Monday, August 19, 2019


Apparently, I've been a little distracted.  I started this blog a week ago and forgot all about it.  My mind is obviously on vacation already.  I worked on Rich's Marine Corp quilt a few weeks ago.  
I'm really liking this second version of the quilt.  The one that I made originally was a kit from Sweet Annies.  At the time, I thought kits were brilliant.  Now, I can't stand having someone else choose my fabrics.

All of these 9 patch blocks are 1/2 the size they're supposed to be, because I can't read instructions.  I didn't even realize it until I was putting things up on the design board and nothing was lining up.  I need 6 inch blocks and have 3 inch instead.  Luckily, the next step in the quilt is to make a lot of 4 inch filler blocks.  So, at least they won't be wasted.  I'll just put 1 inch strips on 2 sides.  Thank God for scrappy quilts!
I think the eagle is going to need some embroidery to define his feathers a bit.  Can we just appreciate that I inked his banner without messing up?  Thank you, very much.
I finished this cute stocking for Jackman's.  Not really my style, but whatever.  It's pretty.  My mom would have liked it.  I'll have a lone, fancy stocking for decorations next year.  Maybe I can fill it and give it as a gift.  It would still be all by itself, though and that seems really sad.
I did another block for my Baltimore Gardens quilt.  I've decided this is the end of that project.  I don't like it at all.  I've also decided I don't like appliquéing with batik fabric.  Which is the opposite of, basically, everyone else.  It's so crisp, it's really difficult to make smooth shapes.  I've got pointy bits on all my curves.  With regular, printed cotton, the fluff in the fabric makes it much more fluid and easy to work with.  Just my opinion, for what its worth.

I was going for Ice Cream colors for the project and I love mint and brown together but it's not working on this.  It makes the whole thing juvenile.  Not worth the time I have invested.  I like the first 3 blocks better but not enough to keep going.  I guess, if I really wanted to, I could redo the hot pink and use something less intense.  As of today, I don't care enough to bother.
Bethany went to Portland for vacation this summer and brought back these beauties for my studio!  I LOVE them!
Last but not least, I did get Hospital Sketches up to date with the Mountain Laurel block.  I do like this one still, so it's a keeper.  I haven't touched the next block yet.  I've been toying with some ideas on borders and am thinking about doing something funky.  Barbara had listed a few ideas and one was so weird, I can't stop thinking about it.
I've done a lot of embroidery and crazy quilting that I will share with you next time!  I leave for Ireland in 2 weeks!  Which is why I can barely function.  I'm so EXCITED!  I've done so much research that I feel like I've already been there and it's messing with my brain.  I'll post a bunch of pictures from the trip as well.

Tootles for now!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Crazy or Boring, You Be the Judge

It's been all about crazy quilting for me lately.  I was really into it for a few weeks and then I got to meet some new CQ friends and it sent me over the edge!  So much inspiration!  The rose pin was white when I started, I used Sierra's nail polish to update the color.  One of the people I met last week is Nicki Seevey of Raviolee Dreams on Etsy.  I've bought quite a bit of her hand dyed lace over the years and this bird/heart is some of her work.   I also fan-girled pretty hard when I met Lisa Boni of Ivory Blush Roses.  Honestly, I was embarrassing but she was really nice and we spoke for a long time.  She's got such a talent for color and delicacy.  She's doing a YouTube series if you'd like to to check it out.  Search for Ivory Blush Roses, Lisa Boni.

The envelope is based off a vintage embroidery pattern.  The gorgeous button was hand painted by Gerry Krueger of OlderRose on Etsy.

The Eagle block is finished/ not finished.  I added some clear beads to the fireworks, red beads to the flowers.  I painted the do hickey on the left.  It's too stark white, I may have to soften that up a bit.  It's anchored by a woven stitch in red that's really freaking me out now that I'm looking at the picture.  Looks too much like insects/ antennae... ew.
My super cool New York button came in!  It's more of a charm that I cut the loop off of.  Love it!  Then I added some "fields of grain" with the corner embroidery.
On a side note, last week a co-worker told me I was boring.  I only do boring things like bake and sew.  Also, I was the whitest person he'd ever met.  I WAS PISSED.  Now, re-reading how I fan-girled another grown woman over her embroidery skills, I think I get his meaning.  He still doesn't get to eat my cupcakes, though!

The Robin block is turning out to be a favorite of mine.  I did the ribbon work & branch around the bird.  The lace are from Nicki's shop and the Robin button is also from Gerry.
A simple linked chain and bugle bead for the open side of the picture.  The 3D leaves are 2 pieces of fabric fused together with Steam a Seam and tacked on.
Not much has happened with the peacock.  Everything I get is too large!  I did find this perfect little locket from the same shop New York came from!  The lace is also Nicki.

I kind of like the Owl block at this point.  I was really pleased with the owl charm kaleidoscope I  made.  It was really different than my usual.  I've used the feather embroidery before and it's a favorite.

The Hummingbird got some attention as well.  I added the cameo and another one of Gerry's buttons.  I wish I could afford more of her buttons!  Actually, I wish I could paint like that!  Then I did some ribbon work.  I did Colonial Knots with ribbon for the flowers but added a pink seed bead as well.  The trumpet flower doesn't exactly fit in but I had to use it so my bird could have a snack.

You can't see it very well but I did a button spider in purple.  The crow charm is from a Halloween packet I bought years ago.

The Turkey block is going to be really challenging for me.  So far, it's pumpkins.  But, that's only going to get me so far!  This large one is wool with some gold thread and lucite leaves.  During our last CQ group meeting, we studied Kathy Shaw's latest book.  We talked about building seams.  I used a seam she had listed as inspiration on the boullion stitch pumpkins.

Last but not least, I finished some more displays for Jackmans, just in time to be handed another one to do by August.

As a grand finale, a picture of the sunflowers in my backyard, courtesy of Melissa the Gardener.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Farmer's Wife

Last weekend we had our quilting retreat in Mascoutah.  It's always a favorite of mine.  For 3 days, I meet up with friends and we sew for as long or as short a time as we want.  It's fabulous!  I started a new quilt this time around. 

Years ago, I tried to do the Farmer's Wife quilt using templates and it was a disaster.  My blocks didn't measure correctly in the end.  I was also COMPLETELY random in my fabric choices.  I got 3 or 4 in and lost all interest.  This time around I'm doing it in 30s reproductions and paper piecing.
 I changed the color pattern on April and it looks nothing like it should.  It'll probably be a do over.  The lighting must have been terrible when I took these pics, the background is actually white.  Anne got yellow roses because that's my mom's name and she loved yellow roses.
They still don't measure correctly!  But, I think that's because of my printer and not necessarily because I suck.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
I've decided this quilt will be a tribute to my grandma, Nita Purdy.  She was a farmer's wife during the Great Depression with 10 surviving children.  Sadly, I barely knew her.  She died when I was very young (10?) and I only saw her during the summers growing up.  I was not the best behaved child.  My parents were divorced & no one was telling me no, except Grandma Purdy.  For this reason, I was terrified of her.  Now, as an adult, I realize where she was coming from and I wish I'd had an opportunity to know her better.  Or at all, really.  Who knows how far I'll get, or how long it will take.  I'm planning on it being my "retreat" project much like the Harry Potter bookshelf was.
I also finished the Pineapple block on Barbara Brackman's Hospital sketches.  It was a quick and easy block and I was super pleased with my fabric choice for the pineapples.  It's the little things that make me the happiest!

Over the holiday, I did tons of crazy quilting but didn't get any pics, so I'll get back to you on that.  I was really on a roll, staying up to 3am.  You know when inspiration hits, you got to get it out before it floats away again.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Rainy Days & Mondays Always Get Me Down

Yesterday had me thinking of that song.  Rain, rain and more rain.  Add in a wicked stomach ache and, basically, I did nothing but lay on the couch and stitch.  Last week, I finished the Coxcombs and Berries block from Barbara Brackman's Hospital Sketches.  Just barely in time to start Pineapples before she issues the block after that...
I also started working on a series of displays for Jackmans.  They are due in August but they're all embroidery.  They're going to take a minute.  This first one is really cute, the Welcome Friends panel is removable.  You can unsnap and replace it with Home Sweet Home.  When it comes back, I plan on making a ruder version.  Rich is lobbying for "Fu** Off", with flowers, naturally.
During my convalescing yesterday, I got to work on my crazy quilt bird project.  I can't seem to finish one block all at once.  I tried with the lovebirds but then thought it looked forced.  So, I took off a button cluster, added ribbon work to the birds, embroidered the clover, added the metal bird toggle thing and re-did that seam.  I like it a lot better now.  It's cleaner.
Then, I finished a beaded oak leaf for the cardinal.  It's not quite what I imagined, but good enough.  I didn't have enough variety of gold beads to do my vision but also was too cheap to buy more.
I did a Pinterest search for bird embroidery ideas and this pineapple came up.  I loved it, saved it for a another time but then realized my flamingo could use a pineapple.
Last but not least, I added star sequins to my eagle block.  I did red/white rose garland around the eagle and embroidered some fireworks.  I think I need to add some beads to the fireworks so they sparkle.  And, I think I'll bring the garland in to the picture where they've printed the roses.  I've got a really cool, vintage Statue of Liberty button on order.  The same shop also had a flamingo locket that really wanted to come live with me as well.  So, I'm excited about that.
Now, to stop spending money on buttons!  I've got a trip to Ireland to save for!!!  We've got our tickets!!  The first thing I did was contact a tattoo artist in Kilkenny.  I'm a big fan of her floral/ watercolor work and am really hoping she's got an opening while we're there.  Fingers crossed.  I've purchased waterproof boots and tennies.  Mostly for Ireland but honestly, we've had so much rain, it was a good investment for home, too.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Holy Moly Batman, What a Week!

Well, first thing's, first.  I finished the main part of my Stevie's Quilt!  This was a beast of a project!  Initially, I thought I'd just do the center motif but when that was done, I decided to keep going.  I'll have to look to see when I started this.  Perhaps the first of the year?
Rita Verocca named this quilt after her daughter Stevie, so I decided to add a butterfly for each of my daughters.  I let each of the girls choose what color butterfly they wanted to be.
Then, I was able to do a flag for Rich's quilt.  I did a second, smaller flag but I guess it didn't get photographed.

The Quilts From The Heart Quilt Show was this last weekend.  We had Maribeth Schmit come in from WI to judge for us.  She's one of the instructors for NACQJ, formally known as NQA.  She was a dream to work with.  If you're looking to hire a judge for your show, she's a great find.  Our scribes loved her easy form to fill out.  That happened on Friday.

We also had  Viewers Choice voting on Saturday when the show opened.  My crazy quilts did surprisingly well considering we all consider it a dying art.  You've seen these projects before.  I finished them a while back.  This first one got second with the judge & the public in the Crazy Quilt category. 
This one, got first in both.  And, get this, got Best of Show, with the public!  Amazing!  It's even got a block in upside down!  I guess that's the beauty of crazy quilting.  No one knows if something was on purpose or not!  I was really touched and honored by the out pouring of support from my friends & family at the show.  They even set up a special chair for me to sit in next to my quilt.

Ironically, the quilt that got in to Paducah only got 3rd from both the judge and the public!  The long arm quilter that did this quilt for me, Jane Hair, was our featured quilter!  It was amazing to see all her work in the show.  We had close to 200 quilts and I think 32 of them had been quilted by Jane!

Nerd Alert!
I'm so thankful for being surrounded by such great, talented, beautiful friends.  But, I'm also super thankful that nobody needs me for anything anytime soon!

Talk to you soon!