July 31, 2015

Brynwood Book Bag Project...

This is my latest project. It's a small book bag for one of our favorite little girls...our younger granddaughter. Her Birthday is Sunday and she's eight years old. Goodness, where does the time go?

She and her big sister love going to the library with their mama, so I thought a book bag would be a nice gift for her. I created my own design, measuring and cutting on the fly.

I began by choosing "Forest Friends" in a cheerful green from Moda™. The green leaves were also on my shelf from another line. The heart twill tape is from my favorite tape creator, Anna from LillaLotta. I'll tell you a secret...The twill tape was an afterthought, but the colors are perfect. Don't you agree?

Between the tapes is a long back pocket and a slightly smaller zipper pocket. I added a wide pocket inside, too, and divided that one with stitching to make a pencil slot and a little larger slot for her to keep notes about which books she'd like to borrow.

The bag measures approximately 10" wide by 8" tall. There's a 1" wide gusset, too. I added the snap tab closure, just in case she wants to have more security to hold her books and other items.
My last step was hang a charm from the pocket zipper pull. Don't you think an owl and the word "Wisdom" is perfect for a book bag? I'm very happy it's finished, and in keeping with my "Extended Birthday" efforts, this shall go in the mail later today to arrive next week.
I want our pretty, red-haired granddaughter to know Grandma and Grandpa love her and miss seeing her always-smiling face. We hope to see her again very soon.
Happy Birthday, Finn.
Grandma and Grandpa love you.

July 30, 2015

Jenny of Elefantz Hussif Tutorial...

Image property of Jenny of Elefantz
 Have you ever visited "Jenny of Elefantz"?
If you haven't, you don't know what you're missing.
Image property of Jenny of Elefantz
Jenny has created a tutorial over the past five days on her blog. The instructions are for making your own hussif. "Hussif" is a term well known to those who are interested in antique samplers and needlework. It was also referred to as a "housewife". They were traditionally used to carry needlework necessities when such supplies were expensive and important to ladies of the house. Having a hussif helped keep those items, such as needles and threads, close at hand.

If you're a needleworker of any sort, you might want to consider making one of these for yourself.
You'll find Jenny's tutorial (it spans five days), interesting and easy to follow. You're also going to love exploring the rest of her site. She has all kinds of fun projects for you to try.

July 29, 2015

One Hundred Dresses (So Far)...

Two more boxes arrived yesterday!
These twelve dresses arrived from Linda S. in Clermont, Florida. Linda made all of them, and three of her friends donated funds to purchase fabric for three of them. She made one in each size, and these twelve dresses put us at the ONE HUNDRED DRESSES mark!
The most exciting thing is that I know there are more! Remember, I said there were two boxes yesterday. One of my oldest (not age-wise) blog friends, Lucy Galgano, joined our effort and made six dresses, too! (That makes 106!!)

These eighteen dresses will join the others I already have...and the additional dresses I know are (or will be) on their way. I can hardly contain myself...waiting to see how many dresses we end up taking to Orlando before the end of August. One hundred six already, and we have over two weeks left before the deadline.

Thank you, Linda and Lucy! Eighteen little girls will be tickled to receive one of the dresses you made. Your dress could change their life, and each will certainly change their outlook.
Sweet Lucy surprised me by tucking a little something extra in the box with her dresses. She included a pocket-size devotional book (which I will keep with me and cherish), and a box whose contents were wrapped in raffia.
On closer inspection, I couldn't help but smile. See? My thoughtful friend included a box of acorns for me! These will be safely tucked in the studio until such time as we move and I set up in a new creative space. Then, they'll be front and center with the rest of my collection.

Thank you for thinking of the girls, ladies...and thanks again, Lucy, for adding a little something special for me. Every day is a gift that we can share together. 
I'm grateful for every single dress that has arrived so far, and every dress yet to come. You're all generous and loving people who are willing to share your talents. These children will be blessed by your gifts, and I'm so honored to be able to do this with you.

July 28, 2015

Time Spent With Creative Friends...

My Tuesday began with a trip over to Port Charlotte to join my guild friends for our once-a-month Sew-In at the church. We work on anything we want, so I had let everyone know that I'd be there to put labels on our dresses for the Dress A Girl Around The World project. This was actually the first time I'd attended, but I'll definitely be going back from now on!

Carol (in front) and Judith (in back) came just to help sew labels! We quickly had all our dresses finished and were caught up by lunchtime. I was immensely grateful for the help.

Everyone who attended loved seeing all the different dresses, and so many creative ways that made each dress beautiful and unique. I had taken along five sets of patterns and spec sheets, and before I left, they were all gone with promises to make more dresses!
Beth Anderson had made these five sweet dresses and asked another member to deliver them to me because she couldn't bring them herself. We got them labeled, too, and now have eighty eight (88) dresses. I know there are more on the way to me. (Other group members have let me know they're in the mail already!)

The cutoff date for this effort is August 15th, but I'm allowing a week for mailing. After that, I'll still take in dresses toward our next deadline (which hasn't been determined yet), but they won't go with these.

I'm going to contact our Florida ambassador, Monica, after August 15th to set up the date to take this batch to Orlando. I'll let everyone know when that is just in case other Florida group members care to join me for the trip.
I had to take this picture of a quilt my friend, Pat made. I didn't know it, but the Tuesday Sew-in group had been working on a quiltalong project for the past six months. Pat had hers finished by this month's meeting and I was smitten. It's a fabulous quilt, and now I'm sorry I didn't know about it sooner (so I could have made one, too). I'll know better next time!
L-R: Cathy, Adele, Ellen, Krisann, Brenda , Pam, Claire, Karen, Norma and Doris. I'm behind the camera.
My day ended with the Fiber Divas at Paneras. We had a nice group last night and everyone was working on something wonderful. (I'm doing my Wooly Critters sewing when we meet.) 

Time spent with creative friends, is time spent relaxing and renewing my spirit. I look forward to the time and ideas we share, and I'm blessed to call them my friends.

July 27, 2015

Tuesdays With Tag - Rain, Rain Go Away...

Hi, Everybody!

It's been rainin' non-stop around here for the last week. I'm managed to get in a little swimmin', but we sure haven't done much else outside. Florida's "monsoon season" is here in full force.
Mom's been busy in the studio, so I "stand" guard to make sure nobody sneaks up on her. You never know who might try to invade (I'm not mentionin' any names, mind you).
When she's not in the studio, I hang out with Dad in the livin' room. Don't even ask where The Black Dog is! (She's not far from me in this picture, but I'm not amused.) Mom always smiles at me when I do this, but really. Why wouldn't I rest my head on this nice table?
Yesterday, The Black Dog and I helped Dad take out the garbage. Of course, you know I'm always get "recycle" duty. Bella just walks along with us so far. It will be nice when she can pull her own weight by helpin' out, too.

Anyhoooo...On our way back to the house, the two of us decided to engage in some serious puddle runnin'. All that rain has dumped so much water in the yard that we have lots of BIG puddles. Bella was runnin' and splashin' like a fool! I, on the other hand, managed to maintain my dignity while chasin' around with her.

We were both wet when all the runnin' was done. I had to laugh. Bella was soaked!!! I was merely damp around the edges. See? Dad had to really dry Bella off before she could come in the house, but I was allowed into the living room to lie on a towel until my feet were dry. (YAY, me!)
I was quite content to hang out while Mom made dinner. I could see just fine from here. Bella was in her crate. (snort...giggle...laugh)
Bella said she wanted Dad to put her picture on Facebook today. She posed for her own (goofy) Tongue Out Tuesday picture. What a dork! I still say "puppies are jerks". sheesh Time for me to go for this week.

I'll see you again in seven! 'til then...
"Chase A Dream - Or A Squirrel".

July 26, 2015

Working Out The Kinks...

Moda™ Water Garden fabric assortment on the grid base - on my ironing board
On Saturday, I showed you the fabrics I'll be using for our guild challenge. I know exactly what I want to make, but I need to make a miniature version first. I want to make sure that the basic design works.
Of course, I don't want to use the actual fabric I'm using for the finished piece. (I've learned that lesson the hard way!) Instead, I pulled out a Moda™ Honey Bun (1-1/2" strips of all the fabrics in the line...like a Jelly Roll, but narrower strips), and my Pellon™ Fusible Grid (820P) and got busy. The fabric is from my stash, and it's called "Water Garden". Don't you love the dragonflies?

The way this works is that I cut my 1-1/2" strips into 1-1/2" squares. Then, I played around, placing the squares in a pleasing pattern on the bumpy, fusible side of the 1" grid sections. I had to be careful not to iron past the fabrics so I didn't get fusible goop on my iron. (Success!)
Once everything is fused, all I had to do was fold each line of fabrics and sew until I'd sewn all the widths of squares, and then sew them lengthwise. I ended up with sweet, little 1" blocks.
Look at all those tidy intersections! That's the benefit of using the fusible grid. Everything stays put and there's no distortion. I love this stuff!
Next step is quilting, and then I'll start cutting. (Did I say "cutting"?!! Yes, I did!) You're starting to get curious now, aren't you? (giggle)

July 24, 2015

Sometimes Things Aren't Black Or White...

 Sometimes, things are gray.
Such is the case with our November guild challenge.

Every year, Disconnected Piecers Quilt Guild holds a challenge for our members. This year, the challenge is to create something quilted using background fabric(s) that only contain shades of gray. 

We are allowed to use other colors in our project, but any fabric used in the background can only have gray or shades of gray in them. No colors, and nothing that doesn't read "gray".
This is only a sampling of the gray fabrics I have in my...ahem...inventory. I've had my project in mind since the challenge theme was decided. Now that November is inching ever closer, I need to turn my thinking in this direction. 

All the projects that members submit for this competition will also be displayed at our 2016 quilt show in February.

I can't wait to start sharing peeks as I work on it. When I'm finished, I may even share a pattern for what I'm making. I'm very excited about this idea I've conceived and am looking forward to the entire process. I hope you'll follow along as it becomes a reality.

July 23, 2015

More Playing With Pincushions...

My pincushions have really been moving out of the studio, so I took time yesterday to fashion new ones for restock.
I created five new ones, but couldn't finish them yesterday. I ran out of my filling and won't get more until today. (L-R: America, Lovebird Roses, Seahorse, Colorful Pups, and Love Letters)
I did manage to completely finish two of them, though. The first one is "America". I finished the ruching before dinner. I've really been wanting to do a patriotic design and this is what I chose.
Here's a closeup of "America". I picked a vintage jewelry finding and oatmeal-colored ribbon as embellishments.
My second completed pincushion is called "Seahorse" (because of the button I chose). I used Moda's "Seaside Rose" by Three Sisters on this one. The seahorse button was perfect as the accent, and the turquoise ribbon and vintage lace complete this pretty and practical gem.
I want daylight photos of these before I list them up in my Etsy shop, so they'll be photographed today. After I get more filling this morning, I'll sew up the other three and list them up, too.

As my dear friend, Sherry of Createology says, "Creative Bliss" - it's the best description for all my days this week. I'm such a lucky girl.

July 22, 2015

New Chairs For The Studio...

I received a wonderful surprise from a friend at our guild meeting on Tuesday night. I'm always tickled when someone notices something about me and what I like. I'm not surprised when it's one of my blog readers. After all, I frequently come right out and tell you!

Lynn Anderson, a member who also has a long-arm quilting business, came up to me before the meeting with a full shopping bag, and said she thought I might like to have the contents. I'm not sure whether she reads my blog or not, but she has learned about some of the things I like, and these gifts delighted me.
She gifted me some beautiful wool fabrics and wool jackets that I can repurpose for my wool embroideries (or wallets!). Then, tucked inside the wools were these three, sweet Mary Engelbreit chair pincushions.

The little one is weighted, so it's perfect for holding my needle when I'm doing my ribbonwork! The other two chairs are classic ME style. One is the "chair of bowlies" chair and the other is sunny yellow with Mary's cherry fabric.

I think I'll make one of my newest pincushions to give Lynn as a little thank you. I'll present it to her the next time I see her.
Speaking of my pincushions...I was at Nifty 50s yesterday. I took along my latest creations to show the gals, and sold the BFF - Snowbirds set. My client asked me to add a little bling to it for her and her sister (who will be gifted with the second one). We agreed that I'd bring it back in two weeks for her.

I brought them home, chose the embellishments and then added them to each one. They're all finished and wrapped, so I'll just set them aside for safekeeping until our next get-together. Life really is a happy "bowl of cherries"!

July 21, 2015

Eighty One Dresses And Counting...

Last night was guild night and I didn't realize what a surprise some of the ladies had in store for me. More dresses!! In fact, as of last night, I have eighty one dresses toward our goal.
Beth Anderson is a long-time quilter who is teaching her friend, Jerri to sew. Not only did I meet Jerri for the first time last night, she also presented me with her first twelve projects...dresses for our little girls!
The postman has been busy, too! In one day, I received a package loaded with sweet dresses from Danice...
and Jacque's beautiful dresses. Jacque is my blog friend from Wisconsin who also has a dog named Tag. As full as her plate is, she managed to make two dresses for us.
Karen sent dresses of all sizes with more cute pocket treatments that the little girls are going to adore.
Linda K. sent another batch, too! More luscious yo-yo pockets on floral dresses and even lovely, little denim dresses.
Marcy sent a box of dresses for nearly every sized girl. She applique's pockets with cherries, hearts and flowers. I love seeing the different, creative ways that everyone finds to make their dresses special.

You can't imagine how much fun I'm having opening each package or tote that comes to me. I can just envision every single, little girl seeing her dress for the first time, and I'm incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support for this project. 

When I first wrote "100 Dresses" out loud, I admit I was a little lot tentative about setting such a lofty goal. Now, I know that we'll not only meet that goal, but we'll exceed that goal!! I know this because I've either seen pictures of the dresses that are on their way, or have been told by the other participants what their goals are.

Our soft deadline is August 15th, but I won't be heading up to deliver these dresses until closer to the end of the month. We still have labels to attach, and I'll be coordinating a trip with other ladies who have already asked to make the trip with me to Orlando.

I have dresses to make this week, and I'll be showing pictures as more dresses arrive. My days - and heart - are full, indeed.