Too Many Projects to Count

It has been a busy week!

First, the elephant I made for the Cultivate in Fall Challenge with Art Gallery Fabrics won 2nd place.  Woo Hoo!  Thank you so much to everyone to voted.  I wouldn’t have made it that far without you.

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Second, I finished a quilt that I started this past February.  Yippee!  A finish is always something to celebrate.  I can’t show it to you yet.  I’m waiting to mail it to the intended recipient. But, I’ll show it to you as soon as I can.

Stitched in Color is hosting a Primary Mosaic contest featuring Lark Cottons.  It sounded like a fun adventure.  So, I took the time to create and submit two samples.  I think it was a great idea to get us quilters to slow down and think about color, and it really was as fun as I expected.  I didn’t make it into the top 10, but I really didn’t expect to.  After I submitted my fabric choices (below), I read through the blog again and realized I didn’t get the gist of what she was looking for the first time around.  That will teach me to try to do something like this when I’m tired and trying to listen to the TV at the same time.  But that’s ok.  I still like what I picked out, and I LOVE the navy fabric with the sail boat schematic, and the blue dandelions, and the blue giraffes… Voting starts today so head on over to Rachel’s blog and vote for one of your favorites.  mosaiccdb1d9de8b5e0e62bc937c9567eca89ac2210431

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I also have the front and back of the Long Star quilt for my middle son completely pieced.  It should finish to be about 70″ x 90″.  Now to iron it really good (somehow on my 2 foot portable desktop ironing board), and get my sandwich pinned together.  My plan for quilting is nothing too complicated.  I plan to straight line quilt following the lines of the diamond pieces, which is a good thing since my machine is still skipping stitches if I try to FMQ as discussed here.  I really need to get my machine serviced, but I can’t figure out when I’ll have time.  I am in the mist of too many projects at the moment.

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Also, I belong to a Facebook crafting group and one of our members found out she has stage 4 breast cancer that has matastasized into her hips.  Her treatment is expected to be extensive and costly.  So, our group is having a benefit by making items to sell at a craft fair.  We are looking to make as many items as we can over the next 9 days and ship them out to one of our members that is planning to have a booth at an upcoming craft fair.  I do hope we are able to raise a sizable amount of money for her.  If you have any finished projects just hanging around that you would like to donate, please let me know.  Also, here is a link to her go fund me page.  So, for this new venture, I designed and made this paper pieced mug rug last night.  It is made entirely with scraps from my scrap bin and measures 6″ x 9″.   I plan to make a few more mug rugs, and several other items (not sure what yet) in the time we have allotted.  So, for that reason, progress on the Lone Star will likely be stalled for a little while.  (Please excuse all the strings in the photograph.  I need to bury my threads but I can’t find my little needle book.  I am blaming the cat!)

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And there’s more going on.  But really, I don’t want to overwhelm you.

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Christmas in July

One of my favorite memories as a child is hearing my dad roam throughout the house whistling Christmas songs — in July! I love Christmas music, and even though it may bring strange looks from others, I think it is appropriate at any time of the year. It is kinda hard to imagine snow or the weather being ‘frightful’ when it is 95 degrees outside, but Christmas music is such cheerful music and that is why I love it!

This July I find myself working on two Christmas projects. The first project was a Christmas sweater for my son. He was invited to a Christmas in July party and needed an ugly Christmas sweater. When I heard his request, my first thought was where am I supposed to find a Christmas sweater in July. My second thought was that was a great business idea! Start a website selling ugly sweaters for those times when someone really needs one and didn’t keep that last one they received as a gift. As it turns out, there are already several websites with ugly sweaters. Darn, someone beat me to a great business idea again!

And did I buy a sweater from one of those websites? Nope! So much for that business idea! Actually, it was because no one carried the size that I needed. My son wears a XXLT. So instead I went to the local thrift store and found a sweater vest. Not ugly, but certainly nothing a 21 year old is going to wear. He requested it to look like a ‘sweet old granny’ made it. His words — not mine. Well, I’m sweet and I’m a grandma, but I will not claim old! I figured two-out-of-three was not bad. My first thought was to sew some ornaments and ribbon in a meandering pattern all over it and just make it really tacky in general. But I decided to be nice and instead I cut owls and a tree out of felt and appliqued it onto the sweater. The owls are stringing ribbon around the tree and decorating their Christmas tree.  I think it’s adorable!  He said he liked it too!

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The second Christmas in July project I am working on is the Peppermint Candy table runner and/or wall hanging by Claudia’s Creations.  I saw this last year and didn’t think I would find the time to make it, and then a group I regularly sew with monthly decided to do it.  So, I jumped in with both feet and decided I could fit it in with all my other projects.  Honestly, I just love it and can’t wait for it to be done.

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What are you currently working on?  I’d love to hear about your projects.

Oh! Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is up, the stockings are hung, and the snowmen are playing in the snow.  And it appears even my blog is in the Christmas spirit.

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The annual job of decorating is mostly done. It is certainly not a job I look forward to, although I really like the end result. My two oldest boys are living on the other side of the country this year, and don’t plan to make it home for Christmas.  I was missing having them here and shed a few tears when no one else was watching.

I also spent this weekend cleaning up and purging some old clothes, toys, books, and stuff. In fact, I have a whole car full of stuff to take to the thrift store tomorrow. Really, where does it all come from? I wish I could do that daily until I get the house and storage areas uncluttered, but earning a living requires that I spend most of my time each week working for someone else instead.

So, due to all the other extra curricular activities this weekend, I haven’t gotten as much sewing done as I would have liked on the quilt top I’m making with the HST’s. Hopefully I’ll make a little bit of progress this week.

Otherwise, I did want to show you the flannel blankets I made. Remember the elephant and robin I spent forever and a day trying to digitize? Well, I did finally finish it and was able to get the blankets embroidered and made. And I won’t share any of the pictures of the baby with the blanket since it is not my family and not my right to share them. But the baby was adorable with her blankets and the mom was very touched. The robin was meant to be a reminder of her grandmother, the baby’s great-grandmother, that has passed and wasn’t able to be there for the birth.

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I also finished crocheting another baby blanket. But of course, I forgot to take pictures outside today so you’ll have to live with an indoor photo.
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I would say December is off to a good start. Now, if I can just get my Christmas shopping done and presents made before the 25th. Haha, that might be pushing it.  I would like to request a few extra weeks…  Do you think we could delay it?

Oh, and I keep forgetting to mention, I added a few things to my etsy store and everything is 18% off thru 12/2 and 15% off the rest of the December.   Check it out.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/MonkeyNeedle?ref=si_shop

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop!

Merry (day after) Christmas!

Merry-Christmas

Merry (day after) Christmas!  I was hoping to post again before now, but I have been sick with the crud that’s been going around so everything else got put on the back burner.  Our plans for brunch at the in-laws, dinner get-together with dad’s family, and then my sister and family staying with us for several days was all canceled.  Being sick is not fun, and being sick at Christmas really sucks.  But, then I had to remind myself that there were others in this corner of the world that were having a much worse Christmas – families with loved ones in the hospital, families recently affected by the shooting at the elementary school in Connecticut, families with loved ones in the military overseas, those affected by the storms ravaging the U.S. on Christmas day, and those lonely individuals with no families with which to celebrate.  It’s so easy to have a pity party because our plans get canceled by something we can’t control.  But when you stop to think about those that have it much worse off than you, it becomes easy to thank the Lord for the blessings we do have — family and friends that we love and miss but that we know we will see again soon, health that we know will return once the crud has run its course, a warm home, and knowing that we have life because of God’s son that was born on this day very long ago.

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So, I didn’t get as many projects finished as I was planning on before Christmas.  But I did want to share a few of them with you.   I have been participating in a monthly challenge through Art Gallery Fabrics.  Last month the challenge was to make a patchwork toy.  I designed and made this cute little turtle for my niece.  Each scale is a learning toy — she can learn to button, snap, tie, velcro, zip, and one is a noise maker. Also, if you lift each scale up, I have patch-worked a letter. As you go around the turtle, the letters spell her name starting with the T on top. And opening the zipper also allows you to peek-a-boo through to the letter.

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She is a little young to really play with the turtle now so I also made her some soft rings from a pattern found here.  http://www.michaelmillerfabrics.com/Blog/Baby_rings.pdf These are a great way to use up those fabric scraps and are nice soft toys for a wee one.

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Also, I found a great project from a young lady I met at the local fabric store.  If you have children that love to play with Legos, you will understand the fact that they get everywhere.  All those little bricks are super hard to keep up with.  She told me about a ‘lego play mat’ that lays flat in order to be played on, but then when you finish playing you just pull up the strings on either side, tie a bow, and the legos are cleaned up.  I bet this doesn’t stop all the stray legos, but it should help.  I made this for my nephew.  It was super quick — I like projects like that.

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There are many tutorials on the internet.  I skimmed several and started out using one, but I ended up making some changes as I went along.  I plan to make another one in the next month or two for my grandson, but I want to make it a play mat for cars rather than legos.  I found some cool fabric that will be perfect as a play mat for cars.  I’ll post a tutorial when I make it.

Up next though is the next, and last, challenge through Art Gallery fabrics — a messenger bag.  Wish me luck!