Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Swiss Christmas in Midway

Thursday afternoon my sister, Paula, and I will be loading up our cars for the short drive to Midway, Utah for Swiss Christmas where we will have a booth selling our In Your Bonnet  natural skin care products.  In addition to our regular selections, we have been busy making small sizes for affordable gifts and have special $5, $10, and $15 gift bags already wrapped with decorated containers and holiday ribbons.  Our Utah honey is bottled and when paired with a loaf of bread you have a great neighbor gift.

Stop in to say "hi" and after visiting our booth enjoy the other vendors offering food and fun holiday shopping. 

Swiss Christmas will be held in the Midway Historic Town Hall and community center, 130 West Main Street, Midway, Utah and will be a very different experience from Black Friday at WalMart.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Yes Sir, Yes Sir

Do you remember the nursery rhyme that goes, Baa, baa black sheep have you any wool?  Yes sir, yes sir, 3 bags full. 

I have 8 bags full of little pieces, sorted by color.  I have never been very good at keeping cotton scraps - they just get thrown away.  But wool is expensive so I started keeping every tiny piece a few years ago and find that the bags just keep getting bigger - not smaller!  When getting ready to applique I always look into my scrap bags first and find that most of my needs are met right here.  I take them to classes and share with friends, and they just stay full. What a great use for those zippered bags that new pillow cases come in plus the ever-versatile zip-lock bag.

The sewing room organization is still underway and I couldn't resist these cute doorknobs at Joann's.  They don't help with organization, but they look great on my well organized closet.  Now, if Ikea would just get the shelves I need back in stock.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Classes at The Gathering Place

Last Thursday my friend, Teri, and I drove to Rupert, Idaho where I was scheduled to teach 2 classes and give a trunk show.  It's getting to be winter in our area and we were anxious to beat the snowstorm that was headed our way.  We stopped at Sweet Lavender on our way and I found some unique fabrics that will be perfect for some Christmas gift projects.  It was a beautiful trip watching the storm clouds gather and the colors change.  Luckily, we made it to Rupert before the storm.

Rupert is a small rural community with a HUGE quilt store - The Gathering Place, located right on the historic town square.  If you want it - they've got it.  Joyce and her helpers welcomed us to the store and directed us to our room across the street.  We stayed at the Drift Inn which is on the second floor in the old First National Bank building.  We had a beautiful room with quilts on the bed.  Even though we were on the town square, there is no traffic at night, so we were able to open our window a bit for some comfortable night air.  In the morning it was snowing.  Each day we had breakfast at Cathy's Diner where they serve meals that will satisfy a hungry lumberjack.  We were immediately pegged as out-of-towners and everyone took a good look at us as we walked to our table.

On Friday I taught the City Bucket and Country Bucket to a fun group.  Most of them were new to wool applique and embellishment and we had a good time.  In fact, I was so busy having fun I forgot to take photos!

Saturday morning we started right in on Acorn's Promise, selecting and sewing strips.
This class keeps everyone busy to create one block, but once the first block is finished the remainder are easy.  Here we have the first block finished modeled by its beautiful creator.
Luckily, the snowstorm had left town by the time we finished our class giving us an uneventful trip home.  If your travels take you along I-84 in southern Idaho, be sure to stop at The Gathering Place - you won't be disappointed. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Embellishment Class

My friends at Elaine's Quilt Block asked me to teach an embellishment class before Christmas.  Elaine's is a wonderful shop near my home that was recently featured as one of the "best" in Quilt Sampler Magazine.  We are going to work on a quick little project, perfect for Christmas - or anytime - gift giving.




We will make these little purse-sized notebook covers.  I have one in my purse for jotting down little notes and love that it's not just a paper notebook.

I know, just the notebook would be quite practical, but who wants practicality when you can have beautiful?  One of my favorite quotes is, "make necessity beautiful, make beauty a necessity".  We need beauty in our lives and can make the necessities, like a notebook, beautiful.

If you live close, and by that I mean within 50 miles, join us at the class.  Just call Elaine's 801-947-9100 to register.  I think the tuition is around $25, but the pattern and good time are free.  Do you remember who said, "What is 50 miles of good road?  Yes, I call that an easy distance indeed".

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hey Hookers - Rug Hookers, that is.....

I love the look of hooked rugs and even tried making one with wool I dyed myself.  OK, enough of that!  The wool was the wrong color, the rug was a mess, and now I just have a perfectly good strip cutter for sale.


I just listed this Fraser model 500-1 strip cutting tool on my Etsy site for $125.00 which is a great price.  I found an online source that is selling the same cutter for almost double.  My cutter has one cutting head that will cut 2 strips at a time that are about 1/4" wide, and the instruction booklet is included.

The Etsy site charges shipping but if you buy the cutter and include a message that you saw this on my blog I will refund the shipping charges.

Amazing what you find when you clean out your sewing room closet.

Blasphemy! I Don't Have a Stash

You heard me right - no stash.  I used to be a fabric junkie, buying fabric, books, and kits, certain that I would make beautiful quilts "someday".  Eventually I realized that nobody lives that long and I started feeling pressure to use the fabric that I had bought.  I know, I'm a bit odd, but I feel like if I bought it I had to use it, and if I didn't then I couldn't buy more. 

My first step to recovery was:  No more shopping until I had used up what I had.  For the next few years I only bought fabric if it was absolutely necessary to finish a project.  After piecing or appliqueing a quilt I sewed matching pieces together for the backs just to use up more.  Some of my fabric was used in four or five quilts and it was making me crazy and bored.  I was good for quite a while but just couldn't use that fabric anymore.

Step 2:  Join with some friends to have a fabric yard sale.  What great fun and we sold a lot of fabric, kits, books, and even some quilts.  Then I gave the rest away.

Step 3:  A promise not to buy fabric I wasn't ready to stitch.  It is almost impossible not to acquire additional fabric.  It seems that there is always some "leftover".

The exception to all the rules:  I can't give away my wool and there are several cottons that I've been hoarding because I love them.

Last week while cleaning my sewing room I gave away a few more boxes of fabric to a friend who is just learning to quilt.  I'm happy and she is thrilled.  What's left?  A few bins of wool, my bags of little wool scraps, one bin of Kaffe, and the 2 cottons that I'm hoarding.  So to be honest, I don't have a stash like some of my friends, just a tiny one.

I don't feel guilty, my room is clean, and I'm ready to stitch.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Bit of Stitching

 I started designing a table runner a few weeks ago, making good progress until I hit a glitch!  I made the mistake of going into my long-neglected sewing room and found that someone had been misbehaving.  Books were stacked on the cutting table, the sewing machine was barely visible under piles of wool, shipping boxes and baskets were on the floor, and the closet - well the closet can't even be described.

Who would do such a thing?  You guessed it - me.  I have a friend who is very tidy and refolds each piece of fabric after cutting then returns it to its proper place.  Oh, wouldn't that be nice?  I promise to be tidy but then, when I'm choosing fabric I just can't take the time to fold - I need to grab the next piece, or 10.  Even I have a limit so last week I cleaned up and am happy to report that everything is folded and color-coded.  Even the floor was vacuumed.

 
 I did sneak in a bit of time for stitching on my table runner.  I pleated a wide silk ribbon and appliqued it to my background, then secured the pleats with french knots.  The stem is raised stem stitch using a silk/linen blend.
  French knots stitched with silk ribbon make beautiful seeds in the large velvet flower center.  The petals are embellished with 2 rows of bullions using silk pearl thread.  
I woke up one morning knowing that I had dreamed of what to stitch on these leaves - but I couldn't remember the dream.  I joined my husband and our dogs for a walk and the cold morning air must have jiggled my brain, because I suddenly remembered.  Double feather stitch with lazy daisy stitches and french knots.  I added a palestrina stitch around each leaf.

There's more stitches to add and I'm hoping to finish before too much longer.  

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