Monday, December 29, 2008

pumped. practice hour glass block

inspired by these fabulous batik quilt tops (see here and here) and with this trusty book in hand as reference, i stole a little quiet time this morning as sadie entertained tee to practice what i have decided will be a block for my own batik lap quilt, the fabric which i have had on hand for months now.


these are not the actual batiks, just scraps from my stash in somewhat coordinating colors to practice, of course! i'm super pumped because i finally understood piecing triangles to squares and strips. and my points match up pretty darn good, too! yippee!

my plans are to have a 48" x 58" lap quilt...four 10" blocks across in 5 rows with a 4" border plus the binding (i haven't done the math...maybe it'll be a tad bigger then 4' x 5' for the width of the binding?). i'll alternate this hour glass with a solid block matching a 4-patch block (or something simple like that).

it'll take me a while to cut everything and i'll need to work on tee's flannels (no, i haven't done those yet!), but if i do one block at a time, when i've time, it'll be quite pleasurable and i'll know a great challenge...until i get to the actual quilting and binding, that is. I'm getting freaked again! :D

Sunday, December 28, 2008

four seasons. fabric

no sewing here this past week, but some total fabric loving. so happy with the mid-weight cottons i've found for two more of my four seasons bags.

yep, winter. the hippest black i was looking for.



top: mod. black mod patchwork & bottom: black mod leaves by michael miller. purchased online here. the leaves will be the exterior, the patchwork the lining.

and for summer, this delicious, bright golden yellow (exterior) and abstract black (lining), fresh paint, by michelle d'amore for marcus fabrics now on sale here.


i may go with the purple carnival bloom or clementine far out floral also from michael miller for spring, but i've plenty of time to make that decision.

may you know a safe and happy new year's day. and health, prosperity of love and creative talents gone wild in grand accomplishment and sweet contentment this 2009!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

obsessed. just a couple more


i was pleasantly surprised this morning with the sparse traffic on the way and in the grocery store for those last minute fresh items needed for Christmas dinner. that's done and out of the way. cooking will start tomorrow for those things that are best left to set overnight.

and as i had a little time to myself after dusting and vacuuming while tee was watching tv before we take a nice stroll to one of our favorite burger joints downtown for a late lunch, i went to work on a couple more patchwork cards. totally addictive. except i can be overwhelmed by all the scraps to choose from. you know, the perfect combinations.

so, yesterday's card i posted will be a graduation/congratulations/new job type of greeting. and these, the top with the flamingos, christmas, of course and the pinks/purple partridges, a girlfriend/sister/mother type birthday card. yeah. they're blank inside. i'll have to pen a poem freehand. perfect. i needed to diversify my personal line and this is perfect.


i'm outta here! i've yummy fabric for four seasons i'd love to post. it can wait, though. there's a holiday to enjoy.

peace on earth!

Monday, December 22, 2008

patchwork cards


as soon as i saw these cards in this book (as meghan so kindly shared here), i was itchin' to make some. this morning i had just enough time after early day errands and before i head out the door here in just a few with tee, who is on vacation through the 1st and insists on fun time around the city, to make just one.

as the author promises, these are addictive. like a lays potato chip, you won't want to make just one. so, my scraps are scattered on the floor where they'll remain until i clean up for christmas day that i may sneak up here and patchwork a few more greeting & notecards when no one is looking for me. i didn't make my holiday cards this year for lack of a good digital image. phooey on that. next year, i'll have a stack of these babies in wild & happy designs to send out.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

a black ties affair. apron



groovy gold café apron by apa
fabric: robert kaufman imperial collection 4: asian-inspired. aqua & m. e. hordyszynski for michael miller fabrics. fairy frost.
date completed: 20December2008

here it is! the christmas apron. i had this fabric in mind, remnants from the parisian purse by indygo junction i made for one of my sisters & an everyday bag by favorite things i made for my mom, because it's the closest to silver & gold that is the holidays in your ornaments, tinsel & garland and the only remotely holiday fabric in my stash. some green, but not a stitch of red in my possession. wow. i just realized that.

anyway, the combination...a little offbeat color? :D i think it's kinda "sexy" since it's cafe style...shorter...yet demure (me?) for the scallops.

and consider this. use the front, which is the aqua & fairy frost while cooking, turn it around and use the reverse for serving.



a formal affair indeed. well, as close to formal as it gets in this house. you know. jeans & bare feet.

a joyous holiday, everyone, to you & yours. be safe. know health & prosperity in the love and beauty that is family, friends, your truth, passion & creativity! may we all live our art in 2009.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

for apron lovers. new pattern. popular designer & men's flannels


the new domestic goddess apron. by amy butler. I heard about it in a newsletter. i haven't bought it. yet. i kind of like designing my own. but it's super cute. i wouldn't mind having it in my collection. some day it, too, will be vintage.

and she's a new halter top. that might appeal to summer lovers. and beach bums. oh to be so super talented. make things that so many like. santa, bring me a sack full of my dreams, please?


last year i made tee some flannel lounge pants, simplicity 9499. in place of a drawstring, i used this webbing & a buckle, much like what he has & likes on some comfy nylon hiking shorts. he wants another pair, to the knees. and it just so happens i have this blue flannel in my stash. perfect. i should really get to work on these for him. whip it out in a jif. but, i'm still thinking on that christmas apron. can't get it out of my mind. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

photo challenge. a totally different type of tag

much to my surprise, i popped over tonight to Audrey of audreypawdrey and saw i was tagged for a photo challenge. i was a bit scared (i'm such a solitude & can get freaked about little things like this! :D ) because i had no idea what could possibly be the "fourth file and the fourth photo in that file." that's the challenge. and to tag four other people, after you explain your photo. well, my fourth file is something called "moscow2006" and the fourth photo in that file, the following picture.


it's the kitchen in a furnished apartment in a nice moscow nieghborhood about a mile from the kremlin. it is NOT typical of an average russian citizen's housing.

how do i explain this? well, tee spent a week here & i followed for another week. we were staying with tee's former supervisor & close friend/mentor, previously a forest operations supervisor who accepted a position as general director of a packaging company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company tee still works for (though he, too, is now in a different division) and i once did. tee was asked to come and interview a small group of people (primarily russians, with the help of a bilingual employee) who would be gd's closest allies in this new adventure. i was no longer working for the company at the time so my stay in moscow was totally pleasure except for those many hours & opportunities the three of us would discuss business, previous & then. it was june/july so gd's wife & three teenage children were back home for the summer break. the assignment was to be temporary, of about 3 years. let me tell you, they lived it to the max in adventure & culture!

i cannot tell you what an experience this was, the places we saw, including the kremlin, red square & lenin's tomb, that we often exclaim now when we see it on tv..."look, we were there!"...and the time with gd and the wonderful people he worked with that were totally open to us. but, russia is unlike many travel destinations most of us, especially from north america, know & frequent. i'm glad to say neither of us had a difficult time traveling alone or together to & from with customs, passport & immigration! there's a lot of history, a lot of pain and you as a guest have to know that, live that. but, it opens your eyes and helps you understand the basic necessities of all human beings...food, shelter, safety & a friendly face.

i still can't believe this was the picture.

so, it's my turn to tag. I'd like to invite Kris with quilted simple (awesome life pictures & a fun, upbeat blog!) , Leslie with a friend to knit with (she has so many incredible photos!), Jessica of turkey cookies (who also takes wonderful photos!) & Iris of creative endeavors in a busy life who is a total artist all around!

log cabin apron. done



pattern & fabric: see post immediately proceeding plus amy butler daisy chain. clematis. green for the reverse lining
date completed: 16December2008

i guess i shouldn't have been in such a hurry to post earlier today. but, it's ok to share the process. maybe it can be of use & interest to another "patchwork" newbie like myself.

yep, i think this baby is going to be for cooking on 1January2009. for some reason i'm feeling something different, a festive pattern, for christmas day, something to go with the menu i've already planned of stuffed romaine hearts, broccoli soup, pork tenderloin saltimbocca & glazed carrots (in wine, not anything sweet). check tee & me's foodie blog in the coming weeks should you be interested!

wip. scrappy apron. for the new year


pattern: scrappy log cabin apron by apa
fabric: numerous designers including amy butler, kaffe fassett, tina givens, alexander henry & michael miller seen in many of my previous completed work

inspired by the work of quite talented women participating in a virtual quilting bee (see turkey cookies december log cabin block here), i decided this morning to do my version of a log cabin panel for a new year apron. what you see laid out in the picture will be the top left corner of the front panel. once the finished piece reaches about 22" w x 20" l, i'll fashion a waist band, apron ties & choose a lining. i'm excited! i forgot how much fun it is to plan, cut & piece, a time consuming project, but perfect for the imagination and a delicious way to run through what remnants are yet in your stash.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

four seasons. fall


pattern: market bags by portabellopixie boutique patterns
a pattern by sandi henderson
fabric: alexander henry jewel. mobile. chocolate & stripe. tea/chocolate
other materials/notions: heavy canvas interfacing & gold magnetic snap
modifications: two inside pockets & 6" added on strap to use messenger style
date completed: 11December2008

phew! cut everything out yesterday. wasn't sure i'd get to sew much today, but once i got started, couldn't stop. definitely an all season bag, really, because the jewels almost look like hanging christmas ornaments for december, hanging beads for spring & brown all around. yeah, santa baby. bring me more fabric!

it's completely reversible, well, except for that magnetic snap. but, the gold blends in & i'm good with it. don't sweat the small stuff, right. hand made rules!


oh, and if i want more of the mobile.chocolate to show, i can turn the pocket to face my body & totally show off this fab fabric. :D

p.s., i try. not the best pictures. it's dark up here & the ones with the flash were scary bright, these without, a bit out of focus. and too sharpen too much on my photo editor, well, it distorts. it's all good. you'll get it, no doubt. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

time lapse

remember this? well, now that the christmas decorations are pretty much up, time to get back at the sewing.

i've decided to make what i plan to call "four seasons" bags. exactly. four bags. four seasons.

this will be fall, although brown is pretty much a year round color. i ordered some black for winter. however, i still can't find a lining i like for it. so, fall it is i shall now sew.

i'm using my first alexander henry fabrics...jewel. mobile. chocolate and jewel. stripe. tea/chocolate.



and from a new online vendor at a good price. they had some jane sassaman prairie gothic i liked. yep, it rocks. psychedelic. almost glows in the dark! ;)

this kind of looks like the beaded curtains from the 70s. yeah, dude. totally retro. i like it! the fabric has been serged, washed. i'm ready to iron, cut & sew. today, tomorrow, now!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

to andy jane. apron love



pattern: flirty skirty by the apron lady designs
fabric: hand-dyed batik. star flower. tan; robert kaufman kitchy kitchen. happy blossoms. lime.
a gift for: niece. andy jane
date completed: 4December2008

i love making bags. i love making aprons even more. total apron love. fun, easy & each one a little piece of domestic art. i want to make more, of my own design. and those i keep, i want to hang them on a beautiful board of pegs in my kitchen.

i love the batik. that goes without saying. love to sew with it. these colors are so warm, deeply rich & the tie-dye, well, groovy, of course.

the robert kaufman was probably the first "designer" fabric i ordered online from an independent vendor, purl, just about a year ago on 7December2007. it's been sitting quietly in my stash until here & now. for andy jane. it's a happy little apron, color coordinated yet different. i've noticed i have the tendency to stick with the same designer, choosing coordinating prints from the same collection. good to mix it up a little. be free.


so i'm slightly obsessed with decorative stitching, much like others are with rick rack or bias trim. :D



p.s., if it seems i'm a bit off the wall this post (ha!), clueless from one point to the next, i blame the music jammin'. no, not christmas tunes. a little ne-yo, maroon 5 & rihanna, you know, "shake your groove thing." i've even gotten up to dance here and there.

it's the holidays. live a little tra la la la in each of your days!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

to market. jill's bag


pattern/fabric: see yesterday's entry
modifications to other materials/notions: decided on a canvas over the cotton duck as interlining. machine basted it to the exterior bag panels and sides. also used a rectangular piece of peltex ii double-sided fusible ultra firm stabilizer in the bottom of the bag for extra support in carrying market goods.
date completed: 2December2008

i decided to take my time with this bag, make an extra exterior pocket, add a few embellishments, thereby changing the thread out for three different spools.

for the straps & to embellish & divide the small pocket secured behind the large, exterior pocket for a wallet/cell phone...coats & clark dual duty plus #347 green linen.


for the large pocket (front & back), the buttonhole & button...coats & clark dual duty xp #1210 pink.



to finish the bag, i topstitched with coats & clark dual duty xp #6240 peridot. that totally blended in nicely, almost invisibly, with the contrasting colors that were the floating buds sage & the happy dots pink.

i don't normally select these pinks & greens for myself, but i have to say i'm really diggin' this bag. i love the floating buds & the garden maze as designed. pretty hip if i say so myself.

can't stop here. there's an apron or two yet to be made. off i go to browse my stash.

Monday, December 1, 2008

wip. market tote


pattern: eco-market tote by favorite things
fabrics - amy butler midwest modern:
bag/small pocket: floating buds. sage.
large pocket/handles: garden maze. olive.
lining: happy dots. pink.
other materials & notions: cotton duck interlining. large button.
a gift for: jill. niece-in-law.

phew! it's back to work & not a moment too soon. tee & me, we enjoyed the thanksgiving week. but i missed sewing. and sadie mae, after two days inside for the rain, it's out with her to enjoy this glorious, if a bit breezy 1st of december. she was getting bored, so little for her to see & do within these four walls. tee is close by, at the office. the downstairs is all tidied up from the week long festivities. and i've the house back to myself to sew, sew, sew!

first order of business...a market tote for my nephew's wife. my oldest sister, her mil, helped me pick out the fabrics when i visited with her back in mid october. we were in agreement...earthy, subtle, but with a splash of color. the amy butler midwest modern collection is perfect! and i think jill will definitely use this bag over any other i could make for her.

and there's at least one more item on my must-do-soon gift list...an apron for andy jane..although i've a few other things in mind. yum-yum!

sew good, sew groovy days! :)