22 April 2009

Project #3 - Raising the Jeweled Barn

This is one of the first quilt patterns I started when I learned to use my sewing machine. Using these small blocks as my center (traditionally the "fireplace") I worked different jewel-toned fabrics in an assortment of colors.

I have been working on the log cabins for the last several weeks, sewing a
few at a time. Tonight I finished last batch and laid them out on the floor in the "Barn Raising" layout.

My next step will be to sew the rows together and then pick the fabrics for the borders and backing... but at least the top is done!!

19 April 2009

Community Photo Challenge - The Great Outdoors

Here's my entry for the Community Photo Challenge.

Having just come back from a week in South Florida and a trip through the Everglades, I had a lot of photos to chose from, but I liked this one the best.

It makes me think of the hidden treasures that lie within
the cypress knees and dense foliage.

Of course, beware of alligators!

Project #2 - Block of the Month - Hopscotch, Part 1

So a while back, I bought a complete BOM (Block of the Month) collection from Nicole at Sister's Choice Quilts. I figured it would be a good way to learn quilting patterns and have most of the complicated cutting work done for me.

There are 10 patterns and then the finishing parts to do. About every 4 - 5 days, in between other projects, I'll make a block.

Today I finished my 5th block, so I am halfway done with the block portion of the quilt. Here's a collection of the 5 I have done so far:

14 April 2009

In Purse-uit of Happiness

I love purses... especially totes. I had to run to the fabric store to pick up some supplies, etc, and I saw these fun fabrics and a neat little pattern for a tote bag.

So, I took some free time and put this little bag together. It actually looks pretty sturdy. I can't wait to use it this summer.

I also bought the fabric for another one of my projects, but more on that later.... for now, I am just going to enjoy my new purse....

12 April 2009

Project #1 - Chrysanthemum, Going in Circles, Part 1

So, soon after I made my first bear, I was talking to one of my colleagues who is an avid sewer and makes a lot of her own clothes. I talked to her about thinking about making a quilt, and she recommended I go to one of her favorite fabric stores, Sew What?

Around that time, I had been reading how something called a "jelly roll" was a good way for beginners to start because there were many patterns and designs that could be made by simple straight stitching. And, jelly rolls provided matching, pre-cut fabrics which could be worked together.

So, one afternoon, I tentatively walked into the store and asked if they had any jelly rolls. "Of course!" said the store clerk and led me into the store corner where the rolls are displayed. I was immediately drawn to this fabric roll which is basically rows of flowers going from yellow to orange to red back to green and then yellow.

I started a simple middle "flower" while playing with a hexagon pattern I found.
As you can see, I was still learning how to sew straight at the time. Then it was just a matter of going around, and around and around. As I kept going, I found out how to keep my lines straight. I worked on not pulling and stretching the fabric. I also learned how I should have thought out the colors a little better, but I think it still has an interesting effect.

I have a few more rows to go before I start thinking about a border and a backing. Then comes the challenge of learning how finish and bind my quilt, and then the fun process of actually quilting the fabric. Will let you know how things progress!

09 April 2009

A New Distraction

I haven't had a lot of time for the photo challenges over the last several weeks. Then, just a few weeks ago, I bought a sewing machine. I had wanted one for a while just because it would make hemming and fixing clothing just a little easier. This time, I had just received some new scrubs for work that needed to be altered more extensively than I could do well by hand. So I bought one.

It's a nice beginner's machine. Very simple, and it's easy to use. I imagined just making a lot of straight lines. Of course, once I got started I found I was finding more and more projects to sew. Then came the trip to the fabric store because I "needed some thread."

While there, I remembered a book I had bought that showed how to make teddy bears (which I love.) Well, then I thought I had to buy just a "little fabric" to attempt to make a bear. I bought a few inexpensi
ve remnants and here is my first bear.That night I was looking at the beautiful quilt my friend's mother made for me when I graduated from medical school. Then I was thinking to the Amish quilts I had seen on a recent trip to Pennsylvania, and I began to wonder how hard it would be to make a quilt. I started looking at websites, looked at patterns, and thought, "I can do that!"

So now here I am, several fabric trips and book buying ventures later, with several projects in the works. Here is my growing work pile. I will post progress on various projects as I go along. I would love to hear your comments and suggestions, plus I will be adding some of the various sewing sites I have found while surfing the web for my new hobby.