Friday, March 28, 2008

Coiled Fabric Baskets-Bowls-Mats

A few weeks ago I took a
workshop from a friend on
making the fabric mats and
fabric baskets/bowls with
cotton clothesline cord and
fabric strips using our sewing
machines. It was a really fun,
no stress class. Making the
mats and baskets was really
quite easy and we had good
instructions to get us started.

First we all made a coaster to learn the technique then could decide what we wanted to do next. I made an oval mat then started on a small bowl that I finished later at home.

This is a good way to use up more of that fabric I have in my stash that is really quite ugly now. Really wonder why I thought some of it was so beautiful at the time time I purchased it!

After I got home and the next week I worked on making more of the baskets/bowls and mats. I even experimented with making one mat with an open zig-zag area in the middle. Took a little thinking but it worked out ok.

At first we had a hard time finding the clothesline cord so my sister got us some as she could find it where she lived in an area Wallmart. At the time our Wallmart stores and other discount stores did not carry it. The last time I was in our Wallmart they had it so I bought all they had to share or have on hand when I want to make more of the coiled pieces. It is back in the tool area of the store with chains and ropes not in the laundry area where I thought it would be.

Until Later....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Finished projects

I thought when I first started this blog that I would probably write something each day. It seems like my life these past few weeks has really been busy. I really don't know where all the time has gone as my house still needs a good cleaning, I haven't spent that much time in the kitchen and I really have not done that much quilting either.

I do know I have spent quite a bit of time making the 3 dimensional stars I will be using at the bed turning in April. All 8 of the stars are done now as of a couple of days ago. My dilemma now is how to use them on my table. My first idea was to hang them all from branches stuck in a vase. I am now thinking that might just be a little too much and too bulky looking. I do want my guests to be able to see each other when they are eating. Now I am leaning toward displaying them in a large bowl or on a large plate on the center of the table.

I did get better and quicker at putting them together by the time I got to the last ones. Those first ones were quite the challenge. One had to be done over as I ripped the paper trying to get it glued. Kind of glad to have them done and they are fun to look at all hanging in a row on the fireplace.

I got the last leaf appliqued on a miniature quilt I have been working on - off and on to be exact - for over 10 years. I collected purple fabrics from my friends to get started years ago and it seems like I basted and basted fabric to the hexagon forms I cut out of freezer paper before I could start putting the flowers together in groups. Each hexagon is about 1/2" across.

Each purple flower is made out of a different purple fabric, each green hexagon is a different green and each flower center is a different gold or yellow fabric. When it came time to pick out a background fabric I had a difficult time finding something that would look good with the dark and the light fabrics. I settled on the beige and like the result.

After hand piecing the center I decided it needed an appliqued border so that took more time but am glad I did it as I do like the results. As I said I worked on this quilt top for a looong time. Never felt the urge to hurry and get it done as I did enjoy the process and it was a good size as a take along project. I hope to get it basted together in the next few days and will hand quilt it since the entire top is done by had up to this point. A friend suggested the name and I really think it fits this top. It will be named "Lady in Waiting". This quilt traveled to many hospitals when my dad was a patient and also when my mother had some health problems and had to be hospitalized. I worked on it to pass the time as I visited them and waited in waiting rooms.

Until the next time...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Paper Stars

I took a photo of the two stars I have finished - only 6 more to go by April 19th. They look different from each other as I chose a different area of the fabric scan to use for the points of each star.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Paper Stars

Today I worked on making some 3-d paper stars. I got the pattern a year or so ago from the following website.

The one I am making is the Great Stellated Dodecahedron. There are a lot of points to glue but it is really pretty when all done. I scanned a piece of fabric and using Photoshop Elements, I "cut" a triangle from one section of the fabric print. I use that cut to paste it into all the sections of the star. Looks cool and like a kaleidoscope the way the pattern repeats itself.

I need to make 8 of these stars as I am going to use them as decorations for my table at our guild's China Luncheon and Bed Turning. I plan to spray paint some branches either white or navy, stick them in a vase and hang the stars on the branches as the centerpiece of my table. My plan is for all the people at the table to each take one of the stars home as a gift.

I only finished 2 today. Seems to take a while to do the cutting and pasting and now am thinking I may just make two of each design so I don't have to do so much busy work on each star.

I insert fishing line into two opposite points before I close up the star. To keep it from pulling out I tie it to a button that will hold it in the point then tie an overhand knot on the outside to keep it from slipping back inside the star. One point will have a line to hang the star from and the other I string a few beads that hang down and keep the star hanging straight.

Need to see if there is an easier way of making the stars as gluing the last few pieces is very difficult.

Will try to get some photos of the 2 stars I have finished tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fabric Postcards

I finished the postcards I have been working on today. They are fused applique and were a lot of fun to make. I machine quilted them which adds to the dimensions of each one I think.

They are to send to the people who hosted us when we visited them in California in February. I found poems on the Internet that I printed on the backs and will be sending a small easel with each one so they can be displayed if they choose.

While making the postcards I have been listening to the audio book "Anne of Green Gables" I downloaded from They have a lot of books to choose from, all in the public domain that can be listened to on line as well as downloaded to your own computer. It is very enjoyable to work and listen since I love to read this is the second best thing to do. This is a wonderful book I saw made into a made for TV movie years ago when our girls were young so decided to listen to it again and it has been a great.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lap Quilts Finished

Yesterday I finished the lap quilt I had been working on. I had about half of it machine quilted before we went on our vacation to California so just had half to quilt and then bind it.

I have really enjoyed making these lap quilts, first because they are for a good cause, second because I can use of some more of the "guilt fabric", and third because I can practice machine quilting.

I have so much fabric that I have bought in the past just sitting there in my closet and never getting used as it isn't nearly as pretty as I thought it was when I purchased it years ago. Most of my stash consists of smaller pieces of fabric as I tend to buy fat quarters. I am making the patterns quite simple on these quilts - squares and rectangles or strips. Not too much imagination but I can get them pieced faster. These are working great in the lap quilts as I do like scrappy quilts but the problem arises when I need backing. I have saved the few larger pieces for backing but have had to piece them too. Since I am machine quilting these quilts the extra seams on the back make no difference anyway.

My machine quilting skills are lacking to say the least. I decided this is something I really want to learn and be comfortable doing. I can make mistakes and have wobbly lines of quilting on the lap quilts and it doesn't matter. I told myself I could not rip any of the stitching out and do it over unless something is wrong with the tension and it wouldn't be secure. I have learned over the years I tend to be a perfectionist and sometimes that can drive me crazy so am making myself not be too particular on these projects.

This is the 4th lap quilt I have made for this project. It is a little wobbly and looks like it is not quite cut square along the side before I added the border - oh, well. The other three are pretty much alike in fabrics and patterns but I did try to quilt each of them differently. Sometimes I think I am getting the hang of machine quilting then - Bam - I really get wild with my stitching and it gets crooked or gigantic stitches.

44" x 56" ------------------------------ 36"x 36"

Both of these are 36" x 36"

I do like to use Sharon Schamber's method of putting on binding. It is quick, easy and is much more accurate. Check out the free area page on her website as well as her other pages. Her quilts are exquisite and she has won lots of awards. Check out her website

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

First Time Blogger

Today is the first day of my blog - Nebraska Views. Now to figure out what to say......

I love to quilt, flower garden and I love to take photos with my digital camera so will be posting photos of them all I suppose. I purchased the Canon Power Shot A710 digital camera last spring but am still learning to use all of the features. I do like the compactness of it even though it is not one of the really small ones that you can buy now.

On the quilting front I do a lot of miniatures and love the challenge of making the small quilts. I have a doll bed collection I am trying to make quilts for and think I have made quilts for around 31 doll beds and probably that many to go yet. Have not counted for a while. A lot of the doll beds are small, the kind that go in doll houses. I have a couple of bigger doll beds done and a couple more to go.

Right now I am machine quilting a lap quilt to be donated to a local nursing home. The quilt guild I belong to is doing that as a service project this year - will post a photo of it when I finish it. The photo below is of the last miniature quilt I finished making and is made to hang on the wall not go on a bed. It is 7" x 5 3/4" with the center flower blocks measuring 1" square and it is machine quilted. Took me a while to finish it as I wasn't satisfied with the borders - still don't think the proportions are quite right but was tired of messing with it.
I took this photo of the amaryllis that opened to bloom on Saturday. The plant is so cheery to look at setting on my kitchen island.


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