Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekend Wanderings Giveaway!


This weekend was perfect for paddling on the pond. A good majority of the land is owned by the state park and campground, so there are a lot of nice coves to explore without the crowds from the beach side.

The wonderful thing about kayaks is that  you can get into the shallow coves and explore. The water is so clear that you can see the bottom and any fish swimming by.



And here is the contest photo …….. What do you think Bill was doing? Take a guess, it can be right or wrong, I will draw a name from all of the comments. The winner will get my newest pattern, that I am working on now. I will draw a name on Friday and announce it that night, along with the new pattern. If it is not something you would make, then you can pick from any of my epatterns.



The other nice thing about this side of the pond is the beach. This area used to be part of the campground, but they had problems with people starting fires and not enough rangers to cover this section, so now it is closed and overgrown. Perfect for us, the beach is still there and a nice place to stop and enjoy a swim and a snack.



The coves are filled with natural beauty and I even had a hawk fly right over me, carrying a squirrel, that was something I have never seen and so close. The coves are filled with birds and dragonflies, we even saw red ones, something I have never seen before. The tall grasses make you feel like you are in the land of the giants.



It was the perfect day, cool breezes, quiet and relaxing paddling and nature all around. I was using my pocket camera so I couldn't get shots of the dragonflies or birds. 

Purple marsh of majesty!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Finish!


I really had to push this one to finish it tonight, lol. I wanted a runner for my bedroom table and since it would be covered with items, I didn't want to go fancy. I did want nice colors so I used a 5" charm pack of Metropolitan Fair by Barbara Brackman.

I thought this would be a good quilt to practice my machine skills with, but then I decided to hand stitch it with black thread, which was a lot more work than I realized. This is a long piece, 51" x 16". I stitched down and across the blocks, then an X in each one, as well as a border stitch.

This is a fun and easy project for charm packs and great for those long tables. I tend to move things around the house when I need more space, somewhere else and this is how the table go in this room. I am also going to hang my cross quilt over the table and then I can frame my cross stitches and put them around the quilt.

The mailbox is on the table for now, since the air conditioner is in front of the table, it usually goes on. Later I can redecorate this table to match the biblical theme. The table doesn't really match the room but it will do for now.


Here is a close up of the stitching. I rushed it a bit, so there are big and little stitches, but it adds to the charm;)


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Crosses Wall Quilt!

Today I stained my quilt with tea, but it didn't come out the way I wanted. I wrung out the quilt and hung it on a line and sprayed a diluted walnut stain on it, to darken it more. Unfortunately it doesn't show the staining with a camera. 

After I let it drip dry on the line, I threw it in a dryer to finish the drying and it came out with a  nice crinkly look. I had to iron it to get it to lay flatter, so that took out some of the crinkling.

The idea came from an antique quilt, and I added the circle and leaves to mine. It is done with fusible raw edge and hand stitched, then hand quilted with dmc pearl cotton. For the strings, I used precut strips from a log cabin quilt, that a friend was making and she sent me the extras. I wanted to keep it scrappy and the strips were perfect, for the look that I wanted. The middle and border strips were done with Barbara Brackman's line, 1862 Battle Hymn.

The quilt measures 28" x 28".  It is darker in person with stain spots from the walnut spray.



Here is a close up of the stitching. I do a basic stitch, no thought to keeping it perfect, but I try to be something uniform;)


And here is a link to the original quilt. I really like how the strings look and think this would be fun to do with a bed sized quilt and change out the middle with a different appliqué design. A great way to use up scraps. The photo is courtesy of Quilt Museum and Gallery.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Free Magazine!


Tonight I finished the binding on my wall quilt, so tomorrow I will take a photo of the quilt before I stain it and then I will probably soak it in tea since it would take too much walnut ink to stain it. I also like the look of tea staining on the larger pieces, gives it a nice aged look.

If you have not been to Jacquelynne Steve's Website, then you might want to visit and sign up for her newsletter. It comes out tomorrow and she offers free patterns and wonderful recipes and it is free. One of my seagull photos is featured in, the Art of Summer photo contest.

Tomorrow I will share my new quilt with you, and for now you can sign up for The Art of Home Companion and receive it in your email box tomorrow. You can also find free patterns and tutorials on Jacquelynne's website and you can follow her blog or on Facebook for more inspiration.



Friday, July 18, 2014

The best things in life are free!


Well almost free, seeds only cost .99 cents and it is one of the things I enjoy every day. I planted a couple of pots with Cosmos seeds and one pot is blooming with beautiful orange and yellow flowers. I love the look of the flower and you can get them in different shades and they attract butterflies. I seem to be attracting more bees, though.

The first two flowers that bloomed, came out with a yellow-orange variation. The rich colors are stunning and they are an easy flower to grow.



Yesterday, more flowers bloomed but they are more yellow and light orange shades. No variations like the first flowers, but still beautiful. The flower is real, but I made the background into an art paper on this one. I am thinking of making a border on this one and printing it out for my daughter. She likes bright and happy things for her walls.



Every day and night I have visitors hopping around my yard. Today was an older guy, sunning on the side of the yard, two older youngsters playing leap frog and a new baby bunny who is getting used to me now, so he let me take a photo of him.



And for something quilty, here is a sneak preview of the project I am working on. It is my version of an antique quilt and just the center portion. I am hand stitching it now, so hopefully I can finish it, this weekend. I also got a wood burner and plan on making my own quilt stencils, so I will try and get photos and let you know how it works out. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

And yes, there is a boo boo on it, I accidentally cut in too far on the cross appliqué, but I used it anyways;) I am using some leftover fabric from Barbara Brackman and the rest of the log strips that my friend Kelley sent me.


Monday, July 14, 2014

New Pattern Available!


No weekend photos this week, Bill had to work one day and the other was spent catching up around the yard. The weather was nice but too gusty for me to paddle in.

Today I finished working up the pattern. It is a pdf pattern so once you make a payment, you will receive it within 24 hours. Usually you get it right away, but I do have to sleep so no over night deliveries;)

I took a photo of the piece after I antiqued it, but it doesn't really show how nice it looks in person. It gave it just the right coloring to age it without ruining the design. The finished piece is 5" x 7" and I left it flat so I can stick it on anything I want. I use double sided rug tape and it is a nice idea if you want to put it on a basket and then change it with another design. The only thing you need to do is put on a backing or the tape will pull out the loops.

Here is a photo of the piece by itself, you can see how the colors are more aged and darker, compared to the first photo. I still had to lighten it up for detail, so that changes the actual colors, as well. For the pattern, I added two drawings, one larger and one that is the actual punch needle size, so you can just print it out.


I thought I would play with photoshop and color in the design to see how that would look. I am not a good computer artist, I think I would do better if I hand painted it. I filled in color and then put it through filters to give it a painted look. I lost a lot of the lines and sharpness, doing this, so not a good way to do up designs.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

New Fall Pattern!


I started a new pattern this week but it took me longer to punch it, and I just finished it off today. I do not have the pattern ready yet. When I make a new pattern, I draw out the design I have in mind, then I punch it and change it as I go, so I need to redraw the pattern with the new changes and I need a steady hand for that. I use an artist pen to do the designs, so they print out nicely and I cannot make too many mistakes or ones I can't fix with photoshop;)

I like how it came out in some ways but I also wish I had been able to use variegated threads for this piece and do more of an artistic style with the design. This is something that can be done with or without the extra details and I like to keep things simple for those who want to hook them, as well. This would also work nicely in stitchery or appliqué.

The pattern is an adaptation of an antique quilt appliqué. Do you like ones with more or less detail?
I thought about adding a building but my hands get tired after punching so much. So, would you buy a pattern from a color photo of the design instead of a finished piece? I have thought about doing designs and watercoloring them in for a pattern so I could do better designing. My punching is not what it  used to be so I don't always get the look that I would like, when I first envision a new idea.

I always appreciate your thoughts and I hope you enjoy my newest piece. I made it into a flat piece with a wool backing. This way, I can use double stick rug tape and put it on a basket in the fall. This is a nice idea if you have a basket and want to change out a piece for the seasons.

The colors are off, as far as the primitive look, this was also before I antiqued it. If you look at his hair, you will see I used a longer setting to give him curly locks;)