Monthly Archives: January 2013

Something for Audrey

January 23rd 2013
Meet Audrey, she is my Babylock (For the Love of Sewing) sewing machine.  She just turned three years old!  So to celebrate, I thought I would make her something to wear. Every girl needs a new outfit.
 
 
This black one does not become her, wouldn’t  you agree?
 
 
 
So Camille has this great pattern called Just Swell for a cover that would fit her nicely you can get it over at  Thimble Blossoms.  And since I just happened to have lots of her fabulous fabric…  I am using a Charm pack of each Ruby  and some yardage from her Vintage Modern collection (Hurry up, I think this one is running out!) and Bella Charms pack in white.
 
For some reason I always make my own patterns when I make something. But following patterns are a great way to have some discipline and try new techniques. I challenged myself to complete this in one day and follow the pattern exactly. So here goes!
 

 
 
The white are Bella precut charm squares, how convenient!

 

 
These are the patterns I selected for the cool zig zag design for the front.

 

 
From these 2.5 inch squares I made half square triangles, just as the pattern stated.
 
 
Draw a line corner to corner and sew 1/4 inch on either side, then cut, that was easy!

 

 
Clean up the corners…..
 
 
And voila!! It’s like magic to me, how simple squares make such cool designs. I have so much to learn…. I can’t wait! : D

 

 
Normally, nice young ladies don’t show their underwear, but here it is. I wonder if all quilters’ quilts have an ugly underside?
 
 
Here it is laid out, unfinished on the sofa.
 
 
 
OK. I promised I wouldn’t cheat and would follow the pattern exactly. But I did not want to waste beautiful fabric on the inside! So I used some pre-quilted stuff I had from when Wal-Mart closed their fabric section. I got it for $1.50 and who’s to know?
 
 
 
And Audrey is delighted with her new outfit!

 

 
That was fun and I felt so accomplished, not to mention I finally got to use some of the yummy fabric I have been collecting. 
 
And for those of you who are waiting for projects… I am learning new techniques to apply to yours so don’t worry. There is a method to my madness.
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

Jane or Jill of many Crafts

January 16th 2013
A Jack of all Trades is a person who can do passable work at various tasks : a handy versatile person. It sounds great but generally these people are seen as wishy-washy, unfocused and unexperts in all they can do because they don’t have a title that states their area of expertise in a concrete way.

I think it’s a great asset to dabble in a little bit of this and a little bit of that, right? In school, we expect students to achieve satisfactory, if not exceptional success, in all subject areas don’t we? When our own children bring home a C or worse we say “we don’t accept C’s in this house, only A’s and B’s.”  So what is the message exactly?



a little watercolor painting

I, being a middle child, have always believed that the more you know or learn, the better it is. I don’t know if this is innate or a coping mechanism of middle children or  if it’s something I learned from my father. [He knows how to do everything except open heart surgery (he gets queasy) and fly a plane (he can figure that out, it’s mechanical.]



Fresh Ideas!

I think everyone should know how to read music, just in case you ever have to. Reading nautical flags might come in handy at some point. Sign language is convenient you can speak with the hard of hearing or in case you ever lose your voice or want to sing silently. Sewing is totally underrated because people have to wear clothes. Next, I want to learn how to manufacture fabric starting from the cotton fields! And everyone has to know how to swim!



Innovative Crafts

So the question I ask is, what happens when you have the ability to do something but you do not find fulfillment in it?  What do we do when our “formally trained” skills pay the bills but steal our joy?  Where do we go to fuel our dreams and desires or attain satisfaction, when the duties and obligations born from our schooling deplete us of energy to take pleasure in the finer things?

Multi-media Art

How do we prove ourselves in the area of our talent when we weren’t encouraged to pursue it in a formal way?  Can we find an opportunity to show “we have what it takes” if we don’t have a paper that says so?  Is the only skill that matters the one supported by the old English writing on a diploma?

 

Photography
 

In many scenarios, yes. We must show a diploma, have a resume or certificate that verifies our skills, talents, abilities and such.  The upside is, even while in the rut, the journey of life reveals to us what we are called to do; our purpose should bring us joy not misery.

Quilting

At the very least, there will be a fork in the road where we must choose and can choose the road we have traveled less. We might have come across it several times during our lives yet, we have always chosen the practical, secure, predictable and most traveled way.  This road however, sometimes leads us towards the slow demise of our hopes and dreams. It lead us away from what we like, what brings us happiness and the thing that innately we have been gifted with.  Really, read 1 Timothy 4:14. I am not talking about circumstancial happiness, or endless bliss; just the “in your heart” gratification that comes when we do something well and easily, and no one has to even see what we did.

Making my own pattern

So as I ponder this whole notion, I wonder about the abilities that you and I possess.  Be they great or small, if we truly are uplifted by the simple act of exercising them, we should not be afraid to do so.  Therefore, now at the mid-life point, (if I live to be 90) I put my foot down and am taking the road less traveled that leads me to artful bliss!  I am forging my own way, documenting that which does not appear on any fancy piece of paper! Doing what comes easily, brings me joy, reduces stress, uplifts my heart and feeds my soul in a more intentional way.  And thanks for being witnesses to it on this here blog.

Now, if I could only find the map for the rest of the journey…..

Tooty Fruity Finished, Finally!!!

January 10th 2013
Surely, you must have forgotten by now how this whole project started, refresh your memory here.

I certainly didn’t mean to make you (or my mom) wait so long for this, however, life work, has really just taken over like quicksand…. but I digress.

So, after painstakingly laying out all the pieces and assembling and sorting them in just the right way, everything got all mixed up during the sewing of the parts. After which, I had to do more arranging and sorting and ending up doing less caring about where or how the fruits were lining up.

Then mom reminded me not to forget the buttons as she pointed to the magazine.

The good news is I get to try out the button foot for the first time.  It worked out well, but the buttons I had bought for this project were of various sizes…. oh well.

Close up of button placement.
 

Backing & binding.
Here it is hanging over (total size 14″ by 64″)

Close up, everything always looks better when it is finished, CHECK!!

Now for the new projects of  2013….

 

Georgia on my Mind

January 6th 2013
We went to Stone Mountain Georgia for a couple of days. The mountain is made of Granite and it’s all over the US in important buildings.
 
View of the actual mountain and a teeny tree my daughter pointed out.

Vague hint of Fall foiliage, the sunlight makes all the difference.

Here they are.

Covered bridge.

A Doggy Bag

January 1st 2013
I have had this adorable pooch fabric for years. I had bought it intending to make something for my niece (who is growing way too fast)  thankfully, after all this time, she still loves dogs!
A little “elf” told me she wanted a dog tote for Christmas so on Christmas Eve day, I whipped this up for her and was really pleased at how it turned out and it wasn’t so hard either! So on Christmas Day I kept annoying everyone asking them if they liked it as much as I did. LOL!!!
 




 

 
12 x 14 inches (estimate)

 
Grommets for handles (first time I used those, very cool!)

 
Handles with batting for softness on shoulders, finished with a knot on the end.
 
 
 
Inside lining more puppies (no pockets)

 
Quilted because fusible interfacing lost some stick in washer (oops!)
 
Merry Christmas Amanda!!