Tuesday, March 24, 2009


This little runner is not home made. It came from Gooseberry Patch, on sale, of course. It was buttonless. I thought it would look cuter if it had buttons on all the yo-yo's. Trust me, it is way cuter and you would know that for sure had I remembered to take a picture pre buttons. There were 48 buttons to sew on. It was lots of fun to pick them out but sewing that many buttons on by H A N D was not so much fun.

This is the first wool applique item I have made. It didn't occur to me to start small so it took me quite a while to finish it. Now after I just made such a fuss about sewing buttons on by H A N D you must think I am crazy to have done this which was also done by H A N D. But this was actually fun. Now I have to finish it as something. It is sitting on some homespun I was auditioning thinking I would make a pillow for the bench in my entry. But the wool piece seems way too heavy for just homespun. I think it needs something that is home dec weight so I will need to go hunting.

I see I should have done a bit of cleaning up before I took the picture -- look at that little white paper punched out dot on the background. I have been sorting pictures and tutorials from magazines and web sites and punching them to put into binders. The dots get everywhere, don't they?

When I was a kid I collected those little dots. Yeah, I know, but I was an only child who moved a lot. Just about everything in our house that could be punched had little holes in it from my trusty hole punch and I had jars and jars of dots. I loved to play with them until one day my mom got tired of vacuuming up the strays and out they went. I still have a hard time emptying the punch into the trash. It seems so sad to throw them all away...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Waiting In/On Line

So right after Christmas 2 of the 4 JoAnn's in our valley announced they were closing. Shortly thereafter in a large building vacated by one of the big box electronic stores that went bankrupt signs went up that a super sized JoAnn's would be opening in March. Finally the grand opening came and armed with coupons
and the sale flyer I headed out Saturday morning with mixed emotions. I get up early so I intended to be there when it opened but I was concerned that it would be too crowded to shop. Especially to get fabric cut as it is always a challenge to get in and out of JoAnn's when it is not busy.
I thought the ad said the first 50 people would get a free tote bag. So when I got there and saw the line since I wasn't very interested in the tote bag and HATE lines I thought I would wait in the car. It was kind of cold and rainy so that seemed like the best plan. There is something about lines though -- I guess some visceral feeling that you are going to miss out on something that compels you to go get in/on them. So I did. A rare husband was telling his wife that she was number 67 in line. So that made me about number 71. No tote bag for me!
But when they opened, I discovered the first 100 got the tote bag. And a $5 gift card. Worth the five minutes I waited in line, now wasn't it. And they had an organized system at the cutting table and at the check out line with about 8 cash registers! I usually buy backing fabric at JoAnn's so I was able to get it at 30% off, use my 50% off coupons for a couple of other things and get in and out in a reasonable amount of time! My only remaining complaint (and you knew there would be one, now didn't you?) is that is located on the main shopping street in Boise which is totally gridlocked from Thanksgiving until mid January.
On another subject, here is the Easter lid for my thrifted blue box. The bunny has a cotton tail made of little ripped strips of muslin. It really is cute. Since I had the St Pat's top on when I shared my other Easter decorations it was omitted from that post. I still can't believe someone donated this! I keep saying the "crafts gone wrong" aisle is the best one in all the thrifts!
So here is the finished top (only) with the purple sashing.I think it turned out really nicely. The purple was just right. I used a new technique for the sashing that I recently saw on the Fons & Porter show. Instead of making the sashing strips you sew a post to a strip and add them to the blocks. I put these on the bottom and then added the strip up one side. It is easier to sew the enlarged blocks together than to mess with the skinny strips I think. Less handling of the big top at the machine and I think the strips are straighter. I uploaded the pictures backwards but here are the steps.
I thought this was a brilliant idea if I do say so myself. Usually I lay out all the blocks on my design floor and then pin them together by pairs for sewing. By the time I get them all sewed I always seem to end up with the blocks out of the original order. This time I left the threads between them until I had pressed them and laid them back down on the floor. Yippee, they stayed the way I wanted them.
And this one is just chaining the gold blocks onto the strips. Which gold did I pick you ask? Why the darker one with the script print on it. I thought it was more in the mood of the purple fabric. I am finding I love this purple fabric which is a good thing since I have yards of it.
Now it's time to go back and do some quilting. Enough diversion from the scrap bin.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Scrap Update and Disappointing Finishes

What is this you say? Why it's gold fabric auditioning to be the posts for the purple bee sashing. I recently acquired lots of the this purple bee fabric as an end of bolt thinking it will make a great back at a minimum. I think it is really perky. Nothing wrong with purple as a neutral, right? It's going to be the sashing for these blocks I just finished from the scrap box.

See, here are the blocks. This is one of my favourite blocks. I cut scraps until I was tired and ended up with 33 blocks. So back to the bin for the makings of 3 more. There are lots of colours in these blocks but no purple so I thought purple was a good candidate for the sashing. It's interesting how many of the blocks are green. Quite a few blue ones too which is a little unusual for me these days.

I used to have a HUGE couch and loveseat that was covered in a southwestern type print in royal blue, rust, and taupe. I LOVED that fabric and blue was my main decorating colour for years. That furniture drowned when we got to participate in the 1984 Tulsa Memorial Day flood event. Ever since I just have not had much blue -- guess I overindulged. My guest room has been known as the "flag room" for years and that's about the only room with much blue in it -- to go with the red and white.

Anyway, enough with the memory lane stuff. Here is a finish. I don't know that I like it too well as it is so light in the center. It is tabletopper size and will be good in the fall despite not being my favourite. I tend to use the same colours all the time so I like to do something different from time to time. Of course, the browns are right up my alley so this is not THAT much of a departure from the norm.

This is another finish and it is indeed disappointing. First, look at those wavy borders. I am not quite sure what I did but it was not the right thing. This is not normally a problem I have but I certainly have it in spades on this quilt. I also tried using a busier print for the background than I usually use. I did this on purpose because I see other people doing it and it looks great. Oh, well, folded or rolled up it will be fine.

I quilted both of these yesterday and I guess I was still in quilting mode and should not have moved into binding mode. Note to self -- quilt one day and bind the next. And follow some recently read advice and use my walking foot!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Collecting for Easter, or bunnies run amok

So as I have been out thrifting this year I have been collecting Easter and spring things because I just don't have much. I saw an arrangement in a tray on another blog that I can't remember or I would link. I thought that would be a fun thing to do with my new spring things and the tray on my dining room table. I think my tray was a bit large for this but it is not too bad I think. It definitely has a spring look. Now maybe soon spring will come. Seemed like it would on Monday when it was 60 degrees but today there was snow again. Oh, well.

This is another thrifted item which I think is very cute and it is right near my front door. If the weather was better I would put it outside but I don't want the paint to get washed off with the recent snow and rain. One thing I cannot do is paint so I would not be able to repair it!

And now that St Pat's Day is about over, it's time to show Easter goodies! This is so more springlike for me than usual I am just amazed at how good these things look added into my regular stuff.

Holiday Decorating (and a finish)

Which holiday you might ask. I started these Pennie Pockets before Valentine's Day and of course did not get them finished on time. But now they are my first March finish. I had seen many of them around the blogs and decided I wanted some too. They had a little much hand sewing for me what with making the yo-yos and sewing them and their button trim on but I think they came out pretty cute and they used up an old Valentine's fabric fat quarter I had in my stash. I have put them away now and hope to find them next year when I pull out my meager but growing Valentine's decorations.

Speaking of meager decorations, I pretty much have nothing for St Patrick's Day. The box I have been showing you came to my rescue however, and here is the March top. I just love this box.

Results from the Scrap Basket

I don't usually share just tops but I thought I would show some of the results so far of my foray into the scrap bin. This house is a Country Threads pattern. I always like making 9 patches so it is nice to get to use some. And flags. Flags are always a favourite.

Like I said, flags are always a favourite. This is another Country Threads pattern. It will go in the flag room of course once it has been completed. The little kind of pastelly thing is a table topper. It will go in the box/tray one of these days. I don't do too much with pastels but I thought it would be right for spring.

Once I get them quilted I will show them again but since I still have quite a few things to quilt from the last basting binge it will be awhile. The things left waiting to be quilted are all pretty large so this scrap diversion is probably an avoidance mechanism. To quilt I will have to clear my cutting table and that is not something I am looking forward to. It is amazing how much can accumulate there so quickly!