Sunday, March 30, 2014

Trip Preparation

My teen and I are taking off at the crack of dawn in the morning in order to meet my sister and her family in Salt Lake City by midday. My brother-in-law has his first radiation and chemo in the afternoon and we are going to entertain my niece and nephew. They have a long car ride and so do we, so we will probably try something physical. I am working on an embroidery BOM called "Let It Snow" my sister had bought it and never started. I made one years ago in all blues. This one is done in red and green. I have about half the embroideries done and hope to make a big dent in these while staying in SLC.
I have signed up for an new embroidery BOM called "Journey of a Quilter" and would like to have this top assembled and ready for hand quilting before I start this new BOM that should be arriving any day.
My mom called this morning and asked for a favor which is really shocking because it is usually the other way around! She is home recovering from her knee replacement surgery and using a walker. She realized that she needed some sort of tote/carrier for her walker and was wondering if I could make her one. She was thinking a bigger version of the get well fabric basket I had made, but I went online and found a tutorial on Youtube called Sewing a Walker Tote by Jimmie Lanley. I did not have enough coordinating Velcro, so I made ties. I also did not divide the pocket on one side, so she will have room for her iPad or a sewing project. I also quilted one of the body pieces to give it more stability. It only took me about an hour and definitely would have been quicker if I did not quilt it, but it fit and should do the job! I did not get a good picture...
While in SLC, I want to make it over to Material Girls as both my mom and my sister say it is fantastic. I am hoping to buy some more Scrumptious fabric if they have any available and see this new BOM in person considering I have already signed up for it based on pictures. Also, we will raid Trader Joe's. I borrowed the coffin sized cooler, so we can really stock up. Of course no trip to a big city is complete for my daughter without some serious mall shopping.  She also wants to do some of the driving over and home, but we will see how the weather is! Her driving 75 mph scares me, but we are only 4 months from her driving on her own. Yikes, I feel old! Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Get Well Basket

My mom had knee replacement surgery today and I did not want to send flowers, so I combed Pinterest and saw suggestions for goodies to help your stay in the hospital. There were some good ideas, but I decided to make a fabric basket instead of using a gift bag. Lately, I have been on a big kick of making bags and pouches. I really wanted to try to make a fabric basket from this tutorial I made the larger size. It came out so darn cute. I used some Scrumptious fabrics by Bonnie and Camille.
Here it is with the goodies. I put the following in: a book, a water bottle, water flavor packets, lotion, hand sanitizer, cozy socks with grippers, lip balm, chocolate, and mints. There was plenty of room! We dropped by the hospital this afternoon and dropped it off and she loved it!  I want to try making the smaller sized fabric basket and might even whip up one for an Easter basket for my teenager! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Calendar Advice?

I managed to piece the base for the perpetual calendar I have been working on. I cut up a "Wishes" charm pack to use for the border. I plan on quilting the border diagonally through the squares with perle cotton. I can't decide on the color and would love to hear some advice from you all out in blogland. I was thinking of black, but I could also use red or lime green. The backing is lime green with a red dot.

 I colored all my embroidered numbers and started sewing them and flipping them. I chose to use Velcro instead of buttons and elastic hairbands as the pattern called for. I think the Velcro will be more durable, but it sure took forever to sew it on the base and all the number backings. I will have to hand stitch the numbers closed. I need to gather hand work for our Salt Lake City adventure, maybe these should come along!
I was totally caught unprepared this last Christmas with gifts for my coworkers, so I have made it a goal to whip up some little gifts throughout the year in preparation for Christmas 2014. I made this cute pouch using this tutorial

It is hard to see, but I quilted the pouch with a wavy quilting stitch on my Pfaff that I have never used before. It is adorable and I can't wait to use this quilting stitch for something bigger and that will show the quilting more. I have had my machine for 2+ years, but I am still learning all of its features. I tried the zipper foot today, but I think I did better without it.

I am heading in to bed early as I have another cold. I will embroider a Christmas BOM I inherited from my sister...
A few of you have asked about swaps and there is a new one starting on Flickr for April where we are making tote bags. You have to join Flickr and create a mosaic to sign up, but I managed to make a mosaic by googling "how to make a mosaic for Flickr" it was pretty easy. Here is the link to the Flickr sign ups if you are interested!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

FNSI March 2013 & Charity Quilting

I have been trying to be productive on Friday nights and not just come home from work and lay around. Last night, I cut, fused, and appliqued all the initials on the book covers I need to make for my 5th grade students. I did sew some of the book covers together too. Then today, I assembled and sewed the rest and hand finished them and added the buttons on the book mark. I made 15 last night and today. I made another 1 last week and need to pick up fabric for the last 2. 16 down and 2 to go!

I woke up again stuffy this morning with a big sinus headache, so stayed in my sweats and did not leave my house. Tomorrow, I need to prep some more hand work for Slow Sunday Stitching and hope to work on my Goodnight Irene blocks. Here is the link to the Friday Night Sew In if you would like to see what others accomplished on Friday night
I also decided to sign up for the Hands 2 Help Charity Quilt Challenge. I plan to dig through some UFOs and finish up least one to send to Happy Chemo! With my brother in law battling brain cancer, it seems appropriate to send something to benefit other cancer patients. I have the button on my right side bar if you want to find out more information!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Easter Door Banner

It dawned on me this weekend that I did not have an Easter Door Banner. I have several with flowers that would be ok this time of year, but I really want to make a door banner for every holiday. I combined some patterns I own and came up with this simple one I made completely from scraps. I finished it last night and hung it up immediately to please my OCD hubby who gets very bothered by having holiday decorations up after the holiday (he prefers taking the Xmas tree down on December 26th and has even suggested taking it down on Xmas afternoon!)
I have spring break coming up the week after next, but I have offered to go care for my niece and nephew while their dad starts chemotherapy and radiation. They live in Nevada, but his treatment will be in Salt Lake City and my sister would like the kids there that week since they are off from school. My teenager and I will be in charge of entertaining the kids. I probably won't get in as much quilting time as usual, but it will help the situation tremendously and I should be able to check out some quilt shops in Salt Lake City. Any advice on quilt shops or activities for an 8 and 9 year old in Salt Lake City? Thanks!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Week Update

After my productive mental health day on Monday, I was able to get quite a lot of handwork done this week. These are the wool felt blocks for Quiltmaker's March/April "Love Blooms Here" BOM.

I am all caught up and looking forward to the next magazine with the next blocks. I also worked on embroidering some blocks of a BOM quilt I inherited from my sister. I traced some more blocks to work on this week and prepared a Christmas tree skirt for hand quilting.

I realized today that tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day and my husband will want my shamrock door banner promptly removed on Tuesday. I dug through my bin of spring quilts and while I have several door banners that would work for spring, I did not have anything that was exclusively Easter. I combined some elements from other patterns I have and dug into my scrap bins and made this up today. I am pinning it this evening and plan on hand quilting it with perle cotton tonight and tomorrow night to hang up on Tuesday.
I have been working on some other things, but they are top secret as they are presents!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Productive Day

I took today off as a mental health day and I am so glad I did! It was a great, productive day. I dropped my daughter off at school, went grocery shopping,  got a chai latte, got gas, and went to the post office. I made it home a little after 9am. I headed straight for my sewing room. Then in the mail came my package from my swap partner from the 4S (Simple and Sweet Scrappy Swap) on Flickr! Mumziepooh, also known as Debbie, sent me some amazing goodies. Check out this chicken pin cushion. I named her Chicken Little. I have a thing for chickens and the colors of this one are perfect for my sewing room!
She included 10 fat quarters including some Scrumptious ones by Bonnie and Camille, a Chantilly charm pack, and an April Showers mini charm pack!!!! WOO HOO!!!

My picture is not great, but she has the cutest little tag with owls on it and says "Mumziepooh Makes."  Isn't the bag amazing? The pennant banner is so dainty!

There were also pins, embroidery scissors and needles, washi tape, a precious zipper, and Reese's eggs. Wow did she ever spoil me!!!! A day off from work and a package like this certainly made my day!!!!
 I whipped up this book cover for one of my 5th graders and made a tutorial explaining how to make them.
I only have 17 more to make by May!!!
 I made these two houses for the quilt along I am doing with Kim over at
They have all been made from my stash.
 I also worked on my blocks for the quilt along over at Joined at the Hip. I am behind, but should get caught up with some more work tonight. These blocks are only 6 inches, so the pieces are small, but very stash friendly!
 I finished up this Easter bag for my nephew last night...
I need to get some more hand work together and I will be all set for more productivity this week! Remember quilting is my therapy and this was just how I needed to rejuvenate! We start testing tomorrow and I will need to quilt at night for sure with a mommy beverage.

Book Cover Tutorial

I am an avid reader and a member of a book club for many years. About five years ago, my book club was reading a book I was rather embarrassed to walk around with...It had a curse word in the title and at that time I spent a lot of my time at the rec center pool reading in public, I could not be seen with this book! I improvised and made a book cover. Next, I made book covers for all of my book club friends and then for my students as end of the year presents. Here are a couple I made... These book covers are designed to fit the larger paperbacks known as trade paperbacks (the over sized paperbacks that Target sells).
You will need:
1/4 yard of fabric
12" piece of gross grain ribbon
9" x 12.5" piece of fusible interfacing
Matching thread
Optional- button, front cover decoration
Two 9" x 12.5" pieces of fabric for the outside and lining of the book cover
Two 8" x 9" pieces of fabric for the sleeves of the book cover
One 9" x 12.5: piece of fusible interfacing
 1. Fuse fusible interfacing to wrong side of 9" x 12.5" of book cover fabric. (This provides stability for the book cover and applique.)
2. Fold and press both 8" x 9" sleeve pieces of fabrics wrong sides together. They will measure 4" x 9".  Set aside.
3. Fold the cover (the piece that has the fusible interfacing attached) with wrong sides together. Optional- center your applique cover decoration on the front cover.
 4. Optional- applique your cover design. 
 I just used a button hole stitch with matching thread.
 5. With right sides together, place the sleeves along each side of the outside book cover. The fold should be going toward the middle and the raw edges should be aligned with the outside of the book cover. You can see the "V" below the sleeve.
 6. Place the ribbon (bookmark) on the top, left side of the outer book cover, near the folded edge of the left side sleeve. Pin it at the top.
7.  Pin the excess ribbon towards the middle of the outer book cover, so it does not get mistakenly sewn into the bottom.
 8. Sandwich the book cover lining piece with right sides together on top of the sleeves and right side of the outside book cover. Carefully pin everything in place and stitch around using a 1/4 inch seam., leaving an opening on the lower edge between the folded sleeves (this is how you will turn it right side out). Back stitch at the beginning and the ending.
 Here is how it looks on the interfacing side after it has been stitched.
9. Trim carefully at all four corners to make turning easier and the corners not as bulky.
 10. Turn and press. Pin along the opening, slipping the raw edges back inside, and slip stitch it by hand with matching thread.
 11. Stitch a button along the bottom of the ribbon. Now, you have a lovely book cover!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunny Slow Stitching Sunday

I made one of these simple drawstring bags for a swap. It went together so quickly, I decided to make Easter  bags using the pattern for my niece and nephew. Here is a link to the tutorial for the bag
The embroidery design came as part of Happy Scrappy Spring BOM from this site It is part of the last month's pattern.

It is gorgeous outside today, bright and sunny in the mid-50's. My hubby is doing garden preparations and my teenager is sprawled on a quilt on the lawn doing homework. I will finish this Easter bag and prep some wool felt handwork for a project I have in the works and try to get outside with my Kindle Paperwhite to enjoy some sunshine and a good book.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Friday Night with Friends & Saturday Sewing

I was really motivated to get into the sewing room last night and finish up so goodies for my swap partner. I had already made my partner the drawstring bag and needle book and I thought a pin cushion of some sort would be good. I found a tutorial from Riley Blake and made this.
 I should have used a busy background instead of the light blue with white dots. It shows all the pulling where the pillow top pin cushion is...
Needless to say it it NOT swap worthy and will remain for my use only!!! What a flop!!!

Today with a fresh prospective, I made a small coordinating pin cushion.

Here is what I am sending off to my partner. In the needle book, there are embroidery needles and small embroidery scissors.

We were supposed to send sweets, but my partner specifically requested none! This was kind of a bummer as we have a chocolate factory in my town, so sweets are fun and easy to find around here. Much, much, much easier in fact than fabric and notions! I hope this puts her in a cheery, springtime mood even if the only sweet thing is some tea.
The drawstring bag was easy to make, so now I am going to start a couple of drawstring bags for my niece and nephew for Easter and will make a trip to the chocolate factory! The bags would be faster if I don't embroider them, but I just love embroidering and then I can work on them for Slow Sunday Stitching tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I have recently discovered the big world of swapping on Flickr. It is highly addicting! I received this amazing Triple-Zip pouch with the accompanying goodies from Terry at I love how she added embroidery detail to pretty gray floral fabric!
Look how perfectly the pouch goes with my new sewing basket. I joined two other swaps and I am frantically trying to make the goodies for them.
My partner for the Friendship bag swap is getting this bag
 along with this needle book I made and goodies.
 Here is the inside
I am also participating in another swap where we were to make a drawstring bag to fill with fabric scraps and sweets. I am loving these flower embroideries! Here is the link to the tutorial we are using The instructions were great and easy to follow. These bags can be made quite quickly if you don't make an embroidered panel! I think I will make some for Easter for my niece and nephew and fill with goodies. A trip to our local chocolate factory will be required!
I used Bonnie and Camille's Scrumptious fabric except for the lining.

I also whipped up a needle book to go in this bag. I looked at a couple of tutorials and did my own versions.

 I put pockets in them and used elastic hairbands with buttons for closures.
I think I am going to whip up a pin cushion out of some of my scraps for this bag.
Have you all seen this quilt? It is called Journey of a Quilter and I have been obsessing about it for a few months as I have watched Kathy of working on it as part of her Slow Sunday Stitching. I contacted the Australian designer and could not find the pattern for sale here in the U.S. Then guess what is going to be a BOM for It is fairly expensive and I really should not join, but I am planning on signing up tomorrow! I did already inquire and they will just sell me the pattern, but these cute modern fabrics are very appealing to me!
Anyone else interested in joining me?