Blessed to Be a Blessing

God Blessed me Super-Abundantly yesterday – and I just HAD to share the story with you!

 

In short, a sweet older lady who lived in the area moved to Heaven a little over a month ago. Her 5 adult children came down (from 5 other states) to clean up and list her house for sale. They were dumbfounded by the quantity and variety of things she had amassed over her lifetime. They had only 4 days to do everything that needed to be done before they returned to their Job’s and families.

Her posessions were divided amongst them, and what no one wanted was to be listed for sale – all except for 1 rooms contents. They didn’t have any use for it, and didn’t have ant idea what to do with it all. So, they boxed it all up – and asked me if I wanted it.

My reply – “Praise God – YES!!”.

They’d found out I used such things to make donations to our local Senior Centers at Christmas time, and thought maybe I could put the items to good use for our charity – which would have pleased their mother greatly!

I still have to go thru most of it – but here’s a peek at some of what they sent home with me:

 These boxes actually measure about 25 inches tall, 20 inches wide and 4 foot long!!!!

 

 Yes – that is a LARGE spool of YARN you see!!

                                                                                             

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Side Note:  None of the many bags/boxes of Embroidery projects, Cross-Stitch projects, Ceramics, Painting projects, Wood Crafts or Canvas projects/supplies are pictures here because I have already delivered them to their “Crafty Recipients”.    😉    It made their day!!!!)

 

Praise God!!!

That’s all I can say is Praise God!!!!

 

Some of the items (Tatted Crochet, Candlewicking, Double Hook Crochet) I’ve never attempted before, but am looking forward to learning in order to compleat the many, many projects she had started over the years! At least there are enough works-in-progress to show me the way (and many out of print instruction books too)!

Most of all – Praise God they didn’t just toss it all into the trash to be lost forever!! Thank God they asked me to put it to use instead. And so I shall – and some Seniors at our local centers will be very Blessed this Christmas because of their generosity!!

Mrs. S’s handiwork (with a few finishing touches from me) will not be wasted, lost or forgotten – but will instead be loved/used as it was intended!

And THAT makes me smile!    🙂    

Have a great day!

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

K.I.S.S. Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial

Hey’ Y’all!

Would you care to join me in some of my middle-of-the-night-maddness inspiration????

You would?!

Awesome!

I woke up at about 3am this morning (not unusual), and an idea immediately struck (very unusual)!

Normally, morning coffee is required for any ideas to start percolating in my mind – but, this morning was different. God put an idea/pattern into my head almost before it was even off the pillow! So, being the “good student”, I grabbed a pen and paper, and started writing the pattern out while waiting for my coffee to brew. I then grabbed a cup and started making (and documenting for you) the pattern I now had on paper.

In about 30 minutes, or so, I was done and am now going to share with you my crazy “4am tutorial”.    😉    

Wanna see?

Okay kids, grab a pen and paper and follow along! You’ll want to make one of these for your own machine – and one for all of your sewing buddies too! (Think Birthdays, Christmas, etc…..)

Here it is…..

The K.I.S.S. (keep it simple silly) Sewing Machine Cover

 

All you need:

1 Fat Quarter   (18 1/2 inch x 22  1/2 inch cut of fabric) that you love too much to cut up

1/4 yard of coordinating fabric (for border strips)

72 inches (or 2 – 36 inch pieces) of cute ribbon 1/4 – 1/2 inch wide

sewing machine

ruler, cutting implements, thread (I used contrasting thread so you could see my stitching), pins

 

STEP 1 )   Select your favorite fabric Fat Quarter  (18 1/2″ x 22 1/2″ cut of fabric)

 

Step 2)   Select coordinating Border Fabric, and Ribbon. Cut two 3 foot long pieces of ribbon and set aside.

 

Step 3 )    Now, cut 2 strips of border fabric @ 3″ x 26  1/2″ ; and 2 strips of border fabric @ 3″ x 18  1/2″

 

Step 4 )   Fold short Top and Bottom strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides of fabric together and finger press to crease. (see photo below)

 

Step 5 )   Pin these strips to the Top and Bottom of Fat Quarter – right side of Fat Quarter fabric facing up.

 

Step 6 )  Sew Top and Bottom strip on to Fat Quarter using a 1/4′ seam allowance. Then press seams towards the Fat Quarter center.

 

Step 7)  Now, take the long remaining Side Border strips (right side of fabric face down) and fold the short ends of the strip up 1/4 inch, and then fold 1/4 inch again to encase raw edge inside this endfold. (see next 2 photos below)

 

7a)   Now pin this fold to hold it in place and MOST IMPORTANTLY

Step 8 )   Place this border strip against the side of the Fat Quarter (see photo below) where you will be attaching it to. Check your strip length, and adjust it to fit by adjusting the tightness/width of your endfolds (photo above). These strips must match up perfectly in length!!    🙂   

 

8a )   Once the lengths match, sew those endfolds down using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

 

Step 9  )   Now lay the border strips on the Fat Quarter edge where you will be joining them (right sides of fabric together).

 

9a )   Finger press strips in half lengthwise and crease.

 

9b  )   Open strip back up to expose crease mark.

 

9c  )  Lay 1 length of cut ribbon on strip, right next to crease mark, making sure it extends evenly out past ends of strip.

 

9d  )  Tack ribbon temporarily with a pin to hold in place in center of length of border strip.

 

9e  )   Fold length of border strip back up now to completely encase length of ribbon (below photo)

 

9f  )   And pin border strip in place

 

Step 10  )   Sew side border strips down using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Press seams towards Fat Quarter center.

TA-DA!!!!

Now place cover over your sewing machine, and draw up ribbons on each end and tie together to secure!

Try not to wake up the Natives…..

Because THEY WILL find the ribbons….. even if you hide them under the extension table……

and untie them for you…….

Isn’t it cute?!? (The machine cover – trust me – Horatio already knows he is cute! LOL)

Hey – If I can do this while still half asleep – then anyone can!!!!     😉    

Now, if you do not have “Sewing Room Assistants Supervisors” like I do, that’s okay! You’ll just be able to finish this project all that much more quickly than I did – possibly less than the 30 minutes it took me! Although, actually being awake first might help too!    😉   

This would not only make a good quick gifty project – it would also make a good childs project to introduce them to 1/4 inch seams/fabric selection, or a quick Quilt Club Individual Project for a way to use up those Fat Quarters!

If you decide to make one (or several) of these, let me know – and include a photo. I would love to see what you do/come up with!!

Have a great day!!

Shady    🙂

Tiny Pieces

So, how do you pull together a glaringly purple and green star sampler quilt?

Add some buttery yellow…..

 

And some teeny, tiny pieces…..

LOTS of teeny, tiny pieces…..

Like 1/2 inch teeny,tiny….. (look at point tip)

And you keep on sewing. And adjusting. And sewing. And sewing….

And then you sew some more little, teeny, tiny pieces!     😉

And Finally…..”It’s Time”

Have you ever noticed how it seems like the only time you don’t “feel guilty” about working on something for yourself, is when you are completely done working on things for everyone else??

As long as someone else’s project is “in the works”, working on something for yourself always seems to take the furthest back burner in your agenda. That is okay – to a point. The bad thing is that you always seem to have something else that you need to/should be working on – and your item becomes a perpetual U.F.O. (an UnFinished Object in quilters terms).     😦    

I’ve been quilting for about 10 years now, and I have NEVER made a quilt for myself. Nope – not once!

I would start one – draw up the design, pick out fabrics (not always in that order), cut the fabric, and occasionally even get as far as starting to sew the pieces together…..and then, WHAMMO! I would think “So-and-so would really like/love this”. That was it – at that point, the quilt was no longer “mine”. It became “theirs”, and would be finished/gifted accordingly.

One of my “Goals” (read “Resolution” here – I don’t make “New Years Resolutions”, only “Goals” – they are more forgiving and don’t have a “Fail-Factor”) for 2010 was to FINALLY make (and finish) a quilt for myself.

I joined a Quilt-Along hosted by Bradie Sparrow (amazing, talented lady), picked out some fabrics (I decided I wanted a purple quilt), and made it all the way to the large center medallion block. Scott was my “helper” who critiqued/approved each finished block along the way – fascinated by all of the color combinations, techniques and emerging designs. My son laughed at us saying I was “corrupting” him (Scott).    🙂     

Then….. August 22 happened.

My world changed. Our world changed. Big time.

 I couldn’t even think about/look at that quilt for a long time after that. I emailed Bradie and let her know what had happened, and that “someday” I’d finish the quilt – just not then. She understood completely.

For months my sewing room sat “abandoned”. Closed for business. The now “abandoned” blocks for the quilt were left hanging on my design wall – I just couldn’t take them down, and I couldn’t bring myself to finish them. So, they just stayed there. A reminder (sometimes – okay, most of the time – painful) of the past several months of my life. 

Then, one morning, I got up (see previous post I Confess) and the “quilting bug” started nipping at me. Not about “my” quilt, but about another one that I had left unfinished for someone else.

Slowly (sometimes in only 5 minute intervals) – I started quilting again, finishing up the gift quilt just in time for Christmas. By the time I had finished piecing the top on that one, I was actually able to resume sewing again on 2 other half-finished quilts that were also due at Christmas. Once these were done, I actually felt like creating again – and 4 Tablerunners, 12 Placemats, 11 Rice Bags and 1 Pillowcase joined the ranks as Christmas gifts. I was even able to finish them all up by their “deadlines”!    😉   

Somehow, God’s Grace showed up and re-awoke my desire to make quilty-things again.

“Thank You” God. I feel better now.     🙂    

Now….enter the illustrious Pat Sloan into the picture. Miss Pat decided to have a New Years UFO Busting Party/Luau.

I only had 1 UFO left – that purple quilt still on my design wall…..

So…… I took a deep breath, asked God for help (LOTS of help), and said “Okay…this will be the UFO Party project”. I then posted a picture for Pat of what I would be “Busting” at the party.

You see, this quilt represents so much more than just “a quilt for me”.  It represents the very last of my creative projects that Scott helped with/was involved in from the beginning. It stirs up sadness, tears, pain, memories and happy moments in my mind (that I hold dear) which all come flooding back every time I look at those blocks.

But, it is time. It is time to finish it.

So, with God’s help, I am determined to finish that quilt. It will NOT be a gift for anyone else. Ever. It is mine. It could never hold the importance, significance, or memories for anyone else (with only the exception of my son who was there during this quilts journey) that it will forever hold for me.

Therefore, I have resumed work on it. I’ve pulled out the last of the pattern notes on the quilt, picked out the final fabric combinations to pull the whole thing together, and have started piecing all of the little parts that make up the final center medallion block. After that, it just leaves the sashing and borders to do. It is going slower than expected – but, it is going!    😉    

So, Miss Pat, “Thank You” for the UFO Busting Party kick-in-the-butt. I am not finished in time to meet the end of party deadline: but, I am “in progress”.     🙂    

I will keep you all posted on how it goes. If you would like to see photos of the blocks I am working with, you can click on my Flickr Feed over on the left column of this blog. Just look for all of the purple and green blocks.

🙂

Christmas Quilty Things

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the things I made for Christmas presents this year (now that all of the recipients have received/opened them). Some of these have been “in the works” since last Christmas – and it was nice to finally finish them up.

See…. I really do still occasionally turn on my sewing machine!    😉

Words to Live By – As a Quilter

I was recently asked what the best advice I’d ever gotten was in regards to quilting. As I started to ramble a few things off, I realized that there were more than a few Pearls of  Wisdom that I’d retained over the years. So, I figured I’d write them down and share them with you here. A few of them can be easily applied to life in general – so, I’ll start with those for those of you who are not quilters.  😉 

1) “They don’t ask us if they can go buy a new fishing rod, or gun, or bass boat – so we don’t need to be askin’ them if we can go buy more fabric!”… Ms. “Every Granny”

2) “Do what you love – we’re just making blankets here people!!” …Mark Lipinski

3) “I’m a girl, and I’m a Quilter – so I have the right to change my mind!” ..Pat Sloan

4) There are NO “Quilt Police”!!!!

5) Only God is perfect – our quilts don’t have to be!

6) PLAY!!!! You never know what you may create!

7) Rules? What Rules???

8) “Who said you can’t mix fabrics in a quilt?” …Mark Lipinski

9) Invest in a CrockPot!!!

10) Cheaper is NOT better when it comes to fabric, or supplies!

11) Vacuum out the lint from your Bobbin Case after every quilt.

12) Use the edge of your quilting/machine foot as your guide to ensure a quarter inch seam.

13) Can’t afford the cost of backing fabrics? Use a 250 thread count Flat Sheet instead.

14) Take a photo of EVERY quilt that you finish.

15) If you are proud of it – LABEL IT!!!

16) You can topquilt with ANY thread if you will use a size 90 needle and LOOSEN your upper thread tension.

17)If you can see thru the fabric (loose weave) DO NOT USE IT for a quilt.

18) You can NEVER have too much fabric!! Especially at 2am when the Quilt Shop is closed and you just need 1 more piece of material for a quilt that has to be done by morning!!

19) Don’t Iron press your quilt blocks until the block is finished being pieced or it can/will warp.

20) If you absolutely LOVE a fabric – BUY IT NOW! The manufacturers only produce it for a few months and it will be gone when you go back to the shop later!

21) NEVER buy less than 1 yard of fabric for an accent fabric – and less than 2 yards for a prominent fabric in your pattern. You WILL make a cutting mistake someday!

22) Always cut/layout a sample block BEFORE you cut out a whole quilt, or sew the first stitch! If you hate the block/look, you can painlessly change it now!

23) Place all of your fabrics for a project on a table and JUST look at them for 1 – 3 days. If you change your mind about using any of the fabrics/color combos, you can change them now.

24) IT IS OK to own every ruler ever made – you never know when you might need one of them!  🙂 

25) If you start making sloppy cutting/sewing mistakes – STOP, walk away, and take a 15 minute break!! Otherwise, your mistakes will just get worse.

26) ALWAYS unplug your machine!! Lightening strikes – and surge protectors are not fail-safe!!

27) Don’t be afraid/reluctant to cut a fabric that you love! If you die, your significant other/family will just sell that fabric in a Garage Sale for a quarter, or throw it in the trash. Use it now!!!

28) If you ever have to travel with your quilts, or ship them, then always #1 Label them and #2 place a note/card inside the luggage/box with them that lists your name, MAILING address, phone numbers, and e-mail address in case the outside identification/destination info gets damaged or removed!

29) Stray block leftover from a project? Use it as the top (bodice) for an apron, or make it into a matching throw pillow for the quilt you just made, or turn it into a mouse pad for your computer, or a potholder.

30) No quilt design wall? Take a bunch of your old batting scraps and zigzag stitch them together until they are the size you want. Thumbtack them to the wall for a portable design wall that you can take down easily as needed.

31) Donate your “practice quilts” to the local animal shelter. The dogs and cats don’t care what they look like, and the animals are just happy to have them to sleep on!

Have a great day!

Shady

Decisions, Decisions……

Okay – you remember that block I showed you before, and said it would make cute layouts once the other 2 fabrics were added????

Well, it does make really cute layouts. That’s the problem…I can’t decide which layout that I like better……

Possibility #1….

Possibility #2…..

Whatcha think???

Shady