Sunday, July 31, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Pigtales and Quilts is having a "How Does Your Garden Grow" sew-along. I think most are making hexie flowers; however, I'm making tulips in 30s reproductions. What flowers are you working on?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Remembering Grandma

Grandma is the patient lady who taught me how to sew and embroider. I was lucky enough to inherit one of her quilts. I will try to fix it one of these days. The batting is bunched, some butterflies are pulled loose, some loose butterflies my aunt "fixed" by zigzagging around them instead of blanket stitching around them. And the fabric is foxing (turning brown and spotted). Before I fix hers I will make my own butterfly quilt using the same pattern. I don't care much for applique but I hope to get better as I go. I need 54 butterflies and now I have one. They will be made of 30s reproduction fabrics which always take my mind back to good times on the farm with grandma.

She's not curvaceous enough! I'll have to work on that with the next one.

While stitching I thought of grandma. She didn't have air conditioning either. I know now why she wore house dresses - air can circulate under there and through there. And, when worn out they can be cut up into nice quilts.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Asian Stitching

This is Rita's block from the "Anything Goes" CQ RR. Rita chose an Asian theme for her blocks. I'm not much for the Asian theme but since I've been doing an Asian challenge for another list which will turn into a pillow for my sis, this block came along at just the right time since my brain is in Asian mode. I used bullion stitches to make what are supposed to be spider mums. I used 4 strands of DMC. Sometimes all four strands were of the same color and other times I used two strands of two different colors. The red flowers on the right look like pinks to me but they are supposed to mimic the flowers in the fabric there. I used satin thread and satin stitch to make those. The upper left is supposed to be a couple of mushrooms - the one to kind of mimic the design below it. I used some satin and some DMC to make the mushroom motif. And finally...I made a branch with some cherry blossoms and a little lantern hanging from it.

This is my bamboo motif on my Asian pillow block. I used perle #8 for branches and silk ribbon for leaves.

This is supposed to be a dharma wheel. I crocheted it.

This supposedly means happiness. Hope my sister finds it some day and I also hope this really means happiness since I haven't a clue.

These are my week 5 raised closed herringbone stitched leaves. I need practice; however, I think I really like this for leaves and it's really not as difficult to do as I thought it looked. Thank goodness for challenges.

This is my ying/yang motif. I used some metallic (or was it called pearlescent? at any rate it wasn't too difficult to use) thread and stem stitched it.

And speaking of Asia...I think my brother is in China right now. He goes off on trips by himself to take cooking classes all over the world and never really lets anyone know when he comes and goes. I just get an email once in a while out of the blue that tells me where he is. He's a chef in Florida and since business is slow in the summer he travels during that time. He used to be addicted to cocaine and Jack Daniels quite some time ago but he's been off all that kind of stuff for quite some time and says travel is his addiction now. Thank goodness!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I've sewn  together my 6 blocks for a "Sew It Up" CQ Round Robin. This plus other blocks, I think, will end up as a sewing machine cover. Out here in the country with windows open my house tends to get dusty and so does my machine.

These are my blocks for an "All About Angels" DYB CQ Round Robin. My angels are cherubs and I love all things roses and valentines. Surprise, surprise! Most people who know me don't envision me as a romantic but I am. These will turn into a bell pull.

And I'm otherwise very busy with work, swaps, rrs and I just canned some dill pickles. With the rain and and above average temps and my bout with Guillaine Barre the veggie garden is looking pretty weedy. And I don't even think I can find the flower gardens anymore.

Busy? Yes...I'm a busy body, busy person and sometimes I make busy blocks.

Friday, July 22, 2011

In the Good Ol' Summertime, In the Good Ol' Summertime

I participated in a summer time swap over on the I Spy Yahoo Group. I sent and received a lot of cute 6.5 inch squares of summer themed fabric. I added some of my own squares and 2.5 inch sides of other summer themed fabric around the blocks and made 56 10 inch blocks. Then I sewed them into a quilt top 7x8. What follows is the top and some of my favorite blocks. You will probably notice that most of my fav blocks include food! This is another quilt to put in the camper when we take the grandkids camping.

I Spy (Summer Theme)

At the beach

In the camper

At the circus

Take me on a cruise!



Popsicles. Hmmm, reminds me I need to show DGKs how to make them.

Bad pic...but, I just love the sticks with marshmallows on the ends. And I had some s'more fabric to add to the sides! (Those things taste so rich to me now that when we were camping I had a DGD just roast me a chocolate marshmallow and stopped there.


It will be a while before I get this quilted, I think. It's hot outside. It's hot inside. There's a heat wave here that just won't leave. Heat indexes in the last few days have been as high as 118. I have no air conditioning. We live out in the country and don't normally need it because normally there is a nice breeze. It will cost a sweaty arm and a leg to put duct work into this big old house just to have a/c for a few weeks a year. In the winter the house is heated by a wood stove and that's the reason why no duct work.  (Can you hear me whine?)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sweating and Making Coasters for Drinks that Sweat

I don't have air-conditioning. Temp is currently 91 degrees. Humidity is at 57%. Heat index is 100 degrees. I can't sit under a lamp and embroider because the lamp heats things up near me even more. So, I sat in front of my sewing machine with a fan behind me and made some coasters for my drink(s) from scraps. My drink glasses are sweating too. I think a few will go into the Christmas gift box.

How did I get by without air-conditioning growing up? And maybe I'm glad this is the last day of my vacation and I can go back to work in an air-conditioned office.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dinosaurs and Dragons

I've been at a family reunion camp out. Our pop up camper came apart at the seams when a storm whipped up winds between 70-90 mph. My two 6 year old granddaughters and husband and I ran for the car and were ready to run for the bathhouses until my husband's brother came out and told us to go to his huge (mobile home sized) camper. Power was out all day. We left the family reunion a couple of days early and the DGDs will have something to remember!
I have a few more days off work so finished up this tone on tone RR which is brought to you by the color ORANGE which is not one of my favorites. Diane said she might make a wallhanging for her grandson out of the blocks so lace should not be added. Everyone that worked on blocks before me assumed her grandson was a young boy so I went along with the age group and added a dinosaur to the block I stitched on. That's supposed to be a beetle down toward the middle bottom. I now have orange threads and beads in my stash.

This is my dragon I made for my Asian Challenge block (later to become a pillow for my sister). I stitched it first on green felt ala Gerry Krueger's bird tutorial. It's all done in two threads - one metallic and the other just plain old DMC. It's really more work than I felt like doing for my baby's done. Now I will have to make something of equal value for my two bros and my other sis before Christmas. Sheesh! What have I done?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Asian Challenge - Bullions

This week's Asian Challenge stitch is the bullion stitch. I used 3 strands of DMC variegated thread and filled center with 10/0 seed beads.

Monday, July 4, 2011

How Can You Not Feel Happy When... are sewing with 30s reproduction fabrics! I am really not a bright fabric type of person but I loved my grandma's quilts and she made them with fabrics like these. What a pick-me-up of color. Anyway...these are the Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks I made today since I had an extra day off work. Above is Evening Star.

Farmer's Daughter. (She must be a star, huh?)

Flock (of what?)

Four Winds. (I think I see a piece out of place).

Homeward Bound.

Maple Leaf. (A pretty wild one.)

Northern Lights. (Not like the ones I've seen. And, quite frankly, looks like a bat in the middle to me.)

Old Windmill. I do like this one.

Peace and Plenty (looks better in person than on camera.)

Feeling Groovy!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sweating and Small Stuff But Not Sweating the Small Stuff !

It's been very hot here in Iowa. I don't have air-conditioning but I do have a little country air. Today I sat in front of the fan and finished a few small items. Above is the front of a card holder. It's a "Fun Friday Toot" challenge over on the Stitchmap Yahoo Group.

I went through my first scrap box looking for the right sized scraps to use and happened upon these scraps left over from when I made placemats for my dad and stepmom. I used two different fabrics inside so at a glance I know which pocket a card is in. One side for credit/debit cards and the other for other stuff. I had to ask my granddaughter for a green hair band for the closure. I was going to also whip up a few Christmasy card holders but my GD said I could only have ONE hair band. I guess I will have to buy more for my next card holders.

Also from the scrap scraps for a hotpad (or is it a potholder?) for a swap over on Mailblocks Yahoo Group. This is the front using 2.5 inch blue scraps...

...and this is the back. I don't even remember buying this fabric but there it is.

I also crocheted up another dishcloth for a stocking stuffer or maybe for a set including embroidered flour sack dishtowel, potholder in a market bag.

And finally...these are my July lottery blocks - Double Wrench. I won May's lottery so was ineligible to win June's lottery but maybe I will win in July. At any rate...lottery blocks are a great way to use up more scraps. If I lose the drawing I send them off to the winner and if I win the drawing everyone sends their blocks to me and I make a quilt top that turns into another WIP. 

Now...back to sweating..and a little embroidery before bed.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Up and Down Feather Stitch - Asian Challenge

For the Asian Challenge - up and down feather stitch in red silk ribbon. And here is a sneak preview of a dragon stitched on felt I am about ready to attach to the middle of the block. When all is finished it will be a 14 inch pillow for my Buddhist sister for Christmas. (I hope she stays a Buddhist that long since she flits from one thing to another like a butterfly.)