Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sewing on a Week Night AGAIN!

I have had more free time during the week for a few weeks (been working more on the weekends due to some schedule changes, ugh!) but it has made for a nice change.  Next week is a bit more work during the week and the week after that is full tilt again so sewing on weeknights may not be happening as often as I would like soon but for now I am enjoying it!  Tonight Kathy and I watched the first four episodes of "Graceland" which we liked while sewing away.  I started out with making myself a pillowcase to match my Picnic quilt since I will be bringing that on our road trip to Wisconsin (because I need a quilt!) and wanted my pillowcase to match.  Kathy laughed at me, but that is how I roll!

 I have been steadily working on the 35th Ave. "block" of the month.  We were to do the first half of these SIXTEEN blocks last month and the second half this month.  Seriously, I thought a BOM was "A" block of the month!  I am happy to report that since I was alerted to the size problems Kathy had, I managed to get mine to come out to the right size!
 Last night I organized my old cross stitch floss.  I have had most of this for 26 years!  I learned counted cross stitch when I was pregnant with my oldest and enjoyed it nightly for years, til one day I must have gotten too busy with school or something and I put it all away and never really got back to it.  Now that I am embroidering I am happy that some of this floss will get used!  Kathy also used to do cross stitch so we have  tons more, but she stored hers in bags so as time goes on it will get wound into this box.
 Here is a close up of the elephant from a few days ago.
 Older picture, but in case you forgot this is what the elephant looks like :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Swoonalong 2013--Are You In?


Remember awhile back there was a Swoonalong happening all over blogland?  I missed it.  Just way too much on my sewing table to get to it, though I wanted to.  Then, as luck would have it last April, I saw Danny's Bee blocks (which I think maybe were technically Carpenter's Star blocks made from a free pattern) at the PHXMQG meeting and I was doubly sorry I hadn't swooned along!  I went ahead and bought the pattern and put it on my someday list. Here is a picture of Danny's blocks...love that she had everyone use a little tiny print for her background fabric! 

Then I found a blog that I had previously overlooked somehow.  Sarah is going to be trouble for me, she already influenced me to buy a cool book because of a post she made with pictures of the coolest quilt (the book is "Hand Quilted with Love" if you want to know) and now she has me jumping on the swoonalong train.  Sarah is all the way in Ireland, who knew that quilty influence could go so far! 
So any chance you missed the Swoon boat the first time around and you are jumping in along with me?  We are getting the pattern and picking the fabrics this week so plenty of time--and you are going to wish you did!  So head on over to Sarah's blog and grab the button and let's get started!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Finally got in a little YELLOW!

 I made a few more tissue covers (one for my cousin, one for me and two for the Christmas gift box) and then I trimmed up and sewed the yellow pinwheels for the Jack in the Box border.
 Meanwhile, Kathy finished up her other yellow block--so we are both ready for July's color!
 Here are Kathy's Rainbow blocks so far.  We won't talk about the seam allowance difference in the blue block--oops!
Here are Kathy's other Rainbow BOM's so far!  Looking cool.  We can now link up with Angela!

Sunday Sewing Day!

Today Kathy and I finally recovered my ironing board.  The orange cover had some holes and was worn in the spot we use the most.  We decided to go with lime green this time but I already miss the orange!
 Tonight I was trying to think of something to make for my cousin who just graduated high school.  She will be visiting AZ from WI and we will see her next weekend.  She is a Packer fan (who isn't?) so one idea I had was a zip up pencil case and a journal.  I need to pick up notebooks so I can try to make a journal cover.  Any other brilliant suggestions send them on!
 All told I wound up making four of them.  The pattern if from one of the free bag classes on Craftsy (Bag Making Basics:  Reversible Tote and Zipper Pouch) and was really pretty simple and turns out cute.  I am finally putting all those free zippers I have collected to use!
 I also finished up clue three to the Lazy Sunday Mystery which is in Quiltmaker!  So looking forward to the layout next issue.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Happy Stitching Friday!

 Today I had the day off work and I did a bunch of cleaning and organizing (mostly of papers, patterns, etc.) in my quilting studio.  Then I decided I should make a few bags because I want some fun zip up bags for various projects that will go with me to Wisconsin when we go the end of July.  I did the blue one first and wasn't happy with the fact that I had too little blue on the bottom and too much flower on the top (leave it to me to try to adjust a pattern--I need to just stick to what is out there!) so I then made the second one.  I put the zipper in backwards on that one and after I noticed it continued to finish it thinking it would be functional and not THAT noticeable.  I wanted the dimples to be the lining so it had to go that way...well umm a zipper doesn't function from the outside if it is on wrong (in case you are not as dumb as I!) so after mulling it over and realizing I did not happen to have another PERFECT colored zipper to just start over with, I took the zipper off and put it back on correctly.  I am amazed that I was able to do that without taking the entire bag apart.  Yay me.  Loving my peachy octopus bag now!
 I then thought I should get to some "real" sewing and started to work on clue three of the Lazy Sunday Bonnie Hunter mystery.  I can't tell you what a humdinger of a clue this one.  I had already put together the four pink star blocks (and have 20 similar blocks to do that don't have the green in them still!) so today I marked all the hst lines and sewed 78 tiny blocks with the diagonal one way and 78 more with the diagonal the other way.  I have been cutting this quilt myself (imagine that) but Kathy helped me cut more because I was about half short from when I just cut til I got sick of it!  So in the tote above are the pieces for the twenty blocks and that will be up next so I can be done with these!

Kathy is also ahead of me on the log cabin blocks for 35th Ave. Kaleidescope of Kolor...she had some seam allowance issues (due to getting the machine serviced, the guy reset things and she didn't think to double check needle position!).  She added an extra strip on all sides so now they are slightly bigger than needed so it is all good.  She also cut my strips so I need to get to those soon too!

I have also finally been working on my embroidered elephant that I started at the PHXMQG last month.  One of our members Danny taught a class based on a pillow she had done for show and tell at a previous meeting.  Lots of us fell in love with it and needed our very own elephant!  I barely got started in the class (but learned about a half a dozen stitches) and didn't find any time to get going on it all month.  Then at our most recent meeting several people had brought their elephants in progress and that got me all excited all over again so finally,  I am really enjoying it and thinking about what I will embroider next.  I volunteered (along with twenty or so other folks) to do some embroidery for Jane over at http://janesfabrics.blogspot.com/ with her thread.  It came in the mail and has me thinking...I even ordered two books (I am a sucker for books!) to inspire me further--but first the elephant.  



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Precision Piecing--A Crafsy Review

I have taken several quilting and knitting classes on Craftsy.   I love that I can keep the class and materials forever to refer back to.  They even offer some classes for FREE so people can try it out and see if they like the platform and set up.  As a sign language interpreter who happens to be hard of hearing, I love that many of the classes are also captioned so that Deaf and hard of hearing people can participate too.  For these and other reasons, I really love Craftsy!  So that brings me to why I am telling you all of this.  

I was asked to do a review of Norah McMeeking's "Precision Piecing" quilting class on Craftsy.   Norah is a graphic designer as well as a quilter.  I am not a precision piecer by any means so this was a great class for me to pick up some tips!  The class includes three projects;  Amish Pinwheels, Stained Glass Windows, and the Emerald Ring.  Norah shows her students step by step (starting with cutting the fabric correctly) and isn't afraid to let us see her mistakes.  She uses them as learning opportunities for us to learn how to unpick a seam and her attitude is one of enjoying the process!  In each section she leaves us with "homework" so that when we move on to the next lesson we will be ready proceed.  I really like the way things are organized sequentially and that the projects get more challenging as we go.

In Amish Pinwheels, students learn traditional piecing, Y seams, and eight point matches.  In the Stained Glass Windows section, she demonstrates English paper piecing showing us how to use foundation piecing for exact seams.  In this section she shows us how to pin for more accuracy as well as how to unpick some of the seam and spin it for flatter work.  She even has tips for how to take off the foundation paper.  In the Emerald Ring lesson there is more paper piecing, curved seams and even tapers.  I love that her "mistakes" turn into new designs!  
I plan on trying out the Stained Glass Window pattern--I love the bold colors and think it would be a challenge for me, but I know with Norah's help I can do it!

If you think this class is for you, Crafsty is offering it at 50% off if you follow this link!

Sewing on a Weeknight!

 Got in a little sunny sewing  tonight.  Talking turkey block number seven!  I can't wait to get this rainbow bom quilt together!
 Last Saturday Ros gifted Kathy and I with cute bundles of fabric from her trip.  Kathy got animals (a really adorable otter!) and I got flowers and blueberries.
 Sewed up my other two Learning Curve blocks and put the little top together.  This is for the PHXMQG's Drunkard's Path Quiltalong.  It is tabletopper size but cute.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Seeing Pink!

 At the PHXMQG meeting I saw several adorable needlebooks that the gals made about a year ago at one of the meetings I wasn't able to make it to.  I was inspired to finally make mine!  If you want one, it only took a few hours and there is a fabulous tutorial at Pile O' Fabric that you can use.  Here are some pictures of mine in progress and how it looks at the end.




 I didn't add the floss pockets from the tutorial, but sewed in a few floss baggies to put stuff in.  I LOVE it!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Quilts in the Sun

 Kai's big Cindy Lou Who poses with my little Schnibbles Cindy Lou Who!
 Jonathon's NYE Mystery.
 Jordan's NYE Mystery. The Twins quilts together.

 Lil' Twister Tree Wallhanging.
Kathy's Easy Street for Kelly and Bob.
Aunt Jenny's Quilt.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Binding Marathon at My House!

 I made this giant pillow for my nephew Ben a few weeks ago and I finally hand sewed the opening closed today.  I also finished up several Tribbles that I had knitted the past week.  I have suddenly been making one every other day at work between calls!  Building up my Christmas stockpile.
 Kathy and I had a little binding marathon today.  We got six quilts back from Joanne and I bound Jordan's NYE Mystery quilt.
 Our Lil' Twister Christmas tree wallhanging got bound too.
 Also bound was this quilt for Aunt Jenny.  You may recall I got this with all of it cut and some of it sewn from a fabric thrift sale.  I also cut lots of the extra fabric into strips (leftover from the backings of the six I got back) and loaded them into the right colored drawers.
 Kathy bound her sister Kelly's quilt which was her Easy Street quilt as well as Jonathon's NYE Mystery quilt (which is the same pattern at his twin Jordan's) too.  We then made labels for all of them and my cousin Kai's quilt and ironed them on.  So far I have sewn two labels...tomorrow we will take pictures outside in the AZ sun and then they can be mailed off to their new homes!  Oh, I have the binding on the Halloween quilt (label too) but didn't finish attaching it yet.
I did get in a tiny bit of piecing too...sewed up the yellow spools so I can link up to Angela's Rainbow BOM!  Oh and I made my sister another Crown Royal tissue holder because she lost her purse and lost the last one!
Oh I almost forgot, lost 8 pounds in the first week of my 90 day challenge.  Seems like it has been way longer!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Gift for Limbania of the PHXMQG

These first three pictures you have seen before but I had to be hush hush about what exactly they were for so now I can show you what the gals of the PHXMQG did for one of members/chairs who is battling cancer.  Jacki and BJ are the charity chairs and within minutes (and I do mean minutes) of hearing the news they were off whispering to members asking for 12 inch pink block donations so they could quickly get a top together.  

Andee's Churn Dash

Kathy's Scrap Jar Stars

Andee's Talkin' Turkey
 So it wasn't long at all before BJ and Jacki were rearranging blocks, making a few more to round out the numbers, adding sashing and putting together a backing!  They brought the quilt to a meeting (which Limbania wasn't able to be at) to get signatures of our members (it didn't matter if they made a block or not) and asked if someone would volunteer to quilt it.
 Love the signature block! 
 A BRAND NEW member who had yet to meet Limbania volunteered to quilt it.  Sarah did an amazing job on the quilting and also did the binding and brought it to the very next meeting to present to Limbania.  Here are BJ and Tiffany presenting it to her.  Limbania loves it and I think she was suprised to learn that the blocks she had been seeing were all for her!

Limbania posted pictures of her using the quilt during her most recent chemo.  I wish her a speedy recovery and to know how much we cherish her at the PHXMQG!  My hat is off to the Charity gals (and all who contributed blocks including my partner Kathy who isn't even in the guild) for jumping up when they saw a need.  I am blessed to know these folks!