Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Just in under the wire.....

I've said it before and I'll say it again because it is soooo true... if it wasn't for the last minute I'd never get anything done. Here's my entry for the July Schnibbles parade. This is Four Corners done in Verna, an older collection from Kate Spain.

I had pieces of this in a plastic bin, patiently waiting for me to release it and finish it. I have no clue why I put it away when it was so close to being a top.

I love this line. I've made a table runner from it and I have a bunch of blocks I started with this fabric, which are also in the same box. Their time hasn't come yet. My favorite print is those tulips on yellow - LOVE IT!!

If you look at the original pattern it is a very scrappy quilt much like this version I made with Fall fabrics from Sandy Gervais.

Isn't is interesting that by just making a little change in the fabric placement you can get a very different look from the same pattern - I love that about quilting!

Okay I need to get this sent over to Sherri or Sinta - can't wait to see the parade this month!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Working on Wednesday

Well it has been a very productive Wednesday and so was Tuesday for that matter. I got 9 more Butterscotch Scrap Jar Stars sewn, for a grand total of 14. Woo hoo! I'm over half way done!

Darlene remarked that she got obsessed/possessed when she was doing these blocks and I totally understand what she means. It is hard to walk away from them. Karin left me a comment and I quote "Ahhaha! My evil plan is working! The Scrap Jar Stars fumes are filling blogland." I'm pretty sure I heard an evil cackle too. Anyway I'm loving these blocks. Did you notice the perfectly framed chicken in the block above? Total accident. I whacked some squares and turned the fabric over and there is was... you can't tell me God doesn't want me to have chickens. LOL!

And I got a bit of cross stitching done last night while I listened to the Reds ball game. I rediscovered this little gem when I was rooting around my stash.

It is a Ewe & Eye & Friends from waaaaaay back. I finished up the border and now all it it needs is a tree on top of that skinny trunk. The tree is suppose to be a piece of felt, and I'm sure when I bought it the felt was with the chart, but it has long since disappeared. Luckily I have a small humongous stash of felt so I think I can find something to finish this.

And the other day as I was wandering the blogosphere I stumbled upon this book on someone blog, but I don't remember whose. Usually I like to peruse a book before I buy but this one just spoke to me. It said, "Go directly to Amazon and buy me." So I did.

Here I'll make it easy for you, click here. And in my humble opinion this is a great book!

I loved the tree on the cover with the squirrel lurking in the branches. She has that one and others all graphed out.

And pages of wonderful borders like these plump tulips!

And this was totally unexpected but I took it as cosmic certainty that I should own this book......CHICKENS!!!

There is even a polka dot chicken!! See when books and fabric and yarn and beads and stamps and pretty papers talk to you, you should listen!!

Now I'm going to go sit in my happy stitching chair and watch some more baseball and all will be right in my little world.

Don't worry, I'm properly medicated - LOL!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Brightening up the backyard

My Kaffe Fassett Polka Dot Chain quilt was ready for its glamour shots yesterday afternoon. Here we have it lounging on the dead lawn in the back yard. I cropped out as much of the brown and bare spots as I could.

Here are a couple of close-ups -- notice use of the creative angles!

And finally, artfully draped over the rotting back deck (yes this back yard needs help).

I will say that this quilt certainly brightens up the back yard. But then it is so bright that it would probably brighten up a cave! Anyway I'm very happy with how it turned out. It is big - I know you're not surprised - it measures almost 90" square. I was able to pick up a king size batt at Joanns yesterday for 50% off and I ordered a bright yellow back (108") from Fabric. com. It was on sale and 3 yards cost me less than $20 - a real bargain. Now I want to get the binding made before I send it off to my long arm quilter. Then when I get it back I'll be ready to get it finished and it will sit for about a month before I actually get around to it -- just keeping it real here - LOL!

Hope you are staying cool - more hazy hot and humid here in Ohio. I've already thanked the Lord for the AC and Duke energy for keeping it running!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sucked into the Scrap Jar Stars vortex on Design Wall Monday

Resistance was futile! I couldn't stop myself from starting a Scrap Jar Stars quilt. Really I was just sucked into the vortex, I'm very light on my feet dontcha know? LOL

I am loving these blocks. Those fall colors make me happy happy happy and of course that butterscotch Moda Grunge background fabric makes me hungry.... for butterscotch pudding. Oh was a lovely childhood memory - oh wow, back to the present.

This is one of the five blocks I have sewn together. Only 20 more to go!

I have all the fall fabric pieces cut out and I'll cut the background as I progress. I like doing scrap quilts this way, where I put my blocks up on the wall and decide block by block and row by row how I want it to look. I go back and forth between sewing the HST units and square units together, to trimming a bunch up and then sewing a block or two. Even though it might be quicker to do things in a more assembly line fashion, I
like the mix of different tasks. I find it keeps me from getting bored.

And I did get my Kaffe Fasset polka dot 36 patch blocks all sewn together. However, by the time I finished last night it was too late to go outside and take a picture and I couldn't get far enough away from it to get a good shot inside. So I will leave you with a little peek.... this is Big Dude inspecting it.

He says it passes! yippee! I'll take a full picture of it outside later and post it.

Have a great week - happy stitching!
carol fun

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A sampler that stands the test of time for Sampler Sunday

First, I am waaaay behind in answering comments. I apologize and promise to remedy this situation this evening. Today I have an encore presentation of a sampler that has stood the test of time. This sampler is titled Now Abide. It was designed by Carla Michaels in 1986.

This sampler won a contest put on by Just CrossStitch magazine back in 1987. So this design is 25 years old. I think it has held up well. I tore the pattern out of the magazine and aged it for 10 years before I got around to stitching it. You can see I finished mine in 1997.

I love the flower motifs of this sampler - the blue iris...

the pink peony...

and my favorite, the yellow tulip.

This piece is an anomaly in my collection in that there isn't a house in sight on this one. And while I almost always choose wood tone frames, this one had to have a nice brushed gold one.

I walk by this sampler many time during my day and this verse from Corinthians makes me smile... "the greatest of these is love".

Well I got some quality stitching time in last night while I watched listened to the Reds beat the Brewers - yeah! I was able to finish framing another house on my BBD AoH sampler, and now all I have left is to fill in the roof and the walls - nice mindless stitching. It is a lovely day today weather-wise but hazy, hot and humid are in the forecast for this upcoming week. I will be spending as much time as possible in the basement thanking the Lord for central air-conditioning.

Have a great week! Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Butterscotch Scrap Jar Stars

Since the minute I laid eyes on the Scrap Jar Stars at Trish's blog I have wanted to make a quilt like this for me. I've seen Darlene's version and watched Karin and Staci start theirs and each one is prettier than the next. My dilemma was I didn't know what fabrics to use and then it hit me. It was as plain as the nose on my face, or in this case, the fabric laying on my ironing board- Fall colors would be my choice.

These are the fabrics that were already on my ironing board. The butterscotch is a Moda Grunge Fabric from Basic Grey, and the pumpkin-y print is 3 yds. I picked up at Joanns last week. I love the look of these pumpkins - kinda mod retro.

So I sliced and diced and cut all the fabric I need for HST's and the little squares. I haven't finished cutting the background yet, but I'm getting there.

I started with a couple of charm packs from Deb Strain and Brenda Gervais, and added in left overs from other projects and pieces from my stash. Here are the wonderful piles I've been playing with.

And I've gotten 4 blocks sewn together - yippee! I love the way it looks.

I've been able to incorporate lots of different Fall fabrics - pumpkins, leaves, trees and even chickens.

So you ask what is Fall-ish about chickens? Ummmm..... I'm not exactly sure, but I know they belong in my quilt - LOL!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, July 16, 2012

1,296 squares sewn together for Design Wall Monday

All 36 of the 36 patch blocks are done!!! That makes 1,296 squares sewn together! I've used a total of 54 different Kaffe Fasset/Phillip Jacobs/Brandon Mably fabrics in this design. Those guys really know their fabric!

Ignore the extraneous junk in this shot, I had to get really far back to get all of the blocks in the picture. Now there will probably be some tweaking of which block goes where but not much.

Of the last batch of blocks these are my favorites....

I really like the mix of the aboriginal dot fabric (looks like half of a deviled egg to me) and the large scale prints. I think that deep blue sashing with the pop of golden yellow is really going to make this a technicolor creation.

And I even got ambitious and picked up all the fabric that was strewn on the floor and whacked off some 1 1/2" stripes from all of them. Don't they look pretty??

I have another Kaffe/Phillip/Brandon project planned. A strippy quilt block design with some black and white prints added in. I love projects like this. I've made several log cabin and pineapple block quilts with strips -that mindless sewing of pretty fabrics just makes me happy! Check back to see what progress I make on this one, because.....

there is another quilt I want to dive into. The Scrap Jar blocks - the tutorial is here. Karin of Livin' Life at the End of a Dirt Road and Darlene of Quilting Daze and Staci at The Confused Quilter have all been working on this one and I can't wait to start one for me. I decided on my color scheme and now I need to dislodge a bunch of fabric from my shelves and get to cutting squares - lots of squares- but I know it is going to make a fun quilt.

So there is some driving time needed for today's activities and maybe I can squeeze in some sewing time too. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A happy happenstance on Sampler Sunday

I was out picking up some yogurt today and ran into Joanns to pick up a pad of tracing paper. As I was wondering down the aisle I heard the sound of a staple gun and decided to go back and say "hi" to Bev, my wonderful framer. Low and behold she had just finished framing Willie's Quaker Band Sampler and was going to give me a call - happy happenstance! And without further ado....

Isn't it wonderful??? The frame is perfect, simply perfect. Bev commented that the molding they sent her was even prettier than the sample she had. Look at the gorgeous grain in this frame.

It has a beautiful sheen and depth. Bev said it was solid cherry and I suppose like almost everything in life, quality shows.

Here are a few closeups on different sections of this sampler.

This section is my favorite - first I love the star motif, it makes me think of a quilt block and second, those little blue birds.

Now to me these birds are symbols of my two sons, similar but different. I purposely stitched the tails not to be identical. I love being to add little bits of myself to my stitching.

This piece finished 31 inches high and 10 inches wide. The linen was 32 count cream color linen. The DMC colors I used were -
731 and 734 - olive greens
152 and 223 - rose
924 and 936 - turquoise
676 and 680 - gold
610 and 612 - taupe
3776 and 3827 - pumpkin
781- gold - for the alphabet

I have long term plans for a sampler wall that will just be Quaker pieces. Along with Willie I have stitched the Beatrix Potter Quaker sampler (here's a link to mine) and I have a bunch of charts I can't wait to get to. I didn't even know that Quaker samplers existed until about 2 years ago and now I can't get enough of them.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, July 13, 2012

On the needles

Friday's not over yet and I have an entry for "On the Needles" at Judy's blog - Patchwork Times.

First up, another pair of colorful socks made with DROPS Fabel. Now I am normally not a purple person but this skein just makes my mouth water. I love all the different shades of purple.

And second, a pair of black socks. BIG black socks. And normally I wouldn't be knitting plain black socks but these are for my oldest son. He's a BIG guy, with BIG feet and he he has the hardest time finding comfortable fitting socks. I finally convinced him let me try and make him a pair. I think he's going to like them and there will be many more black socks in my future. But its okay because it is a labor of love and there isn't much a 20 something guy will let you make for him - besides food - lots of Italian food - LOL!

And I will leave you with this little fact - all of Mr. Rogers cardigans were hand knit by his mother! I don't think that going to happen with my son so I'll settle for socks.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Finishing up Willie's Quaker Sampler left me motivated to work on another BIG project so I liberated my BBD AoH out of its plastic ziploc holding cell. Now the following pictures make this piece appear to have some serious spatial issues, but in real life it is quite even.

I've finished two more houses since I last picked this up and I've started on the borders of a third one.

Here is September, Moonlight Visitor. I changed the floss for the house to CC Queen Bee, I love that golden yellow.

And I added a little personal touch in the lower left corner - it is graphed for a dog but I substituted a chicken! Imagine that - LOL!

This is August, Clara Ellen. Again I changed a few colors. I made the flowers CC Old Marigold. This is one of those months that have a very soft look. January is another one with this muted appearance. I think it adds interest to the piece.

And last night I started July, Swan Lake. I like the borders and can't wait to stitch the two swans and the house. This is one of the simpler ones which is a good thing since June has lots of little embroidery details like lazy daisy stitches that aren't my favorite thing to do.

I haven't added any names and dates to this piece yet. Some months I have multiple birth dates I could stitch and other months I have nothing. so I'm trying to decide if I want to move info to other months. At the beginning of the year I said I'd like to finish this piece before 2012 ends. It could happen if I keep my focus. But we all know focus isn't my strong suite so it could go either way.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, July 9, 2012

When enthusiasm almost gets me in trouble on Design Wall Monday

Okay, getting more than half of the blocks sewn for this quilt got me all excited about seeing what it would look like with the sashing. A trip last week to Fabric Shack resulted in finding a dynamite clear blue Moda Marbles fabric with a golden yellow Moda Marbles for the accent. Exactly the shades I visualized. Here is part of the design.

This is an offset arrangement I first saw on Dana's blog Old Red Barn Co. Click here to see her wonderful quilt. Now mine is a bit bigger, but then you know I am genetically unable to make small quilts - really, its true - LOL!

So on Sunday I decided to start cutting fabric for the sashing - slice, dice, stitch, iron, slap it up on the design wall. Oooohhhhhh.......wait, I want unpieced straight of grain strips between the rows! Did I already whack too much off that 3 yard piece of blue? I hurriedly checked my math (and you know the issues I have with math) and I determined that I will have about 1" of extra length for the strips. At least I think that's correct. I did get the same answer two out of three times. So my enthusiasm had me dashing head long into this and some deeper thinking was probably advisable, but its too late for that now. I'll just roll with it -- and I did leave some of that blue on the bolt at Fabric Shack. That's my fall back position- gotta have a fallback position.

Here are two of my favorites of the last batch I sewed. I really like that cheddar print- you can sorta see the purple bird in it.

And that hot pink that looks like amoebas or paramecium (I never did get those straight) makes me happy with the chartreuse/turquoise polka dot.

So, I have a question... are you a neat quilter or a messy one? I don't suppose it will come as too big a surprise that I'm in the messy category. Years ago I worked with a guy who was brilliant but his office always looked like a tornado had just gone through it. Paper was piled everywhere, books precariously perched on the edge of the desk, half drunk cups of cold coffee held down other stacks and front and center on his desk was a little plaque that said "Chaos is a sign of genius". By that measure, I'm another Einstein - LOL! Right now this is how the floor of my sewing studio looks....

aren't the colors pretty?? I need to fold this fabric, but I want to whack off a couple of strips from each piece for another Kaffe quilt I'm planning, and I haven't found the time to do that. So it remains a heap that I step over and around. Oh well, its hard to find time to be neat when you are dealing with creativity - that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A sampler that is close to my heart for Sunday

I hope that you don't mind revisiting samplers I've shown before. I did drop off a new piece to Joanns to be framed today so I should have something new to show in a week or so. The sampler I'm showing today is so close to my heart. This is "Home is where my heart blooms" from Blackbird Designs.

Oh how I pined for this chart. This is an OOP Blackbird Design and I bid on it several times on ebay and lost each time. Then I saw that Myra from Gr8dame's Place had finished it. I contacted her and she swapped me this chart for another BBD publication. Some of the nicest people are bloggers, arent' they? After I finished it I swapped it to another stitcher and the chart moved on.

I love this little flock of birds each on its own little perch.

And this is such a great looking house. I love the saying and I personalized it by adding my sons' initials in the corners.

I also love all the different borders. It makes me think that the designer has the same issues I have, in that I love so many styles of borders that I couldn't chose just one. This is one of those charts that has sold for outrageous prices. I understand supply and demand but prices that are 5 or more times the original price just doesn't seem right. My experience trying to get this chart has lead me to purchase BBD charts I like as soon as I see them. Who knows if any of them will be OOP one day, but if they are I would hope that I wouldn't gouge another stitcher over the price.

Well it is thundering outside and I hope we get some rain. We certainly need it and we could use some lower temperatures. Multiple days of temperatures over 100 is just too darn hot for Ohio. I've spent most of my weekend hunkered down in the basement stitching on my BBD AoH and watching old movies and baseball. A very pleasant way to spend my time, don'tcha think?

Stay cool - happy stitching!
carol fun