Sunday, December 23, 2012
Saturday, December 22, 2012
My Christmas shopping and projects are DONE!!! Well, for now As the next couple days go by, I may have to putter a little in the sewing room…… But if I don’t, nothing lost. I will spend the next few days doing some baking and taking goodies to share with friends. Getting as much pre-Christmas dinner cooking done as I can and of course get the house Christmas ready so that within minutes there will be chaos…. but at least the bathrooms will be clean!
Here is a sampling of my projects:
These are little mug rugs I made to go with the glass mugs I etched and filled with candies.
I was hoping the etching would be a bit more ‘frosty’ but I think the kids will like them. I wanted to do Christmas theme for these as it’s my hope that it’s a gift that brings them joy for many Christmases to come.
A sampling of some of the doll clothes. I had to make a Snow White dress as she’s my granddaughter’s favorite Disney Princess. Come to find out, my son went to the Disney store and got her a Snow White dress too. So…. my granddaughter will have at least two matching outfits:
I didn’t do much Christmas decorating this year – just wasn’t in the mood. But here’s what it looks like:
So there you have it…. Christmas at Katie’s. I hope you all enjoy a very Merry Christmas.
Friday, December 14, 2012
No, it isn’t Christmas yet…. but I think I’m getting closer to it.
My very messy sewing space! I had to actually take a little time to straighten it out some. When it got to the point I couldn’t find pieces of what I was working on, I knew I had to do something! As soon as I finish with my Christmas projects, I will take the time to put things away as I should (or close to it)
This is some of the dump bags that were donated to the Elk’s VA Christmas party. With some help from the QFC ladies, I believe we donated 20 of these bags along with 7 quilts. We were also able to donate 107 Christmas stockings a variety of stocking stuffers for the Children’s Christmas party. I still have cupcakes to make for that before Sunday……
I made these fabric Christmas cards for my G-kids. They are done the same way as a fabric post card –but a bit larger. The designs are from Pixies Rule. Not sure, but I do hope their mom saves their cards each year. I’d like to think that sometime in the future, the cards will mean something to my G-kids……
I could not believe the size of this box for this one little doll! I guess they ran out of smaller boxes – look at all that packing material! Just glad I didn’t have to pay for shipping by the size of the box! I am currently in the process of making the doll clothes for the pictured doll. It is a Dollie & Me doll – sort of like the American Girl dolls that are so popular. Outfits can be bought for the child that also has the same to match her doll. My granddaughter will be 3 the end of January, and I had thought about a baby doll with a wardrobe to go with. Then I talked to her mom about one of these ‘girl’ dolls instead and mom agreed. They don’t have babies in their family or any of their friends so my GD simply doesn’t see interaction with babies. I think she will relate more to a doll more like her – but what do I know…. it’s been a long time since I played with dolls – and my girls weren’t really ‘into’ dolls…..
So there is my update for now. DH is off deer hunting so this gives me plenty of time to finish up the sewing I want to do, get the house cleaned and grocery shopping done in time for Christmas.
Hope all is taking time to enjoy the Holiday season. I attended a play last evening at one of the local churches titled “Bethlehem Night” it was so very well done and I really enjoyed it. I hope you all have time to take in listening to a choir at maybe a local mall, attending a church production or simply enjoying the sounds of the season – Now, I think I’ll put on some music and go to my sewing room.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
As I have sat and read some blogs, I notice many of them are showing pictures of items they put out each Christmas. Things that have been crafted in years past as well as new items. Seeing and reading about these got me to thinking about my own Christmases. I , naturally, have many fond memories of Christmases with my children and/or grandchildren. But my fondest memory has to be of my dad. He loved Christmas!!! He was the one who would do all the gift wrapping. He would set up the card table in his and mom’s bedroom, turn on his Christmas music and got to town wrapping gifts. He would always make a big to do with decorating the tree. But one year….. we had one of those silver trees that had seen better days and I guess maybe my mom had decided it was time to go back to green …. But dad had to do something with that silver tree. So while he was getting all the lights up outside, setting up his lighted Nativity and other characters, he was struck with inspiration. I don’t remember what he set that tree on as dad was not the ‘handyman’ type, but somehow he elevated that tree up on something and set up the color wheel on it. He could still see his silver tree from the kitchen window and I think it made him very happy. That was the last time the silver tree was ever used. Every time I think of Christmas, I think of my dad and how much the season meant to him (he was very much a man of strong faith!) It is my hope that many years from now, my kids can remember to Christmases past and have some happy, fond memories.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
My week has felt fractured… I try to live a relatively routined life. Start the day here, then get this or that done. Once I have all my necessary stuff done, I feel comfortable moving on to what I want to do…. I had some dump bags I needed to finish up. (when I find my camera, I will post picutes!) The dump bags will be donated to my local Elk’s lodge for distribution at the Tucson VA hospital Christmas party. I figured it would take me,. maybe, a day to get them all (14) completed. 3 days later finally done!!!
I make my G-kids and certain family members fabric Christmas cards. Here’s pics from previous years:
While I was working on the dump bags, I did some machine embroidery to start assembling my cards for this year. I think I need to start labeling my photos so I remember who got what design so as not to repeat that design in future years
Christmas shopping… No I did not go to any stores. By getting some shopping done on-line, I was able to save on shipping charges and in some cases, taxes. I live in a rural community and it’s a minimum of a 25 mile drive to any major shopping. And then I’m paying state, county & city tax on my purchases. In most cases, unless there is a brick & mortar store in your state, you won’t pay taxes on on-line purchases. If there is a store in your state, you will pay only the state tax – sometimes those savings really add up! I made a couple orders that I received free shipping on AND I didn’t pay any tax – that more than made up for fuel costs had I traveled for in-store shopping!!! AND, I’ve retained my sanity!
So, I’m getting side tracked (again!) my week was ‘fractured’ because it seemed like every time I thought I would be able to work on a project, I was interrupted. The phone ringing, the door bell ringing, company stopping by – it was just one of those weeks… Overall, it was a good week and I did get some things accomplished, so not really complaining (well not much anyway) but I do find that the older I get, the more routine I am and I get out of sync when it doesn’t go according to plan…
Okay, enough for now… I will try to find my camera and get some pictures of my finishes – maybe even some starts. My poor house is in serious need of cleaning, but because I do some major cleaning when I decorate for Christmas, I’m just giving it a touch here and there… Maybe Kari will come help next week
Wishing you all a peaceful week,
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Okay, if you’re looking for pictures, I will tell you right up front ‘there aren’t any’. As for my title, if you follow me you’ll note that unless I’m in the midst of some serious creating, I only post maybe once a week. This makes a second consecutive post!!!
I think the upcoming Holidays are making me chatty – or maybe I’m being chatty to avoid creating????? Either way, I find I’m not wanting to do the sewing I need to be doing right now. I can think of at least 10 things I’d rather be playing around with. And as I think of those, I wonder how I can incorporate them into gift giving – so maybe it’s not a total loss. And of course my gift list keeps growing. I think we naturally think of the gifts that we will present to those who we will be spending our holiday with. Then I start thinking of those I just care enough about that I want to give just a small something to. Oh, and don’t forget something for the g-kids stockings….. do they really need to be stuffed???? And oh dear – what about the cards that need to be sent???? I want to make special cards for this one and that one – great! now I’m adding to my ‘create’ list……. AND I have a few more item I really, truly must finish for donating to the VA hospital Christmas party….
Now you’d think that after all the years of doing this, going through the same chaotic thoughts, every year that I would start the next year’s Christmas preparations after the New Year. That would certainly make much better sense. I mean, seriously, there are tons of things I could make and put aside. I started some preparations in Jan. 2012 – NO, really, I DID!!! but then I get side tracked and don’t worry about it because after all Christmas is still months away. Then those months start spinning by and I get thrown off and here I am – trying to figure it all out. How will I manage to get it all done? Well, I don’t really know. What I do know is that one way or another, I will survive the chaos and still enjoy those I love through these next few weeks…..
Now I have a question (well maybe a couple)…. I’m on a relatively tight budget as I am voluntarily unemployed. Last year I gifted my ex son-in-law with a couple nice shirts that I bought at a thrift store. They were top-of-the-line shirts that cost less for 2 than half of one would have been new. I washed them, pressed them and he was tickled with them. I’ve seen him wear them on more than one occasion. I really like making those mug rugs. A couple years ago, I made a few mug rugs and again bought some cute mugs at the thrift store and filled them with treats and gifted the ‘set’. Again, something very inexpensive that was well received. My question to you is (and please be honest) what are your thoughts on regifting or repurposing/recycling for gift giving? I have a couple family members who I really hate doing any sort of gifting for. The reason is I don’t feel it’s ever enough. The handcrafted items aren’t good enough for them and the purchased items aren’t their style or a multitude of other reasons…. and it could be a ‘just me’ thing, but I still feel that way. Yes, I know just get them a gift card and be done with it – but then I feel like that is so impersonal. No thought or real consideration given…… But it’s what I’m going to do this year. Maybe I can make a cute little mug rug with a little pocket and put the card in it????? Okay, maybe I will feel better about the gift card after all.
SO on that note and my excessive rambling – I will run along and wish you a happy Sunday.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
First I will start with a picture….
These are the Scrappy Log Cabin blocks that I sent on for the Sandy victims. After I finished them and put them up on the design wall, I wondered to myself why I didn’t commit to 9????? I have no idea why I said 8…… I would have added another, but we were told to send only the amount we originally signed up for.
I hope all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My DIL and son did a great job as usual. My DIL’s both sets of parents were there so my G-kids were so fortunate to have all their grandparents together – and yes we all get along very well.
And then comes “Black Friday”…. How about you? did you venture out into the madness of the beginning of the Christmas shopping / commercial season? I admit to thinking about it….. but I could not think of one thing that I would probably be able to buy as a “door buster” so it just wasn’t worth my sanity. I did, however, do some on line shopping and got a few deals. I had been thinking of buying a baby doll for my ‘almost 3’ year old granddaughter. My plans were to get a doll and sew a wardrobe for it. OMG – it’s been a long time since I bought a baby doll – talk about what I consider being over priced! SO what did I do, I came across the Dollie & Me series on line at Kohls. They are comparable to the American Girl dolls (I think). Called my DIL and asked her opinion and she thought it would be a good idea. And… the more I thought about it, my granddaughter does not know anyone who has a small baby so interaction with a doll makes more sense for one ‘like her’. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I have already looked at patterns to start making doll clothes
And forward to more Christmas stuff…… I used to love decorating for Christmas. Not so much anymore. I do put some decorations up simply because Christmas is held here and I think I should do it for the G-kids….. Maybe my 17 yr old granddaughter, Kari, will come and decorate for me – now there’s a thought….
The baking… Crazy – when I worked a full time job, I’d spend my weekends baking. The cookies, candies and breads. Now that I am voluntarily unemployed I don’t do that much. Maybe a few varieties of cookies and the family insist on the fudge. I certainly don’t need it and I really don’t want my G-kids to have that much sugar either. Something I do that the kids enjoy – dipped pretzels. They like the white chocolate coated pretzels.
And the sewing…… I an definitely cutting back this year. I normally sew something for each of the kids. Mostly it’s been flannel PJ’s – so now I’m a little tired of making flannel jammies. So, I’m knitting slipper socks for all of them (like that’s going to save time!) My 21 year old grandson has been making comments about a quilt. I may think about that for him.
Okay, so yes it begins. The indecision, the chaos, but most of all the total joy of the season and thanking God once again that I have the many reasons to have the commercial chaos and I do always remember the reason for the season!
As this busy time of year begins, I hope you all will be patient with those who aren’t, remember to drop a few coins in the red buckets and if possible to give to your fellow man/woman/child who has less.
Happy beginning of the Holidays,
Thursday, November 22, 2012
As I said, there are too many blessing to list but I do thank God everyday for the blessings I have. He is the power, the inspiration, the encouragement for me.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Just a quick update note - Tech came and got the quilter back up and running. The 5 'clothing' quilts are DONE!! YeeHA! I am satisfied with how they turned out, but I would not hurry to do something like that again. They ended up being more labor intensive than I had anticipated and because I had already given the lady a quote, I won't change that. I figured out the approximate time I spent on these quilts along with what I quoted her for labor - I might have made $1 a hour........ Oh well, lessons learned and I'm hoping these quilts will recall some fond memories.
So what will I be working on next??? Christmas sewing, of course. I am planning on making doll clothes for my (almost) 3 yr old granddaughter. She also will get her pink camo 'outfit'..... Coming from a family of hunters, she MUST have her camo!!! I want to make a few sets of zippered bags to put in a purse for the ladies in the family. At this point, I'm not planning on the usual flannel PJ's that I normally do, so I'm thinking my Christmas sewing will at the minimum level. Of course, I could change me mind :-)
Until next time,
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Have the 'clothing’ quilt tops finished, one on the frame ready to quilt….. and what happens? Again, the quilter is not playing nice. I finally threw my hands up and today a tech will be out to work on it. Wonder if he can give it a flu shot that will keep it healthy for a year??? well, it’s a thought!
Okay, on to some pictures:
Girl quilt #1. Her grandma had already started to cut up pieces so everything had to be patchworked or appliqued. Second row, right – the booties must have been cut off bottoms where the footies were included. The tops were raw edge. I took out the elastic and zig zag stitched to hold the gathers in place. I used a very light interfacing and stitched around the entire applique, split the interfacing and turned right sides out to create the applique. I did learn from this experience that I will never do another ‘clothing’ quilt without the clothing being intact!
Girl quilt #2. Her clothing was intact! The red target fabric was from what I believe to be a pair of pajama bottoms. The pink w/black dots was from a cute outfit that I believe was home made (very well done, also) The blue check is from a shirt that was used when she painted something. I included it, paint and all. I also have the pocket from the shirt incorporated.
Now this: was hard for me to cut up. It was the cutest little dress with lace trimmed panties and the bonnet. I removed the yoke from the dress, cut the bonnet in half and appliqued it to the background. The small floral print on each side is from the skirt of the dress.
Boy quilt #1. Again, a lot of his clothing had been cut. The “skydiving” block (2nd row right) was in two pieces. I used a fusible web to applique anything that was a jersey fabric. The plaids in this quilt are from his shirts. I also kept his shirt pocket intact.
Mom’s quilt. She had included the kids’ ‘home from the hospital’ caps and T’s. At first, I was very hesitant to cut those tiny T’s, but I realized that they weren’t something her own children would use for their children when the time came, as their children would come home from the hospital with their own caps & T’s. Mom had also included some of her T shirts to be included. The stripe blocks are made from the sleeves cut off the children’s T shirts. This lady did not have any specific requests for these quilts other than that her favorite color was purple.
The center of mom’s quilt. I embroidered little name tags for each of the kids’ caps and attached them to their blocks. The bottom block with the knit cap…. the tie around the top was done using paper curling ribbon. Because I wanted these quilts to be washable, I removed that ribbon and replaced it with satin ribbon and secured the ribbon with a few tack stitches. I was fortunate enough to have the same color satin ribbon as the curling ribbon.
There is one more boy’s quilt but it is on the frame awaiting completion. He must have been very athletic as there were several team T’s that I was able to use. Most of his quilt is a more traditional T-shirt quilt.
And because of the quilter being down and having these tops done, I decided to make up a few more blocks for my Christmas quilt. I think I’m really going to love this quilt when I get it completed:
Before the quilter went down, I had someone bring me a small quilt to quilt. I did have to end up finishing the quilting on the regular machine…. ah, I am so spoiled by the quilter!
This was made by a non quilter. We have a mutual friend who had prepared for retirement by buying fabric, notions, gadgets, books, you name it…. Her retirement dream was to learn to quilt. Unfortunately, this dear woman is losing her eyesight and asked my friend to make the quilt for her. So together I think we did a nice job and I hope it brings our friend joy.
That’s it for now (as if you aren’t bored already!) I have g-son’s ball game this morning and the machine tech this afternoon. I so look forward to some quilting time without frustrations…..
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
I finished the 'clothing' quilt tops. Grabbed my camera in anticipation of finally posting some pictures, but, alas, the camera battery is sleeping. So I will let it get it's rest and recharge and have pictures to post next time.
I have such a mess in my sewing room. My inclination is to close the door and ignore it. Put a quilt on the frame and start the process of getting these 5 quilts completed. But.... at some point, I will have to open that door again to attach the binding to these quilts, so I might as well get in there and straighten up the mess - anyone want to come help?!
Katie who's headed to the sewing room - but not to sew.......
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Okay…. Maybe that’s a bit of a dramatic ‘title’, but it seems like I rarely have pictures to post – well, ones that would interest anyone anyway….
I had big hopes of having the 5 ‘clothing’ quilts done by now. Didn’t happen but I am in the home stretch as far as construction of the quilts. I have the kids’ quilt tops done and I hope to finish mom’s today. I have the sashing & borders to cut then just get it all together. There were a couple baby outfits that I simply could not bring myself to cut up and include in the quilts. I will return them to mom with the suggestion she put them aside to give later for a grandchild to wear – I did that with a couple of my son’s baby outfits and both of his sons wore them and have photos of the three of them…. Sorry, there I go again, sidetracking The little T-shirts and hankie bonnets that were from the hospital when the kids were born, I did incorporate into mom’s quilt. I had a very hard time cutting those little T’s but those are something that I know would not be used otherwise. Any future G-kids will have their own birth T’s and bonnets/ caps. I am happy with the way these quilts came together, but I have to say – I don’t think I would rush into doing anything like it again. Some of what I was given had already been cut up and I had to create applique blocks. There was several different fabrics involved – lace, cotton, stretch jersey, polyester….. I have decided that if I am ever again approached to do this type of a quilt, the clothing will have to be intact and they will have to be willing to pay for stabilizing materials….. Fortunately, the stabilizing material I used was not too pricey, but because I did not mention the need to use it, I won’t charge for it…. It’s the full disclosure thing for me.
On another note, I really want to love my quilter again so may have to give in and take it in to be serviced / checked out / whatever it needs. I don’t know if it’s the thread I’m using, the fabrics in the quilts or what, but it just has not been playing nice. I’ve actually considered selling it and maybe buying one of the sit down models. BUT… then I start from square one relearning to move the quilt under a needle versus the needle over the quilt….. and I’m sure there would still be issues to overcome – eventually…..
I am hoping that everyone on the east coast remains safe in view of the upcoming storm predictions.
Until next time (and maybe, hopefully, some pictures)
Sunday, October 14, 2012
While we were up (she lives a little over 200 miles north of us) helping out, we had a cold front come through bringing some rain and breezes. If finally felt a little like fall! Coming home through the mountains, I could see the leaves starting to change giving me hope that maybe it will finally cool down enough that I actually can think along fall and Christmas.....
I have tons to do today as hubby leaves Mon. afternoon to go hunting. I expect he will be gone close to 2 weeks and my plans are to get the quilts done from clothing. I have the two boys' quilt tops completed, so actually only the 2 girls' then mom's.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday...
Monday, October 8, 2012
Do you ever back down from a challenge? Well, I suppose, for me, it depends on the challenge. I know my limitations and sometimes I may be challenged to do something that I, quite simply, don’t want to do! That said, there was a challenge (well sort of) over on the QFC Yahoo group to take stock / inventory of your UFO’s. OH, wait, let me back up some (I know, I know…. me and my getting side tracked….)
Cathy B. is the master mind behind QFC. She is an amazing organizer and QFC would not exist without her. She is one of my closest friends and yet the only time we actually talk to one another is during Sew Fest, which I was not able to attend this year Anyway, we try to get together several times a week…. Yes we do, seriously!!! We do IM (instant messaging) and we met for cyber coffee Tues morning and got to talking about UFO’s. I say it can not be an UnFinished Object if it never got started in the first place. She says that if you have the pattern and bought the fabric for the object, then it’s a UFO. I say that I reserve the right to change my mind and repurpose my fabric. So on it goes……. I mean, seriously, if every piece of fabric I bought or pattern or book was with a project/object in mind …… I don’t even want to think about it….. Anyway, if I buy fabric for a specific pattern or project in mind, I make it almost immediately. If I’m thinking it, I’ll probably make it.
Okay, back to challenges. Cathy posted on the QFC Yahoo group for the group members to make a list of their UFO’s, pictures of their UFO’s and post their list where they could see it. So…. I did and here is what I came up with:
The first and last quilts are ready for quilting. The 2nd and 3rd quilts need borders. I know I’ve posted pictures of these here before but remember, this is my UFO post
This is for my “Screaming Christmas” quilt. I blogged about this here. I still have a few more embroidered blocks to do and I’m sure I won’t have enough of the red fabric but I do have something that will work and it’s for me and it’s for Christmas and my wrapping paper never matches, why should my Christmas fabric ?!
This will be called “Sea Birds”. I bought the panels at the Estate sale and then came across these designs from Ace Points. I need to find blue, beige and probably a brown to go with the colors of the embroidery and the panels….
This is definitely an “on going” project. These are small paper pieced blocks – 4” finished and I work on them just whenever…. I know this will end up as a table topper, maybe a wall hanging. I know I don’t have the patience (or enough fabric) to make this into a quilt…. The pattern is from Quilters Cache.
I try to have designs embroidered and ready for ‘if something comes up’ or I’ll embroider the set simply because I like them. The Art Deco reindeer done in red are paired right now with some swap blocks from several years ago. The blocks are Christmas prints and red and there are not enough for a quilt but maybe a wall hanging……. The Christmas Angel designs still need 2 more stitched out to complete the set and I know I will be putting them into a quilt. My plan (and I reserve the right to change my mind) is to use satin and velveteen fabrics. I think the designs are quite elegant and deserve to be showcased accordingly…. The Christmas Angel designs are from Embroidery DK.
You’ve seen these before, too. This is one of my “Scrap Bin” projects. I always have lots of white strips from trimming embroidered squares that go into quilts so this was a great use for those strips. This is a 6” square and has 21 pieces per square. I plan on this being at least a queen size quilt. May take me a while as I work on this only when I’m not wanting to really accomplish something – I know doesn’t make sense but I understand what I’m trying to say
These are my Farmer’s Wives blocks (and book) that is another ‘if I feel like it’ project. This is another one of those things that I like but that I’m in to hurry to complete and is another “Scrap Bin” project…
And lastly, my LIST. I printed it out and posted it on the closet door of the sewing room.
I will be gone for a few days and probably not have access to a computer. My sister-in-law is having surgery for a kidney stone and hubby & I will helping her until she’s up and about. She had a similar surgery back in January and it took her a couple of days to feel able to get up and moving around. Anyway, if you leave a comment and I don’t respond right away, it’s not because I don’t care…. I do welcome comments……
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
I really have been working on projects….. The bigger quilts > I was sent 4 sets of embroidered blocks and I assembled those. The motorcycle flame quilt is my work entirely. I will show close-ups, but will say with the flame quilt I was not happy. My quilter was not behaving well. After washing the quilt it helped pull some of the ‘pokies’ in….
These quilts will be donated to a boys home in PA.
There was so much color in this set of embroidered designs, that I chose stack-n-whack as a ‘filler’. I made the ‘fillers’ first and then needed to frame the cars to make them fit the fillers. I could have trimmed the stack-n-whack blocks down, but then I would have had to made a larger border – this worked….
I really liked these designs. There was such a variety of color, I chose the black fabrics because they had a lot of color in them as well – it doesn’t show up too well in the picture – maybe if you click on the picture it’ll enlarge and show better
This turned out okay. I used scraps to make the 9 patch blocks. I was not overly fond of the designs but in the end it came together.
I really like this quilt, I only wish the quilting was better – enough said…..
These are little tiny quilts. They measure 14” X 19” and will be donated for a NICU. I questioned the size, but then was told these little quilts actually are used to cover the tiny preemie babies. Several of the ladies from QFC have also donated for this NICU. I will try and remember to get a ‘group’ picture of them all before I donate. They are all so darn cute!
So that’s what I’ve been working on and it will probably be a while again before I have many pictures to post. I will be working on 5 quilts for a family…. using the kids clothes to make each of them their own quilt from their clothes and what’s left will go into a quilt for mom. I think it will actually be fun to watch the quilts come together….