Thursday, December 30

Exciting New Project

Yesterday a new group was started over at Quilt With Us and I'm so excited about it. It was started by Brenda C. and it is called Techniques4Textiles. We will be following her lead to create a Techiques Journal filled with new techniques we will be learning during the year. 
I'm pretty hyped this should be really fun. Each person has listed 3 things they are interested in learning. I got over excited and listed about 10 and Brenda calmed me down and I came back to 3. Got a little over excited I think.
So this morning I kind of came up with a plan for making my journal which I think I'll do first. I'm falling back on my love of scrap booking for creating my journal. I've made books before and this will be a known area and not require too much thinking, just playing. 
Also yesterday I tried pin weaving for the first time. I didn't use the tiny threads for the warp as my book suggested, but used strips of pleather and cotton. Just wanted to try a quick swatch to see how I liked this technique - well I love it and today I'm going to dive into doing it with a fine warp and make a larger section than the 3x6 I did yesterday. I don't have the correct size thread/cord for my warp, but I think I'll just use double sewing thread and see how that works. 

Wednesday, December 29

Little Bonnie's Quilt

As I mentioned a while back my sister's cat Bonnie is a big fan of quilted items. She loves to curl up in them and I thought I'd make little Bonnie a quilt of her own for Christmas. So this little quilt was made from some cute cat fabric I had. I kept it small cause Bonnie loves to roll up in them and maybe drag them around.

This is Bonnie on Christmas day checking out her quilt. 

A few days later Angel put her quilt on the foot stool
and Bonnie took to it right away. 

Monday, December 27

A White Christmas

We were oh so lucky to have a nice 1" of beautiful white snow on Christmas day. Just enough to be pretty and no fear of the roads. I was so glad that I got all my Christmas sewing done way in advance cause about a week before I came down with a nasty cold. So I had my decorations to enjoy and no worries of things left to be done. Just getting back on my feet from the cold and wanted to share some of my Christmas memories. 
My dear brother in law did a good bit of searching and found this honey bee. 
My grandmother had one of these and I'd been looking for one for many years. 
He was very determined and now I have my oh so dear honey bee. 

My sister also found this darling little children's machine at the 100 mile long yard sale this summer. It's just darling. It runs on batteries and the little light still works too. I've not tried sewing with it yet. I like to put a tiny section of fabric on these and sew a few stitches and leave the fabric on the machine. If any one knows of a site where you can find the ages of these little machines please let me know. I'd love to know how old this is. 

Well with all the rush of sewing presents behind me I'm ready to work on several new projects and to get me thinking in different directions I've ordered 2 new DVD workshops from Quilting Daily. So I've new video's to watch and much new stuff to learn. 

Monday, December 13

Snowed In and Sewing - Love it!

Yesterday as I was standing in the check-out line at JoAnn I looked out the front window and saw these huge beautiful snowflakes. It was really coming down and snowed most of the night. We don't get a lot of snow and it's normally in Jan-Feb so this was nice to get 2" this early.  
This is a perfect day for sewing and I finished up a wall hanging with some beautiful inchies by Gwen from a swap at Quilt With Us. 
The old off-white fabric was a great yard sale find by my sister. It's wonderful and has rust  and odd sections sewn together. I added some walnut spray and did some fabric painting. 

With some of the fabric left over I made a quick ATC. 
I love the look of copper wire, well metal in general on my fiber art. 
I was toying with beads on this too, but knew when to say stop, at lease on this one.

Need to get back to my civil war blocks, but first I think I'll warm up the kitchen with making some ginger snaps. 

Friday, December 10

My "Little" Fan

I've given my little sister a few quilted items for Christmas deco and they seem to have made quite an impression with Bonnie. Bonnie is her sweet, silly, spunky little cat. Bonnie sometimes acts somewhat like a dog in that she follows my sister around the house and sits in her lap while they watch TV,  just like my Auggie does. But in all other ways Bonnie is quite the typical feline. My sister keeps sending me these cute photos of Bonnie rolled up, hiding under and sitting on the quilts/pillows I've made them for Christmas. So I dedicate this post to Bonnie.

 Rolled up in a quilted wall hanging.

 Perched on the Christmas Pillow

 Hiding under the Crazy 8, Christmas Quilt

So I decided to make Bonnie her own quilt. 
It's only 27x32 so she might even
be able to drag it around too. 
Merry Christmas Bon Bon.

Saturday, December 4

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas

The first Christmas Party of the season, sparkling lights on the tree and presents to wrap make all my childhood memories of Christmas come alive. My mom made these sweet snow men. Looking at them brings memories alive of how she always went all out on her decorating. I can see her house so clearly with Christmas pillows all but covering the couch and every room having been decorated. She gave me the gift of loving Christmas and I treasure each memory.

Thursday, December 2

New Tools and Supplies

Well I resisted going out shopping the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, trying to give my wallet a break. So I did miss out on some killer deals but did I really need them? Well maybe, but I was strong. One item that has tempted me 2 years in a row was the large wood container of Gutermann thread that shows up every year at JoAnn. It's over 100 spools and screams my name.  Once again my cheapness over came my desire. I did break down this year and get it's baby of 26 spools with a 50% coupon. 

I am also shamefully behind in making some really cute Santa towels. Stefanie and I were making these and she has of course finished her's and mine are still in the package. But I did get the buckles for Santa's belt on Tuesday so I am getting closer to getting them underway. Hopefully today they might even get sewn together. 

I enjoyed an afternoon sewing with the girls at JoAnn Tuesday afternoon and I took my Civil War blocks to work on. Traditional piecing is not a normal thing for me. I'm learning a lot along the way with this quilt. I was trimming up a block and the Quilt instructor, Edna told me I know an easier way! I asked will this make me want to buy a new tool? - Yes. So after using the class ruler from Quilt In A Day - yep I had to have it. This is just the best tool. So now I have several items I use to make all these little parts for my finished 6" blocks. Each of these squares are 2.5" sq.
The Fons & Porter little ruler for finding the center of any block and also their marking pencil are a must. Now adding this square up ruler, I'm ready to plow into these little bits that were slowing down the block construction quite a bit. 

This square up ruler is wonderful, prior to ironing your block you just place it under the ruler and line up your seams (horizontal and vertical) and then just zip your rotary up each side and you are just as square as you can be. 

Then there is the Triangulations CD - this speeds things up too. Rather than cutting strips, then cutting the little blocks then chaining them all you just print out the sheet from the CD the size you want your 1/2 squares to be and rough cut 2 fabrics, lay them face to face with the paper on top and sew on the dotted line. In just a moment or 2 you have 12 quarter square sections. It's genius to me the way it works out. It even takes the dog ears into consideration. 

So now I'm armed with tools aplenty and ready to get this quilt under way. The block patterns are coming from the book, The Civil War Diary Quilt a wonderful gift from Paula. Paula purchased for herself, The Civil War Love Letter Quilt. Both of these books have original writings from the civil war from ladies who were trying to survive these sad days and hold their families together. I've ready about half my book and wonder at their strength. 

Monday, November 29

Back to Sewing

Well with Thanksgiving behind me I can get back to sewing a little. It seemed I spent most of the day yesterday on Etsy uploading new stuff, getting ready for Cyber Monday. Hopefully folks are buying some hand made items this year. And if you aren't shame on you, click over to Etsy and find that perfect gift. The TAFA members have a great variety. I think we're special of course. 

After cleaning up my sewing room yesterday, WOW you can see the floor now - I felt I could take some time to do something not on my to do list and just play. My friend Edna told me about these cute little quilts called mug rugs, which are cup coasters big enough for your cup and a cookie.  That got me to thinking, that's nice, but what if it was just a little bit bigger? Maybe lunch or - oh snack size. So I made a little Snack Mat. OK it's silly, but was fun to have a small project I could start/finish and eat off of all in under 2 hours. How can you beat that? There is also that all consuming need to eat pie. It's 12" x 12" and I just did a wonky log cabin. Think I'll make a few more and it will be great ways to try out new free motion patterns. 

Hum this makes me want more pie...

Yesterday I also worked on some jewelry and one of the things is for a class at JoAnn it's called a Wiggle Cuff, not sure about why they named it that. It was a fun project and of course I made mine from copper. 

Friday, November 26

Thanksgiving & Black Friday Sales

Well yesterday was for family and food. I cooked here this year. Angel and I swap each year. This will be her year to do Christmas breakfast. So with dinner here yesterday I started cooking around 7:00. It is fun but tiring to cook a big meal and by 2:00 I was full and ready for the couch. It was good to sit and relax after all that eating. Angel brought over 2 really good pies which I of course had to try each along with the pumpkin cheese cake I'd bought. 

I'd hoped to have my Santa hand towels completed but due to a little tragedy we had here at our house on Tuesday I didn't get any sewing done this week. My napkins didn't even get hemmed.  My sweet baby Auggie was very sick and had to spend Tues. and Wed at the vet on an IV. I was so worried. He's on antibiotics and special food now and we're taking him back to the vet this morning to hopefully get the IV port removed. He is doing better but I just have to watch his water and food intake and limit much to his disappointment the amount he's eating. Little Ginger sure missed him while he was in the baby hospital and we're all so glad he's home now. He's sucking up the extra attention and hopefully he'll be back to normal in a few more days.

Also I wanted to let you know I've marked down almost every item in my Etsy shop. If you are doing your on line shopping today please take time to drop by my shop. Buy handmade when you can, and give the gifts that are made with love, not by machine. Drop by the TAFA site and view a wonderful selection of handmade gifts. 

Monday, November 22

New Addition to the Tiny Sewing World

On Saturday we had our guild meeting and I did a demo of the embellisher. I took samples of finished work and also took duck cloth, felt and roving. Each member had a try at playing with the embellisher using both sheer, or silk like fabrics and also the wool rovings. We all had a good time. 

Sunday my friend Paula came over for us to celebrate her birthday. She came bearing gifts too even thou it was her birthday! Hey who am I to object? So she brought me the Crafts book on the left as gift and I'm borrowing the Centennial Quilts book on the right. The Crafts book was published in the 70's but has some wonderful techniques that are still current. It covers everything from paper making, basketry, felting, jewelry, clay and leather. It's very interesting and will be giving me great ideas for a long time. 

Here is another wonderful present Paula brought me. Isn't this the cutest little machine!
Paula sent me the link when she saw it on line and when I went on and on about it she just bought it for me. It's so wonderful. The crank and needle still work fine. 

And as an added treasure, look at this spool of thread! It's wood and the scalloped bottom is something I've never seen before. I have no idea how old the spool is. 

Today while out running errands I picked up this fabric to make new napkins for Thanksgiving. I'll just put a little hem on the edges and say I'm done. 
Good fall colors.

Friday, November 19

Starting To Feel A Lot Like Christmas

Got a jump on my Christmas decorating yesterday. Wanted to have the house all festive for Thanksgiving, yes I know it's a bit odd to do it before Thanksgiving, but I just wanted to this year. I love looking at the trees all threw the house and wanted to sap an extra week out of them. 

I got several goodies in the mail this week. The exciting leggings I ordered from Dye Diana Dye came yesterday and I'd already made a new necklace to go with them. Her tie dyeing is...well to die for. The colors are beautiful and these are the softest leggings - beyond comfy...hum what's beyond comfy? 
The other goodie was a really big bag of Apaca roving from Linda at Fiber Fabrications. This will be for some future felted fiber art. The selection she sent was mind blowing. 

I'll be showing some of these at the Music City Modern Quilt Guild's meeting tomorrow. We'll be exploring using an Embellisher to do needle felting with. Will be a fun meeting. Check out our site with the button below. 

Even the sewing room gets a little decoration this little piggy was made by my mom and rather than just let him sit I thought this year he should be used. So Piggy Pin will be a good helper during the Holiday season. 

Well off shortly to go see Harry excited. 

Monday, November 15

The Christmas Rush is On

Had a busy and fun weekend. On Saturday Stefanie and I went to Christmas Village. It was the first time I've been in many years. I was overcome by the crowd. It was shoulder to shoulder in the 3 buildings it filled. There were so many wonderful things I just wanted them all. We sampled some really good foods and looked at wonderful hand made items. I picked up a few Christmas presents, which I of course can't share just yet. We stopped by Michael's afterwards and I got some beading supplies for several presents I'm making, then off for a good lunch. It was a fun day. 

Yesterday I taught a jewelry class at JoAnn and afterwards went to Sam's to pick up a few things and the crowd was pretty intense there too. It seems that the rush for the Holidays is upon us. No more shopping on the weekend for me till after the first of the year. Crazy traffic. I did pick up a goodie on Sunday, yummy truffles. These just might have to go with me when we go see Harry Potter on Friday. Can't wait to see the new movie, must admit to being a huge fan. 

Got off to a busy start this morning and put hangers on 3 wall hangings I'd made for gifts. They are all Christmas themed. Also made 2 pair of Swarovski earrings and this necklace. Now with a little jewelry behind me it's time to get back to sewing. My list is getting somethings checked off. 

Wednesday, November 10

Good Mail and Good Friends

Well here I sit rocking out to Tina Turner and enjoying my new wall quilt I got in the mail yesterday. Can a day just get any better. Sweet puppies at your feet which are tapping away to a great song. Yesterday was such a great day I think I'm still over filled with happy from it. 

I went out to the post office to pick up a box from Jim Shore I'd ordered for a friend for Christmas and what a wonderful surprise to get this package for me! A beautiful inchie quilt from Gwen. It's a thank you for hosting the "Fall Colors" block swap on the Quilt With Us group Art Quilts. We do these block swaps and then after you get your block you continue on with the design and create a wall hanging from it. It's wonderful. This photo just does not do justice to this beautiful quilt. The free motion is great and the inchies are wonderful.  You can't really see but each inchie has a glittered tulle "drop shadow" beneath it. The tiny sparkles are just the right touch. 

Full view of the 9" x 11" quilt

 Detail of the inchies

Then yesterday afternoon I spent some good time with a high school friend in town from California. Went over to her mom's house and we just had a great time. Her mom reminded us of when she caught us skipping school (we weren't really bad girls) We all laughed and had a good time. Her mom quilts so I took over a few quilts I've made for Christmas presents and we talked about them. Was sorry to say good by and know Janice my SBC (sister by choice) is flying away today. Will miss you buddy. 

Need to get to work on one of my last Christmas presents today. It has a good bit of applique and I'm still not done with cutting out all the little bits. 

Sunday, November 7

Scrapbooking With Friends

Yesterday I had a really good time scrap booking with some great ladies I don't get to see too often. I didn't get my cards finished liked I'd hoped, but with all the talking, laughing and eating there just wasn't enough time. Oh well I still have plenty of time. I took a little time out to check out the new items from Stampin Up and saw several things that I just must have. I normally only scrap at our yearly get together in February, so this was fun to get together and see everyone's projects and learn different techniques. Stefanie is fabulous with paper and showed me how to make these wonderful paper flowers. My first thought was could I make these from fabric? Hum I might just have to try, after I master them in paper of course. 

Hopefully today after a few errands I'll take some time to make some jewelry for Christmas presents. I have 3 sets to make. After that I only have 1 quilting project left to do...whew I'm so glad I got started early. Now I just might have time to make a new table runner and table topper for our house, maybe.

Friday, November 5

Another Holiday Choir Started

One of my favorite things about the Christmas Holidays is cards. If you buy them or make them it's just fun to send them out and keep in touch with your friends and family. I do try to make mine when possible and tomorrow I'm going to a one day crop, and working on my cards is the plan. 
I really want to get my cards done tomorrow so I thought I'd get a little head start today. It just so happens that my good friend Stefanie is a Stampin' Up distributor and so I picked out some paper while over at her house yesterday on our sewing day.  So today I stamped all the designs I'll be coloring and embossed the cards. So it's down hill from here. I just have to hand color a good stack of little elves, snowmen and reindeers. Oh the fun part.

Also wanted to send a Big Birthday wish to Burgundy Buttons. She is 2!

Drop by her blog for a give-a-way and a good sale too. 

Thursday, November 4

The Dark Side of the Moon
12.25" x 21"

Just finished today. 

Tuesday, November 2

Needle Felting...

With a machine of course!
This is what I've been working on today. I'd not used my Embellisher in months and it was great getting it out again. I got 3 pieces of fabric on Saturday while at Jo-Ann for the embellisher. You don't use your well loved quilters cottons for this machine - nope it's synthetics all the way. I tossed in some wool roving too. 

This is how it started out. 

After all the felting is done.

Then the free motion.

The next thing I'll do is some hand beading. That's sitting in the big chair watching TV sewing on the beads and possibly adding a little metal in the mix. Hope to get this finished in the next few days. 

I had to put the other project on hold for a while cause I just needed to mull over the design a bit longer. It was just one of those projects that didn't want to play with others. 

Here are some of the pieces I'd made for this art quilt. After laying them all out it was a disappointment. So I'll save the large back section for something else and then regroup on what to do with the bird quilt. Some times things just fall together and then there are stubborn quilts like this one.

Monday, November 1

I hear Christmas sneaking up on me

When I realized Christmas was just 54 days away, I must admit I had a small panic. I still have several projects to complete. All the quilts I made have no labels and then there are things I've not even started. Oh dear where did the time go. So I've made a list and after checking it twice I've got a plan of action to get things hopefully finished by the 2nd week of November. 

I posted back in Oct. a pattern I'd designed for a Christmas Card holder. Several ladies took me up on testing the pattern and this is the wall hanging made by BJ (top) and Brenda C. (bottom) in the Quilt With Us Group. I really like how Brenda embellished her Santa hat. I'd not thought of that. 

This morning I made up some samples of fiber beads. It took me about an hour to make all of these. They are so quick and easy and can really add some pop to your fiber art. What got me started on these was to see if I could come up with something with feathers on it. Then I just got carried away and made the others. You can't make just one.

Hopefully today I'll be able to finish the wall hanging I've been working on for several days. It keeps evolving as I go. So off to the machine and see what happens with it next. 

Sunday, October 31

The Disappearing Design Wall

I don't normally use a design wall, most of my pieces are small and I don't really need one, but with the Civil War quilt I've started I thought I'd need it. I have 5 windows and 2 doors in this room and there just isn't any wall space bigger than 3 ft. So I remember someone saying that you could use the back of a cheep table cloth...hum. So while I'm out shopping on Friday at Wally World I see Thanksgiving plastic table cloths for $4.65. That's cheeper than a yard of the same fabric so I thought I'd give it a try. 

Hubby stapled it to a long tube - packaging for track lighting. Yes, I'd been hoarding it for months for no good reason. When it is unrolled it's there and then in just a few minutes, it's rolled up and gone. The blocks don't "stick" to it as well as I'd like, but it should be OK for as little as it will get used. I used a little Sulky temporary spray adhesive on a few of these blocks. 

You can just see a little white bit on top of the cabinet when it's rolled up. 

Good mail on Thursday! A fiber post card by BJ
It was a thanks for being the hostess of the "Fall Colors" block swap. 

Worked on my wall hanging more today, it's changing as it goes. 
Which is always enjoyable. 

Wednesday, October 27

The Excitement of A New Art Quilt

Yesterday I printed out a bird from a book I illustrated and thought I would use it in an art quilt. This quilt will have the inchies in it I received in a swap. One of the little inches has a birds head on it and that was my inspiration for this wall hanging. First I drew the bird with my new favorite tool the Fonts & Porter mechanical pencil with the white lead. Then I started coloring in with a combination of Crayola fabric Crayons and Pentel Fabricfun pastel dye sticks. The Crayola's are not meant to be use directly on fabric, but you know I seldom pay attention to things like that. (It's just not machine washable.)

Next I'll outline the bird and give him a few extra line with free motion. Then more coloring, and move on to the next part of the piece - the background for the inchies.

I just love starting a new wall hanging, it's very exciting to see what direction things will flow. I've already changed the design once. Sometimes what is great in my head is only so so on fabric.

Sunday, October 24

Our First Guild Meeting

Yesterday we had our very first meeting of the Music City Modern Quilter's Guild.
Our meeting was held in a very old house which is
now a club house in a Franklin TN neighborhood. I just loved
the furniture in the room we had our meeting in. 

This is a very interesting chair I'll have to look up this design. 

My mom had reproductions of this type of chair in her living-room, 
so this made me feel right at home. This is by the way the men's chair. 
The women's chair had very low arms, so there would be room for the huge 
dresses worn in that time period. We're talking Gone With The Wind big dresses. 

and after all what is important at any gathering - food 
I totally forgot to take a photo before it was munched on, what was
I thinking - oh well eating I guess. 

Burgundy Buttons sponsored our first meeting and each new member
got a wonderful goodie bag. She also had a good selection of 
fabrics for sale with my favorite word DISCOUNT! So I just
couldn't pass up getting a "few" little bits. 

I've added several new blog links under Good Reading. 
These are a few of our members. 

If you know anyone in the middle TN area who is looking for a great place to share 
their love of fiber art and quilting just point them in our direction. 

check out our blog

Friday, October 22

Finishing Up The Old & Getting Ready For The New

This is the quilt that had been sitting around unfinished for months. It's not my normal way to let things sit, but this one just fell aside and well you know how it goes. So Wednesday I sewed the binding strips together and machine sewed it to the front of the quilt. I went to my big comfy chair to clip the binding around to the back with the little clips I use and got engrossed in a movie my hubby was watching. Next thing I know I'm doing something for the first time...hand stitching the binding on the back. All my quilting buddies who have been quilting for years say this is the way to do it, but I was very resistant. I am known for saying "I only hand stitch when adding embellishments." Well, I might have a change in my thinking now. This was so relaxing, I was shocked. For those of you who do your binding this way all the time I'm sure you are smiling to yourself and nodding at your screen, but this new experience was just a zen moment for me. So now this old quilt, Asian News is completed and last night kept me warm and cozy. My husband asked me while I was hand stitching are you sewing or keeping your legs warm, I just smiled and said both.

The center panel which was free motioned. 

Scrappy quilt made from every fabric I had in earth tones with Asian charters.

The back uses a large print with Geishas. 

Well with this old project completed it's time to move on. So I'm back to working on my Civil War quilt and as a break today I'm making some fruit loaded oatmeal cookies for the very first guild meeting which will be this Saturday. Our new guild - Music City Modern Quilters Guild has it's first introduction meeting this weekend and I'm really looking forward to it. A great excuse to bake, don't you think?