Friday, November 29, 2013

And It Begins

The process of decorating for Christmas has begun. I normally take a day and do a lot at one time, then fill in as needed in the days after. This year, I haven't the energy, having been fighting an upper respiratory thing for almost two weeks. So, it will be spread out a little more than usual.

Here are all my newly made stockings, and the hanger I created from an idea I saw on Pinterest.
One of these days, I vow to have an actual mantle to hang stockings on. Until then, this will do nicely.
The shelf in my dining room is ever changing. I use the same things every year, but I rearrange them and do it up a little differently each year.
I wish I could get my tree up, but that is a major undertaking and I'll need a whole day to devote to that. Maybe Monday.....

Ho Ho Ho!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

While I continue to work on Christmas projects and gifts, I'm taking time to stop and express my thankfulness. My God is and awesome God! Praise be to the one who created all, gives all and is all! Amen!!
I hope and pray your Thanksgiving is a blessed one.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Quilt Along Finish

I finally got all the blocks done and sashed for Bea's Sampler Quilt Along. I had to do it in between other major projects. It was fun to stop and do the blocks. Here are the last two.
And here are all of them sashed. I wish I'd had some pale blue to use for sashing, as I think it would have been prettier, but I needed to use some of what I had hoarded stored.
I will bind it with the same fabric as the inside sashing. I feared not having enough of it to border, so I opted for plain white on the outside. After piecing the sashing fabric together, I could have bordered with it, but decided to go with what I planned. I think the binding will add the right touch and bring it all together.

I'll have to wait until after Christmas to quilt it. I still have other pressing matters to attend before then. I also finished one of the Memory quilts for my friend. I'll talk about that in a separate post.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Where Have I Been?

Gee, it's been some time since I posted anything. I've been crazy busy with life! Grandchildren, sewing, etc. etc. Life is full and that's a good thing. Who wants to be sitting around with nothing to do?!!

Here are a few things I can show you that I've been working on.
For my little Klaire Bear. :)
A  shirt for LMW.
Acrylic on canvas for my great nephew.
A patriotic Razorback for my nephew's birthday.
I have a picture of the memory quilts in progress and can't find them on my computer. I really need a better filing system! I'm finishing up the binding on one of them and have the other one ready to start quilting. It will be a busy week with deer camp and grandchildren, so I won't be able to work on it much this week. It's all good though.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Big and Little

I've been making headway on a big project, and also getting some little projects finished.
First the Big.

This is how far I am on the denim mosaic back for two memory quilts. I have four or five big panels like this done.
But I also have all these small sections yet to join. It's like piecing a puzzle. I still hope to have both done by Christmas. I think I'll make it.
In between working on that, I have been doing some quick little jobbers. These jammies for one of my BFF's grandsons.
Some jammies for my LMW.
And then a quick little paper pieced bird, just for a change of pace and stress reliever. He was fun to make!
Now to get on with more work. I'd love to finally be in a place where I didn't have something bearing down on my shoulders and I could just sew for fun. Maybe after Christmas..... I can dream.

Friday, October 18, 2013

March of the Toy Soldiers

Christmas is fast approaching and I finally am getting around to repainting some soldiers my Mom created a few years ago. I intended to do this last year and just never got around to it.
This is one of the before pics. Mom taught herself how to use my Dad's wood working tools after he died. She did a good job too. I sometimes miss my band saw.
This is my after. They just need some sprucing up, as they look a little weary.
LMW helped me a bit. He worked on one, while I worked on the other. Here is his masterpiece.
I'm not sure, but I think he may need a little more tweaking.

I can't believe it's so soon till Christmas. It sneaks up on me earlier and earlier every year! I'd best get busy!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Yes, Your Honor

My friend Snoodles at Lilypad Quilting issued a challenge to all quilters. Prove you are one!

I state my case.
Exhibit A: Quilt Ladder in my sewing room.
Exhibit B: Quilt rack behind vintage sewing machine in my sewing room.
Exhibit C: Yet another quilt rack in my sewing room.
Exhibit D: Master bedroom quilt.
Exhibit E: Man Cave quilt.

I rest my case.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Learning and Enjoying the Process

Since I bought my new sewing machine, I've been glued to the thing. I am really enjoying the process of learning. And so far, I haven't messed anything up so badly that it can't be used. (OH I hope I didn't just jinx myself!)

Here are a few things I've played around doing.

 (Can you tell we are Arkansas Razorback fans?)

I knew I would enjoy being able to embroider and monogram, but I had no idea how much!!

One thing I learned the hard way, was that the cut away stabilizer I purchased at the sewing machine store, is not working well for me. Gonna have to find something better. (Even if the lady who gave me a lesson said it was what I needed....)

I'm working on some Christmas gifts now. Nope, can't show ya, just in case the recipient(s) checks in here.

Bea Blocks 9 and 10

We're in the home stretch with Beaquilter's Sampler Quilt Along. These two blocks didn't give me much trouble since I opted to do paper piecing on both of them.
I did make the star twice because my printer didn't print it out the correct size the first time. I was just going to add a border to it and call it done, but I decided I didn't like one of the colors I used. So, I did it over and am much happier with it.
I've done a pp house before, and I think I blogged about it. This one came together without any trouble whatsoever. The other one I had a bit of trouble with for some reason. It's always something, you know?
The next installment will be the last two blocks and putting the borders on. I'm looking forward to finishing this up.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Deck-Ade the Halls Redo

I shared in an earlier post about my finish (or so I thought) of the Deck-Ade the Halls quilt top.
I liked everything but the corners because I didn't have quite enough of the border to miter them. I took suggestions under advisement and finally decided on a partial applique technique.

These were the only other fabrics in the top that would remotely work as just adding a block.  It just didn't work for me. 

I took one seam apart, and sewed the small pieces I had left in, then folded them back to match the print in the fabric. I basted them down and when I quilt it, I will make sure it's secure in my quilting stitches then take out the basting.
I'm much happier with the faux mitered corners and when I find the perfect backing fabric and get it quilted, I'll post it. Thanks for all the help offered and suggestions made. You folks are the best!!

Product Review: Quilt Mate Pro

Hello all! I've decided that I want to do a product review. I've never done one before, and I am not being compensated for this review whatsoever. It's just that I came across a lovely little tool that has been a big help to me as I quilt and sew, and I wanted to share it with you.

This is the Quilt Mate Pro. It claims to be a "Quilter's best friend".
It holds your tablet for you while you sew (or cook). It will clamp to a table or desk and you can twist it any way you want for viewing. Leaves your hands free for other things as well as table top space.
This is how I have it set up in my sewing room.
If I don't need to watch a tutorial, I listen to music. I can stop and check email on the spot, search out something, or take a photo/video of what I'm working on. I LOVE IT!

It holds my tablet securely and I don't have to worry at all about it falling out. Everything is cushioned so there are no marks on my tablet or my table even though I was afraid at first about that, so I put a little buffer under the top part.

 I use it pretty much every time I sit down at the machine and I can attest to the fact that it is this "quilter's best friend". So, I give it Five out of Five stars.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bea Blocks 7 and 8

I was behind on my Beaquilter Sampler quilt along but I caught up today.
I'm rather pleased with these two. I was able to put them together without much wailing and gnashing of teeth at all!! LOL
I realize the pineapple block doesn't look as "pineapply" as hers does and I figured out it's because I didn't trim it enough as I went. But I like the way it looks and won't redo it. Actually, I like it a lot.
Since I've done log cabins before, this one was pretty easy. I just had to make sure I added the strips in the right order.
I've used the colors red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, green, pink and black/gray.
I'm wondering what colors I'll use for the rest of the blocks since I want to keep each one a different color. Brown will work, but I don't want to go with a white since I don't know that I won't sash it in white. The blue I used could be catagorized as a teal/aqua, so I could do a more royal/true blue I suppose.  Maroon or deep indigo might work. Decisions decisions!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Playing With My New Toy

I have an appointment for a lesson on my new Brother SB7500 sewing machine Wednesday of this week. (tomorrow) I've been "piddling" with it just to see what I can remember from the short instructional I received when I bought it. What fun!!

This is what I did yesterday afternoon. I doubt I did it correctly, but who's gonna know?
It's not a fancy smancy high dollar monogram and embroidery machine, so I'll have to do things a little differently, but it will work well for Klaire's my needs.
I spent quite a bit of time online last night looking at ideas for Onesies. So many ideas, so little time!!

Yesterday I also thought I'd finished my Deck-Ade the Halls quilt along top. And if I wasn't so picky, I could say I actually did, but.....
I'm not digging the corners. I intended to miter the border but lacked about six inches having enough of the fabric to do that. I did it this way and I just can't feel good about the white that jumps out, breaking up the red in the border. I do have a tiny bit of it left, (what I cut off the sides to attach the bottom and top) so what I'm thinking is, to applique a piece of it from the end of the red on the sides, to the red on the bottom. Think that will work??

Saturday, September 21, 2013

One Check Mark

FINALLY!!!  I was able to check off one thing on my "to-do" list! I finished the Moore OK victims quilts.

I almost pulled my hair out on the first one simply due to my unhappy sewing machine issue. I was able to finish it with my new and improved machine, and it will do. I'm happier with the second one, which was completely quilted with the new machine. I hope the recipients aren't disappointed.

Now I can move on to the other pressing matters. And there are still plenty of them!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Redo and Redo....

For my birthday last week, SR and I ran over to Hot Springs to do a little flea market browsing and eat some lunch.  We found a little run down building that had some good looking stuff out front, so we took a chance and stopped in. I didn't expect much, but MAN OH MAN! That place was packed to the ceiling with cool stuff. All things vintage...anything you can think of...

I climbed a set of rickety stairs and my gaze swept across the stacks of tables and chairs. Then...I spotted something interesting... I took a closer look...This is what I spied.
Solid wood, solid in construction, needing a little tlc, drop leaf table. And unlike most flea markets, the price was extremely reasonable! I motioned for the hubs to come over and take a look see. He agreed it was worthy of purchase and so we negotiated with the proprietor, then loaded this bad boy up in my little Hyundai Tucson.
I'm not a professional by any means, but I'm not a novice when it comes to refinishing a piece of furniture, This one had me scratching my head. I even read up on how to do it before I began. I sanded and wiped down then stained it with what I felt was a reasonably matching stain color. The legs were fine, so I didn't touch them. This is what resulted.
Well, I'd call this a fail. It was really ugly. IF you owned a rustic shed type house, it MIGHT work, but not for my sewing room. I intended it for a cutting table.
Even if I liked the look, it was so gummy, there was no way I could use it without getting stain gunk on everything, sooooo....I wiped it down well with mineral spirits and did a little more light sanding. Then I got out the Kiltz. Primed it well. I didn't like the simple white look to it, didn't have a can of white paint, only the primer, so I started sanding again. I used probably 10 or more little sheets of sandpaper on my palm sander. But I got that thing as smooth as a baby's bottom. And then....

I distressed it.
In the words of Phil Robertson, I'm happy happy happy.
It's nice and smooth, no gunk anywhere and it's going to match other things in my sewing room. Which, by the way I'm still working on. I hope to have it completed soon and I will share the before and after of that, but at present, other projects are demanding my attention.

No things marked off my list either. Oh bother well. LOL!!