Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Seems like its been a while...

Almost a week has gone by without a new post! I have been getting some sewing done...mostly on the hand sewing travel table topper (EPP 60 degree diamonds). But even that doesn't get as much attention as I would like it to!
So, I have three of my seven stars done for the table topper. I really enjoy seeing it come together. I can't wait to start adding the 'joining' diamonds. I was able to work on it in the car on the way to the birthday open house yesterday...but on the way home I started getting car sick while trying...so the ride home wasn't as productive.

On Friday night, I went to my in-laws and raided there trunk of material...
It was like being a kid in a candy store. My father-in-law used to do alot of sewing, so he had a huge trunk full stuff. Alot of it is still in large cuts...I see some great quilts in my future!
This is some that still needs washed (1. It needs it after being in storage for so long...and 2. I always pre-wash!)
This is some of the solids and larger cuts that are already washed & folded.

I also found the inspiration for my NEXT hand quilting project...I can't believe I'm already thinking that far ahead!
It is these vintage flour sacks that once belonged to Chad's great-grandmother.
I'm leaning towards a piano runner...

 Here's some more of the already washed finds...some of it is already pre-cut squares for a Christmas quilt. I think that will be fun to decide what I want to do with them. 
 So here is my fabric shelves awaiting it's newest additions...it should be filled up soon with all the great stuff I found...Thanks Dad & Mom Dickson!

Yesterday was the Open House (Birthday Party) for Chad's grandma. She turned 90 years old. Here she is with her 4 great-grand daughters...however, none of her great-grand sons made the trip. But the girls played together and had a sleepover at "Big" Mama's (minus Amber :)). 
Amber, Mama, Liz, Sydney, and Brylee
 And then here she is with four of her five grandchildren.
Dylan, Chad, Mama, Sara, and Bernie
Mama enjoyed herself, at least she seemed to!

I received some wonderful complements on the invitations...and has made me seriously consider selling some on Esty...does anyone have incite on starting to sell stuff there? I'm still working on patterns to also sell there, but they are a little slow going right now.

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend. It went fast, but was mostly enjoyable...sunny and very warm here in NW PA.

This weekend I heard this repeatedly...on a kids radio program on Saturday, during Pastor's message on Sunday, and again on Monday in the car on a recorded conference we listened to on our travels...so, I thought I should share it with everyone today!

There hath no temptation taken you
 but such as is common to man:
but God is faithful, who will not suffer you
to be tempted above that ye are able;
but will with the temptation
also make a way to escape,
that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

God doesn't allow things to come into your life without Him being there to help you get through it. We can't bear the temptation and trials of our lives alone, we need to let go and let God bear them for us.

May your week go great...leaning on God along the way!
Amanda

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Beautiful Star...

It began to develop today at school...
(You can see a picture on Flickr...my server is not allowing me to post it here...???)

It's the first half of my first English Paper Piecing star for my first hand sewen quilt project of a table topper. I found that the basting of the material around the diamond is not very fun to me...but I love the sewing of the diamonds together and the development of the star!

Today I placed an order for material to make new valances for my living room.

Lakeside Resort Small Leaves Brown 6343-15

Lakeside Resort Large Leaves Beige 6342-19

Lakeside Resort Small Leaves Blue 6343-17

It was great priced Moda fabric over at The Fabric Quarter.  I think I'm going to enjoy the blue...since I've had a home to decorate, I've tended towards Burgundy with my greens and tans. So, it will be a great change...I hope!

Today I was practicing a song by Ron Hamilton, Bow the Knee, and it really made me think about majesty of God.

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord,
every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.
So then everyone of us
shall give account of himself to God.
Romans 14:11-12

Playing the piano can be one of the most rewarding times of reflection on God...just need to push myself to practice more!
Happy Wednesday!
Amanda

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hand Sewing Travel Box...

 Here it is...
The hand sewing that needed done on my hand sewing travel box is done! Now, when I need a 'travel' project, it can go in style :) ! However, the travel may only be to the back porch or the living room, but the 'box' keeps all my diamonds neatly organized and together.
I still need to get stitching on the diamonds...last night I was going to do a few but my arm hurt from the stitching I had done during school on the 'box'. (The extra perks of volunteering at an ACE church school...you can do crafts while you wait for the kids to ask questions...however, this is our last week, so most of them are done with all their PACES and reports.)

Since my handsewing might aggrivate my arm, I decided to work on decorating a card basket (for an open house...a 90th Birthday party...on Memorial Day). I used blue flowers around it and now just need to 'tack' them in place with some floral wire.
The bench it is sitting on is a new addition to our house. It is an old pew that had been at Chad's grandma's...it was then cut down to a smaller size when she moved into an assisted living facility. However, she had to down size some more, so we are the fortunate receipents of this beautiful old pew...
Now comes the fun part...making a cushion for the seat! I even have some fabric picked out!

Saturday was a beautiful summer day here and we enjoyed the day outside...

It's not the best picture of me, but the baby is adorable...so look at her instead! Liz didn't want a second picture taken at this moment, so she looked away, but I think it turned out to be a sweet picture of her.

Let your light so shine before men,
 that they may see your good works,
 and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

This reminds me that God has given me the abilities I have, so, I need to use them for Him and thank Him for them! (I realize this is not the main thought for this passage, but its what I got out of it today.)
Thank God today for your many blessings...because they all come from Him!
Amanda

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Summer Travel Project...

As I browse through other blogs, I see some great things! One of them is the 60 degree Diamond English Paper Piecing quilts. I've decide to start this hand sewn quilt process for something to carry along with me to summer picnics and parties...I even made a new little bag for this endeavour!

I still have to do some whip stitching to finish off the raw edges on the inside...when I get it done, I'll show pictures of my finished Hand Sewing Travel Box.
But now on to what's going into the box...

This week I decided I wanted to try some hand sewing, so I looked into getting the EPP templates...

However, it was cheaper to print off the diamonds and make my own templates. I found free diamond/triangle graph paper here and did some copy & pasting, arranging and shifting to get my diamonds 2" on each side. This made it possible for me to get 12 on one sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 piece of card stock.

I printed them off, cut them out, scored them in the middle, and am working on hole punching them.

Today I wanted to cut out my material diamonds...so I started digging through my scraps. These are some of the piles I had going...

(This green leaf material was 'lost' in my pile... it didn't make it into this project, but I can't wait to use it in something!)
In the end, I decided on a fallish coloring and cut enough diamonds for a table topper quilt. I thought this would be a good size to start with...to see if I like it before diving into a whole quilt. Here are my diamonds...

Now, I just need to get stitching!

Jessica over at Life Under Quilts has a good video to show you the basics of 60 degree diamond EPP...check it out and join the fun...there's also a Flickr group!

This pile of fabric will soon be on the cutting table...

I designed my own full size quilt that I hope to use this material for. I'm going to start with one block to make sure I like these materials together...

If I do like it, they'll become a quilt. It will be a flannel top with a fleece backing...and no batting. I think it will make a very cozy and warm, yet light, quilt.

Also, if all works out well, I am hoping to write it up, open an Esty site and sell it...I'm excited to try my first pattern to sell. Any tips on starting to sell things?

On Thursday, my baby turned 6 months old...she cried all day, but I was able to get a couple of happy pictures.
 This one is from today...she was alot happier all day!

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
 but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Be not thou therefore ashamed
of the testimony of our Lord,...
2 Timothy 1:7 & 8a

I'm so glad that the Lord is working in us...even when our 'sound mind' seems like its not there anymore! Also, I want to continually be a witness for the Lord...and realize always that...

Being confident in this very thing,
that he which hath begun a good work in you
will preform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Philippians 1:6

May your weekend be full of happy moments...
and church attendance!
Loving the chance to 'talk' with you...
Amanda

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Casserole Carrier Tutorial...

I've FINALLY got it written out! So, here we go...

*When I made mine, I was going off of a couple of patterns and added my own ideas. I really like the way it turned out... but I've only made the one - and I did notice a few things I would do different - which I have written in...so you get the easier version! (The one pattern was on the Moda Bake Shop site...it was very vague and hard to follow so I hope this one is easier, but it did give me sizes guides to start with. The other one was found from a google search and the only thing from that one I used was the idea of a dowel rod for handles.)

Materials:
    14 jelly roll strips (2 1/2" x 45")
    2 pieces of plain material 8" x 48" (I used flannel)
    1 piece of plain material 8" x 15"
    Batting (or felt by the yard...this is what I used and I think it makes it sturdier)
              2 pieces 8" x 48"
              2 pieces 14" x 36"
    Material for binding
    Scraps from plain material and jelly roll strips for handles
    5" piece of hook and loop tape
    3/4" diameter dowel rod

Section 1:
(1) Cut jelly roll strips to a 36" length (keep the scraps for the handles) and sew 7 of them together for the inside and sew together the other 7 for the outside.

(2) Take your 2 'tops' and make a quilt sandwich...
      - lay inside right side face down
      - layer with the 2 pieces of 14" x 36" batting/felt
      - top with outside, right side facing up
   Baste.

(3) Quilt. (I did 1/4" echoing on both sides of each of the ditches...using the outside as my quilt top...because if the inside stitching was a little off, it will not be seen as much as the out side :)
    Square to 13" x 34"

(4) Bind...now set this section aside while you make the cross-section.

Section 2:
(5) Take one piece of the plain material (8" x 48") and place right side facing down.

(6) place 2 pieces of batting/felt (8" x 48") on plain material, then top with the other piece of 8" x 48" plain material, right side facing up.

(7) Baste sandwich.

(8) Quilt.

(9) Take the piece of 8" x 15" plain material and hem in 1" each side on the 8" sides to make a piece of material 13" from hem to hem x 8" from raw edge to raw edge.

(10) Center this piece on the long plain quilt... the hem with go across the quilt and the raw edges will line up with the raw edges of the quilt sandwich. Pin this in place.
*This is a pocket for a hot/cold pack. I hope to make one soon and show a tutorial for that also.

(11) Bind this quilt sandwich.

Section 3:
Now lets put them together...
(12) Center the plain quilt (with pocket up) cross way on the inside of the pieced quilt section. Pin and sew them together along the 13" sides (so, across the pieced quilt and 'with' the plain quilt.

* Be careful...there is ALOT of layers here! I broke a needle during this part, so a heavier needle should probably be used. I also broke a couple of needles when adding the handles...so keep the heavier needle handy for that part as well.

(13) Now, place the hook and loop tape on the flaps (plain material).
       I'll try to explain my placement...but the picture may show it better...

Take half of your hook and loop tape and center it on the inside of the plain material about 2 1/4" from the 8" edge. Take the other half of the 'tape' and center it on the outside about 6" from the 8" edge.

Section 4:
Making and adding the handles.
(14) You will need 8 jelly roll scraps (2 1/2" x 8") and 4 pieces of plain material (4 1/2" x 8"), 4 pieces of batting 4 1/2" x 8" and some binding.

(15) Sew together 2 piece of the jelly roll per each handle...

(16) Take these and make four sandwiches...however these ones are different!
         - lay your jelly roll face up
         - lay your plain material face down on jelly roll
         - top with batting/felt
     pin together and sew along the 8" length of the sandwiches (leave the ends open!)

(17) Turn right side out. Quilt as wanted...

(18) Loop each of the four handles and do the first step of binding around the bottom, then turn the binding down.

(19) Pin the handles to the outside of the pieced quilt about 2 inches from the top and sew.

(20) Cut your dowel rod into two pieces about 13 1/2" long each and slide through handles. (I have yet to do this,...and I want to...but you may want to pin the handles close to the dowel rods, then remove the rods and sew to make a tighter fit around the rods.)

There is your completed Casserole Carrier.



This carrier fits a 13"x 9" baking pan, an oblong 3 quart Crock Pot, and a 11" x 7" baking pan.
Have fun taking you dishes in style to your summer picnics!

Provideth her meat in the summer,
and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Proverbs 6:8

Have a great day...go sew...!
Amanda

Monday, May 16, 2011

Amber's blanket...

This week the Bloggers' Quilt Festival is being held over at Amy's Creative Side. There are already over 425 entries...with new ones being added continually! Its a treasure trove of inspiration and beauty. Be sure to check it out!

In my recent post, The Joy of Nice Weather..., I showed the flannel quilts I made for my girls. I was not aware of the Bloggers' Quilt Festival till two days after the post...so I want to reshow the Flannel Rag Quilt I made for my youngest daughter, Amber.
I shared the story behind this quilt...but for the new visitors from the Festival, I'd like to share the story again, then I'll add a little bit about what I gained through making this quilt...


This pretty pink and purple one is Amber's. I made it for her just after she was born. This one has a story to it...do you want to hear it? Oh Good!

First, when I found out I was pregnant again, I knew I wanted to make a rag quilt for the new baby, but I was going to wait till I knew if it was going to be a girl or a boy. July 2010 was when I had my sonogram to find out...but the baby didn't cooperate! So, things happened that I did not need any other sonograms, and it was getting closer to November...

So, in September or October, we picked out a neutral palette of material and bought what was needed. However, it was actually a little on the boyish side, and I never got around to making the quilt. Then, I had the baby, a darling little girl - Amber! The week after I had her, I went to the ER with severe side pain. They didn't find anything wrong,
gave me pain pills and sent me home...

It was Black Friday...Jo-Ann's was having the best sale EVER on flannel, which is what the blankets are made out of. I told my loving husband that if I didn't hurt so much I would have him stop...but he knows me well!!!

He stopped and we got the fabrics to make the darling blanket, then went home... and then I slept most of the day. On Monday, I went to the chiropractor and he adjusted me as best as he could for only being a week after a C-section...
and I've been fine ever since.
He said a rib was probably just out of place from the C-section.

This quilt started me into sewing on a more regular basis...I've always enjoyed crafts, but didn't do much with the sewing machine regularly. The snipping of the frays was finished, by my husband (isn't he great!), on Christmas day...and the sewing machine has been out and used ever since. I'm loving the use of fabric and showing the projects on this blog...which I started in March.

Here are a few more pictures of the blanket with Amber...



Quilt Stats:
           Finished size...44" x 38"
           Material... corrdinating flannels from Jo-Ann's 
           Batting... felt by the yard

Today's verse is part of the parable used to show that being saved is done by God's grace, not through the law. (See the left side bar for more explaination of salvation through grace.)

No man also seweth a piece
of new cloth on an old garment:
else the new piece that filled it up
 taketh away from the old,
and the rent is made worse.
Mark 2:21

I've enjoyed seeing the various quilts...
Are you enjoying the show too?
Thanks for stopping...hope to 'see' you again soon!
Amanda

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spring in Bloom...

The day was very warm yesterday...
but the trees are in beautiful bloom.
These are blooms on the apple tree we planted in our back yard when we first moved into our house.
It is lop-sided because it had an accident with a snowplow the winter after it was planted. Amber tried to eat the blooms during picture time.

There was some thunder overhead at the time, but I loved it...the sound, the smell of the coming rain, and having fun with the baby! The neighbor has some great flowering trees, I love getting pictures of them in the spring.
Then when I went into the house I watered my window flower...which I am surprised is still alive...I do NOT have a green thumb.

And then a little more of a surprise when I looked a little closer...a baby!

I can't wait to watch it grow!
While Amber and I walked around the yard, Liz took her afternoon nap with her Easter pillow...it made me smile and happy that she likes it and got it for her nap.
Then last night I had my 'personal' Friday Night Sew-in, because I'm not able to do it next week on the scheduled night. I worked on the Americana Star Pillows for my secret sister (SS). I did some free motion quilting... and think I need to add the word primitive to the title of these pillows! However on the red one I ventured out and added words to the border...Psalm 33:12a.


All together I like the way they turned out. I hope my SS enjoys them. (Sorry if the 'secret' part is lost because I'm sharing them here...but we'll have fun with it anyway!)

Today, I've been browsing through the long list of the Bloogers' Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side. There are so many to get through...but I'm trying. In the next few days I hope to post for the festival too. It's making me want to quilt a larger quilt for the fall festival. Enjoy the inspiration!
Here is the timely verse quilted onto the red pillow...

 Blessed is the nation
whose God is the Lord:
Psalm 33:12a

Now, off to design a quilt...hope to 'see' you in church tomorrow!
Amanda

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Joy of Nice Weather...

Today was another beautiful day. The children had time to play outside at school and planted seeds with the Pastor's wife (she teaches the younger grades) to watch them grow. So, at dinner, Liz told Chad that she made dirt :) ! They are so adorable...
This was Amber on the back porch while I took towels off the clothes line.
Here is a picture of her last week on another beautiful day...only slightly cooler, so she needed a hat!
Also, last week, on that beautiful day, I took some other photos I said I would post...so here are a few pics that I took...

This is the Mother's Day table center piece that I said I would finish showing you on Monday...sorry it took till late Wednesday night to get it posted!
Next are two rag quilts I've made for Liz and Amber...
This bright and cheery one is Liz's and was the first 'quilt' I ever made...its an easy rag quilt. I made it for Liz while I was pregnant for her, so it is 3 years old.
This pretty ink and purple one is Amber's. I made it for her just after she was born. This one has a story to it...do you want to hear it? Oh Good!

First, when I found out I was pregnant again, I knew I wanted to make a quilt for the new baby, but I was going to wait till I knew if it was going to be a girl or a boy. July '10 was when I had my sonogram to find out...but the baby didn't cooperate! So, things happened that I did not need any other sonograms, and it was getting closer to November...

In September or October, we picked out a neutral palette of material and bought what was needed. However, it was actually a little on the boyish side, and I never got around to making the quilt. Then, I had the baby, a darling little girl - Amber! The week after I had her, I went to the ER with severe side pain. They didn't find anything wrong, gave me pain pills and sent me home...

It was Black Friday...Jo-Ann's was having the best sale EVER on flannel, which is what the blankets are made out of. I told my loving husband that if I didn't hurt so much I would have him stop...He knows me well!!!

He stopped and we got the fabrics to make the darling blanket, then went home... and I slept most of the day. On Monday, I went to the chiropractor and he adjusted me as best as he could for only being a week after a C-section...and I've been fine ever since. He said a rib was probably just out of place from the C-section.

Now to more sewing pictures...

This is a small coupon 'pocket' that I helped a young friend make for her mom for Mother's Day. And this is another table center piece I made for a special lady at church for Mother's Day...
That's what I worked on over the weekend...and since Sunday I haven't had a chance to sew. Tomorrow, I plan to sew...

But you never know...

Whoso keepeth the commandment
shall feel no evil thing:
and a wise man's heart discerneth
both time and judgement.
Ecclesiastes 8:5

We need to have a schedule...but be sure it is flexible to allow God work as He needs to in and through our lives. Have a wonderfully productive day!
Amanda