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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fudge

FUDGE is a word that sums up my day in the quilt factory... :-)

I was determined to achieve perfection in my traditional quilt block piecing!!!! I measured five times, cut once... marked all of my seam allowances very carefully with pencil before I placed each piece under the needle of the machine... where I slowly and precisely allowed the feed dogs to grab the material through and stitch at a scant quarter inch...

I then opened each piece and used my finger nail to crisply help the seam to the dark side... then I grabbed my trusty new helper (a Clover Mini Iron... more on this later)... and permanently set each stitch and pressed each piece to flat measured perfection...

Ummmm... not really... it's more of a FUDGED prim-fection! lol!

Seriously no matter how careful I was with the measuring, cutting and sewing... my squares seemed to shrink a bit. Even get a bit wonky at times... especially the "Cut The Corners" pieced block. That's when FUDGE became an expletive...

:-0

So, when it came time to piece the blocks together to make the one big block that is the Inside Section 1 of this "Snow Days" quilt... I FUDGED some of those seam allowances down to an eighth of an inch to compensate for a few inaccuracies...

This is what was created after about 6 hours...

Phew!

See the Clover Mini Iron? LOVE it! One of the biggest difficulties I had with the first "Cut The Corners" block was using my regular iron with steam... lots of FUDGE that day when I burned my finger tips and then messed up all my pressed seams one right after the other... lol! There are mixed reviews on this Clover Mini Iron. But, I can honestly say that it heated up quickly and was hot enough to press those seams and keep them there. A lot easier to control than a full sized iron... and I have yet to burn a finger tip!

Here's a quick pic of my sewing area. I don't have a big house... so my machine isn't always out and available to sew. It's generally stored in a carrying case. So, when I do bring it out, ALL sewing gets done... including sewing backing on cross stitched and punchneedle pieces...


Today, however, I have had enough with machine sewing...

I just might trace off the embroidery for Block #2...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cat Tricks

I did it! Through the marvels of a very bright light and pot after pot of coffee... not only did I complete all of the stitching... but I finished it into a pillow too! The scalloped edges were part of the original design. They are cut from an antique black piece of wool and whip stitched with a black/grey variegated Valdani pearl cotton. The back is the same antique black wool. All firmly stuffed with wool snippets. This finished up to about 5" x 4.5"

As I mentioned back here... this is a gift for somebody... they don't know to expect it, so I can show it here... I hope to be mailing it out next week... :-)

"Cat Tricks"
a pattern by
Brenda Gervais of Country Stitches

Being as I had my sewing machine out... I went ahead and finished this Peace wool applique pillow today too. It's backed with the cotton that was supplied in the kit... and stuffed with wool snippets for a good firm, lumpy feel! :-)

"Peace"
a design by
Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings

So which direction to head now?

I have another cross stitch already started... 3 blocks of the Snow Days quilt to catch up on... 1 block of the Wisdom House quilt to catch up on... an Autumn wool BOM that I haven't started yet... sure would be nice to try another punch needle piece... I'm going to stop the list right here... before I embarrass myself... lol! ;-)


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wisdom House Block 3

I've been stitching some too... been going back and forth between the cross stitch and the quilt blocks... here is a block completion...

Wisdom House Block #3
12" x 20"

The colors in the block updates are off... way off... the fabrics are warm and faded homespuns... it just seems that I finish a block in the evening when the natural light for the day is gone... I'm thinking you will be surprised when the entire quilt is completed and pieced together and photographed in the yard on a sunny day... ;-)

Yesterday was a gorgeous 80 degrees with sunshine and humidity! It was a perfect day enjoyed in the garden... getting the flower beds ready for a Summer of blooms and tomatoes!!! Oh YUM!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I've Been Shopping...

When the chance arrives to grab something unique... I say "Go For It"! :-)

My first find was from Lori Rippey of HomeSpunPrimsByLori. She is always making so many beautiful items... and approximately once a season she updates her picture trail and offers some items for sale. When I seen Mr. Wabbit, I knew I had to have him! :-)

Betty Dekat of PrimitiveBettys is not only one of my most favorite cross stitch pattern designers... but she also makes items that are irresistible! So when it came time for her to update her Early Work Mercantile page.... I ran over there and quickly grabbed up this beautifully stitched Olde Strawberry Pinkeep which is resting on Mr. Wabbit's lap!

And yesterday... I was finally rewarded the opportunity to venture out to Hereford, PA and meet up with Joanne and Judy at The Cinnamon Stick! Had a great stroll around the shop and a lot of laughs!!! What a great way to spend a rainy day than with a couple of real kewl gals! :-)

I purchased some goodies... first up is a make-do Shutter Basket! Very unique! I have plans for this piece... a little bit of this and a little bit of that... I'll share pics when it's all done and hung up on the wall in my hooking room!

Next is this great Drying Screen... this one will also be hung on a wall in my sewing room... and, once again, there will be some touches added... it's fun to find unique stuff and then personalize it with some goodies here and there... right now I just placed the two pieces of fabric I purchased just for the purpose of this pic. I have plans for the fabric too!

Lastly, is this primitive bunny named "Sage" She was "Handmade In Ohio" though I did not see the artists name on it anywhere... but, she is stitched wonderfully, aged just right and has a solid weight to her! So cute!

You will notice all of these items from The Cinnamon Stick have great tags on them... Judy is always taking that extra bit of time to present the items in her store "just right". There is even delicious snacks about the store. Visit her blog, The Spice Cupboard to find a recipe for a really yummy dip! Heck, visit the store itself to meet Judy and see all the great variety of items she offers!!! I personally guarantee you will find something "just right" for your home!

Joanne and I also visited an antique mall... lots of stuff in there... but, nothing came home with me... I did find this neat RCA sign... I did not know RCA made telephone systems too...

And, here's a quick update on "Cat Trick's". I'm thinking that my camera is getting a bit tired. I really should borrow my hubby's camera to get a clear pic of all these tiny stitches... maybe when the piece has been finished into the pillow tuck it is meant to be...

Enjoy your weekend! Hopefully you have some sunshine and daffydils and tulips to smile at!




Monday, April 4, 2011

Cat Tricks

"Cat Tricks"
a pattern by
Brenda Gervais of Country Stitches

Actually... I think the "trick's on me"! LOL! I started this cross stitch way back in September of 2010. Just like the picture says... it's stitched on 32 ct linen... the real test of patience is the one strand of floss over one thread... first time for me stitching this tiny... kinda slowing me down... BUT, I am totally liking the finished product! You think this will be finished before the leaves start to fall! lol!
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