Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Down Under Quilts

For those of you who like online magazine, Down Under Quilts has a free six month subscription for their online quilt magazine.  If you go to:

http://subscriptions.creativelivingmedia.com.au/subscriptions/magazine.php?v=5

You can fill out the information to subscribe.  They don't ask a lot.  Name and email address...how simple is that?  Their magazine is full of vibrate colored pictures, patterns and helpful articles. They also have a "Did you know you could do this?" articles featuring EQ7.  Last month it was talking about using the eyedropper tool. 

Check it out.  I think  you'll like what you see.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Little League World Baseball Update

Can't help but post this.  I have a good friend in Huntington Beach California named Matt.  His son is starting his first year in college at Harvey Mudd but before that he did soccer and baseball as well as his sister Sarah.  Matt just sent me this link with the news that:

"Our own Little League won the world series by beating Japan 2-1.  This is the league that Johnathan played in and the coach of the team also coached Sarah in softball several years ago."
Hats off to the boys from Huntington Beach for pulling this off.  It's a great honor.


http://news.yahoo.com/california-beats-japan-2-1-llws-214036512.html

Babs & Coco's Tea Emporium

This afternoon I went to the Darjeeling Tea Tasting that was held at Babs & Coco's Tea Emporium.  As usual I had my camera with me and managed to snap a couple of pictures.  I couldn't help but snap this picture though.  It is a big blow up advertisement for Fushi Yama restaurant that is located near their shop.




I wasn't there to go eat so bypassed him and went into Babs & Coco's.  It's always a pleasure to go into there.  They greeting me by name and invited me to have a seat and a cup of tea.  In my other posting about their business I mentioned about how they are willing to brew you a cup of whatever tea you wish to try which is nice.   I didn't have that much time to spare before the lesson began.  Today it was about Darjeeling tea. Keep in mind that any information that I give about it might be a little off since I am not the expert.  If you find an error in this, please let me know and I'll correct it.  Ready to learn about Darjeeling?  Then read on.


Darjeeling tea is actually a black tea even though most of them might be more technically an Oolong.  When you brew it, there can be a tinge of astringent tannic characteristic to it.  Some say it is call a muscatel since it can also have a musky spiciness to it.  While at the tea bar, they brought out a scale that they were given and demonstrated how to use it.  




 As you can see, the digital scales that most use are much more user friendly.  :)  



Then we went back to the classroom area to actually learn about cupping teas and our taste testing.  We didn't do the cupping but we actually did taste some of the teas and compared them.  In order to do so, we were given a tasting terminology sheet and a tea cupping log.  Cuppers evaluate teas and provide feedback so that producers and suppliers can get first hand information on them.  The events that people go to are called Cupping Events and there is an International Tea Cuppers Club.  For more information about the International Tea Cuppers Club go to:


www.teacuppers.com


We went through some different grades for the leaf teas.  There are pages full of different grades but some of the ones we talked about were OP for Orange Pekoe.  Most everybody should be familar with that.  It is probably what you normally buy off the shelf at the supermarket.  Then there is FOP or flowery orange pekoe, TGFOP - tippy golden flowery orange pekoe, SFTGFOP1 (special tippy golden flowery orange pekoe) and many more.


We also learned that the dry leaves are looked at for both appearance and aroma and descriptors such as bright deep, golden smooth can be used to describe the color and large, wiry, twisted can be used to describe the shape.


They also look at what the infused leaf looks like in appearance and aroma.  I found that of the teas that we tried, there could be a distinct difference in what the color and shape of the leaves are like before infusion and afterwards.  These are things that professionals can tell just by looking at which tea it is, etc.  Obviously, I will never get to that level and will gladly let the professionals do it.  We did learn how to sip the tea for a tasting.  I like the slurping method.  Reminded me of easting soup by myself in the middle of winter. LOL.


The coloring of the tea was interesting to see.  Each taster would put their own descriptive to it so it can vary.  Of the ones that were at this tasting, It was the Margaret's Hope tea that caused the most difference in descriptions.  What other teas did we try?


Our first tea that we tried was Wonder Tea or Gopaldhara which, I believe, is the name of one the estates that the Darjeeling tea is grown in.  It was my favorite of the ones that we tried today.  When dry, the leaves had a mixture of both long and short leaves as well as some stems in it.  I think it was a first flushing.  It was light gold liquid when steeped and not astringent.  It did not hae a "grade of tea" and just called Wonder.  Although later on it was mentioned that Wonder should probably be given more of the German spelling.  Did you know that the Germans were/are big tea drinkers?  I managed to get a picture of what the dry leaves as well as what the wet leaves of this tea looked like.  






The next one (my least favorite) was Singulli.  The rating on this one was SFTGFOP1.  That Special Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe grade means it is very top of the grade and made with the best leaves and buds.  Yeah.  Well this one I don't know.  I'm not fond of it so I'll just take their word for it.  This would be one I would have to "doctor up" in order to drink it and to hind that after taste which kicks in a minute or two AFTER you swallow.  The color of it was a darker honey color and pretty but that's about the best I can say for it.  Of course this critique is my own and not everybody might agree.


Thurbo was the third tea we tried.  It was a clonal and the leaves were more twisted.  It's grade was FTGFOP1 which is Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe or high percentage of tips with excellent quality of leaves.  I kind of liked this one.  After the steeping, you could see some red mixed in with the green leaves as well as some stems.  


The last two teas we tried were both Margaret's Hope.  One was last years and one was just picked in March of 2011.  The newer leaves were more broken up and young.  but last years when brewed up had a big red tinge to the leaves clearly indicating the autumnal picking.  The reviews were mixed on this but overall they were favorable.


Here is a picture of the owners talking about the tea leaves and point out the differences and what to look for.




Overall I liked this tea tasting.  While Darjeelings won't ever be my favorite, I know more about them and realize that there could be some blacks (or Oolongs) that I might like.  They are considered the Champagne of Teas (another name for them) but give me White Tea over them.  This tasting was informative and a much smaller group which is ideal for tasting.  I learned a lot and look forward to going to another in the future.  If I were to give them a grade I would give them an A.  


If you wish to learn more about Darjeeling tea and aren't in the area to ask these lovely ladies, you can understand a bit more by even going to wikipedia.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darjeeling_tea


It will talka bout some of hte grades that I mentioned here as well as others and is a good jumping ground for further investigative work if you wish to learn more.  


I ended my stay at the Tea Emporium with a cup of Liquid Jade tea.  that is an organic green and white tea with a little bit of bergamot in it.  It is labelled as honey and citrus which is true.  I might have to buy that one come payday.  While drinking the tea and having a nice conversation with others, the topic of teas in food came up.  Another person was drinking Con Artist tea which is a smokey flavored tea.  We were thinking of ways to use it in cooking and I remembered mother use to buy "liquid smoke" and we decided that a google search of that would give some ideas.  Some ideas that we did think of was fish,, chicken, kabobs, soups and stews and root vegetables.  I am going to try tea in my rice sometime but want something different than just jasmine.  Perhaps a berry flavored?  I need to think on it more.


No matter which tea you prefer, have a cup and relax.  Tomorrow is another working day for most.  Until next time........

The weekend is coming to an end

It's been a productive weekend for me and now I'm ready to start to relax.  Unfortunately I can't since Monday is right around the corner.  That's ok.  I finished a couple of wall hangings and went to see mom for breakfast.  She's doing well.  She and her room mate had a "row".  Her room mate tried to take mom's hat and you just don't do that.  I guess they got into an actual fight (as in coming to blows).  Mom called for help and three people came to her rescue.  No harm done to either party and mom feels good since she still had her hat.  LOL.  When I was leaving I got stopped in traffic...BY DUCKS and geese.  These next two pictures were taken from my car as I waited for them to cross the road.  They didn't want to move.  After I was able to get past them and made it to the stop sign, there was another group that took off in flight before I could snap a picture.




I started to work on my doll quilt for September.  This is similar to what it will look like.  I have it ironed (fused) on but need to stitch it yet.  Not all the blocks are trimmed up yet but it will give you an idea.  I think I'll do the pink fabric for the binding.  The theme is black and white with a pop of color.


As you can see, I have to clean up the floor after my project since I do a lot of cutting while at the computer.


Today the Bucket List drawing for September was also drawn.  It is embellishments.  That will be fun.  I have a small wall hanging in mind that I might put rick rack on or buttons or something. The possibilities are almost endless so it might take me half the month to just figure out what I'll want to do.

The September drawing for Rhonda's block swap hasn't occurred yet so I don't know who my partner will be.  Hopefully the doll quilt will be done by then so that I won't have too many projects going on all at once.

In the afternoon I also was able to make it to Bab's and Coco's tea tasting.  That will be in my next blog entry.

Until then....everybody have a great night.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

September doll quilt swap possible

Ohhh.  two posting in one day.  Does that mean I skip tomorrow?  I'm afraid not.  I get to go to a tea tasting tomorrow afternoon so will post about that when I get back.  In order to give you something to think about though, I thought I'd post the block I'm thinking of doing for the September doll quilt swap.

Remember that the size is between 12" and 24".  This time there is a theme even though themes are optional.  The theme is:   Black and White with a Pop of Color.

This is what I am thinking of doing.


 The block is approximately 8.5" so I'd do four of them two across and two down.  Think I would then put a thin pink border on it.  The pattern I saw had a scalloped edge binding for the large size quilt. Haven't done one of them before so not sure on that.  I'm still in the thinking stage but kinda like it.

What do you think?

Stop to smell the flowers.....

that's what the cat and bee are doing.  I've finished the wall hangings.Oops.  Just remember didn't do a hanging sleeve or a label.  Hmm.  I might skip those (ducking).

I think they turned out cute.


Here are a couple of close ups of the stitching.







It's hard to see in the pictures but I used wavy lines to come out from the sun.

AND then the cat.  She has a big black and white cat called Izzy.  Doubt this one looks like him but thought it was a cute companion quilt anyway.


Now to rest my fingers for a bit and search out new patterns.  Next month I already know that I need to have a doll quilt made with black and white fabric with a "color" to help make it pop.  I also have another quilt, probably wall hanging, to do for the quilting in the new year swap.  Actually I have a semi idea in mind just need to see if I have the fabric to make it work and if it would look good.

Friday, August 26, 2011

See what the bzzzz is all about!

The buzzz is that my bee can see!  Yeppers.  The little guy now has buttons for eyes but a stitched nose.  Funny how the pattern gives the bee a nose but no mouth.  I think that I would be angry about that and sting people too.  They can only poke at us to get our attention.  Hmmm... you can poke somebody on facebook so perhaps it was a bee that started facebook.  LOL.

It's hard to see but here is the bee done as well as one side of the binding pinned on.  This has to be finished and in the mail by the end of August so I am well on the way towards meeting the goal. 

The cat will  not be put on this wall hanging.  After careful consideration (doesn't that sound important?) I figured why put the cat on the back (that sounds like a dr. suess title) if the back is just going to be against a wall.  I am thinking (dangerous I know) if I have enough time, I might do a small quilt for the cat.  It would be the cat in the grass...not in a hat nor on the back...and then finish it with the same binding and borders that I do for the wall hanging.  It will just be smaller for I certainly hope that her cat isn't as tall as she is and therefore doesn't need as large of a quilt!

Oh.  before I forget....my friend Connie who I talk about here quite often has started a blog.  Go check it out and follow her if you want.  She will be posting her quilting stuff there and I know that she put up a quick tutorial (her first) on how she does t-shirt quilts.

You can find her blog at:

http://sapphirequilter.blogspot.com/2011/08/t-shirt-quilt-tutorial.html

That's try and encourage her to continue with the blogs.  I know when you first start out it is hard to keep up the enthusiasm to do the blogs.  Periodically I will post my friends blogs here or interesting ones so check them out.  I hope you'll find them interesting also.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Exciting News!

Not so much for me but for a friend from the Quilting Board...Rhonda Woodsmall.  I believe I have talked about Rhonda and her cut down method before since I usually join in on her block swaps.  It's a good way for me to get to practice some of the blocks and realize that I can actually do some which look complicated but aren't.

Her news today was that she has a "first pattern ready for sale".  It is called Simple Steps Patterns by Rhonda and her first design if called Florene Elaine.  She is only charging $5 for the PDF pattern (accepts paypal or personal checks)  but if you prefer her to print off the pattern and mail it to you, she will do that also for an additional cost of $2.

Here is a picture of Florene Elaine (which she gives examples of it being done up in different color combinations in the pdf).


I bought this pattern and hope you'll help support her in her efforts to get started but also wanted to do a critique on it....so here goes.

Overall I like it.  Not a surprise otherwise I wouldn't be posting it here.  It is colorful and gives different color combinations for the blocks and in the back of the PDF so that you can see what it would look like with dark colors or light colors, etc.

I like that she is willing to send you free templates for this if you wish.  No, you don't need special templates to do it.  It can be made by using a 2.5" template and one block ends up 12.5" unfinished.  You can use a 1.5" template to make a 6.5" unfinished block.  I like that it is spelled out to you on the first page of the PDF.

The instructions are pretty easy.  She writes in an easy and uncomplicated way which got me to try her other blocks and methods.  She gives yardage requirements for  individual blocks, a wall hanging, crib quilt, twin quilt, double quilt, queen quilt and king quilt.  When was the last time you got all of them at once?  Kinda nice.  Criticisms?  Don't have any.....YET.  Wait until I start to make the block and follow the instructions and see where it leads me.  :)

So Congratulations Rhonda.  I hope you sell a lot and enjoy doing it.  If anybody wishes to inquire about this pattern, please email Rhonda at:

patchesbyr@yahoo.com



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bzzzzzzzzzzzz

The top would have been done last night except for one thing......I ran out of black thread.  Don't ask me how that happened.  I found brown, various shades of dark blue, grey....but no black.  Off to Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's after lunch today.  I also decided that the eyes on the bumblebee would be too hard to machine applique so might have to do them by hand.  Cutting the pattern down by 60% made those pieces VERY small. 

Until then I have a blind handicapped bee flying around searching for his flowers.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2.5 hours at the machine and progress

Hi everybody.

I've just finished 2.5 hours of stitching at the machine!  Yes you read that right...the sewing machine!  I managed to stitch all around the flowers and now am ready to cut down the bumblebee and attach it to the front.  It's coming along.  It needs to be in the mail by the end of the month so if i can get it all attached by the weekend, I should be in good shape.






  This is enough progress for tonight.




bumblebee update

Thanks for all the comments everybody.  Last night, after being taken out to eat by my ex and his new family (buffet in Rockford), I felt energized to work on the bumblebee wall hanging.  My quilting area is small and sometimes I should actually nick name myself the "card table quilter" since all of my cuttings and layout, etc. are done on card tables.  That does pose some challenges sometimes.  This wall hanging is one of them.  I discovered that it is too big to iron on my ironing board.  The pieces fall off before I can get them "tacked" on or ironed on.  That means I had to take it to the BIG TABLE.  That actually translates to TWO card tables put together or me pulling out the table which is double length.  I pulled out the double folding table.  It's sturdier so cutting, etc. is better.  I put down a bath towel on it so as not to ruin it and was able to fuse the flowers, etc. on.

I know Sue, layout, measure, measure, measure, etc. before cutting.  Hate to do that!  :)  This picture is a little fuzzy but will give you an idea of the layout. 



NOW I'm getting adventuresome (for me).  I found a stitch I like and even more important, my machine likes, which I am going to attempt to do machine applique.  It's not satin stitch.  My machine refuses to do that.  I tried it on the yellow centers and on a couple of the petals before work this morning (20 minutes of quilting time put in) and it worked out pretty good.  I do not have a stabilizer behind this just with it being fused on. 

THEN I got a brilliant idea!  At least it will be brilliant until I try to do it.  Then it might bomb but we'll see.  My partner in this swap has a black and white cat.  I found a piece of fabric that is meant to make one of those pillows out of and it's a black and white cat!  It's pretty large but I couldn't resist using it so I think I will put it in the center of the back.  HOW I'll do it is still put for grabs.  Not sure if it will be like two quilts that I will attach somehow or if I will finish quilting this and THEN applique the cat to the back afterwards. 


Stay tuned for more updates on this.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Next up....Bumblebees

Time to start on my next project which needs to be mailed out before the end of the week.  I thought I was making pretty good progress but then realized that it was wrong and am in the middle of starting over.  The pattern calls for three large flowers with a bumble bee flying by them.  It was cute and I thought it wouldn't take too long.  SIGH!

Oh well, here is the tale.  The instructions called for it to be enlarged 200%.  I didn't want to make it 41" so I thought I just wouldn't enlarge it.  NOTE TO BONNI:  before putting on the fusible to fabric, lay out to see actually how big your pattern is.  (sigh...again)   I put the fusible on the back of my fabric and happily cut away blissfully unaware that it would still be too large.  I laid it out (thankfully did not iron it yet) and discovered my mistake.  So back to the drawing board.

I reduced it to 60% of the original and I think it will work.  What do you think?


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Verdict is in

WOW, that was quick.  Not only did I receive postings here but also some emails.

The verdict is in and the winner is put the binding with the  gold on top.  Here is what the finished doll quilt looks like. 



Here is a close up so you can see the center perhaps a little bit better.



Let me take a few minutes here to do a recap of this months progress towards obligations in August.  Of course I am doing this mostly for myself.  If I put it here, it lets me see my progress and how much I still need to do.

I have finished both doll quilts now as well as Rhonda's block swap.  I have started to cut out the fusibles for the Quilting in the New Year swap (more on that later).  I haven't yet had much time to work on the Baltimores but I will be doing a meet and greet in Setpember and plan on taking the Baltimore blocks with me to work on so I really only need to get them cut up and marked for sewing.  I also finished Dee's birthday present but won't post a picture of it until after her birthday (Friday) because I know she looks at this.  It's not much but I like it.  I also mailed off Dotty's birthday present (her birthday was Friday.  Overall I have to say that even though a lot of what I finished were small projects (sometimes only a mug rug) I am still pleased to put them in the finished category.

Now on to the next project....the bubblebee wall hanging.

HELP - SURVEY SAYS......

I can't make up my minds (nothing unusual) so I thought I would toss out a question and get everybody who reads this opinion.  I will probably need to decide by Thursday in order to finish the doll quilt and get it in the mail to England.

I am up to doing the binding the doll quilt.  I can't make up my mind on which way to do the binding.  Do i use the material right side up which has the gold streaks in it....


This will give you an idea on what it might look like.


I haven't done any binding yet of what it would look like if I used the back of the fabric but I know it would look ok.  The center celtic like motif was done using the back of the fabric.

After I do the binding, I will put a button or disassemble one of my earrings for the middle.  :)  It needs something and my earring fell on it so I know it will look good there.  Hmmm.  You think it was a sign? 


Thursday, August 18, 2011

THEY'RE BAAAAACK!

Yes the student are back and work is, as always, busy.  Today the city of DeKalb is expecting approximately 5,000 student to arrive and they will certainly block up traffic while they try to move into the dorms and get situated all within one day.  I'm glad that I can get home by another route and bypass that part of town today.

Last night was a productive night for me.  Worked on the doll quilt and stitching celtic type design.  It is taking longer than I thought it would but I'll keep plugging along.

I was able to mail out things today so that always makes me feel like I have accomplished something.

This is one of the doll quilts that went out today.



I also started to work on the Quilting in the New Year swap project.  The person likes purples, blues, and greens.  I found a fun little summery wall hanging that I will cut down from the original to make it around 30" (give or take).  I spent most of the night rinsing the fabric, ironing the fabric and cutting out the pieces.  I laid out some of the pieces to here is what one of the flowers and the bumble bee will look like.  Yes, you have to use your imagination because these are terrible pictures.  (note:  See?  You don't have to always take good pictures....people who read your blog will understand.)








The flower is pink and each petal is approximately 6" long.  The bee is about 6" also.  There will be a purple flower, this pink flower, and a blue flower.  Grass at the bottom and the bee flying towards the flowers.  The pattern says to enlarge it by 200% but I didn't.  The 6" petals are the original design.  I didn't want to make it larger for a wall hanging.  I will decide if I did it right before ironing on the patterns to the background.

Well I guess I should get back to work. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Updates

Hi everybody:

I have changed a couple of settings on the blog so if you had problems posting comments before, please retry and let me know if you are successful this time around.

Thanks in advance.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Last Friday Off of work

Today was my last Friday to have off work which means the end of summer for NIU.  Starting Monday we go back to the 8-4:30 M-F.  That is for the normal office.  Since my office is only Lyndon and myself (plus GA and student helper) I usually get to work about a half hour early and stay around a half hour later.    That didn't change when we went to shortened work week.  :)   So I decided to make my day off count.  I woke up late (6:3-0 a.m.) and then turned on classical music to relax with.  I was still laying in bed while listening to it and dozed off for a couple more hours.  After a quick trip to the post office to get mail, I settled down to work on crafting.

After looking at my list of "To Do's" this month I figured I'd better get going.  My doll quilts are semi done but I hadn't done anything for the bucket list yet -- bargello.  I kind of like the look of bargello stuff but it really was off putting to read any instructions.  I finally bit the bullet and decided to give it a try.  Much to my surprise, I didn't have much in my stash that worked well together.  Does this mean I get to go shopping again?  Perhaps but I have to get back on regular paychecks first.

I finally came across five fabric which I liked when laid next to each other.  I also ran across a pattern for a valance that took five fabrics.  I didn't need a valance nor want one but it was a match.  So with tongue between my teeth to keep any bad words in, I sat down and cut the fabric.  Not bad.  Not bad.  I can do this.

THEN I hit the line in the instructions which said to unstitch part of what I had just stitched.  Wait a minute!  I do that often enough without them putting it in the directions!  Ok...Ok.  I'll bite and do it their way.  I did it there way three different times (mistakes).  Sigh.  Finally figured out how to do it but this will not be my favorite piece and I really didn't want to continue.  So I turned it into a mug rug.  I can still see how the bargello pattern would look if I made it longer, etc.  I also put the pattern by the mug rug so that I will know what it is if I want to do it again.  I have to finish stitching the binding on it but am about half way through.  I basted the binding on so I could take the picture.


I think instead of doing another bargello, I'd do a trip around the world or something similar.  After this, I decided to do the block for Rhonda's August 2011 block swap.  On Thursday I met with Connie to go over some of the fabric choices.  I was originally going to do one of the wing blocks but Shelley reminded me (thank you Shelley) that the fabric shouldn't have a big pattern because it will look too choppy.  Back to the drawing board.  I decided not to do a wing block since my stash wasn't conducive to it, and changed my mind to a HST block.  Judy had given me two wing blocks and two HST blocks that she liked so it didn't take me long to figure out which one.  Today I cut out the 2.5" squares and tomorrow I will sew the block together.

Remember those cheap foam boards that I had bought?  I can use one of them to put the 2.5" squares on it to keep them in line until I get to sew them.  Here is a pix of the 2.5" block layout.




The picture didn't turn out as good as I wanted it to but I like the block.  The dark is a dark green with while swirls. Much prettier than the camera on the phone shows.

Back to stitching.  Hopefully by the time I get back to work, I might have finished the doll quilt, the block, the bargello mug rug and get a fair way along on the Quilting in the New Year swap project.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cooling off

Just thought I'd post a picture of a wall hanging that I did for a swap.  Most of you have seen this but it has been such a hot month, I thought a nice cool picture would help.  LOL.


Stay cool and I'll write more later.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Forgot to post

I forgot to tell most of you that I received a picture in the mail from my 9 year old pen pal Savannah.  She is the one that I did the "friends" wall hanging for.  Her step mom , one of my long standing friends, took a picture of her holding it up.  I think she likes it.  :)


Another project we are working on, a non sewing project is a story.  Savannah needs to practice her writing that she is just learning to do so she and I are going to write a story.  She started it out with one line and then I responded back with about 2 pages.  LOL.  She adds in artwork also so that will be fun.  I wonder what she'll think of all of this when she gets older.  :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

oh oh......

Went to Hobby Lobby online and what did I find?  A notice up in their corner of their page that said 25% off your highest item and $2 shipping and handling.  Of course I didn't think that I would find anything I wanted (denial is my middle name).  Of course I found something.

Soooo, i put in a little order so that I could get some plastic in order to use for my applique work.  Oh yeah...I also found some cute fabric.


Making Progress......

sort of.

Before I get on with my quilting stuff, thought I'd let you see an older picture of me.  Enjoy this blast from my past.


Now on to quilting news.

Met Connie at lunch today and that is always a joy.  We talked about what she learned at her class and I can't believe that she might free motion quilting (FMQ).  Good, I say....let me repeat that GOOOD....then you can do mine.  :)

She helped me decide on what quilt block to do in Rhonda's exchange.  I will be doing one of the wing patterns.  I won't post a picture yet in case my partner is watching this blog.  :)  She has mailed out my block though so it shouldn't be too long before I am able to post that.

I have decided on my two doll quilts and also on what I will do for the Quilting in the New Year.  Overall this was finalized over lunch.  A VERY productive lunch meeting.  Of course I also lost one of my new needles which means I REALLY have to buy more now.  I let Connie try it also and liked them so Angie, if you're reading this...what are they called again?

I heard from Dotty and she liked what I sent her for her birthday.  That was the redwork turkey.  To put it in her words...The funky turkey has joined the herd.  :)  I think he will be in good company.

Now for the news....I actually bought (yes you read that right) I  *bought* a pattern for some bags.  I also managed to find more free patterns so expect to see something about the progress on those sometime.  I might try a looser style of bag and not the structured kind that I bought.  I don't have all the materials for the heavier structured kind.  I would need to get some medium weight stuff to help them stand up, etc.  Still though, one step at a time.

So onward and upwards learning new techniques and braving the seas of uncertainty.

Until next time....


Monday, August 8, 2011

Design Wall Monday - work wall

Design Wall Monday.  I took my two projects to work and actually managed to stitch a little bit on the blue one.  LOVE those needles!  Angie  - I know you're reading this....What are they called again so I can get more?

Anyway, here is what is on my design wall this Monday - at least what I have on the work one.  The girl in the pictures you see is my 9 year old pen pal Savannah.  I made her a wall hanging for her birthday (in July).  She and I are writing a story together so she can work on her spelling and penmanship.  So it's a design of a different type but still on my wall.  LOL.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Sewing Updated

Well there isn't much to update.  I got caught up in a lengthy telephone conversation with a good friend and didn't get much sewing done. I AM getting to it now though. 

Here is a close up of my stitching.  I am trying to take small stitches.  More consistent stitching would be nice but won't hold my breath on that one for a bit yet. 


I am stitching it with Madeira polyneon thread No. 1600.  It's a variegated thread. 


Most of the time I don't use the polyneon because it is too shiny and I like a thicker thread.  This time I was trying to get the thread to blend in more.  I almost used a YLI but the colors on this Madiera blend in pretty good.  Besides it is good to change up sometimes.


I am also posting a picture of two hearts. One of them is green the other red.  In each one is a needle. These are the needles that I won from Angie via her blogspot.  I did the first three stitches with another needle but then switched to these applique needles and LOVE them. 

Ok Angie.  You were right.  They DO glide through material.  This needle is gliding through the heat n bond lite backed material as if it didn't have any fusible on it.  The eye of the needle is a little small but I'll just hunt up my needle threaders that I have and that will take care of that. 


That's it for the update.  Time to get back to sewing so when Angie's Applique Thursday rolls around I can have something to post.  LOL. 

Oh Oh!  I'm in trouble  just found out that the August Baltimore block got posted.  Must get to finishing up Junes now.  We won't talk about July's.

Sunday Sewing

Ahhh.  Sunday....delightful Sunday.  It is delightful because it is Bonni day.  It is the day that I can actually get some sewing done (normally).  Today I have started on two doll quilts.  It took FOREVER to figure out what to do but now I am in process.  I also try to get some applique work in but not always. 

The first doll quilt is fused on so that means I have to do the blanket or button hole stitch around everything.



The second doll quilt possibility is a Dresden Plate.  Actually my first Dresden Plate.  I haven't attached it to the background fabric yet or put in the center yet.  I am thinking I might do something with embroidery with the center but not sure yet.  I have a week to figure it out and then I'll have to get busy since it is due at the end of the month.


The person it might be for doesn't like pastels so I went with blues and greens instead.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Finished!

At least I accomplished something today.  I finshed up Shelley's mug rug.  I will be mailing it out to her on Wednesday.   here it is.


I also received my needles from Angie today..  I will be using them on Sunday.  I'll take a picture of them and the cute hearts they were attached to tomorrow.    :)

Thanks Angie.  I'll let you know how they work.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Still working....

I'm still working on Shelley's mug rug.  Tonight I should use the textile medium on the back of the butterfly fabric.  After that dries I can try and put it all together.

Last night I put the textile medium on the fiddlehead.  I almost had a heart attack when all of the black from the sharpie looked like it faded it.  It came back after it dried though.  I haven't diluted the textile medium so perhaps I should be?  Dee or anybody else out there who has worked with this stuff before can comment on it please?

Tonight I will take the fiddlehead and put it to the test.  I use, and I can see some of you cringing when you read this, regular dish soap and hot water in the kitchen sink when I test for bleeding.  I figure if it's not going to bleed then or little bleeding it should be pretty much safe for others. 

I will put in a color catcher when I ship the mug rug to Shelley though in case she wants to use it.  LOL.  I think I will be stitching around the S (no small circle stitching though) and that might be it before I sandwich it.

Well the bossman has been in my office twice now since I've been typing this.  Think it's a hint?

Until next time.....


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Next?!

Just a quick little post today.  I'm busy coloring out color.  I liked having a "sharpie project" as I'm nicknaming them to work on at night.  I don't have to think much about them.  I am thinking that this material would make a nice mug rug.  It was really sparkly and even though I liked it, i thought the butterflies would have looked better against a darker background.  Now I can see that I like it better.  Thanks to that sharpie technique I can convert.  LOL.

This picture will show you what the original looked like and also a little bit of the black on it.


Then here is the picture of of it mostly done in black.  This is the first round and i will have to go over some of the black areas again.


Don't you think that will make a cute mug rug?  Actually for the person I'm thinking of giving this too, it might be the back of the mug rug but I might be using different color sharpies for something on the front in an faux applique fashion.

More on that later...after it is mailed.  :)