Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last minute FINISHES!!

Yes Virginia...there will be a Santa Claus this year!
 Dr. Seuss quilts are finished and wrapped (for Eliza, 18 months, and Asa, 10 months).
 Cottage quilt is finished and wrapped for my sister...(shhh!).
"Olivia" quilted book bag is finished for Eliza...
 Dr. Seuss quilted book bag is finished for Asa...
 My friend Judy Endres made this ornament for me...

 My friend Beth Kruzich made these snowman ornaments for me...
 My friend Mary Jones made the Redwork ornaments for me...
 ...AND this beautiful wall hanging...
I will show more pictures of wonderful things after the first of the year.  It's been a crazy month...I turned 50 (and was taken by surprise by my Sit & Stitch friends!)  I've performed and directed LOTS of music in all kinds of styles.  I managed to finish all my homemade gifts.  Now I will be away from my blog for two weeks, enjoying the season with my family, near and far.  I look forward to catching up with all of you in the new year...I've missed you as my seasonal job responsibilities have taken me away from the blogosphere too much this month.

Have a joyous and safe holiday season!!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ornament exchange today!

Our annual Friday Sit & Stitch potluck and ornament exchange is in a few hours and I wanted to share the two ornaments that I made to share.  The first one is made from yo yo's, slightly puffed with some scrap squares of batting then "threaded" on some fine gold wire and tied with a bow.

The second one is a crazy pieced, scrappy, stuffed heart with some beaded embellishment and a dangling key (all hearts have a lock and key, some harder to "pick" than others!).

We anonymously wrap each ornament in tissue then stuff it in an unadorned brown lunch sack, secured with a staple.  Then they are heaped on a table and we draw numbers to determine a choosing order.  It is so much fun to see what this very clever group comes up with every year.

I will post what I come home with (and maybe a few others!) next post.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Order from the chaos...

I recently had a huge mess down in the quilt cave...these two pictures are for everyone who thinks (based on my past Stash Manicure posts) that my sewing area is always neat as a pin.  Sometimes creativity demands a messy canvas!  OK, OK, it does drive me nuts when the process continues for more than a couple of days...I can only handle complete chaos for so long!

When I am grooving on a scrappy project (a.k.a. "making my own fabric"), I have to have everything out where I can see it, touch it, choose and reject it.

I've been working on casserole dish "rugs"  or hot dish mats - I really tried making them based on a couple of tutorials I found, but I ended up having to put my own spin on them.  (Hey...it's me!)  I couldn't get them to work nicely without binding them, so now I'm on a binding frenzy.  I have managed to finish a few.  In honor of her new book (out today, I think!!!!!), I experimented some more with Tonya's free-pieced letters (Word Play Quilts, by Tonya Ricucci of Lazy Gal Quilting).  You've GOT TO check out her book and making these amazing letters...if I can make them, anyone can!  They add such a personal, wonky touch to any project.  I put a fun border on this "Wickedly Liberated" quilt using her method:


Back to the casserole mats...I layered the pieced little top with Insul-Brite and muslin, machine quilted that, then added a piece of batting and a nice backing.  Then I pinned all that together and applied binding, which I finished by hand.

 I've gotten ribbons for my hand quilting, but you'd NEVER know it looking at my feeble attempts at machine quilting!  Every time I try this I am in awe of all you fabulous machine quilters.
I wish I could have gotten them to look good by putting right sides together, stitching, and turning and top-stitching.  There were just too many layers with the batting, top, backing and Insul-Brite.  So my plan B called for my favorite thing...binding...crap!  Oh well, ho-ho-ho!
 I did manage to get the main Christmas tree decorated with my daughter's help.
And my sneaky husband managed to catch me and the Weasley beast cat nappin' Thanksgiving weekend after our company left...zzzz!  We were plum tuckered out!

Have a blessed December...remember to pause for yourself while you are doing things for others.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Friday, December 3, 2010

HOT project!

Santa's workshop is open and humming!  This is going to be a casserole mat.  My scrappy strip containers were overflowing (thank you, Mary J.!!) and then I saw the hot pad tutorial on the Esch House Blog.  Yippee!  A gift idea AND a way to be able to close my containers again!  A definite "two-fer!!"  These will be pads to put hot casseroles on and feature Insul-Brite insulated batting.  EVERYONE needs these on their Christmas list!

And I get to play with Tonya letters, just in time for the much anticipated release of her first book, "Word Play Quilts!"  Oooo!  I'm so excited to get a copy!!  Come on Santa...get your butt here and deliver me a book!

These hot pads measure 10 x 15 inches, which is what these first 4 efforts will measure when finished.  That is the perfect size to work for a 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Her tutorial is fabulous, and I am working on making several "tops," then I will layer, machine-quilt, and assemble in true elf assembly line fashion.  Ho-ho-ho!

Here are 3 strippy ones without words. 


OK...they are definitely more fun with words.  I made the following words to incorporate in some strippy tree blocks.  I'm going to vary the sizes on these to accommodate steeping teapots and smaller casserole dishes.  This project is getting hot-hot-HOT!!


 Making some tree blocks...




Now I will attach a "hot!" block to a tree(s) to make more fun casserole mats.

The strips start like this...

Then turn into free-pieced blocks and trees.



Using my 5.5 inch square ruler, it just takes 6 blocks to make a 10 x 15 mat.  Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy!

I'll be back soon with some that are finished!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)