Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Julia performing echo Taps with Manny on Veteran's Day at the Rhode Island Vietnam Memorial.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

LQS Closing

We're very sad to see a local quilt shop closing its doors this week. The owner is ready to retire and there is no one to take over the business. I wish I could buy it from her, but the timing is not right. We went down there this weekend to pick up a few things.

W couldn't pass up this lovely dahlia print by Martha Negley. It might become a new skirt for Julia. The other print is Piccadilly by Jennifer Sampou. We had a bit of it and used it up. It blends well with so many modern prints.

This circle print caught our eye. And I'm trying to build my orange stash.

As I grabbed this bolt, I noticed "Hasbro" on the selvedge. It is from the Scrabble collection, even though the circles have nothing to do with the game. Hasbro is a Rhode Island-based company, so it is appropriate that the fabric was printed by Quilting Treasures, also from Rhode Island.

I decided today that I want to purchase all fuchsia and orange annuals for my planters. I think it will be bold and fun!

Have a sunny day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crossroads 2

Last week, I posted this project from a tutorial on Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting blog. It was a guest post by Ali from asquared(w) called Crossing Paths. The top was done (start to finish) on the day the tutorial was posted!

I'm calling it Crossroads 2. Yes, there was an original Crossroads that I made for a friend in the early 90's, but I don't have a clue what it looked like!

I basted it and thought about quilting it right away, but life got in the way. I ended up quilting it while I was recuperating from surgery. That's my excuse for the knots on the back and generally not my best work.

Instead of a full length sleeve, I used bits of leftover binding to make hanging tabs. I wish the pieced strip on the back was more off-center than it is. Live and Learn.

I took it outside to photograph, in search of some blooms, but there's not much going on out there right now. The lilies-of-the-valley are heavenly!

This sweet little columbine popped up under the deck.

I love a quick project! One day to piece, one day to quilt and bind!
I'm thinking about donating it to my guild's charity auction in October.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Azalea Garden

My sister was in town this weekend and the sun was shining(!) so we took a little field trip to the Kinney Azalea Garden. What a gem this place is, right in the Faella family's back yard!

We all look normal together, without an average-height person nearby! Julia and I are the tallest at 4'11".

Ready for some eye candy?

I love the late day sun shining through the trees.

I decided my blog needed an update.
The banner went from this...

to this...

Many thanks to my nephew Eric for tweaking the photo. I'm happy that it fits the space much better and you gotta love the hexies.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival

I'm a little late to the party, but I'm happy to include an entry in Amy's Bloggers' Quilt Festival.

I completed Meadowsweet Dresden in March. It brought together a bunch of things I love: Sandi Henderson's Meadowsweet line, Kona Snow, Dresden plates and ric rac.

I really enjoyed the piecing process, then spent an entire weekend of a quilt retreat quilting it.

There is a lot of thread in this sucker!

I used some of the scraps for the strip on the back.

And I keep using scraps!
This table runner was included in a raffle.

These pouches were made for the Pretty {little} Pouch swap.
The smaller one was too small for my partner's needs, so I get to keep it!

I still have this luscious pile of selvages.

Thanks for stopping by!

Now, off you go! Click the button to see hundreds and hundreds of amazing quilts!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Midweek Update

We all had a terrific weekend, but I'm just getting around to sharing.

Julia went to the Junior Prom with her best friend Sean, and they had a great time! She looked so beautiful and happy. What more could a mother ask for?

Bill & Pete went on a Boy Scout canoe trip. Pete is the Senior Patrol Leader of his troop and he is becoming an excellent leader.

I don't know what he's doing up on that tree branch. There are some things a mother doesn't need to know!

While the boys were away, I managed to get some sewing done. I was looking for something new and came across a tutorial on Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting blog. It was a guest post by Ali from asquared(w) called Crossing Paths. As soon as I finished reading the post, I started pulling fabric. It is an interesting technique that I would like to try again in different configurations. It is basted now and waiting to be quilted.

Sunday was a full day of picking up the guys, a community concert, a softball game and a choir rehearsal! That's Julia down and ready at first. She had 2 great hits and made a bunch of defensive plays.

On Monday, I needed to have minor surgery. I'm up and recovering nicely. All is well!

I love this primrose and I wish I had more. It has been so gloomy. I'm glad I got this pic during a break in the rain.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pretty Little Pouches

I loved participating in the Pretty {little} Pouch Swap! I had just as much fun making as receiving.

This is the awesome pouch I received from Gabrielle in Canada. She photographed the pouch on Vancouver Island before shipping it to Rhode Island. It traveled from coast to coast! Naturally, it needed a photo shoot at our beach, too. If you click to Gabrielle's post, you will see a lovely clear sky and crystal blue water. I've been waiting for a sunny day and the time to drive to the beach, but it just wasn't happening. This is the best I could do.

Gabrielle was so sweet to also send some yummy fabrics and chocolates. She noticed that we are involved with Girl Scouting, so she asked a friend for a local Guiding patch.

I shipped this Meadowwseet pouch to my partner this morning. I used up almost all of my scraps from this luscious collection. The front has a vertical zipper pocket for cards.

I had some leftover Dresden blades from this quilt that went on the back. I had fun with the hand stitching.

Pouch and Mini Pouch. I get to keep the one that was too small! It's unfortunate for my partner because I like the proportions of the little one better.

The creeping phlox are a little sparse this year, but I love this photo.

Next on the swapping agenda: red charm squares with Karen!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

How to Hem a Prom Dress

Happy Mother's Day!

I spent the day doing what mothers do. I hemmed Julia's prom dress! If MY mother hadn't been here to supervise, it probably wouldn't have gotten done.

When we purchased Julia's dress, the boutique owner asked if we knew how to sew. She proceeded to explain how to hem the dress, which saved us $45 in alteration fees. What a sweet lady! We will be sure to visit her first for next year's prom dress.

The technique she taught me is ingenious! With this technique, you don't have to deal with all that crazy fraying polyester. I wish I knew this when I was hemming costumes. If you are not a seamstress, I hope this will help you someday. Here goes...

Step 1. Measure, pin or baste and press.*
I had to shorten so much (5"+) that I cut off a few inches before I basted to get some of it out of my way. You might not need to baste. You might be fine with just pins.

Step 2. Stitch close to the fold with matching thread.
I started with a fresh, sharp needle and matching thread. Stitch as close to the fold as you can. Take care not to stretch any bias edges.

Here's a tip from a Noodlehead tutorial: use an edgestitching foot. Why didn't I think of that? Or at least read that tut a few hours ago?

Step 3. Trim the excess seam allowance to within 1/8" (or less) of the stitched edge.
This was the scary bit for me. Go slowly and don't cut through to the front of the dress!

Step 4. Roll the edge...
I didn't even need to pin this part, but feel free to do so if that works better for you.

...and stitch close to the fold again, encasing the raw edges.

Step 5. Admire your work!
You will probably see two lines of stitching on the wrong side.

One neat row of stitching on the front!

It is a little long, but that's how Princess Kate wore her gown, so it must be the style now!

*Sorry, I didn't take any pictures of the pinning process. I put Julia up on the wooden piano bench, smoothed the dress to the "floor" and pinned along that line. Then I measured to the pins, and marked a chalk line all the way around at that measurement. I folded up the hem at the chalk line, then basted and pressed. There is a small train on this gown, so at first, I measured the 5"+ off the end of the train. When it was basted, it looked too pointy, so I ended up taking another 2" off the tip of the train to round it out.

The other challenging part of this gown was that it has 2 layers of lining, so I had to do 3 hems! I'm so glad it's done. Now we can focus on hair, makeup and jewelry. The fun stuff!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Upcycled Shoes!

Julia and I were in need of some retail therapy. Usually, for us that means shoes! The super cute red canvas wedges fit both of us and we can't resist a red shoe.

When we got home, she dug out the 3-year old white wedges. We didn't wear them at all last year because the tab in front had discolored. Julia tried to clean it with no luck.

OK. Let's cover it up! Kona Snow was the perfect shade of off-white to match the white canvas. I tried to make flowers similar to the red ones, but I had to use a different technique that I'm sure I saw on a blog somewhere.

It's like a new pair of shoes!
All for 50 cents worth of Kona and about 30 minutes.

Julia wore the new red shoes to school today with a navy skirt, white top, and jean jacket. Add a red plastic bangle bracelet and Grandma's enamel red, white and blue daisy pin and she looks super cute!

I'm linking to Karen's Sew Darn Crafty Party. Go see what other crafty people are up to.