Thursday, December 29, 2011

I've got a miscellaneous day today.  Some of these pictures have been in my camera for a few months and I just haven't spent much time blogging.  I'll try to be more on top of things.

First off, I spent my birthday gift certificate today.  Thanks, Kathy!  :)  I've been waiting for their year-end sale to get the most for my money (gift certificate).  I didn't go crazy, just picked up a few things.  I was almost out of white Fairy Frost, which is one of my staples, and I picked out another white on white fabric that doesn't have the shiny sheen.  A Christmas panel, a Christmas print, and a pattern round out my purchases.

This is Oliver, expecting to help me cut fabric today.  I had to disappoint him, as today was just a shopping and design day, not a sewing or cutting day.

Next up is my Christmas cactus.  I bought it last year in the reduced area at Lowe's.  I think it was $1.00, maybe less.  I was thrilled when it actually bloomed this year, although this was its one and only bloom.  I'm not sure if I did something wrong or if this is just because it was a small cactus.  Guess I'll see what happens next year.  The bloom was such a pretty shade of coral and I was looking forward to many more colorful flowers. 

These next two photos show the loot I picked up at a garage sale in October.  (Yes....I should have blogged about it then.)  The patterns were $1 each.  Great deals!

The fabric was sold at $.12 per inch, a great price in this world of expensive quilt fabric.  I got the charm packs for $3 each.  This garage sale is once a year and I always look forward to it, hoping to find some great treasures!

Finally, an applique kit that I bought awhile back, also on sale.  Do you see a pattern in my shopping habits??  I buy way too much fabric and too many sewing goodies, but at least I wait for sale prices.  (This is my way of justifying my bad habit.)  I love McKenna Ryan's patterns and kits.

That's it for today.  I've got a few more pictures hanging out in my camera and will post them soon.  Hope your sewing day is a good one!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I started playing around with my EQ5 this afternoon and this is my design for the Wonky House Block Swap.  It's easy to get carried away with the endless fun angles and designs that I could come up with but I had to tell myself that the design had to be sewable...and....I need to make 12 blocks.  Anything too terribly complicated might cause me trouble in getting things finished in time.  These aren't the colors that I'll be using, just some colors that I was playing with to get some contrast ideas. 

Oh, BTW, the swap is now closed.  I had posted that the fourth group was's now full.  I'm not sure if any further groups will be opening up.

Here are some of the fabrics that I've auditioned for the blocks.  So far, everything has come from my stash.  We were told to use bright fabrics with no Civil War fabrics or calicoes.  I may try to find a novelty fabric to fussy cut for the window and/or door.  I have some novelty fabrics in my stash that might be cute, but I think I'll look around a bit before doing any cutting and sewing.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm finally able to show one of the Christmas gifts that I made.  It was delivered yesterday and I think it was appreciated!

My friend, Kathy, has two sweet little schnauzers and this is a table runner with some character interpretations of her schnauzers.  (The schnauzer pattern came from Fat Cat Patterns.)  Kathy has one black schnauzer and one gray schnauzer.  Here's the whole table runner.  It ended up being about 16" x 46"....... pretty long. 

A close up of the two pups.......



A bone for a treat.......

This is my third attempt at stippling and I'm finally getting the hang of it.  My biggest problem has been with the tension and getting a decent stitch on the top as well as the bottom.  I just kept experimenting with sample sandwiches until I found success (somewhat).  Your upper tension needs to be VERY tight.  I had mine set almost as high as it would go, high enough that it was even a little tough to pull the thread out of the machine to clip threads when you finished an area.  Hope this helps you with your efforts.

And finally, here are a few gifts that I received for Christmas....... the sewing and quilt related gifts, that is.  The vintage lusterwear bear is going to become a pin cushion..... that's why he's shown with sewing items.
 I love them all!!!!!  (Thank you!)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Just joined a new Wonky House Block Swap at Jane's Fabric's and Quilts.  A new group of 12 folks is forming and there are still some openings.  Click on the house to find out the details.  The blocks aren't due until March, so there's plenty of time!

Please join in the fun!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I'm not sure what year this picture was taken, but I do remember being terribly embarrassed because I did not believe in Santa Claus!  We went to visit Santa with our neighbor, Mom's best friend, and her two sons.  Mom said she thought both of the boys still believed in Santa so I had to play along.  Now, decades later, this picture brings sweet memories and I'm glad that Mom dragged me along for a photo op.  (Mrs. Claus took the Polaroid photo!)

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.
(Luke 2:10-11)

Merry Christmas to you and yours!  May you be blessed with sweet memories, past and present.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's been ages since I've done any craft posting.  Sorry about that.  Life has just been getting in the way and my time for creating has been slim to none. 

So today, I have a little show and tell.  I was lucky enough to win a give-a-way in October during a blog hop that featured the"Ghastlie" fabric line by Alexander Henry. 

Here's a picture of my prize when it arrived.....all dressed up and ready to be opened!

Here is my wonderful gift.  An apron made from Ghastlie fabric, sent to me from Katherine.  I had entered on her blog and was the lucky winner.  This picture does not do it justice.  It's just beautifully made....her construction is perfect......and she really made the Ghastlie fabric stand out.  I told her it was too pretty to use for messy cooking, but would be perfect to wear while handing out candy to the little gremlins in the neighborhood.  Thank you soooooooo much, Katherine!

Now, here's the bad part.  I'm in love with this fabric collection.  All of the projects that were highlighted in the Ghastlie blog hop were so creative.  I just had to have some of this fabric too!  I don't have specific plans, so for now, I'm just fondling the fabric and thinking of all of the great things that I could make using this quirky fabric. 

Thank you again, Katherine!

Click on this link to see an amazing line up of Ghastlie creations!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
(Isaiah 6:8)

This scripture is engraved on the tombstone of my friend that was killed in Afghanistan last November. A true servant. Thank you to all of the military, past and present, who keep us safe at the risk of their own lives.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Thursday, September 15, 2011

I took a little time out this week to complete (I'm using the word complete loosely) the Project Runway challenge.  The contestants worked in teams of 5 (we were on our own) and were to design three fabrics and five outfits, one outfit from each designer on the team.  We only had to make one outfit, but were encouraged to sketch the other outfits.  I was lucky to accomplish the little that I did.

Here's my fabric.  Apparently, the contestants were only able to use grey scale, as their printer must not have had color capabilities.  I stuck with the grey scale although many of the mini designers used color in their fabrics.  It was also to depict a city theme in some way.  I chose a clip art of a city scape, reduced it several times, then cut and pasted it multiple times until I filled up the letter sized fabric sheet.  It was then just printed through my ink jet. 

Here's the completed outfit.  Simple, simple, simple, but I think that it still addresses the challenge fairly well.  You could easily make a coordinating line with slacks, a jacket, longer skirt, different tops, etc., using the same city fabric and turquoise accent color. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
that can succeed against the LORD.

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the LORD.

Proverbs 21:30-31

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Please check out this link for specifics for donating quilts to the victims of the Texas wildfires. 

And if you can't donate a quilt, United Notions
 is asking for pillowcases. 

Calling all Quilters: "Here in on County Texas we have had some bad fires like all of Texas. I am asking the sewing community to step up and make at least one pillowcase this week for these victums to try to make a small diffrence. You can mail them to me at Country Living Quilts 1816 CR 427, Marquez, TX 77865 Please post this every where"

Friday, September 2, 2011

No Project Runway design for you this week.  Sorry.  I just ran out of time and it had to be put on the bottom of the "to do" list.  Hopefully I'll have time to tackle next week's challenge, which looks like a fun one.

This is the free fabric piece that I received from Spoonflower.  They offered any of their fabric swatches for free...shipping too, or you could design your own, also free.  I posted about this earlier.  I only found out about it right before the offer was going to expire, so I quickly chose this pattern from thousands and thousands of patterns.  I do love my bots!

This is a great site.  You can make fabric out of photos that you have, drawings that you have made, or just about any other source.  If you can't find the fabric that you want in the it and print it yourselves!  I was very pleased with this sample.  Nice quality.

Next up is my loot from today's shopping spree.  I'm still using my gift certificate from Fabrics and Friends in Roanoke, Indiana.  (Again....thank you for voting for my wall hanging!)    This weekend, everything store-wide is 25% off so I really got my money's worth!  And......I still have some money left.  He-he!

Two jelly rolls, one charm pack, one fat quarter pack (38 FQ's)and a great book!  Yippee!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's all about the accessories!  As usual, I left the Project Runway challenge until the last minute and only had a couple of hours last night to work on it.  You'll have to use your imagination a bit on this one.

The challenge was "It's all About Nina."  Nina Garcia, fashion director of marie claire magazine, that is.  We were to design an outfit that Nina would be able to wear during the day at work, and transform into an outfit that she could wear to an evening trade event, with only a change of accessories.  We were given some guidelines....styles she disliked...styles she liked....colors, etc.  Basically, she likes classic styles with a little pop factor, no loud fabrics or prints, but not too boring.

I didn't have time to accessorize this outfit, but I think it answers the challenge fairly well and I can actually visualize Nina wearing this outfit.  The fabric is a day into night fabric and is a nice color for Nina's skin tones.  Simply changing jewelry, shoes, and maybe even the hair style, could make this work friendly, then evening friendly. 

My "pop" factor is using the selvedge edge on the top and the pants.  I liked the way the selvedge looked and wanted to add it to the outfit.  I made a band to go around the waist-hip area of the top and simply left the bottom edge of the pants unhemmed, using the selvedge edge for the finish.

This outfit had my first sleeves and my first pants.  The pants were fairly easy, but I did have some fitting problems with the sleeves.  They pull a little bit instead of hanging loose and free.

So use your imagination.....think of Nina wearing some beautiful earrings, a necklace, bangle bracelets, wedge shoes.......then upgrade all of those to fancier evening accessories, probably all in gold, and dressy shoes.  I think it could work!
(Edited to say that this fabric is hunter green, not black.  I'm getting some comments about the black fabric and thought I should clear that up.)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Free Fabric Swatch at Spoonflower!
 (Free shipping too!)

I just came across this offer and it expires at hurry over to Spoonflower to either pick an already designed swatch of fabric or design your own.  Either's free until noon!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Project Runway reveal time.......  This weeks' challenge was to make an outfit for a model wearing stilts.  A really goofy challenge, in my opinion, as it seems like the challenge was simply to make a longer outfit than normal.  The runway on the TV show was outdoors, so I've taken Cara's finished shot outdoors too, while hoping that no neighbors came out to see me playing with dolls!  

These are the fabrics that I chose.  I was happy to be back to a normal fabric, instead of pet supplies, but still found lots of difficulties making this outfit.  More later.

Here is Cara in her "stilts."  I used plastic straws for her stilts and simply taped them to her legs.  She wasn't in these very long, so I don't think it was too rough on her.  I only started this challenge last night, so there wasn't much time to make the outfit or much time for her to have these things strapped to her legs.

Here's my finished project.  I wanted to make a palazo pant with an over skirt, but too many things, including time restraints, kept me from making what I had designed in my mind.  I had to simplify just about everything to get the outfit finished in time.  I had also planned on sleeves...but again....didn't have the time to make those.  An easier halter was made instead.  I used chains to trim the waist and to tie her halter top in the back.

Here's a great shot of the back of her melted skirt!  Yeah, really.  Those stripes are Cara's stilts showing through the melted hole.  I used my mini quilting iron which is just the perfect size for these tiny seams.  I had tested the temperature and had no problem until I let the iron sit for awhile, then touched the fabric.  Instant melting!  Apparently, it got considerably hotter while not being used.  It was too late to start over, so I had to leave it.  I also had problems sewing the fabric.  Nothing has gone smoothly yet, but the finished project.....from a somewhat acceptable.  And, as usual, more lessons have been learned the hard way!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This doesn't look like a quilting picture, but that's what I was doing while watching these two come down to the pond for a refreshing drink. 

I got to spend the day with my friend, Joyce, who lives in the country.  Deer visit often......much too often, if you ask her.  Her home is surrounded by woods but I think the deer find her shrubs tastier.  Yum....

It was just so pleasant to spend the day chatting, quilting, and watching the deer and the birds at the feeders.  No sounds other than bird songs.  Delightful day for this urban girl!  Thanks, Joyce!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's time for this week's Project Runway reveal.  Click on the pictures for better details.  First, a few notes on the process. 
To start, here's a picture of the back of the bag.  I forgot to post both sides last week and since I used part of the back, I wanted you to see where all of the parts came from.

Next up is a photo of the Velcro that I found at Jo-Ann's that works just great.  I do believe that it's the exact type of Velcro that Mattel uses, as it looks and behaves just like the Velcro that I removed from the Barbie swimsuit last week. It says on the package that it's not recommended for fabric, just crafts, but if you sew it down (it's sticky backed), it seems to work wonderfully.  The nap on both parts of the Velcro is very short and close to the correct scale for tiny model's clothes.

Here's Cara in her pet shop supply outfit.  Everything was made out of the cat food bag, with no additional supplies used.  Working with plastic was a real pain and another learning experience!  I was going to start over, once I learned some tricks, but decided to leave it as is.  You can only sew the plastic one time as it pokes holes in the plastic which will tear if you work with it too much.  When I sewed the skirt and turned it right side out, it made horrible krinks and wrinkles.  I tried to use a hair dryer to heat the wrinkles out, but it was a really fine line between smoothing out the wrinkles and melting the skirt.  Again....I left it as is. 

Full view.

And lastly, here's a back shot of her boots.  I told you that her feet were wider and flatter than regular Barbie feet so it's hard to find shoes to fit.  These work as long as she stands up against a wall!

On to next week's challenge!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Here's my next Project Runway challenge.  We are to make our creation out of pet shop supplies, trying not to use regular fabric products, like a dismantled dog bed, but unconventional materials.  They can be applied to a muslin base, if necessary.  I've chosen the bag from my cat's food.  It's made out of a plastic material, not paper, and all I could think about was that I wouldn't need to turn under any tiny raw edges or worry about fraying.  However, I have no idea how working with plastic will turn out.  (I've already tried melting it with a match and it didn't work very well.)  I give myself the right to completely change my challenge materials if this is a bust!  Having had every kind of pet imaginable, I have an endless supply of pet products to use if this bag doesn't work out.  Hopefully, I'll have some sort of finished product to post on Thursday!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

And the headline could have read "Local Woman Killed In Buffalo Stampede!"

No could have.  I went to the Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve on Saturday to take a buffalo tour.  This is a fairly popular tourist attraction in Northern Indiana and I knew  several people that had visited and highly recommended it. 

There were six of us on this particular tour truck, all seniors looking for a relaxing commune with nature.  It was just the freakishly perfect storm.  The buffalo were startled by something (later, the tour guide said it was the horses that some people were riding outside our fenced acreage) and they started running towards us, all 250+ of them!  Because of the way our truck was positioned,  backed close into a corner of their area, they had very little space to run around us and could not help but "bump" into our truck.  They weren't trying to cause us any harm, they were just in a panic mode and running in an uncontrolled frenzy.  This truck was just an open bed pickup that was outfitted with some planks for the visitors to sit on and short plank sides to lean against.  I don't know what the babies weighed.....maybe 200+ pounds, but the adults weighed up to 2000+ pounds.  2000 pounds running at 35 miles an hour, bumping into the truck was frightening.  In addition to feeling the ground shake and the truck being jostled, I could feel our truck lifting up.  It lasted about 20 to 30 seconds, but it seemed a bit like slow motion.  I instinctively went to the side of the truck that was lifting (like ballesting a tipping sail boat) although my weight would have done little against the tons of weight pounding us.  When it was over, I told my friend Jerry that I thought we were about to tip over and he said I was nuts.  The tour guide confirmed that I was right and that it was close to tipping!  Why we hadn't been warned about this possibility, I don't know.  The guide said it had happened once before, but it was extremely rare.  If it had tipped, we faced the possibility of being crushed by the truck or run over by the buffalo.....neither choice particularly apealing.  I was the only one (outside of the guide) that even realized the danger we were in, so we all went back to our casual chatting and asking questions about the buffalo.  Surreal. 

Amazingly, after this episode was over, everything was as peaceful as it was before the stampede. The buffalo are a naturally peaceful animal and they went back to grazing, scratching, swatting flies, and calmly checking us out as we watched them. 

 The calm before the storm!

You can see the peaceful expession of this face!  And I understand that they are very intelligent too.

There's more to this story, but that's enough to tell.  I would still go back and take the tour again, believing that it wouldn't happen twice!  Like lightening....right??!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

I went fabric shopping today and here's the loot!  But wait.... there's a was free!  I won second place with my little cat wall hanging (earlier post) and the prize was a $200 gift certificate!  Shazzam!  They.....Fabrics and Friends in Roanoke, IN (no web site).....were having a great sale today too, so I have almost $150 left after making these purchases.  I was one happy camper!

I love Halloween fabric and Bigfork Bay has the most comical patterns, right up my weird alley.  I may go back tomorrow too, as I also have a 40% off coupon.  And it will be free.....did you hear me.... free!  I'm so blessed!  Many grateful thanks to all of you who took the time to drive to Roanoke to vote for my wall hanging!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Here's my big Project Project Runway reveal.  Let me tell you, this isn't what I had in mind!  (You can click on her photo for a closer look at her outfit.)

I used every bit of Cara's swimsuit.  The top was cut apart and the bra cups were inverted to make pockets on her top.  I split open the bottoms and removed the crotch area, then added the gathered skirt. 
I had problems just because everything is so small.  You cannot sew these tiny clothes the same way you would sew normal sized garments.  After I had removed the crotch area from the swimsuit bottom, I tried to sew my gathered skirt to the bottom.  My sewing foot was too big to even get to the area.  I can't even explain everything that went wrong, but the skirt seams started out on the sides with pockets, but when I couldn't sew it to the swimsuit bottom, I had to split all of the seams on the bottom, move the skirt around, remove the pockets......blah, blah.  You had to be there to understand this.  What I did learn is that everything has to be done in long seams.....for instance, there is no way you could sew a set in sleeve the normal'd have to sew it to the shoulder, then sew a long seam up the sleeve and down the torso.  Still can't explain this, but you clothing sewists will understand this. 

I won't know what the next challenge is until tomorrow, but I know that my brain will have to adjust to tiny construction techniques and not normal sewing methods.  None the less, it was fun to play around with this challenge.  Here's a link to check out the other contestants' entries.  Many are really cute and clever!

Cara, my sweet model has no shoes yet!  Her feet are not made as small and curved as the regular Barbie doll feet, they are wider and more flat.  I'm on the lookout for wider shoes.  Next picture session, I'll just cut off the photo and not show her feet!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Meet my new Project Runway model, Cara.  More about her later.

I recently found out about a challenge that mimics the Project Runway TV show except that the models are a bit smaller than the television show models.  The challenges are similar each week, using our miniature models.  I'm not sure if I'll have the time for this or not, but I signed up anyway and promptly hired my model.

As you can see, Cara was a swimsuit model and being the end of the season, she was looking for work.  Her contract price was affordable, even for me, so we have agreed to take on this challenge together, whenever time allows.

The challenge this week was to make a garment out of what the contestants were wearing....for this challenge, it was their bed clothes, and a single top sheet from their beds.  For our copy challenge, we are to make something from whatever our model was wearing, or we could use a piece of fabric resembling PJ fabric.  In addition to this outfit or PJ fabric, we may use a 10 x 10 piece of white cotton/cotton blend to duplicate a mini bed sheet.  The completed projects are posted next Friday when we also receive our next challenge requirements.

I had never seen Project Runway because I don't have cable TV.  However, I'm able to watch it online and watched the first episode last Friday and I'll be able to keep up do date by watching the program the day after it airs.  Should not create a problem. 

If you'd like to play along, check out the Project Runway Challenge and sign up.  You can find out more of the specific details for the challenges.  It will be fun to see what the other "contestants" create each week!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I had a Shutterfly coupon for a free 20 page photo album and it was about to expire.  It took forever and a day to put this thing together and upload some pics.'s a cat photo book (with a few friends tossed in), but that's no surprise to any of you.  I'm excited for the real copy to arrive!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I finished the keyboard cover that I talked about a while back.  It's not the fabric that I showed you in that original post.  I found these cute musical cats a few weeks later and knew that I had to move on to Plan B. 


Nothing too fancy here, but the cover does have an opening for the music stand to come through.  I figured there would be many times where I'd want to cover the keyboard but wouldn't want to remove the music holder.

Cool Cats!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Have you seen this pattern design tool?  You can pick your quilt pattern, adjust the size, and pick your fabrics.  There is a limited selection of fabrics, but you can certainly get the idea of what your quilt would look like with similar fabrics and colors.  Once your design is finished, you can print out the fabric requirements and directions then take it along to the quilt shop.  Have fun!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thank goodness that I live in a neighborhood where this amount of fireworks would cost a month's salary (or more).  I saw this huge pile of trash set out today when I went to a friend's house.  This is a little over the top and I'm glad that I live nowhere near this person!

(Size reference....the box on top is as tall as me and the pile is as deep as it is wide.)