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,


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Current Deeve

I'm currently working on a Deeve Bag for Michelle. I thought I'd share a little of the process with you. She sent an email in and asked how to get started - which in itself was how to get it started. :) We discussed style and she chose the Deeve. Then on to fabric!

She gave me an overall color of purple to get us rolling. I sent a picture of a stack of purples to her:

...and links to some purples I'd posted about that could make a very cool Deeve. Knowing the photo above doesn't realllllly do justice to the fabs, I also put this little video together for her:

That gave her a better feel for the fabs. She chose the soft, classic-looking print in a light purple, sort of lavender print. It just gives me a comfy feeling. If we can have comfort foods, I would say this is a comfort fabric to me!

She also liked a couple others in the stack and asked if they'd go. I thought they'd be smashing together and got started. Here is the start to the bag:

Today, I'm on to adding the strap. None of my polypro webbing "goes", so I'm using a couple of the fabs. It would be cool to use the white with the lavender print, but two thoughts there: number one, white is asking for trouble, and number two, I don't have enough. That sealed the deal there.

The Hold the Phone! Bag is going to be made out of non-coordinating fabs, as per Michelle's request. It's cool and almost done. I'll show both bags to you sometime this week.

Tune in SOON for a new bag style. :O

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quilt Give-Away!

Dana over at Old Red Barn Company is at it again. This time she is giving away three incredibly gorgeous quilts!

Click on the graphic to surf on over. Enter today! Good luck!

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Letting the Cat Out of the Bag

Shelli, AKA the Macon Bag-a-holic, put in a special request for a new bag design a while back. How fun! She asked if I could come up with a drawstring type of bag she could use to hold Sitka and Cornelia Marie's leashes and coordinating Hold the Phone! Bags (or Hold the Good Neighbor Bags Bags - LOL!). Sounded like a great idea!

I tried a couple different things, made some changes (OK... lots of changes), then came up with what I think will do the job! Here's a look at one of the final designs:

Cute, isn't it? Small ... yet bold. The one above was a touch too small to comfortably accommodate Shelli's needs, so I thought, "Why can't it come in different sizes?" I hit my scrap bag again and came up with this one:

Just a tad taller. I love being able to use some of my scraps, then to use something wild on the inside!

All that remained was to name it. It's a drawstring, so sort of a duffel bag. Small, yet bold. Duffel ... A bit wild on the inside. Duffel ... And cute. Duffel ... Ready for me to let the cat out of the bag? It's ... the Huffle Duffel. :) Named for our feline friend down in Melbourne, Australia.

Here's a collection of my Huffle Duffels so far:

Oh... you know, some of my scraps are larger than others.... so the bag can be "Summi-sized", as we say, and don't have to be "pieced". That would explain the larger pink bag in the photo above. Let's take a closer look at that one...

The outer fabric on the Huffle Duffel, whether pieced scraps or one big scrap, is quilted:

...and they're all fully lined - so they can be reversible! Here's the Summi-sized, turned the other way:

That side is not quilted, but it's lovely none-the-less!

My plan right now is to do some of these up ahead of time, so you can choose from bags already made. I'll have pricing and stats up on the Extras blog soon. This bag is great for holding CDs, leashes and bags, TREATS, make up, little toys ... just about anything!

I hope you like the new Huffle Duffel! :)

Thanks for reading!