Monday, July 29, 2013

Catching Up - Part Three

So here we are at the third - and final - installment of my "Vacation Trilogy" - the one about the crafty stuff I did while I was gone.

(Aside from button necklaces, of course!)

It's pretty inspiring to have this just down the hall...  (Since I was so busy, I didn't take many pictures, so I've swiped Manda's IG photos - she does a much better job at the picture taking than I do!)

I folded a bit lot of fabric...  This one is the Low Volume Dots bundle.

And got to play with some more...  This is Briar Rose by Heather Ross, of course!

I cut and folded this very bundle - so pretty!  This is Nordika by Jeni Baker of In Color Order.  Isn't it dramatic?  Can't wait to play with this!

And helped ship some packages while the parents were gone - but not this many.

And I made this Christmas quilt top.  The fabric is Hip Holiday from Josephine Kimberling, and the pattern is Spin Cycle from Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew.  It was a beast to cut out, but fun to put together.

I hate trimming blocks, but love the little piles that the trimming creates.  It makes such a difference in the finished quilt to have all the blocks the exact same size.

And I put together a couple of quilt tops for Manda.  This one was finished, but she wanted to make it bigger.  She had all the blocks made so it was a simple matter to put it together.  If you want to make one too, this is the Seaside Chevron Hexagon Quilt on her blog.  One more finished quilt top in the stash.

I made Abby a couple of little dresses.  The pattern is the Geranium Dress by MadeByRae.  It's classic and super easy to put together.  And very versatile.  The fabric is Robert Kaufman chambray.  I loved working with it.  Such a nice hand.  And I think she likes it!

She hadn't worn this one yet, but she picked out the fabric herself.  I think she'll like it too.

I managed to get one hexie flower made - which is not too bad considering I only made hexies in the airport while waiting for flights.

I took a weekend pilgrimage to Idaho to visit my friends Carol and Brent.  They took me to the Boise Farmer's Market on Saturday.  It was really fun.  We bought some wonderful fresh-from-the-farm berries.  And the fresh-squeezed lemonade was delightful on such a hot day - it was 104 when I was there.

And she very kindly indulged me by taking me to this fun quilt shop down the road from her house.  I think I may have converted her - she's planning on taking a quilting class from them in August!  (Do I dare say I hope she's hooked??)

And, when I wasn't sewing or playing with the grands, I made a couple of blueberry pies.  You can find the recipe here.

And I might have brought a bit of fabric home... 

So, that's what I have to show for my vacation.  Fairly productive, and lots of fun!

But also very nice to be home.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Catching Up - Part Two

So here we are, home again after my very long vacation - partly planned and partly not-so-much.  Can I just say that I love the versatility of the Weekender Bag?  It's big enough to hold my computer (in its protective sleeve), my camera (in its case), my book, the contents of my purse, my hexie kit, and who knows what all.  My only complaint is that the end pockets aren't big enough - at least when the bag is stuffed full) to hold my water bottle, so if I make myself another Weekender someday, I may pleat or gather the pocket to give it room to do that.  But that said, this is an awesome travel bag.  Thanks, Kristy!

When I arrived, our first stop was at Ikea.  I had never been to Ikea before, so this was a treat.  It was fun to see what everyone had been talking about.  Good thing there's not an Ikea close-by...  it would be way too tempting.  (And wouldn't it be fun to make a cute pillow like this?)

My DSIL had asked me last October to come in July and watch the kids while he and my daughter went on a work-cation.  I was only too happy to accommodate them.  It was super fun to spend some time with these little people I get to see so seldom.  They have such funny little personalities, and it was a real joy.  Britton's new favorite thing is to drop things behind the couch to see where they go...

He's such a cutie.  And has such a fun personality.  Grandma had a blast.

And it was fun to see my son play the part of bachelor uncle.  What a guy!

The day the parents left required a trip to the dollar store for color books, crayons, and some awesome balloons.  Britton loved the truck balloon.

Abby's balloon was, of course, a princess crown. 

She's a cutie! 

It's really fun to watch them play together.  Always in motion.

Of course we made a trip to McD's for breakfast to play in the Play Place.

And Mommy and Daddy left them a present or two...

Which was super fun...

And Grandma and Abby made a button necklace - a game my grandma taught me when I was about 3...  She loved it.  And when I had to cut the thread to use some of the buttons for a dress I made her, there were no complaints about re-stringing them.  What a fun activity!  It kept her busy for hours, and we had some wonderful conversations about the ones we liked, and the colors, and shapes.  Well worth $3 (with a coupon) at JoAnn's for the big button assortment. 

And even though I was once again reminded of why people have children when they are young, I had a blast!  It was so fun to get to see the kids one-on-one for more than just a day or two.  Can't wait to do it again!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Catching Up - Part One

Here's the Weekender bag Kristy made for me at the airport waiting for our flight.
I'm baaaaa-ack!

It seems that my vacation turned into a marathon.  Sorry for the very long hiatus.  I really enjoyed being away, but I'm very glad to be home.  I actually thought I would have a chance to blog a bit while I was away, but there never seemed to be a moment to spare.  So, I have some things to share from before I left, and a couple of things from while I was away - maybe tomorrow, since I don't want this post to turn into a marathon.

Did you catch my guest -blogger post/tutorial on Leona's blog?  This tote has 11-pockets, so it's a super way to keep organized.  We all know how I love totes!

Sometime in June, Susi contacted me and wanted to know if I wanted to do a private swap.  I wasn't sure I could get it done before I left, but I did - barely.  This Weekender is super scrappy, with the addition of some bits of Briar Rose a friend gave me a few weeks ago.  The Frog Picnic is my favorite!

I had a lot of fun doling out the Briar Rose bits in creating the bag.

Susi said she really liked it, so I think it was a success.  I asked her to hold my bag until I got home, so I am excited to receive it.  Hope it gets here soon!

I also managed to finish my blocks for the 3x6 bee.  In this bee you make the same block for 6 people, changing up the colors to their request.  Since I was in 2 hives (no, I don't know what possessed me to do that!) I had to make 12 blocks.  Someone on Flickr commented that it would make a beautiful quilt all by itself.  I think so too.  I really love all those colors.

The blocks were super easy.  I found the pattern on my daily quilting calendar and adapted it for the bee.  My first blocks were by-the-book, but by the time I created the last one ("rainbow - in order" was the request) I was feeling like this was a pretty versatile block.

I belong to a group called "Sewing with Friends" and every couple of months the mamas assign us a new partner to make a little something for.  Up to now, we've been making mug rugs, but after a year, we felt a bit of a need for change.  In any event, June/July was our last mug rug month, and my partner was Sunny.  I figured with a name like that, and given that we're talking about mid-summer here, her mug rug ought to be something bright and cheerful.  I had these bonus HSTs left over from something-or-other (I really love bonus HSTs - it's really worth the extra time they take to be able to create something cute in a hurry) so I used 8 of them to make this fun little pinwheel flower mug rug.  I am always amazed at how versatile HSTs are.  A little hand-quilting, some yo-yos left over from Abby's octopus, and it was a wrap....  well, a mug rug, anyway.

So that's my "before-the-trip" story.  Stay tuned - I'll be back tomorrow.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I'm a Guest Blogger Today!

I know it's been awhile since I've blogged here, but I'm in Utah watching the grands for a week.  So fun!  I've got pictures (I know you're excited!!) and I'll share them in a day or two when their mommy and daddy come home.  In the meanwhile, as I promised literally months ago, I'm a guest blogger today on Leona's Quilting Adventure, sharing my addiction to tote bags.

Check it out.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

There's lots going on in the sewing room lately, but I can never seem to sit down at the computer with the camera and the USB cable in the same place at the same time.  Until I get a chance to download the pictures, let me share this sweet photo from last July 4th.

With a grateful heart, I wish you a wonderful 4th of July! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lark Weekender Bag - Take 2

I finally got the room in some kind of useable shape, and since I was so behind, I decided to delay the "decorating" and get to work.  This is the second Weekender Travel Bag made with the bonus HSTs from the Lark Swoon quilt I made for my daughter - and I still have enough HST's to make a couple more bags - or something else (which is more likely!)

I decided on chevrons and pinwheels this time, with echo quilting on the chevrons and straight line quilting everywhere else.  The piping is the black texty print from Madrona Road.  Love that fabric - will probably cry when it is gone.

 Pinwheels on the pockets - green on one side...

Blue on the other...  And lots of dots.

 One of the things about making a bag for yourself is that you can add all the little features you want to suit your needs.  One of mine was to add a strap so that the bag will fit over the handle of my roll on when I travel.  Hated covering up the cute little pinwheel, but the pinwheel was done and quilted before I remembered I wanted to add the strap and I

Sorry little pinwheel.  The good news is that it was my least favorite one...

I added a zipper pocket to the outside in addition to the pocket on the pattern to stash stuff I need to have handy, but don't want to lose.  I'm thinking maybe cell phone and wallet here.

I chose some Denyse Schmidt fabric I found on sale at Joann's for the lining, which was great because since I had surgery on Thursday, I didn't feel like driving across town to the drug store.    Then, I added an elastic strap to keep my computer case corralled inside.  Still need some wide velcro to make this work, but the guts are there.

So that's my new bag!  It will be my sample for the class I'm teaching at Derrel's in August - the 15th and 22nd.  If you want to do a whole cloth Weekender as shown in the pattern, you can just come to the second session.  For a quilted bag, you will want to come to both sessions.

And then I think it may become my favorite travel bag.