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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Honest I have been busy!

Can't believe I haven't posted in days!!  I know I have been busy at home and on the road!  I'm working - slowly but surely! - on my beaded bird!  I forgot how much time sewing on tiny beads takes!

This is the bird, which I printed onto a Wash-Away Applique sheet. I forgot to add this step in my original post:  The Wash-away sheet has a fusible on the back of the sheet.  After I print (using my ink jet printer) I then fuse this onto a piece of pellon -( medium weight I think!)...same pellon I use for my fiber cards.   Then I stitched it onto a piece of fabric so I can work from my Q snap frame.  This keeps the beaded piece from being distorted when all the beading is complete.

And this is what I have finished so far!  I do enjoy 'painting' with beads!  That's how I look at it...just because I can't paint with normal paints!

I'm going to try and keep track of the hours on this one.  Yep...we are always asked, aren't we!  Does it it's fun to look back on and it's a good gauge for project deadlines, which I have on this piece!

Sunday was a beautiful day so off to Rainbow Springs for Cracker Days!  What fun!!!  And Kalee came along too!!  She loved all the dogs and people...yes, she thought they were there to see her!

It was a wonderful day and I love just walking around the park.  I also met up with Annie, who is a weaver I met the 1st year we came to Ocala.  She was doing a demo at a festival and invited me to a 'weavers guild meeting' back in 2005.  No, I don't weave but the group was very diverse - quilters, knitters, etc.  The group is now disbanded but it was fun to see what everyone was working on.  And it was fun to meet up with Annie again!

The waterfalls are wonderful and there are several of them around the park.

Just a fun time....but now it's back to beading and of course dinner out!!  It's Thursday, which means "the gangs all here"!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

So hard to stop.....

So, as I was sitting and beading my bird....I happened to see my beaded leaf....and I remembered to bring  with me a piece of rust fabric I made about five years ago!  And guess what!  This background will be perfect for the leaf!

I'm not going to leave the areas white but will be over dyeing with greens/blue.

 Joan and I were shopping this past summer and she noticed a blouse that had the perfect colors for a background!

I took this picture and I think if I can perhaps tray dye I might get some of the same colors or at least close to the same colors.  I know the rust will show through and hope the leaf will work well with this background....although, the lone leaf may look lonely!  Will I have to make more than one!!  Yikes!  Let's hope not.....

Friday, February 20, 2015

A little of this...a little of that!

I did get to stamp some fabric for the Mary Beckwith inspiration piece I want to make.  This is one of the stamps I made last summer.  It's just a piece of cardboard with pieces of sticky foam I cut out and attached.  I have another stamp using spike(s) cut out the same way but you don't need to see pics of can see how that stamp printed out on the first few pieces of fabric.


This was a fat quarter of fabric I purchased from Laura Kemshall's Fingerprint web site a few years ago.  I have another piece that is more intense that will be included in this project.  This piece was pretty faded and I think the stamping using the spike stamp added some add'l texture it needed.

This picture shows both stamps printed.

I am really happy with the way these turned out and I know they'll be perfect in a patchwork piece but.....

 I think this will have to be put on hold!!  Yea, I decided on another project to work on...back to bead embroidery.  One of my friends from our fiber group is part of  the Spring Needlework Seminar at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island each spring.  Chris is a wonderful machine quilter and she dyes her own fabrics and vends at the conference (she also does samples of quilting for major thread companies!).  Chris approached our small fiber group to put quilts at the conference for sale this coming spring.  We each have several pieces already made that we can give to Chris but she'll need them by the end of April so....I thought I would create another beaded piece and this is "now" what I'm working on!

I jut started outlining the top of his body and part of the wing.  Now I'm stitching his tail and will work my way up.  I'm hoping I have enough brown beads for this piece!  There is a wonderful bead shop here in Ocala (see my sidebar) but I really don't want to have to purchase any more beads.  I'm trying to use up both my bead and fabric stash!  OK, OK, I'm sure I'll head to the bead shop at some point in time!  I'm just like an addict!

I know...I must be nuts...the bird is roughly 9" x 3.5" and is called a cactus wren.  He'll be sitting ontop of a cactus plant that I'll make out of fabric.  Now to get busy so I can finish in time and mail off to Chris for her to take with her!  My bud, Carol T., has some of my older pieces from our last Master's Exhibit that Chris can take to the seminar but I wanted something new.   And now that I've committed to having this piece finished!!!!  I better get off the computer!!!  Beading calls!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I need 3 sets of hands!

It's a wonder that I don't lose my mind...or  maybe I have!  There is so much going on "up there"  that at times I think my head will explode!  I keep thinking it's a good thing to keep my mind busy but, seriously, there has to be a stopping point, doesn't there!

Anyway, I've been working on sewing a few (I may need up to or more than 100!) hexes!

The hex background needs to be at least 18" by 22" but I don't have to put them behind the horse.  I'll just use a piece of muslin/fabric and build around a shape of a horse.

At least sewing the hex pieces, which are around 3/4" are portable so I can go from the lanai to the couch and just keep on sewing.

 I did see where a 'blog buddy', Beth, from Quilters Beth's Blog,  has been working on her hex project  (check it out!!) and I love how she has her hexes separated in containers!  I'm going to use her idea and separate my hexes by their fabrics.  Sure will make it easier when I go to lay out my pieces!  When I was creating the fabric for my hex horse, I would just grab pieces...sorting through as I went.  Using containers would make it so much easier!  Great idea, Beth!  So glad you showed this on your blog.    Beth calls making the hexes "slow work", which it is but good for keeping our hands busy!!
Which brings me to my  next project buzzing in my brain!!  I was thinking of stamping some of my dyed fabric (the blue pieces) as well as the commercial oranges but....

I need to create a patchwork background because of all the hand stitching I want to do....this will stabilize the piece as I hand stitch (I'll stitch in the ditch on each square/rectangle/etc. by machine).   My hand stitching design is line stitching and I'm not sure if the stamping will interfere with the design or not!  Decisions...see why my little brain gets so taxed!!!  I may stamp just a few squares/pieces and start laying out.

And speaking of stamping /etc.  I did purchase from ProChem some Pebeo Suede paints. 

What for you ask??  Heck if I know!!  Actually, I'm thinking I'd like to use them for the online challenge piece (theme 'garden').  But who knows.  They looked interesting and a cheap enough price.  Only problem...don't know what I was thinking...but I usually get primary colors and then mix...well, duh, I didn't this time.....I also got yellow, not pictured above, and a lightening medium!

Oh, and I'm also working in between on another shrug...I did take back the worsted yarn and purchased a finer weight, similar to the yarn I made the other shrug in.  I liked the heavier weight but....this yarn will be so much better.  And yes, I went back to my newest, favorite shop, Yards N' Yarn!
I was going to add either white or black for the ribbing but decided to just keep it all one color. Anyway, it's also good TV work.  The shrug pattern is by Sally Melville's daughter, Caddy, which I've shown on my blog before.  It's in their book, Mother Daughter Knits...I also forgot (go figure!) to mention I'm taking an online knitting class from Sally and its FANTASTIC!!!  I have learned so much and her demo's are great.  You can ask questions and her turnaround time is perfect!  There's lots of discussion on the site, which is good.  Someone else can ask he dumb question for you!  The class if through and the class is called Essential Techniques.

Now do you know why I have so many headaches!!!  Too, too, too much going on up there!

Monday, February 16, 2015

It's Almost Here!

Yep, the book, 1000 Quilt Inspirations, of which my patchwork piece is included, is published and ready to ship!  WooHoo!!!
That's my patchwork quilt on the bottom left (purple green quilt).   I'm really looking forward to seeing all these quilts!!   I love the gray leaf to the right of my quilt and the top right orange/green/blue piece...actually they are all very interesting on the cover!

This is the description from the Quarto web site:

As one of the core, traditional crafts, quilting is enjoyed by countless enthusiasts around the world - and its popularity is only growing. This collection of one thousand quilt DETAILS builds upon this interest, showcasing some of today's most innovative and beautiful WORK. See how others utilize color and design elements to craft creative pieces. Gain inspiration from their variations and intricate techniques. Maybe even CONSTRUCT your own original quilts. Whether YOU ARE a quilter or a collector, a craft-lover or an art enthusiast, 1000 Quilt Inspirations is sure to inspire your admiration and appreciation of the art of quilting. It's also likely to get you itching for some fabrics of your own!

If you want a sneak peek, check out the book on Amazon.  You can see several pages of quilts on their link.   Just keep in mind there are 1000! quilts to look at and to be inspired from!  You can also order from Barnes/Noble or on the Quarto Publishing site.  I hope to have my book within the next few weeks.  I just received an email stating the have been received at the warehouse!

Marcia and I had a really nice get together today...we left early for the Villages...walked around the shops (nope, we didn't buy anything at all!!) then stopped for lunch at RJ Gators at Sumter Landing at the Villages.

We were sitting outside and this was our view!  Beautiful afternoon and a great lunch!  I had a blackened Mai Mai with melted cheese, tomato and onion on grilled rye bread...really good!  And they have 2-4-1 drinks...we'll remember that if there's a 'next time' as we both only had one glass of wine.  We needed a DD to have any more than that!

We did do a little more walking because I wanted a Starbucks I looked up the closest Starbucks on their app, which was .1 mile away...ya!  Well, because I took off in the wrong direction, it was a little over .1 mile!!  But that's ok...we ate all our fries so we needed to walk!  We're hoping to meet up with both Gary and Marcia for dinner either Tuesday or Wednesday.   Looking forward to that too.
Tuesday will be a library run down and grocery store...then I'll be doing some stamping/stenciling/monoprinting  fabric for one of my projects.  Hope it goes well!!!  If not, there's always another day to play!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

So many projects and I hope lots of time!

Susan and I took off this past Friday to do a little 'shopping'.  I don't go to quilt shops back home just because I'm using up my stash (which is getting depleted!) or I'll dye/paint some fabric.
BUT...I never know what I am going to work on next when I come to Florida so if it's a project that needs more than I can dye or fabric I can obtain by's get with my Q Bud and go shopping!

We first drove to Yards N Yarn shop just about 7 miles from us!  This isn't a very big shop but wow!  They are stocked with great fabrics/batiks/yarns/notions as well as good prices!  I did stop in last year and purchased (at a great price!) about 7 or 8 yards of a batik for Ian's T-shirt quilt backing and sashing.  We left a few weeks later so I never made it back.  Susan suggested we stop yesterday, which I was quite happy to do!

We both found lots of fat quarters and yardage.   These are for an upcoming project, Blue Dog (George Rodrique), for our Masters Exhibit.  I know they aren't blue but it is work inspired by Blue Dog!!

The green piece is for our Garden challenge coming up the end of March.  At least I don't think it will make it for Blue Dog but you never know!

I also needed some fabrics for the hex pieced background I am working on for my 2nd hex horse project.  These should fit the bill and be perfect for adding to my existing hexes I've already have left over.

I was also looking for some orange fabric to create a patchwork background to use with the fabric I dyed last week.   This is a piece I am making for the Master's on Mary Ann Beckwith's work.   I must be on this orange/yellow/blue kick all of a sudden!!   Actually, I am going to stamp/stencil/screen print some of these..similar to what you see in the horse pieced fabric above.
Well, after all that shopping, Susan and I had a great lunch at Crazy Flats behind Dick's Sporting goods (HeathBrook Mall).  What a great lunch..I had the Spinach & Artichokes flatbread and it was delicious!  Susan had the Margherita flatbread...I will go back!!!!  Delicious!

While at the Yards N Yarn shop,  I was  looking for some black yarn to make another shrug, which I just realized I didn't post a pic of my finished shrug.  I've worn it several, several times and have had so many compliments on it...anyway, I digress....again.......

Well, I didn't find enough skeins of black so thought I'd wait....but on the way out I spotted the cubics circular needles by Knitter's Pride.  Well, I wasn't sure what size I needed for the shrug make a long story shorter (?? I know it doesn't seem like this story is getting shorter does it!)...anyway, I came home and knitted up a swatch with some black yarn I purchased from JoAnn's...decided #10 needle was what I needed and I called the Yards N Yarn shop and asked if she had a cubics in #10...yep, so off with Kalee and we headed to the shop and I came home with these!!

I have read and watched YouTube reviews on using these needles and I'm so happy to have found them!!  They are suppose to be good for arthritic hands!

Well, I remembered when we were at the shop earlier in the day I spotted a pretty grey yarn.  I brought with me the gauge/old yarn label/etc. and decided I liked the gray better than the black (easier on the eyes for sure!) so along with the needles I picked up these!  They are the perfect weight/etc. and I think the gray is very nice.

I'm not sure but I may just use the black yarn for the rib row for the back and sides.  I wear a lot of black but I think the gray will do nicely in a shrug.  Can't wait to start on this project today!!!

So if you are in the Ocala area and want to look for some batiks/cotton/yarns/sewing notions/etc. stop by the Yards N Yarn shop!!!  The owners are a delightful couple and are very helpful!!!  My next favorite shop here in Florida for sure!!! Yards N Yarn are also on FB!!!  Check them out!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tiffany all finished!

Yea...well, you might get tired of seeing this piece in progress...but it's finally finished!  Which means, this is the last post of my Tiffany Peacock! Woohoo!

Yes I did add a sequin and bead for the eye!  Have to have at least one bead on my piece!!!

Well, it's 99.9% finished.....I didn't notice until I took this detail you see the little 'unfinished' area!!  Look at the bottom feather on your right!   DANG!

So guess the next time I need a little hand work for a few minutes this will be it!  HA

 And, no, I won't post another picture when I finish this stitching!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Too many ideas!!

I pulled out some of my old hexes I had leftover from my Horse Hex piece...I'm thinking of making a background of different size hexes then fusing the horse I cut out from my original Horse Hex ontop of the hex background...just the reverse from my first 'horse'.

Only problem, I need to get the right colors of yellow/browns since I used all the fabric when I originally made the hex horse.  Hmmmmmm  Some of the original fabric I used was from a screen printed piece I did several years ago.  I might have to resort back to trying to match the colors by dyeing and screen printing.  Or maybe I'll just see when my Q Buddy is free and we can go on a fabric run!!!

I just can't sit and watch TV without 'doing something'...yes, I can read blogs in my blog list or research on the net  but I feel that's wasting time vs accomplishing something.  So I started to make some more rings for myself!

I finished the brown one yesterday and started the black one today.  I have some metallic rings I've made that are wearing out, which I knew the metallic shine would wear out over time.  I do need a black ring but I wanted some silver or color in it.  I think  just  two rows of silver will be enough.

Back to sorting though more future projects in my mind!!!!!  I did draw out an idea for another reverse applique piece.  This was from a Dover book Susan had lent me that I enlarged.   But I am going to have to wait until we get back home.  I want to do all the colors from the color wheel (well, that's my idea right now!) and since I don't have all the fabrics here I'm not going to buy them.  This project will wait...but I think it will work out good for Susan's reverse applique technique.
Maybe I need a dog walk to clear my head!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dye Day!

So now that my Tiffany piece is just about finished....I tried to cut binding yesterday but my rotary cutter is dull, dull, dull!  Trimming fiber post cards did it in!!  So it is now time to think of my next piece for the Master's Exhibit.  I know I want to do hand stitching for sure and actually have some patterns in mind.
The artist I selected for my inspiration, is Mary Ann Beckwith, a watercolor artist from Michigan.  But wouldn't you know I didn't bring any fabric that is 'hitting' me to start a piece with.  So, what to do????  Dye a piece or two!
I wanted to work in blues/purples and thank goodness I did bring the right dye with me.  I'm using a Blue Violet MX dye and my fabrics are cotton sateen (on the right) and a white muslin (left). I was going to use the red but decided that's might be used in the next batch!
I scrunched the fabric placing the right side of the sateen down first....I had to think through this just because it's been so long since I've dyed any fabric.  At times, I much prefer the back of my fabric vs the front so I wanted to make sure that the right side of the sateen did get the most color.  We'll see if my thought process works out!

I did add a little more dye on top of the sateen fabric.  I don't want white and figure I could always use pieces of the muslin fabric....I have intentions of using a solid piece of fabric to work on but I might end up doing patchwork...won't know until the fabric is washed!

Tonight dinner out with I'm going to finish up some cleaning then off to shower.  It's another cool day...well, not for me!  But golfers don't like the high 50's or low 60's and wind!!  We may even have to cover up some plants one or two nights this week!!  Temps are suppose to get low, low, low!!!  Great sleeping weather at least and I do love the days...perfect for dog walking!!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Back at Tiffany!

So now that my sewing area is all cleaned up I can get back to ongoing projects!  First up is to finish my Tiffany Peacock for our Master's Exhibit. 
 Actually, I finished the upper blue part of his body yesterday afternoon, you can see my needle and thread on his head.   I just need to stitch his little 'head dress' and of course sew on a bead for his eye! Then add black binding, label and sleeve and he'll be finished.  This is my 2nd Tiffany can see my 1st piece here.  I don't forsee me making another Tiffany piece for the exhibit but you never know! 
 I love the process of reverse applique my Q Buddy, Susan, developed (you can see some of her work here and here!).  
It is quite labor intensive but so well worth the, Susan's technique fits in with my love of hand work...although, Susan hand quilts all of her pieces!  I cheat and go between hand and machine.  My work/workmanship will never equal Susan's but I still love to create pieces using this technique (you can see another of my quilts using her technique here).  

This shows the pieces laid out on my cloth pattern.  Susan bastes her pieces down....yep, I cheat again and fuse mine!  I use Misty Fuse which is quite light and easy to sew through. 

This is the back of the piece...hard to visualize but a solid piece of black fabric is placed on the front of the piece...more basting (can't fuse this step!), etc.

And now it's following your basting lines to cut and needle turn your 1/4" for the leading.    Yes, as I said, it is labor intensive but SO portable!  With all the basting it's so easy to just pick up your thread, needle, scissors and off you go!!!  But it is a lot of work up to this point...ok, it's also a lot of work doing the needle turn but such a wonderful technique and quite different from the so called 'regular' reverse applique method.  I much prefer Susan's and I'm so happy she taught me how to do this technique!!!  She's a good Q Buddy!!

So off I go to sit with Kalee out in the's in the 60's and just a beautiful, sunny day.  Still coughing...ugh...runny nose, eyes...ugh...Zyrtec is in use.  Oh, I did sign up to take a class on Craftsy!!  It's a class from Sally Melville on Knitting Essentials....I love, love my E'nveloppe cape/shawl and my shrug I made from her patterns.  Since I'm a self taught knitter I thought it would be a good idea to learn some real knitting!!  Sally's books are wonderful...I purchased one of her books , Mother Daughter Knits.  She also has patterns on Ravelry, which is where I got her LEnveloppe pattern.  Tomorrow will be the start of my class...I want to finish Tiffany today..then knitting tomorrow...thank goodness for retirement!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

One project onto next!

So in between being sick with this dumb cold/flu...whatever it is!!!  I did manage to finish my Valentine fiber cards!!  Whew!!!

 I found on Etsy a downloadable Alice in Wonderful playing card pages and purchased the set (I think they were a $1.99 or .99 cents!  I was ill at the time so who knows!)....anyway, they were my main inspiration for this year's cards.  Nothing that interesting but I wanted to get away from the traditional 'heart' theme..why you is Valentine's Day after all...I don't know...I get bored I digress.....

I started off several weeks ago pulling out the paints and making up some stamps for the background fabric.  I think I did show this on a previous post...

Next up I quilted all the painted fabric...

Then came the setting up four cards on a page to be printed onto fabric; then I fused each printed fabric page;  cut out each card, fused onto quilted background(s); then stitched by machine around each card and inside the design to make sure the bugger would make it through the mail..which is another story!
Then I did some small zentangle/doodling on the hearts and added french knots around each tangled heart.

In this picture you can see the roll of Pellon as well as the fused/quilted cards waiting to be layered with the Pellon.  But first I had to print out  my postcard labels.  I like to use Sulky Totally Stable, which I color with Artist Pastels then I brush on water to color the entire piece.  I needed 15 sheets of 8 1/2" x 11" sheets to print out labels (2 per page).
TMI??  Well, I like to document my process because it helps when I do this project again!!  Don't cha know!

OK, so then I cut each quilted Valentine to size (5" x 7") then layered the Pellon (cut same size) and ironed on my Sulky Stable label...cutting off excess.   Next up is to stitch around each edge...I use zig zag stitch but set my stitch length to around 1/2-3/4 and set the width to 3.  This gives a nice clean edge and holds all the layers together well.

WooHoo!!!  All 27 were finished on Thursday night!  We went out to eat with the gang (delicious meal at Pavarotti's!  But that's another post!) on Thursday so when we got home Bob watched Michigan basketball he taped and I finished the fiber cards!

Now my story at the post office...back home I always take any fiber card I'm mailing to the post office folks just to make sure it's still the correct size for a 'letter' stamp (40 some cents, right?), which they say "yep, just needs a letter stamp" yesterday I stopped at the post office to purchase 27 stamps...they tell me it costs 70 cents to mail each card.  WHAT?  hmmmmmm  Now my friends here in Florida have told me at times they have a postage due...but I've never had anyone else tell me that...maybe I need to start asking!!!

Oh, and just for know how folks are always asking 'we' quilters "how long did it take you to make 'that'?"  Well, I did keep track for the most part and with the painting, quilting, fusing, printing, stitching, yada took approximately 45 min. for each card which equates to about 20 hours.   OK, I make the cards because I like to keep busy...but really I do it because I enjoy sharing a little of my heart with my friends!  Hope they enjoy their Valentine this year!!

And look...a clean table all ready for the next project!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

A little 'structure'!

In between coughing, I finished my 'structure' piece for the online Art Quilts Around the World challenge!  It is simplistic but I was inspired by Paul Klee whose work I really like.  I think he has lots of 'structure' to his pieces, hence, my inspiration.
I actually started this background several years ago after watching an English Piecing technique on Design Matters TV demo'd by Laura Kemshall.  I love any form of hand work so this was right up my alley!   You can see my design and progress here (you need to scroll down in the post past Bob's hip surgery info!).  

This is the back of my piece before I removed the paper.  Each piece was hand stitched using the English paper piecing technique.

When the structure challenge was announced, I thought of that background piece based on Paul Klee and packed it up to bring with me to Florida to work on.  These were some of Paul Klee's pieces that were my inspiration.

Having holiday planning, entertainment, packing to head south for the winter then coming down with a cold/flu put me behind. Our challenge was due 1/31 and this is the first time I missed the target date!  But that's's finished now!  And I get to start planning in my mind our next piece!!  But I have to get working on my Valentine fiber cards!  Yikes!  Always something isn't it!

Here are some detail shots of my hand stitching.  I used hand dyes, commercial and silk duponi fabrics; Madeira  threads (Lana and Decor) for the hand stitching.