ago using curves and once it was finished I swore off them.  Our guild offered a class on piecing curves and I thought I'd give them a try.  I am so glad I did.


I had a very successful class. I enjoyed using a pattern as well as doing the free form curve. I enjoyed curves so much that I came home and in 3 days managed to make this lap size top.


The pattern is Urban Abacus, a QCR Pattern that I picked up with the Quick Curve Ruler when I was on vacation last month. ( I had high hopes for the class )

And last but not least for this post are my scraps.

These are 4 of the 7 blocks I have made so far using my 2.5 in square scraps as leaders and enders. I'm hoping to get 16 blocks done to make a third quilt for the H2H 2016 project.

There are at least 2 more projects to report on but they will have to wait for next week. Maybe they will be joined by that cute little pouch.