Tuesday, June 30, 2009

PGD#1 Graduated

Here's a photo of my beautiful, smart and very precious GD. She just completed her first year of preschool. It's amazing the way her teacher taught her and all of the wonderful children in her class all the skills that she did. What an amazing and blessed teacher. Structure, creativity, playtime, story time, snack time and all that accomplished in only 3 hours a couple of times a week. She knows her alphabet, knows the sounds each letter makes, can sign language the alphabet (timidly), knows the Pledge of Allegiance, counts to 20, numerous songs, has an idea of the days of the week & calendar and knows the schedule of her class time and she still is only 3! PGD#1 will be four in August so she is right on track with her education. She even learned to bang the tambourine, which she does here and then insists that everybody help pick up the toys that she's had out, while she plays the tambourine. Too precious and what a joy.


D9P quilted then a snag...

I feel great with getting the quilting done on the disappearing nine patch (D9P) quilt for the youngest grandson, but I hit a snaffu.

Since my daughter wanted it larger a couple of months ago, I compliantly added two more rows of blocks to the quilt to make it the size she wanted. Anyway, the dark blue I had planned on using as a binding, I am short by approximately 4"! Can you believe it. I knew I was running short so I even did a straight seam when connecting the strips end to end instead of doing my traditional 45 degree seam when strip pieces the binding together. I pinned it to the edge of the quilt and turned each corner as I normally would when sewing and dang.... SHORT. So, now what.... humm..I'll be contemplating how to finish this appropriately. Have several ideas but I'm not sure what would be best for this quilt.

I also have a little problem with the counted cross stitch kit I was working on. It's a Jane Greenoff design, Images of London and it's the Queen's Guard of Buckingham Palace. I lost the directions to it. I have quite a bit of it already stitched, but of course have the smaller details to finish it up and I can't find the directions anywhere. I know I had it in Massachusetts while visiting my PGS#1, who also is coming home this weekend! Besides that, I had it while traveling about with my daughter with her children, Vermont for DH's appointment, the living room, patio, dining room and have retraced my steps without any luck so far.

So I think my plan will be is to shelf this particular project and jump onto one of the other 8 kits that go with it.
I think I'll be doing the double decker bus next, but I'll try to re-design a "Piccadilly Square" in the wording area of the bus instead of what it says of "Come see our Show", especially since this is where my sister and I stayed when we visited London 9 years ago.

Stay well, and Happy stitching.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another finish.....

Nothing spectacular, but a finish none the less. A small storage bag for Grand childrens' toys. I was able to use up about 1.25 yards on it. The outside has a montage of jungle animal skins printed, and the inside I was able to use more of a purple print that I've had hanging around for years. I think the purple one was initially used in the orange and purple community project quilt I did about 14 +or- years ago. I believe I still have about 3 yards left. Why did I ever buy so much of it? I really don't know

Here's a photo of the purple lining I used within it. This afternoon, I plan on quilting my D9P (Disappearing NIne Patch) quilt with the antique toys I showed several months ago. I've had the quilt assembled, layered with Minkee as the backing(no batting will be used) and sprayed with 505 in the garage. Since i was able to pratice my quilting on the toy bag first, I'm in a rhythm to attempt the larger size quilt with my feeble attempts of machine quilting. Wish me luck.


A fantastic giveaway!

Helen, from Hugs from Helen, has released a new BOM pattern. She is giving away a copy of the pattern to celebrate. I'm not that keen on sending you over since this is something I'd love to win, but if you really feel you must, then go on over and sign up too. Good Luck!


Friday, June 19, 2009


You won't hear from me for awhile. I've been really busy lately and we're off to do some camping. I'll try to catch up with you, all of whats been going on when I return.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hot pads

Another UFO completed. For the life of me, I can't understand why I perpetually keep putting these projects aside to become a UFO for 1+ years. This hardly took any time at all to complete and voila. Tout fini!

I have more of this fabic left, so I may make a couple of fresh oven pads and or an oven mit to coordinate with them. As for doing the embroidery mentioned on the previous post, I'm having trouble finding the correct linen threads so I don't know yet what I'll be doing. Time will tell.

Enjoy your day,

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Quick Stitch

After showing you my recent stitchery finish, I am contemplating doing this "quick" romantic heart piece with an alphabet contained within. You can get the free pattern here. I have never worked needle full of linen thread before, so this may be a wonderful new experience for me. Of course with the younger grandschildren visiting 4 times a week if not more, something like this could be nice to display for Valentine's Day. Maybe in a frame on one of the end tables in the living room or possibly bedroom. I'll hear PGD#1 age 3 singing her alphabet all the time, and many times she is doing the alphabet hand signals for the hearing impaired at the same time.

I found out about it while surfing some of my favorite bloggers. Gabi is a very talented Australian lady that does amazing needle work. Check out her site at Lady of Floss. I absolutely love the "coming to the water piece" she is currently working on, Incredible! But she is also the person who showed me some finished Chatelaine Designs. Specifically the Alpine Mandala. I have this pattern and have started collecting a little bit of silk threads and such, here and there to off-set the huge cost it would be to be done in silks and bought all at once. On the internet, the european Store offering the kit for it wanted $280.00(?pounds) which would be about $400.00 in US funds. Yikes! Of course, living where I do, with no stitchery shops around, it's difficult for shopping, but of course, not an impossible task since we do travel and I research what shops are nearby where we'll be. But in the mean time, to justify any more expense, I need to continue finishing up more UFO's. Go Janie!!!!

Recently, while at the Mary Ellen Hopkins Lecture in Vermont, I went to the Wooden Needle stitch shop in Stowe, VT. Kathy, The shop owner saw my pattern of the Alpine Mandala, and said remarkably, "Oh that is one of Martina Weber designs I plan on making too, but I plan on doing it in silk threads." Then she stooped beneath her counter and pulled out her pattern with all the supplies she has collected so far. Now she is a shop owner and is doing the same thing I am doing. She also was very helpful and showed me how to do the split stitch with your needle to make sure your 2 threads will lay flat with each stitch. I can't for the life of me now remember the terminology for that stitch but I probably will at 3am this morning. It might be the railroad stitch, but I'm not sure.

Happy Stitching,

Friday, June 12, 2009

Back from the framers...

Sorry about the quality of the photo. I think I took about 12 pictures trying to eliminate the flash back and this one was the best. (Told you my amature photo abilities were lucky when I shot the bicycle tree! I guess I'll have to try to take a photography class some day and then maybe a photoshop class might be in order thereafter.)

Here it is. Another UFO finished for 2009. I mentioned it several posts ago about finally getting the stitching done. It wasn't a big project but another UFO I had put aside for too long. Now FINISHED AND FRAMED. Boy do I feel good.
I did try to buy an over the counter frame so I could frame it myself, but with the dimensions of the stitched piece and the readily available frame sizes not jiving, it didn't fit equalaterally around the piece. Since I had a 50% off coupon for framing at our local Michaels store, I figured I'd give them my business to get it done correctly.
Hmmmm, Now where to hang it in my sewing studio.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stash Busting

Despite pain rearing it's ugly head recently because of my back injury, I have been able to accomplish some stash busting. Now don't laugh, this first picture is of juice containers that were stored in a box on the sewing room floor. They were left over from my PGD#1 preschool program. While celebrating Earth Day and focusing on recycling, I asked her teacher if I could have the empty juice containers. The teacher asked why I wanted them while she gladly gave them to me. This is why:

I told her my idea. Not to bad for a first attempt without a pattern. I had seen some purses and bags made out of recyled juicy bags a year or two ago and thought I'd attempt to make one. The teacher even collected some more containers for me on other days too. So, since school will be out shortly I figured I'd better jump to this project and get it done.

DH likes the way its finished and kepts suggesting I try to eliminate my "Big Quilt" projects and focus more on the smaller ones that I have been finishing lately. Little does he know, that the larger ones are sometimes too painful to attempt, so that is why I've been focusing on the smaller ones. DUH! Oh well, he's a keeper.

I have been trying not to let this condition identify who I am. I don't want to be the sort of person who only talks about their complaints and physical ailments. That's why, even here, I try to focus on the positives happening in my life, so I try not to mention the disabling effects of my injury. I can't deal with any more negatives lately and seem to have a very short patience for any that land in my life. If I see or feel something that is too draining or hurtful, I'll pull back and not want it to be a part of my life. There is only so much one person can stand.

My other major accomplishment is busting out some flannel fabrics I had cut out this past March to make crib sheets. Glad to report that 5 standard size crib sheets are made, 2 portable crib size sheets made and 1 crib sheet mended that DD had asked me to fix. Incidentally, the mended sheet has only been here for 2-3 months too. The photo only shows the portable size and mended sheets. I didn't think showing pictures of all would be too exciting or photogenic if you know what I mean.
Well enjoy your day. DH has another Doctors appointment today so will be in town doing errands. A close friend's daughter is having her shower next week, so I best get a gift in for that besides a gift for a baby shower I couldn't get to and I just heard the baby boy is now thriving! Oooops, I'm behind the eight ball again.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

the power of acceptance...

Our life begins to change in magical ways when we open to the experience of life AS IT IS. With acceptance, we stop fighting what is happening. And this creates space, an opening for new relationships to unfold.

Explore unconditionally saying yes to the facts of life. Accept your past and where you are now. Unconditional acceptance is unconditional love and this is healing.

"Sometimes what seems like surrender isn't surrender at all. It's about what's going on in our hearts. About seeing clearly the way life is and accepting it and being true to it, whatever the pain, because the pain of not being true to it is far, far greater."

-- Nicholas Evans

Beautifully written, towanda!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mary Ellen Hopkins lectures...

What a dynamic, petite woman with enough personality for 5 people! In the past 10-20years, I've always said that if Mary Ellen Hopkins was anywhere near where I was, I would do anything within my power to see her. Well, another dream of mine has come true.

Wednesday night and all day Thursday, Mary Ellen Hopkins gave a lecture at a neighboring guild and I atold Dh that I was going. Yep, I didnt; even ask, I just told him. No problem, got a hotel room and left. She has a simple yet to me, an unusual approach to her quilt making. The most complex blocks, she can irradicate the instruction into the simplest of terms and have a stunning quilts at the sae time. Her use of color is unique and I still am a huge fan. I love the size of the strips she uses too. One of her mantras is to cut the strip no larger than 1.5" at the maximum. Smaller is better for cutting, longer is better for buying. Besides

What an enjoyable time. I was able to meet friends that I made while quilting at Paul Smiths Quilt Conference years ago, besides made some new friends. A little shout out to Cheryl, Louise, Judy, Kathy and Pat, I really enjoyed meeting and spending time with you.

When I checked out of the hotel, I was using the clock in the room and not my wrist watch. I thought it unusual that the front desk clerk never set the 6am wake up call but set it for 7am, but I thought, people are people and sometimes mistakes happen. No big Deal, I'm up anyway and have enough time to get dressed, shower, go out to eat and have breakfast, check out and get to the place where the lecture is. It was starting at 9am. Proceeded with my agenda in a timely manner, and while enroute to the lecture hall, called DH to let him know my plans when I looked at the clock on the dash board. I was one hour and 20 minutes early. Hummmm, the clerk was right and really had called at 6 am. SO now what?
Well I figured I'd drive and scout out a copuple of shops some of the ladies had told me about the night before. The Wooden Needle which is a stitchery shop and the Vermont Fabric and Yarn shop which is a quilt shop so I'd know how to get to them quickly after the lecture. But..... I stumbled across some different views. I absolutely loved it and was thrilled about it, quirky and some parts stunningly beautiful. PS, Have you ever wondered where bicycles came from?

They grow in Vermont! I never knew that.

The stacked rocks are amazing. Such Talent. These pictures are done by an amature, but I am impressed with the quality of my photos. It must of been the exceptional early morning light. I'm so glad I messed up the time, otherwise all of this would have been lost to me. The early morning light was shining on the bicycles hanging in the tree which made me turn the car around, pull over to investigate and brought me closer so I could see.
Then I saw the stone work. WOW! I love to witness the finished artwork of someone who has found their niche and allows their passion to flow. Beautiful! I kept trying to find out the artists' name, I think it might be woman named Thea from some hints I saw in the split log egg/hen house, but I couldn't find out anything more about her or possibly him at the lecture.

This guy was the only inhabitant I saw. He kept following me around I'm sure just wondering what this strange lady was doing in his yard, but he also wasn't sure which door to choose.

Any suggestions?

Enjoy your day, it won't be repeated.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sewing Machine Meme

Beth at Sew Mama Sew blog is conducting a poll about sewing machines. She welcomes any and all to blog about theirs, leave a message on her blog and then the information will be complied after one month and the results will be published with recommendations and references from perhaps thousands of users. So it'll be a great place to share you story of why you LOVE, LIKE or HATE your sewing machine and a good resource for what type of machines people an't live without (my words here, not hers).

My favorite sewing machine is/was a Bernina 170 quilter's edition that I fondly call my "Janina". A combined name of the manufacturer's name and mine that fits her personality perfectly. I bought her after researching what was available and test sewing several machines and brands that were serviceable in my area. Customer service is one of the reasons I bought her from Gloversville Sewing Center about 10 or 11 years ago and I've been happy that I did.
I paid huge money (I thought) for her since with all the extras of embroidery unit, software packaging that would allow me to do everything(or so I was told) plus the machine, feet it was a good deal. I think it was close to $4000.00+ and that was that many years ago. I've enjoyed her and still do, but I do wish she had the adaptability to get a BSR. I figured this would be my last sewing machine and that's how I sold the idea to my husband for the expense.
I've upgraded my software for editing and designing the embroidery Artista 2 additional times, each time another investment and being told, that with this upgrade, I'd be able to do anything I wanted. Not the truth. The last version I purchased was Version 5 and I was dealing with health issues and became very upset for the feeling of being victimized by that dealer when trying to get my software upgraded. I haven't been back there since! When I've tried to make a couple of different dealers go good for what was promised, I'm passed off and told the dongle I have is what it is, that what was promised, doesn't make since, even though they were the ones which promised it to begin with. So I am very disgruntled there.

Future buyers, beware, Bernina has excellent products and most dealers are thorough and caring, but there are others, some just starting out that promise this and that to make a sale and then say, no no, that can't be, it doesn't make sense, so get it anything in writing and make them produce what they sell!!

I would love to get another Bernina with a BSR. I sew many things but lately, mostly use my machine for quilting and the Basic Stitch Regulator besides a longer arm would be ideal for me. The Bernina 830 is a beauty, but with the cost of $11,999.00 or there abouts it is totally out of my price range. Maybe an Aurora 440 or something like that could fill the bill but I am resistant until my software program is working correctly and I am satisfied. I feel like I have invested enough. So I'll make do with what I have. Go figure, I sewed and quilted on a Montgomery Ward sewing machine for over 25 years making, roman shades, canopies, clothing, curtains, quilts, anything and that I only paid $129.00. What a deal, boy, I wish that store was still around.

Stay well and Happy Stitching
an abused Bernina Lover

While writing this I am surprising myself with the regressed anger I still feel over the investments in the Artista software. Maybe I'll switch brands, maybe to the Husquevarna's which are also readily available in my area. My Mom has the Rose and thoroughly loves it, I call her machine, "my baby sister Rose". I think I could except I wasn't that thrilled with the quality of their stitch look. I found the Bernina stitch to look superior. Oh well, Nuf said.