It's hard for me to believe that: a.) it's almost Christmas
b.) it's been close to a month since I've last blogged!
I'm not sure where the time has gone.
I have been busy with some projects -
I made these mittens using Jodi's pattern, found here. I opted for the easy way out, and used a decorative stitch I had on my sewing machine, rather than hand embroider. I do love the look of hand embroidery more, but I was pressed for time. The mitten on the right went to my church's "Time and Talent" Auction. The one on the left is still hanging on the peg - and will soon be joined by Christmas stockings.
These mug rugs, the mugs, and the hot cocoa mix all went to the "Time and Talent" Auction as well.
I started working on Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt. I have a few of the week 1 blocks finished, a few more of the week 2 blocks finished, and none of week 3. I will have more time after next weekend, so I should be able to get caught up.
I made some drawstring bags using Jeni's tutorial found here. It's a great tutorial - I've made the bags before, too. I donated these to use for toiletry items for the women's crisis center.
I got the "I'm a Wiener" back from the quilter - got the binding on, washed and dried it.
As you can see, I ended up piecing the backing - I didn't have one piece of anything that was big enough. It's not a huge quilt - more of a throw size - I made it larger than the one in the book, as that was just a baby quilt. I just added more borders around the dog.
And finally - one more thing -
A bag to hold my daughter-in-law's birthday gift. It's made of recycled/repurposed materials - the polka dot fabric is a dishtowel, the pocket is a thrifted napkin/fingertip towel, and the handle is made from a belt. I wasn't so sure on the belt (wondering if I should have just gone for white fabric handles), but she liked it this way. I did offer to change the handles for her, if she ever decides she doesn't like it this way. This bag is lined with plain white fabric.
So, anyhow, you can see that I have been keeping busy!
My church is having a "Time and Talent Auction" tomorrow. It's a fund raiser. We haven't had one of these auctions for several years. I decided to use the free pattern "Made in Cherry". I believe I first blogged about it back here.
I got the binding sewn on last weekend, and washed and dried it to give it the crinkly look.
I used a red and white striped binding...... I just love using stripes for binding!
It is difficult to get a good picture of it, due to the time of year, and the size! It measures 80"x 80".
Here's a shot of the back. I threw in 5 color catchers when I washed it, just to be on the safe side! :)
Just a quick post here....... I have been working on a quilt.... I am calling it "Scrappy Do". The pattern is from the book Dare to Be Square Quilting, by Boo Davis. It's the "I'm a Wiener" quilt.
I apologize for the poor picture..... I took it with my phone.
Anyhow, rather than use 1 blue fabric for the background, I am going scrappy. Very scrappy, as you can see! It takes a lot of time, but I am loving the way it looks.
This quilt will be for my sister...... she has 2 Dachshunds, and loves all things Doxie. :) I am making it larger - in the book it is a baby quilt, and finishes at 40 1/4" square. I think a narrow brown border will be next, followed by more scrappy blues.
I have a few pictures to share from my son's wedding last Saturday......
My dear hubby made the cake. The bottom 3 layers are "fake cake", as in Styrofoam layers covered with fondant. The top layer is real - one that has been frozen, and hopefully the kids can enjoy it on their first anniversary. I know, it seems like a long time to save a cake in the freezer, but tradition is tradition! The fondant on the top layer didn't travel so well.... the wedding was about 80 miles from home. He ended up taking the fondant off, and re-doing it. It was a beautiful cake. We served sheet cakes to the guests.
Here we are.... don't we clean up nicely? :)
Here's the happy couple.....
I was so happy that Julie and Tractor Joe could help us celebrate!
Last Saturday, Julieand I went to the AQS Quilt Show in Des Moines. Julie had a quilt in the show, part of a traveling exhibit. Here she is, standing next to her quilt. If you click on her name, it will take you to her blog, and you can read more about the quilt.
This will tell you a little more...
Boy, I really have been absent from my blog lately! I finished up a quilt top a couple of weeks ago. It's at the quilter now...... here it is before I sent it off. I used a free pattern I found online, "Made in Cherry", found here.
Son #2, who was living at home for awhile, got a job in Minneapolis. Here he is playing his first gig - at the Mankato Brewery. They feature live music every Tuesday evening. Son #1 works there, and he coordinated it.
Actually son #1, and son #3, are in a band together, and had played there a few weeks earlier.
Here is son #1
And here is son #3
Since none of them read my blog, I say it's okay to post pictures of them! :)
Next Saturday is the wedding - son #3 is getting married!
We are so happy and excited for the big day, and so happy to be gaining another daughter-in-law!
I have been busy sewing quilt blocks for the guests to sign. I decided I better get mine signed - it will be a sample, so hopefully the guests will get the idea...
I also decided to make a fabric basket to put them in, using scraps left from the quilt blocks...
I promise I will post pictures of the wedding! Busy week ahead! :)
Oh, and one more......
Hubby and I celebrated out 30th anniversary on October 1st.
Sorry for the poorer than usual pictures - they are from my phone.
The big, brown Arkansas Crossroads quilt is done. I've had it back from the quilter for awhile, and I just finished sewing the binding on it this morning. It's almost too big for me to get a good picture of it. It has been washed and dried, so it has that crinkly look that I love.
This is for my oldest son and his wife. They mentioned that they would like a quilt with brown in it.
The backing has been pieced with stuff from my stash - and most of it is pretty old fabric!
This is part of the back, and this fabric, with all the little license plates, is rather special. Back when my boys were little, I tried to do some sewing. If I remember correctly, the main problem was the lack of having a designated sewing area. Before we had a dining room, I sewed on the kitchen table, or on a table in the basement. Our basement is not my idea of a nice place. We have an old house - it's an old basement. Rather damp. About all it's good for is a washer and dryer, and maybe some storage. Oh, and a treadmill and TV. Anyhow, I didn't like sewing in the basement. It was rather creepy. And if I sewed on the table in the kitchen, it was always a lot of putting away and taking out. I had bought fabric to make vests for the boys. The 2 younger boys vests were made first. One was made from Batman fabric, and one from Power Rangers. Think 1994. Popular stuff back then. Jacob's was to have been made out of this license plate fabric. Route 66 theme. Well, his vest never got made. Probably for the best. I can't quite picture anyone wearing a vest made out of this fabric. But it did seem pretty cool at the time! :)
So....... fast forward to a few months ago. I was upstairs, going through the closets to get stuff together for Goodwill. I came across the license plate fabric, which I thought was long gone. When I mentioned to Jacob that I had found the fabric I was going to make a vest for him with, way back when, he said, "You aren't going to make a vest for me now, are you?" LOL. I assured him that I was not. But I figured I might as well use it on the back of his quilt, for old times sake.
The fabric on the left was something I intended to use on a quilt - back in the 1990's, I believe. It was pretty cool at the time! :)
I had my husband hold the quilt for me, but it is big, and it didn't work out a whole lot better than the clothesline.
Here you can see a little big of the different backing fabrics. Anyhow, it finishes at about 96" x 96", I believe. One of the biggest quilts I have ever made. Similar in size to Easy Street.
And here's one more picture...
I will give it to my son and daughter-in-law next month, after it's on display in the quilt show.
I also finished a little rag quilt - for my neighbor's new grandson, Isaac. He was born back in June.... I'm just a little late!
I off-set the columns so I didn't need to worry about matching seams. I also put binding on this quilt - I like to put binding on rag quilts - I think it gives them more stability.
I was in Omaha for a few days - with my dear hubby, and I found a great quilt shop.
I came home with these...
Some lovely reds........ mostly Kaffe Fassett's. They will be part of my next project. I hope to have photos in a few days!
A lot of people are making mug rugs these days, and you would think it's something new. Not so... (or should I say "sew")...
A couple of weeks months ago, I was cleaning out some things in my dad's house, and came across these...
The original Mug Rugs...... :)
I would guess they are from the 1980's - I remember plastic canvas and yarn crafts being quite popular.
I was never a big fan of plastic canvas stuff. My mother-in-law and some other people who were very dear to me used to make a lot of this type of stuff. My mom never did, so I am assuming that someone gave these to her. Maybe it was my mother-in-law. Anyhow, since they are both gone, I will never know.
Anyhow, this is my latest blast from the past!
Seeing these, and thinking about the quilts and other projects I make, makes me wonder if my kids (sons, daughter-in-law, and son #3's fiance') really like the stuff I make for them, or if they are just being nice......
I really don't remember when I first started this project. It was at least 2 years ago. Maybe 3. I found the tutorial here. Rather than make a quilt, I decided to make place mats.
I actually made a set of 7. Odd number, I know. I think I just kept making them until I ran out of fabric! I used Moda's Happy Camper fabric, along with some Katie Jump Rope. I still have a little of those that I have been hoarding saving. I might need to make a quilt with them one of these days.
This one has been washed and dried. Actually, we have been using it.
I love how it got all crinkly. And I like the fact that the raw-edge applique is starting to ravel.
I believe this was one of them I just finished last night.
And here is one more...
It feels good to have them finished after all this time. And I am happy to say that I still like them!
I believe I started out with charm squares (5") and sewed a 4" circle onto that. Then I cut them in fourth's, and sewed them back together randomly.
I am hoping to have another finish by the end of the week!
I finished up my "x" quilt top a few nights ago. I first blogged about it here. It is for my son and daughter-in-law. They recently got a queen sized bed, and asked for a queen sized quilt. It will finish at 96"x 96".
Here it is....
The official name of the block is Arkansas Crossroads. Rather than use 4 1/2" squares of brown for the x's, I decided to piece them. I do like how it turned out, but man, that is a lot of 2 1/2" squares. If I remember correctly, it's 2,880, total. That took a lot of cutting. I used up what I could of my 2 1/2 inch squares, but had to cut a bunch more.
I really got tired of sewing this. It's a big quilt. When I finally got it done, I was less than thrilled with it. But now it's a few days later, and I am liking it better.
I think maybe next time, i'll add a border. But this one is plenty big, so I won't be adding a border to it.
I am piecing the backing - it will be a huge 9 patch block, with each of the squares at 36".
I found the directions for this block here. It gives directions for making the block in different sizes. If you want to make your x's scrappy, you'll need to cut your browns (or whatever color you decide to make the "x") the same size as your 4 squares.
Anyhow, I hope to get it to the quilter in a few days.
My youngest son is getting married in October. Next Saturday, some friends of mine are hosting a bridal shower for his fiance'. I decided that a personalized guest book might be nice.....
I bought an inexpensive, plain Jane guest book at Walmart. (I know, I should have taken "before" pictures.) I sewed strips of fabric together - the width of the strips varied from about 1" to 2". I used pink and gray fabric... their wedding colors.
Here is the finished product...
I looked in my embroidery floss for pink.... I didn't have any. I have a tin full of darning cotton and random thread from my mom. I'm sure most of it had been my grandmother's. I found some pink "thick" thread. It reminded me of several strands of embroidery floss twisted together. Anyhow, it worked great. And it definitely is "something old". :)
The back looks pretty much the same as the front.......
Not sure if it needs something more....... perhaps a ribbon?
I found the directions here. The only thing I did differently was to use strips of fabric rather than one solid piece.
A few months ago, on my way to go bridesmaids dress shopping with my future daughter-in-law, her mom, and all the bridesmaids, I stopped at a quilt shop along the way. One of my purchases that day was the "Stand and Stow" bag pattern by Atkinson Designs.
Fast forward to the week before last, the week I was away at school. I was thinking about an upcoming bridal shower. Not for my future daughter-in-law, but for another couple that is getting married. This seems to be a busy year for weddings! Anyhow, one of my favorite things about this pattern is that the largest bag will hold a 9x13 inch pan. How convenient is that? Especially for taking food to potlucks, etc. As luck would have it, I did have a chance to go fabric shopping while I was away. :)
I also went to Target, and purchased a baking dish that was on the bride's gift registry. It's not a 9x13, but it is approximately 9" square.
Anyhow, I made the bag today. The pattern is really well written, very clear directions with pictures to guide you through. I didn't have to use my seam ripper.... not even once! :)
Here is the finished bag...
The bag is lined, and a very heavy interfacing (the heaviest I have ever worked with) called Peltex is used, which makes the bag stand up. The pattern uses a very neat method - it's like you sew channels in the bag and then you cut the Peltex to fit in those channels, and fuse to the lining side.
I lined it with a light gray/white dot print. I made the handles in reverse for a little contrast.
I think I'll find a recipe to include - one that needs to bake in a 9" square pan. And then I'll include some of the ingredients that aren't perishable. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get a picture of it all put together.