Thursday, December 15, 2011

Where all of this started

I call this phot "The Kitchen Ladies." It is of my two maternal great-grandmothers and my mother (the one doing the dishes). My great-grandmothers are the reason my sister and I started quilting. They didn't teach us, but my sister had inherited two quilts they had done with their prospective church quilting bees. The quilts were not labeled, but we know these ladies quilted each wednesday at their churches.

My sister had wanted to restore the quilts, which had been well loved over the years. On advise of a quilt shop owner, she was told to instead reproduce them and that they really could not be fixed. So, my sister started quilting. She in turn gave me the quilting bug about 6 years ago.

So, it all started here. Thank you, Kitchen ladies.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

For the guys

 I have always had a hard time finding things to make for the guys in my life that they would actually like and use.  I think I have hit on something with these.  The laptop sleeve is a remake for a friend.  The one I made time last year was too small.  I really like the way this one turned out.  And the fabric choices are right up his alley.  Inside is this really cute toile with wolves on it.  Wolf toile - who've thunk it?

These are a pattern I recently found and it's to hold USB flashdrives.  You can either make them into a wallet of sorts or hang them up on a wall.  Two different sizes.  Called USB Hangups.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I belong to a wonderful group of quilters who meet at a quilt shop in Haddonfield NJ, called The Little Shop.  We can sign up to sew our projects their on Friday nights throughout the year.  This group of ladies has become very tight and we all support each other.  We also like to throw in some goodhearted competition to mix it up a bit.

One of this past year's competitions was The Lost Block Challenge.  Last year at this time, we each brought in some blocks and things that were just not working for us.  We put them into brown paper bags and we then each grabbed up a bag.  The challenge was to make a small project from these lost blocks by December of this year.

I ended up with the mother load of lost blocks!  Over 20 gorgeous blocks, and some yardage of flowered fabric to boot.  I could see the creator's problem after inspection.  Each block was lovely, but they somehow didn't go with each other well.

I agonized over what to do with these blocks!  Then it dawned on me to make several small projects.  This realization came to me last week!  No time like the present!  Anyway, I auditioned them, found some that were just right to be showcased on their own, and some others that did go together well.  I came up with a bag, a journal cover, and a portfolio.  I used the green and brown fabric to bring things together.

We have what we call a "Festivus" party every year to celebrate the various holidays and culminate our various competitions.  Low and behold, not only did my projects win the "Most Quilterly Lost Block" category, but also "Best in Show!"

Aren't the ribbons adorable!  I will treasure them always.  There was stiff competition.  I do owe most of this to the wonderful quilter who pieced those blocks originally.  She did a fantastic job.

Here's some of the loot I came away with from our Yankee Swap.  Good food, fun contests, great friends, and presents too!  A great combination.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sewing for Charity

These projects are for two charity events that will be taking place in the next week or so.  I call them Spa Bags, for lack of a better name.  They each have a rice heat therapy bag with herbs and essential oils, two hand warmers with the same mixture, and some other pampering stuff to make people want to spend money and try to win them.

The tote bags are my favorite pattern, Charm Party Tote.  I love how unique they look with the differing styles of fabrics
The blue tones seem much more serene and the pink one is just girly!  The pink hand warmers are made of flannel and supposed to be flowers.  The brown are supposed to be paw shaped.  Not sure that I pulled that off as well as I would have liked.

I will print up some pretty labels for the handmade goods and hopefully these packages will raise lots of money.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Organization is Key for Creativity

I was in bed last night reading a great book, Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter.  Boy was I inspired!  I could hardly sleep - I just wanted to dive right in and redo my entire sewing room.  But I waited until morning and my husband was awake.  A good idea considering our bedroom is right across from my sewing room.

I got rid of several shelves of books I had not touched in years - a hard thing for a librarian.  I was ruthless!  Now my stash is more open and I can actually see what I have better.

We will not talk about the dust bunnies, however.

This book is wonderful.  I really makes you look at your space and your stuff objectively.  This librarian and quilter gives it a big thumbs up!