Monday, October 31, 2011

A design wall from a scatterbrained quilter

Well I found my camera. And where was it you ask? Hmmmm.. ok, when I ask my oldest son where something might be, he sarcastically answers "have you looked up my butt?" (I'm ok with this because sarcastic doesn't fall far from the sarcastic tree and I've been know to have similar answers.) However in this case his answer was very very close to the truth. I was literally sitting on my camera. It has fallen down in the crack of my recliner by the arm and somehow maneuvered itself in between the back cushions. But hey, I found it!

And that leads me to this pictures of my design wall that I have to show today. I know this looks nothing like my design wall last week and no I haven't finished that quilt. These blocks got unearthed (it is like an archeology dig in my sewing room) when I was trying to straighten up (with very limited success). These are 16 patch blocks I started back in the summer when I saw Crazy Mom Quilts 36 patch QAL. However, true to my scatterbrained tendency I didn't keep up with the QAL but I do have these to show for my abbreviated commitment.

Every blocks is a tone on tone yellow paired with a floral. Some are BIG scale....

others are smaller scale....

and ALL of this fabric is coming out of my stash so this is essentially a FREE quilt - LOL! (We do not need to discuss the fallacy of this line of reasoning.) Anyhow, now that I've put them up on my design wall on point I really really like this layout. And the 12 inch block now turns into a 17 inch block -- bigger is better, right?? Ok, not always but it works here. So I want to make this a BIG quilt - no surprise there - and it will get big quicker this way. I haven't decided yet if I will fill in the outside triangle spaces with more tone on tone yellows or just make more blocks and whack them off. Need to ponder that. At the moment I'm thinking the tone on tone yellows are the way to go since it seems to vibrate when you look at it (Stephie look away- I don't want to aggravate your vertigo).

Happy Halloween everyone- I'm off to answer the doorbell!

carol fun

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sampler Sunday - an encore edition

Doesn't "encore edition" sound better than "repeat"? Yes, I thought so too. Anyway I can't seem to find my camera. I know it is in the house but I haven't located it so I thought I show a sampler that I have shown before. Now this sampler has a lovely Fall-ish feel and I originally showed it back in May of 2010, so a lot of you may not have seen it before. If you have, well, I think it deserves more than one look.

This is We Gather Together Together from With Humble Heart by Jan Stephens Rogers.

This is one of my largest samplers. It measures almost 24 inches square and there is a lot going on in this one. I loved the border with the grape clusters. A good border really sells me on a sampler. The center features this large blue house and an even larger woman. Does anyone know why so many samplers have people that dwarf their houses? Oh well, I do like the effect.

And there are lots of pumpkins and squirrels in this piece along with a solitary chicken, I stitched this back in 2000 which is my pre-polka dot chicken era so it is just a chicken.

I hope you enjoy seeing this sampler. I realized the other day that I have been showing a sampler on Sunday for about 18 months. I still have some that I haven't shown but eventually I will have to have more "encore" appearances if I'm going to continue this feature. I hope you are will be okay with that, since I do enjoy samplers. I did get another one off to the framers last week and the coupon at Joann's this week is the perfect one (50% off plus $20 off) for a small piece. Last time I used that kind of coupon the whole piece only cost me $7 to frame. Can't wait to see if I can get off that cheap again - LOL!

Well, I have plans to finish up knitting some socks this evening and resting up for the week. Hope you have a great week -

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall 2011 Blogger's Festival Quilt

I LOVE looking at all the quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival and I hope that you will enjoy my offering. This is my Swooning Over Halloween quilt. It is a based on the uber-popular Swoon quilt by Camille of Thimble Blossoms.

I knew that I wanted this quilt to fit on the wall next to the fireplace so that limited the size. I scaled down the blocks and then went to town with my Halloween fabrics.

These are my favorite blocks.... each one features a Halloween creature that I fussy cut from a Nancy Wolff fabric I've been hoarding for quite a while.

Oh no... a ghost!

A smiling skeleton...

A devious devil...

A grinning black cat..

My long arm quilting gal, Cass, did a great job on this quilt. I wish it showed up better but hopefully you can see how she stitched a ton of different Halloween motifs into this quilt - pumpkins, a spider web, a spider, a devil, a skull, a pitchfork - just to name a few.

This quilt will be the centerpiece of my Halloween decorating for years to come.

Thanks Amy for hosting this event-- you do a fantastic job and it brings so much enjoyment to so many!

Happy stitching-
carol fun


A Fall-ish Finish

Well yesterday while the sun was still shining (as opposed to today when it is grey, cold and rainy), I dragged this quilt outside to snap some pictures. This is a Jaybird quilt pattern called Unwind.

It takes a jelly roll (it is the Oh My! line by Sanae) and some background fabric and uses the Lazy Angle ruler by Creative Grids. This is a quick quilt to stitch up and I like how it shows off the fabrics. My long arm gal, Cass, did a great job with the quilting. It is wonderfully crinkly since it has been washed.

I can't believe it is already Thursday. I swear someone steals days from my week. It has been one of those weeks where I've started lots of little projects but somehow was lacking some part to finish them. And of course this has contributed to the ever growing mess. Maybe I'll get something finished this weekend. The thoughts of Christmas gifts are bouncing around in my head but I haven't latched on to any as the "perfect" one yet. But with Halloween upon us I know I need to get moving ..... ackkk!!! My sainted grandmother told me that time flies the older you get, and the way my time is speeding past I think I must be ancient!

Looking forward to the weekend-
Happy stitching!
carol fun

Monday, October 24, 2011

A design wall from a messy stitcher

Well back on Thursday I said I was going to finish putting the borders on my Charming Stars quilt and that I wanted to start the cover quilt from Quilt magazine. Only half of that statement occurred - ahem.... here is the start of a new quilt called Dazzling Scraps (their title not mine - LOL!)

I may call it Dazzling Debbie! This is my second quilt this year with my cherished Debbie Mumm scraps. I stumbled upon a site- - that was new to me that carries lots of new DM and I was able to score more background fabrics cause you can never have too many different background fabrics - IMHO! This place has fantastic service. I ordered on Saturday and had my fabric on Monday- I don't know how she did it.

I love going through my stash and cutting squares out of fabrics that make me smile. Like this fat turkey...

or this cat who reminds me of my Big Dude... if he was skinny Big Dude...

However I project like this means I will make a humongous mess of which this is only a small corner...

Perhaps I should hide my face in shame like Big Dude -- LOL -- or just go sew a few more blocks together! Yeah -- that's a plan!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A sampler for a cloudy Sunday

Well yesterday was certainly sunnier than today, but at least it isn't rainy and cold. I took pictures of this Sunday's sampler out on my screen porch. I'm pretty sure it is a Chessie & Me but I don't have a clue what the title is. I searched a lot of sites and all I found were more charts I'd like to have.

This is one sampler that feeds my log cabin home fantasy. I'd love to have a little cabin somewhere in the woods - at least until I need to run to the fabric shop or got out to dinner - LOL!

I love how the satin stitches make it look like logs and that half square triangle row looks like a border from a quilt. I'm not sure about the sentiment " in virtues ways I spend my days" - ummm... does virtue include shopping? I've been doing a lot of that lately - LOL!

Have a great week!
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, October 21, 2011

The sun came out....

... and I took some pictures of my latest quilt! This first picture is my attempt at "arty"...I'm not really good at this. (Notice chickens in lower right corner- I should have turned them around - they have polka dots on them!)

The quilt pattern is Thimble Blossoms - A Piece of Cake. And the fabric is by Thimble Blossom too - I forget the name of the collection.It looks pretty spread out on the lawn in the back yard.

Here's a close up of the quilting. I love how it looks after you launder it and it gets all soft and crinkly.

I can't believe it is already Friday. I had big plans for sewing this week but nothing has happened yet. Maybe a little tonight and tomorrow. I still need to get the borders on my Charming Stars and I'm itching to start a new quilt - the one on the cover of the Dec/Jan 2012 issue of Quilt magazine. I want to do it out of my Debbie Mumm fabrics. Hopefully I'll get a couple of blocks cut out tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wicked Monkey Socks

A knitting finish!! My wrist is feeling a little better each day and I am so happy to be able to knit again. These Monkey socks are for my friend, Stephie.(Sorry these pics are kinda dark - it is a cloudy rainy day today.)

Stephie dyed this yarn with the musical Wicked in mind. It is her favorite musical and when I think of Oz, flying monkeys always come to mind.

In celebration of finishing this pair of socks I did the only thing I could and started a new pair-- yippee! There is nothing like starting a new project to put a smile on my face.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, October 17, 2011

A design wall with a little progress for Monday

Well I got all of the blocks done for this Charming Stars quilt and I got them all sewed together with the sashing.

I picked the large scale print for the border but I didn't have enough energy to get it put on yesterday. And it isn't going to happen today, but as Scarlett said "tomorrow is another day."

I really like these bold colors. The collection is Moda's Rooftop Garden but it doesn't credit a particular designer. I think the line has a lot of elements of collections by Sanae - another Moda designer I really love. I did get a deal on a piece of dotty olive fabric for the back at Joann's yesterday so I should be able to get this one off to Cass, my long arm gal, before the week is over. Hey, I can hope- LOL!

Off to do another round of Monday's premier event - driving in circles!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A little blue house for Sampler Sunday

Now where was I? Okay on Thursday my computer started acting up and by the end of the day I had seen the" blue screen of death" and the "critical system dump" message several times. So I carted it off the the repair shop and was pleasantly surprised to find it only needed a $20 repair. And then on Friday I started feeling puny - stuffy and achy - and by Saturday morning I was truly yuckky. I ended up spending the entire day vegging in my easy chair but I think it did me a world of good because today I feel much better. What a difference a day can make!

This is a sweet sampler called Little Blue House and it is another in my collection of Ewe & Eye & Friends pieces.

It is primarily cross stitch with a touch of satin stitch and eyelet stitches and some smyrna cross stitches. Simple but effective.

Blue houses tend to cross my path with some frequency. My DH and I have purchased 3 different houses that were shades of blue when we bought them. However it isn't my favorite color for a house and for 2 of the 3 houses we repainted as soon as we could afford it. Our first house was an adorable little Tudor style house painted blue with cream and brick red trim which kinda made it look like a cartoon house. It was a couple of years before we could have it repainted and when we did we went with the more traditional brown and tan tones. I remember several neighbors telling us how much better the house looked - and they were right! Our house in California was a stucco house painted - you got it - blue! I never cared for the color but we knew we'd only live there for 3 years and with the price of real estate plummeting while we lived there, repainting was out of the question. I swear housing prices peaked the day we closed on that house and did nothing but drop the entire 3 years we were there- that turned out to be a very expensive house. Moving back to the midwest was a very good thing.

Hope you have a great week. The weather today is lovely but changes are coming. I think I'll be wearing some of my hand knit socks this week.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Putting all my chickens in a basket

Oh my goodness - aren't these little guys just too stinking cute??

These adorable chicks were made by my friend Lois, in Nebraska. They are a birthday gift and I LOVE THEM. She knows what I like -- the chicken wire basket in yellow would definitely go home with me if I saw it anywhere.

And those tail feathers are perfect! I'm not sure how she made these but they are stiff - maybe dipped in starch or glue? I have them sitting on my sewing table so I can admire my new chickens. Thanks Lois -- you have made my day!

Weather here has turned rainy -- glad I spent time on the screen porch when I did. Now I'm headed back to my sewing studio to work on my Charming Stars quilt - only one block to go and then sew them together.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, October 10, 2011

A charming design wall for Monday

Oh my- these blocks are like potato chips - you can't make just one! This pattern is Charming Stars from Moda Bake Shop.

The fabric is the Rooftop Garden line from Moda. I don't know who designed this line but I love it. I was unaware of this collection until I saw the charm squares at Fabric Shack but it was instant love. (There is no rhyme or reason as to the open spots I was just slapping them on the wall!)

Rich deep colors and I love the pop of hot pink and blue. And I can NOT resist a good dot and this shade of cheddar makes me drool. I have enough for this quilt and I wished I'd bought more but I know there is none left at Fabric Shack because my dear friend Stephie bought all that was left on the bolt. Smart shopper - LOL!

I don't have a border picked out yet. My first thought was one of the colorways with the patchwork square pattern but now that I have it started I'm thinking one of the less busy prints would be better. When I get the blocks together I'll take it up and audition some choices.

Okay- it is Monday- my day to spend driving in circles- hope your week is off to a good start.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, October 9, 2011

There's No Place Like Home for a Sampler Sunday

It has been a beautiful Fall weekend and there isn't any place I want to be more than at home. I spent some time sitting out on my screen porch enjoying the weather and that's where I took these pictures of my sampler for Sunday.

This is "There's No Place Like Home" by Drawn Thread. I love the little ceramic heart button in the center.

Little Fall and Winter scenes side by side with...

Spring and Summer. Looking at this piece reminded me that I have at least 2 other Drawn Thread pieces in that black hole of a basket that contains my WIPs. I should go and give them a look and see if they should come out and be stitched on. I did find a sampler I had forgotten about the other day and couldn't for the life if me remember why I hadn't finished it. It doesn't need a lot of stitching so I've been working on it for a couple of evenings. I'd love to get it to the framer while there is still a 60% off coupon. That should be good motivation for the week.

Hope you have a great week - happy stitching!
carol fun

Friday, October 7, 2011

Swooning over Halloween

On Monday night I got my Halloween Swoon quilt back from my long arm quilter and all I can say is WOW! My pictures do not do her work proper justice. She filled this quilt with goodies. Here it is lounging in the shade in the my backyard.

And here is a close up of one of the blocks to give you some idea of the quilting. She outlined all the motifs in the border and then randomly added designs over the blocks.

Here are some pictures of the back which showing the quilting off better - there is a giant pumpkin with some spiders...

and a giant spider web and you can also see a devil and a cat...

It is like a "where's waldo" puzzle. I found a pitchfork, the word "boo", and lots of spiders and ghosts and a giant bat. She is a very very clever quilter. Her name is Cass Plott and her business is called Pink Flamingo Quilting. She doesn't have a website but if you are interested in her work I can forward her email.

Now I need to get a sleeve on it and get it hung in my family room. I LOVE this quilt and I'm so happy that I got in done in time for the holiday. Usually I get my best ideas 24 hours beforehand and it is too late to execute them. I know I'll enjoy this quilt for years to come.

So back to the sewing machine. I have 2 more quilts to bind. Lucky me! Have a wonderful weekend and happy stitching!
carol fun

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Finally got my Halloween decorations out!

Well the boxes have been sitting in the family room for almost 2 weeks but yesterday I finally got motivated and put out my Halloween decorations. Here is the mantle in all its pumpkin finery!

I had forgotten about this little wall quilt and rediscovered it while looking for something else. I made is years ago and have no memory of who's pattern it is. I do vaguely remember it was paper pieced.

I thought the witches were kinda sweet - not spooky.

And I stitched the pumpkins is lots of different orange fabrics. The candies were made using lame -- does any one else remember working with lame?

I always loved the sparkle of lame but it was a bear to sew. I would very very carefully apply a woven fusible and then cut the pieces out. I melted a lot of lame in my time. I remember buying it once at a fabric store and the gal cutting it asked what I was going to do with it. After I explained she quipped that while it was pretty, cutting it was like "chasing snot across a table" -- ahem... and I'll leave you with the visual- sorry!

It is a gorgeous day here in Ohio. I'm totally enjoying it by sitting on my screen porch to write this post and then I'm going to cross stitch. Days like this will soon be gone and I am going to soak up as much as this one as possible.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Flurry of a finish for Design Wall Monday

Yesterday evening I was able to get the borders on my Flurry quilt and I'm sure glad I didn't wait till today to do this as all I have done is run in the car. I swear days like this are the reason I can put 500 miles on my car in a week and never get more than 10 miles from home - sheesh! Anyway back to the quilt....

I added 3 rounds of borders and it ended up being 64 X 78 inches - a little bigger than I planned for but not only will it look good as a wall quilt it could be a twin size bed quilt too. It was all going pretty smoothly until I realized that the border fabric is directional (duh .. it is pretty obvious) and I didn't want the ornaments laying on their sides on the top and bottom, so I had to piece the fabric together. I think I did a pretty good job because you have to really look for the seam and I'm not telling.

I like the last package I did- little tossed Christmas trees. All in all I'm very happy with this quilt and I'll drop it off to my long arm quilting gal tonight. Deadlines are good for me, if it wasn't for the last minute I'd never get anything done.

Now off to do another pick-up/drop-off trip for my son and then back to the guild meeting. I feel like a polka dot chicken with its head cut off, running in circles - LOL!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sampler Sunday

Oh my goodness, Sunday is almost over and I've busy all day. I'm glad I finally have a chance to sit a spell and show you another sampler for Sunday. This is another Ewe & Eye & Friends and is titled House on Hollyhock Hill.

I love hollyhocks but have only had spotty success with them in my garden. No luck this year so I'll definitely plant some more next year.

I like the look of the satin stitch siding on the house and I'm really pleased with my arrangement of mine and my sons' initials on the left side. My own little crossword puzzle.

I got some stitching done yesterday on a BBD piece and then had to frog quite a bit of it last night when I realized I'd used the wrong color- arghh! I hate to frog but I know if I don't the mistake will be there forever. It looks much better since I corrected my error. Maybe I can do a little more work on it before I'm off to bed.

Hope you have a productive week. I've got a quilt guild meeting tomorrow night and the rest of the week looks like it could have some sewing time.

Happy stitching-
carol fun