Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Another Fun Bag

This month, I finished a new bag.  The fabric is "Little Black Dress" by basicgrey, for Moda.  As soon as it came into the store, it spoke to me to make a bag for my mother-in-law.  I made a bright one in June for her, so she needed one for winter, a little more subdued.  She received it yesterday in the mail, and was thrilled!

I had a little trouble with the lining, as I turned it the wrong way when adding pockets.  So, I unpicked again and did it right.  It seems my seam ripper and I are getting to be better friends every day (grin)!  I hope it isn't a permanent friendship (hee hee).

I am slowly working through some other projects, but as they are not completed, yet, I will wait to show them.

Keep Sewing!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Quilt Finished

I finally finished this quilt as a store sample.  I loved the way the little pink and brown squares create the diagonal lines.  I also love the little squares that each have something about Christmas in them.

I was working on this quilt at our little retreat in August.  I got the blocks pieced soon after that.

I started quilting it last month, but had several difficulties and decided to leave it alone for a week or so.  Then, last week when I got down to quilting it again, things went smoothly, and I got the binding finished this weekend.  So, it is off to the store to help sell the kits.  I think it is a darling quilt, and look forward to hanging it at home down the road sometime.

There isn't much time for sewing right now, but I am trying to grab every minute I can.  I worked last night on a bag for my mother-in-law.  I got it all together, then realized the lining was not right.  So, I think I'll be unpicking and doing the lining all over again.  That will be about all I can work on this week.

Keep Sewing! (When you can!!!)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

September Catching Up

I have been finishing a few things over the last bit.  I've wanted to share, but life happens.

Here is a denim quilt I started about 4 years ago, maybe even longer.  I made the top at a Quilt Guild Retreat.  The pattern is wonderful, because there are not any seams with all four pieces being denim fabric.  I remember it took me a bit of time to cut all the pieces.  Then, I put it away in a box.  Then, a nephew got married this summer, and I thought this would be a great wedding gift.  So, I took it to the store, used the long-arm machine to quilt it, and got it finished in time for the wedding in August.  I was tickled with how it turned out, and felt pretty good about my quilting on the long-arm.

I was especially glad to find a plaid flannel for the back with the blue and yellow.

Next, I found this "Blah, blah, blah" fabric on the shop hop in May.  I knew I just had to make a bag out of it to put my crocheting in.  I carry it with me so I can crochet during meetings that seem to go long.  You know, people just saying "blah, blah, blah" and not expecting any response.  Of course, I am still ready to participate when needed, because my concentration isn't really needed when crocheting hot pads.  So, I made this bag.  The pink trim was a fun touch, and is also the lining of the bag.

Then, I wanted to make a kit for the store to use some of our more modern and bright fabrics.  So, I wrote up the instructions for this runner, and we cut 5" squares of the bright fabric and put them into kits, including backing.  I think it is bright and fun, and easy to sew.  None have sold yet, but I am hopeful they will.

I have been working on a store sample that has given me a lot of trouble.  I hope to get it finished soon, but life is happening and we'll see how much quilting I can get done in the next few weeks.

I made a skirt this week, and a slip.  The skirt is extra long, so I am looking forward to wearing it for fall and winter.  I've really been wanting a longer skirt, and the fabric really spoke to me when it first arrived.  It is long enough that I couldn't hang it from a doorknob without it dragging, so I hung it from the chandelier.

And here is a close-up of the Whimsicals fabric.  I think I'd even like a second piece from the same line to make another skirt.  I love making skirts, they're fast, easy and comfortable to wear!

Keep Sewing!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sewing Day with Friends

Several years ago (probably about 8), we started a sewing group.  We meet regularly, nearly every Tuesday, and we work on projects.  Usually individual projects, but we have been known to work on a project together.  We used to have 6 in the group.  One moved 2 1/2 hours away, another chooses not to be with us.  We still get together with the one who moved, about once a year.  This year we went to her house.

Here we are with our "Snap Happy" bags.  We each made one, with our choice of fabrics.

Then, I had to pose them on the piano, so we can really enjoy seeing the bags.

Then, we all worked on our own projects.  Tina was putting binding on a sunflower quilt she had just quilted.  She won these blocks in a blockjack at guild.

Thanks for the smile, Tina!

Pam was working on embroidery.  She was lucky enough to work on it in the car, too, so she got a lot done.

Sorry we can't read it, Pam!

Kristi was putting borders on a couple of small quilts. Very pretty, Kristi!

 I pressed blocks forever, and got to sew the pieces on either side of one set of blocks.  An amazing number of blocks.  This is a store sample in the works.  More on it later.

We also had lunch (taco salad - yummy!), went to a local quilt shop, and drove home again.  A fun, long day. It was well worth the trip to see Tina again, and explore her home.  Her children are absolutely darling and Hannah made great zucchini brownies.   Thanks, Hannah!

I am sew grateful for good friends I can sew with, talk with and be encouraged and inspired by.  Days like these just don't come around often enough.

Until next time,

Keep Sewing!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sewing Room Disaster Makeover

This post is a little embarrassing.  The "before" pictures of my sewing room reveal how much this room was out of control.  However, the "after" pictures make me feel a little bit better.  I still have more projects to complete than I should, and I am slowly working on those.  At least now I can find things.

 This is where my machine usually sits.  Only, this summer it has been on the kitchen table as I work on projects that are a little bit bigger.  Still, I couldn't easily get my machine back in here without some serious cleaning up.

 So, here it is cleaned up.  I didn't sort through all the boxes on the shelves, because I really had only part of a day to do this.  I still know what is in the boxes, and I am looking to get better boxes to replace some of the bags of projects.  I also am using the cute quilts on the wall as design walls.  I can pin a quilt in progress to it and not hurt a thing!

Then, there was the cutting area.  I was grateful to have this cutting table, as it was given to me.  However, it had outlived it's usefulness.  I wanted a cutting table that was a solid surface, no hinges.  I also wanted space underneath for storage.  I found a design I liked and got a bid for a custom cabinet.  Over $1,000. (gulp).  Then I saw a post here, and she had put together a work table.  It would almost work for me, except it needed a center support.  So, off to IKEA I went.  and I came back with a fabulous solution for just over $200. (yeah!)

So, here is the messy "before".  Except I started clearing off before I took the picture.  My cat loves sitting on here by the window.  And my rulers have to sit in the window.  The table looks like it is ready to collapse.

Now, a nice solid surface, with support and storage.  It has a bigger surface area on top than the custom cabinet.  It has more storage than the custom cabinet.  It takes less space than the first table.  The cat now has to sit on the window sill, but the rulers fit underneath.  I am loving this new space.

Then, there was the closet area.  It seems I wasn't putting things away very well.  Just kept marching onto the next project.

So, I took out a few things to donate.  Stored some things (like books) on my new shelf, and made space for other things.  Nothing much in front of the doors now.  Just some legos my son and I need to build and return to a neighbor.

However, the reality is I haven't finished going through everything.  I have the blue tub on the left that is full of all the things I took off the old cutting table.  Most of it needs to be filed away.  Plus, there is the 3-drawer unit on the right.  It doesn't fit in the closet, and I'm not sure how to deal with it yet.  I'll figure it out, but until them I am happier with my happy place.

All in a day's work, and soon I'll have another day to make it even better.  But until then, let's just...

Keep Sewing!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summertime Favorites

These are flowers that grew in our yard this summer.  Picture taken by my sweet husband.

Our store participated in a Sidewalk sale a week ago.  I really enjoy the sidewalk sale, and I first started my job 2 years ago on the sidewalk sale.  So, this got me thinking of my favorite Summertime activities.

Our town days in May start off the season.
Art Fair in June
Fireworks, in the Stadium, on July 3rd
The Sidewalk Sale downtown
The County Fair
Having a picnic at the local park with a shallow canal
7-11 - free slurpee day
Fresh Raspberries from the garden
Walking in the morning coolness
Fireworks in the neighborhood
Neighborhood Party
and of course...time to sew!

What are your favorite summertime activities?  I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments section.

Keep Sewing!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer Marches On

Time flies so quickly.  Here it is the middle of July already, and school will be right around the corner.  The boys are not looking forward to school at all.

Usually my canning starts in August, but I got an early start with these pickled beets a couple of weeks ago.  I thought I would share with you how they turned out.  I am the only one who likes pickled beets, so the 9 bottles I got done should last me the year.

I also finished two more projects of my own.  The fabric for this quilt was given to me at the store.  A customer was leaving town, and gave the fabric and a "Turning Twenty" pattern, to be given to someone who could make it.  A lady in our guild pieced the top and it came back to me.  So, I purchased the backing, batting and binding, and finished it off.  It will be donated this fall.

This next quilt was a mystery quilt through an online group.  The steps came every 3 days, and I got it done fairly quickly.  I kept up on all the steps.  Then I hung the top on my basement family room wall for quite a while.  Here it is, finally finished.  I love the graphic effect of the big square.  The way it came together was fun.

Then, I finished this store sample.  It is cute, but much bigger than I would have made it.  I think it would be fine with the panel and two or three borders.  However, it did turn out cute and I am done with it.  Hooray!!

Now, another quilt for the store to be done by August.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Back to Sewing Again...

It seems as though I went through a few weeks of not sewing much.  Or not finishing much.  I still have 2 quilts finished, except the binding.  I just need some sitting down time for the handwork.  I like this step of the binding, but I haven't had the time lately for it.

However, I am now excited to show some finished work.  My friend had her sisters come to town, and we had a sewing evening.  We made pin cushions.  Here is mine.

That got me thinking about how many pin cushions I have.  So, I collected them and took a picture to share. There are 19 pin cushions.  I think I got them all.  I'm not sure, though.  I kept finding more, hiding in plain sight, while looking for the yellow flower-shaped one.  I use a lot of them, but not all of them.

I took out all the ones I made and left then ones given to me by others.  Some were made specifically for me, others I was given by chance.

A pretty nice assortment, don't you think?

Then, yesterday, I sewed up this quilt top as a sample for the store.  We're selling the kits, and I really liked the panel and the fabrics.  I just think it is a little big for a wall hanging (approx. 52" x 53").  I will hopefully be quilting it next week, along with 2 customer quilts, about the same size as this one.

Then, today, after weeding in the morning, fixing a nice lunch, and taking a nap, I sewed this purse for my mother-in-law.  She picked out the fabric in May, and I will be seeing her next weekend, so I felt it was time to get it done.  It just needs a big button on the front, and the lining sewn closed.

It looks like I have plenty to keep my hands busy tomorrow before and after church.  I am not scheduled to work next week, so I hope to get plenty of sewing time in.  After I do some shopping, planning for Activity Days, preparing for the weekend, etc., etc., etc.  If only life could slow down a bit so I can just sew ;)

I hope you enjoy the week ahead, and maybe I'll have more to share by next weekend.

Until then,

Keep sewing!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Time Really Flies By...

It seems I just can't get to this every week like I was at the first of the year.  However, I'll do what I can. :)

I showed the flimsy of this quilt in April, once I got the borders on.  Then, I quilted it over Memorial Day weekend.  I enjoyed posing the quilt on a chair...

Then, laying it out on the grass...

And, hanging on the front porch.

The spool blocks were made by 61 different individuals.  Each signed her name to her block and we traded them.  It really made it fun and interesting!  We traded the blocks in April 2011, I pieced the main part of the quilt during the summer of 2011, bought the border fabric June 2011, and sewed them on April 2012, quilted and bound May 2012.  A big project that did a lot of sitting!  (Thus, the chair is appropriate, isn't it?)

I also finished this cute 27" square.  It is leftovers from another quilt finished in April.  It will make some little girl happy someday.  It's a great size for a doll.

I've slowed down on the crocheting.  I have quilted a little bit more, but I don't have the binding done yet.  So, maybe by next week I'll have more to share.  I work a bit more than usual this week, and there is a lot going on. I will enjoy next week when the boys are at Scout Camp and I will have my own week :) :) :)

I hope you are able to get some things done, too.  Isn't it amazing how quickly the time is passing?  Thanks for reading!

Happy Sewing!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Time To Play Catch-Up

I have been very busy, thus no new blog entries for several weeks.  However, I think I can do some catching up today.

At the first of the month, I went on a two-day Shop Hop with some friends.  We traveled nearly 700 miles in 2 days.  I did the driving, since I am so sensitive to motion and other people's driving (grin).

Here are some of the quilts we saw along the way:

These first two were probably king-sized.  The half-square triangles were probably 1 1/2 inches finished.  They truly took my breath away.  I was quite inspired by them.  (Sages Creek, Pocatello, ID)

These runners (same store), were beautiful.  I took the pictures for inspiration.

This one came from Porter's in Idaho Falls, ID.

These next were from Madsen's in Idaho Falls.

Then, this one at Abbot's in Rigby.

And the last from Porter's in Rexburg.

Pam made each of us a wristlet to carry our stuff in.  Each shop gave us a charm, and I also carried a little cash and my camera in mine.

These are some of the purchases I made.  I was wearing pink the first day, so everything pink caught my eye.  I was wearing blue the second day, so that's what I enjoyed that day.  The "BLAH, BLAH, BLAH" fabric totally cracked me up!  I happen to sit in meetings where I feel that is all that is going on...blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  And I had just told my friends about it 5 minutes before walking in the store and finding this fabric.  We laughed very hard.  So, I am going to make a little bag to put my crocheting in, for when I get bored in these kinds of meetings (grin).

This is the runner sample for our store.  I am going to make one, I hope to do it before the 4th of July.  Isn't it sweet?

While on the shop hop, I found a cute purse pattern that I loved.  However, the cost of the pattern was a little more than I wanted to spend.  So, I took a good look at it and thought I could make it without the pattern.  It had a band at the top, with pleats where it met the band.

When I came home and started looking around for fabric, I noticed a skirt I had purchased at a secondhand store a while back.  I bought it because I loved the fabric and wanted to use it in something.  It had a waistband detail that reminded me of the bag I had seen, but without the pleats.

 The skirt was a size 6, and had a side zipper.  Notice the band at the waist with the ribbon detail.

Because the skirt band had a facing, I only added the lining to match the facing, sewing it on by hand.  I also used bright yellow for the pockets as a contrast to the color of the skirt.  

I removed the zipper, sewed up the side seam, cut off the bottom, added lace below the ribbon, made a handle, lining, pockets and boxed the bottom.  It was a fun process.  And here is the finished product:

It is a fairly big bag, and can hold lots of stuff.  It seems I am usually carrying lots of stuff, so it is a good bag for me.  I was excited to use something I already had, that didn't cost me a lot of money.  The time was fairly minimal, and even though there was more hand-sewing than usual, it seemed to go pretty quickly.

I spent Saturday quilting my spool quilt, and the binding is sewn on, but not sewn down.  That should be done before my next blog entry, and I'll actually have two finished quilts to show.  Until then,

Happy Sewing!