Friday, January 28, 2011

Tea Time!

Happy Friday from Snowy Northern New Jersey!

***Added on Saturday - I forgot to include information on where I got my thimble - thanks Glenn!  here is a link to T.J. Lane's marvelous thimbles.***

Last weekend I brewed up some tea to dye muslin.  My friend, Wendy, first inspired me with her homemade dyed fabrics.

I used Moda muslin and made loose gathered balls.

I brewed up a pot of strong tea, using flavors I don't fancy.

Submerge muslin and steep for about 20-30 mins.

rinse in cool water, dry and iron and viola!  New newly modeled fabric is on the left - hard to get a good photo - it's a little sutle.

Here is another shot with a little more contrast - my drink mat.

I also aged my vintage santa redwork.  I used a spray bottle with first tea, then coffee.  I'm pleased with it - again a little hard to see it.

the spray bottle gives it a really authentic look of aging.

I have also been making rag balls.  I saw then on Lucy's Blog and I thought they were so charming - I plan to make more of them.

I think they are addictive.  I used homespun and next time I think I'll rip the strips for a little fraying.  Thanks Lucy!

I'm embarassed to say I'm behind on my quilt along - here is what I have so far - hopefully this weekend I'll finish it - I really like it - thanks again, Lori!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lost and Found

Thank you universe!!
My silver thimble has been missing some 7 or 8 weeks and was found on Saturday!

I was doing my best to stay calm.  I was trying to achieve the zen notion that it was only a piece of silver, that it was an "object", etc.  Inside I was very sad that I had lost a friend that I had spent untold hours quilting with.   Not to mention that it would not be with me for the quilting journey of "Mother's Garden".....

But alas, I had a feeling last week that it was still in the house, and lo and behold while doing some deep vacuuming, it was released from it's hiding place.  I felt like Sarah and the lost coin.  I did the happy dance for several minutes whooping it up.

Of course, you know who I thought did it; miss innocent

I finished setting the second set of selvage string doll quilts.  This was a really fun series to do.  And now to eventually quilt them up.

Which combo do you think was the most successful?  I think I fancy the dark one, no surprise there....

 Closeups of the pretty repro selvages.

Back before the weekend with quilt along update and a tea dying tutorial. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Progress Report

Well, I guess I give myself a B-
(full report at the bottom of the post)

I am supposed to be working on UFOs, but I got totally caught up in this:

These are mostly all Judie Rothermels fabric selvages that Kathie of Inspired By Quilts sent me - thanks again Kathie!  I thought they looked good used together so I decided to make a few string doll quilts.

After working on a project with Jill on Monday, I came home with a whole new collection of repro selvages and made some more string sets.

I also set the first three with different color combinations.  It was great fun.  So fun, that I plan to make three more with three different combinations.

Progress on Lori's Quilt Along.  Aren't those little flying geese too cute?  I have some trimming yet to do.

This is a UFO that I found in a box.  It's not on my side bar, but I did sew a few together.  I think I'll find the ruler I used to cut these and try to remember to cut a few once in a while.  I think I'll make a table runner of this one day.

My daughter gave me the "Whoopie Pie" book for Christmas and we made classic chocolate, with salty peanut butter filling -  yum!

With the New Year, I'm trying new recipes.  I get so stuck in the rut sometimes.  Whenever I ask Rich what he wants for dinner it either, pasta, tacos, or fajitas....what a range.  So here is some inspiration that I'm using.

Progress Report:

A   for working on the hand quilting of Mother's Garden
A   for keeping up with Lori's quilt along
C   for working on a UFO not on the list
C   for starting 6 doll quilts, not UFOs
D   for eating too many whoopie pies

final report:  B-

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Mark" this a Snow Day!

Hooray for a snow day!

I finally got my marking tools together to do a post on marking.  This is my collection:

Those white things in the box are soap slivers, which really work well, actually, and definitely wash out.

Instead of reviewing the ones I don't use - I'll tell you why and for what purpose the ones that I use.

These are the marking tools I use for prep work, weather it be tracing applique' pieces, marking lines to sew Half Square Triangles, etc.

My new favorite are the Sew Line marking pencils.  The leads are made of some miracle ceramic something, and the line is fine and nice!

They offer several different colors, grey, pink, white and I think yellow, although I dont' have that one....yet.  I even invested in 2 of them so I could have a light and dark one at the ready at all times.

For marking quilting lines I use these; Crayola washable kid markers, the water soluable blue pen and the sew line pencils.

I have had great luck with the washable markers.  They are cheap and mark really well. When washed in the machine with Clorox 2 color safe bleach, all marking has come out for me.

I love the blue markers, both the regular and fine line work great.  I have on occasion accidentally erased lines by mistake, and once humidity played a factor.  Again all marking has always come out for me. I used this on Mother's Garden.

Sew line is great.  Mary V. used the white on her red & white quilt for long arm quilting it and all the marks came out.  I'm using in on the white Olympic Star Quilt.  I should have made more definite marks, I used a light touch and now it's a little hard to see.

This is what we woke up to:

This is my heated bird bath.  The center fell and melted, but the birds were not up and about....

Coco is wondering where her yard is.  It doesn't look quite right.

 She decided to sit and think it over....

Finally she takes a leap of faith and then is on her way.

My start on Lori's Quilt Along - hey, that's not blue....and what's with that pink?

Let me know if you have any input about marking tools.  Generally I feel whatever works for you is what works best.

**So many people asked about the "Don't Drink and Quilt" t-shirt, here is where you can find it:  Cafe Press they have several cute quilting related T-shirts.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Just Stuff

I really am trying to pull it together.   I feel like I'm going in a million directions and getting nothing done.

This is a weird post with lots of unrelated things.

Progress on "Mother's Garden". 

The battle to control the universe is on.  Andrew and I have been playing Monopoly since he was little.  We have many versions and this is his new one from this Christmas. 

I think this was my favorite Chirstmas vignette this year.  My Charlie Brown tree, my leg lamp, Lori's quilt along quilt, Strawberry Wine and 2 sock monkeys that I made some years ago.  They're holding hands.  That is not a real mouse on the fez, but one of about 40 that we hide around the house for Christmas.  I'll miss on the way to bed at night.

Hooray!  Quilt along time with Lori, of Humble Quilts!   It's not to late to join the fun!  The mo, the mo better.   I haven't quite decided on colors yet, but I'm going to start this as soon as Christmas is away today or tomorrow.

Coco snacked on my ipod, which I use everyday to listen to books :(
Santa got me a new, tiny, pink one for Christmas, thanks Santa! :)

Here is what I'm listening to at the moment.  I am almost finished with Remarkable Creatures and I really enjoyed it!

Okay, back to housework.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

Good Morning!
I'm back from a wonderful week "down on the farm" in Illinois and it was a wonderful visit.  I am so grateful we had good driving weather, 840 miles is a long trek there, and then back.

Here is the last doll quilt that I'm making for my daughter, Hanna, for Christmas.  I started the tradition when she was about 3 years old.  Since she is a senior in high school, I've decided it's okay to stop.

This is a big girl doll quilt.  I thought it would be fun to do a selvage project.  I even found some great words to use, drama queens, and peeps - how funny.

I used a variegated blue thread which had a cool effect on the blue background.

The backing is part of the City Quilters NYC fabric collection.


 And one of my super simple, super quick labels.

My son gave me this hilarious t-shirt for Christmas.  Sage advice......except on retreats or  Fridays :)

Help this poor kitty!  I needle-pointed this in middle school, mid-1970's.  My mother blocked it, but clearly it needs re-blocking.  Help!  How is this done?  And does anyone have any suggestions about my making this into a pillow? 

**Finally, as you may have noticed I've made some changes to the blog.  It will remain "fun with barb and mary" but Mary has decided that blogging is not for her.  As I have been the sole author for almost a year, we thought it time.  We had a wonderful visit on Christmas Eve - thanks again for sharing your fruitcake Mary!