Summer heat boredom

Wow it’s been hot this week. Bet you’ve heard that already. My basement is cool, being underground and all, and it is where I do my sewing so I have been there, did that, many times this summer. I haven’t blogged in a long while because of other priorities including non-sewing ones. It’s been hard to get help with my Sweet Laura Angel so I have been the #1 nurse for many, many days. I love being with her but when there are issues, I don’t love being by myself. Plus I can’t just pop her in the car and go off and do errands. So life is rearranged to accommodate.

Anyways,

I was feeling a little bored today, didn’t want to start a big project, and wanted to have something to show for my laziness. I dug into my scraps and made some coasters. Mom says she loves the ‘mugrug’ I made for her last holiday season, still using it in July. So I thought it was time for an update (and what about something for me too??) She loves how it absorbs the drips from her sweating glass of ice water. Perfect for a humid stretch. So here’s the results…DSC00485

The stack of 4, top right, is for mom. They are made from scraps of a quilt that is WIP. Top left is for me from scraps. The big butterfly is the very last scrap I had of that wonderful fabric. Now it is a large, absorbent, beverage and snack mat. The backs of the coasters look like this…DSC00486

More pretty scraps. So they are, officially, reversible.

And here is the mat put to excellent use with my diet coke and short stack. I have to note that the can cooler is over 30 years old and carefully preserved.DSC00484

February Redacted

I am so glad Feb is over!!

First there was L’s pneumonia, who could forget that! I sucked the most goo out of that kid. Luckily she was over it pretty quick. Then I got a cold which I haven’t had in a long time. Guess I should socialize more often. Can’t get a cold from facebook. And who could forget the damn blizzard? It took me 3 days to clear the driveway and find the front door. And then there was more snow. L’s been to or I’ve called the doc too many times that month. What about my flat tire?? That deserves a curse mention. There was also the guild UFO auction that I’ve been working on since Dec. My buds worked on it with me and we had a successful event. Thank goodness there was no precipitation that day. It was very strenuous hauling 9 large boxes of treasures from the back door to the front, up a hill, in the snow, (on a sled). Going in to March is proving a trial but that’s for another day. Through it all, I plugged away at the sewing machine.

Here is the finished top of the Scrappy Trip Around the World that I made with my left-overs. You’ll remember I gushed about that in a prior post.DSC00400

I like how it turned out. (48″ x 60″) I can’t believe that this scrap quilt created more freekin scraps! A few went back into the scrap pile and the rest will be on the back of the quilt when I get around to creating that masterpiece.

Finally I finished the tote I’ve been wanting to make. Never got the package from C.T. (remember my smartpost rant?) so I got my money back asked for my money back and went real life shopping instead of internet voodoo. This is my birthday present to me (someday in March).DSC00396

Its from a pattern called Bow Tucks Tote. Plenty big, plenty o pockets.DSC00399

I can untie the bows and make it bigger. Plenty o shopping in my future! There is my triple zip ouch inside all matchy-matchy. I think I need a matching glasses case and tissue pouch… and I have 4 new skirts for L all cut out waiting for attention. At least I gave the right address to Joann’s online, they didn’t use smartpost, and I got the fabric lickety split.

 

It’s Left-over Night!

I used to like left-over night when I was young. Mom would heat up everything left over from a few days of meals and we could *usually* each have something we liked especially or a little of everything. As a grown-up, 5 out of 7 nights are now reserved for left-overs in my house. 🙂 Mostly micro-cooking for me.

In my quilt world left-overs are saved for years. I don’t think of them as fabric scraps… scraps go in the trash. Left-overs will again bring color and sparkle to a quilt or other fabric project some day. I have accumulated a multitude of these pieces. I organized them in early January so that I could really see what I have and maybe used them more often. (instead of being in an overflowing large box on the floor). This is what it looks like now (and it takes up vertical space, which is better).

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The 5 boxes on the left are the batik pieces and the 6 boxes in the middle are the rest of the cottons. Specific colors are in each box. I’m sorry to say that the piles on the cabinet are the in-progress projects. I apparently like to start things and not finish them, ahem.

I started a new project with my scraps!!! I mean, I’m turning my left-overs into a new quilt!! I’ve been seeing lots of mention in blogland and by facebookers about the Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt. It looked very interesting and involved NO outlay of cash on my part to start it. The instructions are here. Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville makes it easy. She says to pick from all your scraps, anything goes. I wanted to use my blues cuz I have mostly them, and green goes great, and then there’s purple. And how ’bout some pink for sparkle. Another of my ‘design’ elements was a dark color that would go diagonally through the center, lending a strong criss-cross to the quilt. Some of my pieces didn’t qualify for this project because they were too small and couldn’t convert into  a strip easily.DSC00377

I had no problem tho, coming up with sufficient material and it still looks pretty full in the blue box. Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy, there’s a block or four.DSC00379

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I made another 2 after taking these pix. Fun! I am shooting for at least 12 blocks. I’ll see what it looks like when I get that far. What do you think??

Little Pouches

I have been busily sewing in November. Just because I haven’t posted doesn’t mean I haven’t been sewing. Almost every day. Here are my projects…

Made Laura 2 more skirts. One already has a hole in it, discovered this morning. Looks like a couple of sharp fingernails went through when wrestling her into it. I am contemplating some applique ideas to cover it up.

I finished a big bunch of Fat Bottom Bags for an order from one of L’s nurses. Made all from Christmas fabrics. She’s putting a couple of things in them and giving them as gifts. Soooo glad I bought those fat quarters and half yards at Keepsake’s sale a couple of years ago.

I finished the top for that curvy quilt. It is Kathy Alyce’s from her book, Flip Flop Quilts. And its all in modern fabrics, coral, pink, and navy. The curves were a good challenge but not too hard. A departure from my comfort zone. This is half the quilt folded over the quilting frame. Not quilted yet. No surprise there. I’m thinking about what the back will be. I have lots of scraps.

And I’ve also had some fun with making some small zippered pouches. I took out my Christmas fabric scraps. And I mean scraps! Small pieces that I saved, now I know why. I did a sew and flip, quilt as you go, on scrap batting. Lots of fun! They are intended as gifts. Try it some time! I put in the zippers and finished the bags just like in my Fat Bottom instructions. Only one of them has a fat bottom, the rest are flat bottoms.

So pretty. This one might be for me!

Easy Peasy Eyeglasses Case

I looked around online for an easy eyeglasses case to make with scraps. Tried a few things and then came up with this that I really like. Sharing time! Here is a free tutorial so you can make your own…

HOW TO MAKE AN EASY PEASY EYEGLASSES CASE

1.Cut 2 fabrics (outer and lining) and one piece of batting (I like warm and white cotton) to 5.5″ x 7″. Make it 6″x7″ for sunglasses or large frames. If you have very small glasses, cut it 5″x6″. It should be tight enough so the glasses don’t easily fall out.

2. Layer them like a quilt and match the edges: lining face down, batting, and outer facing up.

3. Cut a curve from the middle top to the right edge about 1/3 down the side. Cut a small curve on the top left corner.

4. Move the lining to the top so that the right sides of the fabrics are facing each other.

5. Tip: cut the bottom corners off the batting. This will make the piece easier to turn out and to sew over.

6. Sew around the edge with a 1/4″ seam leaving 2 inches open at the bottom for turning. Clip off the corners close to the stitching.

7. Turn right side out, batting should stay inside. Carefully push out the curves and the corners.

8. Press flat and press in the seam allowance on the open space.

9. Quilt as desired. Simple diagonal lines work well. Or, don’t quilt it at all!

10. Fold the piece in half the long way and pin.

11. Using your machine’s walking foot and a decorative stitch, start at the top middle of the back and sew around the edge toward the joining of the front and back. Be careful to catch the folded over right edge and don’t let it scrunch up under the presser foot. Continue sewing all layers together and go around the bottom right corner and then the bottom of the case, closing the open space. Sew off the left folded egde and you are done. Easy peasy!

Kickin’ It

Wow! How ’bout this for a striking new way to use up some fabric scraps?

I participated in a scrap block swap this winter run by Beth H, Eva Paige Quilt Designs, which she then turned into a wonderful new pattern. I see my green and my blue block in this quilt which is the cover for the new pattern, Kickin’ Stash. How funny is that name??! Just like Beth to call it something fun, she cracks me up.

I love this setting with it’s open spaces. She has other settings and sizes in the pattern. Kick on over to Patternspot.com to download it. You won’t need much to get started. Get out your favorite trusty background fabric and then dive into that scrap box and start kickin’ it! This quilt is done with blocks of the same colorway. The blocks are easy. I think it would be gorgeous totally scrappy as well. Maybe with some modern contemporary prints or geometrics… hmmm.

Beth is kickin’ off this pattern this week and YOU can be one of the first to own it, try it, kick it! There are several bloggers talking about it this week so hop on over to them to see what they have to say (as well as read their cool blogs too).

Monday 3/12 – Deb Donovan www.aspenhill.wordpress.com

Tues 3/13 – Kelli Fannon www.thatlookslikeitneedsstitches.blogspot.com

Wednesday 3/14 – Anna Dzik www.westthirdstreetdesigns.blogspot.com

Thurs 3/15 – Marianne  (you’re here already silly!) 

Friday 3/16 – Linda Pearl www.thepatchworkpearl.blogspot.com