Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Funk

I need to see some green on this once again gray day. I can't seem to wake up this week and it's getting old. I guess I am in hibernation mode.
I decided to start getting my fabrics together for the maples leaves quilt that I will make at the getaway.

Two sets was all I could manage and I am not even sure I like the oranges.

When all else fails, move on to another project......
Do you ever draft your own patterns? Some people are very daunted by the idea. It is pretty simple, especially when it is an easy block. I have wanted to make a cross quilt for a long time so I drafted the pattern to the size I liked, 6" x 10".

I am looking to make black crosses with some low volume backgrounds for a very contemporary look.

At first I wanted all the low volume fabrics to be pure white. That wasn't going to work because I didn't have enough and it felt too sterile. I added in some that were a little warmer in tone. This is going to be a lot of fabric to cut........but it will give me the look I want. Now that I am looking at it, the two on the left (scissors and circles) are too much.

Today I stopped into my LQS  The Quilt Block, and decided to get this very helpful booklet. I can never remember the measurements for some quick blocks. For example quarter square triangles, you cut the squares 1 1/4" larger than the finished size. Now I don't need to even try to remember. I know there are apps for your phone but trust me, if this is in my sewing room right next to the machine I will find it faster than looking on the phone.
Now I just need to focus, maybe next week!


Thursday, January 29, 2015

February Is Right Around The Corner

I think January has flown by.....which is kind of good if you don't like the cold. February is our annual Penn Oaks Quilt Guild retreat to Lancaster. This year we are going to a new place and it looks wonderful with lots of room for us to sew.
I need to start thinking about what projects I am going to be taking with me. If the cutting is detailed I will do it before I go. If it is simple I will do it there, especially because we have bigger tables this year. I wanted to make a maple leaf quilt for a long time. It's great for using scraps and scrap quilts are my favorite. I tried out a block (6")  and while I like it, I don't want to repeat the main fabrics in the block. You can see I used 2 of the half square triangles twice.

This one is more of what I had in mind, all different fabrics. The low volume fabrics from the swaps I have been in are coming in handy now!
I think this will be a wall hanging with 12 to 16 blocks. I know it will be perfect sewing for the retreat. Not too much thought involved.

Which way would you tilt the leaves? Tilting left as above or right or all mixed up?


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Farmer's Wife

I would never make it as a Farmer's Wife. I don't want to be outside any longer than necessary today. The chickens would starve and the eggs would freeze if I were in charge!
 The sun is shining but the wind is blowing and the temp is 25*.

I have decided my Farmer's Wife quilt blocks are coming to an end. Forty nine is a good amount and I am ready to be finished. They are hanging up on my design wall until I decide how I want to set them. The inspirational quilt made by Carla of Lollyquiltz had a some on point, which I really like. Carla made ALL of the blocks so her quilt looks amazing! I am not so sure I am putting any of mine on point. We will see. I do think they need some sashing though to let them breath. That will be tedious.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

No Snow Day

Imagine my surprise yesterday when the mail came and there was a fabric post card! I wondered which sewing friend sent it and was surprised that my SIL Kate from Idaho, who doesn't sew, sent it to me!

If was a nice thing while watching the weather reports of the snowmageddon that was headed our way. Although we weren't to get as much as some of the New England states, we barely got 3" the kids only had a 2 hour delay! I am totally fine with that, now I can go about my days without trying to deal with the roads and ice.

I am probably one of the few people that still carries a checkbook. Most people have debit cards, I don't have one and don't want one. I made this cover years ago and  realized it was looking pretty rag tag, not to mention dirty and boring.

I pulled out some heavier weight fabrics to make a new one.

My first mistake was to use a fusible interfacing, I could barely turn it.The heavy weight fabric was good enough all by itself.

Second. I should have paid attention to where the little cups and bowls were so when I closed it you would see something cute instead of all that gray. Also look how lumpy it looks.

Enter in some new fabric and a second try at it.

That's better, this is the outside.

The inside.

And closed. I like it much better and it didn't take that long to make.

I am not even rescuing the fabric!


Monday, January 26, 2015

A New Old Project and the Baby Shower

I am making a concerted effort to get some UFOs completed. I mean come on, some of them have half the work already done! If I really dislike it I am ready to toss it or give it away but if I like it I am going to finish it.

These are the sweetest little blocks, about 7 x 7.

Once again the mix of old and new. The curved pieces are vintage feedsacks and the lollypop flowers are hand dyes.

This was way back when I was afraid of curves, so I appliqued them! I will finish up the last few the same way for consistency.

Some blocks are all set up ready to be sewn. Does it get much easier than that?

Even appliqued stems and prepped leaves! The dark stitching on the stem triangles is to keep the bias edge from stretching. Not sure why I chose that color????

I even have my placement notes, this was meant to be made.

This is how old this project is!!! 17 years! Check out the price of the magazine too.

Here is the original quilt, The Posey Quilt by Lillian Smith of Missouri c.1930. Remember when this was all the rage?
I was a little ambitious when I started this pretty quilt. It will now be a 9 block wall hanging.

Now for the baby shower.....

All signs made by Maddy

My daughter's mother in law had the shower in her beautiful home. The candy bar was a hit! All kinds of blue candies with bags to take some home or eat right away.

Some cute yet practical decorations.

A cute little cake with some Onsies decorated with dots.

Maddy's contribution was a Welcome Baby Kelly sign. Kelly is the last name, they are keeping his name a secret until he is born.

The decorations were simple, yet tasteful, totally my style. Beautiful fresh flowers and a few balloons. The food was delicious!

There were baby pictures of mom and dad that everyone enjoyed.

Mommy's helper waiting for her to arrive so she can help open presents. One of the things we did was to buy a new wagon and have guests bring a book instead of a card. He got tons of great books!

Overall it was a wonderful day and yes Caitlin was glowing!


Friday, January 23, 2015

One Of My Favorite Tips

There are no great pictures in this post today so I thought I would show you some bracelets I bought today. The goal was clothes but the pickings were slim. These were on sales, both for $18! The sales lady wanted the bracelets on the left but I got the last ones, original price $35!
Here's a question, do you like to shop for clothes? Almost every single one of my friends does not like to shop. Is it because we don't feel like we look good in anything? Is it everything they make is made to fit skin tight (my pet peeve)? Do you feel like you are wasting time?  Fabric I have no problems with, but clothes, ugh!

This is my tip. I learned this during a workshop that was held with Becky Goldsmith of Piece O' Cake. I will never forget the day as long as I live because it was 9/11. My friend, Suzanne and I were in charge and decided to go ahead because all the participants were there and poor Becky was stuck with no where to go. It was a long agonizing day but I did learn some things.
This is for templates that you are using over and over, be it applique or piecing. I especially think it is good for purse patterns and the like.
Ok first you need to find some laminate sheets, the kind that don't need heat. I used to be able to get just plain one sided sheets that you pull the paper off the back, like contact paper and stick them down. Now the only thing I can find are these 2 page things that are overkill and don't work for our purposes according to the directions. One side is sticky and the other side is not.

sticky side

Cut off the non sticky side. Luckily it is a nice weight plastic that could be used for templates so save it. Pull the paper off the sticky side.

Lay your paper on the table as shown above. Hold the laminate in both hands (I could only use one so I could take the picture) and bend it in the middle. Gently lay it on the paper starting in the middle and smooth it out to the ends.

If you get some bubbles use a pin to pop them and smooth it out. I used 2 sheets on top of each other for a nice sturdy feel. Use some good sharp craft scissors and cut out directly on the line. These will last a good long time.
Curious to know what I am making? Maybe I will have something to show you next week.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Baby Basket and Bob

Today my daughter called to tell me they saw the baby in the ultrasound today and he is already 4lbs 13oz! She is 32 weeks but is measuring at 34 weeks. The next 2 months are going to go fast.
Here is the last of my baby shower sewing. I made the cute basket using a pattern by Noodlehead. It wasn't hard but a little fiddley for me. I changed up the handles and now wish I had made them according to the directions, too late now.
Inside is a sheet, some washcloths and 2 swaddle blankets with little sheep on them.

The airplanes were not too babyish, as I hope this can be used for toys later on.

The inside is divided, diapers on one side, wipes and ointments on the other. I think a certain big sister will be toting this around to help mom and dad change diapers.

The next time I might leave out the divider.

Mary Beth, Bob and Wendy
Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband Bob!

The hardest working man I know!

Jimmy, Rick and Bob