Thursday, December 31, 2009

Walking on water - a horrible mistake

Help! I loved this bird pattern the moment I saw it. Unfortunately I decided to use a "cloud-like" background, then thought I'd be smart and make the sky in different values, from light at the tip to darker at the bottom. Another unfortunate, I didn't put it up on a design wall first. So now, what do I have? Birds who clearly appear to be walking on water. What to do? Any suggestions? My only thoughts right now are to use a jumbo rick rack in brown, and stitch it under their feet so it looks like they are walking on something, then using regular-sized rick rack in green to make flower stems here and there, and then adding flowers to the top of the stems. Please, give me some other suggestions. On another note, my Bunny Hill Designs BOM is now fully pieced and almost ready to be quilted. I just need to prepare the backing and them I'm ready to quilt. And now, it's time to say good bye to 2009 and hello to 2010. I hope you have a safe New Year's Eve, a happy New Year's Day, and a great 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A few gift items

Here are pics of a few of crafty items I've made for the holidays. Tutorials can be found here for the checkbook cover (by Crazy Mom Quilts), baked potato bag, and cooper bookmark (by Carla at Feathered Fibers).

What crafty items will you be working on in 2010? Please share.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Vintage Christmas Wish

Well, we're on the final countdown for Christmas. Are you ready? I finally got my cards out yesterday. I wrapped some small gifts this evening and made some mock toffee and some Extreme Toasted Marshmallow Candy Bar Rice Crispy Treats. (Clearly this is not going to be a low-cal holiday.) And with that, I think I'm done. I'll make a quick to Sacramento tomorrow for 3 1/2 days, then will head back home to enjoy the holiday. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A good sized ottoman

Each evening, my DH and I sit on the 8 foot couch and fight for foot space on the small ottoman. So, I had a vision. Why not make a huge ottoman? First I thought I'd use a child's sized mattress as a base but then remembered that I had (1) a door and (2) a king-sized memory foam, both taking up space in my garage. So, I'm half way there, right? A quick trip to Joann's for fabric and Home Depot for the legs and brackets, and I'm on my way. Now, just a bit of sweet-talking to my DH and woo-hoo! A great ottoman, 80" x 24". It's perfect for everyone sitting on the couch.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A few random things

Well, it was fall last week, but has turned to winter this week, with lows down to 21 or so the last few days. Burr! It's been a busy weekend. Saturday and Sunday I attended Cindy Needham's Good Time Weekend, with lots of quilting and chatting and, oh, must I mention the eating? Saturday was the day that the last Bunny Hill Designs free quilt pattern came out. Yes, I was right on top of it. I headed home Saturday evening, printed out the pattern along the way, and whipped the remaining block up. Now I just need to add borders and quilt (right, like a month project for me) but at least I have a plan. Monday and Tuesday were work, work, work, as well as today (Wed) and tomorrow. Somewhere in there I made a double batch of lemon cookies for an office get-together, and got some gifts together for Christmas. Also, my small quilt group, Material Girls, met last night for our annual dinner and gift exchange. I have been with the Material Girls from our first meeting (hosted at my house) and I believe this is our 12th year together. It's been so nice to get to know such a great group of women. All in all, a very busy few days. Tonight I'm headed to bed early and have no projects scheduled tomorrow or Friday. Maybe I'll get something done on Sat, we'll see. So, how are you doing with quilting/sewing projects? Are you busy shopping, too busy to quilt? I'm leaving you with a few pictures, in no particular order; Suzanne's Christmas apron (so cute!) Connie's Shining Sunflower (a class that I taught earlier in the year), and my Bunny Hill Designs block of the month quilt (without borders). Have a good few days and I'll check in with you this weekend.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Look of Fall

This weekend I went to a quilt retreat weekend, called Good Times Weekend, put on by Cindy Needham. It's held at the local quilt shop, about 5 miles from my home. The route from my home to the quilt shop takes me by the park, which was in all its glory. The leaves are turning and it was so pretty that I couldn't help myself, I had to stop at the one-mile park to take a few pics. Since it was around 9 am there weren't many people out. During the summer this swimming hole is packed (and adequately supervised by my son, one of the lifeguards). It's just beautiful. I am so lucky to live in such a beautiful area.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Pink Flower & A Vintage Linen Napkin

Here's a pic of a wall hanging I just finished. It started as a vintage linen napkin plus a vintage floral applique piece that I purchased off While you can't see it, the back is a piece of old linen (hint: a good source of backing fabric that you can often find quite cheap, especially if it has a bad spot that you can work around). I started this wall hanging as a demo on how to use Elmer's Washable Glue in quilting at my local quilt show. I used Elmer's to glue the napkin to the background piece, then stitched the napkin in place and cut away the background piece behind the napkin. Then I glued the flower in place. Finally I started quilting and in the process stitched the applique piece in place. I marked the spine with the washable blue marker and then added the feathers as I went. The first picture shows my marking. The second picture shows the completed piece. The third picture is a little something I worked up on my phone with a kaleidoscope application. I simply selected the picture, hit the start button, and watched the picture turn into a really cool one. That's it for today. Drop me a note if you hae other ideas on how to share on incorporating vintage linen napkins into quilts.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bunny Hill Designs - BOM

How are you doing? Have you recovered from the turkey feast? I ate way too much, that's for sure!

Do you know about the free block of the month pattern from Bunny Hill Designs? You can find it here. Each month a pattern comes out on the 5th. I have been faithfully keeping up with it, often finishing up my block the day it came out. I am now anxiously awaiting the final block. In the meantime, I've got it pieced together and am ready to start working on the border. That way I can spring into action on December 5. Here's a pic of my progress so far. What do you think? Any suggestions on a border? I was thinking that something with scallops would be nice. Well, I'd love to hear your ideas! (PS - I enlarged the pattern to 125%. With the sashing, each block measures12 1/2" unfinished.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick note to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. We will have a small group for dinner; 8 or maybe nine of us total. But, I like to cook for 20 because I love the leftovers. It takes the guess work out of "what's for dinner?" through the weekend. I have the dinner table already set, the spinach dip made, and the green bean casserole and the stuffing ready to pop in the over. Tomorrow morning I'll put the bird in, get the sweet potatoes going (this year in the crock pot), and prepare the cranberries and rest of the appetizers. My friend Sue is bringing a fruit salad, pumpkin pie, and wine. We won't go to bed hungry, that's for sure. Oh, and I pulled out my cranberry margarita recipe and have all the ingredients lined up and ready to go. Woo hoo! One sad note, my youngest son remarked that this will be his last Thanksgiving with the family for a long, long time - in August he heads off to the Navy for a six year commitment.

On the quilting front, I now have an 8' x 8' design wall in my Sacramento studio. Very cool. I almost have my bunny hill block-of-the-month pieced together so I'll be ready on December 5th to finish the final block and get it put together. I'm working on a few Christmas gifts so can't say much about those - just in case the recipient may be reading this blog.

Good luck to all of you brave enough to venture out on Black Friday. I think I'll stay home, sew and quilt, and enjoy the leftovers.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

No Mark Feathers

Well, I'm pleased to report that everyone who took my class yesterday left knowing how to machine quilt feathers - without marking! Now, practice, practice, practice, as that really is the trick. In class we used a high contrast thread so we could see our work, but now students are ready to select a thread color that matches their quilt top and go - go - go (no, I don't mean dance.) Here's a few pics of students enjoying the class.

Friday, November 13, 2009

More Vintage Pin Cushions

Tomorrow I'm teaching a machine quilting class at Honey Run Quilters called No Mark Feathers. I'm looking forward to it and think it will be well received. Students started signing up for the class in August and it quickly booked up. I'll take a few pics of the class to post. In the meantime, here's pictures of a few more pin cushions. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More Vintage Pin Cushions

Yes, they just keep coming. But aren't they cute? So cute I can hardly stand it! Do you have any special collections? Let me know, I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Vintage Pin Cushions

Hi friends - The weekend is almost here and for us furloughed state workers, that means a 3-day weekend. Yeah! I haven't quilted a stitch all week and am I'm hoping to finally finish quilting my sunflower wallhanging made with Kaffe fabrics. I hope to have good news to report on Monday regarding my progress. In the mean time, here are a few pictures of pin cushions from my vintage collection.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Machine Quilting

I taught a machine quilting class on Saturday. The class title is Beyond Stipple and it is designed to teach quilters a variety of background fillers besides the basic stipple. In two weeks, I'll teach a class called No Mark Feathers, and I'm really looking forward to it. I've had a great response to my classes so I must be doing something right! If you are in Northern California, you can check out the class schedule and sign up for the Beyond Stipple class here and the No Mark Feathers class here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Another Fabulous Quilt Show

Last weekend Annie Star Quilt Guild's biennial quilt show, held in Chico, CA. Kudos to Kaywood and Debi for their great work in organizing the show. It was great! Here are a few pictures of quilts, with more to come!