April Sewing Projects

My primary focus for the past few weeks has been on the upcoming wedding of our daughter! Since we were having guests staying, my husband suggested we get the spare room painted. I bought paint a year ago when the local hardware had buy one get one can free! He recruited a friend's high school daughter to help paint. (I am scheduled for hip replacement in May, so no climbing or bending right now.) She did a fine job and earned some money over spring vacation. The guests have a lovely, fresh room to stay in.

A new place for my "Love" quilt in the room.

Sewing has not taken the back seat. I am posting a photo tour of the items I have worked on this month, with a brief caption under each. 

This wall hanging was finished and sent to my aunt in Wisconsin. 
It hangs in her room at the assisted living home.
I used Island Batik fabrics with her favorite color--purple.

Another set of Michigan coasters and

 a pincushion basket to sell at The Yellow Window.

A pillowcase for donation.

Michigan Potholders

A test of the bee pattern for the Gridsters Bee block exchange selected by the Queen Bee for May.

Last month I forgot to post the 2 piggy blocks I sewed for the Gridsters March's Queen Bee.
Check Elizabeth's blog to see the quilt top she made with all her piggies.

I am April's Queen Bee and the blocks are arriving. I designed the block pattern. They are beautiful. 
I can't show them yet; they are for a special project. 

I am also working on the finish for the Four-in-Art Reveal for May 2. Be sure to check back then to see how each of the members interpreted the theme of "Light in the Darkness" for this quarter. Here is a little section of the quilt.


I have been working on my row submission for the Christmas Caroling Row Along - sponsored by Seams to be Sew. It begins September 5, 2017. Over 40 pattern designers are participating! This should be a spectacular event. Put it on your calendar to row along with us. You can find more details HERE.

I wish you a happy ending to the month of April and hope it includes many things you like to do.


Did A Little Sewing This Week

Last week was a busy week. My major goal was putting together the final details of the bridal shower I was hosting for our youngest daughter on April 1. It was out-of-town, so I couldn't forget anything.

I began the week on March 25, at an All Day Sew hosted by Creative Loop. I sewed 10-Minute Table Runners that day and finished more at home. These were for the guests who attended the shower. We let each person choose the runner they liked.

The All Day Sew was a fun day at a hotel conference room with lunch and dinner served. I finished the Compass Fire Star quilt top I began at the AQS Show in Grand Rapids, MI in August 2017. Nancy McNally taught the class using her pattern and special templates. I like the purple and yellow Island Batik fabrics I was able to use.

Friday I packed the car. I drove 30 miles north to pick up 4 dozen of these luscious and beautiful mini cupcakes from The Pie Hole. (This picture was taken after some were eaten.)

The bridal shower was very nice. The luncheon (which I ordered from a local grocery chain) was very good. I was happy I didn't have to do all the preparation. We ate, played 3 games and watched the soon-to-be bride open gifts; and the two hours were over. I was on the road heading home within the hour. 

I got home exhausted; but, I found happy mail on the table that excited me! I got 2 blocks from Mary for the April Gridsters Bee (Instagram #gridsterbee) block exchange, for my month as Queen Bee. They are so pretty and fun! I can't wait to get those from the other beemates this month. I can show only a bit right now, as I am using them in a special quilt.
Tomorrow will be a rainy day and I have a high school helper coming to assist in painting our guest room. I am excited to move on with the decorating after the paint dries. And a new quilt is in the works!


Quilting Mat Extraordinaire

I've been rotary cutting since the early 1980s. I would have to say today's UPS arrival has brought me new excitement in rotary cutting!

My new 24" x 36" Calibre Art Premium Self-Healing Cutting Mat arrived. Yes, that's a mouthful, but it describes almost all about this mat.

I first heard of these mats about 2 years ago when I participated in a Row-Along hosted by Marian at Seams To Be Sew. I have been wanting one of these mats ever since. My first stroke of luck came when my name was chosen before Christmas during another of Marian's blog hops. I won a 13" Calibre Art rotating mat. It is absolutely wonderful! (Mind you, I have a rotating mat from another company that worked well enough for me, until I tried the new one.) Calibre Art's is like butter when cutting and rotating. I now had a taste of what their mats were like.

During Marian's 2017 Quilt Qwazy Queen blog hop, she noted that Calibre Art was offering a discount code only for the hop days - 1/2 off the price if ordered through AmazonPrime! This was a deal I "hopped" on immediately. I chose 10-day delivery to get free shipping without adding something else to my cart. And, I used AmazonSmile and a charity of my choice received a donation.

The quality of the mat is superb. It is 1/8" thick. It DOES NOT SMELL! This is the best part of it for me. Other mats I have bought in the past smell like skunks -- for months.

I have seldom used mat lines to align fabric when cutting, but the accurate markings and angles on this mat will definitely have me learning some new cutting tricks! Inches are marked on one side and centimeters on the other side.

I am also very happy to know that these mats are free of harmful heavy metals and chemicals. The company also recycles their "waste cuttings" during manufacturing.

The mat came a bit curved from what I think was standing the box on its short end during delivery. The instructions said that if there were bends in delivery to set it in the sun to warm and lay books on it. I put it in the sun on the dining room linoleum for 10 minutes and it had flattened itself--no books involved.

I am not affiliated with Calibre Art, nor am I getting any compensation for this blog post. I just want to share with others a product I think is amazing and well worth it's price.


Spring Forth with Sewing

Oh, the spring-like weather has been lovely. Chilly, but expected in Michigan. Today I refilled the bird feeders. The other day a pileated woodpecker stopped for some suet. There have been two of them at the feeder off and on over the winter. I just think they look so pre-historic. Their call is loud as is there drumming on trees! Yet, they are amazing to watch.

My sewing projects have been smaller items this week. I am thinking of things to give to friends at Easter time.

I found some great pattern tutorials from Stitched by Crystal that I thought even the adults might like.  I made these carrot treat bags into stuffed decor for the house. Not sure how I will display them. I think I might have to purchase a basket. Cyrstal's tutorial is HERE.

These bunny treat bags were so quick and easy to sew. I used permanent markers to draw the faces instead of embroidering them. I also left off the tail on the back. I decided they would be great as a table centerpiece filled with candies for the kids and adults, too. HERE is the tutorial.

I am hosting the Bridal Shower for our 2nd daughter in April. I wanted to have some unique prizes for the winners of a few games we will play. I made some Michigan potholders!

And I am having fun embroidering these Michigan coasters. I bought the pattern from Embroider_It.

I like her embroideries because they are simple enough for me as a beginner and versatile to use for a number of projects. Below, I used the state outline to make these 4-patch potholders. 

I got a new hairstyle this week....in preparation for the wedding. Styling it on my own has been easy, which was my aim. 


Spring Sewing

Today is officially the  First Day of Spring!

Yesterday afternoon I sat on the deck with the sun shining, a little breeze that wasn't too cold, and read part of the newspaper. Off in the woods I could hear a pileated woodpecker hammering on a tree, some turkeys purring as they walked through the underbrush, and a symphony of smaller birds at the feeders around the corner from my seat.

When I came in the house, I was amazed what the sun and that short time outdoors did for my energy and enthusiasm. I decided sew!

Two nights ago I read a tutorial by Crystal of Stitched by Crystal on how to sew a Carrot Treat Bag for Easter. You can find it HERE. I wanted to make some of these carrots. I had plenty of scraps and the directions were very clear. They were easy to make and I sewed 8 in a short time. I won't fill them with candy. I stuffed them with polyfil to decorate the living room for the season.

Do you have a project on your sewing list for Springtime or Easter decor?