Monday, April 30, 2012

Travel Shoe Bags

A few years ago when I bought this pair of shoes, they came with a wonderful travel bag.

As I was doing a fair amount of travel at the time, I immediately made a second out some really ugly green plaid flannel I had just to use it up.  Both bags have served well.

Recently I saw some graphics on The Graphics Fairy that made my heart go pitter pat!  They were vintage shoe graphics and would be perfect for the outside of travel shoe bags.

Since I will soon be traveling to Columbus, Ohio for The National Quilting Association, Inc. 43rd show, it was the perfect time to make a couple of new travel bags for my shoes so my clothes don't get any shoe dust or polish on them.

First I made this one.

Aren't you glad we don't have to button our shoes?

Even with a nifty silver button hook, it would take all day!

Ah, this is better!  Slip on shoes!

If you look closely, you can see that there is a mariner's compass on the toe of this shoe.  How cool is that?  That's the theme of this year's show!

These travel shoe bags were fast and easy to make.  The fabric is Osnaburg which is sort of an oatmeal color.  I cut a 20" x 15" rectangle for each bag.  The shoes were printed out on Avery Ink Jet Transfer paper and ironed on to the fabric.  First I folded it in half for placement.  Then it was simple to sew around one side and the bottom leaving about 3" on the top right side unsewn.  I later hemmed the 3" opening and made a casing at the top.  The Laura Ashley bag had cording through the casing, but I did not have any, so I simply used some quarter inch cream colored satin ribbon.

I think it almost took as long to iron the transfers on to the fabric as it did to sew them.

Now get busy!  Before your next trip, make some shoe bags to protect your clothes and to make you smile!



Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's PINK!

Hope you are all having a wonderful Saturday! 

For those of you who know me well, you know I'm not a fan of pink.  Oh, I like it okay, but not in large doses.  When we moved to Alabama a few years ago we bought a pink house.  And I mean pink!  Every room was pink.  The carpet was pink.  There was pink tile on the fireplace.  The trim was painted pink!  There was pink wallpaper in the kitchen.  There was pink floral wallpaper in two bathrooms! Fortunately the house was brick or it would have been pink -- in fact it sort of was pinkish, but not PINK!  My studio was Pepto Bismol pink!  I spent the first 2 months painting over the pink.

Yesterday morning, we had a tragedy.  My hair dryer broke!  Now for those of you with long straight hair, I'm sure you are thinking, "Big Deal!"  Those of you who wear your hair really short are having the same thoughts.  But I just had my hair cut earlier this week in a chin length A-line cut. AND my hair is wavy.  This is not a good combination.  If my hair is cut right, I can get by with it curling up on me, but this cut just didn't work with the waves and curls.  This cut needs a hair dryer and a bog round brush to look right.

Since I had to go to the Post Office anyway, I went to buy a hair dryer. Fortunately, I did not see anyone I knew so no one knew how really bad I looked!  It's not pretty folks!  Well, actually, the hair dryer kind of is, even if it is pink.

I was about to pick up another boring grey dryer when I noticed the one next to it by the same manufacturer was ON SALE!  Of course, the photo on the box was pink, but it was HOT pink.  That's the best pink there is unless we are talking roses, then the best is pale pink, but that's another topic.

So here is what I brought home.

It is kind of cute, isn't it?

It is definitely not boring grey and has 3 settings so I can keep from burning my head and frying my hair!

I know, it's not a quilt and it's not even what many people would consider a "good thing".  However, when I go out tonight, I won't have to hope no one sees me because my hair is nice and smooth, the way it is supposed to be.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Saw Tooth Star Top - Finally!

You've been getting bits and pieces of the Saw Tooth Star Quilt top and it is finally finished!

I can see from the photo that it is not quite straight on the design wall. It sort of goes down hill on the right side!  My arms are only so long, you know! On a quilt this size, I couldn't reach both corners at once!

Here are a few of the blocks up close and personal.  Yep, it's scrappy!

And here is how the string pieced setting triangles work with the blocks.

And here is how the corner triangles turn so the strings align on the sides and the bottom and tops.

Now this quilt gets to join the other tops waiting to be quilted.  I really need to stop making tops and finish the ones that are just waiting backing, batting and quilting.  Do you do that?  I think the making of the top must be my favorite part of the quilt making process.  What is your favorite part?  Design, stitching it together or quilting?  Or do you send your quilt to a long arm quilter to be quilted?

Now, the next project is to make some order in this studio.  It needs cleaning up, organizing and vacuuming up those bits of foundation paper from the setting triangles.  Sheesh!  That stuff goes everywhere!

I also have a couple of other projects in the works.  The wicker chairs are going to get new denim cushions and the loft needs new color coordinated pillows.  Then there is the ottoman in the family room that desperately needs a new slipcover.  Also I'm in the process of changing the "pink room" into an office so I can get the office things out of the studio.  Wish me luck!



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring in Arizona!

Sunday we broke a heat record.  It was 105 degrees!  This is early for that hot, but it does tell us to enjoy what is left of Spring here in the desert.

Often people think that the desert means only cacti and sand, but we really do have some color and beautiful flowers.  They are just different from other areas of the country.  I still miss the forsythia, hydrangeas, daffodils, lilacs and wisteria of the other places we have lived around the country, but I thought you might like to see what greets us as we walk out the front door of our home.

It's not forsythia, but the yellow blooms are quite pretty.

This is the view looking at our home from the street.

Ahchoo!  This is what is under the tree covering the granite stones.  This is why Arizona is NOT the place to come if you have allergies!  Combine that with the dust storms and look out!

We almost lost this little tree during the monsoon season last year.  It is recovering, but has a ways to go.  It has lovely yellow trumpet shaped flowers.

We have brilliant pink bougainvillea in the back yard, and some shrubs that have blue flowers, as well as lavender and a few other shrubs that bloom occasionally depending on the amount of rain and temperature.

I have not worked at having flowers since we came back to AZ.  Our old house here had a lot of flowers that I had planted.  Maybe this Fall I'll get some more things in.  It is a lot of work to keep some flowers blooming here year round as the Summers are just too hot and dry.

Hope you enjoyed a little peek at Arizona in the Spring.

Until next time,

Sunday, April 22, 2012

String Setting Triangles It Is!

Hi friends!

This week, I have been to a sew day, babysat a 2 year old, helped pack part of the 5000,000 plus meals our church is sending to Haiti and Africa, and made 18 string setting triangles and 4 corner string triangles.  Whew!  It's been busy!  In between there is always the laundry, ironing, cleaning, shopping, etc.  You know the routine -- husbands say they are going to take a shower and they do.  Wives say they are going to take a shower and they do, plus clean the shower, counters, mirrors and any other cleanup that needs being done in the bathroom.  Big difference!

You may remember that last Fall I was in a fabric exchange.  I told you about it here.  Also I had received a box of goodies from DH's cousin, Sheila, which I showed you here.  Well, here is a look at what I've done with all those neutrals.  (A lot of the other fabric from Sheila is in the saw tooth star blocks).

The one that is divided are the 4 corner triangles and the one in back is one of the 18 string setting triangles I made this week.  Those neutrals really create some texture used this way don't they?

I will show you a photo of the quilt top again when I finish piecing the blocks and sashes and setting the rows together.  I stopped working on that stage so I could work on the setting triangles on sew day Tuesday rather than trying to take all the blocks off the design wall.

Now do you remember my dilemma about the fabric I wanted to use for the sashes? I showed you what it looked like in this post.

Well, I got an e-mail from cousin Sheila who has a great sense of humor.  She asked me why I couldn't be a green person instead of a blue person because she had scoured quilt shops in the Chicago area and found the stripe I wanted -- except it was green and tan!

In yesterday's mail, I got this.

Ha, ha!  Can you read the print?  It says, "See!  I told you I found it in green & tan!

Now, I need to make a quilt where green and tan are the starring colors!  Thank you, Sheila!  What a treat and I really enjoyed the giggles when I saw what was in the package!

Until next time,

Monday, April 16, 2012

Saw Tooth Star Sash & Le Lapin

Hello Friends!

This past week has been a busy one for some reason.

I found fabric for the sashes on the Saw Tooth Star and though it is not what I wanted, it is fine.  I really liked the one I told you about before, but it just wasn't available anywhere.  Such is life!

Lately things have been like that, but that's another story.

Here are the blocks with some of the sashes attached (upper left diagonal rows) and the rest are just on the design wall.

Ignore the black strip on the left -- that is another quilt.  Oh, and the corner of the Scrabble game, too.  That isn't supposed to even be in this room!

Tomorrow is a sew day and I'll be working on the setting triangles.  I think they will be string pieced, but I haven't checked out whether or not I will like it.  Sometimes design as you go works and sometimes, not so much!

Just before Easter I saw a pillow on Confessions of a Plate Addict.  I just love this blog!  I had also seen the same pillows that Debra used as her inspiration and had tucked them away for later, but she beat me to it.  Once I saw hers, I wanted to do one in the worst way. Here is the result.

For the cobalt blue square around the outside, I taped off  a 1/4" space and used a blue sharpie to fill it in, but not too heavily.  The fabric is twill so the result looks almost like a denim strip was set in.  My daughter even felt it because she thought that was what I had done.  The rabbit (le lapin in French) was printed on transfer paper and ironed on.  Next I want to do le moulin -- a sheep.

I'm looking forward to a sew day tomorrow.  Today didn't go as planned so far, so I need to spend some time with friends, fabric and my machine.



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Saw Tooth Star Blocks Finished!

Dear Friends,

I hope you had a blessed Easter!  We were blessed to have 19 present for Easter Dinner here.  What fun it was.  It was also our granddaughter E's birthday so we had double reason to celebrate!  One son-in-law and one grandson had to work so could not join us.  Law enforcement agencies and restaurants must stay open even on Easter!

The Saw Tooth Star blocks were finished before Easter, but I was too busy cleaning and cooking to edit the photos and write a blog.  Monday was the after cleaning and yesterday I got to go to the dentist and then look for sashing fabric for the Saw Tooth Star blocks.  And, no, I have not found any more of the perfect fabric I was looking for.  One cousin (thank you, Sheila!) and one shop owner (thank you, Mary, at Zoe's trunk) tried really hard to find it though.  Mary thought she might have some in her personal stash, but not in the amount I needed, so I had to buy something else.  It's nice, but it's not perfect like this one!

Here is how the blocks came together:

Fifty 4-patch blocks were needed.

400 half-square triangles stitched in pairs.  You can see how those were made here.

They look like this once stitched.

More chain stitching to add 4-patches.

Add the second side and then.......

Add the 3rd & 4th sides that have squares added on each end.

That gives you this!

50 of the blocks ready for the sashing.  Whew!  Now I have to cut the less than perfect fabric for the sash pieces and THEN, there will be some setting triangles to be made.

How do you like it so far?  I think it's a great use of all those exchange neutrals and the fabric Sheila gifted me with plus some stash fabric to fill the blocks out.

What are you working on?

Until next time,

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Uh, Oh! I need help!

Dear Friends,

You know I love scrap quilts.  You know I almost never buy yardage unless I know exactly where it will be used.  Well, that habit has gotten me in trouble this time.

I found the PERFECT fabric to use for the sash pieces in the quilt I'm working on.  But and you knew there was a but, didn't you, there is not nearly enough.

If you have this fabric (the blue) in the photo, would you be willing to part with it and sell it to me?  I need a little over 2 yards.  If you have 2-1/8 yards, I could make it.  I need 120 of these sash pieces, but only have enough fabric for 16.  BIG difference!

See how perfect it looks?

So far only 4 of the blocks are finished, but the rest are getting close.  I have attached the 3rd side and am pressing them getting ready to add the final row of half squares and squares.  The rows are ready to go, just need to finish pressing the blocks and pin the final side on.

In the mean time will you check your stashes to see if you have this fabric.  It is a Terry Clothier Thompson/Barbara Brackman print from -- are you ready for this? -- 2000.  I know, it's old, but it is perfect!

If you have this fabric in the yardage I need, please e-mail me so I can make arrangements with you to buy it and for shipping it.  I will forever be in your debt!

Thank you for listening to my plea for this fabric!  Next time I'll share the other 47 blocks of this quilt. 

Until Next time,