Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 Christmas Gift Sewing

Merry Christmas! I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and were able to spend the day with loved ones. I was with my family in Arkansas and also facetimed with my family in Louisiana. My family passed me around from on family member to another while I was on the iPhone. It was fun to be included and watch them open their gifts! Now that the recipients have opened their gifts, I get to share my Christmas sewing!

This cat pillow for my aunt was easy to make. It was fun to add bling to the pillow.

Here is a photo of the back. I made her a quilt from the cat fabric a couple of years ago. I followed these instructions for the cat block.

Below are photos of oven mitts made for my Mom, sisters and sister-in law. For the double oven mitt, that protects your forearms, I combined 2 patterns. I didn't feel comfortable drawing out my own mitt pattern, so I used this one and then had to widen it a bit to fit the 7.5 inch width from the other pattern. After measuring my largest casserole dish, I decided to make them a couple of inches longer. Also, it's hard to see in the photos but I quilted all pieces in a grid pattern. I used Insul-Bright and 2 layers of quilt batting.

For the heart potholders / mitt design I followed these instructions. You can use them as pot holders and also oven mitts by sliding your hand in the pockets to make it easy to grab a hot dish.

It was fun picking out the fabric and making the mitts and potholders! However, I did get tired of making them because I made 2 of each set shown.

My Mom, sisters and sister-in-law loved them and it was great to watch them open their gifts via facetime!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Fall Sewing Retreat: Part 2 - Arkansas

This post is a continuation of my catch-up posts.

At the end of October, my Mom and sisters got together for a fall sewing retreat! We hope it's the First Annual Fall Sewing Retreat!

The retreat started at my sister's house in Texas and ended at my house in Arkansas. To read about Part 1 - the Texas retreat go here

It started with my sister, DeAnna, who lives in Georgia and blogs over at Georgia-Girl Quilter, she drove from the Atlanta area to south Louisiana, to get my Mom. They then drove to Texas to my sister Simone's house, which is where Part 1 of the retreat took place! After a few days of sewing fun in Texas, we drove in 3 cars to my house in Arkansas.

In the Part 1 - Texas post you met my Mom, Jennie on the left and my sister Simone on the right.

You met my sister, DeAnna, on the right, she blogs over at Georgia-Girl Quilter, visit her blog when you get a chance.  You did not met my sister, Rhunell, on the left. She was unable to make it to Part 1 - Texas and she drove to my house for Part 2 - Arkansas.

We were set up in my basement, which worked out great! I recently moved my sewing space to the room above the garage. You can read about that here.

I planned a shopping day to a couple of quilt shops in my area. First we visited Pinwheel Fabrics.

Here's a peak inside the store.

We watched as someone quilted with the long arm.

Then we went to The Stitchin' Post. Lots of eye-candy here too!

These are the purchases we bought on our 2 shop - shop hop. We helped the economy a little.

We also went to my son's high school football game.

Despite the extra activity and having less days to sew than when we were in Texas, we managed to get a lot of sewing done.

Mom completed a 1600 jelly roll quilt top! I love those colors (and we didn't make a race out of it).

Simone completed a string pieced table topper. It made the door look like it had a stained glass window! Pretty!

Here is a close up...

DeAnna made a table runner...

and 2 purses...

Rhunell finished a quilt she started for her youngest daughter right before she was born.  Sixteen years later here it is... fantastic!

This is the quilt top I pieced, it still needs borders.

We had sew much fun and hope we can do it again next year. We'll just have it at one person's house and maybe only for a period of an extended weekend.

This is the conclusion of my catch-up blog post.  

Have a fantastic day! Blessings to you!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

2013 Fall Sewing Retreat: Part 1 - Texas

This post is a continuation of my catch-up posts. 

At the end of October, my Mom and sisters got together for a fall sewing retreat! We hope it's the First Annual Fall Sewing Retreat!

The retreat started at my sister's house in Texas and ended at my house in Arkansas. This post is about Part 1 the Texas retreat fun and there will be another post - Part 2 - about the Arkansas retreat fun.

My sister, DeAnna, who lives in Georgia and blogs over at Georgia-Girl Quilter drove from the Atlanta area to south Louisiana, to get my Mom. They then drove to Texas to my sister, Simone's house, which is where Part 1 of the retreat was to take place! I arrived a few days later, driving from the Little Rock, Arkansas area to Texas.

Let me introduce you to my family.  This is my Mom, Jennie.

My parents had 5 children - four girls and one boy. My parents friends know our names but many of them associate us with a number.. we are often asked 'Which number are you?' My reply is 'I am number 4' and a lot of times the response is then 'and your brother is the baby'. These days we are also known for where we live. I am the 'Arkansas daughter'.

Let me now introduce you to Simone, she is number 1, and the Texas daughter. We are at her beautiful house for part 1 of the retreat.

This is DeAnna, she is number 2, and the Georgia daughter.  She blogs over at Georgia-Girl Quilter. Be sure to check out her blog.

Rhunell, is number 3 and the Louisiana or Baton Rouge daughter. She wasn't able to make it to Texas, but she'll show up in the Part 2 Arkansas post, so you will meet her then.

This is me, number 4, and the Arkansas daughter.

My brother, Bryan, is number 5, and 'the baby'. He didn't make it to the retreat but I wanted to mention him since I'm introducing everyone to you.

Simone had retreat bags for us! So sweet of her to think of that! She had a theme in mind.. fiber. Since we were going to be sitting a lot, she thought we would need some fiber. She included candles for relaxation. In case someone got stressed from 'Jack the (seam) Ripper' coming around too often! We had too many laughs to be stressed though, even if 'Jack the (seam) Ripper' came around - and he did!

We ate good.. we always eat good when we're together. My brother-in-law, J1, kept the food and drink coming, and of course our hostess, Simone (number 1, TX) did a lot of preparing ahead before we arrived. DeAnna (number 2, GA) makes awesome muffuletta's! She brought her bread machine to make the bread! Look at the size of that sandwich!

Oh so good lunch!

Simone and her husband own goats and they took us to the goat auction while we were there. Here we are walking the planks above the goats and sheep. The buyers walk the planks to see what goats and sheep they want to bid on.

We actually sat in on the auction. I didn't hear Simone say to not use our hands when we go in. Well, I was amazed by it all and I use my hands when I talk and I was pointing and she said 'stop using your hands!' DeAnna and I immediately put our hands in our laps and were afraid to make any movement. We sat there for a few minutes wondering if we unknowingly bid! We hadn't, but might have raised the price for someone else! I think the auctioneer knew we didn't really belong there! 

Simone recently purchased a vintage Kenmore sewing machine with a cabinet. We spent some time online trying to find out more information about the sewing machine. There wasn't much info to find and we think it was made around 1963.

We did some 'It's 5 o'clock somewhere' sewing.

Let me show you what we sewed while we were together at the Part 1, Texas 2013 Fall Sewing Retreat. 

Mom completed this gorgeous quilt top!

Simone finished these string pieced pot holders. Thursday wanted to be in the photo op.

DeAnna completed a beautiful table topper.

DeAnna also made 3 pillow cases and a potato pouch (to cook potatoes in the microwave). Simone's string pieced potholders are also included in this photo.

I finished a UFO from 2005! Yea! Douglas the donkey managed to sneak in the photo!

It was sew much fun being together, encouraging each other and learning from each other! We left in 3 cars to travel to my house (in Arkansas) to continue the retreat, where Rhunell (number 3, Baton Rouge) joins us. 

Thanks for stopping by! Have a very blessed day!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

2014 NewFO Challenge - I'm joining in!

Barbara at Cat Patches is host to the 2014 NewFO Challenge and I am joining in this year! The idea is brilliant! You blog about projects you start - not what you finished - not what's in progress. For the kick-off of the 2014 challenge go here. There's only a little time left to link up. Each month she has a linky party and if you've started something new, blog about it and link up. This fits me perfect as I start more projects than I finish! 

My new project list for 2014 is below in no particular order.

I would like to make something from this book!

Either this...

and / or this...

I want to use this fabric to make a butterfly quilt. I plan to follow these instructions.

The Which Witch? wall hanging looks like it would be fun to make. I'm thinking embellishments on the shoes. What about making it dimensional by adding lace or tulle to the narrow band at the bottom of the skirt.

A purse or bag or 2 from this book!  I'm in need of a new purse and the book has fantastic designs.

I have the layer cake to this wall hanging, it looks like it would be quick to make! I keep asking myself 'So why haven't you made it yet!'

The fabrics for this Chevron / zig-zag quilt are gorgeous!

And last but not least on my list is this kit. I love the fabric colors for this quilt too!

I get easily distracted and there will be more new projects to start! Yikes! But having it in a list might help me stay focused on these projects! I always start out strong in January with high expectations on quilts and sewing projects I want to make and then life kicks in! I hope joining in on the NewFO Challenge will keep me motivated and focused on these projects!

Come join in, even if you don't make it to the kick-off linky you can still join in once a month!