Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Random Notions – The Fishbowl Project

Harry went home early today, so I got to work on his quilt.  He hasn’t really seen it yet – he did see a couple of the pictures I took of the blocks from the other day on the computer and he told me he loved the chameleon block- I was so happy to hear that because that is also my favorite block. 

Last night I sat down and tried to figure out what I was going to do with the blocks and how much of what I would need, and what the finally size would be.  I tend to be one of those people who design as I go along – nothing is really planned out in advance.  This is how artistic I get-

(I freely admit I am no Picasso)

So today, I started going through the stash to find the fabric to put the blocks together.  Since Harry loves orange, I went through my substantially large pile of oranges (it is also one of my favorite colors) and found two I really liked with the background fabric I used with the fishbowls.  Of course, I had to go with the brighter orange.  I also needed something to fill in the corners, and I wanted something in a blue-green color.  I found the perfect thing and this is what I now have together-
Here is a closer look at the orange and blue-green-
The blue-green looks a bit washed out here – it is darker than this.

So now, I want to put a one inch border all around before I use the really cool fish border fabric I have for the outside.  I think I want that one inch border to be blue, because blue and orange look so great together.  If I get a chance tomorrow, I will look for that.  I am loving how bright and happy this is turning out!

I have another new project I hope to do in the next few days- my mom gave me an old sewing chair, which I really love- the seat comes off to store stuff in it.  Of course, as soon as I wanted to take pictures, Lhasa had to get into it-


I don’t want to refinish the wood, but I do want to replace the fabric.  While going through some of the old storage tubs, I found this fabulous piece of upholstery material – it was a remnant I was thinking of making a tote bag out of-
This was something that had to be originally very expensive but I picked up the remnant very cheap- and I have enough to recover the chair!  That is something I am really looking forward to!

Got something very cool in the mail today – my college buddy, Chrystal, sent me a proof copy of the book she wrote-
I love the cover – her very talented daughter did that!  To my surprise, Chrystal included me in here dedication- at least, I hope I am the Laura she referenced.  If I’m not, I would prefer she doesn’t tell me – no one has ever done something so nice for me and I would like to continue thinking it was for me!  LOL  If you enjoy authors like Dean Koontz or Stephen King, you should check out this book!  You can find it here.

Okay, I hope to be back soon with a finished fishbowl quilt top!

Have a great and SAFE Halloween!  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Random Notions – Final fishbowls

I finished up the fishbowls – decided I wanted a total of 12, so here are the second six-

I really had a tough time deciding which fabrics I wanted to use.  A couple of them I just didn’t see as being for a kid.  The 3 at the top here all came from the same fabric – it had so many great options on it.  The chameleon is probably my favorite and he almost didn’t get in there – I only had a narrow piece of the fabric and it wasn’t quite enough to make a full fishbowl.  If you look close, you can see where I had to add some to make it work-
So now I have to put it all together – Harry told me the other day that he loves orange and he hates red.  Good thing I have lots of oranges I could probably use to put them together.  I also have the cutest fabric for the border, so I’m anxious to get to that.

That’s it.  Hope you had a great weekend and the week is kind to you! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Random Notions – Another one out the door!

I see by the calendar on the wall it has been awhile since I have gotten over here.  Not because I haven’t been doing anything – I am.  So what did I do?

The Blue Moves quilt – I had originally started working on that quilt to give to my aunt on her 88th birthday.  However, she passed away 5 days before.  Very sad for my family.  It was not hard to figure out who to give it to instead – my cousin Frances who had taken such good care of her and my uncle for many, many years.  Blue was my aunt’s favorite color and also Frances’.

First I had to finish it – I got it back from the long arm quilter 2 days after my aunt passed away.  I really didn’t want to buy binding, mainly because I couldn’t afford it, and I didn’t have enough of the fabrics left to make it.  So I decided to self-bind it.  The backing was plenty big enough to do it.  First, I trimmed all the excess of the backing and batting 2 inches, then carefully folded the backing back under so I could trim the batting to only 1 inch-
I was really careful on that step because I was so afraid of cutting off backing where I shouldn’t!  Then I folded the backing over to the front and pressed it as I was going-
This was further folded over to the front and I tried to make the corners look mitered-
When sewing it on, I used my walking foot and moved the needle over as far left as it would go, because trying to find the point to keep the fold at to keep it all even was hard to do, and I wanted to make sure I caught the entire folded edge in-
It didn’t come out too bad, but I did not keep it consistent all the way around.  I think if I do this more often, I will get a bit better each time.  The overall quilt didn’t look too bad- here it is on my queen size bed-
And here is the back-
In this close up look on the back, you can see the cool design Janet did on the quilting-
Frances really liked it and she reported back to me the next day that it was warm- her house is very old and in need of a new heater, so she really needed a new blanket!

Okay, so my guilt quilt – I mean Harry’s fish quilt – I was trying to figure out how to use all the fish and reptile fabrics I had in the stash, and I have to thank my friend Rebecca for the inspiration.  We were sitting and talking when the idea came up.  I decided to make blocks of fishbowls- I found a coloring page on the internet of a fishbowl shape I liked, traced it on the back side of fusible interfacing, sewed it to the fabric and turned it.  Then it was fused onto the background fabric and I stitched all around. Here are the first 6-
And a close-up of 2-

I really like how they are coming out. Right now, they are 11” square and I realized after the first 2 I should have made them a bit not square to allow for the seam allowance on the sides.  Oh well, I will figure it out as I go.  At this point, I’m not sure how many I will need, but after a couple more are made, I will get an idea.

Other than that, I have been listing old toys on eBay trying to make money to help pay our utility bills. My success rate is pretty low, but at least we are getting some bills paid and keeping the roof over our heads.

The weather is finally getting to what I like- I will enjoy the next few months.  How about you?

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Random Notions – Stuff I’ve been doing

Well, believe it or not, I have been sewing since I was last here.  One of the things I worked on was what I am now calling African Dreams and I am really loving it-
This is one of those things that you can’t stop staring at - I just can’t get over how every block is so different and yet, even though they are made from only one fabric, each one is awesome.  All that is left is to put two borders on, one from the yellow/red fabric and then a wider black one.  

The other thing I have been working on is the block of the month quilt.  I actually have the entire top together-
(It’s not really crooked – I think I just have one leg shorter than the other)

I love how it came out, but I will tell you, it almost didn’t get put together!  Even though I was so careful every month making my blocks to the sizes specified in the directions, it was a pain in the butt to get it all together.  Not one of the filler blocks was right and I had to trim here and there and resize and recut the fillers.  I really enjoyed participating in this free class from Craftsy and if there is another, I may have to do it as well.  I already looked at the one they had last year, and I may do some of the blocks from it, just whenever the mood strikes me.

This quilt is for Layla for Christmas.  She told me she absolutely loved it and asked if she could have it.  I asked if she didn’t think it was time for me to make something for me, and she looked so disappointed!  But then, I could see her brain kick in and she said, “You can make another exactly like it for me!”  <silent scream!>  Kids – you gotta love ‘em!

I am actually going to try to quilt this one myself – just simple quilting ¼” from the inside of the shapes.  I think I can do it.  It will be interesting.

Other exciting news – I have only 1 week left of my last class and I will be a college graduate!  I am astounded to have gotten this far!  I am so excited to be on the edge of finishing it, but I will miss having my college buddy Chrystal in my upcoming classes – if not for her, I may not have made it.  We were in so many learning teams together where we were thrown in with people that you really had to question why they were there.  That is super frustrating, and I have a weird feeling I am going to experience something pretty much the same when I start my master’s program in January – yikes!  I hope Chrystal and I will always be buddies, because she is so special and knowing her makes me feel pretty special. Oh and hey – she wrote a book!  I have read it and it is awesome!  If you like stories by authors like Dean Koontz, check it out here. It’s an e-book right now, but printed copies will soon be available!

The wind has been blowing the last couple of weeks and I have had allergy attacks almost daily.  I believe this is the worst my allergies have ever been and I am so tired of it.  I wake up sneezing in the middle of the night, usually right after I have gotten into a good sleep.  My nose is positively raw from the sneezing and running and blowing.  So I am off to bed early, right after I take some Benadryl- please send good thoughts for my nose!

Thanks for stopping by!