Friday, August 31, 2012

Don't Throw Anything Away

A while back, I was cleaning out a miscellaneous drawer and found an open package of notebook paper reinforcements.  Kids today wouldn't know what they are!  Maybe some of you don't either, or don't remember.  Little round stickers with a hole in the middle to add to notebook paper so it wouldn't pull out of the three ring notebook.  Anyway, my kids are grown up and have been out of school for a long time.  My hand was over the wastebasket when I thought WAIT A MINUTE!
The little Mardi Gras quilt will eventually go to a child, so no buttons or beads are allowed.  I appliqued the ribbon trim firmly, then used the reinforcements ... I stuck them down, dabbed a little glue over the hole and added glitter.  I used a dauber (made for stenciling) to add  the larger green dots, then went back to the reinforcements for the yellow paint.  About this time, I ran out of reinforcements, so improvised with my paper punch and some price stickers.  They sort of worked, but didn't really stick to the fabric as well as I wanted.  Still, the over-all effect turned out OK.

I love to "get things ready" and sometimes I go overboard.  I quilted a lot of pieces to get ready to make some more little zippered bags.  Over the weekend, I sewed up seven of them and then I ran out of zippers!  I still have a pile of pieces ready to go, as soon I have a chance to go zipper-shopping.  (Actually, I have a ton of of zippers, but all the rest are 7", too short.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mardi Gras Mask

One of my quilt groups will be hosting a luncheon in a couple of weeks and the theme is "Mardi Gras".  Guess what?  There is another challenge involved (actually two).  Some members will be decorating Mardi Gras masks and others will be making "comfort squares" (12" quilted squares to later be given to children in need).  I decided on the latter and after much delay, started putting things together last night.  This morning I did the quilting - simple stipple, gold metallic in the center and green in the corners.  After the binding I will do a little bit of embellishment, but, because it will eventually go to a child, no buttons or beads are allowed.  I have a couple of ideas.... 
Here's a close-up.  I didn't see that stray thread until I cropped the picture.  Do you ever have stray threads?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Key Rings

Today I finished the key rings I have been working on.  I got carried away with that little project, didn't I?
Last weekend I made even more of the "Blooms" flower pins that I showed last week.  I have GOT to get back to some bigger projects!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The River Challenge

The "River Challenge" wall quilt is finished.  Yesterday I added the final embellishments and today I stitched on the facings.  All of the river challenge quilts will be faced, measure 16" x 20" and will be hung together in a special display at the Sept 28 and 29 quilt show.  I will be at the show and will try to get a picture of the entire exhibit.
Inspired by a Quilting Arts episode, the usual suspects (Sally and Ruth),  met at the store to try to make sun prints.  We painted our fabric with special fabric paint, arranged interesting "stuff" on top and took them out in the sun.  Here are a couple of the things I tried.
We were all disappointed!  I don't know what went wrong, but we failed to get nice sun prints.  Here's how bad it was:
Maybe we will do further research and try again.  If anyone has helpful advice, we would love to hear it.

Friday, August 17, 2012


The main reason that I haven't finished the river challenge quilt is that I was stumped as far as how to create the impression of plants in the foreground.  Finally, I decided on a combination of stitching and gluing.  With dark green thread I randomly stitched little clumps of grass.  Then I pulled out my trusty plastic bags.  I melted three layers together for strength and cut narrow, curved strips.  I've glued the plastic pieces down with Aleene's "OK to Wash It", same as the tree tops and when it is dry I will add a little more stitching and a few bead "pebbles".  As you can see, I've also added just a little bit of a chunky yarn to add texture along the path.
Another reason that the river challenge isn't finished is that, as usual, I have been distracted by a bunch of little projects like knitting, making the cute BLOOMS flower pins, and this, a new shop sample:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Too Many Projects, Too Little Time

I finally finished trimming the 72 selvage blocks.  
This nice, neat stack of 8 1/2" squares makes me happy.  People who know me will just groan.  I'd love to start in on the selvage top, but I have so many things to do and four (count 'em, FOUR) quilt shows looming on the horizon.

A tiny bit of progress was made on the river challenge, due at the first quilt show, at the end of September.  After wondering and wondering how to make the gulls' legs (hand stitching? machine stitching? paint?), I got up one morning and just thought "for heavens sake" and DREW them on with a black Pigma pen.  They look fine.
Over the weekend, I made some more "Blooms".  I'll have some finished ones, along with the patterns, for sale at the quilt shows, for lazy people or non-sewers that have been coerced into attending! 
Then, along came ANOTHER craft idea!  I made some of these many years ago, cutting the pieces out of cereal box cardboard.  Now Clover offers a kit.  I need to make a sample!
Last, but not least, I was minding the store and minding my own business, the morning that Jean came in with this idea for a 3-D pinwheel block that she saw on vacation.  Looks like something else fun to try.  Oh dear!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tree Trunks

Two weeks ago:
It was almost two weeks ago when I last worked on the river challenge quilt.  I had scrunched and melted green plastic bags to make the tree tops.  The trouble was, I got so excited about placing the tree tops that I glued them down, forgetting the trunks!  I have been mulling over whether to paint or stitch the trunks and today stitching won.  I am very happy with the effect.  You can also see that I have added a couple of stenciled gulls.  They need legs, but that's about it.  Next up - working on the foreground.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Preview of Things to Come

On Saturday, Katherine shared a Quilting Arts DVD that was a barrel of fun.  Alisha Burke demonstrated a lot of different method of applying acrylic paints and other household staples (magic markers, shoe polish) to fabric to achieve some interesting effects.  I've rounded up some fabric and bought a few more bottles of acrylic paint to add to my collection.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Quilt Challenge Winners

It was a wild and wonderful 8th anniversary week.  The grand finale was counting the quilt challenge votes after the store closed today.

The grand prize winner is Norma Nabut of Greenville, NC.  Her quilt is titled "My Crazy Cousins" and measures approx. 22" x 22".  A lot of thought went into the symbolism in this quilt, dedicated to three generations of women in her family.  Well done!
Our second place winner is Angela Fleming of Wilson, NC.  Angela certainly gave her crazy quilt an unexpected and fun twist!  "Lady Adelaide" measures approx. 13" x 30".

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Is it a Purse Yet?

The other day, I showed some pieces of a Cathedral Window Purse in progress.  Here's the whole story ...
One evening (2+ years ago) we were at an outdoor-restaurant-patio venue waiting for our son's band to play (The Kingsbury Manx - you can find a LOT of their material on Youtube).  I spotted a lady carrying a cathedral window purse and practically mugged her.  She was very patient.  No, she didn't make the purse herself.  She didn't mind if I looked it over.  The next day I sat down and began to make plans.  I wished that I had made notes the night before, though, instead of just relying on my memory!
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was cleaning up around the shop and came across my darling Wizard of Oz Tin tucked into a box with other stuff.  "Wonder what's in here".  Well, there was my half finished purse.  I've been working on it again, on and off.  Sally and I sat and stitched together last night and I made lots of progress.
That's the handle at the top.  The weird piece attached at the bottom will BE the bottom.  The bag will be three blocks tall and five blocks wide, with the sides, bottom and handle just one block wide.  I'm not sure now whether or not it will be deep enough so I'm going to go ahead and put everything together except the handle and see how it looks.

My sister-in-law, Jeri, sent me another fabulous idea.  She found the pattern Blooms from Fig Tree Quilts and bought me a copy.  I made these little flower pins and it was so much fun.  Cute!  Cute!  Cute!  Easy and fun.  Guess what?  I've contacted the company and have a dozen patterns on their way to me.
I almost called this post "Sneaky Cat 3".  After all was said and done on the second day of the sale yesterday, I walked out to the check-out desk and found this.  I wasn't the only one tired out.  So was my greeter.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sneaky Cat 2

With the sale going on, there isn't time for much sewing, plus the classroom is all picked up and and the sewing machine is in it's carrying case.  This morning I pulled out a small quilt and the hanging sleeve that needs to be attached, thinking that would give me something to do during slow times.

There haven't been many slow times!  And when I went back into the classroom, here's what I found on my neatly folded quilt.