God blessed me with a creative soul, knowing it would comfort and nurture me in this crazy world.
May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-- yes, establish the work of our hands.
I learned to sew when I was 4 years old. My dear Aunt Billie, now with the Lord, taught me how to make a simple pillow slip on her treadle sewing machine. Who knew that would be the beginning of a lifetime of creativity!
I was happy to find that I had enough fabric left to make a matching cover for my extension table. I wasn't in the mood to get too complicated, so I made a simple, fold over envelope pouch. Its purpose is to keep the table from getting scratched and this will do the job well. I only have small scraps left, but there could be a coupon keeper (or something like that) in the future.
Oliver managed to slip in a partial photo bomb. :)
Yesterday was a snow day and except for shoveling, I spent the day sewing. We got pretty lucky with the snow, only about 5" and it was a bit powdery, making it lighter to shovel. My back is grateful!
My sewing machine needed a new cover and new mat for underneath the machine. I have an extension table for my machine and my old table mat was too short for the extension table to sit on top of it. Plus.... I just needed a change.
There are eight pockets on the machine cover, six on the front and one on each end. I like to have these little cubbies to store frequently used (and often lost) items, like my readers.
The table mat has six pockets. Whenever I'm at a class or a friends home, besides using the pockets for sewing tools, I like to use one of the pockets as a thread catcher. Sometimes a trash container can be hard to find or far away from where you are sewing. This lets me be neat and not have to leave my seat.
This is a close up of the fabric. It's that double sided, pre-quilted fabric. I really loved this when I saw it and that's what inspired me to make the new cover and mat. I found this fabric at Joann's and went back to get some more a few days after I bought it. It was all gone! The lady said the bolt sold out in less than a week. They are expecting more, but you never know if that will happen or not. I have a little bit left over and may see if I can eke out a bag to hold the extension table when it's not on the machine.
And one last thing.... the binding on the cover and mat is a hot, bright pink. These pictures (on my monitor) look really washed out. It's nice and vibrant and really screams "happy" to me!
A couple of weeks ago (maybe not quite that long) Good Morning America had a Steal & Deal that was for a fleece photo quilt. You go to the site.... Collage.com .... upload your photos, arrange them, resize them, whatever you want.... and they print it out on a dense fleece. There are many different products to choose from, this just happened to be the "deal" that day. Oh, this throw is 50" x 60."
Overall, I was pleased with the final product. The photos seem a bit darker than they were on my monitor and the whole quilt is printed a bit off center. The photos remained pretty crisp, in spite of being printed on fleece. You can't see it in this picture, but the lower left border is only about an inch, while the other borders are two inches. I can tell that the fabric wasn't fed evenly into their printer or it shifted toward the end of the printing. Still though, I thought it turned out pretty nice and will be a sweet keepsake to honor Oliver and Gracie.
Debby had a generous fabric giveaway on February 22nd, Washington's birthday, featuring some great George Washington fabric. We were just asked to leave a comment telling her what we would make with the fabric, etc. Well, Oliver's birthday is also February 22nd and because of this, his middle name is Washington. I told Debby this, and we were picked to get a piece of this GW fabric. I'm planning to make a small wall hanging with GW in the center and add some kind of border. We'll see.
I have to give Oliver the credit for this giveaway since it was his birthday that made him a winner! Thanks Ollie, and of course, thanks to Debby!
Yippee..... My backlog of BOMs are all finished! It felt really nice to see that stack of BOMs get smaller and smaller. The March blocks will be here in another week or so I'm happy to be ready for their arrival.
The first two are from Sew Lux Fabrics. Same block pattern, different fabrics. The first block has the prettiest combination of fabrics! I like the unusual version of Flying Geese.
The next three blocks are from the Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM. These blocks have just been a joy to put together as each block is so clever and unique. The first three blocks in this series were baskets, the next three blocks were stars, and now these three blocks are houses. The common denominator for all of the blocks has been the navy square near the center of each block. I can't wait to see what the last three blocks will be!
That's it for today. We are expecting our next major snow storm to begin Saturday night and I'm planning on getting some sewing done (between shoveling) while waiting it out. Spring..... where are you?!
More BOMs were finished today. I love the fabrics in this first block ... they are so warm, happy, and spring-like!
Same block.... different fabric.
And here's a generous giveaway that I won last week from Carol at Just Let Me Quilt! I won a gift certificate from Quilt Taffy and this is what I bought..... a yard of Ghastlie Christmas fabric and a charm pack. I was a happy camper to have won this. If you haven't ordered from Quilt Taffy before, give them a visit. I ordered this fabric on Friday and it arrived on Monday. Can't get much faster than that! Many heartfelt thanks to Carol and Quilt Taffy!
Well, back to the BOM sewing. I still have 5 blocks to make in order to be ready for the next ones that will arrive in early March..... better plug in the iron and get sewing.....
I can't believe that I've had 17 precious years (he was 1 when I adopted him) with my little Oliver. Time certainly slips away. Oliver has been such a joy with the most gentle, loving personality you could ever ask for. Even taking this picture.... I was about 2" away from his face and he just snuggled in while I took shot after shot around his face. He's very patient with me! Last year on his birthday, I wrote that I didn't know if he'd see his next birthday or not.... I guess I have to say it again, with the hope that he will have a great year ahead of him. His health issues are serious, but as long as he seems to have a happy, fulfilling life, I'll celebrate each delightful day spent with him! Thanks for being my cat, Ollie!
I made these blocks yesterday afternoon while the snow was falling. This is the same block sewn with two different fabric lines. This BOM series was offered by Sew Lux Fabrics and this is block #4. Like yesterdays BOM series, I'm very far behind. I have blocks #5 through #9 piling up in my sewing room. And this is "times two" since I'm doing the blocks in two color ways.
I'm done shoveling for the day and now I can focus on more BOMs. We only got about 5" of snow last night, but it was enough to make shoveling an Olympic event at my house. I made my first round of shoveling around 6 AM while it was nice and peaceful. Then I went back out later in the morning to tackle the driveway.
A warm up is on the way for a few days and no more snow is expected until Sunday. Of course in Indiana, this is subject to change at the drop of a hat (or snowflake).
Just checking in with a couple of small projects. One is my Designer Mystery BOM from Fat Quarter Shop. This is block #6 and I have #'s 7, 8, and 9 waiting in the wings. I'm really behind in this series and even more behind in the other BOM series. I WILL catch up..... I will catch up .....
This is a little pin cushion that started out as a candle that my neighbors gave me. Once the candle had burned down, I scraped out the residue and made a felted "coffee" insert out of some roving. I put a quarter in the shot so you could see that the coffee cup is quite tiny. It was nice to re-purpose it into something that I'll continue to use.
I'm "anxiously" awaiting our next snow storm. Another 6" is supposed to begin falling within the next hour, continuing through until tomorrow morning. I may not be thrilled to have to shovel so much snow again, but I am thrilled to think that these snowfalls just have to be over soon. The good thing is that tomorrow will be another snow day and I'll be working on more of those BOMs. Hurry up spring!
I'm sorry that I've been AWOL for such a long time. The weather has been horrible and I'm simply laying low in survival mode. Between the most snow in our recorded history and some of the coldest temperatures in our recorded history, I'm just frazzled! I've also been hit with the flu and that too, has knocked my on my hind quarters. Oh... and let's not forget that with the cold temps came broken water mains. Two times so far, with the streets flooded and cars frozen in ice up to the middle of their hub caps. Uncle..... Uncle!!!!
Here's a picture taken yesterday of my driveway. For reference, the little white, ball blob in the center of the photo is the top of a grape vine post that is 6' high. For those of you that know the joys of shoveling, you understand that this means with each successive snowfall, I've had to HEAVE the snow up and over this mini mountain. Without any thawing, the mountain just continues to grow.
This is the sidewalk that runs from the side of my house to the garage. No point of reference here, but the snow is about 2' high on both sides. This is pretty well level with the snow that is on the ground.
On a happier note, here's a sweet Valentine's gift for your quilter friends. I found this as a free download from the Moda Cutting Table and thought that it was really cute.
I think you can read the words a little better in this shot.
Hope you are all doing well and surviving this harsh winter. I'm hopeful that we are at least half way through the season and spring will soon follow. I can't wait to retire my shovel for the season!
Our first major snowstorm of the year arrived yesterday and has left quite a disaster in it's path. It's our second worst snow storm in history. As beautiful as it is, I'm glad that it's over for the time being. We are under a snow emergency so no one is allowed to travel on the roads outside of emergency vehicles. It's quite peaceful without the sound of even one car. (I did hear several snow mobiles out last night, however!) Because of where I live, I will probably be stranded for 4 or 5 days, but that's OK, I've got everything I need right here in the house.
This was taken in my back yard, somewhere in the middle of the snowfall yesterday. I had to shovel every few hours to even try and keep up with the snow. I was forced to quit by early evening as I was just too beat to shovel one more scoop. Oh..... my aching old body!
Here's the back of my garage. You really can't get an idea of the amount of snow out there..... white is white and it's hard to appreciate how deep it is.
Overnight, we got several more inches of snow and I went out first thing this morning to make another round with the shovel. The snow storm is over, but the bitter cold is approaching fast. I shoveled around 8 AM, at the warmest time of the day. It was -4 with a wind chill of -35.... chilly burgers! I was able to get things cleared fairly easily by keeping my back to the wind. Our total accumulation was somewhere between 18 and 20 inches.... it was kind of hard to guesstimate the grand total because of the drifting. I can only attest to the fact that it was a lot of snow.... too much snow!
I'm snug inside now, showered, fed and planning on a quiet day of sewing or reading. It's supposed to be -20 later today with wind chills at -50. As unreal as this storm has been, it's predicted to be in the mid 30's by Friday so relief is on the way. It's hard to grasp how bazaar these extremes can be. Nothing to do but go with the flow!
Well, it's a snow day around here and I thought I'd take a little time out from shoveling and post the gifts that I made for Christmas. I've been out once to shovel and will try and make three or four rounds throughout the day to keep up with the snowfall. Blick..... I'm already bushed!
First up is a "tool box" made out of two Altoid tins. I saw this on Pinterest and thought that it was a clever idea. You just spray paint the parts, connect them with tiny nuts and bolts, then add a handle. Although this was an easy project, it had it's problems. The biggest problem was in opening the tins after painting. That extra layer, actually two layers of paint, made it very tough to open. And when you do get it open, it takes off some of the paint. To do it over again, I would only paint the tops and that would leave the bottoms as purchased and they would open and close easily.
They do look cute sitting around on a shelf.
I added a little shelf liner, just like a real tool box.
I'll be making more of these using other types of tins but taking into consideration the extra bulk of the paint.
Next up is a zippered bag that will be used to carry a GPS. My friend loves Yoda and now carries his GPS inside of his glove. It was time for a better way to store it. Although I didn't quilt it, it's heavily padded with batting.
The other side.
I'm actually planning on making a second bag as I wasn't happy with the end project. I followed some instructions and didn't like the overall look. Now that I've made one, I can make my corrections. That's what I get for waiting until the week of Christmas to make some of these things..... there was no time for fixing or redoing!
Here's a little tote bag. Again, I followed the instructions, but found that there were things that I would change. In this case, the pockets are very narrow and hard to reach into the bottom.
This shot shows one of the pockets holding a pen which gives you an idea of how narrow the pockets are. There are six pockets, three on each side. I liked the bag overall but will make it bigger next time.
Here's another tote bag. This is for a friend who lives in Austin and needs market bags for shopping. They no longer give out plastic bags in the shops, so cloth bags are very useful.
I just made two identical bags for her.
And lastly, here are some pins that I made for some quilting friends. I've had the fabric for quite a while and decided that it would make a cute pin with a little fussy cutting.
Well, it's about time for round two in my winter wonderland of shoveling! Hope you are all snug and safe!
Just a quick post.... I was putting the newspaper in the recycle bin this morning and noticed these crocuses (croci ?) coming up next to the house. Needless to say, it's a wee bit early here in Indiana for the flowers to be surfacing. The weather has been extreme.... extra cold and extra warm.... so even nature is a bit puzzled. The crocuses always seem to be OK when Spring actually arrives, even with these premature sightings.
I love the post-Christmas glow! This is the time when we can relax, knowing that the actual holiday is over and we can sit back and enjoy what is left of our Christmas decorations without the stress of gift giving.
I hope you all had a blessed Christmas and were able to take a few moments to reflect and bask in the true meaning of Christmas.... not the gift giving.... and enjoy the special memories.
I have a few pictures of the sewing/quilting related gifts that I received.
First up... two new books. Judi Madsen's Wide Open Spaces and Laurie Hird's The Farmer's Wife Pony Club. Judi's book has several quilt patterns along with suggestions for machine quilting the open spaces of your quilt. It has an enclosed CD for more instructions. Laurie's book is a companion book to her first book, The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. Both books are based on letters from the Farmer's Wife magazine. The Pony Club has letters written by children that received Shetland ponies as a reward for magazine subscriptions sold. There was some controversy as to whether this was a legitimate contest or not... were there actually winners and did they really receive ponies??....so the magazine asked the kids to send in pictures of their ponies and accompanying letters. It's a charming book with an insight to the life of a child in the early 1900's. This book also comes with a CD with the patterns and instructions for the quilt blocks that go along with the kid's stories.
I'd certainly recommend both of these books.
At the bottom is a page-a-day quilting calendar by our friend Debby Kratovil and Jean Ann Wright.
This is the fabric that I received. Some coordinating fat quarters, some coordinating fat eighths, and some miscellaneous fabric. I love them all!
And here are the patterns that I received. The two on the left are patterns only and the pumpkin on the right is a complete kit with laser cut fabric.... all ready to put in place, fuse and sew. Can you see the cute little mice faces on the top left pattern? Delightful!
I think this is all of my sewing loot.... if I come across more as I'm putting things away, I'll slip in a picture. And soon.... I'll be posting some of the things that I made for Christmas gifts. I really didn't make many things this year so it will be fairly quick to blog about the gift making.