Saturday, January 30, 2010

Projects I Plan To Do

The sad fact is that it is too cold in this house for me to sew. The heat pump which heats and cools this house cannot keep up with the demand for heat when it is windy and snowy outside. So most of the day has been spent looking out the window at the snow swirling all through the air, bundled up in fleece and fuzzy boots, covered with a felted wool afghan and several pets.
Sewing does not happen in such an atmosphere. So really all I have been able to do is read and ponder sewing projects that I want to do in the near future. Here are some of the things that have been inspiring me lately in the world of sewing.

Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson has shared much information on making a paint box quilt using jelly roll strips of solid colors and scraps of your favorite prints. I already have the scraps and the jelly roll of Kona Solids. I even sketched out my idea for what my blocks will look like (because I really don't follow directions very well.)
In the world of felted wool, I recently got this pattern from Betz White using sweater scraps to create these adorable hedgehogs. (I love hedgehogs and have more than once considered getting one for a pet. They require a huge woodland habitat, however, and my house is just not big enough. And, I think my cats would try to eat it.) Anyway, I have plenty of wool to choose from and envision making several in different color combos. My little niece Alexa might get one or two in the mail!
I have a jelly roll of Love Is in The Air by Deb Strain that I think I will make into a Rail Fence quilt and maybe a table runner or two. I also still need to finish my gift project for the Sweethearts Rock Swap. I have finished an applique heart quilt for my swap partner, but I find fault with it. I may very well make another before the deadline.
My in-progress New York quilt needs quilting and binding.
I want to make a sturdy storage pouch for my ipod using some canvas fabric and the directions from Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson on the Sew Mama Sew blog for the laptop case. I have already made 2 laptop cases using these directions and they turned out great.
Well, here's hoping that the cold will not keep me from creating for long. Meanwhile, I have a book to finish reading and more to start. I have laundry to do, facebook posts to read, an ipod to play with, pets to cater to and other mundane things to keep my busy.

More Snow!

As seen from the back porch.

Sammy is dying to get at those birds eating on the porch!

View through the frosty window.

Let It Snow!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Scrappy Strip Love Quilt

Using a piece of batting I foundation pieced these strips of assorted red/pink fabrics. I included some Valentine fabrics I had as well.

I hand cut these letters and the big heart from some white fabric. Here they are pinned on and ready to stitch down using the blanket stitch on my sewing machine.

After I stitched on the heart and the letters, I added a backing and quilted the whole thing with random free motion quilting. I used white thread inside the heart and the letters and red thread for all the rest. Here I am almost finished with the quilting.

The back is this sweet pink fabric with hearts and flowers.

I trimmed this up and then bound it with the dark red printed with white hearts. This is probably going to end up on my door at school.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Finished Red Birdie Quilt

I quilted this in straight vertical lines. I started in the center along the seam and then used the width of my presser foot to guide my subsequent quilting lines. The binding is made with 2 inch strips of the bird fabric by Tula Pink. The finished quilt is about 18 x 21 inches.

There is a local Women's Club Art Show coming up soon and I think this will be my entry.

I have this bird fabric in all 4 colorways. I am envisioning additional small quilts made with the other colors--teal, yellow and green.

Here you can see the quilting lines in more detail.

For the back I used a scrap of flannel that features birds in trees. I think this is a Christmas print, but it works perfectly for this project.

Check out Boodilly's other wonderful projects!

Birdie Quilt

I saw this cute art quilt on Flickr by BooDilly. She has some incredible quilts that you should see on her blog. I was inspired by her bird art quilt that I rooted through my fabric stash and found some solid red Kona cotton to go along with the bird print by Tula Pink from her Nest collection.

I fussy cut the fabric so that I had 2 complete birds facing the center of the quilt. Then I pieced strips of the solid red around the birds. Here you can see the layers pinned together. My next post will show the completed project.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My New Header

Check out my new header for the blog. I made it using Powerpoint. I chose some of my own photos, arranged and resized them. I added text and a colored background, then saved the file as jpeg format. This turned out okay, but I cannot seem to shrink it enough that it does not go over the edge of the frame that is part of the background I am using currently.
It is fun to try out new things to customize my blog.

Mini Valentine Quilts

Pink hearts quilt with vintage lace trim around the hearts.

I used bubble quilting to echo the pattern of the white on white background fabric. This is done with light pink thread.

The binding is done with jelly roll strips from the Love Is In the Air collection by Deb Strain.

Inside these hearts I did a quilting design that echoes the squares printed on the fabric. The background quilting is a random stippling done in hot pink thread.

Here is the finished quilt bound in some red Kona solids.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Laptop Case for Me

I had to come home and whip up one of these for myself tonight. I got some double-sided quilted fabric in a wild floral pattern I love. Very Vera Bradley-like. The upside of using pre-quilted fabric is that you get an extra layer of cushioning.

I adjusted the measurements of the pattern according to the size of my Dell Mini. Halfway through I was afraid that my little computer would not fit, but it did--perfectly!

The back of this fabric has the accent stripes as seen here on the flap. Love this pattern--thinking about making a tiny little case for my ipod next and maybe my digital camera, too!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Skeleton Tatoo Laptop Case

Materials ready to start assembling the laptop cover. This bolt of fusible fleece was on sale at JoAnnes this weekend. Whoo-hoo!

My cousin picked out and purchased these fabrics. The skulls kinda grew on me the more I looked at them! Can anyone tell who her favorite band was (and still may be)?

I chose to quilt only the roses after applying the fusible fleece to the opposite sides of both prints. That part took forever. (The fusing, not the quilting.) I added the fleece to both layers of fabric to provide extra cushioning for the computer.

The finished case is 9.5 inches high and 13.5 inches long. It should hold the laptop snugly.

Here is the top with the flap in place. It looks pretty good, if I do say so myself! If Frida Kahlo had a computer I bet she would want this for her case!

Here it is open, ready for a computer to slide inside. I used this very wide velcro because it is what I had on hand, but I think it will provide extra grip to hold the case closed.

You can see the interior print here. I quilted it in a random stippling with red thread.

Soon it will be on its way to its owner--hope she likes it!

Pieces of Eight Finished

I started this stacked coins quilt some time ago and had not finished it. I was trying to use the quilt as you go method as a way of not having to wrangle large quilts under my normal sized sewing machine. It made the quilting much easier to work on smaller pieces at a time, but I was stumped about a good way to finish it off.

When I joined these three sections together, I ended up with a noticeable lumpy seam on the front of the quilt. I wanted the back to be smooth, with no toe-catching seams, but that left a mess on the front to contend with.

I got a flash of inspiration recently at how easy it is to bind a quilt using folded strips from a jelly roll. I joined two strips to give me the length I needed, folded it in half and sewed it along the seam just as though I were sewing a binding onto the edge of the quilt. Then I flipped it over the raw seam and stitched it down, covering up the seam allowances neatly!

I used additional strips from the jelly roll to make the binding. Once this goes through the washing machine it will be ready for me to use.

The fabric in this quilt is Nest by Tula Pink, one of my favorite collections and favorite designers. This is the second quilt I have made using this collection and I still have four yards of my favorite print in four different colorways. In case you are curious it is these birds formed from foliage.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Authentic Canvas Tote Bag

The bottom part of this bag is made with canvas fabric from the Authentic line by Sweetwater. I bought one yard of this fabric, a piece that is 36x54 inches. I figured out that if I cut it into fourths, I would have plenty of material to make 4 bags.

The top of the bag is designer outdoor canvas from JoAnne Fabrics. Didn't write down the name of the pattern, I just chose it because I like the starbursts.

I sewed the handles into the seam between the two kinds of fabric and then top stitched them down for extra strength. I have never made handles like this before, but I love the way they came out. I might make the handles a little shorter next time.

Love the way this came out. One down, three more to go!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Three Hearts Wallhanging

I completed this wallhanging tonight. The three hearts are appliqued with raw edge technique, then I added more stitching that echoes the shape. The binding is the same fuschia fabric as the center heart.

I used free motion quilting to create a lacy edge doily effect around the hearts. This is done with burgandy thread, which really shows up on the white background fabric. This is a white on white fabric with overlapping circles.

A view of the quilting from the back. I chose to use bubble quilting because of the overlapping circles in the background fabric. You may notice that some of the quilting lines from the heart are not showing, that is because I quilted the interiors of the hearts before adding the backing fabric.
I can already see areas of improvement for the next version of this I make. It is good practice for my Sweethearts Rock swap project, though!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Retro Pictures

On Facebook people have been posting old pictures of themselves. I thought I would send them out to blogland as well. This one is from elementary school.

High School, but not Senior Year.

Toddler--probably a terror!

My grandmother, Edith Smith, holding me. Check out my hairdo!

Middle School, I think.