Archive for May, 2008

Sewing Days

May 28, 2008

My daughter’s cushions were completed over Memorial Day weekend and it was way past time to finish a workshop piece – from 2006.  Rosalie Dace – a wonderful textile artist who lives in South Africa – taught a workshop called Up Close and Personal.  The focus was “to LOOK at frequently unseen beauty, patterns and possibilities in the details of the world around us.””

A copyright free photo image of a hamster cell captured my attention.  I’m positive it was because of the intense coloration.  I took the image and brought it into Paint Shop Pro applying various effects to alter it.  Rotating Mirror, Kaleidoscope and Weave effects were my favorites, and I selected the woven image as my inspiration.

Here is the original image:

and now for the finished piece:

I’m still trying to decide if I want to place some sort of lining behind this piece.  If I ever want to submit this piece to a show, the background could be anything.  This photo was taken with the piece on my carpet. 

I’ve already brought this to 2 different art group meetings, and everybody says to stop here, and not put a lining behind it.  I honestly think it needs some sort of lining or backing.   Any comments or suggestions would be deeply appreciated.


Totally Off Topic

May 24, 2008

This is totally un-fiber related, so if you’re solely interested in reading about my fiber adventures, you can skip this post.  You won’t be missing any new fiber adventure.

I live in a rural/residential neighborhood and am used to seeing more 4 legged critters than the 2 legged human variety of the animal kingdom.  This most recent sighting was too good not to share though.

Yes, that is a baby fawn – just a few days old.  My husband was clearing some brush and spotted the fawn nestled between some evergreens.  He called me to come and see and I am so happy I brought my camera with me. 

We didn’t get too close, but I was able to get some great pictures with my Canon EOS Rebel digital camera.  This fawn was around 10 pounds – a guesstimate as I am comparing the fawn to my 16 pound cat. 

Overnight, the Mama did her job and moved the baby.  This time to the other side of the evergreens – in our lawn!!!  My husband narrowly avoided stepping on the baby as he was inspecting the daffodils. 

This morning, no fawn was to be found, and we’re guessing the Mama did a better job of finding a safe location for her baby.   A new life – such a wondrous miracle. 

Cathedral Window Class Pictures

May 23, 2008

The Cathedral Window class last night was a good one.  Everyone was friendly and I hope they all went home with a good understanding of the technique.  There were lots of lovely fabric combination – patriotic themes, wonderful pastels, scrappy versions and 3 of the ladies gave permission for me to photograph their project.  thank-you ladies, and if you click on the pictures, they will enlarge for you. 

Pam Weidner’s colors were bright and cheerful – just like Pam herself:

Nancy Steele – AKA the demerit queen – selected elegant country style fabric:


And Georgie used batiks – in light, bright shades:

The class was held at Betty’s Quilting store in Spencerport, NY and picture of the quilt I made for a class sample is on her website – the Quick Cathedral class.

Today will be devoted to finishing the cushion covers even though The French Rose quilt pattern arrived yesterday and I really want to start working on that new project.  But then I also want to start beading a crazy quilt block, plant some of my flower garden, visit with my daughter, and knit my sweater sleeve.

The sun is shining and this is a great start to the long Memorial Day Weekend.

Dress-Up Day

May 22, 2008

I’m playing dress-up today.  LOL  It’s so much fun. 

My collection of shiny pretties has grown over the years.   None of my jewelry is expensive, but every piece purchased, given to me, or inherited is in my home because I love it.  It’s time for these pretties to be displayed, worn, and enjoyed.

The blue beaded bracelet is from Guatemala, the gold bracelet with blue beads is from my Aunt, and the brushed gold one is from my Mom.  Every time I glance down at that adorned arm, I smile.   It feels like I’m a little girl again playing in a jewelry box. 

My husband took one look and said, “You’re not going to wear all that in public are you?”  LOL  You betcha – tonight for a class I’m teaching at a local quilt store.  

Life is so short.  If you find something that brings you joy, and doesn’t hurt anybody, I say go for it.  

By the way, the fabric in the photo’s background is what I’m using for the cushion covers.  Isn’t it lovely? 

Everyday Activities

May 21, 2008

The Nappy Bag got rave reviews and the last few days have been spent doing some pant alterations for my Dad and taking apart a sofa cover so the fabric can be used to cover 2 cushions for my daughter. 

Not a day goes by that I don’t knit or sew.  Not everything I make is put on the blog though.  The mundane (to my point of view) sewing activities are not photographed or blogged about and yet they are part and parcel of who I am. 

My Dad wouldn’t have comfortable pants, if I hadn’t altered them for him.  They took very little time, and while I was working on them, I was thinking of all the happy times we’ve shared. 

As for recovering my daughter’s basement cushions? I despise home dec projects. I really mean it – I detest, hate, whine, moan, and complain about home dec projects – but I love my daughter.  As I was cutting away the elastic and opening seams on the sofa cover, my husband helped by holding the fabric taut.  I enjoyed having his assitance, and now we are both part of this cushion project.

It’s amazing how quickly my attitude changed after that one act.  Now I’m looking forward to finishing the cushions.  I’m no saint.  I haven’t done a total turn around. I still don’t like making home dec projects, but I did like that my husband was kind enough to help out, and that’s what I’ll always remember when this project is completed.

Onto something I adore – hand knitting.  There is good progress being made on my Bella sweater.  It was a machine knit pattern written for Machine Knitters Source years ago, and I revised the instructions for hand knitting. 

As you can see the 2 fronts and back are finished and a crocheted buttonhole band is completed.  I still have the 2 sleeves to knit, but I do believe this sweater will be ready to wear the first part of June.

It’s being knit with an exquisitely decadent Egyptian cotton and will look very different after it has been washed and dried.  Cotton does shrink yet this is a ribbed design, so it will have a lot of stretch.




The Nappy Bag

May 16, 2008

It’s been a busy week and a productive one.  There was lots of running around for basic body maintenance doctor appointments – gotta make sure to keep everything in good working order – and lots of sewing and knitting.

On the sewing front I purchased and made the nappy bag – a pattern by Amy Butler.  This is supposed to be a diaper bag, but I met a woman at a sewing meeting who was using it as a purse.  Now I love slouchy purses and she let me put this over my shoulder.  Wow, was it ever comfortable!  Most purses hurt my shoulder.  Not this one.

4 days later, here is my VERY BIG, VERY PINK nappy bag:


 Nappy Bag used as purse

Notice the little cell phone holder on the upper right strap?  No more search and rescue effort will need to be mounted to locate the little darling. 

There are oodles of pockets inside – more than I need – but I wanted to make this exactly like the pattern.  Any further versions can be tweaked as I use this and see what features I like, and what I don’t. 

Amy’s instructions are fabulous.  Very clear, in proper sequence and that was really appreciated.  Some independent pattern instructions leave a lot to be desired. 

There are 3 changes I did make as I was constructing the pattern. 

1 – Step 6 – I skipped the machine basting in C and pinned well for the machine basting in D.  It saved some time at the sewing machine

2 – Step 8 –  A – Instead of marking 4″ down from the raw edge, I marked it at 6″.  This is a lot of bag to pull through a very small opening and making that opening a bit bigger made turning the bag very easy.  I got that tip from the woman at the sewing meeting, and it was a great tip.

3 – Step 8 – G – I started the topstitching where the strap openings needed to be sewn shut.   This way I could do the reinforced sewing section in H simply by stitching over the first row of topstitching. 

This bag is 18″ wide and 24″ long.  It has plenty of room for anything and everything I want to put in a purse.   It’s public debut is tomorrow.  I hope the reviews will be good.  😉

Quilt Club

May 8, 2008

Today I attended my local quilt guild meeting.  We had over 40 quilts for show and tell, and here are a couple of photos from the meeting:

Bonnie Robinson made this quilt and is it ever gorgeous.  In fact, it won a prize at the recent Lake to Lake Challenge.  Congratulations to Bonnie!!!

The big picture of this next quilt was too dark for the blog, but what a gorgeous quilt Toni Foster made. I am so glad the close-up photo turned out so well, because you can see all the glorious hand quilting Toni did.  She is an expert hand quilter, don’t you think?

Onto the lecture – Karen Stone was our guest lecturer and the time flew.  She is enthusiastic about her work, funny, and full of wonderful stories, who just so happens to have an abundance of talent.  Her quilts are amazing.  Her early quilts were in rich dark colors, followed by some bright ebullient  middle pieces, and ending with her newest pieces revisting the dark, rich, opulent of her beginning quilts.

We got to see many of them up close and personal after the lecture.  I got my Karen Stone EQ5 Quilt Projects and Palettes signed and had a delightful short conversation with her. 

Good friends, wonderful quilts, bright sunshine – this was an A plus day!!!

Fabulous First Timer’s Round Robin Gerry’s Block

May 6, 2008

Yes, I have a new blog.  The reason?  I was running out of space on my free wordpress account and discovered one of the perks my business web host offers, is additional space on wordpress.  Oh happy days, because I really love having my blog on wordpress. 

Now I can show lots and lots of pictures and not have to worry about making them itsy bitsy.  It’s hard to see the details in itsy bitsy photos. 

Now onto the eye candy!!!

Here is a picture of Gerry’s block from the Fabulous First Timer Round Robin crazyquiltinternational Yahoo group:

I was the first person to work on it and had a wonderful time auditioning stitch designs, threads, ribbons, beads and motifs.  Here is a close up of the bottom corner:

My very first successful tatted motif is in the bottom right corner.  It has clear glass beads and a sequin center.  It looked a bit nekkid with no stem, so I added one with stem stitch and that stem needed a leaf, so a beaded one was promptly stitched. 

The block arrived with the black lace attached – which was a perfect background for adding lots of embroidery.  A chain stitch curve with straight stitches on one side (made with Sulky 12 wt Blendable cotton thread) and silk ribbon leaves with French knot tips on the other side meanders over 3 pieces.  The little lavender tulip stitch nestles in between the straight line stitching to complete that border treatment.   The lavender tulip was made with some of my hand dyed yarn that was imported from Italy.  Mamma Mia, do those Italians know how to creat yummy yarns. 

Gerry asked that the block maintain a tea theme, so I embroidered a tea cup, added some steam (with DMC black floss) and made a teeny, tiny tea bag (out of some fused and tea dyed silk) to drape over the side of the cup.  The motif was stem stitched with Madeira Polyneon. 

The embroidery down the center of the blue fabric was made by sewing straight stitches in blue down each side, then weaving a second yarn into the stitches, creating loops at each edge.  It adds a lot of texture and I used another one of my hand dyed yarns.

Last, and really hard to see in the photo, was the maidenhair stitch embroidered – in light green cotton -along the edges of the green brocade and the tea cup block.  I was going to add more embroidery to the brocade block, but realized there are 6 people in this round robin, and this is a small block.  It was really hard to stop at this point, but I was afraid I wasn’t leaving enough room for the other people to add their portion.

This is the first crazy quilt round robin I’ve joined, and I’m having a ball.  I hope you all enjoyed seeing the pictures and I didn’t bore you to death with the stitch details.  Hugs all around till the next post…