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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Not so crazy.....

Lately, I have been thinking about how my UFOs seem to be increasing instead of decreasing. I feel the need inside to get some of these projects finished before starting up new things. I also am working on a challenge from a Yahoo homekeeping group I am a member of. It is letting go of old and unused things. Now my UFOs do not fall under this category but I felt like I needed to tie up loose ends so I could move on.

So when I looked through some of those UFOs laying in my studio, I decided to pick out the one that was ridiculously almost finished. I only needed to sew on one sawtooth border to complete the top. Told you it was ridiculous! So I got to work and voilĂ !

This quilt is the sixth in the series of American Dolls quilt patterns by Kathleen Tracy. It was a quilt called Almost Crazy referring to the play on a crazy quilt theme. Since I played with the theme even more, it really was not so crazy by the time I was through with it. It just happened as my fabrics spoke to me. Then when I completed the pattern, I felt it needed more. It was not finished due to my own choices with just one border. I added a second dark floral border onto the striped border. It was still not quite right so I used the cast off triangles that you have when you sew this patchwork to create a sawtooth border to complete the quilt.

"Now what" was my next thought. I decided to refer back to the idea of a crazy quilt that it would be fun to machine quilt it with one of my crazy quilt stitches (enlarge first photo to see the stitches) on the sewing machine. Well, I take my hat off to you ladies who quilt regularly with your machines. I find it intense to do it preferring the ease of hand quilting. That being said, I am glad I had a chance to practice doing it again.

Over the Easter weekend, I had the quilt with me to work on hand sewing the binding to the back of the quilt and then tucking in all the threads from the quilting by hand too. It takes a good bit of time to do that. Since I believe a quilt is only finished when the tunnel and label are added, I got to work on that part this morning. I am calling this one Victoria's Not So Crazy Doll quilt.

Happy dancing my way back to my quilt studio to pick out yet another UFO to finish. *grins*

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The tale of the Flopsy Bunnies.....

"It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is "soporific."

I have never felt sleepy after eating lettuces; but then I am not a

They certainly had a very soporific effect upon the Flopsy Bunnies!"

Okay, these are not the same Flopsy Bunnies in Beatrix Potter's wonderful story but ones that I created back in 2007. They were sewn together and dipped in coffee, dried and strung as a garland.

But being taken out each year before Easter has had a soporific effect on my little bunnies. *wink* At first they stood happily when hung waiting for their big day ... Easter Sunday.

But this year, they were sagging very sadly as they hung on a mirror. A friend came over who does not even do any handwork and commented about how they were flopping about. She exclaimed that I should try using wire in this. So I got out some fine wire but the bunnies did not like that at all. I then tried a thicker wire and...

...they went from this...

...to this! And love have their bunny ears tickled and bent about in place.

Now they stand proudly once again along my mirror.

Of course, you could also enjoy the real story of the Flopsy Bunnies if you prefer as it is a fun thing to see for the Easter weekend. I am taking a blogging break for the long weekend. Enjoy yours and talk with you again next week...

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hopping along.....

But I am one slow bunny as this was supposed to be posted on April 14th. Must be because this bunny has to be ready for Easter??? *wink*

Since I already started stitching part 4 of the SAL sampler aux Bouquets, I thought it was time to hop to it and share this part with you all.

Bunnies, birds, tupils and butterflies... What could say spring more than these images?

Monday, April 18, 2011

SAL get togethers.....

I am a very fortunate person to have many friends who love coming to my home for what I call "playdates". These are days when someone comes to stitch or quilt or make bobbinlace. They sometimes come the entire day and we have a lunch together.

In December 2010, Bep, Saskia and I started a year long SAL together. It was a pattern we purchased when we all went to The Alsace in September. Every two months, they come here and we start the next of the six pillow which will make up a Christmas tree. You can see the pattern and Christmas tea we had in December here.

At the end of January, we had our next date. I had suggested we do a different theme each time. The first time, I had made a Christmas High Tea for them. I set the table for our theme of a pot luck lunch. Since I enjoy giving table gifts to people, I had agendas wrapped and on their plates as a surprise but to my surprise there suddenly was a gift that appeared on my plate. Thanks Bep!

I baked a lemon cake for a treat with our coffee/tea.

Our menu was a tossed salad, Dutch surprised meatballs and meatloaf parcels.

This was the progress of the second pillows when they left later in the afternoon and the results again for our get together we just had this month...

Being close to Easter, I decorated the table with that as a theme. I made a crepe paper nest filled with chocolate chicks and bunnies and a variegated thread for each of them. It has also been Saskia's birthday so I had a little surprise waiting for her on the table too.

The cake this time was a marzipan cake with dark chocolate glaze.

My little Easter tree took center stage...

Our theme was chosen by Bep this time and was Greek. I made Gemista which are stuffed red peppers. Bep brought a Greek potato dish and Saskia a salad.

We have started our third pillow which is the word "Natale". This tree has the word "Christmas" in English, French and Italian. We now have another date coming in June to look forward to.

There really is nothing like stitching together with friends! I wish I could invite all of you blogging friends over.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Farmer's life.....

With our work in the garden these last couple of months, it feels a little like a farmer's life here. Jos and I pulled out old wire fencing along the side of the garden this week. We still have the back section to pull out and that will look much neater. Worked was delayed in one area when Jos discovered Mrs. Tiggy Winkle (a hedgehog) hiding in the bamboo on one side that fences our garden off from the neighbors. We left her to rest from the shock of Jos hacking away at the roots.

Tonight it is our monthly quilt evening though so I will be inside with the other ladies being inspired by each other's work.

The newsletter is printed and ready but while I set up the extra seating in the studio, I thought I would stop in to show you this month's block from the sampler.

If you remember from my previous post (click here to read), I am already sewing my blocks together which is why this looks like a strange way to lay them. I had to lay one of the blocks on the other three which are already in place. I am anxious as I do not have many to go on this sampler before I concentrate on the remaining blocks in red colorways for a second sampler for my mother.

Isn't there something special about painting depicting farm life in ages long past? Even in the midst of hard work, there seems something joyous and serene about that life. I remember once on an Amish farm I toured that the Amish woman said they felt sorry for the English as they had too many things to worry about in their modern lives. Their Amish farm life was hard work but they just got on with life. I think that is what this hard work in the photo is saying to me.

"There are only three seasons for farmers:

before harvest, harvest and after harvest."

~ farm saying

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The ABCs of flowers.....

Tomorrow is the start of our new part of the SAL sampler aux bouquets so time to share the finished section with you once again. Look at one of the reasons why I could not resist stitching this design.....

My favorite things on any design are alphabets and houses. This was a fun alphabet to stitch. Now I have put it aside for a few days when I finished it to work on some other projects. I like the assignments as they give you time to do other things too and yet feel as though you will have this done before you know it. The best of both worlds.

"I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet."

~ Author Unknown