Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Giveaway Day . . . . .

Good Morning!!

So here are a few items I'm eager to mail to a new home, they have no chance of becoming a finished project in my house, I hope they fare better with you!

Just a few rules, only one item person, the first person to leave a comment claiming that item gets it, I need to be able to contact you to send you your selection. Don't leave your address in your comment.

Everything has been spoken for, Thanks to all!!

Number 1 - 36" X 36" blanket and book - Taken, this is going to Leta!

Number 2 - This is a kit, aida cloth, thread and pattern are all included. I was initially drawn to the old Singer Sewing Machine and cat in this project, but could never talk myself into stitching that mess! Taken - Going to Sasha in Australia!

Number 3 - This is a kit to make five Amish quilts, black aida cloth, thread, patterns and hangers included. Taken, going to Christy!

Number 4- This is a kit to make five Country Quilts, cream aida cloth, thread, patterns and hangers included. Taken, going to the Happy Cottage Quilter!

Number 5 - Hocuspocusville - pattern only - Taken, Going to Mary at Neat and Tidy

Number 6 - 4 Victorian House Patterns. Taken, this is going to Sherri!!

Number 7 - Good Neighbors Quilt Pattern - Taken, going to Cara at Cara Quilts in Canada!

Number 8 - French Braid Quilt Book - Taken, going to Lesly at Pickle Dish in Canada.

Number 9 - Block Explosion Quilt Book - Taken, going to Pam.

That's all I've got, I hope you found something you would like to try.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Some Old and Some New . . .

My daughter and I enjoy counted cross stitch. Here are a few things we've made over the years that I have at my house;

my daughter made this snowman picture . . .

and this one, she did such a nice job it looks like a painting, not needlework.

I wasn't even making quilts when Ashley stitched all the quilt patterns.

This one's on linen.

I went through a Victorian House phase.

There's more, but I'll spare you the pictures!!

Ashley and I also have holiday pictures and we've given several projects to family.

I quit cross stitch because there's only so much wall space available for these things but I still miss doing handwork in the evenings while watching TV with my husband.

Lately I've been inspired by the different embroidery projects I've seen on some folks blogs. It really got me thinking about trying embroidery. Once upon a time I did embroidery, but I was rarely satisfied with my work. Then I discovered counted cross stitch and knew I had found my handwork calling.....those neat, perfect, precise x's suited me to a "t"!!

So when I saw this embroidery project I thought perfect, some hand work for me to enjoy at night, and something that I don't have to find an empty space for on the wall or have framed.

It's Hocuspocusville, by Crab Apple Hill.

It's part quilting and part embroidery.

So this is what a pattern looks like. This is to be traced on to material, then stitched. I picked number two because I thought it looked easier than number one.

The tracing could not have gone any better. Here it is, all ready for my stitches....

And here's my stitches, this is my 3rd try. This is why I gave up embroidery, this just isn't my medium. I loved making the stitches they just don't look as good as I would like. I'm done.

Working on this project reminded me how much I enjoy needlework, but not Hocuspocusville. So I'll be looking for something else, what I just don't know yet!!

While I was piddling with the embroidery I cleaned out my needlework tub. I'm planning a giveaway for Wednesday, March 31st, 6 am central time. I have a few kits and patterns that could use a new home so check them out. The first person to leave a comment for an item owns it. I'll mail it to you, wherever you are!!

So come back Wednesday if you're interested, I plan to give away that Hocuspocusville pattern too.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nuttin' Much to Report . . . .

I've finished up all the HSTs for my Jacob's Ladder.....

320 pressed and trimmed pieces.
Half Square Triangles are my favorite block. They always come out so perfect.

Hopefully I"ll get some blocks assembled this weekend and feel like I'm making progress on this project.

Here's another reason things have been going slowly,

when Cooper doesn't get his daily walk, he's a pistol. And lately, it's just been too wet to get out. He sits and cries when I don't pay enough attention to him, and we have different definitions of "enough". He goes through dog toys so fast I've started buying his toys from the clearance aisle at Walmart. I figure if it's safe for an infant, it's safe for Cooper. I'm not sure what this was in a prior life, but Cooper sure enjoyed removing it's stuffing.

That's it......that's all I've got!!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's Party Time . . . . . .

Here's Block #2 for the Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Along sponsored by Moose on the Porch.

As a reminder, I'm not using a jelly roll, just going with scraps I have in my sewing room, I'm planning to donate this quilt to a children's home in the area, and am going with a bright and cheerful theme. (Link to quilt along in right column)

I would give this block a "C". There's so much going on that nothing pops, plus one set of stripes is horizontally challenged. I should have used the same smaller dot fabric that I used in block one.

I did piece this block on a dreary and rainy day, so even though it's not as good as it can be, it still cheered me up just to play with the bright fabric.

Here's block one and two, side by side. I definitely nailed bright. Oh well, not every block can be my favorite.

The family of fabrics for block two were Lake House fabrics that were left over from a table runner I made 3 years ago. Seeing the fabric reminded me that I had made the table runner but not blogged about it. I even commented a couple of weeks ago on someone's blog that I had never made a table runner....yikes...good thing I'm documenting all my quilts, a year from now I may say, "gee I've never made a quilt". If that happens, someone please be kind enough to direct my feeble mind back to my blog, I hope I don't forget the name of my blog.....

Oh yes, back to the table runner.....

I made this table runner for a friend's granddaughter's first birthday.

My first and only table runner.....I really, this is the only table runner I've made, but how could I forget it, I still really like it!

The pattern is "Party Time Table Runner" by From Me to You, an original pattern by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes. Check out their blog for other wonderful patterns and books, they also design Mystery Quilt Pattern Programs.

If you compare their pattern to my runner, you'll notice I made a few changes. The pattern makes a runner 26" x 74", I made mine 28" x 58" and after it was done, I think I would have liked it even shorter.

I replaced the patchwork blocks in the center with streamers.

I dropped the "donuts" on each end and added a layer to my layer cakes.

AND I added a "1" candle.

After I finished the table runner and gave it to the birthday girl, it dawned on me that instead of appliqueing the number one on each cake, I should have attached a piece of velcro and made a set of numbers that could be changed for each birthday. I will do that on the next one for sure.

Just this week, my same friend gave me this cupcake luggage tag!! And she doesn't even know I have a blog (she's a not a quilter)

How perfect is this!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Still Climbing . . . . .

Over the weekend I finished the last of my 400 black and tan four patches. I'll spare you one more picture of my project box full of patches, it looks pretty similar to the last picture.

I celebrated by making my inspiration block. This block is 6 inches finished, smallish, but I like the size.

Now I'm on to the 320 navy and cream half square triangles.

For some reason this quilt seems to be going sloooooooooooow. I feel like I'm spending the same amount of time in my sewing room as I usually do, but I don't feel like I'm making progress. I guess it's because each step has several pieces to make before I can move on to the next step. But there are only 4 steps; 400 four patches, 320 HSTs, piece 80 blocks, sew together. I'm a mark things off my list and be happy girl, there's not much marking off the list going on with this project. So it should pick up once I start assembling the blocks, don't you think?

Recently I mentioned that I had to replace my Rowenta iron. A couple of folks mentioned they used and liked the Rowenta travel iron...WHAT!!! That was news to me!! So I ordered one....

and here it is!

I really like it. In the past I've had trouble with my bigger iron pressing seams closed as I pressed other seams open. This new little Rowenta is great on small blocks with many seams, like the one I'm working on now.

It comes with this great travel bag, I think I'll be tempted to take it to my next class. For some reason I seem to sign up for classes that have the poorest excuse for irons. So now I'm good at home and on the road!

NOTE: I ordered my iron from Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Water Pearl . . . .

Happy National Quilting Day !!!

If there's ever a Saturday to spend in your sewing room guilt free, today is it!

I got several comments on the water pearls I put in my silk flower arrangements so I thought I would pass along what I know.....

This is what the container looks like. It's a small bottle, around 3 inches tall, I should have put something in the picture to give you a reference.

There is a web address on the bottle, that's not a typo...but I didn't get any hits using that address or

After googling "water pearls" I did get some hits, usually on a wedding decorations site. Some folks created some amazing decorations using different color combinations.

I bought them at the store where I bought the silk flowers, they also had colors but someone commented that dye could be added to the water to also create some color.

I have no idea what the long term effects will be to the flower stems or the pearls. So far so good. I can't help but wonder if the pearls go bad or smell after a few weeks. If anything changes I'll be sure to keep you posted.

I do have a confession, even though the lady at the store told me to use just a teaspoonful, I easily used twice that many. Once the pearls started expanding, the ones on the bottom started shoving the ones on the top out the vase, I had pearls dropping and bouncing on my table for hours. It was like a little Cirque du Soleil show.

Now you know as much as I do about these curious pearls!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Flower Power . . . .


No, this isn't the same picture I posted on Wednesday!!!! This picture has TWICE as many 2 1/2 inch four patches, 200 down, 200 more to go.

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about putting up my winter decorations, and even though it didn't look or feel like spring, I put up most of my snowman knick knacks.

Then I did nothing. Since it didn't look or feel like spring, I just didn't feel like getting anything springy these shelve just sat empty......don't they look depressing!

Finally the sun came out and I happened to notice that Easter is early this year, so I got a few things out. The gerbera daisy napkin rings set out until Labor Day, and the bunnies are good for a couple of weeks. My daughter gave both items to me and I love them.

I was still thinking the house could use some color so I stopped in a silk flower shop this week. Their setup is a little unusual, they don't have any arrangements prepared for cash and carry, they just have silk flowers and vases, it's up to you to put it all together.

I was a little bit out of my element but was really wanting some color so I just bought 3 sacks full of stuff and hoped for the best.

I made this arrangement for the dining room. After I pushed all the stems in the vase, and stood back to admire my work, I remembered walking by some beautiful purple tulips that would have really looked good in this arrangement. (note to self, red does not have to be in every item in the house!)

And I made this for the kitchen table. I'm happy with how both arrangements liven up the house. Being the picky person that I am, I can't walk by either arrangement without rearranging something, I hope to get over that soon, but probably won't.

Have you heard of water pearls?

See how ugly this vase looks, those plastic stems just staring back at you?

All it takes is a tablespoon of water pearls and some water and you go from the above photo

to this in a couple of hours,

to this after a good night's sleep (for me, not the water pearls). Supposedly all I have to do is add a little water whenever these gel beads start to shrink. So far I'm very impressed with how they look, I think it's a huge improvement.

The weather is supposed to turn this weekend, and not for the better, cold and freezing rain are back in the forecast. Maybe I'll have some time to spend on Jacob's Ladder. Surely I'll have more to show on Monday than a box full of 4 patches.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day . . . . .

Here's my progress on Jacob's Ladder

100 pieced and trimmed 4 patches, 300 more to go. I'm squaring up each block and it 's driving me crazy, they're pretty much spot on, but I just can't help myself!!

Since I don't have much in the way of Jacob's Ladder news I thought I would add another quilt to my lifetime quilt list.

A few years ago I bought a package of 12 inch precut Benartex floral squares, there must have been about 30 different prints in the package. The directions called for the squares to be pieced together with a narrow sashing. I liked the fabric but I thought sewing all the blocks together was a little busy, so I sat on the squares just waiting for the best way to use them.

Then, about a year later, a member of my quilt club had this top for show and tell

and I thought...ah ha.....

The pattern is Hip to Bee Square by Humble Bee Quilt Works.

This pattern was easy to follow and provides directions for making this pattern in four different sizes.

Here's what I came up with. Don't you love looking at the same pattern using different fabrics, it's one of my favorite things.

This is quilt #41 and measures 52" x 62". It came together in less than a week.

A great quilt to be enjoying this time of year, but it's still at the quilter's, waiting to be quilted.

I named this quilt "Thelma's Flower Garden".