Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat...

First I want to thank all the people who came by my blog and looked at my entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival. There were some lovely comments made and I do appreciate them. When you have the time go check this out - it is fabulous. There are little pics of the quilts and you can click on them and it takes you to the blog entry and there are some wonderful stories to go with the quilts. Amy had done a super job with this event and I am thoroughly enjoying all of it.

Well I know it is Sunday and I usually show a sampler but I don't have a Halloween cross stitch piece. Maybe next year. I do have a great Birds of A Feather Halloween chart that I've been aging. It may reach its maturity in the next 12 months.

However I do have some Halloweenie stuff to share. First is this sweet green thing....

She's so ugly that she's cute! A kinda young Elphaba - like from Wicked. (OMG - I just realized that my friend Stephie would probably love this little doll. She's big into Wicked. I think she may have a new home soon.) Anyway sorry for the divergent thought but you knew I'm that way - LOL. I made her a couple of years ago when I was on a big kick to make primitive dolls. She is from a pattern by Raggedy Old Annie's. The pattern was titled the "Sweet Uglee Sisters" and showed two primitive dolls. Somehow my convoluted brain came up with the idea to make her green and give her crinkly purple hair. I loved making these dolls and did quite a few. As I was searching for little Elphaba I found a basket full of doll body parts - yikes! Arms and legs and half finished heads - oh what a gruesome sight. I want to put some more of these little gals together. Most of what I have started are in more normal body colors and I saw on some one's blog (why didn't I bookmark that?) about a project that is making dolls for women's shelters. I'd like to participate in that.

And I have a Halloween quilt! This is a stack-n-whack made entirely with Debbie Mumm Halloween fabric.

I still love stack-n-whack and the blocks with the 60 degree triangles are my favorites because each block has 3 different possible arrangements. My favorite blocks on this quilt have Frankenstein on them - kinda looks like they're doing ring around the rosie, doesn't it?

And this one is cool too. Makes me want to sew up some more stack-n-whack and I do remember seeing several giant plastic bags filled with half finished stack-n-whack blocks under my cutting table. So many things I want to do.

Hope you have a great Halloween night. I didn't get my candy till this morning since I knew I'd eat it all up beforehand - not good. And did you hear the news reports about which candies are the worse for you? I don't want to know this. Don't spoil it for me. I know candy has calories, too many calories but I don't want to hear about it right now - maybe never. LOL!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blogger's Quilter Festival - Fall 2010

Oh I am so happy that I got my butt in gear and decided to do this. There are sooooooo many wonderful quilts to look at. Thank you Amy for coordinating this event!
Here is my offering -

I made this quilt back in 2008 for the NQA show in Columbus,Ohio. It is based on a pattern by the talented Bonnie Hunter. I have a rather large stash of brights. Not bragging but a "rather large" stash is a polite understatement. I have a LOT of fabric, in fact on numerous occasions friends have brought their spouses into my studio to show them my stash and in EVERY case the spouse has turned to the quilter and said "I'll never complain again about the size of your stash." So I figure that my purpose in life is to keep the peace in other quilter's homes. LOL! Amy asked a question about how many yards of fabric are in your stash -ummmmm.... I don't know how much I have and I don't think I want to know.....ignorance is bliss!

Anyway this quilt was made using fabrics I already owned. I auditioned a lot of fabrics so that I could get the transitions to be as smooth as possible. There are LOTS and LOTS of dotty fabrics. There are over 250 different fabrics in this quilt. When I started sewing I was just going to sew different colors together but after the first panel I knew I needed to give it some structure so one color didn't run into itself from panel to panel. I was very happy with the way the piecing turned out but when it came time to quilt it I was at a loss as what to do. Finally, I decided just to do it as simply as possible. There are swaths 7 squares high that are done in parallel lines to accent the peaks and valleys and in between I did some random free motion stippling all with a variegated thread. The binding is an orange KP Kids fabric that had multi-colored snakes on it and I cut it to take advantage of the diagonal motion of the snakes.

Well a group of us always go to Columbus on the opening day to shop the vendors and see the quilts. Notice I mentioned vendors BEFORE the quilts. My group believes that you must have good vendors to make a good show and you need to get in and shop those vendors first because the good stuff will go fast, annnnndddd... the quilts aren't going anywhere. They'll still be there when you finish shopping and they give you time to mull over all your purchases and think about the items you didn't buy and then you can go back and buy them before you leave. Its all about the shopping!

So it takes about 90 minutes to get to Columbus from Cincinnati and for the ENTIRE ride up to the show I complained that the quilting on this quilt wasn't good. In fact, I had convinced myself that when I got the quilt back I was going to pick out all the quilting and send it to my long arm quilter. During the ride I got a call from my friend who is a quilt judge asking me where we were and when was I arriving. We were still at least 30 minutes away. We got the show and again my phone rings and my friend asks me when I am - "Shopping the vendors" was my reply. Well she insisted that I come and look at my quilt right now. This was out of character for my friend who is very sweet and easy going so I trotted my butt to the front of the hall and there was my friend standing in front of this quilt and the quilt had a big ribbon on it! OMG!!!! I was in shock, I never in a million years thought I'd ever win a ribbon in a quilt show. This quilt won 3rd Place in the Scrap quilt category. My friend had known of my win but couldn't call and let me know since she had helped out with the judging of the show and they are sworn to secrecy. Needless to say this quilt is very very special to me. I love how the colors played out. It is a bright and happy quilt that makes me smile. Hope you like it too -

Happy stitching!
carol fun

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Ding dong......

oh the UPS man is here! I let my fingers do a lot of walking online last week and now lots of it has arrived on my doorstep. Such pretty colors and soft squishiness! First there is this stack of gorgeous wool felt from Wool Felt Central at Prarie Point Junction. Ooooooohhhh, aaaaahhhh!

There are 90 different colors here and a chart that gives you the DMC color equivalent. I like that. I have several wool projects in mind - some Christmas ornaments and crazy quilt from Wool Crazy and some flower blocks from Flower Festival. I love having this stash to chose from and it is such wonderful quality. I've ordered from Wool Felt Central before and their service is top notch.

And then there was the yarn order. Now I had a gift certificate from Simply Sock Yarn in Fort Wayne, Indiana for part of this (thanks Stephie and Cathy) and by the time I decided what I wanted to purchase with the gift certificate I was over the amount of the gift but not quite to the level for free shipping. Hmmm.... pay the shipping or order one more skein and get free shipping - sheesh that's a no brainer!

The first yarn I put in my cart was this little quartet of yarns by The Unique Sheep. It will make a pair of socks where the colors gradate. This is the Glee group (dontcha just love Glee? I can't get enough of that show--oooops sorry I veered off there, didn't I?)

And then there is this yummy skein from Pagewood Farms. It is the Prism colorway of Denali. I think it is going to be a shawl. Several of my friends are planning a KAL and I want to do it too.

And there are these 3 soft soft balls of Mini Mochi from Crystal Palace yarns. I have an additional ball of another colorway in my stash and I'm going to make a couple more of the Baktus scarves with these. See this great Baktus from Fibermania's blog. I love how if you alternate 2 colorways you get a wonderful stripy pattern.

I haven't heard back from Wyndam Needleworks about my Exampler Dame graphs. Hmmmm... I think I need to shoot off an email about those, cause you know I can't wait to start stitching them. Don't even mention all the other projects I already have going. You know how much fun it is to start a new project! LOL!

Well I'm not going to have a ton of time this weekend to play. I have a wedding to go to on Saturday and a birthday celebration on Sunday. And today the Ohio Bar Exam results were posted and my dearest older son passed the Bar!!!! I am so proud of him. Lots of good events to celebrate this weekend!

Happy stitching!
carol fun

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I'm losing....

my mind, well at least part of my memory - LOL! Over the weekend I was cruising blogs and I found The Examplar Dame's blog. As I scrolled down I saw sampler after sampler that I just loved. Samplers I want to stitch- NOW, or at least very soon. Any way I tracked down most of them at Wyndham Needleworks. Then to my surprise I found this sampler.......

This is MY sampler. I stitched this back in 2003. I love this sampler and had no memory it was by Examplar Dame.

I love all the birds and

the satin stitched clouds. I used overdyed flosses on a pretty turquoise linen. However I have a problem with the message of this graph, "Let virtue guide us." I have trouble with being virtuous. You see, I spent a ton of time on Wyndham Needleworks site yesterday. First time through I picked out almost $100 worth of charts I wanted. Ummmm.... not in the budget this month, particularly after all the other button pushing I did last week. (It is going to be a great week for UPS at my house - lots of goodies coming my way.) So I slept on it and I pared my order down considerably. I convinced myself that I could order more of the graphs next month. Being virtuous isn't any fun when we're talking about great charts, but I'll keep trying.

And while I was cruising blogs I found THREE new quilts I can't wait to start.
They are all on Moda Bake Shop There is the Ritzy Cracker quilt, the Charming Stars quilt and Braided Irish Chain. At least I have plenty of pre-cuts on hand for all of these. I just need to make a decision about which fabric lines to use with which pattern -- and I can feel virtuous since I don't need to buy any thing for these projects. (I always think I won't need to buy anything more for a quilt but invariably I find that there is something I just gotta add - oh well, I can delude myself for a while.)

And for you quilt lovers check out the slide show of the 2010 Pacific International Quilt Festival on Quilt Otaku's blog. There are some breathtaking quilts. It boggles the mind how much time and talent goes into these creations.

Well, I hope that everyone has time this week to indulge in our favorite pastimes.
Happy stitching -
carol fun

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm blaming it on .....

....................THE FULL MOON!

Did you see it last night? So full and pretty, and I swear it is what is making me crazy. The last couple of days I've been suffering from crafter's ADHD. Now this afflicts me on a normal day but somehow it has gotten even worse this week.

And as a further manifestation of my craziness you are wondering what this quilt has to do with anything - well it has the phases of the moon on it! (Excuse the wonky pic but it is hanging in a hallway to my kitchen and there wasn't anyway to get a stragiht on picture.) Anyway,it is another of my all Debbie Mumm fabric quilts and another Fall quilt. I have no idea what the pattern was but I like that it has acorns and pumpkins and cute little houses and leaves.....and yes I am prattling on and on.

I have started 3 different knitting projects. I picked up and stitched a while on my long neglected Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler. And I stitched some more units for my Kitchen Sink quilt. Here's a pic of the first knitting project.

I found this yarn at the super Joann's in Centerville Ohio the other day. It is by Lion Brand and it is called Amazing. It is 53% Wool and 47% Acrylic and I love how the colors subtly gradate. The shading reminds me of the much more expensive Noro but this is lots softer. I bought 4 different colorways, Ruby, Wildflowers, Arcadia and Rainforest. One ball of each -- what was I thinking?? One 147 yd ball is not enough to do anything with, soooooooo I need to go back and get more. It is on sale till Saturday, buy one get one 50% off. Don't want to pass that up. This is the beginning of the 22.5 Degree Shawlette. The link is to Ravelry. One of the largest black holes of craftdom. I get on there and lose hours of my day. but is it sooooo much fun. And then there is this project...

This is a Baktus scarf, again from Ravelry. I had both of these yarns in my stash. The black is a Knitpicks sock yarn and the multi color one is an Opal leftover from a pair of socks I knit. I probably don't have enough of the multi color but I figure I can use up some other multi color leftovers I have. Oh this the 3rd one of these I started this week. I frogged the other two. Sheesh! And then are these...

I started the second sock of the pair. The yarn is Blue Moon Socks that Rock and the colorway is called Cattywampus, which is a very apt description of what the state of my mind. Love this yarn, very smooshy (that's a technical yarn term, right?)

So you can see that I have been very busy but I don't have a single thing finished. Now if I had just concentrated on one of these projects I might be near completion but nooooooooo, not me. In fact, when I went photograph these projects EVERY single one of them I stopped mid-row. I had to finish knitting the row so I could lay them flat to take a picture - I'm so easily distracted. My dear departed dad once described my mind's behavior as bouncing around like a BB in a box car..... rather descriptive wouldn't you say? and very very accurate. Gotta run... I'm sure there is at least 2 or 3 more projects I can start this week, its only Thursday!

Happy stitching...

carol fun

Sunday, October 17, 2010

When weekends fly by.....

I don't have much to show for them. The weather has been simply gorgeous. I wish it could stay like this all year round. No humidity, sunny skies, temps in the 60s -- perfect for my taste. I did get some pictures of a another sampler for Sunday.

This is a Ewe & Eye and while I don't remember the exact title I'm pretty sure it had something to do with "let virtue reside". There is a sentiment I could use more of -- more virtue to get things and more virtue to resist the lure of internet shopping. Oh it is just soooo tempting! (Check back later in the week for pics of my sins - LOL!) Of course this piece has a lovely house-aren't those gold bricks pretty? And I love this tree!

Someday I want a weeping willow tree in my yard. I think they are so lovely. This sampler is part of a trio of Ewe & Eye pieces that hang together in my basement family room. A nice grouping.

And for those of you who like quilts, here is a picture of one of several Fall leaf quilts I've done.

The leaf I used in this was a Thimbleberries pattern. I did this entire quilt only using Debbie Mumm fabrics and each leaf is a different DM fabric. My version of a charm quilt. (It is really straighter than it looks in this picture, its just hanging a little wonky.)

And I think the squirrels running around the perimeter are cute. I realize that some people think that squirrels are just rats in better fur coats but I like them, even when they eat the bird seed out of my feeders. Hey everyone has to eat! The cornerstones on this quilt are acorns. Lots of different combinations of brown fabrics.

Hope your week has lots of opportunity for happy stitching!

carol fun

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Things you get done when you have no internet....

Okay the last two nights have been so frustrating. Tuesday night we had no internet connection at all and last night it was so sloooooooooowwww that every site timed out before it loaded. I miss reading everyone's blog. However there was an upside. I did get a few things stitched

The pumpkin sampler is Lizzie & Kate'a Autumn ABC sampler. I like it but I wish that my Sweet Potato floss had more variation. The other piece is Bent Creek's Tiny Tim Turkey. I substituted floss everywhere because I wanted to stitch him NOW! The chart has you stitch all the background around the turkey but I'm too lazy and I like the mottled orange background. I need to search my craft stash for some little frames. I'm sure I have something somewhere.

And I got another section of the Anniversaries of the Heart finished. Here are all three I've done.

This is the bonus section. I really like it and I like that it didn't have any over one stitching.

I'm thinking about what I can insert in this section instead of a name and birthday. I'm thinking that there may be a heart or two added here.

Well I need to load this fast before I lose my internet. It seems to be ok during the day but as soon as everyone comes home and gets on I'm squeezed out. Cable company is suppose to come tomorrow and fix it -- can't wait.

Happy stitching -
carol fun

Monday, October 11, 2010

And now for something a little different......

This morning I was on my way to the library when I decided to get off the main road and go in the back entrance. As I came over the hill, what did I see?? OMG!!!

THE OSCAR MAYER WIENERMOBILE!! Yes I am a bit nuts about the Wienermobile. When I was just a child, back in the dark ages, my uncle's best friend worked for a local meat packing distributor that brought the Wienermobile to town. I remember getting a Weiner Whistle and a tour of the inside of the Weinermobile. I've been crazy about it ever since. Somehow I have passed this obsession on to my oldest son who has a collection of Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Hot Wheels cars. Last Christmas I found a Hallmark Wienermobile ornament that plays the Wiener song - isn't that awesome? I knew you'd understand. Fun Fact - the Wienermobile is 27 feet long and 11 feet high. Glad I don't have to parallel park it!

I thought this pic was cool too. (Remember I am easily impressed - LOL)In high school my oldest son wrote one of those "things I want to do when I grow up" essays and in it he revealed he wanted to drive the Wienermobile across the USA. He turned it into a story where somewhere in Texas he let Jesus take the wheel and found out that the Lord doesn't have a CDL and isn't a very good driver and they flattened an armadillo. He is quite creative -as he says crazy doesn't fall far from the crazy tree. I'm not sure this is a compliment but I do love his imagination.

Here is a picture of my design wall today.

This is the quilt I cut out a zillion pieces for. It is the Kitchen Sink pattern from Scrap-Basket Surprises by Kim Brackett.
I'm limiting myself to only Debbie Mumm fabrics - hah! limiting!LOL! - I have hundreds and hundreds of pieces of Debbie Mumm fabrics. Here is a close up of one block.

Do you see the polkadot chickens? Isn't that cool? I knew I had a DM with chickens but I had totally forgotten they were polkadot. See how these themes follow me everywhere. Am I being stalked? Should I be afraid? Nope - I think it will all turn out okay.

Happy stitching...

carol fun

PS - The library was closed today. I forgot it was Columbus day, oh well I discovered the Weinermobile! LOL!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall Decorating

Another week has blown by and while some days seemed quite Fall-like the weekend was quite warm. I'm not complaining since there is no humidity. The leaves are starting to turn and I love the Fall colors. I tried to bring a bit of the Fall inside with an display in my front hallway. First there is this sampler....

Autumn Row by Bent Creek. I stitched this with overdyed flosses to get those pretty variations in the pumpkins. And then there is this frame.....

I saw the frame before I stitched the sampler. I knew there would be a sampler that would be the perfect complement and I think these go together perfectly. Have you ever chosen the frame before the sampler? This has happened to me before and not only with samplers. I've made an entire outfit around a set of buttons and I've designed a quilt to go with the backing fabric. You know how sometimes you just get smitten with an item and you have to figure out how to bring it all together? I think those are adventures in creativity. Here is a pic of the entire arrangement...

I made the table runner last year from a book by Anka's Treasures. I think the fabric was Sandy Gervais - I always like her collections. The pumpkins on the floor are real and the ones on the table aren't. Every time I come around the corner and see this display I think "Wow that's a lot of orange!" And it makes me smile.

I spent time yesterday and today cutting out pieces for a new quilt project. I haven't done any sewing for a while and it was fun. I made a HUGE mess, piles of fabric everywhere. I did neaten things up today and get the fabric back onto the shelves. I have no idea if I've cut too many pieces or not enough....probably too many, that's what normally happens to me. It is going to be a scrappy quilt and I know I cut pieces out of over a hundred different fabrics. I firmly believe more is better when you're doing scrappy.

Happy stitching....
carol fun

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wonderful Quilts......

that I didn't make, but I wish I did! I'm feeling better and got myself together and went to my quilt guild meeting last evening. These two wonderful quilts were made by my friends, Linda and Laurey, and they graciously agreed to let me show them off here.

The first quilt was done by Linda,isn't the embroidery lovely? I know this was a pattern but I forgot to ask Linda the particulars.

I love this banner's vintage quality.

And these guys are quite a scary bunch -well maybe not too scary.

This cute quilt was done by Laurey. Aren't these doggies adorable?

Each doghouse has different items quilted in it -- do you see the bone over this furry guy?

And I love the patch around this one's eye.

So many cute quilts so little time! I hope to get some quilting time in this week. I've been working on the BBD Anniversaries of the Heart piece and I started a lace scarf. I had some yummy orange Malabrigo yarn in my stash and found an easy pattern on Ravelry. I want a looooooonnnnggg scarf and I'm going to knit until I run out of yarn. It should take a little while since there are 470 yds in this skein. I hope my interest lasts as long as the yarn.

Happy stitching....

carol fun

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I can't think.....

of an interesting title for this. Actually I'm not thinking well at all. Okay I'm gonna whine here a little... I feel achy and my throat is scratchy and my eyes are watery. I'm hoping that resting up will make me feel better tomorrow - that and some vitamin C. I do have a sampler to show for Sunday, it is my newly framed BBD Home is Where My Heart Blooms.

I love how it stitched up. Thanks Myra for swapping me for this graph. I have wanted to do this sampler for so long and I am so happy on how it turned out. I've very pleased with this frame too.. the very outside edge is black, then there is the wide rusty burl center and the tiny inside edge has a gold finish.

When I got this home I noticed several things about this that totally escaped me when I was stitching. First, there is no alphabet on this piece - huh? is it still sampler if it doesn't have an alphabet? And when I looked closely I saw that the flower on the lower left isn't identical to the flower on the lower right. I would have checked the graph to see if it is charted this way or if this is my error, but I don't have it anymore. I was contacted by Nancy W (no blog) and she purchased it from me for the amount I swapped Myra for. I am very happy with this arrangement. I'm glad to see that someone else who loved this piece will also get a chance to stitch. The moral of this story is that you have nothing to lose by approaching a stitcher who has finished a piece and asking nicely if they are willing to swap or sell the graph. I think you'll find that you won't have to pay those outrageous prieces that are being asked for on ebay. Excuse the rant, I understand supply and demand but it still bothers me when I see an OOP graph selling for 4 or 5 or even 6 times more than it was originally priced at. I am happy to let a graph move on once I'm done with it.

Hope your week is happy and productive. I hope to feel more energetic tomorrow. I want to take some pics of my Fall quilts that I put out. It is nice to have a change of deocr and I love fall colors.

And thank you to everyone who left such lovely commments last week. I really appreciate them and I meant to send you all a little email but while the spirit was willing the achy body was weak. Hope you understand.

Happy stitching...

carol fun