Thursday, September 30, 2010

snips and strips and puppy dog yips

This part of the reason it's been a long week:
No, not two pictures of one dog.  Two pictures of two new puppies.  Yes, they look like our other dogs.  Yes, we now have 4 Maltese.  Yes, we are nuts.   Our older ones, Moose and Milli, are not really happy right now, but they're not aggressive, so that's good.  The puppies, whose names we think will be Tanque(yes, that's Tank), and Olive, are very active and way too curious, and like my slippers way too much.  (For those of you not dog lovers, I apologize and will only put short updates on occasion.)
In the mean time, I've got my appliqued star count up to 25, and have 27 more prepped to go.  I did another pickled clamshell.  Ignore the "lovely" background".  I've been trying out different color combos, still can't decide.  I've got 2 more set to go, a pink with chocolate and a chocolate with pink.  I suppose I could put these all together eventually, but ...........
I also got the center hunk of that pineapple quilt quilted.   It amazes me how much free-er everything feels now that I've remembered why I like the hand done pieces.  They look hand done!  What a concept.  And yet, one that I so easily forget when looking at all the things in shows and in magazines. 
Big sigh.  Well, off to get some more stuff done so I can have more show and tell!


Thursday, September 16, 2010


I've talked about Inklingo before, I think.  Now I've got a button!!  Check it out on your right>
  If you've never been there before, check it out--that's right, just click on the button!  But I have to warn you.  It's addictive.  No more shape marking, no more templates.  Adaptable to all kinds of patterns.  And now you can design your own!  There are free design books available, free patterns.  You can even try it out for free!  Check out the "Support and Goodies" part of the dashboard.  Then go to "Shop and Freebies"  to see what's available.  Then join the yahoo group.  It's not for everybody--nothing is--but you can use it for hand or machine sewing--or a combo for both.  And the accuracy is to die for.
                                                       Check out this pickled clamshell!
   I'd never have attempted this before Inklingo.  But I'm so glad I get to play with it.  Now, if I could only decide on a color way.....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

stitch musings

                                      Yes, I'm in a musing mood today.  I was working on hand quilting a throw that I'd finished quite some time ago.  I'll show you the whole thing when it gets farther along.  But look.  All things considered, this isn't bad.  But it's not perfect.  And that's what started me musing.  Do I have any plans to ever enter this into a show?  No. So why am I obsessing over these small irregularities?   I even started to pick things out.  This is going on my wall or couch, for goodness sakes.  Do I get many things done?  Some, but like most of us, not as much as I'd like.  But most of the time I don't because I spend too much time worrying about these little oopsies instead of just getting on with it.  In the big scheme of things, it doesn't look bad at all.  I do like to do the best I can.  This isn't the best I can do, but it's good, all things considered.  Why do I have to beat myself up for something that shouldn't  be that big a deal?  Do you guys ever do stuff like that, or do you let go and get productive?  So, I think I'm going to let that be my major quest at this point.  Be productive.  Not sloppy, by any means, but give myself permission to be human and make human works, because if I wanted it done perfectly, couldn't I just do it on a machine?  (Thanks for letting me work this out!)


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


What will I miss most, now that we're past Labor Day?  The warm humid nights?  The 90+ degree days? The warm humid 90+degree days?  No!  I'll miss the $1.00 any size drink at McDonald's!  I'm a fountain diet Coke junkie.  Not canned, not bottled.  Fountain.  With lootttssss of ice.  My DH calls them my coke snow cones.  I'll still cough up the $, just not as fast or as joyfully.  Ah, there's always next summer.

Now, I did mention progress.  I have a French General pincushion in the shape of a log.  Liked it, but they lined it with something that impeded the pins.  So I wanted to make another one.  I did.  But it was the same size as the FG one.  Decided I wanted a lap "work top" that I could stick pins in.  Voila!  It's about 16"x6".  This top side is out of a cotton overshot fabric that I have a yard of, and was saving for the right project.  The bottom, which of course you can't see, is red cotton velveteen.  It's a medium tea-dyed muslin for the ruffle.  I can't wear ruffles, but I like them, so I sneak them in when I can.  I filled it with crushed walnuts.  Yes, it's heavy.  But, the size is great to lay a couple of pieces of patchwork out on, or applique, and think and plan, and I now have a HUGE place to put my pins and needles, so hopefully I'll stop "losing" them in my clothes, the couch, the floor.....
Then, I finished up a reproduction of a sweet baby quilt in "Quilts  The Fabric of Friendship".  Including the quilting and binding.  The colors aren't quite this dull or as bright as the one below, but somewhere in between.  I used Inklingo for all of the half square triangles.  I have to tell you.  I am so pleased with the way this quilt turned out.  It's the first machine piecing I've done in a long time that came out nice!  There are points where there are supposed to be points.  And there are a lot of points.  Most of this I attribute to Inklingo, but mostly because I have become fanatical about a "scant quarter inch".  I got a cute little ruler for measuring this from Perkins Dry Goods called, Perfect Piecing Seam Guide.  You put your needle down in the hold in the ruler and put a straight edge or foot guide right down next to the ruler edge.  Remove ruler, and you're set to go.    I mean, look down 
there at those points, will you?!  I was so happy!!                                                                                                                     
Then, I got a new download from Inklingo for Pickled Clamshells.  I got the 11" version.  I'm still playing with the color way.  This one has a French Provencal look.  And halfway through the piecing of this one clamshell, I stopped and put the backing on this baby quilt.  It's strippy.  I didn't pick out the fabrics for the back.  My boss did.  And she snuck in this blue fabric that has just captivated me.  I don't know why, I can't explain it.  I do know that I'll be trying to find some time at work tomorrow to find something perfect to go with it.  I can see this as a 19th century house dress, but it also looks like some kind of anemone, or creature from the black lagoon (hideously creepy laughter).  In the back of the quilt, it kind of disappears, but still looks good.  I think it's all a plot.  I don't know whose, but it's a plot.
One last note, today.  I got this quilt quilted my my Sashiko machine.  I'm thrilled with it.  So far, I can only do straight lines and multiples there of, but I got this quilted in about 3 hours.  Yippie skippie!  And I like it!  Yes, a machine did this!  There's only one thread. There's no invisible nylon filament between the thread that shows. It looks machine quilted on the back side, but that works for me.  Okay, time to go applique and get ready for work tomorrow.  Later.