Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thoughts for Thursdays - T is for....

I really had fun with this month's Schnibble but I have to agree with Thelma of Cupcakes 'n Daisies that the name Bibelot doesn't adequately describe this pattern. I would defintely change it to "T is for...." and you would fill in the blank. For my Schnibble it will be "T is for tape measure, thread, tie, tiaras and tropical fish" and that would only be the first row. I'm not sure the pattern is big enough for all of this LOL!

I went through my stash of novelty fabrics and identified all the pieces that had items that could start with the letter T. Now I will say that some of my T words do require you to ponder just "what in the heck was she thinking?"

Here's a list of what was going on inside that black hole of a space between my ears. You can click on the pictures to see things more closely -

Row 1: tape measure, thread, tie, tiara (not crowns), tropical fish
Row 2: Tyrannosaurus Rex, tools, Thomas the Tank Engine (a favorite of my boys when they were little), truck, teddy bear
Row 3: tropical tiki drink, turtles, teepees (and if you look closely you will see The polka dot chicken), tree toads, triceratops
Row 4: tulips, tool box, tiger, turkeys, another triceratops
Row 5: tam-o-shanter (its a kind of hat), top, telephone (the yellow one is the exact color of the one in my mom's 1960's kitchen and if you lusted after the pink Princess phone you are as old as me), train, time (not clocks - time! LOL)

The inside border fabric is another T item, it is turquoise tire tracks! The outside border has nothing to do with T I just liked that it had all the colors of the blocks in it. So now all I need to do it get is quilted. I'm planning on doing this one is a wavy line grid.

And before I leave you today I want to give you some of my thoughts on the NEW IMPROVED BLOGGER. Okay, I clicked on the prompt that said Blogger was going to a new interface in April, I assumed it would let me look around but NOOOOOOOOO.... it has totally changed my Dashboard and I can't figure out how to get the old format back. Now, when I loaded pictures it does load them in the order you uploaded them, instead of the reverse order it use to do. However, I didn't know this until I had uploaded them and then they were in the wrong order. I'm also having trouble seeing some of the header stuff. I need to have one of my boys look at it and see if they can remedy that. I'm also getting a message that my browser is no longer supported by Blogger and its says "Some parts of Blogger will not work and you may experience problems." Well that part is true. It suggests you try Google Chrome, which I downloaded but I still have problems. And I can no longer see anything from my Dashboard if I try to open it in AOL. Overall, I'm not happy right now. I really wish Blogger would have a platform for those of us non-techy people and just leave things alone. There is a little box at the bottom that says "Send feedback". I'll definitely be doing that.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, March 26, 2012

One big block and 25 little blocks for Design Wall Monday

I sewed Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning- that made for a great weekend and some real productivity. I was able to put together my Made in Cherry. I really like this BIG star style. Mine came out to be about 80" square. I think I'll add a small outside border using the same background fabric and float it.

I used around 36 different fabrics. I will say that when it was up on the design wall the fabric looked a bit more mixed up, but as long as 2 of the same fabrics didn't end up next to each other I'm okay with that. I think I'll finish it off with a scrappy yellow binding. Which now that I think about it I should have cut strips when I still had all the fabrics out in a heap on the floor. I knew there was a reason I shouldn't clean up. See neatness doesn't always help - LOL!

And I got my T blocks sewn up for this month's Schnibble, Bibelot. Thelma at Cupcakes and Daisies has been lobbying to have the name of this pattern changed to "T stands for Thelma" I like that idea.

I still need to add the sashing and borders. I'm only doing 25 blocks since I just want a little topper. I stitched mine up from my stash of novelty fabrics and it has a theme. Can you figure it out?

Okay its back to the real world. Youngest son has classes and his volunteer job today so I'll be driving a bit. Have you seen the price of gas? $3.99/gal here in Ohio, it is crazy. And it makes me feel old because I remember gas for .25/gal when I first got my drivers license at 16. Yes, there were dinosaurs grazing next to the pumps - LOL!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Some tulips for a Sampler Sunday

In the continuing saga of the little Blackbird Designs, I have this sampler to show today.

This is Prairie House Sewing Case from A Stitcher's Journey by BBD. I like almost every chart in this book. I was particularly taken by the tulips on this piece. However I pinked them up and used darker rose tones instead of the GA Old Purple Paint it called for since, my skein would have made for black tulips. I've seen black tulips in garden catalogs but I don't think I'd want them in my garden or as part of my cross stitch. I also love the scroll-y border on the top and bottom of this piece. I'd like to see a bigger sampler with this border design- hmmm.... I may have to play with this idea.

Now I don't often pick gold frames but I love the scroll-y vine-y design and it isn't too "in your face" gold. I have a plan to hang this and a couple other of my BBD pieces in my foyer for Spring but I haven't gotten to it yet. Maybe this week- after I haul a few more loads to Goodwill.

I worked a bit more on the BBD AoH piece and after looking at all 12 of the charts together I realized I didn't want to change the position of #8 and #9. When you look at the piece in its entirety you see where the charts on the outside right and left all have the same flowery border. It is stitched in different flosses but it is the same and I like that design element. So I'm stitching #9 where it belongs. I've changed up the flosses (I'm doing more and more of that lately.) My house is definitely yellower and my flowers are more coppery than beige. In examining #9 I realized that the date she included isn't a September birthday, it is a December birthday. Which got me to realize that I don't have to stitch a birth date in the birthday month. I don't' know why that didn't occur to me before. And with that bit of knowledge I'm going to look at each house and find the design that best suits the person whose birth date I'll stitch there.

Hope you have a great week. The Spring quarter starts for my youngest son, so we have a new schedule and routine to adjust to. I had no trouble adjusting to the schedule last week of staying up late and sleeping in. I don't think it will be that easy this week- oh well!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday

Now here is a sentiment I firmly embrace - and the last 2 days have convinced me that I have waaayyyyy tooooooo muuuuuuuuch stuufffff!!! I've made several trips to Goodwill with the back of my SUV filled to the brim with bags full of stuff. Mostly clothes and shoes I am never going to wear again - hint: if the hanger has substantial coating of dust on it, you haven't worn it in very long time- get rid of it!! And how come it takes so much time to go through stuff and decide whether to keep it or pitch it?

Yesterday I did my closet, a dresser and a chest of drawers, part of my son's closet and a closet in my laundry room. Today I did a little chest of drawers in my sewing area, half of the space under my cutting table. Not a lot of area but I'm worn out and there is still lots to sort through. It feels good to get rid of some stuff and in the process I've found stuff I totally forgot about - like my Grandmother's flower garden blocks.

I started them when I was pregnant with my youngest son - he'll be 22 next month. Its a long term project - LOL! I've done about 60 blocks - 3/4" hexagons - English paper pieced. I started to add white paths but I've only done 3 of these. When I first started this project I wanted it to be a queen size quilt - go ahead laugh if you must - I'm certain it was the pregnancy hormones talking. Now I'm thinking, crib size would be fine. And even then it will be a while till I get back to this.

I remember sitting on the sofa watching tv and fussy cutting and hand sewing these blocks - I fussy cut teddy bears and flowers and little kids - and yes I am a bit crazy but if you read this blog for any length of time you already knew that.

And to continue the saga of the bedazzled capris from last week....I ventured onto Kohls website where they had some GV capris that looked exactly like the ones I bought last year. I ordered 2 pairs and got free shipping.... they came today...and they are also BEDAZZLED!!! Arghhhh!!! This was not mentioned or shown anywhere in the description or pictures. They are going back tomorrow. I just need to figure out how to make the pairs I now own last for another 10 years, at least!!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, March 19, 2012

It must be "yellow fever" on Design Wall Monday

The only reason I can find for why it seems that every quilt I've sewn this year has major yellow overtones, is I must have "yellow fever". I had no intention to start another quilt but the Made in Cherry QAL caught my eye and I couldn't look away.

Again I'm working out of my stash of yellows and instead of getting smaller it just seems to regenerate when I put it back on the shelf. You can see that I've included birds, bees, flowers and dots. There are a couple of fabrics I think I'll replace. They have yellow backgrounds but it is in a small amount and is reading kinda gray - not what I'm going for.

This quilt will be about 80" square before borders and I'm thinking of adding maybe 3" of background all the way around to float the star. And I realized that this is second quilt in the last 3 weeks I've made that is really just one big sawtooth star. I need to find something for the background of this quilt - maybe something with yellow dots or another white-on-white. I'd like to use something I already own and make this a "free" quilt. I do LOVE sawtooth stars! This is my version of doing a "series" - but I don't think two quilts really makes a "series" does it? Oh well, maybe I'll do another big sawtooth star quilt and then I can legitimately call it a series- my my my I'm getting artsy fartsy here. LOL!

The weather has been so nice. I spent some time stitching out on the screen porch Saturday and Sunday and I hope to find time again today.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Something old and something new for Sampler Sunday

The other day I was talking to a friend about how long I've been cross stitching and I realized it has been over 27 years. Where does the time go? And that got me to thinking what was the first piece I cross stitched. The first sampler I stitched was the one I showed in my very first Sampler Sunday entry back in 2010. But this little piece is my very first cross stitch piece.

I have no idea who's pattern this was. I vaguely remember it was a kit that included the heart shaped frame. I also remember that I pitched the fabric it came with and substituted this piece of sage green Aida.

I love this sweet plump little blue bird. The word "nesting" was my own addition and it was very fitting since I was pregnant with my first child at the time and was firmly involved in that nesting phase.

And today finds me working on this piece - the Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs. I am 1/3 of the way finished at this point - minus doing any personalization.

I work from the upper right to the left so I have just gotten to the January and February charts. It took me forever to get February done but January only took about 2 weeks. I like the pale monochromatic look of January. It reminds me of the incredibly cold and icy winter when my first son was born. The day he arrived it was around 20 below in Cincinnati. One of the coldest winters in my memory.

Getting January and February finished has motivated me to concentrate on this piece. I've decided to transpose the months of August and September. I like the design for August more than the September one and my birthday is in September so I'm going to stitch that one for me. I've pulled the flosses and I'm looking forward to sitting down this evening and watching some basketball and doing some stitching- go Purdue, go Xavier, go University of Cincinnati- the remote is going to get a work out tonight.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rambling Thoughts on Thursday

Several people emailed me to say my blog was down today. Thank you so much for alerting me. I have no idea why Blogger took it down. The message I got was that there was "suspicious activity". I'm not sure what that is. I haven't even gotten a Spam comment. I hope I have fixed it. So now on to the rambling thoughts.....

Yesterday I had a 30% off coupon for Kohls burning a hole in my purse so off I went to spend it. I had planned on purchasing some new capris like the ones I bought last year. They were basic denim capris by Gloria Vanderbilt Plus. Well, you know where this is going - they don't make that style anymore. So I looked around to see what else might work and grabbed the only other GV style they had and headed to the fitting room. Hmmm... fit nice, not too snug. a bit of spandex for my well padded dimensions... and then I turned around. OMG!! There was sparkly embroidery on the rear pockets - my backside was bedazzled - ackkk!!! Who thought that adding sparkly stuff to the back of plus sized pants was a good idea? My rear already draws enough attention to itself, it does not need any help. Needless to say I returned them to the rack and the coupon is still in my purse.

When I got home I went online and found what I was looking for - leftovers from last season but I'm happy to have snagged a dark denim pair and a pair in yellow. Yes, I will probably resemble a plump banana but at least I won't be bedazzled.

The whole experience reminds me why I dislike clothes shopping anymore. I'm short and I'm plump. I think I'm doing the world a service by keeping my flesh under wraps. No one wants to see my bat wing arms or my pudgy thighs, but it is getting harder and harder to find clothes that suit me. Now I know I have a warped sense of fashion, but its not my fault. I had 12 years of Catholic education. I thought a white blouse and a pleated plaid skirt was a de riguer wardrobe. I have evolved from white blouses to white t-shirts. (Love the Saturday T-shirts from LL Bean). I buy several every season since I'm what you'd call a "messy eater" and have a cache of "gardening shirts" that sport ice tea, catchup and salad dressing stains.

But I'd like to expand my wardrobe a bit and the other day I found out that the Tova shirt pattern is available as a pdf for $10. verykerryberry is doing a sew-a-long which I want to join. I'm hoping this pattern will not resemble maternity wear on me. I have to say all the gals who've shown their creations on the flickr site seem to be tall and thin. I like the kinda bohemian 70's vibe of this top - and it covers all the body parts I want to gloss over. Maybe this weekend I can sew up something new.

So if you've read this far I appreciate it. I had no idea that clothing decisions would become such a confusing experience at this stage of life. Am I the only one?

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, March 12, 2012

A finish from the floor on Design Wall Monday

First, I apologize for the craptastic pictures. I thought I would be able to take some lovely outdoor shots with natural light. However, in listening to the weather report my auditory system shut down after hearing temperatures in the 60's and didn't realize they also forecast rain. Ugh!

So, here is Somewhere over the Rainbow there are String Beans!

The block pattern is String Beans by Stephanie of Loft Creations. Great pattern. Easy to assemble. The setting is my variation. You can click on the pictures and make them bigger to see all the dottiness.

Cass (my long arm quilter) used a new to me pattern in the quilting. It reminds me of clouds or the way the goo moves in a lava lamp (yes I do have issues). It is spaced farther apart them some of the other designs she has used. I'm on the fence about this one. I like the movement of the design but it made the quilt puffier than I had hoped. Oh well - it will be fine. I have no illusions that I am making heirloom quilts. I am making quilts that make me, and hopefully others happy.

I wanted to get a picture of the backing I used for this quilt. It is big dots that are dotted - dotty dots! As I went to take the picture Big Dude came to investigate.

He is currently curled up inside the quilt taking a nap. What a smart cat! Between the stupid time change and the rain, a nap would be the perfect use of my time today. However, life has other plans for me. I need to find my car keys. Tomorrow is suppose to be a better day weather-wise. I'm looking forward to it.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A flowery piece for Sampler Sunday

Oh I think Spring is here! My daffodils are blooming and the sun is shining and it is suppose to hit 70 degrees before the week is out. It has been a very mild winter here, but that doesn't lessen my appreciation of warmer weather. So to celebrate this lovely weather I have a flowery little piece to share.

This is called Remember Me and was inspired by the embroidery of Ann York who was 14 in 1824. This is another piece from A Schoolgirl's Work by Barb Adams and Alma Adams - the Blackbird Design gals. This is the second piece I've stitched from this book and there are a couple more I want to get to. I love this book but then I love all things BBD!

This finished about 5 inches square but it is packed with decorative stitches. Lazy Daisy, Eyelets and I put in a couple of Smyrna cross stitches. And again I added one of those heart shaped mother of pearl buttons I love so much.

I'm very happy with the frame on this piece. It is a deep wine with a touch of antiqued gold. I thought it complemented the rose colored flosses and the gold wasn't overpowering. I enjoy picking out the moldings for the frame and it is exciting to see it all completed. Bev at Joann's does a great job. I'm so glad I've found a framer who understands needlework.

Well I'm off to do some errands and enjoy this lovely day. Hope the weather is nice where you are!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday

Source: via Carol on Pinterest

Oh I think I nailed this one - LOL! I hope to have my Somewhere over the Rainbow String Bean quilt bound in the next 48 hours. Then I'll launder it and take some pictures. It has been very Spring-like the last couple of days so maybe I photograph it outdoors instead of on my foyer floor. Did you know that the time changes this weekend? GRRRRR..... I just wish they'd leave it alone!! This is the one I particularly loathe - spring forward - lose an hour of sleep. You don't want to deal with me when I am sleep deprived. I am a very cranky person. Therefore I must engage in some fun activities this weekend to neutralize the crankiness that will ooze from my pores. Must sew/knit/quilt/stitch - and get carry-out for dinner!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, March 5, 2012

Only One Block for Design Wall Monday

I only got one block done for Design Wall Monday.....
.but it was a doozy! LOL!

This block measures 68" square before the borders; 84" square with the borders. It is from the Giant Vintage Star tutorial on the In Color Order blog.

The fabrics are from the happy mochi yum yum line by Monica Solorio-Snow - the Happy Zombie- by Lecien.

I love this fabric line - it has a funky, vintage feel - which is exactly what I was looking for. I'm planning on passing this one off to my long-arm gal, Cass, tonight at the quilt guild meeting. along with the I.S.T.H. - I spot the hen - Schnibble. And I going to get back my Somewhere Over the Rainbow String Bean quilt. Its going to be a good meeting.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, March 4, 2012

An encore and some new stash for Sampler Sunday

Sheesh - another week has blown by me. I was semi-productive on Monday & Tuesday and then on Wednesday I was out of the house all day, Thursday got filled up with lunch out, a haircut, and dinner out, Friday there were more errands and Saturday I just vegged. So for this Sunday I don't have anything new to share, which leads me to an encore appearance of my Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler. This is the first Quaker type sampler I've stitched but it has lead to more.

This first pic the color is off as this is a hard sampler to photograph. I used DMC flosses and the fabric was called Roasted Crown. I think it was an R&R reproduction linen.This is a BIG piece - it finished over 20 inches square.

This picture is more representative of the real colors - pale yellow, gold and rust. In looking at the piece now I wonder why I didn't add my initials in the cartouche with the date. There is plenty of space and I did add my sons initials. Oh well, this is the way it is.

I've seen several new charts that were released at the TNNA show last weekend and I've already gotten my grubby little paws on one and have a couple more on order. I had to have this one -

Gather Ye Tulips by Heartstring Samplery - here's a link to the etsy lisiting. Now this isn't my normal style but it grabbed me the moment I laid eyes on it. Tulips are my favorite flower, yellow tulips, so I'll be making a few changes to the floss choices. I've also ordered the new BBD book For My Friend and Vintage Stars by Jeanette Douglas Designs. I like that it is a colorful Quaker-ish piece.

I did sit and put some time in on my AoH by BBD. I told myself I'd get this one finished this year but I've lacked motivation. I'm going to set aside one night a week strictly for this piece. We'll see how that works out.

Happy stitching-
carol fun