Sunday, December 22, 2013

It’s the Weekend Before Christmas




. . . and there is always a lot to be done.  There’s decorating and wrapping, baking and cleaning, cards and carols.  Seems like there’s never enough time to do it all.







Or – if you are not inclined to fuss over Christmas (or you are one of the few who have everything all ready done . . .the rest of us hate you!), there are always plenty of unfinished projects and chores. 


So, what did I do this weekend?

None of the above!!!


I made a table runner!  It’s not what I planned to do this weekend, but there it is – pieced, quilted, and bound!  And on the table.  This is notable because (1) I never use tablecloths or runners, and (2) I NEVER complete a project of any size in one time slice!


You see, there were these extra papers from the block-of-the-month kit.  The next thing I knew I was pulling fabrics and cutting and stitching.  It was like someone else was directing my actions – saying, “Don’t think, just do.” 


I must admit, it looks pretty good on the table.  And on the positive side – there’s three fabrics removed from the stash!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Catching Up

My Design wall has been quite a mess lately.  This week I spent a little time clearing some of the clutter, and I thought you’d like to see what I’m working on now.


I finished another Botanical Garden panel.  This one is Summer.  I tried out my new couching foot for some of the stems (upper right corner) and I really love the way it works!  There may have to be more of that in future!  If you need a refresher on the flowers in this piece, click on SSunday in the word cloud to the right.  The summer flowers ran from July 28 to September 1.


This is the center of Moxie Girl – a block-of-the-month I’ve been working hard to catch up on.  The smaller rosettes are pinned and being appliqued now.  There are a couple of borders to add before I’m caught up, but it’s getting there.  And, oh my, it’s looking sooooo good!


This is what I cropped out of the main photo.  My supervisor is the reason I am close to being caught up.  You can see how hard he works to keep me on track!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Progress Report

Thought I’d pop in and show you some in-progress pictures.  Although I haven’t been around blogville recently, I have been doing stitchy things.  More specifically – quilty stitchy things!

I finished the last two Disney Princesses:


So there are now six blocks ready to go. 


They do make a pretty display, don’t they?  Now I can concentrate on the alternate blocks.


This is one block partially finished.  There’s some applique to come. . . and five more blocks!

Another quilt I’ve been working on is called Moxie Girl:


The hexagon flower at top is being appliqued to the block shown at center.  The bottom hexies are about half the size of the top and will go on the sashing corner posts. 

That’s a lot of applique!  I guess you know what I’ll be doing for the next few weeks!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

How Rude!

That’s what it is.  To disappear like that without warning or explanation is just plain rude!  The worst part is there really is no explanation.  I suppose I could make up a story . . .



. . . like, I was captured by gypsies and spent the last two weeks escaping from a Rumanian castle (wait, gypsies don’t live in castles!) . . .



or . . . I came down with an exotic, lethal disease and had to fly to Switzerland for a miracle cure . . .



or (how about this one) . . . I received a special request to meet with Queen Elizabeth for a secret assignment (yeah, right!)



I’m seeing a trend here – apparently I need to get “away.”  There have been a few projects I can’t share yet, and there has been a (strictly routine) medical event, but really nothing more than a feeling there’s been nothing to say.

Oh, I’ve taken pictures – the Sunday flowers and What’s on the Worktable photos, but they’ve languished on the camera for the most part.  Not very exciting anyway.

I guess what I’m leading up to is I’ve decided to suspend Wednesday WOW and Serendipity Sunday.  For the time being, anyway.  I will still be posting so you can see some of my creations, but following a schedule just isn’t working right now.  Hopefully I will have something worked out by the time the New Year rolls around.

And those pictures?  They have finally been rescued from digital camera limbo.  Here are a few for your enjoyment (?).



I’m sorry I was rude.  Forgive me?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–Kalanchoe of Africa

File:2007-03-20Kalanchoe blossfeldiana11.jpg
I found many references to the Kalanchoe plant on the internet.  Just reading the list of common names for this versatile houseplant is entertaining!
The fabric version is deceptively simple and works up very quickly.  In fact, I spent more time researching and choosing fabrics than it took to stitch up three samples!
Each one is simply two circles, folded and gathered.  I actually did two gathers in order to shape the bottom part a bit more neatly, although the instructions do not call for it.  Maybe I felt the need to make it a little bit more work!
I like the way they look with the rest of the garden.  The winter garden is two-thirds done – if only I could say the same about the real winter!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wednesday WOW–November 6

I’ve got a full schedule this week, but I was able to sneak off for a couple hours today and get some sewing done.


You might recall that last week I had started on three simple dolls for a club challenge.


Well, today they are all dressed!  I usually like to make outlandish costumes for my dolls, so doing three very sweet, conventional dresses was a fun change of pace.


Their faces are pretty much done.  There may be a little touch-up to do and then I will set them with fixative.  After that, they just need shoes to be complete.  Oh, yes – they need one other thing . . .


HAIR!  I had just enough yellow yarn for one, but there are lots of browns to choose from for the other two.  Making dolls is so much fun!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–Cathedral Bells

File:Cobaea scandens0.jpg
Cathedral Bells is a vine native to South America.  According to my favorite reference (wikipedia), it is also called Cup & Saucer Vine, Mexican Ivy, and Monastery Bells.  It’s not hardy enough to bloom in a winter garden, but would probably do well indoors.  It certainly would add some cheer to the winter!
This flower was pretty easy to fold and for once the gathers are only going through four layers of fabric!  After some of the earlier ones, four layers was easy!
These butterflies proved to be a challenge, however.  The ribbon is twisted into two loop-de-loops that took several tries to get right.  Today was not my best day for following diagrams!  I persisted and, after a bit of un-sewing, managed to make these three cuties.
They really perk up this garden.  Imagine a vine climbing the wall and butterflies flitting in and out.  Hmmm.  I guess you can tell I am not looking forward to winter!
Here is our winter garden – half way done.  Looking pretty good.  Maybe next week I will choose some bright colors to liven things up a bit.  I like those spots of yellow, but they need help bringing this garden out of the gray shades.  Kind of like winter, huh?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Case of the Disappearing Day

I am always fascinated by people who seem to know exactly what time it is without any clocks in sight.  These people can wake up on time every morning without an alarm clock.  Sarge is one of those.  I am definitely not! 

Now, it seems I cannot even tell what day it is!  It just gets worse when the “routine” is interrupted.  Case in point – I seem to have lost Wednesday this week.  Actually, I’m not too sure about Thursday, either!  And don’t get me started on October!!!!


So, you’ve probably guessed I am trying to explain away this week’s WOW post.  I have two challenge projects that are due in November, so I thought I’d get started – on October 30!  One of them is a Christmas stocking for the local quilt guild.  I can’t show you what I did because I know at least one person from the guild reads this blog, but the challenge involved using that bauble fabric and a fabric to match the crayon.  Stretched my color sense a little bit, it did!


The other challenge is for doll club and involves using a specific pattern.  I cut out three of them.  Nothing to do with the challenge, but I wanted to see how different fabrics behave and this pattern is simple enough to work up quickly and still show any differences.


So far I have stuffed two and-a-half and you can already see some difference.  I haven’t decided how to dress them yet, but deadline time is getting close.

My goodness, if I am so adrift in time now, just imagine how bad I’ll be when we turn the clocks back this weekend!  Eeeks!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Littlest Dragon

I thought you might like to see how the little dragon turned out.


Is that cute or what?  Now to build an “environment” for him.  I think he needs a playmate.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–Sea Holly

Sea Holly is one of the common names for the genus eryngium.  It looks a lot like thistle, but is not related to either thistle or holly!  Several types can be found in coastal areas, so it is easy to see where it got its name.
Here I have four flowers in the different stages of folding and stitching.  The smallest one is gathered on four sides and is ready for the last corner to be stitched.  I switched to button thread for gathering because there are a LOT of layers to go through! 
This is what it looks like with the gathering done.  I could have left it that way, but I decided I don’t like those “points” where the corners were.  It sits pretty high off the surface, too.  So, I did not cut the thread at this step, but used it to pull those points to the back by just tacking them near the center.
I used ribbon to make some “buds.”  I’m not sure about those yellow ones.  I may switch them out for more red ones, but they’ll stay for now.
While we are here on the design wall, let’s re-visit last week’s flower.
I was able to get some more flowers done and a few buds.  After some thought and a little more research, I think this is more likely meant to be a hollyhock (genus alcea) or at least a member of the same Family.  Which means that neither one of these flowers with “Holly” in the name have any relation to the holly I associate with the winter holidays.  Go figure!
Not that it matters what these flowers are called, of course!  The winter garden is beginning to take shape.  There’s still plenty of room for more.  I wonder where next week’s flower will take me?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday WOW–October 23

I have so many half-finished projects right now, I have trouble choosing what to work on.  So, what did I decide to do today?  Why start a new one, of course!


Not completely new, come to think of it. I had started cutting out the pieces a couple of weeks ago.  But really, there are so many other projects that could be finished in just a few hours. 


Nevertheless, this is what I felt like doing and the hours I spent on it today were not wasted.


Now this project is half finished, too!  Next steps are to construct the bag’s lining, and then join it to the bag.  It will get zippers and handles and go into the DONE category. 

But for now, my list of half-finished projects – UFOs, PHDs, PIGS, what-have-yous – has just grown by one!