Talk to you in the new year. I hope it is a happy and healthy one for all!
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Talk to you in the new year. I hope it is a happy and healthy one for all!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
A couple of weeks ago, Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. blogged about her Christmas quilts. I was particularly attracted to one called Brand New Day. It looked like it would be perfect for my hoarded stash of Robyn Pandolph Folk Art Christmas and Aubrey Rose prints. They go back a few years and, really, I should use them because they are beautiful and so perfect for our house. So I ordered the pattern...
...and when the pattern arrived, I got out my stash to see what would work best. It will be one of these three for the border and alternating squares...
...with these prints for the pieced star blocks.
I still have to pull the light prints for block backgrounds out of my stash (or maybe I need to buy some) and figure out what to use for the setting triangles. I have two different tone-on-tone reds I can use for the inner border and binding, as well as a tone-on-tone green just in case.
And when it's all from your stash, it's practically like getting a quilt for free! Right!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Reggie is being Vanna White in this picture and showing off my tree skirt. This was an early project, made shortly after I took up quilting. Each heart is a mini crazy quilt, quilted and bound, then all eight were sewn to the skirt base. You can hardly see it under the tree because all the wrapped packages cover it up, but the skirt covers up the old plastic shower curtain we use to protect the rug under the tree.
Here's a close-up of one of the hearts. The seams are covered with a variety of embroidery stitches, which I did by hand, not having a "fancy" sewing machine at the time. If I was to make another one, I'd probably use some of the fun stitches on my Bernina.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
It is very simple construction, without piping or a ruffled edge, but the placement of the buttons makes it special.
I love the Hoffman cardinal prints and have some in my stash but have never figured out what I want to do with it. I saw this pillow at an arts cooperative in Cooperstown, NY (yes, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame). I knew I could make something similar but the price was right so I bought it and saved myself the work.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I began collecting snowmen in 1996. I was visiting my mother in Michigan and we went on a daytrip to Shipshewana, Indiana, where there is a large Amish community. Amish equals quilts and crafts and fabric so I was in heaven! I bought the first guy - the one with the black hat on the far right in the photo below - and began adding to the collection gradually.
I received some as gifts. That tends to happen once people know you collect something. Maybe not so much if you collect gem stones or 19th century Impressionist paintings.
So now I have more than enough snowmen to fit on the mantel. A few years ago, I came across the bottle brush trees at a post-Christmas sale. They are an unusual darker green with gold sparkles. Some years, I display the snowmen in the dining room and decorate the mantel with more formal greenery, candles, and silver balls.
But the snowmen are such a happy sight; they always make me smile!
Monday, December 14, 2009
I made Miss Main Street's stocking 14 years ago for her first Christmas. The basic outline and construction method came from a Thimbleberries book or pattern. Front and back are both quilt sandwiches of outer fabric, thin batting (I use Thermore) and lining fabric, quilted together with the front embellished as you please. The front and back are then put together, lining facing in, and bound, like you would bind a quilt. Pretty easy for a quilter. The fun is in the embellishing.
I collect vintage linens and have pieces in my collection known as "cutters." Cutters have stains, tears, or other flaws that prevent their use in the usual way but make them perfect for cutting up and using in crafts or other projects. Miss Main Street's stocking is embellished with a wide piece of vintage lace and prairie points (the fabric was all new at the time of construction).
Reggie's stocking was made nine years later, using the same method. The lace on his stocking is vintage pillowcase edging. (Reggie is our Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog and he is not allowed to play with his stocking.)
I enjoyed making the stockings. When I retire (not anytime soon), I might amuse myself by making and selling Christmas stockings via etsy.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I use them on this buffet in our dining room. It holds our good china and crystal and we use the top as a buffet when we have parties. The first runner is a Terry Atkinson design from her book Lessons From Mama. When reading the directions, they seem a little strange but it actually goes together very easily. I made another one for use at other times of the year.
Here's a second runner. I know the directions came out of a book but I can't remember which one. Both of the runners are hand quilted, because that's all I did back when I made them. But now that I think of it, a runner would be good practice for the BSR on my Bernina. Hm, my brain is whirring with new ideas!
Monday, December 7, 2009
CrazyDreamsStudio.com - vintage button jewelry
CupidsCharm.com -jewelry made from broken china, vintage images, lace, silver spoons. I have a necklace made from a tiny piece of vintage lace.
PetitePrints.com - custom silhouettes
PetitDebutant on Etsy - creates a silhouette from a photo and provides a digital file of your custom image for you to use.
TheVintagePearl.com - personalized jewelry
SecretStorageBooks.com - real books converted into boxes
Brookish on Etsy- Jane Austen inspired wares. Do you know anyone who would like to drink her your morning coffee (or tea) from a mug with Mr. Darcy's proposal on it?
BookJournals.com - unique journals made from recycled book covers. I bought teacher gifts from this site - old algebra text book for the math teacher, and so on. Or you could be writing your secrets in a recycled Nancy Drew book.
Pomadour24 sells Japanese craft magazines on eBay. This seller usually stocks the famous "cute pink" quilting book.
Personally, I'm hoping for something from JoMalone (I love the Wild Fig & Cassis and the White Jasmine & Mint) or Brahmin (gorgeous mock-croc leather handbags and accessories).
Sunday, December 6, 2009
You see, I have a tendency to mentally berate myself for flitting from project to project, not always finishing what I start, or having a number of quilts in the works in various stages simultaneously. Sometimes we jokingly refer to this as quilters' ADHD. I have tended to view it as a lack of focus or lack of serious intent when it comes to my quilting.
Catherine Watkins got me thinking about it differently. She described her own efforts to make the most of her sabbatical. She started it with an idea of what art she should be making, but she began to gratitate to something else. She came to realize that she needed to relinquish control and give up her set agenda and instead, indulge the impulse, take the risk of doing something new and see where it could lead her.
I like this idea of "relinquishing my agenda" and instead, allowing myself to indulge an impulse when it comes to quilt-making and seeing where it might lead. I've been inspired by the work of other quilters to try some new things, work with new colors and new shapes. I'm going to follow those impulses and be less concerned about the projects left unfinished in order to indulge my impulse. Those UFOs may call to me again at a future date and when they do, I will indulge the call.
Today, I went back to my scrappy string quilt. I like the way it is coming together.
Friday, December 4, 2009
They're back! Trader Joe's has Candy Cane Joe-Joe's back in stock for Christmas-time. I limited myself to one box on this shopping trip but will be stocking up on my next swing by the store. They have them for just a limited time and when they're gone, they are gone!
Candy Cane Joe-Joe's taste as if you put an Oreo and a piece of peppermint candy cane in your mouth simultaneously. Except better!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
You might recall that about six weeks ago I found some towels at HomeGoods that are cute as they are, but would be even better if embellished. I blogged about the towels here.
So, I just finished the first one. Cute, yes?
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I made this quilt using directions from Home for the Holidays, by Lynda Milligan and Nancy Smith. It was a fun quilt to make and I like the addition of colors not usually associated with Christmas decor. Unfortunately, the book is out-of-print though some of the other projects in the book are available as individual patterns.
I'll do some more decorating this weekend but we like a real tree so that will have to wait for a couple more weeks.