Friday, December 30, 2011

To Give and Receive

I'd like to share a few things I got and something I made.
First the Christmas gifts I least the quilty ones!

First, a new quilt rack and I know the perfect place but not the perfect quilt.
I may have to make a new quilt just for it!
And some new knitting needles...handmade ones!

A new book (it's beautiful and full of inspiration) and a couple of new patterns...

Notice the Civil War Bride Quilt pattern...oh my!

Now I plan to find the perfect background. I've been eyeing this pattern for such a long time!

And finally, a new tool to play with that will help inspire new designs. Show and tell to come....

And now I'd like to show something I gave to my good friend Gloria. It was a tough secret to keep while I was making it. It is a quilt with a lot of meaning and it was very hard for me to piece because of that. I was originally thinking of telling the story here but I can't bring myself to find the right words. I have been trying for days so I will just say that the quilt is filled with love.

The quilt measures about 54"x68". Here is a closer picture.
It is all floral scraps of different widths and foundation pieced.
I drafted the block to the size that fit the scraps in my EQ7. It worked perfectly.

Happy New Year and Happy Stitching in 2012!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Just in the St. Nick of time

My stocking is finished!
Now I just have to wait and see if I have been naughty or nice....

Merry Christmas to you all!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A surprise in the mail!

This week we had a wonderful surprise in the mail...some amazing wood and acrylic icicles from my brother who is a wood turner! It is hard to pick a favourite from the 20 tree ornaments so I'll just say they are all my favourite!

and more...

and still more...

And a couple in the tree already!

Thanks my brother!

Now I must go finish decorating the tree!

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Everything done but the stocking...

I finally have my new Christmas wall hanging up on the quilt rack!
This weekend I got the machine quilting done.

I found a fabulous variegated thread in my stash perfect for Christmas.

I decided I wanted to just do a 60 degree grid. I figured it would look good with the trees and presents being longer than they are wide.I lined up the first quilting line and just marked it with masking tape.

After the first quilt line was sewn it was easy to stay on track using my handy foot attachment! My lines stayed a wonderful 2-1/2 inches apart. I love that attachment!


Not just one, but with red binding and one with green...guess which one I kept?

I just know my brother will love his new wall hanging (next Christmas)!

Merry Stitching!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Time for a Nap!

I'm done my big stitched napping quilt. It is washed and dried and cozy and ready for a long winter's nap. I can hardly wait and I am so glad I decided to keep it for myself!

 I am very happy with it but I don't think I will ever be silly enough to quilt (even big stitching) through flannel again. And it was thick flannel!

Slowly I have been stitching my redwork Santa and it is looking like I will have a stocking in time for Christmas! My Dad asked me yesterday if it was going to be big...I think that's a good sign!

We decorated the house yesterday, so we are finally looking festive. Christmas is a time for memories so I thought I would share some craft memories from many years past. This nativity is about 25 years old. I made it for my parents when I was in my very early 20's. It still goes out every year! My family enjoys pointing out that baby Jesus has no nose! Who would want to smell a manger anyways?

And not quite so old are these paper mache Santa's, though they are getting close to 20 years old!

Back to my secret sewing...

Merry Stitching!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It was just what I was wanting...

For some time now I have been wanting to get better at free motion quilting so when I saw this challenge I thought that 2012 will be the year for that- no more putting it to the bottom of the pile!

I just joined the Free-Motion Quilt Challenge at SewCalGal .

It's going to be fun!

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Presents and Trees

I finally am nearing the end of my little Christmas wall hangings. Here is the first one all laid out.

And my system for keeping organized while sewing it all is all stacked row by row and numbered. There are a lot of different blocks to keep track of.

Finally, both little quilts are pieced! They are so cute!

Now it is time to find some backing and batting and get them quilted!

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Paper Piecing is a Dangerous Thing!

I just realized that it has been a while since I posted...a hazard of Christmas coming and having a few secret projects. I have been slowly working away at some things I can show though!

First though, I thought I would show where my awl landed while I was picking out the paper from the Christmas quilt I have been working on. I dropped it right between my feet- missed my right foot by an inch. I think I was lucky it missed because I am sure it would have stuck quite nicely in my foot!

But look at the results! I made enough blocks to make two Bows and Boughs quilts (from the current McCall's Quilting magazine)

I was hoping to get one done by December 1st to hang in the kitchen but seeing that tomorrow is December 1st, I am thinking I may be looking at next December 1st!

The other one will be a gift for next year ( I am hoping my brother will forget all about this by next year!)

My big stitch quilt is coming along too.

I have just one side left to quilt and then I'll be ready to test it for winter napping. I can't wait!

Back to my workshop I go!
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Christmas is least in my sewing room! I've been busy finishing my needle punched ornaments that have been 2 years in the making. Here they all are lined up and waiting to go to new homes! They are so cute!

They are the perfect size to hang on a tree or perhaps a doorknob...

I also started a new Christmas wall hanging for the kitchen quilt rack.

This wall hanging is from the newest issue of McCall's quilting magazine. It is all paper pieced trees and presents. I have all the presents cut out so far. It is a great way to use up smaller Christmas fabric scraps!

The first block is made!

I think it will be a quick sew and it is going to be so cute!

Christmas really is my favourite time of year. I love how (most) people are happier and friendlier. And I love making gifts for people I care about. I think mostly it is appreciated. I am lucky that many people I care about appreciate the work and time and love that goes into making a gift.

So back I go to my sewing room...

Happy Stitching!

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's the time of year for secrets!

I've had a VERY productive bit of time off. I have spent almost the whole week in my sewing room working on a few projects. Even the weather cooperated to keep me inside....

The main project I have been working on is a big is that time of year. I'm allowed some secrets! And this one I am not telling anyone about. But I will give a is part of my cleanup!

While I was in my sewing room and looking for things I stumbled upon a bin and looked inside and discovered some half finished needle punched Christmas tree decorations I had forgotten about.

I got organized and made some tea dye, took a leap of faith and sprayed them down with my tea solution. And oh my, they seemed a little dark. But I left them to dry and now they are looking not too bad. Next time though I will make the tea solution a little weaker.

Now I have to find some backing and get them finished. Hopefully I will get them done by the end of the weekend!

My redwork Santa Christmas stocking is all traced and ready to go. For the tracing I used a red .01 Pigma pen. The line is quite fine and very easy to see.

I read a little online about redwork and embroidery and if I should be stabilizing my fabric or even if I would like the batting (a very thin thermore) under it when I stitched. I did a quick sample of all 3...

The interfaced sample...I used a very lightweight interfacing...

It was easy to stitch through but it was also easy to miss the hole to go back down. Another problem was that the fabric had lost most of it's natural stretch so you couldn't really pull to help the stitches lie flatter.

Next is the batting....

I found I had to be pretty careful to get my stitches back in the right hole with the batting as well. Even though the batting was very thin, it still added too much bulk. And it was too puffy looking.

Finally the fabric by itself...

Now that was more like it! Great stitches! I think I found my method!

And, just fyi, I used 2 strands of floss for all my samples.

I am planning on going quilting this week with a local group who meets on Mondays. I'll be bringing my stocking to work on. Hopefully I'll get a really good start on it.

And finally....

I have noticed a few bloggers getting excited about making knitted Christmas balls. Well, the excitement rubbed off on me...look what came in the mail yesterday!!!!

Now I am waiting for the wool I ordered to arrive. I hope it's soon. I can't wait to get started!

I have a few days left of sewing room bliss so off I go...

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This one is for me!

I find that I give so much of what I make away so when I bought the pattern for the Margo Handbag from Lazy Girl Designs I decided it was for me to keep! This was one of the best patterns I have ever bought. It was clear and had lots of great detail pictures so you knew exactly how it should be looking. All I had to do was follow the steps, one by one, and I got this fabulous bag! I can't say enough great things about this pattern!

Here are my pieces all made and ready to start assembling!

I found another use for the highlighter tape. I needed to mark my 1/4" seam while using my zipper foot. The best thing was that it peels right off when I'm done. (Sticky notes never worked well for right hand always catches them and pulls them off)


The Margo bag has lots of pockets!

And here it is all done!

I plan to make another one of these bags for myself. It is perfect for a taking to work bag!

Now I start a week off work and I plan on starting my Christmas stocking and maybe a few Christmas presents too!

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm almost half done!

My big-stitched winter nap quilt is almost half quilted. Every night I try to spent time quilting it. The perle cotton color is perfect blends right in.

Here is a peak at the is a soft thick flannel.

And the front, though you can't really see the quilting because of the chalk marking lines and how well the perle cotton blends in.

And in the queue waiting for some attention ...

I cut strips for another scrap quilt. This time I cut up all the floral scraps.

As soon as I have a sample block or two made I'll post it, but it will be a week or so. All my extra time is spent big-stitching.

I also cut out all the pieces for the Margo Handbag. I am still debating the zipper color- blue or green but either will look great. I think it will be whatever my hand grabs when I need it.

 I starting getting my new Christmas stocking organized and when I opened the pattern, the stocking was a little small for my Santa wishes, so I did a little enlarging. Now it should work just fine!

And that isn't all that is in my queue...I may just have too much going on!

Happy Stitching!