Friday, October 30, 2009

The Quilt Closet






Last weekend during the program I did in Mountain View, someone asked me how I store all my quilts. It was a very good question. If you asked ten quiltmakers this same question, you'd probably receive ten different answers! We all seem to develop our own way of quilt making, so it stands to reason we are equally diverse in methods of storage, and with all the interest in
"where women create", etc. - where we store all the 'goodies' seems important too.

Three things I will tell you that probably DO NOT vary from quiltmaker to quiltmaker.....#1, never store your quilts or vintage linens in plastic. #2, never store them in the hot attic or a damp basement, #3, never store them in or on unfinished wood, such as an unpainted wood shelf, or in a cedar chest without wrapping them in a cotton pillowcase or sheet. There's acid in that wood. If you must store them on an unfinished shelf...by all means, the number one best way is to wrap them in acid free tissue in an acid free box. If you can't do that...then be sure to wrap them in that cotton sheet, etc.

Now, as I said, someone asked me how I store MY quilts. Here you see my entire quilt storage system! This is what works for me....here is my quilt closet. This closet is in one of our three bedrooms.....the smallest bedroom with the largest closet. Go figure! As you can see, I have quilts folded on the upper shelves...painted finish on the shelves. These are quilts that are vintage...some are waiting for needed repair, some aren't. The one with the little appliqued circles visible on that center shelf is a one of my own UFO's....I really need to finish quilting that one. The hanging quilts are quilts that I have made, with a couple of exceptions. I use plastic coat hangers.....rather thick ones, to avoid creases if possible. I also have some smaller quilts hanging from those 'pants' hangers, which are metal with a plastic covering on the hanging part. These can hold about four or five small wall quilts. Well, you have to think of ways to 'make more space' sometimes!

The reason this closet works for me is that not only do I not have any other place to put my quilts, but I am constantly getting a quilt or two out of the closet, for study, or to show, and this is very convenient, making it easy to remove them AND put them back where they belong. One suggestion....no matter where or how you store your quilts, take them out every few months and refold them. This also helps to prevent permanent creases.

Another good thing about the closet....sometimes I have visitors who want to see all my quilts.
Now, the house may be a big mess, but when they see this closet....they are impressed, and that pleases me, not to mention that showing is easy as I can take the quilts out, spread them on the bed, show them off, then return them easily. Another good thing about it....when I'm feeling kind of down and thinking I haven't done anything....I just open the closet and see something pretty and think "Oh, yeah....I did do that!" And, then I feel better. You know, every quilt has a story and sometimes I just take out a quilt - look, touch and "remember." That's a good thing too. Sometimes I hang them on the walls for a while, then trade them out...another good thing.

Does this give you any ideas? I certainly hope you enjoyed the visit to my quilt closet...let me know if you make a quilt closet of your own! Now, take care til we visit again.....pat

PS. I just know some of you are going to take a look at this closet and tell me you don't have a spare closet. I should probably have told you in advance that I, evidently, am not "into" clothing, so one little closet will do me. I am into quilts.....need I say more?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Everything Old is New Again: A Satin Stitch Reproduction






Here I am again! Promised you I'd post something new last night, but my computer (or it's operator) had a glitch, so I'm just now able to post. Over the weekend, I went "out and about" and drove to Mountain View, Arkansas, to do a program for the Committee of 100 Workshop at the Ozark Folk Center, part of our state park system, devoted to the arts, crafts, music, and history of the Ozark Mountain area of Arkansas. It's a beautiful drive up there (about an hour and a half for me) and it made a nice "getaway" for a couple days.

Friday night I stayed in my room at the lodge and finished a project that I wanted to include in the presentation next day and that's what I'm showing you today. (By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to this group...they seemed very interested in what I had to say and show, which made the trip even nicer!)

A few posts ago, I showed you the pillow I purchased on yet another visit to one of the local flea markets. I really wanted to "reproduce" it, in my own way, for the program. I also showed a vintage curtain edged with lace that I would use to make the reproduction pillow. I removed the lace to save for another project. I love doing this...finding something interesting (maybe only to ME), and using found fabric, etc., to reproduce it.

In the photos, you can see the vintage pillow at the top....with a beautiful lace ruffle around it.
I really like the embroidered flowers and leaves...all done in a satin stitch. This is what I wanted to do 'in my own way' and so beneath it, you see the pillow I made. While doing the embroidery, I decided to use beads to finish it off...as you can also see here...these are bigger than the seed beads I might normally use....and a lovely "pearly" color. After finishing the pillow, I decided it needed a nice bow, so used some silk ribbon and French Knots to attach the bow. This pillow is approximately 6 inches x 13 inches. (Of course, you know, you can click on the photos and see the stitches "up close and personal.")

A word about the flowers.....on the vintage pillow, the leaves and the flowers are all done with a satin stitch. You know how I love to stitch leaves, so I used my version of a fly stitch to make them. I did use a satin stitch for the flowers and beads for the flower centers. It might interest you to know that I cut tiny "versions" of each flower petal out of white felt, then did the satin stitch over them....and that's what makes the petals really thick and fat looking....something you don't get with satin stitch alone. What do you think?

I really enjoyed making this pillow....it may end up in my etsy shop, but for right now...I'm enjoying looking at it. Now, after a trip out of town.....I need to get back to work....see you in a few days, hopefully, with something neat to show you. Take care, pat

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Sister's Silk Ribbon Pincushion






Well, as promised, here is the second silk ribbon embroidered piece of my sister's that I wanted to show you. Remember I said these were photographed late at night because I would probably have forgotten to do it the next day. You know how things go when you are visiting. So, I apologize for pictures that aren't all that great.

This is a pincushion I designed and made for Debbie...way back when. I used a hand-dyed fabric as a background...dyed by a friend of mine. Lots of silk ribbon. Doing projects like this just eats up ribbon, and it can get pretty expensive, but, hey....we have to do our bit to keep the economy going I always say. This one has a pretty 'soft' look to it and I like that.

I can't remember how long it took to make...I know at least one person always asks that. Fortunately for me, I am never concerned with how long it takes...for me it's always do I want to do it or not. The answer seems to always be YES!

Flowers, leaves, my favorite things are here....another beaded edging...my goodness, how I love making this kind of thing! And, my sister loves having it...good for both of us!

Let me know what you think....love getting those comments and hearing how you feel about it.
It's that sharing thing that makes blogging so much fun.

And, speaking of that....I really try to respond to each comment. And, if I haven't responded to your comment, it generally means that there is no way for me to do that....for instance, commenting as "Anonymous" gives me no way to send you a message. I only bring this up because sometimes I feel bad that I can't say "thanks." Just so you know.

In a few days, look for another post. I've no idea, at the moment, what it will be about...something pretty maybe? I'll be in Mountain View, Arkansas, on Friday and Saturday where I will be doing a "thing" (that's what hubby calls these occasions) on quilts...so it will be Sunday, probably, before I post again. I hope you look forward to it as much as I do!!! Take care, pat

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Sister's Silk Ribbon Heart






I mentioned to you last night that I would show you two pieces of silk ribbon embroidery that I made for my sister. These were made quite some time ago, but she has taken great care of them, so they still look 'new.' Tonight, as I sat down to post, a decision was made to show you each of them in a separate post, so I'll show you the other piece later in the week...probably Wednesday or Thursday.

As you know, if you read this blog very much, I recently visited my sister in Texas. When I look around her house I see lots of things I have made her over the years....and this heart is one of my favorites, so late one night I snapped these photos. Of course, the light could have been better, but it was 'now or never' so to speak.....meaning I was liable to forget to do it by the next day.

Flowers are just about my favorite thing to depict in my work...you'll know that, too, if you've visited here very much. So, on this heart I have embroidered some roses and some leaves and have included beads in the negative spaces and also along the edges. Also, there are some of my beloved French Knots....I'm a fool for those...love making them! And, do you remember that I like to bead fringe? Oh, my, do I!!!! So, here you will see the beaded fringe with a little loop at the end of each fringe. I had to count these, so it took a while. And, as you can see, I also beaded the hanger....I need to do that more often I think.

I forgot to measure this heart, but just from memory, I think the heart was about the same size as the fuschia and orange hearts a few posts back. Counting the fringe and hanger on this one, I'm estimating it is about ten or twelve inches long.

Well, there you go....something for my sister. She is a dear person....deserving a dear gift!!!
If you will visit later in the week, I'll show you the silk ribbon embroidered pincushion she has.
LOTS of flowers on it!! Til then, thanks for visiting and take care....pat

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Giveaway Winner!


OK....it's after 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 18, 2009....my 65th birthday!!! The winner of the black crazy quilted and embellished heart pin is Roseanna of NY....ta da!!!!! Roseanna, I sent you an email and it came back...please contact me with your mailing address so I can send my heart to you. I will hold it for a couple of days and if I don't hear back...well, that old navy man will choose another number and someone else will win the heart!

For those of you who visit often....thank you so much for helping to keep me going....for those who have just recently visited for the first time...please do visit again...I appreciate you all so much!

Now, come back to visit late tomorrow...I'm showing some rather pretty silk ribbon embroidery I did several years ago for my sister...it still looks great so I thought you'd enjoy seeing it. See you then...take care, pat

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My 65th Birthday "Giveaway"






A busy, rainy day here at the nest today with lots to try and accomplish....but I wanted to take the time to announce a Giveway!

This Sunday (October 18) I will be 65 years old. 65!!!! Do I feel older? Sort of, but in many ways, I feel like a 40 year old trapped in a 65 year old body. And, if you are anywhere near my age...I know you feel the same way. The only time I really feel older, though, is when it's one of my kid's birthdays.

So, in honor of this milestone birthday, I would like to give you something. I love giving things away. To one of my blog readers I am gifting one of my crazy quilted hearts...this time it's a pin, although the pin on the back could be removed so it could be used as a pincushion if you were so inclined.

This heart is 3 inches wide and 3 3/4 inches tall. It is made in the crazy quilt style which I love, and is embellished with a vintage glass button and several vintage glass beads. There are dragonfly beads...they are not vintage and several glass/metal beads which are vintage. There is also embroidery in metallic threads and some black ric-rac with metallic thread running through it. The edge is beaded, as you've seen so often on my work.

I once walked into an antique store wearing another version of this black heart pin. As I walked into the store the owner shouted from the back of the room...."You have a beautiful heart!" "How do you know?" I said. He said, "Well, I meant the one you are wearing!" And, we both laughed. Actually, the light above me had lit the pin up, making it sparkle, and he noticed it immediately. I always remember that story when making these heart pins.

Would you like this selection of black 'jewels' from my collection? (The heart pin, 1 bead tray, 2 pkgs, Delica beads, 3 butterfly beads, 3 dragonfly beads, one photo frame charm, 4 vintage black glass buttons and 1 ball of size 12 DMC Perle Cotton) If so, please leave a comment (make sure I have a way to contact you) and this Sunday (after 10:00 pm), I will have that old navy man choose a winner. Meantime, be safe out there and take care! pat

Friday, October 9, 2009

That Orange Heart






Hi! I'm back from our little trip to Texas. That old navy man went to his "50th" class reunion in Meridian and had a great time. I visited my sister, who lives in McGregor (near Waco). My two brothers came also. One lives in Ft. Worth and the other lives in Corpus Christi. Our visit was long overdue, and I really appreciated them braving all the pouring rain to come see me. It rained nearly the whole time we were there. I'm the oldest of the four....sixteen months older than one brother, ten years older than my sister, and thirteen years older than my youngest brother. It was nice to see them, one of my nieces and one nephew too.

I managed to visit the flea market there...bought three things to add to my collections....a quilt, an apron and a lovely vintage lace hanky. Texas souvenirs, so to speak.

Before I left, I told you I would show you the Orange heart I made by request of my friend, Deb.
So, here it is. I had actually never made anything so totally orange before, so it was an experience finding embellishments in that color. Of course, one of my favorite things is hunting and gathering those embellishments, so I had great fun finding all the "ingredients" for this heart and, again, the ladybug charm provided by Deb.

Buttons, beads, embroidery and some crochet trim help to embellish this heart. I crocheted the trim myself, adding it to my simple crazy quilted heart. I mentioned in my last post that I beaded the edge of that fuchsia heart using a method I learned from Nancy Eha using her Three Bead Scalloped Edging. One of you commented, asking for more information. That particular edging is in her first book "Off the Beadin' Path" on page 50.

As always, I managed to embroider some leaves on this orange heart....one of my favorite things to do. So, do you like this one? I hope so.

Well, having been gone for a week, I am behind in my work....(when am I not, it seems?), so I'll go for now, but please stay tuned. Next week I will be having a giveaway for my birthday! Take care...pat

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio
Right in My Backyard

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.