Friday, October 9, 2015

WIPs and other bits

This past week I was able to finish the stitching Bent Creek's "The Red Threads" months:
September, October!   Whoot, whoot!!

 Am feeling so smug since the September month design wasn't finished until 10/4/15 so that means that  I really flew through October's design since it's only the 9th now, not bad for a 40 x 40 stitch count.

Up next is April's.

With  getting those done I skipped back towards the front and started on April's design.  It's coming along nicely and am hoping to start stitching the wording that surrounds the whole piece maybe I can start that this month too.  Initially had though the surround would be my January and February tasks, but am really hopeful that it will be finished by the end of January with my current plan of attack of one or two month each month with some border surround as well.             lol and fingers crossed!

Here's how it looks setting on the box which houses it when not being worked on.  It's one of those decorative boxes with life affirming phrases plastered all over the surface and sets nicely on the mantel but is within reach when wanted.  Am learning that working on something doesn't mean it has to be out all the time so I do put it away even though I'll be working on it again the next day.  Makes for a nicer home when family and friends stop by.
It contains all my threads, pattern with the copied blown up sheets for each month, my glasses AND my magic eyes and all the other tools necessary like extra needles, scissors, etc.  I devised a sheet of paper to hold my needles with the extra thread on it which is pictured to the right above.  I try to list all the colors in numerical order and have most of the bits of thread resting under the paper.  Leftover thread on needles are parked off the project because I stitch the remnants from under neath on the right side of the paper and then when I surface the needle I stitch it going in and out of the paper quickly with the needle ending up pointing to the color name and demarcation used on the pattern.  Was truly surprised that some marks were used twice but for totally different colors.  Glad I double check along the way.  This system works nicely and one I'll be using again.  I also have used the railway stitch quite a bit to get the threads to lay correctly since this is being working on with a hand hoop.


I also use the no knot start by taking just one thread and folding it in half leaving the loop on the long side I thread both ends through the needle. Then my first stitch is essentially a lark knot start.  Going up with the needle where it needs to be and going back down through the top to catch the loop on the underside which makes my first slash (I use the 7 to 1 orientation as if on a clock as my first half stitch).    When just starting the design and actually on any projects worked on I typically will mark the upper left corner with a pin to know which end is top while the designs may be confusing or to early to tell what end is what.  I even use this while quilt making, upper top left marks the spot.


Other projects on my immediate horizon are make more blocks for the braid quilt.  Count is still at 31... hopefully next week that number will change.

 Also on my wish list and Wips be gone is the St. Patrick's Day Patch-a-bility wall hanging.  Many pieces have been selected and actually cut so I need to get this monkey off my back and begin the stitching.

With leaf season happening we took a little trip down memory lane.
Visited the old farmstead.
Our daughter and her peeps joined us.

Seeing the animals now in attendance,

purchasing some of the fresh chevre,

visiting the old plume in Jay
would you believe she and I swam in those rapids at younger ages,

showing her where we spent our Summer evenings listening to concerts along the waterfront at the beach front in Wilmington, NY

and ending the day in Lake Placid for a quick meal.

Heavenly, enjoy the pics.

Dear daughter age way up there and PGD#1, age 10  playing on the playground equipment.

Beckoning me 
It won..... awe,
I  love where we live!

My Mom and I are plodders.  It may take us awhile, but by and by it gets done.  We'll have several projects going all at the same time and will challenge ourselves to get another block done or some more threads stitched and then push the next devoted deadline onto our to do lists.  We actually do this with many household and homeowner chores too.  Can't work the way I used to that would get chores done quickly, but can attempt a bit or two every day or so and then progress happens until completion.
Guess it has to do with our determined genes handed down the matriarchal family line.
Thanks Gigi!

TTFN,  Jane

I'm linking to Amanda Jeans' Finish it up Fridays, Sarah's Can I get a Whoop whoop and A Quilting Reader's Garden WIPS Be Gone.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hello I'm still alive...

Life was kept me so very busy for the past several months that shamed-ly I've neglected my blog...again. Sorry to have dropped out like I did, I always wonder of the other bloggers I follow when I don't hear from them for awhile that I hope all is okay in their world and here I did it myself to y'all,  I'm sorry if I caused you concern and thank you for any of your silent prayers and kind wishes.  I have been going through continued health concerns... not life threatening, but equally as exhausting.  Would you believe I am sleeping about 11 hours a day!  This is not my normal at all and am feeling better but will certainly be glad when a firm solution is found.  Last's night Lunar eclipse of the "Blood / Super Moon" was fantastic and thankfully I watched it while in the warmth of the hot tub.  I can just imagine how past cultures placed primordial beliefs, witch craft practices and such attached to these natural occurrences.

You'll be happy to know that I am still gardening, crafting and quilting and am ever hopeful that I can start sharing some of my endeavors and also work backwards to post on most of the activities that occurred this  past summer.      It's been eventful, surreal, fun and many travels taken.

As for my most recent finishes I have a couple of items finished that I took from an assortment of threes classes I took at the Borderline Quilt camp which happened on the second weekend in September.

Friday nights class was wool work and the instructor, Phyllis Acres had kits available for the participants for $7 each.  I had all the embroidery and applique done that evening.  It was so peaceful to sit and stitch with friends that I hadn't seen in awhile.

Pure heaven.  I just finished the perimeter stitching this week.

Then on Saturday's Class of HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW,  with Marlene Hart,  I was able to make 16 blocks using a jelly roll I purchased at Calico Gals of Syracuse when Mom and I attended  the APQS show was going on the beginning of August.  (That will be shared in another post coming soon, PROMISE!)

A sample of the block is on the left.   Thankfully I wasn't that prepared for class as she instructed us to cut 2 1/2" X 18" strips from fat quarters.  Since I had the jelly roll I brought that to class when she instructed us to sub-cut our strips into 7" lengths.
Huh? 7 x 2 is 14" and 7x3 is 21", it seems it would have been best to have us cut our strips all  into a  2/1/2" by 7" bricks before class.  One woman had a bunch of 4" pieces left over she couldn't use for this pattern.  The mathematician in me just wonders sometimes, so I was extremely glad that I wasn't prepared for this class and only brought my UNCUT jelly roll to it with the other items needed!

 Since I've been back I've been able to create 15 more blocks so far, not sure yet what size this quilt will be or where it'll be going. the pattern calls for 20 blocks which isn't large enough for a quilt in my book.  So  I do know it won't be finished as it's pictured on the pattern.  With all those yummy prints which have an ethnic appeal to them am thinking of doing a top centered with framed and then sashed blocks followed by a couple of borders and then using an appliqued Russian nesting dolls theme overshadowing some of the center along with the borders with some dolls?  Time will tell.

Here's how I've been using some of those boards I made several months ago while selecting the 2 1/2" x 7" bricks for the braided sections.
They tier nicely on the sewing table for fabric auditions and then stack nicely when I need to do something else... like yesterday  a sun umbrella was repaired and then sewing to reinforce the end hems of flags for the local Fire Department.  One down so far, three more to go.  The wind here is fierce and will shred the flags to pieces in no time at all and there is nothing worse then flags flying in disrepair IMHO.
Luckily I was able to figure out a way to reinforce the edged  hem by folding it over a length or two of some knotted cord.  It keeps them from shredding and looking tacky while still they are light enough to fly and wave in the winds.

Then for Sunday's class it was for the Tooly Tool class (a pattern by Sara Gray) where I was very well prepared for class I may say.  I even created a spread sheet for organizing all those cut  and pressed pieces required for the homework class prep and luckily had a couple extras copies of the ID sheets printed out, so shared them with all who wanted them.

It was a good thing too since the teacher, Vickie Williams was called away on a family emergency the day before, her father in law was doing poorly.  One of the event organizers mentioned that I would be the teacher's assistant for the class and I gladly complied.  It turned out nicely.  Would you believe every one in the class got their Tooly completed except for me. I've since been able to finish mine.

The folded black fleece acts as a pincushion as well as a scissor mat in the front.
I also had neglected to purchase the English version of the pattern and had bought the metric version by mistake.  When I contacted Sara about it she quickly and nicely helped me out, what a fantastic designer and she has very detailed and perfect instructions!
Just for fun the view on the backside when the tooly tool is set up is this martini print, just perfect!
I also took the liberty and adapted my tooly with decorative stitches and did the elastic closure differently. The elastic was sewn into the seams during the assembly instead of stitched applique style onto the backside, which thankfully worked out great (even with the martini glass print showing with the glasses right side up, LOL.

The current projects that I am working on besides the braided blocks shown above are :
This Valentine's Day Candle mat...
 only need to edge finish 2 more scalloped sections for this to be completed then it'll be stored.

Then this BQ quilt top is assembled.  It's percolating just now on what the borders will be.   Initially I had purchased a fairy border print that I thought would be perfect for borders,  but it reads too pastel with those bolder brighter rings framing around the faerie floral prints I think.  The pattern was revamped to work with the panel size so they are all smaller than a typical BQ block, but at least the panel has been used.  lol  
Time will tell how it turns out, maybe slashes of color in a whimsy formation and free spirited colorful border treatment ?  Any ideas are appreciated.

One fourth of the quilt top shown
Another quarter shown

Sharing the border print purchased for a border, it seems too pastel to fit this quilt though.
Am thinking that perhaps some pillowcases to go with it will use this up besides coordinate with it  well enough.
Will be back soon.
I'm getting off the computer to help DH close up the pool.  This is a record for our area that it's been opened for as long as it has.
TTFN and I promise I will be back soon.


PS:  I also am working on a counted cross stitch piece called The Red Thread designed by Bent Creek. There are several months blocks done so far and the plan is to get 1 to 2 done each month.  I started it in August and did July and August that month. Currently am finishing September's and was able to complete June and May's blocks already.  ;~)
I had to center the design so decided in the spring to start this one in the middle of the year.  With every thing going on I almost forgot about it but then was able to catch up quick enough when I remembered it in August.  Will share that project on another day.

Am happily linking this up with the Stitchery Link Party #25 at Super Mom No Cape.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Apron Patterns

Pot holders in bottom of apron with a "secret pocket" to hold an MP# player...

Could adapt design with a full apron pattern is what I'm thinking.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Back from the framers.

 It didn't take long for the framers to do their magic.  
I selected a whitish frame matted with the evergreen to show case this piece.  

Started in November 2014 - Finished in May 2015

It's all done with the called for threads and linen.  
The only deviation was the thread color for the smoke coming out of the chimney, 
that aqua was just too brisk to use, so a softer grey was called for IMHO. 

Stay tune for what I decide to start cross stitching next, there are several on my want to do list.
Decisions...  decisions...........

Monday, May 25, 2015

MEMORIAL DAY, it's not about the BBQs!

Thank you to all who have served for America's freedoms.  Your efforts are not in vain and we really appreciate your sacrifice.

Embedded image permalink
grabbed photo via Western Ranger on his twitter account

In December 2000, the President signed into law The National Moment of Remembrance Act.

"The National Moment of Remembrance Act encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation", the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs website says.  I know I will.

Friday, May 22, 2015

A finish 8- )

Hey, Hey Happy Day
Here is a finish for May!

I finished all the stitching sans the two little buttons that need to be sewn on need the letter H after it's pressed that is.   Then it'll be off to the framers.   [Adding this on the 22nd, Michaels has a 60% then an additional 20% coupons for the next few days so I'll bring it to town and get it done.]

Lizzie Kate's Winter Alphabet is done.  Happy, happy, joy, joy.  It's been nice to stitch a little each day and though I had targeted this to be done in April, May 14th isn't that far off.
I used all the called for threads and linen.  The only variation is the frame around the letter B was a count off by 1 stitch in height and the smoke from the cabin I did my own thing but followed some of the pattern in areas and I did change that thread color to a soft grey with white.  One other note about this is that I think the linen got a "hoop burn" while I was turning my scroll frame over to weave in my threads.  Not sure as there are no LNS around my area.  It was the first time for me to use a scroll frame on my floor stand and silly me I would flip the frame over to tie off my ends instead of loosening the top section of the floor stand, so my linen was abused too much.  I now know better with that set up.  Why is it that as you work sometimes a light bulb finally goes on and you actually slap your head and say, "Why didn't I figure that out sooner?'  DUH!!

The next to stitch will be the Heart of America that has been kitted and I we'll see how far I can get on that one, or better yet when that gets finished.  Perhaps I'll be able to frame that if not for this year then for the next.  But no pressure, I'll be enjoying the stitches since it is rather large.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Counting 1,2, etc..

Many things have been going on around here.  So I thought they could could be shared with counting them off.

First, we have one of these:

 PGS#3 came home from school and asked, "Meme, can I color my hair red?"
"Sure!" I said.  Out came the hair chalk colors.  There wasn't any red so he improvised.  Isn't he darling with rainbow colored hair?  smile......I had to leave since I had a meeting in town and found pink all over the bathroom when I got home.  I guess his sister did hers too as well as dusting the bathroom I should add.  And here I had just cleaned the bathroom thoroughly that morning.

Then after errands in town on another day I had one of these:

YUM!   A Caribbean martini.
The bartender gave me the recipe and I'd be happy to share if you're interested.

Then I got 2 of these finished, Mom's favorite dishrag pattern.  Love that orange variegated one.

When I saw the post Myra over at Busy Hands shared with her idea of finishing the edges of design boards with duct tape. It's  a spin off of Lori Holt's design boards which you can see here.   Eureka I thought! That would be just the ticket to make mine since I had hubby cut some boards about 6 weeks ago.  Not to mention that this family has had a fondness through out the years with duct tape (but that is a whole other story for another time).

I have the boards all cut, the light grey checked flannel in, glue with glue gun and now off to see what our duct tape selection is.   I may have to purchase some leopard print aqua duct tape for mine.  8- )

I actually had this aqua duct tape on hand so was able to make 7 design boards.
 2 at 10"x 20" 
2 at 15"x 20" 
3 at 20"x 20"  
The last size seems huge, but I have a quilt on my to do someday list that has many pieces and I think that size will work best for auditioning those pieces.

Then for sewing I did get my machines home from the spa.  Both are as good as new again.  Good thing too since my son asked if I'd sew on 36 of these:

Phew!!  Those took forevah and since I used the free arm on the sewing machine the height difference bothered my back quite a bit.  Had to rest after a couple on patches so I could stretch out and relax then resume shortly thereafter.   (I know he appreciates it but I'm so glad they are done!  It took several days to get all of them done with all the other things clamoring for my attention around here.)

And this doesn't count all the weeds I've been pulling and the planting that's been going on!  That's why I've been a such non-blogger lately.    Hopefully I'll be back sooner to share some other stuff.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Feeling blessed

When I checked my email I got the happy news that I am a winner twice over!  Deana from Dreamworthy quilts notified me that I won her giveaway for the pattern Sewing Room Delight.  Isn't it beautiful!   Love all those machines, rotary cutters and irons, too cute right?

But that's not all.  Another email notified me that I also won a pattern through a Pinterest entry and would you believe that was from Dream worthy quilts as well.  So I not only won one of her patterns but actually two of them!  Squee!!!!

How lucky and blessed is that!  Here is Windmill. 

Aren't they both gorgeous!  Now all I need to do is make up my mind what I'll be focusing on next.  
So many decisions. 

Thank you so much Deana.  I've so admired so many of the beautiful quilts and creations from Dreamworthy Quilts for a while now and hopefully I can recreate some of your projects myself.
If I've teased you and you want your own, head over to purchase them.  Deana sends them out electronically and very quickly so you can download your own and start playing right away.
Thanks again Deana!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Whoop, whoop! I won!

A package that recently arrived from a giveaway that I won is this big batch of goodness.  8- )

I grabbed a photo of each one to really let them shine.

 The Circle Game pattern in a booklet:

 Georgetown on my Mind:

Broken Glass:

Steam Punk:

Chain of Fools:


 It was sponsored through the Jolly Jabber aka the Fat Quarter Shop's blog.  They were offering a batch of Jen Kingwell patterns after sahring tidbits of information about the designer and lucky me,  I won.  

Thanks so much!  

I am delayed in posting about this as I was finishing up my quilt for the quilt show and then running around with other appointments and commitments.   I promised I 'd share this windfall when things calmed down a bit and I made time to blog so it's finally acknowledged publicly.

The Jolly Jabber are currently offering another giveaway with the start of International Quilt Market in  Minneapolis and want to know your favorite Bar.  Silly me, I was thinking about my favorite establishment for beverages (lol) of course, when I learned that a bar is another name for a size of pre-cut fabrics.  Who knew?  The size is 5" by 10",  similar to layer cakes, charms, jelly rolls etc....  I've done business with them through the years and they never disappoint.  Thanks again jolly girls, I really appreciate it.