Monday, January 26, 2015

Backpacks as a Threshold (and easy pattern)

A Threshold to the  world can be opened in many ways and education is one we can easily take for granted but education (especially for girls) is not so easy to obtain in some parts of the world.  I loved when I was young and it was time to get new school supplies.  I get the same feeling when I am making backpacks for Lutheran World Relief School kits and buying supplies to pack in them.  Each year my church inter generational project sees us bringing supplies, women/men sewing bags and children packing them.  This year I made 20 bags and bought supplies to donate for them.  Found sale material for $3.00 a yard and asked my local ACE Hardware to donate clothes line for stringing them and they did. Pic of two of them.  LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF SCHOOL KITS  (Click to the Threshold)
The pattern for the backpacks is super easy and I have used it for gifts and made them for grands too.  I also made some for a women's retreat and they were a big hit packed with goodies. I love an easy pattern with a cute finish. 
Back pack pattern (click for pattern)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Threshold to Sewing/Quilting Studio

The threshold to my sewing/quilting studio is the room over our garage and the room  has been over the years transitioned through children ages and interests... when the  children were little it was the play room, as they became junior high/high school it was the band/music studio (new meaning of garage band so maybe it was the  above the garage band), off to college they went and it became a guest room,  they crossed the threshold back home and the room became a "studio apt" for their time to transition into their own work and apts.  Then it was empty nest and the room became became the sewing/quilting studio (it's been 15+ years now).  I cross the threshold most days to enjoy the thrill of fabric and currently have two projects on the design board that will be shown when all done.  Come with me this night into the studio...cross the threshold.

WOW it may seem (to the untrained eye) that it is a mess, but it is my mess that makes my creative mind dance for joy.  I see hanging on the chair white and red that is so close to being a wonderful quilt, the Babylock Tiara to free motion quilt,  bags hanging to carry stuff to a quilt retreat, a blue chair to sit in and sew on the machine,  a sign that hangs above the couch that reads "gone quilting", a hanging thread holder, and all the fun anyone could want to have in a fabric land...fabric is just around the corner after passing by the bags.  The design wall, the ironing station and storage that is out of the picture is also part of the process to bring creative things from idea to reality.  Crossing this threshold brings peace and joy. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New writings on Spritual and Faith Thougts page

Starting the new year with Illuminating the Threshold/A Retreat for Women's Christmas by Jan L. Richardson.  My thoughts on this day on my Spiritual and Faith Thoughts page. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, New Word --- Thresholds

The new year came into the world and with family and friends we had our traditional Lobster and Dom meal with sparklers and poppers and all the laughter and love weaving through the evening. Thus it is that we all  pass though the threshold leaving one year behind walking into another year.

I would love to share some pics of the decorations but alas no one took any.  Helium balloons on the ceiling, sparklers on the tables set for 19 and black and gold new year tablecloths allowed everyone kids table this year as all are young people ready to enter the world of adult table.     So, here is what did get taken...hehe

Final night of 2014 and all is well.  Blessings to each of you from us.  Happy 2015 from Texas. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Treat Bags Tricks Here

Halloween treats in these small bags will grab and capture the spirit of the season. I used a lot of stash material and because it does not take much material was able to use some of "scraps". I love stash finding its way into the world. Treating these will make for easy mailing and yet have great fun for the receivers. 

 Pattern is free here        All People Quilt 
 Project: Tiny Treats Designer: Monica Solorio-Small of Happy Zombie
The Happy Zombie

I can see these made out of all sorts of holiday fabrics throughout the year!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Halloween Pillows

 The beginning of Fall and loving the weather here; cool, dry and just right for sitting on the patio or daydreaming out a window in my sewing studio.  I will not be at home after the 15th of October for a couple of months...RVing time.  So the Halloween table runner made me think of pillows for the den now and then they can dress up the RV!    (The pattern is a free one from -  Project: Happy Haunts; Designer: Sue Marsh of Whistlepig Creek Productions (WPCREEK.COM))
I of course modified from the actual pillow as I had a round pillow form I wanted to use and a lot of stuffing needing to be used for a square pillow.

The square pillow ...EeK    I did not want to do the double border or bind (as pattern called for).  Did a 4 inch folded over border put batting between the folds and sewed, leaving a hole to turn.  Sewed in the ditch around the border to make a "flange" and quilted it free motion in witches hats.  Left an opening so I could stuff.  Stuffed then finished the quilt in the ditch and hand sewed the closing at the top of the border.  Completed the free motion for that portion of the border AND it was a pillow.  So much easier than the pattern or at least it went very fast!

The Bat Pillow was the same in that it was square and I had a round oblong form I wanted to use.  Turned it into a  tube by adding to each end a folded over border to get rid of raw ends and sewed into a tube, turned tube, inserted pillow form and tied the ends.  It turned out great and used a pillow form that has been hanging with me since the 70s when it came home with me from a spa week I was gifted at that time.  Some things are just good basics and it has been covered a million different ways with a million different fabrics. 

Cute, simple quick projects make a Fall day perfect.  (note: made a second bat pillow and stuffed it with pieces of batting I had stuck around in cubby holes in the sewing studio.  I love getting use out of stuff I save that others might toss.

Next project...small treat bags.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Running toward Halloween

Yes...word for the year...YES it is cool weather, YES it is finally raining, YES I am thinking Halloween!
The table runner I made was for a  group I attend,  Moda U.  This pattern Melon Slices (it is called several different names) was our pattern of the month.  I knew I needed a table runner so off on the run I went by pulling out any and all pieces that the melon slice would fit.  Cut/Cut...turn under raw edges... set aside.  Took background fabric and cut into 10 1/2" blocks, sewed them together...base done.  Put the melon slices on the background and button hole stitched all round. Border attached. Easy, peasy.  Top Done.  Sandwiched and free motioned on my Baby Lock Tiara.  I felt it just needed some life, so took the book Simple Fabric Folding for Halloween by Liz Aneloski from the shelf and found the bats.  Perfect!  Three bats later and they are attached to the border.  This is the results.
Until next post..YES, bats can be cute!

Happy Halloween

Thursday, September 4, 2014

UFO Duck Tracks

Looking to reduce, as we all do... OK so I could knock off a few pounds but more than that I need to lighten the UFOs in my sewing studio.  Pulled out a bag from a Christmas party "trade" of many years ago and found in it 20 blocks (none were squared up! in any way shape or fashion) ...

What I know is that I needed to make this quilt 60x80 for what I wanted to use it for and 20 blocks at 6" each does not make it fast or easy to lay out I did the math and the plan:
This needed to be a stash reducer quilt so I pulled all sorts of colors and played around with what I had and it was working well till I got to needing two more blocks of my striped material...piecing began to happen and I can tell you it was close:

First pieced together from scraps
Second block from scrapes...had to trash dive to get some of them

This is what I had left from what I started with...whew, just enough
BUT.. still needed more so dug again and got a solid Pink and white to add to the mix and started to lay it out on design wall...

Needed a few inches on the side so found another pink to add there...It all worked as it was designed. Finished top I like a lot and  is ready to sandwich...

 Why does  my UFO or stash  really not seem any less? I will dive again soon and keep reducing these strays!! All strays need a good home....

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Star for July BOM for Modern QG

Time flys when you are in the stars sailing along though summer! July is behind us and we are well into August and time for the Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild meeting.  Here is my July Star BOM.  Wonky three star progression. 

Sort of looks like the two big stars jettisoned the small star....

Monday, July 14, 2014

BOM June Star MQG

The BOM is the Inverted Star  with pattern by Jessica Boschen click here for pattern

Got what I thought the colors would be....but looked at all the finished blocks and decided to reverse the colors  So, this was the finish.

The block is very straight forward with half square triangles creating the center star.  No real challenge in this but it does have a great visual effect. I like it..

They play nice together.  My favorite so far is the May circle of stars.  Really like the simplicity and movement of the stars.