Monday, December 29, 2014

Quilty Little Christmas


I am loving Lori Holt's Have Yourself a Quilty Little Christmas quilt along on Instagram.  Most of the blocks are in Lori's book Quilty Fun, but she shares some new ones, too.   This has got to be one of the cutest Christmas quilts available.  It is a small quilt, but I found the size didn't matter when it came to how long it took me to finish a block.  Or maybe I'm just not that fast.  Anyway, it's been a lot of fun to piece.  Check out Lori's blog at http://beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.com 

I wasn't able to start this until Christmas Day, but that was fine with me.  Because of everyone's crazy schedules this year, we celebrated on Christmas Eve.  Christmas Day was very quiet, just the hubby and me.  The perfect time to begin a new project.





All I need now is to finish the snowman for the back and the embellishments for my wreaths and Gingerbread Man block. 




Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Eve Festivities

This year we are getting together and opening gifts on Christmas Eve. Dinner is going to be easy-to-fix lasagna and French bread.  I will probably make a strawberry cake for dessert, but nothing fancy.  Still, just to liven it up a little, I decided to try my hand at making napkins for the place settings.



My local fabric shop was giving out this pattern, so I thought I would make a sample to see if I liked it.  It's really easy.  You cut 2 18" circles from 2 different fabrics, cut the circles in half, and sew wrong sides together (leaving a 4" opening), then turn inside out and stitch closed.  The 18" circles will make 2 napkins.  There are several patterns like this on Pinterest.  The hardest part is folding the napkin to resemble a tree.  I think mine looks pretty close.

I still have a couple of more presents to wrap, but at least I got all the baking done and packed, ready to give to special friends. 

Every year I say I am not going to do any gift baking because it is SO expensive, but every year I get the bug to bake and off I go.  One of my New Year's Resolutions needs to be to read last year's notes on the subject.

Hope everyone has a 
Wondrous Holiday Season!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Big Wind

Another storm rolled into California, this one with a lot of wind.  It's been foggy for the last few days and I was glad to see the wind because it would blow out some of the fog, but I never expected winds of 50+ mph!  Our fence became a casualty!  Ouch!  Insurance called and is taking care of the problem. 



It's a nasty day outside, wet and cold, so it's perfect day to wrap presents!





Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Shopping in the Rain and a Little Stitching

At last California is getting some much needed rain!  So today I went shopping in the rain at Target and a few other places.  I love their festive decorations.


Then home in time to do a little sewing.  


This little table topper is from Kimberbell.  She has the cutest designs and they are all easy and quick projects that can be completed in a weekend.

I found some cute buttons in my stash and embellished the top hats with them.  If this doesn't put you in the holiday spirit, nothing will!  Fa La La La La

 


Monday, December 1, 2014

The Countdown Begins

On the First Day of Christmas I . . .

. . .  decorated the tree


















 . . . and made a Santa Trinket Bag from an old pattern I bought at a yard sale.


This little bag is only big enough to hold a tiny gift.  The bag itself measures only about 3-1/2" x 4".  This pattern came from Creative Makings by Martie and was published in 1978.  His eyes are black beads, his mouth is embroidered, and his cheeks and nose are felt.  Santa's boots and gloves are felt, too.  I had some old Christmas ribbon and used it to accent his suit and hat.  I think he looks a little Scandinavian or Danish.  It's really a cute little bag but I doubt that I will make more than just one because I just don't have many tiny presents to give.

 


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Aloha!

Just as our weather was cooling down, we got on a plane and went to Hawaii.  The temp was usually 84 degrees with 55+ humidity, but hey, it's Hawaii.  It truly is Paradise, and what made it even more heavenly was that we had our family with us.  

We stayed at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort, a very nice hotel.  Our first day my husband and I took a guided tour of the island, and yes, we got to see to see the volcano, but not close.  I thought it would hot anywhere near an active volcano, but it was actually cold.  We also got to stick our faces in steam vents coming from the volcano.  Great facial!  I was sure it would stink of sulfur, but it has very little odor.  So much for what I thought!
  
As a family we took a dinner cruise and it was great!  Probably my favorite event.  There were about 20 guest aboard a catamaran.  They fed us a delicious dinner with drinks and sailed us away.  It was a little cloudy, but the sunset was still breathtaking.

Our last night we went to a luau.  We have to been to luaus before and usually the entertainment was better than the food, but this time the food was delicious.  The show was great, too, and they even got one of my sons on stage to hula with the girls.  What a hoot!


video

It's fun to go, but it's always nice to get back, too.  (To tell the truth, I miss my dog.)  This is a shot of LA from the plane window.  Home Sweet Home.  

Aloha  . . .  until next time. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

BOOgie Fever Table Runner

Some of you asked for the pattern for the BOOgie Fever Fiends.  There is no real "pattern," but here are the fiends that you can copy and cut out for your own use. This is not a quick project and it helps if you're an organized person.  I am not.  I lost pieces every time I turned around and had bits and pieces of fabric shavings and paper shards all over my craft room.  You will definitely need to sweep when you finish.  Take your time when cutting out the shapes, and most of all have fun!

Here are the drawings for the fiends on the BOOgie Fever Table Fever.  They can be copied onto 8.5"x11" paper then enlarged by 25%.  Finished sizes are approximately 12" tall.

To make the fiends, it was easiest for me to trace the shapes onto the paper side of fusible web, cut and iron pieces to appropriate colored fabric, then cut out shapes.  I then positioned them on their background fabric (9.5"x14.5"), peeled off the backing, and ironed them down. 

For the women's mouths I fused a white (teeth) fabric piece on top of a slightly larger red fabric piece (lips), then fused it to the face.

Details like the eyes, Mummy's bandages, Wolfie's nose, and Frank's and his bride's stitches were drawn on with a permanent black marker.











Thursday, October 30, 2014

What's Brewing at the Black Cat Crossing Blog Hop


BOO!


Welcome to the last day of the
Black Cat Crossing Blog Hop
and my day to share my wicked creations.

A big thank you to Madame Samm for another great challenge and to Wendy for hosting this enchanted event and allowing me to join the fun!  And thank you, too, to Maywood Studio for sponsoring this hop.  


  
I ordered my Black Cat Crossing fabric online and was so excited when it arrived.  The colors were beautiful and the details on the panels were stunning.  Now I was tasked with what to create.

After much thought, I decided to make my first project a wickedly funny Halloween wall hanging.  The picture panels helped make completing this project quick and easy, my style of quilt.  




Frog looks happy Old Witch is in the cauldron and not him.


My next project is a table runner I call BOOgie Fever.  These characters were so much fun to piece and fuse and look great dancing up and down my dining room table.  Even Boney Bonnie thinks so.


 
Who says these fiends can't be wickedly handsome and ghoulishly gorgeous???

 And what's Halloween without a costume of sorts?  All right, it's only an apron, but that's as dressed up as it gets around here.  Boney Bonnie volunteered to help pass out the treats this year, so she gets to wear the apron. I think she looks lovely.



 I hope you had as much fun seeing my designs as I did creating them. Be sure and check out what's brewing at these sites:


Friday, October 31
Sew We Quilt

Have a Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Trick or Treat




Getting ready for the Trick or Treaters.  Since Halloween is going to be on Friday this year, I thought I might need to start early in anticipation of my monstrous guests. 

Five Little Pumpkins Sitting On A Gate

 

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The first one said,
"Oh my, it's getting late."
The second one said,
"But we don't care."
The third one said,
"I see witches in the air."
The fourth one said,
"Let's run, and run, and run."
The fifth one said,
"Get ready for some fun."
Then whoosh went the wind,
And out went the lights,
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight! 
 -- Coolest Halloween Poems --

Monday, October 27, 2014

Black Cat Crossing Blog Hop

Are you following the Black Cat Crossing Blog Hop?  If not, you're really missing some fun projects and talented bloggers.  Hope you can stop by October 31st and see my wicked entries.

Just a little sneak peek . . .



Hope to see you soon!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Carving Time

Drawing the design
What is Halloween without pumpkins? 



After you pick your pumpkin and clean it out, then it's time to decise what you want the face to look like.

Then you have to pick a design and draw it on the pumpkin.






Begin carving!



Such concentration!
The Grim Reaper!

That's a great pumpkin!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sew We Quilt Blog Hop

By the pricking of my thumb
Something wicked this way comes


Ready for a spooky soiree?  
Sew We Quilt is having a spooky blog hop starting Monday, October 20.
Join us if you dare.




Wicked Wendy has the Schedule HERE

Those participating in this year's wicked fun are the following:
Monday, October 20

Tuesday, October 21

Wednesday, October 22

Thursday, October 23

Friday, October 24

Monday, October 27  

Tuesday, October 28

Wednesday, October 29
A Stitch in Time     

Thursday, October 30

Friday, October 31

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fun Halloween Project

I purchased the cutest Halloween wall hanging pattern created by Kimberbell.  It was offered at The Missouri Star Quilting Company who turned it into a block of the month tutorial.  You can see the tutorials on You Tube and follow Jenny as she creates each block.  Well, once I got started, I couldn't stop.  My neighbor loves Halloween, too, so I made two of these at the same time and was finished with both in about a week.

  I think half the fun was collecting the Halloween fabric for the different blocks.  The blocks in this little quilt are on the small side so I didn't need a lot of yardage, just variety.


The blocks are different sizes and each one has its own theme.  The main or biggest block is a witch's hat, then there's a haunted house, a little broom, a pumpkin patch, and the cutest little mummy.  There are also two nine-patch blocks and two small blocks with embroidered Halloween sentim
ents.





The 3-D embellishments added to the finished blocks are great.  The spider has yarn legs, the hat gets a jaunty flower, and the broom gets a batch of bristles.  There are some embellishments I choose not to add, like the pumpkin patch yoyos and a sign next to the haunted house.  I made them, but when it came time to add them I just wasn't happy with the effect. 

This was a quick and fun project.  As I was making it, I thought of several other blocks that could be added to make a full-size quilt, or maybe just another wall hanging.  Hmmm . . .


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sculpting

This has nothing to do with quilting, but I thought I would share anyway.  Back in April my daughter-in-law invited me to join her in a metal sculpting class.  She said it was a 4-week course, that we would attend class every Wednesday from 6-9 p.m., that the instructor was a renown sculptor/artist, and at the end we would have a finished metal sculpture.  Sounded like fun, so I said, "Sign me up."


In the beginning you provide a sketch of what you want to make.   For my project I chose to do a mermaid.  I thought she would be pretty easy because she didn't have legs, and since a mermaid is fantasy, she didn't have to look perfectly human.  I searched the Internet for pictures of mermaids and printed off the ones I liked the best.  You can see my favorite on my work table.

A wire form is made and you begin adding clay.  We use an oil-based clay that never hardens.  You can heat it up in the microwave to make it easier to work with, especially when you're just adding clay to the wire form.  It takes a lot of clay to fill the form.  My piece is not really that big, maybe 15 inches. 


 There is a skeleton in class that is used to get the body measurements to scale.  Pins are stuck in the clay at points like elbows and knees.  You can see the pin in my mermaid's elbow.  She is being done at a scale of 1/8.



Most everyone else enjoys a glass of wine while they sculpt, but I like my coffee.  Everyone tells me I work fast.  Maybe it's got something to do with the caffeine.


I needed a lot of help with the facial features.  Dwight is an excellent artist and a really good teacher.  He makes suggestions, then lets you go for it.




Once the hair was added she started looking like a real mermaid to me.  Dwight added some wires to her head so that her hair could trail behind her like it might in water.    The messy clumps of clay bits were smoothed into long wavy tresses with my thumb.

To make her look like she is floating in the water, the barest structure will be placed under her.  Near her tail fins I made long strands of seaweed coming up from the base and curving around her backside.



She gets ears, or the equivalent of what I thought a mermaid's ears might look like.  Her face is smoothed out into a more serene look. 

 And she's done.  Her next step is to be made into bronze.  That's a really expensive process, so I don't know when or if that will happen.















What was supposed to be 4 weeks, turned out to be more like 4 months, but I had great time learning all about sculpting.  I must say I am impressed with her.  Our instructor Dwight Dreyer is amazing and an awesome teacher.