Saturday, January 31, 2009

YinYang Bag

Here's a new bag I made yesterday. It turned out to be roomier than I first thought and stands alone fairly well without adding a stiff bottom. I only wish I could say that about my bottom.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's all about the snow..............

My nephew's wife sent these snow pics last week of my nephew (the big guy)and great nephews. They live in North Carolina in an area that rarely gets snow and when it does, it's usually just a skiff.

Look at the pure joy on the little guy's face. Remember when snow made you feel that way? The bigger boy is never one to waste time, I see the snow hasn't slowed him one bit. Even "dad" got out to play, he always loved the Illinois winters when he was a boy and he loves playing with his little guys. I wish I could send some Iowa snow to them on a regular basis. I wish I were there right now, even if it is snowey. Sure looks life fun

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A very special day................

Today was a very special day for me. I got to help celebrate the birthday of my best friend, sewing buddy, bigsis, sometimes Mom, Pam. A few of us girls took her to lunch and we had a grand time. Looks like she did, too.

Happy Happy Birthday, Pam!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Are These Bags For Sale?

Tell us Chris...are the new black jean purse bags going into our Etsy Store? Check to see what Chris accomplished over the weekend! Our MadCreekDesigns Esty Store connection is in the left-hand column on this page.

I didn't finish ANYTHING over the weekend. But I did go to see Grand Torino and I highly recommend it! I think it is now my favorite show ever. I loved it! Clint Eastwood plays the grumpy widower and we were comparing him to my husband - grumping about the neighbors, grumping about the traffic, grmping about his own children, etc. But there is a heart in there somewhere and OH MY! I never expected the ending! I'm still in awe of the ending. Go see it! ~Pam

What Kind of Handbag Are You?

What Your Handbag Says About You

You tend to be relaxed throughout the day. You are naturally at peace.

You tend to be on high alert. You are very aware of your surroundings.

You are a high maintenance person. You feel lost outside of your normal environment.

You are a very creative person. Your life tends to be a whirlwind, but you always seem to pull it together.

You are practical and down to earth. You tend to be a rather reserved and quiet person.

You are a very unique and special person. There's no one else who is anything like you.

My black bag.............

Here's my bag that I carry everyday. I can get tons of stuff in this baby. I love prairie points, too. They dress up the ugliest things, don't they?

Do you get the idea that I like black and white yet? I think I have since I was a kid. When I was a teen, my mother finally trusted me enough to decorate my own room. Well, that was in the late 60's, pop culture was in full swing, op art, Beatles music, the Mod Squad and The Monkeys were my favorite tv shows.

I had a nice big bulletin board, the kind you can push pins into so I started by drawing an optical illusion onto it and then painted it black and white. Hard to describe in words, sure wish I had a picture. Anyway, from there I purchased this really cool bedspread with my babysitting money. It was black of course and had an alligator texture. Get this! It was vinyl. Yes, vinyl. Not to cozy at all but I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Well, Mom wasn't that thrilled with it nor the black and white color scheme. So she introduced a little color into my world. For which I'm eternally grateful. We painted the walls this beautiful celery green and I've never been able to reproduce or find the exact shade since. I do believe it's imprinted on the back of my eyeballs, I still look for that green today. And my curtains were burnt orange. Now burnt orange and avocado green were very popular back then, remember? But I hated those colors. THEN! I thought they were "old lady" colors. But today, I love them. Put one of those into a boring quilt and WOW! They're your zingers. THANKS, MOM!

The Old Bag...............or "what I did yesterday"

Well, my fingers are sore from hand quilting so I took the day off and worked on a new tote bag or two. I have a stash of old jeans, blue, black, tan, white, etc. Every now and then I make something out of a pair, mostly tote bags. They're so fun to make, I never make the same one twice. Just depends on what size those jeans were and what details the jeans originally have. I like to keep as much of the original detail as possible.

I hated to throw out the remainder of the jeans after making this big tote but there wasn't enough "jean" to make much so the mini tote was born. Might make a cute little girls tote or maybe it's just perfect to carry around 6 cans of your favorite soda pop, I don't know. Yes, it's a bit weird but have you seen some of the bags young women are carrying around today? All sorts of fun and funky bags. But I think the little one still needs some embellishing, don't you?


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Buddy quilting and so much more...............

Chris's blocks

WEll, what a fun afternoon Pam and I had yesterday. We quilted, we talked, we ate Pam's chili(yes, my guest even brought lunch with her) and we talked and we quilted some more and on and on. Ok, maybe it looks like we didn't accomplish much but it's a start.

Awhile back I ran across Bonnie Hunters fantastic site called Quiltville and you'll find her link on the left menu. Bonnie has tons of neat quilts and tutorials for using up your quilt scraps, beautiful scrappy quilts. I fell in love with her Maveric Star blocks and she has a super tutorial on making them. I've been wanting to start this ever since, so Pam and I began yesterday. The plan is, we'll both make ourselves a quilt following Bonnie's tutorial and what a great way to recycle fabric scraps.

As you can see, we may have talked and ate to much as we only completed 4 or 5 blocks each but boy, are they fun to do! I was amazed how little of my scrappy stash was used up though. I may have to make a dozen of these quilts or maybe I should just keep making these blocks the rest of my life, I might put a dent in my scrap stash. Anyway, see how different our interpretations are?

Well, Pam left yesterday with a "lets do this again next week, same time, same place". Hopefully, nothing will get in the way and we'll show you more blocks next week.


Pam's Maveric Star blocks

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year's Resolutions - Too Many UFO's

I started this Buggy Barn "Star Cazies" quilt last year, or was it 2 years ago? It's still sitting there waiting for me to finish machine quilting it. There's a problem. It's a king size quilt, it's huge. I don't have a long-arm quilting machine, just the zig-zag I've had for 40 years. It's so much work to get this through my machine! I work up a sweat! I've done it all in homespun, like the original pattern. I love this primitive look, yet I did my bedroom is sort of Victorian. So I'm thinking of painting the room, tearing up the carpet, getting new window treatments, etc. MAN a quilt is a lot of work! But my quilt is well on it's way to being completed, I just need to work through the pile on top of it!

Then last year, I purchased this absolutely beautiful fabric from a fabric designer friend of mine who lives an hour away from here near Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was hot off the press. The box showed up while I was there. As soon as she opened it I had to own it! I love these colors. This block is called Eyes of March, and I started making this paper pieced block as soon as I got home that day. I probably have 6-8 blocks done and this would match my bedroom without tearing up carpets or painting or changing the window treatments. But I love the primitive look, but I love the look of this. What to do!!!!!

I just hope I can get back to working on both of these quilts! I have many other UFO's including making the TussyMussy pattern that Chris and I worked on so hard. She did all the computer work so I'll give her all the credit. I almost had a wall hanging done of the TussyMussy and RAN OUT OF FABRIC! How's that for good planning! And then, once again, got busy with my real job of doing Estate Tag Sales and the TussyMussy went into the UFO pile. Someday, hopefully this year!

Right now I'm preparing to journey the whole 7 blocks to Chris' house to have a "Girl Friend Sewing Day!" It's so wonderful having her right here in Muscatine again! It used to take almost 4 hours to drive to her house to have "Girl Friend Sewing Day." I think we can do it more often now. We'll post a photo of what we accomplish today. Will we talk Tea Cozies? Will we do a Funky Star Quilt? Will we do UFO's? Who knows! ~Pam

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I must need another cup of coffee. That last post was just a link I was adding to our tutorial section, not here though. It's just wrongggggggggggggg, cool tutorial for sewing a zipper into a bag and sewing a plastic liner into a bag but I hit the wrong button.

dearfii: zippy dippy.....

dearfii: zippy dippy.....

Monday, January 5, 2009

Recyling those plastic bags..........

I just stumbled upon what I think is such a clever idea. How to recycle those plastic shopping bags we seem to hoard for some reason, or just throw away after we unpack our groceries. I know Pam has a stash almost as big as her fabric stash. I just read a tutorial at EtsyLabs here,

and a very cool YouTube tutorial to actually sew a tote bag here,

It's all about layering the plastic bags, ironing to fuse them together and make strong and sewing a messenger or tote bag from them. I'm always forgetting my cloth grocery bags when I make an unplanned stop at the grocery store. Maybe if I kept several of these in the car, I'd have plenty handy all the time. This looks kind of fun to do, too. When I see things like this, I always have to hit myself in the head and say, "why didn't I think of that".

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Duke

Well, I just had to play a minute before returning to the black and white quilt. Here's a wallhanging I made for a customer. As you can see, he loves John Wayne. My photo taking isn't so great but the quilt turned out much better than the photo.

What I've forgotten.............

I need to make a list of all the projects I've forgotten so that I won't forget them again.

At the moment, I'm so excited. I finally figured out how to set up our slideshow to show you some of the goodies that Pam and I have for sale in our etsy shop. The slideshow will only take you to flickr but you'll find a link to our etsy shop in the left hand side bar, also.

Well, what should I work on on this fine Sunday. I see we've gained more ice from freezing rain last nite. That's always a good excuse to stay in and sew. I made more headway on the black and white quilt last night. But I really need to put my Christmas decorations away and straighten up my sewing room. Remember, Pam is coming over one day this week to buddy sew. That's much more fun with a clean sewing room. I'll have to remember to take pics of our progress, if we make any progress.................

Saturday, January 3, 2009

What Must Alaska Be Like?

It's 4:30 in the afternoon and it's dark already! Darkness makes me lazy.

I spent the afternoon sorting scraps in my sewing room (the attic). My step-daughter's came yesterday and cleaned out the attic closet and left me a lot of space to fill with fabric stash, quilt battings, pre-cut scrappy squares and assorted scraps.

I recently did an estate sale at the home of a lady who had quilted and crafted all her life. Recently her daughter had opened a quilt shop in town and this lady prepared most of the sample quilts and craft project displays for the store. She had mountains of fabric for me to sell in a tag sale fashion. There was so much! I piled all the pieces of fabric 1 yard and larger on a table for $1.00 per piece. Ladies were lined up around the block and all took home all the fabric they could carry. I was wishing I was a customer about that time! But you can't be both!

There were also boxes and boxes and even more boxes of fabric scraps. I took large plastic bags (2 gallon size) and stuffed them as full as I could with all kinds of fabric scraps for $2 a bag. They were taped shut and maybe that is what kept people from buying all of them, but I ended up with maybe a dozen bags after the sale. So I bought them myself and brought them home. Slowly I'm working my way through each bag and ironing each scrap. (Chris has fits because of my excessive ironing all the time! ) My fat quarter stash is getting large from this exercise. Also, my piles of already cut squares is getting huge! I wonder if she forgot she had already cut squares, or maybe she never made a scrappy quilt so never needed an odd number of squares. But that's my favorite kind!

I'm working on one now, using an old phone book for foundation pieces. I'm just making the blocks now but hope to someday put them together and end up with something similiar to this photo, although there are tons of ways to lay out these blocks. OK, the photo will not load, but if you've never Goggled "scrappy quilts" it's a lot of fun!

Time to think about supper and then, hopefully, go back to my sewing room in the attic and let my husband enjoy the pro football game on TV tonight. ~Pam

Lazy Quilting Day

It's dark and gloomy outside and supposed to begin freezing rain again. What a strange winter we've started out with and it seems to be continuing. I've seen enough ice to last me awhile.

So, best thing to do is quilt. I just put this black and white on the frame and began quilting yesterday. No fancy designs, just more or less an outline of seams. I can't even remember the name of the block, it's been a ufo for so long.

I love black and white. It's so bold. I even collect black and white fatquarters although my stash is shrinking. What do you think of it?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Muscatine on the Mississippi River

Good morning! I'm Pam, the other half of MadCreekDesigns. We've been sewing and crafting together for, for....forever! One of our favorite things, when we were younger, was to stay up all night (or as late as we could) sewing or crafting together on New Year's Eve. Chris moved away for 25 years, so we got out of the habit. She's back now and we forgot to try to stay up late on New Year's Eve! Maybe next year!

We love it when someone needs a blanket or a needy group could use a quilt or comforter to auction off for a good cause. We love good causes and we'll whip together something warm within a day or two. OK, they haven't been the prettiest things we've done, but they work just fine.

We also love to make scrappy quilts because we, or at least me/I, have a problem throwing good fabric away. We are always hunting for scrappy quilt patterns. Do you have a favorite one to share with us? Please do!

Our goal is to take one day next week and get started on a scrappy Funky Star quilt that Chris found. It's a 4 pointed star, using scraps, no 2 of the points are the same size or color. The one we saw used an off-white plain fabric for the background. I have some bright old squares I'd like to use up, if Chris is ok with that. I mean bright pink, bright green, turquoise, orange, black, oh my! Sounds like a good quilt for a teenager. But we hope to get it started during the first week of January 2009. Let's see if we can get enough days together to finish it in 2009.

I think one of our goals is to have enough scrappy quilts made to donate to our homeless shelter before Christmas 2009. Our homeless shelter, Muscatine Center for Strategic Action, MCSA, has a program to get the homeless into a home. It helps them find a job, find an apartment, teaches to finance your money and eat healthy, and helps them have the essentials to move into their apartment. We could supply a blanket to each individual getting a new start in life! Is there anyone in the Muscatine area that would like to help us in this endeavor? We'd love to hear from you! ~Pam


A new activity for a new year. Our first blog entry. Here goes..............
Pam and I love making and buying handmade goodies and we'd like to share some of our passions with you. I'll let Pam tell you more about herself but in the meantime, about me. I grew up in the midwest and with the exception of winter time, I love it here. I only wish winter would go somewhere else, forever!

I'm Mom to Rusty, my 27 year old son. Rusty recently started working for Burlington/Northern/SantaFe railroad in of all places, Nebraska. He's spent the past several years living in southern Missouri, and has no idea of what winter really is. He's about to find out!

What have I been doing you might ask, well aside from shoveling snow and trying to defrost my car everytime I get in it, I've been doing a little quilting. As soon as I figure out how to post pictures, I'll show you my black and white creation that's still a work in progress. In fact, I'd better get to work on it so I'll leave you for a bit.

Tell us what handmade goodies you've been working on.