Shower Accessories

Back in February, I offered to host a shower for my niece and this past weekend was the day. We played some games and ate some food. My niece has been living on her own for awhile so she didn’t want gifts. Instead I collected recipes into a binder from all of the guests. I added about 5 recipes and still want to add more. I really just want to transfer all of my knowledge to her.

Shower prize ribbons
Shower prize ribbons

For the guests, I made favors as shown a few days ago. I also made prize ribbons, which was fun. I had a ton of ribbon left from the spool I bought for the favors so I thought it was a good idea.

I had an outline of what a prize ribbon should look like and went from there with glue, ribbon and some of the printed ribbon Carrie gave me. These go with little packages of of soap and a handmade notebook as the prize. My niece was happy with them, which made me happy.

Sew Day Adventure

M's party favors
M’s party favors

I went to Sew Day the other day with only one quiltmaking project on which to work. My main project was to put together party favors for my niece’s bridal shower, which I am hosting today,

I bought hand cream**, shower steamers**, ribbon** and bags** and realized I didn’t have time during the week to put them together. I remembered that I had Sew Day coming up and decided that would be my project.

M's party favors
M’s party favors

It was great to lay out all the bags and then match up a hand cream with a shower steamer. I was able to see everything I had and work through putting everything together without being interrupted by having to move everything or go to work.

The brands were different so it wasn’t just matching up the colors of the packaging. I thought about the different scents and tried to match them up where I could.

Amy's Cactus blocks
Amy’s Cactus blocks

I did so some quiltmaking work. As I said the other day, I cut out some of the Sotak Handmade Little Pyramid Pouches. While doing that cutting, Amy was across from me working on her Cactus quilt**. This will be a gift for someone she works with.

It is a really complicated pattern with a lot of pieces. She was able to finish one of the blocks at the Retreat. I noticed today that she now has 3 blocks. You can see how large they are.

Amy's Cactus block
Amy’s Cactus block

Her colors are really subtle. I find it hard to tell the difference between the background and foreground on this block with the round leaves. I can definitely see the foreground on the background, but there isn’t a lot of contrast.

This is a Sew Kind of Wonderful pattern, which Amy enjoys. She is the one who led the class in making Metro Twist. Unlike Metro Twist, this pattern requires the Wonder Curve Ruler**. The Wonder Curve ruler creates different curves.

Amy's Cactus block
Amy’s Cactus block

Her final block so far looks like an Aloe plant to me. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the quilt looks like.

I spent a little time just talking with MaryC and Gerre after I was done with my cutting project and the party favors. That was OK. Pretty soon I am going to have to start sewing the various projects  I have cut out. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**N. B. : Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops and small businesses. However, if you are too busy or can’t find what you need there, I use Amazon affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Last Minute Stocking

Stockings decorating the mantlepiece
Stockings decorating the mantlepiece

Our holiday celebrations were a bit topsy turvy this year as the normal hosts, SIL#4 and BIL#4, of our family Christmas Eve party were out of town. As a result, I invited my niece, their oldest daughter and her fiance over for Christmas morning.

This was great as they are delightful guests, but I didn’t have enough stockings. I have enough for the three of us, my parental units and one spare for random visitors. Now I have two spares.

Stocking cut and in process
Stocking cut and in process

I had a lot to do over the past few weeks and was busy as work. Though this project was on my mind, I didn’t start making it until Christmas Eve. I put the YM in charge of the dinner and went off to make a stocking.

I found some line art I wanted to use, then I traced one of the stockings, made the motif and sewed the whole thing together. It has been several years since I made stockings, but this one went together pretty well and looked good when finished. My soon-to-be nephew was pleased to be included.

Finished Stocking
Finished Stocking

I am pleased with the way the stocking came out. I spent, maybe an hour, on the whole project. The ‘pattern’ is relatively simple. I use felt because I don’t have to worry about raw edges, but you could make one quilted and appliqued as well..

I really want to work on embellishing the stockings in general. I may start on that this evening. I plan to put a spine on the holly, but we’ll see when. I try to do a little every year, but don’t always get to it before we put the Christmas decorations way.

Holly motif for Christmas stocking
Holly motif for Christmas stocking

Wood Tool Test Done

Turning tool finished
Turning tool finished

On my way home from Portland, we, again, stopped at our friends in Ashland. In addition to visiting, we were able to see how the turning tool came out. Mike did a great job. It isn’t exactly like my tool from Modern American Vintage (top), but I think it will be useful for Mary’s bagmaking. Like me when I am trying a new quiltmaking technique, Mike says he wants to try again. The tool didn’t come out exactly how he expected. As mentioned before, he isn’t going to compete with MAV, but making a couple to get it right seems reasonable.

Wood Tool Test

I have touted the fabulousness of the Modern American Vintage tools. Since I was sewing with Mary, I brought my travel tool bag. In it was my fabulous turning tool. This was partially because I keep it in my travel bag, but I also wanted to show Mary.

Making a turning tool
Making a turning tool

We had a long talk about it, then we showed it to Mary’s husband, who has a wonderful wood shop and is a great woodworker (carpenter?). He immediately said to just buy from  Modern American Vintage (which you should do!), that he couldn’t make it as well or as inexpensively as MAV. As the day wore on, he got more intrigued with the idea of the tool. By the end of the day he had started to try making one of the tools.

This is the same as deciding you want to try and make a certain complicated bag or a difficult quilt block. I loaned him the tool so we’ll see what he comes up with.

He will not be selling these, so you should get yours from Modern American Vintage.

Thanksgiving Embroidery

Turkey embroidery test
Turkey embroidery test

Because our family is growing, I thought I might need more Thanksgiving napkins for Thanksgiving. I bought some new embroidery designs for my SIL, though I think they were too big.

The turkey on the platter is, I think, a test embroidery. I am pretty sure we didn’t use that one before. I didn’t buy white napkins either. I think the design is amusing now.

Fortunately, I didn’t need them in November, so this project could be shoved off until her Christmas projects were done. I went over during Craft Night the other night and started work.

SIL #2 sat me down in front of her computer and I selected colors for some of the designs. She is pretty well organized and had recorded the thread colors. I was able to select from that group so the napkins will all, pretty much, match.

Pumpkin on blue napkin
Pumpkin on blue napkin

She always has to reduce the number of colors, because she doesn’t like to switch threads once the machine has started. I think her machine can handle 6 threads at a time. I always forget to look at the number of colors and inevitably buy a design with 25 colors!

I really like that pumpkin motif and I worked to make it really pretty. I think it looks great on the blue napkin.

Blue pumpkin on mauve napkin
Blue pumpkin on mauve napkin

I started changing colors so they didn’t have the issues that bugged me. There were some black threads that looked too dark to me. It may be that the shading was removed, because of the limited colors. Regardless, I am thinking about greys and, maybe, even some browns to soften up the hard blacks.

On the mauve (dusty rose??) napkin, the blue really shows up. I used that blue thread, which I really like, only on this one. It would have been lost on the blue.

Choosing embroidery threads is hard work. I’ll go back when we have Craft Night again and choose some more.

 

Craft Day

Saturday was Craft Day. The weather did not cooperate, though Friday was beautiful with no wind just a light breeze. I was hoping for beautiful weather for once just so I can say that my town is not always foggy. Oh well.

Craft Day Attendees 2022
Craft Day Attendees 2022

Regularly my sorority alumnae group gets together for fun events. During the pandemic we did them on Zoom. Teaching people to bake pies on Zoom was one of the great events.

I often do not host, but I was willing to host Craft Day as it was pretty easy and I did not have to dress up.

Also, I wanted to get started on a knitting project and needed some help. Knitting is good for meetings where I do not have to present and I have two four hours training sessions this week and I need a knitting project.

Craft Day: spinning and knitting
Craft Day: spinning and knitting

A lot of knitting went on on Craft Day. My SIL was knitting along with 2 others. Juliette was spinning, which is related to knitting, but not knitting. She will knit the yarn she was spinning at some point in the future.

Juliette has a very quiet portable spinning wheel. It wasn’t the big wooden machine like in Sleeping Beauty, but it got the job done. I really enjoyed watching her spin. As I knitted, it was soothing to see.

Craft Day
Craft Day

I was more prepared than I thought. All of my yarn was in balls. I did a gauge swatch, which help my SIL help me know what I needed to do next.

Of course, there was plenty of food. Terri made a nice fruit salad and Beth brought salami and cheese. I made coffee cake and banana bread. There was plenty of both leftover.

All in all it was a good time and not too taxing. My knitting project is started, so I am ready for my meetings. I also got to reconnect with friends I hadn’t seen in awhile.

More of the Workroom Refresh

View west
View west

I spent last Saturday doing the final clear out of my workroom. It is kind of horrifying to do something like this. It shows how much stuff I have. I don’t feel bad about it, but I need to use it. I produce a lot, but I need to produce more. Now that I have a better idea of what I have, I can use more of it. I am also going to be more careful about what comes into my workroom going forward.

View south
View south

The other thing is the dust. There are places that are inaccessible so the dust bunnies are large.

The view in the photo, right, doesn’t look like much, but I moved a lot of random stuff out of that corner. I had organized everything I could, but it was still kind of a jumble of projects and other random stuff. There is still some project boxes and my thread box there, but the corner next to my design wall is a lot more clear.

View east
View east

I am getting rid of some ugly pieces of furniture. That brown bookcase in the corner is out of the room as I write this and will be leaving my house soon. It is too short and too ugly for the future. I hope to bring in some fresh white bookcases. I haven’t picked them out yet, but I will.

Boxes of fabric
Boxes of fabric

Clearing out the last bits from my workroom is a big drag. It has to be done, but is a big drag. It’s like moving. Stuff that has always been in a  spot has to be moved. A lot of it has to be wrapped up, you need boxes. Bleah. It’s just a lot of work. I keep thinking of the end result.

I had a pile of just pressed fabric and a pile of fabric waiting to be pressed. I decided to put them all in boxes. It was a good opportunity to check out some fabrics I hadn’t seen in awhile. I picked out another group of fabrics for a different quilt. Stay tuned for that post.

The removal of everything gives me two opportunities to go through my stuff. I am donating a lot of books. I also threw out a bunch of stuff I didn’t need to keep around. I hope to go for another round when I put everything back.

 

Refreshed Inspiration Board

Some time ago I made an inspiration board. At the time I liked it, but for the last several months it has been getting on my nerves. I need a cleaner look throughout my workroom.

The other day I got out some tools and the fabric I bought on the trip and went to work. I redid my inspiration board as one piece of the effort of redecorating my workroom.

Refreshed Inspiration Board
Refreshed Inspiration Board

It has a much cleaner look and is much less exuberant. I’d like to get a frame, paint it white and hang the inspiration board in that. I’ll have to go look at thrift stores and that is one of my least favorite activities.

Inspiration Board with Buttons
Inspiration Board with Buttons

My old inspiration board was blue with dots.

Inspiration Board tools
Inspiration Board tools

I reused some of the ribbon, because it was nice. I saved all the buttons as there was nothing wrong with them. Also, some of them are special.

Table Leaf Covers

Bookshelf fabric
Bookshelf fabric

Last Autumn we finally had MIL’s dining room table and china cabinet moved over to our house. Along with the table came 3 leaves and the associated pads. We didn’t want them to get any more scratched than they are so they have been sitting carefully in the dining room since last Thanksgiving. DH and I have been tinkering with measurements around making bags. A few weeks ago, after going through my backing fabric stash, I pulled out 6 yards of fabric that I don’t think I will use for a back. I took it to Tim and he quilted it for me.

Laying out fabric for table leaf bags
Laying out fabric for table leaf bags

Over the weekend, I put the first table leaf bag together. Getting that done required some visual pattern making.

I needed to see what the relationship was between the leaves and the fabric I had. One issue I knew I had was the width of the fabric. The fabric was standard 45ish inch wide quiltmaking fabric. 45ish was only just wide enough for making a bag if the leaves were arranged horizontally, but we wanted them vertical so the design of the fabric would be oriented the same way the leaves would be stored. This orientation brought up our second issue, we wouldn’t have enough fabric for 3 bags and the pads. I figured out how to make a bag for two leaves that would take up only one section of the fabric. Of course I could have used more fabric, but I really wanted the bags to match, if at all possible.

Single table leaf cover- finished
Single table leaf cover- finished

Eventually, we decided that the only way the project would work was to make the bags with the leaves horizontal across the fabric. Making the bags that way would ensure I had enough fabric and used it all most effectively.

I finished one of the covers over the weekend and moved on to the second one, which will hold 2 leaves. I am part way through it. It is going much faster than the first one, but that is to be expected. Of course, I haven’t gotten to putting it together yet.

Single table leaf cover- finished, showing one leaf
Single table leaf cover- finished, showing one leaf

I have some leeway in different areas because these will mostly be in a closet 11.75 months of the year. Still, I don’t want them to look crappy. They will most likely move on with the table so I want them to last.

Finished: Mermaid Doll

Mermaid Warrior
Mermaid Warrior

I saw a photo of this doll when I was looking at my previous anniversary post as I was writing my recent 15 year blogiversary post. I didn’t remember the doll until I saw the photo. I had no idea where the doll was. Then, like magic, I found her.

She was started in a doll workshop at CQFA in 2013. From the post, it sounds like I made her pretty quickly. Then, apparently, she languished and was forgotten.

When I found her, I decided that I didn’t have much to do to finish her. I decided to just get her finished. I could see any additional embellishment that was needed. I am marveling at the job I did with the sequins and the bikini top. It is really good!

Mermaid with Artist Warrior and Mother Warrior
Mermaid with Artist Warrior and Mother Warrior

She is part of a series of dolls.

New Paper Wreath

Marquee Love Paper Wreath
Marquee Love Paper Wreath

While I was waiting for pages to load ‘at work’ (e.g. one part of my workroom) I folded the legs for a new paper wreath. I find that keeping my hands busy keeps me from fretting.

This wreath has not been glued together yet, nor does it have a home. I may give it to my friend who will be NSGW First Lady starting….soon (it should be May, but Grand Parlor is postponed). She’ll need some prizes for various events and the paper wreaths are popular.

The combination of paper designs are kind of crazy! I don’t know if people will like them.

Marquee Love Paper
Marquee Love Paper

Since the S-i-P started, I have been getting rid of one thing per day. Often this means I clear out a drawer and get rid of several things. I have also been finding things, such as the paper I used for this wreath.

The sheets are 8.5 in by 8.5 in, which means the wreath is smaller than the other wreaths I have made.

This paper is also slightly thinner than the cardstock I have used. I have used copier paper and it works fine. I have never tried tissue paper, but every other paper I have used works. Fabric also works, but you need to augment it. Try making your own using the tutorial.

Creativity. Not Sewing

Lemon Tumeric Tea Cake
Lemon Tumeric Tea Cake

Some food items are hard to get. This is has made me more aware of what is in my fridge and not letting it go to waste. I had some lemons in my fridge and decided to make Lemon Tumeric Tea Cake**. I had been thinking about it for awhile and on Sunday, I finally did it.

I last made this at Christmas for my work colleagues. The batch was really small and I didn’t get a loaf to try. My boss has been asking about it, so I decided to make some for my work colleagues again. This time I doubled the batch and added a bit more tumeric, so I got to try it. It is delicious and I am thrilled. I also had enough to make a loaf for my mom. The three loaves we are not keeping are going in the mail this week.

 

 

**N.B.: If you don’t have a subscription to the NYT, check your local public library or your library at work.

Paper Wreath for the Fair

Paper Wreath for Beth
Paper Wreath for Beth

I made another paper wreath to enter into the fair. I actually made two, one for the Fair and one for Grand Parlor, but the one for Grand Parlor had some issues and I am going to throw it out. The lady in charge of the Ladies events at Grand Parlor did not want the wreath anyway.

I really like the one that came out well.

I folded the legs for both wreaths at Craft Night – yes we are resuming Craft Night. I hadn’t made the time and took the opportunity to cross this task off my list.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the wreath after the Fair so I offered it to SIL#3. She helped me pick out the papers and I am pleased it will go to a good home.

Paper selection
Paper selection

I am entering a wreath, because I can certainly win in that category with it.