Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Road Home Row Along Has Started

I wanted to tell you that the Road Home Row Along started on September 6th. There will be a few blogs posting their rows twice a week. There are giveaways too, so be sure to visit the blogs and leave a comment to be entered. The row designs from each participating blog are offered for FREE for the duration if the Row Along, so be sure to download the free pattern while you can because some may charge for their row patterns after the blog hop ends.

The entire schedule for The Road Home can be found here.  My day will be on Oct. 4th.

On another note, I haven't been able to blog because for the past 3 weeks I have had sciatica and the pain has been very intense. Lots of sleepless nights too. I am finally feeling better (even though the pain is still there). I have been sleeping through the night thanks to the meds that I am taking that are helping. This sciatica can take 3-6 weeks to run it's course. It's been 3 weeks now and I am hoping that I will be pain free within the next 3 weeks. I haven't been able to sew or do much of anything. It's so hard for me not to be able to be creative and productive. I have so many thing to finish and start making too.
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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dream Catcher Quilt

My quilt guild had a doily challenge because one of the members had a couple of bags of hand crocheted doilies that were given to her. So the challenge was born. We could add a doily to a quilt in any way we wanted to. The suggested size was 18"x 18" or 18" x 20".

I had used cotton doilies in the past under a teacup block, but I wanted to do something different with this crocheted doily. I decided to paint the doily because plain white was just too boring for my taste. At first I thought of just making a Dream Catcher by sewing it onto a wooden or metal hoop, but I didn't have the right size hoop. Next I thought I could tie 4 small branches together and then sew it in the center of the branches and add strips of fabric and ribbon on the bottom branch. But when I tried doing that, it just didn't look right. And while neither of those ideas were quilts, I figured it would meet the challenge of using a doily at least.

But the Dream Catcher idea was still rolling around in my brain, when I thought why not do a Dream Catcher Quilt? Black fabric was the obvious background color so that the painted doily would pop. Since most Dream Catchers have ribbons and/or feathers dangling from the bottom, I thought I would quilt my feathers with variegated thread colors. I like how the quilted feathers looked, but you couldn't see them very well. So next I brought out the Shiva Paint Stiks and painted the feathers with metallic paint. That is just what it needed. I hand embroidered the "strings" and added a lot of pretty hot fix crystals for bling. I also added some beaded trim to the bottom of the quilt. Finally I used my Kumihimo disk to braid the hanging rope and thought a branch looked more organic for the Dream Catcher, rather than a wooden dowel. I really love how this came out too. I didn't follow the suggested size of the quilt for the challenge, but this is my quilt, and I wanted something that would please me.
Painted the doily and added hot fix crystals.

Quilted the feathers and then painted them.

Beaded trim at base of quilt.

I used a variety of paint colors as well as variegated threads for quilting the feathers.

The stick with the braided hanging rope (which I made with my Kumihimo disk).

I dotted more hot fix crystals around the feathers too.

There was only about 7 people who showed their doily challenge quilts on Thursday at our quilt guild meeting. I forgot to bring my camera to take photos of them and I guess the person who does our guild blog didn't take any photos either. Oh well, at least you can see mine here.
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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Bloom Quilt Top

I finished my Bloom Quilt top. These are the Bloom blocks from Lori Holt's sew a long. I told you that I would set my differently than Lori did. I had a gradient green fabric that I used for the sashings and border. I added 4 applique butterfly blocks.  Not sure if I will add another border around the whole top or not. What do you think?

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Prickly Pear Quilt Top

I made the blocks for this top several years ago. I actually made an extra 2 blocks for some weird reason (maybe I can't count, lol!). These blocks got buried in a pile of UFO's for years. I have no idea if I had a plan with the extra blocks or not. I decided these blocks needed to be put into a top and the extra blocks I can use for something else. This is a pattern by Karen Stone, called Prickly Pear, which is perfect since prickly pear cactus grow here. I think this pattern must be out of print now.

I used batik fabrics for the prickly pears and a commercial black cotton and purple cotton for the background fabrics. I machine blanket stitched with variegated threads on some of the shapes and solid colors on others, to sew the applique pieces in place. This is a positive/negative quilt block. You have to be careful when cutting the shapes out, because you mix the shapes up so that you have different fabrics on each block. I found this to be fun, although a lot of work too. Now I just need to quilt it.

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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Quilted Notebook Cover For Patterns

I made a quilted notebook cover for knitting and crochet patterns and gave it to the Stitch Club I belong to. Their notebook was looking pretty sad and I had been wanting to make something like this for a couple of years now. Well wouldn't you know it as soon as I brought this to the last meeting, a shiny new larger notebook was now housing all the patterns. Since that notebook was much wider, this cover wouldn't fit it, but I took out one section of patterns to put inside this notebook. I made this cover with batik scraps. Then I painted the text on white fabric and painted around it so it wasn't so stark white. 

The back of the cover.

I painted the words.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mini Saddle Bag Made From Neckties

A few years ago I tested a bag for a bag pattern designer. He was designing a saddle bag that he was going to send out to the testers, but he had some things happen at that time and so all us testers said we would be here when he wanted us to test the next bag. In the meanwhile, he emailed us a mini version of the saddle bag pattern he wrote and said the new bag would be larger, but similar to this bag. I thought for fun I would use some men's neckties to make this mini version. I had it cut out and pieces the front and back pieces, but then it somehow got put away and buried in my pile of UFO's for a couple of years. When I found it recently, I decided to finish this bag and here it is. But I can't help wonder what became of the designer? I never heard from him again. I hope he is alright, but I have no idea. He never posted to his Facebook Tester group (which I belong to), so it's a mystery I suppose.

Made from men's neckties on the front, back, flap and front pocket. The black gusset and strap as well as the lining are cotton fabrics.

The front has a flap and I added a turn lock closure instead of a magnetic snap.

Back view of bag.

Mostly silk ties. I used a decorative stitch to quilt this.

The front has a nice slip pocket, great for keys or a cell phone.

Oh how embarrassing to see all that lint! I thought I had cleaned it off, but now that I see the photos, obviously I didn't do a very good job of it, lol!!! Anyhow, this is the inside with a slip pocket and a pen pocket.

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Lombard Street Bag

I was commissioned to make a bag that would hold an iPad and a cell phone (and a few other things of course) by a friend who is a former co-worker of mine. I emailed her some photos of The Lombard Street Bag that I had made 3 years ago and other bags that I thought would also work. The Lombard Street Bag was the one she went with. She wanted burgundy and gray. I brought in all of my burgundy colored fabrics for her to choose from and told her I would choose a gray that went well with it. I also chose a lighter gray print for the lining. She wanted this bag for a trip she was taking so she had a place to hold her iPad and phone, etc. She's not going on her trip until September, but told me she is already using this bag.

This bag is made with Soft and Stable foam stabilizer, which is great for cushioning the iPad pocket. The Lombard Street bag pattern is ChrisW Design pattern. It's loaded with pockets too!

FYI: This is my 900th posting since I began my blog in 2008!
The front of the bag has 3 pockets, one is a zippered pocket.

3 front pockets.

A recessed zippered closure to keep everything secured inside the bag. Can you see the zipper pull on the right for the hidden zippered pocket? One of the pockets has another pocket for your Smart Phone

Inside there are slip pockets and I always like to divide the pocket in the center for a pen pocket. 

This back pocket is for holding your iPad. It's nice and cushioned with the Soft and Stable stabilizer that's used.

Side view.

Zipper pull I made for the iPad pocket.

The strap is adjustable to wear across your body. Here is the back iPad pocket in front just to show you the scale of the bag.

Here is is worn with the front of the bag showing.

I also wanted to make a couple of little zipper pouches from the leftover fabrics. A friend of mine gave me this pattern for the Zippety Bags (from Bella Nonna patterns) and I wanted to make some of these, so I made the smallest and the one up from that too. The pattern includes 5 sizes. You can sew them two ways: one with the raw edge of the fabric against the sipper or you can finish the edge so it's not raw. I made one of each. I included these with the Lombard Street Bag. The smallest one is handy for holding coins or earbuds, the larger one could hold cords, batteries and recharging plug-ins or whatever she wants for her trip.
The smallest bag on the right I made with enclosing the raw edges. The one just a bit larger on the left I sewed with a raw edge, using a fancy zigzag stitch. These were fast to sew, especially the raw edge method.

They look like an "S" when unzipped. I did add some zipper pulls after I took these photos.
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