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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another Block ~ Wanna Win A Radio?

Another block further on the Wisdom House BOM. This is a good thing as it is getting around the time when the next block should be shipping... not only for this one... but the Front Porch one I haven't started yet... as well as the Snow Days quilt... I must learn to function on less sleep... :-)

"Wisdom House"
Designed by Jan Patek
Completed Quilt Size: 69" x 89"
Block #2 Size: 12" x 12"

Also, many thanks to "weaverpat" for the great tip on making my berries more round! I did manage to try this technique on one of the berries (the one on the far right) and I can see a big difference! Still some imperfections... but, that is my stitching... much more practice is needed on my part.

For those of you who are interested... Pat's tip was...

"To get nice round berries, trace around a coin or whatever is the size you want for your berry on a piece of cardboard (cereal box will do). Cut it out and use it to trace around on the back of your fabric. Cut around your fabric circle leaving an approx. 1/4 seam allowance outside the circle you drew. Baste around the circle in the seam allowance. Place the little cardboard circle on the wrong side of the fabric and draw up the basting thread and tie the ends together. Press the fabric circle with the cardboard inside. Carefully snip the basting thread and slip out the little cardboard circle. You should have a perfectly round fabric berry."

Another fun thing you might want to give a try at... if you would like to win one of my DH's refurbished antique radios... give this video a look-see...

Remember... you must be a subscriber to his "Radiowild" YouTube channel... you must leave a comment on his radiowild page below the video (any guesses left here will not be a valid entry)... AND you must tune in to the video that will announce the winner! That would be this Tuesday night, March 1st... sometime after dinner...

That's about it for this weekend folks! Always feels good to get some progress on a creative project accomplished... the daylight is getting longer... more song birds are in my area... and most of the pooey snow has melted!!!

Keep on smiling!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Three Days Later...

It was a great weekend! I did manage to get quite a bit of creative projects accomplished and then some! You know... even with the bestest of plans... there is always something extra sneaking in here and there! :-)

Thank you to everyone that left some tips and encouragement on the first block hand appliqueing process!!! I did purchase a box of those tiny, tiny, applique pins. And, after tracing the pattern right side up on the freezer paper and the ironing it to the right side of the fabric... I then flipped the piece over (after cutting) and used the iron to get a good crease to keep the seam allowance tucked under a bit easier. I then positioned each piece onto the backing and proceeded to pin and pin and pin some more... this kept the seam allowance under control and held every piece in it's place so that the blind stitching went smoothly! :-)

With that said... Let's start with a Wisdom House BOM update... This shipment had a Block 2 and a Block 2A. Pictured here is Block 2A. Methinks a bit more practice with berries is needed. Had some difficulty keeping a nice roundness to it. I might just pull them out and stitch them when I find the secret to appliqueing nice round berries... anybody have any suggestions? The Block 2 of this shipment is still in progress... I should be finishing it up tonight...

The next project was actually a test run. I was doing my usual blog hop one morning and found someone that had crocheted a blanket using a stitch called the Basketweave. I wish I could remember who's blog I had seen this... she did a really nice blanket using this stitch, and I was inspired to try this stitch as not only did it look really kewl... but it was different from any other stitch that I have crocheted! So, I pulled out my testing yarn which is an acrylic Red Heart Super Saver... the whole skein was like 50 cents on sale?... and acrylic is easy to handle, so good for learning... Anyways, with the help of a video on YouTube... I was crocheting the Basketweave in no time! This pic is a close up... a little difficult to see the details, but see how it looks woven? So, with this successful test run... I will next be starting an afghan using some Payton's Wool blend I've had in totes in my closet for a couple or five years... lol!

And the super FUN news is another BOM project! If you follow Jacque's blog... you already know the details... You see... I had wanted to make a quilt this year, but was chicken to try a big quilt just from a pattern. So, I signed up for this Wisdom House BOM that I have been updating you with. Well, I had liked another BOM offered by the same quilt shop... so, I signed up for that one too. Then, I shared this info with Jacque as she has this passion for quilting that is very contagious! So, Jacque visits the quilt shop web page to see which one's I signed on for... but then notices another BOM called "Snow Days".

I said, "Yah... I like the colors in that one, but... I don't know about making churn dashes and geese and whatever other quilt shapes are on there" Jacque says "Did you notice all the embroidery in there?"

Ummmm... embroidery? So, I head back to the webpage and take a closer look... oooooh my....

So... a couple of days later I get an email from Jacque... she attaches a picture (close up) of the thread that is used in the embroidery... oooooh my...

Sometime later in the week... along comes another email... this email has an attachment of the patterns for the embroidery in this quilt.... ooooo my....

And so... I caved... I signed up for the BOM as I have very little experience with quilt patterns and figured the tips that come along with BOM's would help a great deal... and, since I was attracted to the original color plan... I would have the material all picked out for me already... all I need is the time now... :-)

So, as Jacque requested on her blog, wish us luck! So many embroidery details in this one!!! I was hoping to start it this weekend... but ran out of time... so, it's looking like next weekend for sure!

Here's a pic of the first shipment... so pretty!

I do have to mention something here... The BOM's I have signed on to are all offered through The Quilted Crow. The gals do such a wonderful job of fabric selection and preparation and the attention to detail with instructions are simply superb!

Here's a funny in the Manly Man Hobby Department... *snicker* Yep. You all know that my DH's hobby is restoring antique radios. You may also know that these radios are powered with the use of radio tubes. Well, about this time last year me and the DH went on a road trip to Upstate NY to buy a load of tubes. He enjoys the sorting, testing and labeling of the tubes... What I enjoy about these tubes is the vintage retro graphics that are on the tube boxes. You know... RCA, CBS, GE, Tung-Sol, Sylvania... you know... Manly Man Radio Tubes!!!! (insert Tim Allen grunts here)... So, imagine the surprise when he found a radio tube in THIS box...

Can you hear the Homer Simpson... "DOH"! :-)

Keep on smilin'!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Three Whole Days

Well... two and half really... I spent the morning getting some chicken soup simmering on the stove and some brownies baking in the oven. Now will be the time I start with sewing, hooking, punching and crocheting!!! Yep... I have big creative aspirations for this three day weekend! I'll check back with you all on Monday with some progress pictures and details...

Until then... this is a picture of the Simplify pillow I made for our Winter Cheer Swap with AAPG on eBay. Rebecca Lindquist supplied some designs with the Simplify theme and we were to create a little something for our partner using any medium we were comfortable with. So, I stitched this with DMC threads on prairie cloth and added some wool pennies for the flowers.

Whether it be cold, warm, sunny, windy, rainy or snowy... enjoy your weekend!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A First For Everything

A first BOM (Block of the Month)
A first attempt at needle turn applique

"Wisdom House"
Designed by Jan Patek
Completed Quilt Size: 69" x 89"
Block #1 Size: 26" x 12"

I've always wanted to try a BOM... so, I guess 2011 is the year to do it! This block actually shipped to me the end of December... but, fear of messing up had delayed the actual stitching of it until this month. Yes, I do have two additional blocks waiting "in the que" so to speak... lol!

I got past my fear of messing up by admitting to myself that "of course there will be mistakes in this quilt... it's a first try... nothing finishes perfect on a first try!" I'll just take this a block at a time and enjoy the learning process. :-)

One thing I am a bit clumsy with is holding the seam allowance under the applique piece while stitching. The stitching (blind stitch) is pretty quick once I get going... but, holding the fold under is what's making this a slow process. This try I traced the image to the freezer paper and then folded the seam allowances under as I was stitching... the next block I will once again use freezer paper.... but I will iron the seam allowances under and then pin in place before stitching. I'm hoping this will make the process a bit less clumsy, which in turn will make it more enjoyable. Any tips or tricks on cotton applique would be appreciated...

As you can see, I still have yet to add the little bird... but, he will have to wait until the block above this one arrives since he overlaps the next block...

Are my stitches even?

Are my stitches invisible?

Are my points sharp?

Are my corners square?

Am I having fun?


What have you postponed trying because you were afraid to "mess it up"?

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