Monday, December 19, 2016

When Inspiration Strikes

The sun is shining, it's 77 degrees outside.  That is all supposed to change tonight.  The forecast states that we will drop to the single digits.  Seriously?  That's almost a 70 degree change.  CRAZY.  Well, what I'm trying to say is that we decide to take advantage of the morning and walk down to White Rock Coffee for a late breakfast (Mister slept til 10 - unheard of) and exercise all at once.  Moments of "just us two" are indeed treasured for me as this time of year doesn't provide many due to my sweethearts job.

After a delightful visit and walk, we arrive back home and I settle in on the sofa with a new book gifted to me yesterday by Allison.  I am content for all of about 10 minutes when my eyes light up and I just KNOW what to do for my kids/grands for Christmas.  Yep, it's the 17th of December and about time right?  Well now, in all honesty, we have selected a family gift for each home but this is just a little something extra and "made by Mom/Gammy".  Within moments I have located a layer cake AND 3 sets of sample cards with the same pattern on them - all treats I set aside from a recent Moda trip, just waiting for the right minute to come and play.  Today is the day.

I need to make 5 of these so most of the squares come from the layer cake and a few from the sample cards.  The squares for the project are on the left and everything else, including strings are here as well.

Off to the living room I go to layout 5 nine-patches.

That doesn't take too long and I am off to my sweet Cocoa for some quick seams.

I'm a webber (for some reason that started "I'm a Pepper" in my head -- sorry if you have an ear worm now too) and get the first columns sewn together.

Now to start on the last column.

Yep -- webbed and ready to stitch the cross seams.

Within no time there are five big blocks laying on the living room floor.  Well that went quick and easy.  Now for batting.

Well. dang it anyway.  Someone had a bright idea a few months ago to put the batting on a roller on the midarm frame and then load a quilt.  What does that mean?  First -- that I am dang lazy and haven't quilted poor Easy Street in months and Second -- that I can't access my batting.  Deep breath and I am off to the batting scraps.  Can I sew these together enough to make the five battings I need.  Out comes Lady Elna with her lovely zigzag to the rescue and I BARELY scrape together enough.  But I DO.  Woot woot.  That took longer than the whole first step.  Ugh.  Now onto backings.  I have two families with just girls so am using three of the coloring backs that LeeAnn gifted me awhile back (must be sewn together).  Another 2 yard piece of white dot yardage nets me three more backs - with a little sewing of the last piece.  Phew.  Where is this day going?  I thought I could just whip these out TODAY.

I have gone back to the sofa and cut all the remaining fabric for the button pouches, ties, and binding.  This is what I have left and I'm not at all sure that it won't be used too.

Back to the machine as it's time to make the ties and bindings,  A little fun when I have them all chained together.  Let's iron.

I have to get a little creative on the button pouches as I don't have enough of each fabric to make them all completely matching.  It's okay, just playing takes time.
Speaking of playing.  Mister has made a trip to Tuesday Morning and returned with buttons, buttons, and more buttons.  I find him in the office playing until he has a set of nine buttons of each color.  Now, follow along here -- I don't want to discourage his help but I have to ask him if he thought the project through all the way.  I told him I needed 9 colors and 9 buttons of each one.  He's done that.  For some reason I didn't tell him that he needed to multiply that times 5 and he didn't go there on his own.  He throws up his hands and gives up for the night.  No worries.  There's always tomorrow.

I have sewn all the ties, button pouches (look like envelopes) and as much binding as I had fabric for. I'm tired and ready to call it a night.  OH.  By the way, it is now 29 degrees outside.  Brrrrrr.  Goodbye butterfly bush.  Maybe next year you'll come back and play.

Good morning!!!  It is 15 degrees out and I'm staying in my jammies and sewing up a storm.  First thing I do is get one top marked and sandwiched before my walking foot and I become very good friends.  I'm using a spray baste as I just don't want to pin and these are only 30" across.  I think I can hold that tight enough.

Turn the heat on in here.  Dang, it's kind of chilly by this window but I need the blinds open to give me more light.  It's time to quilt.

I time this first one so that I have an idea of how long I will be at this today.  It takes 30 minutes.  As I go out to mark the second one, Mister shows up and offers to help.  I was just eyeballing the lines as I was marking but some people have OCD in one way and some have it in different ways.  This is one of HIS way, so out came a paper and pen.  It doesn't matter to me --- I just appreciate his help in any manner he wishes to give it.

Sandwich two and I are off to the machine and this process continues until all five have been quilted.

Mister now has plates out and is once again tackling the button issue.  He gets them all sorted by color onto plates and then determines that we just don't have enough.  I go out to the studio and bring in two more pouches that I have leftover from other projects and he is soon sorting away again.

The binding is going on and after three I have run out.  Yep, my fear has happened.  I go back to those strips that are left and cut anything I can down to the right size and then I sew the 2" and 1 1/2" strips together, cutting them to the right size.  With all of that and using ALL I can, I make it around the fourth one.  That's it though,  There simply isn't another bit of fabric to be found.

A quick dash to the studio --- yes QUICK -- it's freezing out there -- and I have found a piece of yardage to make the binding for the last one.  Soon that is cut and on.  Goodness.  Now all I have to do is hand stitch them all down.

OH and buttons.  Where was I?  Yes, after all of Mister's sorting, he still doesn't have enough.   It's 4:30 and everything closes at 6 so we bundle up and get out of the house for a little while.  First stop is a different Tuesday morning where we find some, then across the street to JoAnn's where we find another set only because I have a coupon (they are twice as much as Tuesday Morning) and back to the Tuesday Morning by the house for a few more.  We have now spent about $50.00 on buttons but I have my fingers crossed that some can go back.  It's time to get back home.

I settle into my chair by the Christmas tree and Mister is back to the office to play with his buttons.  The opportunity is missed by me of a photo with the plates overflowing with buttons but he manages to get 5 sets of 81 buttons put together and into their pouches.  Meanwhile, I finish the binding on the first little quilt.

Isn't this just dang cute?  Yes, I still need to brush the chalk off which is why you can see the yellow lines.

Now to see the finished product.  The button pouch is closed and placed at the top in the center of the pad.  The left side folds over and then the right side so that it is in thirds.  With a quick roll-up, TA-DA, we simply use the ties that are attached and the whole thing is ready to go.  I LOVE it so much.

Once again, though, I am tired and ready to quit.  I manage to get one more bound before sleep becomes necessary and I still have to do the directions and stuff tomorrow.  See you then.

It's another chilly morning here in Dallas and I start it out sitting by my Christmas tree and binding the last three pads.  I can call these finished (the sewing part anyway) by 11:00 a.m.  Yay.  Now onto the next part.  I find the game ideas page in the book and make five copies of it and then sit down with 16 pages containing 4 Sudoku game grids each.  Using some online games, I make "set-ups" for 4 pages of easy, medium, and hard.  This gives each family quite a bit of fun no matter their level and the idea sheet has fun for those who are too young.  There's always Tic-Tac-Toe with buttons too.  By the time I'm finished, I literally have writer's cramp.  We don't write enough anymore.  Now I only have one task to do tomorrow and these are going in the mail -- PRIORITY.  The task?  Oh, I have to make 5 sets of photocopies of the grids.  NO WAY I'm writing all those out and I'm also not using my own ink for it.  Office Max/Depot here I come.

Thanks for stopping in.  I'm super excited about these and am thinking I may make one for here at the house for summer camps too.  Merry Christmas everyone.


  1. OH. MY. STARS. WOMAN!! You are like a honey badger when inspiration hits you!!! I'm delighted that my gift inspired you and simply amazed at your energy to produce five of these for your family. Kudos to you and Mister for button round up and taming. I shake my head at your creative shenanigans. What fun!!! Hugs, Allison in Plano

  2. What a fabulous idea - love to watch your projects in process!!