Sunday, December 30, 2012

Quilt tops finished in December - #3, 4 and 5

After I finished the PSOAL and Blogger's BOM quilt tops, I pulled out some more 'postage stamp' blocks I worked on in the beginning of the year... If my counting was right (months back!), there should be 439 of those small rectangle 4-patches. Who has said the blocks for a 'postage stamp' quilt have to be square?! :)) Since I have used rectangles cut from a panel to fit into the quilt, I had to make the four-patches the same size. Since I had so many 4-patches, first out is a baby quilt... (#3)

#4 can either be used as a baby play mat or a table topper...
Aren't they cute?!
#5 is a double bed size - 80 x 88 inches
All the fabrics are from my stash and they are all Nancy Halvorsen fabrics, most of them from the 'Love Is' line. Others are from 'Cidermill Road'.
I can't remember how many of the 4-patches are left, let me see if I can find that bag.... No, can't find it when I'm looking for it... but there were only a few blocks left... Not bad! :)
All those finished quilt tops won't make me out of work next year! :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Quilt tops finished in December - #2

The second quilt top I finished, is the Blogger's BOM 2011/2012, hosted by Jackie over at Canton Village Quilt Works. When the BOM started in September 2011, I decided to make two blocks of each to end up with a bigger quilt. I think 13 blocks of 8 inch square is a bit too small to my liking...
It took some time before I decided on the setting. I wanted to set the blocks diagonally, but couldn't decide on blocks in between. The only thing I knew is that I wanted it to be a bigger quilt.
The most difficult was to decide on the design of the 'in-between' blocks and sashing. I tend to buy half or one yard fabrics, and I didn't have anything suitable measuring 1.5 yards. In the end I decided on two different greens on the sashing and using the white tone-on-tone fabric for the extra blocks, the cornerstones for sashing and triangles. I had just enough left of one of the greens I used for the sashing, for a narrow first border and then I've used a yellow floral fabric for the outer border.
I've noticed after the top was finished that I've made a mistake; I'll have to turn one of the blue-ish blocks in the center... If I don't do it, I know it will haunt me forever - LOL!
You can see Jackie's finished quilt top here.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Quilt tops finished in December - #1

I know that some of you have noticed I haven't been much online this month, which is true. I have been busy, busy sewing! :) I have finished some quilt tops, which feels very good! :) The first one I finished some weeks ago is a Postage Stamp Quilt - a QAL we do in this wonderful group. To avoid punishment (swords etc!), I finished the quilt top in time before deadline December 31st! Don't know what will happen to those who have not finished theirs?! LOL
Closeup of the fabrics I have used...
The full size quilt...
Some of us are making the quilt using jelly rolls, while others are cutting and piecing squares together.
I had a jelly roll - 'Evening Mist' from Moda sitting on the shelf for months, which I had no plans for. I added one solid jelly roll - Bella Solids Natural. I love the fabrics, even if they are a bit outside my comfort zone.
I have yet to decide if I'm going to add a narrow border - or not.... I think I won't - it looks good as it is and I'm not sure I want it bigger....  

Secret Christmas gift revealed

It's time to show the secret Christmas gift I sent to very nice young lady.
She is studying to become a nurse, so I thought a nurse themed drawstring bag was an idea...
On the other side I have appliqued her initials...
Hope you like it, TL, and that it can be useful for something... :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Small projects before Christmas

After I finished all those big quilt tops (yet to blog), it always feel wonderful doing some smaller projects.
I love making drawstring bags and mug rugs and here they are. It's also a great way using up bits and pieces.
I have some Loralie mini panels (nurses) and I thought it might look nice on a drawstring bag...
...the other side...
Chocolate themed drawstring bag, perhaps for Valentine's Day...
...the other side...
Chocolate themed mug rugs...
... another one...
... and why not having a cuppa with this nifty nurse?! :)
An 'Arctic Holiday' mug rug, which I'm going to use during the Holidays...
Love those ol' Santas and the cute polar bears... :)
Fun projects to finish before Christmas, as I doubt there will be more sewing over the Holidays.
I have removed all my sewing stuff from the dining table - I didn't know the table is that big - LOL! I have other things I want to do over the Holidays, but I won't be surprised if I find a space for my sewing machine in another room... :) I shall see...  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Father Christmas Pot Holders

YIKES! Closer and closer to Christmas!
I have been so busy piecing quilt tops that I hardly have had time for anything else! 
In between piecing all those quilt tops, I needed a small break to make smaller items...
Here's a pair of pot holders... featuring Father Christmas riding on a polar bear instead of the usual sledge and reindeer's.... Oh my! The reindeer's  surely are mad now! :)
Here I have used Debbie Mumm fabrics; 'Arctic Holiday' and '12 days of Christmas'. 

I couldn't just leave the center pieces as they are... I have outlined all the details using navy quilting thread. Tedious job, but I love the result.
Back to my dear 'Nina'... I hope to have photos of the finished quilt tops one of the first days... :)
Have a nice day!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Another drawstring bag

Yesterday we spent almost the entire day at a friend's place. It was her birthday (party) and we enjoyed it tremendously!
Since I'm in the 'making-drawstring-bags-mojo', I decided to make her one and fill it with lots of chocolate! :)
One side.... 
... and the other side...
I loved making it, and I hope my friend likes it too! :)
Over the last week I haven't been up to much... I've finished all the blocks for the Postage Stamp quilt, but I don't know when I'll start sewing them together... Since I'm in the 'small-project-mojo', perhaps I'll make a few more drawstring bags, a business card holder, potholders etc.... I have yet to decide on that.... :) Don't think I'll work on any bigger projects now, since I'll have to prepare for Christmas as well... 
Oh, I almost forgotten I have made a 'secret Christmas gift' too, but that one can't be shown until the recipient has received it - after Christmas Eve! :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Giraffes out of Africa / Recycling bag

The giraffe shopping bag is done!
The fabric is meant for curtains... When I bought it, I had in mind to make a bag. I still have fabric for one or two bags, but I don't have the same fabrics for the handles.  Ran out of the batting I used too. Checked at the shop yesterday - where I bought it - but no! Sold out and they won't get it in again! :( I'll have to find another solution though... I like this batting, because it is a bit stiff and even a tote/shopping bag gets the stiffness I like.
Well, it needs a wash! I've cross-hatched (quilted) the bag and to get the lines straight I had to use a white 'pencil' marker... Perhaps I can just wipe it off with a wet cloth... I'll have to try!
Dear girlfriend Kari taught me to sew flush zipper pockets... I know my brain is rather hard to understand sometimes; I know the best way is to practice on my own. Here is the second attempt (the opening for the zipper on the first one turned out too wide).... Only regret is that the pocket (zipper) should have been 1.5 - 2 inches further down from the top of the bag.... I'll do so when I make the other one......... Lesson learnt! :)
Does it happen that you recycle fabrics?
Last year I got new curtains for the lower ground floor. It wasn't really needed to change curtains, but since I got them from a friend I thought; why not?! I didn't really want to throw the old ones, since they are good enough to be re-used. I tried to tear them, but nothing happened! :) Good enough for shopping bags and that are something we never get enough of, isn't it?! I will definitely make a few more...
Today I'm working on the Postage Stamp Quilt again. So far today I've done 10 blocks and hope to do more before I get fed up - LOL! :)
Needed a well deserved coffee break!  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekend sewing

Sunday late afternoon here in the tropics.
Yesterday I worked on a shopping bag, but got a little bit bored with it when the straps didn't turn out as I had in mind.

I love making small projects, like the drawstring bags in one of my previous posts... I'm always drawn back to bigger quilts though, and yesterday morning I pulled out the going to be 'Postage Stamp Quilt' - a quilt-along we do in this wonderful group. I got inspired by Diane, whose quilt is already sent for longarm quilting!
Some of us are making the quilt using jelly rolls, while others are adding together squares. When we decided on the quilt-along, I already had one jelly roll sitting there - Evening Mist from Moda - that I had no plans for. I added one solid jelly roll; Bella Solids Natural. I love the fabrics, but the colors are a bit outside my comfort zone - perhaps I'll get used to it?! :)
Some months ago I sewed together the strips, but then I had to get going with the birthday quilts and put it all away. 
Yesterday I cut the sewn together strips into 2.5 inch segments...
....and sewn into 10.5 inch squares
I've sewn 20 blocks yesterday/today - I need 48....
I shall see tonight if I sew a few more.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Workshop with girlfriend Kari - UFO Bag

Vacation is not only lazy days 'roasting' in the sun. During girlfriend Kari and Nina's stay - in between relaxing and playing tourist (me!), we also had lots of time chatting away and finish a (UFO) bag! How I wish it had lasted longer!
I don't have much practice when it comes to making advanced bags, so this one was a challenge! The pattern is from a French magazine, all is written in French and there is no photos or drawings that shows how to! :( This magazine is certainly not for bag making newbies - like me! 
Can't remember when I started working on this bag, it must have been last year....
The bag has two rooms and one inside pocket. I had never sewn a bag with two rooms/two zippers, so I couldn't figure out at all how to do it! MIL has been into crafts all her life, but when I showed her the pattern, she just said; 'french magazines does not explain anything'! Hubby tried to help too, but we couldn't figure out how to do it - hence it became a UFO!
I wanted a solid bag and chose very stiff vliseline - I think it is what they use in shirt collars... Silly me, I didn't know it was THAT stiff! Almost impossible to sew through all layers, had to use needle size 110!
The edge around the bag was just folded in (pattern) and sewn, but since I had already used that stiff vliselin, I had to put on binding. Impossible to pin or even thread baste through all layers, but fortunate I had bought those 'wonder clips' from Clover (I think it is?), which indeed did wonders!
So far - so good! :)
Almost! Here's the two zippers/rooms and inside pocket. The fold inside the pocket is not really there, don't know how it appeared on the photo...
Rings to be added to shoulder strap...
Here's Kari in full swing and concentration! :)
A challenge to add the straps to the bag...
Almost there! I thought the bag looked a bit dull when finished.
I had some wooden beads and since Nina is into beading/macrame, she got the job to decorate the bag!  
Have you noticed the small 'thing' just below the ring on the two sides, with one bead on? That's part of the binding! LOL It was a bit tricky to get it look nice, so we decided adding a bead to it and it looks like decoration! :)
The pocket in front is my idea, not in the pattern. The pattern calls for one ring only, but I wanted the straps a little bit longer and 'of course' the fabric I had was not long enough, hence two rings on each side.
The zippers could have been done better, but no way I managed! It's all about practicing, I know! The colors/fabric is a bit outside my comfort zone, but all in all I'm more than satisfied - I love it!
VOILA! Here it is! All done!
Nina made me a beautiful macrame bracelet - LOVE IT!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Drawstring bag obsession

Yes, at the moment I'm obsessed by making drawstring bags!
After making two big birthday quilts over the last 3-4 months, it feels wonderful playing with smaller projects.
I have been collecting Christmas fabrics (for what?!?!) since 2007 and this panel is what I pulled out from my stash some days ago. I'm not sure what it is, but I believe it is Moda.... The squares are 6.5 inch square, perfect for drawstring bags!
I have used Moda Marbles Christmas Red and Green for the bags, and I was fortunate to get some suitable ribbons and even glass beads here.
This is the smallest bag, measuring about 9.5 x 10.5 inch.
This is one side of bag #1.... 
... and here's the other side.
I've used the same fabrics - red and green - for the lining.
Bag #2 - slightly bigger; 11 1/4 x 10.5 inch.

...the other side...
Bag #3 - 11 x 10 inch - I made two of these, but took photos of one only.
...the other side...

After making several projects some years ago and some mug rugs a few weeks ago, I still had some leftover fabrics from Debbie Mumm's 'Christmas in your heart'. I love the fabric line and came up with the idea to make some wine bottle bags...
Here are the first two I made...
...and three more...
...and finally... just for fun, I made some egg cosies.
Here I've used Debbie Mumm's 'Elegant Santas' fabric.
During my friend Kari's visit, I got her to help me finishing a bag (UFO).
That will be another post! :)


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blogger's BOM #12 and #13

As you surely know, this year has been 'the year of visitors'.
It all started at in June when we had friends over from India. Then August came and my dear friend Johnny visited. Four weeks almost on the day after he left, dear girlfriend Kari and lovely daughter Nina landed here - for three weeks. Needles to say it hasn't been much quilting lately, except the birthday quilt to Kari as well as to Johnny.
Three days after my dear friends left, I'm almost back to normal routines. It certainly take some time to 'recover' after being together with friends and having a wonderful time....
Today though, I decided to do the last two blocks on 'Blogger's BOM', hosted by Jackie over at Canton Village Quilt Works. If you have missed the links to some of the blocks or haven't started yet - you can find the links to all the blocks at Jackie's blog, on the right side bar.
I started out with block #12 (August) - from Amy Ellis over at Amy's Creative Side.
For the tutorial of this block, click here.
I'm not sure I like the way it turned out.... it's too busy. I should have used more contrasting fabrics...:( But done is done... I don't think I'll bother to change them or even make two new blocks... I shall see......... They will be 'hidden' together with the other blocks...

 Block #13 (September) - from Sarah Fielke over at The Last Piece
For the tutorial of this block, click here.
I love this block; a star in the star.

Now all the blocks are done! When it all started one year ago, I decided to go for two of each blocks, which means I now have 26 8 inch blocks. That will be a good size quilt.
Jump over to Jackie's blog to see the setting....
I think it looks great - doesn't it?!
I hope I have fabrics for the setting.... For all the blocks I have used bits and pieces, hence I do not have enough for the setting, so I'll have to look for something suitable from my stash. Yesterday I had in mind to finish at least the quilt top, but this morning I came up with an idea for a few small Christmas projects that I'll do today! :)