Gifts with Recipients

I received some photos from people who received gifts from me. I am always pleased when the recipients can, at least, be bothered to look happy when they open a gift I have made.

Murdock and Remi
Murdock and Remi

Remi and Murdock got the Nighthawk and Cosmic Wonder Dust, respectively. I sent them, along with the others, up to Portland and the YM distributed them. I didn’t get photos of the other recipients, but will perhaps soon.

Bamboo Scarf Snowgirl
Bamboo Scarf Snowgirl

My sister also got a scarf as well. I sent her Christmas gifts in a box wrapped up with a note that hell would freeze over and she would be sucked into a pit of lava if she opened her Christmas gifts before Christmas. She used to have such a hard time waiting and, of course, I have no way to monitor her actions. To mollify dear Sis, I sent along the bamboo scarf that started me off on this crazy 2017 knitting journey. She has been freezing this winter and it looks like it is long enough. I am not sure it goes with the jersey, but to each his own fashion choices.

Finished: Sparkle Pink
Finished: Sparkle Pink

I also sent off the Sparkle Pink quilt. A friend’s son died and I decided to send Sparkle Pink to her daughter. I had it available and thought it would be a comfort.

I love this quilt. I really love the fabrics, but it was made from a pattern (not my own design) and doesn’t really go with my decor. The recipient loves it and that makes me happy. This is a quilt that needed to go off into the world and bring happiness. The room in which it now lives will be redecorated to match.

Sparkle Pink in the wild
Sparkle Pink in the wild

Gift Post n.3

Mom and her Jane Market Tote
Mom and her Jane Market Tote

That paintbox fabric has been hanging around and I have not used it to make the set of sewing items for my mom as intended. I dug some out and made her a bag to replace one I made her several years ago that is becoming threadbare and dirty.

I used the Jane Market Tote pattern, but added some extra pintucking and interfacing. I like the way it turned out. It has some body, but can still be rolled up.

Jane Market Tote in Paintbox fabric
Jane Market Tote in Paintbox fabric

Fortunately, it was just what mom wanted. She had been reading the blog and was feeling sorry that I wasn’t making her a bag after reading about Mary’s bag and the bags I made on the quilt retreat.

The design of the bag makes a smallish shopping tote. I had forgotten the size. It seemed to work for her and the bag really goes together well after getting all the pieces cut.

Mom recognized right away that it was the same fabric as her Sew Together Bag, which I made last year.

Mom's Jane Market Tote-interior
Mom’s Jane Market Tote-interior

I realized that I had forgotten to sew up the turning hole when I started to photograph the bag. I had to do that on Christmas Day before we went off to our further celebrations. There are worse ways to spend a holiday than by sewing.

Gift Post #2 – 2017

Le Cafe Eiffel Tower pillowcase
Le Cafe Eiffel Tower pillowcase

Sometime in September, I found some Le Cafe fabric by Danhui Nai for Wilmington. I was in the mood to make pillowcases at the time and bought a whole bunch of the fabric to make pillowcases for my sister for Christmas.

My idea was to use the toss prints for the main body of the cases and the border print for the cuff. I quickly screwed up the cuff idea by not buying the right amount for cuffs and screwing up the cutting. I found an old Verna Mosquera dot print and used that for the cuffs. It was like the fabric was made for the pillowcases, because I had plenty for four pillowcases. I think the dot provided a good contrast for the pillowcases.

I cut the pieces out during some evenings when I had 10-15 minutes while dinner finished cooking. I did most of the sewing over the Thanksgiving Weekend. I used the pillowcases as additional leaders and enders as I pieced En Provence. They are not ideal leaders and enders as the seams  are long. I beat myself into submission as using the leaders and enders technique gets projects done.

Gifts from Friends

The BAMQG Winter Extravaganza-palooza was the weekend of the 9th. I had a great time.

Casserole Carrier by Sue S
Casserole Carrier by Sue S

I also got the most amazing gift. Sue S made me a casserole carrier. In the carrier was a casserole dish with a wine cake in it! This is the most amazingly generous gift I could ever imagine. I was shocked (in a good way) and thrilled. It was just what I wanted.

The spoons act as handles and servers. My DH thought this was hilarious, but I am determined to use it sometime soon and show him how fabulous it is.

Casserole Carrier (open) by Sue S
Casserole Carrier (open) by Sue S

The carrier opens up and becomes a hotpad. It is perfect.

I also love the red casserole dish. The colors of the carrier and the dish go well in my kitchen.

The best part of the gift was the card that Sue wrote. She said that I was the first person she met in the guild and that I took her around the first time she came to the meeting. I showed her where everything was: the food, the charity project, the free table and introduced her around. I am ashamed to say that I don’t even remember. I do that so often so automatically. I am thrilled that she remembered that kindness. She is a good member of the guild and I am glad I started her off on the right foot.

Wine Country pillowcase
Wine Country pillowcase

As a bonus fire victims in the Wine Country also win, because we wrapped all the gifts in pillowcases, which will be donated to an organization that will distribute them to Wine Country fire victims.

Anchor Quilt

BAMaQG Anchor Quilt
BAMaQG Anchor Quilt

Tim and I worked on the Anchor quilt on Saturday. This is a true group project. Gerre organized it. Christina did the piecing. I appliqued on the anchor and Tim will do the quilting. The last time I talked about this quilt was back in June and it has been languishing. Now we are back on track!

Saturday, he did everything and I just stood there and helped him pin and gave my opinion.

BAMaQG Anchor Quilt back
BAMaQG Anchor Quilt back

We had to work on the back a little bit. The back was two large pieces and the big area of white was bugging Tim. We talked about different things we could do and finally decided on adding a piece that Christina had started sort of 1/3 of the way down the quilt. I think it broke up the white enough for comfort.

We also looked at quilting ideas. Tim had some ideas in mind and they were good. We found a couple that we thought would reflect the them and he will do the quilting soon.

Gift Post #1 – 2017

One of the reasons I didn’t make more progress on En Provence over the Thanksgiving Weekend was that I needed to make a gift. The BAM Winter Extravaganza Palooza Party and Swap was yesterday. I had decided to participate, but sewing time was short, so I picked a pattern I knew well and devoted a day to it.

Jane Market Tote for Mary
Jane Market Tote for Mary

Mary C wanted a grocery bag, so I got out the Jane Market Tote pattern and made it using some Carrie Bloomston fabrics that I have had for awhile. Her request was that the bag be made in green. The fabric is green, but tending towards teal/turquoise so I hoped it would be ok. I made an effort to do a  really nice job sewing. For once, I paid attention to the top stitching and did all that the pattern suggests.

I sew my straps on differently than the pattern suggests, so I also did some top stitching with a decorative stitch at the top of the bag. I made a note to myself on the pattern to leave a little more of the strap in the seam allowance next time. I hope that the decorative stitching will keep the handles from pulling out.

Jane Market Tote: Amazing Piecing!
Jane Market Tote: Amazing Piecing!

When I looked at the outside, I was shocked to see some of the amazing piecing. I can’t take much credit, though, because I couldn’t really have lined up the fabric any better, if I had tried. And I didn’t try!

I don’t know how I did it, but was very pleased when I saw the way the joins had come together.

Jane Market Tote: Amazing piecing by pocket
Jane Market Tote: Amazing piecing by pocket

This amazing piecing happened in a couple of places. I knew that Mary would notice eventually so I showed her after she opened the gift and she was pleased. She appreciates stuff like that.

The inside is plain. No pockets. I have to figure out where would be appropriate to add an inside pocket sometime. I didn’t do it for this iteration.

Kaffe Pillowcase

Kaffe Pillowcase Gift
Kaffe Pillowcase Gift

I whipped up another pillowcase to send along with the Walker Bag to Friend Julie. I forgot to take a photo before I sent it off, but she was kind enough to oblige.

The fabric is some that I bought at PIQF on a whim. While I intended to think of something fabulous and special to make with it, it seemed right to use it for this particular pillowcase. I definitely made it for a fabulous and special person.

I am pleased with how it came out and I have little piece left for the FOTY 2017.

Skeletons and Little Green Men

I can’t always stop when I start and pillowcases are like candy. I had promised the YM a couple of pillowcases for his housemates. The pillowcases are popular among YM and his pals, because of the high quality fabric.

Skeleton Pillowcase
Skeleton Pillowcase

My promise and the call for pillowcases for Sonoma and Napa fire victims got me in gear. In addition to Bento Box and Chocolate Box pillowcases, I made two more. I also made the requested case, a skeleton pillowcase and a Little Green Men pillowcase just because I love the Little Green Men.

Little Green Men Pillowcase
Little Green Men Pillowcase

I made the LGM pillowcase for the YM, but told him he could give it to his new housemate if he wanted. I didn’t want the new guy to feel left out.

Walker Bag

Walker Bag
Walker Bag

You never know when skills/patterns from Sew Days will come in handy. Remember a few months ago when we made walker bags for the folks at a local nursing home? Peggy worked out the pattern for that day. I remembered it and when I found out my friend was getting her hip replaced, I contacted Peggy about a few measurements and made one.

Walker Bag-open
Walker Bag-open

The fabric line is called Alien Invasion. I pulled the purple bins out of my closet and found it. My friend will have to try it out and see if it is practical. I told her I would make another, if it didn’t work.

Pincushions

2of 4 pincushions
2of 4 pincushions

I was sort of in the mood to make something small and wanted to give a small gift to the Retreat Committee, because I had a great time at the Retreat. And because making stuff is fun. Pincushions are fun and I enjoy making them.

I was completely thrilled, because I made these in between work and life. I got them finished after working on them a little bit in the evenings. I was also thrilled, because each entire piece is made from scraps. I did not dig into any yardage.

2 of 4 pincushions - back
2 of 4 pincushions – back

They are from Love Patchwork and Quilting, issue 39. It is available digitally in the Apple and Google Play stores.

I told myself I wasn’t going to use selvedges again, but I did anyway. I had some sewing failures and had to remake two of the pincushions, because it was too much of a hassle under the deadline to rip them out. My attempt to repair with ShapeFlex didn’t work. Still, the selvedges are very popular, though I don’t think they work very well with pincushions. Whatever. Looks are everything, right? 😉 I’ll get to the repair later and have some pincushions available for gifts.

Two more pincushions
Two more pincushions

The pattern says to center the flaps for the Wonderclips and I haven’t done that thinking it would be too hard to sew. I tried it on one of the pincushions and I think it worked pretty well. I eyeballed the placement and might actually measure next time, but I think it came out well and it looks good.

Tim's pincushion in the wild
Tim’s pincushion in the wild

I sent the finished and fabulous pincushions to Gerre, so she could put them with her gift. She reminded me that I had missed one. It is a good thing they are easy to make and I have lot of scraps, because I made up two more quickly. One I gave as a gift – just because and it is already in use.

I enjoy making these I need to buy more wool roving so I can make more – and find some friends who need pincushions.

Starting a Shirt

Cal Shirt Start
Cal Shirt Start

I started another shirt. The last one I made was the California shirt I entered into the San Mateo County Fair.

Like many of my quilts, I think these shirts are part of a series. The California shirt from last year is the best yet. The judges weren’t 100% happy with my entry and they were correct. I needed to finish the seams. This failure has been on my mind. A series of events made me decide to make DH a Cal shirt. He says he has enough button down casual type shirts, but he is getting this one anyway.

I had some Cal fabric that I used for various things, but I bought some more at PIQF. It turned out that when I cut out the shirt on Monday, I had enough from my previous purchase to cut the pieces.

I also decided that I would use some dark blue solid on the shirt so that motifs would stand out. I didn’t want the overall effect to be too chaotic.

The cutting went really well. I modified the pattern last time and that took a lot of time. I didn’t have to do that this time, so I was able to cut out the shirt and fuse interfacing to the front of the shirt all during Craft Night. I still need to fuse some ShapeFlex to the pocket to keep it from being floopy.

 

 

Final Tula Quilt

I wrote about the Tula quilt we were making for our friend Kelly who was moving to Scotland. We got together a few weeks ago to present the quilt. We had breakfast, chatted and made Kelly cry.

Kelly's Good-bye quilt 2017
Kelly’s Good-bye quilt 2017

Rhonda hosted the party and did the most work on finishing the quilt. Amanda and Gerre did the amazing job with the letters on the borders. Some of those pieces are tiny!

The rest of us made 2 blocks or the equivalent and did some of the quilting. The whole process was pretty fun and went smoothly.

Kelly's Good-bye quilt 2017 with peeps
Kelly’s Good-bye quilt 2017 with peeps

More Tula

Kelly's quilt
Kelly’s quilt

As I implied yesterday, I was part of a group making the Tula quilt. The group, I think, really struggled with what blocks to make. I don’t think people were reluctant to make the blocks. I think we were just having a hard time getting inspired. If there had been a theme, like stars or Flying Geese or something, it might have been easier. Still we all came through with flying colors! There was some cohesion in the blocks that were contributed, which was fabulous. Of course, the Tula fabric help make them all hang together.

Amanda and Gerre worked on the layout, but I think the block makers feeding off of each other made it easier. The large Flying Geese type panels can certainly bookend any other layout. Cheryl’s castle is a great center.

I am so pleased with how this all worked out.

All Tula All the Time

Back in the Spring, I received an email about contributing to a lovey quilt for a friend moving to Scotland. She is a Tula Pink devotee and that would be the theme. Of course I wanted to participate, but I am not a Tula devotee and I only had one Tula fabric as far as I knew.

Fat Quarter Shop Purchases
Fat Quarter Shop Purchases

I went online and bought a couple of pieces. I didn’t want to buy a lot as it isn’t really fabric I generally use. I was pleased to find a fat quarter pack of Tula solids. I knew I would use those, so I scooped them up with a couple of the more Tula-esque prints and started thinking about a design.

This was to be a modern quilt from Tula fabric and I really was at a loss about what to make. I would normally default to Sawtooth Stars for a lovey block as they are great all around and work well with fussy cutting. They didn’t seem right for this piece.

I needed to get busy as the deadline was approaching and my work travel + Grand Parlor were all coming up quickly. I decided on a modern house block a la the Clerestory quilt.

Both Tula Blocks
Both Tula Blocks

I wasn’t really excited about the house block and hadn’t started yet when I saw another member of the group working on hers at a Sew Day. She was making a Pineapple block. This made me think that a house block would be hard to fit in, so I decided that a wonky log cabin would work better. I am not a huge log cabin fan and wonky log cabins are worse. However, I could fussy cut the special motifs and work around them in a way that would really scream ‘TULA’. That is what I did. I am pretty pleased with the blocks. They didn’t come out exactly as intended, but they look nice and people seemed to like them.