Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Purple Monster

So over a year or more ago my step-mother-in-law and I were on a trip to Georgia to visit my brother-in-laws family and we went to some local quilt shops. She had recently asked if I would make her a quilt for her bed and I had agreed. She got her first glimpse of batiks and she fell in love. This started us grabbing bits and pieces of purples as we came across them.

She liked a variety of designs and shades. She wasn't particular about the pattern so I chose one from the first Turning Twenty book that was published. It took fat quarters, assembled a block, chopped it up, and resewed it to give it a mixed up look. 

Now in all honesty I am not a fan of batiks and I don't love purple enough to make an entire quilt of it. Isn't it amazing what we will do for our in-laws?? lol

Once I had it all arranged I made sure that I pieced it all before our move so that nothing would get misplaced.

Old House

New house

I added on thin and thick borders and mitered the corners. The finished top size was 85 inches by 85 inches. Lovely and big. 

My lovely MIL wanted the backing to be jersey. I bought a purple king size jersey sheet set. I kept the flat sheet for the back of the quilt. I used some light interfacing to try and take some of the stretch out of it. I did the best I could-lol It was no easy job! I used Pellon Soft & Warm as the batting and used my island to baste the quilt. 

I got some dappled purple for the binding and away I went.

That's the finished project. It is hard to tell but I diamond quilted the inside. Stitched in the ditch around the thin border and then continuous line quilted the thick border. I couldn't wash it as it was too big for my washer. My MIL did when she got it and threw it right on her bed. I think she likes it!!

And now I hope it's a VERY long time before I have to make another purple quilt!!

Take care and happy sewing!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

You know you are getting old when....

you get excited about buying new vacuums!!!

So some of you may remember a couple of years ago when I talked about getting my Dyson. If not, you can refresh your memory here. Well Hubby got his bonus check on Friday and I got "permission" to go spend some of it today. 

Last night at work I got some Target gift cards so that I could get me some extra fuel points and after a coffee stop, I headed there first this morning. I picked up a Bissell Pet Cleaning vacuum on sale. Plus I got a $20 gift card to go back and use later. 

This is an awesome machine. It picks up a lot and will be staying upstairs. It even has a pet hair brush from removing hair from the furniture and any where else it might land. lol

Then I headed to Meijer where they had the SpotBot on sale. 20% off on it as well as the pet specific cleaner for it. 

All you do it fill it, put it over the spot, and press a button. 3 minutes later the spot is gone. So far it has worked great on pee, mud, and puke stains....all dog related while hubby is in charge!! lol  It can also be used manually. It does make a loud noise which isn't all together bad. It keeps the dog away while its being used. 

Would have to say that I am pleased with my purchases and my 2 new friends!!!

Take care and happy cleaning!!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A little bit of show and tale!

So in the past couple of weeks I have finished 3 quilts. I figured now is a good time to share them since they have been received (well all but one but the receiver knows about it!!) And then I started getting the pictures off my phone and realized that I made a 4th one last fall and never blogged about it. Maybe this should be multiple blogs but I think I can manage with one post. 

The first is the one from last fall. Hubby's cousin was expecting her first child and she wanted a custom quilt. They live in TX and are big Longhorns fans. She wanted something western but not cute-sy and she liked the colors blue and green. After sketching I came up with an idea and went for it. 

 I did the math and made it strip by strip. And pieced it together.....

Good thing Texas isn't too curvy!!

I used Pellon Batting and a fun fleece backing. 

I'm not sure why I didn't take a better picture of it but in the middle of the state, I quilted the Longhorn sign and then quilted around it until it became wavy lines. The rest was quilted on the diagonal.

I think that he enjoyed it!!

The next quilt was also a custom order. She wanted pink and grey in chevrons and dots and loved sock monkeys. Plus a name on it.

Some sketching....

And then whipping it up!

 The name is appliqued on and the monkey is a combination of applique and hand sewing. This was the basis for the monkey. I didn't use a real bow because I wanted it to be baby-safe!

Here's the finished product.

I used Pellon batting as usual and quilted the chevrons with vertical lines and quilted diagonals with the dots. I did a simple echo around her name and the monkey. Baby is due soon and I can't wait to see pics of her on it!

This next one was a quickie for my cousins baby shower. I hadn't planned on making it but I found this super cute Minky (yes I said that word) panel of the Cat in the Hat and coordinating backing so I had to throw this together!!

 I have heard of stories from others about sewing with Minky and I will never do it again! I don't care how soft it is!!! It made such a mess that I trimmed it outside. And then, with a layer of Pellon batting, it was so thick that I had to cut it down in order to bind it. Such a pain in so many ways.

 I quilted it in Aurifil black and a matching shade of blue. I outlined the cat and then sewed wavy lines between the lines of text. So stinking cute and a day project but Minky is BAD!!! lol

I have decided that this post is getting a little long so I will stop here and continue on with the Purple Monster of a Quilt in the next post!!!

Stay warm and keep on creating!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Let me introduce you to a couple of my friends.....

So this winter is the worst I think I have ever been through. Lots of things have happened- mostly for the negative and with the excess cold and other personal things going on, it has been pretty tough. I don't really have anyone to talk to about it because a couple people that I thought were my friends have really let me down....but that's another story!

So anyways, as crappy as I feel about things, there are a couple of my friends out there that are doing wonderful things for themselves and others and are fulfilling their dreams so I wanted to take a minute and tell you about them!

The first is my pal Rachel who resides over at Imagine Gnats as well as a few other places around the net. I met her online and got to hang out with her in Cincy at Maker Fair. She is even more amazing in person and her husband is awesome!! She is amazing at designing clothes patterns for women and kiddos. The thing about her stuff that I love it that it is made for people of all sizes! Not just stick people with no curves. She has a wonderful blog and shop and all sorts of goodies on her site so go check it out!

Once you see how awesome she is, take a stroll over to here. Her patterns are currently in PDF form and she is taking the next step to have them printed on paper.This is a HUGE step in the right direction for her but it doesn't come cheap. She is having a fundraiser to help cut down some of these costs. She has some amazing perks for those that donate. With your contribution you can get some of her amazing patterns and even a custom item made by her just for you!! 

So go check her out and give her some LOVE!!

The 2nd person I want to introduce you to is the Fabulous Lisa Sipes. You can read her full story here but let me tell you that she is amazing. She has long-arm quilted many fabulous quilts and won some amazing rewards. She recently moved to Philly and I don't think that town will ever be the same!!!

She has to have the biggest heart that I know. She volunteers in homeless shelters and her goal is to open a home for youth in the LGBT community. She gives selfishly of her heart and her time. She has started a campaign to raise money to put towards her dream . You can read all about it here and feel free to show her some LOVE!!

So I hoped you enjoyed meeting my friends. I promise to be back on here soon with a couple projects I have finished- 2 baby blankets and crazy purple quilt!

Take care and stay warm!!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along: Aeroplane Bag

Good Day Folks! 

So happy to be here helping out Lindsay promote her book. I absolutely love it and there are a couple of quilts I can't wait to make!

When I first heard about this I knew it would be fun to make part of the quilt top and turn it into a bag. But what bag? I have a long list of bags I want to make (much to my husbands disgust!) so I thought it would be a good time to try one out. I am absolutely in love with anything SewSweetness so I decided to try out her Aeroplane bag pattern. This is a larger bag perfect for an overnight trip or getaway weekend!!

The next step was deciding on the fabric. Never an easy job. I finally decided on a charm pack of Bluebird Park by Kate and Birdie for Moda. Who can resist some cute squirrels and hedgehogs??

The next step was to figure out how many blocks I needed to make for the bag. I got out my trusty graph paper and worked out the numbers. I decided to use the blue background on the top and the green on the bottom. I made them a little bigger so that I wouldn't have too small pieces.  

Once I had the blocks made and assembled I decided to quilt the panel pieces. I wanted a little more thickness so I put a layer of leftover batting between the fabric and the Soft & Stable. The Soft & Stable was cut to the appropriate size and the batting and fabric were a little bigger. 

I recently got this amazing book by Angela Walters 

so I used this opportunity to try something different on the top- which I loved!

Not perfect but definitely fun to try! 

I kept the bottom a little simpler.

I was thinking about turning it into diamonds but I really liked this look.

The bag pattern calls for zippered pockets inside but I had some extra strips of the blocks left over so I used these to make normal pockets on the inside and I partitioned them. 

As you can also see I used some bright yellow for the lining. I love bright colors inside so that you can see what is lurking in your bag!

I also added feet to the bag. Feet are super easy to do- if you can use brads you can use these! I went with silver and used 8 of them. I always use some extra batting- or in this case Soft & Stable when attaching them to make it a little more secure. 

Here's what it looked like on the outside.

Once that was done I finished the bag as directed and it came out great!!

It was super fun trying out a new quilt pattern and a bag pattern! I am super stoked that I got to be apart of this quilt along with Lindsay and wish her the best of luck with her book as well as her new little guy!!

Take care and Sew on!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Yes, I am still around! (Just barely!!)

Happy New Year!!

I know it's a few days too late but things are just now getting mildly back to normal.....as normal as it can be with temps well below zero and a couple feet of snow on the ground which equals no work or school for a couple of extra days!

Since my last posting.....sometime last year....we have gotten all moved in, painted, had one side of family out for Turkey day, got a puppy, had other side of family out for Christmas, went to Ohio to celebrate holidays here, and came back home! Makes me tired just thinking about it!

I finished my first project of the year. My friend Lindsay Connor wrote an amazing book about making quilts in a sewing bee. 

In honor of the book, she put together a Quilt A Long for one of the quilts in the book- Mosaic Tiles. I volunteered to join in and instead of using the blocks for a quilt, I made a bag! (Shocker I know!) And it couldn't be just any old bag, it had to be one by my other pal Sara Lawson! The Aeroplane Bag to be precise!

So anyways, I finished it today...can't show pictures yet but I will share the fabric I used....

Bluebird Park by Moda! How can you resist Hedgehogs and Squirrels??

So grab a link and join in- or just stop by to see what everyone else has made- and check me out on the 15th to see how the bag turned out!!

Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along

Take care and stay warm!!


Monday, October 28, 2013

The Things I Do For My Friends....

One thing that I seem to complain about the most is how hard it is to be a friend of Sara Lawson's. She has a habit of "forcing" me to make beautiful bags and then keep them stashed away out of the public's view until she says it is time. The bag I made for her book was definitely hard to keep a lid on. Although I must say that since I had to send it to her, it did keep my mind off of it!! (The whole out of sight, out of mind thing!)

The process of making this bag was a lot of fun! We had to pick the bag style that we wanted to make and then the fabric that we wanted! Sara received some wonderful fabrics to use and it was hard to pick! I was super happy when she sent me the Robert Kaufman Brrr fabrics!!! I fell in love with the polar bear once I saw it!

The pattern itself- like hers always are- was great and detailed and a joy to make. I don't have a lot of pictures of the actual process but I did sneak in a couple pictures of the bag before I sent it away.....shhhhh....I probably wasn't supposed to do this!

How can you not love a polar bear holding flowers??

And ignore the mess in the background.....lol

In case you were wondering, here is what the cover of the book looks like...

You can pre-order it on Amazon or order a signed copy direct from Sara

Once you get your book, head to the back of it (she saved the best for last of course) and you will see the pattern for my bag- The Sound Check Bag- and look for this picture of my bag-

Love the white chair!

I also stumbled upon this picture from Quilt Market in Houston where Sara was talking about her book! 

Not really sure who I borrow this pic from on FB but thank-you! See my wonderful bag??!! And of course the amazing Sara Lawson!!

So in all honesty, if you want to try and make your own bags, Sara's book is the book to own. She puts her heart and soul into every pattern and she doesn't stop until everything is perfect. She has been known to sew and rip apart seam after seam to make sure that the instructions are clear and the end result is amazing. I am blessed to have her as a friend and if you ever have questions about her patterns or bags, she is more than happy to help you out!!

Take care, stay warm and sew on!!