Tuesday, April 29, 2014

ECLECTIC ELEMENTS PILLOWS AND MUG RUG





After taking time away to travel and have fun with my husband, I was able to finally sit down and finish my Tim Holtz's Eclectic Elements pillows when we were back home.  I started with a charm pack (that, as it turned out, was not cut by the manufacturer to a true 5" for each square, most were off…but I was able to make lemonade out of those lemons!!!).  I used my new Kansas Troubles Quilters Spare Change Ruler from Missouri Star Quilt Co. to make the blocks (they also have the Five & Dime Ruler to use with layer cakes and charm squares. I chose a cream solid I had in my stash to cut the 2 1/2" squares for the center of each block using my pinking rotary blade (or you can use those adorable mini charm packs).  To see how the blocks go together, check out the tutorial on MSQ. The result of the 5" charms not being cut the same size resulted in the centers being 'off' when they were cut into fourths and sewn back together, however, I really like the 'shabby' look..sometimes mistakes are for the best.  I quilted the pillow fronts using the serpentine stitch on my machine and love how they came out. For the back of each pillow I used yardage from two other prints in the Eclectic Elements collection. I didn't want to waste the leftovers from the pillow fronts and backs, so I made a matching mug rug for my sewing studio.  I still have lots of yardage from the collection and plan on making a quilt with it…perhaps with the Five & Dime Ruler :)  

Friday, April 18, 2014

FLOWERS IN THE DESERT


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Just returned from a fun rv adventure with my hubby to Tucson, Arizona.  While there we visited some interesting places including a tour of the ASARCO copper mine, the Reid Park Zoo (the four lion cubs were just adorable!!!), the Pima Air and Space Museum (the USAF Thunderbirds were flying overhead…amazing!!) and a drive through the Saguaro National Park.  The temperature was unusually warm for this time of year (up in the 90s with about 5% humidity…yes, it's a dry heat LOL!!!). While I prefer warm/hot weather, I find it's so much better when you can get used to it gradually…instead we ended up sweating a lot and drinking a case of water in just a couple of days!!!  But it was worth it because we happened to be there when the cactus were in bloom and I enjoyed taking lots of photos….especially of the saguaros (the buds look like brussel sprouts to me!!) and the ocotillos (love the tube shape of the flowers).  We will probably visit this part of the Southwest again, but in a bit cooler weather, because there are still places we'd love to see. Hope you enjoyed the photos; and if you are interested in reading about the places we visited, just click on the name to take you to their website.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A SEWING MACHINE IN DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK???



Zabriski Point

Artist's Drive (on one of our hikes)

Scotty's Castle

Death Valley Ranch

Bessie Johnson's Sewing Machine

Death Valley National Park in California is a very interesting, and extremely different, place to visit (and the scenery was perfect for testing out some of the features on my new camera). It's located a couple of hours drive from Las Vegas, NV and has a few places in the park to stay overnight (we chose Stovepipe Wells because of its location in the park…pricey, but convenient).  My husband and I have been there a few times in the past and decided to go back with two good friends of ours who had never visited it before….so for the past few days we toured, hiked and drove through different areas of the park.  One of our favorite places to see is known as Scotty's Castle (the actual name, however, is Death Valley Ranch) and in this amazing home is the original owner's sewing machine (is that not adorable??)….how had I not noticed it on a previous visit?...(probably it's because I didn't quilt at that time) and there is just so much to try and take in on the tour that it's worth more than one visit…just be sure not to go when the air temperature can reach 134 degrees.. which it did last year one day in July!!!! We had great weather…and even a bit of rain. Hope you enjoyed the pics!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

MY QUILTY FUN SEW ALONG QUILT IS FINISHED








This is the final week of the Quilty Fun Sew Along and I am happy to say that my quilt is finished!!! The wall I plan to hang this on in my sewing studio only had so much space available so I chose not to add the extra borders to it.  I used more batik FQs for the back (including one as a label as seen in a pic of the back of the quilt) and leftover batik pieces from the blocks on the front to make a scrappy binding (which I absolutely love!!!!). For the bee's antennae I used some DMC Color Infusions Memory Thread in yellow that I hand stitched in place with MonoPoly thread in a smoke color from Superior Threads. For quilting I chose to do an all over stipple with So Fine #50 dark brown #466 thread…I wanted it to 'disappear' on the chestnut brown background fabric and think it helps add some dimension to all the bright batiks. It was a lot of work (and a lot of thread) but I am so happy with how it came out and can't wait to find the right rod to hang it from. (sorry for the poor color of the outside photos..the sun was going down and I was in a rush to get some shots…the actual colors are in the first two pics).

Friday, March 28, 2014

IT'S A SMALL BLOGGER'S WORLD



When Madame Samm of 'Sew We Quilt' refers to 'that other lady', she is talking about Carol of 'Just Let Me Quilt'!  Well, Carol, recently celebrated her sixth Blogiversary and I was the lucky winner of all those goodies in the pictures (is that package adorable or what??!!!)  But….here is the absolute best part of winning….(after the surprise of finding out that we live close to one another, she offered to hand deliver that package to me)…I got to meet this sweet, talented lady in person (along with her hubby)….how fun, and special, is that???!!! Thanks again, Carol :)

Now, speaking of talented….hop on over to her blog and see all the cute flags she's created for the Flags On A Stick Blog Hop!!! My favorite is the Monkeyboys :)