Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Cotton Mill Row done.

AT the Cotton Mill Guild, we are working on a Row of the Month project.  We were given directions for the forth row at our last meeting in December, (which was a really snow-stormy day).  

We needed to  make 64 * 2.5" blue and white half square triangles and sew them together in this format.  We could use any method we wanted to,  so I used a paper method for sewing my 2.5" finished half square triangles together.  I used 5 pages and part of another to get my 64 squares.   The paper templates are free by downloading here.

Sewed my row yesterday.  I'm enjoying this slow paced project and gives me a small project to do in between my larger projects.

Here are my Four rows so far.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Blackford's Beauty Week 5 of 5

It's been a fabulous Christmas week.   I did manage to get some time in to sew my 30 blocks together.   The seams are pressed and it's hanging over my railing waiting for the two outer borders to be put on.  I'm still undecided if I should put cornerstone blocks on the outer border or not.  The outer border is plain white.  I love that because the hand quilting designs that turn a corner are so impressive......  hmmmm.   I think I just made my decision.  Plain white it is. 

In this 6th week of making the St. Dunstan's 2013 Raffle quilt, I'll finish the two borders, make 380 inches of bias binding and a quilt label.   Check back next Saturday for the final package that I will deliver to the quilters on January 10th.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas Snow

We've had some nice visits with all our kids starting on Christmas Eve.  It's hard to believe Christmas is over for another year.

This evening, we all going to see the Duffle Bag Theatre's performance of Rudolf at the Playhouse.  So Aurora and Grace are with me today and others will join us this evening for the performance.

Aurora put me right to work this morning to mend her favorite pair of jeans... And more importantly, she wanted me to make her new walking Baby Alive some clothes.   A new hat, coat, mittens, and snow pants.  She's as pleased as punch for her outfit to go outside...  She picked out the colors of fleece, the buttons and even a little patch for the hat.  I merely sewed.

Happy Snowday everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Blackford's Beauty - Week 4 of 5

Success.  I finished my 15 Blackford's Beauty blocks this week.   It was more work than I anticipated.  I also have the 15 white alternate blocks cut, and I've laid out the center part of the quilt on the bed.   With this being the Christmas week and likely to be filled with visitors and visits, I'm setting a small goal of sewing these 30 blocks together.  Surely I can get a couple of hours in.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Foxy Scarf - You can make one too. - Update

Does this little fox look warm and cozy.  This fun little scarf is just perfect to wear around the house.  I used a wool blend fabric on top, and a nice soft white minky type of fabric on the underside.  So cozy.... I had intended on making these with the kids at my mini-Grammie camp the weekend before last.  But, we had too many activities to do in such a little bit of time.   I told the kids I would make them up for them.    I'll give it to them this weekend.   Cute eh!

Want to make your own, it's a free tutorial... click here.

Update:  I finished the other 3 foxes.  Now they are hanging over my railing waiting for the kiddos.  I love them.   I'll try to find photos of the women wearing real ones in the old days.  It might bring some meaning as to why I think these are so cute.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Catch a Falling Star

This quilt has been on the frame for over a year.  We are only a small group of quilters hand quilting at the church.  And we only quilt is good weather.  If it's snowing or uncomfortable to drive, we don't quilt.  So it's taking a while.  We don't mind at all though.  No pressure is on us to get it done.

Since the choir practices on Wednesday afternoons when we quilt, we have been enjoying all the Christmas music.  And after the practice, we get little visits from choir members and others who happen to come through the doors.    We are almost ready to roll both side of the quilt.  Right into the center row of stars now.    We are done until after the holidays now, but we will only a few weeks left to quilt before this beautiful quilt will be done.  We've given it a name and I will make a label this week.   Catch a Falling Star.    Just like Perry Como's song.  Do you remember the words.   I've been singing it in my head all week.

Catch a Falling Star
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Never let it fade away
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Save it for a rainy day

For love may come and tap you on the shoulder some starless night
Just in case you feel you want to hold her
You'll have a pocketful of starlight


For love may come and tap you on the shoulder some starless night
Just in case you feel you want to hold her
You'll have a pocketful of starlight 
(Pocketful of starlight, hm,hm,hm,hm,hm,hm)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Blackford's Beauty - Week 3 of 5

This beauty is making progress.   Although, this week was the busiest for me during this Christmas season.  Lunches, meetings every day.    So, I didn't get all that I hoped to done this week.  I do have one of the 15 pieced blocks complete, and many blocks ready to sew the nine patch format together.  The diagonal seams require a bit of brain power to make sure they are going in the right direction.  

This week should be a lighter week for us, with not so many Christmas activities.  So it should be no problem to finish the other 14 blocks.    Do you like a complicated block?  It's going to be stunning when placed by a plain block that will be filled with a hand-quilted circular feather pattern.

Till next week, take care.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Yankee Swap

See the cute ears, and his little tail in behind.
I'm going to a pot luck lunch tomorrow with a small group of quilters who meet to hand quilt every week.  Although, I don't do any quilting with them, I do visit with them on a regular basis so they invited me to lunch.   After our lunch, we will do a Yankee Swap.

Want to see what I'm bringing?

A Sock Money coffee cozy on a Timmy's cup.  And in the cup, the pattern and a kit of yarn  to make another one.  Cute eh!

Inside the Tim Cup.
PS:  The pattern is free on ravelry.  Search George Coffee Cozy.

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Gingerbread making time again

Caitlin, Grace, Mitchell and Aurora were here over the weekend.  Among the many games and activities we did, was our annual gingerbread making and decorating time.   The kids are pretty good at deciding what they want to do.  The alphabet cookie cutter set is always popular.  My friend Lee gave them to me years ago.  They're a priceless part of my collection.    Now Aurora even wants to do her letters.  


Mitchell and Caitlin

Do you think the kids eat any cookie dough?  It's subtle, but watch..

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Blackford's Beauty - Week 2 of 5

Got my  sixty nine-patches done.   Well, they aren't quite nine patches, but that's what I'm calling them.   It went pretty quick despite lots of  Christmas activities starting to happen.

This is how the nine patches will be placed in the BB block.

This week, I'll make a total of 120 of these and when they are sewn together,
I'll have enough for my 60 blocks.  Just from sewing these prototypes
together, I am going to have to be very careful not to get confused!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Unique Gift Card Envelope.

I bought gift cards for the kiddos for Christmas.  Easy for us, fun for them.  The gift cards come on larger cards and I thought I'd make these fun pencil cases that have lines sewed on to look like paper.  I hand embroidered their names in cursive writing because that is the font that they are learning to write in school.   I have one more to finish.  
I wish my name started with an E or a J.
They have such nice curvy capital letters.  

The card that the gift card is glued to, easily fits in this little pencil case.  

Add caption

I used no particular pattern, but I did use the zipper technique from the zippy strippy tote.   I'll write up the details on the measurements and lines on the faux paper if anyone wants them. I printed out the names using a cursive font and stitched using my favorite sulky 12 weight red thread.  

Cute, eh

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Stockings for the Terraces

I'm so impressed with the work that members of our Guild did this morning.   This must be a record.  We made the 70 Christmas Stockings with time to spare.  We enjoyed talking to some of the seniors who live at the Terraces.

Going in this morning, we had no idea how long it would take, but thought for sure it would take a whole day.   Well in 3 hours, the sewing was done.   All that had to be done was fuse on the stars.  A great day, and I'm so glad we said we would help.

Check out the photos on our Cotton Mill Quilter's Guild blog.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Making table runners with the Leaves Galore Ruler

Do you have this ruler?  I'm beginning to like this ruler.  I bought it last year at a quilt show.  While I plan to sometime, I have yet to make any leaves from it yet.   
I used my FriXion pen to mark the gentle curve before sewing.

Recently I've used it for a couple of non-leafy projects and I'll share how I used it today.    While making some simple runners for my hallway tables, I was looking for an alternative shape to square ends.  A quick glance up at my ruler holder and I knew what I would do.   It was just too easy.  My runners are 12" wide and there are convenient 6" markings either side of the center point on the ruler. Following the curve of the ruler, I simply made a marked line on the fabric to sew on.  It was perfect for for today's project.

After sewing on the line, I clipped away the excess fabric and
clipped the curves.

Voila.  Turn right side out and lightly press.

I like how the curved ends look more interesting
than plain squared off ends.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas stockings - 1 down 68 to go

Love my Sissix star die
My fellow Cotton Mill Guild members and I are working on a special project this coming week.

We were asked last week by a rather new Seniors Care home and residence to help them out by sewing some small Christmas Stockings for their 69 residents.   At first I wasn't confident that we could do it, but a quick email to our members brought 9 or 10 volunteers.    So the planning begins.

I measured and tested to get 70 of biggest lined socks I could out of the material provided.  It turns out to be about 10 inches tall.  I'm pleased with that.  I've made a prototype sock.  A beautiful silk like fabric with slight color blocking.

Fused stars on beautiful silk (or silk like)
While I love the look of simple white silk stockings, I think for the seniors, it needed a bit of something.   Out comes my Sizzix.   I have less than five dies, but one of them is stars.  So red stars it is.  I like the look of the prototype better.    I'll fuse fabric and pre-cut a few hundred stars before our sewing workday begins on Tuesday.

We will sew assembly line style in the large activity room at the Seniors residence.  Even though, this was a last minute request, I know we'll all feel good for doing this for the seniors.
I like the red stars on the silk fabric.

If you are in the area of the Terraces Seniors Home (just past the Willie O Arena), why not drop in to say hi.  We'll be there from 9am to 3pm.  All are welcome.

So, 1 down, 68 to go.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Blackfords's Beauty - Week 1 of 5

I have a hard time to figure out where the time goes.  It seems like just a couple of months ago, that I was making St. Dunstan's Log Cabin quilt.... but in fact a whole year has gone by.   I revealed the quilter's pick for their next raffle quilt a few weeks ago.  It's Blackford's Beauty.    I will be using Bonnie Hunter's pattern.  Only our colors will be slightly more traditional. The quilters want to do some lovely hand quilted wreaths in every other block like the one I showed last month.

I have the fabric and it's washed ready for ironing and then cutting.    This will be my big project for December.  I'll report on it on each of the 5 Saturday's in December.  I will deliver it to the quilters right after the New Year.

So this week.  I will be preparing the fabric, figuring out the quilt math, and completing the sixty 9-patches that I will need for the 15 pieced blocks.    Doesn't sound to bad...I'm sure I can get that done.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Quilter's Bling

As part of our final meeting of the year, our Cotton Mill Quilters' Guild is having it's annual silent auction.  This year, our members are making nice things that we will bidding on at our annual pot luck luncheon, and silent auction.  We are to invite a guest to help the purchase and bid population.    The funds go towards the purchase of supplies for making quilts for the needs of the community.

I have several things made already for the auction, and I'm working on a few more mystery things. 

But, the kiddos were here last night and we made charm bracelets for them.  That got me to thinking about making something with my crystals and charms for our silent auction.   So, here is my creation...  I've made two... but I'll only show you this red one.  The other one, you'll have to come to the auction to see.     It's about 2 inches wide.  

What is it, you ask?   It's a shawl pin or it could be pined to the bottom of your guild name tag.    Do you like it? 

The more important question, who is going to be my guest at our silent auction and pot luck?   Are you available on on Dec. 10th?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Kiddos sewing on their own.

A quiet day yesterday, cleaning up my sewing room a bit.  Made a small list of things I wanted to do, just in case I got distracted..  Yep, distraction happened.  A good one though.  Caitlin and Grace came for a visit in the afternoon.   I was so impressed with what they had to show me.   They had designed and sewed a jacket for their doll.  I was thrilled at how it came out.  They even hand-sewed two buttons on.  I was so proud of them...  They were excited about their creation and wanted to make more clothes.  They took a bunch more fabric home to make more clothes for them..

I can't seem to turn these photos the right way... but here you can see the two outfits they made after they went home with their fabric stash loot.   After they got home, they sent me a picture of their doll with a new tutu and a new pj bottoms.  Cute, eh!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A cute ruffled snappy bag

At guild last year, everyone was making little snappy bags.  When you open them, they make a snap noise and they close up automatically.  It is just big enough for a few small things.

I saw this ruffled one last week I thought it was just sweet.  This afternoon I took the time to make one.  I really like it.  It's about 5" wide.  I need to find a good use for this little pouch....then I'll make more.   Maybe it will hold a small gift for a teacher... maybe a lipstick or two in my purse.     The pattern is free on the internet here.  

So what would you put in this little snappy bag.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

TWO Million Documented Steps

I've had my Ipod nano for two years.  When I go for my healthy walk each day, I like to listen to my favorite radio station  92.3FM.  Every song is a classic and I just love walking to the old familiar music.    I keep the pedometer turned on and like to measure in steps, any new routes.    

Yesterday... A milestone.  Two Million "documented" steps in two years.  I rolled over the Two Million mark just as we were almost home.   I say documented because sometimes I forget to charge the pedometer, sometimes I just forget to bring it.  

So how far is two million steps, you ask.   My regular daily walk is about 5500 steps.  We measured it off to be 5 kms    So that simple math says that we've each walked about 1818 kms in two years.  

Now it makes sense as to why |I have to buy sneakers so often. I bought a new pair of sneakers to celebrate this milestone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fruitcake 2012

I love fruitcake during the Christmas season, and long after for that matter.  For years I've been making a white and a dark fruitcake.  These recipes came from the Daily Gleaner in 1994.  I needed a change.

This year, Linda H. and I made beautiful white layered fruitcakes together from an older recipe of hers.  It was more work for Linda than me since she had to run around and get all the ingredients.    We worked together to prepare and divide the fruit and nuts one evening.  Then the next day, we prepared the pans with brown paper, and wax paper, made the batter and layered the 3 loaves.  They had to bake for a few hours, so I left that in Linda's hands.   It was a lot of work but the time went quickly as we chatted about lots of things.   Linda H. took lots of pictures along the way and shared the recipe on her blog.  Click here....

I picked up my fruitcakes on the weekend from Linda's.  At the last minute, we decided to put some brandy on it.   We put about 1/4 cup on the two loaves with a pastry brush... so its not much.  

I've cut each fruitcake in 3 pieces and wrapped well and they are curing in the cold room.   In a few weeks, we'll start taking them out for the holidays.

So, have you ever made fruitcakes with a friend?   If not, you should.  It's a fun thing to do as we prepare for the upcoming holidays..

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Beyond Stipplling - Teaching a Free Motion Class

I'm teaching a mini-class tomorrow.  It's on Free Motion sewing and for small number of confident stipplers.  They want to take their free motion sewing and quilting up a step.  

I have been preparing for this class for a few weeks now.  In addition to making samples, preparing hand-outs, collecting samples to show, and preparing fabric sandwiches to demonstrate, I've been getting familiar with a borrowed Babylock Jane sewing machine. It's almost exactly like my straight stitch machine that I use every day.   I'm so glad that I have the use of this machine for my classes.  It saves me from taking down my machine.  Many thanks Holly!

I'll be sharing a number of techniques and tricks with my class.  But some of you may know this, the real key, is to practice, practice, practice.

Anyway, tomorrow's students will give me feedback on the class in preparation for a larger sized and longer class next Saturday.

So, are you a confident stippler?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tutorial - A Linen & Cotton drawstring Laundry bag

This summer I made a little drawstring laundry bag for each of the kiddos who came to Grammie Camp.  This l It finishes at about 17" wide  x 19"high.

I am really loving my small projects that incorporate linen and I thought I'd share a little picture tutorial with you.  The Grammie camp theme was lady bugs, so we used red accent fabric and ribbon and added a lady bug to the project.  You can use any colors you like.  If you make one with different colors.  Let me know.  I'd love to see.

Fabric Requirements:
Fabric Requirements
¨ 36” x 5” Linen

¨ 36" x 15” Quilting Cotton
¨ 36” Red ribbon or trim
¨ 36-40” Twill Tape
¨ 1 Spring Closure

Since linen ravels, do a surge or zigzag around the linen piece.

Stitch optional letter to linen.  Then with WRONG sides
together, sew cotton to the top of the linen piece.  Your seam
will be on the right side of the fabric.  This will make the inside
of your laundry bag smooth and seam-free.

Your seam will be covered with ribbon.

Stitch down your ribbon to cover the seam.

Iron down half an inch, and then another half an inch across the
whole top. This makes the drawstring channel.

Fold the piece in half, right sides together and stitch
down the side and bottom.  Leave an opening below the fold.

Iron open the seam and stitch down the seam allowance.
This will help when the drawstring gets passed through.

Fold the top double hem down, and stitch close to the bottom
of the top hem.

From the right side, slide in your drawstring through the opening.

Add your spring clip to the ends of the drawstring.  To
ensure you don't lose the string, put a knot in each end after
you put both ends through the spring clip. 

All my Grammie Camp bags with lady bug buttons.  The blue
is baby Jack's.