Sunday, August 31, 2008

Meow is Finished

. . . and here is what it looks like:

finished meow

And this is the back:back of meow

This is a personal milestone for me.  The first quilt larger than a wall hanging that I have constructed completely from start to finish.  All by my own self!!   Everyone say, "Wow."

Well, I am feeling emotional about this one.  Of course, the emotion is more like relief than pride!  You might say there have been a few bumps along the way.  Most of the normal variety - not enough fabric for the originally planned border, mismatched corners - those are things you have to expect.  And I am much happier with this border as it turns out.

No, the problem that I could do without was when the foot control on my sewing machine started acting up.  It would stick in the On position . . . then stick in the Off position.   A good swift kick and it would behave - until next time!  Got through stitching on binding, but this is not acceptable.  No Way!

So yesterday we are off to the local Bernina shop.  (Well, in my case "local" is about 50 miles!)  No problem, they can probably fix it or replace if necessary.  This is a known problem and a solution is now available.  By the way would you like a loaner?  Oh, bless you!

While we are here, how about looking at the new models?  A big sale coming up in a week or so and there are some nice features.  Oh, OK.  Go ahead - twist my arm!  It can't hurt to look, right?  Can you see what's coming?

No, I did not come home with a new sewing machine . . . yet!  But I DID get to play with the Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR) and that is a dangerous thing.  Because of course, now I NEED one!  I knew I would.  I've avoided looking at them because I knew it would hook me.  It's exactly what I need for the free motion embroidery and quilting I do.  

My faithful machine is now 5 years old.  With a new foot control, she will run great for many years.  But the BSR won't work on her.  Oh dear, what shall I do?  Anyone want to guess?  Be sure to check back in a couple of weeks - but don't place any bets. 

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Where Have I Been?

  I know, I know.  I've been on the Missing Blogger list lately.  I'd love to tell you all about the wonderful things I've been doing and fascinating places I've been, but . . . it would be a lie!

Yup, I've been right here.  Doing some of this and that.  I kept from garage thinking I should post some in-progress notes, but never quite found the time.  Sure, there have been some doctor appointments and some afternoons in the garden and visiting family and shopping trips.  You know, all that Real Life stuff that gets in the way.  But good golly molly, not that much!  Well, let me catch you up now.  Sit back and relax - this could take a little while.


Meows The big project these past weeks has been a crib-size quilt for Project Linus.  I have the top all finished, using several cat prints.  As I started preparing the "sandwich", P8180037 I came across a tutorial at Anyone Can Quilt.  Just the information I needed to get going!  It is all ready to start quilting next week.  Just grid quilting for this one, but the tutorial has some nice tips for free motion quilting, too.  Oh boy!

Button, Button

FestbuttonMy little town is preparing for the annual festival.  This year I was asked to make a sash and button for the parade grand marshal.  Nothing very fancy, but I did need to do some research about honor sashes to figure how wide and long, and then hunt down some 4-inch ribbon.  Lots of good Christmas ribbons just coming out now, but I didn't want red or silver or gold!  I know - picky, picky.  The button was easy, thanks to Nellie and her post last May about making award medallions.  It worked like a charm.  Thanks, Nellie!

More Peacocks?

RivkahLast month Rivkah posted about a vintage peacock block pattern she had found.  She has been working on this quilt for two years and making very slow progress.  She figured it would never get done unless she got some help.  So I volunteered.  Why, you ask?  I mean, I don't already have tons of projects?  Well, it was just after I finished Percy and shipped him off and I was loving all things peacock.  I figured I could at least do a block or two - and maybe Minewind up with a cool pattern, too.  Rivkah makes wonderful dolls and we don't want  that kind of talent getting stuck on another two year project, do we?  Well, I made a block for her quilt - and another for myself.  Hers is ready to go in the mail on Monday.  Mine?  Well, it will go on the wall for now.  I will find a project for it eventually.

Speaking of Peacocks . . .

closeupbird If you haven't already heard . . . Percy won a prize in the Hoffman Challenge!  He and Pegwyn were selected as the Most Humorous entry!  This weekend all 300 plus traveling entries are at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival in Loveland, CO.  They will then begin a yearlong tour of shops and shows before coming back home to me.  Percy has been all atwitter.  I suppose he will be even more obnoxious than ever.  Oh my.  The price of fame!

Doll Club Meets!

montage And, of course, I've been to a doll club meeting.  We always have a good time and this month was no exception.  We had some really great Show N Tell items, too.  I put together a photo collage to give you an idea.  Some of the Flap dolls are finished and there are always new ideas showing up.  One of our members is doing some drastic de-stashing and brought many, many boxes of goodies for P8230018us to rummage through.  To a fiber addict, nothing is better than rummaging through boxes of fabric, lace, feathers, leather, trim, and seriously necessary "stuff."  I brought home a stack of fabric (actually a fairly modest stack [no, P8230020really!]) and some leather and  lace.   See all  those butterflies in the bottom corner?  Wow!  I see butterflies in my future!


Well, that brings my blog about up to date.  Once the "Meow" has been quilted, I should be able to get back to a normal schedule.  One can only hope!

Friday, August 8, 2008

July Challenge - Finally Finished!

Well, it's not TOO late!  This month's (July) Take It Further Challenge didn't take very long to make up, but I sure spent a lot of time thinking and planning! j0251313

The theme was "What is it to be at the half way mark?", which was left at just that.  When you start to think about it, there are so many, many ways to approach Half Way.  There was a lot of discussion about the glass being half-full or half-empty.  I also considered things like turning point, point-of-no-return, and Living on the Edge (one of my favs from Aerosmith). 

j0353406 I did a lot of doodling, but I kept coming back to the idea that we are half way through the year (actually just past the half-way mark, but - minor detail!) and so my mind kept coming back to a Time themed idea.  The more I thought about it, the less I could get away from Time.  Interestingly, there has been very little discussion from the Time angle from the other challenge participants.  That settles it, then.  I will deal with TIME!

About this point, we were looking at positive/negative and expanded squares in the Studio Journal class I took.  This is a simple concept that can be fairly dramatic.  Plus, by now I am getting way behind!  Time to put this thing together.  Except that didn't happen right away either.  Everytime I settled on a design - good, I'll start tomorrow! - overnight I would have another thought.  What if I turned these this way?  Maybe some color?  Should there be embroidered clock hands?  You get the idea.

Enough already!  So I got to work.  You just know I had more ideas even then!  Finally.  This is the finished piece.  It looks sorta like the last sketch, but not quite - almost. . . maybe.  Fused fabric and free motion quilting.half03

It needs a title.   Hmmm.  Half Time?  Time And A Half?  Cutting Time in Half? 

While I'm thinking about that, it's time to start on August's challenge.  "What is balance to you? Do you maintain a balanced life? How do you balance aspects of your life?"  Argh!  Life is balanced????

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cleared for Take-off

I promised pictures of the finished class doll.  Here is Floyd - as I have decided to call him.  Flapping P8010004Floyd!  





















P8010014 P8010011





This pattern is filled with new techniques.  Just about the time I think I've tried them all, I find a designer like Nancy who takes us to a new level.  The class was really a lot of fun.  I would definitely consider taking another class from Nancy, but I DO NOT believe her when she says she is lazy!  I know a lot about lazy and those boots were not the product of a lazy mind!  LOL!

Nancy said she wants to have a challenge to make Flap - er, Floyd - a female companion.  That has me thinking.  The obvious idea would be a female flyer, but I'm not one to go for the obvious.  Besides, Floyd needs someone more . . . grounded.  Substantial!  What do you think?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Goal Review #5

OK, I promised a review.  With the "new and improved" goals (see previous post), this one should be shorter - and possibly more interesting for you!  So, what are we waiting for?

flake Goal 1:  Use my "stash" and develop my creativity.  I've certainly been doing things all over the map, experimenting on new things to see where my interests lie.  The exercises from my Studio Journal class have really started my thought processes lately.  I have high hopes for this goal coming up.


 Goal 2: Take It Further challenge.  I've stopped stressing so much about the calendar and concentrating on the challenge itself.  That's got to help, huh?  So I have July's piece ready for some quilting and will be ready to start on August next week.  These challenges are not only about developing art, they are turning into soul searching exercises as well.   Talk about a growth exercise!

closeup-sm Goal 3:  Make Dolls.  No problem there!  I've been so busy making dolls lately that I haven't explored a lot of new things during this review period.  The Flap doll is now finished, so watch for pictures of him before long.  I'm sorting through some "mature" ideas for another one.  Mature as in they've been floating around in my head for awhile.  Just might be time to let one out!

book sampleGoal 4: Classes and groups.  This is one area that has been going  quite well, actually.  The class on Studio Journals has been so-o-o interesting and helped a lot in many areas.  I've also been pretty active in the Stitchin' Fingers group.  I've taken part in a postcard swap and a Dotee doll swap and am even a "Group Mom" for Cloth Dolls - meaning I created the group and try to keep things sort of moving along.  I am also working on a fiber book and belong to a couple of embroidery groups, so there's lots of things to do.  I do want to get back to the hatmaking lessons I started the year with and that may happen a bit later on. 

Goal 5: Review. Ha!  For some reason this goal has always been easy.   Hmm, maybe "easy" isn't the right word.  There have been some painful confessions in the review process and some Deep Thinking, which we do try to avoid!  Well, next review will be the week of September 9 - and the beginning of a new season!

There!  That's out of the way and we can get back to the fun stuff.  Stay tuned for a post on the finished Flap and, hopefully, a finished TIF for July.  There's some interesting projects coming down the pipe, too.  So, what am I doing on the computer!??