Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pumpkins!

Will someone please remind me to never work on four different quilts at the same time ever again.... especially when they are so radically different from one another. Each of these quilts uses different techniques, each has different design work, and each uses fabrics that don't even come close to matching the other. On top of that, take into consideration the different sizes of each individual quilt block that is used in each quilt. I'm not even sure at this point, as to what the finished size of each quilt top is going to be as I have changed the final design on every one of them. What was I thinking?! Here are two more Pumpkin blocks from the block of the month that I am doing through Shabby Fabrics. These people are truly wonderful and you can't help but love their site. They not only offer numerous lines of beautiful quilt fabrics, but they also offer several Block of the Month patterns, clothing patterns, purse patterns, handwork patterns, etc., etc. They offer some invaluable classes on Youtube that I'm sure you will also love! You will never be disappointed by visiting them online! Again, I used Sulky Blendable thread and Aurifil thread. I enjoy working with both threads very much and I think you will too. On each of the blocks I also used Steam a Seam II. I am sharing a youtube video with you so that you can visually see how great this product is. I felt that this visual would be far better than me trying to explain it.
Here are two more of the blocks from my sister-in-law's quilt. On this quilt, I used the Steam A Seam II again, but the thread that I used for the satin stitch around each flip flop was an embroidery thread... Isacord, by OESD. This is a polyester thread... not a rayon.. which is very important. Rayon can run if it is washed with a detergent that has any type of detergent booster.
What are you working on? Until next time....

Monday, May 28, 2012

Blessings To Those Who Keep Us Safe!

I love days like these when our nation sets aside a specific day to thank those who risk so much for all of us. Thank You!!!! If it weren't for your continued sacrifice we would not be able to enjoy the comfort of peace, freedom and safety that freely enjoy across this land. We are truly blessed. I wish that I could hug each one of you. May God bless you as you continue on your journey of defending this nation.
Before I go... I wanted to share with you two more finished blocks.
Aren't you glad that the Great I Am still lives.... Until next time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Market Bag

I am finally home and between work and everything else that goes on around here I was happy when I finally had the time to sit down and make this market bag that I am sharing with you today. Some beautiful laminated fabric had arrived at the shop right before I left and I made the move to purchase some of it. Along with the laminated fabric, it also came in a matching cotton fabric as well. I loved how bright and festive the fabric was.... and apparently a lot of other people thought so too. By the time I came home, quite a bit of the fabric had sold. I was so glad that I had taken the time to make my purchase before I left! The shop carries several patterns for making totes, purses, and/or bags, but in the end I settled on this Amy Butler pattern. I have made a couple of Amy's patterns in the past so I was sure that it would work out very nicely using this fabric. The picture on the front of the pattern shows the larger bag... I chose to make the smaller one.
Here is the completed purse. As you can see, I glitzed it up quite a bit... not that it needed it!
Here's a look at the inside of the bag. As you can see, I put the matching laminated fabric on the inside. I toyed with the idea of placing it on the outside.. which is very popular these days... but felt that if I actually took it into the market, I just might need to wipe the inside of it out.
Another thing... I decided to add a couple of snaps to each side of the bag. I didn't like how open the bag was so I added the snaps at the last minute.
Here is a view of the side where I added the snaps.
Make sure that you don't overlook making the false bottom! Amy suggests that you use some type of a heavy duty template plastic, which is a great idea. Since I didn't have any, I merely cut up an old cutting mat.... this works fantastic! Here's my completed false bottom.
Until next time...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Hand Embroidered Blocks... So Far

Since I am leaving for a little while this next week, I wanted to leave you with a few pictures of my hand embroidered blocks thus far. A couple of posts back, I shared with you some of the quilt blocks that I have been working on of late. If you will remember, each block is quite different from one another and the techniques used on them is also very different. Embroidering by hand at night and/or hand sewing binding on a quilt is rather relaxing for me. I thought that I would share four of the blocks that I have hand embroidered so far. I merely placed the green fabric behind each block so that you could see the block a little better. If the block is difficult to see, you can always click on the picture for a closer look. How about sharing what you've been working on.......
This one has lots and lots of tiny French Knots... can you tell?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Back To Yo Yo's

Those of you who read my blog know that I think yo yo's are darling on any quilt. I feel that they add a beautiful dimension to just about any project you may be working on. I realize that yo yo's take quite a bit of time but I feel that all of the tedious work placed into making these little jewels is worthy of the effort. Shabby Quilts is one of my favorite online quilt shops. When Jennifer shared this quilt on her website this morning, I thought that all of the circles that were sewn onto the quilt would be beautiful if each was made into a yo yo instead. What do you think?
Here's yet another idea... it's a free download for a new Amy Butler quilt using yo yo's... it's also pretty cute don't you think?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Time Out For Cash.....

So I'm watching my grandson Cash today. Once we arrived at the house I quickly ran and grabbed an armful of toys so that he would have lots to play with, but as you can see.. that is definitely NOT what was on his agenda! Why is it that children never want the things that are freely available all around them... no they want everything else that they can't have. (Does this somehow reflect the same behavior that we adults struggle with.. hmmmm??) I have now begun tying things up again to deter yet another little one from taking everything out of the china hutch. Check out that look on his face.."If I could only get this stupid ribbon off of these doors!"
Failing to get into the china hutch, he made his way into the dining room to get to the curio cabinet. "Rats!!... another ribbon and I am caught!" is what his expression seemed to say to me. He ends up dropping back down to the floor, crawling further and further away from the toys that I gave him to head for yet another area that has forbidden treasure. Kids!! What would we do without them?
Are you feeling sorry for him yet?? See you next time, Debbie

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Diaper Docking Station.....

A new product came into the shop that I was asked to take home and give it a try. We have been selling a new pattern in the shop that has been selling quite well.. so much so that it has been nearly impossible to keep in stock. It's a Diaper Dock and/or Ironing Caddy pattern. It's a great pattern and quite useful as so many women like to take their own irons with them to class and by doing so they have their own ironing station right next to their machines as they sew. The only complaint that we have had when one uses the pattern for a 'Diaper Dock is the limited amount of laminated fabric that we have available in the shop. When a particular company, who we buy from, sent us their new product to try, I jumped at it. Once I read the directions over, it sounded as though you could iron the product onto any fabric and the fabric would then be laminated... voila! an end to our dilemma. I brought the product home only to find that it did not work out quite as easily as the directions made it sound. After several calls to the company and making a huge mess on my various attempts, I finally gave up. I decided to take a look into my own storehouse of stuff located in my closet and found some lightweight vinyl.. perfect! Note.. this is not in the original instructions of the pattern, but it does work... just be careful of the iron. Below is a picture of the pattern along with the finished project.
When closed, it looks like a cute little purse doesn't it?
I added the pocket... how can one not have a pocket?? Again.. not in the original instructions. Next time I will add one to the other side as well!
How it looks when you open it up. The perfect place to change your little one! It may not look like it, but it is a verily large changing area.
If using this pattern to make as an ironing pad, you obviously don't use the vinyl, but you use a heat resistant product like the one below. And instead of carrying diapers and wipes, you carry your iron inside. Isn't this a great idea??? You've got to try it! Until next time, Debbie

Monday, May 7, 2012

Quilts In The Making

I have several quilts that I am in the process of making right now. Each one is totally different than the other.. which could be a good thing... or possibly a bad thing, if I were to think about it.. which I don't. ;-) I have shared a couple of the blocks from two of the quilts with you already.. Take a look at the first three blocks, remember months January and February from the dark neutral Block of the Month quilt designed by Sharyn Craig that I shared with you on a previous post? Well here are months March through May. I am really enjoying Sharyn's designs as they are very quick as well as nice and easy. I must confess, it is pretty nice to be surrounded by so many 'famous' quilters who make their home right here in Southern California. Even the owner of the shop where I work is rather well known in her own right, as she is the publisher of all of Sharyn's books, plus she designs fantastic patterns and writes amazing quilt books herself. . The shop, Cozy Quilts, is the hub of where hundreds of patterns are brought together and then sold... mostly online. Daniela Stout, the owner, gives great instructions on Youtube if you would like to get a peek at what we do here at the shop. We have visitors coming in from everywhere to see the shop firsthand and to also get a glimpse of all of the beautiful fabric lines that we carry... especially the batiks. Stop by sometime.. either online or in the shop. Here are months March-May:
The next two blocks are from the Pumpkin Quilt that I have been working on and as I shared with you before, it is my very first Block of the Month project. The blocks above by Sharyn, are my second attempt at completing a Block of the Month club. The pumpkin blocks below are being appliqu├ęd on my sewing machine using a 12 weight thread.
The next two blocks are being embroidered by hand, also using a 12 weight thread. Sulky offers wonderful thread that I love to use whether on my machine or by hand. If you have never tried it.. it is a must!
These last two blocks are a part of a flip flop quilt that I am making for my sister-in-law Liz. Flips flops are all that she is able to wear but are they ever glitzy!! Once I finish the quilt and it has finally been quilted, I will embellish the quilt to pieces... I can't wait!
I've shared with you.. now you can share with me. What are you working on? Until next time, Debbie

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Little Ipod Purse for Miss T

One of my granddaughters has a birthday coming up and I decided to make her a little purse for her ipod. When she comes for a visit, she loves to sew if at all possible and make little purses. Since she has not been here for awhile, I thought that I would surprise her and make a new little purse for her. We carry the pattern pictured below at the shop. It goes together rather quickly and it made me think of her while I was sewing it together. There are a couple of important tips to remember should you decided to make one as well. 1.) Make sure that you read all of the instructions! How many of us simply glance over a pattern and then run with it? I am always in a hurry to get the job done and by doing so I invariably miss a key point in the instructions and have had to rip out. How about you? 2.) There is quite a bit of bulk in the bottom of the purse due to the many layers of fabric and the fact that you need to interface each piece.... at least I felt a need to interface each and every piece of fabric.. So make sure that you catch all those layers of fabric in your stitching seam. 3.) Make sure that you trim well before turning the purse right side out. With so much bulk at the bottom of your purse, you may be unhappy with the final look if you don't take the time to trim. 4.) Always press! I have been surprised over the years at how many people don't press their projects.. either during the process or once completed. Amazing! Get those irons out and use them. 5.) Have fun! This really is an easy project to make. It is so simple and the instructions are pretty straight forward. Until next time, Debbie P.S. Please don't forget... you can always click on each picture so that you can get a closer view!
There are actually three pockets inside the purse but they are difficult to see in this picture.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Another Little Snippet of History....

In the previous post, I shared with you a small portion of my mom's family history. I decided that I would share just a little bit more just for my kids's. As you could tell in my last post, life was rather hard in regards to my mom's family. The house that her and her siblings lived in was really small, a shack really... one that was torn down years ago. The elementary school that mom and her brothers's and sisters's attended has now become an assisted living home. (Rather ironic don't you think?) As kids, my mom and her siblings did not get a chance to play very much and listening to my mom and her sister Betty reminence about their childhood is a lot different than I would have ever imagined. My aunt Betty worked hard in the garden outside each day while my mom worked hard inside their home. Not only was my mom hired out to iron, but she was also hired out to clean house for a deacon at their church... on top of doing her regular chores. My uncle Hank, mom's oldest brother, worked at the grocery store nearby to help pay for the groceries that their large family consumed each day. As stated in my post below, everyone had a job to do... everyone that is, except for my two aunts, Sybil (who was my grandfather's favorite) and Peggy (who was always sickly and wisely took advantage of it). My grandmother named my mom Mildred when she was born, a name that my grandfather hated from the beginning. In fact he never once called my mom Mildred... He called her June. My grandfather also did not like or trust medical doctors. If anyone ever needed help... medically speaking... the chiropractor was asked to come and take a look. It didn't matter if you needed stitches, (like my mom did when she had a huge gouge taken out out of the back of her upper leg) or if you had 'blocked bowels', (a type of intestinal obstruction like my Aunt Betty had... which could have killed her) or you were simply having a baby, no medical doctor's were ever allowed in my grandfather's home. The only exception came when my grandmother finally snuck my aunt Peggy out to see a medical doctor when she realized just how frail that my aunt had become. My aunt Peggy had always been a rather sickly child but when she became nothing more than skin and bones, my grandmother went against my grandfather's wishes and took her to a medical doctor. That act more than likely saved my aunt's life as she was found to have sugar diabetes and was put on insulin immediately. Overall there was an incredible lack of any real communication in my mom's home, and expressions of love were few and far between. There were never any, 'I love you's' said or hugs given.. no tender words spoken, in fact no anything at all. Quite sad. My Uncle Roy was the one who talked my grandfather into moving out to Lakeside, California and purchasing an egg farm there. Their home in Drumright was paid for and they probably could have lived somewhat comfortably by living off of my grandfather's retirement and social security checks... however my Uncle Roy convinced my grandparents to make the move west and that he would be there to help them... which didn't end up happening at all. They did not get near enough from the sale of their home in Drumright to fully pay for the farm in Lakeside, but they thought that they would eventually make enough money to pay the offset of the purchase and then be able to live easily off the profits from the sale of the eggs. The farm had a small, two bedroom home, the girls once again in one bedroom but this time the boys had only an enclosed porch to sleep in. By now there was only the four girls left at home, along with two boys, Jack and David. Uncle David worked at the feed store to help pay for the feed that was needed to feed the hundreds of chickens that my grandfather had purchased for the farm. Unfortunately, all of the so called profit from the sale of the eggs barely made enough for the family to live on. Discouragement eventually took over the life of my grandfather and he became quite ill due to cancer. He decided that he did not want to pass away here in California and he definitely did not want to be buried here... so on his deathbed, he got up, left my grandmother, caught a bus to Jonesboro, Arkansas and died two weeks later at his oldest daughter's (Leah) home. So what does this mean to you my dear children... no longer do I ever want to hear any of you complain about how tough you had it or how strict your dad and I were on you when you were growing up. Maybe we weren't strict enough?? After all... grams turned out pretty good! ;-) I love you guys, mom