Thursday, January 31, 2013

Comforting Little Kids

Hurricane Sandy turned much of the east coast upside down over the holidays. Out here, without TV or newspapers, unless we see it on the internet, we miss it. The impact is lessened without TV's barrage. One organization I am involved with, Operation Kid Comfort, was shut down for several months. They team with the YMCA to provide small photo quilts for kids who have a parent in active duty military service. I agreed to sew up quilts for a family with 4 little kids. This has been a great oportunity to use up some quilt blocks that have been in serious time out, some for years. Here are the tops with photos attached. After I finish blogging I will start the quilting.

This one is for David, age 5.
This one is for John, age 3.
Here is the quilt for Rebecca, age 4.
And, this one is for Sara, age 6.

The backs are flannel, pieced from scraps. I keep lots of batting on hand since I can't get to town very often, so I was able to cut 4 pieces from a new roll. Oddly, after using the blocks, the borders, batting, and backing flannel, my fabric totes are still full. it is like scooping a bucket full out of the ocean. No diffeence apparent in the total. Hmmmm.

Monday, January 28, 2013

It's Still Good

   My daughters say that my motto is, "it's still good." I am frugal. Which is maybe synonymous for a quilt maker. At least, it once was true. Many quilters buy all new fabrics for a quilt project, and if they don't have enough, try very hard to find the identical match. Not me.
   I love scrappy quilts. I love the odd piece that is different. I have learned a lot about colors and my preferences by having to make do with what I have. Living in the back country where the nearest quilt shop is 45 miles away, and even a trip to the post office to pick up my internet order is inconvenient, I HAVE to make do. My quilts show my make do style, my personal flair.
   I have challenged myself to use colors I don't like. I have taken prints I think are boring and paired them with something surprising to end up with a quilt I am in love with. I try new piecing techniques as a palette cleanser after a long day of sewing. This is how I stay fresh with my quilting.
   Here I am, making do with some batting scraps from my sister: piecing them together for charity quilts.

I used to sew them by hand with a stitch I learned suturing skin when I was a nurse practitioner. Now, I like to sew batting the fast way: with a zig-zag stitch on my little Swedish work horse.

   Do you like to make do?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sounds Like Fun!

After a challenging session with the free motion feature of my sewing machine, I switched to a fun and easy play project. I have 3 Tammis Keefe place mats that were a wedding gift for my mom, who got married in 1955. My sister gave them to me some years ago when I was thinking about making a linen quilt. That idea has been abandoned. So, I decided to use these little gems for a table runner, ala this link..
Chai approves.
I looked up Tammis Keefe and found out she was a designer in the middle of the last century. Her colors and drawings were whimsical and charming. You can check out lots of her fun designs here.  

The dark blue fabric around the place mats is Japanese, little frogs on lily pads, also from my sister.

And now, the reason for the title of this post:  I woke up early this morning, and was thinking about getting up. Mike started talking in his sleep, which he does often. He said, " good idea. Sounds like fun. By God, that sounds like FUN!" I started laughing and woke him up. He couldn't recall what he was talking about, but it still has me chuckling.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hidden Treasures

I was looking for pant hooks to finish some trousers for Caroline. I opened up my box of treasures and found all kinds of good stuff! One thing that will be used for Valentines(spoiler alert) is attachable rhinestones. I found them at a thrift store, originally priced from Dritz for 45 cents. In the process of pulling out my box of stuff, I found the hidden interfacing that I searched high and low for yesterday. I knew I'd find it after I didn't need it anymore. Gah! I look forward to having the sewing loft finished, so that I am out of totes and have my shelves. Meanwhile, better labeling of totes is the next indicated thing.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes A Lovely Year of Finishes And, one more project added in under the wire. Since my first project, Ainsley's minky top, is up to her to finish, I am adding another project that I planned for December and made yesterday. It is from a pattern by my blog pal, Stephanie Dunfy.
The bag is for my daughter, Diane. She picked the bright tomato red coleus fabric for a hand bag. I put longer handles and an extra pleated inner pocket for her knitting. It turned out smashing!

And, here is the finished minky top:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes

A Lovely Year of Finishes This challenge was too fun to pass up! A lovely year of finishes, getting linked to other better known blogs, the chance to have my work seen, and even the chance to win goodies! And, learning more about blogging and getting fancy. Today I am working on a UFO of my daughter Ainsley. She got the fabric a year ago with a Christmas gift card. The back is gold and purple minky. The front will be pieced from fabrics she chose. My challenge is to make something that pleases both of us. I had a moment of resonance this morning when I found the right sashing fabric from my stash.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year Sewing!

This little cutie is called, "Little Yappy Dog." It is a wall hanging for my sister, Pam.  She has a couple of little squirrel chasers and says this one is Kermit. I used civil war solids from Moda, and a paper pieced pattern from Quilter's Newsletter from 2003. The outer areas are a tribute to Gwen Marsden's liberated style. It is heavily hand quilted. 
 This sweet table runner was my own design, with influence of Gwen Marsden for the twisted 9-patch blocks. They are vintage, with flour sack muslin. My challenge to myself was to use some gifted fabrics that are not my style, and to create something that is pure Jane. It is titled, "Donny and Marie'" because it is a little bit country (the fabrics) and a little bit rock n roll (the twisted 9-patches.) I love it!

And this wall hanging is titled, "Steelhead Rising."  It is a mix of strips from a friend who only makes Trip Around the World quilts. I added beads at the top, a batik steelhead, life size, center, and rocks ala the Salmon River on the bottom. I machine quilted this quilt and it is currently hanging in our living room.