Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mini bread loaves

I found these cute little mini bread pans today... aren't they adorable? The kids got off early from school, so I knew I wouldn't get any quilting done this afternoon... here's what I did instead. I had just seen some new recipes in the Family Fun magazine we get. These little bread pans are 1/4 of the regular size- each recipe made 4 mini loaves.

One batch was Pumpkin Chocolate Chip bread, and the other was Double Apple Bread. The original recipe was for Double Apple Walnut bread, but I decided to leave out the walnuts. The recipe uses applesauce in the batter & also diced apples.

I brought them along to the Thanksgiving church service tonight & handed them out to some friends. It was so much fun giving them away.!
They were so cute on their own, but I did add a little slip telling what kind it was & a little strip of some flannel fabric (don't throw away those selvedges!!!).

Monday, November 24, 2008

30's prints wallhanging

I've had this little quilt pieced & quilted for quite a while... just last week I found it in a tub somewhere buried under a stack of unfinshed projects. All it needed was the binding. I guess I put it away earlier, as I wasn't sure if I wanted to make a pillow out of it, or a little wall hanging.
So, this Saturday, I got the binding on.

It's all reprodution 30's prints, which is far from my usual fabric picks. But, I like it alot. It's bright & cheery & fresh looking. I added the bee & 2 ladybugs & the embroidered verse.

It's machine pieced, and hand quilted & hand appliqued. I don't do much hand quilting, this size project was just the right size for me to hand quilt. I admire those of you who can hand quilt a bed-size quilt!
It came from a pattern in this book:
Her version of the pattern was made into a "Good Morning" pillow... As I am very much not a morning person, I think the wallhanging suits me better!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Freehand feather meander

A customer quilt finished this week... I did a freehand feather meander on this one. I used a variegated thread that matched the darker fabrics well.

The thread doesn't show up well enough in the picture to see the different colors in it. :-( Trust me, it's variegated.... The thread color is called Mocha Almond Fudge... how fun is that? It's changes from rusty red to brown to tan.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New baby quilt top

Yesterday I put this together... I was feeling like I needed to accomplish something other than washing dishes & making meals. And there are quite a few baby showers coming up... it's nice to have some quilts ready to go when I need them.
I found the cutest cat fabric at Jo-Anns fabric when we were in Des Moines in October for the AQS quilt show there. I used a free pattern that I had gotten, called Speedy Baby 2. It went together in under 2 hours. I did veer from the pattern a bit, I changed that last border into 2 borders, because I wanted to repeat the cat fabric from the middle section.

The cat fabric makes me smile. :-)

Monday, November 17, 2008

T-shirt quilt & matching tote finished!

I finished the t-shirt quilt this weekend.... here it is! I did the binding completely by machine- do you know how hard it is to see black flannel binding on a black flannel background? Yikes! Anyway, I hope they like it.
I quilted this with a freehand version of my "hurricane" pattern, I thought it could stand in for the school's "comet" mascot.

And, I think I am more tickled with this than the quilt... it's a tote bag I made for the quilt out of the leftover t-shirt pieces. I just *love* how it turned out! The t-shirt fabric is fun to work with, because it doesn't unravel on the edges. I just made a simple bag & cut a 1" strip folded over in half to bind the top edge- I zig-zagged than on. Then I zig-zagged the edges of some 2" strips for the handles & sewed those on. It's so fun when I have an idea in my head, and it actually turns out like I hoped it would. What a great way to recycle all those out-grown shirts. These might even work for all the "green" grocery bags that are all the rage.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

T-shirt quilt

I am working on making a t-shirt quilt for C's cousin and their family. They have 2 boys a bit older than ours, and they give us all their out-grown clothes. It has been so nice for us- our boys are excited to get a new bag of stuff to look through (& fight over who gets what!). They have given us so many great jeans and shirts over the years... I've been saving all the school t-shirts & am making them into a quilt to give back to them as a thank-you. We are so grateful for all the time & money that they've saved us. Clothes shopping with 2 boys is not my favorite past-time.
They never wanted even a thank-you note for the clothes, but they never said anything about a thank-you quilt! :-)

Here it is, it's not quilted yet. I hope to get that done soon. It's about 65"square- I guess kind of a throw size. The sashing & borders are flannel. I think I will do a black binding, since I have some of that fabric left.

Flip-Flop quilt

Here's the latest customer quilt to come off the frame. A fun little flip-flop quilt, in bright cheery colors.

A close-up of the quilting- it's my own freehand design. It remineded me of sun-shine, especially with the yellow thread.

The corner block... she wanted the recipient's name & the date quilted on it. I think that's a great idea... I should think to do this more often on my own quilts & then I wouldn't have to make those dreaded lables. What a nice personalized touch for a quilt that's a gift.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fabric Gift Basket

Another fabric basket. This one will be a baby shower gift, filled with little things- not sure what, yet. Maybe some baby shampoo & little toys. Watch out, these baskets are addictive.

How long can I surive without my sewing machine?

A month or two ago, my sewing machine puked out on me. Loops on the back & it had been making this terrible squealing noise when I'd go anything faster than crawling. So, knowing that the repair guy was going to be at the local quilt shop in a few days, I thought I could make it until then & bring it in. You could've just as well cut off my right arm, I felt so lost without it. Just recently our minivan was in the shop for 1.5 weeks, and I missed it far less than my sewing machine. Far, far less. I use my sewing machine every day... and the fact that I couldn't use it really got the creative juices going & I was thinking of all these things I wanted to make, but couldn't.
I finally made it to Wednesday night when the repair guy was supposed to be there, but when I got there, they told me that he hadn't come. What!?! I was just about gasping for breath.... how will I make it another day? I had used every ounce of determination to make it to now & he's not here??? Doesn't he realize that this is a crisis? It's not like I need a toaster repaired! It's my sewing machine!
So, the next day the 45-minute trip to the repair store was made, and thankfully, C could pick it up the next day. Phew! I just made it through alive. I almost bought a new one to have in the interim. My first Singer sewing machine is currently living at my sister's house, but she never caught the sewing bug like I did. I've talked her into sending it to a good home (mine!) so I can have a back-up.

Recycled Denim Bib

I have been looking for ideas for baby gifts. I often give a quilt, but want to have some other things on hand for when I can't (read: not enough time) make a quilt to give.

Here are a couple of recycled blue-jean bibs. I was tickled with the finished product. What's more American than Levi's?? (Well, apple pie, maybe, but that wouldn't make a very good baby shower gift, would it?) I thought these would be fun for a baby boy. The denim is nice & heavy to protect against those big spills.
A bib I had on hand became the template. I just cut out the pocket part & crazy-pieced the rest using a zig-zag stitch, with the pieces butted up together. I made a very skinny single-fold bias binding from some red fabric & bound the edges with that, applying with a very small zig-zag stitch. A little velcro sewn on for the closure, and ta-da! you're done. And $0 spent. My favorite part.

New bathroom curtain

My new bathroom curtain.... yeah! I saw one similar on the SmithandNoble website that I really liked the shape of. I thought maybe I'd just buy it from them, but found out it would be something like $200, that was the end of that idea. So, I thought, "I can make that. "

1 yard of $10 batik fabric for the front, $13 curtain rod from World Market, $23 total. Yeah! That's more like it. I lined it with some cotton duck fabric that was leftover from another project. I was super easy- 1.5 hours or so. It's really just a flat panel with a header, and the loops to hold up the gathers. Easy, peasy, as J would say.

Little fabric basket

I've been enjoying reading so many others' blogs, and was inspired to try making a fabric basket from this tutorial from Pink Penguin. I thought it turned out so cute. The tutorial didn't indicate the finished size, however, so it was a little smaller than I pictured it would be. Not that it was any less cute, mind you. It went together quickly- less than an hour, I think. I love finding ways to use fabric I have on had already. I used batik for the top strip, a linen-looking fabric for the bottom, and another batik for the lining.

I had a wedding shower to go to the next day, so I made another one, but bigger (I regret not getting a picture of it...) and I filled it with office supplies- envelopes, stapler, sticky notes, paper clips, etc. I was really pleased with how it turned out. I think the hand-made tote gave it a nice touch.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Challenge quilt

This is a wall quilt for the TSMQ group challenge. TSMQ- Tri State Machine Quilters- meets every few months or so in Sioux Falls. Everyone pieced the same pattern & quilted it differently. Their goal was to have quite a few differently quilted pieces to send to shows so people could see how the quilting changes the look of the quilt. The only problem is, I'm not sure I want to send it away.... I spent quite a bit of time on it, and while it's far from perfect, I like how it turned out.
There's going to be a craft show in Boyden on the 29th, so I'm going to hang this in my booth to show an example of my work.
The quilting patterns are my own, I drew them out & used washable blue fabric markers to mark on the quilt. It was really a mess before I washed the whole thing.
I wish now that I had done the background filler a little smaller, but done is better than perfect. It will be a good lesson for next time.