Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.-Marcel Proust




Sunday, August 2, 2015

Tea Towel Swap anyone?

I would like to set up a tea towel swap where you would hand decorate a tea towel and have a partner to swap it with.  I will post some very general rules for participation if I get at least five participants.  We would need to start soon to have them finished and delivered by the end of August. 
Just send me your name and email address along with a message to let me know you are interested.
Thanks,

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Not much stitching goin on but...

I did get my front door painted this week.  I have just had the paint for about 2 years...
The large terra cotta pot got a few coats of red as well.  So, my entry is pretty much refreshed.  I still need to sweep and get a new welcome mat and maybe a wreath.
Here is an up close of the bird cage at the door.

I have also been working on some shelves for my kitchen refresh as well.  Hopefully I will get them finished and hung up tomorrow.  If so, I will post pics.  I am in panic mode to get this all done since I start back to school on Monday.  Students still have almost 2 weeks until they start but there is all kinds of meetings and registration to get through before then. 



Now, I have all sorts of UFOs- more than I can ever finish, I am sure.  BUT- this quilt is calling to me!!!!!  I even went as far as bought a few reds and neutrals to add to my stash in preparation. 

I wish that when I was binging on quilting, I could stop eating and loose a ton of weight.  Wouldn't that be cool? 

Earlier this week, I also managed to get the inside of my car all vacuumed out and the interior all cleaned up.  So, I have been busy but not in the sewing room.  I have just had to fight the urge to ditch it all and go up there.  Tomorrow, hopefully I will get a few minutes with my current project- Oklahoma Back Roads.  I hope to have it put together as a quilt top in another week or so, even with going back to work. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

One more for the block lotto...


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Some sewing this weekend

I managed to get to some Block Lotto blocks. 
The theme this month is pets.  Most people have chosen to do an actual applique or pieced picture.  I don't know how they have the time for that.  However, traditional pieced blocks with pet fabric were an option so here are my cats.


These are done using the 9 inch Quatrefoil block from Quilters Cache. 
And here is my horse block, because everyone needs a pet horse!

I also pulled out a very old UFO.  Oklahoma Backroads that I started years ago at a workshop with Bonnie Hunter.  They are slow going but I think I might actually get all the blocks that I need done soon.  I have the correct number of blocks started at least, at various stages of completion.  I need 110 to do the same size as Bonnie did.  I only have 28 blocks complete at this point. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Doll Carrier Tutorial

Hard to see here but I made two of these cute little doll carrier tote bags for my cousin's granddaughters.  This is a rough and dirty tutorial but if you know how to quilt and sew, you should be able to follow it. 
Here they are finished.  It was really very easy.
First, I cut the bag fabric 36 by 14 inches.  I used the baby doll as a guide as to how large I wanted the bag, then doubled the length. 
Then I quilted that, with no backing- the bag will be lined so it isn't needed. 


I then cut a pocket for one side- 2 squares, 14 inches by how ever deep you want it. (I embroidered the name on the bag before I created the pocket)  I did about a 15 inch pocket, sewed them together on one side for the finished edge (right sides together and then pressed and opened to right sides with a top-stitched seam for finishing)  Then I folded the bottom over to make the pocket the correct length, sewed it to one side of the quilted piece and trimmed the raw edge.  I left it raw but it is okay because it is in the inside of the pocket..

Here is the picture of the piece with the pocket attached (top of picture), as well as the doll holder section ( bottom of picture) which I am describing next. 

This section is a shorter pocket piece- 14 for the width of the bag by about 8 inches tall.  I quilted it with just backing and then trimmed my lining to include openings for the doll's legs.  I just used the doll to measure how far apart to put the leg holes and how tall they needed to be.  See the picture for the shape I chose.  Then I sewed, right sides together, around the lining piece, leaving a hole for turning.
Trim the corners and clip the curves, turn the piece, press, sew the hole closed (I just do this with top-stitching) and I attached it to the bag piece with top-stitching. 
I added some ribbon for trim.  Note- my doll is a 15 inch baby doll.  Your measurements may change if you are working with a different size doll. 
I also sewed the pocked closed along the ribbon edge to just under the doll arms for a snug fit.  
At this point, sew the side seams of the bag- right sides together.  I also sewed on a 25-30 inch strap.  i cut a piece five inches wide by however long you think the strap needs to be, lined it with a 2.5 inch strip of batting for stability and top stitched it closed.  I sewed one end to a front corner of the bag and one end to the opposite back corner of the bag- this will be a cross body bag.  See the picture below. 
As you can see, I also added another strip of ribbon across the dolls chest for more stability. 

I sewed boxed corners on the bag.  If you do not know how to do this, look it up on youtube- they explain it some much better than I could!!!!

For the lining, you cut it the same dimensions as the tote, box the corners the same amount as the bag, turn it wrong side out and sew it, right sides together, to the tote. Be sure to get the handle tucked inside and leave a hole for turning.

 See below. 
Note the boxed corners. 
I had to raise my machine up out of its table to sew this seam. 

Here is the hole that I left open for turning.  After turning the bag, I then top-stitched around the bag to close the hole and give the bag a finished edge. 
And here are the finished bags. I filled the inside with doll clothes and diapers that my mother made for them.  I included diaper pins so that the straps could be pinned up to the correct length for the girls and adjusted as necessary.  You could make the strap adjustable with "hardware" from the fabric store. 






Friday, July 10, 2015

Today's agenda...

Cleaning the sewing room-eww!
Helping my son clean his room and moving in his new weight bench- double ewww!
But then, the Opera!  Rigoletto with my husband and lovely daughter- whose music teacher really wants her to seek Opera training rather than Musical Theatre.  Wish us luck that she loves it!
Hope you have a lovely day of stitching!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Back in the sewing saddle...maybe

I have been so crazy busy for months, taking on new projects at work, traveling the world with my family, and just life in general.  I am actually working on some sewing projects now though, hopefully I will have decent pictures to show eventually.  Until then, allow me to share some of the things I have been up to...
Don't think this one needs any explanation...

The family in front of Buckingham Palace

These two are from a climb up a mountain in Wales to castle ruins- this may be the most beautiful place I have ever seen- in close contest to Hawaii...

The only quilt shop I saw along the way- in Llangollen, Wales- but it was closed. 

Sailing the Irish Sea

My son learning Irish dancing- he's the one on the right.  He turns 15 this month- can't believe it!

Lovely restaurant across from the Temple Bar in Dublin!

My Husband and I in front of Ann Hathaway's (wife of Shakespeare) cottage in Stratford.  We will be celebrating our 20th Anniversary in a few weeks. 









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