May 31, 2012

Summer


I don't know about you, but Summer officially starts the day my children get off school. I seem to enter a new world then. There is an unpredictability about my days which can be both invigorating and disconcerting, fun and exasperating, but the boys don't seem to care. They play video games before I wake up, so they can squeeze in more time than the one hour per day allowance, eat chips for breakfast [to my chagrin], and are bored by 9:45 am.

No where in my job description or marriage agreement can one find the words 'Entertainment Director', but I have fallen into that role and still struggle to fulfill my duties. They are not always happy with my performance, but hey, I don't see them posting an ad for someone else in the classified section of www.ksl.com. Happy or not, it looks like I will still hold that job for a few more years, unless my husband retires early.

Growing up, the closest thing I did to sports was walking, and lots of it I did since we lived in a huge city (Sao Paulo, Brazil), and  my father drove to work the only car we had. I liked reading, studying (the nerd of the class), cooking, and crafts: the perfect upbringing for the future mother of three boys, don't you think?

My Summers are the longest seasons ever, and since Menopause became a guest in my house nine years ago, any activity that does not involve being in a room with Air Conditioning is totally unappealing to me. If there is not a cool breeze outside, the treadmill suddenly becomes a pathway to heaven. No wonder the boys think my husband is the coolest parent on earth: they play tennis, basketball, golf, go biking, go fishing, ride ATVs... This is an example of God's sense of humor, I guess.

It is all good.



May 29, 2012

New Old Love

This pic looks too red. The colors are rose, mauve, etc.
A few years ago I purchased a small kit from Quilts, Etc. in Sandy, Utah, for a scrappy heart wall hanging called Old Love. Last week, during our retreat, I pieced the heart. I just finished the wall hanging, which looks nothing like the kit, as I got creative as I worked on the project.

For starters, the original pattern had scallops appliqued around the heart. Those were replaced by a few rows of this awesome ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby. The heart looked better on point, so I added the triangles around it. Then, I added the bottom and top piano key border (I could not discard all those left over 1" strips!). Finally, the borders, the quilting, the binding with hanging tabs.

But it was still missing something... so I appliqued the flowers which were left from a project I worked on a while ago. There! What do you think?

You can see the colors better here. Love that ribbon!


May 28, 2012

Black and White + Red = Table runner!

Back in April I posted pictures of six black and white blocks I pieced during a block of the month project. I had no idea what to do with them, as I was not inclined to turn them into a quilt. Cathie wrote in her comment that I might think of using a color to add some 'pop' to the blocks. Well, I turned them into table runners and used a red and white fabric to liven things up. The first table runner is completed.  I used black rick-rack on the long sides, and decorated the ends with yo-yos. What do you think?


Thanks, Cathie! Another Christmas gift ready!


May 27, 2012

Shopping


Have you checked out equilter.com? Oh, I can do some serious damage to my wallet. However, since it is still Sunday, I have to be content just window shopping.

The fabrics! The books! The sales! Bad, bad girl. Gotta quit and go read a book...

May 26, 2012

My dream tool: stitch zapper - GIVEAWAY!



This post is for all of you inventors: I need a Stitch Zapper! Here is how I envision it: it would be as thin as a laser pen, and you point its zapping doohickey to stitches you want to undo (I don't like the word 'unpick' because to my foreign language thinking brain, it doesn't make sense! You pick out the stitches you don't like, but how do you 'unpick' stitches? Anyway...)

Could you imagine how wonderful the stitch zapper would be when you need to undo quilting stitches? (I spent 40 minutes yesterday afternoon undoing quilting stitches from a 4 square inch area...) Note for the inventor: the zapper would have to be careful enough not to zap the fabric threads, smart enough to skip the stitches we do not want to remove, and affordable enough so WE COULD ALL HAVE IT!

Anybody up for the challenge? What other features should the Stitch Zapper include? Leave your comment and you may win a few of my favorite doohickeys!!!


May 24, 2012

Cool little bags

handmade bags

A few weeks ago I won these fat quarters from Annie at Annie's Ruby Slipperz, and during our quilt retreat last week I finally had time to work with them. I turned them into awesome bags, using the Smart Bag product by QuiltSmart. Aren't they cute? They are easy and quick to make, and you can use all sorts of fun trims to decorate them: buttons, ric-rac, ribbons, fabric flowers...

You sew the liner and the outer shell at the same time using two fat quarters per bag.That is it! I will fill them with bath salts and lotions, toys, etc. Just trying to get ahead of the Christmas season, (This time I am mailing the gifts via UPS as I used to do, before I chose the USPS last year and ALL my handmade gifts were lost!!!)

Look at the other three I made:


handmade bags
small bags
The Christmas one can be used for boys or girls and it is a fun way to 'wrap' a gift. I think they are a better choice than traditional gift bags, which usually are thrown away.

The interface to which the fabrics are ironed add body to the bag. Children might enjoy them even more, as they can carry their precious things in them wherever they go. They make perfect bags for little ones to tote their quiet books to church.




Each bag measures approximately 9" x 10", plus the handles. How about this one at left? I used some old Lakehouse fabrics I had, adding pink and light green buttons. Notice how the contrasting fabrics work so well together... Huhmmm... I think I will make a few more!

How about you? Have you started making Christmas gifts yet? Do you choose a project each year and make it for everybody, or do you make a different project for each person?

I would love to hear from you!

May 23, 2012

Post-Wedding treat

Nothing like a Quilt Retreat to energize and relax you at the same time! I had so much fun last week at the Sherwood Hills Resort in Wellsville, Utah, where our quilt guild held our Spring retreat. There were about 50 women talking, laughing, laughing, laughing... and sewing. The treat table had amazing fare (meaning sweets) to keep us fueled through the grueling (right!) hours of 'work', which extended well into the wee hours of the morning for some of the more determined ones.

Hiking before breakfast, sewing in the morning, a light lunch, more sewing, shopping at Village Dry Goods in Brigham City, or My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe in Logan, dinner at Maddox Ranch House in Perry, Utah... What else could we ask for?


Celeste's version of Hooterville, by Brandywine Designs



This is what Heaven must look like:


















I need one retreat every quarter. At least! Thank you for all the fun times, girls!!! :-)

May 22, 2012

Home Machine Quilting Show

Art quilts

This year's Home Machine Quilting Show in Sandy, Utah, was held from May 10-12. My mom and my sister, visiting from Brazil to attend Michael's wedding, had never been to a quilt show before. Although we were busy with preparations for the wedding, we managed to spare a couple of hours to visit the show.

What a treat! We saw wonderful works of art of various styles, sizes, and techniques. The vendors area was full of new and interesting tools, amazing fabrics, and cool gadgets. At some point, we 'parked' my mom at a booth that features foot and back massages, and continued our way through the vendors mall. We were wondering how long she would rest, and soon after we regretted not having carried her shoes with us while she sat there! :-)



I had a tiny presence at the show in the form of "Refuge", pictured above, a landscape quilt I finished earlier this year. My first time ever, and probably in a long time, as I was humbled by the creativity, execution, and whimsy of all the quilts at the show.

Have you ever had a quilt displayed in a show before? What was it like for you? Did you win any awards? Send me a comment about your experience... I am curious now!

May 21, 2012

Hand quilted beauty

Here is the quilt I pieced for Michael and Daniela. The original pattern designed by Mabeth Oxenreider, published by American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, August 2006 issue, was made using batiks and was a bit larger. Since we were going to hand quilt it, I decided against using batiks. Thanks to Sue, Diana, Rosemary, Lee, Allisha, for all the hours (over 160 of them, in about 2 months!) we spent together laboring and laughing as we completed the quilt before the wedding day .



May 20, 2012

Wedding


Wow! My son's wedding kept me away from my blogger duties for quite a few days! As the wedding day neared, preparations were very intense. My mom and sister came from Brazil one week before the event. Without their help I would have gone crazy! :-) Well, my friends might argue I was ALREADY there!

The wedding ceremony was glorious. The reception went smoothly with lots of friends and family members celebrating with us, delicious food, and lots of dancing. The party lasted four hours.

I am so grateful to those who attended, who helped make Michael's wedding day so special. The icing on the cake was when I spotted my quilting friends at the door: Sue and her husband Fred, Rosemary and Phil, Lee and her daughter Terri, Diana, Dora and her husband. I felt loved, supported, and immensely happy...
 
Here is a picture of the groom after the temple ceremony, waiting for his bride...




... and with Daniela, getting ready for the pictures around the beautiful Temple grounds. Isn't her dress gorgeous?

They are returning from their honeymoon tonight. Michael and Daniela, here is to a lifetime of good health, friendship, and success, and an eternity of love and Divine companionship...






May 3, 2012

Boutonniere

My son's wedding is coming up fast. I am so glad I am not the one who needs to look good on the big day... lack of sleep is leaving dark gray tracks on my face! One of the reasons I did not sleep last night, and am already late getting to bed - boutonnieres. I have a few more to make but am afraid if I continue this project tonight the roses will look as fresh as I! :-) How do you like it?



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