Celebrate – Happy Birthday Progress report # 2

Well…the decision is final…it WILL be C E L E B R A T E….and on the flip side…since I am making it…it WILL be H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y ..
Got all the stitching done for the Celebrate, and have all my letters cut out for Happy Birthday. Of course, today, when I was tracing the letters, I forgot to flip the B & the P and the R…and had to “re-do” them to a mirror image….I was going high speed…and was more worried about which colors I was using for which letters…. Nothing like a minor glitch. Was glad I only goofed up 3 letters, as my supply of wonder-under is almost gone.

I still need to cut some more interfacing to go behind the H.B. triangles. The quilters cotton is just to flimsy with out the interfacing on the front and back triangles. Did the “c” and got it turned easily with the interfacing on both pieces. I left the top of the triangle open for turning. It will get enclosed in the tie fabric anyway. Had to make myself a little “diagram” so I don’t sew the wrong letters back to back….  I am also alternating the fabrics; polka dot and stripes to make it more interesting.
Here is a quick peak at an early stage this afternoon.wpid-fb_img_13981043443728689.jpgwpid-fb_img_13981043946985448.jpg

If you zoomed in the T  you will see I had some trouble making the corners turn.  I got better as I went along.  So, my darling daughter, when she recieves this bunting, will know that it is NOT perfect, like me.  But it is done with love, and I am learning as I go.  And of course, now that I have done this, I have read a blog post with tips and techniques from Wendy Sheppherd’s blog :  Ivory Spring — http://ivoryspring.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/tell-all-applique-tips/   Love the information she presents and the techniques!!

Thought I would finish today, but forgot how long it takes to trace out the letters, press them to the fabric, cut them all out.  (DEADLINE FOR MAKING DINNER interrupted the sewing project. )Maybe tomorrow afternoon.  Deadline for mailing is looming.  Thinking how I can manage part 2 of this project with remaining fabric….spiral hanging decorations.  To be continued…………

Happy Stitching.

Is it really Spring ??

Gerber Daisy

Gerber Daisy

The sunshine is abundant this morning!  It is also finally above 40 degrees.  SPRING may finally be here.  Last night we had another freeze warning, and people all over the area were covering their outside plants or bringing them back into the house. Hoping for mid 50′s today.  My hubby gave me some new lilac’s to plant in the yard for my birthday and I am hoping it warms up enough to get out in the yard and do that today. Yesterday, on Easter, a dear friend gave me a Dinner Plate Dahlia to plant along with a beautiful orange Gerber daisy.  Our ‘last frost’ date is May 15th according to the Farmers Almanac, so I think the Gerber daisy will have to stay in the house for a bit.

Seems one of my cats has tasted a leaf of the Gerber daisy during the night, and I need to find a place to “keep it in the light” but out of the reach of said cat.  Maybe on top of the microwave…near a window….out of their usual prowling space.

Do you have cats that like to prowl during the night into places that you never seem to find them during the day?  I have these mysterious happenings during the night…pencils removed and relocated to under the kitchen table; paw prints on the stove, and such.  When they were kittens we used to put them to “bed” in the laundry room, and close them in for the night.  They were really climbers as “toddlers”. We have a shelf in the dining room that my husband keeps his “collectibles” on, and I have found them climbing up the wicker legs of the shelf. When one of his items crashed to the floor, we wrapped the wicker legs with foil to inhibit the climbers.  I decided they need a climbing shelf of their own and bought one of those things from the pet store and parked it in the laundry room.  definitely they needed a better place than my chair legs to do their scratching, and this had rope wrapped posts to do the same.  (Until about 2 years ago we were PET FREE…..when we got adopted by a stray momma cat with 2 kittens….and then a 12-year-old Rottweiler in the final years of her life).

One of our cats (Momma Cat) was not a good fit “in the house” as she was just too wild.  We have given her a nice home, a heated cat igloo house, outside, and has now become the nicest, lovely cat ever. You walk out the door and the old girl runs to greet you and waits for you to stop and pet her.  She used to be such a scared cat!  And because we feed her outside, and she doesn’t eat all her food in one sitting, there is often food left in her bowl, and another stray has ventured into the yard and eats the leftovers.  I chase him away, and he returns to clean Momma Cat’s bowl. I swear I am not befriending another cat!  The first 3 cost me a fortune in vet bills to get them spayed, nutered, shots etc.  So, how do you prevent the new stray from hanging around for a free meal?  I have decided I am not up for chasing or trapping this one or the vet bills involved with keeping it, shots, nutering etc.  It could be someones pet I suppose.  So, for now, I will ignore it, chase it out of the yard, etc.  I keep thinking do I put out less food for Momma Cat, so she is hungrier at feeding time or more food since she is subject to sharing?

Well, time to go play in the sewing room this morning!  Bunting beckons me~!~  Then I will be sorting through old costume jewelry for “decorations” for “crowns” for a 4-year-old birthday party!

I’ve got a couple of “FOR ME” projects in mind once the birthday party goodies are sorted out.  I just downloaded a pattern for a bag: http://www.popularpatchwork.com/news/article/sweet-sixteen/5448/   (Bag is called sweet 16) – It uses 32 charm squares (5×5).  Already I am thinking how to add some interfacing in the handle and between the layers, knowing it might be way too soft.  And I think it needs a little quilting too.  :)   I think that is on my list of things to make soon….thinking it would go together easily in an afternoon.  (Or like my friend Judy  of her 1 day project that took 5 days….it may take me a week to do it.  )

Hoping the afternoon warms up enough to plant.  If not today, then tomorrow afternoon, when it is supposed to hit 70 degrees!  !   My garden needs the winter leaves cleared out, our daffodils are finished and the tulips managed to bloom in spite of all the leaves at their feet.  Oh, and my Sedum still has flower heads that I need to remove from last fall. (  I save them once they dried out to use in the model rail road “tree making”.  The fella’s at the model railroad club use a lot of plant materials on the train displays in interesting ways.)

Time to get busy and go play in the sewing room!! Hope your Easter was a beautiful celebration of the blessing that we have in Jesus Christ and his plan of salvation for all who follow Him.

Celebrate or celebration????

Decisions….oh decisions. ..  I am making a bunting for someone far far far away from home. Should it say Celebration or Celebrate?????
Made my appliqué letters for both….and should I use something behind each letter

image

like the circle on the left side of the photo???? 

image

What to do????  Think the reverse is easy….it will say Happy birthday.

T-Shirt Memory Quilt Delivered

Project officially completed. Proud to delivery to my friend Karen, the quilt I made using her father’s shirts. It was an honor to make this for her, and I was glad to catch up with her in person to deliver it today. T-shirt quilt ended up being twin size.
Pictures of the final quilt below, including close up’s of some of my favorite blocks.
The backing fabric was donated to me by a very generous quilter, Audrey Buono, in California. When I was searching for Cardinal and Police fabric, I had put a post on Facebook looking for ideas on places to purchase either type. Audrey contacted me immediately and shipped me 5 yards of the wonderful fabric. She would not let me pay for the fabric, instead, she gifted it to the project and overnighted to me. I think it is absolutely perfect.


It was a sincere privilege to make this quilt for my friend Karen.

Happy Easter everyone.

T-Shirt Quilt is finished! (ALMOST….)

I’ve done all my machine work on my t-shirt quilt, including the binding!!  I used that wonderful tutorial for binding with a flange from 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks — Susie’s magic binding: http://www.52quilts.com/2012/05/tuesday-tutorial-susies-magic-binding.html

Stitching down the binding

Stitching down the binding

Binding close up

Binding close up

 

 

Folded finished quilt

Folded finished quilt

I still have a little hand work to do.  I have to finish stitching down the labels on the back and finish around the hanging sleeve.  The top edge of the hanging sleeve is encased in the binding.  You don’t get to see the full picture until after I give Karen the quilt. She gets to see the “FULL VIEW” in person first!  And, I need to give it a good washing.  I took some outside pictures yesterday on my front porch rail, which is coated in the winter grime, so I can’t give it away dirty….besides….I love to see it washed and crinkled, and want to make sure I have no “technical problems” with it.

65 labor hours into this quilt. I kept track, in case someone else wants one made…..I can justify what the expense is all about.  Material costs were fairly low – $124. This was because a generous person donated the backing fabric, and we found the sashing (Blue & Tan) at a great price.  Plan to finish the hand work today and get it washed, taking it for a bit of show & tell tomorrow at my quilt-bee with the MATERIAL GIRLS of Ocean Waves Quilt Guild…then deliver on Friday!  Fingers crossed that I have met her wishes when she sees it in person. Up to this point she has only seen photo’s I have posted on Facebook.

Next week I have to make a 75 mile trip to the nearest BROTHER sewing machine dealer to get my little embroidery machine fixed.  Had trouble with it while making a label on this quilt and can not get it to work properly. I called ahead to get an estimate…minimum charge $150 for service. Hubby said it is a timing issue and that the bobbin case has a scratch that is interfering with the top thread connecting with the bobbin thread. Making a big jumbled mess of things. So much for my “FREE” machine….I am hooked on the embroidery, and have dozens of things I want to do with it.

Next project for me is BIRTHDAY BANNER for MELODY !!  (Yes…dear one, I am FINALLY getting my act together!)  Since the embroidery machine is non functional, I will applique the lettering on my banner pieces. Have gotten my alphabet ready to go!  Will begin that project after Easter Sunday! Hoping to get it done over the course of a couple of days and move on to PRINCESS crowns for a birthday girl!

Time to go sew…happy stitching!

Tshirt quilt update

Yesterday, I decided it was time to get back to work. It has been nearly a week since I worked on the t-shirt quilt.  Spent a couple of hours working on a special label to stitch on the back side, along with a couple of other special surprises for my friend.  My hubby was a huge help with the computer and figuring out how to “layer” photos on Microsoft Word. He was my tech expert, and got my label “just right”.  I printed it on fabric and last night I attached to the back of the quilt with fusing. It will get “stitched down” with the quilting, and I will come back and add some hand stitching around the edges.  Ever since I read about quilts being stolen, I have tried to stitch my quilt label down with the actual quilting.  I don’t like the way the quilting looks over my label; but nobody is getting that sucker off with any kind of ease.

wpid-20140402_165911.jpg

Well; the quilting has gotten underway in a big way.  I played around with methods, and went for the DITCH. I have a cool foot for my Janome that has a blade riding in the ditch on the walking foot. I need more practice, but I did get it done.    At least, around the outer perimeter of the blocks. I stitched with variegated blue around all the blue sashing. Blue meets blue and blue meets brown.  Then I switched out to a light beige thread and stitched in the ditch between the brown and the actual t-shirt block.  Most of that “ditch work” I did last week and last night.  Did a little “Bonnie Hunter Quilt Cam stitching last night as I worked through the beige thread.

Wondered what to do next, and that had me stalled for a little bit.  Got a little courage today and decide YES, I can free motion quilt.  (Courage provided by Wendy Sheppherd and her threadtalk.  She does amazing work on a Bernina and if you haven’t seen her blog; go check out Ivory Spring, where she does thread-talk, and so much more!!  http://ivoryspring.wordpress.com/  )

I started with grey thread…and then I switched to variegated blue.  I still have about 6 or 8 more blocks to go; getting better as I go along. Saving the dark grey and black blocks for last.  It’s not perfect, but doesn’t look too bad from across the room.  I feel like I need lots more practice.

Actually got out my marking Pencil and did a little marking for tomorrow before I stopped for the day.  Put about 4 hours into it this afternoon.  Up over 35 hours on this quilt so far.  Now, before you look; back up about 5 feet so it looks better….giggle…

Spring has Sprung back to Winter

My Goodness what is up with the crazy weather?

Yesterday was nearly 70 degrees, and we worked out in the yard in SHORT SLEEVES.  We also went over to the beach for dinner and only needed a lightweight jacket. At bedtime it was still above 60 degrees.  Friday I had a lot of errands to run, and I was going through town, I was very excited to see the first of the daffodils in bloom along a fence.  That was at noon.  By 6 pm, we were out again, and EVERYWHERE the daffs were up and blooming.  I was so excited to see them in my own yard.

first week of SPRING

first week of SPRING

Yes it is finally Spring, or it was on Friday and Saturday….not so much today, where we will only get to 51 degrees, and tomorrow where we will only get to 39 degrees and Tuesday the report is for SNOW….  It wouldn’t be so bad, but the lows are in the LOW 20 degrees…..

Next Friday it will be Spring again, so I guess I can maintain a little hope.  I had hoped for another warm day to get out in the yard and clear the leaves and winter mess from the flower bed.  I do hope MR. RABBIT is quite happy with his diet of TULIP greens. (I am on the hunt for that critter……)

Seriously, we rocked yesterday.  Got that darn bamboo out of the forsythia and lilac bushes; and also out of the bed of tiger lilies.  Hubby wants to divide that bed of tiger lilies up and relocate a large portion to a couple other places in the yard, along the driveway near his garage.

More daffs in the garden

More daffs in the garden

I don’t relish digging around the bamboo roots tho.  I think if we move the whole  bed, we can use some ground clear this year to get rid of the bamboo that will start growing in another two weeks.  Seems we spend our whole spring “whacking” bamboo. Our neighbor finally has taken control of some near the front of the property. We had been clearing for years along our chain link fence, and his side was pushing the fence over.  2 years ago he took a stand against the bamboo too.  At least along the driveway.    Now it is time to tackle what has started to grow out in our woods and try to control it from spreading.  I don’t know who thought it was a good idea 30 + years ago to plant it, but holy cow is it a huge problem.  We have 2.75 acres and 3/4 of it is wooded.  Bamboo is in about 1/4 of the woods. So, you must work around the trees clearing it out, and being careful with any spray product.  Then there is the lot line issue with the neighbor and his lack of interest in clearing his side.  Often we “cross the line” to keep it away, but it sends out shoots fast.   Maybe if he sees us out working with the chain saw, he will join the endeavor.

But today, too darn cold.  (I am joyful…really…as my lower back has forgotten what it means to garden……)

First week of Spring in Delaware!

First week of Spring in Delaware!

I shut the thermostat down to the off position Friday, but thinking this morning I may have to turn the heat back on. Toes are cold.  Planning for next winter…thinking we need a new heating system and the cellar of this house spray foamed insulated.  The problem with a 110 year old house is the drafts you get.  Maybe adding a modern heat pump (and associated duct work) would solve a few of our heating a cooling issues.  Wish Bob Vila would come by for lunch…..or one of those HGTV experts……

I have not done much sewing this week for my own projects.  I had Quilt Bee on Wednesday; and we worked on heart pillows for  breast cancer patients.  I stitched up one at home, and 3 or 4 at the bee, and had 2 more in a kit at home.  The hand stitching is time consuming, but you need to close that opening where you turn the pillow right side out.

I also worked on a foundation STRING piecing project. More about the project after it is delivered, big secret…..but I will show my 2 block contribution.

String piecing

String piecing

I was given 1 piece of fabric as a sample, and pulled the rest out of my “50 shades of blue basket” of fat quarters.  We were told blue, green and purple.  I only added a touch of the green, and most of it will get trimmed off.  I decided to stick to batiks, as that was what the sample fabric was, so I sliced off a strip or two from about 5 fat quarters. Yes, I know the foundation is showing at the bottom of the one on the right, but that is all in the area they will be cutting away.  They are rough cut at 9″ now, and someone else will trim to 8″ .  I really liked Bonnie Hunter – Quiltville’s instruction for String piecing: http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/string-quilting-primer.html  .  In fact, I liked it so much I shared it with the ladies in our Bee.  I think I am an overachiever, because I did these two blocks on Friday afternoon, in less than an hour.  I like the method, and I must admit, I like to press with the iron after I add each piece.  I think it just gives a nice result.

Speaking of the quilt bee….guess who won the fat quarter game ???           :)   :)

wpid-20140319_165045.jpg

22 SPRING fat quarters

They were fun to fold and refold, and sort into colors~!!~   I showed up with 3 and brought home 22 !~!  Thanks Material Girls.  Into the stash you go!  This is the second time in less than a year I won our game.  We have about 12 ladies, and I feel a tad greedy. Thinking next month I should just contribute, but sit the round out….feels to me like that would be fair.

So, busy day today with church, and then TAXES…I must dig through my folder of stuff and get ready to see the Tax preparer tomorrow. Does not sound like much fun, but once it is in his capable hands, I can stop thinking about it.   On to more pleasant thoughts….

My friend Judy who has an embroidery machine posted a question to me about stabilizers and “crinkles” in the finished project.  Her thoughts were if you used a light fabric, you want a light stabilizer.  If you look at the picture below, you will see how the fabric crinkles around the design.   This is a 4×4 design; stitched on white cotton; stabilized with a lighter weight iron on stabilizer, and extends to the edges of the fabric. My machine only permits a 4 x 4 design, but the hoop is about 6×8; so I iron on the stabilizer on an 8×8 square, hoop it and stitch.  I like the iron on stabilizer the  best, because I don’t have to worry about the extra thickness shifting etc. when I am hooping the project.

crinkles

crinkles

I shared my limited knowledge with Judy (she is much more experienced than I); and then asked my other friend Debbie, who is VERY experienced.  The answer seems to be…change the needle.  Does anyone else offer any ideas why this would happen?  Is this just a cotton fabric issue? Is it a stabilizer issue?   How do you decide what weight stabilizer to use?  I have medium weight tear away; medium weight iron on; and several heavier pellon products that I have used.  Anybody with thoughts or ideas, please let me know.

Enough rambling; seems my blogging goes from one direction to the other.  Thanks for listening!!!

Keep stitching and pray for SPRING  to show back up in the Mid Atlantic.

Where have I gone ???

To the QUILT ROOM…To The QUILT Room !! Not a mystery really…been sewing at every opportunity.  My “Summer in the Park ” sits on my big table, waiting for the final ROW to be assembled and stitched on.  I have spent the last 2 weeks working really hard on the T-Shirt memory quilt.  I have had a few breaks while I play “Driving Mr. Daisy” to his appointments at the local surgery center.  I took a trip to Lancaster PA to the AQS Quilt Show last week too.  Oh, and I have made a couple trips to the mail box — to pick up  prizes! ! !

I love to win things…really I do.  I was chosen by one of my favorite bloggers to receive a prize, because of my comment on her blog.  I was tickled pink to receive this :

Blank Canvas, paint and brushes and a fun magnet!

Blank Canvas, paint and brushes and a fun magnet!

Thank you Denise – http://thewonderofyarrowhouse.wordpress.com  !!  As I mentioned to Denise, I am looking for a class this spring at the local community college, the vo-tech or the art league !  I love that she chose me.

I also won a book from Starwood Quilters Online Quilters Book Club!  That also came in the mail last week!

I’ve enjoyed reading Susan’s blog and following along on the book club. http://www.starwoodquilter.blogspot.com/p/mar-14.html

I use it as a “source” for quilt stories, and look for them at the library on “cd” or “mp3 player” and listen while I sew.  I just finished listening to Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker and now I have the book to keep.  I am looking forward to re-reading the paper version.  I love books.  My librarian gave me a “book log” to record what I have enjoyed, want to read next, etc.  I have several Jennifer Chiaverini books in the “read” section. They are a lot of fun, and most often are “quilt stories”.  Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker is not “heavily” quilt oriented. It is really a relationship story between the Dressmaker, a free black woman, in Washington DC and Mrs. Lincoln and her family.

I took only one photo at the Lancaster quilt show last week -Ms McDonalds Farm.  Check out the little guy at the bottom of the photo!

wpid-20140314_151055.jpg

I did mention the t-shirt quilt.  My friend Karen asked me to make this quilt using shirts she had given her Dad over the years.  I wanted to include things that were meaningful to him, beyond the shirts.  I was able to find 2 images to stitch out with my little embroidery machine -

St Louis Cardinal

St Louis Cardinal

Last week on the design wall — Summer in the Park’s final row and the start of the T-shirt quilt.

design wall

design wall

Had to figure out how to bring some uniformity to the shirts, so I went with sashing:

Block building

Block building

I don’t want to show any more pictures until she has the quilt in her hands; but let me say, it has really progressed a long way from this point.

I am using a blue sashing between & around all the blocks, and have added several things to the blocks that I hope she finds meaningful.  I have done some printing on fabric and some other embroidery machine work for it as well.  I am very excited about the fabric for the back. That will be a surprise, and there is a story to go with it that I must wait to tell.

This afternoon I hope to get the 3 “columns” of blocks joined with another row of sashing and get the borders figured out.  Turns out to be much larger than I had originally thought it would be. I have been enjoying the creative process of building this quilt with NO pattern.  I decided to “track my time” on this quilt, and I am up to over 24 hours.

I took a little “me” break on Saturday when I joined the ladies from church that I sew with.  My “senior quilt top” was finished, and I didn’t want to drag my Summer in the Park up to church or the T-shirt quilt, so I started a NEW project.  This was a quick one, and my cousin Lisa, had shared the pattern with me.  She calls it a 30 minute bag….I spent a longer bit of time, but I was tickled with the results, and plan to make another soon, but larger.

my LISA bag

my LISA bag

drawstring LISA bag

drawstring LISA bag

This bag was made with 2 fat quarters. My next one will be done with 2 yards.  My Aunt Fran and cousin Lisa worked together to make their bags in February, and Lisa photographed the steps and wrote the directions out to share with her guild.  They both think it would be a fun pattern to add a zipper to next time.  It was quite easy to make and I think Lisa needs to “copyright” her pattern!

Happy stitching everyone!

Queensland Quilt Show UPDATE

Stolen quilt from the Queensland Quilt show occurred nearly 6 months ago; not this past week.   I was misinformed.

Did a little independent research (which I should have done PRIOR to posting) and came across this today:

Queensland Quilt show blogger: http://blog.quickstitchquilting.com/2013/10/stolen-from-queensland-quilt-show/   and http://pippaquilt.blogspot.com/2013/10/stolen-quilt-alert.html

In my research I have come across a website discussing “missing quilts” where this quilt is mentioned:  http://lostquilt.com/2013/status/missing/feathers-unfolden/

The best indication I have is the theft  occured in October 2013,in Brisbane Australia.  Contact information for the owner of the quilt is below:

If you are able to assist in the recovery of this quilt, please contact Brenda at wof1mof2@yahoo.com.au

I think it is always helpful to share the information to aid in the recovery of the stolen quilt.  Spreading the word around the world will bring many more eyes on the quilt and alert a would be thief that quilters are watching!

WoodBrenda-FeathersUnfolden

As I have listed multiple sources for this stolen quilt, I feel the information is more accurate than previously reported.

Please reblog / share and spread the word around the world.

Quilt stolen from show

This quilt belongs to Brenda Wood and was stolen from the Queensland Quilt Show on 3/8/2014.

This quilt belongs to Brenda Wood and was stolen from the Queensland Quilt Show on 3/8/2014.

This quilt was stolen from the Queensland Quilt Show yesterday between 10.30 and 11am. Please spread the word through your contacts, blogs and facebook pages as this must be devastating for the quiltmaker involved.

Rosamonde Sherwood  shared with a group I belong to on Facebook  called Quilting. Sharing the info on her behalf.  Great reminder to quilters to ensure your labels can’t be removed!!!! Your name is quilted into the image or something.

 

 

Image

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