Sunday, February 19, 2017

Cooper, in Watercolor


Did you guess that I was going to try my hand at watercolor painting yesterday? I've been pinning dog portraits on Pinterest for years. I bought a Craftsy class on painting watercolor pet portraits over a year ago and never watched it. Friday I watched most of the class and purchased the supplies at Hobby Lobby. I picked out a photo of Cooper to work from.



Here Cooper was yesterday am helping me get started (and trying to steal my eraser). 


And here's a shot of my portrait under the original photograph. What do you think? I really had fun painting this. It took hours, but was still MUCH faster than making a quilted portrait. I'm still trying to decide whether to paint the background or just leave it.

I think I'll try more of these. I suppose Mickey will be next up! The moral of this story is: don't ever stop trying new things - life long learning!

I also worked on a zippered pouch. The sewing part was easy. The zippered part? Not so easy! The instructor made it look so simple, but I struggled with it for a couple of hours. Finally, late last night I realized what I was doing wrong. Yippee!!!! I had the zipper pull upside down - no wonder. I'll never make that mistake again, I assure you. Today I'll finish up that little zippered pouch and maybe make another one or two.

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

My Winnings



Here's the wonderful door prize I won at Thursday's quilt guild meeting:

-Kaffe Fassett book
-Adorable (!) dish towel
-TWO patterns
-TWO charm packs
-Moda tin

What a haul! So many goodies for me to love and use!





Yesterday afternoon I packed up my fabric, hexie papers, thread, scissors, and thimble and off we went to the baseball game! We had great seats and the weather was perfect - warm and sunny. I pulled my sewing bag from my purse and realized I had forgotten a needle. Big oops!!!

No worries. I settled in and enjoyed the game. We had a great time.


Cooper decided to give Mickey a nice bath yesterday - you can see that Mickey is enjoying it.

So what's on tap for today? It's rainy here - a really good excuse to stay inside and sew. And that's exactly what I plan to do. I want to make a new-to-me zippered bag or two today. And also find some time to hexie.

Plus I'm going to delve into something different - a different form of art... It's something I tried years ago and haven't tried it in a long time. I bought some supplies yesterday. Do I have your curiosity up?  Well, you'll have to wait until tomorrow to learn more about this.

Okay, peeps...bring on the coffee! Let's get this day going!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Border Dilemma...


Okay. I'd already cut a bunch of fabric for the border. So I started sewing it together. BUT, when I laid a small section beside the quilt I realized it was not matching. Do you see what I mean? The 'peak' of the border is not in the center of the block. At first glance it looks fine, but I knew it would drive me crazy.

I knew I needed another strip in each block section of the border. But how to do this when I already had a peak?


I tried this - I sewed a square diagonally to the top of the 'peak' strip. Then I added another strip sewn in the mirrored image.

Yes, I think I like this.


So I kept going. Yes, this symmetry appeals to my OCD self. And I've definitely never seen a border like this one. In the last picture I have two long strips of Grunge surrounding the border, like it will be in the quilt.

The only problem I'm having with this now is the color of the Grunge. Don't get me wrong, I do love it. But I want some of it within the quilt...not just dominating the border. Hmm....

I'm thinking of making Grunge yo-yo's to appliqué in all the cornerstones. What do you think? This quilt is becoming like the book, "If You Give a Moose a Muffin." It never ends...

Last night was our guild meeting. Guess who won the door prize ---- ME! I'll share my goodies tomorrow.

It's HEXIE day! I have a pile of fabric cut and ready to baste. AND we have tickets to the afternoon season opener baseball game! In my world, hexies and baseball games go together - it's easy for me to make hexies at a baseball game - or should I call it a 'baste'ball game? Ha!

En Provence....Slowly, But Surely


I made more sashing pieces yesterday and sewed them in between the remaining blocks. What you see here is in two big pieces. I was hoping I'd be able to finish the top next week, but I think it will take another week as well.  Getting there!

I also made two dresdens, but I left out the beginning step...ugh! I can't believe I forgot to make the pointed ends.  Didn't have my head on straight, I guess. They will have to be 'un-sewed' before I fix them. You know how it goes: one step forward and two back - it happens to us all sometimes!

Today hopefully I'll get going on the border for Autumn Garden. And maybe I'll rip out those dresden and have a do-over. And maybe I'll take a nap....ahhh, sounds like a good day!

Can it really be Thursday already? This week is flying by.

Have a good one, y'all!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What!? No Sewing Pictures!



Can you believe its? I didn't sew yesterday! What!?

It was Valentines Day, after all. Hubby and I spent most of the day together. This vehicle was on display in front of the restaurant where we ate lunch.


I think I'll pass on riding in this - I'll call it a piece of art instead of a vehicle though it did have a motor.

Here's our first bloom of the season - more to come I hope!


Okay, so here are the spiralized sweet potatoes 'fries' from our dinner last night. They tasted better than they look, thank goodness! I think I need a better spiralizer - haha! The burgers were delicious and I even had a half glass of wine. Even with all that I stayed within my calories. Let's just say I'm getting used to going to bed hungry - always hungry at bedtime...it's worth it though.

Since I didn't sew yesterday, today I plan to have a marathon day: dresdens and En Provence and who knows what else! Are you with me? Let's go sew!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Machine Quilting and Another Birdie


I machine quilted for two hours yesterday morning. Yay me! Bliss is looking so good - and I'm about 4/5 complete with quilting, except for the border. I'm thinking two more quilting sessions should do it - I hope to finish the quilt by the end of the month!

And last night - yes, I finished Bird 3. I'll take a break on birds for a few days to work on other hand sewing projects. One of my empty Rodan and Fields boxes is a perfect fit for these finished blocks - so I'm stacking them there for now.


How many pairs of scissors does it take to do hand sewing? Oh my - I have FIVE pairs of scissors beside my chair! It's probably overkill, but I do use them all for different things. And hubby has 14 golf clubs in his bag - so whatever! Haha!

Rodan and Fields

A bit of news to share - I got my first 'paycheck' yesterday! I wasn't even expecting a paycheck, much less such a big one - especially since I've spent so little time on this endeavor. But it sure was nice!

I've been thinking. I had planned to use any money I make from R and F as my quilting play money. But I've changed my mind. I don't really need quilting play money. We are so very fortunate to have been able to retire without financial worries. I've decided to donate all my profits (after paying for my own skincare) to charity. And that makes me happy! St. Jude Hospital will receive my first donation - a worthy cause.

And so in summary:
-I'm now using premium skincare products
-I feel so much better about my skin!
-I get a big discount on my own products.
-I can list my own products as a tax deduction
-I'm helping others by sharing the R and F products.
-I'm able to donate my profits to wonderful charities.
Lots of wins here!

Okay, enough of that. I thought I'd spend a bit of time telling about some of the products. Today I want to share the Reverse regimen. I've had my hubby using Reverse for about a month so far. He had some age/sun spots that were more and more obvious. Though I'm not sharing his before/after yet, here's one to show the results you can achieve. I will say that I can already see DRASTIC improvement in hubby's skin.



Exposure to the sun and environment can accelerate early signs of aging, including dullness, discoloration and uneven skin tone. Clean the slate and see a brighter future for your skin with the REVERSE Brightening Regimen.
Based on our Multi-Med® Therapy, REVERSE Brightening Regimen is a complete skincare system that combines cosmetic and OTC ingredients to visibly brighten and even discolored skin. The highly effective formulas contain Vitamin C and Retinol to provide a long-term solution for a more radiant, even complexion.
The REVERSE Brightening Regimen includes:
Should you ever have any questions for me, feel free to ask. Or go to juliacwood.myrandf.com to look around.
Happy Valentines Day to you all!

I hope you have a fun day! Hubby and I have plans - the weather is beautiful today so we're planning to go for a long walk on campus and then a walk to a restaurant for lunch. And tonight? With this all this healthy eating, what the one thing I really crave??? A cheeseburger and fries! Oh, how I miss this! So we're going to grill out burgers - I can make them healthier than a fast food joint. We'll have them on whole wheat buns. And I plan to spiralize a sweet potato to make baked 'fries.'

Have a heart filled day!


Monday, February 13, 2017

Cutting Fabric





Yesterday I decided to cut the border pieces for Autumn Garden. First I had to figure out the measurements - I ended up cutting the Kaffe strips at 4.5" long and I cut the Grunge strips at 1.5" and 2.5". All of these strips are 2.5" wide. 


And here's what a small section looks like before stitching. I packed the pieces back up until I'm ready to stitch them - I believe that will be on Thursday. Can you tell I'm more organized about my quilting than I used to be? It's amazing how having a smaller sewing room helps me. I simply don't have room to leave things lying around.

I also did a bit of hand stitching last night - just a bit.

Last night was for the bugs... we got back from a long hike with Cooper. I sat down in my chair and began itching. I told Hubby I was going to put my nightgown on before supper because I felt like I had bugs crawling on my back. Before I made it all the way to the bedroom to change I reached up my shirt to scratch and came out with a lively tick pinched in my fingers! EEK! So glad I got him before he attached himself to me.

Then about an hour later we were watching a movie (London Has Fallen). Suddenly Cooper jumped up from his bed in the corner and was after something. It was hard to spot on the rug, but we finally saw it - a nice BIG spider! Hubby got it and we credited Cooper for finding it. Good boy! And now...time to spray for bugs! Hopefully Hubby will do that TODAY! By the way, the movie (on Netflix) was really good if you like action movies!

Today is for machine quilting! I've got Bliss out and ready to go. I'm hoping I make lots of progress!

Have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Bit of This and That


I didn't stitch much yesterday, but I did finish Bird 2.


Lots of French knots and drizzle stitches...



I pulled out the Alabama Chanin top and stitched on it a bit, too.


Last night I began Bird 3 and I cut the fabric and papers for the six hexagons that will surround the hexagon I made on Friday.

So a bit of progress here and there and everywhere. And a nice relaxing day. What will today bring? Hmmm...we'll just have to see!

Have a nice day!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

One Hexie...


Here's the story of one lone hexie. Yes, I spent hours yesterday making one hexie. One hexie that will be the center of the next star. I started by fussy cutting a bee and appliquéd the bee circle to a honeycomb background.


Inspired by my Sue Spargo birdies, I decided to do some hand stitching around the circle.


Then I basted the honeycomb fabric around 1" hexie paper.


Now how about another circle? The hexie was appliquéd onto a bigger circle of fabric.


And the circle was appliquéd on gold honeycomb fabric, which was basted around a 2" hexie paper. And yes, more perle cotton hand stitching was done around the bigger circle.

I know it doesn't seem like much progress, but I sure had fun making it. It's about the journey - I'm in no rush.

Craftsy is having sale on classes - I purchased a little zippered bag class yesterday and watched some of it while I stitched - and now...I can't wait to get more supplies to make more bags! I learned some really cool zipper techniques!

It's Saturday! And I think we're getting out for a bit. There's a market in town today - artists and local fare - sounds like fun. And maybe we'll get lunch or dinner out? We'll see.

I'll be stitching something later, but I'm not sure what yet...we'll see what the day brings. Have a great one!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Autumn Borders!



I was originally thinking about a simple piano key border for Autumn Garden. I had a few strips of Kaffe already sewn together so I tried them. Nope, I know this is not what I want now.

So I spent some time on Pinterest...


I found this picture. Yes, I like this much better! It will be a bit time consuming, but I've got time, right? Every Thursday, in fact! But now my dilemma was which fabric to use where this picture has the white - white obviously won't work!


I decided I want to bring out the color of those cornerstones. But of course I only started with a bit of that fabric so it is all but gone. Then I found this batik chunk in my stash - yes, it's perfect, but I don't have enough of it either. Nothing in my stash would work.

So that meant shopping trip! Well, if I was going to be out I might as well do lunch, right? So I texted a friend and she was game. And if I was going to be out I might as well do the grocery shopping, right? I finished up my shopping list and headed out. First lunch. Then groceries. Then FABRIC!


Here's what my sweet friend and shop owner and I came up with - Grunge! Don't you just love Grunge fabric! And you know I love orange! I like that this pulls out the sashing colors.

I think once I cut all the strips and organize them that the border will not be too time consuming or laborious. So, no sewing yesterday morning, but I did accomplish something on my UFO.


I did a bit of embellishing on Bird 2 last night. Another cutie pie, don't you think?

So glad it's HEXIE DAY! It's time to start another star! So I'll be selecting fabric, cutting papers, and then cutting fabric. PREP day!

I love Fridays! A day of hand stitching. And we always seem to eat pizza on Friday evenings - so no cooking for me. We've found that we love California Pizza Kitchen frozen Sicilian pizza - it's thin and crisp and only 310 calories per serving. Yum!

Okay, let's go HEXIE!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Parts and Pieces


It doesn't appear I made much progress on En Provence yesterday, but I did. I concentrated on making more little pieced units that I will need to finish the quilt top. Once they are all made the rest of the quilt will come together quickly, I hope.


My little bird project is coming along...wondering how to backstitch a perfect circle?


Sue Spargo's instructions call for cutting a circle from sticker paper and putting it in place. Stitch around it and voila! Perfect circle!


Look! I finished this block last night!


So of course I had to start Bird 2 - and now it's almost ready for embellishments!



It's a bit chilly here this morning and you can see what Cooper is doing - warming by the fire.

Today is UFO day around here and that means My Autumn Garden, the winding ways quilt is up. I'm ready to work on the border...if I can decide what the border will be. I had planned to do a simple piano key border, but now I'm thinking some else. Let's see what I come up with!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Lint Bunnies Happen...



Two more dresdens made! This brings me to a total of 15 dresdens sewn. For Gardenvale I'll need 22 complete dresden and 6 half dresdens. I'm more than halfway there!


BEFORE I began sewing I dealt with this mess. It was time to clean out the lint and oil my Bernina. I could almost hear her say, "Ahhhhh..." This is as close to a spa treatment as she'll ever get!


Yesterday the rain came in around lunch. We settled in for the afternoon and watched TV. And I appliquéd all the pieces down in my little bird block number 1.


In the evening I began embellishing. Aren't these whimsical birds adorable? Bird number 1 will be completed in no time!

We watched "Woman in Gold" - a movie - on Netflix in the afternoon. I highly recommend it! And it's based on a true story. Great movie!

If it's Wednesday, it's...En Provence! Let's see how far I get today!

Have a fun sewing day!
SaveSave

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Machine Quilting and Another Project...




It only took me a couple of minutes to get back in the groove on the Bliss quilting yesterday...making progress! I'm not sure how much I've done - it's such a busy quilt that it's hard to tell. I think I'm about halfway though. 



I've been meaning to pull out another Sue Spargo kit to work on. These are all handwork and I have a few of them. I decided to start Bird Dance. It's a block of the month kit - I have the entire year's worth - think it is from 2013. Each month has 3 birds - for a total of 24 birds. Each kit contains all the fabrics, wools, and embellishment threads. I have three different Sue Spargo BOM kits from various years. I also have a nice supply of wool threads to use for appliquéing the wool pieces. 

I cut out the pieces for one bird and picked out wool thread to match. Now this is ready to stitch when I choose to put down hexies or Farmer's Daughter or the Alabama Chanin top. I'm never at a loss for projects on which to work! 

I had fun a the Ladies Club meeting last night. I met lots of women and enjoyed a nice meal. They only meet once every 3 months which is perfect for me since I really missed being home with Hubby watching TV and stitching. It was good to get out for a bit though. 

I woke up with sniffles today. I'm  hoping it's just a touch of allergies. I'm up for sewing dresdens, though! Before you know it I'll have a slew of quilt tops in the machine quilting queue! 

Hope you have a wonderful day!







Monday, February 6, 2017

Another Hexie Day and Another Star Completed





I never did the machine quilting I had planned yesterday afternoon. I got carried away with hexies! In fact, I kept sewing and sewing and sewing hexies and before you know it I had finished this star.




You'll remember, this is the first star I made... These things are gigantic, measuring 28 inches across at the widest point. I'm still not sure of my setting. I need to play a bit in Electric Quilt and figure it out.


I did stitch up two more little zippered bags. I'm going to a Ladies Club meeting in our neighborhood this evening and want to take a gift to the new friend who is hosting me. (And I'll have a spare...) I filled the bag with some candy and a Rodan and Fields mini facial kit.

Did you watch the Super Bowl? We had it on, though I mainly paid attention to the commercials. I really enjoyed Lady Gaga at halftime.

So, today I will machine quilt! Hopefully I'll knock another chunk out on Bliss.

Have a wonderful Monday!


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Another Hexie Day!


I worked more on these yesterday. I stitched all the basted pieces into hexies and then started stitching them into three-sies. Almost ready to stitch them to the mother star!


And I worked on the next Farmer's Daughter block. This block will be finished in no time flat!

No machine sewing yesterday... BUT today I think I'll work a bit on machine quilting Bliss to get a head start on tomorrow. And maybe I'll make a zippered bag or two...


It was a bit chilly yesterday so we had a fire for a bit. And here's what happened...

Aren't they sweet together? You know, when I decided I wanted a yellow lab I told hubby it was for two reasons. The first was to have a lake dog who enjoyed swimming. The second was because I had a vision in my mind of a yellow lab sleeping in front of the fire. The swimming happened immediately when Cooper was just a puppy - he so loves to swim! But it took a few years for him to get out of puppy-hood and settle down. Now both of my lab goals have been met!

Lots of love to you all today!