My Favorite Books

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Steampunk Challenge

Here is my 'Steampunk' challenge for the online group Art Quilts Around the World.  The piece is 11.5"x16".

Closeup of the bird...her wings are leather and her body is made up of  ultra suede and decorator 38 ga. foil.

She is sitting on a watch band (my BFF gave me lots of watch parts when her father passed away).  I painted the band with some brown and gold acrylic paint, then attached with large beads on each end.

Detail shots of  embellishments

More watch parts...wire coil piece I couched down.  Of course I had to add beads!!

I found lots of metal pieces at Hobby Lobby..and I hand stitched the entire background.  I did machine stitch in the ditch before hand work just to stabilize.

I think I enjoyed working on this particular challenge even more than others I've done in this group!  I was going to do a horse but got thinking about my first bird I beaded.  So this was my inspiration! This is actually a Helen Knott pattern from the American Quilter magazine (March 2011 issue).

I had stamped gears on paper last year...I don't remember why but I stamped on watercolor paper in brown and pink..again, don't ask...I don't remember I cut out the bird pattern and started to look for pieces of metal/leather/etc.   So this is what I wanted to create in a quilt!

From there I started to print gears using a stencil on different fabrics - commercial and hand dyed.  And I wasn't sure if I wanted brown or blue!

So what else to do but combine the brown and blue fabrics! I did add a 1/4" brown border in between each area.

Of course, I had to decide how to bind or face this piece.  I just happen to watch some Quilting Arts programs I had on Tivo and guess what!  Sarah Ann Smith was on with some tips and hints on binding and edging your quilt!  WOW!  You really have to watch this episode. I used her tip on couching thread, although I used a thin leather cord (leftover from a kumihimo bracelet I made!) along the edge.  The cord was in pieces so I didn't get a smooth turn around the corners.  I had to butt the ends together, 'but' I'm still happy with it!  I did send Sarah a pic of my edges on FB.

So that was my journey on making this quilt! Now on to the next idea, Pop Art!  My mind just might explode with ideas!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

This and That!

Lots of running this past week....Hair appointment, setting  up at the library for the book sale.  Wednesday  went to dinner for my daughter's BD...this was taken last Saturday when my daughter and I headed to farmer's market and then lunch.  She had back surgery so we were keeping her walking!!!   She's doing pretty good and will get the OK to go back to work possibly this week!

Thursday was football game for my grandson, took 'girls' for their grooming then to the movies with my grandson to see IT on Saturday!  I read the book years ago but forgot most of it!

In addition to all that...Bob has had a hamstring pull which had him sidelined most of the week and even through this week!  I woke up on Saturday with a 'catch' in my back, which I know was from lifting boxes at the library!  UGH...I was so careful to remember to wear my wrist bands but forgot my back brace....I could barely get out of the chair at the show after sitting for over 2 hours....better today finally!!!

This week will be a slow one...just taking it easy each day...but our DIL, MaryJo and Grandaughter, Kayla did not take it easy this past weekend!  They were in a Half Marathon in Holland, Michigan  both finished and did great!!!  Kudo's to them!!!  We are so proud of both of them...and in this heat!  WOW!!!  You go girls!

Tuesday was Nick's BD!!  Woohoo!  14 already!!  And yes, he's taller than I am!

 But no BD party yet...Nick has football practice every day from 3:30 - 6:30 but Auntie was going to pick up pizza and take over to the house for him and the family.  He asked his mother the other day "when will my BD be on a weekend??"...funny...poor kid has always been in football so even when he had a weekend BD he had a football game!  So that was our I'm started to work on the Pop Art quilt!!!  Here's a start!!  Or teaser!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Art Quilts Around the World in Review!

I did a review of the quilts I've made for the Art Quilts Around the World back in 2014.  You can see that post here.  I thought I would do another post for the quilts from 2015 through 2017.  I've enjoyed creating these smaller quilts (11.5"x16") even with having a target date!  For those of you who know me, know that I don't like target dates...but so far I've met the dates with the exception of three challenges (2016) because of my wrists.  
Our next challenge is due September 30th and the theme is 'Steampunk'...I really had fun working on that one!  

2015 Quilts

In the Garden

Out of this World


2016 Quilts

Science - Quilters DNA

My favorite book
I'll post the 2017 quilts by the end of the year.  Our next challenge is Pop Art, which I have some ideas for!  So many projects to do and this is my busy time of the what else is new!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Current projects!

Lions played football on Monday and did great!  WooHoo!!  And I got quite a bit of knitting in while watching them!   Love having my knitting to do at night while watching TV!  

 I'm making another Shrug from Sally Melville's book (Mother-Daughter Knitting) and I'm using Andrea Wong's Portuguese method, which I love (you can see my post here on this type of knitting).  The color is darker in the picture than in person and it's a soft  acrylic yarn. It feel so good to be back knitting!!!  And no pain!!!  So good!  
Also, I am almost finished with my Steampunk online challenge quilt!  This is a sneak peek!  

I've really had fun working on it.  I just have to put on the facing and cover the back - lots of hand stitching to cover up!  Our reveal is September 30th!  The next challenge is Pop Art, which I already have an idea for.  But I need to finish attaching my beaded leaf to a canvas and decide when Mr. Blue is going to live!!  And decide if or what I am going to do for my Valentine fiber cards this year!  That should keep my mind busy for a few weeks!  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Busy Life!

This weekend we actually finished the deck!!!  I had to touch up some white spindles as well as a few strokes of beige stain (where I over lapped my white!  Oops!).  But my part is done...done...done!!!  Bob did find a piece or edge of wood that is rotten so he's repairing that.  But, did I mention, WE'RE DONE!!!!  Now to start raking leaves!!!

Monday was hair dye day (for me!) and Tuesday I helped for almost 3 hours putting books in order for our local library book sale this coming Saturday!

 Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:00 am   until 5:00 pm

Yes, I wore my wrist braces but I should have put on my back brace too!  Thank goodness Bob took me out to dinner!  My back was killing me.  I think I unloaded over 20 boxes!  I filled up four 4'x6' tables with different categories of books...Medical, History, Diet, non fiction, travel, etc.  I'll go back on Thursday to help finish up.  I won't be working the sale on Saturday, which is just as well, as I'd spend more $$'s on books that I won't get a chance to read!

 On another note....My daughter was in Singapore last month and one of the assistants was so sweet and kind to Dawn.  She made sure Dawn had lunch or dinner and always had water for her throughout the day or anything else she might need!

This sweet lady  made a necklace for Amber and me!  This is my necklace and I think it's  beautiful.  I will certainly wear it and think of her when I do.

I made a fiber card  for this lovely lady.  I had this fabric I stamped and stenciled when I was in Florida last winter.  The leaf is one of my hand carved stamps, which I use often!  The fabric is Kaufman's Radiance which dyes beautifully but is very thin as it's a combo of silk..but it's great for fiber cards.  I don't use it often in my quilts because it is so light weight. But it does dye beautifully and makes a nice fiber card because of the pellon backing to support it!

This is the back of the card with a note to Sally.  Yep, I hid her address!  HA  I have  it in an envelope to mail tomorrow.  I usually just mail my fiber cards as it but I was afraid it might not make it all the way to Singapore!  The longest fiber card trip was to Australia!  And it did arrive in one piece!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Back to knitting?

Last week, being lax in reading my emails, I didn't know that Craftsy was having a free 24 hour viewing of their online classes.  Thanks to Julia, from The Hexie Blog, who sent out a FB post about the free classes, I found out around 10 p.m. that night.  Thanks, Julia!!!

I hopped right over to Craftsy at 10 p.m. and started to look at a few classes.  Several years ago I took a knitting online class by Sally Melville on Craftsy which I thought was great!  So I thought I'd check out some other knitting classes...I haven't been knitting because of my wrists but thought I'd just see what was out there...just killing time, right!  And what did I find!  A Portuguese Knitting class by Andrea Wong!   I had never heard of Portuguese knitting before but so glad I checked it out!  WOW!
Andrea Wong

I've always wanted to learn Continental knitting but never did.  Portuguese knitting is wonderful and so much better than traditional or Continental knitting!!! There is NO stress on the fingers or wrists!
If you look at the picture of Andrea, you'll see the yarn is on a 'pin' on her shoulder...that's part of the key to this method.  The pins look like this...

Can you believe that!  It's a whole new concept, at least to me, on holding your yarn and stitching.  It's all done with a 'flick' of your left thumb!   It's so easy to purl and even knit!  Who knew!

I went online to our local library and ordered her DVD, which was very similar to the class but not as much detail mainly because it was older.  So Wednesday I sat and grabbed some Peaches and Cream yarn from my stash and started to learn Portuguese knitting while creating a dishcloth!!!

I am so impressed I went out to Andrea's web site and ordered her book and a pin!  I've made my own pin  up but it's nothing I would have anyone  see me wearing!  HA  I won't even take a picture of it!  But it got me through the DVD and knitting!

 I like having a DVD but I also like books and I am going to assume her book has good diagrams just based on how she teaches online and in DVD's.

So if you're like me and love to knit but can't because of arthritis or other wrist issues  check out some you tubes Andrea has  (this is a short youtube she did) or go to and check out her class.  Give it a try and I think you'll be surprised.

Now I'm going to get Sally Melville's book out again and make another sweater/vest!!  It is winter, right!  Oh yea...I do have some art/quilt projects that are coming due but can always use a project to do some hand work at night while watching the boob tube!  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Getting close to completion!

Geezzz We are hoping that we're getting closer to completing this major deck project!  Bob finished putting on the 1st coat on the right side of the deck floor (he has put 2 coats on the other half  (left) side already!).  Seems like it's a never ending project....

I had fiber meeting on Monday and when I got home I prepped the area for Bob to do his thing on Tuesday.  I should have the edge areas on that same area painted with the 2nd coat of paint so Bob can finish it up this weekend.  On my schedule for today!

Bob can't get the paint roller under the spindle area so I go along the edge and paint out around 4-6 inches.

I do have to go back and touch up all of the white spindles.  I did get a little sloppy with the brown stain but it will be easy to touch up.  I want to repaint our spindles on the front porch as well.  They seem to hold up but are due to be refreshed.  I think I've only painted them twice since we had the house built in '96!

I also hope to go see the horror movie 'IT' or the thriller 'Mother' with my DIL this weekend!  Guess we'll see how that works out!  I love horror movies...but realistic horror there such a thing??

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tommy's block exchange for 2017!

Yep, another year we each volunteered to create a 12"x12" quilt block to exchange with others.  There were four (including myself) in my group this year.  Here are the blocks I've received this year!  I love each one of them and now with Tommy giving us the idea to hang them up, my sewing area is covered!   You can see some of my 12"x12" blocks hung here.   Thanks for the idea, Tommy!

In the order I received them:

 Tommy's arrived first!
Tommy's style for her work.  This was machine appliqued and machine quilted.

Followed by MaryAnn VanSoest
Check out MaryAnn's web site.  This block was screen printed gold leaf and machine stitched.

Then Carol Phillips from California
Carol pieced and fused both commercial and had dyed fabric then machine quilted.
Sorry for the crooked pic, Carol!!!  It's actually a perfect square!!!

And the block I made for each of the ladies!
You can see how I made each one here on my blog.

I love getting these quilts in the mail and enjoy holding and looking closely at each block!  This is an easy exchange to do and if you keep your group small very doable.  Tommy also gives us over six months or more to complete.  Something to think about for those smaller satellite quilting groups.

Hope we get to do this again next year...maybe I'll start hanging in our bathroom(s) next!  Now there's an idea Tommy!

Friday, September 8, 2017


When I posted the finished Mr. Blue, I included a time lapse animation from semi start to finish.  Beth (from Quilter Beth's Blog) ask how I did the animation.  I thought it might be fun to share this easy technique with my readers!

First off, I use Google Photo's to store all the photo's from my phone (Samsung), so that's the application I use to store, print, blog or create animations with.  (There may be other apps that you can download but this just works for me best.)  With that said, you can create your animation either on your phone or your laptop/desktop using Google Photo's.

1) Head off to Google and click on 'google apps' upper right corner.

2)    Click on the 'Photo's' icon (3rd from the bottom on my screen).

3)   You should now see all the photos that you are on your phone.  Once on this page click on 'CREATE' on the right side.

4) Next click on 'Animation'

5)  Now you select the pictures you want in your animation.  Clicking on the picture will highlight a check mark in blue.
 Keep in mind to scroll to the 'oldest' photo first, if you're creating a file of a project/technique from start to finish.

6) Once you've selected all the photo's you want, click on 'CREATE' again!
7)  You see this on your screen.

8)  And there you are!!  Quick and easy!

I honestly wasn't sure I could include animations in a blog post but the app creates a 'gif' file which can be included in posts!  Who knew!  Hope you give it a go and create your own animation!  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

May I Introduce Mr. Blue!

Yep!  He's finished!  Now I just need to decide where or what to do with him!  I'm just figuring out what I'm doing with my beaded leaf!  HA  Mr. Blue weighs 3.5 oz. and is 7" high and 7 3/4" wide.  My leaf weighs a little over 5.5 oz. and is 10.5" high and 12" wide.

I started Mr. Blue, March of 2016, so that's not all bad and I didn't do any beading on him for several months because of my wrists!

Not sure if this animation is able to be seen but hope so!

This was the free coloring page I found that inspired me to create a squirrel

...and the reason for 'blue' was to create a quilt for our traveling exhibit here in Michigan.  We were each creating an art quilt based on the work of George Rodrique who always painted the Blue Dog.  Since I figure everyone would do a blue dog I thought I'd do a blue squirrel!     If you are interested in how I started Mr. Blue or my leaf, you can read my article in Quilting Arts Magazine, issue Oct/Nov 2015.

After I finished the beading, I removed the paper backing around the area (very carefully!). I did cut one thread holding some beads so I just sewed back through the beads to secure.  I said you have to do this part "very carefully" and don't watch football while you cutting!  Dang Michigan!  If you look close at this picture you will see some of the white area.

I used some Jacquard fabric paint, Indigo Blue, and painted all along the edge to cover the white pellon/printed piece.  This works so can also use a marker pen but I like to use fabric paint if I can find the right color.

I had a helper while covering up the white areas!!!

And now no white shows so he's all ready to be attached to a quilt or canvas or just sit and stare at me for a year or two!  but he's done!  He will have some black beads for whiskers on the side of his face when he's attached.  I'll actually bead those down first then attach Mr. Blue. what should I bead next!