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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just Why???

Just why is it, that when I have my feet to the fire and things that have to be done, I can manage to get side tracked at a heartbeat?

I know that I need to finish the McKenna Ryan quilt, and today would have been a perfect time to get to it, but... no, I find yet again something else to start!

Have you seen the Project House 360 BOM? Click here to check it out!  It knocked my socks off. So today I had to play. I enlarged my pieces and wanted to make sure things went together correctly before I cut into my quilt fabric. I just pulled a bunch of leftovers to play with for my practice run.

The pattern fit like a dream, but I did learn a couple of things. First off the secondary rays didn't show up as well as I had expected. Darn, it looked fabulous in my mind!  LOL!!  But it's good information to know before I make the same mistake with my "good" fabric. Second, is that while you can't see it here, the background had more of a directional print than I had noticed, and that does not make for great paper piecing fabric. I am so glad this practice piece paid off in knowledge. I threw some borders on it and will call it a free motion quilting opportunity, so all is not lost. What the heck I have a new wall hanging. Now where can I find extra wall space????


 I got a phone call today that made my heart leap with joy!
You see, I have been contemplating retirement from the airlines for some time now. I have been back and forth deciding, but today I know it's May 1 for sure. You see I am going to work for .... ta ta ta daaaa...  a sewing machine shop.
Is that perfect for me or what? Actually its the place I have gotten all my machines from, and the people that I have done business with for about 12 years now. I am just delighted, they are great folks. In fact I will be starting training in the next week or so, just 1 day a week until May 1, the magic day.  Oh happy dance, happy dance!

Oh no, what do I wear??? I have been in a uniform for 17 years now. No one will know who I am in civillian clothes. Heck I don't even own anything else but jeans. Wonder if I can make this compass quilting into a new dud???? Second thought, rays across my rear would probably not be all that appealing to have to look at!    :-) :-)  :-) So as to not scare the public I won't!

Yeah haw, I get to go shopping. New wardrobe!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I really haven't been slackin'

Nope, not at all. But I did have to work a lot of days last week, which cut dramatically into my stitching time!


Here is a peek at what has been going on in my studio!
This is the beginning of the Hoop Sisters BOM machine embroidery from last year. And for the record, I am not a year behind, I just saw this and bought it for myself at Christmas.

36 blocks, my hand dyes and hours of stitching time. Each block averages about a hour. I am so glad they make home embroidery machines. I can't imagine doing this by hand.  :-)  Where were we, before all these toys we have now?  :-)

McKenna Ryan was calling me too. This has been on the back burner for awhile now, but I have to get it done. It's a commission quilt of sorts. I promised it for a friend, for her ski condo last year. I am so glad I have patient friends. 

My blocks are fused and ready for me to start quilting. I am looking forward to my next days off!  :-)  Don't we always! Looks like I will have plenty to do!

Keep on stitchin'...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chocolate Bliss

With the big V day rapidly approaching, nothing is better than seeing happy people with their Heavenly Chocolate Bliss quilts under way.

                               Theresa and Ruth busy working on a block!
 Theresa has not quilted before and I have to tell you, she put her nose to the grind stone and turned out 10 beautiful star blocks, and those blocks are buggers!  I am so thrilled for her. It was fun to see her light up with ever step she conquered!
  Theresa I am so proud of you! I wish I had taken a photo of your lovely  blocks.  And I need more practice with the phone camera!  Gheez, is this fuzzy or what!

          Ruth  has her blocks all done, and has done some fabulous
          things with embellishments, like the lace on her pie here!
          You should see all her fun buttons, beads and baubles!!!
           I can hardly wait to see them all put together. She's a hand
          quilter too. WOW!!  Dare I tell you about her organization?
       She had her pattern in a notebook with dividers and then added
        all kinds of photos from magazines, and recipes for each and
         every block. She brought in a new Food Network (I think)
         magazine that was dedicated to Chocolate this month!  Yummy!

Kelly was an inspiration to all of us. She fussy cut all her pieces, and digitized fun little sayings for her 2 1/2" blocks and even digitized the little "kisses" tabs for Hershey Kisses. Something we all decided we had to have! I have never seen piecing as precise and meticulous as she does. I have something to aspire to now.

Stephanie has never quilted but is a spectacular garment sewer. She went to town on this quilt and got "er" done!  I think we have hooked yet another "Quilter" in our little world here!! :-)  :-)  Yeah Steph!!

Everyone brought so much inspiration to their quilts. Like the pattern wasn't fun enough, adding all the personal touches just makes them "POP". I believe it was Ruth who, scanned chocolate candy wrappers and photo transferred them, for her quilt. Now how cool is that??  And does that open a entire direction for this quilt?

Nothing makes an instructor happier than a class like this. You girls just made my day... month... heck YEAR!!!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Welcome to my play pen


If you have dropped in from Stash Manicure, welcome welcome.  Actually even if you haven't dropped in from there, I am thrilled to see you!!

I've had so much fun playing with leftovers. It's such a great way to make up a very unique piece of art fabric. Just in case you missed my post over at Stash Manicure, it is been "rerun" just for you, one post below.

You might also like to take a look at a post I put up a couple of years back, on making thread fabric. Same idea, different filler inside the water soluble sandwich. 

Here's the link...

And now for your ideas.  I have a jar of thread and a bag of dog ears!  What to do, what to do???

So follow along with me, and we will explore many fun ways to play.

See you soon!
I can hardly wait to hear from you!!  :-)

Recycle and reuse!

Red red red...  Are you seeing red yet, and pink and white and anything that makes the heart flutter!!! That's what Valentines day is all about.

While I was working on my Christmas projects this year, I had a stroke of genius... or maybe just a stroke!!   :-)   But, I just couldn't get this crazy idea out of my head.  Where are my manners?   I am Joan, popping in for a visit from "MooseStash Quilting". I have long been a fanatic about saving scraps and threads and itty bitty things that would make anyone who is OCD crazy, I am sure.  But there was this eureka moment, while working on my Christmas project last November. I had all these little corners that I cut off my blocks. You know, the ones left over, when you stitch on the line and then cut them 1/4" away when making, flying geese for example.

I immediately stop and stitch together the little leftovers to save for a new project. Sounds crazy I now!

After you press open your little piece, you get these dog ears.


And you know they have to go!!

          Which leaves you this...
      Now we are on to something!! 

We need tulle, you know the stuff with little tiny holes in it. I put a piece of fabric under it, so you can see it. It's really hard to photograph.

We are also going to need some water soluble stabilizer. I like the woven kind personally.  Now layer the tulle on top of the water soluble stabilizer and stitch around the edges. We need 2 of these one for the top and one for the bottom! :-)

Dog ears!! Yep we need dog ears. And you thought I was crazy!
With the water soluble side down sprinkle on your dog ears.
I like it, but that's all the dog ears I have, and I think it needs more...           I happen to have some eye lash yarn the color I need. So I am going to cut up a bunch and just plop it where I want it!

Take your top piece with the water soluble side up and carefully pin the two together trying not to move the little dog ears or other filler around too much.

And  now for the fun. We are going to take this little sandwich to our machine, drop those feed dogs and start quilting. Nothing fancy, just some loops and wiggles, something to keep things together. Once you have the entire piece somewhat stable, you can start quilting the bejeebers out of it.

Bejeeber:  A very technical word that is about the same as "heck" or "mess" or "stuffing"... You know, whatever favorite word you like to use!!  :-)

It's fun to change out the thread colors and scribble away. It really does need to be pretty densely quilted so when we dissolve the stabilizer, everything stays put.  Here is my finished piece. 
                       Then off to the sink, to dissolve  the stabilizer.

What I am left with is this fabulous piece of fabric, just waiting to have an art quilt designed for it!
                                           Close up...


Remember those little pieces the ones the dog ears came from?

They make up great pin wheel blocks. And just the right colors to match our art fabric!! Who knew!

So I gathered a recycled zipper and some polka dot ribbon and I start to play. A zip up shirt is what popped into my mind, and don't you know that every zip up shirt has to have a matching brooch. It is a rule, I'm sure!

So here you go. My Valentines version of an art quilt.

And from left overs from this Christmas Quilt...
                                                    Who'd a thunk!

         I hope to have inspired you, to start your very own OCD fabric art quilt. Cause there is nothing better than getting a Bonus "quiltie" from leftovers!!

                   Have a fabulous Valentines day!!

     And don't forget to show us your " OCD Art" quilt!

A big thanks to Madame Samm!  It's always a pleasure for me to be able to share with so many talented people. You "all" keep me inspired, each and every day!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Last snow dye photos I promise

So this is the last of the snow dye photos. I promise!

I absolutely love the movement in this one. It looks like it should be a water project to me!

                                          And a sunflower project on this one!

I got some really cool mixing of colors this time, with some very unusual designs. It's always a mystery how they will come out, but I was thrilled with this batch.

These last 3 are the entire yard pieces. I just love them!

I dyed a total of 40 yards. 3 were a thumbs down, but the others were great.
I learned that adding a piece of fabric under your grate, catches the drips from the top fabric as well as sops up some of the extra run off, and you get some spectacular results. The I pushed it a little more and I poured off the "gluck" as I refer to it, on yet another piece of fabric and in most cases I got a much lighter 3rd piece of fabric, in what ever color all the run off dyes made when they mixed.
All were great and will work into any number of projects down the line.
Waste not, want not!  That's my motto and I am stickin to it.

Speaking of that, Madame Samm invited me to post on Tueday over on Stash Manicure.
So keeping that waste not want not, thought in mind, make sure you visit us on Tuesday!!  
                                                        :-)  See you then!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Just can't stop myself

So what do you do, when your going out to dinner with friends in a snowstorm?

That's an easy question, you quick grab a shovel full of snow and cover yet another bunch of fabric with it. Throw on some dyes and run out the door!

That's just what happened last night. Why anyone would feel the need to drive in this stuff if you didn't need to, is beyond me, but there we were. Needless to say, there was no waiting for tables at the restaurants and we got front row parking! I felt like queen for a day!! 

Even better, I came home to these!

 Another one of those bottom feeders. I am always looking for brown to work with. :-) Don't you love the texture!

Now tell me you don't see the Alien in this one!  There are even lights shining out his eyes.  You know right above the olive green crab!

And I haven't even been hitting the sauce!!! hahahaha

Another bottom feeder...

   This again, was in the bottom of the tray and basically just mopped up all the run off dyes. I find myself looking at the patterns. I see a spine in this one, what about you? (I think it's the aliens)  Acutally this is the same piece as the alien above, and the designs are symetrical because it was folded in quarters.

This is a close up of the piece below. I love the way the colors ran and mixed.

This is the full 36"x44" piece, and definitely my favorite of the day.

Wish I had more of an idea what I did, but I was in a hurry and dumped on the dye and ran out the door.

 Doesn't it just figure that when you hit a home run, you have no idea how!!!

Hummm, I still have another day off and there is lots of snow on the ground.

Blue, where is my blue. I need more blue fabrics.

See ya later!