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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Zebra Tapestry Fabric

I was at Joanne's Fabric store yesterday afternoon and I bought 8 yards of this zebra tapestry fabric.
 It was on the flat fold table and was $6.00/yd.  They had 50% off that table, so it was reduced to $3/yd.  Then I used my 20% off  card they sent me, which was going to expire on Friday.  So I paid less than $2.50/yd!  What a bargain!

This morning I started cutting and sewing.  I did not realize what a mess tapestry fabric is--threads everywhere--I had to use some sticky lint remover sheets to get it off the carpet.  By the way, that's a good tip--if you have tons of threads on the floor and don't want them to get tangled in your vacuum cleaner, lint remover sheets work great to get the majority off the floor.

After about 4 hours, I had my project done. Any idea what I might be making?  Did you notice that plate up toward the top of the first photo?  That zebra plate is the reason I bought this fabric.

You can see what I did with it by clicking here to get to my tablescape blog.

What a fun project day I had! This entire project took less time than making one of the paper-pieced snowman blocks!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It Takes 5 hours to Make One of these Paper-Pieced Snowman Blocks

 I know that because I just finished sewing for 5 straight hours to complete one--not even a coffee  break  (If anyone is considering buying this pattern from Paper Panache, I thought you might like to get an idea of the time involved). This guy is so darn cute that I think he is worth every minute.

 Now I have two somewhat different snowmen.
Of course I made a few time-consuming errors, like having to redo this piece because I did not leave a seam allowance.  I did not discover the error until I was sewing all the sections together and this one did not quite fit.

I could not believe I did that!  I also missed the same arm piece I messed up on the first block and had to do a little picking out and resewing.  I think I could complete a block in an hour less if I did not have to fix any errors.

I like scarf #2 way better than #1. Right from the pattern picture I did not like the scarf with that contrasting band through the middle, so this time I made everything blend in.  I also like the darker brown arms on #2. 

I plan to make them all slightly different. It's much more fun than making the exact same block six times.  I think the gift will be the blue/green polka dot fabric of the tree in #2.  Maybe #3 will have a purple hat and scarf and a red bow on the gift...if I use some of the same fabrics then they will all go together when placed around the table.  I will have to make at least one more with the lighter arms, so he does not stick out from all the others. 

My challenge to myself is to make the next one without having to redo any of the 20 units!  (I thought there were only 19 sections, but I just counted and there are 20) I probably won't show any more until I get them all done.  I am hoping to have them done by the end of January. If I don't do them all right away, I will end up using the fabric I need for something else.  Been there, done that--way too many times!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gifts from My Talented Sister

I have a sister who also loves to sew. She has five sewing machines--Juki quilting machine, embroidery machine, serger, etc.  We had our family Christmas Eve party at her home. I left with all of this loot!
The peace sign  fabric items are luggage tags. There is a rice pack, a little make-up bag, a pin cushion, some mittens, a pair of knitted socks, and a little sewing accessory holder that goes over the arm of a favorite chair.

She took us all into her sewing room and had us pick items from her boxes of neatly-organized gifts, like these pincushions....
The mittens have nice embroidery detail. Here we all are modeling our mittens:

Oh, I almost forgot--she also made us all a pair of knitted slippers. I am wearing them right now. Hang on while I run to get my camera and take a picture.  

Look how they match my polka dot holiday jammies!

Thank you Sister T for all the wonderful gifts. You are a very generous sewer/knitter.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snowman Chair Covers?

It was not quite as easy as I expected to complete all the sections for Mr. Snowman.  I had three wrong pieces in this pre-assembly jigsaw, which I did not discover until I began sewing them all together. Tiny lettering of  bl2 and br2 are pretty hard to differentiate when you are  sewing along in a paper piecing daze--I had a blue tree trunk and a blue hand before I redid them.
But I finally figured it all out and got the 16-inch block finished.
Now I am thinking of making 5 more and turning them into chair covers for my dining room.  I pinned one on a different chair cover to get an idea of what it would look like. Hmmmm...perfect size....
I could use them for at least six weeks each year. It would be a lot of work to make five more and then make the covers, but I have 11 months to get them finished.   We shall see.

Aimee, is the gift box the polka dot fabric you were asking about?  If so, it came from Joanne's just a few weeks ago.  Since Joanne's is the only fabric store in my town, most of my fabric comes from there.

I hope everyone is enjoying the last few hours of their Christmas weekend.  I know I had a busy and fun weekend.  It feels good, though, to have it all over.  Now I can just sit at the computer and check out the blogs.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mr. Snowman has only 3 More Pieces to Go

I sewed for about two hours and accomplished a lot last night.

Once I get the last three pieces down, I have to figure out to the puzzle goes together. . . not always an easy task!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snowman Paper-Pieced Block is Underway

I was thrilled Saturday to get my Paper Panache patterns.  I decided to make the snowman first. Whoa---there are a lot of pieces to this 16-inch block- A to T  - I think that is 19 different sections.  These patterns come without the seam allowances, so I had to cut them all out and then add seam allowances to each piece  before I could even begin to sew.  That is a major task and I don't really like doing it. It set me back at least a day in beginning to sew.
Here are all 19 sections---I bet you are thinking that they don't look all that intimidating.

Finally this morning I was ready to begin sewing.  I only had about twenty minutes before I had to leave for work so I picked three pieces that should have been very easy to sew.  I guess I was trying to hurry too much because I made two mistakes and had to redo them!

Now that I am home from work, I am ready to sew a few more.  Here are the 3 completed sections and the 16 sections that still need sewing...

I think they  may look slightly more intimidating when viewed individually!  I just hope I don't continue to make silly errors like I did this morning! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

That's My Plan, But I Can't Guarantee that I will Stick to it!

My mind was racing like crazy this morning as I thought about what to do with the tree blocks. 

Since they are snowy, they would look great with the 16-inch snowman block that I ordered from Paper Panache.  I just need to figure out how to make them fit as a border. Why do I always do this backwards?  If I had made the snowman first, then I would have made the tree blocks at whatever size I needed.  But, no, that would make too much sense! LOL. Anyway I already made the trees as 7-inch finished blocks, so that is what I need to work with.

So I will need to add a border around the snowman block - 5 inches to get to 21 which is divisible by 7. Since there are two sides, the border needs to be half of 5 inches, or 2.5 inches.

So I am thinking a snowball block would be perfect.  Imagine the snowballs being white, not blue as you see here with my amateurish attempt see what it would look like.

I think I would also need to add a .75-inch border around the snowman to make the 2.5-inch snowballs fit..don't even try to follow my mathematical thought line.....I am confused myself! This pic is not to scale - I would need 7 2.5" snowballs across the bottom + one in each corner.  9 snowballs x 2.5 inches = 22.5 inches.   Snowman block at 16 inches + .75 inch border + .75 inch border + 2.5 snowball + 2.5 snowball = 22.5 inches!  It sounds like it would work. 

It would like something like this:

and this part would finish at 35 x 35 inches. It would be a nice medallion center for a king-size quilt. But, oh my, that would be a ton more work.   I think I will have to think of something smaller.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Tree Blocks

 I have been waiting to get the new foundation pieced patterns I ordered. I thought for sure they would be here today and was disappointed to see they were not when I got home from work.  I guess it takes a few days longer than normal to get from CA to MI during the holiday rush.

Since I had the urge to sew I settled on some 7-inch winter tree blocks.

 These three traditional trees took a bit less than one hour to complete.   They are nice, but predictable.  I decided to do three more contemporary trees.
 I like these fun polka dot trees. They are so whimsical.  I wonder how they would work together with the traditional blocks.....
I think I like them together. What do you think?  I have no idea what I will do with these, but I have satisfied my urge to create something tonight.  One day they will tell me what they should be.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's so Exciting to Begin a New Mystery Block

Paper Panache just put out the new mystery block. It is Christmas themed,  and I am in the mood to make a Christmas block, so I started it today.
There are a lot of pieces to this one.

and only 5 fabrics. These are the 5 I chose with guidance from the directions.

They are pretty dull. I hope the block looks better when it's finished.

I made Block A and was surprised to see what evolved.
 Before I made this block, I thought  that it would be some sort of Christmas star....... now I am baffled.....obviously this is a bow, but it seems way too big to be a gift under a tree (as the color of he fabric would lead me to believe). 

These mysteries are such fun.  If you want to do it, too, you can get the free pattern here. 

There are also patterns for sale on this site. I have been enjoying the free patterns for the past couple of years and decided it was time I bought something. So very early yesterday morning, I bought six of the cutest patterns!  One of them was this newly-created snowman. How adorable!
I can't wait to start him. If you want to see the other patterns I bought, I posted them on my other blog yesterday. Click here.

Is anyone else doing this mystery block?

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