Thursday, April 29, 2010

Portrait Progress

I have been working on my portait and have most of it done.
Now I need to fix the crooked mouth and weird eyebrow, lol.
This is what happens when you sew, while watching tv;)

The hair is done with yarn, lopi lite. I still have plans to style it a bit and give it some more strands after everything else is finished. I am thinking of ways to shade the face, maybe painting in shadows and highlights. The bowtie needs to be tied, I have no idea how to tie one, so going to look that up. I will also tack down the pleats, so they drape better. Luckily, with hand stitching, I can change things without too much trouble. It is not what I envisioned, but a good learning experience and it is fun to do.

Don't forget to comment on the contest and the pattern sale, which runs until sunday.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

300th Posting! Contest

Yes, I made it to 300, lol.
I finished off my new piece today, so you could see it and how I converted one of my patterns into a cross stitch.
I would love to know your opinion on it, do you like it, would you make something like this?
And for all the comments I get about this piece, good or bad, your name will be entered into a drawing for the pattern, to this piece. I am new at using PC stitch, so it is a basic pattern, with color blocks and color code. I made this one into a pillow, but I think it would wonderful framed or on a hornbook. Since I am trying my hand at designing cross stitch patterns, any feedback is welcome. What would you like to see in patterns? Would you buy an epattern and do you like color blocks or color codes on your patterns. Do you care if the finished piece is different from the pattern, sometimes I do my own thing as I stitch, then decide, I like the original better.

I will draw a winning name on Sunday. Remember, you must leave a comment to be entered into the contest.
My next one is an adam and eve piece. I make up the basic design, then stitch it myself, and make changes as I go. I also, cannot see the holes as I stitch, so I am a bad stitcher, lol. But, it lends to the aged look;)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pattern Sale!

While I am working on finishing up new projects, I thought I would offer a sale this week.
From now until Sunday, buy one pattern and get one free of equal or less value.
So, if you buy one, you add in the comments, what other one you would like and you will get that one for free.
You can find my patterns at the woolensails link, at the left.

I am working on a new cross stitch pattern, from an older pattern, so look for that with my 300th Post!
And we all know what that means;) Can you guess which pattern I am redoing?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Quilt Show: Part Two

Here are the rest of the show pictures, that I took.
There were lots of quilts, but these were the ones that stood out for me.
Unfortunately, the true colors do not show here, but they were stunning in person.

These quilts had nice applique patterns and fabrics.

These I like because of the edgings and ways to use scraps.

Who doesn't like an americana quilt.

And this is just a fun quilt. I have seen another done in more prim fabrics and I really like the pattern that way.
I think it would look great in homespuns too.
I hoped you enjoyed the show. It is always fun to go to local shows, wonderful people and lots of inspiration.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rhode Island Quilt Show

Today I went to a local quilt show, held by the Narragansett Bay quilters.
There were a few new vendors, but I was able to walk out with some nice batiks to make art quilts with.
I like the idea of making simple applique pieces and then practicing my free motion on them. I think the batiks will be perfect for that.

I took a few photos, the lighting was horrid and the skylights from the gym, let in light that made it hard to shoot well.
So, here are a few that I liked and I will put up some more tomorrow.

This piece is done by Barbara Barber. I really love her work. This is a quilt depicting her grandmother and father, he was an only child and much loved. She hand paints her quilts and then stitches around the designs, it is beautiful in person. She fashioned the background after her grandmother's crazy quilt.

I just love the bold colors on this one and the subject of course. She made it after an artist's friend's dog.
Wonderful use of stitchery to enhance the design.

I love the realism of this quilted piece. It makes you want to walk into the picture. The berries are done with red beads, so nice use of embellishments and stitchery.

This I like, just because it was cool, lol. The sneakers are all applique, really loved them. I think she did a beautiful job on using fabrics and stitching to get realism and depth.

This one I loved, need to look up the pattern, it is so much more beautiful in person. She really used gorgeous prim fabrics and wish the camera could show the true nature of this quilt. It is from Folk Art Threads by Maggie Bonanomi.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Today I finally got out for a walk and was so glad that I did.
Not only did I feel so much better, getting out in the fresh air, but I got to see some wonderful sights.

This place is called Rome Point and has a nice wide path that leads out to the bay.
We walked along the beach area and then took the path that leads to the point, at the end.

This guy was out laying his traps, with a little help from his seagull friends.

And this is what we got treated with, when we reached the point. Seals basking on the rocks. I had to use a telephoto on full zoom to get them, so not the best shots.

I went to take a shot of the birds on the big rock and didn't realize, until I saw the photo on the screen, there were more seals basking on the rocks below.

I took a photo of a line of rocks with seals. I can only see so far, since I am nearsighted, so it was fun to see what I captured on the camera. This is the right side of the line. The guy on the right must have his own little rock just below the surface.

Then on the other side of the photo, I captured the rest of the gang. It seems like you see one or two and then notice more and more that are disguised by the rocks.

And since I showed you a picture of me, that was 20 years old, I let my husband take a shot while I was enjoying the view.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stairway to Quilting

I received my new stair treads this week and put them on the stairs to see how they look.
Of course the picture cannot show how nice and prim they really are, but I love them.
I found them on ebay from a seller called littlegranny. She has great prices and is willing to discount on full sets.
We still need to finish off the edges and I am thinking of sanding down the shiny paint my husband put on;)
Then I might do a simple stencil on each riser. And the guy making funny faces is Casey, he does that when I talk to him.

I finally decided to go with yarn for my hair and using my needle felting tool, I punched it into a wool template. Truthfully, this is what my hair really looks like, now, lol. Later when I finish the rest, I can go back and redo it, here and there, if I want. I do have a new couching foot, but I need to practice with it some more, then I can try hair with that. I made a tie and sewed it in, later I will figure out how to make a western tie and do it that way. I thought it would be fun to have a 3D effect on that. The picture is out of perspective since I have it one curved couch. The yarn looks mooshed since I had to use flash and I move too much.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The real me!

I started work on my portrait quilt and got a little started. I tend to think a lot and change my mind a lot and after hours of that and replacing things a million times, I am worn out;) So, it is a long process for me to create something. I am just going to have fun with this one and have been mulling ideas of ways to do the hair and the tie to make it fun.

This is the beginning, I used brown wool for the hat. I messed up with the sizing on the band and brim, so need to redo it to fit right. I am using light and dark tea stained fabrics for the skin tones. It may not look like me, but using wool and making it easier, is easier on my hands. They seem to be a bit numb these days, so I am working on this and some cross stitch, to give my tendons a break.

I added a little to the body. I love the old shirting my friend kelley gave me, works perfect for this. the vest is a dark red wool. This is thrift wool, 20% nylon that really felts up nice for appliques like this. Today I will add the rest and glue down the edges on the shirt and try to wrap my brain around, what gets sewed first, lol. If you would like to join in on the challenge, check out Say Cheese, and see what others have done.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Little Quilts

I finished two of the little quilts I am working on.
The first is 8" x 7". The design is by Twigs n Sprigs and I added the lettering to that.
After I did the stitchery, I painted in the design with watered down acrylics. Then I heat set it in the dryer, washed it with soapy water and redried it and the paint did not run or fade out.

This is the piece after I finished.

This is the piece, after I antiqued it. The painted areas look more faded than they appear in the photo. I also think, I could do a light sanding in some areas to get the antique medium to take on the paint.

This piece is one I decided to whip together and you can tell, I did, by the lopsided triangles, lol. I had a bunch of little squares, so I sewed some together to cut triangles from and put them all together. I just wanted something quick and prim. It is 13" x 10". I started working on the annie, so that will be done next. I started to paint the cat stitchery, but used too much water and I had to rinse it out to avoid more run off. I will work on that when my brain can handle painting again.

Friday, April 16, 2010

More stitcheries

This weekend, my ebay group is doing an online retreat.
This retreat is called little quilts, so I made some stitcheries that I can make into little quilts.
I also whipped up a quick mini pieced quilt, as well. Tomorrow I will do some big stitch on it and then bind it, then you can see it.

This piece is from Red Brolly. Bronwyn is offering these designs as a freebie. I did not do the first one, but I am doing this one, as well as another, that I think will make nice mini quilts, on their own.
My plan is to paint this one, inside of the stitches. I want to use acrylics, that are watered down into a watercolor consistency. That way I get the water color look, but the heat set properties of acrylic.

The think that worries me is, what if I mess it up. I love the stitchery and do not want to ruin it by experimenting. So, I decided to make a small piece with one of Tiffany's designs, that I can practice on. If I don't mess it up, I can make this into a little pillow. The material I use for the backings is, moda tea stained. I love using it when I need a plain light background and it works great with the light box.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Down by the old mill stream

We had two nice days, and rain coming for the rest of the weekend, so I thought I better get my lazy butt out and get some walking in. I am so out of shape, my legs are sore and tight, need to use those muscles more.

We went to a park nearby that was once the home to the first cotton factory in East Greenwich. This is the next town up from me.
There is a small pond at the entrance, that is normally frequented by fishermen, but because of the recent floods, there is not much left of the pond. The water is being funneled into one end, where is is cascading down the rocks and into the smaller stream. I love the sound of rushing water pummeling down the rocks to the stream below, I could sit there for hours.

In the 1800's, this area was teeming with activity. The park now contains the ruins of the 19th century textile mill, its mill pond, dam headrace, spillways, and steam boiler building. I wonder what life was like in those days, as I walk the paths.

The remains of the dwellings, several outbuildings, a well, a privy, and bridge abutments can be seen as you walk the paths.

The families of the village once grew flowers around their houses. Patches of lillies of the valley, day lilies, and periwinkle can be seen around the areas of the foundations. A day of peace and contemplation about the families who once lived and worked here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Self Portrait Challenge

Victoria of Bumble Beans Inc, is having a challenge for anyone wanting to join in.
The challenge is to take a photo and create yourself into a quilted piece.
I thought it would be fun to try, and wondering what I got myself into, lol.
I am not photogenic, seriously, so I avoid having my photo taken.
When I do, it is usually while kayaking or biking, so not the best for head shots.
I always have my hair pulled up, so I look bald in most of my photos.
Soooo, I finally found a way to get into my old photos that I had stored and will be going with the silly, bizarre version of myself;)
This was from a photo we did while on a trip in NH. This is my family, lol.
This is years ago, but it is a rare photo with my hair down. My daughter will be 25 this friday, so you can see how old this picture is. And no, I am not this mean, I was trying to look tough, lol.

This is what I did to myself with the magic of filters. This will give me a guideline for the piecing and I will use the original, as well. I am still not sure in which direction I will go with this, but it will probably end up as naive folk art;)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Annie Stitchery

I needed a hand break, so I decided to try stitchery.
I got this Sewing Annie for Kaaren Johnston's site and thought it would make a great gift for a friend who collects annies.

This is my first attempt at stitchery, something i have never tried before.
I did a back stitch, a bit sloppy, but my hands are not what they used to be, so my friends have to live with my sloppy stitching;)
I just looked at Kaaren's and noticed I didn't sew in the eyes and I forgot about the tie. I left that last, since I want to do a real tie for her. I am debating on whether to make a little pillow or quilt from it. I found some blue and white floral print that matches the original annie dress, so I thought it would be perfect to border this piece. I will age it more when I am finished.

I used tea stained fabric for the back, a dark red for the stitching to keep it prim and a blue chalk pencil to do the design with a light box.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hand hooked stair tread

We have the stairs in, though we still need to finish painting the risers and the the edges.
I need treads and the poor dog cannot get up and down until we do.
So, I thought, I can hook some. I made one as a test. It took me four days to finish it all.
This is not a good idea, lol. I love the look, but with the time it takes and my joints swelling from non stop hooking, I decided to go and buy some instead.

You can see what I came up with though. It might be nice in the future, maybe I will hook one, once in awhile and set them aside for when we need to replace the braided ones I got. This is the entrance to our house and also the stairs to the cellar, so hooked mats might not be the best idea for this area.

I went with a simple design and a bit of a hit or miss look on the inside. I used a thrift wool for the lighter fills, it was a plaid with blues and other colors in it, nice effect for a light background.

I tried one outdoors without the flash, but got a blue cast to it. I tweaked it a bit in photoshop, but gives a more straight on shot. Now I will have to decide what to do with this one. That is a cat in the middle, in case you couldn't tell. I took it from a cookie cutter shape, I had seen on the web.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pineapple Quilt

I wanted to make a quilt to hang on my dining room window and thought something with pineapples would be perfect.
I found this pattern in a Better Homes and Gardens, American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. It is in the April 2001 issue and is a pattern by Kris Kerrigan.

This one called for proper placement and overlays, so I decided to use wash away and glue to set the first pieces down and get them straight. As you can see, it didn't help, I am still off and crooked, lol. I think it is easier to sew without the wash away, but it would be a good product to use for machine applique. I am used to needle turning as I go and as you can see, I messed up in spots and lost my shapes and some parts don't fit together right. I really need to fix that one flower, way too square on one side. I still have to add borders and it will be setting at an angle once it goes into the back piecing. It isn't perfect, but it will do and a good test for the wash away. I am wondering what happens when I wash it and how the appliques will look then.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New Punch Needle: Spring Thyme

I finished a new piece today and it was fun to do. This is another design by Twigs and Sprigs.
With all of the rain and flooding, it has been nice to see the sun out and the flowers and trees blooming.
This piece reminds me with all of the gloom last week, beauty follows.
It is listed on ebay tonight if you are interested in having this piece for yourself.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A drive to the rivers

Today was beautiful and I wanted to get out and see how the rivers and areas that we kayak in, were doing.
The flood waters have been receding and the upper half of the state is below flood level now, but our half is still a foot above.

We started by going down the side road we take to the rivers. As you can see, the dam here is running full force and there is even a side duct pushing water to the other side. Not a good place for a building.

A little further down is another dam from this area. The whole area was a mill town in the old days. The road was flooded here, but the main road was passable.

On the other side of the road the river runs downward and as you can see, flooded it''s banks. The house had been hit but the waters have subsided in the last few days.

We went along route 91 which is where the ponds and main rivers converge. The first pond was ok now, but when we got to the next pond and dam outlet, we were greeted with this site. I can only imagine how bad it is at the next section, but all the side roads are also flooded since there are a lot of smaller outlets in this area.

We turned around to head home and on the way back went a different route. This area is called Usquepaugh. It is an old mill village and where the Kenyon grist mill is. It is the only corn meal I will eat, makes the best breads. This is the original road to the mill, but the main road behind it, was still ok. It is a shame to see all the damage in the areas and I thank God for living in a dry area. I don't think we will be paddling on these rivers for awhile. Even the residents in those areas are still stuck, using boats to get to dry land.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

I am working on this and that, as usual, so nothing new to show today.
I received a photo from Loretta Moore and thought I would share it with you.
She made a hooked pillow from my free bunny pattern, as a baby gift.
What a beautiful piece and such vibrant and rich colors. Would love to steal some of her wool stash;)

Friday, April 2, 2010

New Cross stitch

I have been getting books of antique samplers to get ideas to make my own.
I saw this piece as part of a larger sampler and wanted to do it by itself as a pillow.
I think it would make a nice pin keep piece to show off the border better.

Here is a photo of the piece, after I finished it.

Here is it, after I sprayed with walnut ink. I like the antique look, but not the flat finish. Wanted it to be more spotted in places to give the look of water damage. I will have to try it outside with the sun, that seems to lift the stains into the piece, more than drying in a dryer. I may do this with a saying and/or date in another try. Let me know what you do and don't like about it, so I can practice more on designing, cross stitch pieces.