Here I am quilting the stacked coins quilt. I used large paper clips and bicycle clips, and had to sling it over my shoulder, in order to feed it through the machine. I still don't have the confidence or skill level for stippling so I channel quilted it. It took many hours, including about 6 hours to bind it--I forgot how long it all takes! Here it is finished and ready to wrap. I love the way it looks! But, I realize now that, although I love lots of white on quilts, it's probably not a good idea for small children's quilts. Oh, well! On another note, I tried my hand at bag making and I made this buttercup bag. I love it--it's so cute! It's a very easy pattern, too. I'm going to make several more but I'll use heavier fabric and enlarge the pattern as the bag is very flopy and way too small for me. It's still really cute, though!
Well, I finally did it--I finished a quilt! Hurray for me! I made the quilt for my friend who just had a baby boy and had worked on the Obama campaign in our town. It's an Obama Baby Quilt!!! I did straight line quilting and tried free motion quilting writing out the baby's name (Ayende) and words like dream, love, hugs--along with quilted hearts and the date. It's not perfect but I learned alot along the way. I learned that you have to control your machine speed and work on moving the quilt evenly as you free motion quilt. I still haven't figured out what to do when the bobbin runs out. Those areas looked messy so I free motioned hearts over them. I feel much more confident about finishing up the other quilt tops I've done. And, the best part of making a quilt--giving it away!
Wow, it's day 48 of surgery recovery and I'm feeling great! I was feeling out of sorts for a while even though I had no complications. Just recovering is tiring. But, hurray, I'm feeling back to normal. I did some sewing. I made this class set of juice pouch pencil holders for my class. The kids love them and they're a simple to make way to encourage creative recycling.
I guess the new frugality isn't all that new. People have always been refashioning clothing. Check out this post at UnsungSewingPatterns . Seems you could buy a pattern and have instructions for cutting it out from other clothing! Hmmm... great idea!
Amy of parkcitygirlis hosting a Blogger's Quilt Festival October 9-16. Just pick any one quilt you've made and blog about what it meant to you. There'll be prizes involved, too. I just love prizes, don't you!?! On another note, it's day 35 of my surgery recovery and it's all great. I'll post a pic soon.
Well, I haven't posted because I've been recovering from surgery and haven't done any sewing. I had a nip tuck on August 19th. These are the before and after pictures, taken from my iPhone. The after is 18 days after a lower face lift and eye tuck. Yes, I know, it is an unnecessary vanity surgery. But, after losing a lot of weight I felt my face kind of fell and, you know, when your favorite dress is too big you give it a few stitches, insert a couple of darts, and boom, you're back in business. That's what my surgeon did for me. I'm now at day 27 and less swollen than in this picture, but you get the drift. It is a big change. Overall, I'm happy with the results. It was not painful, but it really isn't for the faint of heart. It kind of messes with you when you look in the mirror and you're swollen, or you feel that you don't look like you. Now that the swelling is down, I look like I did in my 30's and I'll be 49 in a few months. I admire people who sew and my surgeon, Dr. Jeanette Martello, is the best. You can't even see her tiny stitches around my ears! And her bedside manner--to be admired! Oh, well. I hope you all don't think it too weird. I know it's vain. My excuse--I'm cuban. We're a bit vain!!!
Hurray! Here's my cute little refashioned apron! It was a bit long (still looking dress-ish) and I didn't want to cut and hem so I folded up the bottom 6" and sewed it up onto the front. Then, I sewed three lines making four divided pockets. I'm so pleased with myself! I watched "A Town Without Pity", an awesome 1961 movie with Kirk Douglas and Robert Blake while finishing up my projects. Tagline: The story of what four men did to a girl...and what a town did to them! Really good movie. Now here's my completed OldRedBarn quiltalong quilt top. I love the fabrics. I haven't decided if I want borders or not. I'll play around with some fabrics, then decide.
First, I want to thank Chase for her fun giveaway! She made these awesome paperdolls using snippets fabric. I think my lovely niece Fiona would give my prize a great home! I can't wait for it to arrive. I'm going to try out the paper doll tutorial and make some more. Check out her blog PageLyraHandmade-she's very creative and has a fun spirit! Well, I've been putting together my oldredbarnquiltalong top. I'll post a pic when I get further along. For today I'm posting a peak at an apron I'm making. I have a blogcrush on JulieKundhi. She's a genius! She upcycles clothes in awesome ways, and I specially love the apron she refashioned. But what I really love about her is that she changed the way I view things. I look at clothing differently now.
Just because it's a jacket doesn't mean it can't be turned into a messenger bag! And, just because it's a dress doesn't mean it can't be turned into an apron. Here's a sneak peak at my Salvation Army $2 dress that I'm turning into an apron! I'm adding fabric that I cut from a JoAnn's $2 per yard special. I just have to sew up the sides and add the waistband/ties (in the blue and yellow print that will match the neck strap.) I'm in love!
I'm home now. We sent my beloved Abuela off into the next life with love and unity. My siblings and I joined my aunt, uncle, cousins, neiece, and friends for several days of remembrance, fun, and togetherness, culminating in an uplifting funeral service, reception, and next day family picnic. I've hung on to something the priest said--that no matter how far away we are, we should make my Abuela proud by being a united family. We certainly succeeded in that this weekend and I hope we will continue to make her proud by sticking together no matter what. Here we are right after the funeral service. All together. Abuela would be proud! And here's a picture of my beautiful Abuela. I imagine that's how she looks now, sweet and at peace with herself. Well, since I'm back at home I'm gonna snuggle my two kitties and my dog, and spend time with my human family, and friends. And, I've got work to do. I haven't put together either of my quiltalong tops so that will be the first order of business. Then, I want to get onto the vintage sheet quilts with my daughter and sister in law. I'm happy. We did good. And now, the quilting will be good. As my cuban Abuela would say--"Eez too bee-u-ti-ful!!!" and "I luv yew!" I love you, too, Abuela!
I haven't posted in a while because my Abuela (grandmother) was very ill and she passed away a few days ago. She lived in Denver and I made the trip on June 19th, stayed for a week, and am going back in a few days. I'm at home creating a video and eulogy that I'll deliver for her funeral. My Abuela was an amazing woman, who wanted to be a star since she was a little girl in Cuba. She became a dancer, and travelled all over South America in a dance troupe. In her honor, I thought it fitting that I post my favorite of the few quilts I've made since I made it for my beloved Abuela. It's a log cabin pattern inspired by a spanish dancer's shawl. Since my Abuela's dance repertoire included flamenco, the shawl was my inspiration. I love the way the fields and furrows layout gives the quilt movement, like an embroidered shawl wrapped around a swaying dancer. A flamenco dancer stamps the ground to represent the earth, and reaches her hands up, to represent the heavens, so I used black for the earth, and white for the heavens. The flowers are so typically spanish, representing the pretty embroidery on a shawl. I'm so happy I made this quilt for her. I'll always think of my Abuela, the beautiful spanish dancer, and the quilt I made her.
I teach first grade and school will be out in two weeks! Hurray for summer but I'll miss my students. They've really worked hard this year, they're sweet, and they love my sewing projects. They think I'm a genius just because I can sew! Teaching is the best job. Where else do you just show up and people are so happy to see you and come up and hug you and share exciting things that happened to them. Teaching is awesome! Well, in between the end of year stuff I've been working on my quiltalongs. Here are some of the sewn strips for the oldreadbarnquiltalong. They're folded so you can't see the whole thing. I'm not finished sewing the strips and haven't cut them, so I'm a bit behind but will catch up this week. Now here's a picture of my blocks for amandajeansquiltalong. I've got over 60 blocks now! You can't see them all cuz I've stacked them (by color--goodness, don't tell anyone how fussy I am, okay!) Also, thanks to Joan of PeaceLoveandHugs. I won her giveaway!!! She's sending me cute doggy leash with an iPod Dog Walking Pocket Case and matching leash done in a motorcycle print. So totally cute--my dog and I will love it. I'll post of picture of us out and about in our new attire.
Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I think I am. I must be since with all the projects I have going I decided to join the oldredbarncoquiltalong. It's a 6 week quiltalong with an easy pattern but what got me interested is that Dana is using Paula Prass' Flights of Fancy. It happens that when I went to the Glendale Quilt Show I bought 3 fabrics from her line just because they were so pretty and I really didn't know what to do with them. And, let me tell you, I'm not one to pay $9.00 a yard for my fabric. I'm a JoAnn's 40% off coupon kinda gal so buying those fabrics was a splurge. Well, now I've got a cool project to use them in AND every week Dana does a giveaway, culminating in the daddy of all giveaways for those that finish their quilts--a Janome 6600P sewing machine! She's already given away 9Olfa mat and rotary cutter sets, a Rowena iron, and is giving away some beautiful threads. So, I get to make a gorgeous and easy quilt, and try my luck at some prizes. What's not to like? And crazy, you say--crazy like a fox! Here are my fabrics. I've cut 9 of the 12. Pretty, huh!
I've been working on amandajeans 9-Patchquiltalong. I've got 42 blocks done so far! I know I have my own sewing room, but like I said, I'm enjoying sewing on my kitchen table. And even though I've got a big 'ol Singer sewing machine in the sewing room, I've been sewing on my new little Janome Sew Mini that I bought myself in March (bday gift to myself!) It's soooo awesome! I can lift it with one hand (6lbs) and I put it in my backpack and take it to school to work on projects with other teachers. It only has straight stitch and zigzag, but that's all you need to put a quilt top together, anyway! Hint, hint, Emily!!! I hope somebody (who we love and maybe got one of these through the mail for being such a sweetie) enjoys it as much as I do! It's also a great sewing machine to teach little one's with! Sewing in Oregon this summer!?! Oh, and I've been making juice pouch pencil cases for my students and I'll post a picture soon. In the meantime, here I am with my beloved Franklin. Don't I look like Lola!?!
I joined amandajean's9-Patch One-A-Day Quiltalong. The idea is to make a scrappy 9-Patch a day and by mid summer have enough blocks to make a good sized quilt. When I went to the Glendale Quilt Show last month I bought two $4.00 scrap bags and I'm using them for the quilt. Take a peek--I've made 15 blocks so I'm ahead--I'm having fun!
Finally--here are the two stacked coins quilt tops I finished! I used the stacked coins tutorial by crazymomquilts Amandajean. Her tutorial is awesome and I learned alot along the way. Foremost, I realized pinning the pieces together instead of just eyeballing them saved a lot of seam ripping! It's been 8 years since I've sewn/quilted so I'm having to relearn certain things but I'm really loving it. These two quilts are part of a trio of quilts I'm making for my three neices in Oregon. As you can see, I'm using the same material for them all but varying the pattern. I thought of making them individualized quilts -- blue for Delila Blu, sunny yellow for Lola Sunshine, and pink for Fiona Rose. But, those will be for a future date and with more heirloom quality so that they keep them forever--with love from Tia Nancy. Emily, there's no way around this--you won't be surprised since you read my blog! But, oh well, hopefully you'll love them anyway. Molly, thanks for the push to post. It's fun knowing somebody out there's interested!
On another note, even though I've got a sewing room, I've found that I prefer sewing at the kitchen table. Seems it's where the action is, and it's so light and airy. Wherever I am, the cats and dog are there, too! The two cats are cuddling on the first quilt my daughter made (I took her to a quilt class when she was 13.) The cats love it!
Just wondering...what's the deal with cats and quilts!?! Most quilt blogs I visit have pictures of their cats on their quilts, or just close up pics of the cats doing cute things. I'm not complaining, though. I have two cats and LOVE them! I have pictures of them laying on my sewing and sitting on my daughter's first quilt. I'm just wondering--do quilters love cats more than "normal" people do ;)
I just came across this blog post about table and chair height for healthy sewing at CrazyShortcutQuilts. I've had a hard time with this because at first I was so excited I sewed for hours and was in pain--neck, upperback, and elbow pain (I'm pushin' 50 and have carpal tunnel and had shoulder surgery years ago.) I had to stop for a few days and now I just sew in spurts. I knew my sewing set up wasn't ergonomic since I learned all about that with my initial injuries. I'm going to try out her suggestions. Take a look for yourself.
Otherwise, the recycled "stuff" contest at school is going great! Kids have brought in their handmade goods--a dog sweater made out of long t-shirt sleeve, a really cool bracelet made out of canned drink pop tops, and a capri sun hat (the student taped together.) Awesome!
I have finished a couple of quilt tops. I know, I know--what's my problem? How come I haven't posted the picks? Okay, this weekend for sure! Happy May Day!
Here are two bags I made. I also made another square purse and a cell phone case. Students, parents, and staff love them! That's so cool! At Friday's assembly I modeled the two bags and cell phone case, explained to students that while most of us recycle, we don't often reuse and that these bags were examples of ways to reuse. Then, I challeneged them to a contest--make something out of materials they'd normally throw away, bring them to my class, and I'll enter their names in a raffle for a juice pouch craft that I create for them! I've got lots of inquiries and five entries! And, icing on the cake, I won a blog give-away! It's an OHNOUDIDN'T Reeses Purse made of recycled Reese Peanut Butter Cup bags.
To teach/celebrate EarthDay with my 1st grade students I asked them to collect their used juice pouches. I'm making purses and wallets for them. Here's my first purse--it's too cute! I love the idea of reusing. We always focus on recycling, which is important, but we don't often think about reusing. I'm using the plastic tubs from organic lettuce and produce for storing fabric projects, selvages, thread, etc. It's a great way to organize the sewing room, reuse, and save on storage containers--that leaves more money for quilt shows and fabrics! Happy EarthDay!
I've been sick--really sick. I had a terrible sinus infection. I teach 1st grade and was so sick I missed 3 days of work, then went around sniffling and dragging myself for about a week! Yuck. But, I did manage to get some things done. I'll tell you about a few now, then I'll post pictures in a day or two.
First, I carved out a place for myself to sew in my sewing room. No easy task, I'll tell you. Then, I started out with wonky letters. OMG--I really discovered some things about myself. I followed Tonya's tutorial and I just suffered emotional turmoil. I discovered that I need detailed instructions or I feel anxious. Now, I grew up in the 60's and 70's--freedom baby! In my heart of hearts I imagine myself as free--no boundaries man! But, I found out I'm kind of anal--sigh! I did quite a few wonky letters and I'll post some pic, but my family members couldn't guess what they were and when I said they were letters, they couldn't guess what letters they were! I decided to take a break from them until spring break from school. Tonya offered me email support and I'll take her up on it. Anyhow, I added the borders to the red and white quilt, and it looks pretty darn good.
Well, I cut the stacked coins material and finished the three stacked coins strips. I just need add sashing and borders to finish the top. I found still another quilt top that just needed one row to finish, and so I did that. Now, I'm embroidering a saying on the backing.
Finally, I went to the Glendale Quilt Show http://www.glendalequiltguild.org/. It was awesome! I'll be back in a day or two to post pictures. I just wanted to let you know I'm still alive!
Okay, here I go. I've been through a lot of changes during the last couple of years, culminating with the deaths from cancer of both my mother in law, Gloria, in June 2008 and my brother, Joe, in September 2008. They both passed away in my home, in the same bedroom, and I've decided to make that room into my sewing studio (I'm posting the in progress messiness and will post its transformation.) I have to say that I treasure the time I had with both of them, even the illness and the dying. I learned so much about living, about family and friends, how to support others, about appreciation, and I've faced many of my fears and, shall we say, issues (procrastination and indecision being the biggest.) And, I realize, life may be short, but it is sweet, and filled with beauty. So, in honor Gloria and Joe, I'm creating this blog so I can explore my creative side and keep the meaning of their presence in my life an ongoing source of inspiration.
That said, I haven't quilted in 8 years! But I'm so very inspired by the many quilt blogs out there--especially http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/, and http://lazygalquilting.blogspot.com/who are kind enough to create fabulous tutorials. I have several unfinished quilts that I WILL complete (some have fabric choices I wouldn't make now but I hate to waste and would like to feel a sense of completion with them.) This is a red and white quilt for my neice. Today I wouldn't choose such a neutral color scheme but I'm going to try wonky letters in the border and jazz it up.
The black and pink quilt is for my daughter. I like the color choices there, although I'm all about the brighter colors now. Though it's colorful, it's still a little safe and traditional (but, I DO love it and know my daughter will, too!)
I'm going to make a stacked coins quilt and even though I may be procrastinating finishing the other quilts, I'm excited to start cutting the stacked coins fabrics. I got them on sale at JoAnns--remnants and fat quarter bundles for 40% off! I just love a good deal! Here's a picture of the stacked coins fabrics on top of the red and white quilt.
Well, with a little luck, decisiveness, and determination not to procrastinate and do all the other things that need to be done around here, I should be well on my way and will post in a few days.