Monday, December 20, 2010

It's time for some holiday giving...welcome to day 1

I 'll be home for Christmas with Barbra Streisand
( this one has very special meaning to me)
and she brought along
MODA Lissa, who sent this along by designer Lila Tueller
and in her sack was this jelly roll
not one you could eat...
but filled with SPIRIT nevertheless...

If you fancy it...
Be A Follower, ( on this blog)
Leave a Comment (otherwise I won't know you want it)

Santa's line was on DO not Disturb...lol
And wait till Dec. 27th, to see who won...

ps. one of these days is a BONUS day,
which means the winner could win far more than this..
I am just saying...Ü

Note: all POSTS for the next 7 days 
have been prepared over a week ago.
I really am RESTING,
although my definition is clearly different
from many lol...
I will be sewing new projects...
See you all on the 27th...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's that time again...Yes, we are "ALL" taking a Holiday , sort of....lol

HOWEVER....each DAY  till then
we will have a giveaway..
from our generous SPONSORS
ONE of these days will be a BONUS day !

That day the winner will win
a special  package of goodies..
(be e sure you are a follower, you would be 
sew disappointed if you were chosen, but did not qualify)

But which day...
NOT TELLING..nada a word lol

Sew enjoy your holiday, create memories!
There will be no guest bloggers, but there will be a video each day,
something to view and certainly put you in the mood
and a nice PHOTO in TIME for you to ponder...

We will return to our regular format on DECEMBER 27th...
As I have prepared everything in advance,
I too will take a holiday..

All the winners will be announced on December 27th...

Whatever holiday you celebrate I wish you all the warmth
of the season. Be reminded YOU all indeed matter sew much to me
and to each other which has become sew evident these
past few weeks...
You have made our guest bloggers sew welcomed
and I cherish each one of you for that...

"Whatever your wishes are, these will be my wishes for you".

Special note of appreciation, to our SPONSORS,
you certainly bring out the best in all of us...

Whitney Houston can sing it like no other...
my sentiments...
 p.s I am taking this time away to make 
some new projects, to quilt and quilt and quilt some more wink..

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In my creative mind, out comes this....

this is a sampling of some of the quilts I have created,
Madame Samm put this collection together for my Banner

Hi, I'm Carol, better known to some as mamacjt and I'm absolutely thrilled to be joining you on Stash Manicure. I've been blown away by the talent I've seen here!!!

I'm a relatively new quilter having made my very first quilt in August of 2008 because I needed a quick baby boy gift. Prior to that, I ran the gambit of passions such as crochet, knitting, beading, card making, doll making, aprons, but mainly sewing kids clothes.....specifically, little girls English smocked dresses. In fact, when our upstairs guest room became stuffed to the gills to overflowing, (with clothes for a someday granddaughter), I knew I had to find another outlet for my creativity.

So, that's when I discovered Flickr, this is my direct link to all that I have created.
and started making lap quilts:

"Under the Sea"
I loved this for the soft colors

Fruit Basket Upset
don't you just love this..you want to just eat it

Plus more, but then, mainly ones I designed myself:

"Which is Which"
this one I loved as it was simple and yet bold

Just a Little Wonky
my funky quilt, choices of color surprised me

And my crowing glory...........

Squared Insanity
my all time fav, worth the work.

That one consisted of 285 3 1/2 inch blocks which started with 1 1/4 inch strips.....needless to say, it took me awhile, but I love the result! I have another crazy idea in my head for something just as time consuming for 2011 and I'm all set with this:

The Next Project

That will be a change, because for a long time, my love of drawing and color has changed my course, and for 2010 I mainly concentrated on smaller wall hangings:

Color Play

On the Beach #2

"Two Birds Hiding"

But then I added whimsy to the mix:

"Oh Happy Day"

DQS9 Dolly Quilt Queen

"Someday my Prince will Come"

"Oh No, The Quilt Police"

Do you recognize this crazy lady?
This was once on this blog, sew I took the photo
that I knew Samm had created into a cartoon..
went from this to this...

Madame Samm

I made that for Samm since she was kind enough to fancy up my blog......(looks just like her don't you think???)

People think I must have some kind of fantastic sewing space, and tons of stash, but it's not true. I sew here:

My Sewing Studio/Kitchen

And I store most of my sewing stuff on my dining room table.....which mainly looks like a disaster, so I won't show you that......(actually, I cleaned up the kitchen for that last picture too, so don't think for a minute that I'm such a clean and organized sewer). LOL I'm as messy as the rest of you!! I buy in limited lots of 1/8 and 1/4 yards of fabric so that I have tons of different prints and colors to go to...but I buy Kona white in 6 to 10 yard lots since I use so very much of it. I even surprised myself this year and designed and published two tree skirt patterns:

The tree got a new skirt.
Win this one and....

That one is called, "Oh Joyful" and the next is called, "Julie's Funky" and it'll be very apparent in a minute when you see it:

The perfect tree skirt!
and this one too!
This is the GIVEAWAY, for these PATTERNs, would you like to WIN.
Leave a Comment Here, , Be a follower, come
and visit me, and WIN!

In fact, I'd like to give both patterns away to one lucky winner. Madame Samm will pick the lucky recipient as she normally does and will let me know so I can send it out post haste. I hope you enjoyed my little show and tell today. I'd love to come back and show you more.......
my mind is filled with lots more goodies believe me!!

Merry Christmas to all,
and to all a good morning.
Carol aka mamacjt

WINNER #15 Guilty Conscience.
and if you are TONI
please connect with me with your address
sew I can pass it onto CAROL,
you are indeed OUR winner..
YOU will love her patterns..
To everyone else...be assured
the winnings will continue...
thank you for making Carol feel sew at home!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

If I don't quilt it, nobody will want it...

Hi I'm Wanda from Exuberant Color blog.  This is the first time I have done a guest blog so I'll introduce myself.  I have been quilting for 52 years and have made hundreds of quilts.  People tell me that they can tell which ones are mine at a quilt show but I don't think I have an identifiable style, other than I LOVE COLOR!

I have a large stash.......this is the Christmas bin.  I have to laugh when the bin label says 58 qts.  Why don't they say 58 yards!!  Does anyone store quarts of anything in them?

About 12 years ago I cut lots and lots of Christmas fabric into 2" squares for my daughter and me.  You can see I still have a few left.........for someday. ( No giggling here, I know we all have these somewhere)

I did make a couple table mats a few years ago.  I kept one for myself.  I like to do crazy piecing too and sometimes use the fancy stitches on my sewing machine.  Check it out on my blog, on the 'Pages' and on the label list, both on my right sidebar.  Also under Tutorials on the Labels list there is one for assembling Christmas stockings.

For years I wanted to make a Christmas quilt and last year I finally made one. 

It used up a lot of 1.5" strips that I had cut at the same time that I cut the 2" squares.
This year I am making another one.  I am at the 'choosing border' stage on this one.  You can see I have an embroidery machine too.

While contemplating border choices I start another project (doesn't everyone?).  I had a couple orders to fill for my patchwork journal covers so I made a bunch to choose from.

I choose pieces from my 'parts bin' and then add fabrics until they are large enough to go around the little notebooks that I insert in them.  I line them and then quilt them.  There is a tutorial for these here.

I have a few tops waiting to be quilted if I run out of other things to do, LOL!!
No counting, but  if you do, please let me know how many are there?

When I am trimming my fabrics for the first piece I need for my stash boxes or a project, I do what I call a clean up cut, and I make it generous, anywhere from 1"-2".  It is always crooked of course so it goes into my 'crooked strip' projects.......

like this one and.............

this one.  I just love these.  They aren't quilted yet.  You know what happens after they are quilted don't you?  Someone wants them!  When they are just tops, they are MINE!

I'll leave you now with a photo of 2 of my bins of light fabric.  I've heard it said that no one has enough light fabrics.  Maybe they haven't visited my house yet.

Thanks Madame Samm for the invitation!

Merry Christmas!!

Editors note: from Madame Samm
Oh no REALLY, another GIVEAWAY,
no YOU shouldn't have?

 YES, and yes and yes, and here is this delightful festive book  review...

Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks, know how to hang their stockings in this delightful
seasonal pattern book. Filled with a mixture of pillows and quilts, it is no coincidence that your feet will be itching to begin one of their projects. Check your stash for bright reds and greens and then choose “Joy to the world pillow” or “To all a good night”  Christmas quilt and “The Stockings were Hung” wall hanging. Be prepared to dance and quilt through your holiday season! 

Leave a COMMENT,
Chance to WIN...

And the winner is #73 Cheryl
from myneedlecrafts..
congrats my dear and to all those who also
entered..there will be many more chances wink...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

To be or not to be a Fabric BOX? That is the question? Ü

Hi, I am Geta, a passionate quilter living in Romania.
Thank you Madame Samm for inviting me to join you all at Stash Manicure.

I want to share with you a tutorial for making fabric boxes. Do you use interfacing? For making bags, bowls? Or in clothes making?If your answer is positive, I am sure you have many leftovers, small scraps you don’t want to throw to the trash. I consider interfacing (especially the heavyweight one) as valuable as the fabrics I use in my projects. I am happy I found a way to use every bit of it !

These boxes use 5 squares of interfacing. I made the smallest with 4’’ squares, but if you have smaller scraps you can make them even smaller.The medium size box used 5’’ squares and the largest 6’’.

I have leftovers of Fast2Fuse, this is a heavyweight fusible interfacing. You can use non-fusible interfacing as well.

You can make such boxes in no time.

Here are the directions:

You need:
*5 squares of interfacing;

*5 squares of fabric for the interior of the box;
*5 squares of fabric for the exterior of the box.
I used cotton quilting fabric.
*Jeans/Denim needle #100/16.

Fuse the fabric to the two sides of interfacing. You will end up with 5 heavyweight squares.

I like sturdy boxes.

Fast2Fuse is very stiff, if your interfacing is lightweight, use more layers. You can add even batting.
  • If your interfacing is not fusible, just make a sandwich with all the layers and quilt it to hold them together; then cut out of it a square in the desired size.
  • You can pair lightweight interfacing with heavyweight fabric.
I added a few straight lines of quilting to my squares.

Lay the squares on a surface with the exterior facing up. To form the box, we have to attach the exterior squares to the central square.Attach first the left and the right squares then add the top and bottom squares.

Here is how to stitch the edges of the squares together:

Place two squares next to each other under the presser foot. Do not overlap the edges.
Join the pieces using a dense zig-zag stitch and be sure you catch both edges. Use the wider zig-zag stitch you can make with your machine.Backstitch at the beginning and ending of each seam.

Here the left and right squares are attached.

You can use a decorative thread in the needle and any thread you want in the bobbin.

Here all 4 squares are attached. This will be the exterior of the box.


This is the interior of it.

Now we have to stitch the corners. Keep the interior facing up. Fold the piece in half on the red line (the diagonal of the center square). Keep the edges aligned.

As shown, stitch the edges together using the same dense and wide zig-zag stitch.

Detail after stitching.

And here is the first corner.

Repeat and stitch the other corners.

Finish the top edges in the same manner- zig-zag over them.

The box is finished, you can add some embellishments if you want.

Variation for more decorative boxes

Instead of plain fabric squares I used pieced blocks.

You can add even label with the content of the box or maybe the name of the kids...

Making fabric boxes is addictive! I just had to make an octagonal one. You can find the templates on my blog.

I hope you will find this tutorial useful.

Happy sewing! From Geta...and look....

Editors NOTE: from Madame Samm....

How another GIVEAWAY ...
From  Martingale and Company  home of  that Patchwork Place
one of our delightful sponsors is offering this up..
...If you are going to make this box,
you may want to make yet another small project..
Leave a comment, be a follower, be a winner !
Simple as that...

Oh and here is my review of it..

Congrats #7 Leslie you won
this book. please connect with me
and I will send this out asap.
Don't despair, there are  a lot more giveaways
for all those who entered too...

Are you looking for patterns for quilted purses? Your search has ended. This book is filled with 25 easy to make totes. If you are seeking a wine bag, check it has it. A satchel with a generous bow, check. Reusable grocery bag, check again. Gym sack, Lunch bag, Baby tote, check, check, check. 

To be or not to be a Fabric BOX? That is the question? Ü

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Unorthodox Quilter... or I should come with a WARNING, do not read before you sleep.

Hi!  I'm Nan from Pots and Pins - back for another fun-filled romp at Stash Manicure...and I'm tickled to be here and hopefully this won’t be my last post but what I’m about to tell you will fly in the face of any and all Quilting Wisdom you have…so, having said that, I'll head straight down my gang-plank...Today I want to talk to you about being an Unorthodox Quilter. Those words describe me, do they describe you, too? Oh I HOPE so!

When I first learned to quilt I took a class in Minneapolis from a lovely Norwegian lady. In her sing-song voice she told me, "Yah, a hand-pieced quilt is a real quilt." After completing my hand-pieced sampler quilt, this same woman then taught me the time-honored art of hand-quilting, "Yah, a hand-quilted quilt is a real quilt."

My first real quilt was hand-pieced and hand-quilted and I was extremely proud...and I was also FOUR YEARS OLDER from the time I started it until it was finished!

Now tell me, who among you has FOUR YEARS to spend on ONE quilt?!?! There are just too many quilts to make to spend FOUR YEARS on one quilt! So I had to adapt...I had to abandon those time-honored traditions so I could make baby quilts and bed quilts and wedding quilts and "sorry quilts"...oh please, tell me you've made one of those?!?! Nothing smooths over an offended friend faster than a quilt! And once you make and give one “sorry quilt,” all of your friends will be begging you to call them idiots!

What I'm about to tell you will probably be considered blasphemous to most of you...especially to those "stitch in time saves nine" quilters out there...having said that, IF you are offended by what I'm about to say, leave me a comment telling me why and I just might make you a "sorry quilt!"…but don’t hold your breath!

Here's why I’m an Unorthodox Quilter - my top five NEW time-honored traditions/time savers are listed below...YOU are not required to do these things, you may continue to squander away precious hours and hours if you chose, all I'm saying is, I STILL have too many quilts to make and to me, the end result, the finished quilt, is the most important thing:

1. I do not pre-wash my fabric. Not even reds. Years ago most fabric had to be washed - even good fabric bled! But now, if you buy good fabric, you won't have a problem and even if you do, the color removers you can purchase at any grocery store will fix it. I live with a caveman and a boy who I swear, their only purpose on Earth is to provide me with dirty laundry so the last thing I want to do is spend more time in the laundry room!

2. I do not pin. There I said it. I feel free. Liberated. Pinless is painless - feel free to quote me. When I piece, I do not pin. When I sew on borders or binding, I do not pin. Oh okay, maybe ONE pin, like in the center of the binding, but that's it! I do have a nice supply of straight pins that I seem to drop on the floor about once a year, and that's about the only time they are used. When I think about the other times where I have used more than one pin at a time I’m either squeezing myself into a shirt that my dryer has shrunk (do you have that problem too?) or when I layer a quilt together I will use safety pins - I'm not totally nuts! But even then I use as few pins as possible.

3. I do not iron/press. Oh yeah...I'm iron-free and loving it! Seriously, I watch my quilting friends sew two-inch squares together, then stop and reach for their irons where they then press the living daylights out of the poor fabric! With each little seam they stop and press...press, press, press...and while they're pressing I'm sewing...sewing, sewing, sewing...and by the time they've sewed and pressed a half-dozen 9-patch blocks I have completed a quilt top! No lie! Okay, maybe that's a little exaggeration but here's my thinking:

     a. The back of the quilt does not need to look like the front. Once that quilt is quilted the back will NEVER be seen, so what does it matter if everything is pressed in the right direction?!? I can hear some of you screaming, “If you don’t press and press correctly then you’ll have lumps in your quilt from where the points match!” Who has ever NOT eaten gravy because it had lumps?! It’s the same with a quilt…would you refuse to wrap yourself up in one because of a little lump? I think not. I also think lumps are highly over-rated…and as someone over 50, I say that with pride…show me anyone over the age of 50 without a few lumps and I’ll show you a good plastic surgeon! But I digress…if you’re talking museum-quality quilts then by all means, press and go for lump-free…but I won’t live long enough to ever acquire the skills to put me in that league!

     b. Unless you're making a quilt that you have NO intention of washing, drying, and bringing to life, then what's the point of ironing? All that pressing gets washed and dried right out in the end...leaving you with a beautiful, crinkly-soft quilt...just like you would have if you NEVER pressed in the first place! I will put my non-pressed-crinkly-soft quilts up against ones that have been pressed to smithereens any time, anywhere...you will NOT be able to tell the difference! But my quilts will have been made in HALF the time!

4. I do not make labels for my quilts. In the past I did make labels and hand-stitched them onto the backs of my quilts. I spent a lot of time on these labels...time I could have used to shop for more fabric! And then I saw the light. Now I either sign and date my quilts with a permanent-ink pen, on the back of the quilt near the binding or what I really like to do is quilt my "label" into the quilt itself! It's hidden in plain sight! I quilt in messages that only the recipient of the quilt knows about - it's fun for me and fun for them! And really, if Picasso didn't have to paint a separate little painting to attach to the back of his masterpiece, why should I?

5. If I'm going to hang a quilt on a wall, I staple it. You read me right...staple it! A staple is no bigger than a pin - and it goes straight into the wall, it does not bend like it does on paper. Removing the quilt from the wall takes just a gentle pull - no harm done. The quilt will hang flat against the wall, making it less likely to be damaged than those that hang apart from the wall on quilt hangers, especially if in a high-traffic area, like an entry hall. And by stapling my quilts to the wall I do not have to spend time sewing on a sleeve…which I truly believe are meant to only be on shirts, sweaters and coats and worn by women over the age of 50…but that’s just me. Oh, I’m not talking about using a staple-gun, just a regular desk type stapler…trust me, your quilt will look beautiful without any fussy hardware to detract from its beauty!

There you have it, my friends, that is the definition of an unorthodox quilter! I’m not ashamed to admit it and there's not a 12-step program anywhere that can convince me I'm wrong…I’m a quilter who takes short-cuts so I’ll have time to quilt another quilt…how ‘bout you? If YOU have any short-cuts that you think I need to adopt, please let me know...the clock is ticking!

I wish you all a Merry Little Christmas…a Christmas wrapped in a quilt with or without lumps! Come visit me at Pots and Pins, that’s where I hang my thimble and spatula…it keeps me out of trouble... most days!   And to Dear Madame Samm, I remain, as always, your humble servant!

Ho-Ho-Ho!  Nan