Friday, September 30, 2011

Track and Field days

The triplets are in grade 4 this year and they've all signed up for the annual school fall track and field meet.   As you can see, we have a beautiful sunny day for them to run in.   Here they are, with their team shirts on, all fresh and ready to run.  

It's hard to believe almost 10 years old now.  Yep, they'll be in the double digits next February.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another Peek-a-Boo Stitching bag

I made another little peek-a-boo prototype bag to carry my hand stitching.  But since I made this bag, I discovered another zipper application that might work better, so I'll try it in another prototype later this week.  

As you have probably noticed, I have been enjoying my embroidery machine recently.    Isn't this a sweet and perfect embroidery to put on a little stitchery tote?   It's from the Bayberry collection.  This design with the scissors has a silver thread overlay, that gives the embroidery some sparkle.  It's so cute.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Baby Laundry Bag

I've been full of energy this week.  I have been working on baby things for my niece's little baby who is coming next month.    I wonder if she knows that laundry will become a major activity in their household.   

For when they travel or visit, I've made this little laundry bag to carry with them.  It's made from waffle weave cotton fabric, with a cute little blue drawstring.
I machine embroidered " Baby Boy - Bundle of Joy" on the bag.. so there's no mistaking whose laundry it is.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Stitcher's Lairiat

I'm totally off track this week.  I really wanted to finish my church quilt for tomorrow's unveiling.  But it was not meant to be.  I'm using jet lag fog as my excuse and I've moved on.  I told the quilters we would put the new quilt on the frame after our Thanksgiving.  So that gives me a new goal of October 12th.    I know I'll be able to have it done by then.  I have 110 of the required 128 blocks now done.  I just need a bit of a break...

That doesn't mean that I didn't sew today.  In fact, I was thinking of some small no or low cost gifts that I could make and use as prizes for an upcoming class that I will be teaching.
So, this is what I came up with this afternoon.   I'm calling it a stitcher's lariat.  Not quite original, but I think they're cute.  I find that I'm always carrying scissors with me now a days, so for around the house, I think I'll use this.   

Here's how I made it.   I sewed a bunch of random lengths of 1.5" strips together.  I then ironed in half, and folded the edges into the half and ironed again.  Just like I was making a long narrow binding.  I stitched the folded edge, what seemed for a mile...

I cut the long strip into 48" lengths and fold up each end about 1-1/2".    Next take a 1.5" standard width piece of velcro, and cut it in half longways.   This piece of velcro will do two lariats. 

Apply a hook section to one side and a loop section to the other side while enclosing a ring and a clip to each end.   Notice that I off-set the folded ends so the clip hangs a bit lower than the ring.  I think this gives a nicer layering of the two metal items 

I know scissors can be put on the clip, and I'm not sure what could be put on the ring.  Can you think of anything that could be attached to the ring?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Can soup help you sew?

Every once in a while, I tackle a project were I need an extra set of hands.  And sometimes those hands are available, but today, they were off golfing and I was left to my own devices. 

I was doing some pinning and prep work getting ready to sew up a pair of lined curtains and needed some hands to hold one side of the drapes steady, so I could finish the prep on the other side of the panel.
That's where today, my stash of Campbell's soups came in handy.    
 Do you do have any secret sewing tools in your pantry?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Making a Tim Hortons Coffee Cozy

While I was in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago, I was surprized to see that they had these cardboard sleeves to hold your hot cup of Timmy's coffee.   Here, in the east, if you need insulation, you just ask for another cup. 

Already on this trip I had saved a Starbucks sleeve with the intent to see if it fit the Tim cups, but now that I have a Tim sleeve which is slightly a different size, I'll use it instead. 

I'll let you know how it works out.  If my prototype works, I'll make a template and share with you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Winter Wonderland - Block Update

I took a couple of my Winter Wonderland blocks and all my supplies with me to work on while travelling. 

So that I would be organized, I made my little peek-a-boo pouch to take with me a few weeks ago.  If you recall it had a see-through part so that I could see what was in the pouch without opening it up.  

After posting on my blog about air travel with scissors, I found out that rules have changed and small scissors are allowed in your carry-on. 

My little see-through pouch did come in handy while going through security at the airports.   When I put my coat in the security bin to send through the scanner, I set my pouch on top of my coat, apart from purse, so that there was no chance of them thinking that I was trying to hide my little scissors.    I just sent the bin through the scanner with the scissors showing and didn't say anything.

Next thing I hear as I was going to the end of the line to collect my stuff, is the security officer yell out - CHECK THOSE SCISSORS.   The hair on the back of my neck stood up...oh, darn, how embarrassing.  What would I say..   Well, the officer at the end of the line, picked up my pouch gave it a quick look, and without even unzipping the bag, she said. "Cute" and sent me along my way.  So I left with a smile on my face, and wondering if she thought my scissors were cute, or the peek-a-boo bag.

In a few weeks, as people are getting geared up in blog land to make small projects as Christmas gifts, I am going to make a simple tutorial on making this see-through pouch.   I think I may use the machine embroidered block that I made a few weeks ago as my base, then go from there.

So, back to the subject...the big question is... Did I get any Winter Wonder blocks stitched while I was away?    Well, of the two blocks that I brought with me, I got one of them done. I think it's called Snow Family.  And I have a healthy start on the next one.  I'm quite pleased to have it done and I only have three left to do.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'm back from Alaska

Well, Alaska was amazing.  I came across this quilt on our last day in Alaska.  It was lone quilt, that featured in the Welcome Center.  It really was a beautiful quilt.   Each block was different and made from wedges to give a spiral look to each block.  Looking at the quilt made me start to think about getting home and back to sewing.

It all seems surreal now that we're back for a whole day.  It really feels like home not only because I slept in my own bed last night, but also because I spent a bit time today at the sewing machine and ironing board.

This week, both quilt guilds that I belong to have their September start-up meetings.   To me, that's a sign that Fall is here and I am really looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to this summer.    

This week, I'm going to buckle down and work hard on my church raffle quilt this week.  Before I left, I had 99 blocks done.  I need a total of 128 before I start putting the top together.  So I'm counting on getting those 29 done in the next few days.  Then the rest of the week will be spent assembling the quilt top.  It will be set up in a display at the church this coming weekend, in hopes of getting a few more hand quilters to work on another raffle quilt this winter.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Denali National Park

We're in Denali National Park.  We've seen spectacular mountain vistas all day from our glass top-deck train ride into the Denali National Forest.  We're awestruck by the beauty of the mountains and the wilderness.  We're at the lodge and are enjoying a nice walk around the lodge resort grounds. 

Scenery from the Train ride to Denali

WHAT - they make chili out of Reindeer in Alaska!!!

or how about Reindeer Mac and Cheese.   NO WAY!!  Santa would be disappointed at this!

This is where the Ididerod starts from.

A view of snow capped Mt. McKinnley - highest Mountain in north America

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Whale of a Tale

Actually, this blogpost is about tails of whales.   I was so moved to see so many humpback whales when we went through Snow Pass, Alaska on the cruise ship.   The naturist speaker was narrating as we cruised at a snails pace through a narrow pass.  It was the best viewing of whales all summer said the naturist.  He was so excited..   The whales were bubble feeding on herring which is rare to see.

First, the naturist told us to watch for blows.   That pinpoints the location of the whales.   Then after two or three blows, the whale dives and shows his fluke.

It was beautiful to see all the blows, even from far away.   Getting pictures of the flukes was tricky since they only showed for about a second and a half.  but I did get a few.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Vancouver to Alaska

This is the cruise port in Vancouver. I took this picture from the Vancouver Lookout tower yesterday.  This has been a fabulous 3 days in Vancouver.  If you haven't been here, there is lots to see. 

Today we board our Princess Cruise and will spend the next 7 days cruising up the west coast stopping in many ports like Ketchikan, Skagway, and Anchorage.  We'll see many glaciers.Then we're taking a side trip for 3 days to the wilderness of Denali National Park.  

I'll be back to my sewing machine in 10 days. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Cute Cute Embroidery Design

I've had my embroidery machine for a long time now.  It was a phase for me.   I still do the occasional quilt label for a raffle quilt but not much else.   But this week I came on a really cute "pack" of embroidery files that are sweet for quilters and sewers.   I bought the pack yesterday and it was a great excuse to get out the embroidery computer and hook it all up.

When I opened the zipped pack, and picked out the design I wanted to stitch, I near fell over when I learned that it required 23 different threads.   I thought about not doing it... what a pain. I have tons of colors of thread, but it was the time to sit at the machine to wait for the thread change prompts.   Oh, what to do.... But once I gathered all the threads that I needed, I was anxious to start.  I used a heavier scrap of tafata type fabric to stitch out my sample on.

Over the span of a couple of hours, while I was sewing on my other machine, I tended to the thread changes, and enjoyed watching the sweet design appear.  It was a little over half done and all that was left to do was the center.   I couldn't stop now.  I had to continue.

Ta da.    Some 23 thread changes later, and I have a sweet 5" x 7" embroidery to make something with.  It's done and I'm so pleased with it.  It started out as a sample stitchout, but it's perfect, so I'm thinking that this would  a sweet book cover? or mabey a cute bag to put sewing notions in?   I'll think about it and decide later..