Monday, December 22, 2008

Almost That Time



Here it is, my last two days of work before the Christmas holidays -- YAY!!!! Look at this sweet face. Do you recognize it? You should. It's my sweet Maddie, rendered in cross-stitch by my long time cyber friend Whit. I love it and think she did a great job with my little "booger" face.

It's been freezing (literally) here all this weekend. Actual temps of not much above zero and wind chills of 25 below. A nice weekend to stay inside and get back to some of my things that have been neglected during the craft show frenzy.

I'm back working on Come Into the Garden Maude. I started the beading on the right hand side (because I'm left handed). This time I actually thought about it (a new concept (g)), and decided to work from right to left, hoping that I won't be tangling and snarling my threads over previous beads. I'll let you know if it works.

In the following order (if Blogger cooperates): the snake, one of the butterflies, and a close up of the butterfly.




I hope all of you have a Merry, Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday or Hanukah and that everyone in the cold parts are keeping warm. For those of you in the warm parts, please take pity on us frozen ones and don't brag too much about your warm temps, and if you could, please send us some of that warmth. I for one am very tired of Canadian air. If there are any Canadians reading this -- PLEASE keep your artic air up there. I'd sure appreciate it (LOL).
I probably won't be back until after the first of the year -- so everyone also have a safe and happy New Year. Here's to 2009 -- let's hope it's not as gloomy and dire as all the newscasters and talking heads would have us believe.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Way Too LONG!

I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted something. What can I say? The craft show season had me running around like my hair was on fire. I sure didn't see where the economy was slowing down any -- or maybe I just had more bargains then I thought (g).

At Thanksgiving, my lovely SIL gave us all the flu -- the bad, hard kind that knocks you on your butt for a whole week. Then we had two craft shows after that. We were moving very, very slowly. But the season is over and I'm looking forward to getting to work on some of my own things for a while. Notice I didn't say I was looking forward to Christmas (LOL).

Madeline has not slowed down any. The day I was stricken with the flu (well, actually it started at 1:00 a.m. and went on until about 6:00 a.m.), I simply could not get out of bed. My poor baby ended up going about 24 hours without any food. But she was a good girl and didn't bother me -- just jumped up in the rocking chair in the bedroom and kept a close eye on me. As you can see, missing that meal did not slow her down any. This is a full size ladder that I store my quilts on. She makes a running leap and grabs the rung right below where she's sitting and then hops up onto the top step.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Block


This is my latest Birds of a Feather block. Bet you all thought I had forgotten about this project during my craft show mania -- nope. Still plugging along. This is a 15.5 inch block. Somehow I managed to save all the big blocks for last (LOL). I've prepped the next one and it is also a 15.5 inch block. The pattern didn't call for it, but I think I'm going to add some of the little berry circles like in the other blocks. This one just seems so plain and a little naked.

While I was sitting and stitching on this, this little face appeared. It's like she's saying, enough of that sewing, look how cute I am, wouldn't you rather play with me?

And when I explained to her that I had a deadline and had to finish this, then we would play, she decided to take a little nap herself.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Book Sale

My friend, "Crazy" Judyth is having a book sale (among other things) on her blog. She is slowly, but surely, listing different quilting books, beading books and oh my gosh, is that flamingos I see????

If you're looking for some new books for your stash or inspiration, go check her out. Looking for something specific? Chances are she has it -- just drop her a comment or email. Judyth also sells CQ fancy fabrics, along with laces and beads and what have you. Email her (address on her blog) for specifics.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mound City Craft Show

It was that time of year again, the Mound City, Kansas craft show. This is a big event, held on the Linn County Fairgrounds. Our barn is the Cherry Barn (right next door to the Swine barn, or Miss Piggy as we like to call it).

Here's our pictures in order: first is the before -- the empty space. Then the chaos of setting up and then the finished result.




Everything in the above picture went to new homes. It was looking a little naked there by Saturday afternoon.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous! Warm enough for shorts and t-shirts but a nice breeze now and then. The people came in droves and droves and then even more came -- guess everyone wanted to be outdoors on such a glorious day.
Most of the things in these pictures are done by my parents -- dad cuts the wood and mom paints. They did very well at this show. This is our last outdoor show (we've been so lucky once again with the weather!) and all the rest will be indoor shows from now until December.
Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse. I would have shown you more crafters, but I was unable to leave the booth due to the huge turnout until late each evening and then I was just too tired to even remember where the camera was (LOL).

Monday, September 29, 2008

I WON!

Look at this cute, cute fabric that I won in Melissa's giveaway over at My Half of the Brain. I said I could see this in one of my projects, and yes, I can, but which one??? I know first of all, a piece of it will be used in this as I promised to use all my fabrics and not horde some of them. We'll see.


It's only September, but I've been hard at work on Christmas items. My next craft show in October is a big one and it's where I preview my Christmas items. Don't you just love my little helper? She is why a lint brush is a mandatory item in my booth set up! (LOL)
This show is a BIG event and people travel quite a ways to attend. There are about 650 crafters and close to 50 food vendors. Lots and lots of tempting food. The crafters set up their booths in barns or the crafters who opt to go outside set up their little tents on the fairgrounds. Our barn is the Cherry Barn. We're next door to Miss Piggy (a/k/a the Swine Barn). While we do have a tent and do outside shows, we opt to go in the barns. In the last 6 years that we've been doing this show, it ALWAYS rains one of the days. ALWAYS. I'll let you know if this year finally breaks the cycle.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

First Show 2008


As promised, here's some pics of our first craft show for the 2008 season. I share booth/tent space with my parents and they do all the wooden things. My father saws, cuts, carves wood and my mother paints her little heart out.

The day started out a little cloudy, but our weathermen assured us there was only a 30% chance of rain late in the afternoon. So much for listening to the weathermen!

Around 2:00, the sky opened up and poured. The only good thing for us is that there was absolutely no wind. But after 45 minutes or so in the pouring rain, it was time to pack up and call it a day. It was a shame too as the crowd was great, everyone was having a good time, sales were more then we expected, and then Mother Nature arrived (LOL).

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sorry!

Sorry for running off and leaving everyone hanging. I'm gearing up for craft show season, which starts this weekend. So I've been finishing, pricing and packing until I'm worn out. Everything is all outdoor shows until November, so weather is very, very important to me right now (LOL). I'll be back next week with pics of the show. This one is held on the grounds of an historic house. The house has been undergoing extensive renovation and hopefully, all the work has been finished and the furnishings moved back in.

Your laugh for the day: I had two baby quilts that Madeline insisted on laying on, so I picked the quilts up and put them over the back of a wooden kitchen chair. Little Missy insisted those quilts were hers, so you can see her precariously balanced on the back of the wood kitchen chair to show me that she is going to get her way and shed on my quilts! In one picture, you can actually see her claws out because she's holding on for dear life -- what a nut!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Package in the Mail


Look what arrived in my mailbox over the weekend. This big, totally unexpected bunch of silk ribbons from Pat Winters. I order from Pat whenever I can as her ribbons are beautifully colored and oh, so soft and silky -- not to mention the wonderful lavender scent that all her packages have. Pat always sends a little extra something and when I thanked her for the extras and told her how I was sharing it with some of my newbies on CQForNewbies, this was her response. This beautiful package of ribbons to share.

The ribbons on the left are what Pat calls "Bits." These are lots of shorter pieces, perfect if you make flowers from gathering ribbons, etc. The ones on the right are long lengths of all of her colors, even some organza in there. And this organza is soooo soft. Not like that stiff stuff you find in the craft stores and that I have fought with for the last time (g).

She also sent me these:

Aren't those little fairies on the ribbon tags so adorable? I will be having a give-away for some of this ribbon in the very near future.
For now, first dibs on the ribbons will go to members of my list, CQForNewbies. I know there are several gals on there that would like to do silk ribbon embroidery but just can't afford the supplies right now. After that, stay tuned for the give-away, probably next month.
If you don't want to wait or take your chances, then go to Pat's etsy shop -- there are still some ribbons left in there. But I wouldn't wait -- when she does dye her ribbons and put them in the shop, they go pretty dang fast.
Thank you again Pat!! I appreciate it and I know the recipients of these ribbons will also.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

At the Library and New Block

I stopped by the library the other night and went into the bookstore they have there. I don't know if your library has one of these, but if they do you should go and check them out. Lots of books for low, low prices and they even have craft/quilt/sewing/gardening -- well, all the kinds of books that the regular library has.

Look at this cute book -- this is a little doll quilt. (I know the pic is a little fuzzy -- move on down for a better one). I would have bought it for the nice clear, sharp pictures alone but then -- WAIT! In the back of the book are little patterns drawn on muslin so you can either embroider or draw patterns and make an old fashioned appliqued quilt just like the book. This book is by Janet Bolton and tells of her grandmother making this quilt as a little girl. She drew all her patterns on paper and then transferred them to fabric and appliqued the whole while. All this for only $4.


My new CQ block is one done for our Hearts and Flowers Shower on CQForNewbies. These blocks are made to give comfort to any of your members who have suffered a loss and also to help celebrate when something great happens. This block is for Linda who has suffered the loss of her newborn grand-daughter. It was suggested the blocks be pastels but when I saw this piece of angel fabric in my stash, I knew I had to do this for Linda. So I kept the block mostly white on white (the colors are a little strange here on my monitor, the lace is really ecru not the yellowish color it looks).

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Weekend Fun

It was hot, hot, hot in my area of the world over the weekend. So a good time to stay inside and sew. (This is Maddie through the window watching me water). The previous weekend I went out of town with a friend and found THE most wonderful fabric and quilt shop -- a REAL fabric shop -- not a craft store with a few bolts of fabric. Miles and miles of fabrics and the most beautiful quilt samples hanging on the walls. I was really inspired by two of the quilts, one a New York Beauty version and the other a Drunkard's Path.

As some of you may know, I am the List Owner of CQForNewbies, a crazy quilting group. I love my crazy quilting but I also love sane quilts, especially traditional quilts with a twist. This is what I did with the Drunkard's Path block. I drafted my own pattern (took two versions, the first one was too large) and then started pulling my fabrics.

For this pattern, I actually FORCED myself to use all my fabrics -- even those that I have had for years but they're too pretty to cut. You know which ones I'm talking about, you have them too, we all do. Fabric we ooohhhed and ahhhed over and couldn't wait to buy. Then we fold it up nicely and put it away. Each time we go to our fabric stash, we pull it out and look at it again and think, oh no, I don't want to use this, this quilt isn't special enough, good enough, I'm not sure it will look right, if I use it then it will all be gone -- all those excuses we make to ourselves and then we fold the special fabric back up and put it away again.

NO MORE! I'm using it. What if the world ended tomorrow (or next week, or next month or next year?) There would be that special fabric just sitting around and I would have never had the pleasure of using it, of seeing how it looks in a quilt block. Ever wonder why all your quilt blocks and tops all look the same? It's probably because you keep using the same old fabric in your stash, never breaking out that special stuff.
So here are my Drunkard's Path blocks -- an explosion of color. I've used all the brighest fabrics I could find, including my batiks and my fun novelty fabrics. I first put these together using color families for the circles (i.e., all blues together, all reds together) but found I didn't like it. I like the explosion of color idea and will just throw the pieces up in the air and let them fall where they may.

I had attempted Drunkard's Path a long time ago and really made a mess with the curved piecing. Now with the new sewing machine and the walking foot, this pattern is a breeze. I only pin at the beginning and end and by sewing slowly and carefully, I can zip right around that curve and have a perfect curved seam.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Maude's Garden

EDITED -- I reloaded the full size picture of Maude's Garden. I was hoping you would be able to click on it now and get the bigger version, but Blogger does not want to cooperate. I'll be adding more to this piece so hopefully next week sometime Blogger will let the pictures enlarge the way they used to.


It's been a little hot and steamy here the last week or so. Maddie has found a cool place to rest for a few minutes. We stayed inside and I worked on Maude, my piece inspired by the Tennyson poem, Come into the Garden Maude.


The full version. I've been doing a lot of beading and then will add anymore stitching that needs to be done. This time I thought about it and started beading from the bottom up. I'm hoping that will save me lots of aggravation from having my threads catch on other beads and charms while I'm working.


I've added the words, which are stamped onto ribbon. The edges of the ribbon were sealed by burning them with a candle (be careful if you try this, some ribbons really flare up, just gently run your ribbon through the flame and do it quickly! and don't do it near your piece or anything else that you don't want candle wax to run onto). The little bird and the fairy have both been beaded. (Do you see the snake's tail that the bird is chasing? Mr. Snake has conveniently found a rock he can hide under -- hope he slithers all the way under before Birdie grabs him).






You may not be able to enlarge the fairy picture -- she was a little blurry (guess I was busy yelling at Madeline or something) so I had to manipulate the picture. But you can see how her wings are beaded.






Thanks for stopping by -- two days in a row! (This is Madeline watching out the side window. She jumps up there, paws the curtain open and then gawks to her heart's content).

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Walk Through My Yard

Thought I'd show you my yard. It's been very hot and humid here. First we had 2 months of almost non-stop rain which got all the plants off to great starts. Now it's dry as a bone and I'm hauling water to all my plants and watching big cracks form in the yard. So I thought I'd take pictures before everything dried up and blew away.
These are my wildflowers getting ready to bloom. I threw out a packet of seeds and this is what I got.
Of course, sunflowers. I love the orangish ones the best.
This is my butterfly bush, but somehow that doesn't look like a butterfly does it? (LOL) It's a hummingbird moth. Late in the afternoon a Zebra butterfly does come by and visit.

My little gardening buddy -- Homeless Man. A little semi-feral cat that I feed and he now lets me pet him now and then. He likes to hang out and watch me in the yard. It's so hot that even Homeless Man doesn't want to run from me.

My flower bed. Lots of different things growing here. Don't you love the gargoyle ornament? A gift from my SIL.


Cone flowers. A gift from my mother's garden. Just planted this year and look how they are blooming and loaded with blooms.

That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed it. Tomorrow, I'll have pics of Maude's Garden. I've been working on it and I think I've done enough that you can actually see I've done something (LOL).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thrift Store Find

Our thrift stores around here aren't known for their good buys. However, last Friday, I managed to find something definitely worth bringing home. It's this little vest, Handmade by Debbie (personalized tag inside). Don't you just love all these vintage embroidery pieces? The peacock is what made me grab it. There's one small discolored stain (on the peacock panel, of course!), but I haven't washed it yet. I'm hoping a nice gentle soak will brighten everything up. So enjoy the pictures. OH, the price? $2.50. I couldn't grab it fast enough.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's This?

Give up? It's the bobbin case for my Janome 6600 machine. I've sewed so much that I wore it out. Seriously. Well, I wore out the spring for the little cutting thingy. That's the little arm that's floating around in the center of the bobbin case. I love the automatic thread cutter. Just touch that button and it cuts the threads clean off. No messy ends hanging, nothing that I have to go back and clip (and I hate threads hanging off blocks, etc.). But now I get to go and buy a new one. And I was on such a roll sewing away. . . . . It's not just the thread cutter that kept me from sewing -- the whole bobbin doesn't work with that little arm sticking out.

So what's a girl to do when her sewing machine is down? Time to hand sew. I finished up my July Birds of a Feather block WAY early for this month.


I decided to change this one. I didn't like those little circles the pattern called for. One of the other blocks used the bigger circles so I used that size for this block. I like it a lot better and I'm sure you to doo (g).