Thursday, December 31, 2009

It was a finishing sort of day!

I spent most of the crafting time I had yesterday finishing off several projects. I love that feeling of getting things totally done. :-)

First up is the Thread Keep from Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers #38 - Summer Basket. I finished mine as a pin keep. I didn't take a snap of the backside but I used a really pretty BBD fabric that matches it perfectly.

Next up also from Blackbird Designs, is Loose Feathers #36, The Simple Things monogrammed pincushion. I LOVE the walnut base it's on - totally worth the price in my opinion. This is so far my favorite of the sewing accessories series.

Here are all the sewing accessories that have been provided for this year's Loose Feathers. According to Drema there are two to go in the current series and one I'm pretty sure one was supposed to be a bag to put all the stuff in. At least that was the information we got at the begining of the this series.Then I finished off the two ornaments I was working on as gifts. Yes, I'm late but better late than never! :-) They are from BBD (I see a theme here) from the 2008 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue.
The last finish of the day was the sewing machine ornament I made for my sister. But I saw her last night and before I could think twice I gave it to her. I'm going to see her again today and I have already asked for a photo or to bring it with her so I can take the photo. I loved everyone's suggestions but the things I had on hand didn't match with the suggestions or because of the really weird size of the design just didn't look right. So I ended up taking my pincushion clamp I had been saving and covered it with the stitching. Now you won't know what I'm talking about until you see the photo but trust me, it's very cool. :-)

Now for the bad news, the reason I saw my sister yesterday and will again today is my mom is in the hospital again. In the late afternoon she started to have really bad stomach pains and we took her to emergency. Apparently she has another hernia in her stomach area that popped out. This is on a different side than the one that gave her all the trouble back in October. They pumped her full of drugs and tried to push it back it but that didn't work so today she is having surgery to correct it. Please keep her in your thoughts today.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

House #11 finis

I finished up House #11 on the way home from work yesterday. Yeah! Only two blocks to go. I pulled all the silk I needed for #8 and the last block and will get going today. I spent most of last night going through my stash for my next project. I have four ready to go that cost me over $50 per project and a ton more that were less expensive. I think after I finish HoHRH, I want to go with something sorta smallish before I tackle one of the larger projects in my stash. And I would like to do some finishing work before I get too involved in those larger projects as they all are mostly projects with a ton of finishing (boxes, etc.). I have two Loose Feather projects that still need to be finished off that I would love to get to.

I have tomorrow and Friday off work (have an agility trial Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and I'm going to do some quilting. I have around 150 flying geese to finish up for my Thimbleberies Paint Box Stars quilt before I can start to assemble the blocks. Many of you will recognize this - an oldie but a goodie. I had been planning to make it for a man I was dating at the time but before I really got into the construction I realized that he was not "quilt worthy". :-) Yeah for me!
Here is the quilt I'm planing on next - I'm using an huge reproduction bird print in shades of taupe, teal and burgundy - it's very 1840's and it's from a collection that Harriott Hargrave put together called Birds and Basics. I attended a three day machine quilting class with her in Denver several years ago and just fell in love with reproduction fabrics. :-) It's from a book called Small Blocks, Stunning Quilts. Each one of those star blocks is only 3" square. I can't wait to get into it.

Here is the fabric in all it's glory. I loved it so much I bought 10 yards! I have enough for the stars quilt and one other I'm planning. I'll fussy cut it so the birds will go up each side and along the top.
There are a couple of other quilts from this book that are screaming out to me also. One is a log cabin quilt using 7/8 inch wide strips of fabric. I have already collected most of the fabrics that I need for that one. Over 16 yards in reproduction fat quarters! I love to just fondle them as they are so pretty.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


My needles were smoking yesterday! Just the house to fill in and a little bird on top of one of the trees and this bad boy is finis! I'm pretty sure I going to move back up to House #8 rather than the very easy and quick last block. That way I'll just roll into the finish sometime in January. Only one month late. I think that is pretty good since I was thinking more like February or March. :-)

Then it is shopping in my stash time. :-)

Monday, December 28, 2009

it's a house!

I'm making fast work of House #11. I even dragged it to work today on the train in an effort to get this one done by Thursday. There is a chance I might make it!

I spent most of the weekend quilting but still don't have anything really to share. I did a few more blocks on an older JoAnn Fabrics block of the month quilt. I have two that I'm working on (and one already pieced and ready to be quilted) and as cheap as they are (and pre-cut) sometimes it's nice just to sit and piece. And they make great wedding gifts for all the nephews and nieces that I have. And I need one finished by March for a nephews wedding. I'd love to have all three that I own quilted and ready to go by then and I'll let him pick out which one he wants.

I'm also working on an older quilt from a Thimbleberries pattern using that line of fabric that was published about 6 or 7 years ago. It has over 300 flying geese in it so I've been just making geese for hours and hours and hours and haven't even begun to start putting the blocks together. But I wanted to get some practice in on geese because the quilt that I really want to be working on is a reproduction quilt with over 500 geese in it and I want those to be perfect hence the practice on this older quilt. And the geese for the new reproduction quilt are really small - 3/4" by 1.5 inches so there is no room for mistakes. :-) I finally have all the fabric that I need to get started but I'm making myself finish something old first. Such self control!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

From our house to yours have a great holiday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

and now for something completely different

The Houses of Hawk Run Hollow has returned! I started on House #11 yesterday and have made good progress. I still have House #8 and the last block to go but at least I'm back at it. I still need to finish my sister's Christmas gift and two ornaments but I should get there by Friday.

I decided that I really needed to finish up Houses before I start working on my Thistle Threads projects. I have further decided that 2010 needs to be the year of working on projects that I currently own. There will be a few exceptions like my BBD Loose Feathers and I'll let myself purchase things to complete something but for the most part I plan on working from my stash. We shall see how that goes. :-) I believe I have said this before. :-)

Monday, December 21, 2009

stockings and a gift

I finished up one BBD Stocking from last year's Just Cross Stitch mag and I'm almost finished with a second - these will be gifts. I need to make one for myself also as they are really cute!

Remember Maria from Florida, the kind lady that sent me a ton of Shepherd's Bush kits and charts back in the fall? I made her a little thank you for being so kind and she received it last week. I quilted her a little pin cushion and made her a scissor keep. She was very happy to get them. :-)

I'm way behind on everything right now. My Christmas cards still need to be mailed and I'm not done shopping. I have to figure out what I'm bringing for the Christmas potluck dinner my family always has every year and shop for that. And all I want to really do is quilt. :-) What I wouldn't give for a couple of days off work this week.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sewing Machine finis

I started this little piece yesterday and just finished it up. It's from a really old issue of Cross Stitch and Country Crafts magazine. It was part of one of their stocking designs. My sister had a book from the publisher that had just the stockings in it and each page had some additional ideas from motifs taken from each stocking. This is from the Stitcher's Studio Stocking. She said if I was planning on stitching her something for Christmas she would love this. What a pain in the ass it was! I totally remember now why I stopped doing this sort of cross stitch - the kind with quarter stitches and three quarter stitches and top stitching on top of top stitching. :-)

It is suggested that it be a pin but my sister said no way she would rather have an ornament. But I'm not sure I want to do that either. I was thinking of maybe adding a quilted border from holiday fabrics and making a box lid and finishing off the box so she can use it to store stuff in. She is a crafter also and we always need more storage space. However I seem to think that I made her a box last year for Christmas with some sort of stitching on it so I hate to do the same thing two years in a row.

Any one have any other ideas? Maybe a pin keep? Or maybe a pin cushion with small quilted borders?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Twitter Bird finis

I finished up Twitter Bird last night. I did mine on 32 count Purely Primitive from Silkweavers using a Vikki Clayton premium silk called Tuscan Rose. Now onto the next one! :-) And this one is a gift so I need to get moving.

And now for my quilting friends. Santa has visiting the Fat Quarter Shop and he is giving something away to a deserving girl or boy. So hop on over the the Fat Quarter Shop's blog and check it out.
Dear Santa, this is what I want: Cinnamon 19th Century Reds fat quarters for all my reproduction quilts. Since I'm new to reproduction fabrics I hardly have any and I like colors that match your jolly red suit. :-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

another bird - almost

I have almost finished with my second bird from the Courtney Collection. I should finish by the time I get home tonight. :-) Both birds are on the large side for ornaments as most of mine from past years are are smaller - I should have done these over one. But they will still look nice on my tree. I need to get it out this year.

I like these so much I wish Courtney had been submitting birds for a long time. Not sure which ornament I'm going to start on next but I know I need to get the two done that are gifts. The problem is whenever I make an ornament as a gift, I like it so much I want to keep it. :-)

Monday, December 14, 2009

one down - ??? to go?

I finished up my first ornament of the season yesterday - it's a design called Turtle Dove from the Courtney Collection and was in the 2008 ornament issue from Just Cross Stitch. I did mine on an unknown laguna type linen using an unknown Vikki Clayton silk. I started work today on the 2009 ornament from the Courtney Collection - Twitter Blue. I'll post a photo tomorrow as I didn't get enough done this morning on the way into work to really show anything.

Over the weekend I did a bit of quilting. But again nothing to show. I went through my stash and pulled out three quilts that are in various stages of completion (all cut out and some blocks done). And managed to get some work done on two of them. I wish I had some time off from work in the next couple of weeks but I burned through all of my vacation time with my mom in Florida. Such a bummer - I know I could get a ton done if I had large stretches of time. The goal is to finish a couple of quilts before I go out and start spending $$$ on new fabrics. Which is really hard because I have some ideas for quilts and of course I don't have the correct fabric for. I drove up to a nice quilting store in Racine, WI on Saturday and spent at least an hour looking over all the new stuff. I fell in love with a line of fabric designed by the French General lady - it's in muted reds, greys and taupe. There is a quilt kit using those fabrics that I just have to have. Maybe in January I'll take the plunge. But as I said, I have at least a half a dozen other quilts ready to go or partially completed. And let's not even talk about the bin of completed tops that need to be sent out to be quilted. :-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

added the buttons!

I finished stitching the Big Zipper several months ago but I never added the ten buttons. Since I changed everything included linen, I could not use the big ones that came with all the kits. I ordered the replacements buttons right away but just got lazy and never put them on. Yesterday while going through my stash I came across the package and decided I needed to finish this bad boy off. So now it really is finished. :-)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Evergreen finis

Evergreen Loose Feathers #17 - Design by Blackbird Designs
Recommended floss
32 count Silkweavers French Vanilla Swirl

I finished up Evergreen yesterday. I really pushed to finish it so I can move onto something else that excites me. I got a lot of really great advice yesterday on how to break my slump. I'm planning on going through my stash tonight and see what hits me the best. I do have a couple of gifts I need to work on and that might be why I'm not wanting to stitch as much. I'm not a fan of "have to stitch" but much prefer to stitch for my own pleasure. That might be the block.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It's official

I'm in a slump! I haven't put in one stitch in the evening in a week. I just don't feel like it. :-) But what I don't like is I'm not doing anything else except watching TV. I HATE just watching TV but it's seems like it's all I have the enthusiasm to do. I'm sure this will pass but I'm thinking if my desire to do my stitching is slowing down (as it does every couple of years or so) this would not be a good time to invest a ton of money into this hobby. So I'm rethinking my plans to join all three of the Thistle Threads university projects - especially since they cost $$$$ over the course of the three projects.

Of course this could change and I'll keep you posted. :-)

Monday, December 07, 2009

back to work

It was back to work for me today and I have to work the full week! That's a bummer when the last two have been only three days each. :-) The pugs are dragging from their long weekend at the trial and when I left for work this morning they had taken themselves back to bed already. Good thing I don't depend on them to earn our kibble. :-)

Here is my progress on Evergreen. About a third of the way done I think. I hope to have this finished by the weekend and then I need to get going on a couple of gifts and some ornaments for me.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Yeah for Aoife!

Aoife earned her very first AKC title on Saturday with a first place finish in Jumpers with Weaves! She was smoking. Today she competed at the open level and did great - it was a NQ but she was so fast! Clancy ended the trial also with a couple of NQ but he was very strong and fast and every trial I can see we are close to becoming consistent.

Back to work tomorrow for me - a good thing because four days of agility have worn me out.

Friday, December 04, 2009

a great day!

The pugs and I had a great day in Milwaukee! Clancy earned his first Excellent level Q - a first place no less! And he got a second place in Open Standard - only one more qualifying score and he will earn his Open Standard title. Then Aoife capped off the day with a first place in Novice Jumpers.

This is the first time in my three years of agility that any of my dogs got two Qs in one day. :-)

Yesterday Clancy was brilliant but one mistake in each of his runs kept him from the ribbons. And Aoife, well let's just say she had a good time. :-)

Two more days to go - I would LOVE to get a little more bling. :-)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

good progress

I'm making really good progress I think considering I'm only working on this a couple of hours a day. And not much is going to happen for the next four days.

I'm going to be at one of my favorite agility trials of the year - Hounds for the Holidays in Milwaukee. Both Clancy and Aoife have a full schedule for all four days. My goals are a little more ambitious side this weekend. I'd love to get Clancy's Open Standard title - he still needs two legs. And I'd LOVE to get Aoife's Novice Jumpers title. She needs two also. But as always it's important to remember that matter what happens, I have the two best dogs in the world. :-) I should have lots of videos because I have a ton of friends there and we all pitch in to make sure that everyone gets all the videos they want.

Wish us luck! Hopefully I will be posting some blue ribbon photos over the next four days - I promised both pugs that they will be front and center if they earn some bling. :-)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Now it looks like something

Evergreen is progressing fast even though I didn't put a stitch in last night. I spent my evening looking at quilting books. :-)