Monday, December 26, 2011

A Great Find

Last month my friend, Teri, went to Idaho with me for some classes.  She told me about a cute tote she was making for her iron, and I'm thinking "that's nice" with a sarcastic tone in my mind.  But then she showed it to me and I was so jealous I made her stop on our way to Idaho to buy fabric so I could make one.  OK, I made 6 because I bought great fabric and planned to give them as Christmas gifts.

Am I the only one that wonders how to travel home with a hot iron?  Can you say, "melted floor mat"?  The tote is lined with heat resistant fabric so you just put the hot iron inside and go.  The tote fits full-sized irons so you can have a "real" iron at class.  I like to take my Rowenta so there is plenty of weight and steam for those seams.  And, what's more (sound of drum roll), when unbuttoned, it is an ironing pad!  Wow, I'm still excited!

You've got to be curious by now so here they are:

Yes, that's just 5 but I made two of the gray/red poppies and you guessed it, I'm keeping the one with bees.

The tote takes about an hour to cut out and sew plus a bit more time to add the binding and buttons.  The instructions are easy to follow, just draw lines with a pencil and sew on them.  I used 505 spray to hold my layers together and just pinned the corners.  This photo doesn't show the sewn lines very well because I my local store only had pre-quilted heat resistant fabric.

You want one, don't you?  I have the patterns available on my Etsy Shop and the non-quilted heat resistant fabric is included so you don't have to find it at the fabric/craft store.  After all the holiday preparations you just took care of you deserve to make something for yourself.  And remember, it's not too early to get started on next year's gifts.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

I'm busy cooking our Christmas dinner with everyone's favorites.  My husband just left for the airport to pick up our son and in about an hour we will be able to just sit down to relax and enjoy. 

My thanks to all of you for giving me the gift of your kind words, friendship and support this past year.  May you all have a wonderful Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Restless Hands Syndrome

I've never understood how anyone can be bored.  With Christmas and all the fun projects I find, who could get bored?  I just wish I didn't need to sleep.  This little bag is a Christmas gift for my friend, Teri.  Don't worry, the surprise isn't ruined, I already gave it to her.

I used Sue Spargo's Tulip Sack pattern and instead of tulips, mine has hollyhocks.  The bag is about 10" high and 12" wide with a square bottom and a cute Kaffe lining.  I quickly cut out the circles by first cutting a square and rounding off the corners and made a  freezer-paper template for the leaves.  The applique was completed very quickly, including the rick-rack to cover the bottom of the stems and seam.

Oh, I love to embellish!  I used size 5 silk pearl thread for all the stitches.  Bullions around every flower plus double cast-on and a drizzle in the pink flowers, back stitch in the burgundy, and french-knots on the peach.  I used a fly stitch on the leaves.  Sue's instructions make adding a zipper very easy and I tied on a small roving ball for a zipper pull.

I also made a few projects I can't show until after they have been delivered.  But let me tell you, they are cute and practical.  Check back  in a few days to see them.

Tonight I hope to finish adding bullion knots to the border of the Imperial Blooms block-of-the-month.  And, just to make certain I don't get "bored", here's a sneak preview of my new pattern, "Gather".  I'm still working on the pattern and will post some close-up photos in a few days.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

More Needle & Friends

Lisa sent some photos from the Needle & Friends Christmas Brunch last week.  Everyone waited patiently for brunch to be served.
Each table was decorated with a centerpiece of hand-made birds,
and my quilts were all in order for the trunk show.

To see all the appliqued needle cases given as favors, more birds, and the beautiful quilts made by guild members, visit the Needle & Friends Blog.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Needles & Friends Quilt Guild

Last week I was fortunate to attend the Christmas Brunch of Needles & Friends Quilt Guild in Logan, UT.  When Debi Booth and Lisa Garlick asked me if I would attend their guild's Christmas party and give a trunk show, it was early spring.  I can't believe how quickly that time passed!  Logan is about 100 miles from my house, and includes travel over the mountains.  Of course, that was the only day it has snowed in over a month!  Driving in the snow scares me to death but I took deep breaths and started out early in the morning.  Two hundred miles round trip in snow, fog, and even a few brief glimpses of sun.

I was very impressed with this group of friends that enjoy a common passion.  There were almost 90 women in attendance and each received an appliqued needle keeper.  We enjoyed a yummy brunch and then members showed both finished projects and some still in the works.  This group is very active including a musical fabric exchange - similar to the game musical chairs, a round-robin quilt, mystery quilts, wool projects and classes.  There are some very talented quilters in this group and after seeing all their beautiful projects it was a bit daunting to stand in front of them and show my quilts.

I was welcomed warmly by the group and enjoyed meeting new quilting friends.  I'm looking forward to joining them again in February when I will teach my Blossom Sewing Tuck.

On my way home I made a stop at Shepherd's Bush to buy a few gifts and enjoyed visiting with Teri and her staff. Back in the car and just down the road to Sweet Lavender where I found the most wonderful Japanese fabrics.  I try so hard to stick to my rule of only buying for a specific project, and failed miserably when I saw the Lecian bolts and some silk.  Oh well, I've forgiven myself already and will use the fabric sometime.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Crimson Tweed for Christmas

Yesterday we decorated our Christmas tree and hung up my Crimson Tweed quilt which is a perfect complement to our Christmas decorations.  We are quite traditional and decorate the mantle and piano with Santas my husband has carved, stockings, a tree skirt, table runners, and quilts that I stitched.  Many of the decorations on the tree were hand-made or were gifts from friends.  Decorating brings back the memories of when we made each decoration and of the times we spent with our friends.  Our home at Christmas looks the same each year but rather than finding it to be boring it is a comfort.  Our son will be home for the holidays this year and I think he will love walking in the door and finding it to be the Christmas he remembers.

Crimson Tweed was Sue Spargo's 2010 block of the month and her fantastic design was made even more perfect with amazing quilting by Cindy Paulson, of the Quilted Connection.  I asked Cindy to quilt a multitude of background designs and quilt more designs on the applique.  I was almost breathless when I saw her work.

When the Christmas decorations are put away I will miss my Crimson Tweed but will look forward to hanging it again next year.

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