Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mr. Manatee Comes to Visit..... and more bitty blocks!

 We did a special swap, Alphabitties.  My letter is M.  Some wanted blocks for children's quilts, others for a more mature audience, so I did 3 different ones.  Monkeys-

Mermaids in a margarita glass-

And Mr. Manatee, with seaweed M's.  The swappers got to pick which one they wanted.  I like them all, if I ever make the quilt up, it'll be hard to pick which one I use.  Since I didn't make me a monkey, though, that'll make it easier.  :)

 And earlier, we decided to do "Fairy Tales Gone Wild" where we each picked a fairy tale or fable and gave it an evil twist.  I decided to make Chicken Little.  I had seen a cartoon where a chunk of sky had fallen on the chicken and decided to use that for my block.  We are a group of 13, so I made 13 of 'em. 

I thought it was too subtle and wasn't sure it was going to please everyone, though, so I made up a Rapunzel block as a test, slightly taller, and the twist was armpit hair.  :)  So it's called "Ew, Rapunzel!"  Fortunately, everyone loved Chicken Little so I went that one.  I'm glad I didn't have to make 13 of the Rapunzels, as it turns out, because it took too long to make and used up a lot of my soft fuse material.  That translates to expensive.  :)  So I made 4 of them and will give them to my buddies that I owe a special block to, as a thank you.

 I can't wait to see what the others come up with for this swap, so far from sneak peeks, they're a riot. 

And a friend in CA, Marilyn aka Spiced Coffee, sent me a birthday package- a manatee with a Hawaiian shirt, he's so cute and soft and cuddly!  He's made from Minkie fabric and his name is Minkee!  I just love him, he's very kissable!  Thanks again, Marilyn!  Look at this FACE!

 Ready for a dip!  Oh, she included that cool water fabric, too, so he wouldn't dry up on the journey to my house!  What a pal.  She thinks of everything!

Yes, I had a birthday, May 22nd.  I turned 54.  Spent the day goofing off, sewing, talking on the phone, it was great.  We'd gone out for a nice lunch the day before, so I felt very special and happy.  :)  Spring birthdays are just lovely. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I haven't been blogging, but I have been sewing!

 The Bitty Block Swap is still so much fun for me.  This month the themes are mod/retro/60's and April Showers Bring May Flowers.  I made lava lamps and funky old television sets with a test pattern on the screen for the mod/60's groups.  I was in 2 groups so I needed 2 sets of 12 blocks.  I usually make 16 though, so this month I actually made 64 of these little blocks and mailed most of them away.

 The funky shape and the rabbit ear antenna remind me so much of my childhood.  And the wire legs, seems like a lot of furniture had wrought iron in it back in the 60's.  I used scrapbooking brads for the knobs.

This is one of the ones I made for April Showers Brings May Flowers.  Little tulips holding umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain.  

 And I am particularly proud of this one as I think it's pretty clever- if you can read the tag it says "From April S." and obviously the bunch of flowers is delivered to May.  The flowers are tiny circles of fabric sewn down with a seed bead and the tag is paper, loosely tied on for a 3D effect.  The rainbow fabric gives the illusion of ground, grass and sky on the horizon.  I only wish there had been room for the red to show, too.  But 3.5" blocks aren't very forgiving like that!

 Remember when I showed you Alexander the Grape?  Well, here he is with all buddies.  The Carroty Kid, Beety Boop, Dr. Pepper, Lima Minelli, The Black Scallion, Billy the Kidney Bean, Melon-y Griffith, Ludwig von Beet-hoven, The Squash Buckler, Tina Turnip-er, The Grapeful Dead, Pablo Pea-casso, Alex and Abraham Linc-corn.  :)  Aren't they a fun bunch?  These were all from the spin-off swap we called Out of Our Gourds.  We had so much fun with these!  No, I haven't made a quilt out of them yet, but I'm going to.  I bought the perfect fabric for the back, but I can't remember the name of it, it's all funny veggies on an aqua background. Each one of these was made by a different person and she made 14 of them and mailed 13 of them away.

 I was also in a pouch swap, I made this (with a lot of help from my friend Marilyn/Spiced Coffee on Flickr as she sent me all the linen fabrics that I used, I didn't have any of my own.)  My partner liked it, as it reflected her tastes very well.  This is the back......

 This is it, closed.  It's triangular shaped at the bottom.  A hair elastic loops over an old mother of pearl button while a snap holds it closed.

 And the lining, a cotton fabric.

And I made a mug rug for the newest swap for my partner.  I haven't sent it yet, so I can't say anything about her.  :)  She's going to like it, though, it's right up her alley. 

 The back has my flickr icon on it for a label.  No words, it's speaking for itself.  :)

Other than sewing, not much new around here.  My husband is off fishing in Colorado and house-sitting for our friends Mike and Iku, taking care of their 2 dogs while I'm here taking care of our 3 and the 5 cats, too.  Our 28th wedding anniversary was yesterday, so we'll go out for a nice dinner at a local Japanese Steakhouse when he's home, which will be soon. Yes, we got married on a Friday the 13th, because for some reason, he was OK with that, but not April 1st, like I wanted.  lol  Goofy men.  The years have flown by, though, and neither of us can believe it's been so long.  I picked a great guy to marry, so Mom was right, practice makes perfect!  :)