Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Fabrics

Christmas and birthday money didn't last long in my hot little hands. I found these lovelies at an online store I've mentioned before. Does anyone else have trouble envisioning scale when shopping online? Some prints turned out to be larger and some smaller than I had imagined. Other than that I'm thoroughly pleased.
Here we have Zen Garden from Sanctuary and Dreaming in French, Praline in Fruity

I'm collecting fabrics from a gray and yellow quilt. From left to right these are Wave from Impressions by Ty Pennington, Spider mum from Day and Night 3, and Zen Garden from Sanctuary.
This is another Spider mum from Day and Night 3. I can't pass up brown, blue and white.
The top two here are Glass Tiles from Sanctuary and the bottom one is from Amy Butler's new line Soul Blossoms, called Dancing Paisley.
And finally, I swapped with a very nice lady on flickr for these amazing Indian fabrics (yes, as in India, taking a month to arrive by mail). The top two are hand block printed and have a really interesting nubby texture. The bottom is like a voile. Gorgeous!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Under the Tree

Merry Christmas to you all!
I think quilters are easy to please at Christmas time. Here are just a few of my goodies under the tree.Now if only I could find a little time to work on this.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Over the River

and several states, as a matter of fact. I'm off on a trip until Christmas, but before I go, I thought you might like to see some proof that I do other crafts, besides sewing (although that is my main squeeze). I had a chance to take a ceramics class a while ago. I love to make pottery! These were some of the pieces I made in the class. It was Ceramics 101, so these are definitely beginner pieces. I hope to have the opportunity to do another class someday. It was so, so fun.

These plates make me think of a quilt - half square triangles!The carving on this piece also makes me think of quilting patterns.After my trip, I hope to finish piecing a new, fun baby quilt I've started! See you then.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Handmade Christmas Wraps Up

I think I'm done with my handmade Christmas gift to do list! I completed this snowman kit for my little boys. Just in time too, since we had our first taste of snow last night. I got the idea from Make It Do.
And finally, a hostess gift for a party I'm attending tomorrow night. I had another item in mind originally, but once again Krista's cute wall hanging was on my brain. It is 12 x 15 just like hers.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Not on the List

Creative craft bloggers are killing me. Seriously, too much cuteness. I have several items still to make on my handmade Christmas list, but instead of knocking them out, I'm making things like this, thanks to this post on Krista's blog.Gah! And I just saw this, which I now need to make for each of my boys.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Handmade Christmas Continues

23 days until Christmas, and I've marked a couple more handmade gifts off my list. The first is a request from my grandmother who loves her tea, like me. I made her a quilted tea cozy.
This is my own design, and it allows the cozy to stay on while you pour. I think a redesign may be in order when I have time. I originally made it to be reversible, and while I like that there are no exposed seams, it was a real pain to put together! This is first time I quilted a tea cozy and used Insul-brite. Both give it a nice body. The outer fabric is Love by Amy Butler.

The next gift is a laundry bag. Many of my family members travel frequently, and I thought laundry bags would be useful to keep clean and dirty clothes separate in their suitcases. I used a new to me fabric - osnaberg. It is a utility fabric that is loosely woven and breathable, perfect for this application. I learned about this fabric when Jacquie did a presentation on solids for the KCMQG. They are simple drawstring bags with french seams. Just throw them in the wash along with the clothes, when you get home from your trip.
I used a new embellishment technique (ala Comfort Stitching and Rosaechocolat). Basically, it is fusible applique, but instead of stitching around the edges with a zigzag or blanket stitch, you "sketch" with black thread. It is a fun effect. I'll definitely be using it again. As you can see I've got a few more - for the whole family - to finish up.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Handmade Christmas Countdown Begins

26 days until Christmas, and the pace of making Christmas gifts will need to increase to get everything done in time. Yes, I started back in the summer, but there is still a lot to do! I finished up two gifts over the weekend. Both were requests of things I have made before, which is always a good feeling.

First is a camera wristlet. Really it can be used for anything small - a license, keys, lipstick and a credit card, or a phone. It has a Velcro closed main compartment, and a small back pocket which is big enough for a credit card or tickets. The clever part of the design is the interlocking straps which keep the contents secure and make the case easy to hang on your wrist. The pattern is by Keyka Lou, and it is very easy to follow. There are two already made and in my shop, if this looks like just the thing you need for someone on your list!
This was a request from my best friend. She has a summery one and requested one to use with dressier clothes. The outer fabric is damask by Michael Miller.
My second finish was a monogram pillow, specially requested for a certain gentleman. I've made a number of these before - the felt makes the applique a snap and they turn out super comfy to use, especially in winter.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fall Bee Blocks

I'm in just one online quilting bee right now: Bee Lovely. It's nice to have a single block to complete each month.

In October we made mod mosaic blocks according to Elizabeth Hartman's tutorial. It was easy, improv piecing. Fun.
In November, Briana asked us to make flying geese blocks for her sampler quilt. She let us pick our own layout. I had been wanting to try the circular flying geese block. I'm glad I tried it, but I don't think I'll be doing it again anytime soon. :) A tutorial and paper pieced pattern can be found here. You'll want to measure your template to be sure your printer has printed it to scale, if you want to end up with a 12.5" block. I didn't, and apparently my printer made the templates smaller. I added some borders to get it to be the right size.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Around Town Quilt

There a lot going on around town in this quilt, namely construction but some other things too :). After washing, it ended up being approximately 35" x 47".

The ambulance block is my favorite. It was fun to be able to piece it in white, since the background fabric in this quilt is khaki.I used a largish meandering stitch on this quilt and outlined the vehicles, etc. Thanks to Jaime and the new table and tips she's turned me onto, my free motion is much improved. It's still something I'd like to get better at though.

For the back of the quilt I used a simple ivory fabric with a strip of pieced road. I thought it's be fun for driving cars along when the quilt is lying across the bed or floor.

The tutorials for the vehicles can be found here, and the quilt is listed in my shop.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tickertape at Twilight

The colors in this tickertape quilt remind me of twilight.
I just love the plummy purple of the base. The other colors were inspired by the binding fabric which is cypress paisley in mint by Amy Butler, from the Love collection.
This mini quilt is 16" x 20".

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ruffled Wristlet Tutorial

These wristlets for your keys are so helpful when you have two little hands to hold, grocery bags, packages, etc. and need to be able to quickly unlock the car or house. Your keys are right where you need them. The wristlet also makes your keys easier to find when they are in your purse. I love keeping my keys on a wristlet, and now that I have one with ruffles - fantastic :).

I hope you'll find the tutorial easy to follow, and please let me know if you have questions. Happy gift making!

Ruffled Wristlet Tutoria
***New and Improved tutorial here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And Now For Something Pretty To Look At...

I sort of love this key wristlet - the ruffles, the gray on gray. Yup, it's my favorite.
I've made a bunch of these useful items before. The ruffles are a new addition, although not necessary as you can see.
Don't have one? Make one now - super easy and they keep your keys handy but handsfree. Great for moms on the go or anyone who has trouble finding their keys in their purse. I could do a quick tute for this if anyone is interested. I'm making several for gifts this Christmas.

Gotta Love an Easy Fix

So you may recall the tension issues I had recently. I got so many great ideas for fixing it - thank you! To be honest though, there were so many possible causes for the problem and different solutions to each one, I was dreading trying to sort through it all. Luckily the first one I tried worked! How great its that? Thank you Jaime for suggesting I try switching to a topstitch needle.

Here's the front of my test...

...and the back. Yay!

Monday, November 8, 2010

True Colors

This is for my darling nephew - can't wait to meet him soon.He'll be just the right age at Christmas to start learning his colors and begin chewing on books. This fabric book should fit the bill nicely on both counts.
I've made one before, but this time decided to wing it. I think that worked out fine, luckily. I made a page for each color, and pieced an improv log cabin around a white piece of fabric with the name of the color printed on it. This is a great scrap project.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Last night was the KCMQG November meeting, and we had a holiday gift swap. Boy, did I score on two counts! But first, here is what I made for the swap - a potholder and dishcloth. I used this chance to try out gray and yellow, a combo I've been interested in for a while. I like it! Also, love this yellow fabric I found at Joanns - sort of reminscent of lemons, without being literal.
And here is what I received from Sheryl. I was last to pick in my group, and I couldn't believe no one else snapped this up. The quilting on this wine bag is lovely. What a great way to give wine as a gift too.
And look what she included!
To top it off, I was passed a note during the meeting. I don't think I've gotten a note since about 8th grade, and it was just as exciting as I remember. Jenny managed to procure a Neptune Honeybun (impossible to find!), and she let me buy it from her. Score!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Made to Order

My best customer (aka mother-in-law) recently asked me to make a onesie and fabric basket to match this bootie and bib set. Since I had leftover fabric, I made this little set to order. She's my best customer, after all! :)

I had fun making up my own pattern for the basket. It uses the same basic construction as a basket I've made before, but this one is quilted, so it's studier. I also used strips of fabric pieced together, instead of squares, and I made it larger. This one will be perfect for holding baby toys, diapers, or whatever the new mom needs it for.