Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Can you guess where I am?

Ah the fun of getting started...spending an hour winding tons of bobbins!

When they make a machine that will hold a whole spool of thread in the bottom, I'll be first in line to buy one!

Now I have a question for everyone? I'm thinking of buying a quilting frame in the near future. Think Christmas present. I need opinions. I use a hoop but with my limited arm strength I can't afford to give away any of it to holding up the hoop anymore. Even with propping it up on things. SO my choices are either...
  • an old fashioned floor stand
  • a round/square hoop on a stand
I've seen Christiane's square hoop on a stand and Christine's old fashion floor stand and well as others. Love both for different reasons. So what do you have, prefer and WHY?

Thanks in advance. Oh and yes, I prefer a big fat machine quilting machine, but that's machine quilting...I'm dealing strictly with hand quilt for the moment.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Still making progress...

I posted this on the Sweet Land of Liberty blog too, but I don't think anyone visits over there but the group so it won't look too much like duplicate posts. I got quite a bit of hand sewing done on my Sweet Land of Liberty sampler this week, too much in fact and now I need a hand sewing break.

SO I'm making the back for the Christmas Sampler and I hope to start quilting this week. Slowly... but still working forward.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lots of everything...

Well I have all sorts of tidbits to share today...

I've been very selective about what fabric I've bought recently due to wanting to keep more of our money in my hot little hands hands , so I've been selective about what I've bought. These however were simply too good to pass up! Meg's Bouquet came to live here.

That's okay because I skipped the Sturbridge Greens collection in favor of these and got a smaller FQ bundle of the new Civil War Dressing Gowns and 4 of the Sturbridge greens. Now I have to shade my eyes from looking at the Sturbridge Calico's!

Yesterday my buzzer rang and the mailman handed me a box from one of my swap partners Darlene. I was expecting an envelope. Here's the beauty that was inside! See her tiny rusty spring curls? I love her Darlene!

If you follow along the Sweet Land of Liberty BOM blog you might have already seen these, but I have gotten some work done. Quite a bit actually. But I figured I've give the hand work a rest and do machine work. These stars are done with the freezer Paper Piecing method...(FPP). Easy but labor intensive and lots of trimming and cutting.

NOW I know what sent my arms and hands over the edge...FPP!! Oh lordy my hands hurt. All those CW blocks and Dear Janes! You'd think it wouldn't, but I guess all the trimming after each seam, and holding so tight, pressing each seam open...now I know. But they are pretty? I'm still plugging away on my projects and hope to get the Christmas quilt pinning this weekend and started on the quilting.

I'll share some more progress in a few days.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

cheap tomatoes and blog awards...

A short while ago, Violette from Handquilting was kind enough to give me Brilliante Weblog Premio 2008 award. Sorry it took me so long to post about it Violette!! Thanks so much for saying that you enjoy my blog and for naming me. It's so nice to hear and means a lot that people still find something in my posts and want to come back to read again. Since this award has gone around my blogging circle, I'll send out general thanks to everyone and say that I am constantly inspired by all the blogs I read every day!

Now I have a little tip to pass along to anyone who struggles with the same issue I do...identifying needles! See I often pull out my different assortment of needles for each project and then after using them, they get stuck here and there and the next time I go searching I have NO CLUE what size the found needle is in my hand or what I used it for. Now yes, certain ones are easily identified...but some are just too similar. Of course I could solve the whole thing by using one type but what's the fun in that!!?

SO here's my solution. I bought one of those cheap red tomato pin cushions at JoAnn and took my permanent marker and wrote in each section: the needle size, type and it's use. Works like a charm! I keep it near the hand stitching "station" and grab the needle I need and off I go! Sorry for the picture quality, taking those pics was harder than I thought it should be.

My section for the applique needles I use..Jeanna Kimball #11 straw's...My wool needles used for the fabulous Sue Spargo embellishments on my wool blocks!Plus hand quilting, crewel and embroidery! Just a trick I thought I'd pass along.

Friday, July 18, 2008

here comes santa claus...

Happy to announce that I FINISHED my Christmas Sampler. Got the borders on last night and now I need to piece a back, get pinning and quilting. Hopefully I can do the machine quilting and it won't be too hard on my arms and hands. With breaks, I think it's doable.

Here Comes Santa Claus
55 x 65 inches
original pattern by Cheri Saffiote Payne

I love pictures for showing you what you've missed! Yes, the top angels are supposed to have heads. They will get them today. It's a bit blurry too, hubby did the best he could.

You might notice the wider borders on the top and bottom than the sides. Yea, had to be done because I made Cheri's pattern a bit wider than it called for and it ended up looking rather short and squatty, so it needed a bit more length. But I like it that way. Never cared if border were different sizes or the same. Actually some differences are cool. I'm so glad to have this one done and once it gets quilted I'll add all the buttons eyes and things and put the finished picture up for you to see!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

LOOK!! to the right...

And see the pale teal button showing you an amazing wonderful quilt being given away by Old Red Barn Co. It's a beautiful quilt made with one of my recent favorite fabric designers... Sandi Henderson. In fact it contains the fabric I used to make the panels to cover my fabric filled bookcases. The post about the contest is found here.

Actually I love the quilt, but the maker LOVES the quilt. I'm talking sweaty palms, shaking, LOVES this quilt. SO I entered. I also wrote this post for 5 extra entries. I also put the button on the side bar for another 5 entries! But I don't want the quilt. Well, that's not true, I'd be happy to have the quilt in my house, it's that fantastic.

But I want HER to KEEP the quilt. SO that's 11 chances to have the quilt stay right where it is...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

slow slide...

I think I've become one of those once a week bloggers, not that it's meant as any sort of negative. There are everyday bloggers and occasional ones too. Just different styles and people who have lives that require more or less attention. My life these days does NOT require more attention. NO work, kids, or extra loads of anything asking for more attention. Just the opposite rather.

In the battle of me verses the arm/hand muscles I find myself with more and more addle time and this leaves me nothing to show on the blog that I usually deemed as progress. I used to write posts about a complete subject and would go back to that, but it requires more thought than I have to give at the moment. Some where along the 2+ years I've been blogging I moved from that sort of post to the more "journal" posts: Where I am today and what I accomplished over the course of a few days. These days that seems like less and less to me.

So I leave you today with the progress of the last few days. My machine stitching comes along and I'm filling in the pieces for what I've come to refer to as the Kaffe BOM. The BOM can be found here! Be warned it's in GERMAN! But we all know links are in blue so just start clicking!

I'm also almost done stitching all the Christmas ornaments on the tree for the sampler, but those must go slowly. Once I sew the side and the rest of the top together I will add the last remaining ornaments that overlap the seam and viola! the top will be done!

Boy it's been a very long time since I said that! Oh and just in case you thought I'd have one project off the list of current works...I added one more today!! A small quilt I had quite forgotten to get started on. I picked up the magazine today and realized I had forgotten all about this 4 block quilt I planned to start "right away" a few months ago! I already have the first block almost done! This one I'll keep a secret until I have the top..or maybe the whole quilt?...completed before showing.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Christmas in july...right?

Since I always seen to be a day late and a dollar short these days, I thought I had better get a big head start on finishing the Christmas Sampler quilt I've been working on for quite a few months. Once I picked it back up I was surprised to realize that most of the bottom sections I had left to do were the machine pieced blocks! Yippee! A stroke of luck for the finger challenged! So I got to work making the 9 piece block and that little mock log cabin block, as well as the little angel.

I also realized that if I was very careful with how I held my hands..or the fingers on my sewing hand; I could hand sew for a while. SO fighting the urge to do what comes naturally, I've been keeping my fingers tight in my palm and sewing down the leftover applique parts. Got the big angels parts on the left down...then the goofy holly branch and the angel head. (don't worry she'll have button eyes). I have to sew some scraps to the right corner to finish a bit of embroidery, then I'll start on the last section. The big tree with loads of ornaments. I'll be so happy when it's complete and I can quilt it. I plan to machine in the ditch around the larger blocks and then do big stitch quilting in the blocks themselves, which should look cool and be easier on my hands.

I also promised some more Kaffe blocks too, which can be seen peeking out from behind the holiday work on the design wall. One day I will have loads of wall space for multiple projects....fingers crossed! A couple of assorted blocks here and there...

I think I realized I don't have just one style I like. Unlike some, I can find something I like in just about any style. Well I take that back..me and pastel real life florals are not friends, but Primitive...YUM! Bright Kaffe's..YUM!! 30's prints...YUM!! 1800 Reproductions... Double YUM!!

Our anniversary is coming up in 9 days (26 years) so we'll be taking a little break about then, but I'll try to post a bit more often than I've been doing. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

BOM pictures...

Now I know loads of you hear me whining about the limited sewing time. So to some these pictures will confuse you. What do you mean she can't sew...looks like sewing to me! Here's block 2...the Trip Around the World part, with an extra star block added in the hole from the first block...see the orange 9 patch? with the purple star tips?? I guess I should explain that I still get more sewing done than loads of other people with jobs, kids, etc. But for me...I'm used to sewing from 10:00AM to lunch, lunch to 6:00pm when hubby returns, then going out and after dinner grabbing the hand work and sewing until I fall asleep with the needle in my fingers. Literally at times! I don't sit with nothing in my hands unless I'm watching something that must be paid attention to very closely. I'm able to feed straight sewing into the machine, Thanks god! But I can't quilt, or cut, or hand sew, or applique, or crochet...and frankly I am more than a little PISSED OFF about it still being an issue. Sorry.

I also got a few other blocks done this week. The one below is part of Block 4...

And then some extra blocks for fill in spaces... There's more, but save some for later.

I want to mention that I am not completely following the BOM pattern. I found this quilt when Wendy mentioned it on her blog and linked to Christiane Struck who finished her version of the quilt called Scraparadise. I am totally in love with Christiane's version and I have chosen to view it as I do an antique quilt that I love, and I am re-creating it. As close to the original as I can make it. I had almost 80% of the same fabrics, and I'm switching out some, and changing a few things. But it's a reproduction of her amazing quilt. Since she's in Germany I doubt they will ever cross paths...mine ain't leaving my house. Christiane did such a wonderful job using her scraps and designing the colors, I'm not tampering with her perfection! Well most of it anyway.

That said...Look at this FANTASTIC version done by Helga in what looks like Kaffe's Shott cottons, and Oakshott Colourshott and Longshott cottons. They are so wonderful in this application, I stared for 20 minutes at these wonderful colors. The Longshott are the ones with subtle stripes of color. The thing I like the best is the way the color changes as you turn the pieces. They are non existent online for the USA except for one place that I've found...Pinwheels. But they have a limited supply at the moment. If ANYONE knows of a store that sells them, let me know. I got some 4" square scrap bundles from Pinwheels, but I'd love some yardage of a few colors.
** Updated to add: I do get my Shott cotton at Glorious Color. I LOVE that place! What I'm looking for is the Oakshott fabrics...the solids called Colourshott and the stripes called Longshott cottons, I believe. Christiane actually has an online store, but with the dollar being what?? worth $.50 cents, it would cost me a fortune to buy overseas.

Well with all that love showered about, I'm off again. I'll try not to make it a whole week again before posting. My arm though, is screaming and I guess I am done for the day. Hubby's coming home early so just as well..oh joys... sitting on the couch with NOTHING for my hands to do. (Please read heavy implied sarcasm)