Mar 29, 2010

checking in

A little more stitching done---Nancy Halvorsen April calendar quilt block, slightly resized. I messed up and marked the flowers. These look fine but it is not what the designer suggested. I was supposed to have done fused 3 dimensional ones in three colors and use a yellow bead at center. Oh well---it is too late once the stuff is marked on the cloth. Borders are still needed as well as a running stitch border near the verse which will serve as a quilting line once I get it sandwiched. The original pattern calls for making small pillows from the blocks but I want quilt-lets similar to the appliqued version.

I had a lovely surprise on Saturday when my pal Aline stopped by with her embroidery floss to share with me. She had a container of stuff already rolled on floss bobbins and another container separated out by color groupings---"take what you want", she said. I was able to compare the numbers on my document and just took the ones I didn't have to supplement those. I had a list of about 6 colors I needed for a project and that fell to half, LOL.

I spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday afternoon rolling floss. Then I decided that all the boxes needed to be in numerical order rather than the color groupings method that I had always used. No reason NOT to change your way of thinking, right? I figure it will be a lot easy to pull what I need for these monthly blocks I am doing. The cross stitch projects stayed in their own box, all the calendar blocks in another and the freckles stuff in a 3rd but the rest is now organized to my satisfaction. Can I keep it that way? Probably, LOL.

So today, I will mark the first Freckles snowman block for April. Norma and I will be working on these together as a BOM. I may also put the borders on the March and April calendar blocks. The February one is still hanging but I put out the rest of the Easter/spring decorations yesterday afternoon.

At some point I will need to start cleaning up the house as DJ got a phone call from the golfing buddy. He and his wife will be here sometime Thursday evening for a round of golf on Friday and leave right after that. They are either on the way down to Florida or on their way back to IL so just a brief stay. With this much advance notice I can concentrate on one (or two?) room(s) each day rather than work my butt off on Wednesday/Thursday morning trying to get it all done in time.

Beef stew is in the crockpot for supper. I made a batch of Pearson House Hummingbird muffins this morning too. DJ is outside doing some weeding now that the temps are up a bit. I have a couple errands to run after lunch but plenty of time to reach today's goals, I'm thinking.

Hope that you have a good day in whatever YOU chose to do------

Mar 24, 2010

WIP Weds

My stitching was put on hold for a few days while I re-organized the contents of 20 various sized notebooks---some of which are pictured to the left. All this started because I was talking to Norma about getting my redwork stuff all in the same notebook. By Monday evening the cutting/pressing table was loaded with piles of patterns and printouts in sheet protectors grouped by category and held with a ring binder till I could file it all back. At that point had 4 more to go through. Fortunately the last two were already broken down and better organized and I was done by yesterday afternoon.

Then I got busy updating the embroidery floss document and winding the newest acquisitions for the next project. Norma and I have decided to do the Snowman Year block of the month stitchery from Freckles Collection. Norma was lucky enough to see this one "in the flesh" so to speak when the BC, CA Designer Dougal Walker visited her guild and did a trunk show for them. See this post for a much better picture. We plan on starting with the April Easter themed block so I had purchased things for that particular block but not the whole project. Looks like I am only short 4 colors---woohoo! Mark the backing fabric and I will be ready to roll.

Here is my WIP then---March calendar quilt block from Nancy Halvorsen. If you hadn't noticed, I changed gears from the appliqued version to stitchery version as it is hard to machine applique around itty bitty pieces and the fusible makes it too stiff to buttonhole stitch by hand. I still don't have my sewing mojo back either.

I just finished the lettering, then pressed and trimmed the block. It needs some bordering pieces but I don't know with what just yet. As you can see it is missing some details as well. It calls for a tulip shaped button and embroidery floss ties to the kite string so that will act like a tack would. There is also a running stitched border around the motif that you might be able to faintly see in pencil. That should work like a utility stitch with perle cotton, I think. At this point it measure 9 x 10.5 so it will need some anchoring but will that be enough? I knew that I wanted the stitchery image to be larger than shown in the book so after I scanned it, I printed it off about page sized. I'll do the same with the next months block as well. This month is going by so fast!

So is this day----it is just about time to fix supper.

Hope that you have enjoyed a nice spring day wherever you live---------

Mar 20, 2010

spring has sprung

Happy National Quilting Day! If you don't celebrate that, go for the fact that it is officially, if only by the calendar, the first day of spring. We are at the mid 60's today with sunshine and a light breeze blowing. Lovely day! Warm enough to shut off the furnace and crack a few windows. Skyler is loving it, running from window to window and back to the front door to look out.

The picture shows him up on the buffet in "begging" position and that point he thought he needed his "treat" bite. He kept wiggling so I didn't get the cute head to the side shot, LOL.

I took some outdoor shots to share---the daffodils in fuller bloom than a previous shot.

The camellia is loaded with blooms though it has been trying to bloom for months. In previous years the frost would zap them but I guess the sustained colder weather this winter convinced it NOT to bloom too early. Or not as much anyway.
At any rate we haven't seen it looking this good.

The Bradford Pears are not quite there. I swear this just happened overnight---buds to just starting to open. Soon it will look like popcorn bushes. Same with the forsythia. These are in the neighboring subdivision. The two rows at the subdivision entrance are not quite there but will be in a day or two, I bet. I have spotted some tulip trees out as well when out in the car.

I am still embroidering but off on another project. I decided to switch gears on the calendar quilt-lets and do stitcheries instead of fusible appliques at least on most of them. The Art to Heart button set that I purchased as part of my Christmas present should still work. I spent some time on Thursday organizing the floss that I needed and made a run to Hobby Lobby for what I needed. I have been piddling with the March block and will be ready to layer it for quilting as soon as I get the verse part embroidered. Break out the sewing machine to add some sashing bits anyway.

Hope that you are having a lovely day where you are--------

Mar 17, 2010

a finish or two

Happy St. Pat's Day! My WIP Weds includes some corned beef in the crockpot and a Watergate cake in the oven---smells pretty good at my house about now. I got the "coverup frosting" already made along with the molasses, horseradish and mustard glaze that the recipe calls for the meat. I'm good with kitchen detail till about 4:30-5 p.m.

My main reason for showing this pic is because of the 2 of the 4 hanging towels I have recently made. I whipped up these on Sunday between the finishing of redwork hearts and resumption of redwork Santas. My chair is blocking your seeing the apple motif on the front of the towel very clearly but it matches the potholders and oven mitts I use. You will just have to trust me on that one. The gold/yellow yarn goes with other things in the kitchen so they are growing on me. At first I was not so sure about the John Deere tractor colors, LOL. (Norma, see a peek at what placemats I am using? Even DJ has commented on how pretty they are!)

Other than hemming up the towel edges I still have not been sewing. Nope, don't really feel like it and proceeding will just lead to frustration and un-sewing. I briefly considered working on the March calendar block, seeing as the month is half over. Maybe tomorrow once I finish the block I am working on.

So more redwork instead keeping those hands busy while I watch TV programs on Shows that I wouldn't ordinarily have seen or miss because I normally see something on another network at the same time..........

I had quite a bit of this Stars and Stripes Santa done already till I set it aside. Basically the right side of the block to go---the tree, half of his body, his legs, a few of the stars. It didn't take too long to finish up.

I don't have too much more to go on the one I picked up next----#7 of 12 "Santa's Stack of Presents". (Bird Brain Designs in all cases) The designer suggests using #8 perle cotton on these or 3 strands of embroidery floss. I found that to be too heavy for my tastes plus I could not get the fine detail down well. I have been using 2 strands for most areas and cutting it down to even one if something has a lot of curves, twists and turns, or the tiny motif would be obscured otherwise. For example, the stuff in his bag was done with 1 strand. I should have probably done the bells with less as well. I will use the perle cotton in areas calling for cross stitch as it covers the lines better but those hearts and the itty bitty knots called for in the present stack, definitely down to 1.

So I am very close to another block finish. Yes, I will pick up another one but whether I continue to embroider to the exclusion of other projects? We'll see. One day my sewing mojo will return---it always does.

Mar 12, 2010

last 5

I just took the last stitches in the final redwork block in the "12 Days of Redwork" series----now to decide how to set them though I have been playing with that idea and have stuff drawn up in EQ to help me decide. The one thing I am NOT going to do is how Alex Anderson shows them on her site, LOL.

Of course I have other embroidery projects in progress so I can keep stitching if I want to---and will. So, for your viewing pleasure here are the five I have completed this week.

Morning Glory Block 8

Forget- Me- Not Block 12

Dianthus Block 11

Dahlia Block 9

Calendula Block 10

Mar 9, 2010

meeting day

Quilt group meeting today---several are out of town right now but 4 of us managed to get quite a bit done. Shown is a pinwheel top that Aline's granddaughter made and gma quilted. Good job, LeAnn!

Our first order of business was to deal with a new box of batting. Nu-style packs a 48 x 60 some yard roll of batting into a box 18 x 16 x 28 inches. We needed to un-stuff it from the box and then roll it onto the tubes we had saved in the storage closet. Fortunately we were able to put it up on two large serving tables in the Fellowship Hall and spare our backs and knees.

Linda C had 4 donation tops and 1 personal project to pin so we got busy with that. Two of the top needed additional batting added. I took care of that while the others pinned. Turned out some backing needed seaming as well. My Jem is always out in the car so I did that too--darned machine seems to have developed some tension issues so I will have to look into that!

3 of the tops came home with me and 4th would have but it needed additional yardage added to the back----next meeting we'll finish it up. Looks like my days of no sewing and no quilting will be coming to a screeching halt soon. 6 tops piled up on top of the armoire at present.

I had suggested an Arby's run for lunch out at the Oxford Exchange and offered to drive. As I pulled up to the 2nd stop light on our route I could see one of our quilting pals in the rearview mirror. Or at least I thought it was Pat anyway. My three passengers were waving and trying to get her attention without much success. Finally she figured it out who it was at the next light, LOL. Not sure where she was headed or we would have asked her to join us.

Skyler was running around like a crazy cat when I came home, madly dashing down the hall to DJ's desk chair to the love seat about 90 miles an hour. He thinks of this throw as his actually. DJ uses it in the recliner in cold weather and Skyler tucks in beside him anytime after 8 p.m. Truth be told, it is MY throw, LOL---purchased years and years ago on a trip to the Amana colonies and the woolen mill there. I don't care if the boys use it, of course.

And look what just opened up today!

For several days it looked they might be ready any minute. A few warmer sunny days and boom, the daffodils are blooming. As I was leaving for the meeting I noticed that the Bradford pears at the approach to the nearby sub-division are about to pop open too. Always so pretty---like popcorn. Rain is on the way later tonight and tomorrow but I hope the temps don't drop like a rock once they showers clear out.

Well, I didn't get a lick of stitching done on my redwork hearts at the meeting even though I drug them along. That's fine though. I've got the rest of the evening to play. 3 1/2 blocks to go and I could conceivably have all 12 done by the weekend. Woohoo!

Thanks for stopping by----------

Mar 8, 2010

still stitching

Loving this redwork--to the exclusion of any other crafty pursuit. 7 done, 5 to go but I am going to put #8 in the hoop any minute now and will probably have it done or near done by day's end, LOL.

Here are the latest finishes:

Nasturtium and Fuschia on the left

Dogwood and Rose on the right---I think that these two are my favorites so far.

Mar 3, 2010

Another edition of WIP Weds

I am still of a mind to hand stitch rather than use the electric needle. Of course, I have things I could be doing but it does not appeal to me at the moment. I am willing to bet that we all go through sewing slumps for whatever reason.

So today---a few more stitches in the Red Brolly "Brutus the Cat" block that will be part of Brownyn Hayes' Catalicious quilt. A start on the dogwood block from the 12 days of redwork series too.

What are the Peaches and Cream cotton yarn and towels doing in the shot? Well, our hanging towels in the kitchen need replaced. The towel part is looking pretty sad while the yarn part is virtually indestructible. These were pieces I commissioned some time back by a crocheting mother of a quilting friend . Ms. Esther made me some sunflower shaped hot pads that went with them too. I googled up a pattern online so will give this a whirl. I am definitely more of a knitter than crocheter but this could be a fun, fairly quick project. Wal-mart had some towels on clearance to the price was right even if the appliqued on print part is only on one end. Might just make them a little longer than usual. I also might be creating the ugliest towel ever made since I could not match the towel color, LOL. I found a towel ring that looked pretty cool HERE that might be a quicker fix if I hate these.

Here are the two recently completed redwork blocks in the series. So far I am doing these in the order they were posted (link in an earlier post) with the dogwood block above #4.

Guess that's it for today's edition---

Mar 2, 2010


I don't know if you can see it as well as Skyler is currently doing but it is snowing. What a winter we are having though it snowed this time last year too. I had just awakened a little after 7 a.m. As I opened the blinds, the rain turned to sleet and then to snow right in front of my eyes. The school bus picked up the child across the road so they didn't apparently call off school or close down the public offices in advance of the weather this time. So far the snow is sticking to the ground but not the driveway and lane. Guess we will see what happens as the day goes on.

Me? I don't feel like sewing so I won't. I will do some more redwork instead. These 12 days of redwork hearts are fun and work up fairly quickly compared to other projects I might pick up. I might change the setting blocks though when I am ready to make the quilt and goofed around with that in EQ a bit. I basically piddled the day away yesterday, I admit. Nothing got done but dinner on the table but some days are like that.