Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Been a while

Well, I haven't posted in a LONG time now. I have still be stitching some, but not a lot. I've been canning, freezing, working, canning, freezing, helping g-daughter, helping Mom, canning, freezing, canning, freezing. I've been feeling like a squirrel, laying up nuts for the winter. But, except for a little bit of pumpkin, I think I'm done. I canned a total of 147 quarts of fruits, juices, jams, etc. Some of those were in pints but the total made 147 quarts. I also filled the freezer and did quite a bit of dehydrating vegetables and fruit leathers.
I have been doing some sewing though. Mainly, I've only had time for it while I'm at work. Thank goodness I have the kind of job where I can sew. I'm in a RR called My Favorite Things. I'm enjoying it but I think I'll let it be my last one for a while. This makes my third one this year and I think I need a bit of a break. I told myself that before this one but who can resist "My Favorite Things"? LOL Of course, I couldn't decide on just one Favorite Thing so I made mine the whole world. It's a landscape and the others in the RR are adding some beautiful things. There's a gorgeous tree and lots of flowers and birds. I can't wait to get it back! Meanwhile, I've done bits on three blocks and will get some pictures posted when I get a chance.
I'm also trying to get some ornaments done for a swap. Those are to be done by Saturday. I have 4 started (I started them in July, I think!) but am still embellishing. When that's done, I still have to assemble them.
I've also started a small piece of CQ for a gift. I'm still piecing that one because I KNOW I have this lovely bit of fabric and I can't put my hand on it. It's actually Christmas ribbon from a few years ago but it was gorgeous....snowy white with silver and blue pine cones....exactly what I need for this project. In the midst of all this other stuff, I'm working on cleaning out the closet where the Christmas stuff is stored so I might find some there. I have been known to reuse ribbon for years :) Actually, I'd reuse scotch tape if I could!
Another sewing project that I'm working on is a quilt for my g-daughter. It's a pineapple log cabin, paper pieced and should be really cute. I found some fabric that is all-over little girls. I cut the girls out and each block has a little girl in the center. There are 5 or 6 different girls.
And... I'm still embroidering quotes on the queen size CQ for my daughter.
And....oh yeah! I went to a seminar a couple weeks ago and want to put some of that new info into action... LANDSCAPES!
I need to shut this computer off now and go sew!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A finished project

This was a practice piece for me. I first wanted to play with piecing "fan blades" on the sewing machine. I've always admired fan shaped quilt blocks and wanted to do something in CQ. I started with lots of pie shaped pieces and wound up making a sort of spiral. After I started embellishing I decided to try to make it Encrusted. With encrusted CQ you embellish so heavily that it's hard to even find the original fabric. I also tried to make the treatments on each seam different. I played with this piece for about 2 months. It just kept saying it wanted more. Then one day it finally said, "Enough". LOL Then I had to study it for a while longer to decide what to do with it. It was originally a 12inch square but I decided to stick with the fan idea and give it that general shape. I stitched this lovely lace in the seam when I put the backing on. It's a nice wide lace with a peach colored strip running through and I thought the peach color would set the other colors off nicely. It might have....if I had put the right side out! Then I remembered this pearl belt that I had bought at a yard sale. It was only 25cents and I commented when I bought it that it was going to be a shame to cut it up because the beading was so beautifully done. Well, it just fit! Plus, I didn't have to cut it up. I think it looks better than the peach colored side of the lace did we'll just say I planned it this way all along!

Now...what to do with it. I was going to hang it on a wall but I couldn't decide where. My house is literally barn shaped inside and out. It's a great "open concept" space. The only walls downstairs are the ones closing off the master bedroom and the bathroom. While I do like the open feeling of the space, when I go to hang something on the wall it's hard to find a spot. Nearly all of the walls are the outside ones and they have some huge windows and doors. Really, I'm not complaining. I love my house. I just can't hang stuff on the walls! LOL My mom loves this piece so I may give it to her. I thought she might want to hang it on her apartment door. Lots of the residents in her senior complex have wreaths and banners on their doors. She said she'd love to show it off that way but she's afraid someone might steal it and I guess that's a valid concern. So, I'm still thinking.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Chose Blogs to Award Briliante Weblog

Well, at left you can see the choices I made to award the Brilliante Weblog. As a recipient, you must pass it on to 7 favorites blogs and notify them. I had a really hard time narrowing it down to 7 favorites. I would have, of course, chosen Rengin's even if she weren't the one that awarded it to me. I also considered Gerry, whom we know from all her activity on Yahoo. She's a Wonderful stitcher and always has terrific stuff on her blog. I knew though, that she was really busy lately so I struck her from my list right away. Then I find that one of my choices (Diane's Decorating Diary) just received the award yesterday...from Gerry! LOL Oh well, great minds really do think alike!

While I'm posting, I want to put up a picture of a bracelet I made for a good friend. She wears a lot of Turquoise and Aqua and I hope she likes it!

Brilliant Weblog Award

Rengin, a MARVELOUS stitcher from Turkey has awarded me the Brilliant Weblog Award. Coming from a needleworker of her caliber I feel very honored! Thank you so much, Rengin!

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Favorite Things RR

I am in a new CQ RR through a Yahoo group. This one is My Favorite Things. The dilemma was....I like Everything. Flowers, animals, music, food, etc. One minute one thing is top of the list and the next minute something else is. I finally settled on Everything. I've always admired landscape quilts and I Love the out of doors so that's my favorite thing. Everything in the world! My block is about 15x17 and is all satins. I think they're mostly polyester but they're pretty...and shiny. I like shiny. I made them more or less like a landscape. There is sort of the idea of a sunrise (or sunset) and maybe mountains in the distance and foothills in the foreground. I'm planning a wallhanging when it comes home!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wendy's Purple Color Study RR block

This is my most recent RR block for the Groovy Grapes. Wendy had asked that we try to make peacocks and she had already put a lovely peacock in the center and one of the others in the group had made a beautiful beaded peacock feather. I was wondering what sort of a peacock I could add. I had my 6 year old g-daughter with me and was looking through the buttons and beads at Joann's. She said she'd found a peacock and she handed me a package with this heart bead in it. I told her the color was right (hard to see in this picture but it is an iridiscent purple) but that it wasn't a peacock but a heart. She shrugged and said "Looks like a peacock to me." Then I studied it some more and decided that it looked like a peacock to me too. I added bugle and seed beads around it for feathers and did a woven picot for the body.'re already thinking "peacock" you can kind of see it. I also did the seams below and to the left of the peacock. They are sort of "peacocky" looking also. I can't remember for sure but I think the bottom one straight stitch (or maybe backstitch) wheels, surrounded with chain stitch and then bead accents. The one on the left was bullion stitch feathers with bead accents and then fly stitch feet. It was a beautiful block and fun to work on. Sure hope Wendy can see that peacock!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Purple Round Robin - Lindy's block

Believe it or not, I had two blocks belonging to Lindy at the same time. Another RR going on on CQForNewbies is a Purple Color Study. Same rules as the green one...Everything Purple. I wanted to do a motif with 3 pansies but of course, it was harder done than imagined. To have enough shades of purple, that looked right with the fabric was tricky. I wound up doing different stitches to simulate the different shades and textures in the pansy. Of course, I had to forego the little "cheese" colored part in the center, but I think they're still recognizable.

Here's the other closeup of Lindy's block. For some reason, I couldn't make it NOT be at the very top of the it got it's own :)

Catching up with Round Robins

I have fallen a bit behind on several things while trying to keep up with "real" life. But now, the garden is planted (I'll be weeding this afternoon), Mom is done with doctor's appointments for a couple of weeks so now I can get some of these things caught up. Even though I haven't posted lately, I've still had time to sew. I'm an elder companion so I while my charge naps I sew. I really do have the best job in the world!

This is the block I just finished. It belongs to Lindy in Australia. This is part of a Green Garden Round Robin on Yahoo CqForNewbies.

Our group of 7 was called the Avocadoes. I say "was" because this is the last month and now the blocks are returning to their owners. They have been to 2 places in Australia, Kansas, Virginia, California and of course, Indiana. This was my first Round Robin so I was pretty nervous but I think it's done wonders for me. First of all, until this, I had NEVER touched a piece of CQ that wasn't made by me. I had seen them in books and on the internet but never in real life. I've been fascinated to see the way others do things and I've certainly picked up some great ideas. Aside from all that, I think the other great thing about a Round Robin is that it forces you to truly do your best. Things that I may have been satisfied with, had it been my own block, were not good enough for a RR. I couldn't have "B-" work going around the globe with my name on it. Not that what I did send was necessarily "A+" but I do think it deserves "E+" for Effort! LOL The other challenge has been to stay with Green. EVERYTHING had to be green. I love green so I thought this would be easy. NOT! One of the things I love most about CQ is the color contrasts. Black fabric with bright pinks, blues, etc. Cream fabric with browns and greens. But green fabric with green thread? Oh well, we did it!

Here are some closeups of the parts I did. I made the riboon heart that's on the left side. Also the vine and rose on the upper right. For seam treatments I did the dark green seam running "Northwest" of the ribbon heart and then added a few things to seams that were already embellished. I ran some green variegated perle cotton through the dark green lace and added some french knots to a row of blanket stitch on the very top patch. I hope Lindy likes it!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pam's Avocado Block

This is a picture of Pam's block for our Round Robin. I did the bright green ruffle on the upper left and the vines on the lower left. Pam gave us a great block to work on. There were so many seams to choose from and such nice fabrics!

That green ruffle is some new trim that I found that I really liked. It's Wright's Elastic Metallic Ruffle. It is elastic down the middle with this wispy ruffle of what might be mylar. What I liked best was that I could pull it through to the other side. I alternated, pulling first from one side and then the other to make scallops and then layered two strips of it. I stitched it on with seed beads and was pleased with the results. I hope Pam is also!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Avacado Round Robin

Here's my work on a CQNewbies Round Robin Color Study. I did the frame around the lovely Lady and the two seams to her lower left. In the photo about all that shows up on them is the light green ribbon but there is also some dark green SRE and some perle cotton embroidery along with a few seed beads.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

CQ Bracelet

Recently a member of CQNewbies made a CQ Bracelet that was absolutely beautiful. I had never thought of using CQ in this way but once I saw hers I knew I wanted to try it. Here's the result of my first attempt. I did have to go back and change the way the fastener was attached. I had sewn the "stick" end on the same way the "ring" end is, very close to the actual bracelet. Well, it couldn't turn enough to fit in the ring so I gave it a "tail" and now it works great!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ok, the last two! This one on the left says "Kitten Britches". My grandma called my mom and my mom called me that. I thought it was just our family but a friend (who I'm reasonably sure is no relation) said her family calls kids that too.
The photo in the last block is my grandparents wedding photo. I guess that concludes our tour!

These are on the bottom row. The photo is, again, my brother and I. Aren't we cute?? I remember the day the picture was taken. A photographer came to our apartment and set up his equipment and took it. I can't imagine how Mom could have afforded that!
The second block has real Scrabble tiles glued to it. Mom and Grandma used to play Scrabble all the time and when I grew up I was allowed in too. When Grandpa retired, he and Grandma took a camper and travelled and everywhere they went, Grandma took her Scrabbble board, just in case she found someone to play with. Anyway, I have inherited her board and she had written on it, the two words: firth and overt. I suppose she meant to look them up when she got home to the dictionary. By the way, I did NOT use my Grandma's Scrabble tiles...I found a game at a yard sale:)

I don't seem to have taken a closeup of the block to the left of the big one but here's the one to the right. The saying was something my Grandpa used to say: Meet me at (wherever). If you get there first, make a mark in the dirt and if I get there first, I'll rub it out!

These two are on either side of the big block. The saying on the upper one is one I remember my grandma saying. I must have been "helping" her sort quilt scraps and asking "is this too little" "is this big enough" because I remember her saying, "If it's bigger than a cornflake...keep it!" LOL The piece right next to that quote is one I think she would have liked. I save my scraps...ravelings, thread clippings...everything! I take a fistful of pretty ones, lay them on a pretty piece of fabric, put a piece of tulle or organza on top and then zigzag all over with metallic thread. It comes out really pretty and definitely unique...and best of all, I KNOW Grandma would approve :)
The picture in the lower block is one of my mom as a baby, with her paternal grandmother. And yes, she is actually wearing a dust cap!
This is the big center block. I had enough blocks done to make the quilt the size I wanted but then I decided I wanted to add more "stuff" it had to grow. The larger color photo is All of Us. Mom, my brother and I and our spouses and kids. It was taken close to 15 years ago. To the lower left of that is a B/W picture of my grandma taken shortly after she married my grandpa. She looks serene. Maybe even pensive. Lower yet and to her right, is a picture of all her living children, taken a few years ago. There is a tiny color picture of my brother and his wife and a tiny B/W of my great-grandparents. The slightly larger B/W is another set of great-grandparents with their first two daughters, the littlest one being my "pensive" grandma :)
I really enjoyed working on this block but, of course, now I see things I would do differently.

Two more blocks of Mom's quilt. There's the "famous" Blue Ribbon that I was so proud of. The picture on the left is (L-R) My Grandma Verna holding me and next to us is Mom. The smaller picture on that block is harder to see but it was some of Grandma's Trick Photography. Mom is holding her two younger sisters in the palms of hands. Grandma was a card :)
The photo on the other block is me and my baby brother. Looks like I'm trying to keep him in the chair. Everyone used to call him "The White Tornado". There were commercials for some cleanser (Ajax, maybe) that showed this little white tornado getting into the corner and then bouncing out and flying off somewhere else at ninety miles an hour. It was supposedly cleaning in the corners but I don't seem to remember David doing much cleaning at that age :) The quote on that block is one of Mom's favorites: If you're lucky enough to be're lucky enough!

These are a couple of the blocks in the quilt I made for my mom. I gave it to her almost two years ago and she's still finding new things on it. That was what I was shooting for :)
BTW, I have no idea how I managed to get that cat upside down.

Here's my Sweetie-pie. She likes to try on every dress I buy to chop up. This purple is a good heavy satin...should make up nice!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Avocado Round Robin

I just finished my part on another block for the Green Garden Avocado round robin. This one belongs to Dianna in California. She mentioned that she liked to camp and when I read that I knew what motif I wanted to use. We also like to spend time outdoors and I've got several patterns for "woodsy" motifs.

I also did two seams. The one to the left of the tent is Chevron stitch overlaid with Herringbone in two shades of green. Then I added Lazy Daisies on the X's and a seed bead to the intersections of the longer threads. The seam to the upper right of the motif is also mine...I forgot the name of the stitch...something "French-sounding" :) It's basically two rows of stem stitch and then in between you make 3 satin stitches in stacks at intervals and then come back making looping circles. The book called for French knots in the circles but I did a sequin with a seed bead instead.

Now, off to work on the one I have for the Purple round robin, Groovy Grapes...and the Food Fight swap...not to mention the quilt I'm working on for my daughter. Fun!!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Purple Round Robin

I finally got my block pieced for the Purple Round Robin on CQNewbies. I've had the fabric pulled out for days but kept thinking I would find something else. I guess I'm satisfied with it. I'd might as well be because it's too late now:) These are to be mailed out Saturday.

I got my next Green block a couple days ago and today I sent out the one I just finished.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Mom's Quilt

This is a crazy quilt I made for my mom. It began as a lap robe and sort of "grew". It's far too heavy for Mom to maneuver but if she were to put it on a bed it would be twin-size. I spent about a year on it, finishing it late the night before the county fair. When it won a blue ribbon I was thrilled. When I found out it was the only one in it's classification, it took me down a peg :) Mom loves it though and she displays that blue ribbon like a real trophy. She says she doesn't mention to anyone that it didn't have any competitors. Moms:)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Here's a pillow I made for a gift exchange a couple years ago.

My pride and joy! My grand-daughter (with the crazy quilt I made for my mom). We got a blue ribbon! I was proud (and amazed) until I realized it was the only entry in it's category!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A pillow I made for a dear friend who lives in Montana.

The "wedding quilt" I made for my step-daughter. It's folded here. A queen-size quilt makes for a rather large wallhanging!
I started CQ 3 or 4 years ago by accident. I had made a few ninepatch comforters over the years and my step-daughter got the idea that I knew how to quilt. She asked me to make her one for a wedding gift (out of various fabric pieces that she used for tablecovers at her reception). I agreed...and then at the reception I spent most of the evening wondering how I was going to make something out of it! LOL! She had a Luau(sp?) theme and all the covers were Hawaiian prints, mostly in blues, aquas and pinks. THEN she told me she wanted her main quilt colors to be burgundy and green. ICKY combination with the Hawaiian prints so I decided to use lots of solid burgundy and green and just little bits of the prints (but I still had to use the bits where guests had signed the tablecovers). At some point, I decided there was no way it was going to be pretty so (like myself as a teenager) it would have to have a "great personality"! I started embroidering and appliquing, and yes, even beading. By the time, the top was done, I was actually starting to enjoy myself...then she called me. "I did say I wanted the main colors to blues and silver?" I was behind the barn digging her grave when I started thinking about how much pleasure I was getting out of giving this quilt a "personality" and I decided to "just" make it a reversible quilt. Now it hangs on her wall with the blue and silver side out. It has 2 Double Wedding Ring blocks surrounded by rows and rows of blue and silver borders and the signed blocks. The Icky side has green and burgundy blocks with the names of the islands they went to on their honeymoon and embroidered and appliqued blocks representing the places where the proposal, wedding, reception, etc. took place.

As I was working on it, I kept thinking how fun it would be to make something from my own choices so when I finished hers, I started one for myself. I'm far too lazy and sloppy to do proper "piecing" so I just put bits together (I still didn't really realize I was crazy quilting). I did a little embroidery on scraps and cut up some dresser scarves from yard sales, and when the blocks were done, I couched some sequin strands and lace and things on. When my mom saw it, she told me it was "kind of like a crazy quilt". I got online and saw what was out here and I was HOOKED! I started one for my other daughter, then put that aside to make one for my mom. Mom's started as a lap robe but I kept seeing new techniques and adding more blocks and it turned out to be twin-size. With all the beads and embroidery, though, it might squash her so it hangs on the wall :) I took it to the county fair last year and won a blue ribbon (first prize) and Boy was I proud! Then I found out Iwas the only entrant in the category! Would have been pathetic to NOT win first place! Anyway, by the time I got back to my daughter'squilt, I had learned more and I wasn't satisfied with what I had done on hers so I tore it up and started over. I've got her blocks finished now and am embroidering the sashing as I assemble it.
So that's how I started. Iaccidentally made 2 crazy quilts before I realized what I was doing and now I'm on my fourth one and making plans for one for my grand-daughter!