Tuesday, December 31, 2013

One last post

of the last item I completed this year 

You may recognize this as the pillow that goes with the surprise quilt I made, it's ready to deliver.  I did a few things different from the last pillow I made 

  1)  I rounded the corners 

  2) Changed up the back with stripes 


  3) Made a pocket with a small strip of Velcro 

and  made my own pillow insert out of fleece to make it soft.  I added 4 tack marks so the pillow isn't round and puffy.  This is what I like so hopefully the recipient does too. 

The stitching matches the quilt, I will definitely do another pillow.  This was fun and completes the look of the set.

See you next year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

When I look over 2013

Reviewing all the items I have worked on, completed and are now in use, I had a really good year!  As you all know by now I have been sewing forever, but the addition of quilting for me has only been about a year and a half.

I have learned so much this year from books, TV, computer classes, YouTube, hands on classes and fellow quilters/sew pals.  When I'm not actually working on a project I am on my Tiara with scrap, practice, practice, practice.

In review I have completed
2 king size quilts
1 queen size quilt
4 full size quilts
7 baby / lap quilts
1 doll quilt
3 Stuffed animals
10 marshmallow peeps
28 place mats
8 mug rugs
3 pillow cases
1 pillow
1 purse
4 tote bags
2 med zipper cases
12 wallet zipper cases
14 puppy foo foo scarfs
2 Christmas collars
1 Beach cover up
1 Quilted Name tag
1 Ironing board cover
And a flag for Boston

Current UFOs
1 Yellow, Gray and White quilt I am taking my time on it's not in a pattern book, I am making it my own.  Technically it's a work in progress, not an unfinished object.  

Projects on deck- a Riley Blake challenge for MQG, to be fair I just got the fabrics 2 weeks ago.  Lastly a feather quilt designed by Anna Maria Horner.  Our WNY MQG as a group we are each making 15 blocks to swap of which one we will keep and one will be made into a quilt to be donated to charity.  On this one I have questions I think will be clear after our January meeting so I will wait.

Guess I was busy this year, good thing I'm retired 

Saturday, December 28, 2013


More than a few months ago I was given a very large bag of fabric to do with as I like.  The owner had selected all of the needed fabrics for a pattern she wanted to do for her room.  Most of them were cut 3 1/2" wide by the length of the material, I wasn't sure what the pattern looked like but I loved the 33 different prints
Bag o fabric

Unfortunately the sewing machine she was going to use wasn't working properly, the thought of making her first quilt was no longer of interest.  She had talked about doing this quilt for months so I assumed letting go was a big decision, it would be for me. 

As soon as she left the room I told my sister I wanted to make it for her and I would complete it in time for Christmas 6 months away.  Maybe seeing it completed would encourage her to try again someday with my encouragement and help.

start of the block

I started the first 2 rows using a fence rail and then was given the pattern of what it was planned to be, an Amy Butler design.  I was able to download it free off line, looking at it I then created my own pattern starting with the fence rail and then using additional cuts creating a pie shape to each square.  I liked it and hoped the recipient would too.  It was a creation of 2 patterns, totally unique just like the lovely girl it was going to.

using the design wall to mix up the fabrics 

I made it queen size adding a pocket on the back where I included a note to the recipient.  She loved it and her fabric selections brought out the lime green of her bedroom walls.

ready to deliver

Now that Christmas has passed I can print this post ~ Merry Christmas, I hope you received something you thought was wonderful too!

in progress

surprises yet to come there is still a pillow in the works :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Metallic thread

I wanted to make a runner for my cocktail table using fabric I purchased a few months ago.  The pattern and quilting I kept simple so I could use metallic thread.  

When I purchased the silver, gold and copper metallic thread my sewing machine dealer gave me some tips to use it.  She suggested letting the thread unwind loosely placing it next to the machine without the cap and using the thread extension for large cones. 

My machine prefers the  thread on top and the bobbin be the same weight,  it took a few changes but I ended up using the embroidery filament thread. 

Prior to quilting I checked my machine to see which needle is suggested to use and played with the thread on scrap until I was happy with the results.  

I expected a lot of breakage due to the thin nature of metallic thread.  I was pleasantly surprised I only had two breaks and one was my fault catching the overage of the fabric on the thread as I turned it. 

I enjoyed making this one so much I finished it by tracing the glass from the cocktail table like a template and using a small width binding to keep the curves crisp.  I'm happy with the finished results.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Gathering

UAs you may know by now I hate table cloths unless it's on a buffet.  I prefer placemats, when you have one with a spill you don't loose the entire table covering.  I will be using my Christmas plates, ( no paper plates here) silverware and placemats.

Christmas placemats for me MUST be in real reds, green-green, snowy white and even silver or gold. When I found this fabric line from _________ I knew it was the one I wanted.  I envisioned fussy cut squares so I picked fabrics to match.  As I made the first one I took the opportunity to quilt them each differently.  Good way to try different patterns on a small scale.

I will be making a full dinner on Tuesday, turkey with all the trimmings.  Wednesday I do breakfast after presents and we are doing an afternoon dinner gathering with my family, this will allow my daughter to visit with everyone without spending her few days home in a car trying to see everyone.

For as long as I've been married we have traveled on Christmas Eve or Christmas, I am so excited to host this years Christmas and relax on Christmas Eve.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hallmark please stop

Hallmark please stop this series!  
Fireplace Pre-decoration
My husband is a Hallmark collector, he started the series Shop's & House's 30 years ago.  With the addition of specials on top of the annual release there are now 36.  This first became a problem about 10 years ago when the series exceeded my fireplace mantel.  To fix it I started putting the houses on the wreath.  When that wasn't enough I created levels so I could double them up.

  Last year 2 were released and again this year another 2, come on Hallmark enough already.

This year hubby cut some scrap 4" longer and 3" wider than the mantel to give me more room.  The scrap is made of MDF so I can't staple into it or use tape. 

 A simple slip stitch secured the white cotton batting nicely. To create multiple levels I also covered 5 smaller pieces of 2 x 4 and 2 x 6.  Stacking them allowed all of the shops to be seen. 

Each year we put up several trees, yes plenty of ornaments to go around. The mantel is my favorite place for the houses and shops, I'm glad working together we could solve the problem and keep them here.  
I still want Hallmark to stop this series please, that and Frosty Friends ~another that has gone on too long.