These Three

These three lovely ladies arrived on US soil over the weekend!

That’s my 13-year-old niece, my 6-year-old niece and my sister, arriving at the airport. We had a great time over the weekend, shopping, eating, and catching up.

We spent a day at the Milwaukee Art Museum with my dad, and got to see a quilt exhibit. How lucky for me! All of the quilts were from the mid-1700s to mid-1800s. Sorry, no cameras were allowed in the exhibit.

I thought this sculpture was really beautiful.

And then I got closer to see what it was made of – buttons!

The coolest thing about the Milwaukee Art Museum is the actual building. If you time your visit right, you can watch the wings open above the building. What’s that, you say? Check out these two pictures:

Here they are closed:

Here they are almost completely open:

Next weekend, we are hosting the annual family reunion at our house, so I have about four days to get caught up and get ready.

Believe it or not, I have been sewing a lot lately!

I finished two custom orders for customers of my shop, so I hope to share more on those later this week.

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Sign-ups for the Ornament Swap in July are closed. My sister and a friend of hers from China have joined in the fun! (Don’t worry, if you get their names. You can mail your ornaments to my house in the US to avoid shipping costs to China, and I will just hand them to my sis. Easy peasy.)

I hope to email your partner information to you by the weekend. Stay tuned, if you are participating! Hope everyone enjoyed a fabulous summer weekend, if you were in the US celebrating Independence Day.

Color Wheel Happiness

I try to maintain a relatively short list of unfinished projects. Today, I am happy to show you my most recent finish – my color wheel dresden plate mini quilt!

I quilted a few circles in the center, and lines radiating through each dresden to make this dresden plate look like a sun. I just love how it turned out!

I used a fabric for the backing that had a rainbow of colors similar to the front. I also used a binding fabric that had circular shapes, similar to the front. I think this is one of my favorite quilt projects, even though it’s only a 16-inch square. It’s going to hang in my sewing room to radiate happiness and inspiration.

Right now, my unfinished list is at about seven projects. I have three quilts that just need binding, fabrics cut for three quilts that need piecing, and my patchwork blocks from Sew,Mama,Sew’s April Quilting Month II need to be quilted and bound. I’m going on a quilt retreat next weekend with some infamous bloggers (Shelly S, Shelly P, Andrea, Mary, Doris, Amanda, Toni, Rene , Heather and Victoria), so I should be able to make a dent in a few things on my to-do list. For now, I’m giddy with color wheel happiness!

Spring Productivity

I rarely go into a weekend without a list. Do you do that? It seems like those two full days I have away from work can get filled up so quickly. But I really like to be able to savor those two days, so I jot down a weekend agenda of ideas for us, from chores to fun.

Some weekends we stick to the agenda and other weekends we just wing it. Sometimes our weekend free time depends on the weather. We woke up to snow and cold on Saturday, but Sunday was a beautiful take-a-nap-outside kind of day.

This particular weekend, I wanted to get a few specific sewing projects done. These semi-secret minis are for a special giveaway coming up. Stay tuned for more on that!

I’m happy and relieved I sewed the bindings onto my three recently finished quilts. I just need to hand stitch them as I get free time (or the next time we rent a movie). If it hadn’t been for my to-do list, I probably would have put off this task because it kinda felt like a chore.

I finished that pillow cover I pieced together last month. I am trying to use up the scraps in my scrap basket full of the lovely Sis Boom fabric left overs.

I love string-pieced blocks, but I wish they used up more scraps. I can’t seem to make a dent in that pile! These pillow covers are a fun way to turn a mini quilt project into something so useful as a pillow. Plus, they are a great small project to practice my free motion quilting skills.

Of course, I had to add the pom-pom fringe because it makes people smile when they see that extra detail. Now I’m happy to report it’s listed in my shop.

My weekend list is completely checked off, and I’m ready for a fresh week of spring and new projects.

Just Because

It is only mid-March, but we are taking advantage of our spring weather. On Monday evening, we sat out on the patio, relaxing and listening to all the birds that are back in town.

Dave decided we should have a small campfire… just because. Wish you could have joined us!

Custom Order for Two Bags

My mission this weekend was to complete a custom order I received from one of my sister’s friends. Wahoo, another custom order for my shop!

cheerful fabrics for custom order

One of my sister’s friends in China requested two zippered bags to carry her techie gadgets. She requested patchwork in cheerful fabrics similar to my zippered bags and laptop bags, so I selected these fun fabrics in various pinks and reds.

Since she wanted cheerful, I used this fabric for the  lining. These charming birds and the whimsy connecting them remind me of spring and happy days.

cheerful fabric for lining

She needed a zippered bag to carry her MP3 player and headphones.

zipper bag for mp3 player
zipper bag for mp3 player

She needed another zippered bag to carry her DVD player.

zipper bag for dvd player

Using the measurements she gave me of her DVD player and MP3 player, I drew templates onto cardboard to gauge the size and fit. I am getting hooked on sketching patterns and templates to work my way through a custom order or new project idea.

template for mp3 player bag

I added handles to both bags with the option to disconnect them if she wants to carry them inside her tote bag. I think (hope) they will both work fine for her needs.

template for dvd player bag

Mission completed, which makes me happy this Monday! I’m always honored when someone asks me to make a custom patchwork project for them. I am so in love the bright, girlie colors of these bags, so I hope my new customer likes them as much as I do!

Monday Appreciation

To keep up with the Makes Me Happy Monday blogging theme started by Paula, I am happy that I had such a productive weekend.

I finished my Darla quilt and pillow.

I finished quilting my Mod Girls quilt, and just need to sew on the binding before I can share full pictures of it. I stippled all  58 inches by 78 inches with my little Husqvarna machine, and it was an exhausting couple of hours, so I’m happy it’s almost done!

My boss and several other people at work are out of the office this week for a conference. Know what that means? A quiet week where I can get all those work projects done that I’ve been procrastinating. You know me, I’m the queen of procrastination. Happy Monday!

Made Me Happy Monday

Have you seen the new blogging theme Paula started – Makes Me Happy Mondays? Sometimes I struggle to feel cheerful and sunny on Mondays, especially those Mondays when I have to go to work, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon.

I am happy this Monday because I went to a concert tonight to see my favorite rock band! Hope everyone else had a happy Monday too!