Friday, March 30, 2007

'Tween Times

Well, most UFOs are still at a standstill: BOAF is STILL at the longarmer's, Hawaiian Snowballs, Scrappy Stars, and Chocolates & Cherries STILL await backing fabrics, Broken Dishes STILL longs for a cleared-off basting table (did I use the word "still" enough times in that sentence???) Sooo....alternate pursuits!

Bread Machine....Several years ago I received a very-much-coveted automatic bread machine. I used it furiously for a couple of years. Then the word came down about bad, bad CARBS. So it sat on top of the refrigerator for a lo-o-ong time. Well, recently I decided to live dangerously and resurrect it and dig for some recipes that may (or may not) be more "body friendly". I've started baking bread again and decided to make a fun little booklet out of recycled grocery bag to save the recipes with photos in that I will want to keep. Along with that I made a little lunchsack booklet to keep soup recipes in. Today I will try to find time to embellish them.

Tasha Tudor...About once a year I check this book out of the library. I adore reading about her lifestyle. I was always a fan of her children's book illustrations and find her to be a true inspiration. Looking at her antiques and collectibles, her gorgeous handdyed yarns, dipped candles, Nubian goats, amazing hens, lovely hand constructed clothing, quilts, linens---oh, I could go on and on about this book---is sheer eye candy. I should probably just purchase the thing, huh? Bead Love.... Digging out the beads and bead paraphenalia, I'm making some scissor fobs for the quilt show boutique. I really like to work with beads--guess it's the ole "hippie" leftover in me LOL!!! This post sounds like "What I Did on My Sewing Vacation" doncha think?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

WIP and Whipped!

Well, for now, Blogger is playing nice! But I want you to know that I do have fingers, toes, legs, and eyes crossed! Thank you, Patty, Libby and Paula for your input on the photo situation. I haven't been doing anything different than usual but for some bizarre reason could not get photos to upload. I had a couple more but was not going to press my luck LOL! I am wondering if it makes a difference what time of day one tries to post pix. Seems that later in the day works better. I knew I was whipped this morning when, after about eleventy-twenty times, I was getting nowhere! Ah, well, at least the price is right for this service, huh! The Broken Dishes baby quilt and backing are ready to be sandwiched, pinned and machine quilted. I know, I know, Rocky should not be allowed on this quilt, but I will launder it after the quilting. And I am sure the recipient will wash it again. Rocky, being the alpha male and all, pretty much lays wherever he pleases! Now if I can just get DH to move all HIS tax stuff off MY long tables in the basement, I can get this basted. Well, I guess it is my tax stuff, too, come to think of it. The colors in the pieced backing look a little softer in real life. I think the lighting was not as good as it should have been. Maybe some day I'll get this photo/internet/blogging thing all figured out! But just in case, I'm keeping my fingers, toes, legs and eyes crossed!!!

Crying Uncle

Anyone else having problems with New Blogger--or is it just my computer? Have been trying all morning to get pix to upload, even tried through Picasa. It just isn't happening. I keep getting the "The page cannot be displayed" message. Would appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Coloring Inside the Lines

Several of you left great comments on the post about the crayon quilt. I wanted to respond to those but ole' buddy Blogger is making that very challenging. Let's try again! First off, a couple of disclaimers: I am NOT an artist. I am NOT an expert on crayon quilts. Some of you wanted info on the highlighting and shading. I took a class several years ago from a local artist, Ann Dent, who gave us tips on this. She had us put the highlights in first because it is very difficult to later add light color to darker crayon. I usually use white ,yellowor other soft light color and just try to decide where the natural light would be shining. This is a b-i-g challenge for me so I usually just jump in feet first and start coloring!!! As for the shadowing, she had us use violets or umbers or other dark tones--never black--and spread the shading colors where it should naturally occur--again, big challenge for moi! The rest of the coloring would be a blend of crayons. After each coloring, the piece would be ironed with a clean paper towel on top of it. With each buildup of crayon and follow-up ironing, you begin to see the crayon become one with the fabric. Some of her other tips included peeling the paper completely off the crayons and using the long flat side to color, never the point. Pay attention to color value. Use plastic-tak to remove crayon crumbs as you work. After the final ironing, you can add a sketchy outline with pigma pen or embroider an outline with floss or leave it plain. I like some type of outline as it helps to define. Other embellishments can be added also. It is easy to find patterns--coloring books, redwork books, applique patterns--or be brave and draw your own!

The first photo is of Flags and Flowers that I did in Ann's class. Still need to figure out what to do with them LOL! Second photo is a crayon pillow I did before the class. It is just flat coloring, but I like it because it is very reminiscent of the 30s, a heyday for crayon quilts. I will have to load the finished Bo Peep later as Blogger has had enough for now!!! I hope you'll take a stab at crayon quilting. It will soothe your inner child!

Don't miss Tonya's beautiful post about Egyptian weavers and a most lovely quote on creativity. The quote went immediately into my book of favorite quotes. Go be creative!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What the?????

I have tried several times this morning to load pictures and a post. First I could get the pictures on and wrote a lengthy post responding to comments about the crayon quilt. Tried to publish it and whoosh--off to never never land! And, yup, you guessed it, I had not saved it as a draft. Next time I tried, I did save the post as a draft but it too has disappeared. Now Blogger won't let me upload photos. AAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH! I thought all this was behind us when we switched to New Blogger. Well, just venting. Will try later today to post.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A Little Diversion

As the quilt guild's annual show inches closer, it is time to set aside those twenty-eleven projects and work on some things for the show. Each year we sell minis and the profits go to a charity that we vote on. We are going to a silent auction format on the minis this year and will also offer baby quilts for show visitors to bid on. I decided to do Bo Peep. She is colored with regular Crayola crayons and heat set. Around the borders are yo-yos. I am still debating if I want to put little vintage buttons inside each one. If I can come up with enough, I will!!! I love to sit and color these little blocks with crayons. Very relaxing and nostalgic!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Forty-Two Years and Counting....

Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary. We were 10 when we got married LOL!!! These gorgeous pink roses greeted me at the kitchen table. Pink roses are my favorite!
Thank you for all the suggestions on the colors in Broken Dishes. After taking a peek at the design wall again this morning, I think you all are right. The darker colors add some sparkle. The couple that this baby quilt will be for is adopting a baby and have been waiting for a very long time for a child from China. They will make such wonderful, loving parents that I just hope this happens soon for them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

One Hundred Sixty-Eight HSTs and a Big Parade

Well, no parade but here's what 168 HSTs look like on the design wall. As I kept laying them up there, I noticed that I had used some that were much darker than I originally envisioned. This IS a baby quilt, after all!!! However since the family lives in southwest Colorado, it felt like these colors really represented mountains, sunsets, and all the colors of my favorite state (well, next to Missouri!) I'm going to live with it for a few days before I start stitching blocks together. I always need to do that LOL.
As I was playing with these little HSTs, I thought about how much I enjoy this part of the quilting process, the "puzzle-putting-together" part. You could turn these little quilty pieces several different ways and come up with different patterns. Now if the sewing fairy would just come along and stitch them up....

Monday, March 12, 2007

More Fun

Have y'all seen this neat website yet? It is Catalog Card Generator and looks to be a useful organizational tool! Or--maybe just a fun toy! I can see it used as a cute little addition to my quilt journal where I keep odd facts and pictures about quilts I have made. Or maybe a recipe keeper. Or a way to keep track of quilt books I've bought--so I won't keep buying the same books twice!!!

Today Bernie went to the sewing machine "spa" for his yearly check-up and a BSR update. He'll be away for a few days--sniff, sniff. In his stead will be this little beauty, Whitey. Whitey is a lightweight machine I bought several years ago to take to classes and workshops. He was quite inexpensive and does a decent job. He has needle down, several decorative stitches, and a few other handy tricks up his sleeve. While I was on a roll to chain-piece more HSTs, I set him up in the living room on an old rickety TV tray (remember those???) and stitched away in front of the TV. To date I have 146 HSTs made towards the Broken Dishes baby quilt. They sewed up so-o-o fast! Of course, the time consuming part is trimming them all out to 3 1/2" square!!!!

Several of these HSTs, though, will probably be culled out and set aside for future projects. The colors are not quite right. It's so hard to tell this until they are plastered to the design wall.

More glorious weather in KC. It's in the mid-70s with beautiful sunshine today. Can the real spring be very far behind?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Playing With HSTs

Several quilts are at a standstill due to the need for either backing fabric or border fabric!!! So, itching to sew this weekend, I went digging through my vast collection of 5" charm squares and started chain-piecing half square triangles with the goal of a baby quilt for DH's niece and her hubby, who have been waiting a lo-o-ong time to adopt a baby. They are slowly inching up the list and we are so hopeful that by June they will have that precious bundle! I pulled from the the Moda's Oh Baby! packet. The colors are so yummy, but there won't be enough for a whole quilt so I will mix in several others. I have become so addicted to the 5" charm squares that I almost hate to cut into them! They are so darn cute all lined up in a container! Add to that the year-long swap my mini-group did last year with 5" squares--I have a few!!! It is so relaxing to sit at the machine and chain-piece. I could do it for hours!!! I am thinking the Broken Dishes pattern will be cute. The bottom photo is the Jo's Scrappy Stars I have been working on for ages--and you are probably sick of seeing it!!! I decided to stick with the scrappy look and just use more of Jo's fabric for the setting squares. I did have to fill in with 3 or 4 fabrics that are not Jo's but I am certain my DS won't know the difference LOL! This week I will take it with me to a couple of quilt shops and search for the perfect border fabs and some extra-wide backing fabs. Anyone know a great online source for the extra-wides?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

WIP Wednesday and a Bad, Bad Me

Thirty-six scrappy stars are now on the design wall. These were started as BOMs from my local quilt shop about a year ago and are from the Jo Morton pattern, Scrappy Stars. I am now auditioning setting squares. Today I played with a few print fabric squares. I may look through books for a simple pieced block to try out next. I have LOTS of Jo Morton fabric!!! This

quilt will be for DS2. His townhome has lots of browns and golds so I think he'll like it. On the Quilts-For-Sons front, the strippy snowball/Hawaii-flavored quilt for DS1 finally has some border fabric purchased!!!
Photos on another day.

The bad news is, while I was shopping for the aforementioned border fabric, these three books followed me to the register! I was so sure that I had Folk-Art Quilts but when I wanted to find it the other day, of course I couldn't!!!! So I may or may not have two copies---time will tell. I sure hope the rest of you quilt bloggers do that same thing--buy the same book twice. Humor me and say you do! The other two books just had some neat, neat things in them and as I approach the done-done stage of several quilts, I am chomping at the bit to find some new projects.
Kansas City is still experiencing some very gorgeous weather. 50s and 60s with lots of sunshine. Hope your part of the world is nice too.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Doesn't this look like fun?? A blog hop! Gotta love it.

We NEED more ways to while away time on the computer, right?

KC is being teased with springlike weather today. Sunshine, yay! No wind. Yay! Temperatures in the 50s. Yay, yay, yay. It's amazing what a little climate change can do for one's mood. Almost too pretty to stay in and quilt. Almost....

Rocky asks, "Can't I puh-lease go out there??"

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Border Patrol

That term, Border Patrol, takes on a whole new meaning when applied to quilting, huh? Past few days have found me adding borders to Chocolates & Cherries and Birds of a Feather. I am thinking about handquilting C&C with fans and brown perle cotten thread. I am not much of a handquilter (or machinequilter, for that matter LOL) but I have really been wanting to do the bigstitch utility quilting lately and this quilt seems a likely candidate. BOAF will go out to my longarmer. They both look, well, so FLIMSY laying across the bed!!! Quilting will bring them to life.
The last photo is of my vintage sewing birds. Finn asked for bloggers to share some of their olden sewing tools so I am obliging! These were purchased at antique malls many years ago when they were still affordable. Last time I saw any around they were going for over $40. Since I am trying to start the downsizing process, I try to resist such wonderful objects! In the front on the right hand side is a wee sewing machine oil can which belonged to my brother-in-law's grandmother. My sister is not a sewer or crafter so I lucked out!
March is upon us. In like a lion here in KC!!! A couple of family crises have limited my time for blogging but I am hoping as March moves on, that will improve.