buriedinscraps

Decide what to be and go be it.

Archive for the category “Sewing”

One more down!

Last year, my husband and I took a trip to Shipshewanna where I purchased this church window.  I liked the shape of it and I could see an old quilt behind it.

open_window I took it home and put it away for another day.  It was a good idea when we bought it but then I had to actually do something with it.  I’m not one to cut up old quilts…even if I had one.  So, I knew I would have to make something.  There it goes….up on the Later Tater pile!

Then I fell in love with hexies.  So I began to make hexies.  What to do with the hexies I was making?  The church window came to mind so I stitched enough hexies to fit behind the window.  I stitched all the way to Florida and back.  A long as I was stitching with the window in mind, my husband stopped asking me when I was going to do something with it.

hexiesThey were finally pieced.   I knew they needed to be quilted.  This was a perfect opportunity to practice free motion quilting.  It was a nice, big piece, it had a purpose and it would hang above the front door so no one would ever be close enough to see mistakes!  Win-win!

I quilted on this piece for about three hours and when it was done, I thought it looked pretty darn good!

quitingAs soon as the quilting was done, I wanted to staple it to the back of the window.  My sweet husband gave me the staple gun.  I actually thought he would staple it for me.  Ha! Who was I kidding!  He sat in the recliner and offered direction.  I was tempted to use the staple gun on his lips but thought better of it.

windowNow it’s finished…  At least my part is finished.  It’s up to him to figure out how to hang it on the wall.  Let’s see how long it takes him….

 

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Baa, baa black sheep…

…have you any wool?

Any wool appliquers out there?

I decided I needed something to do with my hands while watching my beloved White Sox circle the drain on a daily basis.  Something to keep me away from all the sharp objects in the kitchen.  I decided on this pattern:

patternThe fact that I’ve really never done much applique didn’t deter me.  So, I’ve been collecting wool for this project.  WOW! Not an inexpensive venture!

basketThis is my first really big jump into wool applique.  I love this pattern but the directions are rather vague.   I’m assuming (yeah, I know…bad idea!) that I would proceed like any other applique project—block by block.  Should I stabilize the back?  Would that make it harder to embroider later on?  Floss or perle cotton?

So many questions!  Does anyone have any tips for this woolen rookie?

Yikes!  Hang on to your hats!  Another adventure!

I love a new beginning….

I love starting new projects.  I just have trouble finishing them.  When I go into my sewing room, I always intend to work on finishing something.  But then I get like that cat that sees a sun ray on the floor…bat, bat, batting at it.  So easily distracted.  Oh, don’ t those fabrics look good together.  What can I do with them?   And I’m off and running with a new shiny thing.

I know that I can never have the discipline to finish one thing before I start another.  I just have too much churning around in my brain and everyday I have less and less time and I just have to see how this might look.  The birth of a new project.  But I firmly believe it’s the birth of a new project that keeps my mind fresh.

Yesterday I saw that I had too many projects in various states of completion.  Something had to give.  And I know I can’t stop myself from starting something new.  I’m sweating just thinking about it!  I have convinced myself to finish one project every month.  So here is my Completion #1–my inner hippie quilt that I believe I’ll call Peace Out, Man.

quiltIn this post, I told you why I stepped out of my box and made this.   I finished the piecing and applique and hit the brick wall I always hit–how to quilt it.  Free motion quilting and I are not best buddies.  We try to be and we’re cordial but we aren’t friends.  I suppose it’s because I haven’t taken the time to really get to know him.  (It must be him because he’s so aggravating! 🙂 )  I love to piece but don’t really like to actually quilt.  So, I delay the inevitable until the very last possible minute.  I’m told the key to FMQ is practice, practice, practice.  But since I set aside completed tops in hopes that the quilting fairy comes in and quilts them at night while I’m sleeping (she doesn’t), I don’t practice much.  Each time I decide to FMQ, I’m starting over.  So, on this quit I decided to practice feathers…once again.  I have not given up on feathers!  I feel like the details and stippling in the center of the quilt look pretty good.

close_upI saw the improvement from first feathers to last.   Not my best work, but at least they look like feathers!

feathersThere’s hope for me after all!  But, most importantly, one down and who knows how many to go!

My last post was buried in the reader so I’ll ask this again.

threadSee the pretty notch?  When I’m FMQ-ing, the thread sometimes gets caught in there.  Usually it’s when I’m on a good roll.  I wish thread companies would do away with them.  But until they do, are there any remedies out there?

I feel crummy today…

My sister started it.  She started making crumb blocks.  And, like the lemming I am, I jumped right in after her.  I’ll admit that I was resistant at first.  Why would I want to sew little scraps together all willy-nilly?  I’m a symmetrical person fo cryin’ out loud!  I love need balance.  (my nine-year old grandson asked me Saturday if I knew what symmetry was.  Unfortunately, at times, I know all too well!)  So, the thought of grabbing a couple of scrap pieces out of a basket and making them fit gave me fits.  And what if one of the scraps was, say, a Christmas fabric…in a non-holiday themed quilt.  My quilting OCD wouldn’t let me do that.  Oh dear!  I told myself this would drive me batty(er) and I don’t need the stress.

And my sister kept talking about her crumb blocks.  How much fun they were.  How cool they were. How many quilt tops she made.  I tried to resist.  I really did.  But resistance was futile.  I jumped in.  At first I just sewed them as leaders and enders.  A snippet here….a square there.  A strip along the Flying Geese that didn’t fly right.  Uh oh….this was fun!

So I started to look forward to the crumb blocks more than the project blocks.  And then…(dramatic pause)…I put the project away and made crumb blocks.  Not a million, but quite a few.  I found myself going through my large scrap baskets and cutting smaller pieces and locating all of those orphan half square triangles.

crumb_pileI think this is what we all need at times…some mindless sewing.  The kind that’s very forgiving.  The kind that doesn’t count mistakes.  The kind where mistakes like my wonky Flying Geese can find a home.  We all need crumb blocks.

blocksWant to see how to make them?  Click here to visit Bonnie Hunter’s blog.

Let me introduce you….

….to my new grandson, Danny O’Day.  Isn’t he cute?  Yeah, I know….

dannyAs much as my grandson, MarioFan loves Mario, he loves ventriloquism more.  I’m not sure where this comes from…we never dropped him on his head.  Maybe from the other side of his family. 😉  Anyway, all he wanted for Christmas was a ventriloquist dummy…with an upgrade.  I have no idea what that upgrade was, but I guess Santa did because this was under the tree.  We’ve been tortured lucky enough to have seen several shows and now he’s taking his show on the road..to the other grandma’s house.

His dad decided that Danny needed a travel upgrade also.  Instead of traveling in a grocery bag, my son (Would that make him Danny’s grandfather?)  thought Danny needed a case.  He searched for directions to make one to no avail.  Buying one would be very expensive.  So, who’s the dummy?  The one inside the case or the one buying it?  He settled on a suitcase he bought at the thrift shop.  It was in great shape…but it was moss green.  So, he spray painted it black.  Next issue was how to secure Danny in the case…don’t want my newest grandson to be injured!  Here’s where I come in.  I made pillows for either side and one for his sweet, plastic head.  Then I stapled some Velcro to the ribbon straps inside so they could be pulled tight across his body.  All that’s left to do is to make some travel stickers for the case and we’ll be cookin’ with gas!

caseThat is the extent of my sewing lately.

As for any other sewing, still in a bit of a funk.  I did pull some fabrics for a New York Beauty block but that’s as far as I got.  I keep looking at them.  And with my best Scarlett O’Hara voice, I say “I won’t think about that today.  I’ll think about that tomorrow.”  Sometimes I love how Scarlett thinks!

Look here!!

Look what I got for $6 a bag!!

fabricLast week I saw a post at Inspired by Antique Quilts about scrap bags.  I had to check it out.  I couldn’t get to the site fast enough!  The last thing I need is more fabric, right?  Don’t judge me…you know you do the same thing! 🙂  But I’m a sucker for scrap bags.  I love the mystery.  Crazy, huh?  I feel like a kid when I open them up…Whadyaget? Whadyaget?  These are particularly wonderful because I could choose repro fabrics as opposed to an eclectic mix that I probably wouldn’t use.  Opening the bag and seeing all the little snippets of textile joy brought a smile to  my face.  Big pieces, little pieces, strips and squares all waiting for a spot in some wonderful quilt!  (Of course, knowing me, they have a little bit of a wait.  Maybe they have brought their knitting!)  I take them all out and fold and refold them and envision them in projects.  (I’ve already designated a few for my MarioFan’s quilt.)  And what trip to a quilt shop (online or brick and mortar) would be complete without a trip to the clearance area.  Many a backing is found here!  And I didn’t disappoint.  Found a few things I liked there also!  If you love scrap bags as much as I do, click over to Homestead Hearth and have a look.

Oh yeah!  And look what I found on my porch Friday!

canonAnother learning curve!!!

Alas Zippy…we knew you well.

This is all that remains of the second incarnation of Zippy the Monkey.

zippyYeah, I know…he scares me, too!  Zippy belongs to my boss (Hi, Beth!) who has had him for 59 years.  Over those 59 years, he’s lost an ear and a nose and a hand.  Apparently, as a child, whenever she was upset with her mother, she would chew on Zippy.  I suppose it was cheaper than therapy!  Zippy appeared on my desk last week.  In a moment of weakness or insanity, I said I would try to fix him.  I promise you that I do not partake of the grape before leaving for work…although it’s the only real reason I can think of for the offer. 🙂  So, I’m looking at poor, little Zippy and trying to figure out where to start.  Perhaps a match? 😉

origina;For those of you, who are too young to remember Zippy, this is what he should look like!  We’ll see what we end up with!

nybAnd for my friend and partner in crime, here’s the latest of my New York Beauty blocks.  I only have four completed and many more to go.  But now, with the holidays behind me, I can get back to my machine.  Oh how I wish I could train my husband to remove the paper from the back.  Suppose I could get someone who needs community service?

I’ve been working on the quilt for MarioFan.  I’m really enjoying this one.  I believe I need twenty blocks and I have four finished.  They go together nicely.  After the Grandma nightmare, it’s refreshing to enjoy piecing once again!  Now to get back to free motion quilting.  I’m afraid you’ve all left me in the dust!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Yes, it’s that time again; where we look back and reflect on the good times as well as play woulda, coulda, shoulda.  Then we make our resolutions only to have them become a far away memory by February.  I don’t know about you but I’ve long since given up on New Year’s resolutions.  Who needs the pressure! 🙂 By the end of January I was beating myself up because I hadn’t done enough to change the world.  So I haven’t made one for many years.

But there’s something about this year that’s making me want to make a “strong suggestion” to myself this year.  You get to that point where you realize you have a whole lot more years behind you than you have in front of you.  And I want to spend those years healthier than I am now.  I have no real health issues and I want to keep it that way!  This is the year that I hope to lose those crummy 15 pounds I’ve been playing with the past few years, eat a healthier diet (bye-bye processed food…except wine :-)) and maybe actually exercise!   OMG…I said the “E” word!  I’m also looking into yoga.  Not promising anything.  Not “resolving” anything.  Just strongly suggesting to myself that this is the year I  take control of me.  Those in my house can come along for the ride if they dare!

We saw the movie “Lincoln” last night (short review–great movie..go see it!) and at one point toward the end, Abe turns to his wife and says “We need to try to be happier.”  And that will be my mantra this year…I need to try to be happier.  I’m not terribly unhappy, but I could be happier.  And it’s my goal to do just that!  Fortunately, quilting makes me happy!

I’ve been working on a quilt for MiniQuilter for over two years.  Took me forever because it was hand-embroidered.  The top is finally put together and it’s awaiting quilting.

basket_blockShe loves the 30s fabrics and this quilt pattern was perfect for them.  I was originally going to send the quilt out to be quilted, but I think Grandma should quilt it.  So that is my goal.  And I DO resolve to finish this quilt!

basket_quiltI can’t give her this quilt until I make one for her brother.  (Good thing I only have two grandchildren!)  I’ve been looking for a pattern for a quilt for MarioFan without much luck.  I was in the grocery store with my husband and thumbed through McCall’s American Loves Scrap Quilts and there it was! Paper Chain!

paper_chainI think it’s a perfect pattern for a boy’s quilt.  The picture of the finished quilt is a page from the magazine and the block is my test block.  It went together really well and pretty quickly.  I’m thinking I want to make it basically in blues and browns with a little bit of green and/or red.  I’m kind of excited!  The new year needs a new project!  And I resolve to finish this one also!

chain_blockWhat are your quilting resolutions….or “strong suggestions”?

Funny….

Funny how life always gets in the way of the best laid plans!

When last you saw me, I was going into the sewing palace to make Barbie clothes and wasn’t coming out until they were finished…or until tempted with a bottle of wine.  Neither happened.  OK…well maybe I gave in to the siren song of a bottle glass of Merlot.  Barbie’s wardrobe was just as frustrating as I feared…little seams and little stitches.   Forget the little snaps.  It was velcro all the way! (I think I could have sewn a wardrobe for myself faster and easier.)  Anyone who thinks making “little” things should be quick and easy because they’re little has never obviously made little things.  I used the Barbie that lives at my house for a model.  For a skinny chick I sure had trouble getting her jeans over her hips…just like some of us not-so-skinny chicks!  Apparently she has a rubbery and the fabric stuck to it.  (Insert joke here.)  And to make it worse, she has a funky arm.  This particular Barbie is a baker and her arm is designed to fit around a mixing bowl.  Grandma didn’t check that out when she bought Barbie.  Of course, Grandma is from the era when Barbie was just Barbie–not astronaut Barbie or baker Barbie or deep-sea diver Barbie.  Needless to say, MiniQuiter is getting a different Barbie for Christmas….one with normal arms.  I remember making Barbie clothes in the past that fit much better.  Someone has changed the patterns!  I mean, seriously, these patterns are made to fit one “person”…Barbie.  It’s not like you need to make adjustments for  different figures.  Seriously McCall’s and Simplicity…she has one figure.  And a not so realistic one at that, but we won’t even go there!

barbieSo, most of the sewing is done.  (I’m hoping to finish one more dress for Ms. Barbie.) Most of the gifts are wrapped, cookies are baked, cards are sent.  One thing left to do….wish all of my blogging buddies a merry Christmas and best wishes for the upcoming year.  May we finish our current UFOs and replace them new ones.  And may we find the time to do just that.  (Darn Barbara Brackman is planning a block of the month for the upcoming year.)

ornament2

Merry Christmas!

See you in 2013!

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