Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!!  We don’t get any trick or treaters here but I like to decorate my house with a few Halloween items anyway.

I have several Halloween wall hangings I put out each year and just finished a table runner.  2015-10-26 08.39.06Will talk about this more later but it was easy and used striped fabric, a 60 degree ruler and the pattern Triangle Frenzy Swirl by Bunnie Cleland.2015-10-31 09.13.06This is my oldest Halloween wall hanging that I made in 1990.  I remember I had to use a poly/cotton orange fabric because at that time I could not find any bright orange 100% cotton.  It is about 32” square.2015-10-31 09.13.58This 17” x 20” pattern is from the Which Witch & The Who by Leslie Beck for Fiber Mosaaics.  It is fused with a pieced border that I bought as a kit from a fabric store and finished in 1995.IMG_3247-2  I finished this wall hanging in 2008 after it sat unfinished for several years.  The center design is by Rebecca Carter in the book Two-Hour Mini Quilt Projects but I needle turned the applique instead of fusing it.  I pieced the points and the background as an example in a class I taught on piecing Mariner’s Compass blocks and didn’t finish it until much later.  Here is a detail of it below and you can read about it starting with this blog on August 28, 2008.  I usually leave it up all fall as it doesn’t scream Halloween.IMG_3248-2This is a close up of the corner quilting motif.  Maybe in a few years I will be inspired to make something else new for Halloween.

Until Later,

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mini Professional Tote With Changes

IMG_5562I started with this pattern for the Mini Professional Tote and fully intended to make it just like the designer intended……until my good friend stopped in and showed me the Professional Tote she made for her granddaughter. The Professional Tote is like the papa bear to the mam bear Mini Professional Tote.  I liked the size she made so decided to just make my bag bigger by 2” each direction.  Sounded like a good plan but wow there were a lot of pieces to adjust.  I had to double check my figures on all the pieces and luckily I didn’t cut anything wrong.IMG_5547Here are the front and back sections all finished.  I used black leather from one of the coats I purchased from Goodwill for the bottom and straps.  I figured that the leather would be easier to clean and be better for when I used the bag for travel.  Easy to wipe off and clean.  The main fabric is a denim but happens to have some stretch to it.  I liked the pattern and think it should not make any difference in how the bag holds up and wears.

Back to the coat....It dawned on me about a year ago that if I purchased inexpensive leather coats at thrift stores I could disassemble them and use the leather in a variety of ways so now every time I make a trip to our two larger towns about 1 and 1 1/2 hours away I check out the thrift stores for any new leather coats.  I make sure they are pure leather and not the look alike vinyl.  I also check to see if there are areas of the coat that have larger pieces.  Leather coats tend to be made of small pieces seamed together so I like to find men's coats that have larger areas of leather pieces. 
IMG_5549Back to the tote.....Here are the end pieces with two pockets, one made with matching fabric and one made with black mesh.  I added the pink fabric to encase the elastic at the top of the pockets.IMG_5555All finished front with a pocket in the front between the straps.IMG_5556Back of bag – a large pocket across the width of the bag with the straps stitched just to that layer.  Above it a zippered pocket.endsThe ends of the bag all finished.  I did make the mesh pocket the size to fit a water bottle.  I pinned the bag pocket and tested the size before I stitched it.  Both pockets have a pleat stitched in to make it fit the width of the bag.  That width was taken up with elastic on the top.IMG_5559Taking photos of the insides of bags is always a challenge but I forged ahead.  The bright pink rectangle is actually a zippered, padded pocket made to hold a tablet, kindle or other item that needs a little more protection.  It is stitched into the center of the bag so both sides of it could be packed with clothes if traveling or papers and other items if carrying it for work.  As you can see there is a zippered pocket against the outside wall of the bag.IMG_5560Now here is a look at the other side of the inside of the tote.  This side has a pink patchwork pocket to fit a cell phone and an elasticized pocket with a tab closer to hold other items.IMG_5561
Last photo is of the tote with the top zipper all zipped up.  I do like this bag but have to admit that it is a little heavy unloaded so might just be a bit too heavy to carry if it is packed with all my goodies.  That is probably because of my choice of fabrics.  The leather and the denim are more dense and heavier fabrics so make the bag heavier too, oh well can't do anything about it now.

I have yet to carry the bag but did enjoy finishing it up.  Not sure I will ever try to enlarge a bag with as many pieces ever again as it was a real challenge and worry if it would all fit together in the end.

Until Later,

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Nebraska State Fair 2015–Quilt Show Winners

Best of show at the 2015 Nebraska State Fair was made by Patricia Pressler of Lewellen.  Beautiful appliqued and pieced quilt that is machine quilted.IMG_2691IMG_2692Reserve Best of Show was made by Kathy Reilly of Grand Island.  The motifs were appliqued, machine embroidered, and machine quilted and so well done.IMG_2693IMG_2694Congratulations to both of these fantastic quilts and quilters.

Until Later,

Friday, October 9, 2015

My Nebraska State Fair Quilts

I know it has been a while since the state fair but I just have not had time to sit down and write a blog post about it.  I entered 4 small quilts and was very pleased to receive 4 ribbons.  Please ignore the wind blown hair but John took these photos after a long hot windy day of visiting the fair.  I really don’t like to see photos of myself as I see myself differently than the camera does!  Oh well I am what I am.

This quilt received a first place ribbon for small pieced quilt a thrill for any ribbon and a first place, even more thrilling.  I blogged about it here and here.IMG_3675IMG_3701This quilt got a second place ribbon in the group quilt category.  This was a group quilt challenge pieced by 3 friends and me and quilted by me.  It did look strange at the fair though as they hung it a quarter turn around, besides the fact that I had a sleeve at the top.  You can read about making it here and here.IMG_4856This quilt received a 4th place ribbon at the state fair.  This is the family tree quilt I made for my mother about her family.  To read about the symbolism and the making of the quilt you can read about it here.IMG_4980This final quilt won a second place ribbon in the competition miniature class but the Nebraska state Fair also has special classes that any of the competition quilts can be entered.  I was so very excited to win the best machine quilting award with a domestic machine.  This was something I had been trying to win for many years so it really means a lot to me.  IMG_5462
IMG_5452There were over 600 quilts entered this year at the Nebraska State Fair.  That is a lot of time and talent from man,y many quilters.  It was so much fun to walk the isles admiring all the different sizes, techniques, and colors of these pieces of art.  Each year the quilters in the state step up and enter their precious quilts.  I appreciate all the ribbons I got this year and in past years as I know every quilter entered their best and hoping to win a ribbon.

Until Later,


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