Friday, February 27, 2009

Times are a Changing

Something new is happening at our home tonight. And although this will be the first time it has happened I know it will not be the last. In some ways this is a good thing. In others very sad. All my children will be gone tonight. A and J have a youth conference they are going to. N is going on a scout camp out. And DD is going to have a late night with her friends. I don't know whether to shout for joy and revile in the freedom this brings or cry because my babies are growing up. Probably do a little of both. It will be nice to have a quiet evening with my hubby at home.
In my spare time I've been adding to my piece full healing blocks. These have been so relaxing to do. I really am enjoying this mindless sewing. They have been very healing, for my mind anyway. I didn't go to the doc this week to check my blood so I don't know what my count is. But I am feeling great. I almost have 30 blocks. I can't decide if I will put sashing between or just put the blocks together. Any suggestions would be appreciated since I want this to continue to be a mindless project. I have made all these blocks and I really can't see how it has made much of a difference in the scrap bin. My goal this year is to try and get to the bottom of the bin. Or at least maintain where we are. I love scrappy quilts so this should be a fun thing to work on.
Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your kind and helpful comments. Have a great day!
Em

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Meet the Masters

Every year I help in my children's class in a program called meet the masters. Each month we learn about a different artist. This months artist was Joan Miro. Prior to teaching yesterday I was unfamiliar with him. He was a Surrealist artist. And as I googled his art, I found I really enjoyed it. I've linked his name to a site that has many of his works if you want to check it out.

First we did a worksheet to study how he did his art. Then we drew squiggles to find abstract shapes. The ones we made on construction paper we cut out.

We arranged them on our papers.


Here is some of their work.

Once they got going they really made some great pictures. They were finding all kinds of things in their squiggles.

I really enjoy watching their creative minds work.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I am sooo blessed!!!! Usually when my blood count drops so does my mood. But between my pieceful sewing and other things that have come up I haven't had time to sit on the pity pot and worry about woe is me. The other morning I had the opportunity to spend time with some wonderful ladies making skirts for Bridge of Love. They help orphans in Romania. Here is where they are cutting out skirts.
Here is the station where they finished the raw edges so the skirts will not fray. These skirts need to be sturdy to last the hard washings they will get. Here is where they are sewing sides, casings, and hems.
I put in elastic and sewed some trim on a couple of skirts. I took pics of the tables with lots of fabric and trims and the tables with the finished skirts but for some reason my camera doesn't always save the pics I take. I don't know why. Does anyone else have this problem? It was a fun way to spend my morning and a great way to keep my mind off me. Hope you all have a great day!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fat Quarter Monday

Happy news this week. I have lost another fat quarter. Yippee!!! So the lucky winner in this weeks fat quarter give away is Terry from Terry's Treasures. Congrats to you Terry. Let me know your snail mail and which happy little fat quarter you would like.
Then anyone that would like a chance at next weeks fat quarter giveaway. Leave me some words of encouragement. I still have 11 fat quarters to rid my body of. Thanks for all your help and encouragement. Have a great day!


Friday, February 20, 2009

My Quilty Friends

Yesterday was my quilt guild meeting. And although a little nerve wracking for me. (I was in charge.) Our president was at a quilting retreat. Lucky girl. I guess this is a good thing for me I need the practice cause next year I will be president. I don't know what I was thinking when I said yes to that. Trying to ease my conscience I guess, I've been a member for over 10 years. It is probably my turn. Anyway my quilting friends were very forgiving of me and I survived. Here are their lovely quilts.
Loretta's beauty. A favorite of my N. He love brights with black. Another beauty by Loretta. Here's a close up.
Look how cute this little thing is by Marlene. It's little red riding hood.
Daloris' is still trying to use up scraps. She is doing it in such a lovely way.
This is a block of the month by Nikki.
Nancy's sweet Valentine runner.
Look at this great bag Nancy made.I love this mini by Sue. Shamrocks for St Patty's
She made it reversible. This side is for Valentine's
She also made this cute little thing. There Valentine cookies. How fun is that?
Suzy's Valentine advent.

And Michelle made this fun one for her friends boys. They can drive their cars on it.
And our lovely Joan made this great quilt for her grandson. What a lucky boy.

Have a great weekend,

Em

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When Life Falls to Pieces...

I have heard it said, "When life falls to pieces make a quilt." So that's what I'm doing. I debated about posting about this. Who needs to hear my woes. But I know a lot of you believe in prayer and I could use that right now. I have a rare auto immune disease called ITP. In lay men's terms my body attacks my platelets. (Those little things that keep you from bleeding and help you stop when you get cut.) It has behaved it's self for the last year but being sick must have made it mad because it has reared it's ugly head again. The average person has between 140-400 thousand platelets. My count is at 68 thousand. Although low I have not entered the danger zone, below 50 thousand. At that point they worry about you just spontaneously starting to bleed. Though I have never had that happen and I have been as low as 11 thousand. Well enough doom and gloom, cause although it can be scary it is rarely life threatening. And I'm making a quilt and that is much more fun. Last time it flared up I made this one. By the time it was done my counts were up and I have enjoyed a year with no bleeding worries. So I have dumped a bunch of scraps into a bin. I didn't want to have to cut squares, that's my least favorite part of quilting.

And I started sewing. I made this block.


And this block. I was just grabbing pieces out of that bin.


And this block. Very mindless but very healing.
In fact I made all these blocks.
Who knows what this quilt will look like. That doesn't matter to me. Just that I am piecefully sewing to find peace and healing in my life.
May you find it in yours too.
Em



Tuesday, February 17, 2009

From Precision to Wonky

I think Donna is bond and determined to improve my piecing skills. This weeks Friday Block Party (see side bar for link) was a bugger. Mine is far from perfect but it is done and I got a lot of practice in piecing tiny little hst.After such precision I was in for something wonky. I have never made wonky stars before and wanted to help with the Australian Bushfire victims. So I joined Tia's Bushfire Quilt Project and started sewing. Here are a few of my stars. This one is my least favorite.
I like yellow and red.
This one is bright and happy.
Hope all is well with you and the world.
Whether you are feeling precise or a little wonky.
Have a great day!
Em









Monday, February 16, 2009

Fat Quarter Monday

I am so sorry. I don't know if it was not feeling well so I wasn't exercising like I normally do. Or the fact that we had Valentines and I ate too many treats. Either way I did not lose any fat quarters this last week. My apologies to those who cheered me on and now I have nothing to offer. So if you will forgive me and give me the push I need to go on. I promise to do better this week. I will make it to the gym at least three times and ride the bike the other days. I have gotten rid of all Valentiney treats so they will not be a threat. I will do my best to make sure there are fat quarters to give away next Monday. I will do better!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Book Cover Tutorial

A few weeks ago I made this. You can see how I made the cover here. Well Marlene asked if I would do a tutorial for the whole book cover. I said I would and have been feeling guilty because I haven't gotten to it. I've been playing with the hearts. Well last week DD saw a best friends journal at her school's book fair. It was purple and flowery and you could put all kinds of fun stuff about your best friend in it. Being the girly, girl she is this was a must have. I told her she had to use her own money, she was okay with that until she saw that it was $14. That a lot of money to an 8 year old. I wasn't to thrilled about the price either. I'd rather she saved her money. So I told her I would make her one at home. Plus we could make the pages custom so she could put in exactly what she wanted. This sounded like a good alternative to her. So now I had two people counting on me to make a journal cover. I couldn't let them down so yesterday I let the laundry, dishes, bed making go. I know naughty, naughty me, but remember I wasn't feeling well. So I wanted to do something that relaxed me and would make me feel better at least mentally. I found this fun print in the scrap bag, grabbed a composition book to use for the book (I have lots of those, I stock up at back to school time) and went to work.
I made this little block

And this little block

I drew this one up on graph paper and made it.
You have to have a Friends Forever block on your best friends journal.
Then I made these little hearts.
Laid everything out on top of the composition book to see how we were fitting. .
Sew everything together. Trimmed and added as needed. You want your cover to be 1/2" to 3/4" bigger than your book, depending on how thick the cover of your book is. A 1/2" is kind of tight on the composition book, so it is hard to get on but then it conforms to the book real nice. So that's your call.
Open up your book and measure how big the spine and front and back covers are. Once again you want between 1/2" and 3/4" bigger than that number.
Cut a lining the same size as your book cover.
Cut two 7 1/2" x whatever the height of your book cover is for the flaps
Place your lining right side up.
Fold flaps in half and place so raw edges are on the edge of your lining.
If you want ties on your book cover so you can tie it closed cut two 11" strips of ribbon. This will make a long tie. But I needed mine to be easy for my 8 year old to tie. Measure halfway up the sides of your lining and flaps, pin ribbon in place. Place cover on top of this and pin well.
Starting at the bottom almost center of your book cover sew around the book cover leaving a space so you can turn it.
Trim the corners, turn it right side out, stitch up your opening and put it on your book.
And there you have it a fun personalized book cover.
Enjoy!
Hope you have a 'love'ly Valentines Day!