noun: a small piece or amount of something, esp. one that is left over after the greater part has been used.
synonyms: noun: fragment - piece - bit - shred

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quilt Square Blues...

The center of the quilt.
Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I hope everyone has had a wonderful week!  With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up, I would imagine you are all pretty busy right now preparing menus, shopping for ingredients for special recipes, etc., so I want to thank you for taking the time to visit.  

When the fall and winter holidays start rolling around, I can usually expect a few things to happen:  1)  It gets cold; 2)  I get cold; 3)  I start to live in my nice, comfy, cozy jammies; 4)  The cups of tea are pretty much endless in my quest to stay warm; 5) All of the blankies start coming out (that is, the ones that haven't already been out all year).  With that in mind,  I went into my sewing room today to see what I could dig up and what did I find but Adam's quilt (that I'm supposed to be fixing, but haven't yet).  Actually, I didn't "find" it; it was sitting right on the shelf where I put it so I could just pull it right out when I started to repair it.  Um, yeah, about that repairing thing...

Top is finished!
This is the first quilt I ever made, and it was (gasp!!!) 20 years ago!  Adam was 10 and I had made it for him for Christmas.  The fear of failure was fresh in my mind every second I was working on it since I had never made one before.  Thank goodness I had my friend, Sonja, to help me if I had any questions.  She guided me as I struggled over which pattern would be challenging, but simple enough to not frustrate me to the point of not finishing.  After looking through several (ok, ok, it was actually millions) of books, patterns and pictures, I chose the Trip Around the World pattern book from the Quilt in a Day series by Eleanor Burns.  I had seen her show a few times on the public television station and always thought she had a unique way of doing things.  Thank you Ms. Burns for making the directions and pattern exactly what I was looking for!

The end result.

The fabrics I chose were mainly scraps and remnants, but I think I did have to purchase a couple of them to have enough for the entire quilt.  With materials firmly in hand, the cutting began.  Since I was sure I would have to cut out each square individually, I had prepared myself for a llllooonnnngggggg cutting session(s).  However, when I opened the book to start the directions, I cannot tell you how surprised I was.  Here I was, faced with the "strip" method and I had to refrain from jumping for joy!  Oh, Ms. Burns, how I adored you so!  Cutting went sooo much faster than I had imagined and before I knew it, the cutting was over.  Now it was time to actually start sewing.  And sew, sew, sew I did.  Sew far, sew good.  :)

I was actually making the quilt to fit a double bed, so there were much more strips than I thought.  What the heck was I thinking?  This was my first quilt and I was making a big one?  Holy blue squares, Batman!  Finally, all the strips were sewn together and now it was time to do some more cutting.  Really?  Yes, really.  Good grief, I was so not prepared for this.  Out I came to call Sonja to make sure I was doing this right.  I got the green light and proceeded to cut.  Oy, I was a little nervous that I would mess up and get the fabrics all confused, but I did ok.  Between Sonja and Ms. Burns, I was starting to feel like I could really and truly do this!  Yay me!

As the quilt progressed and I got more confident, I began to enjoy myself so much more.  I could picture Adam with this quilt now!  Arranging the strips to form the pattern was not nearly as difficult as I had imagined, and I actually thought it was starting to look pretty good!  Back to the sewing machine I went, to turn those strips into a real live boy!  Oh wait, that was a movie.  Back to the sewing machine I went, to turn those strips into a real pattern that could actually be seen by the naked eye.  By this time, I was starting to realize just how big this thing really was going to be.  Whoa, I was little intimidated by the size.  After the strips were sewn and the top was made, it was very easy to see the pattern and I was really pleased.  Now to do the borders.  Well, THAT was easy!  Go me, go me, go me!

I had already purchased the batting, but didn't have anything to back it with.  Muslin just didn't seem to look the way I wanted it to.  Fabricland, here I come!  They happened to have broadcloth on sale for a very good deal, so I started looking there first.  Lo and behold, there was a light blue bolt of fabric staring me right in the face.  Off to the checkstand I went to pay for my quilt back.  :D

After washing the fabric, I headed to Sonja's house (her floor was bigger than mine and I could lay the quilt out flat to attach the batting and backing) to put the entire thing together.  Between cups of tea, Sonja helped me make sure the project was flat and not bunched up anywhere.  We finished putting everything together that day, and I stuck around for some more tea and tied my quilt.  DONE!  The actual hardest part of this project was finding a box big enough to put it in so that it could be wrapped for Christmas.  LOL  Now I just had to hope Adam liked it!

Quilt Pattern:  Trip Around the World by Eleanor Burns (Quilt in a Day series).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Brother Load...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  Seems the days are getting shorter and the dark is staying longer, but we won't let that get us down, will we?  WELL, WILL WE?!?  Hee hee, ok, just making sure you're paying attention.  :D

Original page done in 1993
Today I'm sharing with you a project I've done twice. One of them I did years ago (and I do mean years!) when I was just starting to scrapbook.  The other is an 8x8 canvas that I entered in a challenge just a couple of  weeks ago at Heritage Makers.  That challenge was to make a project of any kind using the color green.  If you don't know what Heritage Makers is, it's a digital scrapbooking site that offers a huge variety of projects for you to choose from.  I've been playing with it for a couple of months now, and I love, love, love it!  There are several digital sites out there, but this one is my favorite.

Digitally scrapbooked canvas
done in 2011
As soon as I saw that challenge, I knew EXACTLY what picture I wanted to use for it!  I've always wanted to do more than just a scrapbook page with that picture, so this challenge was PERFECTAMUNDO!!!  I removed the picture from the page and scanned it in to upload and then I returned the picture to the original page.  I know, I know, that's cheating, but...IT'S MY PROJECT AND I'LL CHEAT IF I WANT TO...CHEAT IF I WANT TO...( you DID sing that, didn't you?).  I have to say, this is one of my VERY FAVORITE pictures of my two sons when they were little.  They aren't so little anymore...siiiiigh.  Here, they were 5 years old and 10 months old, respectively; now they are 30 and 25.  Not sure where the time (or the wagon) went, but I have always just loved this picture.  Maybe it's because Adam was such a good big brother; maybe it's because Dale could fit in that wagon; maybe it's because it's just such a sweet picture; or maybe it's a combination of all three.

Whatever it was (or is), it was certainly a time when they were just regular boys, without the responsibilities of adulthood even crossing their minds.  A time of innocence and play, backyards and toys, and a big brother pulling around a little brother in a wagon as if it were the most important thing on the earth.  And perhaps it was, next to lunch and cookies.  :D  After all, lunch and cookies are very important too.

If you have a picture (or pictures) that you really, really love, why don't you try uploading it to a digital website and making it into a project?  Or, turn it into a paper scrapbook page to treasure.  Either way, you will look at those pictures for a load of years to come.  :)  Yeah, I really said that.  Lame, I know, but you still read it!!!

The Brother Load (Green):  All templates from Heritage Makers.
The Brother Load (Red/Blue):  Papers from EK Success; Cloth wagon embellishments and letters were purchased from Ebay.