Friday, December 31, 2010

I ♥ Rainbows quilt top complete!

Although I made this quilt with every intention of selling it (hopefully), I will be sad to see it leave.  I LOVE it.  I love rainbows.  I was a bit obsessive as a child about my crayons always being in color order.  It got to the point where my grandmother would keep a separate box of crayons at her house just for me because I would get so upset if my cousins used the crayons and didn't put them back in color order.  I would not even use a new box of crayons until I had taken all of them out and reordered them--even if it was the really big box of 120 crayons!  Sadly, I still do this today with my children's crayons, markers, and colored pencils.  I only do it when they have new box and I don't expect them to put them back in that order, I just love seeing ROYGBIV!
I pressed all my seams open on this quilt.  I know some quilters think this is a sin, but it makes the quilt lay so much nicer with none of those pesky ridges that can sometimes occur with pressing to the side.  Hopefully I will have the back pieced tonight!  Oh, and thanks to Tracey I now I have a black and white binding for this quilt!  Hooray for swapping because I'm on a fabric diet.......maybe.

UPDATE:  I completed the back of this quilt today too!  I'm on a roll!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hello Sunshine!

Hope everyone had a nice holiday!  I'm anxiously awaiting the order I placed with Fat Quarter Shop with my GCs from my Mama and hubby.  Don't you just love it when your family feeds your addiction?  Anywho, I'm finally out of my dark red "murder cave" as I have so lovingly called our dining room.  I am sewing in a room with natural light!  *Squeal*  My dad gave us this really heavy duty folding table and I decided it would be a perfect sewing table!  So my new baby is basking in sunlight in an apricot colored room.  Still, not my top choice as far as color, but beggars can't be choosers. :)  And, yes, I have 5 pin cushions.  I use them all so you can't make fun of me!  Some travel and some stay put, but they all have their uses.

This is the craft nook of our house.  To the left of what you see here are a bunch of built in cabinets and shelves where I house my fabric and craft goodies.  I wasn't sewing in this room before (1) because it's above the baby's room and when he took more frequent naps I wouldn't want to sew right above him and make noise and (2) I didn't have the right table for the space and (3) it's the hottest room in the house since it's upstairs and gets the most sunlight.  I've decided I can handle the heat, but my other two reasons no longer apply. 
I broke in my new machine by making a few zippy pouches.  I'm thinking of making a few to list on etsy just because.  I have a few friends who want some and it's just easier to deal with that way.  I'm just making what I like (no custom requests) and hoping other people like it too.  There's nothing worse than slaving over a project you hate, right?  I know I start to resent the time I put into things that I don't particularly care for.  No beuno.

As part of my New Year's resolution, I am determined to create more projects of my own design.  I've found since I'm so new to quilting I'm reluctant to make up my own patterns for fear they won't look good or maybe I'm just lazy, who knows.  I have found that when I do create something of my own, I'm much happier with it.  Hence, my first quilt of the new year is something I designed.  I was inspired by Jennifer and Jessica's Henna Garden challenge a while back.  I love rainbow colored quilts and this collection is perfect for that!  I'm missing one of the prints (a pink on pink), but I decided I didn't want too much pink in this quilt so I could live without it for now.  My design is nothing fancy, but I tend to like simple so that's ok.   Also, if anyone has about 1/2 yard of a good black and white print (stripes? dots?)  I could use for a binding, I'd be happy to swap for it!  I am sorely lacking in black and white!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to me!

I received an unexpected Christmas gift today from my wonderful husband.............a new sewing machine!!!!  A Baby Lock Symphony!
I did take him to the local Baby Lock dealer to browse, but I didn't expect to walk away with a new machine!  I have been looking at different brands this past month, mostly just compiling research and noting prices.  I thought maybe in another year or two I could talk him into a new machine.  See, I've only been sewing for a year, but my current machine (a Brother CS6000i) is getting tired.  It's currently at the doctor.  I really wanted something more suited for quilting, especially free motion work.  Amy and Tracey both have this machine and love it.  There's nothing better than getting a review from someone you know!  Apparently, the dealer near me has won some national award for the #1 dealer in the country for the past 4 years so I guess that was why she was able to give me such a deal--over 50% off MSRP.  Even hubby thought it was a good deal!  I have the best hubby in the world--even if I did have to promise to stop fabric purchases for a while!  I promised not to start sewing again until after Christmas so I will have to content myself with the manual. :) 

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope Santa brings you all lots of fabric!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Anniversary Quilt complete!

My last homemade Christmas present is finished! Isn't is beautiful?!?!? This quilt is an anniversary quilt for my husband's grandparents who have been married over 50 years--their anniversary is on Christmas Day. Sadly, I won't be able to give it to them in person, but I'm sure my MIL will give me an accurate account of their reaction.

One of my quilting bees, Putting the Bee in Christmas, helped make 9 of these blocks and I made 3. They all did such a great job! One of my bee members, Tracey, suggested the cornerstones and I was so grateful because it really helped balance out some of the lighter blocks. I free motion quilted this one myself. My goal was to improve my stippling a bit--I wanted to make the the space between the quilting lines smaller. I tend to quilt in a bigger loopy motion, but I tried to keep it tighter this time. For the most part, I was successful. This quilt was made with a Bliss layer cake and some Kona Snow. It's backed with Bliss flannel and bound with the red and white dot print from the Bliss line (hand stitched). Now, on to the blocks:

This is the block from Hades made by me. It looks ok, but I'd never do it again! :)

Tree block made by me!

Home Sweet Home block made by me. They've lived in MO their entire lives so I thought it should be represented

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not block by Karrie

Heart block by Karrie

Wedding Ring block by Amy

Love birds by Amy

Boy meets girl block by Tracey

Dresden by Tracey

Flower power by Natalia

Spiral heart by Cherie

Circle of geese by Cherie

I simply cannot thank these ladies enough for delivering such wonderful blocks. I gave them very little instruction other than to tell them who the quilt was for and why. I'm overjoyed to be able to give this special couple a stunning quilt made with lots of love from 6 women. You ladies are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Almost done!

I'm almost done with my homemade Christmas presents!  I have one last project, and it's a biggie!  I'm making an anniversary quilt for my hubby's grandparents who were married on Christmas day over 50 years ago.  My Putting the Bee in Christmas ladies helped make most of the blocks, but I'm making a few.  I've completed 2 of the 3. 

I've made the tree before (for pillows) and it's quick and easy so long as you can applique.  The design is from Cluck, Cluck Sew's tutorial if you're curious.  The other block.....well, let's just say I must have been a bit touched in the head when I chose that one.  All the pieces had to be cut from templates, there are in set seams everywhere, and when I finished it was a whole inch larger than it should have been!  I was not pleased.  Hubby made me a margarita and I'm feeling much better now.  I guess the bright side is it wasn't too small.  You can always cut it down, but it's hard to make it bigger---except with borders! :)  I almost gave up after getting the middle red star together.  I thought, "I should just add borders and be done," but I thought that was the wimpy way out.  Quilting hides lots of mistakes, right?
Totally unrelated, but Jules sent me these AWESOME pins today--she made them!  How stinkin' cute are these?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pinch I need some help

I must be dreaming because I got not one, but two FABULOUS swap packages today!  First was from my Modern Swappers partner, Jennifer (chickadee studio on Flickr).  She did such a great job picking out fabric and items I was ISO ("in search of") and she made the cutest fabric basket/pin cushion/organizer!  Wow!  I am one happy girl!

Then, I realize that my Pillow Talk Swap package has arrived today too!!!!  Excitement doesn't begin to cover this one.  First of all, for those of you who don't know (mom), PTS is where you are assigned a secret partner and make a pillow to suit their style.  There is tons of talent in this group, it was a little intimidating since I'm still so new to sewing.  I had seen this awesome creation posted and commented on it some, but I never really think that the super fab pillows are coming my way.  Or maybe it's just that I don't want to get my hopes up.  Anywho!  This was created by Barb (quiltingbarbie on Flickr) for ME!!!

That's not all folks!  Not only is this masterpiece mine, all mine!, but she included some wonderful goodies too!  Fabric, a FMF pin cushion, wonderful hexies, stellar hazelnut chocolate, and a fabric card!  I mean, come on!  How did I luck out this much in one day?!?!?!?  I did tell Barb she may have spoiled me for PTS forever because I'm not sure how much better it can get!  I can go on, but I don't want you all to get bored.

I'm also in need of a couple of block ideas.  I think I'm in a bit of a creative slump with all the Christmas gifts I've been working on.  I need TWO block ideas for a quilt I'm making as a Christmas gift.  The entire quilt is made with the Bliss fabric line from Moda.  It's for my husband's grandparents who are celebrating their 50+ years of marriage on December 25--yep, they got married on Christmas day.  The blocks need to finish at 14" (so 14.5" before sewing all together).  I have 10 blocks done between myself and my bee ladies.  I have hearts, flowers, a tree, a Dresden, lots of tiny squares, flying geese circle, birds, and a wedding ring blocks.  I need some new inspiration!  HELP ASAP!!!!!!!  If you have an idea or a link to a great site, bring it on!  I need to finish this SOON so please don't send me a block that requires tons of paper piecing or something that will have me cursing you out for suggesting it. :)  I don't mind if it takes time, I just want it to look great the first time, not after I've ripped it up and tried again and again.  Make sense?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Modern Swappers package

My partner received all my goodies so I can show pictures now!  Rather than do all that blogging and uploading, I'm just going to give you guys one picture and refer you to Angela's blog here for all the details. :)  Oh, and she's giving away a HUGE bundle of Kona solids so take a mintue to read her blog and enter!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Working harder than an elf!

Well, I'm plugging away at Christmas gifts!  I've managed to finish a quilt, 4 pot holders, 3 pillows, a purse, and two hand towels!  I still have a quilt, two zippered bags, and some bibs to go--minimum.  There are other projects I'd like to finish, but I have a "MUST do" and a "HOPEFULLY do" list.  I'm still working on "must."  I finished these pot holders for someone (I'm not sure if I can say who since I don't know if they read my blog.)
I attempted to machine sew the binding on these at first (a-la-Red Pepper Quilts), but it looked completely crappy and I just couldn't leave it like that, so I ripped it out and hand sewed the bindings.  I also experimented a bit with some straight line quilting.  I have to admit, though I love the look, I really enjoy free motion quilting since it's faster and it hides my boo-boos much better! :)
I also completed this kitchen set of a potholder and two towels (again, I'm not saying who it's for).  This is yet another project from my good old Neptune honeybun!  So far I've made a mini quilt, three fabric baskets, a pot holder, and two kitchen towels from ONE honeybun!!!!  I still have strips left and as a matter of principle, it's my mission to completely use every last bit!  Who says you can't make anything with a honeybun?!?!?

I also finished this purse for my godmother.  This is the third of six bags I'm making for her--the other three don't have to be completed until after the new year.  Some she's keeping and some she is giving as gifts.  This one is a gift.  My big boo-boo with this one was not cutting the strips to cover the cording on the bias.  I was trying to save some time by using a scrap piece of fabric and it resulted in wrinkly cording, but I just didn't have the time or inclination to redo it.  Eh, still looks ok in the end.  This is the third time I've made the Sweet Harmony pattern, but only the first time making the smaller, handbag size.  It's a perfect for everyday use and I really love all the pockets.

This elf is off to bed!  More projects to come!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas pillows and (more) fabric!

I finished pillows for my in-laws.  My FIL rides a Harley and looks like a tough biker (he's a softie though).  I appliqued the skull then free motion quilted flames in black.  My MIL is pretty traditional so I went with a cross pillow modeled after Cherie's PTS4 pillow.  I think I picked fabrics to suit their personalities.

Today was a big fabric day!  My LQS had a huge sale.  If anyone is interested in the Recess charm pack/kit (there are 52 charms), let me know.  I just couldn't leave it alone in the store!  I got some fabric in the mail from Fabric Flair. Christie is super sweet, super fast on shipping, and she had a fantastic Thanksgiving day sale--no, she's not paying me to say that! :-)  She also has "lightning deals" on Facebook where she will post bundles at 50% off to the first buyer!  Check her out!

Well, I'm off to take a nap before I start my next Christmas project!  Oh, I think I finished my Modern Swappers package, but I sadly cannot show anything until they receive it since it would give away the surprise.  I may add another project if I can squeeze it in--we'll see!  I've probably already gone overboard with 4 projects, but I just get on a roll and keep thinking of things they would like!  Eh, it's the holidays! Season of giving, right?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One gift down....

A million more to go! This is the completed quilt for my SIL and BIL. I've had the top done for a while, but I've been dragging my feet on putting the back together. After a marathon of True Blood the past two days I finished sewing on the binding. This one was quick and easy. I hope they like it as much as I do!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Homecoming and a Haircut

Chad's home!  Hooray!  Six months of being a single parent are O-V-E-R!  In some ways it feels as if he never left, in others it feels as if he's been gone forever!  Regardless, we're all overjoyed he's back, especially because he made it back in time for the holidays.

 We've been waiting for Daddy's return to get Cian his first haircut.  Mama wasted no time and it was first on our to-do list today! :)  He went from this:

To this:

SOOOOOO much better!  He was really great the whole time and just sat in Daddy's lap. 

Hopefully I'll get back to sewing soon because my list of Christmas gifts to make is loooooooong.  For now I'm enjoying some much missed family time.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A finish and a little (lot) frustration

I finished my pillow for PTS4 and will be mailing it to it's new home tomorrow!  I'm pretty sure my partner will love it, but my fingers are still crossed for luck.


On a totally unrelated note, I'm going to vent a little about my quilting guild.  Let me start by saying this is NOT a modern guild and I knew this going in, but I thought there could still be some things to learn, ideas to share, and maybe a few other secret modern quilters.  WRONG!  I was planning on leaving the guild at the end of the year simply because I don't fit in.  I have no one to relate to or bounce ideas off of.  Most of these women are 50-80 years old.  So while they have a wealth of knowledge, our aesthetic is completely different.  Anywho.  I was coerced into taking the position of VP and to be in charge of workshops.  I thought this would be an opportunity to make the guild work for me.  WRONG!  Over the past month, I have been told, not asked, that 8 of the 12 months are booked.  Why the hell did you need me then?!?!?  Most of these are for charity projects.  While I do love that the guild is involved in a lot of charities, why are they using workshop time?  I feel like a petulant child, stomping her foot and whining, "But that's MY time!"  Beyond that, the two real workshops that have been scheduled without much discussion with me are SO not anything I would ever want to do.  This isn't to say I have to like all the workshop projects, but I've been in the guild a year and there hasn't been one I like!  Further, we have a retreat in March and, again, there is not one project I want to do so I'm not attending.  I have committed myself to this position and I won't quit because I gave my word, but I'm most displeased to say the least.  Ok, rant over.  Sorry if you were bored senseless!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

WIP and completed bag

Really quick post today.  Here is my WIP pillow for Pillow Talk Swap 4. 

This bag pattern is featured in this month's issue of Stitch.  I made a few adjustments to suit the recipient, but the pattern is very well written and easy to understand.  I can't tell you who this is for yet--it's a surprise!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Name change

I decided I needed a name change.  My original blog name "I'm Just Saying" is a joke with my mom.  Anytime we say something the other doesn't want to hear, it's followed by the comment, "I'm just saying!"  As if that will smooth any ruffled feathers. :)  Anywho!  I thought "kelbysews" was more in line with the content and character of my blog--I actually try to avoid saying anything that will ruffle feathers on my blog!  Just thought I'd let you guys know the reasoning behind the switch.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I'm feeling very unmotivated lately and now is NOT the time!  I have tons of gifts to finish, bee blocks to make, and new projects I want to start.  I think a lot of this has to do with my newly cleaned dining room.  My son recently had his 4th birthday party (a costume party) and I cleared out most of my fabric/sewing paraphernalia from the dining room and it just looks so clean I hate to mess it up again! 

I did manage to make the favor bags for the party.  It felt really good to use up some of my stash fabrics.  A lot of these prints I just didn't know what to do with.  I liked them, or thought they would be good for kids, but I didn't have anything planned for them.  Yes, I actually have a plan for a lot of my fabric.  It's going to take me years to make everything I have planned, but there is a plan! 

I have three bee blocks to make.....soon!  I also am WAY WAY late sending Tracey a siggy block.  I did finish Cherie's blocks and siggy block, but I realized today when I was going to stick it in the mailbox that I'm out of larger envelopes.  Sigh.  I'm so not motivated to go to Walmart or the Post Office.  Oh, Sylvia, your giveaway win has not been sent either for the same reason.  I guess I'll drag my lazy behind to Walmart tomorrow.  I did manage to list some Neptune on etsy.  It actually feels nice to destash.  My list of projects was getting overwhelming so I decided to part with some fabric that would bring in a little money to sooth my hubby and would erase some projects from my to-do list.

I made two pillows a few weeks ago and I decided to list one on etsy.  I don't really hold out a lot of hope it will sell, but I don't have a need for a princess pillow so I thought I'd see what happens.  I made these as practice pillows.  I signed up for the Pillow Talk Swap, but I'd never made a pillow!  I made the "fall" one first and I really liked it.  It was not very thought out, I just grabbed some colors I though looked like Fall and went with it.  I think I need to make the covers a bit more snug, or get plumper pillows.  I was nervous they wouldn't fit so I have an extra little room.  Oh well.  Better that than too small!

Oh!  I'm almost done with my Modern Swappers package.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I have one project done and other projects picked out, including the fabric for those projects, and the fabric portion of the swap is ready.  I'm hesitant to finish because I'm no good at secrets and I'll have to keep everything to myself until December!  There's no way I can post a picture because my partner will know immediately it's hers.  I guess she may not care, but I think that kind of ruins the fun!  Anywho!  Let's hope I feel motivated soon and get some sewing done!

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