Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Happy Spring!

I  finished the stitching of the cat needlepoint in Middle School when I was about 12 years old.  I'm turning 54 this year - you can do the math on that one, ha ha
As a girl we always had pretty Siamese cats.

The kit was given to me by grandfather for Christmas about a month after he passed away.  I always wanted him to paint me a cat portrait, but he found it very difficult as he mostly painted landscapes.

I am so happy with how sweet it turned out.

I also had the Ridgewood Needlepoint Shop block this needlepoint that my mother, Cathy, finished before she died sometime before she died.  So that's been more than 25 years now.
 I will have it framed.  It seems like a perfect fit now that I live in New England.
 Here are my top picks from the AQS Lancaster Quilt Show.  You can see all the winners by clicking here.
On Monday we woke up to a lovely spring snow it was completely melted by sundown.
I've been doing a little house construction while watching House of Cards.  I'm so looking forward to teaching a Liberated House workshop in Texas next month.   I forgot how fun these were to make.
My blog friend, Diane, of Butterfly Threads has published her first book.  Congratulations Diane; it is fabulous!  She sent me a copy and a cute mug rug in preparation of participating in her blog hop.  I have the lucky spot of being the Caboose on the fun train.
Here is the blog hop dates and websites.  Hop around and try your luck at winning a book and visiting these great blogs.

3/21    C&T Blog
with Diane (that’s me)
3/22    Bonnie Hunter
3/23    Lori
3/24    Karen
3/25    Audrey
3/26    Pat Sloan
3/27    Valerie
3/28    Kelly
3/29    Victoria Findlay Wolfe
3/30    Rachaeldaisy
3/31    Angie
4/1       Julie
4/2       Barb

I'll end the post today with the deal of the week - a fun Dog with Glasses shopping bag from TJMaxx.  99 cents.  All that cuteness for under a buck.
Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Where's the Lido Deck?

Seriously....I've checked the whole house and it's not here.   waaa

Last week we went to sea for a little sun and fun.   I took this very VERY long term project with me in order to actually get some work done on it!
I started this about 18 years ago.  It is a reproduction and the original was made by an 8 year old.  I WILL finish it, but I am planning to skip a lot of her design.
We cruised the Caribbean and had a marvelous time.   Here are some highlights
Here is the Executive Chef.  Kind of skinny if you ask me.    He has a staff of 150 on board and was very friendly and nice to chat with.
I know how this looks.....but we weren't driving.
I did quite a bit of construction on the house.
Key West is always a fun day -
 The best Key Lime Pie I have ever had - Blue Heaven Restaurant.
 Ms. Izzy - drop the mic
 These turn me green but I loved the look of the stand.
We went Fan Boating in the Everglades.  Really cool to see Alligators living in the wild.
 I got to hold a baby one - it was love at first sight.  He was so cute and felt neat.  I could have held him all day.
Here is my cross stitch project so far.  I did mention that it has taken about 18 years so far.  I'll share more in a future post.
I found three great souvenir tea towels.  This first one has real cross stitching and a sweet rainbow ric rac.  I'm feeling so lazy I haven't even pressed these.
I would like to make something fun with these.  Any suggestions?

I'm going to the AQS Show in Lancaster this week - if you see me say hello!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Westering Women with Friends

I'm popping for a Westering Women and Alice Payne Update.

My friends, Sheila and Kathy (no blogs) are also hitting the ole' wagon trail on Barbara Brackman's sew along.  We are making them in the 9" size.

Here are Sheila's Blocks for week 1 and 2
Here are Kathy's - I love the little "variance" on the first block ;)
Sheila told me about a ipad, iphone app that you can use to resize the blocks.  It's called BlockFab.  It has a huge library of blocks.  Here is how the anvil block looked in the app.
I'm challenging myself to do it myself so here is my chart.
I also employed this wonderful technique.  It was perfect because 8 was exactly how many I needed for this block - winner!    This is a sheet that Jill sent me years ago. 
Here is the formula:
Take the finished size, add 1" then multiply by 2.  Mark lines on the diagonal, sew on both sides and cut at shown.   Viola' 8 finished HST.
Here are my blocks.
   I had to change out the corners because the darker looks so much better.
It's not too late join in!

Alice Payne Quilting Update:  4 blocks finished!  woo hoo

 I give myself a B - I'm getting most of the back stitches.  I actually get a dot of the back and not a full stitch.  I get called out on it by the judges, but I say "pooh" this is how I quilt.
 MMMmmm the texture always shows up so well on muslin.
 This is the block I'm working on now.  Not a lot of open space here so it seems a little slower going.

Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Redemption - Sumptuous Stars!!

The Stars are finally shining brightly!!

Introducing:  Sumptuous Stars 80" x 80".  (sorry these are iphone photos)
A behind the scenes view of how I attached it to the railing, ala Home Depot.  No quilt was injured in this photo shoot.
After I pieced the blocks in 2012 I saw this antique quilt in an engagement calendar and bingo!  it was just the right inspiration.  I can not believe how similar they are.
I first posted the finished top late summer of 2012 in NJ.  That was the summer Mr. Fun lost his position in NYC- which is one reason this got shelved.
During the recarpeting of our entire upstairs in spring of 2014, I put this quilt along with lots of other things in a bathtub to get it all up off the floor and out of the way.

NEVER, I repeat NEVER put anything valuable in a bathtub besides people.  Somehow it got a little damp and some color ran.  I spot cleaned it with oxyclean but I had all the markings on it from the  Crayola Markers so I couldn't really soak it.
I decided I had to pin it and get it done.  After pinning about half of the quilt I realized I was short on 2 sides.   Seriously......seriously?   out came those pins and it was re-shelved.....again.

Here is an after shot of that area and it seems to have come out.  Not my finest stop in the machine quilting - oh well the other two look good.
Here are the products I used along with regular detergent.  You MUST use safe all color bleach to remove the washable markers according to Crayola's instructions.
 I used 10 color grabbers.  Norma and discussed it yesterday and we did wonder if it would have all just gone down the drain anyway.  Better safe than sorry.
Here I'll cut away for an action shot of binding.  I hold it this way to stitch - how do you??
Here is my label.  I pinked the edges this time and just sewed it on.  On is good.
So I re-pinned the quilt in early February and started quilting on Friday, February 19th and finished the machine quilting in a week.  The binding took about 3 days to apply and stitch down.

In my last post I forgot to mention that I like to use the Super Slider on my sewing surface.  I keep it on all the time now.   It helps the fabric move along and reduces shoulder fatigue.
This was neat trick I accidentally learned.   If you line up striped bias strips like this~  (note how the stripes are lined up on the edges)
It comes out really great - like this!  I made 328 inches of bias for the edge of this baby.  Easy Peasy.
After trying out several I thought this was an interesting binding fabric choice.  What do you think?  
Here the back where I used this fun Kaffe fabric.  You can definitely see where the seam is on this one but I kind of like the way it looks.
 Argh....this is where I had to add fabric to the side
and bottom
Are you still here? - oh my this getting so long - sorry.  Here is a fun shot from my staircase.  It is really a big quilt.
Here are a few last minute things that I posted on instagram.
Our golf group learned how to curl - always wanted to try it!  Challenging and fun.
I spent Tuesday morning sorting out sweet coco's ear infections.  Poor pup, double ear infection.  Both yeast and bacteria, what an overachiever!
I hope you are having a good week.  I'll be back soon with a Westering Women and Alice Payne update.