Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Favorite Project

Wow! This was so much fun; it's my favorite project so far. It combines my love of reading and my love of sewing. You may remember that I made a similar one last summer for my nephew. I've wanted to make one to keep ever since.
It was so cool to pick out all different fabrics for the books. Here are the music books.

The pet books, the sewing books, another look at the music books, and of course the cat, who is much better behaved than our cat.

The fish bowl, star books, and even a frog book.

Moon books, and even one about a Husky.

Leaf books, gardening books, and bird books.
This delightful project was inspired by Jennifer Chiaverini's quilt "Heather's Library" found on her website under "gallery" at She gave me permission to borrow her idea, and I added many of my own touches. Do you see the mouse?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

We all love a bargain!

Have I ever mentioned that I hate to shop? I really do - unless we can walk to get there, and then I at least get to enjoy the walk before the pain of shopping begins. Larry and I were walking to the Goodwill store in search of a butter dish. They didn't have one, but I found some amazing bargains, which made shopping seem not so hateful after all. A lovely coral colored swim suit, a t shirt and shorts, and ten - ten! fat quarters of very nice quality cotton fabric. All this for $9.05 including tax.

I got sidetracked by an unlikely looking bin of odds and ends while Larry was diligently looking for the butter dish aisle. ;o} To be silly I said, "Oh look, I found the fabric section." A woman overheard me and zoomed in and scooped up two huge jelly rolls and a few bundles of fat quarters. It's lucky for me that she did, because I can't imagine trying to pre-shrink all those strips in a jelly roll.

I don't usually buy fabric in smallish pieces because I am a pre-shrinker and I'm not sure how you can wash small pieces of fabric without having it get all stringy and twisted. I am using my pinking shears to trim all the edges and hope they make it through the wash okay.

I'm still not ready to show you my book project, but it's coming along. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Good Reading by Jan Karon

I love it when one of my favorite authors has written a lot of books; I have the next one to look forward to when I finish reading one. I have read this series through twice, and am now reading it aloud to my mom. She has also read them, but it's been a while and. . . we all know that rereading a good book is like revisiting a good friend.
I'm about a third of the way through a bigger project that this saying will become part of. For once I didn't borrow anyone else's expression - this is my own, which I freely share as so many have shared with me. I hope to have the project finished by the end of the month.

I liked this Hawaiian fabric so much that I bought a lot. Enough to make a jacket for work (we wear scrub jackets) and lots of other things as well. You'll be seeing more of it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

World Traveler

The more I look at this amazing card from Suzanne, the more things I see to love. Did you see the sewing machine stitching? - I love it. My favorite, though is the tiny green gingham ribbon. I have loved gingham forever, and this ribbon is just 1/4 inch wide, but has three little ginghamy checks across, plus green borders. Suzanne's artwork is made of seven different layers - you really have to see it in person to appreciate all of it.
Isn't this the cutest little Koala ever? His ears are gorgeous - you can get a closer look if you click on the photo. Such a talented knitter created him, and he came all the way from Australia! Suzanne ( made this beautiful card, and her mother knitted the soft gray Koala. Thank you, friends, for these wonderful gifts.
The only things I've ever knit are easy things like scarves. I wonder if I could learn to knit toys? And make cards? Think of all the fun I have to look forward to in my retirement years. For now, I guess I'll stick with fabric - I have such a lot of it to use. :>}

A very happy spring to those in the northern hemisphere, and a very happy fall to those of you in the southern portion of the world. We always have snow in April, but for now we are enjoying sunshine and blue sky!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Whatever your hand finds to do. . .

I read some wise words in Ecclesiastes 9:10. "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Doesn't that sound like really good advice? This is what my hands found to do this evening - I'm going to decorate the bulletin board in our waiting room at work tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A taste of spring!

Well! This has to be the most pleasant St. Patrick's Day in Cleveland's recorded history! They always have a parade downtown, often in the most dreadful conditions - ice, rain, snow. Today was perfect parade weather - sunny and 65 degrees F. Nice! I didn't actually go to the parade, I went to work, but when I came home Larry and I sat outside in short sleeves. Nice!

The crocuses are poking their brave little faces out of last falls dried up leaves.
They are brave little things - they survive snow - lots of snow, and only wither when it gets too warm.

Our bulletin board at work needs some spring influence. I can't quite decide what to do, but green seems to be the prevailing spring color here.

I have another bigger project I'm working on, but it's not ready to be blogged yet. These aren't either really - they're just ideas so far.
What a delight to have such a lovely day! I hope yours was lovely as well.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The doll

When my sister, Sara, and I were ages two and three, we had dolls with the remarkable names of "Long Hair" and "Blue Dress". I'm sure you have gathered what their outstanding characteristics were. :>} Along the same vein, I'd like you to meet "Pink Shoes", "Pinky" for short. I used my Raggedy Ann and Andy pattern, circa 1974, this time making the smallest one which is 10 inches. Putting cluster stuffing into those tiny little limbs was certainly a trial. I'd poke it in and it would come floating out. Perhaps regular stuffing would have worked better! I wasn't sure how yarn hair would hold up in the care of a 1 1/2 year old, so I used fabric hair. That's why she needed a hat - to improve the appearance of her hair. (Did you ever see the comic strip "Nancy" from a quarter century ago? That's what her hair looks like.)

I did finish quilting the third baby quilt, which is for the baby brother of the little gal this doll ensemble is for.

I'm very excited to start my next project!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Must see!

You really really need to go visit Jodie to see what she has done with selvedges this time. You will be amazed. Go now! Don't forget to save your selvedges for her. I bought some fabric not too long ago that had already had the selvedges cut off - I wondered if Jodie might have been there before me. :>}

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Doll quilt

One of the baby quilt recipients has a sister who is just a year and a half old. I don't really know her, but I couldn't give the new baby a quilt and not make something for her. One of our patients at work has a business making wooden doll furniture, and last year I bought this bed from him thinking it would come in handy some day. Sure enough, it did! I'm wondering if I should make a doll to go with it. Making the doll bedding was so much fun. I used Jodie's quartered nine patch pattern for this one, too, and just added another row of posts and squares. What a versatile pattern!
Two of the baby quilts are quilted, bound, and finished! I am not very good at quilting, but I won't get better if I don't practice. I finished unpicking the third one, and will try again with the quilting later this week. (Right after I finish the doll. :>})

I know, I'm a coward. I just did a plain old grid. Again. Someday I must try meandering.
I hope you have a good week.

P.S. Have you ever seen the movie "Freaky Friday" with Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis?
In the part right after they've switched bodies, Anna looks in the mirror in horror and says, "I'm OLD. Like the crypt keeper." It's too funny! I had a birthday last week and blogger is up to the minute posting my new age with no help from me.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Small Project Therapy

I wasted several hours last weekend quilting one of the baby quilts, and then ripping out the stitches because it looked so awful. I still have about half of it to rip, so I am consoling myself with some small projects. This is for my niece. She likes purple.
This is for a gal from work who is home recovering from surgery. She's the kind who will help no matter how busy she is. We miss her!

This is for a friend who is a marvelous musician.

I discovered the most amazing thing! If you leave your fabric unattended for a while it grows new selvedges. That's the only way I can explain the fact that I have any selvedges at all here at home. I really thought I had cut them all off for Jodie and sent them off some time ago. And look! Some new ones appeared.
Maybe tonight I'll put in a good movie and sit down with my ripper and take out the rest of the bad quilting so I can start over.