Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Retreat 2018

Wow, it has been a long break I've taken here from blogging!  I was kept pretty busy during January rehearsing for a mystery play, written by MisterStitches himself!  It was done locally, at Gualala Arts Center, as a dinner theater.  One scene was performed, then people were given appetizer, then another scene, followed by a salad, yadda, yadda, yadda.

That was a very busy time, with rehearsals every day and sometimes on weekends.  We had lots of visitors for the play, too.  DaughterStitches and family (3), SonStitches and family (3), MomStitches (1), and some friendStitches (2).  (Did that last thing work?!?)

Immediately after the play--the very next day--MomStitches and I left for my guild's annual retreat, held in beautiful downtown Healdsburg, at a very nice hotel.  It was fun having MomStitches with me this year.  So along with the play, I had a lot of work to do getting the retreat ready, too.  I would set my timer for 30 minutes and practice my lines.  Then I'd set it for 30 minutes and work on retreat stuff.  Repeat, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I took some preparatory pictures, mostly of the car as MisterStitches had packed it for us, so we would be able to get everything back into the car for the trip home.  

As you can see, just about every square inch of space was used.  And I'm very glad I took these photos, as they definitely helped us pack the car for the trip home!

Here is a photo of the 24 of us together, just before dinner on the last night.  (I'm actually missing one person, in case you counted, as she had to leave early.  Next year, note to self to take group photo on a night when everyone is there!)

This is one of the projects I worked on at retreat.  Quilting this comfort quilt.  I had found these blocks already sewn, in our guild's fanny basket.  So I put them together, added a couple borders and did the quilting at retreat.

Of course, I forgot to take photos of most of the little personal touches I provided at the retreat, like the pretty ribbon bookmark/paper clips, and the signs labelling each table as "Jane's Creative Space."  They liked those.  And I also had some print-outs placed in various places around the room, and I do have photos some of them.

I usually have some optional projects for people to work on at retreat, if they feel like it.  The first one was this apron made out of a man's shirt.  Some of the people made these.

And this is a quick quilt-as-you-go table runner. 

More Later!!!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Little of This, A Little of That

What have I been up to?  Well, quite a bit actually, leaving little time to blog.  Here are some samples of what I've been doing.

I sewed several dog beds to take to the local animal shelter.  People give me their fabric scraps and I sew them into "pillows" for dogs and/or cats.  Sometimes I'm able to find some good scrap fabric to use for the casing.  Here you can see that I used some Giants "rally towels" (actually four of them) to make one of the beds.  The blue bed is a sweatshirt turned inside out, the bottom band and arms/neck cut off, then sewn into a rectangle and stuffed.

I took three beds a couple weeks ago, and I have three more to take now.

Something that is taking a lot of my time, but I don't have a picture to show you, is rehearsals for a mystery dinner theater in which I'm playing a part.  This is the third year in a row that MisterStitches has written a play, drawing on our local area for ideas.  This one is called Diving For Abalone.  Rehearsals and learning/practicing lines takes a lot of time.  It will be performed the first weekend in February.  

And the day after the play closes, I will head to Healdsburg for my guild's annual quilt retreat.  This is a lot of fun to plan and think about, and of course, a lot of fun to implement!  I made up this easy, quilt-as-you-go table runner as a sample, in case anyone wants to make this at retreat.  Even the binding was sewn entirely by machine to make it super quick!

I found instructions (thank you, Pinterest!) on how to make an apron from a man's shirt, so I made one for a sample.  I like how it turned out.  This one was made from a dress shirt, but I also made one from a nice knit shirt with a collar.

And then I leave some things to be a surprise at the retreat, for which the following picture is a clue!

Coming up in March will be a class I'm going to teach about English Paper Piecing.  I'm very fond of EPP, and love the designs made with it.  As I had these other things to keep me busy, I thought, "Well, I can leave planning the class till after the retreat, because it's not until March."  I thought wrong!  I received an email from the programs chairman with a request for pictures, my bio, what the class will cover, class fee (if any), supply list, etc.  Oh, and it needs to be done right NOW!  They can't sign people up for the class until this is done.  So I basically had to plan the class so I'd be able to tell people what to bring for it.  I worked on that for a day or two and have it pretty much under control.  Obviously, I'll have a lot of work yet to do, preparing handouts, planning what I'll teach and in what order, etc, but that stuff really can wait till after retreat!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Christmas Decoration For A Lamp

A few years ago I saw a Christmas decoration at the home of my dear Sister-In-LawStitches.  It was a simple strand of Christmas lights which she had wound around a floor lamp.  There were fabric bows in between the lights, and it was really cute.  And of course, I thought, "I can make that!"

It's a little hard to see it while it's wrapped around the lamp post, but it looks quite nice.

I simply cut strips about 1 1/2" wide by about 7" to 9" long.  It might have been nice to cut them with a pinking shears, or with my wavy line rotary cutter.  

Hand here it is with the lights turned on.  

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Happy First Birthday to BabyStitches!

As I did for my first GranddaughterStitches, I'm making "number" t-shirts for the new BabyStitches in our family.  I usually buy a t-shirt in the appropriate size for this project, but I'm kind out of the shopping area right now, so I turned to Amazon, as usual.  I could not find a single onesie!  But I found multi-packs, so I bought four of them.  

I used some very pretty fabric that I found here.  And I used a different font for each onesie.

This close-up shows that I used a blanket stitch to secure the fused numbers.

For the pink one, I added a little ruffled lace around the neckline.

I liked the "random" prints that were included in this set-of-four.

For the final onesie, I decided to do something different.  So I added a skirt to the top, which I think makes a cute little outfit.  Thank you to Create and Babble, found on Pinterest, for the idea and the instructions.

And Happy First Birthday to you, BabyStitches!
Love, Nana

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A Quilt For Little Hudson

I have another NieceStitches who had a baby this summer, a little gentleman named Hudson Robert.  Isn't that a nice-sounding name?  I love it!

I chose to do half-square triangles for this quilt.  What a surprise!  I paired blue and white squares for the main part of the quilt.  And I intentionally made the design off center.  You can see where I started it in a previous post.

For the back of the quilt I used two different blue fabrics.  (I think it's cute how the quilt looks with the sun shining through it.)

I used a paisley sort of design for the main part of the quilt.

 In the first border I simply quilted a wavy line of stitching all the way around.  Several trips around the quilt, to be precise!

In the white outer border I used a simple wavy line with balloons on it. . .

. . . till I came to one point and decided to try quilting Hudson's name.

I'm pretty happy with this quilt, and I can't wait to meet the little guy!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Gorgeous, Dahling!

A friend who is moving decided to whittle her stash down to a packable amount, so she held a fabric sale at her house.  Yes, I really do need some more fabric!!

I found a few really pretty fabrics, including some whites/near whites, which are always good to have.  

My treasure, though, is these gorgeous, luscious fabrics.  Aren't they beautiful!

They are all fat quarters, and I purchased them for a song! 

I think they are really pretty pieces that can be used for some lovely splashes here and there.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Logical Progression

As I showed you in a previous post, I added some lace fabric to flowered fabric to make two scarves for myself.  And as there was still lace left when I was done, I think the logical progression is:

A scarf made from the two colors of laces sewn together.

Again, it was a little "futzy" sewing the lace.  I needed to pin carefully (and it's hard to pin fabric that is full of holes!) and again, I used tissue paper underneath for a stabilizer.

I thought of using my little red clips instead of the pins, but then decided against, and toughed it out with the pins.