Friday, December 22, 2006
It's the last countdown days for the holidays. The weekend will fly by in a rush of family visits, dinner with friends, presents, excited children and Christmas music everywhere. Madeline and I are signing off for Christmas.
In the meantime, don't forget to have a good stretch and R-E-L-A-X.
(Please notice the absence of a tail -- Maddie is a pixie bob, which means she has a little tiny nubbie of a tail, about an inch and a half).
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Look at this lovely heart I received from my friend Wilma in Holland. Wilma is a member of my group, CQForNewbies on yahoo. Her stitching is so delicate and perfect. Those little red dots on the right hand side are French Knots -- not beads! I swear, I have teeny tiny seed beads that are bigger then these French knots.
Thank you again Wilma, it's one of the prettiest hearts I have ever received.
And since things are extemely hectic at work and I don't know if I'll have time to sign back on here again, I want to take this time to wish everyone Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and lots of quilting/CQ goodies in your stocking this year.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Just a quick note to let anyone that's interested -- I have marked down a couple of items in my Etsy shop. The link at the side should (hopefully) take you there, but if it doesn't, cut and paste:
Time to clean some of the stuff out. I'm going to be listing lots of new and exciting items in January. Some previews: lace, lots and lots of vintage lace. And buttons, you won't believe the buttons. And collage packets. And probably more when I get some vacation time after Christmas and start clearing things out.
I have another bunny block done -- yippee! This is the biggest block in the quilt. I'm adding my own touches to the bunnies. For this one I added a lovely pink rose collar and a bit of lace to the basket of eggs he's carrying.
I found the neatest chalk pencil device at Joann's over the weekend. It comes in a plastic case with lots of different colors of very thin chalks. Almost like pencil leads only they're chalk. You load these different color chalks into the "pencil" that comes with the kit. These are so much easier for me to mark with then the so-called quilters chalk pencils. I got this in the quilting section of Joann's in case anyone is interested.
Here's a close up of the bunny face. It was much easier to mark his eye with the new chalk marking device I found.
So I've fulfilled my monthly duty of working on my UFO's or WISPs (works in slow progress). Now all energy turned towards Christmas.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Here's the 2nd package of my 2nd block of the month quilt. Don't cha just love those fall colors? They're my favorite.
Sorry Elizabet, no squirrels in this one -- but stay tuned -- the whole quilt has several squirrels on it and I know you'll love it.
I have been working on the bunny quilt. By the end of this week I may actually have a completed block (No. 4 in case you're keeping count). It is one of the BIG blocks so it has taken me a while. That and the fact that I don't have that much practice with applique and it's difficult for me to get nice smooth curves and pointy points. Anyone have any hints for me?
Friday, December 01, 2006
Last January, I actually read the newletter from my local quilt shop and saw a block of the month being offered. I went and looked at it and it was so cute. So I joined up. This month is the last month for the blocks and this is how many I actually have done:
They are the cutest little chocolate bunnies. But I only have three of them done. I'm doing them all the old-fashioned needle turn applique (no fusing, no raw edge, I'm doing the "real" thing here). One of the ladies on my group, May Britt, does beautiful applique. I keep looking at your blog May and hoping some of your skills will rub off on me through cyberspace (LOL).
Here's the rest of the bunnies still to be done:
There's also a BIG bunny block, and I'm working on it. Hey, I said WISP (works in slow progress).
Then in October of this year, I once again looked at the newsletter from the quilt shop (do you see how this is becoming dangerous for me?) and low and behold, there's yet another block of the month, done by the same artist that's doing the bunny quilt. (sigh)
I had to go and look -- just look! I wasn't going to buy because after all, I never finished all my bunnies each month like I told myself I would do.
And this is what I ended up with:
At least this one is only an 8 month block program. Like who am I kidding? I couldn't handle 1 small block a month yet I think I'm going to do 8 big blocks each month!!!! But I don't care -- I just LOVE this designer. These fall colors are definitely my colors.
I'd show you the other blocks but blogger says that's enough pictures for one day.
Monday, November 27, 2006
This is a quilt I made last year. I used all my favorite snowmen pattern from about 6 different books. It's one of my favorites.
It hangs on the wall in the living room and is the first thing you see when you come in the door.
Here's the snowmen decoration I painted for my brother, all lit up.
And last, but certainly not least, this is the reason why I paint for my brother and he goes all out for his decorating. This is the youngest of the three kids. Alex didn't want to pose with any of the new decorations -- he only wanted to be with "Papa Noel."
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Well, I made a list of things I need to get done in the next month or two and things that need to be done right at the first of the year. I've been getting so many orders and requests, I figured it was time to write them down or something was going to fall through the cracks and I'd be in panic mode. Here it is:
Quite a bit there. Kind of frightening in a way. The frog quilt top is pieced, but needs borders and everything else. It is for my mother for Christmas so it takes top priority. Next is the dog pillow. This is for the same person that commissioned the doggie memorial quilt that I've blogged about before. All the other items are just in my head (ha!). Guess I need to spend this long weekend trapped in the sewing room, but that won't be possible.
I did get a project done for my brother. My brother adopted 3 children from Columbia, South America. They arrived last year right before Christmas (and needless to say were a little overwhelmed. They didn't know the language or what the heck was going on with everyone giving them presents). So this year will be their first Christmas when they know what's going on. Two boys, one girl, ages 6, 5 and 3. My brother goes all out with "yard art" for holidays. He cut this out and I painted it.
This is rather large, probably about 4 feet tall. There's a group of snowmen, but Blogger isn't cooperating today and won't load the picture. Maybe next time.
So I get to be off Wednesday before Thanksgiving and then the Friday after (don't know how THAT happened as where I work they're not known to acknowledge holidays that much). So I will take advantage of this time off and try to cross off some items from that list of mine.
Next time I will show pics of 2 of my UFO projects since Sandi from A Beautiful Craft has issued a challenge. I can't participate fully by showing ALL my UFO's because even Blogger doesn't have enough bandwidth for me to upload that many photos.
Till next week!
Monday, November 13, 2006
The secret to the bright, crisp prints is the rinsing you do after the fabric sheets are printed. It's a fairly easy, relatively painless procedure of mixing liquid fabric softener and water in a big pan and dipping the fabric sheets into it and then letting them dry. This sets the ink, makes the colors crisper and brighter and I was very impressed with the fabric sheets I used. Since this project was going to get washed, I needed the best (and turns out most expensive) fabric printer sheets. The directions are there with the package. I'm sure each company has their own recipes for the fabric softener bath. Like the old saying, "Just read and follow package directions."
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
These are the posts that my mom and dad make. They have lights on them. Of course, the camera battery died before I got a picture of them lighted up. They sold over 10 of these.
Here's one of our shelves and table displays. EVERYTHING in this photo was sold. Gone. Out the door. Aren't those little frogs absolutely darling? Those are done by my mother. The pillows are mine (well, not anymore, they all found new homes).
It was a rush to set everything up, people were lined up outside the doors before 8 a.m. and I didn't sit down until 12:15 p.m. I was totally exhausted. It will be nice to have this weekend off, and then another show. Our set up will certainly be much easier at the next two shows because we'll only have one set of shelves and a screen to set up.
Hope you had fun coming to the craft show with me!
Monday, November 06, 2006
Several ladies took Judyth up on the challenge and there has been a virtual flurry of organization going on. And it has spread from the one little bead box, to whole shelves and closets (LOL).
One of the members, Elizabet (http://veridianeyes.blogspot.com/) has her pictures up. Dianna (http://needlemecrazy.blogspot.com/) has gone absolutely crazy with organizing. These are just a few.
So take up the challenge -- pick one thing/area and organize it. You'll feel better.
There will be 3 challenges total -- stay tuned for Challenge No. 2 which I will announce in Mid-November.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Madeline is one year old now and her top weight is 7 lbs. Not bad for the way she entered the world (teeny, tiny, and very sick due to her having to stay in the animal pound from birth). I looked and looked for her yesterday and couldn't find her until I spotted this silliness. All 7 pounds of Madeline squeezed into this little shoe box. Apparently to her it was a comfortable spot for an afternoon nap.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Here's some work I did on one of the round robin blocks. This is a Vest from Linda in Texas (hi Linda!). Her theme is also Mardi Gras (my favorite). I embellished this patch by giving one of the ladies a fancier headdress with beads. The other lady has blue flurry stuff and a heart crystal-like bead on her headdress. I hope she doesn't look too much like a Vegas show girl - LOL. I also outlined the patch with chain stitch in a purple silk thread. I was only the second person to work on this vest. My own block (which is also Mardi Gras) is making its rounds still.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Here's a pic of some work that's been done on my RR Mardi Gras block. This was done by Kate (and if I'm not mistaken, Kate is a newbie to the world of CQ). This RR is from my group, CQForNewbies. We had several themes to pick for this RR and I chose Mardi Gras. If you look back in the archives, you will see the "naked" block as it started its journey.
Kate took the jester and added a collar, beads and check out the bows on his shoes! Too cute!
Monday, October 23, 2006
I've been absolutely swamped with work and back to back to back to back craft shows. I hope to have some pictures for you later this week. Now I'm working on Christmas things and hope to have pictures of the round robin CQ I am in. I have Linda's Mardi Gras vest and it is so pretty. So stay tuned -- I haven't dropped out of the blogging world -- just very pressed for time.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Been a crazy couple of weeks doing craft shows and getting ready for more craft shows. Here are some of my newest pillows. I sell lots and lots of pillows. I find it hard to do the same thing over and over again (which is why I will never be a mass producer - ha ha), so most of my pillows are "one of a kind items."
The witch legs are cross stitch. The rest are regular hand embroidery, with crayon tinting.
Madeline's little friend, Reznick is back for a week. She didn't recognize him at first and there were a few hissy fits. He's has grown so much in just a few weeks. He is now as big as Madeline so there's lots of rough tumbling and a few growls. For those of you wondering about the name (and if you're a 20-something, you know what the name means), Reznick was named after the lead singer of the Goo-Goo Dolls. Seems somewhere out in cyperspace there's a whole message board of people who have Reznick the cat as the mascot of the board. So I guess we are housing a "celebrity" this week. And here Madeline thought SHE was the celebrity - LOL.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Thanks for reading and your comments. Thought I'd take a moment and answer some of your questions.
The craft shows are doing great! I was afraid with the cost of gas and life in general, that sales wouldn't be very good this year -- but was I ever wrong. I am doing better this year than last (knock on wood). The weather has continued to be pretty good (lots of wind, but the temps are nice and warm and NO RAIN!). I have three HUGE shows coming up here back to back to back, so I'll be working really hard.
Gerry asked how much time I have in my projects -- specifically Wacky Bat. I never keep track of exactly how much time I have in something. I do work fast and when I work on my projects, I work. No playing around, no taking breaks, just get 'er done.
Marcia asked about the thread on the skeleton pillow -- it is not glow in the dark but it sure looks like it doesn't it? It's DMC's new Light Effects thread. I would not use it for a lot of coverage as it feels sort of plasticky, but for little highlights and touches, it makes a great statement.
I was going to upload a picture but Blogger is being very temperamental today. I am currently in a CQ Round Robin and will show you pics of a CQ Box one of the participants made. But we'll save that for next time.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Maddie and I recently baby-sat a little 4 month old kitten, Resnick. Madeline seemed to like Ressie right from the start -- no hissy fits or fighting. However, by the end of the week Miss Madeline was missing her daily 10 hour naps! Can you tell by the look on her face she's ready for Ressie to go home?
Friday, September 08, 2006
Here's a couple of more pillows I've done for my shows. They are embroidered and painted. The spider's body is all sparkly and the web is done with metallic thread. Kind of gets you in the mood for Halloween doesn't it? LOL Let's hope the weather this weekend is more fall-like than summer, as we will be in a tent outdoors.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Here they are -- the last of the baby quilts for this year. (I already have some orders for next year).
The cats are my favorite of this bunch.
They are embroidered with stem stitch (by hand). I just made up the piecing pattern with the squares and border fabrics and somehow got it all to fit. I was going for a pretty random look.
The train quilt is just a quilted panel. The backing fabric is railroad ties. I did quite a bit of hand quilting on this one.
Finally, the turtle quilt. I got this picture from a bunch of patterns my mom found at an estate sale. It looked like a very old coloring book page. No book, just this page.
Hope everyone has a safe and happy Labor Day Holiday. While I am so glad for the holiday weekend (so I don't have to come to work!), I'm always sad at Labor Day because that basically means summer is over. Seems like this summer went by faster than others. I'm not a winter person and am not looking forward to going through another winter.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Been working my little fingers to the bone -- and instead of bony fingers, I have the following ready for my Fall craft shows.
The skeleton is all counted cross stitch. Don't you love his eyes and bow tie? This is done in the new DMC Light Effects thread. They have lots of nice colors but this flourescent green just called out to me.
This is my wacky bat. The colors are much brighter in person. That orange hat just screams at you -- LOL. He is quilted and appliqued using lots of metallic threads. My new machine (Janome 6600) is a dream at handling all the difficult threads.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Here it is in all it's glory -- photo transfers of the client's little doggies and kitty. This is for her husband's birthday, which is Aug. 24 (just in the nick of time!).
Here's a closer look at one of the blocks. This little puppy is no longer with us, so Justice is wearing the St. Francis medal. I know the photos don't show it very well, but there's lots of decorative stitches on the seams of the blocks. The quilting (machine) is done in red and white. On the back of the quilt are two neckerchiefs of Justice (both red -- her favorite color!). There are also miles and miles of binding, sewn by hand of course.
All in all -- a big weight is off my shoulders with getting this done. I just hope they like it.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
I finally got some of the baby quilts order done. This is one-half of them (4 quilts done, 4 more to go). Of course, when I brought them in to the client, other people in the office saw them and after the first of the year (after my craft shows are over), I will have a lot more orders. Which is funny in a way as I don't have children, have never been around babies much (didn't even babysit much when I was a teenager) and here I am in the baby quilt business!
Here's the first two: the frogs were extremely popular. I have the feeling I'll be making a lot more of these.
The train quilt has the words "box car," "caboose," "choo choo"
embroidered on some of the blocks. There is
smoke coming out of the engines.
On the pig quilt, the top border says "This Little Piggie Went to Market" and the bottom border says "This Little Piggie Stayed Home"
And the heart quilt is just plain raw edge applique (I used pinking shears) and big stitch embroidery/quilting on top.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Here's a picture of my Mardi Gras wallhanging that is beginning its journey on a Round Robin. It will travel the country and come back home to me looking absolutely gorgeous!
I got the fabric with the harlequins on it on a trip to an antique store in some small town in Kansas (too many stores, too many small towns, I can't even remember where I was). The store was so old and so dusty, my friend and I were sneezing our heads off from the dust. But it was a fun trip (all of our trips are) and found some great treasures.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Here's one of the first CQ Blocks I did. The hand is mine from 1972 (or thereabouts). I started at a young age
Since it was felt, it had discolored and was pretty sorry looking. But since the hands were of my grandparents (gone), my brothers when they were younger, I took those off the quilt and am going to use them in a family quilt of my own. There's a sunflower on there (not too clear in the picture) and the frog prince. Not too much embellishing on this one yet, but that will change in the future, I'm sure.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Today, my (nice) boss, asks for 8 more baby quilts. AHHHH!!! He purchased 8 baby quilts at the beginning of the year. And he's a bachelor! A very generous one at that. So my fingers will be busy, busy, busy. The good thing is that I can make them whatever design I want, and there's no firm deadline. He likes it when I trickle in with 2 or 3 at a time. Here's some pics of the previous ones I did early this year. The colors on the rocking horse quilt are very off -- it's bright orange and yellows with one purple horse in the center..
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Then I arrive at work and get stuck in the elevator for 15 minutes. Alone. And I'm a little claustophobic. Our maintenance men (a father and son team) were wonderful and kept talking to me so I wouldn't scream. They couldn't get the doors open, so one of them climbed on top of the car I was in to release the safety so I wouldn't have to wait an hour for the elevator repair people. I can't wait to see what the rest of the day brings.
Meanwhile, here's a pic of a sweet little wallhanging I did out of very vintage handkerchiefs. It's 14 inches square and the pearls on it are vintage. This was a lot of fun to make, but this sweet, girlie thing is not my style. So I'm offering it up on etsy.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Well, I did it. I took everyone's advice and opened up my own Etsy shop. Etsy is strictly for handmade items and it's a one price shop -- no auction like Ebay. For those of you that don't know, I do other things beside the sewing and crazy quilting. In fact, I do WAY too many other things -- I'm a little scattered in my thinking at times.
This is one of the first items I've put in the Etsy shop. I've done several of these butterflies and in fact, sold two on Ebay not too long ago. However, the ebay thing is a lot of trouble (and a lot of different fees all the time).
I hope you'll go take a look at my shop. I'm not feeling that banner, but I don't know (a) how to fix it or (b) how to make a better one. If someone knows the secrets of doing killer banners, please, please let me know.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Isn't it wonderful that summer is here? Seems like I've been waiting years for it to return. On some of the other blogs I read, it was suggested we post pictures of our garden to honor the return of summer. Since I just bought a new camera (yeah!), I thought I'd show you my garden.
This is the back yard. There was nothing here when I moved in four years ago but dirt and weeds. These are my hostas. You can see Madeline watching me out the back door. Or is it that nice juicy red bird she sees? The ivy climbing all over came from two little plants (69 cents each) that I planted three years ago. Good thing I didn't buy the whole flat.
Friday, June 02, 2006
I took a few days off around the Memorial Day weekend. I counted up that I needed 30 blocks to finish the commission quilt. I have 16 of them done now. To me, that translates to more than half done
We finished up our first swap on the CQ For Newbies group (which I am the List Owner). Some of the ladies were absolute newbies and very, very nervous about swapping. Some would even send me pictures of their block to ask if it was okay to send to someone (they were). I wish you all could see the beautiful blocks that came out of this swap. No wonder people look at our photos and think this is not a group of newbies -- but many of them are, I assure you.
We also have a few "veterans" around who enjoy a nice, friendly, helpful place to swap and who want to share their skills with newbies -- and even pick up a few pointers themselves. If you want to join, or know of someone who either likes crazy quilting or would like to get into crazy quilting, come and join as at CQForNewbies@Yahoogroups.com.
Friday, May 19, 2006
I've been busy working on my commission quilt that I mentioned a few posts back. This is a memorial quilt for a beloved little dog, Justice. The owner is giving this quilt to her husband for their anniversary in August.
I first scanned in all their photographs of Justice (and Justice's sister, Lex). I did minimal photo manipulation, just cropping and resizing. I printed the images on a Dell Photo Printer, Model 924. I printed the photos off onto Color Textiles fabric sheets. I ordered a sampler package of this and would highly recommend it. It feeds into the printer like a dream, no jamming, no shifting. You have to lay the printed fabric sheet in a bath of fabric softener and water, but it's an easy process and only takes a minute of two.
The fabric softener bath really brings out the colors in the fabric prints. Plus, the Color Textiles sheets are colorfast!!! and they are as soft as regular fabric. Like I said, I would highly recommend these sheets.
Here's one of the blocks with the little doggies on it. This is my favorite photo of them. Justice is the one on the left. Some of the other blocks in the quilt will have "doggie sayings" on them and this is a sample.
I was going to make the quilt of 15 inch blocks, but after I cut one and saw the size of that block, I decided to scale it back to 12 inch blocks. So I make a few more blocks -- better than having to wrestle around with a 15 inch block.
The blocks will have machine decorative stitches on the seams. This will be a big quilt -- 60x72 (which is a big quilt to me since it's been a long time since I've done a full size quilt -- well, let's make that "finished" a full size quilt).
Hope you all like it.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Here's two versions of a DREAM pillow top. I got this pattern on line, somewhere, don't ask where because I simply can't remember now.
I first did it in the country colors and used denim for the sashing. I'm getting a little weary of the muted country colors, but since this is what sells in my area, this is what I do. However, my bright fabrics were calling to me and I had to try it out. Personally, I like the bright version the best. Can you just image what kind of dreams you would have with the bright, wild colors?
You can't tell from the photos but the letters are stitched on with various colored threads using lots of different decorative stitches. Life's too short to use the same satin stitch edging every time (ha!)
I'll take both versions to my craft shows this Fall and see which ones goes first.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
I created this group, along with my friend, JK, as a safe place to newbies to learn how to swap, do Round Robins and block exchanges without the fear of criticism. We all have to start somewhere and I decided there was a need for a group like this. JK worked up some fabulous lessons on how to piece a CQ block, with both pictures and words.
We're currently having our first contest block -- with prizes!!! -- for the 3 winners. We plan on doing at least 1 swap block a month, maybe more. I'm very pleased that the group has grown to almost 70 members in just a little over a month.
The group is not just limited to newbies however. We have a lot of experienced crazy quilters -- ones who are willing to help the newbies and members who are extremely generous in sharing their stash, their skill and talents and helping others.
If you'd like to join, or know someone who would like to join us, go to the Yahoo groups, search for CQForNewbies (no spaces), tell me where you heard about the group, and I'll approve you.
Hope to see some of you soon!
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Everyone has been asking me (well, Iris Susan asked!), what I've been doing with the new sewing machine. So I thought I'd show you a few things.
This is a door hanger I made. The sunflower is cross-stitched. The stitching on the seams is done by the Janome 6600. I also wrote the word "sunflower" using the fonts on the machine. I sell at craft shows in spring, fall and winter, so this will be an item going into the craft show.
I have a friend I met through an ad in RubberStampMadness. We do challenges with each other every month or so. She sent me the pattern for this art doll. I painted the fabric and used the new machine to do all the fancy stitching on the body. The face is a rubber stamp image. All the beading is done by hand. This little doll looked a little like an amoeba, so I put a skirt on her.
I've been doing several things for the craft shows, and I'll show you more another day.