Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Simply Red

I'm always amazed how something so simple is so satisfying. What could be simpler than the block design of this quilted red and white runner? Better yet, the red strips used to make this runner were leftovers from the log cabin quilt I made for my oldest son. Every time I look at this project, I feel the energy of those reds!

My quilting was very simple - I started with one wavy line that I freehand machine stitched and then echo quilted it to cover the whole runner in a lengthwise direction.

I find I like to use curvy quilting lines when the block design is linear. It just seems to make the overall look more whimsical.

The binding is a seasonal print (that is hard to photograph!) - pine branches on a rich red background. For the backing I tend to use plain pieces of fabric, but I think I'm about to change that after seeing some inspiring pieced quilt backs over at Crazy Mom Quilts. Hmmmm... I still have some red strips left, maybe I could satisfy my desire for more red along with my curiosity to attempt a pieced back... stay tuned.... ;o)

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Creative Corner

I was drafting some patterns of my own this weekend and did manage to sew up some gifts too, but since I can't show those to you, would you like to see what my sewing corner looks like?

Notice the large teal tubs under the table? There's actually more of them than shown here. These particular tubs hold my quilting fabric stash and my collection of vintage sheets. The tub in the foreground (with an in progress work stacked on top of it...) holds the thrifted sweaters I've felted for projects. The other storage tubs (not shown) hold things like my yarn and other needlework materials; collected worn out jeans for projects; plaid shirts for another quilt and then there's a tub full of novelty fabrics, like plush for making stuffies.

My space may be limited, but I've managed to load the area with lots of my sewing necessities. Luckily, the window ledges in Edith are ample enough to stack items like books and even some of my clear plastic bins containing my fabric scraps (organized by size) . If you look really close at the stack of pink lidded containers, you may even notice that I also have a portable dvd player with two movies resting on top of it (Pride & Prejudice and Mansfield Park - I love Jane Austen stories and it's a treat to watch the movie versions). During the day, all the natural light in this corner makes it a wonderful spot for sewing. I confess that in the evening, I'm just as happy to stitch away, especially with one of the aforementioned movies playing. Mr. Darcy seems to help me sew. ;o)

Friday, November 21, 2008

This Week...

ended better than it began due to a cold. Here's the proof that my week ended well - the quilt top for my Bento box quilt is now stitched together. Yay! (Please excuse the bits of green tape that denote the placement order of my blocks - I was too anxious to take my photo before our daylight disappeared and forgot about the tape).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Baker's Dozen Patchwork Wristlet

This wristlet with its pieced and quilted front is comprised of a baker's dozen of girly fabrics which I made as a gift for a sweet fabric loving friend. It seems I cannot resist patchwork or making wristlets!
For the inside of the wristlet I indulged my love of polka dot fabric, which picks up the greens and pinks in the patchwork.

A layer of batting, beneath this Heather Bailey print is left unquilted for the back of the wristlet.

Many thanks to J for feeding my scrap stash which lead to the idea for this wristlet. I couldn't be happier with the results in this baker's dozen!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Old Red Barn Giveaway!

Dana is offerring chances to win one of three different quilts. Go ahead and enter here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What's Inside Two Squares?

I love trying new ideas. What can you make from two squares of coordinating fabric? Why this simple drawstring pouch!

Just the right size to tuck in some sewing tools or maybe some sweets.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Two Quilts

This is the Bento box quilt that I'm currently working on. The blocks make up quite quickly and I love the pattern that emerges from this simple design.

This shot is the same layout from a different angle. I'm still deciding if this will be the final placement of the blocks.
I thought I'd give you the final shots on the Stars of Friendship quilt. The last post I made about this quilt I told you how I had run out of fabric for the binding. Amandajean rescued me by sending me some more so I could finish.

This shot shows the white sheet I used as a backing. I thought by showing the back you would see that the quilt top really is blue and not white - which the front looks, when photographed on its own.
It's hard to find a place indoors to show a shot of a completed quilt. My two helpers are sick at the moment, so I placed the quilt on top of the air mattress we're still using as our bed, to take this photo.

I must say that this quilting habit is quite addictive. ;o) My mind is already racing ahead with plans for starting another....

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Start of Something Good...

Ages ago, I was inspired by this post and I determined that I wanted to make a Bento box quilt too. Then I spotted another example of this design over at Crazy Mom Quilts and I knew that this was a quilt begging to be made. After deciding to use this collection of fat quarters...

I cut and stitched up the blocks for my quilt top this weekend. Here's my blocks all lined up, waiting for me to clear space on the floor to lay them out.
The colours and patterns I've decided to combine having me feeling rather bold, but I'm so excited to share my latest project with you that I couldn't wait to give you a sneak peek.

Wish me luck on deciding how to arrange the final layout for the quilt top! ;o) I'll have more pictures soon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Shrink, Snip, and Stitch

For this simple project, I started with a cheap priced thrift store wool sweater. Then I used my washing machine to shrink it. Ta-da! Then I cut out this bag design in one continuous piece, so that there would only be side seams to stitch up. With a zipper top and a cotton print lining, this was a super easy project.
Since there already was some surface design embroidery on the sweater along with various colours and knit designs, I decided not to embellish this bag any further. Shrink, snip, stitch and you're done!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Patchwork Triangles

It's probably obvious by now, that I adore scrappy, patchwork projects. There's just something about stitching together a variety of fabrics that appeals to me. Here's how my patchwork looked before quilting.
This is a look at one side of the zippered bag that I made from all those triangles...

and here's the view from the other side.

A peek inside the bag shows the autumn plaid it's lined with as well as the floral print that is the seam binding.
All that scrappy goodness has me working on more projects using my fall coloured fabrics because I don't seem to tire of the magic of patchwork.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Psst...do you know about this giveaway?

Go visit Katie and enter her giveaway for some gorgeous fabrics. Let her know that I sent you... Thanks!

Pieces of Fall Organizer...

I found this idea in Susan Briscoe's book, 21 Sensational Patchwork Bags. It's called a Quilter's Pocketbook and this is my version. I used fabrics I mentioned in an earlier post along with bits from my thrifted stash. Here's the front of the organizer... and this is a shot of the patchwork pieces used to make the front and back covers.
Next is a picture of the back of the organizer which shows one of the adjustments I made to the original design. I will warn you that the directions in the book were not well laid out. There were steps missing and some measurements that didn't make sense. As great as the idea of this design is, I think that the book has some editing errors making the directions vague in places. After I could not understand what the author intended, I did my own thing with this design.

When you open up the pocketbook, you will find plenty of pockets to hold essential items for keeping you organized. Places to put a notebook, pen, calculator and snips of fabric if you wish.

This organizer will be useful when I'm out at the fabric store as it will keep track of my notes and measurements of projects that I want to make. That should help with purchasing supplies!

I love practical projects that start out with bits and pieces of pretty fabric like this...
and the results give you something lovely and useful, like this.

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