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Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

My mother in law is the queen of gift giving.  No one can top her when it comes to finding the perfect gift, combination of gifts or making the gift giving season last and last.  Christmas is her favorite!  She gives Kira presents for every Sunday in Advent.  And I’m talking about a big gift bag/box of perfectly coordinated items, usually a book, toy, outfit, game/puzzle and always an ornament for the tree.  It’s amazing and overwhelming all at the same time.  Kira loves it and basically sits by the door every Sunday morning for the entire month of December.  She also go all the way for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Birthday (in May), 4th of July…see where this is going.

The entire family agreed 2 years ago that since we are family there is no need for thank you notes.  Now up to that point, we had all been super diligent about sending them to each other.  So last year no notes and the truth is it felt totally wrong.  So this year I thought of a great alternative.

The new Thank You note…..

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A thank you mug rug!!  No one is as dedicated to their morning coffee as she is, so now her coffee mug has a place to rest.  She is reminded of her grandchild and gratitude has been expressed.

A bit more time-consuming than a simple card/note but how happy am I to have yet another reason to quilt.  Now I don’t think I’ll  be making one for every holiday but definitely for the big ones!! This one is for Christmas/Easter.  The next one will be saying thanks after Kira’s birthday.

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This has all my favorite elements, a bit of embroidery.  I got to practice my French knots.

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Applique…which I’m getting better at…

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And the actual quilting of course.  My mind has been racing with all the applique projects and applications out there.  Let’s face it, my mind has been racing with tons of projects period!

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I love the back of this mug rug the most.  I’ll talk about the process of arriving to this point in another post.

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All wrapped and ready to go.  Kira delivered it to the Gma on Sunday to rave reviews!!  Mission accomplished!!

I might borrow it back to add a date.  I always forget to add a label.

The wording for the mug rug was found on Pinterest then I added a personal touch.

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Now to make them for the rest of the family. Oh what a heavy burden, all these thank you notes to “write”…hee hee!!!!

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…is I wish I were the kind of person who can ignore when their environment is in chaos and just sew, quilt, knit the hours away stress free.  But I’m not.  When my world is turned even a little upside down I can have to “right it” before I can relax.  So hence another delay in my blogging.  We’ve been renovating some parts of our house and there’s been dust, boxes and paint cans every where.  But hubby is now putting the place back together and I’m feeling a little less nuts.

So that said, let’s play catch up, again and hopefully we’ll be back on track (till the next thing)…

My give-away was beyond a success.  I’m up to 49 Likes, hooray!! And I had not one but two winners.  I felt it only right to give both the 45th (who got me to my goal) and the 46th person (who pushed it beyond my goal) both prizes.  They’ve both been notified and gifts are in the mail.  Enjoy and don’t forget to share what you make with your goodies.

Yesterday was the first day I could see above the mess and spent a few minutes at the sewing machine.  I had wanted to share this on Valentine’s Day but…here it is now.

My first attempt at applique and I’m pretty pleased with the results.

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There is so much fun stuff out there to do with applique.   I just had to finally take my head out-of-the-way, stop over thinking and just jump in.  I used letter shaped cookie cutters to make the letters.  Always think outside of the box!!

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Not to bad for a first attempt.  I got a bit wonky going around the corner of the L but when I slowed down and followed the advice from this blogger, it worked perfectly…check out the O.  Slow and steady wins the race!

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And I now have a great new mug rug for my sewing room.

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A little digression…Don’t you love that mason jar! I found it a Sur La Table (of all places, over the top expense store but these, I bought 4, were only $3.99)  If you have the patience you can find some cute stuff in there, all the way in the back by the clearance section.  Can you see the rooster!! I just love them.  It says “not for hot content” on the back but my fire fighter husband assures me I’m safe. The explanation of glass and heat conductivity would go beyond digression.

Back to the point.  If you’re interested in giving applique a try I have a bunch of tutorials pinned on my quilting tutorials board on Pinterest.  Or you can click here, here or here.  (Can’t assume we are all on Pinterest…)

Ok I’m off to finish up a baby quilt!!!  Another finished project tomorrow and maybe even an Oscar Sunday themed BLT!! (It’s been a while)

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Bad Planning

I was so pleased with how Maggie’s quilt turned out that I started another one.  This pattern is definitely my “go-to” baby quilt when I need something easy and quick but still looks like there was some effort put in.

Here, another quilt top all done.  This one is for a precious boy who arrived a week ago today.  Hopefully his mom is too busy and won’t see this post.  It’s not a surprise but still….

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The name of this charm pack is Mischief.  I couldn’t resist, it was just to perfect for a boy.  My only problem is I didn’t order the backing fabric until two days ago so now I have to wait to finish it.  I even have the batting.  Hence the bad planning…

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It will be totally worth the wait though.  The backing fabric will be that blue square.  I decided to be a bit colorful with this one.  Blue backing, green sashing and fun busy prints.  I think baby Hudson will like it.

If you’d like to keep an even closer eye on what old Earthtones Girl is up to, don’t forget to check out my Facebook page.  When I get to 50 Likes there will be a sweet little giveaway!!!

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Maggie’s Quilt

It was my best intention to knit while watching the Superbowl yesterday but that so didn’t happen.  We watched the game over at a friend’s house and between touchdowns, commercials, and a kick-ass half time show I was making sure Kira didn’t eat to many brownies from the dessert table.  Not a single stitch was completed.  However while the little one napped  before the game, I was able to finish a quilt!! First one for the year (and many to come)!!

This one is for my dearest friend May’s new (7 months old) niece.   I’m so proud of the quilt but even prouder that it’s actually done and before she graduates college.

Maggie's Quilt Febuary 2013

Maggie’s Quilt February 2013

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I absolutely love this charm pack from the Fat Quarter Shop called Chemistry.   And again very appropriate for February’s love fest!!

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Check out the backing fabric!  Which, don’t laugh, I found at Joann’s.

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Could it be any more perfect?

And I’ve never bound a quilt with white before.  I wasn’t even sure it was “allowed”.  I know you’re laughing but I was honestly expecting the quilting police to show up.  But it pops so nicely and looks so crisp against the pinks and reds.

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And I don’t know if you can see it but there are white (tone on tone) hearts on the fabric.  I’m so happy with how this came together, considering I broke the cardinal rule and bought all the various fabric components from different places at different times.

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Ok, I’m off to make another one for another special baby that arrived this past Saturday.  A boy this time.  What until you see the colors for that one.

Oh, and I almost forgot…the pattern for this quilt can be found here.

What did you get done or not done this weekend?

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A Huge Difference

I think I’ve proven that I’m more than a bit serious about my hobbies.   And while I’m always looking for new techniques, patterns, fabric, yarn none can be put to proper use without the proper tools.  One tool I didn’t even know I needed was a new ironing board.  Correction, a pressing board.

For weeks I asked my husband to please pick up  a piece of plywood (2′ x 2′ x 1/2″) from Home Depot (where he spends more time than at home).  And upon every return I would ask did you get it?   Response: Well there are a bunch of different kinds, they are not finished and smooth, are you sure that is what you need…blah, blah, blah…Oh and my favorite question, what are you going to use it for?  A pressing board.  His face instantly glazed over and I know I’d lost him.

Ok, I was done, I put Kira in the car and we went shopping.  I followed Elizabeth Hartman’s directions (which can be found in her Craftsy class)exactly and VOILA!

You have no idea how proud I am of myself for making this.  I’m not good with things like staple guns (to loud and undainty) but this time I showed no fear!  Hubby was impressed too!!

The corners are tight and neat but a bit bulky…do I care? NO….

Not bad… I extended the fabric a bit further than she recommended so I just taped it more, which covered more of the unfinished wood.  I do plan to add felt to the back to really protect the surface of the little tv dinner table its on.

Elizabeth Hartman (her blog is awesome, Oh Fransson!) also suggested just covering the table itself but I felt that was too small a surface to press on.

I’m so in love with my creative space.  The height of the table is also perfect.  No more sore shoulders from having to lift my arms too high.

I had my old ironing board on the edge of the guest bed but it has a very high foot board…

Not comfortable and I couldn’t  apply as much pressure when pressing.

It’s really amazing the difference the surface makes to pressing those seams nice and flat and OPEN (that has also made a world of difference).

My next needed tool is an iron.  My current Proctor Silex from Target just aint getting the job done well enough.  My mentor suggested a Rowenta and I’ve only heard good things about the Oliso.  Time to hit Consumer Reports.

Oh and yes that is new quilt project!  It’s for my friend May’s new niece, Maggie!!!  I was so disappointed that May had to postpone her trip this past weekend that I sat in from of the machine and finished the entire quilt top in a day and a half.    Lemons…lemonade!!

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Yesterday was my dear friend Carolyn’s birthday.  We met today in a beautiful park in Hastings to chat and catch up and gossip and share our love of creating.  It is so restorative to one’s soul to spend time with people who love and accept you for all that you are.   Thank you my friend.

Here’s her birthday gift…A Mug Rug (aka a quilted coaster, but mug rug sounds so much more hip or 1950s depending on your perspective)

Of course I found the idea on Pinterest and had to make one.  People have whole Mug Rug boards!  It is also an amazing little canvas on which to practice and sharpen my quilting skills.

I choose the easy way on this one and used one solid piece of fabric but again imagine all the piecing and quilt block possibilities.

The size of the project also lends itself to fitting the bill for instant gratification.  I made this last night in 2 hours.  I probably shouldn’t have even taken that long but I did the binding by hand.  I still haven’t perfected machine binding yet.  But HEY…I can practice on these.  Can you guess what everyone is getting for Christmas?   All those teacher gifts, hostess gifts…etc.   All those people on your list that you want to recognize at the holidays but can’t/ don’t want to spend a fortune on.

Here’s my Everest addition.  A little applique, again more practice.

I call it an Everest addition because at 11:30 last night you might ask why I even bothered, because I could.  Why climb Everest, because it’s there.

Someone said you have to log 1,000 hours of free motion quilting to really feel comfortable and be good at doing it.  Yes, my Bernina has the BSR feature but I want to be good at this on my own.  Finally a use for all those free motion tutorials I’ve pinned.

In case you’re wondering, I only gifted the rug, not the mug.  I wanted to include one using this idea.  However,  I’m making her a second one and will have it ready by our next get together.

This mug is mine and was a stand in for the photo shoot this morning.  I bought it at Home Goods for $3!!  Gotta love it!!

I went to bed at 1am but who cares.  The look of happiness on Carolyn face made it more than worth it!!  Who doesn’t love something made just for them?

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The Real Henry

Here’s the little one whom this quilt was made for. 

All the time spent selecting fabric, cutting, sewing, piecing, sandwiching, quilting, binding…It’s all worth it when you receive pictures like these.

Isn’t he the sweetest little man?

A big thank you to his momma for allowing me to share him with you all.  

Daria it was my pleasure!

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Welcome Back

After what has felt like the longest and hottest summer ever, I’m returning to calm and to myself.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while or if you know me personally you know that my heart starts beating a bit faster as September approaches.  Well, HOO RA!! It’s here and so is a return to normalcy, to rhythm, to a turning inward that unlike most people I revel in.

This summer was so full and busy it left very little time for me to “play”.  I posted about my Dad’s book, an ironing board cover and Marin, my Olympics project…that’s it.  My last BLT was July 15th!  You have no idea how frustrated I’ve been.

But in the last couple of weeks as the temperature has cooled a bit (although the heat from yesterday made me feel like I lost brain cells) and my summer house guest has returned to school I’ve begun to play again and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

My amazing aunt Dianne, who lives much to far away in CA. posted this beautiful comment yesterday and I’d made me feel so great.  She posted it to the Marin post.

This shawl is Absolutely Magical. ABLOODYMAZING!!!!!!! How do you do it?? I would love to know that I could make one of these someday. Your blog is so inspiring. You are loved and appreciated.  -DF

My blog stats are very humble and I don’t have tons of readers/followers but the few I have I adore and love to share things with.  So please join me in kicking off September and this fall season with the presentation of a gift.

I started this quilt about 4 months ago when one of my readers mentioned in a comment that she was having a baby.  So we started chatting over email, she said the baby was a boy, mentioned his nursery colors and that she loved quilts but had no patience to make them.  Well that was all I needed to hear.  Here’s Henry’s quilt!!

I made this up as I went along.  Yes, there are a bunch of things I would do different next time but I will listen to the wise words of my mentor and not point out the flaws but show off the successes.

The quilting was done in an echo pattern around the H.

and subsequently over the patchwork on the back…

I alternated the binding between a light and dark fabric just to experiment and I really like how it came out.

The pieces of the H were appliqued to the cream fabric in a soft green.  I wanted it to stand out but not be too bold.

When I saw this fabric I thought PERFECT, it has all the colors from the nursery and is so darn cute!!

It’s the Forest Friends Fat Quarter Bundle  from The Fat Quarter Shop.

The funny part was when I ordered the fabric I was so caught up with finding the right colors that I totally missed that the fabric was flannel…oops!

I have to admit that flannel is not my favorite medium but it makes for one super snuggly quilt.  I really worried too about putting it in the washing machine, fearing it would get fuzzy but nope.  It’s now washed and being packaged.  I don’t think I can get it in the mail today but my little friend will have it next week for sure.

Happy 4 month birthday little man.  And a  great big HI!!  That was a fun surprise! It was not really my intention to put in the “I” but when I turned the quilt there it was…

Not a bad way to start my favorite month and time of the year!!!

Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday weekend.  Enjoy!!!

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Just A Peak…

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog because I’ve been busy on the sewing machine, knitting needles and of course life….

Here’s  my latest project.  I’m just finishing up the binding and it’s going in the mail.  My list is growing as all these wonderful babies keep arriving!!!

This one’s for you Henry…..

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The last thing I remember was walking over to my laptop to write up a new post and something hard hit me in the head.  As I was coming to, several warm and love filled faces were hovering above me asking me where the triple A batteries were, “mummy can I have more ice”,  Can you help me hem a pair of pants, did you pick up my uniform from the cleaners?

As I tried to sit up, the dull ache of awareness told me it was my old buddy that hit me…”old buddy?” Yeah, LIFE, you idiot!!!

I can’t even tell you how swamped I’ve been lately and honestly just not feeling like myself.  I won’t bore you with all the details but I will say that you HAVE to make time for the things you love to do no matter how much life’s responsibilities try to pull you away from it.  I feel so lost without my online world.  It’s awful!!!! But no matter what I’m going to try to my best to “be back” even if it’s one post a week.  I missed it here.

So when last we met I’d talked about the bookcase doll house I was working on Kira and wanted to have done by her birthday (May 6).  Well, it was not finished on time…for a number of reasons.

My cousin is now living with us.  We knew that was to be part of the plan for this summer but we didn’t know the summer was to start on May 5th.  So all of a sudden Chris and I were chickens without heads trying to get the down stairs in our house turned into an apartment of sorts for a 20-year-old to be comfortable as she traveled to and from the Manhattan each day working her first internship.  It has been wonderful having her but needless to say there is just more to do with another person under your roof.

That said, the brakes were put on the doll house.  I also realized that while I was super excited about the doll house I suddenly wasn’t sure that a three-year old was going to enjoy it as much or in the way I wanted her to.  Kira is a very busy girl and loves to take things about to figure out how they work and I suddenly saw all my time and energy spent making miniature curtains going awry in a matter of minutes.  So I decided to wait.    Maybe getting ready for my cousin’s arrival was the universe’s way to saying wait another 6 months or a year. 

But I couldn’t leave her with nothing.  So I found a substitute “doll house” that for the time being will be so much more fun, portable and far less breakable.

Here’s a little peek…

Aside from working on that project I’ve also started a new quilt for one of my readers? How’d she get so lucky? Actually I now have 2 quilts going for readers who have become friends and have brand new babies (one to arrive any minute).  What sewist/quilter/knitter can resist making a gift for a new babe? Not me!!!

I’m only showing a peak of this one since she “visits” here and I don’t want to ruin the surprise completely…

You’ve seen this one already but I love it so much it’s worth an updated peak.  Most of the blocks are completed..Now it’s time to “sandwich”, quilt and bind…

I also have a quilt planned for this lovely bundle….It’s for my sister for her 40th birthday and 10 year wedding anniversary…..

I am busy just haven’t been making the time to tell you about….well guess what…..

Blogoversay post tomorrow.

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