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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Yes, I am alive!

Yep, alive and kinda well!  HA  Wrists are bugging me again. (I'm waiting to hear when/if I can get in for injections in my wrists before we head south!) I've not been doing much hand sewing....ugh....therefore, I did not make the November 30th challenge date for the online Art Quilts Around the World.  Do check out their blog as some folks did meet the date!  The challenge theme was 'science' and some creative work is on the blog for you to enjoy.

I've have a few rows sewn together but still have a few to go!  I'll get it done eventually!
But I did finish 42!!!  Valentine fiber cards (my goal was 40 but I had to add 2 more!)!  That was all machine work so pretty easy to accomplish!  Boring work sewing the edging but I did catch up on some of the shows I had Tivo'd!

And look what my BFF, Carol T., gave me Saturday (we met for a lunch and to spend some $$ at a local craft show - which was really good and not as crafty as really cool gifts!).  Isn't it beautiful!  How sweet of her to think of me!  She was shopping for Christmas gifts for her sisters and said she thought of me when she saw this!  It was made by LollyElla a shop in Bloomfield Hills.  You can head to their website here!  Might be worth a field trip next spring!

I love my is so me!  But that's what is special about your BFFs!  They know you better than anyone!  I met Carol back in 2000 when we both took a hand quilting class from another friend of ours!  Carol and I sat at lunch that day and we've been friends ever since.

I've shown Carol's artwork before...she's quite a talented quilter but she excels at watercolor/drawing!  Here are just two of her pieces she did years ago that I love (I've posted these on my blog before with her permission).   Aren't these great!!!  Carol doesn't have a web site/blog so you'll have to enjoy these two pieces of artwork!  I do post her work from time to time.

So that's all I've been up to of late!  Boring I do you think I feel!  HA  I will be posting some of our Thanksgiving family time later this week!  Guess I did do something!

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Today we are heading to my son's house for their annual, delicious Thanksgiving dinner.  Kris is a great cook and always has some unique dish she prepares.  Her mom is in charge of the rolls (home made of course, as she's also a great cook!) and she'll make a pumpkin cheesecake.

 I'm in charge of making two lemon meringue pies.  I have a recipe from the late 60's that makes the best lemon pie ever!  I saw  earlier this week on GMA where you use vodka along with water when mixing your pie dough (yes, I make my own pie crust).  I won't know how well the crust tastes so you'll have to wait and find out in another post!  They look good!  HA

I haven't been dong hand work on my hexes daily...I'm giving my hands/wrists a break and only doing hand work every other day or two.  UGH...left hand is starting back up with discomfort, which I'm not thrilled about.  I have a call into the Ortho Dr. who injected my wrists this past summer to see if I can get in before we head south the end of December for another injection.  Keeping my fingers crossed.   This is the progress so far...I have each row sewn now to sew the rows together.

And I only have 12 Valentine fiber cards to finish the edging on!  Woohoo....I have 30 cards totally finished!!!!  All I need are the stamps, which I'll do sometime in December.  I don't want to wait until Florida as the lines at the post office in Ocala are long, long, long!  It's all 'we' snowbirds you know!

Wednesday, Kalee had her 'day job' of visiting the local Assisted Living center.  She just loves all the people....
 There is also a Memory Care Unit next door, which we haven't visited until today!  I was talking with the manager of the Assisted Living unit and she asked if we have visited the Memory Care unit.  She thought the residents at Memory care unit would also enjoy Kalee and asked if sometime I would go over.  I said "sure, how about today?".  She grabbed her coat and off we went!  The residents were great and I know for those few minutes she brought some smiles to their faces.

Oh, just so I have documented on my blog....Tuesday night we lost power a little before 7 p.m. until almost 11 p.m.!  We are lucky to have a gas fireplace upstairs which kept the temperature in the house at our regular 72 degrees!  We were actually quite comfortable. I read, we talked and looked at pictures on my Ipod.  We do have a generator but Bob didn't think the power would be out too long...hence we ended up taking out items from the frig, put them in coolers and sat them out on the deck!  About 30 min. after we did that the power came on!  Go figure!

I do hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and you eat until you can't eat anymore!  HA  It's just what we do isn't it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

It's hex time again!

I've been working on my 'Science'  project for the online Art Quilts Around the World blog challenge.  It's due November 30th and hoping I'll make the deadline!  So I found a picture of DNA sequencing on the web (where else would you find such a thing!) and I'm using it as my starting point for my quilt.

Perfect for hexes right!  Well, I thought they would off to my stash to gather shades of blue fabric.

These are the little 5/8" hex pieces just laid on a foam board.  The finished quilt measures 11.5" x 16".  Great TV work sewing the hexes and I already have 8 1/2 individual rows sewn and I think I have about 4 or 5 more to go.  I also have something else (surprise!) that I am either stitching or painting on top of the hex quilt.  Yep, one of those idea's in my head that I may or may not be able to put to fabric!  HA
Interesting....Beth (from Quilter Beth's Blog) has a great post for some tips on sewing hexes!  Check it out here!  I usually sew my hex pieces right sides together then a whip stitch...but I'm going to try Beth's method.  Sure looks like it would prevent those times you grab the paper in your thread and don't realize it until you go to remove the hex paper!

Beth is working on a HUGE hex quilt!  Check out one of her posts with a picture of this fabulous quilt here!  Then go back to just look at some of her older posts!  She's quite talented and writes interesting posts!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Cathedral Window pattern

I've shown some projects I made from the Shabby Fabrics YouTube (3D star and a zippered pouch).  Her projects are so quick and being on a video you can stop and start as much as you want to!  Works for me!

The other day I happened upon another video from Jennifer B. (Shabby Fabrics) on how to make a Cathedral Window pillow.  Well, heck, I'm not doing much!  HA  So I grabbed some muslin for my background and some green hand dyed scraps I had and this is what I made!

It's easy to make...starting off with 10" squares of fabric which you fold edges on all four sides by 1/2"; press, then start folding like in origami!  This is different from how we made cathedral window patterns years ago, isn't it?   Next up was stitching the 3 rows of 3 folded background(s).   Stitch the points of four corners down.

Then you place your 2 1/" squares in each of the background squares and cut in half some squares for each of the half squares.  Fold and stitch each side just like the old Cathedral window technique.

This is the finished square which was 13 1/2" inches.   When all the sides are stitched down I added some old buttons.  You could put anything in the centers, buttons, threads even an applique or two or 13!!

I used a batik fabric for the back cover.  I didn't put in a zipper and elected to make an envelope pillow.  No picture s of the back of it but it looks quite nice and easy to remove the form if I need to wash it.

Looks nice in the living room.  I will make another one at some point in time but I do need to finish the hexes for my Science challenge!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Holidays - Christmas and Valentines Day

Yep, I've put up the Christmas tree already!  Actually, it took me three day to gather all the decorations and move into the family room; another day to put together the artificial tree and the last day to decorate the tree!  And here is it!  All done!

I wanted something different this year from the traditional tree I usually put up.  The kids will be here Thanksgiving weekend and I always like to have a Christmas atmosphere for them since we don't get to see them at Christmas.

I've also continued to make headway on my Valentine fiber card!  Woo hoo!  This shows the 40+ cards all trimmed.

Next up I printed out the address labels onto the iron on interfacing!

Here the labels are cut since I only get two labels per 8 1/2" x 11" sheet.  

And now I have a production line started up!  I need to iron on the label(s) then add decorative stitching on each edge.  This is a production for sure!  I usually either listen to my book on tape/Ipod or watch some shows I have Tivo'd!

I will be nice in January  to not have the card making hanging over my head when we get to Florida.  I'm hoping they'll all be finished and just waiting for the stamps!  Who  knows...I may even buy the stamps and put those on as well!  Then all I have to do is mail around the 1st of February!  Sounds like a plan to me!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Getting into shape for the fall!

Who knew we had to be in good shape for Michigan's fall!  Last Tuesday Bob started raking leaves so when I got home from dog class I helped bag up some leaves.  This past Sunday it was so nice out (70's!) that I started raking again!  Bob was power washing the side of the house so I was fine with raking.

This was in the back yard.  Filled one whole bag.

It felt really good to see the majority of the leaves picked up in the back!yard.  The dogs appreciated it as well!  They are always chewing the leaves off their feet!  

And off to the front yard....see all those leaves on the tree!  Well, you'll see them again on the ground!

When I got home Monday afternoon guess what was back!  Yep, more leaves!!  I bagged 3 more today and the leaves kept falling as I was raking! This picture was taken on Monday!
And here are some of the bags ready to be put on for pickup on Wednesday!  And no, the girls are no help what so ever!  But they do look cute, don't they!  HA

For some reason, it took it's toll on me Monday.  This is hard work...who knew I had to be in shape for the fall weather! least we don't have to shovel much snow!  Thank goodness for that!

Monday, November 7, 2016


Well, my dyeing results aren't the greatest by any means...but they'll make good backing!

these pieces are Kofman's Radiance fabric, which I purchased several years ago while at a quilt show in Florida.  I just had about 3/4 of a yard left.  Its quite soft and really dyes quite nicely.

The piece on the left is a tone on tone commercial fabric.  On the right is cotton sateen.

Top left is that same tone on tone commercial fabric...I was trying to match the brown in my Steampunk piece, which is on the right.  The piece in the middle actually looks pretty good with the fuchsia stamped piece.

And this was another fuchsia piece that looks brighter here than it actually is.  Hoping I can use it with my stamped Steampunk pieces.

This is the reason I ran out of the pink/brown fabrics.  White my stamped pieces were drying, I decided to weave some strips!  At the time I was thinking "waste not, want not"!  Hmmmmm  The weaving is already fused down on a stabilizer so I can't use the strips...but who knows...maybe I can use somewhere!


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Happy Birthday to my baby!

Can't believe my baby turns 48 today!  Darrin has always been a great son, good husband, wonderful father, brother and friend!

Now is that a sweet little boy or what!

I think Darrin was in the 1st or 2nd grade here....Nick looks just like his dad!!!

That's my boy!!!  He still works out every morning before work (getting up at 3:45 a.m.!).  He loves his marathon races!  Love ya baby!!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Yep, another hand project!

I'm making good progress on the Challenge piece I need to complete this winter for a group in Florida.  Can't show the entire piece but you've seen pieces of it before...

Because I do get bored easily....and I like having different projects to work on depending how my mood and how well my hands are working...I decided another hand project was needed.  After all, I have my Valentine fiber cards which are all machine work and the Steampunk piece is requiring some fabric I need to decided to start another hex project.

Actually, this piece will be for the online challenge for Art Quilts Around the World.  Their next challenge is 'Science'.  I had been on 'sabitical' for the past few challenges because of my hands/wrists and other priorities so I'm hoping I can finish this piece for the November 30th due date!
This is the start, using hexes, of course!

Can't tell you what it's going to be just yet....and I need to make around 20 more 5/8" hexes so I can then rearrange then start piecing.  I love piecing hexes!!  Well, to be honest, I just love  hand work...but then you've heard that before haven't you!  Here are all the  hexes in a row ready to be sewn together.  It's Survivor night so I hope to start on them tonight!

Several years ago I was part of 30 folks who created works of art for a DNA exhibit in Flint.  I had to make a piece of art to represent Chromatin Fiber!  Yea, I didn't know what it as either and had to research.  Anyway, this was the piece I created.

You an read about my piece and exhibit here.  So based on the research I did then is how I came up with this project!  One of those ideas in my head...hoping to put it to fiber!

Tuesday I headed down to Nick's last football game of the season.  It was 76 degrees and beautiful out!!!  Hard to believe.....especially when you live in Michigan.  Today it was rain and in the 50's...go figure!

 The game ended in a tie, which was good because the 8th graders had to be back at the school by 6:30 for their field trip to D.C.!  The game ended at 5:35 p.m.  All the parents were rushing to get their kids home for a shower and food so they could get back to the school.  Nick was quite excited to get on the road....sure brings back memories of the good old days!!!

Some dyeing needed

Wednesday I  decided to go to the dye room and get busy.  I posted  a week or so ago on the Steampunk pieces that I stamped.

To put together a quilt , I needed more fabric to match what I had stamped.   So off I went to play chemist!  OK, so it's not that tough...but it was difficult to try and get dye to match the fuchsia color on the  left and even the brown.  The pieces are batching right now but you can see some of what I did below.

Just trying to mix up brown dye was a problem.  Heck, I get brown a lot of the time just mixing my colors and not thinking.  Maybe that's how/why I couldn't get the brown I wanted...trying to put too much thought into it!  HA

I had some fuchsia red dye but I'm not sure that it was the right shade either...I just might end up heading off to the local quilt shop, but I'll save this project for Florida!  My BFF, Susan, is usually up for a road trip and lunch!

This is actually some commercial fabric I dyed brown...has some nice green spots in it!  Not sure where they came from...apparently, I didn't mix my dyes well enough.

I had some dyes left over so I ran back upstairs and soaked some fat quarters in soda ash then scrunched fabric in this little container....this is the top of the fabric

And this is what it looks like on the bottom!  Or looked like when I first added the dyes!  I'll rinse out  all the fabric and show results later this week.  Keeping my fingers crossed for some nice fuchsia and brown fabrics!  Or at least fabric I can use!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Honest...I am working on art!

I mentioned in a previous post that I started on my Valentine fiber cards and that's exactly what I've been working on this week!
I started off printing my own design onto Inkjet fabric sheets but I only had 5 of them left, which only gave me 10 cards...well, I need at least 40 fiber cards this year and decided that is not the economical way to make the cards.

Plus, because I was printing on white fabric, I had to paint areas on each, quilt each card, yada, yada.

So I had my design printed on a thermofax screen by Lyric Kinard...which, she created with a day notice!  Lyric was headed to Houston and got my screen printed before she left and I rec'd it within a few days!   Thanks, Lyric!!!

Can't show the screen yet....but here's a sneak peak!

I screen printed over 40 pieces of scrap fabric....good for some fabric!!!  Another sneak peak!  I'm sure you can figure out the pattern but those who read my blog and receive a card will forget by Valentine Day!

On Thursday, I started to fuse the Pellon 71F to the back of each piece so I can add some stitching.  I honestly did try to add some french knots but my hands just can't take it.  So off to the machine I went!  I think I have finished the quilting on 15 cards so far.  Doing a little at a time will make it easier this year.  I'm always so busy when we first get to Florida so it will be nice not to feel rushed in making the cards this year.

The production line is now started!  Once I finish the quilting then I can trim, print out my  labels, fuse and trim; then machine stitch some decorative edge.  Whew!  I probably am enjoying the process more so this year then in the past where I feel rushed to get the cards finished by February 1st!  It's a good feeling!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Steampunk Time!

I happened upon a series on Netflix called Steampunk'd....and I am hooked.  This is a 'game' show where 'makers' (that's what the artists are called) work in teams designing rooms in a 'house'.  Each episode someone is eliminated based on their work.

I am hooked...if you want to watch on Netflix, do not go to the link above...or you'll see the winner of the $100,000 grand prize.  I don't think it's in reruns on the GSN channel but guess you could check that out if you don't have Netflix streaming.

Today I decided I would stencil some 'gears' just because I was so inspired by the Steampunk work in this series.  So off the 'girls' (my dogs!) and I went to my art room and played!

I've had this gear stencil for several years.  It's from Mary Shaw and has had a lot of use from me and others over the years!  First off, I mixed brown acrylic paint with a small amount of Raw Umber soft body paint I had left.  I also added Liquitex Glazing medium just because I didn't have any other medium handy!  HA

The brown fabric is a  shibori piece that you can hardly see any of the shibori pattern on.

I used the brayer to paint the stencil and decided I didn't want to waste the paint that was on top of the stencil.  So what to do?  Lay another piece of fabric on top of the painted stencil then using another brayer to make sure I picked up all the paint.

And here are the two pieces!  I can see some hand work on those gears!

I like the clarity of the brown stenciled fabric but kinda love the pink!!

I  also had a piece of watercolor paper that I used to pick up the remaining paint.  This turned out really good didn't it! I'll have to use it to make a card or write a note on!  Waste not, want not!!