Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Few More

OK, I've had days to do some sewing and only have a few more to show, boohoo! No whining, I did change my sketch and have done a clean out so that I have space to move now in my "studio". So, here they are, the X's and O's plus a few hearts. I am trying to get the hearts to look like the conversation heart candies. Haven't started on the white ones yet and am uncertain about the thread color, maybe I'll just stick with the magenta color as shown here.

SOOO many more blocks to go. Seems daunting even if it will just be a lap size quilt. Off I go.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Slow going

Yep, only 7 blocks to show you. It's slow going for me here. I've drawn out my sketch for the Valentine lap size quilt, but now I'm having second thoughts about it. I started here with the X's and O's (or hugs and kisses). I like the pink one in the right bottom corner......just a little tiny hug. I may even change the way I am doing these as they are starting to look more like funky boxes instead of O's. Time to take a breather.

The sun shone all day today! What a shocker! And it really wasn't that cold. The jacket of choice was my zip front fleece. Usually I have to wear my fat coat, as I call it, it's an overstuffed box stitched down coat the zips all the way up to the chin. Boy, that sun felt so good. The farmers were out clipping back the dead grapevines and putting them in neat little piles in each row.
In 2 short miles I came across 4 crucifixes all being just a little bit different from the next.
This picture was taken last fall and is the most different of all the crucifixes I have seen before, but this one is my favorite. Love the grapes and vines along the edges of this one. It's carved stone, not painted.

My son and hubby want to see the film "Beowulf", maybe I spelled it wrong, sorry. I am just not at all interested in this movie. My DH wanted to see the series "Rome", so I put them on my Netflix queue. It's just too brutal for me, so I haven't been watching that either.

I've been reading lately instead. My mother sent me a book on Menopause, "The Wisdom of Menopause" by Christiane Northrup, M.D., don't like that one. I don't have a closed mind about what she is trying to say, she's just too cynical for me. I've only read the first 100 pages, so maybe it will get better. I have 2 others I have been reading as well, "Menopause without Medicine" by Linda Ojeda, Ph.D. and "The New Menopause Book" edited by Mary Tagliaferri, M.D., Isaac Cohen, OMD, and Debu Tripathy, M.D. These 2 I am finding to be more resourceful which is what I want.

Sunset is gorgeous, so I'm going to go and try to capture it on my camera. Have a good day. :o)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Something New

Here it is, all finished. It only measures 30 inches square. I like it but it does have mistakes, of course, it wouldn't be my quilt if it didn't have at least 1 mistake! The pattern or technique was taken from Ricky Tims' book "Convergence Quilts". Here is a picture from the book of what the quilt should have looked like.

I found the book to be easy to read and it was just packed with pictures not only of each step to take, but also how to get different looks and styles. When I am interrupted just for a second this is what ends up happening. I cut the stips from the wrong direction, so I got a totally different result.

Now, I do like the outcome, however I am going to try the technique again at a later date. Probably with some of my wilder prints.

On to something new, I have received my order of wonderful cheery fabrics from equilter and was wondering what to do with them. The free piecing class that Tonya gave was so inspiring to me that I not only finished my "Let It Snow" quilt, but that I wanted to do a lap size quilt as a Valentine gift to my DH. So, here are the fabrics I've chosen, some of them are brand new and some are from my stash.

My ideas for the words have gone from Conversation heart type sayings like, "Be Mine", "hugs", "you're hot", "kiss me" and these would be inside heart shaped blocks. To the X's and O's blocks with words at the top, bottom or both saying "Be My Valentine". Maybe I can do a mixture of both these things since it will be large enough in the end.

It's another dreary winter day here, so good time to stay in and sketch out these ideas. Have a great day! :o)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Off and Running

Yesterday was my cleaning day so I didn't get any sewing done. But that's OK because today I am free to sew all day and that's what I am going to do! One of the Christmas presents from my DH was a digital photo frame so I played with that yesterday as well. When I opened it I was wondering if I would really use this thing, but after loading on some pictures and watching it......I love it. It's almost mesmerizing. It also has the capability to play MP3s so I will have to figure that out later. It's a frame, it's a clock, it's a calendar, it's an MP3, it's all of those things. What a great present and believe it or not my darling hubby bought it for me and only me. Who knew? Sometimes he buys a gift for me, but really he's buying it for himself because he knows I won't like it and I will just say "oh, that's OK you can use it/have it, I don't know what I would do with that anyway". NOT THIS TIME, buddy.
It's mine...all mine and you can't have it or use it! NNNAA.

So I am off now to sew to my hearts content. In the coming days I will have something to show you for sure!
Happy Thread Trails to you.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Putting it Away

This is the weekend we put all our Christmas decorations away until next year. I would have had it all done in 2 days in past years, however, this year I am extra careful with wrapping each item as we will be moving later in the year. I am also sifting through ornaments and decorations I no longer want, so those items will go to charity.

I have taken a break from the packing to bake some wonderful Oatmeal cookies. I can't remember where I got this recipe, but it's my favorite and if you like soft cookies you gotta try this.

Oatmeal Cookies:

1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon Molasses

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups quick oats

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1/2 cup mini- chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, molasses and vanilla beating well. In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Stir 1 cup at a time into the butter mixture, beat well. Stir in the raisins, nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by Tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets and bake for 9-10 minutes. Cool and remove from the baking sheets. Makes about 3 dozen.

As soon as I am finished with the packing I will continue with the quilt I am currently working on which at the moment is waiting at my sewing machine ready to be quilted. Here is a picture of it before the sandwiching.

I am just going to free motion quilt this top. It's not very large, maybe 38 inches square so it won't take me long to complete it. Yeah, I'm on the right track so far this year with my resolutions of finishing the UFO's. I have finished the Let It Snow quilt and it is packed away already. So only 8 more to go, not too bad. The sun just came out and it's a beautiful day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!!

I had such lofty ideas of doing nothing but sitting at my machine and quilting over the holidays. Of course, that didn't happen due to getting a cold the day after Christmas. It hit me like a brick wall and I'm just now feeling better.

My New Year's resolution is to organize myself and my time so that I can get more things done especially finding more time for quilting.

This was my precious cat "Charlie". She passed away almost 24 years ago, but I often think about her. Tonya's cat "Lily" reminds me so much of her. Not just that they are similar in coat, but in their personalities. Since my DH is now allergic to dander/cats and dogs, we don't have pets. Two years ago I made a quilted book about my cat. Here are some pictures of that project. It was a lot of fun to do. I started with the concept of a soft book of only 4 to 6 pages. I came up with a poem as my story. This is the front cover.

This is the first page. The mouse has leather ears and tail. The bird's wing is stuffed and has a bead eye. This is page 2 which has fake fur, velvet and buttons.
Page 3 has embroidery and velvet.

Page 4 is applique with a stuffed heart that's removeable.

This is the back cover. It was mostly machine sewn and quilted. I added tabs to my pages and put gromets in each then threaded a ribbon through to hold the pages together. It opens flat.

The pictures of my cats were printed onto treated fabric sheets you can buy. It was extremely easy to do after an intial trial and error period. I'm glad I could share this with you and it makes a wonderful keepsake for me.