Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Time is Flying By

Can't believe we're half way through February already, wow.  ( I started this post on the 14th don't know where the week went).

I've been keeping busy with several smallish projects such as my Para Cord Bracelets for Operation Shoebox, and smaller brighter para cord bracelets for  Operation Christmas Child, which is an effort under the international organization "Samaritan's Purse".


They need 100 for this years Christmas boxes.





In between bracelets I have whipped up some pillowcases for an ongoing project that our guild is working on for sick kids.


This is the only pic I can find,  there were some made from Star Wars fabric that apparently I forgot to snap before turning them in.

My big news is that I got a new sewing machine for my Christmas/Birthday present to myself.



The back story on the machine is that I went to a "sew in" with my guild members and one of them let me sew on her new Brothers machine.  I was thinking of getting a machine for taking to this type of event and meetings for a while now but test driving hers the day before my birthday pushed me over the edge.    I went to the local quilt store (Sharkies in Wildwood, FL) and lucky for me there was a huge holiday sale going on for Brothers machines.  Due to the size of the sale I was even able to upgrade a couple of levels.  On the down side since the sale was so good I was on back order for a month.  Finally got it on February 1.  It is wonderful. As a bonus I am due to get the custom carrying case and gift card in the mail next month.

This is the first finish on the new baby.  It is #2 for 2017 for the local Honor Flight which has a group
going out the end of March.







I also managed to finish MJ's Christmas Afghan.  It measures in at 45 x 74 when laying flat.  I tried to measure it with him holding it and it was a bit longer. It weighs a ton ( made from 13, 5 oz skeins) .



She was so tempted to jump up on that chair.  Good thing that it scares her when it rocks.


She finally got bored and I could take a shot without her butt in it.

I'm heading back into my sewing room now to play with the new toy.  Enjoy the day.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Great Start to the New Year

My crafting for 2017 is off to a great start.

I am currently working on an afghan for Michael for last Christmas.  I got the idea a little late and he is very tall (6'3").


I love the pattern.  Very simple ( all double crochet ) but very distinctive.


This is it as of today.  Just a little over half way done.  It currently measures 42 wide x 45 long. It is really pretty even but I didn't take the time to straighten it out on the carpet.  I need it to end up around 84 long or as long as it gets with the remaining 6 1/2 skeins I have in the basket.  Since I started with 14 I'm pretty much on target. I'd love to have it done by Valentines day.

Our quilt guild supports the Honor Flight Program.  The first flight for this area this year will be mid March.  Lots of busy hands making quilts for our WWII vets.  


This is my first quilt finish for the new year. I'd like to make 4 this year for this wonderful group of people.


I pieced the back using a chunk of patriotic fabric I had left from one of last years quilts.

Tonight we are going to friends for dinner.  I usually would bring dessert but I have kinda, sorta given it up for the new year.  I don't have a lot of will power, but if it's out of sight I'm good.  So instead of dessert I've opted to bring a house gift.


Between last night and this morning I whipped up a set of happy Mug Rugs (how about wine glass rugs) for them to use on their lanai.
I think we'll break them in tonight during cocktail hour.


Looks better with something in the glass, even if it's iced tea instead of wine.

I realized when I sat down to write this post that I didn't wrap up 2016.  Since I started this blog primarily to track what I have done in my crafting world I will need to dedicate some time to catching up.........Maybe next week.    Til then enjoy life and the ones you love.







Friday, December 23, 2016

TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Project

Last week while visiting Joan over at Moose Stash Quilting   I saw that Joan had made some Small 
Kennel Quilts.  Hop over and see some of the ones that she has made.

She had just dropped a package of Kennel Quilts in the mail to the Tennessee Valley Humane Society. With the devastating fires in the area recently, there has been a need for comfort quilts for displaced pets.

I checked out the links she provided TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team Information and decided I had both the time and the stash to help out and become a Team member.


These went into the mail today. I hope this small gesture helps these little guys get some much needed comfort from them
.
Thanks Joan for sharing this valuable information.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Swaps Big and Swaps Small

It's been awhile since I did a post  but not for lack of Quilting and crafting.  I signed up for the Santa Sack Swap and for a postcard swap.  None of the items for the swaps could be posted until received by my swap partners.

I've also been making a few Christmas gifts, these too couldn't  be posted because at least one or two of the recipients follows my blog.

Well the swap goodies have been received (both going and coming) so I can post all of the goodies involved.

Lets start with the Post Cards.



My Swap partner was Marsha H from Vermont.  This card has some great detail.  I love the framed Vintage Christmas tree stamps and the ornament.



I decided I hadn't done any Red Work recently. So there was no time like the present to take out the needle and get going.

I used a couple of paint as you go ornaments as the design inspiration. I actually did 2 postcards, sent one to my swap partner and one to a friend who collects postcards.  I generally make her a card anytime I'm in a postcard swap.

Next up is the Santa Sack Swap.  The very best part of this swap was that Tonia and I called each other and set our phones to speaker and chatted while we unwrapped our presents. Like old friends. It was fabulous.

This started in June.  The deal was to make a Santa Sack of any type to hold the 5 gifts you make over the next several months. You could purchase but the point of the swap was to make most of the gifts.  So OK, I was supposed to make one gift a month, Yeah like that was gonna happen.  I started with the place mats  in a timely manner in late June early July.



Sometime during the early fall I got a Sizzix and started whipping out embossed  note cards. Had to toss in a few of them and I couldn't just put them in the Sack so I made a zip pouch for them.




Fast forward to October and I realized that I needed to get back on track.  Next up for me was the sack.



Then I decided that I was in love with my Tumbler templates and ordered a set for Tonia. Of course I needed to make the coasters so she could see what each size could do (you can see them in the center of the place mat picture).



Then I felt the need to toss in something not Christmasy. I whipped up a simple table runner for the spring.


Front and Back




Oh while I had the Red Work stuff out I made a cute little hanger for the sack and a sweet little pillow.



Now for the goodies I received from Tonia.


After taking this picture I realized that while it looked pretty it didn't do my gifts justice.


The sack is so pretty.  I have stuffed it with batting and placed it under my tree as a permanent  decoration.
The bottle arrived protected perfectly by the stocking, another wonderful addition to by holiday decorations.


.

This is the back of the ornament that I think will join my pin cushion collection. Way to pretty, front and back, to be stashed away with Christmas for 10 months.



This is a shot of the beautiful backs of some of the goodies.  Not sure which side of the mug rug I will actually use. I love mug rugs but am always weary of leaving a big old ring on them , probably rotate sides through the holidays. The gift tags are hanging on my tree. They are mine and I'm not adding them to anyone else's gift.


Thank you so much Tonia. Thanks for the fun memories for years to come.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Time for Giving Thanks


Wow it's almost Thanksgiving.  Plans for dinner are set. Our very long time friends are having us over for the traditional Turkey dinner. Usually I make a hostess gift but they've been our friends for so long that they have at least one of everything I make. I am bringing the green bean casserole but I need to bring something else. Right now I'm thinking of really easy homemade fudge.

The Recipe can be found right here


 

In the mean time I have been keeping myself busy with several other projects.  The biggest of which I can't post yet.  It's for the Santa Sack Swap.  Needed to make a Sack and 5 gifts over the course of 6 months.  I'm done and they should all be in the mail with a few extras this week.  Just need to wrap all the pieces. Will post pictures once opened by my swap buddy.

I've also entered another postcard swap.  Same story, will be mailing it out this coming week. Can't post pictures until received.

Things I can post pictures of include these fun Para-cord bracelets.



These are for Operation Shoebox. One is included in each of the packed sacks for distribution to active duty members of the armed services.

This is a very mobile project and I have now got the making of the actual bracelets down to about 8 minutes a piece.


I do take some time on the weekend to do some prep work like measuring off the 9 foot pieces of cord and taping the ends which is not included in the 8 minute time.


The last step for completing these bracelets is to cut those tails off by burning them. I can do them for the bracelets I make for me but there are people at the meeting who do this step and I am happy to let them.  I plan on doing about 30 a week and like to have them set up in groups of 5 for travel.

A couple of weeks ago I took the travel bag to a guild charity meeting.  I took them out to work on and the gal across the table and I got to talking. She was working on a project for Christmas boxes for children internationally.



Well I committed to making 100 of them for next year for her. These will be a bit smaller and in fun colors.

Next up are the Susy bags. These little bags measure in at about 5 x 5  with a 36 in. ribbon strap.



They go to the local cancer hospital for women to use after breast cancer surgery.  I believe they are used to manage drainage tubes.

I also am making sacks for Operation Shoebox, they measure in at about 10 x 12.



The top has a channel sewn in for a draw string which someone else in the group inserts before the sacks are filled.

And last up for this post are my zip purses.  I found myself wanting a smaller bag for going out to dinner than the mini knapsack that I generally carry around as a purse .  It just needed to hold my phone, 2 pairs of glasses, my wallet and tissues. It measures in at about 9 x 10 and hangs just below my waist. It's lined and has pockets inside.

 


We went to dinner with friends to break it in. JB just loved the size. Apparently it's the second pair of glasses that are the problem with smaller bags.  I came home from dinner last night and made this one for her.


So far she loves the picture of it that I sent to her at 10PM. She'll get to test it out tomorrow.



Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving, and a very productive holiday weekend.








Thursday, October 20, 2016

October 20th Already !!!!!

I started this post on October 10, where is the time going?

Before the quilty parts, Prayers are going out to those hurt in any way by Hurricane Matthew.  We were very fortunate here in our section of Central Florida.   No wind damage, no flooding and no electric outage.

OK on to the the quilty stuff.  So far this month I have made a couple of pin cushions for a Scrappy pin cushion swap.  I made the little one first and decided it was just too little for a swap. so I tried again on a larger scale.  My goal was to make a cushion  that could also hold clips.


I also added a little zip pouch that could hold some note cards that I made using my latest crafting toy, a Big Kick by Sizzix. It does great embossing.



Next week our guild is having a representative from Project Linus come for a visit.  The members of the group are taking part in a challenge using 1 or more 20 patch blocks in their quilts for donation.  Since my surgery was at one point scheduled for last week  I didn't sign up for the challenge.


Now that I'm fully functioning I decided to whip up a couple of "quilt as you go" quilts from my stash for the Project Linus collection.


I purchased this little girl flower fabric a couple of years ago. I got something like 10 yards in assorted color ways at 40 - 50% off at my local Quilt shop.


I've had these adorable little guys for at least a year.  Still have more in the drawer.


And there are always polka dots to be found for backing.

I timed making these quilts excluding the hand stitching of the binding and got each done in under 4 hours.  The hand stitching took almost that long.

I've also started doing some sewing for our local chapter of Operation Shoebox. They send goodie bags to our troops.  For the holidays they send the goodies in Christmas stocking with drawstring tops.  The group breaks the project  into steps.  My step is to make the channel for the draw string and attach the cuff to the stocking and then sew the stocking together.  I return them to the group and the next persons will snip the curves, turn them inside out, press and add the drawer string. 

I offered to do that step as part of my work. I was told Not To, they would prefer that I spent my time sewing and that a non sewer would take care of the next step.  That I shouldn't take work from someone else.  I just never thought of it that way. I guess I'm not normally a team player.  But  I do follow instructions. They gave me 25 to do and I'm done with 15 so far.    I will return the stockings they gave me with my step and only my step completed.  



Friday, September 30, 2016

Creative Sewing Space and some Show and Tell

A few weeks ago a quilting friend of mine sent me a photo of a very expensive rack that you can set up next to your sewing machine to aid in supporting a quilt while you quilt it.  It was cute but way beyond my budget even if I had space for it.

The idea was great though.  It was using clamps and bungees to support the weight of a quilt.

I sew in a closet.  I have the spare bedroom for my sewing space but I share it with the dogs.  My dogs are bedroom trained instead of crate trained. So while I have total use of the room most of the time, when we go out the dogs go in.  It's a great space but I find that I like the fact that they can't get to my machine and pins etc. etc. etc. when I'm out.


Well I took the basic idea and hung clamps attached to bungees from the wire shelf in my closet that's above the machine.  It works really, really well.


Finished quilt front and


back.


Both of these quilts were made for the local Honor Flight program.  This quilt was made using the pattern  idea from  Mary  who is involved with the Heart Strings Quilt Project.  She shares her patterns and pattern ideas for use for Charitable projects.  I loved this  idea.  It was quick and makes a perfect Honor Flight quilt.


Back.

Several members of my guild are also aiming to use the pattern for this project. Thank you Mary.