Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Iron Craft: April Showers in December- sure why not?

My daughter and I had some fun over this past weekend making these pins and barettes.  I had saved some really cheapo hair bands that had these cute little flowers on them with ladybugs as well.  The hair band became very stretched out really fast.  I could not part with those cute little buttons that were on there so I have been saving them.  And since the order of the day since last January is to use up what I have or get rid of it.... it was the perfect time to use them.  Didnt they come out cute.  So glad I saved them.
Since it is bring back one of your favorite Iron Challenges or do one you missed I figured I'd better get an Iron Craft post on my blog.  I chose April Showers- flowers!  Thank you for doing the Iron Craft.  Ladies I apologize for missing so many weeks but I will do better in 2012.  I am so joining Iron Craft again.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Secret Santa Was Very Good To Me

Our Quilting Bee had a Secret Santa gift exchange for those who wanted to participate.  I joined in.  These things always makes me nervous because I always worry the person will not like my gift.  I will share what I gave on the next post.  I did receive an amazing gift from someone in the Bee that I happen to be friends with.  That girl, M, knows what I like.  She knows I adore Kaffe Fasset's fabric.  She knows I love scraps and she heard me talking about my desire to do Mariners Compass Star.  Dang, she is good.
She made this adorable little duffel, that I totally need to get the pattern for.  Is she amazing or what?  Perfectly sewn!  You rock M!
And being the smart and wonderful person she is, she added chocolate.  Love it!  Mint chocolate happens to be my all time favorite chocolate combination!
Then she cut 10 inch strips down the length of her fabric and rolled them all together.  Layer cake?  Is that right?  I am still new to these terms. Aren't they luscious?
10 inch square cuts of fabrics.  Totally delicious as well.  I am so loving these.  I will have to just sit back and admire all this stuff for a while.
And finally this great pattern which I hope to work together with M on.  She has a pattern as well.  I like that M- one for you, one for me.

And let's not forget that really cute gift basket.  It's a drum shape.  Don't you love it?  I do!

Friday, December 16, 2011

O Christmas Tree

I made a few of these at the beginning of the month.  I wanted to post them for one of the Iron Craft challenges but I was afraid the people I was giving them to would see them.  
The original pattern called for a smaller border around and the tree ended up touching the sides. (See picture below). I did not like that so I made the border a bit bigger.  Other than that it was an extremely fun tree to put together.  This is my first time with an applique pattern and really I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  

Here is the other one I made.  The pattern is from Patch AbilitiesMM312 Funky Tree

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Photography by Cynthia Starr

A couple months ago my husbands cousin and his girlfriend came to our house for a visit.  Cynthia Starr, the girlfriend, is a professional photographer.  She does weddings, school pictures, family photos, the whole gambit.  I wanted to share with you a couple of her photos as they related to my blog.  They are so crisp and vibrant.  I just love the thread one.  The pop of color is so attractive. 
If you live around the area of Kingston, NY and are in need of a photographer she is your girl!  You can click on the link above to go to her home page or you can click here for her blog.  (If you are curious about the pin cushion/caddy, click here for the link of how I made it).

Here are some photos of my kids.  She took some really nice shots but I do not like to show my kids pictures on my blog. Believe me there are times when I really want to post photos of them.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Bird in the Hand

A bird or two or three or four ( I am so addicted there probably will be more).  I can't stop making these pretty little birds.  I saw them on DIY with Kim and Chris, printed out the instructions (you can find it here) and have been goin' crazy with scraps.  I think I sew more with my scraps then I do with my collection of fabrics.  Well, no, I know I sew more with my scraps.

So here are some of my little chickadees.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tomato Cage Christmas Tree

Saw this great idea for tomato cage trees on Pinterest.  It's P. Allen Smiths idea.  Check out his video.

It was such a great idea, I just had to do it.  He suggests using what you have lay around.  I did not have most of this stuff laying around unfortunately but in a series of good twists of fate, I managed to find stuff and do it rather cheaply.  I made these for a total of 34 dollars.  17.50 per tree.  Not too shabby.
On my way to Walmart, where I thought I'd find some good prices.  Um, not so much.  I did buy to 16.5 inch large pots for 15 dollars per pot.  Yup.  I thought this was going to rack up the dollars since I was starting here.  On the way home, swear to God, there, on the side of the road, someone was throwing away two large, stone colored pots.  They are a bit weathered but I figured who was going to notice after I got all the decorations on them.  I returned the pots that I had bought from Walmart.  Cha ching! So far zero.
Then I thought I'd check out the local Garden Factory, who tend to be a bit pricey but I needed to get dirt anyhow.  Just so happened that there pretty fancy garland was on sale for a dollar- and to think they wanted 5.99 and that other store.
The pine garland was the most expensive part of this whole deal- 12 dollars per strand.

See the phone there.  That my moment of "oh my goodness, I think I may have to go back and buy more pine garland".  I wrapped the tree tighter and everything worked out.

I still want to hang some lights on it and some decorations but this is what I have so far.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Iron Craft Challenge: Conquer Your Fear

Here is something that I have been wanting to try and was somewhat ambivalent about because of my fear.   Fabric Dying.  I have seen it before with lots of cool ideas... snow dying salt dying, etc.  Over the weekend I went to a retreat.  One of the ladies in our group gave a class on fabric dying. I joined to give it a go as it is much easier to jump into something you are afraid about with someone holding your hand- is it not?

I still wasn't quite sure about it.  Silly me.  I LOVED it.  While I do not have tons of money to jump right out and buy some dyes, I will be open to classes in the future.  I think I may do some natural dying- beets and all and see what I came up with.

We used a cotton that is prepared or shall I say not prepared for dying (called PFD).  It is natural cotton fabric without dyes or sizing or anything like that.  If you use a Kona cotton for example, you will have to scour it to get any chemicals off of it that might be present.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Quilting Retreat

Lucky me, I went on retreat this past weekend.  Our quilting group has a retreat twice a year, Spring and Fall.  I have been very lucky to be a part of it, thanks to my friend Jan.  It is a wonderful group of ladies that getaway for a weekend of sewing and fellowship.  I had the BEST time!

 Did I get a lot done?  Well not nearly as much as I wanted to but I did get a lot accomplished.
 I will show you later what I worked on.  Part of it included dyeing.
It's a beautiful view, isn't it?  I even managed to get a walk or two in.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My New Blankie

This is my Mom (ain't she beautiful?), delivering my blanket.  Isn't it beautiful?  She asked me some time ago what kind of afghan I wanted.  We went to the store and picked out the colors.  The colors I chose were very counter intuitive to her.  She invariably adds white or cream in her blankets.  It's rare we agree on the colors of things.  She tends to pick subdued colors while I pick brights.  She tends to pick quilts that are traditional and very simple with maroon or beige or blue or green.  Nothing too wild.  Me, I tend to pick off beat designs or modern looking things or bright or wild.  As far as art goes.  She picks a very traditional, yawn, simple kind of picture.  And me- well, I like sweepiness and artsiness.  I like wonky.  I like untraditional.  So you see, as far as that goes, my Mom and I coudn't be more different. 

When she agreed to do the colors and design I wanted, it was a bit of a stretch for her.  Granted it still is simple in design but I had to pick something that she would be willing to do.  She kept asking me- are you sure you don"t want another color (like cream)?  Or are you sure you just want stripes?  (I love stripes and darn if I can't get my husband to wear rugby shirts.) No, Ma, I am good where we are. 

I think it is perfect and she surprised herself by liking it.
You can not tell here but there are two light blues- one is periwinkle where the other is a heather blue.
Thanks Mom, I love you.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Iron Craft Challenge: Imaginary Friends, etc.

Over the summer my daughter and I made these.  She did such a great job sewing.  She was very careful as she went around curves and was pretty precise the whole time.  I couldnt have been more proud. 

I really wanted to make something for this weeks challenge but instead I have only this past project to show you.  The piece that I was going to make is sitting on my sewing table, incomplete.  When I get a ball point needle for knits, I will finish it.

I really can't submit this to the group but I will share it.  We drew pictures, cut them out and used them as templates.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Barbie Clothes 1

I have to secretly tell you about my newest adventure. Making Barbie clothes. I tell you in secret as they will be for Christmas for my girls. This one, although I followed the Just Crafty Enough idea of the week for Project Project Runway, I will not be joining. I just don't want to commit to something I may not be able to do at this time.

I have been spending my time finding patterns for Barbie clothes on the internet and at some time I will post them. This one I just made without a pattern.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Iron Craft Challenge: Halloween

The challenge for Iron Craft was Halloween.  I have not entered the challenge in so long.  It seems all I have been doing is canning and tending to the kids.  This week I really wanted to enter.  While I am not big on Halloween, I did totally enjoy this project and my kids will be glad to have something to decorate our house with.

Thanks Kat, et al.

You can find this group and others on Just Crafty Enough.  Come on, join the fun.

Monday, October 10, 2011

What to do with my Farmer's Wife

It's a conundrum.  I have so much color going on in my blocks.  Well, too much color, really.  It is very difficult, at least for me, to decide how to set this one up.  Depressing really. So I set it aside.  I thought nothing really looks good with this.  Sashing doesn't set the colors far enough apart.  Too much chaos in this quilt.  I thought I had better set it with black or white?  Straight up and down or on point....  ???
 I dunno.
I even tried a different design.  I thought this would be kind of cool so I cut up all the white and sewed it together and thought it look rather silly.  Then I ripped it all out.  I did actually rip out that lavender block (the one in the inner square bottom left) that was sewed wrong and redo that one too.

Any suggestions on where to go from here?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hearts That Found a Home

I have not been to many garage sales this year.  That's okay because sometimes I ge tthings I might not necessarily need.  I did find this pile of hand appliqued hearts.  I said to the woman who appliqued them, "are you sure you want to get rid of those?"  I appreciate the time that went into these.  I bought the pile for a dollar.  I will put something together because I don't want all that energy and time she spent to just sit there unloved.

The older fabric/Civil war type stuff and Americana is not my style.  While I like to look at it and have an appreciation, it just doesn't fit in my house.  Eventually I will find the right person to give it too.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Farmers Wife; Missing my mojo

I am afraid I have lost my crafting mojo.  Maybe it has been taken over by the canning season that is upon me.  Canning tomatoes, peaches, salsa,... Freezing vegetables and fruit.  Dehydrating fruits.  Picking my lavender and drying it out.  Lots of stuff to do during harvest.  My garden of weeds is crying out to me.  I think my plants are being starved right now. Poor things.

I spent the better part of this evening ripping out seams- such a bummer.  Some idea I had for my Farmers Wife quilt just did not work out.  Hopefully this mojo thing will return.

I havent done Iron Craft and very little blocks for my Farmers Wife quilt.  Just the one above and below.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Design Wall Monday: Vroom Vroom

A boy quilt.  This is my first one.  A very simple design. 

I picked up some scraps in a bag at one of our local quilt shops.  I love doing this.  Every time I go I pick up about four bags or so.  I come home, open the bag and press every single piece.  I then cut my triangles out for my 1000 pyramid quilt and the rest becomes whatever or sits around waiting for a new life.  Its very exciting to open these packages and discover the material inside.  Once I saw these autos and related fabric, I had to make a quick boys quilt.  Its one of thos e things that just grabs you.

Like the Christmas material that was in there.  It grabbed me too and I am putting it all together so I can make something real soon. I am very focused on Christmas at the moment.

See what else is on everyones wall over at Patchwork Times.  Lots of inspiration.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Design Wall Monday: Autumn

I know it's not Autumn yet but I want it to be here.  It is my favorite season.  If I sew it then maybe it will arrive faster.

The two on top are totes for my kids for Halloween.  I am not sure about the pumpkins yet, probably a table runner.

I am not very verbose here but I wanted to share my Design Wall.  Click here to go to Patchwork Times and see bunch of other designs.  I wanted to say plethora but you know, it just didnt feel right on a blog.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Design Wall Monday: Kokopelli Dancing

Ahhh, many moons and light years before, I started this pinwheel quilt.  I am happy to report I am totally done with it.  Well, okay, aside from the tag that I have to put on there.  It's done.  My daughter is asleep under it right now.  Well at least I hope she is asleep.  Anyway.  Here it is. 
Kokopelli Dancing
My free motion design.

Here is a few pictures from my "design wall".  The quilt took on a life of it's own and kept growing in ways I had not anticipated.

I started of with a bunch of stars and pinwheels.  Some pattern from my class that I wanted to throw together.  Then it kind of grew from there with borders and such.

I machine quilted it.  Stitched in the ditch in the squares and did this kind of angular free flowing design around the borders. This is ultimately how it got its name, read here for a more detailed account of that.  But anywho, I am glad it is here and done and in use at this moment!

So I say goodbye to that project.  I am kind of sad to see it's colors go bye-bye.  They were very cheery to work on.