Thursday, March 9, 2017

An apron for a wanna-be cowgirl

First of all, I need to tell you about my new toy.
I love my new toy.
My new toy is a Bernina special edition 765 sewing machine. 
My old machine quit working. Again. 
So I finally decided it was time.
Time for a new one.
Brand, Spankin' new. 
It's my 3rd sewing machine, but my first new one.
I love my new sewing machine.
 My friend has the Bernina 770 quilter's edition. We have compared them, and they are exactly the same except for where mine says Special Edition hers says Quilters Edition. And mine is "rose gold" across the top part, and hers is silver.
I like the rose gold better, but don't tell her that. In fact, I'm naming her Rose in honor of her beautiful color. But you can also call her Rosie.
I have this theory that the Bernina company was trying to come up with a creative way to sell more of the 770's. So they changed the silver part to rose gold, called it a Special Edition, and sold it with a promotional deal.
The deal was this: it came free with either the "quilters bundle" (which then really made it identical to the 770) or an Embroidery unit. Well, about the only things I'm willing to dust off my shabby math skills for is sewing and quilting. So I did the math. Because I already had the walking and 1/4 inch feet, the only thing I needed to make it the quilters edition was the Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR) which was $899. The Embroidery unit was $2,000. I hope you know which one I chose to be included and which one I bought (with the 20% off deal you get on everything you buy the day you buy your machine)

So I am a happy new sewing machine owner. I hope that means I will be whipping out projects like nobody's business.... but if you've read my blog before, you'll know that's not likely.
I DID, however, finish this Texas Flag pillow sham to go with my sons quilt that I made him... 
  4 years ago...
 And I also made this apron for me:
 Out of some cute scraps a friend had left over from making her daughter a dress. It was too cute, I couldn't let her throw it away. I made it for myself. I pretty much live in aprons, so I am loving it.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Star Wars Chevron Quilt

 Finishing a project does not come easily to me. I'm not sure why. The universe seems to really have something against it. It is a fight   all out battle to get anything done. Last winter, when I was on such a roll finishing up old projects, I made the mistake of being in a quilt store  I had to go to a quilt store to get my machine fixed (that is only a part of this saga of how-come-it-was-so-hard-for-me-to-get-this-quilt-done) and while I was waiting, I walked by some bolts of Star Wars fabric. While I'm a pretty big fan of Star Wars, the biggest fan I know is my younger Brother, Chuckie. I also had his name for Christmas this year (we rotate gift giving among my siblings) and he was turning 40 just a few weeks before Christmas.
 So I went against that promise I had made to myself not to buy any fabric for new projects until I had finished all the ones I'd already started... and bought the fabric. And I started making it a good six months before his birthday, ensuring that I would have plenty of time to get it finished. Then my machine broke, and I had to take it into the Bernina shop which is almost an hour from my house... like 4 times. So I pretty much didn't have a sewing machine ALL SUMMER! I worked on it until Finally I had it pieced by the end of October. So I called the quilt shop that's an hour and 20 minutes away to schedule the long arm quilter.
Well, it was that time of year when every one is finishing their Christmas gifts/quilts, and there were only two days available before Thanksgiving. One wouldn't work, and the other was the day before I was leaving for Houston- where myself and 4 siblings and our families were gathering for Thanksgiving and a surprise birthday party for Chuckie. Well, at 6:30 am that day, my 3 year old threw up.
He was fine, but I didn't know that until later, and could not in good conscience leave him with my friend who has 4 small children. So I had to cancel it.
I packed my machine, and spent hours and hours at my other brothers house quilting this on my machine. It would have taken a fraction of the time on a long arm. I finished sewing the binding on at midnight the night before the party.... cause that's how I roll sew...

Friday, August 12, 2016

Scrappy 9-patch wedding quilt (project 75)

 So, first off, let me confess that I didn't piece this quilt. I friend of mine did, and gave it to me as payment for babysitting and for quilting some other quilts she had pieced for her.
 Then I got a wedding invitation from one of my old Young Women. I was her leader like 13-15 years ago. I knew I didn't have time to piece something in time for her wedding gift, so instead I just quilted this for her. There is a quilt shop about an hour and 15 minutes north of here that rents a long arm quilting machine by the day! So, it would end up being much less expensive than even using the one I used to rent by the hour! So, I made arrangements for someone to watch the kids and spent the day quilting away. It was like going on a vacation!!
 I have to admit, that once it was all done, and I saw that it even fit so beautifully on my KING sized bed, it was a little hard to part with!
 This fun lime green fabric I chose for the back specifically with the bride in mind. I think she'll love it.
 Below is my favorite way to wrap a quilt. Just roll it, tie a pretty bow around it, and wrap the bundle in cellophane. It doesn't completely give the surprise away because they don't really get to see it until they lay the whole quilt out. But, it gives them a peek, and it's prettier than any wrapping paper anyway!
 It was a 6 hour drive to get to the wedding reception, and I don't think she thought I'd really come, so it was really fun to surprise her!

Monday, August 8, 2016

More Quilts! (projects 72---74!!)

 This Spring I really got busy finishing up some old quilting projects. Although this one is a brand new one, but made out of old scraps that I had. I made it for a new mother I go to church with, for her first baby- a girl...

 I tried some new machine quilting styles, like these swirls, and I also did some feathers for the first time.

 Then I got out this old thing. This was from a class I took when I was at the quilters guild. We had a guest teacher come who not only designed the pattern, but all the fabrics we used were hand dyed by her! They were beautiful.
 I actually really liked doing this raw edge applique and would love to do more of it!
And I also drug this old Valentines quilt out. It gave me so many headaches, and I had to take my sewing machine in to get fixed so. many. times. while I worked on this. It was honestly just a huge relief to get it done. I'm totally fine not to look at it again until Valentin's Day. Next year. Or the year after that might be soon enough.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Quilting Again!! (projects 69-71)

 These first two quilts are a matching set of twin quilts. I started them about 2-3 years ago for my two youngest daughters, who began sharing a room when their little brother was born. I wanted them to have matching quilts. Of course, with the new baby and our lives getting so crazy, these took a lot longer than they ever should have.
 They were supposed to have a big huge daisy applique on them... but it got to the point where I just needed them done, so I left it off. My friend who owned a long-armed quilting machine was moving last summer, so just before she left, I went to her house and quilted both of them. You would have thought that since they only needed binding, I would have quickly finished them. But instead, they sat there for six months!!!
 Then about a month ago, I started quilting again with a new friend, and these were the first things I finished!! It really didn't take long once I got serious about it! I love the 3-dimensional look of it, with ric rac and ribbon, and especially the scalloped part.
 They are really nice, and it's so great to have them done and now my girls have some cute matching bedspreads!
 This zig zag quilt was actually pieced by a friend of mine from church. When she saw the chevron wall treatment we painted in my oldest daughters room, she was reminded of this and went home and got it and gave it to her.
So, I quilted and bound it.
 Then we had a dilema, because we had also started to finish her quilt (last one in this post) which she wanted to hang on her wall. She didn't want multiple wall hangings, and she also couldn't use it as a regular quilt because it's baby size. So, we decided to talk to the woman who pieced it and ask how she felt about gifting it to a new mom we go to church with who had a baby girl just before Valentine's Day.
We thought it was perfect for her since it has a hear fabric background

 This last quilt was done with Batik fabrics, and was started more than 5 years ago!!! Before we moved to Texas, I decided to teach my two oldest kids how to sew/quilt. This was the project my with my daughter. She loved the bright fabrics. 

I'm embarrassed to say that we didn't finish it then, but when I started quilting again with my new friend, she finished piecing it while I was quilting one of her quilts. So, it finally got finished!
Once again, it was amazing how quickly I was able to finish it once I got serious about it. I did all the quilting in an afternoon. It's probably hard to tell from here, but I quilted it with a variegated thread that was rainbow colored. It looks SO COOL up close as sometimes the thread blends in an disappears and sometimes it pops in each color.
It feels SO great to get some little projects done. I have more in the works, and even better: I have a plan for finishing them and a place where I actually can work on them.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Strawberry Birthday Party!

My middle child turned 6 last month! And of course she wanted a Strawberry Shortcake Party!!!
2 years ago, she was Strawberry Shortcake for Halloween, and then last year, she was Strawberries friend, Blueberry muffin... and guess who she is going to be this year?
Apparently Strawberry has a friend named Raspberry Torte?..
Anyway, I didn't want it to be too commercially themed, so I made it mostly just Strawberry, but the cake? I let her call the shots on that
She wanted this... Strawberry Shortcakes house. But, she is my one child who doesn't like fondant. She is the buttercream girl. So, I didn't do much fondant, and tried out a few other things like chocolate (that's on the top), and green apple Twizzlers, and even candy coated sunflower seeds. 

She put the little toy characters around the edge.
I'm adding a few more pictures of the cake:

While we're talking about food, I'll tell you what else was on the menu:...
Of course we had Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jelly Sandwhiches (although I had to make a few plain Nutella for my girls:))
Strawberry Jello with Whip Cream and Strawberries on top

I found these strawberry trays at Tai Pan, and planned on filling them with Brachs strawberry candy... but of course, that was the ONE bin that was empty for the 3 weeks leading up to the party! So they got pretzels and green and red jolly ranchers (which were supposed to be for my strawberry stained glass cookies that I ran out of time to make... maybe next time!)
I also ordered a strawberry sucker mold from Amazon, and made red and pink chocolate suckers (on the left) and bought strawberry marshmallows, which I dipped in red chocolate and added white sprinkles to, as well as green chocolate tops (I found it easier to make these ahead of time and stick them on before the red chocolate hardens) 
We had homemade strawberry lemonaide in these mason jars decorated with red burlap, a doily, and strawberry printable tied with twine.
These were some pretty simple decorations, but they were really cute. Just red balloons that I drew seeds on with a black sharpie, and tissue paper leaf tops.
Instead of messing with helium, I blew them up and put them on balloon sticks. I could do them the day before because of this, and put them in vases.
Food table in the background included a picnic basket filled with bags of chips.

The strawberry balloons turned out really cute. I also decided to cover my big mirror for this party. I get tired of trying to take pictures and not get myself in the reflection. I also cut out a big number 6 from wrapping paper to hang on there as well.
The only pink shirts I could find at the last minute (Confession: I'm not much of a shopper) were school uniforms! So, I added these crocheted strawberries to them, and they turned out cute. Not only did the birthday girl get one, but her 2 year old sister did too. (I didn't do them for the party guests)
Here's the birthday girl!
I also made a bunting out of strawberry fabrics. That was fun because there are so many cute strawberry fabrics out there. It was an easy way to use a lot of them! Confession: I'm priming my next girl to want a strawberry birthday party just so I can use it again!
Our party favors included a strawberry hair bow for each girl 
Little sister got 2 since her hair is only long enough for 2 piggy tails!
For only $25 for 12 of them, a lady I know crocheted each girl a strawberry purse. They could put their party favors in them!
I also made cotton candy to look like strawberries. I used disposable frosting bags because they are kind of pointy, but taped back the tips so they wouldn't be too pointy. I also drew seeds on the bags, and tied them with green ribbon
We also had a strawberry flavored lip balm (from Avon) for each girl which was their prize from the bean bag game