Friday, December 19, 2014

SANTA BELLY FACTORY & TUTORIAL

It looks like a Santa Belly Towel factory in The Queen's Studio today.  I made 10 of these towels.  They are so easy to make.  I first showed you them on the Twas the Night Blog Hop.  I also told you I'd do a tutorial on them and I finally got around to doing it.  You really don't need one, I'm sure you can figure it out on your own; it's that easy.  But I'll take the guess work out of it for you.


 Here's what you'll need:

1 red hand towel ( I purchased mine at Walmart in the Kitchen section and it was $1.48)
1 white bath towel or white terry cloth yardage (my bath towel made enought 2 1/2" strips for 11 towels plus 2 placemats.)
1 - 18" piece of black 7/8" gross grain ribbon (or any other kind of ribbon you'd like.  Satin ribbon will work too or a strip of black fabric also.)
Coordinating thread - white, black, and metallic gold

Cut 2 strips of white terry cloth the width of the towel by 2 1/2".

Lay one of the 2 1/2" white terry cloth strips down the length of the towel, centering it.  I cut mine 23" but you will need to measure your towel to make sure that will work.  I didn't measure anything on mine.  I just eyeballed it but my towel had a grid woven into the towel so it was easy to use the grid as a guideline.  I didn't go all the way to the bottom of the towel, I stopped short of the edge of the bottom of the towel by 2".  Using a zigzag or a button hole applique stitch, applique the strip to the towel.


Then cut a strip 2 1/2" by the width of the towel and place along the bottom edge of the towel.  Applique to the red towel.



Now cut a piece of 7/8" black gross grain ribbon the width of the towel plus 1".  Turn under 1/2" on each end of the ribbon and stitch down to the towel.  Again, I eyeballed it but it is about 3 1/2" above the white bottom band.  I used a straight stitch to stitch it in place.


Using your metallic thread, satin stitch zigzag a belt in the center of the black ribbon.   As you can see, I used the edge of the ribbon as a guide across and came in about 1/2" - 3/4" from the edge of the white band.  It makes your buckle about 1 1/4" square.  I didn't mark anything, I just eyeballed it and started stitching.



Ta Da!  A Santa Belly Hand Towel!
The thing I love about these towels is that they are all washable and you don't have to worry about messing the towel up.  


When I was looking for the post from the Twas The Night, I realized I didn't post a picture of all the Santa Belly things I made.  They are so easy!  You can do them on just about anything; placemats, pot holders, wine cozy's.... the projects are endless.  My next project is an apron but not sure that will happen this Christmas!






Tuesday, December 16, 2014

PARTY TIME

There was no sewing today for the Quilting Queen... just partying!

First off was the Brownwood Quilter's Guild Christmas Party.  If you remember last month  and the month before I told you about Doniene's goal to have Christmas Quilts on her beds.  She needs 6 of them and wanted 3 finished by this Christmas.  She did it!  And remember she quilts these huge Queen size quilts on her domestic sewing machine!  This is my favorite so far.



Debbie was our visitor this month.  She's new to quilting and she's right on track to becoming an addicted awesome quilter.  



Millie made everyone these sweet pin cushions.  There were no two alike.  This is the one I picked.


And Joy made mug rugs for everyone.  You should have known I'd pick a red/white/blue one.


Then on to the fun and games...  You had to guess the 9 items in the stocking.  You could only feel from the outside of the stocking.  I only got 4 of the 9 correct.   The person with the most correct got the stocking with all the goodies!  MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ANGELA!!!  She guessed 8 of the 9 correct.


And remember the pin cushions Millie made.... well she made Joy, our President these ornaments.  Wow!!


Our next game was the Fat Quarter game.  Everyone brings 3 fat quarters to the table.  Then we roll the dice (up to 3 dice) for the number of fat quarters we have.  The dice are special dice called "Left Right Center" (and can be purchased at your local Walmart or Target).  If your dice says left, you pass a fat quarter to the person on your left.  If your dice says right, you pass a fat quarter to the person on your right.  If your dice says center, you put a fat quarter in the center or "kitty".  If you roll a circle, you do nothing and pass the dice to the next person for their turn.  If you only have 2 fat quarters, you only roll 2 dice; 1 fat quarter you only roll 1 dice.  (You can also use regular dice, subbing the numbers on the dice for the left, right, center, and pass.)  The game continues around the table.  If you don't have any fat quarters, you may not be out of the game... the person next to you might roll a left or right and you're back in the game!  Play until there is only 1 person with 1 fat quarter and that is the WINNER!  This is sweet Millie... she was the LUCKY WINNER today of the Fat Quarter Game.  Just look at all of her luscious fat quarters.


Everyone also brought a "quilty related gift" and we played "Dirty Santa" with them.  Guess who got #1?  Why yes, I did!  My initial gift was a "tea and cookies" gift set.  Since I'm only a Sonic Ice Tea drinker, you know I'm going to trade that off.  I didn't have to because Wanda stole it from me.  My second gift was a table runner and a pewter reindeer that held 4 candles.  I traded it with LaTrelle.  I forgot to take a picture of what I got but it was 2 packages of some awesome thread.  

Connie and Debbie won the door prizes and yep, Mille made them.  A nice arm chair caddy and a casserole carrier.


On to Party #2.  A going away party for the King at 3M with his managers and co-workers.


I just love the icicles hanging of the golfer guy's nose on the cake.  Needless to say the King is an avid golfer.   Here in Texas he golfs year around and that's an easy task.  It's going to be a bit more challenging to golf that much in Illinois.  He'll begin to look like this golfer guy with icicles hanging from his nose too.  


Tomorrow it's back to quilting and sewing.  I'm making progress on my blog hop projects but it's slow going.  And I still have those last minute gifts I want to finish.  I'm sure I'll run out of time before I run out of projects.... I always do.  But no one goes without a gift of some sort in the end.


Monday, December 15, 2014

RELOCATION UPDATE

I know some of you are curious about the latest update on the Relocation to DeKalb, Illinois.

After Thanksgiving, the King and I flew to DeKalb and spent 2 weeks there.  It was a good time to explore the city, work on a few projects in the Hotel, and check out the housing in the area.

We found the "perfect" home.  However, we won't make an offer on it until our house sells.... assuming it will still be on the market when that time comes.  It has plenty of space for Queenie and all my fabric stash and it's on the golf course for the King.  In fact, there is a green literally out the back door.  The King is in Heaven!  He is drooling and is dreaming of teeing off from his back door.  You can see the house we are looking at here.  Of course, there were several other possibilities as well but this was by far, our favorite.

UPDATE:  The link I provided to look at the house wouldn't work.  You needed a password.  Try this one instead for the house.

We are back in Texas for the week to catch our breath and take care of a few things.... like catching up on some customer quilting, hopefully making a few last minute gifts, and Christmas shopping.  The only gifts I've bought are the ones I ordered online and shipped to Japan.  I'm never this late in doing my shopping.

I've been working diligently on my projects for the upcoming blog hops in January.


Here is a sneak peak at the counted cross stitch I'm working on for the Tammy 4 All Seasons.  


And a sneak peak at the project I'm working on for the We Support You 


I have to get them finished up this week; as on December 23, I'm having surgery on my hand to repair the torn tendon.  I figured it was as good a time as any.  It's my slow time for quilting; I rarely do any customer quilting the last 2 weeks of the year and the first week of the new year.  Plus, I've met my deductible on our health care insurance.

Then it's back to Missouri for Christmas with the family.   The King will start his new position full time in DeKalb in January.  We have to figure out where he's going to live until the house sells and there are no "extended stay" places in the DeKalb area.  Staying in a hotel is going to get expensive plus there is no way to prepare any meals.  It gets "old" and very expensive to eat out every meal.  I'll most likely come back to Texas and hold down the fort until the house sells....   I'm taking things one day at a time.  I might as well.  I sure can't plan anything right now.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

MYSTERY SEASONAL SAMPLER 2014 - DECEMBER BLOCK

Wow, this is our last block in the Mystery Seasonal Sampler.  Next month I'll reveal how it all goes together.  I was going to do the final block section and directions to set it together all in this post but decided against it.  There are lots of pictures and it would make the post too long plus it's also Christmas and everyone is busy with shopping, last minute gift making, baking, parties, and family time.


Let's get started with the tree.

Cutting:
     Background 2 - 2 1/2" x 5 1/2" rectangles
         2 - 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangles
         2 - 2 1/2" x 4" rectangles
         2 - 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles
         2 - 2 1/2" x 5 1/4" rectangles
         2 - 2 1/2" x 5 3/4" rectangles
         2 - 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangles
     Brown - 1 - 2 1/2" x 2" rectangle
     Green - 1 - 2 1/2" x 10 1/2" rectangle
          1 - 2 1/2" x 9 1/2" rectangle
          1 - 2 1/2" x 8 1/4" rectangle
          1 - 2 1/2" x 7" rectangle
          1 - 2 1/2" x 6" rectangle
     Gold - 1 - 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle

Assembly:

Measure down 2 1/2" on the outside of the 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangles and make a small mark.  Then draw a diagonal line from the small mark to the inner corner as show below.  Stitch on the drawn line.


Trim off the excess 1/4" from the sewn line.


Press to the background.


Repeat this procedure for the next 4 green/background strip sets

Green 2 1/2" x 9" with Background 2 1/2" x 4"
Green 2 1/2" x 8 1/4" with Background 2 1/2" x 4 1/2"
Green 2 1/2" x 7" with Background 2 1/2" x 5 1/4"
Green 2 1/2" x 6" with Background 2 1/2" x 5 3/4"

And repeat this procedure for the gold 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" with Background 2 1/2" x 6 1/2"

Now sew a background 2 1/2" x 5 1/2" to the brown 2 1/2" x 2" rectangle.  Press to the brown.  Sew the remaining 2 1/2" x 5 1/2" background to the brown rectangle unit. (Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of this step.)

Each strip set about should measure 2 1/2" x 12 1/2" unfinished.

Lay out the tree as indicated below and sew the 7 rows together.


Tada!  Your tree is finished.



This block should measure 14 1/2" x 12 1/2" unfinished.

SNOWBALL BLOCKS

Cutting
     Background - 6 - 4 1/2" squares
                            2 - 2 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangles
     Colors of your choice - 6 - 4 1/2" squares (as you can see I picked red, green, gold, purple, blue & orange.)

Assembly

This is how I make my snowball blocks.  I learned it at Quilt Market.  There is actually a specialty ruler to make this easier and in less time.  I didn't buy it but wish I had of.  Needless to say, I'm going to.  You can order your own ruler here.  Here is a YouTube video.


First pair a background square with a color square.  Then lay your pair of squares down on a gridded cutting mat and draw a diagonal line from 2" down on each corner.


Mark all 4 corners and then stitch on the drawn line.  I don't even cut my threads from sewing across one corner to the next one.  I treat them as a chain piecing technique.


Once sewn, take your scissors and slip them between the two squares.  You're going to cut the colored square NOT THE BACKGROUND SQUARE!


Just cut across the square from one side to the other.  You can eyeball it, it doesn't have to be exactly in the middle.


Then cut the opposite side.  Again eyeball it.


Now trim off the corners 1/4" from the drawn line and discard the triangles.


Press the colored squares out.  You will end up with a block that looks like this.  


Now, using your square up ruler, and the sides of the background 4 1/2" square as your guide, square the block to 4 1/2"



Repeat this procedure for the other 5 colors.

Sew 3 of the colors together to make a row 4 1/2" x 12 1/2" unfinished.  
Repeat for a second row.


Sew the 2 rows together.


Add a 2 1/2" x 12 1/2" strip to the top and bottom of the snowball block unit.



Now you're ready to make the "gifts" that go under the tree.

Cutting:
      Background - 2 - 1 1/4" x 3 1/2" rectangles
                             1 - 1 /2" x 2 1/2" rectangles
     Green - 1 - 3" x 3 1/2" rectangle
     Yellow - 1 - 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" square
     Red - 1 - 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" square
     Blue - 1 - 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle

Assembly:
     Sew various colored satin or grossgrain ribbon to the "package" blocks cut above.  I apologize that there are no pictures of this step.  I got so excited about makeing the packages that I completely forgot all about taking any photos of the process.  But I think you can do it without the pictures. 
     Sew the 1 1/4" x 3 1/2" rectangles to each side of the green 3" x 3 1/2" rectangle "package".
     Sew the 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" background rectangle to the bottom of the yellow "package".
     Sew the packages together as shown below.


Now sew the snowball unit  to the top of the tree block.
Sew the package unit to the bottom of the tree block.  This should measure 12 1/2" x 30 1/2" unfinished.



The final section of this set is the Candy Pinwheel block.

Cutting:
     White - 6 - 4" squares
                  10 - 2" x 3 1/2" rectangles
                  4 - 2" squares 
     Red - 6 - 4" squares
              14 - 2" x 3 1/2" rectangles
     Green - 6 - 6" squares cut in half on the diagonal

Assembly:
     Pair a red 4" square with a white 4" square.  Draw a diagonal line across the white square.  Sew 1/4" from the diagonal line on each side.  Cut on the diagonal line.  Press to the red triangle.  Square to 3 1/2".


Lay the half square triangles made above as illustrated below to form the pinwheel block.


Sew together.  I like to chain piece the sets.  


I also like to do the "twirly" center to reduce the bulk in the middle of the pinwheel.  The pinwheel should measure 6 1/2".  Repeat for a total of 3 pinwheel blocks.


Sew a triangle to the top and to the bottom of the pinwheel block.  Press to the green.


Trim off the "dog ears" and then sew a green triangle to each side of the pinwheel unit.


Square the pinwheel block to 9 1/2".  Repeat for a total of 3 pinwheel blocks.


Sew the 3 pinwheel unit blocks together as illustrated below.


Sew 5 red 2" x 3 1/2" rectangles end to end with 4 white 2" x 3 1/2" rectangles to make a strip unit 2" x 27 1/2".  Repeat for a total of 2 strip units.


Sew the strip unit to each side of the pinwheel unit as illustrated below.


Sew a white 2" square, a red 2" x 3 1/2" rectangle, a white 2" x 3 1/2" rectangle, a red 2" x 3 1/2" rectangle, and a white 2" square together end to end to form a strip set 2" x 12 1/2".  Repeat for a total of 2 strip units.  Sew one to the top and one to the bottom of the pinwheel unit.


Sew the pinwheel unit to the left side of the tree unit.  

Whoo Hoo!  You have finished all of the block units for the 2014 Mystery Seasonal Sampler.  And yes, my pinwheel unit block looks a little different than the one I gave instructions for.  I made this table runner and never finished it because I thought it was too small for my table.  I remember having it so I thought it should be in this quilt.  It was the perfect size.  However, I used someone else's pattern so I couldn't give you instructions for it specifically.  I had to alter it to make it mine.

Now, on to a little more housekeeping on some previous blocks.

Sew the snowball block and the friendship star block made in July to each other as illustrated below.


Then sew the churdash block made in July to the right side of the snowball/star block unit.


Sew the Star Flag to the top of the above unit as illustrated below.


Now sew 5 background 2 1/2" squares to 4 "colored" 2 1/2" squares alternating each into a strip set 2 1/2" x 18 1/2".  Sew this strip unit to the right side of the block unit made above.


Now sew 2 coordinating 2 1/2" x 22" strips together as illustrated below.


Sub cut the strip set into 10 units 2 1/2" x 4 1/2".  



Sew 6 of the units into a checkerboard unit 4 1/2" x 12 1/2" as illustrated below.



Then sew the remaining 4 - 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" units together end to end to form a strip set 2 1/2" x 16 1/2".  

Sew the 4 1/2" x 12 1/2" checkerboard unit to the right side of the leaf block.   Sew the 2 1/2" x 16 1/2" unit to the bottom of the leaf unit.


Whew!  Take a break and enjoy the holidays.  We will set the quilt together in January and add the borders.  Do you have all of your flying geese finished?