Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chain Gang Clams (i.e. Chain Fused clams)

Happy summer Saturday afternoon ! We're having an on again off again thunderstormy day here at MBIAJ Too Headquarters , so it's an indoors kind of summer day . I used to LOVE indoors summer days when I was a kid .... I'd spend the day coloring, reading a good Nancy Drew book , playing Barbies, or sewing some sleezy lingerie for Barbie with my hand crank kid sewing machine. So on this rainy summer afternoon, I had the urge to :

1) work on a summer themed project
2) use up some leftover charm squares
3) keep it simple (because I'm basically lazy!)

Summer themed project , about clamshells !! That's summery ! Summer at the shore and clams on the beach ! I LOVE the look of clamshell quilts ..... but, again , WAY too lazy to make one the traditional way! So, here's what I came up with ..... "Chain Gang Clams !" or to be exact "Chain Fused Clams".

This is what I used:
1) leftover charm squares
2) light fusible web
3) roll of duck tape (or whatever you want to use for your circle pattern that fits on the charm square)
4) non stick applique pressing sheet
5) piece of base fabric (whatever size you want your quilt or project to be)

Trace the circle pattern onto the paper side of the fusible web; then draw a second circle inside that circle.

Roughly cut outside the outer drawn circle line (leave at least 1/4 - 1/2 inch all around the outside line) . Then cut away the center of the circle.

Following the instructions on the fusible web package, fuse the web circle to the wrong side of a fabric charm square.

Cut the fabric out on the outer drawn line .
Now cut the fabric circles in half.
Next, using the non stick applique pressing sheet, lay out your "clams" in whatever order you like and however many in a row you want. Overlap the clams by about 1/4" at bottom edges and fuse the bottom edges to each other.
I made two rows of five clams (in this picture they are still on the applique pressing sheet). (i.e. two fused chains of five clams)

When cooled, carefully remove your chain fused clams and fuse the first row onto your base fabric.

Stagger your second fused chain of clams and fuse , overlapping the first row of chain fused clams.
In the second row you will probably have a clam thats hanging over the edge...., fold it in half and...
......cut the excess off , then .......
.....go to the opposite end of the row and fuse it on there. You can keep going with your rows like this and make your clamshell quilt as big or small as you want. I only had a few charm squares that I wanted to use up, so my clamshell project will be small ......
...and I think I like a couple of rows of chain fused clams on either side of this piece of fabric ...... with some ric rac added. I'm planning to add batting and quilt around the top of each clam (maybe by hand for a fun summer take along project). Then , if all of that is finished before the whole thing disintegrates , I'll have to decide what to do with it . Maybe a pillow? Any other ideas?

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Testing Testing ....

Still trying to determine if that #@$&*@#* malware is GONE from this blog ..... so, IF you were able to read this blog and did NOT get a malware warning ...... I'd appreciate it if you could leave me a comment letting me know the malware warning is gone .   Thanks very much !

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Friday Night ---> Saturday Night Sew In

 Well, my  Friday Night Sew In had to stretch all the way to a "Saturday Night Sew In" .......oh well, at least there was sewing !!!!  So, what exactly was accomplished you might ask?   Well, I took that lonely little  Honeybee House block  I designed for Quilt Jane's Desperate Housewives Quilt Project and sewed it onto some white fabric, sewed ric rac around the edges, and stuck it into an embroidery hoop that I wrapped with matching black fabric (not my original idea ..... the fabric wrapped embroidery hoop I saw in the new summer issue of Stitch, Craft, Create magazine.)   Anyhow, those who know me well, know the chances of me making more of the same block and making a quilt out of it anytime in the near future are fairly slim  ..... so I feel this embroidery  hoop solution at least gives this little house block a home !

Be back soon !
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Night (or maybe Saturday sometime) Sew In !

Well, just in the nick (knick ? ) of time, it's this month's "Friday Night Sew In" hosted by Handmade by Heidi .  Oh , and look ...... it falls on Friday the 13th !!!!  Well, actually, by the time I get the rest of my work day wrapped up and sit down to sew, it'll be WAY past midnight, and therefore, my Friday the 13th Sew In will actually slide on over into a Saturday the 14th Sew In .   So, check back here at MBIAJ Headquarters on Sunday to see what, if any, progress is made on any of the kajillion half started projects around here !

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Adding to the stash

Lookie what came in the mail the other day !!!!    The ever popular summer at the shore precut fabric "Lucy's Crab Shack" by Sweetwater AND that fun newsprint fabric from Maude Asbury's "Crabtastic" fabric line .   I have a few ideas for these fabrics and can't wait to dive in (get it..... "dive in" ...... like swimming in the ocean ...... )  ANYWAY, like I was saying,  I have ants in my pants to start a project with this stuff ...... hopefully BEFORE the summer winds down and I don't feel like sewing summer stuff anymore ...... I'm very season oriented ..

There was also a quick trip to JoAnn's (well, it's never a quick trip .... it may start out as a quick trip , but then alot of getting sidetracked and browsing happens) .   So, I went in for something boring like white thread and elastic to fix my kids sagging britches , and came out with these three fun summery fabrics !!! 

 I'm thinking that dahlia fabric would make a cute summer shift (aka sleeveless summer dress ...... I'm probably dating myself calling it a "shift" ..... my mother's term from when I was a kid in the dark ages). Actually, now that I look at them,  all three of these fabrics would make cute shifts or skirts with matching babushkas (aka "head scarfs").

Well, now that I have spent my minimal free time shopping and blogging and otherwise piddling around, I need to get back to the (ever present) stack of paperwork (sigh ...... BORING)  and will have to just be satisfied to daydream about and fondle the fabric until this weekend when MAYBE I'll get organized enough to squeeze in some sewing !!!

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lazy summer afternoon.......

What a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon it is here at MBIAJ Headquarters . One of those lazy summer days where (if I didn't have anything else I was supposed to be doing i.e. that @#&*$*@# stack of never ending paperwork for the day job ) I'd love to sit on the front porch with a glass of ice tea and get lost in a good book .   I used to LOVE to do that when I was a kid.  My best pal Suzy and I would spend our summers reading every Bobbsey Twins book we could get our hands on .  Then we moved on to every single Nancy Drew book we could find.  When we weren't reading, we were riding our bikes (no helmets, no fancy dancy hand brakes) down through the woods to the crick (creek to you city folks),  or we'd be at the Valley Pool.  Ah yea ..... those were the days !  THAT was summertime !

Well, that stack of paperwork isn't going to go away matter how much I day dream and procrastinate !  Anybody got a match? ...... no , I guess burning it would be looked down upon ..... rats ......

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July !

Happy 4th of July !!!! The computer fix it guy was here at MBIAJ Headquarters yesterday and says he kicked that #$*#%&* malware to the curb !  How's THAT for some fireworks !!!! So, let the blogging begin (again) ...... cause I've missed it!

Have a happy and safe holiday !!

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)