Food for thought.

Memory is a wonderful treasure chest for those who know how to pack it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Belated Christmas gift....

I asked Santa to bring me this Sew-Ezi portable sewing table and it came just a little late for Christmas morning, but that is ok. I can hardly wait to use it.






There have been a couple gals at retreats that I have attended that have brought these. If you have ever been to a retreat, you end up putting your machine on a table and thus the machine is not very ergonomically correct making it somewhat tiring to work at your machine for any lengthy period of time.


This table is portable, has it own carrying case, folds up flat, has great wheels and the insert is cut to fit your particular sewing machine. You can get different inserts for different machines. I, also, got the insert that serves as a light box. Oh.....if you only knew how many times I have taped an applique pattern to my window and traced from there (that doesn't work at night) or used my stained glass coffee table to trace (the leaded glass pieces help to distort your pattern), so this will be a great improvement.


Also, I got this to use here at home for the Elna that I won for the on-line quilt contest a little over a year ago. So, I will have both of my machines (Viking I Plus and my Elna 8600) set up at the same time and just may have them going at the same time, too. I'll be sewing on one and embroidering with the other....LOL!


Anyways, if you are interested in checking out this great quilter's/sewer's gadget, check it out here. http://www.seweziusa.com/


Now I think I will go and put my machine in it and see just how well it works.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Idle hands during the holidays....

Well, with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays you wouldn't think I had idle hands, but after everyone left, I was feeling antsy, so I picked up my left over yarn from the previous two neck warmers and used them both on one for myself.




I started this one Christmas night and worked on it most of the next day. Had to run to the store to get buttons to complete it and needed buttons for the eyes of the ducks for my "Just Ducky" quilt...which by the way I got back from the quilter this week. Since the shower is a week from today...and I had the time....along with idle hands....I thought I would apply the binding and the eyes and now the "Just Ducky" quilt is finished....except for the label; but I have all week to do that.....right!!!





"Just Ducky" finished out at 43" square and I used twelve 1/4" buttons for the eyes. I, also, had to show the lovely quilting my quilter, Karen McDavitt, did on this quilt. I gave her to the 1st of January to finish this. That would have given me a good day to do the binding, buttons and label, but she had it done just before Christmas.
So, anyways....I am feeling "Just Ducky" to be so ahead of the game for a change. Of course, I won't mention it if I am making that label the night before the shower. ;D







Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's a Santa kind of day.....

Especially when you have grandkids. So I am going to share a few of my Santas and then.....



wish you all.....



a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

PWP.....giveaway

Who wouldn't want to win this give away from Patrick Lose's "Party With Patrick" club.




I love dots and this is the whole line of new fabrics that are all "DOTS"!!!!! If you want to try and win this lovely tower (7 yards of fabric), go here..... http://www.patricklose.blogspot.com/

I would be in "dot heaven" if I won this fabric. (sigh!!!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I think I am hooked....

Yes, I have been working on my wool project and I think I am hooked. The colors, the feel of wool, the ease of working with wool and the folksy look that it exudes. Today I have fused all the final pieces onto the background using Misty Fuse. I am only going to show you some closeups, so that I can save the completed project for later when everything is completely stitched down. Here are the pennies (I just love them!!!)



Then here is one of the pineapples.



A closeup of one of the hearts and vines.




...and I just had to lay out a few of the tongues just to get an idea how they will look.




So, all the first steps of stitching are done....top two layers of the pennies and the three layers of the tongues are stitched. Don't look too close at the pennies. Working at night, I started stitching them in a variegated thread thinking it was a gray/black variegated, but it was my dark green (which I don't have too much of); and even though I was told that I should probably stick with one thread color for a particular piece, I didn't; but hey....it's folk art, so I hope I won't be sorry someday. Like I said earlier though.....I am loving this project and can't wait to get it done and put it somewhere in my living room. Ok....I am off to stitch some more.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Get togethers and wool.....

My mini group and I met yesterday for our monthly meeting and gift exchange.







These are the packages that I had ready for them. I just fell in love with these beautiful papers. I would have loved to have fabric to match both of them.

But to my dismay, we were having so much fun, eating, chatting, doing show-n-tell, and opening presents that I did not take one more picture even though the camera was sitting on the table in the middle of us the whole time.


I have to say though that I got many great gifts and enjoyed being with my friends for the afternoon. Oh, by the way, I gave my friends, Nancy and Sharon, the bendy light that fits on your machine. I have one and love it.


Now ....onto my next project. I almost hate to share it with you because I am such a slug at getting things completed, but then maybe with my putting it out there, I will feel obligated to have a "finish" so that I can go onto the next thing in blogland.


I am starting a wool project. I have never done one, but I am so in love with the folksy, dark wool, primitive look and I was looking for something to do that was handwork. I had purchased this kit from Quilts Plus in Indianapolis on my way down to St. Louis this summer for a retreat and now that it is getting cold outside, this just seemed the time to get it out.





I have it all cut out and thanks to another friend, Sheila, who gave me a quick tutorial on how to start and stop the hand buttonhole stitch AND helped me out by letting me go through her "two tubs of wool" for some green as the kit was short green wool for the stems, I now have it all cut out and ready to get it started.





The funny thing (I don't know if you know how expensive wool is and that many times you buy it by the ounce!!!!) is that I have saved EVERYTHING ...or almost everything in the scrap department. You never know when you might just need a little leaf or little berry and that is why you save ALL your scraps when it comes to wool. This pile of scraps is the kind of stuff I would have thrown out if I were just quilting. Oh well!!!





Ok, I have committed myself. I am going to get busy on this project. I AM anxious to get it done, so with the incentive of wanting it and having "said" that I am going to get busy on it, I hope to show you a "finished" project real soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

All my ducks are in a row.....

and in the pond......or at least that is my interpretation since all the blocks are blue. I am just assuming that they represent water. Then again, they are pull toys, so they wouldn't be in the water. Oh well, so much for that scenario.


Anyways...... my "Just Ducky" quilt top is DONE, DONE, DONE!!! Yeah!!! The backing is pieced and the batting is cut to size and it is all hanging on a hanger. I will be calling the quilter tomorrow to see if she can have it quilted by the first week of January. I am sure I will put her in a panic when I call her as I am sure she is swamped with quilts that need to be done by Christmas.

Also, I finished the second Thermis neck warmer. This one I made out of Lamb's Pride (85% wool and 15% mohair). This one I made in the regular size, where the first one was made larger. They are both Christmas gifts for my office mates and the one that will receive the larger one doesn't like tight turtlenecks, so I thought making it bigger would make her feel more comfortable in it. So glad to have these out of the way, too. They were pretty easy and I may make one for myself using the two different yarns that I made these two out of. I have plenty left over and I think the two different yarns would really add to the design and texture.

Then there is my audition of this border fabric for my left over half square triangles. I was thinking that they would make up a cute table topper. I had purchased this "border" fabric "just because I loved it". I didn't have anything in mind when I bought it, but on bringing it home, I thought it would work out well with this small quilt. My thoughts on it were to make fairly large borders and then scallop them with possibly a vine and tons of leaves. Thought I would get a few opinions on this border.


I have a friend, Sharon, who seems to be hooked on leaves lately . Most of her applique quilts are just loaded with leaves and they are all beautiful. I wasn't sure I wanted to commit to a really large quilt with tons of leaves, so I thought if I tried quite a few leaves on this small quilt, that just maybe I would get my fill of them and not find myself doing a queen sized quilt that required 1 million leaves.

Well, on to see what the next project will be. It may be leaves or it could be any one of the numerous projects that I have waiting for me in my sewing room. Still can't understand where all those projects came from.....hmmmm.....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Twelve little ducklings....

The twelve little "duckies" for the "Just Ducky" quilt are now hand appliqued to the backgrounds. It didn't take that much time since I had all the pieces stitched to each other prior to putting them on the background.
'
Next step is to get the rows put together along with their pieced blocks, sashing and pieced border. I am thinking of sending it off to the quilter to do something special for it, but since it is so close to Christmas and the baby shower is early January, I am not sure how lucky I am going to get.
Also, the "Thermis" neck warmer is complete.
This yarn was so nice to work with. I did run out of yarn even though I was assured that there would be enough yarn in "one" skein, but luckily I was able to find a matching skein on Friday and get this all done. I do have another yarn that I wanted to make up a second one of these in, so I bought an extra skein of that so that I wouldn't run out again, but it was a slightly different dye lot so I think I will alternate the two yarns as I go along on it. This is probably my next project to start.
Between now and the time I post again, we will probably all have celebrated Thanksgiving, so it is going to be a very busy week. If I don't get back in here, have fun preparing your big family dinner and Happy Thanksgiving a little ahead of time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beaks, wings and wheels......

.....are all appliqued to their respective body parts. The next step for the "Just Ducky" quilt is to get them pinned to their background pieces and get them appliqued down. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel on this quilt.



In between applique, I have been working on the Thermis neck warmer. Got it to a point where I was stumped (the point where I had to cast on with a backwards loop method) and looked online to see how to do the next step. What did we ever do without online help?!! It's like having your mom in your back pocket with all her wisdom. LOL!



Anyways, I am going to give that "backwards loop method" a try and see how it looks so that I can get the last half of the neck warmer done....then I am on to the second one that I need to make for Christmas.
Happy quilting and knitting!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Just Ducky progress....

All pieces are cut and ready to go.....

I made the half square triangles according to the pattern, but was a little worried about them not coming out square so I skimped on my 1/4" seam, but I didn't need to worry as the pattern allowed for some trimming. I did use my Quilt in a Day half square triangle ruler which I LOVE!!! and it worked out great. There was plenty to trim and they all turned out perfect.
So the pinwheels got made and all the pieced blocks are made and in no time at all. The binding is pieced and pressed and ready for the final step and I even put together some of the pieced border sections, but thought I should wait to see if my sewing and cutting come out as precisely as they should.
Now, I have all the "ducky" pieces pinned.....beaks to heads, wings and wheels to bodies and they are ready for applique. Once I put them together, then I will put the completed pieces onto the background and applique the whole ducky in place. This quilt is going to be Sooooooo cute!!!
Another thing I started this weekend is called a "Thermis neck warmer". I just love the whole idea of it and thought it would make a great Christmas gift for a couple of gals at work. The first one here is made with a hand dyed Araucania yarn. It is the most luscious yarn! ....30% alpaca/45% merino/15% silk/10% donegal. I may have to go buy more so that I can make myself one, too.
Now onto a most exciting event this weekend. My youngest dear daughter, Marisa, got engaged to Scott. No wedding date as of yet...most likely in the Spring of 2011. She has the most beautiful engagement ring and here is the happy couple.

So, as you can see.....as usual....it is going to be very busy around here.
Well, gotta get cracking on those quacking ducks. I will keep you posted on their progress.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

"Just Ducky"

The kit for "Just Ducky" came in the mail this week; and "oh!!" this fabric is so soft! (flannel)



If you recall, this was a pattern in this month's Better Homes and Garden, American Patchwork & Quilting. It comes at the most opportune time since a dear friend of my daughter's is having her first baby (a boy!) due on Valentine's Day. So....knowing how busy my life is, I thought I had better get moving on this quilt. Once the fabric was ordered, it came in no time at all. So.....templates are made.



Pieces are traced out for the applique;



and....all applique pieces are now prepped.



Now I just have to get the rest of the blocks cut. So, when I find the time in the next few days or weeks, I can just sit at the machine and start sewing away. I'll keep you posted on my progress. I am hoping to get this one done soon as I am so excited about it. Sure hope working on flannel doesn't give me any problems. Well, I guess I had better get to cutting out the rest of the blocks.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kermit....

In preparation for Halloween and the grandkids costumes, my daughter mentioned that she was going to make Cole Kermit the Frog, but she needed to find a kelly green cap, so I offered to knit one.

I used the same pattern that I had used for the NICU caps, but used an inexpensive yarn from Joann's that was a little heavier and knitted it on the same sized needles.


My daughter had painted the two eyes on a Styrofoam ball and cut it in half and so as not to ruin the cap, I threaded the yarn through two large buttons that she could glue the eyes on to. Then she could thread the yarn through the cap and just tie a bow or knot.




She has made Kermit's collar out of felt , but for now she has just send me a trial run on the hat and I think this is going to be the cutest Kermit around, if not the happiest.