Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Craft Finish

I have along list of crafty projects to finish in the next month or so, most of them related to the end of the school year and graduation.  I volunteered to make the centerpieces for the high school Jazz Nite on June 2.  It is a fun night out with great music provided by the jazz band and jazz chorus in an intimate club setting.  The food and cash bar are a bonus!

Here's what I came up with...

The bowls are melted vinyl record albums.  Pete has been making them for a couple of years, but this was my first attempt.  I bought a stack of old albums at the Salvation Army store for $1 each.  The album goes into a 200 degree oven for 5 minutes to soften.  Set a metal bowl upside down on a cookie sheet, then place an album on top.  Using oven mitts, form the soft vinyl around an empty pot.  Repeat 14 times!

For the musical picks, I punched  G-clefs and notes out of black card stock with my Sizzix die cutter.  I glued two pieces together, sandwiching a thin wire in between.  Put three shapes together, wrap the wire around a wooden barbeque skewer, then wrap with floral tape.  Repeat 14 times!

Next week, I'll solicit some local nurseries for free or discounted plants.  I can't pick up the plants too early because I don't trust myself to keep them alive!  So far, I've spent only $15 for the albums.  I had everything else on hand. 

The original plan was to make 12 centerpieces.  When I started thinking about who would take them home, I realized we have 15 seniors in these two groups.  Make a few more and each senior can have one.  I might make another set of picks with the names of the seniors.  I'll also include business cards from the donating nurseries.

Up next, Pete's Eagle Scout project.  He is hosting a benefit concert tonight for Operation: Support Our Troops.  It will be a fun night!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Finish

 I'm really excited that I was able to finish this quilt.  I started it during the Kaleidoscope Quilt Along last June!  I was keeping up with the instructions, but once the top was done it was set aside.  I had decided who I would give it to, and wouldn't need it for almost a year.  So there it sat in the WIP pile for 10 months!

When I finally decided to get going on my May/June project list, I flipped through the quilt along Flickr group for quilting inspiration.  Celeste Johnson's quilting was just the ticket.  I think it makes the shapes look faceted, like jewels.

I'm not completely happy with the back.  It would have been better with the darker solid on the ends, but the pieced strip of leftover triangles looked terrible next to the floral print.

 The quilting looks so cool on the solid back!

It's such a gorgeous day, just had to get one more shot!

I have a title in mind, but I can't tell you until after it is gifted.  The recipient might read this!

Edit: This quilt was gifted to my daughter's best friend, Genevieve, for her high school graduation. Her favorite color is purple, so as soon as I pulled the fabric, I knew it would be for her.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Quick Quilting

Just a quick post to show you what I'm working on today.

Enjoying a beautiful, sunny day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

More Swaps

 I just can't help myself.  I'm addicted to swaps!

I showed you the start of my siggy swaps last week...

but I forgot to include the cute button.

My swap friend Monica is hosting the inappropriately titled Big 10 Inch swap!  How could I say no to that one?

We're swapping muddy, masculine fabrics.  I don't have any of that in my stash, so I'm looking at it as a stash builder.  Click on the button for details.

Now I can't get the Aerosmith song out of my head...

You're welcome.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Please don't donate yucky fabric.

 I'm on the Outreach Committee of our quilt guild and have been storing the donated fabric.  After several  months of stubbed toes and pushing around 6 giant bins, I asked my friend Sue to come over and help me sort it out.  It took us over three hours to go through 3 bins and several bags.  After she left,  I went through 3 more bins of kid prints.  I'd like to present to you the worst of the worst with some quotes from Sue followed by my tips for donating fabric. 

 "This one can stand on its own!"  Yes, indeed, it can.  Yikes!

"This might be the worst of the day."  Sheer. Marbled. Plaid.  Why?
Actually, I could picture my mother wearing this as a scarf in the 70's.

Please only donate 100% quilting cotton.
"We should wear these."  There were two pieces of this textured silky bright.  If they were a little bigger, we would have worn them as scarves at the meeting.  Or not.

Then there were some oldies but goodies...  I love this piece.  It reminds me of my Grandmothers.

Please don't donate antique fabric or quilt blocks.

We kept several bins of good stuff and sold 2 bins full of "others."   We bundled up the antique blocks and fabric groupings to sell.  There were lots of novelties we couldn't use and stuff we just really didn't like.  We earned $150 for the project!  We'll be buying a full roll of batting, so all that donated fabric went to good use after all.

My Girl Scout troop will be having our last meeting today.  Sniff.  It's not time to say goodbye yet as we have several events coming up including a trip to Build-a-Bear.  I pulled together some supplies to make these cool bracelets that I found on Pinterest.  If they work fast, they can keep one and make one for mom.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

From Scraps to Stars

 This is what I've been working on this weekend instead of important stuff.  It is a little quilt top of friendship stars that measures about 13" X 18" that I made from a pile of scraps.  I know I saw this on someone else's blog, but now that I'm looking, I can't find it.

Interlocking Friendship Stars

This all started  with a pile of leftover 2.5" strips from the piano key border I showed you a few days ago.

I needed some 2.5" squares for a Signature block swap, so I chopped up some of the strips into squares.  (Many thanks to my friend Jackie of Canton Village Quilt Works for the speedy service.  I ordered the Kona white on Wednesday night and it was in my mailbox on Friday!)

The tutorial for these little blocks is here at p.s. i quilt.  

This method produces a big pile of tiny triangles.   But if you sew across the corner twice, like in this Weed Whacker tutorial at Quiltville, you end up with a pile of tiny half-square triangle units.  I made 60 signature blocks which left me with 120 bonus HSTs!
1.75" HST will finish at 1.25"

 I used all but 8 of the bonus blocks in the friendship stars.  I could have spent all night rearranging those colors, but I didn't.  I was anxious to sew them together, so I let them fall where they may.  I wish I had moved a couple, but it's just fine the way it is.  

Now I need to sign 60 blocks.  I'm using a super fine piece of sandpaper to stabilize the blocks while I write.

3 down, 57 to go!

In family news...
Pete's band, Attractive Dan, won the high school Battle of the Bands!  Not bad for 2 juniors and 2 sophomores.  They are trying to decide how to spend their cash prize of $75.

Pete on drums with Attractive Dan

Julia sang the National Anthem at opening day of her recreational slow pitch softball league.  She did a lovely job and it was a good warm up for her gig at the PawSox on Mother's Day.

Oh, say, can you see...

We've got a busy week ahead, so there might not be much sewing going on.  I actually just packed up my machine so I could clean up around it.  If I do have any free time, I will be prepping applique pieces.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spring Wreath Re-Do

I'm completely addicted to Pinterest(See my boards here.)  I really needed to take a break from pinning and start doing!  So, last night, I grabbed my bag of wool and a crochet hook and started making flowers.

 Does this wreath look familiar?  I made it last December.  I never did find a decent bow for it.  My mother didn't think this shade of green was appropriate for Christmas, and that sickly bow did nothing to help its case.

 Then along came a Pin of these great crocheted flowers.  The flowers and leaves work up so quickly!  They are just pinned into the styrofoam, so I can move them around easily or switch them out for other colors.

I love it!  It really brightens up the inside of our front door.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Piano Keys

 Happy Wednesday!  After a rainy Tuesday, I'm hoping to see some sun today.
On to another WIP Wednesday report...

Resurrected:  I was tidying up the sewing room (I don't actually sew there - it's become primarily a storage area) and came across a growing stack of piano keys (2.5" x 10" rectangles).  I had calculated that I would need 150 to make a border for the Three by Three swap nine patches.  More than 100 were already cut, so as I filed away some fresh fabric, I chopped off a strip.  In no time, I was ready to stitch. 

Sewing them together into borders went fairly quickly.  Monday morning, I figured I'd slap them on and be done.  Not so much.  That's when I became reacquainted with my seam ripper!  I had put one side on backwards. rip rip rip. Then I wasn't happy with the corners.  rip rip rip.

Please ignore the junk on the end tables.  People live here.

I'm mostly happy with it, but it's too small to fit on my bed.  I need at least another 4-5" all the way around.  I could add another row of nine patches and white, but I wish they were inside the piano keys.  rip rip rip?  I think I'll make a bunch of nine patches and see where that takes me.

Back Burner:  I played with all of my 4x5 blocks this week. Yay! Then I piled them up and put them away.  boo. 

Now off you go to see what else is happening in WIPland...