Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Here's the flamingo quilt for my granddaughter. I have binding to sew on, but that is the easy part. I had all of this fabric in my stash already. I love the Amy Butler print so much, I haven't used it until now. The flamingo is applique. I also added some detail on the wings from the border print. I backed it with a pink, fuzzy minky that she will adore. I also knew she loved puffy quilts, so I used a polyester batting and minimum quilting. (I've never used polyester before. It was kind of a "dirty word" in most quilt guilds I've attended. I think it is fine for this application!)
So now she has her tropical bedspread AND her quilt with a flamingo in the middle, just like she drew out for me!
Hopefully, I will be able to post pictures as we get her room together, but I will be having fun with both grandkids for the next two weeks. I am taking fabric for my grandson's room, too, but I wasn't as sure of what he wanted. He is 3, so I need to be there to figure it out!
California, look out.......here I come!
Sunday, May 29, 2011
I was out with my camera at sunset because the sun was such a gorgeous orange. I snapped a few pictures and then decide to look in on the little wren's nest that is in my hanging pot on the patio .( I showed the eggs in the nest in a previous post. here Scroll down to see the nest.) I am only about 5'2" and the pot is hanging at about 8 or 9 feet, so I couldn't see in even standing on a chair. So I stood on the chair anyway and held my camera above my head and pointed in among the geraniums. I knew it was a long shot that I could see the eggs, but I thought it would be fun to try. I couldn't even see the thumbnail on my camera screen, so I was certainly shooting blind. When I downloaded my photo, this is what I had. I only took one shot. Aren't they cute? I just love babies!!!
Tomorrow is a holiday here in the U.S., so I will be enjoying a day with my sweet husband. I hope you have a wonderful day full of good surprises!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Whew! Finished! All except for the flower centers. I posed it in a guest room, so this is not it's final home. Hopefully, it will be cuter on my granddaughter's bed in her "tropical island" bedroom. I even draped the leis across my headboard trying to help the situation. Her bed is white, so I think that will be prettier.
I quilted this on a frame - a first for me. I've quilted everything I've ever done on my sewing machine. I started at 9:00 yesterday morning and finished at 3:30 that afternoon. The frame allows only 7" of quilting space, so I spent more time rolling, pinning, and adjusting than actual quilting. I don't think I could have gotten this done under my sewing machine arm, though. I have a new respect for longarm quilters. My back and shoulders are pretty sore today! I spent today sewing on the binding and washing and drying the quilt. I wanted it to be washed so that it would be soft and slightly puckered. I will mail it tomorrow and hopefully, it will be there when I fly out next Thursday. (No, not on a broom.) It won't fit in my suitcase unless I decide to not take clothes. Hmmm.....I guess I could buy a new wardrobe when I get there! I'll have to talk to my sweet, generous husband about that! Good idea, right? Saves on postage!
I plan on letting my granddaughter help me sew buttons in the centers of the flowers. I have just sprinkled some on for the photo. I will let her choose which she wants and where. I believe in letting kids help as much as possible. It not only gives them ownership and teaches them a skill, it shows them how much work goes into something like this. She can be proud of the part she had in creating her room.
I still owe her a quilt with a flamingo on it, so I will have to work on that idea. I have a flamingo all cut out and edges turned...ready for applique. I also have 3 of the tropical shirt blocks done. That quilt will have to be a lap throw.
I also haven't forgotten that my little grandson also needs a room decorated. I need to start on that next.
Have I mentioned that I love, love, love being a grandmother?!!! I'm with the person who said that if they had known grandchildren would be so much fun, they would have had them first!
Sunday, May 22, 2011
I've finished appliqueing the flowers on the quilt top for my granddaughter's new bedroom. It's pretty big - about 96" x 83" before quilting. I'm anxious to find a backing and get started. I'm thinking I will need to mail it to her before I go in a couple of weeks because I'm not sure it will fit in my suitcase! We'll see.
Then I started thinking about the rest of her room. She will need a window treatment, for instance.
I got in the car and started searching for "Flamingo Inspiration." At The Dollar Store (where everything cost $1), I found a couple of flamingos (about 12" wide) and some flower leis. I also bought a very inexpensive curtain rod at Walmart.
|My haul for less than $7.|
|I removed the little finial on the ends of the curtain rod.|
|I inserted each end of the curtain rod into the holes on the two flamingos. (I think a little hot glue here would help stabilize it.)|
|I cut two ribbons, each 40" long, to use as legs. I folded them in half and then tied a loose knot in the center of each half to act as knees. I cut 8 "tulip" shapes for feet.|
|I used Tacky glue to sandwich the end of each ribbon between two felt feet.|
|I found the two holes on the bottom that the wires were supposed to be inserted into. (If your flamingo doesn't have these, I guess you could either make some or just use glue.) This is where I attached the legs (see next step).|
|I used a large, sturdy needle to sew through the two holes to attach the center of each set of ribbon legs. I was not able to do this with a small needle.|
Now I'm ready to hang the window topper. Remember that I was trying these out on my own windows before taking them to my granddaughter's. We will probably also have soft drapes on the windows that this will go over. I hung the rod and just draped the leis over it. All in all, I spent only about 20 minutes on the entire thing! What do you think? This goes in the same room as the tropical quilt. We already have some palm trees painted in the room, but she will help me add more when I go for another visit soon.
The things she wanted in her room were:
Her bed is white, so I included some white flowers (they have tiny pink dots that you can't see in the picture.) I'm thinking maybe soft, white sheer drapes? She does have white blinds. I need to experiment when I get there to see what looks best! Maybe white drapes with a border (along the bottom) of pieced tropical prints? I'll be sure and take pictures when all is finished.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I'm working on a "tropical island" quilt for my granddaughter. I need to finish it before June, when I will see her again. She wants lots of pink and pink flamingos. The white is paper. I'm thinking of scattering flowers across the top of it. It is a very scrappy quilt using tropical fabrics cut in different sized squares. It is not anywhere near finished, but at least I'm working on something. Because she wants a big pink flamingo on her quilt, I'm trying to make a second one with the flamingo in the center and blocks depicting different tropcial "things" around it. I have made a block from Paper Panache that is an Hawaiian shirt. It has a little 3 dimensional collar and a real pocket. Now I'm trying to come up with a little hula dancer to go along with it! And flip-flops! (We used to call them "thongs", but I discovered to my daughter-in-law's horror that you can't call them that anymore!!!!)
I went outside to water my flowers and discovered a little wren (?) has built a nest in one of my hanging baskets. My entire yard is full of new life! Swallows have nests in three places around my porches, hummingbirds are still draining their feeders every day, and then there's Fiona, the little Chihuahua from next door. (Do I need to point out that her owner is a little girl?) She came over to show me her new manicure!
|Fiona with her newly painted nails!|
I have really tried to quilt in subtle, soft colors, but I keep coming back to the brights. I love what some of you put together in soft pinks and pale blues, but maybe if you saw my flower beds you would understand . This is what I caught with my camera a few minutes ago. Some are already fading, but there will be others to take their places.
|Bird of Paradise|
|Oleander ready to bloom|
|Chrysanthemum (yes, it's blooming in the spring!)|
|Yikes! A green spider killing a fly!|
Sunday, May 15, 2011
This is an extremely easy project. It requires no sewing and the resulting flowers can be used as napkin rings (they have a loop of fabric in the back as a natural part of construction), hair clips, embellishment on clothing or bags, or whatever else you might think of. The felt flowers are actually a children's project. The fabric flowers are just as easy, but require stiffening the fabric first.
|3. Cut a very small slit in the center of the small petal and leaf sets.|
|4. Fold the "dog bone" shape in half and compress the middle enough to insert into the slit of the pink petal.|
|5. Pull it through (the slit should be small enough that it is a tight fit) until the petals gather up a little.|
|6. Next pull it through the leaf set.|
I have been busy this week making another Good Shepherd quilt. This one is for a silent auction to benefit a group of children's homes called Arms of Hope. I used the new Moda wildflower fabric that is designed for the big Texas Shop Hop! If I am not mistaken, it is only available in the shops that are participating in the shop hop. It depicts Texas wildflowers and birds. Below is the original. (I think I like the original best, but sometimes you have to just try things to know. Besides, the new one has the special fabric in it, so it might appeal to people who appreciate "all things Texan". ( I do think it looks better "in person" though.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
It's Raining! Yay!
We've been "caught up" in a drought here in South Texas and have needed rain for a very long time now. Today, it started raining! I've forgotten how to drive in rain, but I managed to get myself home without any mishaps.
The plant on the left has rain water up to its brim.
Just a couple of days ago it was 101 degrees here! The grass that is out of reach of the sprinkler system crunched under my feet as I walked. Driving down the interstate, you pass areas along the road that were burned by grass fires. This rain is a very welcome relief. (I did see harvesters heading out to someone's fields. I do feel sorry for them. Rain is not a good thing when it is time to harvest.)
What a perfect day to sit and sew if the power stays on! There is certainly a lot of thunder, but so far, so good!
Monday, May 9, 2011
I have a great makeup bag designed for travel. It has several pouches (attached with hook and loop tape) that can be removed and replaced easily. I decided that I needed a similar bag for sewing and quilting notions. I could fill the pouches with thread, scissors, rotary cutter, fat quarters, embroidery floss, etc. I could then roll it up, place it securely in my tote bag, and take it along to workshops and retreats. Everything would be easily accessible and in one place. I could also use it on trips, filling it with socks, underwear, jewelry, or how about toothpaste, toothbrush, makeup (if you don't already have one of those makeup bags) and other toiletries.
Make one for a child and fill it with crayons, pencils, a small notebook, stencils, snacks, etc. You can use one pouch, two, three, four, or even more.
You'll need the following materials:
1.cloth for the front and back of the Roll-Up
3.Binder pouches (these are made for pencils and crayons and have grommets to allow them to be put in a notebook binder. The ones I found were made by Elmer's and cost me 97 cents each.
4.Hook and loop tape - You will need both the adhesive type and the sew in type. You will use the adhesive type on the pouches and the sew in type on the cloth
5.ribbon, about 1 yard
6.binding for top of roll-up
Note: I didn't give amounts because this can be made any size and the width depends on the width of the binder pouches you get.
|1. Lay the pouches out about 1 1/2" to 2" apart and determine the length and width you want. You can use any number of binder pouches.|
|2. Cut front, back and batting this length and width and layer with front and back right sides together and batting on the back (Not sandwiched between!)|
|3. Sew 1/4" around the edge of three sides, leaving one end open. Turn it right side out. This will leave the batting inside. Machine quilt the roll-up at this point. (I did simple quilting about 1" apart by following the lines of my fabric.)|
|4. Trim the open end after quilting to make it straight.|
|6. Fold the ribbon in half and sew to the open end of the roll-up. (I have sewn across the open end of the roll-up 1/4" to stabilize it, but that is not really necessary because you will be sewing a binding on.|
|8. Turn the folded edge of the binding over the raw edge and sew down by hand. You will catch the sewn end of the ribbon in the binding.|
|10.Roll it up (you are actually almost folding it over and over. Pull the ribbon around in opposite directions and tie to close.|