Wednesday, September 14, 2011

In A Perfect World

Yes....in a perfect world (my mental insanity) I would have time to do everything on my to-do list.  Yes I know it is Wednesday and the day to Increase our E-Notion IQ....however

I took the opportunity to visit with my 6 month old niece, Lola. instead of blogging this morning...or this afternoon....couldn't help myself.  I know you understand but I have that mental nagging in my brain ...."Kelly today is Wednesday....you must be consistent....you could have planned ahead...blah, blah, blah."  Instead I told those pain in the rear thoughts to go jump in the lake and I had a wonderful time with my sister, Taylor and her daughter Lola.

Check out my first locker hooking project.  I've wanted to learn how to do it for over a year and finally made a practice piece....a mug rug.

This mug looks good on my mug rug....don't ya think?  Ya gotta love the saying on the mug...Don't Make Me Count To Three! 

AND
Patsy Thompson came to visit on Monday and we made this heart block.  It is from  Sarah Vedeler's  Machine Embroidery Hearts CD.  I have heard that machine embroidery is addictive....I gotta be careful!

Some folks asked to see the close up pix I took of "Look At Me."  So here you go....more pix...with some close-ups.




 
Hopefully I'll get to my E-Notion IQ post soon...however I'm leaving for PA on Friday and I'll be gone for a week.  A much needed vacation and I'm going to visit my stitching friends.  I'm going to put a sign on IHAN website that says "Gone Fishing" will ship orders again on Monday Sept. 26.  If anyone has a dire need...I'll do my best to get it shipped...but no promises....I'm planning on really, really, really soaking up some me time :)
Big Smiles,
Kelly

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Look At Me"

I promised when I was finished with my Power Suit Challenge Piece I would show everyone a photo.  Here it is, "Look At Me"

The Theme for the Power Suit Challenge is:
What does “Power Suit” mean to you? Does it conjure images of smoke-filled rooms where deals are made? Is a Power Suit a garment or a person? Do you plug in a Power Suit? What if a Power Suit gave you Super Powers? Using Power Suits as your inspiration, create an art quilt that expresses your point of view.
Here is my "artist statement"...I say that lightly...very lightly!
This is a picture of the entire back.  This is the first time I ever sewed a facing on a quilt...I was so proud of myself.  I used Susan Brubaker Knapp's tutorial....click here if you want a great tutorial on facing a quilt.

Remember when I said I would NEVER enter another challenge as long as I live?  Well, my lesson is "never say never." 

"Look At Me" is my very first finished art quilt.  It took me longer than I would have ever expected.  If something could go wrong....it did and I'm not kidding.

Before you scroll down and see some of the "process" pieces I thought I'd tell about the process.   I got a great idea from Ricky Tim's Grand Finale DVD.  He suggests making a mock up so you are not attempting something on the final piece.  EXCELLENT advise!!! I did many mini mock ups of different steps to see what I liked and what looked good to me. 

Yes, this is a bold of Mistyfuse.  I went through two packages of Mistyfuse and decided at the rate I use this amazing fusible....I better just have a bolt.  I'm in love with Mistyfuse....I was able to get many layers of fabric fused and it remained soft....oh yeah!!!

An entire bolt....pinch me....I think I've died and gone to heaven :)
This is Mr. Peacock's third head....he had two others....but for various reasons....this was the almost final version.  I added Swarovski crystals to his eye and stitched his beak....well...you saw all that in the pix above.
I think I may have 8-10 feather mock ups....where I tried all sorts of threads, stitches and even paints.
I'm only showing a few here.

 
 
Thread?  I'm telling you if you want to make art quilts....you better have lots of thread....and embellishments.  I'm telling you I used some of every brand I own....not all ended up in the final piece....but I sure did try lots of different threads with several fabric colors to see how they stitched out.  Save all those strange little items you find....you just may need them for an art quilt one day.
Yes....you need to have lots of space for a huge mess....if you are anything like me anyway.  I can make an enormous mess when I create....I pull everything I think might even remotely work, out of the drawers, off shelves and out of closets.

  
Believe me, I'm sparing you tons of other mess that I made....however it is all put away now.
I learned that it took a lot of determination to keep going every time something didn't work out.  I tore out and tore out and tore out.  I had a puckered piece and had to block the piece no less than 4 times to get it to lay flat.  People say, drink a glass of wine before you do free motion quilting.  My advise is wait until 12:30 am when your defenses are low and go like a bat out of H E double hockey sticks...LOL.  I tore out lots of free motion quilting that didn't look good....went back and re-stitched it.  I have a very personal relationship with all four of my Famore seam rippers....yes I have four (because I misplace them and get frustrated so I have one on each surface).

I used my new Portable Handi Iron and I'm still in love with it.  I noticed another feature that I missed when I reviewed it a week or so ago.
Check out the groove on the back of the handle....guess what goes in there?
The cord.....I didn't notice that before....how cool is that?  The cord stays out of the way and its perfect for right and left handed folks!

I put it on my ironing surface upside down....no I didn't use it for a elbow rest!  YIKES

I put my hot fix Swarovski crystals on it and heated them....used my tweezers to transfer them to my piece and they were ready lickity split.
I encourage everyone if they haven't entered a challenge....jump in....it can be very difficult but I think going through the process is well worth the lessons learned.

Smiles,
Kelly

Monday, September 12, 2011

Quilting Arts Gifts Magazine Winner Announced

The winner is Nancy Sue!  Please e-mail me with your full name and address and I'll get the magazine in the mail to you asap.  If I don't hear from Nancy Sue in three days...I'll draw another winner.

Thanks for all the fun comments.  I do want to point out there were lots of No-Reply Bloggers...if the Random Number Generator would have chosen you....I would have had to re-draw because there is no way to contact you.  One way to tell for sure...if you didn't get a reply from me after you left a comment.  If you want to change your status if you don't know how:


•first, go to your blogger dashboard

•near your picture or logo on the left, click "Edit Profile"

•go to the first section labeled "Privacy"

•in this section, the third line down should say "Show Email Address"

•make sure the IS a Check Mark in the "Show Email Address"

•if you don't have an email address listed, you can fill it in in the "Identity" section

•The MOST IMPORTANT part when you finish, is to go to the bottom of the page and click "Save Profile" on the bottom left side. If you do not click save it won't work.

Smiles,
Kelly

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quilting Arts Gifts Magazine 2011

Look what I got today.....
Quilting Arts Magazine is one of my absolute favorite magazines of all time.  Always something new to see and interesting techniques showcased including instructions....right up my alley.

I dropped everything I was doing (and supposed to be doing) and sat on my sofa and read the Quilting Arts Magazine Gifts Holiday Magazine.  If you like to make hand made gifts for the holidays you will certainly find many fun ideas inside....including ornaments, totes, covers, journals, table runners, place mats and many more projects to choose from. 

One that caught my eye immediately was the Nametag Pouches by Susan Brubaker Knapp (Blue Moon River).  I'll be sporting a new Nametag Pouch come Fall Quilt Market in October....thanks to Susan. 
I think these Nametag Pouches are excellent for travel too. When you have to go through so many checkpoints at the airport having your drivers license in the front is convenient and you can put your credit card and a little cash in the pouch so you don't have to dig through your wallet or purse. They are fun for guild meeting name tags too. I  made some, much different that these beauties, for my boys. I make them wear them under their shirts when we go to large places so they can be identified if they get lost (we write our cell phone numbers on business cards).



Jen Eskridge, Reanna Lily Designs, another gal I know....also had a fun gift idea.  Jen calls her project the Cold Weather Kit and it includes a coordinating scarf, headband and glove saver set.  Since I have three girls you know I was all over this idea.  The really cool thing about this gift idea is that it is appropriate for all age ranges.  I want a set for myself ....don't you?

I really, really, really like this magazine.....however.....what I didn't tell you is that I have two copies....one to keep and one to give away!!!  So, if you are an IHAN blog follower, leave a comment on this post and I'll draw a random winner on Monday for this years Quilting Arts Gifts Magazine.

Smiles,
Kelly

 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Raise Your E-Notion IQ- Quilter's Rule WonderCut Ruler Review



It is Wednesday again...and time to Raise Your E-Notion IQ!  Last Wednesday I was very Lazy and I let Joan Hawley, Lazy Girl Designs, do the explaining for me(if you missed it...click here).  This week....I'm even lazier...if you can believe that! 

A friend of mine, Karin from Sew Write Creations,wrote the following product review after purchasing the Wonder Cut Ruler from I Have A Notion (IHAN).  She did such a great job I figured I wouldn't re-create the wheel...I'd just let Karin tell ya!  So, without further ado....here's Karin's review :)

"I asked for it because I wanted to do a Carpenter’s Star wall hanging.  I watched the video (posted below) and read the directions (yeah, I know, that’s a first for me!) – they made cutting perfect half-square triangles look easy and fool-proof. You know I’m still a newbie quilter (and probably will be for years to come!) and you know how much I *hate* math. So, when I read that all the triangles could be cut out in just a couple of hours, using this ruler, I just knew I had to have this new gadget. You and  your elves got it to me in record time, and I already had the fabric, so I was good to go in just a few days.

Actually FOLLOWING the directions was a first for me. So, all I had to figure out was how big I wanted my wall hanging to be and how big I wanted each finished square. NO MATH – I just lined up the ruler and cut! Could it get any easier?? Oh yeah, baby, it can and it did! After I cut my strips, I sewed ‘em together down both long sides……still wasn’t sure how this was going to work, but, armed with faith and the computer nearby and tuned to the Wonder Cut directions I cut and sewed the other 2 sets of strips. Fabrics 1 and 2 together, Background and Fabric 1 and finally, Background and Fabric2.

Once more, I referred to the written directions and the video before I started cutting. Why, you ask? Because I haven’t got that Beam ‘n Read yet, and I cannot see well enough to rip out my mistakes, so I must do it right the first time (or buy extra fabric, which I’ve been known to do!). So, the video tells me to line the ruler up on the edge of the fabric, using the line that will give me the correct size square and cut on both sides, then flip the ruler to the other edge and cut down both sides again – here’s my first cut:

making them involved measuring (twice) rectangles, cutting them out, drawing a line down the middle, drawing another line making the triangles, sewing, cutting, cutting again, and hoping like heck I’d measured and figured properly. So, now, you can imagine just how thrilled I was to open up this perfect little square and know that I no longer had to waste time measuring, drawing, cutting and hoping!!
In no time flat, I had me neat little piles of perfectly sized half-square triangles:
Here’s what they all looked like as I started to put them together:


here’s the “pattern” I was working from, so you can see it was no small feat to get all my triangles lined up the right way:

it all turned out:

So, what’s all this mean? And what’s it got to do with the Wonder Cut ruler? Well, it’s taken me longer to write up this post than it took me to cut and sew all these pesky HST’s. Could I have accomplished it using my usual tool (a 6 x 24” ruler)?? Probably. Could I have done it right the first time, every time? Probably not. Could I have done it without using Driver’s math skills? Definitely not. Would I have even attempted it? Not on your life. Was there ever a moment of regret for spending that much money on a ruler? Well, maybe, but the beautiful finished product and the time saved have certainly outweighed the expense."

There you have it folks!!  Thank you Karin for your great review and honest review (and for doing my job for me today)!!! 
 


If you prefer written directions, here are the Wonder Cut Ruler Directions.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Smiles,
Kelly

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sale Extended

I received some e-mails from some gals who were out of town for the holiday weekend.  I agreed to continue the sale until Wednesday night and thought I should be fair and keep it open to everyone.

Click here to see the incredible deals on Aurifil Threads, Wonderfil Threads, Slice Fabrique Design Cards and AccuQuilt Dies.

Smiles,
Kelly

Sunday, September 4, 2011

LABOR DAY SALE



Save on Aurifil Thread, Wonderfil Thread,  Slice Fabrique Design Cards and AccuQuilt GO! Dies


In Stock Only...order now because when they are gone....they are gone :)
Offer expires Monday September 5th at midnight

Attention All September FabShop Hoppers
Get a special discount on Beam N Read 6 LED Hands Free Lights when you enter "Bunny" in the coupon code in your shopping cart.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September is National Sewing Month

 
Yes, September is National Sewing Month!!!  I am inviting you to join me in celebrating and honoring the tradition of the needle arts by recognizing those people in your life that have either taught you to stitch, encouraged you to stitch, given you time and support as you have pursued your passion for stitching.
 Who taught you to sew/embroidery/knit/crochet?  What was it about them that made you want to take up stitching?


 
We all have a story to share about those people in our lives who have given us the gift and love of stitching.

 I would like for you to send this person a hand written letter or card (send flowers if you like...lol) and say Thank You and tell them what it means to you that they have shared their gifts with you.
 
I know many have already passed on (you can write those in your journal if you like) but there are plenty of folks who keep us inspired and wanting to learn more right here right now who would probably appreciate knowing how they touched your life.
It is also a good time to reflect on how you are or have impacted the life of another stitcher in a positive way....did you give them some thread or fabric to get them going?
Take time to be grateful for those experiences....really let yourself feel the treasure that we all have to enjoy and share with one another....our time and attention.

So often we are caught up in the project or technique at hand.....wanting it to be "wonderful" or as amazing as we see it in our minds even though many of us are not able to translate the exact perfection of our minds onto cloth or thread.

Take a step back, take time to reflect.....and take a crazy leap into the abyss....and enjoy what you have accomplished and created.  Isn't it wonderful?
Then take out a note card or piece of real paper....and write a note to someone who has impacted your stitching life positively. (no text messages, tweets, e-mails, etc permitted)


Feel free to enclose a little mug rug....a package of needles or even a tea bag....any little token of appreciation....people always love a little surprise....think of how many people's lives will be touched if every one of us just writes one note.  I know I have several to write :)

In closing, I'd like to acknowledge one woman who has taken on a huge mission to invite those who don't stitch to learn to stitch by giving them the necessary tools to begin.  She came up with this idea all on her own....out of the goodness of her heart....without being paid one thin dime....just to share with others the pleasure of stitching.

Who is this woman? 


 Madame Samm from Sew We Quilt and Sew I Quilt!  Did you know she has singlehandedly launched a 3 month campaign that includes daily giveaways to quilters and not yet quilters/stitchers?  She has given so much of her precious time and talent just to encourage others to learn to stitch so they too can share in the joy of stitching.  Impressive isn't it?  I think so....THANK YOU Madame Samm for being willing to do so much to share your joy with the rest of us :) 

At the end of September, I am going to invite you all back to share your stories about your experiences and the outcome of your sending notes....and of course if you received a note....that might be fun to share too.

With much gratitude and big smiles,
Kelly

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