Monday, November 22, 2010

'Learn to Do Applique in Just One Weekend' Blog Hop

I am so honored to participate in this blog hop and my guest this week, Nancy Brenan Daniel.  Nancy teaches, judge, designs, and writes books and articles on quiltmaking.

After reading and looking over an updated version of "Learn to Do Applique in Just One Weekend", I was intrigued by a quilt project, Tropical Oasis.

Beautiful, right?!

Stacy:  What skill level is the project for?

Nancy:  Good question.  I would say an advanced-beginner.  The small blocks are pieced on the diagonal... but the machine applique should be easy for anyone with a common zig-zag machine.

Stacy:  What is the design inspiration?

Nancy:  Nature is usually the inspiration for many of my designs.  I've been working with these colors in a patchwork project and I've been working with leaf 'contours'... so it just seemed like a natural progression.  Love those acid-like colors together.

Stacy:  What was the inspiration to come up with projects to do in a weekend?

Nancy:  Everyone is overextended, time-wise, these days.  I think people who are just learning new techniques need to see results pretty quickly to keep interested.  Once a person falls in love (or serious like ;-)) with a technique they are usually able to invest more time.  Beginners need to see RESULTS!

Stacy:  As a beginner quilter (2 years), I agree.

Stacy:  How did you come up with the colors for the projects?  What inspired you?

Nancy:  I work with color, teach about color, read about and study color ALL the time.  These particular colors just seemed to be 'timely' for our lives right now.

Stacy:  They are perfect!  Thank you Nancy, for your time, I had a blast chatting with you!

Please click HERE to purchase a copy of Nancy's updated version of "Learn to Do Applique in Just One Weekend".  You will love her designs and easy instructions!

This week hop on over to some of my other blogging friends that Nancy will be visiting:  Jessica; Judi; and Joanna!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mom's Visit...Knitting and Junk Love!

My mom came for a short visit just this past week.  As always, I'm so happy to see her!

Well, previous to her arrival, I sent her an email of this beautiful cowl to knit.  Mom's much more advanced than I, and I'm not that confident in achieving patterns (i.e., zigzags, etc.) within the work.  She replied, "Would you like to knit this cowl together?  We can when I arrive."  I accepted, she ordered the mini mochi yarn suggested, and it arrived a few days before her leaving Chicago.  Mom and I had a mini knit-along which was fun and I learned lots!  Mom wanted to be ahead of me in knitting after she returned to home, so that she could answer any questions I might have about the instructions.  Well, I've been knitting away on this project and I think I will be able to post a pic of my completed project first!

There is a knit-along that started in mid-October of this same project on Ravelry.

And, of course, we went thrifting!

We hit the local library's thrift bookstore!  We had to, since I was voting there that particular day!

This was an excellent find for 2 bucks!  Box of patterns for recreating 176 early American designs in embroidery, crewel work, patchwork, applique, hooking, knitting, etc., etc., even rugmaking!

And, Fons & Porter.  I love their work and their show on PBS.  This book is new (gotta be), there's not even a crease from turning pages!  $1.

So, that started our thrifting day!  "We'll knit later, after dinner and kids showers!"  Next, we hit my fave used bookstore I talk about all the time!  Mom got LOADS of knitting pattern books and magazines!

I found some things like, this old Vogue knitting mag with this beautiful medallion shrug I plan to knit!  A book on silk ribbon embroidery, several other knitting and crochet patterns, and a craft book for kids on how to make things from cereal boxes.  FUN!

Now, let's grab a cup of coffee on our way to another local thrift store!  "Hungy, Mom?"  "No, you?"  "No!"

Mom found a cute reversible quilted jacket (I spotted it, as soon as we walked in...I don't think I was the only one, but I got to it first).  I believe it was handmade and the fabric is silk or similar.  The pic does not do justice for how beautiful it is!

We had a blast!

When she leaves, I never let her see me cry (although, I know my face shows the sadness).  I just cry in the car on my way back home!  I miss you Mom, even as soon as I drop you off at the airport!

Peace and Junk Love!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall Costumes

This cute hat was made for my grandson by a good friend.  She has such cute hats in her Etsy shop!  Hats for Adults and Children!  Thank you, I'm Sew Crafty!

Isn't he cute?!

Here's my two youngest as a lion and alligator!  Patterns from Sew News Magazine.  I love their magazine!

(ROAR!  and  CHOMP!)

Tees to Pants and Kimono Tops

I've been so busy with school, but managed to finish some sewing for my baby girl.

The tees-to-pants tutorial is from Cut Out + Keep.  So, simple!  I use an XL womens tee for my 7 year-old daughter who wears a size 8-10 girls.  I use an XL mens tee for myself.  I'm not telling you my size! (smile)

 Cut the sleeves, then cut straight just under the neck area.
 Cut straight up the middle (for legs).
Open both pieces.  Where the sleeves were cut is now the crotch.
With right sides together, sew the crotch (twice, for sturdiness); then sew leg side seams.

 Now, sew a waistband.  You can use the sleeves.  Insert a drawstring or elastic.

I also made kimono tops.  I made a pattern from an existing one.  Some have ties for closure; buttons with buttonhole closures; and buttons with elastic hairties for closure.  The latter is the quicker method (which I use a lot).

This kimono was made using two different printed fabrics.  Here's the front!

And, the back!

She loves her kimonos!  She always wants me to make more for her!

Until next time, HAPPY SEWING!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Junk Love with Nita Beshear and a Giveaway!

Today, I’m having my first ever guest blogger. Nita Beshear. Nita is a quilter and author. Her book, DEVOTED TO QUILTING, is an inspirational collection of quilt stories. 

NITA:  Thank you for having me Stacy.

SEWButterfly:  It's my pleasure!  After reading your book, Junk Love Wednesday is the perfect day to introduce you to my blog friends!

NITA:  Since Stacy often blogs about junking, today’s post will be about junking and quilts.

Now, I know most quilt lovers don’t think of quilts as junk. Unfortunately many others do. People will sell or give away grandma’s quilts because no one in the family sews or makes quilts. Others will discard quilts because they don’t go with the décor.

I ache for these people who don’t understand the treasure they have in their hands, although I am ecstatic for the lucky quilt lovers who acquire these special, valuable quilts. True, they may not be valuable money-wise, but they are steeped in history, sentiment and stories.

It’s important to share a quilt’s story, whatever part of it we know. Sharing the story will make the quilt more valuable and meaningful as it travels through hands and time.

Quilt stories change over time, just as the stories of our lives change. This is why it’s important to pass the story on with the quilt whenever possible.

For a quilt you made the story is simple.  However, when we acquire a quilt we don't always, or even often receive the story.  That's ok, we can add our part of the story to the quilt.

Finding a part of the story is as simple.  First, fill-in any facts you may have then simply answer a few questions:  How did a quilt come to be in your possession?  What are your feelings about the quilt?  What was the occasion of you receiving the quilt?
There you have it, one part of your quilt’s story.

The story for the quilts you make yourself is even easier. After all, you made the quilt, you know its story.

A quilt’s story doesn’t have to be written down, it can be passed on orally, much of our early history was passed down orally. However, taking the time to write the story increases the chances the next owner will know the whole story of the quilt.
Not all quilts are made for eternity. When quilts are used they will begin to wear out and eventually have to be discarded. The stories though can continue. Today we can take pictures to go with the stories, so those quilts that are well used and loved to pieces will still live on in their story.

When you go junking remember to look for homeless quilts, and help them finish their story.

I hope you will share some of the stories of your quilts, with your family, friends, and with me. My editor has asked for a second book and I’m currently collecting stories to include in it.

Thanks to Stacy for having me and to you, her readers for visiting. You can visit my blog, Devoted to Quilting, to read about my visit here in Florida and at SEW Butterfly.

SEWButterfly:  In addition to visiting with us today, Nita’s introducing us to appliqué artist Darcy Ashton by giving away two of Darcy’s appliqué books, BUTTERFLY DANCE, and BUNNIES AND MORE, a forty-five dollar value.

Be sure to visit the other blogs she will be visiting this week, as well as Nita’s blog, Don’t forget to leave a comment at each stop for your chance at the appliqué books. Here is the blog list:

I hope you enjoyed meeting my friend, Nita!

And, as always...Peace and Junk Love!