Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fabric Purchases

If you read the first comment on my last blog post, you might be wondering what "next exciting event" Di mentions that is coming up. Well, it involves Celina and Tay...
...and their parents. Our Sydney, Australia family is moving to the US! I couldn't be happier, and I'm not the only one! (Note: I am very sad about no longer having a family tie/reason to spend time in Australia. Without a doubt, I have made some wonderful, dear Aussie friends.)

The fam will arrive on Tuesday, July 20, and for at least a week they'll stay with us as they adjust to the 15 hour time difference. How tough will that be for not-a-quite nine month-old child?! Then, I expect to be on Nana duty while mum spends the considerable time she'll need to shop and furnish a home - sofa, chairs, dining table, beds, dressers, and everything that's needed to outfit a kitchen. They'll live on the south side of Kansas City, Kansas, a short three-plus-hours away from us. Short, of course, compared to typical 24-28 hour trips Sydney!

Following the exciting event of their arrival will be another event... welcoming another baby boy into their family. Yep, Celina and Tay are getting a brother. For us it's grandson #3! Anticipating the need to sew yet one more baby boy quilt (This will be baby boy quilt #5 for me since March 2009!), while in Florida I went fabric shopping at Rainbow's End Quilt Shop in Dunedin. According to their advertising, they have 18,000 bolts of fabric. I don't think I'm being particular, but I sure couldn't find what I am looking for. Their boy fabric selections were too infant-ish, directional, or in pastel colors.

I did find this jumbo rick-rack that might go onto a boy quilt.
Since I couldn't find something for "Duke's" quilt (Initially hoping for a girl, the baby was referred to as "Daisy," so Duke's his pre-birth nickname for now.), I did a little shopping for myself. And why not?!

I've never been one to go for fabric collections because I think they can be too matchy-matchy. I prefer to challenge myself to put together different prints. Here are three pieces I'd like to combine in a skirt. From left to right they are: Wildwood by Free Spirit; Bijoux Mod Beads by Heather Bailey for Free Spirit; and Santorini by Lila Tueller for Moda.
And how do you like this retro palm tree print? It's Resort Palm by Michael Miller and I am already picturing it as pajamas.My real find were these two pieces, both so light a shade of green that you probably can't see it. The piece on top has a subtle bamboo design. I've been looking for lights like these to use as a background for embroidery work. Recently Carrie showed some similar piece she's using, and we agreed that super-light value prints like these are hard to find... and perfect for embroidery. See the Crabapple Hill BOM that Carrie's making with her pale green fabric.Until I find the perfect boy fabric - Duke isn't due until November 9 - I think I have a few other things that will keep me busy.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Back at it

If you've noticed the infrequency of my blog posts of late, it's because I've been in Florida for three weeks, getting to know grandson #2, Austin. From my arrival, when I took the picture of him at four weeks (on the left), to my departure at seven weeks (on the right), I think his growth is noticeable. It was so difficult to leave this precious boy who is a very good baby. More than a few tears were shed, mostly by me!
But after two days and more than 1,300 miles in the car (whew) it was nice to again see the rolling countryside of Iowa (it sure isn't as flat as most people believe), covered in corn. A saying goes that corn should be "knee high by the Fourth of July," and there's no doubt this corn is far beyond that.

It's certainly due to the inordinate amount of rain this spring, and especially during the past week. Rivers are breaching their banks and low-lying fields look like ponds.

These pictures were taken on highway 5 near Hartford and Palmya in southern Iowa.

Unexpectedly, we even had to take a detour because highway 5 was closed.

Here at home, everything is green, green, green! Pretty, but it also means it's time for weeding.

It's nice to be back (I'm still missing the baby!), and I plan to spend time with my sewing machine. I'll also be blogging a little about my trip, and other quilt-y doin's.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Those Ruby Slippers... Not!

Ruby slippers? Like Dorothy's shimmery heels that took her back to Kansas? Well, not quite.

When Jenny's blog post suggested a June challenge using denim jeans, I let her know to count me in. I could accomplish two things at once: 1) Make something I intended to make anyway, and, 2) "upcycle" (the correct "green" term) something already worn out.

The something I intended to make is slippers.
The something to upcycle that was already worn out was denim jeans.

In the current issue of Australian Homespun magazine (No. 83) is a pattern for "Ricrac Rose Slippers." To make a customed-size pair of slippers for myself, I began by placing my foot on the sole pattern provided and re-drawing the shape to fit my foot. Then I made plastic templates and cut out two slipper shapes: the sole and the upper. The outside of the slippers are the denim; the inside is the floral print.
Using a size #80 denim needle in my Bernina, I sewed through multiple layers of fabric and Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 batting. After they were sewn, I had difficulties turning each slipper right side out. So much batting and denim together are bulky, and took a bit of wrestling!

But the effort was worth it. After hand-sewing the instep opening closed, and adding a ricrac and button flower I took these pictures. The top two photos are those of the slippers that appear in the magazine. Photos at the bottom are ones I took of my denim slippers.
While mine aren't nearly as femininely pretty and delicate-looking, and are certainly not presentable for public viewing, I'm pleased with them for wearing around the house. They'll be perfect footware in my basement sewing room where it can be on the cool side, even on a hot, sunny day. The denim should also hold up well to occasional machine-washing.
Now that I have a good fit on the pattern, it will be relatively easy to make another pair. Or maybe next time I'll make these cute denim slippers.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


This blog post is all about grandchildren, so if you don't want to see pictures of adorable kids, look no further.

Austin, at five weeks old, is a cutie. He's the most agreeable baby I've met in a long time, especially since he likes the Dino-Monster quilt I made for him!
Our Australia family has been dealing with a nasty 24-hour flu bug. By all reports, Celina is showing herself to be a wonderful big sister, particularly as she fed, changed and played with Tay (nearly nine months old) while mum was sick. Then, Celina came down with the same thing the following day, as did daddy! With Tay working on tooth number two, their household hasn't been much fun lately. But, there's plenty of cuteness going around.
Though Tay isn't crawling yet, he is maneuvering a little more. Recently, during naptime, he had an encounter with his cot. Don't you hate it when that happens?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Embroidery Mini Quilt Swap

A couple weeks ago I showed you this quilt label on the back of my Embroidery Mini Quilt.
What I didn't show you is the front of this 10" X 12" mini.
I stitched it with Cosmo embroidery threads, matching the thread colors to those in the border fabric.
I free-motion quilted it around the border flowers.

The piece is on its way to - or maybe has even arrived - in the Netherlands. To help ensure she likes it, I included some cappuccino mix and a few chocolates.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Flaunt - More Snowflake Medallion

If you check my progress on my commitment to make and finish ten quilts on my Ten in '10 list (see right sidebar), you'll see I've made the donation and giveaway quilts, but I haven't gotten far on the to-finish list. How are other Ten in '10ers doing?

With a little breather on the must-make side of sewing, I pulled out the Snowflake Medallion quilt I started in the spring, 2009. This is my progress on this 80" X 80" quilt.
I've been doing a little of this: hand applique, following the back-basting technique.
Back-basting is now my most favorite method of hand applique.

And a little more of it here.

Then I've been cutting, sewing, pressing and trimming to make 182 half-square triangles
that turn into 48 pinwheel blocks...

...that need to be made into these on-point pinwheels.
Whew. All those precision points that are so hard to achieve! It seems I'll never get them all made. But then, after one more narrow border, the quilt top will be finished.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Origami Bags

Blogless Di B. in Sydney, sent me a photo of a very cute little origami bag she'd made following a tutorial on a Japanese woman's blog. Here. Then, Blogger Di J. showed us the origami bag she'd made! It looks like this tutorial is making its way around the blogosphere.

Of course, I had to make one for myself, and a couple others as gifts. Each bag is easily made from two fat quarters, and ends up about 7" X 7".

If you know me, you'll surely guess which bag is mine. (Yep, the coco palm fabric.) On each side of the bag are two identical exterior flaps. I used my Australian "A Day in the Country" micro-mini dot for the inside.
This bag is made from my recent Lucien fabric purchase.

I'm not sure what I'll be using mine for... jewelry when traveling? Sewing notions? Sunglasses? Di J. is using hers to carry Aurifil threads for hand applique.

They've been fun to make, and they're just plain cute! Thanks for telling me about these, Di and Di!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sixth "Under the Sea" Block

I've just completed this pencil-colored, hand embroidery block: Sorena Seahorse of Willowberry Designs "Under the Sea" BOM. This is the June block that was released a couple weeks ago.
On the bottom right you'll see a crab, and hidden in the rocks is a black eel. Knowing Cheryl Goss, who's designing this series, both the crab and the eel will appear in future blocks, each in their full blown glory.

Cheryl's idea of designing a BOM is so clever. Each block leads the viewer (and stitcher) from one block to the next, just like following a treasure hunt. I'm betting the crab is the July block.


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin