Thursday, January 31, 2013

An Art Group Project

My art group is doing another project. We are each making a long skinny quilt that must contain a vertical red line some where in the middle third of the piece. Here is my part.

I machine quilted vertical lines, except on the red line I hand stitched some X's.

We have not yet decided how we will bind our pieces which is why mine isn't bound yet. When we mount them together all of the red lines will match up creating a continuous red line from top to bottom.

Miss Spooky Boo is not impressed.

She says to be quiet because she is taking a nap. Underneath the quilt she has her feet on is a kitty heating pad. She started out curled up on it but got too warm I guess. Not a bit spoiled, is she? Wink, wink.

I'm linking up with Nina Marie of Creations ... Quilts, Art ... Whatever for Off the Wall Fridays.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

This and That

I finished another ornament.

I'm not happy with the little point at the bottom of the bird, but I had a hard time getting the freezer paper out. When it finally did come out, I couldn't get the velvet to curve back nicely again. My bullion stitches also aren't perfect, but I still like him.

My LQS is having a block challenge. For $3 you get a package of fabric and trims to use. Your block has to be 12.5" unfinished and contain a recognizable heart on it in some way. The blocks are due at the end of February at which time there will be viewer's choice voting for your favorite block. The viewer's choice winner will receive a $20 gift certificate to the store. Then all the names of everyone who made a block will go into a hat for a drawing to win all of the blocks. Here is my block.

I used only fabrics and trims from the bag. The buttons were purchased separately. I should add that employees are not eligible to win Viewer's Choice. Even though I can't win, it was still fun to make.

I finished another charity quilt. This is my strip quilt.

If you enlarge the image it is a bit blurry but you get the idea. I just cut width of fabric strips in varying widths and placed them on my design wall until I was happy with the arrangement and it looked big enough. Then sewed them together and quilted it with an all-over meander. This one is about 43" by 52".

My husband said the backing fabric looks like the wrapping of Wonder Bread.

I think he is right!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Triple Zip Along

The Triple Zip Along began yesterday! Below is a sample of what we are making.

Photo by Debbie of A Quilter's Table - Used with permission
Debbie's original post is here. The first step was given out yesterday. Here is the direct link for that post.

I'm undecided as to which fabrics I will use, but I've narrowed it down to two layouts.

First group

Second group
The middle fabric is the only one that changes between the two. I don't have three zippers of the same color in my stash. I have two of the oranges, two grays and one white. If I use the first group I may use black zippers, but I don't currently have any black in my stash. I used my last two blacks on my Classmate. I can get more of any of these but I think I may like using three different colors. What do you think?

In other sewing, my guild retreat is coming up and we are exchanging "sewing related items." This is a pretty broad category and open to interpretation. Here is what I'm thinking of using.

Sewing kit

Sewing kit
You can find the pattern for these here at Popular Patchwork.

My mom made me one of these some time ago and gave me the pattern too. I use it to store my little scissors so they don't poke a hole in anything or get dulled in my sewing kit. I dug out the pattern and made these two up. The one on the left uses the closing method described in the pattern. They say to use a tassel, which I don't have, so I used some cording and beads instead. Meh! The one of the right uses velcro which is what my mom did on mine. It's okay, but I should have used white thread to sew the velcro on. AND I sew the top piece of velcro to the wrong side. I removed it and resewed it on correctly but now you can see the stitching on the other side when it is closed. Hopefully, I'll get it right the third time! Time will tell.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Another Ornament

The thread I ordered to finish my Sue Spargo ornaments arrived on Friday.

I finished the embroidery on the one above, the pomegranate one.

As a reminder, here is a photo of the first one I finished, the snowflake.

The instructions call for putting another piece of wool on top, sewing most of the way around by machine, turning and stuffing then hand sewing the opening closed. I'm not sure I want to finish these that way. I'm thinking about finishing them the same way I finished my embroidered birdies. If I did it that way I would have four more pieces of wool to use as a foundation for four more ornaments or something else. I still need to finish the other two before I have to worry about this though.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

One Down

I finished the embroidery for one of my Sue Spargo ornaments. The link will take you to my previous post about these ornaments.

I just love this one! The little french knots look like beads, but I promise, there are no beads on this one.

Sadly, the kit does not contain enough embroidery floss to finish the rest of the ornaments. I've been able to do some of the embroidery on the bird, but I don't have enough to finish it. I have ordered some more thread and will work on these more once it arrives.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Pattern

My LQS got a new pattern in from one of my favorite designers, Terry Atkinson. The pattern is called Classmate.

I picked up the pattern on Saturday at work and made it up yesterday.

I used some of my Mama Said Sew fabric.

The pattern is very easy to follow, as are all of the Atkinson Design patterns I have used.

The inside has two zippered pouches, three slots for pencils/pens and three pockets. Opened out it is about 12" by 21" and closed up it's about 12" by 7".

All of the raw edges are encased or covered. This was my first time sewing with clear vinyl, actually vinyl of any kind. The pattern includes tips on how to deal with the vinyl. As long as I followed the directions I had no problems sewing with the vinyl.

My only problem in making this was with the cutting. I was so excited to get started that I began cutting before I had finished my coffee. The circle fabric was suppose to be my outside fabric and the words fabric the lining. Partway through cutting the circle fabric I switched from the "outside" cutting instructions to the "lining" cutting instructions. I didn't realize what I had done until I started to cut the words fabric. At that point I either had to start over or switch my fabric placement. I opted to just switch them. Some of the words are upside down ... so what. As the pattern says, nondirectional prints are best for this project, but if you really want to use a directional print go ahead.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Finally Done!

I finally finished the laptop carrier for me!

I've even used it already. I'm really pleased with how it turned out even if it did take a long time from start to finish. I started this at the end of August! I looked back through previous posts until I found where I posted about purchasing the fabric, August 28th.

I did a brief review of the pattern when I made one for a shop sample. I did purchase the zippers from the pattern designer and they work well. I especially like the double zipper for the top opening where the laptop goes in.

The zippers are a bit expensive in my opinion, but are great for this purpose. They also come in some great colors. I used Apple Green and it coordinates nicely with my fabrics.

Miss Spooky Boo was complaining that I haven't shown a picture of her recently. She is about 7 months old now.

She is so black and shiny that photographing her is a challenge! This is a pretty good picture though.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Triple Zip Along

I stumbled upon this last night.

I don't want to publish Debbie's photos without her permission, so click over here to see the cute triple zipper pouch I'm going to make during the Triple-Zip along between January 28 and February 15. Want to join me? There are prizes! Unlike a quilt along I think this one won't take too much time and you know you need another zipper pouch. Well ... maybe you don't need one, but I'm sure you could find a use for it even if it is just a gift for someone else.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

More Ornaments and A Surprise

Another project from my To-Do List that turned up recently is my Sue Spargo Ornaments. The pattern for these was in the December 2011 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. I bought the kit and started on these in the vicinity of November 2011. I got all of the parts traced onto freezer paper and one ornament, the bird in the photo below, appliqued.

I love these ornaments!! Why did I stop working on them? Probably Christmas 2011 passed and I got busy with life and other projects.

I put the hole punch in the photo above because that is what I used to cut the blue circles that are on the pomegranate ornament (the bottom one). The white circles around the bird were traced and cut with scissors and they are a bit wonky. Not that I mind wonky, but the hole punch is so much faster as well as more accurate. I didn't think of using a hole punch on my own. It was one of the tips included on the pattern.

There is a fourth ornament which is not in the photograph above because I haven't started on it yet. I plan for this to be my hand project until they are done. In addition to the applique the pattern for each ornament includes quite a bit of embroidery. My plan is to get all the applique done so I don't lose any pieces then start on the embroidery and other embellishments.

Speaking of embroidery, do you remember my birdie ornaments? Click the link to go to a post about them. The pattern for them was part of the 2012 Aurifil Ornament Hop. As with all good hops, this one included prizes and guess what, I won something. I won an Aurifil thread pack. I thought I had won one of their sampler packs which includes five small spools of thread, one each of their different types. So you can imagine my surprise and delight when this showed up on my door step.

That is 12 large spools of 40 wt. Aurifil thread in gorgeous colors. Oh my! And I don't have any of these in my stash. Wow! I couldn't believe that I was lucky enough to win this. These thread collections retail for about $100! I have no idea what I will do with these but I'm sure I'll think of something. Thank you Aurifil!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

First UFO Finish of 2013!

I haven't made any progress on my Modern Monday quilt. I still have to complete the last three blocks and then put them all together. I think Caroll may be working on her quilt though so be sure to stop by Attic Window Quilt Shop to see her progress, if any.

I have been doing a little cleaning and found some projects from my To-Do List (see the right hand side of my blog for the full list). I found the raggy squares project and decided to finish it.

Here it is. The first photo is a bit blurry. I'm sorry. The high here was 10 degrees F on Saturday when I was photographing this. Brrrr! I am not dedicated enough to venture outside for better photos in such cold weather.

Side One
Side Two
I was so ready to be done with this that I quit thinking about what got sewn together and just sewed. You will notice that there are places where two (or three) squares of the same fabric are right next to each other and each side is different. I don't care - it's done. I even got all the seams clipped so it is ready to be washed and ragged. I will not do that part at my house because we have such old and persnickety plumbing.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Jolly Rancher Lollipops

I'm not sure where this has come from, but my son has become very interested in making candy recently. He is 10 and asked for chocolate molds for Christmas! He received some chocolate molds as well as some lollipop molds, but we didn't need them for these.

I found several different instructions for these by googling "jolly rancher lollipops" but this is what we did.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Lay three jolly rancher candies right next to each other leaving plenty of room between the groups of three for the candies to melt and spread. You also need to leave enough space for the sticks so that they don't touch any of the other lollipops. Put them in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 6 minutes. Take them out and place a stick on top. Roll the stick so that it is completely covered in candy then let them cool.

We made 20 lollipops in less than an hour! I liked that it was fast so he didn't lose interest and leave me to finish. It also required very little prep or clean-up. He loved watching the candies melt and deciding which three candies to put together and in what order. Of course he also liked taste-testing.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fall 12 by 12

I have another art group project to show you today. I finished my Fall themed 12" by 12" project.

I struggled with this one a bit but I'm pleased with the finished piece. The leaves along the left are embroidered with some variegated #8 size hand-dyed thread, Cafe au Lait color, I won from Laura Wasilowski's blog, Artfabrik.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Self Portrait

One of the things I worked on on my birthday was my Self Portrait project for my art group.

The background is sewn, the rest is partially fused together or pinned. I'm trying to figure out how to get the necklace on her. I have an idea but I need my Bernie to be able to try it. I'm thinking of running the necklace along the shoulders and satin stitching it down along with the shirt. Bernie is at my LQS still waiting for a part to come in to fix the knee lift. I've gotten as far as I want to go with this until I figure out the necklace issue.

If anyone has any other suggestions as to how I can get the necklace securely onto this piece please leave me a comment. I'm not sure my idea will work and I'm worried that it might leave too much of a ridge along the shoulders. The chain on the necklace is pretty long and I'm going to have to cut it anyway, so I have about 12" of chain to play with when trying out fastening ideas.

I've also thought about discretely cutting two holes on either side of the neck and running the necklace to the back through the batting and backing. I'm not sure how I would secure the necklace to the back though. It wouldn't need to be pretty, just secure and thin enough that it doesn't show on the front as a lump. Again, any words of wisdom would be appreciated, even advice on what not to try from those with any experience on this sort of thing.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Charity Finish

Here is the charity quilt I was working on last week. It was my last finish of 2012 since I put the last stitches in the binding on New Year's Eve.

It has taken me a little while to get a good picture of it because it has been so cold here. It was 13 degrees F when I took this photograph last weekend at about 1 pm. I had to put on snow boots to get to the photo spot on our fence in the backyard.

We have had some record lows recently. Click here to read an article in our local paper about our recent cold temperatures.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Birthday Bag

It was my birthday last week. My mom made me this cool new bag.

Thanks Mom! I love it! Some of the selvedges she used were ones I sent her.

I had a great birthday and got to do some sewing. You'll get to see what I made/finished over the next few days.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Day Sewing

My husband is skiing with a friend. My son is taking a "free day," which means he gets to play video games and watch TV as much as he wants until dinner time. And I am sewing.

It may not look like much at the moment, but this is just one of six panels my art group is creating for a collaborative art piece. Each panel will be 10" high by 30" to 40" long. The empty space on the right is how much more I need to do until mine is long enough.