Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Christmas in October

I will be one of the first to complain about the marketing and commercialism of Christmas beginning earlier and earlier.  While I don't necessarily agree with the introduction of Christmas ads in October, I can appreciate those individuals that like to plan and shop early for gifts.  And I can appreciate the stores that offer a lay-away plan for those that actually budget and plan for large purchases rather than just using a credit card and leaving the individual to worry about paying later.

My husband's family has had a Christmas gift exchange for years and I am always excited when the names get drawn and I have the time so that I can plan for an extra special gift that is made especially for them.  I have made quilts (of course!), table runners, cake/casserole carriers, ornaments and Christmas/Advent calendars.... among other things...

 
As silly as it may seem, I think I get as much, maybe more, enjoyment out of making and giving a special gift than the ones that receive them.  I had such fun making the calendar and finding and making the special little ornaments that fit into the pockets!  Butterflies, satin balls, icicles, and stockings...
 
Speaking of Christmas Stockings...  Check out these two Victorian stockings...
 
 
One came to me nearly finished... But it needed a mate.  It was super easy and fun to make.  They will be among some of the items I will have for sale at a Christmas Craft Extravaganza on December 6th. 
 
But, if you are one that loves to shop early for Christmas gifts and want something special made for someone, keep me in mind!  I love putting my heart and soul into special, one-of-a-kind gifts.
 
Happy gifting!
 
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

For a Good Cause

Okie dokie, folks... Here it is!  My Breast Cancer Awareness quilt. 

 
 
My thought was, when I started the project, was to make it, set a price, list it on facebook and have it available for someone to purchase with a portion of my profit to go to the American Cancer Society or the Susan G Komen Foundation.
 
I still want to sell this quilt...  But I need some help and some feedback. 
 
1.  Would my blog readers and facebook friends be willing to share the photo of the quilt?
 
2.  Should I just give first shot to someone interested? 
 
3.  Or would it be better to use e-bay and allow an auction to take place and/or buy it now option? Again, I could use some help with "sharing" the auction link and getting the word out to the world.

4.  If I list on e-bay, there is an option for a portion of the sale to automatically go to the Komen Foundation... would that be a good option?  (I recently saw a thing about "think before you pink" and that less than 20% of the donations to the Komen Foundation are used for continuing research = 80% goes to administration.)  Is there a "better" organization to make a donation to?

5.  Or should I just donate the quilt to a local group to raffle/auction/sell the quilt at a fundraiser event?

These are just a few of my now confused thoughts... I truly want to make the biggest impact and difference that a small lap quilt could make.  Help me!

Leave me some feedback, thoughts or suggestions... Thanks!




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sun vs. Moon

So facebook doesn't want to cooperate with me this morning and share a picture of this morning's sunrise... :P

With all the hubbub about the blood moon... which was kinda cool.  A shot taken by my brother-in-law...


But not to be out done...


Now granted the flaming maple trees were beat up very badly by the four serious hail storms we had this summer and it could have been much more picturesque, but none the less...

We are enjoying an Indian Summer for now and look forward to some time with family this weekend.  My plan is to squeeze in just a bit more time quilting the T-shirt quilts I have been working on - but if I don't get to there is always next week.




Happy Wednesday, everyone!



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It's T Time!

My latest project on the design wall is a memory quilt... A collection of T-shirts that a mom saved for her youngest son.  Some from elementary school, several from high school and a few from his college years.

I love working on these quilts just because of the excitement from the gift giver and the anticipated excitement of the recipient.

This one is special because I know the young man that wore all of the shirts.  He was a good friend and classmate of our youngest daughter.  So I had a brief trip down memory lane as I cut and arranged them.  The Math Hall of Fame shirt for successfully completing timed math tests and the Moulin Rouge marching band shirt were among the memories in Beck's quilt...



As soon as this one is done I'll be working on a couple more T-shirt quilts... I finally took the time the other day to stop in the thrift shop and start collecting T's... in my collection and the near future are Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies and Breast Cancer Awareness quilts. 

                  
 
    
                             

I also picked up a few Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Bears and Harley Davidson T's that need some "friends" to go along with them before I have enough for a quilted throw.  All in good time...



So, what's in your T-shirt collection?  Turn that collection of shirts (that may be just too special to turn into rags) into a memory quilt that you can enjoy this winter.



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Working with Left Overs

In the previous two posts  I talked about making rescues.  This week I worked with "left overs"... The left over half-square triangles that were intended for the "Back in Time Stars" quilt that was intended to be a finished 84" x 100" quilt. 

 
 
My initial desire was for a Carpenter's Star...  And with a little bit of calculating and the addition of a background fabric it became a reality!

 
 
I was stitching away and getting the rows assembled and somewhere in assembly I somehow missed the fact that one block was misplaced.
 
 
What a mess!  It looked much worse that it really was... Like I said, one block was misplaced and the row was upside down.
 
All better!  And with a border, ready to be sandwiched and quilted. :)
 
 

 
 
  "The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work...and gave to it neither power nor time.” Mary Oliver
 
I love creating! No regrets!
 
 
 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rescued Stars

I debated. I himmed and hawed. I procrastinated.  I considered alternatives about how to do the border on the "Rescued Stars" quilt top.

The pattern called for what I would call a half-square triangle blended with a four-patch... I don't like small pieces.  And since the finished block size was 4" it meant small! 


Whenever I finish a project started by another quilter I spend some time "getting into the mind" of that quilter.  I carefully sort through the fabric provided and make every effort to finish the quilt in a manner that would make them proud.  In this case there were some pieces cut to the specific sizes that the pattern called for in making the border.

In the end I gave myself a pep talk yesterday afternoon and I sat down with all of the cut pieces that came in the special box. In all reality I didn't have to cut very many squares to get enough for the border.

Today, the border has been attached. The quilt sandwich made and I should be able to get it quilted tomorrow and the binding on it on Saturday.


I am glad that I took the time and effort to mess with the small pieces (I didn't even grumble that much) because the quilt looks wonderful!

I love making rescues!

UPDATE:  The quilt is finished!  A full day early...




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

More Rescues!

There is little that excites me more than a box of goodies that arrives unexpectedly from a friend with a few "rescue projects".  Even in the midst of a partial re-model of our kitchen I was more excited about the box of goodies than the project!

Above is the kitchen after a kitchen "touch up" in 1997

This remodel has been a long time in the plans... when we moved in in December of 1994 we knew we would replace the range top and oven eventually - when one or the other quit working was the thought.  We never figured that the appliances would last another 20 years!  In fact, they were still in good working order when we removed them last week. 

We found a stove that  fit our needs and the right price.  So the transformation began!


In a matter of just a few hours we had the range top,
oven and cabinets out of the kitchen!
 
And in less than a week we have the new oven in place
and in working order. 
 
 
We still need to finish painting the cabinets but at least now I am able to cook and prepare meals with out the need of "being creative" and dealing with tools and dry wall joint compound  and drywall dust on the cabinet. ;)
 


And NOW I have time to go work on the "rescue projects" that arrived when we started the kitchen project.  There were two of them -
Some Victorian Christmas Stockings

 
And a quilt top, fabric and pattern - "Back in time Stars" from a magazine published in May of 1996.
 

The pattern makes a finished 84" x 100" quilt... I think I will make a smaller lap throw, using only the finished star blocks that were included. 

I am off to rescue! 

Want to see what other quilters are blogging about?  Check out www.quilterblogs.com