Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 the year of the dresden

2017 was a fun year in my studio! As usual, it took me places I didn't expect and I learned so much. If I had to name my year, it would be the year of the dresden. The year kicked off with the creation of my funky dresden....
Which evolved into a tutorial and instagram sew along (my first!) which was lots of fun....
Dresden play continued and found it's way into my Riley Blake challenge minis...
And then I came up with my spiral dresden, which is heading to New York to live...
My MQG sponsored a dresden swap, and you better believe I was all over that! Here are the dresdens I received in the swap....

And the quilt I created with them...

Whew, that's a lot of dresdens. I thought I'd be moving on to something new in 2018, and then I saw the #tinydresdenparty announced over at Quilty Obsession and I knew I'd be joining in (it starts January 3). Spoiler alert, I've already made 2 tiny dresden for the party..... here we go again!


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

repairing a family heirloom

A dear friend entrusted me with repairing a quilt that her ancestors had made, so it would be a useable snuggle quilt to hand down to her daughter. I was honored to have this special job. Upon evaluation, I understood that this was not a quilt "restoration" but rather a repair. The original quilt, while a treasure, was constructed in an interesting manner. Kind of a haphazard patchwork, done on muslin squares, almost foundation pieced if that makes sense. The fabrics used were all treasured memories, some cottons, flannels, even some knits here and there.
The muslin squares were then all pieced together but no backing was added. A thin binding encased it all, and the binding was wearing away. Here's what the back of the quilt was like...
There were 10 or 12 places in the quilt top where patches were worn away like this one...
At the wise advice of my friend Diann, I created patches with appropriate scraps from my stash, like this vintage feedsack, and zigzagged them on top to match the other pieces of the quilt....
After I was done, I had a hard time spotting some of my repairs! A good thing I think. I took the whole repaired top to Diann for some long arm magic, using a lightweight wool batting and an aqua floral wideback. I bound the whole thing with the same aqua floral. 

The quilt has been lovingly presented to it's new owner and the word I got is that she loves it! yay!

Monday, December 18, 2017

handwoven trees tutorial

Hello Friends! Sorry I disappeared for a bit. There are lots of factors.... secret sewing that I can't share just yet, general holiday business and ongoing health issues that I hope to resolve very soon. That said, I'm back! I wanted to share some fun ornaments I made to share with my friends this year.

They were fun and quick to make. I thought I'd share a little how to here.... I started out with scraps of my handwoven fabric that I had been saving for an "unknown project", a bit of interfacing,  some wool felt, a bit of batting and ribbon.
I backed the woven fabric scraps with bits of interfacing (I like SF 101) and cut tree shapes with my rotary cutter. At this point, the edges of the weaving are not stitched, so raveling is a risk! Treat the little trees gingerly until you have them stitched down.

Layer a scrap of felt, a small triangle of batting (you can't see it here) and a tree and pin it down.
Take it to the machine & zigzag around the edges of the tree, tucking a loop of ribbon between the layers when you reach the peak. I tied a knot in the ribbon to secure it inside my ornament.

After you've stitched the trees down, carefully cut away the felt around the edges (Don't cut your stitching! But if you do, take it right back to the machine and restitch. It'll be fine. Don't ask me how I know this!)
Aren't they fun! And so quick to make I couldn't seem to stop...

Have you been making Christmas decorations this year?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

revisiting the dainty tote

Some patterns are just so outstanding that I revisit them again and again. The Dainty Tote, a free tutorial by my friend Three Owls Handmade is one of those patterns. I've made at least a half dozen of these, for project bags for friends, tote swaps and now as a dolly diaper bag for the little girl I chose on our church's angel tree....
I used a mishmash of fabrics I had on hand, and I think this will be just perfect for her to carry dolly's goodies in.
One of my favorite features of this tote is the recessed zipper panel, which goes in easily for all of you zipper-phobes! I always add a little zipper charm from Bodobo Bags, my friend Natalie's shop. She has a great selection & they are the perfect finishing touch on all of my bags.

I whipped this little bag up in a day (no easy feat when I am still sewing with my left foot & hobbling about the house with a walker! Ha!). Do you have a young friend who needs a dolly diaper bag this Christmas?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

tiny plants 2

Last night we swapped minis at McKinney Modern Quilt Guild. The minis were to be an inspiration for our partner's creative space. I was happy to see that my partner, Lyssa, has lots of plants in her sewing space! I decided to do a variation on my Tiny Plants pattern and add the word create, at her request.
Lyssa's colors are blue & purple so I pulled some from my stash and I really love the way it turned out. I hope she enjoys it in her space!
And look what I received from Loide!
She sure hit the nail on the head! I love everything about this.... the word, the colors, fabric choices, EVERYTHING! I can't wait to hang it in my space. Thanks Loide!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Leather labels

Hi everyone! I thought I'd pop in and let you know I am recovering well. I had my second knee replacement last Tuesday. Everyone warned me that it would be different from the first, and boy were they right. I've had some unexpected hurdles and setbacks. Nothing I can't overcome, mind you, but I've had to draw on my extra store of patience and strength.  

Meanwhile, I'm creating in limited doses, in between exercising and napping, haha! I wanted to share some awesome labels I received in the mail shortly before my surgery.

I had seen others sewing custom leather labels on their handmade bags & went searching for some for me. I ended up ordering these from Mann & Co Heritage on Etsy. They came all the way from Moscow, Russia. I was afraid I would wait months for them, but they arrived on my doorstep just three weeks after ordering! I was amazed.

The shop offers lots of different sizes and shapes of labels. Mine are tiny, just about 1 1/2" x 1/2". I  can't wait to use them.

Monday, October 16, 2017

NYC 2017

I love to visit NYC in the fall! This year the weather didn't exactly cooperate - it was still in the 80s! But I still had a wonderful time with Leigh Anne. Here is our view from the hotel room. Not too shabby!

I was there to attend the She Is Free conference with Leigh Anne, but I did sneak in a few detours... including a trip to Mood!
wow! so much fabric. I was terribly overwhelmed. Didn't buy a thing! (ok, I bought a t-shirt).

The conference was amazing! Great speakers & powerful worship. Oh, and I wore some of my new fall clothes because it was freezing in the theater, LOL
On Sunday we spent some time in Brooklyn. Visited Leigh Anne's new apartment on the top floor of this awesome brownstone...
Visited Emma Straub's sweet bookstore, Books are Magic...
And the Brooklyn General store (where, yes, I did buy some fabric!)
As always, I found inspiration in some of the incredible graffiti around town...
Until next time New York!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

baby quilt

This quilt has been delivered to a "soon to arrive"  baby in New York so I can share it here. The request was for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, not something I am fond of, but requested nonetheless.  Also, baby gender was a mystery to me, so a bright, gender neutral quilt was in order. The greens here are the turtles, found at my local Joanns. I pulled the other colors out of the turtle fabric and used all blenders from my stash. It worked out great.
The pattern is A Quilter's Table's Quarter-cut baby quilt tutorial which I've used several times now. Thanks Debbie for the awesome pattern! It whips up quickly and makes a perfect gift. I especially love the rounded corners. Finishes 40" square. I used a soft flannel on the back and cross hatch quilted it on my domestic machine.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dresden Swap Quilt

Lately I've been thinking maybe I should change my word of the year to DRESDEN! Thinking this will be my last dresden quilt for the year. (never say never, I know, I know). I shared with you a while back that we swapped dresdens at McKinney Modern Quilt Guild. If you want to see the dresdens I made for the swap and a before shot of the ones I received, you can read all about it here.

This is my final quilt made with those dresdens I received! I really love the way the colors pop off of a black background. Not wanting it to be just boring solid black, I did a patchwork background of a mix of "reads black" fabrics and I'm so happy I did! The dresdens are all appliquéd on top of the pieced background. After appliquéing each one, I was able to carefully cut away behind the dresden and use the background pieces I cut to create the center circles.

I really love the way this turned out! Collaboration quilts make me so happy.... I know who made some of the dresdens I received but not all (I wish we had all initialed the back of ours? or something). I'm looking forward to seeing what others have done with the dresdens they received.

Finished quilt is 40" x 42"
Quilted by Diann (Happy Quilts)


Saturday, September 30, 2017

fifth Saturday challenge

One of our local quilt shops, Not Your Mama's Quilt Store, where I host the Boast and Toast every month, has begun a fifth Saturday Challenge. On the last fifth Saturday (which was in July) I decided to purchase the mystery bag and join in the fun for September. Everyone who joins gets the same materials in their bag, and you can use it to make whatever you want. Fun!

This particular bag had a half yard of three different fabrics. One was this delightful print:
The second piece was a burgundy solid. I decided to English Paper Piece stars (mostly because I knew I was going to have a lot of travel time away from my machine!). It was amazing to me how many different fussy cut stars I could get out of a single print! I used the burgundy solid to set them off....

Confession: I did ad in the pink "dot" for the partial stars around the edges. But the others? All from that one print! pretty cool.

Oh, and the other fabric? A blue texture. hmmm. what to do with that?
onto the back it went, Haha. Oh and you can see my "far from perfect" grid that I quilted on my domestic machine. sigh.

I wonder what everyone else  has done?

Monday, September 25, 2017

2017 Finish-a-long third quarter finishes

Back in July, I set a goal of four projects to finish this quarter. Well I didn't do too bad! Three of the four projects are finished. The fourth, that darned New Hexagon quilt, is still hanging on. I did get all of the hexies joined, but the borders are not yet added and quilting/binding is yet to be done. Maybe next quarter!

Here are my finishes for Q3:

My new ironing board cover was a quick finish and continues to make me smile every single day...
A pink baby quilt has been delivered to a new baby girl in Ohio....
And fancy foxes to a baby boy here in Texas...
So not a bad quarter! Q4 will be a bit slow, just like last year, as I am getting my other knee replaced next month. That will be my major finish for the year!

I'm linking up my finishes here

Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Fall!

I love fall! I love the cooler temps, pulling on a sweater and leggings, bundling up under a a quilt. Sadly, even though the calendar says "fall", Texas didn't get the memo. It's still 90+ degrees outside and I'm hiding in the air conditioning in capris & a t-shirt. boo.

However, I've been having a blast making some new clothes for when fall finally decides to show up. I had been eyeing up Grainline Studio's Linden Sweatshirt pattern for a while. About a month ago, we were driving through Austin and I convinced hubby I needed to stop off at The Cloth Pocket. They had the pattern and some yummy french terry sweatshirt fabric, so of course I indulged!
My very first Linden Sweatshirt! I added about 2 inches to the length (front and back) and did a split hem using this tutorial. Easy as pie!
As with all Grainline Studio patterns, it was well written and easy to follow. The finished top fits great and looks terrific.
Then I found a super soft, gorgeous knit at Joanns and it just jumped into my cart (gotta love those 50% off coupons!). I quickly whipped up another Linden...
For this one, I added six inches to the front and 8 inches to the back. It's nice and long and will be great with leggings! I did a side vent bottom using this tutorial and I love the way it looks.

I had also bought a gorgeous cotton knit floral at Hobby Lobby. Seriously, this fabric is so soft, it feels like butter! I wanted something drapey out of this fabric, so I chose this pattern from my stash...

I made view D, which is simple and quick and the finished top is just perfect.
So, I'm ready for fall..... any day now!