Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Holiday Planning Binder!

Check out my guest post and tutorial over at The Project Girl.

I absolutely love this Christmas Fabric called Holly Jolly by Jen Allyson of My Minds Eye for Riley Blake. The Gray Damask is lovely enough to use year round yet adds a touch of class to the Holidays.

Keep checking back because I will be posting more binder cover options here at The Sunflower Crafter.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Project Girl, 2011 UFO Challenge and "The Big Dig"

I'm very excited to announce that I have been chosen to be on "The Project Girl Contributor Team!!!" Starting in October you can find me (and 6 other fabulous ladies) at The Project Girl blog sharing some great projects, tips, inspiration and craftiness. Below is a sneak peak at my first project... Holly Jolly by Jen Allyson of My Minds Eye for Riley Blake.

Speaking of projects.... I finally got a start on my craft room (husband calls it the crap room). Talk about a work in progress. One of the first things I wanted to accomplish is to get my computer and printer set up in the room. This way it forces me to enter the room and work on it a little each day. I think I filled up 3 large trash bags of just trash that had accumulated in the room. Then I pulled out all the empty boxes. My first idea was to box everything up and move it out of the room to paint but I found that I was just jumbling up the room instead. So this project is being called "The Big Dig." I am digging through the stack of stuff (crap) that has accumulated in the center of the room. I am tossing stuff that I don't need, donating stuff that is usable and not feeling guilty for the years it has sat untouched.

I also finished a UFO this last month and finally got a picture of it. This is my 30's Brown and Teal lap quilt. Just in time to start the decorating for fall.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall is just around the corner...

I love the crisp fall weather, the smell of baking with fall spices and of course nightly fires in the wood stove. But this also means the Holiday season is upon us. School has started, Halloween is only weeks away, yikes! I have to have a plan in order to make it work so I am posting this plan hoping it will keep me on task. :) (I will be sharing a super sweet Holiday Planner soon)

September will be simple gifts, pot holders, cloth napkins and simple half aprons that are easy and quick to make. They make excellent last minute gifts or hostess gifts.

In October I will make full aprons, dish towels and Kitchen Aid mixer covers. (I have a special order already for one but have yet to make the pattern.)

In November I will get started on my decorations, filling in where I left off last Christmas. New stockings are in order for myself and my cousin who recently got married and has a baby due in November.

Friday, July 29, 2011

UFO Challenge: CathyO Mystery DONE

This was an interesting finish for me. I started this quilt back in 2009 when I was just starting to quilt. (Do you see where I am going with this...) I can really appreciate how far I have grown after working with this one!

Here are a few things that I have learned since this quilt:

  1. The most obvious is the color combination. I still like the fabrics and the colors but just wish I had used a white or dark chocolate to contrast the blue and green.

  2. When sewing a ton of little pieces an accurate 1/4 inch is a must.

  3. While many will tell you to only press seams to one side, again because of all the little pieces and seams, I should have pressed everything open. (I now press most of my seams open.)
    I have been trying to get all these UFO's done and out of the way so I can make new and exciting things.... I will be working on 2 more this weekend. Hopefully I will have some new pictures to share by Monday.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

UFO Challenge: Dan's Quilt DONE

I finished another UFO in May/June. Dan's quilt started as a sketch during one of my more boring classes when I was attending grad school. My classmate Dan thought I was crazy. I love the way it turned out. I love the colors, the design (super simple half square triangles) and the modern guy feel to it.
Again taking advantage of my Parent's ranch for the awesome pictures. I was getting tired of my backyard fence.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A June finish... Picnic Scraps

I'm taking full advantage of my Parent's ranch. I love my Mom's swing as a picture prop. This quilt was donated to the St. James Episcopal Church for their summer fundraiser. I love how it turned out and see many more in my future. In case you are wondering... the inspiration for the block came from Miss Print and this wonderful tutorial. I wanted the blocks to be big enough to see the design so I enlarged the blocks to 10.5 inches unfinished. So 4 single blocks across measure 40.5 inches. I used a thin muslin for a foundation so it was nice and sturdy. The center string consists of scraps that I sewed together and trimmed to 2 inches. The side white strings were cut to 1.5 inches. Then I just kept adding strings as usual to the sides. I finished this quilt in about a week.

I had debated using paper foundations but I like having the stability of the muslin foundation when I was piecing these big blocks together. I used Warm and Natural batting and had no problem free motion quilting this on my little Janome. I see a much larger version in my future for our queen sized bed. Lord knows I have plenty of scraps to use up...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bags, Bags and more Bags

I found some new bag patterns.....

The first bag is a hobo sling bag pattern that I found in a magazine. I love the simplicity of the pattern and how it whips up in no time. The second bag is a pattern by Kati Cupcake Pattern Co. called the Journey bag. This one is definately a keeper. The pattern has 2 sizes and both are easy to make. This one takes a little more time than the sling bag but is definately worth the time. I have more already cut and ready to sew....

Friday, June 3, 2011

My baby is still at the fix-it shop...

My sewing machine finally gave out on me. I sew every day for at least an hour so she gets used a lot.... She has been having issues for a while but I kept putting it off because I had deadlines to make. Well she finally stopped and gave me the hint that she can't take anymore. She siezed up and I took her to the Dr.

And since I can't be without a machine for too long. I bought a new one to piece on. That will be another post for another day....

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Some spring finishes...

Time flies when you are having fun. Spring has not shown its true self for sometime here in California and to be honest I am getting a little frustrated with it. I want cool mornings with sunshine. I want to wear shorts and flip-flops. I want to eat BBQ and fresh veggies from the garden. Instead its raining, day after day after day. On the positive side... I have not had to water my lawn or garden in weeks.

This baby quilt was sent to my Cousin Olivia in Wisconsin. She just had a baby girl named Nora. I love the look of this little Irish chain quilt. I used all pink scraps and a dark brown polka dot inner border. I backed it with some vintage pink fabric my grandmother gave me a few weeks ago. Feels good to have it done and in use already.

Friday, April 15, 2011

On the fence...

To buy EQ7 or not to buy EQ7 that is the question.

For those of you who have EQ7 (or 5-6) what is one thing that you can think of that would help sway me to purchase it. What is that one function you have found you can't live without?

For those of you who do not have EQ7, what has stopped you from purchasing it?

I design quilts by sketching them out on graph paper but have found the process a little time consuming if I want/need to change anything about the design. Which happens a lot! My designs are constantly changing or evolving. I'm an accountant by trade so the math is not a big deal to me; however, it would be nice to have it done for me for a change. ;)

Check out the fabulous Doll Quilt that was sent to me this week...

Lexis from Washington DC sent this blue beauty to me along with some thread, a yoyo maker, a fat quarter and an Odyssea charm pack!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Keeping it Real.

Just keeping it real.... Notice the stacks of projects I have to move if I want to press. This is how it looks right now in my master bedroom. Yes that's correct, I sew in my bedroom even though I have a sewing room next door. Right now I can not even walk into that room. (hanging head in shame) My dear husband has given me until May 10th to get it together and back into the sewing room. I'm not sure I have the drive to get it done.

I have been really busy with work and in my spare time, I'm trying desperately to finish this quilt. It is for a friend who recently got married. I won't see her again until June so by then it has to be done. I wasn't so sure about it but it is growing on me. I love the scrappiness of it and how the vintage fabrics actually play nice with the modern fabrics. I'm thinking another one will be on the list of charity quilts to make using any and all scrap fabrics. I can't wait to free motion big flowers in the white blocks. Now I just wish there was enough time in the day to get it all done....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Storm damage

Storm damage
Originally uploaded by melodylynn128

While I have been on a short (okay long) break from blogging.... We have been having fun cleaning up after the storms that hit Northern California this last week. This tree basically missed the backyard fence and only damaged the top of one board. We were soooo lucky. Our house however was not so lucky. The roof was leaking. Really leaking. I have contractors working on the stituation right now. I will post about that tomorrow.

Oh and yes I have been sewing. Maybe this weekend I can catch up blogging on those projects.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Funny Farm Part 3

Finally its Sunday and the weekend is almost over. My Brother, Jared and Sister-in-Law, Betsey, come to help me feed the cows in the pasture. This is the feed truck stuck in the mud. My Brother was driving not me! Betsey was not amused.

Jared walks back to the yard and starts up the backhoe. We load the last bale intended for the bull field and use the backhoe to feed.
Here is Jared hooking up the tow strap to tow the feed truck back to the barn. We got so much rain Saturday night that parts of the pasture were like soup. You can't really see it but it is raining, more like a drizzle, the whole time we are trying to feed. Not much fun...

So after this we decided to head back into town and Jared cooked us girls waffles for breakfast! Thanks Stu! (Stu is his nickname)
I have many more photos but these were the highlights of the weekend. Let's just say that I was glad that my Parents made it back Monday afternoon with their new addition "Hank" and nothing died. :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Funny Farm Part 2

Meet Toro. Yes that is the back door. He likes to look into the house and suck on the door knob...
When I head back to the Funny Farm on Saturday evening I have the usual chores of feeding the calf and dogs but also collecting the eggs. The girls were productive today and there were 9 eggs!

So back into the house to mix Toro's bottle. The new style of bottles are larger and have nifty screw on nipples. Let's just say the old style nipple is a pain to get on the bottle and you end up wearing half the bottle trying. And calfmana smells terrible! Notice the little bag of minerals in the back. Just like a human baby, calves receive so many different vitamins and trace minerals from their mother's milk. So it is very important that these vitamins and trace minerals get into the formula somehow. Mom supplements Toro's formula daily. (And yes that is the large batter bowl from Pampered Chef.... Doesn't everyone mix their calf formula in a Pampered Chef batter bowl?)
So back to Toro.... I go outside bottle in hand and call for the sweet little baby. No answer, no little clicking of his hooves on the sidewalk. I wait a few more seconds then grab a flashlight. I begin to panic and search the yard, he is no where to be found. Its really dark now.

Call again, from the distance a hear something. Darn he got out of the yard and into the front field. I think it happened when Mike came for JoJo the horse. Toro finally spots the flashlight and comes running to the gate. Poor guy he was starving and in a place he did not know.

So as I am letting him in the gate to the yard... Ginger escapes AGAIN! Really??? The dog really knows how to test me. So I feed the poor starving, wet and cold baby calf and wait for the darn dog to come back to the gate.

Fast forward to 10:30 pm, as I am laying in bed I start to here the pinging of the rain on the tin roof of the shop.... Great.

Next time my Parents are gone my Brother gets to stay here!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Funny Farm Part 1

Because this weekend seemed to go on forever... I have broke the story up into parts.

This last weekend my parents drove from Northern, California to Deer Lodge, Montana to pick up their new dog "Hank." So while they were away I stayed overnight at the ranch so the animals' schedules did not change. I must say that this was quite an experience for me. Now I grew up with cattle and dogs but Mom and Dad did not get the chickens and the horse until after we left the ranch. Its funny that the chickens are the ones that kind of freak me out. Dad has 30 egg laying hens and one large rooster in a coop that we call the palace. They have a yard and a side yard (because one yard isn't enough for all his girls).

However the chickens were the least of my worries. The first night was fine, all went as planned. I was a little cold and their bed is a little hard but okay I made it. 7:30 am and I hear my friend Toro waking up. Toro is my Mom's bottle calf that lives in the yard. He gets a bottle morning and night. But when I go outside to feed Toro I notice something out of the corner of my eye... Jojo.

The gate is wide open to the front pasture and in the yard is the horse (Jojo) and three yearling heifers. Jojo was in no mood to get caught and continued to browse the very tall green grass behind the chicken coop. 30 minutes later and phone call to the husband, who was at the pond hunting ducks, the critters are back in their field. Here they are enjoying their hay after a morning in the front yard! The little black calf in the left corner is Charlie. Charlie was a bottle calf this fall and has graduated to the front field.

Then Ginger escapes. Ginger is my Mom's yellow lab that does not listen to anyone. She jumps the fence and bugs the guys at the pond. Finally some coaxing and a couple dog treats she's back in the yard and in the kennel. Ginger is the red one in the corner. Lacey is the old white dog.

Okay this is good its 9:00 am. Wait I haven't had my coffee yet! Then our friend Mike shows up to borrow Jojo for the weekend. I tell him good luck, I haven't been able to get close to her in two days. Somehow he gets her cornered and caught. So one less critter to worry about and I go home to try and get something done....

Monday, January 31, 2011

Design Wall Monday

This is the begining of my Scrappy green Irish Chain. The squares are 2.5 and the blocks are 10.5/10 inches finished. I have 3 of the 9 rows together and on my wall. I am really enjoying this quilt. I am starting another one that will be completely scrappy for an April wedding gift. I wanted to make the green one first to make sure that I would enjoy the process and the finished quilt. I love the fact that the blocks finish at 10 in. so it makes the math super easy.
I might actually get this one done before March.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Stash Report #5

This week I have not worked on anything remotely quilt related. My work space and design wall have not been touched. In a way this is good as I have not had the chance to add anything to the stash. It is really bad that I have some major sewing related deadlines coming up. Yikes! I will have to sew every night this next week and all next weekend. This weekend I have been busy and I will tell you all about it this next week..... But until then here is my report.

Used this week: 0

Used Y-T-D: 10.86

Added this week: 0

Added Y-T-D: 30.24

Net used in 2011: -19.382

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lily the sunbathing weiner dog....

Like Judy L's Speck, Lily loves to follow the sun. Here she is with all her toys. When its not sunny you can find her burrowed between two big dog beds or snuggling with her big dog friend Sugar our yellow Lab. Lucky for Lily we live in most of the time sunny California!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday Stash #4 (one day late)

This is my first attempt at a Valentine's Day quilt. I finished it last year and it now graces my Husband's chair. It will stay there until after Valentine's Day and will be replaced with my scrappy green double Irish chain quilt. Note all the pink.... I hate pink but for some reason this quilt is OK for me. The husband and the weiner dog love it. Anyway back to the stash report...Not much sewing this week. I worked on a few projects but nothing really looks done. Good news is I have not added anything this week! Which means my numbers are the same as last week.

Used this week: 0

Used y-t-d: 10.86

Added this week: 0

Added y-t-d: 30.24

Net used for 2011: -19.382

It would be nice to be in the black sometime this year :(

Check out the blog list to see who is busted the most this year! Tiny hint... it sure isn't me!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sunday Stash #3 (a few days late)

This should be me hiding instead of Lily the weiner dog. Lily likes to sleep burrowed in between two large dog beds. When she wants to watch me sew or watch me walk about the room, she sticks her head out like this.

Anyway back to my purchases this last week:

I knew that I needed to purchase some background white-on-white for the scrappy Irish chain quilt I am making for a friends wedding gift, but ..... Yes the "but". I had to buy some valentine's day fabric too once I saw Giddy by Sandy Gervais for Moda. Once I had my hands on it, I was done. So here are my numbers for last week....

Used this week: 0.44
Used y-t-d: 10.86
Added this week: 18.379
Added y-t-d: 30.24
Net used for 2011: -19.382

The 18.379 includes 4 yards of WOW and 5 yards of muslin. Although these purchases are "legal" purchases, I feel compelled to report them so I have an accurate count of "ins & outs".

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Stash #2

So this week I dug into the stash a little bit more and cut up a bunch of greens for a scrappy green double Irish quilt. Then I finished my tree skirt started in 2009 pictured above. So the stash totals this week are:
Used this week: 7.94
Used y-t-d: 10.42
Added this week: 0
Added y-t-d: 11.86
Net used for 2011: -1.441
Maybe next week I will be in the black....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Scrappy Blue Flowers DONE

My first finish for the UFO Challenge. There are a few things I want to mention about this little quilt. First, the whole quilt is from my stash. The backing fabric was gifted to me from my Grandmother this summer. She was cleaning out her hall closets and came across a bunch of fabric. This fabric still had the original tags stapled to it from Demas' Department Store which was located in downtown Lincoln. My Grandmother managed this store when I was little. Demas' was the only place in town where you could purchase clothing, fabric, notions, shoes and many other odds and ends. I spent many hours there with my Mom and Grandmother and brings back many wonderful memories of Pete and Ellie Demas.

The next thing I want to mention is the binding (again gifted to me from my Grandmother from Demas' Dept. Store). I tried a new technique in machine stitching the binding. I attached it to the back of the quilt and then top stitched it down on the front. I like this method for quilts that will be used or washed frequently. My only regret is that I should have used a matching thread color. Oh well....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Official 2011 UFO Challenge List

Judy L has asked us to make a list and number the UFO’s 1-12, my list is located in a seperate page here on the blog. The first number picked for the month of January was number 6.

6. Blue scrappy flowers (flimsy) January

As I finish the first 12 I will work on the second list. If I finish the current month’s UFO with at least 2 weeks to spare, I will start and try to complete a second UFO from the second list. When UFO is finished I will scratch it off the list!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Stash Report #1

Lily the red weiner dog with the sad puppy dog eyes...

To help keep myself on track with not buying needless fabric... I will be reporting my weekly stash busting efforts. As you can see with this weeks report, I am not doing so well. But I did purchase the fabric with projects in mind, mainly I purchased binding fabrics and a red to finish the Roll, Roll Cotton Boll mystery by Bonnie Hunter.

Used this week: 2.48
Used year to date: 2.48
Added this week: 11.86
Added year to date: 11.86
Net used for 2011: -9.383

PS: Using the end of year sale and coupons at Joann's I saved over $62 on my $75 purchase including batting at 60% off.