Tuesday, December 27, 2011

On deck

I hope all of you had a great last few days!  We certainly did!  The last of my Christmas presents just arrived this morning...  The Electric Quilt 7 computer program!!  My DH ordered it all by himself!!  Is that sweet or what?  It's his birthday today, so I'm going to have to find a way to say both thanks, and Happy Birthday!!

I got a few presents made for my kids... fleece pajamas and I made this ipod cover for my youngest, with plans to make another for my oldest.  Maybe I'll do a tutorial for it here next year (LOL).

I have my Summer Sampler Series "on deck", all pin-basted, and ready to quilt, but it'll have to wait, since I'll be playing with my new toy for a while, I'm sure!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Gal's Pal Quilt

Can you keep a secret?  My furry pal sure can!!  I probably spend more time with this critter than I do with my family on a day to day basis.  Dog's aren't just man's best friend, they're real gal pals too! 

My dog has gone for over a year now without chewing up a single pillow or blanket, so I decided that it's time to make him a quilt!  Maybe it's just a sign that I have made way too many quilts, maybe I'm crazy, but I think he deserves it LOL.  He gives me unconditional love, never asks "What's for dinner?" (never complains about what he gets for dinner), and makes me laugh and smile on a daily basis.  He's also my personal trainer (daily mandatory walks, no matter what the weather), and household alarm system.  He brings a lot of joy to all of us!

I'm not telling my family the quilt is for him, but there's a few clues that I sewed into the quilt.  I wonder if they'll find them.  It'll be fun to see.  But you got to keep it a secret too until they find them!

I hope all of you have a great Christmas and holiday season!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Churn Dash Quilt done!

My churn dash quilt is all quilted, bound, washed, and ready just in time for Christmas, although, it's going over 3000 miles by mail, so it probably won't get there in time, but it'll be close!  It's always hard to make a quilt for someone else, but hopefully she'll like it!

I made a few pillow cases to "wrap" the quilt in.  I love the way these turned out!  Pillowcases are so easy to make, and make great "wrapping paper".

I also was able to get my next quilt all pin basted and ready to go!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Churn Dash Quilt top Done!

What I really should be doing is sewing up more Kindle covers, but instead I'm trying to get this quilt done in time for Christmas.  Hmmm...  The top's all done, and the back is all ready to sew up.  Hopefully I can pin baste it today, and start quilting!  We had one nice day of sunshine, but are back to freezing fog again (which means low light, and not so great pictures...).  I hope all of you are getting your holiday sewing done!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Newest (Pendleton wool) stash material!!

I feel so lucky to live in the same place that makes the amazing Pendleton wool blankets.  It's one of only a few remaining textile mills left in the USA.  I've heard that they have an amazing outlet store in Portland, but even here in Pendleton we can still get some really good deals.  The back room of their mill store has true "2nd" blankets for incredible prices... ones that are slightly imperfect, and that's an understatement.  We've taken many friends and family there for tours and shopping, and I always have to call a sales person over to show me the "defect", and often they can't even find it.  This place brings a new definition to the word quality. 

In the same room, they have a few "surprise bins" that they put remnants in.  I've found some really neat fabric in there from time to time.  Today was no exception!  I saw this wool blanket / upholstery remnant there, marked down to $37 (66 inches by 36 inches).  It has to be the most beautiful piece I've ever seen in the bargain bins.  Even marked down (it's normally $50/yrd), it's still probably the most expensive single yard of fabric that I've ever bought, but I'm calling it an early Christmas present for me. 

I'm torn between trying to make something to sell on Etsy or making something just for me!  It seems crazy that a person selling on Etsy from Pendleton Oregon wouldn't take advantage of our mill, but mark-downs are still rare, and this fabric is expensive (but worth it).  With such a big print, I'm thinking a nice jacket, vest, or big purse, maybe a back pack...  pillows, a scarf?  I'm even tempted to collaborate with my oh-so-good-at-woodworking husband to make a piece of furniture..... haha, would THAT be a true test of our marriage or what LOL?!?!  Any other ideas?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

'Tis the Season...

Lately, I've been spending a whole lot of time at this place, helping my sons' boy scout troop sell Christmas trees.  We've had a long-ish spell of freezing fog to coincide with it too, beautiful, but cold, and icy! 
Today, the sun is really trying hard to peek through the fog.  I sure hope it does!  Luckily, I have a lot of warm winter clothes from living in Northern Michigan, but it's still given me a whole new appreciation for those who work outdoors this time of year.

I did manage to send off a few hand made gifts this year.  I found these ultra-cute paper dolls printed on fabric at our local quilt store this summer, and bought up enough to make some for my nieces.  All I did was fuse the fabric to some fusible fleece, then cut it all out.  No sewing involved, and a perfect thing to do while watching TV at night.

I also had a personal request to make a replacement purse for another niece, after she lost her purse in a store.  Welcome to the world young lady!  At least she's not old enough to carry a credit card and drivers' license! 

I also had to order batting on-line, after driving to the closest Jo-anns, an hour away, and they were all sold out!  Booooo.  Luckily they had it on-line half off, with free shipping.  But it took forever to get here.  Now I can finally put some quilts together (once I find some time).  I also decided to send my Bliss Quilt to my intended recipient (another niece... my SIL and BIL have 4 beautiful girls, and my brother and SIL have 1).  I still feel bad that the quilting isn't great, but luckily it is a really pretty quilt.

I hope all of you are enjoying the season!  Yes, there's always a ton to do, but it's also a nice time to reconnect, help others and to remember that the best gifts are those that don't cost a cent.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Making Hay While the Sun Shines (more Kindle covers)

Now that I'm feeling well again, I've been trying to make up for lost time by sewing up more Kindle covers for my Etsy shop.  Selling has picked up quite a bit, so I'm trying to take advantage of it while I can!  The cover above is actually a large tablet cover I custom made for a good friend of mine.  She was my first room mate here in Oregon, when we were both working as wildlife biologists.  She also introduced me to my husband!

Here's a peek at the ultra-simple way I photograph my covers for Etsy.  It's proof that you don't need anything too fancy.  Our camera is a basic point and shoot Cannon Power Shot.  It's great!  I love the way it takes "micro" images, up close.  Now that it's winter, I'm again enthralled at all of the beautiful ice crystals that form each night, including these that I took a picture of this morning.

I also have to brag and show off my husband's latest creation... he's making us a new shed!!  Yea!!!  Yes, I know, I'm very lucky to have a guy who knows how to build and work with wood and construction!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Coming up for air (gulp), plus a few more postcards

Lately, I've been the kind of sick where I only worry about the survival needs of my family.  Even my husband has stepped in and helped out by making a few meals and braving Wal-Mart to get my antibiotics.  All quilting is at a stand still, and even Etsy has taken a back seat.  I'm finally on the mend, but my energy has been totally drained.  Thank goodness for the miracle of antibiotics, prescription cough medicine, and OTC meds!  I hope to be back in full swing soon! 

I'm just coming up for air to say hi, and to share a few more postcards that I managed to get done in the last week for swaps and for my mom's birthday (top).  My mom taught me to sew, among many other things, but her real passion is music.  This seems perfect for her!! 

The 2 swaps are "Favorite Winter Activity", and "Northern Lights".  I hope the winter group gets my ironic sense of humor LOL, I just couldn't resist!  All joking aside, though, when we lived in Northern Michigan (Gaylord, our closest town, averages 150 inches of snow a year), shoveling snow was a chore I really didn't mind.  It had a meditative quality to it, got me outdoors, and I really do love snow, so being out in it, even with a shovel wasn't bad at all.  I even got to see the Northern Lights while we lived there, which was an experience I'll never forget!  My dad was alive then, and the first thing I did was to call him and my mom to tell them about it as I stood out in the cold in amazement, so it's an especially fond memory for me.  I really was stumped with the NL swap until the very last minute.  Like my microscope quilt, it's very hard to represent light with fabric, but once I found the sheer red ribbon and sheer green fabric in my stash, it all came together!