Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday stuff

I hope you had a nice relaxing weekend. I haven't been very energetic but that's okay. I'm just going with the flow and taking it easy. I spent a nice chunk of today with my butt in my chair stitching on my BBD Home is Where My Heart Blooms (oh I'm loving this sampler) and watching tv - mostly baseball. It was a good day for my Redlegs, they're now 5 games ahead of the Cardinals.

My offering this Sunday of the sampler variety is this oldie but goodie from Cross Eyed Cricket - A Walk in the Woods.

I remember working on this piece while sitting in the park watching my oldest son on the swings. Good memories. To satisfy my totally arbitrary requirement of "only samplers with houses" the snail has a house on its back and the nest is definitely a bird's home -- see I can justify anything - LOL! And I just realized that last week I said I'd never stitched a snail before - looks like I was wrong since this sampler is 20 years old. Oh well - my memory is not what it use to be!

Yesterday I did do a little shopping and came home with some cute retro looking fabrics. The selvedge says Johansen Newman for Elizabeth's Studio. What a great collection of kitschy items - my grandma had a teapot clock in her kitchen and I had some pinkish cat eye glasses in the 60's.

I love these ladies, they remind me of my mother. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them but the are a nice addition to my humongous stash of novelty fabrics.

This pretty card arrived in my mailbox this week from my friend Lois in Nebraska.

I love everything about this one! That yellow embossed background the pretty braid trim and the hand made crocheted flower! I put this one on my display board so I can enjoy it every day -- thanks Lois!

Well that's all I got today. I was looking over my July/August goals for Charming Chattter and it is very evident that I didn't do a very good job of meeting them -- I'll have to give myself a bad job review - bad Carol, bad Carol -- there I feel properly chastised. Tomorrow is the last day of August and I think there is one of the unfinished goals I can achieve - No. 10 goal: start a new quilt! Now I didn't get my Crazy Mama Quilts QAL project done but starting a new quilt will take less time than finishing something else. And there is some gorgeous new Moda fabric - Wee Wonderland by Keiki- that is calling to me from the cutting table. I've already picked out the big Schnibble I want to do so I'm going to cut a little and see if I can sew up a block or two.

Happy stitching!
carol fun

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

this and that

Well I've seen some progress on several fronts this week. First, I got my Plan C Schnibble quilted. This is the Oz collection by Sanae.

Just the other day I discovered that Plan C is one of the selected patterns for this month in the Year of Schnibbles. I think I actually sewed this up back around the beginning of the year. This weekend I really really really wanted to start something new, there is so much fabric calling my name. But I resisted and instead I grabbed this cheerful little top, basted it and quilted it. It only took about 3 hours. Then I debated for another 3 hours about what to bind it with. I really wanted the dark olive but I didn't have enough and I was adamant I wasn't going to buy any new fabric for this. Eventually I cut the binding from the big all over print and I think I made the right choice. I like how it matches in some places and contrasts in other places. And it feels sooo good to have finished another quilt. I'm thinking this would look cute hanging in my kitchen or maybe as a topper on the table. I can't go wrong either way.

On the cross stitch front I have two pieces going. I've been switching back and forth on these. First is The Magic Garden by Shakespeare's Peddler.

Isn't the little snail cute? I know, on a cross stitch sampler he's cute in my garden not so much. I like stitching these individual motifs but since I have changed a lot of the flosses I've been spending lots of time trying out different shades. I think I need to make a trip to my LNS to peruse some new flosses.

And here is my progress on BBD Where My Heart Blooms.
I have the windows and the door "framed" so now all I have to do is "paint" the sides. Good stitching for watching tv. I really like this one --thanks again Myra!

Happy stitching!

carol fun

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trying to remember

Another Sunday, another sampler. Not too original but I'm too tired to be creative tonight. This sampler is from Brightneedle, that much I remember.

I looked online for the title but I didn't have any luck. I really should have labeled these pieces when I stitched them but some how I thought I would always remember the names. Which is a ridiculous idea, since most days I forget what I had for lunch!

This one is done in pastel shades that I don't normally use. It very soft and pretty. I loved the half-square triangle border and the block with the Sawtooth Star. A very nice combination of my love of quilts and cross stitch. I'm thinking that the current sampler I working on, Magic Garden by Shakespeare's Peddler would look nice on the same wall as this one.

About the buttons.... my friend Stephie picked these up at a flea market not long ago. The buttons themselves are pretty but not real unusual.......

but the back of the card surprised us. We've shown it to a couple of people and no one can remember ever seeing a card of buttons with this little ruler on the back.

I've been in love with buttons all my life and I have lots of happy memories from my childhood of looking at the buttons in the Fabric Dept. of JC Penneys in the Newport Shopping Center, but I guess I didn't pay much attention to the cards. I wonder what the purpose of the ruler was? Maybe to measure distance between the buttonholes? There is no copyright date on this although it does say it is copyrighted. Hmmmm.... something else I don't remember. Oh well ...

Happy stitching!
carol fun

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ahoy Mateys!

Come aboard and feast your eyes on my latest finish!

This quilt is on my list of Charming Chatter goals for August and I can duly cross it off. My younger son picked out all the fabrics with a pirate theme. The pattern is called Beach Party and it is from the March 2010 issue of McCall's Quick Quilts. Just like the magazine says this is a real quick quilt to make and I think it really shows off the novelty fabrics since the rectangles are cut a generous 6 1/2 X 8 1/2 inches.

I just did some long wavy lines vertically for the quilting and I used a variegated black/grey/white thread from Coats & Clark. Think pieces of rope or netting or seaweed waving in the breeze. It adds a nice texture with no marking or planning or thinking - I like that a lot, particularly the no thinking part. I want to make a quilt with this pattern for me. My plan is to use my growing collection of Kaffee Fasset fabrics. I think the size of the rectangle would showcase the larger scale of these fabrics nicely. I was going to try and get some cut out and up on my design wall but the day got away from me - again. Nothing new there.

And I finished another pair of socks - this pair is for Stephie.

We dyed this yarn last year and when she was doing it I was thinking to myself "that is too many colors" Boy was I ever wrong! This yarn is gorgeous. I love how the swathes of pink and turquoise alternate and I how that bright yellow pops next to the jade green.

These are so pretty I want to keep them for myself, but I'll be good and give them back to their rightful owner. However I am going to try to dye some yarn for me with these colors and this sequence. I see another big order to Knitpicks in my future. They have great prices on ready to dye yarn.

On the cross stitch front I am enjoying stitching the BBD WMHB - I'll show some pics of it next week. I have the house under roof and I hope to hang the windows and door tonight so the painting of the siding will go quickly. I gave up trying to find my error in the border and just took out a stitch and made them meet. It will be fine. I like the smaller size of this piece after doing the Mystery Sampler and I like how this one will be pretty much a square. I like square samplers and square quilts. I don't know why but they just look best to me.

Hope your weekend is relaxing and you are getting some quality crafty time. Happy stitching!

carol fun

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday wanderings

Well the week is downhill from here, I don't know if that is a good thing or not. I've been a little productive but of course there is always more I wish I could have done. I got a call this afternoon that my BBD Mystery Sampler had been framed and I went over after dinner to pick it up.

Oh my goodness..... I really love how it looks and seeing it framed I see how much is going on in this piece. So many things to look at.

The stitching is 9" high and 24" wide. I used a 30 ct linen, I think it was a R&R and it has a nice golden tone. This is definitely one of my best pieces. I love BBD designs. And I know I said I wasn't going to start a new piece, but I'm weak. I have been wanting to begin the BBD Where My Heart Blooms ever since I got the graph from Myra.

First I didn't have a piece of linen big enough and then I realized that while I had all the flosses it called for I wasn't going to have enough yardage to do the complete piece. Soooo back to the LNS. I started this last night by stitching the roof and then I moved down to the base of the house and the border. I was pushing it last night and this morning when I looked more closely at what I had stitched I saw that I had miscounted. Rip rip rip. Now I knew I was too tired because I was having trouble counting to 3 so it is no wonder that I couldn't count the 11 not 10 repeats in the bottom border. Today I stitched some more and somehow I am off on my count again. The right side border is one stitch higher than the left. Now I could make a slight adjustment and it will meet but it is driving me crazy trying to find my mistake - grrrrr!

And I haven't shown any quilty stuff for a while so I thought I'd share one of my favorite quilts. This one hangs in my basement family room and I can see it when I sit at my sewing machine. This is a stack n whack done with the Mary Engelbreit crazy quilt fabric in the border.

That turquoisey block on the right is my favorite block and you can see the rickrack trim too. This is happy quilt all bright sunny yellow and red. And it is an anomaly for me in that it isn't HUGE. I need to keep more of my quilts this smaller size but I just get carried away with pretty fabrics and blocks.

Happy stitching!

carol fun

Monday, August 16, 2010

Catching up...

Okay last week I was a total slug - very little crafty stuff done, lots of time sitting and vegging. I'm hoping that this week I'll be more energetic. As the first step on the road to productivity I finally put new batteries in my camera and took some pictures. This is my belated offering for Sampler Sunday.

I think this is a Cross Eyed Cricket piece or maybe a Prairie Schooler graph. The name totally escapes me and I didn't have any success when I looked for it online. I loved all the little bees that buzzed around on this sampler and to justify it within my "only house samplers" criteria I defined the bee skep as a bee house - clever aren't I?

This sampler serves a very useful purpose in my home -- it covers a hole in the drywall. Years ago we had a plumbing leak and my husband ended up cutting holes in the drywall on 3 levels of our house. As an engineer he believes he can fix anything and we've had numerous situations where he has "fixed" things. Not all fixes have been what I would call successful but that doesn't stop him. Well he did repair the holes on the first and second floor but he never got around to repairing the hole in the basement. I got tired of looking at the hole and decided that I could "fix" this situation by hanging a sampler over it. Eventually I ended up hanging a whole display of samplers on this wall - about a dozen smaller pieces. I like my "fix" a lot.

And I did get some knitting done last week. I was in one of those moods where I didn't want to make any creative decisions. I always want to do something creative but sometimes I just don't want to think too hard -- does that make any sense? Anyway for me knitting plain vanilla stockinette socks fits the bill. This is some On Line Sock yarn. I liked this yarn because it is self striping and it has a great pink and orange combination that I don't think I've ever seen before. The stripes do not match. I go out of my way to make non-matching socks. I think they are more interesting that way. I really enjoy knitting socks and when I organized my yarn I realized that the majority of it is sock weight. I was looking at some magazines today and I think I might try to do some mittens this winter. They would be great projects for sock yarn.

Here is my current WIP- the Magic Garden Sampler from Shakespeare's Peddler. I changed the floss color of the flowers from Onyx to Orange Marmalade. I see them as day lilies. Then I changed the color of the alphabet to Fragrant Cloves and I highlighted the "C" and the "N" with the Orange Marmalade. "C" and "N" are the initials of my sons. I really love the picket fence with the curved arbor gate. I'd love to have something like that in my garden. Maybe someday.

So I'm starting this week on a positive note and I plan to show some quilting progress before the week is over. I need to get the binding on the Cherry Salsa quilt and I want to pop it in the washer and dryer so it gets all crinkly. I love that look.

Hope your week is happy and productive. Happy stitching!

carol fun

Monday, August 9, 2010

Oh what a night......

and a day too! (Cue Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons) Well I meant to post yesterday but Blogger and I were butting heads so I gave up. Try try again.

On Friday, I went to Louisville to see Jersey Boys with Stephie. This is the second time I've seen this play and it is my FAVORITE! Love the music and the story. I've already found out that it will be coming to Columbus next summer and I'm going to see it again. I've been humming "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" over and over and over and over.

But before we went to the show we went shopping. There are a several nice quilt shops in Louisville and Stephie and I felt it was our patriotic duty to stimulate the economy. Here are some of my goodies.

This is an older line, Spring Magic by April Cornell. I got these two Layer Cakes for 25% off and the coordinating fabric for background and borders were also marked down. Pretty pinks, yellow and light springy green. I'm seeing this sewn up as a large Schnibble - maybe Imagine or Plan C. I think either pattern would work up beautifully. And then there are these fat quarters -

These are out of 2 different Christmas lines: Sherry Berry's The Twelve Joys of Christmas and Kate Spain's The Twelve Days of Christmas. And since both lines have "twelve" in the title I thought it was some sort of cosmic sign so I bought a dozen fat quarters. The "Joys" line has a very 50's retro feel and the "Days" line has a clean crisp feel but they play nicely together. I'm thinking these will end up being a Christmas quilt using the Yellow Brick Road pattern or maybe the cover quilt from "Happy Hour" by Terry Atkinson. Something quick and fun.

At the second shop I found this great chicken fabric- polka dot chicken fabric! I got the panel and the coordinating pieces in two colorways. I have no idea what I'm going to so with these fabrics but I could not NOT buy them. And then there were the check out impulse purchases....

Not one but TWO pairs of scissors! The stork scissors have a pretty floral pattern and the other pair also has a pretty floral pattern too. I buy what I like and I LIKE flowers! Now in the center of this picture is the most adorable little polka dot chicken pin! (Sorry it is hard to see, its very shiny.) Somehow I totally missed this little gem but Stephie saw it and bought it for me. THANKS Stephie -- you're the best!

And here is my belated offering for Sampler Sunday...

I think this was a Drawn Thread piece and as I was taking pictures of it I realized that this is another sampler with a little house and ginormous flowers growing out of the roof. I hadn't realized this before but I have several examples of this phenomena. Maybe this is a metaphor for something......Miracle Gro gone terribly wrong???

UPDATE - I was mistaken. This is Birds of a Feather sampler called "Bloom Where You Are Planted"

Well I hope you are having a great week. Stay cool if you can. Here in Ohio it is going to be hazy HOT and humid!

Happy stitching,
carol fun

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I had to wait.....

till I could show it FINISHED!! Yippee!! Doing a happy dance -- (be glad you can't see that)

I got the final stitches in late last night and looked it over this morning and I didn't find anything I wanted to add. I stitched mine and my sons' initials into the piece. I always try to do that but I do admit I don't enjoy stitching them over one thread but that what this piece took. This piece was a pleasure to stitch and will be a wonderful addition to my sampler collection. I dropped it off at the framers after dinner so I should be able to show it in all its framed glory in about 2 weeks - stay tuned!

So today I started a new sampler -- OMG - I know you are shocked!! I was going to start the new BBD chart that I just got from Myra but when I measured the piece of linen I wanted to use i discovered it is too small. My LNS is closed on Thursday during the summer so I'll have to wait till tomorrow. So I started the Magic Garden Sampler by Shakespeare Peddler.

I like the graphic qualities of this sampler but I've made some changes in the colors of floss that were chosen. I see the flowers down the left side of the piece as being day lilies and I'm not sure what the designer had in mind but the floss for these flowers is Sampler Thread Onyx which is black. Now maybe there are some purple undertones in this skein but I'm just not seeing it. So I changed the flowers to a beautiful skein of Sampler Threads called Orange Marmalade - it has shades of peach, yellow and orange, just like the day lilies in my garden. I'm liking it much better and then to balance out that I chose Fragrant Cloves for the alphabet that was also charted in Onyx. I love the cute snail and bug and the worm too. I don't' think I've ever stitched a worm before. I love the garden gate with the arbor and the vining flowers. I think all the flosses I've picked with look good on the evenweave that I dyed in yellow, gold, brown and orange. Its going to be sunny piece.

And because I'm real tired and not thinking real clearly I wanted to show this quirky guy. I find him quite interesting but my homeowners association would throw a fit I'd put this guy on my front lawn.

Doesn't everyone need a 6 foot blue rooster made from scrap metal? No,well I do!
Happy stitching -
carol fun

Monday, August 2, 2010

Last minute Schnibble Times Two

If it wasn't for the last minute I swear I'd never get anything done. Well last night I was lying in bed and had a thought (dangerous situation).... "oh I should get a top ready to give to the long arm quilter at the guild meeting tonight. Hmmmm... what should I take? There is that X-Rated Schnibbles Times Two top made with the Hunky Dory collection back in June. I had the top made but I wasn't sure how I was going to handle the middle section. I had done little X-Rated blocks and I wanted them framed by their larger buddies. Now if this quilt had been assembled in a block fashion it would have been easy to insert them, but this quilt is done in diagonal rows. When I worked on it in June I thought I'd do the little blocks as a seperate quilt and then somehow attach it after it had been quilted. But I wasn't really happy with that idea and then today I had a new idea, "What if I just appliqued this group of little blocks to the center?" Ah, a solution! (It was at this point I should have known that it wasn't that easy but I was still in my "gotta have something done for tonight mode.")

So at 1:30 I started this process. First try, I pinned the little blocks to the center, looked great, started to sew. Oh carp, the blocks are upside down. Unsew and repin the blocks. Second try, ok they're facing the right direction, get them pinned down, oh carp, now they're crooked. Unpin and try again -correct direction and even. Now I realize that the needle I'm using is way too big. It feels like I'm sewing with a javelin. Somewhere I have some applique needles. Where are they? Oh yeah, in that basket under the table with the Dear Jane blocks I started eons ago. New needle -much better. So I begin sewing away. Wow, this is taking a long time. I wonder how long it takes to sew down one side - yikes 30 minutes for one side! I'll need 2 hours to get this done. (Clock says it is 2:30 and I need to be ready to go to dinner at 4:45 - this is going to be close.) Sew faster!

Now I do enjoy doing some quiet handwork and this project gave me a lot of time to think and boy did my mind wander. I thought about how I learned to do the ladder stitch I use for appliqueing and sewing down bindings - Home Ec class back in the Age of Aquarius - early 70's. I had a wonderful teacher, Sara Lee, not that Sara Lee but that was her name, Sara Lee Fleischman. She was a good cook too. I'm so glad I had this experience. Do they even teach sewing in high school these days?

Then I thought some more about how I was going to finish this quilt. Although my stitches were pretty tiny I didn't like that the seam I was making wasn't real straight. Maybe I could cover the seam with rickrack? Oh I like that idea. After I get it back from the quilter I could cover the seam with rickrack and stitch it down with french knots or feather stitch and maybe some beads. Yeah, jazz it up a bit. Then another thought crept in..... why are you handstitching this? If you are going to cover it up you could sew it down by machine, sheesh (insert smack upside head). Should I switch gears? Naaahh... I was already on the fourth side, but I wish I had this brilliant idea about 90 minutes earlier. Oh well I got it sewn down and then I cut the extra fabric out underneath and took some pictures.

It doesn't lay real flat but with all the diagonal seams there is a lot of bias sewn to straight of grain. I've convinced myself that once it gets quilted and I wash it, it will have that nice crinkly look and you won't notice the lumpiness. (Yes I do expect miracles from the long arm quilter.) Check the clock....4:35, where did the day go? I had just enough time to stuff my top into a bag, grab my show and tell quilt and change my shirt.

Last minute but I got it done... so glad for the last minute!
Happy stitching,
carol fun

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sampler Sunday and Charming finishes for July

Well I've been stitching on my BBD Mystery Sampler like a crazy woman and I'm still not finished. Every time I look at the graphs I find motifs here and there that I missed. I want to take my time and recheck it so that when I take it to be framed it is complete.

So for this Sunday I want to share a little bitty sampler of mine. It is by Drawn Thread and I think the title was something about a random spot sampler.

Hmmm....I looked on their website I couldn't find it. However I did see several other Drawn Thread pieces I've stitched and one I started that's in my WIP basket. Gotta dig it back out. This piece is tiny - only 3 1/2" square but it sure packs a lot into a little space. There is the house motif and a crown(for the queen I am LOL!) I should do more samplers this size - almost instant gratification.

And since it is August 1, I looked over my list of Charming Chatter goals for Jul/Aug and found that I have completed a couple. The pillowcase is complete and I have organized my yarn. Here is a picture of one of my 6 boxes.

I'm not sure if this is really organizing, more like just stuffing as much yarn into a container as is humanly possible. Good thing the lids snap on tightly, otherwise there might be a harmful yarn explosion - oh the humanity, but fuzzy (yes I am crazy - crafty and crazy!) This box has a nice selection - I see sock yarn and some lace weight, some yarn I dyed and a bunch of purchased goodies. I also got my patterns organized too. I put them into categories: Socks, Scarves, Shawls, Etc. I found that on several occasions I printed out the EXACT same directions for a scarf, ummm..... like 4 times! Wow, I must really like this pattern. Too bad I've never gotten around to knitting it. (hanging head in shame...)

And this week my faith that crafty people are the nicest kind of people was reaffirmed. I told you how I swapped a OOP pattern with another cross stitcher. Well when I opened the package not only was the graph inside but also this sharp looking little pouch and some adorable heart shaped charms that say "made with love".

Here is the pouch but I couldn't get a good shot of the charms -they were too shiny. I'm sending out my thanks to Myra of Gr8dame's Place You are just too sweet!

Happy stitching,
carol fun