Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dresden Addicted!

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Ya I do LOVE seeing all the dresden plate quilts that everyone puts out these days.  I just had to try!  I searched a few popular blogs, YouTube and of course, my all time favorite:  Pinterest to see what I could find in the way of tutorials.  I found quite a few.  Simple enough technique.  I ran downtown and bought a dresden ruler.  It wasn't exactly the one I wanted, but beggars can't be choosers in a town this small!

  

From this dresden ruler, I proceeded to make my own PLASTIC template:


Then I started cutting stacks of dresden blades from scrap fabric:



I chain-sewed the blades on my machine and then auditioned color combinations (what blade looked best beside what blade?):


RESULTS:  some pretty fun-looking dresdens, but what to do with them?  I have a million quilts (ok.... not a million!) that I have started that need finishing and I don't DARE start another quilt.  Ooooooo what to do?....

Many moons ago I had bought a package of the flour sack tea towels.  You know the white, loose thread-count stuff that sops up water like crazy?  The purchase originated from the fact that I have a serious LOVE affair with the store:  Anthropologie and their website leaves me drooling every time I visit.  On that website they have these absolutely wonderful tea towels.... Oooooooo have you seen them?????  I had a brain wave that I would buy my own flour sack tea towelling and make my own brilliant tea towels.  Thank you Anthropologie for the inspiration!!!

Yes.... you know where I am going with this.  I combined the DRESDENS that I made WITH the flour sack tea towels.  I know brilliant right?  Ok so nothing is new under the sun and I am not THAT brilliant, but I was quite tickled with my little brain wave... and the results!  I made one for myself to start:


Yes, my mother would, and probably IS dying reading this, but I thought it was pretty funny and just couldn't pass on this one!  (Sorry Mama!)  DH and I were married in '96 and so I thought it was a pretty good "slogan" for a personal tea towel.

I attached the dresden plate to the tea towelling by appliqueing it on with my sewing machine. 


I pulled out a complimentary-colored embroidery floss and ran a quick, cute running stitch around the outside of the dresden plate.


Then I let my embroidery-machine embroider the "saying" with the help of some stablizer on the back, and I was pretty tickled with the results.

Of course, I couldn't stop there.  I had to try another:


I think this will be a gift for someone I KNOW VERY WELL... (heh heh!) or maybe I'll sell it... hmmmm what do you think?  Would you like to own this?  I just think this is so cute!

I made another and this is how it turned out:


I really liked the hit of black in this one!  I need to do more of it!

Another view hanging from the front of the stove on a sunny Fall afternoon:


Then just because I was goofing around, I had to try something TOTALLY different other than a dresden plate:


I used scrap fabric to strip quilt this cute little tomato and then appliqued him down onto the flour sack towelling.  I just can't say enough about how much fun these tea towels are to make!  I think I have a good start on some Christmas gifts.

And look at what I have waiting in the wings:


Yup!  More dresdens!  (Even Chickadee made one.)  But what do I do bloggy peeps?  Do I make more funky, sarcastic tea towels or do I save these and make a quilt?


Aaaaarrggggh!  Decisions!  Decisions!  All I do KNOW for sure is that I am officially FULLY ADDICTED to making these "drezzies!"  Even my sisters are getting in on the drezzie-making act!

Krista decided her hand at practicing the virtue of patience...  look at this gorgeous little tiny drezzie she made - a little bigger than an Altoid tin!


Then she made a larger drezzie tea towel.  Love this!  Isn't it so cute?!  Love her choice of fabric and the colored flour-sacking is absolutely DIVINE!  Krista you will have to comment below on what fabric line this is that you used to make the dresden plate.  So cute!


Robin used up some gorgeous scrap fabrics all in PURPLE and LOOK what she came up with!!!  This is such a cool drezzie.  A true work of art!  Can't wait to see what she is gonna do with it!  Keep us posted Robin!


Well my bloggy peeps I hope this whets your appetite to get making some drezzies!  I can honestly say I am addicted to making them and how useful they are in depleting my mountain of scraps!  And the possibilities are endless as far as "where" you can applique a dresden plate!  A bag, apron, quilt, table runner, or????.....   I recently purchased a favourite magazine of mine off the newsstand.  It's called "Quilty."  And they have this great idea to make a very simple apron using drezzies.  Maybe this will also inspire you!  So simple to make!  So go get drezzie-addicted!  You will be glad you did!



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Anchor's Aweigh!

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So my niece Nicole Marie "growed up," became a brilliant school teacher and then was married this past summer.  Before she grew up though, I was an "active" auntie in her life, and even lived with my sister and her family for a short time on Vancouver Island, during my young single life.  Here is a photo of "little" Nicole Marie when she was about 3 or 4 years of age and I was about 19 years old.  I think my fashionable winter/beach attire gives it away!  Nic was such a fabulous little kid.  I love her so much!


We attended her beautiful wedding this past July where she married her sweet honey:  Logan.  Here they are on the dance floor bustin' a move at their fabulous, FUN Yacht Club reception!  Yay!  So much fun!


Upon receiving her wedding invitation, and knowing that Logan was training at the time to be a "Sea Captain," I knew EXACTLY the gift I wanted to make for them as a wedding gift.  Many of you have probably seen the free download pattern of Tula Pink's Anchor quilt?  It is SOOOO COOL!  I downloaded the pattern, hit print, and set about figuring out my plan of attack!  I went to work immediately, purchasing all the required yardage of Tula Pink's "Salt Water"  fabric collection.  I LOVE this fabric line.  I think the little sea horses in it are one of my favorites!

I was confident that this would be a great quilt to make for Teacher Nicole and Captain Logan!  I was even more excited when the fabric arrived and I got it pre-washed, starched and ironed, and ALLLLLL the LITTLE TWO INCH SQUARES CUT and I was able to start PIECING!


But BEFORE piecing, I had to organize all those little TWO INCH SQUARES into baggies to keep things straight in my head according to the pattern.  Otherwise things could go "sideways" very quickly.  I love organizing and so this was an easy task!


I set to work right away sewing those cute little TWO INCH SQUARES according to Tula's easy pattern...

Once I sewed a "section" of a row together I would mark that with painter's tape to keep it straight in my BRAIN!


THEN... in perfect keeping with my crappy summer, vertigo hit and I was laid up in bed off and on for almost a month and a half!  Well there went the plan of ever finishing Nicole Marie's quilt in time for their wedding!!!!  Arrrggghhh!  So there SAT the quilt!


Considering the situation I let her know that I started the quilt and she has even seen some of it in progress since.  I hope to get it finished soon and get it professionally long-armed just for Nicole Marie and Captain "Logey!"  Sooner than later would be good!  Considering Nicole Marie has had her peek you can have a peek too:

Because this anchor quilt involved ALL of these little two inch squares and ROW UPON ROW of them, I kept a lot of notes (the type of thread I am using, needle size, ironing and starching practices etc.) and put them in a binder:


As I created the rows of this quilt, I labelled them, using painters tape as well.  And I didn't/haven't created the rows in order.  I sewed the rows according to Tula Pink's very well laid-out pattern as I felt led.  No science here.  This would be Rows 2, 3 and 4 completed and sewn together.  



And here would be a close-up of the TOP of the anchor itself.  So cool right????  

Another look at the TOP of the anchor:

And yes, it looks wonky as there is a row laying underneath that is not yet "connected" as of yet.

Another view from farther away helps to get the picture of the top of the completed anchor:

You are able to see better in this picture that the bottom row is actually going to be the bottom of the anchor. 


Oh how I can't wait to get this finished!  Cheer me on my bloggy peeps and help me get this quilt completed before Nicole Marie and Captain Logey are no longer NEWLYWEDS!  Or worse yet, they announce they are pregnant or something and then I will REALLY be behind the 8-ball trying to make a mini-anchor quilt for "Captain Junior!"  Oh Lord have mercy!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Coming Clean

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I haven't blogged in MONTHS!  I'm coming clean!  The fact of the matter is I have been avoiding putting up this blog post because I really didn't want to talk about our HORRID SUMMER!  And a HORRID SUMMER it was.  Honestly some of the toughest times of my life and our family's life!  But you know what, I have decided that I don't need to talk about it at all.  This is a QUILTING blog and I really don't want to re-hash it at all.  Suffice it to say we have come out on the other side and we are GOOD now.  I hope we never have to re-live those tough times and yet we are VERY thankful as these tough times have honed us and sharpened us into the people we are today.  Yes, we are still "limping and licking our wounds" but we are definitely crawling out of the fire storm and have survived!  Thank the Lord above!  Thank the Lord that the HORRID SUMMER OF 2013 is behind us!  Never to be seen again!  If you are TRULY interested in the events of our summer for the sake of praying for us, you can email me personally, I will gladly tell you.  It's not a secret what happened and it's not like there was a death in the family, but the series of events that PILED themselves on top of another almost got to be too much.  I am literally skin and bone.  Lost a lot of weight because of it and have a very broken down immune system, but I am confident that I will bounce back.

NOW THAT IS OUT OF THE WAY, LET'S GET ONTO WHAT YOU CAME FOR!

I had such GREAT PLANS for the Summer of 2013 to get so many things accomplished but alas, NOTHING got done!

But!  Now I do have a FINISH!  Yes my bloggy peeps I have a finished quilt to brag about!  Stinky's Midget Rep hockey team hosted a hockey tournament a few weeks ago!  As a fundraiser item, I decided that I was going to donate a quilt as a silent auction item.

I had a "Scrappy Trip Around the World" QUILT TOP all finished.  You may recall the loose tutorial I posted of how to do a Scrappy Trip Quilt?  Here is a photo of when I just started this quilt WAAAAAY back in the when:


Here are two rows sewn together.  I pinned this picture on PINTEREST and believe it or not, many have re-PINNED!

So anyways, this is the finished quilt I decided I would donate!  I had the top pieced and needed to get it quilted in record time, so I called the local quilt store and found out about a local woman who owns her own long-arm quilting business.  I jumped into my truck and ran my beloved quilt out to her house. When I stepped into her studio - my JAW dropped!  OOOOOOOO BLOGGY PEEPS - that is a blog post ALL IT's OWN!  It truly was Ahhhhhh-mazing!  She owns the Gammill long-arm and it stood there in all its beauty, like a queen on a throne!  I was COVETING really bad!  It was absolutely SHAMEFUL!  No really it was!  But bless Quilting Vicky's heart, she DONATED her long-arm services to my quilt as she knew I was donating the quilt to Stinky's hockey team.  Isn't that so kind?  Of course she had me HOOK LINE AND SINKER as far as having me as a future customer too - smart isn't she?!  She whipped off the quilt work, or should I say, her $28,000 Gammill whipped off the work, and I retrieved the quilt in time for the hockey tournament.  Here are the results:

This little Scrappy Trip Quilt resulted in an 58x80 sized quilt.  It almost reached 60x80 but who's obsessing...  Speaking of obsessing I snapped these pics at 8am in 30 seconds or less as I was running out the door TO the tournament so they are NOT great at all!  Arrrrgggh!


Here is a close-up view of Quilting Vicky's long-arming talents.  I was sooooo pleased!  I so would LOVE a $28,0000 Gammill long-arm quilter ... *sigh!  Until, then I will just drool over Vicky's!


I think one of my favorite things on a quilt is the binding!  Truly!  I do love the finishing touches!


Another view of the quilt laying on the rocks in my back yard.  I won't be able to do this for much longer once the snow starts to fall!


 I backed the quilt in flannel, which was in keeping with who possibly would be receiving or buying this quilt:  hockey moms and the like!  I found this gorgeous polka dot flannel and fell in love with it right away!


Here's one last look at the quilt in a whole different light laying on the kitchen floor.  Again not a great picture but at least gives you a taste:


It was very satisfying to get this quilt done and for the quilt to be donated to Stinky's team, especially after such a horrid summer - something positive!  The quilt SOLD FOR $100!  Someone definitely got a SMOKING DEAL!  But regardless, it was a WIN WIN for everyone all around don't you think?


My studio is up and running again.  The dust has been removed and I am going full speed ahead.  I have much to show you and hope to get more blog posts up VERY SOON!   Thanx for reading bloggy peeps!  







Thursday, June 6, 2013

Block Creations Make Great Quilt Creations!

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So I have been doing some more fiddling around with my EQ7 software!  LOVE it so much!  I recently purchased a plethora of Denyse Schmidt's reprint of "Flea Market Fancy" fabrics in quarter yards.  You all know it!  But in case you didn't, here is a sampling of this absolutely cute fabric line.

I have been DYING to get going on a quilt using this fabric line and thought I might design my own block.  So here is the block:


I haven't decided if I am going to foundation piece this or get up enough guts to pre-cut and piece my own blocks.  We'll see how brave I am feeling once I am standing at my cutting table I guess.  The color combination above was NOT what I settled on, but just inserted some of the fabrics just to "see."  I know, you are all thinking "okay this doesn't look like much...."

Well let's see if this tantalizes your little quilt buds... Here is QUILT LAYOUT #1:


Then I really got going on flipping fabrics around into different spots.  Here is QUILT LAYOUT #2:


It is definitely a little bit more busy but that's how I like to quilt.  Quiet is not my personality, thusly... neither are my quilts (*smile).

But now it's your turn to VOTE!  Which one do you like better?  Quilt Layout #1 or Quilt Layout #2?  Comment below and let me know your preference!




Friday, May 31, 2013

Love it When a Plan Comes Together

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Hello my bloggy peeps!  I'm back!  I LOVE that I have been able to hunker down in my sewing studio the last few days and SEW!  Weeee!  Love it when a plan comes together!

You all know how I have raved about my EQ7 quilting software program HERE and HERE.  I am still a newbie to the program and love when I can learn more about it.  In order to do so, I subscribed to receive every blog post by email that the EQ7 "Behind the Mouse" blog puts out.  Currently they are running a blog series on lessons to use the "Easy Draw" module of the program.  I am LOVING it!

Our challenge was to follow Jenny's FABULOUS(!) instructions on the blog post and "draw" or create a specific quilt block and then go and MAKE IT!  Then they host "show and tell" on their blog where you can post a photo of your completed block.  The series goes all summer and (fingers crossed!) I hope to follow all summer long and learn more and create more!  Here is what we were to create:



Here are my EQ7 results on paper.  The EQ7 program is so great that you can actually print out a "rotary cutting" recipe to follow!  You will note that there are 5 blocks lettered "C" in the diagram at the top left of the below photograph.  Then if you look at the bottom of the photo you will see that the rotary cutting instructions for "C" are that I am to cut FOUR 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch patches of bright green and then ONE patch of the same measurement in blue... and so on.  So easy a kid could figure this out right?!  Wanna hear ONE better?  All of these measurements INCLUDE the 1/4 inch seam allowance!  For me that is a "the clouds part, the angels sing!" kinda moment!  No really!  I hate doing the math!  I just wanna create and sew!


Once I drew my block, printed out the rotary cutting recipe, I pulled out my scraps in similar colors and set to work cutting and sewing.  Aren't you dying to see the results?  Tell me yes!

VOILA!


Fun right?  If I continue the whole summer series in similar color ways, I am gonna have a whole bunch of 12x12 blocks to make into a quilt by Fall!  Weeee!  Thank you EQ7!

So cross your fingers for me and let's hope that the planets align, the schedule dies down and I can actually SEW throughout the summer and get these done.  I'll say it again:  I LOVE it when a plan comes together!!

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