Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fabric Auditions, Sharons Block & More... Part 2 of 2 Today

I have had this book for awhile and I love looking at it. Its by Wendy Etzel. (She also has 2 books called Collectible Quilts 1 and 2 that have adorable ideas as well. Check them out to see what I mean). I have been adding to my collection of "wood" & "building material" fabric little by little and I am in the thought mode of an nontraditional Bear Paw type quilt with some log cabins in it. You all know how I love purples and greens so of course those colors will have to fit in somehow. I am putting drawings, clippings, patterns and fabric together in a pile in anticipation of this.

These are a few things I have pulled so far.

I finished the last block of the CQ RR and got it mailed off today. This is Sharon's "In the Garden" block. I tried one of those Spider Web Roses in the upper right corner but don't think the technique came out well for me. For the amount of ribbon I used, I could have made a different rose of the same size with 1/2 the ribbon. Oh well, I tried it.

So now I am back to my needle book and as you can see, I am full out into it. I am having fun experimenting & since it will be my own, I am being daring with my stitches and gaining a good confidence to repeat them.

This is the latest photo of it. I have done a few more seams and even tried a motif in the upper left corner. Can you see the difference from the last time?

I have picked out this button for the closure and along with a tassel, it should work. The pic does not show the iridescence of the color, but I love how it pulls out all the colors of the block.

Now this may look like the most stupidest thing in the world to some (kinda like an anorexic mug holder), but as promised, this is the "thread tree" my husband made me. After I separate all this floss, I sure don't want to lose it and this keeps it up and neat until I need it. I am not going to wind these pieces back up on a bobbin to save so this solved the problem! I do save all my thread and floss cut offs in a plastic bag that's taped to the end of my table though. Eventually, I am going to sew it between water soluble stabilizer and make something out of it. (Another thing to stay tuned for, LOL) I believe I saw that idea in Quilting Arts Magazine.

This is a fun fabric that I wanted to share. I bought a piece of this down at a quilt store in Belleville a couple months ago. It is designed by Nambooka for M&S Textiles in Australia. I can't wait to cut it up.( Please click for a closer shot).

My pictures are coming out dark lately. I think I need to be using a brighter background and possibly another setting. Please bear with me while I experiment & make adjustments. It may just have something to do with how early the sun is setting and I am not looking forward to the "Fall Back" part of the time change this weekend. Yes this weekend, but if you don't remember, Microsoft will.

Felon was guarding this shoes as if they were puppies, what was he thinking??

Last but not least, the finished stocking is on its way to Iraq for Christmas.

Till the next time..... Jane

Halloween & Honking Orange Fabric - Post 1 of 2 Today

The caption of this photo is "Us at Camp". Roxanne's words underneath were " I think it's time for us to go home now, the fire isn't going anymore." Thanks for the pic and the courtesy of me using it, Roxy! Very funny indeed!

Below is a pile of Crazy Judyths Honking Orange fabric that I played with today. What a fun, weird and wacky color orange is for quilting. Very spicy!!

Below here are the treats I will be giving out for anyone who comes to our door tonight. Do you think I'll get a window soaping if the kids find these in their sacks? Out here in the woods I doubt we will get any trick or treaters, but if we do, I tease you not, they will be going home with a fat quarter 'cuz I have no candy or change!! But I can see it all now... the kid takes his bag to the car, the mom peeks inside, sees the fat quarter, and I get 75 more kids with quilting mothers at my door. They'll be driving out here from town if the word gets out...Gee, maybe this wasn't a good idea after all...Hahahahaha!!!

Anyway, have a great Halloweenie, now its onward to Turkey Time !!!!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Week Thus Far...

It's a good thing that I dug up the plants that I wanted to try and winter over. The "little fern" did pull through so I upgraded her pot and stuck her in a good sunny place. Not a bit too soon as the picture below shows. The photo was taken Wednesday morning about 12 miles South of here (as the crow flies). It did not stick for long but the "S" word is already back in our vocabulary and will remain there for the next 6 months. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Anderson. Thanks Roxy!

I got the soldier stocking pieced and stitched. This afternoon the plan is to finish the construction part. Dan said that it was alittle frilly for a soldier and I have to kinda agree but who knows where it will end up. There are women soldiers too! All I knew is that I wanted to use an American theme to show support and encouragement and this is how it "came out". My CQ always turns into a surprise at the end & not necesssarily a good one.

It was a red, white and blue evening all around considering the Cherry Cheese dessert my husband made. I am lucky that he cooks and "enjoys" to. The best investment that I ever made was buying him a set of Paula Deen cookbooks. He loves her and loves playing with her recipes. (though the thought of all the butter makes me cringe). This was the best one he has made to date and the crust was perfect!

The report on "Ken" is that he is home from rehab. His treatment went well and I don't fear a relaspe from him in the future. Ken offers me the security I need. After all we have been together since about 1979. I decided to keep Mark available too as I have a darning foot and plate cover for him that I want to try some free motion stippling with. I am hoping that he will put some excitement back into my life.

I also have an idea for my stitch practicing (Lord knows I need it) and I want to sew up my idea sometime this weekend. Dan made me a thread tree too and I will show you that at the same time.

For now... Have a great weekend!!!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Post Card from Sandy

I forgot to include this pic of a fabric post card I just received from Sandy, she was member of a group I belonged to downstate. It was great to hear from her and sweeter yet to have her remember me. (I blacked out my address)

Last night was the 1st guild meeting of the year for the Superior Stitchers. Stockings are due Nov 3rd for the packages that will be mailed to the soldiers serving in Iraq from our area. Here is the basic beginning of my stocking from a pattern that was passed out last night. I want to make it special for whoever gets it.

Just for grins, I am showing you the things I have on top of the bookshelf that holds all my quilting/crafting books. One is a photo are of my Mom and Dad and the other photo is my paternal Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma was pregnant with my Dad at that time. Wish I could have known all my Grands better!

Finally the Needlebook and My Blatant Affair !

The scrap basket got dumped out Monday morning and I was able to put together the cover of my needlebook. I picked out some threads and got to stitching on this project that has been at the back of my head for far tooo long. This is the progress so far.

I think what really got me going was a page in Carole Samples "Treasury " book. It is on pg. 10 that our Dear Carole writes (and I hope I am not breaking any laws here by quoting her) ,"When you are ready, this book will be there as a loving substitute for a living person who knows exactly what to do, helping you to realize that its not about perfection. It's all about making as much beauty as you can for yourself and others. The endeavor asks only that you give yourself permission to make mistakes until you have mastered all of the necessary techniques - and you will."
Didn't that speak to me when I needed it!? I am off on something good now...

During the making of this block, my Kenny (Kenmore) decided that he would not wind anymore bobbins thus his unfaithful self had to go for rehab. I had to call out Mark (F.W.), and proceed from there. We are getting to know each other fairly well in Kens absence, I may even love him, but via a phone call I heard Ken is a new man again and wants to come home. Mark and I are hitting it off real well so Ken may not be in my life much longer unless he makes some changes. Something tells me I have outgrown Ken and we may need to move on to new relationships. I may be ready for something daring, a much more savy, mechanically minded guy. Stay tuned for that!

Sharon over at posted a pic of her CQ/embroidery books so I thought I would do the same. These are the books I use for inspiration and ideas.

But these books are by my side at all times for their sheer ability to show me the "how to's" and "when to's".

These books have taught me most everything I know about how to crazy quilt.

Thanks Wippy, I Should be Stitching, Not MeMe-ing!

OK! I have been tagged by Carole to divulge some parts of me that you may not know. I tried to find people to tag that have not been called on yet and I hope I have picked a few. However us bloggers tend to stick in our circles, not because we mean to, but there is only so much time in a day (I could read and comment on blogs all day if I could, 1 free meme in there). So before I begin here are my tagees...


If you want to play, great! If you don't that's great! No obligations here, just trying to have fun, sooooo.....

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Stuff you may (or maybe not) want to know about meme -

1)My dad moved north from West Virginia with his family back in the 1930's so his dad could work in the auto industry. I spent alot of time in WV growing up and would one day soon like to go back for a long visit. I LOVE it down there.

2)I have flown over the Angel Falls in the Amazon Forest of Venezuela, South America in a 4 seater plane.What an experience the Jungle is!

3)We got married in Las Vegas Nevada. We saw the Ziegfreid and Roy show from the front row and at the end of the show, Ziegfreid reached down and shook my hand. I almost fainted!

4)I once was a Certified Pesticide Applicator for the State of Michigan. I worked in a greenhouse and sprayed "bugs". I lean to more natural ways of insect control now.

5)I have never been to Mackinaw Island. (Do you believe that?)

6)I love the smell of bus fumes.(Must have something to do with Greyhound

stations when I was a teenager)

7)Before I die, one of the things I want to do is hold and play with a Chimpanzee.

Well that was weird and random indeed. So lets keep this going, shall we?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Saturday & Sunday

I thought I would try uploading my pics first this time instead of uploading and inserting them as I go. That approach took forever and I had to rearrange the text anyway so we will see if this works better. I am still learning how to post better and I'm even playing around in the HTML area too. What "frustrating blog fun" that is, HaHa! Seems every time I post, I learn something that makes it easier.

Here is a pic of the block I finished yesterday (Sat) for Rebecca. This is the 4th block in this RR for CQN but I see myself being a CQ newbie long after this swap is done. I will be thrilled to have blocks to look at for inspiration and I've loved the challenge of this swap. On the other hand, I am happy that it is on the last stretch because I need to move on to another project and at the same time keep the " deadline" momentum going. It has forced me to show results and not just a pile of UFO's ( which is my biggest personal challenge/creative malfuntion).

I jumped right in and pieced this block for Sharon. Her theme is "In the Garden". This is the last block in this RR and believe it or not, I am ahead of the due date schedule .

It has taken on a bit of a landscape look. After I piece a block, I pull out all the threads and embellishments that I think will go and then I have it all out in a basket. Most times I don't use everything I have chosen but at least it is all there for me to see instead of searching it out later. I'll lay it out on the block, tack down a few things with pins and pencil in any motif that I am going to add. For now, this is working best for me.

We took a little ride yesterday afternoon around the neighborhood. We live 1/4 mile down the road here. It was the first day in weeks that we didn't have rain and there was still some color left to see.

Last night the forecast was for a killing frost so I dug up and potted a few of my annual plants. I will do anything to try and have some color alittle while longer. I don't know why, but I didn't get any mums this year.

And of course we stoked up the woodstove. We have not had to use the furnace so far this year and it is almost a game as to how long we can go before we absolutely have to use it.

This is a little wild fern that I dug out of the flower bed and brought in. It made it though the night without wilting and it was enjoying the sun coming through the windows today. It would be great if I could get it to live.

In a previous post I had mentioned that my husband went and retrieved our travel trailer from downstate. Alot less to worry about now that it is here in the yard. This is one of the things that we got anticipating "retirement" but we never got a chance to use it at all this summer. We will have to plan a few outings for next summer and make sure we follow through. I would really love to go over to Wisconsin and to the Apostle Islands area. But for now, it is one of the final fall projects we have left. We need to get the tarp put on and seal her up.

Enjoy your day !!!!!!
PS... I will upload my pics first from now on. It worked like a charm.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm Still on the Planet .....

but haven't been quite myself lately. Sometimes its hard to motivate or interest myself in anything past the maintenance level of life. But I have "kicked" myself and am in comeback mode! I have lots of PC catch up to do so I will start here.

My Block for Julie

I did finish Julies CYT "Fishing Block" and it came out quite Folk Art-ish despite what I tried to achieve, especially the fish I motifed . I am not thrilled with it but do believe it looks better in person than in this photo. You never know exactly how a block will end up in crazy quilting which is an expectant part of the fun. I am doing seam treatments to Rebeccas "Mouse Block" now and am enjoying it because of the purple, yellow and teal color scheme. 1 more block after Rebeccas (Sharons "Garden Block") and the RR is complete. I have not been doing any good with my personal challenge CQ so nothing to report there. I am just glad to be blogging again after such a dry spell!

Bronze Groups CYT for Rebecca ( Dont you love them?)

We have been doing some outdoor winter preparation around the house but did take a ride up into the Keweenaw to Eagle Harbor. Check out Georges site for a feel of the area...

Western Shore of Keweenaw's Lake Superior

The Monk House

The weather was dry and sunny, great for a day trip to catch the tale end of the fall colors. The draught sure cabashed the display but there were still some glowing vistas in a few areas. I didn't get any good photos of foilage but did get a few of some other things. Mainly the Monastery between the Harbor and theRiver. Somehow I knew better than to push my luck past anything other than lunch, so that meant no shopping. Shopping is something my husband despises and it is mostly a necessity thing when we do go together. That or a real treat!

A real work surface

I can walk away from a project

My New Spot

I have deduced that the 'Feng Shui' around my creative space was bad. I was missing my table as the computer was set up on it when we moved here and what I had going on was all wrong for how I like to work. I couldn't leave anything out and to do anything crafty was such a chore to set up that I found myself not doing anything at all. I had to bite the bullet and fix that problem and at the same time I knew I would be fixing some of whats been depressing me. So I worked on the computer space and my creative space (again) this weekend. I moved the desk down and the table up. I weeded out some books, cleaned and revamped all the PC hardware and now have a spot in the loft that I wanted since we moved here.

Rearranged Computer Area ( with holding cell for wet & muddy dogs)

'Tahtie Girl'

I'll close with a pic of my Tasha.... she loves exploring in the woods and is relaxing after one of her romps. And not to make the little Tang or 'Big Boy' jealous......

' Tanger'

' Felon' (off duty)