Saturday, June 25, 2011

Distractions aren't ALL bad.

Have you ever been in the middle of something, only to accidentally come across something fabulous, that causes you to drop whatever it was that you were in the middle of, to focus on the new fabulous thing for a bit?

Here is my distraction.

I made this block a few months ago while working on another project.

This block haunts me.

I can't stop looking at it. I kept pulling it out to look at it so often, I decided to just leave it on the ironing board.

Is it all those tiny little squares?

Is it the black?

Is it the pretty coral red in the center?

Not sure. But I can hardly wait to make more.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A little progress.

Very little, but hey, that's life.

So, now that we are done with our school year, I am focusing hard on two big projects. Remember this post?

Remember these patterns I was working on?
French Kiss

And Posies a la Mode

Did you know that I am still working on these quilts??? Did you know they aren't even technically quilts yet, because they are still in a million little pieces? Ok, so I exaggerate a bit.

So, I made this decision to finish these two quilts in time to submit to the State Fair of Texas this year. That's right. The State Fair. You know, the place where they only showcase the best of the best of thousands of entries??? Yeah. I aim high. Not, I am high, but I AIM high.

Let me just say that, no, I don't think I'll win. Wouldn't that be nice? Aw, yeah! I'm simply trying to stretch myself here. You know, you take care of little people all day and, while that's satisfying in itself, sometimes you want to do something satisfying in another realm. And let's face it, I really don't have very many hobbies. So, this is the one I turn to.

I will admit, I was taught to quilt by the best! Two ladies from our church taught several beginning quilting classes and I was hooked! We then (as a group) continued to make baby quilts for all the new babies in the church and, once in a while, someone would say, "We should have an Intermediate class!" The response from the ladies who taught us was, "This IS the Intermediate class!"

That was so true. I took that to heart. It was up to ME to continue my education in quilting. It was up to ME to seek out more challenging and difficult patterns to work on. Those ladies taught me A LOT. And now, I'm teaching myself more. Plus, I must like deadlines or something. Thus, entering the Fair.

Here is where I'm at with these quilts today.

I have finished all the little posies in Posies a la Mode. Now I need to applique the little red centers on them before I applique them onto cream background squares. The rest should go together quickly.

These were really easy!

I also finished a few more diamonds for French Kiss.

I almost had a disaster with this quilt. Somehow, I ran out of cream fabric. You know, the cream fabric that is supposed to be the same in every block? I'm using it in both quilts and I was 1 1/2 yards short! A YARD and a HALF??? How does THAT happen? The only explanation I can offer myself is that I stole it for another project. But I don't do that sort of thing. I keep all my projects separate so THAT won't happen.

Anyhow, I took a scrap of it with me to the closest quilt shop, hoping to find an exact match. No such luck. Then, I drove over half an hour away to the next closest quilt shop that was still open that day. Not even close. Every fabric was either too light, too dark, too pinkish, too grayish, too yellow. They just weren't the right shade of cream. I couldn't find anything that was even close enough. I intended to go to two other shops, but they were closed for the day.

The next morning, I went to another shop and....................SUCCESS!!! A great lady there helped me find the.exact.fabric. Not a smidge off in shade. Whew! I was beginning to think this quilt would just not make the cut for the fair if I had to start using another fabric. See, it needs to be perfect.

I bought 4 yards. I probably need to order a bolt. It really is the perfect cream.

So, I will be sewing away this weekend! I'm excited to see how much I can get done. I have just over a month to submit these quilts before the cutoff date.

Think I can do it?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Dolls are dressed better than I am..................

A while back my sweet little girl became interested in American Girl books and dolls. She may or may not have been directly influenced by her mother. Ahem.

Anyhoo, I began sewing for her in order to build her a lovely dolly wardrobe that didn't cost $87,943.98. Also, I like to sew. It has satisfied both of us.

Now, I am usually a quilter. Quilting is my thing. I don't sew clothes. I mean, I have sewn clothes, just badly. It's just not my niche. I like to practice it once in a while, so hopefully, I'll improve.

Here are some of the things I've made for my daughter's dollies. (BTW, can I just say how glad I am to have a daughter so I can also play with dollies?!)

I used the Pleasant Company patterns found at American Girl Playthings. This is a great site with a forum for dolly lovers!

Here is Kirsten Larson in her "Meet" Dress:

And here she is with her bonnet and apron. I'm still looking for an amber heart charm to make a necklace with.

Here is Kirsten in her school dress:

Kirsten's Birthday dress and apron:

Her "Summer Striper":
It's hard to tell in the photo, but the fabric is white with baby blue stripes and a fine, brown pinstripe next to the blue stripe. I like this fabric much better than the AG version.

My version of Kirsten' "Work Dress". The original dress by AG has long sleeves, but, who wants to wear long sleeves while working???
Ok, so that does it for Kirsten. Thank you, Mia, for modelling along with Kirsten. She was having a fit trying to change quickly in between dress shots.

Here are som PJ's I made up. Nellie is wearing a pink camisol that originally came with a Nicki outfit (sorry for those of you who don't know all the doll's by name!). So, I just made the bottoms to match it.
I added tiny pink rick rack to the bottom hems.

And here is Samantha, showing off her purple PJ's. I made these from a camisol of Ava's that had gotten a hole in it. I couldn't bear to throw away the cute embroidery!

Okie dokie, now for something different. Ava just loves listening to Anne of Green Gables on audio (we have the dramatized version put out by Focus on the Family--it's great! You can find it at CBD ).

So, it was only fittin' to make outfits for Anne and Dianna! Ava chose all the fabrics herself :) All the patterns are Kirsten's School Dress except for the sage green dress. It is a Vogue pattern and was much too big. I cut off several inches from the hemline. It still doesn't fit close in the bodice, though. No matter, it's still pretty!
Found that cute little copper kettle at Cracker Barrel. It was a Christmas ornament! I also got a cute little copper bowl with double handles.

With an apron (borrowed from Kirsten).
Anne's kindred spirit, Dianna:

Of course one in pink........

And, a fabric I could not resist!

And, lastly, my attempt at "puffed sleeves".

Thanks to Nellie and Samantha for standing in for Anne and Dianna. Anne is usually played by Mia with pigtail braids. Samantha plays Dianna since she is the only doll we have with dark brown hair other than Kaya. They both enjoy acting.

We are in the process of making many skirts, camisas, and rebozo's from Josefina's patterns so the dollies can put on a play. I will post pics of those hopefully within the next century!

Most of the fabric for Kirsten was found at Fat Quarter Shop. If you would like to know the name of one those fabrics, I can try to look it up, however, I bought it all three years ago and they may not carry it anymore. But, if you ask, I will try. Anne and Dianna's fabrics were found at our local JoAnn's.