Friday, November 21, 2014

Finish it Up Friday: There's a Mouse In the House!

I have wanted to make Christmas stockings for our family for 3 or 4 years and i have a stack of fabric to prove it. Making eight stockings has seemed like a lot so I broke it into some smaller goals. I decided to make a start and do some selfish sewing and try to get stockings done for the  four girls. Next year I will make the boys' and Steve and I's stockings. Sometimes starting is the hardest part!
I jumped in and didn't get any input from the kids. I love cute mice (think Nursery Versery) and I also love quilts so a Christmas mouse nestled under a Christmas quilt seemed like a good idea. This is a pattern I found on Etsy and changed up a little to work for my project.

I opted for a candy colored  Christmas color scheme as you can see. I am not a big seasonal fabric person and usually make seasonal items by using certain colors but there have been some cute vintage inspired Christmas fabric that I could not resist. 

In typical Gina fashion, I did not start out with a definite plan for each stocking. As the girls have seen me working on this they all say they want mice on their stockings. I will probably stick with appliqué and embroidery for the girls' stockings and go with patchwork and whole cloth for me and the boys'  stockings.

I appliqued the mouse then used bullion knots for the sheet. The mouse is lying on a stack of pillows and I made Christmas trees on the bottom pillow to tie into the Christmas theme. This stocking is for my strawberry girl so I, of course, had to add in a strawberry!! None of my local fabric stores carry white velvet which is what I wanted for the cuff. The closest I could find was crushed panne. I added some special vintage ribbon that my friend Amy sent me and the p.s. I love you tag was from another bloggy friend :). One stocking down 3 to go (for this year). I can do it! That would be 1 a week to be done by Christmas. I am so happy to be linking up with Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday. All year long I have watched Fiona at Celtic Thistle Stitches sew up Christmas presents so she can be done with her Christmas sewing before Christmas. I am excited to finally be able to link up with Ho, Ho, Ho And On We Sew hosted at Rose and Dahlia for November. Hope you have a finish or 2 this fine Friday as well!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Finish it up Friday: Scattered Leaves

This week I was able to finish up my orange peel cushion. I had made the background about a month and a half ago but needed to finish up some other projects before doing the orange peels. We bought a new couch a couple of months ago and I wanted to make some cushions to brighten it up. Making orange peels has been on my "want to make" list so I took the opportunity to try them out.

I used a random-ish leaf placement, raw edge appliqué, and black thread to help define the leaves. I hand quilted in the areas where diamonds formed.

I also hand quilted leaves in the squares where there was a leaf missing. Each square is 3" finished for a total of 64 squares and the cushion finishes at 24 inches. I love Cotton and Steel and had fun working with all of these prints!
It took nearly a yard of fabric for the back  so I used a print I had in my stash that had some trees on it.

I also made my October blocks for do.Good Stitches this week. We made plus blocks with bright pluses and low volume backgrounds. We used this tutorial. They were fun to make!!
Jane is Queen for Wombat Stew this month. She has a camp trailer she wants to make a quilt for so she chose a camping theme. I made this camp fire for her and Kristy made the pattern. It was a great week!! Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday. She has blogged about an awesome quilt you might want to check out. Have a great weekend!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Finish It Up Friday: The Trick or Treat Halloween Swap

It was a good finish to complete my fourth and final swap for September! The swap was the #trickortreathalloweenswap hosted on Instagram and Flickr. i didn't take any pictures of the extras I sent only the handmades.
The only requirement of the swap was to make this drawstring bag and fill it with some goodies. It was a fun and easy tutorial to follow. For my partner I decided on a patchwork bag and I wanted to add a few embroidered squares of Halloween icons since I had no Halloween fabric. I added in some Halloween colored fabrics and did buy a couple of Halloween prints to add in and for the lining.

This panel ended up being the back of the drawstring bag.

I appliqued trick or treat on the front of the bag.
I also made a little fox and pumpkin mug rug. I went with a more fall theme to last longer than Halloween. The pumpkin was a free pattern that finished at 3" and I used scraps to make it. The fox pattern I bought on Etsy. All of my partners liked foxes, even the partners that were not part of the fox swap.

The last item I made was a Not So Spooky Haunted House complete with a cute Monster in the window. I had a lot of fun sewing swaps this month and am looking forward to participating in some more swaps after the first of the year. Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday. Have a great weekend!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Finish It Up Friday : A Little Mug Rug

I have a dear friend, Jola,  who lives across the ocean in Europe. I enjoy reading her blog and seeing her cute creations and her beautiful crochet. Every now and then I have a happy surprise in the mail box with a post card of a place she has travelled to in her country. I love snail mail! Especially of a place I have never been but would like to visit.

One day Jola shared pictures of some cute signs she had bought for her sewing space. I loved both of the signs but thought one of them would be perfect to translate with fabric into a mug rug. If you read Jola's blog you will find she likes a cup of coffee and a small treat. The post card theme was perfect too!

I drew up the templates for the coffee pot, creamer, and mug then used raw edge appliqué to put them on the fabric. I used my Sizzix letter dies to cut out "coffee". I did not have any dies in the size I wanted for "good idea" so I used rubber stamps to stamp them onto the fabric then cut them out and sewed them down. Jola sent me the wooden bird on the tag so I guess that is the gift that keeps on giving :).

Every post card needs to be stamped so I used some of my favorites that Nicole had sent me. ( her stamp tutorial can be found here). Jola, her daughter, and I all love strawberries so it had to have a strawberry along with some birthday flowers and some happy California sunshine. I used rubber stamps and fabric ink for the postmarks. The international air mail stripe for the binding was something I bought awhile back and had been waiting for the right project to come up to use.

Of course I had to label the mug rug and thought a stamped deer would be perfect for my dear friend. Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday. Hope you have a great weekend!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Finish it Up Friday: The Fox Swap

Another week, another swap is ready to go. This week I finished making for  the fox swap. I think foxes are cute so I was a bit excited for this swap!
I started with the main project. For this swap we  needed to make  a fox related item. After seeing my partner's mosaic she made and reading about her likes I decided to make a wall hanging. I found an image on Etsy I liked so i sketched that out as best I could. I then made a photo copy of the iage to cut out the pieces of my pattern.

Before cutting my pieces out I sketched over my white felt with a color crayon in the areas that needed brown and pink on them. I used older Under to fuse the felt to the fabric. . Next, I started adding in some details with embroidery thread. I tried to give the tail and legs some definition as well as the chest and mouth areas. Then I moved on to the grass. I do not have any variegated thread so I layered 3 different colors of green.

I cut the butterfly from quilting cotton  and appliquéd it down then embroidered the body, antennae, and butterfly trail. Then I fussy cut the mushroom and appliquéd it down. I used some different stitches on the flowers like french knots and the wheel stitch.

I then embroidered the vines. I felt like it was lacking something and thought about adding some little flowers and french knots to the vines. In the end I decided I did not have enough time and settled for adding two simple leaves with the flowers.
Lastly I wrapped the piece on a 12x12 art canvas. I glue basted a pice of batting to the canvas before adding the fabric. I still need to add a label to the back then it will be ready to send.:) 

For a smaller item I made another fox place mat. I used a Cotton + Steel print that instead os chevrons I like to think of this fabric as being little fox faces :)

I cut into my little scrap of Heather Ross fox fabric and made a wrist pin cushion. I am not sure how practical this pin cushion is but it sure is cute.

The fox pattern came from an issue of Mollie Makes and the Snappy wrist bracelet came from a sewing book I have. Do you find that sometimes it takes you longer to box and mail the swap than it took to make it?! Deadlines help!!! Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts who is hosting Finish Friday. She is showing her Fox and Friends redo which is a very cute and clever quilt! Have a fun weekend!!!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Finish it Up Friday: Apple Dumpling Swap

This week I finished up my package for the Apple Dumpling Swap. For this swap we needed to make a dumpling pouch and fill it with some goodies. Our partner is a secret until she receives her package and mosaics were made to help provide some inspiration. Along with the pouch, which was a fun little make, I made an apple pin cushion and a needle book.
I appliqued an apple to the front of the pouch and added a little embroidery.  I used my favorite Sandi Henderson apple print to line the pouch.

I have been planning to make an orange peel cushion and wanted a little practice so I added a sprout to the back of the needle book.

I paper pieced an apple for the front of the needle book and let that block determine the size. I did not measure the needle book before i sent it but I believe it finished at 5" square. I made the button but apparently did not get a very good picture of it. The little red dot you see is an apple.

I added some other apple themed goodies and the package is on it's way to its owner. This was definitely a fun swap and I am glad I was able to participate. Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for some Friday fun. Hope you enjoy the weekend!!!!!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Make Modern Blog Hop

I have some friends who had a dream. On September 1st that dream became a reality known as Make Modern. I have known about this "dream" from the beginning and although I didn't know about any of the specific things going into the magazine I knew the girls were pouring their heart, souls, and a lot of time into making this the best publication possible. My first look at it was the day it was published, September 1st, and as I sat there and scrolled through all of the fun projects and fun columns my jaw literally dropped at all the fantastic information the girls brought together. It has all of the things I look for in a magazine. Fun projects in all all sizes; home dec projects, sewing projects, quilting projects, great photography. Tips and tricks along with interviews and trends. Make Modern is cover to cover packed with great projects and information. really, what could be better than an online quilting magazine by quilters?!?! Make Modern's creators all live in Australia but this magazine has contributors from all across the globe and is geared towards anyone who loves modern quilting. 

I had fun putting together a little project for the first issue of Make Modern. We are at the tail end of summer where I live and heading into fall which means apple and pumpkin season. I had a fabric with vintage flour sack labels that I had been wanting to use for quite a long time and that was where I found my pie inspiration. There is a preview on Issuu if you would like to see if Make Modern is a magazine you would like or you can go to Make Modern to subscribe. To keep up with Make Modern and see sneak peeks of upcoming issues you may want to follow the Make Modern Blog.

Here is the rest of the blog hop schedule that continues to celebrate the launch of Make Modern:

1st September                   Make Modern
3rd September                   Kristy @ Quiet Play
5th September                   Where Jane Creates
7th September                   Gina @ Party of Eight: Our Story
9th September                   Molli Sparkles
11th September                 Juliet @ The Tartan Kiwi
13th September                 cat&vee
15th September                 Ruth @ Ben and Charly’s corner
17th September                 Kelly @ Kelliotmagic
19th September                 Alyce @ Blossom Heart Quilts
21st September                 Serena @ Sew Giving
23rd September                 Melissa @ Ms Midge
25th September                 Anne @ Hudson Valley Quilts

Friday, August 29, 2014

Finish It Up Friday: The Strawberry Edition

Hi Everyone! I hope you had a fun summer!! Ours was fun and fast. It seems the older my kids get the harder it is to keep up with them. Maybe thats because I am getting older as well. My school kids have been back to school for a week now so I am hoping to once again find a blogging rhythm.  
I have been absent from this spot but have been loving Instagram (IG). I am @partyofeightourstory if you want to find me there. It has been my space where i do most of my blog reading. Taking 5 minutes to scroll through pictures here and there between activities is time efficient for me. There were so many swaps on IG this summer. I have not participated in many swaps, well one to be exact, as I never felt that I had the time. There were so many fun swaps that I could not resist and fun friends to participate with too. 

Strawberries are my favorite so, of course, I had to participate in the Strawberry Swap. This swap was pretty wide open and just needed to consist of strawberry related items. For the main item I made what I have been wanting for myself which was some fabric storage bins.
I used a tutorial from Birch Fabrics for fabric bins. It was a very simple and fun tutorial to follow. I used home dec fabric for the insides and the interfacing they recommended and the bins turned out very sturdy. My swap partner has a newly organized sewing room so I am hoping these come in handy. I resized a strawberry pattern from Kristy at Quiet Play so the berry went from large to small along with the bins.
Next up I made a needle book using Amy's tutorial. I have made this quite a few times and use one myself and I always love making them.

One of my partners favorite designers is Bonnie and Camille so I used some of their fabric on the inside.
I follow the tutorial only changing 2 things. See the fabric strip next to the first pocket? That is to hold a spool or 2 of thread. It calls for velcro at the bottom but I make a button hole and use a button. Velcro is a thread magnet so I find the button works better. The tutorial comes with a pattern to make a case for your scissors. I had some vintage strawberry trim I wanted to incorporate in the project so I stitched the ribbon down then put the ends through the scissor handles and tied them down.
Lastly, I made her a card to match her needle book then 4 blank cards to be used for whatever need pops up. It is always handy to have some general, all purpose cards to send as thank you's, birthday, or simply thinking of you cards. Sorry for the dodgy late night photo but late night sewing/card making has been my mantra.
This was a blind swap so the person who sent to me was not the person I sent to. This is the fun package I received! A pretty strawberry mini, a strawberry de-stemmer (works great; tried it out today!!), a strawberry keeper, lip gloss, hand sanitizer, and some yummy gum and candy. It was a very fun swap and I made some new friends!

So happy to be linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for finish it up Friday!!