Monday, October 31, 2011
Happy Halloween! This post is brought to you courtesy of our portable generator. We were hit with a very early snow storm on Saturday night and have been without power since. Schools are closed today so I decided to get the kids dressed up and bring them to see their grandparents and the town librarian while we had time during the day. Here we have Penelope, my two year old, dressed as a most adorable little lion! I made this costume for my oldest child 7 years ago. I love that all three of them have worn it.
Here is Lily, a newly turned 6 year old, as Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She loves her dress so it was worth all the frustrating slipping and sliding and fraying involved in its creation.
And here is Timothy, 8 years old, as Harry Potter. Watch out, I think he is casting some sort of curse on you! My only contributions to his costume this year are the tie and the Gryffindor patch.
Did you notice the wand? Here is a close up. It was hand turned by Daddy. The only flaw is that Timothy happens to know all the details of Harry's wand, such as the dimensions. When Mark was done making the wand, Timothy asked how long it was. The answer was 13". Timothy then informed him that Harry's wand was only 11". Mark told him that meant that this wand was more powerful. Ha! That answer seems to had satisfied.
Here Harry is casting some sort of spell on his sisters. I wish he could make the snow disappear and the power return!
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Honestly, I don't have any more BasicGrey Samplers in the queue! I just completed this "Countdown to Christmas" sampler using a large Rook sampler and the new BasicGrey scrapbook collection called Nordic Holiday. I really love this collection. The colors are my kind of Christmas colors and the patterns are so adorable.
The concept of a Christmas Countdown was not my idea. BasicGrey asked me to make a countdown using this line and I think it's a great way to use the canvas. I got to take the idea and run with it! I first figured out how I would like to arrange the "windows" and how I could best make a window that opened and closed within an on point square. Then I decided to use some of the letter stickers to write "Hope" and "Peace" on the sides. I filled the remainder of the empty spots with diecut circles (and when I ran out of those, handcut by me circles). They are held in place by embroidered brads (love those!).
Each window has a little surprise inside. Some are shapes cut from Nordic Holiday by me, like this hat. The pom pom is a tiny essential button tied with embroidery floss.
This is a little Christmas tree with a tree trunk made from part of an exclamation point from the chipboard letter collection (also used the number the windows).
Some windows have stickers like this one or I spelled words with letter stickers like "joy" and "love."
This little bunch of holly has three enamel brads for berries.
It was a lot of fun to make!
Thanks for all the birthday wishes sent to Lily. She did have a wonderful 6th birthday yesterday. The rainbow pasta necklaces and unicorn headbands were a hit.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I made another armrest pincushion (see here for my tutorial). They are intended to sit on the armrest of a couch or chair while you sew but my living room wasn't bright enough to accommodate an "in action" shot so you get it here, flat.
This has to be one of the most useful pincushions ever with the deep side pockets perfect for holding small projects, scissors, embroidery floss, tape measures, you get the idea. This armrest pincushion was made for the BasicGrey booth at Quilt Market this weekend. It features their canvas vintage patches.
This set of patches happens to work so well with My Happy Place screen printed fabric! Not only are the colors right, but the "organic" bit and the apple trees just seem to suit each other. I appliqued an apple and leaf with a little button inch worm on one pocket.
The other pocket has two vintage canvas patches, a touch of embroidery, and a fussy cut row of my houses and apple trees.
The bottom is Annie's Farm Stand Seed Catalog in red and white. The binding is DS Quilts. The natural colored fabric is a mixture of linen and osnaburg. The red solid and the green leaf are Hello Luscious.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
My friend has a daughter about the same age as my Penelope. She will be turning 3 next week. I emailed my friend last week and asked if there was anything she would like Caroline to get for her birthday. Apparently she was chomping at the bit because within seconds she emailed me a link to the duvet cover she had just ordered for Caroline's big girl bed and requested a pillow. 15 minutes later we met in the library parking lot before story time and she handed me the baby quilt I made for Caroline that she plans on putting at the foot of the bed and a spare pillow form that she happened to have on hand! I love this kind of crafting enthusiasm.
My friend and I enjoy crafting for eachother's girls when gift giving occasions arise and it is no secret that we are the ones who enjoy it more than the little girls. We are taking full advantage of the moment because we know that by next year they will have fully formed opinions and gift requests of their own!
I was inspired to make this pillow by a hoop from my hanging hoop wall pocket swap and a pillow cover I saw about a year ago.
This should satisfy mommy because it matches the duvet cover and coordinates with the baby quilt. But Caroline should have fun tucking her favorite stuffed animals into the pocket of the Dresden Plate flower.
*My daughter Lily offered up her bed and stuffed animal for this photoshoot but would like to make it clear that her bear is NOT part of the present :)
Monday, October 24, 2011
If you have seen enough of my samplers for BasicGrey, it's time to avert your eyes! I hope that you are like me though and are excited to see different ways you can use the samplers to different effects. I just finished this large Rook sampler for BasicGrey using their Curio line of fabrics, essential buttons and glazed buttons. I had no other guidelines to work with so I set about creating a layout. I decided to treat the sampler sort of like a quilt. I cut one row of squares to fill out the entire opening. The next row was cut smaller so that there is a border around the fabric.
Then I highlighted one fabric that pulled in a number of the colors from the fabric line by cutting it to fill 4 squares. I embroidered around that large square with a blanket stitch and chose three essential buttons to stitch in place. In each of the smaller "quilt" squares I attached a glazed button that coordinated with the fabric in that square. I really love the way that it turned out.
My second assignment was to design a small Saffron sampler using just BasicGrey vintage buttons. It was hard to show restraint here. I wanted to throw in a little color and embroidery. Instead, I kept it to the buttons but added four petaled flower shapes cut to fit neatly within the shaped opening out of aqua wool felt.
For added interest, I attached one button with a double tie using a champagne colored floss and separated the threads.
I hear that some people are finding these samplers in their local craft stores now such as ACMoore. They would make great Christmas gifts.
Curio fabric can be purchased here.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
This package was just chock full of love and thought. My friend Lauree, knows how I love our old barn. She looked through my blog to find pictures and designed one potholder to look like our barn. She's got it down from the slant of the roof to the placement of the doors and windows. Because I love flowers, she made the second potholder in the shape of a greenhouse, personalized with our family name.
Lauree also carved a rubber stamp with the house and apple tree design from my screen printed fabric called "My Happy Place."
Thank you so much Lauree!
Friday, October 21, 2011
Spurred on by my children's complaints that we did not have enough fall decorations for the house, and my love of acorns, I came up with this fall garland. Acorns are irresistible aren't they? They are just plain cute. The only thing perhaps cuter, are little fabric stuffed acorn caps.
I sincerely doubt that this is an original thought. But here is what I did. I begged family to be on the lookout for acorn caps. When I had a small pile, I cut circles about 2" in diameter and took a running stitch around the perimeter.
Then I wadded up a ball of fiberfill in my hand and put it in the center of the circle and pulled the thread tight while shoving the fiberfill into the ball. Then I took many stitches back and forth to hold the shape.
Then I filled the acorn cap with hot glue and pushed the messy side of the fabric ball into the cap.
Repeat this many times over so you can create a bowl full. I then asked my husband to drill tiny holes through the caps while I ran to the store for cough medicine for our daughter (winter colds are here full force).
I strung the acorns on embroidery floss, knotting each in place with a square knot. For the center most acorns in the garland, I also attached a felt oak leaf.
I was lucky enough to have two sets of double acorn caps. I found a very green vine from the yard and cut a length of it. I then wound it into a small wreath and hot glued a felt oak leaf and a double acorn to it for a napkin ring. Repeat and you have a place setting for two!
I thought that the acorns were sweet but when my six year old got home from school and noticed the garland, she gasped and said "Mommy! This is beautiful!" It's times like this when her dramatic flair is so welcome.
Edited to add: The winner of the Winter Woolies paper pieced pattern by verykerryberry is number 29:
that is such a cute table runner! I can definitely picture it on my table this Christmas! And I'd love to try my hand at paper piecing as well!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Allow me to briefly detour from my usual sewing and fabric printing posts. It's birthday time around here. In a week, I am hosting my daughter's sixth birthday party. She requested party games and crafts based on horses, pegasus and unicorns. She drew the illustration for her invitations and it was this wonderfully creative rainbow unicorn. Since she is a big time horse lover, she has already had a birthday party with a horse theme so, inspired by this card, I asked if we could include a rainbow craft and she conceded.
I decided to dye pasta in the colors of the rainbow and have the girls make jewelry with them. If you haven't dyed pasta before, here is what I did. I grabbed a ziploc plastic bag and added about a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol and then at least 8 drops of food coloring (in order to get the saturated colors I was looking for). I added a couple of handfuls of dry pasta, sealed the bag and shook them around a bit. Then I dried them on paper towel lined cookie sheets. I didn't want to use 7 plastic bags as that seemed really wasteful so I used one bag for red, then I reused it for orange just adding more yellow food coloring than red since there was already some in the bag. You can do that for all the secondary colors.
I decided to add a little glitz to some of the "beads." I happen to have glitter glue in all the colors of the rainbow. I love glitter glue because it allows you to use glitter without the mess of glitter and it doesn't flake off children's projects and end up all over the house. I painted the pasta with glitter glue in the matching color and stood them on end on waxed paper to dry.
I would have loved to make jewelry with these when I was six. Let's hope it is a hit!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
First of all, thank you very much for all the nice comments on my paper pieced skier yesterday. It was an awful lot of hard work and it's really rewarding to read such nice things.
I have another paper pieced project to share with you today! I made this little quilt/table topper using VeryKerryBerry's first paper pieced pattern available for sale on Etsy. Kerry always makes the most wonderful paper pieced designs. The one that is destined to remain my all time favorite is this amazing piece. Kerry asked if I would like to test her pattern. I hope I didn't jump at that offer too quickly... Here is my version of "Winter Woolies" complete with hat, scarf and mittens in tiny paper pieced blocks.
I chose my color scheme around my desire to use this adorable BasicGrey button for the pom pom! The aquas are Hello Luscious, Dazzle and Bliss. The text fabric is Hometown and the grey is an Amy Butler solid.
This is a great beginner pattern for those who are interested in learning to paper piece. Kerry has even included paper piecing hints and coloring pages for you to use while deciding on your color selections.
Check out Kerry's wall hanging using these same blocks here.
Kerry has graciously offered a free pattern to a During Quiet Time reader! To enter, just leave a comment here and I will draw a winner on Friday, October 21 (whenever I have time on that day to do so!).
Kerry has just added, in the comment section below, her desire to give the winner her next pattern for free if he or she has already bought this one. So, there is nothing stopping you now! No need to wait till Friday. It's a win, win.
Monday, October 17, 2011
No, I am not going to be skiing. I have never been and have a strong preference for keeping my feet firmly planted on the ground. The idea of chair lifts scare the heck out of me! Krista, however, loves to ski and chose this as the theme for her cocorico bee month.
She provided us with a mosaic full of ski boots, ski sweaters, ski lifts, trail maps and vintage ski posters for inspiration and asked for blocks measuring no smaller than 10" on any one side and no longer than 14" on any side. I started looking through images of vintage ski posters online and decided that she needed a skier for any proper skiing quilt.
This is the design that I drafted after repeated attempts to simply my figure to the point where I could manage to sew him. I tried to keep her husband in mind as I chose my fabrics since this is a quilt that she is hoping he will love too.
I hope you love it Krista. It measures 10" x 14."
Friday, October 14, 2011
Here is the second canvas that I made for BasicGrey exclusively using their new fabric line, Hello Luscious. I was just told to make something totally different from the last canvas. I love that kind of creative freedom! This is the 8" x 10" Laurel Canvas.
I decided that I wanted to embroider within the preprinted vine pattern. I used a simple backstitch for the vine with lazy daisy stitches for the leaves. I skipped smaller leaves but covered nearly everyone. I had no idea how long this would take when I started. I tend to underestimate time... It probably took me about 9 hours. But once I started, I couldn't very well stop. I love how the embroidery softens the canvas and adds dimension too.
I covered buttons with a green lace Hello Luscious print and stitched those into the four small circles. Then I made little raw edge flowers for each of the nine larger circles using 9 different pink fabrics from the line.
When this one gets back from Houston, I want to see if my husband can build a shadowbox frame for it so it doesn't get dusty so we can hang it in the living room which is all soft colors.
It's hard to believe that both samplers were made using the same line of fabric because they each have a different feel but yet, when side by side, they are compatible. I didn't think to take a picture of them together though!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
BasicGrey asked me to make another one of their canvas samplers done in the same faux-cathedral windows style as my last two but this time using their brand new line of fabrics called Hello Luscious. I just love that name. I chose to use four fabrics that were primarily aqua for the backs of the circles and the various prints in green, pink and red for the "windows." All but one of the buttons that I used are also by BasicGrey.
This is the larger sized "Rook" canvas measuring 16" x 20." The larger canvas allows the fabric samples to shine a bit more than the smaller version I made initially. It also made the ironing easier with less burning of my fingertips!
This canvas will be in the BasicGrey booth in Houston later this month. How I wish I could be there with it! I have truly enjoyed working with this design for the Rook canvas but I was delighted when asked to design a second canvas anyway I liked. I was ready to try something new! I will show you the second canvas tomorrow.
Thank you to BasicGrey for allowing me to share pictures of these samplers because otherwise, my blog would be quiet as I have been busily working on nothing but for the past number of days!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I've been preparing to lead a workshop on Cathedral Windows quilt blocks at the Boston Modern Quilt Guild meeting this Saturday. This little piece will be my sample and I will demonstrate how to fold the fabric and handstitch the windows closed.
If you are interested in joining the Boston Modern Quilt Guild, we'd love to have you. New members are always welcome. I am in a new member, in fact! This will only be my third meeting. You can check out the Boston Modern Quilt Guild on bigtent.com or their blog.
At the guild president's advice, I am going to be teaching the more traditional way to create these blocks. But while preparing, I wanted to try another approach that was explained in a tutorial on my friend Krista's blog. I found it enjoyable too and used it to create this tiny little pincushion!
I hope you will join us on Saturday if you are from the greater Boston area! Send me an email if you have any questions.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I joined the Trim the Tree Handmade Ornament Swap on Flickr for the second year in a row. I am trying to back off swaps at the moment in order to have more time around the holidays but I can't resist making ornaments...or receiving them in the mail. Last year I only fit in the time to make one little house ornament so this year I started off with some little houses to warm up. I am not sure what to make next. I plan to make several and see what comments my partners might leave before deciding what to send out and what to keep or give as gifts. I always prefer to make ornaments in batches of at least three because they look cuter in groups! These little houses measure 1 3/4" wide by 4 3/4" high. The windows and doors are attached with fusible webbing and a long, narrow, zig zag stitch in black thread. The door knobs are french knots.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
My husband made another batch of hand turned acrylic handled seam rippers. But man, you people are seam ripper vultures! There were seven but as I type, there are four seam rippers left, the lovely pinks, stained glass and purple silk. He is planning on making another batch in a few weeks but this is all for now.
I was asked what the blanks look like before Mark works his magic. Here are some blanks that he already precut to the correct length, drilled a hole down the center and inserted a metal tube. But basically, this is the "before."
Here is the "before" blank on the lathe.
Here he has started rounding it.
Then he shapes it.
Then he polishes it. After that, the handle comes off the lathe and he inserts the seam ripper hardware.
If you'd like a seam ripper, get set, go! They sell very quickly!