Monday, March 29, 2010

Stack and Whack Hunting Fabric

Here is another top that I have sitting in a drawer...I love to make tops.  And if I had one of those expensive, amazing quilting machines, they would all be quilted...someday.  Anyway, this was a stack and whack as you can see, made from some really ugly fabric which contained hunting motifs.  The fabric had been purchased to cover a long table for an outdoor event.   Again, if you click on the picture you can enlarge it to see the detail.  The spiral effect is pleasing to me.  I still have yards of this stuff...I think a boy's quilt might be in order for the grandsons.

Button Gift Tags

To give a little quilted gift, you have to have a little gift tag to go along with it.  I made a bunch of these one day.  They are made from simple tags that you can buy in bulk at the office supply store.  Take a few old buttons and a little dab of white glue, place them where you wish.  Embellish those buttons with small beads or other smaller buttons, draw a few leaves with a felt tip pen.  Now, take a Qtip and dab it in some colored chalk and rub that along the edges of your tag.  Finally take a fine tip black felt marker and make the "stitches". I like to tie these onto things with raffia which you can get in a small package, it's cheap and it will take years to go through.  Another way to attach them is with narrow satin ribbon, or the inexpensive gift wrapping ribbon that you buy, the kind you curl with the scissors.  It's all about saving money these days and this is a delightful way to have some fun creating a little tag out of things you may have on hand.

Crazy Buttons

I was in a little quilting store and saw some neat buttons made from plastic clay that you bake.  They were so pretty and SO expensive.  They couldn't be that hard to make could they?  I googled some directions and a short time later...these were born.  The copper cabochons will be made into a necklace and earrings.  I plan to copper foil them and then solder connecting rings...we'll see how that plays out, may not work with the heat and the plastic, but I'm gonna give it a try.  Worst case scenario, I will just have to screw in connectors or wire them.  Either will be pretty.These were experimental, and I learned a bit as I went along.  I incorporated  gold foil, glitter, random bits of colored clay, then rolled them  and shaped them to get the swirling effect.  Kind of fun.

Royal Bloom

This is a small section of a quilt top that I made some time ago...waiting for a backing and some batting, but I love it.  It fits a queen size bed and took about two days to make.  The trick is to pick a starting fabric for the middle and then draw out a color component from that fabric to the next selection and so forth.  Then it's just a series of small 9 patches and single patches placed together to create the "blooming" effect.  If you click on the picture you will be able to see this more clearly.
here it is laid out on the floor for you to see the blending effect that is created.  John would like to see me finish this top into a quilt.  I think it's one of his favorites, mine too.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sunflowers In The Morning for Gloria

I got up yesterday morning and made these two potholders for our dear friend Gloria Pineo who lives with her husband in San Leandro.  We were meeting them for lunch yesterday and hadn't seen them in a long time, so I wanted to take her something that would remind her of our last visit.  A couple years ago,  Gloria and Jim came up to our house in Weimar and she poked through my fabric stash to find something that she would like so we could do a little quilting project together.  I remembered how she loved the sunflowers. Below is a close up of the quilting detail.  This was fast and fun and I enjoyed her excitement when she received them.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Simple Pot Holders and the lessons contained in them.

Several years ago, I attended a class at the Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara, CA.  It was a wonderful class on machine quilting.  To take the class, you were required to bring 12-15 "sandwiches" of muslin and batting that were each 20" square, these you would use for your mini "quilt" and learn the various techniques.  It let you create a sample to take home and refer to.  Well, they have been sitting in my closet for too long and I don't use them so I decided to cut them up and make pot holders.  These are just a couple that I like.

In April, I will be giving a small class for the young women from our Foresthill Branch, here at our home, to teach them how to make these simple pot holders.  They will be able to make one for themselves and hopefully we will get several made for our Branch kitchen.  That's the "service" part of this project.
There is a saying that goes something like this...The woman you see before you today, is the girl that once was.  Every time I sit down to sew or create something, I think of my mother who though it was so important for a young girl to have that skill that she bought me my first sewing machine and paid for lessons.  I will always be grateful to her for that, she gave me a wonderful and enduring gift.  The young woman who learns the basics in sewing will have the ability to sew for herself, her future family, her home, her loved ones.  She will have a creative outlet who's bounds are only her imagination.   When I see fabric, my mind races to all the projects that I could do with that.  I cannot bear to part with scraps...they can always be pieced together to make something wonderful.  Sewing is grounding, meditative, joyfilled!  And I feel wonderful when I give someone something that I have created with my own two hands and watch their face light up.
As a small child, I carried around a pillow case of my mother's scraps from her sewing projects.  I ran all over the neighborhood with that pillow case, it was magic!  All the girls wanted to see what I had and we would cut them up and make doll clothes for our Barbie Dolls.  I was 5 or 6 at the time.  And I recall a little "sewing" machine that did a chain stitch, which we all took turns on. Oh, be careful, pull the wrong thread and all your hard work would unravel!  My mom delighted in my projects and it was one of those special moments when I received her approval and it felt wondeful.
This is the back side of the pot holder with the chickens.  I hope these little "mini quilt" projects will inspire my younger sisters in the Branch to explore their creativity.  Each pot holder embodies the elements that you use to make a full size quilt.  They will learn how to measure, use a quilting ruler, a cutting mat and a rotary cutter. They will create the top, create the back, place the batting, quilt the project and stitch on a binding.  Very simple, fast and fun and yet the important elements are there.

If our young women are inspired by this project, I have many, many more fun things that we can sew and that they will delight in.  Teach and Inspire the girl who will be come the woman and you teach and inspire generations!  Thanks Mom!

 Backside of the "cats" pot holder.

A Tisket A Tasket Some Little Pink Baskets (Totes)

These were so FUN to make, and so QUICK!  It took longer for me to pick out fabric from my stash than it did to make them.  All total it took about 15 minutes to make the first one...because I was so focused on the directions.  The second one took about 10 minutes.  The second one has the prairie points...well actually they are the bits that I clipped off when making the container portion of the two totes, I just thought it might look cute on the border.  I stuffed them with chocolates and peppermint soap, and little white doilies that poked out the top looking like lace.  You could embellish them with buttons, ribbons, grommets, crystals, the possibilities are endless!  I think these would be cute stuffed with little candies at Easter for a little girl (or her mom), they make a nice little gift satchel (wouldn't these be cute in Christmas fabric! stuffed with cookies or even the mix to make cookies!)  If you want the pattern, just holler and I'll up load it.