~ Rug Hooking ~ Penny Rugs ~ Cross Stitch ~ Punchneedle ~ Quilting ~ Crochet ~ Needlepoint ~ Vintage Good Life ~

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Progress

Have you ever wondered if maybe you "don't have time to quilt" simply because you don't MAKE the time to quilt? I had this thought many times these past few weeks. I was thinking....maybe I lost interest in this quilt and THAT is the reason why I simply don't make an effort to put an hour a day into it...

So.

Yesterday, I put aside the entire morning to see how much more I could accomplish on this project. And lo and behold, the blocks started getting together and stacking up on the table....then the blocks went into rows and soon enough those new rows got together with the rows from last month and "poof!"...I now have a quilt top that measures 56"x70".


Now what? Well... I figured out that I'm not losing interest in the quilt...I'm just bored with making the same block over and over again...

So.

I have a few ideas rolling around the space between my ears...and once again this is an exciting project to devote some effort to...let's see what I'll be making time for today....

Until next time...stay healthy & keep on smiling!

~Sharon

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Independence Day!

Happy July 4th to everyone in the USA!!!

This seems to be the time of year when the red, white and blue is displayed the most! I've seen quite a few beautiful patriotic quilts displayed throughout blogland... always makes me want to pull out some red, white and blue fabric and stitch one up for my home... but, I'm always at least 3 seasons (and 3 years) behind in my stitching... lol!

A little vignette in the front entry of my home...


...always poor lighting in my house, which is why I rarely takes pics indoors... so, let's go outside in the driveway and get a progress pic of the scrappy rail fence quilt I've been working on...


Each block is a 9-patch (of sorts).... the progress so far is two rows of 5 blocks. My goal is to make this 6 or 7 rows of 5 blocks, so that it fits a twin bed.

Sunny and hot here in central NJ... a nice, long weekend of picnics, fireworks, sewing, relaxing and air conditioning! :-)

Until next time...stay healthy & keep on smiling!

~Sharon

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Power of Words

Everyone that is a quilter has seen some pretty fun (and most of the times) useful, notions, gadgets, thingys and doohickies associated with quilting. Sometimes these items can be pretty expensive... and you simply can not justify the usefulness-to-expense ratio...

So.

Today I share with you ONE item... THREE different sources.... and ONE unbelievable price that will for sure be the new benchmark for the usefulness-to-expense ratio! :-)

What is the item? It's the latest quilter's craze called the handy dandy MAGNETIC PIN BOWL!!!

Source one....

A local quilt shop... this is a 6" version... for $12.99...


Source two...

A VERY large and well known online retailer that is offering a "designer" (painted) 4" version...  for $17.99...


And source three...

A local "manly man" store... HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS... this is the 4" variety... for FREE!!!!


Yes. That's right... I'm sure we can all get some good use for FREE!!! But, if it would REALLY make you feel better to actually part with some money... they also offer the 6" version for $3.99. lol! You do need the coupon to get the  FREE 4" version... so click HERE to visit their website to print one out!

P.S. I have no affiliation with Harbor Freight Tools, nor do I receive monetary reimbursements for promoting them. I just simply always find it amusing that as soon as as item is associated with QUILTING, the price triples (or more).  AND... I feel that it is my duty as a happy quilter to share superior savings with my fellow quilters... so that we may continue to enjoy this wonderful hobby, without having to second mortgage our homes... :-)

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling (and saving)!

~Sharon

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Some Progress

Remember that big pile of miscellaneous fabric? Well... while I was pressing all of it... I was trying to figure what would be one of those easy "mindless sewing" type projects... that would make good use of these misfits... and the one that came to mind was a rail fence type traditional quilt. So. Out came the rulers and rotary cutter... and this began a few hours (spread out over a few days) of slicing and dicing it all into stacks of 2" x 5" bars...


Once the cutting was done... the piecing began... starting with stitching 3 strips together.... then those little blocks were stitched into a 9-patch block that finished up at 14" square...


And now that I've stared at that 9-patch block for a week (or so)... I think I still like it... so, during the week ahead, I'll try to get at least one 9-patch block together each night after work... we'll see how long it takes to get this to a good lap or twin sized quilt! :-)

And, just in case you are following along on the "peach rose saga"... this year's Spring bloom is showing off it's glory...


They never seem to last too long... even when the deer doesn't snack on it! lol! ;-)

Also... if you were wondering what that "radio guy" has been up to... here's a video from the Spring Kutztown Radio Show... I tagged along (for comic relief and video skills)... lol!



Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

~Sharon

Sunday, May 21, 2017

And we're off!

Off into a direction to get some hobby projects underway! :-) Thank you for all of the positive reinforcements concerning my clearing out the old projects... it truly is a "reboot"! And now, each time I enter my sewing area... it feels peaceful! As if I can sit and relax and enjoy stitching on a project... and isn't that what hobbies are all about? Stress reduction and happiness? :-)


Let's start with a table mat I've been stitching on since January... it's finally a finish! I purchased this as a kit from Timeless Traditions. It's a Norma Whaley design called "Heart Table Mat", and finishes up at just under 19" square.


The main background is an osnaburg. The applique is all hand dyed woolens, hand stitched with 2-strands of DMC floss. The border is a homespun. While the pattern directions called for some fusible fleece for the "quilting".... I decided to stick with a more traditional finish and used a wool batting and a black Jan Patek fabric for the back.


Quilting was just some simple outlining of the main motifs using the walking foot on my machine. The binding is self binding? I think that's what it's called anyways... when you fold the backing towards the front and then stitch it down. I programed my Janome for blanket stitch and chose the settings that closely matched the size of stitches I did by hand on the applique.


It was fun to try a few new features on the machine! :-)

What's next? Well.... let's see if we can do something with a pile of odd ball fabrics that didn't quite fit in with any of the other projects...


I've been slicing and dicing... *grin*

Update coming soon!

Until next time... stay healthy and keep on smiling!

~Sharon


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Quilts & Random Thoughts

I start each and every day with a pot of coffee and a handful of blogs! I've been having a good time reading everyone else's blogs... whether you update daily, or monthly... so, I thought I'd let you know that your time and effort to post tons of inspirational thought, tutorials and pictures is very much appreciated! :-)

Then I thought... well... maybe it's a good time that I update my blog as well! :-) Keeping busy about sums it up... I was fortunate enough to attend a local quilt show in the beginning of March. So, the pictures of the quilts that were displayed will be the main attraction in this post... with a little bit of random thoughts used as "filler"... Please do click on the photos to see them larger! :-)


So. As read everyone's blogs, and walk through quilt shows... and watch "how to" videos on Youtube and Craftsy.... my mind goes into happiness overload! And. I enjoy it. Immensely! :-)


But then...the time comes when I need to turn off the computer and finish with the morning routine... which eventually leads to either driving to work for the day...driving to PA or DE for a day trip... or simply just heading out for a meal with friends... club meetings... a visit to the LQS... general errands...


 ...and eventually one (enjoyable) day blends into the next...


...and then I forget about that long list of quilty, rug hooking, cross stitch, needle punch and applique projects that I was inspired (to purchase) and create! :-)


Some call that "stash". And I had been collecting quite a bit of stash. I even tried to keep that stash organized. But, then I forgot exactly what was in that stash. So, I took each and every pattern, thread pack, quilt kit, fabric bundle and wool stack and layed it out in one room of my house.

And, I discovered that not only did I have too much stash to keep organized in my modest sized home... but, also that I had lost interest in quite a few of those patterns and kits and potential projects that I had accumulated.


And so, when January rolled around... while I did not officially state a resolution. I knew I was determined to "hit the reset button" on my stitchy hobbies...


...one of those..."wipe the slate clean and begin fresh with an official do-over".


So, I did the "unthinkable"... and got out my camera. Took many pictures. Uploaded them to my computer. And listed NEARLY EVERYTHING on eBay!


The process began in January... and continued through February and March...


...and now, the first week of April is the final week of listings. Click HERE if you are looking for any patterns, fabric bundles or cross stitch linen...


Now... don't think that I listed COMPLETELY everything. I still have a handful of quilt kits. A couple cross stitch kits. A baker's dozen of hooking patterns and a closet of wool....lol!


But, for now...


that's just enough to keep me happy... :-)


And now... when I read blogs, watch videos and visit shows...


I can take a deep breath... smile... and know that I now have "room for new" and time to relax and enjoy the project at hand...


I hope you enjoyed the quilt pictures! They are just a few of the exquisite examples of inspiration that keep me excited to learn something new each day....


So when time allows...


...I'll gladly post some pictures of my projects in progress...


 ...and maybe you will be inspired to stitch along with me, or try something new...


...or wipe your slate clean. :-)

Happy Spring!

~Sharon

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Schwenkfelder

Wintertime always makes for some good cabin fever! lol! As much as I enjoy being home...and having some time to indulge in some indoor hobbies... there's only so much staying in one place that this gal can take! :-)

And so, last weekend, a friend and I hopped in my car and away we went to the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center in Pennsburg, PA! The main purpose of this trip was to see a particular exhibit. It was of hooked rugs done by Karl and Mary Jo Gimber. I met them a couple of times during regular meetings of a local rug hooking guild... so I was already familiar with some of their hooked rugs. The rugs they hook are of Tavern Signs...and what adds to their unique style is that they are all hooked with recycled wool! In fact, attached to each rug (on the back) is all of the garment labels from the pieces that were used in the rug! So, getting the opportunity to see them all on display in a museum sounded like a fun thing to do!

Join me for a little walk through, won't you?

A few close up pics of some of my favorites...









A general view of one of the three walls of the exhibit...


And away we wandered to other sections of the center...

Also on display were some Christmas themed paintings, stoneware and redware (from local artisans)...



While the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center offers limited time featured exhibits... they also have some "regular" exhibits that remain all the time... offering information of the PA Dutch Heritage of the area...

Here are some beautiful fraktur prints...






I am envisioning a beautiful hooked rug featuring this design...  :-)



These fraktur images were attached to the inside lids of some heavy wood trunks...


These were styled in a way that they actually resembled cross stitch charts... tiny little colored squares...


And some beautiful stained glass that was located just behind the welcome desk...




One of the off-beat and unique finds of the day, was this printing press...



I'm always in awe and appreciate the attention to detail and workmanship that was invested in even the industrial items...


I've been involved with the printing industry throughout my professional life... so I found it amusing that even on my "day off"... I could not "get away from my job"... lol! ;-)

It's all good!

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

~Sharon

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