Thursday, February 28, 2013

working while traveling

off to Denver yesterday morning to take down a quilt show -- I was worried about the road conditions after a day of blizzard conditions just prior to our little journey, but the roads were not a problem 

some of the drivers? a whole 'nother question entirely -- as we sat in a traffic jam for over an hour 

that much time on the road means a lot of afghan square knitting however 

two more for that box
 after the quilt take down, we went by my sister's to pick up the computer for the DH that my brother in law (our family "Computer Doc") had repaired for him

she also gave me this pattern (and two others that will fit Mr Cute) -- picked up in one of her excursions to the second hand store --- cool! 

and there is a new box of yarn for the yearly Christmas sweater sitting here just waiting for me to start on that project
 the next two pieces for the Visioning Project are now ready for the quilting 

this lesson had to do with repetition and how shape can tie a piece together while still conveying action

I've decided to exercise my word for the year --- be brave --- and do the quilting on these two on the machine


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

something new

the beaded box is in the final stages, so it's time to think about the next piece

this is the first drawing --- I have to order a few things to have everything to make this happen, but I'm excited about it!

have to go to Denver this morning to take down a quilt show --- time to go!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

practicing the frog stitch

as in "rip it, rip it"

I'll be taking that quilt top apart again

if the reason isn't apparent from the picture to you, I'm happy to hear it

otherwise --- well, the seam removal continues

Monday, February 25, 2013

a finished quilt top

ta da

this quilt top is now finished and ready to go

setting it together was a challenge since it was not planned ahead of time and I rearranged the blocks several times before I settled on this arrangement

I now have three charity quilt tops from that one little piece of red, white and blue patchwork --- pretty cool

it's Monday, the laundry is calling.....

Sunday, February 24, 2013

and now to the finish work

last night I finished the bead work for this project

looking good!

the next step is to create the lining for the box, and I want to shape the lining to support the bracelet that will go inside the box

when I first started thinking about the lining, I was thinking it needed to be green, but when I went through my stash of satin fabric I found some gold that looks really great, so I'll be going with that instead

and here is where all of my experience with dressmaking and decorative stitching and the creating of three dimensional forms in fabric (in my former life making collectible teddy bears) will all come together to create this formed liner

here's hoping it goes together the way I see it in my head!

time at the sewing machine yesterday afternoon grew the log cabin blocks some more

these are looking very good

I still need to add two pieces on each of these before I can start with trying to figure out how to set the whole group together

our journey yesterday to the store was successful!  

earlier in the week the fabric I had ordered to use for the peacock piece arrived and turned out to be totally unusable for the purpose, but these two pieces, which were selected at the store with the other fabric I will be using for it in hand, are perfect

so here we have a yard of a lovely batik sky and a half yard of batik to use for the tree branches

now we can begin!

we woke this morning to cold, windy and snowing again --- BLEAH!  glad there are no long journeys required today

Saturday, February 23, 2013

the quilting has begun!

I actually started quilting on this piece on Tuesday, right after I had pinned it, but until I had worked on it a while it didn't look like much had been done 

that big three dimensional tree was not easy to quilt around -- and it really needed to be first in the process -- I quilted right down the entire edge of it on both sides before I branched out to the little sections

I'm pleased with how this is going -- right now in this section I've only quilted the sky -- I still need to quilt around the leaves and put in the veins of the leaves with green thread -- the next step!

time at the sewing machine yesterday and there are a pile of these partially completed log cabin blocks

I still need to add a couple more pieces around the edges of each of them before I can set them together into a finished top

this has been fun -- its a much more complex pattern than I usually do for a charity quilt, but since there were only little pieces of that red, white and blue patchwork left, I thought this was the best way to use them up

we've been asked to create some pieces that might be more appropriate for some of the teens that come through Safe Passage, and I think this one may just fit the bill

I got it!

after fiddling with this part of the bead work for a couple of days, I finally figured out the right amount of decreases to make that creates this gradual slope shape for the lid

I hope to have the beading finished today so I can start on creating the lining for the piece

this has been challenging, but a lot of fun

and I'm now at the "are we there yet" stage on this, because a new idea for the next piece is beginning to form

all good!

the knitting has continued on the sweater I'm making for the DH

the body of the sweater is now at the stage where I'm knitting out of three different skeins of yarn because I'm knitting the back and both fronts at the same time

looking good!

this morning we're going to venture out of the house -- we're supposed to get snow again starting tonight, and I want to pick up some groceries -- the street in front of our house is still gutter deep in ice since we never see a snow plow through here, so getting in and out of the driveway will be, shall we say, "interesting"

time to get to it

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow Day

not only did we have a lot of snow, we had some wind and later in the day we had enough sun to create some interesting icicles 

this is what the north west corner of our house with a really interesting shaped drift hanging off the edge
in the meantime, the snow/sun/wind combo creating these cool icicles on the big pine tree in the back yard 

we went out into the cold and cleared the side walks and the drive way of the snow yesterday morning -- we've learned through unpleasant experience that if we wait too long there is a nasty layer of ice under the snow that is much harder to remove than just getting out there and shoveling the snow 

 at least this way we can go out to get the mail and the newspaper without needing boots on

 I spent more time in the studio yesterday and completed another charity quilt top more of that red, white and blue theme here -- and I have enough of it to do at least one more 

quilting continues on the big trees piece, and I have started on another pair of pieces for the Visioning Project which are coming along nicely

 meantime, I've managed to get only the first four or five rows of the lid for the beaded box done even though I've stitched at least a dozen more --- and taken them back out --- the shape I want to create is not just flat, so I'm having some issues with the placement of the decreases to get there --- hopefully I get this soon --- I'm getting close to the deadline on this piece

time for breakfast!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

it snowed last night 

a lot!

this morning the DH dug out paths on the back patio for the dog 

there's about a foot of snow out there 

 since I stayed in the house yesterday I spent some time in the studio at the sewing machine 

a couple of years ago I got a piece of red, white and blue patchwork in a UFO exchange, and it's been sitting around waiting for me to figure out something to do with it 

 I decided it's been hanging around long enough --- I cut it into 6 inch squares and stitched it up with some solid blue fabric to create this charity quilt top 

there's probably enough more of that patchwork to do a couple more quilt tops --- we'll see what other things I can work it into 

 while I was at the machine I got this piece all stitched together 

now I just need to make the sandwich and do the quilting -- and maybe some embellishing too 

I thought I would be starting into the peacock project today when the mail man brought the package, but it turns out they shipped me the wrong fabric, and there's no more of what I had actually ordered available --- nuts --- guess that project is going to wait until I can make the trip to the fabric store --- probably not for a week or so 

we won't be going anywhere today either -- I don't feel like clearing a foot of snow out of the driveway, and there's really nothing we need that bad!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

the virtue of working away from my studio

in this case, it's actually having enough space to do what I needed to do 

and we're sending up a small flare here in celebration that after 3 years I have finally gotten this piece to the quilting stage!! 

it was wonderful to be able to pull together several tables and do all of the pinning while being able to walk all the way around this 

(and yes, it's laying on the floor here in this picture, but that was the only way I could high enough above it to take a picture that shows the whole piece!) 

 I still need to applique a single columbine on this piece, but I'll have no problem doing that even though it's all pinned (and the first quilting has begun) 

doing a very happy dance here
 even after being gone for the morning to do that quilt pinning and otherwise hob nob with my fellow quilters, I did get some work done on this project yesterday afternoon

this is the bottom of the box, and it's almost finished -- just a couple more rows of green then a band of gold beading above that to go

of course then I'll need to make the top, but I'm pretty pleased with how this is going

that big storm that rolled through Northern California yesterday is supposed to hit us this afternoon and the various forecasters are saying anything from 2 inches to over a foot -- depending on which one you listen to -- not to worry, we are set to just stay in for a couple of days --- maybe I'll get more studio work done!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


real progress made yesterday afternoon on this project 

the more I work on it the faster it goes 

just a little more on this part (which is the bottom) then it will be on to the top 

meantime, while working on this, I've begun to figure out how to do the inside of the box so it looks nice and so it actually holds the bracelet in place when it is in the box the house parts are ready to be set together, and because this piece has been a sort of a "happening", I needed to figure out I'm going to set them together 

 this dark blue fabric is what I'm going to use to put them together, so I just spread it on the floor and tried a couple of arrangements 

I'm going to use the bottom one -- it would have been nice if I could actually hang them at different levels, but this is as close as I can get for this one 
last summer the west side of the valley I live in had a fire 

a really BIG fire 

while it was burning we could see the flames and the air quality for quite a while was awful 

but after that it was hard to see exactly where the burn was 

until it snowed 

now every little bit of snow sticks on that burn scar and I can really see it 


I'm going today to use a bigger space than I have at home to pin the big trees quilt (and hang out for a while with some other quilters) -- time to get going

Monday, February 18, 2013

slog, slog, slog

we're slogging along

its amazing just how long it takes in "beading hours" to create something that is less than an inch deep around a piece that is about 3.5 inches in diameter

considering I didn't even have any idea how to begin to do this on Saturday morning, however, this is good progress

today I need to do laundry and run an errand or two before I can start working on projects

time to get to it


Sunday, February 17, 2013


thanks to the willingness of a fellow beader to share some information,  yesterday I was able to create this much of the "box" that I want to put the latest bracelet in

after posting a question on one of my facebook groups, I had responses that gave me enough "how to" to start into this project

this is not quite big enough in diameter, so I'll be adding some more rounds of beads before I start working my way down the side, but I'm very pleased with the outcome so far

  my daughter sent me this picture of her little dog wearing the sweater that "grandma" made

it's pretty clear that the sweater fits perfectly

what's not so clear is how the dog feels about wearing it

uh, maybe not so much

the picture actually is pretty hilarious!

yesterday's work in the studio included drawing out all the patterns for the peacock -- the fabric for the background of that piece has been ordered, so I'll be able to start on it toward the end of the week when the package arrives

I've nearly finished the backgrounds for for these three panels -- I've been working from the outside edges in, and right now there are only a couple more pieces to add to the center block before I can set them all together --- cool

Friday, February 15, 2013

Guild Night

which means a trip to the put 'n take table 

last November the guild was the beneficiary of many tubs of fabric from a local sewer's estate 

last night was the final night for the last of that fabric to make it's appearance, so I came home with quite a bit of fabric to add to charity quilts 

as I write this, these pieces are already in the dryer after taking a little spin in the washer earlier this morning
 and of course, while I sit and listen to the program part of the meeting, I can knit afghan squares 

another one is done for the box! 

it's cold and gray this morning --- BLEAH! 

looking forward to getting into the studio and creating something

Thursday, February 14, 2013

that went fast

the bead embroidery portion of this idea is all done 

in fact, I've already painted the back of these with fray check 

so when I head into the studio today, I need to go through the box of leather and upholstery velours to pick out the appropriate backing for these 

I'm pretty excited about how fast this came together --- now we'll see if I'm happy with the end result when I get it finished 
 remember this drawing? 

 this morning I blew it up 

that is I used one of my software programs to print the drawing out on multiple sheets so it is the size I need it to be -- or at least the size I think I want it to be -- 25 pages later of that 8.5 by 11 inch paper and I'll be spending some time with the tape and scissors later today

I need to do some experimenting with how I'm going to make the feathers that are the tail of this piece, so we'll see how this all goes
 last night's knitting time included finishing up this project 

now I'll be looking for a "squishy" envelope to mail it off to my daughter 

I'm hoping she'll get a photo or two when she puts this on the little dog that I can share with you later

I'm watching the weather today --- this evening is the local quilt guild meeting, and I'm hoping that it doesn't get to ugly for me to drive to it 

meantime, there are projects to do!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

working on the new piece and a really OLD piece

this project is marching right along 

an hour of time and there are now two links complete and almost another one meantime, yesterday in the studio, I put the finishing touches on this (long) ongoing project 

which means that next Tuesday when I go to one of my local quilt groups I'll be taking this piece, along with the fabric for the back and the batting and two boxes of safety pins and getting it ready to be quilted (at long last!!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

catching up

this piece is finally finished! 

and listed this morning in my Etsy store 

if you want to take a closer look at it you can use the link there at the top right of my blog page  

so of course it was time to dive right into the next piece 

this will be a bracelet --- there will be 6 of these "links", and I have a very cool gold clasp to use with it  

I've been knitting on the sweater for the DH 

the original pattern was knit if separate pieces, but I'm doing the back and fronts all of a piece on a long circular needle 

it takes a bit longer per row, but in the end there is a lot less sewing together, which I like 

I'm about a third of the way up the body of the sweater  

while I was at my daughter's house over the weekend she asked me if I could knit a sweater for her little dog -- a cairn terrier

since we were in the craft store anyway, I picked up a skein of yarn and started knitting on this on Saturday evening 

last night I finished the piece that is the back of the sweater 

 now it's on to the underside  

the final square of the morning-noon-night series is all stitched 

now the background pieces are now in progress  

this was the sunrise yesterday morning before we left to head home 


and possibly useful for some future art quilt  

Mr Cute had his picture taken right after his birthday in December his mama gave me this picture over the weekend ---- soooooo CUTE!

so today I'm back to the usual household routine -- laundry is in progress, the into the studio to do some work

Friday, February 08, 2013

the voting has begun

Remember this? 

the voting for the competition this is entered in has begun 

you can go HERE to cast your ballot for your favorite of the many pieces that were entered

I finished the fringing on the clock face necklace ---- now it's on to the photographing, then the next project!

time to get going

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Another Finished Object!

ta da!

the quilting is done, the binding is on

as I write this it is taking a cold bath in the washer to remove any remaining chalk from the markings I made for the quilting

this is actually done a full week ahead of when I had originally planned

which presents it's own dilemma -- my original plan was to take it to my quilt guild meeting next Thursday evening then mail it off to my daughter

but I will have the chance to just hand it to her this weekend, thus saving the postage (and the interim concern about it's safety while in transit)

my guess is I'll probably just give it to her and skip next week's "drag and brag"



Wednesday, February 06, 2013

a finished object

the garage workshop and the sewing area actually finishing a project at the same time! 

yesterday morning the DH applied the last coat of wax to the toy box and I successfully finished the straps on the cushion 

ta da! 

another finished refurbishing project for Mr Cute 

this is a vintage (circa 1950s) toy box, handed down to me from a friend, used by my daughter and now redone for the next generation 

when we go to visit the next time we'll take it to him  

yesterday I showed you the three pieces that I have called "morning/noon/night" 

last night I thought of a way to put them together as one piece

now I need to spread out the pieces on the work table and pull out the box of yellow/orange/pink fabrics to set it together

probably not until tomorrow

today I will be trimming the baby quilt and putting on it's binding --- I finished the quilting last night ---- YIPEE!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

more work at the drawing board

after I looked at this for a while yesterday, I decided it needed something at the top to sort of "frame" the peacock

I think this is the final drawing

but of course there may be changes made as the creating progresses!

yesterday I stopped by the local fabric store and picked up what I needed to finish the cushion cover that is the current project on the work table --- I hope to complete that today so I can get on with other things