Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Harmony Art Sheets

I made a trip to visit MomStitches and the rest of my family in November.  While I was there, we had a very generous dose of snow, and "brisk" temperatures.  When I woke up in the morning it was only 8 degrees!!  This shows the thermometer when it had warmed up enough for me to go outside.

And my rental car. . .

So, what do you do when you are outside and see a broad expanse of pure, untouched snow?  Make a snow angel, or course!  It's been a few years since I've done this, but I still remembered how.

I brought along a sewing project, and MomStitches helped me with it.  I was making a sheet set for my friend Harmony's mother-in-law, who is recuperating from an accident.  Harmony supplied her own organic fabric for the sheets:  whispering grass in orchid, and orchid solid.  Such beautiful fabric is a joy to work with.  Here we have the fabric laid out all across the living room.  It was really nice to have MomStitches for a second opinion, and a second person to help "measure twice, cut once."

The fitted sheet was not too hard.  We cut a square out of each corner, then sewed up that seam. 

I used French seams, so there were no raw edges to fray.  Sheets go through many, many washings!

We used the solid orchid fabric for the top trim on the top sheet.  Then we combined the print and solid for a set of "opposite" pillowcases.  One used the solid with print trim, and the other the print with the solid trim.  I used directions from the One Million Pillowcases website to add the trim to them without any seams exposed.  Then I used French seams again to sew the sides and end of the pillowcases.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Electric Snowmen!?!?

I made a few of these cute little guys yesterday.  Aren't they funny!  I found the idea on Pinterest, that vast wealth of space that sucks up way too much of everyone's time!

Obviously, the snowman's face is a battery-powered tea light.  A short piece of decorative "pipe cleaner," two little pompom balls and a small bow are all attached with a hot glue gun.  Then I drew dots for his "coal" eyes and mouth with a permanent marker.  (That's about as far as my drawing ability goes!)

Then he gets hung on the tree and doesn't he look happy!

When he's lit up he really glows!  I love this little snowman!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

More Crocheting

You might recognize the yarn colors in this afghan from this post not too long ago.

Yes, I'm using up the leftover yarn from that great big afghan that I made for the play.  This is one of my favorite "non-pattern patterns."  I simply crochet along the rows and insert "holes" in random places.  For some reason, this amuses me!

The next afghan is, yes, that same pink color.  I really didn't want to run out of yarn so I bought more than I needed.  I knew I would use it all eventually.

This one was simply groups of rows of single crochet, then double crochet, then treble crochet.

KittyStitches is checking out this afghan.  Probably wondering if it would make a suitable place for a nap!

This last is an afghan made of variegated yarn, which I love working with.  It was a thicker yarn than usual, but I sometimes like to use that.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Work on my President's Quilt

I have been working in earnest on my president's quilt lately.  I'm very close to being done with the quilting.  I decided to do a fan-like free motion design in the blocks themselves, with a leafy vine in the green sashing strips.

I had a bit of trouble with my machine, so I haven't been working on it steadily, but I've kept at it.  It is so enjoyable to work on it.  Each square has the name of the person who sewed it, so as I quilt each square I think about that person fondly.  I appreciate the particular fabric they used to go with my blue print.  Very fun.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

For MisterStitches

MisterStitches had a birthday recently.  As I was thinking about what to give him, I had an idea.  We really don't give each other birthday presents in a big way any more, as we don't need any more "stuff."  We do make a special point to go out to dinner to celebrate, though.

But I wanted to give him a little something.  So I decided to make him some baseball-themed fabric coasters.  He always uses a coaster at his desk.  And here is what I came up with.

I used some nice baseball fabric that I ordered from Bear Patch Quilting Company, in Minnesota.  The baseballs on this fabric have a used, rather old look to them.  And I paired it with some of my brown grunge fabric by Moda to make a little bit larger mug rug. 

You can see that I also used some San Francisco Giants fabric, too, his favorite team.

MisterStitches was very happy with his present, and told me it was one of the best presents he's gotten.  (Really--he was serious!)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A BIG Crocheted Afghan

Here is another afghan I crocheted, but this one is Not A Baby Size.  I made this one for a local theater set.  For a play that I was in!  The play was The Miracle Worker and I was the maid.  A small part, but a fun one.

Here is a photo of the afghan, playing its part.  It is on a roll-away bed that is being used in the garden house of Helen Keller's home.

I created this afghan by crocheting several squares and rectangles. They were all the same width, but varied in length.  I crocheted and I crocheted and I crochet and I crocheted.  Random sizes.  I didn't stop to see how many more I needed to do.  So in the end I had more than I needed!

Then I played around with arranging them on the floor.  I had to decide how I was going to put them together.

When I had them arranged the way I wanted them, I found that some rectangles needed to be shortened to make even edges on the afghan.  Here I am sitting on the floor, unraveling rows until the rectangle was the right size.

I found that those little red Wonder clips worked wonderfully to hold the pieces together as I joined the rectangles. Pins sure would not have worked!  The clips did a great job.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fun With Paper Piecing

I had some great fun sewing Christmas ornaments this past week.  I really think paper piecing is fun, and I love what small "pictures" can be created, with such precision.

The three above are Carol Doak patterns, available free on her website.

Look at that tiny candle above with its itty-bitty flame.  The flame measures 5/16" tall.

I liked the zig-zaggy strips at the middle of this ornament.

Mr. Snowman still needs some work (embroidery) to give him a face and some buttons.

I love this tree.  And with so few pieces, it's very easy to put together. 

* * *

And then I made a couple more, that were not paper pieced.

This one took a little fussing, but in the end turned out well.  I think the second one will be a lot easier.

And here is a teeny tiny Christmas quilt!

I love making Christmas ornaments.  My goal is to have a tree with nothing but hand-made ornaments.  
"Made in the U.S.A."

Friday, September 18, 2015

Christmas Ornaments

Last year I subscribed to Shiny Happy World's Christmas ornament club.  It was so much fun that I decided to do it again!  I bought the felt fabric bundle and signed up for the patterns.  I'm now on my third week of twelve ornament patterns.

The first pattern was for a snowman sweater.  I actually made two of them.  This was fun to do.  The pattern didn't call for it, but I cut a piece of thin batting a little smaller than the sweater and put it inside, just to add a little fullness to the sweater.

The next week came a pattern for a cute little dachshund puppy wearing an adorable Christmas sweater.  I have a friend who used to have dachshunds, so this ornament makes me think of her. 

Last week's pattern was a cute teddy bear.  I added the Christmas ribbon to give him a little flair.

I wonder what the other ornaments will be this year!  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 14, 2015

My President's Quilt

I finally got all the squares put together for my president's quilt.  In our guild each president can request that the members make individual blocks for her to put together into a quilt.  I received 53 four-patch blocks, each containing two squares of my chosen fabric, which I cut down into wonky four-patches. We won't mention that I was president in 2010-11, so who knows why this has taken me so long!!

Then it was time to choose borders.  I was really torn here, and auditioned many different combinations.  I had some companion fabrics to my main fabric, and came up with many other possibilities from my stash.

I even emailed photos to some friends to ask their opinion!

And this is the one I ended up choosing.  Yellow, with a narrow strip of red, and finally the large border of my main fabric.

The next step was making a backing!  I had some lovely border print from the fabric line, so I worked around it.  My quilt is square, so it made it easy to start with a square in the middle and work my way out from there.  I had three extra blocks from friends that were left over, so I made another block and put those four on the back of the quilt.  This quilt is pretty big, and I was not able to photograph all four completed sides of the back.

And now I'm working at the machine quilting.  I'll show you some close-ups of the quilting designs a little later.