Tag-Archive for » Sewing projects «

February 15th, 2014 | Author:

Did you have a good Valentine’s Day? And a good week last week? We’ve been keeping busy and I trust you have been too! Gary has been very focused on his HVAC/Electric job over at the job site.
Good thing knows what he's doing, right?
With only two weeks left in our time here, he wants to leave “his area” as organized as possible!
wires!
Yikes!
Needless to say, he has some great job security!
I’ve been bouncing around, helping out where needed. I often cover the front desk at the school, sometimes I work in the job site office, and if Gary needs my expert wire-pulling skills – well, I’m there for him too! And then there is also our Sewing Class –
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And so it goes – busy days, doing what we’re called to do. And loving it!
Yesterday, while Gary was busy wiring away at the job site, 6 of us SOWER ladies enjoyed the 2014 Rio Grande Valley Quilt Show!
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(I really need to work on my “group selfie” skills!)
But oh, what a grand time we had!
So many colors
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So many textures
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So many ideas!
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We were inspired by the presentation of a quilt to a veteran
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and moved by a quilt made out of the shirt pockets of a beloved husband, now home with the Lord.
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We were challenged with new techniques (well, at least ones we hadn’t yet tried)
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and encouraged to see the classics presented in a new and exciting way.
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Our breath was taken away with the intricacies of some
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and we found rest in the calm of simplicity.
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There was beautiful hand applique and hand quilting
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along with great ideas to do it all by machine!
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We picked up some ideas to use up our stash
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and also picked up some inspiration to start something all together new!
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(OK, so realistically, I doubt I’ll be doing THAT one, but there was just SO MUCH INSPIRATION!).
After a sweet lunch out, we all returned to our rigs to figure out just what to start sewing on first!
So many ideas, so little time!

My Valentine’s Day ended out with a trip to a local pizza joint with my sweetie
Even the pizza place is all about Valentine's Day.
and enough leftovers to feed us through the weekend!
Hope you all have a great weekend. I think I hear some fabric calling me……

June 16th, 2013 | Author:

(Spoiler Alert – it’s not the A/C {yet})
Eighteen months ago I signed up for a free class over at Craftsy.com. (which is a great site for all kinds of crafters, BTW, not just quilters! Check it out sometime!) It was the 2012 Block of the Month class and I figured it was a great way to use up my plethora of fabric (aka The Stash). Each month they presented a different technique and had you construct two blocks (usually with a little modern twist) using that technique. The premise was that by October you’d have 20 blocks, November you’d sew them together, and by the end of the year you’d have a completed quilt. I must say that the true beauty of the course (and every course offered by Craftsy) is that the classes are always available, so even if you get a month or two behind, you can still watch March’s class in June. Just sayin’. In case that might ever happen to you.

And so I got started – all Stash, all the way!
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By January of 2013, I had all the blocks completed!
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Next came the quilting! By this time, the good people at Craftsy (in their infinite marketing wisdom) were offering a course called “Free Motion Quilting a Sampler” based on (you guessed it) the 2012 BOM Quilt! Along with the traditional method of quilting a full quilt top, it also taught a ‘quilt as you go’ technique that really appealed to me, given my limited studio (i.e. kitchen table) space. So I set out to quilt each block individually, following the expert guidance on the computer! Borders added (full disclosure – I did purchase the border and joining fabrics) and backing selected (also from the stash), ready to quilt!
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It was great to only have to handle a 15 inch square instead of a 60 x 75 quilt top,
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and while I still have a long way to go in my free-motion quilting, I’m definitely a lot better than I was.
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BOM Start
The joining of the blocks went a bit more quickly that I thought it would (thankfully – I was a little nervous about how that would all work!), and by noon yesterday, a mere 18 months after I started the project, it was FINISHED!
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Quilting each block individually gave me the opportunity to use up a batch of fat quarters that have lived in my stash for about 15 years (they came as a bonus with my sewing machine) as the backing. And that made for a pretty interesting back too!
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It feels pretty good to wrap up that project.
But here’s the thing.
Back in January 2012 when I was starting the whole project I decided to do two sets of blocks each month. One with my green/gold/ecru stash and one with my blue/yellow/white stash.
And those, dear friends, are still staring me in the face!
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All in good time. All in good time. Next up on the quilting agenda is a Baby Quilt! :)

April 17th, 2013 | Author:

One of the benefits of being a Sower On Assignment (a long-term SOWER assignment that generally involves a specific task or job – as in, we’re here to do the A/C installation), is that we have a fair bit of flexibility. This is especially true right now as we are just ramping-up the project again, and we’re waiting for some key elements before we can really begin in earnest. So Gary can start his day as early as he chooses and he can work until he’s at a good stopping point. It also means that since we are a team, on the days that he doesn’t need my extra set of hands (and my excellent fetching skills) I get to enjoy a couple of “light-duty” days. This week he’s been getting started with the returns and supplies. I won’t go into all the fun we had deciding on the location of the holes (picture Gary in the rooms with the drill and me in crawlspace with the cobwebs…… :( ), but since most of his work this week has been in closets
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he hasn’t needed me quite so much. I mean really, where would he even put me? I was called on today to do a bit of clean-up, since he does make a bit of a mess-
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But with a little sweeping, a bit of vacuuming and a good damp cloth,
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it wasn’t a very hard job to get things back to normal!
So what have I been doing during my ‘light-duty’ days? Well, in-between times that Gary does need me, I’ve been playing catch-up – with housework, work-work, and laundry. And when I felt like things were at least moderately under control, I pulled out the sewing machine!!! Yippee!
Have you ever visited the Craftsy webpage? It offers video classes on all types of crafts – quilting, knitting, spinning, weaving…whatever! I love that once you’ve purchased a class you get to take it at your own pace and it’s available (in its entirety) forever. I started a Block of the Month class back in January 2012 (which was free – and still available. Just sayin’) and I was anxious to get back to it. I have the blocks made, and I’m machine quilting them using a quilt-as-you-go technique (another Craftsy class, geared to the BOM quilt) and as of today, I have six of the twenty done!
BOM Start
Except for the border fabric, I’ve only used fabric from my ‘stash’, so that’s why it has a somewhat eclectic feel!
I’ll keep plugging away at it –
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and see how far I get before my ‘light-duty’ days are gone!
I also might get a bit distracted because I have another quilt I need to get working on. And that would be a baby quilt!  I’m excited to share the wonderful news that Toby and Tammy are expecting a baby in September!  This little one will join 4 very excited siblings who can’t wait to meet their little brother/sister (we can’t either!).
That house is getting pretty full – it’s a good thing we usually bring our own bedroom! :)

Better get some good rest tonight – I think Gary said something about “back in the crawlspace” for tomorrow. Gulp. Guess the quilting will have to wait!

January 04th, 2013 | Author:

Earlier this week I was blessed to connect with three of my quilting buddies from my ‘previous lifetime’. :)
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These ladies saw me through that first night of – “you’ll never believe what Gary says we’re going to do when the kids are out of college” discussion right up to the final prayer circle just days before we set out on this great adventure! And while I can’t say we’ve been in constant contact (though a couple of them are some of my most faithful blog followers!) over these last 8 years, there has never been a time that I didn’t think I could call any one of them and we would be right back in our Monday Night Quilter scenario. They are those kinds of friends – however long it’s been, you just pick right up and GO! And that’s how our rather chaotic speaker phone call was – full of laughter and listening, sharing and caring, and hugs through the phone. It was a wonderful reminder of how dear these friends are to me!
In honor of them – and because they asked about it – today’s post will be full of my Christmas sewing projects. No grand landscapes or travel tales today – it’s all about the fabric! :)
OK – Here goes!
1st up – Maddie’s Quilt.
Over the years, I’ve made quilts for each of the grand-girls when they moved into twin beds. Maddie was turning 5 this year, so to say I was a little behind schedule is putting it mildly! Get with it, Grams! Since Maddie and Hayley share a room, I wanted it to be similar so I stuck with the same pattern (Yellow Brick Road for you quilt geeks out there!) and just changed up the colors –
Here’s Hayley’s quilt from 2007-
Hayley Quilt B
And here’s Maddie’s –
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Since the pattern was pretty straightforward, I had a good time practicing on some of my machine quilting skills –

 

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I was very pleased that I got it done in time for her birthday – and here she is (almost blending in!)
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Since it was so similar to Hayley’s quilt I decided to spruce up the back a bit, using some of the leftover blocks.
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And of course, what’s a new quilt without a pillow to match!


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OK – On to Christmas!
This year it was all about purses! I discovered a sweet little pattern that works great for carrying the bare essentials – like your cell phone and a wallet. Each of the grandgirls asked for one, and so did one of my sisters, so it was a no brainer!
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Turns out it’s also the perfect size for their new Kindles, too!

For the other sister I went BIG –
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(please ignore the very lived in look of my bedroom! :/)
I also made some of these gift card holders (or business card or credit card holders) which turned out pretty fun!


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Of course, the two grand-boys needed some homemade goodness, so when I spotted this “Quiet Book” idea on line, I couldn’t resist. They turned out a little bigger than I expected, but all it all I think the boys liked it OK. Now if Mom and Dad can keep them from eating the chalk!
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Ok, we’re almost through….
Last but not least, I made the Ohio Conrads Christmas stockings!
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These were fun to put together and I was delighted to find a little shop in Waco that took care of the embroidery! They seemed to be a big hit out in Columbus, too!
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(Noah thought they should be worn – and I’m sure was wondering where the mate was!)
I even had enough leftover stocking fabric (that was already pieced together) to make some simple gift tags/tree ornaments!
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So that’s about it for Christmas 2012. While I had the machine out (and pretty much took over the only table in the house!), I also took care of some other long overdue sewing tasks here too.
Like making new covers for some of our favorite pillows –
Before –
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After –
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Yes, while Gary was out being Mr. Handyman, I managed to keep myself busy! :)

One more thing – for the quilting girls, mostly – but also to give equal time to all the grandkids – here’s a favorite shot of our little Weston –
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and one with his folks-
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So that about wraps up the show and tell – both of sewing projects and more importantly, the grands. :) We’re getting settled here in Edinburg, TX at Camp Loma De Vida, and we’ll be starting work on Monday morning. Hopefully by then the drizzly rain will have stopped and the temperatures will be out of the 40’s!!!! Brrrrrrr….

May 17th, 2011 | Author:

Family, friends, baby showers, haircuts, banking, more friends and more hugs – that’s what this past weekend was all about! We were back in the old neighborhood for three days, and we managed to cram those days full to overflowing! I wish I could say I whipped my camera out at every opportunity, but I confess I was too busy catching up with friends to get too involved with documenting the activities! But here are a couple –
First of all – my dear Birthday Buddies –
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The three of us have gathered during our birthday month (November) for the last umpteen years (we really couldn’t figure out how long it’s been!). Now that I’m on the road, any time I’m in town is a Birthday month for us – so, (not that I really want to hurry it) Happy Birthday to Connie and Bonnie and me – it was such a precious time of sharing and praying with you, dear friends!
And then there was the Baby Shower for my DIL, Abigail.
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Again, being on the road has pretty much eliminated my ability to attend any showers for my grandbabies (except for Ellie who was born before we set out). Imagine my delight to be able to share in the celebration of a shower for my newest grandbaby (a boy!) due in early July. And as a bonus, Gary got to spend the afternoon with Josiah. A good afternoon for everyone! :)
Quick Quilt aside – here’s a close-up of this fun black and white quilt I made for Baby C.
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My buddy Lynne made a couple of these for her grandsons, and I loved the idea! I found a little bit of color for the front –
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and then lots of color for the back!
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I sure hope the little guy likes it!
But along with the blessing of going to the baby shower and getting to see our kids, we also got to spend time with our good friends, Joe and Janet. They housed us and fed us and didn’t mind when we kept taking off to see folks and go places. They are the best! No picture, of course. But here’s one of their backyard – :)
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They have some really beautiful gardens (not to mention a killer veggie garden that is behind that fence!), filled with all kinds of flowers –
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But one thing I was reminded of especially this visit was that beautiful yards and gardens like this take a ton of work.
And a ton of mulch!
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(That’s Lily heading to the patio, but the pile of mulch in the background is what was still waiting to be spread.)
I sure do love looking at that yard, but I sure am glad I have none of my own!
It really was a Five Star weekend. Besides the shower and the Birthday Buddy Bash, I got to play cards with dear friends, enjoy a Starbucks with a buddy, stop by my old job and enjoy a great lunch (and company) in downtown D-town, have my hair cut by the girl who cut my hair for twenty years before we left town (instead of a random person at Cuts-R-Us), worship at our old church and generally collect hugs. Lots and lots of hugs. Loved, loved, loved it. (Gary had fun too, but let’s face it, the weekend was more fun for me than him. He cheerfully played chauffeur and even managed to get the tires rotated. See, he had fun too!)

We’re back in Egg Harbor City for couple of days. Two more days of work and then Thursday we head to New Hampshire. We’ll be dropping the rig off at our June project – Pilgrim Pines Camp - and then heading to The Cabin for the week between projects.

I can almost smell the wood smoke now…….
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