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.