Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy December!

Thought I'd start this holiday month with a photo of the four handmade ornaments I received in the 2012 Trim the Tree Handmade Ornament Swap on Flickr...

Felt ornaments---an owl from Lauree, the sweet baby mushroom from Leah, a polar bear from Kylie---and a vintage tart tin turned ornament from Leila.  They really look nice together, I think, and may have to be neighbors on our Christmas tree!
If you're looking for fun holiday crafting, may I recommend this fabulous book by John Adams (Quilt Dad)...

I have to admit to being a bit biased, however, because I'm excited to say that two of my very own projects are in this book---an insulated table runner and a spiral patchwork ornament!
The e-book version was released about this time last year, but was made available in August of this year in a paperback edition.  There are a wide range of projects featured, large and small, with beautiful photographs and great instructions.  So many of the projects can be adapted for making at other times of the year too--it's a great book for inspiration!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

QuiltCon Challenge Blocks

I made two quilt blocks for the QuiltCon Block Challenge.....

(12.5" x 15.5")
(8.5" x 12.5")
If I remember right, about 375 blocks were submitted!

Elizabeth Hartman is overseeing the challenge. And, bless her heart, she is photographing all of them for a series of blog posts on The Modern Quilt Guild.  Each of her posts highlights a particular piecing style. One of my blocks (the gray zigzag) is included in today's post, Diamonds and Other Angles.

**09-18-2012 Edited to add...My other block (the blue/green half-square-triangles) is part of today's post, Triangles.

It's been really fun seeing the blocks, all of them incredible, and who created them. The blog series continues through the third week of September, so even more yet to see!!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Build a Bundle!

It's like shopping without spending money!

1. BacktoSchool-C9070-ROYAL-450, 2. BusytownAtoZ-45699-S-450, 3. HappinessPeanuts-22064-J-450     (Created with fd's Flickr Toys)

A couple of Fridays ago, the Fat Quarter Shop's blog began a Build a Bundle contest.  A staff member chooses a favorite fabric and you choose 2 coordinating fabrics. The staff member selects the winning bundle and the winner receives one yard each of the three fabrics.

Soooo, imagine my surprise and excitement when I opened my email yesterday morning and saw one with the subject line "Jolly Jabber Winner!".  And now, 3 yards of fun fabric are on the way to my mailbox--what a great way to start the weekend!!  That, and some much needed rain as well!

There's a Flickr group where the bundles are posted--it's kind of fun to see so many different fabric combinations.

Hope you're having a good weekend too...


Monday, August 27, 2012

Texting While Sewing...

...don't you love that title?! It's actually a fun quilt block challenge from Amy, During Quiet Time.

I'm always up for a challenge and for trying something new so here's my entry:

I used Jednoiglec's "Christmas Truck" paper pieced pattern for this 12 inch block. The pattern was also my jumping off point.

Next came the fabric with the girls on it and from there, I knew I wanted it to reflect the fun of girlfriends. The text fabrics with names of beaches and cities seemed perfect for a universal theme.

But I was mostly inspired by my teenage years when girlfriends and I would pile as many of us as we could into someone's parent's car and head out for a good time. Carefree days, huh?

There's a linky party starting today on Amy's blog. Head on over and take a look at the clever and creative blocks being posted...and also the awesome prize list!!


My New Needlebook

I got a really fun package a couple of weeks ago from Wendy. It turns out she was my secret swap partner in the R.A.T.Z. needlebook swap. Wendy and I have swapped bitty blocks and so that added to the fun!
The needlebook she made for me is so wonderful and not a single detail is lost on me...I love the linen and the scrappy border...the embroidered piece on the front, complete with monogram, is lovely! I also love the button closure.
The back, with all of the linen, makes it tactile as well as pretty...and that gingham on the inside--so cute, so sweet!
There are pockets for embroidery floss (or other items, like the mini composition book that Wendy included) and 2 nice size pages of wool felt to hold needles and pins. I can sew on the go with everything I need in one place!

The same week my needlebook came in the mail, I enjoyed some time with my daughter and her kiddos (my grandchildren). Sadly, it was the end of our summer outings before she had to return to work---it seemed like summer break just started! We took them to Wonderscope and here's me with the little sweeties in the Lego room...
I love this photo. I take care of them while their mom is working and this photo pretty much says it all---they're bundles of energy! And I love it!!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Who knew a needlebook could be so much fun!!

These hexagons were the start to a needlebook I made for the July Rapid and Tiny Zakka Swap (RATZ Swap). The group is an offshoot of the Doll Quilt Swap group on Flickr and swaps a little something each month (like key fobs and magnets) with a Zakka style in mind. This is only my first month to join in, but I couldn't resist the needlebook project!

After I received my swap partner's name, I just started making several .75" hexies without an exact plan in mind. I ended up choosing 20 and stitched together 4 columns of 5 hexies. Still no plan, but as luck would have it, I had just purchased Tacha Bruecher's book, "Hexa-Go-Go", and in it she makes a lovely needlebook using hexagons.

Since I already had a hexie panel put together that was different from Tacha's, I needed to make a few minor changes, mostly to the measurements, but I thought her directions were easy to follow and I had a good time making it!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Vacation Getaway

AKA "Women's Weekend" was a lot of fun! There was much laughter and conversation and great food and's no wonder I'm already looking forward to next year! We could see IKEA from our hotel room so it made sense for us to begin there. Sensory overload and some fabulous purchases!

The weather was delightful and a nice break from the stifling temperatures we left in KC. A trip to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was a lovely way to enjoy it too.

I often found myself thinking there was an "Alice in Wonderland" feel to several of the sculptures/gardens.

We also did some local shopping in St. Paul. I loved the mix of restaurants, apartments, older homes and shops all on one avenue...especially the older houses that are now shops!

And of course, Mall of America.....

And whatever the reason, on this trip, I seemed to have a fascination with lighting fixtures and other ceiling decor, so I'll leave you now with a couple of them.....


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Gotta Have a Tote Bag

Women's Weekend is coming soon. It's our annual getaway--my two daughters and me, just the three of us--and we always have a wonderful time! This year, we're taking a shopping trip, specifically to IKEA, but we're open to other spots that grab our attention too!

So I say tote bags for all, and thanks to this tutorial, we're set.

I wonder how many times we can fill them...


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Check Off One "To-Do"

So, one of the items on my summer break to-do list was clean up the craft room! The last time I had a major go-through-and-toss-away session with this room was three and a half years ago when I painted it. How bad could it be? Well, a week's worth of days over the past two weeks and many trash bags full, bad. But I was in the mood! And it felt good! Any sewing during that time was hand sewing (mostly hexies), but I did manage to recover my chair. It had gotten a little sad looking--10+ years and mega hours at the sewing machine will do that to a chair;) The fabric was some I had stashed away for pillows that never got made and I think it turned out to be just the right match for my chair.

I've received all of my Alice in Wonderland bitty blocks...

Aren't they adorable?! I added a teapot and teacups that I got in the Teapots & Teacups bitty swap and, of course, The Mad Hatter...

I'm looking forward to getting these put together.....and, hallelujah, I now have the space to get that done;)