Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Raptor in My Tree

Found this gorgeous hawk sitting in my eucalyptus tree this afternoon:

On the sewing front, I am almost done with one of the side borders for the Heart's Garden quilt.

Made the cruise ship for the Happy Village..its pinned but not quilted..and I added legs/feet to the Garden Bird..but haven't worked on its applique..both of these may be going to Retreat as projects to work on there.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Flash of Inspiration...

I was sewing on that Viking yesterday at my class..using a Mettler spool which is long and narrow...and was mounted on a horizontal spool pin..

This morning I  was looking at my Singer 9020 which has a horizontal spool pin, only the end cap has gotten looser and looser over the years (don't remember it ever working really well)..when I had a flash of inspiration on how to fix it..

See that center ring with a rubber band shoved into the grove? works!! And it was cheap...the rubber band came off of a Fat Quarter roll...

Almost done with quilting the Happy Village..except for the upper right corner where I am adding a cruise ship in the ocean..the cruise ship is just a prototype at this point..I will probably change the color to white and FMQ the portholes...and the black bands on the smokestacks...The rest of the quilting is done though..and I have to figure out how to finish it..I really like the buttery gold background color..may make a flange of that and mount the whole thing on a piece of black felt (the quilting on the back looks odd..its done in three different colors of bobbin and the FMQ on the bougainvilleas and the palm fronds looks odd on the back..) as suggested by the teacher..

May have to wait til the next day I am working from home to finish it though.. 

It does make me happy to look at it!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Road to CA - Day 3

Today was Happy Village day....oh my...the villages that were constructed...

We snipped our fabric into little squares and stepped pieces and stuck all the little pieces onto the batting and glued the shapes down with dots of Roxanne's GlueBasteIt and then had a blast adding doors and windows and roofs and steps and trees...After those were stuck on firmly, we auditioned pieces of tulle..I ended up liking a golden tulle best..though the white shimmer stuff looked pretty dang good as well..

I got most of my village buildings least there are no pins left..but a couple of areas need to be outlined. Oh..and I need to outline all of the doors and windows and steps and add some thread painting to the trees..There were only a few that got as far as using the machines. DH says he thinks the sky needs a bird or the ocean needs a sailboat..have to think on that!

I liked the Viking machine that I has needle down..and the presser foot lifts just slightly when you stop stitching, allowing you to pivot without actually lifting the foot..the auto thread cutter is pretty neat as well..they want 2K though for the classroom machines..or 3.5K for a new one in the box..eiii..

Here is today's haul:

A yard of DecorBond interfacing, a bag of SewBatik's light batik scraps, the cutest froggie fabric....
I got the pin from the Skizzix booth..almost talked myself into getting one of the small cutters..but decided to sleep on the bird journal from a crafting group for signing up for their newsletter..
I also got a cd by Bron Journey, the harpist that plays during the show..and I bought Karen Eckmeier's Happy Village book, which she autographed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Road to CA - Day 2

Day 2 of the applique class and I have pinned all of the elements except for the eye of the bird, the branches are stitched, one leaf is stitched and the belly of the bird and half of his tail are stitched:

We learned the whipped stem stitch including making it variable weights, a brick stitch and the turkey stitch..which I need to practice.

My purchases yesterday and today at the vendor mall:

I actually got a couple more fat quarters - you can see where I used them on the bird applique as they are the branches and the multicolored leaves. I got three spools of Kimono silk thread - its half again as thin as the YLI silk that I have been using..a threader for my serger (which I need to resurrect..its been sitting for a number of years...), some shimmery tulle for tomorrow's class (I have black and green and plain white to audition..but I think I am going to like the shimmery stuff...)..and a small bottle of the colorless textile extender that seals chalk or pencil to fabric which is also one of the techniques from this class..

This is the teacher's piece in the Instructor's Show..gorgeous pheasants and chalk enhanced machine stitching..( I think if you click on the picture, it will get bigger so you can see the details)

Its been really nice weather so far..but tomorrow is supposed to rain! It will be fun getting my roller cart of stuff into the convention center..I better bring a towel! I already have the huge golf umbrella out..

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Road To CA - Day 1

Road to CA 2012 has officially started!

Attended the first day of my two day applique class by Sandra Leichner...she is also one of the judges for the show this year (this is the fourth judge that I have taken classes from!) Anyway..she's an interesting teacher and I really like needle-turn applique much better than the prep'ed edges like starch.She has oodles of tips and tricks..I really like her quilts. Her quilt 'Tea with Miss D' won one of the big awards at Houston..

We are doing her pattern 'Garden Bird' - here is my project after one day - we traced the pattern onto a vinyl overlay and learned how Sandra does inside corners and the points on leaves branches are mostly done..and the leaves are just laid on the background fabric for now..hopefully will get to the bird tomorrow:

( can see I didn't pin them down yet as the placement is all off when you compare it to the next photo....)

And hopefully mine ends up looking at least SOMEWHAT like this when I am done!

Really funny. story...we were stitching away on our branches after getting some instruction on how to do the deep inside V's or tree of the gals at my table is a speed demon with applique and got done before the rest of us. Sandra came by and was checking her stitching...Called everyone over to see her nicely done tree crotch, embarrassing the gal...everyone gave her a round of which she said "Oh great...Y'all stand around admiring my crotch and now y'all have given me the clap'...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Getting Ready for Road

Ekk!...I found three more UFOs while packing up the supplies for Road next week:

- tiny pre-cut Winding Ways kit from John Flynn
- t-shirt with fabric panel..this is truely kids were really small when I bought the panel..but I still like it! I think it may go with the fabric for the shorts..hopefully a new outfit!
- another set of fabric set aside for a quilted sweatshirt..I may put these back into stash...cuz if I make the Laurel Burch one, I probably wouldn't need another quilted sweatshirt..

I am using the village of Oia on Santorini as inspiration for my Happy Village...if you know me, you know of my fascination with the island of Santorini (or Thera) and the possibility of it being the source of the Atlantis legend. Someday I hope to actually go to Greece...

I love the stacked house architecture..and the blue domed churches.

Friday, January 13, 2012


The other day, I was looking for a brown knit glove that I could turn into a chipmunk (an idea from Pinterest)...I collect chipmunks and squirrels..have since I was a child..and this cutie is just too fun not to do!

I have a bag of singleton gloves that my Mom gave me..Once upon a time, a properly dressed lady would wear gloves whenever she went out and every once in a while, a glove got over time my Mom built up a small stash of these really soft doeskin gloves - they were way too expensive to just toss, even just a singleton! She gave them to me so I could make dolly shoes.. The bag has other types of gloves as well..a tricot one and some winter gloves..even a leather mitten from when I was small..

I was sitting here thinking about what I could use to substitute for the band-aid I was using to keep my middle finger from getting turned into hamburger..when serendipity struck - I could use one of those doeskin gloves!..I cut the thumb off one (my Mom's hands are tiny.....mine are not!) and so far, I am loving my new's lightweight, it doesn't make my finger's almost like it is not there, but it keeps the straw needles from poking holes in my middle finger!!

I normally HATE wearing a thimble..most of them are too and unbending, heavy...or they let the needle still poke me - I have one leather thimble that has a piece of metal at the tip that is supposed to let you push a needle thru a stiff patch..but the straw needle eyes just get caught in the edge and worse, they go thru and poke my finger.. for hand quilting, I have a paddle thimble but its not very useful for piecing or applique.

and oh yeah..I did find a brown knit glove in the bag to make Mr Chips! He is going to go to Retreat with me.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Heart's Garden Progress

It occurred to me that I haven't taken a picture of the Heart's Garden quilt in a long time..

This is the front minus the borders. It is a Quilt As You Go quilt so all of this is finished. The two longest seams gave me the most trouble in getting this together..the quilt is so heavy that it was hard to get it pinned correctly..I did the lower long seam 4 times before it was correct..but it looks good now! The borders are being worked on currently... and I have a poem from my Mom that will go on the label and some pictures of my Sis and I wearing clothes made of the fabrics that these scraps came from that will also go on the label.

Here is the back, again, minus the borders, which will be the light blue. I am planning on putting the label in the bottom blue diamond. I thought by making the quilt two sided that I would use up a lot of the fabric.I think the scraps must be multiplying the the container as this quilt has used up the merest smidgen of the available fabrics..Some are mostly the green for the front sashing and most of the dark blue for the back sashing..but there is still TONS of fabric left! LOL..

Here are the top and the bottom borders, pinned. The bottom border is almost all the way appliqued.

Here's the pieces left for the side borders..I think I need to make a few more! I ended up using double of the leaves since they look cute in pairs..

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The UFO Tub...

...contains the following projects:

three 2010 New Year's Day Mystery quilts from the forum (it should have been just one, but DH didn't like all the scrapy-ness going on and convinced me to split it into three smaller chunks - they will be cute baby quilts)
Cape Blanco Lighthouse - class project from Road to CA
Columbia Gorge - another class project from Road to CA
Hummingbird - yet another class project from Road to CA
Sunflowers and Tea (this one is hanging up on my closet door..but its still unfinished) - another class project from Road to CA
Laurel Burch blocks from Chris's stash that are going to be put onto a sweatshirt
material for a pair of shorts for me
material for a purse with several patterns
Giant Dahlia wall hanging
Alex Anderson Sawtooth Star kit
Beyond the Reef kit (small wall hanging)
Spinning Stars
Mini Sunflower Whole Cloth (pillow size)
Paper pieced star
Cheater panel pillow top for practicing hand quilting
Two potholder panels (they were pocket panels but I decided I didn't want the pockets on an apron that I made)
HSTs from making my sister's quilt which should get made into a baby quilt
Quilter's Run blocks from 2009
New York Beauty Cat pillow
Materials for DH's Movie quilt
Gingerbread girl apron
Valentine pillow kit

currently being worked on quilts that are not in the tub:
Heart's Garden
Wee Hexie Basket
Prairie Flower 

not in the tub but needs to be finished:
Beaded Kaleidoscope - need to figure out a hanger for it

Oh My Stars!!!  This tub is too full..LOL
Will have to do a recap at the end of the year to see what made it out of the tub.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Christmas Gifts 2011

Here is the annual roundup of gifts I made for Christmas 2011:

 I made a bunch of shopping bags for my DD and DXDIL: (they fold up into the little pouch)

And some taggie blocks for my new grand nieces:  (made on the treadle) Quilt Inspector Dustie on duty!

And an Angry Bird for my DD's friend: (who evidently loves the game)

I made some tissue packs, swiffer covers and crisscross coasters as well (but alas, no pictures)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Heart's Garden Update

I have finished prepping all of the small hearts and cutting out all of the leaves for the borders of my Heart's Garden quilt. Now..on to building the borders and appliqueing them.


Monday, January 02, 2012

Goals for 2012

These are some things I want to reach for this year:

Publish more posts on what I am doing.
Not a daily post, but a few more than I have averaged in the last few years.
2010 was a bad year 2011, I focused mostly on recovering, but I am getting stronger and stronger.

Lose around 5 more pounds.
It gets harder to lose the closer you are to target..
I am up-ing my exercise level.. Have added wind sprints to my daily 30 minute walk.
I would like to actually be able to do a 5K run some day.
Using the treadle counts as mild exercise!

Finish my Hearts Garden quilt.
Borders, binding and label..just need to do them.

Get my tub of UFOs whittled down.
I am shocked at how many projects are in PIGZ status...(Project In Gallon Zippy)
I have to get at least a FEW of them done!! (in another post, I will try to list them out)

Learn to do lace embroidery on my treadle.
Step one..master the Octi-Hoops I got for Christmas.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

The neighborhood was a-hopping and a-popping last night..we could hear parties on our street and a couple of the neighboring streets (we live in a area of 1/2 acre properties..those were SOME parties!!!). At about 5 minutes to midnight, we got our coats on and stood out in the front yard..we could HEAR the countdown from a couple of the least 3 or 4 nearby neighbors shot off aerial fireworks..lovely..

There has been a lot of talk about having black eye peas on New Year's Day..said to bring luck and good fortune if eaten on the first day of the new year. So...I checked my cupboard and low and behold, I actually have a small bag of dried peas. I decided to make a pot of them..when I told my DH what I was making for lunch..the conversation went something like this:

DH: "EWWW..I HATE black eye peas...make 'em for you, but don't give any to me!"
Me: "You haven't had black eye peas the way I am going to make how would you know if you like them or not?" (of course..I hadn't had them the way I was going to fix them either, but that was besides the point!)

DH: "Ok, I'll taste them..but just give me one bite.."
(this conversation is sounding suspiciously like talking to my DGD..she says she hates everything new..but it takes a bit more cajoling to get her to try something new.)

An hour elapsed ..

I boiled the peas...after they boiled for around 20 minutes or so, I added lentils, chopped celery, a minced shallot, 4 small tomatoes, a veggie bullion cube, fresh pepper, a pinch or two of rosemary and about a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and let that simmer for 30 minutes or so..then added about 6 pieces of crisp bacon, crumbled...gave DH his spoonful of peas...

...and can you guess what happened then?

He liked them..and asked for a second helping!

Reminds me of the episode with the spinach back when we were first married (I went to wash my hands, came back and he had eaten not only his bite of spinach but half of my serving as well!)