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It’s the season girls…Pj ‘s, hot chocolate, lots of TV and hand work. Yes, it’s almost winter and all I wanna do is bunker down, finish projects, and start new ones that I can finally finish this time next year.
Speaking of that…our annual downtime project last year is finally finished! It only took me a year to find the time..just in time to start a new one that is.

Let’s recap how these projects go…
*November/December is our slow time of year which allows us to work on projects for fun.
*We usually take a pattern or idea and put our own spin on it to make it fun & spark our creativity.
*2011’s project was the trees from material obsession.
*2012’s project was Tree House Hideaway from the book Hexa Go-Go. A must have for the hexie lover by the way!

hexa go go

The original tree house is rated ‘G’.

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But my story is definitely for the more mature. My tree house is for adults only y’all.

Meet Samantha.

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Her favorite mode of transportation is a bicycle and her basket is always full of pretty flowers.

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She’s just up in the tree house ensuring a great time with her babe by adding a little something special to the punch…vodka:)..martinis are on the menu up in here.

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Her Babe has arrived early for their rendezvous. She better hurry…

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So sweet..he’s brought her flowers! Uh..he better have not picked those from her basket…hmmm.
Come on up Babe! Let me fix you a drink…It’s time for our Tree House Rendezvous!

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So you see, just by taking an existing pattern, thinking out of the box, you can create your own story. Have fun with your projects. Mix it up! Not with vodka, but with different medias. Add embroidery, crochet, or buttons.

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For example,..I added embroidered lazy daisies & french knots on the basket and his bouquet for more dimension. There are no rules when you allow yourself to make it your own.

Now I need a new story and I promise NOT to take an entire to finish this one…It’s time to create!

I came across a free block of the month over at Shabby Fabrics called Country Cottages. Just what I love, a block that has embroidery & applique. If you’re new to applique she even has a tutorial available. Here’s my version..

The only thing I changed was leaving off the snowflakes because it competed with my background. I think it turned out a bit more swiss cottage than country, but that’s ok. That’s what’s so great about these free BOM’s with their Flickr groups. Everyone gets to post their own interpretation and we can all be inspired by each others work.

I really like her work and patterns so I’m sure this is going to be fun project for the year. Head on over and check it out. Be sure to let me know if you’re going to participate so I can look for your pic on Flickr:)

October Birdie is finished and I’m back on schedule. I do have to admit that my stitching was a little shaky trying to do both of these so blocks so close together. But I think it turned out cute.

I switched the moon to the other side and added a witch’s hat to Birdie. She had to have a costume for all that trick or treating she plans on doing!

What kind of candy is she hoping to get the most of this year? Reese’s cups seem to be my, um, her addiction right now!

My Birdie block for May is finally finished! I snagged one of my sewing machines and other necessities from under the paint tarp and set up shop “old school” on my kitchen table. It doesn’t bother me to sew there, except the table’s too high and my back starts to ache from stretching…or maybe it aches from having to use the proper posture to reach the machine.

But any who, it doesn’t matter how it was finished as long as it was. I must say it turned out cute! I don’t even think this pic does it justice. I weeded out some of the smaller flowers and used the Cosmo Seasons variegated floss. A different one for each flower.

Thanks again Little Miss Shabby for another cutesy, fun block!

We purchased several bolts from Riley Blake last week.

Some Sugar and Spice. We ordered the main piece to this which has all the red and blue daisies on it but it was already gone. We are learning that the process for buying fabric from manufacturers is ….you snooze, you lose!

And some Happier.

These 2 bolts are so cute. The Happier main has a whole scene going on if you look closely. Birds, butterflies, caterpillars. I just knew when this arrived that I had to embroidery something. I immediately thought how nice it would be to ride my bike along this fabric, so I jotted down some ideas and used the tree and critters as inspiration.

Embroidered bicycle

 

I used some scraps cut into different sizes to raw edge applique at the top. It’s a scrappy sky!

Just a little wall decor for my new studio. It’s going to be so nice to surround my sewing room with inspiring things, like this, fabric, or random pics. You never know what might set you in the right direction to make something unique. I even collected some Halloween scrap-booking papers the other day. I know something creative will come from those. Especially since we expect the Riley Blake Trick or Treat line soon.

Vicki is collecting those little cards that are on the front of Moda’s Layer Cakes packaging. I thought that was a cute idea to inspire her and decorate her studio as well. I’m sure, knowing Vicki, that her collection will be quite large:)

So, tell me do you randomly collect anything besides fabric that inspires you?

Yesterday, Jeanne, my Oklahoma Sista from my Flickr Tea Group asked us how our spring projects were going. Well, Jeanne here’s what I’ve been doing and I’d have to say they are going pretty well. I made these cute tea towels with some of my leftover Grandmother’s Flower Garden blocks.

These make me want tulips, warm weather, and green grass. Speaking of tulips,  I was too lazy to plant mine last fall and they’re trying to bloom in my garage! Can you believe that! I did see signs of my Hyacinths coming up yesterday..Yay!

Isn’t that the cutest little embroidered bunny?

So what are you working on to chase away the winter?

I finally have one of my sewing boxes listed on the Etsy store. I actually cut into..I know, say it isn’t so..the unfinished Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt I was working on to make this box.

I hand stitched everything from the flowers, the quilting, and the covering on the underside of the lid and I gotta tell ya that this is hard to part with. I think it turned out just awesome! It’s made from a vintage sewing machine treadle drawer and I’ve attached a lid that doubles as a pincushion. I use mine behind my machine for easy access to my pins, machine needles, and presser feet. It’s one of the things in my sewing room that is unique.

I’ve made several of these over the years. My mom has one out of an orphan block. My Grandma and my Mom-n-Law also have one. This is a pic of mine…

I also made the yellow one on the left. It turned out sooo cute! I machine appliqued the Grandmother’s Flower onto a cute yellow and purple flowered background and hand embroidered a lazy daisy flower in the center.

I’m choosing not to list this cutie on Etsy because it’s not as perfect as I like my things to be. Its flaw is that it doesn’t seem to close as tightly as the other one and I had to move the hardware on it once.  If it were mine, I would love it just the same but I kinda figured that if I’m expecting someone to pay for it, then they expect it to be at least close to perfect. I can’t list something I’m not completely happy with.

I just hate the thought of it not being used and loved by anyone. So I thought I would give it away to anyone who leaves a comment on this post today. I’ll pick the winner and post it tomorrow,  Saturday the 19th.

So if you’re interested please let me know. Remember it’s only for today, Friday the 18th.

Have a great weekend!

Maybe the more appropriate title should be snowed in.

After that super scary blizzard Tuesday night, I had 3 feet drifts preventing me from leaving or opening any doors. It made for a claustrophobic me and a confused puppy, who didn’t understand why we couldn’t take a potty walk…ugh We weren’t dug out till 3:00 p.m….poor thing!

This is the path to my front door! If I was a kid this would be awesome!

So, what do you do on a snow day besides listen to your teenager whine about having nothing to do because he can’t leave the house?

Work on Birdie Stitches block 2.

I finished block 1 of the Birdie Stitches BOM. These fabrics are sooo cute!

Originally, I had done this in the turquoise background, but the longer I looked at it, I knew it was too overpowering.

This time I used Moda’s Grunge in white. I like this version much better. I do wish I’d done the snowman in a darker pink and when all is said and done, I’m sure this block will be on its 3rd version. I’m just that way. I want it perfect!

I did a cluster of french knots in his earmuff and a fringed scarf.  I used a hand dyed variegated floss for the scarf and earmuff. I found an awesome store on Etsy that dyes all their threads and flosses. Its crochet4u2dye4. They sell embroidery and crochet threads. Check it out! You won’t be disappointed in the variety they have.


Its the last Friday of the year and I was just thinking…. what fabric I should post about today? I decided to show some pics of the fabric in our stash that we would really like to use up in the coming new year and list the projects that we would like to accomplish in 2011.

I would really like to get through the Lucy’s Feather Bed fabric. I bought a lot of this because it is soooo darn cute! But I’ve had it a long time. I think I’ll make some baby items up…burp cloths, changing pads, etc.

Now for the list…

1. Of course the Grandmother’s Flower Garden blocks are atop my list.

2. Susan’s Dresdens….I’m halfway through the embroidery and finished with the bitty dresdens. I have all the dresden blades cut out. I want to show this during our SewMod quilt show in July.

3. Welcome to the North Pole

4. Auntie’s Flower Garden…I only have borders left to applique and attach.

5. New York Beauty blocks…I’m going to work on these during our SewMod Sunday Sew-ins and at the end of the year I can decide how to put them into a quilt.

6. Nesting Time embroidery project. I’m pretty excited about this one. Instead of embroidering the pot, nest and eggs, I will be using this wool. Just imagine the nest with different brown strips of wool and maybe some ribbon woven through it…like you’d see in a real nest.

My list is usually a full page but with the Etsy shop and working at the LQS, I’m sure that I’ll be pretty busy. I can’t wait to see if I’ve been able to check these off my list come December 2011.

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When I started my longarm quilting business 4 years ago I ended up putting several projects on hold and boy do I miss them! Now that I’ve pretty much halted machine quilting for clients I’m so looking forward to finishing them up and creating a bunch more!

As I went through my stacks and containers to pull all the unfinished projects I began to hyperventilate when I realized how long some of these projects have been around…so sad,  all these beautiful fabrics and ideas waiting to be made into a special gift or cozy blanket. So, my goal this year is to tackle one at a time starting with some of the ones pictured below and of course use as much of my stash as possible!

1.  This baby pinwheel top has to be more than 5 yrs old my memory isn’t so good I will have to ask my friend Karen V. where we got this she has an amazing memory and we tap into her constantly!

2. This is Amy Butler’s Mid-Mod quilt pattern I’m hoping I have enough of the Midwest Modern border fabric I just love the flower pattern.

3. I picked up this kit at a shop in Saginaw Michigan a couple years ago on a retreat with my longtime sewing group the Pieceful Pals. The pattern is called Flora and fabrics are by Valori Wells. I thought it would be a wonderful spring throw to brighten up my living room.

4. These cute winter batiks are adorable…I just haven’t found the right pattern yet…any ideas????

5. I started these blocks earlier this year in one of our SewMod sewing days. I just love the little black cat so reminds me of my Kitty!

6. I picked up this jelly roll and charm packs at the Rosemont Quilt Show at least 3 years ago. Not my usual style but I was drawn to the combination of the purples, browns and greens. Still haven’t found the right pattern…bought enough of the green for the backing and/or borders.

7. This bunch will eventually be made into 7 giant bags one of my designs we will have on Esty soon! Each pair of fabrics from the top down will be quilted together, bound and straps added -they are really cute and carry a ton of stuff…I fill it up with fabric and projects when I go on retreats. They will hold 3-4 large quilts. I even use it as an  overnight bag it will hold my pillow, change of clothes and all my toiletries and of course some quilt magazines!

8. I have all these wonderful hand-dyed fabrics…they are pushing 15 years old by now. So beautiful and soft! They actually inspired my very first quilt below which I paper-pieced the summer of 1995 using copier paper… never will do that again! Took forever to pick out all the paper. I also sewed it using my mom’s Singer which had two speeds screamin’ fast or off.

I still can’t believe this quilt is rolled up in a bag waiting to be finished. Back in ’95 I had no idea how to machine quilt so there are a billion little stipple stitches throughout all the white areas. A few years ago my mom started picking out the stitches, I took over last year. Very tedious work so I decided to pick out from the backside so if I accidentally ripped the fabric it didn’t matter because it is just plain white fabric…doing it this way is definitely protecting the front from any damage and speeding up the process.

After all the stitching is gone it will be ready for the Gammill…I’m still working on the quilting design -stay tuned if I get this done by the end of the year I will jump for joy – I can’t wait to wrap myself up in it!

Paige

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