In from the Cold

It was ONE degree Fahrenheit when I left the house for work this morning. That is COLD. Des Moines, Iowa got 8.5 inches of snow yesterday–welcome to living in a house with a sloped driveway and a single car garage (that currently doesn’t fit a vehicle!). Not that I am complaining–we love our home and we are extremely grateful to be out of the condo! But the snow does present and extra challenge or two! 😉

I’ve been so busy this Autumn; apparently too busy to blog — though I had plenty of material I could’ve blogged about! I took a class at the University where I work, in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications; called Social Media Strategies.  I learned so much, but I am so glad to have given my final presentation last week and to be done with the class.

The Thursday before Thanksgiving the Des Moines MQG met for our holiday social. We had freezing rain (icy conditions) that evening, so many didn’t make it.  However, we had a decent sized crowd, good food and great company.  We do a holiday swap (everyone is asked to bring a grab bag item for any holiday our season of our choosing).  I made this mug rug/mini quilt from Kate Spain’s In From the Cold pattern (I downsized it to make the block smaller):

Kate Spain In from  the cold Teacup Mini by Doris

Those little sawtooth squares (half-square triangles) are like 1/2″ finished on my version!

Teacup Mini by Doris 2

On the back, I used up some orphan Flying Geese that I made while testing methods and sizes for our Fox in a Box pattern.

Teacup Mini Back

Teacup Mini back 2

The item I brought home from the swap was this wonderful organizer that Jill made using one of my favorite Christmas fabric collections from recent years:

Organizer by Jill

Organizer by Jill Inside

There were some other great handmade items, check out our post to see more of them!

Row House Creations is keeping me busy as well; working on Building Foundations Sampler blocks each week, our weekly business workday, quilts for magazine submissions, and a new pattern that we hope to introduce before too long.

I’ll be back soon with a catch-up post or two!

a Blessed Advent Season,

Doris

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…and keep it company

BLOGTOBERFEST, Day 29

Anyone who lived through the 1970s in America probably remembers the coca-cola commercial with the theme song “I’d like to buy the World a Coke, and keep it company…”, originally aired in 1971 (when I was 2, but I remember it well so it obviously stuck around for a while– here’s a refresher of the Christmas version:

I kept humming this song while I made this mug rug for Jill, in October’s Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild Swap:

Jill doesn’t drink coffee or tea, Diet Coke is her liquid of choice.  And she happens to be a big fan of foundation paper piecing.  I started by sketching the Diet Coke logo, and then free-hand, hand embroidering it:

Then I drew up the bottle, transformed it into a paper pieced foundation and got to piecing.  I tweaked it as I went, it’s not perfect, but it looks pretty good.  Then I cut into a Munki Munki coca-cola nightshirt I’ve had stuffed in my closet for a few years, and started piecing patchwork around the fussy-cut double decker bus:

The back:

Giving this to Jill was such a joy.  She made me this fabulous pillow in our last Guild swap, so I wanted to really wow her with something made especially for her.

FREE PAPER PIECING & EMBROIDERY PATTERN for the Diet Coke bottle Coming Soon!!

A quilter of many colors

I haven’t spent much time time on Pinterest lately, or Flickr… honestly I haven’t sewn much either (nursing my lower back–which went out two weeks ago, so not much sitting. period.).  But last night, I needed to create a mosaic for our upcoming Des Moines MQG Mug Rug Swap–and I was blown away by what I’ve missed seeing on flickr in the last several months!  I could have easily made this mosaic 10 x 10 squares!  And a spent a lot of time just ogling my contacts photostreams.  Some talented folk out there…

I also realized in creating this that my tastes are VERY diverse–or eclectic.  I really like traditional piecing, I really like detailed paper piecing, and I really like free pieced quilted items as well.  I’ve always had a thing for cutesy representations of houses, clotheslines, fruit, bowls of fruit, sewing tools, spools, leaves, dishes… you name it.  Any household, gardening, or architectural themes always strike my fancy.

My partner will either be very torn & confused, or very happy to have so many possible directions to go in!

So, do you know just what you like, when someone asks you?

Or do you, too, like a little bit of everything when it comes to sewing and crafting?

Ha!  It’s been so long since I posted, I had to do this twice…  😛

Swap Meet Satisfaction

This summer, I had the pleasure of getting to know and befriend Amanda Jean in person.  We sewed next to each other for three days sharing all kinds of talk about families, funny kid stories, food, sewing, being practical & frugal Midwest gals, etc.  During the course of conversation, we decided to do a swap, after I shared that I had a few unsatisfactory swaps (as in receiving nothing in return, TWICE) and therefore was a little gun-shy when it came to joining big swaps like Pillow Talk, Doll Quilt Swaps, etc. 

So, in November, I made this pillow for Amanda Jean, using Kona Stone, and some favorite scraps:

 It is an original applique design I came up with for one of Victoria’s Block Gathers.

And, then, I made her this cute little mug rug, also from my scrap bin:

 Even the binding was a scrap of leftover binding I had saved, just the right size for this little rug!

Then, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I open my mailbox to find an envelope from her, with this red & aqua LOVE wrapped in it:

That’s a cute little card she stitched up, in that bottom left photo with my mug rug…very cute gift accessory.  The pillow matches my Grandma’s bed perfectly, and looks pretty darned good with those aqua walls, too!  Thanks a million, Amanda!  You made my day-week-month!!

A very satisfactory swap, indeed.  And a friend I’m so glad to have met, truly.

hugs,
Doris