Sunday, September 30, 2012

Little Wristlet Purse Practice and Lessons Learned

DGD Angelina's birthday is coming up this week -- when asked what she would like for her birthday she says "A little purse Gramma -- one that sparkles and is pretty -- with flowers!"

Well... here are the results of my trial runs at working with zippers and making small purses with a wrist band vs a shoulder handle.

The batik was my first trial -- and the bird pattern my 2nd attempt.   I'm learning:

1.  You CAN sew the fabric too close to the opening / closing of the zipper (ouch -- this makes it harder to open and close - duh !)

2.  You should angle the placement of the wrist band so that when the piece is finished, it angles up toward the zipper opening (for less wear and tear on the wrist band).

3.  You can sew over those poly/nylon zippers without breaking a needle (YAY!)

4.  It doesn't matter if the zipper is invisible or not -- not for this piece.

Next up - making some trial run flowers and purchasing some satin for "The Real Thing".  Birthday party for Angie is a week from today!

Many thanks to SecretLifeOfABioNerd for her YouTube Tutorial -- I made revisions to her design but her Tutorial Inspired me !!  Thank You!

On the sideline is my Pumpkin Table Topper and my Kim Diehl "Penny Garland" piece -- I have yet to share with you that I attended a Trunk Show and Class with Kim Diehl -- I'm hooked !!

Karen's Start at Penny Garland
Here is my start on her pattern -- placing wool pennies on a cotton backing with a cotton vine.

The picture below is Kim's finished piece -- as you can see -- mine will be slightly different with a "touch of Karen" included (special thanks to my sissa Michele for her feedback and design insights -- Love You!)

Kim Diehl Pattern - "Penny Garland"
Happy Days

Have a blessed week !



PS -- I've finished Angelina's "Sparkly Little Purse with Flowers" 

Linking up to Lee here: WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Elmo Cake Pops (Revised)... and more!

Happy 2nd Birthday Zachary Kurtis Miller!

Our grandson Zachary just LOVES everything Elmo "Melmo"!  He turned two years old yesterday!  My how times flies.

This little boy has the sweetest disposition in the world.... he has 4 older siblings and the patience and sharing nature to prove it!

Well yesterday was his day... and because he loves Elmo soooo much -- he deserved these sweet little Elmo Cake Pops.  My sister Janet made these cute little pops for her grandson Evan -- he LOVED them.   She followed the plan from Bakerella.

I appreciate all their input -- but WHO HAS TIME?

So here is Gramma Karen's' version...  

1.  Start with pre-made donut holes -- from Wal-Mart, Dunkin Donuts or any other bakery !

2. Make them more round!  I had to scrape away some of the odd shapes, some sprinkles.... be careful that they don't fall apart on you... 

3. I used the Wilton Red Candy Melts -- melted them with the microwave directions... but then I placed the ceramic bowl over top of a small saucepan of boiling water -- to give me more time to work with the melted chocolate!

4.  I used the cake stems and pierced a hole in the donut before I dipped the stem in the melted candy... to make sure it would hold together for me...

Then I put just a little extra melt into the hole with the stem.  I let these set up for a few minutes.  (I did 4 or 5 and then started icing each one).

5. Instead of dipping, I iced the chocolate onto the donut holes - as there were sprinkles on them to start -  it went fine using an icing spatula.  Because Elmo has fur -- this works out perfectly!

6. Immediately put the eyes, nose and mouth on - as directed on Bakerella!

7. I was able to pause for a few moments - while things set up -- then I found my toothpick drawing out of the chocolate was more effective... I could even wait and add a few more dabs of chocolate with the toothpick later after everything was set up.

This worked out very well.

Zachary (and the other 7 grandchildren) LOVED the Cake Pops!

Funny thing is -- he wanted to lick the icing off the outside -- maybe the next time I will just put icing on them -- instead of the melted chocolate!
Yummy -- and fast too !

Here he is with the little Elmo Shirt I made for him -- using a purchased terry cloth bib.  I used fusible (Heat-n-Bond Lite), fused on the back of the bib, cut around the outline and then fused and machine appliqued it onto the black T-shirt.

Depending on how this one hold up in the wash -- I might consider changing the method of applique and using the one I describe here.  Time will tell.

Happy Birthday Zachary!

Lots and lots of Love....


Gramma Karen

Linking up to Connie's Linky Party Tuesday
to Heather and Megan's Quilt Story Fabric Tuesday...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Paisley's Post - UFO

I wanted to make this post about a UFO completed -- but I think, more importantly, it's about a little girl, the daughter of a friend of our great niece, who needs prayers and support at this time.

Her name is Paisley -- and she was born on July 1st, 2011 with Gastroschisis at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY.    You can read more about Paisley here.

My sister Janet was busy making a quilt and matching pillow cases for Paisley's Benefit -- and I thought -- I have tons of UFO's that I could finish for the benefit -- I'll do just that!     I delivered the little Table Topper to my great niece yesterday -- just in time for the benefit on Sept 29th.    

Prayers and energy sewed right into the material -- for Paisley!   Please keep her in your mind, thoughts, spirit and prayers.

It all started with a charm pack of Joanna Figueroa Butterscotch & Rose...

I had recently purchased my Janome Horizon (Ummm March, 2012 - Yes a fairly recent UFO) and I wanted to do some piecework on it -- how easy to cut the Charms into 2.5 inch squares and begin to sew !

Well -- I sewed for a night or two, then put the squares away -- until last week !   I went to a Local QS, purchased some additional fabric for the border and backing -- and finished this cute little table topper for Paisley's Benefit. 

I kept it simple so that I could finish it in a day or two.... sewed the 2.5 inch squares together in a 10 x 10 square topper.  I added a 1.5 inch border of Red Moda Marble and after I put it on, it looked too large, so I trimmed it down to a finished size of 3/4 inch.   I added another 5 inch border and layered it with Warm and Natural 100 Cotton Batting.  

Quilting -- the Janome does a great job and has a large quilting area -- but I do have a bit of a struggle when I push the quilt fabric to the left -- my machine just doesn't like it.   (I need to take it in for service -- soon!).  

Anyhow -- I was able to quilt a scallop around each cut charm -- and echo a scallop into the border.  (Still learning and practicing)

I added a cute label and off it went to the "Prayers for Paisley Benefit".

 It's simple -- but darling -- and for the most wonderful cause!
 Hope ya'll have a very special day -- hug your children, your grandchildren, your family.

Being thankful for all that I have and all that I love.



Linking up to the Free Motion Quilting Project UFO Sunday -- as well as Connie's Linky Party Tuesday !

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Applique in Progress ?

It all started with the Fall Issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects.  Inside is a beautiful Applique quilt named "Chocolate BonBons".

I fell in love with it (never having done anything with a dark background like that).   So I went to the website where the Kit was being sold Sew Graceful Quilting and found two sisters and the designer of "Chocolate Bon Bons" - Kay Harmon.   While I was on their site... a picture of a fall quilt scrolled by -- and I was IN LOVE again !   (what is the chance of that happening twice in a lifetime ?).

I sent the QS an email -- and found out this one is named "Pumpkin Crazy" and the pattern is in a book called "Need'l Love - Falloween Threads" -- Isn't it just beautiful?  It's designed by Janet Miller.  They had kits at once time, but had since been sold out.  (DARN).

About a week later -- I rec'd an email from Kay who said that someone had purchased a different quilt kit and this one is available - ?if I still want it ?  Can you imagine !!   Oh goodie goodie !  Yes I still want it !.  I made the transaction final with Darlene at the QS and in a day or two - - I have the kit on my doorstep.

Sew excited !!

I washed everything -- picked out thread to accompany the wool and the cotton applique.  Thankfully I had this color Mettler thread... it matched the HomeSpun and Prim Cottons perfectly!

I made freezer paper templates from the pattern in the book, ironed them onto the right side of the fabric.  Put a few applique pins in before basting the two layers to the background (I hate leaving pins in -- thank you Sharon Stroud for teaching me to baste).

My needle turn approach combines the methods of two great instructors that I've had over the years... Sharon Stroud and Debbie Wick.

I use some of each method -- sometimes I stick just to one method or the other... this time though... a combination.

I needle turned the pumpkins using the freezer paper method (with no pins) and when you peel the freezer paper away -- so nice to have one pumpkin done.

 It's a couple days later -- and now I have all 8 pumpkins needle turned -- and a few stems.

I hope to finish it -- as soon as I quilt this little 30x30 table topper for Paisley's Benefit.  


Thanks for stopping by today.


Linking up to Esther's WIP Wednesday and Angie's Applique Thursday.  Thank you ladies for continuing to inspire !.

PS - Linking up to Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday... and I did finish and deliver Paisley's Quilt -- see it here.... Hugs!