Monday, December 31, 2012

Bloggiversary Today
Wow... A year ago today I started this blog.  I started it with the intention to motivate myself to complete some long ago UFOs that are still awaiting my attention.  Instead it morphed into a growing friendship with an awesome  blogging community that I have fallen in love with.  You have motivated me to try new things and yes, most all of what I have started with you I have finished this year!!!
I have had a blast interacting with you and getting to know some of you through your comments and participating with you through swaps , blog hops , emails, and following many of you through your blogs!  What wonderful inspiration you have all offered me this year.  As a thank you for following my journey this year I am offering up 7 fat quarters to one lucky follower.

I had a blast picking these out, I love the aqua and red I see everywhere you turn nowadays so I had to get one of each for me too.

To enter the giveaway just leave a comment on this post letting me know you are a follower (old, new, yellow or blue). I love you all. That's it ... easy peasy.  I will have Mr Random choose a winner on Friday, January 4th and will email the winner once he does.  Please make sure you are not a no reply blogger so I have a way to contact you.  If you are not sure you can leave your email address in your comment post in this format:
username at service dot com (or net) for example mine would be 
kacagang at comcast dot net 

Looking forward to another great year ahead.   The New Year always find me contemplating what lies ahead. 
  •  I am currently finishing up the Quilt U Be Mine swap ( ends in Feb)
  •   awaiting my swap blocks from the Christmas block swap from Aunt Pitty Pat's group
  • and needing to start designing my Zetti blocks for Rebecca's Quilt due in August.  I have been buying fabric like crazy for it and think I have enough to get going on it. 
  •  I also will be participating in the Skill Builder BOM at Pile Of FabricCheck out the awesome quilt we will be making.  Best of all it is free and a QAYG project, too.  
  • Another free BOM, I will be participating in is the one Kristy over a Quiet Play is providing this year through her Craftsy shop.  It will all be paper pieced blocks ( my fav ) and will be all sewing themed blocks.
Best of luck to you in the giveaway!!! All my best wishes to you in the year ahead.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sweet Skating Sue

I got a very nice present in the mail right before Christmas.  I received my Sweet Skating Sue mini quilt from my swap partner.  It is so adorable.  I love the face she gave her and the fur trim on her jacket.  The arm she gave her is also something I absolutely love about her.  Don't ya just love the path her skates made in the ice?  I added her to my sewing room walls and am so grateful for the extra friend up there with me. A big huge thanks to Rebecca for all the love she put into my sweet new wall hanging. I love what she did with the pattern to make her unique and one of a kind and will treasure for years to come. Thanks Rebecca!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Three Finished Skirts , Two White Russians and a Partridge in a Pear tree

I know this is my own adaptation of a time old Christmas Carol, but after a couple White Russians one does feel Very Merry indeed and silly and relaxed and...almost prepared for the big day!!!

Hope you are feeling the load lighten and the anticipation and hope and love that the season is known for surround your activities.

Here are the skirts I have been busy making for the 3 grand-daughters.  They went together pretty easily considering garments are not my forte.  In fact,  I haven't sewn any for over 20 years since my oldest was about the age of my oldest grand-daughter who will be five in February.  I bought the shirts online thru Zulily and liked that I could get them personalized with their names.

Kiara is starting to wear size six and I remember that patterns run big so I made hers a size 4.
I believe it was a good choice because I believe the length turned out to be about and inch longer than her mom reported the length to just above her knee to be.

The pattern I used for this was a NEWLOOK pattern #0147.  It had sizes 3-8.  I found it at Joann's Fabrics.  Since Kiara was a size 4,  I needed Pyper's to be a size 2.  So I just shortened each tier by about a half inch and I believe it too is the right size, being approximately an inch longer than I wanted it to finish at. 

Jayda's presented the real challenge.  She is only 16 months old to Pyper's 3 yrs so I really needed to adjust the pattern quite a bit without making it too small.  It finished exactly at the length my daughter thinks it should be so let's hope she is right.  I think the girls are going to look adorable in their matching outfits and hopefully nana has gained the confidence to make more dresses and skirts for the girls in the year ahead.  I have been wanting to try a pillowcase dress and spring and summer will be here before you know it.

I'd show you the two White Russians but they are gone and just a memory. Here is the recipe if you'd like to join me:

2 oz vodka
1 oz Kahlua
Pour over ice in an old fashioned glass.  Top off with half and half.  Enjoy!  Yum Yum

And Yes a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Just don't drink too many White Russians least you think you see this Partridge in a Pear Tree

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gift Bag

I made this bag in one evening over the course of just a couple hours.  Heck most of the time was spent choosing fabrics and just the right Polaroid pic.  Face it so many of them I don't want to part with but I found the perfect one for Christmas and the added a little LOVE to the back of the bag.
I saw an adorable bag that Debbie made over at a Quilter's Table from the Jeni's tutorial using this pattern and knew I needed to give it a go.  She had used a Polaroid block from the swap she hosted this last year and I've been looking for a great way to use some of these and since it is gift bag season, this was perfect timing.  Debbie's bag can be seen here.  Jeni's pattern can be found here lined drawstring gift bag tutorial .  It went together very quickly and my Secret Santa gift for Amber was a big hit because she loved the bag.  She knew when her daughters saw it that evening they were going to want to steal out from under their mom's nose.  Check out the love on the back of it.

I just added a border around the Polaroid block and the another border to create the 12.5 inches by 10.5inch pieces of fabric I needed.  I inadvertently switched the direction of the 12.5 and 10.5 so I had a bag wider instead of taller but I just made sure I did the same for the lining and all was good.  You could make these in all kinds of sizes and make a bunch up to have on hand for all kinds of gift giving seasons. Thanks Debbie and Jeni for just the perfect inspiration!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Oh... Fiddlesticks
 I don't know about you but the last few days have been hard on the heart...  First our local mall had a shooting leaving two dead and then a rifle was found by a teacher at one local high school and a different local high school had a drive by shooting two days later.  Follow that up with the horrific atrocity of the elementary school shooting in Connecticut and one has a hard time finding the joy in the holiday season.  My heart aches for the families affected by the senseless shootings taking place in our country.  My prayers will be filled with strength and healing for the parents and families of the lives cut too short. 

I myself needed help finding the joy again and decided to search for some Christmas Tom Foolery to lighten my thoughts.  Hope they lift your spirits, too.

 One of our holiday traditions is the reading of 'Twas the night before Christmas, so when I saw this version from 'Maxine'  I knew it would be good for a chuckle.  I was right.

 I got a kick out of Santa in this next one.  Hope your season is seeming a little merrier and brighter than it did a few minutes ago. 

Now that I'm in a little bit more of the Holiday Spirit it is off to find the perfect Christmas tree.  Well maybe not perfect but close enough.  We normally would have had it last weekend but life was a little busy with the grand kids and the DH working so many hours lately.  My daughter and I hope to have one by the time he gets off work today.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday Baking Plus

Weekend went by in a whirlwind of Holiday Baking with Kiara.  We started with some Grinch Cookies that I found through Pinterest at Tasty Kitchen .  She insisted Grinch Cookies needed eyes but we just made followed the recipe. Here are the results. Her little sister found the irresistable!

Here is the sweetie who helped nana make them.

We also made Sugar cookies, which she loved frosting and some Gingerbread boys and girls. It was the first time I had ever used the girl gingerbread cookie cutter.  I hadn't even planned on using it this time but right off the bat she wanted to make one wearing a pink skirt. Well, nana couldn't say no to that, now could she.  Also made snowballs and some peppermint candy cookies. Yum Yumm !!!

Plus I am starting to get the rewards of cyber shopping week showing up in my mailbox.  Now to find the time to start tinkering with them all.  I did quickly slip in a Magic Washer into my Bobbin case and LOVED how great that works.  My bobbin case is a constant frustration.  I ordered bobbins for my Juki online and they have always fit tight and I finally had the DH sand them down a smidgen but they have rough edges which I have tried to smooth out but my tension has been fighting me ever since on some of them but these things really do help the bobbin glide in the case more smoothly.

I also bought the supreme slider I have been hearing about and a cheap new darning foot.  Mine that I free motion quilt with has a closed hole and since it is metal and costly I haven't wanted to try to modify it.  I love the video Angela Walters has on her web site showing how she modifies a cheap foot to open the foot so she can see what she is stitching.  I can see how this would be a great benefit and seeing how this one was less than $6.00,  I think I can afford to try her method of modifying the foot.  So you know I needed to buy her book and when searching for it I found a few others, I couldn't resist.  Too bad I still have to wrap all the gifts I've bought so far before I can find the time to properly delve into them.

In the meantime, I still have one more skirt to sew up for the grand-daughters before Christmas. I hope to have them done this week.  Instead of fininshing them this last week, I got distracted by this project below.

  We have a gift tree at work that adopts some of the Senior citizens my facility serves and one special sweetie requested, crayons, coloring books, a crayon box and something to carry things in. 

Well this sounded right up my alley so I quickly got to work this week on making her a tote bag to carry all her goodies in when I bought them.  I've been wanting to tackle a tote bag for a while now and thought this was a GREAT reason to just do it.  I have some blocks that I have been working on since May and only have about 5 or 6 of them done.  They measured 14 x 14 and the pattern that I found was for (2) 15-1/2 x 16 in blocks so I quickly and a couple more fabric pieces to increase the sides to the right dimensions and look at how nice they finished off into a tote bag.  This is a pattern I found in Simple Quilts & Sewing mag Winter issue 2013 I bought a couple of months ago.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Season is quickly flying by

 Hope your Thanksgiving was blessed with family and friends, food and good health!  We had a wonderful gathering this year and all went very smoothly.  Thanksgiving was quickly followed with the yearly Black Friday draining of my pocketbook.  My daughter and I had a great day of shopping from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm.  We did spend a couple hours at the library.  I had to pick up some books to prepare me for the  diet change my doctor suggests I ring in the New Year with.  It will be here before you know it and I need to get my cholesterol in check next year. Oh, yeah...

I got the last of my December Quilt Blocks done and out in the mail:

I finished up my Quilt U Be Mine Block rounds on Julianne's Block.
I can't show it to you but let me just say it has been a labor of love
this last month.  I hope she will love it when she finally gets to see 
it in February.  For now it is off to England to get some more love added.

Next up on the weekend agenda was a little R and R with the grand-daughters.  We picked them up and took them to see a model train exposition in Portland that my husband adores each November.  It was the first time we had taken the youngest one out ( she is very attached to mommy ) and she was a perfect little angel.  She didn't cry one peep and enjoyed the trains, McDonald's lunch and especially her Hot Fudge Sundae that topped off her day with us.  Kiara, her older sister is the apple of papa's eyes and my DH insists she is what he was born for. 

Kiara was very glad to have Bear join us for the day and wanted to make sure he got his picture taken, too.

Kiara got to drive the green train and loved it.

Now papa has to find room to set up our model trains somewhere so she can share a new passion with him.

Then the mailman has been kind to me lately and has delivered some yummy fabrics for me to dream up some Zany Zettis with.  When I didn't get any bites for face fabrics with an earlier post and really couldn't find what I was looking for at Fabric Depot, I turned to Ebay where I bombed out but Etsy had just what I needed.
Look at what I found :
I LOVE how Alice from Fresh Modern Fabric sent 4 sample fabrics with my order.  They are just little scraps but I actually think I can incorporate these into my Zani Zettis. So thank you Alice, that was very nice of you and I love the added kindness.  I will definitely keep her in mind in the future when I have fabric needs.

Look at those fun faces.  This was a half yard cut and this is half of the loveliness...the other side is just as yummy---

    then I found these Loralie Design Ladies that are already zany but I am gonna make them even zanier!!!

I found these from Maddy's Fabric Stash on etsy:

And they had another set of divas, too. I loved them both and they have such personality and that is something I am especially want to build on with this future project so they just charmed me to pieces!!!

Hope you also are finding time to spend time with family and something you love to do !!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Prep Time


I made these cute burlap bags to cover some vases to hold flowers on the dinner table in I swear less than ten minutes tonight.  I think they turned out adorable. 

I just cut a piece of burlap about two inches longer than the height of my vase doubled and about two to three inches wider than the width of my vase doubled and sewed up the seams of the bags using wide seam allowances.  At least 1/2 inch on each side for seam allowances. No need to be accurate at all.

Than I just made some duck bills at the bottom ---again not sweating out the accuracy.  I just pinched the bottom of the bag and sewed about an inch and a half  in from the corner--creating a triangle or duck bill.

Then I just turned the bag right side out---easy peasy---and put my little vase inside

Then I just tied a burlap strip around the vase and adorned it with a fake leaf.  On one I tied the ribbon that came from the packaging that I bought a candle in tonight. The rectangle vase I thought looked great with no ribbon and I just cuffed the bag. A $10.00 bouquet of flowers from Fred Meyer's and I know I'm no Martha Stewart but these will dress up the Thanksgiving table just fine by me.


Monday, November 19, 2012

    Skater Sue
I finished my Skater Sue mini wall hanging for the swap that Michele from the Quilting Gallery organized and that Jennifer from Sewhooked  provided the pattern for.  I am very happy with the finished results.  I had never done so much fill in free motion quilting on a project.  I usually stick to stitch in the ditch and do the mininum amount of quilting because I am so interested in getting the project done.  I must say it was nice working on a mini quilt when doing the extra fill in!!!  It finished out at 21" x 21".  Bonus is I got it completed with a week to spare on the mailing deadline...go me!

I hope my swap partner likes it.  I had a lot of fun putting it together for her.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Zany Zettis

I am in the process of designing some new quilt blocks and I could use some help from you.

I recently attended the graduation ceremony of a family member and we are all so PROUD of Becka's accomplishments.  She graduated with a Doctorate of Counseling Psychology.  WOWZZA!!!   She is amazing...sticking out all those years of schooling and a dissertation and I believe two years of an internship and now setting up her own office.  When she graduated she threw all of us an amazing dinner party at Anthony's on the waterfront in Seattle and said the celebration was for us not her.  She said she wouldn't have made it through to reach her goals without standing on the shoulders of giants (something Isaac Newton once said enabled him to see and achieve so much .  I love her to pieces for referring to us as her giants but someone should let her know she was standing on the shoulders of freaks and geeks.  Have you heard this song by Henry Phillips???  I think it is cute.  I will warn you I have a weird sense of humor, though. If it is not to your liking I apologize. 

I am going to honor her achievement by designing a quilt for her and hope to have it done for her by August of 2013.  We get together for a big cousin's weekend up at the cabins each year and have set that as my goal to have the quilt done by Cousin's Weekend 2013.  Since she is a Doctor of Psychology, I though it would be very appropriate to design people with personalities shining through for the subjects on the quilt.

I first thought of making these type of people for the quilt. I found this over at EfemeraInk .  She has a lot of different Zettis on her site. This one just looked like Becka.

No Becka doesn't literally look like this but I think it looks like her style.  I think she likes a Tim Burton reality....  figuring out what makes one express themselves in ways that seem unusual to the mainstream but feels normal to others.  But then when I started searching out Zettis...look at these wonderful, inspiring beauties from 

I think it would be great to capture some of these oddities...ODDITIES that lie in each of us and create a quilt for Becka's office out of these charming eccentrics.  Do you see what I see???  ... These would look great in quilt blocks wouldn't they???

HERE in lies where I could use some help!!!  I have quite a fabric stash but what I am lacking in is FACES.
DO you have a fabric scrap...say 5x5 inches that you would be willing to send my way that would make a great Zetti face?  Maybe a print that has words on it ??? They don't have to look like the figures above, I will be changing them up with hair, hats, masks, whatever to make them into unique beings.  I will be hunting these out for the next few months but the process could be so much faster for me if I could find a few friends who could send a couple 5x5 inch scraps my way.  For anyone so inclined to help me out, I will send you a pattern to one of my Zetti blocks that I will be sharing on the blog as I create them.

Just leave a comment on this posting if you can lend me a hand and would be interested in receiving one of the patterns after I create them and I will reply to your post with my snail mail address so you can send me a little scrap of JOY. I am hoping to hit this project hard in January so any help I can get between now and then would have me doing a little happy dance!!!

Thanks XXOO

Monday, November 5, 2012

 Swap City

November threatens to speed by quickly while I try to get my swap obligations under control.
I may have over booked myself but I feel like I might be catching my stride now.  I have the following going on this month:

  • I am participating in the Quilt U Be Mine swap from Michele's Quilts From My Crayon Box.  I can't share the block that I am working on for my partner because it is a surprise but here is the block I sent on the way to the first person in my group.  I won't see it until it is returned to me in February.  In the meantime it will travel around getting borders added to it each month till it finds it's way back to me.
  • I am also participating in the Quilting Gallery/SewHooked  'Sweet Skating Sue' mini quilt swap  here is my mini quilt so far.  I just need to quilt it now. It is going to finish at about 22 inches square.
  • I am also making 12 Christmas blocks for the Christmas Block swap hosted by Aunt Pitty Pat   .  I am making a block featuring two xmas presents. So far I have two done and two half done.  Here is what they will be looking like. I send 12 of these and get a variety of 12 different blocks back. I can't wait to see what the ladies send me.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

   Are you a No Reply Blogger???
 I had a few people from the Wicked blog hop that showed up as No reply Bloggers. If you have never had replies when you leave a comment on a posting this could be why. I would hate for anyone to not be able to claim their goodies because we have no way of contacting you.  I took a chance and Pat contacted me after she won her giveaway winnings but it is much easier for all involved to make sure the correct person gets the loot when you are set up as a reply blogger.  For those who want to change their status but are not sure how you can follow these steps:
These people are No reply Bloggers and may want to correct it by doing the following, also
Nellie Duclos
Judy B
Pat Converse
Hope this helps. I wouldn't want anyone to lose out on the wonderful fuzzy feelings we get when we win something special.  Hope you having a great evening. I have to get back to my sewing studio. Your goodies will be in the mail soon Pat.
Keep Stitchin'

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bring on the treats
Thank you to everyone that has stopped by this week and left some great comments!!!  I have so enjoyed reading them all and thank you to all the new followers!!!  This has been a very fun and wicked blog hop, indeed.  A big round of applause to all our fellow bloggers who have shared their WICKED talents with us this past week and a half, also.

 Mr Random generator has chosen number 102  as the giveaway winner!!! Congratulations to Pat !!!

I will be emailing you shortly to get your snail mail info so I can get your goodie package out in the mail to you. OOPS...

Oops!!!  Pat is a no reply blogger.  I don't know if she knew this and I did not state in my WICKED post that you had to not be a no reply blogger. Pat is also a new follower and I am going to hope she is going to see this post and try to get a hold of me. I am going to give her until Monday morning to claim her prize. If I don't hear from her by then I will let Mr Random choose a new winner. However, I truly hope Pat will contact me. Pat you can either leave a new post that includes an email so I can contact you to get your info, so I can get your charm packs and pincushion in the mail to you or I believe you can email me directly by going to my profile page. You can get there by clicking on the 'Kathy' in the About me area on the right side of the blog or the view my complete profile area.

Happy Halloween

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