Sunday, January 31, 2016

PURPOSE: My One Word for 2016

I've chosen One Word for several years now.
My past words were:
  • Believe
  • Create
  • Organize
  • Change
I've enjoyed and have benefitted from having one word to focus my thoughts and actions on for a full year. This year my chosen word is PURPOSE. I want to give purpose to every day, to every action, to every item I own and to the way I spend my free time.
So, I started looking around my sewing room to find "stuff" I could use to make my One Word into a small wall-hanging. I found my over-flowing stash of selvages. I've saved them all, knowing someday they'd have a purpose.
Heck, I even saved the clear container the selvages are stored in from being buried in the landfill!
I found it in the housekeeper's trash while in Breckenridge last year. It's an ice bucket for chilling wine and has a tiny chip in it. I looked at that baby and said,
"That has a purpose!" It sure did.
So, I started sewing selvages together. Enough of them to stitch my One Word to. That meant I'd need about 25".
Yes, even my One Word is made out of selvages! I twisted and turned and folded each long strip to form a letter, pinning as I went. I do wish I had picked a different color for the "O". That light green just doesn't show up well. With a blanket stitch, I sewed each letter down.
Next, I chose a few extra long selvages to add a border to the top and bottom.
I had this funky glittery fabric to use as a backing. It was one of those purchases from the clearance row, but have never used. Probably never will either. Ick.
It works for this project though.
Notice I made those nifty corner pockets on the back
for the dowel?
Then came the almighty binding. I even had a package of bright yellow pre-made binding in my stash that needed a purpose, so that was put to use.
Close-up of my corner pocket.
Hand-printed with the date and my initials.
The finishing touch was to use some of my mom's old, old buttons. I cannot remember a time that this button bin didn't exist. She always kept it in the kitchen, above the fridge.
I should've asked her why she kept it there,
but it's too  late now.
I sewed a variety of buttons to the letters to look like tacks. So even those dinosaur-age buttons have a purpose now. Mom would be happy!
All in all, I'm very happy with my little project and my
 One Word for 2016.
Now that I'm done, I suppose I should tackle a few closets. And a garage. Maybe under the bed. A couple dozen junk drawers. Heck, even my email inbox needs cleaning out.
What is your One Word for 2016?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Dressing for Twins

No, not me! Heavens no! The earth would crack open and swallow me whole if that were true!
My sweet friend, Meegan, found out several months ago that she would be a grandmother to twins due in April. Knowing her daughter-in-law had already miscarried since her last child, they kept the news quiet til the pregnancy had progressed further.
They had such fun with a Gender Reveal Party with family and close friends. 2 boxes were opened containing colored balloons that would represent the gender(s). One box was filled with pink balloons, the other blue!  Big sister, Ella, is quite excited to share her home and love with 2 siblings. Being almost 3, I'm not sure she is fully aware of what lies ahead! Is anyone ever prepared enough for twins???
Anyway, my friend Meegan wanted a special outfit for little Ella for the upcoming baby shower. Ella's mom is a nurse, so Meegan thought it would be cute to put Ella in scrubs and I could embroider a design on the top. I helped her find a darling pair of brand-new scrubs on eBay for $10 (with free shipping, no less).
 In the meantime, I did some online shopping for an embroidery/applique design fitting for a Big Sister of Twins. I found several and Meegan chose one. I helped her choose the fabrics and thread for the design.
In the meantime, Meegan finds out that little Ella will only wear skirts or dresses! Living in Minnesota, she will approve of wearing leggings beneath her girly wear to keep her legs warm. When the scrubs were delivered, I told Meegan that I could easily make a skirt out of the pants. She'd never heard of such a thing! My mind started thinking and I came up with a few variations. This is what I came up with:
 I just cut pants a bit above the crotch line and use the leg fabric to make ruffles! I think the hot pink ric-rac gave it the finishing touch and helped to coordinate with the colors of the  top.
The finished outfit!


Saturday, January 9, 2016

My Project for Challenge 1 Project Quilting

Today, I finished my project for Persimon Dreams' Season 7 of Project Quilting.
Just in the lick of time, too, cuz it's due by 11:00 am CDT on Sunday, Jan. 10th!
I don't know where I've been for the other 6 seasons, but I'm sure glad I ran across Kim Lapacek's blog post to read about this project in time! She posts the new challenge inspiration on Sunday at noon, along with the requirements.
Silly me, I read the post wrong, but my final project still fills the bill!
I thought she wrote that the project had to include ALL THREE requirements of:
  1. include patchwork
  2. include applique
  3. have 3 layers stitched together by hand or machine
After going back to check them again midweek, the post says the project must include AT LEAST ONE of the above. Duh. I'm an over-achiever.
This week's inspiration was CONFETTI. So, I pulled out my bright fabrics (a Moda jelly roll) and a black solid remnant and went to it. I needed a new hot pad for the kitchen, so I kept that in mind. I just started sewing colored squares to black squares, cutting them up into smaller strips, sewing them together to get a pleasing look, then added my letters at the bottom. I used a collage of the colored fabrics sewn together to cut out the letters. I added InsulBrite as the middle layer, then used some binding to finish the edges.
We all like to eat around here, so I wanted to emphasize that word on the hotpad.. It really is a celebration when I cook. I've always joked that I'm going to make a flower planter out of the oven when I retire. Take off the door, add greenery, you get the picture.
On the back, I added a colorful band to slip my hand into when lifting those hot dishes out of the oven. This little baby can also be used on the table/island to set hot dishes onto. Its measurements are 9" x 10.5"...a good size for a larger pan or dish.

It was a fun project and I hope to continue with the rest of the challenges. There are awesome prizes for winners! Check it out! 

Friday, January 1, 2016

One Last Breath of Christmas

It's New Year's Day and while the aroma of Christmas is still in the air, I want to share my latest project. I finished this just 2 days before the Big Day. Whew!

I won a few pieces of a Quilty Box on a blog and the Drunkard's Path template was one of the items. Sewing curves scared me. Even the bejeebees were hiding in the back of the closet, not wanting to get involved. I was in the mood for a challenge, so I found a project with a great tutorial online.
I cut out my pieces according to the directions. I sewed those pieces together following the excellent instructions, each curved piece getting better and better. (I was getting a thumbs up from the bejeebees.) As I started putting the blocks together, they didn't look like the block designs on the tutorial.
That's when I realized that Drunkard's Path templates must come in different sizes and shapes! What a duh moment. But I  had all of these pieces cut and many of them were sewn together, so I was left to my own devices to create a new design pattern.
I took about 9 pictures with the blocks arranged in various ways. I studied them for a few days and decided on one that I liked the best.
I made enough for 3 large blocks and sewed them together. My bejeebees giggled with pleasure! I decided that the center of each of the 3 blocks needed a little somethin-somethin....but what? I went through by Christmas fabric stash and found a piece that had large poinsettias sprawled across it. I fussy-cut 3 of those flowers and then used my blanket stitch to sew them down.
Free-motion quilting sent my bejeebees back to the closet, so I set about using a straight stitch to "echo" stitch around the poinsettias. Is that a term...echo stitch? Beats me. I know what I'm talking about, so that's what matters, right? :)
Binding was easy. I'm getting better at this, as long as I keep doing it regularly. Finally, I sewed on some red glass beads to the center of each flower.
I love it!
So do my bejeebees.