Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A little holiday sewing {a finished project}

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I’m not sure what exactly motivated me to get hopping on some holiday sewing, but recently I’ve started a few fall & winter projects and have one all finished to share today!  Maybe it’s that reality has set in and I know I need lots more time to finish everything I want to, so I’m getting a head start?

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More free motion quilting and even some feathers of sorts (my first ever!!!).

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The fabrics are all from my stash—the quilter’s linen (not actual linen, but quilting cotton) is by Robert Kaufman.  The green polka dots is from that awesome shopping trip in Maine from earlier this year.  I thought it was Amy Butler or Kaffe Fassett, but it happens to be by Hoodie, not sure who exactly that is!  And all the low volume background prints are from my stash.

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The backing is an Aunt Grace polka dot from years and years ago.  It is from one of the very first quilts I ever made—back before I even had a blog.  That was when I thought you really needed 5 1/2 yards of fabric to back a twin sized quilt.  Ha ha, how times have changed!!!  

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And the binding is the same, from a box of bindings I made years and years ago before I started making my binding slightly larger (usually I cut it 2.75 inches wide).  Many of the 2.5” squares came from my scrap box.

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I’m counting this as scrap project #3 of 52. 

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Have you started any holiday sewing?  Do tell!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Caramel Finds a Friend

Once upon a time, there was a small brown owl named Caramel.  He was lonely and looking for a friend.

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He spied some beautiful flowers.

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But there was only a busy beehive getting ready for winter.

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Later he met a very cute, but possessive, mustachioed pig, who wouldn’t share any of his newest fabric!

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And then he happened upon a friendly hedgehog and her baby, who invited him to join them for tea.

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Finally, he wandered into the forest where he met a friend at last!

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All of the owls in the making of this story were sewn by my oldest daughter who is now addicted to sewing stuffed animals.  I had to sew the openings closed for her (and unfortunately I still don’t know how to do a ladder stitch so the closures are pretty rudimentary).  We are desperately in need of quality felt so she can make some of the animals from this book, which was delivered today.  Does anyone have any suggestions where we should buy it?  Etsy is good, but there is so much to choose from, I have no idea where to start.

The story was inspired by Rachael of Blue Mountain Daisy.  She always has the cutest and most creative posts with flowers, props, and clever stories.  If you don’t read her blog, you really should!  It will make you smile every time.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Great Granny! {a finished tablerunner}

Isn’t she a beauty?

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The original pattern from Lori Holt’s book called for 3 x 6 great granny squares, but I modified the design to fit the top of our bedroom dresser so this one has 2 x 7 blocks.

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I am loving the texture of the free motion quilting.  By golly, I think I’m finally getting it!  Something just clicked in my brain this time as I was trying to freehand draw the design on paper before attempting it with my machine. 

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The back is nearly as gorgeous as the front.  I was able to use this remnant of Anna Maria Horner fabric left over from another project and there was just enough to position the large floral motifs straight down the center of the back.

The finished size is 17.5 x 51.5.  Most of the blocks were designed by my two oldest daughters.  I’m pretty sure I only had to show them how to arrange it once and they were on a roll putting them together for me.  The background is Essex linen in a cream shade.

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I used a lot of scraps for this project, so this will be labeled #2/52 for a little scrap project goal I am challenging myself to complete a la Crazy Mom Quilts and her 100 scrap projects goal.  I might be crazy, I am a mom, and I quilt, but there’s no way I could do 100 scrap projects like she’s breezing through them!  So 52 is my goal.

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It feels great to have that old bath towel replaced by this tablerunner on our bedroom dresser! 

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

By now you’ve probably seen lots of posts for this hop.  I have enjoyed reading everyone’s responses and getting to know more about other quilters from literally all corners of the world!  Many thanks to CeLynn, from CeLynn’s Sunflower Patch, for inviting me to participate.  CeLynn and I have been online friends for quite a while and finally met in person last year in Las Vegas for the Riley Blake Fabric Fest!  Lately she’s been sewing the most gorgeous bags and is such a pro she is probably able to tell different types of interfacing apart blindfolded! 

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I never saw a sewing machine in person my entire childhood, never took home economics in school, and didn’t learn to sew until I was nearly 30 years old.  I was pregnant with our first daughter and wanted to learn to sew her clothes (true!).  My husband got me a sewing machine for Christmas and I couldn’t tell a bobbin from a bobbin winder from a bobbin case.  I had no idea what I was looking at in the diagrams, so I called my husband in for back up.  He couldn’t make rhyme or reason of the manual either, and to this day, after 10+ years of marriage, trying to figure out the “bobbin” was the only fight we’ve ever had!  Luckily a Parks and Rec Sewing 101 class was able to rescue our marriage.

Sewing clothes for a baby proved a little too daunting for me (and still is, although I’ve made a few simple clothes for the kids), so one day I bought a quilting magazine at Joann’s and the rest is history.  It was hard to find time to sew those first few years when I was still working full-time and had two children.  But now with three kids, I stay home and have a lot more time for sewing and creating.  My family and my kids always come first, but sewing is a very, very close second!!!  Sewing is a hobby I share with my kids.  They each have their own workspace in my sewing room & help with everything from snipping threads to pressing seams to designing blocks, so it’s truly a family affair!

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My work doesn’t really differ from what anyone else makes or is capable of making.  I can say with authority that I only like quilting.  I don’t think I’ll ever make many more clothes other than simple pajama pants or skirts, and bags are really out of the question.  I like my sewing like I like my men, fast and easy!  I want all parts of a project to be “me” so I like to pick the fabric, tweak the pattern, and do the quilting myself. 

I’m not sure why, but nothing in sewing has ever come easy to me.  I still break needles, sew the binding strips together wrong, and constantly get my rows mixed up despite labeling them very clearly and double checking and still sewing them in the wrong order. 

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I’m not working on any projects right now.  I just finished up two smaller projects and am getting ready to make two quilts for September birthdays in our family.  And I’ll probably keep working on using up my scraps as much as possible.  Here’s a sneak peak of my latest finish.

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Now, if you will be so kind, please check out Izzy’s blog Dizzy Quilts.  She is an amazing quilter!  I’m not sure how we met, but her Schnibbles are what had me hooked on reading her blog!  She does her own quilting, too, and most recently her beautifully quilted Nested Churn Dash inspired me to make my own.

Have a great week!