Monday, August 30, 2010

Mindless sewing!

I was in a mood today, couldn't get into anything creative.
Yesterday we opened our tent trailer and discovered that mice have been living in there and found a dead one, ick.
So, no camping this year. I will have to sanitize all the surfaces and anything not attached gets thrown out and replaced.
We do need a new canvas, so we will wait till next spring and replace everything then.

Today, I putted around the house and then decided to play with my scraps and try some hexagons.
I found the template online and using freezer paper, traced them onto that and cut them by hand.
I found the templates at Moxy Ideas. You can find the downloads on the right side and you can get different sizes; I used 1.5. ( If I had a Go cutter, it would have been easier;)

I sewed them by hand and they didn't come out too bad. I just tried to match up my points and eyeballed the 1/4 sewing mark, which I am sure I was off on, lol. This is a good project to use up your scraps and sew them until you have enough for a quilt. Now, how to make them into a quilt so they square off, I have no idea, guess I need to find a pattern. I am sure I have a pattern for them in one of my books. I was just too lazy to look through them.

The pink ones was my first try. I was using some of my prim scraps. The second ones are from my, too bright and fun pile, so maybe I will go with that theme, with dots and floral dot types.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Come Paddle With Me!

Today I finally got to go out paddling. It has been so hot lately, that I haven't been able to paddle.
Today was perfect, sunny and a nice breeze. We decided to go to our local launch which is in wickford harbor.

Here Bill is going under the bridge. Wickford is an old town, with lots of fun shops and lots of boats in the harbor.

We went back out into the main cove and paddled around the shores and landed at our favorite spot for our rest break.
This is where the boats go out to the bay, so we can sit and enjoy the breezes and the scenery.

This is a view looking back to Wickford, where we had gone first.

This is Bill getting back in his boat. The cove is a wonderful place to paddle, calmer than the bay and little islands to go around.

The treat for the day was what I found as we were heading back to the launch. The tide was high when we started and going down as we came in. As I was paddling near the shoreline, I saw all these little yellow things running into the mud and little holes. They looked like hundreds of big bugs.

When I got closer, I realized they were crabs. Lots of little fiddler crabs with one big yellow claw. As the run to hide in the mud, all you can see if the big yellow claw. It was very neat to see that, once I got over my, it looks like giant spiders fear;)

Then I got to see the bird in the nest that stands in the marshes. The marsh reeds are taller than I am and the pole is about 30 feet up, so I had to use a zoom to get a decent shot. That is not easy when you are in a rolling boat. Bill said it is a hawk, I say it looks more like an Osprey.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Antique Fabric Boxes

I needed something to add to my cat display on top of my tv unit.
So, I made some antique looking fabric boxes. I used a bit too much water in the antique solution, so they warped a bit more than I wanted, lol. Not sure if I will leave them as is, or sand more and add more stain? As you can see, they are a bit lopsided.

This is the area, I am working on. I think I need another quilt or textile on the left side to warm it up some more.
The angle is not how I see it, I am normally looking up, so it looks better than a straight on shot. I am thinking a wooden sign for the backdrop with a cat theme, of course. The boxes on the left are store bought, sale aisle special at 3 dollars.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cat Stitchery!

I finished off another stitchery, one at a time and they will get done;)
This one was a design from Cheryl Seslar. I have had the pattern for a few years and finally made it. The material I did the stitchery on is really dark and grungy, but doesn't show up, as well as the antiquing I did on the material.
It was a freebie, but not sure if it is still available. But, she does have a site with freebies to make lots of fun printables.

I decided to make it into a pillow and was planning on putting it with my cat display, but it didn't fit in the area.
It is bigger and bolder looking than the items in the display, so I guess i will have to make something else for that area.
I also worked on some fabric boxes, but I used too much water in the antique medium. Tomorrow, I will redo a few things and antique them a bit more. You can see a bit of the blue box behind the kitty pillow.

I also fixed my machine. It was me, lol. I read the book and redid the bobbin and thread and realized it was a step on the bobbin, I had mixed. So now my baby is purring like a kitten again.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Amish Fraktur Quilt

Today I decided to finish my bird stitchery and I had added the borders yesterday.
The plan was to do amish quilt designs in free motion.
That was the plan..... as you can see, it is a mess.

My machine started acting up and I am assuming it has something to do with the bobbin.
The stitches are not nice and you can see the bobbin thread in some places and in some, the snip feature pulled the black threads up to the front.

I was going to machine quilt the middle, but the machine went completely haywire, so it got hand stitched.
The idea was a sun with rays, think it looks like a spider web, lol.
I decided to spray it with walnut to hide the flaws, and I like it better aged.
The photo picks up a lot of the threads, but luckily it doesn't look as bad in person.
I will have to take the piece to the store and ask her what is going on, so I can fix it.

The ric rac was an after thought, lol. I messed up my seams, so they didn't match. The ric rac was my attempt at covering it;)

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Stitcheries and Surprises

I have decided to take some time to fool around and see what I can come up with. It has been a while since I have made any of my own creations and thought it was time. Of course I need to get back into that mode and one way is to sit and doodle. I was thinking of Izzy, who loves to stalk the mice in the garden. The mice love the mini pumpkins my son put in, so the original idea was to make a fun scene, but my ideas need more work.

So, I made a doodle of Izzy with a pumpkin with her silly crazed face and made it into a stitchery. A bit silly, but fun to experiment. I started out with oval eyes and it didn't look right, so I checked out her eyes and realized, she really does have round eyes.

Then I made up a little pillow to match the punched piece I made, since it goes out this week.
I think it needs a date in the corner.

Today I got a surprise in the mail. We did a swap on our ebay group, USAPRIM. We didn't know who got our name until we received our package. I got one from JO and she made me this beautiful pillow.

And that wasn't all, I got two sets of dyed wools, love them. They are so much nicer in person, the colors are gorgeous and will be perfect to use in a shaded piece. I plan on working in smaller cuts again, so they will go into a special project. Plus I got some wonderful patterns, fabrics and the cutest little clay ornaments, that I assume her granddaughter made for me.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Day in the Life

Today we had a yard sale, I am still poor, haha.
I never have great luck, but we sold a few things and the rest of the unwanted items, went to the salvation, which I believe is a good cause to donate to.

Izzy finally made an escape with everyone going in and out, so she was off galavanting in the bushes and Dora did what she does best... Sleep and Dream. I wonder what visions were dancing through her head?

While we did the yard sale, my daughter in law, Ivy, worked in the garden. She wanted to try some more pumpkins, so she found a spot in the back of the garden. I am not sure if it is too late, we shall find out.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Amish girl and kitty rug and punch

I finished off my pieces and I think they look better than the first time I showed them to you;)
I will need to fix a few things, things you don't notice at first glance, but the camera shows things you might miss.
I changed the kitty to a lighter shade so he shows up. I wanted to do the whiskers on the outside of the hooking, but wasn't sure if they would stay in, so I went with hooking them. I fixed her face too, so she didn't look so lopsided and depressed, but I need to fix the mouth again.

This is the companion piece. I decided to sell them as a set. I think it looks better aged, do you?
I will be listing them on ebay tomorrow, but I am willing to take offers if anyone is interested in buying them before I list them.
The pictures did not come out well, so I will do more tomorrow for the listing, hopefully outside in the shade and the true look will come through.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wool and Stash cleaning = Why I need an Accuquilt Go Cutter

I finally got around to cleaning my sewing room out. I wanted to reorganize my fabrics and just keep the best ones, so that I could see them at a glance and use that as a basis for future quilts. I put the excess fabric in my basement room, so it is where I can get to it still. This is how it looks now, no more heaps of fabric falling over and covering up other pieces, so that I had to dig to find anything. The pile in the upper left is my amish fabrics. I plan on making some mini amish pieces and practicing my free motion. All of the beautiful fabric was gifted to me, by my friend Kelly. I would never have been able to get fabrics like that.

The pile to the right is my homespuns. I was waiting to get enough in tans to make a wildlife camping quilt for my trailer, so that will be a future quilt. Then I have fabrics in sets and types for regular quilting and a set with batiks and fun fabrics for art quilts.
I also have my basics for backings and borders on my other unit, along with a shelf of floral fabrics that will all go nice in a quilt.

While I was cleaning, I decided to take my buddy off the floor, he was hidden to the side and I thought he would make good company while I worked at my table. I saw this in a prim store and said I like it. So, my husband surprised me and got it for my birthday, a few years ago. He is 3 feet tall, and now I don't have to talk to myself while I work;)

And since I was cleaning, I thought it was time to go through the boxes of wools, in my basement. Some is leftover from projects, some cut and needing dying and some, as is. I used to hit the thrifts every monday and grab all the wool on dollar day. So, I had a lot and too much to cut and dye at once. The problem was, my sons cat had to try out every box, no matter how high I put it. It was covered in hair and she puked in a few boxes. That was thrown out and all the hairy pieces went too, so I threw away a good amount, but it wasn't the best wools anyways. The rest got washed and dried, then I had to brush the remaining hairs off.

Here is the first load, lots of reds and orange in this one.

Then the second load....

The third.....

The fourth.......

And finally, the fifth, that was enough for one day and it did take me all day.
I did enjoy finding wools I had forgotten about and got lots of ideas of what to make with them. I plan on doing a lot of wool pieces since half the wool is too thick or thin for hooking, but perfect for quilting.

I still have a few plastic buckets to go through and some boxes, but almost there. Then the fun of dying will begin, but not in this heat. I keep my dyed good wools in these bins, in a locked room, so no kitty hair. That is where my things will stay from now on.

I think with all this wool and all my fabric, I need a go cutter. I really think they should pick me to receive a free cutter and a giveaway, dont you? LOL

Now that my room is cleaned out, I started on finishing my first project. Then I went into the hallway to do something, jumped to avoid crashing into the vacuum and ran into the door frame instead, duh. Now I have a broken pinky toe and it hurts like heck and I can't stand on it. So much for standing and cutting at my table.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wash Out Markers

I have used a few different things to make my stitcheries and finally found something I liked.
I have tried chalk pencils. They do well, but you do have to push harder and the blue ones don't come out without soap.
I would recommend using freezer paper underneath, to stabilize your fabric.

I got two markers, disappearing ones. A purple and a pink one. They are great, until they start disappearing, lol.
If you wanted to use them for a quick design on machine quilting, but they do disappear fast.

Then I decided to use a Pitt artist pen. It makes a nice fine black line, so if you are working with black, it gets covered.
The benefit is it lasts, so you can make up your projects ahead of time and do them without worrying about the ink. The drawback is, if you make a mistake while applying it, you either have to stitch over the mistake, or redo the design.

Then I got two blue wash away markers. One is fine line, one is a small soft tip. The fine line is made by Dritz, water erasable. The other, made by DMC is an embroidery transfer pen. The fine line is nice especially for detail, but the small tip is a bit stiff. The Dmc pen has a softer tip and goes on smooth, but leaves a larger mark and I made more mistakes. But, it didn't matter, they both washed right out. All I had to do was run the piece under cold water and the marks disappeared, no rubbing needed.

This is the piece after stitching, you can see the blue marks. I used the fine line on the lettering and hive, and the soft tip on the rest.

Here is the piece, finished and stained. No marks reappeared after drying. I had that happen with the blue chalk pencil.
I got mine at Jo anns and used a coupon, so the cost is minimal. Both work great, it is up to you whether you like the fine or soft tips. The only thing I didn't have time to test was, how long do the lines last, will they stay if I make ahead for a trip and if I leave them on for weeks, will they still wash out. I guess I have to do a test on that too;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hanging small stitcheries

" First of all, I want to mention..... no comments on my last post? Are you all chicken, lol. I put those up to show you the works in progress and that is why I usually do no show them. They need work and fixing, but I thought you might like to see how a piece evolves. I am still working on the rug, a few changes sure make a difference. Now I am working on how to get the cat's whiskers, the way I want. So do not be afraid to comment, good or bad, I love feedback and opinions."

I finished this piece yesterday and wanted to show you a new way, I found to hang my smaller pieces.
My husband got me this tape for the new stair treads, but it wasn't the right type. But, I found it holds onto fabrics and walls, without damaging either.

I am not sure what it is called, or the brand, but there is writing on the tape, so you can look for that in the stores. I cut small pieces, leaving the paper on. If you don't, it sticks to you and balls up. Once you have them placed, you can take off the tape, by using your fingernail on a corner and pulling up.

Then all you have to do is, position it on the wall and press. It is a wonderful way to hang without anything showing and great for small areas. The stitchery was done with a design from Primitive Blessings. I am taking this saying to heart and slowing down on all of the crafts I do. I would like to spend more time working with quilting and making art quilts too.

The tape will work on other items too and it is a great way to place things that you may want to change. I have this candle holder and was thinking how fun it would be to put a punched piece and change them out for the seasons. With the tape you can. But..... if you mount this way, make sure the piece has a backing on it. You do not want to put the tape onto the punching or it will pull out the loops. ( I thought it was safe to do for a demonstration, since I was taking it off right away, but the tape is strong enough to pull them out;) This piece is a pattern from Brenda Gervais, that my friend Kelley sent me. I plan on mounting it on something for my sewing room. I just haven't decided yet.

I will be making more small quilts for myself and I love using this to hang them. It is a great product and easy to use, and no mess. It is also nice, since it doesn't damage the quilt or leave marks, in case you want to gift it in the future. I am working on a matching mini pillow using new wash away pens, so once I am done, I will let you know how they work out.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

New punch and rug

I thought I would try a simple, smaller design this time.
It is one of Tiffany's new designs, from Primitive Blessings.
I did this one in a stitchery and decided to try it in a punch.
I just finished it, and not sure if I want to stain it.
I used two contrasting red, medici wool threads on the dress and valdani on the kitty, the rest is done with dmc floss.
Not thrilled with the way it came out, but too late to change it now;)

Then I got the idea to make a small rug to match. As you can see, I made a mess, lol.
Luckily with hooking, I can take out what I don't like and redo it. I outlined the outfit in a darker shade, but nothing matched for the inside, so I ended up using the plaid for the whole dress. I had to lighten it up, so the colors look like they pop out, but they are more dark and prim. I guess I will have to take out the border lines and use black to make the outline show better. That and fix the faces and mess ups. That is another nice thing about hooking, I can hook in details and then see what looks right or not and redo those parts.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursdays are for the birds!

I have been working on finishing some items and some that are to be gifts.
I made the crow and then decided to make it into a pillow, using some prim crow fabric, my friend Kelley sent me.
I didn't plan it too well, I could figure out a way to get Autumn Harvest to fit right, even tried some whonky, but ended up putting Fall on. So now I am wondering, would she want this? LOL

So, I whipped up a bird pincushion to go with the bird mat and that came out pretty well, considering, I just made it up and have no idea what I am doing;) It is also a lot darker in person, I used Java, so it is extreme prim. I also forgot to mention, the pillow stitchery is a design by Babycakes and it is a free pattern, that you can do yourself.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Amish Autumn Punch Needle

I finished a new piece and with one of Tiffany's new designs. The original says autumn and has another pumpkin, but I changed it a bit to fit the pillow shape. On this piece I used a mix of two contrasting threads, to get the tweed look, on her dress. My hand was acting up this week, so I just made it through this piece. Now I need to give it a rest, so I don't mess it up again.

It will be for sale on ebay, later tonight.
If you would like to make your own piece, you can find the pattern at Primitive Blessings.
I think this and some of the others would make great hooked rugs and applique pieces too.

Here is a close up of the dress, you can see the mixed colors better.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


This year I planted some sunflowers to line the area by my fence.
I planted scarlet and yellow ones, but only the yellow have come up.
They seem a bit small compared to what I grew before, so maybe I bought a different type.
They are still beautiful to look at though. The bees do love them and for tonight, here is a photo of one of my flowers and a couple of poems I found. I am playing with the photos in art filters, I think these and the barn photo I have, will go nice together in a future piece.

For those who asked, the halloween rug, is not on ebay. I am taking offers, if you are interested.

With zealous step he climbs the upland lawn,
And bows in homage to the rising dawn;
Imbibes with eagle eye the golden ray,
And watches, as it moves, the orb of day.
 - Erasmus Darwin, Loves of the Plants

It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervor and faith of a soul may be known,
To which time will but make thee more dear!
Oh the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close,
As the sunflower turns to her god when he sets
The same look which she turned when he rose!
- Thomas Moore

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Oldie but Goodie!

I finally went into my old computer and got the picture of this rug. I guess I should take new pictures, this really doesn't show how nice the colors are. I used a lot of plaids and tweeds in this piece and a variety of blue shades for the background. I find that a lot of people cannot see some photos, they are too dark, or the colors are off. How does the photo look to you?

Her face and hands are a shade I hand dyed, I call ghastly green, but they do look gray on my screen. The rest of the colors look true to me, but some shades like the dress has what looks like splotches, since the camera tends to pick those out, but it is more blended.

The piece is 28 1/2 x 14" long and I am taking offers on this one. It was made in 2005 and never used on the floor. I did have it hanging on the wall for awhile, but it is in new condition. The pattern for this rug can be found in my spellbound booklet at ecrater. The piece is a one of a kind, this was made as a whimsical folk art piece. The pattern does not contain the saying.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Lazy Days of Summer

I am still finishing things and working on things and some things I cannot show;)
We still have a lot of humidity, but when it cools in the late afternoon, I can enjoy getting out for a bit.
I went to sit in my new chair and this is what I found. How would you like this staring at you, except, it is not, that is the back of the head.

This guy has just popped out of his cocoon body. they are bugs in the ground and when they come out of the ground, they come out and have their wings.

And this is what Dora does on these hot days.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Halloween Punch Needle Piece

I wanted to make a punch with another of Twigs and Sprigs designs and my first attempt was a disaster. I punched a hole through the cloth, so I had to start over. This time I used my tan weavers, it seems to have more stretch than the white. I will save the white for 3 strand punch only.

This was a fun design to do, halloween and cats, two great subjects to work with.
I used valdani for the kitty, love their antique black. I also raised some areas for definition which gives it a more sculpted look on the face.

I decided to make a matching pillow with this piece. With the pillow I used my technique to give it that water stained, antique look and don't ask, it is a secret, lol;) This set is for sale on ebay tonight, if you are interested in this piece. Next I need to finish some winter ornies that I am making for the magazine, The fall issue has a pattern for the crow and pumpkin that I did and some wonderful prim homes and articles.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fabric Pennies and BIrds

I decided to try my new pattern with fabrics. Since I have a basket of scraps and spent the week sitting on my butt, it was a good lap project. I just got out fabrics and did raw edge, I wanted it to look old and scrappy. I am pleased with how it came out, and I used walnut and java stain to grunge it up more.

And then I decided the birds would make nice little ornies, so I made a couple up to try. I used homespuns on one side and prim tans on the other. I just sew scraps together and then make a template with freezer paper to cut them out. Not bad for making it up, as I go along;) This way, the person who gets them can use whatever color side, they like.