A Quilt for a Special Gal

Happy Thursday,

Do you have a favorite day of the week?  For most working gals, Friday is the best day of the week.  You get 2 days off for good behavior.  Yeah, right!   You have cleaning, laundry, shopping, meal planning!  It’s more like being punished for working hard all week long.   But, then when you retire, every day is Friday. Thursday was always my favorite day of the week because it was pay day.  Which is your favorite day of the week?

Thursday is now sort of a pay day for me, I get to post.  Sometimes I have lots to share, other weeks I’ve been a slacker.  It all depends on what’s planned and how much ‘necessary’ stuff I have to do.  This past week I found the time to finish up a project and actually get it in the mail.  Most of you know that I get up very early in the morning, anywhere between 1-3 AM.  Yes, AM.  It’s my favorite time of day, my quiet time to take care of my emails and get some work done on whatever it is I’m working on.  Thanks to my quiet time, I was able to get this project completed in one week.

So what’s the project?  A quilt set, of course.  A couple of weeks back I heard that a good family friend received a huge promotion at work.  Dean of Students.  Such an accomplishment couldn’t go unrecognized.  Since our friend moved cross country to San Francisco last February she’s had to begin furnishing her apartment again a little at a time. With that in mind, I thought what could be a great and useful gift.  A quilt, of course.  I got a vague idea of her decor, one black leather sofa.  Yep, that’s it.  So I had to come up with a color scheme that would fit in but also accent the decor.  Black, white and a spot of one accent color.  This is what I came up with.

“Star Gazing” is the name of this quilt and I thought it very appropriate.  Darn sunshine made the white blocks a bit wonky.  Instead of the typical batting, I used a vintage white cotton sheet from my stash, still in the packaging. The tag said “Jordan Marsh” so how long have I had this flat sheet?  Sheeting makes for a warm but not bulky quilt, perfect for San Francisco weather.img_3360I also made 2 matching pillows. (better lighting)img_3363Then for a bit of color, I added on 2 more fun pillows I made from my pillow fabric purchase a few weeks ago.  Both are a bit sassy with the jute trim and long fringe.img_3366And, of course, the signature plate on the back revealing the recipient.  I hope Lauren has received the package already.  If you’re reading this post before your package has arrived, Lauren, stop and immediately go to the corner for a time out.img_3370

I hope Lauren likes her quilt and pillows.  All the pillows have an envelope back so Lauren can switch then out if she wants a color change.  Lauren has been so successful in her career and we all wish her the best of everything.  Way to go gal!!!

October is fast approaching so next week I’ll be back with some Halloween items.

One last note:  Happy Autumn!!!  Finally fall has arrived but with temps in the 80’s it still feels like summer.  Because of the hot weather and drought conditions here in New England, our fall foliage will not be very spectacular this year.  That’s OK with me as long as the cooler weather arrives soon.

See you all next week,

Linda

Posted in Home Dec, Quilting, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hello to all,

It’s been a somewhat crazy week here.  I’ve been so busy trying to tie up loose ends and finish up my current sewing projects.  Out with the old, in with the new!

A couple of things I would like to share with you today.  While going through my stash looking for something totally unrelated, I came upon three silk ribbon embroidery pieces I did up back in 2009.  Can’t remember why I made these up but they went unfinished for seven years.  I decided to resurrect them and do something fun.  Gosh, I didn’t need any new pillows, I already have about a million.  So what to do with these pieces?  I’ll make wall art.

Here’s how I accomplished this for little money.  I went to Joann’s armed with two 60% off coupons.  After searching the entire store for some sort of artist canvas or backing that would work, I found unfinished wood frames in approximately the size I wanted. I had already framed each piece with some leftover fabric knowing that I could add another small border if I needed to enlarge the finished piece so size wasn’t a huge issue.  Each frame was $9.99 but with 2 coupons I got both for under $9.  Since I planned to wrap the piece around to the back, the only thing that mattered was that the front of the frame was flat.  I removed the glass and built up the void with some leftover mat board to make it flush with the wood frame.  Then I could easily center the design, wrap to the back and staple.  So simple and easy.  Voila, instant wall art!

This piece has two smaller SRE pieces, which I fringed the edges, stitched onto a piece of plaid fabric, fringed those edges and the stitched to another fabric backing.  These were placed landscape on the frame.lac-sre-wall-art-9-2016-aThe second piece was larger so I mounted it portrait style.  I used whatever scraps of fabric I had and made it work.  lac-sre-wall-art-9-2016-b

Of course, I have no idea where these pieces will finally end up but for now they rest on the top shelves of my 2 library ladders in the living room.

My next fun project was just that, FUN!  I found the fabric a few weeks ago and I knew I had to have it.  Just too cute and so true!!!  I made up 4 simple pillows, 2 for me and 2 for friends.  My friends love their pillow and so do I.  I keep mine on my chairs at my craft area, one at my computer and the other at my work table chair. A little cushion for the lower back or the tush helps when sitting for long periods of time.lac-create-pillows-8-2016

Notice all the fabric in the background and one of the SRE pieces before I mounted it.  You can see that my work area does get messy!!

This last project I’ll share today is some things I made up last year.  I did a swap with a group and I received a wonderful packet of fabrics.  It took me awhile to decide what I wanted to make but finally decided on some sewing accessories.  That way I could see and use the great fabric.

Here’s the fabric pack and all the wonderful fat quarters.from-hazel-fabric-aI first made up this cute and very handy owl tool holder.  I keep my essential tools close by when working and get to giggle a bit.  How fun is this!!lac-owl-hazel-swap-fabric-2-2015I wanted to use all the fabrics so I went ahead and made some pattern weights using rice inside to weigh the down. This pic shows the fabric pieces before stuffing.lac-pattern-weights-hazel-fabric-2-2015Lastly, using every bit of fabric, I made up a thread catcher to put all the bits of thread in as I work and trim threads.  Next to the thread catcher is a glass jar where I was collecting all my thread bits.  I think the fabric thread catcher is much nicer.lac-thread-catcher-hazel-swap-2-2015

Oh, one last thing.  What the heck is going on in my garden?  It’s mid-September, time to wind down the garden but look what I found yesterday, in full bloom!!!!

An EASTER LILY!  Frankly, I didn’t even know this was here amid my Day Lilies that have since bloomed and died back.  Aren’t Easter Lilies suppose to bloom around spring time?  Is my garden freaky or what?  I’m lovin’ it and my off season Easter Lilies have become the talk of neighborhood.

easter-lily-9-2016

Next week I will show you a quilt set for a friend.  I will be mailing it out next week to Lauren who is in San Francisco.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise just in case Lauren reads my blog, so be patient.

So there you have it.  Another zany week from my world.  Come back next week to see what new trouble I can get myself into.

Linda

 

Posted in Garden, Handmade Crafts, Home Dec, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THREE NEW PILLOWS

Good afternoon friends,

I’m a bit late posting today because I took an adventurous step out of my comfort zone.  I went for an acupuncture treatment.  I suffer from chronic back pain among other bothersome nuisances and can’t seem to get any opinion, diagnosis or treatment.  So I’ve taken matters into my own hands.  I had no idea what to expect but was pleasantly surprised to find it quite soothing.  The acupuncturist was so nice, attentive, knowledgeable and helpful.  I expressed my complaints and within 1/2 hour I was looking a bit like a voodoo doll!!  And believe it or not, it didn’t even hurt so those of you who are nervous about needles and shots, this was a piece of cake.  I sat in a comfy chair in a dimly lit room with soothing new age music and drifted into nothingness.  About 1 hours later, I was de-pinned and felt great.  I know that the effects of acupuncture take time but just sitting quietly for 1 hour was relief enough for me.  We set up a treatment plan and schedule.  I’ll go back next week for another treatment.  I’ll keep you posted of the results but for now I’m quite pleased.

Now onto some new things I’ve completed this past week.  It’s pillow time again.

This first pillow was a blast from my past, candle wicking,  I did some of this technique years ago and always wanted to do more.  I love to make Colonial Knots and a pillow project seemed to fit the bill.  And what luck, I actually had #5 Pearle Cotton to match the fabric exactly.  A simple design which didn’t take very long at all.  I find it very relaxing to this type of embroidery.lac-candlewick-pillow-8-2016Next is a pillow for my granddaughter, Demi.  It’s actually a pajama pillow.  I happened to find a cross stitch piece I did several years ago and thought it would be a good focal point for a pillow.  I made a pocket for the PJ’s and another for her favorite bedtime books. The polka dot fabric and rick rack were from my stash.  How cute is this!lac-pj-book-bag-8-2016Lastly, I made a special pillow for my friend, Fran.  Fran re-did her bedroom and needed some accent pieces.  I came across the embroidery pattern on Pinterest and knew immediately that it would be a perfect centerpiece for the pillow.  I trimmed out the pillow a border of floral print and another border of ticking fabric.  I also made a pleated ruffle as a final accent.  Fran loved it and it has found a happy and special place in her home.lac-fran-8-2016-1

I’ll leave you this week with one (really 2) very cute and special pictures of my granddaughter, Demi.  These pics were taken last Tuesday, her very first day of pre-nursery.  A bit of separation anxiety but I think she’ll be fine in no time.  She actually was very excited to go and enjoyed playing with all the kids.

img_0488Of course, it was raining so we just had to adorn ourselves with our new  rain gear.img_0508And it gives me 3 hours, 3 days a week for ‘me’ time which I quickly turned into sewing time.  I’m now working on a special quilt for a special gal and hopefully it will be complete by next week.

So be sure to stop by next Thursday and see what I’m up to.

Linda

Posted in Cross Stitch, Handmade Crafts, Home, Home Dec, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Old and Much Loved Fabric

Good afternoon,

I know I’m a bit late posting today but I’ve been busy as a bee…..sewing, sewing, sewing. And, of course, I had to suspend my sewing to take a road trip to the fabric store and get more fabric….YEAH!  And, all with coupons, even better.

So, this is my fabric story.  Why do we buy the fabric we do?  What is it that compels us to buy yards and yards of one particular fabric with no real plan in mind?  What attracts us to one particular fabric and not another?

Well, I have many answers but the best loved is “because I just had to have it”.  That seems to work all the time. Using this excuse justifies any and all fabric purchases, no exceptions, and it works!  So I’ve continued to use this reason for years and years.  Thus, I have some fabrics in my stash that are well over 10-12 years old, still sitting patiently waiting to be used.  And, somewhere in time, the day will come that the light bulb goes off and guess what.  You HAVE the perfect fabric.

So I purchased yards of a fabric that I just loved and still do.  I made up several quilts years ago with this fabric and had a bit left over.  I liked it so much that I purchased more yardage of the same fabric ‘just in case’.  Well, it’s been sitting on the shelf waiting for the right moment to jump out and say ‘use me, use me’.  So that is what I did this week (along with a few other small projects).

I originally purchased this fabric because #1:  I love Lilacs and #2 I love the colors.LAC Lilac Pillows 8-2016 copy

Here is a pic of the quilts I originally made back in 2005. I think I made 3 and sold them all.

095 Lilacs 4

I purchased more of the same lilac fabric and in 2010 made a knitting bag,  a bag for crochet hooks, knitting needle bag and another bag for circular needles. LAC Knitting Bag pouches 2

I still had some fabric left over and it sat on the shelf until this week.  I decided to use up as much as I could and produced several projects.  Two pillows and a top quilt.

I had forgotten about several silk ribbon embroidery pieces that I did up in 2009 and looking for something  else, I came across the embroidered panels. I decided to make a couple of pillows, one using the silk ribbon embroidery piece and one with the very last of the fabric.

First I made this simple whole cloth bed coverlet using the entire width of the fabric and the desired length.  Very simple machine stippling.  I also used an old bed sheet instead of batting.  I think it makes a warm quilt without the bulk of batting.  I used solid purple fabric for the backing and black for the binding, all from my stash.  SIMPLE.

LAC Whole Cloth Quilt 8-2016

This pillow I actually designed to fit my PJ’s into so a button top closure worked perfectly. I frayed the edges of the embroidery piece and built it out with borders.

LAC Ribbon Emb. Pillow 2 8-2016

This last piece of fabric I made a pleated pillow and used up every inch of fabric.IMG_3342

So all my lilac fabric has been used.  I really feel like I won this battle of the ‘endless fabric stash’.

I did make up a few more things this week but will wait until next week to post about them. I don’t want to be long -winded LOL.  Plus, my new fabric is calling out to me so I must begin work.

See you all back next week for some more finished projects.

Linda

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Home, Home Dec, Quilting, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE……….I’M A WINNER!!!

AND, THAT’S NO LIE.  (well, almost)

Hello friends,

That’s right.  I can honestly say that I’ve never one a single thing in my life.  The exception is a plastic soap dish from a home party that one can get at the dollar store for .29 cents and that win was about 45 years ago!!!  So, I can truthfully say that I haven’t won a single thing…………………….UNTIL NOW.

IMG_3317

Yep, here’s what arrived at my home on Monday.  Can you guess what it is????

I’ll fill you in with the details.  So you know all those newsletters you sign up for and get bombarded with each day in your Inbox?  Well, I’ve been subscribed to a newsletter called “CraftGossip”  http://craftgossip.com/craftgossip-newsletters/ for quite a few  years and they always have such a great newsletter, full of ideas and links.  I always find something interesting to search further and have also saved and used lots of the ideas they post about.

So along with all the great info and eye candy, they also have sponsored contests from many suppliers/manufacturers.  Now mind you, I absolutely NEVER participate in any of these drawing, EVER, on any site.  I just know that the only luck I have is NO LUCK! However, for some strange, unexplained reason, I did enter this give-away sponsored by Spellbinders, the prize, a Spellbinders Platinum Die Cut Machine.  Don’t know why, wasn’t looking at or in the market for a new machine but I just left my comment which entered me into the drawing.  About a week later, I received an email announcing that I had won the drawing.  At first, I thought that someone else had the same name as me but then I use a variation of my real name so how could it be someone else.  I read and re-read the email, cleaned off my glasses, made another cup of coffee, and yet the email was still on the screen screaming my name.  Then, with hands trembling and a faintish feeling, it began to sink in………I DID WIN, THAT IS REALLY ME, MY NAME!  But how could this be, it must be a mistake or some sort of joke or maybe even a scam. Being 2:30 in the morning, I had to refrain from screaming and dancing about, people sleeping just wouldn’t understand my overwhelming excitement.  I responded to that email and sure enough, I got a response, from a real person and YES, I did win.  Needless to say, that made my day, no, made my LIFE!  Within one week my prize arrived.

How exciting not only to win a contest but actually win something as great as this Spellbinders Platinum Die Cut Machine. Check this out.  What a fantastic looking machine.  I’m thrilled to the moon and back.

IMG_3322

And, on top of being a winner, this machine cuts just about anything, including all my large steel dies for the Sizzix and the Sizzix Sidekick. (Of course, I will still keep my Sizzix machines, we have a special bond.)  So now this one machine replaces the 2 older ones I’ve been using since 2002.  I think with this new die cutting machine will open new doors for me.

Thank you CraftGossip and Spellbinders for making my the happiest gal ever!  I love, love, love my new die cutting machine and will certainly make great use of it.

Just another quick note: I do have an older Spellbinders Grand Calibur and it is one fantastic machine, too.  I have been using it for a number of years and it always serves me well. Now armed with 2 great  Spellbinder machines, the sky is the limit!

I leave you with one last thought.  Remember the Pointer Sister’s song from 1982

“I’M SO EXCITED”?

Well that’s my new theme song!!!!

Off to play,

Linda

 

 

Posted in Cards, Die Cut, greeting cards, Handmade cards, Handmade Crafts, Spellbinder Dies | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

New Fabric Haul, New Sewing Project

Hi friends,

What happened to this week?  I’m two days late in posting.  Writing this post was on my Thursday ‘To Do’ list but somehow I totally forgot to even check my list.  Hmmmmm, I must have been very busy.  Here’s why….LAC Fabric haul 8-2016I’ve got lots of new friends in my sewing room.  With a great sale at the fabric store, lots of coupons and a need for a new project, I went a bit overboard, ya think?

So what is all the fabric?  Home decor fabric meaning I’m making …………..PILLOWS! Not sure why but I just got a hankering to make pillows.  I’m not even sure what I will do with them all, gifts, keepers, we’ll have to see.  At any rate, fabric is flying, scissors are snipping and the sewing machine is going a mile a minute.  The most fun is the challenge of coming up with different designs.  I may have a vague idea of what I want but I’m not using any patterns, just my imagination and designing as I go.  Lots of the fabrics have a definite or directional design so I have to put my thinking cap on and do some figuring and fussy cutting to make the best use of the fabric’s print. Not sure how many pillows I will get but I’m thinking somewhere around 20.

One interesting surprise is that I’m using my serger (which I always seem to forget about), my sewing machine, trying different speciality machine feet and different techniques, some of which are new to me, other’s I do often but all is a great learning experience.  And, I’m way out of my comfort zone as far as colors and prints.  But hey, why not…..gotta live it up every now and then.

Once all the design tops are finished I’ll serge them together all at one time. I’m making the pillows with an envelope back so you can remove the pillow insert if cleaning is needed.  Once all are completed  I will then decide on their destiny.  I also will wait for the fabric store to have a sale on pillow forms since I need quite a few.  When they are all completed, I will post pics.

Also, I’d like to mention that if you look to the right, you will notice I’ve added 2 more blogs to my favorites:  Fran’s Spot and  Scallops and Swirls, both worth checking out. My friend Fran makes great cards and is a terrific sewer.  Both blogs are Fran’s and both loaded with some great eye candy so be sure to check them out.

I’ll end with a quick note that yesterday, I spent the entire day painting.  No, nothing artistic, I’m talking walls.  I spent 6 hours at my granddaughter’s new preschool volunteering my time to help clean and spruce up.  Most of my time was spent painting the lower half of the walls purple.  Boy, what a difference a gallon of paint can make.  In the end, all looks beautiful, clean and very colorful.  I bet the kids will love it.  Demi can’t wait to start her new adventure at ‘That’s My School’ as she refers to it!  Of course, we will have to see how the first day goes and that separation thing that kids do so well……  Now off to take something for my aching muscles.  One forgets that one is not as young as one once was!!!!

Until next week, (on time I hope)

Linda

Posted in Home, Home Dec, Sewing | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Sewing Projects in the Making

Good Morning,

This week has been very productive.  Since it has been so hot here in Boston, I rarely go outside so I’ve been keeping busy sewing.  And today is to be a scorcher here, the hottest this summer so you know where I’ll be, in the house keeping a bit cooler with the a/c. This will give me more time to work on some projects.

I’m trying my hand at designing my own patterns.  Now don’t laugh at me….I an traveling a new path.  I first wanted to make a reversible apron and scoured the internet for ideas. Most of what I saw required a purchase of the pattern for way too much money.   So I thought, why not take their design, alter it to my liking, draft the pattern, make a muslin sample and go for it!  Easier said than done.  Many sheets of paper, miles of tape, try, adjust, tape, try, adjust, tape…….After many attempts, I finally was able to make up a prototype apron.  I still need to tweak some steps and a few minor adjustments, but this is what I came up with.  I used fabric and buttons from my stash and ponytail holders for the buttons instead of making button holes.

Side A GreenLAC Apron front color aSide B WineLAC Apron front color bBack viewLAC Apron back color aWaist closure buttonLAC Waist buttonNeck closure buttonLAC Neck buttonAs you can see, it’s not perfect yet but I plan to make another after making adjustments. I’m also working on another reversible,  crisscross style apron where I got inspiration from Martha Stewart’s apron on her website.   This was a complete failure so back to the drawing board LOL!

The other project I completed this week were several ballet skirts for my granddaughter, Annabelle who is an avid dancer.  She loves wearing little ballet skirts over her leotard but they are super expensive at the dance wear store.  I happened to find some lace on clearance at Hobby Lobby and a simple circle skirt pattern from the internet.  Away I went, sewing one after the other.  I made 2 black, 1 mint and 1 peach and they all look great and allow for all sorts of high kicks, splits and twirls.  A simple zigzag stitch around the hem and a bit of elastic for the waist was so simple and quick.

Lace mint ballet skirtLAC Ballet Skirt mint 3Black sparkle ballet skirtLAC Ballet skirt black sparkleLace peach ballet skirtLAC Ballet skirt peachBlack lace with scallop border ballet skirt.  This skirt I did a bit differently since it had such a pretty scallop border that I wanted to incorporate.  Instead of a circle, I cut the width of the lace fabric, overlapped the ends to create the split and added elastic at the waist. Works perfectly!LAC Ballet skirt black laceAnd finally, while snapping the pics, little Miss Demi had to get into the action with her ballet pose.  Demi has lots of tutu’s and enjoys  learning all the moves from Annabelle. Another ballerina in the making!IMG_3304

Hey, I’m also working on designing a pattern for a hoodie infinity scarf.  I’d like to make some up in wool with faux fur lining or, if the fabrics are too expensive, maybe in fleece. Let’s see if I can get this to work!!!

Le me know what you think.  See you all again next week.

Linda

Posted in Kids, Sewing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment