Thursday, December 30, 2010

Crazy Quilted Gift

This is the gift I had been working on the week before Christmas...for my sister. It is a crazy quilt block with a photo transfer pic of her and I when we were about 3 and 2 ish. I loved stitching every bit of this! It is in a shadowbox frame thus the reflection on the glass. I do love a shadowbox...something about stuff tucked inside a dimensional box!
The "D" for her last name, my maiden name and my niece's name...Darcy, i actually 1 of 2 bits from a belt I found at Sally Ann's. I covered the side edge with silk ribbon since it didn't have rhinestones on the part. The cat charm is from a bead shop I went to in New Hampshire at my quilt retreat in 2009.  We both have cats and love them!
This wine themed charm was from the same bead store....we do like our wine!
I am not usually a button cluster fan but had some great vintage ones and decided to go with it. The cool button on the right is from a coat and the pinkish one was in a button box I found. The Celtic button I bought a few years ago just because....well I am Irish!
Of course a crazy quilt block is not complete without a good luck spider web. The spider is made of seed beads.
I need to get it into the frame now...not sure how to do that. I will figure it out! I hope my sister loves it. You know how it is when you make a gift for someone that doesn't do what you do! If not I know Darcy will take it under her wing!
On Monday I have to mail this block out. It is my base block for the Steampunk RR at CQI. Colleen alerted me to this RR a few months ago, knowing I had a busy year ahead of me. She knew I would be very interested in a CQ RR in this genre! It is very me. I look forward to this RR and each block I get to add my own interpretation of steampunk-ness to.

I bought this Karen Phillips-Shwallon embroidery pattern at a quilt show last spring. Her booth was gorgeous, her work inspiring. I saw am article about her recently in American Quilter I believe. I wish she had a website. I want to work the PEACE on the linen. Not sure about all the flowers yet, but I love the letters.

I have been off work since last Thursday. I love it. I am never bored. It leaves room for creative thinking! I worked on a mug rug today for an HGTV swap I signed up for. A mug rug is basically a small placemat and a large coaster. It is a great size for quickness and fun way to try something new. I did!  I had so much fun making this that I made 2! Not sure when we swap, but when we do I will post the picture.

So 2010 is ready to wrap up. 2011. I am not a resoluter. I wish I believed it was a "new" beginning. That would be cool.
I plan to be home in my favorite place stitching tomorrow night. That makes me happy! Happy New Year!

I have learned:
  1. I love mussels! Yummy meaty mussels!
  2. Melody Gardot CD. Easy listening. Sunday morning music for anytime.
  3. Growing hair out is a pain in the arse, but I am trying.
  4. Thread sketching is fun! 
  5. Dutch Blitz. Fun card game.
  6. Gas prices to go up to $4 this year? Really? I need a bike.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve......Peace

I loved this sign on a gate in Buffalo. I took this pic at the Buffalo Garden Walk this past summer. I wish PEACE were possible.
I have been very very busy these weeks of December. My daughter Melissa turned 28 on the 20th. That is such a measurement in my life! I am cresting 49, sliding into 50 in less than 3 months. I had 2 kids, my first house and a full time job for 10 years by then~! Times....
Last weekend I decided I would make my sister a crazy quilt with a pic of her and I when we were kids. She loved the one I received in February as a gift. I need to finish it up and get it into a shadowbox frame by tomorrow noon! No problem.
Michael is home from college. He made the Dean's list in spite of all the adversity's of the last 5 months. He has been talking with recruiters and the military may be an option when he graduates in May. I am supportive and would be very proud.
The Chocolate challenge for guild is due the 3rd Saturday in January. Good thing my piece is small! Machine stitching may be introduced soon!
I received a DVD set from Interweave today. I knew I hadn't ordered any of Quilting Arts cool DVDs. It was complimentary! When they called for UFOs a bit ago I sent a pic of one of my troubling pieces. They eventually had me mail it to them and it was used on an episode in the current 700 series of Quilting Arts TV!
I am watching it right now...waiting to see which episode I see my little quilt on!
Thank you Quilting Arts/Interweave!

I have learned:
  1. My friend Sandy is another year older today! She's a hot cancer spots in last scan! We had a great chatty visit this morning.
  2. Time off.....priceless!
  3. Jody + Nicki + me @ COF retreat in April = fun times!
  4. Apparently Dean the greyhound thinks I put a Christmas tree up for his convenience. 
  5. Lobster tails and muscles the Christmas dinner this year. mmmmmm.
  6. Why do we wait til now to meet up with friends when we have the whole year?
  7. Melissa's wedding is less than 10 months away!! 10-15-11.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

More is More and a Redwork Rejuvenated!

Who was I kidding? I knew I wasn't finished with Colleen's book pages! NOW I am. Here is a close-up of one of my favorite sections. The slide frame is covered in torn cheesecloth; the center fabric is a silk velvet ruched and tacked; the heart is the backside of a charm (I liked it better than the embossed front) with a tiny star charm and a Swarovski crystal and a cool rhinestone bead. I used heavy black thread to secure the heart and all the stitchy bits around the outside edge of the slide frame. This feels like me. Here is the truly finished pages!

The redwork that almost died......

I am so happy to say it will live in Mary Anne's house along with her daughter Melanie! I made it into a little quiltie. I do love how the black & white looks with the redwork.
Great guild party today. Our new hospitality crew did a wonderful job with the decorations. And thanks to the VA for some festive ambiance upon our arrival! Our gift exchange was full of great projects. I received, thanks to my Jack of Spades ( & thanks to sewlovetoquilts for the idea to use 2 decks of cards to fairly distribute the presents) a tablerunner I love, a really great and useful zipper bag (I will be using this to carry my chocolate challenge around for the next month as I do all my handstitching!) a package of note cards and a yummy tea! Thank you Charlotte! I will get pics of these posted soon.
I just have to show you these little felted lizards Martha made. The pics are not great but I know I can coerce her into showing me them again to get better pics, but for now check these out...

She should have a better pic on her blog...Bits of my sidebar. They are precious critters!

I have learned:

  1. I need the recipe from Christine for that rice/chicken/cranberry/mandarin orange yummy salad she brought to party today!
  2. Thanks to Dodie, I have found a guy that makes portable design boards with PVC pipe and felt. I have ordered one sight unseen for $60.00. I cannot wait to get it!
  3. Christmas celebrations are trickier than ever this year. Time will tell where all the bodies lay come Christmas Eve & Christmas Day and apparently it is wide open now to the day after Christmas. 
  4. Some of us have made a pact, the ones of us that need a deadline, to have something ready to submit to Q=A=Q by the August due date. We have to start somewhere, why not close to home? 
5. December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

1......another loan, but that's not looking good
2......Another dead deer in front of my house
3......A pat down at the airport
4......Unruly hairs
5......nothing to happen with Pearl Street Grill til after 10-15-11
6......lit sensor lights in my Trailblazer
7......those 9 pounds I already lost
8......cameras in the trucks at work
9..... more.flaking exterior paint
10....bad things to happen to good people more broken vacuum
I will worry about them if they day at a time, it's all we can do.

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    My Little Art Quilt Group Project & other goings on

    1. i
    I don't think I ever posted the finished Convulvulous (which I believe is a morning glory) flower group art quilt my little art quilt group  made. Martha's picture in the lower left was the inspiration. She took it, enlarge it and cut into 5 slices that each of us completed using any technique we chose. Mine is the one that kind of stick out! At the 2-3 o'clock space...I used the snippet technique. Cutting little bits of each color using a rotary cutter and just slashing away. Taking those, with my picture next to the background fabric I just "paint" the petal out. I did include a sheer with silver in it and dispersed it in the white area's for a touch of sparkle. I used grey tulle to cover the entire piece and disolvable film pinned over everything to hold it all in and thread painted each section in appropriate color. I have done this technique before and love the pointillist effect. It is also fun! Sharon, Elaine and Martha, who actually did 2 petals, were the other artists. Martha also made the pieced background and Elaine did the machine quilting. It is a striking piece~!

    We have a few new members to our group now....Karen and Lori and Marylee! Our next group project, inspired by my online book RR, will be a book. I believe it is a Sandra Meech book Martha has that had an exercise to make a collage of texture and isolate a small square area and reproduce that area into, we decided, an 8"x8" page. We also said a picture/image could be used isolating an area of that and doing the same. I think I am going to use the Kaffe Fassett Crazy quilted piece I made a bit ago. I sectioned off different parts of it and now to settle on which one I will use. Plenty of texture there~!

    I am leaning towards the first one but my initial choice was the third one. Who knows, I may change my mind entirely by the time I start it! I know some of the girls feel daunted by this since they have not done a book page before...but all it is really, is a little quilt!
    Remember the redwork piece I tried to wash a faint spot off of and the red dye ran? Well I tossed it into a mesh laundry bag in the washer with bleach and soap and it washed out! I didn't know if the bleach would affect the red thread, just figured it was destined for trash so why not??? I was pleased since it was quilt a bit of work. I just made my guild gift using it, but no pic til after tomorrow's meeting!
    I am trying to decide how to fairly and funly (my own word) distribute the gifts the ladies make. Last year I did the right/left Santa story I found online. It was fair and fun. I don't like the take-it-from-others game, so that is out. Any idea's? Perhaps I should post this question on HGTV right now. Nothing like waiting til the last minute!
    Our guild also has an excellent Community Service program run by Melanie and her mom MaryAnn. At Christmas volunteers make gift bags filled with age/gender appropriate gifts that they take to a school in Batavia every year. I have 4 year old Dahlia. Of course I still have to make the bag. I have a bunch of bits but think she needs a doll, so I will send Melissa to store later to pick one out for her!
    Our guild's annual challenge, due at January meeting, is Chocolate! Anything with brown in it....dark chocolate is really the only one I like so I will be using super dark brown. I have started it on my embellishing machine, but I know I will be finishing it up the day before. I do feel ahead of the game however,since I usually wait til my vacation at Christmas to start it!
    Another project I will be working on is a Steampunk inspired theme CQ RR on CQI. Colleen remembered I have a busy year coming up but knew that I could be persuaded to participate in this cool genre round robin. So I will be making a 12"x12" block by January 2nd. I have a sketchy idea for my block. The darker colors, the metal bits, the ratty-tatty will come easily. This promises to be my favorite CQ RR ever!
    I have learned:
    1. Anesthesia + me= hardcore nausea. But the kidney stone is out!
    2. Uncommon Threads, an oldie but goodie on HGTV's old schedule still airs repeats some mornings. I got to watch two episodes this morning. HGTV used to have so many great shows for the crafter. What happened to HGTV? 
    3. Sewing with Nancy has a great thread painting show on right this minute! Check it out!
    4. Found the most awesome filigree glittered 8" bells at Dollar Store for the wedding. 26 silver bells were weeded out of the gold, red and green ones. They are the vintage-gray glitter rather that the high silver colored glitter making them perfect for the Vintage Glam theme! These will be hung over the main tables down the center of the room with crystals. Pretty! Here is a few images of the room we have for the wedding October 15th, 2011! Cool joint! 
    5.    My friend Elaine alerted me to this site. Designed to prompt you to ponder 2010 and think about 2011. It began December 1st but I am jumping in today.       December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)...................................Wisely I realize that creating things is like therapy to me and I allow myself time to do it..I actually need it, every aspect from designing a project through every step to the harder part for me~finishing. I am process driven more than product driven and that is ok with me. It will continue to play out daily and wisdom will abound!!   

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Snowy Day

    Snow. The first significant snowfall of the year never fails to invoke nostalgic memories of childhood and the truly magical play day it promised! I love the white cover, the challenge of driving in "conditions" and the sign of the holiday season. I had my first snowball hit last night! It is all good until January when that inevitable cold snap hits. Pictured is my immediate backyard. The deer actually roam there. I will see all the foot trails in the morning.

    So Weight Watchers starts an all new program this month. Got all my new material for a mere (?) $35. I am committed for the next year. I want to lose an additional 15 lbs by Melissa's wedding day in October.

    I was in Pier I recently and found these oh so adorable angel wings.....
    Chester, the old coot cat is after these. Must be the bird feathers.

    My final gift in the Homemade Holiday Swap is this awesome tote bag from my friend Elaine. I used it today to take my things to work! I love it. It is roomy enough for a good sized project or a bunch of mags!
    Since I mailed my gift off before I took a pic I will have to try to copy the one on HGTV message board soon.
    I am very excited to be going to the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center for the Quilts=Arts=Quilt exhibit Saturday in Auburn NY with Martha and Elaine. It is always an inspiring show. 

    More tests tomorrow...oh joyous me. Probing, prodding. Want answers.

    I have learned:

    1. A young man at work thought $60  to $70 would buy him a quilt. Silly boy.