Dec 9, 2009

All I want for Christmas gifts

First I have to say shame on me, yes I should have been on here at least a week ago and posted about the wonderful surprise I received from Bea ( Holee) in the mail. I have been extremely busy but that no excuse because I know it only takes a few minutes to say thank you and share the kindness and thoughtfulness of others. I also know that Holee has been just as busy and still found time to do this. I came in one night from doing some shopping. Which I didn't enjoy doing alone. So, like I always do I try to carry everything in one trip and barely made it up all those steps to the door. When I went to set the stuff down so I'd have a hand to open the door I seen 2 big boxes sitting there, I instantly looked to see where they came from and they were from Bea. My boring night of shopping suddenly got better and I was doing a little dance. I tried to pick up one of the boxes and it was so heavy I knew it was gonna take more then one trip to get everything the house this time, but it didn't matter I was too excited to see what was in those boxes. OMG! wait til you hear all the things she sent me. I know she put a lot of time and thought into each one of these gifts and she took the time to wrap and make labels for each one. I just can not thank her enough. I hope she knows how much she has lifted my spirit this holiday season.
First thing I want to show you is the absolute adorable sewing machine cover she made me. She must have spent hours working on this. Oh if you could just feel it, it feels so good. I love him so much. Just look at how much personality he has. Garfield is my new most favorite thing in my sewing room. And when I sewing and have to take him off the machine I put him over the back of my chair. He really has livened things up around here.
She also sent me machine needles, pins, ribbon, rick rack, buttons, zippers, two multi packs of guttermans thread in some yummy colors, 3 patterns( I have one picked out from each of those I'll be making very soon),thread conditioner, and some strapping to make handles or belts out of. Look at that stocking, isn't that the cutest thing!! That jingle bell has already found it's place hanging right above my sewing table. All all those beautiful fabrics are going to work perfect with the patterns, plus some...The kids are going to love the fun straws and lollipops. She also sent me a cute snowman coffee cup full of Chocolaty candy that DGS comes back and gets a few pieces of everyday. Now that I look at this pic I realize you can't really see how pretty all those fabrics are,I just love them. She got me a great srapppy quilt book. I have a pattern picked out already. I do love fig newtons and she must have read that some where on the quilting board and remembered. Oh and the three patterns are just perfect. I'll be making one of those CQ bags very soon!! She sent me several different fabric collections more then enough to make any one of the patterns she sent, plus some. These will keep be busy for a long time and you will be seeing many projects made with this in the new year. That yellow roll is golden thimbles quilting paper. I think I'm gonna be hooked on this stuff once I get a chance to give it a try. You know I have a fear of trying to quilt designs. This will let me trace out any design, it sticks to my quilt and then just tears away. Now this should get me over the my hump of straight lines and stipple. I'll make sure and post pics of how that goes when I give it a try. She sent me a magnetic pin holder and I just don't know how I ever lived without one of these. If you don't have one it's a must!!
Last but definitely not least is a wishing pearl necklace. Now, first thing I did was read the card she sent and it say that maybe me and my DGD would enjoy the oyster together. Now, I thought I was reading it work, because I knew I wasn't going to get Katebug to try an oyster so I asked my daughter was I reading it right. Well, sure enough it was a oyster and me and Katebug did enjoy it. It was a wishing pearl and it was still in side the mollusk shell and we had so much fun. We both made a wish and then opened the mollusk and found our pearl inside the oyster. Once we seen what color we got we knew our white pearl was for wisdom. We took the pearl and put it inside the necklace which was just beautiful. Now, I just knew Katebug was gonna want to keep the necklace but she said nanny can we give this to mommy for Christmas. I thought that was a wonderful idea. I wish I had captured how proud she was when she carried her moms present to put it under the tree. Bea, thank you so so much. I'm sure that will be one of those special memories that Katelyn will always remember about her childhood. It's moments like those that last a lifetime.

Nov 16, 2009

Got my CQ block pieced

I signed up for a CQ for ME challenge that Nicki is hosting on the HGTV quilting board. There was a catch though. We were all sent the same 2 fabrics and 1 motif that we had to incorporate into the piece. We could make what ever we wanted with it. I decided to make a door hanging for my SIL. I did have a hard time at first trying to figure out how I was going to make the teal fabric work for me because I personally like things a bit country, but turns out that the bright teal fabric made the perfect rooster tail. The other fabric was the sage green silk that's in the background. I haven't done any stitching to my block yet but plan to do quite a bit. I'm not sure if I will make the deadline of Jan 1st because I'm over 2 months behind. I'm not giving up though, it's better late then never. I do have a vision in my head of where I'm going with this but you know how that goes, once you get stitching, LOL!!! I see a sunflower in there, maybe some morning glories and some barbed wire on that fence and well we'll see...Here's a few pics of my block I finally got pieced today. I just noticed that part of the tail looks black, but it's not it's just a deeper shade of the teal. I don't know why but my camera makes most darker colored fabrics look black. Maybe I should start taking my pics outside......

Nov 7, 2009

More sewing

First I want to thank you all for your nice comments on the scrappy quilt. It's not exactly my pattern or anything I was inspired by a quilt I had seen on creativechicks bogspot. I just loved hers and knew this would be a great way to use up some of my scraps. I got my top finished it just needs a strip of the white sewn across the top and bottom. Usually by the time I finish one I'm sick of looking at it but this went together so fast I still love it, LOL.
Remember this quilt. I don't have a pic of the finished top. It had a wide border of the red print. I was planning on quilting some of the tops I have finished this year. I was going to start with this one but it can't be found. We looked and looked for it. I searched high and low. Practically tore the place apart, but no quilt. After telling my daughter whom I had made this for, she came over thinking she would find it. I tried to tell her I went through everything 3 times it's just not here. She couldn't find it either and it broke her heart. I guess it somehow got thrown out when we moved. I always fold my tops to where the seams are on the out side, so it probably looked like a bunch of scraps just laying around. But you know how the story goes no one knows nothing. It's just gone, at least until we maybe one day come across it. In the meantime I start her a new quilt. I have another bundle of Tula Pink's Flutterby fabrics that are pretty similar that I had saved to make a braid quilt with. They are some of my favorites but I guess I'll use them to make her another top. I found one that I really love over on interchangableparts blog. She made it using Tula Pinks nest pattern. I really like how hers turned out. I also love the merry-go-round quilt she made. I'll have to give that a try one day.
So, I gave up my great idea of quilting all weekend and decided to go ahead and piece her a new top before I started quilting all these. I no longer have room for both my big tables set up at the same time so I have to either piece or quilt. My little EZquilter has to set up on a table and I just don't have room to keep it out all the time now. But luckily it's easy to set up. When I bought it I had attached it to a big board to keep from have to put screw in my table and boy am I glad i did Now all I have to do is get it and set it on top ANY table!!! If I had of attached it to the the other table (I no longer have room for) I would have been in a pickle and had to go back to tugging those BIG quilts i like to make through the machine again. I've done enough of that to know it's not an easy task. I don't guess I've ever made a small quilt other then the 2 baby quilt I made and I hand quilted one and did quilt as you go on the other. Now I do love making mini's. But I have to say when I make a bed quilt I make it BIG, real big! I have a hand quilting frame I use sometimes but mostly I like to machine quilt mine, because it takes me forever to finish one hand quilting.
Well, I did get started on my sister tumbling block lap quilt. It's my first ever lap quilt and Y-seams. I've always been a bit intimidated by Y-seams but I gave it a try and they aren't difficult at all. Then after making some of the blocks I thought how am I going to piece all these rows together. So had to see if I would be able to join those zig- zag rows together. I used the same method of pivoting as I did on the Y-seam and it went rather well and the seams lay nice and flat so I guess she'll get her tumbling block lap quilt after all. She choose the Metro Goes green fabric line we had seen when we went to Mariette to meet up with Some of our quilting friends form the board. They didn't have enough, so I thought maybe since we were soon going to the retreat and would have the chance to go to Keepsake Quiltshop I could find some there, but we didn't find it. As soon as I got home form the retreat I googled around to see if I could find some since I knew she loved it so much and she just didn't see anything else she liked as much. I was lucky enough to find it so I got them and some of the dots for the backing and strips for the binding.

Margw, Here's a pic of the block construction. It's pretty simple. Sew two 9" squares on the diagonal to make 2 big HST. Then just add a 3.5" square on opposite corners and sew on the diagonal. Here's what the block looks like. Then here's how I layed them out to get that top.

Nov 1, 2009

All it took was a pep from Beck and some scraps.

I was feeling a little down on Friday, maybe even a lot down but my sister called to talk about how she needs to get in gear and work on her to do list and next thing I knew I was feeling better and motivated to tackle some of those scraps. So, I broke out all those bits and pieces you end up with after cutting those strips to swap out nickels and coins. I always have those end of the strip pieces that don't quite measure up. That why they end up in the loose change pile. I found that most of the end pieces could be cut to 4.5" pieces with the least waste. I got to cutting and in no time at all I had plenty of 2.5"x4.5" pieces. Now I like the way brights look so crisp against white so I pulled some white from my stash and cut 2.5" strips and then sub cut to 4.5". I sewed all my bright pieces to white pieces, then pressed all those while watching some scary Halloween movies. Today I sat down to sew all those together into strips. Then got to crying which made it hard to see, so I took a break and went outside which somehow seems to cheer me up. I went back to sewing and wa-la, next thing I knew I almost got all my strips sewed, only 5 more to go. This is going to be a very bright and cheery quilt. Here's what I have so far. I plan to put a 2.5" of white between the rows. I really like how quick and easy this was to make. A the best part is I'm one step closer to my scrap busting goal!!!! I'm going to call it Loose Change.

Oct 26, 2009

It's been awhile

I just want to start by saying thank you to all of you for helping me through this difficult time. I'm doing well and have know that sewing and spending time with all my quilting friends is the best for me now.
I want to share with you a little mini I received from expatquilter in the Fall mini swap that Holee hosted. She did a fabulous job and i just love it!!
I would show you a pic of the mini I made expatquilter but I didn't get a pic of it before mailing but it's like the one I made for my sis except the blocks were 3" instead of 1.5"
Next is a little mini I made for my sister out of some very small 1.5"blocks I was going to use in the inchie swap but had a difficult time trying to put a binding on them so ended up sewing them all together and this is the result. This little mini measures 5x5". It's it cute. When my sister got it she she it was so much smaller then she had envisioned and she loves it.
Here's a quilt I'm working on for my daughter. I didn't really plan it out or anything. I just seen one someone else had made and knew I wanted to give it a try, so I guess that explains why I've run out of background fabric. I was hoping to have enough blocks to make it large enough but I guess I'll have to make some sort of border to make it a bit larger. I know I seen on SQ that you shouldn't put a border on just to make your quilt larger but Hey, I also heard there are no rules in quilting and after my visit to Handcocks today for more fabric, which they no longer have guess I'll be adding a border. I still have one more layer cake of the 9 patch blocks so maybe I can work with that. I open for suggestions on the border. I was thinking about adding 9 patch block all the way around but my other DD said to add a solid fabric. I have so much fabric now that I'm trying not to buy anymore until I use up some of this that I have stock piled.
I'm also working on a bear quilt for my DGS John and it still likes one more row of blocks. It's okay but I'm not sure I really like it or not. Maybe it will look better once it gets quilted. I'll show how it turns out when I get it done. I had also started my first tatted piece which I was working on when I wasn't able to spend time at home and sew on my machine. I was nearly done but had to lay it down and now I'm not sure if I remember how to. I'll have to send my sis a pic and see if she can help me figure that out.
I want to show you the gorgeous block I received from Carmellady in the CQ one block swap, hosted by Nickilee. I asked for french country and it couldn't have been more perfect. It is more then I had ever hoped for.
Gosh, while I'm at it I'll show you the blcok I made for Ely. She asked for fairies, pink, blue, yellow green and she even likes orange. I thought I was the only one who liked orange!! My sister painted the bird nest and sent it to me to make postcards with but I told her I had to have it for Ely's block so she didn't make me beg she gladly let me have it. She also made me the 2 tatted pieces, it's like they just belonged here. The 2 dyed lace pieces where some that I had got from Nickilee. I used the big one for the woodland garden floor. The yellow flower vine was inspired from Ivoryblushrose. I don't even know if she knows but I love her CQ. This is my second CQ, my first one drove me crazy and was just a disaster,but this one was a joy to make. I need to get started on the other CQ for me block. I think I have an idea of what I want to make I just haven't had the time to get it out and get started.

I spent most of the day yesterday cutting my scraps into squares to use as leaders and enders. Some people with this much fabric might have just tossed these bits of scraps but I just couldn't bear to part with them. I love scrappy quilts, plus I'll have bits of most of the quilts I made all in one. I didn't color coordinate them or anything. I've just decided to sew together what ever I pull out. I like doing this, you end up with a big pile of 4 patch blocks before you know it and when my jars of square starts getting low I just get my scrap drawer out and cut up some more. Maybe I'll win the battle with the overwhelming amount of scraps I have accumulated.

Oh almost forgot here's the mini I sent Susrina for the Christmas mini swap. It's about 13x14 if I remember right. My sis brought me the kit to make it when she came down. I was a little intimidated about try to paper piece something so small but it ended up going together pretty easy. I added some embroidery and beads to finish it off. You really can't see them but I did a few embroidered snowflakes with this thread that looks just like snow that my sis had gave me. I love that stuff.
Me and a few of the other girls from the HGTV board are all planning to go up and spend a week at my sisters in Ohio this June the week of the quilt show. I'm excited and June can't get here fast enough for me. We're going to have a blast. I know they have some great quilt, thread and bead shop so you know we'll be going to those.
I sure have missed all of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aug 7, 2009


I just thought I'd let you know that there was just too much going on for me this past month. I'll spare you all the details and just say some good and some bad. I do have some quilting things to share with you, that I managed to complete during all the chaos. Just don't have the time today, but I hope to get to it in the next couple of days. I can't wait to read all my favorite(your) blogs too and see what all you have been working on.

Jul 3, 2009

Another mini and a fun giveaway

Sewmeow is having a fun giveaway and is adding something new everyday to her giveaway for the next 18 days. here's a link to her blog so go on over and sign up....
Now, that she has received it I can post a pic. I'm happy that she likes it. I was worried, then after seeing the one she made me I got real worried. But she said it was her and it screamed her name. So that made me feel better. This was a fun swap and all the little mini's are just amazing. The ladies on the HGTV have incredible talent. I'm going to keep joining this swap, I want a mini from all of them, and it wouldn't hurt my feeling to have two from each of them. Having these mini's on my wall mean so much to me. The are all so unique and inspiring. I just love being surrounded by them while I'm back there sewing, which is where I spend a lot of my time. Here's a link to all the mini's in the 2nd swap Holee has hosted. She has a link to the first mini swap photo too, in her side bar. I see she doesn't have all the mini up yet but they should be headed to their new homes and added soon. Thanks Holee for hosting these fun swap. After getting the top done I could not figure out how to quilt this thing. The hexagons were very small making the seam allowances bulky and hard to sew through. So, I asked Lois(bluesnail) if she had any ideas and she had a wonderful idea which I knew a soon as she told me would be perfect. I have a real hard time quilting mini's because of the bulkiness. But she made it easy for me. She suggested tying the center of the flowers to make it look like stamen. and then just hand quilt around the bottom of the fence and around the outer edge of the applique & flowers. So that's exactly what I did.

Jul 2, 2009

Look at this Mini quilt

I received the most incredible mini quilt today from my partner Shawana. I was going to wait until I could get a better pic, because the wind kept trying to sweep it away but I just have to share her beautiful work. Remember the other day I said I just has this feeling it was special, well I was almost right it is special but I think it is more then special, it's absolutely the prettiest mini. I could not believe my eyes when I opened it. I was just in total shock, speechless and in awe. This is a tresure for sure. I'm going to have it framed. I would just die if it got one speck of dirt on it. Words can't describe how lovely this is. Click the pic and you will get a close up and see all the incredible details. I just can't stop looking at it.

Jun 30, 2009

Time for the tooth fairy

Isn't she so cute without her tooth. She so excited about the tooth fairy, she might actually go to bed on time tonight. I had to run down and snap a few shots when she called me with her exciting news. She also went for her appt. today and they are trying to fit her surgery in the first part of this month, were expecting the call from the Doc in 5 days. She's so brave, wish we were.

Jun 29, 2009

MY CQ sneak peeks

Here's a couple peeks of my CQ block for the swap. This is a secret swap and I was so lucky and got the name of a lady I had met at the retreat and she was just someone that when you meet for the first time that you know is very special. She has the best hugs and the biggest beautiful smile. I only got to spend a few minutes here and there talking to her but those were some of the best minutes. We were only allowed 2 small peeks. I choose these because I didn't want to reveal any of the main parts of the block. These were such small areas that is was hard to crop them and get them big enough to see without some blurring. But you get the main idea. I have this block filled from top to bottom, although I'm new to CQ, I found it easy because I wanted to give her everything. The theme she picked was fairies, pinks, blues, lavender, greens and peach. So I got it all and it took me a bit to get all those colors to play nice together but it's all there, and I hope that she loves it. I laid awake at night dreaming of what to put on her block and it's like God just dropped little ideas down one by one and it went together so fast, even with all the things I had to take out to put new things in. This block is nothing like what it started out to be. I learned a great deal working on this block, and am anxious to start another, and I know just what it'll be. I want to add that I got some of my inspiration from other CQ blogs. And shame on me because I don't think they even know I read their blogs, I am guilty of not always leaving a comment on many of the blogs I read. I feel pretty bad about it too because they are big inspirations to me, so I will do better and at least leave a small comment from now on to let them know that I appreciate all the pretty things they share. So thank you my favorite bloggers for all your inspiration. We will be swapping our blocks out at the end of July so I'll have the block I receive and this one to share. I can hardly wait to get mine and see what she has made for me. We get a block from someone other then who we are making one for, I'm sure I will love the block I receive. I seen her work last year in the swap and it was very beautiful. One more thing. It's time to swap our mini quilts too, so mines going in the mail tomorrow and I should receive one from my partner in the next few days too, I can't wait to share those with you, my partner in the swap does amazing work and I know she has worked very hard on this mini. I just know I will be getting a very lovely quilty form her. You'll see, I can just feel it in my bones that what she is making me will be very special. You can see all the mini's on Holee's blog, if you look in her side bar she has a link to where she adds them as them are received, go have a look there are some really pretty minis being made in her swaps. She'll be hosting another one very soon.

Quilting on a Budget: Extraordinary Creativity

Quilting on a Budget: Extraordinary Creativity
WOW! check out this video I just seen on one of the blogs I read, it is so cool. I wish I had half the creativity of others.

Jun 27, 2009

My CQ do-dad find of the day

I went to this antique, collectible, second hand thrift shop today that has about 4 levels and just enormous. It is impossible to navigate this whole store in one day. But that's okay because I didn't make it past the first room before my budget was spent. But I'm happy with today's find and see another trip there in the near future. My very favorite of all the things I got is the yellow roses and the rhinestone bird, I probably paid too much for them but they were the two pricier items I just couldn't live without. I need to clean the little bird up but it has a lot of pretty stones on it. I don't know why the alligator struck my fancy but you never know when you might need an alligator, LOL, and I may never need the gloves either but they didn't cost too much so I got them. The pic doesn't show good but the milky looking stones on the earrings to the right are more like opal stones they have pretty sparkles in them. There was just too much for me to take it all in. I'm going to divide these goodies up and send some to my sis who is just starting her first CQ block. I'm going to be stingy though and keep the bird and yellow roses. I did find some pretty rose beads that I love and want, so I'll split those up with her so I don't feel bad about keeping the 2 yellow roses all to myself.I had planned to go to Hobby Lobby afterward but decided to call it a day, maybe tomorrow. I think this thrift store shopping could become an obsession.

Jun 17, 2009

Inner border on

I'm so happy to have had time to do some sewing, my poor machine must have been feeling neglected. This is one of many quilts I hope to have done before Christmas. I'm going to add the red fabric laying on top that bucket as the larger outer border. The brown under it is what is in the quilt although it looks black in this pic it is actually brown with small red dots.I still need to get some backing for it. I had originally bought a lighter back with dots in the colors on the front but after rethinking about the quilting which I've decided I think I'll do in a darker variegated thread or do you think a lighter background with the variegated thread would look pretty. I've got way better with my machine quilting so it's not a problem if it shows it's just I don't know about how that would look on that backing fabric.

Jun 15, 2009

Leaders and enders

After seeing some pretty quilts made on the HGTV message board being made by sewing strips and patches as leaders and enders I thought it was a great idea to use up some of my scrap fabrics. I had several strips of some dot fabric left from my DGD's princess quilt. I also have about a yrd of each that hasn't been cut. I started yesterday sewing the strips together while piecing the last of the blocks I need for my DD's quilt. I was amazed at how quikly I had so many strips sewn togehter. Today I cut those into sub strips and sewed those togehter and now I very happy I did. I will soon have enought to make quilts for my 4 great grand nieces. They will all be made form the same fabric with different layous. Hopefully by doing this I will be able to surprises these little princesses with a quilt for Christmas. Here's how my strips look after I had sub cut hem and then sewed them into longer strips as leaders and enders. I'm excited about these and have layout planned for all four of them. I'm finally putting the blocks together on my DD's quilt I started several months ago. I hope to have the borders on and ready for quilting by July.
I'll have the kids for 5 days starting Thurs so won't get any sewing done next week. Katelyn goes to Chattanooga on the 30th to get scheduled for her surgery. My DD said she is pretty sure they will doing her surgery at Egleston Childrens hosp in ATL. Cliff vascular surgeon is thinking he might have to replace Cliff shunt which is showing signs that it could rupture. He's going to watch it for the next couple of weeks and see if it gets better or worse.

Jun 8, 2009


I'm about caught up with all the odd and end projects I've been working on. I'll be glad to get back to making some quilts, looks like I'll be back at it by next week. I have been working on a couple quilts but I can't show one yet. It's for the Scraps to Treasure challenge I joined and we can't post pics. The other on is one I started a few months back for my daughter. I should be able to get my blocks sewn together and a border put on very soon. I had hoped to start the tumbling block quilt my sister wants but Cliff still hasn't forgotten the Wonky Dawgs quilt and has once again reminded me he needs it. So, when I told him I'd have it made by Christmas he said he had to have it before ball season started in Sept. I think it will go together pretty quick since I have most of the strips already cut. I have about 5-6 other quilts on my list to do before Christmas. I just don't see me getting them all done but we'll see. So from now til then my list looks like this. 1-DD#2, 2-Cliff, 3- Becky, 4-DGS#3, 5- DD#1, 6-SIL#2, 7-Sil#1, 8-James. My nephew has also asked for one. Now, I have got all my fabrics bought and most of the patterns picked out with the exception of my nephews. But it doesn't look like I'll be getting to it anytime soon any how.It doesn't look like I'll be getting a quilt this year either, but I'm okay with that.
The past couple of weeks I have been working on my CQ one block, I made 15 of the card holders for a restaurant here in town, only they wanted vinyl for theirs. They had seen the one my DD had and asked her if I could make them some, so naturally she told them I could. I've done quite a bit of sewing for them in the past and they always pay me pretty good. Yesterday I made two large baskets. One for Cliff to put all his meds in so I can have my dining table back and the other i made for my DGS to keep some of his toys in. I'll post a pic of them tomorrow, I haven't took one yet. But I got the memo board made for a friend who seen the one I posted last week and propositioned me a trade. Now, I would have made her one anyway but she wanted to make me a Calligraphy wedding ring, now how could I resist that. I know just who to give it to. Here's a pic of the memo board I made her.
My DD and SIL are going to Vegas for 5 days so I'll have the kids that week. This will be the first time she has ever been away from them. I know she is looking forward to a little break. She'll be starting her new job when she gets back. I'm not certain what her schedule will be after she gets done training. So, I'm not sure how it will affect the babysitting schedule I have now. She was offer to move up where she was working but that would have required her to work more hours then she wanted. I'll be going to Ky. In July for a small family reunion. Katelyn will also be having her surgery shortly after that. Cliff's going to Emory tomorrow to be screened to see if he is now able to have a transplant. Last time we went he was turned down due to his unstable health. He's been doing pretty good and the doctors have scheduled him once again to go for a screening to see where he stands now. All seems to be going good, just very busy. But if we're not busy we're not getting anything done now are we. My cat had kittens and they are all spoken for, just try catching them, LOL. They are outside cats and run everytime someone comes up. I'm so glad they are here. I haven't seen any snakes this year, last year before someone dropped the cat here we seen snakes out here all the time. Speaking of snakes my SIL killed a huge snake in his yard just a couple weeks ago. That thing must have been at least 6-7 ft long. He layed it right beside the door stoop so when I went over to babysit and went up to the door it would scare me and it did. I ran like crazy, I told him not to ever do me like that again. I could have a heart attach at my age. Not to mention they'd be finding a new babysitter. Well, I guess no one really wants to hear about the crazy pranks my kids play on me, so I'll quit rambling. Just wanted to come and let you know what I've been up to. We'll be sending in our minis for the swap before long so I'll get to post the one I made and the one I receive before long and hopefully once I get past through the busy next month I'll be back to quilting and posting some real pics. I'll let you know how it goes for Cliff tomorrow, I'm not sure we'll know anything definite but you never know. One more thing I want to mention. I have a good blog friend Kristi that is having an online yard sale to raise money for her son. She selling quilting fabric and books so go take a look and see if you can find anything that interest you. She (Cowgirlquilter) has a link in her side bar to her yardsale, with great prices for a good cause.

May 25, 2009

I'm feeling better today

I've been very sick for the last 4-5 days and am starting to feel human again. I did absolutely nothing this weekend. I stayed in the bed mostly and tried to get up a few times only to realize I needed to go back to bed. What ever it was Cliff had a touch of it too. We sure was a pitiful looking pair, but we made it through.
I thought I should post something so everyone doesn't think I just fell off the face of the earth. I don't have much to report because I haven't made much so I'll just show you some of the things I worked on in the past few months.
Here's a pic of the FQ challenge I made for the retreat. I actually made 2 one for me and one for sis. I made the memory board for me so I could display all my COF pic on it in my sewing room. I made the car caddy for my sis because I had seen one over on Sewmanyways blog and thought it would be a great thing to have.
Then there was the t-shirt challenge and turns out it was a challenge for me It took me 3 attempts to get one made that I could actually use. I got my first shirt all painted up and was relieved to have it done, then I tried it on to find it was too small. So, instead of buying a new shirt I thought I just cut the small one up and make a southern bell hat for the challenge, since I am in the heart of the south. But after making that I talked to one of the committee members and she said it we had to have a shirt that was a bill board for our state. So, here's my billboard, I buttoned it to my shirt using peanuts for buttons. I'm glad I had to redo my shirt because I tried thread painting for the first time and loved it. It was so much easier the I had thought it would be. If you have thought about trying it you should it is just too much fun.
At the last minute before leaving I was reading the new regulations for carrying computers on the plane and found that the case we had wouldn't do because of all the layers of leather and metal that was on it. So, I thought I whip something up right quick to carry it in. So, I went and found some (ugly) fabric I thought I'd never use for anything else and threw this together and well it turned out pretty nice after all, and the fabric doesn't look half bad on this. I like it so much that I use it all the time now.
We had the Miranda bag for our group project, but only a few of the ladies actually completed the bag at the retreat. We were just having too much fun to sit and sew. Never thought I'd say that. I didn't think anything would rank higher in my list of fun things to do then sewing, LOL. But I did finish the bags when I got home. They are nice bags, but after carrying it for a few days found I just don't like these handles.
Here is one of the postcards I made for the "I wish" postcard swap. I'm sure we all have the wish in common.
I also made some fabric baskets for a friend, I didn't take pics of these. I have completed my mini for the "Summer" mini swap, I 'll post it after my partner receives it. I'm a bit worried because my daughter says it looks more like Spring then Summer. I never get anything just right so this is just typical of me, but I'm happy with how it turned out and if she loves it then I'll love it. I made 9 more paint brush roll-ups for my sister. I've also been working and my Trash to treasure challenge, it won't win no prizes either but it is for a good cause, so that's the important thing. I have also been picking out things to use in the CQ one block swap. No I'm not really a CQ but I do like trying. I most happy about who's name I got for the swap. I got to meet her at the retreat and instantly loved her. So, I'm working extra hard to make her a block she will hopefully love. Last but not least we celebrated my youngest grandson's Birthday Tues. right before I came down with this awful stuff. This maybe where I picked it up. But We had a ball at his B'day bash and as soon as I upload some pics I'll share those with you. I had my daughter take a few of me and Cliff so maybe one will be good enough to update my profile with. If not, it will just have to wait until after I get some teeth. I've been having them pulled 3 at a time. I'm down to 6 teeth now which makes eating almost impossible. I have about 2 more months before I can actually eat something that I have to chew. Did I mention I am hungry, I found that liquids and creamed foods don't seemed to fill you up for very long. Well, I think I'm going to try and get a few things accomplished today. I won't be making it to the PO until tomorrow. I had hoped to do it Sat but neither of us felt like it, so maybe I can get these 3 packages out to their new homes tomorrow. I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend.

May 16, 2009

Thank You Holee

I made a trip to my daughter's house yesterday to deliver something very special Holee had sent my granddaughter. She also sent gifts for my 3 grandsons and me too. She sent Katelyn a collectible Scarlet O'Hara Barbie. Isn't she beautiful!! Katelyn just loves her. She had to open her but doesn't want anyone to play with her so she now lives on Katelyn's shelve with all her bowling trophies. Holee made many outfits and a sleeping bag for Barbie too. Katelyn adores them. I made a video of the kids opening the gifts to send to Holee. I won't be posting the video but will share a couple pics I captured out of the video. The boys all got some really cute pillow cases which they love, but the little ones went stright for the candy. Keith could not get to those lolli-pops fast enough. They kids just played and played with their things and my daughter told me Katelun was still dressing her Barbies at bedtime. I don't have pictures of all the outfits because they went straight to playing with them, but here's a soot of some of the first outfits Katelyn dressed her Baribies in. She was singing going to the prom while dressing them. It was so sweet and I'm glad I got that captured for Holee. Do you see the red. white and blue dress Holee made. Well, my daughter said she want a dress just like that one only knee length. Wonder if Holee has that pattern in a ladies size 8,. LOL. Now I'll have to see if I can find a pattern that I can make this dress from. Holee I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My daughter says Katekyn is wanting to make you something now. I want to thank you for the pattern and FQ pack also. I hope watching the video brings you as much joy as the gifts did my grandbabaies. I hope to have it in the mail to you soon.

May 2, 2009

The 2009 COF Retreat

I had a blast at the COF quilting retreat. I'm been totally exhausted this week, but thought I'd share a few things with you. Here's at group pic of most the ladies that attended. We are all members of the HGTV quilting and needlework message board and it was so nice to finally get to meet so many of them. I have never laughed so much and just can't tell you how wonderful of a time we all had. New Hampshire was just beautiful and the weather was perfect. We were up early and to bed very late. Every minute was filled with fun and laughter. We did the Miranda bag for our group project which was taught by Christine. They also offered many classes(around 20) to choose from. I choose to take the Shuttle tatting, machine quilting and overlay applique. I loved the overlay applique and hope to work on it soon. I'll be doing Quiltbeas Victorian Ladies, she taught the class and you can see her beautiful patterns on her blog. I also learned some great tips and techniques from Jayardi for machine quilting so maybe I won't be stuck on stippling forever after all. The shuttle tatting class was great and I hope to find time to work on that some soon. We all took a charter bus trip to Keepsake quilting were I'm sure we broke a record for the biggest sales in one day, LOL. Then many of the ladies and I hit 3 bead shops, wow I know we had to of boosted the economy in that small town. We had 3 fabulous speaker from our group. We have such talented ladies that the committee members didn't have to look far to find some of the most amazing and inspirational speakers. I wish I pictures of all the treasures and things they showed. Some of the many things they shared with us was some quilts that had been quilted on the LA by Thearica Burroughs, she is a impeccable quilter. Her work is jaw dropping and I've seen pictures of her work but they just do not so her work justice. Then we got to see some of Kathy Shaw's fabulous Shadow applique, CQ, and another amazing red and white quilt she is working on that just blew me away. Next we had Quiltbea show us her stack and whack quilts, replique(which look just like stained glass) these were gorgeous and some of her overlay applique, which is to die for. Her quilts were just stunning. They shared with us there methods and tips, which made my to-do list grow twice as long. There was a show and tell session also, which was so inspiring.The meals were delicious but the time we shared while enjoying them were the best and I'll cherish them forever. We had our meet and greet where we each got up and showed our t-shirts we made to represent our state. This was not an easy challenge but the results were just fantastic. I was just totally in awe of the creativity of this wonder group of ladies. It was so much fun that it made my hating to get up in front of a group so worth it. We did some speed dating which really gave us all a chance to meet and get acquainted with each other. It was so nice to finally be able to put a face to the board name of the ladies I've been online friends with for the past year.I shared a room at the Inn with my sister and Lois and I couldn't have had better company. I hadn't seen my sister in many years but that won't happen no more. I have the best sister, to know her is to love her. Lois just made me feel right at home, easy to talk to, kept me laughing and is so energetic. She taught me how to do filet crochet, hand piecing curves. I got to see some of the things she was working on, one was stunning kimono quilt blocks and her things were so beautiful that she has got my sister wanting to start quilting again. My sister has already went and bought her some of the Asian fabric. Lois does all kinds of quilting, needle work, CQ, beading and just about anything thread related. She also won on the FQ challenge we had. I can't say enough about the ladies I got to meet and am already planning on getting together with them again soon. I'm sure I've left some things out but it was just packed full of so much fun memories and I just can't quit thinking about it. It was more then I had ever dreamed it would be. We took up the Bed and breakfast and most of the main building and had the conference center where most of the events took place. Everything was so convenient for those of us that wanted to arrive early and stay later to explore on our own. Here another pic of just a few of us, 4 of the comittee members(Nickilee, Quiltingnewbie, Ely, and Auntie Reba)They done a fabulous job of putting this all together. Then there is my sister, Lois Kathy, and I. I'm on the left with the yellow shirt. My sister is on the right with the black jacket. You can't tell in this pic but we look a lot alike. My roommante Lois is front center with the diamond appliqued sweater, and next to me in the back row is Kathy, I just love her and she doesn't live too far from me(YEAH!!!) I have more pics to share but that will have to be another post. Gosh, I also want to tell you I got to meet Tisme, she hosted the first swap I was ever in and she has always been such a great friend to me. It was a dream for me to finally get to meet her. The only thing that could have made this any better was if I could had got to meet Holee.

Apr 24, 2009

Card Holder Key Chain Tutorial

These are very simple to make, it took me longer to put the tutorial together then it did to make the five key chains in this tutorial. I took lots of pics, but these are easy to make and anyone can do it. The monogram is optional. You can embellish these anyway you like and you might even choose to fussy cut certain fabrics. I made 70 of these monogrammed and used snaps for closures but wasn't happy with the snap. So, I started all over and made them 70 more with Velcro. I'm happy with the Velcro so that's what we'll go with here. But If you are better at setting snaps then I was you can give that a go. Just do what works best for you. You also have option for what to use for the piece that holds the ring. I used the fabric and sewed it just like making double fold binding but you could choose to use ribbon or even the straps the Moda uses to wrap their bundles in would work nicely and make great use of something that might otherwise gets thrown out. So lets get to it.

Here's what you need:

2 pieces of your fabric cut 3"x5 1/2"
1 piece cut 3"x8"
1 cut 3"x3" (you won't need this if you use ribbon or something else for the ring strap)
hook and loop Velcro cut to 1 1/4" or snap
metal keyring (I bought mine in the craft section at WM)
monogrammed square optional

Here's a few tips that I learned along the way.
Ironing embroidery thread will melt it. I never thought about it being synthetic when I made that mistake. So, my second tip is that the Velcro would probably melt too, luckily I didn't make that mistake too. I suggest covering with a cloth before pressing with an iron.
One more thing I used a 1/4" seam allowance.

Start by cutting your fabric and Velcro pieces. I did mine by cutting a 3" strip of the with of fabric (selvedge to selvedge) then from that I cut the two 5 1/2" pieces, one 8" piece and one 3" piece from the strip to get the four pieces needed for one key chain.
Now we want to fold the 8" piece wrong sides together and give it a press with the iron. You will also fold the 3" piece wrong sides together and give that a press to, but you need to turn the raw edges of that into the center fold just like if you were making double fold binding, press again. It should look like this. If you see extra pieces in there don't let that confuse you. I was making 5 of these at the time I took the pics.
Now we need to draw a line down the center, length wise of the 5 1/2 piece. This will be a guide to place the ruler so you get your corners cut off straight. OOPs, forgot to take pic so had to run back and grab some fabric to show what I mean, so ignore that this piece of fabric is different. But it still gives you the right idea.
Now the next step is the reason for the line. You will need to cut the corners off the two 5 1/2 " pieces. So, line the diagonal line on your ruler up with the center line on your fabric making the top of the ruler line up with the 1" mark on the ruler(note that the ruler is hanging over the top at the 1" mark). I stacked all mine so I could cut them all at once. Cut the two corner pieces off. Now all your pieces are ready to go to the sewing machine. This is what you should have. Two 3x5 1/2" with the corners cut off, one 3x8" folded in half and pressed and one 3x3" folded and pressed like double fold binding. If you are doing monograms you'll need those cut in small squares and ready also.Now the next step is only for the monogram, so if you're not doing a monogram then just skip this step. Place your little monogrammed square on one of the pieces that have the corners cut, center it as best you can. You might want to measure, I just eyeballed mine. Then I did a satin stitch on the edge all the way around in the same color thread as the monogram. I did do a couple with rick-rack around them and then stitched it down but you do it the way you like best!!
Now take the OTHER piece that has the corners cut off and sew the Velcro to it (if you choose to use a snap skip this step). Line it up between the two top points and down 3/8" from the top. I used a very narrow satin stitch all the way around. So if you used the hook part of the Velcro for this use the loop part for the other piece which will be now sewn to the folded piece on the end that has the fold. It too will be centered and down 3/8" from the fold. These are the ones on the right side of the pic. Next we will sew down both sides of the small 3" piece that we pressed with the double fold. This will be to close and the other side just for looks. I sew the open side first and then back down the other side. Once those are sewn I insert them into the metal rings and line up the raw edge and sew a stay stitch down to hold the ring in place. These will be sewn to the folded piece on the same side as the Velcro but opposite end. I back stitch here to make sure these are secure and don't pull lose. Now you should have these three pieces. I have 15 because I made 5 at once. One with monogram (or plain), one with Velcro and the folded piece with Velcro and ring attached. We're almost done. Now, take the folded piece with the ring and lay it directly on top of the Velcro piece that has the corner cut, both facing up. Lining up the bottom edges, like this. Now lay the monogrammed piece (or plain piece if you choose not to add a monogram) right side down on top of that. Making sure all the edges are all lined up. I pinned my 3 layers so I didn't have to worry about anything shifting. Starting on the bottom (short straight edge sew up the long side. I back stitch at the beginning and end so your stitches don't come loose when turning. Sew all the way around to the the other end. This is what you'll have. Now here is the tricky part. Not hard but tricky because if you don't have it turned right before sewing the bottom seam well it just won't work right. So when you look in the bottom where it is still open you will see the two other pieces and the middle one with the metal ring one it. Turn your piece from between the side of the middle that doesn't have the ring sewn to it and the outer fabric. If you click the pic you will get a close up and see the arrow pointing to where you need to turn the piece thru. Once it is turned it will look like this on one side(top one) and this (bottom one) on the other side. I know this doesn't look right, but it is. Go ahead and give it a press on the side that doesn't have the velcro. I was afraid the velcro might melt. Next sew a seam across the bottom to close. I backtack at the start and finish here too. Snip those corners to eliminate bulk. Reach in and pull the ring out to turn. After pushing those corners out you will want to give it another press with the iron. That's it, enjoy!!!