Saturday, July 4, 2015

4th of July Weekend

Last night was Friday Night with Friends and I sat down and hand sewed the binding down on this new door banner.  Check out what everyone else worked on here http://stitchingcubbyhole.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/fnwf.html
 We decided to kick off our 4th of July Weekend early with a trip to our local drive in on Thursday night. Yes, drive ins do still exist in some small towns across America--ours has been owned and operated for 65 years by the same family. We enjoy going to the drive in, but usually they show kids movies, so we are not interested in those anymore. We watched a double feature of San Andreas and Mad Max Fury Road (very creepy).
We had awesome greasy cheeseburgers and French fries complete nostalgia.  
Our daughter is out of town attending a college class in California, so we stole her Mustang convertible, Chuck, and enjoyed the movies under the stars. It was so nice to be outside in the cool air with my hubby. It was great date night! 
 I have been plugging away with my girl alphabet embroidery blocks. M is for Music is done.
 N is for Nest--check.
O is for Oval--complete.

We have had some thunder storms this morning and it is cool and overcast--perfect sewing weather. I am going to make some fried chicken, corn on the cob, and even bake some dessert--maybe something with our fresh raspberries.

We plan on watching the Germany v. England soccer game today and the U.S.A. v. Japan tomorrow. I will keep stitching these alphabet embroidery blocks and have some binding--sounds like Slow Sunday Stitching http://kathysquilts.blogspot.com

I also have to get all my stuff ready for our retreat on Thursday--more to come on that!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Charity Quilts

 My mom is leading a charity quilt drive for one of our nursing homes in our town. She would like to gather enough lap quilts for each resident to receive one for Christmas...Details are being worked out, but she had received some fabric donations and put some kits together. I noticed she had a charm pack of Shangri-La by 3 Sisters for Moda along with a cream background. Then I remembered, I had inherited a big ziplock bag full of cut up Shangri-La fabric from my sister. Most of what was in there were charm squares and 2.5 x 5 inch rectangles. I have no idea what it was supposed to be, but I think she had cut up most of a jelly roll.
 I hit the internet looking for a quick pattern and found this design Four Squared by Polly Monica aka Aunt Polly http://www.modabakeshop.com/2012/02/four-squared-quilt.html
She shows the quilt made with 2.5 inch strips, but I used my 2.5 x 5 inch rectangles and sewed them together and then sliced them in half horizontally and pieced loads of 4 patches. Then, I combined those into 16 patches. I made my quilt slightly smaller than the tutorial with 49 blocks, 25 16 patches and 24 square blocks. I added a 4.5 inch border and picked up enough of the border fabric for the backing. 
I have enough Shangri-La fabrics left to probably eek out another quilt with maybe adding in a little more fabric. I was thinking of 16 patches and pinwheels like this quilt. 

She also had some brown and blue fabrics, so I cut off some 3.5 inch strips from those and then came home and dug into my stash for some more. I made this simple brick style quilt with 3.5 x 6.5 inch rectangles. I added a 5.5 inch brown border bought at the discount fabric shop for under $3 a yard, I have enough for the binding too. I have a tan fabric in my stash that I think I can use for a backing. I am going to get my backings together and get ready to long arm quilt these.

If you are interested in donating a completed quilt or a top for this charitable endeavor leave me a comment and include your email if you are no reply blogger. Thanks!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Winners

Wow! I had 123 comments on my post to celebrate my two year blog anniversary giveaway. There were many sweet comments and great candy favorites. I figured out how to use the True Random Number Generator and our winner is comment 6, but I can't figure out how freeze the picture of the number generator. Comment 6 was:

Your new blog header looks great and so do the cute bag and pincushion! Congratulations on your two year blogiversary! I love peanut M&Ms
Little Penguin has been a follower since the beginning, so it was pretty fantastic that she won! I will get her some peanut M&Ms and get the bag in the mail ASAP. Congratulations and thank you to everyone!!!
Now onto another winner-- I have mentioned that I was up to some secret sewing and could not share everything, but my sister received her birthday package and I can share with you the goodies I made her. We have a retreat coming up in July and Tiffany is coming. I made her a Sewing Machine Cover & Mat. My parents and I gave her a black Singer Featherweight a few years ago for her birthday, so I decided to incorporate black as a binding to match her Featherweight. The spools are little pockets to keep all your supplies at you fingertips while you sew. Having a quilted mat under your machine helps to cut down on vibrations. I made 12 Apron Strings blocks as shown in the Farm Girl Vintage book by Lori Holt and the spool blocks are in Lori's Quilty Fun book along with directions for the sewing Machine Cover & Mat.
 I used two extra Apron Strings Blocks to form the bag portion of a thread catcher and a spool block for the pin cushion portion. The inside is the white with black polka dots fabric--I also used it as the backing for the mat.
 The white with black polka dot is the lining for the Watcha Got? large project bag. Everything is scrappy, but is united with the white with black polka dots. I put some goodies in the project bag--candy, lip balm, pins, a notepad, and other yummy muchies. All essentials for a retreat!
Here is the back of the project bag.

Have a great week everyone!


Sunday, June 28, 2015

E, F, and G Week

 I shared this project I was starting last week. It is the girl version embroidered alphabet from S is for Stitch by Kristine Czepuryk. My stitches are not nearly as precise as hers, but I am pleased with my blocks. My lazy daisy stitches are not great and neither are my open lazy daisy stitches, but I won't get any better without some more practice. E is for endurance in my book!
 I did the feather block this morning for Slow Sunday Stitching 
Click the link to see what everyone else is working on.
F is also for the Farm Girl Vintage sew along blocks. 
Here are my versions of this week's--the Feed and Seed Block. Mine is far from perfect, but it is a sweet block. I don't know why I lost all the corners on my plus sign in the middle...
The Fresh Pears Block--I love pears, so I just want to eat them. I need to embroider the seeds on the right pear.
The G is for Gift Block whipped right up.
 Speaking of G--I made a gift to donate to a local silent auction. I made the small version of the Watcha Got? bag. I dug into my supply of Bath & Body Works and found Wild Citrus Sunflower shower gel and lotion, so why not make the bag coordinate. The auction's theme is bags, but I hope it sells for a reasonable price--last year things went for pennies on the dollar. VERY DISAPPOINTING!!!
 I used up a sunflower fat quarter in my stash for the outside of the bag. I used a 9 inch zipper from my stash. Can I just recommend to everyone--order your zippers on-line? I bought a bunch from Zip It, an Etsy store, last year for like a third of the price available at Joann's. I just ordered some from Amazon with totally free shipping and no minimum order, so I will let you know how they are.
 I was not sure what to do for a zipper pull and then I thought about my button collection. I prefer to use "Lanyard Hooks" instead of "O Rings" to attach charms to zippers because no tools are needed and they make the pull longer.
 Buttons with shanks on the back are easy to attach and there are many more buttons available at Joann's than charms.
I used a big yellow gingham from my stash for the inside. I think I am going to make another one of these to keep on hand as a gift for when I need one. I have been stitching up more gifts this week, but I can't reveal them yet.
G is also for Gloat this week. Our gorgeous daughter got her latest ACT scores and she did awesome--a 33 composite and a 35 on both math and English. She is also number one in her class, so we are hopeful that she can get into one of the upper tier colleges she wants to go to! 
G is also for Giveaway. I am giving away this bag, pin cushion, and other goodies. Go to this blog post to comment
I will announce the winner on Tuesday and reveal some of my secret sewing!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Blog Anniversary Giveaway

 Greetings! Did you notice my blog's new look? Today is my two year blog anniversary, so I wanted to celebrate with a fresh new look and a giveaway. My 16 year old daughter is graphic design guru which is why she was selected as the chief editor of her high school's yearbook for next year--we are so proud of her! She was designing some potential covers for their yearbook and offered to design a new header for my blog. YES PLEASE! Then, she was sweet enough to help me with some other minor changes. While she did that for me, I made a Watcha Got? project bag and pin cushion to give away.
 I used mostly Bonnie and Camille fabrics. Here is the back of the bag. It is roughly 10 x14 inches.
 I put a charm zipper pull on for easy access.
 The pin cushion was made using an Apron Strings Block from Lori Holt's Farm Girl Vintage book and a tutorial on her blog. 
 Her method is very simple and easy!
I have put a few goodies in the bag so far and plan on adding some more goodies. 

 Blogging has been a great way to share my creativity, to keep a record of my accomplishments, and to be inspired by others. I know I get more done and have tried more new techniques because of blogging--I am so grateful!

I want to give this away to a lucky visitor to my blog. Leave a comment telling me your favorite candy because I will do my best to add it into the bag. If you are a no reply blogger, please include your email. Unfortunately, my budget does not allow for international shipping, so this giveaway is available to U.S. residents only. This winner will be selected next Monday, June 29. Good luck and thanks for two wonderful years of blogging!


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Embroidery Baby Quilts

Do you remember this sweet little embroidered puppy?
It was part of this baby quilt I finished back in December 2013.
 The design came from this cute book.
 Well, the book has a girl version too and I decided to prep all the blocks for a little portable handwork project. This time of year it is too hot to sit under anything large, but I need handwork since we watch a lot of movies and World Cup soccer. I cannot sit and watch anything without keeping my hands busy.
 Here are all 30 blocks traced and ready to go. I always get lots of questions about how I embroider through the batting. It acts as a stabilizer and hides my stitches from showing through the cotton background. I use a thin cotton batting like Warm and Natural.
 Here is the cupcake I worked on Friday night for FNSI. Here is the link to see what everyone worked on http://sugarlane-designs.com/2015/06/fnsi-sign-ups-for-june.html
 I dug into my mason jars of perle cotton and selected these colors to use for the girl embroideries. I decided to use a lilac color for the writing.
Here is my project bag all filled up and ready to go, so now there are no excuses for not getting some handwork done!
 These are my completed blocks so far...
 The lilac writing will help to unify all the blocks.
See what everyone else is working on for Slow Sunday Stitching here

Friday, June 19, 2015

Signs of Summer

Summer is officially here in western Colorado. I spend my days sewing and trying to stay cool-- we have temperatures into the 90s now.  I hoard my Bonnie and Camille fabric, but decided to use some of it and made myself two large Watcha Got? Project Bags. These are so easy, fun, and practical!
I used a non-Bonnie and Camille lining fabric because I liked it and bought a couple of yards at $6 each. I had to make two trips to the fabric store because the first time I did not buy any of it showing restraint--then I went back up there to get some just for these bags.
I used a couple of my larger Scrumptious fabrics for the backs of the bags.
These floral fabrics are the only kind of gardening I do!
Today is Friday, so I stayed on task and made my Farm Girl Vintage blocks. Here is the Farm Fresh Flower Block
and the Farmhouse Block. I used colors that are the same as our house, but we only have a one story ranch.
Another sign of summer is the return of the crop duster. This is not our actual crop duster, but ours is indeed yellow and buzzes our house many mornings when it turns around to dust the field down the block. My dogs love the excitement even if it can be very early in the morning. Today was 10 after 7am, so not too bad!
My hubby's roses loved all the rain we got for the past couple of months and are full of blooms.
The red roses match the trim on the house.
We have been eating lots of lettuce and radishes from our garden which is great because it is so hot cooking is a pain and salads are a good summer meal.
We have a retreat coming up in a few weeks, so I am trying to figure out what to bring for it. I decided to start prepping all my fabrics for the Strawberry Social Quilt I want to make. My mom gave me some fabric and the pattern for it a couple of Christmas's ago.
Here is a great picture of a completed one I found on-line. The quilting is amazing
You can buy the pattern here
I am going to use a navy Kona for my background and don't want to repeat any of my strawberries, so I need to find some more pinks and a green for the stems and leaves.
While I was cutting all the reds and pinks for the strawberries, it was just as easy to cut a couple of more squares to make some Pie Cherries Blocks and set them in the Farm Fresh Quilt Setting as shown in Lori Holt's Farm Girl Vintage book.
Earlier in the week, I prepped my base for the Cottage Garden Wool Felt Quilt I will be starting as soon as I finish prepping all the wool felt appliqué pieces. Prepping the wool felt and getting some more handwork ready is on my agenda for tonight as part of FNSI. Check out what everyone else was up to here

Monday is my two year blog anniversary and I am planning a giveaway, so check back soon to enter!