Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bright Christmas Cheer

The ground was covered in sparkly frost this morning as I took Maddie to school.  It won't be long until snow.  We had a few flakes leisurely falling from the sky the other day.  Winter seems to come out of nowhere, one day you wake up and the grass is covered.  Today the sun is shining brightly.  I've got spaghetti sauce and meatballs cooking on the stove and the house is already smelling good at ten in the morning.  

I have three quilt tops completed for the art hop next month.  I plan on making one more with the fabric above.  Bright colors are speaking to me right now as well as retro Santa's.  I need to get busy quilting these as I hope to make a couple of pillows, some elf dolls and tote bags.  Its crunch time but I'm not concerned.  Whatever is done is what I'll take to sell.  Are you working on anything for Christmas?


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Work in Progress

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?…


Monday, November 12, 2012

Pretty Cups ~ Elves ~ Giveaway Winner

I'd like to congratulate Mimi on winning my November Giveaway!
I have sent you an email Mimi ~ enjoy!

I had a fun time sewing row six of Lori's row along.  When I was finished I noticed that the pink gingham cup was screaming for detail so I appliqued a rose I cut from a piece of fabric.  Now it's my favorite cup!

A close second to the rose cup is this pale blue dog and cat print.  It is a very old piece from my stash, but I love it!  I wish I had more.  I'm not even sure what it is.  I adore any print that looks vintagey!

The last couple of days have been spent getting the cafe windows ready for Christmas.  I painted these little elves on the windows and I like how they came out.  Our orange elf looks like he is hanging an ornament on the tree.

My Mom has painted the windows in her home ever since I was little.  After she drew the design on, she would let my brothers and I paint a small part of the window.  I thought about those windows a lot as I was drawing the elves.

In case you were wondering, the tree is really that bright!  It is covered in cupcake ornaments that Nancy has collected as well as been gifted with over the past few years.  We are getting quite a reaction from customers.  The children love it!  Wishing you a day that is merry and bright!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November Giveaway

Today marks the 11th monthly giveaway from Sewn With Grace.  We are down to the last two.  I can't believe how fast this year has passed.  This giveaway will help you get creative for Christmas.  One winner will receive:

My entire fabric scrap stash
The book, "Tilda's Christmas Ideas" by Tone Finnanger
A handknit Christmas heart by me

To enter:
Be a follower of Sewn With Grace
Leave one comment on this post

Since it's the middle of the week, I will leave this giveaway open until Sunday, November 11 at midnight and announce the winner on Monday, November 12. 


Monday, November 5, 2012

Flying Geese

Today I got caught up with row five of Lori Holt's Row Along Quilt.  I had been dragging my feet on this row because I am not a fan of making flying geese.  My points always seem to get cut off and end up looking wonky.  I knew that if I followed Lori's method I would have success so I just went for it. These are little geese, 1 1/2" x 2 1/2".  From what I can tell, I didn't lose one point, yea!!!  

As I've said before, one of the things I love most about this quilt is that we don't know what it will end up looking like.  When I choose fabrics I'm not even sure of how the rows will come out but so far I am loving it.  It's not too late to join the row along and get caught up.  I always look forward to the next row.  Sweet blessings today!  Be sure to stop by tomorrow for November's Giveaway!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Color Wheels

Thank you for all of your kind words about my "Sugar Rail" quilt.  It was very fun to make and will be hard to part with.  For those who asked about the pattern, I cut my strips 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" and then put four together.  I alternated the direction of each block.  I did six blocks across and seven blocks down. It is a quick sew and packs a lot of punch.  I want to show you the second quilt top I finished today. This pattern is from the book "Scrap Basket Sensations" by Kim Brackett.  It is the "Over Under" pattern. I left off the border because I wanted a smaller quilt.  This one measures 50" square. 

This fabric is an old line by Alexander Henry called "Willow".  I had quite a bit of scraps left over from another quilt.  I used up every bit except for some pieces of the dark green mushroom print.  The yellow and white gingham makes for a fun touch and I will hand quilt this one.  I'm going to use some fun bright variegated thread.  I can hardly wait to get started.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Sugar Rails

On the first Friday of the month our downtown area hosts an event called "Art Hop".  Each business has the option of participating.  An artist is chosen for each business and gets to have an exhibit of their work as well as pieces for sale.  My friend, Nancy, who owns the restaurant "The Garden Gate Cafe" has asked me to be her artist for December.  I was very reluctant at first but then agreed.  I wasn't sure that I would have enough time to prepare.  Sometimes a little push is what's needed and she provided that.  So here is the first quilt that I will be selling.  I'm calling it "Sugar Rails".  I have used some of my most favorite fabrics, everything from Lecien to Tanya Whelan, to Cath Kidston.  It's a simple rail fence block yet the fabrics make this quilt.  Now to hand quilt or machine quilt?  What do you think?

With joy,

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Apples in a Row

I took some time yesterday and this morning to get caught up on the Row-A-Long quilt by Lori Holt. This is row 4 - a row of adorable apples.  You can get the instructions for this block here.  No matter how long I've been quilting, I always learn something new and this was no exception.  The importance of pressing was paramount with this block.  I also didn't pay attention to the direction of the white squares on the leaves so that my leaves are going in a different direction than Lori's.  In this instance it is not a big deal, but for another quilt it could have resulted in a lot of ripping out.  It's always a good idea to sew one and check it against the pattern to see if it's correct.

When I started this project, I decided not to use any red in my quilt, focusing on pink in place of the red.  As much as I tried, I didn't like making a row of apples without having red ones.  So I found some red fabric in a complimentary shade (Celebration by Brenda Riddle) to add in.  Now I have to be sure to place it strategically in the rest of the quilt so that it blends well with the overall look.  I like the red, it gives a bit of pop to the softness of the overall look.  I also had some fun adding Lori's gray words from her new Polka Dot Stitches line to one of the apple core blocks.  View her line of fabric here.  It's so good to be caught up today!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday Ramblings

It's raining for the fourth day in a row.  There is a peacefulness about it.  It's best to stay in with the temps in the 40's and wetness all around.  I keep wandering into my sewing room for some inspiration.

I finished cutting out the 900 squares for the Country Road quilt yesterday while the carpets were being cleaned for our open house tomorrow.  If I have to stand around and wait while something is being done to the house I might as well be productive, right?

Selling your house makes you see it in a whole different light.  Everywhere I turn there is a surface to be cleaned, or a pile to be sorted and put away.  This house has probably never been more organized in all our nine years of living here.

For today, I am exhausted emotionally and physically.  I find myself back on the couch looking at this view out the window and listening to the rain coming down.  I really hope someone falls in love with our home tomorrow.  Blessings!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Joy Topper

I carved out a small bit of time the other day to make a quick table topper for my dining room table. I'd like to share with you how I made it in case you would like to try one for yourself.  First, get four fabrics that you like.  To make it scrappier looking, grab a few more.

From each of the four fabrics cut: 
2 - 4 1/2" x width of fabric strips
cut each strip into 4 1/2" x 10 1/2" rectangles

Lay out the fabrics to make a square.  This is where it's up to you to determine the size you want.  I kept adding rectangles till I got the size square I wanted for the topper.  Sew all the pieces together.  I knew it needed something to jazz it up a bit so I decided to add the word "Joy".  I went to my go-to book "The ABC's of Words on Quilts" by Elizabeth Scott.  Trace the letters onto fusible web and iron the web to the back of the black fabric.  Carefully cut out the letters, peel off the paper and iron them to the front of the quilt.  I machined stitched the letters, using the blanket stitch, onto the fabric.  Next, get a piece of fabric large enough for the backing and a piece of batting as well.  Quilt the fabric anyway you'd like.  I machined stitched on either side of the seams along the rectangles.

To make the circle fold the fabric to find the center and put a pin on the back of the fabric in the center.  Take a piece of yarn and tie one end to the pin and one end to a sharpie pen (or whatever pen you'd like)  Once you determine how long the yarn has to be to go all around the square to make the circle and have adjusted and tied the yarn to fit, very slowly draw the circle.  When that is finished, carefully cut the circle from the quilt square.

I made bias binding because it stretches to fit the shape of the circle nicely.  There are many tutorials on the web for making bias binding if you haven't made bias binding before.  I machine stitched it to the front of the circle and hand sewed it to the back.  My finished topper is 29" round.  

If you decide to make a topper, I'd love to see it!  I think it would make a nice Christmas gift, don't you? Have a wonderful day!