Saturday, August 28

Finishing Up Several Small Projects

I'm coming down to the finish line on getting my Christmas stuff completed. I have the last quilt on the machine to be quilted. I'm so happy. I have several other small wall hangings to do but really after this quilt is done I'm finished. Whew.

I got to wondering while putting the hanger on the back of this little wall quilt how other folks hang their quilts. I am looking for a new way to display my wall quilts. I don't want anything to show from the front - just the quilt. So if you have a method for this do let me know. Currently I make a rod pocket and slip in a round wood rod and put in picture hanger screws in each end and use the wire you hang a frame up with. I'm not crazy about how this looks, but it works. The wire is below the top of the quilt and the wood rod keeps the top of the quilt from flopping on the corners.

Have several swaps coming up soon and needed to get those pieces done. The swaps are all in the Quilt With Us group. We have an inchie swap, ATC fall theme swap, Post Card swap with the theme of EYE, and also in the Art Quilt group we're coming near the deadline for our black and white plus 1 color block swap. Our next swap in the Art Quilt group will be a fall swap, but the theme hasn't been determined yet...I'm the hostess and I just can't make up my mind. I have till tomorrow to post the theme and other specifics. Think I'll toss in a twist on the fabric too...hum.

I made this ATC today for our above mentioned fall swap. It's made of ties, wire, beads and a pinch of cotton. I've never made anything from men's ties before. My friend Paula loves working with ties and is making a gorgeous pillow just using the narrow end tips. The 2 ties I used were very different in fabric thickness and feel but with some SAS2 it worked out great. I really enjoy the instant gratification when making ATC's and post cards.

Saturday, August 21

So Simple - So Cleaver

I've wanted a design wall for ages and just couldn't figure out how to make room for it. Most of the ones I'd seen in quilt shops were based on wood and would be heavy and hard to deal with. My friend Stefanie came up with a super clever idea for a design wall. It's even portable! She has a tutorial on her blog of how to make this and I'm for sure going to make one here very soon. Drop by and check out the how to, here.

Thursday, August 19

Quick Projects and Cute Storage

Yesterday I had my fun weekly trip to Stefanie's house and we sewed and had a wonderful time as usual. She had been feverishly organizing her studio to expand it from her stationary business to include her new love of quilting. One thing I just few in love with was her storage for her ribbons and buttons. This is a great idea and I loved the colors being separated. She has her ribbons wrapped on the old cloths pins and the matching buttons in sweet little snap down jars. Two old fashioned things ended up looking very modern and sleek.

I have been working on several small wall hangings for gifts. I normally give Christmas decorations in the late fall so they can be used that year. So I need to get moving on these. I have several left to make. These patterns are from Nancy Halvorsen's book "I Believe".

There are 9 blocks which make a beautiful quilt, but when time is against me I just made them into cute little wall hangings. I still have to make the hangers, which I'm planning on making out of heavy black fence wire. It's about 14 gauge and very hard.

I was drawn back into my natural love of funky stuff with this post card made with de-stressed black cotton (used a bleach pen) batik, loose woven linen and of course copper wire and heavy black wire. The black wire was hammered and wrapped with 26 gauge copper. I used a copper Madeira thread.
Today will be another jewelry day to get ready for the 2 classes I have on Friday night and Saturday. Saturday's class will be a metal workshop. I completed my class hand outs this morning and now need to make a few samples. Looking forward to sharing my love of metal.

Tuesday, August 17

Blast From the Past

Very often after I've put down my book for the night and I'm trying to go to sleep (not something that is always easy) I'm thinking of my current or next fiber piece. Last night just as I turned out the lamp I looked at this basket in our bedroom and it gave me an idea for my next piece. Funny where inspiration will spring from. This basket was made so many years ago. I was living in Jax Florida at the time and was a weaving nut. The kitchen was my "studio" and a pan of water was always on the floor with soaking reed and very often dye was on the stove. This was my first experience with 3 demential work, and I loved it. After taking a wicker class at the local basket shop it shortly became my favorite form of basketry. This style can just go in any direction and I loved it's endless possibilities. This was one of my favorites and I've kept it all these years.

Here is me back in the 80's (far left) teaching the free form wicker class at one of the shops in Jacksonville. I had ladies come from Georgia/Northern Florida to take the class. It was an all day workshop and a ton of fun. This was my first experience teaching and I also found out how much I enjoyed that.

OK so enough for my flash back. Zooming back to present day, I have started doing the sketches for my next piece and it will be influenced by this basket, I made many years ago. Inspiration comes from the world around us. It's always so interesting to see threw an artist's eye how every day objects shape their art.

Sunday, August 15

Quilt Show & Fabric Shopping...

equals a perfect day.

Stefanie and I went out to see the Williamson County Fair. They had a quilt contest and we went by to see the entries. There were some beautiful quilts there, my favorite was the log cabin quilts. There were 2 that were just to die for. I just love that block. One was done in traditional civil war prints and the other was in modern fabric which gave it a modern look which was very nice. There was also a new take I'd not seen with men's ties. My friend Paula who got me started quilting loves the quilts with men's ties and I thought of her right off.

After that we went by one of several quilt shops in Stefanie's area. We are lucky to have 3 quilt shops within a 30 min drive from my house. This is a very sweet shop, The Quilting Squares and the ladies are so helpful there. I've started a collection of coffee shop fabrics from there, still need a few more before I can start my quilt - this may end up being a table topper for my dinning room table, just not sure yet.

Then it was lunch time and Stefanie introduced me to a new restaurant called Dotson's. It a great meat & 3 with super reasonable prices and great food.

Then we were off to Quilter's Garden in Franklin. I love this quilt shop. They have a HUGE selection of fabrics and we were in there a good while. After we pried ourselves out of the Holiday fabrics we went back into the civil war section and I got a new fabric for my collection and the I saw this...angel's sang and my eye's flew open and I was in love. This is their current block of the month quilt. I'm of course behind but plan on making this for sure. It's just too wonderful. I love civil war fabrics and was searching for the pattern I wanted to make. This will be for our bed. I'll have to have this quilted by a long arm quilter - have a great one in mind. Isn't it just stunning.

As I was still wondering around in the oriental fabrics when Stefanie tells me "oh Royce there is a new Olivia collection" - drat - gotta have that. So to start off with I picked up 3 of them. I still have some of the original Olivia collection and may use them on the back of my second Olivia quilt. Such a sucker, I am.

Well today is my first day of sewing in my new space. Think I'll start off by putting the binding on my D4P. It's all quilted and cut and ready for binding - just need to select the fabric. Got side tracked on Friday with jewelry making, but today it's back to sewing. First I have a little of the dreaded house work to do then it's play time.

Friday, August 13

A Good Friday

During all this moving and painting stuff I've fallen so far behind on simple things like reading my e-mail. It took me about 2 hours to get caught up with the wonderful groups I belong to on Quilt With Us. Can't miss out on what's going on there. I discovered that one of the members, Terri Drake of The Drake's Nest Studios had posted her new guest artist for Aug. It's me! Drop by and check out her site.

I need samples for tomorrow's open house at JoAnn of the wire workshop so I needed to make samples of coils, different wraps etc. After I got done with those I though hey I need new jewelry! So I made some simple swinging little earrings and a good basic black necklace. Didn't have to drag all the jewelry stuff out on the dinning room table today, nope - just sat right in my new room and played with the wire and had a big old time. That little table is just the right size.

Going to try a new technique for putting on binding with the machine on Sunday, I'll let you know how it turns out. I just don't have the patience/time to do it by hand.

Thursday, August 12

New Sewing Room - Almost Done

Earlier today a mere 5 hours ago this was the den. It had 2 sofas a coffee table, side table and all the media junk. The huge entertainment center was just too much of a monster to move into our small living room so it will stay in here and be used for storage. I plan on making a padded back to cover the gaping hole where the big old tv used to be. This will be where I store my sewing machines not in use at the moment. 2 Baby Locks and my original Phaff.

This room is on the corner of the house and has great windows. They didn't really get taken advantage of before cause with the tv in there we kept the heavy curtains closed most of the time. But now let the sun shine in. The room used to be terra cotta with brown trim. It was a cozy room to relax and watch good movies, but now it's all light and bright and will be a great place to create.

With all the putty, paint and other fixing it took 6 days to get it all done. We're not speedy painters as you can tell. I'd still be painting if my sweetie hadn't been such a wonderful helper. He even ran new electric so I have plenty of plugs. Now my computer is next to my sewing machine just where I want it and all is good in my little world. Well I'm worn out and need to go enjoy the new living room, so far only Ginger has sat on the couch. Hubby got the tv moved and hooked back up too!

Sunday, August 8

Paint, Paint, Paint

Well I'm just tuckered out after day 2 of painting the future new home for my sewing. It will be so nice and bright in there with 4 windows! I just can't wait. Should be done with the painting tomorrow and after that dearest will put in several new outlets. Just too pooped out to do anything else today. Crawling around on the floor putting the blue tape down and then painting the window trim and baseboards today was exhausting. I'm ready for dinner and the couch. Hubby was a good husband and helped all day. We make such a great team.

Friday, August 6

Good Mail

Yesterday when I went to the post office I had 2 goodies in the mail. It's always wonderful to get fiber art from my on line buddies and I had 2 wonderful gifts yesterday. The first photo is of some beautiful inchies by Gwen. The stitching on these are so very neat. I have problems with the ziz zag on the edges of my small works and these are perfect. Gwen does beautiful work. You can see her fiber art by clicking her name above. One hint I got from Gwen is what she uses as her "batting". It's a stiff interfacing. She was so sweet and sent me 2 pieces of this to experiment on.

My second surprise was from Diana Bracy a very talented fiber artist. This was the post card I received thew the last swap (subject: Thrones) we had on the Quilt With Us site in our ATC group. We do post cards and inches in this group too. I just love it. The concept for Diana's post card came from every one in the group trying to win a Bernina chair about the time the swap subject was being determined. We all wanted to win that chair! Well I might have not have won the chair, but I sure got a wonderful post card.

Another thing I got from both Gwen and Diana were the clear envelopes you put ATC's and post cards in to mail/store. I'd not used these before and will be sending my first post card off in one with in the week. I'm going to test to see how safely it gets to it's destination in California - yes Janice it's coming to you. You will be my test for the strength of these. I've heard some scary stories from the on line group of their experiences at their local post office when mailing fiber art in these clear envelopes, so hopefully mine will go threw smoothly.

You might have read in earlier posts that I had plunked my sewing machine down in my living room. Well at the time it seemed a good idea. The cabinet was very heavy and it was in the middle of summer. I told hubby and his bud he had helping him to just sit it in the living room, and there it has stayed till now.

Now thou I'd really like to have my living room back to normal. So I came up with the "great" idea to swap my current living room stuff with what is in my den. So I'll move the tv, couch etc into the living room and put all the sewing stuff/computer into the "new" den. Which will become the "hobby room". We live in an old 1930's house and the walls are plaster, so today I'll take all the stuff off the walls in the den and start patching the plaster and getting ready to paint. This is the one room in the house that's not been touched since we got married 12 years ago. It's time for it's face lift. So the transformation begins. I'll keep you posted on how it's going - I dearly hate painting so I'm trying very hard to just keep the end result in mind.

Monday, August 2

Fabric & Wire

Yesterday I got the quilting done on my D4P and it turned out pretty cute. This is for a Christmas present. I only have the binding on this one and one other one to quilt and I'll be done with my Christmas quilts, yea! I had one block left over from the front of this and put in on the back off centered with the light blue fabric making up the rest of the back.

Inspired with the new issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry I made these earrings yesterday from some new steel wire that hubby had hidden out in the basement. Love the color of the wire.

Today I'm making some wire accents for my next fiber art from this wire. It's a bit harder to work with, but I love the look.

I've added a flicker badge to the right and it has a good selection of my jewelry and fiber art.