Thursday, June 13, 2013

Claiming my Blog on Bloglovin

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>
Well, losing Google Friends Connect can certainly create an issue those that are particularly friendly with their computer. But I am claiming my blog, I hope.  Have a great day!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Saturday's Doings and Slow Stitching Sunday

The first thing today is to link up to Slow Stitching Sunday hosted by Kathy's Quilts.  You can find the link here.  Thanks for hosting Kathy.

Thursday night at Quilters Guild the organizer of our 2014 Opportunity Quilt requested members embroider a block from Crabapple Hills "Snow Days" to incorporate into the quilt.  Here is my block that I am just getting started on, hopefully it will have considerable more stitches by the end of the day.  This is my Slow Sunday Stitching for today.

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day and hubby and I took advantage of the lovely day to do a little shopping, deliver the "Boo To You" wall quilt, and have a nice dinner at Outback Steakhouse before stopping at the local thrift store to search for fun "stuff".  Hubby made the scores, yes plural, of the day.  First is this wonderful treasure.

  A little toy Singer Touch and Sew machine.

 It actually has a real needle, electric adapter, shuttle bobbin and the battery case looks like new.
Sorry the photo is a little blurred hubby was trying to get as close as he could and he said he promises he didn't shake.
  We checked the internet and we can down load the 32 page manual.  I am doing a happy dance.  Dear hubby also found 7 wonderful Precious Moments figurines.
 Here is my favorite...Isn't it appropriate for Slow Stitching Sunday?

They date from 1976 to 1990.  I am not a diehard collector, but I have a few and will enjoy adding these to my collection.
So the studio didn't see much of me on Saturday except to cut these 40 dark green 1 7/8" squares.
Many more squares to cut for another project for my friend that I made the "Boo To You" for, but I will talk more about that as it progresses.
I did pretty well on completing my goals for the week by finishing my Challenge and the "Boo To You".
 The only thing I didn't accomplish was to get a quilt on the frame, so that will have to be at the top of the list for this next coming week.  But I was thrilled to have two finishes in one week.  How was your week? The new week takes us further on our journey, hope yours is filled with stitches.

Friday, June 7, 2013

2013 Calico Quilters Guild Challenge "Queenie"

I have mentioned my Challenge for my local guild on occasion and last night we revealed the products of our efforts.  There were many great pieces and I will give you a peek at them when they are hung at our Quilt Show later this month.  That will be the best opportunity for me to get photos of them all together.

We took our challenge from the book "Art Quilts-Dealing With a Full Deck".

Each member drew a playing card and had to interpret the card into fabric, there were only a few rules.
1.  The quilt must measure 18" x 28'
2.  Must meet the definition of a, batting and backing and layers sewn together.
3.  Backing and binding must be red or blue like regular playing card
4.  Must have rounded corners like a playing card.
5.  Must have a label with at least our name.
You could make your "card" as easy or as difficult to interpret as you wished.  Here is my Challenge.

Did you guess the card I drew?

I have always loved literature and it was one of my majors in college.  My favorite is British literature and when I drew the Queen of Hearts of course I HAD to make the queen from "Alice in Wonderland", which is the shortened title for "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", the 1865 novel by Charles Lutwige Dodgson or as we know him, Lewis Carroll.
As you look at it you probably wonder "What took her so long".  Well, in my defense I tried a number of techniques to see how they reacted as an experiment to use them on my cancer quilt.  I had to toss aside a few things and redo as they were not very satisfactory.  Taking the time to try these techniques will make my cancer quilt go faster and easier.  I now know some things I definitely will and will not do on the cancer quilt.
I will try to explain in detail my techniques:
I'll start at her crown, first I had to make a special trip to find some special fabric for the crown and adornments for use after she was quilted and bound.

Of course while I was there I had to purchase a new book...because it was on sale...although totally unrelated to the project at hand.

Although I do plan to use some of these techniques on my Cancer Quilt, so it was a good purchase.
Oh dear I'm rambling again, back to the crown.  I had decided I did not want to use fusible applique for this project but neither did I want to applique by hand so I tried my hand at turning the edges under as for hand applique but using a very small blanket stitch to tack it down.  The non-traditional fabric I chose for the crown was NOT user friendly for applique but I willed it into submission.  I traced the area on to freezer paper and then I used a glue stick to adhere the edges to the back of the crown and found that even though I applied a small dab in just a few places it made the area "hard" and that is unacceptable for my Cancer Quilt so the next piece will use another technique.  I found the small blanket stitch using rayon embroidery machine thread to be fairly successful but not perfect.  The bite it took into the applique piece is ok but I need to improve it, but what I didn't like was the stitches that ran along the edge,  No matter how hard I tried, they still showed.  But I remembered a technique by Suzanne Marshall that uses a line of embroidery stitching along the edge of applique.  Here is a closeup of the crown.

I thought the black outline enhanced the design, thus taking care of my visible stitch issue.
On to the face.
Queenie needed expression since she was not the kindest and gentlest of Queens so I wasn't sure how to achieve that, so I pressed under the edges and secured her in position with a few stitches, proceeded to stuff her face with fiber-fil, continue with the applique and before applying the dress, I pulled the stuffing out to give her contour to her face.  Fairly successful application but not sure it will be used on the Cancer Quilt,
Don't you like her earring?  Her eye was one of the more difficult aspects for me since I am NOT an artist.  It is satin stitch embroidery .
For the white satin bustle, I used red rayon embroidery thread and tear-away under the satin to create the little red hearts with the aid of Jan, my 6600P Janome.
Of course the yellow is rickrack and the same rickrack braided and applied with rayon embroidery thread and just stitched with a straight stitch to give it dimension. The little blue and yellow piece is bias tape stitched with a double needle. I made the blue stripe fabric with white Kona cotton and 1/8" grosgrain ribbon and just straight stitched down the middle.  
For quilting I used an 80/20 batting and used a little curvy design with little hearts sprinkled here and there.
After taking her off the long arm, I took her to the 6600P and did some quilting around individual parts of her dress.  Oh her dress, I tried the stuffing technique to create a flowing dress, but I was disappointed with the results when I pulled the stuffing like I had done the face, so won't be doing that again.
The binding and backing are the same fabric...a houndstooth check in red and white.
Of course when all was finished I applied her rhinestones, this was my first rhinestone adventure so it took me a little bit to get the hang of keeping those little things where I wanted them while I placed the heat setter on them.  And on a bumpy quilted piece that was a little challenging at times.
But she is complete and I am pleased with her, so I am going to link up today with Can I Get A Whoop Whoop over at Confessions of A Fabric Addict.  You can find her link here.  Now I am off on another journey.  Hopefully the next one won't take quite as long.  Where has your journey taken you?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Monday Musings

In an effort to get more done this month my feet hit the floor running yesterday.  A busy day of students three in all with the last one leaving about 5:30 in the evening.  So it was time to wind down, yesterday was a lovely sunny day, hubby had mowed the lawn early in the morning and discovered this fungus at the base of one of our trees.
And another view....
He checked with our good friend Google, but he had no definite answer for us.  Has any of my readers come across this type of fungus before in their area?
It is 12" across and I was able to see it quite visibly from our bedroom window this morning and it had no signs of withering from the view of my window.
Hubby and I took a little walk around our lawn, especially to visit the fungus we have an acre of land so there was several things to look at.  One being the peonies, the blooms look nice but they are laying down from all the heavy wind and rain we have had recently, and then of course my Knockout Roses, who are also showing the effects of the weather but they are a hardy sort so they weathered a little better than the peonies.
The peonies are in the background and the photo is taken from our driveway. 
We haven't taken the time to put our spring much down yet, so hopefully I will be able to get another photo of the roses in their second bloom before it gets too hot with the new mulch.
Since we had our crockpot Apple Oatmeal for breakfast and a large bowl of spaghetti for lunch I felt a light evening meal was in order so after a vegetable plate, dear hubby popped some popcorn in coconut oil.  Since we have chosen to go gluten free many of the recipes I have found incorporate coconut oil so I started to investigate it's use and found it to have significant health benefits so we have discarded other oils for this substitution.
Before our popcorn I was able to squeeze in a little time for some blanket stitch applique by machine on the ghost wall quilt.
All the white around the ghosts is complete so there is little left to do and it will be ready for quilting.
My goal for this week was to finish the challenge, applique and quilt the ghosts and quilt a quilt for others on my long arm, hmmm it's only Tuesday, that might just happen. 
Guess I best get finished here, my first student should arrive any minute.  Hope your day goes well and you enjoy the journey.

Monday, June 3, 2013

My May NewFo's

There is nothing I enjoy more than to start a NEW project, as is quite apparent when I look at my bins of unfinished projects.  But I don't think I want to talk about that.  That is why I always love to link in over at Cat Patches for her NewFO Link Party.  You can find it here.  Even though my challenge has consumed most of my time I have squeezed in a little time for a couple of other things. First, I quilted this quilt for a guild friend that wanted it for our Quilt Show the last of this month.  It is truly a lovely quilt and the piecing was so well executed, quilting over the seams was no effort at all.  She did a great job.  
I still haven't made my blog post for my goals of the month or a finish for A Lovely Year of Finishes but you can be sure it will include a UFO of my OWN for the Quilt Show.
I also started this wall quilt called "Boo To You" by Connie Spurlock and Teri Chandler.
It measures 23" x 36" and I am making it for a friend.  She and her husband sells wonderful handmade wooden items at quilt shows and retreats.  They also have a selection of patterns for sale and this is a sample for their booth.
I love applique and this is so quick and easy compared to my Challenge quilt.
So this is what I started in May, not much I know, but I plan to make up for it this month.  Life is a journey, if sometimes a slow one.  Hope you are enjoying yours.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Getting Organized for June and Slow Stitching Sunday

Ahhh, could you hear that sigh of relief?  I feel like I have been in limbo the last two month as I have worked on my Challenge for my local guild. But at 12:28 today it is finished.   It is only 18x28 but it took me longer than a large quilt.  I did challenge myself and tried new techniques and some I dreamed up on my own.  I STILL can't show you, but we will reveal them is coming Thursday at meeting and then I will tell you what I have been up to these last two months I have been absent from blogland.

I have missed linking up to the various Linky Parties and am going to try to get back in the swing of things.  I spent a little time this afternoon doing a little slow stitching on my long neglected Candle Mat I started a few months ago.  Here is my progress.....
Sorry it is a little wrinkled, but as soon as I finish my post it will be back in my hand.  I"m linking up to Slow Stitching Sunday today and hope to finish the embroidery before the end of the evening
 I still have to draw some lines for stitching in the upper left and lower right corners. I am so excited to be ready for that because last week my dear hubby found this WONDERFUL Light Pad for my tracing. It is 24"x36" can't wait to use it on a large embroidery. He know how much I use my little light box for embroidery and applique so he thought this would be just the ticket for me.

It is really much brighter than my light box.  Hubby said we needed to mount it on the wall for x-rays and "that" is hubby's sense of humor..but I did laugh.
Well that is all for today but I'll be back soon.  I'm writing my goals for June so I can link up to A Lovely Year of Finishes before the time expires.  Hope you are having happy sunny days