Monday, April 29, 2013

Quilts in the Works!

Today I wanted to start the baby quilt. I had a Doc day so I didn't get started until the afternoon. It took me awhile to cut out the blocks, I am a bit slow and since I am clumsy, I want to make sure I don't cut my fingers off;) I am making a baby quilt for my grandson who is expected next month, nothing like waiting till the last minute.

The pattern is an irish chain baby quilt that I found as a free pattern at Connecting Threads. I thought it would be easier to do a pieced quilt, then trying to do applique this late. It will also be more practical for a baby.

I measured carefully, I watched my seam lines as I sewed them up but I still came out crooked. Since it is an irish chain, I want them to be perfect, so they line up properly, but that doesn't look like it is going to happen with my sewing, lol. Do you know any tricks or ways to make them better?

I am using these for the chain part of the quilt and the animals in a row for the border. I will save the larger print for the curtains. The Fabric comes from the Down Under line by Shelley Comisky, a prize that I won from Henry Glass Fabrics.

Another project I am working on is, a new runner for the Patriotic Challenge at This-n-That Fabrics. I am making it for my dining bureau so it is long, but I need to make it thinner so I can add a border and then I will add appliques to the ends. I definitely think this is one piece that needs antiquing;) The Fabrics come from a jelly roll that I won from Minick and Simpson, just using the red, tan and blue strips.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday Stroll!

Well, I don't know if I would call it a stroll, it was more of a hike. I wanted to try a trail that goes along a pond and up to a ledge with a view of the pond. I am out of shape, and I had to slow down and climb slowly, but it was well worth it and a beautiful day to be out.

The trail goes up and down, rocky paths and a lot of trees and branches from the recent storms. Most of the trail on this side, follows the pond with lots of areas to stop and enjoy the view, but I am not sure if we were on a real path at this point, lol.

The photo came out dark because of the bright sun in the wrong spot, so lightening it up, made it look like Bill is superimposed on the rock, lol.

The path goes up and around a high cliff area. I was out of breath on this one, need to do more uphill exercises.

But, it was worth it when we got to the top, views of the pond and the surrounding forest. Connecticut is on the other side of the lake. We walked along the path for a bit, I really wanted to walk into Connecticut but then I realized I didn't know if it was hunting season on that side or the rules, so we walked back, the way we came in.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, filled with the blessings that surround us.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wool Quilt Finished?

I got my quilt finished for now. I am still not sure about the side bards and I might add more embellishment to the stars and the sides, but for now it will have to wait. Hard to get a photo and capture the true colors since there is so much going on. It was windy today so that didn't work out.

I did edge stitching on the blocks where the blanket was flat and left it along where they came out. A bit of this and that, just having fun and doing whatever as I went along. The finished quilt is 54" x 43". It is very heavy, so it will be nice and warm in the winter.

I lightened it up in photoshop so you could see the details, but it is much more prim in person.

After I did the top, I pinned it to the backing and cut off the excess. I sewed the black border/binding onto the front and then flipped it over to the back. That was not the best way to do this, the thickness made the wool bunch up on the sides, so I had to make a few fixes. The new larger star over the kitty is one place I needed a cover fix;) I wanted the border to be a little wider, so I folded over about a quarter inch on the back and pinned that to the back, then sewed it down by hand. This way it has a floppy, softer edge. The green is a loose weave wool, that a friend gave me.

Monday, April 22, 2013

What was I thinking?

I worked all weekend on my wool quilt, but not finished yet. I added the backing to it and the border which is also the binding. After I did that, I wish I had done things differently, so I had to figure out a way to get the border to look the way that I had planned. I ended up folding a piece over, then over to the back so it left more edge. I did finish sewing it tonight, but I still have some fixes to do. I sewed the binding on by machine through the front and back, so it warped a bit in some spots. I will fix those and any I can't might be a spot for a new appliqué;)

All and all, I am happy with how it came out. I started it three years ago and just wanted to finish it. I did hand stitching around the appliques, black on some and a light greenish shade on the dark blocks, but hard to see in the photo. I still need to add stitching to the side pieces, I wanted to wait for the binding before I did those.

I also decided it was time to clean up my sewing room and got that done today. Here is something I found and have no idea what to do with, maybe throw them out, lol. I started this years ago when I first started quilting and had ugly fabrics. They are designs from whimsicals. The only one I like is the kitty piece, maybe I will make a mini quilt with that and save the blank blocks for a jean quilt I will be making. The stitching is horrible on the appliques, so I doubt they would last long and not worth the effort to finish them.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stitching Progress!

I have been working on two projects and hopefully they will get done soon.

I have been adding some embellishments to the appliques and words, so just a few more things and I can put the backing on. I am just adding things, no thought put into it;)

I am also working on this stitchery quilt by Kathy Schmitz. It was hard getting it onto the cloth since i had to do it on a window, so I need to check my edges to make sure they are straight, before I stitch those up.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Happy Place!

Do you have a happy place? On days like today, having a place to go that centers you, is the only way to cope with this crazy world we live in. This is one of my happy places, Stepping Stone Falls. It is a place that brings memories of my sisters and brothers, of picnics and hikes along the paths.

I am not in great shape and hasn't been my best week, so I found a new parking spot that is closer to the falls so it was about a 2 mile hike.

We had a good rain storm that bought a lot of rain in a short amount of time, so I knew it was a good time to see the falls.

Even Bill relaxes when we go here. It is something that we enjoy together and energizes us for the week.

And, at home I do my part to help where I can. This poor old guy likes my porch, it is quiet and there aren't a bunch of dogs trying to bite his ears, so he spends most of his time here. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that he gets cans of food every day;)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Walk!

Today was a beautiful day, it is so nice to finally see a touch of spring. Warm sun and cool breezes, perfect weather for walking.

We went to Black Rock which is a beautiful area that runs along a rocky coastline, to a beautiful sandy beach.

We always stop and enjoy the waves as they crash against the rocks.

I let Bill take a photo of me, a rare thing and of course he was taking too many and I got ready to get up and stuck my tongue out at him and of course he took a shot. And of course that was the only decent one that he took, lol.

The hurricane really tore into the cliffs and destroyed some pathways and left rocks all over the place.

This used to be a carriage house, I don't think anyone is home. A beautiful day to be out and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Before we went for a walk, we hit the thrift store and this was my find of the day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Noah's Ark Rug!

I finally finished my rug, I got all of the outside hooking done today. It is a good sized rug, 36" x21". Mine is an inch wider than the actual, guess I over hooked as usual;) It was a kit by Mad Hen Primitives and came with all of the wools precut. I did not have enough to finish the background and went a bit lighter. I like how it came out, looks like someone who used what they had to make a rug and gives it a more primitive look.

Since I tend to be a bit tight in my hooking, it curls a bit. I lay the rug on a towel and then use another towel, that I dampen and place that on the rug. I use a steam iron and steam it until it lays flat, but it still needs more. I will wait till I bind it, then I will re-steam it, before I hang it.

I lightened it up a bit, so you could see the details.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Wool Quilt Progress!

I finished sewing up the blocks on my quilt and then I realized the last one, was sticking out too far, so I added a row of wool strips going down. I still have to cut and even it out, then I can see if I need to add anything to them, or leave them, as is. If I add anything it will be something simple, maybe more pennies. Which makes me think it would be fun to add strips to the other side with pennies, a suggestion by one of my followers. But at this point, I just want to finish it, I have so many more project to finish and start.

I am adding details now, just some stitchery in the leaves and flowers and then I will probably do some basic quilt stitching in some of the blocks, but I might do that, after I put on the back, so it will hold them together. I also need to add some words to my green blocks.

Using a plain cotton back to attach the wool blocks, made it a lot easier to lay it out and sew it down. I used a simple blanket stitch on all of the blocks, using a pearl cotton.

I tried a lamp and the flash, but it still came out dark on one end, so I lightened it up, which messes with the colors, but you can get the general idea.

Yesterday was a beautiful day, so we drove to the Watch Hill Lighthouse. The road to the lighthouse is very narrow and the storm wiped it out, so it is passable again and most of the damage is cleaned up.

During the storm, this area was covered by water, so the keepers were stranded at the tip.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Flower Candle Mat!

I finished my candle mat, it took longer than I thought it would, but well worth the effort. I got the design from Dover Publishing. They send email once a week with free samples, so well worth signing up.

I used some of my variegated floss for the flowers and a solid green for the leaves. To make the circle, I use an old plastic lid and trace around it with a wash out blue marker. I added some yellow french knots to the centers to give it a little extra pop. I decided to antique it, I think it looks nice on my firkin, but it will probably be a gift.

And here is a shot to show you the design and details. I still have the design, so if you would like a copy, just send me an email.

This is a bit light and pink, but I lightened it, so  you could see the detail better.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring is here!

Today it was too nice to stay inside, so we took our first walk around the pond. Then I crashed for the rest of the day, lol. I am out of shape and a 3 mile hike was more than I am used to, but well worth it.

The ducks and swans were out on the pond and the trees were full of birds. I spied this egret as we walked down the path.

My flower mat is done, but it is drying, had to wash off the blue ink, so tomorrow I will have a photo. I also messed up on my wool quilt. I added the applique to the new block and then realized it sticks out more, than the other blocks below it. So, I have to add more wool pieces to the side to even it out.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dying Floss and New Project!

Yes, I said new project. I get the newsletter from Dover Publishing and every week they send free samples and this one was perfect for a candle mat. I wanted to make it as a gift for my daughter, but I didn't get it done in time, so we shall see what I do with it, after I finish it.

I wanted to try brighter colors for her and I do love the way my hand dyed pink, looks in this piece. You can see where the shades go from dark to light on the flowers. The green is a solid, so I need to over dye some green for future projects.

And, here is the floss that I used for the pink that is in the flowers. That is, the floss before I over dyed it. The beauty of using this floss is that it comes in a package and it is cheap. With a coupon, it saves a lot of money and perfect for over dying.

I usually soak it in tea or walnut, but I thought I would wet the floss and then use walnut spray. It was easier and faster, but it didn't saturate into the middle sections, as well. But, it still came out nice, now I have various shades in dark and bright, so it will be fun to see how this would look in a punch needle piece.

The photo is a bit darker than the actual floss, but you can see how it went from bright to prim with a bit of walnut ink. You can soak it overnight in walnut and then sun dry it, now that it is getting warmer.
If you do not have walnut you can use tea or coffee, but remember that the acids in tea can destroy cross stitch pieces, over time.