SIMPLY SOPHISTICATED DESIGN WITH A TASTE OF THE UNEXPECTED.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Little Gift Boxes

jill here....I love Pinterest!  I found this cute little homemade gift box idea from a site: doitandhow.com.   If I could create a screen shot, I'd send that but I'm already behind.  You can go to Pinterest and search it for yourself. It's a cute tutorial.

At any rate, it was created with paint selection squares or whatever you call them.  I love those too!  It's really a fun way to see what color schemes are current and lots of other popular combinations someone can try.



They didn't have a five inch squares so I had to cut the larger one down to 4'' and the smaller one to 3".


I marked the backside 1'' in from all sides on the larger, 1/2'' from the sides of the smaller and folded. My edges were not a crisp as I would have liked but it was a test so I moved on.


 This is a view from the inside.  The directions have you cut a small amount out at the corners to allow for a better fold, not so much bulk.   The two loose ends, on each side, were taped with double sided tape to the sides of the box to form a bottom and a lid.


 This is the side view, standing on end, with the lid on.



 The box on top was my first try and the sides of the lid were too shallow (they were only 1/4'').


These are the two experimental boxes that would work great for that special little charm.  The lines that separate the values of color add an interesting element.  Even the printed names are fun.


This was another box the that was made from a heavy gift paper...not quite heavy enough but still cute.

Enjoy a beautiful almost fall day ....'till next Tuesday! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

1 Hue + 4 Fat Quarters = Tutorial for a Fabulous Table Runner

Marny here…I love green! Any green, any value, shade, tint, tone and ranging from blue greens to yellow greens. I just love green.  So here we go. 

Choose 4 fat quarters in four values.  Mine are a light yellow green, a medium yellow green, a medium dark blue green, and a dark yellow forest green.  Remember names are subjective and colors are not accurately photographed on a rainy day in a work room.

These 4 fat quarters are neither blendy nor from a common color scheme.  There is a bit of a discordant conversation going on amongst the various players, but it is a very interesting conversation and the overall product is fabulous.  My advice would be to take a bit of risk with your own favorite hue.  

Showing what remains from the 4 fat quarters of 4 varying greens in 4 values (1 fat quarter of each)

Stack the fat quarters, in no particular order, on top of one another.  Orient the stack so that the long edge of your fat quarters (21'') runs from left to right and the short edge of your fat quarters (18'')  runs from your tummy to a point away from you.  Cut a 1 ½'',a 3 ½'',a 5 ½'' and an 8 ½'' strip.  (These cuts add up to 19'' so you need to cut them along the long edge as described.)

Make 4 piles.  Each pile will have one of each size of strip (1 ½'', 3 ½'', 5 ½'', 8 ½'')
and will have one strip from each color.
Sew each of the piles into a unit using ¼'' seams and pressing each seam open.  I chose to make all 4 units in the same order: starting from the top with a 5 ½'' strip, next the 1 ½'' strip, the 3 ½'' strip and finally the 8 ½'' strip.  You might choose to place your strips in some other order.  There are lots of perfectly wonderful ways to do this.  You do want it to end up, though, so you are not sewing two of the same colors together when you sew units to one another.
First unit

Second unit

Third unit

Fourth unit
Trim the sides of the units. Mine are trimmed to 17'' wide.  The height is 17 ½'' unfinished and determined by the strips being sewn together. 
Time for some design choices.  This layout has each unit with the 8 ½'' strip at the bottom.  But the distribution of the lightest fabric seemed off when I fiddled around arranging the blocks this way.

My solution was to turn one unit (3rd one down) and let two 8 ½'' segments land next to one another.  Since I love the juxtaposition of the medium dark blue green and the medium yellow green I am very happy to have them meet in the middle!

Sewn together and out in daylight.  Now for figuring out whether to quilt it, or just face and flip, or ?.
Till Tuesday…

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Barnyard Fabric Matching Game


Marny here…don't you just love the toddler stage when that little voice proudly gives you the sound each animal or vehicle makes?  I thought a set of images that brought out these sounds would be fun.  Amazingly I had the perfect fabric in my workroom.  Then it dawned on me that if they were pairs of images made into fabric "cards" they could become a matching game and then a memory game as skills were acquired.   
Starting with Free Range fabric from Monaluna.  Cute creatures and objects illustrate the entire alphabet in an overall print.   My matching game project calls for the barnyard animals, tractor and barn buildings.


This tractor stripe is fun for the back of the "cards". 


Lucky me, a supply of fusible fleece awaits on the shelf.


9'' wof strip of fusible fleece fused following the package directions to the back of the tractor fabric.


Pairs chosen and ready to be sewn. 


Rather than spending the time to cut the backing and fleece precisely to size the little image rectangles are pinned, right sides together with the backing fabric.  (The fused fleece is unseen, but against the table.)  Next, I cut crudely around the shapes.  They will be more precisely cut after stitching.


Stitch around, leaving an opening for turning. Then trim around the shape and cut off the corners as shown.


Turn right side out, pushing corners out carefully. Tuck in the edges of the opening and press.


Topstitch all around, close enough to the edge to stitch the opening closed. Perfection not required.  Just a hint, if your machine balks at sewing through the thicknesses just increase the stitch length one or two settings and see if that helps.  


One down, lots to go.
Wanna play?



Till Tuesday…

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Canstruction, Mazes and Hallways

jill here...  Washington DC has some great architecture, outdoor and in.  Last weekend we opted for the indoor version where there was an exhibit of "Canstruction", displays constructed from cans.


We were moving fast due to active little feet (not much time to read)....


You get the picture...very creative ways to build an idea..


This one represents a "Willy Wonka"  candy factory.






This is the impressive building.  Large columns and arched hallways surround the atrium.  The lower portion of the photograph is a large scale maze.


Fun to observe from above without even entering.

Looking even higher is impressive.

The best parts of the building were the hallways...open for a toddler to make a run on a rainy day.
'Till next Tuesday....

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

So cool, the Ice Bucket Challenge

video


Marny here…with something a bit different and personal; my husband challenging other Iowa State team physicians with the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Way to go Pete!!  Hope you all can see the 23 second movie.

Social media has so much potential for good.  The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is an example of social media creating a platform for raising money for and creating an awareness of an extraordinarily important cause.  Here is a link to the ALS Association website.  You can find out a great deal about this progressive neurodegenerative disease and about donating to the association.  The Ice Bucket challenge donations have exceeded expectations and an incredible number of new donors have chosen to contribute. It has been a Facebook and Twitter endeavor, but blogging a bit can't hurt! 

I first became aware of the Ice Bucket Challenge on NFL Countdown the other night (I think it was Thursday).  I know, I know…NFL Countdown.  Chris Berman not only gets his own bucket of water, but Cris Carter's aim is poor and soaks Berman with another bucket full.

Then other videos started trickling in on Facebook, emails, and conversations.  Here is a very touching one.  It puts a human face, and a lovingly humorous face at that, on the challenge.

On Friday I received a "Count Your Blessings" bracelet from dear friends.  The week points me in the direction of just that!! Hug your loved ones, enjoy the good moments, and be grateful. 

Till Tuesday…

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Support Team Cooks Up Tasty Measures

jill here....Our Tasty Measures samples just returned from the Sisters, Oregon show.  Wish we could have seen all the fun quilts.  Back in Iowa, we just couldn't get by without the help of our fan friends!  Isn't this baby Tasty Measures cute as a kitten?  This clever quilter lengthened it to just the right size (for this baby).


The measures are perfect for the scale of fabric prints.


The active cats are a great focus and the little red print adds that pizzazz!


I'm curious about what the print says... Now why isn't there a puppy print as cute as this?

'till next Tuesday....

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Stash Book authors

Marny here…very simple post today.  We are Stash Book authors.  Our rough draft was sent in yesterday.  Now we await further instructions and bind all our quilts like mad before sending them off.  Our publication date of October 2015 seems so far away, but from what we hear, the months will fly by.