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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Embroidered Pillow Lilacs and Roses

March came in like a lion and it looks like it's going out like a lamb.  The lion didn't stay very long!  It's been exceptionally warm up until a few days ago.  Spring came early and I'm okay with that!  Right now, I'm looking out my window at the woods across the street and all the trees and bushes have that green haze on them.  The tiny leaves have popped through and it's quite lovely to see!

I finished up my little embroidered pillow with the lilacs and roses:

Speaking of Spring, this is very Springy!  A perfect gift for mom for Mothers Day!

I was poking around on Etsy yesterday and found a cool little shop that has all sorts of things that would great to sew on crazy quilts.  TWPMango has tons of little crocheted flowers, buttons, appliques and other fun and unique little craft supplies. I ordered some little satin flowers and some sequined butterflies.  Do check that shop out!  I've found some other fun Etsy shops too so I'll share links to them periodically.

Friday, March 30, 2012

New Door Hanging Pillows

Although getting to stitch is pretty much what gets me out of my bed everyday, I do try to keep up with finishing my pieces into useable items.  The finishing is not my favorite part of the process but if we don't finish what we make into something useful, it doesn't do us or anyone else any good! 

I usually wait until I have 3 or 4 projects all ready to sew together and then I take a day and do them all at once. Here are 2 of my latest crazy patchwork quilt door hanging pillows:


I love both of these but that pink and yellow one is so bright and cheerful!  Just looking at it boosts my mood!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

ORTS And Birds Nests

I spent my day yesterday finishing up on my latest projects.  Here is my Bunny Pillow all finished:

I'm so pleased with this!  The little basket was a pin that I had in my stash.  I don't know where I got it.  Maybe at a flea market in a bag of bits and pieces!

My other projects are all sewed up too.  I stuffed them last night after dinner and just have to sew the little butts shut on them.  I'll have photos of those soon!

In the meantime, my ORTS jar was full!  If you're not familiar with ORTS, it stands for "Old Raggedy Threads".  Basically, I toss my short pieces of thread into a jar rather than just throwing them away. 

I actually save all sorts of my cutoffs in my ORTS jar.  Bits of satin ribbon, silk ribbon, tiny pieces of lace and some of the scraps of sheer and fancy fabrics that are too small to do anything else with.

So what do I do with these little scraps? 

Well, this time of year, I put them out for the Robin's to use in their nests!  Using my cutting board and my rotary cutter, I chop them up into teeny, tiny pieces:


I do mean teeny, tiny!  I don't want the birds feet to get all tangled up in threads and fabrics that are too long.  I try to cut them so that everything is 1 inch or less.  It's a lot of chopping! 

I put everything back in the jar when I'm done:

And then I sprinkle it around the lawn in my backyard and I wait for the Robin's to come and take it for their nests!

In previous years, I've seen the Robin's take my little scraps.  Imagine baby birds, all soft and warm in their nests made with these tiny throw away pieces of fabrics and threads!

I think I'll use my next jarful to make some fabric sheets for my crazy quilts.

Helpful Hint:  to clean your cutting board, use a lint roller or some making tape.  That'll take those "left behind" pieces right off!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pink and Yellow Embroidery

I didn't have much on my "to do" list for yesterday.  Yes, I have a list a mile long but other than updating a few things on my computer, I pretty much took it easy and stitched most of the day.  Here is my latest crazy quilt piece:

Pink and yellow embroidery is so cheerful, isn't it?  Very happy looking!

This piece started with the embroidered motif from a vintage hankie.  Then I had an "s" shaped beaded applique that I took off of a flea market wedding dress I bought last Summer.  (A wedding dress loaded with beaded appliques for only $5.00!)   I cut it in half and used it to create a heart shape around the floral hankie piece.

There was a little flat area on the top right of the heart.  The perfect space for a little bird.  Using my waste canvas technique, I cross stitched one of my own little bird designs on to fill that space.  I used 8.5 count waste canvas and DMC #5 Perle Cotton. 

Yes, this will be another little hanging pillow.

In other news, Betty Pillsbury, an absolutely incredible crazy quilter and herbalist, has put together several YouTube Videos on working with embroidery floss and how to avoid knots and kanoodles!  Please hop over to Betty's YouTube page for these "working with embroidery floss helpful hints"!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easter Pillow

Yesterday was not as warm as it has been.  But that's okay.  I sat on my deck for a little while but the wind was quite chilly so I focused on getting my Easter Pillow finished:

A very Springy garden, isn't it?

I have 4 projects now that need finishing so I'm planning on doing some sewing either later today or tomorrow.

Whenever I finish a crazy quilt project, Scott always asks me if it reached "weight requirements".  LOL!!!  Yes, I use a lot of embellishments so my cq pieces are quite heavy!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bunny Pillow

I did a lot yesterday despite not feeling particularly well.  I made some muffins, took my garden window apart and cleaned it, washed my kitchen valences and rehung those and walked a mile and 1/2 with my neighbor Peggy.  Then I took easy and did some stitching.  This is an update on my crazy quilt bunny pillow:

I'll probably finish this up today.

A final note on sharing content.  In regards to my recent discussions on Pinterest and copyright infringement, I would like to let everyone know that it's absolutely okay to share content on social networks.  But there's a right way and wrong to do it.

Sharing cool websites and articles is what the internet is all about.  Without sharing, bloggers wouldn't have readers, shop owners wouldn't have much in the way of customers, so on and so forth!  It's an important part having fun online.

The best way to share content to social networks is to use the "share" button.  Here on my blog, you can find it at the top of the page.  If you use Facebook, Twitter or Stumbleupon, just click that share button and when it's posted to the chosen social network, a link back to the source site is always included.  That's the key to legal and proper sharing of content.  Always be sure that there is a clickable link back to the source.  That was part problem with Pinterest.  With the sharing and re-sharing of photos, the link to the source was quite often lost.

Personally, I encourage legal sharing of content.  Feel free to share the links to my tutorials and blog posts!  How can anyone else find the information useful of people don't share?  Most sites have those share buttons on them.  Just use those and you're okay!

Oh, and then there's my shops.  Maybe people get tired of me constantly plugging my shops. It's my income.  It's how I make my money.  At this time in my life, it's the only way I can make money.  Again, I'm okay with anyone who wants to share links to items in my shops.  I need all the help I can get!  There is a share button in the sidebar on my Kitty & Me website and Etsy provides share buttons for Twitter and Facebook as well.  Please feel free to share using those share buttons!

The internet is a lot of fun and it's supposed to be.  But as with anything else, there has to be a few rules or guidelines.  Without those, it's a free for all and that takes the fun out of it.  Let's have fun and let's share.  Let's just do it the fair and proper way!

Here is the link for the Add This Share Button in case you would like to put it on your blog or website.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

No Pin Code

Although I've had several  kind and understanding people contact me regarding my concerns about Pinterest and copyright infringement, I've also run into a lot of opposition on the subject.  A LOT!

May I say that just because it's on the internet, does not mean that it's free for the taking!  It seems to me that some people don't understand what copyright means or they don't care.  In most cases, it's that they don't care.

I won't get myself or you all worked up with this issue.  I spent years chasing the copyrights for my cross stitch designs all over the internet.  These included patterns that I had for sale, patterns that were published in magazines and books and patterns that I offered for free.  As you know, I no longer sell my cross stitch patterns and I've deleted every free pattern (with the exception of one) that I've ever offered because I got tired of finding them on other peoples sites.  And there was no reason for it!  All anyone ever had to do was to link to my blog.  Well, too bad now!

With all that said, if you would like the instructions on how to add a "no pin" code to your blog, please hop over to Sharon B's Pintangle Blog.  It's very easy to do and I have already added the code to this blog.  You can also find a link at Sharon's blog on how to keep your Flickr photos from being pinned.  I've left Sharon a message asking if she knows where to add the code to my website (I have a little trouble with HTML) and if she's aware of anyway to keep my content at Etsy from being shared.

For those of you on Facebook, no worries there!  Facebook already has a "no pin" code installed on their site.  Photos on Facebook can not be pinned on Pinterest.  At least not at this time.

So in other news, I've been stitching on my bunny pillow:

Other than a bit of cleaning and laundry today, I'm planning on having a good amount of stitching time so we'll see where it goes!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pinterest and Copyright Issues

It has come to my attention, that the website Pinterest has policies that are quite controversial regarding copyright issues.

They claim that all photos pinned gives them the right to use those photos as they choose.  Well, I'm not sure how they can make this claim a policy because people are pinning photos from all over the internet without permission from the copyright holder's.

I confess, I have enjoyed Pinterest for several months now and thought of it as a social network as well as an indirect way to promote my blog, website and Etsy shop however, it's a dangerous situation.  It never occurred to me that my copyrights were being infringed upon.  Please note:  I own the copyrights on all photos posted here on my blog, on my website, in my Flickr albums and on my Etsy shop!

If I post photos from anyone else's website here on my blog, I always ask for permission and I always include a link to the source site!  Not only is this the "legal" way of doing things, it's also proper etiquette.

I will be removing my boards from Pinterest momentarily and I would like to ask that if any of my photos are on your boards, please remove them as soon as possible.

I would like to point you in the direction of Sharon B's Pintangle blog.  Sharon has posted an indepth discussion on the subject of Pinterest and the copyright implications of using the site.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Easter Bunny Stitching

I spent a few days earlier this week running my sewing machine.  I piece a bunch of small crazy quilt blocks so now I have a nice pile of things to stitch on.

I thought I'd do one more little Easter Bunny project:

And here are some of the trims that I pulled for it:

I hand painted the lace flower piece yesterday.  I'll cut it apart and use the flowers individually.  I'm going to sit here now and work on this for a little while before I straighten up the house and go over to mom's for awhile.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Magnolia Tree

Oh, the weather here is just gorgeous!  It's been the warmest March ever and although it feels a bit odd, I'm not complaining!

My Magnolia Tree is blooming.  It smells good and it's beautiful:

When I sit on my deck, this is what I get to see!  My grandmother loved Magnolias.  When I was little, my grandfather planted a Magnolia tree for her outside the picture window in their kitchen.  Grandma was so excited about this tree, that she had a party to celebrate it! 

We bought our house here in early March of 1993.  When we bought it, I had no idea that this tree was a Magnolia.  When it bloomed that first April, I was just thrilled!  It was something to remind me of my grandmother who passed away when I was 14.  Every year when it blooms, I think of her. We almost lost it a few years ago but thankfully, Scott was able to bring it back.

In other news, I finished up stitching on my little basket of kittens:

This design is from my collection of vintage Vogart embroidery patterns.  I love this design and have now stitched it twice!

I have 3 pieces now all ready to sew together which I'm planning on doing over the weekend.  Stop by again to see some new hanging pillows!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy First Day of Spring!

It's official!  Today is the first day of Spring!  I've had a hard time tearing myself away from my deck lately.  It's been so beautiful outside lately.  I picked my first Daffodils of the season yesterday and put them in a little Jadite vase in my garden window.  The grass is green now and my Magnolia tree is blooming.  Since when does that happen in March?  I'll try to get a picture of it today.  We almost lost it a few years ago but my dear husband and his green thumb, managed to bring it back and it's just beautiful!

I started stitching on this little embroidered piece yesterday:

It's a little hard to see the markings.  Two little kittens sitting in a basket of flowers.  This is an old Vogart pattern.  I've been collecting vintage embroidery iron-transfers for years and years! I find them at flea markets and antique shops.  I've gotten a few from Ebay and Etsy too.  I have so many now, it's hard to find ones that I don't have!  Anyway, I expect to finish this up today.  I may run my sewing machine a bit too.  I want to sew some more crazy quilt blocks and I have a few things to finish.

It's a little hard to type now because Lucy has draped herself across my computer again!  CATS!!! 

Happy Spring everyone!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Small Floral Crazy Quilt

I spent a lot of time outside this weekend.  The weather has been beautiful!  We washed the bedroom windows yesterday and I hung some new lace valences that I bought a couple of weeks ago.  Next weekend, we'll be doing the kitchen windows and the glass doors.

Despite having a difficult time tearing myself away from my deck, I managed to stitch up this small crazy quilt piece:

I pulled a few more small projects to work on but haven't decided what to do first.  Be sure to stop by tomorrow to see what I decided on!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Little Pieces Of Cake!

I mentioned the other day that I finished up my crazy quilt hanging pillows with the little baskets:



These are so pretty, aren't they?  To me, they look like little pieces of cake!

And here is mom's latest hanging pillow with pink roses:

I picked up the vintage hankie for her at the Flea Market last weekend.  I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with the other hankies I found!

All of these little pillows are in the boutique now!

We're having us another gorgeous day today!  I left the bedroom windows open last night and woke up to the sound of the Robin's singing.  That has to be one of my favorite sounds!  I could listen to Robins singing all day, every day!

Today is a "stay at home" day.  Scott is going to Swap Meet.  It's a car thing.  I'm going to stay home and putz.  Do some laundry, straighten some more things up.  Seems like a perpetual thing for me but I think I like doing that!  And I definitely want some time on my deck.  Can't wait till I can plant some flowers out there!

Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Embroidered Basket

I finished up my little embroidered basket yesterday morning:

It's been so nice outside all week.  I like to sit on my deck and stitch but it's a little hard to take crazy quilting supplies out there so instead, I take simple embroidery pieces out there.  I'll sew this into a door pillow during the week.

I took my vintage embroidery pattern collection over to mom's yesterday and we sat and looked through them all and pulled some for new projects.  We have lot's of pretty new things to come!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Another Gorgeous Day!

We have the weirdest weather in the Chicago area!  Since when is 75 degrees here in the middle of March?  But I'm not complaining!  I love it.  I've been walking with my neighbor Peggy every day, sitting out on my deck and having my windows open for the fresh air.

I did stitch yesterday but I didn't quite finish up on my embroidered basket piece.  For now, I'll share photos of my mom's newest door hanging pillows:


Door pillows seems to be the direction that mom and I are moving in with our shop.  They sell well and we love making them!  Always have!  And who doesn't have at least 1 door knob?  LOL!

The rose is already sold but the yellow daisies hanging pillow is still available.

I did finish up on my little basket crazy quilt pieces.  They're so pretty!  They look like little pieces of cake!  I'll post photos over the weekend.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Embroidering On The Deck

Yesterday was gorgeous!  Sunny and warm.  I have things growing in my yard and there are Robin's everywhere!  I spent some time yesterday afternoon, sitting out on my deck with a little embroidery design:

This is a basket filled with flowers.  I crayon tinted it.  The stitching lines are a little hard to see due to the camera flash.  I'm sure I'll have this finished up today.  It's a design from my vintage iron-on transfer collection.

I also spent a little time with my sewing machine yesterday.  Something I really enjoy!  What is it about the sound of that machine running?  And it doesn't matter if it's my electric machine or my treadle machine.  I love both of them.  The sound is so soothing on my nerves!

Anyway, I sewed up my little basket door pillows:

I just have to stuff these and do the hand finishing.  I think I'll do that before I run up to WalMart for a few things.

We have another nice day ahead so I plan to spend some more time out on my deck with my stitching.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Easter Baskets

Well, not really Easter Baskets but Spring Baskets!  I finished up my little pink crazy quilt basket block yesterday:

And here are all three together:

These feature vintage hankies that I got as a set a flea market a few years ago.  I'm going to try to sew these up today.  They'll be little hanging pillows.  I love making those!  And everyone has a door knob to hang something on!

And this piece is one of mom's stitched pieces:

I added this little Embroidered Basket Pillow to the shop yesterday.  Yes, Spring has sprung!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Easter Earrings

April showers bring May flowers.  I have no clue what March showers bring but it pretty much rained here all day yesterday.  Better rain than snow, right? 

My neighbor Peggy and I were able to do our 1 mile walk in between the raindrops so after that, I just stitched.  I finished up on my yellow crazy quilt hanging pillow:

And then I started stitching on the pink one:

Today is a stay at home day (I think) so I expect to finish up the stitching on it.

I also spent a little time listing some new earrings that Kathi made:


Chocolate Easter Bunnies and Easter Baskets with colored eggs!  I've never seen more elegant Easter Earrings anywhere!  They're in the shop!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nice Outside

It was so nice outside yesterday!  Warm, sunny and the Robins are already singing!  I didn't get any stitching done.  Instead, I sat on the deck for awhile and then out by the firepit where Bubba had a small bonfire going.

Since I don't have any updates for you on my current projects, I thought I'd share an oldie but a goody:

I made this crazy quilt purse a few years ago and it's still one of my favorites.  The vintage pin with the pansies in the center was the inspiration.  I thought the black would really make the brooch pop and it did!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Little Basket Crazy Quilts

Been doing some stitching on my little basket crazy quilt blocks.  Here's the blue one:

And I stitched on the yellow one for awhile yesterday:

The Flea Market and Antique Show in Grayslake Illinois is today.  I'll stitch on this for a little while before we go up there to walk around.  Maybe I'll find a goody or two.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

A Tisket A Tasket

A bunch of little baskets!  I thought I'd do a couple of little crazy quilts.  Door pillows actually.  I sewed these a few weeks back:



The little baskets are from a set of vintage hankies that I bought a few years back.

I started on the blue one last night:

These would make a really cute bellpull but I love making the little handing pillows.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The First Robin of Spring!

I finished up my custom block last night:

The photo is a little dark but if you click on the picture, you can see it close up.  I've already taken off the fabric strips that I had to sew to the edges to put it on my frame so it's ready to send back now.

I also finished up my little Pink Purse:

I had to kind of wing it with how to finish it.  The frame is different than the one used in the finishing directions that I have.  I basically had to glue the stitched piece into the frame using E6000 Jewelry Glue.  Then I glued a piece of braid over the edge inside the purse.  I should have taken a photo of that.  Anyway, it's fully lined and it's just too cute!  I used black Velveteen on the back and lined it with the little rose print that you see on the right hand side of the purse.

Finally for today, I saw my first Robin of Spring yesterday!!!!  Actually, I saw 2.  One on my way to WalMart and another on my way home from WalMart!

This is one of my all time favorite photographs.  This is Allison Aller with a little Robin the she rescued from her shed a few years ago.  Allie graciously gives me permission to post this photo every year when I see my first Robin of Spring!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Crazy Quilt Progress Photo

Well, my husband sent me a text message yesterday saying the saw 2 Robins!  I haven't seen any yet but I know I'll see one any day now!

I did quite a bit of stitching yesterday on my current crazy quilt project so here's an updated progress photo:

Today, I'll be finishing up the beading on the applique at the top.

I also added a few more of my mom's embroidered pillows to the shop yesterday:


They're so pretty!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Small Embroidered Pillows

I kept myself quite busy yesterday but I didn't get much stitching time in.  Looking back, I'm not really sure what I all did! 

I'm in the process of rearranging things here.  Cleaning out, organizing and updating.  I want to repaint my room where my big computer is and where I store my craft supplies.  I'm not one to have my supply room look like a supply room!  I'm trying to get it to the point where I can make myself a little stitching corner with a comfy chair and a nice lamp.  A place where I can sit and have peace and quiet.  So I know I did some more cleaning out and I did laundry and I baked some muffins and probably a bunch of stuff that I've already forgotten about!  LOL!

Anyway, here's an update on my current project.  I started the beading the lace applique on the bottom:

I'll be adding sequins to the leaves next.  I expect to have plenty of stitching time today so plan on seeing a really great progress photo tomorrow!

I also added a few more of my mom's handmade pillows to our Boutique yesterday:


I guess I did quite a few things yesterday!  Nothing that took large amounts of time but a lot of little things that all add up to a productive day!

BTW - does anyone want to take a guess as to what color I want to repaint my room? 
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