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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tea for Two Blog Hop

      Tea for two...just me and you, and you, and you...

And none of it would be possible, without the talents of Cori
from Chitter Chatter Designs. 
Thanks Cori, for such a versatile and fun design.

And then there is Ms Mary...
The best cheerleader on the block.
She kept us organized and updated.
We couldn't have done it without you Mary!

None would be possible without our fearless leader Madame Samm.
Her inspiration and motivation is like none other!

Tea for two sounds so elegant doesn't it?
Unless of course you live in the MooseStash.
Not much elegance going on around here!
 It's more like bulls in a china shop...

 And what about that ole saying...
Can't make a silk scarf from a sows ear???

OK, so they aren't silk scarves, but stocking will do!


All this embroidery is pretty new to me... 
and they say practice makes perfect.
While I have yet to reach that perfection stage...
I do think its improving.
Baby steps they say...baby steps!

I have found that printing off my patterns onto a
 dissoluble stabilizer, is the only way to go, for me.

I get mine from Marathon. (it's linked for you)
Half the price for twice the product.
I prefer the rolls over the sheets. I can cut off what I need instead 
having to waste an entire sheet if my project is small.
Once it's stitched, you just soak it in water and it all goes away, anyway.
Who knows, if you spent a little or a lot on that stabilizer!
I'm toying with trying it on a cross stitch project next!
Wouldn't it be great, if you didn't have to count all those little stitches!
You never know until you try...

 Wrapping this up...
The reality of life around here, looks a lot like this...

And in the MooseStash...

This is our tea of choice.
If you love the taste of black licorice like I do...
That's no April foolin'
Now hop on over and see what's brewing at my fellow bloggers place!

April 1st
Doris guest posting at Sew We Stitch

 Happy Hoppin!


Monday, March 30, 2015

Have a Latte Blog Hop Schedule...and a sneaky peak!

 Yes, it's almost here...
I know you have been long awaiting, our Have A Latte Blog Hop. I can tell you the wait is just about over, and our bloggers are working away on some highly caffeinated projects to share.
Can't wait to see you there!

Here's our schedule.

In the mean time, I've been doing some pattern testing...
I can't share just yet...
But these colors sure have chased away those winter blues.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Tree Bird Blog Hop

It always makes me just a little bit sad, when another one of our wonderful blog hops comes to an end.
We've seen so many wonderful projects...inspiration abounds, and our dreams of spring are finally starting to come thru, in many places.
Thanks to Lana for stepping in and being a fabulous cheerleader.
When you hear those birds tweet tweeting... know they are thanking you too!
Madame Samm, it's always a pleasure. You inspire and motivate us daily.

Here's my last little Tree Bird project.
It was send off to Kim in a mug rug swap!
Bye-bye tweet birds!

I promised a give-a-way...

This cute little panel of mini prints!
And a few secrets too...

Today random.org has picked #72.
Evelyn that is you!
I've sent you an email for your mailing address.
Your package will be coming thru the post office, as my carrier pigeon, just doesn't "seam" to have a grasp on his job just yet!  LOL!!!

Thank you all for your continued support, inspiration, and kind words!
You make this blogging community what it is today.
Your the best!

Keep on stitchin!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

National Quilting Day

... What better day to share a mug rug swap, than National Quilting Day.
Quilting...swaps...blogging...it brings us all together! Now that's what its all about.

Birdy is the theme this time.
This adorable little guy from Kim, just shouts...springtime.
We all need a little of that in our lives here in the USA.
                              It's been a particularly tough winter on many.
These little guys definitely will drive those "blues" away!
Yes, we were all just waiting for spring to appear...

Here is what I sent off to Kim!
 The little panel print is from the Tree Bird blog hop. 
Have you been following that the past week?
Loads of great projects to celebrate birds and keep spring time in our hearts.
Thanks Kim, for the great swap!

The "Quilted Table" Yahoo group has the best swaps.
"Sew We Stitch" is the place to see blog hops, like no other!

What-cha waitin for...
Come on and join in on the fun!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Christmas...in March???

It was nowhere near Christmas...

But what did appear...

A box brought by Fed EX,

Not a single reindeer!

I ripped open the package...

And what did I see?

But these gorgeous colors

It a spring time-like glee!

Oh yes they are fabrics

New fabrics you see...

And, Island Batik sent them to me... me me me!

You've likely not seem them,  just yet as you see

They are brand new for spring,  oh yippee, yes yippee.

Don't worry your heads though, cause they will soon appear...

As the new catalogue is coming and quilt shops will hear!


If you've not noticed already, there is a new button on my sidebar. Yes, "Island Batik" has so generously made me one of their Ambassador's this year.  What does this mean you ask?  Well, it means that you will get to see the latest and greatest from them, right here, with lots of ideas on projects using their fabulous batik fabrics.

I can't let the cat out of the bag just yet... but I did get a sneak peek at their new spring catalogue and it's gonna knock your socks off.

I was so excited with all the fabrics...
but this ones for me.

It just so Alaska...
and even if I'm not there, my heart is!

 I have a vision...

With all the solar activity and the gorgeous Northern Lights lately,
 I can't help but think about combining them...


We will see!

Thanks a million, Island Batik!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

BeaQuilters Peanuts BOM #3

Number 3...are you following along too?  These guys are just so darn much fun!
As for me, I'm playing catch up, from my vacation last week. Sorry it took a little longer than usual to post.

This month brings us Marcie!
Did you know...
She came on the scene on July 20, 1971.
She was the "bespectacled" character of the gang
Peppermint Patty's best friend, who referred to Peppermint Patty as "Sir"
and secretly likes Charlie Brown
Those were the days!

A big thanks to BeaQuilter
You can read more from here right HERE 

Of course it's all possible thru the generosity of Alida and her wonderful 
paper piecing patterns. See more of there right HERE

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Knock off "Sams Club" tote bag

Here it is... just like I promised yesterday.
My lil "Tree Bird" version of a Sam's Club tote bag.
You can see by the contents that it has plenty of room for even those extra large shopping trips.
Or that perfect picnic!

In case you forgot, this is my Sam's bag, that they no longer sell.
 Heavens knows why, they are just the greatest thing I have ever used.

So lets get started...

I used a "Duck" cloth on these bags. It's plenty heavy and sturdy enough to haul even the heaviest loads.

 Here is the basic pattern.
It gives you an idea of what we are going to be working with.
You are going to need 1-1/4   to  1-1/2 yards 60" wide fabric for each bag.

Start off by cutting out 2 pieces   29" wide x 21 1/2" tall.
You can lay out your pattern to take advantage of the selvages for the bottom of the bag,
or if your fabric is indeed 60" wide you can place it the opposite way.
I chose to use the selvages on the bottom on mine, but if you don't, make sure you finish the bottom edges off with a serger, or a zig-zag stitch, or your favorite way.

From these 2 pieces you are going to cut a 5 1/2" square out of the bottom on both sides.
(this will form the bottom of the bag later)

Now on the front top part of each side, your going to want to make a mark 2 1/2" down from the top.
I love my Clover chalk markers for this.

Fold under a 1/4" and press towards the back, fold again
on your marked line and stitch in place.
This is going to finish off the top of the bag.

Here is what we have so far.

Once both sides are done, put right sides together and stitch across the bottom of the bag.
Finish each side of the seam if necessary and press open.

 Flip your bag over to the front side and mark your lines for the straps.
These will be 10 1/2" from the outside edge of the bag.
You can see from my pattern photo where they go.

If your planning on embellishing your bag, now is the time to do so.
I folded my bag in half and pressed to find the center.

Then appliqued my little bird house patches on.

And this is what it looks like now.

Next we are going to construct the handles.
This bag has double handles, which I love. One short set, and one shoulder length set.
For the handles we are going to cut 2 strips 3 1/2" wide by the 60"-62" width of the fabric. We then need 
2 more handles that are 3 1/2" x 31" long.
(my fabric was actually 62" wide, so I was able to cut 3 strips to get all 4 handles)

Fold under 1/2" on each side, the length of the handle piece.
I originally fused Deco-bond to my handle fabric, but have found that it really is not necessary, 
and adds a lot of bulk when stitching. So I don't recommend it.
I notice no difference, in how the handles hold the weight of the bag.

 Fold your handles in half wrong sides together, pin and stitch.
Now, here is where it's going to sound a little bit crazy...  We are going to take the shorter 31" handles and attach them to our bag. These are actually going to make the shoulder strap length handle on the bag.

Dropping down about 1" pin and stitch, 1 of the shorter handles to each side of the bag.
Note the handles are to the inside of the chalk line. Towards the center of the bag.
Make sure they are not twisted before you stitch to bag.

This is what it should like like now.

Next taking your longer strap, pin on top of the handle we have already attached to bag.
I took advantage of the selvages. You will need to finish your ends if necessary.
Your going to pin all the way down, across the bottom, and up the other side.
There is going to be extra strap. Don't cut it off,  just yet.

On the other side, we are going to do the same thing.
What we end up with, is the long extra piece of strap on opposite sides of our bag.

You want to measure that excess handle, 13 1/2" from the top of your bag and cut off on that line.

Now slide the end of the strap, underneath the strap across from it.

This is what it should look like on each side. 
The longest strap actually forms the shorter handle.
Because the 62" width of the fabric, is just too short for the shoulder length handle!

Once you have both sides pinned and the ends slipped under, you can stitch in place. 
Stitch across the tops and bottoms and down each side of both of the straps.
There will be some bulk to deal with at the tops, on each side. 
Stitch slowly and carefully, and you shouldn't have any problem.
The use of a heavy needle might help if necessary.
I love denim needles for that.

To give it that little bit extra strength, I like to stitch a box with an X in the middle.

With handles now attached, we can take our bag, right sides together and stitch down each side with a 1/2" seam. These edges will need to be finished. (I used my serger)

 Lastly, we are going to pull our raw edges on the bottom of the bag together 
and match the center seams.
Pin and stitch across each side, with a 1/2" seam and finish your edges.

Turn right side out, and voila...
You have a fabulous new "big" bag.

I took things one step further.
With this bag being so big, I felt that the bottom needed a little support. 
I cut  a piece of foam core board 11" x 17" the size of my bag bottom.
Foam core is inexpensive, lightweight and easy to find at any hobby store.
It cuts easily with a rotary cutter and ruler.
(Of course, you can use whatever you prefer)
I made a sleeve to cover it with a Velcro flap.
After making the second one, I had to stop and ask myself...
Was it really necessary, or would a sleeve that would just slide over the foam core be enough?
As long as it's removable, I don't think it really matters. 

If I have a spill in my new bag, it goes right into the wash machine.
The bottom is washable once the foam core is removed and if the foam core
gets bent or broken, which it will eventually, it's easy enough to replace.

I've tried to cover things as best as I could, but as always,
if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
And, I would love to see your bag when it's done!

I talked about my new lighting, from  "Inspired LED" on my sewing machine yesterday.
It worked so well, that I have added it to a second machine and...

 ...the place I iron too.

I love my ironing station that sits on a set of IKEA drawers.
But there is a shadow where it's located. 

While it's hard to get great photos, you can sure tell the difference these lights made.
(and that it's way past time to get a new ironing board cover)

Inspired LED sells light strips that stick on any place.
I am just thrilled at how well they work and how inexpensive they are.

If you have a place that needs extra lighting, you will want to check them out right

One last thing...
Apple Blossom let me know yesterday that the link for the oven mitt was not correct.
I do appologize. It seems that the Warm Company updated their web site after I wrote my post.
I have now changed the link and it worked for me.
Thanks Apple Blossom for letting me know!

Happy Stitchin!