Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sewing Up a Storm!

If you've been following along, you'll know I've been making baskets to sell and raise money for our homeschool coop scholarship fund.  I wanted to raise $100 to donate to this incredible ministry that helps two of our outstanding seniors pay for college ie books, gas money, groceries etc.
I used this tutorial from the Pink Penguin for my pattern and inspiration.  A huge thank you to Ayumi for sharing this with her blog readers.

All of the baskets I've sold were made from scraps.  The only thing I had to buy was more batting when my scrap batting ran out...oh...and some new needles!

Last week I posted pictures of a couple of them on Facebook and told my family and friends there what I was doing.  Enough orders came in that I have made my goal!  I'm so excited!  Thank you to everyone who bought a basket!
I will be taking a short break from making any more for a while.

I did manage to square up a mini Starflower block from Modify Tradition's blogsite.

I love baby blocks!  After the huge Swoon blocks
I've been working on, it's nice to have something so small and sweet sitting on your sewing table.

I've gotten the Jack's Chain quilt back out to work on while I take a brief rest from the Swoon mania.  Imagine my delight and astonishment at seeing this incredibly beautiful mini quilt showcased by Cathy at her blog Cabbage Quilts.

This looks so much like the Jack's Chain block!  I am in complete awe! and inspired to get back to work on mine!  Look how tiny those blocks are!

This is a little table topper I made as a PIF for a sweet friend.  This is a fun block to make and you will definitely conquer Y seams on this one!

Got these out too to play around with this winter. 

I thought they might look good as a sashing for this quilt

Darn!  There's just not enough light in the day to do everything I need to do and all the quiltey things I want to do!

For the week:
Finishes------seven Useful baskets
WIP's worked on------zilch!  LOL
WIP's thought about------Jack's Chain and the Kaffe Fassett inspired value quilt
New projects started------nada! which makes me feel better about not working on other WIP's!

Please join me at Lee's blog for WIP Wednesday and Amy's blog for Friday Finish.  As Christmas gets closer, there are so many yummy sewing projects going on.  You won't want to miss it!

It's snowing here now.  Crap!  It's not so much how it looks from inside my window that I hate about it, but the wet, melty slosh someone has tracked in that I sometimes step in in my sock covered tootsies!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

WIP Gobble Gobble Edition

I love learning!  I try to learn something new every day (or every other day as Life allows).  I had always heard that this could help prevent Alzheimer's disease.  Something that scares me.  Forgetting what it has taken me so much of my lifetime to learn.  Not remembering my loved ones.
So, imagine my joy when I read this, "Recent studies indicate that the old adage of "use it or lose it" does have some merit. Whether or not you think you are in the first stages of Alzheimer's disease, be sure to exercise your mind. Learn something new each day - do a crossword puzzle, read a challenging book, or learn a new recipe for dinner. Keeping your mind active and engaged is a great way to prevent Alzheimer's disease."

This is the Winter 2011 Volume of a fun magazine that will be helping me learn new blocks and techniques in 2012.  I just purchased it at Joann's this week and got a chance to peruse while Middleman was in the library loading up on books.

Cogwheel Daisy
by Debbie Beaves

This is one of the blocks I want to learn to make.  It's such a peaceful pattern.

Yvonne's Myster
by Cinzia White

Is another that I just love.  So soft, but it makes such a huge impact visually.
Now, I'm not starting any of these until I have some of my WIP's finished.

Thankfully, I finished up the three Useful Baskets I had been making as a fundraiser for our homeschool scholarship fund.

Here's one without handles and its lining (sorry, didn't get a shot of them done before delivering them).  These are super fun to make and are great for quick Christmas gifts for teachers, music instructors, neighbors or whoever.  The two I made for a silent auction to benefit a daycare had small bags of chocolate covered pretzels added to them!  Cocoa pouches, candy, nail polish or makeup....the fun thing is you can stuff them with whatever you want for a holiday gift for someone who deserves a little handmade treat!
You can find the tutorial here.

Last week I was working to finish up a project started this summer. 

I'm trying to put together a tutorial on how to make this block.  It's a modern twist on two of my favorite patterns.  This short and sweet table topper is going to a very special home for the holidays.

This week I started four new projects for Christmas gifts for the other ladies who serve on our homeschool Steering Committee.
I wanted to try something new and learn how to make zippered pouches.
I turned to Sew Chic & Unique's "My favorite 8 zippered Pouch Tutorials" and thought this pouch from Make It Perfect

would be pretty simple to learn to make.
And it was.  I opted not to make a patchwork front until I knew I could master the pattern.  Applique would be very cute here too, wouldn't it?  In the future, I'll try something a little bit fancier.
I have two made now and am working on the last two. 

Zippers have always intimidated me, but she makes it easy peasy to put them in.  I learned a lot making these: zippers can be longer than what the pattern calls for and how to make them work, how to wrap my brain around how a lining works and is assembled and that I will be making more of these.  LOL

Here are two that are finished.  Once I figured the pattern our and felt comfortable making them, they went together pretty fast.  The tutorial was very easy to follow. 

Sew, for the week, I'm up with six WIP's finished:
Grandma's Dresden Garden table runner
three Useful Baskets
two zippered pouches

I have two more pouches to finish and then onto whatever other WIP catches my eye.  Maybe I'll start working on the Jack's Chain Quilt again?

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.  On cold, dreary, dark days...I look forward to seeing what women from all over the globe are working on and getting inspired myself to work on my WIP's!
Hope to see you there!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  May you be blessed with fellowship, peace, joy and fun on this special day!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WIP Wednesday!

Doesn't he look evil!
This is Tundra staking his claim to Middleman's "school" satchel.
Keeping it real here with homeschooling stuff out.
Doesn't everyone let their cat hang out on their table?

Jen gave me a great name for the vintage and modern fabric quilt I just finished.
Ta da!
The Starflower Quilt.

Thanks Jen!  Our family has been enjoying it in our family room while we watch movies!

This week saw me picking out fabric and beginning to put together three more "Useful Baskets".

A mom at co-op asked for two to be made.  One with any colors I liked. 
I like these!

She wants the other basket to have black, lime green and blue.  I love the black and white dog print.  I seriously need to update our dog's dish's placemat.  Will definitely use the doggies in that!

And a little more traditional fabrics and colors for a lady at church who saw one I had made and asked me to make one for her.  She wanted burgundies and pinks.

Playing with scraps. 
I'm so crushing on this color combination!

Hubsy wubsy and I went thrifting this weekend.  I have this thing for enamel ware.
This was a cute little dish I couldn't pass up.
I'm storing paper hexies for piecing on a project.  I think that's a map of Asia I cut up for a template.  I teach geography in co-op and well, it was handy, and I needed a piece of paper to cut to a certain size...

Pulled out a project that desperately needs finished.
Super fun!
Kinda looks like owl eye-balls, donchathink?

What do I do with these?  I was experimenting this summer with strings and can you see the stars?
Not sure where this is going, but I wanted to pull it out and start thinking about it.

I managed to sneak in another two full size Swoon blocks.  Purple.  Just a sneak peek 'cause I figure I overloaded all y'all last week.

And green.  Marianne (Hi Marianne, miss you blogging!) asked if it was difficult to downsize the block.  I just took the full size Swoon pattern and cut the measurements in half.  My blocks come out to about 11" sq because I am not a math person.  If I were, then I'd probably have 12 1/4" sq blocks.  lol

It's Wednesday already again and next week is...gulp...Thanksgiving!  Here in Indiana we had a tornado watch last night, a lightening storm to beat all and flooded streets!  I'm hoping for 90 degree weather on Turkey Day so the kids can play outside!  Ha ha ha!
A Hoosierism:  If you don't like our weather here in Indiana, stick around 1/2 hour.  It'll change.

Linking up with Lee again at for WIP Wednesdays.  Ohmygoodnessgollygracious did you see all the eye candy last week?  Wow!  Really inspiring! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just a "Swoonful" of Sugar

...helps this week!

As soccer season was winding down, I started a "Baby Swoon" obsession.  With my love of scraps and tote just chock full of them...what could be better than mini Swoon blocks?
I started out with a pink and have added a blue, purple, yellow and orange block.  They measure a square 11" when finished with 81 pieces in each block.  I'm sewing them together using Sun Rays Quilt Block from Twin Fibers.  I just love this way to frame a block!  These babies will somehow be incorporated with this block:

for a scrappy quilt for hubsy dear and I.  This is a full size (24.5" square I think) block with some much loved vintage and other scraps from the tote.  I will do more blocks based on colors like the baby Swoons and somehow make it all work.  At least, that's the plan.

I managed to finish up some of the Moda Buttercup Swoon blocks as well.

Library Gal Quilts commented on having a simplified way of doing the block and I need to contact her to pick her brain!  I have all the measurements (both for the big and baby blocks) memorized and could probably cut and sew one in my sleep!  But I sure do love the way this block looks.

The "Useful Baskets" scholarship campaigns continues. 
Hubsy sweets volunteered two for an auction for a very good cause, scholarships raised for a daycare. 
So here are my two contributions to the auction:

The colors today on the garden bench couldn't have matched more perfectly for this picture.
Three more to make for our own co-op scholarship fund.

Our 2011/2012 ECHS Strikers Soccer Team.  Middleman is far left on the bench.  They placed third in the Silver Division for 2nd Division for Nationals.  What an awesome thing to have hundreds of homeschooling families in one place for a weekend of soccer and fellowship!  World Vision will send soccer balls to a school in an underdeveloped nation for a small donation.  Middleman is writing up a proposal today to ask his fellow teammates to donate just a few dollars to share their passion with boys and girls in another country.
I love that kid!
Head on over to World Vision and see what you can do with just a few dollars to help change the world!

Also in the works this week is the binding of this quilt:

Not really sure I have a name for it yet.  It's made from vintage sheets and pillowcases and new (sometimes designer) fabric.  I decided to use Moda's Birdie for the binding.  Some loving, sweet, compassionate and super duper sister brought some home from Paducah last year for me.

I wasn't sure how to finish this one off because there's so much going on visually.  I had thought a solid, but didn't want to go out and purchase more fabric just for this.  Found the blue Birdie and it was perfect!

Here it is almost finished.  Just one more corner and half of a side and it's ready for the wash.  Just in time for the temps to drop tonight!

I'll be linking up with Lee at for WIP Wednesday.  Even when I don't get to post on Wednesdays, I still love to go through the other ladies' contributions and see what beautiful and creative things they're working on.  They're so inspriring and help take the doldrums away.  Hope you get a chance to go over and take a look!

Here's to the rest of the week treating us kindly!