Saturday, September 24, 2011

I've Gone a Little Batty

Over this selvage

The fabric is Trick or Treat by Deb Strain for Moda

I wanted to make a few Halloween gift bags, so I picked up this and another fabric today.  I decided to make a few changes in cutting and constructing the bags this time. 

The first change was to use my wavy rotary cutter to make the pressed open trim look a little more decorative.

The second change was to sew down the pressed open trim.  I really didn't like the way it did not sit flat against the bags I have previously made.  This wasn't an easy task, but I think it was totally worth it. 
Here's the result

I think this looks much better

This one will be filled with candy for Em

I think these would make cute teacher gifts too :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

First Day of Autumn

I love New England.

It's still hot, sticky and 90 degrees here *sigh*  Allergy season is still in full bloom as well and this has been a particularly bad one from my perspective, so I'm staying indoors in the air conditioning.  I decided today to start working on some Christmas projects because I really, really look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I made three projects, but can only show you two because the person for whom I made one of them checks out my blog and would know the one not shown was for her if she saw it.  They start like this:

Then they look like this

and this

a little more sewing

and finally...

these little gift bags

I'm so excited that I've got something this month to enter for Allie's Christmas Through the Year.

These two are the small size gift bag and measure 5" tall with a 4.5" square bottom.  Perfect for some fat quarters, candy, pretty much anything.  I'm going to the quilt shop tomorrow and I think I need to pick up a little Halloween fabric to make a few goodie bags for some special folks (one is four years old).  The other night we were talking about growing up, and when I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up, her perfectly serious answer was, "a ladybug" .... everyone together now.... awwwwww. 

I bought her these to go with her ladybug costume

She'll go bananas!

Have a wonderful quilty weekend :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sneeze, Sniffle, Snort...

Well, the fall allergy season has hit down here - with temperatures in the 90s - yuck.  It is miserable.  I am miserable.  However, the bright side of having allergies is that I have to stay inside in the air conditioning, so it is the perfect opportunity to work on a new project in between naps.  I decided to make one of those gift bags that I posted about here.

A long time ago, this black, white, and yellow Michael Miller fabric came out and I went nuts over it.  Over time I've used some and given some away, so I don't have a lot of it left.  I figured that these fabrics would make a cute 'any occasion' gift bag. 

These bags are simple to make, although I will make a few changes next time.  The pattern calls for cutting the Steam a Seam 1/2" smaller than the fabric pieces to be fused and then trimming 1/4" all the way around.  Unfortunately, this sometimes results in the Steam a Seam not making it all the way to the fabric edge and some ravelling (the edges are not finished in this project - they are left raw).  So, next time I'll cut the fabric pieces a bit larger to ensure the Steam a Seam extends beyond where the pieces will be trimmed, and I may even use the wavy/pinking rotary cutter blade to trim the pieces.  I think that might look nice too.  This bag is the large size and finished at 7" high with a 7" base.

I think I'll make a few of these out of Christmas fabrics and participate in Allie's Christmas Through the Year project :)

I hope you're having a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Don't You Just Love It When....

A quilt just names itself?

This morning I was fixing a myriad of piecing screw ups piecing the quilt backing for the Monkeying Around quilt, but I kept thinking that the owls on the back didn't go with the monkeys and other animals on the front.  There are more owls than monkeys, but the monkeys are the focal point of the quilt.

Then, inspiration hit!

Who Whooooo's the Monkey?

Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Finished Monkey Business Top

I moved my sewing machine into the living room this morning to finish this top that had been languishing for nearly a month. I like sewing in the living room - I don't feel cooped up as I do when I am in my sewing room. It feels so good to have this top done - now I just have to make the backing, get it quilted, and add the binding. I don't know what I'm going to do with this one yet, and I think that's one of the reasons I procrastinated a lot. I do a lot better when I have a specific purpose for the finished quilt.

I questioned the inclusion of corner stones in the sashing for this quilt and with these particular fabrics, I'm not sure it added enough to the finished top to make piecing them worthwhile, but's done.

I spent a lot of the morning watching the 9-11 programming. At one point, ABC had that song "I'm already there" playing while showing the pictures of children next to pictures of their parents who were lost. It was gut-wrenching, but at the same time beautiful to see how these families have carried on with the business of living and keeping their parents' memories alive.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Potential Stash Buster?

I can dream, can't I?

I picked up this pattern because, in case it hasn't entered your consciousness yet, Christmas is just a few months away.  I thought these bags were such a cute idea (love the tall bag - perfect for gifting a bottle of something or other!)

The smal and large square-ish bags are perfect for using up half yards of fabric, and I just happen to have some half yard cuts that I bought when I found Tina Givens Chloe's Imagination on sale for $3-something a yard.  I fell in love with this fabric when I made this quilt

What could be more whimsical than these bees and ladybugs ?  When I found them on sale, I bought fabrics in these colorways:

Of course, I had to pick up some of this fabric (the tall bag uses 5/8 yard)  I picked up enough for a couple of bags :)

So, I guess I added to my stash before I had a chance to use any of it...story of my life, and probably yours too if you're a quilter :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Happy 15th Birthday!

to my Mr. Sweetie Boy

You're the best little boy ever.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The last of the Monkey Business

for this weekend.  Made some good progress and I think this will be another cute one for Em's school dinner auction, but I haven't decided for certain.

Looking at this top, I probably could have saved some time and effort by eliminating the cornerstones from the sashing they don't really add that much to the quilt since it is so busy - We'll see when the quilt is completed in any case.

Hope you're having a great Labor Day!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day Weekend Monkey Business

Haven't gotten around to sewing since Hip to be Square was finished, but today I managed to get in a little sewing time, see?

 I started work on this in mid-August and got sidetracked...big surprise - not - it happens all the time to a lot of us :)

Since this is a new pattern, it is a lot of fun to tackle.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get a little more work done on it tomorrow.  Tonight I'm helping out with the Newman Club back to school cook out at the local university.  I'm bringing a chocolate cherry cake and will help with whatever needs doing.  They do such a great job, nice thick steaks and all the trimmings...yum!  This is a very nice event because now that the students are a few weeks into class, the reality of college life has set in and some of the freshmen are a little homesick.  It helps bring them together for good food, fellowship and encourages the formation of new friendships along the way.