Sunday, March 6, 2016

Friends, Family, Fun and of course FABRIC

Love seeing the piecing when the back is
rolled up on the A1 quilting frame

It's been a busy week! Perhaps I should retitle this as "Karen's Week in Pictures"or "Nine Days of Nothing But Endless Fun"

So grab that second cup of coffee, put your feet up, settle in, make yourself at home and get ready for a fast paced ramble, quilt style!

The quilt on the frame is called Scrappy Bargello adapted from Bonnie Hunter's pattern (I changed the border). I pieced it last summer and decided it had waited long enough in the endless personal "quilts in waiting" drawer - I wanted something fast and fun to quilt last Saturday afternoon after a busy week in the Quilts 'N Kaboolde studio.
Quilts 'N Kaboodle "logo" - my butterfly

I decided on an all over design (pantograph) but also wanted to add a personal touch, my handquided butterfly. Before you knew it the quilt was finished and it was lights out in the studio. Another "finished is good" personal project quilted!

I enjoy taking Sunday afternoons "off" to either sew for myself or take a much needed nap. Last Sunday I was energetic and when I came into the studio after church to unload the scrappy bargello off the frame I noticed that I had really a lot of fabric on the sides of the quilt due to piecing the back much bigger than needed.  Hum... Never never let a backing already loaded go to waste! I quickly found a project that a would utilize that space! 

Yep, the pattern Just in Case had a small version that would just fit in the "leftover" backing.
Did someone take a bite out of my backing?
So I quickly cut the  soft and stable to the correct size, found a piece of fabric scrap that I liked and did a few freestyle swirls to make my bag (details below). Later after I finished the bag I decided that I really should take advantage of the other side of the backing before I took the quilt off the frame...(I stopped at a two, I could have quilted up and down that backing but enough is enough - or is it?

Again I found my soft and stable - this time a black placemat size that I trimmed to fit the spot and layered it with a fun flip flop print. I decided that this time I would quilt a squiggly wiggly crosshatch. I have absolutely no plan for this quilted future bag - but I'm thinking that it may be the correct size for a small Open Wide Pouch... time will tell..but I can tell you, it didn't happen during the days I'm rambling about now  
Layering Soft and Stable with fabric on quilt backing

Pouncing grid markings

Wiggle Crosshatching on my A1 Quilting Machine 
By the way, it has been several years since I truly rambled on Blogger and I'm finding that the photos don't want to go where I tell them too...guess things updated while I was playing Quilt Rambler Rip Van Winkle... so please bare with me - it drives me crazy that photos aren't  in line where I want them - goes back to those high school and college days of journalism I guess - but back then we did the mock up by hand and with a typewriter! Oh my...I'm seriously a dinosaur, but who wants to talk about aging when we can talk about quilts!!

Ta-da- Here's the quilt off the frame and bound. I think I will call it Scrappy Memories Bargello as when I look at the fabrics in the quilt the majority of them have a story...some from other quilts that I remember fondly (and still have) others from quilts that have been gifted. A few fabrics I remember were a part of my fat quarter collection...I can honestly say some of the fabrics date back to 2001! So maybe I should call this 15 years of scrappy memories  Regardless, it's done. A fun little quilt meant for picnics or watching TV or walking down memory lane...or whatever!

Scrappy Bargello - fabric memories
So are you eager to see the bag I made last Sunday? The black and white hibiscus was the backing from the bargello quilt... This is the interior of the Just in Case bag - it has a vinyl pocket with a zipper, a mesh pocket on the spine and then a zippered mesh pocket. It went together really quickly - Patterns By Annie are so much fun. I want to collect and make them all!

Just In Case (small) interior

Made with Love Zipper Charm

Side view of small Just in Case

Front View of Just in Case

How did you like the little zipper charm I found at JoAnn's - "made with love"  I think the package had about 80 charms so you will be seeing them on all my future bags (and my past bags - grin - once I take time to put them on).

So in case you didn't know, or you forgot cuz it's been a long week for you too, Monday was Leap Day 2016. Yep, a free day! An extra day this year to either do whatever you want or if you have to punch the clock it was an extra day of pay! (well, we can pretend can't we?!?) I believe in celebrating the small stuff, why not? Life is short, make it as special as you can right?

Well, my day was rather special, thank you for asking.  I enjoyed a day with my friend Anne from Tennessee. Reader's Digest version - we lived in the Tri-City area of Upper East Tennessee from 1980 to 1998, wandered around the country living and working in our RV (with pre-teens and a puppy) until setting back in the Houston/Galveston area in 2001 (Texas is the family homestead)....Anne and I met when our oldest were babies, both boys were born in 1985 so we've known each other a good long time. Hadn't seen each other in a little over a year and a half so it was good to have a full day together to catch up, share family stories/photos and of course I just had to show her around the studio (and all the little bags I've made recently). By the way, Anne is the one who introduced me to a rotary cutter, ruler and mat...and the rest they say IS HISTORY!

Happy Leap Day With Anne
It was a beautiful day to sit outside under the tiki hut for morning tea and then again after lunch. The day past too quickly as time always does with friends. I sure did enjoy my "free day" though! And hope we don't have to wait until another leap year to have a day together again.

Tuesday it was back to work...thought I'd show you one of my customer quilts that graced the frame this week...She makes a lot of these from Texan "game towels". Kinda like a t-shirt quilt in the construction of the top...only she backs it with licensed Texan fleece and skips the batting...hum...guess I'm quilting a throw instead of a quilt (for those quilt police out there - of course everyone knows a quilt is three layers!) This is going to auction for Sunshine Kids...she donates a quilt/throw every year.

Customer Quilt on the Frame
Also took some time this week to get back to juicing...I think I've only missed one or two days this week of making some sort of fresh juice. I always feel better when I juice.  This was a carrot apple ginger - delicious! I make "green" juices also that are equally good....don't worry, I'm not going to post every drink I make (been there done that, they didn't give me a shirt so I stopped).

Time to juice - carrot apple ginger
In case you are wondering, while I've been MIA on blogger I also totally gave up Facebook but picked up Instagram. I really like that social media --  fun and fast scrolling through photos. I'm one of those people who enjoys others show and tell or vacation photos. I've learned my way around the "hashtag" thing....gee...when I was growing up it was the "pound sign" or represented "number"....anyway....its still a self-gratifying medium cuz you want people to "like" your photos or comment....Its kinda fun to follow the popular folks - for me that's not movie stars but quilt stars! Pattern designers, fabric designers, big shops, manufacturers, other longarm quilters, or just folks I come across when searching a hashtag. (I also like to look at juice photos, nutritional stuff, Christian sayings, even vape shops - but that's a story for another time) was really a treat to see that one of my posts was "reposted"....

Last summer I made a quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Company's tutorial called the Binding Tool Quilt and had a sew in with friends and they made one too. One of the gals asked  me to  quilt hers on the longarm and then just recently brought me pillow sham tops she had pieced to match .... and I posted...and ...'s okay to brag a little among friends, isn't it? however please note that I am doing so humbly of course. My husband reminds me that I'm really proud of my humility....(grin)

Instagram Repost - Customer Quilt

Have you had to go back for thirds? or stop for other nourishment?  I told you this would be a long was a long busy week and my iPhone camera was busy!

I know most folks really look forward to Friday and this week I was extra looking forward to Friday! I had plans to go to Winter Jam - a night of Christian bands and fabulous worship. One of my friends from church joined me along with her 10 yr old twins (boy/girl). We went early for the "Street Party" and yep - I brought my new quilt! You can see it peaking out under us as we were gazing up at the wondrously blue spring sky. It was a great afternoon waiting for the doors to open. When they did we were blessed to be some of the first in line and was able to get a great seat looking straight at the stage where we were joined by another young couple from my church.

There were 10 bands and the place was rocking from 6 to almost midnight. I can't express how much I enjoyed the evening. So many of the songs I know from Christian Radio and they truly seem to be the right words/song for the right time. So uplifting, edifying, convicting, and a good reminder that I am loved by The Creator God...This is the second year my girlfriend and I have gone...I think we are going to make it a tradition!
Winter Jam 2016
Okay, we've rambled about friends, fun, for a quick family report...The photos were dark because of the angle of the sun on yet another beautiful spring day....we were celebrating my oldest son's birthdday with extended family at the new Top Golf driving range thingie/place. I'm not a golfer - couldn't really do putt putt in my day,  but I gave it a go...the best part was just taking time to enjoy the day with my son. Funny how you never never forget giving birth...You do really have your children for such a short time. Raise them to be independent and then are kinda sad when they are...but that's how its suppose to be!
Family Celebrations at Top Golf

Wow, told you it was a busy week! And here we are back to a Sunday Sewing day after church. I had previously planned on working on my Hunter's Star quilts....but another copy-cat bag was calling my name....

Sunday Sewing Inspiration

Remember me telling you I have a vast collection of Vera Bradly bags? Well, I had this perfect bag that held my cellphone, I clipped it to my bike handle when riding so my MapMyRide app could work to keep up with my miles and such....well....a month ago I traded in my phone for a "plus size" - no I'm ignoring the thoughts of weight gain, I'm talking about a bigger phone so I can see the numbers better (oh goodness, that aging things just creeps in so unexpectantly and so unwelcome) ANYWAY...a bigger phone calls for a bigger bag....and of course I just happen to have a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.....

In keeping with #sewmystash2016 I was a good girl and used strips of Island Batik's Caribbean Splash collection - actually leftovers from my Hunter's Star quilt I should have been working on today for the April Cruise .... remind me to tell you more about that another time - or hop over to my website for a link with details  ... So I used the strips with ByAnnie's Soft and Stable and did a quick "quilt as you go" construction. Then I broke out the Zippers by the Yard that I purchased at Festival last fall and cut off "just what I needed" to go around the future little pouch.
Measuring Zipper Length
By the way, did you notice the little swivel hook on the back - the original Vera had one and I really liked copy cat...

Swivel Lobster Hook on back

After a couple of "do overs" concerning the placement of the inside mesh pockets I finally had my "Karen Original"  (You do realize that the wisest man in the world, King Solomon, said there was nothing new under the sun).  I used the One-Zip Technique that I learned from Lazy Girl Designs with her online tutorials and patterns - I like the way it opens wide. I also used her Fobio pattern to turn the pouch into a wristlet. I can't get enough of these key fobs - who says you can't have them in every color imaginable!
Cellphone Wristlet and Fobio Key Fob
The inside pocket is perfect for my cell phone (although that one isn't mine and I couldn't take a photo with my phone if my phone was in the bag silly!) with another little pocket to keep my lip stuff...I'm thinking I can also fit a small coin purse/ID in the middle...that's going to be a project for another day.
Inside Cellphone Wristlet 

So all in all it's been a fun week plus. What else do you expect when you combine friends, family, fabric with time for faith....

I will leave you with my reminder from Instagram....and a video from one of the bands Friday is one of the songs that helps me keep going... hope it blesses you too.

Until next time,

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