Friday, February 6, 2015

Nothing Special

Not much to show you lately.  I'm still out here, lurking around  all of the other blogs but not adding any posts of my own.  I have been doing a little sewing but two of those projects have to be secret for a little while longer.
 
This one I can show you. This is a little project that has taken me about a year and 30 minutes.... one year thinking about making it..... and 30 minutes actually constructing it.  Pitiful, huh?  In any case, it's just a little quilted envelope style bag to hold the extension table for my Janome.  I've already made one for my other extension table but wanted to make another one to keep this one from getting scratched too.  Simple, but effective. 
 

 
We've been blasted by snow this past week.... 16" on Sunday and another 6" two nights ago.  Yesterday was the first day that I was able to get out of my house and run some errands.  I focused on the important errands..... getting some groceries and stopping at my LQS.  Only essentials, right?!
 
I found this cute little basket at Target for $3.00..... not bad.  It was in those $1 to $3 bins that are in the front of the store.  It's actually quite well made. 
 

I'm using it as a scrap basket for now.  It's just perfect for the job.


And finally, a little stash building at my local quilt shop.  Everything Christmas was on sale and I picked up a yard of each of these fabrics, plus the charm packs.  I'm telling you, after being stranded for 4 days, I needed some retail therapy to keep my sanity!

 
Hope you are all hanging in there this winter.  I do love the exquisite beauty of winter, but the snow shoveling just wears me out.  We are actually expecting rain on Sunday with warmer temps so the snow will melt a bit, enough to clear the streets anyway, I hope.  OK, Spring.... I'm ready!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tree Bird Blog Hop

There's a new blog hop in town!  I just joined the Tree Bird Blog Hop, scheduled for March 13- 23.  This is the perfect time to see all of the birdie creations my fellow bloggers will make as the "real" birds are returning for the spring weather.  I'll bet there are still openings if you'd like to join in on the fun.  Click on the Tree Bird button here or on my side bar to find out all of the details.
 
 
 
I also wanted to show you a new toy.  I picked up a Stitchopoly board game.  Basically, it's Monopoly with a stitching theme.  It's really cute....."Jail" is "Pull out Thread".... the houses and hotels are needlework studios and needlework shops.....etc. 
 
 


I'll be annoying treating my quilting friends with this at our next meeting.  Hopefully, I can find someone who will play along!

 
There is also a Quiltopoly ...same idea as Stitchopoly, but quilting themed... but it can be hard to find.  I keep an eye out and one day I'll come across one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. :) 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Gift Certificate Winnings

 
I wanted to show you some great fabrics that I WON a few weeks ago.  Melissa from Happy Quilting has a very generous sponsored giveaway every Tuesday.  (Go there right now to see what's up today!)  Sure makes Tuesday a special day, doesn't it?!  I was the lucky winner of a gift certificate from Shabby Fabrics and here's what I chose. 
 
I went immediately to the 50% off section so that I could get more for my money... or gift certificate.  I picked up a fat quarter set of Pearl Bracelets... 15 of them... most in a tone on tone coloring.  There are also 2+ yards of the cute sewing scissors fabric and 1 yard of Christmas fabric.  And to top all of this off, SF had a 15% off of your total order.   Score!
 
Be sure to check out Melissa's blog and also visit Shabby Fabrics with the links above!
 
 
I was anxious to try my new Go Cutter and started a project for a small wall hanging.  I only used one shape, the 2 1/2" square to cut out these background squares.  Yeah.... I could have easily cut strips and sliced them off fairly quickly the "normal" way, but I wanted to see what the cutter could do.  I cut 88 of these little squares in short order.  Since you can cut 6 layers at a time, it was a bit faster.  When I rotary cut, I worry about slippage and never cut more than two layers.  The thing I like best about it is that I know these squares are just about perfect.  I always feel like I'm rotary cutting things perfectly too, but now and again, I'm off a few threads.  This adds up in the long run. 
 
So anyway, I had fun with my new gadget.  The worst thing about it is the fabric waste.  You have to have enough fabric to cover the die blades with a small border that is ultimately cut off.  This is certainly something to take into consideration when you are planning your cutting.   
 
 
Hope you are off to a great start in 2015.  We had our first "major" snow last night, which was only 3".  We were predicted to get more and I was thrilled to look out the window this morning and see that it would be manageable.  I'm tired now.... 65 minutes of aerobic shoveling is pretty rough when you are as out of shape as I am.  But.... I can't complain when I think of last year and shoveling 90+" of snow! 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gifts!

Santa was very good to me this year!  My dear friend, Kathy, gave me a Go Cutter, plus an extra die!  How generous was this.... I have to say I was a bit overwhelmed!
 
This is one of those quilting gadgets that is far out of my budget so it was never even considered.  Now that I have one, I'm trying to think of ways to utilize it the best.  It's not the answer to all of my cutting needs, but it's one of those specialized tools that is just right for certain projects.  I'm ready to start slicing!
 
 
And don't worry, Santa did not overlook the Sarducci's!  They each received two skate boards, each with a Star Wars character on it.  They love Star Wars so they were pretty excited.

Since the modeling business has not been that busy, I needed something to keep them occupied and to burn up some of that goblin energy.  Trust me, you do not want bored goblins.... they will find their own entertainment!


They soon mastered their boards and have kept out of trouble and out of my way. 


And don't worry, they may be fearless but they also seem to be indestructible.  No bumps... no bruises.... nothing but fun!


Hope your Christmas was full of delightful surprises!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Designer Mystery BOM

 
I can't exactly claim this as a finish, but it's as finished as it's going to get for the time being.  These are the blocks from the 2013 Designer Mystery BOM series from the Fat Quarter Shop.  I managed to keep up with the monthly blocks, but then fell behind with the sashing and completing the quilt top.  Well.... the top is finally completed.
 
The FQS is very generous with the fabrics that they include with their BOM packages....generous enough that I was able to do my sashing and corner stones with leftover fabric.  I still have plenty of fabrics left, but they are smaller pieces and will be used in my general stash.  I did have to buy the red border and outer yellow border.
 
As always, these pictures are not the best.  The colors are bold and bright, not washed out.  In fact, I just fell in love with these fabrics and that's why I first joined the BOM.  The blocks were a mystery, but I love them too because they are all so different. 
 
 

The first row is made up of baskets, the second row contains stars, the third row is full of houses and the last row has flowers.  I really loved making these blocks and I'm glad to see them sewn together.



Now my little flimsie will go into the "needs to be quilted" bin.... and this contains many tops.  I get everything pieced and then shy away from the quilting.  I'm getting better with smaller quilts, but the larger ones still scare me.  That's a goal I'm working on.... tackling the larger quilts.  I'll get there....... 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Zipper Bag

 
We all love our zipper bags, don't we?!  I finished this one yesterday and was pleased with the overall results.  I bought a kit for the zipper bag at Sew Lux Fabric which included the sewing machine pattern, fabric, and zipper.  The sewing machine pattern was actually a pattern for a mini quilt, using four sewing machines.  I'll be making that someday too.
 
It's a large bag..... 12" x 13".... big enough to carry quite a bit.  For some reason, I thought it would be a smaller, cosmetic sized bag.  The pattern called for boxed corners but I decided to leave mine flat.
 
The background fabric is actually a tan linen even though it may look more gray in this picture.  The hand wheel and needle are actually gray.
 
 
Inside lining with my label.
 

 A little bit closer shot of the sewing machine block.  It was not paper pieced, although it would be a great candidate for simple PP.  If you just cut your fabrics accurately, they all go together quite nicely.  The smallest pieces are in the needle area, but again, simple if you pay attention to your cutting.

 
A finished project!  I have sooooo many things that need to be finished and this one looked like it might be fairly quick.... it was.  Now I'm off to find my next victim project.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Post Card

Two of my friends headed south for Christmas..... from snowy Michigan to warm Florida.  Although I can't blame them, their snowman didn't appreciate being left behind.
 
 
Note how I he stamped "Post Card" upside down.  Oh well...



Merry Christmas to you all, no matter where you find yourself this holiday season!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Wrapping

Yes.... In spite of all of the shenanigans help from the Sarducci's, all of my wrapping is done!
 
Who knew that bubble wrap was good for so many things.
 

And ribbon.... you can tie up a lot of things with it!

 
They did clean up all of their mess and Earl was retrieved from the trash can before he mysteriously and tragically disappeared. 

 
 
 Hope your holidays are full of fun and shenanigans too.  After all, life's not expected to run smoothly.  ;)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Gathering

I went to my first Christmas gathering this week.  My Kingdom Quilters group met for lunch and fellowship this past Thursday.  For one of our exchanges, we were to bring along four fat quarters..... you bring 4... you get 4.  These are the FQ's that I received.  I was lucky enough to get 5 FQ's.  The red was added for a little pop.  Now we will all take our 4 FQ's and make whatever we want with them and will reveal our projects at our June meeting.  Six months should be enough time to make something, even for me. ;) 
 
 
 
I forgot to take of picture of the FQ's that I brought to exchange .... they were in blues and greens.  I'll be excited to see what Fran makes with them next June.
 
I made some goody gifts too.  I started with some yard sticks and cut them up to make little boxes.
 
 
Filled them with some sewing items and wrapped them in a yardstick design FQ.
 
 
Here are the contents.... pins, needles, ribbon, measuring tape, and bookmarks.  I think everyone enjoyed these little boxes and will find a good use for them.


I keep saying that I'm all done with Christmas prep, but I still have a small amount of wrapping and have two more gifts to mail out.  I want this done and ready to go out first thing Monday so that I won't have to be standing in looooooong post office lines.  I'm a bit of a scrooge when it comes to standing in lines.....Bah Humbug!  Oh.... and I'm still eking out Christmas cards.  At least these can just be put in the mailbox and they will be on their way.  I'm almost done....really, I am!  How about you?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Misc

A few odds and ends today....  First, here is a wonderful fabric assortment that I won in a generous giveaway from Michele of Crayon Box Quilt Studio.  These are 1/2 yard cuts and they are in one of my favorite color combinations, turquoise and bright green.  Thanks so much, Michele..... I love them!
 
 
While trying to gain control in my sewing room, I came across  some additional fabric that my friend, Kathy, gave me.  Somehow, I had forgotten to take a picture to show you.  She knows I'm a bug-frog-insect (creepy things) lover and this fabric collection was pretty much made for me.  Again, half yard cuts.  Thanks, Kathy!  Aren't the bugs cuties!?
 

I stopped at Lowe's yesterday to pick up the color chips that Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville Quips and Snips is using in her Grand Illusion Winter Mystery Quilt Along.  This year, her inspiration came from the colors found in the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Upper Michigan.  I'm not even sure if I'm going to join in, but I've printed off the first two clues and will print the rest as they are revealed.  Her Mystery QAL's are always fabulous and I don't want to miss out if I decide to join in later.  You can follow the link above to print off the introduction and first two clues.  New clues come out each Friday.
 
I think the idea of the paint chips is just fabulous.  Think of the many uses these can have when you want to match a color.  Maybe you want to make something for a friend and you don't know what colors would match her kitchen-her bedroom- etc.  Your friend could simply give you the color numbers that she likes and you are on your way.  The possibilities are endless for these chips!


While I was at Lowe's, I picked up a little Christmas cactus.  My own Christmas cactus has already bloomed.  I moved it to a different window this past summer and it bloomed during Halloween and Thanksgiving.  I think I messed up it's schedule with the new location.  Anyway, this new one was too pretty to pass by.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Runner

I've been hibernating a bit, getting things ready for Christmas.  Most of my gifts need to be mailed, so I've had to get things finished and can't blog about them yet.
 
Here's a simple runner that I made yesterday.  I cut, pieced, and quilted it yesterday.... then bound it today.  I've made this pattern before... quick and simple.  Note that my yard is snow-free again.  It won't last long, I'm sure.
 

Simple, straight line quilting.



I'm off to do a little gift wrapping.  Hope your Christmas plans are on track!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

T'Was The Night Blog Hop


Yesterday, I showed you the wonderful gifts that I received from Katherine of Sew Me Something Good.  Today, I'll show you the gifts that I sent to Leah of Quilted Delights.

First off is one of those 10 minute runners.  Even after picking out the fabric, these really take about 30 minutes, still a quick gift.  This picture was taken outside in October, before our first snow.


  
And....they're baaaaaaack!  Sorry about all of the Sarducci pictures.  When I was reviewing which photos to include today, there really weren't any that didn't include the Brothers.  They are becoming quite the hams! 

Here's a little cup cozy to keep Leah's fingers from being scorched while sipping a good hot cup of her choice of drink.... 

 
 A little quilted bag for holding goodies.... maybe scraps.... Christmas candy..... Sarducci's......


 
Four little fabric coasters to keep the rings off of the furniture.......(keeping the Sarducci's off of the furniture is another story)
 
 
In addition to the handmade goodies, I slipped some extras into the package.  There is a calendar, a tote bag, some hand soap, a snowman ornament (in the box) and some gingerbread buttons.
 
 
 Also a couple of sewing themed fat quarters.


This next 10 minute runner was not sent along as a gift for Leah.  This was my first 10 minute runner to make, using a kit that my friend Kathy sent me.  Now this runner picture was taken yesterday, outside in the snow.  Brrrrrr......

 
 
Backside... these great runners are completely reversible. 
 
 
So there you have it.  I've really enjoyed this hop.  I know that Christmas is not about the gifts, but for this particular hop, giving and receiving gifts really made it special!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

T'was The Night Hop

T'Was The Night......
 
 
Welcome!  Hasn't this been the best hop ever!?  We were to make quick holiday gifts.... gifts that could be made in an afternoon, an evening.... whatever.... only requiring a few hours.  And then we passed those gifts along to an assigned fellow blogger.  I will be showing you what I sent to my swap buddy in a future post.  Today, I will show you the lovelies that I received!!
 
But before the great reveal, I want to thank Marlene of Stitchin By The Lake for organizing all of the participants in this fun hop.  Not only did she have the regular blog hostess duties, she had to coordinate all of us so that we knew who we'd be sending our gifts to and who we would be receiving our gifts from.  Talk about making a list and checking it twice!  (Santa, watch out..... you have some serious competition!)  Thanks, Marlene!
 
And of course, our faithful blog hop coordinator, the mastermind behind all of these blog hops, Madame Samm of Sew We Quilt, must also be thanked for her dedication and great hop ideas.  Thanks, Madame Samm!
 
I'm so glad to have you stop by for a visit and see the wonderful goodies that I received.  I have to tell you that I was thrilled with everything that I received.  My wonderful swap buddy was Katherine of Sew Me Something Good.  (I'm thinking she should call it Sew Me Something GREAT!!)
 
The Sarducci's were happy to help with the photo shoot, beginning with the arrival of the little box.  Oh, how true it is that good (great) things come in small packages!
   
 
 
 Here's Hank and Earl, taking out each of the lovely treasures.
 
 
This is a shot of all of my wonderful, delightful, well made gifts.  I just feel so blessed to have been the recipient of these treasures. 
 
 
I'll start with the first little goodie, a handmade gift card.  Can you see that it reads "Meowy Christmas?"  Katherine had written to me, asking a few questions about my likes and dislikes.  Naturally, I mentioned that I was very fond of cats.  My sweet Oliver passed away a few months ago and Katherine chose this wonderful, orange colored cat fabric, the same color as Oliver.  She fussy cut the little cat and put him on the card front. 

 
Next up is a wonderful little drawstring bag.  It's just the best size for carrying so many things.  It's large enough to be useful, yet not so large that it's immense.  Yeah... it's just the perfect size!

 
Now I have a sweet pin cushion to show you.  Don't you love those fussy cut cats?!  She also put a covered button in the center.  Perfect, again!  Yes, I'm going to use the word "perfect" many times as it says it best!

 
And the backside of the pincushion with another fussy cut cat to cover the center button.  And this is what?.... Yes, perfect!

 
Katherine also made the detailed little needle book.  Another fussy cut cat graces the cover and a snap closes the book. Yes, it's a snap with a button look.

 
The next few shots are to try and show the middle of the book and all of the little pages that are inside.


Flipped open, showing the navy pages.....

 
Flipped open, showing the orange pages.....

 
And trying to show you the outside little flaps that contain the pages and hold everything from potentially slipping out of the sides.  And what is this?..... Yup, perfect!

 
And finally, the whole group of gifts again.  Not only did I receive some delightful... and perfect..... gifts, I made a new friend.  Katherine is soft of heart and a joy to get to know.  I'm grateful for the little gifts that she made and honored to have made a new friend.  Thank you, Katherine, you are a dear and as I use these lovely gifts, I will fondly think of you!   
 


I will be posting pictures of the gifts that I made and sent to my swap buddy, Leah from Quilted Delights, in a few days.  I didn't want to spoil her reveal when she posts about the gifts that I sent on her blog day, tomorrow, November 20th.
 
Meanwhile, please continue on your blog hop and visit the rest of the talented bloggers that join me today.  Their links are listed below, as well as links for Thursday and Friday.  Please visit all of the blogs and get some great inspiration for quick gift giving.  There's a whole lot of talent out there in blogland!
 
Wednesday, Nov. 19
Gracie Oliver Arts (That's Me!)


Thursday, Nov. 20


Friday, Nov. 21