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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Baby It's Cold Outside!


Our mild December turned into frozen January!
Happy Chilly New Year!

So, since I am only going out of my house if we need milk...I am sticking close to the sewing machine!  Works for me :)

I have always loved a bow tie block.  Simple and sweet.  

  
I've put together the center and started on the borders...
most of the fabrics are from a Flower Sugar bundle I picked up at Quilt Market.  I threw in a few new Kokka prints, some gingham, and some text prints for the border.


I decided on two borders.  The first is a piano key border and the outer border will be these scrappy flying geese.

Very girly!  Luckily, I have three girls so I think one of them will be getting a new quilt!

If you have Amazon Prime or shop on Amazon, you know they are always up-selling.  Recommended other items you might be interested in.  Well, I am a sucker for recommendations and for quilting/crafting books.  So before I knew it I had ordered Zakka Handmades!

What a great little book!  

I threw together this cutlery carrier (which I will call a sewing carrier) in no time at all!  Truly a fast fun make!

  
Perfect to sit by the sewing machine filled with spools of thread!


The numbers fabric is a Japanese fabric (which will be available at Sunny Day Supply) and the lining is from the new C+S Cookie Book Collection...we will have this in a different colorway.  I can't wait!  
    It's another bone chilling day here...so you know where to find me.  Keeping my sewing machine warm!
happy thursday!
mary

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Big Clean Up!

The halls have been decked, taken down and put away for another year! It was a pretty simple Christmas this year...my extended family was dealing with flu and stomach virus!  Yikes!  So I stayed far away....
we had bigger fish to fry anyway....a dead car meant finding a replacement.  It's always a fun to find out a couple of days after Christmas that you will need to make a car purchase :( 
Oh, well, it had to be done.



I hope you have been able to avoid illness this Christmas and big unexpected purchases!

But Holiday Cheer did fall on my doorstep! I had a couple of wonderful packages from far away friends! Yay!  I love packages!


Sweet Clare surprised me with this fabulous stocking full of goodies and a lovely pair of socks (I love fun socks).  The stocking is fashioned from a vintage quilt top!  Clare stitched it so perfectly and filled it to the rim with goodies (most of which were eaten by the time I got a photo)!

And then, my dear friend, Susan, spoiled me with a super cute zippered pouch, a Liberty appliqued feather tea towel and sweet piece of gingham (which I already put to good use).  My daughter, Molly, and I could not get over the precision in this hand stitched applique!  The most delicate blanket stitch I have ever seen!  

I cherish these two friends....I am so lucky they spoil me so :)

I have been on a bit of a zippy pouch run lately.  I made several for friends and family for Christmas...and why stop now?  
If you recall I was stitching some clamshells out of wool felt...

      
I used Valdani perle cotton to outline each curve...bold and bright!

Then I used this piece to make a little zippy pouch!

         
A rainbow, clamshell, wool zippy pouch!

 
Add a pom-pom for a zipper pull...and a few gold chocolate coins....well, those might be a few of the goodies from Clare...

Hope you enjoyed your holidays!  Hope you stayed healthy (and didn't have to buy a new car)....

Here's to a quilty good 2015!
Cheers
mary 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Giving.....

Merry Christmas!
No matter how early I begin preparing for Christmas, there never seems to be enough time.

But I managed to get my Christmas sewing finished and sent off!

And, luckily, everything arrived before the big day!


A couple of fun pouches!  One clamshells and one apple core!  The ornaments are fabulous Anthropologie  **sigh**
And a little embroidered pincushion!

Tomorrow I will share with you what Santa dropped on my doorstep!
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Fabulous Felt!

Now that the handmade gifts are taken care of, I have been having some relaxing fun with wool felt.  


I love working with felt. No need to worry about finishing seams or leaving raw edges...

And the color is amazing!  Saturated color!
By far, my favorite felt is 100% wool!!!  Not a blend of wool and rayon.  The blend is much cheaper, but not as lovely in appearance or quality.

So, here is a last minute idea as you wrap up those last few presents or put together a plate of goodies.
Add a homemade tag/ornament! Easy to do with wool felt!

     
I simply drew a heart template on freezer paper.  Pressed my heart to felt and cut around with pinking shears!

I added a tree trunk with brown felt and stitched in place...then using perle cotton or embroidery floss stitch some branches!

Cut another heart for the back of the tag, and stitch the two together (wrong sides facing) with floss or perle cotton.  I caught the tails of my loop with my stitching.  Leave an opening and stuff with poly-fill or scraps of batting. 

Simple and quick!


Not only does it jazz up a package, but it is a great keepsake that can be hung on the tree!

We are on the homestretch!  Are you all ready?

ho ho ho
mary  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Christmas Quilt....

There is nothing more satisfying than stitching a quilt to be gifted for someone special.



This quilt is from the pattern {Trees!} by Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts

and intended for my lovely friend, Rachel.  You can find Rachel at Family Ever After 

Rachel and I met through a mutual friend, although I knew who she was, I just hadn't formally met her. I was fortunate to be part of a small group of friends who got together every now and then to quilt and chat.  For about 2 years now we all meet to work on quilts, blocks or individual projects.

Rachel will be leaving Ohio next summer and just the thought of it makes me so, so sad.  I know she will love having her family closer to her mom and dad, so I can't be too sad.  Family is a good thing!


       
As for the quilt....the color palette needed to be simple....I love red and white quilts.  Red and White for Christmas. I used a variety of red prints.  A Japanese dot, a gingham, apples, and a vintage large red and white check. Then I added a touch of grey...a text print called Dictionary by Tim Holtz.  The grey binding and splashes of the same text in the blocks, is a nod to our OSU Buckeyes. 

In the lower right hand border, I added a pieced heart...for Ohio!  Ohio is shaped like a heart and our state slogan is Ohio, the heart of it all!

                       
Here and there, I fussy cut a heart for the top of the tree from a Maze and Vale panel.  A sweet little heart because Rachel and her family have touched my heart.

  

I added a great red check from the new collection by Molly Hatch...and the backing fabric is also a Molly Hatch fabric...

  
And, finally, I hand quilted this with a color I LOVE!  Valdani size 8 perle cotton in Orangey Red.  Stitched with love.

Of course, pieced using Aurifil cotton thread.  

This is a small quilt...great for a wall hanging, over a chair or on a table.  I can just imagine Rachel unpacking it every Christmas and remembering her group of friends in Ohio who will always love her dearly.


Love you, Rachel :)
One week to go! 
happy thursday!
xo mary   
 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Getting Down to Business!

Once again, I have procrastinated on the REALLY important Christmas making...
This week...I am determined to make a dent in some of the plans that have been cooking in my head!

Here is a sneak peek...

 Hahaha!
not much of a peek is it?  
Let's just say, this Christmas is the year of the pom-pom and clamshells!

This amazing Molly Hatch fabric is just yummy! Or as Clare would say, LUSH!!!
  
 I used a bit of left over clamshell fabric to make another little gift...
of course, hand quilted with Valdani size 8 in black.... 


  It feels twice as special to make a gift with your own pieced fabric...


Meeeoooow!

Tell me, are you finished with the gift making?  How long do you dare put it off?  I know some of you like living on the edge!!!

Happy Tuesday!
mary

Monday, December 1, 2014

Kitschy Kitchen Stocking....

Last year my niece and her husband bought an old home in Southern Ohio...

She spent the bulk of a year working on updating the house and making it their own.  In a couple of weeks she is hosting an Open House and I can't wait!  I love old homes!  And I know she has made this home something special...hopefully I can remember to take pictures to share :)

When my niece saw that I was working on a little clamshell stocking project, she mentioned that it would be cute to have a clamshell stocking to hang in her kitchen with a few vintage utensils.  

   
Being the World's Best Aunt....I went to work!

I began with a 3.5 inch clamshell template.  Because my template is 3.5 inches, I made a 3.5 inch grid on a piece of Kona Cotton.  Of course, I used a Frixion pen to mark my lines.

    
I love fussy cutting fun kitschy fabrics with my clamshell template!

 
Then I use a dab of Roxanne's Glue Baste-It to secure my clamshells to the foundation fabric...

 
Beginning at the top of the foundation fabric, the clamshells are simply added between the grid lines and every other row is staggered....

 
Notice I cut a little more than an 1/8 inch outside my drawn line for turning under.  And with the Frixion pen I don't need to worry about my drawn lines. The heat from an iron will make the marks disappear.  It's always a good idea to test first, though.

Next using my favorite, Richard Hemming Milliner needles and Aurifil 50 wt thread, I simply appliqued the top curvy part of the clamshell.  You do not need to turn under and applique the scooped out section or the point.  These areas will be covered by the curve of the row below it.  Brilliant!!!!

  
Once my clamshell fabric was complete, I backed it with a piece of cotton batting and  I quilted it using Valdani perle cotton in black.  Then, I simply placed my stocking template on top of the fabric and cut out a stocking shape.  Since this stocking is going to be hanging in a kitchen {and to save time} I only used clamshells on one side.  The other side is a solid piece of food themed fabric. 


 I added a lining in a black buffalo check flannel and a scalloped cuff!  Pom-poms and braided yarn for hanging!

And there you have it!  A kitschy kitchen stocking!


Have fun with all your holiday makes!
xo mary