Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 FMQ Challenge Wrap Up

This shows the evidence of my 12 monthly entries into the SewCal Gal's FMQ challenge.  I learned so much over the last 12 months, and can honestly say I have new designs that come easily, and I'm working on many others.  I love playing with designs, and loved the different suggestions all the teachers had.  It was a great experience, and I'm so grateful to SewCal Gal, the teachers, and sponsors for all their effort.  I have used some of these designs to finish quilts, and plan to use others, or adapt the ideas.  I played with fabric and batting, and thread.  The following pictures show 11 practice samples and one completed quilt. 

January Leaves

February Feathers

March's loopy meander

April's Transfer stencil

May's Railroad Tracks and Double Stipple


June's Hum Purr

July's Tiles

August Jester Hats

Paula Reed's Stencil for September

October's Name

November's Swirls

And December's borders with Patsy Thompson.  

All 12 posts were originally publised in my blog, according to the month, and entered in all monthly official SewCal Gal Blog posts.  Thanks again!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

December's FMQ challenge

Last minute Mary here!! lol.  I did one of the border practices earlier in the month, but never took pictures, so I had to create another sample tonight, since I'm visiting family, and the sample is at home.  Yikes!!  Patsy Thompson's designs are wonderful, and I love her teaching style.  You can't help but relax when she talks, and then she also makes you laugh.  I hope I get to meet her one day.

I was really looking foward to doing this practice, but things got crazy, and time flew.  I learned something about myself while doing this tonight.  I already knew I'm a procrastinator, but I played.  I tried left to right and right to left.  I'm smoother going right to left, which is actually backwards of how I write.  I know my "left side" feathers are smoother than the right sides, and that does show here.  I need to do more right side stuff.  I wonder if it's connected with the "left brain/right brain"?  Today I was doing more planning, and organizing.  I wasn't in a creative mood.  I drew lines to keep me straight, but the markers didn't work well, and I had to switch to the Sewline pencil.  That helped me see the lines better, but I know I need new contac lenses.   Anyway, on to the evidence. 

I did the worms, swirls, and petals, and the curvy spined one sided feathers.  LOVE my left side feathers!! Right side?? NO.  Some of the stitching looks good, but it's not smooth.  I was rushing.  I need to really practice more.  Most of this month's projects were pajamas for Christmas, so it's been a while since I actually did FMQ.  I did enjoy the effect of the Aurifil variagated thread, in teal, pink and white.  I used a solid pink and solid teal for some rows, too (all 50wt cotton).  That was fun.  Size 14 quilting needle, unbleached muslin top and bottom, and Warm & Natural cotton batting. 


I'm looking forward to learning more, designing more, and using many of these patterns in future quilts.  This has been a wonderful experience, and I'm so glad SewCal Gal coordinated this for us.  I have grown so much this year, and learned so much.  I will be forever grateful to SewCal Gal and all the instructors for making this possible.  Thanks also to the sponsors.  The incentives you provided really helped motivate me to get this done, too.  Big Quilty HUGS!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Special Order

I had a conversation "at" my Etsy store recently.  The customer asked if I had a quilted table topper in different colors.  We discussed fabrics and colors, and I made this.  It's fun knowing I can make something that someone would love to have in their house.  I also love using my Accuquilt GO! cutter, and choosing fabrics from my collection. 

As I picked the fabrics and considered the placement, I decided to go with a planned design, rather than random, like the one the customer had seen.  I placed 3 rows of tumbler pieces on my design wall, and stepped back.  I moved two of the colors to get a better placement, and really liked it. 

Before I knew it, after chain piecing the shapes together, I had 3 rows done!  It was really fast.  After I got the rows together, I layered it with a pretty cream floral backing fabric, and Warm & Natural batting, and decided to quilt it with a medium brown thread in a Leaves and Loop design, similar to the one the custmer had seen.  It's bound and ready for its new home! 

I wish I could have gotten a better picture, but it's a little dreary today.  The colors are really pretty, very chocolaty!!  That spark of blue in the floral really adds some punch! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pillow Cases for ConKerr Cancer

Arrow Cabinets is sponsoring another drive for pillowcases to donate to ConKerr Cancer.  I've created 4 this time. 

Arrow asked for Christmas theme and ones for boys.  Here are mine. 

I thought this Christmas print was cute, with snowflakes, trees, and snowmen, ane even mugs of Hot Chocolate.  This is a Debby Mumm print. 
This bike fabric was purchased from my friends at Enright's Fabric Warehouse. 
They also had this cute holiday print. 
 The last, from my stash, is guitars. 
I'm hoping some children find comfort and healing from these.  It's such a good feeling to make something like this, and only takes a short time to complete.  If you want to make some, let me know and I'll give you good directions. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Quilter's Christmas Party for Operation Homefront

SewCal Gal is hosting a party today.  I'm linking up.  It's for military families in need, which is a wonderful cause.  We may say we support our troops, but what have you actually DONE?  I can say I've donated to Quilts of Valor, among other little things.  What about you?

If you want to donate to an excellent cause, and get a chance to win some wonderful prizes, please follow the above link to read all the details and donate.  It warms your heart to know that you are doing a little something that adds up to a great deal to those who have been helped. 

My tip for today?  Find your passion, and use that to help others.  Maybe it's quilting, like mine, or maybe something less creative.  It's the thing that gives you joy, and you would be surprised about the joy you feel when someone else benefits from your shared talent or skill.  Sing.  Bake.  Cook.  Whatever it is you love to do, do it once in a while to benefit someone else. 

I'm sewing some pillowcases today, to donate to ConKerr, so someone in a hospital will have a fun, comfy and pretty place to put their heads.  What are you doing? 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Did you know??

Did you know I make dresses, too?  I actually started sewing by making my doll's clothes, mostly Barbie stuff, when I was little.  I am very comfortable making just about anything, and can copy many designs, as long as I have some basic info, and measurements.  I usually try to find a pattern that will work for certain items, especially with curves and neck and armhole shaping.  The rest is easy.

A friend, Melissa, asked me to copy a vintage doll dress for her.  She sent the dress and the fabrics she purchased, and said the doll was a 1964 version of Mattel's Drowsy. 

Here's a picture of the dress.
This was a much-loved doll.  The dress is badly worn, with holes in the front and back, faded, and the elastic on the sleeves doesn't stretch.  I looked through my patterns for dolls that measure about 16 inches.  My friend Bernie played with some pattern drafting fabric and traced the basic shape (as we figured it, a challenge with so much damage) so I could compare sizes.  I was going to adapt an American Girl pattern, but found one closer in my old stash of Cabbage Patch Kids patterns.  I must have made a similar dress for my neice when she was a baby (and she has a baby now, lol  Where did time go?) 
A note about me:  I love the challenge of copying something.  This had a little applique, red ric-rac trim, and lace collar and around the sleeve.  I also try to improve it, if I can.  The biggest challenge on doll clothes is the size of the pieces, and the small seams and curves.  You need to be more accurate and careful on these than you do on "people" size clothes, which makes doll clothes more difficult to make.  FUN, but a challenge.  I'm always up for a good challenge.
This sleepy little baby doll is going to love her new dress!  Isn't it cute?  It's a little longer than the original and the skirt is much fuller.  I did copy the applique and red ric-rac trim. 
Here are both together. 
And the back view, with 2 snaps undone.  All inside seams are serger finished, just like I make "real" clothes. 
Do you think Miss Drowsy will love it?