Friday, October 29, 2010

It's not a wonder......

When your stuff looks like this......

The dining room table

And this.........

The dining room table

It's not a wonder that I'm not sewing but doing this..........instead.

I thought I'd catch up on some Christmas cookie baking before the next swap starts.. After all, I freeze them all anyway.

Something exciting did happen today mistake, after owning my camera for 5 years (and obviously never reading the instruction manual) I found a Macro setting completely by accident. I thought my camera didn't have one. Duh!

Cookies 2010

Just think of all the neat sneak peeks I'll be able to show cool will that be?

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Quilters Topiary

Isn't this cute? It's just the perfect project to do with your older kiddos too! And they look so adorable on a tree!

A Quilter's Topiary

I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with all these when I cut them up into 2 inch squares the other night, but I was sure I'd come up with something...........and then......the next morning it came to me.....

First, gather your supplies. You will need your 2" fabric squares (about 50 for each ball), glue, 2" styrofoam balls (I got mine at Michael's.....12 for $4.99 without a coupon), ribbon, cording, or rick rack for the hanger, and a poker object.....I used the opposite end of a paintbrush, but a think chop stick would work too. Just look around your house. If your kids are doing it, you surely don't want something they could get hurt with.

First cut your ribbon, or cording into an 8 inch piece, put a dab of glue on your styrofoam ball, double your ribbon, and stick it onto the dab of glue with a stickpin. (I didn't take a pic of that, thinking it was pretty simple). Then, I put a ring of glue on the ball, around the hanger, and took a 2" fabric square, (right side down) and poked it into the styrofoam ball about 1/2 inch. I continued around the ball in the same manner, making sure no spots were showing until I got all the way around, filling it up as I went.

Here I am poking the fabric into the ball. My son was kind enough to take these pictures since I don't have 3 hands. LOL (Although sometimes I wish I did!!)

This pic was too far away, he decided, but I thought it was interesting with all the fabric squares in their own little pile.

When you're done, if you cut enough squares in the first place, and you watch a football game like I did while I was doing this, you'll have quite a bunch when you finally run out of squares:

Ready for Christmas

And don't they look cute hanging on a tree? (Here I am running outside to our one and only pine tree again!)

A Quilter's Topiary

These would make wonderful teacher's gifts too. Especially if your little ones help by giving you the next 2" piece if nothing else. Have fun!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The postman cometh!

I always show you the stuff I send for swaps, but rarely do I show you the stuff I get back and I'm not sure why. I think I forget, or am too concerned with the next swap obligation on my part. Well, since I've been a slacker, and have been reading instead of sewing these past few days, I'm going to show you some of the stuff the mailman has brought. I'm telling you, it's so fun getting packages instead of bills. First is the pillow cover and wall hanging (although I am going to use it for a table runner) that I got from tracyjay in the All about Christmas Swap. It matches my tree skirt just perfectly and I love them. I can hardly wait until Christmas!

Next is the little quilt that I got from sewgentle for the STUD swap (swap til you drop so you don't get the wrong idea. LOL) She sent a package that you wouldn't have believed. It was just like Christmas! Honest! Everything was all wrapped up so pretty and I really didn't know where to start. I should have made a list of all the stuff she sent along. Wow!

Is it Christmas or is this a pkg from Sewgentle?

And here is the pretty quilt. We had to do fussy cut. She wanted to do shadow pumpkins:

Next, was an awesome mug rug from bahamadawn (who I always thought was named Dawn, but NO! Her name is really Kim.) If you recall, I made her a birdie mug rug with her name as the flower pot. We did a private swap and I admired this one so much......little did I know it was on it's way to me. Isn't she just the cutest? Green eyes too, just like me!

Then, I got the cutest little fabric postcard from another one of my favorite artists, Sandy in Buenos Aires. This girl is a wonder and I'm so happy she had my name. This little 4x6 inch beauty is now gracing my kitchen wall so I can see it all the time. It's just perfect for this time of year!!!
Then, lastly, I got my mug rug. I swapped 3 mug rugs in this swap and this was the last one and the BEST one. I love it!!! I must say that I was overjoyed!! It was one of my favorites of the whole swap and Amanda got my taste right on the nose:

Mug Rug from Amanda

My red and white dotted mug is perfect with it!!

So that's it so far. There are a few things to go and I still have to make one more thing for a swap and I'll be done until the end of the month when it'll start all over again. E-gads!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It arrived!

I was wondering how long it would take my placemat to reach my swap partner in Australia, and now I know. She got it yesterday.....yippee!! So now I can show you! Here is the drawing:

And here is her placemat:

A placemat for Sue

Another swap done! Two more to go and I haven't even started those although I do have some ideas. Who knows, maybe I'll start one today?

Believe it or not, I haven't sewn a stitch since I finished that funky tree skirt. I thought it was about time I did some visiting of new things in my town since the weather has been so nice. Yesterday I went to a new HUGE 200,000 sq foot grocery store (if you can believe.) I wasn't looking for anything specific, just wandering, but ended up spending $60 and 1 1/2 hours there and I didn't even go up and down every aisle. I figure to see the whole thing you better plan on a minimum of 4 hours! LOL Next time I'm wearing my tennis shoes and bringing my pedometer! Maybe if I push the cart full of stuff real fast, it can even qualify as exercise!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Whatcha think?

I guess this will be a new pattern for 2011. It was kind of a surprise to me too considering that only a week ago I knew nothing about it. Just shows how fast stuff can happen. LOL One day I'm minding my own business in a quilt shop and the next week I have a whole new pattern designed and sewn up. Eikes, sometimes I even surprise myself.

Julie (the owner of my LQS) saw her finished tree skirt today and loved it so everything has been submitted to my fabulous graphic artist for his expertise in designing a pattern cover. (I still think it would make a marvelous New Years Eve table cloth though so I included instructions on how to do that too!) How fun, huh?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I don't know about this.....

Last week when I went to my LQS, the owner and I got to talking and she directed me to a groupings of fabric that I could see that she was crazy about. (Me......not so much!!) This was after I had told her that I had a new Christmas tree skirt pattern in my head for 2011. Once I got a real peek at those fabrics, I knew my idea would never work for them, but that I might have to do something differently in order to use them. You see, Julie puts up a white pencil tree in the shop with these wild, crazy metal type do-dad things in hot pink, orange, lime green and turquoise and you can guess the colors of the fabric. Now, don't get me wrong......I've been thinking about that tree all year just for it's whimsy and fun factor, but no way did I think I'd be designing a pattern for it. I thought maybe someday I'd be nice and just make a skirt for the tree, but I was advised that they could "never have something in the shop that they can't sell". Poop! That kind of puts my new idea into 2012 I guess, since I'll do this one for 2011.

Funky WIP

I'm almost I do the binding and then I'll show you. Until then, I'm wondering how it might look in normal Christmas colors. Actually, right now, it'd make a great New Year's skirt, don't you think???

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Single Fold Bindings

I don't claim to be an expert in this quilting art, but if it's one thing that really bugs me lately, it's fat, sloppy bindings. I noticed them on different things from the doll swap this time, but lately, while looking through the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap they were really apparent. You find these big fat double bindings on these cute, tiny little mug rugs that are only 5 x 7 inches or so to start with. And tell me why in the world do you need all that fabric to bind something so tiny that probably will hardly get handled at all?

Let me show you my method. First of all, I cut my strips 1 1/4 inches and attach them with a walking foot at the 1/4 inch mark, right side to right side, just like if you were going to do a double binding. See below:

Note, that I left a tail, just like you'd do on a normal big quilt, but the binding fabric is only single. I sew it on and turn corners just like you would a regular binding.

And you'll have to excuse the pictures here cause this next one should go after the one after it....I'm such a dunce on this thing, it's a wonder sometimes that I get anything loaded. Anyway, skip this next picture and go to the one it now, please.......

Yup, right here!!!!!! When, I'm done attaching the binding, just like I would a double binding, instead of turning it over, I iron the binding away from the top of the quilt and try to get a crisp edge so that when I turn the whole mess go back to the picture above.......see, it's flipped over almost sticks up by itself.

Oppps, I guess it's here too.......don't tell me I loaded the dumb thing twice???? E-gads! Anyway, here it is upside down. You're looking on the backside. And it's a real shame I don't have 3 hands here because I couldn't hold the camera and do the fold over at the same time, but that's what you do. You almost fold that fabric in half and sew it down. See the next pic..... I have it pinned. I know, I could use clips, but I always have pins handy so pins it is.
See how skinny and tight it looks? Well, that's because it is! When you're all done sewing it down in the back, I iron both sides and get it looking perfect. I wish I could have shown you the finished binding on the front of this, but the dumb computer would only let me load 5 pictures from my computer. Besides, my swap partner hasn't even seen this placemat yet, so I'd hate to spoil the surprise. I will post a different quiltie though so you can see what I mean about skinny, flat binding on these cute little wall hangings, mug rugs, or doll quilts.

Wall Art

Try it, and you'll never go back to double, fat, bindings except on your bigger quilts. I guarantee it!!! Besides, this will save you fabric too. :D

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jumpin' the Gun

My friends used to tell me that I lived 6 months in the future and I guess that hasn't changed much. It's just that sometimes I'm just so overwhelmed with the goofy swaps that I sign up for that I don't know if I'm coming or going! I actually had to write them all down with the due dates last month lest I should forget something and then be on someone's "BAD" list. Heaven forbid that should happen!!! And be blackballed...........e-gads!!!

Well, partners aren't even assigned yet, but yesterday I made my fabric postcards for that swap (which is due....."sheeplishly".......November 30th) Yeah, yeah, okay.....I jumped the gun a bit, but now they're done and I can hold on to them. (I already have the 64 cents stamps on them too!!)

Funky tree


Cute Dog

I know, I know....kind of plain, although I do like the dog. I mustn't have been too creative yesterday. And who knows, now that they're done, I have time and could, possibly, come up with some that are better now that the pressure is off.

I also got another mug rug package the other day from "felicityquilts". She sure sent the stuff along. I was cheap with mine.......two only got tiny sample packages of coffee, and my main person got a gift certificate to Starbucks along with her mug rug. Call me cheap!

What I got......

Did you check out all that stuff? Even a package of high heeled buttons.....LOL!

Today, I'm designing another project and I just might have to get some new fabric to make it perfect. Awwww, now wouldn't that be a shame???!!! :D

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The mailman's been busy!

When I upload pictures from my computer rather than Flickr, I never really know what I'm going to talk about first, since those pictures load in the opposite way.........crazy, but....dumb!!! I guess for free, what do you want, huh????? Okay, okay, I'll shut my mouth and deal with it!!

First of all, I got the surprise of my life today when hubby brought the mail in and there was a package from Kim. Now, I knew we we weren't swap partners, because I had exchanged info with her earlier in the week when I asked her another question and she told me to watch my mailbox because she sent me something. And how cool it is too!!!! Check this out:

Isn't that just the neatest thread catcher you ever saw? I am a huge one for just throwing my excess threads on the floor next to me as I sew and when I'm done, I have a big pile......or the dog has already dragged them all over the rest of the house after visiting me throughout the day. I can't wait to use it!! Thank you soooooo much, Kim!! What a wonderful gift!

Then, yesterday, I also got's so fun being in swaps and getting more than bills and junk mail.......I got this darling fabric postcard and label from the infamous, bahamadawn. Now, if you don't know Kim (alias..bahamadawn), you must visit her flickr. She has a wonderful unique style and guessed it, in the Bahamas! Aren't you just a bit jealous now?
Of course, you knew that I was in the Mug Rug swap. Well, I already had two partners, but in the discussion threads once, there was this girl, "Dawn" (punskinsmoon) who missed the signups and was sad, so I decided to do a private swap with her. This is the one I made for her:

Private Mug Rug Swap

And this is the one she sent me:
Some of my favorite colors and white. It'll even match my new mug!

And, last, but not least is the scrappy pincushion that I got from my partner, Mary, or as she is known, 13 insane penguins. (I'm getting so good at this linky-link stuff, don't you think????) She thought it was right up my alley with the colorful coaster and plated pincushions in black and white. Aren't they pretty?

So, that's been my week. I also got some mini-mini blocks in the mail, but forget those for now. Some day I'll make a quilt out of all of them and then you'll get to see them all at once. I also have a clean house (yeah), a stocked cupboard for now (yeah again) and made a few blocks for charity. How's your week been?