Thursday, October 31, 2013

Repurposed Pendleton Wool Knitting Caddy

My friends at the Pendleton Center for the Arts came up with this idea, as well as the vintage yard sale knitting caddy.

It's no surprise, that in a town famous for it's wool, there are more than a few knitters.  One of these knitting friends had re-purposed a knitting caddy for herself, and had a few extra yard sale finds, but decided that she'd rather knit than sew, so she handed them over to me.

A trip to the Pendleton Wool Mill led to the purchase of this beautiful fabric. It was so hard to make that first cut, but after careful measurement, I deconstructed this "dated" bag, and used it to make the new pattern to reconstruct a new one.

I wish I had taken a few more pictures.  The hardest part was taking apart the wooden frame to thread the new bag back onto.

One of the best things about these woven wool fabrics and patterns is that there is a "mirrored" image on the back.  It's 2-sided.  I decided to show this off on the other side of the bag.

Because I'm not a knitter, I decided to list this in the Art Center's gift shop.  If it sells, maybe I'll make some more!

With Christmas right around the corner, and not only the wool scraps, but some outgrown, worn out kids' blue jeans laying around, I further re-purposed these into a Christmas ornament.  I'll be making more of these to sell too.

On another note, I did finish a wonderful quilt for a special friend for my October "A Lovely Year of Finishes", but want to keep it secret until my friend receives it, which will be in a few weeks.  Since she's on the Internet, I don't want to take a chance by posting it here, but will in a week or 2.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Mom's Music Quilt

That's right!  It's Blogger's Quilt Festival Time!  If you're new to my site, welcome!  
One of my first introductions into the world of quilt bloggers was through one of Amy's link up festivals.  I'm adding 2 of my quilts to this fall's festival, which is going on now. My 2 color quilt entry is the one I recently made for my mom.

Each August, for the last 3 years, my mom flies out here to Eastern Oregon from hot muggy Dallas, TX to see us and to escape the heat.  It's becoming a tradition to take her to see snow in August.  She loves to camp and this is also an opportunity for us to camp and travel with her.  We've been to Glacier National Park, Mt Rainier, and this year, Mt Hood.

Last time I visited her, I took a good inventory of the colors and decor of her bedroom, and started scheming out a queen-sized bed quilt to make for her to send back with her to Dallas.The blue and white color scheme, by coincidence, also matches the snow and blue sky that we see every summer.

I saw a similar quilt / pattern at our local quilt show in May, and used my EQ7 program to design it.  I used my "Tri-Recs" ruler that I won last year to make the triangle blocks.

My mom's passion is music and gardening, so I found some cream batik fabric with music notes on it, and some blue botanical fabric to match her room decor.  I also added a musical "touch" to the quilting.

I used my new "go-to" method of labeling via the binding, and even added a quote to the back binding.

I had a panel of batik snowflakes in my fabric stash that matched the quilt perfectly, and used other stash and non-stash fabric to piece together the back.

She loved it!

Be sure to head over to Amy's blog to see all of the other wonderful quilts!

Blogger's Quilt Festival: We The People Crazy Quilt

That's right!  It's Blogger's Quilt Festival Time!  If you're new to my site, welcome!  

One of my first introductions into the world of quilt bloggers was through one of Amy's link up festivals.  I'm adding 2 of my quilts to this fall's festival, which is going on now.  My art quilt entry is my recently completed "We the People Crazy Quilt.  It was created out of my frustration with the recent government shut down.  The whole process was very cathartic for me, and left me with a beautiful new quilt.

As usual, when I start a new project, I like to try out or learn a new technique.  I have been wanting to try reverse applique for a while now, so I used my red and blue scraps first to make a crazy quilt of the different states in the Union.  It's art, so I ad-libbed a bit.  Our politicians are very good at doing this.  Crazy quilts are made in exactly the same fashion, and it just seemed a perfect way to "portray" our country right now... a little bit crazy, and also a little bit (OK, maybe a lot) divided into "red" and "blue" states.  I'm a little bit crazy myself right now, so it just seemed perfect.  My opinion is that a little bit of crazy can be a good thing.  From this springs creativity, ingenuity, perseverance.  Going over that fine line, though, can be a very bad thing, and I think we're pretty much right there...

Of course our colors are red white and blue, so I found some almost white batik fabric in my stash.  I've learned that tightly woven batiks hold up better to the applique process.  I traced the outline of the United States that I had printed off, enlarged and also pieced together with paper, onto the batik fabric (did you follow that?).

I then pinned the batik on top of the crazy quilt top, both facing up, and free motion quilted just outside of the traced lines.

Now came the tedious but oh-so-fun step of cutting out along the line I drew, revealing the craziness underneath.

Then came the layering of batting and a back fabric, and the quilting.  I decided to quilt "pebbles" or people in the country part, all from a nice variegated purple thread, because we're all pretty much the same when it comes down to it.  To emphasize what this country is about, and maybe to even send out a little message of my own, I quilted the words "We the People" across the top, because this country is all about We the People, not we the politicians, or we the corporations.  Stippling and a scrappy binding finished it with the exception of one last detail.

I sewed on a button, and made a 2 sided fabric postcard sign that reads "open" on one side, and "closed" on the other.During the government shut down, it remained "closed".  I'm very happy, relieved and grateful that it is now open, and hope it stays that way for a very long time.

Be sure to click over to Amy's Creative Side's Blog to see all of the other wonderful quilts!

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Few Finishes: Minecraft Pillow, Give the Dog a Bone Pillow, and Another Sea Star

I realized today, that I haven't posted a few recent smaller "finishes" that I have sewn together.  The first is a Minecraft Creeper Pillow for my boys.
I also finished August's Lucky Star BOM block, or what I have been calling, Sea Stars.  This has been a fun club, but I'm looking forward to finishing a quilt top once December is here, and being done with it. I decided that I work best all at once.  This month by month block thing is just not for me.  That may be another reason my last WIP stayed that way for years.
Finally, yes, I made the dog a pillow, using a bunch of scraps.  I've finally forgiven him for tearing up the last one LOL!

Monday, October 14, 2013


Over the week-end I was able to travel to Portland, Oregon for a family visit and to see the MQXWest quilt show!  Above is me with my Med Tech Quilt, and the sign :-).  The quilts were just stunning!  Below is a few of my personal favorites.  Enjoy!

It looks like that's all blogger will let me upload. There was many more.  This is really a great who, and I'm glad I got to go!  I also met Anya of Rainy Day Threads while I was there.  Proof that it's a small world, as she used to work with 1 of the 2 ladies I went with!