Saturday, December 11, 2010

Create a little, Create a lot...just Create...

Hi! I’m Jane from Sew Create It and I’m really honoured that Madame Samm invited me to post on Stash Manicure.   There have been such talented people before me; I hope I keep up the standard with my two cents.

I started quilting in 1994 when a friend of mine told me about a foundation paper piecing class at the LQS.  At the time I was into dress making and thought quilting seemed liked hard work.  I didn’t see the sense in cutting up little pieces, only to sew them back together... but when it was suggested I could use my scraps to make quilts, my interest was piqued.  So off I went to the class with my rumpled scraps.  I still recall the teacher’s face when she realized I hadn’t bought yardage for my project... in fact I hadn’t even bothered to iron my scraps!  The lady of the shop was less than amused!  Not being deterred at the first hurdle, I joined the other ladies and learned to paper piece.  I was overjoyed at the thought that I had found a use for my dressmaking scraps and went home with a new spring in my step.  It was not long after that class, that my interest in dress making waned and within a couple of years I had started my cotton stash and had all but given away anything that wasn’t “quilt” worthy.  And thus started my quilting journey!

For the longest time I sewed on the dining room table, but in recent years I have been fortunate enough to have a designated desk in our extension.  Of course, I still manage to spread out across that room and back into the dining room where I have 2 cupboards to store fabric and tools.

I have always been a scrap quilter... and I suspect I always will.  But I do try and keep my scraps in order and trim them down into more usable sizes so they are at the ready when inspiration strikes.

Even my coordinated quilts have a scrappy look.  

As I started my quilting journey with paper piecing and scraps I thought I’d share with you a pattern that uses both and would be ideal for Christmas.  I wrote this pattern just for you here at Stash Manicure and I promise you this is a quick enough project that there is still time to make one for this Christmas.

Click here for the PDF pattern for the Mini-Christmas Tree Runner

Many thanks to Madame Samm for inviting me to write a post for Stash Manicure.  I hope you enjoy the pattern and if you do make one up, let me know!

Merry Christmas!

Stash Manicure would also like 
 to offer another Giveaway!

Quilt Pattern from Miss Rosie's Quilt Company
her newest pattern
 Route 44 by Carrie Nelson.

Leave a comment, draw will be Monday morning...

#66 Judi, please connect with me...
and congrats.. you have won this Carrie Nelson Pattern..
I am sure you will enjoy her latest design...
( and to all those who commented...there will be more 
chances sew keep checking in) 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Snap Tape Bags

  Update: Winner was approached and it was Renee #31, from
 Sewn With Grace...congrats...her wee snap purse is on its way...
She was as excited as Joan -to send her and both
want to thank everyone for the comments, post, giveaway
and chance to win...there will be more...wink...xx

I am delighted to be asked the be a guest "poster". I start my day off with my coffee and Stash Manicure every day, so this is quite a thrill for me.

My name is Joan and I am from MooseStash Quilting. I have been stitching for over 50 years now, and have quite the "stash" built up. That would be a "moose size" stash, hence the name!  I want to extend a big round of thanks for all who have helped me work that down to a manageable size.
Today I would like to share with you, one of my favorite bags.

I just love these little bags with snap tape in them. You just pull the tops apart and they snap back into a closed position. I have rummaged thru my husbands shop and found a tape measure that was perfect for this job. You will see later on, just why.

Lets walk thru building your own bag. First you need to find an old metal tape measure. Take apart the container and remove the tape. The first one I did, I carefully hide the evidence in the trash, so my husband would not find it.  My evil quilting friend suggested that I put the cartridge back together and put it back in it's place in his shop, to just see how long it took him to find it, and what his reaction would be. Although tempting as it was, I chose my "chicken" method of just hiding the empty thing and making sure it went out to the trash!  :-)

You start with quilted fabric. I always seem to make my own, the choices on the market are OK, but never exactly what I am looking for. Cut 2 pieces, just slightly larger than you want your bag to be. If your not using a directional print as this one is, you can make one long strip and just fold in half.

Attach a piece of 2" binding folded in half  lengthwise to the front of the bag. Like the one on the top. Then you are going to press it up and over the underside of the bag, and stitch down like on the bottom. If you are going to put a pocket on one or both sides of the bag, now is the time to do so. I recommend one, at least, and I do a double row of stitching around the pocket. Keep in mind you will be folding over the top approximately 1 1/2" when deciding placement of the pockets.

Next, lay your 2 sides out on a table and mark your fold line. This needs to be about 1/2" to 3/4" more than the width of your tape measure you using. I like to chalk the line on both pieces at the same time to keep them even. Then I press them with steam to set them. Come back to your machine and stitch them down leaving the ends open.
It's time for the tape. You need to measure the width of your bag, and cut your tape 1" smaller than that measurement. It is very easy to cut this tape. I use one of those cheap pair of orange handle scissors. Warning! Once you do that, they will never cut another thing again, so make sure you find and old pair or a "dedicated to metal- from now on" pair for the project. You are going to want 2 layers of tape for each side of the bag. Round off the ends of all the tapes and stack them together. Use some kind of tape (I used painters tape) or a nice duct tape, to tape off the ends so they don't wear a hole in your finished bag, with use.
You want to push your tape into the sleeve you created for the front and back of the bag. Make sure your numbers are facing up so it snaps closed correctly. Now if you look closely at the 2 photos with the tape in it, you will notice the condition of this tape. (and trust me this was the best part of it) Really do we need to keep something that the numbers and lines are worn off ???? Especially if you are trying to take a precise measurement of anything.  Or is it just me!!!!!  :-)

Put your to pieces rights sides together and stitch them up.  Be careful when stitching close to the tape. I push them to the opposite side from where I am working, to make sure I don't hit them with a sewing machine needle. I straight stitch at 1/4" and then when I am done go around them with the serger to finish off the seams. Turn right side out and your done. How easy was that huh? I have made a bunch of different sizes. They are great to keep supplies for classes in. I can collect the book, fabrics, threads, etc. in them to take to a class. I also like big ones to stuff all my underwear in when I am traveling. It's kind of nice to have them all concealed.  With the TSA's X-ray eyes they can see them, but I can't when I open my bag! :-) 

These are doubling as Christmas bags for me this year too. I can put all the little trinkets I have collected for my friends inside and they have a new usable bag too.
Now start stitchin, it's not too late!   :-)  :-)  Stay tuned, as I have a few other quick and easy projects to share over at the MooseStash in the next few days!

I do thank you for letting me be a part of this delightful group. For those who have managed to stay with me and keep reading to the end, I have a little surprise. I will be giving this little snap bag to one lucky person.  And yes - Madame Samm gets to choose!

Start your engines, and let the begging and pleading begin!! 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Finding a little time to read a couple new quilting books...yes... a giveaway!

WINNER ANNOUNCED....if you are WENDY #132....Congratulations...
( please connect with me for address)
You will be sent your Comfort and Joy book along with a little extra something from me...

( to all those who participated... once again...return, I have many giveaways to give to YOU...) 
Ohhh and if you comment more often you will be picked from random that day for a surprise giveaway...

#132 Wendy
What a JOY to read your post! To sit in COMFORT for even an hour with nothing on my mind but reading ... fun, fun! I'd really enJOY the book COMFORT and JOY :) Thank you sew much for this chance!!

Stash Manicure is like a Candy shop, but sweeter!

Hello there, I'm Michelle from L7 Quilt Co..  MSamm asked me to be a guest blogger and I feel like a kid in a candy store!!! LOL!

My post is about 'YOU' & 'TIME', as in 'making time for you'.  I know, that you know - you have to make time for yourself.  But sometimes you have to hear (read) someone say it to be reminded of it.  In the hustle & bustle of this joyous, most wonderful time of the year...we are busy with work, family, volunteering, Christmas shopping, wrapping (and the list goes on)'s easy to forget about YOU.  Christmas is 2 (2 1/2) weeks away (no!), so if you need time, here are a few suggestions/reminders...
  1. If possible, take a work day off.  It's Christmas!  Give yourself a 'vacation' day.  If you can do it - DO IT!  Think of all the things you can cross of your list - or not.  And if you have kids in school or day know you'll have 'X' amount of hours to yourself.

  1. Can't take the whole day off?  How about 1/2 a day?  And if you have kids in day care, don't feel guilty about not picking them up early.  Heck, you pay them every week...a few hours to shop or do what you want/need is worth every penny.

  1. You only have the weekends?  Well, ask for some time...for example, see if your family/husband/kids will agree to not call on you for a set amount of time.  2 hours, 4 hours or the whole day...surely your family/friends will survive your!

***If you are taking a 'ME' day, agree with everyone you are not be called on unless there is a real emergency.  If they can't find this or that - that does not count as an emergency.  They will have to improvise or just wait until you return.  If possible...NO CELL PHONES!

You know that saying...'If momma ain't happy, nobody's happy'...IT'S TRUE!  Whether it's 2 hours or the whole day, doing something for you to bring you inner peace is important.  When you are happy/calm/relaxed, it radiates everyone around you.

It's the most wonderful time of the year...enjoy every moment!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

( oh did I forget to mention)...

Since we have some time now...why not one of these
quilting books to read?

Leave a comment you have a chance to win a copy
If you are a new follower and you let me know 
you can win a copy too...

Which one would you like to have?

Draw will take Place Friday MORNING.
that is tomorrow!

Madame Samm 
has even provided you with some previews...

With a huge thanks to 
That Patchwork Place
for being a wonderful sponsor!

#1 choice

If you want to create your own unique one of a kind Santa Village, your search is over. Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins have put together angled, sloped and unconventional houses to create your own unique village. Choose from the many patterns they have included for a one of a kind Santa’s village. "The Ice Cream Shoppe" will be a favorite, complete with cherry on top. Note the "North Pole", the "Carryout building", "Mr. and Mrs. Clause house", "An Elves bunkhouse", and a "Hat and Mitten Factory" and more. The designs are endless and this is one pattern book that will have you believing in Santa Claus all over again.

#2 choice

  • Love Christmas quilts? Mary Hickey is a master quilter, she exudes comfort and joy in every design. Take her "Christmas Weather Vane" goodness me, as a Christmas table topper this one is a must, reds, greens and whites it comes to life with star magic. Her "Peppermint Patties" is a pinwheel design, just the right sweetness as another table topper choice. Looking for a wreath design, she has it and it is called appropriately "Ribbon Wreath", this is a Christmas heirloom without a doubt. "Midnight Star" is a beautiful reminder of the season; this one can be a wall hanging or a small table topper. Whatever project you choose Mary reminds you of this wonderful holiday season that equals pure JOY.

  • Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    My Trunk Show of Fast and Scrappy Quilts

    Welcome to my Trunk Show of Scrappy Quilts

     Hey everybody! My name is Millie from Millie's Quilting. I'm so thrilled to be posting on this awesome blog. Thanks so much, Madame Samm for inviting me to show a few of my scrappy quilts. In 1990, as a newlywed I visited our local library in Sasolburg, South Africa. It just happened to be the yearly quilt show. I was awestruck by this new form of art I have never witnessed before. Before you take out your calculators to figure out my age I'll just come out and say it. I'm 44 years young.

     I started to make my very first quilt after the library quilt display and gave it to my mother. It was a Grandmother's Flower Garden  all done by hand. It took me nearly two years to finish it.

    My mom and me!
    After going through all the trouble of hand sewing and quilting, I bought my first sewing machine.

    In 1998, we moved to the U.S.A. and that was when my passion for quilting escalated. I started growing a stash, buying quilt books and magazines and a rotary cutter and rulers. This Log Cabin quilt is the first quilt I made with a rotary cutter and ruler and  this one only took me two months.

     This is where I sew all my quilts.  I got the table at a garage sale and added a few wooden cutouts and painted the table white. The furniture in my quilting room is either black or white.

     My quilting room is definitely girly.

     I have a black curtain rod on the wall for a quilt hanger. 
     I do change the quilt on the wall out every few weeks.
     I cut my stash into different widths of fabric and coordinated by 
    color in plastic containers. I am a huge fan of 1930's fabrics.

    This is my bin of 1930's fabrics. 

    Most of my scrappy quilts I make without a pattern. I saw an orange square quilt on Madame Samm's blog so I pulled out a few orange fabrics. In this quilt I have batiks, reproduction fabrics, and a few  modern and bright fabrics. In a perfect world you wouldn't mix batiks and reproductions together but I  like to break the quilting rules.
    Quilting for me is a stress reliever. For this middle block I ran out of the outside orange fabric. Instead of pulling out my hair I decided to be creative and work with it. I added an extra block of fabric which now gives the quilt character.
    I use a lot of two and a half inch strips in my quilts and 
    order them by color. This here is my blue and red strip basket.
    I made this red, white, and blue Rail Fence quilt from the strips in the basket.
    Another scrappy Rail Fence quilt made with two and a half  inch batik strips in warm fall colors.
    Another batik quilt in bright summer colors.
    I like the purple and teal colors with the yellow and oranges.

    I do love traditional quilts, but I also enjoy making modern
     liberated quilts. This is my liberated Rail Fence quilt.

    I have made so many Roman Stripe quilts as gifts.
     This one I kept for myself and I love the pink and green colors together.
    I love washed and crinkled quilts and I love how the quilts get softer with very wash.
     This is my modern side again...a liberated Roman
     Stripe quilt which is not finished yet. I think the quilt needs a border or two.

    Log Cabin quilts are another great way to use your stash. In this one I used yellow and grey fabrics. I sewed random yellow and grey strips around the white center square.

    This blue and green Log Cabin quilt is done in the traditional way  
    with light strips on one side and the dark strips on the opposite side.
    This is my liberated Log Cabin quilt.

    I absolutely enjoy quilting circles or swirls. It gives such nice movement to the quilts.

    A few modern Log Cabin blocks in blue and green.

    Now what do I do with all the left over strips?
     I absolutely enjoy making nine patch blocks. 
     This is a Nine Patch  quilt I made with 1930's fabrics.

    I love to make Chinese Coin scrappy quilts. This quilt has bright fabrics.
    Another Chinese Coin quilt I made with charm squares cut in half.

    I do keep all the leftover fabrics in a string box for my String Quilts.

    Another String Quilt.
    I enjoy making scrappy backs.  This is a pink scrappy back.
    Another pink scrappy back. As you can tell I love pink quilts.

    This is a blue and green scrappy back.

    A brown scrappy back.
    Thank you so much for the chance to show my scrappy quilts here on the wonderful blog Stash Manicure. I love to make fast and simple scrappy quilts. I am sure I may have inspired you to think about your stash in a different way and to shed some ideas on all of the possibilities...

    Happy Quilting!