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Archive for the ‘For The Fun Of It’ Category

Earlier this month I received my first Round Robin crazy quilt block to work on.  This block was naked when I received it.  It belongs to Hollie, a very sweet, crazy lady who lives in Arkansas.  The colors and fabric Hollie chose for her block are among my favorites, though  you wouldn’t know it by looking at my Round Robin naked block.  After spending some time looking at the block and thinking of how to embellish it, I finally took the plunge and made my first stitch.  It’s funny, but that first stitch felt almost scary.  The block is not mine and is precious to someone else.  It was unembellished; crisp; unsullied.  I don’t want to be “the one” to mess it up.

Here’s Hollie’s lovely block…naked and untouched:

I’m not certain I am finished with my part, but for the moment I’m at a standstill and am waiting for inspiration before making more changes.  There’s no hurry, because  it can stay with me the remainder of April.  Hopefully I’ll get a bright idea for embellishing the empty spaces within the seams I stitched.

Here is the embellishing work I’ve done on Hollie’s block so far.  Please keep in mind I am still learning…learning is what this Round Robin is all about…the word “novice” is a comfortable umbrella to me at this point in my crazy quilting journey.

Overall block…overall views are so forgiving.  :)

This view shows the petite roses and detached chain leaves made with silk ribbon adorning the feather stitch along the seam on the left side.  Seed beads have been added to the center of each rose. 

One of Hollie’s “likes” is mother of pearl buttons.  I just happened to have a few in my button stash.  Each button is embellished with pink, glass, seed beads.  Looking at the picture, I see a couple more of the tiny pink beads need to be added around the buttons.

The second seam is embellished with daisy trim.  Each daisy is embellished with a lavender seed bead…a color pulled from the ever-so-romantic, calico fabric.  Along the left side of the trim I’ve added a row of tiny “flowers” using a fern stitch and more lavender seed beads.

This shot shows the silk ribbon spider roses and pierced roses within the calico fabric to the right of the daisy trim.  Each rose has seed bead centers.  I’ve spotted a couple of roses that need an additional seed bead or two added.  They look just a little wonky.  

To the right of the roses is part of the seam embellished with two rows of the  Chevron stitch forming diamonds.  (They are a “girl’s best friend so such a romantic flavoured block needs diamonds.)  Along the left side of the Chevron stitch diamonds are “little flowers” made using the fern stitch and french knots.

The final shot shows the sweet, lace motif butterfly and concludes the work I’ve completed on Hollie’s beautiful block.  I hope (and pray) she likes it…it has been a pleasure to work on…and such a learning experience.  Before sending it on its way to the next stitcher in our group (Mikki from Iowa), I’ll take more pictures and post again. 

Until next time…

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.  Romans 14:12 

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The end of 2011 was busy enough there was barely time for a random thought.  Blogging was out of the question.  Words would not come.  The holidays arrived far more quickly than I was prepared for.  As those activity-packed days approached and passed, voices from the past reminded me of how time flies.  As chance would have it, those forboding voices rarely silence these days.     December 16 marked the second anniversary of my dear dad’s homegoing.  His absense left a great void in his loved ones lives…maybe even greater than last year.  If “time heals all wounds” it hasn’t worked its magic in the loss of Dad.  2012 arrived leaving me feeling stunned, stifled, bewildered…exhausted both physically and emotionally.  It wasn’t a bad year’s end (we were blessed with visits with loved ones not seen often enough)…it was just extremely busy.  Too busy for reflection, renewing, or resolving.

Several times over the past two months I tried to make myself compose a blog post…obviously it didn’t work.  Creativity seemed far back in the recesses of my being…if it existed any longer at all.  I had sewn nothing other than a couple mug rugs for a group swap.   I had not picked up a crochet hook or knitting needle.  My creativity had flatlined!  Finally a friend spurred my interest in crazy quilting and for the sake of oiling my rusty creative gears, I decided to try my hand at it.  Though I’m still a novice, I’m hooked!  A naked, pieced square offers hours of relaxing creative time…sweet, peaceful, unhurried creative time.

Remember I’m a novice…

Here are the fruits of my quiet time…

#1

#2

#3

#4…even if the spider web and spiders make you cringe, they have meaning in the crazy quilt world.  A spider web was a “good luck charm” in a Victorian crazy quilt.  I had to try my hand at making the web.. and what’s a web without a spider?  (just a trap)

and the naked square I am working on now…

I’ve missed my bloggy friends, and I plan on pressing forward instead of sliding back into a 2011 rut.  Thank you, Brenda, for your note.  It made me smile.  It feels good to be missed.  See you on your blog very soon.  Now I must hop off here and meet my mom.

Until next time…Here’s some really good news…

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  1 John 2:1-2

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Transforming things that would otherwise be cast aside into something useful is especially therapeutic and after a tough couple of days emotionally, the need to create something was especially strong Saturday.  I decided to make a needlecase for a special friend.  (Doing something nice for someone else is also good therapy.)

To construct the needlecase I used two pieces of felted wool made from thrifted sweaters and  pieces of a patchwork quilt that had served its original purpose.  With the exception of the pockets it was all hand stitched.

It is made in the fashion of a tri-fold wallet.  Pictured below is the front.

Fully opened…The top pocket was made using a piece of the quilt border for the flap and sashing as the body of the pocket.  (I got the button-hole a wee bit off center…~sigh~)

The center section is a mini-pincushion made from the same wool as the outside of the needlecase.

The lower section is a pocket made from the same quilt square as the heart on the front section.

The back view…secured with ribbon ties:

If you enjoy a good read comment on the Redeeming Love Giveaway for a chance to win.  It is an exceptionally good book.  Click on the button on the sidebar.

Until next time…

The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.  Proverbs 12:13

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Patty said it best.  “Neither earthquake or hurricane will stop the U.S. Mail.”  Our teacup round robin was safely returned into my hands in yesterday’s delivery.  The box was aptly adorned and the lovelies inside are awesome.  What a talented group of ladies you are who took part in this teacup adventure.

Patty’s address label was to the box as yummy icing is to cake. 

Even the box is a perfect, thoughtful choice.  What cuppa lover doesn’t love Starbucks?

One of my granddaughters just happened to visit yesterday.  I was mulling around in my mind what the best way to choose the winner of all the lovely artsy treasures  would be.  Patty enclosed a list of the names of each participant, and I cut it into strips, folded them and put them in a container.  I had Rachel do the honors of picking one.

And the winner is…

You might know Patty loves swans…I thought it uncanny, appropriate her name would be drawn from my black swan container.  Doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo.  Congratulations, Patty!

Here is what the wonderful round robin treasure  box holds…

In the beginning the box held the cup…assorted tea…a small journal and a small fabric flower brooch.

The teacup’s first stop was Halle’s house.  The worse tragedy in a teacup’s life was discovered when she unwrapped the package.  Our traveling teacup suffered a mishap…it was now the cracked traveling teacup.  Halle added a sweet crocheted dish cloth and a magnet with the right idea and sent the cup on its way. 

Next stop:  Amy.  Amy graced the treasure box with a wonderful butterfly creation and a bookmark.  Both are beautiful pieces.

Amy sent the box on its way to Jill.  Jill added a truly lovely handmade card w/envelope.  With each addition the treasure box gets grander!  I inadvertently neglected to add a picture of this beautiful card when I originally posted.

Lori Northon graced the treasure box with a lovely teapot bookmark and matching bottle cap magnets.  (I think Lori should start a blog so we can see ALL the lovely things she makes.)  Lori, I am so sorry I failed to acknowledge you as the creator of your beautiful work.  I’m so not perfect. :)


Next stop…Pat.  Our round robin was had mad it half-circle.  Pat added a lovely, calico friendship heart to our mounting treasures.  She enclosed a perfect quote…”Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that gives value to survival.”  (C. S. Lewis)  Lewis was a wise man.

After taking the cup and all the lovelies in the treasure box to tea with tried and true tea friends Pat whisked the box on its way to Dawn.  Dawn added crocheted coasters in delicious sherbet colors.  They look yummy enough to eat.

Kim was next to receive the package.  Inchy magnets were added to the already abundant loot.  Each tiny magnet glitters with emotion…such expression in such a tiny space!  My picture is not of great quality, because I was sure I couldn’t return them to their package in the pristine fashion they arrived.

One last stop before heading back home…last but not least…all things being equal.  After receiving the box Patty added a button-adorned, heart-shaped, lavender sachet and an altered playing card.  Both are delightful pieces…and both will remain with me since Patty won the artsy pieces added during the round robin.  It must have been meant to be, because lavender is one of my favorite fragrances.

The full circle was completed and the round robin teacup came back to me.  The teacup was a little worse for the wear…travel can do that to the best of us.  It will be retired and looked upon with fondness from time to time.  To the box full of treasure I am adding one last thing…a mug rug in full fall flavor.  I think every cuppa lover should have at least one.

To all who took part in this (my first) very successful round robin, I thank you.  I hope you enjoyed it.  To each of you I wish you a happy tea day.  I enjoyed a cup of White-Vanilla -Grapefruit added to the round robin box while putting this post together.  It was a good choice.

If you enjoy tea and tea posts click on over to Art In Red Wagons for a complete list Tea on Tuesday posts.

Until next time…

May there always be work for your hands to do, may your purse always hold a coin or two. May the sun always shine on your windowpane, may a rainbow be certain to follow each rain. May the hand of a friend always be near you, may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.  - Irish Blessing

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A while back I made a skirt without a pattern.  I decided on the style as I went along.  Because I misjudged the length I added a pieced together ruffle.  I gathered the ruffle by the traditional method of sewing two basting seams along the edge.  (If ever I took the shortcut of just sewing one basting seam it almost always broke about midway through the gathering process.  Two seams always seemed tedious.)After wearing the skirt a couple of times I took the ruffle off and reattached it. The ruffle was lop-sided.  It felt to me like the skirt was a glaring homemade job.   Mind you, I am not knocking homemade…I just like things I make to look like they were made by someone with knowledge of the art of sewing.  To reattach the ruffle I used another method…one not often taught.  It worked out beautifully so I thought it only fair to share the knowledge.

To demonstrate I’ve used a small piece of white fabric and two contrasting colors of thread.  It works equally well when adding a gathered ruffle of any length.

After threading your machine make sure you pull a length of thread at least two or three inches long through the bobbin and needle before you begin to sew.  Place the second thread on top of your fabric…also leaving a length of thread of equal length.  (This will be the tread used for gathering.)

Set your machine to sew a wide zig-zag stitch and begin sewing over the second thread centering it under the zig-zag stitch.

When you reach the end of the fabric you are gathering (or you get back to the starting place when working with fabric joined at the seem such as a ruffle added to the bottom of a skirt) make sure you leave two or three-inch tail of thread for easing the gathers through the fabric.

Place the ruffle and the piece you are attaching it to together, dividing both pieces evenly into quarters and pinning them at the divided points.   (Because my demo piece is small I only divided it half.)

Gently pull the thread under the zig-zag stitch and evenly distribute the gathers between the divided points.

Your evenly distributed gathers are now ready to stitch in place.  I hope this method proves to work as well for you as it does for me.  :)

Note:  I’ll be posting a giveaway post soon.  I hope you will check back and enter your comment for a chance to win.

Until next time…

I cannot count my day complete til needle, thread and fabric meet.  ~ unknown

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This morning I put the finishing touches on a 3D flower pincushion I made for a swap.  I figured before I wrap it up and send it on its way I’d share it here. Remember I’m trying to make an effort to keep my blog updated during the summer months.

The little butterflies are free-standing lace made with my embroidery machine.  Beading is not something I’ve done much of…I adlibbed and am not sure how successful I was. 

Here’s the one I received…I like it a lot…a lot…and was tempted to duplicate the pattern but decided that would be wrong.  A big part of the these “artsy” swaps is expressing your creativity…not someone else’s.  When I compare the two pincushions the one I received looks so much sweeter…sigh.  I’m always my toughest critic…maybe.

Last evening my DH took our dogs outside for their “routine romp when Papa gets home from work”.  Shortly after leaving the house DH returned with two tiny keets in hand.  He saved them from one of our boxers.  The dog chased the mama guinea and scattered her keets. That’s when Papa rescued two of the three keets mama guinea had remaining from her hatch.  Guineas may be the worst parents in the animal kingdom.  Rarely does a keet survive to adulthood.   The interaction left an extremely agitated mama guinea who stalked Papa when he went back outside to rescue the last keet.  Two out of three is not bad.  And aren’t they darling?

That’s a wrap for this post.  It’s way past time for me to get busy around the house.

Until next time…

He who has no fire in himself cannot warm others.  ~  Unknown

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Where does time go?!!!  It has been a full month since my last post, and in just another day or two November will be here!  The old saying “time flies after thirty” continues to prove itself true.  The author of that saying should have added “and the older you get the faster it flies”. 

As prices rise and we tighten our belts, I am always looking for ways to save a dollar here and there so we can use the dollar saved for something else.  This past week I took the time to complete a project I’ve thought about doing for quite some time.   In the long run it will save money and keep on saving.   Several years back I bought a Swiffer Jet for cleaning my hard surface floors.  Every time I’ve pulled off a nasty pad and pitched it in the garbage I’ve thought how easy it would be to make washable pads and visions of saved dollar signs rolled in my head.  I finally put action to my idea and made some money-saving, pads for my Swiffer Jet.  Sorry Procter and Gamble.  No more throw away pads for me…and I’m working on figuring out how to refill the solution bottle.

Here’s how you can make your own reuseable Swiffer Jet pads:

Materials needed for project:

an old towel

2 10 1/2 inch lengths of velcro – fuzzy side only

Cut two 11 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch rectangles from a towel that has seen better days.  (You know…one you would never think of setting out for a guest  to use.) ( I cut mine on the fold instead of cutting two separate rectangles resulting in a rectangle with different dimensions than the above instruction…23 x 13 inches…folding to achieve 11 1/2 x 6 1/2.  I tell you this only because the illustration has a fold NOT to confuse you.)   



Sew the two layers together leaving one 6 1/2 inch edge open for turning inside out.

Turn inside out and stitch across  the remaining end.    Place a piece of velcro along one 11 inch edge of the pad leaving about 1/2 inch uncovered along the outside edge.  Stitch all the way around the edge of the velcro as close to the edge as possible.  Stitch the second length of velcro along the opposite side.

And wallah…you have a washable, re-useable, seriously cheaper Swiffer Jet pad.  (One raggedy old towel makes six or more pads. )

 

I hope you find this tutorial helpful and easy to follow.  If you are inspired to make your own washable Swiffer pads I’d love to hear from you.  Feedback is always welcome.

Until next time…

The dreams of your future have no room for the devastations of your past.  ~ unknown ~ 

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.   Acts 4:10-12

 





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For the past couple months I’ve been participating in a yahoo fiber art group.  For the month of September I committed to a pincushion swap.  I’ve not yet received mine, but yesterday the one made by me was received by its new owner so I can share it now without chancing spoiling her surprise.

Earlier this month DIY made an owl pincushion.  Because it was cute and whimsical I decided to make one for my swap partner.  If anyone is interested in making one you can find it on the DIY blog…there’s a button on my sidebar.  You can download a pattern.

Meet Hootie.

I’ve not shared the darling chicken pincushion I received in the August swap…she makes me want to “shake a tail feather”.  Does that ring a bell to any of you old-timers?

In a one on one Dottee doll swap I received this mermaid “Mystique” for the one I sent. She makes me smile every time I catch a glimpse of her which happens often, because she is hanging right beside my computer.  Smiles are good, yes?

In another group I’m a member of we had our first swap.  We did an one on one swap of triangle bags.  I forgot to make a picture of the one I made before sending it on its way, but I received this one from my partner Sherry.  She did a lovely job.  It now holds the hard candy I carry in my purse.

Sherry also sent me what she called a container.  I call it a piece of “Sherry art”.  She used several wonderful techniques creating this piece.  Check out the bead work, embroidery, different trims and vintage buttons.    Flower appliqué’s and ribbon embroidery add to the texture and beauty of this piece.  I love the precious painter’s palette pin, don’t you?

That’s all for now…

Anything you have to hide to do is probably something you shouldn’t be doing at all.  ~ unknown ~

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A little love goes a long way. 

My pastor diligently visits a couple of nursing homes in our area.  Recently I joined him during one of his visits.  I was hooked.  Now Monday mornings are spoken for.  Period.  This past Monday I didn’t make it and have missed my new friends all week so now with resolution I’ve determined only an emergency will get in the way of going…or contageous illness. 

During my first visit I spotted a man with a folded sheet covering his legs.  I introduced myself to him and shook his hand and asked him if he had a lap quilt, and he said, “no”.  I promised him one and during that week I made one for him.  He was delighted to receive it and started using it immediately. 

A little love goes a long way.

Here’s a picture of the lap quilt…made of recycled denim and stash cotton for the stripping…it’s tacked together with yarn.

Each time I go I look for ways I can be a blessing to the folks who live there…many have outlived their friends and family or have been forgotten.  If you have ideas of things to make I’d love to hear from you.

A little love goes a long way.

Time for me to get moving…

Until next time…

Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.   Psalm 119:111

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COMING SOON: Great giveaway to be posted soon.  You won’t want to miss it!  Keep checking back.

About a month ago I made an agreement with a representative of CSN Stores to try and review one of their products (my choice).  (I made a teaser post introducing CSN Stores the second week of August.) After looking over many of the items available through CSN I made my selection and let my representative know what I chose.  Within two days of placing my order the FedEx man brought my package to my door.

I chose an Emeril’s Reversible cast iron griddle/grill to try and review.  Because I’d had one on my wish list for quite some time it was the perfect product for me, and I was anxious to test it.  When it arrived I did not delay in opening it and was impressed by the care with which it was packed.  (Note to the green conscious:  packaging very green)  Needless to say my “merchandise” arrived in perfect condition.

My new griddle was nested between layers of recycled cardboard.  I lifted the top layer and found Emril himself smiling at me.  The product box was in perfect condition, and so was the griddle.  :)  You can’t ask for more.

Moving right along…I was anxious to try the grill out as soon as possible.  Over the past several days I’ve used the griddle/grill for several different foods.  Here are pictures of just a few.  All have turned out delicious.

Shrimp

Burgers and Mahi Mahi

Lovely grill marks…almost like outside grilling. (only better…no smoke and excess heat)

Ham Steak

And the flip side…I forgot to take an after picture of the burgers cooked on the griddle, but they were beautiful.  My husband was ready for his burgers by the time I had them finished.  They turned out perfectly…cooked evenly and quickly.

There are still so many things I haven’t tried on the griddle and no steaks have hit the grill, but I will continue to use it often.  Clean up is a cinch.  Really.  Used as instructed there is no scrubbing or elbow grease needed.

I am very pleased with the performance of Emeril’s Reversible Cast Iron Griddle/Grill and would order from CSN Stores without a second thought.

If you are an online shopper I recommend you give CSN Stores a try.  I think you will be pleased with the service and products you purchase from them.  Please take a few minutes and browse their website and see the wide range of products they offer.

Customer Service…..helpful and very courteous

Packaging….product packed with great care

Shipping….timely

Product Performance….I love my new Emril two-sided griddle/grill.  Food cooked beautifully and cleanup is simple.  I think everyone should have one.

Confidence in CSN Stores…I would order from them without reservation.

I thank CSN for giving me an opportunity to participate in their product review promo.  It’s been fun.

COMING SOON: Great giveaway to be posted soon.  You won’t want to miss it!  Keep checking back.

Until next time…

Man is unjust, but God is just; and finally justice triumphs. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~

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