Friday, February 27, 2009

Textile Corner - A productive day

The main "creative" event for me today has got to be the fact that I finally worked out how to thread paint with my Singer machine. Woohoo. :)

I must have missed the directions in my manual the last few times I've read through it but today it popped right out at me. So all I do is take off the presser foot , attach the feed dog cover, insert the hooped fabric (fiddly) and have at it. I don't have a feed dog cover but a piece of index card works up to a point.

It will take a while to become proficient but at least I can now do clumps of grass. Just in time for a couple of on-line landscape classes I am taking. That's not including the 4 season challenge.

I've signed up for a color wheel postcard experiment which will be every month for the rest of the year. I got my "Primary Colors" postcards made this morning and they are ready to mail out.

I also got some mini "quilties" finished up this morning. They just needed the edges done.

There been a discussion about old cutting mats on one of the groups I read. I had an AHA moment when one of the ladies said to use it under your sewing machine. I've been looking for something to put under mine because it sticks to the paint on my table. Works great :) Now I just have to work out a small extension for the side to hold my fabric when I'm sewing. (What can I say. We Scots can be cheap and if I can work out a way to use something I've got instead of dropping a bunch of money for an attachment that works fine for me !!!!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Textile Corner - 4 Seasons challenge - step 3

The scene with the distant hills added, snow on the roof and a couple of variations for the dirt road.

The next steps will be to add the middle distance trees, foreground snow and shadows. Then I'll leave it for a day or two before attaching everything together. (That's my thinking at the moment. Knowing the way my brain works it may change somewhat :) )
One change I am thinking about making is to move the bridge slightly more off center and add a few more small trees to the right hand side.

Textile Corner - 4 Seasons Challenge - step 2

The initial layout with just the very basic shapes. When I was cutting out the main tree I realised that the back of the fabric would work well for the middle distance trees. The "cloudy" effect of the sky fabric makes the main tree "pop" out more than if I had used a plain fabric (I think).

I have some fabric in my box that has a crackly wood effect to it. I like it for the covered bridge even though it's not quite the color I was going for. I may darken it down a little bit with some colored pencils. I would like to add some lines in to make it look more like the wood boards in the original picture.

Round our part of the county a lot of the trees look very grey in the winter time but I've opted for a more brown look so that the picture will not look too anemic.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Textile Corner - "Beat the Winter Blues" 2&3

left #2 This is some of my favorite fabric from my fat quarter collection and it always makes me smile to look at it. It's going to Betty B. who signed up at the last minute. She's going to have to iron it flatter since it got somewhat "squished." I probably could have done more stitching on it and maybe left the planets off but I was thinking about sunrises at the time.
right #3 Is some fabric and a flower left over from a quilt I am making. It's for me :) My thinking behind it is that the blue section is the flowers hibernating and the red is the sun bringing the flowers into bloom. If you look close enough I've written asleep on the blue and awake on the red :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

K's "101" project up-date

We had to change the size of the quilt because the flowery
fabric was not wide enough. Kris loves how it has turned out and thinks her "babies" like their new look :) She wants the rest of her initials on the quilt. We will finish the pillow tomorrow and are discussing what to do about the drapes for the bed. Her "babies" already have a winter weight quilt and it fits nicely in the drawer below the bed. The 4 poster was a gift from her grandparents in Scotland and has a CRM kind of feel to it.

Textile Corner - 4 seasons challenge - step 1

(Well wouldn't you know it I can now do more than one picture per posting AND move them round on the page. Woohoo, my new blog learning moment for today!)

Some of us are participating in a 4 seasons challenge at LearningFA. Our wonderful teacher, Shirley, gave us some pictures to choose from.
After waaaaaay to much thinking about it I have opted for the covered bridge. So far I have trolled around the internet looking at other pictures, mainly in Canada, and surprise, surprise actually found one that looked fairly close to the painting. This was just to give me some color ideas though we are only supposed to go with the black and white one for reference. I've opted to go with the weather worn grey affect for the bridge.
Since I have never really done much in the way of thread painting before I re-read almost every piece of information Shirley had available plus a few other resources on the web. That gave me an AHA moment related to sketching, water color painting and thread sketching.
I decided to trace the basic elements of the picture so that I can determine what I really need to use fabric for and what areas I have to delve into for thread painting. We have been advised to simplify our pictures so a lot of the fiddly little tree branches will probably not show up in my finished pictures. Shirley suggested I take out the bridge "advertising" pieces.
I have some of my fabric picked out for the various seasons but came to the realisation that I am short of tree and covered bridge "types". Oh well that means a trip or two to the fabric stores and what quilter loves doing that (sigh).
I've decided to start with a winter scene and this week will spend my time cutting out the trees, bridge and try a variety of sky colors. I haven't decided how I'm going to do the snow shadows yet. Who knows, if the snow is deep enough, maybe a skiier will show up :)

Some orange fun for Pat Sloan :)

If you've been following Pat Sloan's OC challenge week-end then you'll probably enjoy this photo. I'm learning a lot from her and a number of other fabulous people at The Thread Society.
Kris and I were looking through all my fabrics on Saturday and we found this one. She immediately put it into her "I want this one" stack and requested PJ's. I think I will sneak some of it back into "my" pile and make a "squishee" :)
Anyhoo I thought with all the buzzing around that has been going on between blogs the past few days that these lovely ladies would have had a fabulous time investigating all the "eye candy" on offer.
Thanks Pat.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Beginnings swap

I am participating in a "New Beginnings" postcard swap. The idea is to try something you have not done before. I chose to do basic felting and beading and ended up learning a couple of new ways to finish off my cards. The cards are titled "Ancient Landscape."

Some postcard lovelies.

These are the cards I received recently from some of the members of Postcard Pizzazz. The bottom right is supposed to be landscape but I put it portrait for the photograph and I actually quite like it that way.

Thank you ladies. This is so much fun and a great learning experience.

close up #1

Green New Year (recycled) swap - ? Nealis, Sandy C.
Winter 2009 swap- Paula D.
New Beginnings swap - Bobbie W. and Marja M.

close up #2

St.Patrick's Day swap - Bobbie A., Diana H., and Chris T.
Valentine's Day swap - Wilma S.
swap #56 - Stacia S.

Half way through our "Sewing 101 day".

Kris and I are taking a short break from our "Sewing 101 day." I'm taking the opportunity of her brother being at scout camp to re-teach her how to sew. She was so excited about the idea when we talked last night. Her main comment though was "this time I will not sew so fast." Last time round she almost sewed herself to my machine and she gained some valuable experience from that :)

So what have we done so far?
1. Looked through all my fabric and re-sorted it. One large tote is now empty. All the scraps are in a small box and will be ironed next week.
2. Picked out fabric for her projects and made a list of what she would like to do. This list stays with her fabric in her own small box :)
3. Watched 1 1/2 sewing programs on PBS and learned about seams, what machine needles to use with the machine and why, how to felt sweaters (for me) and heirloom sewing (which she thought was fascinating).
4. Measured her 4 poster doll bed for a quilt, pillow and drapes and picked out which fabrics from her "stash" would work best with her bedroom color scheme.
5. Washed most of her fabric. Now in the dryer.
6. Re-taught her how to thread my machine and how/why to roll up my long tape measure. (I need to re-arrange my sewing area slightly so I can stand or sit comfortably at the back of my machine while she is using it.) 
7. Re-taught her how to do a dress-making seam and a quilting seam and had her practice.
8. Rotary cut the fabric for the top of her quilt and ironed it.

Our plans for later today involve ironing all her fabric and taking a photograph. Sewing her doll quilt and pillow together and if we have time make the bed drapes.

There is a twist to all this. She has some special needs and I'm "working" with a stinker of a head -ache but we are having a good time. She is looking forward to doing all her projects over time but announced that her schoolwork has to be done first.

Friday, February 20, 2009

To the lovely people who follow my blog

Thank you all for visiting with me and for sharing your talents. 

I want you all to know that I try to visit your blogs almost every day. I enjoy reading your posts, learning from  your various areas of experience and the words of wisdom that you share with others :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"4 season Scottie dog" up-date

Well this project keeps morphing off in it's own direction :)

I decided that my green block was looking too "summery" for the spring section and changed it out for a pastel block. I really liked having a border round the winter section so added that to the others.
Now I am drawing out a number of sections to embroider. Each block will have it's own season title. I'm contemplating leaves for the autumn section.
I've also been playing with different fabrics for collars or bandanas for the dogs and thus far nothing is feeling right. I think I might take the project to a couple of fabric stores and play :)
For my green block I'm going back to my original idea of making it a small wall-hanging. Just got to put a couple of borders on and see what happens from there.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Rose Splendor" up-date

It's coming along and I think it will look very pretty when it is finished. The gaps in the border are for gold metallic thread and given previous experience that is going to wait till the very end. I may also leave the rest of the narrow inner border till the end because the stitch catches easily.
I have actually done more of the tapestry but it is mainly border and stems.

Stitching for a Cure

The ornament is about the size of a fabric postcard (4"x6"). Once I put it together I decided to make it reverseable. Obviously I was "influenced" by the Valentine's season :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dancing on a Blade of Grass

Hi all. Happy Valentine's Day. We celebrated our anniversary by going out to breakfast. Very nice.

Anyway. If you go to and look at Heaven Scent I think you will be well pleased. The first picture is gorgeous, you can almost inhale the heavenly scent :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stitching For A Cure

This is my ornament that will be going to "Stitching for a Cure" for their Christmas tree fundraiser.

Before filling in

This is the basic pattern before filling in the rest of the colors

Thursday, February 12, 2009

St.Patrick's Day exchange - Postcard Pizzazz

Ink Circles has a series of small celtic knots that I really like. I took their April 2006/2007 knot and simplified it by doing tapestry stitch instead of cross stitch and 2 colors instead of 4. I also stitched it on 14 ct Aida instead of 28ct linen.
The square is machine sewn to the back fabric and the outside edges of the Aida were then fringed. The fabric is one of my fat quarters and has a marbely type finish to it.
I had signed up to make 4 cards and the whole time I was thinking about my paternal grandfather who was called ...... Patrick.
I also gave some thought to one of my maternal ancestors George McGechie (ggg grandfather) who was born in Ireland in 1795. He settled, married and had family in Glasgow, Scotland.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Learning FA "Spring" swap

So I got busy this morning and finished up my cards with the intention of getting them in the mail today. That won't be happening.

We got blasted by sheer winds and tornado/severe thunderstorm type rain. (One of the joys of living in "tornado alley".) Everything was so white for I while I initially thought it was snowing. There's some power lines and trees down between our house and the post office. One of my friends has a tree on her roof.

Needless to say I cancelled any appointments I had for this morning and stayed home :) Lucy was so anxious she absolutely would not go anywhere but right beside/on my feet till the worst was past.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentine postcard swaps

Some cards I've received in the mail recently for Valentine's Day. I think they are all lovely.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Just for fun :)

I made this simple sampler #2 @1968 as part of a class project/exam (I passed). I had a wonderful teacher and every time I look at it it brings back fond memories of her and all the creations we made over a period of 7 years. Some of them worked out really well and a few make me wonder what on earth I was thinking, but she encouraged me to learn all the basics and then get creative with them.

I think I'm getting my brain back :)

I'm up :) I'm moving around :) My brain is no longer in the misty realms of non-function :)

In other words I've had a really bad head cold for the past few days and it did not help that I got hit in the face with a volleyball on Monday morning. Having said that life is good, my glasses are still in one piece and I did not cause any road wrecks when I did venture out :)

So y'all can safely say that not much creativeness has been happening with me recently. I did get some seed beads sorted out (last night) and a small amount of cross stitch done (this afternoon). I also got started on a mystery project for a fund raiser so maybe I got more creativeness accomplished than I think.

My embarrassing moment for this week had to be getting lost trying to drive to a friend's house. Like I said my brain has been foggy for the past few days. My friend lives about 5/10 minutes away from me but she lives on a farm on a really dark, windy, hilly road with some steep drop offs, AND there's no street lights. So I totally missed her house, could not find a place to turn around safely and about ended up in the next county :) Add to that I drove at about 15/20 mph with someone tailgating me so that person was probably not too happy with my snails pace !!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just because it's February......

and we celebrate our anniversary this month :)
Being born romantics you only get one guess as to what day that is !!!!
So the carving and leather work was a gift from John when we got engaged. He made it and it sits in our bedroom. Cann't say too many times "looooooooove it" :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Beating the Winter Blues"

A "sneak peek" at what I am making for the swap at The Thread Society.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Winter "Scottie" block

This is where he stands at the moment. I just have to do some decorative stitching and add a collar.
(The autumn block is about half way done.)

Butterfly on Sunflower - progress report

"Butterfly on sunflower" needed to be freed from the box (block) so here's a hint showing how it's going . Once I've finished the embellishments I'll let you see some more :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Thought for today

I've decided to move my thought for the day to the side bar to cut down on the number of blog entries. I hope that those of you who follow this section will still continue to visit regularly :)