Monday, December 29, 2014

Dreaded Applique is done!

After much delay I have finished the appliqué for the yellow and blue quilt. I still have to trim the thread tails and cut the squares into triangles. I am considering drawing faces on the children with permanent marker. I know there will not be embroidered faces.  

I decided to just straight stitch around the fabric. I had to pick out the zigzag stitches from one of the boys because it looked terrible. I just don't have the patience to zigzag around this many curves.

The original design was flowers, leaves, berries, and vines. There was no way I was going to do that much appliqué. I thought the children were a better fit for me since I have spent so much time with children. Tomorrow I hope to get the borders and all the sections sewn together and maybe get it basted and ready to quilt on my sewing machine. This one is going on my bed when it is finished. The last of my unfinished quilts.

Monday, December 22, 2014

2014 in Review

In random order, here are some sewing projects and travel photos from 2014.

Memory squares made at MRA Leadership in July were made into this quilt I call "Woven Words".

This cutie turned 2 in May. He loves the movie Cars and had a visit from neighborhood firemen and the fire truck at his birthday party.

I started the year with some quilt finishes. The giant log cabin was for a nephew.

My first Saturday sampler was finished after about 10 years. 
This is half of it. The other half was donated to a raffle at school.

I took a class in July on accidental landscapes. 

Most of the family came together for Thanksgiving at mom's house. At 89 mom was happy to have all of us bring the food while she enjoyed visiting with grandkids. Kim surprised us with her announcement that she has been accepted to Ole Miss. A sad day for all of us Mississippi State grads. ;-)

In June we toured Rome and Florence. This was one of our favorite places outside of Rome.
I bought fabric in Rome and have made 2 scarves from some of the fabric.

TESOL was in Portland, Oregon in March. We took a memorable food tour in the pouring rain.
We rode the bus to a neat fabric shop where I bought several bits and pieces that have made their way into small projects like zipper bags and cozies.

Zipper bags appeared several times this year. A fun, quick sewing project.

This year I made 3 qwillows, 3 pillowcases, lots of coffee cozies, and cell phone covers.

Most fun was making a Mrs. Claus outfit and reading Christmas stories to kids at church and school. 
I am waiting for a quilt to be returned from the long arm quilter and I hope to finish one WIP over the break.  2014-a great year!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Mrs. Claus visits my school with small gifts

Mrs. Claus met these Christmas trees in the hall as she went around reading stories to the good (and bad) little boys and girls. The kids wore their pajamas for a fun half day of school before Christmas break. They loved my costume. Some of my students didn't recognize me. So funny!

I made these cell phone covers in about 2 hours yesterday. I got the idea to leave out one side seam and that made them lots quicker to cut out and sew. After school today I bought more bargain buttons and elastic hair bands. All ready to make more coffee cozies and phone covers.

Still avoiding applique!
Linking up with Crazymomquilts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Small Finishes

Not much sewing time lately. Last weekend was busy with choir programs and outings with children from church. 

About a week ago I saw the cutest phone cover online and managed to find time to cut out and stitch up some. Especially useful since I finally bought a new phone.

The coffee cozy is made from one slice from a batik layer cake. 

The pieced phone covers make use of very small bits of fabric-one and a half inch pieces.

The fronts of the phone covers with button closing above.

The backs are below.

The batik phone cover uses two slices of layer cake fabric. It is very quick to make even adding free motion quilting.

The best find of the week? The buttons. I went to the big fabric store looking for buttons. Found some Art Deco style that I really liked marked down to $2 for two. Had to have them even at a dollar per button. Surprise! They were only 40 cents for two. What a great deal. I had to go back and get more at that price. Look for more coffee cozies and phone covers so I can use my bargain buttons.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Same but Different Small Bag

I made this small zipper bag from a pattern suggestion at Stitch Mischief. There is no seam on the bottom and the boxing seams are made inside and covered with bias tape. I didn't have bias tape so I cut a strip of the lining fabric and covered the seam like I was binding a quilt.

The fabric on the top part was bought in Australia.

The fabric on the bottom was bought in Portland, Oregon.

The lining is some of the Art Gallery fabric I won last year. It has a Chrysanthemum pattern and feels sort of Japanese. Notice the mum centered in the bottom. Happened totally by accident.

I think this will be my go-to pattern for small bags now.

I have enjoyed the week off. We are going to a movie this afternoon. Hope you have had a great week!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Avoiding Applique

So I finished ten small wide open zipper bags today. I am pleased with how they turned out.

Cotton Blossom had a special on Kona solids and I bought some with no idea or plan for what to do with them. Then I thought of the teens in a group home we are adopting for Christmas at church. What girl doesn't need a small bag for cosmetics and other girly stuff? 

Looked in my stash for fat quarters to pair with the solids. Then matched up some zippers I got this summer.

All of this sewing was really my way of avoiding the appliqué on the WIP I need to finish.

Two different looks with light teal.

Two bright reds.

A couple of grays.

The darker teal.

I think these are my favorite and I usually don't like orange.

I made the first two from start to finish. Then I decided that assembly line would be faster. It was. I got more accurate with the bottom boxing seam. All in all very happy with them. Hope the girls like them.
Now I have to get on that appliqué. ;-)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Quick Gifts

Okay, I'm a copy cat. I saw these coffee cup cozies and had to make some. Bought refillable coffee cups for $2 each. Used scraps leftover from different quilts. Found some buttons and elastic hair bands that were not being used.

These were so quick to make. I made three last night and two after school Thursday-before returning to school for PTA. The plan is to gift them to the office staff and some coffee lovers I know.

Also, I had to do something quick and quilty. My appliqué is not going well on the finish I am hoping to have complete by Thanksgiving. I remember why I don't do appliqué. I have a hard time seeing the light colored fabrics. More on that in another post. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Nine Years Later...Working on a Finish

In 2005-06 I participated in a Saturday Sampler Class and made the blocks for this quilt. A week ago I started putting the blocks together. Why did they sit so long? I blame it on the appliqué that goes around the central block. I got stuck and put the blocks away. This is my last unfinished quilt or WIP. I have cut out the appliqué pieces and made up my mind that I will finish putting the top together this weekend. Then I can quilt it over Thanksgiving break.

The photos are basically the same. The top one taken without flash.

The bottom one taken with flash.

I learned one thing about my piecing skills as I put this together-I have definitely improved over the last nine years. Many of these blocks were smaller than they should have been and very wonky.
I am much better at sewing, cutting, pressing, and trimming than I was at the beginning.

How about you? Can you tell you have improved?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Finished mob cap

Well, I hope to get this posted to join Amanda Jean's Friday finish group. I made this mob cap as the last piece of a Mrs. Claus costume to wear when I tell stories at Christmas.
This is the back view. 

This shows the ribbon tie in the front. It was very easy to make. Just cut two circles. Sew together. Turn. Topstitch around the edge.
I didn't have any elastic so I used ribbon to gather it. Just sewed two parallel lines about 2 inches from the edge. Cut slits for the ribbon. Threaded the ribbon and adjusted it to fit my head.

Hope I'm in time to join the link!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Mrs. Claus costume for Christmas

Use your imagination for this post. Imagine a white ruffled blouse with this green skirt and holiday apron. 

I am making a white mob cap to wear to cover my short hair. I think Mrs. Claus might wear a cap like that. My plan is to wear this to the children's party at church and tell stories or lead songs. Then on the last day of school before Christmas break I may wear it and read or tell stories in the kindergarten and first grade classes. We'll see. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival

Elmo is the star of this quilt. I tried something new - rectangles instead of squares.
The front has solid red alternating with blue tossed Elmo rectangles and yellow tossed Elmo rectangles. The quilting is just stitched in the ditch except for a little echo quilting around the central Elmo.

The back features some of Elmo's friends from Sesame Street.

The binding is the same stripe as the third border.

I am proud of how well these mitered corners turned out. It was the first time I tried mitered corners.

This is my first time to participate in the Bloggers Quilt Festival. Love the idea. Love looking at quilts online. Enjoy!
Trying to link to the Bloggers Quilt Festival. Hope this is it.

This is the link but I have been unsuccessful adding my link to the bloggers quilt festival page. My url is too long for the space. The deadline is tomorrow and I won't have any time to work on it.
Oh, well. Maybe next time. 10/30/14

Friday, October 24, 2014

Elmo quilt finished & infinity scarf

Woohoo! Elmo quilt is finished. I borrowed ideas from several quilts I've seen around the interwebs.

There was fabric left over, so I made an Elmo pillowcase.

This is the back. I hope my friend likes it. The Elmo figure was part of a Sesame Street panel and I hated to waste it. So here are some of the other characters. She wanted the back to match the Dr. Seuss quilt I made for her grandson but the white wonky dots was out of print. This is the yellow version.

Here is it rolled up.

And rolled a little better. The binding is the same stripe as the border.

First time to make mitered corners. Very pleased with the corners.

Okay, a blurry shot of the label. I don't wear my glasses when I'm taking photos.

A little infinity scarf made from some of the fabric I bought in Italy. 

This is how it looks with two loops. Imagine how cute it will look when I wear it. The fabric is cotton voile and I have enough to make another scarf.