Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!   Wouldn't this make a darling wall hanging?   I can see some scrumptious orange batik fabric underneath an almost solid black batik for the silhouette.  Then some batiks that would be the color of the moon plus yellow to add to the darker orange shade for the pumpkins.

Yesterday I went with a very fun quilting friend of mine to the retreat about an hour from here where many of my other fun quilting friends were spending four days of non-stop sewing, talking, laughing, eating, and even shop hopping!   Lori had asked me some time ago if I would like to go with her as a daytripper to which I immediately replied "yes!"   She works so is unable to attend for the entire time and it's no longer feasible for me to go for that long   It was not a disappointment!!  A lot of the girls there I have known since I first got into the guild along with others who have joined our group after I did - they are such a lovely group of women and I hope they know how much they contribute to my life.  I am so much older than all of them but still feel so comfy when I am with them and I think they are part of making me feel not so old!  It was a good day!
 Here is just part of the work area at The Springs.  Great design walls all around, a fireplace with a crackling fire, a table full of goodies to munch on and gorgeous creations up on the wall.  They get lots of beautiful projects made in the time they are at the retreat.
You have to be goofy some of the time!!  Here are Leslie, Kathy and Deb behind the intricate paper pieced circles done by Linda (in the background).  
 A good friend, Leslie is working intently on a very pretty piece that was started and belongs to her very pretty daughter, Elle.  Leslie is also lots and lots of fun to be around - very vivacious and full of big smiles and laughs.  She is also one heck of a quilter!  One of her specialties is wonderful wool applique and also embroidery. 
From another good friend, Kathy is expecting two new grandbabies - first ones - and has been working on making baby quilts.  This is one she has worked up - adorable, right?  Also had a pastel batik piece on the design wall that was made up by square in a square blocks - very simple and sweet.  She is our amazing machine quilting person (on home machine) and will do her wonderful quilting on both pieces. 

I didn't get a picture of it, but Lori, who I came with, brought along a quilt she had pieced a long time ago which she was embellishing with ribbon embroidery!  Gorgeous!  Her work is beautiful.  We have so much talent in our guild!  Lots and lots of great quilters whose work is wonderful.

Me, I brought along a scarf I was crocheting.  Did much more talking and laughing than I did crocheting but that is just fine with this old hag!  It was fun.

A Thought for Today!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Couple of Things

Taken through the window with the screen on it, here is my hanging basket of begonias on the 27th of October in Michigan!  Blooming profusely and still gorgeous, I think this may make it until into November!   There is also the other one out under the big pine tree (doesn't show in this picture) that is still gorgeous, also, and it may be around for a while yet, too.   We have had killing frost, but these are protected - this one is under the overhang by my front door and the other has all the huge pine tree above it.   Can't bear to take them down yet.  Everything else is gone now except the mandevilla next to the house on the patio and I will take that apart soon.

Now I will share a little video with you - this time of Annie who is now getting around really well.  She is 11 months old - how the time does fly!   Enjoy this little movie and check out her manner of crawling if you have a minute or two and so desire!!
Wednesday I will be going with one of my favorite quilters, Lori, for a day trip to the quilt retreat our quilting friends will be at for four days this week.  Really looking forward to going - if I were five years younger, I would be there for the entire thing!!  Thank you,  Lori, for asking me to go along!!   I will take pictures of what the gals are up to!  It's a little fuzzy but it's cute.

Some words for the day--

Friday, October 25, 2013

More Cross Stitch Pieces

 Another beautiful piece done by my husband, Ray.  He did several that were very large and very complex and he so loved working on them. 
Here is a closeup of the beautiful woman - and she is beautiful!

Another P. Buckley Moss.  Darling little girl embroidering.    I had these lying on the ironing board so the angle is not the best.  However, you can still see how very pretty these pieces are. 
A pair of mallards flying.  This is one of his earlier pieces.  He did several with ducks.   The color of the mallard drake is just perfect.  My father did a lot of duck hunting so I saw a lot of ducks in my early life.

A piece featuring an antique shop with lots and lots of fun stuff for sale.  Many, many short runs of stitches - lots of changing of colors. 

Again, I will save the rest for one more post later on.   I love looking at these again and love thinking about how much Ray enjoyed sitting in his recliner doing his beautiful stitching.  Sweet memories.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Stored Away in the Basement

I have been going through things in the basement the last few days - quite a job!!  Have been through almost all of my fabric even weeding some out!  And have neatened up some of the containers that I have wildly ruffled through searching for the right pieces.  Actually have emptied some containers that I am now using  for yarn that has been in various bags, etc.   A side effect of this has been a nice pile of fabric, patterns, and other goodies that can go to the bazaar for next year's guild quilt show.

The cross stitch picture above is from a container of many lovely (and a couple not so lovely) pieces mainly done by my Ray after he retired.  He enjoyed doing it so much and did such a beautiful job.  I know it gave him many, many contented hours  doing this gorgeous needlework.  A lot of them are not framed - but many of them are and are in my house and the homes of our kids.  He used to mat and frame them himself - it is very costly to have them done.  One day I hope that the granddaughters and their kids will have some of these in their homes if they wish.

A closer look at the barn.  I love this one and should have it framed or try and find a frame to fit.  For some of the pieces I actually found lovely old antique frames  to use.  Love it when that happens.

Here is another lovely piece - a P. Buckley Moss.  He did a lot of those and there are quite a few of those hanging in my home and the homes of our kids.  He worked on small count canvas and did the stick and stab method - his stitches are so pretty.
Here is one that I did - can you tell?  It was made to be a quilt for our dollhouse which never got finished and is a whole other story.  There is a huge two story dollhouse in my basement and a big box of miniature furniture that Ray made.  Oh, my, it can be a gem if it is ever decorated and finished.  It is even wired for electricity.    Plus, there are boxes of HO train equipment for a very big layout down there on the shelves.  I am not planning to open any of those boxes!!

I have more cross stitches to show, but will save them for another post.  Don't want to overload you!
Now, here are some wise words:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hoo, Hoo!

 I have been wanting to make something "owl" for sometime now and now that has happened.  I used the pattern from the panel I bought from one of the vendors at the luncheon in Frankenmuth.
 owl+pillow.jpg (1195×1600)
Changed the wings to be a part of the body instead of sewn on loosely.  You probably know "who" will get these little hoot owls already.
I may sew a black button in the center of each eye - then, except for the stuffing, which I am out of,  they will be ready to go live with a couple of cute little kids!!  These will make nice, soft, squishy pillows for Annie Owl and Henry Hoot.

I wanted to add one more thing - I made a discovery that really helps when using fusible web.  I have used Heat and Bond Lite mainly because it is easy to remove the backing paper, but it is considerably stiffer than Pellon  Wonder Under.  The Pellon gives me fits trying to get the bqcking off - especially small pieces.  Today I was using it and the pieces I was working on were larger.  Out of the blue, I took a sharp pin and scratched a couple of lines across the paper on the cutout piece.  I was able to easily pick the backing up and pull the piece off the applique.  It sometimes came off in two pieces, but at least I wasn't geting any raggedy edges.  Worked well on the smaller circles for the eyes,. also.  You may already do it this way, but, if not, give it a try when you are fusing.  I am giving myself an "attagirl, Carol" for that one.

I think it's time for some Halloween words--
Cute idea for a wallhanging!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Couple of Things

Haven't taken many pictures of my flowers this year.  Actually, they haven't done as well as usual.  This hanging basket by my front door has had the orange flowers blooming all summer but certainly wasn't as pretty as I thought it would be.  Since fall has set on, the yellow begonia has started to bloom and it now shows up nicely.   Next year I will try something else there.  It will really have to be a shade plant since it's under the eave and gets no sunshine at all.  
This one that is under the big pine tree in front is doing itself proud this fall.   With just a few measly blooms and no little white flowers at all, it was just a basket of greenery all summer.  Now it's very pretty.  Some years you have great luck with your plantings and other times, not so much.  Begonias are a favorite flower of mine.
I have been following a blog almost since I first started blogging over five years ago.  Carolyn has a fun blog and we have commented back and forth with an occasional e-mail for a long time now.  Sometimes she sends along a little watercolor drawing she has done.  This came in an e-mail a few days ago.  Wish I could draw like that!  So cute for this time of year - thought I would share this little bear pulling her pumpkin in a wagon!   Thank you, Carolyn - it's cute as a button.

A thought for today--
I really do!!!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Here She Is, Miss Unique

This little girl made her debut at guild last night so I can post her picture - kind of a coming out party.  This round robin will be lots of fun - there is a good sized group of quilters taking part and any of the ones I would get will be fun to work on.  This time I got Annie's - she is one of our newer members and a sweetheart.  I already know what I will do for hers.

Had a very fun, busy day yesterday.  Went to Frankenmuth - a quaint little German town about 45 minutes from here - to hear a lecture and see a slide show by Sue Nichols (hope I spelled that right).  Sue is from Ann Arbor but has become a nationally known quilter (along with her sister Pat Holly) and also teaches machine quilting.  She and her sister made the Beattles quilt that won the Best of Show at Paducah some years back.  She was fun to listen to and the quilts are gorgeous.  There was a luncheon also and some vendors.  At one vendors, I bought an adorable panel to make this owl pillow
Isn't that darling?  I plan to cut a pattern off of it and make some more.  The possibilities are endless.  I am sure Henry and Annie would love owl pillows!  I can see it in all kinds of pattern and color combinations.

Then early evening a bunch of us went out to dinner before guild.  That is always fun - lots of giggles with those gals.  And the program for guild was soooo good!   Linda (who absolutely excels in paper piecing.) and Leslie (with her beautiful hand applique and embroidery) showed a wonderful array of their gorgeous quilts and wallhangings.   All beautiful, some breathtaking, it was a wonderful program.   I think I have mentioned before that Linda designs all her quilts on #Q7 and also has a line of patterns and a website.    Leslie's hand work is beautiful and her colors lovely.  A fun program!

Words for today:

Saturday, October 5, 2013

How the Little Girl Turned Out

Here's the little gal from the previous post all appliqued and very happy judging from the big grin on her face.  Loved doing this one and still have some embroidery to do before it is finished!  She will make her entire debut after her coming out at the guild meeting.  Am not sure whether it is this Tuesday night or whether it is in November.  If November, I am way ahead of myself for a change!   Enjoy your weekend.

And a thought for the day--

Friday, October 4, 2013

How to Make Applique Patterns from Pics off the Internet

I am working on round robin for a project that our quilt guild is doing thought up by Lori, one of the most fun people in our guild.  The theme is "Positive Affirmations" which I was having a time figuring out.  Did some searching on the internet (love that place!!) and have pretty well figured out what I will be doing for the start of my piece and will be able to work out the four other ones that I will work on.  This wide eyed little gal will be in my block.  I took her from a darling drawing I found on the internet, cropped out most of the picture and just have her.  Will show you how she turns out later on after she is done and makes her debut at guild with the rest of the PA round robins.  Thought you might like to know how I did this - you may and probably do know how to do this already.  But, if not, it's nice to be able to use what you would like.  So many ideas out there.

I love the way you can pretty much make a pattern of any size from most any appropriate picture online.  Here is a pattern that is supposedly free - I hope it is.  Say you don't want the entire thing - just part of it.  I put the picture in a photoimaging program that I have - Microsoft Digital Image Pro 10 - crop it and print it out.  I am not expert at using the program but can usually do what I wish with it like cropping, etc.
Here's the scaled down version of the little birdie on the limb and his music notes.  In the program, I can actually make the picture any size I wish.  If I am doing a 6 inch block, I will make it that size or any other size up to the size that fits on a sheet of paper.  You can make them larger, but you will have to do portions of the pattern separately and then tape the pieces together. 

Print the picture out then either put it on a light box right side down and draw around it with a sharpie fine line pen.  Or you can draw around it  on the right side with the sharpie then turn it over and retrace the lines which are showing up from the topside.  It helps if you put a plain white piece of paper beneath the reversed pattern.

I didn't outline the entire picture, but you can see where I did.  The printer printed in gray scale which is good.
Here is the back which I traced from the markings showing through from the front.  This also puts your pattern in reverse for fusing purposes.  From this drawing, you can trace your individual pieces on to the fusible web you are using.  It also works pretty well (if you are using a light background) to put this pattern under your fabric block to lay out the pieces.   Hope you can use this sometime - I really do this a lot.

 Words of the Day--