Friday, November 28, 2008

A Sweatshirt Jacket

Today I made another little girl's sweatshirt jacket. The cute jacket has horses that I stitched around with a blanket stitch. There are three additional horses on the back. The mane, tail, and horseshoes are made from chenille by the inch. This is another project from the booklet by Fran Morgan titled So Precious Sweatshirts. Her sweatshirts are very cute!
We had Thanksgiving dinner with our daughter and family in Pomona. She did a great job of cooking the meal. We did see our three great granddaughters. One is three years old and the other two are a year old. They are such fun.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Great Wednesday

Today I have been working on a little girl's fancy sweatshirt jacket. I have it finished except for the buttons. This one will be a sample for the Overbrook Quilt Shop, but I am making three others for greatgranddaughters. One will be made like this one but the two others will be different. They are in a booklet by Fran Morgan called So Precious Sweatshirts which has six different styles. The butterfly is mostly made of chenille by the inch. It just makes the jacket so cute.
I finally ordered a new alphabet to try again on the design I am working on from my last post. The space in the middle of the letter must be relatively wide and that was very hard to find. I'll try another sample when I get a few minutes.
I made a trip to Kohl's to buy a mixer my DIL wanted. She wanted a certain Kitchen Aid mixer that was in the sale flyer. Well, I took one to the check-out and it was not the right one. So she called housewares to bring one and she brought the same one I had and then decided it was not the right one after looking at the flyer. So back we go to housewares to look--this woman had to be 70 or so--and she showed me one but it still was not the one in the ad. So up to the warehouse area and comes back and says it is in the stack in the aisle. Well it still was not the right one so back upstairs. 10 minutes later--and after conversing with a nice gentleman about Calphalon and finally telling him just to buy whatever his wife wants--she comes back with another gal who said they were out of the mixer in the flyer. So I ask her if I can have the $25 off on another one and she decides it is okay and heads to the checkout with me and I have the first one I picked up! So she has the cashier ring up the price (which was $50 off the regular price) and then gives me the sale flyer price (another $50 lower) and then deducts the $25 coupon I would get and then I get 15% off for senior citizen discount and get a $35 special Wednesday coupon. So the $350 mixer actually cost me a total of $175. And it is red--the color that Della wanted. But it took about 45 minutes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I put some finishing touches on the apron with a pocket--I can't believe that I made the pocket and forgot to put it on. I also embroidered the sewing group's name and year on the bib of the apron. So it is boxed and ready to wrap.

The quilt shop in Burlingame has cloth dish towels, so I have put some angel redwork designs on 7 of them. Now I am hunting for some woodsy type of designs for another set.

Today I have been working on a design that I saw on America Sews. It was a quick explanation and so I have been trying different techniques to get the right look. Embroider a rather large outline alphabet of some kind on a t-shirt that you have put some coordinating fabric behind. After finishing the embroidery--cut a line into the middle of the letters on the t-shirt so that the backing fabric will show through. I just don't have the right kind of alphabet the has a wide enough space to show the fabric underneath. I'll just keep looking to find the alphabet I think will work. I'll show you a picture after I have washed and dried the shirts.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Apron Exchange

Today was spent helping out at the Overbook Quilt Connection shop. This is the Christmas open house with many new products from market in Houston.
So I had a few minutes to sew this morning and then finished my apron this evening. The apron is a cook's apron from Indygo Junction. My picture does not do it justice--it just does not have wrinkles. I should have had my husband model it for the picture!!?? This will be a gift for an apron exchange at my sewing group in December.

One new product that I really like is Mary Ellen's spray. It is a mild starch product that goes on gently and does not leave any flakes. I was not going to try it but eventually did and now I love it. It is great to use for sewing and on those clothes with stubborn wrinkles.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kansas Postcard

Today I finished the sweatshirt for the quilt shop and took it in to them. I just had to get four black buttons from their basket to put on the last little touch. The quilt shop looks nice decorated for the holidays and playing great Christmas music.

The picture is of the postcard that I sent for my latest postcard exchange. The theme was fall and I chose sunflowers because they are at their very brightest during fall along the roadways. The background fabric is one printed for the central Kansas quilt shops for a hop. I especially love the subtle sunflowers in the background of the fabric, the towns of the shops, and the Kansas symbols. I also sent one to a friend in Texas who adores sunflowers. She should get her postcard in a couple of days. I sent a golf postcard to another friend in Amarillo.

Now I can get back to working on Christmas gifts.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Busy day

I had an old quilt that someone had given me. It had that dirty yellow grunge on it, so I used some "Restoration" to wash it. I soaked it for 30 minutes in the washing machine and then spun out the water. Then I soaked it overnight and washed it the next day. Some of the fabric was frayed so I decided to make some stuffed animals from the quilt. I used a simple pattern that has just two pieces. They are quick to make and look great.

Today I have been working on a sweatshirt with a cat design. I have the cat, tabs, and pocket finished. Tomorrow I will work on the facings.

Last night was a fun night. I went to the KU basketball game with my son, wife, and granddaughter. We had such a great time. Our seats were in the fourth row behind the KU bench. We saw the unveiling of the 2008 NCAA Champ banner before the game--that make the whole auditorium rock! I enjoyed watching new players starting to become a team.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Machine Embroidery Lesson

Today Elaine and I went to Topeka to the Bernina dealer for T-N-T 2008 or embroidery tips and techniques. The class was taught by Kevin, a Bernina educator. He was quite knowledgeable about the machines and the techniques, but his delivery was hard for me to attend to for six hours. There were a lot of colorful, maybe off-color, statements between him and the more youthful members of the audience. We sat with three other ladies at the machines to complete the embroidery techniques. One of my tablemates and one at the next table were friends and spent a great deal of time talking very loudly to each other. My ears are not as good as they were when I was younger, so I have to listen carefully to hear someone at the front of the room. It was fun to meet some new embroidery friends, see Joan and Suzy--old friends, have a few times during the day to check out new fabrics and patterns, and get some new embroidery ideas.

I enjoyed knowing more about the Bernina 640 that was at our table, found out some new techniques, and learned about several new-to-me products--like 606 a permanent spray used in machine applique and aquamesh plus. One new idea was to embroidery the tops of tall boots. The secret is to find a boot that has a zipper the goes into the arch area so the top can be flattened for embroidery and the bottom of the boot must be held during embroidering. One of the patterns used on towels was a mola design. They looked great on the towels. One suggestion was to do test-stitchouts on felt because it is so cheap and if it distorts, the design needs some work. We did get a CD of the three embroidery projects. One project was started with fabric paints and then had embroidery added--it was only a discussion project because it takes 12 hours for the paint to dry. I would rather have had a hand-on project.

It is always fun to have new ideas to think about.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fabric Postcards

I have been working on postcards for an exchange. I am a couple of weeks late for the exchange but will have them completed tomorrow or Saturday. I was going to do a small landscape of the Flint Hills in fall but it just did not look like I wanted. Then I thought about using the beautiful trees that I have in the yard or the ones I took as I went to Overbrook this week. In the end, I decided to use some special fabric I received from a quilter friend that was printed for the central Kansas shop hop. The fabric is a soft green with sunflowers in the background and Kansas symbols and shop hop towns printed on the fabric. I know they are not works of art but I really like the fabric. I'll show you the cards when I have them completed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sewing and Sewing

Last week at Bernina sewing group our project was a kitchen towel with prairie points. I brought the project home to make. It will make a nice small gift for someone.

I have been busy for a couple of days with making Christmas presents. So I am sorry to say you will get no clues and no pictures for a while because my grandkids may be reading my blog. Most of the things I have been doing are either embroidery or serging. I love both.

One of the tools I have been using is electric scissors from Black and Decker. It is my tool of choice to cut around pattern pieces. I am cutting up an old quilt and they make the task very easy. I bought them for $10 at Lowes last year. They usually go on sale after Christmas.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Learning Day

Friday was a great day. I went to a quilter friend's house to help her feel more comfortable with machine embroidery and machine applique. She had admired my Wildflowers quilt that is machine applique and has the pattern for it. We spent the day putting her machine through its paces. She has a Bernina 630 and I have a 440, so some of the time was figuring out the correct symbol to touch on her machine. We had a fun time learning together and sharing our current projects. She has a couple of quilts in the works and I showed her one of the Christmas presents I am making for grandkids. She also has Designer Plus V5 and we played with it on her computer so she would have the basic skills to start designing.

Great friend, great lunch, great day.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sample for the Quilt Shop

I just finished a sample for the quilt shop in Overbrook. It is one of the patterns that we purchased from a designer at the Houston Quilt Market. She designs under the name of Lunch Box Quilts. It is an easy quilt to make and great for a beginner. I forgot to take a picture of the one I made, so this is one from the front of the pattern. There is also a large bed quilt.
At my Bernina dealer, I purchased a 20 inch fuzzy bear that can be embroidered. So that is going to be my next project. I have some special icons that I want to use with each of my special friends. I'll get a picture before I wrap them.
The weather has turned cold and blustery here in Kansas. Winter seems to think it can just roar its way into our lives. Arizona is looking better each day.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Home from the Houston Quilt Show

The doors are opening and the crowd is starting.

Thanks to a wifi system that wouldn't work at our hotel, I have not had the ability to connect to the Internet since last weekend. I have a few pictures, but we were so busy that I was not able to get pictures that show the true picture of the crowds. The aisles were packed with people from early in the morning until closing each day. We would arrive at the convention center at least an hour before the show started. This gave us time to restock the Overbrook Quilt Connection booth and then have time to visit other booths to check out their wares.

There were 20+ rows of vendors of every variety. All major sewing machines were represented. Many quilt personalities were there, including Ricky Tims, Eleanor Burns (we also saw her at a local quilt shop purchasing fabric), Mark Lipinski, Jenny Haskins, Nancy Zieman, and others I missed seeing. One of the hot sellers at the show was a mechanical chalk pencil from Bohin in France. It is so easy to use. Look for it at your local quilt shop. One of our big sellers was the Quilt-a-Card, which I demonstrated. It made people smile when they saw how easy it was to make a unique card. You can order them from the Overbrook Quilt Connection. Our booth had many quilts and patterns from Vicky Lawrence of Prairie's Edge Patchwork. The quilt shop has many kits for her patterns. Her Mountain Lily pattern was our best seller.
Sharon Shamber, once again, won top honors at the quilt show with a red and soft brown quilt. The winner of the thread quilt category was an embroidery quilt that had a small amount of quilting but was mostly embroidery. The lace design around the edge came from Zundt.

One of the cutest displays was this shirt at the Rowenta booth that was made with 25 yards of pink fabric.