Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

I wish a very Happy New Year to all and hopefully a fun, quilt filled one as well.

What a blur this last month was! We took a little R&R trip and I really thought I would be able to do some sewing! What was I thinking? LOL  We had gorgeous weather, unlike last year's trip, so we spent all of our time outside.  Met a cute little friend..who really wanted to share our lunch...we obliged.  We watched him a day earlier jump on a woman, trying to get food and scratched her. Scared the crap out of me, I screamed and it wasn't even me!  So when we saw him stalking the pool area the next day, we just got up, warned the others and let him help himself!

Our iguana friend..who loved nachos! OURS! 

Time to get back into a regular routine again.  Making samples for classes...again! 

February Wallhanging of Month
I had a FQ bundle of Moda's Quilt Pink "Love", which I used and then created 5 kits with the leftovers.

This is the pattern pack that I used and I plan on having a class once a month. We are starting with February, so hopefully the wallhangings will be done in time for the actual month, rather than being behind. What a novel idea!  I bought my pattern at a LQS, but found them at JoAnn's now! Yeah, with a coupon. Sheesh.

 This little guy is such a's a pattern by The Wooden Bear, and I'll admit, I used my friend's idea. She made hers with a sports team fabric.  Since Ohio State University does not have licensed fabric, I bought a T-shirt and used that!  And embroidered Ohio State on the hat brim. I should have curved it a bit, but oh well.  Eyes still need attached and all the blanket stitching needs done.

Hanging Snowman

Close up of hat
Back to work and hopefully I can get more photos uploaded of what other things I've been working on.   In the meantime, stay warm and enjoy the calm that settles in after the Christmas festivities.

Our parting picture as we left Costa Rico. What a great place!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fall fun

Sheleah at pumpkin farm
Making grape jam--sure wish you could smell how heavenly it smells!
Fall is such a fun time of year, with the cooler temps, to the beautiful changing tree colors, lots of cider...making jam and so much more.  It's hard to stay motivated to stay in or home with it being so nice.  Which is how I find myself in November, wondering what the heck happened to the rest of September AND October!

I've been sewing some...
costumes for school plays....
costumes for Halloween....
purses for Christmas (shhhh..)
having PJ parties with 11 year olds..making bags...

11th Birthday Party Fun!

Row by Row commitments...oops, forgot to take pics. But then again..when you are working right up to the deadline's hard to remember to take a photo.

Then the excitement on the home front with hubby coming home from a 3 week trip from France/Russia/China and got shingles the next day. Whoa!  I heard they were painful, but seeing it firsthand is something else. My sympathies go out to all those who are suffering or have suffered from it.

And as always, things are always changing with our youngest daughter.(she's in the top photo) She is now 30 and we are trying to decide if she is starting to suffer from early onset dementia.  Unfortunately, a common affliction for adults with Down's Syndrome. :(  She wandered off from her new day care place last week, a police found her on the side of the road, repeating that she is a client.  God sent an angel in the form of a friend who happened to drive by at that time and helped the poor bewildered cop out who wasn't sure what to do with her!  We were all way more scared than she was. She said she was just walking. Obviously more secure measures need to taken with her. This is the third time in a month she has done this (from different places).  Oh the adventures she brings into our life! Thanking God for blessings this week.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Monday, November 21, 2011


I knew that wouldn't take long!  Julie (floribunda) gave the correct answer...ANGRY BIRDS! 

Yellow Bird's feathers

Yellow Bird's beak

Yellow Bird--and yes, he looks angry!

Some of his buddies...
All the others are waiting in line to be stuffed or have their beaks sewn on.  And then on to the pigs!  I'm going to give these to my grandsons along with a big set of basic building blocks so they can play the game in real life. When I asked my girls if the boys would like this for Christmas, they wanted to know which boys? The big ones or the little ones!  LOL

The website where I found these great patterns is Obsessivelystitching.  She has done a great job with her tutorials. And there is still time to get some made before Christmas!

now off to more stuffing and making ONE more yellow bird for Julie--her choice!

Nana's workshop and FREE giveaway!

 See the FREE giveaway below...

Whew!  If I'm this busy with just two grandson's toys, I can't imagine Santa's workshop! LOL  I need some elves of my own I think. Actually what I am working on is not so hard, but does take time. Here are some sneak peeks, I hope to have these done by Thanksgiving.

Here is what I started out with....

And this from a great website..(I'll share later :) )   

work in progress....

Anyone guess what I'm making?  I will send ONE of these
FREE to the first person who correctly guesses what I am making.  Easy peasy if you have kids or grandkids!  Just because I'm nice like that. :)

I'm also working on a few things for the girls in my family..and here are two that are done. Sorry--no freebies on these! :)

These two tote bags/large purses are for my daughters. They sure hold a lot..the one inside pocket holds an iPad..that's how big they are.  Great pattern and directions. Which is good to know, because there are a lot of patterns that leave a lot to be desired, including one big name person, who shall remain nameless, but I'll NEVER make one of her patterns again.  Anyway..this is

My Favorite Bag by Katie Cupcakes.  I think she has a smaller version of the same bag as well.

Now...back to work!  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baby Rag Quilt Tutorial

 Mom was here for a few days and really wanted to make a couple of baby rag quilts for a friend whose daughter is expecting twins.  We got two done in a day! Well, the washing isn't done and a little bit of clipping left, but pretty much done.

Baby Rag Quilt
Size 35" x 45"
the seams aren't clipped or been washed yet...but it's on it's way to SC to be finished!
Fabric Requirements

2/3 yard of 6 different flannels

Do NOT prewash the flannel.
Press each piece, wrong sides together, with the selvages matching up perfectly (like it comes off the bolt)

1. Cut (4) 6" strips out of each color

2. Make (3) 6" cuts out of each doubled strip. (which yields you 6 squares per strip and 24 squares per color) or 144 squares total. Leave the squares doubled and you'll be ready to sew! You'll have 72 block.

3. Sew an 'X' in each block (two squares, wrong sides together) so the fabric doesn't shift all over later after washing.  I chain piece this part. I start with the first square and sew a diagonal line from one corner to the next corner. 

Stitch an "X" in each block (2 squares wrong sides together)

NOTE: I do not mark a line, although you could if desired.  But try this first: Put your needle in the first corner and stitch a little bit.  Now let your machine do the work...on a slow to medium speed, let the feed dogs advance the material, barely guiding it with your hands. Believe it or not, your machine will stitch straight without you interfering!  And if you do have to gently guide it, look at the next corner where you are NOT look at the needle.  It's like driving a car, you don't look just ahead of the front of the car, you look down the road. 

4. Lay out your blocks in a 7 x 9 format in a pleasing manner.  I just laid them out with the blocks being in a diagonal row for quick way to be done. You could lay them out randomly all over as well.
blocks laid out randomly

 You will have some blocks leftover. You could always add them to make another row, if you would like a bigger quilt.

5. Lay Row 2 over onto Row 1. 
The photo below has the top two blocks of Row 2 laid on Row 1. Continue down the row.

Lay Row 2 onto Row 1

 Pick up the blocks, starting with the top block, and leaving them in order. Your stack should have the top blocks on top.  Take to the machine and stitch with 1/2" seam, chain piecing the whole row. (chain piecing is stitching each block and then adding the next block without breaking the thread in between the blocks). Do NOT clip the blocks apart after the row is complete.  It is easier to keep them in order if they are still connected by a thread. The front will have all smooth seams and the back will have big ol' seams hanging..that's okay, we'll take care of those later!

Stitch with 1/2" seam
6. Now pick up Row 3 in order with the first block on top of the stack. Take to the machine. Lay the top block of Row 3 on top of Row 2 and stitch with 1/2" seam. (Notice that the smooth seam of Row 1 & 2 is facing up) When you are done with that first block, pick up the second block of Row 3 and lay on the next block of pieced unit.  Continue until Row 3 is pieced onto the first two rows. 

Laying Row 3 onto Row 2. 

7. Continue in the same manner for all the rows.  They will all be connected in one big unit, with the horizontal rows being connected to each other by just by threads.

Sewing all horizontal rows together, leaving the connecting threads (as shown from the 'ragged' side)
8. Lay the smooth sides together (NOT the side with the big ol' seams hanging) of the first two rows. Stitch with 1/2" seam.  When you approach the seams, finger press the top seam UP and the bottom seam down and then 'nestle' them together to match the seams. 

making seams go in opposite directions to 'nestle' the seam

9. Repeat for each row, continuing until the rows are all done.  Do NOT worry that the seam directions are going all over the place!  We will clip them later, so don't stress about it now.

Stitching the rows together, photo show bottom rows sewn

10. Last step of sewing: Stitch 1/2" all the way around the outside edge to keep the seams from coming apart. 

Stitching 1/2" around outside edge of quilt

11. Now to the fun part: Clipping.  I'm not going to lie  sugar coat this. This is not the funnest part of this quilt to do. Although it is smaller than the regular size Rag Quilts, it still is a lot of clipping. My recommendation is to get a Rag Quilt scissors.  They are well worth the money if you are going to make Rag quilts.  If you don't want to invest in one, make sure you use a spring action scissors at the very least! 

Clip about 1/2" apart to ALMOST the seam line, taking care not to cut the seam.  If you cut closer than 1/2", the seam will get real ragged and almost create a ridge, so I recommend not to clip too close together, at least for a baby quilt. When you get to the intersections, just clip the fabric free from the seam to release it. Don't forget to clip around the edge of the quilt as well. 
(PS..sorry no pics...they all turned out blurry and the quilt is gone now)

12. Washing:  take the quilt to a laundromat and wash with a small amount of mild detergent.  When it's through the wash cycle, take outside and shake it really hard to get rid of a lot of threads. Trust me..take it outside!  Then put it in the dryer.  Take outside to shake again and voila! A soft cuddly baby quilt. 

Note: on regular sized Rag Quilts, I use Warm and Natural batting, but I don't on baby quilts as it makes it almost too heavy. Two layers of flannel is a nice weight.  Now go cuddle that baby!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Staying for a few days in PI

After all the girls left from the retreat, I stayed on for a few more days.  I THOUGHT it was to rest! HA!  I.....
......went to a great church service on 9/11/11 asking us to 'Remember'
......had iPad lessons with my parents all afternoon and evening
......had lunch with a new friend (our fearless tour leader to Israel) and had a GREAT Crab Quiche at The Chive Blossom in Pawley's Island

Crab Quiche

......spent the day doing errands with banks, electric companies, etc. 
......spruced up the condo and fixed things
......had lunch with my neighbor--thanks Martha!

 .....had dinner with my good friend, Marilyn and her quilt group and then learned how to do locker hooking!  Something that's been on my list to learn. Thanks Donna for your great lessons!

 And look at Donna's curtains in her sewing room...too cute!

Donna's Curtains

and then I had to leave! Whew! I needed to head home to finally rest.  I did stop at a few antique malls along the way.  I'll post more later on my newest thing I'm collecting, but I just had to share these things.  

Cute tablerunner....not so cute price.. $185!  AND it was called a Double Wedding Ring runner! Just your chuckle for the day. 

and one final photo...

hello? Vintage? does that mean I'm vintage? These were my FIRST canisters when I was first married! AAACCCKKK!  And someone might want these?  Ah..the days of Avocado Green and Harvest Gold and that orange!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Final Day of Retreat

Final day of the retreat...

no projects

'clean out the fridge' meals

no adventures


Memories of a fun week!

Some of us did not get dressed all day and was able to work on projects the WHOLE DAY! what a novel idea for a retreat, huh?  :)  Actually, we were so pooped, that we didn't have the energy to drum any more excitement.  We'll save that for next year. I hear there are new plans for hijinks next year. I better start worrying now!

One final photo...sunset at Pawley's Island Beach...

Thanks girls for all the fun memories and adventures!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day #5 of Quilt Retreat

Day #5 of Retreat

Project of the Day:
Stitchin' on Island Time Clock


Hot Fish Club in Murrell's Inlet

The Girls of 2011 Pawley's Island Retreat

Adventure of the Day:
Sunrise at the beach

Loggerhead Turtle Nest Reveal

We happened to choose the right day to watch the sunrise! Not only did we have a beautiful view of the sun with no cloud cover, but it was the 4th day after the Loggerhead turtles left the nest. And that is when they dig up the nests to see how many turtles hatched and how many did not make it.  We didn't get to see any turtles though. :(  But it was kind of fun to be there.


Some girls couldn't get enough seafood, so they ate out at lunch as well.  There were a few extra 'ladies' hanging out so we offered their lonely machines to them.  They didn't do so well. :)

and so the retreat is winding down.  One group is leaving in the morning, leaving 4 of us for one more day. So all our projects are done.  wow..does time fly when you are having fun or what?