Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday WOW - December 29

Whoa!  Last WOW of the year.


Seems like there should be something special about this post.  How about a look at where the Thimbleberries BOM is now?


Just some more border work and it's complete!  Don't know if it will happen before 2011, though.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday WOW - December 22


My worktable is Santa Central this week!  Finishing shopping and wrapping gifts.  Not much time for stitchin' this week!  We will return to regular programming after the holidays.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Super Saturday

shopperApparently, that is what the last Saturday before Christmas is called.  Sort of a final rush for shopping.  So, guess when this little country mouse decided to go to the City?  Yup!

A few thoughts on Super Saturday:

  • I'm very glad I am not working as a clerk in any store this week!
  • I'm thankful for the remote that allows me to find my car in the mall parking lot!
  • I'm thankful I do not have young children who get tired much too soon, and want everything they see, which is much too much!
  • I'm glad I have mellowed (can't be because I'm older!) and bustling crowds and long lines don't blow my cool anymore.
  • I'm thankful it waited to snow until I got home (yes, flakes are coming down now!)
  • I'm thankful for my warm, quiet home in the country!!!

sled And I think I am ready for Christmas now.   A little wrapping and a little baking - and all week to do it.  This is probably a FIRST!

Wow!  It's really snowing now!  We could have a White Christmas after all.  Are you ready for Christmas?  Or for winter?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday WOW- December 15


This is part of the Thimbleberries BOM quilt.  I picked up the last kit today.  This 2-1/2 inch squares will be part of a border - all 196 of them!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

White Christmas?


Well, it's not looking good for this part of the world.  This morning, we had snow - for about *this* long!  But then, we still have a couple of weeks to go.  It's not that I'm wishing for snow, really.  Not like some parts of the country have!  But - Christmas doesn't seem the same without snow.

So, I've been trying to get into the Christmas spirit.  Really!  Listening to the music and writing Christmas cards and all that.  Hunh. 


I think I'll take some time to play with Christmas graphics.  The ones in this post, by the way, are from Lisa at TenTwoStudios.  Specifically, the Holiday Countdown page, but she has lots more fun print/mixed-media items.  I'm off to explore!

Are you feeling the Christmas spirit yet?

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Tutorial

I love reading craft tutorials on blogs.  There is so much talent out there in Blogland, and I really enjoy seeing how these fun things are done.  I'm always learning something new!

Lately I've had the urge to post a tutorial of my own.  What to share with you all was a big question.  It should be colorful, I think, and somewhat entertaining.  Not too long, but detailed enough to get the idea across.

The MOST important thing, though, is that the topic should be something the writer is good at.  Hmmmm.  Well, let's try this one:


Oops!  Isn't that supposed to say "Scrappy Quilt"??  Well . . .  .

Here are my steps.  See what you think the title should be:P5170006

  1. Pick up a pile of miscellaneous pieces from a garage sale. Age and source unknown. Fiber content? Unknown – does it matter? 
  2. Pick a new block pattern that you have never tried before. We should always try new things, right?
  3. Even though the pieces are hand cut, don’t bother to verify size or square up corners. It will be close enough. P7150003
  4. Cut your background pieces using a rotary cutter and be very precise!
  5. Don’t bother to plan your layout now. Just start making blocks. You can figure out what the finished product will look like later.P7150005
  6. Decide on two contrasting backgrounds, but only after you’ve made more than half of the blocks using the first color. You can always add more blocks and make a larger quilt. Don’t worry about having duplicate colors in the same background. It’s a scrappy quilt! layoutonwall
  7. When seams or points don’t match up, go ahead and stretch the shorter piece. You can press out the wobbles later.
  8. If you forget to trim off all the little "ears" at the seam edges, don't sweat it.  They won't show on the front side anyway.
  9. When adding new fabric, use the dimensions you figured when making backgrounds. The cardboard template isn’t accurate anyway. P5170003
  10. After all the blocks are finished, decide whether you want  them to be all the same size OR have nice perfect points. It’s too late to have both!
  11. Use a photo of the blocks and a cut and paste method to  plan the final placement. Laying them out on the floor is too much trouble and you should be able to see the duplicates from photos.
  12. It’s too late to worry about what direction to press the seams, so just flip the ones that are too bulky. So what if there are a couple twisted seams on the back? (or a couple dozen!?)
  13. Decide to put multiple borders on the (crooked) quilt. Maybe the borders will distract from the wonky sides.  Don't get carried away with measuring each border either.  Eyeballing it is good enough. P9170004
  14. Quilt that sucker to within an inch of its life! You can blame it all on beginner’s quilting skills!



Much to my surprise, the end result doesn't look too bad . . . from a distance!  Definitely not something to enter into a show, but very usable.




Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday WOW - December 8


I have a couple of projects going now that call for hand stitching and embroidery.  I love the light that comes in the little window during winter afternoons!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

And Another Door

This one came from Johoanna in Australia.


It's a fairly simple door with some lovely machine stitching.  That flowered fabric for the door suits me perfectly.  In fact, I may have some of that fabric in my stash!


I open the door and this little cutie is asking to go out and play!  Isn't that sweet?  Thanks so much, Johoanna.  This is a great addition to my book!

This swap is nearing the end.  I have two more pages to create and send out (a couple are still in transit) and then I will create a cover and assemble all the pages.  Hmmm.  I'd better start thinking about a door design.  It's going to be tough to do justice to the pages I'm receiving.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday WOW - December 1

December?????  What happened to the rest of the year?  Sheesh!


Well, at least I have something to show for the year.  Binding is going on and then some decorations for a Christmas wall hanging.  Oh, and the light?  Real sunshine! 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Big Finish!

It's been awhile since I had a quilt top to show.


Our local quilt shop published a pattern this fall called "Is It Done Yet?"  There's a story in that title I think.  Here I have some blocks on the design wall.  I used polka dot fat quarters from last year's guild meetings.


Here are the blocks put together with sashing into rows.  Hmmm.  Look at that mess on the top.  Guess I need to do some cleaning.  Ahem.


I tried out several fabrics for the outer border.  This happens to be one of the fabrics used in blocks, but it doesn't really pop.  Fortunately I found one that does aaaand I had enough in my stash.  That never happens!  It's called Chocolate Lollipop - how yummy is that?


And here is the final product, along with our lovely models Barney and Jake!  I'm thinking of calling it "Done Dots" or maybe "Done Gone Dotty."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday WOW - November 24

Today I took some time to clean up!!!  Things were just getting too messy.  Clean up usually means organize, too.


And I do love my Zutter  - even if it is Pink!  Today's project was the lessons from an on-line class.  Finished a long time ago, but after reviewing the pages today, who knows?

And the other side of the room:


Ready for the next quilt project.  Looks like Thimbleberries is up next. 

But first, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Not Like I Need Another Hobby!



This is the finished project from my Wednesday WOW last month.  I really enjoyed working with the wood.  I played a bit with smaller blocks but probably would not have done much more.

Except . . . I went to the Woodcarver's Show this weekend.  Oh my!  Oh me!  Long story short, I came home with some tools and lots of inspiration.  And here is what I've done in the last two days!


This guy is about 4-inches tall and made from a local type of cedar.  The wood is so pretty to carve!


And this fellow is just under 2-inches and is pine, I think.  The wood is softer, but it also splits very easily.  That's why he's lop-sided (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!).  I may decide to make a body for this one.

What's next?  I bought a magazine and there are some interesting Santa Clauses.  Oh yes!  I do have a quilt top just about finished and a few other projects on the table.  I need more hours in the day.  Let's see, I don't do housework or cook already.  Maybe I can cut out sleeping!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Look What Came in the Mail!


A door page from Ruth!  You know the Traveling Pages swap I am in?  This is my door for November.


It came all the way from Montana and I love it!  Ruth did an amazing job at depicting the old West-style Saloon doors.  Can't you just imagine John Wayne sauntering through those doors?


This collection of doors will make a wonderful book.  We are getting near the end of this swap and I need to start thinking about how I will put all the pages together.  They are all so amazing!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Creative Clutter


Something we haven't seen much of around here lately.  Things seem to be looking up, though.  I hope to have more to share soon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday WOW - November 10


It's been a blustery autumn day.  Perfect for working on a quilt and visiting with friends.  I actually got something done today!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday WOW - November 3


Doing a little more wood carving while waiting for paint to dry.  Fun!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I just heard from Carmen that my Traveling Page for October has arrived.  Her theme was "Castles".


Can you tell I was influenced by the Halloween hooplah?  LOL!

I did not start out to do anything dark . . . my usual color selections are bright and clear!   But during my research I saw some castle pictures with a full moon and I kind of liked that idea.  As I worked with ideas the moon grew larger, and the castle got darker!


I started with a photo of the Castle Neuschwanstein. Using my photo software, I darkened the photo and printed it onto printable fabric. After fusing the castle cut-out to the background (already prepared with a nice bright moon) I used free motion embroidery to enhance highlights and shadows.


Here's what the back side looked like after the stitching.

But the piece needed something more. I tried various bat silhouettes, but that seemed too conventional. Never let anyone call me conventional!


Finally, I settled on a dragon shape, which I fused and then stitched over.


For the back side, I had some fairy tale fabric in my stash. I thought the Sleeping Beauty castle would add the right touch.


I enjoyed working with this piece.  It is full of my favorite things!  Free motion stitching, dragons, and a touch of beadwork (for stars)!  I hope Carmen enjoys it, too.

Now to get to work on another September page - the first one appears to have gone walk-about.  Sigh.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday WOW - October 27


I did a little playing in my journal today.  Not much else happening right now.  Maybe next time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday WOW - October 20

We've had some very nice weather around here lately.  So, today I took my workroom outside.


And the worktable was my lap!  I'm learning to carve wood - or trying to anyway - and it gets pretty messy.  Time will tell if I get anything finished that is worth sharing.  LOL!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday WOW - October 13


As I gathered threads in preparation for some free motion stitching, I noticed that the spools made a nice little composition.


By the way, it doesn't look nearly as neat now!  I have got to take some time to clean things up!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday WOW - October 6


There are all kinds of messes - creative messes, fun messes, busy messes, etc.  And then there's this.  Just plain awful mess!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Catching Up

As I started to prepare a post about my latest Traveling Page, I realized I did not post about July OR August!  We have to fix that!  So here they are.


In July, my page went to Kath in Greece whose theme is Flowers.  I built a "trellis" of bias strips and meandered green yarn through to represent the vine. 


I found these cool flower collections in the scrapbooking section of the local hobby store.  There are lots of paper and fabric flowers all in the same color range in each container.  The blue caught my eye and that's what I went with!  I attached one to three flowers together and added a beaded center.  Some were fringe beads and some simply circles.  Some green wired ribbon made nice leaves.


I had this cool floral print in my stash for the backing.

My August page was for Maya in India, and her theme is Leaves.


Sometime last year I took a class on free motion embroidery.  In one of the lessons we made leaves and I attempted to repeat those lessons in this page.  I should have gone back to re-read the lesson!  But the page turned out fine - if not exactly what I had in my head!


I used a water soluble stabilizer while stitching and then just dunked it into water (seen here) to remove it. 


Once the piece had air dried and been pressed, I layered it on top of a light fabric and added the individual leaves along with a few beads.


I happened across this quote from Tagore which seemed to fit this page exactly!  I used a graphic frame from the Graphics Fairy and printed it onto cotton fabric, which was then fused to the  same yellow as I placed behind the leaves.

The September page is making its way to the next recipient as I type this.  Once I hear it has arrived, I'll share it with you as well.