Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring update........

Happy Springtime readers & friends!  I hope spring is sprouting around your home like it is for us.  We’re having beautiful weather here in the southwest - everything is blooming....the temperatures are great...we have gentle breezes...the birds are is good!   I've been away for a bit - went out of state to visit my mom for her birthday, then I went to a quilting retreat weekend up in Show Low Arizona and we had relatives visiting all last week. Now things are getting back to ‘normal’ finally so I can catch up on my blogging.   

I've been more in a quilting than a stitching mode the last few weeks but I did finish up my Jenny Bean pin tuffet recently. It was love at first sight when I first saw this on someone's blog last year and I finally sat down and stiched it up.  I admire it every day while I’m in my office/sewing room even if the DH wonders why I keep making more pincushions just to look at!  I LOVE all things "Jenny Bean".  :)

"Jenny Bean" by Shakespeare's Peddler
My own silk conversion on some sort of 40-ct linen

Don’t you just love the pins that Just Another Button company is making now? I picked up this little wool kit called Stuck on You that came out at market and it’s got adorable pins in it too. I can’t wait to make this up as soon as I get a little time.  The chocolates look good enough to eat!

Now I’ve got to share with you some framing I recently got back from Jill Rensel’s studio. I’ve never sent anything to Jill before but have admired her framing that I’ve seen posted on bulletin boards and blogs over the years. I had 2 projects that I had framed a few years ago locally on a sale - I got a discount if I let the framer pick out everything but in retrospect I found that doesn’t work too well for me – I need to see and stress (yes I do stress!)  over what it’s going to look like before it’s done. The workmanship was great but it just wasn’t what I had envisioned and so it’s been bothering me ever since. It was even worse when I thought about all the money I spent and then to be disappointed makes a sad situation.  Everytime I walked by them hanging on the wall I was a little bit peeved at myself.  Well long story but I finally got around to packaging them up carefully and sending them to Jill back in October to have some rework done. She was very busy with holiday framing and all so I didn’t get them back until March but it was worth waiting for. Yeah Jill!!  I’m so happy I had them re-done! The two projects were already professionally mounted from the first framing, and we were able to reuse the big frame on An Open Heart so the rework dollars weren't too bad actually.

St. Peter's Fair by Shepherds Bush was originally framed with mats and a frame that I thought were just too dark for the soft colors used in the piece. Jill used the same mat design she sells as a pre-made set for this design but did mine in blues & greens instead of the usual lavender/pink ones.

"St. Peter's Fair" Before:

"St. Peter's Fair" After:

This Drawn Thread piece when originally framed just seemed so
b-o-r-i-n-g.  It’s a very large piece and the neutral mats just didn’t do much to show off the piece in my opinon. I like the new moss-greeen mats Jill added  much better.  It’s another task I can mark off my list and I’m looking forward to sending some more pieces to Jill.   I made a lot of progress with my framing list over the past year but I still have about 6 things waiting in line - that's the downside about finishing things -then you've got to tackle the framing!

"An Open Heart" Before:

"An Open Heart" After:

Our quilting retreat 2 weeks ago was fabulous as usual – I didn’t take many photos this time. I’ve been there several times so end up taking the same photos of the place it seems – not to mention I barely took any breaks from non-stop sewing except for eating great food and doing as little sleeping as possible LOL.  But drum roll please...I finally finished my “Winter Memories” quilt top.
"Winter Memories" - pattern by The Acorn Quilt & Gift Co
(just ignore the chain hanging down from the ceiling fan!)

I started this hand-applique quilt almost 2 years ago so really glad to put it over to the finished column. I made some substitutions in the pattern (I can never leave things alone) replacing an embroidered wreath block with an appliqued sled (thank you Yahoo images...) and I re-drew the mitten block as I didn't like the one in the pattern. What's funny is a friend and I fell in love with this quilt at a quilt show vendor mall a couple years back and we went crazy hunting down the some of the same fabrics used in the model.   We found everything we needed through a combination of quilt stores, eBay, and a friend's wholesale account at Moda Fabrics..........but now I have enough fabric left over to make about 5 more of these quilts!  When will I learn to stop over-buying??    Now the quilt top needs to go off to be quilted by a longarm quilter. I’m not doing much machine quilting of my own quilts these days – I don’t enjoy it and it is hard on my shoulders. (I can’t bear going through any more shoulder surgeries!) I’ll do baby quilts or wallhangings but that’s it. The longarm quilters  can do so much more and do it so much better  than I can do on my regular sewing machine.  It adds to the cost of course but to me it's worth it rather than struggling along and doing it myself.  I just don't have the time to hand-quilt very many quilts either.

Hope to be back soon - next week is a 4-day workweek for me as we have Good Friday off (or in the politically-correct corporate world, it's "spring holiday").  Whatever you call it, I can't wait for a 3-day weekend!


  1. Oh my! everything is so lovely! Jill really does know how to work magic, doesn't she? And I love your quilt finish! It's gorgeous! Jenny Bean's tuffet is wonderful too!

  2. Oh goodness...your reframed pieces are just gorgeous. You must be so happy with them. Love your little pin tuffet too. Can't wait to see the yummy "candy" done too.

    Happy stitchings....

  3. Wow what a difference the mats Jill used makes,,just beautiful...hey where did you go to your quilting retreat at in Show Low..My good friend owes a place up there..your quilting pieces are also beautiful...well I hope you rest after all that you have done..beautiful work..

  4. Jill did a wonderful job on the framing. They look much better now. Love the JB pin tuffet.

  5. Isn't Jill amazing? Both of your pieces look fantastic after their makeovers. :) I've visited Jill's studio twice but still haven't got up the courage to have something shipped. I suspect it would cost a bomb to come back to Australia.

  6. WOW...just WOW!!! Those new frames and mats are perfect and gorgeously done...Jill really has and eye for framing, doesn't she??!!

    Love the Jenny Bean tuffet and the quilt...both turned out beautifully!

    And yes, those cupcake pin cushions do look good enough to eat...I am loving all the new pins from JABC too...need to get over to their website and order my own.

    Happy Stitchin'

  7. Ooh- such lovely things! Love the tuffet and chocolates to start! What a difference framing makes - gorgeous now!

  8. Everything is absoluately beautiful!!!
    Everything also represents a lot of hard work!

  9. Thank you for showing your before and afters. It really enforces how much the right matting and framing brings to your stitching.

    Love the JB tuffet. I have it in my stash too and I'm wondering why I haven't stitched it! I didn't get the pins and now I'm regretting that decision!

  10. I love your Jenny Bean finish. So pretty.

    Wow what a difference the reframing made! They look gorgeous!

  11. Wow! Love the tuffet...the more I see this the more I want to stitch it. The framing redos are lovely. What a difference! I have a SB piece that I just don't know how to finish. I think it is crying to be framed by Jill.

  12. Oh my! What a difference in the framing, especially on the Drawn Thread piece. Jill's work is amazing.

    Love your tuffet and your quilt!

  13. Great framing redos. I would love to have Jill do a couple of my pieces for me. She did a great job. Love your tuffet and just those Chocolates!! So sweet with those buttons. And I love your quilt too. I admire anyone that can hand applique. I haven't mastered it yet.

  14. OMG:))) What wonderful eye-candy for this dreary Saturday morning.

    Love your framing redo's. They do look so much better. Cute little Jenny Bean pin tuffett. Love the little candy pins from JABCO too.

    Have a great week.

  15. So. First I saw the tuffet and thought, "How cute!" Then I saw the pieces framed by Jill and thought, "WOW, those look amazingly better!"

    THEN! Then I saw your Winter Memories quilt! Once I understood what I was looking at ("It's so perfect! Is this actually a scrapbook layout or something??"), I was completely blown away. What an heirloom you have created; it's simply fabulous!

  16. Now this brings matting & framing to the level of an art. WOW - utterly gorgeous!!

  17. Jill's framing is just amazing!

  18. Everything is gorgeous, love the framing and the little Jenny Bean Pin Cushion.

  19. what a great post Jeanne! Some many lovely things - first of all the quilt is stunning - marvelous and just simply spectacular - I love the fact that you did hand applique - I agree - why spend your valuable time and energy not to mention the added stress on your shoulder doing the quilting - nah - let the long arm girls do it. Your JB pin tuffet is darling and what can I say about the framed pieces - the SB piece is now "so Shepherds Bush" - the other matting really drug the piece down - now it is happy and uplifting - the DT piece needed grounding and with that medium colored mat - it looks perfect. Good for you for biting the bullet and getting them redone. Hope you enjoy your 3day coming up! Love your blog header too - Happy Easter Mel

  20. The chocolates look so good. And I love the pins.
    The lady who did the re-framing can do magic! I just love both the frames. She really knows what she's doing.

  21. Everything is so pretty! I love what Jill did with your framed pieces! They turned out wonderful!!!

  22. Love the updated framing, Jeanne! The results look well worth every penny. Your quilts are lovely - you have so much talent!

  23. Gorgeous framing and your Jenny Bean tuffet & the quilt are gorgeous.

  24. Love your Jenny Bean piece, those pins suit it perfectly. Perfect framing on all your pieces. The quilt is great. Such a great post with so many lovlies.

  25. Easter is still called Easter here in Holland thankfully. It is always two days as there is Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. I am looking forward to spending our weekend at Cranberry Cottage. Enjoy yours!

    The stitching is all beautiful and the reframing really makes a difference. Love the chocolates pincushion and have always wanted to make one of these in regular fabrics. Saved a tin for it but it is on a stack of one day projects.

    That quilt is B*E*A*U*T*I*F*U*L! I love all the fabrics you used and how you used a floral as border. Great job and congratulations!

    Hugs from Holland ~

    P.S. ~ Happy Easter!

  26. Anonymous10:02 AM

    Hi, just found your blog :)

    Your works are stunning!

    greetings from Hungary:Manka

  27. Greetings from the southeast corner of the valley. Your Jenny Bean tuffet is too cute. I have the chart and the same pins...just need to get busy and do it.
    Okay, I have to agree with you that the pieces framed by Jill are SO MUCH prettier. She does such a nice job and I'm glad that you didn't just live with them the way they were before.

  28. All of your work is just gorgeous!

  29. Jeanne, oh my gosh!! I just LOVE that quilt! It's fantastic. Love the sled! Good for you on getting your pieces reframed. I'd have hated spending the money, but I can relate because there are a few pieces that I went cheap on and I cringe when I see them. Definitely not something you want to do when you've spent so much time and effort stitching something. Jill did a fantastic job! Love the tuffet, too.

  30. Everything is just wonderful! I am going to have to look at everything two or three times. Just perfect!
    Are you still interested in a SAL with a Gail Wilson doll? Sometime maybe in the summer I could do it.

  31. Ilove that Jenny Bean!

    What a difference color makes in the framing!

    Your stitching is lovely.


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