Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All!

It's Christmas morning so I thought I would share the items I sent to my partner in the Santa Sack Swap.  She doesn't have a blog or website so it's up to me to post the items.  Let me tell you some of her likes first.  Her favorite color is red, she likes quilted houses, Raggedy Anne, and Gingerbreadmen.  So here is what I came up with for her 6 gifts.  This is everything but the home made jams that I sent.

Now for the individual pictures.  I'll start with the tote.  We had to make a tote or Christmas stocking, my partner asked for a tote non Christmas.   She loves quilted houses so I designed this tote just for her.
This tote is even better than mine because I found a better way to make the strap.  This strap is very strong and doesn't stretch.  Mine does, I'll give the link for this tutorial on another posting.
This picture is deceiving.  It's much smaller then it appears.  It is like 6" x 8" and made with the only gingham I own.  My partner loves gingham.  I took step by step pictures on how to make this pouch so I will make a tutorial for some time in January.
I couldn't do a swap without a pincushion so her she is.  As I've already stated my partner loves Raggedy Anne.  I couldn't make just one, I needed one too.  She's about 6" tall.  I've also taken step by step pictures of her and will share latter.

My partner also received the same ornaments that I gave my family for Christmas. There were 3 snowmen, 1 red, 1 green and this blue one.  Of course I made myself a set of these ornaments and they are hanging on my tree.  
Last but not least I made a small wallhanging just for my partner.  I designed the Gingerbread men and the corner peppermints.  The Candy cane is a free pattern on the internet but I adapted it to be longer than the original. The wrapped candy is also from the same source as the candy cane. The zigzag is double flying geese pattern done in three different fabrics.  The finished size of this quilt is 30"x30".  
I also bound this quilt differently than I normally do.  I found a tutorial on how to add piping along with the binding  and it's all machine sewn.  It worked like a charm, soo soo easy and great added interest. 

Well, that's the lot.  I know my partner was supposed to open these gifts last night.  I hope she will enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.  I just love the challenge of making something for someone I don't know.  

See you next year so have a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Santa Swap 2013 Opening Day

This is my last swap for 2013, it was a 6 months long swap.  Cheryl over on Gone Stitchin' organized it.  She collected everyone's names that wanted to join and then gave out the partners.  This was a straight across swap so we knew who had our name and vise versa.  We then needed to make or buy 6 gifts for our partner.  One gift had to be a tote or stocking and one needed to be a homemade gift for Christmas.  We had each others email so we could tell our partner what we liked.  Then today is the day we can open our gifts.  Some are waiting for Christmas but I'm leaving right after Christmas so I opened today.

This the the collection of gifts I received from my partner, Mary Pat.  As you can see there are several more than 6.  Oh dear, I sent 6, but in my defense all of them were made by me.  She's not opening until Christmas Eve and doesn't have a blog.  I'll post pictures of what I sent to her after or on Christmas Eve.

I choose to have a tote that wasn't Christmas so here is that tote along with a yoyo maker, a cute little Chicken Pincushion, along with pins.  There is also those great clips used when binding a quilt.  I really needed those.  I have one package and needed more.  Now how did she know that?

This next picture is the Christmas items sent to me. Mary Pat embroidered a Christmas tree and then framed it.  I'm going to really enjoy this along with the kitchen towel with the appliqued tree on it.  There is also a wood tree with a small embroidered Christmas tree decoration hanging from it.    
Here is the apple items I received.  A glass apple that is gorgious,  a small apple plate, and 2 apple placemats that Mary Pat made.  The three bottles in the top corner are a unique vase.  Can't wait to add flowers.   
This picture shows the great Halloween items I received.  You all know how much I love Halloween!! This is a piece of embroidered linen that I can make into any thing I want along with some great Halloween fabric.  I'm already thinking about what I really want to make with this great embroidery.  Look at the web in the background.  It is very intricate.  Check back to see what I decide what to do. 
Here is the last picture of various gifts, a hand crocheted wash cloth, a Charm Pack and a quilt label that Mary Pat embroidered.  I'm one lucky partner.  I just racked in some really good quality loot.  
May the New Year bring to joy, peace and love!!!

Snowy Noel Finishes with Block 9

Christmas isn't complete without a few gifts.  I love frogs so I just had to add an old fashioned pull toy to complete this quilt.  I am also including in this post the paper piecing pattern for the candy cane 12" sashing here and the 16" sashing here.  In order to complete the quilt with my setting you will need 12 of each size with 1 1/2" finished corner stones. So make sure you cut the corner stones at 2".

The outside border is 3" x 42" and 3" x 54" finished with 3" finished corner stones.   Hope you enjoyed Snowy's journey to Christmas.  I know that I did.  I still have to sew this one together so I'll be busy for the next month or so trying to catch up.  Then I hope to do that floral quilt that I promised last year.

Have a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Snowy Loves Antique Toys!!!! Blk 8 is here!

Only one more pattern to reveal after this one.  This is blk 8 "Snowy Toys".   There aren't any special directions for this block.  Just remember  increase the size by 159% to make the PDF pattern the right size to fit a 12"x16" background.  Now that's the finished size.  So cut your background a 12 1/2" x 16 1/2".  

I've been busy here. I've taken apart my studio and refurbished it.  I had a friend remake a 6' banquet table into a 4' recessed sewing table.  Here is the old table that was due to be trashed because the top was coming apart.  I wouldn't let anyone throw it out.  I've always tried to reuse things other people would throw out.  So I've been going green long before the craze for going green started.   It was just that the legs were perfectly good.  I originally planed on just adding a new top out of plywood and painting it.  Then I had an idea of building my own recessed sewing table.

I did some research on how to take a kitchen table and remake it into a recessed sewing table.  I didn't have an old kitchen table but felt I could pick one up at a yard sale.  Alas all the yard sales were selling the tables with the chairs and for more that I wanted to pay.  Then I remembered that old banquet table that needed to be rebuilt.  I took all my research over to my BFF male friend and had a builder to builder talk with him. 

I showed him my research and everything I liked and disliked about each rebuilt tables.  Then I asked him if he could take the 6' banquet table and rebuild it into a 4' table.  He told me it would be a snap because those old tables come apart easily and he would only have to shorten the side rails.  So that's what he did. 
Then he cut a hole that would fit my sewing machine with the slide on free arm table that comes with the machine.  He then added a lower shelf to hold the sewing machine.  He chose to make shelf the whole width of the table for strength. 
The trouble with that is that it doesn't allow access to the bobbin case.  I told him I would work with it that way and see how it works out.  Well it didn't so I've since turned the table over and cut a 3" recess it that bottom shelf.  I can now use the table and access the bobbin easily.  I'm very happy with my green recessed sewing table.  The cost you ask.  Just $50 for everything .  My friend did the work because he's my friend.  Here is a picture of the table after applying the finish but before I cut the extra 3" off the front of the shelf.  Isn't it pretty.

This was built over the 3rd week in October for my birthday present to and from me.  LOL  But this last week as I was redoing my studio I decided to build that shelf I've been wanting to hold more of my growing pincushion collection.  I've always loved doll making but dolls are too big and take too much room, so I've converted that need to make dolls to pincushions and am really enjoying it.

I decided that this shelf needed to be designed after a shelf I already owned.  I just needed to make it slightly bigger.  I did my math, redid my math and redid my math a third time. Then I called my BFF male friend and asked him to meet me at Home Depot.  When he got there he just asked me what we were doing now.  I told him I was building a shelf and handed him my measurements and wood requirements.  He didn't even go over my measurements.  We have worked together so much that he just went with my figures.  He's better at judging wood so that's why I had him come. 

We choose the wood and had the guy at Home Depot cut it to my specs.  Note to all you would be builders of shelves:  The width of the boards is always off by at least 1/4".  If it says 6" it is usually 5 3/4". I took one look at the 6" and said, "That's not 6 inches".  My friend reminded me that it's never 6".  I told him it wasn't 6 3/4" either.  He went and got a measure tape and sure enough it was only 6 1/2"  I was going to make my shelf with 4" boards for the shelves and 6" boards for the top and bottom.  The 3 1/2" boards just weren't big enough.  I would either have to spilt the boards or resize my shelf.  Which is what we did.  Now it's even bigger than I wanted.  My BFF told me what size screws to use and anything I was forgetting.  Now it was time to go home and build.

I won't bore you with all the details. I just need to say my BFF didn't help except on that shopping trip.  Here it is already on the wall. 

If I was making it again I would make it slightly shorter and make the shelves 6" apart and not the 7 1/2" that they are.    But now my studio has my ironing table recovered, the recessed sewing table fixed to use he bobbin case, my cutting table lowered and a new shelf for my pincushions with room to grow. 

Woodwork builds character!!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Snowy Block 7 "Snowy Santa's Hat with Mouse

Snowy Noel is counting down to the finish!!!  Here is block 7 "Snowy Santa's Hat"  with two more blocks to come.  I really need to get busy as I haven't kept up with my applique as we went along this time.  I will give you the setting but it won't be tested.  There are no special instructions for block 7.

I've been busy putting up my Christmas tree and decorating for Christmas.  I ended up with two very small trees.  I love live trees but money is always short in this house so I decided to buy a 4' fake tree with lights.  Everyone was having a sale this last week so I ended up only spending $25.00.  A live tree would have been at least that much.  Then I brought out the fake baby tree that was given to me last year for Christmas.  It's about 3' and flat on the back.  No problem there I just put it in my short hallway in a corner.  I really had fun decorating these trees.

The larger on has only angels on it and the smaller one has mostly Santa's with a few snowmen.  I still have enough decorations to decorate my potted pine if I so chose.  I just need some where to put it.  I may still do it, who knows.

 Here is the Angel tree.  It's facing north so it's hard to get a good picture.  That room is always dark this time of year.  Below is the Santa Tree.  The elves are

Have fun decorating for the Holidays!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Snowy Loves Christmas!!!!!

Snowy is back with Blk 6, " Snowy Wreath with Toy Train" in the Snowy Noel pattern give away!!!  I really wanted to post this from Memphis but the stupid Google wouldn't let me into my accounts.  They asked me stupid questions like "what month and year did you start an account with google.  What's with that?  Do you remember that?  How about years and years.  lol  Oh well it is what it is.

The only special is the reverse applique to the train windows and the large bow on the wreath.  Remember that the pattern needs to be enlarges 159% to bring it back to the 12" x 16" format.

I had a great time in Memphis with my son and his family.  He dropped two turkeys and there was hardly any left overs.  He worked on those turkeys for almost a week.  First to thaw, then came a dry brine.  After the dry brine was washed off he did an injected marinade.  Then Thanksgiving he put a dry rub on the skin before dropping them into the hot oil.  Were they ever good.  Juicy and flavorfull. I made his favorite Onion Lovers Twist by Pillsbury except I changed the flour to half whole wheat and half white flour.  My son is trying to eat without white flour.  Unfortunately this recipe was tried a few years ago 100% whole wheat and it was too dry to braid.

I'll be back by the end of this week with another block.  I hope all of you from the USA had a great Thanksgiving!!!!

Happy Holidays!!!!
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