"Buttons and patches and the cold wind blowing,
The days pass quickly when I am sewing"
~Author Unknown

Monday, August 30, 2010

In between the ironing.....

Mondays are always busy days for me. It is wash day. Today, I had a big stack of ironing to work through. I do like to iron. Did I just hear some gasps? *wink* With my fibromyalgia, I have a hard time with tasks like this but make it through by working on just a couple of items and then resting. When I have a large amount to do, I set up my ironing board and go back and forth between it and resting with my stitching. So this morning I got myself started and decided to start a new stitching project too. I just did not feel like working on my latest UFO.

Well, tomorrow it will be back to that UFO as I finished my new start already. This simple little Stacy Nash pattern stitched up in no time. By 5pm both the ironing and sampler were done. *grins*

I will add this to my Ohio sampler wall that I am going to create in our new home. Mind you, I have only stitched three of them so far. I aged this fabric when I finished stitching it and am really pleased with how it came out.

It seems that Jantine might have jinxed me. *wink* She commented once asking just how many frames I have as I always have just the right one in the house. Since she said that, I have not had a frame that worked for a finished piece. I decided to check out IKEA which is only minutes from my home. They had this beautiful frame. It was fun to start a project in the morning and have it framed by bedtime.

In the meantime, I have a load of laundry needing hung before I go to bed.....

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Good morning, good morning.....

...you've slept the whole night through...
...good morning, good morning to you!...

That song is going through my head now after my latest finish. That means this finish will bring my father to mind each time I see it. More about that later.

I finished the stitching of this design last night except the words. The design, which can be found here, had 'Bienvenue' (which means welcome in French) was just not right for this pillow which is going to join my collection on our bed. When I think of birds, I think of morning so I used another chart from this same site for the alphabet to stitch 'Good Morning'.

This pillow was stitched on 36count Irish Cream linen. It was stitched 2 over 2 in 'Bullfrog' from Carrie's Threads (thread is a grayish green). I bought the tassels while on vacation in a village along the Mosel in Germany which is also where I originally started stitching it.

Another finish means another surprise giveaway! I went back to my previous post and had my mother call a number while we were talking on Skype. The winner is:
Elizabethb at FrenchVillageLife

I know you are away right now Barbara but I am sure you will see this when you return. I have your address saved in my emails but I will let you know if I cannot find it. I made a fob using glass green beads accented with some small green and blue beads. I thought this reminded me of the pillow.

Now back to that song...

When I was a little girl, my father would come into my bedroom on Saturday mornings singing very cheerfully...

Good morning, good morning
you've slept the whole night through
Good morning, good morning to you!

I always thought my father made up that song especially to wake me up. Imagine my complete surprise when I bought the soundtrack to Singing in the Rain once with my allowance. I had not yet seen this film all the way through but loved Gene Kelly. Oh my! That is on the soundtrack. Okay, not with those exact words but still..... Think my father wrote it for them too? *wink*

It is a very wet and dreary day today in Holland. Feels like autumn and is just a perfect stitching day. I am off to work on my next UFO!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Flying about.....

A quick blog post before I go out the door...

Yes, I am flying about but wanted to show you what I am working now. I was going through a drawer in my desk in the studio. I have decided to sort charts and sell those that I do not really love. I like them all but am being strict with myself. I found a couple of my UFOs and decided that this one will be this week's finish. It is close to being done. I started this back in 2006 (I think) while I was on vacation. When we came home, it got set aside. I hope to finish it over the weekend.

As the giveaway winner did not ever get to me, I have decided I am going to draw a new name for this fob. I used the comments from the entry where I revealed my Eliza Jane doll quilt. Thank you all for your wonderful comments about my quilting and stitching.

The winner of the fob is...

Congratulations Jo! Please contact me with your address so I can mail this to you.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The last twist.....

Why the last? Because I completed my SAL of Peppermint Twist with Saskia. I had been trying to decide how to finish this project as I could not find a frame I like for it in the right size. I had these little trays waiting for a project I had in mind but it worked perfectly for my stitching...

...so I edged the stitching in some pretty ribbon that I bought last autumn and added a few green buttons in the corners before lining the bottom of the wooden tray with my stitched piece.

The last portion of our SAL added that final touch and now I am ready for Christmas. *grins*

I found a really sweet (pun intended) child's rhyme online that seems to sum up this project...

"Oh, I took a lick of my peppermint stick,
and I thought it tasted yummy.
It used to be on my Christmas tree,
but I like it better in my tummy."

Tonight I had to make a Christmas fob to give away for this finish. I wanted this one to have the look of a peppermint stick. I went back to my previous entry about my SAL with Saskia. The random number generator picked Linda.

Congratulations Linda! I am pretty sure I still have you in my address book but please email me just in case.

I am off now to pick another UFO to work on. I would love to have another finish in the coming weeks because I am also having fun playing elf and give you gifts when I finish something.

I cleaned out my large harvest basket thinking I had far too many UFOs in it. To my great surprise, I found there were only three UFOs and a great deal of stash that needed clearing out and putting away. These are not my only UFOs if I am honest but at least that basket was not as bad as I thought.

I can honestly tell you I have no idea how many projects I have started and left aside to be neglected. It is not a pretty picture although this summer has really helped clear some of them out. Please tell me that you also have drawers, baskets, bags or perhaps even suitcases full of those unfinished projects????? Please tell me that you also cringe at the rare creature of a one project at a time girl????? *wink*

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to school.....

I just love Little House on the Prairie. My mother laughs at me as they are on television each afternoon as we talk on Skype. She asks why I watch them when I have seen each episode at least ten times already. I cannot get enough of them! Remember when the prim and proper Eliza Jane Wilder came to town with her brother Almanzo? She was the new school teacher.

This is a photo of the real Eliza Jane who was born on January 1, 1850. In reality, she lead quite a progressive and interesting life. She not only was a school teacher but also laid a claim to land in South Dakota, worked for the Department of Interior in Washington D.C., married twice, mother and became a widow in her first marriage and seperated from her husband in her second marriage.
She wrote a letter about her life and farm in 1886 to Land Commissioner of the Dept. of Interior:
"My home was growing in beauty and desirability. I spent $100.00 on improvements on my house. Twas a year of hard work and very few of the young men in our eastern states would or could have done the work I did that year or endured the hardships & exposure to intense heat in summer & cold in winter. I worked out of doors 5 hours the 3rd day of Jan 1884 when mercury was frozen and spirit therm indicated 45° below zero. A strong winder blowing and sleet falling that cut like a knife. I remembered the days for it was my birthday and will I think I was blue and discouraged."

I don't know about you, but this really changes how I look at this character from Little House on the Prairie. But what does this have to do with my handwork you ask?

About three months ago, I received the first pattern in a series of six when I joined The American Schoolgirl Club. Many of you who read my blog regularly know that I name all my quilts but my doll's quilts especially with girls names. Kathleen Tracy is now naming her quilts for this series with girls names too. She choose Eliza Jane for this first quilt.

I had started going through my scrap drawer when my pattern arrived but only had 4 nine-patches sewn. I decided this week that it was time to spend my days with Eliza Jane. I have pattern two waiting in the wings and three on its way. So I finished pulling out enough scraps which made me think back to Becky coming to visit when I created Becky's Blocks. You can see it here and follow the link to read the story about this doll coming to help me quilt.

Then when my quilt top was complete, it was time for the hand quilting. I do love to hand quilt as it makes a quilt come to life! I had plans for my quilting which I changed as I was going along. I kept thinking of the character of Eliza Jane Wilder on the show and decided to keep the quilting to straight and simple lines.

I did use a dark quilted line to emphasize the shirting around the nine-patch block which stands out so nicely now. And now I have my own version of Eliza Jane's Nine-Patch doll quilt...

Quilt measures 17 inches x 23 inches.

A finish means a surprise giveaway so I went back to this old blog post where I introduced Amelia, the doll my sister made. I used the random number generator and the winner is:

Congratulations Sandra! Please email me with your address so I can send you this fob. I decided to reflect back on the 19th century which is the inspiration Kathleen used for this quilt. The fob has red and white glass beads with an old Singer sewing machine at the end. I hope you will enjoy dressing up your scissors with it!

See that piece of leftover dark blue fabric? I am going to use it for a drawing among my quilt group when they come for our evening in September. I thought it would be fun to give to one of the ladies since it would work well in next year's quilt theme project.

And speaking of mail, look what dropped on my doormat...

Put together the puzzel and what did I see???

My own Christmas tree! It is the invitation to my quilt group's Christmas party which I host each mid-December. For a couple of years now, we also have a buffet dinner hosted by some of the ladies in the group. Saskia decided this year to make this fun invitation. You have to remake the puzzel again to read the back too. *grins*

She wrote that it was being held in my own new home. How exciting. We only have one more month to wait before we get the keys and can start on the renovations. Thanks Saskia! That was fun to receive in the mail.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pumpkins are in season!

Oh yes! They really are as Jos spotted a stand with pumpkins for sale just two weekends ago. Yeah...my favorite season is dawning! And double yeah as I have an autumn finish too. It is pumpkin time and I just love autumn colors!

I had participated in my first QAL (QuiltALong) with Lori over at HumbleQuilts back in the spring but it became a UFO when it got warmer and then another QAL came into view. It sat neglected but this week, I decided it was time to have another finish so I got it out and worked like a mad woman on finishing the hand quilting.

I just love to hand quilt! I love the feeling of the thread weaving through the layers of fabric. I also love how a quilt changes and comes to life as you quilt.

And for me, a quilt is only finished when I have my label on the back!

Thanks to Lori for such a sweet little quilt project. I had fun making it and using up many of my scraps. And since it is a finish, there is another surprise giveaway! This is another of the fobs I made for my surprise giveaways back in May. I think I might have to start making more at this rate. *grins* I had set myself a goal to finish 6 items over the summer. So far I have given away 9 surprise gifts for 7 finishes and also completed another little wallhanging which was not a UFO. I am really pleased with those 8 finishes and hope to add another couple yet before mid-September.

And now that scissor fob.....

I went back to this post which I had so much fun writing. I used the random number generator and the winner is...

AnitaA at CountryQuilter. Congratulations Anita! Can you email me from my profile page and send me your address so I can get this fob (above photo) in the mail to you?

Last, I wanted to share a gift I made for my online friend Jenny. She does not have a blog but has become a special blogging friend when she found my blog. We email regularly and I feel like we share so very much about what makes us happy in life. I made her a fob for a pair of scissors with blue and pink beads and tiny dragonflies. Then I created a little wool felt scissor cover. I wanted it all to say summertime. Jenny's gift arrived so I can now share it with you.

And as the weekend knocks on our door today, I wish you a weekend of creative juices flowing rich and joys of the season as autumn starts to show its signs. Who knows, maybe you might find a pumpkin too.....

"Jack-o-lantern, Jack-o-lantern,
You are such a funny sight.
As you sit there by the window,
Looking out into the night.
You were once a sturdy pumpkin,
growing on a curly vine.
Now you are a Jack-o-lantern,
See your night lights shine."

Monday, August 9, 2010

Letters and lace......

Back in March, I bought a printer's drawer and blogged about starting to stitch things for each section. It has been hanging on the wall since then but had little more done to it since I started the first letters. You can read about it here.

I have decided that I want to make a couple of things for it each month but needed to give myself a real boost to start it first. The one thing I knew from the moment I bought the drawer is that I was going to stitch the letters for 'borduren' for the top right section. There were just enough spaces for it. This is the Dutch word for stitching.

I plan to decide as I go along what I want to use in each space. I think it will be fun coming up with something each time. While finishing the letters, I knew the four long spaces just under the word would be perfect for scissor motifs. I am using ThreadWorx overdyed thread for this project. I will switch back and forth using color 10351 - Rustic Brown Cherry and 1077 - Pottery. I really love how this thread looks in the dark wood drawer.

As you can see, there is a good deal more work to do on this project. I am not setting myself a time limit on it but just want to enjoy each and every stitch!

This past weekend, I started a new quilt project. I had made a lace crazy quilt tablerunner many years ago for a class I gave on making crazy quilting traditional or modern. I would love to make a large crazy quilt using floral fabrics and lace. There is an old fashioned shop in a village near us that I knew would sell lots of lace. I bought a bag full to add to what I already have and started a few blocks this weekend. This will also be a project that I will make a block or two for as I work on other things in my quilt studio. It will be fun to work on between sewing other things.

So letters and lace means no pressure but a great deal of enjoyment!

Hope you week starts off creatively!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Snowflakes and reindeer

Ah.... Just the thought of snowflakes and reindeer cheers me to the bone. *wink* What also cheers me is seeing my third part of my SAL being done in time for tomorrow. Saskia's is finished too and you can see it here.

I had Christmas on my mind today. I was thinking about decorating for the holidays in our new home. I was also thinking back on the wonderful snow we had last winter and already dreaming of a white Christmas. *grins*

We are going into the home stretch of our SAL. I promise we will show them again together when they are finished to show you the sizes again. Saskia is making her 2/2 and mine is 1/1.
What a great way to spend a summer.....stitching Peppermint Twist.

Remember that summer is never too early
to start on a Christmas project!