Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cute Gift Project

It's graduation time and the usual gift is a check. Although it is surely very much appreciated by the recipient, I wanted to make it just a little more special. I purchased a card, but made a fabric envelope - a little more special than a paper envelope.

Here's how: Carefully undo the envelope and lay it flat. Take two pieces of coordinating fabrics cut larger than the envelope pattern, and fuse them together. Trace the envelope onto one of the fabric sides and cut out. Score the fold lines and fold. I used a strip of fusible web to close the envelope sides, or you could use some glue.

I then positioned a button on the back so the envelope flap would slip under the button. I added a couple of beads to the button that just happened to match the fabric patters - how cute is that?! To personalize the envelope, I painted the graduates initial with Lumere paint on the front of the envelope. It was quick, fun, and easy and hopefully will be a little keepsake.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Who Who!

We have lived in our home for 24 years and have had many great "nature experiences." One of the great joys of having so many trees is that there is an amazing abundance of birds in our yard. We often hear owls hooting and on occasion see an owl in the woodsy part of our yard. I even had the incredible experience once of seeing an owl swoop down and catch its prey - what I believe was a baby squirrel. Last week Bob noticed that an own stayed perched in one spot for most of the day for many days. Then the ol' eagle eye spotted why - an owl's nest and a baby owl! This was such a treat and we spent a lot of time with the binoculars enjoying this young fuzzy creature. He left the nest sometime during the past two days and the adult hasn't been seen either. What a treat it was - worth the 24 year wait!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

To the Finish Line

Haven't posted any blogs lately, but I have finished quilting projects! Two of the quilt tops had been done for some time and needed to go to the long arm quilters. I just did not want to tackle quilting these, as an awful lot had gone into them and my quilting skills are just not there. The first one is "Almost Christmas." It is my first paper pieced quilt (and maybe my last!). At the end I ran out of fabric to put a much needed border, so I pieced one. I think it added so much to the quilt, moreso than a plain border would have, but it took almost as long to put together as the body of the quilt! Judy Whitehead did an overall quilting design and did a wonderful job. Unfortunately, with the fabric pattern and all the pieces, you can't really appreciate her excellent job unless you look closely. The quilt is now at the end of our bed and I love it.

For some time I had collected black and white fabrics for a quilt to put in our home office. I began putting it together following a pattern, but just didn't care for it. I then started to play and put together a design that I just love! I knew it needed to be custom quilted and Chrintine Sholtz tackled this quilt for me. Just look at the detail! Every section was customized. These long arm quilters are truly amazing - they just seem to have a natural talent to know what needs to go where. Of all the quilts I've done, this black, white and a little bit of red is one of my favorites. So far it is unnamed - Any suggestions?

Last, but not least - Ta Da! The Crazy Quilt is done! "Twelve Years of Crazy," cuz that's about how long it has taken me to do. The more I worked on it, the more I realized I love beading. I'm already collecting fabrics and beads and will soon start another. This one will be a wall quilt, so hopefully it will take less than 12 years. I even did some detail in the corner of the borders and put on a satin binding. I don't recommend it. As you can see, it's not very smooth and was a bit tough to sew on. But it's done and I love walking by it in the living room every day.

If' I make a quilt that I'm going to keep, unless it's seasonal, it will be out to be seen and used. I just can't hide them away - after all, it is a piece of me that's gone into making them and I want to share them with my family and friends. They're also nice to curl up under and take a much needed nap.