Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011

I confess I really don't like Halloween but I do like Halloween fabric. And I like orange. So I usually make some kind of fall related project most years. This year it didn't happen. So I thought I would show you some Halloween projects from years past.
Fall pumpkin themed flag flying outside my front door. I think I made this 10 years ago. I still like it.
Cottage block made with fun Halloween fabric by Sheri Berry.
Halloween cottage blocks sewn into a wall hanging/table topper. I gave this to my sister.
Halloween place-mat made with Sarah's pattern.
It isn't just Halloween here. It is also my daughter Shelbie's birthday. Happy Birthday Shelbie Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone. And I hope everyone makes it back home from fall Quilt Market having much success.

-nanette
Link

Monday, October 24, 2011

Busy Buzzy

I have nothing to show for the weekend people. Really, nothing. Between October 22 and Halloween, 4 of my children plus my only granddaughter have birthdays. It is a busy busy time at my house right now. My daughter from Oklahoma is here and so I'm spending as much time as possible with her and my family that live in Utah.
I did get a new front door mat so I can show. I usually get something bee related for my daughter Whitney for birthday or Christmas so I bought one of these for both of us.

I have some applique cut out for my row-by-row quilt. I may get some time to work on that this week.

-nanette

Thursday, October 20, 2011

And Even More Row-by-Row Blocks

I want to show you the progress on my Row-by-Row Quilt. Before my family retreat I had had a few finished blocks ready to show you.
This block I call strawberry patches. My strawberry tops are green felted wool. I used sketch machine embroidery to stitch details in the leaf and top in the strawberry.
I also made mirror image stars. I almost want to call these Victor/Victoria blocks. They are fun to make but I must have quilters dyslexia or something. Every single star I had something to pick out.
I really like this block and I enjoyed taking advantage of the different colorways in Pam's fabric to create the stars. I'm dying for the yardage to come out. I need to get sashing fabric to start putting my rows together. I can't wait.

-nanette

Monday, October 17, 2011

Breton Family Quilt Retreat

Friday and Saturday last week were spent with family sewing at my home. It was fun and sweet and everything it should be when family gets together to spend quality time.
We moved the furniture out of my living room and replaced it with portable tables and chairs. My living room is separated from my sewing studio by doors. So I was able to open up the space to use the 2 rooms together. It worked pretty well.
Sewing and talking. Isn't that the best!?Most of the girls worked on making a Picnic Quilt like mine draped over the piano in the corner of the room. My sister Teri worked on my In the Leafy Treetops quilt.
Here we are standing in my entry way. Next year we are going to make the beehive quilt hanging behind us.My niece Tricia got her quilt top completed.My sister Michelle actually finished 2 quilt tops. It helps when you have blocks ready and the quilt partially made before arriving to the retreat.My niece Tana got her picnic quilt top done except for the borders. She's going to hand quilt hers. I didn't get a photo of my sister Paula's top. She had hers packed away by the time photos were taken. Darn.
I worked on appliqueing strawberries during the retreat. I didn't want to lose focus for my PKM Happy Row By Row quilt.
Right before lunch on Saturday my kitchen faucet broke. But by the end of Saturday Mr. Hive had me fixed back up (without some stress!). I really like the new faucet.

I had a great weekend and so much fun. I'm so glad we can get together to sew as family. I wish you could have joined us.

-nanette

Friday, October 14, 2011

Getting Ready for the little Breton Women Retreatl

We are having our Breton Women sewing retreat this weekend. Today is sewing and snacking. Tomorrow is our luncheon with everyone (even those that don't sew). We really always have such a great time together.
This is one of my favorite photos of "us" Breton girls. With 4 sisters we were always called the Breton Girls and sometimes still are. Front right to left is Susan, Michelle, Teri, Polly and then me in back doing what I do best. I sure wish I still had that blue roses dress or I could find vintage fabric like it. I wore that dress until it was too tight, too short, and showing bare thread.I took the photo of us 5 girls, scanned it and then shrunk the picture to use as a sleeve for the little fat quarter.Just like this I wrapped them. Of course bees, honey and hives are always the big theme.I had these coasters made up from the etsy shop RobotCandy. They turned out cute and we were able to find 2 kids of vintage beehives to represent as a favor.I put the bee fat quarter with the photo in a cellophane bag with the coaster. Then I closed the bags with ruler masking tape.
The tables are up and ready for machines and family. In fact some families are already here. We are going to have a great time sewing together. And there are door prizes! You'll wish your name or maiden name was Breton and then you could sew with us.There are some in the family that can't come this year. My sister Michelle had 4 babies born to her children in 2011. There are the twins Brady and Barrett. I don't know which one is which. but they have the shirts. Baby Kate, the newest baby is in the middle of the boys. On the side is baby Preston. She's the oldest. I will really miss these kids and their mommies. I want them to come next year for sure.
Kate's mom is Jen, my niece and my sister Michelle's granddaughter. Kate is posing next to the quilt I made for her. The white dress and her beauty bring out the simple little bows in the quilt. I'm so glad they like it. I had fun making it. And Kate is simply a darling baby.
This is the happy grandmother to those 4 little ones. Michelle is showing off the mini family heritage quilt that I made for her. That was a fun one.

Busy weekend here. Hope you all have a nice one. I'm going to show progress photos next week.

-nanette

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More Happy Row by Row Blocks starring PKM Fabric

Apologies to PKM Pam for my bad color representation in this post but I took the photos late last night with bad lighting and a tired brain.
Here is another block with my new row by row project. This was a block I've had in my planned some months now. I have a cute pink proof of concept block I made a while back that has been just waiting for Pam's fabric to arrive. This block doesn't use any triangles. I love making blocks over sized and then being able to trim them to the perfect dimension.
The blocks show off Pam's fabric really well I think. I used some neutrals from my own stash to compliment the prints and florals.
My favorite of all these blocks is the green one. I love that color. It reminds me of a shamrock and luck. But I think they all turned out cute.
If you look at my Monday post you can see I had the rick rack at the top of the basket block pointing down against the basket. After playing with the baskets and thinking a bit I decided to repress the blocks to stand the rick rack up against the white handle piece and top stitch in the seam allowance. I think it makes a better statement. What do you think?

-nanette

Monday, October 10, 2011

My PKM Happy Row By Row Quilt

I've sneaked in some sewing time here and there to keep progress moving in my row by row quilt using Pam's darling fabric.
One row will be these patchwork baskets with hand appliqued handles. They were super fast and the handles came together in a jiffy.Each basket has a hint of rick rack trim at the top of the basket. I really like the diversity of the fabric line with dots, floral, print, gingham and checks. I just can't go wrong using it.
This is the start of another row. I've made the patchwork, which will also include appliqued strawberries. I'm having such fun. Thanks again Pam.

-nanette

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fabric Friday - Linen Prints

I have a little collection of linen/cotton blend fabrics. Some are solids and some are prints. I thought I would show some prints today because I'm starting to really eye them with a thought to actually doing something with them rather than hoarding them and enjoying how pretty they are on my shelf.
Linen blend has been popular to use in projects and even in quilts for a while now. Some of this is the Zakka influence of Japanese crafters. Zakka roughly defined means 'home made or crafted items for the home or personal use'. There are books, blogs, and lots out there on etsy.com that represent what Zakka means. I'm not much of a crafter, really but I am inspired by all of the above. And making quilts and quilt related projects would be included in the term Zakka.
This is a really great piece of fabric that would be perfect for placemats, a bag, coasters, or any number of Zakka. It reminds me of PA Dutch fabric. I need to use it.
I purposely didn't iron this great piece of linen/cotton because it shows the wrinkling that can occur with a linen blend. I think that the linen softens up after washing and using. But that is something to consider when using a linen blend. How will this look in a finished project? This fabric above is divided into several different prints and perfect to cut and use for a table topper or dish towel.
My daughter Natalie is really trying to steal this linen made like children's lined paper. Each piece of linen blend has a unique weight and feel to it. This one is softer but still does wrinkle a tiny bit. Think how fun this one would be to embroider words in a childish script. I like that idea because my embroidery wouldn't have to be that perfect!
This whimsical fabric is a fussy cutter's dream and where there is so much to look at it is also perfect for projects in a child's room. The bees in this drew it to me.
There is a great number of Zakka projects involving kitchen items and this would make good oven mitts, appliance cozy, or table cloth.
Mushrooms as a theme is a throwback to the '70s has been popular in the last few years. This fabric could make anything from slippers to a pincushion.
The owls especially drew me to this bird and flower linen blend. That blue color against the raw linen color is really striking. I think this would make a great bag.

You can see I have lots of things I could make with these fabrics. And I certainly want to do that. And hopefully will do somethings. But that old "master" time is an issue.

Have a great weekend.

-nanette

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Farmer's Wife 3 More Blocks

Last week I had a few hours to make a few more Farmer's Wife Quilt blocks. I have put the project on the back burner until the next sew day with Lori and the girls. But I thought I'd show you what I added to my FWQ recently.
When I saw this block was called "Contrary Wife" I knew I had to make it. It totally describes me. And the block was fun and easy.
The Friendship Star block is super easy and it went fast.
I also added the Box block to my completed collection. Again, easy. So that is it for now.

Happy Birthday to my sister Teri.

-nanette

Monday, October 3, 2011

Weekend Sewing PKM Blocks

October is a really busy month at our house. We have five birthdays, a visit from my daughter and son-in-law from Oklahoma, and a Breton (my maiden name) quilting retreat. All of it is really fun so as busy as it gets, it is exciting, too. I may not have much time to sew in the next few weeks so I really took advantage of the time this past weekend.
Friday I showed you the PamKittyMorning fabric by LakeHouse and Pam. I had to cut into it. I just had to and couldn't wait since I've been dreaming about this fabric since first seeing it from Pam. I've had sketches and ideas all set to go. The first block in my quilt is this kitty house. And look in the window.
I love the versatility of the prints, dots, geometric and floral in the line. I wanted the kitty house to be very clean with no scrappy look (this time). I had fun with the block putting the window in different place for versatility.
My next block is a churn dash featuring the strawberries in the center square. I did augment my PKM fabric with a little tiny bit of my own stash.
The letters are so cute. They appear random but hidden inside the letters it says somewhere pam kitty morning.
The strawberries are incredibly sweet. The colors are beautiful.
Everything turned out so pretty I think. I am making a row by row quilt. I am excited to make my next row of blocks.

-nanette