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.