Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Friend/New Shop

My morning started with my annual mammogram.  Arghhh!
But my afternoon was wonderful. I drove to The Round Bobbin with my friend Linda to meet a new friend that I met on-line.  Now I know that sounds kind of creepy, but here's the story.

Back on September 6th, the theme of my Wednesday's Wanderings was my birthday.  Since I love cake, I made myself this whimsical cake.

I made one for my WW and one to give away on  to celebrate. 
 Judi won the giveaway and I was so happy that she did. 
 She told me that it would be wonderful to win and it would cheer her up
because she lost her son on 9/11. 
 So I was so thrilled when she was chosen using a random number generator, but here's the rub.
I couldn't get in touch with her because she was a NO REPLY COMMENT BLOGGER!!!
I then pinned the piece to my design wall to enjoy myself. 

Then a few weeks ago Judi's name surfaced as she left a comment on one of the computer lists to which I subscribe., and it said Judi from PA.  Hey, I'm from PA! I e-mailed Judi and it turns out she lives not far from me. I was so excited and knew I had to get this piece to her.
What's better then to meet a new friend at a new quilt shop that is located halfway between us.

That's the story behind my meeting a stranger that I connected with on the internet.
Now that stranger is my friend.  We have so much in common and couldn't stop talking.

Some projects from Sew Embellished!

A wall of fabric!

On the far wall are bolts of batiks.

View when you enter

This section of the store is all about wool with lots of patterns by Gretchen Gibbons.
If you like her book, Pennies From Heaven, you would have a field day here.

One of her wool projects that is available as a kit.
Yay for quilting and beautiful fabric and new friends.
Nothing could be better - especially after a mammogram.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday's Wanderings #50 - There's No Place Like Home

This was definitely a stay at home week.
  I think this is what happens to me after all the excitement and hub bub of Thanksgiving.
Company leaves and the house is quiet.

It was a perfect week to stay inside.  The temperatures dropped and it was pretty cold.
You think I would have gotten a lot of sewing done. But I didn't. I took care of all the things I have neglected.  Each day I made a "to do" list that included phone calls, errands, Dr's appointments and even cleaning my closet.  Oh boy do I have lots of clothes to donate. 

So why did my lists not include sewing? Avoidance.
I am starting a new project - a big project- and I am just afraid to start. 
Sometimes this fear is paralyzing.
The root of the fear is the one nagging question that just sits at the back of my brain.
What if it doesn't turn out the way I envision it?

 I know the answer to that question.  I will adapt and adjust and my original idea may morph into something else or it may get shelved until I come up with a solution.  But I still would prefer to clean my closet than work in my studio.  Who knew?
Does this happen to anyone else?

But I have taken the time to make my block for this week.  There's no place like home. 
I know I say this over and over, but I love blanket stitching around fusible applique.  To me it is calming and I enjoy experimenting with different types and colors of threads.  Sometimes I match my thread to the applique and other times I use a contrasting thread. 

I free cut all of the fusible applique to add to the whimsy.  And I really enjoyed using sequins to make the tree look like it was made of polka dots.

I chose to cross stitch HOME at the bottom. I wanted this to bring a homieness to the block. The X's are not perfect. I drew them by hand with a chalk pencil. The remnants of the chalk is visible but after the block is handled a bunch the chalk will wear off..  To me it adds to the folk part of the art. But what a nice contrast between the vintage lettering and the bling of sequins. 

What a nice place to be.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Big Book Sale

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day
and that you aren't still in those stretchy waistband pants!reat suggerstions and a name
I loved everyone's suggestions for names for my new cutter.  I was standing in the kitchen yesterday telling my husband about all of the great names, when it hit me:
BUSTER! as in stashbuster!
On another note,
Martingale emailed me about their Black Friday sale
and they wanted me to share it with all of you.
It starts today.
Click HERE for the link.
Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday's Wanderings #48 My New Toy & #49 WHEW!

Today I am posting 2 WWs since I am behind one.  This will bring me up to date with 5 more to go.  I chose to make 54 blocks, even though I committed to weekly or 52, but 52 isn't divisible by much.  So I chose to make 54, so I can make my 2012 wall hanging with a configuration of 9 across and 6 down. It's hard to believe that I have made 49 blocks already. Time does fly.

The block this week is about MY NEW TOY!!
It's hard to tell from the block, but it is supposed depict a bunch of 2 1/12" strips. 
And the significance?

A couple of weeks ago I went to my friend Betty's house.  I actually invited myself. I wanted to try one of the Accuquilt cutters.  She has the Studio model, which is the Papa bear of the trio.  If you follow my blog, you know that I am a  blue and white fabric lover.  I have so much of it that I keep the smaller pieces in a clear garbage bag. 

I brought this bag to Betty's house.  In 2 hours, including us talking, all of that fabric was cut up!

Most of it into 2 1/2" strips

A bit of it into half square triangles

and another bit of it into pieces that when sewn together makes a 5" block.

In less than 2 hours!!
My husband wants to know how many quilts it will make.  I don't know!
But I will pack it all to bring to Key West with me.  I think it will keep me busy for a while. 
 There are a lot of quilts that can be made with 2 1/2" strips :)

 I had a very busy  and productive year and worked very hard, so I decided to treat myself to my own Studio Cutter.  I gave up my desk, that is really only home to piles of papers.

I have not registered it yet, because they want you to name it.
Any ideas?

So I made my WW with scrap strips. 
I ironed a piece of freezer paper to the back of the fabric to stabilize it.

 I wrote on it with these markers.  The marker didn't bleed at all, but check out the label - washable. 

To keep the strips in place, I put a piece of white tuille on top of everything and quilted a grid.

My second block was based on my visit to court a few weeks ago.

I really wasn't arrested.  I went to court because of a traffic accident that I was involved in.
I was very nervous that I would have to talk to the judge.
It turns out all I had to do was say "yes".

But my DH and I joked about how I would look in an orange jumpsuit.

I asked him to bring me a coconut cake without a file.

It turns out everything was fine and I am off the hook.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Can you help?

Sandy Quilt Block Drive
Click HERE.
Quilters making blocks are being assigned to quilters willing to turn those blocks into quilts to create a bunch of quilts for the New Yorkers affected by Superstorm Sandy. 
 I love that saying "Many hands make light work".
These are my blocks that I sent out yesterday.
 They were really fun to make. You can find directions for the wonky log cabins
 if you click on this link.
Make some.  Feel good. Help others.  It doesn't take long.
And remember the postcards that I made for
The Quilt Festival Pet Project Fundraiser for Friends For Life and their no kill animal shelter?
(I loved making these postcards, which made it so hard to give them away.)
 They were hoping to receive 500 postcards to raise $10,000.  They received around 900.  They were constantly busy at the International Quilt Festival in Houston and with some monetary donations
they raised over $20,000.  Woo Hoo!
You can read all about it at Pokey's Ponderings.
Go Quilters!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday"s Wanderings #47 - Frosty Flakes

"Frosty Flakes"
That's the name of my pattern in the December issue of The Quilt Life.

This is the best issue ever.  I know I am a bit biased.  Really more than a bit.  LOL
Ask for the magazine at your local quilt shop.
This is my picture in the section with the contributors' bios.  Yay for Bailey.

They are also doing a giveaway of my book, Sew Embellished!

Here's the project:

It measures 34"W x 47"H .

I couched a 12 wt metallic thread to create the wintery background. 
 My favorite thread for this technique is from Wonderfil
 I couch with a layer of batting so that I quilt the block
at the same time as I am couching the thread.

This is my "naked" snowflake with the couched background
 for this week's Wednesday's Wandering block:
 It measures 6 1/2" x 8 1/2"

The article includes directions for creating your own unique snowflakes out of felted wool.

Here it is embellished.

The fabric I used for the project in The Quilt Life was designed by Karen Combs for Troy Corp.
They were kind enough to send me samples of some of their Midnight Blue collection to use for the project in the magazine.  From the moment I saw it I knew it would be perfect
 (and I am very partial to blue and white.)

So I thought I would share my joy and good fortune.
I will send the winner a copy of
*The Quilt Life
*10 Fat Quarters
* 3 yds of iridescent rick rack
all to one of my faithful (or new) readers

To be eligible to win this great stuff you must leave a comment and let me know that you are a Follower.  If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail from me, it means that you are a No Reply Comment Blogger.  This means I cannot contact you if you win, because there is no e-mail address.
Please, please, check the logo on the right side bar of my blog.  

The winner will be chosen this Sunday and will be posted here.
Congratulations to Barbara Sarnofsky, the winner.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Look What You Can Make From 1 Yard of Polar Fleece

Did you know that polar fleece is made from recycled soda bottles?
Did you know that you don't
 have to finish the edges because polar fleece doesn't fray?
Have you seen all of the bright and fun prints?
I am sharing my method/pattern for making polar fleece hats, scarves and neck warmers en masse. 
Whether you choose to make these as gifts for your friends and family or use this tutorial to make them for the needy, you'll find this a quick and fun method.
 I designed this a few years ago for my quilt guild's community outreach
to make the hat/scarf sets to distribute to the local homeless shelters.
 It is also a wonderful kids sewing project and a wonderful charity sewing project. 
You can end up with 2 hats, 2 scarves and 2 neck warmers from 1 yard of polar fleece. 
You don't need a sewing machine to make the scarves or neck warmers. 
Only a few seams are needed to make the hats.
I have led workshops with kids as young as 10.
 In an afternoon, you can end up with lots and lots of hats and scarves.
I bought a one yard cut of this polka dot polar fleece from Joann's,
 and using a coupon, it cost me less than $5.00.
Yes, $5.00 to make all of those accessories.
Polar fleece is 60" wide.
 I do love this 30" plus ruler that I bought at a quilt show for cutting it.

With it folded in half, selvages together, cut 2 - 9 inch strips, a 13" strip and
straighten the edge of the remaining strip which should measure about 5".
 The 9" wide strips are for the scarves.
Trim off the bulky selvages.
 With the strip folded in half,
cut the fringes about 1/2" wide apart with a sharp pair of scissors.
I don't measure.  I just approximate.
 Give it a little shake.
Repeat with the other 9" strip.
 To make the hats, cut 2 pieces that measure 23" from the 13" strip.
Trim off the selvage.
Fold up  2 " along the long edge for the brim and pin.
Stitch 1/4" from the raw edge.
I use a walking foot for  sewing polar fleece.

 Pin the side seams, right sides together.
 Stitch with a 1/4"seam.
Adjust the hat so that the seam is in the middle, with the wrong side out.
 Place Pin A 1 1/2" from seam thru both layers of fabric.
Place a second pin in the right side fold.
 This is the only complicated step. 
Tuck in the edge so that Pin B aligns with Pin A.
Place a pin to hold the 4 layers together.
Repeat on the left side.
Sew across the top with a 1/4" seam allowance,
 taking a few back stitches at both the beginning and the end.
 Turn right side out and Voila! A hat.
Repeat for a 2nd hat.
For years I have had this 4-5" strip of polar fleece left over, which I often made into one "baby" scarf.
This was a semi-satisfactory way to use this "scrap".  But then I had a light bulb moment and designed this neck warmer that is easy to make.  What makes it possible is that the edges of polar fleece do not have to be finished.
 The leftover strip will measure anywhere between 4" and 5".
Cut the strip in half and remove the selvages.
There should then be 2 pieces, 4"x30" (about). 

 Using a ruler and a rotary cutter, cut a slit 3" long in the middle, 2" from the bottom edge.
And it's done.
To wear it, slip the end of the scarf through the slit.

 This is perfect as a non-bulky alternative to a scarf.
2 Hats, 2 Scarves, 2 Neck Warmers from 1 yd of polar fleece