Saturday, August 31, 2013

back to bracelets

Just call this flashback week. I seem to be rerunning some of my past projects. I got back into my bracelet supplies the other day, when I realized I didn't have any gray ones. I've been wearing lots of gray lately, often with yellow. So I whipped up these two lovelies...

Have you ever tried taking a photo of your right arm? Not easy. Might have been easier to switch the bracelets to my other arm (do you THINK?) but alas, I didn't think of that at the time. I was thinking some of my teacher friends might like the alphabet bracelet! Note to self, make more alphabet bracelets.

Then I had a brainstorm (while I was driving. Does anyone else do that? Please tell me I'm not alone. I seem to get my best ideas in the car or in the shower. Now there's a visual for you. You're welcome).

Anyways, as soon as I got home, I started playing around and made this (note bracelet on LEFT hand. much easier)...
Which looks like 2 bracelets but they are attached...
 The snap fastener is so much easier to put on than the tiny hooks.
Not bad. I may play with this idea some more.

Friday, August 30, 2013

revisiting the schoolhouse tunic

I can't believe it was 2 1/2 years ago that I made myself some schoolhouse tunics. No wonder they were looking pretty ratty. Not to mention the fact that they were 2 sizes too big! Now there's something to celebrate right there. So, last night, while I watched all the crazy designers on Project Runway create, I had a little sewing time of my own...
I love this fabric.... I would call it a voile, though the bolt at Joann's had no name on it, nor did it have a fabric content. Guessing cotton blend... anyways, it is light and soft. Perfect for end of Texas summer (it is ending, isn't it? Please say yes. 104 today...). And, once again, this pattern didn't let me down. A breeze to make and so cute.

I did add a lightweight interfacing to the facing pieces which really gives it some body. I can't wait to wear my new tunic. What have you been sewing lately?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

pachyderm in paisley

At the spring market party at Happiness is Quilting a few months back, they handed out these little elephants, along with a challenge. Create something with an indian flair. Fun! He was all die cut with fusible on the back....

I decked him out with some embroidery and beads....
 Added some more handwork and felt....
Mounted it on a canvas and titled it "Pachyderm in Paisley"
 A fun project, a little bit out of my box.

Monday, August 26, 2013

we interrupt our regularly scheduled crafty talk.....

To wish my girl a happy senior year.....
 go get 'em Ally!
ok.... back to life as usual. Whatever that is!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

sewing with my sisters

Today I had a sewing day with my small group from quilt guild, "Seams like Sisters". I love these gals and have learned so much from them the last few years. For the first time, I had them at MY house today. It was so much fun. We laughed A LOT!

Carol showed us an awesome art piece that she made....

 Alice and Sandy laughing working so hard...

 Ellen quilting away (I really need to get her to teach me to machine quilt)...
 More laughing hard work from Joellen and Diann...
 And Carol finished up the binding on this beauty...

I also finished up the binding on a quilt I will share with you soon, and started on my fall table runner from the Traders Dice swap. These gals all agreed that we need to play Traders Dice soon.... I can't wait to get together with them again!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

aeroplane bag

A while back I won some patterns from Sew Sweetness. I knew I really wanted to make the Aeroplane Bag and was just waiting for the right fabric to come along. When I saw Road 15 by Sweetwater I fell in love with it. Then I decided it was perfect for this bag!
 I just love this finished bag but I have to tell you, it's probably the trickiest thing I've ever made! Sara's directions are perfect though, great photos, and once I made myself slow down and take it step by step I did just fine.

 The pattern does not call for patchwork. I used a charm pack and just "made my own fabric" out of the charm squares then proceeded as the directions said. I also didn't have any soft and stable called for in the pattern. I've been wanting to try it and keep meaning to order some. But when the inspiration hit me to make the bag, I didn't have time to mess around with ordering it. I used a layer of fusible batting instead, probably floppier than the soft and stable would have been but I'm happy with it.

Oh, another change, I added one layer of batting inside my straps as well. Just because that's the way I like my straps! Personal preference.

The inside of the bag has two zipper pockets, really big ones! Confession time: I only did one. I had a hard time getting the zipper sewn in without a bunch of puckers in the lining fabric, probably if I had slowed down a bit it would have been fine. But, like I said, when inspiration hits me there's no slowing down. I was in GO mode so one pocket it is.

This bag is seriously large! I can't wait to fill it up with goodies and go off somewhere. I have several fun weekend jaunts planned this fall (more about those later!) so I'm sure you'll be seeing more of my Aeroplane Bag!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Trader's Dice game

Yesterday, at The Quilt Asylum 12 of us ladies got together to play the Trader's Dice game.  This is a new variation on the Left Right Center game that many have played before. The cool thing about this one is that everyone goes home with at least half as much as they came with (we actually found at our table that things ended up fairly evenly distributed in the end which was awesome!). As usual, we laughed A LOT!
 Here are the dice. I wish I had a better picture of them. On some sides it says "Trade" and points to one side or the other, or across the table. One side says hold (which is a pass) and one side has an adorable kitty on it.
 We each brought 34 fall colored charm squares to swap. 17 went in the center (or "kitty") and 17 stayed in front of you. When it was your turn, you rolled all three dice and did whatever they said (swap a charm with a person next to/across, take a charm from the kitty, etc.). It got pretty competitive at our table! And, I must confess to hiding some of my favorites deep in my pile so Trae wouldn't snatch them!

When the kitty was empty (which took a little over an hour) the game ended and you got to keep what you had. I ended up with 35 charms, so one ahead of where I started! Then Susan gave us this adorable pattern to make a fall table runner. Oh, and she gave us each a coupon for $5, so of course I picked up background fabric to make my runner before I left! I plan to make it soon.
We had a great time! This would be a fun game to do swapping lots of different things. I do have the dice, so I'm going to invite the crafty Tuesday gals to bring buttons to swap next month. Ah we crafty people do come up with the craziest activities, don't we?

Monday, August 19, 2013

english paper piecing

 This year, The Quilt Asylum offered Sue Daley's Little Things patterns and kits, one a month for a discount. I decided early on that I was going to try to do all six, so I could learn new English paper piecing techniques. Each one featured a different shape. I did it! Here is number six (kite shapes), completed.
Here are the three that are still currently in my possession (Kites, diamonds and whirligigs)...

Three of my little things quilts have gone to live elsewhere. You can see two of them here and here. I can't believe it but I never took a picture of the first one completed before I gave it as a gift! Here is a post where I am working on it. 

I have loved doing this and it has encouraged me to actually FINISH some EPP projects, instead of just stacking up hexi flowers for no reason! I will be doing more of this for sure.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

love those crafty birthdays!

Can I just say, I just adore my crafty friends! We had another wonderful birthday celebration yesterday, for Joellen. A Stampin' Up gal named Sharon helped us all make 2 adorable notecards. Here's the gang...
Two of Joellen's sweet daughters joined us. These girls are totally crafty. Must be genetic. I didn't get a picture of Sharon before the camera battery died (dumb. I know) but here are a couple of pictures of her fabulous studio space...

 If I had this space I would never leave my house. Ever. It was so great! Here's the birthday girl, all smiles...
And another group shot. What a terrific day! 
Do you have awesome crafty friends like mine?

Friday, August 16, 2013

crafty birthday gift

I'm heading out to another crafty birthday party today (I'm loving these parties!) but more on that later. I've been waiting to show you what I made for my buddy Joellen's birthday....

 I've had Barri Sue Gaudet's book Quilt a Gift for a long time but hadn't made anything out of it. Joellen loves houses & I thought this little felt house hanger would make her smile. Plus I love felt, love handwork and love Joellen. So why not?!

Ok, off I go to celebrate with the girls. Happy Friday friends!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

sewing flowers

It's been hard to get my sewing girls together this summer. They are so busy! Today, two of the girls came over to sew. They wanted to learn to make fabric flowers. 

 They've come so far in a year! They caught on really quickly and made cute flower pins....
We can't wait to get back in a routine this fall so they can come sew more often. Both of them had ideas of what they want to sew next. I love seeing them excited about sewing!

Friday, August 9, 2013

musings on a quilt show

Today Ally and I went to a local quilt show that we attend every year. In fact, this one was the first show I ever attended, 10 years ago. I remember the first time I went. I was a new quilter, although I had been sewing since I was a little girl. I looked at all of the quilts in awe, thinking "I will never be able to do that" or "I could never enter a quilt in a show". In fact, I never have. I don't make quilts with the intention of showing them. I make them to decorate my home. To give as gifts. To snuggle with on the couch. But not to show.

Today I saw the quilts through different eyes. I don't know if it's the fact that I have learned a lot in ten years of quilting or if the standards for the quilts in the show has changed, but I was disappointed. Don't get me wrong, many of the quilts were exquisitely  made. The appliqué always amazes me. But the quilts are all beginning to look the same to me. The same patterns. The same fabrics. 

And then, there were some quilts that, to me, simply did not belong in a show. There were several t-shirt quilts. T-shirt quilts in a quilt show? To me, t-shirt quilts are to be used and enjoyed by the owner, not to be hung in a show. Now I'm beginning to sound snobbish.... believe me that is not my intention! I have made t-shirt quilts and I love them! I was just surprised.

I took one picture. One. This quilt, not because it was difficult but because it was DIFFERENT. It's called Xylophone, made by Deborah Sheridan. I don't know her, but her quilt caught my eye. 

I don't think I'll ever enter a quilt in a show. I won't say I never will because statements like that always come back to bite me, but I can't imagine I ever will. But I could if I wanted to. Today showed me that. For now I'll just keep making quilts because I love it. For me, that's good enough!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Crafty Tuesday

It was a quiet crafty Tuesday today, just three of us. But lots of crafting happened! Melissa was making some layouts with paper scraps. Joellen was appliquéing her beautiful blocks...
And I was doing some English paper piecing. Fun times! Melissa reminded us that next month is the one year anniversary of the beginning of crafty Tuesday! We decided we will need to do something to celebrate. As you know, we love a good crafty celebration! Maybe if we have games and prizes (and of course food!) we'll get a bigger crowd!

Monday, August 5, 2013


Today, my baby girl is seventeen. SEVENTEEN! Seems like just yesterday she was a five year old spitfire, trying to keep up with her brother and sister.... and now she is a beautiful, confident and funny high school senior. Amazing!

 She was  thrilled to receive an easel from Grandma and Grandpa. Ally has been painting up a storm lately!
 A new Vera Bradley duffel bag from Mom and Dad....
 With goodies inside, including a Merida doll from Brave. Ally loves that movie!
 And a Batman cup from big sister Leigh Anne.
Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Friday, August 2, 2013

August Stitchalong

August already! How did that happen? Very soon I will send my baby off to begin her senior year of high school. Whoa! But I digress. You didn't come here to listen to me boohooing about the passage of time, did you? I didn't think so.

I had fun stitching up our stitchalong block for August. Check out this little bird....

 He's singing such a happy song. Can you hear him? And no, our theme for the month was not birds. It was "letters and numbers" but since I have letters in each of my blocks I took a little liberty with this one. Here's the whole block...
Have you been stitching along? I know some of you have! If you have kept up every month you now have eight finished blocks! Good for you....
 Won't you add pictures of your blocks to our flickr group? We'd all love to see them. Now get stitching, will you?

You can download this month's stitchery pattern here .