Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm Thinking Christmas (Blog Hop)

Today is my day on the Think Christmas Blog Hop.
*Warning... silly poetry ahead... lol..

Oh, the hot weather  may be frightful, 
Thinking of Christmas in summer is delightful
(For our blog hop), I have a few blocks I've sewn,
Wanna find out what is in that sneak peek I've previously shown?..

Let it snow,
Let it snow,
Let it snow...

I designed a 12.5" Snowman face - the basic block is pieced then applique details are added along with borders. 
I couldn't resist making a happy snowman block, complete with a bright hat.
My 6.5" version of the large snowman head. (I added a background strip to accomodate the applique pom-pom for the hat).
Then I thought I would make a couple of small snowman blocks, but as often happens with me...

I got caught up in trying them out in other colour combinations.  It wasn't long before I had a family of smiling faces!

My next design is for a snowflake block - thanks to this pillow  I made last winter.

Appliqued snowflake block is 12.5"
 Having a project in mind for the snowflake block, I determined I wanted a smaller version and came up with a slightly different snowflake in 6.5".

Not finished with block making for my new project, I reduced the snowman I designed (used in these pillows) to make a new block.

The finished project?  A table runner to match those pillows I made last winter!

A matched set! 

Thanks so much for visiting me and letting me share  with you.  Christmas may be a few months off, but it's not to early to start sewing for it.

Here's more "Think Christmas"  inspiration to get your creative juices flowing.

Have fun visiting these talented ladies and be sure to say "hello"...

August 1

Sheila's Quilt World
A Passion for Applique
Cherry Blossoms Quilting Studio
Jane's Quilting
Sew Me Something Good (you're here! :o)
A Stitch in Time
Quilt Times
Marcia's Crafty Sewing and Quilting
Patchouli Moon Studio
Quilting by the River

Huge thanks to our sweet hostess, Lesley, and to our head cheerleader, Madame Samm, for organizing this wonderful hop... and   Thanks to ALL of YOU for cheering us on!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Think Christmas Blog Hop Day #2

Let's keep cool blog hopping along with these talented ladies...

Lesley, our lovely hostess has it here...

Think Christmas? Oh, yes!

Today is the first day of
This blog hop will get your creative juices stirred and I'm certain will inspire some early Christmas projects.    I'm looking forward to seeing what my friends on the hop have been stitching and hope that you'll join us!
I've been working on a few blocks to share...

but even though my creative energies have been focused on the winter season, my kitchen is full of the signs of the growing season.  I spent 9 hours yesterday,  canning 80lbs. of cucumbers ...
Fresh dill, a clove of garlic and a pinch of hot pepper = tasty pickles! (The jar of the right was the last jar I filled, so it received extra garlic to help fill the space - pickled garlic is delish ;o)
into 63 quarts of dill pickles!  This  should  better be enough to see the 4 of us through the next year.
My hubby and sons really, really like homemade dill pickles, but since I didn't can any in 2011, they have been pining for them.  Knowing that they can go through a jar/week,  I think I'm safe with a nearly a dozen more than that magic number of 52. Lol...
Check it out! 63 quarts of homemade dill pickles from 80lbs of cukes.  I thought I'd break my previous record of 65 quarts from 75lbs... I always pack my jars as full as possible, but this year I must really have fit those cukes in close.  Nothing feels as rewarding as seeing these jars full of homemade goodness.  Definitely worth the  work (and the lingering smell of dill, vinegar and garlic... ;o)

Okay, I'm off to finish getting those jars washed, labelled and stored.  Before I go, here's the line-up of wonderful ladies sharing  blocks today...

July 30

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Secret sewing...

means that I've been rather silent here recently. Where to begin?  Seems like much has happened since my last post because I've had my nose to the grindstone, so to speak, working out some design ideas, plans for a tutorial or two and getting ready for the
 Think Christmas Blog Hop (can't believe it will start on Monday!).   Busy, busy!
Mostly, I've been  wrapped up working on projects that I can't show just yet...unless I mess with the photo a bit... ;o)

Well, at least you know my project has some bright colours in it .
Okay, gotta get back to my sewing...  be back soon . 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Tote

I decided I needed a new little tote for summer.  Something simple and a bit fun, so yesterday, while in the shower, my ideas finally jelled into a design.  Why ideas come to me then, is beyond understanding!  Anyways, I felt confident I had worked out a fun design  and  got busy drawing, cutting and stitching.  Unfortunately,  a few hours later, when I was done, all I could see was mistakes and was discouraged.  Bah!

Today, I feel a bit better about my efforts and braver about sharing it with you. I'm calling it my "Twist & Tie Tote".

The biggest change to my design involved the seam ripper.  My initial plan had the overall shape with the seams of the tote centered, front and back.  Didn't look as good as I had envisioned, plus it messed up the shape (wrapped piece was too tight and the pocket wouldn't curve with the outline of the tote).  So... I ripped out the bottom of the tote and re-orientated it to what you see below.

The wrapped feature on one side of my tote started out as a bow, but had to be modified due to a insufficient amount of the navy dotted fabric.  Necessity being the mother of invention... I ended up with a "twist" instead of the original planned bow.
The fabric I chose is a good weight for a tote, it holds it's shape nicely without being too stiff, although I did add some light weight interfacing to make sure.  I've had this twill weight houndstooth fabric waiting in my stash after I scored it at a thrift sale a couple of  years back.  It's such a bold fabric and  I was looking to balance it.  Mixing it with a solid blue denim in the same weight meant "bold" didn't have to be overwhelming!  Then for fun, I used one of  my favourite fabrics... Henna Garden from Sandi Henderson, for a shot of green to play off all the navy.  Looks summery together, I think! ;o)

One simple pocket with a matching flap and self covered button breaks up all that houndstooth and adds a little organization to the outside of the tote.
 Inside the tote I went all out with adding some organization.  A hidden, zippered pocket on one side and 2 large pockets and a penholder across from it.  I would be lost without pockets!

The part of this tote that really makes me grin, is the split pieced bottom, encircled by some narrow self-made piping.  That shot of green alongside all that navy is one colour combo I'm seriously crushing on!  Changing the orientation of this bottom piece was worth the extra wrestling it took in sewing.  I love piping, but its one of those details that requires patience and goes better with slow, careful sewing.   When I look at the bottom of this bag, I feel that the results were worth it.

So are you wondering what my major disappointment with this bag is?  Me, the detail orientated sewist that I am, made a fundamental boo-boo in my mad dash to stitch this tote up.  The slip-up is nagging at my perfectionist self and if I had only slowed down to really LOOK at my bag, I would've changed it.  I've been smacking my forehead since, believe me. C'est le vie.  I've just been served some humble pie! LOL  See if you can spot my mistake... ;o)

Do you recognize this tote's design as a spin-off from another bag I designed?  Click here to see my first version!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Carried away?

Just a little update on the red/white/ blue block progress I debuted as a participant of the Red, White and Blue Blog Hop... I've doubled the amount since Sat.

However, now I'm thinking of spacing the blocks with sashing.  Otherwise I  will need to buy more fabrics to make additional blocks, to retain the secondary pattern.  When I mentioned the dilema to my husband, he said, "So, you're saying you don't have enough fabric?"  (which I will admit sounds funny if you stand in my sewing room and look around... shelves are full of fabric... yet, somehow not the right ones I need for this quilt.  Hmmm... I heard there's a sale at the LQS this week...;o)

Meanwhile, have you been following week two of the Red, White and Blue Hop? I know I have some catching up to do.  So much to see...lots of inspiration and some lovely giveaways too!  Go have a look....

July 8th

July 9th

July 11th
Nancy R

July 12th
July 13th
July 14th
July 15th

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Red, White and Blue Blog Hop

Hello! Welcome to Day 7 on the Red, White and Blue Blog Hop!

Can you believe that we're already at Day 7 of the Blog Hop?   The week has flown by and it's now my turn to share the blocks I've sewed up.  I've been so inspired by my fellow sewists in this Blog Hop.  I hope to do the same for you!

Without further ado, here's my little line-up of blocks...

The Texas Star Block!
"Texas Star" 12.5" Block from Blue Elephant Stitches (for template, click here and the tutorial, click here).
This block is wonderful for creating the illusion of curved lines, so I have plans to sew a few more! ;o)
"Berry Patch"; 10.5" block from Once More Around the Block by Judy Hopkins

"Berry Patch" seemed the perfect design for using scraps and well, as so often happens with me... one block soon led to  another and another and then one more for good measure!

That led to experimenting with possible layouts for these simple to make blocks...

1st Layout

2nd Layout

3rd Layout

The final block I'm sharing with you is more "modern" and required no template, no strip piecing, just simple "slice and stitch" construction.  Plus with only four fabrics in a block, I was encouraged  to use some larger scaled fabrics to make it bold.

"Rain or Shine" Block; 10.5" (I made it slightly larger than the 10" finish given in the book) from The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman
Once again,  I went on to make 3 more blocks,  each using different fabrics than the others.
Going bold in Red, White and Blue!

The bonus in making more than one block?  The delight in discovering that placed side by side, an interesting and decidedly scrappy second pattern emerged.   You do know where this is headed, right? ;o)

I'm currently up to 12 finished blocks (only 8 of them shown below) and believe a new quilt is now underway (funny how it sneaks up on me like that! LOL).

 Thanks so much for stopping by today.  It's been a pleasure to share with you!

Please be sure to pop by all the blogs listed below to see what they have to share...

July 7th

sew me something good (you're here!)

** P.S.  Jane has the master list for all the blog stops on this hop.  Click the button at the top left of her blog to make sure you don't miss any of the fun! There's another week of hopping left... enjoy.

Huge thanks to Jane and Mdm Samm for putting this fantastic hop together.  Many thanks to my fellow sewists for sharing their wonderful blocks.  My  "to-sew" list is being greatly added to, thanks to you! LOL

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer Chevron Runner

Happy Canada Day!

Earlier this week, I shared a quick peek at a little project I was working on.  The inspiration behind it came from a tutorial Kelly gave for a Chevron Rug as a part of the Bella Solids Parade: Season Two hosted by Emily and Shruti, which Fat Quarter Shop sponsered.  Five weeks of enjoying beautiful Bella solids and 5 lovely guests gave us tutorials to use those solids, with prizes along the way.  I happened to be a lucky recipient of one yard of Bella Glacier and now I'm entering for the chance to win 10 yards of Bella Solids.
This newly finished runner is my entry!

I pulled a selection of orange and pink prints and combined them with 3 solids in pink and 2 in orange to make a scrappy version of Kelly's chevron design.

My version is larger than Kelly's because I made it to sit atop my vintage buffet in the living room.  It finishes at 56" long and is 18" wide.

 The size of strips I cut were 2.5" to make the math work for my finished size and I also decided to eliminate any border around the chevrons.

For the back of the runner, I used a solid light pink and then placed some leftover chevrons running in the opposite direction from those on the front.

I kept the quilting really simple to let all those fabrics be the focus of the design.  Softly curving lines running the length of the tablerunner accomplish that goal, I think.

The lines flow through the centers of each chevron strip.

Even though the runner will sit under our television, I wanted it to complement the cushions I made for our loveseat.  Leftover pink solids from those cushions helped spice up the scrappy runner and keep things coordinated without it being too matchy-matchy. ;o)

I am definitely more appreciative of the part solids can play in my sewing projects.  Thanks so much Emily, Shruti and the Fat Quarter Shop, as well as  the 5 guest posters for sharing the wonder of solids and inspiring me!
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