Saturday, January 31, 2009

More birthday gifts

Here you see a chef's apron and hat for my brother. I hope he doesn't read my blog before he gets his gift. Thanks to Patty for embroidering the apron. My machine does not have the capability to stitch this particular design...yet. And, is this not the coolest chef's hat? I know he won't wear it often, if ever, but I thought it was a nice touch. I found the pattern directions online. It was extremely easy. I still plan on picking up some extras to add to the package. I hope he enjoys it!

After a long day at work, Jim and I had our dinner date and then we stopped by Rob and April's to see the progress of the baby's room. That April just keeps on amazing me! lol She bought curtains for the room but added a "binding" all around and they look great! She's made a dust ruffle for the crib and the cutest little polka-dot pillow. Pictures, please! Now she's working on other wallhanging loverlies. Got to see co-grama Camille, too! Oh, and I helped, too, with adding buttonholes on the tie-backs for the curtains. Grampa Jim helped move furniture. All the room needs now is a sweet little baby girl!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Yes, buttonholes! I've had this super-duper, deluxe, professional, does-everything-machine and I have never used the buttonhole feature. You can't imagine how easy they are to make! You simply place the button of choice into the button holder at the back of the buttonhole foot and the machine sews the buttonhole to the precise fit. I love it!
Here is my first try at it. I didn't cut the excess thread, but you can see how pretty the stitching is. You then take your thread cutter and, very carefully, slice the opening for the button.

I made tabs for the snowmen calendars and added the buttonholes. I decided it will be easier to unbutton the tabs to hang the mini-quilt on any hanger we choose.

Time to get to work on the shower quilt. I've got something else in mind, but I can't show it yet.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sassy Bag

Here's another Lazy Girl Design I've been wanting to try. Whaddya think? Will a 14 year old teenager like it? That's who I made it for. Another birthday coming up next month. Her favorite color is blue.
This is not a good picture of the inside but I think you can see the two pockets. The way this bag is made allows room for lots of stuff. It has two pleats in the front that expand.
You might notice that the buttons are not in a straight line. Jim noticed first thing when I modeled the bag. lol I can always count on him to spot a discrepancy. I have since fixed it. Thanks, Honey! Actually, I noticed I'd done that but I didn't think it would be so noticeable.

Jim and I did go have our breakfast "date" this morning. We both ate so much (it was nearly noon) that we haven't even had dinner yet! It's 8 p.m.! Are we getting old? lol It allowed me to work straight through to finish the bag, though. I have the circle quilt sitting on the machine in the dining room waiting for the circles to be appliqued. I had toyed with the idea of sewing them on by hand, but why? I'll use invisible thread and it will be fine.

So, I've made some sandwiches and we'll eat light. Maybe I can sew some of the circles on before bedtime.

Seeing spots

After careful deliberation and lots of false starts, I think I've decided on the baby shower quilt.
Here you see the squares and circles laid out before sewing. Well, the strips are sewn from top to bottom, therefore I can't really make any changes in the block settings. Once I had these on the wall, I had a moment of panic. There are no spaces on which the guests can write their names! Wait, if I get them to sign inbetween the dots on the squares...I think that will work. I have sewn fusible interfacing on the backs of the circles, turned them inside out and so I have finished edges that will be easier to applique. Now I wish I'd scattered the large dot squares throughout the quilt, but...
This was my first trial with the circles over the squares. The blues needed to be arranged differently but, again, they're sewn in such a manner that won't allow me to place them in a different spot. Oh will make a nice comfort quilt. I was just following the pattern directions! And, if I choose to "unsew", I've been known to never finish a project.

Looks like we've got a cold snap after the beautiful warm days we've had. Since we don't have to go to Lubbock today, I asked Jim if we could plan a "date" for breakfast. So, I better get my mailings ready and get dressed so we can bundle up and go get something to eat. Happy Monday, ya'll!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Time out for mending

As per usual, I was in a hurry when I left for work this morning. When I walked by a closet in the garage that has a protruding handle, I caught the lace on this blouse and ripped it. I had to run back in and change tops. That made me about 5 minutes late for work.
Tonight, I thought I'd jump right in and see if it could be fixed. I placed water soluble stabilizer under the torn area and pinned it to stay in place. I then put my embroidery foot on the machine, dropped the feed dogs and freemotioned stitches where I thought they were needed.

In the last picture you see the wet spot where I sprayed to remove the water soluble stabilizer. Almost looks brand new, don't you think? I don't think anyone will be able to tell where the tear was.

We went to Chili's tonight for Joe's birthday. It was a wild place and the crowd was huge. We had called for a reservation so we didn't have too long a wait. Happy Birthday, my eldest son! I love you.

Lotta sewin' goin' on

Since Rob and April have decided to decorate BG's (baby Goff's) room in circles and dots, I'm trying to decide on a pattern for the shower quilt. I played in my sewing room last night trying to come up with a suitable block. Here you see a rough draft.
I cut different sized circles and sewed them on a background. I felt there was not enough interest in these particular blocks so I cut them up in fourths and rearranged into the blocks you see below.
I thought the center area would be where people can sign their names. But, since these are not the colors I will ultimately use, Judy suggested that the outer rings be done in bright primary colors. Well, shoot. That means another trip to Hobby Lobby or WalMart. LOL

By the way, if you click on Rob and April's blog in my sidebar, you can see ultrasound pictures of BG. You can already tell she's beautiful!

I promise this is the last picture of the black and white collection. In the big purse, the birthday girl will find two eyeglass cases, a makeup case, a tissue cover and a tea wallet. She'll be seeing spots for days! lol

Just to keep you informed on the Dad front..he's doing well. His only outings are to doctor's appointments, but with the weather seemingly getting warmer, I'd like to get him out to walk a bit. Of course, it will probably turn colder now that I've decided that. Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

No, I did not watch it today. I caught it all tonight on FOX. Okay, we have a new president and we must hope and certainly, pray, pray, pray for the best. But, really, was it necessary to boo President Bush AND Mrs. Bush as they leave office? How rude can Americans be? Regardless of your political bent, you have to give President Bush his due. I won't go into it all here but suffice it to say that we must realize and admit that the presidency is not just one man. President Bush alone did not get us to this point in history and President Obama alone cannot and will not fix it on his own.
I am ashamed of all the disrespect President Bush endured during his term. I thank him for being a man of honor, conviction and integrity. Enjoy your retirement, President and Mrs. Bush! You've earned it.

I'll climb down off my soapbox now and sit back at my sewing machine. Well, I've already been there tonight and finished a little makeup bag to go inside the black and white bag you saw in the previous post.

I think I've found a new pattern for a makeup bag I really like. Didn't it turn out nice? That's a satin lining, too. ooolala!

I've also finished two more redwork snowmen. It will be a cinch to quilt them and set them aside to have ready for gifts.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Quilty weekend

Well, Judy and I had a nice, relaxing weekend. Just last week, she messaged me and said, "Let's go to watch "Quilters" at the Amarillo Little Theater. Well, how could I say no? So, we left Sunday morning to attend the afternoon production. It was really nice. "Combining music, dance movement and scenes of vivid dramatic intensity, this play pays eloquent tribute to the courage and spirit of our pioneer women. Who would have thought that quilts, quilting and quilters had so much joy and pain, laughter and tears, so much life, beauty and drama in them?

Ostensibly the story of a pioneer woman and her six daughters, Quilters blends a series of interelated scenes in a rich mosaic that captures the sweep and beauty, the terror and joy, the harsh challenge and abiding rewards of frontier life. Illuminating stories contained in various patches or "blocks," the action depicts the lot of women on the frontier. Filled with love, warmth, rich and lively humor and the moving spectacle of simple human dignity and steadfastness in the face of adversity, this show promises to be a joyous theatre event for the entire family."
I took the preceeding from the theater's web page.

Here's another purse. It's for a birthday girl. I have been wanting to make a black and white purse for a while. I have enough fabric for another one so I may have to make one for myself. The first picture is the front of the purse.
This view is the back.
Here is the inside. I just couldn't resist using the large black and white print for the lining with the smaller dotted fabric for the pockets.

We were able to stop by and visit for just a few minutes with one of my favorite clients/friends. Good to finally catch you at home, Mary!

Dad did well while we were gone. I pray he can continue to do well.

We had a very nice evening tonight. Robert and April came over and brought pizza and chocolate chip cookies! I love those kids! lol April brought her scrubs and I sewed side pieces and hems to make them suitable for her last two months of pregnancy. Even if I do say so myself, they came out really cute. I hope I can get her to take some pictures of them. I think I'll have to return them to their regular scrub-like state once the baby's born.
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One more picture. This one is Judy's BOM for January! Isn't it bee-u-tee-ful?? She did a great job. Go, Judy!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Need an Altoid?

Isn't this a neat little idea? This is an Altoid tin, empty, of course. I just covered an empty Altoid tin with an embroidered piece of fabric, embellished it with some fuzzy balls and costume jewelry pearls. I added a bit of fiberfill to give it a "pincushion" look and feel. The picture below shows what I've filled it with. I think it needs a little something else.. maybe a small square of chocolate? You'll notice I glued a magnet under the top lid to hold needles and pins. The magnet came from one of those little calenders some businesses give away.
As soon as I find out who it will go to, I'll send it off in the mail to complete our online Altoid sewing kit swap. Thanks Beth, from QOR for hosting the swap.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Baby Quillow finished

One of my co-workers is about to become a great-grandma any day now. I made this little snowball quilt for "Jordyn". Can't wait to see that new baby boy!
Here's the quilt all tucked into it's pillow. I think I should've made the pillow sleeve a bit bigger, but a little grunting and tugging gets it in alright.
Here is the quilt out of the pillow. I've washed and dried it and it's ready to be deliverd to it's new owner.
The pocket is on the back of the quilt. There's a trick to folding so it goes in nicely. Instructions on how to do that will follow after the next picture.
I've printed the label on suitable printable fabric, did a little stitching to make a border and wa-la! Click on the picture to read the cute little poem I found online. I've wanted to use this poem for a while now and this was the perfect quilt to put it on.

If you're so inclined to make your own quillow, here are the instructions on how to fold it. A bit tricky at first, but so easy. Remember to start out with the quilt right side up.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Found a fix for bobbin woes

I changed the needle. Yup, that's all it took. Oh, I did dismantle the bobbin and cleaned it out, but there was not nearly as much lint in it as there usually is. So, changing the needle did the trick. I find that a new needle will fix a lot of pesky little problems.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Know what this is?

This is what makes a quilter say bad words! lol I just spent the last two hours ripping out three rows of quilted circles because the back of the stitching looked like this! Click on the picture for a closeup that'll make you cry.
I know, I know. Why didn't I check the back of my work before I got so far? Beats me. I've put off quilting this little quilt for about a week now. Maybe I should've put it off for another week! Alright, so now it's all un-sew-ed, er, un-sewn and I will change the needle on my Bernina. I love quilting on my Bernie in the dining room since I have a tilted extension table that supports quilts nicely. My Janome quilts nicely, too, but right now I have it sitting on a table with too much junk around it. I can't quilt when I'm closed in.

Dad and I made our trip to Lubbock and back without incident, thank You, Lord. His legs are healing very well, but slowly. He doesn't sleep well the night before we go to Lubbock so he slept all the way there. He felt better on the way home so he was awake on the trip back. Maybe the howling wind that kept threatening to blow us over kept his eyes wide open!

So, it's 9 p.m. and the question is, should I try quilting again or work on some crochet? I'll decide in a minute..

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, April!

After a nice dinner at Juanito's last night, I can now show you April's gifts. She opened them while we were waiting for food. I wish I'd taken pics of the gift wrapping. Judy had the bright idea of wrapping her gift to her in a fat quarter of fabric and I had to use a whole yard. That way, she had an additional gift on the outside of the gift!
This is a sewing caddy that goes under her sewing machine. I just love the one I made for myself. I have it under my machine at Dad's.

Here you see the photo album cover I made for her. I'm late for work. Write more later...

Friday, January 09, 2009

First BOM finished

The January Snowman worked up fast and fabulous in redwork. I embroidered little white snowflakes all over as you can see closeup on the picture below.

I had first thought I'd make each BOM and then put them together at the end of the year, but this is a nicer idea, I think. I'll be able to finish one wallhanging each month and have them to display throughout the year. If I remember to switch them out! I have a wooden bear on the front door that has a change of clothes for each month. It's January now and I think he's still wearing July or August. In my defense, we rarely open the front door since we come in and out through the garage. But, I digress..

I found the backing I will use on the aforementioned baby quilt, (pic in previous post). Leota gave me several yards of four different kid fabrics and the perfect backing was in the bunch. Thanks, Leota!

Time to prepare for the day. Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

401st post

I guess I really like to talk, huh? I noticed I had posted the 400th post on Sunday. I wish I had my act together well enough to offer some kind of give-away to celebrate like a lot of other bloggers do. I can barely keep up with what's going on in my real life, much less adding more to my virtual life. I do appreciate all of you who read my blog on a regular basis. I truly do like to do this if only to document what happens in my daily life.

So, here go more pictures. This little makeup purse was made for Judy to carry in her purse. I want to use my embroidery machine more this year, thus, the embroidered "STUFF".
Another pattern found in a magazine I just had to try. This purse is made with dishtowels. It turned out ok. I gave it a client today to give to her daughter who loves purses. I think teenagers especially would like this design, maybe in other colors.
I had two placemat tops made so I decided to make a tote. Most people use four to six placemats so I didn't want to make just two. Looks very summer-y, doesn't it.
I finished this top tonight for a new baby to be born anytime. Judy suggested I tie it, but I think I can quilt it faster.
I have a few more little projects that I finished this weekend, but I can't show them until somebody's birthday is past.

Now I'm working, too, on a BOM (block of the month). You can see the link in the top right corner of this page. I'd like to finish the block each month and either turn each block into a miniature quilt or put them all together at the end of the year. We'll see...

In the meantime, I'm also working on a crocheted blanket to go along with the sweater, booties and hat.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Melancholy Sunday

As the following pictures will show, I've spent most of this day working on crocheted projects for BG (Baby Goff). The pretty little model is a porcelain doll made several years ago by one of my co-workers. I'm not totally crazy about the little hat so I may have to make another. I kinda tweaked the pattern I was using so it didn't quite turn out like it was supposed to. The booties received a tweak or two, too, but they turned out exactly as I wanted them.

Back to the title of the post. I just can't seem to get motivated to tackle all the things that need doing, ie., taking down Christmas decorations, sorting items for Goodwill, cleaning under cabinets in kitchen, organizing sewing room (again), and various other things. I'm not depressed or anything of the sort, but it has been a sad week. One of my favorite clients passed away on New Year's Eve. But, I should not be sad for her. She was 80-something and had wanted to die for several years now. I'm thankful that I was able to talk to her the last day she lived. Her son called to say they would not be in for her appointment and he passed the phone to her. I told her I loved her and her final words to me were, "I love you, too". She was a feisty old broad and I can say that because I told it to her face more than once! lol

The other sad thing that happened is not even remotely connected to my life but it still saddens me. The passing of John Travolta's son, Jett. It's awful when anyone dies, accidently or otherwise, but especially tragic when it's such a young person. I can only imagine what his parents are feeling right now. God give them the courage and peace to deal with it all.

Okay, enough of this! Jim has peeled some apples and is waiting for me to come turn them into a luscious apple pie! He asked if I'd make him an apple pie and I said, "Sure, anything to keep from having to clean the living room!" He suggested I can do that while the pie is baking. He's so smart...LOL