Thursday, September 30, 2010
Today was my lucky day! I received this adorable little cottage pincushion from Ruth for the Scrappy Pincushion Swap. I know that with these swaps many people like imagining that each item that they see might be the one coming to them and they get excited. If I love something, I assume I would not be lucky enough to get it and don't think about it again. My husband calls me a pessimist. He might be on to something. This is one of those items that I did secretly hope was coming to me though I doubted it!
Ruth always adds the nicest details and I am a huge fan of details. There are beaded flowers and vines covering the cottage and a million little hand stitched shingles on the roof. And the front door opens to reveal this little girl and her chicks! How cute! It makes me smile because when I was a kid my job was to collect and wash the eggs and sell them to our neighbors.
Ruth gave two big hints on Flickr. The first one went right over my head and the second was the image above of a vine in the shape of an "A." Had I seen this, I might have thought for a moment that the pincushion could be coming to me if not to one of the other millions of Amy's also sewing and blogging and born in the 70s. But somehow I missed seeing this picture! So, it was a complete and total surprise and for that I am grateful. It is such a lovely gift that I know took a lot of time to make and I appreciate all of Ruth's efforts. She also included 3 pretty hat pins in her package. What an enjoyable swap!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Are you getting sick of this series yet? I hope not because I don't feel done with it yet. I am enjoying it!
I neglected to mention that the words are my own interpretation of how a quilt is dreamed up, constructed and comes to be loved. They are hand cut from a freezer paper stencil. I was asked about this after my last post.
Each mini so far has been in different color tones and I have tried out one new block design in each as well as different methods for attaching the two halves. I did one with the raw selvage edge and handstitching. I love that look but there is only so much selvage, you know? Then I seamed #2 with the rick rack stitched on top of the seam. Here it is spaced about three quarters of an inch away.
I am guessing that the fun will continue. I realize that I can't keep them all so I am keeping #2 for the time being and putting #3 reluctantly in my shop. I hope it finds a home where it is loved!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Today I wanted to share the last bits of color in my garden. The leaves are just starting to turn which will bring lots of color but these are the last of my flowers. This is my Purple Beauty Berry Bush.
These are fall blooming crocus called Colchicum. I am amazed at how well these did this year because I didn't water the area where they were planted at all during the summer. We had a very dry summer. The fact that they did so well makes me appreciate them even more!
I was pleased to capture this busy bee on my sedum.
And finally, this plant is in my new shade garden along the side of the house. It's a toad lily and is just starting to bloom. I love it's orchid like flowers. This is likely to be the last garden related post till spring, sigh.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Penny had to one up Jeannie though. Today she learned how to stand up by herself, as in not pulling up but just going from the floor to standing. She was so pleased with herself and we were all clapping and cheering. My throat actually hurts now from all the hooting and hollering!
I just finished up a commissioned project that has been weighing on my mind. I was asked to make a 16" pillow cover with a linen strip in the middle with a row of my linocut Celtic knots. Her only other request was that the material be green with some metallic gold. I had a really hard time finding green material with gold that was not Christmasy looking or too garish looking next to the linen and hand printed design.
Krista saved the day and sent me a piece of green fabric with a gold pattern that sort of echos the idea of the knots. I ended up only using touches of it but it helped me figure out the other fabrics. I used a batik and some green shot cotton. After talking to the woman who asked me to make it again, she told me to just go ahead and find something else if the gold wasn't working, that she trusted my taste. I think what I gathered from her is that she was looking for a more formal looking pillow. So that's what I went for. I hope she will be pleased.
I used lots of straight line quilting, with tan thread on the linen, and variegated green thread on the disappearing nine patch design. I also freemotion quilted around the knots. It gave them a lot of depth that I had trouble capturing in the photos. It's a dreary day here today. I hope it's sunnier where you are!
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Yesterday I found a package in my mailbox that had travelled all the way from Norway. How fun is that? My partner for the Potholder Pass 4 was Mari and she sent me these adorable owl potholders, key fob and notepad. I like how much personality the owls have. Knowing all about my love for linen, Mari made the potholders linen and threw in some more favorites: text fabric, pink and flowers. The backing material is adorable with little pigs, unfortunatley, I just couldn't get a clear picture of the backs. Thank you so much Mari!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
It all began with my desire to make a tiny quilt block with this bird fussy cut in the center.
And I wanted to play with these words at least one more time.
Here is the result. One more "Quilting Process" mini quilt is complete.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I finally found time to work on my Fall Hedgie door hanging. I made the print a couple of weeks ago now, I think.
I didn't think that I had any fabric in the right colors for the print but it is amazing what one can scrounge up from scraps! As it turns out, I did have some yellows, greens, browns and oranges that are perfect for fall.
The finished quilt measures about 15" square. It is just backed in Kona white and bound in Kona tarragon, pieced with scraps.
I'm particularly happy with the quilting. I tried quilting little loops in lines spaced about an inch apart for the center panel to give the feel of falling leaves. Then I carefully freemotion quilted around each leaf and around the hedgie, including his eye and other details. I also stitched down the center vein of each leaf. It gives the print nice dimension. The border is just straight line quilted.
Now I am debating whether it is too silly a quilt to hang on the front door. Maybe it is more of a back door item. It's on the front door now. When I go out to preschool I will take a look over my shoulder and see what I think. It might get switched to the back door!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Kristie from OCD: Obsessive Crafting Disorder (don't you love that blog name?) asked me if I would be interested in making her a mini to hang in her sewing room. She wanted something like the pincushion I made for the Scrappy Pincushion Swap. I asked if she would like a slightly longer column of text so we could include "bind" and "crinkle" which I had cut out from the pincushion design for space reasons. I wanted it to resemble a pincushion more than a small pillow!
She asked for red, pink, aqua and whites. The pinks and reds look darker here than they do in person. I was having trouble with the light. Kristie asked that the text run in a column on the right side of the mini and that it measure 12" x 15." I decided to divide the left half up into three simple blocks with different types of quilt blocks. I printed my words along the selvage edge of the fabric so I could use the nice frayed edge. Then I added a little row of hand stitches in a shade of pink embroidery floss. I really enjoyed this project. Thanks for the opportunity Kristie!
I am accepting sign ups for Potholder Pass 5 for five more days. You must visit here to join. We are swapping a set of Christmas or winter potholders (your choice) and a handmade ornament. We will sew for the month of October and ship by November 1st.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I have a baby shower to go to next weekend and wanted to make a small baby quilt. The couple is having a surprise and so they are planning on decorating with green. They had been talking about a jungle animal theme so I was searching for jungle animal prints that were heavy on the greens and found Wild Friends. I bought a yard of the animal print and a half yard of the dot and the stripes and thought I could figure out some design to use them. Just recently we heard that the couple was talking about decorating with storybook characters! I was so upset and started to think I should scrap this and wait till the baby was born. I would give a certificate for a quilt at the shower and make it after the baby was born. But the baby is coming in November, right before the holidays when I know I am going to be busy. And I knew I wouldn't have use for this material for any other project. So, with the shower less than a week away now, I decided to just make it and let it go. I like the animal print best in big sections so this is the design I finally settled on. I used straight line quilting on the sections with squares and freemotion rows of "hills" in the animal print, mimicking the details in the background of that material. I am pleased enough with it. And it is done.
Friday, September 17, 2010
I have such a long "to do" list at the moment. This dress was next on my list, not because it was needed most but because it had been promised to my daughter, Lily. She's a clown this girl. This picture showed the dress best, along with her personality!
It's Burda 9564 and it went together easily for me, except for the back zipper. I always find that the trickiest part. The material is from JoAnns. It's possible to make it in one night if you stay up a little too late. I can tell you that from experience! If I could have seen how would fit I'd have gone up a size. It's snug through the shoulders and likely to only fit for a couple of months. At least her little sister will get to wear it down the line.
Now, to the next item on the list!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I have been working on this little linocut on and off for the past week and am pleased to introduce him! I want to make a little mini quilt for my front door with a fall theme. I plan to use this as the center panel. I made up some extras for you and they are in the shop!
The hedgie was carved into a 4" x 6" block and filled it right to the edges. Each of the leaves were carved into individual blocks and printed separately. They measure about 2 1/2" to 3" each. All told, the panel design is about a 10" square. Hedge will be reincarnated in a month or so with falling snowflakes! Fun!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I joined the second round of the Scrappy Pincushion Pass on Flickr since I enjoyed the first round so much. This is the pincushion that I just finished up for my secret partner. I came up with an abbreviated process of making a quilt: dream, cut, piece, baste, quilt, love. I then cut a freezer paper stencil with those words and applied them to the fabric with a teal colored ink. The words are spaced with little hand stitched cross shapes to mimic the patchwork on the left.
The back of the pincushion is pieced with little squares.
I am sorry to part with this one. Something about it "speaks" to me...ha, ha, ha. In all seriousness, I really do like it. But I am happy to send it off because I think my partner will love it.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Here is my son checking out Penny's new ruffle bum as we call it. I made a third and "final for now" pair of Big Butt Baby Pants for Penny. I used Flamingo corduroy which is a salmony pink leaning toward orange. It's tricky to match so I might have a hard time finding a top for her to wear with them. I wanted to add ruffles to the panel. Rae suggests using knit strips but I was thinking of eyelet. I didn't have enough eyelet in the house for more than two rows so I made mini strips of the corduroy cut 1 3/4" wide and hemmed with 1/4" hems on top and bottom and then gathered the strips and stitched them on. It was a pain in the neck because the gathering thread was prone to snap since the corduroy is heavy. But it was worth it for the new ruffle bum pants as we are calling them. A girl can only wear ruffles like that for so long.
Monday, September 13, 2010
I purchased Made By Rae's Big Butt Baby Pants pattern. I find that Penny is hard to fit because she is thin but tall, therefore, I prefer to make her pants. This pattern was made to accomodate cloth diapers. Though I use disposables, I love the pattern because it gives extra room through the bottom so that the pants aren't pulling and riding low at the back of the waist like many other baby pants patterns I have tried.
First I tried it out with some fine wale corduroy that I bought at JoAnns. I cut a size 12-18 month with 18-24 month length for my 22 pound 15 month old. It's a perfect fit with a 2 inch hem. I will let it down later in the winter.
Once I knew they fit, I cut into my Birds corduroy from Above All Fabrics and made a second pair. A third pair is in the works.
Penny is walking along furniture but not independantly so it was hard to get shots of her in the pants! I just knew these pictures wouldn't satisfy you so here is a picture of the pants in action. This is the kids' new favorite game. They pull Penny through the dining room on a fleece blanket. She loves it and points to the blanket and says "again, again, again" as soon as they take a break.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I joined the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap on Flickr. The idea is to make an over sized quilted coaster that is large enough for a mug and a snack. Admittedly, it's a little silly, but it sounded like fun. After reading my partner's preferences, likes and dislikes and looking through her favorites, I decided that I wanted to do something whimsical and rainbow like.
Perhaps it is because I don't get enough sleep but the idea of rainbow colored frogs playing leap frog to get into their positions was the first thought that crossed my mind. So, here they are, six little frogs made from hand carved linoleum blocks. Below I created a spectrum using 1/2" strips of fabric. I added a little hand stitched sun in the upper left and a row of green hand stitches for grass below the frogs. The quilting on the pieced spectrum is supposed to mimic the leap frog activity above.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Look at this beautiful quilt that now lives with me! It was sent to me by Amy who, if you recall, was the person that I sewed for for this swap! This was a secret swap so neither of us knew that we had the other as a partner, of course, until she received my package a couple of weeks ago. I am so glad that she received first because I would have gone nuts knowing that we had each other for partners. She kept the secret perfectly.
This is the complete package. She sent some fun owl material and an adorable needle book. I love, love the button on the needle book!
She was careful to avoid orange, my least favorite color. Her work is so precise and careful and the design is complicated so I am most impressed. The colors and materials paired with the design are so striking.
I love my new quilt! Thank you Amy!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I just crawled out from under a pile of eight crayon aprons I was hired to make for a friend to give as Christmas gifts and am ready to get back to my "fun" sewing. First up are my mug rug and pincushion swap items. I also have material for some new pants for Penny so yes, new baby pictures will be coming up. The kids are also starting to talk Halloween costumes. There is never enough time! Somehow in the midst of all this business, I forgot to put some of my Christmas/winter linocuts on fabric prints in my etsy shop.
Perhaps I was subconsciously hoarding them because I have lots of plans but not enough time to craft all of them.
Anyway, they are there now.
I have also noticed a trend toward "Pink Christmas" on Flickr. I am not sure that I am totally on board with that trend yet because, for me, Christmas still screams red and green. But I printed up a couple of ornament prints in pink for kicks.
Monday, September 6, 2010
I decided to go with Michele's suggestion and try a couple of Kokeshi doll pillow covers for little girls' rooms (or not so little girls).
I made this one using Michael Miller Bubble Blast Watermelon for the pillow front, along with the stencilled linen, and Kona Bright Pink on the back.
The second pillow cover was inspired by Krista's new favorite color combo, navy and raspberry pink. The pink fabric was a great find at my LQS. It's Kona Bay Fabrics NOBU-24 and perfect with kokeshi dolls!
They are in the shop.
It's fun to make really soft, pastel, girly things every now and then. This is a little teddy bear doll quilt and pillow set I finished up making for a two year old to use while playing with her dolls. I think she was jealous of her older sister's quilt. I've been making my doll quilts about 12" x 18" because it seems to be a good size for 18" dolls and their cradles.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
These goldfish are so in love and now they are being separated! They are being brought home by different children. They are saying their goodbyes, kissing through their bags. Feel free to make up your own narrative! Such silliness. Thank you for the inspiration KT.
We went apple picking this morning and I have a pie in the oven. Penny is still napping so I thought I would quickly post this before the lawn mower wakes her up!
**My kissing goldfish prints have sold out but I am happy to print them to order. Just send me an email. I ran out of the Essex Linen/Cotton blend that I print on but it has been ordered and I will be able to make more soon!**
Friday, September 3, 2010
I was asked to make a custom Kokeshi doll pincushion (above) and while I was at it, I made up a batch.
Don't they look cute together? I like to make them in batches simply to take group shots! I am working on a Kokeshi doll pillow cover thanks to a recent suggestion from Michele. I also have panels of goldfish kissing through adjacent bags in the works thanks to a bit of inspiration from KT. I have the bags printed and now have to try my hand at sketching kissing goldfish!