Saturday, November 28, 2009

All but one!

I picked apart one seam because it was spoiling a perfect combo. I found one set that hadn't been finished and I have an extra strip set. But this will all add to the exquisiteness of the finished top. I've had a good week. I am liking a weekly plan but I also need to just work on one thing every once in a while. This week it has been quilting. The second machine binding was not as successful as the first. Pride and shortcuts will bring about less than perfect results. oh, dear! :( Carefulness means it only needs to be done once. I hope I only need to learn this lesson one time. :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Stripping along

I really do like piecing away randomly. Trying this fabric against that. Uglies happen but they make the others look even better. lol I almost always prefer to work on a smaller scale so I only cut a few strips 3" and I definitely have sliced some of the accents thinner. I am liking what I'm seeing. Do you see the wiggly limey Bali? I got it at the sale. It'll be full price when I go back but I am thinking that it is gonna be some useful fabric so I NEED more. Half done and the thread snippets are at least 3/4 of the way out the playroom and down the stairs! But, sew what!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The value of value

Well, I went ahead and cut the strips for the quilt along. I hope I haven't started a king size quilt. I started neatly, orderly and keeping track. And then...
I'm feeling like they'll work. I guess sewing them together will soon tell.
c.1300, from O.Fr. value "worth, value" (13c.), noun use of fem. pp. of valoir "be worth," from L. valere "be strong, be well, be of value" (valiant) 1)noun: relative darkness or lightness of a color 2)noun: the quality (positive or negative) that renders something desirable or valuable, 3)noun: a numerical quantity measured or assigned or computed 4)noun: an ideal accepted by some individual or group the amount (of money or goods or services) that is considered to be a fair equivalent for something else 5)noun: (music) the relative duration of a musical note Then there are the verbs.

Is this quilt going to be of value? Somebody will like it. Is the colour going to be 'well'? It isn't feeling sick yet. Is it a strong design? I'm hoping it isn't too strong. I'm aiming for a keepsake, a healthy combo of textures and colour with medium contrast. I'm hoping it is going to be worth it. I'm making a valiant effort to make it sing and hold the note.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blessed be the tie that BINDS

Well, it takes almost as long to make a designer back as it does to make a front! The table topper will be reversible. Where I want things to go and my math makes for mistakes. grrrr But I did get things to fit. Why is the way so clear on the last few steps???

BUT... I will be making up time because I tried the machine sewn bindingtutorial by Rita on Red Pepper Quilts. The directions and photos are excellent. I'm pleased. I don't mind hand sewing bindings but life is too short to obsess over place mats! I really liked the neat look of the smaller width. I ironed the binding down and didn't need pins. I only missed one corner. Again, thanks Rita! I'm delighted!

I get a star,

Well, maybe a check mark! I have finished the star blocks from Block Party. 15
I put together a 9 block table topper and a 6 block table runner. I see I should have given more consideration to the medium value of the background circles, but I'm pretty pleased as this is a deviation from my usual plain backgrounds. Value is something I struggle with for some reason. I fixate on one aspect of design and ignore the other. :( To keep rolling I need to come up with a whiz bang backing!

Friday, November 20, 2009

If at first...

I clicked on the previous photo and I kinda thought they improved. So I rearranged and re photoed (now is that a word, ah- two words?). hmmm??? Where is the napper when I need her? I don't want to wimp out on the new improved ME!


I did get some more fabric for the quilt along which is along the bottom. One is a limey yellow with a blue green swirl. The leaf print will be backing. Front is yellows with the accent a blue green selection. I'm not sure how this shows up. I was thinking I need to get rid of the ones that are different. But maybe they just stretch my comfort zone. I dunno......

Creating Time

The best laid plans, etc. Things have definitely not been going 'my way'! I need to grab my time allotment and wrestle it to my own satisfaction. How can I use my time creatively?
I did restore some order after the teaching samples, notes and dust settled.
All I have had time for was to reread the camera settings so uploads work better. Done!

WIP is back up. I like the green strip. Not sure about the floaty leaves. I will be putting some significant beads on the bottom, but the falling leaves is not too successful! Comments please!

I'm off again, jiggity jig! I'll be punching up the quilt along fabrics. I need some large prints, NOT florals! Next upload will be the Naptimer's quilt along.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Not even variable. A variant is differing in form or in details from the one named or considered.
I'm varianting. I needed to repurpose the dining and sitting rooms. The stove is sending out its warmth and that means shoving the chairs and table around. Tweaking! Not a hardship. I luv it. I shoulda been a window display person.
I cut all my fabric for the friendship star and they send out a variant. COOL! But I wouldn't have had enough background to do this very cute and wonky star. I'll only get 15 of the first set. I will be doing another though! Please see the link to Block Party in the helps. (I haven't figured out links in the message yet.)
Cheryl over at Naptime Quilter has finished her nap and is slaving over a hot iron. I shall shake off slumber myself and "get 'er done". I am up for the Quilt Along as planned. I have a plan and I do see a lack in my fabric stash but I think I'll go with what I have. I need to do the squint test and then post the photo for fabric choices.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Barking up the wrong tree

I spent most of yesterday reviving my thread painting skills. Yuk! I covered them with brown organza, did a bit more and voila! I was pleased that I did think outside of the box a bit but it seems a tad dark for a wall hanging. Kinda sombre.
The line workshop went well last night though. We are all looking for lines and the new challenges will be interesting to view. I'm not sure what my idea will be but heck, there is 30 days! 8{
I was anticipating a good day to work on my ufo's but everything went sideways early on. I did restore order to the playroom but the vacuum is still in the middle of the room. I barely got out to count the chickens before they scurried off under the trees.
Today was actually garment day and I do have an idea for a skirt but I don't think I can afford to sew something every week and still get other things done. I wore my jumper for show and tell and someone said I 'just' needed a nice necklace! (I'm working on it!)
I also have been trying to figure out the new camera and if all else fails... well, it seems the instruction book does have a remedy and I shall be trying it out for the next photo session. It also looks like the new light bulbs are effective. Now I need to decide if I shall grab the camera manual, the thread painting notes, the wire jewelry magazine or the mixed media workbook for my "now I lay me down to sleep" routine.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Sorry for the shadow but I'm in a hurry this morning. I did change the light bulbs to get a bluer light. Then I stuck my head in the way! drat!

These friendship star blocks are inspired by Block Party. (see Helps) I couldn't resist! I have enough background for 15 stars. That is the number of participants in Workshop In Progress. Kinda fitting. But I have also met some neat people thru blogging so this will be my Ode To Blogs quilt. And I am so enjoying the loose play plan and colour combo. Not sure how I'll arrange them when I'm done but... Who says you always need a plan. lol But I have to let the stars twinkle on the other side of the noon day sun while I gaze up at the tree line.

Today I am loading up my paint brush with thread. Browns for bark.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The forest for the trees!

I've got a jumble again. I couldn't resist trying some of those friendship stars over at Block Party. What an excitingly new fabric combo for me . And I did actually do it from my stash. Makes me smile! I'll post when I get a few more done.

Then I was out photographing tree trunks and branches. I need to get a lesson or two on my new camera and software and I need to read a good photography book. I must do some thread painting for this challenge. I thought I'd find a general shape and modify it to accomodate a focal point. I figure to add a moon somewhere behind that V. That has my sheers tumblimg over the fabric stars on the table.

Yesterday was butchering day. So I printed and tried a gluten-free gingerbread recipe that would give me something for the guys' coffee break. Wonder of wonders, it was a cake and not a slab! Even I was impressed. Smelled so good! Regular baking challenges me, never mind gluten free.

But hiding among my trees is a predator. 8>( One of my ducks and several chickens are missing. But we did hear the night dog doing his patrol on my side of the yard last night and early this morning. Good Boy, but time to move the feathered friends over to the main barn. We should have done it sooner.

I hope to get some time today to float wispy clouds over the moon so I can paint bark tomorrow!

In the meantime, bring on the friends and family!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Press to Entre

Time to move my art pages up on the to-do list. The first group challenge was a button. I want to think out of the box so I thought of a computer button. I tried printing it on and it was less than successful . So I touched it up with a gold gilding pen. Hind sight says that a puff paint would have worked better. I wanted to begin with no colour so the background is white. I fussy cut the flower shapes and fused them on. The bottom needed some weight so I added the dark ground. Then I machine quilted and bound it.
Now I just need to hit the entre button within me!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dressed for Success

The jumper succeeded beyond my wildest expectations. It actually fits! A little tweaking on the next couple as I have more of this suede fabric which you can tell from the tote bag. oops, the biggest pieces would be a rusty red and a green which aren't in this tote. Stay tuned!

The trip to Michael's yielded some jewelry making tools and some mixed media embellishments.

A trip thru the furniture store display in DD's home town reveals that aqua and chocolate seem to be what the best dressed homes are wearing. The blue greens are the colour I prefer in my home decor. This is NOT good as I saw so many accessories I really liked. It is DD that is looking, not her dear old mum, so I need to cool my plastic and get back into my bedroom which has only a teeny bit of aqua. (They also had lots of metal work which is a luv as well.) But I did find a nice pottery pitcher at her thrift shop with the blue greens.
I think the dust bunnies will be dressed warm enough to be swept outside and then I need to dress up a tree challenge. Well, maybe undress. I'm thinking bare branches and a focus on the trunk bark.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chickens don't do paths!

A path is a way especially designed for a particular use. I particularly like the meandering path thru the shade garden which is next to my coop. The chickens have a penned area but I do let them out. They dearly luv to scratch away and when all the dust settles, my carefully laid out path is obliterated. I finally penned them back up because the flower bed edges in the front yard were no longer clearly defined. The top dressing for the perennials was now top dressing the grass. I try not to encourage grass! I'm the one who has to cut it.

A path is also a course of conduct. I hope I've set the course that I'd like to travel for this winter. I think I've never felt quite so focused and it seems to be lasting. I'm a great list maker. I just write them, file them and forget them. This feels like good conduct. This feels different.

Now time off for good behavior (conduct). My path this morning leads to my DD and the grandson. I have a Michael's coupon burning a hole in my pocket and I want to show Josh's mum all the neat stuff for kids. I am also delivering the bulk of my florals and I have already dragged 3 pieces out of the bags! I'm as bad as the chooks!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fall Cleanup

Tuesday is my Garden day. The weather has been conducive to getting things ready for winter so I had put things to bed and turned toward my indoor playroom. The chickens and ducks will be making the move to their winter quarters any day now. My coop is not readily accessible when the snow drifts settle in.

Tuesday will also be Garment day. I so want to make myself some clothes that fit and say who I am. I had not enjoyed sewing clothes but I am no longer intimidated by sewing machines and patterns. SO! I did. I wanna have jumpers like Jane Sassaman. But I do have a waist and the hips are noticable so straight won't work and gathers, hmm, not too flattering. Sew! I took a bodice from a size 8. (must have been one of my girl's) and a slinky nightie pattern. I enlarged top, over lapped the skirt till I could line them up and redrew. I could finally use that curved ruler I had to have. I made a tissue pattern with 4 pieces. I made the bodice proto type from floral reject stash, did a bit of tweaking and by golly it'll work! but .... pride goeth before the fall. I ripped! If all else fails, read the directions. I had lined the bodice with a coordinating quilt fabric and couldn't turn the darn thing right side out! But, I think I have it figured for next time. It will be fast, easy and looks not too shabby! lol
I've also been doing a bit of fall cleaning on the blog. I need to figure where some of scanner/photo options are now hiding. I need to figure out links and I did some tweaking to the over all look. Things are falling into place!
100 posts and I definitely feel like blogging is helping me to be a better, more creative chick! My jumper is purple for heaven's sake!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'll drop ya a line!

The challenge for the line demo is to come up with quiltlets that feature lines. This is probably the most challenging because the next art demos will build on line. Text intrigues me because letters form words which form sentences which form lines. Did ya write lines in school? 8-O Cursive adds a whole other dimension to straight, stiff, letter shapes. So? What if you used text/script as a line?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Line forms to the ...

I have decided to commit to some ufo deadlines. It also seems that I underestimated how many I have lurking in out of the way places but the ones I've listed initially will do for a start.
I've begun working on line as a design element.
There isn't lots of info in my books but a line or two from each book and I'm getting a good sized paragraph. I can certainly see why artists work in a series. Ideas just seem to spark more ideas until you have a whole clothes line full of them.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

So far, so good!

I've definitely had a good week.
I started off teaching a basic thread and needle demo for our local quilt group, Common Threads and we have lots of new comers. My next demo is Thread Painting. I've agreed to tackle the once a month tutorial for the art quilting and that'll mean I'll be learning lots.
I decided florals are NOT me so I edited 2 big garbage bags out of my stash. Then I reorganized the fabrics. The main book cases are now pretty much tone on tones or blenders and are easily seen when the curtain is pulled aside. I have my focus FQ's and my medleys folded in drawers so I can see at a glance what is there and bigger chunks are tucked behind the doors of my utility closet. Passe ufo's will be going with the old florals. Gee, it feels SO GOOD.
It was also good to break open the polymer clay bead book and get rolling. I need to do the same with the mixed media challenge.
Jacquie, over at Tall Grass Studios has issued a challenge called Joy in the New Year. It is to see how many ufo's can been done before the New Year. I'm not sure I need another commitment but I did decide to at least itemize some of the things I have on my to-do list.
We are having a very lovely fall weekend and there are several jobs on that list. Fence posts for the new entrance gateway are going in as well as the clothes line posts. I really was beginning to despair. After a busy day we'll be ready for the Fall Supper at the local church. I hope they have pumpkin pie. My favorite!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Creativity 101

Several Thursday evenings a month I throw open the door of the Coop and Saucer Playroom for play! We tore open the wrappings on the Sculpey 30 colour sampler. We assembled the pasta machine, the new Bead Baking Rack and turned the pages of 'How to Make Polymer Clay Beads' by Linda Patterson. We now know all about the things we didn't know! lol Five beads; mind you big beads! And it seems we have only begun; there is sanding, painting and buffing. But begun, we have!

Whipping Along

This is my 2nd try at posting a better photo for the Workshop in Progress group. Please click on the button on the side for more info on the group and the participants. This is my first try at an 'art' wall hanging. I have these little quilted sandwiches to join together and I'll add some some more detail with thread. I made 3 fabric leaves in a complimentary colour. I want to do some embellishing with beads. I have no more of the black bali, nor of the fabric leaves. I doubt that my feelings are easily hurt so critique away. I do want to grow up to be a fibre artist! 8)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Eeeny, meeeny, miney, moe
Round, and round, and round we go!
Category: a collection of things sharing a common attribute
from M.Fr. cat├ęgorie, from L.L. categoria, from Gk. kategorein "to accuse, assert, predicate," from kata "down to," + agoreuein "to declaim (in the assembly)," from agora "public assembly." Original sense of "accuse" weakened to "assert, name" by the time Aristotle applied kategoria to his 10 classes of things that can be named.
Well, Aristotle is doing better than me. Even eliminating florals, I have WAY more than 10 classes of fabrics that can be named.
The idea of folding fat quarters( fq's) into old library index drawers has much merit. You can "let your fingers do the walking" rather than extending elbows to ward off avalanches. I spent the night gnashing my teeth about my lack of library furniture. The dawning of a good idea arrived about the same time as the sun! I have 2 IKEA chests under the cutting table that have drawers about the right depth. If I empty them I have lots of fq space. I can hardly imagine being able to actually see at a glance what my options are. Wooo! Now the category options. Woo hoo? hmm, where is all the stuff in the drawers gonna go? boo hoo!
Perhaps I should go to bed immediately and wait for the solution to that particular dilemma to dawn!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


With a sprinkling of snow this afternoon the weeds that are still in the gardens are not an issue.
But, boy, do I have lots of weeds in my fabric stash. I have come to terms with the fact that I don't like cabbage roses, cottage floribunda or colourful bouquets! I was feeling so good as I pulled out florals from my fabric stacks. I also pruned out some old ufo's that aren't appealing. I did some needed rearranging of fashion fabric scraps, trims, and sheers. Those are now accessible for mixed media. Then I needed to put the remaining fabrics back in the shelves. Good grief, the stuff expands when it is in contact with air.
I have 2 large garbage bags for folks who make charity quilts. It is good quilting fabric and I'm reconciled to the fact that I have handled it enough to justify the expense. Some people never even lick their stamps! 8^) The half dozen ufo's that remain are do-able. But I just couldn't face the 3 large applique quilts, one of which is extremely floral, that lurk in containers under my bed. I shall live to weed another day.
Last night I did a tutorial on needles and threads for the local quilt group. It was a good refresher for me as well. I have agreed to tackle the alternate night when we do art related quilts. The challenge was trees. I should do some thread painting for mine. The first topic will be The Element of Line. I'm sure no expert so I'll be doing some googling.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Raising the bar!

I have been having a great time checking out the happenings on the sites of the participating Workshop In Progress participants. What great inspiration! I seriously need to re-evaluate where I am and where I want to go. The quote today says. "Tradition is what you resort to when you don't have the time or money to do it right." Kurt Herbert Alder awk!!! I read that to say when you leave things to the last minute you have to go into default mode! I'm gonna be drawing a line in the sand on procrastination. (oops, my little timer says 10 minutes left for blogging!) lol
The good news is that I can begin now, today. The bad news is that my stash does not reflect where I want to be/go. All those blasted florals. The good news is that I do know what I don't want and I am zeroing in on 'my' look.
So here are my options for the spring look. Modern, simple, fresh. These Amy Butler's will get me there. The striped place mat is the theme colours for the upstairs. Basic beige is going. Top right is the upstairs hall wall quilt. That multicoloured circle theme fabric is our bedroom quilt but doesn't work for the quilt along. The middle aqua's are for a rectangular 'square in a square' quilt on the guest bed. The top left combo is the wall quilt for the entrance hall downstairs. The quilt along project will be to cover the cedar chest under it.
I'm suspecting that this spring decor is close to the real me as I find putting it together fun and easy. These will be my quilting focus for this winter and I also need to get some of those old projects finished because I'm sensing that that era needs to have the sound of a door closing.