Thursday, February 23, 2017

BABY QUILT LABEL...



I've never made a baby quilt before, but I knew I wanted the label to be something a little "more" than the plain Jane embroidered letters on my previous quilts.  I was pretty sure I could find something adorable, flowery and girlish at Embroidery Library. 


My heart flipped when this little cutie popped up on the screen.  Be still my heart!  I couldn't put my payment information in quickly enough.  While some of the flowers mimic-ed the flowers in the fabric, the colors weren't all a match.  A little swapping out of threads and I was ready to go.  

I would love to tell you that the process went smoothly and quickly.  Oh no.  The flower border was done in less than 30 minutes and it was time to begin filling in the middle.  On the first line of baby stat's the thread broke!  I will admit to yelling out a very un-lady-like expletive.  Over and over I tried to get back to the point in the lettering program where the thread had broken.  Over and over again the embroidery began with the wrong letter.  I was bathed in sweat, just about in tears from frustration when J's wonderful fiance walked into the room.  In a wisdom older than her years she said, "Walk away, Mom.  Let's go outside and get some air."   

After some girl time and a cooling breeze I was able to approach the problem with a clear head.  Shortly thereafter the label was finished...and it looked just like I had envisioned. 


I laid a piece of fabric over the baby's name for privacy...but isn't it the cutest thing you have ever seen?  While I am writing this post today, I will not publish it until the gift has been given to our dear friends.  This is one surprise I really wouldn't want to ruin!

Toodles...

Friday, February 17, 2017

MY FIRST BABY QUILT IS FINISHED...


...well, except for the label.  I need to go to JoAnn's and pick up some embroidery thread in the colors above so I can machine embroider the label.  I hope to do that EARLY tomorrow morning and get it sewn on in the off chance that our friends may be around this weekend to give them their gift.  I am SO anxious to give it to them!

I absolutely LOVE this fabric.  It is Garden Girl sold by Riley Blake Designs.  I still may buy another charm pack just in case I am someday Grandma to a little girl.  If not, I could always make a charity quilt with it! 

Toodles...

Sunday, February 5, 2017

MAKING PROGRESS...


I am making progress on the baby gift for friends of ours.  The blocks are not in any particular order yet, just placed up on my board to make sure I had at least one block of each fabric pattern going vertically and one horizontally.  Oops, I guess that is placing them up there in "order"!  What I should have said is that the blocks are not arranged according to any design yet. 

Once I had "paired up" all of the pink and green blocks accordingly, I began making blocks with the remaining fabric "singles".  I have to tell you, I found it really hard to place those lone blocks up on the wall! Maybe my love for Hercule Poirot has left too much of an imprint on my psyche?  Or maybe I'm just a wee bit compulsive, ;o).  Which ever it is, in order for the quilt to reach the dimensions I want I will need to use up ALL of the charm squares in the pack...whether they have partners or not!  Deep breath...really deep breath!

After dinner I had planned to begin working with the the last group of charm squares, those having a white background.  Planned, mind you.  Unfortunately, that is not going to happen.  Sundown and horrible lighting in my sewing room have conspired to stop me in my tracks!  Sigh...I was really on a roll!  I guess I am going to have to move "lighting for my sewing room" higher on the ToDo list.  During the summer I was able to "manage" with the poor lighting, but the darkness of winter is impossible to overcome.

Oh well, I think I will join Dear Hubby in the family room while he watches the Super Bowl.  I'm not the least bit interested in this game so I will take one of my new Block magazines to read.  I used a Christmas gift card from Missouri Star Quilt Co. to purchase the 2015 and 2016 boxed sets.  Beautiful quilts, a cup of tea and a bit of relaxation sound good right about now!  Hope you are having a wonderful Super Bowl Sunday!

Toodles...

Monday, January 30, 2017

BIT BY BIT...


My sewing room/office is a MESS!  This is not the "Therapy Room" I had set up back in January 2016!  Life has gotten nuts and there are additions to my ToDo list flying at me from every direction!  This weekend I decided that I HAD to start chipping away at all of these items at once...or I would go out of my mind before I ever reached the end!

So...

Yesterday I spent the day in here catching up on some mending.  J and G both needed clothing mended, and I was able to finish all of the items they gave me this weekend in a relatively short period of time.  But see the giant pile of mending still to be done?  Eventually...


Then I finished up making hourglasses with all of the colored background charms in the Garden Girls line.  These will be combined with solid white squares to make a baby quilt for my neighbor and her husband...something they can keep in the house for when their first little grandchild comes to visit.


I began sewing the hourglasses into "four-patch" blocks.  These blocks are not in any particular order.  I am simply sewing one four-patch block with the hourglasses vertical and one block with the hourglasses horizontal for each fabric design.  I will keep all of them on the left side of my design board as I design the quilt on the right.  I like being able to see my remaining options as I build the quilt.  Unfortunately, I ran out of the Kona Snow white charm squares.  I have placed an order online and should have my package by February 4th.  I also bought a few yards for the first border.


While chain piecing the blocks, I have been using "leaders" and "enders" a-la Bonnie Hunter.  I love that my good fabric isn't being "buggered up" (as Dad would say) when I first begin stitching and I also love the fact that these scraps will be turning into something usable while I stitch.   I placed all of my sets of 2.5" fabric, shingled for ease of grabbing, into a small tin pail next to my machine.  It should keep them from falling all over my sewing table.  I just hope I can remember that the matching tin closer to my iron is my thread catcher.  I can see my nice neat little pile of squares all covered in threads, LOL.





I have been doing tons and tons of paperwork for my folks over the past couple of weeks.  As a result, I haven't gotten anywhere near my own end of year piles!  My "Need to Keep" container is rising above its capacity and the pile of coupons I need to sort through and medical papers I need to file away until next year are falling all over the floor!


I still haven't finished my charity quilt and I need to do a bit of sewing for my mom.  I also need to print out a photo for her.



This extra large hockey goalie bag is filled with yarn and my "in progress" afghan.  I need to finish that some day, too...


See that large cardboard box?  Dear Hubby has asked me to cover it with contact paper so that he can keep the "stuff" in the trunk of his car all corralled in one spot.


The items in the bankers box need to be listed on eBay, and I promised J I would help him sell his two guitars and two amplifiers.  Oh, and I also told him I would help him log all of his Magic The Gathering cards onto a website where he would get an idea of their worth and sale-ability.  That tower of boxes behind his guitars is FILLED with cards.  I think he has WELL over 1000 cards.

Do we think I bit off more than I can chew?!?!?  I REALLY need to stop volunteering myself to do things for my loved ones when my ToDo list is already longer than my arm, LOL!!!!!  I forget that I am no longer the woman of my past who could multi-task and accomplish anything at any time.  Hard lesson.

SO.....I am going to work on taking tiny bites and bit by bit this mountain of stuff will be handled and moved out of my sewing room.  I can't wait to get my calm, serene, sewing therapy room back in order.  Is there anyone else out there who finds it hard to work in chaos???

Toodles...

Monday, January 2, 2017

MY 2017 GOALS AND A BABY QUILT...


Happy New Year dear friends!!  This is what my cutting table looks like at the moment.  I am in the middle of designing/constructing a precious little baby quilt.  Last month good friends of ours became grandparents for the very first time.  They are thrilled, and we are thrilled for them!  So, how does a quilter express such feelings?  She makes a quilt!

I had hoped to start this quilt over the holiday break but, as usual, life got in the way.  That's okay, though, because this quilt isn't for the little princess (I'm quite sure she and her parents have received more than enough gifts to cover her), but a gift for her grandparents.  I hope that they will use it whenever she visits.



In making this quilt I am trying to become more comfortable with several quilting techniques, including the formation of quarter triangles from two 5" charms sewn with right sides together.  I know.  I know.  It is a very basic technique, but something I had never attempted in the past.  I am also trying to use leaders and enders to improve my stitching, primarily, and wrangle in my scraps, secondarily.  


In the next month I hope to finish the fall mini quilt that I started months ago, as well as starting AND FINISHING a small matching fall table topper for the table in my foyer.  Then, if life goes as planned, I hope to make a table topper to match the Valentine's mini quilt that I made several years back.  While accomplishing all of that I hope to finish my charity quilt and make a HUGE dent in my grandson's quilt.  Oh, and then there is the issue of my HUGE pile of mending.  When I was first introduced to quilting I often wondered how quilters managed to accumulate UFOs.  If you didn't start a second quilt until the first was finished...how could you fall behind?  Haha...the quilting gods have decided to teach me an important lesson, LOL.

While setting and hopefully reaching goals in my sewing room, I have a mountain of goals to be reached throughout the rest of my home.  It is going to be a BUSY 2017, but hopefully I'm up to the challenge.  

Wishing you a year filled with love, laughter and quilts!

Toodles...

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A LITTLE SOMETHING MORE...


I kept looking at my latest mini quilt for the small table in the foyer...and it just needed something MORE. 


I decided to add a tiny rick rack to give it a bit more punch of red.


Now that is more like it!

Toodles...

Thursday, December 15, 2016

LOOKING AT MY HOME DIFFERENTLY...


About 3 or 4 years ago my husband and I decided that it was time to begin downsizing within our home.  One of the first areas of purging included our Christmas decorations.  I have always been a BIG Christmas fanatic...but as we got older it became harder and harder for us to handle bringing the decorations up from the basement...and then taking them down again after January 1st.  So at our garage sale we sold almost ALL of our decorations and purchased a tiny tree.  It was plenty for the two of us.  


Then, about two years ago our dear son, J, decided to move back home.  Six months later he began dating a wonderful woman who just happened to have a small son.  The number of stockings on our mantle increased and our tiny "Charlie Brown" tree just wouldn't do!  


So, just before Christmas last year,  J went out and bought a big Christmas tree to once again grace our family room.  The three of them had a ball decorating the tree, and of course Grandma and Grandpa didn't think the tree was complete without a remote controlled train for the little engineer to play with!  Our home is starting to feel like the Christmas wonderland of J's childhood.  Starting, mind you.  We got rid of a LOT of Christmas decorations.


I had begun making mini quilts to decorate my foyer throughout the year.  I found that fabric decorations were fairly cheap to make...and unbelievably easy to store!


Now that we have more people going in and out of our home on a routine basis (G and K are here every weekend...and many of their friends pop in to visit while they are staying here) we needed someplace for everyone to drop their keys and other "stuff".  Just before Dear Hubby and I went on vacation last month I sent away for this cute little table for our VERY awkwardly designed foyer.  While in SC we purchased the two dishes shown above.  I was hoping that both would fit on the TOP of the table.  Unfortunately, it was even smaller than I remembered, LOL.  I put the rectangle tray we purchased as a souvenir of Charleston on top and moved the cute little turtle dish to the bottom.  G loves turtles and I knew seeing one in our foyer would make her smile.  


Today I decided that we REALLY need more Christmas in this house!  While Dear Hubby rested in bed (poor guy is sick), I pulled out the same fabrics that I had used in my mini Christmas quilt (photo for fabric reference, LOL).  And...


Voila!  We now have a cute little mini quilt on the table and a sleigh to coral all of the keys.  Looking at this photo, however, I need something red to spruce up the gold and white sleigh.  Hmmm...maybe a sprig of greenery on the front with a red bow.  Need to search through my sewing room for things I can use to make "a little something". 

Toodles...