Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Tote, a Stitch Pillow, and a Mystery Solved

At the Crosstown Quilters Guild as at many other quilt guilds, there is a back table where people may leave free quilt related items: fabric, magazines, rulers, geegaws, tools, trims, etc. I love this table as do many others who hover around it waiting to see what may be tossed onto the pile. Now, for myself, I have a strict practice. I give myself two weeks to use anything that I take, and if I haven't used it, I bring it back to the next meeting and toss it on the pile. That's where I found the tiny purse kit that I turned into a larger project bag seen HERE. At our last meeting, I picked up a long, narrow strip of home dec fabric which had an interesting sailing ship design. It sat in my bag for two weeks with my self imposed deadline looming. Then it hit me. I decided to make a tote bag. There was no pattern; I just winged it.  As you may know from reading my previous post, the body was done, but I could not seem to locate some webbing that I wanted to use for the handles. When I came home from yesterday's meeting, I had an idea. I found a pair of old jeans that believe it or not were now too large for me, hacked off the waistband,  and used that for the handles! :-) Waste not want not . . . or perhaps in this case, waist not want not. :-)

The tote measures 16x19, and I will bring it on our getaway this weekend.

I also made a quick stitch pillow yesterday. You may find the excellent youtube tutorial by Anna at Woolly Mammoth/ Quilt Roadies HERE.  The purpose of the pillow is to raise your work up so you do not get a crick in your neck from stitching at a funny angle. Besides that, it sure is pretty.

It measures roughly fourteen inches across and is five to six inches deep. I'm bringing it with me to our retreat, and I will let you know how it works.

Finally, I found the stainless steel straws which had not been stashed away after all. I found them in a bag along with another item that I had purchased at the same time. Whew! Mystery solved!!! The package is now right beside the plastic straws which I will use up first. Life is good!!!

Monday, February 24, 2020

Birthdays, Beyblades, and Putting Things in Safe Places

Yesterday, I attended the birthday party of my eight year old cousin Desmond. Des is whip smart, a math whiz, cute as a button, and an aficionado of all things beyblade. Beyblades???? I had never ever heard of them, but in short order he gave me a full crash course on this spinning top toy: the lingo, the tools, the challenges, etc. There is nothing more entertaining then the pure enthusiasm of an eight year old. Priceless!

On another note, my family moved to this home when I was just a year old. That means that some things have been in their places for my entire life. For example: need scotch tape . . . top left drawer of the dining room credenza, looking for an awl . . . round spinner rack on the cellar work bench . . . etc.. :-) This leads to the problem of bringing new items into the house. I recently purchased a package of metal straws with a cute little cleaning brush. Now you would think that I would have put the slim little package of straws next to the container of plastic straws in the cabinet, so they would be handy when I used up the plastic ones. You might think that, but you would be wrong. I have no clue where I put the package; I have looked everywhere. Next, I'm using some home dec fabric that I found on the free table at a recent guild meeting. Within the last month, I remember finding a roll of woven strapping which would be perfect to use for handles in this tote project. What's the problem? You guessed it . . . I tucked it away in a "safe place" so it would be readily available should I ever have a need for it . . . I haven't a clue where I put it. Should I be admitting this??? Please tell me that this sort of thing happens to you as well. New strategy  . . .  I going to label a small notebook "Safe Place" and jot down where I tuck items away. :-)

 I have been working on clearing some things out. (No, I am not moving . . . just weeding stuff out.) My attic is basically empty, and I have been tackling the cellar. The other day I came across this sailboat stained glass mirror that I had made for my brother during my stained glass phase. I'm a dabbler and love to explore all types of crafts. It is far too pretty to remain wrapped up in newspaper on top of a shelf in the basement, so it is now hanging in my sunporch.

I wonder what other forgotten treasures I will come across???

One more thing . . . I fixed the broken link for Elm Street Quilts Tutorials in my previous post; check it out here.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Saturday Smorgasbord

Today's post will be a true smorgasbord. First, here's my most recent completed wool applique mat. It was a wool kit,  "Winter Sheep All Around," from Shabby Fabrics, and I just fell in love with their adorable little faces and hats. :-)

I've actually been doing a lot of wool applique prep work this week as I have two upcoming quilt retreats. I've decided that I am going to leave my machine at home and spend both weekends hand stitching. There are three wool applique pieces all prepped and tucked into one of my project bags. Prepping each piece is surprisingly time consuming. Different folks prep their pieces differently. I put SF101, a Pellon product, on the back of the background piece for a bit of stability. I also use Soft Fuse on the individual pieces. Some people choose to staple the pieces to the background, some choose to pin them on with tiny applique pins, but I have found that Soft Fuse works best for me.

Besides the three pieces now prepped, I may also work on the first block of a Sue Spargo BOM . It is agreed when you sign up for the BOM that you will not post any images on social media, so you will not be seeing any of that work. I can, however, show you this organizer closure tab that I stitched this week. Just look at all of this glorious Eleganza thread, and this is only part of it!

I enjoy hand stitching while watching TV at night, and all of these prepped pieces should keep me busy at night and on any upcoming retreats. If not, I have a sashiko piece to work on, and a Yoko Saito applique piece that I would like to complete.

I'm also going to try and do some more stitched tea bag art. It has been quite a while since I have worked on any of those tiny pieces. You may see some example from last April HERE. Today I also prepped a small pile of tea bags. Instead of inserting muslin into each little piece, I decided to put SF101 on the back of each bag. Pure genius on my part! It will provide needed stability for stitching and close up the slit where I removed the tea. Will this work? I think so . . . fingers crossed . . . but only time will tell. My plan is to try and stitch one tea bag per day. What will I  do with them? Good question . . . I have an idea . . . but again only time will tell. :-)

Did I get the borders on the quilt I mentioned in my previous post? Well, no, I get easily distracted, but I hope to do that this week.

Finally, while reading some blogs earlier today, I came across a wonderful site that I know you will find interesting.  It is Elm Street Quilts Tutorials where you will find a wonderful selection of tutorials; definitely a site worth bookmarking!

Have a creative, fun, wonderful week!

Friday, February 14, 2020

This and That

It has been a while since my last post, so I thought I would pop in today to show you some fun quilts that were part of our 'Show and Tell' segment at Tuesday's meeting of the Crosstown Quilters Guild in Weymouth. It was a particularly fun session, and it's difficult to pick just a few to share.

Anne made this stunning quilt for a raffle at her grandson's school.

Joanne showed this adorable puppy themed quilt.

Jane has been working on this hand applique/ hand quilted poppy piece for a number of years. Gorgeous!

Don't you love Patty's hand stitched/ hand quilted redwork?

Mary D. showed her Kaffe cat quilt.

We also had a presentation of vintage hand embroidery by Barbara G, and it was lovely to see all of this work. 

Last Wednesday was a "Ladies Lunch" day with my young cousins and their mom. They also brought their cousin/friend Charlotte. After lunch at the Strawberry Fair in Norwell, I put the girls to work stuffing teddy bears and comfort pillows that I was able to turn in at Tuesday's meeting.

The girls brought me this adorable schnauzer who has taken up residence on my staircase. There is often an equally adorable, live schnauzer often resting a few stairs up from this one. I added the Valentine hearts headband that I wore to our guild meeting. (Yes, it was just the perfect touch of sophisticated elegance for which I am known. :-)

I have been working on a quilt and am at the border stage. Yeah!!! I'm also finishing up a wool applique piece that is 99% done. :-)

Happy Valentine's Day and have a great weekend!!!

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Sunday 02022020

Just a quick post before the Super Bowl begins. . . It seems so strange not to see the Patriots in the mix. At least Jimmy G., former back up quarterback to Tom Brady, is leading the San Fransisco 49ers into the game.

Anyway, I made another scarf using men's silk ties and a blank silk scarf. The latest one on the left is far more muted than the original one on the right. Why? What did I do differently? I do not think that the water was as hot this time. Since some area show very little color, perhaps the pieces of the ties I selected may not have been silk. I did purposely leave out red pieces which did tend to tint the entire background in the first attempt. I also think that I kept in the pot about five minutes less than last time. It's not an exact science. In any event, I like them both. It's super simple and fun, and I encourage you to give it a try. All you need is a dedicated pot, mens' silk ties, a length of muslin, and a blank silk scarf. For more info and a link to a Youtube tutorial, please click HERE. 

This week I also made two fun projects bags that I will use with my hand stitching work.

Front . . . 

Back . . . 

In case you are unable to read the patch, it says, "What Happens at Quilt Retreat Stays at Quilt Retreat." :-)

They were super fun and not difficult to make, but I warn you making them may become addictive.  You can find the excellent tutorial for making these vinyl project bags at the Moda Bake shop tutorial section HERE It may not help me finish things sooner but works in progress will look good tucked into these pretty pouches.

January Recap:
     - Nativity Scene - small wall hanging
     -  Campers Livin' the Dream - wool applique

     -  3 Pillowcases Donated

     - Moose - large wallhanging

     - Two silk scarves dyed with mens' silk ties

Well, the game has started, so this post is ending.

Oh, before I go, did you realize that today date is palindromic?  The numbers read the same backwards as  forwards. . . 02/02/2020. :-) Way Cool!!!