Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stash Report week #5

It's hard to believe its already the end of January. Despite it being so cold, there is not alot of snow around. I think my sister in Maryland is getting more than us this year, which is definitely not normal. Oh well it's rather nice to be able to run out to the garage with my flip flops on and not get my toes all snow. DH may be on to something about relocating to a warmer climate. But it's too soon to do that especially with the ages of the youngest grandchildren (4 and 1). I need to be near them at this time in their lives.

As for my stash report,

Used this week: 0 yards
Used Year To date: 2.5 yards

Added This week: 0 yards
Added Year To Date: 10 yards

Net Fabric Gained (Loss or used): 7.5 yards

Alas, despite a finish, I can not add in the amount used since it was sent with the pattern as a BOM. I am sewing, but no finishes to report yet. Here's a peak of what I am currently working on:

No hints, just trying to complete another PIG (project in a grocery sack) while at the same time learn and try another techinque that I've always wanted to do. Hopefully I'll be unveiling what it is shortly.

While trying to find that picture, I stumbled across a photo of something I mentioned I'd post and add at a later time from this post. Well it is the reversible APRON I made for a friend over a year ago but never gave until this past Christmas. I never took a photo of the finished item, but here are the fabrics I used, as well as my drawn illustration of what I embroidered in redwork. The stand for the cake plate I made was the shortest footed markings. With this I also used a soft brown colored pencil for the cake and a red fine tip marker for the scallops on the plate stand. I colored first and then embroidered with DMC 496 if I remember correctly.

Enjoyed a wind ensemble concert yesterday at PSUNY and today family commitments are on my agenda, so I won't be able to sew until later tonight.

Enjoy Life,

Monday, January 25, 2010

One World One Heart blogging event

I have noticed this event on different blogs and because the internet and blogging have added so much to my life, I wanted to pass it along and share some excitement with others. How could I pass it along now? Perhaps with a magic carpet ride via the ONE WORLD ONE HEART worldwide event.


This is a global event, not like the One World One Heart Event that Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream offered back in 2000. This event started in 2007 and is a way bloggers can connect thru the web. What will I be giving? Stay tuned for a photo tomorrow, after I have some time to think, then stage an appropriate setting and figure out something worthy to give.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Finish #2 for 2010!

Recently PGD#1 and I made some pom pom art. A magnet for her art work to display proudly on the refridgerator. It's cute and in her favorite color.

SO what does this have to do with my finish #2......Here's the pattern:

And here is a photo of my finsh #2:

Notice the difference? It's the coat tree and the hat with a pom pom. This photo shows more of the detail:

When I first saw this pattern, I thought the coat tree could have been a knitting needle with a knitted scarf coming off it. So I changed the pattern to have some coat hooks near it's top as well as looping the scarf around one of the pegs. Then I had a eureka moment. A hat with a pompom to compliment the colors of the scarf. Viola! It worked. The package of pompoms I had in for preschool art was too bright, so I tea dyed the red pom pom to shade it. I added the ribbing on the hat by playing with stitches on my Bernina 170 QE.
Something I also discovered while playing with my stitches was that my stitch #21 is a gathering stitch and only catches every third stitch. Wish I could have had that machine when I made the colonial muslin curtains for the master bedroom. I used a whole bolt of premium muslin and I think over 100 yards of cluny lace within the double ruffle which also had the corded insert of a tea rose cotton. It took me quite awhile and alot of hand stitching to gather all that fabric and lace especially since at the time, I only owned a Montgomery Ward- White sewing machine that cost $129.00 and I used, I mean really used hard for 25 years. What a work horse that machine was until it was used too much and then my grumbling started. Thank goodness my DH is so understanding, because at the time he said, if you need a new machine, get one. Thus my "baby Bernina" aka "Janina" came to live with me. VBG here.
He knows not to say that anymore. If I grumble now about trying to quilt on the 170 QE he stays quiet just knowing that if he said Go get a machine, my butt would be in the car lickety split! I would love a long arm but with the space limitations of our home, it's just not realistic to purchase one yet.

Happy Stitching,

St Patricks Day freebie and stash report week #4

While doing some follow through on the internet, I ran across this cute XCS pattern offered by Brooks Books. Cute a small. Could be just right for St. Patty's
As for Stash Report for Week #4 It remains the same as last week. I am realizing if I want to succeed with this 100 yards used, I need to use up at least 8 and 1/3 yards per month. Yikes! I best get a groove and move on. Now that puts it in perspective. Of course I count it when the project is completed not just cut.

Here's my report of stash for week #4

Used this week: 0
Used Year To date: 2.5

Added This week: 0 yards
Added Year To Date: 10

Net Fabric Gained (Loss or used): 7.5 yards

If this was a race, I think I'd be in last place. No I'm not rhyming here, just realizing that if I want the stash to move I better concentrate more on the steps needed to get projects finished.
As for the one a month challenge that I did last year, I still want to keep that challenge going. So far so good, but I also would love to do as last year and complete 2 projects each month. If life, pain, commitments and such get in the way, then 1 a month is better than none.

Happy Stitching,

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Some interesting tutorials...

With journaling about my creativity and life on my blog, I find it's a great way to note where to find links and tools for possible/probable future projects that I may want to do. So, to be able to find them when I need them, esp. without having to read through the blog pages, I am labeling them with tools or tutorials. That way I could do a search for those words and google will kindly pull it up for me, so much easier. Anyways, thats my plan.

Here's a tutorial for pillow case dress over at freshly picked.

Another informative page about making continuous bis tape plus the yardages needed can be found through this link.

And this last link shows a page full of tutorial for making bags of all sorts.

Another plan I have is to do a quilting retreat today. Notice the time and I yet have to sit behind my sewing machine to do any stitching! Well, it can't be helped, sometimes it's just too important to reconnect with family and friends. So I'm off, enjoy your day, I'm planning on enjoyng mine.

Dessert is premade for dinner and that meal is almost ready as well. BAsil seafood served over pasta or spaghetti squash. Of course, I realize the oximoran statement that I just made, Dessert and low carb in the same area, really Jane! Oh well .....such is life and especially for today I'll allow it.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Snowman for all types

People who know me know I love to decorate for the different seasons and Holidays that occur. I've been doing that for the past 19 years. It happened after I realized that my home seemed empty after removing all of our Christmas decorations one year. Since then, I do the typical vignettes for the Holidays. January and February are for Snowmen.
Here's a sampling of the quilted and homemade snowmen around my home right now.

This one is "Snow friends" and was a pattern I had and finished about 4-5 years ago. On this wall hanging I used the buttons from 4 different woman's button boxes. These women , not including myself had a strong impact on my life. So with each button I sewed on I gave mental thanks and blessigns for their influence on my life. Wonder who they were? It's my Mom, my Maternal Grandmother all my siblings call GiGi and my Mother In Law. All loved by me and appreciated for all their qualities and traits.

This little table mat sits on the dining room table. I borrowed this pattern from a good friend Nancy. She was making these table mats left and right and got me addicted to them. I think I have 3 more cut and ready to assemble, now just to find them.

This last penny wool table mat I finished from a kit, I think it may have been from Keepsake Quilting. When I saw it, I just loved it and knowing that I could use it for the January Snowmen theme besides flowing into February with the hearts and love theme it would be perfect for these 2 months.

And now, for the piece de resistance....

a stuffed snowman that my now 13 year old grandson made about 6-7 years ago.

It stands about 24 inches high and is quite formidable when you see it. When PGD#1 saw it she prompty mentioned, "I want to make one." I'll have to come up with something appropriate for her. This sits on top of the kitchen closet soffett.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Look what arrived!!!

I won a giveaway from Susan Brubaker Knapp just before Christmas. It's this pattern for a Pinata Purse.

Susan Brubaker Knapp and Sarah Smith were hosting a duo giveaway and I was fortunate enough to be the winner of Susan's pattern. Now how did she know that I love bags? I am so grateful.
Since that time, I've noticed her name in other places. Such as in a video with Pokey from Quilt Arts showing free motion machine quilting and other places like advertisements in magazines. She has an amazing book out as well as check out her blog, Blue Moon River. The painting she currently doing on the orchid quilt is absolutely stunning!

Around the same time as the drawing, I had to wrap a gift for PGD#1's Christmas Party at preschool. So after pancakes for breakfast and getting her presentable, I grabbed a roll of wrapping paper, wrapped it, decorated it and labelled it. So while picking up the wrap, I boinked her gently on the head. Of course, she quickly grabbed the roll of paper and boinked me back. BUT THEN with a wicked gleam in her eye, she said, "Pretend this is a bat and you are a pinata!" all the while she was homing in towards me. So funny, I laughed and smiled over this little escapade for awhile now. Love that girl!

Stay warm and laugh often,

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What's going on...

As for what I'm doing, here's a sneak peak. Any ideas? DO you think you know what it is?

As for the 365 free motion quilting designs that
Leah Day is posting, I have been able to catch up and am current with drawing out the designs in my little journal. I plan to use this as a reference and at the same time practice drawing out the designs as she presents them. Each time I grab the pen and attempt to draw her design idea, a zen-like quality falls over me. They are all being illustrated rahter well in my feeble attempts and at the bottom section of each page, I note of how to start or the highpoints needed to do it. Over all it's a pleasing task and I'm thankful she is sharing them so generously.

A friend is having surgery today for a total knee replacement. So I am saying prayers and hoping everything goes off without a hitch. The surgeon that is doing her repalcement is one of the area Doctors that I have great faith in. This same surgeon is the one I followed up with after travelling back from South Dakota with a multiple L ankle fracture that was repaired at the Spearfish Hospital with a plate and 9 pins, so I know she's in good hands.

Stay Well and Warm and
Happy Stitching,

Monday, January 18, 2010

Biblical Blocks for a charity

With the 2 blocks I choose to do from More Biblical Blocks by Rosemary Makhan, I was able to finish the blocks late last night.

The pinwheel block, Soloman's Star gave me alot of trouble. It's a simple enough block, but I really had it twisted several times over and did ripping out about 1.5 times per seam (or it just about seems like it!). I guess maybe I should have put it aside until I was fresh, but I did persevere until it was done. Go figure, usually I am not that dense but you couldn't have sworn to it by my attempts last night. As for the more advanced and challenging block, Golgotha, that went together nicely. The only difference was that when I assembled this one, I basted the seams through the areas where alignment was important before I stitched it. That worked so much better. Both blocks had templates in the instructions. I am not an admirer of template blocks. Give me any calculation to use and I can do it so much easier that anytime templates are mentioned, that's when I have huge hesitaitons. ANyway, I am now happy now that this task has been met. Oh, what's that knocking sound? I think it just may be an alien wanting to see the back of my quilt. ;~) LOL


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Our Saturday Gathering and Stash Report #3

I am grateful for the community of stitchers. What a gathering of talent and friendship that happened again yesterday. Quilters are such a giving group of ladies. Our little group of 8 decided to help in another charity quilt yesterday for the Eastern Star. A couple of them had purchased the fabric in shades of cream, brown and aqua, so I assisted with the math calculations in estimating how much of each fabric each lady would need to do her blocks. Needless to say, my brain was fried by the end of the day. This little gift of math used to be so much easier for me, now my brain wanders a bit and I have to step back to refocus to stay on task. Hopefully all my calculations will be right, but of course I threw in a little disclaimer to all before we ended our day. Tee hee, you just never know! ;~)

I also am amazed at the synchronicity of the universe. The book of patterns called More Biblical Quilt Blocks by Rosemary Makhan is the book that each of us choose 2 different blocks to make for this quilt. Two of the quilters owned this book, but it also happens to be the book I borrowed from our quilt guild library this past Wednesday. I had no idea or any kind of inkling that this was going on or would be. The friend who requested our group to make this for her Mom's organization is going through a very difficult time right now. So all of us were more than happy to assist her in this quest. Some things are just meant to be I guess, but I also am amazed on how connected we(human beings) are at times. It is appreciated yet at the same time humbling to witness.

Well, eyeballs are on the fabric for my little alien friend but now to make the back large enough so I can start the appliqueing the post, sign and alien onto it and in that order. I will be machine appliqueing them. I found some clip art on the web and had our local Staples Office Supply blow up the print out at 400% to get the size I envisioned. Am satisfied with that, but I am wondering how best to machine applique it. Get my fusible onto the back of the pieces? Or just use the cloth without that medium being used? Time will tell.

Here's my report of stash for week#3

Used this week: 2.5
Used Year To date: 2.5

Added This week: 0 yards
Added Year To Date: 10

Net Fabric Gained (Loss or used): 7.5 yards

Yippee! Finally showing some usage with a couple of finished projects this past week. Besides the runner being completed, a friend asked for four blocks for a project she's working on and I'm able to count that fabric as out of my stash now. Sorry, but I forgot to take photos before I gave them away but it was nice to use some of my batiks in them. Yippee!
As for the pieces of fabric I came home with yesterday, I didn't purchase it, so I won't include it in this report. BUT, NOTE TO SELF, when those blocks are done, you can't use the amounts there either Janie. Fair is Fair.

Enjoy your day,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Next UFO focus

With finishing the runner I am going to focus on my next UFO. I've mentioned my Patience Corners quilt and I'll putter along with that but my next focused UFO will be my Alien invasion. It has been sitting on my cutting table waiting for me to applique a design on the back. I did machine applique the sign I want my little alien to hold but now to get the little creature onto fabric. Stay tuned. I think I should be able to manage this finish by the end of January, and that includes me quilting it on my DSM.

Stay Warm,

Monday, January 11, 2010

Long Lines no more, Yippee!

Happy Dancing It's done. Check it out. The long lines side quilted with black thread.

The scrappy reversible side where I used my 1" x 4.5" logs I had used as a humpjumper into making a 4.5" square block, then did a weave style layout on point for the table runner. Also, if ric rac is not sewn just right it will turn up and curl after being washed, so I did stitch down in a center line by machine but then I hand stitched each point to the cloth to keep it down. What a bugger of a job that was. Quite often that bright yellow thread would show on the reverse side so I'd have to rippit and redo. But I am happy with my results.

Showing the details of the ric rac side with the quilting loopy loops that was used. Superior varigated thread that was a dream to work with was used for the scrappy side with a solid black thread(not Pictured) on the other. Another technique that I wanted to try and I was able to do it on this runner was Sharon Schamber's binding technique. I had already sewn the binding onto the runner, but to finish it after rolling it over the edge to handstitch, I used her glue technique that was video taped on You tube. It was a little bit messy for me since my fingers kept getting into the glue while trying to turn the edge over, but I finally did get the hang of it and then only had to hand stitch it down without any pins or clips getting tangled with the thread. I know many people that use a machine stitch to get their project finished, but I do enjoy the rhythm of the needle. I just have to take my time with the numbness and pain in my fingers and hands. Now it's Tout fini!

So my first finish for 2010, Long lines/happy scrappy table runner that took a long time in my book. Making this reversible without a pattern was tricky and took me quite awhile. With trying to think through each step, foresee any difficulties and getting everything aligned just right in the construction phase besides figuring out how best to proceed is my only excuse on the length of time it took. But, I am pleased with my process and completion.

Happy Stitching,


Loved it. Yesterday was a great time. Reconnecting with an old friend and watching the musical Mama Mia.

The theatre group at Place des Arts in Montreal did a wonderful presentation of the play. Musicals were perfect, followed the story line and moved you with the tones and feelings of what was going on. My favorite part of the production had to be when the dance troup went into the Voulez vous? Uh Huh!
I felt it through my bones. So primodial with just a hint of tribal thrown in. What else can be said, we had a great time.

Happy Stitching,

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Stash Report Sunday- Week #2

I've been rather busy this past week but have managed to find some time to work on 2 of my UFOS. The long lines table runner and the back for my patience corners. I had planned on making a reversible quilt with the latter, BUT since joining the 100 yard stash with Judy Laquidera, I have rethought that and will do 2 separate quilts. That way more fabric will be gobbled up. (Feeling very smug with this!) Nothing finished yet to report but I can feel a surge coming on.

Used this week: 0
Used Year To date: 0

Added This week: 0 yards
Added Year To Date: 0

Net Gain (Loss): 10 yards

I'm off to Canada today. A friend and I will be watching the musical Mama Mia.
Greece is another country I've always wanted to visit, ever since I was 10 years old and read a Mary Stewart book. Reading has always planted seeds of places, things or people I want to visit, do or meet. I feel so blessed to have had all these oportunities. Tata for now. Will post more another day.

Stay Warm,

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stash Report - Week 1

Judy Laquidera of Patchwork Times has several challenges that she shares and that I have been thinking of participating with. This one of reporting your stash, both the ups and the downs is one I think I could do and stick with for the year. The other is a 100 yard dash of the stash implying that you'll use 100 yards of fabric for the year. Perhaps I'll unofficially do that one as well.

So for this past week, I did purchase some yardage at one of my favorite quilt shops, Fibre Junction. Beautiful isn't it?

Two friends own it and they were having a sale on a fabric line called Kashmir IV at 50% off! Now, How could I let that go by? Well, I couldn't. I only have a bit of sewing done on this UFO that I started as a disappearring nine patch last year with the charm squares I received in that fabric line, so I purchased enough fabrics for borders and perhaps some pillowcases or pillows. Time will tell when I focus on finishing that UFO. So my first stash summary is a gain.

Used this week: 0
Used Year To date: 0

Added This week: 10 yards
Added Year To Date: 10

Net Gain (Loss): 10 yards

I best get my rear in gear if I'm going to get this number in parenthesis showing that my stash is getting used!

I still am finishing the long lines table runner, perhaps I'll be able to post a photo soon of it finally completed. The quilting is done, the next steps are to put the ric rac on one side of it and then bind it. Thinking reflectively here, I should have done 2 one sided tablerunners, and it would have used up more stash. DUH!

Stay Warm,

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goals for 2010 - FOCUS

With the New Year fast approaching I've been contemplating how I want 2010 to play out. Feeling great with my tiny successes for 2009 I am ready to embrace 2010 with the same fervor.

No Buy Challenge- I consider myself very successful (Thanks Stasshbusters!). Only buying the B's backing, backgrounds, borders or bindings or if I needed something to finish a project that I would then have to use it in the next 7 days. How refreshing to stop the cycle of frivolous or spontaneous purchases.

One a Month Challenge - I surpassed this challenge with completing at least 2 each month. Most not large projects, but still finished projects. Doing a Happy Dance Now! I will still attempt the one a month challenge to progress the never ending list of UFO's.

Move more, eat less - A little bit of success with this lately, despite my body hurting so bad right now. Because of playing outdoors with the PGD#1 2 days ago I guess I moved too much and my back injury is really letting me know it didn't appreciate it. I need to really focus on my health more for 2010 and live a more balanced life.

Organizing - attempts have improved ten fold this past year that my home is becoming more like the home I always had before my injury. Thanks to the Flylady yahoo group, it helped me pull myself up by the boot straps and the premise was really simple. I just tried to keep my sinks clean. Amazing such a simple chore could do so much. Thanks Flylady- I am flying now and still have a long way to go, but my attempts are showing and it is making a difference. (Note to self - How do you eat an elephant? ......That's right, one bite at a time.)

Connecting with friends - Has improved this past year as well. With all the drugs and pain issues it surprises me how it crept into this area with a negative impact. Thanks to some good friends, I am feeling more like myself again. It's good to reconnect and find time to play. I want to do more of this in this next year too.

Economics - I have improved in many ways of my spending habits and I want to become debt free in the next 3-4 years. So, I will be focusing our monies into that and limiting some more of my frivolous spending with groceries, new hobbies, going out, etc.... Now mind you, travelling and connections are still important so I will talk with DH and we will come together to figure out a budget on how to do this and stay on track. We both heard the amount of a burial with the recent loss of our friend on Decmber 4th and it makes us aware that we should get our burial plan prepaid. That way when the time comes for either of us, it will be easier to burden the loss with most of the arrangements made and paid. NO - I AM NOT planning on exiting this world any time soon, but you never know which direction life brings you. Our lives our living proof of that!

Lastly, my blog has helped me journal my life. Trying to stay positive and not dwell on health issues. This venue has helped me tremendously and I appreciate all the new friends found through the internet. Your friendship and imput has been appreciated, considered and treasured.

2010 The Year to ”FOCUS”:

Finish at least 12 UFOs
Organize my home and studio
Can buy fabrics to finish a UFO or project
Utilize my scraps more
Shop my stash first

I will continue to do this and all I can say is stay tuned, it will be interesting to see what 2010 brings.

An optomistic Jane

Happy New Year!

I love this summary for 2009.

The One a Month project challenge that I participated with, I surpassed. Yippee! Here's a list of the projects I completed this past year.

7 Crib Sheets
Angel Doll Blanket
Autumn Spots COunted Cross Stitch - Trilogy
Big Girl Panties Counted Cross Stitch
Biscornu - Late summer flower theme
Black Onyx Earrings
Blessed are the Children (for Mom)
Bread Cloth Counted Cross Stitch
Candlemat for Bev
Cloth Rope trivets
Disappearing Nine Patch - PGS#3
Doll Quilt PGD#1
Easter Knitted Scarf
Embroidered Basket - acrylic photo frame slip over
Fleece Blanket PGS#1
Juicy Bags Tote Bag
Jungle Toy Bag
Noah's Ark Wallhanging called - Genesis Chapter 6
Patch Abilities October, Trick or Treat
Patch Abilities November, Abundance
Patch Abilities December, Oh Christmas Tree
Pumpkin CXS designed by JBW
Reversible Apron, PGD#1
Reversible Apron for Nancy
She Sells Sea Shells for Heather N.
Spring Knitted Scarf
Waffle Time Table Runner
Woven Sar Table Runner
Zany Flowers, aka Stitchin Fancy with Nancy

Most of these are smaller runners wllhangings or sewn items but only 1 quilt per se. I hope that my finishes for 2010 will include at least 4 quilts besides just as many finishes.

Blessings to you and yours and
Happy New Year!