Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Antique Show and A Winner!

DH and I went to Portland, OR on Saturday and visited Acorns & Threads for the very first time.  Jeanine, the owner, set up a beautiful booth at the EGA seminar in Tacoma last June.
Then we spent the rest of the day at the big antique show at the Portland Expo Center.

The samplers were few & expensive, but here is what I found.

I have been glued to the tv watching the coverage of Hurricane Sandy.  It totally slipped my mind to have the drawing for LHN's Fresh From the Garden!
So, better late than never---
Here is little Amber, 9 months old, and crawling now. 

She is drawing the winner....
Here is the winner!  After a short visit to Amber's mouth, the winner is ...
Congratulations, Sue :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

2 Finishes!

Finish #1-My Crabapple Hill Retreat project
This piece also has shading done with crayons! 
Not sure what I'll do with this yet.  It is on a wonderful piece of linen with a decorative edging to it. (Sorry I didn't get that in the pic.)

Finish #2-my first "real" quilt top from my beginners quilting class
It is an original design from my teacher "incorporating two traditional patchwork patterns, a block sometimes called "Double Four-patch" and a block called "Friendship Star." I can tell already that picking out fabric for future projects will be a challenge for me. It took help from my teacher and the shop owner to get these 3 chosen.
Our final class is next week.  We will be pinning the top, batting, and back together.  Then we will be shown some machine quilting and my teacher agreed to get me started on Amber's baby quilt.  :)
Then we will practice attaching and hand-finishing some binding.  I am so happy I took this class!  Now I might actually get started on the two BOM that are already accumulating in my craft room.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, October 22, 2012

2 Starts, 3 Finishes, And A RAK

New Start #1-SAL with Maryse
Finally got this one started even if it is pretty pitiful! It took me some time to come up with some different words to use.  Welcome to the Country just wasn't doing it for me. I decided to put our last name on it and Est. 1979.  Hope that makes sense.
I'm using 35ct natural linen and DMC threads. One thread over 2. I don't think it is too late to join if you're interested.  Click on the name Maryse above.  There is a picture of the almost complete SAL there.
 Start #2 and Finish #1
Little House Needleworks Fresh from the Garden
30 ct. R & R Reproductions Olde Towne Blend scrap
Called for Crescent Colours threads
I'm only interested in the needlebook on this one--won't stitch the sampler.  I did make one substitution.  I didn't have CC English Ivy so I used GAST Chives and loved the way it turned out.
If you're interested in this gently used pattern only, leave me a note in the comments.  If there is more than one interested party,  I'll have a drawing on next Monday and mail it to the winner.

Finish #2-LHN  A Stitcher's Heart
Just back from the finisher's and I am in love!  It turned out so great! DD #3 said-It even looks like you, Mom  :) 

Finish #3-Blackbird Designs Peacock Pinkeep
Don't remember the fabric
HDF silk threads
Also back from the finisher's .  Oh, my, this thing has some heft to it!  I sent Victorian Motto champagne chenille trim with the completed stitching to my finisher and she finished it according to the instructions with rolled-up wool inside.  The lid doesn't open.  Since I am the type to look for a quick and easy finish-finish no doubt I would have put this on a painted box top and called it good. But this is sooo much better!
Last, but definitely not least, is the wonderful RAK I received from Rana at Stitch by Stitch!
I have been pretty low in spirits because of my cut fingers, but this perked me right up :)

I recognize this as a BOAF design but have never seen it in person before--it is just adorable!

And look what she did to the inside,  lined top and bottom and she included a limited edition GAST thread, scissor fob (with my birthdate on it), tree ornament, and little coffin of candy.  Thanks ever so much again, Rana!
Now I am off to sew on more quilt squares from my next beginner's quilt class tomorrow night. I only have 9 more to do.  I'll keep you posted. 
Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Life Happens

Not a lot of stitching got done this week.
Last week I was slicing raw carrots on my new mandolin to put them in the dehydrator  **Good news- there was many, many carrots from the garden this year** 
With only about 1/2 of the carrots done, yes, I sliced two of my fingers!  It isn't a cut like with a knife where there are 2 edges to draw together and put in a stitch.  It is like being skinned!  Therefore, no pictures of the injuries!  The cuts are getting better, slowly but surely.  But it is difficult to stitch or type because the cuts are on the tips of my fingers.  Luckily my beginner's quilting class is on a 2 week break.
Here is the little I have worked on-

Sweet Blossoms-class pre-work
Merry Cox
Fabric and threads from kit
The pre-work is finished and I wanted you to see what I decided to do for the flowers.  They are a combination of the called-for buttonhole flowers (for the larger ones) and small dusty pink buttons (for the smaller ones). 
I am pleased with the results.  AND pleased that I am ready for all three classes in Nov!

Alpha Designs Series
Sheepish Designs
I decide to work towards the bottom then go back and work to the top of the fabric.  I did make one thread change-orange 722 to orange 921.  It looks so much better!
Hopefully my fingers will be feeling better by this weekend and I'll be able to finish the final 13 squares of my first "real" quilt :)
Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Crabapple Hill Retreat!

It was a wonderful 3 days!  I left home at 5:30 am on Friday. The weather was mild, warm and no rain.  This is what I saw when I pulled up to the Crabapple Hill studio. Meg Hawkey, the owner, holds 4 retreats per year.  One each quarter. As I mentioned before, I was on the waiting list and was able to fill the final spot available.

Inside the studio before everyone descended to get started! As you can see it is a small group only 18 attendees.

The place setting was so beautiful and made me want to dig in and get started!

Here are some examples of Crabapple Hill products and Meg's brand new line of fabric is lined up on the bottom left. 
 As usual, seeing things in person is so much better than the photos online or even on the patterns.  There is so much I want to do!!  Guess it's a good thing I'm in a beginning quilt class :)

Here is my work table-my space is the empty chair on the left.   My tablemates were all very friendly to a lady on her own. There were ladies there who drove much further than I did. From California and Oregon.
The food was delicious and homemade by Meg. We all ate way too much.  Thanks, Meg!

The pattern on the right I won as a doorprize.  It is one of the new releases for Crabapple Hill.  The pattern on the left was in my basket of goodies.

I made the scissor fob (my first one ever).   The acorn was made by Meg and the scissors were for us also!  (I can't get the photo to flip over)

Here is the needlecase I made-this is the front & back.  My very first yo-yo and also, my first gathered trim.  This trim was fabric but I have seen many ribbons gathered like this for edge finishing on ornaments, etc.  I am my own worse critic when learning something new, but Meg helped immensely and I was happy with the results. Thanks again, Meg.

This is the needlecase inside. The feather stitch down the middle on the outside secured the wool flap inside-pretty ingenious!

We also made brooms! Well, witch's brooms-they are 5-6 feet tall!  Here is our group picture with our brooms. I am third from the left in the front row.

This is the retreat stitching project. I love it!  The autumn theme is one I love much better than a Halloween theme.  It can also be displayed well after Halloween is over.

Here is my progress on the project.
We also went on a field trip to a store called Beaver Bark.  Sounds interesting, huh?  It is a nursery with a gift shop.  The gift shop is enormous and, at this time of year, filled with a wide selection of Halloween and autumn decoration.  Really lovely shopping opportunity.
Altogether it was a wonderful time.  I would love to go again someday. 

What else have I been doing, you ask?  Well, here are 12 quilt squares that I sewed for my beginning quilt class that meets tonight for the 2nd time.  We are making a small quilt that my teacher designed.  I'll keep you updated with my progress.
Don't ask how many squares I had to rip out and sew over!!   I am still undecided about my color/fabric selections but will keep going in faith that I will grow to like it better as I progress.
Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great week!

Monday, October 1, 2012

2 Finishes, 2 Starts and an Update

Finish #1-Crabapple Hill-don't know the title
The July class is finished!  The daisies at the top were just lazy daisy stitches layered over a piece of felt to give dimension. Then the border.  The class sample was finished as a mini-quilt.  I am trying to come up with a different way to finish this.  It measures approx 8" x 6".  Any ideas?

Start #1 and Finish #2-Ewe & Eye & Friends
Liberty House
Mystery linen-found deep in my sewing cabinet
Called for DMC threads
Do you see anything that looks funny on this one?  The pattern is nearly a square (54 X 57 stitches) and my ornament is definitely a rectangle!  This linen is so old (maybe 25-30 yrs) I have no idea where I got it or what the original intent was for it.  It it a very large piece and has nice little flecks of brown in it.  When I started stitching the border I noticed the problem and counted BOTH directions of the fabric (instead of just one direction) and I have an unevenweave linen! (It could have come from a flea market or antique store and be older than I think).  Really nice for a reproduction sampler, but probably not for other stitching :) 
This still turned out so cute, though. I did substitute the brown thread for the bird as the ecru was not showing on my fabric. 
Thank you, Jeanne, for loaning me your pattern!  It will be on its way home tomorrow :)

Start #2-Red Brolly
The Three Bears Toy Bag freebie-click HERE
Not sure if I'll end up making this into a bag, but LOVE the design!

Merry Cox
Sweet Little Blossoms
Class Pre-Work
The pre-work stitching is finished except for the flowers.  I still am not liking the buttonhole flowers.  My favorite idea so far is to use buttons!  They are not attached, but laid in place so you could get an idea of what I am thinking.   What do you think?
I am off very early on Friday morning to the Crabapple Hill retreat! Looking forward to it!  I'll be sure to update you next week.