Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Miss J and I just put a pumpkin pie in the oven for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner. She has been calling it a feast all week. We are expecting a small cozy Thanksgiving this year since we've already been to TX to see family and my parents will be coming next week. We are looking forward to some relaxing time together. Everyone has something on their agenda this long weekend. Roy wants to watch lots of football. Miss J wants to go to the movies to see Tangled. And I plan on spending some time sewing and organizing my stack of fabric that's falling over

Here's a peek at a top I finished last night. Well, this morning. You know I'm most productive after midnight :) If I can get it quilted and bound this weekend I'll enter it in Project Modern.

I'm feeling so grateful for so many things in my life right now and I'm happy to have a day to reflect and celebrate. I hope you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Fall Dress

My mom made Miss J a few dresses this summer and my very good friend commented on how much she liked them. When I told my mom, she sent enough fabric and a pattern so we could have a sewing day to make dresses ourselves for our girls. The fabric is Spirit by Lila Tueller for Moda.

We started about 9:30 and I took a break to pick up Miss J from preschool and grab lunch for us all. We finally finished around 4:30. The three kids played so nicely together while we sewed. My friend's mom popped over to help us figure out the pocket which used elastic cord to gather the top. We both swore making clothes took more time than it was worth but in the end we were happy we did it. In fact, I had a little giggle of excitement when I sewed the pocket. It was so much fun to try something new. My friend made a couple more since then and she said the others went much more quickly.

Have you ever enjoyed sewing with a friend? I've been sharing quite a few sewing experiences with friends lately and it's a great deal of fun!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lovely Swap Goodies

I've had a wonderful couple of days. The weather is getting much cooler and I usually don't like these darker days. But for some reason I'm feeling cozy and I'm having the urge to organize, clean and snuggle. So I'm doing a bit of each of those and having fun working on a quilt for Project Modern. 

I'm really enjoying the new items in my home that swaps have brought my way. There was much excitement the other day when my Scrappy Hoops Swap package arrived all the way from Australia! Little Miss J and I were having a late lunch when we saw the mail carrier walking up the driveway and I knew exactly what he was carrying. Isn't the packing tape adorable. We had fun opening it and I was just shocked when I saw what was inside.

I had seen this hoop on the group's Flickr and loved everything about it. The colors, the words (Where ever the ride takes me), the polka dots, the bike, the scrappiness. She even painted the hoop aqua. Love, love, love! But what were the odds that I would get the one that I loved so much. Miss J and my husband thought it was pretty cool too. I love looking at it and I'm very impress with the bike embroidery. It will definitely have a special place to hang in my sewing room!

Leah even sent a couple of beautiful fat quarters. They are so pretty! Thank you Leah!

My other swap goodies came from the KC Modern Quilt Guild. For the November meeting we were to bring something we made with a holiday theme (any holiday) or a few fat quarters of fabric. I brought some of my favorite Basic Grey Fruitcake fat quarters and then felt a bit bad because so many people had made the most gorgeous projects to swap. I need to step it up for next year!

We got to break up into smaller groups and participated in an activity where we could ask each other questions and get to know people in our group a little better which I loved.  When it came time to swap with people in our group I had my eye on a little bag with the brown polka dot fabric you see in the potholder above. I knew the fabric was from that very same Basic Grey line that I love so much and was hoping something inside had the same fabric. And it did! These darling potholders were inside.

I haven't seen the Christmas print before but it's just perfect. I love text and swirly prints. It reminds me a little of some Christmas dishes I've seen at Williams Sonoma.
I've never had any potholders this shape before and was very curious about how they'd work. They work great and have already seen some action in my kitchen. I just love opening my little drawer by the stove and seeing them there. Sarah used a neat technique for the binding that I'd like to try soon. Thank you Sarah! I love them!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Scrappy Hoops Swap

I finished my hexies for the Scrappy Hoops Swap on Flickr while I was riding down the road to TX this past weekend. I put it in the hoop yesterday morning and it was in the mail by the afternoon. It's headed overseas but I can't reveal where yet.

My partner's inspiration mosaic had lots of mushrooms, hexagons, Heather Ross fabrics, lots of bright colors so I tried to include all of that. I put a mushroom right in the center. It was so fun to use my Heather Ross scraps that I'd gotten from Etsy a while back. I pulled some other scraps and fabric from my stash. I just loved working on it and I hope she likes it as much as I do!
I kept all of the papers in while I stitched and traveled to keep it stable. You'll notice I punched a hole in all of my papers. It makes it sooooo much easier to pop them out. I usually just unbend a paperclip and insert the end in the hole to pop them out but this time I had a pair of tweezers handy and just grabbed the paper at the hole. No digging under the seam allowance!

I usually press both the front and back with the papers on and then press again after the papers come out. I was able to leave all of the basting stitches in so seam allowances stayed nice and flat while I put another layer of fabric on the back. I just trimmed up the thread tails and made it look as neat as possible.

I was a bit sad when I put the piece in the hoop. There was an owl and butterfly I really liked and some of my other favorite hexagons had to be trimmed off. Yikes!

Here's the little label I put on the back with some Heat n Bond. 

A gorgeous hoop arrived in my mailbox after lunch today and I can't wait to show you pictures!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival Fall 2010 - Tennessee & Back

I just put the last stitch in the binding of this quilt! I came home after a busy day with my preschooler who had a field trip and a doctor's appointment. In between those activities we made a stop at the bookstore where I accidentally ordered a caffeinated beverage and I was feeling pretty motivated. On a whim I decided to finish the last side of binding and join the Quilt Festival. My sweet husband agreed to pick up pizza for dinner and was so nice to put our little one to bed while I stitched. 

I started this quilt in the summer of 2009. I was visiting my family in Tennessee and my mom wanted me to try her new long arm machine. She cut a stack of squares for me to sew together and the plan was for me to practice on this simple quilt. Well....I got busy visiting and only finished about half of it. So I took it back to Kansas and finished the top at a retreat in October. Back to Tennessee it went with plans to try the long arm during this visit. Again....too busy visiting so my mom offered to quilt it for me and send it back to Kansas in the mail. She did send it back (I believe it was in January of this year) and since I'd started several other projects it sat in the closet for a while. This summer I took it back to Tennessee and put the binding on while I was there, brought it back to Kansas and have been working on the binding a little at a time until tonight. So this quilt has some mileage! For this reason I've named it Tennessee & Back.

Even though this is a simple quilt, it was a stretch for me. My mom had me just pull squares off of the stack to sew them together instead of laying every square out and making a plan like I've always done before. It was really the beginning of moving towards a more intuitive improv process. It was also fun to play with colors I wouldn't have thought to put together - red, eggplant, lavender, peach, sage, olive. I love the mix and can't wait to put this quilt on my bed! Thanks Mama!

I have to thank Amy for hosting the Festival again. It's so much fun to see so many quilts and read about their stories. My entry in the Spring 2010 festival is here. And thanks to all of you for visiting! 

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival


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