I hope to inspire and entertain you with a lot of sewing and a little of everything else!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Crayon" Comfort Quilt

This pretty quilt was created as part of a fun program I ran for my Quilt Guild last year. It was called the Crayon Block Challenge. I bought a 64 pack of crayons and removed any that were black, grays, browns, neon, or ugly colors. The rest went in a box and all the ladies at the meeting had a chance to choose as many crayons as they were willing to make blocks for. I printed very specific direction sheets on how to make this simple star block and gave everyone a strip of white Kona cotton so that all the backgrounds matched. Some ladies made one block, but many made 2, 3, or even 4. They had to choose a fabric that matched their crayon color and was solid or texture (rather than multi-colored). I also asked them to bring 4 (3") blocks to use in the sashing. We ended up with about 60 blocks and everyone had a fun time making them. We brought all the blocks to our retreat and made 2 bed-size quilts from them; one in tropical colors and one in jewel tones. I'll have to share pictures of those later, because they are stuck on the old computer. We used a different setting on each and they were both beautiful. The blocks seemed to divide themselves into groups by color and we had many pinks and purples left over. One of the ladies in our guild offered to make them into a lap quilt and also did a wonderful job machine quilting it.
This quilt has been waiting in our "Comfort Cupboard" until it was needed and now it will be delivered to my friend's Mom, who is battling cancer for the third time. I hope it will keep her cozy and brighten her room while she undergoes treatments.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

High School Senior Gift Idea

This weekend Petey went to a big birthday bash for a girl on his high school technology team. He is a freshman and she is a senior and she hosted the whole team at a "dinner and a movie" place near us. He had a great time! He needed a gift for her, so I thought about something personalized for college. She will be majoring in aerospace engineering in the fall. I modified an idea I made last summer for a neighbor's son who was graduating. I made a laundry toolkit with a personalized laundry bag and bath sheet.
We filled a small laundry basket with the towel, laundry bag, a package of all-in-one detergent and softener sheets, & a big bag of M&Ms.
  The bath sheet was a beautiful soft blue-green (the picture doesn't do it justice) and since I didn't have embroidery thread for a tone-on-tone look, I used tan. I used the same thread and font on the laundry bag (below) which was "Curlz" 4" from 8 Claws and a Paw.
  Petey had a great time at the party and Gen loved the present!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Row Robin Quilt

I have my Quilt Guild meeting tonight and I just finished my row for the row robin project we are doing. A row robin is fun; we have groups of 5-6 ladies that will each make a row and provide a kit of fabric for their quilt. Then, each month we rotate the kits among our group and each lady makes one row for each quilt. I won't see my quilt again until May when I will get all 5 rows back and everyone will enjoy the unveiling of their quilt. Putting it together, adding borders, and quilting is for me to do afterwards.
I wanted to do something fun for this project. I usually choose earth colors, traditional prints, conservative.
I had seen this bird fabric awhile back and it reminded me of a black tole painted tray my Mom made when I was little. When I had to choose fabrics for the row robin, I remembered this collection. It has a panel and border print as well (not pictured here) which I am reserving for finishing.

I chose several brights to go with it and chose some block patterns from www.quilterscache.com. I am not sure I like it! It's much brighter than I am used to, but the meeting is tonight, so I'll have to go with it!
Here is a picture of the whole row. The rows will be sashed with solid black. It will be fun to see the others' quilts that I will be working on.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Baby New Year 2011

Another tradition to share, another story...

I am finally getting back to my sewing machine after being overwhelmed by Christmas and colds, etc. Today's project started with an idea I got many years ago. When I was a little girl, I had a friend named Heather. Her Mom had pictures of her and her sister on their first New Year's Day with a year sash. It was a white sash like Miss America wears over her shoulder with the year on it. I filed that idea away in my head for many years, until 1996 when Petey had his first New Year. I made a little sash with 1996 on it and took pictures. Every time I had a new baby, I made the new year sash and took pictures. By the time Rosie came, her first New Year was 2000, which was pretty exciting. In fact I had several "I was born in 2000" outfits for her.
I put a white cover over the diaper for the picture. I think this is a fun tradition and it's neat to look back on the pictures and remember what was happening that year. It's not too late for you to make one for your baby this year!
I just cut a strip of white broadcloth about 5" wide, fold it in half and cut the ends at a 45 degree angle. Stitch, turn right side out, and stitch the angled ends together. Then, I use Heat 'n Bond on black broadcloth for my numbers. I print the numbers on the computer in a nice font, about 2" tall. I trace them on the Heat 'n Bond and cut them out. Then just iron them on. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of this idea.
I have started working on my row robin for my Quilt Guild. I am doing a Sampler Quilt and I have to turn my row in on Thursday. I chose 4 blocks that are fairly intricate. I'll be back tomorrow or Wednesday to share them with you!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Virtuous Woman...

This beautiful cross-stitched sampler was made by my talented Mom. Of course, there is a story behind it. When I was 16, my older brother married a girl from a small town in Pennsylvania. A lady from her church stitched this sampler for her as a wedding present. My Mom and I both thought it was beautiful and my Mom was able to find the pattern. Years later, she made it and I was the lucky recipient. I am a very traditional person and I try to embrace the ideals of Proverb 31. I don't always succeed...except this part, "she rises before the dawn". Uggh. I'll be glad when the sun is getting up before me again! I hope you enjoyed seeing this sampler and I am going to try to live up to its message in 2011!
In case you are feeling inspired to be a Virtuous Woman, too, here's a link to the downloadable pattern for this sampler: Virtuous Woman Sampler Pattern.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Easy Tea Cozy

 This pretty tea cozy is easy to make as well as practical. It is really just 4 rectangles of fabric stitched together into 2 panels with batting inside and a casing at top and bottom for ribbon. It is reversible, too!
Here's a view of the inside.
Here's what it looks like flattened out.
I have made several of these as presents and I use mine often. It really does keep the tea pot warm much longer and it makes your tea table look so much prettier! You can co-ordinate your fabric with your china to make it really special. I hope you are having a wonderful new year! Back soon with more stitching.

Laugh of the day: Remember we bought a new refrigerator several weeks ago? Well, my son (15) has a quick sense of humor. When he first tried the ice/water dispenser, the ice came flying into his glass and he said, "Help, I'm being ice-ssaulted!"