Monday, June 28, 2010

Schnibbles and Good Bye June

Wow!  Has June flown by as quickly for you as it has for me?  It is amazing.

Let's start off with my June Schnibbles.  It is the pattern State Fair and I really enjoyed doing this one.  Not only did I love the fabric in this charm pack (Wrapped in Paisley), but it went up quickly and I think turned out beautifully.

Also this month I completed my barn quilt block which was done in the Pineapple pattern.  Pineapple has always been one of my favorite quilt patterns so I was pleased to see it as this month's selection.

Another project that was in the works for this month was my Snowballs.  These were blocks that I received last year when we did a novelty print 5" swap.  I think that I may sash them with a black and white fabric.  I also think that this will make a fabulous I Spy quilt. 

Family life has been busy as well for June.  We had a wonderful Father's Day brunch with most all of the kids and grandchildren.  The food was delicious, but the company was so much better!!!

One always has to admire little boy's attraction to water - a puddle or a fountain makes no difference.

We celebrated the wedding of our nephew and his new bride.  It was a lovely wedding with a lot of Hawaiian traditions as the bride's family has some Hawaiian blood in them.

As well, I attended my 45th (gulp) high school reunion.  We had a very small class of about 70 girls.  It was an all girl's school and it was fun to reconnect with the ones that made it to this one.  It's funny how your teachers always seemed SO OLD when we were in high school.  Now we are all in the same age "group".  I mean....they were in their early 20s and that was OLD!!!

Momma tortoise was busy laying not one, but two batches of eggs again this year.  This is the third year in a row that she has laid two batches.  It never ceases to amaze me when I look at the size of those eggs and then look at her.  Guess it is much like having a human baby. 

Speaking of babies, our daughter and SIL are expecting at any moment now.  We are all on baby alert, but I am fairly sure that the doctor will not let her go past her due date which is Thursday.  She really wants to make it to the 4th of July party here.  We will see.

The garden has been busy providing me with lots of extra chores like making jams and pie fillings.  As you can see, boysenberry season is in full swing around here.

Yesterday was another granddaughters birthday.  Ms B turned nine and requested skirts made by Grandma.  I gladly obliged her request.

Is it ever too early to get a granddaughter interested in sewing?  This one seems to love my selvage edges that a friend gave to me.

One question.....did anyone else get teary eyed when they saw Toy Story 3?  It was sooo good and I will not ruin the story for anyone going to see it.  We took a few of the kiddos and saw it in 3 D.  Excellent!!!

I have enjoyed entertaining the Flat Princess for the last few weeks and will do a complete post about her later this week.  I put all of the names in a pot and chose one out to see where she would be off to next.  She has packed her bags and is now winging her way to Canada to spend a few weeks at Peas Corner.  Please be sure to check her out there and put your name in if you would like to entertain her next.  I just wish that I could have gone with her as she continues on this fabulous journey.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Flower Fabric Tutorial

I am sorry to be getting this out to you so late, but we have been busy watching little ones and having very little uninterrupted computer time.

There are more than a million ways to make fabric flowers, but this is a way that I find easy to do.  Again, there are many shapes that you can use to portray different flowers.  My basic idea for flowers is that they should have 5, 7 or 9 petals.  I'm sure that can be subjective as well.

I start off with a 2 inch square piece of paper for my pattern.  On this one, I have rounded off two corners.

With two layers of fabric(the same or two blended colors) - right sides together - cut out however many pairs of petals that you would like.

At this point take them to the sewing machine and sew from the base up and around, returning to the base using about a 1/8th inch seam.  Be sure to leave the bottom open to turn your fabric.

Trim the corners and gently turn inside out.  

Iron each petal flat and arrange in the order that you want to sew them together.

Now, I switch my sewing machine to a narrow zig zag stitch - about a three on the sewing machine.  Taking the first petal, I lay a piece of crochet thread at the beginning of the petal, about 1/4 inch from edge and start to enclose the thread within the zig zag stitch.  Secure the stitching at the beginning of the first petal and at the end of the last petal.

Continue to sew across the first petal and then add the next one immediately following it.  You will do this for each petal.  Be sure to not stitch into the crochet thread - only encase it between the zig zags.

Remove the chain from the sewing machine and pull the crochet threads from both ends and tie ends together in a tight knot.  Your petals should now look like a flower.

Next, you will cut a piece of fabric for the center.  I used a piece of fabric that was 8 inches long by 3/4 inch wide.  Using small scissors cut one long edge with frequent little snips to a depth of 1/4 inch.

Since this is such a small piece, I used a gathering stitch on my sewing machine - a #5 - and gathered the opposite edge of the 8" edge that I just cut.  You will now have one long edge gathered and one long edge snipped.  Got it???? pull those gathered stitches together and tie.  Be sure to pull the same thread from both sides (ie. the top thread or the bottom thread)  You now have your center done.

To finish the flower off you will find a nice button.  From the back of the flower petals, you will sew the three pieces together - petals, center and then button.  Secure all three and tie off all threads.

Add a pin and you are done.  YEAH!!!  Now you can add it to bags, jackets or whatever suites your fancy.  If you want to wear them in your hair, you can add a hair clip instead of a pin. 

As I said, there are so many shapes that you can play with and the options are endless.  For my sunflower, I cut a pattern with a pointed shaped petal and used a 3 1/2 inch circle for the center.  With the center, I gathered the circle, added a little fiberfill stuffing and pulled the circle closed.  I then sewed a few glass seed beads scattered about the stuffed ball. 

You can also use strips of ribbon that are folded in half and used as a petal. In the following flower I cut a piece of fabric 11"x2".  I then sewed the two long edges, right sides together, turned inside out and ironed to form a ribbon look.  I cut that piece into 5 - 2 inch pieces and continued with the same process.  As I said, the options are endless.

I would love to see any flowers that you make.  I know they will be gorgeous so have a blooming good time.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday What Nots

Can I even begin to tell you how happy I am that the elections are behind us?  I'll tell you that I was ready to rip the phone out of the wall by the time yesterday arrived.  We had nine solicitation phone calls on Monday alone.  If you don't answer them, they fill the answering machine up with their messages.  Grrr.  Of course they are all recorded messages so there is NO WAY to tell them not to call again.   Do they think I have nothing else to do all day but answer the phone?  I think we are now clear until November.  Right?

All of this was happening as I was trying to clean the freezer.  It had been making some strange noises for the last month and I was pretty sure that it was about to go out on us.  We decided to replace it before it officially died.  I mean, really, it was ONLY 39 years old!!!!!  Think it was about time?  My mother keeps tells me that hers is 53 so she doesn't know what is wrong with mine.  I expect to be taking a vacation with all the money they profess we will save by updating it.  I'll let you know where we go....Paris, out!

Over the weekend we took a drive and came upon the most gorgeous fields of gladiolus.  I know that my pictures are not very clear because we were driving at the time, but trust me, they were gorgeous.  It was just rolling hillsides of color.  Our area grows many different types of flowers for seeds, bulbs, plants and all else so I am fairly sure that was the purpose of these.  How I would have loved to have access to go in and pick a big bouquet.

Are any of you familiar with Flat People?  The schoolchildren here make a flat person in third grade and send it off to some distant place for it to enjoy an exciting stay.  Whoever receives the flat person will take pictures of it enjoying it's stay and return the pictures back to the children.  It is always so much fun to see the flat person return to the class and it is such a wonderful way for the children to learn about places other than their home.  This week I met a fellow blogger, Nerine, who lives in Tasmania and has made a flat person.  She is a very talented artist.  I simply commented that it would be fun to send her off  on a big journey.  Well.....guess what!!!  She is starting a blogging journey that will hopefully take her to exciting and new places.  The flat doll is starting her journey and is currently making her way to California - my house to be exact.  I will keep her for two weeks and then she will be off to somewhere else.  Please go read all about it on Nerine's blog and then come back and let me know if you would like to be put in the drawing for her next stay.  This should be really fun and will perhaps educate all of us as we follow her journey.

Is everyone playing along on the Bingo Blog?  It is such a fun event that happens twice a year through the Quilt Shoppe.  Although I don't have many words crossed off yet, I did manage to win a set of fat quarters in the daily drawings.  They arrived this week and are absolutely gorgeous. 

With school out for the grandchildren we will be starting up our sewing sessions.  The girls are always so excited about trying different patterns and I now have some new patterns for them to check out thanks to Ravelly.  She had sorted through some of her patterns and asked if anyone would be interested in them.  I jumped at the idea and they arrived this week too.

Since several of you were interested in how I made the flowers, I am in the process of making up a tutorial on how to make them.  I  made a few more this week and they are becoming very addictive so consider yourself warned.

Melissa is having a contest involving items you make with trimmings.  I decided to enter the Easter dresses that I made for some of the granddaughters.  The jackets are actually white sweatshirts that I trimmed with flowers made from the fabric I used in the dresses as well as some complimentary fabrics.  As well I used ric rac, buttons and lace.  They love wearing matching dresses and it is not always easy to find dresses that come in all the sizes.

I will get my tutorial finished up and will then post it so you can start making your bouquets.  Until then....enjoy life!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kick Off of Summer

Seeing all of the happy schoolchildren being released from classes this week makes me realize that we have already experienced the kick off of summer vacation.  I remember those days and what a joy it was!!!!  How did the saying go??  It was something like, "School's out. School's out.  Teacher let the monkeys out.  No more school, no more books and no more teacher's dirty looks."  Does anybody else remember that?

Meanwhile.....we celebrated Memorial Day with a family BBQ in the backyard.  It is always wonderful to have everyone over and the kids just enjoy hanging out with each other.  It is so interesting to see the girls all congregate in one event and the boys in another.  There was lots of jump roping and I truly wish I had some pictures to share.  Unfortunately, I was jumping and I was the one with a camera.  NOT a good combination!!!!  Isn't it funny how the cute jump roping songs come back to you when you're participating?  The girls heard a few new ones and so did I.

The girls getting ready to "perform" for us.

Big guys vs.

Little guys vs

Half anf half!!!

DIL, daughter and my mom.

The tractor remains a hit at parties.

Wednesday was #3 son's birthday and his family got him all sorts of backpacking gear.  I guess that means he will be heading off to the unknowns and doing a little roughing it.

Gotta love the mosquito net!!!!

A hummingbird feeder too.  I think that is staying home.

I have been playing around a bit with making fabric flowers.  Have you noticed that flowers seem to be the big rage this year?  I am loving the idea.  First I tried a flower that was in this month's Quilting Ar*ts magazine.  It was a fun one to do and I can definitely see using it in different projects.

A luscious hand dyed fabric that a friend made me.

The next one was one that I sort of "winged" it on my own.  It was much less complicated and added a bit of whimsy to the bag that I made from a placemat.  I think it looks "summery" and will do a tutorial on it if anyone wants me to do so.

I have to share a picture of one of my orchid plants that bloomed this week.  I just love the color of it.  I wish I knew the name of it.

Today I went out and got a new summer hairdo.  I was so bored with my "old" hair and decided I needed a change.  For some reason my gray hair turns yellow - unlike my mother's gorgeous color of gray.  Every hairdresser I have had thinks they can get rid of it either by using special shampoos or whatever.  It never goes away and only gets worse during the summer.  I decided to give up on it and added some brown highlights and that makes it look a LOT less yellow.  I am happy with it.  Now I will await the opinions of the rest of the family.

We are looking forward to a quiet weekend topped off with a Pinot and Paella in the Park event on Sunday.  I hope all of you will also be enjoying a summery weekend.