Sunday, September 27, 2009

Swappy stuff

Heart ornament swap.
Covered notebook swap. (Not my best work; I was in too much of a hurry to get this done before leaving on vacation.)
Home Sweet Home quilt square swap.
Home Sweet Home quilt square swap.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Baby quilt

I made this a couple of years ago and when I came across it in my quilt stash, I realized I'd never taken a photo of it. It was a kit that I purchased at The Quilt Asylum in McKinney, TX.

Echo quilted around hearts and stitched in the ditch, all by machine.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


Machine sewn handmade greeting cards, for a swap.

Rose fabric, black lace, black eyelash trim, antiqued paper, all machine sewn to card stock. A bit frou-frou; I hope my swap partner likes it.
Animal print paper, black cotton fabric, faux leather fabric, all stitched to card stock. Lettering done by hand with black gel pen. I think this card could have used a bit more "dressing up," but I couldn't figure out what else to do with it, and I was afraid that anything else I added would look wrong, so I decided to err on the side of caution.(To complicate matters, my swap partner lives in Germany, so I didn't want to load up either card with a lot of English text! "RAWR" seems rather universal. ha ha)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Easy quilt block

Bright Hopes quilt block, made for a swap. Done in sapphire blues in keeping with the birthstone for this month.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Star ornaments again

Having abandoned my original design plan, I read through some quilting books over the weekend and came up with a better idea.

In The Quilter's Catalog, I saw Sue Benner's "Wild and Crazy Fused Ornaments" project. Her ornaments incorporated bits of fused silk, but I took a simpler route and used glittery quilting cottons, red on one side and green on the other. They are quilted and edged with gold metallic thread.

I kind of like the no-frills look of these, but using a more elaborate print or silks would definitely make them pop a bit more.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Embellished reusable bag swap

I actually came up with the idea for this swap! The challenge is to take a ready-made bag (I bought this one at Joann's for $1) and embellish it in any way you like. My partner's favorite colors are purple and green, so I used fabrics in those colors to make quilt blocks to cover the Joann's logo on each side.

Log cabin block with stacked buttons at the block center:

Irish chain block with a string of beads at the center (I should have used a darker purple fabric for better contrast in this block):And a couple of note cards to send along with the bag, just for fun. These are soooo easy to make, and they're a great way to use up little scraps of fabric.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I love this wee birdie. He's only about 4 inches tall. :) His front is a little pocket to hold love notes.

Tutorial at MollyChicken.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Moving on...

Since I'm still having a creative block with those dumb star ornaments, I decided to move on to another project. This one was pretty straightforward: Make a covered journal (I used a composition notebook) that will fit the recipient's tastes. My swap partner likes all things goth, Halloween, skulls, and the like. Not my taste, but I did happen to have some of this pirate skull fabric left over from a do-rag I had made my husband a couple of years ago. Added some black/red fabric, a red zipper and button, and a black ribbon closure. I feel good that I got something done.

Now I really have to figure out what to do about those ornaments...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Star ornaments that don't sparkle

I'm signed up for a Star Ornament swap that's due to be sent out in a couple of weeks, so I started experimenting.

#1 seemed blah to me, even with the usually popular red/white polka dot fabric.
So I tried a livelier fabric. Not crazy about #2, either. Maybe it needs a different button?
Switched gears to a non-Christmasy color combination. Used silver metallic thread and cord to dress it up a bit, but still not sure about #3.
Do you like any of these? Have any suggestions? Apparently my creativity is on an end-of-summer holiday.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Holocaust Museum Butterfly Project

Created for a swap involving the Holocaust Museum's Butterfly Project.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Shabby chic quiltie

I've always liked the shabby chic style. I think if I had stayed single, I probably would have decorated my home that way. Instead, I got married and had 4 kids. So our decor is just shabby, without the chic.

This is a quiltie (also called a doll quilt) I made for a swap. I saw a picture of a pillowcase designed by Holly Holderman (of LakeHouse Dry Goods) at All People Quilt, and modified it for this project. The finished piece is 10 1/2" x 14 1/2" and is hand quilted. I had to tea dye the rick rack to get the off-white color I wanted. (Who knew that no one makes cream-colored rick rack? Every other color but.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Notebook cover - the first one

This was my prototype. It looks good, but I made it too small, so it fits around the notebook very tightly. I don't know how long the zipper will hold out; I fear it's going to be pulled apart by the stretching of the fabric. Ah, well. This was some fabric that was given to me, and I thought it was ugly, but it looks pretty good in this project!

Composition notebook cover

I recently discovered the amazing work of Daily Threads, and made an attempt to copy some of her journal covers. This one is for a swap. I'm not completely happy with the fit of the cover, but it's not bad for a second attempt.

The zipper opens to a pocket under the front cover, where the user can store writing utensils. Cool, huh?!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Using scraps

I signed up for a new swap yesterday, Sew a Quilted Pot-holder, Autumn Themed. By bedtime, I had finished two pot holders. I have a ton of fabric strips, so I was glad to use some of them up in this project. (Barely put a dent in the pile, though.)

Both designs are from Pretty Little Potholders, although I modified them for size.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

It's an addiction.

My sewing machine & fabric. I'm pretty certain I'd shrivel up and die without either one of them.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
So there I was, cutting up some fabric for a layer cake (10" squares) swap, one thing led to another, and a few hours later, I was carrying a new purse.

It's my own design, but really, it's just your basic boxed-bottom rectangular bag. I put 4 pockets on the inside. This is the first time I've made handles like these. I like the feel of them, but because I don't always stitch in perfectly straight lines, I don't think I'd do these again in a plain fabric that shows every stitch. It has a button closure, because I was too lazy to spend the extra time putting in a zipper.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A swap thing, and something for MYSELF.

For the October Holidays quilt block swap. This block pattern is from the Sep/Oct '05 issue of Quiltmaker magazine. (Sometimes it does pay to keep old magazines around... :) )

And because I got a little tired of sending all my creative work away to other people, I made a new tote bag for myself. The pattern is Roomy Patchwork Purse from Better Homes & Gardens, and the fabric (except for the handle) is from Moda's Urban Couture line. The loop-and-button closure was my own addition, and I put pockets in the lining. A bag without pockets is like a car without cup holders, in my opinion.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dress Shop

Another row house swap; this time the assignment was "Dress Shop." Here's where those little embroidered tassel dresses came in handy. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Birdie stuffie

I'll soon be doing my first drop for The Toy Society. I found out about this effort through Swap-Bot, and am part of a group of swappers who will be dropping toys and then sending details of the drop to our swap partners. Since partners won't be assigned for another couple of weeks, I have time to think about where to drop my little blue birdie....

Oh, the details on the bird: He's made from a very soft sweater that I picked up at the thrift store yesterday ($1!), some lime green cotton, a bit of orange felt, two black buttons, and some poly fiberfill. The pattern is from the Spring 2009 issue of Quilts and More.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


More fabric charms to be swapped.

Monday, July 20, 2009

If this keeps up, I'm going to need magnifying lenses.

Oh my. Another project involving little bits and detailed work. After I finish these, I think I'm going to sew a quilt or something BIG.

These are fabric charms. 1" square, made of faux suede, copper and gold metallic threads, iridescent fabric paints in gold and blue/green, gold eyelets, and gold jump rings. (For a swap, of course!)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

little dresses

I attended the recent Martha's Sewing Market in Arlington, Texas, where I happened upon the booth featuring the embroidery designs by My Fair Lady. Had to have some of those little dresses!!

This weekend, I worked on stitching out an assortment in a variety of colors. Some will be used for an upcoming Swap-Bot project; the rest will be added as embellishments to other future projects.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Jessica's quilt

My friend's daughter, Jessica, was one month away from her college graduation when it was discovered that she's got non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. She's halfway through chemo, and so far her scans have been good. (Thank you, God!)

I am sending her this quilt. Her mom tells me Jessa loves all things Asian, so hopefully this will make her happy and keep her warm and comforted on days when she's not feeling so great after treatment.

Front of quilt:
There aren't any borders on the front of the quilt, so as not to detract from the vertical lines in the piecing and quilting.

Back of quilt, in colors black, cream, and light sage green.

Wee pincushion

- one bottlecap
- scraps of felt
- thread
- bit of poly fiberfill
- ribbon
- 2 buttons

Mini pincushion! (To be swapped.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

My red birdie has a friend.

I used different eyes for this guy and I think he looks a little less hypothyroid than the red bird.
I think my next bird will have a little tuft of some fun yarn on top of his head...

Still doing Row House swaps. The theme for this one was Color Choice. I knew I wanted to do a beach cabana, and I thought I might use yellow as my color choice, but once I got started on this, I realized browns and neutrals were going to work best. The curtains were the hardest part, because they kept wanting to be stiff and to stick out in all the wrong places. In the end, I remedied that problem with the twine tie-backs.

The stuff at the bottom that looks unfortunately like flames is actually supposed to be beach grasses. My creations always look so much better in my head than they actually turn out in real life! Argh!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Swap misc.

Holiday quilt blocks.


And another Row House swap - this one is (obviously) a Post Office.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Fabric charms (NOT charm squares)

Swap-bot swap: Fabric Jewelry Charm Swap
I swap with Swap-bot!

I'm jazzed about this. I never even imagined one could make fabric charms until I saw this swap. I find myself waking up in the morning, already thinking about what kinds of charms I can create...

(For the crafting newbie, a fabric charm square is a 5" square that's often packaged with other coordinating 5" squares. This swap is for fabric charms - little jewelry charms of 1"-2", made from fabric, that can be hung from a chain or cord.)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Look at what WE made!

I think this is the first thing my husband and I have ever created together - outside of children. :)

He turned the maple scrap for the base, and I added the fabric pincushion top and hot glued it all together.

This he didn't help with. This is the Holiday Quilt Block Swap block I made for September.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

August quilt block

Over on Swap-Bot, I've been participating in a monthly quilt block exchange in which we have to create a 12.5" block that represents a holiday for each month of the year. Some months are pretty obvious - for February, we all did hearts; for May, most of us did flowers. But others are a little trickier, like August. I was going to do a beach/vacation theme, but then my plan was thrown for a loop when, in the July swap, I had to send to a Canadian swapper. I couldn't very well send her an American flag block (!), so she got my beach block instead. (I appliqued a seashell on fabric that resembles sand, and could kick myself for forgetting to photograph it before sending it off.)

So my August block ended up being a watermelon slice. To make the seeds, I cut my own little seed stencil from cardstock and stamped the fabric with black ink.

And, as a reminder to myself, here are the block themes I used for all the months so far.
February - stitch and split heart
March - stitch and split shamrock
April - umbrella on "rain" fabric embellished with crystal raindrops
May - appliqued tulips in 3 colors
June - wedding cake embellished with embroidery stitches and appliqued lace
July - seashell on sand
August - watermelon slice

For future blocks, I'm planning:
September - stitch and split apple
October - stitch and split pumpkin
November - autumn leaves?
December - something Christmas-y. Maybe a tree or holly leaves, or a stocking?
January - snowflake

Gnome Sweet Gnome

Another Row House swap; this one is a gnome house. I'm kind of aggravated that my trees look like palm trees. I guess these are retired gnomes, living in Florida.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Amigurumi (No, I don't know how to pronounce it. Look it up.)

Amigurumi are little crocheted animals, critters, and generally non-human things, with a cuteness factor times 100.

This is my very first attempt at amigurumi; I used a free pattern I found at Bittersweet. I'd like to make a little flock to accompany this guy (girl?), and then I'm going to try an amigurumi tea cup pincushion (pattern at Lion Brand Yarn site).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Should I be hoping to win this?

What was I thinking? – The Ugly Quilt Contest

My entry is my ADD Vegetable Quilt:

And here is a close-up of its amazing awfulness.

It's okay if you just threw up in your mouth a little. I did, too.