Friday, September 28, 2012

Fab Little Quilt

I'm playing along in the Fab Little Quilt Swap - FLiQS for short (why do we love acronyms, I wonder?) - and this is the little quilt I made.

The pattern is from 99 Modern Blocks which is a great resource for ideas for modern quilt blocks.  This particular block, called "Wedged In" in the book (they are in alphabetical order) has fascinated me since I flipped through the book the first time.  I'm calling my offering "Ripples of Love", since the way the blocks flow out from the center, getting ever larger reminds me of ripples in a pool.

And then when  Dawn (guiltyquilter) made a pillow for PTS8 from the pattern, I knew I just had to make one myself.  Dawn modified the pattern, making it a little bigger and substituting larger fussy cut blocks for the teeny tiny squares in the middle.

I used her fussy cut idea with some little medallions in a bit of Kumari Gardens fabric I had lying around, and built my blocks from there.  The small drunkard's path blocks are appliques and were hand sewn.  (Yes, they were kind of a pain.)

Then, as you can see, I added some rows of hand quilting to give it interest, picking up some of the colors in the blocks.

It is far from perfect, but overall, I really like it.

I hope its new owner will enjoy it too.

Monday, September 24, 2012

M is for MollyJolly

Some weekends are just so frustrating...  I have such big plans and don't manage to get nearly as much accomplished as I would like.  This weekend was especially so because I just felt so exhausted, it was hard to focus.

The good news is that I did manage to finish one project that I have been obsessing about for weeks.  I'm playing along in the Mini QT swap, and this time it was to create a mini quilt using words that start with your partner's first initial.  I've made lists of M words, drawn scads of pictures, and generally been haunted by this since the partner assignments came out in August.  Then, I had difficulty paring down the M words so that my little quilt would make sense.  Then I had to pare them down again so that this little quilt would be manageable - maximum size is 8 x 10 or something like that.  I think this one is actually 9 x 11, but oh well.

Of course, I can't show you the whole thing yet, since you know who you are partners with in this swap, and she might see this, but I did manage to include 15 M words.  The little mini includes embroidery, buttons, and applique.  And quilting, of course.

And if you haven't guessed it, the first word is Moon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fun Mail - Indulgence

I received another wonderful package in the mail late last week, this one perhaps even more eagerly anticipated than the rest!  It came from none other than Westwood Acres, BD#1's little fabric shop, and was filled-to-bursting with yummy fabric goodness.  I was totally self-indulgent and while I felt a little guilty, I couldn't help but just sit for awhile and pet all these lovely bundles of color.

Here's what was in my box:

The Birds and the Bees, by the fabulous Tula Pink.

Chicopee by the ever-so-talented Denyse Schmidt.

Out to Sea (boys)...

And Out to Sea (girls), by the playful Sarah Jane.

Field Study, by the incomparable Anna Maria Horner.

And finally,

A lovely bundle of Madrona Road, by the delightful Violet Craft.

 With apologies to my dear daughter for messing up her lovely and precise stacks of fabric, I proclaim...

Ahhhh,  I'm in fabric heaven!

Oh, for more time to play with this yummy cotton goodness...  But for now, I have to go to work so I can perhaps buy more fabric one day.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fun Mail!

This has been another great week for fun mail here at the M household.  WH is in awe that there have been fun packages in the mail nearly every day.  If you read this post, you will remember that for once I had very specific ideas about what kind of journal cover would make my heart sing.  My partner for this round was ValeryAnne, and she really hit the nail on the head!  We've been partners before, so she knows my style...

And she met all the criteria:

It is pretty enough to take to work.

It is bright and cheery.

It has embroidery and embellishment.

It has this nifty snap latch so that I can tuck papers in and they won't escape.

And it even has an adorable pen holder on the inside.

She really pegged it, didn't she?

And I hadn't gotten around to taking pictures of the cool name tag that Wendy (lovethesky40) sent me in the RATZ swap.  This is one swap where I thought I had signed up and something went wrong.  Wendy came to my rescue and we swapped with each other.  We have also swapped before, so it was great fun.

And I just have to show you the back of my new name tag.  Love it!

I got a whole bunch more GMFG blocks in...

And some more basket blocks...

And even some blocks for a special project I'm working on...

So all in all, it was a great week for mail around here.

Wish I could say I had made this much progress on the outgoing mail this weekend.  Oh well....  Maybe next weekend.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I'm a Winner!

A couple of weeks ago, my friend at work asked if I would be interested in visiting a local quilt shop that was having an open house.  Can you believe there was a quilt store right here in my town and I hadn't been there?  That had to be remedied.  Never one to forego exploring new quilting horizons, I readily agreed.

Martelli's sells Janome sewing machines, has a little bit of {really lovely} quilt fabric, a long arm quilting and embroidery service, and a ton of other stuff.  But the coolest thing about them is that they manufacture really cool quilting stuff right here in my home town.

You know that Curve Master foot that everyone's talking about?  The one my very own daughter did a tutorial on last week?   Yup, it's manufactured right here on the Gulf Coast.

I bought a non-skid mat to put under the foot feed of my sewing machine. It really works!  No longer do I have to chase the thing all over the room.  That is pretty cool.

 I also bought {what I hope is} this really nifty binding toolkit.  It's supposed to be foolproof.  See the package?  Perfect binding EVERY TIME it says!  I haven't used it yet.  We'll see.

But along with the sale, and the product demos, and the general festivities, they had door prizes.  The Grand Prize was a brand new Janome sewing machine.

I didn't win that. =(

But I did win a $100 merchandise gift certificate.  There's a lot you can do with $100, you know.

I can buy that Curve Master foot.  That looks pretty awesome!

Or I could buy this nifty ergonomic rotary cutter they have that's supposed to save your wrists.  I have carpal tunnel syndrome, so that might be a really good thing.

Decisions, decisions....  Sometimes choices are just so difficult.

But this is a good kind of choice to get to make.

What brought all this to mind is that last evening, in my email box, was a post from the Play Crafts blog.  I follow her by email because its a Wordpress blog and I can't follow via Blogger or Google Friend Connect.  Anyway, she posted this cool palette builder tool she has developed to extract colors from any photograph.   You upload your photo and it instantly extracts the colors and shows you the color palette in the photo.  I suppose most people would use landscapes or sunsets for their experiments.  The first photo I came to was the photo of Martelli's I snapped the night I won the gift certificate.

I uploaded that random photo, and this is what I got...

I made it really big so you can see what it does.  And it was very fast. 

What do you think - should I make a quilt with those colors?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Ari!

Youngest daughter's birthday is September 11, so now that she has received her gifts, I can show what I made her for her birthday.  Last week when I was lamenting the lack of progress on THE LIST, I mentioned that I was going to go make a dress.  Well, that was my plan.  But when I got in the sewing room, these two remnants called out to me and I decided to make shirts instead.

The shirts are made from knit that I found on the remnant table at JoAnn's.  The pattern is a really favorite shirt that was ruined by rust that I cut apart for a pattern.  I didn't even transfer it to pattern paper - or even newspaper.  I just plopped the cut up pieces of shirt on the new fabric and whacked it with the scissors, all the while chanting, "Remember to add the seam allowance.  Remember to add the seam allowance...."  The gray one cost $2.50.  (I just love remnants!)  I put 3 little buttons at the shoulder just for interest and double-needle stitched the hem.

The yellow one is a slightly lighter weight knit, so it drapes a little better.  No buttons on this one.  I was going to do a fabric flower but it just didn't work so I gave up.  The yellow one was slightly more expensive.  I think it cost $3.25.

When Ari and I were together last time she said she was thinking about learning to embroider.  I bought her some embroidery floss then - way back in April, I think it was.  Then, a month or so ago, a friend who had an embroidery shop was going out of business and had one of my favorite embroidery tools, the Darice spring tension embroidery hoop, on sale for $1.00.  Who could resist?  Wish she had had a bunch of them, but I got the last one.

Then I had to make a little pouch so she could keep all her supplies together.  The pouch, of course, is made out of Heather Ross Far, Far Away III.  Don't you love those little "drawers" hanging on the line?  (Well, OK, some people might call them "longjohns", but when I was growing up, they were "drawers".)

 It has a nifty little zipper at the top to keep everything corralled.  I kind of wish I had added handles too, but I didn't think about that until it was done and ready to go in the mail.

I lined it with some DS Quilts orang-y circles that I had lying around.  I really must have liked this print because I bought several pieces!  Or I forgot I had already bought some.  But I do like it.  It's very versatile.

I made her a little hexie needle book and filled it with needles, pins and scissors.  Then tucked in some scraps of white Kona in the bag.

And added a copy of one of my favorite embroidery books, Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray.  If you embroider and you haven't checked out this book, you really should.  I'm not much of an artist, so her designs really help me create the design I am trying to achieve. 

So Ari, I hope these little gifts helped to make your birthday more fun!

Happy Birthday!  Love, Mom!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Are you a Modernista?

If you like making quilty things for your home, this may just be the swap for you.  Sign-ups are currently going on for the Modernista Homemade swap on Flickr.

Last time we tackled the sewing room and there were a ton of fun and beautiful modern items for the sewing room.  This is the sewing machine cover I made for my partner.  It was a real departure from my comfort zone, but overall I was pleased with how it turned out.

And here's the totally awesome package I received from my partner, Whitney!  It was so fun!

This time, we're going to update the kitchen with modern quilty things.  I think you'll agree that my poor, sad little kitchen could use some help.

Want to join us?  Head on over to the Flickr group or email me and I'll send you an invitation.  We'd love to have you join us.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Making Progress...

It's funny how when life gets in the way it takes you awhile to get caught up!  A few weeks ago, I had planned a whole weekend of sewing to do a couple of swaps and even some bee blocks.  I even thought I could maybe get to  THE LIST.  Then we looked at the weather report, and there, rounding the tip of Florida was Tropical Storm Issac.  And The Weather Channel said it was heading straight for us.  WH went into total preparedness panic mode and my whole weekend was shot.  Thankfully, it didn't really come here - we had a little wind and rain, but nothing really significant - and my prayers go out to those who did get inundated by the rains and damaging winds from Hurricane Issac when it came ashore in Louisiana and Mississippi.

And somehow the next couple of weekends just weren't any more productive.

But this past weekend, I actually sat down at the sewing machine and got a few things done.  But not before I missed the deadline for a swap.  I really hate it when I do that.

I participated in the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap and the theme was "summer".  I had decided on a beach theme because my partner said she liked it.  I had an idea for a paper-pieced beach scene, but my attempts were not successful, so I finally decided to do an applique project instead.  I've been doing applique since my teens and I spent a lot of time doing applique and embroidery for my kids' taekwondo school when I was a SAHM.  This beachy effort was much more successful.

Then I decided to get a head start on my mug rug that's due on the 15th in the Rugs with Friends Swap.  I've used this little pumpkin before, although this time I drew my own rendition of it because my silly printer wouldn't work.  I thought it looked a little blah, so I added some hand quilting at the last minute.

I liked it better then.

I even remembered to add labels.  But not to take pictures of them.

Then I started getting caught up on bee blocks.

 First I made the August block for Dena.  I've made this one before, so it was familiar.  Except for the green.  Dena said to use whatever color we wanted for the background and I thought the green was kinda fun.  I mis-read the tute and my block ended up at 11-1/2" so I had to take it apart and do it right.  And then I heard that she wanted them 11-1/2", but I figure it's easier to cut off 1/2" all the way around than add it.  Right?

Then I made Heather's string blocks.  I like to make string blocks.  And I have a ton of fabric "strings" so no cutting - just digging through the sack of strings I culled from the scrap basket.  I even had the white cut already.  Easy peasy.

And finally I sat down and did Hilary's paper-pieced kaleidoscope block that she designed herself.  I've decided I don't like paper piecing much, but I do like the results.  It is very precise if you do it right.  I was glad to get this one together.  It is currently winging its way to Australia.

So, that was my weekend.  I did make progress, and I'm pretty much caught up on swappy stuff, at least for now.  It feels great!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fun Mail!

Isn't it fun to walk out to the mail box and find wonderful little surprises waiting for you?  Yesterday and today have been that way for me.  Lots of fun mail finding its way to my house.

Isn't this little fabric basket adorable?  This little gem is from Rachel of Stitched in Color.  I love the colors and the prints she chose.  And who can go wrong with linen?

And check out the fun fabric card!  Whoooooooooo's it from, anyway???  haha

Here is the wonderful selection of scraps she sent.  She pegged me, didn't she?  All those lovely bright colors?  Perfect!

 And the basket coordinates so well with the fabric basket I received from Whitney in the Modernista swap.  Is that perfect, or what?

Whoa!  I didn't show you my Modernista loot?  Well, I'll have to fix that.  What was I thinking???  I received this back in July and I took pictures and everything!  Here's the serger cover Whitney (sew.whitney) made for me.  Isn't it cute?  And it fits the serger perfectly.  Love the applique dress.  And the orange/aqua combination is my new fave.

Whitney had my name for the needlebook swap in RATZ (Rapid and Tiny Zakka Swap) too, so she made a coordinating needle book.  Love it!

So here's the whole package.  It was such a fun swap!

Also in today's mail was this adorable summer mug rug from Jeanette (scrapnchick) in the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap.  I'm a little tardy with my offering this time.  I lost a whole weekend due to Hurricane Issac (which didn't come here, thankfully!) and I honestly thought I had more time.  I'm spending this weekend trying to get a bit caught up.  I am making progress, just not as much as I would like.

Anyway, is this camper not the cutest thing you have ever seen?  It is positively adorable.  WH and I have often talked about packing it in, selling it all, and taking off in the camper (that we don't have) to see America!  Now we can - vicariously, of course.  Love the detail in this delightful little mini quilt!  The pennants hanging outside and the curtains in the window!!  Too fun!

I'm also playing along in the Rugs with Friends swap.  This is a very small group swap, so by the time it's over we should have swapped with everyone, I think.  My partner this time was Irene, and of course the theme was autumn/Halloween.  I'm OK with Halloween, but I prefer the autumn theme.  This little mini is just so fun.  Love the cute pumpkin coasters and the "flower" on the left is an adorable drawstring bag.  Too cute.
I received an addition to my GMFG quilt from Becky (miesmama) in the Sew Fun Bee.  Once I receive all the blocks from these ladies I will have enough blocks to make the quilt.  BD#1 has my solid on order that I'm going to use to make the hexies to join the blocks.  Oh, this is going to be a lovely quilt!

And I received my first block in my new color scheme in the 3x6 Bee.  I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I'm in a star hive and a pinwheel hive this quarter.  This pinwheel block is from Suzy (Butternutlake).

I'm sure you'll agree that this has been an exceptionally fun mail weekend!  What a lucky girl I am!

Now, I'm off to make some {hopefully} cute little things to brighten someone else's mailbox next week.

Thanks for stopping by.