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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Remember the Cardinal Table Runner?

Well, here it is on the table I did for dinner yesterday.

I like it much more than I thought I would!

If you are into tablescaping, you can read more about this table by clicking here.

Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Can Patchwork be Elegant?

In the words of a controversial rogue politician, "You betcha!"

This one is really making my heart sing. I am planning to make 12 of these 15-inch blocks for a Christmas tree skirt. Once again I am using a Carol Doak pattern. (Block #240 with the top star omitted and #34 fro 300 PP blocks. The gift center is block #75).

Here are the two star fabrics. Can you believe that this fabric with gold fish and elephants would be used in a Christmas project? I thought it was just the fabric needed to give a shimmer of gold throughout the secondary star fabric.
Here is a close up of one block. See the elephant legs?
A project like this with golden highlights is exactly what I had in mind when I purchased this fabric months ago. I never shy away from fabric with unusual designs. I know that once I cut it up, it will not even resemble the original pattern.

All in all I am pleased as punch with this one.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cardinal Bird Table Runner

On Christmas Eve morning, I came across these two 12-inch cardinal blocks that I completed some time ago. I decided it was time to do something with them.

If I made just one center block and two triangle ends, I could have a table runner. I started on the center block that very morning.

I really just wanted to get this one done, so I made it very simple. The center block will be covered with a centerpiece when it's on the table anyway.

Throughout the holiday I worked on it when I had a spare hour between cooking, etc.

Sunday I made the binding and spent a couple of hours sewing it to the back by hand.
I put a cardinal bird on each triangular end.

And now I have one less UFO.

   Here is the table I set with this runner:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I've Decided to Abandon the Tree Skirt Project

............sort of. I have made about half of the 64 blocks that
I would need and am not enthused about making 32 more.

So I am going to stop now. This won't be a UFO.

Oh, no, I plan to finish the project today.

They are going to become chair backs to tie in the tree color throughout the family room.

This is where the tree is in relation to the chairs.

The garland on the entertainment center has a lot of big bronze poinsettias.

Right now I have decided I like the fabric I am already using as a tree skirt.
Heather had a great idea to use them as tree "scarves"....I can just tuck them among the gift packages if I feel like I want a color punch under the tree.

I can also use them as table runners.
I can put them end to end and make an 8-ft. long runner--Cool! I've never had a table runner that long before.

Now that I have freed up a big chunk of time, I can begin reading the book I just picked up at the library.
I have had it on hold since the week before Thanksgiving and it finally arrived. I hope it's good because I do love to get engrossed in a Christmas quilting novel.

Last week Anya posted about seeing Julie and Julia. I then remembered that it was out on DVD, so I had DH pick it up and last night we watched and enjoyed it. Thanks, Anya, for reminding me that I needed to get this movie.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tree Skirt Progress

So far I have made 24 6-inch blocks. I put them together to get an idea of what the skirt would look like.

A full tree skirt would require 64 six-inch blocks. I don't think I want to do that much work for a skirt I may only use a couple of times before I tire of the color scheme. I will decide tomorrow.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Patti is Having a Giveaway!

Don't miss this special holiday event! It's special enough that I am posting it on two of my blogs.

My friend, Patti, at Osage Bluff Quilter is giving away one of her handcrafted paper mache Santas.

Actually she is giving away two of them, plus a quilting pattern and some quilting fabric so hurry on over and sign up.

Be sure to mention in your comment that Zoey sent you...that way I get an extra chance to win -- oh, that is soooo very selfish of me, isn't it? Really, I would be just as thrilled if one of my readers ended up being the lucky winner.
Now Rush on here and it will take you right to the correct post.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's a Good Thing I Have a Vision Exam After Work Today

Yesterday I was working on the elf blocks.

I completed two of them, ironed them and even took them out to the dining room to pin on the chair backs. I was testing them to see if I wanted to make holiday chair backs. Not until I tossed it down on the floor did I notice that the block next to the elf was sewn on wrong!

How could I have missed that? I have to pick it all out and resew it.

I am still not sure if these will become a table runner, chair backs or a tree skirt.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nonconventional Christmas Tree Skirt Colors

These colors don't scream Christmas to many people. But I think they may work nicely for my tree this year. I have been into the more contemporary colors for the past few years.
Aqua, green and bronze are the colors I have used.

I will need at least 12 of these 12-inch blocks (48 six inch blocks). Hmmmmmmmm..........that's a lot of sewing in a short time.

I think I will give it a try. This is an easy pattern. Once I cut out all the pieces, it should go fast.

I removed all of the red/green from the table I did a few days ago. Now the dining room works better with the tree.

DH and I had dinner there tonight and will for the remainder of the season. It's a big table for two people, but we just set two places on the end, so we can see the tree. I expanded the table today so it's all set for my Christmas Eve party. I like to get everything done well in advance.

I hope all of your holiday preparations are going well.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Remember the Christmas Runner I Made?

Here it is taking center stage on the table I did this morning:

The mini quilt on the chair back is one I made about 20 years ago - back in my pre-paper piecing days.
Those were some tiny pieces to cut out!

If tablescapes interest you, I wrote a bit more about this one on my tablescaping blog. Just click here.


SewCalGal is hosting a Virtual Christmas Quilt Show. I just linked up to her post and am heading over there to spend a few of my Sunday afternoon hours touring all of the holiday projects. If that sounds like fun, you can do it, too! Just click here. She has presents to give away, too!

I also made a couple of snowman-themed quilts that I drape over the chairs this time of the year.

This is the first quilt I have made that is machine quilted. My sister quilted it on her long arm machine. There is a lot to be said for the speed factor of machine quilting. I was amazed to see how difficult it really is to use on of those machines. It takes an incredible amount of skill to machine quilt.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Patchwork Christmas Stockings on the Dinner Table

I finished six of the little patchwork stockings.

I made them to use on my dinner table!

For what?

Well, how about as name tag holders.....

It's a great way to tie in the colors you need for your table.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I May Put the Elf in a Star

This is what I worked on last night.

I have not sewn it yet because I am not sure if this is what I want to do. So far I have made two elf blocks. I could make one more and put all three in a star like this one and turn it into a 45-inch long Christmas table runner.

I am leaning in that direction. I use lots of elves like the ones below in my Christmas decorating:

So I think an elf runner would go with my elf theme.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Free Elf PP Pattern -- There is Still Time for a Christmas Project

I was in the mood to make something tonight, but had no idea what. I pulled out some patterns from one of my boxes full and it was this cute elf. I can't remember when I printed it out. Luckily it had the url on the bottom, so I can give credit to the pattern maker, Jennifer Ofenstein.
If you want to make this elf, you can get the free pattern on this page of her website, Sew Hooked.

It's pretty easy. I don't remember the exact time I started, but I think it took a little over an hour to complete. I have no idea what I will end up doing with it. It finishes at 5-inches square.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Black/Red Tote Bag is Finished

This was a fun project to make. It was pretty quick and easy.
Doesn't this look like a mess? LOL. Once it was turned right side out, it looked much better. I like the size - higher than it is wide - 13 inches high by 11 inches wide.

Did you notice that I used the red braided handles that I bought on sale last week?

I also used some magnetic clasps that I bought a couple of months ago.

This is the first time I have used these. There were no directions on how to put them on, but I figured it out pretty quickly. Basically you just make a slit in the fabric for each prong, stick the top through, then put the backing over the prongs and bend them down (use something like a dinner knife to help you bend them down). Put one on the top and one on the bottom and the magnetic force will just snap them together when they get close.

The magnetic hold is not super strong. It's more for show than functionality.

I attached a fabric-covered button with a lot of hot glue to cover the ugly clasp.
I think the glue will hold up well because it's just decorative and there will be no pressure on it.

The button fabric is the same as the lining of the tote.

This tote is the perfect size to hold magazines. We go on a lot of weekend overnight trips and I like to bring magazines/books to read in the car, so I think this will work nicely for that.

I have already started my next quick and easy project. Here is a sneak peek.

Any idea what I am making? You can see it's a patchwork stocking, but what do you think I will do with it?

It's just small -- maybe six inches high.

I will show you what I am doing with them later this week.
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