Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Tree Skirt

Every year, a good friend of mine says ... it's so hard to find a decent looking Christmas Tree skirt.  So last year, I said, "Dennis, would you like for me to make you one" and the response was, "I thought you would never ask"!!!

I spent some time in the spring on Pinterest looking for candidates and shared a few with him this summer when we were out on his boat for our annual summer outing.  He LOVED this one.  He lives in a mid-century modern house and he felt this would fit in perfectly with his decor.

Skirt on my new cutting table
I didn't spend much on fabric, opting instead, to get the fabric from JoAnn's.  My perspective was that it would only get used about 2 weeks a year and, as much as I love the new holiday prints available, he said he really just wanted to have traditional Christmas colors.

I didn't vary much from the original effort ... she did such a great job ... but I did make the crosses in the pieces out of 3 pieces instead of 4, thinking it made it slightly less busy.

Giving it to him on Monday and then off to a party at his house on Saturday ... will see how it looks then under a tree!

Happy Holidays!
Lisa


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The gift line ...


This ... became this ...


I have been buoyed by the positive response I've received from friends that I have gifted Market Bags to this past year ... so I figured why not create a few for my nieces and step daughters-in-law for Christmas presents ... this represents this efforts from the cabin over Thanksgiving weekend.

I have a few more at home in "inventory" ... so I'll let John help me decide who gets what next week when we start to pull the gift boxes together to mail.

If you remember, these came from Bijou Lovely Design's great tutorial.

And now some eye-candy from the weekend ... four days at the cabin is bliss ...

Me and my hero ...

The view from my run on Thanksgiving morning

The sun rising over Mt. Rainier on Thanksgiving morning

John finishing a wooden puzzle that he inherited from his mum

"Central Heat"

The view from the cabin -- fog over the canal.
It was a productive and beautiful weekend!

All the best
Lisa


Sunday, December 1, 2013

It was a 2 machine day ...

My new Juki meets my old Pfaff
Doesn't get much better than that ...

Hope you all had a splendid weekend!

Lisa

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New labels have arrived!

I am pleased to say the new labels have arrived ... thanks so much for the advice everyone! 


Turns out that it was part me and part the supplier that I was trying to use.  

One of my vanpool partners offered to edit the file for me (she's a graphic designer, so she actually made it look better too!).  After she worked her magic, I resent her awesome work in the PDF to the original supplier.  Unfortunately, they came back the next day and said that it still didn't work.

A quick look on the internet and I found TwillTape.com.  I ordered them on Thursday night at about 8:30PM (sent the same file that the previous supplier said wouldn't work).  I received an email first thing Friday morning and they arrived the in the mail today (Monday) ... talk about service.

It was $60 for 140 labels ... but I'm pretty sure that they will last for a couple of years ... so all in all ... not too bad.  

Thanks again for the advice and I am so happy to be back in labels as the elf shop opens for the season!

Hope all is well with all of you!
Lisa 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Need some advice ...

So EXCITED to say that I quilted in my new 'studio' last night ... but that's a post for another day.

I started on an unfinished top that I've had laying around for over a year.  Decided to straight-line quilt which is going find on the top ...

But here's what's happening on the backside ...

It's a puckering convention ...

I am using my new Juki with a walking foot.  But it's as if I am sewing on my 30-year old Pfaff without a walking foot.

Obviously the seam ripper will be used this afternoon and I will need to go back to my standard quilting ... sigh ... I had really hoped to do something different for this one.  Particularly as it is going in an auction in December to raise money for a woman recent diagnosed with non-Lodgkins Lymphoma.

Anyone have any ideas what I am doing wrong?

Thanks!
Lisa


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cabin quilting ...


I am fortunate to have a great cabin to relax at over weekends ... and an indulgent husband who whole heartedly supports my hobby!

On the way out here on Friday night, I stopped at JoAnn's to pick up some solids for a quilt for a wedding that took place in late August (yup ... still a lot of catching up to do ;-).

I had seen this flying geese quilt on Pinterest and loved it!  Turns out it's a Denise Schmidt quilt and she has a pattern (SCORE!!!).  I went to download it yesterday ... only to discover that you cannot download her patterns, you have to wait for them to be sent snail mail.  Not wanting to wait the 2 weeks her website it would take, and quite honestly, a bit tweaked that a big name quilter like DS has not actually embraced the internet, I gave up on the pattern.

So ... sigh ... my first attempt at flying geese was going to need to be a different design.

Off I went, unpacking my machine, pulled out the cutting mat and ruler from under the bed and I was set to work ... for about 30 seconds ... next discovery was that I had left the 'gadget' box that holds my scissors, seam ripper, bobbins, sewing machine feet, pin cushion, etc.  - even at this point, the pedal and cords for my machine which I had brought out.  After a 5-minute mental debate, I was off for the 40 minute drive to JoAnn's for a few basics.


When you really think about it ... there are only a couple of things I really needed ... but without the ability to cut ...

Fortunately, I have a machine that I bought on e-Bay 3-years ago.  So I pulled that one out.  I also let all old cutting mats find a home at the cabin ... so all I really needed were cutting implements.  And NOW I have some I can leave out here should this ever happen again.

I did make some progress on the quilt and am really busy ripping out all the quilting that I have done on a Christmas Tree skirt (post to come).

Hope you had a great weekend.

All the best
Lisa

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Welcome to technology ... or not ...

Days like today make me realize just how inept I am when it comes to technology ... any advice on this would sure be welcome ...

I am running out of labels.  My current label was designed and ordered back in 2009.  Time for an update.

I have a MacBook Pro.  I created the following in Word.  I took a screen shot of it from Preview and then brought it into Preview from the clipboard.  Then I saved it to a PDF.

Apparently, that didn't work.  Dianna from Custom Couture Label Company came back and said that it's too pixilated and the font is not embedded in the PDF.

Truth be known ... I only understand the "too pixilated" part ... but don't know how to fix that either and I don't have a clue how to embed the font ...

Anyone have any suggestions on how I can get this done ... Christmas is drawing near ;-).

Any and all thoughts welcome!
Lisa


Saturday, November 2, 2013

It has been waaaaay too long ...

I am back ... it has been awhile ... it isn't that I haven't been blogging ... it has that I haven't been sewing ... but I am back ...

There were some very challenging extended family issues over the past 3 months.  They are now behind us ... we have moved on and I am slowly healing from the rough patches and really happy to be getting back to sewing/quilting.

It's cathartic ... it's an outlet ... I love doing it and am way behind where I wanted to be for some family events this year.

My first step back is not a quilt ... it's a couple of sewing projects that I am behind on.

First the pouf ... some of you may remember that I made this quilt as one of my first commission quilts last year.  It was commissioned for "J" by his godmother "D".   "D" saw a pouf that I had made for a little one's birthday present back in the summer and asked if I would make one for "J" for his first birthday.  I am a little late ... but it's done (she knew timing wouldn't be optimal when she asked for me to make it).



"J" and his parents live in a loft in San Franciso ... so I didn't want to make something that looked to babyish ... I wanted it to look at home in the open loft and tie to the quilt that I made last year.
I made my own piping for the first time ... far SIMPLER than I had ever anticipated!  If you're interested ... you can find the links for the tutorials as follows:
Over the past few months ... I was often in a position where I had to drop everything at the ring of the phone ... needless to say ... a lot of plans ended up getting cancelled at the very last minute.  That includes my cut & color appointment with the BEST stylist ever ... Vivian.  In 6 years, Vivian has taught me not to hate my curls (as I had for the previous 40+ years), but to embrace them with a great cut AND great product to help.

She's expensive and hard to get appointments with ... but totally worth it all.  In August, I had to cancel on 30 minutes notice which usually results in a 50% charge.  I get it ... she's a professional and owns her own business.  She graciously scheduled me for a new appointment a week later on her day off so that I didn't have to wait for ever.

She complimented me on my bag when I came in -- love that fun look when you tell someone that you made it!
When I asked her what I owed her for the missed appointment ... she suggested that a bag would make us even.
She said she loved orange and I spent some time on my iPhone when I was under the dryer and came up with some fabric options ... her preference was Orange ... and disturbingly for me ... a large chevron.

The reason I was nervous about the large chevron is that I am a quilter ... not a seamstress ... matching those chevrons had me really really worried.  In the end ... I cut and made it this morning and am pleased to say that the concern was warranted ... but not insurmountable ... and here it is.
It's not perfect ... but they do match and that's half the battle.

This too comes from a great tutorial out there.

Happy to be back and slowly getting to some quilt designs and hope to be back in the saddle soon ...

Happy November ...

All the best
Lisa

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday night entertainment


Looking forward to doing something like this for my cousin's daughter's wedding.

Lisa

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gotta love a baby quilt in action !!


He's definitely a whole lot cuter than the quilt ;-)

Hope you're having a great weekend!

All the best
Lisa

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Office baby #2

Here's the quilt for Office Baby #2.


Momma wanted primary colors, so I found this sweet Dr. Seuss print set at my LQS and supplemented it with some solids.

 

The back is pretty simple, letting the cute alphabet print think for itself.

I used Crazy Mom Quilt's chevron tutorial which can be found here.  Love that tute ... makes it SO easy!

This quilt is the companion to the pouf that I made for the baby's old brother and posted here.

Momma reports that dada slept with it the first night ... I think I would consider it a success!  

Hope everyone is surviving the heat.  

All the best,
Lisa

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Patio chair seat covers


I found a great bistro table and chairs set on Craigslist for our patio at the cabin.  We have a fabulous deck that faces west and overlooks both Hood Canal and the Olympic Mountains.  But as we found last week, sometimes it's just too hot to sit on the deck that faces west until the sun goes down.

There's a small patio in the garden on the east side of the house ... where we keep the grill.  It makes for a perfect sunny spot in the morning for breakfast, or a great afternoon spot to stay out of the sun (and heat).
This table and chairs (4 of them) are from a restaurant that went out of business.  I wanted to make seat covers.  I found outdoor fabric on sale at JoAnns this week and was able to leverage a 40% off coupon for the 1" fill.

I looked on line for a tutorial, but didn't find anything particularly helpful.  So I just traced the outline of the seat on paper and then used that to cut the 1" fill and the top and bottom fabric.

Stitched the seat cover together with the wrong sides together, turned them right-side out, stop stitched around the edges and then stuffed them with 1" fill.  
They were pretty simple to make, all 4 took less than an hour.

The back is a coordinating solid fabric.
We'll be taking them out to the cabin this weekend ... looking forward to breakfast in the sun!

Hope you had a good weekend.

All the best
Lisa

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Nope ... it's not a quilt ...

We both run.  John's retired, so he runs mid-morning.  I work from 9 to whenever, so I run whenever I can get it in.  What this means is at least two loads of laundry almost daily, just for running.  What it also means, apparently, is a BIG electric bill -- nearly $300 for the last bill that covered 2 months (and we don't have air-conditioning).

Hence the post ...

When we were in Europe the last two times, we rented apartments in 4 different cities.  Each apartment had a washer and a wonderful drying rack that held nearly 2 loads of laundry.

I have looked casually for the rack back here in the U.S. since our last trip over, but with the arrival of our latest electric bill, I started looking a little harder and found this wunderkind on Amazon.  We purchased 2, one for the cabin and one for the Seattle house.

What's different about this rack from the ones that I have seen back here in the US, is the extension arms on either end.


These fold out and nearly double the drying space ... creating a great deal of horizontal drying area vs. the ones I've seen here that are more vertical.


While I would say that it's not quite the quality of what we found in the rentals in Europe, with care, we should get a few years worth of quality (cheap) drying with these and at $24.99 each (I am Prime, so free shipping), that's not a bad deal considering what the electric bill's been running.

I just thought I would share, for those of you who are looking for a year-round drying solution (easily sets up in a spare room, bathroom or hallway) to either save money or be kinder to the environment.

Oh ... btw, we find the best way is to take the clothes off when they are still a teeny bit damp and run through the dryer for about 10 minutes.  That takes a little bit of the stiffness out of them.

Hope you are having a great weekend.

All the best,
Lisa

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Pouf !!!


There are 4 women I work with that will be giving birth within 3 months ... yup, I work in a very fertile Marketing department ;-).

You saw quilt #1 yesterday (circles).  Quilt #2 was completed today and I am just waiting for a little sunshine to photograph it in.  Quilt #2 is for Katherine who is having her 2nd baby -- she's expecting a little boy who will be big brother to Owen.

This pouf is for Owen.  I can't remember where I actually saw this to begin with, but I saved the link to it on Pinterest (don't you just LOVE Pinterest???).  Then she has a link to a tutorial.

It's pretty simple to make ... and only takes 1 yard of decorator weight fabric, piping, poly-fil.  Must admit, I was a bit perplexed by the poly-fil and what to do with it, as it was the first time that i had ever used it ... but I worked my way through it.

It took about 2 hours to make the first one, but suspect I could whittle it down to <90 for="" minutes="" next="" one.="" p="" the="">


It's pretty spongy ... perfect for a kid to sink into ;-)

Here it is in a chair to get a bit of perspective on size -- the finished pouf measures ~16" wide by 8.5" tall.


Hoping Owen and mom like the new pouf !

A little more than halfway through our week out here at the cabin ... enjoying the beautiful space that we get to call our second home.  This is a photo of the garden on the back side of the cabin. 




Happy 4th!

All the best,
Lisa

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Still learning ...

I got a new sewing machine (another post for another day) ... but apparently I am still learning about stitch adjustments ...


So conceptually, I like the mix up of circle and straight-line quilting ... the stitch adjustment challenge, actually created a little more like sheering than just quilting ...


This is for a woman I work with who is having a little girl in August.  While I would love it to be perfect ... I am also appreciative of the fact that "perfect" is in the eye of the beholder ;-).


The back reflects the quilting design a little more.

I've now sorted out the stitch tension ... so the next effort will be better ;-).

We're spending a week out at the cabin ...


And so far ... it's been AMAZINGLY relaxing!

Hope you're having a good week!

All the best
Lisa

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Another graduation quilt


My cousin's daughter is graduation from law school!  She was a recipient of one of my very first quilts when she finished her undergraduate degree back in 2009.  This time, I got a few clues as to what she might like from her Pinterest page where I saw chevrons and hot pinks as being themes ...

Chevron quilt - Pink and Gray
I used an off-white with the magenta and gray so that it wasn't quite so bright.


I used Momma Said Sew Concrete Pinking Sheers by Moda for the binding.


I was quite happy with the back and think with a little more detail, something like this could make a really nice front as well.  The pink frame in the bottom right corner is the label with her name and graduation date.

I know it's been a while since I posted ... but it's been fairly busy these days!  John's prostate cancer treatment is going really well, however, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimers in April and that has taken some getting used to.

This weekend, however, all was forgotten as we ran the Seattle Rock and Roll half marathon with an amazing group of people, wear blue: run to remember.  John ran it in under 2 hours despite his radiation treatment and two ribs that he cracked in a fall 3 weeks ago ... I was my traditional slow and steady ... but this time there was a purpose as I ran in honor of SGT William Chapman Stacey, a US Marine who was killed in Afghanistan early last year.  It was an incredible opportunity to run for something important and the shear act of running far out weighed any opportunities I had to improve my time ... as I told his mother yesterday, the fact that I run so slow meant that thousands of runners had the opportunity to run by me and see Will and our need to remember those who are risking their lives for us.


 
Hope everyone had a great weekend!
Lisa

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