Monday, December 24

Days Off = Play Time

Well it's Christmas eve and we're enjoying some time off for both of us. It's been wonderful to stay at home and enjoy this time together and to just relax. I've finished a knitted scarf, started several samples for classes and been practicing some new free motion designs. 
My friend Stefanie gave me a great new book on free motion and I've been playing around with some of the designs. 

Another free motion aid I've picked up are these pens. Several people I know love these and I've heard several that don't. The only bad thing I've heard is that extreme cold will make the mark show again. I figure thou if it's freezing where my quilt is I've got worse problems than the marks showing...buuurrrrr. A quick touch from the iron makes the marks disappear. So far I'm a fan. 

 I've also taken a bit of time to work on several metal projects. I normally don't work on several at a time but rules are to be broken. So 2 works in progress. 
 This started off as a jewelry project, 
but after a bit I knew it would be part of a wall quilt. 

 Lots of wire work left on this one. 

Hubby and I went to the tool store last week and I thought it was kind of cool that while we are looking at tools we were both standing there thinking we want something and when I say we can share it that is all the excuse he needs to grab it off the shelf. Two workbenches and two tool boxes in one room leaves a lot of room for tool junkies to collect. You can never have enough files when you work with metal. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas with your friends and families. I am so excited to see sweet Ian on Christmas morning. He's beside himself with excitement over Santa coming tonight. What a wonderful blessing it is to have a child with us at Christmas again to add to the wonder of the day. 

Bless you all and thanks for stopping by from time to time. 
Hopes for a safe and happy new year. 

Sunday, December 9

Another UFO Knocked off the List

Well my neat little pile of UFOs is getting smaller. This table topper was started at
a class for using stencils and just got completed today. I put a black binding on it
and it looks pretty good. So now I only have 2 UFOs left. I'm so happy. 
I have a wonderful stack of new fat quarters I can't wait to break into but 
wanted to hold off till these were completed. 

As you all know this is the light of my life our little Ian. 
He went to see Santa on Friday and did sit on his lap this year. 
May all his wishes come true this Christmas. 

And just look how big he's gotten since last year. 

Sunday, December 2

The show yesterday was fun and turned out very well. 
I'd made some new display items and really liked 
the way they worked out. 

Picked up this old suitcase at a yard sale and
it made the perfect riser for a necklace display. 

This was an old yard sculpture that was 
covered with first metal mesh and then
plastic screen door mesh. 

Then the old 1950's travel case got an
update and also worked out to show off
quite a few items. 

Finished quilting this wall hanging today. 
Don't tell, it's a Christmas present. 
Will do the rest of the binding tonight
while watching TV. 

Had just enough scraps left over for a little
mug rug to go with it. 

A friend of mine turned me onto Downton Abby and hubby and
I fell in love with this series. So the 3rd season will start 
next month so I ordered the first 2 seasons and this 
book which tells of the "real" Downton which was
very interesting. There was even someone there named Bates!
Can't wait for the new season to start. I've already ordered
it on Amazon and can't wait till it gets here. 
But I have to wait till the end of Jan. drats

Friday, November 30

SAVE Christmas Craft Show

Well the car is all packed and I'm ready
to head out in the morning for a
great craft show to benefit S.A.V.E. 
(Saving A Village Everyday)

Come out and support the young ladies who started this
great organization. 

Friday, November 16

A New Technique

Yesterday Stefanie and I took a trapunto class at the Quilting Squares in Franklin. It was wonderful fun and I love this technique. I've admired it for years at the quilt show/museum and thought it much harder than it is. Our teacher sure did make it easy and now I can't wait to do more.

I wish I'd taken step by step photos cause even thou this might look hard it was so easy. 
It will be showing up in some of my wall hangings in the near future. 

I of course did a little shopping after class and got a new ruler. A 12.5 x 6.5 Creative Grids. If you haven't tried one of these they are great. They have built in non-slip as part of the ruler so no more sticking little rubber feet on the back. These slide easy on the fabric when no pressure is applied and hold tight with just a little pressure. I love them and so easy to read. The ones with the semi neon print on them make me crazy. 

Only 14 days till my next jewelry show - the last one this year. Gladly everything is pretty much ready to go. 

Sunday, November 4

Finding My Way Home

I do have a lot of interests. I love to draw, make jewelry, quilt, and do mixed media. There for a while prior to starting working again I seemed to have time for it all, but not so much anymore. For the last month I've been helping out a friend and ended up working 5-6 days a week. This left me little to no time to play. Even my beloved weekends were eaten up with work / housework. So my creative outlet has been locked away and it's made me sad. Some how during this time (since Jan) I've seemed to only make time for jewelry and I do miss sewing so much. So I've decided after a good bit of thinking to change my goals in jewelry making and concentrate on art jewelry and discontinue making the style of jewelry I now create. This took a lot of thinking about to come to this conclusion. 
So I've marked down everything in my Etsy shop
and will be clearing out all my current designs. 

This will leave me time to get back to quilting. I'd also stopped drawing pretty much which is just a sin to me and that must be taken back also. For 2013 I will only do 1 art show with my jewelry. This will leave me time to get pieces done in a relaxed fashion and to create the type of pieces I am interested in making. So with that in mind I've cleared out some sewing time to get back on path with my quilting and I've started working on a new book which leads me happily down the art path once more.

Yesterday I took a class at The Quilting Squares with my friend Stefanie to hopefully improve my traditional quilting skills. Since I am pretty much self taught I never learned those nasty little things that can make or break a quilting project. Measuring just so/how to cut fabric just perfect/squaring up blocks and the other little things that can make that 12" block not come out 12". So now I'm planning on taking quilt classes and getting the basics down. I'll still go off half cocked and make art quilts but need these basic skills to create the traditional work I'd love to do. I want a bed quilt done in the tricky civil war blocks. Those little bad boys can have 20 sections in a 6" block and I want to be that tight with my skills to achieve this. I know it will take time/practice but I want it and must invest time. Later this month I'll take a trapunto class, another traditional technique I've always wanted to learn. 

I'm going to give my jewelry making several good session a month and learn new techniques with soldering and forming metal. This will take me in the new direction I wish to go. 

And to get back on the path I have a new children's book to work on which gets me drawing right away. 

 My new motto

Yesterday's class project

 Just had to get this at Quilting Squares yesterday. So cute. 

Also picked up this panel and can't 
wait to figure out a use for this. 

My friend Stefanie went to Quilt Market last week and
picked up this great bundle for me. Don't you just love
the camera fabric. Yes Angel I'll make you something 
out of this. 

So now to go work on the children's book.

Sunday, October 28

Time to Dig In For Winter and Quilt

Well it's officially fall here in Nashville. The wind is whipping and the breeze is cold. I'm urging my little dog to hurry when we are outside. But this cold weather makes me want to dig into my fabrics and plan new projects. I've been working a bit more this last month but the good old days of just working 3 days a week will be back with me soon. So I decided to start planning a few quilting projects. 
First the pattern - what pattern you Royce using a pattern. Well you know how I normally feel about patterns. They just confuse me for some reason. Garment patterns are the worst, but I've had issues with quilt patterns too. NO MORE! I'm glad to say I've found a quilt designer who writes the best patterns. Even I can understand them right off. So hopefully this will cure my pattern disorder. Stefanie has several beautiful patterns in her Etsy shop so drop by and check them out. And to think I knew her before she started quilting. Way to go Stefanie!

With working I've not had much time for playing. I did however get a new
hat band made for my top hat. I've gotten new stuff to make another. This hat
could end up with quilt a wardrobe. 

Here are a few of the newest jewelry designs I've come up with. 

My friend Paula gave me some old flatware and I've been adding it into 
my jewelry. This butter knife in the bottom photo made a really cool element. 

Isn't it crazy there are only
57 days left before Christmas. 
Man do I have a lot of stuff to do!

Monday, October 22

A Little of this and that

Well this weekend I had a wonderful 2 days in a row at home. A unique thing for me hear lately. So on Saturday I cleaned all day - while working 6 days a week for several weeks things got a bit dusty. So on Sunday I decided that I would play a bit in the morning. I had several small quilt projects pinned and ready to free motion so those got knocked out first. 
The small squares are candle mats which will be given as gifts at Thanksgiving.
They will have cream color pillar candles and some Christmas greenery.
The larger one will have several candles and a spray of mixed Christmas florals.

A few weeks ago I decided to finally add the embellishment to the men's
vest I picked up at Goodwill. I wanted this to wear to shows. I wanted it to show
my mixture of fiber and metal. I was getting ready for a class I was teaching on 
mixing zippers/metal and fibers with your jewelry making. 

Here is a little pile of goodies I used for the class project. 

These are several of the items I took to class to show 
as examples of this technique. 

Working with the pearls in 
the pink piece with the crown made me want to 
try out the pearls in a new type of design for me. 

Not quite my normal style but I like it. 
So I have a new project on the sewing machine. 
Another present that needs to be finished by mid November. 
Can't show you that one thou cause it's
new mommy reads this blog. 

And believe it or not last night I even started working on my
English paper piecing again. I have a goal of finishing this lap
quilt by my 60th birthday - I hope. The sections are pretty small. 

Thursday, October 11

Sometimes I wonder

I have a bad habit, I plan and make lists. The more behind I get the more lists I make. I think it will help me to get things going in a smooth motion and get them done quickly. Sometimes that works and well sometimes it's just not going to happen. I opened my big mouth and said I'd fill in at a position at a 2nd JoAnn store where an employee had left and now I'm working at 2 stores filling up 6 days out of the week. What was I thinking? A little extra Christmas money? Helping out a friend? Well I'm not sure but I've realized that all my well laid plans for making Christmas presents will have to be culled down and other options will have to be found. I know many of you work all week and are rolling your eyes at me but I've just become spoiled with working only 3-4 days a week. Those precious days off were so treasured. So how do I reclaim my crafting time? I've made several decisions. I won't make my Christmas cards this year and bought a box. Gad did I say that? Well no shame in it I'm going to tell myself. Also the baking I normally do is not going to happen. I figure we all have enough sweet stuff. Between Halloween and Christmas seems like there is candy/cakes and cookies everywhere you look. Well that's another list item gone - poof! The important thing for my spare time is to sew. So the house may be a little messy and the grocery list may have a lot of quick cook items on it.  We'll live. I know dust won't kill us and lack of sewing just might. So with no guilt I say sew away. 

Wednesday, October 3

Good Weather, Good Sewing, Good Times

Last weekends craft show was fun and the weather held out
and we had a beautiful day. Becky and I had a fun day. 

The vendor across the way from me sold hats...oh dear. 
Well I'd started talking about him before we even got there and
just knew if I made enough money I would have a new hat. 
The top hat I've wanted for many years. Today it was decorated
with a simple scarf but the components for a steam punk hat band
have been ordered so very soon I will enjoy creating a cool new hat band.

Last week I spent the afternoon at Stefanie's and I cut out fabric
the whole time I was there (when I wasn't distracted by Downton Abby that is.) 
So now I'm in full production of some more great square in a square
table runners. Love that technique. 

Candle mats ready for free motion quilting. 

I'm so behind in my Christmas sewing/quilting so I must put the
machine in 4th gear and floor it. 

This weekend we will have a big party to
celebrate the adoption of Ian. 
The most wonderful gift
our family has ever had. 

Ian and his mom (my sister)

Wednesday, September 19

Fall Swap

My most recent swap was with the ladies in the on line Quilt With Us group. We had an interesting swap where your swap partner sent you some fabric and you made a fall inspired wall quilt using that fabric. I received the beautiful wall hanging from my swap partner Brenda C. 

This is the quilt I sent to Brenda. It's my fall Pixie. 

 The leaves were made from the fabric that Brenda send
and some copper of course. 

We were to include a poem, verse or something with out quilt.
This is on the back of my Fall Pixie. 

The Pixie was colored with water color pencils.
First time I've tried that on fabric I think and it
worked out very well. You use as little water as possible thou. 

Sunday, September 16

A Fun Day At Quilt Guild

Yesterday was our monthly meeting of the Music City Modern Quilter's Guild and we had a wonderful workshop (and a great lunch) and learned how to do the cathedral windows block by machine. I've always loved this pattern but thought it had to be done by hand. Not that I have the mental block I once had about hand work but I do save my hand work for my Grandmother's Flower Garden lap quilt that is an on going project of mine. I joke and say I'll have it completed by age 60. So yesterday I learned the quick way of doing the cathedral windows. Jan was our teacher and she did a great job and we all enjoyed this technique. This is what I accomplished in class and hope to finish this up in the next few days. I plan on this becoming a table runner. 

Picked up a few new Christmas fabrics
last week and can't wait to start working on several
table runners using these. 

I am in a UFO swap and my swap partner sent me two blocks. 
These sweet traditional blocks sat on my machine for
about 2 weeks waiting for me to get over a bad cold and to 
also think of what I wanted to do. 

 It came to me today that I'd not done any of my
version of crazy quilting and I had a lot of fun 
getting this little table runner done. It's all ready to 
be shipped to it's new home. 

Friday, September 7

Playing With Buttons

I've had a fascination with buttons since childhood. My mom would always let me pick out the buttons for my outfits she would make and I would stand in front of all those buttons and look and look till just the right one caught my eye. I still love buttons. I like so many have the button jar of any old buttons I see or save from old garments. They are comforting in a way just to look at. A good while back I saw an episode on how it's made on buttons, then I understood why some cost so much. 

So a few days ago I sat down and
played with some of my buttons. 

This gave me a few other ideas that I'd like to try. 
Class on the button bracelet listed on the classes tab.