Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wonky squares a plenty

I have completed 20 wonky log cabin squares. Here they are all laid out together, on a queen size bed,(not sewn yet) to see how they might look without borders. I am planning to outline them with borders using one of the light fabrics. The squares are 13 1/2 inches, so this will be a nice large quilt.

This has really been fun, making it up as I go. True improvisation.

Monday, July 6, 2009

More wonkiness

I am having a blast with this. Each block is it's own composition, I am experimenting with contrast and bringing in variation of green to blend with the purple domination. I am even piecing some of the strips, to add yet another dimension. Do you see some of the Zambia dress fabric included? (you can click on the picture to get a closer look)

I am beginning to wonder if this quilt will keep one awake, it seems kinda jiggly, with these blocks just laid out like this. Hmmmm

Monday, June 29, 2009

Aprons for the Bookstore Women

A friend at my congregation asked if I would make aprons for the women that sell books at our bookstore. I used their bookmark as the inspiration for the colors. I also thought that by making 4 different colors then the women would have some variety to choose from, depending on what they were wearing on a given day.
Each apron has 2 D rings at the neck strap, so that it can be adjusted for fit.
I stenciled the words on the apron bib, thanks to coaching from my friend Betsy. One of the aprons has a patch with the word stencil. I stenciled the blue one with Betsty's help and it turned out fine. When I did the second one on my own I used way too much paint, making the letters very blurry. So I redid it on a piece of fabric and covered the first version.

I delivered the aprons yesterday, they were thrilled with the results. It will be fun to be able to visit the aprons while I shop for books.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dress for a woman in Zambia

I made a dress to contribute to an AIDS hospital in Zambia. I met a woman at a convention who's church is supporting the Ranchod Hospital. One of the ways of supporting the hospital is to make dresses for the women at the hospital. Here's the link to explain the nightgown work. The project uses Simplicity pattern 4048, view C. They recommend that you make the nightgown about 4 inches shorter than the pattern and that you add pockets for the women to use. I added two pockets, and made them a pretty good size.
I loved doing this and thinking about the woman that will be wearing this. What she and I may have in common, what her life is like, hoping that she will get comfort and rest while she wears this. I plan to write a note to her and put it in the pocket of the dress.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A little bit of sewing

It's been a long time since posting, I have almost given up on this, but couldn't resist sharing this. I purchased the book Pretty Little Pincushions with a gift certificate that my son Nathan gave me for Mother's Day. (Yes, he is very sweet)

Last weekend, while traveling on a long car ride, I made this little bottle cap pin cushion. Isn't it just too cute?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Not much time to sew, but this has been on my mind

I have not had much time to sew lately, due to other time commitments. In between and around the edges of other things that demand my time, I have had quilting on my mind. Specifically improvisational. I did have a few minutes to spend in the studio and produced this purple one. Pretty symmetrical, I want to make another with the same fabrics off center and askew.

Not sure when I will get the time, but here's the symmetrical one for now.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Peace Dove bags

Here are the three peace dove grocery / tote bags all done and ready to go to the fund raiser at my church. The auction was last evening. They are now in the hands of their new owners, hopefully to provide helpful service and a gentle reminder of peace.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My first online fabric purchase

I saw some fabric with numbers on it while up north in February at the Ice House quilt shop. Despite encouragement to do so by my husband, I did not purchase any. The more I thought about it the more I realized that I should have. After all, my daughter in law is a math professor. What was I thinking? I did not have any luck locating this fabric at my local quilt shops or at the ones in Columbus, while we were visiting. So, I ordered 3 yards from I am not sure exactly what I will do with this, but it certainly has potential. Sarah suggested perhaps place mats, that's a start...

In order to get free shipping I found a couple of cute clown prints, and added a yard of each of those.

Included in the package was a sucker, with the words, "Go Sew" on it. A cute surprise, and very good advice. I really prefer to buy locally, but in a pinch this is a nice alternative.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The quilt and blanket chest are delivered

They loved the quilt! Here they are posing under it with their dog Sirius. The dog kinda blends in with the black and white. Perfect.

The reason I made this quilt was so they would have a special blanket to put in the blanket chest that my husband made for them. Here it is, isn't is gorgeous? His original design and wonderful craftsmanship.

I know this piece of furniture will be a cherished part of their home.

I did manage to get in some basic sewing during our visit. I mended 6 shirts for Andrew. A la this work.

We had a great weekend in Columbus, a wonderful visit with my son and his wife. It was warm and spring-like. I saw crocus blooming in their yard. yea!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Peace Doves

I am making three shopping bags to donate to an auction at my church. Last year I made three with peace symbols, so continuing the theme this year I am going with doves.

I used a template from Bella Dia's web site here.

I got to wondering how the dove became a symbol of peace and found this quote:
after world war II pablo picasso, was responsible for
the decisive use of the dove of peace : his lithograph
designed for the international peace congress in paris,
1949, features the white ancestor of a new family of
doves. since then, graphic artists have produced an
endless series of doves of peace in different shapes.

Here is his poster...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The trees with branches

My winter sunrise wall hanging is coming along. The trees now have branches. A lot of free motion sewing here. I like the tree on the right better than the ones on the left. I did those first and I think they have a few too many branches. I did get a little hill distortion between the first two of the trees. But, I figure this gives it dimension.

Next up, I want to quilt the snow section. I have a nice metallic white thread, but it kept breaking in the machine. I am going to try an embroidery needle before going any further.

Here is another picture I want to share. We have a 20 year old cat, she has kidney disease but is hanging in there. She is very thin, so when she curls up to sleep, she really wraps herself tightly to keep warm. Here is how she looked this afternoon. Doesn't she look kinda like a Q or a question mark?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

super quick gift

Our two neighbor boys, Parker and Jamison, both had their adenoids removed this week. I thought a nice gift for them would be soft flannel pillow cases. Trucks for Parker and Pirate theme for Jamison. Both boys were pleased with gift, I hope cases gave some comfort as they recovered.

One yard of flannel, wash and dry to shrink and soften it up,
cut the edges to make it straight,
fold right sides together, one seam along the top, one along the side,
turn up the hem 1/2 inch on the edge and iron,
then turn up a 4 inch hem, sew that and you are done.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Contribution to the Bushfire Quilting project

I made these two wonky star blocks to contribute to the Bushfire Quilting project. This is the flickr group of other contributed blocks and also has all the information needed if you want to contribute.

Here is the link to the tutorial on making these stars, called Wonky or Maverick. They are very improvisational and fun to make.

The woman who started this idea has had an overwhelming response and is now a quilting organizer, wonderful. I love the idea of the scores of homeless people receiving a hand made quilt to help them cope with getting their lives back together.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Red on Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day! It seems like red is the color of the day, so here are some illustrations from my life. Red cards ready and waiting.

My valentines gift from dear hubby. A red polka dot teapot, perfect!

My gift to him, a home made cherry pie.

More red on the dining room table. Flowers, candle, Japanese doll and plum candy - decorations from our Chinese New Year celebration last weekend.

Whatever you may be celebrating today, I hope it includes the passion and sweetness associated with red.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Trees added

I have added the trees to my winter sunrise composition. They are fused on. I plan to add sewing lines to do the thinner branches.

I also have some shimmery white thread to add to the snow area. I think I will do that by hand.

We have actually had some milder temperatures here the past few days. Into the 40's and 50's. Makes one think of the little green buds that will be coming to these dark trees.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winter sunrise

I am working on trying to capture winter sunrise in a small fabric wall quilt. Here is a photo that I am using for inspiration. This is a scene that I pass on my way to work in the morning, as I drive east.

Here is my attempt, so far, to capture the sunrise.

I don't have the photography equipment to do the colors justice here, they look much more muted in this photo. There is a lot of gray here in the winter, appropriate I suppose.

Next I have to decide how to add the trees. A minister at my congregation referred to the trees against the winter sky as "brown lace". I like that comparison. I don't plan to use lace literally but do want to capture the wispy pattern of the sleeping winter trees.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A wristlet for Mary

I tidied up the studio yesterday and found some quilting pins and a bobbin that I need to return to my friend Mary. I reflected that I couldn't just give them back to her in a plastic or paper bag. So..., of course, I made her a wristlet.

I know that Mary likes Fall colors. So I rummaged through my stash to find a nice combo. I added a little row of pieced fabric to the bottom of the purse. As I pull these little pieces of fabric together I reflect on their history. The fabric in the body of the bag is fabric that I used to accent a vest I made, in a class that Mary and I took together.

The bits in the pieced row are:
1. red oriental - from a jacket I made with all oriental fabrics
2. pink/red/orange from a piece of fabric that Nathan gave me
3. red with gold dots - from my friend Besty, see the sunshine pillow.
4. yellow - from a little fabric bundle from the island of St. John's where they recycle worn bed sheets by dying them in beautiful batiks- a gift from my friend Margaret.
5. a piece of batik that I purchased from the local quilt shop and have used in more than one project. Here is one example.

I again added 3 beads to the zipper pull, this makes opening and closing easier and looks pretty cute. I think the beads on the zipper pull will now be a standard addition.

So here's to a lot of enjoyment from a little creation. The pleasure of giving it to Mary will be the icing on the cake.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Polka dots for Betsy and Meg

My friend Betsy gave me a wonderful piece of polka dot fabric based on Eric Carle's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I decided to make a larger wristlet bag, more of a large pencil case shape as a gift for Betsy. Big enough to hold scissors and other sewing accessories. I put a large round wood bead on the zipper pull.

I just love the bright colors of this print and how the polka dots are so plentiful and crowded joyfully together. Can you believe The Hungry Caterpillar was published in 1969? This must qualify as a classic now. It even has a wikipedia entry, where it says that it is one of the best-selling books of all time, with over 25 million copies in print.

I also made a smaller wristlet for Betsy's daughter Meg. Meg is a school teacher, so this seems to be a perfect print for her.

I just love making these wristlets, I am ever appreciative of the tutorial posted here for the instructions.

Monday, January 26, 2009

sewing for Makayla's bitty baby

I spent a long weekend up north with friends and their 4 yr old daughter. Makayla brought along her bitty baby doll. I had a small variety of fabric on hand, just in case. We made her a quilt, a bib and a bonnet. She picked the colors (her favorite color is yellow) and helped me decide on size and placement of the large blocks and the bib shape and size. What fun. She was very pleased with the results, as you can see.