Monday, January 30, 2012

A design wall for Monday that overcompensates for gray days!

Yesterday I complained about all the gray days we had last week (I know I'm whiny that way.) So in my sewing I tried bring some color into my life- I may have gone a bit overboard.

Those 4 rectangles on the left are going to be new placemats to show off my Fiestaware dishes. I used the new line of Moda fabric A Stitch in Color. Isn't it wonderfully happy?? And then there is my Swoon along block for this week. And rounding out the design wall this week we have my Full House entry for Another Year of Schnibbles.I even got it quilted!

I was lucky enough to have a layer cake of A Stitch in Color so I got lots of mileage out of it. The background is a Benartex "Fusions" and yes the color is correct - it is a screaming yellow orange. Think the color that they use to paint lines on roads- that's the shade I'm talking about. I have like 9 yds of this, so I'm good for a while.

Love the little houses and the little sawtooth stars. I'm calling this one Carolville cause if I was a city planner this is what my town would look like. Lots of brightly colored houses! Now I was forced into using some of the prints with gray in this Schnibble and the placemats and it is okay. I know that there is a purpose for every color in the spectrum I'm just not feeling the love for gray.

This is my 7th Swoon block -just 2 more to go. Doing one a week is a pace I like- very doable. So I hope that your week has plenty of sunshine in it. Otherwise I may have to come to your house and make you sew something with some of the 9 yds of that screaming yellow fabric!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A happy sampler for Sunday

Well I didn't mean to disappear last week. Nothing momentous happened to keep me from blogging but the general malaise of a blah week. I swear the sun did not shine at all for 6 days straight. Gray, shades of gray, foggy, rainy - yuck! Okay, it wasn't ice and snow and for that I am grateful but I need sunny days to give me energy. There were several days when I thought Cincinnati had been relocated to Seattle without my knowledge, which would not be a good thing. I can deal with cold but I don't do well with gray - just saying.

So Saturday was a wonderful day - the sun was shining all day! And Joann's called and my latest sampler was framed- ta dah! Presenting the Lizze*Kate Winter Alphabet! I love this piece because it just seems so happy!

The linen is a lovely icy blue green color and I used DMC floss. I'm very pleased with this frame. It is a creamy white - it matches the DMC 712 used for the snow! And I I love the shabby chic look of the bumps with the finish worn off. I've been eyeing this frame for a while hoping that sooner or later I'd have a piece that it would look good on and this was it.

My chart came with embellishment pack so there is a cute little heart charm hanging on the front door.

And two tiny little red buttons for holly berries! I really enjoyed stitching this sampler and I've ordered the Spring one. I felt like it was a quick stitch since every frame and every letter made me feel like I had accomplished something.

My plans are to be much more diligent in posting this week. I have pictures in my camera and a bunch of stuff to show. I did get some sewing done and when you see the colors I was using you will know how gray weather affects me -- I don't do well with gray.

Hope your week is sunny and productive!
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, January 23, 2012

Swooning over String beans for a Design Wall Monday

Okay this design wall is the result of the sewing I got finished on Saturday. One more Swoon block (that makes 6 of 9 done) and a bunch of String Beans blocks, 22 of the 45 I plan to make.

This was a good combination of sewing since the Swoon block took lots of attention and patience, and the String Beans blocks are like eating potato chips - you can't stop at one!

String Beans is a new pattern by Loft Creations. My plan for this quilt includes polka dots, checks, plaids and stripes - yikes! I'm going to do 45 blocks - 5 rows of 9 - with that dotty yellow as the sashing and the border.

And this is my latest Swoon block with the Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I'm liking this one too!

So the sewing for last week was pretty productive. Now I still haven't started the snowman wallhanging I want to do, or my Schnibble for this month. Oh well, hopefully this week will have some quality sewing time for me and for you!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, January 22, 2012

An encore appearance for a sampler on Sunday

I hope everyone had a very enjoyable weekend. I was able to do some sewing and some stitching and some knitting so it was a good one for me. Today I was out of the house most of the day so my choice of a sampler for Sunday is one I already had pictures of - The Mystery Sampler from Blackbird Designs. This is one of my absolute favorite samplers I have ever stitched.

Now by the time I stumbled across this sampler it had been released for a while and parts of it were already turning up as OOP. It took me a while to assemble all the parts but it was so worth it.

I love everything about this sampler. It has a house, a lovely vine covered house. An alphabet with cursive letters like I learned to make in second grade.

A verse that could be my mantra "I can not count my day complete till needle, thread and fabric meet." And lots of wonderful birds, a pot of fanciful flowers and a wreath. What more could a person want in a sampler?

And looking at this sampler led me to taking this one out of its ziploc bag.

This is how far I've progressed in doing the Anniversaries of the Heart series. I love this sampler too. It is going to be a big one - about 28" wide by 18" high. The fabric is a evenweave in a dove gray tone. I want to get this one done before the end of 2012. It is doable if I work on it a little every week.

And looking at this project made me remember at least 3 other "large" samplers I have in process- The Houses of Hawk Run Hollow, And They Have Sinned and The Four Seasons collage by Marjolein Bastin. Boy I started some BIG projects! Well I'm going to focus on one at a time. Its a good thing that cross stitch will patiently wait for you to rediscover it.

Now to spend some time in my recliner doing a bit of stitching -
carol fun

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fun with green vegetables!

Oh my goodness - I've never had this much fun with green vegetables before! I got my copy of the String Beans pattern by Stephanie at Loft Creations on Tuesday and couldn't wait to play with it. These blocks sew up very quickly and you can't stop at just one.

I had this polka dot background fabric sitting on my cutting table. It is called The Pixie Pops and is from Timeless Treasures. The other fabrics are from my stash. The plaids are Mary Lou Weidman fabrics.

As I was sewing these blocks together I got to thinking how green vegetables have never been on my list of favorite foods, and I have two sons who turn their noses up at almost anything green. I use to tease when they were kids that the only green things that knowingly passed their lips were green popsicles and green M&M's - LOL!

Ok - off to do some errands and then hopefully some time behind my sewing machine. Hope you have a great weekend!

Happy stitching!
carol fun

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pincushions on Parade!

Oh how I love a title with alliteration - Pincushions on Parade is the brain child of Beth at Love Laugh Quilt. Go over and check out the pincushions links - there are some great ones!

Here are my participants - I've arranged them in categories. First we have the avian pincushions -

a pair of wise owls and a large contingency of poultry is represented - everybody scoot close together and smile! I made all of these guys.

Next we have the dessert category - slices of cake, a cupcake (I gave away a bunch of these) and a slice of jelly roll cake. Its hard to tell in the photo but the white felt is sparkly! I made all of these too.

Then we have a miscellaneous category - a bit of this and that. The pear and the strawberry were gifts. The little cross stitched porcupine I just finished about a week ago and I will be doing more of these. And the embroidered one is one of a kind since I lost interest before I finished this one.

The final entry is my workhorse pincushion that I use every day. This is a big one - it measures 6" across and I like how I can put different kinds of pins in different sections and yet they are all at my fingertips. I made this one and several others that I gave as gifts. Notice this one is made of all dotty fabrics. It is stuffed with walnut shells and it is pretty hefty.

I love pincushions, even when all I do is look at them. I've seen several Blackbird Design cross stitch ones that I want to make soon and I have several patterns for other felt ones I want to try. I don't see this collection getting smaller any time soon.

I don't know if the comment posting problem is fixed or not. The person who alerted me to the problem, sent me an additional message and was able to comment, but I got an email from someone else who couldn't. Soooooo.... if you can't leave a comment on the blog but want to give me a shout out use this email address

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, January 16, 2012

Problems posting comments?

I got an email from a friend saying that she was having trouble reading my blog in Google Reader and that it was freezing up when she tried to comment. I read on someone else's blog the other day that Blogger had installed a new comment program and it had some bugs. There was a suggested fix but I can't figure it out since I'm still using the old Blogger interface and not the new one. (I tend to try to leave well enough alone and I barely understand the old interface.)

So if you can't leave a comment you can always go on the sidebar, scroll down to the picture of me when I was cute and young, and click on "View my complete profile" - that takes you to the page with the link to my email. Feel free to send me a comment there. Hopefully things will get resolved soon.

Thanks again- I do love reading your comments and I appreciate you taking the time to write them!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

A bit of progress on my design wall for Monday

Saturday gave me several hours of free time to play with my Swoon blocks and I was able to finish up the one I started last Monday, complete a additional block and cut out the fabrics for 3 of the remaining 4 blocks. That was a pretty successful day in my book, but the I do have rather low standards - LOL! Here's how it looks so far...

Can you see the hot/cold arrangement of fabrics so far? Some have blue/purple centers and others have the gold/orange centers. I think I want to continue this pattern so I'm waiting till I get 8 of the 9 blocks done to determine which way that last one will go.

So this is the first one that languished from last Monday...

with a close up of the fabrics.

And this is the block I did on Saturday...

with its close up.

In looking at the selvedges not all of these are Kaffe Fasset fabrics - some are other designers from Westminster Fabrics but they have the same feeling as Kaffe's. The photos don't capture how vibrant these fabrics are (perhaps better lighting and more proficient photographer would help - LOL).

There are several projects I want to play with at the moment. I want to do the Full House Schnibble for "another year of Schnibbles". And I have a snowman wallhanging I want to put with my seasonal snowman display and I purchased the latest pattern from Stephanie at Loft Creations, String Beans. I want to play with it too! I have an abundance of patterns from which to choose, and making a decision is hard. Oh woe is me -- LOL!

Have a great week

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A cheerful Sampler for Sunday

Oh the sun is shining and the dusting of snow has disappeared. The weatherman says we'll have a high back in the 50's on Tuesday followed by a precipitous drop to a high in the 20's on Wednesday. That's what I like about the weather in Ohio, you can always count on it changing. LOL!

So I was puttering about the house trying to figure out which sampler to show today and I realized that for the most part I'm not real certain which ones I've shown and which ones I haven't. And since figuring that out would require time and effort on my part, well, it ain't gonna happen. I figure if I don't remember you wont' either (sorry to paint you with the broad brush of menopausal memory loss, that just the way it is.) So if this is a repeat, I hope you think its a good one.

This is Sally Spencer's Sampler from Birds of a Feather. I just love their style and wish they hadn't given up cross stitch for needlepoint design, but then at the price of needlepoint it is probably much more lucrative. Here are two pictures of this piece. When I looked at the first one on my laptop it looked like the best shot.

But then I saw this one and it looked better - I can't decide - so they are both here.

I had this one framed years ago with the framers that the Twisted Threads shop used, Bowman's Backdoor Framing in Ft. Thomas, KY. They always did a great job and I could still use them but it is a trek from my house and Joanns is closer and I am lazy.

And even though this is called Sally Spencer's Sampler this version is all about ME! (have you noticed that vibe today?) I loved the colors of this piece and the red is so unexpected and so happy!

Stitching my first name in the red and making the "C" red and using an eyelet stitch are my personal touches to this one. The caveat of "Sooner begun, sooner done" is a great one, but personally I'm a world class procrastinator so that part hasn't had much effect on me.

Well this evening we are celebrating my oldest son's birthday - he's 27 - oh my goodness how did he get to be that old?? I'm not a day over 32 - wait - that was my age when I had him. See I told you that menopausal memory stuff was bad. He is a great kid. He was able to land the law job of his dreams several months after he passed the bar exam and right now life is going well and I couldn't be happier for him. He worked hard to set himself up for this job - lots of low paid and unpaid positions but it worked out. Happy birthday!

Hope everyone is able to enjoy this lovely three day weekend - I'm having a good time stitching, sewing and knitting and I'm sure that I will be messed up as to which day of the week it is until next Sunday.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, January 13, 2012

A change in the weather

Well it isn't the inch to an inch and a half that they predicted, but we did get a little snow. This is the view out of my kitchen window - the chickens guard my bird feeders. It is a great day to stay inside and that is just what I'm doing. I've already made a pan of lasagna so all I have to do is pop it in the oven for dinner. And I'm cozy under a quilt doing a bit of knitting.

Earlier in the week I was able to get some pictures of my Charming Cheddar Stars quilt on the grass in the backyard. This is a Moda Bake Shop pattern. I
used the Rooftop Garden collection of fabrics from Moda and I'd like to make this pattern again some time.

Again I am so pleased with the quilting that Cass Plott did on this one. I let her pick the pattern. My standard instructions are pick some thing pretty and use a variegated thread and I love being surprised when I get it back.

It has such great texture after it has been laundered. I love that it adds an extra layer of design to the quilt.

And just so you can see that it is a very cozy quilt here is Big Dude testing it out.

I think it has proven nap worthy.

So if there is snow where you are, I hope you can stay inside all warm and cozy.
Have a great weekend!
carol fun

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Moving at a snail's pace

I am very gradually getting the Christmas stuff put away and replacing those decorations with something different. I started in the kitchen and replaced the gingerbread boy quilt with this one which I stitched a long long time ago. Sorry these pictures aren't the greatest. It is a gray rainy day. The first pic is of the quilt on the floor in my sewing area.

And here it is hanging on the wall in the kitchen where it is hard to photograph it too.

I love the look of the primitive style but I'm not fond of an overabundance of brown. This quilt was more vibrant when I first stitched it but it hung in my kitchen for years and the sun has faded the border and other parts of it mightily. Nonetheless,I love the free and happy quality of this quilt.

I went through my library of quilt books (boy does that need some cleaning out too) and found the pattern for this quilt. It is called Berries & Birds. It was designed by Sue Spargo and is included in the book, Ladybird, Ladybird by Jan Patek and Alma Allen. The copyright date in this book is 1999 - an oldie but goodie!

In the book the applique is all done by hand, not my forte. So I cut the pieces out with a Heat n Bond backing and ironed them down. I made the quilt sandwich and then appliqued and quilted them at the same time with my blanket stitch.

And if you enlarge the pictures you can see where I stippled the heck out of the background. Boy was I ambitious back then - LOL! In going through my library stash I found a fairly large collection of books with primitive quilt patterns by Jan Patek, Linda Brannock, Sue Spargo, Barb Adams & Alma Allen, Cheri Safiotte,and Gerry Kimmel to name a few. I still like the patterns but I don't see myself becoming a hand applique person. However, I may stitch up a small quilt or two from these books using my blanket stitch (it is one of the main reasons I bought my Janome) and then passing them off to my long arm quilter for the quilting.

I also came across all the patterns for the Garden Club quilt by Country Threads. Kim of Kim's Big Quilting Adventure and some of her buddies are doing this as a quilt along. I have the original issued BOM patterns of this quilt in a folder, for which I probably paid at least $5 a month. You do the math. There are real photographs glued to the inside pages of the pattern and there was a layout for a smaller quilt done just with that month's pattern included in the BOM. A couple of years later they issued the whole quilt in a book by Leisure Arts for around $20 - a third of what I paid for it. Now have I ever started it - ahem.... no! But I just might. I like Kim's version very light and airy.

Well, I should put some more stuff away but its the kind of day that makes you want to take a nap... like Big Dude.

Now that's the life! I'm going to find a quilt of my own to curl up with.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pondering PIPs on a Design Wall Monday

What to do? What to do? So I was pondering which PIP (project in progress) I should exhume from its hermetically sealed storage container and place on my design wall when I read about the Swoon A Long on i'm a ginger monkey's blog. Yes - that's the one I'll release from its plastic tomb!

Now the good part of restarting this project is I already have 3 blocks done, so I'm 33% of the way finished right off the bat - and I had cut out some fabrics for additional blocks. Another jump on the project- wow I'm feeling very successful here - LOL! These are the ones I already put together.

So I got another block partially together and that brings it up to almost 44% finished. Oh I know how to make myself feel good, don't I?

All the prints are Kaffee Fasset fabrics and as you can see I've used another yellow tone on tone for the background. Yellow- my background color of choice!

I do love that Swoon pattern. I've already done one quilt from it. Remember the Halloween Swoon? This pattern looks good in any fabric, IMHO.

Have you seen the new patterns Camille has released? Check here. The "On a Whim" is calling my name. Like Swoon I think this will look great in lots of fabric choices.

Well, Monday's are easier this quarter. My son's class schedule has changed so I don't have the all day driving rodeo and I am thankful for that. He has his volunteer job today and I have a quilt guild meeting tonight. I'm suppose to give a little chat on how much fun it is to read blogs. Now you know I'm thoroughly enamoured with blogs but we have lots of members who've never ventured into the cyber world. Time to escort them in!

Happy stitching!
carol fun

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Giveaway Winner and a Sampler for Sunday

I had every intention of responding to each and every one of you who left a comment about the cupcake liners -- I really really did. But then I putzed around yesterday doing a bit of knitting and cross stitching and laundry. And today I spent knitting and sewing up a back for the Carol's Stars quilt and laundry, and now it is Sunday evening and it is a bit late - so sorry! I did enjoy reading each and every one of them - thank you from the bottom of my cupcake liner loving heart! And without further ado the winner chosen by Big Dude with some digital assistance from my son is.....Terry from Terry's Treasures.

Now I blame this whole cupcake liner infatuation on Sandy at 521 Lake Street. Check out the cute ideas for displaying the liners. Now, I need to find a big glass jar to show mine off - oh well, another trip to Micheal's but I do have a 50% off coupon. Oh I am so frugal - I'll bet I could get some more liners too! LOL!

And since it is Sunday I have a sampler to show - this is my first finish for 2012 - Boughs of Holly by Brenda Gervais.

I used a pretty light green linen and floss from my stash. The letters were done with a skein of Dried Thyme I've had for a while. I seem to have lots of skeins of Dried Thyme and none of them are the same. I also did my boys' initials in gold along with the key, the date and the star.

The frame is the exact same one I used on my Quaker Noel piece. I looked at every frame they had at Joann's and it was the one I liked best for this piece too - simple but substantial. I plan to hang this piece over the little table in my foyer when I redo my decorations for winter. I still need to get my Christmas stuff put away and then haul out all the snowmen. It is on my list of things to do this week. We'll see how successful I am next Sunday. I'm real good at making plans but sometimes execution escapes me.

Hope you all have a wonderful week - the weather here is Ohio has been unseasonably lovely - sunny and temperatures in 40's and 50's. This is a winter I could really love. I know it is a fluke and we'll get real winter weather, but I sure am enjoying this warm spell.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, January 6, 2012

A little something new! (and a giveaway)

In my continuing saga of trying something new, I played with paper cupcake these...

Ok, I might have a gotten a little carried away but I got the majority of these from the dollar spot at Micheal's. And about 4 packages of them came from the cake decorating area and they weren't much more than a dollar. All in all an inexpensive indulgence. And you ask what I might do with 975 paper cupcake liners (yeah that's about how many are there-LOL). Well I made a bunting/garland with them...

I saw something like this somewhere on the great wide web, I just don't remember where. Now how should I display this beautiful bunting? First I tried it out here..

One of my polka dot chicken quilts (yes there is more than one) is currently hanging over my cutting table. Cute but you couldn't get the full effect. So I took it down and draped it across the top of the shelves that hold some of my stash.

Oh I like this, although I think another string or two might be even better. Here are a couple of close ups of what I have so far.

Yes there is a lot of stuff on my shelves - you know what they say "Money can't buy love but it can buy stuff - and I LOVE my stuff!" These shelves are a great place to display all my little treasures along with my fabric - all stuff I LOVE.

Do you want to see how easy this is to do? You know I wouldn't do it if it wasn't easy.

Step 1 - Flatten out the cupcake liner.

Step 2 - Fold cupcake liner in half.

Step 3 - Lay cupcake liner over string. I used some #5 perle cotton.

Step 4 - Sew along the edge making a casing for the string.

Step 5 - Repeat till it is as long as you want.

According to my calculations, I used 25 cupcake liners to make this garland which spans 10 feet of shelves, so that means I could make at least 38 more garlands this length. Whoa- that seems a bit excessive even to me (and that is saying A LOT). So here's the deal. If you would like to make one of these for your next party or to decorate your sewing room (cause its a party every time I sew- LOL) leave me a comment and I'll pick a name Sunday night and I will send you a 100 count assortment of liners!

Hope you have a great weekend. I have plans to sew and knit and stitch so I know it will be a good weekend at my house!

Happy stitching-
carol fun