Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April's End

April is ending with the craziest spring ever...everywhere it seems.  Rain or shine, tho my spring break in Oregon was awesome.  I had such a great time with my sons and their girlfriends.  Great food, great company, great scenery!  I wasn't the greatest photographer this trip. But here's a few of my fav fotos.

We headed to the coast on my second day in town.  
Here's what we saw in Newport.
 Also went to the aquarium where Leslie is training so 
she can volunteer to work there and for the research center next to it. 

My favorite was the otter swirling around and pounding
the clam shell...he looked so content.
 And of course, my boys had to join the PIRANHAS...in their tank.  Goofballs!
Their favorite of the day, I believe was the huge ANACONDA
...notice NO pic of THAT...totally creeped me out!!

We had a nice dinner and headed back to Corvallis just as it started to rain. (which it did ALOT!)

And then there were TULIPS...everywhere!  I even heard about a tulip farm but didn't get a chance to get out to see it.  But let me tell, you just had to take a look in almost every yard and you would see tulips in all sizes and colors.  I'm sure they all got tired of me going on and on about the tulips.  But they were pretty.  The only photos I got were these from the hotel parking lot and one lone tulip in front of my son's apartment.

Sadly, this is my last day here.  
I already miss my kids and I'm not even out of town yet. : (

Anyway, as for my April quilting, 
most of what I completed I already shared. 

With the exception of the fully completed blocks for my swaps.
 Block Swap Adventure for Sue called Blazing Arrows.
AND
 Let's Bee together for Melinda called Four Winds
(Don't those look like tulips in there?)

So...the only good thing about ending my trip is that I get to go home and SEW some more!

As for now, I must pack and catch my flight!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One More Flower

One More Flower added this week.
Still trying out new thimbles for
the Great Thimble Debate.

Hope to have results by next wednesday,
but may not be able to blog since I will be out of town!

Friday I'm flying off to Oregon to spend my Spring Break with my boys!
A much needed break.

So, til next time, hope your flower gardens are growing
steadily, one by one.
P.S.  Don't miss the other garden updates at One Flower Wednesday!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Completed Cathedral Windows!

Update:  Sharing this for Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story
Can you believe it?  Friday Night Sew In Success!! 
Here's my completed Cathedral Windows Pillow.
I am so pleased with how it turned out.
But, I had a hard time finding a spot to photograph it.
  Seemed too fancy for my living room.

Here's a few more views.
I learned so much from this project.
Of course the cathedral windows were a first.
But I also got to try a basting spray to keep
all those windows in place as I sewed and found it worked well.
And, I learned how to make my own piping,
thanks to a little help from my zipper foot.
I used fabric from one of the windows.
The most exciting part was putting that pillow form in and seeing the finished cushion!

A very special thanks to Melissa at Make Life Beautiful
for her wonderful tutorial and her encouragement all along the way!

I definitely want to make another one someday!
Hope your weekend has been productive!

Friday, April 15, 2011

TGIFNSI

Thank God It's Friday Night Sew In

Handmade by Heidi

First Up: Dinner and I'm in the mood for Italian
Next Up:  What I will be working on
Cathedral Windows Pillow
AND
Flutter By Blocks

Finally... ipod while isew - Sara Bareilles


See ya tomorrow,


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Great Thimble Debate

First let me show you I added one flower for this wednesday.
Still a bit slow going but relaxing and exactly why I wanted something to hand piece.

And now back to The Great Thimble Debate

So, I was all set to reveal my choice from the five I had on hand.


Til I sat down once again to add another flower to the row. Before that, if you thought I chose the black faux leather you would have been right. However, after it popped off my finger several times I decided to try some of the others again. First up, the leather with the metal disc but way too bulky and kept catching my thread.

So...you've probably guessed by now...here's what I settled on:


Yep, the little adhesive leather discs. Took a bit of adjusting but I got a rhythm going and it worked great. So for now, I'm "sticking" with the little leather dots!!

BUT, I've still got other options to explore. I received some suggestions from commenters last week and I'll be back to update after I've tried those as well.

Please feel free to offer more advice as I believe we haven't seen the end of The Great Thimble Debate .

Hope your hand stitching is progressing in comfort!

Monday, April 11, 2011

And Sew on and Sew Forth...

I spent all day saturday and a good amount of sunday sewing.  And it felt sew good!  First up...cuz I'm so excited...I sewed all the buttons to my Cathedral Window pillow. 

I had to go back to purchase the rest of the buttons I needed and do you know that there were exactly enough packages of the style I needed?  It was definitely "meant to be"!

Remember, the one in the center is a little different style and slightly larger than the rest, however looking at it now, it really doesn't look that much bigger.  Here's the complete layout.
I just love this pattern and technique and am still amazed that someone could come up with the idea.  I'm just happy to have a pattern to follow!  I still have a little ways to go to complete the pillow.  I'd started sewing the piping but decided I need some thread better matched to my fabric (can you see the stitching?).  I just laid it along the edge to get the general effect. (That's not exactly where it's going.)
Anyway, it's coming along!

Also finished my blocks for the two swaps I'm in and here are the sneak peeks.
Let's Bee Together
For: Melinda who sent the fabric and left the block up to me.

 Block Swap Adventure
For: Sue, who likes Batiks, Greens and Blues (hard to see the green in the dark batik but in real life it pops out due to the green in the second fabric).

And, I finally got back to my Flutterby quilt (with the 3D butterflies) and finished 6 more blocks.  Decided I needed to order more of that Dream On fabric to finish it the way I want.
Oh darn...had to stop and shop!

Sew... there you have it!  Enjoy your week.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thorns among the roses?

This week I added 3 more flowers to the second row of my flower garden quilt.  And let me tell you, my fingers are getting a work out! 


I'm happy with my progress, that second row is now half way done!
But oh my fingers are sore! So much poking, pushing and pulling
 and even a tiny bit of bleeding (ouch!).
So over the course of the week, I set out to find the perfect thimble.
Here's what I found in my sewing room.
Keeping in mind my fat fingers, which of them do you think I finally settled on?
Pros:  shiny, lots of dimples and ridges for needle, doesn't snag thread
Cons: stiff, cold, maybe too small, makes my finger a bit sore
Pros: cheap, lots of dimples and ridges for needle, doesn't snag thread
Cons: makes my finger sweat, pops off, needle slips off the plastic, not fond of yellow
Pros: form fitted with opening for (potentially) long nails, stiff yet flexible
Cons: finger sweats a little, seam on one side snags thread sometimes
Pros: soft, no finger sweating, dimpled metal disc great for pushing needle through
Cons: bulky, seams and ridges snag thread
Pros: leather pad holds needle nicely, flexibility of placement on finger, sticks on, small, no finger sweating
Cons: small diameter can be hard to find optimal placement, thread catches on edge of pad

So, which one do you think I chose?
(let me know in your comments and feel free to make suggestions!!)

I'll let you know which one I settled on next One Flower Wednesday!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Done...but not finished.

My Cathedral Windows pillow is coming along. 
I have all 12 windows sewn now
I will admit I struggled a bit at first to get my machine and fingers to coordinate to make the curved seams.  In fact, I started to wonder if I shouldn't just hand stitch instead.
But, my frustrating work week made me determine to "conquer" this new challenge and I set out to show my machine a thing or two!  And that I did.  As you can see in the picture above, I am now experimenting with button type and placement.
I spent a little time at the store yesterday searching for the "perfect" buttons.  The tutorial says they're optional.  And at first, I wasn't sure I wanted them.  But I think with this fabric, the buttons complement the semi-formal look.  I really love the center button (see below).
It has the same paisley swirl as some of the window prints. But I thought it was a tiny bit large and heavy for the whole pillow so I decided on some smaller, lighter, lacy looking buttons for the rest of the spots. 
Now I just have to go back to the store and hope there are enough to finish this off.

So there you have it, the windows are done, but I still have a ways to go before the pillow is finished.

Next, I'm going to learn to make my own piping.  Yet, another challenge.  But no rush.  One step at a time.
 P.S.  A special thanks once again to Melissa at Lilac Lane for her tutorial and inspiration!