Saturday, February 26, 2011

Think Spring Giveaway!

I'm having a quicky giveaway!

5" charm squares of Meadowsweet!
There are 23 of them.
(I know, weird number, right? Well, that's what I've got left over from the Dresden.)

And maybe an extra goodie or two thrown in!

Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about Spring
and I'll pick a winner on Tuesday, March 1st.


** OK, the hard part seems to be making sure I can reach you if you win. If you have a google profile, click here for intructions. If you don't, you can create one. It's easy and free. If you don't want to, you will need to leave your email address in the comment. To avoid spam, you should probably replace the @ and . with the words at and dot, like this: tinastitches at gmail dot com. **


I decided I need to sew today, so I went looking for UFO's. This is the smallest one, which is a great place to start! I needed to step away after adding the borders (mitered!), and when I returned, I noticed that my glasses match this piece perfectly.

Julia and I went shopping with her friend Genevieve yesterday, in search of a dress for me to wear to my nephew's wedding. We found one at Dress Barn. Hooray!

We stumbled upon the grand opening of an Anthropologie store! We had to buy something, so I got this cool mug to replace my Liberty of Target mug that broke, and Julia got these Audrey-inspired sunglasses. Have you seen the picture book called Just Being Audrey? It is so cute!

Then we moved on to stores we can afford! Target and Joann's. This sweater was on Julia's list, and Genevieve found this fabric to make a matching skirt.

In non-shopping news...
Pete decided to get his hair cut! He's considering a career in the military, so he's been working out and doing his homework. This was the next step!

I can't decide if he looks older or younger. I'm still getting used to the new look. It feels like there is a stranger living in my house!

My machine is calling me! Time to quilt!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Postcard Swap

I participated in a postcard swap at Pat Sloan's Quilt Fun Facebook page.
All three of my postcards arrived on the same day! Now that's a good mail day!
Two of them were in nifty clear envelopes. Aren't they awesome?

This one is from Elvia in Mississippi. The colors are so soft and pretty. I wish I had those decorative stitches on my machine. (Maybe I do. It came with a PC disc so I could program different stitches, but until recently, I couldn't use it.)

This one is fromDonna in Texas. Again, pretty colors and a great decorative stitch.

And this one is from Peggy in Alabama. She printed the back of the card on her printer, so she was able to explain the design. She has been a pianist for over 50 years, so the design combines her love of music and quilting! (More decorative stitches! I'm really missing out!)

And these are the three that I sent out. There will be a tutorial coming soon for this paper-pieced zig zag!

Look at the variety of the postage on these! The postal workers clearly don't know how to handle them. I was charged $1.22, as if it was a small package, since it wouldn't go through the machines. But, some post offices are happy to process them as regular mail. Next time, I might ask to speak to the postmaster.

Have you swapped anything? If not, you should give it a try. It's fun!

Welcome, Abby!

The newest member of our family, my Grand-Niece, Abby!

Now I can officially name this quilt after Abby!

I thought it would be fun to bring it to camp for a photo session before shipping it off.
Love the tall trees!

I wanted to drape it on a pretty white bench on the porch of the dining hall, but Julia wouldn't allow it! Too dirty.

I don't usually wash and dry quilts before gifting, but thought I would try it. I wasn't sure I'd like the crinkly look, but it's nice for a baby quilt. Now mom won't need to worry about throwing it in the washer when needed.

I used an extra block for the label. The fabric on the back is called Savannah.

We were at camp to receive and sort 36,000 boxes of cookies!
Our volunteers were fantastic and super fast.

Got Cookies?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gathered Clutches!

Oh my goodness! I love these so much! I wish I could keep them all, but they have always been destined to be bridesmaid's gifts.

You all have seen the Noodlehead tutorial for the gathered clutch. You haven't? GO NOW! (Then, please come back. I'll wait... See? Awesome, right?) I finally bought the pattern last week and love the added instructions. Thank you, Anna!

It was so much fun choosing the fabric combinations and matching zippers. I bought the hardware from SewingSupplies on Etsy, who I would recommend for her speedy service and great prices. I bought the 5/8" wristlet hardware set with lobster claw swivel hooks and D-rings.

Jamie (the bride!) likes the linen mixed with modern prints, so I chose three different shades of linen blend. It's not the cool new quilter's linen. I found this at Joann's and it works just fine for this project.

Jamie had seen one on Flickr with hexies and asked if I would make one for her maid of honor, to make hers different and special (the one in front above).

With a fresh dusting of snow, it was fun to take them outside for a photo session!

Inside pockets:

I recommend following the suggestion to take a bigger seam allowance on the lining. If you don't, it doesn't lie flat inside and puckers a bit up near the zipper. Like this:

This one is better:

(Zipper swoon!)

I know someone will ask me about the zippers. I bought them at my local quilt shop. They were displayed on a cool carousel, but I can't remember who the manufacturer is. I can find out, if you need to know!
With all the switching between the zipper foot and 1/4" foot, breaking a couple of needles was inevitable! I had never seen this happen before last week while blog surfing. Apparently, the Superior topstitch needles BEND instead of snapping and flying in your face. One more reason I am totally in love with these needles!

(Yes, it is time to clean my machine!)

Now Jamie needs to decide which bridesmaid will receive which clutch!

Now, please visit my friends who host these crafty linky parties!

Wedding Favors

It was pre-wedding assembly line time at our house!
These adorable little candy bags will serve as escort cards at my nephew's wedding in March. As soon as the seating chart is set, the printer will create labels to stick on the bags with the guests' names and table numbers. Two for one! Little favor and escort card in one!

The bride, Jamie
The groom, Christopher

The Grandma

The cousin, Julia
The candy, heart-shaped gobstoppers

The finished product!

It was a fun family afternoon!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One Down

Five gathered clutches to go.

Hexies made from Fandango scraps.

The strap might be a little long. I'll have to compare it to Julia's Vera Bradley.

Look! Grass!
It is 50 degrees today, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping.
Spring is on the way!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WIP Wednesday

It's been two weeks since my last WIP post, so I get to report that I actually finished something!
Actually, a bunch of small quilts...
A baby quilt (to be named later)
A Zig Zag quilt
and a City Quilts-inspired wall hanging.
Cherri House commented on my blog, which is just so cool!

These swap postcards were mailed yesterday, a week before the deadline! The swap was organized on Pat Sloan's Facebook page. I took a ton of pictures because I'm planning to write a tutorial for this paper-pieced, 4 X 6" zig zag postcard.

Today's project is the famous Gathered Clutch.
My nephew's fiancee (Hi, Jamie!) asked me to make them for her bridesmaids. She wants 6, but I have 10 different color combinations ready to go, including 3 shades of linen blend. The gorgeous colored zippers were purchased at my LQS.

Be sure to visit freshly pieced to see what everyone else is working on...

An early morning visitor, blending in.

If I can stop sneezing, I'll start cutting and sewing!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Modern Design Wall Monday

I'm experimenting with some paper-pieced zig zags for a postcard swap. I wanted to replicate my modern zig zag quilt that was made with half square triangles. The first attempt, on the right, was paper-pieced in rows, with all the same seam lines as HSTs. I've been paper-piecing long enough to know that I didn't need so many seams! Plan B is on the left.

Much better! It is flatter, and you can see more of the designer fabrics.
It will be quilted, trimmed and backed later today.

Julia's block for the Girl Scout Troop quilt is on the design wall. Each girl designed or chose her own block to piece. They also dyed some of their own fabric. The light blue in the corners was dyed with Kool Aid! Now that swim season is over, she should have some time to sew this together soon (after trimming up the units!).

Julia got her license a couple weeks ago, so she and her boyfriend Josh went on their first real date this weekend (dinner and a movie). I forgot to give her a curfew, but she didn't need it. She was home over an hour earlier than I would have allowed her!

Here are her Valentines for him. Stickers from Twig & Thistle.

I actually ran into Josh in the grocery store yesterday, with this can of olives in my hand! He was buying a rose for Julia. So cute!

I'm listening to Esperanza Spalding today. She won the Best New Artist Grammy last night (a cure for Bieber Fever?)! We saw her perform on a side stage at the Saratoga Jazz Festival in 2007 and we knew then she was awesome.

Listen to some jazz today! It's perfect for Valentine's day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Zig Zag Friends

I finished three small quilts this week, and this is my favorite!

For my lecture on Modern Quilting, I wanted to show how nicely all the designers play together.

Lots of girls: Valori Wells, Pamela Mostek, Martha Negley, Pat Bravo and Amy Butler.
And some boys, too: Kaffe Fassett, Joel Dewberry and Philip Jacobs.

I'm really happy with the way the color progression worked out, and I think it would make an awesome Blooming Nine Patch, too. Although, HST Zig Zags are a lot easier to make than BNP.

I had a big piece of this orange solid for the back, but I was wishing it was a little paler. The soft stripe worked pretty well for the binding.

For the quilting, I first quilted in the ditch along the zig zag, then went back and quilted both sides of that line, riding along the edge of the walking foot. The best part of edge to edge quilting is not having to bury any thread tails!

Please visit my friend Karen's blog and her Sew Darn Crafty Party!

Then, be bitten by the modern bug with Megan and her friends!