Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tumbleweeds, Dragons and Seashells, Oh My

Sometimes I'm amazed but most of the time I'm just amused at how scattered and hectic my days end up.  This MUST be the reason my projects are so scattered as well.

Yippee!!  I think I've completed the required amount of a particular block for the Texas Tumbleweed quilt top designed by Bonnie Hunter......I think.....

But alas, I must have miscounted my pieces earlier.  I'm 8 blocks short!!!!  Back to chain piecing we go....

The fun part was being able to use a new toy that my friend Marianne gave me at Christmas.  This is so quick and fun to "cut" apart the long, long train of chain pieced block segments.

I've got my embroidery machine set up on a table to my left, so as I'm piecing, I'm embroidering too!  My grandson Liam keeps asking for me to make him something.  It really is more difficult to find things to make for little boys in comparison to little girls.  He has lots of little, itty, bitty toys and is always in need of a place to keep them sorted and ready to play.

I found this zippered ITH (in-the-hoop) Dragon bag at www.spunkystitches.com 

Thankfully, he LOVED IT!  It's about 10" wide and will hold a ton of dinosaurs.

I also used a free ITH design from www.kreativekiwi.com called Simply Shells to make two different colored sets of seashell coasters for gifts.

Not a bad display of accomplishments considering the scattered way in which they all were completed. :)

What have you been up to this week?

Until next time...

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Back at Texas Tumbleweeds by Bonnie Hunter

My brain never sits still for a second, in other words, I can't focus on any one single thing for too long. haha

My embroidery machine continues to stay humming fairly non-stop these days as I work on some "just because" gifts and then of course Mother's Day isn't too far away.

I've been itching to do some quilt piecing.  I have a ton of WIP (work in process...or could even be work in pieces :) quilt tops.  All I had to do was go pull a plastic container of one of these projects and get to work.  The closest container and easiest to find contained the start of Bonnie Hunter's Texas Tumbleweeds from the workshop I attended back in October of 2017.

The pattern can be found in her book "MORE ADVENTURES WITH LEADERS AND ENDERS".

Texas Tumbleweeds looks like this (photo taken from her book)....

After looking through my container and figuring out where I had left off when hiding the container months ago, I realized I'm at the tedious stage of drawing center lines on the back of squares. Since I'm a Bonnie devotee I must make use of the "bonus" triangles that can be salvaged from the scraps which means marking the squares not once but twice!!
Bonnie has designed and now sells a special little ruler that allows you to make both lines quickly and gives you a common useable size "bonus triangle".  

Let the production line begin!.....

I've got to mark TONS of these little boogers! :)

The youngest daughter requested an Edgar Allen Poe pillow for her sofa.  Embroidery is complete...now to sew borders, back and finish the pillow sham.

Since she loves photography I decided to stitch this up as well and make her a set of sofa pillows....I put my hand in the photo just to show how large this stitched out.  I'm excited to make this one as well.

We've had a little snow every single day this week so I'm still waiting on warmer temperatures to head down into the basement sewing room and get a quilt top loaded on the longarm.

Hope you all have had a productive week!  Happy sewing and quilting (and embroidery)!  

Until next time....

Monday, April 2, 2018

Amanda's Bodybuilding Competition Results

Just a quick little blog post update on my daughter Amanda's bodybuilding competition.  This was her first one to compete in and my first one to ever attend.

She did well. I'm so proud of the hard work and dedication she put into this dream of hers.  The hours spent in the gym and the special diet....so much work!

We were able to keep the TEAM MANDA embroidered shirts a secret until we arrived at the venue.  As imagined, Amanda was thrilled to see us all decked out in her honor!

She won 1st Place in Debut, 1st Place in Novice and 2nd Place in Women's Open Physique...

Another competition she will be entering is at the end of this month.  Thankfully, the family can wear the same shirts and I can get back to other items of interest.  

If the weather will warm up just a little bit more I'll be able to go down in the basement and throw a quilt top on the longarm and brush the dust off my quilting skills. :)

I'll close today's post with some of the professional photos taken of Amanda last week.

Time to get back to sewing and quilting!  Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spools of Thread Make Wonderful Toys

Just a short update.  I'm still busy trying to finish the family t-shirts needed for Amanda's body building competition on Saturday.

I'm happy to say I just finished the 8th out of 9 t-shirts needed.  All I have to make now is my own.

We tried something new.  I brought Ava Jean into my current sewing space and she played happily for over an hour with my spools of embroidery thread.  She is at that stage where she will move things one by one and place them in rows, etc.  

Hopefully I'll complete my t-shirt tomorrow then I can rest easy.

Take care everyone!  Enjoy the little things with your family...like spools of colorful thread. :) :)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

My Daughter the Body Builder and Weight Lifter

One of my daughters, Amanda, has been lifting weights off and on for the past couple of years but decided a year ago that she wanted to get serious about it to the point of getting her body ready for competition.

She will be competing in Woman's Physique on March 24th in Syracuse, NY.  I'm in awe of her dedication and hard work.  I could never do what she has done over the past year.  Needless to say we are all proud of her and plan to go to the competition to support her and this dream.

She will be totally shocked when the ENTIRE immediate family walks in wearing matching t-shirts.  The t-shirts were her twin sisters idea and I used my embroidery software and designed them.  Her sisters, nieces and nephews all call her Manda.  I just finished the second of nine t-shirts.

It's hard to tell in the pictures, but the words are embroidered using a gold metallic thread (very much a pain to use by the way).  She originally planned to wear a black bathing suit during the competition so I ordered us all black t-shirts.  Then at the last minute she decided to wear a gold suit.  Although I've not seen it yet, I understand the competition swim suits have a lot of bling using rhinestones and crystals, etc. 

During her training, she was allowed "cheat meals" occasionally.  She would always go to IHOP for their red velvet pancakes and other specialty pancakes.  She and her gym friends came up with a phrase "Pressing Plates for Pancakes".  I couldn't resist but surprise her with a fleece zip-up hoodie designed especially for her.


Hope you all are staying happy and warm (snowed here again today).  Until next time!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Snow, Busy Days and Squeezing In Time At The Machine

Woke up this morning to find 5 inches of snow on the ground!  My first tendency on mornings like this is to pull the quilts up higher and sleep a little while longer.  Couldn't do that today.  7 year old Liam came home from school early yesterday with a stomach bug...a really yukky one at that!  Fearing that the crude germs would infect little Ava, a last minute decision was made for me to go babysit at her house instead of her coming here.

We had a ton of fun together.  I was brought home this afternoon just in time to start cooking dinner, a quick pot of chili for me and Ray and hamburgers for the rest of the gang that refuse to eat chili.  Food put away and kitchen cleaned by 7:30pm...then it was time to grab some "me" time.

Tonight I was able to make two in-the-hoop Easter bunnies with pockets to hold miniature candy bars.

With candy....

Just like the flower coasters shared in yesterday's blog, would you believe that this bunny is another FREE design from Kreativekiwi.  In order to see them and download the design, you must create an account.  Once you are logged in you can find TONS of  "members freebies".

A few weeks ago I made this sweet little baby doll for my Ava Jean.  It's another in-the-hoop project offered by Sweetpea called Modern Doll.

It warmed my heart to see how much this little girl loved her new doll baby.

Now I'm tired and must go to bed. :) :)  Tomorrow is a brand new day!!!!

Monday, March 12, 2018

I'm Back!

All I can say is life has me coming and going like a chicken with it's head chopped off!  Having our oldest daughter and three grandchildren living with us has COMPLETELY CHANGED EVERYTHING!  :) :)

Watching my youngest grandchild during the days means no longer am I able to spend my time sewing or quilting non-stop.  My days are no longer my own.  I'm not complaining, simply stating a fact.  Early in the new year I was suffering severe withdrawal from sewing and knew I had to come up with SOMETHING to keep me from going completely insane.  After our youngest daughter headed back to college in January, I begged my dear hubby to bring my embroidery machine upstairs and help me set up a little space in her bedroom.  It's just too cold to be sewing or quilting in my "new" downstairs quilting space at this time of year.

My brilliant idea is to embroidery in the evenings once dinner dishes are cleared away.  If springtime ever arrives with warmer temperatures I can switch it up and catch up on quilting downstairs.

Machine embroidery projects are quick and fun and it satisfies the need to "get away and use a sewing machine".  So let me start sharing the projects I've completed.

The Celtic mats/coasters below were made from felt.  I found this embroidery design at Embroidery Library.

The St. Patrick's round potholder is an Anitagoodesign

I used felt again to make these cute little Easter bottle aprons.  This "in-the-hoop" project can be found at Embroidery Library.
 I used a piece of fabric to back each apron so that once Easter has passed, if the recipients of my little projects choose to do so, they can flip it over and use it throughout the year.

Believe it or not, the embroidery design for these adorable flower coasters can be downloaded FREE at kreativekiwi.  In order to see them and download the design, you must create an account. Once you are logged in you can find MANY adorable free designs under "members freebies".

The daisy runner below is another "in-the-hoop" project.  I made a mug rug out of one unit.  The daisy design can be found at Sweetpea.

The two coordinating scalloped rectangle mats are another "in-the-hoop" project.  They can be found at kreativekiwi.

I used the scalloped rectangle design to make my mom three of these purple mats (using the 8"x10" size) for her end tables.

I made these adorable dog coasters for one of my veterinarians using kreativekiwi's "blank coasters" and used her dog designs in the middle of each coaster.

My last share for this post is the adorable kitty chapstick holder (it's also the perfect size for a usb stick").  This quick project can be found at Embroidery Garden.

I guess that's enough for this post.  It feels good to blog again and say HELLO to all of you!