Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Post of 2010

Thought I'd get in one final post for 2010. I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. One of my nieces surprised me with her craftiness. She and her finance' (newly engaged) love to go for bicycle rides. So, with her mother's help, she made him a wallet from a bicycle innertube. She got the project from Instructibles . It was awesome. I just love homemade and happy to see another crafty generation. Her finance' is also crafty.

Today I spent a good bit of time making cd jewel case desk calendars. I found several places on the net to print the calendars out. One of my favorites was . I also printed one from . The only thing about this one was that it gave only the month number. I knew my DH and DS would not care for that. But, it had the instructions for disassembling the jewel case and reassembly into a calendar stand. I haven't taken any photos. Now if I could just remember where I put the new wall calendars I bought a few months ago.

Wishing each of you a blessed new year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Journal Jars

I had the opportunity to finish up a couple gifts for my middle sister and her hubby. I made them each a journal jar. I have made several in the past and they were hits. I used the journal prompts from Organized Christmas. I love this site.
For each journal jar I printed out the 38 pages of prompts (6 prompts per page) and then made a few of my own. Then came the chore of cutting each of them out. I used my paper cutter to do this. Then, I folded each one. It was unbelieveable that I could fit that big pile of prompts into those jars.

I bought journals and included a glue stick in the jar. That way they can glue the prompt at the top of the page and journal below it. OrganizedChristmas even included a label with instructions.

It seems I almost didn't get the tops of the jars in the photo, but here it is. I used a floral fabric for my sister's journal jar and added ribbon. For her husband's journal jar I used a piece of Western themed fat quarter by Moda that I received in an online swap years ago. I don't know the name of the design. He loves to read Westerns and this fabric always reminds me of him.

These gifts and the pillowcases for my daughter are now in the mail!

Snow Birds

When we have the rare snow accumulation (2"-3") here in Middle Tennessee, everything stops! This past Sunday afternoon was typical. A few inches of snow wrecked havoc on our roads. When it started getting bad I was at Joann's Fabrics buying 1/2 priced fat quarters and a beautiful piece of white Egyptian cotton with a 50% off coupon. What a deal!

But, I was bored Sunday evening and it was obvious that I probably was not going to get my gifts sent to my daughter on Monday. So, I dug out a set of king-sized pillowcases that were pre-stamped in a simple hummingbird design by Jack Dempsey Neddle Arts. The embroidery went very quickly. I just love hummingbirds.

I also worked on some ornaments that I intend to give The Book Bag ladies of my book club. This month I chose the book for us to read. I chose "A Redbird Christmas" by Fannie Flagg. I had already decided a couple months before to make these really cute ornaments from tiny flowerpots. I found the directions on FaveCrafts . I bought some tiny birds but they were not red. After I had read the book I actually found these little redbirds at Michaels. I don't know what made me check again at Michael's because they did not have these redbirds available a when I looked before. Perfect!

I had bought the makings for this craft a little at a time and stored in a plastic shoebox until I had them all together. A few items are missing from this photo. Last minute I realized I had not bought the red glitter for the edges. But, I just happened to have a 50% off coupon for Michael's. Yay!!!

Here is the finished product. The silver ribbon looks lavender in this photo, but shows true to color in the first photo. The directions called for painting the inside of the flowerpots, but I like them better without it, especially with the floral moss for the nest. I got the package of moss at The Dollar Tree for a dollar. Really like the red glitter (Martha Stewart fine glitter) around the rims. I also picked up some very small gift bags at The Dollar Tree to put them in. Book club meets tomorrow at a members condo. We are decorating her tree, too. So, I can't wait to give these.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What Happens at Grandma's...

We just returned from a several days visit to see my mother. The day before we left home I got a call that the Christmas present I made for my youngest sister was framed and ready to go. Sometimes I worry that I am not being fair to all my friends and family when it comes to homemade gifts. But, I love to see and make something for someone that really just makes me think of them specifically. It's so much more personal. I guess it will work out evenly, eventually.

I made my sister this cross stitch by Waxing Moon Designs called "What Happens at Grandma's". My sister has one grandchild who turns 4 years old soon and other daughters who have not begun their famlies yet. When I saw it, I just had to make it for her.The cross stitch has tiny wooden buttons sewn on it (chocolate chip cookie, ice cream, jelly beans, cupcake, etc.)  I stitched it on 28 count pale yellow linen.  I would think she would hang it near the kitchen table. My sister's kitchen cabinets are white and so is the frame. The frame has tiny blue borders that pick up the blue in the design. I sure hope she likes it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Socks and Underwear - The Pillow

Yesterday I went to Jo-Ann's in hopes of finding the perfect Christmas print fabric to make a pillow for my friend. I wanted to attach the "Socks and Underwear" cross stitch to a pillow. I did find the perfect fabric and it was half price, too. It is a Debbie Mumm design. And, the red and green are exactly the right shades.

And, here is the finished product. I really like the way it turned out!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Southern Belle Pillowcases

Last year my daughter requested that I embroider her a set of southern belle type pillowcases where the case ruffle is the bottom of her skirt. I reminded DD that she has a king size bed with king size pillows. She said, "I'll make it work." I think it would look pretty to have a set of these standard size pillows in front of the king size ones. I ordered the pre-stamped pillowcases right away and put them aside. With working full time and then a fall that resulted in a torn rotator cuff, I never got started on them. Then, the surgical repair of the rotator cuff and subsequent recovery put me further behind. As soon as I retired 3 months ago (6 months post surgery) I pulled them out and started the embroidery.

But, then I saw the cute "Socks and Underwear" cross stitch for my friend and got side-tracked. I'll bet most of you crafter/needleworkers can relate to that. LOL Then, I finished up a UFO I had started last year for one of my sisters. It is now at the framers. So, back to the pillowcases. I am now working on the second one.

Years ago, when my 2 younger sisters were teenagers, I found pattern for a set of these type pillowcases in a needlework magazine. The girl was embroidered and I think she had a parasol. The skirts were machine appliqued in a small gingham check and the ruffle was of matching gingham checks. Somewhere over the years I lost the magazine. But, they were cute.

Here is a photo of the first pillowcase. It has a LOT of french knots. But, it really is pretty. Just this week on Facebook, my DD informed me she would still like a set of these pillowcases. I said, "Sorry, I'm already in the middle of making a gift for you." Yeah, I'm sneaky like that!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Past Tense

First of all, want to win something special?  Please go to Jaybird Quilts for a fabric giveaway introducing Wonderous Woven Fabrics. All the details are here.

Today I scanned some of my favorite photos of past projects. I want to share a couple of them with you. When my granddaughter Mikaela was about 3 or 4 years old, I made her a Sunbonnet Sue quilt from the book "Leisure Arts Presents Quick Quilts". The teal green border doesn't show up as pretty here. Both the pink and the green had tiny polka dots. There is a yellow inner border. It was machine appliqued and machine quilted.  It was just a simple ditch in the ditch quilting. Tiny satin ribbons were tacked on it too.. Mikaela is almost 16 now and recently sent me a photo of it by cell phone. She apparently is still enjoying it.

Mikaela's Sunbonnett Sue quilt.

Close-up of a block.

Probably my favorite quilt that I made was my granddaughter Sierra's crib quilt. I got the pattern from a quilt magazine when Sierra was a baby. She is 12 now. I don't remember the name of the magazine now. It is a redwork quilt. I collected red fabrics here in Tennessee and in California where she lives. I hand-embroidered the snowball blocks. The quilting is by machine, but nothing fancy. But, I love it!

Me and Sierra's quilt

Hand-embroidered snowball blocks.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Random Week

I have had a busy and productive week. This week was my lunch with the Book Bags. That is my bookclub girls. I always have fun when I meet with them. This time the person who chose the book had read it when she was a teen (only about 45 years ago. Hee!). She thought it so profound back then. She really didn't like it so much this go round. I just hated it from beginning to end. Oh, well. It was still fun to meet with my club and an activity I look forward to.

Yesterday I had so many things to do. But, did I do them? No. I somehow ended up organizing my quilting fabrics. I got all the like colors pretty much together. It had been years since I had done much with fabrics. I just had put everything off until retirement. About 3/4 of the way thru organizing,  I sat to rest and found an awesome demonstration of how to fold those fabrics to a uniform size using my wide quilt ruler. Wow! 

 The rest of the week I have worked hard on a UFO. It was a Christmas gift for one of my sisters.  I had started it  before Christmas last year. Then, I thought, "O.K., I do it for her birthday." Needless to say, that didn't happen either. LOL Anyway, I have been working steadily on it for the last 2 weeks. I was determined to finish it before the week was out and I DID! This afternnon I took it to the framer. It will be ready in 2 weeks...plenty of time for a Christmas gift. It turned out great! Plus, I have one less UFO to be staring me in the face. Yeah!!! Wish I could show it here, but don't want to spoil the surprise. How do other bloggers show their gift projects and keep it a secret fom the receipient? Hmmmm.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Keeping Me Busy

Even though I am retired, I  still feel like I am always behind on the the things I want to do. There's always a UFO (unfinished object) I should be working on. And, a new project I'd like to start. Roll, Roll Cotton Boll Mystery Quilt by my favorite quilt designer, Bonnie Hunter ( is one of those projects. Don't know when I could ever get started on this. I love the way Bonnie designs quilts so that you can use up your fabric stashes. That gives me an excuse to buy more fabric.

The cake at my retirement party.

One of the resons I feel I am behind is because I had to unexpectly drive the 200 mile trip down to my mother's city. She has an apartment at a lovely assisted living facility. Unfortunately, she fell and hit her head last Friday and had to go to the hospital. My baby sis stayed with her at the hospital the first two nights and I stayed the next two. Then, when she was discharged, I spent a night at the assisted living facility to make sure she was o.k. It was mentioned to someone at the hospital that I had recently retired. When they asked if I was enjoying retirement, Mother said, "Oh, I keep her busy." I've made at least 4 trips down there in the 2 months since I retired, mostly to help down-size her things so we can get her house sold. Guess I just need to make sure I always have a project that I can easily carry with me.

Mother was totally checked out and is in great shape for 87 years old. But, I can tell she really wishes she could still sew and crochet and cook. This makes me even more determined to accomplish some of the things I have been planning for so long. You just never know when you might no longer be able to do it.

In addition to the projects, some friends and I began a book club. We call ourselves The Book Bags. It's a very small group right now and we are all in our sixties. I have to have this month's selection read by next Thursday. I picked it up from the library on my way back from my trip yesterday afternoon. It is a sci-fi novel called Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, published first in 1961. Certainly not my usual genre.  Guess I'd better start reading!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Socks and Underwear

My friend Cheryl is lots of fun to be around. I always feel like I can just be myself when I'm with her. Everyone needs a friend like that. Cheryl was a school teacher for 25 years. She never married and has no children, but her great niece and nephew are like her grandchildren. She feels strongly that Christmas toys should come from the parents, so she gives practical gifts. Socks and underwear fall into that category. In fact, last year her great niece, Haley, requested underwear. I think this 9 year old felt it was a rite-of-passage to receive these. She got 17 pair of pairs of panties from Cheryl last year!

Anyway, when I saw the Lizzie Kate cross stitch pattern (pictured below) I just had to make it for Cheryl. I finished stitching it last night. It has tiny black buttons on the suspenders and for the gift ribbon. I made several mistakes, but they really aren't noticeable. That's one of the things I love about Cheryl. She won't notice and even if I pointed them out, she wouldn't care. What a great friend! I plan to make a pillow from a Christmas print fabric and attach the cross stitch design. I'll post the finished product later. Now on to the next project!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Renewing My Dreams

For years I have dreamed of retiring and having time to enjoy my hobbies. I use the term "hobbies" loosely. I suspect that for many years my hobby has been buying the supplies for my hobbies and not actually "doing" them. Part of this was due to lack of time. Partly it was because I have no space for a hobby room and most of it was procrastination by computer. But, that needs to change and I thought a blog would make me have some accountability. I guess we will see.

The quilt shown above was a joint effort by me and my mother. About 30 years ago I bought the quilt top and,  I must admit, some cheap embroidery floss to do the roses in pink. For some reason I didn't like it and didn't get very far on the embroidery. About 10 years ago my mother told me to bring it to her with new floss. She took out all the old floss and re-embroidered the entire thing. I've worked on the hand-quilting off and on since then. It is almost finished. I am determined to finish it this winter.

Saw blade painted by my mother.
I have sooo many interests. I love all types of handwork. My Mother was so gifted at sewing, crochet, embroidery, knitting, name it. I think she tried every new craft that came along.I could never be as talented as she, but I do enjoy trying. I don't knit and she never did counted cross stitch, but she taught me a lot. Now I am a quilter wannabe. My mother taught her daughters to sew, crochet, and embroider. Mother's eye-sight is not good now and her hands stay cold and hurt. I know she misses sewing.

Scrap quilt made for me by my mother in 1980. (Machine pieced and hand quilted.)

My daddy was an avid woodworker for years. I think he made about 6 cedar chest and loads of other items, both large and small.  So, maybe it is in the genes. He got me interested in family history, too. Come along on my new adventures into retirement. Let's have some FUN!