Jan 23, 2013

Carson's Courtyard Block Swap

My friends and I had so much fun with the Summer's Last Bloom block swap we did last year that we are doing another swap this year. We decided to do a pieced block (less time consuming) and something that is not Civil War. We love Primitive Quilts and Projects Magazine and found a great pattern in the Summer 2012 that is scrappy and would lend itself well to a swap. It's called Carson's Courtyard. The blocks are 11" finished and easy to make. 

When we were together in September we all discussed the "rules" for our swap and decided to use 1930's reproduction fabrics and white for this quilt. Since we were together, we purchased the same white fabric so that it would be consistent throughout the quilt. We chose to begin mailing in January and are going to make and swap blocks for 10 months-getting together again in September or October. There are six of us swapping this year, so we will have 60 blocks when we are finished. 

I have cut all of my white fabric into the 6 1/2" squares that I need and also cut the reproduction fabric for the first eight of the months. I am going to decide what colors I want to do for the other two months later on. I stacked them all and put them back into the cabinet-ready to come out and be sewn at a moment's notice. 

This is going to be a fun swap and I will post pictures of my blocks periodically.

I have been working a lot on my 5th block of When The Cold Wind Blows and am getting close to finishing it. I will post pictures of it when I am done.

Happy Quilting, Grammy.

Jan 21, 2013

A Cute Diaper Bag

My friend Judy is about to be a grandmother again! I don't care how many times it happens-it is new and exciting with each and every grandchild. It's her daughter's first baby, so there is excitement in the air. In fact, today is the day she is supposed to have her baby! I am hoping to hear some news soon. :)

My friends have always been so kind and generous to my children and grandchildren and I like to do things for theirs too. I have had wheels spinning in my brain for a while trying to think of something that I could make. Since Judy is a quilter, and a crocheter, I knew this baby would have all the covers she needs. When Judy mentioned to me that her daughter wanted her to make a diaper bag for her, I jumped at the chance to do it for her! She already had a pattern picked out, so all I needed to do was buy the fabric and make it. Easy-peasy. 

The bag has pockets on the inside and outside, a magnetic closure and is big and roomy. It will hold lots of things for baby. I am really pleased with how it came out. I had enough fabric left over that I also made a changing pad and tucked it inside. 

When I made the changing pad, I just two put different pieces of fabric together with batting between and did a did an easy all over meandering stitch. For Christmas my friend, Anne, gave me Pinmoor and this was the perfect project to try them out. I LOVE THEM!! It was so quick and easy to pin the fabric and just as easy to remove the pins while I was quilting. I am going to buy more so that I can do larger quilts too. Here is a pic of the changing pad with the straight pins and Pinmoor. 

Happy Sewing.

Jan 13, 2013

A Clock for my Quilt Room

As you know by now, my husband loves woodworking. For Christmas this year he made our youngest daughter a long-awaited hope chest. It was beautiful and she was thrilled on Christmas morning. But, I don't think she was any more excited about it than I was surprised and excited about what he made for me!

I knew he was up to something in his workshop the last few days before Christmas and since he was wouldn't tell me what he was busy working on, I figured it was something for me. Imagine my surprise on Christmas morning when I found this-

He included everything he could think of that is a favorite of mine. I collected chicken fabrics with two friends for several years. We made and swapped chicken blocks and each made a quilt. Because of those chicken fabrics and quilts my friends and I now each have a pretty extensive chicken collection.  We even manage to each find and swap chicken Christmas ornaments every year. Yes, there really are chicken ornaments! So, my clock just wouldn't be complete if it didn't include a chicken. 

I love the ruler and scissors tucked under the wing and the spool of thread in his foot!! He actually cut these "scissors" from a piece of wood and painted them to look like a real pair of scissors. The ruler is part of a yardstick that he cut to size. Isn't he just too cute? A sewing rooster!

For the working clock he bought several packages of buttons that contained buttons that reminded him of me. There are sewing items, chickens and several flip-flops (my shoe of choice) that mark the numbers on the clock. 

The spool of thread and needle on the left side are also cut from wood. He painted the spool with blackboard paint so that I can write anything I want to on it. He wrote the saying that is on it now. 

I have my new clock hanging over the door in my quilt room. Just because I now know what time it is doesn't mean I don't lose all track of time when I get involved in my latest quilt project. 

Jan 6, 2013

Repurposing Christmas Cards

I just can't stand to throw away something that I can reuse, repurpose or recycle. So, when I saw a pin on Pinterest that showed making gift tags out of your old Christmas cards I knew I just had to do it. I went through all of our cards from this year and found 40 that I thought would work. I have some scrapbooking supplies (because at one time I thought I might like to do that as a hobby too, but that's another story), so I got out my die cutter and the two dies that I have that are for cutting tags. And here are a few that I came up with.

These are smaller tags, cut with two different shaped dies. Several were just fussy cut off the card and I punched a hole in them.

These are bigger tags. I love the one with the dove and the one with the button. The dimension adds a lot of interest. 

Apparently snowman cards were popular this year. I do have lots of gift bags and wrapping paper that snowman tags will be cute with.

These two tags were my faves. They look like they were made just to be repurposed into gift tags. 

I have enough tags for all my Christmas gifts for next year. All for free.

Now, back to my quilt projects. Happy Stitching. 

Jan 4, 2013

Christmas Crafts and Gifts

This is my last post about Christmas! I couldn't write this before Christmas because I didn't want my family members to see what I was up to. And then after Christmas my husband and I went out of town for our anniversary. Now the new year has started and I am just getting around to posting this. Looks like I am starting out the year a day late and a dollar short. 

I told my husband that I wanted more Christmas "spirit" this year and one way I was going to get it was by making gifts. I love handmade gifts and so does my family. 

It all started with some "Clifford fabric" I found in an Amish quilt shop last September. My oldest granddaughter, Katelyn (9 1/2), has loved Clifford since she was a tiny toddler. As soon as I saw this fabric I knew I had to get it and make her some pajama pants for Christmas. And every grandmother knows you can't make something for JUST ONE grandchild-you have to make something for each and every grandchild. So, this Christmas I made something for each of my 6 granddaughters (and my 2 daughters, my mom and my husband.) I had a great time and it was just what I needed to give me that good old-fashioned Christmas spirit.

I have made each of my granddaughters Christmas pillowcases. I owed one to the two youngest and these are the fabrics that I chose for them. They are Christmasy and young and fun. 

These are Katelyn's Clifford pajama pants. I loved the coordinating fabric and just had to have it for contrasting cuffs and waist. 

I made this purse for Emily (she will be 8 on Sunday). She is such a girly-girl and I knew these cute flowers were perfect for her. This pattern is the Amy Butler Frenchy Bag.

Madison is 6 1/2 and is a huge Snoopy lover. Her Snoopy dog goes everywhere with her! She wanted a backpack for her Snoopy to wear and this Peanuts fabric was perfect. I am going to make her a matching one as soon as I get some more fabric. I also made her a pillowcase from this fabric for her birthday last year. 

Four and a half year old Sofia loves Tinkerbell, so I got this fabric to make an I-Spy bag for her. The idea is not an original one. I just did a Google search and found a pattern I liked. Most of the items inside her bag are cute buttons.

I did put a pocket in the back for the card to be tucked into when not in use. 

Sofia's sister, Chloe, age 2 1/2, also got an I-Spy bag. Nothing but Minnie Mouse fabric would work for her.

Ella, 15 months, got a ball. It was challenging, but a lot of fun to make. She loves throwing it and it is so easy for her to pick up because of the way it's made. 

As you can see, none of my projects were complicated or too time consuming to make. Each was catered to the interests and likes of the recipient. And they were all loved on Christmas morning-bringing that Christmas spirit and joy to all. 

Happy New Year.