Thursday, August 29, 2013

Busy City Give-Away

Move to the side of the street: the ambulance is coming through!

I had such fun spending an afternoon trying my hand at a brilliant and adorable new pattern designed by the talented Alex Ledgerwood, of Teaginny Designs.
Busy City is a  paper-piecing pattern of 35 different vehicles and other "city" elements--perfect for creating a super quilt for a little boy who loves cars! The pattern includes a CD of the templates in two different sizes.
 I clearly remember first seeing Alex's original Busy City quilt several ago when I met her during a KC Modern Quilt Guild meeting. It was so mind boggling and creative that it was unforgettable and I'd always thought that she should make it into a pattern.
Well, now she has! The pattern was just published by Shea Henderson and the Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio, another Kansas City MQG rock star! Since I've done some pattern testing for Shea in the past, I knew that this pattern would be top notch in every way.
 The cars, trucks, houses, etc. are separated into 3 categories depending on sewing intricacy. I decided to choose two out of each category to try. The car and trash truck were indeed pretty simple and easy to sew up! Even a beginnin paper-piecer could handle these, for sure.
 From the moderate group, the trailer truck and front-end loader took a little more time but still were not difficult to make if you understand the basic principles of paper-pieced blocks.
 The final, more difficult selections, included the cherry picker and, my personal favorite, the ambulance. There are some tiny little pieces in these 4"x6" blocks, making them a bit more challenging and time consuming to make, but the went together without a hitch! Making the larger size blocks would be a little easier, I guess, but, oh how cute are the small ones!
To make the twin size quilt, each small block will be surrounded by background fabric to create the 12-inch blocks making up the quilt. The pattern also includes instructions for making a baby size quilt design as well as  cute pillows.
Alex generously supplied me with an extra pattern to give-away to one of my readers!
 To enter the giveaway, just leave me a comment telling me what kind of car you drive! (Be sure that there is an email address attached to your comment.) 
Me? I just upgraded from a P.T. Cruiser to a Nissan Armada...lots more room for grandchildren! 

I'll randomly choose a winner on Saturday morning. This give-away is now closed and the winner has been contacted. Thanks!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Morning

"The fear of the Lord 
is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One
is insight."
Proverbs 9:10 ESV

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WIP Wednesday--UFO Version

Despite fighting an eye infection for the last month and not being able to see very well, I've still managed to get quite a bit of sewing accomplished on my never-ending UFO list.
First up, my 10-Year-Old hexagon table runner is all sewn together and ready for quilting. That's something to cheer about!
 I even found some backing fabric in my stash: Grand Revival by Tanya Whelan, purchased last summer at an estate sale. I haven't decided on binding yet. What would you think of orange?
 The charcoal grey Kona solid arrived from the Fat Quarter Shop and turned out to be a perfect dye lot match to the rest of the grey I'd used for the "X Marks the Spot" quilt. All of the blocks are now made and ready to set together during our our Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild day retreat this coming Saturday. Quilt top coming soon!!
 No Lollyquiltz progress report would be complete without showing my current Leader/Ender quilt. I spent some time this week counting the blocks I've made so far and planning for completion of more little 5 inch 9-Patch blocks. The fabric squares are each 2 inches and I'm including lots of pretty bright pastels with an emphasis on aqua and green. The finished quilt will be similar to this one that I made a few years ago and sent to a Rwandan orphanage. All but a few of the white blocks are now complete and the colored blocks are adding up fast.
 Last but not least, I finished up the two peasant tops for Lula and Jane. All that was left was adjusting the elastic in the sleeves and neckline. Here's Jane showing you her top (before I tightened the sleeve elastic) with the tulle skirt she was wearing that day.
 You probably recall that last week I made an impulse purchase of McCall's 6500 for the bargain price of 70 cents. Jane's mommy thinks that the reason the pattern was so cheap is because the top is clearly strange strangely proportioned. Jane is a very petite little girl and ready made clothing, in a size 3T, is often too long on her. The McCall's pattern is cut very wide and short as Janie is pointing out here... 
 But, really, there isn't much that doesn't look cute on her no matter how it fits! I am  glad, however, that I didn't pay the retail price of $13.99 for those pieces of ill-planned tissue paper! Oh, well. You win some. You lose some.
 Right, Pearl?
P.S. Lula's size 5 top was several inches too short as well, but the width was better proportioned on her. (Her modeling agency wouldn't let her work the day of the photo shoot.) LOL!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Morning

"Let us not become weary in doing good, 
for at the proper time
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Galatians 6:9

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Finish: Shamrock Blouses

Sew Easy! That's my critique of the 70 cent McCall's 6500 little girl's pattern that I sewed up this week. Each top took me a little over an hour to complete once the pattern pieces were cut out. Super fast!
 Once I got to this step, I was a little concerned that the pattern is sized way too large. (My husband actually thought that I was making it for myself!) This is the size 3 for Janie Sue.
 But now that the elastic is inserted into the neckline and sleeve casings, it looks like a better fit.
 When I began sewing the sleeve sections together, I was surprised to find out that there was a little peek-a-boo slit in the top of each! (Isn't it fun that the grasshopper seems so surprised, as well!)
Now, I'm just hoping that this size 5 pattern fits Lula as I made it without trying it on her.
 (I ran across the 'faith' and 'hope' pillows at my favorite local antique shop today and couldn't pass up the sweet ribbon embroidery.)
 With the blouses finished, it's back to tackling another UFO. I guarantee it's going to take longer than an hour to get this one done....(It's already been 10 years!!!)
Happy Weekend!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Peasant Blouses

Needing some charcoal Kona solid fabric to finish a UFO, I stopped into my local Joann Fabric over the weekend. Of course, they didn't have the right grey fabric but I did find  a bargain that I couldn't pass up: McCall's patterns for 70 cents each! Crazy, huh! (The young model on the pattern thinks so too!)
 Since the pattern is marked EASY and only requires 4 pattern pieces to make each top, I figure I couldn't go wrong at that ridiculously low price. I even splurged and bought two patterns so that I wouldn't have to trace off the sizes that I wanted. (I really dislike that part of making clothing.)
 These two darling Briar Rose prints arrived at my door a couple of weeks ago and will be oh-so-cute for two little redheaded girls that I know.
 My plan is to have the blouses ready and waiting when the girls return from a family vacation next week.
The cutting is all done. I wonder how long it will take to sew these up? I'll let you know!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday Morning

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute."
Proverbs 31:8

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Finish: Jelly Roll Race

Way back in May of 2012, I pieced this easy quilt top during a Jelly Roll Race at a quilt guild day retreat. It only took around an hour from start to finish, making it the fastest quilt I have ever made!
Since I had purchased some of all of Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy line, it was simply a matter of cutting a 2.5 inch strip from each to make my own jelly roll. Of course, you could use a pre-cut jelly roll.
The backing has been pieced and the binding made for months now. But everything stalled out as it laid unfinished on a shelf in my sewing closet waiting for quilting.
Last weekend, I finally layered top, batting and backing onto my Grace quilting frame and sewed figure eights up and down the rows. It only took a few hours to complete!
This bright cheerful lap quilt is one of 6 on my UFO Finish-A-Long list for this 3rd quarter, and I am pretty pumped to be able to check it off the list already! (Never mind that it was on last quarter's list as well.)
If you are looking for a fun and fast activity for your next quilting retreat, I highly recommend watching the U-Tube video and organizing this 1600 inch race with your group. You will be amazed at how fast it will go together. The winner in our guild pieced it together in about 45 minutes! 

Every quilt will look different even if the same fabrics are used because of the random way it is sewn together.
Well, I hope that you have a lovely weekend and maybe even get to spend some time in front of your sewing machine making something special!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pink x & + Blocks

Almost every month I am tempted to begin a quilt just like the one chosen for that month's Mid-Century Modern Bee. August is no exception!
 Mary chose the fabulous x&+ block which has received cult following on flickr. You can find the tutorial by Badskirt Amy here
This is my second time to make this block for a bee and both times I've fallen hard. 
The cutting is time consuming if you want to do a scrappy version (which is my favorite, of course) but the piecing is simple and straight forward. This pink version will be so cute for little girls!
Speaking of pink and little girls, I know someone who turned three last week!
Happy birthday my dear Janie Sue. You light up my life!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Trunk Show, Workshop and Shopping

Last week, I was invited by the Q.U.I.L.T. Guild of NW Arkansas to present a trunk-show and talk on the subject of "Quilting with the Internet". I included both traditional...
...and modern quilts among the 30 that I presented to the nighttime guild. As always, I found that quilters everywhere are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. (I promise, I wasn't frowning throughout the entire evening!?)
 Friday morning, eight ladies joined me on a rainy day for a fun workshop learning to make improvisationally pieced crosses. They all seemed to enjoy the freedom of working without a pattern and, by the end of the afternoon, were well on their way to a finished Modern Cross project! Here they are showing off their favorite blocks. (Hi ladies!)
The next morning found me entering "The Rabbit's Lair" into my IPhone for directions as my husband and I turned the car toward Rogers, Arkansas.
Hubby was as excited to find this museum right around the corner from the quilt shop! We had agreed on a 30 minute visit to both places, but I was soon texting him that I'd be there for a while longer!
Entering the store was like a step back in time with the original floor, display cases and decor. Besides a wide variety of quilting supplies, there were knitting and crochet yarns to tempt. 
Upstairs, I found wool, more fabric and a spacious classroom. Isn't the tin "lid" (in the upper right) on the stairs fascinating? You can also glimpse a bit of the gorgeous tin ceiling, just to the left of the stairway, in this picture.
Another shopper (on vacation from Texas) and I decided that these Amy Butler layer cakes, for $14 each, were a real bargain. I could say that she talked me into buying them but that wouldn't be the truth. I also purchased a charm pack of Tangier Ikat...
...and a new little ruler that I'm excited to try out. Do you think that all of my points will match now that I have this? Don't hold your breath!
I just love finding a new quilt shop to love, don't you!