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Monday, March 31, 2014

I Think It's Spring!

I think it's about 60 degrees outside but quite windy.  Most of the snow that accumulated over the Winter is gone.  The Robins sing like crazy in the morning and I noticed yesterday that I have tulips starting to peek out the ground.  I think it's Spring!  At least for today!!!

And speaking of Spring, I thought I'd share this pretty Easter Bunny Hanging Decoration that Mom made from a vintage quilt:

Mom hand appliqued that little bunny on!  Excellent work for someone with limited vision!

I've been stitching on my yellow Crazy Quilt block and have an update photo today:

The seam treatments are all from my Elegant Crazy Quilt Seam Treatment books.  I have one more seam to stitch and then I can add beads and sequins!




Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Color Yellow

I finished up my block for the 2015 Crazy Quilt Calendar that I'll be publishing later this year.  I've taken photos and sent them off to Jason, my editor.  Since he works full time, I want to send him the projects as soon as they're ready to give him as much time as possible to put things together.

I'm so excited about this project.  I have the loveliest contributors, Crazy Quilt artists who do absolutely stunning work so this calendar will be pure, concentrated eye candy!  Stay tuned for updates!

My friend Michelle suggested that I do something yellow.  I don't know why but I don't do a lot of yellow projects.  It's not that I don't like yellow.  It's a very happy color!  So the other day when I had some free time, I pieced a few Crazy Quilt blocks and one of them is....yes, yellow!

The rose piece in the center is from my collection of vintage hankies.  I'll start stitching on this later this evening.

I don't think I'll have time for a blog post tomorrow.  I'm going to go and visit my aunt for awhile.  I'll be back on Monday with an update on this block.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Color Palettes and Combinations

Since I'm working on a project that I can't share at the moment, I thought I'd offer a suggestion for anyone who struggles with choosing color palettes and color combinations.  Whether you're a crazy quilter or a sane quilter, you might find this helpful!

Ya'll know I love Pinterest!  Yes, it's a time consumer so I try to put a limit on how long I spend there but it does have it's benefits!

I've put together a board for Color Palettes:

Color Palettes
Even if you don't struggle with color combinations for your quilts, you might enjoy finding some new color combinations.  Or you might just enjoy looking at the pins.  They're really pretty.

I know that choosing a palette can be overwhelming, especially to someone who is new to crazy or sane quilting so please hop on over and see if this board gives you any ideas!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Seashell Cellphone Pouch

I finished up the stitching on my little Seashell Cellphone Pouch:

This is a gift for my dear friend Lula.  Her birthday is coming up in April.  I should be able to sew it together in the next day or two.

I started my block for the 2015 Crazy Quilt calendar but I can't share any photos.  When I get that finished, I'm thinking of making a couple of clutch purses.  I picked up some purse frames when I was at JoAnn's last week.  I have to get to piecing for those so I have something to stitch on when I get my calendar block done!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sharing Finishes

After picking up some groceries and collecting some of the trash that blew into the yard this past Winter, I spent the afternoon photographing some new finishes by Kathi, mom and myself.  I better remember to charge the camera battery now!

Kathi made these sweet little Cat Earrings:


And mom made some more little Easter Bunny Dolls from vintage quilts:





And I finally have photos of my latest Crazy Quilt Purses:

I crocheted the trim at the top of each purse.  I though it would be fun to make these a little differently than I've done my purses in the past!

Last but not least, I finished up this little blue cat doll:

I have a friend who needs a hug so I'm going to send this one to her.

I'm off to make some salad and cut up some strawberries.  I just made a meatloaf and Scott is cooking it on the grill.  I have no idea how that's going to taste but I guess we'll find out.  He's as bad as me.  He just can't wait to get outside!













Saturday, March 22, 2014

2015 Crazy Quilt Calendar

Today's post will be just a bit of babble I'm afraid.  I had hoped to have some photos to share but I just haven't been able to accomplish much the past few days.  My phone line was down again yesterday so I spent another 20 minutes pushing buttons on my cellphone trying to get someone from the phone company out here to fix it once and for all.  Why is it you can never just get a real person to talk to?  Anyway, it seems to be good now.  But stuff like that throws me for a loop and then it takes me awhile to settle down and focus again.



I do expect to have some photos tomorrow. I finished up my purses and I have some new things from mom and Kathi to share.  Hopefully I can get all that done tomorrow.

I'm working on my tutorial for the next issue of Crazy Quilt Gatherings magazine.  Just about done with that and hope to get it all typed up next week.

I'm still working on organizing my bead cart.  I'm a very neat person so I don't know how it got so messy!   I think I just get into stitching and forget to take the time to neaten things up and then all of a sudden, I have what feels like an overwhelming, disorganized mess.  But I'm about 1/2 done with my beads.  I had to stop at Michael's this morning for a few more packages of tiny zip lock bags.  It had to be Michael's because I had a coupon.  Remember what I said about craft stores and coupons!  Always, take a coupon with you!

I thought I'd talk a little more about my 2015 Crazy Quilt Calendar.  I invited 12 crazy quilt artists to contribute a block.  Obviously, 1 artist for each month and then I'll do a design as well.  I asked each artist for a specific theme based on their unique style of crazy quilting and I think it'll be fun to see the interpretations as the designs come in.  I plan to release the calendar at Magcloud on September 1st this year. 

The purpose of this project is to help promote crazy quilting, to promote the individual artists that I invited and to offer a calendar with pure, beautiful, crazy quilt eye candy!  I promise, the eye candy will be amazing!  I will include bios for each CQ artist as well as links to their blogs, Etsy shops and any other links that they would like me to include.

Well, I guess I'll get offline now and finish up my tutorial and then work on my beads some more.  I'll be starting my block for the calendar in another day or so too.  Lots of fun things are going on!  Oh yes, and Flea Market season starts next month!  Oh, how I love Flea Market season!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cutting Fabric Pieces

I spent my morning getting my latest purse blocks all ready to sew together.  I pulled lining and backing fabric and have everything measured out and cut.  Tomorrow, after my chores of course, I will sew these together:


I also have this little cat doll to sew up:

Also, while I had my fabrics out, well some of them, I sewed up this block:

My very dear and long time friend Lula has a birthday coming up in April.  She loves her I Phone!  So I thought I'd make her a cellphone pouch.  Years ago, Lula sent me a little embellishment pack from Embellishment Village.  Are they still in business?  It's been so long since I've been to a Quilt Show that I have no clue anymore!  Anyway, the little kit is for making a seascape so I'm going to use it on this block.

I also (on my beloved treadle machine) pieced my block for my 2015 Crazy Quilt Calendar.  I can't share that one though.  I asked everyone to keep their blocks a secret until the calendar is released.  Yes, typical publisher!  But that's how it works and that's how it's always been.

So for now, I'm going to get offline and go stitch.



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Stitching, Rearranging And Planning

I've been busy the past few days, stitching, rearranging and making plans.  Taking over Pat Winter's beautiful Crazy Quilt Gatherings magazine is giving me a fresh start.  As I mentioned, I'm planning on buying a new computer this Summer and I'm going to repaint my little room pink and decorate it with roses.

I'm trying to reorganize my stash a bit.  I want to make room for a stitching chair and stitching lamp in one corner.  That way, when Bubba wants to watch football, I can come in here and stitch and listen to music or watch a movie.

This room is only 9 1/2 foot square.  It's tiny so it'll be a challenge to contain my stash but I think with an all in one scanner/printer, a small computer (be it a laptop or desktop) and a small corner desk, I should be able to manage.

I like small spaces.  I like the coziness and I never did want my work room to look like a work room but it's become a challenge because quite honestly, I love my craft supplies!

I took yesterday off, printed up a coupon for JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby and Michael's.  I got all dressed up in a nice sweater, my St Patricks Day earrings that my sister made for me, my real pearls that my aunt and my cousin gave me for my birthday, put on my beautiful faux fur coat, grabbed my Lord Of The Dance CD and took myself shopping in my new little car.         

I needed some large snaps for my most recent purses which I need to sew together but I honestly didn't need anything else.  Other than getting out and getting some fresh air.  Trust me though, I found something in each store to use my coupons on!

When I was all done, I took myself to McDonald's, bought a large Shamrock shake and drove to the park by the lake, listened to my CD and enjoyed a peaceful 1/2 hour knowing that soon the weather will warm up and I can get out on my deck!

The robins are back!  Yes!!!!  Along with the grackles, the starlings, the cowbirds and the red-winged blackbirds.  The squirrels are eating like crazy and I'm starting to see them with nesting material so although it hasn't quite sprung yet, Spring is quite near!

Have I gotten chatty or what?  There are some days when I just don't know what to talk about so I post photos of my stitching and leave it at that.  And then other days, I can't seem to stop typing!

Well, before I go any further, and speaking of stitching, here is a photo of my Little Girl With The Seashell block:

That image is one of my favorites.  It's from the collection of Pat Winter.  I've always loved it and have wanted to do a purse design with it for quite some time!

I crocheted some trim for the bottom with gold palettes and I pulled out a vintage lace collar to use on the bottom.  I'm not sure the collar will work but I'm going to give it a try.  Will have to wait and see how it looks once I get this sewn together.


If this collar doesn't work, I have plenty of other vintage collars and lace pieces that I can use. 

In other news, I putting together a 2015 Crazy Quilt Calendar.  It'll be an eye candy calendar and although I'm not going to give any secrets away, I can tell you that it will be gorgeous and filled with the beautiful work of some wonderful crazy quilt artists!! 




Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spring One Day, Winter The Next

We were supposed to have a high of 37 today but it's only made it to 27.  Tomorrow they're calling for 54 degrees.  We'll see if that happens!  I did see a Robin today!!!  He was sitting in the tree across the street.  More and more will come now.  I hope!  No snow in our forecast for the next week and I'm okay with that!

I have a quick update on my Seashell Purse:

I'm trying to get my chores done so I can go work on this some more.  I love the colors!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Seashells and Baseball

I started adding lace to my newest purse project:

I love doing sea themed pieces.  I painted the lace appliques this morning but still have to sew them down.  I'll be stitching on this as soon as I get done on the computer.

Our temps are finally going up a bit and the snow is melting.  Slowly, which is a good thing for people in flood prone areas.  We had a dusting of snow over night but the sun is out now and although I saw some Robins over the weekend in my sister's backyard, it was from a distance so I'm still waiting to see some closeup.  One of these days, I'll look out in my yard and I'll see one or maybe a ton of them!

And with the temps rising, my thoughts also turn towards baseball.  It's the only sport I like.  Cubs baseball.  Yes, poor me, I'm a Cubs fan!  LOL!!!  My dad told me they used to be called, "The Loveable Losers".  I've referred to them as morons from time to time but still, I'm a die hard fan.  Ha, ha, ha!

I always get the baseball itch starting in March and to satisfy my need to be done with Winter, I start watching my favorite baseball movies about this time of year.  It holds me over until I can watch or listen to the pre-season games.

This morning, I pulled out The Natural with Robert Redford:

My favorite baseball movies are, Eight Men Out, Field Of Dreams and A League Of Their Own and I always tend to put those on first but for some reason, I grabbed this one out of the DVD cabinet to watch later today.  I haven't watched this one in a few years and kind of forgot the story line.  So I read through the little booklet that came with the movie.

When I got to the end of booklet, there was a quote by Roger Towne, who was the story editor at Columbia Pictures at the time the movie was made.  Something told me to post it here.  Perhaps it has meaning for me and perhaps it will have some meaning for you too:

Roger Towne:  "Even the most gifted and most natural people are hurt by the capriciousness of fate.  Yet they are often given a second chance to make up for the past.  This is what THE NATURAL is all about."


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Stop And Smell The Roses

Stop and smell the roses!  Isn't that what this purse reminds you of?

I finished up this crazy quilt piece this morning.  I love the vintage image and tried to pull the colors from that.  I'll get this sewn up as soon as I can.

My next project will be this purse:

I thought a pretty seascape piece would be nice for Summer.  I haven't had time to sew up any new blocks lately so I pulled this one from my stash.  I always keep a few pre-sewn blocks tucked in a drawer in case I can't seem to get a sewing day in.  I do my stitching early in the morning and then again late in the afternoon and evening.

I'm also in the process of rearranging my bead stash.  Basically just trying to neaten things up a bit.  After doing a few projects, my stash tends to get messy so I try to take the time once in a while to straighten everything up.

In other news, my sister gave me a few new things to add to my Etsy shop.  These are those fun and very cool Jewelry Scarf Necklaces:

I asked her if she could do more when she has time.  I think they're really pretty and fun!  And of course, I asked for some pastel colors.  You know me and my pastels!

Finally for today, here is a new photo of mom:

Mom's birthday was Saturday so this was taken over the weekend at Kathi's house.  She's holding one of my nieces dogs.



Saturday, March 08, 2014

Finally Spring?

Judging by our weather forecast for the next week, it looks like Winter is finally conceding and giving way to Spring.  I think it's about 40 degrees here today and I can see that the snow is melting.  And it looks like we have temps for the next week in the upper 30's and lower 40's.  As much as I want it gone, it has to melt slowly or there will be terrible flooding, esp. by the rivers.

Scott and I looked for Robins today while driving around doing our errands but so luck yet! 

I have an update on my current purse project:

If you click on the photos, you can see a larger version.  I'm thinking this one needs a spider web since I haven't done one on anything recently so that will probably be my next addition.

Judy S asked me where I get my silkies, my fabric photos.  I actually don't buy silkies, I print them myself on Inkjet Fabric.  I have tons of CD's with vintage photos and other images on them and I collect vintage greeting cards and of course, there's always online sites like The Graphics Fairy.  I've found some of my images there. 

And this is the Inkjet Fabric that I use.  It's by Blumenthal Craft and available in fabric stores like JoAnn's:

It's a little pricy at about $12.99 for 5 sheets so if you shop at JoAnn's, make sure you have a 40 or 50% off coupon. 


In other news, mom gave me 2 more Easter Hanging Pillows to list in our Etsy shop:

It looks like mom is really getting the hang of Cottage style!

I'll leave you today with a photo of my little Cotton:

Yes, he looks all sweet and innocent with that white fur and precious little face but it's just a facade!  I think my Nightmare is teaching him bad things from Rainbow Bridge!  This little one is always into something!  He's very busy and is reminding me more and more of Nightmare.  Nightmare of course, had his name for a reason!




Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Mothers Day Brooches

Well, we got another 4 inches of snow this morning.  There's no place to put anymore!  I'm having trouble getting my car in and out of the driveway.  But, we're almost a week into March and it has to warm up and melt sooner or later.

I'm so looking forward to sitting out on my deck with some iced.  Just sitting and watching the birdies.

I have an update on my current crazy quilt purse project.  I think the photo is a little blurry.  But it's enough to see for now:

I used a few of the seam treatment patterns that I shared in yesterday's post:



I'll be adding more to this shortly.

I have a few new brooches to share today too:




I thought these would make nice Mother's Day Gifts.

Well, I guess I'll go stitch until Bubba gets home.  If I don't get offline now, I just keep complaining about the weather!  LOL!!!

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that yes, my room will be pink!  But I'm sure you already figured that out!  



Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Free Crazy Quilt Seam Treatments

I started stitching on my latest purse project this morning.  Well, I have the lace and trim sewn on and one border stitched:

While looking through my 3 volumes of Elegant Crazy Quilt Seam Treatments, I was thinking it might be fun to create a few new charted borders.  The possibilities are endless really.  But I have no desire to do another volume of borders so I charted out a few designs and thought I would just offer them here for everyone to enjoy:


If you right click on the image, you can save this to your hard drive.  Then open the file in whatever graphic software you use and print it from there.

I think I just wanted a few new borders to play with even though many times, I make them up as I stitch.  Anyway, these are free for you to use on your crazy quilts!  I've been using 10 count waste canvas on my projects which gives me more delicate stitches.  3 strands of embroidery floss looks very nice but any thread works fine.

In other news, I've been thinking about my upcoming role as owner and publisher of Crazy Quilt Gatherings magazine and I've been thinking that it's time for a few new things.  A fresh start so to speak. 

It's really time to update to a new computer system.  I'll need a new one for the larger files that I'll be working with.  This one is quite outdated with Win XP but thankfully, it still works.  I designed many, many counted cross stitch patterns on this machine but as many of you know, I retired from designing cross stitch a few years back.  It was a great experience but Crazy Quilting is truly my passion.

So to set myself up for my new and exciting endeavor, I plan to buy a new system later this Summer.  And to go with my new computer, it's time to repaint and redecorate my little 9 X 9 foot room!  I want to get a white corner desk instead of the one I have now that takes up an entire wall.  I'm thinking if I plan and organize right, I might be able to make myself a little corner for a comfy chair where I can sit with some tea and stitch.  Usually I stitch in the living room and that's fine but on occasion, (every Sunday) my husband likes to watch Nascar and football.  Now Nascar is okay with me.  The only thing I don't like about it is the noise.  But football.....I hate it!  What an obnoxious game!  And I'm not one of those "anti-sports" women.  I personally love Baseball!  (Counting the days till the Cubs opening game).  But honestly, I like peace and quiet.  In fact, I don't even need the sound on to know what's going on with a baseball game.  Why do men need so much noise? 

Anyway, I'm thinking it would be nice for me to have a little stitching corner in here.  And now I will ask you all for your guesses.  What color do ya'll think I plan to paint my room?  Come on, I know someone out there already knows!  This is an easy one!  LOL!!!!

Okay, before I ramble on any longer, I'm going to share a couple of new Easter Door Hangers that mom made:

Arent' they pretty?  I just love Easter!  Well, anything soft, pastel and springy!!!!

Okay, I'm off to stitch!  Enjoy those patterns everyone!



Monday, March 03, 2014

Isn't It Spring Yet?

It's been a long, cold, snowy Winter.  And I am so looking forward to not seeing any snow outside!  I know, I complain every year about the cold and the snow but it's really been a bad one this year.  I can't remember a Winter in my entire life that has been this cold for this long.  They're calling for 40 degrees over the weekend.  I do hope that it's the beginning of a warming trend.  The snow piles are so high here, it's hard to get out of driveways and parking lots!

My sister saw 7 Robins about 2 weeks ago in her yard but I've yet to see one.  But I keep my eyes open whenever I go now because one of these days, the Robins will be everywhere!  Of course with all the snow we've had this season, it'll be July before they can find any worms to eat!  LOL!!!!

I turned my computer on to blog yesterday and I had no DSL service.  I spent over an hour checking the filters on my phones and trying new phone lines to each phone and finally I realized it wasn't my DSL, it was that I didn't have a dial tone.   I then spent 1 1/2 hours on hold (on my cellphone) with the phone company only to have to go outside, in the cold with the snow melting off the roof and hitting me in the head, while I do a  test on their equipment!  I had no dial tone out there either so I had to call back again (another 1/2 hour on hold) to get a service guy out here.  Thankfully, it's fixed now.  But it's just crazy how much of my day was wasted when I could have been stitching!

Anyway, I finished up the stitching on one of my little cat dolls:


I have a few more of these to stitch on.  I'm doing a craft show in May and thought it would be nice to have a basket full of my cat dolls.  But I like to alternate small projects with larger projects so my next piece will be another purse:


I mounted this one on the frame this morning.  In a little while, I'll sit down with my stash and pull some lace and trim pieces for it.

And I'm thinking that sometime this week, I need a sewing day.  I need to piece some more projects to stitch on and I haven't put any miles on my treadle machine lately.  I so much love to sew on that machine.  I love my electric machine too but I use that one for finishing.  There's really nothing like sewing on an antique treadle!


And isn't it so beautiful to look at?  I just leave it open all the time because I love to look at it. 

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Must See CQ Embellishments

I'm still bouncing off the walls here.  I've got a notebook started with my plans for my first issue of Crazy Quilt Gatherings magazine.  I have loads of great ideas already!  And I certainly welcome any and all suggestions so please send them my way!

I've been stitching on a cat doll but didn't get too far on it yet so I'll wait on photos of that.

For now, I'm going to send you over to Kathy Shaw's blog.  She's offering an online Crazy Quilt Class for beginners which would be perfect for anyone who as never done CQ.

Also, Kathy has posted the cutest little Cabochon Turtle embellishments!

There is a link for where you can purchase these!!  I may have to get one or two.  I love them!!!!

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