Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Re-purposed Projects

I love to  recycle & reuse!
I worked for hours on my challenge for quilt guild today. Initially Yours is the assignment...we have to use colors in the quilt that begin with our initials. Mine are KDE, so I am using Kiwi, Dark red & Ebony. I can't post a picture until later in January. The background for my piece is from a vintage 70's gown I bought at Sally Ann's for under $5. Reuse #1.

I made a needle-book for my guild's Christmas exchange gift. As program's person I asked that members bring a boutique quality item and challenged them to reuse or re-purpose something in their stash. I had a vintage reproduction kitchen towel that I recycled for my project. I back stitched around the cherry motif to give it some definition, red wool "pages" inside and pockets too! I was happy that my friend Melanie ended up with it! Recycle #2.

My oldest friend Pam (I have known her since I was 7) asked me to make her a new wintry bag to hold papers (she's a middle school science teacher in Buffalo) and a book (avid reader...we used to ride our bikes to the library when we were young and read on her patio for fun!). The Delectable Mountain blocks were left-overs from a quilt I started approximately 15 years ago. (I did finish it 4 years ago for my daughter!) I never could toss these extras, you know how it is. I love how this bag worked out, so did Pammer's!
Recycle #3.

Makes me feel like all the stuff I collect really does have a re-purpose!

I have learned:

  1. It is so nice to have this time of year off. My 6th week of vacation will always be in December.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fiona, My Awesome Christmas Gift!

Let me try this again....I wrote a post last night, couldn't find the spellcheck icon on the updated BLOGGER bar so thought maybe in PREVIEW? NOPE. Then don't know what post poofed into cyber space. Looked in edit tab...NOPE. Hhhmmm.

SO my treasured gift for Christmas was an adorable 2 yr old orange tabby my kids adopted from our county shelter for me! Fiona is a little peanut. She has made herself at home and all the other pets seem to have accepted her.

Much visiting and overeating accomplished in the last few days. All went well but glad it is over. I have really simplified where I can to relieve the stress of the season. I cherish time spent with people I care about, chatting, playing games and being in that moment.

Creating has taken a back seat, only able to whip up a few pillowcases for gifting in the last week. I need to make a bag for a friend today. CQ stitching here and there. I like this twisty SRE flower I added to my challange CQ for ME due Feb. 1st. The Kaffe Fassett fabrics my friend Christy picked up, literally, off the floor (what a pal!) are making an exciting CQ piece!

I have learned:

  1. BLOGGER update has me confused. Where oh where is spellcheck?
  2. Reading The Help. So far really good.
  3. My son just read Bill Bryson's The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, A Memoir. Laughed out loud. I have read Bryson before and love his sense of humor. Next on my list.
  4. Barbra Streisand wanted Elvis to play John Norman Howard in A Star is Born, one of my favorite movies because of Kris Kristofferson.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

CQ Willow Tree

The latest stitched motif on my CQ for ME block. I love this willow tree! I used variegated machine quilting thread doubled for the trunk & limbs. Beads and green rayon thread for the leaves. I did have to hoop this area since the dense long & short stitches puckered the background. I am working on a twisty SRE flower!

I have been sewing...made my very first french seamed pillowcase today. My friend Cheryl gave me a great pattern, but to actually make the french seam I referenced one of my sewing books. Not bad for first time. The first pillowcase will be mailed to Michael's girlfriend, Karyssa, Monday in her Christmas gift package! I even used one of those decorative stitches on my machine! I have 5 more cut out since I knew Melissa would say "Hey I want one of those". (everything I make she wants one!) Darcy, Ian, Michael and Cory are all on the list.

I also made a remote control caddy thanks to Quiltbea's wonderful instructions last night on HGTV messageboard. I am already using it!

I plan to make a few more of this useful project.

Off to Salvatore's Italian Garden for a Christmas party in a few hours. Sandy hasn't been cleared by doctors to drive yet and her husband is out of town so I will joyfully accompany her! Good company and great food! I have to dress up however....ugh! I can't believe I used to dress up for work every day years ago.

I have learned:

  1. Melissa will be 27 (OMG) in less than 11 hours. I will recount the birth day (aka labor story) throughout the day so no one forgets what I did to make it possible for her to live her AWESOME life!
  2. Michael home for break today!
  3. How to make a nice, neat, easy french seam.
  4. Frozen ground + screwdriver + 4 lb mallet = how I have to get locating (gas lines) flags in the ground now. Picture doing this with a down jacket, raincoat (good wind barrier), 2 pair gloves, hoodie up, hard hat over that, scarf wrapped 3 x's and the real fashion galoshes! Glamour Don't for sure!
  5. Alicia Keys' Empire State of Mind~~excellent sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs-in-the-car song. My sister was so excited about this song she had to call and get me hooked too! Will be getting this CD.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Martha's One Block Wonder-ful

This is my friend Martha's One Block Wonder quilt! It is so exciting! I love it. It is like a Millefiori design. Doing one block over and over would be a challenge for me, but I want to give it a try, maybe. Of course if I can only assembly line a small bunch of them, I am sure I can figure out a way to use them! Each OBW quilt I see is different and almost painterly. The panel in the center of the back is the original fabric she used for her blocks....everything the book says you shouldn't use. Yes, Martha is a rebel!
Yesterday found me traveling (last minute) with my friend Sandy to a dinner theatre in Pennsylvania. The Riverside Inn is an old Victorian hotel. Very quaint. Excellent play called The Bench, referencing 2 husbands waiting for their wives in a mall at Christmas time. Sandy continues to improve after chemo & the brain surgery this past year. Christmas Eve is her birthday so with her family I will celebrate!
I have learned:
  1. Old friends. Nice to reminisce with someone that knew you before life made you.
  2. SEW Somerset & Art Quilting Studio are out. Great inspiration.
  3. Kindness impresses me. Thanks Jody.
  4. KoolAid dying, another quick hit of creativity. Pour a pack or two in water, toss in woolly bits, nuke a few minutes and in less than an hour, gorgeous colored fabrics.
  5. Do cigarette's really have jet fuel as an ingredient? Yes. And over 600 other toxins & poisons. I learned this attending my niece, Darcy's, graduation from D.A.R.E. this morning.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sticky Foam Letters for Discharging

I just LOVE this discharged piece! I used those sticky foam letters. It took longer to peel & stick the letters than it did to actually discharge the dye. Again I just used the spray cleaner with bleach. The fact that the foam did not absorb the bleach made the impression more distinct. When I did it before I used sticky felt letters. The felt did absorb the bleach removing some of the dye under the letter. Being me, I really love that the letters are not all right side up!
When I need a quick hit of creativity, discharging is the answer. I bought a cool thingy at Sally Ann's that will give me a geometric square image. I think it was made to press a lattice into a pie crust. Maybe tomorrow I can see what that will do!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


It was very wintry here today! We had 16"-18" of snowfall. Whiteouts. Wind chill. Harrowing day at work. SO I thought I'd post this project..."SNOWBIRD". It is housed in a 12" x 12" shadowbox frame. I made it for an exhibit last winter at our regional arts council. A felted vintage wool coat is the base for needle felted snow"bird"; hand stitched snowy swirls with Angelina fibers (non fusible) concentrated in areas. The moon is a piece of a vintage mohair coat, beaded to add a little twinkle. The tree is a real twig hand tacked to surface and the little nest and eggs are wet felted wool roving. I took the feathers off a little home dec bird from Michael's. I had so much fun making this and it will be on permanent display in my livingroom!

I have learned:

  1. My friend Nicki has opened shop on Etsy. She hand dyes gorgeous high quality lace. They can be used in crazy quilting or as a beautiful adornment on clothing. I plan to use some on small projects like needle books or ATC's. Check it out.
  2. I am obsessed with Scrabble and since downloading it to my phone I have played numerous games! I am competitive at the medium level. Hard is just plain hard and I don't enjoy getting my arse kicked repeatedly by the genius computer. I have learned QI & XI & RAJ & NU are good words to remember while interacting competitively with a human in a Scrabble game!
  3. Schweinfurth Art Center's QUILT=ART=QUILT exhibit was inspiring and motivating. Click here to see a bit of it. If you are within driving distance to Auburn, NY, it is worth a day. And to make a great day of it, Patchwork Plus is an awesome quilt shop in Marcellus a short drive away.
  4. So You Think You Can Dance....Legacy & Mollee out. I wasn't a fan of either really. I actually voted!.....for Kathryn. Next week is the finale.
  5. Blue Rodeo. Pulled out an old CD and really liking it...again.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sassaman Silhouette

Instead of tossing the negative images from another project, I gathered them up and this is how it worked out! It is a pattern by Jane Sassaman...find her blog/website in my blog list on the left of this post. I used an exacto knife to cut out the black felt I had ironed fusible onto. The background is a gorgeous blue linen napkin! I love this strong graphic. Not sure if I will do machine or hand stitching on this now.
This is the 3rd attempt to post on my blog. Seems I am having issues with my computer. It hangs in cyber space then I have to close to get it to move on and I lose everything I had written. Ugh. I think I need a PC clean sweep soon. Real soon.
I have so many things to share but for now this is all I can manage without getting stuck.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dorset Button from CQMagOnline

In the current CQMagOnline Diane Mugford wrote an article about Dorset buttons. I have made a few of these in the past...simple woven ones. When I saw what she had done with it though I was anxious to make one of these. I love it. I used variegated floss for the flowers, added green stems and since I wasn't liking any bow I made, I found some silk ribbon and made loops at base of the bouquet. I will be making more of these! It's a great portable project.
Take a minute to check out this free online magazine. It is a treasure trove of information on crazy quilting. There is bound to be something to inspire you~

Did a little work on my CQ for ME challenge. I am really loving this Kaffe Fassett fabric and how LIVELY it is. I was paging through Carol Samples CQ Stitches book and saw this seam treatment. Since I love french knots I had to try it out! It is really tiny. I am working on a weeping willow tree too. I need to hoop it to finish though since the long/short stitch is crinkling the fabric. I am thinking (which when translated means it could change again any minute) on making it into a project case cover.

I return to work tomorrow. Vacation over. Longjohn's ready. I LOVE being home. Alot. I am never bored.

I have learned:

  1. On to the next idea for my guild challenge. Tried 2 good. In trash. BUT I am never at a loss for idea's!
  2. PF5 key will refresh computer screen.
  3. How to download a game to my phone. SCRABBLE! So cool....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I am Thankful for...

My sister and I. Me on the left, Noni (Noreen, a nice Irish name!) on the right. We wore matching red velvet jumpers.I have always liked this picture. The photographer would come to your house then. I remember snippets of this sitting. She is 15 months younger than me. Next Saturday she will be 47. Happy early Birthday!

Last night on HGTV, once again, we had the Friday night PJ Party as it is affectionately called! I made these cell phone cases with the help of Jessica. The one on the left is for my sister. Darcy, my niece "helped" me make it. (wink wink) I already have the pink & brown one in service. It was a fun little project and can see many uses for it, including iPods, small camera's, etc.

Fun was had by all on Thanksgiving! Well the 4 of sister, my niece & nephew. We played Cranium, ate a delicious dinner (which is saying alot for a meal I cook!) and laughed much! My sister stayed over and (what might become a tradition)....we got up and all of us were shopping by 6:00 AM Friday! I'm not a Black Friday fan...not a shopper really. BUT we made it an event and no one was harmed in this endeavor!

I have grand plans to make tomorrow a day I get some sewing done. Starting the guild challenge and make an exchange gift for our holiday meeting in December are at the top of the list.

I have learned:

  1. The Blind Side is a nice feel-good movie. Tim McGraw not a bad actor either.
  2. Hernia=son.
  3. Melissa heard the sound of car crashing again today. In Georgia. Rear ended by South Carolinian on their way home from Disney World. No one hurt.
  4. Citibank credit card raising rates as of January 1st to exorbitant rate. I don't like CC's. I did have to use my one and only to get my car out of hock (well...not hock really...)after the deer hit so now I have a dreaded balance. How can this be good for economic rebound?
  5. I recieved the supply list for Nancy Crow workshop in July!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Origami Bag

This is my origami bag! Fun little thing to make. On the HGTV message board, a veritable treasure trove of talented and generous people, a new feature has been thought up by a couple members. They are calling it a "PJ Party" since you would be home at night all comfy working along with others online! Jean taught us, with pictures and explanations, how to construct this adorable bag. I began with an 18" square. After folding, stitching and it is.

The concert was a true experience. Anyone that has been to one knows what I am talking about. My son, Michael, slipped out during the show to buy this zipper hoodie for me. I love it...this is the back. Here is the review with pictures.

Saturday was quilt guild. Melanie and her mom did a Meet a Member trunk show for us. Keep in mind they are affectionately referred to as "Lucy & Ethel" so laughs were expected and no one was disappointed! It was an insightful presentation and everyone came away knowing a bit about all the things they have dabbled in that made them come to quilting with us today. Having them in our guild has been a breath of fresh air. Great job girls!

After the meeting a small group of women stayed to lend Tracy & I a hand paper piecing the courthouse steps blocks. We had a couple volunteers work on and complete our prairie point border. Much progress.

My friend Ann gifted me with (what any CQer would covet!) 6 retired upholstery/home dec fabric sample books. It felt like Christmas! Thanks Ann!

Cynda, who is interested in more arty stuff, had some excellent info for me on discharging. Cynda's entries for our annual challenge are always one of my favorites. She has a different view and I get it!

I have learned:

  1. How to make fabric ties. I made them for the origami bag since I didn't have cording on hand that matched.
  2. I have Beadlust....
  3. Enterprise commercial. What does renting a car have to do with lingerie? Weird.
  4. Target's blond hyper-shopper woman commercials.....funny.
  5. My sister uses me. I could call it a threat but it's really more of a challenge......for my niece & nephew to improve grades by next marking period. Whoever has the highest average apparently wins a day with me ALONE! Such power I hold.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nothing but a Bruce Day....

Tonight. History making. Buffalo NY. Bruce Springsteen. The Boss. E Street Band. Last concert of the tour. Maybe last ever. Epic. I will be there.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Bits

Here is a cool video on DISCHARGING. Towards the end he shows close ups of his quilting. He adds color to his discharged pieces with thread. Very interesting.

No pics of anything I have created since working all week limits what gets done for the duration.. I did manage some CQ stitching last night....a willow-y tree on my Kaffe Fassett fabrics piece. I am filling in the trunk using long & short stitch with variegated machine quilting thread, by hand!

Quilt guild Saturday morning and a little gathering of sewers after to help make paper pieced courthouse steps blocks for the raffle quilt. Tracy & I are hopeful that we will get much accomplished!

Sunday is the Bruce Springsteen concert....can't wait. Last concert on this tour so promises to be awesome.

I have learned:

  1. I have 3 unscheduled vacation days! I get 6 weeks vacation and have a hard time keeping track of them. I am off next week, Christmas week and now 3 additional days, making my total days to work the remainder of year~~17. Nice....
  2. Fiber One cereal....hope it works.
  3. New Moon comes out today. I read 3 of the books...couldn't get through another one though. I found them poorly written....long winded. I did see Twilight and liked it enough. I was charmed by it's low budget ambiance.
  4. Maria McKee. I remember hearing her with a band called Lone Justice years ago. She ventured out on her own eventually. Her distinctive vocals juxtapose her angelic looks. I have rediscovered her stuff in my CD collection and learned I really like it....again.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

ATC's & PSI's

My group of friends! Self Portrait ATC's. SO many great idea's, I just love them.

Plus Size Inchies are 1.5"x 1.5" squares of art! Anything goes...these are the PSI's I received in our simultaneous PSI/Self Portrait ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap hosted by Toryam on the HGTV message board. I posted a bag she had accessorized with inchies from a previous swap in April. Click and take a look.

Jody used paper, stamps, charm & fabric to make her ATC Self Portrait. It love it. We both work fulltime and correspond about the limited time we actually have to make things! So the saying has much meaning.

My friend Nicki peeking out from her ATC. She is the one that lured many of us into the CQ craze! Bewitching!

Here is Charlyn's really intricate self portrait ATC. There is a lot of work in a 2.5"x3.5" area. I love how she represented her hair and glasses and now I know one more thing about her...she likes horses!

Between work, travelling to my son's football game 480 mile round trip yesterday and working on the raffle quilt obligations, I have had very little time to do anything else this week. I am (again) hopeful for next week since I am off and alone most of that time.
I own a 109 year old house. I have many pressing issues that need attention but of course limited funds. BUT I realized today my ongoing toilet (that is not an attractive word is it? but it is what it is!) troubles are worsening. I knew when I glanced at the ceiling in the basement and saw water leaking from above I must find the cash (another loan...ugh) and someone that can do what needs to be done right and fast since I have only one bathroom! Wonder what something like this even runs? I will find out soon enough.
I have learned:
  1. Down 12 lbs! It is actually 15 lbs (naked) on my own scale, but I am going with the official WW gold book record.
  2. Car GPS is awesome. But I still get lost. I had to reference my NYS map book to make sure she was taking me in the right direction.
  3. I anticipate learning many new things tomorrow at company Safety Coordinator meeting of the minds. I have a few things to say about the "Circle of Safety" which involves each driver to place a large magnet on the rear of the truck and remove when work is completed, and walk 360 around the truck on busy highways. Is it wise to be in front of that vehicle at all? Personally, the first time I did this I slipped, catching myself on the side mirror, hitting my hardhat-ed head on door, avoiding a fall into water/mud filled ditch! Funny now....wasn't then though.
  4. I am in! Nancy Crow at QBL next July!
  5. My friend Cheryl adopted a 6 yr old Sheltie named Honey. Honey was part of an agreement with a woman arrested for animal cruelty, to remove 40 animals from her home. She has never walked on grass. Her home was a kennel on concrete. Cheryl will give her the security & love she deserves.
  6. I appreciate thoughtful, considerate people.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Little Ruched Flower...I used the green fabric!

....feels like I have been working for days! I have been keeping busy stitching on the 2 crazy quilt blocks I have. Aida's is almost finished and will be mailed to Jody by Thanksgiving.
I have been looking for the project that will be my gift for guild's Christmas exchange. I have a couple idea's!
I have been going through some old issues of THREADS magazine Colleen sent to me and finding some very interesting articles and images for my idea journal.

As I mentioned in another post we were given 2 fabrics and a lace motif (I need to locate my motif! It is lost in my stash!)and challenged to use them in some way in a CQ block for ourselves. This green silk is the 2nd fabric. I cut a strip, folded both edges under and ruched the length...pull it up and voile! a quick, cute little flower. The button center is vintage and thanks to my friend Terry for the jar of great vintage buttons! She likes to thrift and will pick up little precious bits of things for me. She knows what I like!
Also notice the green bead seam treatment to the left. I will need to balance the block with more beading.
I stitched some beads on the blue silk flower (the 1st fabric I needed to use in this challenge). Adding beads along both edges pulls that color out giving some cohesion to this section.

That's all!

I have learned:

  1. Sesame Street is 40 years old today. I was 8 when it began. I never watched an episode til Melissa was born. PBS was not cool back in the day!
  2. This is a great site with really good tutorials for projects.
  3. So You Think You Can Dance is on at 8 tonight....I've said it before but I really love this show.
  4. 12 nights from now I will be waiting for Bruce Springsteen to take the stage. The last concert of this tour here in Buffalo! Excited!

Have a good week...make something cool...learn something new!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bit of Discharging...

Not enough creating today...too much cleaning (for me!), then lost steam. It was a beautiful day though. I did enjoy it! I can cross 'washing kitchen floor' off my list (been on it for awhile..)

I did manage to get some pics of the discharging I did earlier this week.
I found some felt sticky backed letters at Sally Ann's and thought I would use them to mask off an area and discharge with spray bleach cleaner on the black fabric.
This is what happened! I like it despite all it's shortcomings. The spray bleach I had was down to the bottom of the squirt tube in the bottle so the stream was more like splotch than spray. Also the felt sticky backed letters allowed some bleach under the letter so the image is not sharp. I love experimenting with this technique! I like the uncertainty and surprise. I appreciate the scrounge-y outcome! In a very short bit of time, with minimal materials, a very dramatic result.

It's time to make a list of projects in the forefront:
  1. Aida's CQ RR block..finish up & mail to Jody
  2. CQ for ME...keep on stitching on!
  3. Boutique quality item for guild Christmas gift exchange
  4. Create my BOOK for the RR beginning in canvas & paint to start
  5. Make pair of earrings from cool beads I got at Micheals
  6. Guild challenge.."Initially Yours". Kiwi, Dijon & initials are KDE.
  7. Valentine gift for HGTV Holiday Gift Swap
  8. Finish that darn IAQ piece
  9. My piece of the flower for Art Quilt Group
  10. Knit skinny scarf
  11. Marbled Mosaic piece

Most have been started, some are still in planning/thinking stage. All occupy my mind 24/7!

I have learned:

  1. Dental floss can actually push the nasty, bothersome food speck up into the gum. Ask me how I know. It is impossible to extract now without the expertise of a dental professional.
  2. Ian is 12! Preadolescence. My lucky sister.
  3. Creepy commercial...Halls cough drops. There is a DINER guy one that is just disturbing.
  4. 6 yrs 4 mos 3 wks til retirement.
  5. Irina, Althea & my favorite Carol Hannah are the 3 designers that will go to Bryant Park on Project Runway.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Marbled Fabric Mosaic

Last year we had an inspiring trunk show from an area fiber artist. She challenged our group to use 2 pieces of hand marbled fabrics she had made, interested in what we would do with them. I chose coordinating aqua/brown/gold/green pieces. I didn't want to start hacking at them since this was all there more on a bolt somewhere! I had no I took the pieces to Office Max and had color copies made of them. I used these paper copies to play around with a design.
One of my idea's was to cut them into 1" squares and arrange in a mosaic layout paying special attention to the coloring in each small "tile". I didn't commit to it then but...
I was looking at the pictures on my phone the other day and saw a pic of my layout (good tool...any digital image..both for reference later and to shed light on the color value in a design) and got the REAL fabrics out and had at it! I cut them into the 1" squares and came up with this. I like it. It's representational of a busy night sky, shoreline and watery foreground. Not sure what is next at this point though!

I did a little more stitching on Aida's RR block. The nest charm is about the size of a dime. I wrote "PRECIOUS" out on tracing paper, pinned to block and backstitched with 2 strands of variegated thread. I went back in after pulling out all the paper bits with 1 strand and thickened up the line. I stitched the nest with random long and short stitches with rust/brown thread and added some green all around.

Originally I thought to put eggs in the nest and I wet felted some light blue roving into teeny egg shapes. They were too big! I could have trimmed them down but I really wasn't feeling them. Then I remembered my visit to Michael's and knew the nest charm I bought in the clearance rack would be perfect.

I have learned:
  1. This is a great site that directs you to various blogs and websites for free project idea's. I love this one from Lindsay's site with a tutorial for making a wreath from discarded book pages.
  2. Cat's catch mice. Good Cliffy!
  3. Super Scrabble, a newer, expanded version of Scrabble. I want this game. I love Scrabble. When I was a kid I would play with my mother...we didn't keep score, ever. As an adult I can't even understand the point to that since I REALLY like to WIN at Scrabble! Really.
  4. I really liked Garth Brooks in the beginning. Alot. Then he started crying all over TV, just a total disconnect from his original agenda. Disappointment. Now...un-retired? Las Vegas? Seriously?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bag of Stash + 2 Hours = Art Quilts

Last night my Art Quilt friends met. On the agenda was our own mini "Project Iron Quilter" challenge. Each member brought some fabrics in a bag to swap out. We had 2 hours to make a 9" x 12" finished quilt, using the Art Quilt Workbook, chapter five...INNOVATIVE PIECING.
This is my piece....quickly machine quilted and for the most part done! It was an excellent exercise in decision making. The time frame did not allow for 2nd, 3rd and 4th guessing!

Elaine got my bag of stuff. I threw in a little piece of green Lumiere painted used dryer sheet and one of my experiments using a leaf as a stamp along with the fabrics. I love what she did with them!
Sharon's finished art the way she attached the yarn embellishment and good contrast.

Martha's piece...notice her machine quilting. She has been following the 365 Machine Quilting patterns blog (it's on my list to the left). Martha was the only one of us that actually practiced the techniques in the chapter before we met!

Christie was present, telling us funny stories while making up a high school math test for her students.

Fun was had by all and we will be doing this again!

I have learned:

  1. Canine oral surgery is a bloody mess. I feel bad for my Dean. On a good note, no cesspool breath.
  2. Sinus issues. Bad. Much meds.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cute Little Corset

This is the little corset I stitched onto Aida's block last night! I am very happy with it. It really is adorable. I used lightweight fusible to stabilize the loose weave fabric. Using tiny back stitches I sewed it to her block. Creamy silk ribbon was twisty-folded and tacked down with french knots. I used narrow icy blue silk ribbon to "lace" it up!
The lavender ric-rac seam treatment is another bit I stitched. I was going to add a spider web to her block but remembered she preferred no crawly things!

My plate of distinction is all pieced and I love the way it came out. You choose a specific part of the fabric not really knowing what the outcome will be...I like that! It's a motivating force though, the not knowing. Sharon Stroud's advice to us was to take the plate and audition it on various colored backgrounds to find the right one. SO that's what I will do!

I love crazy quilting because it offers so much opportunity for creativity. Being involved in Round Robins is one of the best ways to see new things (the work of others) and try something new. It makes me want to do my best work and give a part of me a home in someone else's block. Each piece is a reflection of the maker, their color choices, motifs that appeal to their interests. I am inspired by books, blogs and CQMagonline. Check it can read back issues too.

I have learned:

  1. MAD MEN is on-demand! AMC programming. Great show. It really nails the social nuances of the time.
  2. This is my favorite day of the year! A whole extra HOUR!!!!!
  3. Micheal's has great clearance on beads & charms & jewelry bits right now.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

My CQ for ME Progress

Happy Halloween!~~~~ Pumpkin courtesy of Melissa, carved by Michael & Karyssa~~~~ *************************************************************************
I haven't taken a stitch yet this weekend! I know, it's only Saturday. I will make a few tonight on Aida's CQ block. It is a beatiful block and I am inspired by the colors. I have a has something to do with this STITCH magazine and the cover article! Hope it works out.
I LOVE LOVE this magazine and it is the hardest mag to find...ever. No store in my town carries it so when ever I am near a B&N I run in to see if it is there. I have missed many of them this way. Since it is published in England, subscribing is cost prohibitive due to mailing costs. Do check it out if you have the chance. It is an excellent source of inspriation.

My work so far on my CQ for ME block. (a challenge I am participating in to make a block for ourselves since we are always making them for others in various swaps)I am loving it! I knew these Kaffe Fasset fabrics would look great with embellishments and I am not disappointed. This block is exciting!

One of my favorite seam embellishments! I have used brown silk ribbon here, randomly folding and twisting it as I tack it down with french knots. It looks good in chiffon and satin ribbon too. The ribbon just needs to be more pliable than stiff. It adds alot of dimension to a piece.

Free form flower using perle cotton. French knot center and pistol stitch & straight stitch petals.

Close-up of the blue silk fabric & chiffon ribbon flower on my project. The blue silk dupioni is 1 of the 2 fabrics I must use in my block. I made a yo-yo and tacked it down. Added the chiffon ribbon petals 1 loop at a time all around. I will add beads to the center yet.
I have learned:
  1. 77 MPH winds will knock the average person over.

  2. Karyssa just carved her 1st pumpkin! She's 21.

  3. Cory never made pumpkin seeds before. He has now! He's 25.

  4. 81 lb dog + oral surgery = approximately $400.00.

  5. 12 lbs down now!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Crazy-ish Lampshade

Yes it is a lampshade! It is an old Pottery Barn silk shade that no longer had a home atop a lamp base. So one day I picked it up and started hand stitching home dec fabric swatches to it (some fabric stores will pin samples to the roll). I really like how it is coming along. Fun to recycle, rethink and repurpose (much like the BRA project). I have quite a bit more to do but thought I'd share.

I just received the next CQ block in my novice fulfillment for CQI's RR. Aida's block is gorgeous satins in very complimentary solid colors....cream, lavender, seafoam green, pink & peach. I am already running many options through my mind! Love it.

I have a few things that MUST get time this weekend.

  • CONFIGURE 2 size blocks for courthouse steps. Need to nail down strip sizes for specific block size. Wish I was mathematical. Not. I will be doing this the "slow & steady" way.

  • APPLIQUE the block for raffle quilt. I have never appliqued before and am a little stumped at the layering/stitching process. But will give it my best shot!

  • DYE fabric with Dijon mustard. I need "D"ijon. I know mustard stains. Worth a try. I don't need alot. Or I could dye yellow and overdye with brown? Experiment.

  • My CQ for ME block (the Kaffe Fassett blocks I posted a couple weeks ago) is looking great! I am loving how the busy fabrics are taking all the embellishment.

  • MAKE a gift to exchange at Christmas party for quilt guild.

Fall. Luminous foliage right outside my door. Soon this tree will be naked and periodically covered in snow!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Here's What 21 Looks Like...

Busy busy weekend! Michael turned 21 Friday. I bought him his first legal beer! His girlfriend, Karyssa also turned 21 last Tuesday! All family members gathered to celebrate at Olive Garden. Friday was had by all! Football game Saturday. Today a cheer competition my nieces were involved in. Here is Darcy looking like a young lady! That smile. Love that smile.

So the only creative moment I can claim is a visit to a quilt shop yesterday! Needed more fabric for the guild's raffle quilt. I managed to find some FQ's I just had to have.

My hopes are pinned on next weekend and I will be making a list of what will be on the agenda sometime this week.

I have learned:

  1. The term "black-balled" came from the Freemason's. They used a black cube as a NO vote when nominating a prospective member.
  2. is an Internet radio site. It is so cool. Go to it. Make your own radio stations. Find new music. Find old favorites. Love it.
  3. I love Project Runway. Right now I am liking the Hannah girl.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sharon Stroud Day at Quilt Guild!

Yesterday we had Sharon Stroud lecture at quilt guild! She is such a happy little woman and I know she was enjoyed by all. (Click here to see more pictures) Sharon is the author of Dresden Plates of Distinction.
I like this little quilt she is holding above. On 9/11 she was teaching a quilt class when they heard the news. On her way home she bought this fabric. She journaled a bit on the back about it.
Melanie and her mom with two Dresden plates done in the same fabric with different backgrounds.

The border fabric on this quilt is the fabric used for all of the plates. Each plate consists of 16 blades, all fussy cut and hand stitched into a circle, then a solid circle appliqued to center and the entire piece is appliqued to a base fabric.. The area of fabric you choose to use holds all the mystery!

Martha with two quilts that show the "real" funky Sharon on the left...a skull in the center and bold colors. The one on the right is for the "masses" and classes!

You may recognize this one from the Simply Quilts episode she did years ago. Sixteen of us took the workshop after the meeting and we learned the steps required to get the block pieced with some tips on applique and hand stitching. It was a day well spent learning with a fully engaged teacher and good company. Thank you Sharon!

I spent part of today hand stitching (which I love) half of my Dresden Plate of Distinction! I am really happy with it. I love the swirls the form at the center and the tip and the two more solid forms across the middle. I cut the other eight out and I have three of those sewn together already. Very satisfying!

AND this is the fabric I used. This is a "well-aged" fabric as Sharon Stroud would say! Something about it made me keep it around through many stash clearances.

I learned:

  1. Once again (I know I have learned this before but things slip my mind constantly) that the eye of a needle has an easy side to thread. If your having trouble turn the eye around.
  2. Dean, my greyhound, sheds like a dog. I wish I could vacuum him. I tried once when I first got him. Apparently he didn't like his skin being sucked up as well.
  3. 30 years of service = $200.00 gift card to Sears.
  4. My niece Darcy's team won their division in her cheerleader competition today! Way to go Darc! We will see you next week at UB!