Sunday, January 25, 2015

Catching Up

I have 3 different things going on in this posting.  

1st is the finished Fair Isle quilt I made for my friend Pat for Christmas. I gave her the top on time but had to take it back to send out to the quilter.  I finally got it bound the first week of the new year.

Pat is the person who pushed me into knitting as I pushed her into quilting. This quilt tied the 2 together so nicely.

She knits me Christmas gifts and I quilt hers.

After all of those solids I had to get some dots for the backing.

I just love the way it came out.  For me this pattern was challenging primarily because so many of the pieces were 1 1/2 inches.  Way smaller than my comfort level.

Love the colors 

this pattern is by Lee at Freshly Pieced
you can find it there.

2nd, I am retiring at the end of this month. While cleaning out my desk I found this tiny little cross stitched ornament.  It's on perforated paper. 

And last but not least

I have finished the tops for the 2 Little Letters quilts I started on September 7.  The pattern is by Temecula quilts and can be found here

The patterns for the letters were released every Wednesday and Sunday for 13 weeks.

The blocks were so easy that I decided from day 1 to make 2 quilts  The one with the lime green inner border is from the kit I purchased from Temecula Quilts.  The one with the the dark dots in the outer border was made from my scrap bin.  They measure 39 by 45

I thought it would be a great day for photographing them but the white outer border on the one with the green inner border kind of got lost on the snow and when I used the pines as a contrasting background the breeze wouldn't cooperate.  

It's OK they will be back once they get quilted and have a little more weight to them.  Hope to get to them some time next month.

I've also made a couple of post cards for a Valentine swap due to go out in the mail next weekend. Can't post until they get where they need to be.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Tammy for All Seasons

I should open with Thank you s to the wonderful ladies who made this Hop possible,  Mdm Samm & Mary Winegar for their motivational and cheering skills and Cori of Chitter Chatter the designer of all of the lovely Pinneys and Brooke Nolan for her wonderful cross stitch designs.

Now on to the Oops.  I have not done any counted cross stitch in maybe 20 years.   I pretty much stopped when I started to quilt.  I find I am more of a speed stitcher than a slow stitcher.

While I remember the basics I find that my eyesight was the biggest hurdle to overcome.  I started using the recommended Monaco Linen but even with my prescription glasses, my cheaters and Michael's even stronger cheaters I couldn't count threads.

I ended up taking myself and a coupon to Michael’s and picking up some Aida cloth.  Bless DMC as they are a full service cross stitch company, floss, frames, needles and blessed Aida cloth.  Once I got the Aida cloth in its frame and my floss organized I was off.

I was also very sick.  This might have been a good thing since it was Christmas week which is usually very hectic in my life.  Being sick slowed me down to a crawl and had me sitting still for large periods  over a couple of weeks.  Perfect way to get back into slow stitching.

So this is where the oops came in to play.  When I switched to Aida cloth the stitches got bigger therefore, the entire project got bigger (I’m blaming this oversight on the cold).  Too big in fact to fit on the front of a Tammy Bag properly.  I took my plastic template of the pattern piece and laid it on the stitching and it just looked like I was trying to put the stitchery on a 2 size too small bag. I’m really sorry I missed the Tammy part of the project. I have a couple of other Tammy bags and they are wonderful.

My interpretation of the spirit of the original project was to make the Tammy bag holding "stufff"  for upcoming stitchery projects so  I went with that concept.  I figured out exactly what type of bag would suit MY cross stitch needs into the future.  

My needs included being able to fit the entire project into one bag.  That meant big enough to hold the snap frame as well as the floss and glasses and scissors etc.  I used Noodle-Heads wide mouth zipper tutorial so I'd have complete access to the contents.  I also wanted a place to keep the pattern safe and unrumpled.  And of course a place to hang the the sweet Fall  Pinney.

Now that I’d gotten this far off track I just kept on going.  I just didn’t feel the ruffles on Cori’s Pinney went with the new bag interpretation.  My new bag is very straight and contemporary not at all feminine  like the Tammy.  Loved Cori's fall embroidery  and applique design so after doing the applique I squared it up.  I did add a spot on the back for needles and pins and I also added a loop with a clip so it could be attached to the bag as needed and unhooked and stashed in the bag during down time.

Coordinated the background to match the tote front and back.

So I guess I’m kinda sorta back into cross stitch.  Probably more into smaller designs  for the time being, but definitely back.  I enjoyed this hop and what I managed to accomplish within it’s guidelines.  Lots of different stitching in addition to the cross stitch.  A little embroidery, a little Blanket stitch and some quilting. I do need to acquire one of those Beam and Read hanging lights.  Base on all of the comments I've been reading that may be the answer to the vision issue.

So thanks again  Cori, Brooke, Mary and Mdm Samm and all of our sponsors, especially DMC.  Thanks also to all of my visitors.  Without you this wouldn't be nearly as much fun.   Please take the time to go and visit all of the other creative stitchers participating in this hop.  Here is the list of today's other stops.

January 16, 2015

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Christmas 2014 Almost done

This is just about the last of Christmas 2014.  I am in fact done but won't have the last of the photos posted until later this week.

My long time friend B and I both have our birthdays in December  and we are both generally into making our gifts for B'day and Christmas exchange.

This wonderful table runner is the end result of me signing up for more than I could handle.  This is the first row of the 2014 BOM from Cindy at Quilt Doodle Doodles.

I got 2 months in and life got in the way.  So I turned the great row into an even greater Table Runner. I had it all done except for the quilting and binding months ago. All done now.

This is the back.  It would work for a summer runner this side up.

This little credit/gift card holder  was made from a tutorial by Jodell at

The design is set so the cards slide to the middle and not the top.  Making is less likely they will fall out of the wallet.

It was a great tutorial to follow. Once I picked out the fabric I'm thinking it took under an hour and a half to complete.

It's the B'day part of B's gift.  It will only have the DD gift card in it when she receives it.  The rest are there for the photo only.   I am making a second one just a tiny bit larger for myself.  I must take a bit more in my seam allowances then called for.  My cards all fit but snuggly, which may be for the better.

Least I forget there is all a space to hold your green money.  

In the mean time I have been working on my cross stitch for the next blog hop, Tammy for All Seasons.

I'm really out of practice.  It's been close to 20 years since I did any cross stitch. I also have been fighting a wicked cold for just over 2 weeks which hasn't helped with the focus necessary.

I did get my threads wound and organized.

I've even managed to get most of the cross stitch done, maybe not exactly perfect but way better than I had hoped for.  The big reveal is in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bits and Pieces

 I decided to participate in a Christmas Postcard Swap hosted by   Sheila at    My partner was  Linda at      She sent me this wonderful Santa. The quilting detail is wonderful and gives the card so much dimension

In turn I sent Polka Dot Christmas trees.  I actually made 2 of them.  My sister "needed" one too.

I work with  JC who collects post cards of all kinds.  I saw this card on   Sheila's blog  post and she gave me information on where she got the idea. I thought it would be a great card for JC.

This is the top I made for my friend at work who happens to be my boss.  Since I will be retiring in late January this will be our last gift exchange and I thought this would be wonderful.  She is the person who got me into knitting and this pattern is called Fair Isle.  It's by Lee at   Perfect.  Probably just a little more than I should have bitten off before  reading the instructions.  

The deer is a 13 inch block and the deer is made up of 1 inch finished squares.  The picture below shows my first attempt.  Poor deer had a broken neck.

As you can see she's all better now.  I gave the top to PC earlier this week, she loved it. We cried.  It will go to the long arm quilter right after Christmas. I invested way to much time and energy in it to try and quilt it myself.  It measures in at 72 x 75.

The towels were a last minute gift addition to go with gift cards.  I made 2 sets.

And last but nowhere near least are these Hash Tag blocks. Made for the Heros  from Sydney Australia.   This link takes you to a full explanation 
of where they are going and the how you too can participate.

Just in case I don't make it back here in the next week, I am sending out my best wishes to you one and all for a very Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A very productive vacation

Got back late last night from a wonderful 10 day vacation to Florida.  We arrived on Thanksgiving  and joined our friends at their neighbors for a wonderful Turkey dinner. 

The hosts are people I had only met once in passing.  They heard we would be in town and included us in their festivities.  We arrived as the Turkey was being placed on the table. We had a terrific holiday with lovely people.

Since I knew in advance that we would be joining them I whipped up a set of bowl buddies with matching towels and gift card.  I then made a tote to use as a gift bag. I couldn't very well drag dessert on the plane. tee hee

Since Christmas is fast approaching and time is running short I mailed the central portion of this quilt top along with the border and backing fabric, binding and batting down ahead of time.

This was from Terry at Terry's Treasures where we are doing Charming Star Blocks at no rate at all just a suggested maybe 4 per month.  No pressure unless it was self inflicted

Got it totally finished and have mailed it back to NJ.  It should be here tomorrow

I love the backing fabric, the print is made up of Christmas ornaments

I had sent more than enough fabric to complete the quilt so I made one of those 10 Minute (read as a bit over an hour) Table Runners.

Here it is on my table.  I gave it to our friends. Sorry I didn't take a picture of it on their table.  The colors worked so well in their dinning room.

I also managed to knit 2 Chemo Caps, one on the flight down and one on the flight back.

They are done with size 13 needles and bulky yarn.   They really look great on.

Back to work tomorrow ( maybe to rest up).

Have a great week.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Twas the Night

Since the day I was added to the Twas The Night group of presenters I have been compiling a list of the oh so many gifts one can make in an evening or less.   I then chose several of the items that I will give as gifts this year. I've added links whenever possible, mostly to tutorials.

 I decided to stick with a theme for this posting.  What ties it together is that  everything I made specifically for this hop is being made with 2  coordinating holiday fabrics with a little white thrown in where needed.  I live near a Crate and Barrel outlet.  They sell their fabric from past seasons at a really terrific rate of $5.97 per yard at about 54 inch wof.  I picked up 2 yards of each fabric and got stitching.

But first I need to say thank you to both Madame Samm @ Sew We Quilt and  Marlene @ Stitchin by the Lake  for motivating us along this extra special hop.  The big twist for this hop is that we made a gift to pass along to the person who followed us on the Hop.  That means I got these wonderful gifts from Bea.   She is another versatile quilter, stitcher and she gifted many of her quickie accomplishments to me. 

One of the shots was taken outside in the very bright sun and the other inside.  Sorry but they don't do the goodies justice

The sweet owl is actually an eye glass to a great little Christmas zip pouch and a pattern.  Below is a hexie purse a mug rug(the other side is in the first picture)  and a wonderful rag basket. Bottom row is a beautiful pin cushion and tiny paper piecing pattern with the tiny cardboard pieces to sew around, way cool, and that Hawaiian shirt with paw prints is actually a tissue holder.  Thank you so much Bea. 

On to my contributions for this hop.

First on my list was this oven mitt and potholder set. They took me just under 2 hours to put together.  The trim on the mitt is done by machine while the binding on the potholder is finished by hand because I have yet to master finishing by machine. No pattern used.

Then on to  Bowl Buddies.   This set is reversible.  It took me about 1 ½ hours to make the bowls and it takes about ½ hour to do the matching Trivet I made the set with Trivet as my  gift for Barbara in seasonal fabric so she could get a little more use out it.  Another 2 hour project.

I was asked again this year to make some gift bags for wine bottles.  My nephew thinks I’m wonderful at this particular project.  He likes to have holiday bags and theme neutral bags on hand, cause you never know. I made all  4 bags in under a half hour and all are made with French seams.

Same basic idea is a gift bag.  Just a little bigger.  This is the gift bag I used to wrap the gift I sent to Barbara. 

I also made a card to match ( I would be so lost without my printer/copier). To make the card I photocopied the fabric and reduced the size.  Another under a half hour project including the trimming and folding of the card stock for a set of 10.

How about the 10 Minute Table Runner.  It took me an hour.  Simple but festive.

Several of these goodies could fill a good size fabric gift basket.  Ok, I really  wasn't planning on making this big a basket.  It is about twice the size I had going on in my head.  The problem was that at the same time I was doing the math  I was binge watching  Doctor Who.   I really can’t sew things that need concentration when watching that show.   But it turned out to be a great size gift basket.

Next up are the hand towels that I had to make to fill in some of the space in the big basket.  Picked the towels up at BBB with a coupon then trimmed and quilted  them.  They would do well, matched up with the set of pot holders. I didn't time these but I'm thinking about an hour.

 And last but not least, have you seen this idea floating around blogland.  It is my Christmas fabric backed with terry cloth for a beautiful yet functional, handy dandy drain for the counter.  I've seen them around made from old blocks and scraps.  I actually own a store purchased one with terry cloth on both sides.

This one was supposed to have matching pot holders but when i went to turn them rightside out I found that I had put the extra batting in the wrong order when making the stack.  The terry cloth makes such a mess that i just threw them in the trash,  just couldn't bring myself to ripping and ruining the fun I's been having. This was also about an hour in the making. 

Now what can I do with all of the scraps……….cards, tags, ornaments, pin cushions, rice bags, coasters, dog toys ....... 

Please stop by and see what other quick gift ideas are awaiting you by visiting this weeks contributors to the Twas the Night Blog Hop.

NoMonday, Nov. 17

Tuesday, Nov. 18

Wednesday, Nov. 19

Thursday, Nov. 20

Friday, Nov. 21