Saturday, March 30, 2013

March Marches On

Can you believe that it's nearly April.  Someone needs to tell Mother Nature.  Yesterday was the first day that we haven't had some snow flurries since "Spring" started.  But this morning the birds were singing beautifully even before the sun had come up.  I for one will be glad to see March leave.

I've started sewing in the living room.  The kids can still watch their TV programs (and not be tempted to get into the many "interesting" things in the sewing room) and I can still accomplish something.  Jake has finally learned not to touch the sewing machine.  So, I've gotten a lot finished this past week.  I finished the 10 bibs that were ordered.  I just have to fuse the backing on them and get them ready to mail.  I traced off all the patterns for the quilt that was ordered.  I'm hoping to sew in the sewing room a little bit tomorrow, since we're having our Easter dinner with the kids tonight.

Dinner is pretty much under control.  The ham is is the largest crock pot, while the turkey is in the electric roaster on the back deck.  The cheesy hash brown casserole is in the medium crock pot, while the picnic beans and the stuffing are in two of the crock pots in the trio.  The crust for the Cream Puff Dessert is baked and cooling nicely.  Rod is checking his eyelids for holes, and I'm watching Pirates of the Caribbean while I type.  The kids Easter Baskets are finished.

Here's hoping you have a safe and blessed holiday.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

End of Week Summary

This week was a busy one for me, and I accomplished quite a bit.  I was able to finish all the blocks for both of the Saddle Up quilts.  Then, since the embroidery machine was all warmed up, I decided to embroider some bibs for the Etsy shop.  I have been somewhat disappointed because I have had no sales in the Etsy shop.  But surprisingly,  I received an order for a quilt from someone who had visited my Pinterest site and had seen some of my quilts there.  And I received an order for 10 bibs from a friend who had seen a post of mine on Facebook.  Funny how things happen!!!.

When I went searching for the patterns for the quilt, I realized that they were on the old laptop (or so I thought).  So, I plugged it in, and the patterns weren't there.  I have no idea where they went to, they seem to have just vanished into thin air.  The Photodraw program that I loved working with (and has been discontinued by Microsoft) was still on the old laptop, so I started from scratch, and had new patterns in no time.  Friday evening I had placed a bid on a Photodraw program that I could install on my new laptop, and won that bid on Saturday morning.  Hopefully it will run on the new laptop.  Today I traced all the pieces for the applique quilt onto WonderUnder.  I have never used it before, I always use Heat N Bond.  But I will give it a try.  So tomorrow I will start fusing those patterns.  I chose my fabrics for the quilt, and emailed the choices to the person who placed the order.  She approved them, and they are ordered.  I work on the fusing in the sewing room because I don't want the iron here in the living room when the kids are here.  But I can use the embroidery machine in the living room, so I can work on the bibs this week.

We're expecting a winter storm tonight into tomorrow.  It's always nice to sit here in the warm house and watch it snow outside. Hope you had a great weekend.  Stay warm this week.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Horses are Finished

I have finished all the horses.  Over the weekend, I will prepare everything to put the quilt top together.  Here are a few of my favorites:



Tennessee Walker

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Saddle Up Time Again

Those of you who follow me know that each year I make quilts for a raffle at the Saddle Up Trail Ride for St. Jude's Childrens Research Hospital.  This ride is sponsored by Kristin's father-in-law, and has become a family event.  With the uncertainty of my upcoming surgery, I have decided to concentrate on just two quilts this year.  If I have time and am able, I will probably try to do more but for now two is the plan.  I like to make quilts that I know will appeal to the riders, and this year I have decided to do machine embroidered blocks.

The first quilt is a horse head quilt.  This is the appaloosa that I stitched out this morning.  These designs were purchased from Dakota Collectibles, an embroidery site that I had not seen before.  There will be 12 different horses that I have chosen, and I have decided to set them in a block from Quilter's Cache.

The block I have chosen is entitled Austin. This was a photo of a sample posted on the Quilter's Cache site, and I loved the look of the center block. My plan is to use my horse blocks in the center.  I will use red bandana fabric for the points of the star (where she has placed the peach), dark blue bandana fabric for the corner squares, and white where this quilter has the white triangles. Both equine and patriotic quilts are always popular, and this quilt will be both.

I also want to do a "kid's quilt" and have chosen to do 12 blocks using Wild Wild West designs from designs byJuJu. This is one of my favorite embroidery sites, and if you've never looked at any of her designs, you should take a few minute to do so.

I decided to use another block from Quilter's Cache, this one entitled The Dandy Quilt.  I saw this block that is posted on this site, and liked the way it looked in the top.  Again, I will use my little kid blocks for the centers, and I think I may use yellow bandana fabric for the star points and kelly green bandana fabric for the outside that is bright blue in this top.

So, for the next few weeks, I will be working with the embroidery machine on the quilts for the Saddle Up.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Please Check It Out

I've opened my new Etsy shop, named Linda B's Crafts.  Please stop by to see what new items are added.

Happy Birthday, Kris

36 years ago, my life changed - I grew up really fast.  36 years ago I gave birth to a baby girl 8 weeks prematurely.  The delivery room staff took her away immediately, and I was told that she was being transferred to Magee Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh.  I didn't get to hold her, and I didn't get to see her until the ambulance staff brought her into my room.  She was dressed in a little silver "space suit" and her entire face was covered with the ventilator mask.  We named her quickly, I felt she had to have a name before she left.  Reality slapped me in the face that day as I faced the possibility that my baby girl might not come home.  But she did come home 13 days later.  From the time she was in grade school, she told us she wanted to become an animal doctor.  And, she worked tirelessly toward that end.  In high school, she earned her Girl Scout award  and designed and printed coloring books for children who were new puppy owners.  It is still used today at the clinic where she works.  She did wilderness camping, and made trips to Canada as part of the Canoe Trails organization.  And in preparation for applying to veterinary schools, she began working at Kaufman's Kennel. She graduated top in her high school class.  While in college, she moved into Dr. Kaufman's clinic and began working as a veterinary technician.   She graduated from college with highest honors, and was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine on her first application.

While at Penn, she visited the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia weekly with her Newfoundland, Jesse. Here they are in the Halloween costumes I made for them to wear on one of their visits.  Jesse doesn't look thrilled.  She worked with a mobile veterinary  program that spayed and neutered animals on Native American reservations. Veterinary school was difficult, as was being away from home. Many times had we said we're coming to get you, I think she would have left.  But as much as we wanted to protect her, we had to stay away.  She graduated with high honors.

Like a precious gem, Kris has had many facets.  She manages to balance her hours at work with her love of her family.  She spends much of her day off at the YMCA with her kids (at ages 5 and 2, they both can swim). In her life, she went comfortably from her camping clothes to a beautiful gown.  She will leave her job and stop to care for an elderly woman's cats before coming home to her kids.  And she does it all with ease and grace.  I have always admired her determination.  She has faced all the obstacles in her way head on and didn't quit until she had achieved her goals.

 Happy Birthday, Kristin.  You will always be one of my heroes.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

First Photos

Last week I promised photos of the neck wallets I'm making. And here they are. . . This is the Minnie Mouse wallet.  Each wallet comes with a coordinating, four layer, double stitched lanyard with a swivel lobster hook. The wallet has a d-ring to attach to the lanyard.  The front side features a large pocket suitable for your cell phone or paper currency and a zipper pocket for keeping small valuables hidden.  A Velcro flap covers these two pockets.  In addition, there is a clear vinyl pocket for holding your ID or business cards.  The reverse side has a pocket for a notepad or grocery list, and two smaller pockets for keeping a pen and a chap stick handy. The largest pocket on the reverse side will also hold an I Phone.

I'm working on some with Disney themes that are perfect for visiting my favorite Mouse, but will also offer some in bright, beautiful non-themed fabrics.  This one makes me dream of warmer weather.  Once the store is opened, these will be available at a cost of $33.50, with free priority mail shipping.

And now, I'm off to sew.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Problem Solved

Yesterday I posted about needing a faster method of cutting my wallets.  Cindy  suggested that I use freezer paper and iron it on to cut the pieces.  I wanted to cut out 4 or so at a time, so I wasn't sure that this was the answer.  I had a roll of horsehair interfacing that I bought for a particular purse.  It is a stiff interfacing, is translucent, and easy to pin.  So this morning I traced my pattern off onto the horsehair and cut it out.  I was able to stack the fabric for 4 wallets, use long pins to pin the pattern onto the fabric, and cut them out with my good scissors.  It took no time at all and I had 4 wallets ready to sew.  Using the pins kept the fabrics from shifting, and I didn't have to have a hot iron at hand when Jake was here.  The cost of the interfacing that I linked is considerably higher than what I bought, and I'm planning on using the interfacing instead of batting in the wallets.  I think the batting will be too bulky, and yet the ones I have made previously seemed like they needed a little stiffening.

I tried rubber stamping some of my labels yesterday, and it was a disaster.  You can't really read the shop name when they are printed, and they just don't look professional.  So I searched on and found these labels.  The company selling the is TagsToGo. I followed the directions for ordering them, and placed my order.  I received an email back last night that they will have my proofs ready to review by the weekend, and will print my order after I have approved the design.  I ordered cream labels with black ink and a small bee on the label.  I can't wait to see the finished product.  I think I'm finally getting all my ducks in a row.