Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pillowcase Challenge

My friend Nora came over for a getaway for the weekend so I put her to work. She sewed while I cut, ironed and pinned and we got 10 pillowcases done for the 1 Million pillowcase challenge on or American Patchwork & Quilting. This was all from stash and I didn't even make a dent!!!

They're super easy. Why not whip a couple up? I'm donating mine to CHOC Hospital in Orange County (CA) where my daughter works. :o)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Complaint Department

My daughter Kelley, the artsy one, responded to my post day before yesterday. If you don't read the comments you might of missed it but she wanted to know why I posted pictures of her sister Stephanie's projects but not her quilt? Well, Kelley has a website so I figured maybe she would want bragging rights about her quilt but I was wrong. And this is why I won't win any Mother of the Year awards! I'm wrong a lot! :o)
This is a picture of Kelley's queen size quilt top. (I am the Equal Opportunity blogger!!!) lol She finished it last week and pieced some flannel for the back. It's now in the "waiting for her mother to longarm quilt it" stage. Oh, the pressure!!

For this top, Kelley raided my scrap basket, she had some fat quarters and scraps of her own and she went through scraps my sister had given me. She doesn't really care for traditional quilt blocks and got started with this crazy quilt type block sewing several years ago when she had a ruptured disk and back surgery. It left her slightly paralyzed so to keep herself busy, she sewed scraps together and made a small lap quilt.
Being the "artsy daughter", she had to add some art to her quilt so she drew some pictures to embroider and put them in the quilt. She was sorry she didn't do more but she was anxious to get it finished so the rest is history.

March 9th I posted about a quilt for my bed. You can read about it here. I had a stencil that I thought would look good but it was a tad too small. The sticker said it was from The Stencil Co. so I went online and found a larger one, ordered and it and then waited. Well, it came on Monday so I transferred a couple of blocks but before starting on my quilt, I figured I better practice. Here is my practice block I did late last night.

It came out decent even though I had to retrace some of the design like you do when you quilt feathers. I haven't done much of that but I was happy with this. I guess I should've looked at the blown up picture to see if really was a 'decent' job before I blogged about it. It was late when I did it and the lighting was bad. Oh oh! And here is the back.

I must admit, it was probably a whole lot easier working on one block than tugging on a quilt but I'm hoping it won't be too bad. I set my Juki up on the dining room table so I'll have space to move it around. I hope to "git `ir done" this weekend.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Busy Stephanie!

This post is not about what I have made but some finishes that my busy daughter Stephanie did. Some of you are familiar with Kelley, my oldest and artsy daughter. Well, Stephanie (no blog), my middle daughter, is more like her mama (that's me!) and dabbles in a little of everything like sewing, paper crafts, plays with her Cricut. Yeah, we like it all! Well, she came over on Sunday and got some 'started' projects 'finished'. :o)
First is a little apron she made for her friend's daughter. It's a reversible apron and a great little birthday gift for a two year old.

And it's reversible!! She got the pattern at Tall Mouse, our local craft store. Do you like our model? It's a roll of batting. hehe The heart fabric is from Stephanie's stash and the rest is from my stash. She also made a batch of pink play dough (vanilla scented cuz that's all we had) and included a little pink rolling pin. Then she raided my gift bag cabinet. I asked her if after all this "borrowing" she would include my name on the card!!!!! LOL

Then....with her very own fabric :o) she made this little travel diaper tote for a co-worker. It holds one or two diapers, depending on the size and a pack of wipes. Cute huh?

I thought it was clever how she matched the diaper to the bag. She said it was just a co-inky-dink!

And here are the wipes in the back pocket.
And on MY finishes, I got my quilting stencils in the mail yesterday that I had been waiting for. I hope to get my quilt marked so I can finish it up by the weekend. Maybe I'll have a picture of something I did to show you! :o)

Monday, March 22, 2010

My sister LOVES me!

And I love her too. (I'll tell you why in a minute) lol She has a B-I-G birthday to celebrate and she wanted to go to Disneyland. She hadn't been then in years so that's what she asked for. Her Birthday wish came true as her boys, hubby, DIL and "me" joined her on Saturday. I had a connection and was able to get us all in for free. Woohoo! Good thing cuz we needed money to pay for the expensive food! :o) It was blue skies and just a tad warm but not too hot. It was a great day to celebrate with family at the Happiest Place on Earth!

And as if it was MY birthday or something, my sissy brought me a bag full of fabric when she came over! Woooo----hooooooo! She had two bins of Civil War fabrics and shirtings. She isn't that found of them anymore and wanted to cut down her stash. And just last week she met a woman in an applique class who was making a Dear Jane quilt. And supposedly, if you're making a DJ, you shouldn't repeat any fabrics so Isabel, aka, The Giver (lol), went through her bins and split her fabrics in three piles. If it was a yard, I got a half and she kept a fat quarter and gave the other lady a fq. If it was smaller, she just cut it in three but I didn't have many small pieces in my stack. As you can imagine, the woman was ecstatic as was I!! I've got to come up with a project for this stack of fabrics. It's delicious!

She also brought me a roll of batting. We decided to split a roll because we both have so many quilts to finish. What a decision that was! There are so many types of batting out there. I had purchased a roll of Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 a couple of years ago and it worked fine but we thought we'd try a roll of Dream Cotton. We finally decided on the Blend and we each got 15 yards. It feels dreamy and soft and I think I'm going to like working with that.
My daughter came over on Sunday and worked on some projects that were cute as can be so I'll go load those and share those pictures with you soon. Maybe even later today! :o)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day to ya!

Here are a few Irish Blessings for you....since everybody is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day. :o)
May the Lord take a good liking to you......but not too soon!
Ain't that the truth!!! I've got too many quilts to make!!! lol

And I got a good chuckle out of this one....and I don't know why but when I read this one, it reminded of an old Chinese proverb, like "Confucius Say..."
Never iron a four-leaf clover, because you don't want to press your luck!
But if Confucius said it, it would've been, "Don't pless you ruck" (big cheesy smile!)
Isn't that a cute little clip art? I found it at They've got some cute stuff!

Okay, onto some sewing stuff. I can't believe it but I finished another block to the Berry Pickin' BOM. This might be month six and the little baskets and sashing squares were month seven. (I think.)

Here's how it looks so far. I got my sections sewn together in case I need to fold it up and use the design wall for an actual quilt!

The next block is a monster beast. A cute one but still, it's big and detailed. It's a vintage scale with fruit and five jelly jars. I will trace that one of these nights and get started on that one. I've got a busy couple of nights so we'll see. I take my class on learning my new Espire machine tomorrow night, my sis is coming to stay the night on Friday and we're heading to the Happiest Place on Earth (Disneyland) for her big 6-0 birthday. I don't think she'll mind me telling you that she's turning 60. It's a big number but we agree it's hard to believe she is that age. We should all look as good as her at 60! She got all the good genes, that one. Oh yes, I am soooo jealous! :o)

Monday, March 15, 2010

The good, the bad and the seam ripper!

Let's start with the "good". I don't know what's wrong with me but I've been in a baking mood lately. First was this delish pineapple upside down cake. Mmmmm. I used a boxed cake mix and this recipe from good ol' Betty Crocker. I haven't used any other cake mix in probably 30 years. Gotta love that pudding in the mix.

That was Thursday night and it is now history. And then yesterday my hubby was rummaging around the kitchen and I asked him what he was looking for? He said something sweet. Well, he obviously wasn't looking MY direction! LOL So I made him a batch of chocolate chip cookies. While I was working on my projects yesterday, I kept hearing the cookie container lid being pried open. ahhh, the cookie monster was working overtime yesterday. :o)

I will now explain my "bad and oh so ugly" seam ripping story now. OH-MY-GOSH, I soooo must have A.D.D. or something because me and directions just don't seem to see eye to eye. Below is a picture I posted a while back of my Cherry Hill BOM. This was four months completed. Looks good, right? Wrong. My first mistake was on month #1. I cut the sashing wrong

You might not have noticed *but I did* and that's all that matters. :o( I noticed the large carnation print in the bottom center was next to the border of the next section I completed (not in the photo yet). I said to myself, "Self, wouldn't you know you would pick that print to go right there and the border of the next block was that same carnation fabric. Darn it anyway." Well, I got out my pattern and saw that the quilt shop had given us placement for each of the squares of fabric. And here is my favorite little graphic of all time.......

That pretty much says it all. I tore it all apart. Actually I tore out the left side of the parts shown. I detached all the little squares, ironed them and put them in the right order. Some people would've said who cares, they're all pastels and only you would know. And that right there is the problem. I would know. And I figured if the shop took all the time to put those blasted little squares in an 'eye pleasing' order, why should I be the one to mess it up. So, here is the way it should've looked originally...
I know. It looks just like the other photo. LOL But the color placement is better. At least that's what I'm going to keep telling myself. :o) And here is block #5 and the baskets, which were month #6.

I guess my machine does a fat quarter inch seam because I had to steam iron those baskets and tug and pull to make them fit. They were about 1/4" short on both sides but I had done enough ripping out and I figured I'd put those blocks in a vice if I had to, I wasn't ripping them out! So here's how it looks now.....

I've got block #7 traced so onto stitching my teapot. I WILL be reading those sewing directions before I start cutting my fabric. Whether or not I follow them will be another story.....or blog post!!! hehe

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My new baby

Recession? What recession? lol I got a new sewing machine. Move over to the other five in my collection....there's a new girl in town! I got this BabyLock Espire.

I have a Pfaff 2044 and there was nothing wrong with it. I just took it in for service and walked out with this one. Eeegads, I've got no spine! LOL Actually, I used a machine like this at a retreat in Apple Valley over a year ago and really loved how it sewed. Of course, they try to sell you the machine you were working on but I wasn't willing to pay what they were asking at the time. I'm sure there's a newer model so that's probably why these were on sale. I financed it.....all by my little ol' self. So far, I'm loving it. It's got lots of bells and whistles and I don't know how to use them all but so far I'm loving the cutter, leg lift control and auto foot control. I have a class scheduled to learn the ins and outs later this week. Here's a peek at just some of the stitches.

They wanted to give a credit for a trade in but I didn't want to give up my Pfaff. I've heard horror stories about new machines and wasn't going to give up my old one. Plus, my daughters sew so I'd just assume hand it down to one of them. I told the saleswoman I would go to Goodwill and buy one if I had to trade it in. She said not to bother. She would just tell them trading in my machine would've been a deal-breaker. And she wouldn't be lyin'!
Last night I sandwiched one of my UFO's. This one is a little short on the sides to be a queen size but I'm going to use it on my bed anyway. Guess I'll have to buy a bedspread and then lay this over the top. That's what my sister said she did and I never even noticed. Works for me.

I love the stars and the seminole border, but with all of that going on, it was hard to figure out something that worked to make it bigger. I know the book had a bigger size quilt in it but I bought fabric to make the single size and couldn't find any more of the fabric even back then. I think this top is a couple of years old already. It was just waiting for perfect quilting. But I'm doing it so it'll be far from perfect!!! LOL
I have this stencil but it's just a little bit too small. I got it at a quilt show, Long Beach I think. Luckily it has the sticker on it so I went to the site, and got an 11" one. I like the way it looks on a couple of the blocks.

It doesn't fight with the stars.

So over the next few nights, I'll try and stitch in the ditch around the sashing to anchor it. That way when the stencil comes in the mail, I'll be ready. Hmmm, I should make some sandwiches to practice these puppies until the big stencil comes in. Now there's an idea!! :o)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Celebrations, cards and quilt sandwiches!

I guess when I don't show up for a while, you might know I'm off living life and being a 'BusyLiz'. :o) Since my last post ten days ago, I've been to two birthday celebrations, made a some birthday cards and prepared some parts for quilt sandwiches. Sounds pretty good (like I did a lot) when I say it all in one sentence. lol
My aunt had a birthday party on Saturday. A BIG one! She is my "Tia Ramona". Sounds like a brand name of tortillas, huh? LOL She turned 90 years old and we hadn't seen her for a while. She looked great! Actually, her birthday is on Leap Year and I think she actually only turned 22.5 years old but in 'real birthday years' she turned 90. She is my dad's sister-in-law. My dad, her husband and all the siblings are all gone now but the surviving women in the family are going strong. I wish I was in that gene pool because I have a lot of quilts to finish!!! ;o)

That is her DIL Lisa with her. I wonder if they coordinated their outfits. :o) Oh, and that was delicious. It was called Hawaiian Sunset something or other. YUM!!!

Then.....on Sunday, my daughter called at around noon and asked if we wanted to go to dinner with them to celebrate her boyfriend Jason's birthday. We went to some restaurant called Koji's Sushi and Shabu Shabu in Orange (CA). Uhhhh, sushi? Bleck. But it was okay. They also had food you could cook. "You" being the key word. :o) There was a boiling pot, white rice and two yummy sauces. Shabu Shabu means "swish swish" and that's what you do with your meat to cook it. There are spices like garlic, onions you put in your water for seasoning and get a plate of cut up veggies like cabbage, carrots, green onions, mushrooms, etc. Everything is ready for that pot of boiling water.

I survived cooking my own meal and I didn't even have a hot flash! :o) We did find our skin was remarkably soft and subtle after the steam facial. LOL

Afterward, we went over to Kelley and Jason's apartment for dessert. Kelley made a spice cake with cream cheese frosting. It doesn't look like anything you'd see on "Ace of Cakes" but it was delicious!! Thatsa my girl!

Enough about food. Onto the cards. I whipped up this card for Jason because his birthday kind of snuck up on me. I want to be better about sending birthday cards this year....and making them myself. Since redoing my room, I am enjoying the process. It was a simple card and almost not photo worthy but I'll show you anyway. I cut the balloons out with my Cricut and used a few background stamps. I don't do too well with boy cards. I never really made very many manly cards. I guess I need to practice to get the boy mojo. LOL

Then I did this card, which might be my favorite right now. I can only show you a tiny bit though because it's for my sister Isabel and she reads my blog. Her birthday is at the end of March and I don't want her to see it yet. Don't you love the colors? I copied a card I saw online. It's delicious!

Then last night I cut out a couple of cupcake cards using my cricut and some paper I got at Joann's in one of those big paper stacks. I got this card idea online too. I love the examples online to give the rest of us 'crafty, non-creative' people something to work with! *sigh*

It took me a little while to figure out how to cut the pieces so they would be attached on the fold but my Design Studio software came in handy for that.
And just so you don't think I sold my fabric and hung up my quilting tools, I have been doing this too!

I have been piecing backs to quilts and cutting batting. Getting my sandwiches ready for quilting on about 12 UFO projects. There are three on this chair. I cut and pinned two others last night. I'll sew those together tonight.
And then I spent some time "looking" at this top. It's from a class I took several years ago. I got the border on it another couple of years ago. The book is called Star Studded Quilts. I love this one and might put it on my bed but I need a little more 'quilt' for the drop on the sides of the bed. The quilt ends at the green border. I just laid the yellow fabric under it to see if I could get away with adding more fabric and it looking alright. I don't have any more green mottled fabric but have about a half yard of the green in the blocks. That might do for a small strip to break up the yellow or for binding. This one will require more playing..........which is why I put it away the last time!!!

And that's what I've been doing! What have you been doing?