Tag Archives: Sewing

Big Shabby Chic Finish

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Much of my stash has bright colors and bold prints. In contrast, I do love white on whites and off-white on off-whites.  A couple of years ago I gathered whatever of those two I had in my stash and bought many, many fat quarters. Apparently it was meant to be because I happened upon a warehouse type fabric shop that had a ton of these fabrics for just $1.25 a fat quarter – score!

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I wanted the fabrics to speak and not an elaborate design.  I cut a ton of triangles (starched to avoid stretching) and proceeded to sew many, many half-square triangles which I then put together as hourglass blocks, alternating the white on whites with the off-whites on off-whites. I layered a backing square, same size muslin square and the pieced square on top and quilted a simple motif on each. Yes, this seemed to take forever, but every so often I would do about 8 or 10 a day. I then pieced them wrong sides together with a half inch seam, then clipped the seams.

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It is definitely the Shabby Chic look I was going for and I am using it on one of our guest room beds. I also love the way my scrappy bedskirt contrasts on the bottom of the bed. The best part – I love it! Or maybe, the best part is that it’s done!

Linking up with: WIPS on Wednesday   Let’s Bee Social Needle and Thread Thursday   Moving It Forward

 

 

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Applique – So Much Color

Several years ago I saw the applique pattern, “Lollipop Trees” by Kim McLean and immediately fell in love. An impossible task? I was up for the challenge! The pattern was gifted to me on my birthday and I began block one and finished it! But…I didn’t care for the background fabric I used so that block got tossed into the maybe I’ll see you one day bin and I began again. This time I chose a gray on white fabrjc and for all the applique pieces I am using Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Two blocks are complete and I am part way through block number 3.

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I am in love! And I am enjoying the applique process. I work on it for a little while in the evenings and have found it very relaxing. I’m not sure how many of the blocks I will do. I plan on using this as a wall hanging, so maybe six or eight. Four complete this year? That’s my goal! We’ll see!

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Surprises & A Great Retreat!

Last week was the Spring Quilt & Sew-In Retreat and it was a blast! There was so much sewing going on, but that is truly the least of it. The sharing, assistance, laughing and teaching moments were all such treasures. The generous spirit of all who attended was just amazingly wonderful. How lucky am I to bring these quilters back together each year!

And there were surprises! Beverly made these darling heart appliqued bags for everyone and a few extras for the wonderful employees of the inn where we stay. She also made  cute little butterflies (mine, unfortunately, is camera shy). She is the resident crochet queen! In addition, she blessed me with the crocheted doilies (if I ever made one of these, I don’t think I’d be giving them away!) and a sewing machine cover with pockets for tools.

Sandra made everyone this cute finger pin cushion (on the right).  It is going to be a real bonus for me when I am hand appliqueing.

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In their goody bags, each attendee received a pin cushion with a Velcro backing – perfect to place on your sewing machine or table or wherever you might find it handy (above left). Several were put to use shortly after receiving them! Both were made with bottle caps as the base.

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Something very special that happens at retreat is that there is a bucket of block “kits” for each to sew if they choose. The blocks are then put together for Hospice quilts. Everyone sewed one – some more than one! These batiks are going to make a beautiful quilt. The very masculine blocks were put together and the quilt top is already finished – Yeah!

AND there was a last minute sponsor – Woo Hoo! Northcott Fabrics so very generously sent these goodies. Sponsor generosity helps to make the retreats so very special.

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In the Fall we retreat again in Blowing Rock. Lucky me – I of course get to be there!

Two Projects Ready to Sew!

It’s time to pack up and head to Blowing Rock for the Spring retreat. I’ll be setting up our sewing room for the Thursday morning start when I’ll greet all the happy, ambitious and anxious quilters as they gather to sew until Sunday!

I have several projects ready to go. The first one I will be doing as a leader/ender project. It is just a simple four patch with a one patch sewn in between each. It will be colorful and fun and fairly mindless – the kind of project I need when I lead a retreat.

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In my stash I had a pile of little triangles that I’ve looked at several times wondering, “what should I do with these?” Then when I came across 1 stack of 2 1/2 inch squares, it all came together! These will make a cute wall hanging or table topper – I’ll decide as I progress.

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There are a few more projects prepped, but as they are Island Batik Ambassador projects, I won’t be showing those to you just yet. I am excited about working on all of these and hopefully will get much accomplished!

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And here it all is – the pile of retreat goodness ready to go!

400 Feet of Sewing!

We recently had new flooring installed in our home and my side entry needed a small carpet. Making rope bowls had been so much fun – why not sew a rug? I started off with two 100 foot skeins of cotton rope. In the washing machine they went with brown dye. Doing a flat surface is a lot of fun and I loved the look of the variegated brown thread I used. When the rope had almost run out, it was clear that the rug wasn’t big enough. Two more skeins dyed and back to the sewing machine!

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The brown variegated thread rant out so I went on to a green/blue variegated thread! Yup – that ran out too! I switched to a brown that matched the rope. The second dye batch did not match the first, so I switched thread again, this time to a dark brown. I lost count of how many bobbins I filled – I’m pretty sure it was about 8! I emptied some spools of thread too!

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The rug is backed with a non-slip material for safety’s sake. The rug is perfect in it’s new home and I surely get a kick out of the fact that I made it!

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This rug was April’s first finish – let’s see what I accomplished in March:

March WIPs

Linking up with: Jo’s Country Junction, Sew, Stitch, Snap, Linky Tuesday, Needle & Thread Thursday, Midweek Makers

Old Made New

An Island Batik Adventure – Vintage Quilts Inspiring New Creations

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I scoured my books, patterns and the internet for hours trying to come up with the project I really wanted to do for this challenge. Then it came to me – an apron! How vintage is that?! I did find a pattern for a half apron that was very vintage looking, (Sewing Geek Harlequin Apron pattern) but with these amazing Island Batiks I knew it would immediately be new and exciting.

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I did a little altering to the pattern: one row less from top to bottom and one more row added to the side. I also gathered it at the waist a bit so it wasn’t just straight across. It is fully lined, and I straight line quilted the whole apron.  A pocket was needed, so I sketched several: rounded, rounded gathered, rectangle. Mimicking the pattern of the apron was definitely the answer. Once the pocket was on I was absolutely giddy about this project. Don’t you just love when that happens – not just being okay or pleased with your creations, but super happy?

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My new vintage apron now hangs in my kitchen, adding a burst of color and soon to be worn when having friends or family over for dinner.

 

 

Looking Back Vintage Quilt

What I’ve Been Working On

I’m a planner. It seems to be my nature. Some of it probably comes from years of administrative work and deadlines. I’m the one when going on a retreat or trip is packed days ahead of time. (Spring retreat is in four weeks and my projects are packed!) I do think it’s a good thing although it tends to make a few folks think perhaps I’m a bit off balance!

As an Island Batik Ambassador, we’re sent the year’s calendar events with project themes.  I’ve combined getting ready for retreats with my Island Batik Adventures – I’ve sketched, written plans and cut fabrics. My April project, “Vintage made New” is done and here are the fabulous fabrics I used. I can’t wait for my reveal very soon! I am ridiculously giddy about this one.

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“Playful Pillows” is the May event, and I’ve got a real cutie planned for a much needed new pillow for our sofa in our TV watching area. Here are the fabrics all ready:

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June’s event is “Modern Batik Challenge.” I have a really fun baby quilt planned, combining a scrappy modern look with applique. It will make a terrific baby gift using these fabrics:

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I found July to be somewhat challenging. Not so much in finding a pattern, but finding one I wanted to use. The challenge is “Pattern Play, Secondary Pattern.” These too are all cut and ready to sew at retreat:

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August is our Great Outdoors Blog Hop. This is when all the ambassadors reveal a newly released fabric line using a Spring/Summer 2018 bundle. I was so excited about the beautiful fabric line I received I went right to work. I had an idea all sketched out, but one evening I went through my pattern bin and found a pattern I’ve had for years and have always wanted to do. Yup – next day I had it all cut out and it is now nearly done! Just a bit more quilting and binding!

There may not be a lot to show here, but you can see I have been busy planning and prepping. I have a few ideas for the rest of the year, but will hold off as we’ll receive a new shipment of fabric in July and the fabric will be part of the inspiration. Now I can go ahead and pull out a work in progress bin and make some progress there. Should have something to share soon!