Friday, August 29, 2014

End of Summer Tablescapes

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Cuisine Kathleen has issued another tablescape challenge!  

This time, it is "A Farewell to Summer" & she forbids anything "FALL" to be shown.
Us Northerners never want Summer to end, so we don't rush that Fall season (although it IS my favorite) because we know what comes after it.
When I lived in FL, I couldn't wait for summer to end!

We haven't done much entertaining this summer, as my hubby hasn't been feeling well.
However, I did have the gals from my new neighbor's sewing retreat come over for lunch a few times.  They currently live in Atlanta so they truly appreciated Ohio's less humid weather.

It has been a lovely summer here with cool breezes & moderate rainfall every few days.
I think I've turned the lawn sprinklers on only TWICE the entire summer! 


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This little table for four was set up in my sewing room, just for dessert.  I used these small "Agapanthus" printed luncheon plates on moss green QUILTED placemats with pretty scalloped edges.

Purple & yellow were the primary colors, with mimosas being served in amethyst champagne flutes. 
My neighbor has agapanthus blooming right across from my gazebo, but did I remember to capture a photograph before they died?  Noooo...bad blogger, bad!


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I used Annie Sloan chalk paint for the first time ever, to paint the base of this domed pastry server.  
Rubbing that wax on & off really gives your arms a work out!

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I used ASCP "Versaille" color, which matched my newly purchased, hand-painted hutch.

Isn't she DARLING???  I just love the little birds on twiggy branches.  
This gives me a place to set up tea & coffee along with cream & sugar/sweeteners, leaving more room on the table for food.
There are two shelves with lots of storage space behind those pretty doors.

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I even painted this strip of wood on the front of the TV cabinet to match it.  Wish I was brave enough to try painting some birds on it!  

My friend suggested stencils, so I may try to find one that is similar.  I just placed my little white ceramic birdie nearby, to continue the theme.

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I have a new secretary in the sewing room also, which I'm using to display my teacup collection.
It works perfectly when there is a bigger crowd, such as a recent quilt class I held here.


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Let me leave you with a mouth watering shot of one of the desserts I made for the sewing retreat gals...LEMON BREAD!!!  You KNOW how much I ♥♥♥ LEMON!!


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No recipe...just buy the box mix by Carnation...Delish!

Thanks for hosting the party, Kathleen.  It is always fun to join other tablescapers & see all the pretty dishes on display.

Thank YOU for stopping by The Gazebo House today.

If you come by next week, I hope to share some pictures of a quilt class I took yesterday with Sue Jones on her "Colorful Cubes" quilt pattern.

Here is a snippet of the various blocks made by each of the gals in the class, stuck to a flannel design wall, as they finished their first block.  Even with the wide variety of fabrics, this grouping would make a cool quilt.
Can you guess which block is mine?


   

More info about it later...I hope you have a SAFE Labor Day weekend!  Enjoy the last holiday of the summer!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Quilted “Cinch It” Tote Bag

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My latest project, which I quilted on the long arm, is this darling "Cinch It Tote Bag"
from the free pattern on the website, All People Quilt
Here is their version...I just tucked my sides inward to form the different shape you see above, in my photo.



You might have to register to download the complete instructions.  Do so...you won't regret it.
I love that site...so many great ideas!

I also constructed mine a little differently, from their instructions, as I put a backing beneath the batting & pretty French Provincial fabrics, so I could quilt it on my Innova long arm machine.
They have you quilt just the top & batting, without a backing, on your domestic machine.

I hope you can see that I used a Fleur-de-Lis block pattern, which came in my Auto Pilot program, in keeping with the Frenchy goodness of the fabrics.  I didn’t want it too heavily quilted, just enough for an accent.

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Side view of the boxed corner.
Below is the one my sewing buddy, Anne J. made from the same pattern.

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We shopped for her fabric together at Ohio Star Quilt Shoppe &
started to work on the totes together at my house one day.
We each completed them on our own at home.  

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I love how she was able to embellish her plain yellow strips with an embroidery motif that mimics
the floral swirling vines in the fabric.  Brilliant idea & Nice job, Anne!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Whimsical Cupcake Birthday Party

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My sweet granddaughter, Ms. C. turned 10 this past weekend & we held a little family gathering just for our immediate family at my house.

  She had a "Pool-Pizza Party" earlier in the week with all her little cousins & friends... I heard it was a blast!  She is like her Nana Rett...we believe in celebrating birthdays all week long!

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I went with the *Cupcake* theme this year...even the balloon at her place setting was a large cupcake.

The tablecloth is a piece of "PUL" waterproof fabric that I lucked out on, finding an entire bolt of at Tuesday Morning.

  You can make all kinds of things from it...like bibs & diaper bags, lunch totes & diaper covers.  Anything that needs to be waterproof...such as a raincoat or beneath a picnic quilt for protection.

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I started each place setting with my Oneida white "Wicker" plates as the base, (certainly didn't need any more patterns with that tablecloth) then each person's spot got a different whimsical salad plate on top.  Most were cupcakes but there were some ice cream floats & cake in there, too. 


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Each place setting got a helium balloon, in the shape of a flower, tied to some water sticks...they are weighted & you throw them out into the pool & then dive down to gather them, getting points for each one, as indicated on the ends of them.  They worked perfectly as balloon holders, added a fun touch of color to the table & she got to take them home with her when the party was over. 


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 A pair of 14K gold little hoop earrings were hidden in this little box, sitting right at the top of her place setting.  She just got her ears pierced last year & has been asking for some hoops.


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There were lots of other presents, too, all in the same "Cupcake" theme packaging.

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As a tradition & a nod to my deceased Mother, I had to have a bowl of classic pillow mints on the table, in one of her milk glass candy dishes, since she always set some out for our childhood special occasions.  My Mother didn't live long enough to meet any of my grandchildren, but I know she would have adored them all.

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I placed 18 cupcakes, with PINK & YELLOW icing, on my cupcake tower & used that as a centerpiece.

My dramatic nighttime shot didn't come out as well as I thought it would.  The setting sun comes in that high dining room window in the summer time & casts the most beautiful glow to the table.  I'll try to capture it better next time.

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You can see I used my Dollar Tree "Happy Birthday" stemware again.  I'm  getting a ton of use out of them, as they have so many happy colors on them, they work with any tablescape. 

We had sparkling PINK lemonade in them, along with fried chicken & macaroni & cheese,  Italian salad (all her favorite foods), green beans (not such a favorite) & soft little buns with real butter from under my newest butter dome!

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The butter dish was a belated birthday gift from my younger sister, Weeziebug...Thanks, Weezer!

It is a "Princess House Design"...very delicate & beautifully etched.  It matches some goblets that I own, so next time, I'll put those out with it.


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There was also some fresh fruit on the table in these two little "Quilted" looking milkglass bowls.

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I just love that cross-hatch pattern & look forward to doing some of that with my new machine soon.

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I very rarely...as in NEVER...post pictures of my grandkids online anymore, for safety's sake, but I just had to share how much she has grown & how long her hair is getting, too.
(sorry but I had to blur her face)  She is a sweetheart of a child & the light of my life!
Happy 10th Birthday, Princess C!!!
I'm linking this post to Cuisine Kathleen's "Whimsical Summer Tablescape Challenge" this month.

Do stop by her blog on Wednesday evening to see all the other participants.  If you dishes, like I dishes, you'll be overwhelmed with the variety & talent that is shared there.
 
Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today.
I'll be back soon with some more quilted items & a link to a free pattern to make a very easy & cute tote bag with grommets for the handles.  I've been sewing up a storm!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

New toy!

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  Don't you hate it when bloggers start off saying they've been "too busy to blog"
...as if, other people aren't busy, too? 

HOWEVER, I have a very good excuse this time!!!!

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That truck brought my "NEW TOY" to the house on May 3rd & it has been crazy-busy-fun times ever since.
I bought a 26" Innova Long Arm quilting machine on a 12' frame.
It has Auto Pilot robotics & Lightening Stitch, 
which is their super-D-duper stitch regulator that can do consistently even stitches, up to 3000/min.
  I could never quilt that fast!

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Prior to arrival, I spent days cleaning/clearing spaces, & rearranging furniture to make room for it.

This is only 1/3 of my sewing room...the other areas have my sewing machine, serger & long cutting table.  There is just as much room on the other side, where DH has his work bench & I have my fabric stash...AKA "the dry goods store".  *wink*

I feel so blessed to be able to play & create in such a lovely area. It is what sold us on buying this house in the first place & I will never take it for granted.
I used to sew in a VERY small corner of our master bedroom in FL.  This is SEW much better!!


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It took their technician, Rick, two full, very long days to assemble it.
It has taken me much longer to get the hang of using it! 

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There is a learning curve to it, no doubt about it, but thankfully, the software is very similar
to my Embird program, that I've used for 15 years,
doing machine embroidery.

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Auto Pilot comes already loaded with 532 different, very beautiful designs.
Some are specific for inserting into blocks & some look best when repeated, as in an edge to edge design or in long spaces, like sashing.

I've also found some freebies, online, 
for using on Quilts of Valor.  
(I am working on two of those right now...pictures soon)

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She is sleek & clean-modern looking & glides like a dream...
not heavy or jerky at all.

You'll have to help me think of a name for her.
All suggestions are welcome!

Don't you ♥♥♥ the pretty Turquoise COLOR I picked for my saddle chair?

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We drove 5 hours, to Accomplish Quilting in Stevensville, MI for me to attend classes on its operation.  
They are very knowledgeable people with wonderfully helpful attitudes!
I highly recommend them.
 

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My first project (after a few practice sandwiched swatches)
was this little baby quilt for my great niece, who is due in July.
 
I used an overall pattern, aka *edge to edge* quilting, called "Celtic Braid" that is built into the Auto Pilot program.
I thought that was appropriate for a baby who is the great-great granddaughter of my very Irish Mom, Peggy O'Neil.

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Then, I made TWO quilts, exactly the same, to go over the foot of the cream bedspreads I have on the twin beds in my guest room.

It will be nice for the grandkidlets to curl up & snuggle under THESE quilts, when they visit, rather than climb under the bedspreads, just to read a book or watch TV. 
I won't have to remake the beds either!  LOL 

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The edge to edge quilting pattern is called "Green Tea Leaves", by One Song Needle Arts.

To make the quilts, I followed this free pattern, called "Jelly Roll Jam" on the Fat Quarter Shop website.  Easy~Peasy!


There is even a wonderful video to show you how it is done. 
It looks much more complicated than it really is.

These took 2 jelly rolls apiece to make.  The video shows a baby sized quilt, made with only one jelly roll, so keep that in mind.

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In hindsight, I wish I would have done a solid color binding on them.  I think it would have set it off nicer & looked much better.  It was a learning process & I'll do better next time.  I can't wait to make another one!

I used the narrow, 3" wide strips that were leftover from the construction of these, to make a baby quilt with wide, white strips in between.  Very modern looking! It is not yet quilted, so you'll have to come back to see it.
I'm calling it "Leftover Jelly Rolls".  ~big grin~
I crack myself up, sometimes!  LOL


Anyway, that explains my absence from blogging.  I thank you so much for visiting The Gazebo House today.
 
I hope that you'll come back to see more quilty goodness in the future.  I'm having SEW MUCH FUN!!!

By the way, the KISS quilt auction brought in $1400!!!
My two little projects:




sold for $40 & $50 respectfully.
I was astounded & honored that someone would pay that much for something I'd created.

I'm linking up with Marty's "Inspire Me Tuesday" at her blog, A Stroll Thru Life.  Thanks Marty for hosting the party!