Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year - 2011

Wishing Everyone a Safe and Happy New Year!!

Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Trish's Tools - Thimbleberries Thread

On black Friday of this year, I was glued to the computer on the hunt for the great bargains.  It was the start of the holiday season for me and so many things to get done until Christmas.  I really didn't get as many things I did in the past.  Seemed like a lot of TVs were on sale and luckily we are not in the market for that big ticket item.

However, I did venture over to Joann's and scooped up some half price Thimbleberries Cotton Thread collections.  I think threads have become somewhat of an eye catcher for me.  There were only 3 available and I picked up one in each collection.  Now, after looking online again, I see there are many more available.  I think 3 are enough for me.... for now.    Now, if I can only bring myself to break them up and separate the colors to be used individually...
Do you have a favorite thread collection?  It would be great if the local Joann's carried these and then I could use my 50% off coupons there on site and avoid the online shipping charge which defeats the bargain.  Hope all are warm and cozy on the east coast.  No snow here just windy windy windy.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Love the Handmade Gifts - Crocheted Tea Towel Topper Hanger

What a great Christmas holiday we had.  We were able to be at two different places in the state about 200 miles apart in one day.  The weather cooperated so well.  It was great to spend Christmas with both sets of family.  I'm hoping that everyone had a safe and Merry Christmas.

Out of all the gifts received, my favorite was my sister's hand crocheted toppers on tea towels for the kitchen. I had asked for them for Christmas and sent her a link to the instructions.  She did such a great job for her first time and I love them.  I may try making them myself.  What I like most is that they are full size folded towels too so there are two layers.   Here's is where the you tube instructions are found.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Busy Elf with One Christmas Wish

I've been busy shopping, partying and sewing.  I love Christmas time.  I finished up the quilt and my friend is coming tomorrow to pick it up.  I hope she likes it.  There are a lot of colors in the quilt but they were favorite clothing worn by her mom.  Here's a few photos.  I chose a pretty blue for the backing.  It was a difficult choice but I like it as a change from the multicolor.  I completed the quilting with a stitch in the ditch quilting and a darker blue binding.

One Christmas Wish

You know, I always say that hubby and I are a "little different".  We are probably the only married couple that do not buy Christmas gifts for each other.  I hate to put him through the stress of finding me the "perfect" gift.  We just celebrate giving gifts with friends and family.  That's enough stress shopping for everyone else.  Besides, we are blessed to buy things all other times of the year. 

However this Christmas I have another selfish wish.  Last year I wished for a smooth couple of months of treatment for hubby and Santa granted it.  This year, I would love to have a his final PET scan come back clean and clear.  He has an apt the week after Christmas.  I want the "scar tissue" they saw on the last one to be unchanged in size or totally gone.  Once this one is done, we can move into one hell of a celebration welcoming 2011 and leaving this year of health and work issues behind us.  I hope you get all your wishes as well.
Thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Finally Cut and an End to Go Static

Maybe it's just me, but the Go Cutting Mat generates such a static charge when I use it multiple times that I end up shocking myself with a zap when I use the cutter multiple times.  I finally figured out a way to avoid the shocks.  I used to spray with static cling on occasion which worked.  However, now I just wipe the cutting mat with a fabric softener sheet before I setup with my next cut.  Works like a charm.

I'm finally feeling well enough to get back to working on a quilt for Christmas. This week of a cold really set me back. I finally got the clothing items cut up for the quilt.  This time I chose to complete the cuts using the 5" square die instead of by hand.  I still had to do a lot of pre-cutting of the fabric but it only took me about 4 hours to cut down all these squares.  I'm happy with the results.  Just one more item to cut (the purple) and then it's time to layout the quilt and get sewing!

After Cuts

Thanks for stopping by!  

Friday, December 3, 2010

Transformation Time

Just a slight amount of time away from blogging.  When you are sick, blogging just doesn't seem that important.  However, I'm OK with being sick.  Neither DH nor I have been sick with a cold/flu in over 1.5 years.  We prayed constantly over last year when he was having chemo/radiation that neither of us would get sick since his immune system was so low.  He is just now getting his immune system back to normal.  He was the first with this cold and did very well fighting it off. Then, he kindly passed it to me.  Again, I don't mind since I have time to take care of us.  We are so thankful for everyday!

Hopefully soon, I'll be back to crafting.  I need to transform these clothing items into a color squares quilt.  Once I get cutting, I'll be good.  Just not up for it yet.  Hopefully tomorrow.  Now back to the couch and the lazy dogs.

P.s  I am so far behind on my blog reading too.  I miss all those crafty things all my blog friends are up to!
Thanks for stopping by!  

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Comfort and Joy

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  We enjoyed having company and cooking dinner. I spent most of the day online yesterday glued to the for the after thanksgiving deals.  The UPS man is going to love delivering all those deals to me.  At least I was also productive in my sewing as well.  I spent the day stuffing and closing all 12 comfort pillows I made.
After a hustle and bustle day of shopping on black Friday (online for me of course), we were very eager to put up the tree and decorations this year.  This is because we spent the holidays staying near the hospital in Baltimore, MD last year for two months.  So, last night we pulled out all the Christmas decorations and put up the tree. I wasn't able to get a decent photo of it as of yet but it just sparkles.  It brought us both Joy to have the tree up already.

It's funny how you forget about all the decorations you have accumulated over the years.  I uncovered my packed away wall hangings.  I need to find a good place for them as well.  I have the Christmas Tree Wall hanging with rhinestones as the lights and then there is always the Santa Wall hanging.  It was a gift from my mother~n~law and I love hanging it up from year to year.
Thanks for stopping by!  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends.

Thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Recycling Clothing - Don't Throw that Away

We all have them, that favorite shirt or favorite pair of pants.  We know we wear them often hoping others don't notice but they really do.  With me it's colored T-Shirts and black pants.  A friend of mine recently lost her mother and she loved two pair of pants that were her favorite. There were so many that wanted to share in the memories.  Thus, how about a small 8x10 pillow?  It can be used as a neck pillow or just to hug from time to time to bring the memories back.  Out of one pair of pants, I was able to create 6 pillows.  Obviously, depends on sizing.

I carefully cut out the sized squares trying to avoid the side seams since they are pretty thick.  I added a 1/4 seam around the pillows right sides of fabric facing each other.  I left about a 3" opening for turning.  I then went down to the serger and serged all the seams as well for strength.  I carefully turned the pillows right side out and stuffed and stuffed with pillow stuffing.  I hand sewed the opening closed and there I had it.  The softest rose corduroy comfort pillow.  I am so happy they are turning out well for my friend. 

Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What a year and oh so Thankful

I'm not one to wish for time to fly by but I'm so ready for the holidays and the 2011 year!  This year had so many major curves and we are so thankful to be looking back at them. 

Why I am so thankful:
  • I'll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year and  I am looking forward to dedicating the time to cooking new things.  
  • I'm so thankful for my healthy husband.  It's been just about a year since he started his cancer treatment.  We are so thankful for the remission state he is in.  It was heart stopping to hear the stage4 diagnosis but we kept our heads up and went full force into fighting this nasty disease. We are both thankful for the renewed sense of life's values
  • I am so thankful for having an opportunity to learn new things.  Just recently, it was time to say goodbye to my job that I held for over the last two decades. Got to love outsourcing.  But that's OK, it's time for me to work on new things and reinvent myself.  So, I am Thankful for the time to learn new things and slow down and appreciate the little things in life.
  • We are both thankful for the eye openers that have happened this year and we are so looking forward to the adventures of the new year to come.
I am wishing you all a great Thanksgiving holiday!
Thanks for stopping by!  

Hexagon Go Die Winner!

Good Morning,

Just a quick note to announce the winner of my anniversary giveaway.  The winning entry from the random number generator was Number 4.  24 entries were receive by the end of day EST deadline posted.
 When I look at the comments and follower confirmations, the winning number 4 entry belongs to:

Blogger Kim said...I am already a follower. Love your blog.
November 19, 2010 12:32 PM

Congratulations Kim! I'll be in touch!  Thanks so much for your entries and helping me celebrate my anniversary in blogland.
Thanks for stopping by!  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Go! Whimsical Tom Turkey Towel for Thanksgiving

I love when an idea just pops into my head.  I'm hell bent on trying it out.  I usually destroy the cleanliness of a room when the motivation hits me.  This time, I had a package of tan tea towels that I had been saving for Christmas.  Then, I had the AccuQuilt Go Feather Die in my supply downstairs.  Add to that a variety of fall color batiks and I think Turkey!!

Supplies Used
  1. AccuQuilt GO and Feathers Die Cut
  2. Enough variety of Fall Fabrics to cut 5 tail feathers
  3. Fusible Webbing for the Applique.  I used Lite Steam a Seam2
  4. Brown fabric scraps to cut two brown feathers for the body
  5. A tiny scrap of red for the "red thingy thing" that hangs on the turkey
  6. I used two rhinestones for the eyes
  7. I went easy with a black permanent fabric marker for the feet.
  • Cut your first square of fusible webbing enough to cover the 3 cuts of the non-curved feathers on the AccuQuilt Go Feather die.  I cut 3 feathers of each color fabric so that I can make a couple of these to give to friends and family.  I probably should have started sooner on this.
  • Remove one layer of paper from the fusible webbing if using Lite Steam a Seam 2 like me.  This will leave one side sticky to grab the fabric.  Place the fusible web over the feathers with the sticky side up.
  • Cut your first piece of fabric for your feathers and place on top of the fusible web which is also on top of the feather dies.  Make sure your fabric is right side up.  The fabric side you want to see on the turkey is facing you as you place it on the fusible web.
  • Send the die through the AccuQuilt GO and there you have your first 3 feathers.
  • Repeat so that you have your five colored tail feathers.  You can make them all different or same, it's totally up to you!
  • Now, repeat the process only using the brown body fabric to cut out at least two feather shapes for the turkey body in brown.
  • If you have a used a beak color fabric (yellow or orange) on one of your feathers, snip off the triangle end to one of the tail feathers you will be using.  Don't worry, it will be covered.
  • Remove the paper backing from the feathers to reveal the cut feathers and matching fusible web.  Apply 5 feathers to your towel in an arrangement you feel suitable.  Don't iron down yet.
  • On one of the brown body feathers, trim the larger feather area into a circle for the head.  Don't make it too small.  Remove the paper from the brown feathers exposing the fusible webbing on the fabric.  Place the full feather upside down to make the turkey's body.  Place the cut feather circle above it to make the turkey's head.
  • Remove the paper to expose the fusible webbing on the tiny triangle snippet and place in a preferred location on the head to serve as the beak.
  • When all are pleasingly positioned for you, iron them down.  Be careful not to drag the iron and move your feather placement.
  • Once all is fused down, take a scrap of red and add some fusible webbing to it.  Free cut a tiny teardrop to serve as the "red hangy thingy" on the turkey.
  • Finally, add two eyes.  I used rhinestones but I'll remind the receiver to always check the towel to make sure they haven't come off.  You could always be safer and sew a knot for the eyes.  Also, I used a black fabric marker for the feet.  You could always stitch in some feet.  Last step is to sew down the sides around the turkey.  I didn't complete this step yet.
There you have it, a Teardrop Tom Turkey Towel for Thanksgiving.  I hope you enjoyed it.  If you make one, please come back and leave a comment with a link so everyone can see your turkey!!
Thanks for stopping by!  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Farmer's Friday on Saturday - Block 17 Cats and Mice

I know, I'm a day late with my Farmer's Wife Friday entry.  Actually, I'm a couple weeks late :-)  I've been busy tying up loose ends with my job.  More on that someday.

This block was a real bugger.  The hardest part was trying to learn how to put it back together.  Seriously, I spent so much time trying to put the puzzle pieces back together.  There isn't a step by step process on the EQ7.  I'm assuming you put pieces A together and then B and so on.  It finally finished beautifully on the top but underneath, ugh.  A lot of tugging and pulling and seam ripping and I finally got it where I wanted it!  I'm glad to be back to creating these blocks.

Thanks for stopping by!  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Anniversary Giveaway - AccuQuilt Hexagon Die

Thank you for your entries
The give away is closed now
Winner will be announced later today

A friend of mine saw my pillowcases and asked that I donate them to the local Cancer Treatment center and since there were no comments as of last nights posting, I decided to remove that give away.  That's OK, you make out better.  I just realized I missed my 300th posting giveaway, so we are now at the 325 posting giveaway.  So, that has to be extra special. 

I am giving away my personally purchased Hexagon AccuQuilt Go Die.  I have had it for a year now sitting unused. I'm trying to streamline (yeah, that will take years) and  I'd like to see someone else put it to good use.  So, to a new home it goes.  One optional question to answer:  What's your favorite quilt pattern?  Links can be added to comments as well.

Entries are simple

1.  Comment on this posting = 1 entry allowed linked back to your blog
2.  If you are a follower, add an extra comment and let me know = 1 extra entry
3.  If you blog about the giveaway, send me an email link = 2 extra entries

So Sorry but only open to US shipping addresses!

General Notes of Fine Print
  1. Must have a way to respond to winning entry via email.  If not available, alternate will be picked
  2. Names must match on Followers and Commenter in order to qualify for follower entry credit
  3. Entry Deadline is Monday night 12pm EST 11/22/2010  ** Thank you, Contest is Closed **
  4. Winner will be announced on Tuesday 11/23
Thanks for stopping by!  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Passing the Hope along

We are in week 46 of the current year and I have about 10 pillowcases to makeup and catch up and send out so that I can finish my goal of making at least one pillowcase for every week of the year.  With the serger, I can't get over how easy and quick they are to make.  However, I am finding that the color bands applied to the top are shorter than the pillow cuts.  I tried to "eye" them up on the serger and lop off the longer edges but probably not a good idea.  The pillowcases still turned out great, just that they don't match up in widths from pillowcase to pillowcase.  That's OK, I don't think anyone is going to be measuring them.  As long as they are straight and a pillow fits in them, they are good to go!!
The argyle pink ribbon design fabric is a super soft flannel.  I added a flannel top band as well.  They are soooo soft! 

Better Photo of fabric used:

I thought the photo of the pillowcases had a more yellow tint to them.  Here's a better photograph of the soft pink color of the argyle flannel fabric.

Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jelly Roll Strip Key Fobs

I found a lonely single jelly roll strip in one of my scrap bags.  I loved the color of it and thought I could make a key fob out of it.  Usually, I hated trying to iron the folds in a jelly roll or honey bun strip for the key fobs but now I had the fabric folding pen.  I thought I would give it another try using the fabric folding pen.  Love Love Love it!!  Here are some high level instructions.  If more details are needed, please let me know.

First, I cut the Jelly Roll Strip in quarters.  I like the wrist size key fobs so I can make 2 key fobs from one jelly roll strip.    The final strips usually end up 11" each.   On the first 11" strip, I use the fabric folding pen to fold in 5/8ths of the fabric in on both sides leaving a 1.5" resulting strip.  Repeat on the second strip.  When you have the two strips of 1.5" folded fabric, add interfacing to one of the strips to make it a little stiffer.  I used about a 1" width of peltex fusible interfacing.  However, i did not iron it, I just left it free in the folds.

I added one strip on top of the others with the folded sides facing inward and then sewed a thin (possibly 3/8") seam down both sides securing the sides together.

On the bottom rough edge, I turn a 1/4 inch fold and carefully add into the key fob attachment before crimping with the pliers I have.  This is the tricky part balancing the ends and crimping at the same time.  I have also used double sided tape on the ends when I placed into the key fob hardware to help with holding the fabric in place before I crimp/ close the hardware.

Here you have it, two key fobs from one Jelly Roll strip!

Thanks for stopping by!  

Monday, November 15, 2010

Second String Sewing Machine

Until about 3 months ago, I only had my little old Janome MC5700 as my primary sewing machine.  I have a other dedicated machines such as long arm but only had one sewing/piecing machine.  I thought I was content until I ran across the $10 Brother LS-2125i thrown in with a table purchase.  OK, I thought, I'll use this one for heavy duty sewing so as not to disrupt my Janome on difficult items. 

Now, another bargain has come my way and again, I couldn't pass it up.  It too is an older machine but one heck of a workhorse.  The two sets of hoops, extra feet and other items was just too much to pass up for under $200.  I think if I take it for a checkup, it will cost more than the machine. 

So now, the Brother machine has been moved into 3rd string backup and the new old machine has moved into second string machine backup position.  I keep saying to myself, I will not buy another machine.  I will not buy another machine. Please meet my new second string machine and it's embroidery attachment:

My question is, do you have multiple sewing machines for piecing?  Is it primarily for backup reasons or just the originals kept working even when you upgraded your machines.

Thanks for stopping by!  

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank you Veterans

A special Thank You to all our Veterans, 
servicemen and women for your courage and service!

Thanks for stopping by!  

Trish's Tools - Clover Fabric Folding Pen

I just received my Clover fabric folding pen that I ordered and it is definitely up there on my favorites list.  I'm just curious about the ingredients in the marking liquid.  Of course, I couldn't wait for it to come in and use it on the pillow redo's.  I was impatient and completed them without it.  So, when it came in yesterday, I immediately tested it out.  I've always been thinking, there has to be a better way to create a 1/4" seam fold.  Mine were always a little wavy when I got done.  Not anymore.  Here's one of my many tests, I think I folded every little scrap fabric I had sitting around in amazement.

The package advises that it is not suitable for impermeable fabrics such as polyester and not for use on spot sensitive fabrics.  I've researched on the internet and did not find much info about it.  Several places do reference that the marking solution does something like weaken the stiff threads to allow for folding.  It does concern me but I'm not making anything that is going to be judged or become heirloom.  I would say, try it out for yourself.  The marking solution bottle is pretty small, however, all you use is 4-5 drops and the rest is water.
Thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Photo Pillows - Take 2, or was it 3?

I successfully dismantled the photo pillows in the 12" format and cut out 2.25 borders and added them to the pillows.  Remade pillow backings in the larger size.  Trimmed up the pillows and backing again to get the straight square.  A smidgen here and then a smidgen there.  Sewed them all up, stuffed a 16" pillow in them and it didn't fit.  Too snug!!  Then realized I should have made the strips 2.5" and with my "little trimming here and there", they were just barely 15.75 big.  So, I happened to have a 14" pillow form and tried it out.  Looks great.  If the receiver is OK with the size, we'll go with it.  Otherwise, where'd I put that seam ripper??  What a week. 

Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Measurements Smeasurements...Gotta Love that Seam Ripper

I was all happy with the completion of the pillowcases for my DH's friend.  I emailed them and advised they were ready and that they were 12" squared.  I mentioned they looked a little smaller and was advised they were, the last set of pillows I made them were 16" pillows.  OMG...I did not want to paper piece the stars again.  Ugh...  

Light-bulb, OK, what about a 2" border around the pillow.  I know I'll need to create new back pieces since those would look strange with a 2" border.  Rip Rip Rip, Sew Sew Sew... hey, not to bad.  Now all I have left is to dismantle the second one, add the border and create the backings.  I wish I had my Clover Fabric Folding Pen I just ordered.  It should be here tomorrow.  I'll just have to wait until then to complete the new backs.  I'm hoping the pen will help me with the edge of the flaps that I turn 1/4" twice to get a nice finish.  Well, off to rip some more.

Thanks for stopping by!  

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pillowcase Presentation

Well, there is one Christmas gift completed.  The pair of 12" square photo pillowcases are completed.  I didn't want to add a pillow form to go with them since it would be too obvious when wrapped so I carefully folded them to present the center photo.  I added a ribbon and all is done.  I may change the white ribbon if I can find a similar blue ribbon.  Very happy they are completed and now I can move on to a bunch of other items to get done for Christmas.
Thanks for stopping by!  

Saturday, November 6, 2010

1 Pillow Completed - 1 to be finished Today

I'm pretty happy that I completely finished one of the photo pillow gifts and I have one more to finish today.  I just finished all the foundation star blocks.  The more I do the foundation star blocks the more I like the control over the sizes.  I just need to remove the paper, sewing the 9 blocks together and make the pillow backing.  Then on to bigger projects to get done before Christmas!

Hope you have a great weekend of crafting!

Thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Paper Pieced Blocks on First Pillow Completed

It's taken a while but so many things going on now that sewing has not been a priority lately.  Although, I need to get moving because I have so much to finish before Christmas.  I finished the first pillow's paper pieced star blocks.  I think my trim was too tight and I'll be missing some points on the stars but that always seems to happen to me and I'm used to it.  Below is the paper and trimmings from one block.  I finally got the hang of removing the paper pieces cleanly.  Just needed to get one seam allowance off and then the rest folded off cleanly.
I'm happy with how the layout looks before sewing the stars and photo blocks together.  The design came out just how I wanted it. Now, all that's left is to sew the blocks together and create the backing flaps and then it's one done and one to complete.  Of course, I purposely blurred the photos for blog posting.  Don't want to ruin the surprise or have them picked up and posted elsewhere. 

Thanks for stopping by!  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pretty Threads are like Fabric - You can't have just one

Why buy one when you can buy the whole lot at a discounted price?  It innocently starts with just one spool or one fat quarter and you think, this is so pretty.  It happens in quilting and embroidery and other craft areas, you get hooked. 

I have an embroidery machine and a few spools of thread.  I couldn't make that much because I had limited amounts of colors.   Along comes a new friend that decided it's time to get out of the embroidery and sewing business.  One wants to sell very discounted (about a 1/4 of the retail price) and the other one wants to buy, what a perfect combination.  Add the name Robison-Anton, YLI and more and I'm sold.  The YLI Serger thread box is stuffed.  I never knew there were so many variations of red and green.  There were a few that were a little older but she threw them in for free.   I can't wait to try them out soon.  Add these to the punch embroidery thread lot I won at the auction and I think I now have enough thread to create.  Just in time for Christmas.

Thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paper Pieces - How do you do it?

I assembled the last 3 blocks of the first pillow by following the paper piece templates.  I have yet to trim them down to the seam allowance size of the pieces.  Which kinda brought up some questions for me.  How do you paper piece?  Do you remove the paper as you go?  Do you wait until the full block is assembled?  Do you use special paper or normal printer paper? 

Here's my take on  the questions...  I remove the paper once the block is completed.  It's a pain to me sometimes.   I've purchased special packs of foundation piecing paper but for the life of me, I can't remember where I put them.  Do they really make a difference?  I'm assuming I can send them through the printer as well.  So, I end up using normal paper from the printer which is what could be my problem removing it :-).  Once I get moving on the blocks, I enjoy making them.
Thanks for stopping by!  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Seam Allowance Challenged

I was meticulous on building my foundation pieces for the smaller star blocks.  I figured 4.25" with 3 across would give me12.75" of a pillow cover.  When I finished my first foundation block, I was happy with the results.  It was not without it's challenges but I fixed them as they occurred and moved forward.  Finally, success, a completed block trimmed down to 4.25".  I moved on to the second foundation block, same process, same trimming and same 4.25" block results.  Then, the "duh moment" occurred.  You know, it the evil twin of the "aha moment".  I had cut off the seam allowances.  Ugh. 

I had to go back to EQ7 and make the blocks 12.75 because then I'd have my quarter inch seam allowances to give me the final 12.75 size.  On the positive side, my tiny blocks just got a little bigger.  I was only able to finish 1 correctly sized block yesterday.  Today, I hope to finish the other 3 needed for one pillow.
Thanks for stopping by!