Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hostess Apron

Here's a reversible hostess apron from a pattern presented in Stitch Magazine (Summer 2011).  This was so easy to make.  I added a front pocket panel on one side, because I like pockets and it also makes practical sense.  I used a cream-colored remnant of a mid-weight cotton twill for my base fabric.  In retrospect, I wouldn't use such a heavy fabric; still, this demi-apron hangs nicely and I'm pleased with the result.  This is a great pattern for making quick gifts.  Fun to mix and match colors and prints, and a great way to make good use of my fabric stash.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Christine in the garden, in pants that she made...

Christine; c'est moi
Christine in the garden, in pants that she made!  C'est vrai!  Copied this drawing onto fabric with my inkjet printer.  Then I cut her and stuffed her to make this odd-shaped pillow.  It's a work in progress; I plan to develop this one further.  Variations on a theme, you might say.

Workroom color palette

I wish for a crafty workroom; someplace where I can sew, quilt and create.  Here is my color palette.  Found this basket and the little pincushion on sale at Joann's.  I already had these fabric cuts in my stash.  Made the basket mat in under an hour last night.  I'd like to build my craft room around these colors; refreshing and oh so sweet!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Christmas is coming and I haven't even finished Halloween!

Christmas stash
Slowly working my way through my fabric stash.  Here's Christmas scraps and remnants.  Maybe some oven mitts, mug rugs, patchwork puzzle balls, and aprons will help this pile of fabric to dwindle?  Falling behind already! 

Cheryl's Baby Blanket

My mom's sketch
My mom passed away a good number of years ago.  Among her things was a little plastic bag containing this sketch and a handful of little dingle balls.  When my niece was born, my mom's first granddaughter, I remember my mom working on a baby blanket to send along.  There was a kind of Winnie the Pooh bear appliqued on top of a soft yellow background; that's my recollection.  I remember at the time, looking at the finished bear and thinking what a funny little bear he was; kind of on the skinny side, I thought.   I was with my mom the day she went to Hart's Fabrics in Santa Cruz, when she bought these dingle balls, a few snips of this and a few snips of that.  It must have meant a great deal to my mom to have kept these things tucked away for all that time.  It means the world to me to have them in my keeping.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Slow-going applique...Mrs. Lincoln's Sampler

Working on first applique block of this sampler
Up close
I decided to start my Mrs. Lincoln Sampler (designer Lori Smith), as noted in last entry.  I have dabbled in Hawaiian quilting and applique in general with success, and so I thought I'd whip through the 24  little applique blocks that comprise part of this quilt, without too much trouble.  double hah! hah!  The background surface is a 6-1/2" square piece of fabric, which will be cut and finished to a 5" block.  Looking at my bluebird and those green leaves, I see that I could have tucked and/or rounded the pieces a bit more, here and there.  My bird's neck is wonky, the leaves pointy, but all edges are neatly tucked and stitched down. hmmm...  Tempted to start all over and redo this block to achieve greater perfection, before I set those red circles.  But then...  After all, charm lies in a quilter's individual handwork, which makes it her very own.  Doesn't it?  Final note:  It became an enjoyable task once I relaxed.  Use the correct stitch, trust the process, find your rhythm, and the stitches will begin to flow.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mrs. Lincoln Sampler

5" blocks
I have had it in mind to do a more detailed project.  I had thought about starting a Dear Jane quilt and may still do so later on; but then I came across Lori Smith's, Mrs. Lincoln's Sampler Quilt.  What a charming quilt.  These are 5" blocks, some pieced, some appliqued.  I am currently on my third block.  It may take me some time to finish, but I'm enjoying the challenge.  In the meantime, I'm still cranking out those pot holders and mug rugs, as well as other quick and easy projects for Christmas gift giving.  Also, my Colores quilt top is complete and I'll soon begin machine quilting that one and finishing it off.  I've got a lot of projects going on!

Halloween's a comin'...

Halloween 2012
Halloween 2013
Last Halloween 2012, I thought it would be fun to make play blankets for Chloe and Natalie, and so I did.  I bought a bunch of Halloween prints and still have a bunch of fabric left over.  So this year, with the mug rug craze that's taken hold of me, I decided to make the girls some Halloween mug rugs.  These finished mug rugs measure about 6-1/4" x 9-1/2". 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mug Rugs and Mini Mitts

Mini oven mitts
Rug Mugs; I mean..Mug Rugs!
Love these Sock Monkey mini hot mitts.  My design has only one pocket instead of two, but they're still functional for grabbing hot dishes from the oven or microwave.  Mug rugs are much smaller than a place mat, but larger than a coaster.  These little rugs are perfect for hubby at his computer station, or on the coffee table, a good place to rest his coffee cup or cold beverage, to catch the drips.  The larger ones in the picture above measure about 6"x8", a very convenient size.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Keep tools handy!

Chris' catch-all thing-a-ma-bob
So I keep misc. tools and gadgets in this catch-all, thing-a-ma-bob.  Half the battle is remembering what you have, the other half is remembering where you put them.  Tonight I was looking for those scissors-like pinchers that I use to pull my needle through stubborn layers of fabric and batting, for when I'm hand-quilting or stitching, to give my poor fingers a break.  There they are in the jar!