Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve 2015

I have been doing pretty well organizing myself the last few days, and have made some good progress on the table runner.  It's actually at a point that I can baste and quilt it, but now I need space to tape it down for the basting.  Which involves cleaning off a table... we will see if that happens this morning.
The top of the French Braid table runner completed.  Loving how striking the colors are.

This is how I pass the time until the Seahawks play.  Also, check out my NEW JERSEY!!

I pieced the back with the strips cut off the sides of the runner when I squared it up.  I would like to make a larger version of this, again, very striking.
I also found in my organizing my Mini Stitch that I had started summer 2015 and got that pulled together for a completed top.
The pattern was fun to work with, it's also mini sized so assumes you know what you're doing basically.  Not many instructions.  You can find Mini Stitch and more mini patterns at Fig Tree & Co's website here.

This is going to make the best wall hanging, I am very excited to have it ready to quilt.  I picked colors that make me happy and will stay interesting to me.  Some of them will also bring back some memories, but as I haven't made a lot of quilts most of this fabric is just from my stash.

And I completed mom's Christmas present the day after, but it sure turned out nice!  And she is very excited to have a sewing project bag of her own, she has really been picking the sewing back up lately (I may be causing some of that...), even made 12 Seahawks hotpads for Christmas gifts, and 4 pillowcases!

This fabric is so pretty, I got it at the shop in Bonner's Ferry when we went to Montana.  I keep hoping to find it in blue for myself.
Another chance to practice my FMQ, I did not mark this feather, just made it happen, and filled in the gaps with pebbles..
I am learning the best way to install my tags is to wait until I'm finished and sew it on the seam afterwards.  I redid this one 3 times before I figured that out!
I have to laugh at myself, I have made this project bag at least 7 times, and I make it differently every time.  I have been making notes on the last 2, and taking pictures, I'm hoping to pull it all together into a tutorial for you all.  And to help myself be more precise and timely in the construction.  What is taking the most time (and I'm pretty sure I said this before) is the quilting.  I keep using these bags as my practice pieces for free-motion quilting techniques, so instead of it taking me 5 minutes to quilt it I end up taking closer to an hour.   The bag assembly itself is only taking ~30 minutes. Quilting is my hobby though, I'm not in this to make things REALLY fast.  I am trying to enjoy the act of MAKING.  And lately, I've just been very thankful to have the time to sew at all.

And without further ado, I'm off to take advantage of the bit of time before I go to work!  Make the most of every minute, the year is nearly done!

Happy New Year everyone, here's to strong finishes and exciting new beginnings!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ahh, a break

Hello again!  It's been radio silence for quite some time, perks of working for a packing and shipping store during the Christmas season. :)  We have been quite busy, as I'm sure you can imagine.  I have found time to sew a couple times this month though!  We had our potluck guild meeting on the 8th and had a gift exchange, so I made this potholder:

 I had to fight for my chair again...
He is getting entirely too comfortable.
Also, I took the time and painted my nails during a Seahawks game!  Strings of lights, next time I will go a little more simple though.  I ended up changing my nails to just the red and green tips halfway through the week, and had a ton of complements on them.  Simple is effective!
I made up some wine bottle bags to sell at the store, last year we had people asking for something similar (we are the only place in town that can ship wine besides doing so directly from the winery itself) so I figured I could pick up some pretty fabric from Joann's and whip up some bags pretty inexpensively.  We only have one left now!  I think I made a total of 10.

We put together a little gift package for my brother-in-law Joe and his daughter Eryka, and I included this jar in the hopes they will bake the cookies up together.  Or Eryka will do it with Joe's girlfriend Sarah.  Whatever, just make the cookies!  I was pleased that I was able to cut my usual chocolate chip cookie recipe in half and it fit in the quart jar without issue.  I do understand now why people put the brown sugar on top of the chocolate chips though, that flour sifted right through them hahaha!  Silly me.  Next time I will do Flour, chips, brown sugar, flour, brown sugar, white sugar.  Then I'll still have the layers but it will be more clean.  I think.

I also was able to use almost all of this last Sunday to cut up fabric for this table runner, it's a French Braid runner and the first time for me making one.  It is coming along nicely, I just hope to finish it before 1pm on Christmas (that is when I will see the intended recipient).
I have been making tumblers as a leader-ender project as suggested by Bonnie Hunter.  These are pairs laid out next to each other, it's fun to see the progress!  Of course I went with 2 1/2 inch tumblers, why would I use larger ones that might go together quickly?  I have decided I need to go through my fabric and cut 2 1/2 inch strips from each piece so I can have more variety in my pieces, I don't have a lot of scrap in general and definitely not in that size.  So I will have to create some.  And I'm fine with that, just need to make the time to do it.

I also finally sat down to see how long it would take to make this Hunter's Star quilt, and it turns out it takes ~half an hour for me to make one block.  I need more than 30, and that means at least 15 hours just to assemble the blocks for the top.  So I will not be trying to complete this for Christmas.  Probably Father's Day though.

We have had one GOOD frost this month.  Even snowed for a day!

And then we had sunshine.  It's actually sunny right now, I can feel it on the back of my neck.
The cats were so excited yesterday morning, running back and forth between the side window and the front window, and then John and I heard this thunder-like noise, and when we looked outside we saw a HUGE cloud of birds flying in our yard!  It was the first time we've been so close as to hear them flying, it was really neat.  We tossed some birdseed in the yard with the hopes that they will entertain Belle and Thomas for a while.  It's working.
I also took a few minutes this weekend to finish decorating the tree.  It always makes me so happy to bring out my ornaments, I have many old friends in my boxes.  And John and I have picked up some new ones, the black and white zig-zag one on the bottom left is from our visit to Mesa Verde in Colorado.  And our topper this year is an heirloom from my Great Grandma Schuster (the same grandma who I inherited the White from).
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, I am personally excited that I have Christmas Eve all to myself for ~8 hours to make candy and sew up a few more items before John gets home and we head to my aunt and uncle's house for the annual Lasagna Feed.  Oh, I better remember that I'm making a lasagna this year, oops!  Guess I know where I'm going after work tonight!
Merry Christmas!
This may be one of those times it's ok to let the cat out of the box...

A winner has been chosen...

Congratulations Selina at Selina Quilts!
I have been in contact with her and will be sending her prize soon.
If you have a moment, please visit her website, and share some love.  Selina has the two most adorable bulldogs, she makes some beautiful quilts, and is inspiring me to do more charity work with my art.
Thank you all for the positive response to my blog anniversary, and to my new followers, welcome!  You'll see I don't post often, but I like to put lots of pictures in my posts to make up for it!
Belle is reminding me that I need to catch back up on the Snapshots QAL, as I am now THREE blocks behind.  Yikes!
Alright everyone, let's get out there and sew, the holidays approach!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Halloween Hop 2015 and Giveaways!

*Edit: I have linked this up to in order to join the linky party.  Party on!*

Welcome!  I was SO happy to receive the email from Marian of Seams to be Sew inviting us to join in the blog hops again, I could barely contain my excitement!  Thank you Marian.  And then I saw on The Inbox Jaunt's site that Lori was the featured quilter on Quilt Shop Gal's FMQ Challenge, and that the theme was a pumpkin.  I figured it was a sign.
I spent the next two weeks practicing my doodling, and when I finally settled on a pattern I liked I sat down and made it happen.

Starting the pumpkin, I used a 40 wt Aurifil thread pack I found on sale.  I was hoping the heavier weight threat would show more, and it does a bit, I would like to experiment with others now that I've tried this one out.
Loving the checkerboard!  Also, rather proud of my feathers :)
I took this photo before adding the back flaps to make a pillow sham, I figured it would be a good idea to get a picture of it flat, and it seems to show off the quilting very nicely!
I wanted to make the pumpkin fall-ish so I added oak leaves and acorns, as well as the wheat stalks below
It is currently supporting me as I write this post, good pillow!  I backed it with some flannel, so when it gets snuggled it will be cozy.
So then, there I was, minding my own business, when suddenly:
*cue creepy music*
Arrrgh!  An infestation!
They were everywhere!  So I threatened them with my rotary cutter, no one messes with the rotary cutter...
*By the way, I NEVER leave my cutter open, I opened it specifically for this photo, making sure the cats were elsewhere, and closed it immediately when I was done.  Safety always.*
I saw these spiders on a Google search I did last year and just had to make some.  I got the suckers at the Dollar Store, there were 9 in the bag, and that was enough.  Spent a couple dollars on pipe cleaners, made the eyes with my hole punch and a marker.  I love low cost crafts, and this would be such fun to do with kids!  Although, I could see my family sitting down and doing this too, and everyone is over 18... hahaha!
Lastly, I woke up yesterday morning with this idea stuck in my head and it dogged me until I finally just made it.
This is a mug rug, and the first I've actually finished I believe.  Also the first time I have made a rail fence.  The idea was that the gray part represents lightning bolts, and the bat is flying through a dark and stormy night.  I was inspired to do the mini dresden bat after hearing Susan Marth on Pat Sloan's podcast.
A wonderful lady in my guild gave me a Halloween kit that had this fabric in it, and it's so much fun.  You can see I outlined the "lighting bolts" for the quilting.  As it's only 6.5" x 6.5" I didn't figure it needed all that much.  Also, I used 2 layers of Insul-Bright for the batting, so it can function as a hotpad as well.

The Halloween hops signal my blog anniversary, so that's kinda fun too.  This is my third Halloween hop, so that means I'm entering my third year of blogging and 4th year of quilting.  Hmmmm, doesn't that mean TIME FOR A GIVEAWAY?!  Of course it does.
Follow the link below to enter my blog anniversary giveaway.  I'll be sending one lucky winner a homemade bag with some goodies in it!
My giveaway will be open until next Monday, November 2nd, and a winner will be chosen soon after.
It is open to US Residents only (sorry, international shipping is rough these days).

Thank you so much for stopping by, be sure to visit everyone else and see what amazing ideas they've come up with!

Follow the link below to enter into today's $25 Fat Quarter Shop giveaway:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dog Gone Cute-my day!

First of all, thank you to Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for inviting us to join in this blog hop and play with her pattern, I am so happy to be a part of it all.  If you follow the link to her blog you will find more information about the hop and see all the other great ideas that she has out there.

I am very excited to share my Dog Gone Cute wall hanging with you today.
I knew when I started that I would need to keep it fairly small so I could fit it in my work schedule.  During my time of indecision regarding what I should create, I received an email from the Blue Mountain Humane Society, which talked about a fundraiser they are hosting next week called the Fall Furr Ball, and that they were accepting donations for their auction.  I thought, heck yes!  This couldn't be more perfect.
So I stopped into the humane society and spoke with the lovely Jenna about possibly donating a wall hanging, and boy howdy, that was the most excited I've ever had someone be about a quilt.  It's kinda infectious and makes me want to get that reaction more often!  She gave me a deadline, and nothing makes me work as hard as a quilting deadline.
I am one of those people who makes one block to get the idea of the pattern, then goes on to the others.  So far my system has been working for me, we'll see how it develops as time goes by. :)  I was able to cut out and sew together my blocks in two evenings, then did the rest on the weekend.

I decided my dogs would be all ears up and perky, representing the hopeful adoptees at the humane society, and I put them in a grassy field.  One of my dogs ended up with more spots than was planned for after I discovered I had sewn a triangle on the wrong upper left hand corner... so I improvised!
Quilting on the Bernina as usual, and probably later at night than I should have been.

I had to make one of the Schwin & Schwin Hipster cats after seeing the one on Baa's blog during the Pets on Quilts show.  He's aspiring to be a mini-quilt one day.

And here we are!  This is four small blocks, in case anyone is wondering.
I used 1/2 inch poly batting and it gave me wonderful definition around the dogs heads.

I have made a couple labels in this fashion lately, I have fusible web on the back of my white fabric that I then fuse to the back of the quilt.  I've only done it on wall hangings, so am not concerned about them coming off any time soon.
Finishing this quilt was immensely satisfying, especially when I dropped it off at the humane society.  I've never heard so many squeals!  The girls were very impressed, and I'm thinking I may need to make one that they can hang in their office.  I am just so happy to be contributing to a good cause, and I hope it brings in some funds.
Belle says it's time to finish that cat one...
Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope you're finding all the projects inspiring, I sure am!
Here are today's and next Tuesday's blogs:
Thursday, October 8
Nina of Inchworming
Brandy of Pampered Pettit

Tuesday, October 13
Laurel of Quilts by Laurel

Monday, October 5, 2015

Dog Gone Cute Full Schedule

Pretty exciting stuff, this blog hop starts tomorrow, and my day is this Thursday!  I hope you'll come visit us all, I can't wait to see what people's color choices are.
Tuesday, October 6
Karen of Run Sew Fun
Anja of Anja Quilts
Kelly of Quilting it Out

Thursday, October 8
Nina of Inchworming
Brandy of Pampered Pettit

Tuesday, October 13
Laurel of Quilts by Laurel

Thursday, October 15
Rachel of Quiltineering
Julie of Mack and Mable

Tuesday, October 20
Cathy of A Quilting Chick
Selina of Selina Quilts
Shauna of Shauna’s World
Kathy of Kayak Quilting

Thursday, October 22
Britt-Inger of Hill Valley Quilter
Judy of How ART You?
Louisa of Sewmotion

Tuesday, October 27
Stephanie of Jak and Will
Cristina of Pretty Little Quilts

Thursday, October 29
Abigail of Cut & Alter
Magdalena of iloveneutrals
Susie of Susie's Sunroom