"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly. "One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."

-Hans Christian Andersen

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Piecing Like Crazy

I'm determined to stick with the jelly roll quilt-a-long even though I've been very much distracted by my weaving projects (if you want to see these distractions, look here) I had only two blocks pieced so I had to play "catch up".  They're on block number 8 and I'm happy to report, so am I. (blocks 1 thru 8 will be uploaded to jelly roll sampler flickr group)

The quilt-a-long ends in August and that's when the fun really begins -- choosing a quilting pattern.  I'm so indecisive when it comes to choosing the quilting design...Do I stipple?  Do I stitch in the ditch?  Do I free motion?  Do I package it up and send it to the Long Arm Quilter?  Lately, it's been the latter (which reminds me, I never posted a pic of the last quilt that I picked up, I'll show that one next post).  I was doing a bit of shopping at my favorite quilt shop last week and overheard that there's a five month wait time for quilts right now.  That really doesn't bother me because the last block comes out in August and by then I'll be well into my autumn sewing, so I wouldn't get around to quilting it any time soon.  Does it sound like I've made a decision to send it to the quilters?

Do you realize that July is just around the corner?  I love Christmas in July sewing.  I've already planned my projects.  I'm planning to have a new toy to help me with my fabric cutting...The Accuquilt Go.  A while back I had given it a cursory glance, never really looked into how it would aid my quilting.  The other day I took a good look at it, checked out a few quilter's blogs to read about their experience with it; talked through it's pros and cons with a dear friend.  What sold me is its ability to cut multliple layers for piecing or applique accurately and fast.  I do a fair bit of spinning and weaving which eats up a lot of time leaving my quilting projects pushed to the side so anything that will help me to get things cut out easier and faster makes me happy.  I'm already familiar with the accuquilt concept but using paper not fabric (I have a cricut cutter and a sizzix die cutter) so the learning curve will not be an issue.  What I don't like about the system is the price.  Needless-to-say, I'll be looking out for sales.  I'm planning to purchase the accuquilt this weekend so if you have one and would like to share your experiences with me I'd appreciate it.

Lastly, I've been having so much fun making potholders. What started it was a potholder swap that I participated in.  I made these...

Then I wanted a set for myself...I have three more sets of potholders waiting for the binding to be stitched, I'll upload them in my next post so please stop by again, I really appreciate your visits.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Market Bag Update

My intentions were to make a practical and functional market bag (see previous post).  I guess I got a little carried away while sewing.  My market bag looks more like a fashion tote. 

I find I do this a lot, keep pushing the limits of a design that is.  There is a saying that spinners have when it comes to planning projects and spinning raw fiber into yarn ..."I need to see what this yarn wants to be."  I'm a spinner, and I've made that statement often enough but now I seem to have carried it over to my sewing..."I needed to see what the fabric wanted to be."  It seems the fabric wanted to be a fashion tote and not a market bag.  So here's what I did:  I added piping to the seams, I added a button tab closure, I added a covered button, and (on the inside) I added a fabric covered removable insert to keep the bottom squared to enable the bag to sit flat.  I also repositioned the straps to accomodate the piped seams.  This little bag will still go to market but it will not be handed over to the cashier for groceries, it will stay by my side to hold a variety of  my little necessities such as, my cell phone, my wallet, a bottle of water, etc., etc.  All in all, I am very pleased with what I'm calling my "Capri Bag".  I named it such because I have a pair of blue and a pair of pale yellow capris that will look great with it (and some cute little sandals of course).  The only problem is, I still need/want a market bag :-)

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great weekend...Happy Easter.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jelly Roll Quilt-a-long Block1

I was a little concerned as to how this block would come together; this is a first for me, using so many of the strips in one jelly roll to create the block.  I have to say though, I like the way it turned out, I enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to block number 2.  Quite frankly, I wouldn't mind having my entire quilt made up of this layout :-)     (Edited:  I just checked the quilt-a-long site and block 2 is up...I think this one will be easier to layout than the first.)

This week, I'm planning to stitch up one of these--

The weather is warming up and I love to have plenty of (pretty little) bags to throw all of my stuff in.  This pattern is one of Alicia Paulson's  designs.  Do you take your own bags to the market?  I do.  Although, this bag might be to pretty for groceries...I love the way she has flowers inside that mimick the fabric print, talk about attention to details, I love it!

Have a great week.  Thanks so much for visiting and please do leave a comment if you have time.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Delicate but Strong

That's how I should describe my hand-worked embroideries.  When I give a gift that contains embroidery that I've worked by hand,  I always remind the recipient of the delicate nature of the embroidery and suggest the item be hand washed.  Something happened last week to make me think that maybe only half of that statement is necessary.

I've been working on a bow and flower design off and on over the past few months.  It's one of those projects that I'm really not sure what the finished piece will be but I like the design so I pick it up and work on it in between other projects. The project is worked on a piece of pale blue kona cotton that just so happens to look a lot like a set of pale blue cotton pillow cases that I have.  Those pillow cases were thrown into the regular wash cycle last week, and by mistake, so was my project.  Just to put this into perspective for you, I don't have a front loader, my machine has an agitator. To further add insult to injury, when the wash was done, hubby placed all the items into the dryer.  I didn't even realized the project was part of the load until I took the clothes out of the dryer.  Here's what it looked like when I retrieved it.

I was so surprised that it held up through all of that abuse.  This incident left me with the impression that my stitching may not be as fragile as I thought.  The lazy daisies were still lazy and the french knots were still knotted.  Quite frankly it was the french knots that I was most suprised by because I thought they would be the most vunerable of all the stitches on this piece; they're so small and there are so many of them.
The piece still needs some work but I'll be more careful about where I lay it down in the future.  I don't think it would fare as well if it had to make a second trip through the wash and dry cycles.

The jelly roll quilt-a-long started on March 1st.  I just received my jelly roll so hopefully I can get my block cut and pieced this week.  I chose Moda's Nature's Notebook (April Cornell).

I think this is so pretty.  I seem to be choosing yellows and blues more and more these days.  I think it's my way of helping Spring along.

What's new in the shop?  I finally finished the little whimsical tea cozy that I mentioned in a previous post.

I really like the way it turned out.  I stipple quilted and washed it (intentionally) to give it that nice, soft, old-fashioned quilt look.  The polka dots are a nice break from flowers all the time but yet it still has a "cottage" feel.

Hope you had a great weekend.  Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bespoke Blooms BOM

I know I'm not alone when I say "I have sooooo many projects" but yet, there's always room for one more, that's what I keep telling myself.  When I saw a picture of Robyn Pandolph's Bespoke Blooms quilt at the fat quarter shop I couldn't resist joining this block-of-the-month club.  I wouldn't feel so alone in this had I joined back in October when the BOM started. Then I would have been taking this on along with everyone else who fell in love with this design.  I joined mid-January, which means I received every block from October to the current February block, oh my!  There's another reason why I feel so alone in this, I cannot seem to find anyone or any group of people working on this quilt...I know they're out there but they're probably current with their blocks and are working on other projects by now.  So here's my approach to try to keep from being so overwhelmed.  I decided to work on February's block, complete it, and start working on January's block until March's block arrives.  Essentially, I'll work on one of the previous four blocks only after I've completed the current block.  The blocks are mailed out on the 3rd of each month and I'm only half-way done with block #5 and February is quickly winding down; looks like it'll be a while before I get to January's block.  Here's what February's block should look like when completed--

If all goes well, I should be able to show a picture of my finished block very soon.

Thanks for stopping by and may all your projects be up-to-date :-)


Monday, February 22, 2010

A Quilt Top Finish

This one is ready to be taken to the long-arm quilter...

I've attempted to re-adjust my current projects in order to try and fit in the time to do the quilting on this one myself, but I cannot seem to work it out.  So, off we go to the long-arm quilter so that she can work her magic on my little spring-time throw.  I love the "cheeryness" of this little quilt top.  The pattern is Bunny Hill Designs "Simply Cottage".  I decided not to include the prairie points on the quilt but I think I will put them on the pillow cases, that is if I ever get around to making them.  My projects seem to multiplying all on their own.  I think it's because at the begining of the year I re-organized my sewing area.  Needless-to-say, in that effort, I came accross charts and patterns that I'd completely forgotten about but all of a sudden I had to have.  As a result, new projects were born.  I'll be busy stitching for a long while but that's a good thing, right?

What's new in my new shop?  Well, I'm still adding tea cozies.  I love making them and I use them all the time.  I bring them out with the change of seasons.  The latest one is a blue and white cozy...

I love blue and white linens; the colour combination transitions nicely from spring into summer.  The cozy I'm working on now is a bit of a departure from my usual style, it's a whimsical cozy that's bright, colourful, and has an interesting seam treatment.  I still think it fits nicely into the cottage style though.

Thanks for stopping by.  I appreciate your visit.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A New Blog!

Welcome to my new blog, I'm so glad you stopped by for a visit and I hope that you will return often to see what I'm up to.  I will be uploading some of my latest projects over the next couple of days so please bookmark me and please leave comments when you visit so that I can visit your blog and see some of the wonderful things you're creating.
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