Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday

Happy Leap Day Everyone !!   We have at least two local quilt shops with 29% off today and many more sales on the Web... This "extra" day of the year is welcome ! 

I made great progress this week -- stitching completed on "Yesterday Remembered" by Kim Diehl.   I can't decide on which handle stitch I like best.  The pattern calls for the cross hatch -- but I wonder if it makes the handle too prominent ?  Also need to make up my mind on the flower centers - neither choice tickles my fancy...  What do you think ?

Next class we will hand quilt it -- and then it will be framed.  It's going to be beautiful when completed !

My Bird Pin Keep -- hasn't changed - He awaits some buttons or wing stitching, eyes, and anchoring -- I've been a little busy with a few other projects  ; )

On a good note though -- I put the finishing touches on Quadrant #3 of  "Winter Apple" by Blackbird Designs -- I JUST LOVE this table topper! See a finished version on Debbie's Blog -- Debbie's work inspired me to take this class where she had put aside all the same fabric that she used on her demo piece -- isn't it lovely ?   Needle Turn Applique is my favorite !

I also worked on "Flower Baskets" by Wooden Spool Designs.  Only 6 blocks of all wool applique - using a blanket stitch or an overhand stitch -- it's easy peasy !!    Wool applique and watching the Daytona 500 go hand in hand (especially with all those Yellow Flag race delays !!)

I managed to stitch an entire block during that race !!  Here (above) is a before and after shot of a single block...   Sew much fun !  Once all the wool is appliqued I'll add the embroidery (stems).  I need a little practice with my embroidery -- but I have two great teachers -- my sister Janet and my friend Debbie !!  Lucky Me !

Below are some snippets of some other special things I'm making this week (shhh... it's a surprise so I'll show you the finished products next week!!)

Last, but not least is one of the "most important" WIP's.  This is our youngest granddaughter Angelina, 7 years old. For Christmas we gave her "My First Sewing Kit" and last Saturday we worked on her stuffed cat project.  She did great and absolutely loved having something to focus on while her (4) brothers romped and played with Grampa !!  She did all the sewing and stuffing.  Isn't it cute?  Love, love, love to sew with those grand girls !!

Thanks for stopping by and have a special day !!


PS - linked up to Esther's WIP Linky Party !  Check out all the great work in progress there -- not to mention that Esther has kicked off her new Free Mystery Block of the Month "Forget Me Not".

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday ?

Work in Progress On Wednesday (WOW) -- see Esther's Blog - I'm joining in the fun and offering up my WIP today !!   Also note that Esther is preparing to startup a new Mystery Block of the Month and it's going to be a beauty...!!

So... as I was going through the house taking pictures of my work in progress -- I started contemplating -- when does a work in progress become a UFO (unfinished object /project ?).   I guess if you're even contemplating this, it must be a sign that you've got too many things on your plate -- and therefore -- the goal should be to FINISH things...  (smile)...

So a quick run thru of the WIP that are "Out" (and not folded and put away somewhere--- humh -- maybe this is the distinction between WIP and UFO ?)   Anyone have an opinion ?

This is my "Valentine Pinkeep" that I'm making based on Renee Plains' (blog) "Winter's Harvest Pinkeep" pattern published in the Winter 2011 Primitive Quilts & Projects Magazine -- He's almost done -- just needs buttons to attach the wings, some eyes and some anchoring -- I loved making it !!

Next Up -- and with much progress since last week is Kim Diehl's "Yesterday Remembered" Framed Wool/Cotton Vase.   I'm taking this class from my friend Debbie Wick  (see Debbie's blog here) - such a talented lady and oh such beautiful work!.  In the past week I completed all the hand stitching (except the handles on the Vase) and it will be ready for quilting and framing soon !!

Not to forget another project/class that I'm taking from Debbie -- BlackBird Design's "Winter Apple" Needle Turned Applique -- you can see the finished version of it on Debbie's Blog -- I have 3 of the 4 quadrants done! This piece is very special -- and beautiful when quilted.

OK, so two more projects are just waiting to be machine quilted -- I'm practicing and practicing on other items before I dive into quilting these two on my Bernina 240 !!  

First is a variation of Blackbird Design's "Winter Holly" from their "You're Invited" book.  I "whipped" this up with fusible (Heat-n-Bond Lite) (not like me at all), just to see how it would come out.  For pieces staying at my home, I probably wouldn't do that again... but it was an experience to be had.

Next is a little table topper made from Charm Squares -- this is Moda's "Park Avenue" by 3 Sisters...  I bought this charm pack on sale at another lovely QS (Sew Piecefull - Campbell, NY).  Added the two borders and now I just need to machine quilt it. As you can see - it's already layered with batting and backing !!

I am probably being too fussy about my machine quilting skills and I should just pick it up and do it... but I just feel as I'm not quite there yet....   I'll get there... (right ??)

Last, ( but certainly not least) -- is my very first needle turned applique project.  The design/pattern  "Dancing Flowers" is an original by Sharon Stroud a wonderfully skilled instructor, designer, and friend who lives nearby.  The project was taught as a two day retreat at another local QS (O'Susannah's - Watkins Glen NY).  Sharon does a wonderful job of teaching needle turned applique -- and used some great tools to make the ruched flowers a "piece of cake"....   I have yet to border, baste and hand quilt this little darling -- it is by far (so far), my favorite needle turned applique piece.

OK - best get my "work" day started so I can spend my evening finishing projects !!

Thanks for stopping by -- comments always appreciated !!
-- Karen

Monday, February 20, 2012

Emily's Quilt & Happy President's Day !

Happy President's Day !! One thing we LOVE about President's Day -- is spending time with our grandkids -- that means finishing up projects and having fun!!

We are so proud of our eldest grand daughter Emily. For her 13th birthday (last April) we shopped with her for fabric and a pattern to make her very first quilt -- today she can claim it "Completed". She choose the fabric, the block and quilt layout, did all the sewing, hand stitched the binding, and created and hand stitched the label herself !! (Gramma & Grampa provided funds, moral support, guidance, and rotary cutting!!)

We are so very proud of her -- the quilt went home tonight -- so she can have it on her bed and share it with mommy and her friends. She did a wonderful job.

  The quilting (also patterned "Emily") was picked out by our Emily and sewn by Cindy at SewItIs.   It came out beautifully !!

Emily wrote, attached, and hand quilted the label -- 

and posed for me to take several "proud Grandparents" shots.
Not to forget our middle grand daugher Jenna -- for Valentine's Day this year she rec'd her very own "Free Spirit" Charm Pack and couldn't wait to get at it this weekend.    Here is a shot of her in the design process:
And a shot of the finished Quilt Top -- She wants a "soft" backing so we'll choose some Flannel when we have a minute (can you believe the stash didn't meet the needs ??)

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend !  Here's to quilting, grandkids & fun.

Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy St. Valentine's Day!!

Here's to a wonderful day !

The treats are all prepared for the kids and grandkids -- after a morning appointment I'll make some deliveries !

I sewed this handbag for our youngest granddaughter Angelina -- a carry case for her dolls ?    The pattern is Fig Tree Quilts "Easiest Handbags Ever" and, as advertised, it is very simple to put together.   Jenna (middle GD) and I made one after the holiday -- when we found the pattern and the fabric on sale at a Local QS.

The older granddaughters (Emily and Jenna) are getting fabric (they love to sew with gramma) -- and the boys (4 of them) are getting a variety of cards, money and candy !    It's a special day.

Here is a finish from 2011 or 2010 (I can't remember)... I saw a pot-holder design similar -- and converted it to a wall hanging.    Sew much fun.

Have a wonderful day all !

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Winter, Birds and Fun Stuff !

Winter has finally arrived in the Northeast ! (At least for a day or two..)

Cold, blustery, windy, snowy, chilling Winter!  We've been a bit spoiled the past few months with traces of snow -- and mild temps.  Today we awoke to 13 degrees, winds gusting to 40 mph and 3-6 inches of  "lake effect" snow expected.

Thankfully for me when winter arrives the cardinals flock the feeders.  We were graced with 6 or 7 pair of Northern Cardinals this morning -- I captured a few quick shots here:

Foreground - Male Northern Cardinal with Female Cardinal in Background
In addition to beautiful Northern Cardinals, we have a special friend that returns each year.  Pictured below is a "One Legged" House? Finch !  Last year the damaged part of his leg was just hanging there -- this year (as you can clearly see in the photos), it is gone and there is but a stump of a leg.  It always amazes us when he shows up at the feeders -- determined to make a go of it and continuing to elude the predator birds that use our feeders as their feasting station.
The stump hanging to his right.  He uses his left leg for all balance and function.
Here you an see the claws of his left foot on the feeder.
One more "Bird Note" of interest -- there was also a flock of Cedar Waxwing chowing down on the fruit of our flowering crab apple trees -- I picked up the binoculars to take a closer look and what did I see ??  Two American Robins in the flock of Cedar Waxwing -- the poor things missed their ride south this fall -- and are trying to survive with a flock of birds that know where the fruit is found...   Simply amazing.

Finally -- I took a class at a local QS yesterday, a Wool/Cotton applique from Kim Diehl's book "Simple Graces".  In class we prepared the background, the wool, and the cotton applique pieces -- and we were able to place some.  I finished up placement this morning and it's now ready for sewing. Nice thing about wool applique -- it works up fast -- cut, place, baste, glue or pin and use a blanket or overhand stitch to finish !!
Isn't it beautiful ?  We're very fortunate to have a local Quilt Instructor (and friend) that does an extraordinary job of choosing fabric, hand dyed wool, and lovely over dyed floss for completing beautiful projects like "Yesterday Remembered" from Kim Diehl !!

Lots to do -- thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day !


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Keeping Busy and First 2012 Finishes !

Being thankful today for my husband, my sisters, our kids and grandkids... and of course, my sewing.

Wanted to share some 2012 Finishes today !!   And later -- I'll share the lovely things that are "Work in Progress" along with a beautiful quilt that our granddaughter, Emily, is nearly done with  !!

Here is a Blackbird Designs - Reward of Merit Pincushion  "Bird in Hand"

Most of you know that Red Birds are one of my very favorite -- this Red Bird caught my attention a few months ago when a fellow quilter, teacher, mentor, and now friend had it stitched. 
Here is my version:

Now remember -- I haven't done a cross stitch in ummm  14 years ?  So this was my first try in a long time -- I just love the way it turned out though.   Thanks Debbie for helping me with the finish.  I lined the linen with muslin (to avoid heat-n-bond or fusible products - long story) and filled with crushed walnuts.  

Two other things I've done just this week -- in preparation for Valentine's Day and to practice my Free Motion Quilting on my home machine.... (don't look too close (wink, wink))....

I must say -- these two ladies Joanne Thread Head and Leah Day have inspiried me to try and continue to practice free motion quilting... thank you both so much... you continue to be my inspiration !!

Well - more later - I've been working a Flannel Quilt in Memory of my Horse Friends -- just waiting for the backing fabric to arrive in the mail -- and this one will get shipped off to the quilter !!



PS - Linked up to Liz's Finishes

Saturday, February 4, 2012

It's Hard to Say Goodbye

To an old friend who showed you the ropes, sloshed you through the mud, muck, fields, ponds and pathways.
Chief :  197? - Jan 16, 2012
My first horse 30 years ago, that came from out west, with no papers and no name, already knowing how to pull a cart and a sleigh, not worried about getting his feet dirty or being brushed every day - willing to show this green rider how to get by with her first pony. (Thank you Dad).

How lucky am I to have experienced the love, the strength, and the guidance of a horse friend.

I'm going to miss you 'ole man (I really do).  Life is not the same with you gone and not a morning or an evening goes by that I don't want to go out to the barn and see you, feed you, give you cookies and enjoy your stubborn ways.  

Together again with your partner in crime Smokin' Nuisance (left) 

With tears in my eyes and a broken heart - Rest in Peace old man.