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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cute Paper-Pieced Santa Decoration

Patti, from Osage Bluff, sends me the cutest pattern links. Patti lives in the state I was born in and we seem to be so much alike that we joke we were sisters separated at birth.

Patti recently sent an I-think-you-will-like-this email with this link from a site called Pinwheelponders. (fifth row, last one).  And sure enough I liked it so much that I have already made it.  It's super cute and super duper easy. I think it took about 15 minutes to make.

Isn't he adorable?  A big thank you to Pinwheelponders for giving us this pattern and to Patti for passing along the link.

It also makes a very cute bag ornament for those who like to add a personal touch to their gift bags.

I used a Sharpie for the facial features and a dab of white paint in the eyes. I also took a Q-tip and brushed a little pink blush on his cheeks.

I am going to make a bunch more of these and decorate a small tree with them.  So  much fun!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thanksgiving Dessert Runner & Fabric Bargains Galore!

I have been working on two Thanksgiving table runners to use on a dessert table.
I think these two guys will work just fine.
I am probably going to add a burlap tablecloth underneath the turkeys.

Today I went to my local VFW bazaar and I got a great deal on these metallic fat quarters:
 I opened one of the $9.99 packets to see all the different fabrics.
 There were five of these packets in a baggie for only $2.50...for the whole bag!
I am not sure what I will do with these fabrics. Right now I am thinking they will make a nice fall table runner.

After I left the bazaar, I went to Joanne's Fabric store and bought of of this fabric:
12 yards at a red bargain price of $2 per yard.  This is my first big fabric purchase since spring.  At that price, it would be sheer stupidity to resist increasing the stash. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Shopping Bag Transformation

Ace is the place to get one of these shopping bags.

You  may be asking yourself why anybody would want one of these.

Yes, it's just a cheap reusable shopping bag that nearly every store sells for a buck or two.

Here is more information than anyone (but me) wants to know about this bag:

  • 100% recyclable polypropylene
  • 12.5"W x 14"H x 8"D
  • Handle: 19"L x 1/8"W
  • 24 lb. capacity  
  • Each bag is designed to replace 2 paper bags or up to 4 plastic bags
  • Used weekly for 2 years replaces 416 plastic bags 
I find it has some admirable qualities, though it's pretty plain--certainly not fashionable. I also hate to carry a bag with a logo.  They are not paying me to advertise for them, so why would I tote around their logo?

Right after putting the Ace bag aside, I wandered out to my garden shed and saw this roll of burlap.

I wonder when and why I bought this? It must have been during a streak of ambitious shopping. Truth be told,  I am way too lazy to cover shrubs with burlap.  So the burlap sat for multiple years in the corner of the shed.

 Hmmmmmm.....maybe I could do something with the burlap to transform the useful, but bland shopping mind soared into overdrive as I happily toted the coarsely-woven fabric into my sewing room.

I immediately took a measurement and began the restructuring of the Ace bag.

When I get done with this bag, nobody will know that it began its life in this somewhat dull/boring form.

Well, that is nobody but all of you, because I am about to  blab all the details right now.
The burlap just happened to be the perfect width after finger pleating to fit across the bag front. I cut an approximately 4-inch strip, raveled the bottom, sewed a zigzag stitch at the top of the ravels to prevent more ravelling, then  pleated it to this size.
I just eyeballed the pleat size. It does not matter one iota if one pleat is wider than the next.

I wanted to use two fabrics, so I picked out a complementary fabric to alternate with the burlap. I chose a fabric with a black background  so it would blend in with the handles and side of the bag, which won't be covered in new fabric.
Layer #1 is on.  Notice I put a hem in this fabric instead of fraying it.  All I am going to do is alternate this with the burlap and sew five strips on top of each other across the front & back...simple, simple, simple!

It was quite easy to turn the Ace bag into this handy little carrier:

It can be used for lightweight food shopping, with an heavy stress on the "lightweight".  I think the
 24-lb. capacity stated above is on the optimistic side.
Oh, but does it not look prettier than one of those awful plastic grocery bags?

It almost makes me want to take over the grocery shopping just so I can use this bag. 

Whoa--Zo--Get a handle on it--just listen to yourself--are you ill?

Whew--I was a bit lightheaded for a moment! Now that I have come to my senses,  I think I will just use it for my library books.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A New Project Began and Finished Today

Here is where I started:
It's the front of a worn out leather tote bag that I cut apart last year.

I also used this vest and these fabrics/trims:

I had no pattern, but puttered around all morning and by noon, I had this:

A new animal print handbag! 

I plan to use it with the jacket that is behind it in this photo:

I am pretty happy with it. Of course, there are a few areas that I wish had turned out better--namely the zipper on the top.  I used the zipper from the vest.

It was finished for less than half a day before I decided to change it. :)
I added some black boa to cover the black/white animal print.
I like it better.

I have two animal print jackets that I think I can use this bag with.

I deleted a bunch of comments yesterday. Darn. I thought I was just deleting the comments in the spam folder, so when it asked if I was sure I wanted to forever delete the comments, I said yes. 
So if anyone had come back and noticed their comment was gone, I am so sorry. Believe me it was not intentional.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Pumpkin Block

I recently made this pumpkin block, but I am not happy with it. Now that it is done, I really do not like the fabric I chose for the leaves.

I guess I will toss it in the pile of completed blocks that I don't know what to do with.

A few weeks ago I went to a quilt exhibit at our local museum. I thought this winter quilt was interesting.
Here is a close up of the snowman in the mitten:

Doesn't it look like a very warm quilt to curl up with near the Christmas tree?

This red/white quilt was DH's favorite:

Earlier this spring I finished these blocks and sewed them all into a tree skirt.

I never quilted it. Now I don't think I want it for a tree skirt! I don't know what I want to do with these blocks. I only know that it will be a pain in my ample posterior to pick it all out! Don't you just hate when you change your mind after it's all sewn? Or maybe I am the only person who does that.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Do You Want to Watch Stitched?

I just spent an enjoyable 1 -1/4 hrs. sewing and watching Stitched, the documentary about three  controversial art quilters, Hollis Chatelain, Randall Cook and Caryl Bryer Fallert as they create their quilts for the 2010 International Quilt Show in Houston.

Cook created quite a stir when he entered this male nude quilt in 2007.

I took this picture right on my computer as I watched the show.

I have to say this is a stunning piece of fabric art.  Whether it's a "quilt" or not is where the controversary lies.

If you want to watch, Stitched, you can do it for free today and tomorrow by registering at this link.

While watching the documentary, I started my third fairy godmother, Knotzelena.
For this one I picked out all the elements I liked best from the ones I had printed.  I am so looking forward to watching this one progress.  She will have long hair with a knot on the top, big blue eyes, glasses, big smile, and scissors on a rope around her neck.

I had quite an enjoyable late afternoon today.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

and Now I have Two

I have now made two quilting fairy godmothers. You can just tell that they would have very different personalities!  I have a feeling I will be doing quite a few of these this winter.

ScrapAnn is a stern, but loving fairy godmother.

I am happy with the colors I chose. I really like her red hair and purple glasses.

You can get free patterns for these at

Monday, September 12, 2011

I am Working on ScrapAnn

Fall is upon us and that means I am back in my sewing mode.

I am having such fun with the fairy godmothers from 

They really bring out the creative juices............this is my second one so  I know what to expect; it is fun to plan the colors, etc.

Here she is so far..............

I still need to make the last section -- her dress and necklace.

Linda at has now made them free forever, so you can go there and print off as many different quilting fairy godmothers as you want.   If you like to paper piece, don't miss this opportunity!

I have no idea what I will end up doing with all of them, but I plan to make a few more this winter. 

If you have made one, I would love to hear how you are planning to use her.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bastezipora has been giving me Headaches all Morning!

But she is finally done and I now have a quilting fairy godmother.  I took her outside to get the true colors.

Do you think she will watch over me so the next one I make is less frustrating? LOL. 

I really wanted one with glasses and eyeballs, so I will probably try a variation some time later.

Has anybody else made their godmother?

This is not an easy block! I am pretty experienced at paper piecing and I had tons of trouble with Bastezipora. I picked out numerous times on every unit. I put the nose unit on upside down and then I thought I had the wrong color in one tiny section, so I remade the whole unit only to find out I had it correct the first time!

Just for fun I gave her a few moles that were not on the pattern. I think I will embellish them with embroidery floss to look like hairs growing out.

If you want to try it, visit  Here is the pattern page.  Amazingly it's free for a short time longer. This lady puts a ton of time into making free patterns for us to enjoy.  Thank you so much for this fun pattern.

Friday, August 12, 2011

First Sewing Project of the Summer

I have been itching to sew something for the past couple of weeks. Yesterday I was off work and I got up early and decided to make a new blue jean purse for my mother.
I went through my stash of already made blocks for inspiration. These patriotic flying geese log cabin blocks caught my eye. This block has a total of 43 little pieces and is 7 inches high and 5 inches wide.

I went to the basement to bring up some old jeans and began cutting. Six hours later, I had this bag:

I used the side leg seam as a decorative accent. The back side is the same as the front.

I am happy with it.

Today I am planning to start my fairy guilt mother block. That should be fun.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Quilts on the Deck

I have been too busy gardening to do much quilting the past few months, but that does not mean I am not enjoying my quilts.

I love to use them to transform my deck into a summer living room.


I did a full post about this on my gardening blog. I don't want to repeat the entire post, so I will just post the link. If you want to read more, just click here.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Finished the Altered Fabric Project

I sat outside on my deck tying green beads to the fabric. I used Fray Check to make sure they would not fall off.
Do you have any idea what I made?

I used that fabric to make a handbag to go with this blue shirt:

After finishing it, I wondered if I had other outfits that I could use the handbag for.  I spent less than 5 minutes going through my closet and I found two more.  How about green and brown?

Then I found this evergreen-colored undershirt and this light green over shirt. I think it's the best yet.
When I finished this handbag, I was thinking that I would not be using it very often.  But after a very quick look though my closet,  I now feel certain that I will get quite a lot of use from this unique handbag!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Altered Fabric

It has been so long since I've sewn anything. Once summer gets here, I am so busy with my flowers that the sewing takes a back seat.

I still have not made anything, but I am in the process. A long time ago I read about making a unique piece of fabric by sewing a bunch of scraps in the middle of a long piece of fabric. Like this:

I just picked out pieces of fabric that I thought went with the bold blue/green/yellow fabric that you seen on the right end.  Layer until you have a fairly even thickness - I did about 4 layers of scraps.

Then I folded the end piece over and folded gently a few more times to make a manageable piece to fit under the sewing machine.  I did pin the ends a bit so the tiny scraps would not fall out.
Then I just sewed lines (don't even have to be the same width) down the fabric. Mine were no more than 3/4 of an inch apart.

Then take sharp scissors and cut down the center of each line, but not through the back layer.
It's OK to have pieces sticking out--that is what you want. I then put mine in a big pillow case and threw it in the washer and dryer.
When it was done, I was thrilled to have a piece of fabric that looked like this:

I am hoping to have time to finish this project this weekend so I can show you what I ended up making with  my altered fabric.
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