Friday, August 31, 2012

I'm taking a break.....

Other than making a duplicate Charley Harper quilt for a commission, I haven't been sewing a stitch.  I did draw something up which has to be fine tuned yet (see below) and I am anxious to start it, but until the holiday is over I think I will be taking a break.  I have company coming both Sunday and Monday for supper and it's time for Toby to be groomed again, so I just can't seem to squeeze everything in lately.  Thankfully, I did clean my house yesterday (finally) and went to a movie with my hubby this afternoon which we haven't done in an age.

Crazy drawing yet to be fine tuned:

How my Ideas Start

I told you it needed work!!!  

There is something though that I found recently that you might enjoy.  I have been having such laughs looking at it.  Below is one of the pictures.  It is a dog shaming blog.  See below:

One picture is funnier than the next.  Go see for yourself:

Enjoy and I'll be back next week!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Triplets and other stuff

The other day when I was thinking of something small to make for some friends, (just as little surprises), I checked my own flickr pages to see if there was something I could duplicate.  Surprisingly enough, one mug rug popped out as the clear winner!  I adore this mug rug!  It is SOOO me!  Lots of white, wonky colorful seaming, fun quilting, buttons and tiny binding.  You've seen it before:

"Just for Fun" mug rug

Now, I must admit, that I have never used a mug rug for a mug.  Oh.....I've taken pictures with mugs, and glasses, but for me, especially with a portrait style, my mug rugs get hung on a tiny little spot in my kitchen right by the back door so I can smile every time I let the dog out and in.  I sew an O ring on the back in the middle top and I'm all set.  I wondered if my friends might do the same, so I got to work and pretty soon I had triplets:


Too bad they're all a bit different!  I guess that's what happens when you sew wonky without patterns!

On another note, my partner received the (not so cool) quilt I sent for the QT swap.  We had to do quilts containing items starting with the letter of our partner's first initial.  Here is the one I sent to Amy:

A - for Amy  (QT Swap)

You'll note I did it in the crayon method.  I didn't have a clue how I could get all that stuff in there any other way without working for a week.  Hopefully, you've spotted the alien with an afro in the airplane, astrology, arrow hitting an artichoke, arch, address, alarm clock, anchor, ant, alligator, apples dotted with lots of asprin and the "A".  Quite a challenge, I must admit!!

On another note, I must show you the most precious picture I have seen in a long time.  I met a lady from my area on a forum recently, and after talking to her and becoming friends, and having the Havanese breed in common, Wendy has been sending me pictures of her new "baby" named, Harvey.  He is only 4 weeks old on this picture and it'll be another 4 weeks until he comes home to live with Wendy, but I've been having such fun going through this journey with her.  Isn't he a absolute doll?

Every Monday, Wendy and her husband go visit him at the breeders and get just a bit of lovin' until they can bring him home.  How cool is that?  I LOVE puppies!   I couldn't stand it so I, too, contacted that breeder and my hubby and I are going to visit her (and see Harvey in person) in about 2 weeks.  Perhaps I just might consider getting another puppy someday too, who knows?  Harvey's litter is all sold!  What would really be ideal, is for us to visit every litter she has when they're about 6-8 weeks so I can get my "puppy fix" without actually buying one.  Wouldn't that be cool?

Oh, one more thing.......and this is to the reader who asked me what that red thing was on the white twig on the Charley Harper cardinal quilt from last time, but who has a "no reply" blogger and can't receive answers.  (One of my pet peeves, I must admit, especially when asking a question.)  The straight red lines are his tiny legs and the red circle on the white twig are his little feet holding on for dear life!  Go back and look!  It'll make sense when you see it!

Until next time, happy sewing!!!  I'm on #2 Charley Harper cardinal.  Seems I can't just make one of anything lately.  lol

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sewing away!

I've been having such fun!  My house looks like a mess and we have been eating some strange meals, but who cares?  Sometimes it's better to feed the soul and creativity within!  (At least that's what I tell my hubby! And then he just looks at me funny, shakes his head and walks away with his car keys, probably on his way to some fast food joint.  lol)  Seriously, I sometimes just "get in the zone" and can hardly pull myself away.  For the person who works in a studio that wouldn't be bad, I suppose, but remember, I sew on our kitchen table, cut fabric on the kitchen island, and set up the ironing board in the space between.  Often, I just push the sewing machine to the side when we's at hubby's spot, so what do I care?  I used to love it when he worked and traveled for business.   I'd even keep the mess around while I was working.  Now, I basically have to clean up my schnibbles everyday.

I finished the Charley Harper quilt.  It turned out a bit narrower than I wanted at 11 1/2 inches, but that's okay.  I had a ball making it and I LOVE the way it turned out:

"Ode to Charley Harper"

Cardinal close-up

Did you notice?  I even got to use some buttons on it!  Wow!  I love buttons!  The only thing I wasn't crazy about was burying those threads from all that straight line quilting.  Ugh!  Usually, I cut them off but decided to do it the right way for a change.  Now I know why I cut them off!  lol  I don't have patience for that kind of thing!  Besides, it's a wall hanging, who's going to see?

Yesterday I made two more of this:

"Just for Fun" mug rug

I loved that mug rug and I needed a few little gifts.  The new ones didn't turn out exactly the same, but that's what fun.  One of a kind is the best kind of gift anyway!  I have the binding and buttons on one of them yet to finish and then off to the post office and the quilt shop.  I have a new project....and I have to go shopping!  Awwww.......!!!   Hope you're having fun too!

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's okay, but no cigar!

Hmmmmm, not so good, I don't think!  And after all my hard work too.  I think this quilt took me almost 2 days to quilt with my contemplation of what exactly I should do.  In the end, I was mostly pleased with it, except for the bird and to this day, I still wonder if I should take him off and make a new one a bit more contemporary.  I'm not so much for making "real" looking birds you know.  Wonky and whimsey are more my style.  But, right now it's done and I was going to send it to my partner until I re-read her likes and dislikes........uh duh.......where was my brain?  She doesn't like pastels.  I don't know if you can really call the pink a pastel on this quilt.  You decide:

"One Bird"

The bottom is neat though, dontcha think?

Detail - "One Bird"

To be honest, unless I see my partner finally say something (anything at all), I just might send this to her anyway.  So far, I haven't seen her comment on a thing.....and not just from me, but from anyone!  You know, it kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it?  Why bother to join a swap unless you want to play a bit?  I don't get it!  In the meantime though, I am in process of starting another one (just in case).  So far, I'm liking this one too....but we'll see!  At least I'm staying busy.

How about a little Charley Harper?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First things first!

Remember when I told you that my tomato bushes are going nuts this year?  Well, I wasn't kidding!  I bet if you stretched out the vines, they'd reach to the clouds and then you could call me "Jack".  Sara wanted to see.  I think she thought I was kidding.  Ahhhhh.......not so much!  This is two bushes, Sara.  One big red one and the other is a cherry tomato bush.  Can you believe?

On another note, remember this pic that I showed you last time:

Starting #1 for FLiQS2

Well, it turned into this:

"Lotsa Dots" - FLiQS2

I think it's just as much fun as those giant paper clips I found among my old patterns and things.  Perfect for clipping on my fence for picture taking without making holes in my quilts, wouldn't you say?  The finished quilt measures 18 1/4 square with 100 different polka dotted fabrics and is ready to be hung with sleeve and everything!  I called it, "Lotsa Dots".  (I'm so clever, huh??  Duh!!)  Here's a close up:

Detail - "Lotsa Dots"  

So far, I think I will be keeping that quilt.  It makes me smile!  Besides, it's not my partners taste at all, I don't think.  Well, you know my motto, try, try again so I'm already at work on Number #2.  Check this out:

Start of #2 for FLiQS2

Now I'm wondering about this one.  I think I got her style, but I'm wondering about colors.  Eikes, this partner stuff is hard.  Sometimes I think I'm right on and then again, I wonder.  In any event I will continue.  Yesterday I got this far:

I'm using #30 weight variegated thread to do some straight line quilting.  The fun is in burying the threads.  Ugh!  I figured if I did a section at a time, I wouldn't be so frustrated.  Note that I got a bit off center........thus the tape.  I'll fix that in no time flat!  (Hopefully???)  Now to continue!  Hope you have a good day too.  Looks like I'll be doing some sewing.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Yeah, she's back!

I was lost without my machine!  I was waking up in the middle of the night with ideas, and I just about drove myself nuts!  'Course, it didn't help that it was raining outside some mornings.  I should have been cleaning my house, but I (for some dumb reason) can't clean in the rain, or when it's dark, or anytime I have lack of natural light.  Crazy, I know, but it's my excuse!  So now, when I finally have my baby back, I must get down to business!  First though, I just HAD to make something that was floating in my brain.  I have visions to do this bigger in sections, but thought I'd first try it out on a mug rug:

"Just for Fun" mug rug

Isn't that the most perfect binding fabric?  Strange that I found it in my basement bin where I have stuff I usually don't use, but found while I was down there looking for something else.  Needless, to say, it's staying upstairs now!!  I actually have it in another color way too so you'll probably be seeing that sometime in the future.

Here is another mug rug that I made.  I was a bad girl and copied this almost exactly from a mug rug a friend did a few years ago.  If you click the picture, you will get a link to hers so you can see that too.

Copycat Mug Rug

So, I think that's it for the mug rugs for awhile.  I made 6, and really only needed 1, so I'm set.  Now I am going to concentrate on the Fab Little Quilt Swap quilt that I need to make.  Needless to say, I'm sure I won't be able to do just one there either.  I already have tons of ideas, so we'll see how far I get.  At least I did something while my machine was gone:

Starting #1 for FLiQS2

Now to continue.  I'm thinking this will be colorful and fun and VERY me!  Stay tuned!  I'm going to try to quilt it today since it's already pieced and ready to go.  Stay tuned................

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Woe is me!

For all of you that sometime or another have lost your mojo to the creativity that sustains you, I have a solution!  AND.......believe me, it works!  Just make an appointment to take your machine in for servicing!  If it's anything like the place I take mine, you will be without it for at least 4-5 days.  Prior to the reservation date, you will not be able to "not" sew something in anticipation to your "friend" leaving, and once your machine is gone, the ideas for sewing will pop into your brain constantly!  I KNOW!  I am going through it!  E-gads, it's so bad that lately I even wake up in the middle of the night not only with unique designs, but names for the quilts after they're done!  Can you believe?  lol  I'm driving myself nuts!  I'm telling you, it's a good thing I made a reservation for the servicing.  The last time I took my machine to the same place without one, it was gone for 3 weeks and when I called, they still hadn't touched it.  Thankfully, it was during the Christmas rush of 2010 so I was a bit busy anyway!  Obviously, it did make an impression though since I was smart enough to reserve a date this time.

I did make a few mug rugs before it left so I have something to show you.  Aren't you so happy?  (Although I could resort to a few photos of my tomato plants which are going bonkers this year, if I run out of sewing.)  Seriously, if I was Jack in the Beanstalk and those plants were stretched out straight, I swear I could be up in the clouds in no time!  Funny, how I just thought of that!!

As you know, I joined the Mug Rug Swap again.  My partner has a whole mess of stuff she likes, and I'm not going to say too much just in case she reads my blog, but one thing that she does like is the color "orange".  Needless to say, I pulled my orange fabrics and thought of what to do.  One thing I came up with was this one:

"Surprise" Mug Rug

(No one knows, but her name is embroidered under that sign so don't tell.)  I thought that might be fun.  Then, as long as I already had out the oranges, I decided to make another one.......just in case, I guess.....BUT, I was already committed with her name sewn on, I suppose.  Duh!  Anyway, I like this one better:

"Summer Leaves" Mug Rug

Then, in my desire to keep going and be creative, I went a bit wilder with this one which I adore:

"In Stark Contrast" Mug Rug

Only trouble is that I'm not sure if I really like it that way, or portrait style.  Tip your head one way and the other and see for yourself.  Naturally, I had to add the buttons.  I LOVE those teeny tiny buttons and I wish I could put them on everything!  They make things so whimsical!

So, that's it for today folks!  I made one more mug rug that I'll show you next time.  It's a remake of one someone else did a few years ago, but I had to put buttons on mine for a different spin (hello!!  lol)  I sure hope I have my machine back by the next time I write to you otherwise (for sure) I will be crying!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Just a few things........

It's been close to a week, and I bet you might want to know to whom the scraps from the QuiltCon challenge blocks went.  (Is that a sentence?  I'm thinkin' the English teachers might be out to get me with that one!!  Oh well!)  Cindy was lucky enough to win them and along with the bag of scraps, I included a surprise.  I hope she liked it.

On another front, I received my quilt from the June/July QT Swap where backyard was the theme.  WendysKnitch sent me this cute little number:

From WendysKnitch - QT Swap

I don't know if you can tell, but each hole is really a black button.  How clever!

I decided to join the August bitty block (3.5 inches) swap again.......I must be nuts making those tiny blocks all the time, but I think I'm hopelessly hooked.  The theme this month is cats and Halloween.  Believe it or not, I only decided to do 12 cats.  I thought I needed a break, I guess.  This Fat Cat took plenty of time though:

BBC - August - Fat Cats

Hope he didn't scare you!!!  lol  Here he is with his 11 brothers:

August - Cats - 12 Fat ones

How fun seeing them all together, huh?  Although I did cut them all out at the same time, and sew them the same day, each has their own personality, I think.  Check it out!  I bet you'll think so too.  Funny how that happens!

Right now, I'm doing a happy dance!!  This afternoon, I received the name of my Scrappy Mug Rug partner!  I love the mug rug swap.  (Actually, I love any secret swap, but don't tell that to the mug rug mamas 'cause  they're all my friends and I wouldn't want them to get upset with me and give me a crummy partner next time, okay??)  In reality, I have been so excited to swap again, that I made two mug rugs even before the news of my partner hit my e-mail.  Who knows if my partner will like either one, but I will post them anyway and hope for a comment.  Why not?  I'm thinking this happened because my sewing machine is going in for a cleaning on Monday and I have to use it to it's full capacity while it's still here.  What I want to know though is why I am getting all these creative ideas now????  NO Fair, I say!!!  You should see all my notes.  I sure hope they don't leave my brain for a week.  Eikes!  Anyway, here is the 1st mug rug:

Pretty Little Piped Petals Mug Rug

Did you see the piped petals?  That was a trick, let me tell you.  First I had to make the piping, then the petals, sew them together, turn them inside out and then finally sew them to the background.  Whew!  To be honest, I don't like it as much as I thought I would.  I probably should have used a solid white background.  That's what I get for trying to be clever!

So, that's it.  Nothing else too much new.  Maybe I'll go outside and take pictures of my growing stuff so I have something to show you for next time.  Until then, take care and sew something pretty!