Owls and hearts and all the fun stuff

So – how ya doin’? It seems like a  L O N G  time since I’ve been here. Not that I’ve been idle or anything. Nope. Been busy. Very busy.

My friend’s son got married in AK, and she let me take part in her gift to them. I was so blessed. She wanted to give them a quilt with the double ring pattern, but instead of rings, she chose entwined hearts. She asked another friend to hand-embroider the 24 squares, and that lady did an exceptionally beautiful job. The squares are roughly 20X20, and there was a LOT of embroidery.

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this is what the squares look like (this is one of the finished pillows)

She then asked me if I’d put those squares together in a quilt top, using some lovely heart-pattern fabric she found at JoAnn’s. She got all there was to get, so I had to be judicial in how I cut it – plus, it was a directional pattern. I think it came out very nice.

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put together and ready for quilting

After I got the quilt top (and two pillows from the last 4 squares) done, my friend took it to another lady who did the quilting. It was a community effort – and her son and new wife liked it very much. I wouldn’t mind having something as lovely and full of love myself!

After this was done, I wanted to do something for my friend. So while they were in AK at the wedding, I looked at what I had left of the fabric. Guess what – I discovered the leftover fabric was EXACTLY the right size to make my friend two pillows for her guest room – a ‘sort of’ birthday gift, as she flew to AK on her birthday for the wedding (the day after). I just thought that since she had bought all the supplies for this quilt/pillow gift, she should have something of it for herself.

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But that’s not all.

I have some owl fabric I’ve been meaning to use for a purse for myself, which I finally got started on. I had a little scrap on the cutting table that another friend saw one evening and fell in love with. She asked if I could make her a little zip pouch for her upcoming women’s retreat, so she didn’t have to take her purse – just the essentials that would fit in her coat pocket. Well, of course I can! That little scrap was the perfect size for this.

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cheerful little pouch – fits a cell phone, cards, and even cash if you have any

Hmm…doing all this for other people…sounds like a saint, eh? Well, let me fill you in on a not-so-well-kept secret. I’m not all THAT unselfish. I made something for myself this weekend too. 🙂 Finally finished that owl purse, to replace my other one that I’ve literally worn out. I used some of the fabric I got from Crafty Staci in her giveaway for the lining and the pockets. I love it, and will be making a matching zip pouch soon – one that I’ll keep. 🙂

 

vividicity

So, I saw that this week’s photo challenge is “Vivid.” I guess that could be interpreted in  a number of ways. I consider it an invitation to share recent events that produced vivid memories.

We took another little short road trip this past weekend, up to Port Angeles, Leavenworth, and Wenatchee, WA. We had a nice long walk through the Olympic National Forest, at Hurricane Ridge. What a beautiful place. And what vivid colors! I tried making a panoramic shot, just to show the beauty of Hurricane Ridge. Enjoy the vividicity (just made that word up…it’s not patented. You can use it).

Doesn't this just make you want to travel!!

Doesn’t this just make you want to travel!!

Our stop in Leavenworth was very short – hey, it was HOT there!!! But we did visit a few interesting shops. I found some fabric (like I need more fabric!!!) at a cool little place that sported a Jewish flag and a Christian flag out front. We had to go in that one, even though we weren’t sure what they sold. I thought it was a fabric store, and hubby thought it was a hotel. Turns out we were both right. One side was a fabric store, and the other was a small hotel. 🙂

I love the fabric, and can’t wait to make some fun stuff with it. I’m seeing vivid pictures of a Bible cover, and some mug rugs, and maybe even a new oven mitt. Hey – I could make a wall hanging!

close-up of the fabric...I want to make a Bible cover from this!

close-up of the fabric…I want to make a Bible cover from this!

After we left Leavenworth, we decided to visit Waterville, and ran into an old friend we hadn’t seen since her 8-year-old was a baby. What fun to see her and 3 of her kids (the 4th one was staying with my cousin for the summer, I discovered). No photos of the kids, sorry…don’t have her permission…but just take my word for it. They’re adorable!! Their grandmas are staying with them for awhile, and one has white hair. The middle son, age 10 (I think), looked at his grandma and then at me, and said, “Hey, you guys have the same hair…” Of course, you know what I thought right away……….. “yeah yeah, I know, I know, I’ve got no color left in my hair.” Then he finished his sentence, “…it’s curly!” 🙂

We stayed a couple of nights in Wenatchee and visited with another good friend and family – who also have adorable kids. No pics of them either – battin’ a thousand in the family pic department this week. But the memories of the visits are worth a thousand pics, so that counts for something, doesn’t it?

We decided to come home early and get some work done before going back to work next week (y’know, somehow that just doesn’t sound right). We’re planning to fill the house with people this coming weekend, and it would be only fitting and proper if the kitchen were in usable condition first. I’ll share one or two shots of this project at some future time, when it’s finished.

I’m loving being at home these last few days, working if I feel like it, or sitting and doing nothing if I feel like it – but hubby gets a little stir-crazy. He has to be building something, or working on something, or going somewhere.  You know the old saying about three days’ worth of guests and fish? Well, for him, hanging out at the house for three days can produce the same side-effect. He’s been watering and pruning and transplanting plants, putting in the new kitchen sink (and the new pull-out garbage can holder), cleaning up the brush pile I made last week in the back yard, and now he’s finally sat…oh, wait…no…he’s started building the new greenhouse!

I’ve been sitting here in the back yard, soaking up the evening rays, writing my little posts, and thinking about doing some serious housework…sometime. But I can’t take all this feverish activity; he’s making me feel guilty with all that work he’s putting out. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to get up and do something. I know – I’ll go inside.

I’ll just sit in here and think about sewing. That always calms me down. Hmmm…maybe a new purse for my son’s girlfriend.  My son picked out all this fabric for my birthday – I think he’s got good taste. Most of it is fat quarters. A lot can be done with fat quarters. If I can make a purse from a whole bunch of little tiny strips of fabric, just THINK what can be made from a whole quarter-yard! Feast on this eye candy, and send your thanks to my son. 🙂

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Hey, I might do something productive soon. It could happen.

 

resurrection…it’s a beautiful thing

Howdy, y’all.

I’ve been just on the south side of lazy for the last month, but feel like I should drop by my house and swap howdies with whoever may show up here.

We’ve been just a little messy around here lately, working on a kitchen remodel and other things. And I just haven’t been in the sewing room as much as I should’ve been, until the last few days. Y’see, it’s like this. I go in there, and I just get to feeling like a murderer. All those poor scraps lying there under the sewing table in a bag, waiting for me to give them a proper burial. Depressing.

I found one day that the guilt was too much for me. Hey, they’re my scraps, they’re in my sewing room, and they’re crying out to me. So I did what any self-respecting scrappy gal would do. I dumped them out on the sewing table and started going through them, looking for survivors. I came up with a whole bunch of little strips that had totally escaped my notice when I had that cleaning fit.

Perfect timing, too! For what had happened to me recently? I’d been to the grocery store with my trusty little chicken pouch (where we keep the grocery funds), and now it was time to replenish the grocery fund. But the pouch was gone! I looked everywhere I could think of, even going back to the store on the off chance that it had been turned in. Nope. Sad day. It still had over $60 in it! Anyway, I was feeling lower than the ground the hens scratched. Oh well, said I to me, now you have to make a new grocery pouch. Hmmmm….and off I went in search of all those little strips I’d just rescued.

I started sewing those little fellers together, and just couldn’t stop. By the time I ran out of them, I had a piece of ‘fabric’ big enough to make not only a new grocery pouch, but a matching purse!

Well, naturally, I got so carried away, I didn’t even think of taking photos of each step until I was completely done. Oh well, it wouldn’t have made a good story anyway; I kept making mistakes and giving my brand new seam ripper a workout (already need another one!) on the pouch. I finally got it ‘sort of’ how I wanted it, with a section for each of our cash funds: fun fund, gas fund, grocery fund, and my own allowance fund – plus a zipper pocket for coins.

And today I finished the purse!  I even tried my hand at quilting it, after my own fashion. I drew a LubbyGirl style rose pattern on the front and back, and on the flap. 🙂 And you know how I love pockets in a purse. Well, this one has six – even the flap has a pocket! It will hold my phone, or cards, or keys, or whatever.

What have you been up to lately?

(oh…and the chicken pouch? Found it after I made the new one – in hubby’s jacket! He’d gone to the store too, and forgot to put the pouch back in its proper place. whew!!!)

Back by popular demand

Yep, my computer is back! All fixed. My son put in a new hard drive and fixed the lighting problem.

And I actually got something made in the meantime. Remember that curtain?

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Well, part of it now is a backpack purse. Yes, I finally used the Butterick pattern #B5505 that del (CurlsnSkirls) gave me, but I didn’t make the version (version C) I’d originally decided to make. I looked at the pattern for that one, and found that it’s a circle pulled up with a drawstring. Instead, I opted for version A.

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There were a few things about this version that I liked, and a few that I didn’t like. So of course, I made changes. What I liked was the overall look when it was finished. I also liked that it wasn’t a hard pattern to follow at all. And I like the way the lining is attached – it’s whip-stitched in at the top, which for me was pretty cool, because I didn’t have to sew the outer and lining together and then try to turn it through a little opening, and then stitch up the opening.

What I didn’t like was the one (count ’em!) pocket included. Now, anybody who knows me knows that ain’t happenin’. It’s a nice pocket, with two darts at the bottom and flared out at the top, but just not what I wanted inside. But it didn’t go to waste. I made two of them from the pattern and added them to the outside. Could I leave it at that? Nope. I had to add flaps – I mean, they’re on the outside of a backpack purse. They need flaps!! Right??

I used a bright, cheerful, springy looking skirt that was too small for the lining. Since it was the type of fabric that likes to ravel, I used iron-on interfacing to make it less likely to fall apart at the seams.  I also added a plain pocket (no darts) and two zipper pockets. Love zippered pockets.

inside pockets inside pockets

The outside, in the original pattern, is just a plain purse with no pockets or embellishments. Well, this version has a zipper pocket under the lower row of beads – which had decorated the bottom of the curtain in its former life.

My friends came over the other night, before the purse was finished. Their daughter is having a birthday – a significant one (16th, I think) – and she invited us to her birthday party. Her mom saw the purse and said it looked just like something her daughter would love. So guess where it’s headed this weekend!! Perfect timing I’d say.

So…..whatcha think?? I saw that version B was actually made from leather in the pattern pictures, so I may try that one with this fabric too. It’s not actually leather, just a wannabe, but it looks enough like it to pass muster.

version B - hmmmm....oh the possibilities!

version B – hmmmm….oh the possibilities!

Another thing I might change in the future, if I make version A of the pattern again, is to make it just about two inches wider, and make the straps adjustable. What would you do with this pattern? Have you used it before? What do you think?

Did you miss me yet?

Well, hello there! Has anybody missed me yet? It seems that I will have to wait much, much longer than I thought to get my computer back. In the meantime, I’ve discovered that I can use my voice activated posting skills! Yay!

However, my voice activated posting skills do not include voice-activated photos. Oh, wait! I do have one or two pictures!

The brown fabric with the tassel looking things on it was a curtain. Yes, a curtain! It’s going to become – what else – a purse. The fabric with the palm trees – well, that will probably be the lining for the purse. It actually has more brown in it than the picture shows, so it does match the other fabric. Well…fairly well anyway.

So, what have you been doing with your time lately?

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