30 April 2013

April Finishes

A very busy month April ended up being.
I did pretty good at working on my goals and even added another one by doing a few stuffies for Hopeful Threads monthly project "Fluff for Foster Care".  I contributed a total of 17 little stuffed items.
2 rainbows

12 owls

and 3 cars
All my own little designs, so not perfect, but kind of cute.
I finished 5 mugrugs for the April Showers blog hop, you can view that post here.
I made my rainbow table topper you can read about it here and here.
Getting used right away.

But I am most proud of finishing my very fist quilt top, a mini version of the Anchors Aweigh quilt using Salt Water fabrics from Tula Pink.
I am hoping to quilt it in May to a blanket that I bought at IKEA, a little scared about that, but I don't have the way or money to buy batting, I think it will work and it will be nice and soft for my kids bed.

Linking to a Lovely Year of Finishes - April
April Finishes

Great Karma from Hopeful Threads

If your stitching and entering all of the giveaways on the internet and not winning anything, then you need to participate in one of Hopeful Threads projects.  Each month Kristy has a project picked out for those of you that are creative and would like to share your creativity.

I first read about her projects during September of last year when the project was to create an I-Pad case or pillowcases for the American troops serving our country.  I just had to make something because my father was in the military and even though I had only been sewing for a month she was kind enough to take my pitiful donation.
2 Pillowcases and an I-Pad sleeve in Matching Polka Dot material.
 This was made with 1 of only 2 cotton fabrics that I have found in Greece, the other one still smells bad even though I have washed it a whole bunch.
And I won an awesome fabric package from Contemporary Cloth, the beginning of the great Karma had begun.

The next project that caught my eye was her November project to make Christmas Stockings for children stuck in the hospital during the holiday time.  I made 2 and she always encourages you to also give to your own community and since we had to take my son to the hospital during December I took my 2 stockings and gave them to the teacher in the children's hospital ward to give to the most needed child.
And while I was giving these to the hospital I won a fat quarter set from Caitlin over at "I don't do dishes" Etsy shop.

This month of April has been about making stuffed animals for children in the Foster Care system and are about ready to go through a court hearing, a very stressful and fearful time for any child of any age.
I was adopted luckily by my biological mother's cousin so I didn't have to go throught the Foster Care programs, but I did have to go to a court hearing, very scary, even though every one tries to be nice it is still scary, so I  had to make some FLUFF.  Kristy was nice enough to agree to take my little projects unstuffed (to save on shipping) and she will stuff them there.

I made:
2 Rainbow Umbrellas, bottom one was a prototype :)
I made these out of a charm pack that I won from Shirley
over at SIMPLE SEW

3 cars out of Riley Blakes Peak Hour fabric

and 12 little owls
I made these owls out of a charm pack of Moda Snap Pop that I won in February from Stitches and Giggles.

So if you are feeling a little Karma less and want some good Karma to come your way, sew for Hopeful Threads, at the beginning of each month she has a new idea, if you like it and it speaks to your heart then please think of using your time to create something for her monthly project.

And may the Good Karma bless you as it has me.

29 April 2013

Hello, New Blog, All about my Stitching in shhhh....


So hubby is not really in to my crafting and I need an outlet for my creativeness and love sharing what I do with other like minded people, so I am creating a very new blog only about my crafting. It is a secret blog that I will only share with my fellow crafters, hello happy people, if you are reading this then you are a very special friend of mine.

And this means that "strangers" can make "comments" and "look" at how I "waste my time".

I have always been a firm believer in being able to make yourself happy and I love being happy.


17 April 2013

April Showers Blog Hop, My Day!

Hello, Welcome to GrecoMara, I am Mara and I live in Greece!

Today is My Day to share my mug rugs for the April Showers Mug Rug Hop.
Thank you to Madame Samm for this fun hop 
and thank you to our cheerleader Erin!

April Showers, mmm... makes me think of clouds, rain, rainbows, umbrellas, green trees, flowers, renewal and re-birth.


My very first ever mug rug creation is on it's way to Mexico as part of Joy Handmade Swap over at My Giant Strawberry
It is probably a little large for a mug rug at 8" by 10', I think it is cute though, little rainbow umbrellas under silver clouds.  "Every cloud has a silver lining" and "Life is like a rainbow, you need both the rain and the sun to make it's colors appear" are some rainy day quotes that I like.
For the cloud and the handle I used felt and for the rainbow color, 7 total, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple I used Riley Blakes medium dots.  The colors don't show up so well, but that's what they are.


Today is my husband's birthday so I thought I would make him a mug rug too, besides I am tired of him always using my turtle mug rug.  If my husband was American his favorite quote would probably be "Money doesn't grow on trees", lucky for me he doesn't know that quote or I would hear it all of the time, but now he has a money tree, that is a money tree mug rug.
Loving my embroidery thread!

And with his very own turtle, the cutest turtle button you will ever see, from ButtonMad.
Such a happy turtle, we have lots of turtles in Greece, not only water ones but land ones also, and the babies are now hatching and my kids have so much fun finding them.

Oh did you want to see the whole mug rug, here it is.
Since it is a birthday would you like cake with that...
or are you a cupcake kind of person?
I sized the tree trunk to perfectly fit my husbands favorite glass and wouldn't you know it, it also is the correct size for his beer!  I also made it a little small so it could fit on our "bar" spot that you see it sitting on next to the table, measuring in at 5.5" by 7.5".
I personally like cupcakes, as do my kids, especially these "baby" sized ones.


I know it is getting to be a long post but stick with me, because now I need your help, which mug rug should I send to my sister-in-law?
You see she lost her father a few months ago and I can't be physically there for her, but she wrote a beautiful and moving memorial about her father, I would send you to the link but it is private, but I have taken a few of her quotes, "One of my favorite childhood memories of my dad was when I was about five or six years old. I would wake up early and walk into the living room to see my dad sitting in his recliner drinking his coffee. He would ask me to come to sit on his lap, and he would give me little tastes of coffee. I always felt so special and grown up getting to drink coffee with my Daddy early in the morning." and " I suppose I will make a cup of coffee and remember him."  I thought it only fitting that she should have a mug rug, to rest her cup of coffee while she remembered her father.  I also wanted to represent this quote in the Bible, 
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, The Comfort of Christ's Coming,
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
But which one should I give her, 
The Hexagon
Pat's Fabrics

This one is named after Pat at Life in the Scrapatch, since I won all 4 of these fabrics from her during the "In your words blog hop", they came in so handy.
 or Reverse Applique
All 3 of them have the same gorgeous fabric on the back.
It says:  Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
courtesy of Pat!

So what do you think?
If you want more details, I have written another very lengthy post below:
 Make sure you go visit all of the other wonderful and talented bloggers out there today.

Wednesday, April 17
Jen @ Quilter in the Closet
Marjorie @ Marjorie's Busy Corner
Elita @ A Pieceful Perspective
Green @ So Sew Green
Mara @ Greco Mara  You Are Here
Wendy @ Why Knot Kwilt?
Gmama Jane @ GrandMama's Stories
Debby @ Debby Kravotil Quilts
Britt-Inger @ Hill Valley Quilter
Connie @ Freemotion by the River
Beth @ Words and Stitches
Kathy @ iHeartSquishy

Inspiration and Tutorials I used for the mug rugs

I didn't want to make a super long post for the blog hop but here is more information if you want to read where I got the tutorials or websites that I used for inspiration and help.

For my very first mug rug I really wanted to try out Foundation Paper Piecing, I have never done it before but thought it would be pretty easy to design my own umbrella for a paper pieced mug rug.  Boy was I wrong, I totally goofed it ended up being huge, or at least bigger than I planned.
and next to the umbrella mug rug that I decided to do instead
My daughter likes her new stuffie
I'm going to make a few more of these for Hopeful Threads April Project, Fluff for Foster Care.  They don't take much material to make and they will be great gifts for the older girls because I love the quote from Lyman Frank Baum in his story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
"Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
and the dreams that you dare to dream
really do come true."
Hope, Faith and Love, 3 words that are needed for the foster children and 3 words that are also representative of my next project that I had wanted to do for my sister-in-law.
I saw this quilt on Pinterest and immediately wanted to do something like that.   But I didn't really like how the black outline looked on the hexagons, so I tried it a little differently and did the second one using Pat's fabrics appliqued on, that was a little better but I still thought it was missing something so then I tried a technique that I saw during a blog hop using reverse applique.  I thought this would be a perfect way to outline a few words chosen from the quote in the bible and I mixed them up using Tagxedo, printed it on linen fabric by taping some to paper and sending it through my printer the regular way, it's not very water proof, but it works.
Tagxedo cloud reverse appliqued sewed in.

 The embroidered hand prints (my sons, traced with a Frixion pen) just waiting to cut the fabric out so you can see the words revealed underneath.  Using the gorgeous and so easy to sew with Presencia thread that I won from Madame Samm and given to me by Janes Fabrics.
I carefully cut out the palm prints and then hand sewed a few stitches around (without tucking the fabric underneath) to keep the fabric from raising.
One hand says Hope and one Love

My fabric was at the bottom and so it was easy to cut into, but if you have it in the middle of a project then it is a good idea to put a pin in before sewing the top layer of fabric on, so it is easier to cut out and therefore not catch the fabric below, this project was pretty easy and my favorite.

I used different binding methods for each one of my Re-Birth mug rugs, the hexagon one I flipped inside out, Pat's I used the fabric from the back and brought it forward tucked it under and sewed 2 lines around it.
Really super easy to do.
 And the Reverse one I added strips to the edges and then machine sewed it to the front and then hand sewed it to the back, I wanted more control on that one so I wouldn't miss the words on the back, since it is all different sizes.  If I just used a normal binding it would have covered up a few letters, as is I lost the F in faith, but that's because the designer did not take into effect that people would be cutting out the quote and she put the F right on the selvedge.

I used this tutorial to make 5 yards of bias tape out of 1 fat quarter and this helpful printable cardstock bias tape maker, you can print it in sizes .5 inch (used on my husbands green tree mug rug) and 1 inch. (used on the rainbow mug rug) to make lots and lots of binding.

15 April 2013

Le Challenge - Geometrics

For  Le Challenge I made a Trapezomandilo (Τραπεζομανδιλο) or more simple and not in Greek a Table Cover (really I have totally forgotten the English name, it is time for me to go back to America).

I did the first part here and then when my husband asked if we were going to eat on it, I kind of freaked out and decided to arrange some Laminated fabric around it.

totally crazy, wouldn't suggest going this route
Glad I did, the first time I put it on the table the kids spilled milk, no use crying over spilled milk, right?  But I did yell, it was the end of the photo opp.
You can't really see the spilled milk, but mommy was not happy.

Here are some pictures that I got in before they decided to spill the milk.

The table topper is reversible and on the other side I have a Hexagon vs. Circle war going on.
I think I did a good job of using all of the geometrics, the center piece is rectangular the whole table topper is square, on one side is hourglass triangle blocks along with square blocks, quilted with a diamond shape, on the reverse is hexagons and circles. Ta Da, now wiping the milk off was easy, but wouldn't you figure that they also got it on the material, but I love having the material in the middle because then I can set hot pans on it and not worry about frying the laminated fabric.
Before the kids sat down, I was just setting the stage, should have known they couldn't resist cookies.
Close up of the front.
Linking to Le Challenge - Geometrics
April Finishes

06 April 2013

Rainbow Table Topper

I am loving Rainbows lately and want to just make a whole bunch of stuff with RAINBOWS.
Rainbow Table Topper
I got a really great idea while following along with Sew Lux's Charm Madness Blog Hop, over at Echinops and Aster she showed how to make hourglass blocks, I have never done HST's (half square triangles) let alone hourglass blocks, so super easy.  The blocks on the right and left are hourglass with Riley Blakes medium chevron and medium polka dot charms.  In the middle is a 4 patch block because I had leftover 2 1/2 squares from doing some hexagons.  I used 18 charms.
When my husband saw it he asked if we were going to eat on it, I'm thinking what eat on my beautiful creation, so I had to rethink my idea of adding white to the edges and instead will be adding some laminated fabric, thank you Chrissy for letting me add my not all  the way completed project, although I did do some quilting on it.
Straight stitch, diamond style.
Linking to Sew Lux Fabrics Charm Madness Project Link Up.

03 April 2013

April Showers Mug Rug Blog Hop Schedule

The schedule is ready!  I'm ready! Are you ready?
Here is the schedule of the April Showers Blog Hop, my day is April 17th, Arthur's Birthday.
Wait until you see what I created.

Erin @ Sew at Home Mummy
 Patty @ A Stitch in Time
Jenny @ Squawk That
Stacey @ The Tilted Quilt
Daryl @ Patchouli Moon Studio
Lisa @ The Boon Docks
Julie @ Jolie Maxtin: the project girl
Beluah @ Sowing Stitches
Karen @ Bungalow Bay Quilts
Cyndi @ Stitch, Stitch, Stitch
DeAnna @ Georgia Girl Quilter

Gina @ Sew Much and More
Sharon @ Vroomans Quilts
Theresa @ Bumbleberry Stitches
Sheila @ Sheila's Quilts World
Jennet @ The Feathered Nest Studio
Patti @ A Yankee in Queen Liz's Court
Gene @ Gene Black - Alabama Artist
Susan @ Susan's Scrappy Domain
Bente @ I Like to Quiltblog
Deb @ Quilting & Other Craft Therapy
Megan @ AnnieOak Designs  

Hayley @ Mrs. Pickles
Karen @ Sew Much 2 Luv
Mélanie @ Les passions de Cliodana
Cindy @ Quilt Doodle Doodles

Jamie @ Busy Bee Quilts
Judy @ That Other Blog
Regena @ The Distracted Domestic
Amy @ Domesticity and other Ponderous Things
Denise @ My Whittle Adventures
Heather @ a Reformed Heath'n
Marica @ ~Englating~


Kathy @ Kwilty Pleasures
Jill @ Apple Avenue Quilts
Cathy @ Cathy's Chatter
Quilter Kathy @ Kathy's Quilts
Marsha @ Quilter in Motion
Pat @ Life in the Scrapatch
Connie @ Shepody Mountain Crafter
Vickey @ Gingersnaps Quilts
Danielle @ A Geeky Crafty Life
Gwen @ Get More Done...Today
Rachel @ Sew Happily Ever After!


Bobbie @ From This to That
Leslie @ Les Quilts
Kristen @ Meadowbrook
Lavonna @ ZellerWear
Lynn @ Thimblemouse & Spouse
Amy @ Sew Incredibly Crazy
Martha @ Living Life
Shawn @ Creative Inspiraciones
Rhonda @ Sunrise at Ravelly's!
Toye @ Quilting Adventures of a Ginger

Cathy @ Cate's Linens
Nicola @ Sunshine Reflections
Martina @ Sunshinequilting
Judith @ Frimart
Anita @ Anita's quilts en handwerken
Linda @ Sew Nicely
Kris @ krislovesfabric
Laura Ann @ The Fuzzy Hat Quilter
Carol @ Just let me Quilt
Selina @ Selina Quilts
Mary @ Crooked Gulley Art Quilts
Marisa @ Passion et Couture

Cathi @ Quilt Obsession
Jane @ Jane's Fabrics and Quilts
Heidi @ Nutz4Redwork
Cherry @ Cherry'sPrairiePrimatives
Christine @ Quilt Monster in my Closet
Vickie @ More Stars in Comanche
Pauline @ Stekje
Jan @ Jan's Art Friendzy
Nissa @ Nissa Made Stuff
Robin @ As Sweet As Peaches
Lyndsey @ Sew Many Yarns
Eleni @ That Other Blog

Wednesday, April 17
Jen @ Quilter in the Closet
Marjorie @ Marjorie's Busy Corner
Elita @ A Pieceful Perspective
Green @ So Sew Green
Mara @ Greco Mara
Wendy @ Why Knot Kwilt?
Gmama Jane @ GrandMama's Stories
Debby @ Debby Kravotil Quilts
Britt-Inger @ Hill Valley Quilter
Connie @ Freemotion by the River
Beth @ Words and Stitches
Kathy @ iHeartSquishy

Thursday April 18
Merry Gay @ Merry Gay in Stitches
Mary @ Sew Maybe I Can
Joanne @ Everyone Deserves a Quilt
Linda @ Buzzing and Bumbling
Mary @ NeedledMom
Sherry @ Peanuts Patchwork
Fredrika @ Feltfree på Åsly 
Shauna @ Welcome to Shauna's World
Sharon @ Dancing thru Threads
Madame Samm @ !Sew WE Quilt!

01 April 2013

April's Goals

Oh Boy, I have a lot lined up for April, so many things to do!
First I will be making several mug rugs for April Showers blog hop with Madame Samm and Erin as our cheerleader over at Sew We Quilt, it starts on April 8th and my day is the 17th (Arthur's Birthday).

Then I don't know if you have been following Sew Lux's charm madness blog hop, but if you make something with charms you can enter it in their linky (ends 4/6) for a prize as a charm madness project.
and I thought that while doing this project I could also link it to Le Challenge, this months inspiration is Geometrics (simple enough, right), it is due April 15.
I want to use these charms, Riley Blake medium dots (I had) and Riley Blake medium chevrons, that I won from Shirley over at SIMPLESEW.
I had actually won a pincushion at her daughter-in-laws blog To Love Handmade and Erica made such a cute dress form pincushion but it was to big to ship, so instead I am going to make my own dress-form pincushion, you can get the instructions and pattern from here.
This is the fabric I chose, another April project.
I am also almost finished with my Anchors Aweigh Quilt top, I just have to do Row 6 (the hardest row).  I am making a smaller version and you can find all of the information on my other blog Travel Thru Greece.
A complete mess, but I hope to finish this by Wednesday.
I want to finish this up so I can get working on the coolest and oh so cute Texas Teardrops Quilt.
Texas Teardrops QAL
Vicki over at the Quilting Lodge Blog is having a QAL and she has fabrics and supplies to go with it.
This is not an April finish, but an April start, I hope to get this finished in time with everyone else and that date is set at the beginning of June, just in time for my birthday and my daughters.
So wish me luck!
Linking to a A Lovely Year of Finishes.