Save yourself — from Pinterest

If only I could.  But every now and then I get sucked into it.

If you sew, you know just how many absolutely gorgeous fabulous creative bright shiny fresh interesting lovely stunning fabric-savvy darling sweet edgy smart…whew…IDEAS are on that site.

I am helpless to resist.

So this little t-shirt project was inspired by one of the ideas I saw there at some point, and I wish I could credit the original poster.  But that’s the thing about pinterest.  You click on something, then on another thing, and before you know it you are down the rabbit hole somewhere on a blog, mixing all the ideas together.

So, for the record, I bought several of these cheap tees to use at a class for embroidery positioning.  The students used them in the class and now I have them left over and I was wondering what else I could do with them. Here’s the upcycle idea:







Just a plain tee to start, but it gets cut up into a shrug-type garment.





In the summer, I think it will look cute over a tank or tee.  Not bad for the $5 or so that I paid for it.

In the meantime, I’ll be shielding my eyes from the inevitable lure of pinterest.

For the moment.

Second Half of the Polka Dot Fabric Arrived!

Your fabric should either be her or in the precious post!  All polka dot exchange fabric is shown...60 squares!

Your fabric should either be here or in the previous post! All polka dot exchange fabric has arrived…60 squares!

Well, the second half of the fabric has arrived, and I spent the morning pouring over the notes, and fabric and addresses (just to see where everything came from).  This whole event has been a fabulous experience…and I haven’t even started to work with the fabric!

Vilbert, Germany. Wisconsin. California. Illinois. Derry, Ireland. Canberra, Australia.

Then, of course, was the fabric square from Edyta Sitar, from Laundry Basket Quilts, who also participated and did a lot of promoting of the exchange on her blog.

edyta sitarAt this point, I have an idea of what I want to create with all of the polka dot fabric, but I need to work out exactly what I’m going to do…I’ll keep you posted.

Many thanks to everyone who participated and to Prairie Stitches for coordinating.  This has been a terrific experience and I hope we can inspire one another to great things with all of our polka dot creations!

Greetings, Polka Dot Exchangers!

Do you see your fabric yet??

Do you see your fabric yet??

OK folks, this is the first time I have ever participated in a fabric exchange.  What a hoot!

So far, about half of the fabric has come in…I think.  It was 60 that we sent out, so I’m guessing that it will be 60 that we receive.  Just getting all the fabric is wonderful, but I am so pleasantly surprised and charmed by the lovely notes and greetings sent in each envelope!

I love quilters.  No doubt about it.

And I am moved by some of the people in this exchange…like 85 year old Eula Mae in Kansas who’s been quilting for 65 years.  Bless her heart.  And Carollee in California who’s husband recently passed away and is hoping the polka dots will cheer her up.  (Hi Carollee!  Hope they cheer you up too! Aren’t they interesting to receive?)

As soon as I opened the first two or three, I decided to create a tiny scrapbook of the notes from everyone, which are just as lovely as can be, don’t you think?  If you are receiving them, you know just what I mean–each one unique.

Notes from the ExchangeIt’s also unbelievable to me the reach that was achieved on this exchange:

Texas. Washington State.  Mississippi.  Massachusetts. Californinia. Indiana. Virginia. Michigan.  New Jersey. Colorado.  And that’s just in the first half.

Polka dot ExchangeI can’t wait to start using all your fabric and I am SO grateful to all of you for participating!

If you want to send photos of any of your projects that you work on using the polka dots, feel free to contact me.

And I’ll keep up the posting when the rest come in!

All the Eggs in One Basket

Egg basketI made this little basket (or bag) from the Easter egg files designed by Purely Gates.

She only works with distributors and quilt shops, so you can ask for them at your local quilt shop (or at Sew Generously if you ARE local.)

You use mylar in the hooping as an applique. The sparkle of the eggs is not showing up well in these photos because I took them with my iphone, and did not pay much attention to the light.

egg basket 2The sparkle is obvious when you view them in person and turn them toward the light.  Each egg pattern is different and distinct and the color palette and instructions are very clear.  Just be sure to purchase some mylar too.  I guarantee you’ll have some fun with this.

Here in the midwest we have a stretch of mild days ahead.  My plants are not yet showing any signs of life, but it’s early.

I have faith.

May your Easter holiday bring you the peace of knowing that even the viciousness of this past winter is not the last word, and we cannot possibly understand or anticipate the resurgence of life just by looking at the barren twigs of today. Somehow, some way, spring will come and new growth and new life will triumph.

It always has and it always will.

I Must Be Crazy

hand quilt5And so it begins.  The long task of hand quilting this baby, stitch by stitch.

I started with a lovely 28 wt. Aurifil, which I would highly recommend for machine quilting.  But after a few minutes, I switched to a much heavier weight (8) Valdani cotton.  I agonized over the two threads for a long time, finally consulting my husband who asked what would happen if I mixed them, or if, heaven forbid, I decided to machine quilt about half way through.  What if you get bored, he asked, or frustrated, or your hands seize up from the constant grip of the needle, or carpel tunnel sets in, or arthritis?  Will the quilt police come after you??

I thanked him for all the positive encouragement and cursed the fact that he knows me too well.

Meanwhile I decided on the Valdani.  It will be a wee bit more expensive, but I love the obvious hand sewn look.  At a size 8, this thread simply will not go through a machine, at least not as a top thread, and therefore is only used for hand work.

hand quilt 3I love that it gives the whole quilt top a homespun look.  I really do not want a quilt that looks like I purchased it at Pottery Barn (no offense to Pottery Barn, they have lovely merchandise.)

I just wanted something that could not be purchased anywhere.  So, yes, as crazy as it may seem, I’m going with the large thread and the hand quilting.

hand quilt 4According to my calculations, it takes me a steady 1 hour to complete a block, and in the quilt there’s approximately 108 blocks, plus the border.  I would have no problem machine quilting the border, but for kicks, let’s add it in.  If I worked an hour every single day, I could complete the quilting in 4 months.  Skipping days here and there, 6 months.

Realistically… one year.  So, boys and girls, this is not a project for the instant gratification crowd.  This is an endurance sport. If you haven’t noticed, I’m trying to psych myself up for the task.

I can do this.

Even though I have lots of other projects I want to work on in between bouts of hand quilting, and you know, life.

I won’t bore you with the ongoing work, at least not too much.  I’ll just give you occasional updates.

So call me crazy. Or call me overextended.  Just don’t call me late for dinner.

hand quilt 1