Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Butterfly wall-hangings

A very dear friend of mine is trying to downsize a bit. She and her husband moved into her parent's home just after they passed away, so she inherited many of their "goodies". As well, she and her husband farmed for many years, and that always seems to end up making a collector out of you (ask me how I know!)
One day she showed me boxes of dainty lady's handkerchiefs that had been given to her mother for various occasions. The handkerchiefs were still pinned into their original boxes, and she estimated that some of them were at least 90 years old! She had no idea of what to do with them - she didn't think that any of the local "thrift" shops would appreciate them, so donating them wouldn't be an option. I have seen several craft ideas incorporating hankies, so I showed her a few pictures, and the crafting began. She has a daughter, daughter-in-law, and 2 grand-daughters.
The idea was to fold the hankies, then stitch them onto backing fabric so that the hankies looked like butterflies. That was the easy part! I finally ended up stitching fabric strips around the blocks, using colours that closely matched the variegated threads I'd used to stitch the hankies in place; then I bordered each block in brown to simulate windows. I added 4 hanging loops at the top, and the 4 women received their wall-hangings for Christmas! Brightly-coloured handerchiefs work a little better, but each one seems to have it's own personality.
Here's one of the wall-hangings:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas quilts!

My youngest daughter has also been bitten by the quilting bug, and has become a great quilter in a very short time! This past spring, she suggested that we make quilts for her sister and brother, who both live 3 hours away from me. We each picked a few patterns, and then compared notes. We decided on 2 quilts from the Aug. '09 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. We raided our individual stashes, and had a few fun days auditioning fabrics in several local quilt shops. She spent 2 days here, as we first cut all the required parts of fabric, and we spent the 2nd day sewing merrily away! She made the quilt for her sis, and I made my son's quilt.
I know that I finished "my" quilt at 2:00 a.m. Christmas day..... and she may have finished hers at about the same time - but, they were completed, wrapped and "under the tree" when we opened our gifts later that afternoon.
Do you want to see what we made? Well, here are the Christmas quilts (we lovingly refer to them as "hugs from home"):
As you can see, they were put to good use:
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas - we did!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Some more of the things I've been busy with...

My oldest daughter would have my head if she read my title - you can't end a sentence with the word "with".... and I've almost done it again!
Moving on - I may have mentioned before that I belong to a quilting group on the internet. We have a number of swaps going on at any given time, the latest being an ornament swap. This was my ornament for this year. It's made from craft felt, and the little stocking has jewel-toned metallic floss stars stitched onto it, and the cuff has gold metallic floss French knots. The word "joy" is also done in the gold floss. The stocking is stitched on using my sewing machine's blanket-stitch; the ornament's 2 layers are also stitched together that way.
I've also been quite busy trying to get my Christmas cards made. I deliver our town's weekly newspaper every Wednesday, and every Christmas, I add a Christmas card as it gets closer to the 25th. Last year, I decided that I'd make all 70 cards that I need for my route's customers. I have an ornament-shaped paper punch, so I used it to punch out various different bits of designer paper. I drew a "hanging string" with a fine silver marker, and then glued on the ornaments. A sentiment stamp at the bottom, another one inside, and I'm good to go! Now I'm all ready for the extra 48 hours I asked for, so that I can finish up all my Christmas projects! Here are a few of the cards: Christmas cards 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pictures, pictures - I've got pictures!

After having been absent from blogland for a while, I have come back with lots of pictures to share with you! Of course, I can't share them all in one post - I'm going to drag it out for a bit (that way I don't have to work on any new projects, and you won't know the difference!)
Seriously though, when I uploaded my recent project pictures, I discovered that I had done a lot more than I thought - go figure!
So, for today, I'll share a few birthday cards I've made in the last week or two:
The top one is CASE'd from my friend Anja. I chose 3 colours of cardstock and matching ink, and stamped a field full of flowers, then added a birthday "banner" with a lacy edge from one of my decorative punches, and finally, a butterfly with 2 small pearls for it's body.
The second card is softer, with it's muted colours. I reverse-masked the center of the card, stamped it with a scripted stamp, and then shaded the edges. Using the same soft purple, I stamped some vines in the top corner, and then punched out a few flowers in matching cardstock. I stamped them with the same script stamp, distressed them a bit, and made centers with large brads. Finally, I stamped the sentiment with the soft purple - and voila! two birthday cards for some very special ladies!