Quilting

Thread Art Project Done!

And, she’s done!

I thought there was a gigantic possibility that I was going to mess it all up once I tried to color her in, but I think it went ok.

So, what to do with her. I could cut her out, bind her, and hang her on the wall. Or, I could make her part of a tote bag. Decisions decisions. I have a minute (my clients always refer to time as “like a minute” – how long did you wait for the detective to come in? Lke a minute (2 days). How long were you in the store? Like a minute (a half hour) to think about it because I had to order textile medium to seal the color. So, while I wait for the finishing magic to arrive, I’ll think on it. I’m leaning towards turning her into a decorative pillow – round, with piping. I’ve never made piping, or applied it, so that could be an adventure.

And, for my next project, I’m thinking Frida Kahlo, since my doll was a big fail. I’m thinking that I’ll stitch her, but then, instead of stitching the flowers, I may do some ribbon embroidery -I think that might be pretty cool. We’ll see.  Maybe I’ll do her as a doll.  I have a few minutes to think on it.

In the meantime, here’s a gratiutous pic of Olive – look at that face!!!

Craftsy on Steroids – Binge or Bust

In the beginning of October, Craftsy ran a $10/all you can watch for the month of October promotion.  I didn’t get an email about it, and I didn’t see an ad for it, but someone posted about it in the Crafty Gemini Facebook group, and I ran, tripping to jump on that Craftsy train.  I’m thinking that it wasn’t very highly publicized because it’s some kind of a test or experiment for a subscription model business plan a la Netflix.  And, I would be all over that deal if it was every month.  Because Brave Girls – the ultimate Netflix of art/craft videos – no way, Craftsy – hell yeah!

So, I strapped in for the month of October, got out my knitting needles – because if you’re going to watch crafting, you might was well do crafting – came up with a game plan, and went to watching.  My plan, oddly, was essentially to watch all of the classes I wouldn’t actually pay for.  You’d think I’d start with my wish list – but, my wish list are classes that I’d pretty much agree to pay for as stand alones.  So rather than start there, I went for things I was interested in, but wouldn’t have thought to take. So, I started with knitting.

Never pay for a knitting class?  But you’re a knitter, you say, puzzled.  But, the things is, as far as techniques go, if I need to learn something to start or finish a project, I’m an experienced enough knitter that I can watch a youtube video, and pretty much figure it out.  I certainly don’t need to take any of the beginner knitter classes, or project classes like my first hat or socks or sweaters.  So, I narrowed it down to classes that couldn’t be learned on youtube, design classes.  For a run down of the knitting classes I took, and what I thought of them, pop back in on Wednesday when I chit chat about knitting.

Today, I’m going to focus on the class I took when I had exhausted my knitting options.  After knitting, I moved on to sewing.  I didn’t start with sewing for two reasons – one, I’m not sure what happens to these classes at the end of the month, and two,  when I take sewing or quilting classes, I pretty much do the projects with the instructor and that’s not so good for binge watching.  Here’s what I mean about the uncertainty of these classes – Craftsy classes are normal lifetime access.  The $10 deal was all you can watch in October.  In theory, I could have started the first lesson of every single class on the site, and added them to my library.  And, that surely couldn’t have been what they meant with the $10 deal (of course, if i had read the deal all the way through before I clicked on the Buy button, I’d know the answer to this question – I was just too excited!).  I’m assuming that whatever I “bought” in October is going to expire at the end of the month.  So, for that reason, I’m watching the entire class (unless it’s simply not what I thought it was going to be) all the way through before I start another class.  So, watching a project class all the way through to the end, then watching another one, etc., I may not be able to go back and watch them when I’m actually sewing the project.

So, again, the first class I clicked on was a class that I wasn’t sure I’d actually end up making a project, something I had an interest in because it’s interesting, and something I probably wouldn’t have even thought to buy – Thread Art with Lola Jenkins.

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Can  I just say this – SO  MUCH   FUN!  First, Lola is a character, and she’s really very encouraging with her repeated emphasis on there being no mistakes.  She starts off the class with a brief introduction of herself, in which she shares that after suffering through some of her own health problems, she then lost her husband.  To cope, she bought a sewing machine, and taught herself how to make her own brand of thread art.  See, here’s the way I like how art and healing can be incorporated in an online medium – her art saved her – she shared that with us, and then taught us her techniques.  That’s it.  No faux unlicensed therapy, no you are enough, no martyrdom – just get to work, and maybe you’ll feel better like me.  Or maybe you’ll just make something you love.

Once the life advice was dispensed, Lola moved on to teaching her seven step process to creating thread art pieces.  She made it look so easy, that at the end of the class, I stopped watching Craftsy, and started actually crafting.  In the class, Lola works through The Girl with the Pearl Earring.  Someone in the forum posted a Modigliani, and asked what Lola thought, and she said, perfect.  So, since I’m more inspired by Modigliani, I went with that –

Unfortunately, I don’t have any light, semi-solids in my stash.  I either have solids, or patterns, not so much with the batiks or the motled solids.  But, I did find this fat quarter in one of my mystery boxes, and while yellow isn’t my favorite color, I think it’s ok for this project.  There are some mistakes – oh well, it makes it less Modigliani, and a little more me. That’s ok. After stitching out the girl in the hat, it was time to fill in the background.

For the border, I went with one of three background fillers that are discussed in the class, the Lola’s wiggle – basically, hatching with wiggles. Perfect for those of us who don’t sew so straight.

Then, for the background, I went with my own version of pebbles – meaning, I did my best, but it’s a little messy. But, I still think it looks ok.  Tonight, during the Eagles/Giants game, I’ll move on to the next step – adding colored pencil.

Anyone looking to take this class to learn free motion quilting, you’ll get the flavor of it, but it’s not a full blown class on free motion stitching – she really doesn’t talk about how to set up your machine for free motion work, or how to move your fabric, or how to keep your stitches even, and that’s ok.  She’s self-taught, and free motion is one of those things you really learn by practicing.  I did binge watch one of Leah Day’s free motion classes – and of course, she’s an excellent source for free motion technique.  So, I’m not sure how I would have done with this stitching had I not watched Leah’s class first, but I still think that Lola makes everything look so easy, that anyone could get started.  And, as you can see from the number of projects posted on the class platform, a lot of people were inspired to try what was  probably a new medium for them.

So, I highly recommend this class !  Even if my project doesn’t work out so good in the end, I enjoyed watching Lola create, and I had fun making my own thread art – at least up to this point.  We’ll see how coloring and football goes tonight!

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Call Me Crazy Quilter

As you may remember, I’ve been working on this Rebecca Rinquist sampler:
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Pretty, right? The buttonhole stitch is finally sticking!

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And, I’ve added the chain stitch, and the detached chain stitch/lazy daisy to my repetoire.

Great!

Now what?

Well, I am always a sucker for a sale, so when Crafty’s put all of it’s classes on sale last week (and it’s still going on – I’m not a Craftsy affiliate, just a fan – and the sale goes through midnight tonight), I decided to check this one out –

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This class seems like it would be a crazy choice for me.  Crazy quilts are not my aesthetic at all.  While I do love all things vintagey in theory, that love translates practically into modern design with a dash of nostalgia.  For instance, I have no problem pairing the modern furniture in my living room with antique picture frames, nostalgic memorablia, and retro cameras.  But, I’m not a lacey, beady, ribbony kind of girl.

On the other hand, what doesn’t quite fit with my aesthetic, completely runs paralell to what I’m doing craftwise.  I love quilting, and especially foundation pieicing, and I’m really enjoing my hand sewing/embroidery.  Crazy quilting combines these things, along with other textiles I’ve used in the past – like beads and charm embelishments, and the process of creating, designing and stitching a crazy quilt appeals to me.

So that begs the question – is it worthwhile to pursue something that appeals to my process side, but not at all to my product side?  For me, the answer is yes, for once I master the process, I can turn it into my own product.  While for now, I am making a wall hanging (or maybe a pillow) as a I follow along with the class, I have ideas about making journal covers – and I think this crazy quilt look will work for me in that medium.  Who wouldn’t want  a beautifully quilted and embelished journal cover – a pretty place to store memories, thoughts and dreams?  Hopefully, everyone will want one  -because if this works out, everyone’s getting them for the holidays!

In any event, I started the class, and I was really inspired.  Again, by the process.  I’m not all that inspired to have a crazy quilt on my wall, but eh, maybe it’ll be a gift.  I have taken many many Craftsy classes – yes, I am a craft class addict.  Some are better than others.   This class, with Allie Allers, has to be one of the best.  Much like Sarah Fielke’s class, Big Tehcniques from Small Scraps, which is also awesome and also covers a gazillion skills related to applique, this class covers so many techniques and skills it will make your head spin.  Not only does Allie cover four different techniques for piecing a crazy block,  she also teaches I think fourteen basic embroidery stitches, and how to combine them.  And, just when I thought class was over, she moved into beaded embroidery, and then ribbon embroidery.  Done?  Not yet, there’s still a whole lesson in finishing and displaying your quilt.  Piecing, embroidery, beaded embroidery, ribbon embroidery and finishing, all in one class.  I have to say, by the end of the class, I was exhausted.  And, then, I watched it again.  I took advantage of Crafty’s 30 second repeat button, and stitched along with Allie – not only while I pieced my blocks, but while I learned the embroidery stitches.  And, today at lunch, I’m going to pick up some beading supplies, so I can rewatch those sections, and stitch along with her.

And speaking of picking up supplies, since crazy quilting has never been on my radar before, all I had in my fabric stash was quilting cotton.  Well, I had to do something about that.  I found this store on Etsy, AnnDanCes and bought her listing for Fancy Scraps.    Buying fabric like this is a crapshoot.  Generally, the photo is generic – a representation of what you’re going to get.  So, you just have to cross your fingers, read some reviews of the seller, and hope for the best.  And, my – was I pleased!  The shipping was super fast – I ordered the box on Wednesday, and it arrived, from Texas, on Saturday.  And, when I opened it, I was literally gleeful – I think I even clapped my hands and exclaimed – goody!

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I dumped the box out on my table, and sorted the fancy scraps into color piles. Not a crazy quilt thing to do, I guess, but a Wendy thing to do, and I made the first two blocks from the class.

This one is flip and sew foundation piecing:

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And this one is the same method, but the pieces are curved –

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Very proud of myself!!

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And these two blocks are perfect examples of how jam packed this class is – I learned how to flip and sew (which unlike paper piecing, involves tracing your pattern onto muslin, and using the diagram as a guide, rather than sewing on the backside of paper), stablizing these fancy fabrics, how to care for these fabrics so you don’t crush them, and curved piecing. If I had just stopped at these two blocks, I would have gotten my $19.99 worth. But, the next two blocks take things even further. The third block is freezer paper applique, and the last block is improvisational piecing. I’m telling you, each block could be a stand alone class.

Anyway, after piecing my two blocks, I did have to try some stitching. I set up a sampler, and practiced some stitches – herringbone, stem stitch, chain stitch, lazy daisy flowers, and using a no fear attitude, I started stitching on the first block:

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And the totally fun thing about crazy quilting – I really have no idea what I’m going to do next.  Each block is unique.  If there are any crazy quilting “rules,” I don’t know what they are – so the only thing limiting me is how fast I can learn my stitches.   And, to help with that, and for additional inspiration,  Allie Aller’s book, Crazy Quilting, is included as a free download with the class.  Crazy right!  The hardback version of the book on Amazon is more than the class itself – bargain!!!

So, if you have any interest in this fun project, check out the class – you’ll definitely get your money’s worth, no question.  And, I’ll be back later in the week with how my blocks are progressing.

You may have noticed there is no Knitting on the Porch today.  I took the weekend off for Mother’s Day, so I’ll be back with a video blog next Monday.

Hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day!

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A One Hour Basket in, er, Two Days

Have I even mentioned, since I resurrected the blog, that I joined one of the most fantastic online clubs ever? I may have dropped a few lines in passing, but it deserves a little more attention.

In January, Vanessa Vargas Wilson, the Crafty Gemini, launched her online quilt club.

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Every month there’s a featured project (a tote bag, a wallet, a mini applique art quilt, for example), a Mystery Block of the Month quilt clue, weekly UStream chats, interviews with prominent crafter/sewers/quilters, and a monthly giveaway – and she gives away really sweet stuff.  If you click the button, you can see examples of all of the projects, and each month’s  giveaway.  There’s a Facebook community, and, in an effort to foster an even tighter knit quilty bunch, there’s a monthly swap.  But, unlike  most swaps, this swap is not anonymous.  You get your partner’s email, and you have to engage in conversation to get your partner’s address.  I’ve met a bunch of great women, from very diverse backgrounds, and I’ve learned something from each swap.  The first month was a mug rug, and I did my first applique.  The second month was a zipper pouch, and while I had done a zipper before, I went a little zipper crazy, and not only did I make the little pouch, but I made a bionic gear bag.

This month the swap was some kind of a sewing room organizer.  Vanessa did a tutorial for these baskets, which are quick and easy, but I decided to jump on the one-hour basket bandwagon that’s all over Instagram.  I signed up for my first Instagram swap, which isn’t due out until June, so I thought I’d practice making the basket with this swap.

Did I show you this?

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So, that jelly roll of Cotton & Steel Mustang, became this –


Ta da!  A basket!

I have to admit, though, it took me more than an hour

First, I spent an hour hour creating the exterior.  I used this quilt as you go tutorial from the Crafty Gemini and Missouri Star Quilts.  Easy peasy.  And, then I put it away for the evening, thinking I was in good shape for the next night.

I thought everything was perfect – my exterior looked fab, I had a matching solid for the interior, my handles were cut from the leftover quilted exterior, I was all ready to sew them all together.

But, they didn’t go together – at all.  My interior was way too small, or my exterior was too large – I could not get them to nest.  I spent a good half hour trying to make it work, before I gave up and just decided to redo it.  Boo.

I must have measured wrong somewhere.

So, I sewed a new lining, this time using  the same seam allowance as the exterior (in the pattern the exterior is sewn at 1/2″ and the interior 5/8″) and the second time around, all was good.   And, had I just accepted that the original lining wasn’t going to work, and done a resew right at that moment, I think it probably would have only taken maybe 15 minutes to a half hour to finish the thing up.   In the end, it all took two evenings, but that was my fault.  In the finished basket, the lining is probably a tad big, but it looks good, and I was happy with it.

And, hopefully my swappee will be too, since I’m of to the post office and then to court.

And then I will return to the business of plotting my Maryland Sheep and Wool shopping route. Miss Babs, here I come!

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Just in Time!

New baby on the way – as I type!  And, my little baby quilt is finished just in time!

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I used Kate & Birdie’s Storybook fabric, easy peasy charm squares.  I pieced all of my half square triangles, sewed the top half, and took a break.  In the meantime, Joe decided to use his super duper Maxextractor carpet steamer.  So, he picked up the rows of my quilt, and put them over my chairs, and then cleaned the carpet.  Something went awry when I put them back down – oh well – now it’s a modern baby quilt – not quite centered –

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The baby will never know.  Anyway, it’s ready to be gifted once Baby Ramos makes his/her appearance.

And, being an oh-so-productive week, I am still current with my pocket scrapping project.

Yep, more spreads to show you –

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Left –

plspreadmar30apr5leftThis is a combination of my new Azure core kit, that I got on HSN when it was on sale with the photo overlays, page dividers and a 12 x 12 paper pack and a mixture of Studio Calico stuff.  On this siide, I have the Studio Calico “Not My Day” vellum overlay over the title card, since we were both pretty much sick all week.  You can’t tell from the photo, but “Clean House,” is with the cork alpha’s that came in the SC  Bluegrass Farm kit.  Since I used the two “e’s” that came with the alpha sheet, and the one “a” I’m now pretty much done with that alpha – which is why I would never buy that kind of mini alpha myself, but it’s nice to get it in a kit. At least I did manage to spell one card at least.  I cut the “Feed the Birds” with my Silhouette, the word art bubble over Lemon was also cut from some digital kit with the Portrait also.

Right –

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On this page, the wood veneer Hello Sunshine is from Studio Calico, I think last month’s kit. The bicycle is Amy Tangerine, I don’t remember from where.  The HIm & Her card is also SC, and the SICK alpha letters are the last of last month’s alpha.  The “eek” badge came in Bluegrass Farm, as did the bits of washi tape.  The Everyday Card I think is SC, but I’m not sure.

Also, on both pages, there are black clear stickers from Me and My Big Ideas – I LOVE these, and they were out of them when I went to Michael’s with my super coupon the other day.  Drat!  Hopefully, they’ll restock them.

And now double birthday week, so I needed to add an insert –

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Left side –

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Yeah, I finally got to use up some more of my first month of Studio Calico – I have very little of that kit left, and that makes me happy.  The title card, the birthday cake, and the Love This card are all from my first sub. kit – I think Sugar Rush.  The numbered card is from a pack of We R Memory keeper cards I got for $2 at Target.  The “Yummy” badge is from Bluegrass Farm, and again, those black vellum stickers – from MAMBI.

The back of the insert is the thank you card I got from my niece for her birthday present, and our Captain America tickets.

Left –

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Let’s see – there’s a Becky Higgins photo overlay on the photo with Lemon and I.  Next row – SC sample card from Lemon Lush that came with Sugar Rush, the wood Veneer from Office Hours, a wooden arrow from Sugar Rush, the card is from my Target bargain.  And, at the bottom, the “my everything” vellum thingy slipped – I’m not sure how to attach it.  I think that’s from SC Blue Note kit, which I got for $10 when I signed up for their class Stitched.  The labels I think were from Just Jaimee, but I can’t remember.  I usually take my Portrait out once a week, cut lots of stuff, and then throw everything into a box – so I’m not the best creditor when it comes to bits and bobs.

And, finally, Passover is in the books –

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Passover was a challenge – the only Passover elements I could find on line were these digital stamps, so I made my own cards with some of Lynne-Marie’s backgrounds.  I paired this with my new core kit, Midnight, that I snagged with my Michael’s 50% off coupon, and I think it turned out ok.

How about that hand – uch!  That’s what she doesn’t when I try to take a photo of her and she knows I’m taking it – or she makes a goofy face, like the photo above.  With a bit of begging, she’ll pose – there’s actually a posed version of the goofy shot, but I ended up liking the goofy one better – it’s more her.

So, that’s it – today I’ll do Easter with the Ramos’s and wait for word on the new baby!

Happy Holidays!

Right Now

20140125-114532.jpgRight now, it’s really cold.  Like -5 cold.  Like it’s snowing again, on top of the 12 inches we already got, and it’s worthless because it’s not going to lead to a snow day, cold.

It’s only leading to more cold.

Ok, you get it, it’s cold.

So, of course, cold=wool=knitting, and my Follow Your Arrow KAL has lead to another shawl – 3 out of 32.  I don’t know why, I just thought it would be fun.

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So, here’s an update on the first one I cast on – the Madeleinetosh Pashmina – this is Clue 1b and Clue 2a:

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I love this one.  Of the three, it’s the most traditional, and that’s ok – who knows where it’s going to go.  But, what I love is the yarn – its so squishy and soft.  Just what I wanted!

And, now for the rejects – the stepsisters to the Pashmina.

First, the Zauberball.  This is Clue 1a, 2b –

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I have it on a 24 length needle, so this is the best I can do photowise without my stitches falling off the end.  It’s a little crazy, but I think once it’s thrown around my neck, it will look pretty cool.

And then, after I finished the Pashmina and the Zauberball in plenty of time for Monday’s clue, I became intrigued with the idea of the short row wedges on the traditional pi shawl shaped lace.  So, I cast on – what the heck, right?  I had already knit more than half of the first clue when I took it off the needles, and I hadn’t ripped it out, so it was all ready to go –

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clue1b2b2Again, the needles are too short to get a really good shot of where this one is going – but, actually, I don’t know where it’s going – the short row wedges kind of spout off the circular beginning like a wing. But, that’s why I cast on – because it’s all so intriguing.  And, if it ends up fugly, I can always gift it.  My mom always loves my cast offs.

And what’s up with the quilting?  I’m still chugging along on my Penny Sampler – a little slower, because the precise piecing, for me at least, takes a lot of time.  I spend a lot of time lining up the seam with my piss poor bifocal, and then I spend a little bit of time – not as much as I used to certainly – ripping seams and trying to get all of the points to match.  I got a notice from The Intrepid Thread that my Gypsy Wife BOM shipped, which made me happy, since I didn’t expect it until sometime in February, but it also made me a little anxious – I thought I’d be further along in my Penny Sampler.  Have to pick up the pace!

ribbonblockHere’s one of two half square triangle heavy blocks – the ribbon block.  It’s almost done – I just have to finish sewing the four patches together, and I’ll get that done today.  The other, the snowflake block, I finished a few weeks ago, and I think I already posted a photo.  And, I finished up the spruce tree block – I need a little work with my flying geese blocks – they’re a bit wonky, but oh well.

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My goal is to finish the precise piecing section this weekend, and it’s a doable goal.  I don’t have any large blocks left – on 6 inch blocks, so if I would stop blogging and messing around on the internet, and get going, they would get done.

What isn’t getting done is my daily challenge pages over at the Lilypad.  I just don’t feel like sitting in front of the computer when I just feel like making stuff.  So, here are the pages I made on the snow day –

This is the watercolor photo technique –

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The Pimp my Quickpage –

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Combine Two Templates –

LaundryManAnd there you have it – I’ve only done 12 of 25.  I think tonight, after Joe goes to work I’m going to try to crank out a few pages.  I mean, what happens if I don’t get them done? Nothing.  I just don’t get my $20 coupon, and a chance at a Polly spot, the creative team for the store.  But, ssssh, I’ll tell you a secret – I don’t want to be a Polly.  I just don’t have the time to make that kind of commitment to such a busy store.  If I were a Polly, there wouldn’t be any knitting, quilting or art making.  And, that’s just not what I want.  I’m leaning farther and farther away from sitting in front of a computer.  You may have noticed that I haven’t posted any Project Life spreads in awhile, and that’s because I haven’t made any.  The last PL spread I made got a GSO – and why?  Because it was really intricate, complicated, and detailed – it looked great, but it took so much time.  So, now I’m thinking I might go back to the Becky Higgins PL philosophy – keep it simple.  Put the photos in the pockets, throw in some journal cards, call it done.  And, I’m thinking the easiest way to do that may be to go paper.  I don’t know.  HSN ran a PL show this week, and I was hoping they would have a good deal – which they did, but I think the kit is ugly.  I wish I had gotten my bright idea to go paper when they were featuring the Just Add Color bundle, but I didn’t and it’s gone.  Although I did enter a giveaway on someone’s blog to win one, so if I win, that will seal the deal.

So, I don’t want to sit in front of the computer – I just want to make stuff.  Tactile, touchable stuff.  So, I’m making mail art –

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Mindy finally received my first mail art project, after we had the scare that it had gotten lost in the post.  It’s hard to tell from the photos, but it was pretty big – I had painted the girl on brown craft paper, and then I cut her out to put on the paper bag, and she turned out bigger than I had intended.  I’ve sent off two more creations – just a cardboard postcard painted on one of my curtain inserts, and a crazy gift bag with gelli printed deli paper.  Drat, I just realized I didn’t photograph the bag – oh well, hope it doesn’t get lost!

And Misty Mawn’s class, Full Circle started.  I started our first assignment, the mandala, but this is only the first layer – I’m still going to add paint –

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So many projects!

Too bad this snow we’re getting today isn’t going to lead to a snow day.

But on the other hand, it’s not going to lead to a fourth shawl either.

Have a great weekend!

2104 State of the Quilt

You know how you start a project, and you’re so excited, and you speed out of the gate, and you’re running, and you’re waiving at people on the sidelines – yeah! look how great I am – and then all of a sudden, you hit a bump, and you stumble.  And whether you fall or your manage to brace yourself, you’ve killed your momentum.

I hit that bump with the Penny Sampler.  First, I started the last block of the applique section – the vines and leaves.  It turned out so bad, that I’ve already thrown it out.  Basically, it had these little leaves that should have been freezer paper appliqued – but I just can’t get the fabric to do what I want it to do around the freezer paper – I’m not getting those nice points like I’m supposed to.  So, I figured if I’m not getting the sharp points anyway, I might as well sew and turn.  So, I sewed and turned 12 teeny tiny leaves, and then I sketch stitched them to the background.  Yucko.  I didn’t have enough stablizer on the back of the fabric, and the fabric completely buckled up and crinkled.  Eeewww.  I can’t even tell you how many hours I wasted – three maybe?

So, then I moved on to the snowflake block.  This took a long time to cut and piece, but it was relatively easy –

pennyprogress4Confident, I moved on to the penny candy.

Penny “candy?”  There was nothing sweet about these blocks.  They’re the plus sign blocks stuck on the edge of the tangerine hanging diamonds:

pennyprogress

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pennyprogress2Everything about these little plus signs was annoying.  I cut the background from yarddage, and did a crap job.  Then, determined to use my feed sack charm squares, I ignored the fact that they weren’t all cotton, some were polyester, and some were a mix, and I cut them up anyway.  Boy did they become stretched and misshapen.  But, they’re done, and some of them will have to be redone – not all, and not today.

Today, I’m going to . . . I don’t know – like I said, stumbling block.  Definitely something easy.

In the meantime, I did my Sugar Block of the Month block:

SBC-2014-Large-ButtonSo, I got my pattern, and my recipe (waffles), and I got her “personal challenge.”  Based on her introductory post to the club, I was pretty sure her challenge was going to be faith based.  And, being Jewish, I just don’t use the kind of language she uses when I talk about spirituality, and I’m not really into what she’s saying.  But, the bottom line is, her goal is to be a better person, so we’re on the same page on the most basic level.  I respect what she’s doing, but in future months, I’m probably going to skip over reading her personal challenge, and just go with the block of the month (and maybe the recipe).

Anyway, so here’s my block!

Photo Jan 01, 11 18 52 PMI used my stash!  This is from the Joel Dewberry bundle.  I like the way it turned out, and I’m kind of bummed I have to wait until next month  to do the next block.

And then there’s my downstairs, handsewing project, the Modern Medallion:

modmedmedmal2The embroidery is slow going.  The biggest problem is threading the needle.  I need a new bifocal.  I’m pretty happy with it, but the edge is starting to fray, so I may do the next round before I finish this one so that the fabric doesn’t completely fall apart.

So, that’s where I am this third day of the new year.  Our printer is on the fritz, so I haven’t been able to print out my Lucky Stars paper piecing pattern.  And, I ordered this, and hopefully, by the time it comes in and gets going, I’ll have the top of Penny Sampler done.

Because a little stumble isn’t going to get me down.

 

 

 

 

 

Penny Sampler is Pulling Out of the Station

It’s here!  My Penny Sampler fabric is here, and I went to bed last night anxious for it to be morning just so I could start my project!

And then, I got all nervous about cutting into the stack, so I decided to photograph it first.  If I screw it up, at least I’ll have the memories!

So, after playing around with the color palette generator, I decided to go vintage.  Certainly not an exact match to any of the color swatches I posted, but it’s the same feel, this is Art Gallery Fabrics, Reminisce:

psprints

 

The solids were a matching bundle that Stash Fabrics put together.

And this is what I had in my stash:

stashsolids

I think it’s just going to be beautiful!

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I just hope I don’t f@#$ it up.

It was a WIP – and Now it’s Finished!

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So, when I started this post, my niece’s quilt was still a work in progress – but now it’s done! Finished!  Finito!  Whew!  Altered Squares Quilt done, check! I felt really pressed for time there at the end.  The photos above are of the binding pinned but not sewn, and when I did sew them, well, they’re a bit wonky I was in such a hurry.  But, she won’t care about that.  And, I was so rushed to get it wrapped, I didn’t even get a chance to photograph it all spread out.  Oh well.  And, I made a sweet label with my new sewing machine’s alphabet too!  Well, that was also kind of wonky – I forgot to stabilize the back of the fabric before I started the machine embroidery.  Oh well, again.

Anyway, here she is getting her gift:

quiltfbAnd me showing off the zebra backing –

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And us snuggling under it!

medanielleunderquiltfb

 

And, how about an Olive photo just for the heck of it!

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And look what I got for Hanukkah from Danielle –

lemonolivepillow2fbHmm, and there are two of them  . . . they’re not quite the dresden plate pillow cushions I had in my head as a future project . . . but I think they’ll look sweet outside in the sun room.  I think Lemon is a little freaked out by them – thinks more dogs are moving in.

And, finally, I just wanted to throw out there – I made 50 stinkin’ latkes –

latkesfb

 

Thankfully, Hanukkah is only once a year.  I fried them up on Saturday, and my house still smells like french fries.

So, onward!  Next up – the Penny Sampler!  My fabric is en route!  I went with the vintage color scheme, and I’ll post more about that when the fabric arrives, any minute!  I took advantage of all of the fab Black Friday sales, and I think once it arrives, along with my fabric stabilizer (not going to forget it this time), I should be good to go.

And, of course – those City Sampler Blocks!  I haven’t forgotten about them – between the two pies we baked for Thanksgiving, as well as a sweet potato concoction, the Hanukkah party at our house, and the trial I was supposed to start last Monday (she pled), I haven’t had a chance to sew a stitch, craft a thing, knit a row.  Time to get back to normal, I’d say!

Hope everyone had an awesome Turkey Day (belated wishes are still good wishes!)

Linking up with WIP Wednesday –

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Life’s Little Disasters

Yesterday, after writing about the Penny Sampler, I couldn’t help it – I had to start the Penny Sampler.  I felt I deserved a reward – I had pieced together the back of Danielle’s quilt, made my quilt sandwich, basted, and was ready to quilt today.  I was on a schedule, I was keeping to it, and darn it – I deserved to dive into the Penny Sampler, even though I already have the City Sampler to keep me busy, even though I’m not totally sure of the color scheme, even though I had never tried the first technique, applique . . . screw the even thoughs, just do it, I thought.

So, without the suggested practice, I tried my hand at sew and turn applique and jumped right into the first block.  I had just watched this class on Craftsy, Big Techniques from Small Scraps with Sara Felke.  I bought the class during a flash sale, when it was only $9.99.  Right now, its $39.99 – even after taking this class, I don’t think I’d pay full price for it – not that it’s not good, and rich in detail – but I’m just not that interested in needle turn applique.  The idea is that if you do needle turn applique – where you turn the fabric edges under with your needle, you’ve got the perfect portable sewing project.  Eh.  I don’t need to carry my sewing with me everywhere – except maybe to the t.v.  And, I just don’t love applique all that much.

I do love it in the Penny Sampler though – and Rachel teaches two methods of machine applique – sew and turn, where you sew your fabric to a piece of muslin, and then turn it right side out, and a freezer paper applique, where with some starch, you fold and iron your edges around a template.  And then, whichever method you use, you machine stitch it onto your background with a messy modern sketch stitch.  Much more my style, and one of the things that drew me to this sampler.  So, I drew my heart onto the muslin – pinned it to my print fabric – a vintage feed sack charm square – can’t go wrong with vintage! – and took it to the machine.

Oh yeah – another even though – even though I had never sewed curves.  Eh, can’t be too hard, right?  And, it wasn’t – I just sewed slow, turned the best I could, lifted my presser foot when necessary – and I had a heart.  Not a perfect heart – but who does have a perfect heart?  It’s the imperfections that make us human – and in the quilt it goes:

heartblockYou can see that it’s not perfectly round at the top, and the sketch stitch should be closer to the edge – but again, it’s the imperfection that makes it true.

Although, perfect would be nice too – and there’s still plenty of opportunity to get closer to perfect in this section of the Penny Sampler course.  And, with that in mind – I started the next block – a quartet of hearts.  Since, you use three hearts with one fabric, and another lone heart from another, I didn’t go with the feed sack charms (only 5″ there), but with some leftover Fandango I had in my stash.  The first one was eh, the second one closer to good, and I had enough Fandango, that I was probably going to not use the first – but . . . then it happened.

Life’s Little Disaster.

I got up to take one of the hearts to the iron, and I tripped on the foot pedal.  I yanked the pedal out of the jack, and busted the jack.

I keep telling myself that this isn’t really a disaster.  The Phillipines is a disaster.  This is more along the lines of a small setback, disappointment, gee that stinks moment.  But, when I heard that crack, and I tried to plug the pedal back in, and there was no hum of the machine when I put my foot down, it felt like . . . well, since I’m working on hearts, I’ll use that sappy analogy – it felt like heart break.

But, today is another day, and my “hearts” are actually fine – it’s just the machine that’s broken.  And, it can be fixed.  And, if I can’t be fixed at a reasonable price, a new one can be bought.

And, in the meantime, I’ve started my Penny Sampler!

heartblockwithhearts