Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday's Crazy WISPs

I've been working so much overtime I haven't made much progress on my Midnight Fantasy Garden blocks that will someday be a glow-in-the-dark wallhanging. I found some variegated rayon thread on sale at Hobby Lobby so picked it up and decided to try it on the leaves under the fairy. I couched down three rows of the thread all around on the leaves. On the two smaller leaves the brown part of the thread blends into the black and the couching stitches are more prominent than the thread itself.  But that's okay by me. I also found some variegated boucle yarn in the sale bin at Hobby Lobby so picked that up too and couched it all around under the leaves. I think it looks kind of like moss. I'm going to add a few tiny flowers on top of the moss.

 And, what is this, you ask? My cordonnets, I say.  These are some day going to be needlelace mushrooms I will add to my wallhanging. I finally got up the nerve to start on this. I read several books and some said to make a pad of layers of muslin with the outline either painted or drawn on the top layer of fabric. Other books said to make a pad of layers of muslin, then baste on traced paper design and then add a layer of architect linen (no idea what that is or where to find it) or Press and Seal. The books didn't exactly call the film by brand name but that's what I used. I was wondering which method to use and decided on the latter method mainly because I'm cheap and I decided if I used that method I could reuse the muslin again because it wouldn't have had a pattern traced on it.  Now I'm in the process of couching down the outlines in #80 thread. (I'm using Lizbeth 80).  The only thing I think I would change next time (if there is a next time) is to use tracing paper instead of printer paper for my pattern. It is rather difficult to use a fine needle to couch and pierce a layer of film and printer paper.

And finally, here is the start of my September CQJP 2012 block for my Crazy Basket Case lap quilt - a sewing basket.

And, if you are interested in other WISPS check the comments at Pintangle's WISP Wednesday. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Christmas Tree Skirt?

I participated in a 6.5 Christmas charm swap and received about 120 charms. I had decided I wanted to make a Christmas tree skirt for my daughter with some of them. So far I put two charms right sides together, sewed around all four sides and then cut on the diagonal corner to corner and ended up with 4 perfect HSTs. (I guess I probably should have taken a photo of that whole process because I fear I have not explained it well, but...)  I sewed the HSTs together in rows 12x12 and this is where I am. I'm not sure what I'm going to do next, but it will be a Christmas tree skirt next time I take a picture of it.

I'm linking up to Connie's Freemotion Quilting by the River Tuesday linky party.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

No, I'm Not Going to Let the Cat Out of the Bag...

 But I will let some other things out of the bag...
I'm going to make some reversible shopping bags for several people for Christmas. This one is for my dad and step mom. Dad loves all things Irish; hence the shamrock fabric and the madras plaid was on the 1/2 off table at the fabric store. I'm also going to use the bags as "wrapping" for Christmas gifts.
  So far, inside their bag is a crocheted dishcloth (dish rag?), dish towel I embroidered with a 50s motif and a hotpad (so easy to make) that also reminds me of the 50s.
And while I was in crochet mode I crocheted up a couple more dish cloths to add to the Christmas gift box. Now I just need to embroider a dishtowel to go with and make one of those easy, peasy hotpads and make a couple more shopping bags and I've got a few more people crossed off my Christmas list.

I've been so tired lately with working the overtime (which I hope ends at the end of Aug) that I welcome the mindless and quick work involved with the crochet.

I'm linking up to Connie's Freemotion Quilting by the River Tuesday linky party. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Happy Merry Christmas Birthday

My good friend, who doesn't sew but sometimes tries, will turn 60 on Sept. 11.  She has often jokingly asked when I was going to make her a quilt and so I thought her 60th would be a good time to give her one. It was not my first choice of a quilt for her. I had several others in mind but with working so much over time I knew I would never get either one finished before her birthday so I settled on a Christmas quilt for her made with some Christmas Happy Blocks I had on hand. 

Marsha loves Christmas. (She loves birthdays too, unlike me). She decorates every room of her house for Christmas (unlike me). 

I was going to try to quilt some rambling stars on my plain old ordinary sewing machine but opted instead for straight line (or shaky line) quilting. I never try stitch in the ditch anymore because I always miss the ditch like a drunk misses walking a straight line.  See those Santa heads over there on the green background?  I'm still thinking about coloring a couple of them in with some black magic markers to see if she notices. My friend Marsha is black (unlike me) and I think she'd find it humorous if she notices at all. She collects black Santas. 

The backing is some wild reindeer fabric. I used the same fabric for the binding. 
Can't wait until 9-11-2012 to give it to her. Hope she will have a Happy Merry Christmas Birthday. 

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. 
Linking up to  Linky Tuesday at Quilting by the River

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Everyone Needs a Little Whimsy

I've started on some of my Christmas presents. I usually try to make everyone some fun pillowcases every year.

I've got Fancy Nancy for each of the 7yo granddaughters. We've checked many Fancy Nancy books out of the library and I've given them some Fancy Nancy First Readers for Christmas. 

My 3yo grandson loves Sponge Bob Square Pants. Who could ever think of such a name for a cartoon character and think it would be so popular? I, of course, thought it was stupid. But then I got to thinking about the cartoons of my day with cats beating up mice (Tom and Jerry), Porky Pig always trying to hunt down Bugs Bunny (or was he always after Daffy Duck?). Now that I think about it cartoons were pretty violent back then compared to Sponge Bob Square Pants. 

These are kind of a His and Hers for my oldest son and his girlfriend. Sean loved Kermit when he was little. He had a stuffed Kermit he carried everywhere. Kermit's eyes fell off and he got all beat up and must have one day made it to the garbage can but, even as beat up as it was, I wish I would have saved it for him. Don't ask me why. I guess I'm waxing nostalgic. Anyway...he gets the Kermit pillowcase and I was looking for Miss Piggy fabric for his girlfriend but then...would she take offense at having a Piggy pillowcase? I couldn't find the fabric anyway. So, her pillowcase is the ying to his yang.

These aren't as whimsical but my daughter and her husband love the great outdoors- fishing, mushroom hunting, etc..  So, they get some great outdoors fabrics for their pillowcases.

Hope the pillowcases bring a smile to their faces at Christmas. Everyone needs a little whimsy in their life now and then. There won't be many gifts this year since we all have met with hard times. But I'm sure we'll still have fun playing games...and we all collect freebies all year long to exchange with each other each year at Christmas. It's a competition now to see who can find the coolest free thing.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Flitting...Part II (or Those Crazy WIPs)

Yesterday I posted about how I flit from project to project. That was only the sane quilting projects. What follows are two crazy quilt WIPS. I have to say I may flit about quite a bit but  I usually do finish all the projects I start. Now I'm working so much overtime that I hardly have time to do anything. 
 This is my August block for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2012. The object of the project is to complete a CQ block per month.  My blocks are for a lap quilt and it's called Crazy Basket Case. I've used mostly red and white, included one or two baskets per block, and all has to be washable. Plus I've tried very hard to make each seam on each block unique.

 And in no particular order here's my Crazy Basket Case lap quilt so far. It's on my design floor since I don't have a design wall.

 This is one of my Midnight Fantasy Glow in the Dark blocks. I showed this one last time. Since then I decided to use a couple of strands of skin toned DMC to fill in the gnome's face, hands and ears since his features got lost if I just left those areas black like the background. I also finished my fluorescent green praying mantis. I tried some boucle thread and made a few lazy daisies down by Mr. Gnome's feet. I found that the thread frayed a bit and broke off so will use shorter lengths of thread next time. I do like the bumpy look of the thread. I've also used glow in the dark thread to make some leaves over on that butterfly fabric. I'm working up enough courage to start on some stumpwork mushrooms that will go in some of that blank area where that flowery fabric is. I've read the directions over and over and over and over and over again. Maybe this weekend I will actually start on them. There will also be a few stumpwork butterflies on that butterfly fabric.
 This is another block for my Midnight Fantasy Glow-in-the-Dark Garden. I stitched the fairy riding the dragonfly in the middle and the rest of the block was stitched on by 4 other ladies in a Butterfly and Dragonfly RR over on the Crazy Quilting International Yahoo Group. Someone remarked in my booklet that it looked like a Pink Floyd Block. Anyway, all the ladies added their magic but nothing glows in the dark so I will probably fill in more on this block to add my own touches too.
 Here is another block for my Garden that just returned home from a different RR actually themed Midnight Fantasy Garden. I stitched the fairy in the middle. The teddy bear was added by one of the talented ladies.  I took off a few of the plastic trinkets and premade flower sthat were added during the RR and will again fill in with a few glowing stitches/items of my own.

And here is how all 5 of the blocks (out of 12?) look so far. They are all WIPs within WIPs. Nothing is planned. I use my left brain at work all day so like to use my right brain at home. And sometimes I just don't feel like using my brain at all.

I'm linking up at Connie's Quilting by the River Linky Party and at Sharon's WIP Wednesday where you can see what everyone else in blog land is working on.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Flitting from one project to the next. I guess I have a short attention span or I'm easily bored or too tired from working so much overtime. 

I've finished several more string star blocks...

Put together a Christmas Happy Block quilt top. I'm hoping to get it finished for a good friend who is turning 60 in Sep. and who loves Christmas so much she decorates every room of her house. (ugh! - that means you also have to un-decorate at some point).

 And I've finished 4 more Great Granny quilt blocks ala Bee in My Bonnet and Pleasant Home's Sew Along.
That makes a total of 19 out of the desired 42.

I'm linking up to Patchwork Times' Design Wall Monday. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I'm Not a Fabric Snob - All Fabrics Mix It Up in Scrap Vomit

I find it rather interesting that some folks who eschew traditional quilt guilds do so because they don't like the "quilt police" who turn up their noses at wonky points and uneven seams and yet those same folks never fail to mention on their blogs the fabric designer of the fabrics they use in their modern quilts.

And as for me? I don't join quilt guilds because I'm very shy and I've never had time between working and raising kids to join anything.  I sometimes sew wonky and sometimes I'm precise. What other people do with their quilts doesn't bother me. And as for fabrics...I like them all, use them all, and I don't ever remember (or care) who designed it or made it. I don't care who writes or produces the movies I watch either.

Grandma used old clothes to make her quilts. I loved her quilts. I loved to look at all the fabrics in them. And sometimes grandma would tell me stories about those old clothes that also led to stories of how she made it through the Great Depression and stories about my dad.

I like scrappy quilts. Old fabrics, new fabrics, floral fabrics, novelty fabrics, designer fabrics and children's fabrics all get along in a scrappy quilt. I've made several postage stamp quilts but was looking for a new twist on the postage stamp to use up some 2.5 inch scraps when I happened across the Scrap Vomit quilt.  I liked  the concept and liked the name so...I'm showing off 9 blocks of scraps.  I tried not to repeat any but see a few duplicates.

So, do you know who designed or produced any of these fabrics? I don't. But I know what projects they were used in. See any seams that don't match up? Are you the quilt police? ;-)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Oh My Stars!

Every quarter I take part in a 3 inch 9 patch swap over on Block_swappers Yahoo group. I just sent this quarter's blocks in and figured I better get back to turning my 9 patches into Sister's Choice stars before I get the next patch batch back.  (Say that 3 times fast). I've made a dent in the pile.