Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Quilty Circles

A while back Audrey of QuiltyFolk had an idea to sew a circle a day for the next 365 days.  Her vision Quilty365 was to make a circle block each day according to your mood of the day.  I signed up to sew along as well as lots and lots of blogging friends.  Check out the first linkup on December 1, 2015.  The more you make the better it gets.  So much personality in those little circles.  I love how everyone has put their unique ideas to their circles and shapes.

A mood of the day circle didn't inspire me like I thought it would.  I made about six of those mood circles and they left me feeling like where am I going with this? What am I going to with this???  A bit like improv quilting...it's not for me. I have to have some kind of plan if I am going to spend my time on a project.  I like a theme or to sew for a season. I began to toy with a Christmas print a day to end of up with a nice wall hanging.  I like the idea of a scrappy circle Christmas print table topper.  Maybe a nice amount of 25 prints, 5 by 5. Then I got sick and I got behind.  I needed a stress free quiet project and it was too much to pull out the bin of Christmas fabrics.  I still wanted to do some slow and peaceful stitching while I was recovering. Therefore, I decided I would do a Valentine's circle.  I have a small plastic box of Valentine themed fabrics that is easily manageable. 

I had a nice amount of KissKiss by Abi Hall for Moda charm squares left from last year's Valentine mini. They are still available at Missouri Star Quilt Company where I got mine. So this has been one of my recovery projects.  I made this simple snowball table topper last year.  It is finished now.

Here are my circles to date.  I have pulled polka dots and hearts from my valentine box and from my stash in general.  I like to make a project with lots of variety.  Happy! Happy! 

There is variety in this piece.  Trucks and doggie bones from a red and white charm pack.  I am not setting any boundaries.  Just what makes me smile.  Just what I like.

The charm squares are already cut at five inches.  I traced around a random jar top to make a four inch circle.  I think using pinking shears allows for some easier needle turn.  I tuck under about 1/4 inch seam allowance and hand stitch all around.  The idea is to eyeball the circle, nothing precise. Do not over-complicate the process. It doesn't take long while watching TV to make about two, three or four.  I prepped quite a few at one time.  I plan to do a few hearts and I can see some buttons and some lace.  I put in a few dogs and cats because I "heart" them too and they make me happy. I also love prints with tiny birds.  I will add a few of those.  For me it is has become a joyful project during recovery from surgery.    

I hope this may inspire you too.  Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sewing Interrupted

I just noticed the date of my last post was the day I wasn't feeling very good.  I told my mom that morning I was feeling a bit sick at my stomach.  By Friday I thought I must have food poisoning.  By Saturday I was at the ER. By Monday I was having surgery. Cholesectomy.  What's that you say?  I had to have my gall bladder removed because of a golf ball sized stone blocking my liver.  My liver was spewing bile in my body and man was I some kind of sick.  

Back to the sewing timeline.  Thursday, I finished the Christmas Cactus top. Friday, I had pulled out the completed Fair Isle blocks and I was making some good progress on putting those blocks together until about noon, and then all sewing ceased as you might imagine.   I am so much better now that two weeks have passed. I spent some time during recovery working toward finishing the Fair Isle Christmas quilt. I had started this quilt in November,2014. It was my first sew along of choice and it is a fun one.  The pattern is by Freshly Pieced found here and there is an Instagram #FairIsleQuilt.

I downsized the pattern just because two of those Reindeer were enough for me. I am making the middle.  It is the best part, like pie filling.  I am making the rest fit accordingly.  Quilts with white backgrounds are a cause for disaster in my household.  One muddy dog print and it will be all over.  This will definitely be a show quilt.  Also I haven't had much luck with that red Kona not bleeding when washed.  But I don't mean to go off on the negative.  It is a fantastic design.  The colors are fresh and cheery.  I do like this quilt.  

Yes these photos are not the greatest.  Yes, it is a wrinkly mess. Yes, the edges need trimming but I just wanted to show you that I have my FairIsle quilt top together and I am really happy to have another project top finished.

Merry Christmas to you all and Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Christmas Cactus is a Flimsy

The borders are on and I am liking it.  I am calling it Christmas Cactus but you may see Poinsettia's and that is what you are supposed to see.  So either way, it is good!

I could fret over the mismatched petals but it isn't worth the fuss.  I think it is lovely!  Very striking and vivid. And that's all that matters. The rose floral is lovely in this border setting.  It is called Hollywood & Vines by 3 Sisters for Moda.  I have been saving it in my stash for just the right quilt.  I have enough to use on the back with some of the dark green. I have the perfect holiday edge to edge pattern for quilting the quilt with my long arm.  I hope to finish this one over the weekend. 

The credits were given here in my last post.  So please go check it out. The pattern is Poinsettia's Allure by Judy Blok.  I hope she likes it too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Poinsettia or Christmas Cactus

Have you ever received a quilt magazine and found a pattern that you just can't get off your mind?  You just gotta make it!  That is how I have felt for quite a while about this pattern Poinsettia's Allure by Designer Judy Blok featured in the December 2013 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting.   I have been seriously eyeing this pattern for about a year.  I had some of the colors in my stash and I have been collecting the remaining appropriate fabrics.  A good solid red tone on tone and I needed a good cream.  I had some greens in my stash that I thought I could use. I have a floral that is appropriate for the border in my stash as well.  So I set out to make this one yesterday. 

It is a striking red. white and green Poinsettia.  A big 20 inch square block. It is for advanced level quilters.
I like the strong red and green. It is not a pattern design for everyone's taste. No sugar sparkle candy cane colors here.  It makes a bold statement in rich holiday colors.

So here is my first sample block made.   Humm.  It is big!  I don't know about making nine blocks, maybe four is big enough for a sofa size. Hummm.  I am not quite sure about the dark green floral.  But I have three yards of that in my stash so it is in the quilt.  Hummmmm...I cannot seem to get those pointy petals to match for a smooth poinsettia petal.   I don't think I have ever cut that wedge angle and for sure never matched it with a corner triangle like that.

Lots of components for one block....a challenge but fun nevertheless.  Lots of measurements and angles. I am not fastidious with measurements and angles.  But I am at the advanced level, right?  I have 30 years of quilting and sewing on my resume....  

Today, I have done block #2 and I am now well into block #3.  I have ripped out and ripped out those petal seams.  I just cannot get them to match smoothly. I am stumped. I am leaving them alone.  I am now calling my version of this pattern Christmas Cactus's Allure. It works!

I'll keep working on Christmas Cactus this week and update you when I finish....Thanks for stopping by!

I will be joining up with WIP Wednesday link ups with  Freshly Pieced Modern and Esther's Blog.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My First Craft Show Adventure

Our party of six took a road trip last week. Our purpose was to visit my husband's family and meet up with the nieces and cousins and let all the grandkids meet each other and play. My personal goal was to participate in my first craft show and sell my handmade quilts, pouches and other stitched items along side my sisters-in-law who were also selling their oil paintings and a book about their dad.  
We started out early in the morning before daylight. 

Our happy driver got us through the big city in the early morning hours. 

We were packed in safely three adults and three children.  Lots of movies, fruit snacks and goldfish crackers.  Chocolate, cookies and cashews for the adults. 

We arrived safely in Jackson, MS for our first stop and visit.  The big bag on top held all my craft inventory for the craft show. Having that bag on top of the car made a buzzing noise for us passengers inside of the car.  Eleven hours in a car that sounded like we were in a bee hive.  You will notice our driver above with head phones.  It was very nerve wracking and none of us could hear each other talk.  Frazzled is a good word to describe it.  

We continued on our journey to Starkville, MS and made another stop and had a great visit with brother-in-law and spouse.  The cousins and their kids that we came to see were sick with a stomach bug so sadly we never had the meet up we had planned.  

On to Vardaman, MS and the 42nd Annual Vardaman Sweet Potato Festival.  Vardaman is a small town in north Mississippi.  It has grown in popularity over the years and has become known as the Sweet Potato Capital of the World.  

We got a tour of the town the day before the festival.  These old tractors are a huge hit with my four year old grandson.

I was told there is sometimes 20,000 people in town for the Festival.  So I was prepared for my first craft show.  I made all kinds of bibs and burps. 

Zip Pouches.

And more zip pouches in university colors.

 I made garden aprons and vendor aprons. 

These really darling deer head pillows.

 My daughter made her crotchet tractors.  In green, red, pink, blue and orange!

My husband and I made this cute sign for my booth and for my two sisters-in-law that were also selling their book and oil paintings

I was prepared with card reader for charge sales....I had done my research and we were really as prepared as I knew how to be for a first time seller.

Here I am in my new TakeMeThereTotes t-shirt.  Large letters so shoppers would see when they walked by our booth. 

Still dry.

Lots of great things.  If I may say so about my things!  I was excited and proud of all I had made for this event!

Oil Paintings in the next booth.

The forecast was rain, rain, rain.  And that rain was to be followed by a cold front.  The weather man got it right.  And we were again prepared for the wet weather.  Plastic draped over the tables. 

But it just kept on raining.  Not very many of the vendors were selling their goods.  They had worked so hard for this event.

What we weren't prepared for was the lack of crowds.  Few shoppers. I sold three items. THREE Items! I passed out business cards for my Etsy store. There was no 20,000 people.  More brave people did come out later in the day but no bus loads.  Some of my things stayed dry because they were in plastic bags.  Some were damp and some were down right soggy. We packed up the booth early.  Then we packed our suitcases in the car and started for home a day early.  We did this because I had to get home to wash and make sure to dry all my quilts.  We did not put that bag back on top of the car.  We did tie the bag on the back but when we were on the road in Louisiana a nice trucker said our bag was flying by a strap in the breeze.  We decided to load that bag in the car along with all of its wet contents.   

I am happy to say all quilts are dry and most all of the items are just fine. There were only a few Christmas mug mat items with red dye in the fabric that were damaged.  All flannel rag quilts were washed and are in great shape. I feel really lucky to have my things survive the weather.  With time, we will forget what a pain that bag was and how we were crammed inside with wet bags of fabric items.  

All in all it was great fun to see the kinfolks.  All in all the craft show was fun in spite of the the rain and cold.  It was a learning lesson in craft show set up and display.  I am not discouraged. I will try again,  maybe at an inside venue.  It is probably too late in the year to book another show. I know my party of six will go on another big adventure with their crazy mother and mother in law.  If anything, we learned how to pack and unpack the car with many overnight stops along the way.  

And we got the T-shirt!

And boy was this Snack-A-Saurus glad to get out of his car seat!

Thanks for reading today!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sewing for September/October

Just know that I am always sewing....something.  A sewing project update blog post is overdue but my how I lost track of the time from August to October.

Here is what I have been making during September and through this part of October. I have decided to be in a craft show in November and visit the relatives at the same time.  I have been making pouches. Hope I sell them all because where I live Texas A & M reigns supreme!  Gig Em Aggies and Whoop!

This is my Miss Kate charm pack and fabric turned into quilt.  Just needs binding.  Love it.

I stopped all sewing projects one weekend to make this quilt super cute quilt.  Sometimes you need a break to create. I used two charm packs of Timberland Critters from AdornIt.  Pattern inspiration is School Days Charm Quilt by Cindy Sharp on the Moda Bake Shop     

I love the little foxes and the twirling orange pinwheels remind me of fall breeze and falling leaves.  Such a cute quilt.  

And this is the back.  More foxes.  So cute.  Waiting to be bound and finished.

This is my Spooky Snowball quilt.  I haven't shown you my two Flowering Snowball quilts. I made them last April.  I loved them and they went together so fast.  I hand quilted them both.  I just need to bind this one.

And I have been working on my Spring Fever in Zella's Garden in between all of the other activities of the month.

You are now caught up with my projects.  I have another quilt I want to start.  I have begun to collect fabrics for this beauty.  The magazine is on the floor by my bed and it speaks to me every night as I drift off to sleep.
Always planning the next quilt.

Thanks for stopping by.