Monday, October 31, 2011

Out of Scraps Comes a New Beginning

Yesterday a lady who lives in Turkey sent out a message to the CQI (Crazy Quilting International) Yahoo Group requesting quilts for the kids who are victims of the Istanbul earthquake. They are living in tents in cold winter conditions. I dug out my bin of kid scraps - leftovers from I Spy quilts, ends from quilt swaps and baby quilts - and started cutting and sewing together scraps for a new beginning as quilts for kids. 

I have 3 tops made and tomorrow after work I hope to get my batting scraps sewn together as well as fabrics (possibly flannel) for backings. Hopefully I will have them quilted, bound and ready to mail this weekend. Three quilts seem so meager in the grand scheme of things but I hope they get good use. They are nothing fancy but will be warm. And I hope the families in Istanbul can also rise up from the rubble and start new beginnings soon.

And once again I thought I was caught up on Christmas presents and could work on something for myself yesterday. Soon, I hope, I will be able to finish what I have started...

But then's not all about me.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Latest Craziness

This is my work on Peggy Sue's block for the sewing themed RR.

This is my section of Peg Sue's block done by the entire group.

This is the entire group block after Ruby, Carol and me. Lorrie and Ruby need to add to it now.

This is my work on Susan's winter themed block. For the pine sprigs and holly leaves (those are holly leaves, I hope) I used one strand of white plus one strand of some flourescent green metallic type thread in order to hopefully look like they are kind of snow covered. 

On Paula's rose block I added more silk ribbon overstiching the leaves that seemed bare with the chain stitch I used. I feel better about it now.

Also, previously I thought the pink stamens were too pink so I toned them down with some acrylic and added some yellow beads to the center of the rose. Wendy suggested nail polish, but, alas, I don't wear it so that's how I ended up using acrylic. I thank Wendy for the idea. I was going to completely redo the rose. I feel better about the rose now too.

And, now off to some sane quilting before the guests (family) arrives to celebrate my granddaughter's birthday this evening. My baby will be 7 (going on 13). I spent a few hours at Toys R Us last night after work looking for gifts for her birthday, my other DGD's birthday in 5 weeks, Christmas and the advent calendar. Quite a few of the gifts will turn them into crafters, I hope.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hexie WIP

Progress on "My Favorite Things Rainbow". Since I took this picture a few weeks ago I have added more hexies to make it a 9x11 (6 inch hexie) lap size quilt. I don't have them all sewn together yet so this layout may not be the final but I am wondering if I should traditional hand quilt it or if I should embroider the hexie seams. I am tending toward the embroidered seams (all DMC because I want this to be used and washable) but then again...I'm not sure. Does anyone have an opinion?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sweet Dreams

I made some pillowcases that should glow in the dark. Each of these will go to a granddaughter (aged 6) for Christmas.

I backstitched around the cupcake frosting with the glow-in-the-dark thread I talked about in a previous post.

This one if for my 2 1/2 year old grandson. I backstitched a "path" on the pillowcase cuff with glow-in-the-dark thread. I was going to overstitch some spider web fabric for the cuff with some spidery fabric for the case but remembered Jacob is afraid of spiders. Well, he was afraid of them last year. He didn't want to jump in a pile of leaves with the other kids. His sister finally told me he was afraid there might be spiders in there.

These pillowcases are for my DD and SIL. They love to fish, forage for mushrooms and camp. A couple of years ago I made them a quilt with naturey type fabrics they have on their bed so the pillowcases should go well with the quilt.

And these are pillowcases for my brother who will be visiting us from Florida for Christmas. He loves hot peppers.

Funny story about the glow-in-the-dark thread: I keep a jelly jar for orts on a table next to the couch where I do my hand stitching. I threw all the glow-in-the-dark orts in the jar along with other threads. The granddaughters were out visiting this weekend and woke up around 5:30 a.m. and saw the glowing glass, were amazed, took threads out and stuck them in their hair and danced into my bedroom to show me. I must admit I put some in my hair and danced around with them for a bit. We pretended we were fairies until the thread all fell off of us and onto the rug, couch and ...well, all over the house.

Shhhh, the glowing pillowcases are for them for Christmas and I'm not going to tell them they glow.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sewing Naked

This is my naked block for the "Orange Color Study" RR with the CQ4Newbies Yahoo group. All embellishements will be orange. I tried burning the edges of some orange silk duponi for the heart. I don't know if I did it correctly or not.

And these are my 4 x 6 inch blocks for an RR with Kathy Shaw's yahoo group. I used scraps from the valentine quilts I made a while back for my granddaughters.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Peas and Roses

Ok, now that I'm finished with my wired ribbon rose I don't think those pink stamens look right. They are sewn in there pretty tightly so I'm not sure I should swap them with some others. Maybe if I scatter them around a bit, maybe they are too bunched up...

This is the rest of my work on Paula's rose themed block for this RR - a tree rose (and I thought those lazy daisy leaves were more tightly closed than this pic shows.) of silk ribbon with perle cotton stem stitched trunk and some bullion rose buds. Hmm, it's weird how things seem to look good until I take a picture...

This is Paula's block after Arlene and I have stitched on it. Two more ladies have to take their turns before it goes home to Paula.

This is my last one for this DYB RR. It is a six inch block for Darlene and her theme was fairy tales. I chose the Princess and the Pea block. (This is not a good picture I must say). I hope to mail all her blocks home to her tomorrow.

The End.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Glowing Review

Ok, don't pay any attention to the quality of the stitching. This was a test. I wanted to see if "glow in the dark" thread really did glow. First line was DMC 1 strand, second line was DMC 2 strands, third was Coats and Clarks machine embroidery thread 1 strand, fourth was Coats 2 strands and final line was 1 strand of DMC plus 1 strand of Coats. 

  1. Coats thread glows far better than DMC although DMC does glow but not as much and it depends upon the stitch used. For instance, running stitch one strand barely glowed.
  2. All still glowed the same after going through the washer and dryer.
  3. All still glowed the same after being ironed.
I should have tried it on other colors instead of black but I didn't and now won't. I am going to use one strand of each since that Coats thread is too fine for me to even see if it isn't dark and glowing and will take me forever to hand embroider a pillowcase for grandkids.

On my lunch hour today I bought fabric for the pillowcases. I've decided against the vintage transfers on the pillowcases for the grandkids like I originally planned. Instead I will embroider the "frosting" on the cupcakes on the cases for the girls and embroider the spider webs on the pillowcase for the grandson. Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Postage Stamp Quilt

I've finished another Christmas quilt and am that much closer now to be able to get back to making things for myself.

The center part is the old "postage stamp" pattern. My "stamps" are 2.5 inches. Most fabrics are my own scraps but some are from postage stamp strip swaps or postage stamp "build a block". They have been in a bin for awhile so I dug them out for this queen-sized quilt for my daughter and son-in-law for Christmas.

The border is made of 10 inch Sister's Choice blocks. 

As usual, I quilted on my plain old sewing machine. For the center I quilted diagonal lines. On the border I fre form quilted on the black sections but not on the star. The backing is gray 108 inch cotton. No, I didn't have a sheet that felt right to back the quilt.

I had some trouble quilting the loops on the border but you can't tell on the front. There are a few "eyelashes" on the back. I left them. My DD and her DH won't even know they aren't supposed to be there. Kind of reminds me of my DD anyway...when she would be giving me trouble all she had to do was bat her eyelashes at her dad (my DH, the softie) and out of trouble she would magically be.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Way Things Ort to Be

I've been saving orts in a gallon jar. I was thinking I would make an ort jar lamp with a crazy quilt shade.

I bottle up lots of things...

..and sometimes I feel like I'm hanging from a thread.

A lamp might be just the thing to "lighten" my load ;-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Everything's Coming Up Roses!

This is my work for Ruby on her roses themed block. This is a traditional RR where 5 participants take a turn stitching on each participant's block. At top I chain stiched a heart and then filled it with some silk ribbon spider web roses, fargo/farago roses and french knots. Below is a seam with bullion roses then I tried some wool roses and leaves on the red patch. Below that I tried a rickrack rose and filled in that patch with some raised leaves. And then there is the BIG rose made of 1.5 inch wired ribbon surrounded by a seam of bullion rosebuds/stem stitch. I hope that big rose doesn't cause too many problems for the other stitchers that follow me on this block. That's why I put it at the edge instead of in the middle where I first thought of placing it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Same But Different

I've put some things I was working on for ME aside while I finish up some Christmas presents. Here's a sample of chicken scratch on one (I do love gingham)...

...and here's a sample of the other. I used alcohol inks on the lace. It was my first time and I was nervous but I think I like how it turned out. Both projects will be the same thing...but both will be quite different. Can't wait to finish a few more Christmas presents so I can get back to ME.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


My stitching for Ruby. This is an Angel themed RR with 6 inch blocks. It's shimmerier than it looks. Angel has wings made of couched gold cord, dress of metallic french knots, halo of gold sulky and hair of bullions. Big star was stiched with coppery colored metallic thread on felt then stitched to block. JOY was satin stitched directly on to block with one strand linen thread and one strand gold metallic thread. Stem stitch is of perle 8 and has shimmery white beads where "leaves" meet. And finally there are some silk ribbon flowers with gold bead centers. Ruby says she is going to make a Christmas stocking with some of her blocks. Somehow this will be the toe.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Feeling Crumby

I had (and still have) a lot of novelty fabric "crumbs" - pieces I refuse to throw away - ends from cutting for I spy swaps, pieces left from other quilts.

Grandma taught me about quilting and about "waste not, want not". So, I decided a box of crumbs had to move out of my sewing room and into "I Spy" crumb quilts to give as Christmas gifts ...

...for some grandparents like my brother and wife who live in TN and have three grandkids under the age of four...

...and for my sister and husband who have 4 grandchildren (or is it more now?) and I think 2 are under the age of 4...

...and one is for my grandson, Jacob, who is 2 1/2 and loves challenges. We will start with find a "watermelon" and advance to "find a fruit", "find something to eat", find something you would use in a game", find something that rhymes with fat"...

With these quilts I really have wasted not so I should not be wanting for quite a while. Front was made of crumbs, I sewed together pieces of batting (also hogging up room) to fit the quilts and used thrift store flannel sheets for the backing. Binding was also old fabric and so I guess the only thing new was the thread.

I spy some fun and games between generations coming soon!