Archive for the ‘Play Date’ Category

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.

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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.

journals

First Six Handmade Journals I Created

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

book

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.

create

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.

begin

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.
    inside

    Inside front and back covers

    IMG_3146

    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.

IMG_3083

 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.

IMG_3053IMG_3051

front

Front Cover

IMG_3128-001

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.

strip pieced

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.

IMG_3074

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.

pocket

Pockets with Surprises

file

Small File Folder with Note Paper and Envelope

pocket

Pocket on Back Cover

pages

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

 

Play Date #15 Embellished Glove for Mother’s Day

March 8, 2016

For more than 25 years, I have collected vintage cotton gloves at flea markets, junk stores, antique shops, garage sales, etc.

gloves

White Glove Collection

Often I purchase just a single glove. It’s match was lost somewhere along the way. That’s not a problem because often I need only one glove to add to a quilt, a collage on a pillow, or now as a hanging pocket for a Mother’s Day gift.

glove

Embellished Glove

In my collection of gloves, I have some that belonged to my mother and to me. Yes, Mother definitely wore gloves to church along with a hat. As a little girl and a young teen, I also wore gloves for church attire and for high school and college formals.

formal

Chi Omega Christmas Formal

Sigh…and I married that young man. I think I can smell those gardenias on my wrist corsage. That was only a few years ago.

But today I want to tell you how to make one of these sweet little embellished gloves for a Mother’s Day gift or as a wedding tribute.

Supplies Needed

White cotton formal glove no longer than 9″.

For embellishments, you will need vintage laces, embroidery pieces, ribbons, white buttons, pearl beads, white fabric scraps, large beads, vintage bridal illusion, lace motifs, tiny flowers, hankie or napkin corner piece.

Polyester stuffing in very small amount.

For collage card you will need sturdy scrapbook paper, vintage photo, appropriate quotes and sayings, lace tidbits.

Let’s Start

I can make one of these embellished gloves in an evening in front of the TV watching a movie or documentary with my husband. I work with all of these items held on a tray on my lap as I sit in my chaise lounge. Often I have a sleeping kitty lying on a quilt next to my legs.

need

Everything I Need

  1. Get all of your supplies together.
  2. Select a glove. I choose one that’s about 8-9″ long. They seem to work best. Each glove is different from the last. Look at the glove you have and create some sort of plan of how you will proceed. I find it’s easiest to create if the glove does not have details on the front that you do not want to cover up. I’m going to demonstrate for you on one such glove.
  3. Gather-up lace or an embroidered piece or existing ruffle to stitch to the top of the glove. I stitch by hand. It’s relaxing stitching and creating. This ruffle does not go to the back. Stitch down sides of ruffle to each side of the glove.
    skirt

    Gathered Skirt at Top of Glove

    4. Add an extending piece of lace or trim to the top edge of the glove. This can be stitched inside the glove or on top. This extension goes all around the top of the glove.

    extend

    Extend Top of Glove with Lace or Trim or Ruffle

    5. Add lace and buttons where the top two pieces come together. This lace goes all around to the back of the glove. The buttons are only on the front.

    add

    Add Lace and Buttons

    6. The little bit of lace added to the bottom of the ruffles was definitely a snippet. I cut a stray embroidered flower off another piece to tack to the lace piece. Stitch it to the bottom of the ruffle.

    lace

    Lace to Bottom of Ruffle

    7. Now let’s add a 14″ piece of ribbon for hanging the glove. I used old hem tape I spritzed with spray starch and “squenched” together and left to dry. Leave about an inch of ribbon below where you tack it to one side of the glove. Bring remainder of ribbon to other side and tack it. Leave an inch of ribbon below where tacked. Add a loop of lace, a small yo-yo, tiny flowers, button or whatever you have to embellish where you tacked the ribbon to the glove.

    ribbon

    Embellish Tacked Ribbon Hanging

    8. Let’s make a little card to insert in the glove. This I do on the sewing machine. Choose a paper that can easily be written on for a message. Cut 2 pieces of heavy cardstock or heavy scrapbook paper 2 1/2″ X 6″.

    paper

    Scrapbook Paper

    9. Choose a photo, a few snippets of lace, the word Mom or Mother, and an appropriate saying or quote.

    IMG_2416

    Words

    IMG_2413

    Lace Snippets

    10. Using a glue stick, place photo and lace in place on scrapbook paper. Stitch on machine. Second piece of paper is for the back of the card. It will be glued to the back to cover the stitches.

    create

    Create and Stitch on Scrapbook Paper

    11. Trim lace even with paper. Add sentiments with glue stick. Stitch through paper. Glue second piece of scrapbook paper to back of card. Zig-zag stitch outside edges to hold together. The back of card is a place to add your own personal sentiments.

    words

    Add Words of Endearment

    12.Now it’s time to add a little polyester stuffing at the top of the gloves fingers. Do not stuff into the fingers. This is only a tiny amount on which to put your card. Insert completed card. Add this same amount of stuffing to the lower front of card and lower back of card. This will keep it in place. There is also room in the glove to add a small gift.

    stuffing

    Polyester Stuffing

    Now your one of a kind Mother’s Day greeting is complete. Aren’t you proud? Hang it by the ribbon and admire it for a while before you give it away.

Here are a few more samples for you.

If you want a closer look, go to my etsy shop for more details. They are so much fun to make. Send me pictures of what you create. I would love to see what you make.

Until next time…Love and stitches, Judy

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 12 Lasagna

October 9, 2015

This week I’m a day early with your weekly recipe. Today we are going to College Station for a Letterman’s get-together of the guys who played on the first team Gene Stallings coached at Texas A & M. Needless to say there will be many embellished stories going around the next couple of days. It will be fun.

Yesterday I spent the day making another garment to wear at Fall Market and Quilt Festival. Fabric manufacturers and pattern companies, who exhibit with us, are happy to give us their new fabric line and pattern line for us to make and wear.

My latest garment is made from Vintage Modern fabric designed by Amy Barickman for RJR Fabrics. The pattern is Over the Top Tunic from Indygo Junction by Amy Barickman. Our Education staff will also be wearing a garment of their choice made in this same fabric line and color way. It will be easy to identify us on the days we wear them. Look for us on the third floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center. That’s where all the classes are held for 10 days. Come visit me in room 340AB. I would love to see you.

tunic

Over the Top Tunic Front

tunic

Over the Top Tunic Back

I have been sewing and creating since I was a little girl. Every where we have lived I have found friends who also love to create with their hands.

The recipe this week came from Emily Waldron, (from her grandmother) my best friend while Tommy was going to graduate school in 1969-71 in Boston. We each had a young son and did not work outside the home. We got together once a week, alternating our homes while our husbands were in school. We each had only one car so the husbands would come to the house where we were for dinner, and then we’d go home after dinner. It was always a fun day making crafts and dinner together while our sons napped and played with each other.

Best Ever Lasagna

Makes two 9″ X 13″ casseroles

Instructions

Brown 

2 lbs. ground meat

4 crushed garlic cloves

Add

12 oz. can tomato paste

28 oz. can tomatoes diced with juice

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

2 tablespoons Oregano

Cover and simmer 30 minutes until slightly thickened.

Cook

1 lb. Lasagna noodles. Drain.

Mix 

3 eggs

dash salt and pepper

¼ cup dried parsley

30 oz. Ricotta cheese

Fill casseroles with alternate layers of 

Meat sauce

Noodles

Egg and Ricotta cheese mixture

Cheeses (2 pkgs. Grated Mozzarella and 2 pkgs. Parmesan)

Start with a thin layer of meat sauce. End with sauce and cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Remove foil last 20 minutes of baking.

This is a great recipe to make for a group of 12. Serve with a green salad and chocolate dessert.

It’s my birthday this month, and I plan to celebrate every opportunity I get. My chemo treatments are working, and I’m thrilled to have another birthday.

birthday

Happy Birthday to Me

Lots of love, hugs and kisses until next week, Judy

 

 

 

Play Date #14 Button Cuff Bracelet

March 24, 2015

Since I was a little girl I have loved buttons. I can remember hanging-out with my mom while she sewed in her bedroom in sunny California. I’d sit on her bed and go through her round tin button box time and time again. She had one large flat box and a smaller round taller box. I preferred the larger flat tin. It was black with small colorful designs on the top, as I recall. This was the beginning of my love for buttons.

I Love Buttons.

I Love Buttons.

Needless to say I have collected buttons since I was a young woman. I spend time sorting them, choosing the right one for a design, and gathering an assortment in a specific category for another project. I never stop buying buttons at Goodwill, flea markets, and antique shops. The price still has to be right. If you could see all the buttons I have, you would wonder why I need any more.

Button Jars

Button Jars

Button Boxes

Button Boxes

So when the founders of the Texas Quilt Museum asked me to make button cuff bracelets for the Museum gift shop, I was intrigued. They had each received such a bracelet from a quilt friend in Paris. I examined their bracelets and how they were made. I had to decide if I could part with some wonderful buttons, old and new, I had collected over the years.

Original Paris Bracelet

Original Paris Bracelet

It took many months before I decided to give it a try. The first one took me many more hours than was worth my time. I was happy with the results, but it was a tedious job.

My First Attempt

My First Attempt

The second bracelet went a little faster as I made some changes to streamline the foundation process. I also added batting to make the foundation sturdier for hand sewing.

Pastel Buttons on Second Attempt

Pastel Buttons on Second Attempt

The third bracelet took two nights of hand-sewing and watching the Season Two DVD of Downton Abbey. It had more buttons than either of the other two I had previously made. The original bracelet had a gold lame fabric for its base. I followed this same idea thinking it made it dressier. However, with the red buttons it was hard to hide the fabric peeking through.

Red Button Cuff Bracelet

Red Button Cuff Bracelet

So on my fourth attempt I chose fabric for the foundation the same color as the buttons I was going to use. Now that was much better. I’m very happy with the results and the amount of time I spent making the bracelet.

Black Button Bracelet

Black Button Bracelet

I feel comfortable enough about making these Button Cuff Bracelets that I can now share the instructions with you.

Materials Needed

  • Matching button color fabric for top, backing, and facing
  • Light weight batting such as Warm and Natural
  • Buttons small and large
  • Beads and trinkets
  • Strong thread such as carpet thread
  • 1″ piece of velcro

Instructions

1.  Make foundation template. Draw a rectangle 2 1/2″ X 7″. On one end mark in 5/8″ on both sides. From here draw a tab closure 1″ tall. This is the finished size for a 6″ wrist. Make template longer for a larger wrist.

Make Template

Make Template

2. Using template, cut a top and backing 1/4″ larger than template. Cut a lining same size of template without the tab. Cut batting same size as template.

Cut Matching Fabric

Cut Matching Fabric

3. Pin top fabric to facing fabric right sides together. Pin batting to one of these wrong sides. Stitch close to batting. Leave an opening for turning. Clip off corners. Clip to stitching where straight edge meets the tab.

Stitch Three Layers Together

Stitch Three Layers Together

4. Turn right side out making sure all edges are out and flat. Turn opening to inside and stitch. Cut Velcro round at one end. Pin one half to wrong side of the tab. The straight edge will extend into the foundation. Stitch.

Velcro to Tab

Velcro to Tab

5. Match the other half of the Velcro to the right side of the foundation. Straight edges of foundation should just meet. There is no overlap. Cut off excess on straight edge of Velcro.  Stitch with machine.

Add Velcro to Front of Foundation

Add Velcro to Front of Foundation

6. You are ready to stitch your buttons to the foundation. Depending on size of your buttons, you will need 30-40 buttons. Get them together with a few beads and trinkets in a flat box big enough that you can spread out your collection.

Collection of Black Buttons

Collection of Black Buttons

7. Thread your sturdy hand-sewing needle with double strand strong thread. Knot. Starting in center bring the needle from back side to front. The side without the Velcro on the tab is the front side. Start with largest buttons in the center. It’s OK for knots and threads to show on the wrong side. It will be covered with facing fabric when you are finished. Stitch through each button three times. Back tack before moving to the next button. Feature your most impressive buttons in the very center. Sew through buttons that have holes on top through each hole once. Then sew again with beads or smaller button to cover button holes. Add smaller buttons on both sides tucking them under the larger buttons you stitched down the middle.

Cover Foundation with Buttons

Cover Foundation with Buttons

8. When you are satisfied with the look, turn bracelet to wrong side. Turn under raw edges of facing fabric and pin to cover all the button stitching. Hand-stitch to edge of cuff using matching thread.

Facing Stitched to Back

Facing Stitched to Back

9. Cuff bracelet is complete and ready for you to wear. The closure will not show so you can choose to wear the bracelet turned the direction which is your favorite. Or, you can alternate the sides with each wearing.

Black Button Bracelet

Black Button Cuff Bracelet

Red Button Cuff Bracelet

Red Button Cuff Bracelet

I have an order from the Texas Quilt Museum for more button cuff bracelets. My next one is going to be made with mostly gold buttons. I’ve collected them and can hardly wait to get started.

Gold Buttons

Gold Buttons for Next Cuff Bracelet

Tomorrow I leave for Chicago for the Spring International Quilt Festival. I would love to start stitching on this fifth bracelet, but I need to bid you good-bye and pack. I’ll be teaching in Open Studios and Make It U on the show floor and have a few more things to gather and prepare for that. So it’s time to put this away and get my head focused on a really great show. I hope to see you there. Bye-bye.

Chicago Quilt Festival or Bust

Chicago Quilt Festival or Bust

Play Date #13 Triangle Pin Cushion

March 13, 2015

This silk pin cushion has been on a library shelf in our Quilts, Inc. office for many years. I did not pay much attention to it until I attended a Quilt Camp led by Heather Thomas in La Grange, Texas. I sat next to a woman who had a version of this same octopus-like pin cushion. However, hers was made with eight smaller cotton fabric triangles rather than six like the one pictured here.

Vintage Pin Cushion

Vintage Pin Cushion

So, like we all do when we admire something, I asked if I could take a picture of her pin cushion and make a few measurements. She was gracious and told me how she made it.

Original Pin Cushion

Original Pin Cushion

I scribbled down a few notes about the pin cushion.  They’ve been tacked to my design wall for over a year now.

Instructions

Instructions

When I was asked to do a short, small project for Open Studios at the 2015 Chicago Quilt Festival in March, I thought about the Triangle Pin Cushion.

My First One

My First One

As I made this first one I realized students wouldn’t be able to make it in an hour, even with the triangles stitched for them. I knew they would need to go home with pictures and good instructions. I thought you might like the same things, so here we go.

Materials Needed

  • 8 different fabrics. They should coordinate, but have contrast.
  • 1 yard of silk ribbon 1/4″ – 1/2″ wide
  • 1″ button
  • stuffing

Instructions

  1. Cut a 4 1/2″ square from each of the eight fabrics.
    Eight Fabric Squares

    Eight Fabric Squares

    2. Fold each square right sides together on the diagonal. Stitch two short sides together leaving a 2″ opening in the middle of one short side. Clip off three points.

    Sew Triangle

    Sew Triangle

    3. Turn right side out making sure points are pulled out.  Use a chop stick or dowel to push stuffing firmly into points. Then stuff the remaining triangle lightly. Stitch opening closed. You’ll have 8 little triangle cushions.

    Stuffed Triangles

    Stuffed Triangles

    4. Arrange in contrasting order. Thread hand needle with double strand thread. Knot. Hold 2 triangles together with long, unseamed side facing out.

    Long Unseamed Side

    Long Unseamed Side

    Hand-stitched side should be facing in. When triangles are together, you will not see hand-stitched side.

    Hand-stitched side

    Hand-stitched Side

    5. Stitch 8 stuffed triangles together at top. Go through each triangle a couple of times. Turn over and stitch triangles together on bottom.

    Stitch Together Bottom

    Stitch Together Bottom

    6. Thread needle with double strand thread. Knot. Loop one yard ribbon back and forth in approximately 2″ loops. Tack each time to hold. I use my fingers to loop the ribbon.

    Loop & Tack Ribbon

    Loop & Tack Ribbon

    7. Stitch to the top of Triangle Pin Cushion. Add button on top of ribbon.

    Finished Pin Cushion

    Finished Pin Cushion

    8. Have fun stitching.  Get some friends together and stitch, chat, and eat. How much fun is that! Thanks for stopping by. Until next time I wish you fun, friends, love and stitches, Judy

    Make Your Life Fun!

    Make Your Life Fun!

     

 

 

Play Date #12 Texas Boot Stocking

November 28, 2014

We are all about being from Texas. Everyone in the picture below was born and raised in Texas, or being raised in Texas, except for our oldest son, Todd. He was born in Joliet, Illinois in 1968 when my husband was in the Army. We moved him to Boston, Massachusetts, after the Army stint, long enough for Tommy to get his MBA. We moved our new little family back to Houston as soon as we could. Our daughter, Holly, was born in Houston in 1972, and  baby brother, Troy was born in Houston in 1975. He also was raised in Texas, but after college graduation he moved to California and has lived there ever since. He has a loving wife and her family there, but we miss him here. We look forward to Christmas when he and Michelle will be with us. Then we’ll be the Murrah 13 and growing rather than the 11 you see below.

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 was a grand celebration before the Texas A & M football game was played in College Station. We had turkey dinner, conversation, hugs, laughter, parking lot football, and just good family time. The highlight was the excitement of our oldest grandchild, Madison, being accepted into the 2019 class of Texas A & M. Her daddy graduated there along with her granddaddy and great-grandfather. Our daughter and her husband, Scott, also graduated from A & M along with great-great uncles and all my husband’s sister’s children. It’s a family tradition. We wish Madison Elizabeth Murrah many happy memories while she gets her education at Texas A & M.

Congratulations Madison

Congratulations Madison

Yes, we are about Texas and all things Texas. It’s hard to believe but more than 30 years ago I had a boot stocking design featured in a magazine which went out of business long ago. Does anyone remember Decorating and Craft Ideas? I still get orders for these stockings made from discarded denim jeans. My nephew’s wife just asked me to make more to add to her collection as her family grows with grandchildren. While making those for her I thought you might like to learn how to make them, too.

Texas Boot Stockings

Texas Boot Stockings

Materials Needed

Discarded pair of denim jeans for boot. One pair of jeans will make two stockings.

Fusible web with paper, suede cloth, ribbon, fringe, cotton fabric, felt scraps, etc. for applique

Christmas trim, jingle bells, studs, western charms, trinkets, etc. for embellishment

Directions

  1. Using the pattern provided, enlarge stocking to your desired size. I use the enlargement feature on my copier. My pattern for the width of the boot is 9″ at the top and 8″ at the bottom. It is 15″ tall. The foot is 7 1/2″ at its tallest and 11″ wide. You will make two pattern pieces. The A pattern is the leg of the boot. The B pattern is the foot of the boot. Make a pattern for these two pieces.

    Boot Pattern

    Boot Pattern

  2. Lay out blue jeans pant leg on flat surface with side seam decorative stitching on top. Using larger top half of boot pattern, place straight top edge even with bottom of jean. The side seam stitching will be center of boot starting in the middle of the top edge of the boot and ending at the scallop indentation where the foot of the boot is joined.
  3. Draw pattern on jean leg. Cut two wrong sides together on line drawn.
  4. It is not necessary to use the decorative seam stitching for the foot of the boot. Using foot of boot pattern, draw pattern on upper jean leg. Cut two wrong sides together.
  5. Lay the top part of the boot section under the foot part of the boot with right sides up. Use a zig-zag stitch to sew the two pieces together. Do the same for the boot back. Add trim over the zig-zag stitching.

    Stitch Leg to Foot of Boot

    Stitch Leg to Foot of Boot

  6. Choose an applique design for stocking. I have included several here. You will want to enlarge them. Trace applique patterns to paper side of fusible web. Fuse to wrong side of fabrics. Cuton line. Peel paper away and iron in place on stocking front.
    Deep in the Heart of Texas

    All About Texas

    The Lone Star State

    The Lone Star State

    All Things Texas Appliques

    All Things Texas Applique

  7. Machine zig-zag in place. You may prefer to replace the applique with a blue jeans pocket. Add embellishments.

    Deep in the Heart of Texas

    Deep in the Heart of Texas

  8. To construct the stocking, place front and back right sides together. Stitch boot front and back starting and ending stitching at either side of boot top. Clip curves every 1/4″-1/2″. Turn right side out. Press. My finished boot measures 19″ tall and 10″ across the foot.
  9. Use 8″-10″ of ribbon or cording for making a hanging loop. Fold ribbon in half with ends even. Tie knot near bottom. Stitch to inside corner of boot top extending loop beyond the top.
  10. Embellish further with other trinkets or treasures to personalize each stocking.
    Personalize Each Stocking

    Personalize Each Stocking

    Y’all come back now. Ya’ hear? I wish a great holiday season to you and yours no matter where you live. Merry Christmas,  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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