Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Muse

Sorry for the tardiness of this post. My perfect hubby, with lots of character, accidentally took the memory card for the camera when he went to work this morning so I could not take pictures.
Today's muse is something I learned from a dear friend that doesn't have a blog. Do you ever wonder what to do with all those strips of fabric that are a little to thin to sew with but are so cute that you don't want to throw them away. I know they make cute ties on bags of candy and popcorn balls for the holidays. But that hardly puts a dent in these fun strips. On the other hand a Christmas garland is festive and will put these pretty strips to good use. First gather all these pretties.Cut them into about 5-6" lengths. You do not need to be precise in this. I just fold them until they are about the rights size then cut a bunch at one time. You tie these onto a piece of string. I use hemp. I tie a bead on the end of the string so my little pretties don't fall off.Then you just keep adding the little pretties. Pushing them together to make this fun garland.To decorate your Christmas tree. This is a simple project that children can help with. A great way to create not only a fun garland but a Merry Christmas memory.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Muse

I have decided on a theme for the year I am president of my guild. As you probably already know I love scraps: Scrap baskets, scrap bags, scrap quilts. Little bits of fabric thrill me. My blog has a scrap theme. So it is only fitting that my theme should do with scraps. I thought I would take a positive spin on the hard times so many are facing with a little play on words. So without further ado my theme... "Scrap happens, make a quilt."
With that in mind I thought it would be fun to have a challenge each month to see what the ladies could create from their scrap bag. As a prize I thought Lurline's dilly bags would fit the bill. Who know I might fill it with some scraps and maybe make a dent in my scrap bag. I had so much fun making a few this weekend. First I made one just as the instructions outlined. I learned my lesson last week. So before I tried my own thing I made this Christmas dilly bag.

Lurline suggested beads on the ends of the ties. I had some fun ones that I though would look like little snowballs but I could not get the ric rac through the holes. But I found that they came apart. So I separated a few and used the centers like snowflakes on the ties instead.Next I took out my scraps. I had a bunch of bright fun half square triangles left over from the Unchained Memories quilt I made for my niece. You can see it here if you scroll down the page. I sewed these into flying geese to circle this little dilly bag. I was so glad Lurline included the math formula for figuring the circumference of a circle, or I would have been hunting through old math book. How not fun is that? Much more fun to be playing in my scraps. I used beads I had made from sculpty clay. They are mostly white with swirls of bright color. DD saw this and fell in love. We have decided that these filled with a little treat will make great gifts for her friends. So I have my work cut out for me. Good thing these are so simple and fun to make. Thanks again Lurline. I love your fun dilly bags!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Show and Tell Friday

I wanted to join in the fun at Amylouwho with her fun show and tell Friday. I just finished binding this last night. I had so much fun making these baskets with the New Riley Blake fabric, Sublime. Isn't this fabric rich. I love the dark chocolate with the cantaloupe, olive, bright pinks, and a touch of red. And who doesn't love ric rac. Especially when it is soft and fuzzy.
I still have a little bin of this wonderful fabric to create with. Oh my mind is just spinning with possibilities.
Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend. Enjoy making your Thanksgiving plans.
Em

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Surprises

Look at the wonderful surprise I received in my mailbox recently. Five grandmother's garden blocks for Lyn's challenge. Aren't these the most adorable little blocks. They are hand pieced and I was just doing the happy dance when I saw them. Now to meet the challenge I must figure out a mini quilt that uses at least four of them. Let the creative juices start flowing. Weee, this is going to be fun. My next surprise came while I was out trying to sell my patterns. Now this is pretty amazing. I went to Christensen Wholesale hoping with all my fingers crossed that they would carry my patterns. Never did I dream I would walk out with a huge bag full of fabric and ric rac (their's is soft and fuzzy.) How fun is that? They liked some of my patterns but wanted them in their fabric, you may know it better as Riley Blake. They also gave me some to come up with a new design with. Look at all this fabulous fabric. I think I've died and gone to heaven.
My next surprise is one I shall look back on and laugh. I don't think I've been getting enough sleep. It couldn't be that I'm a little off my rocker. The other morning I got up as I usually do, bright and early. Sliced a loaf of bread for sandwiches for my family. Yes it takes a loaf to feed my hubby, three teenage boys and DD. Set the slices out in piles of two in preparation for sandwich making. Made two tuna fish for J. Made four ham for hubby and Alex. Started to make two PB&J's for N and DD. Had the peanut butter on when I realized that I had spread the peanut butter on top of two of the ham sandwiches. Ummmm, wonder how that would have tasted. Better than if I had put it on the tuna I'm sure. No one will ever know unless they want to make one for themselves. Instead I got out another loaf, glad I make five at a time, and fixed my little surprise blunder.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Muse

The fun little thing I tried this week was the checkbook cover by Crazy Mom Quilts. I probably should have made just a simple one before I dove into a pieced one. But I wanted one with houses to cover my business checks. I thought it would go along with my logo. I didn't know if I would have time to make two so I just jumped in feet first.
First I took a few 1/2 square triangles out of my triangle drawer. You know all those ones you end up with when you sew a small square onto a rectangle or square and then cut the extra triangle off. Well I usually will mark a line a 1/4 inch from my first seam and then sew a 1/4 inch from that line so I get a free 1/2 square triangle when I cut it off. Then I put it in my 1/2 square triangle drawer for use later. Well anyway I took a few of these and cut them in half so I would have the right angle for roofs for my houses. Then I cut some triangles to put on the other side of the roof. Added a little square and wha la a little house was born. I made three of these added strips between so it measure the right size for Amanda Jean's checkbook cover.
This is where it would have been helpful if I had made a simple one first. Then I would have known how tall to make the pieced houses. I guess I could have measured my checkbook, but where's the fun in that? Instead I just sewed fabric on the top and bottom. I knew what size to make the bottom piece because the tutorial said how far to turn that up. But with the top I just added enough to make it the finished size. Well my cordinating fabric came down too far and looked funny above my houses. So I made a pocket to put a pen in to cover that up. Problem solved and now maybe I won't lose my pen. One can hope.
So here it is. The front...

And the back.


Thanks Amanda Jean for such a great tutorial.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Do

I've had a busy week. Josh and I met with the counselor at the high school to plan for his senior year and look ahead at college. I can't believe how quickly my children are growing up. Before I know it I'll have two in college. Where does the time go? DD also had her parent teacher conference. She is doing well and enjoying school. Here is a picture she made in art.
I also had my book group this week. We discussed The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. A very fun book with a lot of play on words. And in my spare time I've been working on my scrappy dutchmen's puzzle. I'm thinking one more solid border and this one is ready to quilt.



Then I had three doctor appointments ugh. One of them the dreaded yearly women's visit. So I figured I deserved some pampering. I went and got a haircut at a fancy salon. Where they massaged my scalp and treated me very nice. It is quite short now. But I love how easy it is to do.
Posted by PicasaHope you have a great weekend!!!
Em

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Apron Strings

Excuse my DD manners she knows I won't show her head on my blog. So she stuck out her tongue while I was taking this picture of her modeling the apron I just made. My sister Julie wants me to design an apron for her new line of fabric. Since I have never made an apron I thought I would try a few before I made one of my own. There is a sweet elderly lady in my neighborhood that makes aprons for people. I have seen several of these and asked if I could borrow her pattern. She gave me a file folder with pattern pieces on butcher paper in it. I was glad I had some experience sewing clothes because there were no instructions just pattern pieces. I used some bits of fabric that Julie had given me from her first line of fabric, Jitterbug. I think it turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Muse

I've always wanted to do a trip around the world quilt. I found this tutorial that used 2 1/2" strips to make a scrappy trip around the world. And since I love scrappy. And my 2 1/2" strip drawer was full to over flowing I thought I'd give it a go. I used my brights because I'm saving the darks for sashing with my scrappy Dutchmen's Puzzle. I sewed the strips together. I should have paid better attention to value. This doesn't have a lot of contrast. But DD has claimed it for a doll quilt. So it has found a home. I think it could be a fun exchange and sew in at my quilt guild. I'll show it to Denise and see what she thinks. Since she is my dear friend over exchanges.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Joy in the New Year

A month or so ago I signed up for Finn's finish challenge. I said I would finish 5 quilts by the end of the year. Well miraculously as soon as I bind this one I will have met this challenge. I'm in shock I thought 5 was a lot. But the Dancing Lantern, Let it Snow, 45 Special, and a Christmas gift that I can't show here are all done. I don't want to lose this momentum I have going here so I signed up for Jacquie's Joy in the New Year. My goal is to finish my Nickle quilt. It just needs to be quilted and bond. Next I want to make these blocks into a scrappy star quilt.
I also want to put together these Christmas cottages from Nanette's exchange last year. I finally have an idea of how I'm going to put them together. It involves some jolly elves.


Also on my list are these scrappy Dutchmen's Puzzle blocks. I have been using them as my leaders and enders. I almost have all the blocks made. YEAH!

Last but not least. I'm planning on finishing the flower wedges I started this last weekend. Wow I hope I can finish these. That would certainly be Joy for me in the New Year. Thank you Finn and Jacquie for your motivation.



Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Family Dinner Swap

Amy is having a family dinner swap. So if you are wondering what to fix tonight pop over and see what tickles your fancy. My contribution is Shredded Beef Sandwiches. These are easy, the family likes them and there is usually enough to make tacos or enchiladas with the next night.

Shredded Beef
4-6 lb roast
1tsp. oregano
1 onion soup mix package
1/2 C. water
2 tsp. basil
1 16oz jar of chili pepper( I often just use fresh out of the garden)
Place everything in the crock pot all day. Shred with a fork before serving on hard rolls. Like I said it is also good for tacos and enchiladas.
Enjoy:)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Muse

I have been searching blogs for fun ideas not only for myself but for my guild. You see next year I will be president and I have a whole year to plan. I have wonderful ladies in my guild that are so willing to help. Susan is going to come up with a challenge. Loretta is going to a sampler of Civil War blocks to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Denise is going to be over exchanges. Michelle has a fun project that she will share with us through out the year. As things fall into place I become less nervous and more excited. I have even asked the talented Nannette and creative Amy to come do trunk shows. I am so excited they said yes. They have the neatest things.
But like I said I have been searching blogs for inspiration and fun tutorials to fill out the year. So I thought for the next little while anyway I would devote Mondays to what I find. I have found a lot of good stuff. There are so many talented ladies out there. This weekend I took inspiration from Kathy at Material Obsession. Oh how I wish her shop were not 1/2 a world away I would love to take some of her design classes. Instead I have to settle for gleaning bits and pieces and seeing what I can come up with. I love what they were doing with the wedge tool so I took mine out. I pulled out my 2 1/2" strip drawer it was full to overflowing. I started sewing strips together and then cut them into wedges.
Some turned into circles that I'm thinking will make some fun flowers.
Others are just meandering around the design wall until I decide what to do with them.
I think I am really going to enjoy these Monday Musings.Posted by Picasa