Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Winter Birds" Pincushion






Earlier in the year, I was asked by my friend, Deb, to make a pincushion for her gift at her quilting group Christmas party. Her only requirement was to make one using lime green and 'another' color...whatever I wanted. Well, I like requirements like that....it's always easier to actually make something when you like the colors. And, also, the pincushion did not have to be 'Christmasey.' OK, I thought....what will it be?

Sometimes when I'm trying to come up with an idea, some time spent looking through my fabrics, embroidery threads and beads makes an idea just pop into my head. Does that happen to you? So, I ran across this wonderful fabric I had purchased at Marshall's in Batesville on my last "out and about trip" with Sherry. (I actually want to make something else using this bird fabric one day....they are so cute!) The fabric is "Wild Wings" by Sam Timm, Springs Creative Products Group, CP32862 Scenic, 2009.) I wanted to keep the construction of the top on the simple side, so it's just three pieces of fabric stitched together, then embroidered. Actually, I wanted the leaf embroidery to stand out, yet 'go' with the bird scene.

The pincushion is 3 1/2" x 6 1/2." Hand embroidered.....using Stem Stitch, French Knots, my Meandering Stitch, Feather Stitch, and the leaves are done in Fly Stitch. Well, some are...the rest are appliqued, then embroidered with Back Stitch veins. The tiny heart on the back label is done in Satin Stitch.

As always, a beaded edging....lime green glass seed beads with larger round beads.....which I think look like very colorful, tiny Christmas balls! Very fun to use in this piece.

I enjoyed making this pincushion and I hope Deb enjoyed giving it away....I've heard from the recipient and she seems to really like it. I'm glad. This is my last pincushion for the year. There are a few more 'on my list' but not until after the new year is underway. I hope you have enjoyed seeing my pincushions this year and I will look forward to your comments as I progress along with more in the coming months. Of course, there are some other projects calling my name also. Hope you will visit and see what I am up to as time goes by. Meantime, please have a wonderful New Year's weekend and a very Happy New Year!!! Thank you, always, for stopping by to visit me. Hugs to you and take care, pat

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Christmas, 2010






Tonight I was looking at some of the photos I took on Friday night. We had our family Christmas on Christmas Eve at Kelly's house. So, I thought I'd show you just a handful of those photos. Actually, most of them did not turn out all that well......it happens when you are trying to do too many things at once and no one really wants their photo taken. You know how it is. But, these are the ones I thought I'd share.

First, there is the Christmas tree. Isn't it gorgeous? Kelly and Rick always decorate a large tree and in their house....a large one is not over-powering. It's really pretty....very colorful and not in the least 'old-fashioned' (which is the kind I would have). Isn't it funny how our kids can be so different from us. And, in this case, the tree is not the only difference between mother and daughter. I admire her, of course, and think she has great taste!!

Here is Kelly and her Dad - that 'old navy man.' Acting silly and having fun. She, of course, has him wrapped completely around her little finger. Cute.

A once in a lifetime photo....Ty dancing with his Mom. He isn't a dancer, he says, but we think he could be prompted into being a fairly good one. Another cute photo, if you ask me.

Kelly and Rick's dog, Trixie. She is patiently waiting for her present. Trix is a great dog, she and I often go for walks together...she is kind of prissy as she walks along....thinking she is getting away with something...but, of course, she isn't. (Or, is she?)

The kids altogether....my daughter, Kelly, her hubby, Rick (a very nice son-in-law!), Kelly's son, Tyler and his new bride, Lindsey. The four of them look very cute together....a nice little family, I must say!

Scott, my favorite son, we missed having you here.....but understand how time off from work is scant these days and when you are far away not easy, so hope these photos remind you of Christmases past. Not shown are photos of your sister trying out her new guitar, Trix trying to open everyone's presents, Rick making margaritas, me having one, good food and piles of wrapping paper and chats by the fire on the patio. A good time was had by all!

For you, my blogging friends, I hope your Christmas was special too, filled with warmth and love. take care, pat

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!





Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas!!! Have a wonderful weekend. take care, pat

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas is Coming!






Christmas is almost here....and today I decided to hang my grandson's Christmas quilt in the living room....he will enjoy seeing it. No, he doesn't have it at his house....yet. I'm sure it will make it's way to his home in the near future. I made this for him when he was six years old and I've shown it to you before. You might recall that he was six years old when I made this quilt and if you don't recall, don't feel bad...sometimes I have to sit down and think about it myself! (I've set the table for Christmas....a very casual setting as it's the only kind I know.....it will be fun to eat our Christmas Dinner and enjoy the memories this quilt brings.)

Ty always used to love watching me make things...especially quilts. When he was little, he called every piece of fabric a quilt. This one was made in secret so that when Christmas rolled around that year...he would be surprised. And, he was. And, so was I. I finished it right before the Christmas decorations were to go up, so I was anticipating a certain reaction from him when he first saw it. Boy, did I get one! The quilt was hanging over the sofa, so the minute he walked into the room, he saw the quilt. His little face just lit up and he said, "OH, Grandmother, you made a CAR!!!" All he could see was that little appliqued car!! All that work and he just sees that car.....but the look on his face was terrific and so I was very pleased. And, since I just put the quilt on the wall this a.m., I bet he does exactly the same thing when he comes over next...which will probably before Christmas Day. It will be nice to hear him talk about that car one more time!

So, there is that car....a little kid in his pajamas, a bunny on the bed (made by a friend of mine)a photo on the wall (made by another friend) a Christmas tree....which I notice needs a little repair after all these years, a bed, a wagon with our cat Ethel riding on it, and then, of course, Santa himself. It was fun to make!

Time goes so fast...Ty is twenty-five now and just married.....you can read about that a few blog posts back...but it seems like just yesterday I finished this little quilt and witnessed his really cute reaction to it. Such a great memory....and now there will be more.

I'll be posting again just before Christmas....meantime, enjoy all the holiday 'prep' and take care, pat

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My "Vintage" Basket Quilt






Have you wondered if I am still quilting? To be perfectly honest, I haven't done much of it the last year or so, much to my regret. I thought a lot about that today as I took a little 'day trip' with my good quiltmaking friend, Jim. He's had some quilts on display in Forrest City for the last few weeks and today he needed to go pick them up, so asked me to tag along 'for the ride.' So, I did. It was a nice drive (a little over an hour for me...over two hours for him, as he lives in Morrilton). He drove into my driveway about 7:40 a.m. and we left the house about 8:00. A couple of days ago he invited me to go on this trip and said he'd pick me up around 8:30 a.m. What happened was...he woke up at five, thought it was six, hurried and got ready...and arrived at my house earlier than planned. It was ok though....and before you know it...off we went in Jim's new car.

Helping Jim pack up his quilts made me feel guilty that I have not finished some of my UFO's and so, I had to give each one of his wonderful quilts an extra little pat as I folded them for the trip home. He took me to lunch, we did a little shopping, visited both my backyard and upstairs studios and then...poof...he was gone! It was a good day. But, left me thinking I should really post a quilt I've made. Since there has been precious little quilting done here, I decided I would post my 'vintage' basket quilt, finished last year.

(If I've shown this one...I don't remember doing so....if I have...pretend you've never seen this one!!)

These really are vintage baskets. Well, truth be told, I bought a vintage quilt top from a friend, then year before last, decided to 're-make' it.
I didn't like the way the handle of the basket was done, the background fabric was not very good, and the piecing was rather haphazard. So, I decided to take the blocks apart, re-piece them, applique new handles....and embroider the base of the basket. Then, my plan was to quilt it within an inch of it's life. A year later, this quilt was finished. I had used white fabric for the background....a much nicer Kona cotton. However, when I finished quilting this quilt...I didn't like all that white. I consulted with friends and decided I would tea dye the whole quilt! Don't do that!!! (Maybe a quilt top, but not a finished quilt!) It doesn't show in this photo....but #1, it didn't dye dark enough for me and #2, it was kind of 'splotchy' although my friends assure me it isn't too bad. I had intended to put this in my etsy shop....but after my experience with the dyeing, decided not to. So here it sits...hanging in a corner of my living room. I do like that the light hits the quilting 'just so' at certain times of the day, showing off all that hand stitching....and it does look 'kinda vintage' so I guess it turned out ok after all.....

So, my day out and about with Jim made me remember I really am a quiltmaker....so, maybe the quilt 'police' won't come around any time soon and revoke my quilting license! Thanks, Jim, for a lovely, fun day with one of my best quilting friends....it was a really nice day! Y'all take care out there....pat

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Becky's Pincushion






As promised, here is another pincushion from my 'pincushion year' as it turns out. I was asked months ago, by my quiltmaking friend Sharon, to make a pincushion for one of her blogging friends. They had become friends by reading each other's blogs....a common thread amongst bloggers these days and a lovely one, don't you think?

So, Sharon, whose blog you can read HERE, asked for a pincushion that would 'look like' her new friend, Becky's blog. I visited Becky's blog and chose the theme I would use to make the pincushion.....you can visit her blog HERE and let me know if I accomplished my goal. I certainly tried. And, both women have let me know they are happy with the finished product. Boy, am I glad about that!

Here you see the finished pincushion....I chose the Scottie dog as the center of the pincushion because Becky loves her real life Scottie dogs and there is a cute depiction of one on her blog banner. I also chose to use vintage fabric as many of the things Becky shows in her 'cottage' have that kind of look. And, of course, I chose the embroidery and beading because it is kind of a 'theme' in my work. Just love doing it!!!

The stitches I used in this piece are: Herringbone Stitch, Outline Stitch, Lazy Daisy Stitch, French Knot, Straight Stitch, Chain Stitch, Satin Stitch, and Feather Stitch. One of my all time favorite things to embroider are those TINY satin stitch hearts you can see on each red triangle. They are about a quarter of an inch in size. And, the pincushion is 6" x 6".

The beaded fringe is fast becoming one of my trademarks. I must try a different kind of edge soon or I will become boring, I think.....IF it's possible for me to stop at this point, I love it so.
I put one red bead amongst all those black beads because I thought it might be more interesting, but now, seeing it long after finishing it, I may have liked the look of three red beads there...for a bit more pop. I'll keep that in mind for future projects.

Hope you enjoy seeing this pincushion....and checking out these blogs....they are really nice people! And, here's hoping you are enjoying all the planning, shopping, etc., required of us at this time of year....remember to take a break once in a while and breathe deep! You might want to read a new blog...I sure enjoy doing that and am learning something all the time! take care out there, pat

Friday, December 10, 2010

My "Upstairs" Studio






Well, it's Friday night and I'm supposed to be at Craft Night Out down at Second Saturday Studio. It's been a heck of a day.....dead car batteries, shopping, getting into attics for Christmas decorations (yes, I'm always late doing this!), so I decided that tonight I was staying home. It is my favorite place to be anyway...especially after a trying day.

In my last post, I said I'd show you something besides a pincushion....so thought I'd show you the progress I have made on my 'upstairs' studio down at Second Saturday. Several of 'us' have rented the upstairs there to use as private studio space...separate from our little gallery called Second Saturday Studio. It's quite a large space....where we also have designated space for group workshops, etc. I have taken the smallest of the spaces....for two reasons....#1, I can actually work in a small space as I don't paint large canvases, etc., and #2 I'm pretty good at putting a lot of 'stuff' in a small space and they all know I'm going to drag everything I can upstairs at one time or another. (Being the oldest of the group....they've just let me do what I want....I'm sure they wonder what the heck I'll do next, but they are kind enough not to be too embarrassed by me.)

So, here it is. My space is approximately 6 ft. x 9 ft., give or take a bit....with some extra storage across the room...on our shelving walls. It's been fun the last two or three weeks dragging things from home up those stairs and into this space. I just love making a 'nest' everywhere possible! Amongst my 'goodies' you will see my vintage sewing machine, given to me by my son-in-law and carried up those stairs by my grandson. It sews beautifully! Next to it is one of my candlestick pincushions I made in 2009. Over it is a shelf with a vintage tray, three spools of antique French Ribbon, a doll made by my friend, Bibi, a heart given to me by my daughter, some bird 'platters' from Hobby Lobby and a beautiful green ceramic bird given to me today by my friend, Cheri....love it! Take a look at the paper trim on the shelves. It is paper taken from an antique ledger also given to me by my son-in-law. The ledger is one of the 'discards' from his family's clothing store here in town, closed several years ago. He kept the best ones, of course, and I was happy to get two that were falling apart. Love that paper!! The ledger is from 1915.

There is a framed piece which I made in 1976. Crewel embroidery. Stored many years in various places and showing lots of wear and tear, but I still enjoy it and thought it would look great here. I have a place to iron...which is also a place to sit and hand-stitch. A place to sew on the machine, and a place to paint my little bits of fabric or cut out pattern pieces. And, of course, places to put all the little bits of flea market finds I find and 'drag' home, as my husband calls it. What fun!!!

For those of you who read this blog often, you know I have a terrific backyard studio at my home, so I've been asked why I wanted to have another one downtown. Who really knows? I don't...just thought it sounded like a good idea for when I want (or need) to escape for a few minutes or hours....and also sometimes to spend a little time with beloved daughter and friends, who also have made their own workspaces in the upstairs at Second Saturday Studio.

Cheri, my wise and funny friend, says there is no telling if we'll ever get anything done there, as she and I seem to be occupied these days with thinking of all the loot we can haul up those stairs and display in our new play house. But, to be serious for a minute, we are also making plans for the new year and all the 'work' we really can do once the holidays are over and we can schedule our time...something that really seems impossible this time of year.

You can visit my backyard studio by clicking on the word "nest" on my labels list......although the "nest" changes periodically, and has since photos were last made. (I just have to move things around once in a while!) Compare the spaces, if you wish. Just know that each is special in it's own way. Just like your spaces are. Have a good weekend and take care out there. pat

By the way....except for the twelve chairs I removed from my backyard studio to the workshop space at the Upstairs studio...you can't tell I've removed a thing from the Nest. How does that happen?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sherry's Pincushion






As promised in my last post, here is another pincushion. This one was, again, requested by Marilyn for our friend, Sherry. I had a really hard time figuring out this one as I knew there were several directions I could go and it was difficult deciding. Sherry loves pink. That's one direction...pink with lots of flowers. But, she also loves her cats and had mentioned several times within my hearing that she was fond of Robin's Egg Blue and brown together. So, since I thought it would be different....I went with the cat and Robin's Egg Blue idea. With a twinge of pink in the silk ribbon roses.

As the planning went along....I decided that I wanted to put a monogram on the pincushion too. Might as well complicate things. I'm good at that. So, here you see the monogram, done in hand embroidered satin stitch. Kind of difficult to get it to look 'smooth' but I work at it. She had seen some of my 'meandering stitched' work before, so I had to include that also.

Then, that heart. I drew the heart then stitched it in 'Pistil' stitch, varying the length to fit the heart. You can find that stitch on page 140 of Judith Baker Montano's "Embroidery & Crazy Quilt Stitch Tool" book. It was a challenge to stitch the heart, but, GREAT fun too!

I used a Back Stitch to create the bird, and Outline Stitch to make the cat. They were fun and not difficult. I added the bird so Sherry would have one of my favorite motifs on her pincushion. Besides, we all know cats like birds!!!

The silk ribbon roses and embroidered leaves were just a pleasure to stitch and if I had to do this one over...I'd add more of them somehow. The one thing that stopped me was having enough of that pink ribbon....and it's not easy to get in my area. Next came the beaded fringe and I must say, this may be my favorite example of beaded fringe so far. I just loved doing it and hope you like it too.

So, hopefully, Sherry will enjoy her pincushion for a very long time and I hope you enjoyed seeing it here. I think on my next post, I'll show you something entirely different, then pick up with the pincushion theme again on the next one. So, meantime, enjoy all your Christmas shopping and planning, cooking, etc., and take care out there. 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.