Saturday

Memory Quilts - Completed

So far December has pretty much come and gone in a blur. The amazing thing is that I've never really felt stressed out like some people get during the holiday season. The cookies were all baked last week, the tree was put up on St. Nick's day, and the house was decorated during the first week of the month - both inside and out.

Then I got the call from one of my son's close friends....."Is there any chance you can make some memory quilts for Josh's mother and grandmother? I would like to give them as Christmas gifts." Of course I said yes.  I was honored by the request. And there I was, 10 days before Christmas making t-shirt quilts. Since I now have experience making them, this would be easy. And with such a labor of love, I was really into making it happen.

I headed to the fabric store to buy some iron-on interfacing and prepped all the t-shirts. In one day I had them cut to size and sewn together. The next day we were back in the fabric store with the new quilt tops picking out backing, binding and thread. I got home and immediately washed all my new fabric.  By the afternoon I had the quilt layers pin basted together and I started to machine quilt one of the quilts.  On day three I had finished quilting both quilts and had the binding hand-sewn on. All that was left was to make the labels.  Within a few minutes I had them printer ready.

Once the labels were completed I sewed them on and put the quilts in the wash machine. And there we have it, in less than a week I had two memory quilts completed and ready to go.  Jessica came to pick them up and when her daughter saw the label on the back of one of the quilts she shouted, "Daddy!" which brought tears to my eyes. 


Jessica was so very happy with them and that's all that mattered to me.  I was happy to see her in a good place considered her tremendous loss earlier this year.

So now I'm back to thinking, my Christmas shopping is done, my cookies are baked and the house is decorated.  I think it's time to head to the grocery store to get the things I need to make our little Christmas dinner next week. I still feel stress free even though my week was busier than expected.

Planning for Christmas

My husband had rotator cuff surgery yesterday.  Due to the upcoming Christmas holiday, this sure forced us to get things done.  So last weekend we put all the lights on the outside of the house.  It didn't hurt that the temperature was in the mid-40's...unusually warm. Even though he was in a lot of pain, he got it completed,

With that done we really had to get the tree up.  These were the only two things that needed to be done because I could not complete them myself. So the day before surgery Jeff put the tree up and got the lights on.

His surgery was scheduled to last an hour and he had the first time slot of the day.  As it turned out, the tear in his shoulder was so bad it took the surgeon two hours and fifteen minuted to complete. Recovery time out of the anesthesia was pretty easy so before we knew it I was taking him home.  He felt so good we stopped at our favorite dive for a late breakfast.

Once he was home, I got him settled in his recliner for the rest of the day and I put the ornaments on the tree.  Since my job was going to be watching him closely for the next few days, I got the house cleaned and decorated for the holidays in no time. I even wrapped the presents and put them under the tree!

I was worried about his surgery cutting into my sewing time but now that it's done, I realize the sewing time doesn't matter one bit.  He is recovering, I am enjoying our time together, and holiday things are getting done. I really thought this was going to be a stressful December but I am happy to report that it is not going that way at all.


Tuesday

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

On Pinterest, I found a recipe for salt dough ornaments. I thought this would be a great activity for me and my granddaughters. Once I read through the recipe and realized that it would take 3 or more hours for the cut-out ornaments to bake, I decided it was better that I baked some of the ornaments ahead of time and just let the girls paint and decorate them.  I did leave behind some of the dough just in case they would prefer the roll them and cut them out part, but they really didn't care about that at all.

So I got out the tempera paints in all of the 10 colors we had, taped newspaper to the kitchen table and we all participated in painting the ornaments. It was a very fun afternoon.  Once they dried, we tied old scraps of ribbons to them and hung them on a little tree that was just tall enough for small children to reach. The girls felt much accomplished once they saw them all in place.

Here is the recipe I used to make the "cookies".


Sunday

Recycled Jeans - A Book Bag

Recycled Jeans Tote Bag
My sister gave me a stack of her son's old blue jeans.  They were in pretty good shape so I thought I would take my time to decide how to repurpose them. I didn't want to cut them up willy-nilly then discover that I should have cut them differently.

I knew I was making some sort of tote bag out of the legs. I liked that the bottom hems were not frayed so I wanted to use them as the bag opening. I cut the legs off at the knees (where they were worn out) to see how tall I could make the bag. Then I left the French seams intact and cut the leg pieces next to the opposite seams and sewed the two pieces together.

I had a nice, large piece of denim fabric with two French seams running through it. I then deconstructed the back pockets and the belt loops. I reattached the pockets over the French seams.

Then I took the thigh parts of the pants and cut them into 3 1/2-inch wide strips and sewed them together to make the bag strap. Since the fabric was so thick, I just turned in each long raw edge 1/4-inch and sewed them down. I then sewed 4 more rows of stitching to give the strap a finished look.

I then squared up the main bag piece and sewed it into a tube, then sewed the bottom shut. I also added a gusset 1 1/2 inches from the corners to form a bottom.  Then I measured the bag to make a lining the same size.  I then figured out that my strap was way too long so I cut off a piece to make the bag closure.

I added a few doily details and some decorative buttons and viola!....a new bag - no pattern necessary. I really like how it turned out.

Friday

Quilts for Kids Delivery

Childrens Hospital of Wisconsin
Renee and Bonnie dropped off 135 finished quilts that our chapter made over the past few months.  These two ladies from the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin were very appreciative and happy to receive them.

Our group meets on the second Saturday of each month for a day of sewing. We have a lot of fun making them while enjoying each other's company. This was the third trip this year for delivering the quilts.

Thursday

Cute Little Bullfinches

I was inspired by Svetlana's blog post to make these cute little bullfinches. She made twenty of them all at once and they were so cute I couldn't wait to make my own.

So I dug out my scrap basket and found the right sized scraps to fit the pattern pieces and before I knew it, I had a dozen of them ready to sew. It was fun to pick out the ribbons for the tail feathers as well.

After looking at the version Svetlana made, I decided to use fabric instead of felt for the beaks which is also what was used in the original instructions.

Since I started my recovery from neck surgery, these little projects are so nice. They are manageable without causing me much pain and they fill my time so I am not so bored since I can't really do much. And I am so happy with the results, I can't wait to make some more. The original instructions and pattern to make these little cuties can be found here.

I can't wait for my granddaughters to see them, I think they are going to be attracted to their bright colors.


Wednesday

Wonky Star Quilt - Completed

I made this quilt from a photo I found on Pinterest.  I didn't have any idea how large the quilt was in the photo but I was inspired by it enough to dig out my scraps and make my own version.

I cut 24 three-inch squares of fabric for each block all in the same color tones. Then I cut 1 three-inch square of white for the center of the star.

After I laid out each block, making sure the white square was not on the edge, I cut three-inch strips of white fabric for the points of the stars. From each strip I cut the strips at random angles and sewed them to the squares surrounding the white square.

It was fun to start each block to see how many scraps of the same color families I could pull from my stash. By the time I got to the last block, I had run out of colors and had to shop for the fabrics to make the salmon block.  For the back, I took a leftover scrap from each of the blocks and sewed them to a white strip of fabric then sewed the strips together at random. I decided the binding had to be something black and white and simple. I think it really complements the many colors in the quilt quite well.

Monday

Quilts for Kids - Christmas Holiday Quilt

Christmas Quilt
I took this beautiful set of Christmas panels from the fabrics donated to our Quilts for Kids group. Even though it didn't seem like a great candidate for a child's quilt I thought I would give it a whirl.

I cut the panel apart and arranged the 5 pieces into a logical assortment then took some measurements to build borders around each panel piece.

I added a complimentary border to it and finished it with a white backing, using the last strip of border fabric from the front as an accent.

It turned out to be a quick, cute little project that has some whimsy for the holiday season. Maybe an older child will like this one to cuddle up in.

Saturday

What's on the design board?

If you're one of those wonderful people who are following my blog you know that I started this thing called "what's on the design board?" a few months back. My plan was to take a photo of whatever is on the design board on the first day of every month with the hopes that each month there would be something different on the board. I see this sort of as a way to push myself to make progress on projects. But last month I failed to post a photo as there was nothing on the design board.

Here we are starting another new month and yes, that design board is still empty. But I do have a reasonable explanation.  In fact it is a design of sorts or more like a redesign. I had cervical spine fusion the first week of October and this photo is the x-ray of the fused vertebrae in my neck or as my surgeon would call it, my progress report. He says it looks great. I'm very glad he says so.

So for November, this is as close to something on the design board as I can come.  Luckily, I'm feeling like I might just have the energy to make December's post a little more interesting. Or at least a little more colorful.

Wednesday

Little Girl Apron Skirts

Toddler SkirtI've been in the mood to make little girl skirts lately.  I have so many pretty little prints that I could probably make at least 20 different skirts.  However, in an effort to use up some leftovers, I've decided to try out a new tutorial using the leftover fabric from some baby quilts I made last year.

The skirt tutorial I found is adorable.  I love when tutorials have multiple sizes and since I have two granddaughters, that means I don't have to do any calculating myself to adjust a pattern. So I made a size 2/3T and a size 4/5T as a start.  I will have the girls try them on before I make any more just to make sure I have the right fit.

Here are the finished skirts.  They were quick and easy to make and I hope my granddaughters like them because I sure want to make plenty more. The tutorial for these can be found here.

Toddler Skirt

Saturday

Oak Creek Legion Post Craft Fair

A long time ago I agreed to rent a booth at the Oak Creek Legion Post's craft fair. At that time I made an assumption that said craft fair would be held sometime in the middle of September just like it always is.  So when I got the admission form I was surprised to see that the date of this year's craft fair as October 18th. So I never completed the form. In fact, I pretty much forgot about the entire thing.

A few weeks ago I got a call from the craft fair coordinator wondering if everything was ok since she didn't get my application yet.....AND she saved me an awesome space.  Rats!....the reason I never filled out the form was that I expected the fair to be held in September - before I had neck fusion surgery - not 9 days after that surgery.  Out of guilt I filled out the form and sent in my 20 bucks to pay for my saved spot.

Lucky for me, I had lots of inventory. I didn't really have to worry about rushing to make stuff, although I do admit it would be nice to have a wider selection of some things. So I did what little I could before surgery but was comfortable enough to attend as is.

After surgery my daughter and daughter-in-law volunteered to run the booth for me.  What a nice bonus. So my husband drove my display racks and inventory to the fair and set them up and the girls set up the craft items. I basically gave them instructions on using the credit card reader, my discounts and where the sale bags and business cards were and they were off and running.

It was nice that they didn't really need me because I sure was not ready to work the fair. In fact I think I will be laying low for some time.

Tuesday

Trick or Treat Bags

I've had some Halloween-themed fabric hanging around my sewing room for ages. Since I wasn't sure how ready I would be to sew after my cervical fusion surgery, I didn't really plan on doing much of anything, let alone sewing. But lo and behold, I found the energy (either that or the Vicodin is working really well) to make something smaller than a quilt. I found these cute trick or treat bags and an online tutorial to go with them so I thought I would give them a try.

Halloween BagI dug out my Halloween prints and my fusible interfacing and got started on some trick or treat bags. The instructions were easy to follow and even though my lack of strength made it a little difficult for me to work with all that interfacing, I must say it was totally worth it.  These bags are exactly as described, they close up nice and when you open them up wide, the sides stand up nice. I can already picture how nice it will be for the people in my neighborhood to easily toss candy right into the bag.

I hope my granddaughters like them. Unfortunately, the fabric combinations look much better (like they actually go together) in natural light than they do in the photo. I found the tutorial for them here if you would like to make some too.

Monday

Mini Superhero Capes

 I've been so busy making these little capes.  I got a request to make 25 of them with the letter 'I' for Innovation on the cape.  After delivery, I had to make 25 more.  When I got that order I made a large version so the facilitator of the project could actually wear it. And what do you know? He ordered 20 more!

So I finally remembered to take a photo of them before delivery. My next big project is prepping for a craft fair. It will be nice to work with a different color fabric for a little while. :)

Saturday

Modified Lickety Split Bags

I made my sister the modified version of the Lickety Split bag for her birthday. She uses it often and receives many compliments on it. (I'm so glad.)  Her co-workers wanted to know where she got it and next thing you know, I was making more bags for them.

Of course with use, comes ideas on how to improve the bag.  My sister mentioned that a little velcro closure on the outside pockets would be nice and a longer handle would also be helpful.

I made these three bags and with each one, the handle got longer.  The brown bag is nice for slipping the strap right over my head.  I hope these "improved" versions meet their needs. If not, I won't mind using them or giving them as gifts.

Tuesday

Super Hero Capes

Craft Fair Items
I recently had a customer order for some really small super hero capes. Even though the client did not need them until the week of October 5th, I completed all 25 of them in record time and delivered them right after they were done.

Just as I put the leftover fabric from the project away, I received notice that the client wanted 25 more! Good thing I bought 10 yards of black cotton solid fabric at the last big sale. Once I had those done I was left with a few pretty good sized chunks of black fabric.  So I decided to make some super hero capes of my own.

The leftover pieces I had were enough to cut two 18" x 24" pieces that would make a nice sized cape for a toddler or small child. I know this because once I had my first one completed, I tried it on both my 2 year old and 4 year old granddaughters. It worked well for both of them. So I dug through my stack of larger scraps looking for child-friendly fabrics and I came up with these 5 capes.  They were so much fun to make I think I will make some more.

Thursday

Dresses for Africa

Sweet Sundays Quilters GroupAs part of our Sweet Sundays Quilters church group, we are making Dresses for Africa. The idea is to use up old pillowcases for these dresses however, I don't have any.

The instructions we used can be found on Nancy's Notions website and the link to those instructions are here. They are easy to make and a great way to use up extra fabric. The only thing needed besides the fabric (or pillowcase) is some elastic and binding. Since I make all my own binding, I only had to worry about making sure I had the elastic on hand. So for little investment, these dresses are quite easy yet rewarding to make.

Others in the group used some vintage, embroidered pillowcases and they are gorgeous.

Wednesday

A Business Move

It's official! I take Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. I finally set up an account to accept credit cards for my craft fairs.

It was easier than I thought and the fees aren't all that bad. I hope this will increase craft fair sales. I do like the cool sign I get to put in my booth.

Sunday

Utility Apron Project, continued

I made my second version of a utility apron this week. This one is a lot larger than my first attempt. In fact, I think it's a little too big. I don't like how far down it goes over my thighs.

This project reminds me of the three bears. One's too small, one's too big so the next one should be just right.

Mama bear will try again and post the results in a tutorial. At least I have two samples to use at craft fairs.

Wednesday

Great Pumpkin Quilt - Completed

Peanuts Halloween Quilt
It's no secret that I absolutely love the Peanuts comic strip and characters. So when I saw this quilt kit at my local quilt shop, I just had to have it. But as is usual, I did not complete it in time for halloween. I did make the quilt top in time, but I never made the quilt back.

Of course by the time I went back to the quilt shop, there was no more Peanuts Great Pumpkin fabric left. So I bought some black Kona.  That seemed appropriate, especially since there is black Kona between the cartoon inspired blocks.

Since halloween was over and done with by the time I considered quilting this, I set it aside.  And now that it is September, it's time to resurrect it and get it done. Surprisingly, I finished quilting it, attached the binding and hand sewed the binding on all in one afternoon.

Here it is, in time for Halloween 2014! Yay!

Peanuts Halloween Quilt

Tuesday

Stacked Coins Quilt - Completed

I made this quilt top over a year ago.  I didn't use a pattern, I just went through a bunch of photos of stacked coins quilt images that I found on Pinterest. From that experience, I decided to just throw a stacked coins quilt together.  I used a jelly roll I had lying around and some Kona white. The bad part of using no pattern is that I cut up many of the strips to get a large variety of prints and colors in the 'stacks' which left tons of leftover fabric chunks. There were more leftover pieces than I used in the quilt top!

Once the top was done, I let it sit because I really wanted to put all those leftover pieces in the back but I had no idea how. Then two months ago, I had a plan to use those pieces. It was quick and fun and it used them up, but again, no pattern. And even after I finished the back, again, I let it sit. The next dilemma that stalled me was figuring out how to quilt it.

I finally chose to soften the stacks of blocks by quilting it in a circular fashion. I took a compass and made a 1-inch perfect circle right smack in the middle of the quilt. From there, I put the needle in the very center and one-stitch-at-a-time, I turned the quilt in circles until I went all the way out to the edges.  It was a very time-consuming project. After three days, I finally finished quilting that sucker! After I was done, I did like how it turned out.  I am certain I will quilt another one this way.

I took my finished quilt outside to photograph. It was a beautiful sunny day and I really liked how I felt in the shade under the tree in the front yard of my house.  So I unfurled the quilt right in the shady spot and snapped a few photos. They didn't quite reflect the bright colors in the fabric but I didn't mind, I still like the way the photos look.

This experience gave me a new respect for pattern designers.


Monday

What's on the design board?

Sandy Klop for American Jane
This month my design board is pretty bare. This is a photo of just a section of the board.  I am happy to report that I've been finishing up some UFOs from last year so I haven't started any new projects.  It feels so good to finish old projects.

I did make a purple star block for my quilt club. During the club meeting in September we have to bring an eight and a half-inch block done with purples. Everyone who brings a block gets to drop their block into a bag then once all the blocks are in the bag, one is pulled out. The owner of the block pulled gets the whole bag of blocks. I can't wait to see what the other blocks look like. Since my most recent project was these star blocks it seemed appropriate to make one for this event.  Plus all the fabrics were still available since I haven't put them away yet.

I also have some of Sandy Klop's fabric on the wall.  These charm squares were completed by someone else and then left with the rest of the charm pack at Quilts for Kids.  I thought I would take them home and turn them into something.  Not sure what yet. Hoping putting them on the design wall would inspire me.

Looking at my empty design board is a reminder that I really need to brush the threads off of it!

Tuesday

Paper Pieced Mystery Block Workshop

Over the last two Mondays I attended a mystery block workshop.  The only prerequisite is that you must have paper piecing experience. I have that however, it's been many years since I've attempted paper piecing. I figured this workshop would be a great way to reconnect with this form of quilting and since I see a Dear Jane somewhere in my future, I thought this would be a great refresher.

We received the first half of the pattern pieces during the first session and were required to bring some lights and darks in small prints and a few solids. It took me more time than I thought it would to complete the first week's project, however, I did get faster the second week. At the end of the workshop, I was much more comfortable with paper piecing but I'm not sure I will make more of these blocks. The pattern is very cute but it was very time consuming and I really have a desire to make a flying geese quilt.  So I do see paper piecing in my near future, just not in the shape of a boot.

*The workshop was offered for free over at Bungalow Quilting and Yarn in Milwaukee. It's a new quilt shop in town and the closest one to my house. I am so glad to have them close by!

Saturday

Utility Apron Project

Craft Fair Apron
Last weekend we had a rummage sale in our neighborhood and my daughter participated by bringing all her baby stuff to my house. That baby stuff always draws a crowd. She was making lots of sales and commented to her father that it's a struggle to hand out change. She tried an envelope which fell apart, a plastic container which meant you have to pay attention to where you put it, and she tried her pockets where money popped out onto the floor with each sale.

Her dad had this great idea that she should use one of his nail pouches. So he dug one out of his tool box for her to use. At the end of the day she had commented on how wonderful it was to have her change handy at all times. Transactions were completed much more quickly without the hassle of trying to find the right change and where she put it.  She said she wished she had that pouch for the last few years of rummage sales - it was that convenient!

After she left for her home, I went to put the nail pouch back in my husband's tool box when it hit me that it would be a great idea to make some pretty ones.  And we have craft fairs coming up so it was perfect timing to invent something a little cuter than the ones we had. Now that it's complete, I think I will test it out by wearing it for a while to see if I need to make any adjustments before I make any more. But I do want to make some more. It was quick and easy.

Friday

Ribbon Star Quilt - Completed

Ribbon Star Quilt
I followed the Ribbon Star block tutorial from the Solstice Star Series feature over at the Fresh Lemons Quilts blog.  The instructions for that ribbon star block can be found here.

After I completed the block, I decided it was so pretty that I would use it as a feature block in a small quilt.  So I framed it in some pretty fabric then got out some graph paper to figure out how to add blocks around it.

Once I had all the blocks worked out and the strips cut, it was easy to put together. I was still worried that my math skills would be off as would the quilt. But lo and behold, it all lined up as planned. Yay!

I started to quilt the borders with some wavy lines. For some reason I was bored with that but continued on anyway.  Once I got all the borders quilted, I couldn't decide what to do with the blocks. The next thing I knew, this thing landed in the UFO pile. It's been there since last spring.  With my fresh finish on another UFO, I was motivated to pick this one back up and finish it.

A few months ago, I did a quilt-as-you-go block of fabric that I turned into a basket.  I quilted it by starting in the center and creating a maze of stitches all the way to the outside of the block.  I decided that these blocks should be quilted that way as well. Before I knew it, I had the entire quilt finished.  I spent yesterday adding the binding and the label it was completed in no time.  I really like the look of this little quilt and it will look good across the back of my sofa for the rest of the summer.

I am really digging getting these unfinished objects done!

Thursday

Giddy Walk Quilt - Completed

Giddy Walk Quilt
I started this quilt a few years back and it landed in the long forgotten UFO pile. I usually like to finish what I start unless I have trouble with something. Once there's trouble, I usually give up quickly and move on to something else. The trouble I had with this one was that I started to machine quilt it without a walking foot. After sewing 5 or 6 rows of stitching, I realized that the layers were not lying nice and flat even though I basted the layers together. There were a few puckers and I really needed to rip out all the stitching and start over.

Then time goes by. And I learned about letting some things go. And I learned that a finished quilt is better than a perfect quilt. And I learned that things can be corrected with a stitch here and a tuck there and then just keep going.  So I took the quilt out two days ago and started out by ironing it flat.  It wasn't as bad as I remembered.  And it was fixable without ripping out everything.  So I kept going. By the end of the day yesterday I had the quilting done and the binding on.  It wasn't perfect but it was done.

This morning I threw the quilt in the wash machine and then in the dryer. When I took it out I was amazed at how much better it looked after a little fluff and dry. It feels so amazing to complete a UFO from so long ago.

This quilt pattern is from the book Quiltstyle: cool and cozy coverlets by Tammy Tadd. The pattern is called Giddy Walk.
Giddy Walk Quilt Back

Modified Lickety Split Bag

Dysfunctional Family fabricI used my Lickety Split pattern to make this bag for my sister. Her birthday is Sunday and when I saw this fabric called Dysfunctional Family, I just had to make a bag for her. She loves that silly kind of stuff. Rae Hoekstra did a modified version of her bag and I liked it more than the original.  I found her instructions for the modifications to the bag here. I thought the lining fabric I chose was right for the bag; it complements the colors in the comics in the feature fabric and adds a more feminine feel to the bag. When I saw the big simple plastic button, I thought it was a bit cheezy but it felt like a perfect match to the cute, funny fabric.  I hope she will like her birthday present.

Wednesday

Fully Lined Zipper Pouches

Fully Lined Side Zippered Pouch
I made more of these zipper pouches in an effort to become comfortable with the process of getting zippers to fit correctly within a lined bag. Since I am a visual learner, I struggled with the instructions a bit because it really is difficult to get a photo of exactly how these things should go together. After making a bunch of these I think I finally got the process down.

Once I had a bunch of the correct size zippers, I went through my scraps in an effort to purge some of the cute fabric scraps.  I ended up cutting fabric for 11 pouches. Unfortunately, I ran out of the lobster clasps when I got to the ninth pouch so I will have to order more if I want to finish the rest of what I've already cut out.

I did learn that not all fabrics are great choices for these little pouches.  The fabric that shows above the zipper is exactly 1 inch, so if the print is too big you can't really tell what the image is. And if the fabric has text on it, because the back panel is folded to the front your fabric is going to be upside-down on either the front or back depending on how you sew the fabric to the zipper.

For the most part, they are pretty cute. I used the tutorial found here to make the pouches. The only change I made is that I added 1/8 of an inch to the sides of the pieces which allowed ease when sewing the side seams around the zipper.

Friday

Happiness is . . .

pumpkins growing

Sunday

Small Blog Meet

I've been following the Lily's Quilts blog for quite some time. The blog is pretty and someday I am going to follow Lynne's paint chip block tutorial and make something.  It's on my very long "to-do" list but moving towards the top much quicker than I thought it would.  I guess that means I am making some good progress!

Today I read about Lynne's small blog meet linky party and just love the opportunity to get to know more quilty people, especially those like me. This will be a great way to get some exposure on my own blog and hopefully more encouragement since some of the best quilty advice comes from other quilters. I love the idea of getting to know others through their blogs and gaining more inspiration.

Here are the rules from the Lily's Quilts blog for the small blog meet linky:

Link up if you are a blog with fewer than 50 followers and would like to get to know a few more people out there in blogland. Write a post about this feature, add this button and then link up. Next go and visit and get to know at least four other linked blogs - starting with the two above you in the linkys and the two below you. Visit those blogs, leave a comment, click to follow and visit that blog regularly over the next few weeks. Visit more if you have the time. And also visit back any new bloggers who come to visit you and get to know them and their blogs. 
I added the link to the image above and to my sidebar on my blog so we can all connect.  So welcome to my blog, I look forward to meeting all of you! This is going to be fun.

Saturday

Zipper Pouches

I want to make some zipper pouches for an up-coming craft fair so I started testing out a variety of patterns and tutorials.  I've settled on the tutorial I found over on the Craftster blog. The instructions weren't difficult to follow and it didn't take very long to complete.

Once I finished my first pouch, I decided to make one a little larger just to be sure. The first pouch used a 6-inch zipper and the finished size is 5 inches x 6 1/2 inches. My modified one used a 7-inch zipper and measures 6 1/2 inches x 8 inches.

I do like the smaller original pouch better for this project so I'm going to start making many more. The link to the tutorial can be found here. As for the larger one, I think because there is no interfacing in them, they seem too weak to hold stuff. Maybe I will try a quilted version of this one sometime to give it more heft.

Friday

What's on the design board?

I've been thinking about tracking my quilty progress in a new way.  I am calling it "What's on the design board?". On the first of every month I plan to take a photo of my design board and post the photo. Hopefully when the next month rolls around the same projects won't still be on the board.  It should also serve as some incentive to actually get those projects moving when I feel uninspired (or darn right lazy).

With that said, here is my design board today:
Tone on tone Quilt

I have flipped and moved these quilt blocks every which way hoping that the right color combination will just appear.  What makes this quilt top different from most I've done is that no matter how I move the blocks around, I think they all look good. It's a nice problem to have but it still makes me unsure as to when I should stop moving them around!  I even took a photo every time I moved the blocks because I've found that quilt tops look a lot different in a photo than they do on the design wall. I don't know why that happens but it is a good test for the final product.  I finally asked my daughter to help me decide and this is the one she liked best so I'm ready to sew the blocks together. Hopefully I won't change my mind tomorrow.

I am going to add this post to the Fresh Sewing Day group over at the Lily's Quilts blog. Lynne is having a linky party on the first of every month to show off what we're all working on.  So here we go!

Thursday

Puppy Apron

Puppy Apron
Puppy Apron
Within a few hours of posting my test apron I got a request for a custom order! Go figure. This is for a little girl whose birthday is Saturday.  She loves puppies so her grandma requested something with puppies on it. Even though it's not in the traditional pink girly colors, what girl doesn't love the color of chocolate?

Her grandma loves antiques and vintage things so I lined this little apron in some vintage fabric that had a few fade marks and added a little embellishment just for fun.  I've been tinkering with the idea of adding elastic to the neck so there would be no ties there however I did not perfect that yet so I chose to give this apron the traditional ties for the neck and added a few buttons to the front.

I hope the little girl likes her gift.
Child Apron
Puppy Apron-Back

Monday

Zippers!

5 and 6 inch zippers
I've been in the mood to start making things for the up-coming craft fair season which is fall for me. So I ordered some zippers to make some cute zipper pouches.

I order my zippers from ZipIt on Etsy. I like the prices and the shop owner is in Sheboygan, WI which is just a hop, skip and a jump from my home. I was so excited when these arrived just two days after I ordered them!

I did learn a valuable lesson after my first order. The prices were so good that I ordered 50 zippers.  I chose my colors from the pretty color chart based on colors I love thinking I mostly have fabric in the colors I love so it should all work out. Unfortunately, I needed more of some and less of others when it was time to sew.

This time I pulled out the fabrics I was going to use in my projects and ordered based on how the zippers matched up. I ended up ordering many of a few colors instead of just a few of many colors. However, I don't have many left from that first order so I guess I did alright.