Monday, October 31, 2016

The great Halloween roundup for 2016

Just some teasers as to my Halloween makings for this year. You saw the tote bag.
Here are some stamped cards  (post on how I made them to follow this week)
And the inside of the cards
They are quilted and attached to card stock.
I'll tell you about the stencil and the card making later, as well as the Halloween quilt. It's a whole pattern How-to that can be used for any collection.(Later...)
I used this stencil
to ink and paint 9 sugar skulls  all with different colored flowers. I used a new tool (later...)
Here is a Halloween throw sized quilt

And the piece de resistance, my peyote bracelet complete with skulls and swarovski crystal fringe!

I still need to finish the fringe but it's almost done.
I changed the pattern a little
1. I did even count peyote, and made it narrower than the pattern called for
2. I did long fringe on both sides
3. I put colored skulls instead of their tasteful gray

the link to my halloween or Fall colored bracelet is at ArtBeads, and it's a free pattern.

I like Halloween

It was a good kick start to return to the studio, along with my community of Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks. I needed to sew, and create, and make. I had a hard time coming back to it from the loss of my Poodle-son Cole as all the joy left the building. I had to go find Joy and bring it back, little by little.

The house is not as joyful as it was... I still cry each day.... it's just that I create something each day between the tears and it's a start.

Enjoy these posts from prior Halloweens with my darling boy...

link to this post is pirate-poodle

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rubies... or red diamonds?

Catching up a bit with rainbow scrap challenge
I pulled out the red scrap bin, with all those little pieces, and made 9 diamonds, which made this diamond,er, Ruby!
This ruby with all the other faceted gem stones make this
Really Big Diamond of many colors.

Now the panic sets in.

How to set it. It's big enough to turn into a twin with little trouble.

I have a lot of smaller diamonds made and left over, do I somehow just fill in with random color?

Piece this into one back ground fabric, which would be big. Bigger than I usually work with. And really boring to quilt, for me.

I know, I know you modern people love an empty background and quilt the heck out of it. I have a bad back people, pushing and pulling a quilt this size around my domestic machine isn't going to thrill me.

I've never sent a quilt out for quilting. First off I have money separation disorder. Second, I'm a quilter for Pete's sake! It's what I do. Third, I admit to being a control freak with my artwork.

So how should I set this thing? The colored diamonds are not sewn to each other yet... lots of choices here.
Plus I'm not opposed to making some in black and white. Help a sew-er out y'all!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Halloween Improv Tote Tute -- Part Deux (#2)

Hi again. Did you read part one on how I started this tote? If not we'll wait while you catch up...
the link is: click here!
So this is a peek into how it looks open and in use.
We stopped yesterday with the quilting. The quilt backing fabric is your lining fabric. I use one color thread on top, and a different one in bobbin to match the lining. This tote is simple, without pockets or zipper. It's one you can easily make in a couple sewing sessions to your size needs. This one set up is about 18" X 15" or so.
Here is the top before quilting. There is a crazy quilt fabric in the center piecing the two sections together. It will be the bottom when folded up and sewn.

Peltex is quite firm, and doesn't like to bend to fit into the machine. That means I didn't over quilt it, as I wanted mostly straight lines. I did some free motion around the little candies however.

I broke the needles when I tried to couch the sparkly gold ribbon around the candy squares. It only did that because I had to keep turning the piece and it didn't want to turn.

Couching is just applique of thread or ribbon. Zigzag over it.  Note my favorite Bernina stitch is the spiral. My old 1630 has it, and no other machine does except there is a similar one on the expensive new model.
 By the way, look at the cute prints! I love the little frog scrap, the zigzaggy purple on green.
I admit, I did this whole thing in a speedy fashion. I didn't dither, or check tension. Just got busy.
When it's quilted trim the tops and bind. I did a speedy machine binding in purple. The handles are 1" strips of peltex about 36" long. I cut fabric 2.5" placed the peltex strip on the back, folded and over lapped the fabric over, zigzagged it closed. Fastest sturdiest handles I ever made.
I measured to make sure to attach them in the same place on both ends, and machine stitched them on.
Next step is to fold back the lining fabric out of the way, and fold the bag in half RST. (Just try and pin it thru the peltex!) and sew a quarter inch seam all the way down. Be careful if you use peltex. Go slowly.

(Since I left the lining (backing) fabric larger around than the front, I had material to use to cover the seam)

Once the side seams are sewn, I pulled one side of lining over the raw edge, then the other side was pulled the other way, covering the first side. Tuck under the last raw edge and resew the now covered seam a bit less than quarter inch catching the lining fabric, finishing off the inside edge so pretty!
I know it might sound a bit confusing, after all I am a designer, not a pattern maker.
I can easily teach a class how, by showing them, but I just hope you can get the drift.

See there how the lining covered the raw edges?
It's inside out now and you need to box the bottom so it has a flat place to stand up, and these stand up on their own.

The only way to describe it here, is sort of open the bag until it forms the V on the bottom.
This is a 45* angle. Place the ruler 45*line on one side, use a chalk marker, measure up about 2" and draw a line.
Peek inside and make sure the side seam line falls in the middle of the bottom of the bag.
sew along that drawn line.

Repeat on the other side.

Turn the bag inside out, and it's all done.
Unless you want to bead or embellish it... and you should. I would. Er, did, and might do more.
And truth be told, I might tote this around though Thanksgiving.

Using Improv to make a tote #1

Voila! The Halloween tote finished  mere days before the holiday... well there's always next year too!
I have to work when I want to work and this wanted to be made. I already made a throw quilt with one concocted pattern, stenciled some sugar skulls, stamped some fabric for note cards  (winging their way to some of you as we speak) and now an improve tote.
Lookie! My motto "USE IT!" is in play because I have had these skelli key rings hanging around for years!
I just slipped it on the handle! What fun! There's a yellow one on the other side. 

 Each time I make something I develop a new technique and this time it was a way to finish off the inside seams. It is so picture heavy I plan to do two posts on the making of this.
I started with left over scraps from doing the quilt (pattern and tutorial to follow in a few days)
 That quilt was made from scraps from a quilt I made my friend Suze about 7 years ago. Heh heh
They must multiply.
So these really stale scraps became improv log cabins. I started with the icky candy fabric cutting it into various size squares. Then adding as I went, willy nilly, growing and growing til they were about 7" ish.
I had 12, and placed them on the wall. Decided where to add a bit, where to trim a bit so they would fit together into two main (front and back) sections for a tote.
then I sewed them together and added a little accent strip for the top of the bag.
I'm loving it at this stage, and wondering how it'll look in 3-D. Decided to add in side strips so when the bottom was boxed in, it would keep the log cabins mostly to the front.

Next step is to add in a strip that will be the bottom of the bag, sewing it to the two sections in order to layer and quilt. I use peltex instead of batting in my totes. It quilts great, the totes have body, but it's a mess to gather through the machine sometimes.Doesn't want to bend.  I broke two needles. shrug.

I quilt it as usual, and usually do an envelop turn to finish off the side seams. I didn't want to this time. so I came up with a way to finish the inside side seams. That's tomorrow.

I'll tell you about the couching, side seams, handles, and boxing the bottom all in this post:
the link is click here
Sewing is fun Y'all.
I know someone will ask if I made this! They always do, and I think of course, where on earth would you find this kind of nonsense?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Things "I Like" Thursdays #7

It's Thursday, so it must be time for "things I like" this week.
First off, I love Fall and the orange colors we see everywhere, but I also love bright colors so when I saw this last cosmo in all it's red violet-ness I had to snap a pic. It was a brilliant change from the golds and oranges all around.
1. I like Holiday kitchen towels. They hang on the stove handle, and just make me so happy looking at them.
Here are four Halloween towels. Be sure to take the advice on the bottom one.
2. I have shared my obsession and hoarding of magazines with you here. My holders got very worn and torn so I found these recently at IKEA
In case the picture doesn't show it, they are the most delicious shade of delicate blue/aqua. So pretty and much sturdier than my old ones, plus they come with a name plate to slide the titles in... being from IKEA they need putting together...
Luckily no wrench is needed, nor were the instructions needed. Whew! I would rather make up my own rules to a game rather than read instructions!
They apparently did require additional choco cookies to construct. I like them too. Too much.

3. Speaking of cookies I like a good strong cuppa coffee
We get these at the grocery store, but Target often has them at a better price. Yum! French roast. We love strong coffee with milk, but since we wanted two cups in the morning and didn't want our hearts racing, we keep a container of half reg/half decalf  ready to use by the coffee maker.

4. Speaking of drinking makes me think of lips specifically
Neutrogena lip balm.

It has fabulous colors, and spf of 20. I have to keep spf on my lips outside, and this is colorful, subtle, moisturizing, and in a good container. It's an oval shape, easy to swipe on and find in a purse.

It's found where regular cosmetics are found and a real "find" for me. I like Plum shade.

5.Now cut that out
Handle with care... they bite!
In the studio likes...

I not only like but LOVE fiskars spring opening miro blade scissors. They are just right in your hand, easy to manipulate, no finger holes to deal with and sharp.

I believe they could snip off an extremity if a quilter were not careful. Of course, y'all already deal with the weapons called rotary cutters so you know to take care with sharp objects. They have also been known to spring open by themselves, causing them to fall to the floor. Yikes! Glad I wasn't around!

6. Unexpected fabric store purchases
like these from Capital Quilts in Gaithersburg MD. I didn't need a thing so I left with this cool pattern for conversation prints or in my case, a flamingo collection. Then there's the thread on sale.  Had to get that for scientific purposes... never used Precencia before.

As to the fabric, well it was Stonehenge on sale. As good a reason to buy some as any.
The little kit is a paper piecing pattern with the fabric needed all in one.

Fall leaves. I've done these little kits before and they are sometimes challenging, but at the price ($8??) they are a steal and like opening a little gift when you make it.

7. I am so lucky to have friends who send me fabric just because...
Like Ellen sent the black and white fabrics because she knew I'd like them. It was like balm to my heart to see these arrive from her! And Karen at Tu-Na quilts sent the words and trailers fabrics to me because I asked for scraps upon seeing them used in her quilts. I love you guys! I only wish I was on top of things enough to always take a snap of the cool things you thoughtful people have sent to me. I may be disorganized at times, or overwhelmed by life, but I always appreciate your love.

8. visit this blog to enjoy the artistic journey of a person who transforms old items like trays, bottles, furniture into modern useful home accessories.

I am having fun seeing what she does to alter old furniture and items she finds for her shop. I enjoy items from the 40's to 60's and she finds some cool stuff. She just did a tutorial on how to paint a shadow onto something.

That's about it for me this week. I hope you aren't eating all the halloween candy early. As usual if you did an "I like" post let me know and I'll put up a link to it too!
LeeAnna (trying to focus on things I like )
also sharing today are:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Howl...aween video and giveaway winners

woooooo.... my window boxes are infested with a flamingo skelli and ghost. I must admit they look Happy!
And these guys have take up partying in the back yard, with another flamingo

This is a short video ( youtube  )  tour of our outside decorations. The link is for those who can't play it from here...
Now that you're in the mood... here are the giveaway winners... and I'll try to contact you for your addresses

Don't be too disappointed if you didn't win... I have more to come and want everyone to win something so I'll keep giving if you keep reading!
By the way you should go back and read all the WONDERFUL responses. I am still laughing!!! You are all so creative! (and you know how I like that in a person)
The book is for Diane
The trucks go to Mari at Academic Quilter
The pile of stuff goes to Karen at Tu-Na
The hexies, and I hope you make something fabulous with them, keep me in the loop if you do, go to...
Kathi E   at  sparkle, sprinkles

Stay tuned for some Howl a ween stamping fun, a quick quilt tutorial, and things I like this week. It's a busy blogging week y'all!
 Love (mean it!) LeeAnna

Want more Halloween posts, including quilts and poodles? Click here and read more (/halloween)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

We all live with a Yellow Sewing Machine!

I wish I had a bright Yellow sewing machine. I saw a yellow featherweight once but it was over a thousand buckeroos. That would buy lots of supplies... the color of the month at RSC  is yellow with orange.
I forgot to get a finished pic of the whole machine but this gives you the idea. The white block is 14" square.
I start by going through the scrap bin, pulling out little pieces I really like and sewing them together like a puzzle.

I keep the general shape going of the pattern so it will be big enough.

Then I place a layer of fusible interfacing, fusible dots side to the right side and place pattern on top.

Sew all the way round. snip the interfacing, and carefully turn right sides out. This leaves the applique with dimension, but gives a fusible side to attach it to the background for decorative sewing around. This time I used a yellow variegated Oliver Twist hand dyed cotton thread and a buttonhole stitch.

Let's take a closer look, shall we??
I love the sparkly dragonfly piece, that was about 3" X 4". The musical notes have found their way into so many quilts.
The wee pink flower was appliqued on after piecing, as it was just a cutout without fusible backing.

Yep, I often lay out non fused pieces over others and sew them down, allowing for a tiny bit of fray.

Keep looking, you'll see the buttonhole stitch and...

the special hand dyed sun from another quilt I never showed you. See the little colorful hands? Love those.
Wish I had a bolt of the spool background fabric.

It's all gone with this machine quilt.

See the cockatiel?
tiger lily under him?

Stars, and pretty florals? All stuff I like.

It might look like a yellow machine, but it's full of fun. Just like a real machine, full of fun!

Check out my blog  (  for the giveaway... and lots more creative ideas.
 Glad you stopped by!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Riddle me this... a giveaway

Okay, ready for the riddle?
Your goal is to entertain me by answering  
(No need to show your work)

* A woman leaves her home at 2 pm traveling on average 45 MPH to her local quilt store in order to buy fabric for a quilt border. She needs fabric in a certain color, and she owns conservatively, approximately, a meeelion yards of fabric in that color already. If she spends approximately an hour shopping there,  how much does she leave with at the end of the shopping trip and how much has she spent?  

Take your time.
I already tested my husband with this and he said whatever she buys will be a quarter yard too little.

He's not wrong, but he's not winning any of this loot.

Disclaimer, some of this is not new, in fact you will be winning "RESCUE" items.

Let me know if you have a yearning for anything in particular. I expect to choose several winners, one for each of the numbers,  and will end the competition on Tuesday Oct 25th. I may give preference to anyone who follows me regularly so feel free to tell me how you do that.

Good luck.

Put on your thinking caps.

Make sure you leave a contact email addy if you're a no response blogger like I am, ( thru no fault of my own as I've tried, I really have, to correct the problem, and no tutorial shows the buttons I see on my screen)

Ready to see the loot?
1. first of all, nearly 200 vintage hexies. They were not done with EPP they are seamed. LOTS of them.
They were given to me, and I cannot take on this project despite LOVING a hexie. I need to wash all fabrics before using, and wouldn't wash these.
These need a home! 
Anyone out there love vintage items and want to give these hexies a good home?? 
2. This little book by Robbie Eklow sharing her life as a quilter
3. packet of scraps of truck fabrics, perfect for someone... want to receive these??
4. Almost a yard of fabric, pin cushion, pattern and reproduction civil war button
Who wants this??

There you go... answer the riddle even if you don't want any of the loot (although they all need a new home)

Looking forward to creative responses to the riddle! 
New around here?? my last post click here  is on puzzles & links