Sunday, October 6, 2013

Opus Gluei - Autumn Harvest

The lovely Deena over at OPUS GLUEI has challenged us to use something from the Autumn Harvest in our creations this time. I was trying to decide what to do when I happened upon these lovely crochet framed embroidery hoops on Instagram. I thought, hmmm, I can do that. Famous last words, right? Except this time it worked!!!

 I had this Halloween embroidery that I stitched a couple of years back. It never quite felt complete. I grabbed that little beauty and started stitching with my hook and yarn. 

I think it's finished now. Don't you!

Now it's your turn to show us over at OPUS GLUEI your project using an Autumn Harvest.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September Finishes

September was a physically challenging month for me. I felt like I was being held back from my creativity. Turns out I really wasn't. I just had different creativity. 

The mug and the matching rug were sent to a swap partner.

The mug rug and mug cozy were sent as angel gifts to a different swap partner.

I have since finished the cross stitch sampler and will post a picture of that in the next couple of days (or so). 

And the crochet framed embroidery you can learn more about in my next post.

Handwork sure takes a lot longer than the machine. BUT I like the results, so it makes it very worth while to me. 

I also made some bee blocks that I don't have pictured here. You can see those on my Flickr account HERE.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Plans aren't worth the paper they're written on.....

I had wonderful plans for this month. I actually thought ahead. I knew I was going to be down for the first weekend due to a minor surgery. (Nothing major, just an ongoing tooth issue. I had a bone graft to beef up my jaw bone in preparation for an implant.) So I didn't sign up for any of the wonderful swaps going on this month.Yes, I know I am missing out, but I didn't want the pressure. You know what I mean, don't you?!?! 

I am so very glad that I only have my long term Bee's to sew for this month. As it turns out Mother Nature, in the form of gravity, has once again supported my mother's decision to NOT name me Grace. Only four days after my surgery I managed to somehow lose my footing and fall down the stairs. In front of half of my co-workers. The result of my impromptu gymnastics has been me being couch bound with an elevated left leg. Seems I am systematically incapacitating my left side. The slight sunburn on my left arm seems petty to mention, so I won't elaborate. 

I HAVE been keeping busy with hand stitching. I signed up for The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's Halloween Spooky Sampler stitch along knowing about the surgery. I figured that after the first day or so of really good painkillers, I would be able to keep up. I hadn't counted on the second round of painkillers. So, even though I am not graceful, I consider myself smart for having planned ahead. 

Now for the Spooky Halloween Sampler:

H is for Haunted House
A is for Apparition
L is for Lightening
L is for Lollipops
O is for Owls
W if for Witch

The frame was to have been completed before the beginning of WEEK ONE. I didn't make that deadline, but I DID finish it before the start of WEEK TWO. The first row was supposed to have been all stitched up before WEEK TWO. WEEK THREE starts tomorrow and I just last night finished WEEK TWO. 

All in all, I don't think I am doing that bad. Sure I have made some 'customizations', but who doesn't. (Customizations are basically mistakes that I can live with.) The door on the Haunted House is supposed to be orange. Oops. The ghosts aren't supposed to be outlined, but the white doesn't show up well enough, so I did it any way. Another oops. One of the bats in the frame only has one eye open. Oopsy. And there are a couple more. But the point is that they aren't bad enough to ruin the piece, so I consider them customizations.

Except that along with WEEK THREE, tomorrow also marks the beginning of the Autumn Sampler Stitch Along. And you guessed it, I am signed up for that one too.

Wish me luck. 

P.S. The jaw is healing wonderfully, as is the lower leg. Mostly the shin. The zombie toe is doing well too. I'm ready to sit at the sewing machine again, and will this coming Friday.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Off to a good start...

... so far this month. HA HA! I would like to try to start posting regularly again.

I haven't posted since July 1. So I have some things to catch up with before I can move on. It's not a rule, just something I want to do. There is a little bit of OCD in me. Just a tad and it wants to keep things in order. Just a bit. So I will catch you up before I move on to September's activities...

July was a fun month. Danny celebrated another birthday. That's always a good thing. The alternative really sucks. We had Fridays off thanks to the asshats in DC we didn't get paid so we weren't allowed to work. Those days were fun, but it was a bittersweet kind of fun. I was able to get lots done in the sewing department. 

1. Doctor Who Apron for us   2. Lots of grilling   3. do.Good Stitches charity blocks   4. Anniversary pillow for my nephew and his wife
5. Inchies OG swap   6. back anniversary pillow   7. Octopus pincushion Fab Little pincushion swap   8. Mermaid quilt Mini QT swap
9. Drawstring pouch   10. paper pieced Seahorse   11. My quilt guild notebook cover   12. Wonky star block for the quilt guild charity quilt
13. Watercolor seahorse ICAD   14. Lunch made from leftovers   15. Drawstring pouch for MQG swap 16. Extras for Mini QT swap  

August still had us furloughed for the first couple of weeks. But it was a bit busier outside the house so not a lot of creating was done. Danny and I celebrated 20 years of marriage. I still can't believe that it's been that long. We had a very nice, relaxing dinner and spent the night in a local hotel. It was wonderful. 

1. inside of Dorothy Day Tripper    2. do.Good Stitches block   3. Tula pink charms swap received    4. Flash paper pieced test block
5. Farmers Wife block    6. VBMQG Tote Swap bag    7. ALS wheelchair quilt   8. start of an angel project 
9. Modern Stash Bee block    10. do.Good Stitches block    11. Dorothy Day Tripper    12. Farmers Wife block

All of these were fun to make. The ALS quilt was done in a frenzy. For some dumb reason, I thought it was due in August. It's not due until the end of September. But it's done now, so that's a good thing.  

September is looking promising. I don't have any swaps. I planned it this way. School is starting which means soccer games start up again. Plus I have a minor surgery scheduled for the first weekend. It's nothing too dramatic, but I will not be in a sewing mood for the whole weekend. It's best if I just take it easy and stick to my bees. 

Here's what I HAVE to do:

  • do.Good Stitches blocks
  • Modern Stash blocks
  • Comfort blocks for a friend
And here's what I'd LIKE to do:
  • b-day surprise for a secret pal
  • start hubbies Christmas present
  • make Morgan a purse for school
  • help Melissa start a wheelchair quilt
  • The Frosted Pumpkin Spooky Halloween Sampler
While this doesn't look too intimidating, it's a major schedule change which may prove to be challenging. I'll have to start getting out the door by 6:00am. Wish me luck. 

I'm linking up to:

Lily's Quilts

Monday, July 1, 2013

Fresh Sewing Day - June 2013

It never seems I get things done. And by done, I mean finished. Sometimes it's true.
June was a good month, I think.

Some of them were even real finishes. Some of them were finishes of that stage. Like the quilt tops. Hopefully, I'll get the backs made, and then get them layered this month.

I found FRESH SEWING DAY via Fairly Merry. So I am linking up.
Lily's Quilts

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Opus Gluei - Pin It, Spin It and Win It - Challenge # 160

Opus Gluei is challenging everyone to actually get off Pinterest and DO something. GASP!

Take one of the things you have PINNED, put your own SPIN on it, make it and get entered  for the chance to WIN something. Read all about the prizes HERE.

I have about a gazillion things PINNED. How to choose?!?!?! Well, I decided to pick something that could be made with things on hand. Still left a lot from which to choose.

Here's the first thing that came to mind:

Several years back I swapped inchies regularly. One of the talented artists made this amazing canvas with 456 inchies. WOW. You can check it out here. I don't have that many inchies, but I do have SOME inchies. I don't have a large canvas, but I do have a small canvas that rescued from the charity bin. AND It's Summer time.

I painted the canvas blue. It had a cute, but not needed flower outline printed on it that  didn't quite work for this project. Then I lightly swiped a Tim Holtz ink pad across the top and sides. And waited for it to dry. It took a few hours. It's humid here in Virginia Beach. Eventually it dried and I used some foam tape to secure the inchies in place. 

It currently resides on the mantle in the family room. Right next to the shell filled hurricane. I know the girls think it's great. They've told me. 

Next up, the hubby and I are both being furloughed next week. We will get 20% less in our paychecks every payday. Thank you Congress. Anyway, because of this our extracurricular activities will suffer. As an effort to keep from going absolutely cold turkey, I have made a little bank to save money. I saw THIS ONE made for kids to save, and decided that it would work for me. I had this frame that I got at the dollar store that I knew would be perfect. It's only about 4.5 inches by 4.5 inches. Certainly big enough to hold what I'll be able to save. LOL

And here is where it lives. In my sewing/craft room. On one of my favorite shelves.

I hope you can join us in this challenge. It's so very satisfying to make something that you've pinned. And you get some cool things too. I'm happy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

ICAD 2013

Go buy a pack of index cards. Cheap ones.
♥ draw ♥ doodle ♥ write ♥ collage ♥ paint ♥ haiku ♥ stamp ♥ stitch ♥
ONE INDEX card each day
61 DAYS : 61 CARDS

Daisy Yellow - Index Card A Day Challenge


I'm trying this again.

No pictures yet, but I DO have some cards done.

But soon....

Monday, June 3, 2013

OG Challenge #158 - Birthdays

New Poobah Chat Noir has set out BIRTHDAYS as the challenge this go around over at OPUS GLUEI.

And true to my MO, I am late. If you know anything about me at all, you know that I will be late with birthday cards. It just happens. Every. Single. Time. Not sure why. It just does.

Anyhow, I came up with this wonderful little birthday gift idea. I took some terrycloth and some fabric squares (5 inch) and made these fun little washcloths.

These would make a wonderful baby (actual birthday) gift. Or a great gift for teens. Might making a new skin care routine a bit easier to handle with a littl bit of whimsy.

Although this particular bunch isn't for birthday gifts. (All of my girls would have to wait until December/January. And quite frankly, I'd like to have them clean before then.) I did let the girls pick their own fabrics for their wash cloths. They picked fabrics that are really representative of their personalities. See...

My oldest(18yo):

My middle(16yo):

My youngest (13yo):

And what kind of mom would I be if I didn't lead by example (wink, wink) so I just HAD to make some for me too:

Now it's your turn to show us what you were inspired to create with Chat Noir's BIRTHDAY theme. Head over to OPUS GLUEI and join the fun.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

157 - Chat Noir

Order of the OPUS GLUEI has a new Poobah. Chat Noir has graciously agreed to join our humble little challenge blog. I am so excited. I have been friends with her for a bit now, and am thrilled that she is one of the gang and will be contributing her talents. 

The challenge this go 'round is a welcoming challenge in her honor:

(Black Cat)

Use a CAT or BLACK, or both, in your project this month.

Welcome CHAT NOIR.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Flower Bird

(That's the echo off of the blank walls I call my blog. 'Scuse me while I wipe away the cobwebs.)

I have been on a blake. (Blog-break). The blake is now over, and I am ready to go again. I just needed a bit of a re-charge. Sometimes you just need to step back and not worry about some things. KWIM?

Lots to catch up with, but today is all about OPUS GLUEI. (I took a blake there too. But am also back there.)

The theme for this fortnight is BOUQUET to YOU. Flowers. Anything to do with flowers. Drawing them, planting them, decorating with them. OR Making a bird with them. OR a flag. OR butterflies. 

The bird is the front and the butterflies are the back. Just in case you NEED to know. 

The flag is going to be sent to be put on display in Boston to help folks heal from the horrible terrorist attack at the Marathon. The Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild is collecting them for a Memorial Day ceremony. You can read more about it HERE. 

The bird pattern was from Block Lotto for the April block lottery. You can read more about the block lottery HERE and get the bird pattern HERE.

The butterflies were extras made for a butterfly block swap I participated in a couple of months ago. They are the perfect width for this flag. AND they are made out of flowers too. Very happy accident.

You certainly don't need to make a flag. Or a bird. Or give whatever it is you make to someone else. BUT we would love to see what you make. Link up your creation over on OPUS GLUEI. Come on and play with us. It's fun.

Monday, February 4, 2013

January Finishes

Sometimes I feel like I have accomplished NOTHING. You know the feeling. So I decided to see what I DID do, and made a mosaic:

Turns out I made a lot. Starting at the top and working across:

1. Finished my Halloween bitty wall hanging
2. Finished MY Autumn Leaves quilt
3. Hexie Love Heart block for a friend - Made with Love and Hugs
4. Mask for a Sweet 16 Ball
5. Bitty Chicken block - 3 inch finished
6. Star Wars bunting
7. Doctor Who bunting
8. Clamshell pillow
9. Sewing Room bunting
10. Flamingo Magnet
11. do.Good Stitches blocks for January
12. Solid Hexie Improv block for Stash Bee
13. do.Good Stitches blocks for November
14. Solid Paper Pieced Star for Stash Bee
15. Self portrait with January goals

I feel pretty accomplished. I love making these mosaics. You should try it. Let me know if you do. I'd love to see what you got done in January. If you haven't got pictures for your January makes, take pictures of your February makes, then make a mosaic at the end of the month. You won't regret it. I promise.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Out of this world Coasters

Instead of the notecards assigned to us, I decided to make a couple of coasters. 

The subtle improv curves are easier than I thought. Made using nothing but scraps from the bunting I made for Melissa. Hopefully she'll start using coasters now. 

But I went old-school straight for the backs. Not sure that I am all too crazy about the improv curves. But I am so happy that I CAN do them. If I change my mind.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Down the drunkard's path...

Yes. It's true. I am going down the drunkard's path. And I'm loving it. I made another mug rug. This one for my beer mug. HA! Just kidding. I'll use it for my coffee mug too. It's a two sided little wonder. Side 1:

Oh, sure, I stumbled at first. I mean, not on these blocks, but in the past. But this class is wonderful. These are the first try at this block. Really, it is. Rachel's directions are that good. And side two:

I'm certainly not afraid of curves any more. As a matter of fact, I see more in my future. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Year of Lovely Finishes - February Edition

It's time to commit to a FINISH for February. This month I am going to finish this quilt:

These 9 patches are going to become a disappearing 9 patch. I'm still toying with the idea of sashing. 

Linking up with Melissa at bittersweet designs and Shannon at Fiber of All Sorts.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Finish - I DID it.

At the beginning of the month I committed to finishing a quilt for ME. A quilt that I started years ago and now wanted to get done. I figured that I could commit to ONE finish for the month. Well, there's a reason that I let this lovely top sit for years. I am skiddish when it comes to the basting part of the sandwich process. If you don't baste properly, you can get puckers on the back when you quilt it. I didn't want puckers. 

Long story short, I used spray basting. And I now have a new love. I LOVE this stuff. 

Anyhow, here's my finished quilt for January:

Can't wait to wash it and start snuggling under it. 

February will bring a new finish. Keep checking back. You'll see.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday

No time to talk. I'm frantically trying to finish the binding on this by tomorrow night.

There ARE more WIP's. 

I'll share more about them next week.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Opus Gluei Challenge 149 - Bling it On

This time around it's Rosemary's turn. She wants bling. Who can blame her? Bling is AWESOME. So I couldn't think of anything that really made my heart go all pathump, pathump. Then my daughter brings me an invitation to a sweet 16 she's invited to. The invite was sent along with a masquerade mask that needed to be decorated for the party. 

So I dug out my scrapbook bling and ribbon, my artsy pink paint and white pen. Sent hubby out to get white feathers and we set to work.

We painted. And waited. Then painted some more. Then I sewed some tulle to the base feathers, sewed down the top feather, stuck some bling on it. Then I used my white poster paint pen to gently put a bit of a white border all around the mask. And then fussy fit some bling swirls. And fussy cut some more of the bling. Then sewed the feather cluster onto the mask and added white ribbon ties. 


I had more ideas. But dear daughter stopped me. She didn't want her mask to outshine the birthday girl's mask. Made me very happy that she said that. As much as I wanted to add the silver braid around the exterior of the mask, I stopped. SIGH. 

Join in on the blingy fun over at OPUS GLUEI.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Hi everyone. Hope you all had a productive week. I didn't get an whole bunch done, but I am working on a FINISH this week and a SWAP.

I made the backing (that's what you are looking at here) and quilted my Halloween Bitty Mini Quilt. I just quilting in the sashing. I didn't want to interfere with any of the blocks themselves, and at a 3 inch finish, I feel very comfortable not quilting on them. I am using my new CLOVER CLIPS to bind it. I am really loving these clips. They aren't as annoying as the ones that look like hair clips, and I am not poking my hands and fingers like I do when I use straight pins. Now I only poke one finger. It's how I sew, people.

I couldn't decide which of my sketches to use for the January Chickens Bitty Block swap on flickr, so I put them up there for a vote. The most votes went to the second chicken down in the first column. But I will probably end up making the chicken that each person voted for. Of course I'll make an extra one of each of them for me. (Inspiration for my sketches came from various coloring pages. I am not this creative on my own.)

So, that's it for this week's happenings. Other than trying to convince myself that I really, really, really don't need to start another quilt and join the Scrappy Trip Along craze right now. No matter how good those quilts look. And how easy they seem to make. And I must resist. I have enough UFO's for one person. I. MUST. NOT. JOIN. THE. CRAZE. 

(But I am going to. It's just a matter of what day this coming week. I KNOW it's going to happen. Those quilts are just too darn tempting.) 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Opus Gluei Challenge #148 - PINK

The lovely Gini over at the Order of the Opus Gluei is challenging us to make something using PINK as the primary color. You are allowed a bit of neutral color, but PINK should be the main color.

After looking around the house, and trying to figure out what I could make in PINK that we would actually use, I came up with nothing. We aren't a PINK family. Yes, I have 3 daughters, but not one of them uses PINK anything. SO, I was pondering this when I had a flashback to a kit that was purchased a few years ago on a trip to visit the lovely Rosemary. The kit has everything needed to make a cross-stitched FLAMINGO magnet. Score. BINGO. Eureka. 

Because after all, who doesn't need another refrigerator magnet?!?!? Am I right?!??!

And just to prove it, here's my refrigerator.

See, we have room for more. I better get my needle back out....

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013 First Quarter Finish Along Pre Post

I am joining in the challenge this year with Leanne at She Can Quilt. Sign ups for the first quarter are HERE. Basically you choose projects to finish in the first quarter of 2013, let everyone know, which provides a bit of accountability with a small threat of shame when you fail - and there will be a degree of failure. I mean, come on, you don't have WIP's because you tend to get everything finished that you started. That's why we are all here together in this. 

Last year I sort of played along with the FINISH ALONG at Quilter in the Gap. I wanted to finish projects. I just didn't really plan it out well, and so I failed to finish most of them. BUT, I did get some of them done. So I started thinking to myself that if I planned a bit, I could conquer the world and do away with, oh, wait, off topic a bit. Sorry, back to topic: If I planned even a little bit, I could get A LOT more finished. (And start more too. Cuz I NEEEEEED more projects. It's true. Honest.)

I am somewhat geeky. I love Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, etc.... AND SPREADSHEETS. They are beautiful tools. I work with them and I play with them. So it was only natural that I use one to record my WIP's (that's Works In Progress, just in case you didn't know.) BOY was I surprised by the list that I have going. I won't share the spreadsheet. I have to have some secrets. But I will keep track with it.

I am breaking my WIP's into bite sized (monthly) chunks and tackling them.

For the 1st Quarter of the FINISH ALONG I will get the following items done:
(If it seems like you have seen these before, you are just experiencing a little deja vu, because you HAVE seen most of them before.)

1. LEAVES quilt: This one is for me. I love Autumn and I love these colors. I made the top about 15 years ago (give or take). I already have the back made. Just need to layer, quilt and bind. Oh, yeah, make the binding too. This is also my entry for A Year of Lovely Finishes - January Entry.

2. BIRDIE STITCHES quilt top: I will finish the embroidery on these blocks. I have November and December left to do. I wasn't in love with the designs that were given to us and just need to come up with themes I love. Then stitching is easy. The blocks are already made. Then I'll stitch the blocks together. Without sashing I think. We'll see.

3. CHRISTMAS DISAPPEARING 9 PATCH quilt: I will finish cutting the blocks, piece the top, make a back, layer, quilt and bind. Then wash and take for a test cuddle.

4. RAINBOW quilt: I'll piece the top, oh, heck see the above description.

5. HAPPY GO LUCKY sampler: I will finish the stitching and frame this puppy. YUP, I started it in June, and that's the date that will go on it.

6. SPIDERWEB crochet table cover: Just need to pull it out and work on it. (Freshen my memory with regard to the pattern.) I think I need to make 3 more blocks.

7. Halloween Bitties mini quilt: I've pieced the top. It's missing one of the bitties that came in after I made the top. I'll turn that one into a coaster. I am piecing the back for it and then maybe adding a sleeve so I can hang it up. 

8. Madrona Road Challenge quilt: I'll get this off the design page and finished.

9. Blue Train Case replace the lining: I have the fabric. I have the old lining pulled out. I just need to cut the pieces, a little bit of sewing together, quilt them and glue them back into place. 

10. Chewbacca Afghan: I have a few blocks made. Just need to finish making blocks and crochet them together. I am using this pixel picture from iotacon by Andy Rash for the  pattern.

11. Fireworks Mug Rug: I don't have any idea why I haven't finished this yet. It got pushed to the side and forgotten. 

12. Pinwheel Pillow: I have the pieces cut out. Just need to get sewing. 

An even dozen should be easy to accomplish. 

I have 3 months.

I can do four a month. 

One a week. 

Wish me motivation.