Saturday, December 31, 2011

Organized Heaven in 2011???

Every year I try to have a motto, as opposed to goals. This year was "Organized Heaven in Twenty Eleven". Now you have to realize that I am not organized by nature. As a matter of fact, I'm quite a messy person, but I love to work/live in a neat space. Over the past year, I have been working to figure out how to best organize the HUGE fabric stash that I inherited from my mom in September 2010. I started by putting a lot of the "smaller" pieces in several dressers. That didn't work well.
The room the dressers are in has poor lighting.

Still left to organize

Solution; "Mini Bolts" stored in a double Martha Stewart bookshelf. This represents over 175 pieces of fabric ranging in size from a fat quarter to multiple yards. Still have lots to wrap.
To make the mini bolts I got 3 packs of comic book boards.  Comic book boards are 6 3/4" X 10 1/2", acid free cardboard, in packs of 100. Each pack is about $10.00. Such a deal.

I still have a lot of organizing ahead of me. But my motto for 2012 is " All's Well in Twenty Twelve".

Happy New Year!

Color Me Quilty!


Friday, December 30, 2011

Every Story Needs a Happily Ever After!

To go along with "Once Upon A Time", I now have "Happily Ever After". I'm doing everything double since I'm making two twin sized quilts for two adorable little girls. I have quite a few more embroidery blocks and each one takes over an hour to do. I like the results so far, so I think it will be worth the time!
Embroidery Library design

While organizing my ample fabric stash I found these great purples. ( a mire fraction of purple stash)

This is my favorite!

Fairy Frost! How can I not put this in the quilts???

I like this one too!
I was also organizing my stash yesterday. Since my whirlwind Christmas sewing frenzy, my stash looks like the Tasmanian Devil has visited my sewing area. When I'm all done, I will show pictures.

Color Me Quilty!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Try New Things (TNT) Thursday: Problem Solving

TNT Thursday is a great way to take a risk (to succeed brilliantly or fail spectacularly) and/or to solve problems. I'm fairly new to (seriously addictive) quilting and machine embroidery, since I inherited my machines and stash a little over a year ago. Many times I hear or dream up something I think would be cool in a quilt, only to find out the devil is in the details. Yesterday's post, I showed were I was trying to embroider "Once Upon a Time" only to have serious puckers and tucks in the block. It is a very "dense" design and I had enlarged it to go in the biggest hoop I have (7" x14").
First attempt at machine embroidering this large "dense" design
Added a basting line in Embird (embroidery software)

Added an additional layer of stabilizer

Note to self: set the basting line farther from design or it will be stitched over. (Not the end of the world, but it would be easier to remove when done)

Still a bit wavy, but no puckers or tucks.

I will probably cut the block down and add borders. It will help with the waviness and soften the design.
Preparation is the key to successful machine embroidery, and probably a lot of other tasks. But the big takeaway here is if you don't try new things, take a risk, you can never succeed brilliantly!

I'm linking up with the wonderful Melissa at Happy Quilting for Try New Things (TNT) Thursday.

Color Me Quilty!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Once Upon a Time: A Story Book Quilt

It feels good to get back to a quilt project and I've been thinking about this one since I threw it up on my design board a few weeks ago. With that 1001 Peeps fabric, it just said story time. So I found some cute embroidery to go with it and started last night.
I have several other sayings to add in to this quilt. (The design is from Embroidery Library)

I like how the colors go together.

Unfortunately it puckered as it stitched, so I will have to redo. But I like the colors and I think if I set a basting stitch around the edge and put a second layer of stabilizer, it will be fine next time.
So I guess I can say I'm happy to be back making a quilt!

Color Me Quilty!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Addicted To Color!

I just had to join in the fun over at Quokka Quilts for her Blogger's Choice Fat Quarter Bundle sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop. FQS is offering one lucky person a fat quarter bundle all of their own choosing as a prize.

The cool thing is, they are not offering fat quarter bundles. They're offering a WHOLE HALF YARD of 15 fabrics of your choice - 12 prints and 3 solids.  Sew here are my choices!!!

Yummy, rich tangerines, plums, periwinkles and greys. Here is the list of the actual fabrics.

Color Me Quilty!


Monday, December 26, 2011

Okay, Just One More Gift!

Well, I finished up one more gift that I wasn't sure if I would have time to make. I made some friends a couple of throw pillows. I finished the turtle pillow on Saturday and finished this fish pillow today. I hope to see our friends this afternoon. Nothing like finishing in the nick of time!  I am quite pleased with the result!

The embroidery design is from Embroidery Library. This is the same fish embroider that my machine died on the last color. I left it in the hoop and was actually able to finish it a month later when I got my machine back from being repaired!

Buttoned back. The bottom half is some of my hand dyed fabric.
On another note, Santa was very good to me this year. I got Electric Quilt 7, a Sew Kind of Wonderful quick curve ruler, a rotary cutter for circles, and a cute sewing box. I see a lot of quilting projects coming up this year! I hope that Santa was good to you all!

Color Me Quilty!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Stick a Fork In Me, I'm Done!

Well, I only got one pillow finished, but that's the best I'm going to do if I want to be ready for guests in a few hours.  I am pretty happy with how this pillow came out, it's a little more vivid in real life!

Machine embroidery design by Embroidery Library

Buttoned back! (First time I made a pillow with buttons)

Merry Christmas to all my lovely visitors and virtual friends. You are definitely a gift to me. I can't even begin to tell you how you always make me smile and feel good about what I create.

Color Me Quilty!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Just A Little Bit of Wonky!

Okay, I'm getting down to the wire. But I have a last minute guest that I just didn't feel right not having something for them. So, the "Key" to this design was just a little wonky!
Two potholders and a kitchen microfiber towel

Machine embroidered key (Urban Threads design)

I just fell in love with the key fabric.

Inverse colors!
I just have two pillows left to make. Almost there!

Color Me Quilty!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Try New Things (TNT) Thursday: Oven Mitts Take 2!

Okay, so I was thinking that oven mitts would make a nice quick Christmas gift. I'm finding out, not so quick. I have a lot to learn. My first attempt at oven mitts did not work out as well as I would like. So, I decided to try again. Better, usable, even giftable, but still has some kinks.

3 layers: prequilted fabric (a little added protection), Insul-Bright, Alexander Henry's Barcelona fabric

FMQ in a geometric pattern

I drew an outline, then stitched it, before cutting it out. (Thanks to Janine from Rainbow Hare for this idea).

I cut it out, then over cast stitched to keep it from fraying.

Flipped it right sided out. I used a small dowel to help turn the thumb.

Voila! An oven mitt!

Added the binding. This was very difficult because it barely fit on the free-arm of my machine.

Comparison to the store bought mitt I copied.
I'm making two of these as a gift. STILL stitching for Christmas!

I'm linking up with the wonderful Melissa at Happy Quilting for Try New Things (TNT) Thursday.

Color Me Quilty!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oven Mitt Madness

Last night I decided I really needed to make some oven mitts. I have seen several tutorials and thought, no big deal this should be easy! It all started out just fine...then it kind of went downhill from there.
Made a pattern by tracing an existing oven mitt, adding approx. 1/2" all the way around.

3 layers: pre-quilted fabric for the inside, Insul-Bright batting and Sanctuary fabric (by Patty Young) for the outside.

This is were I think I will do it differently next time. I cut out all 3 layers before I quilted it together. Normally I quilt, then cut.

I put both side together with an over-cast stitch.

Looks good so far, right?

Upon closer inspection, I didn't catch all 3 layers in my seam. I tried 3 times, then I called it quits for the night!
 I also think that the outside fabric maybe to light weight.  I will try it again tonight to see if I can master the oven mitt!

Color Me Quilty!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It Is SO NICE To Receive Handmade!

I have been stitching like a mad woman, making gifts for Christmas, hoping the recipients like their gift . But yesterday I received some pretty wonderful gifts too. Handmade ROCKS!
Peach jam, pickles, salsa and strawberry jam from Melissa! YUMMY!

A FABULOUS reversible hand knit baby alpaca wool scarf from Carol!

These pictures don't do this scarf justice. It is beautiful!

Humphrey still wants to know when Santa is going to bring him a gift!
Color Me Quilty!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Making Christmas Progress: Co-Worker Christmas

It's hard to believe that a week from today, Christmas will be all over. I'm still stitching and have a few small projects left to do, but the big ones are done. Today I'm giving my co-workers their gifts, my husband is handing his our tomorrow. Sadly, I didn't have a chance to link-up with the fabulous Janine at Rainbow Hare Quilts last week, so I'm happy I can link up with Making Christmas this week.

First, I got the iPad cases done! I think they turned out pretty cool. I hope my co-workers think so.

iPad Cases (Embroidery designs are from Urban Threads)

I used Soft and Stable batting and lined it with the same brown fabric on the outside.

Mermaid Pillows to our Administrative Assistant, iPad cases to my supervisor and co-worker, and tea towels to my work-study student. PHEW! (Mermaids designs are from Embroidery Library)
Making Christmas List:
1. Quilt and bind my Cubic Rhythm quilt - Done (Really proud of this quilt and that I actually finished it in time for Christmas)
2. Mermaid pillows -Done
3. Purple Heart Wall-hanging - X (I have taken this off the list, because I completed the Cubic Rhythm quilt. This was my back-up plan)
4. At least 4 Christmas stockings - 17 stockings Done.
5. 2 iPad covers - Done
6. At least 6 potholders - 4 completed! 
7. 2 doggie mats -Done.
8. 2 pillows for friends embroidered - Still working on this
9. Table runner for Thanksgiving! - Done.
10. Several last minutes ideas that I haven't thought of yet! 
      2 Tea Towels embroidered for my work-study student - Done
      4 Hand Towels embroidered for my husbands co-workers - Done
      3 Tea Towels embroidered for family members
      4 Childrens' fleece scarfs
      1 pair of oven mitts

I'll be linking up with Janine over at Rainbow Hare Quilts for Making Christmas List

Color Me Quilty!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Beware! I'm Going to Use the "F" Word!

Yes, it's true, I'm not going to lie about it! Today is my birthday, I'm FIFTY! There, I've typed the "F" word! I will say though that I got a nifty new camera, a Cannon PowerShot. It's still a point and shoot, but it takes much nicer close-up shots. Now I'll be able to take better pictures of all the quilting challenges this coming year!

I did machine embroider some hand towels for my husband's co-workers at the Post Office, yesterday. They are part of an inside joke.

The Post Mistress was telling me she hated called my husband in on short notice, so I told her to tell him to "put on his big boy pants and get the job done!" Well, now all of the ladies he works with tease him about putting on his "big boy" pants. He thought they would think this was hilarious.

I plan to spend the day sewing, happy birthday to me!

Color Me Quilty!