Monday, January 26, 2015

Katjas Millefiori QAL for 2015, dreaming and skeeming

After seeing the Dale Chihully exhibit in Montreal 2 years ago with my Mom, I still dream of creating a quilt
combining a myriad of color but with cloth, my favorite medium as an artist- a self proclaimed one that is.

With the 2015 Millefiori QAl that Katya is hosting from her book, The New Hexagon, I had initially thought of using this QAL to make a Chihully fishing boat filled with hexagon fabric glass orbs.  But when I saw the "Maison de Provence" line offered through Connecting threads, I absolutely fell in love with the main print thinking it would be perfect for fussy cutting some of the hexies.  Ordered 1 yard, a layer stack of that line the Book The New Hexagon (at 40% off I might add) and then waited to see what the feel of the fabric was. I do love quality quilting fabric!   When it arrived, it felt really nice so while visiting some of my beloved local quilt shops Saturday during the "Visit your local Quilt shop day", I was able to find a few other fabrics to work with this long-termed project.   Here's a peak of all of it gathered together:

All the parts lined up for my idea for this New Hexagon QAL-
Maison de Provence j'adore!

Also I noticed Kim Diehl's line compliments nicely
adding just a pop of pink.
 This will be my DECADE Project.  I just know now that I'll piddle away on it and will finish it, but want to enjoy the process without any looming deadlines of a QAL.  I also happened  to notice that the Kim Diehl's line of fabric, Vintage Farmhouse also might work with it, so will be open to that possibility as well.  Am loving that deep teal/peacock color just now and I also have a few blacks that could go in as well which will make the colors more intense.

I'll share some of my first ever Hexagons.
Using a fat quarter of that sassy fabric, and brights for this project.
I  may put this on my horizon this summer to finish it off since lil' Miss is growing up.
She'll be 10 this year, my favorite number BTW.

Orientation was wrong for this one.
Will be used for a vase coaster since it doesn't line up correctly

These were made with Kaye Wood's View and Do Shapes technique and I thought a bed stand table mat for the grand daughter would be cute with these Hexies or a dresser scarf.

Knowing that I'll need to practice my skillz first, since I have never done any EPP (English Paper Piecing) before but have always wanted too, my first attempt will be to make a table runner for the living room with a fabric I found at Fibre Junction Quilt Shop on Saturday.

I brought a piece of the binding blue scrap from the Bird house wall hanging I made a few years ago with me to match the tone and shade for a sofa table runner.

Found a beautiful batik which I initially thought of using to make a disappearing four patch table runner for that site.  BUT, just this AM while reading my emails, I ran across this runner that Annette offered through Craftsy and purchased it quickly.

Where it will go.......

Here is that Island Batik print.

With synchronicity acknowledged, I just know this is right project to make for that table runner and with that batik.  So I will be doing that first as my EPP  learning curve.  

Of course I purchased more than that but will share more on another day.  That will be my project for the Spring Quilt retreat I attend with Trudy   :  )   For my own info, here are some other Hexagon related sights.
Full hexagon sheets are free at this web page:

Katya's Millefiori QAL for 2015 is here:

Supply area for paper piecing templates are here and the code for a 20% discount is "Getmy20" :

I'm getting off this time sucking machine now! Got to start getting some stuff done before the grand children get here.  J

Monday, January 19, 2015

January's Blues

This past week was a continuance to "avoid" the larger projects on my January list, choosing a couple of little projects that can be started and finished in a relatively short time.  It all started as I was purging those blue bits.....
First thing accomplished was a label that wasn't required then it was if you know what I mean.  I used a very pale blue scrap to make the label for the Nicaraguan Horse quilt using 2- 7" rectangles which finished off that remnant.  
It was printed onto the fabric after being adhered to freezer paper, colored with markers to make the cupcake paper area striped with a neon yellow and bright aqua blue to pronounce it a bit.  Then the shapes were stacked wrong sides together, outlined stitched, turned outside right and ultimately stitched onto the quilt back.  
It turned out cute, but I never grabbed a photo before the quilt was turned in.  Anyways, it looked sort of like this:    

These blues will make a nice blend for a quilt I have in mind but can't share here.
 It would give away the surprise I have in mind.
Second attempt of using blues came with making half square triangle (HST) units.  I plan to do that each month when Angela at So Scrapper calls for the next months' color focus with the RBSC.   I'm amazed by all the blue leftovers in my scrap bin as I normally don't gravitate to that color.  

This month was able to get 40 HST units made.  All the muslin squares are cut and the center line was marked diagonally with a pencil, (did that part during my local quilt guild meeting).

While sorting and purging, I found some larger pieces. Thinking, "Oh that piece looks big enough to make a bag", "oh that one too", now what compliments them I wondered then wandered off.  (lol... Did someone say "Squirrel?)

Then I found some larger remnants tucked away in the scrap bin.  Since I won a couple of different more modern fabrics in recent years past,  I had placed them in there to be used for zippered bags or snap bags.   So what was realized?   

Snappy Bags!

Used hair rubber bands to make the pull tabs.
Color is perfect.

The star fabric now houses the wind able rechargeable flashlight with it's multitudes of adapters for different phones it can also charge in case of an emergency.  Much nicer than the plastic package it came in if I do say so myself.

It will also store nicely in the nightstand drawer
and not get the flashlight lens scratched, another plus.

After finding another larger blue scrap that coordinated nicely with that beach/hotel print gave me to think of a bag for drink containers while at a water park, pool or beach where you can't bring a cooler.  So a HUGE Snap Bag was finished out of those.  

Happened to have a nice red/white woven ribbon
to make these pull tabs.
The size of this photo is not relevant since
this baby can hold a stack of six cans.
Will keep it cool enough without the weight
and bulkiness of a cooler besides fit in a beach bag!

There are 2 more blue projects I'd like to finish up before the end of the month.  Will share those  if they're  realized.  



Monday, January 12, 2015

January's peek

Here's a peek at what I've been up to.  Sorting, merging, and purging.  One huge basket  and one smaller one cleaned out and all sorted by mostly color.   Some day I'll share how I keep all these scraps in order.

The  RBSC color this month is blue so hopefully I'll be focusing on a table runner that I thought  of  this afternoon before the Meme Taxi runs into town for Grandchildren's activities and an errand for a pair of trammel points, (there's another table mat I want to get off the PIG pile).

As for my slow Stitching Sundays, that (Lizzie Kate Winter Alphabet counted cross stitch) project just reached an impasse.  I messed up counting my threads on the framing around the  letter V so was actually un-stitching them when the threads broke.  DO you know how hard it is to remember the actual sequence of the stitching you've done?   I had one of those Ah ha moments while making my tea this AM, and know that I can cut out all those stitches out around that frame instead of ripping out the wrong ones.  I think it would be a lot quicker for me and then I 'll correctly stitch it the whole thing.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Contemplating a quote

"Complacency is a health hazard that curiosity can cure."  a written quote by Elizabth Lee's article shared via the Press Republican on January 4ths:  With new year, time to put dates to plans struck a soft ping within me.   I will "focus" on this and see where it leads me.  

ALYOF January and my Q1 desires for 2015

My ButtonFor the first month's focus I want to get this community project quilted.  It's been on my  to do list for the past several months.  It was  spray basted and pinned during our circle of friends quilting gathering 2 weeks before Thanksgiving.  I knew then that the table was a bit small but didn't realize how horrendous I had layered it until I attempted to quilt it during Christmas vacation.  I  Just wish I'd known then how off it was as I know my buddies would have gladly helped me to get it smooth and straight.  It has so many crinkles and folds in it so I'll be redoing that first so it can be worked on.  I have an idea for the quilting - stay tuned.

Am linking this post up with Shanna of at Fiber of All Sorts.

2015 FAL at On the Windy SideAs for my focus for the first quarter I hope to take care of a few other UFOs around here.
For February finish the quilting on 40 Diamonds and then hopefully in March finish quilting at least the brown sashings of the Tweet Camping quilt if not perhaps the whole thing.    I'll be linking all three of these with Adrianne of New Zealand who blogs at On the Windy side for her Q-1 challenge. 
How about you, do you have some projects that you want to get done? This is a cool way to finish those items and join the creative swell of fellow quilters while doing it.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ha! then it came back at me with a Ha HA!

I'm linking this little project with Sharon at Let's Book it! since it's a project that I've had on my list of my want to do-s  for the past 2 or 3 years.  

Yep I said 2-3 years is how long I've wanted to make this little circle ear bud zippered pouch tutorial so conveniently offered by Erin who blogs at Dog Under My Desk.  With spending some time in my sewing room looking at what I could tackle when I thought of my recently shared intentions of learning and using some of my investments.  I thought why not try my Accuquilt Go! Die to cut those circles and was on a mission.
Downstairs to the storage area for those when I found the circle die #55012 for a 5" circle.  Erin's tutorial called for and gave a  4" circle template.  Thinking ahh a different size but this should be close enough I can fudge through so I happily continued along.   Got fabric remnants out of my scrap bucket from an old purse I made a copel of years to be used in my test.

So with relative ease I cut out all the parts, found a zipper that could work in my stash and read the instructions for assembly.  Good to go I'm thinking, what fun.
Erin's instructions are concise, well illustrated and since I was using a striped fabric I smugly thought I'd showcase my piecing skills and make the tab with the stripe matching the outer case of the pouch exactly.

Check- the stripe matching executed perfectly.
Everything is now done up to the point of turning it outside right so it can be top stitched - the finishing touch.

That's when .....

Oh NO!  Houston we have a problem.  

DUH!!   The  snap can't work from the inside of the case!  I called myself all kinds of names dufess being one and laughed out loud at my novice error.  Obviously now I see that I must have flipped the back upside down when assembling it to sew.  Grrrr.... I had reinforced the perimeter twice and knew that no way was Is going to be able to  rip out when I decided to just place the tab on the outside which has the lining fabric(the aqua blue on the underside) revealed towards the left above.  So I ripped out the tab, reinserted it appropriately so it could work and in my fustration had sewed the tab on a little crookedly.  Oh well, I know these ear buds won't mind since done is better than perfect any day!  ;)

 2015 is off to a great start!  Jane

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Intentions and dreams

Yes it's good to dream but most of the time I feel like my quilting desires have been infected by acute, chronic and make that even terminal ADHD.  Finding myself jumping willy-nilly from one project before a glimmer of another one catches my eye which takes me on another tangent which seems to be my new norm in these past years.  So my plan of attack for this year is to continue to FOCUS on what I'm doing.  Enjoying my endeavors and finishing the task at hand before allowing that monkey brain mind of mine to jump into something else.  In years' past I've embraced the blogging trends to finish my UFOs, start New FOs and even allowed my creative juices fodder to follow completely different directions when they wanted or more seriously when they needed to.   So with contemplation of what desires I have...

This year I plan to do the same  

**************   BUT   ************

this time with grace, acceptance, and going with the flow.  

In list style fashion my intentions are:

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

1- If I can get one thing done a week, I'll be happy.  Whether it's a large or small project won't matter to me, or even if it's just one step within a project.   I'll be content working with my hands and moving my quilting/crafting  techniques along to the next level.  As an incentive I'll play along with Adrianne from On the Windy Side in her 2015 Finish Along.

2- Through the years I have invested funds for tools to work my crafts and now ashamedly I have found that I've never used many of these items.  I plan to change that this year.   Allowing myself to play, learn and hopefully show improvements in my techniques and to stretch my creativity into other realms of quilting like art quilts and more Modern styles.  I'll only be able to achieve this dream if I allow that inner child to play and learn.

3- Sharon at Vrooman's Quilts has a challenge of Let's Book it that I sat by and watched longingly at last year.  I want to play too so count me in this year.  There are many patterns I've bought, printed, tagged and flagged that are still languishing on my shelves, containers and totes stored away.  Hopefully if I can get one of these done a month with Sharon's incentives as my carrot, besides experiencing the camaraderie with all the other participants which will be great company as I finally tackle some of these PIGs will all be a huge plus.

4- Jenny Beyer has a new QAL offered on Craftsy as the 2015 BOM which my jaw literally fell to the floor when I saw it.   Imagine all those tidbits of information she'll freely offer through Craftsy this year.   Yes please, I want to do that too so I just ordered her kit. I can't wait!

5- I'd like to improve my piecing skills.  By participating with miniatures is how I hope to realize this.  So last year (12/30/14 actually) I signed up at my LQS  Fibre Junction to participate in Carole's gathering for the Simple Whatnots Club, Collection 1, designed by Kim Diehl and Henry Glass Fabrics.  Since I'd joined mid way through it,  I've missed several of the sessions but that's fine with me.  Carole is an excellent quilter and does exquisite hand work.  They meet once a month for the next few months this year and I'll be able to share physically what my FOCUS has been  and get help with whatever area(s) need it.

6- The Rainbow Scrap Challenge is another desire to participate with this year.  

7-  As for my Counted Cross Stitch Arena, that needs movement there too, I am currently working on the Winter's Alphabet by Lizzie Kate and I hope to get plenty more realized by Year end.  Typically when focused I can stitch 2 threads a day so this year myplan is to do that but at least 3-4 times a week while I find that zen of needlework, a very happy place for me.

Enough plotting about it,

                           Happy New Year!

                                       Now let the Games Begin.....  


PS: Giggling and smiling now, as the acronym for these intentions spells out......... GAG wtf!  
Seriously, you just can't plan something like that.

Hello 2015

Friday, December 12, 2014

Horse Quilt- CHECK!

It's done.  The finishing touches being stitched by PGD#1 on the quilt she's making for the 10 year old boy in Nicaragua. 
She sewed on most of the binding and finished it by machine stitching a new to her stitch- the buttonhole stitch, Bernina's #45.   The binding was sewn on the back and then flipped over the edge to top stitch and catch it on the front. 

Looks great Honey.

It was finished with 24 hours to spare.  The Cupcake Kids, the group name of our younger members guild of our local guild were to be the night's program for the December's Christmas meeting.  Of course with that snow storm coming through our region, the meeting was cancelled.
Here she is showing her grandfather the completed quilt on Tuesday afternoon after school.

Awesome Job Kiki!

I did the quilting for her since most of the others in her group sent their quilts out to be quilted, so there's no regrets about me doing it for her.   (I really don't know why I put off chores like this like I do, it went along nicely.)

Just a 1/4" echo stitch was quilted on all the yellow bands, then a large meander on the top horse fabric, the green haddock sides (this fabric I had in my stash for decades!), as well as the bandanna print used on the bottom section.  That bandanna print I had recently purchased to bind a community quilt in October.  It seemed more suitable for this so I used something else to bind that other one.  I tried to "stitch in the ditch around the oval brown band surrounding the centered horse but I got a little off on some of the lines, Oops, oh well it's good enough and its done! 
To finish it off with a bit more quilty detail, a tighter meander was done around the horse using the same colored thread as the rest was quilted.    All pictures are click able for a closer look if you want.  Not perfect but DONE!

An American Eagle printed Fleece was used for the backing and it's seems a perfect choice since this was made in America and going to someone in a South America.   No labels are required per the groups' decision which is fine by me.    I hope the recipient enjoys it for years to come.  Initially we had a crayola panel and  thought it too immature for a 10 year old boy, so we just hope he likes horses.  VBG

Other things going on around here were to revamp the Christmas wreath on the front door.  I deemed it outliving it's purpose as the metallic horns were rusted beyond redeemable.  Took over an hour to remove all the decorations to "fix" and update our look.  Some of the older red berry cluster were ravaged by feathers or fur, not sure which, but they are all gone.

Last week Michael had 50% off all their floral pics and holiday fixings besides some additional incentives so DH and I made out rather well.  Purchased a bunch and remade our front door wreath.  All the extra cream/gold poinsettias are going back with the crystal branches that were rejected.  Here's the finished project a totally new look.  DH being an old farmer mentioned he doesn't care for the udder thingy hanging down but I like it so it's staying.

School was closed two, I mean TWO days this week.  Talking with my Mom she mentioned that she hopes I keep my sanity and I didn't know what she was talking about.  LOL  Anytime the youngest two got restless and started any horse play, you could hear me say take it OUTSIDE.  and they did.  Were out a couple of times  in a couple hour stretches. 

Yeah Meme!  Your a smart one, tire em out and enjoy a respite to boot.  Not too long after being outside, the littlest one came to the door and said, do you want to see me climb my tower?  Of course I said yes.  Next thing I knew there he was 25-30 feet in the tree. 

"You get down, you're too high", yep and then I said it, "you're going to fall down". 

Guess what.  Two steps down on 2 tree branches then he crashed through all the boughs to the ground.  Thank goodness he was well padded had a softer landing with all the snow and didn't land straddling a tree branch along the way . 

So it ended well.  I shared the story with our daughter when she stopped to get the children after work, and she was amazed that we let them do that.  What did I tell her, "Well Sometimes you just have to let children be children".
Then giggled. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Daybook December

I'm feeling...content
I'm hearing...quietness,  ah so perfect.
I'm thinking...what next, there is much to get to today
I'm cooking...nothing yet
I'm planning...what to fix for breakfast and getting a potted poinsettia to welcome another new neighbor 2 doors down.
I'm reading...Sister's Choice by Emilie Richards then need to get through The Christmas Train by David Baldacci by the 18th of December.  That's the night of our book club Christmas gathering
I'm wearing...Purple comfy jammies
I'm creating..CXS Winter alphabet by Lizzie Kate
I'm enjoying...the artwork of my youngest grandchildren
I'm sharing...the art work.  I love Netflix and thought I'd have the movie, Oliver Twist in for a classic tale so the youngest ones could enjoyed it,  it's based on the book by Charles Dickens.  Can you say they paid rapt attention to it and then started doing some artwork the next day while they watched it for the 2nd time.  They also want to see it today so Netflix will have to wait for that return.  I do love them dearly and love their earnestness and creativity.
The CXS of Lizzie Kate's WInter Alphabet is enjoyable to stitch.  I had DH get my frame down out of storage from the garage and it makes the stitching so much easier.  While watching Oliver Twist with the grands, the lil guy, PGS#3 asked if he could help.  So of course I said yes.   He cuddled on my lap and would pull the needle up when I got the correct needle placement.  He and I got the brown tree branch near the bird house done.  Thanks Brody!  His sister also wants to stitch on it with me, perhaps we'll tackle the blank space where the reindeer stands near the pine tree since she's so good at drawing them.  ; )

All the turkey has left the building.  It's great having a Thanksgiving bird then  hot sandwiches with all the fixings too for leftovers.  I always make a soup and this year I changed it up a bit.  I made the traditional stock then added the usual trinity? (celery, onions, carrots) (I left out the potatoes this year ).  Then I used a tomato paste for the base and literally  threw in with additional veggies of frozen corn, frozen peas, fresh cauliflower, fresh broccoli and 1 serrano pepper with all the seeds.  WOWZER!  That spiced it up nicely.   Was great served with rice and was served with a cottage cheese salad appetizer finishing the meal with deep chocolate brownies Brody and I cooked up earlier in the afternoon.

With some of the sliced meat I found a recipe for warm turkey spinach salad that utilized the leftover cranberry sauce for the dressing.  It was fantastic.  SO I will write what I did here, since I really adapted it to make it with what I had on hand, that way I can share it with you and can duplicate it myself when I want to.  (Yes it was that good!)

Warm turkey spinach salad with a cranberry dressing.
For each Main Salad:
1 cup Spinach leaves
1/2 cup of Romaine lettuce
2 Tablespoons (Tbl) spiced walnuts
1/2 shallot sliced very thin
chunks of warmed turkey (DH thinks it would be better having the turkey cold next time.)
Fruit of choice -  I used 1/2 of a diced red pear, DH had 1/4 fresh raspberries.

The walnuts were sauteed with a pat of butter
and a pinch of all the following:  cayenne pepper, cinnamon, allspice, and sugar.
Don't scorch or burn it, just heat through to add a spicy sweet crunch.

The dressing comprised of:
the left over jellied cranberry sauce melted in microwave or stovetop
add a Tbl  of water to thin it a bit
1 TBL finely diced shallot
1-2 TBL of vinegar, I had a pear cranberry balsamic vineger actually on hand
2 TBL Olive Oil
Hint of garlic salt, a couple of shakes

Mix dressing all together and enjoy!  It was wonderful!
Off to get breakfast then quilt for awhile on that Horse quilt since a trip to the Docotors is going to happen around Noon.