Sunday, November 19, 2017

revisiting the dainty tote

Some patterns are just so outstanding that I revisit them again and again. The Dainty Tote, a free tutorial by my friend Three Owls Handmade is one of those patterns. I've made at least a half dozen of these, for project bags for friends, tote swaps and now as a dolly diaper bag for the little girl I chose on our church's angel tree....
I used a mishmash of fabrics I had on hand, and I think this will be just perfect for her to carry dolly's goodies in.
One of my favorite features of this tote is the recessed zipper panel, which goes in easily for all of you zipper-phobes! I always add a little zipper charm from Bodobo Bags, my friend Natalie's shop. She has a great selection & they are the perfect finishing touch on all of my bags.

I whipped this little bag up in a day (no easy feat when I am still sewing with my left foot & hobbling about the house with a walker! Ha!). Do you have a young friend who needs a dolly diaper bag this Christmas?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

tiny plants 2

Last night we swapped minis at McKinney Modern Quilt Guild. The minis were to be an inspiration for our partner's creative space. I was happy to see that my partner, Lyssa, has lots of plants in her sewing space! I decided to do a variation on my Tiny Plants pattern and add the word create, at her request.
Lyssa's colors are blue & purple so I pulled some from my stash and I really love the way it turned out. I hope she enjoys it in her space!
And look what I received from Loide!
She sure hit the nail on the head! I love everything about this.... the word, the colors, fabric choices, EVERYTHING! I can't wait to hang it in my space. Thanks Loide!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Leather labels

Hi everyone! I thought I'd pop in and let you know I am recovering well. I had my second knee replacement last Tuesday. Everyone warned me that it would be different from the first, and boy were they right. I've had some unexpected hurdles and setbacks. Nothing I can't overcome, mind you, but I've had to draw on my extra store of patience and strength.  

Meanwhile, I'm creating in limited doses, in between exercising and napping, haha! I wanted to share some awesome labels I received in the mail shortly before my surgery.

I had seen others sewing custom leather labels on their handmade bags & went searching for some for me. I ended up ordering these from Mann & Co Heritage on Etsy. They came all the way from Moscow, Russia. I was afraid I would wait months for them, but they arrived on my doorstep just three weeks after ordering! I was amazed.

The shop offers lots of different sizes and shapes of labels. Mine are tiny, just about 1 1/2" x 1/2". I  can't wait to use them.

Monday, October 16, 2017

NYC 2017

I love to visit NYC in the fall! This year the weather didn't exactly cooperate - it was still in the 80s! But I still had a wonderful time with Leigh Anne. Here is our view from the hotel room. Not too shabby!

I was there to attend the She Is Free conference with Leigh Anne, but I did sneak in a few detours... including a trip to Mood!
wow! so much fabric. I was terribly overwhelmed. Didn't buy a thing! (ok, I bought a t-shirt).

The conference was amazing! Great speakers & powerful worship. Oh, and I wore some of my new fall clothes because it was freezing in the theater, LOL
On Sunday we spent some time in Brooklyn. Visited Leigh Anne's new apartment on the top floor of this awesome brownstone...
Visited Emma Straub's sweet bookstore, Books are Magic...
And the Brooklyn General store (where, yes, I did buy some fabric!)
As always, I found inspiration in some of the incredible graffiti around town...
Until next time New York!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

baby quilt

This quilt has been delivered to a "soon to arrive"  baby in New York so I can share it here. The request was for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, not something I am fond of, but requested nonetheless.  Also, baby gender was a mystery to me, so a bright, gender neutral quilt was in order. The greens here are the turtles, found at my local Joanns. I pulled the other colors out of the turtle fabric and used all blenders from my stash. It worked out great.
The pattern is A Quilter's Table's Quarter-cut baby quilt tutorial which I've used several times now. Thanks Debbie for the awesome pattern! It whips up quickly and makes a perfect gift. I especially love the rounded corners. Finishes 40" square. I used a soft flannel on the back and cross hatch quilted it on my domestic machine.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dresden Swap Quilt

Lately I've been thinking maybe I should change my word of the year to DRESDEN! Thinking this will be my last dresden quilt for the year. (never say never, I know, I know). I shared with you a while back that we swapped dresdens at McKinney Modern Quilt Guild. If you want to see the dresdens I made for the swap and a before shot of the ones I received, you can read all about it here.

This is my final quilt made with those dresdens I received! I really love the way the colors pop off of a black background. Not wanting it to be just boring solid black, I did a patchwork background of a mix of "reads black" fabrics and I'm so happy I did! The dresdens are all appliquéd on top of the pieced background. After appliquéing each one, I was able to carefully cut away behind the dresden and use the background pieces I cut to create the center circles.

I really love the way this turned out! Collaboration quilts make me so happy.... I know who made some of the dresdens I received but not all (I wish we had all initialed the back of ours? or something). I'm looking forward to seeing what others have done with the dresdens they received.

Finished quilt is 40" x 42"
Quilted by Diann (Happy Quilts)


Saturday, September 30, 2017

fifth Saturday challenge

One of our local quilt shops, Not Your Mama's Quilt Store, where I host the Boast and Toast every month, has begun a fifth Saturday Challenge. On the last fifth Saturday (which was in July) I decided to purchase the mystery bag and join in the fun for September. Everyone who joins gets the same materials in their bag, and you can use it to make whatever you want. Fun!

This particular bag had a half yard of three different fabrics. One was this delightful print:
The second piece was a burgundy solid. I decided to English Paper Piece stars (mostly because I knew I was going to have a lot of travel time away from my machine!). It was amazing to me how many different fussy cut stars I could get out of a single print! I used the burgundy solid to set them off....

Confession: I did ad in the pink "dot" for the partial stars around the edges. But the others? All from that one print! pretty cool.

Oh, and the other fabric? A blue texture. hmmm. what to do with that?
onto the back it went, Haha. Oh and you can see my "far from perfect" grid that I quilted on my domestic machine. sigh.

I wonder what everyone else  has done?

Monday, September 25, 2017

2017 Finish-a-long third quarter finishes

Back in July, I set a goal of four projects to finish this quarter. Well I didn't do too bad! Three of the four projects are finished. The fourth, that darned New Hexagon quilt, is still hanging on. I did get all of the hexies joined, but the borders are not yet added and quilting/binding is yet to be done. Maybe next quarter!

Here are my finishes for Q3:

My new ironing board cover was a quick finish and continues to make me smile every single day...
A pink baby quilt has been delivered to a new baby girl in Ohio....
And fancy foxes to a baby boy here in Texas...
So not a bad quarter! Q4 will be a bit slow, just like last year, as I am getting my other knee replaced next month. That will be my major finish for the year!

I'm linking up my finishes here

Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Fall!

I love fall! I love the cooler temps, pulling on a sweater and leggings, bundling up under a a quilt. Sadly, even though the calendar says "fall", Texas didn't get the memo. It's still 90+ degrees outside and I'm hiding in the air conditioning in capris & a t-shirt. boo.

However, I've been having a blast making some new clothes for when fall finally decides to show up. I had been eyeing up Grainline Studio's Linden Sweatshirt pattern for a while. About a month ago, we were driving through Austin and I convinced hubby I needed to stop off at The Cloth Pocket. They had the pattern and some yummy french terry sweatshirt fabric, so of course I indulged!
My very first Linden Sweatshirt! I added about 2 inches to the length (front and back) and did a split hem using this tutorial. Easy as pie!
As with all Grainline Studio patterns, it was well written and easy to follow. The finished top fits great and looks terrific.
Then I found a super soft, gorgeous knit at Joanns and it just jumped into my cart (gotta love those 50% off coupons!). I quickly whipped up another Linden...
For this one, I added six inches to the front and 8 inches to the back. It's nice and long and will be great with leggings! I did a side vent bottom using this tutorial and I love the way it looks.

I had also bought a gorgeous cotton knit floral at Hobby Lobby. Seriously, this fabric is so soft, it feels like butter! I wanted something drapey out of this fabric, so I chose this pattern from my stash...

I made view D, which is simple and quick and the finished top is just perfect.
So, I'm ready for fall..... any day now!


Monday, September 11, 2017

woven pillows

I wanted to weave some pillows for my sister's birthday. She has a new gray couch. I chose these beautiful bright colors to go with two shades of gray (ps: that's not her couch, it's mine. I know, not gray)....

The weft was all light gray (double strands in a 10 dent heddle) and the warp was a mixture of the brights and darker gray. All of the yarn is Valley 8/2 cotton from Webs. I did all plain weave but played with color to create patterns.
In the end, I had 2 pretty pillows to bring to her last weekend. One 16" square and the other 11"x16" rectangle. I have oodles of fun fabric to make bags and things with later.
also not my couch, or hers

I hope they bring her joy!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

fancy foxes

Baby quilt #2 that I pieced on retreat has been delivered to it's new tiny owner, so I can share it here! I was amazed how quick the foxes went together. I had cut them out (all from my stash) so when I got to retreat I was ready to sew sew sew...
Diann quilted it in a woodgrain pattern with minky on the back and it's super soft
I loved making this one! Just might do it again. Pattern is Fancy Foxes by Elizabeth Hartman.
This is finish #3 in the third quarter of the 2017 finish-along.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Reading People... book review

I've recently become very interested in personality typing. Several podcasters I listen to on a regular basis are obsessed with it, constantly asking their guests "what type are you?". Whether it's Myers Briggs typing, Enneagram, or something else, everyone seems to be classifying  themselves, their friends, their family members. Wanting to know what all of the hoopla was all about, I loaded up on books from the library and Amazon. Then I became totally confused! I had no idea where to start on my quest for information. The more I read, the more questions I had.

Anne Bogel to the rescue! Anne is the voice behind the awesome podcast, What Should I Read Next? and the author of the blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy. I answered a call to participate in the launch team for her new book, Reading People, releasing September 19. I got the email that I had been chosen for the team, loaded the book onto my kindle app and dove in, having no idea what the book was about. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it is the ultimate guide to personality typing!

As the book unfolded, all of my questions were answered. Each chapter introduces a different form of personality typing, from Myers Briggs to love languages, Enneagrams, Highly Sensitive People (a new one for me!) and more. Anne writes in a conversational style. I felt like we were sitting at my kitchen table over a cup of tea. I took many quotes away from the book, like this one, one of my favorites...
Anne gave so many resources and steps to take to learn more. I did reconfirm that I am an INFJ. As for my Enneagram type, that is still up for debate! More reading to be done. Hubby and I had a fun evening reading each other's personality descriptions. Even after 30+ years together, we discovered things about each other and gained insight into why we interact the way we do. Fascinating!

I think everyone would benefit from reading this terrific book. You can preorder yours here, and receive  lots of bonus goodies from Anne. Five stars from this happy reader!

while I did receive an advance copy of this book for free, the opinions I've shared here are totally my own. I really did love it! 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

baby quilt

I shared in my Q3 finish-a-long goals post that I had two baby quilts to make for babies due early September, a boy quilt and a girl quilt. Well we all know babies have minds of their own! Both arrived in August! I was able to deliver the baby girl quilt this weekend....
Pink and gold was the request! I cut squares from my stash and did offset borders. Quilted it with crosshatching in the patchwork and curvy lines for the rest.
Backed it in flannel for lots of cozy baby snuggles, and pieced the back with some extra squares too...

checking this one off as DONE! The boy quilt is done too... will share that soon, after it has been delivered!