Friday, December 10, 2010

Secret Santa runner is finished- finally!

OK, I was chugging along on this and was well on my way to having it done by the first of the month when I was hit by a series of nasty migraines.  Because the first couple of weeks of December are a very busy time for me at work and I had to be there, I pretty much toughed it out and went to bed every night as soon as I got home.  Needless to say, this really cut into my sewing time significantly.  I'm feeling so much better this week and finally got the last of the quilting done.  After burying tons of thread ends, I got the binding done Tuesday night.  Just as I was ready to pack the runner up and get it on its way, I realized that I had forgotten to put a label on it so I'll do that and get it in the mail this weekend.

I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out.  The blocks in the center were plain, so I machine-embroidered the letters in them.  Quilting was the hardest part mainly because I haven't done all that much in the past so my skills are still a little shaky.  I hope that the recipient enjoys it as much as I did making it!

BTW, I'm going to try taking a better picture to post.  This one was taken laid on the carpet with me standing on a stool over it and no matter how I tried, the edges always came out looking crooked.  They really are straight!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Charming Girls November/December goals

Now that it's getting cooler, my sewing mojo is returning full force and I'm really looking forward to working on my projects that I've selected for my November/December goals.

First off is my secret santa which gets top priority since the deadline looms ever closer.  After mulling over several possiblities, I've finally selected a runner pattern and have begun pulling fabrics out of my stash.  I just love the green and red print and am happy to have a chance to finally use it.  I still need a few more fabrics to round it out, a perfect excuse to drive to Harriet's and do a little shopping (heh, like I ever need an excuse to go there!)

Next up is the quilt that I started for my Dad back in June before life got a bit frantic.  I'm sort of designing it as I go along and will be putting it together using the Cotton Theory method so that the quilting is done as it's assembled.  Along with the log cabin blocks, I will be embroidering blocks with farm animals and buildings.  Daddy grew up on a farm and is very much still a farm boy at heart.  My uncle has a small farm and Daddy loves to visit there.  By the time he leaves, the chickens are so spoiled because he's always giving them whatever a chicken considers a treat.  I'm calling this quilt Farm Memories.

Ok, right now, this project doesn't look like much because it's still in the planning stages.  I'm making this tote for a dear friend for Christmas and will be using the hand-dyed perle floss to do bobbinwork embroidery on the front panel using an iris design.  She was with me when I spotted the floss at the Quilt-a-Fair and just loved it so at least I know that I'm on the right track color-wise!  I'll be getting coordinating batik fabrics for the tote.

I made the same tote when I was at Camp Cotton last year.  My version has an embroidered rose stitched with red floss in the bobbin.

Also on my list is to catch up on my American Beauty blocks that I am doing as part of a BOM at Harriet's.  I missed a few classes and didn't get some of my blocks completely finished in others.  The fabrics for this quilt are just gorgeous and when I first saw the line in the shop, it's not much of an exaggeration to say that my head just about exploded because they are so "me."

Rounding up the lot is the cover for my acrylic portable sewing table for my machine that I take with me to classes.  It's another project that I'm creating as I go along and I really want to get it finished because I'm getting tired of shlepping my table around in a pillowcase, LOL.

Here's a close-up of the cute quilter's crest embroidery design that I found and couldn't resist adding to the front of the cover:

Ok, I think that's enough to keep me busy for a while!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Contrary to rumor, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth

Wow, I can't believe that the last time I posted was in April.  A lot has happened in the meantime, including my parents having some serious health issues that had me making an unexpected trip to Tucson (in the sizzling heat of July!) at one point.  Things have settled down pretty much but my dad has decided that he no longer wishes to spend much time with my mom (that's a story for another day) so he's up here frequently for three week stretches at a time.  He stays with my sister or goes to visit his brother up in Ft. Collins and it's usually me who has to drive him back and forth as his hearing and eyesight are rather bad.  I love my dad but this really was putting a crimp in my weekends (my only free time to really work on my projects or on the house) so we are currently working out the logistics to make things go a little smoother while he's up here.  And that's how things are at the moment in my life.

On the fun side of things, Eric and I had a great time visiting Lincoln, Nebraska when we went in May for our niece's wedding.  We stayed at Atwood House, a lovely B&B that is very romantic and was the ideal place to celebrate our anniversary which was also that weekend.  Naturally, I had to sqeeze in a visit to a local quilt shop and hunted up the Quilted Kitty.  Good thing I had some extra room in the suitcase to pack all the goodies that I found there!  We also paid a visit to the International Quilt Study Center & Museum on the University of Nebraska campus and Eric surprised me by how much he enjoyed the exhibits that they had there.  The wedding itself was beautiful and all in all, it was a terrific weekend. 

In early August, my friend and I did the local shop hop, visiting the six participating shops that were spread around the metro area.  We had a lot of fun and I managed to spend, spend, spend.  Later that month we went to the quilt show in Loveland where the entries for the Hoffman challenge were on display.  So many gorgeous things to look at and it's amazing how many different designs that people can come up with using the same fabric.  I always find the show to be very inspirational.  Then in September, my most favorite event of all took place:  Quilt-A-Fair.  Booth after booth of fabrics, patterns and notions from shops all around the state and others all under one roof.  My pocketbook will never be the same!

Finally, October rolled around and I was more than ready to pack in the yard for another year but so far it has been hanging on because it has remained unseasonably warm.  Here is a picture that I took today of my geraniums still blooming away.  Last year at this time they had already been buried under snow.

Well, uncooperative weather or not, it's time to get back in my sewing room and create!

Friday, April 30, 2010

April finish

Well, only one measly block to show for this month!  This Saturday Sampler block didn't go together easily since I had cut some of the flying geese pieces bigger by accident and it took me a long time to figure out what the problem was. Needless to say, my seam ripper saw a lot of action that night!  I have three more blocks similar to this one to make but by the time I finished this one, I just wanted a break from doing them.

I've been in the spring cleaning and reorganizing mood lately so I've been spending time doing that rather than sewing.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

First tote bag finished

After staying up pretty late Saturday night, I did mange to work some more on my rose print bag Sunday afternoon and finished it tonight.  Here it is:

I made this for my cousin's wife so I machine embroidered her initial on the tab:

One of the things that makes this tote so popular with the ladies that I give it to is that the sides are held in with magnetic snaps that open when more room is needed to stash stuff in the tote.  This is what it looks like with the snaps open:

The bag is made out of decorator fabric that my aunt found left behind in a rental house that she and my uncle own.  It's dated 1986 on the selvage so it's kind of vintage and it was made to co-ordinate with wallpaper.  I really like it because the print has a hand-painted look to it.  There was quite a bit of yardage so I'll probably be able to make some more bags out of it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tote party-I'm beat

It's 1:15 am and I'm packing it in.  After spending some time with Eric eating dinner and watching a little TV, I headed back up to work on my lining panels.  Nothing major with these, just straight channel quilting which was a breeze after the fronts.  I then spent the rest of the night until a few minutes ago getting the handle done for the rose print tote.  This particular pattern has you sew a long tube about 120 inches long that you then pull cotton webbing through.  While not the quickest thing to do, I normally don't have too many problems with it when using regular cotton fabric because my fasturn tubes make it a snap and the webbing pulls through relatively easily.  Not this time, though.  This fabric is heavy decorator fabric and was too thick stack all the way on the fasturn tube so I had to turn it the hard way which took forever and then the webbing didn't pull through all that easily.  The guide kept pulling off the webbing and I had to pull it out and start all over again.  I finally ended up using the tacking stitch on my machine to attach the guide (using the slots on it) to the webbing so it wouldn't come off and it really worked like a charm!  I wish I had thought of that from the beginning.  I also wrapped some tape around it so that the edges of the webbing tapered down to the guide which was narrower.

OK, I'm off to bed and will be back at it later today and hope to get at least the rose print bag done.  I didn't think I'd get either one done Saturday but at least I've got all the time-consuming bits done which really helps.  This isn't the quickest bag to make but really is a good one.  My friends who've gotten one as a gift really like them and these will be gifts, too.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tote party #3

Panel 2 is finished!  I also cross-hatched this one but chose to do a more open 45 degree angle and used my serpentine stitch since the fabric design is so curvy.  I'm really happy with the result!  I took the time to mark out my lines which really helped because I could just put the pedal to the metal and guide the fabric through.  The last line was a thrilling race to get to the end before the bobbin thread ran out.  Heh, why is it that I think if I just sew faster, the bobbin won't run out on me?

Thanks for all the wonderful comments you all are leaving, they really keep me going!