Sunday, April 27, 2014

Swap Tote Bag

I am participating in a few swaps over on Flickr and for one we are making tote bags. I really struggled with ideas because my partner likes bright colors and low volume text prints. I have really wanted to play with plus blocks, so I finally just dove in yesterday and came up with this bag. It measures 16 x 16 x 4 inches a pretty good size. I used 2 layers of fusible fleece, so it is pretty sturdy.

I machine quilted it vertically every half inch and used scraps. I also quilted the lining the same way.

I thought the front was so busy, I would just use a solid on the back. It is not solid but a smallish red check.

I used a low volume text print for the lining. I put red pockets on each side for storage.
Today, I plan on working on a goodie to go inside, tidying up my sewing room, and some handwork for my Let It Snow BOM embroidery quilt. I have to go to a charity event that I am on the board for, but I would really just prefer to stay in my sweats and enjoy the rainy, gray day in my sewing room! Our computer died earlier this week, so I am learning how to navigate with Windows 8, it is significantly different, so I have a big learning curve...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Houses & Gifts


Here are my house blocks for the quilt along over at
Breaking this quilt down by 2 blocks a month has been much less daunting.
 Secretary's Day is Wednesday! I have been using up scraps left over from my Good Night Irene table cloth quilt to make pouches for the secretaries who help me.
Here are the 6 pouches I need. I bought chocolate, Chapstick, and tissue packs to put in them. I have to remember to stock up on travel sized lotions at Bath & Bodyworks' next big sale in June as lotion or hand cream would be perfect in these.
This is my teenager's Easter basket. She did not want any candy, so it has candles from Bath & Bodyworks, lotion, a couple of journals, a water bottle, sugar free gum, cute socks, nail polish, Cliff bars, hair ties, note cards, Starbucks tea, and a Starbucks gift card. Looks perfect to me!
I also spent time today working on my quilt for the Hands 2 Help Charity Quilt Challenge 2014. I hope to have the top completed tomorrow. I also have to get my next blocks together for the Quiltmaker Love Blooms Here and embroider my first Journey of a Quilter block. Lots to do and the weather helps as it is cloudy with sprinkles on and off, sounds like quilting weather to me!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rain, Snow, & Hail Sunday Stitching

This quilt is "Purple Patches." I got an email on Wednesday that there is a baby shower next week for a pregnant coworker. I had no idea she was pregnant. The email said she did not want a big deal made, but her nursery was going to be in purple. This woman is an artist with cookies. She decorates with icing the most adorable sugar cookies and makes lovely cookie bouquets. I know she will appreciate the time and effort of a custom made quilt.

I pieced this making log cabin blocks I had seen on a website as part of a scrap challenge. (I cannot remember whose website to give credit. Sorry!) The purples were cut 2.5 inches wide with the centers 2.5 inches square and the white backgrounds are 1.5 inches wide. The blocks finished at 12 inches square.
 Wednesday after work I rushed to my LQS and bought a white background with little purple flowers a 30's style print. (The only fabric purchased. Yes!) Ran home and dug into my small stash of purple fabrics. I cut like a maniac and even started piecing on Wednesday night continued on Thursday night. Friday night I got all the blocks done. Saturday morning I sewed them all together, pieced the back from my stash, made a label, and pinned it. In the afternoon, I quilted it using my new favorite wavy stitch on my Pfaff, trimmed it, attached binding, and started hand binding it. I did not stay up late working on it because I went out to dinner with some friends or it would have done yesterday. Not bad for a 50+ inch square quilt! I finished binding it this morning for Slow Sunday Stitching. Washed it and managed to run outside for pictures between rain, snow, and hail storms.
This afternoon I whipped up this lovely fabric basket for my teenager's Easter Basket. She picked out the fabric when she drove me to the fabric store during Spring Break. She found the last bits of some Bonnie and Camille Marmalade fabrics plus the trendy chevron. It came out great and I have some fun loot to fill it with.
I am still working on my "Let It Snow" embroidery blocks and have to get a couple of house blocks done for a quilt along. I think we will need a couple of crock pot dinners this week, so I will have more quilting time!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Break Sewing

With our Spring Break trip cancelled and being sick the whole week, I was determined to at least finish making something and feel slightly productive. I was working on my Good Night Irene blocks for the sew along hosted by Terry over at her blog I realized that I could finish it up and have it as the spring/summer table cloth sooner and that is just what I did.
 I used two charm packs of Moda's American Jane Potluck fabric plus lots of scraps from my bins. I have Fiestaware dishes in a rainbow of colors, so these bright hues should be perfect on my table. I had been thinking of red for the border as that is my favorite Fiestaware color, but our local quilt shop was in the process of moving and I went up to a fabric store a couple of towns away and found this gorgeous spring/summer green for $5 a yard. Sold!
 It has been a very long time since I have actually quilted a larger quilt on my sewing machine. I usually use my mom's long arm, but with her knee replacement and me being sick I did not want to go over to her house and bother her...I used a wavy quilt stitch on my Pfaff and went diagonally across the blocks. It took a fair amount of time, but I am thrilled with the outcome! It really helped to use my old quilting gloves and work from the middle out. I got half of it done on Friday night as part of Friday Night with Friends and the other half of the quilting was last night.
 I put the binding on this morning and did it all by machine since this will be washed so often. I washed it before taking this pictures.
It was really windy outside, so I did not get the best pictures of the whole quilt...I have lots of 2.5 inch squares left over, so I whipped up this little pouch using this tutorial

 Here is the other side. I think these will be perfect little pouches to put some chocolate and hand cream or lip balm in and give out at Secretary's Day. Working at three schools means I have many valuable secretaries to thank. I am going to order some more zippers on-line right now!
Then, I am going to sit and work on my embroideries for this Let It Snow BOM as part of Slow Sunday Stitching. Back to work tomorrow for seven more weeks of school and then summer vacation! Yes, I am anxious for summer!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cursed & April Goals

 I think I am cursed! Every vacation I have I always end up being sick. Of course this week is my spring break and we planned to meet my sister and her family in Salt Lake City to entertain my niece and nephew while their dad had his first week of chemo and radiation. I woke up Monday morning with the stomach flu, we made it 45 minutes from home on our way to SLC and we had to turn around and get me back to bed and a bathroom. Needless to say it was a major bummer! My teen did not get to see her cousins, drive for hours, or shop in a big city and I lost two days of my vacation to staying in bed. The good news is my brother-in-law's treatments are quick and he is not having any terrible side effects, so they have been able to do some fun family activities.
 I signed up for a new embroidery BOM and it arrived yesterday afternoon. It is called Journey of a Quilter and is through the Material Girls in South Jordan, Utah. (I was planning on visiting while on our trip that did not happen.) The first block's arrival has been my only vacation highlight so far! It came with these lovely embroidery floss colors, but I prefer to use perle cotton and was able to find most the colors in my perle cotton stash. The colors I did not have were ordered on-line and have already shipped. Got to love Internet shopping if you live in a rural area!!!
Aren't these fabrics happy? So happy in fact, I dragged my behind out of bed yesterday afternoon and put the block together. I don't think I messed it up which is amazing considered I had a decongestant in my system!
I actually followed the instructions and pieced it before doing the embroidery. I still need to trace the embroidery designs on, but I am so thrilled I splurged for this BOM project. I am going to back the whole block with Warm and Natural batting to provide stability and hide my ugly embroidery stitches from the front.
Here is the picture that forced me to sign up. All that Bonnie and Camille fabric and bright happy colors at least inspire spring, but we had bits of snow today and may get an inch tonight. Not feeling much like spring...
 Here is another embroidery BOM I have been working on. It is called Let It Snow. I have half of the embroideries completed and started piecing the blocks today.
 I had several laughs because my teenager was learning how to drive a stick shift in our driveway this afternoon. The windows from my sewing room have an awesome view of the driveway. We borrowed a friend's old Jeep truck for her lesson. My hubby managed to show her the basics, vacate the truck, and then she just drove it in circles on our big driveway. She managed to use a quarter of a tank of gas. She may not have been able to drive to SLC, but she drove lots of circles! She has also been looking at cars online and has realized many of her favorites like Mini Coopers and VW Beetles are sticks, so she is determined to conquer driving one.
My April goals are:
1. Complete my Goodnight Irene blocks for the quilt along
2. Finish up the Let It Snow embroideries and piece its top
3. Make a tote bag for a swap on Flickr
4. Piece my top for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge 2014
I think four goals are enough for me this month!