Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas in the new home

This is my Christmas Tree in my new home in Michigan. I still have 2 more boxes to unpack but I don't have any place to unpack the items into so for now the boxes stay packed. I have done a little sewing since I arrived here and I love my new home. I am sure once I finally get everything organized I will do more sewing. I haven't found a quilt group here in my new home yet but I haven't done much exploring. It took me several more days than I had planned to drive to here and it took a great deal of time to get a new routine down. I am a night person and I now live in a senior center than is mostly filled with day people. But they have been very helpful in finding furniture and the things I need that I couldn't bring with me. 

There aren't many quilt shops in this area but I brought quite a bit of fabric with me as everything was wrapped in fabric as packing material. The books I brought with me are still stacked along the wall and will stay there until I manage to get bookshelves to put them on,  unless the cats keep knocking the stacks down. But I am looking forward to a quiet Christmas in my new home. It will be quite a change from the stressful Christmases of the past several years. I got my tree up by myself and decorated my way without any arguments as to how the proper way to decorate a Christmas tree or even why bother attitude. 

I have a Christmas wreath on my door and decorations in all the rooms except the bathroom. It will be decorated next year but the budget didn't go very far this year. But I love my new home and I love the area I moved to and I will never regret making this move with just me and the 2 Siamese cats. They are happy in there new home too and can usually be found under the Christmas Tree. I have met many of my new neighbors and find most of them very nice. They are beginning to discover that I have a lot of creative talent and I enjoy helping them by making things for them. 

At this time of the year I haven't had the money to send my usual Christmas cards out but next year I will have budgeted for the stamps ahead of time like I always have done in the past. But I still wish all my family and friends a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year!
This is the tree during the daylight!

Friday, April 22, 2011

1,000,000 Pillowcase Challenge

These photos are the pictures of the 60 pillow cases that were delivered to a local women's shelter here in Spokane to be included in the Easter baskets the women and children will be given Easter morning.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mug Rug Tutorial

As requested this is going to be a step by step tutorial on how to make a fast and easy mug rug. You will need a piece of focus fabric mine is 7X9" here and a piece of batting the same size. I am using a scrap of cotton batting for the demo. You start by laying your focus fabric face down and positioning the batting on top of it.

 I am using selvages from another project to strip piece the back of the mug rug. I am overlapping the strips by about 1/8th inch and stitching it down to the batting and focus fabric. I prefer a diagonal placement but you could do horizontal or vertical placement if you prefer.

 Once I have stitched all the selvages down I turn the piece over and stitch around the edge of the focus fabric about 1/8th inch inside the edge. I then trim the excess to the edge of the focus fabric.

 I then go to the ironing board (where you can see that I spilled my coffee because I wasn't using a mug rug!) and I take a square of focus fabric that I have turned down 3/4" at the top. With my steam iron I fold up tiny corners of the bottom 2 corners and press.

 Then I fold the sides in appx. 1/4" and press them down well.
 Then fold the bottom up appx 1/4" and press well.
 At this time I cut a full length of fabric on the straight of the grain 2" wide and I press it in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. This becomes the binding for the mug rug in a later step.

 Back at the machine I position the pocket on the right side of the mug rug and stitch it into place with a scant  seam that catches the folded edge on the sides and bottom. In this example I used a 5" square to create the pocket. I also stop at the beginning and end of the pocket and backstitch to help re-enforce the pocket at the stress point.
Now we are ready to stitch on the binding! I start by fold back the first half inch of fabric to the inside of the binding to create a finished edge for the binding.
 You start the binding on the bottom edge and stitch it down 1/4th inch in from the edge. You stop at 1/4" from the corner. Lift the needle and presser foot and take the piece out just enough you can fold the binding to a right angle.
 Now you fold the binding over the top and square it up with the corner of the mug rug. Then you start stitching from the edge down to within 1/4 inch of the next corner. Repeat these steps until all four corners are completed.

 After doing your last mitered corner you lay the binding down and cut it off about 1.5 " after the start of the binding strip.
 Then shift this binging to the right so that as you cross the start of the binding it is 1/4" shorter than the beginning. This will allow the beginning to fold over the end without distorting the binding at this point..
 Now use you ruler and trim the binding it 1/4" from the seam you just sewed it down with. It is helpful if you snip the corners diagonally at this point but don't snip the stitching. You are just taking some of the bulk out of the corner so you have perfect mitered corners.
 Now turn your binding to the back and pin it in place. At the corners let it got to the edge and then folded the corner for a mitered look that mirrors the front.
 I use a running blind stitch to sew down the binding making sure not to catch the front so that the stitches show. I start where I finished sewing it on and stitch it around to the beginning of the binding and then I burry my thread tails in the back of the piece along the binding.

And there you have a simple mug rug that is very pretty and ready to save your clean fresh ironing board cover from a nasty coffee stain.

If you have any questions email me at ladyqwiller@yahoo.com and I will try to help. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mug Rugs Crazy

I have been working on large projects that needed more time to complete and got to the point I felt I wasn't accomplishing anything. So I took the day off to make Mug Rugs. Now for those of you who don't know Mug Rugs are larger than coasters but not a big as hot pads. They are to catch the condensation on a hot cup of tea or mug of hot cocoa or even the sweat from a glass of iced lemonade. They aren't anything too big just big enough to set a mug on. Sometimes they have a pocket for a tea bag or cookie and sometimes they even have a pocket for a spoon. I created mine so you could stick you tea bag and sweetener in the pocket fold the mug rug over the pocket and tuck it into your purse for work. The backs are just selvages from fabric I have been working with. I made 5 in one day and now I am doing a demonstration for this blog of step by step how I made them.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Three more things off my UFO list!

The top 2 photos are a colorwash triple irish chain that I started over 10 years ago. The pattern called for 3" squares so naturally I had to do it in 1.5" squares! I finally finished it today! The next photo is Christmas Kitty Kats. The same pattern as the other Kitty quilt but all done in Christmas prints and colors.

This quilt is called Christmas in July. It is all done in non Christmas Prints in red, green and ivory. The idea was to have a Christmas Quilt that could be used all year long if you wanted to. As you can see all the kitties love them too. My UFO list is still pretty long but I plan on keep sewing until they are all completed. Now I am working on a scrappy HST quilt and a Barbie Quilt and a Blue and Ivory Quilt and a Pink and Ivory quilt.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Nasty Flu Pretty quilts!

I got the flu last weekend and for the first three days my head was so stuffed up I couldn't breathe well except while I was sitting at my sewing machine. I don't know why this happens but it is probably because sewing relaxes me so much I stopped stressing about my stuffy nose. So I started piecing UFO's that have been stacked near or on my sewing machine for several months. This one is called Bold and Bright and is from an internet swap I was a part of. About half the blocks I made and the other half were from swappers all over the world. As you can see the kitties love the bright colors too and it was impossible to get a picture without kitties.
Was going to use a 2" lattice but didn't like the way it looked so I cut the strips in half and it turned out the perfect way to frame each block. The otter border was going to be a bright pink floral but my cat stole it and ran away with it and then brought me back this purple 60s reproduction print with mod flowers in all the colors in the quilt. I am so glad my cats join in the quilting process because he was so right and I would have had to take the pink off. So I will save the pink border for another quilt. I have about 30 UFOs that I want to get finished this year. I am trying to do them with only the fabric I have on hand. I got 3 quilts pieced while I was having trouble breathing but I can't find the corner blocks I made for the outside border of one of them. The cats steal fabric if they like it. Here is a photo of the second quilt top I finished while I was having trouble breathing.
This quilt is called Kitty Kat and is an adaptation of Janet Kime's pattern Plaid Cats from her book The Cat's Meow. I have one of these done in Christmas prints too but I can't find the outer scrappy border I made for it. I can't even blame the cats for it this time. It got packed away somewhere years ago which is why I never pieced the top together. But I'll find it or make a different border and then I will post the picture of the 2 other tops I made while my head was stuffy. I am now at the point where I have been sleeping a lot because I didn't get much sleep while I was coughing and had a stuffy head. I am doing much better now and I still plan of sewing lots more of my UFO's together so I will keep posting them.