Monday, October 27, 2014

It's All ABout The Kids



Monday, October 27th
SewCalGal - Event kick off

Tuesday, October 28th

Wednesday, October 29th


Thursday, October 30th

Friday, October 31st

Yes if it were not for KIDS.....there would be no grown ups!  True :)  So join us in celebrating ways to inspire the children in your life or the child inside of you to come out and play with us this week.

Smiles,
Kelly

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Lovely Saturday Afternoon

I was invited to join my sister (above) and her girlfriends for an afternoon of crafting.  I had no idea when I accepted the invitation that the host's partner is a gourmet cook.  Our lunch was a 4 Star meal and my socks were knocked into the next county.

The stew was so delicious, I enjoyed every single bite and savored the experience of such an unexpected treat.

But wait....there's more......
This gadget, I have absolutely no clue what it is, however I saw it entwined with some pears.  No idea what that machine is or does....interesting isn't it?

I saw Charlie, the chef,  pull a real whip cream gizmo from the fridge and then we were each presented with on of these:
A single perfect red raspberry in the center, pound cake tornado floating on the Chambord syrup, an amazing pear that had cavorted with that gizmo pictured above and drizzled with homemade caramel sauce topped with a scosche of sea salt.  Wham Bam, thank you Charlie!!! 

The gals were spraying rice paper and other textured papers with ink sprays.  I've never seen anything like this so I was fascinated to see what they created.
 Just like quilters, these paper artists had every kind of gadget you could imagine and enjoyed playing with the possibilities.
The ink spray bottles said they were fabric and textile appropriate.  Wow....talk about a whole new way of thinking for me....a whole new world I know nothing about.
Yes, I have more projects going than any twelve people could finish in the next year....and I won't be taking up a new hobby at this time.....AND I had a ball watching them and learning about their process.

Debbie was the host and she has been applying her artistic abilities to making greeting cards since she retired.  With each card that was added to my pile I thought of dear friends who I knew would treasure the card....I had no idea I loved so many people!
I'm only showing this ONE card....because I'll be sending them so many of you and I don't want to spoil the fun.

What a delightful and much needed joyful afternoon!

Smiles,
Kelly

Friday, October 24, 2014

Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop Announced


Patsy Thompson is an amazing free motion Quilt Artist, Pattern Designer and now she has her own line of Machine Embroidery and Pre-Cut Applique shapes.  I count my self incredibly fortunate to call her a friend and enjoy every opportunity I get to talk about her work and designs.

One of Patsy's stunning quilts that includes her Pre-Cut Shapes, Machine Embroidery and her gorgeous free motion quilting.

IHAN will be hosting a Patsy Thompson Designs Blog Hop starting November 10-14, 2014 and here is a schedule of the places you won't want to miss :

I Have A Notion Blog November 10th
Jean Creates November 13
SewCalGal  November 14

I hope you decide to hop along with us and are inspired by our projects.  Please share the information about this hop with all of your friends and readers....we would love that!

Smiles,
Kelly

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Its Not Caving In....It's Just Falling

I've been told that when things feel like they are falling apart.....perhaps they are just falling together!  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!   Mr. McSteamy has been out of the country for 3 weeks, we had a co-worker change schools and all the normal activities of daily living (some how they seem like a giant mountain....I need new glasses :)

 The beautiful Fall leaves help keep everything in perspective.
Gratitude....it certainly is an intoxicant!  Zach was so tickled to be about to go out into a field and pick a "real" pumpkin....not just one purchased from the store.
Naturally where there is a pumpkin....there is pumpkin guts.
Aaron started a new school yesterday.  I tried to capture his beautiful smile....but it looks like I pressed the camera too late.  Darn!  Can you believe how tall this fella is?

What else is going on in my life.....Waldo....naturally. Waldo is working on a new quilt using Kaffe Fassett fabrics (many of which I gave her from my stash...what are friends for if they can't use your stash :).  The pattern she is using:


We loosely laid out her blocks to get a look at how the quilt will look.  I may just have to have one of these myself....I just love it!
It is really tough to get an idea about this quilt when we laid it on top of this quilt:
Yep....that's Waldo's bed quilt....a eye popping Kaffe Fassett quilt.  I've warned her more than once to sleep with the quilt tucked under her feet....because I could just break in and snatch it right off of her!

Giggles and Smiles,
Kelly

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Attic Window by Cheryl Phillips

I saw Chery Phillips from Phillips Fiber Arts demonstrating her Attic Windows Ruler  on You tube and I was impressed.



I have never made an Attic Windows Quilt block so I don't have an appreciation for joining Y seams.

This got me thinking about the triangle dies I have and wondering if the dies I have could be used to make this block as well.  Stay tuned and I'll let you know how it goes.

Smiles,
Kelly

Monday, September 29, 2014

Age DOES Matter

Wine & Cheese, yes Age DOES Matter....however....there are lots of other things that age affects as well.  Take for instance all the glue I had on my shelves.
The oldest co-worker had an assignment and he needed to create a web of sorts out of yarn. 
Once he made the web we pondered how to keep the intersections stable....GLUE....fast and we have plenty....or so I thought.  I tried every single bottle of the fabric and craft glues that I own and not a single one worked.  Why?  It didn't take long for me to figure out what the problem was...AGE!  I don't have a clue as to when I bought any of these bottles and did I write a date on them?  NOPE

WORD TO THE WISE: When you buy any new glue, fabric marking pens, applique adhesives or other sewing notions that may have a shelf life....LABEL IT with the date of purchase.  I wish I had done that....could have saved me lots of time and frustration.

What did we end up using?
Yep....good ole Elmer's Glue.  Thankfully we had some!  Suffice to say the other bottles are in the recycle bin.  Next time.....I'll take my own advise.

Smiles,
Kelly

PS...I didn't try the E6000 because I was afraid it would glue the yarn to the cloth permanently.  That stuff is mighty powerful....I know because it was glued onto the bottle next to it on the shelf.... and the reason it is in the photo.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Progress

My PA quilt top is finished....almost!  Yes, I used Mary Jane's beautiful Bernina 820 to finish this top...thank you for all the encouragement and support! 

This pattern is the absolute best for scrappy quilt making because it really doesn't matter what fabric you use as long as the center blocks are lighter.  Christmas mixed with Halloween and add some Easter...who cares....the only thing that shows is the light and dark patterns.
I want to add a thin inner border and a little wider border on the outside.  Wouldn't you know that not a single piece of fabric that I own looks good for the outside border....is that crazy or what?  You know I'm not going out to buy fabric.....I'm going to hit up some local friends and if need be, long distance friends after that.  I've already been through Waldo's stash and that is where I got the lighter inner border.

More progress on the organization front as well.  I've been looking for a shelf to put behind my machine to hold some of my fun sewing items.  The problem is the wall is cement and I don't want to have to put holes into the wall.  Hanging shelving from the ceiling is certainly an option and I was ready to pull the trigger on that project.....then I walked into a consignment store and found the neatest narrow shelf:
It came with 6 shelves total and some were sagging in the middle (don't even think about the my sagging middle) so I have some books on those shelves to straighten them out.  Sure wish it were that easy to straighten myself out...LOL  The shelf was $15 and I was thrilled because buying the materials for hanging shelves would have been much more.

Quick Flamingo Update:
A friendly soccer game with the opposing team wearing shirts.  Too funny.
Naturally their parents would be cheering them on from the sidelines.

That is all from here....hope all is well with you and yours!

Smiles,
Kelly

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vintage Sewing Notions and My Gift

Are you as crazy about vintage sewing notions as I am?  I found this mini ironing board in a shop in PA recently that just tickles me.
I believe it is a sleeve board and I don't really iron many sleeves....but does that matter?  NOPE

The sewing machine you see in the back ground belonged to my girlfriend, Mary Jane (you may recall she passed away Aug. 20th).  I remember when she got it brand new from Leon at Hoovers Bernina Sew in Mifflinburg, PA.   Mary Jane really enjoyed this machine and was always saying great things about Leon at Hoovers....which means there is a lot of positive energy in this beauty!  She insisted I learn to use her new machine even though I was very intimidated by the size and the fancy buttons.  We were sewing together one day and she said to me, "when I die, you are going to have this machine."  Naturally I burst into tears and told her I didn't want that sewing machine, I wanted her so she could just take that thought right out of her mind.  Thankfully several years went by before her pride and joy was passed along to me.  I only wish it had been 30 more years before her 820 came to live with me.

Mary Jane's sewing machine has been sitting where my machine used to be.   My mind was telling me..... turning on her sewing machine would mean she is really gone.   I know that thought makes no sense....but grief in my experience isn't rational or linear....it's just a process.  I can't seem to get used to seeing her things at my house.....this new reality will take time to embrace.  Today I turned on Mary Jane's sewing machine and began to sew.  The tears streaming down my face made it difficult to see to wind the bobbin....but I managed.  What an amazing, beautiful and life changing gift......my lovely girlfriend Mary Jane....not her sewing machine. I miss her every day.

Irrational and Appreciative Smiles!
Kelly


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fabric Play-Change the Fabric, Change the Quilt - Review

Are you a hard sell when it comes to quilting books?  I have grown more and more difficult to please in the past few years.  The books I'm willing to purchase must provide inspiration and instructions that are thoroughly explained.  With limited sewing time and a big stash....finding the right book and/or pattern really increases my motivation and desire to make a quilt.   If you are anything like me, Fabric Play by Deanne Moore, certainly fits that criteria. 

by 
Most of you know, I love a paint factory explosion of color, so the cover of this book didn't hit my sweet spot.  I'm glad I didn't let that mislead me....this book has fourteen different designs that can be as individualized as the person who makes or receives a quilt.

Check this out:
"Go Your Own Way"
I love, love, love this pattern and to be honest, I'm certain what grabbed my eye was the Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  Once I saw the quilt on the right, using different fabrics, my mind was opened yet again to other fabrics I have in my stash that would be beautiful with this pattern as well.

The point here, is "Change the Fabric, Change the Quilt"....but are you capable of seeing a pattern made up and then visualizing your fabric choice in its place?  My eyes can confuse my brain (yes, that does happen) and Deanne has the solution.

Her solution: Design Sheets 

A Design Sheet for each and every quilt in the book.  Once I saw the blank Design Sheet, my eyes and brain began working together.  I can now venture into my stash and see so many more possibilities.  Fabric Play is an excellent choice for stash busting.

"Structure"

How many of us have those fabrics with large prints or panels and we don't know what to do with?   I can see all your hands raising now (You didn't know I can see you on the other side of the screen?  Go comb your hair because I do see you :).  "Structure" is a perfect pattern for all those panels and fabrics that you have in your stash that you have wanted to use.  I can see this quilt being loved by children, teenagers and adults....depending on the fabrics you use.  Fabric Play certainly dishes up a heaping helping of versatility.

Being visual, I really like diagrams and photos that describe the instructions.  Written instructions alone are almost useless for me.  Deanne has provided ample diagrams and photos that illustrate the instructions ....WELL DONE  Deanne MooreFabric Play is appropriate for all skill levels....from a beginner to the experienced quilter.

I Have A Notion ® will have Fabric Play at the beginning of October.  If you must have it now,   Fabric Play is available on Deanne's website, Creative Sewlutions @ The Quilt Haus as well as  Martingale. With 14 different patterns to choose from, there are definitely enough options to put a huge dent in our stashes.  You know what that means right?  More fabric shopping trips....which could include lunch and chocolate too....I better stop before I drool on my keyboard.

Smiles,
Kelly

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    Edyta Sitar from Laundry Basket Quilts was at the Checker Open House 2014

     It's true...and you know what?  I missed it!!!  :(  Unfortunately I was at a memorial service for my dear friend who recently passed away.  I do my very best not to miss out on the great vendors and classes at the Checker Distributor Open House each year, but it could not be helped.

    Edyta's latest book, "Handfuls of Scraps Pieced into Amazing Quilts " lines up perfectly with what I've been thinking about lately.

    My girlfriend who was very ill before she passed did not use her quilts to keep warm during her illness.   Most of Mary Jane's quilts are show pieces and not "everyday quilts."  I want tons of "everyday quilts" not only for myself but to give to people that I love to keep them warm when they are cold and/or sick.  Show pieces are wonderful, don't get me wrong....but an "everyday quilt" now that's my kind of quilt.

    In Edyta's new book, "Handfuls of Scraps Pieced into Amazing Quilts," includes 15 scrappy patterns that are perfect for "everyday quilts." 

    Below are some of my favorites:
    "Looking Glass"
    "Let It Shine"
    Now  these are what I call truly scrappy quilts.  The type of quilts I would wrap up in and proudly carry back and forth to the hospital etc.  They are beautiful and useful....right up my alley!

    If you want to add some pizazz to your scrappy quilt you can add borders that include some of Edyta's Silhouettes (pre cut applique shapes).

    I wished I could have visited with Edyta but it wasn't in the cards this time....hopefully sometime soon because I have always admired her work and she is a lovely gal.

    Speaking of lovely gals....Waldo needed a binding sewn to one of her quilts and I was tickled to be able to stitch it for her.
    This was yesterday and I finished the binding....this is such a beautiful quilt.  
    It is 50x70 and it was quilted by Joanne from Splitting Stitches blog.   Hand stitching is so relaxing and Waldo thought I could use some relaxation recently....she offered more quilts that need binding and I may just take her up on it.  Friends, fabric, quilts....sounds like a shot in the arm to me...makes me happy.

    Smiles,
    Kelly

    Monday, September 8, 2014

    Mountain Laural Quilt Guild Exhibit 2014 Part 2

    Mountain Laural Quilt Guild Exhibit 2014 Part 2


    When entering the Gmeiner, I was mindful that this was a celebration of many women's accomplishments, many of whom I know.   At the same time, I was also very aware that this would be the last time my dear friend, Mary Jane (if you don't know who I'm referring to, you can click here and here) would have entered a quilt in the show and I have a difficult time holding back tears.

    When I walked past this next display...there was no holding back tears...and I did my very best to smile and honor Mary Jane's memory while enjoying the company of other woman who knew and appreciated her.  Not sure I did a very good job...but that was my goal!

    Walking through the exhibit was a big high for me because I know many of these gals and to see there work being displayed and admired is such a big buzz.  Leaving Mary Jane's entry for absolute last, I figured I could keep from needing a childs swimming pool to collect the fluid that might rush forth from my face.
     Taking a step back I noticed two Pennsylvania Block quilts.  The one on the right belongs to Chris Cooper and her description is below.  What a gift all of these women share....the time and ability to get together and sew.  A block exchange seems like such a loving and  giving project, I'm going to consider starting one with some friends as well.  Having children and a business has kept me from being able to participate in many of this groups projects...at the same time....I've had the pleasure of seeing their work and knowing them....a treasure!

    Speaking of treasures.....there was a Waldo sighting at the show!!!  

    Yes indeed....Rosemary aka Waldo traveled along with me and she sure is a treasure.  The small quilts behind Waldo are part of the "Colors of Cancer" exhibit.  These quilts were made by members of the guild in memory of a person has died from cancer, been a survivor of cancer or because they wanted to make an art quilt to be sold to raise money for the American Cancer Society of Tioga County.  I bought the small blue one above Waldo and to the right.  What a wonderful project!

    There are many more quilts that I was not able to photograph.  The exhibit was full for the opening and I felt lucky to get the photos I did take.  

    Never forget, kindness matters!

    Smiles,
    Kelly

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