Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bee Happy Wonky House

A friend sent me the darling "Bee" fabric I used as the background of this house. I don't usually like cutesy stuff, but this was just too charming not to include.
I've got a layout I like for the Wonky House Quilt, and I'll be making some blocks of hearts and trees to fill up the funny spaces. Millie is helping, as you can see.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Under the Sea

My Fairy Niece colored two all blue houses. The first was here.

I wondered how to make the second blue house unique from the first. My son gave me the idea of making an underwater house. As soon as I heard this idea, I loved it.

I love this house. It is 20-1/2" tall by 18" wide. So far it's my favorite, but each house I make is my favorite of the moment.

I've laid out the blue tape on the floor, and have starting arranging the houses. I need some little ones to fill in some spaces, and I want to make some hearts. Fairy Nephew has asked me to make a watermelon, so that's coming up too. I also have a Very Special House planned, then it will be time to assemble the quilt top.

For those of you who have asked if I think it's OK to "borrow" my idea of having children color houses that you then interpret in fabric, yes, by all means! Please do! Have fun!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Little House

Here's another little house based on a drawing by my three year old Fairy Niece. She's given me a bright green, and a warm orangey-brown. I hope she approves!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Purring For You!

Last month, V asked if I would participate in a group quilt for Tonya, creator of the Free Pieced Alphabet. I was on vacation, and had some free time, so I agreed. The only requirement was to use solids. I don't usually work with solids, and I didn't have a big color selection.

What to say? "Get well soon" sounded so trite, and I wanted something fun. Tonya and I both have cats, so when "Purring for you" popped into my head, I knew it was perfect.

I wanted to make my letters look like a proper font, so I drew them out ahead of time, and was very careful to make them all appear connected somehow. Notice the tails on the "g" and the "y" and the "4" and the little slants on the "P" "u" and "g." When I got to the "o" I knew I had to include a heart.

After all the letters were carefully placed together, I decided I wanted to add the cat emoticon. I sewed it up, and then tried to figure out where it would look best. To add it, I had to unsew parts of the word "Purring."

The panel and the cats are on the back of this two-sided quilt.
You can see the front of the quilt, and read more about the ladies who participated at Tonya's blog, here:

I'm really happy it turned out so well.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Fixer-Upper

I've resumed work on the wonky house that I messed up last week. I had wanted this pretty turquoise to be the body of the house, and by mistake I used the lighter fabric I had originally selected as the background.Rather than starting the windows all over again, I just trimmed down the sides and kept going. Now this extra border reads as window sashing.
Here's the whole house in progress. I haven't attached the roof or the chimney yet.

You can see my original idea here, and then my houses based on the kids' drawings here, and here, and here, and here.

This wonky house quilt will be for a very special boy, and his Mom says she doesn't want to know anything more about it, so until I present the finished quilt to him myself next January, I can only show you sneak peeks.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Black, White and Red All Over

I've spent a very productive day in the sewing studio. I finished the pair of quilts, and made my Mom a very long skinny bag (the red one at the top) for her oil painting brushes. Then I made three other "normal" skinny bags.

The studio is getting messy, and I've got to clean it up.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Too Tired

I've been in a bit of a sewing slump for the last few days, so I decided to work up a design for a house. Here is the plan I came up with.Then I thought, well, I can do a bit of sewing before I go to bed...
It's fuzzy, yes, and it may look good, but I sewed the doors and windows to the fabric that should be the background.

So I just went to bed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Two For Tuesday

This isn't a very good picture of the two quilts I am working on. Both have been quilted and I am now adding the binding. They are going to the same home, the small one is for the cat, the larger one is a lap robe for her owner. We did not originally plan the two quilts to be related. They will be going into the same neutral room, though, and I thought it would be more pleasing to the eye if they were connected.

I made a pair of identical twin quilts for a client many years ago, and it really bothered me that I had to make them exactly the same. I really wanted to make one slightly different.

Most pairs of quilts are probably for siblings, or for two beds in a guest room, but I'm curious. How many of you have made two quilts at the same time, in the same colors, and general scheme, that are destined to be used in the same room?

Did you make them identical? Or did you deliberately make one a little bit different?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I needed about a dozen different browns, rusts and tans for a special order. Fat quarters were all I needed, so I drove out to the premier quilt shop in my area, Quilted Threads. I found all my browns without any trouble.

Quilted Threads is only 25 miles from my house, but it takes 45 minutes to get there, so I don't get there very often. Every quilt shop has its own personality, and carries things you can't find anywhere else, so I made sure to look around.

Look at this!!The selvages are awesome too.
I'm gonna have a lot of fun with this.

By the way, did you know Pink didn't always refer to PINK?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Pair of Reds and a Secret

I'm supposed to be making a bag for my sister to carry her Karate sticks around in, but when I got into the sewing room last night, my brain was too tired to figure out how to cut the fabric, so I made two little red bags. I'll put them on my Etsy shop later, after I've taken proper photos.

While I was sewing them up, I remembered a conversation I had with my friend a few days ago. "When you come down to visit next year," she said, "you're going to have to show me how to put in a zipper."

"I may not be the best person to do that, " I explained. "Putting a zipper in a bag is a bit different than putting one in the back of a dress. Besides, I don't do them the way you're supposed to.

"I don't use a zipper foot, and I don't use pins."

My secret is blue.

Friday, October 16, 2009

No More Funk

The best way to get out of a funk is to do something. So I made two skinny bags last night. This one is for the Selvage Fairy.This one is for another friend.
I've got a couple of Gizzy Quilts going too. It's supposed to be cold and blustery here over the weekend, and I plan to be in the sewing room for most of it!

(Except for the time I will be watching last night's Project Runway and the most recent Top Chef. No spoilers, please!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How Big?

I decided to make a really long skinny bag. Long like the buxom bags, but the width and height of the skinny bag. So I made this one. It's 14" long by 2" high by 2"wide. It doesn't look big until you put it next to the smaller one.
The really long bag is long enough for 14" long knitting needles.

I've been a bit "sewed out" over the last couple of days, but I'm getting back into the sewing room tonight...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blogger's Fall Quilt Festival

I made this Exquisite Star Quilt for my godson, who was born last month.

It's a version of the Shooting Star, inspired by Gwen Marston.

The finished block size is 3", and I made it from my scraps. There are 14 rows of 12 blocks each.

You can click the photos to enlarge.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Something Different

I haven't been happy with the last couple of wallets I bought, so when I found a pattern I liked, I thought I'd give it a try.I had some wild fabric, and decided to have a little fun. The fabric is okay, but my execution was wanting.
I always have a hard time when things are heavily interfaced. My sewing machine, even with the walking foot, gives me trouble, as you can see by the uneven stitching around the outer edges.

This pattern is a great design, however, and stores everything I would want.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cut, Cut, Cut

Three yards of 54" flannel backed vinyl fabric, a long ruler, right triangles, pencils, scissors and a very big table.
Gotta have linings for these little bags!This little cutie is now in my Etsy shop.

Today, the dentist and later, a movie with my Mom.

Monday, October 5, 2009

More Skinny Bags

Yesterday I made a few more skinny boxed bags. They are now for sale in my Etsy shop. I found this really cute fabric about sewing, and thought it would be perfect for a bag showing off some sewing tools. Mary had the same idea. She bought a skinny bag and plans to use it to carry her rotary cutter and handsewing tools when she goes to sew fests. This way these small items won't get lost in her "monster bag."

Here are a few of the bags I worked on yesterday. I'm learning that I have to take better photographs of them, so I am working on that too. Eventually I'll have some selvage tote bags up for sale.

Speaking of which... Remember I made this bag for my friend way back in March? Well, now that the baby has arrived, she uses the bag as diaper bag and purse. She says it's perfect.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pink Buxom Bag, Redux

I tried a handle variation on this Buxom Bag.Same size, same fabric, same zipper, different loops.
Here's the end. Because I moved the handle loops to the edges, I needed a better way to grasp the zipper pull, so I added this little blue tab.
So how big are these bags, really?
A bottle of wine fits with room to spare.

Can you tell it's been a long week?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pink Buxom Bag

I've made another big Buxom Bag, this one in a bright pink floral.
It has a spring-y green strip on the inside. This green strip covers the long seam and gives the bag a little stiffness.

This pink bag is 15" long x 3" high x 3" deep. This one will be going to an artist to carry brushes around.

My sister wants me to make a bag big enough to hold her sticks. She's a Black Belt in Karate and they train with a pair of sticks between 26" and 28" long. The sticks don't fit in gym bags very well, and she wants a bag she can toss over her shoulder. So I have to work that out.