Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday, Monday: Random Thoughts, am I a Bit Fussy?

I've quilted 13  or so quilts on this machine and free motion is the standard. Straight line quilting, not so much.

While preparing dinner yesterday I glanced out the window over the kitchen sink toward my herb beds. We have had a mild Winter but I was surprised to see Dandelion's in bloom. Really! I am confused. (I would have taken a picture but its raining.)

I had a visitor to the studio today. It is always interesting to see how people respond to my unbelievably cluttered space. I have three quilts in progress, two have been hanging around for a while and deserve to be finished but I am worried about the dandelions! Not really.  Not knowing this lady well I was pleased to know that she has plans to make her first quilt. She has a machine to piece and wanted to use my long arm or the Destiny to quilt. W-e-l-l, I don't know.  First off the Destiny is off limits to everyone. That has been the rule and I am not ready to change. That said, the long arm will be interesting because there is a learning curve there but I will try to teach as best I can. She wants to straight line quilt her project, that is really hard for me on this machine. Not sure it will work. 


 
She is understandably concerned about the throat size on her machine. This one has 16 inches clearance and works well for me.  I want this to be a positive experience and not a frustrating debacle. The quickest way to lose a future quilter is to have poorly functioning equipment.

I will keep you posted, you know I am pretty fussy about my machines..............................

  • Do you teach, like this, in a one to one set up?
  • I feel an obligation to help anyone I can, to support the continuation of quilting.
  • Do you let other people use your machines? I don't want to be too fussy but I name these things, we spend lots of time together, they are my friends.
  • I know they are sturdy and can take lots of use but like I said, I am a bit fussy. 
  • In prior situations I required the learner to have their own machine in working order. We will see.




Friday, January 20, 2017

Cross Stitching and a Winter Evening

The evening stitcher. Since darkness still falls early in January, I am always looking for a hand-work project to keep me busy while Mr. watches his television programs. It's not that I don't appreciate river monsters and how to catch them but I know that I can accomplish something while I learn!
This cross-stitch project for example has been at rest for a while in its own little keeper. The name of the pattern is "Patti Dovecoat" by Kathy Barrick. It is simple and sweet. A little sampler to frame or finish into a mini-pillow. I will decide when it is finished. At this point it is a little less than half done. I do need supplemental light these days to see the pattern and the thread count!
To make the project portable it is kept in its own little book with all supplies needed. While I had my tires rotated and oil changed the other day Patti Dovecoat came along. We passed the time effortlessly.

  • I am enjoying a bit of cross-stitch now and then. I used to always have a piece in progress but when quilting entered Sewtopia, many other past-times went to the back burner. That was 20 years ago. 
  • I like to have each project nestled in its own keeper. A needle book, a re-purposed cookie tin or a small make up case all work well. 
  • I keep all my precious threads, DMC, Valdani, silks and wool etc. in their own cases and out of sunlight and dust. 
  • A case for everything and everything in its case, that's me!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

In My Defense.....

A damp and chilly Western Pennsylvania Morning.
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Valaise Blacknose Sheep
 Can you believe how sweet these sheep are?


Just wanted to pop in to let you know the lull in Sewtopia is purely technical. I am in the process of transferring files and building some needed background information in the new computer. What a fuss! Wish I had people. 

If there is nothing new here for a few days I apologize and know that I am working on it. 

  • no matter how easy the "computer people" tell me the transition is....I think they just say that and then giggle!
  • weeding through a thousand or so photo's one wonders...what to save, what to discard, what to do?
  • so much rain here, our driveway drain is now a 2 foot ditch threatening to draw you down to the cliff. time for the big guns to come in with the big equipment, was not planning that.
  • when the dear Lucy has a restless night....we all have a restless night. At almost 16 years old, she is permitted.  





 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Saturday Share, Paris and Pennies

Travel by Quilt Panel. I picked up this sweet Paris themed panel at Fabric.com several weeks ago and just now got around to opening the package. This one is for me, something to brighten the studio since I cannot go there this season. Le Fleur is beautifully printed and I am looking forward to layering and quilting it.
I haven't chosen the quilting pattern yet but I have it narrowed down to a floral or floral and vine. Wait and see.
Cutting some lovely felted, double face Pendelton wool. A chalk mark was required because the plaid is so subtle that I couldn't follow a line. Love those Kai Scissors.
Large pennies, cut on my Accu-Quilt Go Cutter and blanket stitched on Destiny with a rayon embroidery thread. An experiment.
 These pennies even have their own matching Valdani Pearle!
 I broke down and opened this new box of Valdani. Be still my heart.
Better than a box of French Truffles, the colors are magic!
  • A new table runner for the dining room is in the works, that is why I cut the Pendelton.
  • I will stitch the pennies to the Pendelton with the Valdani, by hand. Turns out I really like the hand stitched look.
  • I am heavily influenced by Rose of Three Sheep Studio blog.  She works with wool, needle punch, rug hooking, cross stitch and any other type of hand embroidery you can imagine. She is a genius designer and an immaculate stitcher. Take a look at her blog and you will see what I mean. Genius. I source most of my wool from her as well.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Assemblage/Collage Jewelry as Framed Art

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A Christmas Wreath like I have never seen before. The bow at the top was a final touch, you know I love me a bow!
For the New Year I wanted to share photo's of something that is old and yet new again. In Victorian times, many artists would fashion framed art and embellish boxes with jewels. I have a friend from High School who has shared some of her work during the Christmas season and I am so impressed. She has taken seemingly disparate pieces and combined them for one-of-kind little masterpieces. Some of the items were from special family members, some collected and some purchased. The meticulous attention to detail and symmetry has absolutely enchanted me. Now make no mistake, this is a bit of work but can you just imagine taking all that never worn jewelry and giving a purpose? A good reason to visit estate sales and antique malls, this might be a nice little Winter project for you. 



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Personalizing this piece made it so special. How does she think of these things? Again, the bow. Be still my heart. Tuck a photo in the heart frame and it is a heirloom for the ages. Beautiful. 
  While these photos only represent a portion of her work I am sure you see the pattern. She rather minimizes the beauty but I am so impressed. I don't have much in the line of costume jewelry but I will be scanning with a more critical eye on my travels from now on.  Thanks Snorky for letting me share this with my readers.

Now back to our usual subject, quilting. I am determined to not start another project until I finish at least a few of the UFO's! I have one really special project in progress that will be the first to be completed. It is a memory quilt.

Interested? Just visit here, for another take on this art form.

More examples on Etsy. Everything from framed art, to mini-Christmas trees to covered boxes and lamps.

Susan from Quilt Fabrication Blog has listed several Free BOM quilt alongs for the New Year here! Some really interesting projects there and if you are of a mind, a great year long project!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Winter Snuggle and a Cup of Tea

Winter Birds Image
Image courtesy Graphics Fairy

As we embrace the frigid beauty of Winter, I am always charmed by the beautiful woodland birds that visit. We have a large bush populated with Rose Hips that they love. Yesterday the bush seemed to have more birds than berries. 

The current snuggle blanket is in slow but sure mode. Using the lovely wool reminds me of my favorite Agatha Christie movies where she always had some knitting in her hands. I scan the "On Demand" feature on my television looking for re-runs!

Now on to The Tuesday Tea. Today we are enjoying a lovely tea from a local purveyor, Prestogeorge in the Strip District in the city of Pittsburgh. This blend is Blood Orange. It is sweet, spicy and infused with blood orange. A wonderful pick-me-up mid-afternoon. 

I have a small collection of glass figures. This sweet little rooster is a gift, from my Dear Son for Christmas 2010. It is labeled Global Village Glass. I cherish it. It reminds me of him and the sense of humor that lifted us all. 

I like using White China in mid-Winter. It seems to enhance the desolate beauty of  the landscape. 
The first cup is a Lenox piece, the Hallmark is "Special."  It is an off white color with gold trim. I am not sure when I received this or bought it. It is part of the large collection.  

The second  cup is white with gold trim. It has a Chinese Hallmark and the script is Chinese. 

Have a lovely day, don't forget to take a few minutes for yourself and of course a cup of tea. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Orchid and Bonsai at Phipps

This Week at Phipps: Jan. 9 – 15
Are you in the Pittsburgh area living or visiting? Have a flower passion or an orchid obsession? What about Bonsai, are you as fascinated as I am? This week, Jan. 9-15 they are featured at Phipps. Don't miss it!