Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My I.S.T.H. Schnibble!

Ta dah! I got borders on my I.S.T.H. Schnibble yesterday (and did 4 loads of laundry -yeah for clean underwear!)

As you can see the chickens totally commandeered this quilt. Honestly, I just could not stop them! From the polka dot hens in the center blocks, to the chicken tracks background, to the border and the cornerstones. All chickens, all the time! While I was sewing on the border I realized what I.S.T.H. stands for in this quilt. I. S.pot T.he H.en -- get it I Spot The Hen! Oh I crack myself up (oh that was a bad pun too!)

Can you see the hen that well, I spotted? Upper right hand corner- here's a close up.

I am so happy with this little quilt. I'm going to let my long-arm gal quilt this one, because I know she'll come up with something wonderful to show off these dotty hens. This was so much fun. I can't wait to see what the pattern is for next month. Thanks Sinta and Sherry for managing this each month. I know the parade of quilts this month is going to be wonderful.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, February 27, 2012

A very full design wall for Monday

To reward myself for spending all day Saturday helping my son with his history paper I spent Sunday sewing. Do you want to know anything about the presidential election of 1912? I didn't think so. Anyway I got 16 more blocks done on the Jelly & Jam quilt so I am 75% done with the blocks. There is another row at the top I couldn't get in the picture. The sashing is going to take some time. Down in the left hand corner is my I.S.T. H. Schnibble for this month- and yes it does have a chicken theme.

I didn't plan on this turning into a chicken quilt, it just took on a life of its own. I knew I wanted to do bright colored stars with dotty fabrics. I did one block with a polka dot background. I loved the block but the background didn't do it for me. So I went looking through my stash and found this fabric - chicken tracks!! Well there was no stopping it then.

The dotty chickens in the center spaces were in my stash and are from the Giggle Feathers collection by Robert Roderick for Studio e fabrics. Wish I had more. The sashing is yellow with orange dots and the cornerstones are an orange tone-on-tone dot. Sensing a theme here? Now my quilt doesn't look exactly like the pattern because I like square quilts, I got my idea for this setting from Kim. Check out her Schnibble. My plan for today is to get the borders on this - and do some laundry. Hope your day is great!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A simple sampler for Sunday

It is a glorious sunny Sunday. The temperature hit 50 and it is February in Ohio??? If this is global warming bring it on. The sunshine puts me in good mood. I've been working on some smaller pieces - all BBD -and this is one I've finished. Its called Simple Harvest and it appears in the book With Needle & Thread by BBD, 2007. I poked around a bit online and couldn't find a copy of this for sale, so it is probably OOP. No surprise to those of us who love BBD.

I did this on a piece of mystery linen in my stash. It is 32 count and the piece finished about 4" X 6". I used a thread that is new to me - Cosmo Seasons by Lecien.I purchased it at Fabric Shack. They have a selection of the variegated colors in floss and in heavier thread weight for big stitch quilting. I used an entire 8 meter skein on this. It cost $1.70 a skein which makes it more than DMC but a little less than some of the hand dyed flosses. I like it and will use it again.

When I stitch with variegated floss like this I try to cross every stitch as I go and it and I feel like I'm painting with thread. I tried to make sure that I didn't get any areas where the colors clumped together. I did unsew one letter and re-stitch it when it ended up being the exact color of the letter below it.

Instead of stitching my initials I added another one of those heart-shaped mother of pearl buttons I love so much. The frame is something I picked up at Michael's for half price. I like the wood grain on it. Now in the book Alma says she stitched this in one night. She must stitch like the wind, cause it took me about 7 nights to finish this, but it was worth it.

Well I hope to get some sewing done today. I spent all day yesterday helping my son with a paper, and by the time we were finished I was too tired. I'm working on the Schnibble I.S.T.H. for the "Another year of Schnibbles" and I need to get it done before the end of the month. It almost done.

Hope the weather is lovely where you are, or that it gets lovely very very soon!
Happy stitching!
carol fun

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I forget things......

Yes, I do, and one of the things I've forgotten to do is to thank Brita of Scraps of Happiness for giving me a Versatile Blogger award. I am honored - thank you, Brita. Now you were suppose to list 7 facts about yourself and pass the award on to 15 other bloggers. And because I forgot to do this all the bloggers I thought about naming have already been named. Obviously the rest of you have impeccable taste in blogs. I'll have to skip that part unless you want a list of blogs about subjects like raising pygmy goats or collecting rubber bands. Yeah I didn't think so.

As for 7 facts about myself - wow that was harder than I thought it would be so I only did 4. I also don't follow direction well, but then I think you've figured that out already.

1. I forget things - oh wait I already said that, but I forgot. Actually, I forget where I leave my cell phone about 10 times a day. I often call it from my land line which works unless I've left the battery run down and then I get my sons to look for me. I'm forgetful, not stupid.

2. I have naturally curly hair. Very curly. Think an aging Shirley Temple who put her finger in a light socket. I gave up trying to tame it years ago. As a teen I did the gargantuan juice can rollers and it still had curl. Now the color I owe to my lovely stylist and she will never tell what concoction she mixes up for me.

3. I understand the concepts of cooking and cleaning but just not how it applies to me. Now I love to eat and I like a clean house but I avoid these activities as much as possible. There are lots of lovely places close to my home that serve great meals -and yes some pass me dinner through a window, but that's okay with me. As for cleaning, I haven't been visited by the local health department so its all good. No one on their death bed said I wished I'd spent more time at the office or cleaned more toilets. I'm going to spend my time doing crafty stuff!

4. Now even though I don't like cooking I adore dishes - china, serving pieces, cakes stands! I have a wonderful collection of Fiestaware. At last count I have 14 different colored place settings and I mix them up all the time. Hey, carry out food taste better when it is sitting on a Paprika colored plate and the salad is in a Lemongrass colored bowl and I'm drinking out of a Tangerine mug.

I love reading all the different blogs and seeing the wonderful projects you are working on. The internet offers so much inspiration. I just wish there were more hours in a day. Now I'm off to to indulge in crafty endeavors!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, February 20, 2012

A design wall from the instructionally challenged for Monday

Last week I didn't even turn on my sewing machine. Nothing was calling my name. Those SNW blocks I put up last Monday are pretty, but not what I wanted to work on. So I took them down and then I had a totally blank design wall and that was just too too empty. So I pawed around in my storage cubbies and found the giant ziploc bag that held these blocks and sewed up a few more on Sunday.

I hadn't totally forgotten about these. They still lurked in a dusty corner of my brain and I was happy to see them again. The fabric is the Verna collection by Kate Spain from Moda. I think it was released over a year ago. I love this collection. Very soft and springy.

That tulip print is my favorite and I have enough for the border, but I just realized that if I want it to all face the same direction I'm going to have to do some piecing. May have to rethink that idea.

Now the pattern started life as Jelly and Jam from Fig Tree. However if you look at my blocks you will see that they don't look like the pattern. This is because I suffer from being instructionally challenged in that I don't pay attention!!! My blocks have the small triangles in the center of the block. They are suppose to be at the corners of the blocks -sheesh why didn't I see that before I sewed over half of them together??? I think the block I am making is really called a Propeller block and no matter what its called it is staying this way.

Now when I was starting these blocks last year, my BFF told me that the blocks looked different than the pattern. I emphatically told her that my blocks were just like the pattern. Since she is my BFF she didn't tell me that I was wrong and let me figure it out for myself. What a great BFF. I also wish that when I bagged these blocks up and hermetically sealed them that I had written a note to myself as to how many blocks I planned on making. In looking at the strips I've sewn together my guess is that I planned on making 64 blocks - I have enough fabric for 64 and that is going to be the correct number. 32 down and 32 to go!

To Sandie who last week asked what was the pattern name for the big heart blocks - it is called Hearts & Stars by The Ginger Cookie Company and the copyright is 1998. I tried googling it and couldn't find it anywhere. There was no email address for me to respond to your comment. If you email me at CFUN53@gmail.com we can chat about this pattern.

Hope you are enjoying a day off - happy stitching!

carol fun

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A litte of this and that for a Sampler Sunday

Hope you are enjoying this 3 day weekend. I've been relaxing with a little knitting and a little stitching and even a little sewing - now that's what I call a great weekend! I have a couple of little pieces to share today. This little LOVE sampler is a Bent Creek design and it was included in the project Kris's Stitches, From the Heart, Chart One. It finished a tiny 2 3/4 inches square. I found the frame on sale at Michael's. It measures about 6". I framed this one myself and its not too bad a job.

And these little scissors fobs were my Christmas gifts to my quilty friends. I found the scissors at Anita's Little Stitches. The chart for the stitching is something I copied from another cross stitching friend some time ago. I forgot to write down who's design it is but I strikes me as a Lizzie*Kate or Bent Creek.

I finished these with a beaded edge and filled them with crushed walnut shells. The mother of pearl button accent was my personal touch. I love mother of pearl buttons! Now the only thing I didn't do was make one for me - oh well I'll put it on my list of things to do. It is a very long list - LOL!

Hope you have tomorrow off too! Happy stitching-
carol fun

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It has been a woolly week

It has been a woolly week here. Not in the "woolly" way of harried or crazy, but in the "woolly" way of sock yarn.I haven't felt like sewing this week -haven't even turned on my sewing machine. All I've felt like working on is simple mindless projects, so woolly sock yarn has been occupying my time. Now I didn't knit both of the socks in the following pairs this week. What I did was finish up the 2nd sock which in every case was pretty close to being done.

These first socks are done with Cascade sock yarn. It has a lovely feel. The pattern is Firefly from The Knitter's Book of Socks. It was hard to get a good pic of these socks. The color is correct in this pic.

And this pic shows the pattern more clearly.

I had 3 pairs of plain vanilla stockinette socks which were soooo close to being finished but somehow I had lost the mojo and put them aside. This was their week to be completed. This first pair is a Paton Kroy Jacquard yarn- nice and squishy and machine wash, tumble dry.

This pair is done with an Opal yarn. I love Opal sock yarn. Nice to knit with and wears like iron.

And this last pair is Red Heart Heart and Sole. Now this pair shows why I like to knit socks that don't match. Look closely, I tried to make these match and they do until you get down to the middle of the foot - what?? Somehow there is an extra pattern of stripe on the one that doesn't appear on the other. Both of these socks were knit straight from the skein, and the fact that the difference didn't appear until I was almost done with the second sock, drives me crazy!!

So I will return to my habit of rewinding the second skein of yarn so the stripe repeat is reversed. That's what I did on the Paton and Opal socks. They kinda match but they don't. I think it makes them more interesting and I don't have to obsess over making the pair exact.

Hope you are having a nice weekend. I'm knitting a new shawl and finishing up some cross stitch and I think I'll even turn on my sewing machine and do a couple of easy blocks.

Happy stitching!
carol fun

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Happy Valentine's Day

Hope you are having a wonderful day! I have a blast from the past to celebrate the occasion- a Bargello Heart quilt. (sorry-it is another photo from the foyer floor)

I made this quilt back in 1994. I had taken a class in Oakdale, California back a year or two before then, when I lived in Modesto. It was taught by Deb Ayers who co-authored the book Bargello Hearts with Nancy Podolsky. When I returned to Ohio I taught this as a class at a couple of quilt shops and it was quite a hit. I've made several of these quilts, but this is the only one I kept for me. I made it as a wedding gift, a baby gift and as a raffle quilt for the American Cancer Society.

It really is an easy quilt to make. The hardest part is picking out the fabrics and finding the ones you need to bridge from one color to another.

I had forgotten about this quilt when last week a friend brought it up and I looked to see if I still had the book (I did) and where the quilt was (folded up in a basket). As I look at this quilt now I realize how much has changed in the quilt world since 1994. I machined quilted this with nylon monofilment thread - it was considered cutting edge and machine quilting was still considered "not authentic" in my quilting world. It has a polyester batting and I didn't put any quilting in the border at all- yikes!!! Well I've never washed this quilt and I never will. I made a big goof when I labeled the quilt by writing directly on the back with a pen that I thought was permanent but was in fact the water based marker I'd used for signing Christmas cards. No amount of heat setting would make this ink permanent.

Here's hoping you got chocolates and flowers to celebrate the day and if you didn't, do what I do, buy your own and then you are sure to get what you want - LOL!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, February 13, 2012

A heartfelt display for Design Wall Monday

Yesterday I mentioned that I wanted to whip up a small wall hanging for my kitchen for Valentine's Day, which lead me to a lengthy search for some heart blocks I knew I had stitched up a couple of years ago. That's them at the top of my design wall. They are about 14 inches square and stitched up in Debbie Mumm fabrics.

And during the search for the heart blocks I stumbled upon these Stack-n-Whack block which feature hearts in them. I had totally forgotten about them and thought I had corralled all my SNW projects in one container - I hadn't. Not only did I find these blocks but I found 3 more SNW projects - holy hording Batman!

This fabric is really colorful. It has a stained glass look which is why I picked the black frame I assume. I made these years and years and years ago. As you can count there are 7 finished blocks. I found 7 of the 8 wedges for an 8th block and there are about 10 more cut out and fabric to do more. They are very pretty, they kinda glow and I have no memory about why I didn't finish them, but I think I will. Maybe just a lap sized quilt instead of a big queen sized one that I usually end up with.

Pawing through basket after basket of unfinished projects gave me time to ponder what I'm going to do with all this stuff. My first thought was I need a dumpster - a BIG dumpster - but since our driveway is already bumper to bumper with cars that isn't feasible at the moment. So I think I need to find some new homes for them. I'm sending some fabric with my son to his volunteer job. He works with an organization that does art projects with disabled individuals. They taken my donations before. And I'm going to do some giveaways with other projects in progress. Check back couple of days. I need to figure out the logistics.

As for the little heart wallhanging for my kitchen - ummm, I don't really like any of these blocks for that room. They are all the wrong colors. Oh well, not every project goes as planned.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Valentine for Sampler Sunday

In keeping with the spirit of the upcoming festivities I have a very pink sampler for this Sunday. This is another Blackbird Design piece, called Truly Thine.

I started this ages ago and only recently got around to getting it finished and framed with one of those great Joann's coupons. I have no idea what the linen is called but it is a very deep rose. The frame has a bamboo look, black-ish with wine undertones.

You may have noticed that instead of "Truly Thine" my sampler says "Truly Mine." This goes with my personalization of the piece where I stitched my sons' initials in the lower right corner - the C and the N in big Smyrna cross stitches. By adding both of their initials I was able to eliminate a diamond motif made up entirely of Queen's stitches - a stitch I can do but I don't really like to do. A brilliant move on my part if I say so myself, and I do - LOL!

I had planned on sewing and stitching yesterday and today but instead I've spent most of my time trying to finish a shawl that has lingered way too long on the circular needles. I figure I have about 4 more rows of 500 stitches and then the bind off. Tomorrow is another day (as Scarlett reminds me) and I should have some time to sew then. No guild meetings and my younger son doesn't have to be to his volunteer job till 3. I'm in the mood to whip up a little something valentine-y to hang in my kitchen. Check back tomorrow.

Okay - now I'm going to try and catch up responding to all the lovely comments you've left the last couple of days and then the last rows of that darn shawl.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, February 9, 2012

One done and one to go

Monday night was my guild meeting and that's when I pick up my finished quilts from the long arm quilter, and pass another top off to her. I'm always excited to see what she has done. So on Tuesday I decided I should get the binding put on the quilt I picked up the night before and I should get the binding on the quilt I'd picked up the month before--- I'm running a bit behind here.

By Wednesday, I cleaned off a decent sized space on my table and trimmed both quilts, and I was able to sew together a binding for one - my Dazzling Debbies. Ta-dah!

I spread the quilt on the floor in my foyer and then took the picture hanging out over the banister. (you probably shouldn't do this but it is too drizzly to go outside and I wanted to get the whole quilt in the picture) Anyway I love how it came out after it was bound and laundered.

Nice and smooshy!

So today I figured I'd finish up the second quilt - my yellow Carol's Stars - but when I came downstairs this is what I found.

I didn't have the heart to wake him up so, this quilt will get bound another day. The weekend is just around the corner and I hope that you and I both have some quality sewing time.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Home for Wayward Poultry

Give my your tired, your poor, your wayward poultry yearning to be free.... or something like that. In the last week I've had 2 different bloggers ask me if I would be willing to give a good home to chicken blocks and chicken fabric they had in their homes. And I couldn't say no!!

First are these wonderfully dotty chicken blocks from Stephanie at Kwiltz by Stephanie.

And she sent other goodies too - there was a bag of dotty scraps and this pretty yellow fabric that says "DOTS" and that little polka dot sock change purse came stuffed with dotty buttons. Such fun!

And this great stash of chicken fabric came from Cindy at Tops to Treasures. I'm particularly fond of the chicken holding the bowl of pasta -one of my favorite foods.

Thank you both for such lovely poultry themed goodies! I will give them a good home and plan to include them in poultry projects in my future. I hope everyone is having a good week and that this little bit of polka dot poultry gives you a smile like it does me!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, February 6, 2012

I got lead over the rainbow by the String Beans on Design Wall Monday

Wow, this was quite an adventure and I had no idea where I was going to end up when I started this quilt. It began with this pattern, String Beans, by Stephanie at Loft Creations.

As you can see I was dazzled by a multitude of fabrics in rainbow colors- polka dots, checks, plaids and stripes - yikes! (you can click on the pictures to see the all the different fabric designs.)

Originally I thought I'd mix up the colors but when I had them on the design wall grouped by color I really liked it. Then I decided to use the same fabric for the sashing strips as the background so the String Bean blocks would float. Which lead to the brainstorm that I could make the cornerstones follow the same color order as the block- pink w/yellow, orange w/pink, yellow w/orange, yellow w/green, green w/turquoise and turquoise w/yellow. I thought I was a genius! (yes I easily impress myself - LOL!)

And floating the blocks and adding the rainbow bright cornerstones created a secondary pattern that I hadn't anticipated, but again - I LIKED IT! So off I went, sewing, sewing, sewing. This was simple sewing but somehow it took me all day Saturday and Sunday. By Saturday evening, I had the center of the quilt finished and seeing that secondary pattern got the little hamster-driven wheels in my head spinning and I sketched out how I could carry that pattern into the border.

I think it gives it a bit of a scalloped look. Now that yellow border fabric is a bit of a problem child. I know the bolt said 100% cotton but I have my doubts. It has a bit of a poly/cotton feel and I wouldn't have used it except I had oodles and I was seduced by the color and it's random dots. I am easily taken it, and no I don't need to buy a bridge this week. Ask again next week though. The border is a bit wavy but I figure a great all over quilting pattern, cotton batting and a spin in the washing machine will render that waviness inconsequential.

While I was sewing this quilt I remembered that when my boys were younger there was a show where they sang the song, "Polka dots, checks and stripes, yikes!" You can see the video here. My oldest son thought that this song was the reason behind Garanimals clothing, which I just found out they still make. Since he had trouble putting shirts and pants together I got him a lot of these outfits. Now that he's grown up he speculates that there would still be a large male segment of the population that would like Garanimals for adults. Since they aren't available he's goes with the basic gray plan - gray suits, white shirts and a colorful tie. Garanimals for lawyers- LOL!

Well I still need to get the back sewn up for this. It got bigger than I expected - 82" x 86". I can't wait to pass this off to my long arm quilter at tonight's guild meeting.

Hope your week is full of sewing time!
carol fun

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Vintage button-y goodness!

About a week or so ago, I won a giveaway from Laurie over on Button Floozies blog -- a card of lovely vintage buttons! So pretty! Thanks Laurie!

Now with all the wildly colored things you see on this blog you may think that I'm not into vintage stuff, but I am! Particularly vintage buttons, but do not ask me to sew a plain white button back on your shirt - LOL!

I am fortunate to have some vintage buttons that belonged to my great grandmother, Mary Kuehne Wasser, the mother of my dear sainted grandmother, Catherine Wasser Damon. (yes I was an adored first grandchild and it was wonderful!!!)

My grandma gave me the large black buttons shown in this picture of my great grandmother. I know its not the greatest picture, since it is a photo of a photo but if you look real close you can see that those same buttons are on the dress she is wearing. A dress she made herself! I'm fortunate to come from a long line of women who liked working with a needle and thread.

Here's a tighter shot -

and a close up of the actual buttons! They are about 1 1/4 in diameter and deeply cut. I count these buttons among my family heirlooms. And I've purchased some vintage buttons of my own from vendors at quilt shows, like these 2 bracelets -

How could I possibly resist polka dot buttons??? I know, it was impossible and I didn't try. These were purchased from a couple, Susan & Alan Baker, of Prize Possessions who come to all the big quilt shows and they have hundreds of bracelets made with vintage buttons. They don't have an online shop, so seeing them at the shows is a big treat for me. I have lots and lots and lots of bracelets from them as I've been purchasing from them for about 15 years.

Well the weather has been gorgeous the last two days - temperatures in the upper 50's and even low 60's today! Fabulous weather for Ohio in winter,oh maybe we got moved from Seattle to Pensacola -- I could deal with that!

Don't forget to check out the parade of quilts at Pink Pincushion and A Quilting Life - those Full House Schnibbles are so cool! I can't wait to get started on the one for February.

Happy stitching-
carol fun