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…  😛

I Must"ache" You a Question

What our dear Emily asked her husband when he came home from work yesterday, using the prop she whipped up for Show & Tell at last night’s Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild Meeting….

Too cute!  It was a fun meeting, we revealed the items we made from our One-Fourth Ugly Fabric Swap.  The rules: bring at least 1/4 yard of “ugly” fabric in a paper bag, grab someone else’s bag (not knowing what you’re gonna get!) and in two months time, make something for yourself utilizing the ugly fabric.  This was the fabric in the bag I grabbed:

c. 1970s brown and orange floral, an odd shaped remnant left over from someone’s handmade garment.  Not something I would buy, but not that ugly either… it could have been much worse.  I made yet another wristlet!

used some Urban Chicks, American Jane and Amy Butler to jazz it up, even stuck some “carrot” fabric from my scrap bin in there, and some linen… and lined it with my “ugly” fabric as well:

I rather like it!  Might even keep this one for myself.  Leila’s skirt she made for her daughter:

Her fabric was those candy colored elliptical shapes (also not so very ugly…)  Linda’s quilt, I only got a photo of the back.  Her ugly fabric was much bigger than a 1/4 of a yard, so she made a good sized quilt from it… and it was really not ugly!

Sherry was the first to reveal her quilt, her ugly fabric was a sunset colored batik (certainly NOT ugly), and it inspired her to create this amazing art quilt she titled “The Repentant Sinner” with the crosses of Calvaryon it.  She decided to experiment with quilting stitches from Leah’s site,

Which made her back as impressive as the front!

We had a Holiday Swap, too, we each made something to gift to another member in a seasonal or holiday theme.  The UGLY fabric I took to the meeting in September was SO ugly (I took this challenge to heart!–sorry, Lola!), that Lola had to use it as unseen lining in her Holiday Swap Pillow!

It was an older Moda fabric with a cream background and the logos of their then designers printed all over it.  Seriously, I don’t even know how it ever got into my stash in the first place!!!

Our swap made it very clear that Beauty is definitely in the Eye of the Beholder.  So my question to you is. what fabric/colors/prints/styles are ugly to you?

More pics from our meeting, including some of our Holiday Swap items here.

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.


Farewell, Summer…

So, yes, packing up my life, moving across town…to the western ‘burbs actually…but it’s not healthy to be all work and no play, right?! And, besides, I have obligations to swaps and such that I signed up for before I knew I’d be moving this autumn…

So I pulled out my fabric last night and whipped this up for my swap partner in the Good Ol’ Summertime Mini Quilt Swap:
The blues in the ocean all came from my “blue” scrap basket, and I did the free form curved piecing to give the effect of waves rolling in. I’ve loved that cabana fabric ever since I first saw it, and until now, it just sat in my stash basket ’cause I couldn’t think of a use for it. Then this swap came along…
Now, my Iowa summer bears no resemblance to this quilt whatsoever…yes, we do have beaches here and there, lakeside beaches, but I haven’t made it to one of those in years. This is how my summer “in my head” looks. dreams of being in a lounge chair on the beach with pretty, bright colored cabanas dotting the horizon. If only… Need to add a label tonight and send it off in the post tomorrow! John, your blocks are next!

You’ve Gotta Have Fri-e-nds….

I hope you read that title in the tune of the Bette Midler song that I’m borrowing it from…anyway, I have a new stitching friend, another fabulous Australian crafter, Jan, who was my partner in the F-R-I-E-N-D-S Swap. The idea was to send an item (or two or three) that represented each letter of the word “friends” to a new swap/blog/internet friend that you were matched up with. Psst….in case you couldn’t tell, I made a great match! ;->

This is what I received this week from Jan:

Lovely gift wrapping with a handmade tag on each one…(My birthday came a few days early!)

And all the lovely loot…

is for Fat Quarter Bag in green batik (made from the free Buttercup Bag pattern) and Fabric. I don’t think Jan knew how much I’ve been coveting the Emperor’s Garden “Day in the Country” fabric (the pink one) that is not available in the states, so I was elated to see a piece of that! She also included a floral fabric of the Waratah Flower that grows in the bush of New South Wales. The card she sent also had this same waratah flowers on it. Like no flower I’ve ever seen!

R is for Reading, she sent me a collection of bookmarks and a Reusable tote from the library she works for. We share a love of reading.

is for Indulgence (the chocolate!) and a Inspiration in the form of the Prints Charming bird panel (I love bird designs!) And it’s in aqua, one of my favorite colors!

E is for Easy Peasy Stitching Purse…again in the lovely A Day in the Country fabric! My little ginghers scissors will fit perfectly in there. This is going directly into my hand sewing/embroidery bag that get’s taken along everywhere!

N is for your Nose, she made a green batik tissue cozy for my new purse (above!) and sent a lovely lace trimmed soft cotton hanky. I must have commented about my sinus problems here sometime or she just has a sixth sense and knows I go nowhere without my tissues!

D is for Drink coasters made with a fun flip-flop fabric, which she told me are called jandals in New Zealand (See I even learned a few things with thise gift!) and S is for Scarf, and absolutely lovely, soft, delicious, GREEN, fun and funky scarf that its’ far too warm to enjoy right now but will be an everyday staple of my wardrobe this Winter!

See, didn’t she do well?

This is what I sent to Jan:

A Fat Quarter of Novelty Notions Fabric…Red Ric-Rac tied with a Red Ribbon…Inspiration and Ideas in an Iowa-born quilting publication (It’s published less than five miles from my house!)…Mary Engelbriet Recipe for Friendship charm pack…Extra Notions for use with her new pincushion…a Dress Form Doll Quilt…and a Sweet Slice Pincushion...
This was so much fun, and I feel I have a new long distance friend for life…

you, Jan, oh so much!

and Liberty for all…

I’ve long admired Liberty fabrics, from a distance, for I really only knew them by image and reputation. I love the Art Nouveau style prints like the thumbnail above (my favorite of the 2009 Spring collection) and of course, the iconic peacock feather design….
But until two weeks ago, I had NO IDEA how wonderfully soft, smooth, and truly fabulous they are! Katy sent me four pieces of Liberty fabrics to make her block for February of Sew Connected 2. Katy lives in England, home of Liberty, so it is a little easier for her to purcahse I’m sure. She also sent a lovely tan linen to use with the Liberty prints, and it came in the sweetest little linen gift bag (which I forgot to snap a pic of!). This is what I came up with:
I hope Katy likes her block. I certainly liked her fabrics. And thanks to Katy, I may go broke due to my newest obsession.