Saturday, September 24, 2011

Candy Dish Quilt Workshop

There is nothing more fun for a quilter than to get to sew for a full day with other quilters .....piles of fabrics, bags of equipment....rotary cutters, mats, rulers and the humming of Singer 201's all over the room.  BTW, we were commenting on the different sounds that come from each one.  They are charming little machines.  There was a group of 15 of us who spent the day with Heidi Kaisand, who many would know from her days as the past editor of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.  I have heard her speak on several different occasions over the years and have always enjoyed her very approachable and friendly demeanor.  I had never taken a class from her so Monday was the day to take advantage of that opportunity.

She shared more of her personal life with us on Monday night during her lecture about what to do after the quilt top is done....all the decisions that should go in to finishing your piece for the best results.  I learned we have several things in common besides quilting and memory keeping.  She also has iris from her grandma and she boasts her own 2 cylinder John Deere tractor that she has driven on the Great Iowa Tractor Drive.  Although I don't have my own put-put tractor as I like to call them.  My dad has restored his 530 out in the machine shed and the Silver Fox drives it with the grand kids.  I love the sound of those old tractors and we usually go to the 2-Cylinder Club show in Waterloo if we can.

She taught a fun kaleidoscope block with repro 30's prints that is just charming.  We used a Marti Michell ruler that I had not used before and of course had to buy that, to add to the ever growing speciality ruler inventory.  I brought my basket full of vintage 30's and 40's fabric pieces to work out of.  I thought this quilt just lent itself to those scraps.

The only issues with this takes a lot more speed cutting here.  These all came from my Grandma K and/or Great-Grandma W.  Then I have another fairly large basket full of larger pieces and yardage with quite a few solids among them.

This ruler has great markings on it to make up to 8" blocks...prompts you as to what size strips to cut.  Since I am doing scraps, I just need 1 straight edge and am cutting one piece at a time.  :)  I am making the 5" block.

Then using the other edge of the ruler and adding another ruler, then taking away the Kaleidoscope ruler, you have the straight edge to cut the strip for the corner triangles.

Using the other point of the ruler then cut the corner triangles from the strip you just cut.  Very slick!!!  The only thing I would add .....I like to add tape to my rulers to mark the line I am working from, so my eye doesn't have to hunt for the line for each cut.

Here are the pieces I got cut during the workshop and was able to sew pairs together, 1 light to 1 dark.

I sewed a group of 4 together just to have for show and tell during the guild meeting.  Most of the triangle corners are missing.  I will need to do them from the design wall, as all the triangle squares must be the same do need to do some planning when I get a bunch of the blocks made.  I will keep you posted as I get farther into this project.

Heidi shared about a new venture that she is in the process of working on......Hen & Chick Studio.  She recently purchased the building in Conrad, IA where the General Store was located.  She has remodeled it and added a retreat center on the second floor to house up to 20 people with showers and kitchen area.  She told about making the quilts from her huge stash for all 20 of the beds.  The retail space is in the lower level will include quilt making supplies, fabric, scrapbooking supplies, & a long-arm machine, so you can hire someone to finish your pieces for you.  I have included her link below for those who want to hear about her opening and what is going on in her life.

Thanks, Heidi, it was a fun day!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Felt Puzzles

I have been working to complete this series of felt puzzles for the grands.  They love these things and check out which one I have out when they come.  I just finished August and September.  They were the last ones I needed to finish.  Woo -hoo!!!  The September one has a school bag theme.....very cute.  You can find out more about these designs at My Fair Lady Designs.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Autumn Still Life

 I have glass shelves above my kitchen sink.  So I  place some of my favorite things there to look at each day.  I just noticed the photographer in the pic.....ha!!  I did the cross stitch scarecrow several years ago and have him stuck in a mini bale of straw. Also a mini vintage turkey planter that I did an arrangement in and raised it up a bit with a piece of Jewel Tea.

I did the machine embroidered turkey last fall.....  stitched out two of them and reversed one so I could hook them together back to back with a dowel in between the layers and used a vintage spool of thread for a stand.  Another nest I found in the yard is placed in front of the Autumn book by Susan Branch.  If you have never heard of Susan Branch, you need to check out the link under my favorite blogs.  I have loved her books and art work since she wrote her first book maybe 20 years ago.  She hand writes and hand watercolors the pages, which are full of recipes, decorating ideas, quotes and pure wonderfulness.

My Jewel Tea dishes are straight from my Grandma K's cupboard to me.  She gave them to me when I was first married.  They had been her everyday dishes for many years and I remember eating from them as a kid.  I get them out in the fall to display and use for a couple months.

 I stacked the Jewel Tea dishes with a stack of Longaberger leaf plates all ready to serve.

My granddaughter and I went for a short walk the other day and found this "flower" in the ditch.  I don't know what it is, maybe goldenrod???  Anyway we picked a handful of it and put it in this vase.  The color has dulled some, but it looks like it will dry beautifully.  The vase is very old.....from Great Grandma W.....used one of my fall quilts as a table covering and a cross stitch sampler from 1980.  That is probably considered vintage..... isn't that special!!!

I really like using various/ interesting containers and doing arrangements in them.  This wooden barrel has been all over the house.  I put it some where different every year.  I used another fall leaf quilt on the table with a couple vintage books.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Crazy Quilt Wedding Purse

I love to do crazy quilt projects.  On one of my sewing lists, awhile back, we were talking about wedding purses and I promised to post about the one I had done for one of my girls.  These projects are such fun to do and I love using pieces from my grandmother's stash of lace, bits of crochet pieces and fabrics.

This purse includes fabric from my wedding dress, my daughter's prom dress, my mother's stash.  It also includes lace and crochet snippets from my Grandma K. and her mother, Great-Grandma W.

The back of the purse, showing buttons, ribbon and crystals.

  This views shows the purse open and some of the crochet pieces.  Both my Grandma and Great-Grandma would crochet out small parts of a design before committing to entire projects.  So I have bags full of these small bits and pieces and love using them in small projects.

You can see this is a very easy shape.  One you could easily draw out.....a rectangle with one edge curved to make a flap.  I am sure I used a piece of muslin as a base and I just covered it with my crazy quilting fabrics, lace, etc.    Trim any fabric or lace to the finished shape of the muslin.  Add an optional ribbon or cord for a handle before adding the lining.  Then using a piece of satin to line it, stitch it together with right sides together, leaving an opening to turn.  After turning the piece and stitching the opening closed.  I hand stitched the bag together to make the bag shape and checking to make sure I like the way the flap comes down to close it.  Then adding a snap to close the bag and any other embellishments you want to add to finish.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Autumn is Here

I finally have gotten most of my autumn decoration out and my patriotic things put away.  My grand-daughter, Kate Anne was a great help with that the other day.  She liked putting all my vintage candle figures out on my dining room table and hanging ornaments on the tree.  Then we put the "little people" autumn play sets under the tree.  She had to stop and play with them after we got them out.  :)  I gave away all my Halloween decorations to my girls a couple years ago.  I decided I didn't want to take the time to change my decorations from October to November.  So I just kept my general "fall" things and let my girls and grand-kids enjoy the Halloween things.

The squirrel is from my Grandma Kullmer.  There is a pair of them and she had them out every fall.  The wax turkey was either from one of my grandmothers or my mother-in-law.  They all seemed to collect these wax candles for various holidays.  I went to a friend's garage sale yesterday and she had several of these for $20-40 each.  I have a whole table full of these things.  :)  The ceramic turkey was made by my Grandma Thedens.  The brown toile tablecloth & table runner I made several years ago.
Looking down the seats 14.  BTW, that is just enough room for the grand-kids minus one.  At family celebrations we feed the kids first, clear the table, then the adults eat while the kids play or watch a movie.

These turkey trays were found in my Grandma Kullmer's house.  I had never seen them before and I loved them immediately.  There are 8 of them and I lay them out on the table to enjoy.  I am sure either she or her mother used them when they had their lady's circles and club meetings.

My friend, Mary had her annual garage sale yesterday.  It is not like any garage sale I have ever been to before.  It is pretty much like going to an antique store.  EVERYTHING she has I love.  The trouble is I have so much of my own....I need NOTHING.  But I did come home with a hand full of vintage postcards.  I bought all the thanksgiving postcards she had.  I have a vintage postcard display book and I try and fill the two page spreads with postcards from similar themes and then display it open in a stand.  You can see I NEED a couple more to fill this page.  :)  Thanks, Mary for letting me paw through your truly are a kindred spirit.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 Memorial

My heart goes out to those family and friends who were directly devastated by the horrible events of that day 10 years ago.  I pray that each person finds the courage to continue on as their loved-one would wish for them each day.  This is such a vivid reminder to each one of us to live our lives with no regrets, doing those things that are meaningful and significant.  And most importantly loving our family and friends, while making sure they know of their importance in our lives.

I have a special date book that I write significant dates for our family and this was
the entry from that horrific day.

This little cross stitch piece I worked on while we were traveling on vacation.  I love the charms.  My dad cut down a vintage frame to fit it and I just put it together the other day.  It will be ready to hang next year when I get my patriotic decorations out.  It certainly makes for an appropriate memorial piece.  I love the blue stripe in the frame and the serendipity of it....that I would even have a frame like this in my stash of old frames.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Blog Vacation

Well everyone,

I had no plans to be away this long, but life sort got coo-coo-ka-choo as one of my daughters often says.

Since I last wrote you, we hosted Cousin's Camp 2011 for 14 of the grandkids.

You can see the hats I did for each of them.  They were the bucket style that I bought at the local $ store and then machine embroidered their names on them.  They love all the CC equipment, I usually do hats, bags, name tags or badges and drinking cups of some kind WITH lids.  :)

I had just enough time to do all the laundry, get the lawn mowed and pack.....we left for a 2 1/2 week road trip east to Indiana & Pennsylvania, where we stayed with family, then on to New Jersey where we stay with friends.  We included stops in Somerset Co., PA doing genealogy,

a day hiking Bushkill Falls, 

Gettysburg, Antietam & Harper's Ferry Civil War Sites,

then Philly & Independence Hall, Liberty Bell & the Betsey Ross House.  

On to NJ and side trips to the Cape May and the Jersey shore and another day at Ellis Island and Liberty Island.

We absolutely LOVED everything we saw and did.  It was an American history lover's dream vacation.
I was home just long enough to do some laundry and get in some last minute time with some of the grandkiddos before they started back to school.  Then I headed off to one of my daughter's who was in the process of packing to move to Chattanooga, TN.  I wanted to help her out a bit and spend some time with her and the girls before they left.

So that is what I have been up too and why I have not written lately.  I just changed my house over to fall last hopefully I will get some pictures posted soon.

Good bye summer....Welcome Fall!!!