August 22, 2014

A Bit More Summer Sewing

Getting things like this complete feels so good.  I have been binding quilts for the quilting group from church in Colorado even while living in California.  They mail me a quilt, I bind and mail back.  These wonderful ladies also make baby gifts like onesies, baskets for new moms, receiving blankets, and totes.  This time around they were making tote bags for a local women's shelter and asked if I could make a few.  Do you all know how much I love making totes?  Well, I do.  It is fun and relaxing sewing for me.  I tried to make them sturdy and cute but still use up some of my stash fabrics.  The oven mitts/tea towels were just for fun extras.   Oh, and I did have a quilt to bind, too!  Fun stuff!  I'm linking these finishes up to Finish It Up Friday at  CrazyMom Quilts!  Hope everyone is enjoying the last of summer.  God bless you!

Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  ~Psalm 100:3 (NKJV)

love, Lisa

August 1, 2014

Embroidery + Therapy

I discovered long ago that quilting is therapy for my soul.  Of course, hand stitching a binding or applique are or piecing on the sewing machine are all included.  Embroidery, when done in such a way that I am not being too critical about my stitches, when I am not comparing my work to that of others, or when I simply do not think too hard about what I'm stitching, that kind of embroidery, is also therapeutic.  Lately, I have found that I spend far too much time thinking about all of the beautiful (and perfect!) stitched works that I see in magazines and online.  Sometimes this makes me anxious about what I am creating.  That was certainly the case with this Valentine project.  I had simply wanted to make a project I saw in my own mind that I considered beautiful.  As the stitches ran together to make flowers and leaves, I found myself being far too critical of each and every stitch.  It was grueling!  That is why this project took me so long to finish.  I finished it a good three weeks ago but have not been very  pleased with it until recently and even now I find myself critiquing the finished product.  I wish that I liked it more.  But honestly I'm just glad it is done.  It is not so bad now.  I'm on to another project and have promised myself to not repeat this state of anxiety over perceived perfection (or imperfection in the case of my own stitching).  I'm on to learning more about stitching and what makes others' items look so neat and well, perfect.  Here's to new beginnings and to Finish it up Friday!  Have a great week-end!

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. ~James 1:12 (ESV)

love, Lisa

July 15, 2014

Littles + Life

Making littles (as I call them, which are just small projects that can be made in an afternoon) has been my relief not only from the heat but from those intermittent struggles of life.  Temperatures in the 100's for days on end, well, makes me want to stay indoors, sip iced tea and give continual thanks for the loveliness that is central air.  Plus life goes on even in the midst of hardships so why not make pretty things?  That is one of the joys of a quiet hobby like sewing: contemplation and mindful sorting can still take place while hands remain steadily busy.  And it does my heart good to produce useful and pretty things.  I really had been needing a place to keep my markers and index cards together with the notebook I use them with, so pencil pouches just made sense.  Very simple.  A patriotic block for Peace in June gave me some little triangles to play with that eventually became a couple of {much needed} new potholders.  June/July have had me in that mode of making things for my home.  Placemats (from AQuiltingLife for the Simply Small series) made with some new fabrics were a breeze.  Plums became jam in the evening hours of a strangely cool day a couple of weeks ago.  Potholders, place mats, super moon, jam; these are some of the little things that have been adding up to be a wonderful summer even when life throws something tough at you.  The puppy and miscellaneous photos from around my home are for my mom who has not yet been to visit and would like an idea of where we live. There ya go, Mom!  That table and chairs is going through a make-over.  One chair actually has been transformed and I am trying to decide if I should continue.  We shall see.  I'll be linking to Fabric Tuesday!  Another day I'll show you a big finish that ended up as a mini.  Until then, have a wonderful week and be blessed!

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation. ~Isaiah 12:2 

love, Lisa   

June 24, 2014

Sewn Gifts

I have many nieces and I miss them each so much!  I am always on the lookout for cute things to make them, so much so that I started a Pinterest board for ideas.  Recently I was reading Tea Rose Home and saw her tutorial for these cute little quiet book pages and decided to make a couple for my youngest nieces.

I made mine scrappy and used a different method to finish them off with no raw edges (the tutorial did not specify how to accomplish this so I made a sandwich and sewed them right sides together and flipped them out).

Then I made backpacks for them to carry around some summer stuff.  (The bigger one is for the big sister!)

And of course, they have to be stuffed with summer stuff!  I love giving to these littles and I sure hope they enjoy it all!  I miss you girls so much!

  Linking up to Fabric Tuesday and JAQ's Made by Me!
*Edited to add:  Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, too.
One last thing...I feel so lucky!  I have been able to get organic produce for $0.50 per pound and have been making some wonderful lunches/dinners.  Today was this soup...Yumm!  (As with my sewing, I made just a few changes and did things more my way but it turned out great!  Everyone loved it and that is saying a lot around here!)

Can't wait to see what tomorrow's fruits and veggies turn into!  Have a nice night/day and God bless!

O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for You.  Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.  ~Isaiah 33:2 (NKJV)

love, Lisa

June 20, 2014

Something Worth Mentioning...

Hello!  How is your summer going?  Busy?  I won't bore you with all of the "lots of this and so busy with that" words!  Suffice it to say that summer in California has been wonderful!

I've been following along with Sherri's Summer Organizing Series and it has been a huge help to get me back to my machine!  I have not done all of the organizing she suggested and I don't plan to but just doing the few things that I have chosen have been sufficient to get me back in the sewing groove.

Today was a big finish for me.  There was this little bench at a garage sale from about 3 years ago that I bought because I fully intended to re-do it someday.  This project has been on my Quilty Bucket List since I bought the bench!  Someday turned out to be this week and now I have a new (to me) bench!

The Quilt Gate + Clothwork Calico + linen were recent fabric purchases and were exactly what I was going for...a bit old fashioned and a bit Victorian.

We have a beautiful light that comes in through the back of the house in the early morning and it gives the dining area in the front of the house a warm, soft effect that I love.  I could not adequately capture it on my camera in a hurry when I came in to get the sandwich from the table to finally quilt it.

All over stipple made quick work of the quilting process and gave it the pucker-y goodness I love.

 The beautiful fabric ended up as a table runner, too.  The vanity needed something and a quick patchwork was all that I could muster this morning.

What a relief to have that bench covered and painted!  Really it was such an eyesore but I continued to use it knowing that it would one day be transformed.  I'm so happy that "one day" was today!  I'll be linking up with Finish it Up Friday and I'm looking forward to spending some time catching up on blog reading.  Have a great weekend and God Bless!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  ~James 1:2-4 (NIV)

love, Lisa

April 25, 2014

Quilted Bag Finish

First off...Happy Friday!  I'm so glad to be at the weekend.  We are having rain today and it is so cloudy outside.  This is good news for California!  Bad news for photos.  But here goes...


This is the bag I have been working on for a couple of weeks.  That is sometimes the problem I have because I do not always follow patterns and sometime, well, I make it up as I go along.  So when I try to duplicate something it is hard to remember all the parts and construction methods I used the first time around.

This is the bag I was trying to replicate.  I made this for the Sewing Room Swap on Flickr several weeks ago and someone asked how I made it.  The second bag was my feeble attempt at being able to show them how to do it.  Hope it works!  Linking up to Finish it up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts today!  Take a look  :)

Maybe I will make another.  There are little things I think would make this bag much nicer.  And neater.  Hope your weekend is great!  God bless!

With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him. ~Psalm 109:30

love, Lisa

April 22, 2014

What's Happening Around Here?

Lots and lots of strawberries.  We have a stand nearby and we have been juicing!  So far so good.

A few produce stands for fresh veggies and fruits to juice.  This one in the center of California was so lovely.

Lots of vineyards here and they grow so quickly!  It is just beautiful here in the Spring!

Quite a few beautiful sunsets as we visit many of the little towns around us.  

And quite a few track meets.  Sometimes twice a week!  Hence all the travelling to the little towns around us. 

Even a little bit of sewing.  I managed to get all the parts of this bag done.

The front panels that will be pockets are finished.  The handles are complete.  

All that is left is to put it together.  I'm hoping to do that before Friday because there will be meets on both Wednesday and Saturday...both out of town.  And it is just so nice here!  It is hard to stay indoors!

I hope your Spring is just as beautiful!  Have a great week!  

He must increase, but I must decrease. ~John 3:30 (ESV)

love, Lisa

April 8, 2014

A Mini Finish & A List

Hello!  Wow, is it ever starting to warm up here!  Spring has definitely sprung and all I want to do is soak it up.  How's the weather for you?

I had a burst of sewing a couple of weeks ago and I made this little table topper which can also be a mini wall hanging.

It is slightly different from the pattern for a table runner by Sherri McConnell.  I made it square for this little table and so it could be hung later.  I used a 2.5" Moda mini charm pack called Printemps by 3Sisters and some Kona Bone and finished with a binding I had on hand.

This was fun because it only took a couple of hours.  Currently it sits on the table in the entry.

Since last quarter of the Finish Along went so well for me, I thought I would try it again.  This time I am going to be a bit more ambitious.  First quarter I only had two items that I added to my list but for this second quarter I'm going for four!

1.  Farmers Wife.  I'm thinking I will just use the blocks I have currently made and then if I need a few more I'll just make them really quick.  This has been a WIP for far too long.

2.  Bear's Paws and 7-grid chain for Chris.  I made one block almost 2 years ago.  After a bit more fabric arrives I will have the pieces all cut up and ready to sew.

3.  Trip Around The World.  I think this will end up being a center and I will add lots of borders to it.

4.  This ripple that I started about 5(?) years ago.  Having this as a WIP still is just embarrassing!

*Edited to add a 5th item!

5.  Finish this embroidery that was started as a Valentine project.  Once the embroidery is complete I don't know what to do with it, though!

That is my list and I'm going to do my very best to finish these projects!  I think I can...I think I can...

Linking up my little mini to Fabric Tuesday!  And my list to the Finish Along at The Littlest Thistle!  Enjoy the day and God Bless!

Fresh Poppy Design       Finish Along 2014

There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. ~Mark 7:15 NKJV

love, Lisa