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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sewing Up a Storm for Christmas!

I have been sewing everyday lately, which is something for me. To date I have made four green grocery bags from Sew Serendipity Bags by Kay Whitt. I gave one away at our Quiltworkers Christmas Social to my secret pal, Amy Walko. 

 Today I cut two more. I love the owls but I really like the way the flowers look as well. I need to make me one sometime but for now, I have more to make for Christmas!

This afternoon I finished one more gift...the Tardis zippered wristlet. These are still secrets so I'm not saying who any of these are for. 

Here's the back.

And the inside. The pocket should fit a smart phone or a passport.

And I finished one more divided basket, pattern by Noodlehead. I gave one away to my secret pal at the VBMQG Christmas meeting. I have three more made so that makes four. Here's the front with the pockets. 

This one might be my favorite so far. This is the back side.

And here's the inside lining and divider.

Here's the tote my secret pal, who I now know was Liz Berry, made me for our Christmas Social this Saturday. I really like the bright colors and dark background. If I turn it inside out it's reversible. It's black inside with a row of large pockets.  Thanks so much, Liz!

After the social Saturday, I came home and made seven of these lanyards for friends for Christmas. These were a very easy thing to make. I hope my friends will enjoy them. Again...not saying who they are because I haven't given them away yet!

What are you making for Christmas? Please leave a comment and share what you've been sewing! There isn't a lot of time left but I plan to make a few more. How about you?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Homemade Christmas at the Jebavys

I have been really horrid about posting to my blog but on the other hand, I have been busily working away at my Christmas list. Here are pictures of a few of the things I've made. Somehow I missed getting a photo of the yellow and gray divided basket I made for my secret pal at the VBMQG. I guess you won't get to see that one. 

These are a few of the green grocery bags I've been making from the book Sew Serendipity BAGS by Kay Whitt. My friend and fellow blogger, Mary, suggested I make the straps longer. I like them much better since I did. 

As you can see above the pouch holds the bag with a strap you can hang by your keys so you won't forget your bag when you run out!

This is my second bag. I guess I need to throw in a picture of my first bag so you can see how short the handles are in the pattern.

The flowered bag is my fourth or fifth bag now and so far my favorite! I put the bird on the back so the pouch didn't hide it.

Then I found a Lego man I though my hubby who is a Lego fanatic would enjoy. I still have to make this into a pillow for him but it's just a matter of time and keeping him out of the house long enough to work on it!

Finally, here's what I worked on today for hours! A Tardis zippered pouch. I am loving this but it's been sort of a bugger to do. I have to wait for some hardware to finish it which is just as well. I needed a break. It's really forced me to think things through. I'm loving the result so far. I just hope the recipient will like it as much as I do.

Here's a peek at the lining and inside pocket which should fit an iPhone or a passport! The color is a darker, richer blue on the outside with the inside being a black and white. I'll try to get the color better on the finished picture. Some days my camera just doesn't want to cooperate! Sorry!

What are you making this Christmas? Please leave a comment and tell me what you've got going. In the new year my goal is to make this blog a little better visually and learn how to make a collage so I can put multiple pictures like these side by side in a box. For now, what you see is what you get! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Finishes

Yesterday I cut out a Divided Basket pattern by Noodlehead available for purchase here: Divided Basket Pattern. No problem, I thought. I should be able to make this pattern, right? Today I finished a project for my dad and began to work on this basket. From there things went straight downhill! After becoming totally frustrated I texted my friend Mary (Fairly Merry) to tell her I was going out of my mind! She texted me back to say she'd be right over. I have to tell you, it turned my day around!

I hope all of you have one friend that is there for you like this! I had the pattern pieces all cut out wrong. I missed the part about connecting pattern pieces so nothing was right. It would have taken me hours, maybe days to figure out what I did wrong without Mary's generous and timely help! Instead, look what I made with her help in about an hour or so! I only lacked stitching around the very top when she left which took me about 10 minutes to complete. I may make a few of these in the next few weeks now that I know how easily they go together. Who is this one for? That's a secret...maybe it's you!

Before I started on the divided basket above, I finished the last piece of my dad's quilt I've been working on for several years...close to 5 really! The bear in the tree is the very last of nine 12" X 12" quilts from McKenna Ryan's Out and About pattern. The first piece I gave Dad for his 85th birthday. In April he'll be 90. I want to get the last piece to him before that so he actually has some time to enjoy the whole thing! It looks much better in person. I couldn't get the color quite right in the photo.The bear will be on the right of the picture at the bottom of this blog. The eagle will be in the top center spot.

This was number eight. I sent this to dad for Christmas last year but it ended up coming back to me. It's a long story...suffice it to say, he'll get the last two pieces together.

Below is what the other seven pieces look like on Dad's wall. He's going to need to move a clock or move the whole grouping. We placed them where he wanted at the time. I know it will look awesome finally complete!

I'll leave you with Mary's soothing words...stay calm and quilt on!

Monday, October 21, 2013

What Have I Been Up To? And an Update on the Monkey Queen

I know it's been a while again. I have not done a ton sewing or quilting in the past few weeks. The weather was nice so my husband and I have walked and walked and walked. Then it grew nasty and with the front came migraines...lots of them in one week and I really didn't care about much. Now it's nicer but cooling down and I feel like I can function again. We'll keep walking as long as the weather holds out because it can't last much longer. But I must get in as much sewing as I can. Christmas and challenge obligations are looming!

In the meantime, our Virginia Beach Modern Quilt Guild has had to change the date they meet to the third Saturday of the month. That's excellent news for me because I am off that Saturday. Yay! I had to go late this week due to a prior appointment before I knew they changed. I have already re-arranged next month's appointments so they will not conflict with this meeting. I will give up most things for a guild meeting but my massage and hair appointments are not among them.

I spent part of Saturday and a couple short sessions before that trying to finish the last piece to my Dad's quilt by McKenna Ryan called Out and About. It's done in 12" squares which are then stretched on canvas and hung in a grouping.Here's a sneak peek at at some of the detail on this piece. More later. I'll post a pictures of this whole piece and the other 8 when it's done providing I can find photos of all the pieces! I think I have pictures of the first 7 pieces hung on his wall. My Dad will be 90 in April. This was a fabulous way to make him something for Birthdays and Christmas that lasted a while. There isn't much he needs and he doesn't have a lot of wall space left for displaying our crafts.

Yesterday I made two pillowcases. I have two more to make for our bed which may be trickier getting the right size. I have a foam neck-type pillow while my hubby uses a super sized King pillow. One of the pillowcases I made yesterday I can't show because it's for our Christmas Charity with the Quiltworkers a.k.a. Sluts. More about that at a later date. We surprise each other with what me make for this charity at out Christmas Social so I cannot reveal mine yet. 

The pillowcase above is going to my sweet grand niece, Alyssa, the Monkey Queen, who is fighting cancer courageously and happens to be only 11 years old. I made her a quick flannel quilt when I found out to help her get through the chemo and all the other nasty procedures she must endure. You can find pictures in previous posts. I wasn't totally crazy about the fabric but it's all I could find in a pinch. Since then I found this adorable monkey print that was not flannel but I had to get it. I decided a nice pillow case would be just the thing for this fabric.

This method is the same one I use for the charity pillowcases we make each year. There are tons of tutorials out there. I use this one because I seem to find it the easiest and it's quite clear. I have a written pattern someone gave me which uses slightly different sizing but I usually change that to suit me anyway. The tutorial I usually use is Making a Sausage Pillowcase by Judy Woodmansee. There are many others out there but this one always works for me.It has french seams inside so there are no raw edges anywhere. I tend to make two changes besides adjusting sizes. I like to top stitch the cuff just above the flange for a nicer more finished look and I find it works better to take a slightly larger second seam around the side and bottom of the quilt or some of the inside threads tend to stick out. Here's a closer photo of the detail of the cuff, flange and the cute monkey fabric.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Monkey Queen and Miss Addie

So here's our sweet, Alyssa with her new quilt and the two monkeys I sent her. She is such a wonderful girl. Keep praying for her if you've been reading this. She's still having lots of issues. She was able to come home but now she has a fever that is threatening to send her back to the hospital soon. I know the beginning of treatments like this can be very difficult. My heart just goes out to her. No child this age should ever have to deal with something is awful!

Here's another picture. The monkeys are super soft. I hope they help to comfort her when she's having a tough time!

And here's a closer picture of the finished quilt. It's very simple and I even machine stitched the binding which I never do. I 'm never happy with how that looks but in this case I felt speed trumped perfection! 

Now just to lighten the mood...Let me give you a little background on our Miss Addie...the Queen. She is a vibrant woman who has lived her life to the fullest and will not allow anything or anyone to keep her down! She may be slowing down a little with age but she still manages to get into plenty of trouble  stay active, quilt, paint, travel and do whatever her little heart desires into her 80s. When her husband was ill she traded her "boring" Lexus in on a Mini Cooper. Her children thought they were too dangerous and forced her to go back to a "safe" Lexus. So when Joe passed away she went right down and bought herself a tiny, bright yellow Smartcar and had it detailed! (Don't miss the licence plate). She's been merrily driving it ever since! You cannot miss her coming down the street! It is a sight to on the lookout if you come to Virginia Beach. There is only one smartcar here like it and only one Miss Addie!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Quilt for my Grand Niece, Alyssa

Last week we had some horrible news. My grand niece, Alyssa, was having pain in her hips. She just turned 11 years old. After many tests, one surgery and lots of trips to the doctor, she was finally diagnosed with a nasty type of bone cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma. Not what anyone wanted to hear but at least now they know what they are dealing with.

Beginning sometime this week she is scheduled to start 12 weeks of chemotherapy followed by surgery to remove the affected area of the bone. They'll replace it with either a bone graft from another part of her body or metal. Then she has to do radiation followed by another 12 weeks of chemotherapy. That feels like an awful lot for an 11 year old to endure! She is such a delightful child, it breaks my heart! Here's a photo of her at the zoo this week.

There isn't much I can do but I thought I'd do what I know how to do best. I'm making her a quilt. I planned to make one with minky on the back but the minky I found was not that great. It was so heavy I decided to go with a flannel backing. Below is the quilt I decided on from Meryl Ann Butler's 90 Minute Quilts. I wanted something fast and this fit the bill. 

Alyssa loves monkey's so that's why I chose the monkey fabric for the quilt. Then I found these two adorable monkey. The sleeping one plays a lullaby to help a child fall asleep and you can also record a message. I liked the idea of being able to have her hear our voices telling her how much we love her. And aren't they just the cutest monkeys ever? Both are just as soft as can bee, too.

You can see the flannel dot fabric for the back below. I am in the process of quilting it but I had to take a break for today. For some reason every time I stitched a few feet, my thread would shred. I know I can get it figured out but sometimes one just needs to step away for a while or it just gets worse.  I had hoped to have the quilt finished today but I guess that isn't going to happen. I'll try again tomorrow. I don't plan to quilt this heavily as I want it very soft and snuggly! Hopefully in the next day or two I can get this done and shipped to Washington State to Alyssa. If you are a praying person, please say prayers for Alyssa (Zoll) and her family, (mom, Michella, dad Harold, sister Kalie and brother Jacob). They need all the help they can get! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sewing, a Teen Craft and a Beautiful Sunset in Virginia Beach!

By now, if you follow this blog, you have come to accept that I post as frequently as I am able which sometimes is not too often. In the past month the Modern Quilt Guilds of DC and Maryland participated with the Virginia Beach Modern Quilt Guild to do a secret swap between members of the various groups. Earlier I posted the bag I made and the goodies I sent with my bag. Today I am posting the adorable bag I got from Jessica. 

In my bag were a lovely handmade card, a handle for a rotary cutter, a cute fat quarter of fabric and a seam ripper.

Here's the inside fabric of my bag which was a cool salmon colored paisley print.

Last night Staff from the Virginia Beach Public Libraries threw our yearly Teen Summer Reading Challenge Finale for TAG (Teen Advisory Group) and Teen SRC Volunteers. We had 69 teens attend, which was awesome! 

The night consisted of making a Zentangles Inspired 3-D Craft, making Altered "Altoid Tin" Suitcases to go along with our SRC theme, "Have Book Will Travel", and a language inspired activity. 

For the language activity, teens were divided into groups, given a script in a foreign language and asked to perform a skit using various props provided. When they were done, what the scripts actually said in English was revealed. We also included an hour long Manhunt which is always a hit and requested begged for shamelessly by all the teens! Think "Tag" plus "Hide and Seek" in a large, dark library with hordes of teens and copious amounts of staff running around for an hour. It's a combination that never fails to delight the teen population! 

Whenever we provide a large teen program like this, I come away with a feeling of great accomplishment and a sense of well being knowing there are so many polite, talented, smart and eager young adults out there! I love seeing how well they interact with each other and staff. Of course, that is mingled with a feeling of overwhelming exhaustion and relief that it's over!

Below is the Altered "Altoid Tin" Suitcase I made for an example yesterday afternoon. Susan Hampe, a co-worker from Central Library, came up with the idea for the program. She, Crystal Parker from Kempsville Library and I from Pungo-Blackwater Library provided the materials and instruction for the teens. Susan had a couple of great examples as well, but I forgot to take pictures to post! Many pictures were taken by staff and when they are posted, I'll include some of the tins made by the teens, Susan and Crystal. Crystal didn't have access to the materials to make one ahead of time but she made a nice one during the program as well.

Here's the inside of my tin. We painted 90 tins before this program so they would have at least a base coat of paint on them. Many of the teens chose to paint theirs other colors as well as Decoupage items to their tins. It never fails to amaze me when I see the creative ideas they come up with! Stay tuned and I will reveal pictures in the next week or so.

So this part has nothing to do with sewing, quilting or crafts of any kind. I wanted to share a couple of photos of our fabulous sunsets here in Virginia Beach.

Until we meet again...may the end of the summer bring you peace and happiness. Fall is just around the corner!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Drawstring Bag Swap with the Modern Quilt Guilds of Maryland and DC

 I know I'm not posting much lately but it's summer. Life is busy in the summer and I just haven't had a lot of time to sew. I didn't want to bore anyone with the details of my daily life. I totally enjoy my life, mind you, (walking on the beach, working, walking on the beach, cleaning, working, going out for good times, walking on the beach) all things you'd love hate to hear about on this blog! Alrighty then, back to quilting...

Here is a sneak peek of my drawstring bag for our swap. The Virginia Beach Modern Quilt Guild of which I am a member is swapping these little beauties with the MQGs of Maryland and DC.  First we are sent a person's name and address. We all try to post something on our Flickr site showing what our interests are as far as color and style and so on. Then we make a bag, and along with $10 worth of sewing supplies, or candy, or whatever, send it to our secret pal. It is sometimes hard to know what the other person likes by what they post but given that this is a modern quilt guild and from what I did see, I chose a new fabric I just got that I love along with some fabric from another new line I purchased recently in the hopes that I figured my secret pal out. I hope she likes it. I am pleased with how it came out.

Below is a photo of the same fabric on the other side of the bag. The little gift inside is a set of binding clips that I love using.

The bag did not call for quilting. It's a simple little drawstring bag but I saw one on Flickr that was quilted and fell in love with it. I decided to just quilt around some of the items in the fabric then echo quilt them in the negative spaces. It gives the little bag more body. I used a brown ribbon with green dots for the ties rather than make them from fabric. 

What do you think? Would this be a surprise you'd enjoy?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dr Who ...Who Knew!

Let me begin at the beginning. A month or so ago, my good friend, Mary, found a Dr. Who QAL on Flickr. Silly me, mentioned this on Facebook in a conversation that came up about a Tardis. Now if you are not a Dr. Who fan, you might not know the phone booth/police box thingy(technical term sorry) is called a Tardis. Of course, my DIL, Caity, thought that would be wonderful and she had to have one. The journey began. I found the paper pieced block and thought, no sweat, I do paper piecing. I can do this! Close to a month later I finally got the little stinker made into something useful I can give Caity. There was much cussing (in the privacy of my home with no one listening) and fussing before this was accomplished!Of course, I wanted HAD to use some Spoonflower fabric created for Dr. Who fans that had wavy words in it. If you have ever paper pieced, you know getting things to line up in a particular direction is challenging at times. I don't know, maybe my head was just not if the right place. I was a bit stressed at work but this little baby pushed my limits! 

Would I do it again? My first thought is hell NO, but in reality, I already purchased an even harder PP pattern I'd like to do for my hubby one day. It makes this one look like child's play...but I won't be doing it right away!

Above is the photo of the finished front of my Tardis block with borders. I went on to quilt the front and make an envelope case for a pillow form. I thought Caity would get more use out of this than a wall hanging.

Here is the finished pillow front complete with pillow form. I love how it turned out in spite of the problems it gave me! I think she will enjoy the Dr. Who fabric since she's obviously a fan of the show.

This is the fabric I chose for the back, also a Spoonflower fabric designed for Dr Who. In case you have never heard of  Spoonflower, it is a sight where you can design your own fabric or purchase fabric others have designed. They have some interesting fabrics you will not find anywhere else. Check it out!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

More Diaper Clutches Ready to Go

Last week I shared a 15 minute Diaper Clutch I made for a friend's daughter's baby shower. I later decided to add a button from my stash to the front which really adds a nice finish. You can't see the texture too well. Too bad because it was quite pretty.

That one went so smoothly, I made two more for my friend's daughters who are both having babies soon. Here's one of them quilted but not yet bound. I needed to run the Joann's to get some bias binding.

Here's the process of quilting the next one. I played around with both and love how they both turned out!

Here's the quilted clutches still not bound.

And her are both of them finished, filled and just about ready to go to each of the girls.

 I used a coordinating fabric for both on the inside and used Velcro loop closures with buttons on the outside for decoration.

Here's the inside of the blue one. I bought the smallest diapers. Hope they aren't too small. They look as thought they would fit a tiny doll! I also threw in a package of diaper wipes and some bio-degradable wipes in each.

Here's a closer look at the old button I put on this clutch. I is a turquoise with silver in the center. It may have come from my Grandmother's button box.

I need to get back to work on my Tardis block. I did pick up a pillow form today. Our weather has been a bit stormy this week and I  have ended up with three days in a row of Migraines. Unlike some people, it does not accentuate my creativity. It makes me just not want to do much of anything...especially by the third day. I did go to a dinner and a movie with friends last night after a long but fun day at work filled with programs for families. And Thursday evening I went to my hubby's Retied Navy Musician's Reunion. All in all not a terribly productive week but not the worst. A little work, a little play and a little creativity...not bad for a 3 migraine week!