Saturday, July 31, 2010

O Come to me!

This is a tune I composed on the penny whistle while at lunch on July 30, 2010. I am playing my Carey Parks Ghost whistle in this video. I think the tune sounds Irish and haunting. What do you think.

Thanks to Nancy for reminding me.
This is a Ghost Whistle by Carey Parks at Parks Whistles. He describes it this way: "A clear whistle has a sort of "wow" factor. It sparkles when you pull it out, and becomes a ghostly white as you play."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Manly Sewing OR Sewing for your Man

For myself and the male readers of my blog -Yes there are some! I call this "Manly sewing" For the ladies, it is Sewing for your Man.

So what do you do when a shirt collar frays? Like this:

Or worse- like this:

I hate it when that happens!  And honestly, I wear them to that point!  (Bad Gene, BAD!) 
But at some point, I just can't put it on anymore looking that ratty.  This shirt was at the "too ratty" point. 
And it was ONLY the collar.  The rest of the shirt is like new!  

What to do?

You could cut them up and use them as quilt scraps.  

But wait! 
Can't I get some more wear out of it first?  Especially since I like this shirt a lot and it is very comfortable.  (And I hate to have to shop for clothes!) 

So, I take my trusty seam ripper.  
I carefully separate the collar from the collar band  BEING CAREFUL to not cut into the band. 
Then once the collar is off, I shorten my stitch length to 1.8 or 1.6 and sew the pieces of the collar band back together MINUS the collar. 

I get a NEW collarless shirt.  

No shopping, no extra cost.  AND I don't have to wear a tie with it.  Actually I CAN'T wear a tie with it. Ahhh!!! 

So, you say "My husband always wears a tie to work"  
How about casual days? 
How about with a nice pair of khakis or jeans on the weekend?
If he refuses, fine, cut it up and make a scrap quilt!  
But remember I tried to save his favorite dress shirt!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Update on Lanterns

The Dance of the Japanese Lanterns quilt it getting nearer to completion. I have sewn all the blocks, and joined them into one big top that still needs borders.

I would love to show you a really great picture of it, but well: It is night, it is raining and I don't have a big empty wall to put it on. So here it is draped over my sofa with stuff propping it up. It is distorted, but at least you are getting a sneak peek, right?

There are sixteen blocks that measure 18" by 18" Most of the lantern fabrics have metallic print on them. I think this quilt will be a real dazzler. It certainly looked nice on my bed, but I couldn't get a good picture of it there. (Oh wait, I didn't here either! **sigh**) Maybe by the weekend I will have a good picture for you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

PennyWhistlin' ♫♪♪♫

Yeah, I make a couple of minor mistakes, but hey, I was making it up as I played.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lantern Frenzy ♪♫♪

I am sure you have noticed that I haven't posted in a few days.  What?!?!? You didn't miss me?  I am so hurt - cut to the bone - bleeding....Yeah, well I will get over it.  Ha ha. 

The past few days I have been working diligently steadily  like a mad man on my Japanese Lantern quilt.  So do you want to see the final quilt?  

So do I, but I haven't gotten that far yet.  What I have at this point is a stack of 15 or so blocks that measure 18 by 18 inches.  For the lanterns, (in case you have forgotten - or GASP didn't read that post) I am using all Asian fabrics.  Most of the fabrics have gold metallic overlay to make the lamps glow!  Okay, so one or two of the fabrics aren't Asian per se but they still carry the theme. 

Here are some sneak peaks. 

I am thinking that this may be the prettiest quilt I have ever made.  
All the pieces are cut with my AccuQuilt GO! cutter. This has made the process amazingly easy. 
I am thinking that I will make this quilt 4 blocks by 4 blocks which will take 16 blocks.  That will make it 72" square. I can then add borders if desired to make it larger.  I will most likely add a 3 or 4 inch border all around it. If I can find a mottled back fabric etched in gold it will be perfect for a border.  What do you think?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Block 11- Jelly Roll Quilt Along

I have finished block 11 of the Moose on the Porch Quilt Along. It was pretty easy to do. in the picture, the brown looks wonky. In reality it is fine.

Are you doing the quilt along? Are you up to date on your blocks? There is only one more to go and we make it into a quilt! Yaaay.

I was "called out" on my color choices for the "Stay at Home Robin" I am participating in. Kelly said I was playing "too safe"  and not using the brights I am so fond of.  So I made a new block for it. I am afraid this one is a bit "safe" too.  However, I like it lots better. I am on a purple and yellow kick. There are scraps from the Japanese Lantern quilt I am making in this too.  Sorry the pic is not great. I need to be busy doing other stuff. But this will give you the idea anyway.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shadowed Stars

What do you think of this quilt design? 
Shadowed Stars
I think it looks complicated, but it is actually very easy. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Giveaway -Lavender

Sue at Alderwood Quilts is having a July Giveaway  She is giving a bundle of lavender grown on her very own lavender farm.

I want to win this, but if I don't maybe you can.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A semi silly post - Tim tam

I made a silly video at the request of Lynda who sent me some Tim Tam biscuits (biccies) from Australia.
What is a Tim Tam?  Chocolate heaven!   Way too much sugar, but oh so good.  I had trouble doing the video by myself, so this is take 3 and I was on a total chocolate high and I am still not focusing well.  Ha ha.
I recommend that you don't have a mouthful of anything when you watch this as I am not responsible for messed up computer screens. Okay.  Yeah, I already know I look like a total goof in this. No need to tell me that one. Luckily, I can laugh at myself, and frequently do.

In other news, (you know real quilty stuff) I got a package today with more Asian fabrics for the lantern quilt.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Squiggles and Colors

I haven't been showing any art in quite a while.  So I thought I would pull out some of my Artist Trading Card images and share them with you.  I can see some of these easily translating into fabric designs.
Let your mind flow with the lines and colors as you look at these. Okay, for those who want a "picture I can understand" - I added the giraffe and the boots.
 The "expensive" tools I used to create these are simple Sharpie markers.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

More Lanterns (and a ditty)

I had two more Asian fabrics for my quilt.  So I made these two blocks.  They are not yet squared up, but you can see how lovely the fabrics are. I am waiting for my other Asian fabrics that I am getting from Judy at Sew Fun Quilts   She has a great Etsy store with both items she makes AND precut fabrics.  She currently is selling one quilt kit that is darling if you applique.

So here are my blocks in all their glory.  I think this quilt will be AWESOME.  I am just trying to decide how it will be quilted.

Trust me, you haven't seen the last of this quilt! 

and here is the ditty! Yes me on penny whistle again.  Told you I am Irish to the core. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Irish to the core!

As you all know, I love some Irish and Celtic music.  I even play the penny whistle (or at least try to play)

So I love all things Irish, except maybe haggis.   but let's not get distracted.

My friend Micki, over at Irish Muses, is having a second anniversary of blogging. Yaay for Micki.  She is a darling so I am sure you will enjoy her blog.   She is also having a giveaway with some awesome err awful don't bother to check it out.  I mean it is at this link  but you don't even need to go there.

Yeah, I confess, I want to WIN this one. I am entering to save you from winning those awesome err awful prizes.  I am kind and generous that way.  
So consider yourself warned.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Yep I was featured today

It seems to be my day!

I have to tell you a funny story.  I was telling my supervisor that my NAME was on the list of featured artists in the Fall Studios magazine (on the pre-order page)  Then I said, "I am listed with a lot of other people; Kaffe Fassett is in the list too!"  She said, "Oh is SHE  not any good?"   
I about cracked up then quickly googled Kaffe (to show her  HIS picture) and explained his wonderfulness. (I love his bright fabrics) Then, (yeah I LOVE this part) she looked at his fabrics and said "Oh you could do that. " and walked away. 

Yeah, I think it is my day! 
If you click the picture above it should take you to the Finished Friday post.  If it goes again Finished Friday

Studios: Pre-order available

I got an email with  the announcement of the pre-order date for the Fall Issue of Studios magazine.  If you remember that is the magazine that I will be in, showing my studio space.  Several people asked when it would be available.  The release date is August 10th.  WOW it is soon!
Here is the link

I am floating on a cloud this Friday morning!!! I love good news.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

And so it begins - The Dance of the Japanese Lanterns

The Dance of the Japanese Lanterns - formerly known as "Dancing Accordions"  is under construction. Yaay!
One of my blogger buddies, Sewmeow, suggested "Asian fabrics etched with gold."  We emailed a couple of times and she also said something about a black "smeary" background.  ---I think "Ooooh, I like it!" so I went shopping.  I got the black and a bit of Asian fabric, more is coming later.  Tonight I cut a number of black chisels and enough of one Asian influenced fabric (oh yes etched with gold!) to make one nice lantern. This block is a big old 18" by 18" block.  WOW. 

Wanna see?  Well of course you do! (or else be nice and pretend so you don't hurt my feelings, okay?)

Now this is the same block just rotated so you can see both ways easily. I really wish the photo showed the gold on the Asian fabric. it is very pretty.  You may notice the lower left corner of the bottom picture looks dark, it was hanging off the edge of the table. Sorry!  The lanterns will be in alternating orientations in the final design.  If I have enough different fabrics, each one will be different.  This will be the sample for the pattern I am writing up. 
Are you as excited as I am??? probably not...but that is okay.  When I get the pattern finished (and the quilt finished too) I will be doing something special to celebrate.  (hint hint) So a word of encouragement along will be good.  
What do you think?  Do you like the idea?    I certainly do.  This was a fun block to make and it went super fast since I cut all the pieces with the Go! cutter and chain pieced them. 

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Mail call!

All the way from Australia!  Yes. I got Aussie mail!
I had forgotten winning this.  Judy over at Judy's Fun Freebie's  had a little caption contest.The prize was this fabric box in red.  When I opened it I was surprised both because I had forgotten it, AND there was this cute potholder in it.  The potholder has cupcakes on it and the quilting goes neatly around each of them.

I was wondering what to put in the fabric box, and I thought about these round serged napkins I have. I think they look great it in.

Oh yes, the tomato is from Dad's plant and it was delish! The pickles are Mom's bread and Butter pickles. (the counter is mine, excuse the mess!)

So - in other news, I made my Jelly Roll  Quilt along block. Interestingly the directions didn't match the block she showed...but I had printed the directions so I didn't really notice it until the correction notes came out.Too late, I had it completed and I am NOT frogging this block!.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Wanna try something WILD and fun?

What would you do with this pile of scraps left over from cutting a project?   Some of these strips are less than 1/2 inch wide.

Trash bag maybe?

Well I saw that Kate North (a wonderful UK Blogger) is doing a Stay-at-home Robin  This is like a round robin, but without mailing or passing it off. You do it yourself.  Say what? It is based on a Round Robin art quilt that Kate participated in.  I thought it sounded like fun. I won't be stressed by worrying that my work isn't "up to par" AND I won't be stressed by mailing it.

The first piece was assigned and I have finished it.   I used those scraps! I did NOT cut into any yardage.  How excellent is that. (I feel GREEN! ha ha!)

Here it is. Total size 6" by 6"

That yellow strip is an eighth inch or less at the top center! This was really FUN!
You don't have to join to play, just read Kate's blog and do it. No stress.. Ahhhhhhh. 

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Holiday Post

Today on FaceBook, Ricky Tims said that he was waving the flag!  I like that, don't you? I didn't win Ricky's awesome kit with his soon to be released (totally wonderful)  fabric line over at IHAN, but you can see the fabric HERE
I think I need a bolt of each.  If you know my love of bright vivid colors, then you can see why I "need" this.

By the way, if you didn't see yesterday's post Click HERE to see it.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Chiseled in Fabric - Table Topper

Okay, so I decided to take my Chiseled in Fabric design and try those partial seams.  Guess what?  They are not hard to do.  That design is a different story.  I would definitely need a design wall to work from  if I made a quilt from it.  (not happening any time soon - no room for it)

So anyway.  I did four of the blocks and made a Table topper.  It is about 24" square.

Wanna see?

I see two "humility" bits in it.  Oh well.  I was not aiming for perfection and I certainly didn't hit it by accident. 
I did some frogging (rip it, rip it) as  I sewed some wrong parts together. So I fixed it and thought it was okay. I think it looks fine, but I see where I did it wrong....I haven't figured out the why on one of them just yet. 
Wanna see the back?  I used leftovers and did some wonky piecing. 

I think you could make little houses with the chisel pieces. 

So there ya go. I don't think I will be making the Chiseled in Fabric design as a quilt. So I won't be writing up a pattern either. 

Have a GREAT 4th of July.