Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Christmas in July in Sewtopia......................

Christmas did indeed come early for me, in July. Her name is Lola. 
While sorting out the project boxes to pull the Christmas fabrics, I got a little off track. So I will just tell you all right now, Christmas will probably be in December! One thing I know for sure, Quilters need a sense of humor.

For example, in this little bin are the layer cake cuts for a small quilt, Christmas theme of course. 
 I just spent the morning cutting the squares apart into triangles. Truthfully, I do not remember what the pattern was to be. I am not sure why I stitched two white charm squares together only to cut them apart again to make a white square. 

Enter the sense of humor! 
Later this afternoon, when Mr. Sewtopia returns from doing errands, I will enlist his dog-sitting services so that I can dress, make beds, cook dinner ...and...head to the studio to try to find the pattern or plan for these little squares. There is a good reason why the good Lord did not permit aging women to have babies. Baby dogs bring their own challenges. Miss Lola is a smart little 8 lb. bundle. Eat, sleep, and..... you know what! She knew her name in less than two days, knows why that back door opens every 15 minutes and what her crate is for. For the next few weeks she is number one and I have to say she knows it and we are learning quickly!
  • Sleep is a precious commodity, my account is a bit low.
  • The zucchini and spaghetti squash are taking over. Yesterday I made zucchini/cranberry/pineapple bread and zucchini fritters. And there are more, friends have been notified, baskets are full and the recipes are flying. 
  • A few more projects are in the wings. How does that happen?
    she sleeps, she is a cuddler

Friday, July 13, 2018

In Progress,

Quilty Friend Linda, from the Ladies of the Cloth Group shared her progress on this lovely (and complicated to me) pattern. Of course, the fabric choice is stunning. It reminds me of fabrics from my childhood. I remember a sofa cover, in bark cloth, in these colors. 

Linda's handwork is meticulous. Each of her pieces is precisely pieced and the fabrics cut to their best advantage.

The off-white on off-white background fabric is the perfect contrast to the colors of the fussy cut fabrics. 
  • Linda is a wonderful example of the spirit of the quilter. Like many other ladies in our Ladies of the Cloth group she spends much of her time doing work to support charities and service groups. Right now she is joining in the All People Quilt Pillowcase Challenge. Quilters are generous people, their work supports everyone from homeless and ailing children to war veterans. 
  • Having a portable, hand stitching project is an important project for many quilters. Much can be accomplished in small bits of time. I joke that I have a quilt currently two years in the making. It is true. I am now at the point where I need to choose a background fabric, we are looking at another two years I think.
  • Have to go, I have a few things on hold in he Studio....wondering where I went😁  

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Much Like the Grand Finale Firework Display, Jewelry

I promised to share Terri's Kimi work on a previous post and here it is. Aren't these the bomb?😎
Itty-bitty tiny little beads woven into chevrons and other patterns (I don't know the name of the patterns, I am not a beader, bet you couldn't tell!)

Now just look at the bead on that bracelet. Collecting the "findings" can become a hobby all by itself! The pearl bracelet below sparkles and looks very 1920's to me.

Again, love that bead!

Wow, now this takes lots of patience.

Check out those earrings!

A different application, beautiful.

This sparkler has the same chevron pattern with the opposite presentation of the beads on the other side. I thought I had a photo of that, but alas, I do not.

  • It is fun to step away from our usual work to  try something new, different. From felting to beading, weaving to cross-stitch, quilters have versatility.
  • I have had my cross-stitch set aside for a while, I am getting the urge to start on that again because knitting my large wool afghan is a bit much right now, it is 93 degrees outside and just the thought tires me. 
  • I do have a little knitted project to share soon.   

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Quilts for Special Occasions

In the quilting world there is always something new going on. Terri made this sweet quilt for an Aunt celebrating her 90th birthday. As soon as I saw it I was in love with the fabric choice. This fabric, digitally printed Wildwood Way layer cake by RJR Studio. (sadly this is no longer available, was a limited run and will never be reproduced, hear me sigh.) The teal color is Kona cotton.
This fabric actually appears like printed photo's. Wow, such a beautiful collection.
 A nice coordinating fabric for the backing.
  • The pattern is a twisted nine patch variation. One of my favorite ways to mix it up!
  • Terri has been working away on her Baby Lock Coronet, note the wave quilting in the border. It goes all around the quilt. 
  • May your Summer be filled with flowers just like those in this fabric. 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Sparklers, The Crafter Makes Jewelry

Within our Tuesday morning quilting group, The Ladies of the Cloth, we have a group of Sparklers!  Not July 4th sparklers but jewelry sparklers💥 The process is driven by Super Creative Terri. Karen shared her recent works this week and we were all so impressed. This takes skill and patience and it shows. 
  Kumihimo (組み紐) is a Japanese form of braid-making. Cords and ribbons are made by interlacing strands. Kumi himo is Japanese for "gathered threads". Is this classy or what?
Karen is showing her style here. This pendant is absolutely on trend and classic but modern in execution.
I am looking forward to seeing more of Karen's work. She is such a talented lady and always open to try new things. This is the advantage of belonging to a sewing/quilting/crafting group. We are always looking at new-to-us art form. Some members have had multiple and varied experiences that people like me have never tried. I am blessed. 
  •  In a future post I will share some of Terri's work. Be prepared it is stunning.
  • To expand our artistic horizons is always a good thing. Even if it not something you may embrace, the process is enlightening. If I have said it once I have repeated it many times, the creative mind must exercise. Keeping stimulated and busy provides insights into those pursuits that you do embrace. 
  • I feel the need to find and share my lame attempt at bead stringing. It is down there somewhere! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

July Tea Time and 4th of July

My Shamrocks are in bloom. This dear plant is 4 years old, picked out at a check out line at a local market. It has thrived, nearly died and re-emerged more times than I can remember! I should call it a Resurrection Shamrock!
My Victoria Sponge is always a favorite for tea. Classic, non-pretentious, preparation easy. Frequently mentioned in BBC classic series, the Victoria Sponge is a cross between a sponge cake and a pound cake. This one is filled with Black Cherry Fresh Fruit Preserves. While it is a bit too sweet for my taste, it is well liked by some others. It is my Tuesday tea cake before the 4th of July picnic. 
The little table mat is a scrap of fabric left over from making one of my favorite aprons. I just trimmed it to size and pressed a hem, on the left bottom edge of the photo you can see the decorative stitch I used to hem the piece. I am determined to use  those decorative stitches, right?
This little pot is well used. It is a daily contender. It is an infuser type pot, leaves go in the integrated basket and strain when you pour. Since it is Red, it is the July pot of the month. Since this is a busy week, tea is a little toned down, I am reading a favorite magazine as I take a break, take a sip, and plan the rest of the week. Hope you have a lovely celebration as well. 

As many of us are preparing for the 4th of July celebration, I am hoping that all your sewing projects with the theme of the day are completed and you will have a moment to sit back with me, and have a lovely cup of tea and a piece of my Victoria Sponge Tea Cake.Missouri Quilt company

While our family event, also a reunion of my Mother's side of the family, will be held over the week end, I continue to set aside some time several times per week to slow down and consider how lucky we are to live in this country. You know I never discuss politics here but during those times I am keenly aware every day that those of us born here have been blessed.

I have unearthed all my Red, White and Blue quilts and decor to add a bit of spirit to the home and will keep them around, probably until Labor Day. That day is September 3rd, coming a bit more quickly than I prefer. By then Fall Decor is on my mind.

I remember a version of this from childhood. I never really thought that much about it, I just thought we were out of the ingredients to make a nice fudge frosting! This is a classic tea cake in the UK. Originally baked in a loaf pan and cut into "fingers" for easy handling at tea time. Over the last decades it has been converted to a round presentation. 
  • I loaned this book to someone, didn't write it down, no idea where it is. Need to find it 👀
  • I have a recipe for Banana Cake to try for August tea. That may be more my style.
  • I am working through lots of partically done projects by reusing or re-purposing  items.
  • Next week......Christmas in July.  Stay tuned!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Sewtopia is Going to the Dogs!

Yesterday was a big day in Sewtopia. We went to the breeder to meet this sweet little girl. Her name will be Lola and she will come home with us in 2 weeks. She is a Double Doodle. What? I know, let me explain. Her Mother is a Labradoodle (Standard Poodle and Labrador Retriever cross) and her father is a Golden Doodle (Standard Poodle and Golden Retriever cross) She is sweet, friendly, smart, doesn't shed or drool. Some people call these "Designer Dogs." I call her adorable.

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This is her litter, I know, can you stand it? Choosing one puppy out of this bundle of curly fur was not easy, just so you know.

Interestingly, all the puppies with very definitive markings are males. The breeder separated the females from the enclosure while we met the puppies. The male dogs were left inside and unbelievably jealous of the attention the girls were getting. So cute. The big guy, front and center, is one the breeder is keeping. He is bigger than all the others and very outgoing. 

Since I was second to choose a puppy much time was spent observing her actions and interactions. I want a social dog. She is that. The puppy on the right was the runner up and it was a difficult decision. The lady holding that one REALLY wanted her. She was apparently hiding her at one point from the rest of us. Odd, but that dog connected with her. And she with it. Competition in the puppy world, what is up with that?
  •   Lola will be 8 weeks old when she comes home. 
  • She has a pool already, other doo-dads to come. 
  • I will post about her now and then, hopefully not enough for you to remark....what's with the crazy dog lady? 

Christmas in July in Sewtopia......................

Christmas did indeed come early for me, in July. Her name is Lola.  While sorting out the project boxes to pull the Christmas fabrics, ...