Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Anticipation of a loving surprise! (Time in a bottle) "Stitch n Time"

My girlfriends and I meet once a month now at our church with sewing machines in tow and spend the day together creating the most awesome designs with our scraps. Wind of our get-together times has blown our excitement out to others and they've begun joining us with their quilting, sewing, crocheting, and whatever else is in their project bags. We call our times together "Sew & Share" and welcome anyone who is free on the first Friday of each month to spend their day catching "our bug". We have so many project dreams, stashes of fabric, and projects started and being finished.
Well, just recently, an elderly lady friend heard of our love for quilting and gave us her stash. She sadly admits her days for much sewing has past and told us to have fun with all her scraps! Excitedly, we browsed through her bins, and awed over all the different fabrics, commenting and wondering what projects were made and who received the treasures. As we admired the fabrics, they were falling into piles we thought would look good together. Once in awhile, one of us held up a piece and suggested a project. Then, someone suggested that we make a pot holder or two in thanks for the stash.
The potholder idea sounded small to us in comparison to the piles, especially considering the hours we would enjoy creating with the piles of color. So, after some discussion, we began to put pieces in pairs as possibilities of triangle squares. We envisioned a big colorful "Memory THANK YOU Quilt" for our dear friend and bantered back and forth on how we could keep it a surprise.
We began immediately. Measuring and cutting, starting with squares, a few straight seams, diagonal cutting, pressing seams, and twisting cut triangles resulting in 64 hourglass squares.
One beautiful piece with a garden theme was chosen to be our center focus. We added borders to make it measure a 24" square. Oh! Of course, we held up our growing project for all to admire as we progressed in our work, and each time, we became more and more pleased with our choices of her scraps. As the squares took shape, the colors became outstandingly bright and going together nicely. In our choice of a perfect center, we added a white muslin top margin where we could embroider our group's name and the year. Then I bordered both the center and white embroidered part with red fabric used in the little squares and then a narrow piece of very navy blue to frame the center and make it jump.
Once we had the center done, we began to lay out our 5.5 hourglass squares to make a rainbow of color. As the rows were placed and pleasing to the eyes, three of us took the squares, trying to remember how they were placed, and sewed them together in long strips, making our rows of delectable design. Piece by piece the quilt front took form.
Oh! Of course, we held up our growing project for all to admire as we progressed in our work, and each time, we became more and more pleased with our choices of her scraps. As the rows were added, the colors became outstandingly bright and fit together nicely.
At the end of our Friday "Sew & Share" time, we had the quilt front completed and ready to quilt. How excited we were as we held it up and admired our finished product!
The front was done and ready to be made into a warm, comfy quilt.
We anticipate the best part is still to come. We can hardly wait to watch our dear sweet elderly friend open her gift, and place it over her lap. We want the joy of remembering all her past projects to fill her mind and bring back the beautiful times of loving memories.
The batting and backing is being added this month. We hope to finish our loving project and have it ready to surprise our dear friend. Maybe it will work into a tea party with our guest of honor unwrapping our hearts of love, and we'll cry
"We love you, Maxine! Happy Surprise! Here is your stash of fabrics!"

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Wow...the month flew by as the snowflakes frequently dropped from the sky, and yet, the grass is green and the forsythia are in full bloom. The daffodils outline many homes, and the sound of joyful children can be heard again, and birds awaken me in the early hours! Yay...it is Spring!
I haven't blogged in quite some time because every free moment found me in front of my new sewing machine. I've had so much fun! I found the pillowcase tut on MSQC very helpful for quick birthday gifts and have quite a variety ready to give for special times of demonstrating love.              

Knowing Spring is a good time to spruce up the little apartment we include under our roof,  I made 2 pillowcases for my elderly Dad. Spring means BASEBALL...so to celebrate, these new pillowcases remind him that Spring promises
warmer weather. He loves baseball, so I was very happy to find this fabric full of baseballs and the other with baseball players on white with navy stripes. Adding a few stars and stripes for the trim and cuff made these cases patriotic.
With a "Where's the apple pie?" Dad chuckled!
He was so pleased at his new decor.

My elderly sister is a victim of a brain tumor,
which after several severe battles, left her needing assisted living quarters. She was released from the hospital and now resides in a cute little apartment. Through the winter months, we've been adding little touches of love to decorate her home. A gift of a patriotic quilt inspired me to find red, white and blue towels for her bathroom. A friend monogrammed these for a more personal touch. Then I quilted these place mats for her little table. She likes them better on the arms of her brand new red couch.

This week, I finished these pillowcases to lie on top of the quilt. I know she will be thrilled to get another package and I think she will like the stars and stripes! How I hope having a cheerful home hopefully encourages her to feel beautiful this Spring and remember to thank our God for each day.
March ends with birthdays in my family. On Sunday, we celebrated two local ones. Pillowcases allowed me to show my love in a cute way. My hubby and I shopped and guessed at fabric that we thought would please them. For my nephew, I decided an adult often longs for the peacefulness of childhood, and his love for dogs made me choose this fabric. I couldn't believe the color brown matched their bed covers perfectly. I was so happy!
Then it was time for a niece to open her gift.                                                                                     For her, I chose the beautiful hue of aqua with chocolate brown. The blue matches her eyes and I knew she loved chocolate. Everyone was shocked that I chose her college room colors. So, it was a great choice! How was I to know? 
I am also making white ones for wedding gifts with some beautiful fabrics needing a purpose. But that is another whole story!