Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Today Al and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary... 31 years. It sure doesn't feel like that long. I don't think we'll be going out for dinner until tomorrow... we both thought today was the 22nd until I was working on the computer and noticed that it's the 23rd.
 Al just got back from Colorado where he picked up a sewing machine for me... yes, I know that's a bit of a drive but I love my Pfaff and I wanted another just like it. A lady from Colorado had an ad for one exactly like mine BUT hers was only used once or twice (this machine is from the 90's and was built in Germany). WELL, that was one I had to have.
Als buddy from high school lives out west of Denver. He has been wanting to visit for quite a while. This was the perfect chance to do that. With me having kind of a busy week, I thought it would be best for him to go alone. He got out there just fine but ended up with altitude sickness... we live near Lake Michigan and his buddy is up over 10000 ft. His friend took good care of him but Al didn't stay as long as he had planned... he took off for Colorado Springs to pick up my machine and then headed back. That's a lot of driving just to make your wife happy....Isn't he the sweetest!?!
The new machine is over at the sewing repair shop getting a good going over. The grease is pretty dry so they are going to clean it, oil it and make sure everything is in good working order. It sure sounded great when we did a test run with it.
This book below is a gift from one of my quilting friends. She is cleaning out and thought that I would like it. It's an old quilt pattern book from the 70's with drawings of over 1000 blocks. It's already a favorite of mine. Thanks Vicky!!!!
My latest project (well, one of three going on right now) is this Amish With A Twist BOM.

Sue gave me the bag full of fabrics to make the quilt top and I've started it... but just barely. With any luck, I'll get block two and three done today. This is block one plus some of the border pieces. One of the things I like about this pattern, besides the use of all solids, is the way they have you making border pieces as you make blocks. By the time you are done with the blocks, most of the stripped border work is done too!
I'm also quilting a graduation quilt and piecing Jenn's wedding quilt. The graduation is coming up so I want that finished up SOON so that I can get it into the mail.
Jenn's shower isn't until mid July so I have a little time before that has to be finished.
Of course there are lots of other ufos and started projects hanging around the sewing room but I'm really trying to concentrate on finishing up the important ones.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day Everyone!

Hope all of you have a wonderful Mother's Day. Al and I will be celebrating Mother's Day AND his birthday. I am taking him out for his favorite breakfast...Cracker Barrel of course.

These tulips that are brightening my dining area are from my neighbor who got them for Mother's day from her daughter. She left to on a trip out west and didn't want to throw these away. Aren't they pretty?
Al and I were out in the garden last night and picked a bunch of asparagus. He would like to make scrambled eggs with them ... and then we have one more SMALL addition to those eggs.... I found ONE morel mushroom. I think it's past the season but this one was just peeking out of the grass as we were taking our walk last night.
Enjoy your day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cherry capital pillowcases

 This area is the cherry capital of... well Michigan for sure, maybe the US, maybe the world.  One thing I know for sure is that we have loads of cherries up here in the summer. Nearby Traverse City has an annual cherry festival in the beginning of July. Daughter Jenn lives in TC and last summer I made her a set of pillowcases. This year I thought I would make myself a set.

This fabric is Moda's Farmers Market and the colors are perfect for my bedroom. Since I'm playing with a yoyo maker (I'm going to be doing a demo on how to make these on Monday), I decided to add yoyo cherries to the cuff. I found a solid red that matches the red in the fabric and used a coordinating green from this line for the stems and leaves.

The tricky part of making this is getting the yoyos to be on the correct side of the cuff and not upside down. What I found helps is to add the trim piece to the cuff ... stitch an 1/8" from the edge using a basting stitch. Then fold the cuff in half lengthwise and press. This allows you to see the area left for the trim. Then I fold it the opposide way (as it will end up as a pillowcase), I lay my yoyo's where I want them and in pencil, draw the stems. The stems are bias cut strips, 1" wide, folded in half and pressed. I line up the raw edge with my penciled line, stitch a scant 1/4" from the edge. Press the fold edge over the stitching and stitch the fold down. This hides the raw edges. I stitch the yoyos on using a straight stitch on my machine but you could applique them on. With the washing that pillowcases get, they have to stitched on well. The leaf is easy... out of cardstock, cut a 2" long leaf. Cut a piece of green about 1/4" larger all the way around. I soak my piece of fabric in starch then lay the template on the wrong side of the fabric piece, press the raw edges over the template.. all the way around. The starch gets stiff and holds the shape. When it cools, just pop the cardstock out and stitch the leaf in place.

If you haven't tried making pillowcases (these are the 20 minute ones), you should! They're super easy. Hearts to Holly Quilt Shop has the patterns free with pillowcase fabric. I'm sure you can find the demo online also. I like to make matching pillowcases to go with my quilts.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Graduation Quilt

 Today I'll be working on a gift quilt... it's for a special family member that will be graduating this month. I have the top 80% done. Just have to finish up the sashing and add a border, then start quilting this. I'm using the fabrics pictured above because she likes purples and (I think) aquas.
Below is a picture I snapped from the front porch last night... it was getting really cool and foggy after a fairly nice warm day. Al was out working in the garage and I was sewing and baking some cookies. The lilacs and crabapples are all in bloom and it smells wonderful outside. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Made a mug rug for someone

It's great to be back home and back stitching away in my sewing room. Someone sweet helped me locate a yard of a gray Martinique fabric that I needed to finish up Jenn's wedding quilt so I decided to make her a little something as a thank you. This is a free online pattern to make the paper pieced mug... It was pretty simple to turn it into a mug rug. It's it a cute pattern? My friend Pat used this paper piece when we did a mug rug swap a while back.
Tonight I'm going back down to sew some more. I'll be working on the wedding quilt, a gift quilt and maybe if I get bored with those two, a new sample for the shop. It's a BEAUTY! 

Orange peel blocks

The orange peels blocks are coming along. I made a cardboard template, cut a bunch of ovals and started to applique them onto the white bac...