Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bye Bye 2013


What a year!  I sewed quite a bit more than I thought, but I had a bunch of fallow months too.  
I'm still getting a handle on depression, but I feel hopeful.
I can see I focused more on smaller makes, as I only made 4 doll quilts.  But I also made a sofa caddy pincushion, tons of bee blocks, drawstring bags from two different patterns, and an apron, linen towels, an assortment of hotpads and coasters, 6 pillows, and a curtain for the front door.
 I finished ONE lap quilt!  I made my first artist trading card!  I made a tea cozy!  I made a blouse with my daughter.  It's been a pretty good year.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/lizziebird/11665148744/ 

I also got reaquainted with my camera and I've been taking a pic a day (at least!) for the last two months.  I look forward to keeping that up and taking better pictures of not only nature, but my quilting too and fabric love too.


 

Next year, I'm looking forward to sewing larger makes!  2014 will be the year to do full sized quilts and really learn quilting on a larger scale.  I've got more Zakka I'd like to sew, a few UFO's that I want to  get back to, and a bunch of blogging. I'm so thankful for everyone that has taken the time to read along here, even though I've been a bit hit or miss, to say the least.  

Here's to a great 2014!  See you on the other side :D
Hugs,
Lizzie in Sweden

Monday, December 30, 2013

Something fun for a few more days.....

http://bluenickelstudios.com/?p=6544


I've been enjoying making bee blocks for the last few months.  I think it is a gas to get someone else's chosen palette and see what I can come up with for them.  I've also been just casually following Scott Hansen over at Blue Nickel Studios for the 12 Days of Color. Well, it started casually; now I can't wait to see what he does next!

He has been making up the blocks from Auriful's Designer BOM 2013 for the last week or so.  It is amazing to see how these blocks come out with very different fabrics.  He's fearless when it comes to using large prints, smaller prints, Kona solids, and Moda Grunge with these blocks!  In fact, he's done 4 blocks for each day of the event.

Today was day 9, and there are just a few days left.  Hop on over and see what he's up to!  Not only is it amazing and educational, especially if you're thinking about doing multiple blocks, like I am for the bees, he has a giveaway going too for Aurifil Threads and assorted FQ's of fabrics.  

Details here!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Drawstring Bags

I never showed how they turned out!!  They came out great, and well received too!  The only problem is that my pictures were really blurry, even with the "real" camera.  But here's a glimpse anyway......

This was taken at about 6:30 in the morning, and still very dark out.  I used Jeni Baker's tutorial for them, and I even looked at the video she has on her post, about how to do the boxed corners.  I have to admit, it was just neat to see her "in person." A demonstration goes so much farther than words too, in showing how to make something.  I showed my elf too!  Alas, she was fretting too much about singing at the Christmas concert to help sew, but she was there for all the fabric selection, and it is on our list of sewing together projects to make a few more.



 I tried a new way to mark the fabric too, when sewing in the drawstring channel.  I have heard about a Hera marker but I never bothered to order one.  I do happen to have lots of Swedish butter knives around the house though, and I thought it would be great to give one a try.  This one came right from the drawer, and was a little worn.  It worked just fine for making marks, but I will add that some of the plastic wore off.  It didn't damage the fabric in any way, but there were little blue crumbs to be brushed away.  If I use one again, I'll be sure to use the backside of the spreader part, as that is denser and sealed.   Definitely worked in pinch, and there's no blue marker or chalk showing.  And no pen mark will show when they go out in the cold either, as could happen with Frixion pens.  Unless winter stays stalled here!

I hope you all are having a fabulous Sunday!
 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ready!

These little piles are ready to become drawstring bags when my elf gets home from school today! They will each be filled with special soap and a toothbrush and travel toothpaste. Each color way was chosen from my stash to suit the recipient. They're going to be great to take along to sleepovers!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Finally a Finish







Not perfect, but very finished, and very crinkly and nice!
Here is the Zakka quilt that has sat on the shelf forever....When I started quilting it, it just was a bear.  Balky and puckering, tucking.  Turns out the problem was not only my inexperience, but the fact that my machine was crooked where the needle sits.  So I literally couldn't sew a straight line!  It didn't really show on smaller quilts, but it sure showed up for this one.

I had the classic troubles, to narrow seams, and a stitch that was really small in some places and normal sized in others.  The machine is fixed, and I decided to just quilt this As-is, and see what happened.

Well, the sky didn't fall, and the quilt didn't fall apart too much either.  There are the puckers, but they washed into a really nice texture when I was all done, so they don't bother me a bit!  As for those too narrow seams, they don't mix well with linen.  So I had some that came loose.  I just zigzagged the stuffing out of them, around each seam where it happened.  Since the quilt is linen and the squares are fairly large, I think it fits in for the homey feeling. And now I can work on future quilts instead of being weighed down by this one on the shelf!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Plenty of happy mail

I've been getting all sorts of neat stuff in the mail this month.


Received from Carol
These are some Christmas coasters and refrigerator magnets that Carol sent me from Wisconsin.  She also made a tiny checkerboard!  These are so cheerful.  She told me the coasters are trimmed with mini-piping, a finish that I would like to try.  I can't believe all she gets done! Carol also makes the cutest thread portraits of quilters.  Really special!



And this is what I made for Carol.  I changed Ayumi's Mealtime tea towels to a Swedish Christmas towel-- God Jul!  I designed a Christmas goat applique, and a Dala Horse applique, and added God Jul (Merry Christmas!) to the bottom of the towel.  Then, I made tree coasters using a free paper pieced pattern from last Christmas (I cannot remember where I got it....) and I made some Christmas patchwork to use for the Dala Horse tree ornaments.  
These were both for the FLiRTS swap for Christmas.

I also received a wonderful Totoro mini Quilt of my own, from Camila in Brazil.  The poor guy made it all the way to me when there were still leaves on the trees, but since I had written my nickname (Lizzie) instead of my given name (Elizabeth) the package was sent back, to be remailed.
Isn't he wonderful?  



I just love everything about him, but most all the button eyes!

That is it for today!   I hope everyone is having a good time getting ready for the holidays.

Lizzie in Sweden