Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Let's Make A Deal!

I took all kinds of great pictures of a Boo Tote, Huffle Duffel, glasses cases and a key fob I made for Shelly.  Of course, that was pre-crash ... and the pix are gone forever.  Don't get me started.  Shelly was kind enough to shoot some pix of the items and sent them to me. 

I just HAD to make her some things from the Iowa Hawkeye Breast Cancer awareness fabric.  I HAD to!  :)  Not wanting to get into the whole "rule-breaking" thing again, we made a deal instead.  VERY fun!  You saw the Summi-sized Huffle Duffel at this link - remember?  I was happy to hear that when Shelly shot her pix, the Summi-sized HD was out in the car in use!  :)  Music to my ears!  Here are the rest of the items!

A Boo Tote, glasses case (I made two; she shared the other!), and a little key fob for fun.  Shelly, I thoroughly enjoyed working with those fabs and hope you continue to enjoy the items!  Thank you for sharing the photos with me!!!

In exchange, Shelly sent me a gift certificate to one of my most favorite on-line quilt shops!  MANY, many thanks!  I made the most of it.  :)  I bought some of this, to coordinate with some like-minded fabs I have on hand:

The color is a bit off, but it's fun and kicky!  And pink.  :)

I also got a couple more serious, almost "dressy" prints:

I had been looking at them for months.  And now they're mine.  :)  I have no idea what I'm doing with them, but I love them.  For now, gazing upon them is enough.

I also bought a cool novety print of Union Pacific things.  My Quality Control Expert really liked it.  

Care for a look without his snooter in the way?  Check it out:

Isn't that great?  I can't wait to play with it!

Thanks for a great "deal", Shelly!  And thank YOU for reading!

The Kapp Pack Mom's Deeve Bag

Remember this Deeve Bag?  It got to go to Aruba, where it's sunny and warm.

The Kapp Pack Mom and the Deeve Bag.  In Aruba.  Where it's sunny and warm.

Thanks for modeling your bag for us!  Great job - what a beautiful picture!!

Kellie's HTP! Bag

I posted a while ago on Bags by KZK that Santa had contacted me about making a Hold the Phone! Bag for a special young lady.  I'm pleased to report that not only was it a hit, but I've got pictures!  

Before I post them, let me say that I always knew there had to be something trickier than getting a Siberian Husky to pose with a HTP! Bag hanging from his or her snooter.  And now I know what that is.  Same trick, only with a horse.  Ha ha ha!  Please give a warm welcome to  Kellie, her new Hold the Phone! Bag, and Logan... the rather Siberian-esque horse.  :)

I think Logan has perfected the art of looking away from the camera.  :)  My eldest Sibe (Stormy) has taught classes over the internet to that effect.  I think she'd give Logan an "A".

The first time Kellie's mom tried to to do a photo shoot of Logan with the bag, he had just finished rolling in mud.  Way to go, Siber-horse!

He looks a bit sleepy-eyed here, doesn't he?

Apparently he had just gotten up from a power nap (more proof of his close ties to the Siberian Husky).  Why hadn't I thought about horses napping before?

And here's my FAVORITE shot of Kellie and Logan!


Thank you so much for taking time to do the photos - Kellie, Logan, and Andrea!  :)  Enjoy your HTP! Bag, Kellie!


Monday, December 29, 2008

Santa's Little Helper

I must be taking way too long to write this post; I had two comments come in before I thought I'd hit "publish".  Thanks, Blogger!  :/

Sooo... I thought I'd post pictures of a couple bags that were gifts this Christmas.  Santa contacted me and asked for a very special Deeve Bag for "Lisa the Mean", or as I call her "Lisa the not Mean at ALL"!  :)  Given that Lisa's mom emailed me about how happy Lisa is AND that everyone's favorite pirate pup - Maverick - commented on it, I figured it was safe to post about the bag now!   

Since Lisa shows Sibes and a couple other breeds, I knew I had the perfect fabric!  Here's an over-all look:

I did some fun decorative stitching along the placket using a "twisted tweed" thread, in brown and gold.  I also did all the quilting in it.  The button is sort of a squared-off, funky black one - I bought a bunch and think they're great.

Here's a closer look at the Hold the Phone! Bag:

I used the same black with gold stars and the gold "swirly" print as on the placket.  In keeping with the "dog" theme and Lisa's profession, I used a leash for a clasp.  I had the perfect charms to hang on the side:

One that reads, "I love dogs" and a "First Place" ribbon!  :)  I hope it brings her luck!

Here's a look inside the Deeve Bag:

Two nice, big pockets and a "freckled" print.  The HTP! Bag has the same lining.

Santa also thought Cecile should have a bag of her own, and asked for one of the Z Bags I had on hand.  It's out of one of my ALL TIME FAV fabs, the Laurel Burch dog print.  

The straps are from the dog faces fab and the body of the bag are two coordinating Laurel Burch dog prints.  Oh, how I hope those fabs will be reprinted one day!!!

The inside is luscious - green and purple.  Yeah, I know.  I love the combo.  And a certain reader who has already commented since Blogger published before I was ready will, too.  Or did.  Whatever.  Here it is:

Those fabs go up the length of the straps as the lining for them. Up at the top, a cute button:

Yes, blue.  It seemed right.  Even though the one that fastens the bag is purple.  Hey, it WORKS! 

On Cecile's HTP! Bag, a similar mix of charms:

A "First Place" ribbon for her, plus a cute dog house with a bone.  Is it me, or is that Black Lab eyeing the ribbon?  :)

Reports also came in that Bags by KZK Santa delivered in Georgia and Pennsylvania were quite well received, as well!  (Multiple bags in Macon - seen here and in these 1, 2, 3 posts!!)  That couldn't make me happier - I am always ready and willing to help Santa.  

Many thanks to Santa for letting me be a part of some very special Christmases!  And thank you to those of you who contacted me on his behalf!  :)

And, as always, thank you for reading!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Huffle Duffels!

As if the computer crash didn't throw a big enough wrench into the spokes, we've now switched from using PCs over to Macs.  Yes, Macs are really user-friendly, and once I figure out how to do something, I'm amazed at how easy it is.  That being said... it's figuring out that easy way that doesn't always come ... easily.  :)    Sorry again for the delay in posting!

Today, I'd like to show you a couple recent Huffle Duffels I've completed.  First up is a scrappy purple one, with a black interior!  Here's the front:

And the back:

I quilted in a variegated purple thread.  Here's a look inside:

It would appear that my Quality Control Expert has plans for this bag and has stashed something inside.  Hmm.  Here's the bag, drawn up:

I used a solid purple fab for the drawstrings, as I didn't really have the right cording or ribbon.  I think it worked out great.  

I tried a different technique on another Huffle Duffel - I did sort of a free-form appliqué onto denim and had fun with quilting thread.  Here's the result:

Kind of cute, don't you think?  Here's the reverse:

The red ribbon tied everything together ... pun intended.  :)  Here's a look inside:

The fabs are some fav prints I've had for quite a while now.  I love how they all came together!

Tune in SOON to see the latest Deeve Bag and a Z I sent out earlier in the week!

Thanks for reading,

Friday, November 28, 2008

Scrap Happy!

I am so excited to share some really special quilts with you! These all have been made by my friend Nancy in Grand Junction, Colorado. The quilts I'm going to show you today have all been donated to the Piecing Partners Quilt Guild in Colorado Springs, CO. From there, the quilts go to the Department of Human Services and to First Visitor. According to Sue S., another friend and a member of the Piecing Partners, "First Visitor goes out to all new born babies, no matter what the income, if they are called. They always have something for other kids in the family also. They want to make sure that all mothers know where they can go for help if they need it." Let's have a look at some of Nancy's gorgeous quilts!

This first one she calls Baby Rails. It is made out of 1 1/2" finished half square triangles (HSTs)and 1 1/2" finished strips. Nancy said, "I adapted it from a picture I saw on the web. I've made several of these. It's a wonderful use for squared up waste HSTs." I don't think she lets a single thing go to waste!

Baby Rails

She refers to this next one as a "Frenzy" top. According to Nancy, you start out by string-piecing scraps onto a piece of 3 1/2" by 'whatever length' telephone book pages. :) The string-pieced strips are then sewn end to end, then "sliced and diced" into whatever size needed.

Frenzy top

Nancy told me, "I find that string-piecing is the easiest way for me to use up small scraps because I don't have to do any tedious rotary cutting into a specific size." Here is another Frenzy with a Pinwheel thrown in. Just for fun and "whimsy". :)

Frenzy with a Pinwheel

Nancy has made over 150 tops for the guild to donate to their charities. Often, Sue will add a border after Nancy hands the tops over to her! Nancy said, "I've been mostly making the Frenzy tops, with the pinwheel, and without. Also been making a few of the Circle tops that Sue says the guild loves...." Here's a look at one of the Circle Quilts!

Circle Quilt

Nancy said, "These are made out of 3 1/2" blocks. Each circle is 6". These start out as string blocks." WOW. I think this could be my favorite. It reminds me of a scrappy, string-pieced Kansas Dugout! So... for the Circle Quilt, you "just" take 3 1/2" unfinished string blocks with 2" unfinished muslin flippy corners on two opposite corners.......... Yeah. OK. I'm giving this a whirl after Christmas!!! (You heard it here first.)

Nancy calls this one Bias All Around:

Bias All Around

She said it was great fun to make - it's totally made from scraps, with a lot of bias-cut pieces. The words "bias" (when it comes to fabric) and "fun" aren't usually part of the same sentence for me. I'm glad they are for Nancy, as this quilt is such a stunner! She confessed, "This is not a quilt you would want to take a tape measure to. It did not end up perfectly square, but I love it anyway although it is still not quilted.." I love it, too!

This next one is made out of quarter-square triangles (QSTs). Nancy's inspiration came from a picture in a book. She said she found it a bit of a boring quilt to make and "only made one."

QSTs quilt

I personally think it's great. Still bright and playful, but with areas for the eye to rest.

I'm not sure if this next one was to counter the one above, but here's one called Star Struck. The original idea came from Bonnie's Quiltville site. Nancy said she "decided to use string pieced blocks again and made the stars out of red solid." Check it out!

Star Struck

YOWZERS! I LOVE it! I can't look at any of these quilts and not smile. Honestly. This one especially. Can you imagine what it - and the others! - are doing for their recipients!?!

Last up are three Log Cabin quilts. Nancy makes the log cabin blocks with 1" finished strips. Here are three she has given to charity:

Log Cabin - I see a star in this one!

Log Cabin - sort of an off-set chevron

Log Cabin - Sunshine and Shadows setting, with half-square triangle centers

Nancy, thank you so much for letting me share some of your gorgeous charity quilts with our readers! There is just something about each one that makes me smile and feel GOOD inside. I think that's what your quilts are all about!

Within the next couple of weeks, I'll post more pictures of Nancy's quilts! I hope you enjoyed seeing them as much as I have!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Michelle's Deeve is Done!

Now I've got that old folk song "The Day Is Done", (Peter, Paul & Mary) stuck in my head....

OK! Got Michelle's Deeve Bag all set to go! Here's a quick look at it ...

I also threw in a special key fob (make sure you check the bag for it, Michelle!) - and hey! There's the Hold the Phone! Bag in the upper right-hand corner! Let's take them outside for some more pictures!

Here's the Deeve Bag itself. Michelle chose the main outside fabric and the key fabric used in the placket via the internet. Isn't technology fabulous?

I added an accent fab - sort of a mottled/marbled/something light purple and pink fabric - around the placket and as a special touch at the top of strap.

I thought it would add interest and help break up the light purple print.

Here's the side detail:

And here's a close-up of the placket and button(s) area:

I seem to have this thing about pairing up buttons lately. I don't know why.
Let's have a look inside!

Isn't that mum fabric GREAT?!?!? I would seriously put that on the outside of a bag. In fact, I had just enough left over to cut one Deeve Bag worth out of that fab and cut out a lining using the white with the lavender floral print on it. (The pockets and placket.) Let me know if you're intestested; the fabs are on stand-by.

Two large interior pockets, topped with decorative stitching. I did that and the quilting in an off-white; it "fits" well!

You might be wondering about the Hold the Phone! Bag. Michelle asked if I'd make it out of the fabric I used to line Trace's Z Bag, even though it doesn't really "go". Sure! Why not!?! She wants to use it with other stuff as well. Here's a look at that:

Very fun and happy, don't you think? I know what you're thinking... how does it look with the Deeve? Weren't you?

They don't "match" per se, but I would totally use them together anyway. Maybe it's my "roots" as a scrap quilter. I like the look. :)

Michelle, I hope you enjoy your bags (and key fob) to the fullest! I'll be attaching a little beadwork, as well.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The New Tote

I meant to have this post up over a week ago, but as those of you who read the Ao4 Digest know, my computer crashed. I had back-ups of next to nothing... so after one very valuable lesson learned, a lot of re-loading, re-building, and banging my head on the desk... I'm back. So about this new tote...

I decided to start making totes out of the tops of jeans and jean skirts. I've been using the lower parts for a long, long time, but the tops were just hanging around, taking up space, waiting for that perfect "something" to do with them. So... a tote! Pretty simple, but very strong. I couldn't figure out what to name it, and asked my hubby to brain-storm with me.

With all the "green" this and "green" that and "go green" and "blah blah blah green" ... am I the only one who's tired of hearing about it? Let's just do it and stop jamming it down my throat, you know? It reminds me of when I was asked to start keeping track of how many volunteer hours I was putting in so I could be "recognized". That's not what it's about for me! Stop it! Just let me do my thing! I love to re-purpose things. I always have. I mean, if you think about it, quilters have always recycled fabric.

Sorry. Obviously I still have a wee bit of hostility left over after the Computer Crash of '08. On to the tote. Jeans ... "green" ... I thought my husband hit on a winner with ... The Mr. Green Jeans Tote! LOL! Does anyone remember Mr. Green Jeans from the Captain Kangaroo Show? Ha! I love it! A great play on words. And so ... without further ado, here's the Mr. Green Jeans Tote:

This one is made from a skirt. It's fully lined with a bright, cheery sunflower fabric.

In keeping with our "green" theme, the fabric actually used to be my neighbor at Fort Riley's curtain, then when I moved into that house, she sold it to me. How green. Recycled denim and recycled curtains. OK... enough of that and back to the tote!

The skirt's front pockets are operational, so you can stick your keys, phone or whatever else in there. It had no back pocket, though, so I added one:

I lined it with the same sunflower fab. Cute, isn't it? And you can see the lining along the top of the bag, sticking out a bit for a fun accent, as well as around the pocket.

I tried a pair of jeans next.

As with the first Mr. Green Jeans Tote, the front pockets are fully operational. The jeans had great back pockets, too, which you can also use to hold your cool stuff.

Here's a detail shot of the pocket for you:

And here's a look inside the bag:

You can see that I let much more of the lining show in the front. It helps "square" the tote and is fun. :)

Speaking of FUN, I won a give-away! Caroline, over at Pink Lemonade Boutique, had a drawing to win some of her scraps! I was one of the lucky winners!

I sent part of the stack to a friend in Colorado who makes incredible scrap quilts for charity (I'd love to post pix of some of your quilts, Nancy!) and am going to have fun playing with the rest myself! Thanks, Caroline!!!

In the works right now... finishing up Michelle's Deeve, putting the latest Storm in the mail to a special someone, and seeing how another certain someone feels about the latest Huffle Duffel. I also did some fun bags for a friend; I lost the pictures I took (see first paragraph of this post) and am hoping she'll take some for me. Please?

More to come, soon! Thanks for reading,