Friday, December 21, 2012

Off the wall and off on an adventure!


Coffee bag

Laptop sleeve
I went over to Karen's house yesterday for coffee and knitting.  She had Peaceful Woods hanging up near her spinning wheel.  Her husband is a woodworker and was able to find a branch that works for the hanging device.  It was very pleasing to me to see that she loved it enough to make sure to hang it right away.  

I had made a cool knitting project bag for her as a holiday gift.  I upcycled a burlap coffee bag that my green coffee beans come in.  Of course, I didn't make a photograph of the finished project bag.  So you will have to be satisfied with a photograph of a yet to be upcycled burlap coffee bag.

We are leaving on a trip and I wanted to make a sleeve for my new laptop.  Ran out of time.  I got the 2 pieces of fabric cut.  Oh well. I will just wrap it up in a knitted shawl like I have been doing for the past couple of months.

So that is my Off the Wall post for the week.  Next week I will only have inspirational photographs from the Arizona Desert.  I am bringing my knitting bag, so maybe some knitting will appear here as well.

Happy Holidays to all!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Winner of the blog hop giveaway!

The winner of my Quilters Blog Hop Party giveaway is Debra Lee!  Thanks to all who entered and also thanks for stopping by my blog!

No diners nearby but my pick is meatloaf and real mashed potatoes with a little room for blackerry cobbler!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


"Peaceful Woods"

Close up of paws

Aspen and pine
A couple of weeks ago Karen Musgrave put out a call for a 12-12-12 challenge.  Perfect, that is the date of my friend Karen E's birthday!  I will make a 12"x 12" art quilt for her birthday!  I wanted to do something that is meaningful to her and not go with the number 12 for inspiration.

My first thought was to do a collage.  Something with a forest theme.  So I pulled all kinds of brown and green fabrics.
The palette
Then I started to build the piece.  Somehow it turned into a landscape instead of a collage.
Building the foreground

Trees trunks in place
I was so involved in the process that I spaced out taking more in progress photos.   Once I had the background in place I did some quilting along with stitching down the foreground.
Little bits of fabrics for the pines and aspens
I knew that I wanted to use little bits to make the pine needles and the Aspen leaves.  To keep it all in place I put a layer of netting over it.  Then I quilted to define the pines and aspen leaves.

A layer of netting
I ran into an issue.  The netting wasn't secured down in most of the places and something seemed to be missing from the details.  I did some loose quilting in the backgrounds to hold down the netting.  On a whim, I used some black thread and went around the details such as the rocks and tree trunks.  I also did some gold thread in the aspen leaves to give the illusion of "quaking".   Much better.

Ready to trim
I had started with a larger piece thinking it would shrink down more.  I had to cut off some of the trees on either side.

I used a piece of fabric that looked like wood grain for the binding.  And then I added some dragonfly charms.  Karen uses dragonflies on her business cards and logo.  

I delivered the gift to her this morning.  She loved it.  She had tears in her eyes.  I knew that I got it right.  The 3 paw prints in the piece represent her 3 beautiful German Shepherd dogs.  Two of them passed away this year, one just 2 weeks ago.  I knew that she had a yours and mine family and wasn't sure of how many kids there were.  I had intended on adding 6 dragonfly charms and somehow ended up with 7.  Which is how many children they raised together. And the woods is to represent the forest just up the mountain from where we both live.  With pine, Aspen, wildflowers and rocks everywhere. I used some gold thread in the background to represent the shimmer in the woods on a sunny day.

My finished photo didn't quite turn out as well as I would have liked.  Karen is going to try and take a better photograph tomorrow.

This is my Off the Wall post for this week.  Check out what everyone else is doing at Nina-Marie's blog. And also my TGIFF!

Monday, December 10, 2012

On my Wall this Monday

Design Wall

Project I want to focus on

More wrapped cord for a bowl

Prototype Wine Bag
For my Design Wall Monday post I pulled some more blocks out of the Sandi Cummings class bag.  It makes me wonder what happened (or didn't?) to the guy on the bottom right hand side.  It looks like he didn't get a full spa treatment during the class. I will pull out the book and reread what we did in class (it was in 2005 or so)  I really like the blocks.  I am looking forward to playing with them this week.  Check out what is on everyone else's wall at Judy's blog.

I was able to get more cording wrapped for another bowl.  One of the bowls I made last week sold.  I am also trying to get wine bottle gift bags made.  I sewed a prototype and it needs some tweaking.  I also made a pouch which I filled with a bunch of goodies for the Quilters Blog Hop Party!  Over 150 blogs are hosting giveaways!  My giveaway is in this post.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Quilter's Blog Hop Party!

I am thrilled to be part of the Quilter's Blog Hop party this year!  It is my first time participating so I am very excited. I made a zippered pouch that is 9"x 14" to hold all the goodies I gathered for this drawing.  I used a fun Route 66 print for the outside and a cream and green tree print for the lining,  Going into the pouch will be the following items: 
magnifier seam ripper
tomato pin cushion
pop top
summer letters
Fons and Porter directional pins
quilter's leather thimble
wooden bead trimmed stiletto
Riley Blake buttons
4 Pie Plate patterns
2 Auntie Ems patterns
Quilter's quilt journal
and a chubby pen to write in it

In the theme of Route 66 please comment and tell me what your favorite diner is and/or what your favorite menu item is to eat at a diner.  My drawing will close on the morning of the 16th sometime about noonish MST.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope that you take a minute and look around!  There are over 150 bloggers participating in the Quilter's Blog Hop Party this year!  Have a wonderful Hop!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

And the Winner is?????

My fancy random number generator.

Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle

There are things I know how to do and things I still need to learn.  Like how to set up and use a random number generator.  So I did my drawing the old fashioned way.  I wrote up numbers for all the comments. Cut them up and put them in a bowl.  Shuffle and stirred them thoroughly.  Took to the bowl out to the garage and had sweetie draw out a number.

Ta da!

Winning number

And then I find out that the comments are not numbered for me.  Okay, I can count.  The winner is Jingle!
I LOVE potatoes both baked and mashed. And I'm a french fry fanatic, too! LOL! This is so interesting! I would love to give it a try! 

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sewing day Friday

I think this is the layout I want!

Mini Mystery
Back pieced from the leftovers.



And three bowls finished!

I feel like I got a lot done this week, but not as much as I wanted to.  I was able to get some bowls made, wrapping cord one evening and sewing the next day.  I also realized that I had never posted the finished Mini Mystery that I designed for my local quilt group.  I like the way it turned out.  I used up the leftovers for a backing. The gals in the group enjoyed the project.

I finished up the blocks after the demo for the other group.  I had been playing with them all week on the wall. I took a photo of the final arrangement and then sewed them together this afternoon.  I didn't get a photo of the completed top, but it is just like the arrangement! :)

I still didn't get to my 12 by 12 for the 12-12-12 challenge.  But I have all weekend that I can work on that.

So I had some FO's for the Thank goodness it's finished Friday TGIFF
And also this is my Off the wall post, check out what everyone else is up to at Nina-Marie's blog.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Giveaway Day!

Microwave Baked Potato Bag

I decided to join in the Giveaway party on Sew Mama Sew!  I am giving away a Microwave potato bag.  They are great for baking potatoes in the microwave and they taste just like you baked them in the oven.  The giveaway is open to all, even international.  The giveaway is open until December 7, 2012 at 7pm PST. You will be notified on December 8th.

These bags are available in my Etsy shop.

To enter the giveaway leave a comment telling what is your favorite way to enjoy potatoes?  Salad? Fries? Baked?  Mashed? Or?

Friday, November 30, 2012

My Craftsy class review

I have been a Craftsy designer for a while.  I really feel they give wonderful support to their designers!  I have been thinking about taking one of their online classes and recently I received an email from Craftsy offering me a class in exchange for a review of the class.
Watching the class lesson

It was very easy to sign up for a class.  The email confirmation came right away.  And me being "Last Minute Lewis" had waited until last week to order the class thinking that I would have tons of time this week to "take" the class.  It doesn't matter when you order the class, the class is good forever! So if you are thinking of ordering a class and you don't have time to watch the class right now, order it anyway.  It will be there and available to you when you are good and ready!

I had a few little glitches.  And it was on my side, not Craftsy's.   Like I said earlier, I waited until the last minute.  I also didn't read the supply list so when I started looking at the list of lesson topics I wasn't aware that I needed silk screening supplies.  Does it matter?  NO!  I realized that I could just skip over that lesson and come back to it when I do have my silk screening stuff. I also had a bit of trouble with a lesson that froze, but it was my computer and once I cleared my cache and closed all the other windows that I had open, it was just fine.  I also noticed that one of my fellow students was having problems with a frozen segment and asked for help in the lesson question area. The tech support was available to help and reached out to her.

My review is due today.  As usual I ran out of time this week and didn't get to do as much with my class as I had wanted.   When I get back to my class next week, what happens if I forgot where I was and what I was doing?  No problem.  The lesson will start where I left off!  And if I need to review one of the previous lessons I can access it again.

I chose to take Judith Trager's Art Quilt Backgrounds.  I have heard good things about her live classes, so I thought it would be a good first class.

I enjoyed the introduction.  The first lesson was on making test blocks with a variety of fabrics.  We were assigned to do 6 blocks.  In each lesson there is a place where you can see what other students have asked about and also the answers.  Which is very helpful because Judith answers questions quickly.
Fabrics pulled for the first assignment.

Pieces cut

The starting blocks

My six blocks
The next lesson is on creating a background using fabrics in a color scheme with similar tones.  So I went to the stash. . .

The Stash
. . . I chose to do some sort of ocean scene.  I have been into water lately and just love the idea of the sea and sky with some fish in the ocean.

The next lesson is on designing and sewing together the background for my quilt.  I really enjoyed Judith's designing information.  She really does a good job of explaining how to work with an idea and various ways to accomplish it.  I watched the lesson, but I haven't sewn the blocks.  When I get to this next week, I will go back and watch the lesson again.
I will continue to review the class in the next couple of weeks.  I really like how the class doesn't start and stop on a specific date.  I like the fact the teacher is very accessible to me if and when I need help.  Try out a class on Craftsy, you will enjoy it!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Guild meeting

Charlotte's Moose.

Charlotte's Fall quilt.

Kathy's Christmas Banner

Charlotte's blocks

Kathie's Block

Kathie's other block

Kathy's block
Last week I had blogged about preparing my demo for my local quilting group.  Last night was the meeting and it seemed to go well.  I missed getting photographs of all the strip sets that the ladies were cutting.  It is always fun to see the other color schemes and fabric choices that others select.

I am still viewing the lessons for the Craftsy class  by Judith Trager that I am taking.  It has been wonderful so far!  I will have a full review for you tomorrow.  

Recess is over, back to class.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Mess

Mess blocking the design wall

Bookcase, nice and tidy.

Cutting table is the sort station.

Our son and his family came for the holiday weekend.  So to add a guest room I had to take down my sewing machine and move the table to the corner.  Since the center of the room was cleared, I thought it was a good time to rearrange the furniture.  I had been thinking about switching places of the cutting table and book case.  So to do that I had to take everything that was stowed behind and under the cutting table and take all the books off the shelves.  With sweetie's help the furniture was moved.  Now to sort and put back the junk, er, ah, sewing supplies.  I was able to get the books sorted and neatly put back.  Now to get the mess of in-progress-projects and scraps sorted and stowed neatly.  This is my design wall Monday post for the week!

Also on the agenda today is to take a Craftsy class.  I was offered a class of my choice to try out one of their online classes and give a review. I have heard good things about taking Craftsy online classes from some friends, so I am looking forward to the experience.  After looking over the selection of quilting classes I decided to try  Art Quilt Backgrounds taught by Judith Trager.  A friend of mine had taken a live class with her and raved about it.  I trust her judgement.  So I am off to view the first lesson.  If anyone would like to join me Craftsy is offering a sale on classes purchased before midnight tonight at a bargain price of $19.99.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

First Snowfall

First Snowfall
I saw mention of the 2012 Christmas Quilt Show that is being hosted by Michelle and it sounds like fun.  This is my entry.  It is 12"x 12" made for an art quilt group challenge.  The theme for this was "Cold".  Crochet was my first craft back when my Aunt Anita taught me how to crochet a shawl when I was 15.  I still have that shawl.  It lead me to a lifetime love of all things crafty.  So I crocheted the snowflakes out of cotton crochet thread.  I tacked them on to the background which was a quilted piece of batik fabric that I thought gave the illusion of distant snow falling.  The piece is finished off with a faced binding.

Check out Michelle's blog and see all the other entries.  Make sure to come back to vote for your favorite!

This is my Off the wall post for this round, check what everyone else is up to at Nina-Marie's blog.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Manic Monday

The lady who owns our local Curves is in my quilting group.  Since we lost access to the meeting room in the local motel, she has let our group meet at her gym for free.  There is a wall perfect for displaying quilts.  I had brought in a top to hang there and had a lot of positive feedback.  One being that they wanted me to demo this block at the quilt group in November.  So I pulled some batiks from my stash and made up some demo samples.  I like the way the blocks look on the wall.  I may or may not add more blocks to this project.  I thought I had used a lot of orange, but it feels more yellow in the photograph.  I do still have 4 more blocks worth of strips that haven't been cut (I will cut them in the demo).

So for today I am going to be manically running around the house trying to clean, clear out stuff from the sewing room so it can be set up for a guest room and hopefully make it to the grocery store.  Tomorrow I get the joy of having a tooth crowned.  Hopefully all will be ready in time for son and family when they arrive.
I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!