Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quilted Bracelets

I whipped out a few quilted bracelets last night from the pattern in Sew Darn Cute! by Jenny Ryan
Sew Darn Cute: 30 Sweet & Simple Projects to Sew & Embellish

Quilted Braceletts

I whipped out a few quilted braceletts last night from the pattern in Sew Darn Cute! by Jenny Ryan
Sew Darn Cute: 30 Sweet & Simple Projects to Sew & Embellish
They are quick and easy and using the snaps she reccommended was easy too. There is a little tool you must purchase specific to one size snap which I will admit I was at first irritated by but it wasn't overly pricey and worked every time so it sort of won me over to be honest! 
I have never had much luck with snaps so when every single one came out perfect I was surprised and pleased with my little tool!
 I quilted hearts on this one which has Michael Miller's love birds on it. (above)
My shamrock bracelett which I will be wearing to many of my Irish dancing daughter's performances over the next few weeks! (below)
 I am teaching a class with my daughter in June at the shop called "Big & Little", a class where adults and children sew together. We'll be making these and two other items from Jenny Ryan's book, I haven't decided absolutely on which other two.  Maybe, the headbands and the embellished Tank top?  We'll see how my experiments come far everything I have made from this book has been cute and easy.
I will post my other experiments as they are completed!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

When I get an A or two.

So I got the flu from my children. I am sure this is no surprise but I was so MAD because I just got over a cold and I am sick so seldom that I was just well.... dispointed in my immune system I guess.
I expected better darn it!
So. done. being. sick. UGH.
Anyway, I am through the worst of it fairly quickly thanks to Oscillococcinum the homeopathic flu remedy by Boiron.
Go to full-size image
We had stocked up on this stuff last year because of all the H1N1 stuff so I figured I would give it a try.  I think it helped (who knows?), but it tasted good and I could still take regular meds to make me feel better in the meantime.
My advice to everyone- WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY! Apparently there has been an explosion of cases of Influenza A in our area in the last couple of weeks. I have to agree I kind of felt like I was part of an explosion a few times over the last few days....
Now on to the positives.....
The really great thing is that I got a phone call from a customer whom I had quilted a baby quilt for a few weeks ago. She had not picked it up herself so I hadn't gotten to see her reaction.
When she did see it, she loved it so much she took the time to call me and tell me what a lovely job I had done.
Isn't that so sweet! That made me feel so great, even with the flu.  
It made my day! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Celebrating a clean sewing room!

I treated myself to a little purse sewing to reward myself for cleaning my sewing room. I know I am a party animal...
I made two Kwik Little Klutches from the pattern by Two Kwik Quilters. 
Left purse made out of Northcott's Flirtation fabric from Quilters Crossing
The directions were challenging, I was lucky to have quite a bit of purse making experience or I might have given up.  They sort of lacked some of the basics- like telling you what your seam allowance for the project would be etc... I guessed since it was put out by quilters it would be a quarter inch and was right.
It might have helped if they had shown more pictures of a completed one from different angles too so I could see where they were going with some of the oddly worded directions. 
The good news is it is made from only 2 fat quarters, heavy weight interfacing ( not stablizer), a 12 inch zipper and a magnetic purse closure (+ basic sewing supplies). I embellished mine with a yo-yo, buttons and some bedazzles which my 14 year old daughter insisted that one of them needed.
made from Carnival Fabric from Quilters Crossing
These little klutches have 4 small pockets plus the purse body (one with a zipper!)  The zipper was very easy to put in which was a nice surprise- sometimes I am zipper challenged.  They are also completely finished inside and, if you do it right (like I did the second time!) you don't even have to hand stitch it closed when you turn it right side out- you can use your machine to close the opening.
I will see if there is interest at the shop for this being a class. I may also make another one but do some patchwork on the flap and see how it comes out, now that I know how the pattern works I think I can play with it more easily.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It is Clean!!!

After the cleaning!! See I really did it and it only took a week!
I weeded out a large box of stuff to donate to the Tri-county Quilt Guild's Emporium at the 2012 show. 
It gave me more space-- not enough but it helped!
 I rearranged a little too.

 On my design wall are the pieces for a One Fabric Quilt which uses a border print cut on the repeat into squares then put together to form a kind of kaleidescope looking quilt top. Unfortunately I haven't finished it and it is so easy to get the pieces mixed up I sort of have to leave them up there until I sew them together....
 Still too much fabric and too few shelves...I know they look crowded but they are neatly folded and organized.
My Siamese cat Tonks is nearly ever-present in my sewing room if I am in there. I try to get her to sit on a little cushion which is in sight of my work station but she is sort of needy and has to get up frequently for attention, you can see her there on the chair.

Friday, February 18, 2011

When my children get straight A's!

My children both got A's -- Influenza A.
It has been a long week. Fortunately it is one of those viruses that seems to make them tired so they are doing a lot of sleeping which I hope will enable them get well sooner.  My daughter is staying true to form and has a pretty mild case- she has a really kick-butt immune system.  My son was lucky because when I took him to the doctor it was early enough for him to use the new virus meds (Tami-flu) which aren't a cure but, help you to get through it more quickly.

There is a lot of hand washing being done by the rest of us!
Hoping for some sewing time this weekend!
Stay healthy everyone!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cool Junk!

So my family and I went to Texas Art Asylum today for the second time since they opened less than a year ago.  We all love to go look at all the "junk"-- as the saying goes," one man's trash is another's treasure"! 
We were there for 2 hours. There is a lot of stuff to see. 
I like that it is fairly well organized and clean.  The ladies that work there can tell you really fast if they have something and where it is in the store.  This is really helpful AND amazing since I am sure their inventory changes all the time--nearly everything there is donated! Check their website for a huge list of items they take and think about donating something. It will make room for all the stuff you'll buy when you are there!
I was looking for some things for the shop that might work for display. I found this:
 The Valet, I thought it might work for draping quilts on etc... it was kind of dirty but my husband took some oil to it and cleaned it up beautifully. It had all four wheels on it even! It was wobbly but my brilliant husband just tightened up some of the screws and now he's perfectly steady. He said he is Italian. Sweet!
Then I found this odd shaped basket that I thought we could put some bolts in for clearance maybe?
 But my husband got the big FIND! He found an antique Singer hand cranked Pinker! It is a heavy little guy made of iron I think. It still works great the clerk said! 
We are going to oil it up and see for ourselves! 
When Cary saw this I had to call my mom to see if she wanted it. She looked on the internet to see what I was talking about and decided to go for it!
  When Cary first held it up I thought it was a pencil sharpener.  
See the little pinking rotary blade though?
I also got some glass jars for buttons and because I love how colored jars look on a windowsill with light shining in.
 A couple yards of cute baby flannel-- I know I don't need more fabric but our guild uses flannel to make premie blankets for a local hosptial once a year and the other fabric... I don't know why? I just have always wanted to do some of the navajo patterns in a quilt and I thought this might fit in somewhere...
 Buttons! I love buttons and at 1.50 a scoop!
I picked through and got the ones I wanted to be in my scoop!
 Hankies with neat little embroidery designs in the corners. 
Maybe an art quilt??? Not sure yet.....trapunto??? still thinking....
 This one- I loved the red and white polka dots on the edge and we have a red/white/black and gray fabric line in I am keen to try to mix it with this hanky and see what I get....
Houndstooth. My daughter is 14 and loves it.  I found a black and white in a tweedy decorator swatch--- thinking maybe a pillow for her room? Not sure about the red and white?  It is cotton with a sheen to it like sateen. There is about a yard of it. Any thoughts?
Lastly my daughter found these nice understated earrings. There are two of each but for the picture we just show one to make it easier to see the String Art detail on them.  Note her matching nailpolish in the first picture- that was a coincidence.

Okay, okay I don't have any after pictures on my sewing room yet because I haven't gotten very far in the cleaning process... ( head hanging in shame) I will try harder these next couple of days, I promise!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rainy Day Wednesday....

Trying not to let the wet cold weather get me down since my plans for today mostly involved being inside anyway.... I have a customers quilt to finish quilting and then IMMEDIATELY after that I am going to clean my sewing room. I can barely turn around in it now and it has to be cleaned. Check out these never before seen photos:
"So you see imagination needs moodling- 
long inefficient, happy, idling, dawdling and puttering"
- Brenda Ueland

"Sometimes you have to create what you want to be a part of"
-Geri Weitzman
"An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come"- Victor Hugo
"Love what you do. Be meditative while you are doing it- whatsoever it is!"- Osho

"To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it a little more dance to it." - Osho
So those quotes basically explain this disaster- 
I was moodling-a-plenty, trying to create things to beautify the life I so love, I couldn't resist the onslaught of ideas that charged through me and I was so focussed I couldn't stop to clean up in between each project.
Sounds reasonable right?
Well to quote a twangy country western star: 
"That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!"

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Argyle Workshop

So our guild invited Karla Alexander of Saginaw Street Quilts to come speak this month and she taught two workshops at the shop too. First she taught Argyle which I took.  On Wednesday she taught Stash Renovation, which my mom took, well sort of--that was the day with all the rolling blackouts in our area so it was a little hectic in the shop and mom kept jumping back and forth.
Karla lives in Oregon and saw it was in the 70's here before she packed to fly down. She packed accordingly.  BUT.....What do they say about Houston weather?  "If you don't like the weather don't worry, just wait 15 minutes and it will change!" Well it did!
Poor Karla arrived to freezing weather and on top of it being freezing, her hotel lost power!  I am so grateful that it only took a trip to Starbucks to get her morning back on track and she even bought one for me in thanks! She is a professional and rolled with the punches!  
I had a great time with her! 
I got almost all my blocks done for Argyle in class but finished at home and here is my completed top:
along with a little stow away in the corner there from Tommy (my son).
I love curved piecing and I loved that though she has rulers for cutting the curves (made by Creative Grids), she also said we could do the pattern with free form rotary cutting! So I did that having really liked it when I did it on my Eureka quilts and the Quilting Improv workshop.  It worked out great! 
I love how rich the colors are on this quilt. It looks almost electric.
Can't wait to quilt this baby up!