Friday, January 29, 2010

BUTTONS AND DOLLS

I walked into my sewing room the other morning and this is what I saw.
Sometimes when I am working on dolls, all the "accessories" get out of hand and start taking over the room. You know when you are looking for just the right button you sometimes have to sift through the entire pile!
These dolls all got a make over. Yes a make over, just like on TV.
They had darling big flowers on their chests, but the general public didn't seem to like them. So after the holidays and these cuties didn't get purchased, I brought them home. I gave them a new dress bodice, a little jacket (made from quilt batting) a row of trim along their dress....
Old covered coat buttons along their jackets and shoes to match their wool dresses, a hair bow, a little more blush and now back to the gift shop! I forgot to take a picture of their 4th friend...but she has already gone to a new home so it doesn't matter anyway! ~~~ Thanks ladies for a great 2 days of "fussing" I LOVE MAKING DOLLS!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

CROCHET

How is my crocheting coming you ask? Slowly; very slowly! It may be one of those projects that your children find after you are dead.. in a bag....unfinished...with the balls of yarn included! I hope not, I will keep working on it, hopefully to finish it one day soon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

MACHINE QUILTING PREP

This pattern is called, SLICE OF CHARM. It takes two charm packs and a little yardage for the backgrounds and borders. (p.s. it is my design for her) Check it out at Cotton Way...oh and it's Bonnie's 20th year celebration on her Cotton Way company, stop by and tell her hello!
Have you ever wanted to try your hand at machine quilting on your own sewing machine? Well, here are a few tips.
First of all you need a good way to sandwich your quilt pieces together. I personally don't enjoy quilting large quilt on my own machine, but a lot of people do. So you need a good fabric adhesive like Sullivans.
It is acid free.
No ozone depleting chemicals, but you should not inhale the fumes especially if you are pregnant.
Your back fabric needs to be 2" on all sides bigger than your top. Then I use 1 1/2" painters tape to tape the back to the floor. The painter's tape doesn't leave a sticky residue and you can reuse it.
1. Start with a small piece of tape in the center of one side. Then continue with strips about 12"-14" in length and tape one complete side.
2. Pull the quilt tight as you tape the opposite side of the back, and tape it to the floor.
3. Tape a third side.
4. Pull the final side tight and tape to the floor. Pull the corners a bit as your tape them. Sometimes I adjust the tape so the corners are pulled tight. The more tight the back, the less lightly you will have wrinkles as you quilt.
Lay your batting on top of the back. It should be about 2" bigger all the way around like your back.
Fold the batting back onto itself because you are going to spray the underneath side of the batting where it will lay against the quilt back.
Lay a sheet under the batting where it touches the floor so as you spray, you don't get "over spray" on your flooring. Although it does clean up with warm water and soap, and it does wash out of your sheets.
1. Spray lightly the batting clear to the corners.
2. Fold batting back onto the quilt back smoothing from the center out to the edges, making sure the batting does not have any wrinkles.
3. Fold the other half of the batting back onto itself, same as the first half. Change the sheet to catch the over spray for this half.
4. Spray lightly all over to the corners.
5. Fold batting back onto the backing, smoothing from the center out to the edges.

FOR THE TOP
I forgot to take photos of the top....sorry. But it is just the same method for spraying as for the batting.
1. Fold the quilt top in half onto itself and spray clear to the corners.
2. Fold top back onto the batting and smooth from the center out to the edges, making sure you don't have any wrinkles.
3. Fold other half of top onto itself and spray.
4. Fold quilt top back onto the batting, smoothing from the center out to the edges.
Now you have done what is often called, "sandwiching a quilt."
I like to put a few pins in my quilt. I use the largest pins I can find at Walmart.
I place the pins about 6"-8" apart and take then out as I quilt.
After your quilt is pinned, carefully pull the tape off. I roll it back onto the tape roll and reuse it again, sometimes more than once. It doesn't look pretty, but we are not going for pretty here!
Now you are ready for machine quilting. You will need a darning foot or an embroidery foot for your machine, it has a hole in it. I will tell you a little more about that in my next post. The best advise I can give you for trying to machine quilt your own quilts is, Practice! You have heard the old saying, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice." So, "how do you get good at machine quilting? Practice, Practice, Practice!" Don't start on the heirloom quilt you made for your grandchild. Sandwich some old fabric into 18"-24" squares and PRACTICE!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

SPRING HEART TABLE TOPPER/WALL HANGING

This is a close up of my new table topper/wall hanging soon to be published in Quick Quilts #111 due out Feb. 23, 2010. I really have been sewing....just thought I would show you what I have been up to lately. Plus I am working on a quilt for my son's 30th birthday but I can't show it yet...I don't think he reads my blog, but one can never tell!
edit:Brenda asked a good question about what thread I use so the button hole stitches don't show. I like the YLI brand of monofilament thread because it is thin, and my machine likes it. It works well in most machines because it is so thin. The thread comes in two colors, clear and smoke, although the smoke looks pretty dark but it isn't. You may have to loosen the tension a bit.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

FLOWERS AND MORE FLOWERS

I have to confess something quite humorous.......I ordered this many flowers to use at the photo shoot for my new book, Not Your Grandmother's Quilt due out in April......however, I didn't anticipate there would be this many flowers. You can imagine my surprise when I walked into the floral shop and there sat all these flowers.....for me! I started laughing when I saw them all. ~~ I had ordered them over the phone since I was going to Missouri, but afterwards I went into my local floral shop and told them what I had ordered and asked if they thought that would be too many. The gal at my local floral shop (whom I know well) said she thought that amount would be fine... and I didn't want to be short....nothing like wishing you had something you didn't. ~~~ I did NOT use this many flowers, in fact, we hardly used any. My mom and sister went with me to Missouri. When we loaded the flowers into the back seat of the rental they took over the entire back seat and floor,there was harely any room for my poor mom to sit. As I recall, we even had them in the front seat on the floor so my sister barely had room... After the photo shoot we gave them to a little grade school and told the office staff to hand them out to the teachers as a teacher appreciation day. NOTE TO SELF: you do not need as many flowers as you think you do! I still smile when I think about it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

VANESSA'S TUTORIALS

I wanted to post all the pictures of Vanessa's tutorials but I can't, so you will just have to visit her blog and click on "my tutorials" and see all the beautiful things she makes and shares....I love her blog and I know you will too! Happy Sewing!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A LITTLE BIT OF SEWING

I have actually been doing a little bit of sewing with two friends. We made the top of this Triple Irish Chain for a wedding quilt. It is for the daughter of our other friend who is getting married this month.
The pink is from Bonnie and Camille's line of fabric, Simple Abundance by Moda. The quilting is the same pink color.
The quilting was so pretty I had to show you, it was quilted by my friend Susan Hansen.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

FRESH FLOWERS

Not too many things better than fresh, cheerful flowers on a cold winter day.....
Except being in southern California!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

SEWING DOLLS

These are a few "funny cream dolls" I have been making for a little gift shop here in town.
I got crazy with the buttons.
It is always fun to make dolls! I have a quilt to bind tomorrow for a friend, but other than dolls, I have been sort of on a sewing hiatus as I am right in the middle of editing copy for my book.....so I hate to start another quilt project. I have seen some beautiful quilting and piecing on blogs! Keep sewing!

Monday, January 4, 2010

JOURNAL---ING

Sometimes I need something else to do besides sew....I know it is hard to believe...and I love to do paper crafts. I have recently found the wonderful blog of Teesha Moore.....you must check her out!
She does these incredible journals ,writing and doing collage and doodling.....I just love her work. You much scroll down to about October on her blog and learn how to make her amazing 16 page journal...so great, even if you don't want to do collage, you can use them for your own kind of journaling, and she has videos of her process, you will love it! She has generously agreed to let me post her work.
Here is my feeble attempt....I have yet to find the pens and paints I like....but it is what it is.
I like to do it when I watch TV...since there is not much on TV now days....SO, happy journaling!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

AVATAR

We like many of you went to see AVATAR. I personally LOVED it. We went on New Year's Eve with some friends. We did not see the 3-D but it was just as good as far as I can tell. My friend asked us, "What was your favorite part?" I thought I would ask all of you. "What was your FAVORITE part?"
I had several....but I can't tell in detail in case someone hasn't seen it yet....but if you have, you will know what I mean!
~I liked what happened at the very end!!!
~I loved that the forest lit up at night....wouldn't that be great if we had that here?
~I loved that he got to fly the biggest.....
~I loved how they had to connect with the other living things to understand them, and that all living things were connected to each other.
~I loved that the characters had dots that glowed...that was interesting to me...they could have been just one color. I thought those dots gave them such interesting drama.
~I loved that they believed in Deity.
So many great concepts. I would have loved to be a little mouse in the corner listening to the "think session" when all the ideas for this movie were being thrown out. I think people are brilliant...just brilliant! I have to get online to check out all the details on how the movie and ideas came about....I like to know the details.

Friday, January 1, 2010

WHAT I LEARNED IN 2009

1. You can get cupcakes like this in NYC at CRUMBS Bakery!
2. It takes a lot more people than I ever realized to write a quilt book.
3. I still don't like winter.
4. I love being a grandma and you can love your grand kids more than you ever thought possible.
5. I am still in love with my husband.
6. It still hurts when your children are hurting...even if they are grown ups.
7. You never stop worrying about your children...even if they are grown ups.
8. I still love the summer best.
9. I don't like to travel like I use to.
10. I loved reading blogs.
11. There are more talented people in the world than we ever knew....thanks to blog land, we have access to them.
12. Exercising won't kill you.
13. I like watching movies more than I ever did.
14. I won't die from book deadlines even though I thought I might.
15. If I get 8 hours of sleep each night I am a happier person.
16. I can do a lot more things on the computer than I believed I could.
17. God is aware of us even we are not aware of Him.

I wonder what wonderful things I will learn in 2010? Can you believe it has been 10 years since Y2K? Hope your New Year is all you hope it will be.