Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Quilter's Two-Fer... They're Reversible!

Reversible quilts like the two shown here are really fun to make. They are fairly quick quilting projects since the blocks are machine quilted and thereby finished as they are made. Once the blocks are completed, all that remains is to trim to size and join them with narrow strips. These become part of the overall design, and are finished by sewing down the folded edges on one side, similar to binding. All that hand sewing of the joining pieces may seem daunting, but it goes along very quickly and makes good hand work for travel or tv watching.

 The Wheels blocks are made from vintage fabric pieces given to me by a friend. What is it about old bits and pieces that makes us want to preserve them? I just loved the colors and vibrancy of these pieces from the start. The green-dot background is a current fabric from JoAnn's, but it seemed to work nicely for the wheels. The lime and brown fabric on the back is also a JoAnn's sale fabric. All a bit funky, but I like the feel of this quilt!

The String-Pieced reversible quilt below was the first reversible quilt I made. It was a class project taught by Debra Johnston. The fabrics I chose for this one also turned out to be rather retro-looking once they were all combined. It definitely has a '60s flower-power vibe going on.

Because both sides of the quilts are so different from their counterparts, I wanted to use double-faced binding for them in order to keep the fabrics and colors cohesive. This is one of those tasks that makes me ask "now how does that go again?" I had to look up instructions for making the two-sided binding each time, and I couldn't describe how I did it today. But the instructions were good because I even got presentable miters at the corners. So if I make yet another reversible quilt, I'll be looking up two-sided binding methods yet again.

I'm most fond of the Wheels side of the top quilt. But I go back and forth with having a favorite side on the other one, depending on the day. Do you have a favorite?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

 Best wishes for a blessed Christmas! The card shown above is one I made in a workshop on using hot-fix ribbon, Copic markers, and hot-fix crystals. Always fun to learn a new technique, and to express the joy of the season to all.

 I received these little treasures, left, in a gift exchange. Sewing friend Barbara makes them from craft felt, and adds all the tiny embellishments by hand. I was delighted to get them and have admired her creative work for a long time. She also gave me the white-on-white ornaments, above, right, back when I helped her sew the small felt birds shown in this post. Ornaments like these are on my "someday" list of things to make. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy hers and share them with you.

Happy holidays.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Joyeux Noel... and the St. Augustine Tour Continues

This vintage image has lurked in my sewing room for ages just waiting to be used in a notecard, so I thought I'd share it here. It's another of the Dover clipart images that will be used again and again. I love the elegance of the couple, and her chartreuse gloves are such the fahionable accent. Looks like a glam New Year's Eve to me. Gloves are an accessory I would actually like to see make a come back, functional winter knit ones aside.

But let's continue on our field trip in St. Augustine. I am so drawn to courtyards and hidden alleyways, and there are many of them to take a glimpse into in the old town. If I had a courtyard, would I really spend much time in it? I like to think I would... the fantasy is fun at least.

Pull up a chair. Isn't this a cushy and inviting one? It's in the lobby of the Casa Monica Hotel. A little brighter lighting and I could curl up and stitch or read there for an afternoon. The one below is in the lobby, too, but it looks a bit more daunting... rather regal looking. I think you might need to have a sceptre to sit there.

Here are some more images from historic St. Augustine- an old home bedecked with holiday garland, a courtyard full of fountains and flags, and another with a stained glass parrot in a tree. You can just make him out in front of the window.  One more  inviting cobbled side street. On this visit we discovered a new-to-us part of the city... the North City on San Marco Avenue. Located there were Luli's Cupcakes (wow!), The Bead Chick, Claire's Collectibles Fun Rubber Stamps, a paper store, and an artisan's cooperative. Shopping fun for me, and for you if you get to delightful St. Augustine for a visit. Sounds like I work for the Chamber of Commerce, doesn't it? Nope. But I love our day trips to the oldest US city.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

How About a Christmas field trip?

This is Emily June. Better duck, she's got a snowball and a good aim! Emily June is dressed for snow because she's off to Pennsylvania to the home of a friend. But before she goes, she wants to invite you on a field trip to one of my favorite places in Florida- St. Augustine. These photos are from the historic downtown area. Come along and see what this lovely city has to offer. 

 We'll start in this courtyard of shops at the north end of St. George Street, a pedestrian walkway lined with museums like the Oldest Schoolhouse, eateries, gelato stores and boutique shops. Oh, and lots of souvenir stores. Need another tee-shirt? Of course you do.

Through one of the gift shops, and into the back courtyard below, you can see the area walled in by masonry walls made of stone and shell. There are many of these textural and interesting cocina shell walls in the area. The courtyard is a perfect place to wander and enjoy the windchimes, glass pieces, and bird feeders. So peaceful.

At the south end of St. George Street, and on Cordova Street right near Flagler College is the beautiful Casa Monica Hotel. Look beyond the tree, through the archway, to see some of the beautiful details on the beams of the Moorish achitecture. You can see some historic images of the hotel on their website. The hotel was first opened in the late 1800s.

 There is a good deal of artwork on display in the lobby area. And the architectural details demand a fair share of attention, too. Just look at the tile work!

As you stroll around town, side strees like this one are very inviting. They also offer qauint shops, and a glimpse of old homes and buildings. If you are traveling to Florida, try to include this city in your itinierary. But we're not done... there is much more to see in St. Augustine. I'll show you some of them in the next post.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Winners! And Hot Beverages for Christmas...

The time has come, and the drum roll has sounded. Four names were drawn for the prizes shown in the last two posts on this blog. Thanks for all of your comments, and for taking part. I drew the names for prizes in the order they were mentioned and shown in the posts. So here are the winners: 1) Vintage Christmas booklet- Cindy from Crimson Heart Studios; 2) Christmas journal- Malinda of Adornments; 3) Somerset Studio Gallery magazine- Donna Parker of Donna Did It; and 4) Christmas from the Heart book- Marilyn. So congratulations, and Merry Christmas! I've e-mailed each of you, but if you don't receive my message for some reason, please contact me.

I had small, same-size pieces left after trimming paper to make these Christmas matchbook-gift holders for my friends at the weekly Citra Crafty Quilters. Your names went on those paper slips for the drawing. Each of the matchbook-style holders has a packet of either cocoa or apple cider drink tied inside. Of course they were perfect for featuring more of my favorite vintage images from the Dover Clip Art CD. Malinda, who won the Christmas journal, is the one who shared the link for making these. The holders make simple, affordable gifts. And they are fairly quick to make. If you like them, check out the video at Eclectic Art Studio. One tip, when you go to thread the ribbon through the small punched holes, try using a floss threader. It makes the job very easy.
The remaining names are still in the quilty bag just in case I'm unable to contact any of the winners. I won the bag, which was nice and roomy for tossing and mixing up the names, on Kathy York's blog when she introduced her Urban Landscapes fabric line. Her article for making the drawstring bags appeared in Quilting Arts Gifts 2010 issue.

Is there no end to the fun we have with fabric and paper?? No! The answer is no. And I'll be back soon to share more with you.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Prizes, More Christmas Joy...

Time to add more prizes to the mix. In addition to the little vintage booklet shown in Sunday's post, I'm also adding one of the Christmas journals shown above. The giveaway journal is the red cover one. Both are made using the methods in Mary Ann Moss' Remains of the Day online class. However, both journals are a smaller version- they measure about 5" x 7", closed. The red journal has one signature made from 9 folded pages inside, so that yields 36 actual pages on which to write or add photos and memorabilia. And if you like making journals yourself, there is room to add another signature of your own creation. Some of the inside pages from the red book are shown below.

These journals are so much fun to make. They provide a home for all the bits and pieces of paper, images, embellishments, and whatnots I can't bear to part with, but never knew what use to make of them! Take for instance the kitty in the Christmas stocking above. So cute, she can't be tossed. And the angel tag I received in a swap with another paper afficionado... it found a comfy spot in the pocket stitched from a Panera Bread gift card holder.
The inside pages are in no particular order. In fact this pretty church image, above, is the last page of the red book. It reminds me of a small New England village at Christmastime.

Remember, there are two chances to win one of the prizes: 1) just leave a comment on this post, and I'll write your name on a slip of paper to be placed in a bowl for drawing. And 2) go back to visit the Sunday post and leave a comment there telling me your favorite of the little books. Be sure I'm able to contact you easily through your own blog, or provide an e-mail address in your comment so I can let you know if your name is drawn. A couple of people mentioned that they had trouble leaving a comment, so alternatively, you can click on my profile in the sidebar (where it says "More About Quiltnan" and "view my complete profile"), and it will show my e-mail address. Just e-mail your comment to me and I'll add your name. I'll draw four winners and announce them on Wednesday, next week.

These Christmas tags are an insert from an old 1980s-era Women's Day magazine. I noticed a lot of cigarette ads aimed at women when going through the old issues. I'd forgotten about those ads that made smoking seem so glamorous and womanly.
This image is from a advertising flyer and is faced by a security envelope page.

The centerfold- it's also from that 1980s magazine. Imagine if this image had gone to the landfill! It needed to be preserved, don't you think?

Even Lulu the cat found her way into the journal. Her photo was attached to a swap packet of journal items I recieved from the Remains of the Day Yahoo group. Lulu had chewed the corner of the packet and sent her note of apology with her photo. Isn't she pretty?

This is the back view of the journals. Some crazy piecing, braided ribbon and fabrics for the tie, ball fringe... anything goes when sewing these journal covers! And look below for a current magazine and a Christmas book I'll give away, as well.
I love all of the Stampington & Company publications. This Somerset Studio Gallery is the current winter 2012 issue. It's packed with mixed media projects and ideas. Pleasurable reading.
Here is this year's Christmas From the Heart book from Better Homes & Gardens. It's full of fun projects and tasty-looking recipes. I'd love for you to have one of these prizes.. just leave a comment. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Past...

Since I'm such a big fan of vintage images, it's only natural that I'd sign up for Mary Green's "Christmas Gluebook" online class. Mary supplied the expertise, the instructions, and many of the images used to make these nostalgic little booklets. Other images came from a Dover clipart CD titled "Christmas Illustrations", which I was able to print out on matte photo paper. Wielding a pair of sharp scissors, a glue stick, and some ribbon along with the images and watercolor paper, these collage-style books were the happy result! Apparently I had not gotten my fill of paper dolls and other such crafts in my youth because I found this project to be endlessly absorbing and fun. The Blue Book below is the first one I created in Mary's class. I couldn't stop at just one!

The cover for the Red Book is shown above, and the inside pages and back cover follow. Doesn't that sweet little girl look pensive as she writes her letter to Santa? The reason I'm showing most of the images of all three books here is because I'd like to share one of them with one of you. I'm grateful to those of you who read and/or follow this blog and for the comments you add. It's very encouraging. I'm coming up on a two-year anniversary of the blog, and thought now would be a good time to hold a giveaway to express my thanks.
There will be four prizes (one of them will be a booklet shown here), and here's how you get two chances to win:

1) First Chance: Leave a comment on this blog post telling me which of the booklets or images is your favorite.. Red Book, Green Book, or Blue Book. Make sure your e-mail is one I can easily find, or add it to your post to ensure that I can contact you for your mailing address you if you win. All of the names of those who comment on this post will be written on slips of paper and placed in a bowl for the drawing.

2) Second Chance: Stop back later this week (starting on Thursday) to see the rest of the giveaway prizes, and leave a comment on that post as well. I'll add all the names from that post to those already in the bowl, and draw winners the following week. (I will mail your prize internationally).That's it... so simple. Tell your friends, and invite them to visit so they can leave a comment and enter, too. And we'll all have a Merry Christmas!

Center pages, Red Book

Pages 6-7, Red Book
Back cover, Red Book

Cover, Green Book

Pages 2-3, Green Book
Center pages, Green Book

Pages 6-7, Green Book

Back cover, Green Book

Cover, Blue Book

Pages 2-3, Blue Book
Pages 6-7, Blue Book

Back cover, Blue Book