Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sewing Center is back up and going!

Christmas is over and all the decorations are down (except the tree.. which I will work on soon!).  The dining room is no longer a dining room... it is Sewing Central once again!  Hubby got back to quilting before me. I decided to bang up my toe and ended up sitting on the couch with it propped up for a couple of days.

He pulled out 12 quilt tops we have made individually and together over the past few years. The plan, for most, is to keep them to give away when there is a need. There is just one problem.. I end up loving them and wanting to keep them all! 

He pulled out a bright blue scrap happy top... we got it sandwiched and then the Mad Quilter was off!  Got it done in 2 days... really an afternoon and a morning. Then got it bound and it is ready to go. Hopefully it won't leave here too soon.. I really do love this one. I love bright and scrappy and fun and this quilt is ALL of those!  The binding fabric is one of my favorite fabrics too.  Here are a few pix:

Also, I found a cute pattern online right before Christmas for a fabric journal cover ( I decided to play with this a bit. Here is my cover... I did not use a ribbon, but instead used a bit of elastic to close the journal.  I do think next time I will make the cover just a smidgen larger as I can see some of the notebook peeking out at the top and bottom edges.  Overall though, I like it. I will definitely be making more.

There will be at least one more post for 2010... I think. Bought a bit of fabric today (all on sale!) and Hubby is working on quilting another top. Be watching.... "Belle"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Finishing up 2010....

My sewing area is also our dining room... my dream is to have an actual sewing studio one day where everything is together and I never have to take it down for holidays and such.. but in the meantime I thank God I have the space I do!

So sewing for 2010 has pretty much been wrapped up as Sewing Central is now a Winter Wonderland. Here are some pix of the final projects of the year... at least those done by machine.. I still have handwork to do (Thanks goodness!)

My son has been dating a young lady for close to a year now... sweet girl... a keeper! She mentioned last summer that she wanted a t-shirt quilt. I said "Bring me some shirts and I will work on one for you."  Well she brought them and that sat here all summer long!  I finally started working on them a month of so ago... and now the quilt is all done and I love it!  I did the prepping and piecing... sweet hubby did the quilting. I knew I did not want to tackle it!  He used "invisible" thread for the top.. first time to use it.  I love the pattern he used.. a basic straight line pattern, but it created a cool pattern. There is a close up photo, but it doesn't really show it as well as I would like.

I also whipped up another Pin Cushion Organizer. This one is for a dear friend... not a Christmas present.. just a happy... cause she deserves it!  I am a pink and green girl, so this one is difficult to part with!

Sigh... sewing central is down for 2010... time to start planning 2011 projects. I have no doubt I will vow to finish up all my UFOs... and then won't! LOL!  That seems to be the norm.  I actually know 2 projects off the bat.. 2 baby quilts.. a jungle themed one for a boy due in April and one for a girl due in March. Maybe I can decide on patterns and fabrics over the next few weeks.

Happy Christmas Y'all!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Gearing up for that end of the year push....

We are on quilting overload here. Sewing central is also our dining room... so it was down for Thanksgiving and at some point soon ( probably the week before Christmas) it will go down and be down until after the holidays. Sigh!  So Hubs and I are working like made to get everything done that needs to be done before we close the door on 2010.

He got the baby quilt top I pieced a few weeks ago quilted....

And he quilted a quick and easy cheater quilt I put together for my mom for Christmas....

I whipped up some burp pads for a friend's granddaughter...

Several years ago (2005) I made my first Christmas quilt using the Yellow Brick Road pattern and some Holly Fat Quarters my hubby had bought for me.  We dubbed the quilt Holly Jolly.  Last year I thought it would be fun to make a matching tree skirt (I had some of the fat quarters left.)  I got the blocks made, but ran out of time before getting them pieced into a skirt (Starting a Christmas project 2 weeks before Christmas is not wise!).  So I pulled them out and got them pieced together. Hubs quilted them and now we have a lovely tree skirt. Can't wait to see it under the tree!

I used some of the left over blocks to make a couple of pillows for the couch...

Then I decided we needed a couple more to add to the Christmas cheer, so made 2 more with different fabrics... I really love Hubs quilting on these...

Here is one of the couches with the quilt and one of each pillow....

There are still other projects in the works. Hubby is quilting a t-shirt quilt I put together for our son's girlfriend. It will be her Christmas present from us, even though she gave us the shirts and knows we are making it!  I have another pin cushion / thread catcher / sewing organizer to make to send to a friend.  I also want to make up some much needed pot holders / trivets and a mug rug or two.

There will be pictures!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Fabricky" Fun

The past few days have been full of "fabricky" fun.  Here are a few things that have been happening...

A while back I won my quilt group's lottery... some lovely 1930s repro blocks.  This summer I put them together into a top and this past week my husband (a.k.a. the Mad Quilter) quilted and bound it for me. I think it looks great and I have already tried it out for cuddliness!  Mac and Mia think it is wonderful too!

Yesterday I spent the day with a lovely young woman who just so happens to be dating my son.  :-)  She likes craftsy things and being creative with fabric, so we decided to play. We made fabric flowers (used this  tutorial Scrappy Strip Rose ).  The photo does not show off the colors well.

The dark red one and small green one are now in my sweet friend's hair with a bit of ecru crocheted lace to enhance. Looks lovely!

This morning I was picking up our leftover strips and decided to make a purple flower for me....

I love how it turned out!  It will become a pin.

The final thing I did was put together some Yellow Brick Road blocks into a small quilt top.  This will soon become a tree skirt for our Christmas Tree. I made a quilt with the same blocks and fabric several years ago.

I love "fabricky" days!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Giddyup Cowboy!

There is a young couple in our church who are expecting their first child at the end of November... a boy.  I have been trying to decide what to do for them. Hubby came in as I was pondering and said "What happened to those cowboy blocks you were playing with a while back?"  That "while back" was a couple of years ago!  I started these for a project... wasn't happy with how it was going... set it aside and did something else. So I dug around and found them and the fabric and such and started again. I cannot say this is my absolute favorite quilt (I really love scrappy quilts!) but I do think it turned out cute and I know they will like it.  It will be quilted after the wee one is born. I want to put his name and birth date on the label.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fun Sunday Afternoon Project

I pulled fabrics for this project yesterday, but never got started on it. So this afternoon I dove in and got it done from cutting the fabric to the last stitch. It is a quick and easy project and turns out so cute! There is a link to my first try at this project in yesterday's blog post.  Go to that first try and you will find a link to a great tutorial.. step by step with photos!

This bright and cheery pin cushion/scrap bag organizer will be going off to a quilty friend very soon. I am sure it will be used and loved in its new home. :-)


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quilty Saturday!

Today has been a very quilty day! Worked this week on a t-shirt quilt I am making for my son's girlfriend. It was supposed to be her birthday present but I missed that deadline!  I would LOVE to post pix, but she might look here and see, so I will have to do that after Christmas. I will say it looks great! Cannot wait until it is all quilted and done.

I found some blocks and fabric that I started some time ago for a quilt for a little boy. For some reason, I don't remember why, I abandoned it and did something else. So I ironed everything out. And am going to finish up the blocks and make the quilt for a little boy due in late November.  The fabric is a vintage cowboy theme. Really cute!

I am also working on a pincushion/thread catcher thingie. I made one for myself earlier this year (see A Happy For Myself ) and love it. I use it all the time when working on my GFG quilt.  I am making another one for a quilting friend.  The fabrics are ironed and ready for me to cut (once I get off the computer).

Hubby and I basted a quilted today. Last year I won some lottery blocks .... a group of quilty friends have a quilt lottery every quarter. The blocks I won are mini-bowties made with 30s repros. I put them together.. added a couple of borders and a flange. (see Happy Quilt Day )  Looks so good!  Hubby (the Mad Quilter) is going to quilt it for me. I cannot wait to see it done. It will be lovely on the couch this spring!

That same group of friends (the absolute best Quilt buddies ever!) do a Mystery Swap Box thing every so often. Someone gets a box and over time fills it with fun quilty stuff (and usually a few non-quilty things that she knows we will like). These can be new or things she already has but doesn't use or no longer needs. Once full, she mails it off to one of us. We go through the box.. pick up to 6 things to keep and add 6 new things.  It is a lot of fun to see what folks put in and what they take. SO here are the 6 goodies I got took from the box today...

There were 3 cute patterns that I just loved (well more than 3 but I am limited to how much I can keep!)...

I also took a cute little magnetic notepad with matching magnet. I love those things. Poor Hubby... he dreams of a day when the refrigerator has nothing on it. For that to happen he will have to outlive me! :-)

I am not a huge fan of this next pattern for a fall table topper BUT I really love the fabric. The photo does not do it justice!

And the last thing I kept is a Quilt Panel...

I love Snowmen and Red Birds!  This will make a cute Christmas quilt.

It was an exhausting task! If you don't believe me just ask Mac...

and Mia...

They are such great helpers!

I put some wonderful things back into the box.. but I cannot share what they are. My quilt buddies read my blog and that would spoil the surprise!

Back to Quilt Land!


Monday, October 4, 2010

A little fabric fun...

I needed a birthday gift for a certain young lady.  I had planned on going to buy her something, but life just kept getting in the way.  So this weekend I decided to whip something up. I had seen a cute idea for covering a mat in a frame with pieced fabric. So I started out with that plan and tweaked it... her favorite color is green, followed by purple, so I created a small string block with green fabrics and embellished with various fun stitches and purple thread. I opted not to cover a mat with it, however, as so much was lost.  Instead I mounted a photo of her and her fella (who just so happens to be my son) on the block and put it into a frame.

I really loved the look of the string block with the embellishments and wanted to make more, so I decided create a pillow.  I made another string block, larger, with green fabrics again.  Added the decorative stitching with purple thread. Decided to add her name and then to frame it out with the same fabric I used for the letters. I love this fabric!  In fact, I have more and I noticed tonight that I have 2 other green with purple fabrics that look great with it.. I think I feel a purse coming on!

Back to the pillow.... grabbed some scrap cream fabric and polyfill to create an insert. The back of the pillow is split and overlaps to close so the cover can be removed and washed.

I think it all turned out really cute! Cannot wait to give it to her tomorrow night.  "Belle"

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Star Flowers

The StarFlower quilt is done... bound... washed... crinkled! I love using all cotton fabric and batting and thread so that when the quilt is washed and dried it will crinkle up.. gives it an old-timey look and feel to me.

This blocks for this quilt came from a group of quilty ladies. One of them donated fabric for the back. I have to admit that the first time I saw it in person I had two thoughts.. first I LOVED IT.. it is very much a ME fabric!  And secondly, I am not so sure this is going to work with the quilt top. I had seen a photo of the fabric, but it was brighter in person and the top is more muted soft colors. Well I love them together! I feel like this is a 2 for 1 quilt.. the front is soothing and comforting and the back is cheery and uplifting!  I think I am going to look at backing fabric a lot differently from now on... not sure I will always aim to be matchy with the front.

I had 4 extra blocks so made up a pillowcase that holds the quilt for shipping and storage and can be used with a pillow if our friend wants.

The quilting is straight line and creates these neat Xs and Star patterns on the back.  My sweet quilty husband, whom I affectionately call the mad quilter, quilted this. The man loves to quilt and is sooo fast!

Cannot wait to mail this off next week... wish I could see the recipient's face when she sees it!

The best part of quilting is giving it away!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thank You for Serving

I have shared before that my husband is a quilter. After watching me for a couple of years, I challenged him to give it a whirl. He did.. and he loves it. He is a big fella and he makes BIG quilts!  One of his co-workers and friends has been was sent to Iraq a few years ago with the military... then after being home a year or so he was sent to Afghanistan. While Randy was gone, Bill decided to make him a quilt. You can see pictures and read about it here  Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue  The back contains a huge label that was signed by others in the office, many with notes thanking Randy for his service. I really love the back!

Shortly after Randy returned to work, the office took him out for a celebratory lunch... at the same restaurant they took him before he left... and while there he was given the quilt.  I think he liked it. :-)

The guy that looks like Santa is mine. :-)  "Belle"

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Finally some time to sew!

A group of quilting friends are making a love quilt for one of our own. I am the collector of blocks. Saturday my quilting hubby and I had time to lay them out and get them put together into a top. I think it looks great. Tomorrow we plan to get it sandwiched together with the back and some batting and then "Let the quilting begin!"

On a very different note, I had a bit of fun this afternoon. My mother needed a little happy for a young couple in her church expecting their first child.  They are using bees in the nursery decor. I whipped up 3 burp cloths for them.

The how-to for this project can be found here: Basket-O-Burpies

2 things I did differently. The instructions say sew down the top and bottom before the sides. I did that with the first one and ended up with a bit of a crease in the diaper when I sewed down the sides. So for the other two I just sewed the top then the sides and then the bottom. Worked great! Also, I used a straight stitch with the first one.. and it looks fine.. but with the other two I did a small zigzag right along the edge of the fabric. I really like the way it looks.

I will most definitely be whipping up some more of these for future baby showers!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Whole lot of quilting NOT going on....

Seems life has been flying in a zillion directions lately... add that to extreme heat and humidity... and you find a quilter too tired to quilt!  That is a sad thing.  I have continued to get some flowers made for my GFG and am working on piecing another section together. And I have 2 other projects in the works...

First... I worked on some blocks for a quilt being made for a friend with cancer. This is the Starflower Block found at Quilter's Cache. I love the way it looks and it really isn't a difficult block... this from someone who hates matching up points with triangles!  My friend loves calicoes, so that is the fabric being used. I am not a huge calico fan, so don't have a lot on hand... and what I do is pink and green (Gee, I wonder why! LOL!) I think the blocks I whipped up this weekend turned out well..

Second, I will soon start cutting those t-shirts below to make a t-shirt quilt for my son's girlfriend. I have made one other t-shirt quilt in my 6 years as a quilter. Love how they turn out, but whew!  they are work.... she is worth it and I have an idea to do something a little different, at least different for me, so that is motivating me.

See the GFGs in the picture? They are coming along. I need to make more white ones!

I have several other projects I NEED to get started and more than I can list that I want to do!

Our temps are still high, but the humidity has dropped.. so maybe my energy will come back and I will get motivated to spend more time in Sewing Central getting things done!

Keep Stitchin'


Saturday, July 24, 2010


Finally got to work on some projects this weekend.  I whipped up some blocks for a quilt I am doing with some friends. ... Nice crisp reds and whites (the dark ones in the photo aren't that dark in real life)... the pattern is Double Wrench from Quilters Cache (Check out the pattern here ).  Very easy and quick and cute block! I especially love it on point (look on 2nd page of the pattern).

I started a Grandmother's Flower Garden about a month ago. The plan is to make a Full Size quilt with 1930s / 40s repros for my mom for her 80th birthday (Sept. 2011)... all by hand.. piecing and quilting.  I have no doubt she will love it.. she has hinted and hinted for a repro quilt for a while now.  :-)  I am really loving making it... I just think I am wired for handwork. My Mama Rush (Paternal grandmother) never owned a sewing machine. She made a number of quilts.. did a lot of crochetting.. and sewed some of the lovliest dresses for me when I was a wee one all by hand.

No doubt machine work is quicker, but I love the control and creativity I feel when doing handwork.. and the connection I feel with my Mama Rush.

This will not be my last by hand project!

Anyway... I've been whipping up hexagons... and zipping them together into flowers... I really wanted to see what they would look like put together... so I pieced a small section, just to see. I think it turned out very nice. Ready to get more done!

I also did some non-quilt sewing this weekend. My son (college freshman) was looking online at Urban Outfitters for some shirts and shorts. Found some things on sale. The shirts were a good deal, so he got a couple, but even on sale the shorts were $40... and they were essentially non-denim cut offs.  I mentioned that he might have some pants here that he no longer wears that could be cut off. He remember some gray cords he bought a year ago that are way too short these days.  He used another pair of shorts as a guide.. added a 1/2"... marked a cut line and used my rotary cutter to whack them off.. and then I hemmed them. He doesn't like the ragged edge you get with cut offs.  Took about 10 minutes total and cost nothing!  Now that is a deal.  I have a feeling I will be hemming some more in the days to come.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Girlie Quilts

A friend has a sweet little granddaughter who will be 3 soon. She has a baby doll that she loves and cherishes... carries her everywhere. My friend found a great baby crib for the doll at a yard sale. She asked me to make a quilt for her to wrap the baby in when taking her out and about... and then a quilt and pillow for the crib.  So I played with some girlie fabric and came up with these... I think they turned out nice. I have to add that my hubby loves to do machine quilting and so he quilted the carry quilt real quick one morning.

The Quilt for Carrying the baby out and about..

A look at the quilting on the back..

Crib quilt and matching pillow....

I love making girlie goodies!


Three Cheers for the Red, White & Blue!!!

A co-worker and friend of my husband's recently returned from his 2nd tour of duty in the Middle East. While gone this time, hubby decided to make a quilt in honor of his friend. I am in love with this quilt! I have already requested one like it... but a tad bit smaller... one for tossing over the back of the couch.  I could not get a really good shot of the whole quilt...

Here is a bit of it up close...

The back is cool too. Several folks donated fabric as he was working on this.  Someone gave us these neat panels.  The muslin used on the back and for the big label is a good quality Kona Cotton Muslin.  He took the part with the panels to his office and had folks sign it and write notes to their co-worker.  It looks soo good!

I know this will be a treasured gift for the recipient.... I cannot wait to hear about his reaction!  And I am thankful for a hubby who uses his gifts to bless others! He is a keeper!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Staying in from the heat....

I live in the deep South.... it is unbearably hot and humid right now, so outdoor activities are few and far between unless they include water.  No water plans for the day today, so instead we holed up in the house with the a/c and ceiling fans going strong!

Several weeks ago I made a quilt top with the intention of giving it to a couple in our church expecting their first child, a boy.  It was the first time I made a quilt on point and it stressed me out a bit. I like to wing it and it required me to be a bit more structured and focused. I liked the top, but it just wasn't right for the couple... the top is made with primary colors plus green... they have a nursery done in blues and browns. So I whipped up another top and made their quilt from it.  The first top was put away for future use.

Well that use came quicker than expected. A friend has a new grandbaby born this past week.. a boy. So out came the quilt top.  Hubby and I got it sandwiched last night and he quilted it today.  WOW!  I love it!  I bought some variegated thread some time ago... I forget why!... that is blue, red, yellow and green... the colors of this quilt top!  Hub used that thread to do some simple straightline quilting.  It looks soo good! 

Especially on  the back. 

The photos do not do it justice.

While all this was going on, I whipped up a small top that will be a doll quilt for a friend's granddaughter. Nothing fancy, just a simple patchwork quilt from 5" charms.

I also worked on my GFG project.. made 2 more flowers.. no pix... I am off to whip up an other flower or two before heading to bed. 

Tomorrow is Father's Day.  I pray you had/have a good Dad.. I did.. he has been gone 13 years and I still miss him. If you did not or don't have a good Dad, I encourage you to forgive him for that and focus on the fact that you do have the best Father of all in your Heavenly Father. He loves you perfectly!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Happy for Myself!

I have been working on so many quilts for other folks, which I love!  And I have a long running project started with the GFG for my mom.... but sometimes I need something that is quick and sometimes I need something that is just for me... so today I got that!  I have been using a cute little 4 patch pincushion to hold needles and pins with my GFG project... but my scissors and other supplies just sort of float around and the end table next to my couch is covered with snippets of thread!  I went on an Internet quest to find a cute and easy thread catcher, but what I found is even better! ... a weighted pin cushion with plenty of room for pens and needles... a pocket to hold other supplies like small scissors, thread snips, seam ripper etc.  and a thread catcher (this one can be removed to use alone or empty out!).

I decided to use some 1930 repro fabric.. and much to the shock of my family and friends, it isn't pink!  I went with purple. I do love pink though and just might end up with a pink one to use at my sewing machine!

I did make one change.. the original patten (which I will post) had a felted wool strip to hold spare needles. I have no felted wool (my friend, Rhonda just fainted at that thought!)... I have never used felted wool in a project.. might one day, but really have no big draw to it.  Instead, I used a contrasting fabric to create the band to hold the spare needles.  They are difficult to see in the photo, but they are there!

I think it turned out well...

Here is the link to the tutorial. It is well written with photos. There are a couple of steps I had to really walk through where I felt a little more detail could have been given. For a sewing pro (like my 2 sisters-in-law who have been sewing all their lives) there will be no trouble. If you are still a novice to sewing, like me, you might have to think it through a bit as you work, but all in all it is relatively easy.

Pin Cushion Organizer

If you are looking for a quick project.. something to make for yourself or for another sewer (I am sure I will be making a few of these for some quilty friends) ... then this just might be the project for you!  I am looking forward to using it this evening while I watch TV and whipping up more hexgons!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A New Addiction....

I have started a new hand project... and it is now an addiction!  The same bunch who got me quilting in the first place encourage this new project... I think it is their plot to keep me in bondage to fabric and thread just like they are! 

So here is what I am doing..

First I played with some 1930 repros (I have decided it is impossible to have enough of these!)...

Then I cut some fabric squares and some templates..

A quick bit of sewing while watching tv produced these cuties...

And a bit more sewing and you have a flower... I have 8 so far...

I have always adored the Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt and had no idea it was as easy as it is!  I am sure it will get cumbersome as I start putting flowers together, but still. This is definitely one of those quilts that looks more complicated than it is!  I am doing a single flower wiin repros.... each flower has a color scheme, but different fabrics make it up.  I will surround these with white hexagons and white flowers. My inspiration can be found here...

Isn't that a lovely quilt?!  I have no white hexagons of flowers done because I haven't gotten my white fabric. The yellow centers are Kona Cotton - Lemon.  I plan to use Kona Cotton - Snow for the white. 

My goal is to have this finished before my mom's 80th birthday which is September 21, 2011.. yes 11.  I am going for a full size quilt for her bed.  She has seen the flowers and loves them, but has no idea the quilt is for her. She will love it! She has hinted (boldly I might add) that she wanted a quilt in repros. 

I have to add that I love dong this by hand.. I plan to quilt it by hand also.  My dad's mom made quilts before I was born... she also sewed baby clothes  for me.  She never owned a sewing machine. Everything was done by hand. I feel very connected to her when I am working on this... it is almost as if she is looking over my shoulder watching my work. I think she would be pleased.

One more picture.... Mac kept trying to help me with the GFGs and really wanted in the pictures.. after I told him no he went and pouted a bit... poor Mackie... I am sure a little throwing of the ball and a cheesy treat will make it all better.