Archive for the ‘etsy shop’ Category

Fleeting February

February 28, 2017

How can this be the last day of February? Yes, it’s a short month, but so much of significance happened during this month. It has been a roller coaster ride with happy times, disappointing times and times of serious decisions.

At the beginning of the month, I spent a few days making 20 various Valentines for my etsy shop. Spending time in my studio is one of my happy places. It was invigorating to sell more than half of those hearts. Thank you to those who purchased my creations of love.

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Created 20 Hearts

Decorating our house for the different seasons brings lots of joy to me and to those who enter our home.

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Our Kitchen Table

Valentines

Vintage Valentines

Round Robin

Round Robin Heart

The incentive for decorating for February was hosting a sit-down dinner party for 32 Sunday school class members. We provided the house, and the kind members provided the pot luck dinner. Then they cleaned-up everything before they went home. The class members are so caring and supportive of the health issues I have been facing. They are a meaningful part of our lives.

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Loving Class Members

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Sunday School Party at Our Home

Another happy time is spending time with our children and their children. Tyler Murrah made the Varsity baseball team for Jesuit in Dallas. We joined his family this past weekend in Austin for a round-robin. Madison came from College Station with her precious boyfriend, Jack. It’s the first time we met him. So much fun to be with all of them for a couple of days.

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Murrah Family

Back in Houston we support the Huebner kids in their selected sports. Sydney’s competitive cheer team won National Champions in Dallas this past weekend. Her bigger sister, Lindsey, is playing tennis and softball. Here we are supporting Ashton at his basketball game.

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With Sydney and Lindsey at Ashton’s Basketball Game

My husband spends much time with Ashton and Lindsey at their practices. He coached our boys when they were in school.

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Granddaddy Still Loves to Coach

Our 21 month old grandson in California loves playing sports, too. His daddy is his coach unless he’s with us. Then his bigger cousins love to teach him how to play anything that includes a ball. He thinks he’s a big boy, too.

Our Three Grandsons

Our Three Grandsons

So you ask what are the disappointments and big decisions.

Today was the last day for Shannon McGaw at Quilts, Inc. She has taken on a dream job for her as manager of a new quilt shop to open in April. I came to depend on her for many aspects in the Education Department and innovative ideas for the company. I will miss her every day, but wish her well. Thank goodness we still have Barbara, Jill and Marcia to carry-on.

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Shannon McGaw (in white shirt) Moves On

 

And yesterday was a huge decision-making day. I was released from my oncologist, Dr. Guillermo Garcia-Manero, at MD Anderson Hospital. For two years he has tried to get me into remission. At one time I lived without any transfusions for seven months. That hasn’t been the case for over a year now. So all that is left for me is to try stem cell transplant.

I will be moving to Methodist Hospital because my insurance will not pay for stem cell transplant at MD Anderson. Next week I will go through two days of heart, lung and viral testing to determine if I am well enough to go through with a stem cell transplant. So our prayer is that I will pass these tests so I can move forward.

It was hard to tell Dr. Garcia-Manero goodbye. He has been a hard-working, intelligent, and caring presence in our lives. Our daughter-in-law, Julie, Tommy, me, Holly, and Kelly Yeger, my PA, have been present at so many of my MDA visits. They have been such a great support system. I can’t thank them enough.

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Dr. Garcia-Manero in center

And thanks go to you, my friends, for all your love, support, interest and prayers. I’ll keep you posted. Much love to you all, Judy

 

 

Pinterest Inspiration

January 28, 2017

I spend way too much time looking at Pinterest suggestions or “inspiration for the week” that shows up in my mailbox. No way can I delete them without taking a peek. The boards I most often pin to are photographs, vintage lace, quilt ideas, and hearts.

When I decided to make Valentines/hearts again to put in my etsy shop I  looked at all the hearts I had pinned to my Pinterest heart board. I made copies of 20 of them for inspiration for making hearts. I used 14 of the ideas. There were no instructions, just pictures. It was so easy to go my own direction with someone else’s idea. My apologies for not recognizing the designer of the hearts I used for inspiration. Rarely can you find credit for things posted on Pinterest. However, I thank you for your creativity.

I had so much fun this last week making the Valentines. It was like I was an artist in residence in my own home studio. My studio was a wreck, but I was so happy and content. There weren’t enough hours in each day. Even the two days I spent at MD Anderson I still came home and worked into the wee hours on another design or two.

Cutting Table

My Cutting Table

I have made stuffed hanging hearts for so many years. I posted some on my blog with a tutorial on how to make them five years ago. If you are interested, check-out my blog post on February 12, 2012, Play Date #2.

Hearts

Hanging Hearts

I’ve also made collage Valentine cards for several years.

Assortment of Valentines

Collage Valentine Cards

The tutorial for those is Play Date #1. I’ve refined the process for making them over the last five years, but I think this post will get you going.

Looking at the heart pins from Pinterest and executing from the pictures was great fun. Below is a photo of each of the hearts I made on the left and the inspiration on the right. If you want to see more details of each of the hearts, go to my etsy shop.

My version is on the left. I had a painted canvas on which I attached my design.  The inspiration on the right.

I made a little wall quilt on the left from the inspiration on the right.

On the left I am back to making a hanging heart using the inspiration on the right.

The inspiration on the right of a hanging heart was different. Using a solid piece of fabric with just a little embellishment was a departure for me.

Using a cabinet card to make a greeting card was new to me. Following the inspiration on the far right, I made two cards using cards from my collection of original cabinet cards.

The inspiration on the right appeared to use wool felt for the foundation. I tried this and added a little stuffing to the fabric heart stitched on top. It was a different process for me.

My rendition of another wool felt flat heart from inspiration on the right.

So those are the 14 Valentines I made this week. If they have sold from my etsy shop, you can still view them under sold items. If you are a Pinterest pinner, I hope you will take the opportunity to use some of those pins for inspiration. I highly recommend it.

You inquire about my health.

There’s not much different to report about my journey with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). We now call it a roller coaster ride. We thought the 27 day stay in the hospital treatment was beginning to kick-in. However, one week we are up about my blood analysis count and the next we are down again. One week I need only a platelets transfusion and the next I need platelets and blood. We still go to MD Anderson twice each week. I still can’t travel too far between visits.

I had a second consultation with the stem cell transplant doctor at Methodist Hospital last week. He repeated all the statistics of someone my age trying a stem cell transplant and the possible year long recovery protocol. The fact that I wouldn’t be able to be around children under the age of 8 really makes me hesitate. We have a 19 month old grandson and another grandbaby due April 2. Being a grammy is at the top of my list of what makes me the happiest. I still believe God has a different plan for me than trying a stem cell transplant and I still have faith in my oncologist, Dr. Garcia-Manero.

Through all this I feel good. I can still go to church, to the office once a week, participate in the lives of our children and their families, and work in my studio. My husband is always with me for hospital visits and our three children are caring and supportive. I am happy.

May you be happy too, my dear friends. Love and Happy Valentine’s Day,  Judy

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Two of my Valentines. They make me happy.

Play Date #16 Handmade Journals

August 28, 2016

For many years I have collected scrapbook paper, stickers, vintage photos and old and new ephemera to create collage greeting cards.

Recently I have read more and more about using these same resources for making journals/planners.

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First Six Handmade Journals I Created

Curiosity and desire got the best of me, and I finally invested in a Cinch Book Binding Tool.

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New Tool for Book Binding

It took lots of searching at different stores to finally find the Cinch Book Binding Tool by We R Memory Keepers. Armed with a 40% off coupon for Hobby Lobby, my husband found the only one left on the shelf. This black and white model has designer Heidi Swapp’s signature on the tool. It cuts square holes instead of round. I did not realize that until I got it home. If you want to buy one, I suggest you Google Cinch Book Binding Tool for many options of where to buy it, different prices and discounts, and also many tutorials on how to use it.

I was excited to get home and start transforming our great room into my book-making area. It wasn’t long before I took over four table top surfaces and several chairs, but I was so happy to finally start playing and creating.

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A Creative Mess

It wasn’t long before I realized I needed another tool. If I was to make books with book rings, then I needed a Crop-A-Dile Eyelet and Snap Punch Tool. Google this tool, too, to learn how and why it is used and also where to purchase it. I found mine at Michael’s and again purchased with a 40% off coupon.

crop

Crop-A-Dile

I have since become a customer of Scrapbook.com for easy access to grommets and binding wires in different colors and sizes. They also have good You Tube tutorials on We R Memory Keepers products.

wires

Binding Wires and Eyelets

Here are other tools I use again and again for making books. You may have them on hand. If not, you can easily purchase them at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or Jo Ann’s. They are 1/4″ Easy-Tear tape, rotary cutter, ruler and mat, permanent holding glue stick in large size, wire cutter, small scissors, brayer and Aleene’s Tacky Glue.

tools

Important Tools

You’ll also need chipboard, scrapbook paper, fabric, paper for inside your book, vintage photographs, embellishments, book rings, stickers, or any other ephemera you can gather.

To start, first decide on a theme and size. The chipboard for this little book measures 4 3/4″ X 7″. I got the photo from Pinterest and made the label “My Secrets” from my Smart Label Printer. You can cut quotes from magazines, fortune cookies, print your own, or use a rubber stamp to get words on your cover. You also need sturdy scrapbook paper or wrapping paper to cover the chipboard.

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Chipboard, Photo, Theme, Scrapbook Paper

There are many tutorials on You Tube on covering journals, but I’ll quickly show you what works best for me in a few photos.

Directions for covering front and back of journal:

  1. Choose paper for front and back cover. For front cut it 1″ larger than chipboard measurement. I cut my paper  5 3/4″ X 8″. Cut one for the front cover and one for the back cover. They do not need to be the same patterned paper. Cut corners of paper on the diagonal close to corner of chipboard. Put 1/4″ Easy-tear tape on all 4 sides of extended paper. Use handle of scissors to add pressure to make sure tape adheres securely to paper.IMG_3140
  2. Put glue stick on one side of chipboard. Place glue side of chipboard down onto wrong side of prepared paper. Use a brayer to roll paper from front side to get rid of any bubbles or buckling.
  3. Remove tape covering from one short side of paper. Fold paper  up and over to back side of cover. Do the same to the other short side.
  4. Add a tiny dab of glue at 4 corners of chipboard. This will make the corners nice and secure as you fold over edges. Remove tape covering on one long side and fold paper over to back side. Repeat for second long side. Repeat these 4 steps for the back cover of the journal.

    cover

    Back side of front cover

Directions for decorating the front and back cover of the journal:

  1. On the front side of front cover and front side of back cover, arrange paper, photos, stickers and ephemera until you are pleased. Use glue stick and tacky glue to adhere each piece in place. Use brayer to smooth edges and remove air bubbles. Bring any strips of paper to wrong side, if necessary to wrap-around. Adhere to back side, too.
  2. Cut paper for inside of covers 1/2″ smaller than chipboard. Place Easy-tear tape on wrong side of  all 4 sides. Remove top layer of tape. Use glue stick to cover chipboard on inside of covers. Note the butterfly theme emerging. I will use it throughout the pages of the journal. Carefully center prepared paper to chipboard. Now your covers are ready for punching holes for binding wires or book rings.
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    Inside front and back covers

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    Outside Front and Back Covers

    My original plan on this book was to use the Cinch tool and punch holes on the left side of the cover for binding wires. Unfortunately, this chipboard was slightly thicker than most. So, when I inserted the left side into the tool, it did not go all the way to the back. The holes it made were too close to the edge and would have pulled out with much use.

    I never throw anything away. Instead, I glued two layers of paper over the hole punches and folded and glued paper to the back side. More sticker trim was added to the edges of the front and back correction. I couldn’t punch holes again over that weakened area. Instead, the book will be held together with book rings. I used the Crop-A-Dile tool to punch the two top holes and add the eyelets to the holes. You will find good videos on how to use this tool on the internet.

The Cinch tool has a difficult time punching holes through fabric. I learned that on the first journal I made that is pictured below. Cinch tool did not cut all the way through fabric. I had to finish cutting each hole individually. This journal is spiral bound.

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 After that first attempt, I  figured out a way to make the cover with fabric and still punch holes with the Cinch tool or Crop-A-Dile.

  1. Stitch your collage to light weight batting such as Warm and Natural. Batting should fit the chipboard on three sides. The side where holes will be punched should be 1″ free of collage. 

    battingfront

2. Cover chipboard with paper as shown in the earlier directions.

3. Glue fabric collage to paper with tacky glue. Stay clear of punched holes. Use Washi tape to hold edge of collage next to punched holes. Use a marking pen to draw quilting stitches.

The next sample is from a kit I bought on clearance from Michael’s. The cover is a spongy material that was meant for painting. I machine stitched a collage on the right side of the front and back covers adding a quarter inch to turn and to glue onto the inside of the covers.  I had to clip the fabric over the grommets, turn it under and glue. Cover stitching with scrapbook paper on inside covers of journal.

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front

Front Cover

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Back Cover

This journal was made the same as the Travel journal, but finished with wire binding on the side of the book instead of book rings.

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Strip Pieced onto batting and glued to journal front paper.

Once I got started making these journals, the next idea came to mind before I could finish the one I was creating. I used half of a page from a vintage photo album for the front cover of this journal. I colored the album page with inks, then added colored string with charms, washi tape and rub-on stickers.

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inside

Inside Cover

When your front and back covers are complete, it is time to cut and punch papers for the contents of your book. Use a variety of papers such as cardstock, heavy magazine pages, discarded book pages, water color paper, and ledger paper. The fun part is adding surprises to the pages such as quotes, tags, pockets, journaling cards, embellished paper clips, fold-out journal page and tab dividers.

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Pockets with Surprises

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Small File Folder with Note Paper and Envelope

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Pocket on Back Cover

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Pages Ready for Journal

Hope this gives you the inspiration to create your own journal or planner. If not, and you would like one I have created, visit my etsy shop to see more. You may find one you would like to purchase. I love making them and would be thrilled for you to have one.

Our older son’s wife, Julie, has requested I make one for her to record family memories. Her birthday is next month so this will be so fun to create for her.  I’ve started gathering family quotes, stickers, and papers for this special journal.  I’m thinking the cover photo will be a recent photo of the four of them. I’ll use a feature in Picasa to make the photo look vintage. I need to spend more time at home so I can start on Julie’s Journal.

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I am at MD Anderson for blood work and usually a transfusion. I was there today, a Sunday, because they found a platelets match for me. Thanks to the perseverance of Jill, my favorite PA, for the first time for more than a year of platelets transfusions I had an HLA platelets transfusion. I’ll be back at MDA tomorrow for blood work and to see my MDS oncologist. It will be interesting to see if today’s transfusion made any difference than a random one from the blood bank. My hopes are high, my confidence in Dr. Garcia-Manero is strong, the love of my family and friends, and my faith sustain me.  The passion I have of loving to create keeps my mind, hands and heart happy. Thank you, God, for this gift. And thank you to all you kind and loving friends. You are so appreciated. Judy

 

Sleepless in Sienna Plantation

July 16, 2016

 

 

It’s early Saturday morning and I cannot sleep. It’s still dark outside in Sienna Plantation. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday this week we were out the door by 7 AM on our way to MD Anderson for blood work, review, and transfusion or appointment with my oncologist. On Thursday, I was on my way to La Grange, Texas for a Quilts, Inc. Executive Committee meeting. Today was my day to sleep in. I love to sleep late, but not today. There’s too much on my mind.

Was it the excitement of yesterday’s blood work revealing  my  platelets count went up since Wednesday’s results? Or was it the fear of needing a stem cell transplant if my numbers don’t elevate to at least 20,000 over the next few weeks?

Yesterday’s results were reason to cheer and hug with my two favorite Physician’s Assistants. However, just last week we were nervous and worried about dipping to 3,000 platelets until it got to 1,000. Starting back up, instead of dropping lower, was reason to cheer. I was on a high when we got home even after a stop at the Quilts, Inc. office for a few hours of work.

Over the last few months I haven’t felt like concentrating on anything in my studio other than an order from the Texas Quilt Museum for collage cards and design packets. When I got home yesterday late afternoon, I went into my studio and decided it was time I spend some time creating or catching-up on adding merchandise to my etsy shop. Or maybe I start with straightening my design wall clutter and work table mess.

Design wall

Design Wall in my Studio

My whole studio is a far cry from the order it was in for the photo shoot of my work space for the publication, Where Women Create. My studio is featured in the Nov/Dec/Jan2015 issue. What a fun day with my kind friend, Jo Packham, the editor of the magazine.

So last night I had the energy and desire to add to my etsy shop two little frocks I made early this year. When our children were here for Easter, our granddaughter, Madison Murrah modeled the frocks while another, Lindsey Huebner photographed them. The garments have been hanging in my studio since then. It was good to get those posted last night. The pattern I used is Simplicity 1080. The frock on the left is made from a vintage cutwork tablecloth. The frock on the right features a 1930’s embroidered hostess apron I imagine was worn by the hostess for a bridge party. Both pieces are in excellent condition.

I have collected vintage linens, laces, patchwork, and trims since I started having an interest in sewing and embellishing when I was in my twenties. I have boxes and closets full of everything you would ever need for a lifetime of stitching and creating. Madison would take all those things in a heartbeat, if she weren’t just 19 and going to college.

Where did all this begin? How did a young woman with a degree in Elementary Education, who just wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and wife to an executive husband have a life-time career as a teacher, author and show planner?

It all started when our youngest son, who is now 41, was an infant in arms. His brother was 6 and his sister 2 1/2. I was sewing fabric squares together to make quilts when I had a few minutes to myself. There were no books to follow, but occasionally an article in Women’s Day or Woman’s Circle on quilting.

One lucky day I learned of an antique shop teaching quilting classes at night. What joy I found that one night out each week that I could be with other quilters and learn how to make a quilt. In a little over a year, my first full-sized quilt was hanging at Great Expectations Quilt Show, and my quilt was featured on the advertising postcard. There was no turning back.

Quilting and creating became my passion. I started teaching classes in a Continuing Education program at our church while Todd was in second grade, Holly was in pre-school, and Troy was in the Mother’s Day Out program at our church. I was actually using my degree. As a thirty-three year old young woman, I loved teaching women many years older than I how to create something beautiful. They were of a generation where women did not work outside the home. For many it was the first time they were so proud of their accomplishments. It became a mission for me.

Quickly the word was out and I started teaching at a couple of small shops. I sewed well into many nights once I had the children to bed. I couldn’t get enough of it. Oh, to have just a little of that energy today.

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My Sewing Corner in the 1970’s

It wasn’t long after that that I had a meeting with the owner of Great Expectations, Karey Bresenhan. She had added fabrics to her antique shop and wanted me to make some samples for her. That led to teaching classes for her on how to make tote bags, bibs on pinafores, notebook covers, etc. from the quilt blocks I had learned while taking classes from her mother, Jewel Patterson. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t taken that first meeting with Karey. I have worked for her for 40 years now.

My career took off. Wait a minute…I didn’t plan to have a career. Remember I am raising three little children. I’m a mom. Somehow I was propelled and soon teaching at Quilt Fair ’78, designing a garment for the first Fairfield/Concord Fashion Show which later became the Bernina Fashion Show,

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Patchwork and Lace Jacket for the Fairfield/Concord Fashion Show

designing and creating large fabric pieces for a debutante ball, being published in magazines, becoming VP of the Greater Houston Quilt Guild, part of a two-woman fashion show,

Holly

Holly Modeling for Fashion Show

creating special decorative items for antique shops from vintage quilts and linens, designing and making rodeo vests for a trendy dress shop, etc.

Then in 1982, my husband moved us to Victoria, Texas, so he could run an independent bank there. Did my career or my association with Karey Bresenhan end there? Guess again. She did not want to see me go, but that didn’t mean she let go. Shortly after we moved, I came back to Houston to a wonderful surprise going-away party Karey had in her shop. I was presented with a quilt full of hearts and signatures from my students at Great Expectations Quilts. I continued to go back to Karey’s shop to teach a full load of classes.

What’s next? It wasn’t long after I arrived in Victoria, Texas that I started teaching quilting and related decorative classes at the Open Door Creativity Center.

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Open Door Creativity Center

Quilting caught on quickly. The classes were popular and it wasn’t long after that that Susan Manning and I formed the Quilt Guild of Greater Victoria under the umbrella of the Nave Museum. I was their first President and remained active in the Guild for 20 years. I also became very active in the Victoria community. Soon one of the Guild members opened a quilt shop where we gathered for classes. I taught there and in a shop in Edna, Texas on a regular basis for many years.

During that time teaching picked up in other towns, more of my designs were published in books and magazines including Virginia Avery’s book Quilts to Wear. In 1983, I took charge of the Education program for Quilt Festival and Quilt Market and became first President of South/Southwest Quilt Association which is IQA today.IMG_2977

Later in the 80’s we started taking Quilt Market to other cities in the summer. Not long after that, we took Quilt Market to European countries along with Quilt Expo. That made for lots of over seas travel for 20 years, but what a delight to see all those European countries and to meet so many wonderful people. Life was busy and children were growing older.

In the early 90’s I was approached by the Editor in Chief, Barbara Weiland, of That Patchwork Place to write a book on the garments I was creating. I had started a series on collage patchwork jackets about that time. After much hesitation, I did write the first book, Jacket Jazz. A series of 6 more books and a pattern line followed over the next 10 years. The first two books put me on the teaching circuit map. I began teaching all over the country for many years. That was gratifying, but hard, exhausting work. I also designed a line of fabric with a Jacket Jazz flair during this time.

Judy Murrah published books

“Jacket Jazz” series

Kids continued to grow, went off to college, graduated, married, had babies. I quit teaching in 2006. We moved back to Houston in 2007. Since then my life has been filled with being with my husband, VP of Education and Administration for Quilts, Inc., mother and Grammy, and active in our church.

Now my focus is on getting well so I can enjoy these golden years, play in my studio, be with our family and travel with my husband. I want to be able to manage MDS. I know the only cure is a stem cell transplant, if it’s successful. Please keep praying for more platelets. Your prayers sustain me, and I am so thankful for you, my friends. God bless you all. Judy

golf

Our Family

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 22 Taco Soup

February 13, 2016

Hello Everyone,

Sorry it has been a couple of weeks since you heard from me. When I’ve been home, I have spent time in my studio every spare minute. I had a big order from the Texas Quilt Museum that I finally finished yesterday.

I made 20 collage greeting cards,

birthday

Happy Birthday, Jennifer

thanks

Thanks

thirteen Design Packets,

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Thirteen Design Packets

and twelve mug rugs or hot pads.

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Twelve Mug Rugs or Hot Pads

I loved every minute of the hours in my studio. There are only a few other places I would rather be.

Now let’s think about cooking. We are getting near the end of my family cookbook. Here is the fourth from the end.

Taco Soup

In the middle 90’s, I went to Seattle to teach several of “That Patchwork Place” employees how to make the second five Jazz jackets. The jackets were pictured in my second book Jacket Jazz Encore. Marta Estes made this soup for our lunch one day. My husband loves this and will eat it for several days. Thank you, husband. I don’t feel guilty when I’d rather be creating in my studio than cooking in the kitchen. The soup is very easy.

soup

Taco Soup

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs. hamburger

16 oz. can diced tomatoes

15 oz. can kidney beans and juice

1 pkg. taco seasoning mix

15 oz. can chicken broth

1 can corn

1 chopped onion

1 small can rotel tomatoes (mild)

1 can hominy

Toppings

Tortilla chips

Grated cheddar cheese

Chopped avocado

Sour cream

Sliced black olives

Fresh cilantro

Instructions

In large kettle sauté meat and onion, breaking up with a spatula as it cooks.

Add taco seasoning and stir. Add tomatoes, beans, corn, hominy and broth. Stir and simmer for at least ½ hour or up to a few hours.

Serve by mounding broken tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowl; add a dollop of sour cream, then the soup. Top with grated cheese, sliced olives, and chopped avocado and cilantro.

Ummm…I think I’ll make a pot this week. Those of you who are looking out your window at snow would love this hot, tasty soup.

Happy cooking and creating to you until we meet again, Judy

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 15 Meringue

November 14, 2015

The party’s over, but my studio is still suffering from the projects before and after Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival. I’m embarrassed to say that I just move things over or onto the floor or another table to make room to create.

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Messy Studio

The shows were full of color, classes, shopping, events, and friends. Whenever I could, I spent time in classes taught by Julie Craig from Wichita, Kansas, where she has a dreamy Attic Heirlooms Needlework Shop. She never stops coming up with new ideas using patchwork, trinkets, trims, buttons, and lace. I love all her classes. I had the opportunity to take her big “Crazy Tomato Pincushion” class. Students love Julie’s classes. Everything you need is provided in a kit. Often the machine sewing is done for you before class, so you can start creating immediately.

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Crazy Tomato Pincushion

Maria Shell, from Alaska, taught for International Quilt Festival for the first time this fall. I enjoyed spending Saturday in her “Blogging for Beginners” class. She taught us a few tricks for streamlining our blogs or starting one. I enjoyed the interaction with group discussion and one-on-one consultation with Maria.

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Class Catalog

My thoughts now are focusing on the holiday season. I put some new Christmas items in my etsy shop today including Christmas stockings. I hope you will take a look.

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Stockings made from a Vintage Quilt

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Red and Green Patchwork Stockings

It’s time to get out my boxes of Christmas fabrics, trims, and ephemeral to create more. My sister wants me to make stockings out of this crazy quilt vest. Should be fun to do.

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Crazy Quilt Vest

What will you be creating for the Christmas holidays? Will it be a special recipe or a new project?

For Thanksgiving and Christmas, I always make two or three pies. Everyone has their favorite. At least one of them will be topped with meringue using my mother’s recipe.

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People told my mom she should make pies to sell because she was a superb pie maker. It took me many tries before I could make a good. tall meringue. 

Ingredients

3 egg whites

¼ tsp. cream of tartar

½ cup sugar

Instructions

Separate egg whites from yolks. Let set out at room temperature while you make pie. Beat egg whites on high speed with heavy mixer and blade. Add cream of tartar once you have started mixing. When egg whites are just starting to get thick, slowly add sugar as whites are beating.

Continue beating until soft peaks form. Stop beater when you think meringue is ready, and lift with spatula. If peaks remain for a couple of seconds, then it is ready. It’s hard to over beat, but very easy to under beat the egg whites.IMG_2051

Spread on pie filling all the way out to crust with spatula. Lift meringue with spatula to form peaks.

Place on middle rack in pre-heated oven set to 350 degrees. Check after 10 minutes that it is lightly brown all over. If not, bake up to 15 minutes total.

Try making meringue for your cream pie. Your family will be so impressed with the magic you create for their Christmas dinner.

Christmas Table

Christmas Table set for 14

I have an idea. I think it would be fun to share your favorite holiday recipe or Christmas project with our friends on my blog. What do you think?

I’ve created two stacks of 24 fat quarters of Christmas fabric. I made them from a variety of some of my collectible Christmas fabrics. Some I couldn’t part with because I didn’t have enough to share. There were many that I had plenty of yardage and could share with you.

stack

Stack of 24 Fat Quarters

ready

Ready for a Creation

Send me your favorite holiday recipe or Christmas project. I will have a small committee to choose one of each as our favorites. The winners will receive one of the fat quarter bundles. If it’s OK with you, I will post the winners on my blog with reference to you. I’ll let you know the results on December 1, 2015.

Soon my husband and I will be going to Long Beach to see our younger son and his family. We haven’t seen our new grandson for two months. I know he has changed and grown so much. Can’t wait to kiss those fat cheeks and get all that sugar in his neck.

murrah

Thompson Murrah

We will go to Disneyland while we’re there. I can’t wait. I was 14 years old the first time I went to Disneyland. I loved it then and still do. The photo below is me in the hat holding my nephew Jimmy D. My sister, Joanie, is holding his brother, Timmy. They are now in their 50’s. My mom is in the center. Family get-togethers are the best.

disneyland

First Visit to Disneyland

Make plans for some family or friend time. What could be more special? Blessings and hugs to you all, Judy

 

 

Play Date #11 The Stockings Were Hung

October 6, 2014

by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicolas soon would be there.

Family Stockings

Family Stockings

“Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without.” is a quote I grew-up with in the 50’s. Being the fourth born of five children, I knew what hand-me-downs, cleaning your plate, share with your brother, etc. meant. Therefore, it’s easy to realize the origin of my game of using every little scrap of fabric, taking what someone else has discarded, and making it into something desirable. For Play Date #11, come along with me to make a one-of-a-kind Christmas stocking.

To create a stocking foundation on which to embellish, you can do one of three things:

  • Cut a stocking from an old damaged quilt. You may need to piece sections together to get a piece large enough for your stocking size.
  • Use a quilt top and add batting to the wrong side of the top before embellishing it.
  • Piece fabric scraps onto batting that has been cut into a stocking shape.

The stocking I’m showing you here was made from pieces of a vintage quilt. The ten stockings pictured below were made from the same quilt.

Multiple Stockings from Same Quilt

Stockings from One Quilt

Santa won’t be able to resist filling these vintage-looking stockings. They are fun to make in different sizes and shapes and easier than they look. A unique construction method makes them a cinch to line, sew and turn.

Finished Stocking Measures 7" Across top and 17" tall.

Finished Stocking Measures 7″ across top and 17″ tall.

Materials

  • Backing and lining for stocking, 1/2 yard for a stocking approximately 8″ X 18″, much less for small or tiny stockings
  • Assorted small pieces of trim, lace and ribbon
  • Jingle bells and other Christmas trinkets
  • Photo transfer and quote transferred to fabric
  • Vintage quilt or quilt pieces
  • Stocking pattern of choice

Instructions for Stocking front

  1. Piece together vintage quilt scraps or use a piece from a damaged quilt. My sister gave me these scraps she had left-over from one of her projects.
    Scraps from a Vintage Quilt

    Scraps from a Vintage Quilt

    I pieced them together and ironed the piece flat.

    Scraps Pieced and Ironed

    Scraps Pieced and Ironed

  2. Cut stocking pattern from quilt piece.
    Cut Stocking

    Cut Stocking

    There are stocking  patterns to be found on the internet. Or, you may have one in your pattern collection. You could use my pattern pictured here. It is possible to use a copy machine to enlarge or reduce the size of your pattern to get an assortment of sizes.

    Stocking Patterns

    Stocking Patterns in Various Sizes

  3. Embellish seam lines with lace, ribbons, and trims. Sew trims in place by machine whenever possible. Some will require stitching along both edges and others through the center only. If there is a row of visible stitching in the trim design, try to stitch on top of it with matching thread for the most invisible application.

    Embellish Stocking

    Embellish Stocking

  4. Embellish the stocking to your heart’s content.

    More Embellishing

    More Embellishing

Magic Lining

  1. Cut 2 pieces of lining fabric, right sides together, the same shape as the pieced stocking, but 1″ longer at the opening edge. Choose this fabric carefully as it will show at the top edge on the outside of the finished stocking.
  2. Place the finished stocking front face down on top of the backing fabric (the back side of the stocking) and cut the backing piece.

    Cut 2 Lining and 1 Backing Fabric

    Cut 2 Lining and 1 Backing Fabric

  3. Layer the 4 pieces in the following order and pin together:
  • Patchwork stocking, right side up.
  • Backing, face down on right side of stocking
  • Two lining pieces right sides together on top of backing.

4. The two lining pieces will extend above the stocking. Stitch 3/8″ from the raw edges through all layers, leaving the top edge unstitched.

Layers together

Stitch 4 Layers Together

Clip the curves to the stitches being careful not to cut the stitches.

5. Turn the backing piece over the stocking so the backing is on the outside and lining is inside. Use a long, blunt tipped tool to push out the edges for a smooth, rounded finish.

6. Turn the lining down over the top edge of the stocking and turn under at the raw edge. Tuck decorative piping, lace or ribbon under the turned edge, if desired.

Turn Lining to Front

Lining over top

Edge stitch along the fold through all layers using a decorative stitch, if desired. A free-arm sewing machine makes easy work of this on the larger stocking. The smaller stocking you will need to stitch by hand. Press carefully.

7. Attach 4″ to 6″ long piece of trim or ribbon to the top corner edge for hanging. Hot glue or stitch any additional embellishments to the stocking front until you are pleased. Isn’t it darling?

These stockings are so much fun to make! Once you’ve made some for yourself, you’ll want to make them for everyone on your gift list this year. The tiny ones are precious on packages and the medium size ones make great hostess gifts. I’ve used them as place cards for dinner parties with the guests’ names peeking out of the stocking. Your guests will be so delighted when you tell them to take their stockings home.

Tiny Stocking

Tiny Stocking

2" Across Top and 5" Tall

2″ Across Top and 5″ Tall

Tiny

Great on a Gift Package

 

Check-out my etsy site for more ideas. Go to judymurrahdesigns.etsy.com.

Merry Christmas everyone from the Christmas Angel. Love, Judy

 

I Cannot Tell a Lie

August 3, 2014

 

As I think about the upcoming feature of my studio in the November issue of Where Women Create, I cannot tell a lie. The photos Jo Packham and her photographer took of my studio show it in its best light. It’s kind of like the lyrics to the old song, “If I Knew You Were Coming I’d Have Baked a Cake.” Many of you will remember this song, but you young ones will have to Google it. Well, I knew they were coming and I didn’t bake a cake, but I did spend time preparing my studio for them.

Studio Ready for Company

Studio Ready for Company

I love my studio. It’s my sanctuary. I love to create. It sustains me. However, my studio is a working studio. It gets messy and unorganized and I love it just the same.

Cutting Table During a Project

Cutting Table While Assembling Design Packets

It is the truth. I am highly organized, and everything does have a drawer, or a plastic container, or a shelf or a slot, etc. Everything is labeled and put away neatly AFTER a project or order is complete. However, in the midst of a project, containers come out of the closets, down from the attic, off shelves and onto the floor or on to one of my work tables. I need it all there and easy to choose from as I work. Sometimes I have multiple projects going on at the same time. That’s not my favorite way to work, but it happens when I have more than one thing going on.

Studio Work in Progress

Studio with a Work in Progress

Having a reason to go into my studio each day, even if it’s only for an hour, energizes me and gives me purpose. I’m grateful for the orders I receive from the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange, Texas. Each time I get an order from Julie Maffei, the Museum Director, I’m delighted. She’ll order 24 of my embellishment packets at a time and almost apologize, but I love it. Being able to coordinate threads, trims, buttons, yo-yos, silk flowers, vintage photos, quotes, trinkets, etc. is fun. I love choosing the elements and attaching them to a card covered in a piece of silk, sliding them into their cellophane envelope and sealing it for someone else to caress and love.

Design Packets

Design Packets

Also, the Museum has been selling my one-of-a-kind collage greeting cards since the day it opened in November 2011. To date, I have made over 200 cards for them to sell in their gift shop. I LOVE making these cards. I am thrilled when I get another order from Julie. Each card I make is a special little collage with sentiments from my heart for someone I could know. Two of the workers for the Museum have told me mine are their favorite cards to give to family and friends. That made my day.

If you want to know how I make these cards, go to my blog post on January 6, 2012, to Play Date #1, Making Valentines. The only thing I do differently now is to use Temtex or Peltex as the foundation and zig zag the outside edges. Following are a few of the cards from the Museum’s most recent order. Maybe they are still available.

For a Good Friend

For a Good Friend

Seriously?

Seriously?

For Life

For Life

Miss You

Miss You

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

It’s just about time to gear-up for making pumpkins from dyed vintage quilts, dyed chenille bedspreads and from white candlewick or chenille bedspreads for a more elegant look. My sister orders the latter from me for her booth at the Houston Fall Quilt Festival and her shop, Apples of Gold, in Artisans Alley. If you refer back to my August 13, 2013, post, Play Date #7 , there are instructions on how to make the chenille pumpkins.

Chenille Pumpkins

Chenille Pumpkins

Smaller Pumpkins

Smaller Pumpkins

Starting in September, I’ll also have the white pumpkins and orange dyed pumpkins in my etsy shop and my booth at the Old Alvin Emporium in Alvin, Texas.

Orange Pumpkin Family

Orange Pumpkin Family

Pumpkin Assortment

Patchwork Pumpkin Assortment

Last October, I started renting a tiny booth in Alvin, Texas at the Old Alvin Emporium where I can play shop owner on a very small scale. I sell things I’ve made, but also things I have collected that I no longer need. Yes, I’m a collector of stuff other than things for creating. My husband also loves to collect. God bless our children when the time comes to get rid of all our stuff.

Tommy, my husband, is so kind to humor me in  my passion for creating. He patiently looks at my latest projects and tells me his favorites or comments on the bright colors or the humorous vintage photographs. He also carries, loads and unloads for me without a single complaint. Last Friday he helped me move a new shelf into a vacant spot in my little shop booth after a display piece sold.

Tommy, My Helpmate

Tommy, My Helpmate

After moving the heavy pieces around for me, he left me alone to sort and play. He knows I can concentrate and enjoy much more if I don’t have any distractions. He doesn’t even warn me of the time or that we need to be somewhere. He’s a kind man. When he returns, after I’m finished, he says it looks great and takes my picture.

Ta-Da. It's finished!

Ta-Da. It’s finished!

What do you think? Sometimes I like something I’ve made so much that I shop in my own booth for a gift. Silly me.

Come See It!

Come See It!

My thanks to you, dear friends, who support my creative spirit with your compliments, your purchases, and your interest. May your creative juices flow. Love and hugs, Judy

Play Date #10 Strip Pieced Christmas Star

July 25, 2014

 

I love everything that’s old: old friends, old times, old manners, old homes, old linens, and old traditions such as family and Christmas. As soon as school starts in the fall, I start thinking about finally having all our family together under one roof to celebrate a couple of days of Christmas.

Since the first year we were  married, I have made decorations for our home. It’s hard not to get them all out, but over the years I’ve been able to part with some of the more ragged things. However, each year Tommy and I put our very first tree top Angel in the tree somewhere. Even though she is too tattered and small for the top of the tree now, she still celebrates Christmas with us every year in the month of December.

Merry Christmas in July from Our House to Yours

Merry Christmas in July from Our Home to Yours

When it gets close to Christmas and we are in the Christmas spirit, it’s too late to start making holiday decorations. I like to start those projects in July. I call it Christmas in July. It’s so much more exciting to sew and to create when the stress of shopping, entertaining, and cooking is not nagging at our conscience.

So I decided to show you what I’m making right now for my etsy shop. Following are the directions if you also want to celebrate Christmas in July and sew along.

Strip Pieced Star

Strip Pieced Star

Strip Pieced Christmas Star

The supplies you need are simple, and you probably have them in your sewing room.

You will need fabric scraps, a cotton batting scrap, approximately 16″ square of backing fabric, scraps of trims and laces, 2/3 yard of ribbon for back tie and tab, a five-pointed star pattern, 4″ square fusible web, buttons, trinkets, and stuffing.

Gather scraps of fabric that compliment each other. I’ve made the stars in fabrics that lend themselves to subtle colors and also the traditional Christmas red and green.

Coordinating Fabric Scraps

Coordinating Fabric Scraps

Bits  of lace and trims in small pieces and quantity are all you need for embellishment.

Lace and Trims Assortment

Lace and Trims Assortment

The directions are simple to follow. If you have done any strip piecing, a Log Cabin block or crazy quilt piecing you will catch-on quickly. If you haven’t, but know how to sew on a machine, you will also do fine. Just follow my directions and study the pictures.

You can use any size star that suits you. My choice for a tree topper or a decorative pillow is 15″ across from point to point. This includes 1/4″ seam allowance. Trace star pattern on cotton batting and cut out.

Star Pattern Traced on Batting

Star Pattern Traced on Batting

Make a pattern for the center of the star starting with a 4 1/2″ square of paper. Cut the square slightly, so you have five sides rather than four. Using this pattern, cut a center from a photo transfer, embroidery fabric, cross-stitch piece, chenille, lace, decorative fabric or something to your liking. Iron fusible web to the back of your center fabric. Place it in the center of the batting star with each side facing one of the star points.  Using a pressing cloth, iron it to the center of your star batting. You will stitch strips of scraps out from this center piece in rounds the same way you would piece a Log Cabin block. The batting is your foundation. You will stitch through it, the previous fabric, and a new strip to create rows leading out to the star points. Use a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Begin by positioning a fabric scrap right sides together on one side of the center piece. Stitch through both fabrics and the foundation. Turn the strip right side up. Trim it even with the width of the side to which it was stitched. Finger press and pin. This is called “Stitch and Flip.” Rotate the star and repeat the process on the next straight side of center extending the strip to cover the side of the previous strip. Stitch and Flip. Continue around the center, going the same direction, until each side has a strip of fabric covering the raw edge. Trim strips even with the foundation, if they extend, cutting from the wrong side.  You may add pieces of lace or trim to the finished seams as shown.

First Row of Strip Piecing

First Row of Strip Piecing

Continue the rotation making a second row of stitch and flip strips and then a third row. Follow the same process as instructed above.

Rotation of Stitch and Flip

Rotation of Stitch and Flip

As you go around, you will eventually be stitching each of the five points until the foundation is covered. When star is covered, stitch 1/4″ from edge. Trim even with star foundation. Remove pins. You may embellish further with yo-yos, trinkets, appliques, and more trims.

Strip Piece Points

Strip Piece Points

Place completed Strip Pieced star right sides together with lining fabric. Pin and cut out lining same size as foundation. Determine what is the top of the star, and make a 5″ slit across in the lining fabric two-thirds from the bottom of the star. This will be where you turn the star right side out, stuff it, and stitch tying ribbons. Stitch 1/4″ from raw edge on all sides. Clip off star points above stitching. Clip into point intersections to the stitching.

Cut Slit in Lining

Cut Slit in Lining

Turn right side out and make sure points are out and smooth. I use a chop stick to push the points out and get stuffing firmly into the points. Stuff star full. Cut ribbon in half so you have two pieces. Insert one end of each ribbon into the lining opening. Turn under seam allowance of the slit and pin opening closed with ribbon end pinned inside. Stitch opening by hand with small stitches and double thread. Add a loop of ribbon to the top of the star for hanging on the top tree branch.

Ribbon Hanging

Ribbon Hanging

 

Once you make one of these stars, you will want to make more. Here’s a sample in red and green. You can see more in my etsy shop.

Red and Green Star

Red and Green Star

MERRY CHRISTMAS IN JULY FROM OUR HOME TO YOURS.

 

 

 

 

 


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