Monday, December 28, 2015

I'm Still Here

It has been a busy month here - fall turned into winter, Christmas with all the preparations, good times with friends and family.  But you know me - there was still time for stitching.  

I pieced together the Lorna Doone pattern by Kaffe Fassett and remembered why I prefer hand-work.  Do you ever see a quilt you can't get out of your mind?  For me it was Lorna Doone.  I even used the exact fabrics - no substitutions.

Then there is the Roseville Album.  I began this block 2 months ago and only enjoyed stitching the pot.  Oh, those little flowers were a lot of work.  To help ignore it's calls from my sewing room, I read 5 books but finally had to get back to it.  I finished it today and look forward to starting something new.

My fabric choices could have been better.  I like the pot, birds, and stems, but the flowers are quite ugly.  I will live with it though as I never want to do this one again.

I just finished a very limited number of kits for Dove In Bloom that are now for sale in my Etsy Shop for $40.00  The kit includes the wool and velvet, cotton and silk embroidery threads, bird eye, 1 packet each of Chenille #24 and Millener #1 needles, pattern and Yazzii bag.  

I love the Yazzii bags and have an assortment for various projects.  This once is 6" wide x 5" high x 2 3/4" wide with 6 zippered pockets.  This is the one I keep with my embroidery projects, with needles, threaders, scissors, thimble pads, emergency chocolate, etc.

Go ahead, buy yourself a gift and have some stitching fun.

Monday, November 23, 2015

At Long Last

If you have ever looked at this blog you will know that I've been working on this quilt for over a year.  After completing the Urban Owls quilt designed by Wendy Williams and offered as a BOM by Material Obsessions, I was once again tempted by a Wendy Williams design named Cat's Away.  I don't say "no" to many temptations and signed up for this 2014 BOM.

Of course, it would have been finished more quickly had I not added more embellishment or if I worked on fewer projects at the same time.  My original plan for the quilt was to hang it over my stairs but then I realized that it would be too big.  My solution was to make it even larger to fit on my bed.  The finished size is 106" square.

It was beautifully quilted by Cindy Paulsen who expertly added the final touch.  I'm really fussy about quilting.  Extremely fussy.  In my opinion, the quilting is more than a method of holding the layers together, it should enhance the quilt pattern.  Yes, it can be expensive, but with the cost of fabric and the time I have invested carefully stitching, why would I scrimp on the final design element?  Not every quilt is suited to straight lines or curves, applique should be quilted too, and yes, embellishments are added before quilting. 

OK, as I said, it's just my opinion, I hope it doesn't sound like a rant.

Next on my list I hope to finish up Lorna Doone, a Kaffe design, get back to Roseville Album, my sketching pad, a class project, and some Christmas gifts. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

A bit of this and that

Last week my husband had a guest instructor teach here in his studio.  Ten of his friends were here for 5 days and my goal was to make cushions for the window seat in my living room.  Our dogs lay here and look out the window every day.  We just repainted the walls a light gray and this Kaffe home-dec fabric was the perfect addition to our room.  The 3 cushions are 52" long x 18" wide, and 2" high.  

I ordered plenty of fabric from just in case I made a mistake and ended up with about a yard left over which was used to make a new purse.

I have a few upcoming classes where I will be teaching a variety of embroidery stitches.  This little Spring Garden was completed with 9 different stitches using both Silken Pearl and Pearl Cotton on felted wool.

Wednesday was a fun day as my stitching group has started up again in my sewing room.  This group is hand-work only and we have a variety of projects going - English paper piecing, needlepoint, applique and embellishment.  I really look forward to this great group of friends sharing a common love (addiction).

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Kaffe Class and More

The highlight of last week was Kaffe Fasset's visit to Salt Lake City.  Tuesday evening Kaffe and Brandon presented a lecture and slide show which was very inspirational.  Wednesday morning was our class on Overlapping Squares from the book Heritage Quilts.

As I pressed my fabric and packed up my supplies I had a good idea of what my quilt would look like.  Surprise!!! I took all the wrong fabric as small or medium scale prints are best for this quilt design.  "Luckily" Elaine's Quilt Shop had plenty of fabric at the class so shopping was my first task.

Amazing is the word I use to describe working with Kaffe and Brandon!  At first it was a bit intimidating to have them stand next to me and look at my selections, but they quickly put me at ease with their easy manner.  They both explain why a fabric/color works or doesn't and quickly make suggestions.  Kaffe would walk back to my table, go through the fabric and say, "try this one".  When I explained that it wasn't my fabric his response was, "that's OK, she is your friend, just use it".

Needless to say, my quilt doesn't look anything like I thought it would.  There is more choosing and cutting and then the dreadful sewing together of all these triangles but I'm excited about it.

Elaine's did an amazing job of setting up the classes.  We had plenty of room, wonderful lighting, lunch, snacks, a handmade quilted bag, and they even set up our design walls.

When I sit down it's time for more Kaffe fabric and Block 4 of the Roseville Album.  I prepped 2 blocks and the one I was going to do first just looked too difficult so I did this one which will sit in the outer corner.  It may be more sensible to work on all the center blocks first but this one looked "easy".  The truth is, none of them are easy.

I am finally back in the "groove" of needleturn applique after the easy whip stitching on wool.  It took some practice to get the feel of the smaller needle and to hide the tiny stitches but I'm there.

Oh, how I love all of it!!

But, this week is dedicated to covering cushions for the window seat.  Are you surprised that I'm using a Kaffe fabric? 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Got Fabric?

Do you need some more?  How about a fabric you love and just can't find anymore.  I've got some good news for you.

My friend, Sheri, has started a new fabric company called Fabric Gypsies. Sheri has been buying NEW "old" fabrics from quilt shops and will be offering them online when she gets her website up and running.

Right now she has a huge supply of 
  • Moda, Windham, Marcus Brothers, Civil War, Batiks, and blenders - 100's of bolts
  • 5 pack fat quarter bundles
  • Bakers dozen bundles
  • Loose fat quarters
  • Pre-packaged yardage, Scrap Bags
  • On the bolt yardage, 1/4 yard bundles (think tuffets

Until then, she is having a Fabric Yard Sale this weekend.  If you live within 50 miles of Salt Lake City you don't want to miss it.  Here are the particulars:
Saturday, October 10
9 a.m. until 1 p.m. or until done
3513 East Dover Hill Dr. (7660 South)
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If you can't make it to the yard sale but want to see if Sheri has something you're looking for, just call her or text 801-558-5499.
Bring a new pair of socks in exchange for a free fat quarter. Socks are being donated to Primary Children's Medical Center in participation of Socktober.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Roseville Album

After sending off my Enchantment and Cat's Away BOM to be quilted, I was able to get back to my sewing room.  As soon as we returned from the wood carving show in Wisconsin, I prepared this block and took it with me to our cabin.  This was one of the "easier" blocks in this beautiful quilt and I was able to complete the applique in a few days.

I took this photo with my cell phone and it doesn't show how beautiful the colors are.  The background is a light blue dot on white and all the colors are very bright.

I have 2 more blocks prepped and now I have to clean up my sewing room for the Wednesday stitching group that starts up again this week.  Let me tell you, cleaning up is going to be quite the project as I've ignored it all summer.  I have fabric on all the tables, books, threads and more projects stacked around on every surface.

One of the fabric stacks is for the Overlapping Squares class with Kaffe Fasset next week.  I'm really excited to attend his lecture next week and take the class.

Fall is in the air here and although I'm no fan of cold and snow, I do enjoy an excuse to stay home in my sewing room.  I have a list of projects to work on in the coming months (years).  Making a list helps me keep "somewhat" on track.  Do you make a list?

Friday, September 11, 2015

If it's not one thing.............

It's another, and I can't believe what has happened in a week.

First, the good news.................
I finally finished both my Enchantment and Cat's Away quilts and was thrilled to deliver them to my machine quilter.  I've been working on both for over a year and it was a relief to give them a "temporary" good-bye.

 Two quilts done and it's time to start some more.  I'm going to get my next Roseville Album block ready in case I get the go-ahead from my doctor to travel with my husband next week to Stevens Point, WI for a wood carving show.  I have some ideas for an embellished wool wall-hanging and the Yazzi bags need to be covered.

A second good-bye was to my friend, Berylene, at her funeral.  I will never forget the memories I have of her.

We then packed up groceries and traveled to our cabin for a rest.  The first few days of our "rest" were spent staining, but on Wednesday our friends and neighbors arrived at their cabin and we planned a fun night of dinner and cards.

So much for plans,  when we arrived with our contribution of home-made coffee Heath bar crunch ice cream, I stepped back and bumped into a large rock and because I'm a klutz, fell backwards, ripping my leg on a metal post and hitting my head on the ground.  Anyway that's what they tell me because I got a concussion and have no memory of the event.  My husband loaded me into the truck and rushed me to the nearest hospital which is an hour away.  I don't remember that part either but I stayed the night and was released yesterday.

Once again I was reminded of what a loving family and friends I have as they came to the hospital, have brought us food, and check in by phone.  I would post a picture here of my injured leg but then you would see how fat my leg is.

Thanks to all my blog world and Facebook friends too for your kind messages.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Goodbye to a Friend

Yesterday was very sad as my good friend, Berylene Frampton, passed away.  I met Berylene 20+ years ago and we knew immediately that we were kindred spirits.  Although I was almost 20 years younger, I couldn't keep up with her.  She lived big, had a smile for everyone and was always ready to go.

Berylene had her own candy company and was well known for her wonderful chocolate creations.  Every Easter she had orders for over 1,000 personalized chocolate eggs with a variety of fillings and Christmas was 2 months of filling special orders.  We always found personalized chocolate eggs from the Easter Bunny on our doorstep Easter morning and Santa delivered our favorite candy on Christmas day. 

Berylene loved to quilt and did it in a big way.  She had 8 children so each quilting project for the home needed to be made 10 times, one for each child, one for her and one for her sister.  I lost count years ago of the grandchildren and great grandchildren that needed quilts and for each month her home was decorated in a theme which, of course, meant quilts to hang.  There was also the "cookie of the month" that she special ordered and had decorated for that month's theme and was given to each visitor to her home.  I could go on and on with stories but I will finish with the final quilt story of her life.

Last September Berylene underwent surgery and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer which would be terminal, even with chemotherapy.  She elected to skip the chemo so she could feel good and make 34 baby quilts before dying...... her surgeon told her she would have only 2 months to live.  Even for Berylene it takes more than 2 months to make 34 quilts so she didn't die in December.  She finished the baby quilts about a month ago and started working on a quilt for her coffin.

You see, she wanted daffodils on her coffin but this isn't the time of year to buy daffodils, so she thought a daffodil quilt would be nice.  A few weeks ago I took her out for ice cream and she was telling me about this daffodil quilt - how some blocks were machine embroidery, some were appliqued, some were pieced, and to be honest I thought "wow, another big Berylene project".  She didn't tell me it was for her coffin.

During one of my visits last week, one of Berylene's daughters asked me if I could put the blocks together for her.  You've heard me say many times that piecing isn't "my thing" but knowing how important this was to my dear friend, something must have clicked deep in my brain and within 8 hours I had all these various sized pieces put together.  I rushed to show it to her and lay it over her on what was to be the last time I could see her and tell her how much I loved her.

Berylene's friend, Karen Morgan, completed the machine quilting, I added the binding and large daffodils, and delivered it to the family last night.  It was such an honor to fulfill this wish for my friend who I will miss each day.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I think we all try to squeeze the most out of every minute of the day, sometimes putting too many expectations on ourselves.  The past few months have been very busy, traveling to wood carving events, trying to get in some cabin time, and listening to my nagging quilt projects.  In addition to all that I thought it would be a good idea to take on some remodeling projects!!

Just before leaving town last week we moved the furniture into the garage and handed the house key over to have our hardwood floors refinished.  We came home when the job was done, bought paint and handed over the key to have it painted the next time we leave.  We are fortunate to have somewhere to go while the work is being done as the smell is overpowering!!

While the work was being done here I got busy on finishing up my "Cats Away" block of the month.  I thought it would take one day to piece the borders and sew it took 3.

This is an awful photo that I took with my phone, standing on a chair!  The quilt is 86"x86" which means it's too big to hang where I had planned.  I found an online source for one of the predominant gray prints and when it arrives (and I'm home) I will add a border and use it to cover my king-sized bed.  After all, my bedroom will need a new quilt now that it is being painted.  So, after all, it's still not finished.

My Enchantment quilt is about 2 hours away from being finished! Yeah!! A few more stitches, piecing the back today and then off to the quilter.

What's that sound?  I hear voices.  Oh, it's just the other projects calling me from the closet, hoping they are next.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Deck Time

Many are sweltering in the summer heat but we were fortunate to visit our cabin for a few days where temperatures have been in the mid-70's with an abundance of sun shine.  We are using this time to catch up on a few projects.

 My husband, Dale, has a deadline with the publisher of a wood carving magazine to submit a step-by-step article for carving an old cowboy.  Dale begins with a block of wood and I photograph each step.  When it's complete we add the narrative and ship it off for a future issue of Wood Carving Illustrated.

I don't just sit around waiting to take photos, I'm busy with applique on another large block for "Cat's Away", the BOM from Material Obsession.  Just 2 more of these large blocks and it will be time to sew it together.  I have 2 projects nagging at me - Cat's Away and Enchantment, the quilt that has been put away and ignored more times that I want to count.  My goal is to have both off to the quilter by Labor Day weekend which is a short 35 days from now.

August and the deck - a perfect combination to meet those goals.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Did I Meet My Goal?

I'm certain you have been losing sleep wondering if I met my goal of completing my Enchantment wall hanging (ha ha).  The answer is ........ sort  of.  I thought it was finished but when I hung it up on the design wall there was a blank spot that was crying out for "something".  Oh, I just couldn't start on "something" so I left it home as we packed to visit our cabin for the 4th of July celebrations.

I brought 4 sunburst blocks from the Cats Away BOM to work on.  These include the center block that is pieced but needs 8 tulips appliqued and embellished, 1 sunburst that has applique completed and needs embellishment, and 2 sunbursts that are still in the bags they were mailed in.  My plan is to piece the 2 in the bags and get the wool cut before we leave in 1 week for another wood carving retreat.  That will give me more than enough applique and embellishment to take as a road project.

But first, here is a poor quality photo of today's project.  It is raining outside our cabin today, the lighting is dim, and the lightest fabric I found for a background was the reverse side of a placemat!

I have to wear a medical ID bracelet and most of them are really ugly or too expensive.  After all, I have to save money for thread and fabric!  I found a source that will engrave the ID tag with the important information and then I can add my own beads.  I am not a jewelry maker and have no idea what I'm doing but I took apart some old necklaces, added some beads purchased at the Gem Fair and now I have 4 bracelets.  

Truth is I would rather be stitching but it was a productive break.

p.s.  Don't worry about me.  It's more of an aggravation than a serious illness.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Setting Goals

I find it's sometimes helpful to set goals for my stitching as it keeps me focused on a project that is lagging behind.  Such is my Enchantment wall hanging.  I started this project a year ago and have been setting it aside time and again, picking up something different.  A few weeks ago I realized that I had to set a date for completion or just throw it away.  

After considering both options, and believe me, the garbage can beckoned,  a goal was made to have it finished by June 14th.  I didn't make it.

We left town on the 14th for a road trip to Iowa for my husband to teach wood carving.  Enchantment was too big a project to take as it's not only the wall hanging, but all my threads too.  Instead, I prepared a Roseville Album block as my "traveling project".  

We are back home and escaped the 100 degree temperatures by driving to our cabin.  Today, it's back to Enchantment, with another goal of 1 week to finish.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How Long Does It Take?

That's the question that is often asked about making a quilt and it baffles me.  What does it matter?  To me, it isn't the amount of time spent or if I will even finish everything in my lifetime.  What matters is the enjoyment that comes from creating something beautiful.

For years I have had a ready answer to this ridiculous question which is - 10 minutes.  When I see the confused look on their faces I explain - 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there, eventually you have a finished project.

All that to explain, or excuse, why I'm probably not going to reach my goal of finishing my Enchantment wallhanging before I leave town on Sunday.  But, I've been spending a lot of time on it and making progress.  

In my garden, the bees seem to favor the plants with purple blooms, zooming from one flower to the next.  This section of Enchantment had a grouping of purple berries and what better way to highlight them than to cover each one with a Bullion Bumble Bee - say that fast 3 times.  The bees and bullion outline were stitched with Silken Pearl #5.

A simple Fly Stitch and Buttonhole outline in Pearl Cotton #8 finish the small leaves.

I think that this is my favorite flower.  When teaching, I'm often asked how I know what stitch and thread to use.  The truth is I don't plan ahead.  There were some blue seed beads in my sewing bucket that I thought would complement the blue wool petals so I started out to mimic seeds in the flower center by stitching on the beads.  Then, I added a piece of Painter's Single Loop trim around the flower center which adds some nice dimension.

Tiny Fly Stitches outline the blue petals with a larger Fly Stitch down the center of each petal in Pearl Cotton #8.

The outside petals were outlined in Pearl Cotton #8 in Crested Chain Stitch.

The pink berries are embellished with a Whipped Spider Web topped off with Daisy (detached chain) to create a nice little bloom, and outlined with Back Stitch.  The small leaves are covered with Herringbone Stitch, couched at the thread intersections.  All of these stitches were made with Pearl Cotton #8.

Back to drizzles and bullions now.......

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I Am Determined

 The center of both flowers were done the same with Fly Stitch and Detached Chain (Daisy) Stitch.  Above I outlined the center with various stitches of Pistil Stitch and then outlined the pink with the reliable Bullion Stitch.  The outside flower edge is Whipped Back Stitch.

This flower center was outlined with Cast-On Stitch and seed beads were added with Coral Stitch around inner petals.  The red petals were outlined with Bullion Stitch.

Today will be dedicated to more berries and leaves.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

More - Flower and Leaves on Enchantment

For any of you who are interested in making the Enchantment wall hanging, I want to remind you that this is a Sue Cody of Dragonfly Studio's pattern available through Material Obsessions quilt shop in Australia.

I've been working on this project so long that it's now driving me crazy.  I have a "probably unreasonable" goal of finishing it in the next 2 weeks.  Unfortunately, the housework and cooking keep interrupting me.

 I only used Silken Pearl #5 in the flower for Colonial Knots in the center surrounding by Cast-On, Pistil Stitch on dark petals with Bullion Knot outline and the red petals are outlined with Chain Stitch which was then Back Stitched.
Painter's Pearl Cotton #8 Feathered Chain down the center of each leaf and Coral Stitch outline, Painter's Shimmer Floss Straight Stitch in the center of each Chain.

I'm determined to finish up another flower and more leaves today.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

It's My Birthday

That's right.  Today is my birthday but I was able to get out of bed, feed & dress myself and add some stitches to Enchantment.  I'm officially a senior citizen but that's OK.

These 3 leaves are grouped together around a flower so I wanted them to be similar in color.  I chose Painter's single loop trip to edge the outside leaf edge and stitched it on using Painter's Metallic Braid in a coral stitch.

Sea Grass color Crush Crush in Back Stitch and Fly Stitch and a variegated Pearl Cotton #8 in Bullions, Trellis Stitch and Woven Spider Web.

I really, really want to get this finished and have set a deadline for 3 weeks.  Next, is a flower to give me a break from many more leaves.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Morning Surprise

 Each morning after breakfast, I have a cup of coffee while reading Mary Corbet's Needle n Thread daily newsletter.  What a surprise to find that she mentioned me in her post today.

Whether your embroidery leans to embellishment like mine, or stitching on fine linen, Mary's web site is a must-read.  Her tutorials are the best with close-up photos and video.  I bought an Ipad just so I could have her in the chair with me!.

Remember, you may want a thicker thread and bigger needle to stitch on wool than those Mary uses on linen.

Thanks Mary for your inspiration and sharing my blog with your readers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mug-Wump Patterns

The Mug-Wump notebook cover was designed as a teaching project for my recent class at the American Quilt Retreat.  100% felted wool was used for the background and applique motifs, with a cotton fabric back cover and binding.  When the applique is completed 14 different embroidery stitches embellish the design.  The pattern includes a diagram for stitch placement and a listing of stitches and threads used.

The pattern is sized to cover a composition-type notebook, 9 3/4" x 7 1/2", which is available at all office supply stores.  I stock up on them at WalMart when all the school supplies are on sale.

If you would like a pattern, they are now available in my Etsy shop by clicking HERE.  The pattern is a download so you can start making it today.


Monday, May 11, 2015


Beginning today my husband has a guest wood carving teacher for a 5-day class at our home.  The teacher is our friend, Chris Hammack, a well known carver who stays in our home with us.  I prepare the lunches each day for the 8 students and have received several requests for their favorite home baked cookies.  In between, I'm sneaking in a few stitches.

When teaching, I'm often asked how I decide on what stitches and which threads to use.  The truth is that I often unpick several times before I find the right combination.  

I only used 2 threads on this flower, Silken Pearl #5, Hummingbirds & Hollyhocks, Painter's Pearl Cotton #8, Grandma Moses.  The flower was outlined with a chain stitch then back-stitched through the center of each chain stitch. 

The petals were adorned first with a feather stitch with a daisy (detached chain) stitch at the ends. Next, I filled in with colonial knots.  

The flower center is surrounded with bullion knots and a hand-dyed button was sewn in place.

A combination of Valdani and Colour Complements #8 pearl cotton were used for the flowers and stems with Silken Pearl #5, Summer Verdigris for the bullion knot outline.

The flowers are daisy stitch with colonial knot centers, top branch is wheat ear stitch which was then back-stitched through the center.  The bottom branch is closed fly stitch, whipped in the center, and the dark pink buds are oyster stitch.

 There are a lot of leaves on this project and I needed some inspiration.  My "go-to" place is Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread web site.  Mary's tutorials are easy to follow and she shares ideas for combining simple stitches for amazing results.

Recently, Mary published an e-book, "Stitch Sampler Alphabet".  If you're not familiar with the term e-book, it just means that you purchase it through Mary's website and then you down-load it to your computer.  Don't worry, Mary gives good instructions on how to download and will even help you out if there are problems.  Once it is on your computer you can print out all the pages or just a few.  I printed the entire book and had the copy store spiral bind it so I'm never without it.

This book isn't just for embroidering the alphabet - I used ideas from the book for the flower and leaf shown above.  It is a great bargain so click Here to get to Mary's site and buy the book.  While you are there sign up for the daily newsletter.

Now, I need to make a confession.  Remember how I was ready to start the Lollipop Trees?  Here's the first block:

 That's right - I changed my mind again and started the Roseville Album instead.  I love the Lollipop Trees but decided that the blocks were too similar and I would get bored.  No boredom here!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Enchantment Stitches

Have you ever made yourself a promise?  I'm  not talking about the one to lose weight.  No, the "I am going to get this project done by such and such date" promise.  If you're like me you really mean it - until something else catches your eye.

My Enchantment quilt is definitely in this category.  I started it about a year ago and my progress is shameful.  But.... there is some progress.

Sometimes the most difficult step for me is deciding what stitch, thread, and color.  Here I outlined the red portion with Silken Pearl "In The Reds" using Coral Stitch.  The center pink section is surrounded with Silken Pearl "Hummingbirds and Hollyhocks" Bullion Knots and Double Pekinese Stitch "Midsummer Vineyard".  A Whipped Spider Web using Valdani M69 adorns the berry.

Four Double Cast-On Stitches in the center of each wool circle using Painter's Pearl Cotton, "Picasso", with 4 Pistil Stitches and a Bullion Knot in Valdani color #12.  Surrounding the wool circle is Cast-On stitch in a Valdani color that unfortunately, has been discontinued.

The dark green leaves are outlined in Bullion Knots using Painter's "Boucher".  Around the cotton center is Chain Stitch using Valdani "P1" and then I whipped the outside edge of the Chain with Valdani "13".

Here you can see the flower, leaves and berries together.  On this section of branch there is 1 more flower, 9 of these leaves, and 6 more berries.

My latest deadline to finish has passed but I'm still determined.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mug-Wump #2

A few weeks ago I told you about my class at the American Quilting Retreat where I taught how to embellish the Mug-Wump block.  After class I had another finished block, but what to do with it?

 I added some wool and cotton strips to colorful binding making the block fit the cover of a large Yazzii bag.  I stitched the block to the bag and appliqued dotted ribbon to cover the handles.

I added a beaded button-hole stitch along the seam line.

 Beaded zipper pulls on the bag's exterior.

This beaded zipper pull spells out my name.  Believe it or not, these letter beads are from WalMart.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Stitching on Enchantment

There are a lot of leaves on Enchantment - really, a lot of leaves.  Three vines are hanging from the tree on the right side of the quilt. A simple Closed Fly Stitch with Painter's Thread #3 Pearl Cotton in Rousseau on the outside vines with Lazy Daisy in Painter's Shimmer Floss Rousseau on the center leaves.

Unless I break up stitching on leaves this poor project will be put on the shelf so next I stitched a flower.

The flower center is a Spiral Trellis using Valdani Pearl Cotton #8.  Unfortunately, this color has been discontinued so I just use a little bit at a time.  Sea Grass "Butterscotch" in the closed Fly Stitch and The Lavenders Silken Pearl #5 for Bullions.  The flower was outlined with Valdani 0244 Pearl Cotton #8 using a Pekinese Stitch.  Tiny seed bead flowers are stitched on each petal.

I think another flower before more leaves........... 

To see more Enchantment photos check out my Enchantment Board on Pinterest

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Back to Stitching - I hope

Do you remember last fall when we built a new wood carving workshop in the back yard?  The project didn't end there.  With the arrival of spring weather we have been working to restore the landscaping around the workshop.  My husband has had to do the majority of the heavy work; taking up brick pathways and laying them back down, hauling wheelbarrows of sod, dirt and top dressing from place to place.

Last week we visited the nursery and purchased plants for a new flower garden.  Here in the Salt Lake City valley, it can be a bit tricky to find just the right plants.  They need to be hardy enough to withstand sustained freezing temperatures in the winter and searing sun with low humidity in the summer.  In fact, this part of the yard won't be watered by our sprinkling system so in addition, they need to cope with very low moisture.

I am most excited about a new (to me) plant named Red Bird In A Tree.  Doesn't that sound like the name of a quilt?   The stems will be about 24" tall with red blooms that look like little birds.

After this project, my husband and I have agreed that we are too old for this type of work.  Oh, the aches and pains!  I'm hoping that the swelling in my hands will subside enough today that I can hold a needle.

Friday, April 10, 2015

I'm Still Here

Last week I attended the American Quilting Retreat in Midway, Utah.  This is a great gathering of talented women that I look forward to each year.  Three weeks before the retreat I mailed kits for my Mug-Wump block to everyone registered for my class, with instructions on completing the applique.  Class time was dedicated to embellishing the block with beautiful embroidery stitches.  I had a great group of students and stitching on an actual project was a great way to learn.  

Each person attending the retreat has their own sewing station where we can sew together in one big room.  For the remaining 3 days I focused on piecing blocks for While The Cat's Away BOM.  Piecing really isn't my strong suit and it took me 2 days to make the 8 star blocks.  The final day was spent on the Churn Dash blocks that were finished when I arrived home.

You've heard about me cleaning out the closet (finally) and one more quilt was sent off recently to be quilted.  Imperial Blooms was completed about 4 years ago and I'm so happy that it is finally quilted.  "My" machine quilter, Cindy Paulsen, is amazing and has really perfected her craft.  

Cindy knows that I love a lot of quilting in the background, quilting on top of the applique, and threads matched to each color.  Since picking up this quilt a few days ago, I keep going back to look at all the details.  Wow!!

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