Sunday, February 23, 2014

Happily Sewing

I just "heart" sewing. I think that out of all the crafts that I do sewing is my absolute favorite! With all of the beautiful fabrics available I just can't help myself. When I was little my mom made almost all of our clothes. Not so much as we grew older. Every year around Easter I would beg her to make my Easter dress, even as a teenage. Laura Ashley was usually the go to pattern. Mom made the most beautiful dresses. I remember loving the sound of her machine whirring as she worked. Sometimes she would work late into the night. I also remember taking the 8 hour trip to my Grandparents' and while dad drove, she would be busily hand stitching the hem or what ever needed to be finished. I even talked her into making a red velvet Christmas dress. I still have that dress hanging in the closet. For senior prom she made a baby blue satin dress. I have that dress too. As soon as I find an antique dress form (I have been on the hunt for one for years now) I will show pictures of the dresses. She did draw the line at making my wedding dress. Oh how I wish that I could have talked her into that :) Anyway getting back to my love of sewing, I am finally back on track with my Quilty Barn Along quilt (by Lori Holt). I have missed this quilt and am glad to get back to it. I have finished all of the "quilts" that are hanging on the barns. Now I just need to build the barn around these 5 blocks.
Lori Holt's Quilty Barn Along
Blocks: Pinwheel, The Water Turn, Summer Star, Bitty Scrap Around Block and Furrows.

The Weather Vane Block. I love this red material. I purchased it in Rome, Ga while visting my sister and brother in law and two sweet nieces. Thanks E for taking me to an awesome quilting shop!

I followed Lori's color scheme closely, it was what drew me to the quilt. I also used her Bake Sale line along with some other fabric lines. Sorry a lot of the fabric I used was just pieces so I don't know the designer of the fabric, but I did use some Bliss fabric too. 
If you want to make your own Quilty Barn then head on over to Lori's blog here. She has detailed tutorials for each block. I would love to see your blocks or quilt, just let me know if you participated in the QBA. 
I have put my Valentine stuff away and am getting out St. Patrick's Day and Easter stuff. I usually decorate with both of them at the same time and after SPD is over I just remove all of the SPD green decorations.

Have a wonderful day and happy sewing,

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! from my craftroom to yours!

Precious card made for me by Jenny of Jenny's Heart (if you want to check out what I sent her for our Valentine swap head on over to her blog-sorry forgot to take pictures). I love everything about this card: buttons, colors, vintage Valentines and even a secret felt envelope on back! Inside the envelope is a sweet lion vintage Valentine. Thanks a million Jenny! I have enjoyed displaying this Valentine so much that I am going to put it on my craftroom shelf to enjoy year round.

Have a wonderful Valentiney day,

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Little Happy, A Little Sad....

I am happy but also a little sad when a project is completed. Happy because the project is finished and I can give it to the person for whom it was made. Sad because I will no longer be able to work on it. I find the greatest joy in working on a project. Decisions have been made, fabric purchased and work has begun. All of the boring stuff out of the way: cutting, measuring, washing and ironing. Sometimes I wash the fabric, sometimes I don't. Since I try to always use quality fabric, washing is not usually necessary and if I am quilting it, I don't bother. I love the antique pucker look when a quilt is washed and then line dried. Here is a tried and true quilt pattern that I love. I really like using it for baby quilts. It makes a nice size baby quilt using a little fabric and a charm pack. I found this pattern on Moda's Bake Shop site. They have all sorts of free patterns. I believe this one is by Pleasant Home. Now that I think about it, I believe that I have made over 10 quilts using this pattern, maybe more. I need to get better at keeping up with what I make and give away. I love to look back and see what fabrics that I used or if I hand quilted or machine quilted. Can you believe that when I first started quilting I believed all quilts should be made by hand. I did hand quilt them for years but then I realized that it's ok to machine quilt, they look just as lovely and probably hold up better in the long run.
Pretty pinwheels make a perfect baby quilt.

I am lovin' on those prairie points. Don't let them scare you, I have a tip below to make the process finger friendly while ironing them.

Quilt label. Hand embroidered. I used to embroider my labels on my sewing machine but I think that hand embroidered labels look so much sweeter. 

Isn't she a beauty? This sewing machine was lovingly used by my husband's great grandmother, Granny. My father in law said that he remembered her making potholders with it. I am sure that she made aprons, dresses, curtains, children's clothes and possibly quilts. I haven't looked at the serial # to determine what year she is but I am betting the 50s. What a pretty light aqua! I am guessing by now that you have figured out that I love antique sewing machines. I have quite a few. One of these days I am going to have to introduce you to all of the pretty ladies. Each one has her very own story to tell and some speak louder than others. 

Granny. Wonder if she made this dress with her sewing machine. 

I have a trick for ironing all these prairie points. I was tired of burning my fingers with steam or just the hotness of the iron. So this was my solution. Not only did it keep me from injury but it was so easy to get the points to stay even while being ironed.
Fold the squares in half and pin on the outer point, folds turned toward each other with about a 3" gap between the two rows of folded squares.

Now, go from side to side, ironing the triangles. To the right, now.....

To the left.

It's time to fold the fabric again. Fold the triangles in half, pin and do the same as above.

 See how I angled the pins. This helps to keep the pins out of the way. I usually place between 8-10 squares on each side. You could definitely do more per side.
I just love sewing and I have many more projects that I plan on finishing this year :) What projects do you have planned for 2014?
Happy sewing,

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Valentine Swap And A Vintage Gem

I decided to participate in Sandy's Valentine Swap back in January. I was paired up with Jenny of Jenny's Heart. She is an amazing woman with a wonderful blog. As you read her blog you really get to know Jenny. She loves the Lord, her sweet husband and her wonderful family. She loves papercrafts and swaps. I am so glad that I was paired with her. We love the same things: vintage, vintage and more vintage! She sent me the most amazing Valentine box filled to the brim with bits and bobs, vintage goodness, candy and ephemera. I plan on working on more paper crafts this year (as well as adding in a lot of sewing) and the things that she sent me are perfect!
Look at all the goodies! Zoom in to take a closer look.

A vintage Easter card! I don't have very many of these and I loved adding this one to my collection. See the ric rac in the upper left corner. I love that color!!

Look! Vintage valentine, vintage letter seals (Christmas!!), candy, ephemera, adorable straws, candy cups, ice cream cup, buttons, felt envelope! 

This is an adorable Valentine box. It is perfect and I am proudly displaying it among my Valentine decorations!

I am so glad that she sent me these seals. I have been looking and looking for some vintage Christmas letter seals and these are just adorable. My sister gave me some rose letter seals that I love and this started me on the hunt for more.

Baby Jesus, little church and sweet little girl. These look like they are from the later 60s or 70s, going by the graphics and colors. Perfectly adorable.
If you get a chance head on over to Jenny's blog and say "hi". I didn't take any pictures of what I sent her but she said that she is going to blog about it this weekend. She has had so much snow and cloudy days & that makes it hard to take bright pictures. I had to wait until today even though it is brighter today it is still not sunny. Thank you so much Jenny! I am so glad we were swap buddies! You spoiled me.

I never did show you what I bought on my antiquing adventures over Christmas. Mom, sister, D#1 and I went to a little town in Georgia called Hogansville. Dad kept on telling us that we needed to go and check out their downtown. He said that they have a lot of antique stores and we would have a blast. Boy was he right. They had the cutest stores filled to the brim with antiques and after Christmas sales. So sorry but I didn't take pictures of the vintage Christmas that I bought and I have already packed them away. I also didn't take my camera to get shots of their downtown but if you google Hogansville, Ga, several downtown images will come up. Cute town. I did manage the score of a lifetime though. As you know, I already have a black Featherweight meet Miss White Featherweight.

For some reason the cat and dog love to explore the craftroom while I work. Smokie is very curious as to what is in the vintage sewing box. Estate sale find $4, loaded with sewing supplies.

Smokie graciously used himself as a scale to show how small the Featherweight is. He is about 11lbs and so is the sewing machine. See the plant in the background? Every time I take a cutting from the mother plant, I place it in this window. They love the morning light coming through and grow like weeds!
Did you guess what I paid for this lovely little rare beauty? $35, yep. 35 buckaroos!! I couldn't believe it. This particular machine is worth 10 times that. It runs smooth and purrs like ...well....a....kitten :) It was sitting in a chair, dusty, lonely and of course I had to rescue her. She has been well taken care of and treated well. She does have a few tiny battle scars, as her case has long been lost. If you ever find one of these little coveted gems snatch her up rescue her. You won't be sorry, even though she will make the other machines in your craft room a little jealous.
Happy hunting,

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I Mustache You A Question.....

That saying just has me in stitches! I love puns and this one is classic. This year I have used it for my Valentine bunny.
I "Mustache" you a question.....Will you be my Valentine? 
Pattern for bunny here

I don't have a pattern for the mustache. It is so easy to just freehand the mustache. Draw one side of the mustache (I find it easier to draw the right side), fold paper in half and cut out but do not cut on the fold. Now you have a perfect mustache, equal on both sides. But if you find it easier to have a pattern, just zoom in on the picture and trace the mustache. Cut mustache out of felt. If you want to find all of my patterns/projects in one place instead of hunting on my blog, just go to Pinterest and up in the top

left corner type in cotton pickin fun and hit enter. Most of my projects will come up.

If you have been wondering where I have disappeared to these last few weeks, take a look below...

Daughter #2 decided that she wanted a "business". She talked about all the stuff she could make and, quilts, dolls, dragons, concoctions (not really sure what that is), button bracelets, cupcakes, etc. Oh boy....most of that sounded like work for mom. And the shoes.....I don't know anything about making shoes or concoctions. I remembered something that her big sis and I use to sell at some crafts fairs we use to participate in. D#1 and I made spiders on a stick (painted styrofoam balls with pipecleaner legs tied onto a wooden dowel with elastic string) and fur pencils. Those things sold out every time we made them. I didn't like the idea of shipping long dowels so I showed her a pencil that I still had from those craft show days. She loved it and wanted to get started right away. She borrowed $100 from my Etsy shop and we went and purchased $80 worth of fake fur. and about $30 worth of pencils (I chipped in $10).
We started cutting fur and gluing. I hot glue the fur and she uses tacky glue for the eyes and bows. 
I thought that we might sell a few here and there but 558 pencils later and I must admit I am a pleasantly surprised. We just opened her store back in Nov 2013. Most of the sales have been Valentine's Day favors. Funfunfun!!! She is overjoyed. Anyway that is where I have been spending most of my time. Things are a little calmer today and I must get some stuff crossed off of my craft bucket list. I plan on working on quilts in the coming months. I have a lot of WIPs (works in progress). 
Here are some vintage Valentines that I have copied for you. I figured that several to a page would keep you from wasting cardstock if you wanted to print them out.  

I love the drum valentine. Dear hubby was a drummer before he became a football player in high school. We played in the band together. I played the flute.

These are from the 40s. One says "1948" and another one says "1941".

I love the red hearts on these. On most of them you can tell the mother helped. Perfect & petite cursive writing. To Ruthie From Bob, Jr.

I can remember sitting on the kitchen floor in front of the heat vent, list in hand, crossing each name off as it was printed on the Valentine. Not following in order down the list but each Valentine printed according to the value of the friendship. Best friends first, next to best friends, friends but not best friends, and then the boys. Some boys first, some next and then the ones that pulled your hair last.

Here's a few tiles that I copied for you. Use them on the back of some tiles that you already have and double your stash or glue them onto foam board and make your own tiles. An xacto knife works great for this project. Use a ruler for the straight edge to cut perfect tiles. 

This past week we had a special visitor. Granny M.

Actually D#2 had 100th day at school. They encourage the students to dress up like they are 100 years old and it is so cute. We have been hunting props all year. Estate sales yielded: hat, gloves, and cane. My sweet sister made the yellow flower broach. The beautiful purse was a steal for $12 at an antique store. The purse held an vintage hankie. I did put a little powder on her face and she pinched her cheeks and bit her lips to make them red, not sure where in the world she got those beauty tips but she wouldn't let me touch her with my lipstick and blush. She said "I got it covered," when I asked her if she wanted lipstick and blush. I tried to get her put some lipstick on her teeth but that was a no go, too. 

I will be back tomorrow to show you what I am working on,