Saturday, February 25, 2012

Going overboard

I'm starting to worry that I have an addictive personality, because I have been addicted to making pillowcase aprons today.  Half aprons,

a full apron,

and I even tried a denim AND pillowcase apron.

Note to readers who may be female and related to me - be forewarned, you will probably be receiving an apron as a gift at some point this year!

It's funny, I love wearing aprons, and I love making aprons, but I hate to cook...

Friday, February 24, 2012

She has no idea

Having a niece is SO MUCH FUN!  I struggle to think of things to make for my boys, but I can always find things to make for my niece.  She has no idea how much I appreciate having her to make things for. 

Her next package in the mail from me will be this little half apron, made from the leftovers of that pillowcase when I made the Creamsicle quilt top. 

I had to promise not to put my son's face in the photo...
I looked up a bunch of patterns and tutorials online, but none were exactly what I wanted, so here's my version.  I love the pleat in the middle - makes it kind of flirty and feminine, don't you think?

Pillowcase apron for my niece

I love the poiny ends!
And you know I have lots of thrift store pillowcases, right?  I used two coordinating ones to make two more half aprons - a "Mommy and Me" set.  I love my boys, but I think I'd have loved having a girl, too!
Mommy and Me Half Aprons from Pillowcases

I added the pocket on a whim - not sure how I feel about it

I think this is just the cutest little apron!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Salvage, soccer and snow

Strange weather we are having!  Saturday was a warm, sunny 60 degrees and I participated in a charity soccer tournament ( with my co-workers to help support an office mate who was recently diagnosed with ALS.  What fun!!!  I played soccer in high school, but the last time I used my shin guards was Fall 1988.  I'm glad to say that I still knew what to do, but I must unhappily report that my body was about 3 steps behind my mind.  Also, I figured, since we were playing in the 30 years old and over bracket that we'd be playing against other hodge podge groups like us.  NOT SO!  Every team we played against had UNIFORMS.  With NUMBERS on them.  Because they were actual TEAMS!  That practice 2 times a week YEAR ROUND!  Needless to say, my team of has-beens, some of whom had never played soccer before got CRUSHED, but what fun!  Well, except for the pain.  By the end of our 4th match (short 25 minute games), both of my knees were bleeding and I had caught a ball with my face, somehow dislodging my nose piercing.  Luckily, I have spare studs at home.  I also found some lovely bruises in the shower yesterday.  Battle scars!

Then yesterday, Sunday, it snowed EIGHT INCHES!  I wasn't planning to leave the house anyway, since I could barely walk from my soccer escapades.  Know what that means?  Time to sew!

I worked on my hand quilting a bit on the Charm Quilt, and then remembered that my mother's birthday is in about 2 weeks.  Down to the sewing room I went. (Mom, if you are reading, this is your cue to STOP READING!)

Do you remember the summer coverlet I inherited this spring, made by my Great Aunt (or someone - I should make an effort to find out who made it), that was falling apart and needing to be repurposed? 
Summer bedspread made by my Great Aunt Somebody or other. Flowers are made from french knots on muslin.
I pulled out two of the embroidered blocks and some coordinating fabric to make a pair of throw pillows for my mom for her birthday.  The back has an envelope closure for easy removal and laundering.

I liked them so much and I had a tiny bit of the fabric left over that I made one more to be the first item in my new ETSY shop,

Yup, that's right, I've taken the plunge.  I make more stuff than I have intended recipients.  And besides, at the Old Middlebrook Village Day last year where I had a booth, many people asked for a business card.  So now, I have a shop, business cards and labels to sew into my stuff.  Cool, huh?  Now, if I can just finish some actual QUILTS to put in there!

Anyway, today is a snow day for the kids, so I am working from home.  I just finished reading a bunch of files, and now my bed is calling to me to come take a little nap.  My bedroom is perfectly situated in the house, warm and sunny throughout the day, perfect for napping.  YAWN!  Happy Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Change of pace

Oh my goodness!  I have so much going on right now, I don't know if I'm coming or going.  I showed up to karate an hour early yesterday.  How frustrating!  So instead of spending an hour there, we were there for 2 hours, and then still had to come home and do the whole Valentine's Day sweatshop routine!  Here's Jason with the 40 Lollypop flowers we made to give out in his and his brother's classes.
Lollypop flowers for Valentine's Day 2012
Plus, I had a full 4 hours of cub scouts on Sunday, first a trip to the fire station with my Tigers (super fun!  Firemen, like quilters, have all kinds of gadgets and gizmos to make their jobs easier.), then a den meeting, and then off to a handy old cubmaster's house to use his power tools to cut our pinewood derby cars.  By the end of the day, I was exhausted!  Isn't Sunday supposed to be a day of rest?

So I've decided that I need a change of pace.  It is cold and gray, perfect weather to sit and stitch by hand.  I pulled out this lap/baby Charm Quilt that I finished piecing back in October 2010,

pieced a backing, pieced a batting (I used my Heat Press Batting Together tape for the first time, and it worked like a dream! Quick, easy, and I couldn't even tell where it was when I was hand quilting through it!), and plopped myself in front of the TV to quilt.

I wanted to do a big meander stitch, but I know myself too well - if I tried doing that on the front of the quilt, I'd be paying attention to seams and how much stitching was in one particular block - you know, overthinking it.  So I turned the quilt over, and I am quilting it upside down.  I purposefully chose this big polka dot so I could use those as a basic guide - my only rule is to only quilt in the white.  So here's what I'm quilting
Back of Charm Quilt

and here's what it looks like on the other side.

Front of Charm Quilt
It's kind of fun quilting upside down, because I can't tell as I stitch how it will look on the other side.
OK, enough computer time.  All I've been doing at work lately is computer work, and I'm determined to not spend time on the computer at home these days, even though it means I am missing out on everyone's blogs.  Once basketball season is over and my job slows down a bit, I promise I'll come visit, OK?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Got my mojo back!

I was determined to sew SOMETHING today, so I started with something small.  I had seen a tutorial for making headbands from old t-shirts, and I have some old t-shirts lying around as well as unruly hair, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  Quick, easy and I LOVE my new headband!!!  It is the most comfortable headband I own.

Then I decided to finish the Orange Creamsicle top once and for all.  A couple borders and it was done.  What took me so long?

Then it was time to drop the kids off at karate and head over to the quilt guild meeting and trunk show. Our presenter, Kevin Womack, has been quilting since the 80s, and nowadays does a lot of fabric dyeing. Here are some quilts he made with his own dyed fabric (warning - awful lighting!).


Tomorrow, he's doing a workshop with the guild making these:

Unfortunately, I can't go because I have basketball games to go to, but I might try something like that on my own one of these days.
All in all, it was a good day!

Commemorative quilts

My dad would have turned 70 this month.  I sure do miss him, but having photos of him around the house and the quilt I made from his t-shirts hanging in my sewing room brings a smile to my face as I think of him often.  So imagine my delight to see that this weekend's quilt show at the Quilting Gallery is Commemorative Quilts.  I just had to enter the one I made for my dad.  I just checked out all the quilts over there, and there are some beauties and some heart-warming stories.  I encourage you to take a look, and if you are so moved, to vote.  You can vote for up to FIVE quilts this week!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  We have a guild meeting with a TRUNK SHOW tonight, so I am PUMPED!  I'm hoping it will rev up my creative juices - I haven't felt like sewing much since last weekend.  In fact, I haven't felt like doing much except eating and sleeping.  Not a good combination!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Music to my ears

Melody #1 - I showed my denim quilt at work today so the woman who donated so much denim would know what I did with it. A co-worker who was walking by stopped and said, "Cool! Can I order one of those?"

Melody #2 - Jason got off the bus and said, "Mom, you know that bookmark you made me? My friend Haley saw it and really likes it - can you make one for her, too?"

Melody #3 - just got an email from Beth at LoveLaughQuilt that read, "YOU WON!" I love aprons, so winning an apron pattern makes me super happy!

Having people like what I make makes making it even more fun! (Ha! Do all those makes in a row make sense?)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

What I did instead

This probably makes me sound un-American, but I could care less about the SuperBowl.  The only reason I know who is playing is because my sons keep me informed.  I have no idea how they know what is going on since no one watches football in our house.  So my Sunday wasn't spent eating pizza and wings, drinking beer, and yelling at a TV screen.  Here's what I did instead:

I snipped and snipped and snipped the seam allowances on my Half Pipe Dreams denim rag quilt.  I managed to finish just in time to leave the house, SOLO, to go watch THE HELP at the University (we have a theater that shows free movies - oh yeah!).  I'm actually glad I went alone because I cried the entire time, from start to finish.  I know it is just a story, but oh, the things we did to each other back in the day, and the things that we do to each other still.  It breaks my heart.  But I loved the movie.  I loved how it was very true to the book, and I loved how colorful it was.

Then, I took the quilt to the laundromat to wash it in someone else's machine.  I really wasn't interested in having all those strings gum up my machine.  That's probably wrong of me, isn't it?  While the quilt was washing, I treated myself to a coffeehouse coffee and browsed at Goodwill.  While the quilt was drying, I read some of the latest Someday Quilts Mysteries, The Devil's Puzzle by Clare O'Donohue.  This is my favorite of the four books in the series so far.

When the quilt was finished drying, I brought it home and reluctantly turned it back over to my son, its rightful owner.  I LOVE IT and wanted to snuggle up under it myself!  I'm so glad I have lots of denim left because I definitely want to make another.  I'm super impressed that I started and finished a quilt in just a week and a half - that's very unlike me with my Quilters Attention Deficit Disorder. 

Here it is, all ragged up!  It is too small for my queen bed, but it is perfect for his twin-sized top bunk.  I love it when an idea comes together just the way I imagined it.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Good Fortune!

My Good Fortune came from winning Linda's giveaway over at Stray Stitches.  Isn't it lovely?  Thanks, Linda and Fat Quarter Shop!

Mr. Random Number Generator determined that commenter #21 should get some good fortune, too.

robin said...

How about Backside 180? Ask your son if he likes it.

Thanks for playing along, Robin.  Some neutrals will be on their way to you once I get your mailing address.

And my son's good fortune was that I met my goal of finishing the piecing of his quilt today.  As I was sewing the final seams, the name came to me.  While I love Sandy Bottoms, the quilt isn't for Sandy, and it has some of my bottoms and Jason's bottoms and Donald's bottoms and even a neighbor's bottoms in it, too, so I'm going to have to save that name for another quilt.  Skate Dreams captures the essence of the quilt, but it just didn't resonate with me.  But then it hit me - HALF PIPE DREAMS.  It's a play on "pipe dreams", and the skaters among you will recognize that a half pipe is a structure used in skateboarding.  There is small one at the skatepark that my children beg me to take them to any time the sun shines.

I present to you HALF PIPE DREAMS!

The front (denim) side

The back (homespun plaid) side
Since this is a denim RAG quilt, I still have to clip the seam allowances.  I've only clipped 2 of 12 rows, and I already have a blister.  This is going to take a while.  I am giving myself permission to park in front of the TV or iPad and clip away while I watch McLeod's Daughters to my heart's content.  Once I get it clipped and washed and dried, I'll take another picture so you can see the final result.  Right now, however, my son is cuddled up under his new quilt which he was so surprised to see ("So THAT'S what you've been doing with all those jeans!") and for which I received multiple hugs and a declaration that he loves it and he is going to use it for the rest of his life.

Can you imagine my smile right now?