Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pincushion Swapping

I love them!
How about you?

Recently I participated in a great little pincushion side swap with my MQTS* flickr group. 
These little swaps are so much fun!  This round I was assigned Kristin as my partner.  She's a lovely young woman and very talented quilter.  Kristin and I traded a few emails and I spent a lot of time exploring her flickr stream and her flickr favorites trying to get a sense of what kind of pincushion she'd like.  Three things really stuck with me as I was thinking and planning.  I knew from the very beginning I wanted to include Kristin's initial on whatever I ended up making.  K is such a fun letter!  Kristin mentioned she was longing for Autumn and tired of summer, and many of her favorite photos of flickr featured items make with Liberty of London prints and linen.  I showed Kristin a couple fabric choices and she chose these yummy  Liberty prints.  She specifically mentioned she especially liked that second print from the bottom.

My Liberty prints are from a brick swap (5 x 10) I participated in a couple years ago, so the pieces I have to work with are rather small.  Since she liked the one floral print so much, I decided to feature it and not cut it up small bits.  A Mug Rug seemed like a  good choice and would be a nice little extra for the package. It's about 6.5 inches square. 

The mug rug just used half of my pretty little print, so a little needle book seemed like a good way to use the rest of the piece.  The K is embroidered with DMC perle cotton on Essex Linen.  

Here's the entire cover with the rest of the floral on the back. 

The inside cover has a little pocket where a package of needles or a needle threaded could be tucked in. 

Finally, here's the pincushion--another hand embroidered K surrounded by hexies. Kristin said she'd like a practical pincushion with no buttons.  This one is nice and chunky!  It's nearly 5 inches square and 1.75 inches deep.  

Each side of the pincushion has a different print. 

The back was pieced with all the leftover bits from the hexagons.

Here's the group shot!

A few little extra goodies went into the package. There's a package of Hiroshima Embroidery needles, my favorite super fine pins, a couple more K's, and that funny little key ring.  That little red spool is actually a flashlight! 

Now while I was making these little things for Kristin, she was making something very special for me.  Our packages crossed in the mail and actually arrived on the same day!
Here's my wonderful new pincushion!  It's made from a rainbow of beautiful Liberty prints and linen.  Yep, our swap ended up with a little theme all it's own!  This is a big pincushion- it's about 10 x 4.  Kristin mentioned it turned out a bit bigger than she expected.

I told Kristin that is was just perfect!  I've wanted a long narrow pincushion to fit right here on the long bed of my SSO machine. I must admit, I am not sure I can stab that pretty Liberty rainbow with pins.  I think I'll be jabbing the linen instead.  =)  

Kristin shared a bunch of her precious Liberty charms with me!  These are the Tanna Lawns.  The prints are so pretty and the fabric is so so so soft.  I'm just thrilled to bits.  
Now do you see that great box?  It's hiding a lovely bar of premium dark chocolate.  That box is so much fun I'll be pinning it on my bulletin board where I can enjoy it long after the chocolate is gone.  I feel so touched by the wonderful gift Kristin made for me, as well as the thoughtful extras. 

Hope you are finding a little time to play with pretty fabrics, too!


 *MQTS=Mini Quilt Trading Swap

Friday, October 3, 2014

Meet "SPOT"-- A Fabulous Friday Finish

Happy Friday!
I'd like to show you a happy, happy finish today.
You might need to don your sunglasses's a little bit ........ Bright!

"SPOT" 62 x 72 inches.
SPOT was created on a whim.  My beautiful daughter gave me a couple little fat quarter bundles of polka dot fabric for Christmas a couple years ago.  I knew I wanted to do something special with it, but never could make a decision on a design.   Nothing I considered seemed right or good enough for these fabulous dots. One day it finally hit me--big 9 Patch Blocks -- so SIMPLE and it would let the fabric SHINE!   I spent a little time doing math, determining the best way to use up virtually every bit of my fat quarters.  I did have to hunt up a couple more prints, so my daughter and I hit the quilt shops. Then there was a couple of afternoons sewing sewing sewing and TA DA: I had SPOT!  

close up of the quilting.
 Spot went off to the long arm quilter and came back with marvelous wavy lines criss crossing each block and the entire quilt.  
Guess we could say X Marks the Spot?  
Yeah, I hear you groaning, but it is was good pun, right?  
That's why you are groaning??  Right?  

SPOT's Spotty backing
Spot is backed with another dot print, this time giant sized.  I love this fabric so much, and it's my favorite bright green.  The binding is an uneven stripe in black and white.  

I'm in LOVE with SPOT!  SPOT is staying at my house and is going to live with me forever!  I'm looking forward to cooler temperatures so SPOT and I can cuddle up and read books together.  I think SPOT will be the perfect winter companion, don't you?  

Thank you, thank you, dear Daughter for those spotty fat quarters!


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Yes, I guess I am jumping the gun on that greeting by about 30 days, but I am so excited to share a couple special mini quilts with you today!

This year I've started swapping mini quilts with the wonderful ladies of the MQTS flickr group.  This is one talented group!  I'm still amazed they let me in, and just thrilled they did.  We recently had an Autumn/Halloween swap so we could all be ready for the season.  My swap partner and I both made spooky themed mini's.  Would you like to see?  I am pretty sure I see you nodding yes!

This is the quilt that I made for Laura.  She mentioned she liked Frankenstein and all the old time movie monsters.  After changing my mind about what to make several hundred times, I remembered that I have a copy of Amy Bradley's fabulous Halloween pattern.  I decided to shrink down and adapt two of the blocks for a very special wedding album snap shop.  

Let me present to you, 
"Mr & Mrs. Monster"! 
Aren't they just the epitome of a happy couple?
Mini Measures 12.5 inches square.

Here's some information about what went into making this mini.  First, the original pattern was resized and shrunk down.  All the items in the 'photo' portion of the quilt are raw edge appliqued with either a button hole stitch or straight stitch using either Auriful or Metler Silk Finish thread.  I used Steam a Seam Lite to adhere the pieces to the foundation.  Every bit of fabric in this mini came from my stash or scraps.  Mrs Monster's eye make up is actually crayon tinted, my first time using that method. 

I'd like to give a special shout out to my friend Patti, aka Bouncy Poodle.  She held my hand and talked me through using some unfamiliar techniques as well as helping me when I made a goof and needed to correct it.  She's my mini quilt guru!  Thank you, Patti!

Mrs Monster is a modern girl and needed some bling for her special day.  I spent over an hour one day scouring the various departments of a huge Hobby Lobby store until I found the perfect accessory for a modern monster girl-- Ta Da!  
Bolt rings!  
'Cause where else is a girl with no ears supposed to hang her earrings??  

May I just add that I think I'm lucky the people in Hobby Lobby didn't call the authorities on me?  I went through the store giggling over these little skulls and must have looked like a complete lunatic! There might also have been a little happy dance in the jewelry findings aisle....
Mrs Monster's sparkly skull bolt rings

Here's a peek at the back and the quilt label.  Isn't this fabric fabulous?  I couldn't resist when I spotted it at the shop during the summer.  At that point I had no idea what I'd do with it, but it is the perfect backing for this mini.  The label is hand embroidered 

We always send out mini quilts with some little presents in the package.  This is what I sent my partner.  A few Spooky fat quarters, an LED glitter pumpkin, an orange tape measure, a couple spools of themed ribbon, and a monster zip pouch.  The pouch came from Target during the back to school sale.  It zips all the way out until it is just a strip.  I fell in love with them and bought several in different colors.  It seemed perfect to go with in this mini package.  Lastly, I wanted my partner to know where the mini came from, so a little San Antonio magnet for her fridge went along.  

Now it's time for me to reveal the wonderful mini that arrived at my house from Laura!  It is so Spooky Cute and I just love having it hung up in my sewing room.  

Here it is: "Spooky Stars"!

I am really impressed with Laura's quilt.  I've never attempted 5 pointed stars and have always been intimidated by the entire idea. Aren't Laura's stars just perfect?  Look at the adorable fussy cuts in the center of each star as well as the center of the mini!  She did a beautiful job on this darling little quilt! 
"Spooky Stars" by Laura Van Vleet.
Measures just 13.5 inches square.
 Laura put some fun things in the package for me.  She made that darling little bat card, which is now hanging on my bulletin board.  She thoughtfully included scraps from the project as well as a couple larger pieces of themed fabric.  Can't ever have too many spooky scraps, right?

This is the backing of the mini quilt.  Isn't this the cutest fabric?  Laura sent along a chunk of this for me.  I keep thinking I need to make a little mug rug with it.  Laura signed the mini on the striped binding.  

I'm sure you'll agree, I am a lucky girl to have such a creative and talented swap partner!
So, thank you Laura! It's a special little treasure. 

Talk to you later this week!
I've got another finished quilt to show you.