Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Pic


Every Christmas I purchase pajamas for my grandkids and have to have a photo of them.  It's so much fun to see how they change from year to year.  They used to be all the same but as of last year, Jake gets his own.  The girls, Lyndey, Kayley and Paige love wearing matching ones!



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A quick and FUN gift for machine embroiderers!

Okay, I have seen these before, but never attempted them.  It was on my "TO DO" list SOMEDAY.  Well, I was needing some inexpensive fun gifts and thought of them last night when I couldn't sleep. 

video

Embroidering on toilet tissue is interesting.  I had no trouble with it tearing at all.  I was careful though.  Using three thicknesses folded under and cut-away stabilizer, it was really quite easy.  I would suggest not using a dense design.  I liked the lightness of the snowmen.

The toilet paper brands I used were Cottonelle and Angel Soft.  I prefer the Cottonelle, a little more durable, but the Angel Soft worked fine too.  I am sure that I need to change my needle too, after sewing through all that paper, it's bound to be a little dull.

They are so easy and depending on what design you choose pretty darn quick!  I made the flowers first and then decided I didn't want to change threads because I needed several rolls and found the SNOWMEN!  I think they're cuter anyway.

So instead of cleaning today, I was in the sewing room.  That dust will still be there tomorrow! Put that off as long as possible. Here's what I ended up with:


I may have gotten a little carried away!  Here are some closeups:




When my husband saw these, he laughed and said, "what will you do next?"  Who knows!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!



Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas came early for me this year!

The past six months I have swapped gifts with a new internet friend--Sandy from Ohio in the SANTA SACK SWAP.  Each month we sent two wrapped gifts to each other and they were put in a specially made "sack" and told not to peek!!   We could open them yesterday and this is what I got.

Sandy did a fantastic job of choosing gifts for me!  I absolutely love the mug rug with the coffee cup.  I don't drink coffee, but I love tea AND hot cocoa.  So cute.  And the purse and table topper are just gorgeous!  She sent some charm packs and fat quarters so I can sew up something new, some sewing tools, the cutest ear rings, footies, an assortment of BEST PRESS, a wonderful cookie cookbook, and the neatest framed pin cushion, so clever.


This was definitely a fun swap!  Not often do we mothers/grandmothers get many gifts.  At least I don't.  And we got to open them early so we could actually enjoy them at the time.  Thanks go to Cheryl at Gone Stitchin' for organizing such fun for all of us.  And, Sandy, thank you very much for everything you sent!



Friday, November 11, 2011

Clara's Calling

Today I found out about something that touched my heart!  

Master Sergeant Clara Vargas and her team of American soldiers have a mission to teach 4,000 widowed Afghan women to sew, so they can provide basic necessities for themselves and their children.  These women have nothing.  Clara started this project last year and quilters and lots of sponsors are doing what they can to help.

They are asking for treadle machines and irons that are heated on a fire, like my grandmother used, because there is no electricity available.  When I think of how fortunate I am, I thank God.  Who uses fire to heat irons anymore?  These women do.  I may not be able to donate a treadle machine or an old antique iron, but I have many of these items in my sewing room that I doubt I'd ever miss.  How lucky I am.

Several quilt stores, have jumped on the band wagon and are providing postage to mail these items to Afghanistan. All we have to do is give what we can to help these poor women.

Some of the things they need are:

Fabrics*
Scissors
Rotary Cutters
Bags or Totes
Pins
Lace
Rulers
Bindings
Fabric Markers
Patches
Fasteners
Elastics
Buttons
Embroidery Supplies
Zippers
Needles (Hand & Machine)
Ribbon & Trim
Sew-In Interfacing/Stabilizers
Organizers
Thimbles
Pincushions
And much more!

Please go to clarascalling.com and read about this amazing project.  I'm taking this to my local guild.  I know they will be ready to give generously.  I hope you do your share.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Embroidered Burp Pads!

My sister asked me to embroider some burp pads for a co-worker's daughter so that's what I did this morning.  Pretty simple and quick! 
I got some Carter's cloth diapers at Wal-Mart to use.  They really are super for burp pads.   They have that extra padding in the center which is perfect.


I also made one with the baby's name on it.  Now get this--the baby isn't born yet.  Things change.  I made a quilt once and put the label on it with the baby's supposedly "name" on it.  Yup, you guessed it. They decided on another name.  I told them I'd take the label off and re-do it, but I never got it back.  Who knows if they took it off or not.  Hope so.  Rather have no quilt label, than the wrong name on it for the poor child.

I may have to start selling these for people.  Maybe I could make enough to pay for my thread!!  Anyone need some??

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

FINALLY--Quilts done started seven years ago!!

CELEBRATION TIME!!!   Seven years ago when my two oldest granddaughters were two, a long time friend made some embroidered doll blocks for them and told them that their Nana could make them a quilt out of them.



Patsy had just gotten a new embroidery sewing machine and she just has grandSONS, so was anxious to try the cute "Sue's Cousins" designs.  Well, then the ball was in my park and I used the excuse for a while of finding the perfect pattern. Then I used the excuse of finding the perfect fabrics.  So I finally decided if I was going to do it while they could still use them, I'd better get in gear.  So this year I finished them.

I then had another problem, because I had another granddaughter born later.  So I decided to make her one too.  Well, I do have a nice embroidery/sewing machine now, but didn't have the designs in the right format, so Patsy made the blocks again for Lyndey and I got busy and made hers too.

Their birthdays are within a month of each other, and the past weekend, we celebrated two of them.  So I decided to give them all at the same time.

Lyndey, the youngest, says "Paige got the prettiest--PINK!"  I knew that might be a problem, they all love pink.  Patsy had chosen the red for Kayley and I knew Paige loved pink, and Lyndey likes purple too, so I went with that.  I wanted them to be the same but different colors. 

My daughter had taken photos of me and each granddaughter at Easter so I used them on my label, so when I'm long gone they won't forget me!!

The girls were much much more excited with the toys they received, but someday I know they will appreciate the quilts and know that their Nana loved them so much!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Journal (Notebook) Cover!

When we were on vacation I spotted a similar journal cover that I really liked.  As usual, it was on display for a class and no pattern was available.   So....... I came home and made my own pattern!  Here it is:


I LOVE JOURNALS.  I can't really say just journals, but notebooks, too.  I jot notes down all the time.  Robert says I "make lists of lists"!  Things to do for the day, things to make (sew or quilt) and then every so often I have to prioritize what I'm going to do FIRST.  Please tell me I'm not the only one out there that does this. 

Anyway, back to the notebook cover.  When you open, it looks like this:
And behind the spiral notebook, there is a panel that holds the notebook in.
Sorry, for some reason I canNOT rotate this picture, but hopefully you get the idea. 

If I make another one, I'll make a change or two.  One being putting the velcro on the front cover before adding the inside cover and binding.  As you can tell, you can see the sewing on the little pencil holder which also made the cover of paper notebook NOT FIT!!  I was already to rip it out when Robert said why don't you just trim the paper cover.  HELLO.....sometimes he is amazing!!  Why didn't I think of that.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Home from 4148 mile motorcycle journey!

Wow! What an adventure Robert and I had the past three weeks!!  In 19 days and 15 hotels, we managed to travel to 12 states and survived the heat wave too.  Our friends Bill and Linda decided to take this trek and invited us.  We both had gotten our trikes within the past year and we got a trailer (which you really need or at least the women think so)  so we were anxious to try a long trip.  Here are some of the highlights!

  
It was great!  We started east to Memphis and had the King's favorite peanut butter and banana sandwich at Graceland!  On to Nashville to see the Ryman and Music Hall of fame.  We attended Wing Ding in Knoxville, but was only there a few hours--not near enough!  The Smokey Mountains were fantastic, so pretty!

We SURVIVED the Tail of the Dragon.  318 curves in 11 miles!  Rob drove a little slower after I was sucking air in the beginning.  What was scary was the crotch rockets speeding around the corners coming straight at us.  If they would lose control they'd wipe everyone out! 

 
The Biltmore Estate was fantastic.  We had seen it before but Bill and Linda hadn't, so we had to show it to them in Asheville, NC.  Our good friends, George and Luana  (they used to live in Perry) met us and had lunch with us.  It was great to see them.


The next day we toured California Sidecar plant in Arrington, VA.  They made our trike conversion.  The guys enjoyed that! And then on to Norfolk to the Naval Base for a tour.  Went to Kitty Hawk and then on to Mrytle Beach! 

The guys did take us to three quilt stores on the trip and the best one was "Sewing in the Carolinas" near there.  Wonderful quilt shop.  I have a couple of new projects to work on now.  Linda and I rode the big Sky Wheel on the beach.  Huge and a great way to see the beach!  

One of the neat things we saw was a lady "crabbing" on a pier in Mrytle Beach.  She threw out baskets on strings tied to the pier.  The baskets had raw chicken tied to the bottom and she was pulling out crabs fast and furious!
 We rode the Outer Banks and that was fun!  It included two ferry rides which made for a very long day but definitely worth it.  We stopped in Charleston and Savannah.  We took a historic tour in Savannah and it was very interesting.  I LOVE the Spanish Moss on the trees and the lovely old homes.  We stopped in Defuniak Springs, Florida and what a quaint little city.  We saw the Circle Lake and found a geocache (one of three on the trip--didn't have time for more) there.  Also, we visited the "Big Little Store".


 This was just like the old time general stores.  This man had everything you could think of and more.  Loved it!

In Pensacola we toured the Air and Space Museum.  Very busy place.  Not my cup of tea, but the guys enjoyed it. 

And then we come to Louisiana.  We went to Bourbon Street to the Cafe Dumonde for beignets.  Delicious!!!  Everyone should have one of those powdery delights.  (Excuse the dorky hat!)

We walked the open market and then down Bourbon Street.  I'm glad we did it, but not impressed.  We were in the area three hours and our parking cost us $32!!  Rob was not happy.  They said our trailer doubled the price, but it only took up one space.  Go figure.  And the weather is SO HUMID there.  I don't know how they stand it all the time.  I'm sure there are lovely spots in Louisiana, but we didn't see them.

By this time we were ready to get home and it was getting very hot in the afternoons so we travelled in the morning and tried to stay out of the heat in the hot afternoons.  In Hugo, OK we stopped at the Mt. Olive Cemetery to see the circus section.  They have very interesting headstones and I do love cemeteries. 

The last night of our vacation we spent at the Durant, OK Casino Resort.  Very nice accommodations.  I just made a donation to the casino, no luck at all.  I think Linda did okay, but nothing big.  It's all about entertainment for us!

So when we heard that our hometown was going to hit 106, we decided to hit the rode early and we were home by 10:30 am.  It was 99 degrees when we got off the trike.  My cooling jacket really saved me.  Thank God for allowing us a safe and fun trip.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Santa Sack Swap!

Today I received my Santa Sack and two wrapped gifts from my Santa partner, Sandy in Ohio!  Love the fabrics and the giant ric rac really sets it off!

This is going to be such fun!  I, too, was tempted to take a little peak but I didn't do it!  For those of you that don't know about this fun swap, Cheryl at
http://stitchingcubbyhole.blogspot.com/  is hosting this!  Each month we send our partner two WRAPPED gifts between now and Christmas.  This first month we included a gift bag to put the gifts in each month and then on Christmas morning we get to open all of them.

  I don't know about you all, but sometimes Moms get the short end of the stick on gifts!  I'm not complaining, as at this stage in my life I have everything I need and most of what I want, but don't we all like to open gifts and these will be from quilting buddies, so they know what we like!!  Thanks, Sandy, can't wait to see what's in those gifts!

 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lucky Charm Lotto Blocks of the Month

It seems as I forgot to post last month's block.  If you remember I'm providing a block made from 5" charms in an effort to use up our stashes and charm packs for my guilld.  This was what I am calling the "Six Pack".

How easy is this one?  Just choose three light browns and three darker/black charms and make two rows of three for each block.  Of course the winner may put them together the way she chooses, but I'm thinking a frame or sashing of the same fabric and this would turn into a manly looking throw very quickly!

And for this month, I've chosen the "Nickel Brick".


This block uses four 5" squares, different prints.  Cut squares to 3" x 5" rectangles.  (Save the 2" x 5" strips for piano keys border).

One 1 1 /2" x 40" strip of solid black fabric.  Cut eight 1 1/2" x 5" strips.
Sew a black strip to each long side of 3" x 5" prints.


Arange the four blocks together and sew together as above picture.  It is most important that you position the four mini blocks the same way for each block.  Ask me why I tell you this.  Yes, I was sewing along just trying to get the twosies to match colorwise a little bit and was not paying attention.  Sure enough, I had sewed some with the upper left mini block going horizontal and some vertically.  It does make a difference, trust me!

I have several layed out in the following picture to show how it would look in a quilt.
There are several blues that need to be re arranged, but this is just to give you an idea how the blocks will appear to be woven.  A great way to use up those scraps!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Granddaughters making MUD PIES!

My granddaughters love making MUD PIES!  Actually, they make pies, cakes, cookies, puddings and anything else they can think of.  They were over last night, and decided it was time to have another "baking session".  (Actually, it was hot enough to "bake"" them pretty quickly.











As you can see they had a ball.  They added "chips" (rocks), coconut (grass), cinnamon (sand) and just about anything they could find.  They found some roly poly's and wanted to add them, but I said no live animals.  :)  Mostly they love making "batter" and playing IN IT.

Kayley loves to "mold"cookies!

Lyndey with the PECAN PIE

They even decorated the swing set!

They had a ball!  They wanted their cousin, Paige to be there and she will be in a couple of weeks.  She gets to come along with her brother to spend a week at Nana's and Papa's.  When that happens the cousins are together most of the time.  I love that.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Easiest lint brush YOU can make in a flash!

Today I made the "neatest" (that's not an in word, I know), "coolest", (okay, I'm still not there) LINT BRUSH, but suffice to say it is pretty darn "nifty"!

It is a lint brush to clean the bobbin area on your sewing machine!  Okay, I know I have one that came with my machine and I also have a "big"fuzzy one I use quite frequently.  But this one is made with things you probably have in your home if you're a grandma or mother and you make it in SECONDS.  AND, you can make multiple ones at a time and if they get lost--no big deal.

All you need is a pipe cleaner and a straw.


Fold the straw in half and poke both ends into the straw.

You are done.  How great is that!!!
BEFORE


AFTER


I always clean the area when I change bobbins. But with this handy, I'll be doing it a lot more often! The straw is long enough you can manipulate it very easily. I forgot to tell you that the straw I used was a thin one and it worked perfectly. I expect if you had a bigger holed straw you could just double again and it should work.


Now I CANNOT take credit for this. Cheryl over at naptimequilter.blogspot.com
had posted this on her blog. She gave me permission to tell you about it. Hop on over and check her site out. Thanks for sharing, Cheryl!




Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tortilla Steamer

Today I made some of those very easy tortilla steamers.  You insert your tortillas and stick them in the microwave for a couple of minutes to heat them.  Of course, the time varies from microwave to microwave.  We eat a lot of Mexican food and love flour tortillas.  This will be used a lot.

I have one of those plastic tortilla "bowls" with the lid like you see in the restaurants.  One time I put that in the microwave.  Not too smart.  I didn't think I'd ever get that lid off!  I learned you heat them first then put them in those containers. 


The next picture shows that one half of the steamer opens up to insert the tortillas.

The pattern is by Legacy and really a quick project.  The only thing you must remember is to use 100% cotton fabrics AND batting. 

You can even put potatoes or frozen corn on the cob in there too.    I may get some potato or corn fabric and make me some more of these!  Too cute!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beautiful Needlecase!

This gorgeous needlecase was sent to me from Corina of Winnipeg, Canada.

Her free motion quilting is wonderful and I love the idea of the additional pincushion on the outside monogram !  And isn't it so functional, I love it.  Thank you, Corina, for the wonderful surprise!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival (Jar Quilt)

Amy over at Amy's Creative Side is putting on the Bloggers Festival again.  This is a fun way to see a lot of beautiful quilts without leaving the comfort of your easy chair.

I decided to participate again and chose a quilt I finished ten years ago.  I've been noticing a lot of people are doing "jar quilts" again and wanted to show mine made way back then.  I even left one jar "open" with a fly trying to get in it.




When this pattern first came out, everyone on the internet jumped on the idea of swapping jar blocks.  I was in a group that decided to do FOOD instead of bugs.  This was in 1998, I finished it in 2001 and it hung in my kitchen for quite a while.

It was so much fun and I was lucky enough to get blocks from the Netherlands, Australia, Norway and many places across the United States.  I decided to put labels on my jars and put everyone's names and email addresses on them, just like they were real canning jars on a shelf.  (It's doubtful any of the addresses are still current, I know mine isn't!)   It was a real conversation starter!

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to list the names on the quilt.  Maybe some of your are still out there and might like to see your block made into my quilt. (And if you are, please let me know!)  Here they are:

Bonnie Preslar, Beverly Burris, Peggy Raley, Judith Brainerd, Jean Fajimoto, Lyn Sethna, Wendy Harrison, Barbara Morris, Patsy Brown, Dixie Reed, 
Laurel McDaniel, Eileen, Chrysanne Demirel, Karen Dent, Lucy Radatz, Synnova Vanar, Susan Leise, Nataya Segerink and Patsy Hasenfratz.  (Thank you all.)

Everyone enjoys the back of the quilt too.  It was a huge jar full of Hershey candy bars and my label was on the jar lid.

Be sure to check out all the quilts here.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Enjoying the week in Texas with GRANDkids!! (Sewing, too!)

This week my daughter and son-in-law are on a fun trip and Nana volunteered to come stay with Jake and Paige.  I am really enjoying them so much.  Jake is always on the computer as you can see. 

 Paige sometimes teases him as she goes by.  He always gets even though!  With an eight year old and a ten year old--something is always going on between them.  Paige showed me the neatest experiment she learned in science class.


Put a little milk in a bowl, then add a drop of four food colorings.  Take a cotton swap with a little dishwashing soap on the tip and dab in colors.  The soap reacts to the fat in the milk.  It really is pretty cool.

I tried to insert a video clip but didn't have success, but the process is neat!

While the kids are in school, I have been sewing and shopping.  On Monday, I made it to "Quilt Country", one of my favorite quilt stores.  I'm like a kid in a candy store there.  So much to see, patternwise and FABRIC!!!  I only bought one yard of fabric for a specific purpose, so I was happy about that.  But you just have to visit those favorite stores just to keep you
aware of what's out there, right??

I had brought my little Janome and a couple of projects to sew on.  One being--Nickel Bricks, a great way to use up scraps.


It's mindless sewing, something I can stop and start at any time, so it's perfect to do here.  I'm determined to diminish that stash!!

Oh, can't forget this!  Julie treated me for Mother's Day!  She gave me a massage, a manicure and my FIRST pedicure.  Oh, I like that pedi!  I even had them paint a little design on my big toes.  I'd show you, but I emailed a pic to my husband and he responded--"those cute little sausages look pretty".  So a photo online is not gonna happen!!  But NOW I can say I've had a pedicure and up with my granddaughters now!  Thanks, Julie and Tom!!

 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Paper pieced table runner done, well almost

Since last week, I paperpieced the remaing squares for the blocks, keeping in mind the different colors and trying to match blocks a little better.

After rearranging the squares in the blocks, I came up with this.  I like it so much better than the other one I showed you before. You can see the yellow, blue, pink and kind of purple blocks and they don't look so "discombobulated".

My daughter tells me I need to improve on my picture taking and use the outside light.  Looks like I still need her help!!  Draping on something would help too.  I should have pressed a little better also.  Somewhere online, there are tips for this and I'm going to find them!!

I did just want to show you the color difference and remind everyone that those beautiful batiks that have lots of different colors can be problematic in some blocks.   The center square had to be "matched" also.  Now, I have to figure out how to quilt it, but there is no hurry for that.  The goal was to get the top pieced before the guild meeting.  Woohoo!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Pincushions!

Look what I received in the mail this morning!! 

My little BLUE BIRD of Happiness.  It makes me smile everytime I look at it.  You can't see them, but there are some very cute pins with button heads on them.  Thank you so much, Sandra!  It's so sweet.  And that candy egg will be gone this afternoon!

I don't think I've shown you the pincushions I made.  Here they are.  Hope they are liked.  I included the fingercushions too.  They come with warnings though.  REMEMBER to insert your pins from the side NOT the top.  lol