Thursday, October 20, 2011

Small Stuff

      Right now,  I'm involved in a very fun Scrappy Swap (see button in sidebar) hosted by Kat of Diary of a Flutter Kat: A Mumma's Time to Create.  My partner is one of my favorite bloggers, so I'm excited to have been assigned her.  She is a very talented and experienced quilter, but I selected something to make for her that was within my comfort range.  (So as not to ruin the surprise, her identity needs to be kept anonymous until after her fabric scraps and scrappy swap item have been mailed and received.)
   I decided to make a scrappy moleskine journal cover with inside pockets for her.  I was using 2 tutorials simultaneously and adjusting for the size of the journal.  So the first run was an experiment, with many technical flaws that needed tweaking.
Trial Run: Scrappy Moleskine Journal cover
(back side is on Left,  front cover is on Right)
The version I intend to send my partner.
Inside view with pockets
     So now I'm all about the scrappy thing!  And that inspired my next project: a homemade thank you gift.  This is a small notebook (c. 3 1/2" x 5 1/2") and the recipient is fond of blue (which particular shade of blue, I had no idea, so I made 2 sides with different hues of blue colors).

a little warped/imperfect along the right side edge,
but I went with "good enough" since she's a
non-quilter and I'm still beginner/adv. beginner level sewer
   I also made an iPod/smartphone cover with one of the fabrics in my stash that I really love:
closed view
view with lining
   I am enjoying these smaller projects because I can finish them in a shorter amount of time.  Since the holidays are coming up, I'll probably be focusing on more goodies like these to give as homemade gifts for teachers, etc.
   Hope you are enjoying the Fall, wherever you may be.  It's not the most colorful year here in New England (most probably due to Hurricane Irene), but right now I have the windows open and there's a pleasant gentle breeze.
   Have a great day!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Little of This & A Little of That

   My posts have been fewer and far between lately, but that's where I'm at right now.  Wishing I could be more productive like so many of you, but that will come in time.
   I'm still rather struggling, these days, with this most recent setback in my depression.  Just doing my best (relatively speaking) to be functional at getting the basics done each day and focusing my energy on the kids.  Reminding myself to breathe, be mindful and in-the-moment, rather than getting sucked into the overwhelming vortex of negative thoughts that constantly threatens to pull me down.
  I've been working on a number of small-scale quilting projects, and the little bits of time at my sewing machine, while not highly productive, are still very therapeutic.

Here are my bits of "This and That"...

- Pieced blue block (12 1/2" square) for the Mod Conn Quilters meeting last Sunday.

- Pieced green block (also 12 1/2" square) also for the Mod Conn Quilters meeting.
   The pieced squares will be matched with complimentary colored solid blocks and ultimately be assembled and quilted for donation.  (The group is very new, so we do not have a completed quilt to show yet).  I did not bring my camera to the meeting, but Jackie of Canton Village Quiltworks, did a wonderful post here of all the blocks with the coordinating color fabric choices as well as the wonderful show-and-tell from the meeting.

- I've also been working on a "Pockets To Go" cube organizer for my sewing stuff...
I'm starting with the bottom one
here I've attached the inside pockets to the bottom
this view shows the outside (zippered) pockets--
my very first zippers, but not fully assembled yet!
-  I fell in love with this cheerful basket of birdies...
 from this book:
 - Here are my first 2 lovebirds (without eyes or tails):

- I've also been selecting scraps and goodie ideas for my partner in the Scrappy Swap hosted by Kat (Diary of a Flutter Cat/Mummy'sTimeTo Create)
here's my proposed 1st audition of scraps for my partner 
   Lastly, I want to share with you this wonderful gift from my sister:
How can you not love her??!!
She is a momiji doll, and in the bottom is a special, secret message.
   Thanks, Sis!!  I love this little doll and the thoughtful little note inside.  She is displayed in a prominent place in my sewing area so I can look at her and smile and think of you!

   Happy Quilting to you all this weekend!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Best Mail Day Ever!

    Last week was the mailing period for the items we made for the Mug Rug & Goodie Swap hosted by Cindy at Fluffy Sheep Quilting. The Flickr photostream has an amazing thread of photos and fun, lively discussion.   We (the 60+ participants) have all been eagerly awaiting the mailman, and watching the Flickr updates (and photos) on who's received what.  There were so many amazing things people made and now we're finding out who is partnered with who.  It is such fun!!
   Yesterday was my lucky day.  Our postman, Jim, drove up the driveway and tooted his horn.  He had 3 packages just for me!!  Yahooo!!
   I received both parcels from my swap partners and a quilty thank-you for a ruler I found a home for a few weeks ago in my Petite Giveaway.
   Here are the photos...
From Chrissa, I received:

mug rug, front, with origami crane
mini-painting: "Quilting mends the soul"
hand-made card
needle book
inside the needle book, Chrissa included embroidery floss in a variety of bright colors,
and a "hope" charm, which I have safety pinned to the first page
back pocket of needle case
front of mug rug;
I love the design, the  colors and the echo quilting
Chrissa got the idea for the origami crane from my Flickr icon--
very thoughtful! 
back side of mug rug
This is the scrap piece of felt that I have hitherto been using as an impromptu needle case  
   Chrissa is from Oklahoma.  She and I have a lot in common.  We are relatively new to quilting, this was the first swap for both of us and we both have a child "on the spectrum" (as in Autism Spectrum Disorders-- a.k.a. ASD).
   It turns out that Chrissa was my partner, but I was also hers!  Very clever matching on Cindy's part.
   My second mug rug and goodie were from none other than Rhonda of Quilter in the Gap.
front of mug rug: Lotus flower
I love the design and the serene  colors
Heres's the collective package from Rhonda:
mug rug
needle book
key fob
assorted fabric samples
back side of mug rug
front view of needle case
with adorable birdie button 
inside the needle case:
some size 10 betweens
and a thimble
detail of key fob (which I have now stocked with all those discount cards)
and collection of assorted fabrics
   And lastly, I received this very thoughtful quilty gift as a thank you from Stacey in Vermont, to whom I gifted a 12 1/2" square ruler that I scored at an estate sale (and already had one of my own).  Previously, she was using a cardboard square.
a set of 3 mug-rugs
    Thank you, so much Stacey for your generous quilty "thank you" gift.   I know the 12 1/2" square ruler has found a very good home.  Have fun using it!!

So there you have my best "mail day ever" from quilty friends who are so amazing!!  I feel so blessed to be a part of this wonderful, generous  and inspring community!

Happy Quilting to you all, and have a great weekend!