Tuesday, June 29

Finally Finished - Crazy 8's

I've been tinkering with drawing/painting on fabric and came up with this post card. It's for a swap on the Quilt With Us site. The theme was throne. So I looked on line for some inspiration and determined to use an Egyptian throne. I call this post card, Queen of Stitches.

I started this quilt way back in mid May and just now got it finished. Whew. The print is called Crazy 8's. I bought the center panel last year before Christmas but didn't find the other fabrics till early this year. Most of the quilt shops had run out of the fabric but I found a honey bun and turnover on Burgundy Buttons. When Stefanie and I went on our quilting retreat was when I started this. I started quilting it late yesterday and finished it today. I had the binding made ahead of time. I cut it on Stefanie's GO cutter when I was cutting the other parts of the quilt.

Got this perfect fabric for the back on line at a great price.
It's the Moda Basic Gray line. LOVE IT!
As you can see Auggie was overcome with joy at the quilt being completed.
All it needs is the label and it'd done.
This quilt falls into a gray area. I am working on quilts for Christmas
presents but this one was never planned for a gift, so not sure
where it will end up. I toyed with the idea of keeping it, but
just not sure.

Sunday, June 27

Denim Quilts - The One and Only

Well I got the great idea of making a denim quilt. It's for a guy and seemed perfect at the time the idea came to my mind. I did the top with some purchased denim and the bulk of it was made of old jeans. The top was finished and a good backing for the guy was selected. When I went to pin the sandwich together I started running in to problems. The bent safety pins I use just had a hard time going threw the layers...oh no! Would this be hard to quilt? YES! After I bent/broke a needle I changed over to a denim needle and things went smoother, but I was still having problems. I got it almost quilted yesterday, but did have a little time out of un-sewing some of the quilting. So after picking out the boo boos I determined to set it aside till today. I'll finish the quilting today and trim down to square edges. I've not made my binding yet but that will be a breeze compared to the quilting. Hopefully this quilt will be completed by tomorrow at the latest. It's a cool quilt, but I'm for sure not going to do this again. The thickness of the seams in the top were a drag when quilting. There is one last thing to do after all the binding is completed. I plan to use Shiva paint sticks to put one of the designs from the back fabric on the denim side. Looking forward to playing with that. I should have a photo by Tuesday I hope.

Wednesday, June 23


There are 2 things on the subject of babies I wanted to talk about. First a buddy of mine and his lovely wife have adopted such a wonderful sweet little boy from Ethiopia, Silas. Silas has been with his family for a year on 6/16. One thing sweet Silas would like to have thou is a sister.

This is from Silas's daddy's blog.

We thought that selling the Ugandan Magazine Necklaces from 147 Million Orphans was another great way to raise money ... and it's a win-win. We are helping a feeding program in Uganda and we are helping bring our daughter home from Ethiopia.

These are really pretty close up. The bead sizes range from tiny to good size and are all hand made (in Ethiopia) from rolled up magazine pages. Each bead is sealed and the quality is excellent. They are very pretty, modern and green, but the big bonus is the help you will give so many. Click on over to check out Journey 2 Silas' Sister. You can purchase your necklace there. It's a wonderful cause.

Now on to another baby, not as sweet, but still a joy to me.
Ta Da! My new Pfaff.

OK I know I said I would look for a used one...I did try, honest. One little problem I have is patience. I have tons of it for some things and zero for others. Shopping is one of the zero places. With no used newer models of Pfaffs to be found I started looking at the prices of the new ones and found that for this base line Pfaff it wasn't much difference than a used one like my current machine. My 2nd Pfaff will do most of the same things except for a few things I never used anyway. The big bonus is a 10" opening which my old one is only 7". That's a lot more room to push my quilts threw. There shouldn't be much of a learning curve either. The bobbins only fit in one way, so no more flipping them back and forth. I've called the shop and put in the order for the insert for my Horn cabinet so my new Pfaff can sit pretty here shortly. I'm so very happy with this. Now I have a good machine to take on play days with my quilting buddies. No more of that stupid cheep singer that would eat my inchies and jerk the fabric into the needle. Don't get me wrong, singer is a good brand, but I had a very cheep one. I am going to keep my little White thou. As much for sentiment as anything else. I still use it for foundation piecing cause I don't want paper bits in my good machine. It's also good for my paper crafts and sewing on things not really fit to be sewed on. It was after all my first machine.

Well I'm on cloud 9 and really must be off to play now.

Tuesday, June 22

The Search Is On

This past Saturday while over at Paula's sewing I decided I needed a "new" machine to use for my carry around machine. The first machine I bought was a little $99 White which I still use for some things. (mostly foundation piecing and sewing on paper) I use my Pfaff for everything else. I love my Pfaff. About 2 years ago I bought a Singer for around $150 and thought it would be a good traveling machine, but I was wrong and this past Saturday it gave up while sewing denim. So we fell back on Paul's Pfaff. That was when it came to me that I just needed to get rid of the White and the Singer and just get a second Pfaff. I love them and I'm now hunting for a good used one. After a few phone calls yesterday I was unable to find what I had in mind at the 2 remaining Pfaff shops here in town. One dealer did say he had several in the "back" but hadn't checked them out yet and done the refurbishing on them. So that is a slim possibility. The down side was one shop told me a used Pfaff might still cost me $900.00+ - yikes. Not at all what I had in mind for the 2nd machine. I am a little afraid to buy from an unknown person on line. Have heard several horror stories from other folks about their experiences. So the hunt is on in full swing now. I'd love to get one that I can use all my same attachments on, since I've invested some money in feet etc.

Today I'm heading out to go sew at JoAnns with a great group that meets out there every Tuesday. I have my Christmas Reindeer quilt top done and will finish the back and get it pinned and ready to quilt. I'd planned to have this done by now, oh well. Well need to get packed up to go. Will drag the little White out again.

Sunday, June 20

A Tale of Two Buttons

You know how you share funny stories with your friends and when you bring them up you still all laugh your self silly for months on end? Well this is one of those stories. I sure hope it's as funny to you as it's been for us. One day while out fabric shopping, our first stop was at JoAnn. It was my good quilting buddies Paula and Stefanie. We had done all our shopping and were headed for the checkout when I walked over to look and see if a silly little something I'd had my eye on was on sale yet. You know, one of those things you don't need and really serves no other purpose except to make you smile. JoAnn had a new group of home deco stuff for your craft or sewing room and these big buttons just made my heart sing. So I've been looking at them for several weeks and when I go to check them out there is just ONE red button left and it's 40% off. OK that's it, it will be mine. So I grab it off the display and holding it tight I go back and show off the dear fine to the girls. Paula said she must have one too and I told her there is one blue one left. So the 3 of us go tromping back to look at the buttons and Paula puts the blue one in her cart and we are looking at these cute wood boxes with treadle machine silhouettes on them and as I reach out to pick up this box my beautiful red button slips from my grasp and in slow motion hits the floor and becomes about 50 pieces. This is the point when Paula and Stefanie wish they had a camera. Stefanie said the look on my face was like a little kid who just saw the scoop of ice cream fall off the cone and knew there was no more. I made a Lucy crying sound and the girls couldn't help it but just cracked up. After they got control of themselves Paula offered me her blue button and I was so dejected that I just said oh just put it in the cart. Stefanie later went to the JoAnn in her area and look, no red button. One night while in JoAnn shopping for fabric Paula saw them - AAAAAHHHHHHH (angel's singing) so she didn't have a coupon so she did what we've all done and hid them under a rug in the display. She came back the next morning and as she was getting out of the car she realized, oops I forgot my coupon - drives back home gets coupon, returns to JoAnn and gets me 2 red buttons (for now they have 2 sizes) and herself the smaller of the blue button. So yesterday I took her big blue button back to her and now finally after a silly tale have my 2 beautiful big red buttons on my wall (hung securely)

You would think nothing would top finally getting my buttons, but Paula had been out shopping @ goodwill for jeans to make hand bags from and found these bib overalls. Knowing I love Mickey Mouse she got them and made me this apron. Isn't it the cutest! With all those pockets I'll never leave my glasses or a pencil laying on the other side of the room again. I don't normally wear an apron to cook unless it's something really messy, but I do often wear one while working on stuff in my play room - just need the pockets. This is beyond perfect.

The cutest details.
And to make it kind of girly it ties with a ribbon.

As an on going thing I am trying to learn how to paint on fabric. My first attempt was a little tote bag Stefanie embroidered for me all in black thread of a sale boat. My sun set sky turned out very muddy and I saw how easy it was for the paint to bleed on the fabric. Much more practice would be neede here. So I played with it again Friday and did this. Again I had bleeding issues but after I got to looking at it I liked it? Go figure. So I did some stitching on it and made this post card. I just love it! Isn't it funny how things can go from disappointment to joy.

Happy Father's day to all.

Tuesday, June 15

Inchies & Beyond

Well with a bunch of graphic work behind me and my schedule clear for a day or two it's time to sew! I was looking over the UFO pile this morning and just shook my head and felt I needed more coffee prior to jumping back into any of them. So I did a little organizing in the sewing room and was looking at a section of fabric I'd been playing with for some inchies. I like to lay my stuff out so I can touch and look. More to pick up later but it helps me visualize.

I think my Christmas quilt is the closest to haveing the top completed so I'll work on it today. Later thou I'm going to Paula's to make hand bags. She found a cool idea and we're going to experiment with them tonight - hint I'm to take my anvil ? what? I should have photos tomorrow.

Did get a bit side tracked thou looking for the manual for my carpet shampooer. I'm not sure how these things happen but stuff just wanders off and I never see it again. I "thought" it might be in the huge pile of paper's I needed to file, so I bravely went upstairs and started going threw them - 2 hrs later everything is filed except for a small ? pile. Why do I let the filing get soooooo far behind? I hate it. But now all is well...till it piles up again. Then after all that sill no manual on the shampooer - did find the manual on my camera thou! Trying to give away the shampooer but just needed the book to go with it - the search continues.
But for now it's time for lunch and then some sewing.

Sunday, June 13

Just Not Enough Time To Sew

Well this has been a no sew week, bummer. I worked on the bird book all day Mon - Tues. Took care of the messy house on Wed. Ran errands all day Thurs and Friday had a fun fabric shopping day with Stefanie, but no sewing. So today after hours on the computer once again I just had to sew something and I figured a few inches were better than nothing.

While out shopping with Stefanie on Friday we went to the book store ( I had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket ) and I found a good book. I normally don't even look at book stores for fiber books cause they have so few and normally stick to the magazine rack. This is a good book with lots of funky techniques in it. I plan on trying a few on some up coming swaps I have.

One swap I'm in is for a 12 x 12 block that can be black & white + 1 color. So I'm thinking do I want to use my one color as thread? Paint? Another Fabric? It's a good challenge too and has me thinking. Then there is a post card swap coming up and we also are in the planning stages of an inchie swap. I need these smaller projects to keep me from getting bogged down in the bigger quilts I'm making for Christmas. I've got 2 finished for presents and one ready to quilt and about 3 laying on the cutting table in different stages of completion. It makes my head spin when I go in the sewing room with the little piles staring at me.

Saturday, June 5

Won't be long now

Well I'm nearing the end of the drawings for the newest Seymour Adventures. It's working title is Seymour and Friends. It's a children's bird watching book and I've been drawing away and learning a little something about birds too. This will be the 3rd book in the Seymour series. I will be adding the first 2 books to my Etsy shop very shortly. They are also available at Art & Invention in East Nashville.

I truly love doing children's illustrations and drawings.

Today I have my first class teaching drawing to kids. It will be different and I've spent some time getting simple lessons together on shadows, and foreground/background and other simple art basics. This should be fun.

Tomorrow I am planning on sewing all day. I have 2 quilt tops near completion. I like to do my quilting in groups and I'll have 3 ready to quilt then. No need rolling the sewing cabinet out into the middle of the living room for one quilt, so I save them up. I also enjoy the quilting part so much I really get lost in it when I do several at a time.

Had a really good class last night at JoAnn for beginning jewelry making. I think 4 more people just got hooked. It was one of those classes where we all just clicked, and it was a lot of fun.

Well I think I have enough time to do a little drawing before going to class.

Thursday, June 3

And Sew On

I was a bit under the weather with back issues for a bit and didn't get any sewing done, but feeling much better now and started working on my in-law quilt again. This quilt has been a challenge. My original design (in my head) was beautiful. Then when I started laying the blocks out what I saw was very boring. So out I go to get more fabric (grin). As soon as I found out Basic Grey was making fabric I was thrilled (thanks Stef), it's sold by Moda. So I got some of the beautiful brown for this quilt. Only Tuesday did I determine to set the center section on point. This was suggested by my new sewing buddie Edna. She has tons of experience and can answer any question I have. From that point things seem to be falling in place, knock on wood. I did find the perfect fabric for the back of this quilt and then it ended up on the front? Plans? Who me? I'm taking this with me today to work on at Stefanie's house.

Went out shopping with Paula and Stefanie on Saturday and we hit several fabric shops. I found several things I just couldn't leave without. These 2 new orientals were a must have and below are some pretty civil war fabrics which are light in tone, something I didn't have as much off.

This ATC started off as a little scrap I was trying to see how small I could meander on and then tossed it aside. Later it got a bit of orange paint and some hammered wire. I really love making these little things. I've not made an inchie lately and need to make a few of them soon. They really challenge the design part of your brain, hum, 1 sq. inch.

Well need to pack up my sewing and be off to Stefanie's. We always have such a good time.

I don't often do this but if you will allow me a soapbox moment.
Maytag (Whirlpool) service is horrid. The adds about the lonely repair man are fiction. The once great quality of the product is gone. Now I'm on the 4th service call in just under 1 year. SOOOO glad I got the warranty. Heard today about the huge recall. Horror stories on line from other consumers trying to get dishwashers fixed - Maytag is falling down hard on this one. I'll never buy another one of their products, and I'd bet I'm not the only one. Thanks for letting me rant.