Saturday, October 29, 2011

JCS ornament

I finished my first ornament from this year's Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue.

Jeannette Douglas Designs:  Noel Stamp Ornament 2011.

I didn't finish it like a stamp...instead I did my favorite beaded edge ornament.  I used the called for fibers, a scrap of PTP Highland linen, and Mill Hill glass beads # 2078.  I went to 2 shops and none of them had the called for bead color.  They'd never heard of it.... didn't have an empty slot on their bead racks so our best guess was that they were new.  I just picked a good match and I think they're perfect.  I used DMC 315 to make the cording.  I didn't want to use up my expensive Gentle Arts Sampler Thread.  I also left off the 2011 on the front.  It's on the back where I put my initials.  By the time I was done and thinking about the back, there was no way I cared to stitch another little tiny 1 over 1 X.  The entire ornament isn't 1 over 1....just the bird and the letters. 

We'll see if I manage anymore ornaments this year.  There are just so many projects and so little time. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I love showing

you all pictures of my finished things.  Every one's so darn kind.  Who says our society has lost any sense of kindness?  They're looking in the wrong place! 

Since someone asked I'll post the pattern details..... The pattern is Snowmen on Parade by Under the Garden Moon.  Look at this link from Erica's.  Go down about 2/3 of the page then you'll see it.  If you're unfamiliar with Erica's...plan to spend some time browsing.  They have such a great selection of patterns, kits, and embellishment kits.  I didn't get mine from Erica's.  I got it as a monthly row-by-row club at a shop that's done carrying it. 

Anyone need a good chuckle? Check out this little ditty from my Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting e-newsletter. I love that magazine. Every featured quilt can be purchased in kit form.

Anyhow, I've copied this directly from the newsletter so I'm giving credit where credit is due.

There Will Be Pins: How to be a Quilter's Husband

Submitted by Patrick Cook, the husband of Valorie Cook from Grand Rapids, MI

So your wife is a quilter. That doesn't seem so bad, does it? It's a nice quiet hobby, conjuring up images of our sturdy pioneer mothers, keeping their families warm and creating beauty out of old shirts and printed feedbags. You think of plump grannies in rocking chairs, piecing a Log Cabin block by firelight, cat asleep at her feet. An idyllic picture, right?

You're living in a dream world, buddy. They buy their fabric whole now, in yardage and "fat quarters" (whatever they are). They cut this perfectly good cloth into smaller pieces, and then painstakingly, by hand, sew them back together. This process calls into question all the advances of the industrial revolution.

Quilting generates a blizzard of debris. Fabric scraps and batting clog and burn out your vacuum cleaner. (Hint: don't go barefoot. Your feet were never meant to be pincushions). The cat frequently swallows a length of discarded thread. Soon, one of two things will happen; you won't like either of them.

This is not the end of your problems. There are frequent expensive trips to the fabric store, and even more expensive quilt shows in faraway cities. There are bees, which are little groups of quilters who get together occasionally to complain about their husbands and children. These bees may meet in church basements, but occasionally they come to your house and take over the dining room table. Your presence in the next room won't intimidate them.

Quilting also tends to take up more and more of the house. Sure, your wife might decide at some point that she has enough fabric. I've never seen this myself, but it could happen. More likely, your home will become a candidate for that TV show where some poor fellow's dead body is found under a collapsed pile of old newspapers. In your case, it will be a tower of yardage and color-matched prints.

As far as I know, there is no twelve-step program for quilters, but you may avoid codependency by following these tips:

Set up a space outside the living area for the quilting equipment and fabric storage. I have refinished the basement, and we are moving everything down there. Other husbands have constructed pole barns, rented industrial space, or moved to another city under an assumed name.

Have your wife make a small business out of her hobby. Internet sales can be lucrative. They might even partially make up for the enormous sums she spends. Very important: Do not participate in the business yourself. First thing you know, you'll be maintaining complicated machinery, acting as an errand boy, and dealing with the post office. You have better things to do.

Don't be tempted to accompany your wife to quilt shows, thinking that time together will add spark to your relationship. You won't see her all day. You'll wander around aimlessly among the booths, finding nothing remotely interesting. Sure, you could meet other lost husbands, and find camaraderie in the nearest bar. Usually, though, a woman in a quilted vest will mistake you for a fabric vendor. She will try to hustle you for free samples.

Don't try to distract your wife with other activities, such as gardening, cooking or housework. Though she may have done these things in the past, that's all over now. Quilting is her life. Accept your fate. Learn to cook and run the vacuum. Get a hobby of your own. You could join a softball team-slow-pitch, preferably-or learn simple carpentry skills. Then build a pole barn and move into it yourself.

Finally, remember you are not alone. There are plenty of other quilt-widowers out there.

Monday, October 24, 2011

One last

quilty finish.  Snowmen on Parade is home from the long arm quilters and has binding and a hanging pocket. 

I stopped by the quilt shop to pick up a different quilt and this one was on the machine.  It was so cool to see it all stretched out and being worked on.  Did I have a camera?  Yes.  Did it occur to me to get it out of my purse?  No.  Idiot. 

Thanks for the compliments on Peppermint Twist.  I was going to run into Joann's this weekend and look for red velvet fabric but I didn't have a coupon.  No reason not to wait. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My first Crazy

January Challenge piece is finally finished.  Not my first, as in the first ever, but the one I started on January 1st.

This was a hard won finish.  It just took me forever to stitch.  40 count linen just isn't for me. 

Wrinkles and all.  The red ran on a prior wetting so I'm going to have to address that problem soon.  It will either all have red run spots or I'll get them out. 
There's one big mistake in this piece.  I know nobody would notice but it harkens back to my previously address problems with the color Pablano Pepper.  That color is out to get me.  Apparently some lengths of thread worked themselves into this batch of threads and I used it as the light green on the left side of the picture instead of the green the word 'peace' is written in.  Figures.  It works so I left it alone.  Plus, I didn't notice until after stitching for 2 hours and there was no way I was going backwards on this. 
I'm imagining this finished as a pillow with red velvet.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The weather outside is frightful...

so what do the parents of a cross country runner do?  They bundle up and face the cold. 

The Boy Wonder came home Friday for homecoming.  We took him to his meet Saturday morning where he rode the bus back to school with his team after the race. 

 He's visiting with his sister and some camp friends who came to see him run. 
  They're off....into some serious mud.

There he goes.  Notice the rain drops on my camera lens.  This race was at a state park on the north end of one of the Finger Lakes.  The perks..... it's pretty and the facilities are unlocked.  Woot.  No port-a-johns.  The down side.... it's windy along the lakes on a nice day.... on a windy day...bundle up and brace yourself. 

On a different note...... my raffle quilt.  If you haven't seen the post just click the link and check out the quilt I made and donated to our church to be raffled. 

The drawing was Saturday night following our fall fund raising dinner.  The winner was a local women who was super excited.  She said she'd never won anything before except a brain.  What?  Turns out she used to be a science teacher and won it at a conference.  Fun times?  Maybe, but I'm not sure it's the place for me.

Anyhow, she bought her ticket right at the dinner.  Lucky her.  I really wanted someone to win who'd purchased a ticket from me.  Narcissistic?  Maybe.  But, lots of 'me' goes into a project like that.  Anyway, I was happy that the winner exuded such happiness. 

I owe a huge THANK YOU to everyone who bought tickets.  I was rooting for you.  What also caused me great happiness is the amount of money the quilt raised.... just a few dollars short of $1000.  WOOT.  Makes me want to get busy on another one! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Miles and miles

of binding later I have another quilt finish to show. 

The fabric is Hemingway by Windham Fabrics and I just had to make something from it.  The problem was what?  I found this pattern for a miniature quilt so I enlarged it on graph paper.  It will eventually go on a bed with a deep mattress so I added more length around the sides.  I also made matching pillow cases. 

 Somehow it's always hard to capture the real life colors.  It's all very tropical and Key West like. 
 For the backing I used this fabric from the same line. 
I don't think there are any pins hiding in the middle of this one. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The deed is done.

I finally got up the nerve to cut into my quilt.  When I flipped the quilt over to see if I could slide the pin between rows of quilting to get to the edge I saw how close it was to the seam on the backing.  I try to use fat backs so was happy to see that this backing needed to be pieced. 

The end of the scissors are at the head of the pin.  It will need to slide up and over to the right.
 There's the little opening I made. 
 And here's the offending pin. 
 I used very fine thread to stitch the opening shut. 
Good as new...I hope.   Here it is in the original photo taken on a sunny July day. 
I sure hope nothing like that ever happens again. 

Many thanks

for the votes....woot....I came in 2nd...and for the sympathy on my quilt.  I got lots of good advice thru both the comments and email.  Cindy's advice to take a deep breath was spot on.  I agonized about cutting in but I finally did it.  There was a seam on the back where I'd pieced the back that I could work the pin over to.  It was pretty 'land locked' so I didn't have much room to work in.  The quilting crossed over itself here and there limiting where I could go with it.  I have pictures I'll show later.

I want to thank everyone for voting for my piece over on Anna's blog.  I didn't see any reference to who won the drawing for the prize she was giving one of her voters but I sure hope it was one of YOU. 

Here is a closer look at the detail.  I changed everything about the picture aside from the border.  I only slightly changed the flowers to look more like a bleeding heart and remade the hummingbird from a free pattern I stitched years ago.  Everything else is taken from random patterns. 

Can't wait to show you what I won. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


and a whole bunch of other acronyms that involve swearing.  Do you see this?????

That sucker is quilted into my quilt!  Last night I took my two newest quilts to my quilt guild meeting for show'n'tell.  This morning I was refolding them and tucking them back in my cupboard where they are displayed when the second quilt caught on the first quilt.  I couldn't imagine what would cause that so I felt around and found this! 

My index finger is pushing on the huge round head of the pin.  That thing measures 2 1/2 inches long!  How in the world am I going to get that out?  If I snip the end, and try to poke the new end through I might poke a hole since it won't be pointy anymore.  Even doing that until I'm down to the ball will leave a little metal tip to wear a hole in the quilt. 

The best I can figure it's where the quilter marked the center of the quilt.  Why it was marked on the back side is lost on me but it couldn't possibly be further from an edge.  How crazy. 

I'll dwell on the problem for a while then, hopefully, post what I finally did.  If I make a hole I might not want to show anyone.  What a sad thing to have happen to a quilt.

Monday, October 3, 2011


my camera and my latest quilt block were in the same room at the same time.  I carry that camera somewhere thinking I'll take pictures, put it down, move on to something else, see the current subject, wonder where I left my camera and go on with my day.  I figure I'll get to it sooner or later. 

Back before I went to Niagara Falls I finished the 3rd installment of the Red Barn series.  One more barn to go then the borders. 

Has everyone gone to vote on your favorite BBD inspired piece?  NO!  Get over there...... what are you waiting for??  There are prizes involved.  And a drawing for just people who vote.  Do you see the prizes the winner gets?  No excuses now.  I'm trying to win this fair and square.  I'm not giving any hints as to which one is mine.  You don't even have to have an account that allows you to post comments.  Anna just wants an email.  Tomorrow, the 4th, is the final day so chop, chop.  Make my day. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Worth the price?

Reviewing or showing the inside of a pattern book isn't something I would normally do.  Generally, I like the excitement of seeing it for myself.  However, I was so pleasantly surprised by what I saw in Just Cross Stitch's Halloween Collection book that I'm going to show you a few. 

Another reason is that so many stitchers don't have a local shop where they can go and page thru something like this.  They're left at the mercy of the Internet.

When I first saw it I thought it was just going to be ornaments.  But, I was quickly proven wrong.  I guess that's just how I've come to think of the Halloween issue of Just Cross Stitch. 

The cover. 
First I saw 'Halloween Wreath' by Sharon Pope.  The pattern calls for glow in the dark Kreinik braid.  I know, we all hate working with that stuff but just imagine the end result. 
Another fun pattern is 'Things that go Bump in the Night' by Cross-Point Designs.
 Notforgotten Farm's' October Feather Tree'.  (Love it!)
 Finally, 'Haunted House' by Sharon Pope. 
And there's more!  Not to mention the ornaments.  Tons of them.  

Sorry, I know the pictures are bad.  It's hard to take pictures of an open book.  Anything I used to prop it open obscured some of the picture. 

Entice you enough to purchase it?  I'm sure you know right where to go to find it.