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Monday, October 31, 2011

A step closer

Three things to be happy about
(1) Mother nature showing off
(2) hot chocolate with whipped cream
(3) staying in the moment

Well!  Saturday we had snow mixed with rain, then all rain, and boy was it cold!  I realize what we got was nothing compared to other areas along the east coast, we missed the bullet on that one.  Yesterday started off chilly but by mid-day it was sunny and really nice outside; when I went to the grocery store I saw a few people in sandals and shorts.  Go figure.

I'm practically finished with the little candle project - I appliqued the holly in the border, then quilted it in a cross hatch pattern that I marked with 1-1/2" blue painters tape.   I used the same [ugly] fabric for the binding and backing.  The binding is attached to the front, so all that's left to do now is sew it down on the back.  It doesn't look half bad! 

Right now I need to move on to other things, so I think I'll stop there and take it along with me on the cruise for "sit and stitch" time.  But if I don't get to sit and stitch - no worries!

Speaking of other things, I was so busy gathering strips for Bonnie's workshop that I forgot to cut the ones I need for Pat's extra bonus pattern! 

We were asked to bring 12 strips each of dark and light fabrics... so to save me having to think about it, I just chose the all-time favorite "go-to" color combination - black and white.  A winner every time!

We're to cut 1" strips ... one inch!  The first strip I cut was 1-1/2" because 1" looked so funny... so I went back to her instructions, and sure enough they're to be 1". 

It's almost like cutting strings! 

This should be really  interesting because I'm not usually a hand-piecer.

Sew forth and sew on

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Some days you get the bear

... some days the bear gets you!

This isn't really a bear day, but it's kinda close.  It's so cold outside, and I understand we had snowfall very close to where I live.  There's just something about snow in October that's rushing in the season - feels like February!

The other day I posted the inspiration pictures for my small Christmas wall hanging, and I want to show you the coloring books I have.  These are all at least 5 years old...

The red one has the candle pages I pulled. 

Someone asked for the candle I used... I converted both of the pages to pdf format but I haven't been able to figure out how to post them so you can download them!  I went to the help section and they're saying use Google Docs but I haven't a clue how to get to that point.  Anybody know how?  If so, lemme know!

Well, its back to laundry and housework, that's always a lot of fun!

Sew forth and sew on til later

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Just a little bit more

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a basement free of junk
(2) adding to a penny collection
(3) the smell of coffee beans roasting

I wouldn't know about the junk-free basement, but the thought makes me happy!  Someone gave me a 5-gallon water jar way back in the 70's (when they were made of glass) that I used to put pennies in, I never gave away a penny in change.  I haven't been able to put any more in there for years because it's full to the top - there's no way I can even push it, let alone lift it!  We're talking about hundreds (and thousands) of pennies!

Thanks everyone for your comments; Carol left us a nice link for fusible applique - plus there's a cute basket tutorial on her blog!  And my quilters cruise is on November 3, just a week from now, yaaaaa!

Still working on my little wall hanging, among other things.  I attached two side borders and cut out more of the holly bits...
For the holly berries and leaves, I cut a large piece from yardage and ironed fusible to the back; then I just fussy cut what I want.  I think I need just a wee bit more to get enough appliques, though.  I also need to add a bit more length to the top and bottom outer borders before I can attach them. 

When I look at the candle all alone in the middle, it looks like it might have a lot of vacant real estate in there, but I don't want to think about that right now!  Later is better   :O)

And finally, on a kinda disappointing note, my local Hancock Fabrics is closing because they lost their lease, waaaah!

I don't shop there for fabric much, but I do find it handy when I need notions or I have to get my faithful Singer Touch n Sew serviced!  It's just a 15-20 minute drive from my house, so I'll really miss it. 

And it's amazing the reaction you get when a store is closing its doors!  I went in there for a light bulb for my Singer and the line was way long - and the reductions were just 20% on most items!  Two ladies had shopping carts full of non-fabric items that they could have gotten cheaper someplace else.  If there was fabric at 50% off, it was that junk you see on their "Manager's special" table all the time.  By the time the real sale comes, all the stuff will be picked over... oh well.

Sew forth and sew on

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Three things to be happy about:
(1) tossing out the junk food
(2) the wisdom of experience
(3) happy news

I have some happy news, in part because I tossed out [some of] the junk food!  Back at the end of June I had an African outfit made for my cruise, and when I was trying on my clothes two days ago I discovered -- it's too large!  SO yesterday when I took it back to the dressmaker and told her the deal, she looked at me and said "yeah, you've lost some weight!"  Good for me!

Thanks for your comments yesterday, the poetry cracked me up!  I agree about the coloring books you get today, there's not enough clean-lined pictures, too many super heroes you never heard of doing ridiculous things a REAL super hero wouldn't do, because if you're a REAL super hero you don't have to prove it, you just ARE.  I guess I got these at a good "era" in coloring books, at the Dollar store yet!

I stayed out longer than I intended to running around, so I didn't get as much done inside the house as I wanted to.  But I sewed my candle to the background and added a border...
the border looks black, but it's a deep mottled green!

Looking at those leaves, I should have used a lighter shade of green... or at least I shouldn't have used striped fabric!  It's from a large piece of Debbie Mum yardage I bought a few years ago, I didn't think to get a picture but maybe I'll post one later.  You can barely see the outline stitching or the vein in the leaf... oh well, it's not meant to be a masterpiece, just a little sump'n sump'n.  And yep, I used gold thread!

Next step?  I'll add a white outer border from scrap yardage and applique some fussy-cut holly around it.  I really like the fabric I cut these from!

I'm leaving some of the background attached, otherwise it'd be way too small to make me sing while I'm trying to applique them down!  Light bulb moment - After I got these cut it occurred to me I could have used it around the candle - DOH!

Someone asked how I did the candle - I have a good-sized light table that I place a copy of the page on, then I trace each part separately directly onto the smooth side of fusible web...

I fuse the pieces onto the back of my fabric of choice, then I cut the tracing out, remove the backing paper and iron the pieces to the background fabric.  I know that's a pretty short explanation, but I found a tut on about.com that might help.  (On the page, click on the "next" button above the picture to see the rest of it.)  Also, here's a You-Tube link you can try, I hope it helps!

That's it for now, need to get some breffus!  Sew forth and sew on til later...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Instant gratification?

Three things to be happy about
(1) starting a new book
(2) a day without an agenda
(3) going to bed content

Last night I went to bed content but that didn't last very long!  I was sound asleep when OMG somebody was pressing something soft over my face!  They were gonna kidnap me and put a sack over my head so I couldn't see where they were taking me!  I turned my head this way and that way, I couldn't get my arms from under the covers, I was going "aaaoooomla!  aaoooomya!  huhnnaa!"

As it happens, during the day I had been digging through scraps for a project and I placed a small stack on top of a quilt folded across the foot of my bed.  When I went to bed I didn't turn the light on because I already had on my jammies and I forgot all about the fabric stacked on top of that quilt. 

At some point, half asleep, I reached down and pulled up the quilt and the fabric must have ridden on top of it and come all the way to my face.  I might have turned over and hunched the quilt or something... anyway, evidently the fabric shifted on top of my head, and the rest is history!  When I managed to turn on the lamp I saw fabric scraps all over the floor.  Whew, I got out of that one!

I haven't had time for my daily dose of 15 minutes of playing lately, so I decided to make some scrap yardage for a small wall hanging.  I have several children's coloring books (are there coloring books for adults??) and I pulled a couple pages for inspiration...

Look at the yellowed edges of those pages!  I've had these coloring books for over 5 years.

I like the candle on the right, simply because it has fewer leaves, although I can make as many or few as I like.  Also I like the small holly berries for this one, rather than the bulbs (or whatever) on the bigger candle.

I wanted to keep this one simple so I can do it before the weekend!  I'm going to applique it to a background of 6" blocks created from scrap yardage; here it's just fused down without stitching...

looks nice already, doesn't it?

I'm thinking of putting a very narrow inner border around it, maybe in green, 1-1/2", then add a wider white border from scrap yardage.  If I applique some fussy-cut holly and leaves along the outer border, I should have a winner!

Well, more errands today, then laundry, then make sure my bed is clear before I get in it tonight!

Have a great day... sew forth and sew on til later

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wee Bee quilting!

Carolina Christmas
 What a time we all had at Wee Bee Saturday!  If you saw my Silent Sunday post yesterday, you saw some of the shirts on parade that I couldn't resist getting some shots of. 

As usual, we had great show and tell.  Pat completed her Carolina Christmas quilt, a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.  I think this is the third Bonnie Hunter mystery Pat has completed - she also completed the Old Tobacco Road mystery.  Me?  I'm still at the drooling stage!  Two more of Pat's quilts are just as pretty:
"Line Art", a jelly roll quilt


The photo doesn't do this one justice!  Yetunde has a longer shot of Pat's quilts at her blog, Sistah Stitch alot.

Everybody learned something from the demos on accurate cutting and squaring a quilt top...
accurate cutting
squaring a quilt top

Lynora did a great demo on mitered corners 
You need a lot of attention to detail to make those miters perfect!

Afterward she offered an instruction sheet, and suggested two resource books ...

Yetunde shared a cute little fabric box she made
this one can hold sugar packets or tea; it can also be made larger for napkins!

She shared the pattern with us - I'm loving it!

Gwen is very fond of her ruler suction holder thingy, to protect her hands while rotary cutting. 

And another Bee meeting goes down in history.  Fun, food, show n tell, demos, sharing - what a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Sew forth and sew on...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pulling fabrics

Hi everybody, especially my followers!  Now come on you guys... do you real-ly love me enough to follow me around!?  One never knows where I might go!   LOL, just kidding, welcome aboard!  And thank you one and all for your kind comments on my Stash toot, I feel so special!

The latest Harry Potter movie was on HBO last night, I had it on while I was doing something else.  Part of my ear caught the tag end of a conversation that cracked me up: 

Harry, Ron and Hermione were in an elevator in somebody's bodies - who knows what they were up to, I was busy - and Ron is going "Oh my God, what'm I going to do??  My wife is all alone downstairs!"   Harry: "Ron... you don't have  a wife."  Ron:  "Oh, right!"

Someday I'll write a book and I'll call it Conversations Overheard in an Elevator.

After reading Michelle's post on Stash yesterday I visited the Celebrate Christmas blog again and really liked Happy Little Trees by Charlie at Qubee Quilts.  It's a just-right size that can be done quickly for Christmas.  My Christmas fabrics are all old-fashioned (not part of a "collection"); I pulled a few, looking for possibilities...
these have gold highlights; it looks kinda funny on the green, doesn't photograph well

This fabric is cute, but I want to go for a different sort of mood...
I believe the nutcrackers fabric on the left is out of print; I've had it for a few years!  Same thing goes for the Santas, I think it was a Coca Cola print.

Now when I looked at this next scrap I thought the pattern would make a cute quilt...
See how the reindeer seem to be looking at the trees?  It would make a cute wall hanging!

And who knew I had so much BLACK Christmas fabric??

This one with the reindeer is sorta pretty. 
Because I bought such a big piece it tells me one of two things:  (1) I intended it for a backing, or (2) it was 70% off so I took all that was left on the bolt.  There's a lot of this one too:

Country angels, probably bought for the same reason!  And I also have it in a beige colorway.

Well, I have a little time to decide which fabrics to use... or if I will even make the quilt, cute as it is.  

I don't want to fall behind on my Guild's Red and White challenge, so if I do the Happy Little Trees  it will be done alongside the challenge quilt.

Have a great day everyone ... sew forth and sew on!