Saturday, November 8, 2014

This & That

I recently found a nice recipe box at the thrift store for $1. I don't know what used to be in the lid, but there was a large open area that I thought would be perfect for a punch needle insert. I traced the opening onto weavers cloth and drew on my design - thinking that I was making a crazy quilt. My friends quickly corrected me and told me it was stained glass instead - so that's what I'm going with!

The finished design turned out to be a bit bigger than it started, so I had to add some padding underneath it to take up the slack.  This happens to me often and it drives me crazy - anyone have suggestions on how to prevent this from happening? Maybe I should add some fusible interfacing to the back before I begin punching and that would stabilize it? Hmmm......

My Margaret Shaw crow hooked rug is finished - just need to steam it one more time to get those edges to lie nice & flat after being whipped with yarn.

Show & tell at my rug group on Tuesday was wonderful. Jeanette brought two little pincushions and they were adorable. The star was a free pattern we received at our recent hook-in - I love how she added colored pins to add to the design. It's stuffed with wool snippets leftover from her rug hooking projects. She found a quilty mug at a yard sale during the summer and made it into a pincushion that was embellished with some standing wool circles made into cute little flowers.

Jeanette also showed us her finished poppy rug - a Sharon Smith design. For some reason my favorite part is the single line border that changes color around the edge. Gorgeous rug!

She's now working on a dancing elephant rug for a granddaughter's Christmas gift. This design combines the girl's two favorite things - so clever - what a happy rug!

Victoria finished her Daniel rug that was designed by Tonia - she liked the original so much that she made it exactly the same. You can purchase the pattern on Tonia's website here.

And this is Tonia's newest design - a great floral. She has the knack of choosing colors that give a real old feel to her finished rugs.

I've been doing a little stitching on two projects with English paper piecing - hubby & I are taking a little trip next week while he attends a conference for work - so these will be perfect to take with me. I'll share a picture when I get home......

Friday, October 31, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Just got home from a week long visit to see my family in California - the weather was perfect. I had a great time with everyone and we did some fun things together -  lots of antiquing, shopping, eating, visiting and game playing. But it's always good to come home again.

One day while I was there, we had nothing planned for the afternoon. I had fallen in love with the micro mini 9-patch that Janet made recently, so I rummaged through my mom's small fabric stash and found stuff that would work to make my own version - on the right in the picture below. After my mom tried to steal it from me, I decided she needed one of her own, so I stitched up another using different colors. The 9-patches measure 7/8" - teeny tiny - and the finished size is 7" square. Neither of them got quilted before I left - we'll each have to do that on our own.

I cut the strips 5/8" wide and used the narrow edge of presser foot on my mom's old machine for a seam allowance - probably 1/8". Fun and challenging at the same time!

Looking around my mom's house I decided to snap pictures of the little quilts I've made for her through the years - I'd forgotten about some of them. This bear's paw quilt in her bedroom is probably 12" square. I also made the bear on the shelf and the little pieced heart he is holding.

This Double Wedding Ring is displayed in an 8" x 10" wood frame under glass.  It was made by appliquing bias strips onto a muslin backing - then fussy cutting the floral hearts in the center of each ring and fusing them into place.

This twister quilt is probably 5" square.

And this tumbler quilt is 10" x 15" or so - boring using only two fabrics.

This scrappy zig zag quilt is about 6" square - not sure why I gave it to her since red is NOT her color! Displayed on a small wood easel with a piece of cardboard behind it so it won't flop around.

Another project we worked on while I was there was this cute little rocking chair my sister bought at the thrift store for her grand daughter - only $4.99! I forgot to take a before picture, but it was just natural wood with a light stain. A can of red spray paint and a new cushion made with lady bugs made it look brand new. We had planned to add some details on the back spindles using black & pink paint, but ran out of time before I left.

Below is a small 21" quilt I made before I left home - it's a Kim Diehl pattern - a variation on a bear's paw block. I have a grundle of 1-1/2" HSTs all ready to use when the need arises, so it worked up pretty quickly for me. Quilted with a 1" grid over the entire surface.

I'm anxious to get back to some of the things I was working on - and maybe start something new too! Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Color & Miscellaneous

During the summer I snagged a small wooden workbench that had been abandoned at an old house, so I have plopped it in the middle of my front lawn and attached an old metal headboard to it for a focal point in my fall display. All the pumpkins & cornstalks came from our garden - I love the orange combined with the blue door on my house. Hubby & I are hoping to go riding in the mountains on our ATVs on Saturday - hope to see some pretty colors up there.

Back in May I won a giveaway from Jean who blogs at JLT Studios.  It was a kit for a small 6" square mat that came with a huge assortment of wool and other fibers - like yarn & sari silk & roving. It worked up quickly and it was fun using items that I don't have in my own supply closet.

I've been working on a design by Margaret Shaw that I bought on clearance at a local quilt shop - it was designed for using the Oxford Punch, but I'm hooking it the traditional way with my Hartman hook. Using some narrow cuts to get details on the monks cloth backing.

I have all the blocks for the Marcus Sew-Along up on my design wall. What a horrible time I had making those alternate black & cream blocks! I have never had so much difficulty EVER! Not sure if it was me or the instructions, but I cut wrong, sewed wrong, and wasted SO much fabric - argh! Glad that part is done - now I need to stitch them all together and add the borders. I'll be glad to finish this up...

I attended the annual Utah Hook-In on Saturday and have posted pictures of the day's events on the Guild's blog - go here if you'd like to see!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Family Rug Finished!

There were times that I never thought this day would actually arrive, but I have finally finished the family rug that I started over five years ago - what a good feeling! It's a large rug that measures 48" x 60".

It will never win any awards but I love it because it tells our story. Hubby & I married in 1980 and moved into our home as newlyweds. We've been here ever since and raised three children and a dog.

The Union Pacific Railroad runs right behind the house - the diesel trains aren't very picturesque so I hooked an old fashioned steam engine instead. We live near Hill AFB and F-16 fighter jets fly overhead often - to represent that I hooked a simple little airplane.

We are LDS (Mormon) so I hooked the Salt Lake Temple as a symbol of our religion - there are flowers to depict the beautiful gardens that are to be seen in every season at Temple Square. The blue below represents the Great Salt Lake.

Our home is surrounded by wonderful shade trees that provided great climbing opportunities for the children and their friends as they grew - thankfully no one ever fell out and broke an arm or leg! The trees keep our home nice and cool. We also grow a garden each summer so I hooked corn & pumpkins to represent that.

When I whipped the edge of the rug I wanted to use two different colors of yarn, and amazingly I had exactly what I needed in my stash!

I think the two borders add a lot to the rug - they were fun to work on and used up a lot of my worms.

I drew all of the motifs for this rug freehand, which captures the folk art feel I wanted for it. I might tweak a few things still, but for all intents and purposes it's DONE! What a journey it's been!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Design Wall & Quilt Show

My design wall is covered with several different projects right now and looks like this:

I'm all caught up on the Marcus Brothers Sew Along - one more block next Friday and then will start sewing them all together.

And the little quilt that Jeni Gaston from the Woolen Willow is sharing with us is looking good - I'll stitch down the wool leaves on today's block when I watch TV tonight.

A few months ago I found a fat quarter of this Christmas fabric on clearance. It depicts the Twelve Days of Christmas.

To use it, I fussy cut each of the circle motifs and made a scrappy churn dash block for each of them.

The completed size is about 15" x 20". Need to get it quilted and bound - maybe by December? LOL At first glance it doesn't look like a Christmas quilt at all, so maybe I can get away with displaying it at other times of the year....

I've spent several hours the last few days cutting 1-1/2" strips so I can get started on making 180 little 3" 9-patches for a new quilt. Whew! That's a lot of work!

Yesterday I attended a local quilt show and saw some great quilts. This was an opportunity quilt that caught my eye because each block only measured 2" square - cute with the embroidery in the border.

These are the ones I liked the best from the show. Love this Tree of Life, although I think a different border would have contained the quilt better.

This Courthouse Steps quilt (below) is in an old issue of AP&Q magazine and has been on my 'to-do' list for years and years - each log is only 1/2" wide.

Jeanna Kimball is a local designer who is well known for her traditional quilts and this quilter used  hand applique and hand quilting to make an heirloom - just beautiful!

  Tiny little pieces in those center checkerboards.

I was also able to wander around a classroom that was in an open common area and got to examine the projects they were working on - floor rugs. The teacher had used linoleum and prepped the backside with two coats of black paint. Then each student was using Mod Podge to apply fabric in the design of their own choosing - it was amazing to see all the different ideas. Afterwards, another coat (or two) of Mod Podge will coat the finished surface. A couple of them really appealed to me, which you can see below.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ugly Ducklings to Swans

Over a year ago, I was shopping the clearance area at my local JCP and I found these hideous Christmas ornaments (orange - really?). They were originally priced at $16 each, marked down to $.97 - the day I was there they were an additional 60% off, so I bought five of them for 40 cents each. Because they were made of wool I knew they had potential -  how could I resist at that price?

I removed the embellishments and already they looked better.......

Six months ago, my small quilt group decided to do pass around projects. Each of us assembled parts & pieces for a fiber related item and each month we worked on someone else's project. I put my orange balls into a shoe box and added some pretty colors of embroidery thread - asking each person to add stitching to one wool ball. The finished pieces exceeded my expectations when I received them back about a month ago. I just finished stitching MY contribution to the project so they're all done now and I wanted to share with you. I suppose I could have dyed the wool balls a different - more desirable color - or kept the orange and gone with a fall/autumn theme using gold/green/brown/red threads, but I'm so very pleased with they way they turned out!

The gals in my group spent several evenings each stitching while watching TV and their efforts are SO appreciated! They look lovely displayed in a wooden bowl now - and can be used year round! Thanks ladies!

Now, the appliqued hearts that I removed in the beginning, I stitched down onto a piece of soft yellow wool to make a small quilt. I will add red borders and maybe add a green vine around the outside with leaves added.

Much better than they started out, yes? I'm sure glad I bought those ugly Christmas ornaments!