Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Try, Try Again

A quick post to bring you up to speed... I worked on my little luna moth this week. The first version gave me major problems... I sewed it shut all the way around, leaving an opening at the top of the lower wings. Everything was fine until I tried to pull the wing tips through... I twisted and turned, I coaxed and cajoled (and cussed), I did everything but turn handsprings but finally I gave up and admitted defeat. It wasn't meant to be...
Broken moth :0(

Back to the drawing board! This time, I sewed it together all the way around EXCEPT at the wing tips... then I turned it right side out and whipstitched the wing tips closed from the right side...
Lower wings Click to embiggen...
That worked a bit better, even if it didn't come out quite so even. I think it should work as a good basis for embroidery, though...
Basic moth done

After I managed that, I treated myself to finishing Block 6 of the Midsummer quilt.
Block 6 - seams done
The next block is the lower left corner block... I'm turning the corner!! WooHoo!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dreams, TIF and Midsummer

Ah, well... best laid plans and all that. If, during the past week or so, I haven't visited your blog or, if I did, left a weird comment, I must apologize. I was sick with what I can only assume was the flu and my thinking processes were practically non-existent. I hurt all over and was soooo sick to my stomach... gah. And the nightmares! I pretty much didn't sleep for 3 or 4 days. I would toss and turn and finally doze off, only to have some serious dreams, nearly nightmares. It was awful. But, I'm better now... thinking is once again on track and sleep is once again my friend.

There was one bright point in the dreams though... it was the most beautiful scene and is still vivid in my mind. It was like I was in a huge room with soft flowing, varigated green and yellow curtains hung in sinuous lines across the room. The floor and ceiling matched the curtains and interspersed throughout the room were round, flat topped stands (that also matched), each with a single yellow apple centered on the top. The name "Yellow Pippin" floated through my mind. Yellow Pippins are a very old species of apple but I had only heard of plain old pippins. I think I'll make a something quiltish called Yellow Pippin. Sometimes ya' just gotta wonder, huh? Hmmm... maybe Sharon will have a dream concept sometime this year... that would be cool!

OK, moving on... believe it or not, I have started my TIF piece. If you'll remember, I'm making a luna moth that I will later use on my Midsummer quilt. Here is the inspiration picture:
Luna Moth
As always, click to embiggen.

So, first I cut up two copies of the photo to make a pattern out of clear plastic:
I decided to leave the bottom wings as a single piece since I'm not a complete idiot. ;0)

Then I cut out fabric for the top of the wings:
This is a soft polyester with a matte top and bright shiny underneath... it will be great for adding to my inner blocks on the Midsummer quilt.

Here are the backs of the wings:
This is a quilting cotton. Since the polyester was rather slippery, I decided I needed a cotton for the back, to help stabilize it.

Then I sat down in my comfy old chair and hand stitched the first wing together, using beading thread. I turned it inside out and blind stitched the opening:
All together now - upper right wing
This is the original picture of the upper right wing, the clear pattern and the finished right wing. Well, the finished wing that will now be embroidered and embellished. It's about 3 inches across. It came out pretty well, I think.

I've also been working a bit on Block 6 of the Midsummer quilt:
Block 6 - partial
It's coming along nicely, I should finish it this weekend.

OK... I have had a beastly week at work and it's time for early to bed for me. Thanks for the comments on the last post... it is interesting what old-timey is to different people.

Oh, also, I've had someone else ask me how I got the picture on the background of my blog. I'm going to try and figure out how I did it and let ya'll know. ;0)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Midsummer, TIF and an Old-Timey Tale

Evenin' Ladies!

Christmas is officially gone at my house... we packed up the last of the ornaments, etc. this weekend. It took forever to get it all organized but it's finally done... woohoo! I love Christmas but sure am glad when it's all over and done with. My goal was to get everything packed away in plastic bins in the house. Ha! Not so much... four bins in the house, two bins and numerous plastic trash bags full of greenery in the shed. ***sigh*** Oh, well... I tried!

I did get all the seam treatments for Block 5 of the Midsummer CQ done...
Block 5 - seams done
I used #5, #8, and #12 Perle Cotton, as well as silk floss, for Back Stitch, Chain Stitch, Buttonhole Stitch, Fly Stitch, Lazy Daisy Stitch, Cretan Stitch, and French Knots. This block seems so empty compared to Jo's! All of her black CQ blocks are so scrumptious! Ah, well, there is alot more to put on my block later on, so hopefully it will improve in appearance. Now it's on to Block 6, which should go considerably faster than Block 5 without Christmas to interfere.

I haven't even started on my Take It Further Challenge piece. I've been thinking about it though, does that count? LOL! I stopped at Joann's for some curtain rods the other day and picked up a remnant that will work perfectly for the moth's wings. That piece of silk I was going to use is beautiful, but I really don't think there is enough plain green for the wings. The remnant will work just as well and provide plenty of room for me to screw up without running out of fabric. ;0) I've also decided how I will be putting it together and how I want it to sit on the quilt, so I AM moving ahead, if only in my mind!

I have to tell you something I saw in the antique mall the other day. A young mother was stopped in a booth with her two daughters, I suppose they were maybe 5 and 7. They were looking at a rotary phone that was for sale. I can only assume they had never seen one before because she proceeded to demonstrate it for them. She said, "See, you put your finger in the little hole and turn it around to get the numbers, isn't that funny? It's an old-timey telephone!" I stopped dead as I listened to her, struck by the realization that I'm pretty damn close to old-timey myself. Sigh, I suppose it's better than the alternative, though, isn't it? ;0)

That's all for now... I want to tell you about my home dec projects but since I don't have any pictures, I'm gonna wait. I promise I will post later in the week... no, really... I promise!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Tagged, Tagging, and Take It Further

Evening, ladies!

Well, Glenn is dug in on the couch (he's feeling much better by the way - thanks!) in hopes of watching LSU beat the tar out of Ohio State, so I thought I'd do a little update.

makemydayaward I'm delighted to report that I've been tagged for a "Make My Day Award" by Annie, Allie, and Judith. I'm supposed to “Give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel so happy about blogland! Beware! You may get the award several times!”

Thanks, you sweet ladies! I have to say I'm sending it right back atcha, along with Rian, Debra, Rissa, Susan, Elizabeth... well, everybody who comments on my blog and every blog I read, if you want the truth. You guys make my day every time you comment, every time I visit your blogs, and every time I'm awed by your talent. As Judith said, "Whenever I need to learn something or find inspiration, I can turn to the little box on the table and find what I need." I couldn't put it any better if I tried. Thanks to you from the bottom of my pea pickin' little heart (a tip of the hat to Tennessee Ernie Ford) (careful, musical link!)! So, consider yourselves tagged!!!

I've dug through my stash and come up with some fabrics and threads for my Luna Moth for Sharon's Take It Further Challenge. In keeping with my goal of spend less and use more, I don't want to buy anything for this year's challenge. I managed to find most of what I need, if I cut fabric VERY carefully!
Materials for luna moth
(As always, click to embiggen.)
That pale, pale green fabric with the orange-red leaves on it is vintage kimono, as is the soft yellow-green. I've been reading through my Quilting Arts magazines to find some ideas on how to approach this piece. I would like it to be slightly stiffened so it can stand away from the body of the quilt if I want it to. I may use a fabric stiffener, as suggested by my friend Rissa, or I may fuse it to another piece of fabric. I have some Wonder Under but I'm not sure if it is any good or not. I'll have to test it and see.

Hold on, I think supper is ready...





ti - OK back now. We're having pork tenderloin, twice baked potatoes and buttered asparagus... can't let it overcook! But I can eat and type at the same time, so... lets continue.

I've also been working on Block 5 for my Midsummer CQ. I have worked four seams but it's taking awhile to get back into the swing of things.
Block 5 - start
I have to keep going back to the first four I did to make sure I'm making the seams flow well. I have a bit more work to do on these seams before they match the others, but I'll get there. Speaking of getting there, I think I need to wrap this up, throw the dishes in the dishwasher, and get stitching!!

Have a wonderful evening!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Take It Further Challenge - A choice is made

I've been doing some thinking about the January Take It Further Challenge that SharonB is running. The color scheme is right up my alley and, in the spirit of multi-tasking, it should dovetail nicely with my Midsummer Night CQ.

I'm going to make a Luna Moth to put on my quilt, using this photo as a guide. Luna Moth
(Edited to add: As a disclaimer, this is not a photograph of mine, I pulled it from this site but I couldn't find any copyright info. Hopefully they won't drag me away to jail kicking and screaming!)
It matches the color scheme perfectly and I have wanted to do a luna moth for ages. In fact, I imagine several luna moths may be in my future! When we lived in Louisiana, I saw two different luna moths resting on trees and they just took my breath away with their beauty. Ever since, I have wanted to capture that beauty in some way. Now's my chance!

Tonight I'll go home and pull some fabrics and other goodies from my stash and see what I can come up with. I don't think it will be an embroidered piece per se, but I'm sure I'll use some embroidery thread in it somewhere. I'm not certain just what direction I want to go, but I'll figure out something. WooHoo! ;0)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year...

Happy New Year!!

Ahhh... the best laid plans... but I'm back and I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season of your choice! Ours was rather unusual... two days after my last post Glenn hurt his back. He was unjamming a copier at work and his back felt kinda funny when he stood up. The next morning he could barely get out of bed and actually called in sick to work. When he called in sick the next day, too, I suggested it was time to call the doctor and would you believe it, he agreed! Will wonders never cease! ;0) Anyhoo... a long visit to the doctor resulted in pain and anti-inflammatory meds along with some X-rays. He was laid up through Christmas, unable to do much of anything, then went back to work a few hours on Thursday and stayed home again Friday. It appears to be simply a major case of a pinched sciatic nerve, but he is still very sore, which the pain meds hardly touch. Poor guy, he's had backaches for years, but nothing like this. I'm the one that is usually laid up so he's not used to being waited on... it's totally been his time to be pitiful for the past two weeks! Luckily I had already decided to take off last week through today so I was around to help him as he needed it.

In between helping him I was able to get a few things done around the house that I had planned for my "vacation." Our office area has been out of control for quite awhile now, and I wanted to corral everything and maybe actually find the top of the desk and table we had there. After several days of going through both drawers of files as well as all the crap on the table, shredding as I went, I ended up with little bits of paper everywhere,
Littered floor
6 bags of shredded paper and almost clean desk/table tops. I hope to finish it off this evening so I can start the new year right!

Since Christmas decorating came to an abrupt halt after Glenn hurt himself, I never did finish going through all my Christmas stuff. So, of course, like any good consumer, I went out and found just a few Christmas sales to indulge in...
After Christmas sales!
woohoo.... shiny, sparkly, silver, blue, teal, and aqua with a smattering of red and green. Yummers! So, this weekend I'll pack away the stuff I want to keep and then I'll get rid of what I don't want, probably using it at work or donating it to Goodwill. Wish me luck!

So... on to my goals for the year. They are simple...

Spend less and use more.
Eat well and feel better.
Quilt often and learn more.
Enjoy life!

Thanks so much for hanging in with me last year, I hope to blog more often this year!