22 February 2011

The Project Girl Fat Quarter Giveaway...

Hey friends, friendly passersby, blog surfers, etc....I wanted to let you know the The Project Girl is offering an awesome fabric giveaway on her website. Jen Allyson is a great designer of scrapbook papers and has outdone herself with this new fabric line, Quite Contrary. For every 100 comments she receives, she will give away ONE full set of 21 fat quarters (up to FOUR sets). Get on the horn...spread the word. Visit her website and see what all the commotion is about and leave a comment...the more comments she receives, the more she gives away!

Spread the word....I know I wanna win!

08 February 2011

A Wonderful Quote...

Thanks to Kristin Sauer for sharing this one:
When I stand before the Lord at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.'
—Erma Bombeck

A Big Quilt for a Little Lady...

It started with a need for a gift and an idea. I was browsing my favorite quilt fabric shop and got all the way to the wall of books and magazines this time. Up until now, the fabric entranced me so, I don't know if I noticed there were books and magazines along the back wall. Tunnel vision, no doubt. After several minutes of leafing through a dozen publications, I came across Quilts Made Modern. There were several of the 10 designs I liked, but the one that really got my attention was this one called Loft. I don't know if it was its graphical pattern, the colors they used, or the waves of stitching. Let's say it was all three.

Could this be the one I make for my special gift? Sure—why not!? So I bought the book—did I really spend THAT much for ONE instruction book? Oh. well, got it closer to filling in my frequent customer card.

After spending quite some time not finding just the fabric I wanted, I decided to check at Hobby Lobby for fabric. This was a mixed blessing. Yes, I finally found some fabrics that worked together just as I wished, and they cost a bit less, but I was soon to discover a bit of the disappointment in using less than high-end fabric. Live and learn!  Although pink and brown are the planned nursery colors, I decided to look a little farther down the road. What if I made a quilt that will last a little longer than infancy—something she can use after the crib.

I choose contemporary bright pinks and greens for the top and binding. For the backing, I found a darling pink and white toile of vintage Mother Goose rhyme characters. As before, I scanned some of the fabric and roughed out the design in Photoshop to use as guide. After some calculations and instruction edits and print outs, I started cutting the pieces. The process involved stitching together long strips in to blocks and then cross cutting the assembled pieces into blocks.

It went together pretty quickly, but needed a little custom touch. I used my Cricut/Gypsy to cut out fabric fused to Wonder Under to spell out her name; fused the letters to the bottom right corner's block; and satin stitched the raw edges. I also dotted the 'i' with a heart. How cutesie! Instead of using straight pins (albeit ones with flat heads), I tried safety-pinning together the top, batting, and backing this time. They worked great and kept the 'quilt sandwich' very stable through the contortions of my version of machine quilting. I also used an all-cotton batting. I was (just barely) able to stitch everything together on my ever-faithful Lady Kenmore. Instead of a fancy overall stitching pattern, I opted for stitching the ditch and it's all held together beautifully.
I am making more home-mades and I want to 'sign' my work. Hey, they may become someone's heirlooms some day! I came up with the idea (am certain many have done this before me) to use iron-on transfer paper printed off my inkjet printer. This is how I signed off Miss Cali's quilt.

All that's left is to give it to her momma. I can hardly wait! I'm pulling together this post beforehand and will publish after she has it in hand. Cali, you've got a great family waiting for you! Jamie, Jace, and Chris—we love you guys!

An Old Friend for a Sweet Friend...

More than 20 years ago, I did piece sewing at home. In addition to sewing pretty decorative collars worn with the baggy denim jumpers of the time, I also sewed accessories complementing the laminate handbags that were all the rage back then. Pieces included makeup bags, eyeglasses cases, key cases, telephone book covers, and so forth. One of my favorite pieces was a wallet that held credit cards, check book, change, receipts, etc. I had not sewn one for a couple decades so once I found the pattern pieces, wondered if the process would come back to me. After all, I likely sewed dozens of them years ago.

Just before Christmas, my friend from Colorado was visiting family/friends here in the OKC area. She'd liked the handbag I'd made for myself and wanted one like it. We went shopping for fabric and found a combo absolutely perfect for her. I was able to have it for her before she flew back home. And while it had been my intention then to make on of these wallets for her, I simply ran out of time to get it done.

The wallet came together quickly last week and the process still felt familiar and part of me. I've always liked this piece as it was  designed but can now see some changes to make to the pattern. Maybe one credit card slot less and a bit narrower overall, but still wide enough for a check book/unfolded bills. I also think a magnetic closure would be more finished looking than hook/loop.

Even better? I got it mailed out once conditions from our first major winter storm freed us from our homes.

Much to do this week—post cards to decorate for a Valentine's Day swap at My Heart's Fancy. Love their new location just north of 164th and Penn. They're now all about mixed media art, stamping, and creating. Also need to get reading on a book club selection. Looking forward to meeting the other ladies on the 17th. And the day after that, third Friday of the month, our ladies community group from church gets together in Mustang. It's lots of face time with people for this self-proclaimed hermit.

And then there's still the Big Dig purging of my office space. More about that later!