Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I was too lazy this morning to take Ms. Fred off my hoop. :-) But it shows all the new stitching I got in so I figured it would be ok. :-)

My new Trollbead bracelet is just like a Pandora type bracelet. You buy a chain and then spend tons of money filling it out. :-) Trollbeads are from Denmark. I bought the bracelet with a clasp and five silver beads and then purchased handcrafted lampwork beads from various shops on Etsy to fill it out for now as they were less expensive than the Trollbead branded lampwork.

I went with an octagonal K's Creations rug frame. I would have loved a better one but I'm still not sure how long my rug hooking career will last. I would love one though with a secondary tightening system like a Townside or a Snapdragon. Someday maybe. :-)

Monday, April 26, 2010

not much crafting going on

I didn't put needle to linen all weekend. Nor did I quilt. Nor did I clean. :-) I'll be busy after work this week for sure. Other things kept getting my attention - like watching tv, reading, napping, playing with the pugs and shopping. I bought myself the start of a Trollbead bracelet and a frame for my rug hooking. That is the story of my weekend. :-)
I did hook a bit and now all I have left on this little rug is the filling in with background. I can't wait for the new frame to arrive - it will make repositioning the linen while I work so much easier. That means I'm ready for a big girl rug. :-)

Friday, April 23, 2010

outline - done!

I worked from home yesterday and again today because my car is in the shop getting some much needed work done. $1,400 later it sounds great. But that means no train ride and no stitching for the past two days. I did manage to finish the border on Ms. Fred. Now back to the fun part. Yesterday about 3/4 of my DMC #8 arrived in the mail. Such pretty colors. See that big pile of blue thread? When I went to pick up my car this morning from the repair shop, one of the dogs took the bag off my coffee table no doubt thinking it was food. They are pugs after all and searching for food is one of their bad habits. Georgie got one of the balls out and made a total mess of it. And to add insult to injury while I was taking the photo of this I must have taken my eyes off them for a second, he grabbed one more and the second photo is the results.
He was having a grand time. :-)

I have in hand my month four of the Civil War Tribute quilt and that is the plan for the weekend. Work on that and company clean the house. One of my very best friends is coming for a visit next week and I want everything to be sparkly both inside and out. :-)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

not much

No much of a change from yesterday on Ms. Fred. Tuesday nights are for agility and I actually went! :-) And I'm so glad I did. Aoife had one of her best nights in what seems like months. And why you ask? I'm getting over my fear of stepping on her and in the words of my teacher I was handling her aggressively. :-) That's a good thing. Clancy was also great - it's so hard when he's perfect in class and a clown at trials. Well that's pugs for you! I sent in my check for agility summer camp in July. I just could not help myself. It's so much fun. So what if I'll be broke for the next three months as I pay for it. :-)

I purchased all the #8 DMC Pearl Cotton that I need for my six LJP designs yesterday. Almost $70.00 worth! Yikes! I should have them in hand in 7 to 10 days and then I can start.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

going with the flow

Even though I retrieved my wayward chart from my coffee table, I decided to continue with the border on Ms. Fred. There is something to be said for mindless stitching at 6:00am. :-) I might even put in some more of the black lines that go around the diamonds. Now that is totally mindless. :-) But it has to be done at some point so it might as well be now.

I have in hand all my Laura J. Perin American Quilt Collection counted needlepoint patterns that I need for my six Christmas presents. I ended up with: State Fair, Toad in a Puddle, Ocean Waves, Hide 'N Seek, Falling Leaves and Cluster of Lilies. They all have a finished count of around 168 x 168 and the ones that don't I'll make it so. ;-) And I have purchased the variegated thread that each one requires plus the 24 count congress cloth that I'm using. Now I need to order the #8 DMC for each one. Then I NEED to get going or else I'll never finish all six before December. And I must not forget that I need to order all six boxes that I'm using to finish them. And it's almost May! I was going to do one every two months and I'm falling more and more behind every day. But I should be able to work on them on the train, that was mostly the reason I'm doing them on congress cloth rather than 18 count canvas. I can get them on a 12" frame and that should fit into my stitching bag.

Monday, April 19, 2010

forgot my chart!

This morning when I got on the train to come to work I realized that I left my Ms. Fred chart at home. How I did that I'll never know - such a bonehead. :-) But I remembered that there are 22 diamonds across the top of the piece so I was able to at least stitch something. I'll look for a photo online and count the diamonds along the sides so I can continue there on the way home.

Over the weekend I did manage to get some crafting in. I worked on my little rug pillow a bit. This piece is really coming together. :-)

On Sunday after the scheduled lawn work I managed to quilt for several hours (I didn't go back to the quilt show). I finished off the last of the light blocks for my Small Things quilt and got a start on the 36 dark/light courthouse steps blocks. I've been able to take some time off each blocks - now they are coming in around 45 minutes each. I have 32 blocks or 24 hours to go before I can put everything together. :-)

I've been spending parts of my weekends working outside. Here is a shot of my koi. I have a high fish load but I've worked it out quilt nicely over the years so they are fine in my 15' x 20' pond. Some of the koi and goldfish in it are 10 years old and quite large - several more than 2 feet long.

The fish photos were taken two weekends ago after I cleaned it out. The water lilies are much more grown by now and the other plants around the pond more grown.
This is a weeping cherry tree I call Bailey's tree. My beloved Himalayan cat Bailey's ashes are under it. I bought the tree the spring after he died at 17 years old. Actually only half of his ashes are here. The other half are in a brass urn that I'm keeping so we can be together again someday. :-)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I want to go back!

The quilt show on Friday was everything I was looking for - so much so I want to go back today! But I certainly don't need to spend anymore $$$. :-) I only picked up one quilt kit. There is one I'm eyeing at the Fat Quarter Shop made with the new French General fabrics and I think I might buy that one. I have to admit though I had several in my hands at various times. I also picked up two really cute pincushion kits made out of felt and 40 (!) fat quarters. A couple of patterns and some new tools also made their way into my bag. There were several sellers of antique notions and quilts and I did find three wooden spools of thread that I had to have. For stitching I found some lovely fibers.

I'm not sure if I will start any of these soon, I do have several other things on the board already and I should cut into anything until I get some of these done. :-) But when has that ever stopped me?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

progress on many fronts

Yesterday I was chatting with my friend Kelly and she suggested if I plan on stitching the Freds together on one piece of linen then rather than filling in the border solid on Frederick like it is in Frederika that I don't fill Frederika like it is on Frederick. I'm loving that idea! So I won't start filling in the border until I have a clearer picture in my head on how I want to proceed. But I can already tell you where I'm leaning. ;-)

Last night I got off my butt and started doing something. Here is my latest hooked pillow. It's coming along really nicely. I even started work on binding the edge of my little heart pillow I finished last month. I'll post a photo when it's done, hopefully tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the Quilt Show and I'm so excited! But also very sad, this is the last year it will be in Rosemont which is about a 40 minute drive south from my house. It's moving to Cincinnati next year due to the rising costs of convention space in the area. There is an annual quilt show in Madison WI that I guess I can go to in the fall but it's around 2 hours north from me. But a girl has to do what a girl has to do. :-) I should be glad that I at least have a back up plan. If I were smart I would find an agility trial the same weekend as the quilt show and I could do both. If I can get my agility act together that might be an option and then I don't have to drive alone. I'd drag a friend with me.

Thanks for all your comments and thoughts regarding my future agility career. I have no idea yet what I'll do but not going to class is not the answer. I'll drag my butt there next Tuesday for sure.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

the Freds

One of my commenters yesterday called Frederika and Frederick the Freds. I love that! Usually when I start a new piece I like to start in the dead center and work my way around. With this piece however, because I'm thinking of putting both Freds on one piece I had to start at the top. So I'm going to be jumping around a bit. I don't want to get bored by doing just the border so I'll fill it in as I go around the piece.

Coni (one of my favorite bloggers btw - how can you not love a blogging dog) is also thinking of doing the Freds together - great minds and all that!

I haven't been to agility class in a couple of weeks - not since that horrible trial in St. Charles a couple of weekends ago. I think it's time to evaluate how much I want to continue. Goodness knows I could use the money back that I dump into it every month. But I'd really miss the friends I made but if the are true friends and not just people I got to know because of agility they will still be there. And I can still play with my dogs in the backyard. But part of me will miss it so much - and that's why I keep coming back again and again. I love to trial but hate not living up to our potential. Both me and the pugs. I have already signed up for the next two local trials but am holding off on sending in my forms for any trials after those. Maybe I just need a break. And it's probably a good thing that I have not heard back yet from the people who run the agility summer camp I wanted to attend this year. It's almost $600 dollars plus expenses and if I'm not feeling it that would be a poor choice of how I spend my money right now.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dresser Drawer Hearts finis

Dresser Drawer Hearts - design by Shepherd's Bush
Recommended linen and silk fibers

As predicted yesterday, I finished Dresser Drawer Hearts on the way home from work last evening. In fact it was so quick I spent most of the ride home with nothing to work on. :-) I'm usually prepared with a backup project but I didn't know I had so little left when I left home for the train yesterday morning.

Trying at some artsy shots. :-)
Here is my new start - recognize it? What, there is not enough stitched yet?? :-) It's the start of Frederika by Carriage House Samplings. I'm stitching mine on 36 count Antique Gold from Silkweavers using the recommended NPI silks. I'm toying with the notion of stitching both Frederika and Fredrick on the same piece of linen. I didn't cut my fat half apart so I have until I need to start Fredrick to decide. I think that would be cool. And you know what a fan I am of stitching multiple designs on one piece of fabric.

I'm a bit sad that Kathy is not going to be designing anymore. But then I think I'll have less stuff to tempt me and I might be able to get thought my CHS stash. I'm not sure if I'm going to purchase any more. I have plenty to do and someone else will come along in short order and replace her I'm sure and I'll want those instead. :-)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Yeah, almost

Just three small blocks to do at the bottom of Dresser Drawer Hearts and this baby is finished. And I'll finish those up tonight on the way home from work so tomorrow will bring a new start. :-) I have no idea what that is yet - I'll go stash shopping tonight after work. But like most of you I have plenty to pick from.

I had a great weekend. On Saturday the temps were in the upper 60s and it was so sunny! The pugs and I cleaned out the fish pond most of the day and now we can see them clear as day. They were so tired after all their hard work they didn't move all day on Sunday. I did however and did go for a Dim Sum lunch with friends. It was so much fun. The little bit of stitching I did on Saturday night was it for the entire weekend. But I find it's like that in spring and early summer. When it's still fun to be working outside and not the chore that it becomes later in the summer. :-) This Friday I'm taking the day off work and going to the International Quilt Show in Rosemont. It's so much fun even if I have to go by myself every year. I've been saving extra money to buy things and the only bad part of the day will be deciding which of the many, many things I want to buy. I can't even plan ahead because every year it's something that I don't expect to buy that temps me. Although I'm already thinking that maybe this is the year to buy the Big Board. It's always discounted at the quilt show and there is no shipping to pay for so the savings is huge. And I've wanted one for years!

Enjoy your week and tune in tomorrow to see what I've started. :-)

Friday, April 09, 2010

half way

I'm a tad half way with Dresser Drawer Hearts. I hope to get more in this weekend but between this, quilting, hooking and all the yard chores that I have set for myself, I'm not sure just how much I really will get done.

My timing with regards to my yearly spring pond clean up is poor this year. I usually have all the new supplies in hand by now but I just got around to ordering everything. So I won't have all my new water treatments and new matting, etc. like I should. But I don't think I going to let a 70 degree day slip away so I'll proceed with the plan knowing that next weekend I'll have to do a little more work.

Have a great weekend everyone! I hope you enjoy your weekend as much as I'm going to enjoy mine. :-)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Not a lot more to show today - I fell asleep on the way home last night - good thing I have an internal radar that wakes me up a couple stations before my stop or I would be waking up in Wisconsin. ;-) And last night I was supposed to be at agility class with the pugs but didn't feel like getting off my butt so I sat on the couch and watched tv until I went to bed at 9:00ish. Tonight will be more of the same I'm sure. :-)

The weather forecast for the weekend is shaping up to be nice - mid 60's and sunny. That means cleaning out the koi pond - which means not much quilting or stitching. On Sunday I'm going into the city for a Dim Sum lunch and the food coma that I'll be in when I get home will also mean not much crafting going on. :-) It will be a fun weekend though as I enjoy both tasks.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

hooking again

I keep saying one of these years I'm going to learn how to use my camera so I can take better blog photos. Maybe some day! :-) Here is Dresser Drawer Hearts. So fun!

Last night I picked up my little rug again. I love hooking. I got a cash award from work (don't get too excited for me it was very small :-)) and I've been thinking of 100's of ways to spend it. One is putting the money toward a large rug kit. But of course I still need a frame and I only got half of what I need for the one I have my eye on. Rug or frame, rug or frame.....

Or quilt kit, stitching supplies, dog stuff, spring clothes......

Monday, April 05, 2010

no agility love for us

Clancy and I had one of the worst trials we have had in a while. On Saturday he just didn't want to play - that happens sometimes with him and I've had to learn to live with it. On Sunday Clancy came ready to play but on his terms. I could not get that dog to do his weave poles to save my life. And to drive the knife further into my chest I went out in the backyard the second we got home and he did them 10 times in a row perfectly. :-( I wish I could figure what I'm doing at trials to toss him off. But in any case I think it's time to cut back on AKC trials a bit until things improve. Maybe I'll go play at NADAC which means nothing to me. Just to get him back to doing weaves at trials.
I found a little time to work on Dresser Drawer Hearts from SB. This one is going to be quick and I'm enjoying it. I love doing all the speciality stitches.
Yesterday we got home pretty early from the trial so I sat down and started to piece my Small Things quilt. I managed to get three blocks finished before I started to get tired. :-) These are a huge improvement over the test block I did on Friday (photo at the end of this posting) and once I got the hang of the process, much quicker than my test block. I repeated each fabric twice and I used fabrics that leaned more toward light than medium. All the courthouse step blocks in this quilt will have that little red center. I think it really shows up nice. Only 33 blocks to go! One more light block with the rest being dark/light combos. I was asked what sort of foundation paper I use when doing paper piecing. I've used a varity of products including the wash out paper. Right now I'm using a product called Simple Foundations from C&T Publishing. But any light weight vellum paper works as nice and you can pick that up from Office Depot for less money. But I was at the quilt store when I knew I needed more paper so I purchased it there.
Here are the light courthouse steps blocks with a few of the basket blocks that I did last month. This is going to be one cool quilt! And small - each block is 4 inches square finished and the entire quilt only 24 by 32!

The test block again. I'm so glad I took the time to do this - the new blocks are 100% better. :-)

Friday, April 02, 2010

Happy Easter

Here is my new start - Dresser Drawer Hearts by Shepherd's Bush. I was able to do part of one drawer on the way home from work yesterday. I decided to take the day off work today and I've spent it cutting and piecing my current projects. I'm actually cutting out three quilts at the same time. I've been saving reproduction fabrics since 2004 and I'm finally doing something with them.
This is a test blocks for my Small Things quilt. This is a Courthouse Steps block and it's paper pieced. The steps finish at 1/4" wide! That's small. I'm glad I did a test block because I found that I discovered a couple things right off. I don't like it this scrappy so I think I will repeat the fabrics around the block rather than make them totally random like I did here. Also I don't like as many medium value fabrics mixed in with the lights so on my real blocks I'll pick out more lights. Also I was able to perfect my piecing technique. I found right off that I wasn't stitching my pieces down into the corners far enough and after a few rounds the corners were curving. So it's a good think I did a test. These blocks will take a while - at least an hour and a half per block and I have a total of 36! So I had better get them right. :-) So this 5 inch test block is destined to become a pin cushion.

Here is a photo of the three quilts that I'm working on. The log cabin and Small Things quilt are using all 1 inch strips that I have been cutting out for weeks. The Sawtooth quilt uses many of the fabrics that I used for strips and I had to cut it out as I was cutting the strips.

I finally finished cutting out all the strips! Here are the medium and darks - all 20 yards or so. Glad that job is over and I could finally get down to some piecing.

Everyone have a great weekend and a nice Easter no matter how you celebrate it. For me it's all about the pugs this year as we will be at an agility trial all weekend.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Margaret Harris finis

Margaret Harris - design by Blackbird Designs from Honeysuckle Manor book
Unknown Silkweavers linen
Using: DMC 4160, GA Carmel Corn, GA Shutter Green, WDW Red Pear, WDW Juniper

I finished up Margaret H this morning on the way into work. She is now Margaret K! :-) I would like to add my birth year but I doubt if I ever get around to it. I'm ready to move on. I had been planning on doing the other piece right away but the border on this took forever and I'm not ready for another one just right now. For the ride home tonight I'm going to start a Shepherd's Bush design - Dresser Drawer Hearts. I've loved this piece for some time now and I purchased the kit off eBay several months ago for just a few dollars. I love a good deal. I have an agility trial this weekend and I'm hoping to get some stitching done while I'm there. I only have Clancy running so there is plenty of down time.