Saturday, April 16, 2016

Aprons for the Bakers

I recently sewed some new aprons for Margaret at Two Fish Baking Company.  It seems that several of the employees there are also "height challenged."  The aprons I make have nice full bibs, but are not too long, so they work well for the under 5'5" set.

Playing around with different strap widths.

Product works well for baking pizza!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Spring Training 2016

MisterStitches and I took our (seems to be) annual road trip to Scottsdale, Arizona for Giants spring training.  We had a great drive down, listening to Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith.  You may have seen the old Alfred Hitchcock movie by the same name.  The movie was based on this book.  

The next day I took a jeep trip to the Sonora desert, a little ways outside of Scottsdale.  That was fun!  Hot and dusty, as one would expect.  I learned a lot about cacti and desert animals and desert life.

And of course, we went to baseball games.  We were able to go onfield before one game and watch the Giants take batting practice.  It was really cool to be on the field, so close to the players.

Brandon Crawford (on the right) is one of my favorite players, in addition to being one of the cutest!  Joe Panik isn't too bad either!

MissesStitches and Hunter Strickland.
I got to have my photo taken with Hunter Strickland, one of the relief pitchers.

MissesStitches and Mac Williamson
After the next game we got to go on the field again, and I had my photo taken with Mac Williamson.    He also autographed my baseball hat.  Pretty nice guy.

With all this time in the car, I was able to get some hand-sewing done.  I hand-sewed the binding on my president's quilt, a good job done.

I can only show you a glimpse of this project, as it is for our guild challenge show in May, and I'll show you the whole thing then.  I was doing needle turn appliqué on this piece.

And here are a few Christmas ornaments that I made.  While at home, I did the pre-work of sewing two circles together.  Then in the car I sewed the openings shut, and folded up the sides to form these ornaments.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

My Portable Ironing Board

This is a project that I've been wanting to make for a while now.  We had a small tv tray (is that what other people call them?!?) whose top had seen better days.   MisterStitches wanted to get rid of it, but I knew that I wanted to re-purpose it.

First of all, for my fabric I chose Whispering Grass by HarmonyArt.  Choosing the fabric did take a little thought.  I knew that I wanted a print, but nothing too bright.  Certainly not a red fabric which might bleed onto whatever I was ironing!  Whispering Grass, as are all of Harmony's fabrics, is organic, and it's such a pleasant print.

I used one layer of batting and one layer of Insulbrite to cushion the fabric.  I simply cut the fabric and both battings a few inches bigger than the tray.  Then it was time to call in the staple gun!  I started by stapling in the middle of one side, then stretching the fabric tight and stapling in the middle of the opposite side.  Repeated for the other two sides, then I stapled all around the edges.  It was important to keep the fabric stretched while I was doing this.

I just did a sloppy sort of miter at the corners.  It did the trick!

The bottom of the tray is not going to win any beauty prizes.  No finished edges.  Uneven edges.  Questionable corner treatment.  But, ask me if I care!!

I love my new little ironing table.  I took it to our guild retreat with me in February and got lots of compliments on it.  In the past I've always taken my small ironing surface with me to classes, etc.  It works fine, but this way I can free up a little bit more of my table space.  Besides, it's very pretty!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Quilt of Valor

Last summer/fall I sewed this quilt top for a Quilt of Valor.  It was inspired by a picture I saw in a quilt magazine.  Someone's new fabric line, I think.  I started with 10" squares, laid one on top of another and free-hand rotary cut a gentle curve through the middle.

Then I switched around the two halves and sewed them back together.  It was a fun method for making blocks.

Here it is with two borders.

When I was ready to sandwich it, KittyStitches was right there to help me!

Now it's all sandwiched and KittyStitches is very happy with her work!

Friday, March 4, 2016

PPQG Retreat 2016

Our annual guild retreat was held during the second week of February.  We had a truly wonderful time.  There were 25 of us.  A good number. 

I wish I had taken more photos of our work room (aka sweat shop!).  We stay at the Dry Creek Inn Best Western in Healdsburg.  It is a very nice hotel with great amenities and employees.  This is the 5th or 6th year we have been here and we love it.  Our workroom is a large conference room (above).  Each person has a long table to work on.  They provide irons and ironing boards, and there is always coffee, tea, and water available.

A lot of great work gets done here, like this beautiful quilt above with purples and blues.  Lots of Harmony Art fabrics!

Here's a great triangle quilt top.

We even had live entertainment!  One of our quilters brought her guitar and played/sang wonderful music for us during our nightly happy hour.  Another quilter brought her ukulele and she provided us with lovely music, too.

I like this deceptively simple quilt with square patches, offset by uneven rail fence blocks.

Here's a real stunner.  Three-dimensional flours cascading down this beautiful quilt.

Here is some of what I worked on.  These are patches made with my father's shirts.  I was playing around with placing them on point on my design wall, just to see how it would work.

And I think this is the best idea I have ever had!  I asked every participant to bring two four-patch blocks with them, made with red, white, and/or blue fabric.  Each of the four squares measured 6" square to start with.  After we got to the retreat I gave them directions of make a disappearing four-patch.  Now they will all be put together to make a Quilt of Valor.  The above photo shows just some of the blocks made, but we have 49 altogether.  That will make a quilt top 6 blocks by 8 blocks, plus one on the back for the label. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Valentine's Day (a little late!)

Here is the valentine card that I made this year.  I made one for MisterStitches, and one that I mailed to MomStitches.  It was a lot of fun, and really pretty easy to make.

I used a Carol Doak paper-pieced pattern,  found for free at her website.  And she also sells blank cards on her site with a cut-out square that fits her small patterns exactly. 

The window is 3" x 3".

This small bit of paper piecing was very, very easy, so don't let it frighten you!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Christmas Ornaments

In November and December I was busy again sewing Christmas ornaments.  I've made quite a few of these over the years, like here.  Most of the ones I made this (actually last) year were for my quilt guild  to sell at the Festival of the Trees fundraiser at Gualala Arts Center.  I'm already working on more to sell this coming year!

Here are some close-ups of the individual ornaments.

I especially love this simple snowflake.

And this cute little tree!

The pattern is Happy Holidays by Blueberry Backroads.  I've bought four of their Christmas ornament patterns over the years, because they are all so cute!