Friday, September 26, 2008

Changito Card

I made these for a card swap earlier in the year. Apparently I took the picture before I stamped the sentiment -- which just said "Hang in there." I stamped it with some little rubber stamp alphabet that I got at Hobby Lobby 1/2 off for like $3 or something. I stamped the image and the sentiment (which went under the image on the patterened paper near the right side of the image) in SU!'s Close to Cocoa ink. I have used this Changito image before and colored him in, but with the color scheme I used on this card, I didn't think it needed any coloring. You could also use the sentiment "Thanks a Bunch" or something like that with this image.
As I said before, I usually like to mass-produce -- partly because we do a monthly card swap, so I'm usually in that mode, and partly because I'm always trying to build up my stash. Now my stash is too big, and I find that I need to use the cards more quickly than I have been. However, I am overall a "more is better" kind of person. I don't know why that is, but I don't often just make one card. I think I have done that ONE time for one of my friend's birthdays. Because I'm a quilter first, I cut all my mats and cards with a rotary cutter and my self-healing mat. I find it makes them more uniform. I cut each mat 1/4" bigger than the previous one as a general rule. Sometimes I'll cut it 1/2" bigger if I want to see more of the mat. I do all the stamping at the same time. I cut all the mats together. I do kind of an assembly line production (although I am the entire assembly line unless my daughter helps me with putting the sticky tabs on the backs of things).

I started out using more of the rubber stamps. I went to a Stampin' Up! party and bought some. Those were my first stamps. Shortly after that I went to the clear stamps. I do like them better, because it's so much easier to see what you're doing, but some of the clear stamps don't hang on to the ink very well, so you get sort of a sketchy stamping effect. I know I need to use a chalk ink or something on those kind. I've only been stamping for about 7 months. I was a scrapbooker before that, but never with stamps. It was something I always looked at and thought I didn't want to get started on, because you have to buy so much stuff -- all the different colors of ink and so many stamps, et cetera. Well, I was right. Once you start, there's no going back. However, I am totally hooked. We started our first card swap in November 2007. I didn't use any stamps until I think the March card swap. It could have been February, so it could be 8 months that I've been stamping. Anyway, I totally love it, and I have a hugely long list of all the stamp sets that I still want. One of these times I will show you my first few cards so you can see my progression.

Okay, so anyway, enjoy!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tiddly Winks Baby Quilt

This is just a quick post, because it's nearly my bedtime. I made this quilt about a year ago for my husband's brother's first baby girl. I wanted it to be trendy, not frilly, but also not masculine. This is one of my favorite baby quilts that I've made. The fabric is from the Tiddly Winks line. I'm afraid that off the top of my head I can't recall who did that fabric line, and I'm too tired to do the research. You'll have to Google it yourself.

My friend has an embroidery machine, so she embroidered a label for the back. Clearly, I didn't take a great picture, since you can't even see anything on the label, but as I said, I don't have the quilt anymore, so I can't take a better one. You can even see the flap of the box I was about to put it in so I could ship it. I think she was three months old by the time I finally sent it. Timeliness with gifts doesn't seem to be my strong suit. What is that?

I love putting fun fabrics for the back of the quilt, not just boring solid, plain fabrics. I like it to be nearly as fun as the front.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy. I'm looking mostly to inspire and share, but if anyone wants any help recreating something here, leave me a comment, and I can give you more detailed instructions.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stationery Card Gift Set

So I go back and forth between whether I should post cards or quilts or something else altogether. You're getting cards today. I made this for one of my daughter's friend's birthday -- turning 10. Her favorite color is blue, so naturally I had to be obliging. I stole this idea from Mish Mash, as I do with so many of my ideas. I made eight cards all the same that say "From the desk of Sidney." I used PaperTrey Ink's Simple Alphabet stamp set for the lettering. The monogram-style letter is one I got at Joann's, but I don't know who made it, since I threw away all the packaging except for the plastic bag it came in. Shame on me.

I do usually mass-produce my cards anyway, but this particular project necessitates it. The paper is from a package I got at WalMart. The solid blue came with the floral print. The brown may have been in the same package, or it may have been from my stash. I'm sorry, I really don't know who made the paper. I'll have to get better at keeping track now that I'm blogging. I stamped the lettering as well as the monogram in Stampin' Up!'s Close to Cocoa. I sponged the edges of the monogram with a Martha Stewart Bamboo ink as well as the edges of the white card base. I just buy my cards with envelopes from Wal-Mart -- their bonus notecards with 50 for like $5.79 (used to be $4.99).

I inked the edges of the floral paper with SU!'s Close to Cocoa as well. The flower on the envelope is from Paper Trey's Garden of Life -- stamped in Martha Stewart Bamboo and Blue Sky ink -- and the "for You" sentiment is from Stampendous' Hey There Cupcake stamp set stamped in Close to Cocoa.

I had this box left over from one of the Paper Trey stamp sets that I purchased -- knowing it would come in handy someday. However, I know you can buy these from Paper Trey's website. The brown band is just cardstock from my stash. I made sure that the seam was in the front so I could cover it with my little "S" label. I tied it all up with a piece of brown organza ribbon, but I forgot to take a picture of it. My kids said their friend could not open it fast enough. Glad to know she loved it! I hope you do too. It's an easy gift for girls of a certain age (and their mothers).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Quilting -- Finally!

So, since this is called "The Bossy Quilter," I figured I should put some quilts up here. Ya think? This quilt is one that I pieced about 5 years ago (I remember cutting it out while I was nursing Cade, who will be 5 in a week), but I have just recently put it on the hoop to quilt. I'm about half done with the quilting. My sister-in-law, Jill (who will be mentioned probably quite often on this blog since she shares my love of quilting), gave me some fat quarters for my birthday (which is in July) one year, and since I love patriotic quilts and stars, this is what came from it. I had to add some fabrics from my stash too. I am now regretting my own additions, because what she sent me was quilt-store quality, and what was in my stash was Joann's. Now, I appreciate Joann's and am not opposed to using that level of fabrics. However, Joann's and quilt-store quality should never be mixed, because they will fade at different rates, and then you will be sad. I'm sure I will witness this as soon as I wash this quilt. Then I'll have to post a picture of it for you all. I have learned much in the five years since I pieced this quilt, and I hope I am getting better.
I do prefer to work on the hoop, because I don't have a gargantuan living room in which to set up my quilt frame. I do have a scrolling quilt frame, which I love!, but since this is a small quilt, the hoop is easier, and I can sit with my husband and work on it while he watches football. Then we're together even though I don't have any interest in football except where BYU is concerned and even then only marginally, and he really doesn't have any interest in quilting except where the finished product is concerned and even then only insofar as it can keep him warm. No, truly, I have a husband who appreciates the aesthetics of quilting and who is properly enthusiastic when I finish something (since it is a momentous occasion when that happens -- not my strong suit). When I told him I was doing this blog, he said, "How fun." He was not being sarcastic. He was being sweet, especially since I really deserved something along the lines of, "Do you really think you need another hobby?"

Closer up you can perhaps see that I am quilting on either side of the seam lines inside the stars and just around the muslin hexagons. This is a one-block quilt -- all made from the diamond shape. The tumbling blocks quilts are made the same way but with different color patterns to make it look completely different. Here's a tutorial on how to do the tumbling blocks. Since I am so new to this, I just don't know how to make something link to just the phrase, so I'll have to keep putting in the links with the web addresses till I get smarter.

Okay. Onward!

This is current project #2.

It is made from Moda's Simplicity line by 3 Sisters. I'm not normally a flowery, pastel kind of girl, but this line as well as Seaside Rose (also by 3 Sisters) just grabs me. I haven't had a baby girl in almost 9 years, so I should not ever be buying stuff like this, but I can't help it. People always ask me "What's it for?" with regard to my quilts. Silly, naive people, quilts are not always "for" anything or anyone. Sometimes they just need to be made because they're beautiful. I have a large number of children who always want a blanket to snuggle under while they watch TV (even in the summer, because the AC freezes them), so you can really never have enough blankets -- even in Texas. I'm tellin' ya.

I typically draw out a quilt ahead of time. I don't always buy fabric with a specific quilt in mind, so then I have to design one. I love sawtooth stars, and especially stars within stars, so I decided to put different things in the middle instead of just a plain old square.

A four-patch in the center.

I do label the blocks in my quilt and number them so I know what order to put them in. Then I number the rows so I will know which row goes next to what. I label things on my diagram too. Even with all that, sometimes I end up putting things in the wrong place. Oh well, quilting isn't an exact science.

I think this is my favorite block -- with the diagonal strips in the center. It's just so fun to me. Yes, I am feeling so clever about this quilt, however, I am feeling a little sheepish about the level of blurriness in my photos. I am not so good with the close-ups. I turn off the flash so they don't wash out, but somehow I guess my arm isn't steady enough. I'll post a picture when I get the quilt top put together. I have several other quilts to show you, but I'll probably have to put them on a different post, because my eyes are bugging out of my head now, and I should probably go make my bed or something equally mundane. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cupcake Friday Sketch Challenge #33

I often go on the blog She always has a sketch challenge on Friday, called Cupcake Friday. Anyway, I've always looked at it, never done it. This will be my first. This card is for TECC33. The picture is really dark, but if I turn on the flash on my camera, then it gets washed out. Anyway, my first sketch challenge. Not great, but a decent start.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

So this be my first blog. Blogger was giving me grief for quite some time about my settings and whatnot. Anyway, I'm teaching a quilting group for the ladies in my church, and our joke is that if they just do what I tell them, they'll be fine. Anyway, my friend, Angela, calls me the bossy quilter. So here it is. This is going to be rough at first, since I'm a newbie, but hopefully this site will inspire your creativity. It's the Bossy Quilter, but since I dabble in so many hobbies, I'm going to post all kinds of projects. I'm going to start with the apron I made for an apron swap I did earlier in the year. I made another for my friend, Debbie, for her birthday on the 4th of July and then a similar-looking one for my sister-in-law, Jill, for her birthday on the 24th of July. Please, forgive my typing. I'm used to autocorrect in Word. I'll see if I can figure out how to post pics too. Okay, so I got the pictures on, but I put them in the wrong place -- up top. I'm going to post it anyway and do better next time.