Thursday, October 1, 2015

Here I am ..........

So ........ it's only been a few months ( as in 6) since I last posted anything ....... ugh!  How dare the day job get in my way so much !!!!   I have managed to squeeze in the start ( notice "start" not "finish") of a couple of projects.  This first one is a high school graduation quilt ( and yes, the recipient is now in college..... but only a freshman ..... so far).  I was inspired by those cute labels sitting there by the fabric and my pen ( found in the scrapbooking sections at Michaels)  to make a signature quilt .  And I'm using a layer cake of Kate Spain "Sunnyside"  fabric that I just LOVE !!!

Here is the preliminary layout with Sam's assistance. 

......and here we have Daisy lounging on the beginnings of a baby quilt (my niece's baby girl due at the end of this month .....).   Of course my family is taking bets on whether this will be finished in time for the baby to go to kindergarten or college !!!  

Well, hope to be back soon with a picture of one of these quilts actually finished ( but lets not hold our breath !)

Be back soon ! (aren't I being optimistic !)
Mary Anne ( aka Mare)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Happy Easter !! Happy Spring !!

Well hello there and Happy Easter !!   It's been quite  a LONG stretch since I had time or was in the mood to post here on my poor lonely blog.  Lots has gone on in the past few months.....some sad and some happy.    And, my old excuse of the day job just eating up my every waking minute hasn't improved ..... in fact its worse ..... UGH!!!    But, if there is just one constant in my life , it's FABRIC  and SEWING and my quest to make time for them  ( I know I should put fitness in there some where too , but right now there really isn't room for either, and if I get to choose one that might squeeze into my day between 2 AM and 8 AM, it's gonna be FABRIC and SEWING darn it !!!) .   Any how,  I'm hoping to be able to resume blogging my sewing/quilting/designing escapades every now and then ( I have a wedding quilt to design and make .... my first baby is engaged !!!!   Guess he's not a baby anymore ..... ). 
Well, as is my usual for a weekend, I have hours and hours of work to document into my computer left over from the past work week  ..... and no time to sew or play with fabric or colored pencils ...... so I am going to console myself with a chocolate Easter egg or 6  and wish you all a Happy Easter or Happy Passover. 

Be back soon ( I hope !)
Mary Anne ( aka Mare)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Quick & Easy Cell Phone Case

So, I got a new cell phone .......and it didn't fit into my old cell phone case ( which was pretty thread bare anyway).  So I decided to make a new cell phone case .  After much pondering ( way too much!)  on whether to make it out of cotton or wool felt, the wool felt won out ( mostly because my laziness stepped in and decided the wool felt would give my cell phone the cushioning it needed without having to do the extra step of quilting the fabric,  which the cotton would need ). 

My first step was to make a pattern out of paper  to get the design I wanted and to make sure my phone was going to fit inside. 

 Next, I use the pattern to cut out my wool felt pieces.  (just 2 pieces;  the back piece is longer than the front so it can fold down over the front ). I used pinking sheers to cut out my main pattern pieces.  I had fun making a simple wool felt applique design of leaves and a stem ( which I stitched on with black thread  before sewing the front and back together).  I folded down the top of the back piece then sewed the front and back pieces together (wrong sides together) using 1/4 " top stitching .

I used a small piece of elastic cording for my button loop.  I found the best way to hold it in place to stitch it down was by using a piece of tape and sewing right through it.   Then I stitched on a fabric covered button .

Last step is to give the folded down flap a good pressing for a nice crease ........ and you're done !!!  Quick and easy !!!   (My original idea was to sew some sort of straps on so the case could hang from my purse strap,  but I decided to leave them off for now ...... maybe I'll add them at some point, but for now, I just toss the whole thing inside my purse).

Now I should do something about the way I store my tea bags and sweetener in my purse !!!  I googled "Tea Bag Wallets"  and actually found  a whole bunch of  cute ideas !!!!    Hmmmmmm ........I'm thinking  Christmas gift idea !!!!!  (now I just have to get organized and start making them ......... BEFORE Christmas Eve !!!)
Be back soon !
Mary Anne ( aka Mare)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hello October !!!

YAY !!!! October is here !!!  I think autumn is my favorite season .  I just love the colors and the crisp cool weather.  AND, as you can see,  I love taking pictures of the colors and scenery.  

Now, because I'm not easily distracted enough already, I recently acquired a fancy shmancy phone from my husband ( who didn't like it and let it sit on a shelf for the past year)  ...... AND I figured out how to take pictures with this fancy phone and ( drum roll please) .... I figured out how to post them on facebook  ALL BY MYSELF !!!  My college boys didn't even have to help !!!!

So,  anyway ..... as I said ..... I'm already easily distracted ...... and now, with this fancy phone , I  must have stopped a zillion times yesterday and today during my work day ( making physical therapy home care visits)  ..... and took pictures .....

lots of pictures of the GORGEOUS autumn scenery that I pass everyday making my rounds ........ and then I posted them on facebook !  ( and I'm sure my college boys are rolling their eyes and groaning ....... and thinking "enough already Mom!!!").

OK ..... so enough with the scenery pictures ( for now.....) .  Instead, here's a picture of a yet to be finished table runner /wall hanging (not sure yet which category it falls into)  that I started last year ...... and hope to finish this year......... :)
Well, I've piddled around enough today ...... got to get back to work!
Be back soon!
Mary Anne ( aka Mare)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Big Stitch Hand Quilting Quilt As You Go

So today I had a chance to pretend I was Aunt Bee sitting on my porch just relaxing and hand quilting and enjoying this beautiful September Sunday afternoon ( with NO HUMIDITY !!!).   This is my "Lazy Days of Summer " quilt I blogged  about in my last post back in July ( and yes, the summer FLEW by .... but technically it's still summer until Sept. 22nd right ?)  

I'm hand quilting each block separately (i.e. Quilt As You Go) ..... using Big Stitch quilting ( only because my hand stitching automatically qualifies for that technique  ...... no bazillion stitches to the inch no matter how hard I try!  So thank goodness monster stitches are now "in" !!!)
I found some very good and helpful info on "Big Stitch" (aka "Pick Stitching") quilting using perle cotton  #8 embroidery thread from 2 articles.   This article Getting to The Point- About Hand Quilting Needles  was very helpful with what needles work best.  Then I found a tutorial for the general technique of "Pick Stitching " on Mollie Flanders Makerie.   And the "Quilt As You Go"  technique of hand quilting each block first before joining the blocks I learned WAY back in the first class I took in 1986  ..... it was a class based on the original Queen of Quilt As You Go,  Georgia Bonesteel's books and method.
So,  one block partially hand quilted .....and a bunch more to go ......but this quilt is for me and I'm not going to stress about it or how long it may take to finish  ...... it's my "de - stress quilt" and I'm determined to enjoy the process !!!
Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lazy Days of Summer ...............

 I LOVE the idea of the "lazy days of summer".  It just makes me think of Aunt Bee sitting on the front porch with a glass of lemonade and doing some hand quilting , while Opie and Andy go  down to the swimming hole for a quick dip to cool off.    I think that 's what I was thinking when I started these quilt blocks  ( awhile ago !!!!).   I thoroughly enjoyed hand stitching  the 6 Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks (many summers ago).

 I decided I needed to make the quilt bigger, so I made some Honey Bee blocks ( machine stitched ) to alternate with the Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks .   The "bees" ?? ( those leaf things) I made double sided  with another smaller green plaid "leaf" in the center of each of the bigger leaves. Then I appliqued (machine stitched through all layers) the center green plaid smaller leaves , and left the larger leaf edges un attached.  (Don't ask why ..... I don't remember !!  I guess I was trying to be fancy and three dimensional !).   I only have one of those blocks finished with the "leaves" or "bees" appliqued down ....... have to finish sewing on the "leaves" or "bees" on the rest of the Honey Bee blocks ( by machine).   Then, I think I'm going to do this as a Quilt As You Go quilt .......and get this ...... I think I feel like doing hand quilting (I'm channeling my inner Aunt Bee I guess) ........ this will probably take me 50 years to hand quilt ...... BUT at least it'll be in bite size pieces !!  (and I can pick it up and do a few stitches here and there in the middle of my paperwork marathons for the day job).

Sam and Shadow , the definition of lazy .... have found the sunny spot next to and on my quilt blocks.............(you'd think I would have pressed all the blocks first before taking their picture ..... )

Anyway...... here's my original drawing /design of this quilt .......from 2006 !!!!  ......hmmmmmm, looks like I was planning on more applique on the borders and corners .......  I'll have to see how old I am when I finally get all the blocks quilted and if I have any energy left to do all that extra stuff in the borders ....  :)

P.S  I'm linking up with

Be back soon !
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Last one .... DONE !!!

FINALLY, FINALLY FINALLY finished this graduation quilt ..... from 2009.  It was the last one in a pile of quilt tops I had waiting around to be quilted and bound.  I finished 3 last summer plus a baby quilt ( a record breaker for me !! ) .... then hit a slump (that darn day job gets in my way ALL THE TIME !!)

   And this is what it looks like when it's not rolled up (and not yet quilted ).

 My Motto !!!! ( compliments of Quiltville .... found on Facebook) ....... makes me feel like I'm not the only slacker in the crowd !!   :)

Be back soon !
Mary Anne (aka Mare)