Monday, September 24, 2012

Felted Clutch

This felted clutch came together so nicely.
I started with the back of a merino sweater I'd felted. The wool is a rich rust color as you see in this picture, not the orange-ish seen below.

I cut it out so that the ribbing detail from the waist of the sweater became an accent along the top of the flap.


I got out the sewing machine manual and learned how to sew with a buttonhole applique stitch and finished the inside edge.

Ahhh... the perfect antique button from my collection.

I've also made fingerless mitts from this sweater. And I have a hank of yarn I reclaimed drying on the line. How many ways can a sweater be repurposed?

Lemon Lime Star Struck

I finished my Star Struck quilt; I call it Lemon-Lime. I love everything about it! The colors, the hand selected prints from my years old stash, each one holds a memory; the size, the wonderful quilting done by Marian. It's rare that I make the same quilt twice, but I'm glad I did.

Just in time for cooler Autumn nights.

Knitted Strawberry

I saw this little strawberry at Natural Suburbia and had to try it.

I thought I might make a bunch and put 'em in a bowl. But it turned out one was enough. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"Your Entry Has Been Accepted"

Hooray, I received my letter of acceptance from Pacific International Quilt Festival! I never thought I would enter a juried competition but the last time I went to PIQF I got inspired by the traditional quilts on display.

I called Marian, my professional long-arm quilter and shared the news. In my opinion, her heirloom quality quilting makes this quilt.

Lapel Pin

Just a little knitted flower for the fall boutique. I added clear beads for sparkle.

Family Visit

The family came for a celebratory dinner Saturday. It was my birthday and Evan's second visit to the house. He warmed up to us after a bit and began exploring. It was fun to see him get into everything, so much energy!

Kimberly asked how the baskets were made and we had fun talking about that.

Nathan was in NYC on business and joined us at the dinner table via Skype on the laptop.

I had a great time! It's so fun to get together.

Round Coiled Basket

These are so fun to make! I love watching them grow under the needle and I'm never sure when to stop!

Our grandson thought it was cool too!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Coiled Fabric Basket

During guild Show and Share last week I saw a purse made from fabric strips and cotton cord, coiled and zig-zagged. Wow, gotta try that!

Rosy said she had cotton clothesline that she'd be willing to share. She had wanted to make one, but the idea sat too long and it went into hibernation. I know how that happens, something new and exciting comes along to push it off the list.

I tried a 'Mug rug' first, even though the tutorial I watched said the oblong was easier than the circle. Nothing like jumping in with both feet...

The first one was a little stiff. The next day I was digging in my (ancient) collection of notions for a draw string for something else and found this soft cord for upholstery. Ha! It's from Sears and cost 50 cents. You know it's old! That helped the second mug rug to be softer.

On to a basket. I thought the mug rugs were a little too plain so I chose contrasting colors to show the layers more. These were my original choices.

Using a glue stick to secure the end of one strip and the beginning of the next worked wonderfully. Things went faster after that. I decided to make the last few rows in a dark green to give it a finished look.

Watching how the large scale prints create a pattern is fun.

Love it! There's a great YouTube tutorial here. I used clear mono-filament in the top, which becomes the inside and variegated thread in the bobbin, for the outside.

Other UFO's

I gave a home to fabric and UFOs from a quilt friend who recently passed away. I always enjoy receiving a new influx of fabric scraps, but it's especially fun to go through a collection to see another's taste.

Among Bobbie's projects this sweet little 8" block called out to me. It was easy to figure out the dimensions and piecing method.

They're fast and fun! 

It would make a great Quilt of Valor.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Country Store Boutique

My quilt guild has a boutique as part of their annual quilt show in October. I've been crafting, finishing UFO's and busting stash to create items to offer for sale.

Felted needle keeper made from a lamb's wool sweater I reclaimed, felted and over dyed. The felt is more olive green than gray. I hadn't used my machine's buttonhole applique' stitch before, so that was neat. And I had the perfect vintage button to use on the front. Velcro dots inside hold the keeper closed.

Knitted pin cushion.

And dozens and dozens of coordinated fabric bundles priced to sell; quilter's eye candy! As usual I have more ideas than time, but the creative juice is flowing!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Milkyway BOM

Oh my head hurt after that mirrored miter! 

Easy nine patch construction on this Block of the Month pattern for guild this week. Just what I needed.

Stretching Myself

I'm comfortable with my quilting, have my methods worked out and enjoy the process. But every once in awhile I decide to try something new, i.e. outside my comfort zone.

Mirrored mitered borders. I understand the concept on paper, but needed to see if I could make it happen in real life.

Auditioning the mirrored image. I realized after I played around with the actual border strips I could've just held a mirror up to one strip at different points along the print to see what it would look like, as shown on this blog.

On each border strip I cut 1/4" past the place I want to match for seam allowance.

One side sewn, stopping 1/4" from the edge to allow the seam to pivot when I add the other border strip.

This is my completed test. I had to redo the second seam in order to create a crisp internal corner. Not too bad.


When vine ripened tomatoes are in season I can't get enough. The ones in the grocery stores are so "GMO'ed" - genetically modified organism - they don't resemble the real McCoy. I recently received a harvest from my friend Marian. Wow, thanks! The picture doesn't include the beef steaks, they were so ripe and tender they literally melted away from the knife as I tried to slice them for dinner.

So I ran the first half through my juicer and put the juice on to simmer. I added sea salt, dried basil and oregano. Wished I'd planned ahead and used fresh herbs. After it simmered more than an hour I decided it was going to take way too long to turn into sauce; so I put it in a pitcher and have been enjoying my own fresh tomato juice. Incredibly sweet.

Then I chopped up 6 or 8 cups and made a fresh vegetable soup loosely based on this recipe, but instead of pureeing it I left the vegetables whole. We like a chunky soup. But we *still* had tomatoes.

That's okay, one of my all time favorite summer meals is tuna salad stuffed tomatoes; so sweet and oh so good. I think we've gotten our RDA of vitamin A and C lately. :)