Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mouthy Stitches Mega Pouch

   Well, it's been a while since I've posted, due to an unexpected and unforeseen backslide in my postpartum depresssion.  (Although truthfully, at this point, I am probably technically past the "postpartum" period since my youngest is now 4 1/2 years old.  I guess it's time to accept the fact that this is chronic depression.)
   I experienced a short period (c. 6 weeks) of "normalcy" on a new medication I started in December, but my body adjusted to it and with the increased dosage came unwanted negative side effects.  Stay tuned-- we'll see if I can get some kind of relief when I meet with my prescriber later this week.
    But anyway, onto the quilty creation...
   I've been participating in the Mouthy Stitches Swap (see button in my sidebar) Check out the Flickr group here-- there are some truly wonderful makes among the 90+ participants, and lots of inspiration.
   We were all to make a zippered pouch and include a fat-quarters worth of fabric scraps.
side 1
c. 14" x 14" (good for holding a sewing project and a hoop?)
    I can't reveal too much info about my partner because it is a surprise, and she has not received it yet (since I'm mailing it out today).  Based on some of her current favorite fabric lines, these seem to be the colors she's into.
side 2
It's hard to see in this photo but I did some circle quilting to offset all the square shapes.
Lining and zipper ends.
   So without further ado, I shall head out to the post office and mail off my make.
   Hoping to be back to functional again sometime soon!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Welcome, Birdies!!

   At last, there are a few early signs of spring approaching here in New England!!  The red-winged blackbirds have returned from their winter in the south and I've seen some bluebird activity as well.  My daughter even found some frog eggs out in the wet woods behind our house over the weekend.
   But the "Birdies" that I am truly welcoming are of a different kind.  They arrived in this form:
    And they look like this:

   This beautiful quilt is from Cindy, of Fluffy Sheep Quilting (in Galway, Ireland).
   Over the last year, Cindy participated in the Birdie Stitches quiltalong, hosted by Little Miss Shabby.   She enjoyed the first six months of the Birdies, but then grew out-of-love with it.  At the end of January, Cindy posted her finished top here.  I thought it was such a beautiful quilt, and those of you who know me, might know that I am a nature lover (I have a background in environmental education) and have a special place in my heart for birds, especially.  
   So when Cindy posted that she was going to donate the quilt top to Project Linus, I commented that I would gladly give her Birdies a good home where they would be loved and appreciated, and in turn I would create a quilt and donate it to Project Linus.   
   To my sheer joy and utter surpise, Cindy emailed me back to say that we had a deal!!  (Squeals and jumping for joy!!)
   Today, Cindy shared her version about how her Birdies Have Flown the Coop.  Her Birdies are currently displayed lovingly in our home, hanging over the upstairs railing for now-- until I can sandwich and piece the layers together.  My husband and the kids absolutely love the Birdies as well and we are thrilled to have it in our home.  Once its finished, we have decided that it will hang on the large empty wall in or living room (where we spend lots of our time).
   THANK YOU, THANK YOU Cindy!!  I'm so glad that we have been able to give your quilt a good home.  I have a few deadlines looming at the moment, but as soon as those are complete, I will start quilting the top.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mod Conn Quilters

   Yesterday was the all-day-sew gathering for our Modern Connecticut Quilters  (aka "Mod Conn Quilters") group.  Sue Q. arranged for us to rent a conference room (free of charge) at a lovely rustic location called Winding Trails, overlooking a lake.  Thank you, Sue, for organizing for us!
   Everyone was working on wonderful projects, and of course we had Show-and-Tell.
   Jackie (of Canton Village Quiltworks) was working on her Glacier Star quilt (a Judy Niemeyer/Quiltworx pattern).  She has completed the pattern, but is in the process of adding four more borders to make it Queen-sized.
Hey Jackie-- I got a good photo of you this time!!
   Jackie is a big fan of Judy Niemeyer and has made many beautiful quilts in her patterns.  She sells many of them in her on-line shop.  And she will probably be posting about this meeting on her blog as well.  This summer, Jackie will be attending a week-long training in Montana (Judy Niemeyer/Quiltworx home base) to become a certified instructor of her patterns.  I recently took a paper-piecing class with Jackie using Judy Niemeyer's Total Eclipse pattern (see photo further down), and it was a wonderful experience (you can see my progress below).
   Heather was working on piecing a Christmas quilt (I wish I could plan so far ahead!)
And she shared some recent quilts she has been working on:
This is a sampler quilt.
I love her color selections!
   Heather's father has recently been in the hospital, and as a gift to him, she made this lovely quilt with houses.  (Her father designs houses).  I think he will love it and wish him a smooth and speedy recovery.

    Heather has been very busy and quite productive!  She also has been working on these bright and colorful blocks:

   I sat next to Sarah and it was my first time meeting her.  Sarah was working on some adorable bibs for her 11-month old daughter:
   She was also working on some wonky nine-patch blocks.  I love the colors in these blocks and she has decided to go with a white background to really make the colors pop.

   Maddie worked on a lovely pillow with horses on one side and dogs on the other (right up my daughter's alley!)

 And she was also making yo-yo's
   Susan (Maddie's mom) was working on some wonderful placements:
Susan used bias cuts for the curved piecing 
Here's the back side.
   Michele was working on these blocks:
   And she shared one of the many cinched bags she had made for the holidays:

   Sue Q. had made a number of circle blocks using nature-themed fabrics (Sue is an Environmental Educator for the state, and years ago-- when I was in grad school-- she was my supervisor for one of the internships I did at a nature center).

You might be able to see the Rainbow Trout in the top left and lower right quadrants.

   Sue was also working on making fabric vases for her niece's upcoming wedding (which I did not get a picture of).  She has to make thirty of them as centerpieces for the tables!  I believe that Sue is also making her niece's wedding gown.
   I shared a few of the smaller projects I've been working on:
Some of my blocks for the paper pieced Total Eclipse quilt I am working on.
   Most of the fabrics I am using for this were ordered from Jackie's on-line shop (see link above).

This is my handy chart to keep track of my progress on the blocks:
I now have 11 out of 20 KM units and 44 out of 56 H units--
more than halfway there!
These are the sides of my zippy pouch for my partner in the Mouthy Stitches Swap.
I made two fabric-covered notepads for our Brownie troop leaders
using Girl Scout fabrics I ordered on-line.

This is my trial-run zippy pouch for the Mouthy Stitches Swap

   At every meeting, we each bring a pieced block in an assigned color, as well as a coordinating 12 1/2" fabric square.  We laid out all the blocks that have been collected so far.  [They will be pieced together and donated].

   Yesterday's gathering was so inspiring.  It was a lovely group of ladies and we had great fun working on our quilt projects, sharing, eating (thanks, everyone, for all the good food you brought!) and talking.  Can't wait 'til the next meeting!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Friday Wrap-up

   Boy this week flew by fast!  And I have very little to show for it.  But although I was not as productive (quilting/sewing-wise) as I would have liked to be (am I ever?!) it was still a good week.
   I made a traveling crayon/pad folio as a birthday gift for one of the little girls in my son's preschool class.  I used Terry Atkinson's Airplane Art Binder tutorial.  [Linda/Sew Nicely: Do you recognize the fussy cut fabric in the center?  It's from one of the scraps you gave me in the Scrappy Swap-- thank you!]
front cover
(noticing now its a little uneven)
back side
inside view
   I also worked on a few background units for my Total Eclipse paper-piecing pattern by Judy Niemeyer.  
   And I started a practice zippy pouch for the Mouthy Stitches Swap.   Check out the Flickr group if you want to see some amazing creations!!  (The "X"s are my first hand-embroidered stitches!  I enjoyed it-- might be onto something new.)
   I also received some fun packages in the mail.  My friend, Judith/Rags to Bags -- knowing that my birthday is this month-- sent me a sweet package of goodies from Belfast, Northern Ireland!  Just this week, Judith opened here Etsy shop Just Jude Designs.  She's got some great quilting/sewing patterns (and a few homemade items) that are wonderful.  Good luck with your new venture, Judith!

   Thank you so much, Judith!!  (I have not showed it to the kids yet-- waiting for a special occasion-- or a big craving!).  You are so generous and thoughtful :0)
   And lately, I've been listening to Pandora radio.  As a special promotion, they offered me 200 free business cards from Vistaprint.  Since I'm going to be selling my homemade wares in the next few months at a local coffee shop (see post here), I decided to use the opportunity to create some business cards (pictured above).  I used one of their pre-existing templates and played around with the fonts.  So I'm on my way to getting prepared for this business venture! (Now I just have to make some inventory!)
   I have a friend coming over shortly for an afternoon of sewing-- I'm looking forward to it!  We have fun and are trying to sew together once a week.  (She sews mostly garments and I helped her start her own blog recently-- but that's for another post).
   I hope all of you are having a great weekend (and getting some sewing time in, too)!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And the Winner Is...

   The kids were very excited this morning as I'd told them they would pick the winner of my blogiversary giveaway out of a hat.  My youngest, (Sammy, age 4) was up at the crack of dawn.  While he waited for his Big Sis (Dana, age 9) to arise, he drew this for me:
The guy below (with the hair covering his eye)
is trying to catch the boat on the water, above
(The boat is Sammy's traced hand)
[Interesting imagination he has]
   Thank you everyone for participating and for your comments and sweet blogiversary wishes :0)  I appreciate every one of them!
   I decided to use my son's "Woody" hat (from Toy Story)
    We finally had to wake my daughter up (usually she gets up on her own) or we would have been late for school.
Yes, I am using my fabric scissors for paper--gasp!

  And the winner is #6
Congratulations, Linda!!

  As far as names for machines go, about half of you did not name or your machines, and here are the names of those that shared:
Big Brother (x2)
"The Old One", "The Old, Old One" & "The New/Posh One"
Mr.  Pfaff
Faithful Firend/The Beast/Lovely
   It was very interesting to read about your sewing machine names (or lack thereof).  Although I don't have a name for my machine, I do have 2 "good luck" sewing charms:  (The little one is the travels with me if I sew out of the home-- I definitely need/ed her around when I am doing my paper piecing!)

This is one of those Japanese erasers-- my daughter collects them.
 I fell in love with this one when we were picking some out for her.
 Ironcially, if you look closely, you can see that her dress/kimono has origami cranes on it!--
perfect for me!
   I had a wonderful blogiversary day :0)  Thank you all for reading/following me, and thank you for all your inspiration!