Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Thing About Applique...

is that the prep work takes me almost as long as the stitching! Once I get all that prepping done, I can't resist sitting in front of the TV and appliquing things down. I decided to get some more blocks ready for the 12 Days of Christmas wallie. Days 4, 6 and 7 were actually supposed to be pieced blocks but I decided I wanted the whole wallhanging to be applique. So the search was on. The four calling birds use a pattern from an old Country Threads book I have. The goose and stitchery swan were adapted from online coloring book patterns. The five golden rings are--surprisingly--what was suggested in the Saffiote book! I had intended to do these blocks in June for my "page-a-month" project but like a kid at Christmas, I was too antsy to wait!!! This little wallhanging will be a puzzle to put together LOL. I am waiting to square up the blocks till I see what conglomeration I can use. Such fun.

The Fiesta Quilt from Laurie Simpson's book, Modern Primitive Quilts, had to become a wallhanging! Reality set in when I realized how many "gifty" projects were waiting for me to complete!!! Another queen-sized quilt was just not practical right now. But I loved the idea so much of a quilt to complement my fiestaware that I at least had to make a wallie for the kitchen. I took some liberties with this pattern too. Can't seem to stop doing that. I added some letters at the top and some cups at the bottom to the block. It will need to be a skinny wallie as the only spot left in my kitchen for a quilt is pretty narrow. When it's all done and hung, I'll post a pic along with photos of some of my fiestaware and jadite. I have collected both for about 30 years and have plum run out of room for any more!!!!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Decoupaged Plates Part II

I received several emails and comments asking how to wash the plates (see last post) after using them. Even though Mod Podge is water-resistant, I would definitely NOT submerse them in water. I use a soapy well-wrung sponge to wipe out the plate, then gently rinse and dry.
I took this picture rather fast this morning and realized I needed to go back and add more pecans---oh, well! That's done now. Here's the super-simple cheeseball recipe. (Can you tell I'm all about the super-simple?!?)
Mix well: 2 large (8 oz.) softened cream cheese and a cup or so of shredded cheddar. Then add about 2 t. Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup of finely chopped green onion, and garlic salt or powder to taste. Chill, then form into a ball. Coat with chopped pecans. Refrigerate till ready to use. Serve with crackers.
Hope everyone has a fun, restful and safe Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Et Cetera

Need a quickie hostess gift? Go to Wally and purchase a clear glass plate (around $1.50) and some Mod Podge. Go to your stash and pick a yummy print. Cut the fabric about an inch larger all the way around than the plate. Working on the underneath side of the plate, smooth on a coat of Mod Podge with a foam brush. Lay the fabric on top of the Mod Podge and gently smooth it down, eliminating any wrinkles. I use both fingertips and a bone folder. Let it dry. Then add another coat of Mod Podge to the fabric. Let that dry. Then trim the fabric all around the edge of the plate. Great for a cheeseball or cookies or candies. My next door neighbor is having her son's graduation open house Saturday and I'll be taking this!

I have had such a hard time getting a good photo of this finished baby quilt!!! AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH. So I am giving up and here it is. The colors are much softer in real life. My oldest and dearest friend will be granny in the fall so I have been having lots of fun crafting baby goodies.

Hand-embroidered vintage-looking motifs and some computer font words in the corners (Cutie-Patootie, Upsy-Daisy, Pat-a-Cake, and Peek-a-Boo) made this quilt so, so fun to make!!!
Hooray for Dancing With the Stars!!! Apollo was my pick all along! Love to watch that guy dance.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Split Personality

I am a fan of Cheri Saffiote's very, very prim designs. I recently purchased this book after ogling it many times. Last year I decked out a white feather tree with pears and birds and other Christmas-y bling for my dining room (very Martha, if I did say so myself!!!). It was done in colors to compliment the dining room--lots of teal-y jade-y greens, soft blues, soft yellowy corals, etc. and often thought that I needed a 12 Days of Christmas wallhanging to go in that room too. Never could find a pattern I liked however. Well, when I saw these sweet blocks in this book, a lightbulb came on (dim, but nevertheless, a light bulb). I could use these blocks but done in my dining room colors. I have decided to do my own "block of the month" thing, only it will be a "page of the month" as the designs fall on five different pages. That would mean by September the blocks would be done and I'd still have a couple of months to assemble and quilt--just in time for Christmas. I know, I know, "best laid plans..."
Pictured above are the first three blocks I did this weekend. Saffiote uses cottons, wools, wool felt, stitchery, piecing and applique! I won't get bored. I really enjoy the freedom of her designs.

I have a split personality where home decorating is concerned LOL! I have lots of primitives and prim-colored accents, but I also love the cottage-y farmhouse style so my home is a mix of the two--some would just call it hodge-podge. I prefer to think of it as "cottage prim"!!! But it suits me. Some days I just have to step away from the dark colors of many of my quilts and accents and jump into the softer, shabby-chic yumminess. It's fun.

Friday, May 18, 2007

An Experiment and a Finish

Always inspired by Finn's blog, I just had to play around with her idea for crocheted rag bowls! I did learn that I needed to stick with the size K hook--as she had recommended!!! I used an L since I tend to have a deathgrip on crochet hooks and knitting needles and thought I needed the extra looseness from a larger hook. But when I make a "real" one, I'll use the K so the bowl will be a little more rigid-y. Just too much fun!!!

This quilt was returned from the longarmer last week and is now bound. Still needs some thread-clipping and a label, but I was so anxious for something--anything--quilty to blog, here it is! It was started many, many months ago in my guild's sewing bee when we were on a kick to "stash-bust". I had had this wonderful bird fabric in my stash for quite a while and was anxious to put it to use. The pattern is Directional Rail Fence and is a good way to use a focal print. Of course, I didn't have enough of the birdies for all the focal panels--that would have been just way too lucky!!! So I pulled some coordinates and some reds and greens and had at it. What really makes this quilt is the beautiful pantograph, Windy Meanderings, that my LA-er selected. I just LOVE it and if anyone wants the particulars on it, feel free to email me.
It has been a particularly trying stretch for me lately so I was not able to blog for a while, but have been really trying to keep up on my faves. Hope y'all are having the gorgeous weather that KC is.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Few Treasures...

Here are just a few of the beautiful quilts from my guild's show held Friday and Saturday. I honestly believe the quilts get more gorgeous every year!!!

I'll be out of town for a few days this week so will check back in later. Keep on quilting!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

On The Wall

I received an email from the author of Modern Primitive Quilts, Laurie Simpson (see previous post) much to my delight and amazement!!! She responded about the copyright issue of posting quilt photos from the book on my blog. It is her understanding that it's okay to post one or two, as long as the creator of the quilt is credited. I was so tickled that she took the time to email me! The quilt in the first photo is her Fiesta Quilt. She, like I, collects fiestaware!!! I absolutely love this quilt!!! The second photo is the block I have been prepping for applique. Notice I took some liberties!!! I really wanted to use my stash. Since I didn't have that gorgeous black check in the book, I pieced a backing. I didn't want to make bias stems so I went with the whimsical rickrack. And--with the new yo-yo maker close at hand, well--the circles are yo-yos!!! I wanted a hand project to bring to the quilt show this weekend. I'll be selling opportunity quilt tickets there and just in case there is a lull....I'll be prepared with some applique! Don't know if I'll make the full four-block quilt or if this will be a wallhanging. I could definitely see it on my bed. Time will tell....

Next photo is a group of embroidered baby blocks I have been working on for several days for one of the new babies-to-be! It is so fun and relaxing to sit and stitch these cute little pictures. I searched through my embroidery books, clip art and on the internet to come up with some things I like. I know they probably don't show up very clearly, but one is a Kewpie doll. The mom-to-be coaches at a high school where the Kewpie is the mascot---only high school in the country that has a Kewpie for its mascot. She and her hubby both coach softball so I had to include the bat, ball and glove. Such fun! Well, better get to the sewing room and add some strips to the remaining blocks!