Sunday, September 30, 2018

Even more handwork…..

Since I have now decided that handwork can be fun, I realized that it was time for me to get my thread and bead supplies organized.  After looking at lots of options, I finally decided to use cardboard “Floss Bobbins” and spent MANY, MANY nights sitting in front of the TV and winding bobbins.

Then I had to find something to store them in!!   A friend had mentioned that Harbor Freight had tons of storage items so I went shopping and came home with the perfect solution……


Isn’t all of that color scrumptious!!!

Next, I needed to figure out how to store my beads so that they were easily accessible.   Previously I had them stored in small plastic bags but it was way too hard to find what I wanted AND then I still had to pour them out into something to be able to use them.   SO, back to Harbor Freight I went and came home with boxes that each held 24 smaller snap-closure boxes…..IMG_6489


Now, I am currently working on another “secret-ish” project and am having a great time working with my hands.   I based the idea on Cleo’s quilt project by fusing a 1.5 inch circle in the middle of a 4 inch square and then adding embellishments.    Here are a few of my favorites so far…..IMG_6491



I am SUPER happy with how they are looking and am truly enjoying using thread and needle again!! 

This has also been a good project while my shoulder is recuperating.   I have had very little pain and every PT session allows me to move my arm more freely, but there is still quite a way to go before I can return to all of my tasks…..especially machine quilting!!  So for now I am content with handwork and a little bit of strip piecing.

AND, I am already thinking about what I want to work on next!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Handwork is fun…..who knew!!

As I mentioned in the last post, my Creative Group has been working on a handwork round robin.  Since they are still in process, I can’t show you full photos, but maybe can show a few highlights of what I have seen (and done) so far.

The first project that I received was Brenda’s……IMG_5340

She went with classic crazy quilt blocks… for each of the 8 of us.  She also provided a large box of Perle cottons.

It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to do but I finally just dove in and started stitching!!IMG_5365

It was a bit nerve racking, but in the end I was happy with my block.

Next I received Cleo’s piece.   It started out like this…..IMG_5281

….with the idea that each of us would decorate 2, 3 or more of the squares. I really enjoyed this project and found it easier to figure out what to do and get started on it…..IMG_5493

Next was Denise’s project and this is the one that I had been dreading most!!  She presented it to us like this…..IMG_5279

….with the thought that it was a marsh scene.   It think that everyone in the group took a sharp breath when we saw what we were going to be working with! 

Interestingly, when I got it, I immediately knew what I wanted to add….IMG_5530

It was fun to look thru my threads to find something that would look like tree moss…..IMG_5527

I received Fay’s as soon as we returned from China and unfortunately, I managed to hand it off (THIS MORNING) without taking a photo of it!!!    This is what she gave us…..IMG_5278

….a simple embroidery outline.  When it came to me, I embroidered the two smaller flower/leaves.  I think that this will be a really fun piece when it is finished.

The latest project that I have received was from Linda and I had been looking forward to it…..IMG_5277

Several fun things had already been added but I felt like the trailer  was floating off of the ground and needed to be grounded so I added touches that would do just that…..IMG_6471

It has been interesting that each project has been easier to start and even more fun to work.   I cant wait for the next two…..

Deb gave this to us…..IMG_5276

It should certainly be fun to play on!!!

And lastly, Ruhanna provided this Autumn offering….IMG_5275

As a result of this project, I have started my collection of Perle Cottons and cleaned up my other threads….but more about that in the next post!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Porto Wall Piecing

Two years ago we spent a month in Portugal, living in a small town outside of Porto.   Just before we left, I put together a “Millefiore” quilt to work on while we were traveling.  After working on it for a while, I realized that it was much too complicated for my limited handwork abilities!!   This was the point that I gave up on the project…..IMG_2593

It doesn’t look too bad in this photo but there are TONS of mistakes and I knew that I wasn’t going to be happy with it.

Anyway….back to Portugal…..  While I was walking around in Vila Do Conde (the small village that we were living in), I saw this wonderful wall….IMG_4845

…and thought that it would be a fun paper piecing exercise. 

About a year ago I put that thought into action and prepared a pattern…..IMG_3396

….and pulled fabrics…..IMG_3397

….. and started the piecing process.   I really enjoyed the hand work but had NO idea what this was going to be used for!!!!!IMG_5053

Then our Creative Group came up with the idea of doing round robin quilts using only handwork….a VERY scary idea for a few of us!!!    I decided to take this already started project and use it as the basis for my round robin quilt.

As I looked at it with a project in mind, I drew in some “grouting” lines to give more definition to the stones. IMG_5210

The next step was to add a ledge to the top of the wall and a base for the bottom….


But there was one thing bothering me….. The stones didn’t have the correct look as there wasn’t enough continuity in color.   So, I did what I often do and pulled out my paints and sponged the stones with a grey wash…..IMG_5212

It really helped!!!

But as I started laying out the quilt, I decided that the wall needed to be shorter, so I moved the base up and cut off even MORE of my careful hand piecing!!!IMG_5232

I had planned to add a tree behind the wall and ended up drawing it in.   This is what I presented to the group…..IMG_5237

I cant wait to see what everybody adds to it with applique, embroidery and/or beading!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Look what I can do….

OK…. yesterday….day one of my recovery… it’s 745 in the morning….. and I am bored… Already.

So, what’s a girl to do? Go upstairs to the studio of course!

I had organized a scrap, strip quilt in the days before my surgery and found that I can actually sew with my left hand!!IMG_6445

Lining up the fabrics was a little hard but once the nerve block wore off and I had full feeling in my right hand it was much easier.  Overall the experience worked well.

I did make one concession to having to use my left hand and switched to my travel iron which is much smaller and easier to handle with my non-dominate hand…..


Now I’m wondering what I’m gonna do when I finish sewing the strips together since I know that I won’t be cutting for a while. I’m already thinking about my boxes of 2 1/2 inch squares and other precut pieces that I could just start playing with.

This recovery time may actually be a creative time

Friday, September 7, 2018

Step right up and see the amazing Bovine Woman!!!

Yes, I can officially say that I am a cow…. Yesterday’s Rotator-Cuff surgery ended up being a bit more extensive than planned but it is over now and I will definitely feel better….once I get out of the sling in 4 to 6 weeks. One of the things that the surgeon did was to insert a strip of bovine collagen that is supposed to help strengthen the shoulder tissue. So you see, I am now part cow.

During one of my wakeful periods last night, I started thinking about this phenomenon and had a good giggle remembering how my father felt about his cows. He loved them like pets and I think he would be happy to know that I am now “part bovine”.

As I thought more about him, I was reminded of a photo that I had come across at my Mom’s house in which my dad is pictured feeding one of his favorite cows……2013_08_27_12_14_46

And, the idea for a new quilt was formed!

The photo quality isn’t great but hopefully I can crop it down and pull enough detail to make it look realistic.2013_08_27_12_14_46

I know that I will enjoy working on this reminder of my sweet Dad!!!!!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Starting over…..

Well it is official…..I have started over on the Henna Quilt!! 

After the last post, several people had some great thoughts and ideas.  One friend told me about Schmetz Super Non-Stick Needles, although they have horrible reviews on Amazon.   I had already cut out the center piece to try to salvage at least a part of the quilt so I didn’t have a chance to try them.  I did wash the center cut-out  but found that the spray didn’t wash out at all!!  This makes me VERY happy that I didn’t persevere with the original quilt as it would have been full of yucky spray!!

Another quilter suggested using “Leonis Water Erasable Marking pens”.   They were given high ratings on Amazon so I purchased a package to give them a try.


I found that I had enough of the top and backing fabric to start again, and once the markers and lightbox arrived, I went back to marking the quilt.

As I had mentioned, this time I ironed freezer paper to the back of the fabric and then taped the freezer paper to the pattern so everything was very stable as I started to re-draw the pattern.

I will say that I really like the marking pen.   The tip is firm and stayed that way for the entire time that I was marking.   IMG_6425

I also like the fine point tip.   The lines seem much clearer than the previous tracing had allowed.

So… I wait until I can get back to the tracing and then back to the machine.   I have had a couple of new ideas about how to fill in the areas around the circles so maybe this wait is a good thing.

In the meantime, College football is back in full swing and Michael and I enjoyed our first University of Georgia game yesterday…..  GOOOOOO DAWGS!!!IMG_6421

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