Monday, July 31, 2006

Round Robins and other updates

Thanks Jean for your comments - I'm glad to know I'm not the only one have to cut & paste pictures where I want them to be.

I've been pretty busy at work this week filling in for my boss who's on vacation. Not too much time for stitching. I did finish my part on a round robin I'm in with some online friends. This is "St. Peter's Fair" by Shepherds Bush and belongs to my friend Jane B in Maryland. Here is a picture of it so far.

It's really a lovely pattern, one that I did in a round robin a year or two ago and have framed in my hallway. I'm mailing this piece off tomorrow to the next person. I did get in some work on BBD Quaker Garden tonite- I am getting anxious to finish it now that I am getting close.

I saw the new Prairie Schooler patterns online and I love them all - more stash to add to the "must have" list, darn it! I especially like this year's annual Santa with the old treadle sewing machine. I have a quilting friend that has an antique treadle machine in her sewing room and she loves the primitive style. I'm thinking I'd really like to make one into an ornament-style hanging decoration for Christmas. Here's a link to the new designs if you haven't seen them yet and there's a new freebie on the site as well:

I went out this weekend looking for the paper mache box to use for the BBD Secret Garden pattern - looked at Michaels, Joanns and Walmart and couldn't find it. Sigh, it's so frustrating. I got all the other supplies, I've decided to use materials from my stash and I'm going to stitch it in an overdyed blue. So I will have to keep looking for a box unfortunately. There just aren't that many craft stores around anymore, one of my favorite ones closed last year and we don't have Hobby Lobby in Arizona - sure wish we did. I go there when I visit my parents back in Illinois but it's a long way to go for a cardboard box! :)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Blogger annoyances

Maybe one of you has had these problems, or I must be operating under a spell or something! Every now and then parts of my post end up being in italics even though I have NOT selected it, nor can I see it tagged as italics when I look at the HTML code. I also get frustrated posting pictures - I can upload them and click on them to make them links (so you can view a larger version), but if you try to move them around to make room for text in between, the links get lost. What is happening?? In order to get around this I have to go into "Edit HTML" mode and cut and paste the code for the pictures to where I want it. Also, why is it when you upload a picture it automatically goes to the top of your post instead of where your cursor was for instance in the middle of your post? If anyone knows the answers to these mysteries I would sure appreciate it!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Back to being hot!

I haven’t updated my blog in awhile – I went away for 4 days to take some quilting lessons in Flagstaff this week. Had a great time – I stayed with a friend at her cabin which is just lovely, filled with antiques and COOL! I was able to sleep with the windows open and a cold breeze coming in! Since I’ve been back in Phoenix we have had temperatures up to 118 degrees, so we are all getting a bit cranky. I had a headache from the heat today so I haven’t done too much stitching. I’m still working on my Quaker Garden and on the last large motif so I hope to get done this week sometime.

While I was gone I received my biscornu package in the mail from Pam in Quebec! It was so exciting – she stitched it in pink and it’s just lovely! Here is a picture of it – thank you so much Pam!! She also included some other special gifts, some hand-dyed floss that must be Canadian because I haven’t heard of it, and a journal and some pretty stationary. Isn’t it great getting stitching presents in the mail? I really want to make some more biscornus for myself. Also, since my exchange partner has already received the one I made, I will post a picture of it as well. It’s a Just Nan pattern called “Beach Roses”. I was nervous it wouldn’t turn out but I thought it looked pretty good for my first biscornu. I hope to make some more.

I took 2 quilting classes while I was gone – one was an applique class with Elly Sienkewicz, it was really fun getting to see her work in person as she’s so well known in the quilting world. She is a really nice lady and had lots of good tips for us about ink transfer and specialty applique. Unfortunately, the block I started in class I made a mistake on and accidentally cut off a piece of the applique so I trashed it. I only had about 2 hours of work in on it anyway so I decided to start over. I guess that’s the way it goes sometimes – at least I wasn’t near the end instead of the beginning! The other class I took was by John Flynn called Pickle Dish. This pattern is very similar to a double wedding ring quilt. It was hard – I spent the entire day and got ONE block done! I had decided I wasn’t going to make a whole quilt, that I would just learn his technique and make a pillow or something and I am really glad I made that decision! I still have to add 2 more arc sections on to this and then I plan to applique it to a background and make a little pillow out of it. I still would like to make a whole Pickle Dish quilt someday but when I have more time. It takes a lot of time and concentration to make this quilt accurately even with John’s innovative techniques.

Yesterday I decided to straighten out my linen closet. I ran across some old linens I have and thought it might be fun to post a couple of pictures. This is an apron my grandmother made me when I was 7. Not only do I love it because she made it (and pink of course my favorite color), but she was embroidering it during the Mercury 7 spaceship launch and she embroidered the capsule onto the apron, then she inked the date and details around it. Mercury 7 was the first manned orbit in space and John Glenn’s famous flight. It was a national event at the time. (Yes you can tell that if I was 7 in 1962 I’ve been around awhile!!)

The other picture here is a guest towel I made in 7th grade Home Economics class! We called it “huck toweling” at the time although now I see it referred to as Swedish Weaving. Let’s see, I figure this towel to be approximately 37 years old! It’s scary how quickly the time passes. I remember not liking taking the sewing classes very much – mostly because I already knew how to sew and I would get frustrated sitting and listening to the teacher go through everything a couple of times. My mom taught me to sew fairly young so by junior high school I could already sew dresses and skirts etc. Making an apron and the types of things we did in school were sort of boring. It shows how times have changed though – I don’t even know if schools teach Home Economics anymore and if they do, I’ll be they’re not making aprons!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Stitching Room & thinking back

I thought I'd post a link to pictures of my stitching/sewing room. I posted it on one of the Legacy forums some months ago but here it is again. It serves as my sometimes office as I telecommute one day a week, then it's my quilting, stitching, and stash room the rest of the time. I love having my own computer and printer near me thanks to my husband who sets everything up and is my own personal "Tech Support" guru. We both work in Information Technology and we have 4 computers at home - yes it's a bit ridiculous sometimes but we do use them all for various purposes. I have one corner in my room set up with the computer on one side and a sewing machine table on the other in a "U" shape - I have a chair on wheels so it works out very nice. This is where I do 90% of my stitching - I use my Daylight lamp most of the time because my eyesight isn't that great and I require magnification for anything 32-ct and higher. So I find it's just easier to stitch sitting at my sewing table where I have everything handy. My sewing machine lowers under the table on a little hydraulic lift and then you can just use the top as a flat surface which is nice to work on. The other cabinets I have in my room used to be in our den at our old house, when we moved to this house a few years ago the den came with some built-in cabinets. I inherited these and they work out great. The only thing is I'm running out of room because I have too much stuff! I'm sure many of you have the same problem. Here's a link to pictures:

I'm wondering if many of you have your first piece that you cross-stitched anymore? Lately I have been wishing I did. Back around 1981 I was working part-time in a Minnesota Fabrics store in Chicago. I don't think that chain of stores is even in business anymore, but back then the employees made the models in the store - the store provided the materials and after they had displayed it for a couple of months you could take it home and keep it. I volunteered to do a cross-stitch project - I had embroidered and done stamped cross-stitch as a child so

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Quaker Garden - halfway done!

I reached the halfway point tonite, here's the latest progress. I hope to finish this up in the next 2 weeks which for me, will be pretty quick. I'm not generally a very fast stitcher, mostly because I have way too many stitching and quilting projects going on. It's hard for me to stay focused sometimes. Maybe I would be better off as a "one project at a time" person but so far I haven't been disciplined enough to do that. I'm debating about my next focus piece. I need to keep working on my French Alphabet Sampler but I am really itching to start something new. Here's just a few of the projects I have already kitted up in bags:

Milady's Needle - Strawberry Ruler
Blackbird Designs - With My Needle, Truly Thine, Springs Promise
Carriage House Samplings - Americana
With My Needle - Emblem of Love
Victoria Sampler - Winter Garden
Bent Creek - Winter & Spring Snapperlands
Bent Creek - Winter Row
Little House Needleworks - The Bookshelf
The Cricket Collection - Ghost Ship

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Quaker Garden - first progress report

Here's a picture of what I've stitched so far on Quaker Garden. I had a visit by the frogs tonite so I didn't get make much progress today unfortunately. I am using Lakeside Linens' Vintage Pear in 38 ct, with Gloriana Luminescence silks for most of it. The white is AVAS 100/3 because they didn't have a white shade at my LNS in the Luminescence. I love stitching with these threads - they have a tight twist and you have to let the thread unwind now and then but they are very smooth and not fuzzy the way a lot of silks are. I am loving working on this project.

Thanks for the kind comments I've received so far, I"m glad some of you have stopped by to "visit" me!

I am looking forward to seeing the new movie "Dead Man's Chest" with Johnny Depp. Hope to see it next week sometime. It's got to be good if JD is in it! I think I'll watch the original "Pirates of the Caribbean" this weekend just to get in the mood. :-) It should be good to stitch by.

I also need to go through my quilting stash this weekend. I am going up to Flagstaff Arizona later this month to take 3 days of quilt classes. I can't wait - 3 days away from the heat of Phoenix, up in the cool pines of the north country. I'm staying with a friend at her "cabin" - can't wait to see it as she and her husband have been building it for a couple of years now. It's really more of a small second home and no doubt gorgeous - my friend has a lot of antiques and is one of those people who have a talent for decorating. I am taking an applique class one day with Elly Sienkiewicz (the queen of applique) and another class with John Flynn called "Pickle Dish". I promised myself I would work from my stash and not buy more fabric so I'm going to be stressing about that to find something that will work! There are 2 ladies that hold this event every summer called "Quilt Camp in the Pines. It's wonderful - I used to go every year but I haven't gone in awhile. It's a good time - like a stitching retreat only quilting instead. It's held on the campus of Northern Arizona University and lasts about a week. I am just going for 3 days this time. Two classes is more than enough for me as now I will have another couple of projects to complete!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independence Day celebration!

Happy 4th of July everyone! I finally finished up an old UFO this morning. I had laid it aside when I accidentally made a mistake cutting out the stitched needlebook. I got disgusted and hadn't worked on it in a long time. I was able to change how the needlebook was finished to salvage it as I didn't have any more matching linen from the kit, then I finished up putting the cording on the scissor fob. I had to substitute the beads from what was in the kit - there was no way on earth the cording was going to fit through the gold bead supplied in the kit - after an hour of frustration I changed it out to something I had that worked. I am so glad to get this done as it was at the top of my "UFO" list. :) It is Hillside Samplings Stitching Chair Necessaire - I changed the colors from rose/blue to purples and gold. It is done in DMC and was an SAL on the Legacy board about 2 years ago I think. (where did that time go?!?)

I'm stitching on my Quaker Garden this afternoon and will post a picture tonite or tomorrow. I am really enjoying it so far.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Our pets

Thought I'd post a couple pictures of our "kids". This is Abby - we adopted her from a shelter about 6 months ago - she's approximately 2 years old we think. She's very affectionate and we're so glad we got her - she'd already been at the county shelter 2 months so she really needed a home soon!

This is Buster, a tricolor Sheltie. We've had him since he was a 8 weeks old - he's now 3. He's a great athlete, full of energy, and Abby's best friend. Without our dogs life would be very quiet around our house!