Monday, August 31, 2009

Blog Hop - Kris's Color Stripes

I've decided to give a flower to the owner of the blog I highlight each Monday. The photograph was taken by moi :)
I've been following Kris's blog(s) for a while now and I love the simplicity of the layout. Almost every day she tries to share a photograph of some kind of object which she breaks down into colors, hence the stripes. She calls it her color diary. Today she is breaking down some lovely old floor tiles.
Fabulous way to train your eye. Some of her ideas would make great textiles/quilts.
Kris is from Italy and in the fashion design industry. When she travels she shares some of the designs and colors from the places she visits.
She has another totally fun blog about one of her collections. She creates boats out of odds and ends. You gotta take a look.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Project update - my sewing room and wall hanging

I decided to rearrange my sewing room and it feels so much more spacious. I now have decent floor space for laying projects out. The table in front of the window can fold up and be stored in the basement when I don't need to use it but I have a feeling it may stay. It was a gift from a friend who was moving. Lucy likes to sit under there and look out of the window.
I still have to finish putting peg boards and projects up on the walls and I plan on making a felt hanging wall for the long bookcase to use when I want to look at my blocks in progress.
The bed is still in the room and John and the kids like to lie on it and chat if I am working away on a project :)
With our corner unit now back in the corner I can sew away without Lucy lying across my feet and the sewing machine pedal, as she was prone to do. She is happy to sprawl across the floor :)
I was going to show you progress pictures of the wall hanging I am working on for I am a Stitchers Angel but all of a sudden blogger uploading went screwy on me and none of them would go right way up. Aaaaaaaaaargh. Maybe next week. The background is finished and I have decided to makes the leaves, bird wing and some mini poppies 3 dimensional.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Local Life - Red Caboose Park

We live in Bellevue, which is about 12 miles south west of downtown Nashville.
We love our park. It is set on a small hill and is used a lot by people of all ages.
There is a walking path all the way round and if you don't feel like tackling the slopes you can use the flat track at the middle school across the street.
Next to the park we have our community center which is housed in what was part of the old Bellevue high school. Right next door to that we have a building that houses the library and fire department. There are plans to build a new library within the defunct Bellevue Mall when it gets re-built.

This is why the park has it's nick-name. We have our very own full size red caboose. We also have a ticket station (public toilets) next to it.

The park has it's own little amphitheater and during the summer it gets used a lot. We have summer family concerts every Friday evening which are almost always well attended. Families bring their blankets, chairs, picnics, games and generally have a good time. The little kids love to stand right up by the stage when the groups are performing. If there is music they will dance even though it's on a slope :)
The local children like to use the amphitheater to act out their own little plays. It's fun to watch them do their thing. Some of them will even burst into song.

This is part of the enclosed childrens play area that was built in 1996 by about 1800 volunteers to celebrate Bellevue's Bicentennial. It is much loved and draws many people to our neighborhood. We arrived about 2 years after it was built. At that point most of the trees were fairly young and there was not much shade. Now they are much larger and look great.
There's covered picnic areas close to the play area and many parents use them as discreet viewpoints to watch over their older children. Having said that it is fairly common to see the parents in the play area having as much fun as their children. The local teenagers enjoy the area as well :)

At the top of the hill we have an elderly cabin. This is not it's original location. It was taken down piece by piece and put into storage till somewhere could be found for it. The local historical society raised funds and in 2006 it was put back together. It does get used on occasion and definately adds to the ambiance of the park.
The cabin dates from about 1797 and was built by Louis DeMoss. It was named Belle Vue. So our community is named after a log cabin.

Most people takes photographs from the front of the park. This one shows part of the park looking down from the old cabin. We are definately a blessed community to have this small but much loved area in our midst.

In May we have our annual community picnic and the place is full of vendors, music, food and people. We also have an annual Easter Egg Hunt which the younger kids love.

There is an inscription up front that reads "If we build it they will come." We are one of the many families "that came". When we outgrew our apartment and looked for a house to buy we ended up making one of our shorter moves - from one side of the middle school to the other :)

Our town has seen much growth since we moved here. A lot of the houses with acreage are now gone. Housing communities, condos, town houses, and apartments along with new shopping areas and businesses have taken their place. Having said that there is still a country type feel to the area, especially on the south side.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

'tis a gift - Song Bird tutorial

The idea for this section is to make it an anything can happen kind of day.

Since I am working on my "In The Good 'Ol Summertime 2009" swap I decided to do a mini tutorial.

It has turned into a very mini tutorial because I was sleeping beauty today with a stinker of a sinus headache (one of the drawbacks of living in Tennessee) and I'm only sharing a few of the steps in my thought process.

Tutorial - making the pattern pieces

I made the main block pieces out of tracing paper and added 1/4" seam allowances.
The applique pieces are cut from copies of the pattern.
I decided to do a "mock up" of the block in calico just to make sure the pieces all fit together properly.

Tutorial - sewing together

(Sorry , it loaded sideways).
The center panel is on point with 4 outside triangles to turn it back into a square.
Sew two opposite triangles to the center fabric.
Iron flat.
Sew the remaining triangles to the center fabric.
Iron flat then trim to the square.

Tutorial - Playing with the paper pieces

(Aaargh it loaded sideways.)
The book does not have full patterns for all of the designs. I made two or three paper copies of the block so I could cut out all the applique pieces. Each is numbered which makes it simple to follow the main layout. Just to make it a little more interesting all of the leaves are different sizes.

Tutorial - Applique option

There are a number of options for cutting out applique pieces. I chose to do the following.

Lay the pattern pieces face down on the back of the fabrics.
Draw round each piece with a dark micron archival pen.
Cut out the fabrics INSIDE the lines.
Lay out the pieces on the calico and make sure all the pieces are there. This also helped me to see if I like the colors together.
Store all the small pieces in a marked envelope. I plan to use them again.

I'm giving myself some options with regard to the applique. I've opted for raw edge since there are so many small fiddly pieces but I have not decided yet whether I want to stick them down first. This also means I have no "seam allowance" as would be the case for a turned edge.

I'm going to wait till I finish the rest of the block together before sewing the pieces down.

Tutorial - Play around with colors

I like the colors I picked out for the applique but the big decision is what to do with the background.

It's fun (at least for me) to cut out different colors and PLAY. If they don't get used in one project they will get used in something else.

After some trying out it became apparant that I needed to lean toward warm colors.

Tutorial - Currently contemplating

I've decided to go with this color combination and am now playing around with different border designs.
The center block fabric reminds me of wheat fields and the triangle picks up one of the colors. I may use the green for the outside border to tie everything together.
At the moment everything is sitting on my table while I mull things over. When I make my own one it will be in a different color combination.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Scots Corner - Dunrobin

This was Kristina's pick to visit while we were up in the Highlands of Scotland. It was well worth rearranging our schedule. If you ever decide to visit I would highly recommend taking a full day since there is so much to see.
This is the back of the building which looks down onto quite a contrast of formal gardens and the ocean.

Scots Corner - Dunrobin

Dunrobin has been home to the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland since the 13th century. The current "look" was designed by Sir Charles Barry and is known as "Scottish Baronial". You can see more of the original style when you enter through the front courtyard.
Inside the house are a number of lovely big tapestries and a room dedicated to the genealogy of the family.
Unfortunatly we were not able to visit the museum because we did not leave ourselves enough time.

Scots Corner - Dunrobin

Looking down towards the Moray Firth and North Sea. If you look on the map in my header you'll get an idea of where it is located :)
The formal gardens are based on the designs at Versailles and are quite a contrast to the surrounding area. Fabulous views from inside the house but we could not take pictures :(
We stopped off at Golspie on our way south and walked along the sea shore for a while. There's a huge statue on Ben Bhraggie, behind the village (which looks very out of place IMHO). We had no idea who it was supposed to be but have since found out it is of the 1st. Duke of Sutherland.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Changes are afoot and Blog Hop

A while back I mentioned I was going to change how I do my blog. Now that school is back in lets get started and we shall see how long I can stick with the following :)

Here's what I'm thinking
Monday - Blog Hop
Tuesday - Scots Corner
Wednesday - 'tis a gift
Thursday - Local Life
Friday - Project wrap-up

I plan on up-dating my cross-stitch, genealogy and family blogs once a week.

Blog Hop
I enjoy the comments I receive at my blogs and tend to go blog hopping from there i.e visit the writers and see what blogs interest them. On Sunday's I surf for a little while as we watch some T.V. The blogs I highlight may not always be related to quilting but if it has something I go "oooh" at I will share :)

So let's begin.
Elizabeth is a mixed media artist from Virginia, USA and has some really interesting projects going on. I did not get permission from her yet to show a picture or two so go check out her embellished cuffs and dying projects. She has a washing line (I am soooo envious) and I loooooove the close-up pictures of a butterfly. She has an Etsy store called Elizajean. The flower cards are very pretty.

My darling doggie got into something on Saturday so I am off to give her a bath. Then it's time to tackle cleaning up my sewing room/guest room and get started on the wall hanging for "In The Good "Ol Summertime." If I have time I plan on making a little gift to send off to my secret partner in the Angel project. All of this before 2.00 p.m. so I can get tidied up for Kris and Nik getting home from school. They start at 7.05 and finish at 2.05. I take them in the mornings because of early morning Seminary classes and they get the bus home.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Look what I just won :)

Quilting Gallery, (link on my side-bar) just had a giveaway and I am one of the lucky recipients of this pattern from Amanda at The Quilted Fish Patterns.

This pattern, Whoopsie Daisy, has been on my wish list of things to try for a while now so I am a happy camper :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Decisions, Decisions, decisions

A while ago I mentioned in one of my postings that I love "Grandma's Best Full-Size Quilt Blocks" by Better Homes and Gardens and that I want to make all of the blocks over a period of time.
As I was contemplating what to make as my main gift for the "I am a Stitchers Angel 2009" it struck me that this would be a good opportunity to use the book designs for some of my swaps.
I love the Ohio Rose design and I think it fits well with some of the requirements. I know the recipient's fabric preferences which will give it a bit of a different look.

Decisions, decisions, decisions 2

Now comes the hard part for the "In The Good 'Ol Summertime 2009" swap. I've picked out three designs. The Song Bird block is my favorite but I'll have to look at what summer type blossoms are out there. The deadline for this swap is September 21st and it has to be a minimum of 12"x12"

Decisions, decisions, decisions 3

This would be a fun one to do with summery theme fabrics, maybe from the beach.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions 4

For this one I have an idea running through my mind to turn it round, make it into a flower using prairie points and add a butterfly.

Friday, August 14, 2009

With friendship and love

To all you sweet angels out there who lighten and brighten the lives of those in need of comfort.
I know a number of people locally, at a distance and on-line who have been struggling with serious issues in their lives. I have been greatly impressed by the compassion extended toward them, so to all of you a gift of a rose bud breaking into full beauty.
This is my way of sharing the award that Micki extended to me and some others. Hope you are okay with that Micki and that your current health issue will improve.

Just because I can :)

Expect random pictures from my vacation to show up from time to time :)
I have been fascinated by windmills since I was fairly young and East Anglia has them in various stages of usage. We happened across this one that looked like it was still functioning. The windmills there are fairly small and lovely to see.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We are back :)

We got back Monday night from our vacation to Britain. We had a great time and worked out we covered close to 3,000 miles during the 3 weeks we were there. Visited lots of historical places and a few beaches. Drove through, and stopped off at, some fabulous scenery. Enjoyed time with family and visited some old friends.

Now we just have to get past the jet lag, it's 4.00 a.m. here 10 a.m. there, and Nik and I are wide awake and eating cereal. We also have to readjust to the heat and humidity.

I've been blogging about our vacation at our family site and will put up our week 3 overview some time today or tomorrow.

Quilting news. I'm participating in a signature block exchange with the Lady of Steeles Hand Embroidery group. There are 26 participants. I took my drawn up blocks with me on vacation and finished the design element on about 12 of them. I would have gotten more done but for some reason I kept getting distracted by beautiful scenery :)

It appears that I am participating in "I Am A Stitchers Angel 2009". Before going on vacation I tried sending an e-mail to sign up but was having internet issues so never knew if it got there or not. So I read my e-mail today and I have been assigned a secret partner. Wouldn't you know it she lives not too far from one of the places we visited on our vacation !!!!!!! The theme is "Roses" and we have to send at least 3 hand made items over a period of 7 weeks. Fun. Fun. Fun.

While I was gone on vacation I got a nice surprise from Micki at Irish Muses. I'll do a separate posting about that once I have my "pass the award along" list put together :)

Kris and Nik start back at school on Friday so we have a short period of time to get everything together for them. Juliet and Elisabeth have one more week with us before heading back to university. After that I will be hustling to get some of my swaps finished and Christmas gifts put together.