Monday, January 26, 2015

Love Across the Years

This week I managed to do some cleaning in the stash area and found a stitching piece from about twenty years and three houses ago.  I wanted to make something handmade (lots of love, but not a lot of money) for the hubs for Valentine's Day way back when.  That  year I ended up giving him a different gift and this scrap of stitching was packed away at the bottom of a half-finished projects box.
Played around Saturday and added some scrappy sashing made in part from an attempt at doing a French Braid block several years ago.  This ended up on the top and bottom with some sweet posey fabric on the side.  While looking through the pinks/reds stash I found this luscious red polka dot!
The vintage linens tote (which was already out from working on another project, thank you) yielded this gorgeous table runner.  How perfect a match is this!  I cut and sewed the fabric from the table runner so the red border would be on the outside of what was quickly turning into a pillow.
This one will be for the hubster.  He's been asking me to make one for him to use when he's in bed surfing the net.  How fun that a piece meant for him so long ago, will still be given to him soon!
 I finished the vintage linens repurposed table topper.  All the quiltey love I got in the comments made me smile!  Thank you!  Oh, so over the moon in love with this.  I added some large stitch quilting around the inner edge of the embroidered piece, meandered my way around the rest of it and used one of my favorite, stripey fabrics for binding.
Happy, happy, happy! 
 I also wanted to apologize for not including credit for the little girl's picture.  It was an image I had saved a long time ago and when I go back to research it, Google tells me the link is broken.
Pinterest tells me it's from
Hoping you're staying warm and safe here in the States where the cold is in control!  A good excuse to curl up with a blanket, hot chocolate and links to some amazing blogs sharing inspiring and beautiful projects!




Monday, January 19, 2015

Make Quiltey-Goodness

When Life hands you scraps, make some quiltey-goodness.
Sew, Gizmo decided to help me quilt another UFO whimsy this week.  LOL  Here she's inspecting my stitch length.
This is one of the first quilts I started here at this house (over ten years ago!).  It's such an old WIP that I can't even find the pattern for it anymore!  But it has some of my (then) favorite fabrics and it seemed like a good time to pull it out and make a start.
Two weeks ago, I was fiendishly quilting the Prairie Cottage Lone Star Quilt.  Thank you for all the sweet comments and good wishes for my mom and dad.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.  Last week had been a little harder than others for her, but she did manage to get a full round of chemo Tuesday.
Thank you!
Right before we left for Gulf Shores pre-Christmas, I burgered up my left elbow/arm.  We drove to Gulf Shores and I'm a left-handed driver (thanks Mom!) which means my left arm is almost constantly propped on the window rest while I'm driving.  Didn't help my arm at all!
This is a monster quilt to wrestle on my machine and dining room table!  The only table big enough to support this sucker!  It is cumbersome!
Straight-line and meandering quilting.
Lots of Alleve being consumed, so I decided to take a break and let my arm and elbow have a rest from the "stress" of quilting such a heavy quilt.  S-Crap!  I really wanted to finish this one too.  Oh well,  cleaning up my sewing space seemed like the thing to do instead (not to mention it's always needed).
Until I found my pile of blue treasures.
Picking scraps, sewing them together and pressing them is a whole lot lighter and easier work than quilting the "Monster" and more fun than cleaning!
Life handed me scraps (bum arm/elbow) so I decided to make some quiltey-goodness!
Pretty little posies starring in the center of some sort of wonky Log Cabin blocks.  They were rescued from a vintage tablecloth I found last year in a small, dark thrift store.  This tablecloth had a huge, orange stain in the center, but some very pretty handwork around the edges.  Aren't they sweet!  I love the tiny little, gray French Knot at the center of the flowers!
Blue birds of happiness!  A stained and torn vintage pillowcase became the center of a table topper that I am just in love with.
Okay, time to not go get dressed, blow off the housework and cuddle up in a cozy chair for some delicious eye candy!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Prairie Cottage Lone Star

You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it.
Several years ago, my dad spent about three weeks in the hospital.  My mom was undergoing treatment and I was blessed to be able to take her to visit him every day, drive her to treatments and doctors' visits and then spend time at home with her in between trips back and forth.  She was so faithful in going.  Even when she was tired and didn't feel well.  Twice a day.  Once in the morning and then at night. 
Much of the time I was at their house, Mom slept. 
I took my sewing machine, fabric, scissors, rotary cutting board and cutter, thread and the Quilt Smart Lone Star Printed Interfacing I'd had stashed for a while.
Over the course of those three weeks I managed to piece a whimsy...that as soon as it was finished, got put away because I didn't want to think about how it came to be.
Dad in the hospital.  Mom battling cancer. 
I was looking for a quilting project to work on this week and pulled the completed Lone Star whimsy out of the pile.  I had forgotten how soft and pretty the fabrics were.  Seeing it again really made me want to finish it and start having happier memories about it. 
I purchased a full size, flat sheet for the backing because the whole point of pulling something out of the pile was to quilt something...not to have to sew a pieced back.  I'm so glad I chose to go simple.
I double-echoed the lines in the star and did an FMQ meander in the negative space.  This is the back and I'm so pleased with the look!
(thanks to my assistant Ben for braving the cold, ice and slush!)
The binding is a very pretty blue floral print to compliment the star's fabrics.  I didn't have enough of the scraps left to make a binding and again, didn't want to have to sew a scrappy one.
It finished out as a healthy sized lap quilt that will be added to the stack to choose from on a cold, snowy, Indiana night.  Love watching a movie with my guys and looking around the family room and seeing them snuggled up in quilts I have made!
My dad is better and he faithfully takes care of my mom.  Who still has cancer and is still having treatments.  I admire them both for their commitment to each other and the love that gives them the strength they have needed to live their lives!
Come see what other quilters are keeping busy with!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Mini M

Every piece of the universe, even the tiniest little snow crystal, matters somehow.  I have a place in the pattern, and so do you.
T.A. Barron
Took a break for the remainder of December to spend some time focusing on family and sewing for therapy.  Letting my place in the pattern be a bit softer and removed from the hustle and bustle of the season. 
I have always loved monograms!  We have a lot of "M"s around the house.
Adding to the collection just made sense on a gray, wintry day.  Out came some happy, smart polka dot in gray traced off of a wooden "M" on a shelf.  I need to go buy templates somewhere...hmmm.
There was some thick, double-sided, fusible stabilizer in the "support stash" that helped give this M a nice, stand-out profile on white fabric.  I dug into my neutrals and used scraps gifted to my by KT to give the border a scrappy look and finished it off with a Blanket Stitch outlining the letter.  It's been such a long time since I've this stitch..  Thankfully, there are lots of places to go for a good refresher tutorial.
One of my goals for this year is to sew more smaller projects for around the house.  My stack of WIP's and UFO's is piling up.  Ugh!  No self discipline on finishing one project before starting three more!  Starting the New Year with a new door quilt to welcome us home seemed like the right place to start.  This mini is themed for the colors we see a lot around Indiana in January.  Double Ugh! 
(pulled out my Scrappy Trip Around the World Quilt to work on again)
The Mini "M" measures:  14 1/4" x 13 1/4"
February's door quilt is inspired by this sweet heart found on Pinterest. 
This is what the sewing table looked like this morning.  I love hunting through my scraps and choosing my favorites for a project like this!
KT also gifted me a lot of sweet pink bits.  How many can you identify?  How many are in your stash?  The Granny Square Quilt is still being worked on, just taking a chance to have instant gratification with these smaller projects.
So thankful we got to have two weeks together in December away from it all.  Chris finished classes and Ben was given time off from homeschooling to travel to Gulf Shores, Alabama.  The weather was beautiful!  Temps not as warm, but we love, love, love being by the Gulf!  We had a sweet condo on the beach and spent time between Ft. Morgan, AL and Pensacola, FL. 
No Christmas decorations to mess with, sunny skies and shells, eating out a lot at great places along the way, Naval Aviation Museum, Ft. Morgan, seagulls, and just spending time as a family of four.  After our oldest son's wedding, our lives had to be figured out as a smaller family unit.  We missed Jon, but are so happy he's happy!  And with Chris in college, summer jobs/internships, who knows if this might not be our last family vacation with him?
KT's family came down on their own and we had breakfast and a walk on the beach together.  Wish we'd had more time with them there.
This week is back to the reality of college classes, high school classes and Tax Season right around the corner.  Indoor soccer.  Volunteering at the library.  And always time for sewing!
Happy New Year to all of you!
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