Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Train is still movin' on....

These blocks were made in the last couple days. i only have 5 left and hope to get them done by next week. there is a trip to my sis's in the plans if Mother Nature doesn't foil us with the ice and snow that they are talking about.

Here comes the cookie car. i think they put the wrong guy in charge of this car....check out how chubby he is. that would have been me, too, if i had that car. cookies...good...yum.  

And we need lots of presents...looks like the snow lady wrapped herself instead of presents.

Need lots of pretty ornies for those trees, too.

Another of my personal favorites...right up there with cookies....peppermint candy canes.

And who knew snow people could knit....what with not having fingers...LOL    lots of mittens, scarfs and hats

Wonder if there is a caboose...there would have to be..right?  haven't seen one yet. it should have the coal for the snow people's eyes and mouth.

We shall find out next week when all the other 5 blocks are embroidered.

Till then ... stay warm...all this talk of snow is making me cold.

The Snowman Train is getting longer

I have done more Snowman Train blocks and they were tacked on my design wall for a couple weeks. i had to take them down yesterday to make room and i remembered i had not shown them to you....and they are too stinkin cute not to share.

First we have the engine....can't have a train without an engine...i just love his engineer's hat

And a car full of stars to fill the night sky..

And no fashionable snowman would be caught dead without his tophat.

Christmas isn't Christmas without a tree....all kinds of trees. and these little peppermint wheels just make me want peppermints.

And then we have brooms...i was rather stymied with the brooms...i relate brooms with witches. but i do remember seeing some snowmen holding brooms so i guess that is ok. you can always borrow the broom to sweep the walk.

Do you make your snowmen with brooms? i never did. of course, if i dared to borrow the broom to give to a snowman my mother would have used the broom on me. LOL

More to come

Friday, January 28, 2011

Neutral Selvage Quilt

I'm still pushing the selvages....trying to get a lot of them used up. here is something i did with some neutrals.

It's just plain muslin blocks with selvages on half of it...corner to corner. the only difference is that i used the same selvage for the whole block.

Had i actually HAD a plan before i started.....hahahahahahaha.....i might have changed the value of some of the selvages so they wouldn't blend in so much. just how do you remind yourself to have a plan. i think i'm just too old to change my ways...been flying by the seat of my pants for entirely too long. and once you see the picture you see how you could have set the blocks better.

I also added a border with selvages. i put this on a muslin backing, too. it's much easier that way and stays in place and together. i cut the muslin 6" wide and the selvages into 6" pieces. then after they were all stitched on i trimmed it all down to 5.5". easy

Here is the back. i used a panto on it. the quilt is about 80x82. again...not a plan. i just stopped making blocks when i got tired of making them and messed with them until i came up with this design.

I used a panto called Star Swirl. i use it a goes quickly and covers a lot of ground in a little time.

Now i have to come up with another 'plan' (LOL) for more selvages. perhaps purple.....or pink.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I don't care for too many Block of the Month themes. but if you like folk art you have to check out this one.

It is Erin's 2011 BOM "My Tweets". there are colorful birds and flowers in all bright colors. i have already ordered the center block....the only one you have to buy...the rest of the blocks are free on her blog.

How cool is that?

ANOTHER project i want to start NOW.......hahahahahahahaha

Sunbonnet Sue goes International

I just found this cool book by Debra Kimball....International Sunbonnet Sue. there are 49 applique Sues from all over the world. this might be my next project....soon.

This book just came out and is published by AQS. go look at it for yourself. if you are a Sue're gonna NEED this book.

It's like Sue took a world she is in Brazil, Canada, China and Egypt. i have the perfect fabric for the Egypt block.

Then she visited Ghana, Greece, Holland and Iceland. I hope i still have some African fabric left for the Ghana block.

She also went to Japan, Kenya, Korea and Mexico. gotta love a world traveler. LOL

I so want to start this NOW....down, girl....i have a few projects i have to finish up first. ssiiiigghh!!

But isn't she too cute?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Catching you up's been a week....honestly, i don't know where the time goes. i am busier than a one armed paperhanger but can't tell you what i've done.

I do know i have stacked a lot of wood...we have had snow a couple times. but nothing serious...thank God...just a few inches at a time. now there is a lot of mud.

But i have been stitching. i now have 2 of my hand applique baskets done....ta da!!

Oops....that last block needs another embroidery tendril...i'll get back to that. LOL  i have decided it is do-able but still not my favorite type of applique. i still struggle a lot. but i do get in a lot of HGTV while doing it. i have 2 more blocks to go.

I also finished these 2 blocks last night...homework from the afternoon's class.

My friend, Brenda, asked me to do a selvage presentation at her guild next month. so i have been pulling out the selvage tops and getting them quilted up. i'm sure the guild members would rather see quilts than tops.

This one was made with black and red selvages. it's sort of a wonky log cabin style. i tried to keep the 'center' squares off center ... sometimes it makes your eyes cross. LOL 

Here's a bit of a closeup. i quilted it with black thread on the top and gray on the bottom. and put a panto on it. nothing shows anyway.

Here's a bit of the back. the red backing came from Haik's when they were at the Kansas City show. i like their backings.

And i have added to the blocks for this quilt on the design wall. it will be king size and now no longer fits on the wall. i'm thinking i'll just keep making blocks and then figure out later how to lay it all out and then get it back together the right way. i have nowhere to lay this all out. not sure the floor will help me. any ideas for me???

I have about half of the blocks made.

Now i have to see how far i can get on the quilt on my frame....another selvage quilt....this time in neutrals and i did it a bit different....stay tune for pictures soon.

If the weather cooperates i may go out to the Duck this weekend and do a bit of work. i am anxious to order my front door and get it installed. the Duck needs a little love.

Take care and try to thing Spring!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Neutral crazy quilt

I have lots of piecing projects ongoing at the house that i could be working on....the green selvage quilt; the selvage tumbler blocks; the paper piecing vegetables from way back; the little 5" scrap blocks, etc.

And you know i need about 12 projects going at once to feel satisfied and stressed. so i drug out my neutral crazy quilt blocks to work on a bit last night. i had already done 8 blocks...every 4 identical and put them together into a larger block to form a pinwheel in the center. then i had stitched the seams with rick rack and lace and other goodies. i kind of liked it when i did them. but when i took them back out last night i realized they were awful and just threw them away. so last night i started over and did these 4 blocks.

no planning on placement of fabrics except to not use the same fabric twice in a block. but each block is the same pattern....paper pieced. i will stitch the seam embellishments by hand rather than adding other things. i think i will like that better. the ones that i threw away were just gaudy...yeck!

The plan for this is to be a queen size quilt for my bedroom in the ugly duckling....some day. so there is no hurry on it. might do a few more blocks before it gets put away again for a while.

On another note.... I did decide to hand applique all 4 basket blocks on my class quilt so i will work on that in the evenings till they are done...then get back to the Amish cross stitch.

I do wish they would put more things worth watching on TV. normally i am not a tv watcher at all. but while i am stitching in the evenings i have the tv on to amuse myself. my first choice is to watch HGTV....i like the home shows....especially house hunters international. and occasionally there is a good movie that i haven't seen. but for the most part....TV Sucks. who is in charge of all these shows...they need new people making decisions.

Better get back to quilting or the quilt on the frame will never get done. the deadline in my head is to be done for monday's quilt class so i can take it to its owner. but if we get all the snow they are predicting....i might not GET to quilt class. but i better go quilt anyway....just in case.

If you have snow.....i hope you are staying warm.....if you don't have snow....i am jealous.

An Amish of three

Last night i finished my first (of 3) Amish cross stitch pictures. it looks so much better after you put the outlining stitches on it. 

It took me one month and one day to finish it. .... dec 17 through jan 18.  i didn't work on it EVERY night....but most nights. my timeline was from 9pm to 1 or 2 am. 

This one was fun and i got it done quicker than i expected it would. looking forward to the other 2 parts. it is 7" x 12". i didn't count the stitches...that would have been too depressing. LOL there is another picture this size and then the middle picture is wider. all 3 together make an Amish scene.

 Here are a couple closer pictures...not sure that helps or not.

I sort of fudged a little. when you look at the little boy who is sitting on the quilt...his hat is sort of squared off instead of rounded. i was supposed to do half stitches on the corners to correct that but thought it wouldn't matter if i skipped that part and just chose one stitch or the other. his does matter. LOL   i'll try to do better on that in the next picture. i thought i would mess it up trying to get 2 colors in one block but i better try it next time. but the picture is for my own enjoyment and i don't mind.

I don't know quite why but i am drawn to Amish pictures and stories. i guess it's just the idea of a simpler time.

Do you cross stitch?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hand applique

If you know me at know i do NOT do hand applique. i'm a fusible girl with machine buttonhole stitching around. or use the Stable Magic for a base and then machine stitching around.

Hand applique takes a Loooonngggg time. i am too impatient. it makes my fingers hurt. it is just HARD.

With all that said....check this out. i gave you a larger picture this time so you could see all my boo-boos. LOL and this is needle turn applique. i don't see a lot of this in my future...perhaps when i am older and not so impatient to have it done NOW.

This is what i spent the last 5 evenings of my life on.....hours each evening. i like the curly-q's that come from the stems...with the little french knots. i can DO those.  

This is a quilt that we are doing in my quilt class this year. there are 4 of these baskets with flowers. the last flower in the middle at the top isn't on there yet because i need the blocks that go next to goes over the seam line. and i haven't made the decision yet whether i will hand applique the other 3 blocks or not.

It looks pretty....but is by no means straight or stitched properly. it is hard to line those little pieces up and keep them where they are supposed to go. it seems like the pieces move while i am stitching matter if i pin them or watch them carefully. you can see 2 leaves don't meet at the stems...we'll call that art. LOL   and the large pink flowers have lopsided petals that i just couldn't get to meet properly in the middle.

But i guess for a first try it is ok. and i'm thinking....if i hand applique the other 3 blocks ....and by the time i am done with those...will they look better?  will it make the first block look worse?  decisions, decisions.

AccuCut vs Go Cutter

I got my AccuCut machine several years ago and love cuts great and is fast and easy.

Recently i was in a JoAnn's store...cruising the aisles..LOL...never a good thing to do. they had a display of Go Cutter dies...along with the Go Cutter itself. i surely didn't want another cutter...they are a bit pricey. but as i was looking at the dies...(they were on would be bad juju to not at least LOOK at them)...i saw this one...and had to have it.

Look at that cute little would want it, too...i know you would. and the bumblebee and the butterly are just a bonus. i even took it out of the package to check it out.

But you know my brain doesn't always register properly.. and in my own defense, if i noticed i don't know if i would have known.....the heights are different from the dies for the AccuCut. the AccuCut die is on the left.

Oh my...bummer...what to do. i tried stacking magazines under it...2 was too tight. couldn't get the right combination of fat and thin magazines to make it work properly. taking it back wasn't really an option for me. i really wanted that JoAnn's is about 125 miles from me. i just visit there when i go to my sisters.

So, as i usually do when stuck for a solution, i gave the problem to my husband. he fixes most anything. he brought me a piece of drywall...too thick and too messy. then we tried a piece of plywood....almost, almost good but a bit shy of working. he went back to his creative space (the barn..LOL) come up with another solution.

So, a bit later he came back with this.

It's the original piece of plywood with duct tape wrapped around it. he had black tape in the barn and it looked prettier...but i only had the regular gray stuff at the studio. so we added one more layer of the gray and it works fine now.

The heights of the dies are almost the same.

Now the only challenge is to keep the Go die from sliding off its base helper. i think i shall get some double sided tape to solve that problem. i probably won't be getting any more Go Cutter dies...the solution is a bit aggravating. and the solution to that is not to even LOOK at them when i am at JoAnn's. a new years resolution....don't go down the Go aisle at JoAnn's. LOL 

And here is what i wound up with after all that finagelling.

They are just the cutest. I believe they are going on a baby quilt...i made lots of them. they have fusible on the backs.

Now, i know the AccuCut people want you to buy both machines so they can make some money but i am of the opinion that it would have made more customers happy if they could use the same dies on both machines. I certainly am not going out to get a Go Cutter.

But, just so you know....the Go Cutter dies will work on the just gotta figure out a solution. but, of course, the AccuCut dies won't work on the Go Cutter. too bad.

Which machine do you use? Do you have both? which do you like better? inquiring minds want to know.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Snowman Train is coming!

Another cute set of embroidery designs for my sister. this time 20 blocks of a snowman train. looks like the train is bringing in Christmas supplies and the snowmen had to get in on the act.

This car is bringing in the snowflakes. i'll do this block over since my machine jumped up about a 1/4" and got out of alignment...i don't know how or why it does this. but his arm and the tires on the wheels are out of alighment. i tried to adjust but it didn't work well.

This car is bringing in the snow to make the snow people. isn't it just like a boy to throw a snowball at a girl. LOL

And of course we need the garland for the trees.

This little guy wanted to be in charge of the lights...but i think it was too much for him. good thing they aren't plugged in or he would be melting.

And we certainly can't have snow people without carrots for their noses.

The blocks are about 5"; this is going to make a cute wallhanging or quilt. i love the peppermint shaped wheels.

5 down and 15 to go.

I have the best friends

My quilting girlfriends surprised me at this week's class and gave me a present. they are all just awesome.

Isn't this great?

It is a heavy plaque and has a place on the back to hang it but i feel more comfortable with it sitting on the can't fall from the floor. it is about 12" across and almost an inch high. It has a place of honor in the entryway of my studio. It is in memory of my Aunt Sophie. When i inherited my huge fabric stash from Aunt Sophie i shared it with all my quilting friends.

This is a 3D plaque and says "We come from the earth, we return to the earth....and in between we garden". and everyone signed it on the back. my quilting friends are very special to was my Aunt Sophie.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A little snow dyeing

Since we have had a bit of snow i decided to do a little snow dying. Nothing fancy...just mixed some colors together to see what would happen.

This was a green, a yellow and a bit of blue

This was hot pink, lemon yellow and a bit of blue. i think my favorite.

This was 3 different got a bit intense. this will probably be included in JudyL's monochromatic challenge if we use purple.

And i cleaned up the pots and table with this piece then laid it outside in the snow and covered it up with snow. i brought in a frozen yard of fabric...LOL

I used up the last of my PFD muslin so i will have to order more some day. i need to probably finish up the rest of my dyes before they go bad. i only used up 3 of them on this day's playing.

Are you playing in the snow?

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