Tuesday, December 30, 2008

diving in

I've been a bit overwhelmed lately and not creating. I miss that. I've been doing stuff for the store-- it's moving this week!!-- I'll be posting some things to the Quilter's Friend blog later today.

When I am overwhelmed, what I need to do is dive into some creating. Just haven't had the time when I am not exhausted! Exhausted Creating is not always Good Creating. Maybe I should do one of those splashy paintings that doesn't matter. Or spin art. Or run some things through the Cuttlebug.

Tonight!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

God's Lovelies

I am blessed. I live in a quiet town, have great neighbors. I have several jobs to juggle, it's a good challenge. I have friends here, some new and some old (from 4th grade!). God has given me much.

Studying a lot about quilters and quilting until I don't know if I ever want to know more. But the myriad of talented people amaze me. I see their intricately pieced quilts and detailed quilting and am speechless.

Tonight I was driving when the sun was setting. What a glorious sight! If a painter would paint such glory, we might think it was not natural. Even a photo wouldn't do it justice.

And it wasn't the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen. It was actually rather ordinary. God's ordinary is way more gorgeous than mere humans could ever think up. Although God has given us humans much talent, and wonderful expressions of beauty, He has us beat for sure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Meme

from allsorts-
and yes it sounded fun... and before allsorts, Alicia
and before Alicia, Citygirl
and who knows before that...

Where is your mobile phone? table
Where is your significant other? sitting
Your hair colour? brown
Your mother? better
Your father? playing
Your favourite thing? creating
Your dream last night? none
Your dream goal? productive
The room you're in? isolated
Your hobby? creating
Your fear? failure
Where do you want to be in 6 years? free
Where were you last night? grandbaby's
What you're not? tall
One of your wish-list items? confidence
Where you grew up? here
The last thing you did? yawn
What are you wearing? scrubs
Your TV? off
Your pets? wacky
Your computer? laptop
Your mood? sad
Missing someone? yes
Your car? used
Something you're not wearing? shoes
Favourite shop? crafts
Your summer? quiet
Love someone? yes
Your favourite colour? primary
When is the last time you laughed? yesterday
When is the last time you cried? today

and smiling, because in spite of sadness, I know I am rich. I see the cards sent to me and I smile because there are those that care about me a lot, and I am glad, and I am blessed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

rainbows



Even though in recent years the rainbow has been "adopted" by different groups, they are still among my favorite things. At my last job, I had crystals hanging in my window, and often, the office would be filled with rainbows. When that job ended I hung them in the kitchen window-- but the sun doesn't hit that window. Recently, I hung them in my "spare room" (or whatever we're calling it!) and lo and behold, RAINBOWS!! I have been enjoying them very much.


So here's a bit of a rainbow, just for whoever might read this.

And here's the source of the rainbow, well, not exactly the source, but maybe the reason. I love rainbows because God used a rainbow to tell Noah that the storm was over. A reminder to me, that whatever storm I am going through, God knows its beginnings, and its endings...
And, I love rainbows because they are beautiful. I love them dancing around the room. Just because.





Speaking of rainbows, remembering rainbows from a long time ago....


Monday, September 29, 2008

bananas, anyone?


Finally done with this. I don't want to mention names, but the fusible stuff I used for this is NOT what I would recommend. The pattern said "advanced" but would have been "easy" using my old favorite Wonder Under.

I had great fun once I got the leaves fused. I had sewed all the borders on before I appliqued. I raw edge appliqued because I think the leaves look more leafy, LOL!

Anyway, now it's hanging above the bed, and it told me I need to paint the walls. Oh, and those drapes don't match either, and what about a quilt for the bed?

:)

Monday, September 22, 2008

watermarks that aren't...


I got done with the banana tree wall hanging so I've been making cards like crazy. It seems I have to be doing something, so I kind of take turns.


I got inspired with Angie's "best wishes" card with tractors on it:




scroll down a bit to see it; enjoy the other cards on the way!!


Anyway, I remembered that a long time ago I made backgrounds with Print Shop. So I did some more. I then embellished with various stuff-- cuttlekids dies, pccrafter graphics, cuttlebug hearts. I've printed more than I have finished. I'll add them to my cards album.
I'm feeling dull and uninteresting at the moment. Creating always helps.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

exploring; getting inspired

Today I made a bunch of cards. The inspiration was my mother in law's birthday. She's 93 and I never know what to do for her. She sends out lots of cards so I give her a pile from time to time.

I also spent some time browsing in Picasa. I searched for greeting cards and found a couple sites I really like. I added them to my blog roll thingy.

The first cards were odd and I didn't add them to the album, but most of them have been added. The sunflower ones were inspired by a sunflower challenge that I should have mailed out awhile ago. I love the colors. It is getting back to printing with leaves. A couple years ago I went crazy with that. Beautiful stuff.

That's all I get to do today. TWO birthday parties today! I made a purse for a 2 year old but forgot about taking its picture so I'll have to do another. LOL there are always little girls who want purses.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Recycle, recycle!


The thought of recycling something brings me great satisfaction. The very idea was thought up by a packrat. What, throw that away? But maybe someone somewhere could USE that!


One can find treasures at thrift shops. The last few years I have been far more selective, especially after the Rule that One Must Let Something Go when One Brings in Something.


However.


A pieced pillow sham caught my eye, and after all it was only a quarter. It jumped into my hand and wouldn't let go. SO.... since I need practice with free motion quilting, I decided that would be perfect. It wasn't quilted, just sort of tacked together. Take out a bit of stitching, put on a new backing, quilt it, voila, a new wall hanging...


As it turned out, it also became a lesson on Flatness. I ended up ripping out almost all of it and sewing it together again. I would do one section, then another would pop up. I was getting a bit tired of it by the end, so "quickly" quilted it.


However.


Presser foot was not down, and on the back, which I had not been actively been thinking about, was all loopy. Sigh. Rip. I thought maybe I would wear out the fabric.


After I had quilted it for the second time, I realized that the yellow stripe thingies on the side were rather crooked. VERY crooked. NOT ripping out quilting again... So I sewed on a new yellow stripe, over the old one... I guess I could call it "applique" LOL.

Sewed on another border, on top of the last one. Did the binding. Of course if I was not saying all this no one would really know how much trouble it was. Or how much I "cheated"!


All in all, it was an excellent learning project. And now it is DONE, and hanging on my wall.

Monday, August 25, 2008

cherries!

Two cards made from pccrafter graphics. I decided to try a background from the same graphic as the large one, and of course had leftovers so had to try the second card. It isn't perfect, but I like how it turned out. Perfect just can't be my goal, the creating is the goal.


And life is a bowl of cherries. Or a chair of bowlies if you are Mary Engelbreit. Gotta love her.


more die cuts and embossing folders

I've discovered that the small cuttlebug embossing folders work just fine in the cuttlekids machine using two smaller cutting pads instead of one A and one B. More versatility. I think for the kids the embossing would be easier. This is a hobby (the die cut stuff) where a lot of money can be easily spent. So I'm glad I went the cuttlekids direction even though it will be limiting. I need limits! I read that even the sizzix narrow dies will fit with the smaller cutting pads, although for $25 a shot I don't think I will try any time soon. JoAnn doesn't include Sizzix stuff in their 40% coupons.

Here are a few cards I have made. The first one also has flower punches. The second two has cuttlekids flower diecuts.



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lady in Cheongsam

I am part of the making-greeting-cards.com yahoo group and Flora sent out some stamped images as a challenge for us to make a card with it. It was good to see the variety of interpretations of the image. For me, after I had colored her with watercolor pencils, she just looked joyous. I wanted to put some kind of Chinese writing but not knowing Chinese didn't know what to do. I found a site that had some; this says "dance" I hope. Inside, I put "dance like nobody's watching".

This was a fun challenge. I really like the way she turned out. Simple.

I thought that "cheongsam" was a place, but it is one name for the traditional Chinese dress. This is a more modern variation. I learned that I know very little about China. :) Now with the Olympics is a great time to get more educated!

By the way, if you click on the picture, you can see every little imperfection!

Cuttlekids



I am always attracted to new stuff. I've been eyeing die cut machines, but haven't wanted to spend the $$ for something you might not use a lot. But I was out one day and saw a Cuttlekids machine for less than $20. I took a deep breath and grabbed it. Of course then I had to add a few dies... and I have been having fun! In my opinion, the 2-step ones like the turtle on the right are a bit difficult for kids. I had trouble with the tiny pieces. The more I do it the easier it gets however. There is a way to use the regular Cuttlebug dies, so I might have to get a few more... where does it end, LOL!!
The stamped "happy birthday" is from a See Dee's stamp. I got their starter collection a couple years ago and love it. Just the right touch. Better than my printing. :)
I also just had to get the fairy alphabet and have already made cards with it. Now I can't tell my daughter in law about this blog until after her birthday, LOL

embossing on card stock


For this one I embossed with an embossing plate on two sided card stock. I then sanded it lightly to reveal the other color. It is much prettier in person. I decided to leave it just plain.
My interest in embossing started at a craft fair a number of years ago. The woman who was selling them just quickly did it, and what she did was so cute! So I bought some, but didn't do much with them.
This is from a set of plastic embossing plates I got thinking they would be good for rubbings. They are-- especially for kids, because they are tough. Embossing with them takes a lot of time and effort. But I like the results. Something to do during NASCAR races!

Real Paper Piecing with Paper



My new skill in quilting is paper piecing. Now I've been piecing with paper instead of fabric... this is from a fabric ad that had samples of fabrics in a line. Since I live in Lodi, a place that is famous for its wine grapes, I thought it a great topic. I've been doing pretty simple cards lately.

Lodi is one of those not-exactly-a-big-city places. We live kind of on the edge of the city; not too far to take a country drive. It is surrounded by grapes. All the way across the city is only a few miles.

I spent my growing up years here. I moved to the next town over to attend community college, then up to the foothills. By the time I left there, that area was famous for.... wine grapes! So I moved from one vineyard to another!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

tiny steps



Here's a teensy scottie dog that I made from a pattern I got from allsorts. I certainly have enjoyed that site! I spent half of a day exploring it. There are several things I am going to try from there.

I used to love doing tiny things. I hand sewed I don't know how many Winnie-the-Poohs and Piglets. I always Used my Time Wisely back then; even though I had quite a few children hanging on me. Now, I have just myself and dear Husband to take care of, and I do less crafting than ever! That is going to change!

The other day I got a precious porcelain doll baby from our Craft Revival. She was made by G C at The Doll Gallery in Lockeford, California. I finished putting her together the same day she was purchased. I see on the back of her head her name is "Breanna" but I think her name is Emily. She's still unclothed but she's high on the project list. Little Sarah Scottie will keep her company meantime. There are some sweet calicos in my stash that are itching to me made into a little blanket and dress and bonnet for her.

My daughter's doll house is in the other room filled with fabrics. Now that I have my big wardrobe back, I think it will sit on top of it and maybe even get some remodeling.

I think I'm back. It's been a long and hard journey, but I think I'm back.

take a deep breath

well this seems pretty silly, to just have a blog for ME and what I create. But I do more than quilt. In fact, I quilt less than I do more than! I love quick little things, and have had so much fun exploring blogs and trying new things that are not quilted... well I want to somehow document what I've been doing. Some has been for the shop, Quilter's Friend. Lately, I've been doing more for ME and if it happens to work for the shop, great.

My mom knew when it was time for sewing. She'd say, Linda, you're cooking this week, I'm sewing! And so we would have miserable meals for a week, and she would sew.Oh have I been sidetracked today! I was thinking about how reluctantly I have gotten into quilting. My mom and grandma and great grandma all made wonderful utilitarian quilts. I grew up comforted by their hard work. Yet I didn't catch that bug until I was over 50.I've been trying to come up with a more descriptive name, and "The Reluctant Quilter" sounded good. But lo and behold, there is already a reluctant quilter out there blogging...The Reluctant Quilterand she, like me, was not a teenage quilter. So I guess I will just stay who I am. :)Of course I visited her blog, and saw her quilting bloggers link, and had to go there, and her "quilters get listed" link, and had to go there, and then there was the catzonmyquilts link, and had to go there, and then I had to rush to get to the post office before it closed. There went the afternoon. But it was fun, I learned a lot!
So have fun running around the internet, just don't forget dinner!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Paper Piecing

The reason I like paper piecing is that it is precise. I still have a lot of practicing to do on Getting Pieces Perfectly Cut and Sewing With a Scant Quarter Inch Seam. I do better with Sorta Straight and Almost Perfect... so landscape quilting and paper piecing are right up my alley.I discovered a site, Paper Panache, http://www.paperpanache.com/ and did the mystery piecing challenge. One takes a pattern and just follows directions and you get what you get. I thought it was fun. It's posted at the shop-- I don't want to spoil the surprise for those that are doing the project. There are some other ones that I want to order,but I've spent my allotment for the month already (yes I know we're not even halfway through the month!!) so I will have to wait until September. There are some good free ones I am trying in the meantime. Good site to explore.

I also got a kick out of Quiltville's blog today-http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2008/08/tonya-bonnies-fungly-challenge.htmlSounds like a good way to practice a block and fits right in with my Almost Perfect style. :)

Paper Piecing

The reason I like paper piecing is that it is precise. I still have a lot of practicing to do on Getting Pieces Perfectly Cut and Sewing With a Scant Quarter Inch Seam. I do better with Sorta Straight and Almost Perfect... so landscape quilting and paper piecing are right up my alley.

I discovered a site, Paper Panache, http://www.paperpanache.com/ and did the mystery piecing challenge. One takes a pattern and just follows directions and you get what you get. I thought it was fun. It's posted at the shop-- I don't want to spoil the surprise for those that are doing the project. There are some other ones that I want to order,but I've spent my allotment for the month already (yes I know we're not even halfway through the month!!) so I will have to wait until September. There are some good free ones I am trying in the meantime. Good site to explore.

Anyone interested in a class? I think it would be great fun to do a mystery one in a class, learn in the process, and see how different everyone's come out! Let me know by phone (209-333-2075)

I also got a kick out of Quiltville's blog today-

http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2008/08/tonya-bonnies-fungly-challenge.html

Sounds like a good way to practice a block and fits right in with my Almost Perfect style. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

New Projects

Oh my. I visited a couple of quilt shops yesterday and can anyone say "New Projects just jumped out at me?"

Tayo's is great! I know I will be back. One of the good things is that it's right by a walking bridge across the American River. We had a lovely stroll after our shopping spree.

I guess I'm giving them free publicity, maybe odd for someone that works in a quilt shopand Ought to be Loyal; but quilters need plenty of variety, and not all shops are the same. Every buyer has different taste; nobody could carry ALL of the wonderful fabric that is out there.

Tayo's has a youngish feel; lots of baby stuff and lots of wonderful brights. Lots of panels for easy and fun gifts. I was inspired to do more brights just by being in the store. They carry a line of stuffed animal patterns, some with noses included! Also some clothing patterns, and lots of minkie and oh-so-soft stuff that I successfully resisted; and great batiks.

The other store I visited was Bearpaws & Hollyhocks. What a lovely, quiet, reserved atmosphere! I can see that the owner/buyer's personality really influences stores. This one has a more old-fashioned feel to it. A project jumped out at me there too; very different from the first shop. This is a spot that you can rent time on a longarm. There are classes you can take to get started. I also got some embroidery floss there; that's getting harder to find.

I enjoyed both shops. And I also enjoyed that my husband went with me and helped me pick out some great stuff-- and used HIS credit card! What a guy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Trip in Miniature

One of the things that I do is displays. Usually it's purses or table runners, things I can finish quickly since I seem to pack my life with little jobs instead of having ONE like a Normal Person.

I've been wanting to try Eleanor Burns' Quick Trip Quilt since it's similar to what my mother used to do. My thinking was I'll just start with a miniature one, it will be fast and easy. Well it has been, I finished the center part in just one day. The hardest part was sewing the two halves together. But I'm not the world's most accurate "scant 1/4 inch seam" sewer yet; and this is in MINIATURE! Trust me to start with the more difficult. But I love the way it is turning out! I should be able to get the borders and binding on later in the week and maybe even finish by Friday.

The method is quick strip piecing. I've never done this before. You sew in strips, then sew those strips into a tube, then cut those tubes into rings, cut those rings in just the right spot and sew everything back together. You have to focus, but it isn't difficult. Next will be a bigger quilt. I'm saving up blues and yellows for my sewing room bed.

Sidetracked!!

Oh have I been sidetracked today! I was thinking about how reluctantly I have gotten into quilting. My mom and grandma and great grandma all made wonderful utilitarian quilts. I grew up comforted by their hard work. Yet I didn't catch that bug until I was over 50.

I've been trying to come up with a more descriptive name, and "The Reluctant Quilter" sounded good. But lo and behold, there is already a reluctant quilter out there blogging...

The Reluctant Quilter

and she, like me, was not a teenage quilter. So I guess I will just stay who I am. :)

Of course I visited her blog, and saw her quilting bloggers link, and had to go there, and her "quilters get listed" link, and had to go there, and then there was the catzonmyquilts link, and had to go there, and then I had to rush to get to the post office before it closed. There went the afternoon. But it was fun, I learned a lot!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Color

Color
Since I am a new quilter (less than 2 years if you don't count my halfhearted attempts as a child and the king sized block bedspread as a newlywed) there is a lot I am learning. Lately I have been learning more about color. There are a lot of resources out there. My favorites so far are from Joen Wolfrom. A quote to tease you from one of her books:

"To my amazement, I found that I could learn wonderful color concepts from nature, and the same effects could be created in art by following nature's lead. "

For my batik quilt, I just picked from the basic pattern colors. It's easy that way, and I don't have to worry if the colors will match or anything. I love it. Then I did a table runner. On the bolt, the fabric looked great. But the finished table runner didn't have enough contrast for my taste. I like it, but I don't LOVE it. I made a quilt for my daughter, black and red and white. I love it-- but it's a tried and true combination. Other quilts have been scrappy ones, just squares, nothing brave. Purses don't take much color sense, they are usually just one fabric, maybe two. I made one purse out of upholstery fabric swatches; easy, all one color family.

Now I want to do at least one quilt in my lifetime that is Absolutely Stunning. Maybe that's everybody's desire! I am not fooling myself, there's a lot to learn. But I watch customers in the shop and take mental notes of what they like and don't like. It's always wonderful when someone comes in and picks colors that really go together for ME-- then of course I want to buy it all and make something.

I see that we all choose totally different color palates. When Diane and I are choosing fabrics, she's focusing on the yellows, pinks, greens-- they stand out for her. The rich blues and greens and purples are my favorites. Both of us melt when it comes to batiks. Some people aren't that fond of batiks (imagine that, lol!) They may choose 30's, or Asians, or Civil War prints.

Really, I don't have to please anyone but MYSELF. Even when I am quilting for someone else, I am giving a piece of ME. I think it's harder trying to please someone else's taste.

So I will keep looking at books about color, and try to keep an open mind and let you know what I find.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Basic Tablerunner


One of our fabric reps has a very creative wife. She made a tablerunner that made us absolutely want a whole line of fabric! Her table runner was reversible; and beautiful:





Here's a simple version based on the sizes we can cut using our Accucut machine. See the pattern guide on the website:

http://www.quiltersfriendlodi.com/basic-table-runner.pdf


Have fun with this one. Make it in different sizes, add borders, make it your own. And if you want, we can make it into a kit for you with precut squares and triangles. Just ask! Either visit the shop or call us at 209-333-2075 and we will have it ready to pick up or mail to you.

The fabric I used was from the "Fern Hill- Dandelion Days" line by Stephanie Brandenburg for Camelot Cottons. The gold is from Hoffman Fabric's "Fundamentals" line.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Batik revisited




Now, about that batik quilt. Awhile ago, I posted about a batik quilt I was making. Here are some pictures of the quilting detail. It was quilted by Barbara Utting. She does great work! I learned a lot doing that quilt. First, I'm not perfect! Not that I didn't know that, but I got reminded that things don't always go as expected. But I really like the quilt, even though I will always know What Is Wrong, most people won't. And I also know that I will keep getting better. I hear that "they" used to make boo boos on purpose... I don't need to do that! :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

stash busters...

Always looking for stash busters, here's a great one. I just finished the mini quilt that is the around-the-world (Quick Trip Quilts) and this is a similar technique. I think it is gorgeous, and a good way to use up those odd pieces.
http://quiltville.com/scrapbargello.shtml

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mini Quilt


One of the things that I do is displays. Usually it's purses or table runners, things I can finish quickly since I seem to pack my life with little jobs instead of having ONE like a Normal Person. I've been wanting to try Eleanor Burns' Quick Trip Quilt since it's similar to what my mother used to do. My thinking was I'll just start with a miniature one, it will be fast and easy. Well it has been, I finished the center part in just one day. The hardest part was sewing the two halves together. But I'm not the world's most accurate "scant 1/4 inch seam" sewer yet; and this is in MINIATURE! Trust me to start with the more difficult. But I love the way it is turning out! I should be able to get the borders and binding on later in the week and maybe even finish by Friday.The method is quick strip piecing. I've never done this before. You sew in strips, then sew those strips into a tube, then cut those tubes into rings, cut those rings in just the right spot and sew everything back together. You have to focus, but it isn't difficult. Next will be a bigger quilt. I'm saving up blues and yellows for my sewing room bed.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Color

Since I am a new quilter (less than 2 years if you don't count my halfhearted attempts as a child and the king sized block bedspread as a newlywed) there is a lot I am learning. Lately I have been learning more about color. There are a lot of resources out there. My favorites so far are from Joen Wolfrom.

A quote to tease you from one of her books:"To my amazement, I found that I could learn wonderful color concepts from nature, and the same effects could be created in art by following nature's lead. "

For my batik quilt, I just picked from the basic pattern colors. It's easy that way, and I don't have to worry if the colors will match or anything. I love it. Then I did a table runner. On the bolt, the fabric looked great. But the finished table runner didn't have enough contrast for my taste. I like it, but I don't LOVE it. I made a quilt for my daughter, black and red and white. I love it-- but it's a tried and true combination. Other quilts have been scrappy ones, just squares, nothing brave. Purses don't take much color sense, they are usually just one fabric, maybe two. I made one purse out of upholstery fabric swatches; easy, all one color family.Now I want to do at least one quilt in my lifetime that is Absolutely Stunning. Maybe that's everybody's desire! I am not fooling myself, there's a lot to learn. But I watch customers in the shop and take mental notes of what they like and don't like. It's always wonderful when someone comes in and picks colors that really go together for ME-- then of course I want to buy it all and make something.I see that we all choose totally different color palates. When Diane and I are choosing fabrics, she's focusing on the yellows, pinks, greens-- they stand out for her. The rich blues and greens and purples are my favorites. Both of us melt when it comes to batiks. Some people aren't that fond of batiks (imagine that, lol!) They may choose 30's, or Asians, or Civil War prints.Really, I don't have to please anyone but MYSELF. Even when I am quilting for someone else, I am giving a piece of ME. I think it's harder trying to please someone else's taste.So I will keep looking at books about color, and try to keep an open mind.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Bears

Oh my. I visited a couple of quilt shops yesterday and can anyone say "New Projects just jumped out at me?"Tayo's is great! I know I will be back. One of the good things is that it's right by a walking bridge across the American River. We had a lovely stroll after our shopping spree.I guess I'm giving them free publicity, maybe odd for someone that works in a quilt shop and Ought to be Loyal; but quilters need plenty of variety, and not all shops are the same. Every buyer has different taste; nobody could carry ALL of the wonderful fabric that is out there.Tayo's has a youngish feel; lots of baby stuff and lots of wonderful brights. Lots of panels for easy and fun gifts. I was inspired to do more brights just by being in the store. They carry a line of stuffed animal patterns, some with noses included! Also some clothing patterns, and lots of minkie and oh-so-soft stuff that I successfully resisted; and great batiks.The other store I visited was Bearpaws & Hollyhocks. What a lovely, quiet, reserved atmosphere! I can see that the owner/buyer's personality really influences stores. This one has a more old-fashioned feel to it. A project jumped out at me there too; very different from the first shop. This is a spot that you can rent time on a longarm. There are classes you can take to get started. I also got some embroidery floss there; that's getting harder to find.I enjoyed both shops. And I also enjoyed that my husband went with me and helped me pick out some great stuff-- and used HIS credit card! What a guy!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sewing machine News!

A few weeks ago, I actually bought a new sewing machine. A Janome Decor Computer machine. I really like it!! I got it at Meissner's in Sacramento and would highly recommend both the machine and the source.http://www.meissnersewing.com/Looking forward to taking a class or two there.

My latest project is with my sister in law. We are in the process of appliqueing 140 butterflies for a quilt started some years ago. Loretta cut out the squares and wings, and her mother embroidered all 140 of the butterfly bodies. Now, it is going to turn into a quilt for each grandchild, with 20 butterflies on each quilt.A good opportunity for spending time together, which has been scant the last few years, and lots of practice with applique.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Art Quilts


Amazing quilts. Amazing Art quilts. I am blown away by the beauty of these quilts.


This all started with reading an article about Philippa Naylor. One of her quilts brought tears to my eyes. You can see a snippet of it here:


I haven't found a full picture of it, and don't want to run the risk of copyright issues by posting a scan of it or anything. You just have to imagine it. If you want to try to find the whole picture, it is called "The Daisy Quilt". Come in the shop and I will show you the picture.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Finding my way...


Finding my way
I love fabrics. I love the feel of the fabrics, the beauty of the colors. A really great fabric is almost huggable. In the past, I created clothes with fabrics. I made my clothes starting in High School, and continued right up until I started to have children-- and then switched to making tons of T shirts and shorts. Occasionally my daughter and I would have matching dresses, and once I made matching T shirts for everyone. Unfortunately, we never took a picture of all of us dressed in our T shirt best.

At some time I quit sewing. Instead of being thrifty to sew, it started costing more than buying in a store. Patterns cost $10 or more, instead of the $2.49 I was used to. I had less time. Because I was a stay at home mom, I had no more need for dressy clothes. A couple dresses for going to church, but T shirts and shorts in the summer and sweaters and jeans became my Uniform. All I was making was the occasional purse-- I can never find just the right one and usually end up making one.

Then I had the opportunity to start working at Quilter's Friend. It has sparked my interest again. I am no longer that interested in making clothes, although I did buy a beautiful knit piece a couple months ago when I visited Stretch and Sew in Stockton. It is still waiting. Patterns are back down in price. No reason not to sew.

The first thing I did for Quilter's Friend was an apron with three matching potholders. Fun! On to something more challenging, I picked out some batiks to make a wall hanging. It took me nearly a YEAR from start to finish. Finally, it's hanging in the shop.

I've been enjoying the challenge of free motion quilting. I don't think I want to progress to all those matched stars and delicate appliques, but at least I understand the process. Maybe some day, when I get the stack of projects that I have acquired under control.

So, finding my way. Quilting and piecing takes a lot of practice. Maybe someday my descendants will find my quilt creation packed away with great-grandma's and grandma's quilts. Maybe someday I will be a famous quilt designer. Maybe someday I will have my own longarm quilting business. Maybe someday.....

So although I am not starting to quilt early, there's adventure ahead.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Exploring

Quite recently, I have been exploring blogs, due in part to Meda's tagging me, and thinking it would be fun to participate. Today I came across this one in a rather strange way:

http://sweetleafnotes.blogspot.com/

I was looking for notebook covers. I love to use fabrics in unique ways. I made a carrier for my laptop out of double quilted fabric, and wondered if I could make sort of an inner zippered case to better pad my laptop. So I was following links as I love to do, and there was a blogspot blog.

To see the laptop carrier, go to the Quilter's Friend Lodi website, and click on the instructions link on the right.

I keep adding more stuff as I think of it. Anything you would like to see?

Another blog I found while looking for color ideas for a website update... this has nothing to do with website colors at all. http://oohprettycolors.blogspot.com/
And her website has a wonderful gallery of art quilts:

http://www.dianedoran.com/

And then of course, on the sweet leaf notebook blog, I found a link to:

http://vickiwelsh.typepad.com/field_trips_in_fiber/2007/03/wip_wednesday_i.html#more

I have always been intrigued by the cathedral window quilt, and someday hope to do one.

So if you need inspiration, go blog hopping-- I'm ready to do a Sweet Leaf Notebook cover now, right after I finish the baby blanket, my daughter's quilt, and my son's quilt.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Free motion quilting...


My first completed free motion quilting project! I've been practicing a lot, both with a wipe-off pen on plastic and with my sewing machine on fabric "sandwiches".

Finally I decided to attempt a baby blanket. It's simple, just fabric, not pieced. It's flannel on the other side, with another layer of flannel for batting in the middle. There's a fabric book that goes
with this fabric, Animals Around the World. It shows animals from different continents. Educational, and cute too! My grandson will love it!!
It is just simple stippling. That's as brave as I am at the moment.

About Me

My photo
just a crafty grandma experimenting with all sorts of things. My main interests are paper craft of any kind and quilting/sewing. But I've done leatherwork, polymer clay, on-the-wheel pottery, painted molded ceramics, papier mache, stained glass, plaster casting, linoleum printing, paper making... you name it, I've probably tried it. A few I actually stuck with. :)