Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Mexico

Hello there

For Thanksgiving we were able to go and visit our very good friends in Santa Fe.  We try to visit every other or every third year for Thanksgiving.  It is a wonderful and relaxing time.  On Thanksgiving itself, we have a buffet feast and they watch football and I sit and stitch or read.  It is very relaxing.   They make turkey and gravy and we (or actually my DH Greg) make garbanzo loaf and brussel sprout salad (we are vegetarians).  There are several other traditional dishes they all put together.  It is a wonderful day.

This year while we were there we went to a wonderful place called Ojo Caliente, which is  a location for hot springs.  It was wonderful.  There are 6 or so different pools, each a different temperature and a different mineral for healing.  Then there is a wonderful hugh pool which is kept at a constant 84 degrees.  The sun is warm and they have great facilities.  Here is a picture of the area.

This is the Arsenic pool and the big pool in the background.   The big pool again below.

We also went to a lovely old town in northern NM called Chimayo where they do, and have been doing for almost 400 years, weaving rugs.  Chimayo rugs are very famous and were a very important commodity for export along the trading trails many years ago.  My friend works with a woman who has a lovely shop there and we were able to tour the shop and see the weaving in many different stages.  The stage I enjoyed the most was that they had just finished dying their wools for weaving.  They say they are able to do the dying in the spring and fall because there is more water in the river at that time.  Have a look at the wools.

Aren't the color just gorgeous.  The rugs are as well.  I wish I had gotten some pictures of the rugs but I did get a picture of the proprietor and my friend and one of their looms.  I wish I could remember the name of the shop.  If you ever have a chance to see Chimayo rugs, you will see how gorgeous they are.

We always have a wonderful time visiting these friends and I am always looking forward to going back again.  I lived in NM for several years and this last visit really made me remember what it is about the area that is so special.  It really it a very special and almost spiritual place.

Take care!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Bride, the bouquet, and the quilt

Hello there

I know the bride and groom will be married two months tomorrow but I wanted to say some more about the wedding.  It was a beautiful day and very well planned out.

I was 13 years old when my niece Kimberly was born and I have been smittened ever since.  My sister was also 13 when I was born but she had 3 brothers in between she and I.  Kimberly was born when the Berlin wall went up and my sister and Kimberly couldn't go to Germany to join my brother-in-law at that time.  Both my sister and mother were working at the time and I took care of Kimberly.  She was my very own living doll to play with and I am not quite sure how she survived that experience.  When they finally went to Germany, I was crushed.  However, we had a special bond that has lasted all these years especially stronger since my sister passed away.  So her wedding was very important to me and I wanted to be very involved and fortunately, she let me. 

Kimberly did so many creative things for this wedding, some day I might post them.  She made almost everything - birds for wishes, lovely pearl balls for decorating, table decorations, so many things - and all very thought out and implemented.  She kept telling me for each thing that it - "only takes 10 minues".  She got many of her ideas on Pinterest.   Here is a picture of my sweet girl.

Here is the happy couple.  You can see how very tall and handsome her husband is.

And the bridal party.

 And here is our wish for the happy couple . . .

                                        . . . .   it says "Happily ever after"

In addition to all the wonderful things she made for the wedding, she made her beautiful bouquet.  She asked family and friends to send her a brooch or piece of jewelry and she mounted each piece to a stiff wire and made the bouquet.  It was gorgous and very heavy!

I am not sure what possessed me to do it but I decided to make them a quilt for their wedding.  I started out thinking a queen size but then was told they were getting a KING size bed.  I must have lost my mind and decided to make a king size quilt.  Never, I repeat, never again will I loss my mind like this and make a king size quilt.  It is hugh!  I had to have it professionally quilted it was so big.  Fortunately I found a wonderful person to quilt it.  It turned out pretty good.  It was over 400 inches of binding sewn on by hand.  It was all black and white and white and black fabric.  For some reason, I had to have 50 different fabrics.  I bought black and white fabric up and down the east coast.  They seemed to like it.  Here is a picture of the quilt on their bed.  Oh yeah, I decided they needed to have matching pillow cases to go with it, go figure

Well I hope the newlyweds enjoy their two month anniversary and have nothing but happiness the rest of their lives.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Corsages from wedding

Hello there -

I wanted to show some pictures of the corsages and boutinnaires I made for my niece's wedding.  They were such fun to make.  She had me make a different one for each family member so I made about 25 corsages and 15 boutinnaires.  They took a while to make but I think they turned out well. 

Do you see the black and white polka dot flower in the center?  That is called a Kanzashi Flower.  If you Goggle Kanzashi you will find numerous directions for making these flowers.  They come in many different designs.  Or you can do what I did.  There are templates you can use to make the petals and then you can assemble the petals and use as many as you want.  I bought my templates from Joggles.com .  If you have never been to Joggles, they have some wonderful things including a chain of rhinestones you can use to decorate the middle of these flowers.

Then I used some beautiful felted wools I purchased from Forestheart Studios in Maryland. This was one of the fabulous vendors at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Show.  She has wonderful felted wool pieces in yummy colors.  I used various light and deep purples and some green. 

But this was my pride and joy.  What about that button in the center??

Isn't it stunning?  I have about a half dozen of these buttons and I think they are gorgeous.  I am not sure where I got them but I have had them for a while.  I decided to use one of them for my corsage.  This is my corsage and my husband Greg's boutinnaire.  These are the buttons, they are different color crystals and sizes.  Unfortunately, this picture does not do them justice.  But they are gorgeous.

So after I made the corsages I wanted to present them in a nice display for people to choose their own.  I decided to get a clean pizza box and cover the inside with polka dot fabric and then display the flowers in there.  By doing this, it was easy to transport and then to display.

As you can see they are all different and I used an assortment of embellishments including, buttons, stamens, ribbons, fabric, yo-yo's.  I used several of my buttons (which I usually hoard).  I enjoyed making them.  My niece seemed  pleased with them and they seemed to be very well received by the guests.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hello there

Well it seems as if I had fallen off the face of the earth but here I am and I hope I am back for a while.

We had just survived the 'storm of the century' and thankfully Sandy is on her way and exhausted.  We were very lucky and never lost our power.  The winds were big and bad and a lot of rain but we survived.  It is colder now than it was before the storm came and thankfully we don't live in western Maryland where they are getting over a foot of snow.  Weather is a very interesting thing and if we didn't have it, what would we talk about?

Enough of the weather.  What have I been up to?  Well for most of September I was helping to prepare for my nieces wedding.  I am very close to my niece and since my sister died years ago I think we have become even closer.  I was so excited that she was getting married that I wanted to be as involved as she would let me and fortunately, she let me.  It was a wonderful wedding and she looked beautiful.

She is one of those people who wants to have everything just right and wanted to make all sorts of things for the wedding.  She gave me lots of jobs to do to help prepare and fortunately it all seems to work out well.  Only she and I know the things that didn't get finished.

In addition to all that she had me doing, I was making a KING size quilt for her and her husband, unbeknowst to her.  She usually knows everything I am doing and I think she was quite surprised.  Unfortunately, I am terrible at remembering to take pictures and always leave that for other people.  Hopefully she will send me some pictures soon and I will post them.

So this quilt as I said was KING size.  I don't know what possessed me to make this, it had to be some evil demon.  At first I thought it would be a queen size but then she said they were getting a king size bed so I changed to a king.  Never, never again will I do this.  Her theme colors were black and white and purple.  So I decided to make it black and white.  I found 50 different black and white fabrics which took forever.  I purchased on line, and quilt stores where ever I went.  I even went to Mary Jo's (she lives near there) without her knowing.  It was a simple pattern, 4 inch strips with different fabrics making up the strips.  It was so large I had to have it quilted.  I found a wonderful lady here in Maryland who quilted it for me and she did a terrific job.  I then had to sew the binding on which was 520 inches long!! 

So it is nice to be back to my blog.  I am now going to try and spruce this blog spot up a bit so it is more blog looking.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

WISP Wednesday

Hello there

I am very happy to say that I have made some progress on Block #6 of my tree skirt. 

I have added the greens and the button to the bottom left corner and used the threaded chain stitch that was one of the TAST stitches from a few weeks ago.  I threaded it with a bulky thread and liked the way it came out.  I might try this again sometime.

The button in the left corner is a lovely button made by Jan Trivanovich from Reynoldsburg, OH.  It is a white and gold beaded button.  This was part of the swap we had at Maureen Greeson's Adventure in Crazy Quilting last year.  I thought those greens showed the button off a bit.  I also used some green memory thread in with the greens.

I then added some bells on this block.  I LOVE those little colored bells.  They have a little loop at the top that you sew on and it makes them really jingle nicely.  I love that.  I added some little gold bells in the right corner. 

I am having trouble with the placement of the clackers for the bells in the bottom middle.  I have tried adding bells there but now realize that would not be another bell but something to strike the bell.  I will try beads there instead.  This will probably be the last thing I do on this block for now.

I will now be working on one of the other blocks of the tree skirt.   Thank you for having a look!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Hello there

Well I was so disappointed earlier in the month that we could not see the Persied Meteor Shower here on the east coast of the US.  We were willing to go in almost any direction to see the show, but almost the entire east coast was clouded in for those few nights.  To make matters worse the next morning I heard a person on the radio describing in great detail how wonderful the meteors were in California.  The reason they were to be so good this year is because the moon was not very full. 

Several years ago we saw the meteor shower for the first time and it was spectacular.  We had rented a house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and were sitting out on the dune deck in the evening enjoying the night sky.  We had my mother and Greg's mother sitting out there with us.  We started noticing a few shooting stars and then more and more and it was like the sky was ablaze.   Greg finally realized what it was and we were all so excited.  We stayed out there for hours watching the show.  It was spectacular.  We have tried for years to see it again but never have come anywhere near that experience.

So it is with great pleasure that at around the same time my moonflowers started to bloom!!  Now they are spectacular!!

I have been getting at least one a night for the past two weeks and now I am getting 4 to 6 a night.  Here is a picture of 3 of them.

This is not a great picture but you can see the three of them.  What you cannot realize is how big they are so here is a picture with a US quarter next to it to give you some perspective of their size.  There is nothing I can do that can give you a sense of their fragrance  - but it is wonderful!!!

None of this has anything to do with the stitching of my tree skirt and I have to say I have not done any stitching on it for a while but I have been busy with other things.

My niece is getting married in Oct. and we went to visit her last weekend to help her with some of her preparations.  She is planning on doing everything herself so she needed a little help.  She has already given me several things to do for the wedding and when I left her I had several more assignments.  So that is what I will be working on for a while.  However I do intend to do some work on my tree skirt.  I really want to have it ready for Christmas this year.  Having just glanced at the calendar, I notice that Christmas is just 4 months from yesterday.  Egads, where did summer go??

I hope to be back on Wednesday to show some progress.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

WISP Wednesday

Hello there

I have made some progress on my #6 block this week.  I spiffed up some of the seams a bit and think they look a little more interesting.  I worked more on the little Elf hat and added Kreinik metallic between the red and green but I am not sure it shows up on the photo.  I also had a little red wool ball that I cut in half and used for the tassle.

Then I added the musical notes under the Fa, la, la.  I just chose some notes.  My friend, Susan Elliott on Plays with Needles would have researched the actual notes from the song.  Since I changed the words around some, I changed the notes as well.  Susan is a cracker jack researcher.

So that is what I did this week.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Little girls and New York

Hello there

Well we are back from New York and all the associated activities.  As I think I said last week my brother from Atlanta stopped by with his wife and granddaughter for the night on his way to NY.  The 67th Annual picnic takes place on Long Island and the picnic was fine but it did rain like the dickens.  We still had a good time.

My cousin, for whom I made the tie quilt, was there and he was looking good.  He suffered a stroke a while ago and this was the first time I saw him.  He looked good and he seemed to like the quilt.

My brother's granddaughter, Breanna and my newest grand-nephew seemed to hit it off pretty well -
They are both cutie's. 

I was lucky enough to have Breanna come home with us for a few days and it was a lot of fun.  On the way we stopped in Staten Island, NY and took the ferry to Manhattan.  She saw the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline, Ellis Island and we walked up to Ground Zero.  She has never been to NY before and it was fun to see her trying to get pictures of everything.  When we got back to Washington, DC (we live right outside of DC) we took her to the Zoo.  What fun looking at it through younger eyes.
Look at the lovely pink of these Flamingoes.  They were beautiful.
Then look how nicely this guy posed for me.

Breanna loved the bracelet I made following directions from Susan who has Plays with Needles.  Susan made something similar and I loved it and made my own. 

Mine is a 5 wrap bracelet, but since Bre is kind of little, she decided on a 2-wrap bracelet and then she made one for her friend.

She did a really nice job on them.  It was fun having her visit and I hope she will come again.

I think I will go and work on my tree skirt so I have something for WISP Wednesday.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What I have been doing

Hello there

Well here it is Wednesday again and I haven't had any time to work on my tree skirt this week.  I am getting ready to go to the 67th Flaherty picnic (I haven't attended them all of course :) ). It is held on Long Island in New York.  This year I am particularly interested in seeing a cousin who has had a bad year.  Last year he gave me a big bag of his ties so I made him a quilt out of them.

I hope he likes it.  I had trouble selecting the sashing fabric and Greg, my husband, thought this fabric looked very much like a tie.  I wasn't sure at first but I think it works.

This is the same picnic where last year I made three quilts for my cousins who had sent me their mother's collection of handkerchiefs when she passed away.  I was thrilled to have them.  I made a blue, pink, and yellow quilt and the hankies were shaped like birds.  Here is a picture of the quilts with my cousins.  That is a picture of my aunt, their mother, in the center of the quilts.  I should say that the sashing on these quilts were real feedsacks.  I just love feedsacks and only use them for something special.  It took me years before I would let myself cut into a feedsack.

I have also be working on some gifts for my nephew's new baby who should be born any day now.  They specifically wanted bright colors for the baby no pastel.  I don't know if they are dog or cat people so I made this quilt with dogs on one side and cats on the other.  I haven't finished the binding yet but that will be purple.  Here is a picture of the quilt without the binding.

I have to admit I am not much of a photographer and the colors look a little washed out here.  Here is another picture below showing the dogs on one side and the cats on the other.  I also made the baby a cat and a dog blankie.  Can you tell they are little cats on the left side of the quilt?

Here is a picture of all that I made for the new baby.

I am not sure if I will have time to work on my tree skirt before next week so it might not be until the week after I will post anything about that.

Tomorrow is going to be really hot here again, we are getting a break in the weather today. 
I hope you are all doing well with whatever kind of weather you are having.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Late for Wednesday

Hello there

Well I am a little late for WISP Wednesday since today is Thursday but that is just a technicality.  I didn't get to work on much but I added some words for block number 6. 

I was worried that I had too many motifs for this one and it wasn't in keeping with the others.  So I decided to add these words and then focus the rest of the block on more bells and holly.  We will see how this works.

I know I changed the words a bit but I thought that would be okay.  I am working on the little hat to the right.

Again it has been so hot here lately.  However, we are not as bad as other parts of the US who are suffering such a drought.  Then other places are having flooding.  What a crazy weather world.

Well I think I will pop back into the AC and work on this hat some more.  Here is a picture of the entire block so far.


Friday, July 13, 2012

WISP Wednesday

Hello there

I have decided that I will work on Block 6 next.  Here is what it looks like today. 

I have previously added several of my own motifs to this block, perhaps too many.  I will have to figure out how to make it more like the other blocks yet keep its individuality.  Hopefully I will figure this out by next Wednesday and have some real progress to show you.

Thanks for checking in.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Block #4

Hello there

I would like to take you on a little tour of Block #4.  I have done a lot of work on this before joining this WIP challenge.

This is where I have used several motifs and lessons from the Adventure.  First off, there is a beautiful piece of lace that seems to fit in the space at the top beautifully.  I wish I could tell you more about this lace because it really is beautiful.  I have embellished it with purple seed beads and crystals.  It really sparkles - which we all love or we wouldn't be doing this!

At the bottom right is a motif I made in Betty Pillsbury's class.  It is painting on velvet.  It was sooo easy to do and a lot of fun.  I think it looks great.  If you ever get  a chance to take a class from Betty, you should jump at the opportunity.  She is great.  This was actually supposed to be a fan, but I like it like this. 

In the middle there are two beaded snowflakes which when I put them on the block could not be seen very well.  I put them on red yo-yo's and I think they are much easier to see.  Betweeen these snowflakes, there is another snowflake that is tatted. Someone did a very fine job on this tatting.   I put that on a silver yo-yo thinking that would help show it off but I am not sure that does it much justice.  All three of these snowflakes were part of the Motif Swap at the Adventure.  Unfortunately, I don't know who made them.  They did have the names of the makers, but somehow the name and the snowflake got separated.  They are very nicely made and hopefully who ever made them will see them and acknowledge them. 

At the bottom again and in the middle is a lovely crochet. light purple motif which was also part of the swap (I think).  The beaded star on top of it was made for me a few years ago by my friend Randee.   All of these lovely snowflakes and stars made me think of the "Star of wonder, star of light" quote and inspired that strand of stars to the left.  I like to have words on my work.

I just want to point out again a use for sequin waste which I mentioned the other day.  You can see this at the bottom by the Betty Pillsbury motif.  I just wanted to try using this interesting product again, so I cut a piece and sewed it on with some buillon and lazy daisy stitches.  It wasn't until I took the picture that I realized it kind of looks like a Christmas tree.  Sometimes I am clever by default.

I don't know what more I will be doing with this block until I finish all the other ones and I see what they look like sewn together.  I want them to kind of look like they belong to each other but I also want them to be able to stand alone.  How is that for a challenge?

Well I hope you enjoyed the tour of Block #4.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July

July 4th - Happy Birthday USA

Well it has been dreadfully hot here in Maryland the last few days and also we are recovering from a really bad storm we had last weekend.  So I have taken the opportunity to stitch.  Fortunately we have had power (1000's of people in this area don't have any power in this dreadful heat and have had to go to cooling stations).  I have been able to stay in my  air conditioned sewing room with my grand-dog and stitch.  This is my progress for this week.

I continued along with the theme of the 12 days of Christmas and I added "Five Golden Rings".  Then a drum for the drummers drumming and a Lady dancing.  I am having fun with this theme but I think that will be all.  I also spiffed up some of the seams but I have more to do and I also want to add something down in the left and right corners.

Here is a close up of the Golden rings and a little more detail on the seams. 

Well those of you in this country, have a wonderful 4th.  I hope everyone else has a wonderful day.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday

Hello there.

Today is Wed and I am posting the progress made on Block 5.  It isn't much because I am having a rather difficult time trying to figure my way around this blog process, but I did do a bit of stitching.  Here is today's view.

This is where I added one of the motifs from the Adventure.  In the bottom, right corner you will see a beautiful motif made by Nicki Lee Ravioll.  If you haven't seen her work, I believe she sells on Etsy.  This is a stack of various dyed laces with a bird and some pearls at the top of the motif.  This made me think of "The 12 Days of Christmas" (a partridge in a pear tree?) so I thought that would be a good theme for this block and I embroidered the words in the middle.  I am left handed so I work from right to left (some say backwards) and you might have noticed the 'Christmas'  in the previous view of the block. 

As I said, I am still trying to figure out this bloggings stuff so I didn't get much done this week but I have high hopes for next week.  It is supposed to be very, very hot here this week so Cobi (my grand-dog) and I might just sit in the air-conditioned room and stitch.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Block #5

Hello there!

How are you doing today?  This week I have been working on Block number 5.  There is no rhyme or reason which block I work on, I just pick the one that cries out to me first.  This is how block 5 looks at the beginning of this challenge.

Let me talk about my plan for these blocks.  I thought that the top 5 inches or so would not really be seen too much because it will be covered by the tree.  So I thought I would just put some plain stitching there to look a little festive but not too much work.  For the most part, I have chosen to use the Feather stitch using different Kreinik threads and varied the size of the stitches.  

As I said in the Intro, I will be using things I learned or obtained while at the Adventure last year, including motifs from the super Motif swap.   On block 5, under the Feather stitches there is a bright purple Kreinik ribbon in a zig-zag line.  If you look closely, you will see little circle star shapes.  This is something I learned, I believe from SharonB.  It is called sequin waste (or something similar).  What it is is the piece left after all the sequins have been punched out of the form.  The sequins could be stars, circles, hearts, anything.  You just cut the 'waste' apart and you have cool, shiny shapes.  I sewed them on with thin sewing thread and they are shiny and purple, which I don't think you can notice here.

On Wednesday, I will post the work I have done this week on block #5.  There has not been much work done but I still have one more day.

Thanks for stopping by.