Playing with Value

I found a wonderful quilting pattern on Ebay from Alice Brooks.  I made this block for my last round of the 4 x 5 bee and have been wanting to try this block with different values. 
Here is Dictionary.com's definition of Value:
in painting, drawing, etc
a.a gradation of tone from light to dark or of colour luminosity
b.the relation of one of these elements to another or to the whole picture

This is the block idea I've had in my head for awhile. I was inspired by this quilt from Kumiko Fujita's book "From the Quilter's Studio" -  the dark ground, white text and pops of color.

The Bee blocks I did, had less change in value.  They more or less had similar values- light to medium - like this one here with the lighter cross almost matching the white ground:
A little trick I learned to help "see" value is to squint your eyes and look at the subject.  In other words make the shapes blurry so you can just see the differnce in value or darkness and lightness.

Hope you are enjoying this Holiday Week!
Happy Sewing! x


Hoping you had A Happy Holiday!

We had a wonderful holiday here at the Randell House : )

My mom loved her wallet!   She is one to save things instead of use them, so I promptly had her help me move the contents from her old wallet to her new one.    I hope she wears it out so I have an excuse to maker her another one.  She told me her mom would tie a scarf under her chin, just like the kerchief girl, when she was a little girl.  She is a wonderful cook, so I added as many cooking themed fabrics as possible.

I added a zipper pocket and found a cute little notebook at my favorite bookstore in Seattle.

I made dad an art bag to hold his watercolor supplies.  It has a pocket for the watercolor wheel and a water bottle and pockets for his brushes and perfectly fits a 6" x 9" sketchbook or watercolor paper.

The boys got matching p.j's again this year.  Unfortunately, I don't have a good pic!  I miscut one of the p.j. bottoms so I didn't have enough fabric to make the matching top!  I'm going back this evening to get more fabric and finish the project.  Luckily, I found the tops in the pic at a store close by  and added some applique patches to match the pants.

I hope you had a lovely Holiday!


Christmas Gifts

I just spoke with my mom and the phone and she said "You will not Buy a gift for me or your dad."
But I'm thinking MAKING isn't buying, He, he!  I actually made this cute little organizer for myself and thought, what a perfect gift for mom!  You can find the tute here.  It is from Leila and I love all her beautiful creations!! 

I added the button and loop and a little ric rac.

I added the zipper pocket so I can put my change in there.

I'll make my moms with kitchen themed fabric instead of sewing theme fabric.  She is a wonderful cook and is creative in the kitchen!

My plan for dad is a bag we designed together to carry his watercolors when he is out and about making art.  We designed it in the Spring and I think it is high time I finally make it!!

It will have a special little pocket for the watercolor wheel and is just the perfect size for a 6" x 9" notebook.  I think the Echino fabric is perfect!  It is "manly" and my dad loves to ride his bike.

Happy Creating and Happy Holidays to you! 


Fresh Sewing Day *** November 2011

I'm so late on this one.  Lynne over at Lily's Quilts invites other bloggers to share what they have been up to the past month.  I've been so crazy busy I am just now sharing my November accomplishments!

All images can be found on my Flickr Here.

I finished my Cocorico Bee block for Krista, made some dumpling pouches (you can find the tute Here), worked on a secret project, and created a tute and pattern for my little apples.

Must go sew : )
Hope you are enjoying this holiday season!


Apple Tutorial and Pattern Here!!

I finally finished the pattern for these little apples.  Link to the Pattern Here!

If you have any questions/ comments, please leave a comment on this post and I will answer here so everyone can see the response. Tks!!

Paper pieced apple tutorial:

1)   First,   I like to print out a copy of the pattern for reference.

Photo copy the Fabric Cutting Template onto freezer paper, dull side.
Carefully cut out your pattern pieces on the black lines.
I like to sort the pieces in groups by fabric.

2) Iron the pieces to your fabric, right side.
Leave at least a 1/4" s.a. around each piece.

3)    Print out your Foundation Paper Piecing Templates onto copy paper
or Vellum. I have also used heavy wt. tracing paper.
Pls note *** these templates are the mirror image of the actual block.
Position piece #1 over the template. If you are using copy paper, you will have to
hold the fabric up to a light or window to see through the paper to postion the piece correctly.
Pin your fabric in place


4)   Place piece #2 onto piece one matcing your seam line.

Lift piece #2 to and use your freezer paper edge to help match up the seams and pin into place.

 5)  Flip your template over and stitch on the seam line between piece #1 & #2.
I use a small stitch and back tack at the end of each seam line.

 6)  This is how your pieces will look after sewing.

7)   Fold your template back and trim your seam allowance to 3/16".

8)   Continue around piece #1 until you have your apple sewn together.

9)   ****Note that A7 and A8 are stitched together before stitching to A3****

 10)   When you are finished sewing, you will have two apple halves.  Match and pin at seams.  Stitch down the center for your completed apple. 

I added a border and some seeds with a lazy daisy stitch!

Pls comment with any questions and I'll be sure to answer you : )

Marken House for Leila

I just finished my Patchwork Patterns 318 Bee block for Leila.  She requested house blocks and is from the Netherlands  so I did a little research on Dutch architecture.  I came across some incredible houses in the Netherlands that live on the island of Marken. 
 My little house is very loosely based on actual Marken houses.  They don't have button towers and tend to have white trim.  But they do have red roofs and are dark in color!
Of course, in Leila's house there is lots of sewing going on!
She makes the most amazing quilty items : )
  Image of Marken found here. 


Apple and Pear

I've been working on writing a paper piecing pattern for the apple and pear.  I hope to have them up on my blog for free as well as a tutorial. I'll keep you posted!
I'm doing this as a practice run for a more complicated pattern I'm working on.

In other holiday related family news - we got our xmas tree on Sunday.  We started a new family tradition a few years back and drive to the mountains to cut down our tree. 
Every year I underestimate the size of the tree we cut down.  This year I thought we found the perfect size tree but once we got it home we cut off another 3 feet!
It was pretty warm on Sunday so we trudged through the rain and over a small river to hunt down our tree.  I always hope for the idyllic Christmas memory but by the time we got back to the car my four year old was wimpering from being so cold. You can bet, when they are older, they will recall this as an awful miserable tradition : )


Friday Favorites

Some lovelies from Flickr that are inspiring to me.

I made another dumpling
This one is going to live with a lovely Flickr friend.

 I'm just now starting the skirt for Anna's sew along.  Anna's turned out soooo cute!
The sew along ended today, but I hope to get my skirt done this weekend.

I hope to start working on a special paper piecing  project this weekend (I'm so excited and can't wait to share the details) as well as attend a quilt show Here,  and this exhibit at the Nordic Heritage Museum. 

Happy Creating to you!


Ski Chalet

The latest theme for the Cocorico Bee is "Let,s Hit the Slopes" requested by Krista.

I'm embarrassed to say I live in the Pacific NW in Seattle but I don't ski!!   Yep, I can see the Olympics and Cascades from my neighborhood and the mountains are only a few hours away.   I skied a few times as a little girl but never really liked it. I think it was the cold and my fear of falling and hurting myself. So.... when Krista requested her ski theme blocks, I had a super duper hard time coming up with something.   My bee mates are so talented and set the bar really high. Meg made the most amazing ski boot, Amy made a skier - yes an actual person skiing! And Melinda made the cutest ski sweater you've ever seen!!

I visited the Swiss Alps years ago and thought a Swiss Ski Chalet would be fun to make.

This is what I came up with..................
I hope she likes it - it was fun to make.
Happy Sewing to you!


Little Dumplings and a busy October

I've been obsessed about making bags and pouches these days.  My latest is from Keyka Lou.  I love this pattern.  It is super easy and they are so cute -  as in tiny.  This "Dumpling" measures 5.5" x 3.5".  I made it for a special Flickr friend.  I hope she likes it.
I'm also participating in Lynne's small blog meet.
Small Blog Meet

I made a mosaic of my sewing projects for the month.  I have done absolutely nada with my Farmer's Wife blocks.  I miss the farmer - think it is time for a little visit : )

I think, all in all, it was a pretty productive month.  See....lots of bags and pouches with a few bee blocks thrown in.

Have a wonderful day and happy sewing! 


Thinking about the Holidays

So I'm almost done getting ready for Halloween.  I made a vampiress dress for myself and I just need to add the zipper.  I'll post a pic when it is finished.
I hate to even contemplate this, but......the Chrismas Holidays are just around the corner.  My son is in 2nd grade and has a male teacher so I probably won't make him a gift, but my four year old has three female teachers and I thought a lavendar sachet and a gift card would make a lovely gift.
I love this project because it is super easy and a great way to use up your scraps.  And who doesn't love a sachet that reminds them of summer : )


Another Suzuko Koseki Purse

I've taken a little break from my Bee Blocks to do a little sewing for myself.  I made the small log cabin bag from Suzuko Koseki's Patchwork Style and was very happy with the results. 
I just finished another Suzuko Koseki Bag from the same book - The Fan Bag.  I've never made a quilted purse before and I really like the results.  The quilting and batting gives it nice body and it is big enough to carry most of my stuff.  I'm definitely a Big Purse gal.
I'm not sure what is next though I do love this bag by Leila from Suzuko Koseki's latest book - Natural Patchwork.
Happy creating to you!


A Little Bag

I have acquired quite the nice collection of Japanese craft books but have never tried a project until now.  I've been doing alot of very fiddly, precise work with the paper piecing blocks I've been working on and felt the need to do some "free form" sewing.  I picked out the mini log cabin bag from Suzuko Koseki's Patchwork Style.
I used lots of scraps and just had lots of fun improvising as I went.
The bag is quite small - about 8 1/2" long, so I may use it for a pencil pouch.

***Happy Sewing to You***


More crossed off the "to do" list!

I've been in "getting ahead on my to do list" mode.  Although Christmas is almost three months away it will creep up and I want to have plenty of time for my personal holiday sewing.

I finished Annabel's Orchard block for the Cocorico Bee.  I designed it quite some time ago but had almost all day Sunday to work on it and was able to finish it today!

I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.  I love this bee - it really stretches by design abilities.

This little swatch was my inspiration......

I finished my 4 x 5 bee blocks
The pattern is vintage Alice Brooks found on Ebay. 
My collection of bee blocks that I have received totals somewhere around 16.  I'm really looking forward to creating a quilt with them!

 *** happy sewing to you  ***


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along - No Safer Road to Travel

I've been lagging behind in the Farmer's Wife Quilt along but I'm still really enjoying making the blocks when I can.  These two blocks were inspired by a letter titled " No Safer Road to Travel."

My favorite excerpt from the letter:

" To wake up in the early morning to the bird calls, the animal greetings, is better that the best symphony concert ever played.  To see the sun climb out of bed and reach out rosy fingers to pick up the dew drops from field and meadow, and to watch the joyous greeting of all nature, in the summer time, is worth more than silver and gold can buy."
Mrs. E. M. L.
Furnas County, Neb.

Patchwork 318 Bee - The second time is a charm

I've been having sew much fun using my "Patchwork Patterns 318" book from Kumiko Fujita.
Amisha chose a sewing theme and this is the block I chose.
This was actually my second try and I like how it turned out!  I was inspired by Faith's spools here.
You should really check out the Flickr Group here.  Kerry and Leila created some adorable blocks and I can't wait to see the remaining three blocks! 

Happy Creating to you!


My New Toy

My dear hubby got me a Holga camera last year for my birthday.  Yes.... last year and I finally took it out of the box, read the instruction manual I found online, loaded film and snapped some pics at our little vaca in Okanogan County in Northeastern Wa State. 
I am over the moon with this camera.  It is a plastic toy camera and its intrigue lies in the fact that it leaks light.  It creates some amazing effects.
You can really see the light leaks on this photo.

I think the light effects on this one are just amazing.

Now I'm dreaming of a trip to Paris or the English countryside to take more pics with my Dear Holga!

Happy Creating to you : )