Friday, February 14, 2014

X and O

Happy Valentine's Day!

This isn't usually a holiday where I decorate, but found this cute little table topper kit at Sew Lux Fabrics and thought it was fun! If you haven't been to their website, check them out. They have great sales and they are quick fulfilling orders, which come wrapped in cute brown and pink polka-dot paper and tied with ribbon!



I think it turned out pretty cute too.  The kit included a mini charm pack, background, backing and binding fabric of "Surrounded by Love" by Deb Strain for Moda. 
It's adorable fabric - bright and cheery!

It's not large - 15 x 21 - but it will look cute on a side table with the little dish I found at the grocery store.  I'm into the mini quilts lately. They are quick and easy and turn out very cute! Sorry the pictures are a bit dark. It was a gloomy day when I took the picture. 


Here is the back. Isn't it cute!? Little heart flowers.  I added two corner pockets in case I  also wanted to use it as a wall hanging.  And what's not to love about the chevron binding! 
Then some basic straight-line stitching and it was done!



Have a happy day and be sure and hug everyone you love today and everyday!
xoxo

Monday, February 3, 2014

"She Who Sews" Blog Hop!



Welcome to the "She Who Sews" Blog Hop!  Sorry for the delay in posting. I had MAJOR problems getting my post to load today! Very frustrating but it's done!
Today is my day to show you my loverly sewing accessories. 

Thank you to Madame Samm and Carla from Creatin' in the Sticks for being great cheerleaders! All of the projects so far have been wonderful!

The challenge of this blog hop was to sew something using a specific fabric series and sew items for our sewing rooms. What a great opportunity this was for me to help organize and decorate!

We used the "She Who Sews" Collection of Handmaids by Quilting Treasures.




This fabric is so fun! I only purchased a few pieces but they are all lovely. And they feel wonderful! 

I made these lovely hanging organizers.  They are from a McCall's Kwik Sew Pattern #K3900. They came in 4 sizes. I made the large, extra small and medium. I still need to make the small one. Very easy peasy pattern. I love the way they turned out!  I used 2 of the smaller panels on 2 of the bags and the flowers on the small one and the ruler fabric lines all of them and very heavyweight interfacing so they will not be floppy. I'm not really sure what I'm going to store in them, but I'm sure I'll think of something! I have a TON of stuff!




I also made this AWESOME Pins & Snips Stay Put pincushion and thread catcher! I LOVE 
it! Again I used one of the panels for the top. I almost don't want to stick pins in her!  It was designed by my wonderful Chica friend, Karen at SewMuch2Luv. You NEED to check out her awesome project bags and aprons. They are the bomb! And she's also participating in today's blog hop so be sure to go to her blog and check out her project!

 The top. I love the panels!

The thread catcher.  Nice and big. Gotta love jumbo rick-rack!



I also made this machine table rug so my scissors and seam ripper and other accessories don't slide or get banged around when I'm sewing. I love the paper dolls and the buttons fabric is so stinkin' cute! And doesn't it look cute next to my Maggie! (I call my Janome Magnolia "Maggie". My husband thinks I'm weird.)



These were very fun projects and I love the way they turned out. They are a wonderful addition to my sewing room.


If you are excited to see what the other hoppers (listed below) have made from the same fabric collection, hop on over to their blogs! Leave a comment and you'll make their day!

My Whittle Adventures (Me! I'm sew glad you stopped by!)

Thanks for visiting and Happy Quilting!

Friday, January 31, 2014

I'm Baaaack!

Hi there! Miss me?! I've been very bad about blogging as you can see. I haven't blogged since last June! Sheesh!  It's not like I didn't do anything - we traveled to Austin, Texas for a world-wide karate event, we went camping, I went to a couple of quilt shows, we worked, we played, we had fun with friends and grandkids, but life just got in the way most of the time and blogging moved to the end of the priority "need to do" list.  

Last year wasn't a very creative year for me either.  I just lost my creative mojo and couldn't get into it.  Like all of us I had a gazillion ideas for projects, bought MORE fabric and kits because I knew I was going to get to them, but it just didn't happen.  Then came Christmas and I decided to make reusable grocery bags for my sisters and mom and they turned out wonderful and were loved by all!

So....my mojo has returned and I'm having fun using up scraps, fat quarters and charm packs that I've had for a while and creating things.  My goal for 2014 is to finish up WIPs from last year (or the year before that.....) and work on kits that I've also had for quite some time.  My poor husband has been waiting for his flannel log cabin quilt since I purchased the kit in September 2012.  Don't worry honey - it's on my 2014 "Git er Done" list!  I promise!

Here are a couple of things I've worked on so far this year:

Happy Camping Quilt using Turnovers from American Jane Happy Campers fabric.  I used our pool table my design board for the layout. It's all sewn together now with a border but I can't decide on the outer boarder so it sits....And my husband wasn't too happy about me using the pool table either! Haha!



24 Dresden plates.  I love the cheerfulness of the retro-inspired fabrics, but let me tell you - by the time I was finished sewing the final one I was.over.them. I'm NOT kidding.  There are 500 blades and they were pretty boring to sew, flip, turn and iron.  Not sure what fabric I will be using in the centers, but leaning toward a variety of similar fabrics as the blades. They will make a very pretty quilt eventually.  :o)




A couple years ago I participated in a Christmas Charm Swap. I made a table runner from some of them and had the rest lying around so I sewed them into happy pinwheels. Have no idea what I'm going to do with them now! haha!



Like many other people in the quilting world I fell in love with Camille Roskelley's Swoon Quilt. I bought the pattern and promptly put it in my "to do" pile. Camille recently created mini versions of the larger versions of some of her patterns, including Swoon and Spools.  I bought both patterns and here is my mini Swoon! LOVE IT! It finishes at 8" and has the tiniest squares. By far the smallest pieces I've ever worked with, but a fairly easy pattern. I can't wait to make some more!


And here is my Mini Spools version. All made from scraps too. I LOVE THIS ONE! The spools are 3.5 x 4.5 (I think).  I am going to do a dark blue boarder and make it a bit larger but it will hang in my sewing room. Both of them need to be sandwiched and quilted yet. Will probably do a straight line quilting on the spools.  You can buy both of these patterns here.



I used this tutorial from Ruby Blue Quilting Studio for this table runner using an Odds & Ends charm pack I've had for a while.  It's a fun, easy project. When I was through with it I decided I wanted it larger to fit my 8-foot dining room table. I've ordered another charm pack and 2 mini charm packs in the same line to increase the size of the runner.




It's been a productive month so far! Check back Tuesday, February 4th to see my projects (and many others) for the "She Who Sews" blog hop!  It's sure to be exciting!




Friday, June 28, 2013

Le Tour de France


Hi beautiful people!  I am completely excited that the Tour de France will be starting tomorrow, June 29th and will continue for three weeks.  My husband and I are huge cycling fans and love every minute of the Tour.  We follow other cycling races throughout the cycling season, but this one is our favorite.  We even traveled to Solvang in 2011 to attend the Time Trial stage of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California.  It was so awesome to stand at the start line and watch the riders head out of the starting gate for the time trial. 
At the end of the race I even got autographs from Dave Zabriski and Levi Leipheimer - two of the winners of the trials that day.


 The Leader Board for 2011 Tour of California

 American George Hincapie in the start gate....

...and he's off!
The Tour de France is a multiple stage race mostly held in France, but occasionally the race stages will visit other countries nearby. The race has been held annually since 1903 except for when it was stopped for the two World Wars and this year is the 100th year of the Tour!
They ride through beautiful country in Europe and it’s great fun to see the spectators, some of which may spend weeks along a stage route to get the best view or follow the Tour for the entire three weeks. They are crazy! Some wear goofy costumes and wild wigs. We've seen Elvis, men in Speedos that have no business wearing a Speedo, clowns, and lots of super heros. It's one big party.  We would like to go to Europe one year and see it in person - its definately on our bucket list!
The race route changes each year, but usually has at least two time trials, several strenuous mountain climbs in the Pyrenees and the Alps, and the finish on the Champs-Élysėes in Paris

The Tour is a 21 day-long stage race and each day the length of the ride is about 100 or so miles and covers about 2,200 miles total. The number of teams usually varies between 20 and 22, with nine riders on each team. Not all riders finish the race. Some crash, some don't finish the days stage in the alloted amount of time, some get sick and some just can't continue at the gruelling pace they need to ride.

Climbing in the mountains!

All of the stages are timed. After finishing the days stage,  the riders' times are added to their previous stage times. The rider with the lowest combined time is the leader of the race and gets to wear the coveted yellow jersey.  And not everyone is out to win the overall classification. Some team members are riding to set the pace and to help the team leader. Some are better at the sprints and others are best at climbing the mountains.
There are other races within the race and colored jerseys awarded for them also.
For the sprinters (green jersey), the mountains classification for the climbers (red polka-dots jersey), the young rider classification for the riders under the age of 26 (white jersey), and the team classification for the fastest teams.

The first rider to cross the stage finish line wins the stage for the day, but that doesn't always mean they receive the yellow jersey.  It's VERY complicated and confusing and I have a hard time keeping track.  My husband knows all the rules and statistics and who needs to win what in order to remain in or receive the jerseys.

2012 Tour winners left to right:
Best Young Rider: American Tejay van Garderen
Best Overall:  Britian Bradley Wiggins
Best Sprinter:  Slovakian Peter Sagan
Best King of the Mountains:  Frenchman Thomas Voeckler

The leader in the first Tour de France was awarded a yellow armband. The color yellow was chosen because the magazine that created the Tour, printed its newspapers on yellow paper. The yellow jersey was added to the race in 1919  and it has since become a symbol of the
Tour de France.

On the Champs-Élysėes in Paris.
2012 winner, Bradley Wiggins from the UK

My husband is also a HUGE cyclist. He loves his bike and rides it every.single.day.  In all kinds of weather. He can’t get enough and his bike is "the other woman."   I tease him that when I go on my annual Chicas weekend with the girls, his bike sleeps on my side of the bed. :o)
Chris has participated in several of his own bicycle events/fundraisers where he's ridden 60+ miles including the Bike MS Waves to Wine and Livestrong Foundation Challenge.  And in 2010 we both rode the Tour of the Unknown Coast in Northern California.  I rode and finished the 25-mile ride and Chris rode and finished the 65-mile ride through the giant Redwoods.
It was great fun!
Tour of the Unknown Coast

Livestrong Challenge - 2012


My favorite cyclist, Fabian Cancellara of Team RadioShack, will not be participating in the Tour this year. He wanted to focus on the Swiss National Time Trial race, which he won in June for a record eighth time! I will miss cheering for him this year. He is the rider to wear the most yellow jerseys and not win the general classification overall. 
 I am not sure who I will be cheering for this year.  
There are many cyclists that I follow, but he is my favorite.
Fabian Cancellara when he rode for Team SaxoBank.
He is now riding for Team Leopard-Trek.


We usually record the Tour because they are a day ahead of us in Europe, and watch a stage or two at a time when we get a chance. I have a few hand embroidery projects ready and a couple projects I can cut while I watch the Tour.
Looking foward to see who takes it in Paris!

Happy Cycling, Sewing and Quilting!




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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hop, Skip & Jump!



I have joined my first Block-of-the-Month Quilt Along! It is a 12-month quilt program sponsored by Sew Lux Fabric.  I will receive one 12-inch block pattern per month. The series will run from June 2013 through May 2014.

The Hop, Skip & Jump BOM Quilt block kits will feature prints from the Happy-Go-Lucky collection by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. I love the colors and prints of this fabric line!
I think they are so happy and fun!

 

The twelve blocks in the series are supposed to be beginner-friendly and will be variations of the Churn Dash and Snowball blocks. Sew Lux will provide all the step-by-step instructions as well as photos, illustrations, and cutting diagrams with each month’s block pattern.

I am excited to get started.  I received a "bonus block" today via email and it's a fun Churn Dash Block in dark blue, red, white and gray.

The fabric and first block are scheduled to arrive around June 1st.
Can't wait to receive my supplies and get started!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I'm a Bag Lady!

My three awesome blogger buddies, Karen, Amy and Regena and I often pick a project and swap with each other. It's fun, we can get creative and we each get 3 completed items!

Regena was the organizer of our recent Friendship Swap and decided that we all needed to make the Reusable Grocery Bag! It's an awesome pattern from Michelle Patterns.

It's a very quick and easy bag to make.  They are designed like the plastic bags that every store in America is using. 
You can choose your own fabric and you are being "green" and fashionable at the same time!

These are the bags that I created:

 Cherries and gingham for Karen

 Doxie for Amy - who has the cutest two dachsund fur babies ever!

 and happy chickens for Regena!

These are the awesome bags I received!


They are fun, sturdy, hold a lot and make spending so much money at the grocery store
somewhat enjoyable! You don't have to use them just at the grocery store either!
I also take mine to our weekly Farmer's Market at work.
They will tote anything!

The black and white bicycle one Regena made specifically for my husband. She thought he needed a more "manly" bag of his own. Chris and I do most of the grocery shopping together and he does the majority of the cooking at our house. 
And he's an avid cyclist so the fabric is perfect.

If you would like to become a bag lady and have your very own resuable bag but don't want to make one, just hop on over to Karen's etsy store. She has them for sale and let me tell you - they are awesome, extremely well made and come in a ton of fabric choices!

Being a Bag Lady is so fun! Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's For the Birds Blog Hop!

Welcome to my blog and my day of the Birdie Blog Hop! Thank you for hosting another awesome hop Madame Samm and Mary

This is my second blog hop and I'm sure it's going to be as much fun as the April Showers Hop!

I LOVE birds!  We have a fountain in our backyard and it so enjoyable to watch the little sparrows and finch and hummingbirds come to play and splash around.  They are all very "chatty" and it's so relaxing to listen to them "talk" to each other.  Sometimes there are as many as six playing around at once. The little birdies are so sweet and innocent and I'm glad they visit!

 Here is Mr. Robin. Isn't he beautiful!

 Splish Splash!

Sorry for the blurry photos.  I took them with a zoom from my back door so I didn't scare them away!
We also have an African Gray Parrot that lives with us, however he is in NO WAY innocent!
name is Rascal and you can read about him here.

Last September we took a trip to Oregon and visited the little town of Sisters and the Stitchin' Post Quilt Shop. Every July they host the largest annual outdoor quilt show in the country.

I purchased an appliqué pattern with little Chickadees. I really didn't think I would ever actually use the pattern.  I had never done appliqué and didn't really want to learn - I just thought the little birds were cute! But when the Birdie Hop was announced I knew I was in and it was the perfect opportunity to learn something new.

I LOVE the way this little quilt turned out! It's cute and sweet - just like my backyard friends!
I have to admit that it was a bit challenging. Lots of little pieces to cut and stitch. I made a few mistakes, but actually enjoyed the process of watching the little Chickadees come to life. It was fun and I'm really happy with my little mini quilt!

Close up of the little Chickadees!
The original pattern did not have the leaves. I added them because
I thought the tree needed a touch of Spring.     I took the following pictures outside in my backyard. You can see the difference in the colors with the sun shining on the quiltie.  



I used mostly scraps that I had I my stash, but did purchase the fabric for the borders. I also created corner pockets on the back for easy hanging if I choose. I used this tutorial from Patchwork Pottery.


Thank you for visiting today! I hope you choose to follow me or come back and visit anytime!

Take a minute to check out the other awesome projects today! You won't be sorry.


http://marlarockscrafts.blogspot.com

HAPPY QUILTING, HAPPY SEWING,
HAPPY HOPPING, HAPPY SPRING!