W.i.P. Wednesday 03

So a lot of these things were listed on my WIP Wed. post from last week. I had a holiday from work the entire week of Thanksgiving and I managed to get a lot accomplished. So technically, most of these are finished products.
This is a play mat for my cousin. I quilted it without batting so that it would be a flat surface for his cars and trains to drive on. I used a laminated fabric backing so that he can use it outside in the grass, or use the laminate side to play with play-doh, shaving cream, watercolors, or other messy things.
I made two of these "Howdy" towels with pleated maroon fabric on the bottom. The set will be my White Elephant gift at my family's Christmas Eve party. There are tons of Aggies in my family, so I hope that they will be a popular item in the game.
This is another set of two towels, I gave them to my friend Mackenzie for her birthday. She asked for towels that attached to the towel rack so that her twins could not pull them down and drag them around on the floor. There are buttons underneath so that it is secured to the towel rack. The fabric matches a set of pot holders that she recently bought from my Etsy site
This is a 12.5 inch block that I made for a donation quilt. The Austin Modern Quilt Guild is making a quilt to donate to an auction held by Artists Against Cancer. One of our guild members is piecing the quilt top together using blocks made by several of our members. I will be quilting it on the long arm this weekend, and the silent auction will be held on December 11.
I made this Figure 8 scarf last weekend and gave it to my step daughter as a birthday gift. I only had time to take this photo of myself wearing it before going to her house for dinner. It turned out well, and was not difficult to make. At first I sewed the seams down in a funny way and then it wasn't laying flat and I couldn't close it up nicely. It was midnight and so I decided to go to bed and look at it again in the morning. Laying in bed trying to fall asleep, I kept thinking of how to solve the problem, and realized that I needed to rip it out and lay the seams flat before I sewed it down. It is hard to explain without photos, of which I have none, so suffice to say this scarf kept me up at night, but when I tried my proposed solution the next day it worked and the finished product looks fantastic! I would really like to make a few more of these scarves, Anna Maria Horner's kit made it so easy and her instructions are great.

Update on the quilt for my grandma. I am still ripping out the quilting and we only have three days left. My cousin had it for a week and ripped some out and I worked on it for at least five hours yesterday, it gave me a headache. I know we will get it finished, if necessary Robin will come to my house Friday night and we will stay up late and rip it out until it is finished so that we are ready to quilt at nine a.m. on Saturday morning.

I am linking up with the Freshly Pieced blog, go check it out!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


floor quilts, pre-quilted fabric

I have been making these floor quilts for children over the last several months. These are made with pre-quilted fabric, so they are simple to put together. I added some binding and a few of them have ribbon tags to attach toys to. They are intended to give little ones a soft play mat on the floor and can also be used outside in the grass.
I really like the way these pictures came out; they were taken by Bethany Lowen of Betty Lou Project.
Amy Butler, from the Love fabric line


W.i.P. Wednesday 02

Happy Wednesday! I am working on tons of projects now, and today I finally finished six tote bags! Yay! I think I will put these Heather Bailey totes into a separate post later, but I'll give you a little preview today.
folded Heather Bailey totes
Heather Bailey shopping totes
These will be kitchen towels for a friend of mine. She has some potholders that I made using this Helen Dardik fabric from her Mod Kitchen line.

I use these labels from Namemaker on my quilts and pot holders and things. I bought this ribbon from them for the first time and it looks great! I'm going to use it to wrap my floor quilts. I am participating in three craft shows this December and have a few things to do to get ready for that.

This is one of four canvases that I am currently working on. (excuse the horrible lighting, please) This Sunday I am displaying artwork at a local Starbucks. I have a lot to do to finish these, yikes!

I am making this play mat for my little cousin. I sewed the binding on today, and I just need to decide if I am hand sewing or machine sewing the binding to the front.

These are shirts for the twins that I take care of. I bought pants to match these tops. I ironed the pieces on, I just need to finish the applique. Still thinking about which stitch to use- blanket stitch, satin stitch, straight stitch? So many choices, sadly my favorite vine and leaf stitch doesn't work for these animals.

These towels will be for my family's white elephant gift exchange. Most of my family members are big Aggie fans, and when I helped my brother move in to his dorm this fall at Texas A&M I learned that they say "Howdy" to each other. Often. I just need to add some of this maroon fabric to the towels.

This is a quilt that will eventually be for sale in my Etsy shop. I sewed the binding on today and found out that I didn't make it long enough. I need to add one more piece before I can finish that up.

The other projects that I am working on are still just piles of unwashed and uncut fabric for now, so hopefully I will have made enough progress to post them next Wednesday. I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced, click the button to check it out!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Austin Empty Bowl Project 2011

Yesterday I went to the Austin Empty Bowl Project with my mom, aunt, and cousin. Austin area potters and residents donate hundreds of hand made and/or hand painted bowls, and local restaurants and chefs donate soup and bread for the event. Each bowl costs twenty dollars, it is washed and then filled with soup. The money benefits Kids Cafe, an organization that provides hot meals, after school care, and tutoring for Austin children. It is such a fun event, I am really glad that we were able to attend. The first time I went to the Empty Bowl was in 2009 and I bought two bowls.
2009 bowl
2009 bowl
the bowl is darker than this, my camera flash brought out the lighter brown color. I wanted to show the blue that is hiding beneath the surface.

We missed the 2010 Empty Bowl Project because my family was in Rockne at a baptism for this little guy: 

This year I intended to buy only one bowl, but couldn't help myself and I brought home two. They have tables and tables covered with bowls, and as people pick them up to purchase them, volunteers bring more bowls from a back room to fill in the empty space. At the end of the event, there were still lots of bowls left. They will be sold throughout the year at an Austin farmer's market to continue fundraising for Kids Cafe.  
After at least two hours of bowl shopping, I sat down to a bowl of delicious corn chowder from the restaurant Sazon. My mom had the gumbo from Bistrot Mirabelle; I had a taste and it was yummy too. When my cousin and aunt sat down with us, guess what they had...corn chowder and gumbo!
2011 bowl
I bought this bowl with the intention of giving it to a friend for Christmas. Today I realized that I would like to make her a gift from a kit by Anna Maria Horner if I have time. If I do, I will keep this bowl at my house because I love it so.
2011 bowl
again, my flash brought out this red color
Someday I hope to have a large collection of Empty Bowl Project bowls in my kitchen. I can't wait to go again next year. 
my family. Do you like how our photographer didn't include the complete signage in our photo?


W.i.P. Wednesday 01

I bought these adorable fabrics during a recent family trip to Las Vegas.
I already posted pictures of the fabric, but I have finally starting cutting into it. I decided to start pre-washing my fabric, so I had to wash and iron these before I was ready to begin. Washing all of my fabric stash has become a huge project that I probably won't finish until after Christmas.
I am planning to make several shopping totes using the Heather Bailey pattern, New Leaf Folding Totes.These will be Christmas gifts so I really need to get to work.
This weekend I am going on a sewing retreat with the Austin Modern Quilt Guild, I am a member (and officer) of that group. I am really excited to have some dedicated sewing time without the distractions of my computer and the pile of laundry that needs to be ironed.

This will be another Heather Bailey bag. The carrot fabric is technically my lining, but this bag is reversible! I am so excited to see how it turns out; it may be a Christmas gift for someone, but honestly I may need to keep it for myself as an early birthday present.

 Here are some rough photos of a quilt that my cousin Robin and I are working on together. Our grandma will be turning 82 right after Christmas and we decided to each make a quilt top and sandwich them back to back to make one quilt for her. We quilted it last Saturday on the long arm, and it did not turn out well. We decided to rip it out and quilt again on December 3rd. That gives us just enough time to add the binding, take some pictures, and wrap it up for Grandma.
Robin's quilt top: Kona white and various Moda fabrics
My quilt top: at least seven batiks from The Quilt Store

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Two little peanuts

When my dear friend Mackenzie told me that she was pregnant and having twins, I decided to make a quilt for each baby. The first one is made from a pattern called Dot Party designed by the very talented Julie at Jaybird Quilts. I really love the raw edge applique; when I made this I had no applique experience, and raw edge was a good way to introduce myself to the process without being terrified of making mistakes.
Ellisa's baby quilt
The second quilt is made from a pattern called Dancing Squares by Nancy Mahoney.
I really love this quilt, and was sad when it left my home to go live with Hudson. I was able to keep a bit of it though, because of a miscalculation made late at night after a long day of sewing.
When I finished this quilt my aunt told me something that I decided to take as a compliment. "Jessica, when you start these projects I see your color and fabric choices, and I just think, 'I don't know about that...' But once you put it together and I see the finished product, it looks great."
Hudson's baby quilt
The twins, Hudson and Ellisa, were born over a year ago, and they are growing up so fast. I stay informed by reading Mackenzie's family blog, p for peanuts. I have made other things for the twins since they have been born, including the outfits that they wore to their first birthday party. I am excited to continue to watch them grow and change and I plan to make more quilts for them in the future.