Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ugly Xmas Sweater Quilt Finished!

 Happy Sunday! I spent a couple hours last night and some more this morning binding my Ugly Christmas Sweaters Quilt. After all it is Slow Sunday Stitching: 
It is finished just in time to adorn my kitchen table for the Christmas season. This was a quilt along in the spring from Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts:
 I quilted it on my mom's long arm yesterday and just did big loops. I want the sweaters to be the focus, not the quilting. Plus, it is a utility quilt--it shrunk up nicely and will look good with my rainbow of Fiestaware dishes on top. After washing, it measures 60 inches square.
 I get lots of questions about using quilts for tablecloths and I have been using them for this purpose for 15+ years. I saw vintage quilts being used for this task at a family reunion in an old farmhouse in Missouri. I recommend using high quality fabrics because they get washed often. I use Warm and White or Warm and Natural batting because it is thin and dishes can rest on the low loft surface easily.  The tablecloth quilt also works like a protective table pad. I have not bought a regular tablecloth in years!
I love all the sweaters and had such fun digging into my stash for the right color combinations. The lime green with red and white dots is from the Chantilly line. 
The binding and backing was a $5 a yard Windham Fabric called Country Lane by Bari Ackerman. I have used this same fabric for a couple of other quilt backings because I love the red with pink and lime green plaid and I know the quality is top notch--plus I can't beat that price.
I have no will power--I traced another redwork Christmas design from Red Brolly. This is my third! You can find the free design here:

I am thrilled I was able to get the Ugly Xmas Sweaters Quilt outside for some pictures because I just looked up and it is blowing snow again. Sounds like a perfect afternoon to spend in my sewing room working on Lisa Bongean's The Magic of Christmas red and white blocks:

Have a great week!

Friday, November 25, 2016

November 2016 OMG

 My elf work has continued this week! I have been fortunate to have the whole week off from work and I confess I have gotten out of my pajamas on only half the days so far. Lots of what I have been making I cannot share as they are Xmas gifts. However, I did complete my November One Monthly Goal (OMG). Here is a link: 
This is a baby quilt I designed. I had a kit for a woodland animal baby quilt from the Fat Quarter Shop my sister had given me, but I really did not like the pattern that came with it. So, I improvised with a nine patch variation and added a bunch of fabrics from my stash because as far as I am concerned--the scrappier the better!
 The centers are the woodland animals fussy cut. I tried a quilting design I have not done before, but will certainly try again. I just stitched straight using the squares as a guide and my presser foot as the width. It was quick, effective, and gives the modern look I was going for.
Here is the back. I had 3.5 yards of the woodland animal novelty print, but why piece it and waste it all on a backing? I made some extra blocks and used them as a strip in the middle of the backing. Instead of adding a label, I plan to write on the bottom white block with the label information.
This Modern Nine Patch Baby Quilt is a gift for my friend Whitney. Her son is due in mid-December.  After washing and shrinking, it is 42 inches square.
 I made this Sewing Date Traveler Bag for my niece's birthday. It is a free design you can find here:
She likes to embroider, so I put an embroidery hoop, embroidery scissors, red perle cotton #8, and I traced a bunch of Red Brolly ornaments for her to stitch. I got to give it to her yesterday and she was very pleased. The bag is really big and it was a challenge to make!
I did take some time in the kitchen for my contribution to Thanksgiving--I was responsible for dessert. I made two pumpkin pies and a pumpkin chocolate chip cheesecake--the cheesecake was amazing! 

I have my Ugly Christmas Sweaters ready to quilt tomorrow when I go to spend the day with my mom, so stay tuned for that finish. Now, I should figure out what will be my December 2016 OMG...

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Elf at Work

 Happy Sunday! I was channeling my Buddy the Elf this week. I usually don't get that into Christmas, but since this year it means I get to have my daughter home for the first time since August--I am totally in the Christmas mood. Last spring, I started Lorna's Ugly Christ Sweaters Quilt Along. Here is the link: I thought the sweaters were awesome and so colorful, but I was dealing with major health problems last spring and did not keep up. I dug out my bin of completed sweaters last Sunday and realized I only had half done. I got serious and made eight ugly Christmas sweaters in one day!
 They are by no means perfect, but since they will be a used a utility tablecloth for my kitchen table they don't have to be! I got them sewn together yesterday and finished adding the outer sashing/borders this morning.
Lorna's directions are easy to follow and these cheerful sweaters will brighten up my kitchen table! Right now, it measures 50 x 50 inches which is a little small, but I think I will head to the fabric store either this afternoon or tomorrow to find a perfect border and backing. That will mean I have to get out of pajamas!
Here is my first Christmas Embroidery. I finished it and sent it to my daughter to help make her dorm room festive! She is using it as a mug rug.
 This week, I spent most evenings watching Spotless on Netflix with me hubby. All that couch time meant lots of progress on my second Christmas Embroidery. I only needed to finish the snowman part this morning for Slow Sunday Stitching. Here is what everyone else is working on for SSS:
Now, I will add a border and quilt it. I may also have to trace another Christmas Embroidery design from Red Brolly. Here is a link to those:
 I need some little gifts for people at work, so I dug into my stash of tea towels to start appliquéing some of them. Here is my first one. I am using some of Lori Holt's Bloom Applique Patterns for them.
I ordered some coordinating hand soaps from Bath & Bodyworks. I think these will be thoughtful, practical, and sweet gifts. I have many more to make!

I have this week off and I plan on spending most of it in my sewing room. This elf has lots more to do! I do not have to make Thanksgiving Dinner, but I am in charge of desserts, so off to Pinterest I must go!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Christmas Embroidery 2

 Happy Sunday! I finished my other Christmas Red Work Embroidery on Thursday and packed it up to send to my daughter as part of the dorm decorations I gathered to make her dorm more festive for the next month plus. I forgot to take a picture, so I will beg her to send me one when it arrives. This second Christmas embroidery is also from Red Brolly--they have three Christmas designs posted for free. Here is the link to this one:
My daughter loves Christmas and Elf is her favorite movie, so I sent her this t-shirt and expect that she will channel her Buddy the Elf as she decorates her room.
My Quilty Fun class is winding down, so I decided to sew some of my tutorial blocks together. They will be added to my random blocks stash and get used eventually for something--maybe some adorable zipper pouches.
I won one of the prices from the OMG October Challenge. Heidi sent me these awesome fat quarters and two spools of Aurifil thread. I have never used Aurifil thread because I am a frugal quilter and it is beyond my budget, but I am looking forward to trying it out.
Heidi also included this First Day of School pattern in my package. Such a great idea because it looks like it came from an old calendar! I think I will have to make this up, but in modern or country colors or maybe one of each. Thank you so much Heidi!

I got very excited this week when Carole revealed her plans for her next quilt along Scrap Dance Waltz. She is planning to post our first instructions this week. Carole designs the most amazing scrap quilts and I am in love with this one! I am thinking I might make it extra big for the bed quilt I have wanted to make. Here is a link about the design:

Today, I plan on spending some time cleaning up my sewing room, so I will be ready to dive in on the Scrap Dance Waltz Quilt Along. I also need to see how many more Ugly Christmas Sweater Blocks I need for my tablecloth and get cracking on that. I will also continue to work on my Christmas Red Work Embroidery 2 for Slow Sunday Stitching. Check out everyone else's progress here:

Have a great week!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Christmas Embroidery

 Greetings! Are you getting into the Christmas mood yet? I am, but it is not my fault. One of my classrooms is next to our music classroom and they started practicing for their Xmas concert two weeks ago. So, I have been hearing a variety of Xmas carols on three days a week.
  I also started my Xmas shopping on Saturday, so I am in the mood. I started this Christmas redwork embroidery right about when the carol signing began. I had been planning on making this and sending it to my daughter for a dorm decoration. I am not sure whether it will go in her next care package or stay in my collection because it is so adorable!
 The design is an amazing freebie from Red Brolly. Here is the link:
Be sure to explore their blog and website because I found three Christmas redwork designs (I already have another one traced) as well as some excellent embroidering tutorials.
Speaking of tracing, I saw a few weeks ago someone was raving about this Crayola Light-Up Tracing  Pad. I found it at Walmart for $20, but struck out at Target. I have a homemade light box my dad made me years ago, but it has gotten wobbly and is very bulky and gets rather hot. I am thinking of requesting this for Xmas, but I would love to hear your opinions.
I made this small zipper pouch yesterday. I guess it is not that small measuring just under 8 x 10 inches, but it gets smaller when you stuff it with goodies. I used some of my precious Bonnie & Camille scraps and already have this in my work tote bag.

I am so excited to spend the rest of this evening watching Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog's new cooking show on VH1--I think they both are hysterical and will be amazing together while I work some more on this embroidery 


Sunday, November 6, 2016

November OMG

I cannot believe it is already November. This year has flown by. To help keep myself on track, I am joining the November One Monthly Goal (OMG) Challenge now being held over at Elm Street Quilts. Here is the link:

My November OMG is to finish this baby quilt. I need to piece the backing, pin it, quilt it, and bind it. I have the whole week of Thanksgiving off, so I should have the time and may be able to get some other things done as well--like my Ugly Christmas Sweater tablecloth.
 Speaking of other things, I started cutting into my Bonnie and Camille scraps this morning to make myself a zipper pouch. I bought myself a fake leather tote bag at Old Navy yesterday for half price. My work tote bag is falling apart and I have wanted a nice leather tote bag to replace it, but can't afford one right now. So, I settled for faux leather at less than $20, but it is basically a big bag with no secondary pockets. This zip pouch will hold all my pens and other necessities. For my work things, I have to be organized!
I was so happy to get an extra hour of sleep this morning. I got an earlier start at Walmart and the grocery store. It is a lovely sunny Sunday here with the sun shinning and the leaves still falling. I am in my sewing room and watching football. This evening, the Broncos play the Raiders and I will work on this little Xmas embroidery wall hanging for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Have a great week!