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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Congrats, SUSAN!!!

I've written often about my friend Susan Zeil and her beautiful quilting!  Well, Susan has acquired another ribbon for Honorable Mention at the AQA Quilt show in Paducah for her quilt, 'Homage to Spring'!  How cool is that!  I love this piece Susan did...ok, I love all of Susan's quilts!  And they aren't small either.  I don't know the exact measurement but these are wall size quilts...big wall quilts! Check out this post I did on this piece when Susan was first working on it in 2009!  I think you'll appreciate the piece even more!!

This is a detail shot of Susan's work...ALL hand quilted and hand appliqued.  Susan has developed her own reverse applique method that is very labor intensive but so unique and the results are SO much better (I think!) than the so called 'normal reverse applique' technique. 

Susan helped me start on my Georgia piece using her technique and I'm so happy with the results. 

CONGRATS again my friend!  Well deserved!!!!  You can see some of the winners in this YouTube

Friday, April 27, 2012

Some more info on the #7 foot

I had an email from Sally asking about threads, stitch length, etc. that I used when making this piece.  First off, the way the #7 foot is shaped you have to use the zig zag stitch on your machine.

For this piece, I used Signature 30wt (Eggplant) Triobal Poly thread and a microtex 70/10 needle.  Signature does recommend you use a size 100/16 needle but my machine works just fine using the 70/10.  As with any thread work you may have to try different needles or adjust your tension.  Speaking of which, I didn't lower the tension on my machine either.  It's set at 5 on my 1090 and I had no problems.  Again, you might have to adjust your tension, usually setting the tension lower when using the tailor tack foot.

As far as other settings, with the zig zag stitch on my  machine the stitch width is automatically set to '3' and my needle just clears both sides of the middle piece on the foot.  Be careful adjusting your width or you'll break many needles - ask me how I know this!
For my stitch length, I set my machine between the satin stitch and the 1/2 mark.  I don't know number wise what this length is!  I have Bernina's so I can't tell you exactly what length to use.  If you have a satin stitch on your machine just move up a little and stitch a row or two to determine the best length. 

Hope this answers your questions, Sally and hope others might try this foot too! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The unused #7 foot!

 I was playing around today using my good, old, trusty #7 Tailor Tack foot!  I've used this before to add embellishments to my quilts and thought of a good use for it today too! 
The picture of the seaweed (in case you didn't know what it was!) was made using this foot..  For this piece, I cut out my leaves then stitched using a zig zag stitch and stitch length really short...on my Bernia 1090 it's the satin stitch length which is almost down to nothing.  This foot has a center piece where the threads wrap across it while you stitch.  If you stitch with a really short length, you get this cool tunnel of threads. 
I cut through some of the threads to make them fuzzy and other areas I just left as is. 

So today, here are some pics of what I'm working, you won't recognize what it is and I can't tell you just yet but at least you can see how to use the foot and perhaps where in your art work you might want to use the foot!
I'm pointing to where the threads wrap around this center post on the foot.

Here's a side view so you can see the threads.

Next, I just slide off the stitches carefully, then start stitching  in another area

When finished, the piece looks like this!
It's pretty repetitive work but fun to see where or what you can do with this cool foot!  It's my understanding tailors would use this stitch so they could mark seams and easily rip out??  OK, that's close enough to an I can come up with.
So today I basted my slice piece and I'm ready to start quilting it!  YIPEE!  That should take me about another week or so to quilt, add some hand work and get it packed up to mail to Tommy!  I'm happy with how my piece is turning out but I'll be glad when it's done.  I've had fun working on it and can't wait to see the entire piece put together. 
Today is our first cloudy day and wind is quite brisk.  Kalee and I only walked to the side street and back.  Not our normal long walk...just too cold and her little face is just pushed back with the wind.  Guess I better get to quilting!

Monday, April 23, 2012

What's old is new again...

Well, what's old is new again in my mind!  How easily we forget the artwork we've done.  Thank goodness for digital pictures! 
Since I don't have any new work that I can post pics is a piece I did back in 2008.  It's 11" x 13" and I used a hand dyed background scrap piece that I stab stitched with Kreinik metallic threads...yes, that was a lot of fun!  The piece in the middle is a used tyvek envelope that I painted with acrylic and/or fabric paints then I couched down with the same metallic thread.  The center piece is a plastic straw that I drizzled hot glue from the glue gun on then wrapped some fibers w/beads on top.  Just playing around that day but it's one of my favorite pieces.  I'm just drawn to it because of the colors. 
So today is dental cleaning and root dyeing for this retiree!  Then to stay home the rest of the week to finish up the group quilt piece!!  Let's hope at least! 
I did take Kalee on a short walk this a.m.  Temps in the 30's...brrrrrrrrr with that darn wind, but the sun is out, thank goodness!  We're suppose to have 25+ winds again today and tomorrow. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunny Sunday but Windy!!!

It was a beautiful Sunday and I got to see the kids today after our winter vacation!  The winds (25+mph) aren't so good for walking Kalee but the sun is wonderful.  Dawn just got back from her trip to Italy last night around 11 so I was glad she was able to be awake to meet.   My son had to work today so I won't see him until Wednesday. 
I did get back to working on Tommy's group quilt piece today...wish I could post pics but that won't happen for quite sometime.  I also started warping my bead loom to start another bracelet for my Florida friend, Carol.  And I actually did some hand stitching last night on my Georgia piece.  Kalee has been wonderful since we got home!  It's like she grew up overnight!  Now that I wrote that, she'll most likely drive us crazy tonight! 
So because I don't have any artwork to show, you have to watch this young lady and her dog.  They were on the British show, You've Got Talent...and they certainly do!  How adorable this team is!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Getting back to normal...slowly

Sewing Room BEFORE!  Yes, all of this & more was in the back seat of our car!

After!  Even Kalee is happy to have room to lie down!

Yep...slowly but surely we are making our house a home again!  I love to do my spring cleaning when we get back from Florida!  I love to organize and I'm always redoing!  Guess it gives me another 'excuse' to reorganize!  It does tire this old lady out, but I still like doing it.  I finally finished my sewing room today!  Check out the before and after pics!  

The kitchen wasn't that hard to do other than put everything away that we dumped on the counters and of course groceries...another $200 spent!  GEEZZZZ

And here are my sweeties...doing what they both do best!!!  Gotta love 'em!  Kalee has settled in quite well in her 'first' home.  She's been running up and down the deck and just having a ball.  She's been a sweetheart and I'm just waiting for the 'wild child' to be back at it....which will most likely be tonight when I'll want to settle down and collapse!  Oh well! 
Tomorrow I'm going to meet up with the kids for breakfast except my son has to work!!  Boo hoo!  Dawn will be returning from Italy tonight and won't be home until 11 p.m.  Hopefully, she'll not want to sleep in too late in the a.m. and be able to meet for breakfast!  I'm sure she has lots of stories to tell about her trip! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

No, the aliens didn't get us!

We made it home on Thursday around noon.  Really, we had a great trip home with weather and traffic...sunny skies and no tie ups until Dayton, Ohio.  I was a little under the weather starting last Saturday even up to today just not feeling 100%.  Think my body was telling me to not leave Florida??  Anyway, I missed a GREAT crab feast Jan and Larry put on for us.  I had to sit and watch/listen to how great the food was...ugh.  Bob is telling everyone I should be fine in 9 months!  OMG!  That's an awful thought isn't it!!  So, until I get some pics upload, enjoy this next animal film...cute as can be!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A smile on your face!

If this link below doesn't put a smile on your face, you are just a GRINCH and always will be!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hand stitching, at last!

Can you believe it!  I'm actually doing some hand stitiching at night with Kalee around!!  This is the progress on my Georgia on my Mind piece for the Master's exhibit.  I already stitched around the black stain glass areas by machine and now want to finish it off with stab stitching here and there!  You can see my 'redo' of this piece here.  This is the reverse applique method my very talented friend, Susan, taught me.  Once I get back into my 'groove' I hope to make another piece using this technique.  It's so portable!  I've been carrying this piece around since last spring!
Perhaps, I should knock on wood, cross my fingers, make sure all the stars are aligned properly...because the past few nights Kalee has been really good and not bugging us continually!  We still throw her toys and play with her but she'll play on her own or chew her bull stick(s)!  Fine with me!!  I get to do my favorite hand stitching!!  It's been a little frustrating for me to just sit and watch TV!  UGH...I feel like I'm wasting so much time.  I've also been able to play Words with Friends on my IPOD.  I'm so hooked and believe it or not so is Bob!  I downloaded the game to his facebook page (he doesn't have IPOD) and he's hooked as well.  We've been playing each other, my sister, Nancy and our DIL in Indiana.  It's so funny because as long as Bob is playing he's staying awake and not sleeping in his chair!  AND he's sleeping better at night!  Go figure!
I'm really ahead of my to do list for packing up so on Sat. Carol and I are headed off to grab a Starbucks coffee then off to an art show at Top of the World, another gated community.  There's paintings, sculpture, etc. so should be a nice morning out.  Then off to dinner at Jan and Larry's for their annual crab fest!!  YUM!!  Hopefully, I won't be so stuffed on Sunday to post pics of our wonderful evening out!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Just darn busy!

 I have managed to finish a peyote bracelet for Verna, which I'll deliver tonight or tomorrow.  I love the color of this piece and I think Verna will like it (she already saw it in progress as I needed to measure her wrist). 
So this week, I've done some packing, scrubbing of floors, yada, yada!  I'm actually ahead of my to do list for the week so that makes me feel good and lessens the stress of leaving. 

Tuesday night we met with our friends, Carol/Tony and Peggy/Sammy and had a fantastic dinner at Pavarotti's!  OMG!  The 'knots' are to die for!!  Pizza dough rolls smothered in butter and garlic!!!  I don't even use butter on my toast or bagels but let me tell you I will soak up this butter!!!!  Bob and I are having left overs tonight from that meal out. After our dinner on Tuesday, we headed home to take Kalee on a golf cart ride then we headed down to the pool area at the club house to listen to one of Bob's buddy's and their group sing and play guitar!  What fun!  This is Howard singing "I Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore!".   What a hoot of a song!
  All of the guys were really good and we could have stayed longer but we left at 8:30...poor Kalee hadn't even had her dinner yet!  She survived and it was a really fun night.

Of course Wed. was our last 99 cent margarita night!  We met Carol and Tony for dinner and yum!!!  I had my three tacos and Bob had his Alambre!  Yes, we had leftovers so that's for Monday night!  I already had some leftover Alambre's from Bob's last meal in the freezer so I just added to it!

And just some of the beautiful homes here.  Bob and I took some pictures as we were driving Miss Daisy, I mean Miss Kalee around the other afternoon!

The landscape on this house is beautiful!  I'm not great at taking the picture of it but I love the plants!  We are going to miss our Florida living and friends!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

And another wonderful afternoon!

Yep, we are so lucky for the friendships we have in Florida!  Verna & Ron had the "orphans" (as Marilyn likes to call us!) over for Easter dinner!  Of course, who would refuse Verna's cooking!  Not me!! 

We started the afternoon off with wonderful appetizers of stuffed jalapenos, which were my favorite by far!! and a baked cheese dip that was another wonderful addition.   I couldn't stop eating the stuffed jalapenos!

Below are Susan ( my quilting bud!) on the left and Patricia having a taste!
Jan, on the left, also a Michigander and our hostess Verna.  The salads were delicious!!!  Of course the dressing was homemade!!  YUM

Some of the men folk relaxing on the lanai

Ron (our host on the left) and  Harvey, Susan's hubby

Pat (Patricia's hubby on the left) and John, Marilyn's hubby

Verna made this adorable Easter tree!

Our purple couple, Marilyn & John!  Marilyn had hip replacement surgery five weeks ago!

Our wonderful hostess with a cake as beautiful as she is!!

What an ending to a great meal!  Lemon filled cake with 7 minute icing!!  YUM!!!

Of course, our hostess is also a sewing genius...she does beautiful heirloom sewing.  This is one of her first pillows she embroidered.

Looks like something from a magazine...some pillow cases Verna embroidered.

And this is Bandit!  A rescue cat that is now lucky enough to have found a wonderful home with Verna and Ron!

Yes, this is his house for sure!

And last but not least, a quilters hand!  It's actually my friend Susan's hand.  I was trying to take pics of Bandit!

 The picture above is telling of our age for sure!  The men folk sitting around watching the golf match!  I was going to take a video of the guys but it wouldn't be any different from this still picture!!  A far cry from the days of watching football or basketball and screaming at the refs and scores!! 

We had such a wonderful afternoon and I can't thank Verna and Ron for this hospitality again!  Our Florida friends are so generous and we're so fortunate to have them in our lives.  Thanks again, Verna and Ron!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

What a great afternoon!!

Yesterday, I headed south to visit with Kay Sorensen from Quilts+Color,.  This picture is of Kay and I just before I headed home after a wonderful lunch of quiche that Kay made and just as wonderful conversation!! Although many of you know her as fiber artist extraordinaire, Kay is also a fantastic home decorator!  Her house is fabulous and the colors and unique collection of furniture (refinished/old/new) and accessories are just awesome!   I took pics of her wonderful home but won't post as I didn't ask if she would mind!  They are for my eyes only!!!  But if Kay ever offers you to visit with her in her Florida home, do stop by!  I had such a wonderful connection with Kay and thoroughly enjoyed our conversation.  We had so much to talk about I didn't get to ask more questions of her artistic endeavors, past and future.  I did get to see some of her current work (you can also see some by checking out her blog!).   I also saw some work that Kay isn't posting on yet.  Wow!  I could look at her work all day!   I hope she asks me back again next year.  
And one of the reasons is for these!!  The blue/yellow/violet is for me and the red is for a friend...that's Kay's rules!  Each visitor gets to pick from her wonderful 'stash' of  amulets that she keep one and give one away!  Just another reason to visit with Kay!  If you head over to Kay's post for today, you'll see just some of the 100+ amulets she has made!  I already have an idea for mine but won't start on it for a few months!!  Other commitments, "don't you know"! 
 I just looked at Kay's post from can  read about our visit from her perspective !    I haven't been on the computer sine Wed. so I just saw her post. You'll also see me 'posed' in front of a wonderful quilt Kay made!  This is a better picture because I'm not in it!!  Of course, it's using Jinny Beyer fabrics that Kay took a 2nd place with  a few years ago (she actually won twice in creating another quilt from Jinny's fabrics).  Isn't this quilt amazing!  You have to see it up close and personal to appreciate the workmanship on this huge quilt!!  And where Kay has it hung as you enter her home is perfect!
The colors in this quilt were used by Kay in furnishing her Florida living area!  Spectacular!  Both the quilt and home...yes, I'm back to that.  I loved Kay's home and her decorating skills and just having the connection with her.  You hear so much 'hype' (in my estimation!) about the word INSPIRATION but I have to say that Kay could easily inspire me!  She is a generous, talented, happy soul that just makes you want to keep smiling and make something!!  So that's what I'm going to do after this post!  Get busy on something creative!!!  Again, THANK YOU, KAY! for a delightful afternoon!!!  See you next year!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hard to leave our winter home!

Yes, it's sad to leave Florida!  Bob and I went to one of our favorite restaurants (I know, we have so many!) on Monday.  It was our own date night!  We ate at Harry's and sat outside.  We both keep talking about what a wonderful night it was.  Drinks were great, dinner was wonderful, dessert was fantastic!  And the weather was perfect for eating outside!  No wind, no sun in our eyes...just a pleasant breeze, music playing from the park across the street...what could be better!  Margarita's!  Yep, tonight Bob and I are having another date night at El Toreo's for our 99cent margaritas!  We have some errands and running around to do so that will be our reward!

Today I finished up some work on my group quilt slice and will finish it back in Michigan.  I then packed away the machine!  Again!  Let's hope we don't rip our pants so I have to drag it back out again!   I also finished one cuff bracelet and hope to get the warp on the loom for the next gift!  I'm also getting some hand work done on my Georgia piece!  Kaylee, Grace and I sit out in the lanai during the afternoons.  It's so peaceful out there...just the birds and us!
I did want to share a great picture my sister sent me of her family!  This is Nancy, my sis holding "monkey", I mean Sherry! and adorable Remy!  Isn't my sis a beauty!!  She has the greatest looking legs too! and I won't tell her age but very few women can say that!  I love her lots and have enjoyed being able to spend time with all of them this year!!

Well, off to the shower so we can head out!  Have to get those errands done so our reward can come!