Quilted in time for Christmas


I recently finished quilting a large John Deere themed quilt on the longarm for a customer. I just love how it turned out.



I was given permission by the quilter to choose whatever I wanted to quilt on this piece.  I knew I wanted to do a custom quilting job that would accent each block and the border separately.  I could have done an edge-to-edge simplified quilting job, but I wouldn't have had the opportunity to practice different quilting motifs if I had done it that way.


This quilt also offered the challenge of finding quilting themes that were more suited for a guy, rather than the feathers and hearts and flowers that I have been perfecting on other quilts.  I ended up doing some stipling, some curves and a lot of pebbling, and I imagined building rock walls while quilting.

The quilt back.

I was so happy to get this large project done fairly quickly and the quilter was thrilled with the job!  It will be a Christmas gift for her son.

Christmas is Coming



At last, the tree is up in the dining room.  I hope you're all enjoying your holiday season.

Kids will be coming home from college soon, decorating will hopefully be finished, cooking and baking will commence, and I have three quilts to finish before Christmas.  Busy times!

Cozy Afternoon Quilting

I am working on a couple of Christmas quilts.  This adorable gift box pattern is free and available st Red Rooster Quilts.

This cold and snowy November is the perfect weather for it.  Playing my favorite holiday music on my Christmas Pandora station, some cozy lighting, and the snow falling outside of my window is keeping me right on track.


The November Quilt is Finished


I am happy to share that my November quilt is finished and only 10 days after my goal of November 1st.  I wanted the warm colors on our bed before winter set in.


I had this quilt and the colors swimming around in my head for a few months and in fact, when we moved our rooms around in September and repainted and carpeted the new master bedroom, I chose a wall color and carpet color based on this quilt that wasn't even started yet!



I wasn't really going to knock myself out with the piecing on this one; I just wanted a simple, old fashioned quilt in cozy colors and something to practice my quilting on.


I've put feathers on everything for the past couple of weeks.  I love feathers.



The goats gave me a perplexed look while I photographed the quilt on their fence this afternoon.


On to the Christmas stitching!



Tuesday Morning Quilting


I finished a quilt on Sunday and got it all loaded on the frame.

Now on to the fun part.



I'm very new at longarming, and it has been a challenge to relearn how to quilt by moving the machine instead of the quilt, but I really love it.  It's like drawing with thread!



The Scrappy Quilt and Albert

I finished a scrappy blue quilt a couple of weeks ago.  I barely got a chance to lay it out and look it over before somebody decided to try and claim it for themselves.



I practiced a few new quilting stitches.  It's funny how in the middle of the quilting you can feel like you're just making a mess of things but in the end you finish and you don't really see the flaws too much anymore.



Order Makes Me Happy

I have most of my cotton quilting fabric folded on comic book boards now.  I love this system so much!  It is so easy to grab a fabric choice, cut a bit, and put it back.


I am no longer having to fold and refold and re-stack fabric.  Whoever thought of this idea for storage is a hero of mine.  I love my little cotton library.

Now I need to come up with a cute storage/display idea for fat quarters.  Hmm...



Catching Up and Some Completed Quilts

At long last, Hello again...

I have been busy with so many things around the house this year that blogging has been set aside for a long time.  Lots of changes in our household in recent months; more kids leaving for college....more room rearranging.

I have finished my quilt for the RV.  I did the free-motion quilting with my domestic sewing machine.  My favorite part of the quilting process is the quilting itself.



Here it is, ready for binding.


All finished!


All ready for travel...


I also finished a quilt for my godchild, Katherine.  I had help from Albert.  It was a few months ago when Albert was still a puppy.  I used the Singer Featherweight to make most of it.

About to do the binding....


He didn't want to give it up!
I have lots of projects that I'm currently working on...plus some new developments in my sewing world which I will share soon.

Be back shortly~



A Victorian Style Motto Embroidery

This week I decided to tackle a design with a large amount of stitches.  I started out making the two flowers into one design and stitching them out.  Then, although pretty , it looked plain...like it needed something.  I looked up on my wall and spied my antique frame and it came to me...I would create a Victorian style motto and use that frame.  Since the finished embroidery was made with the master bedroom colors in mind, I chose a phrase that would be suitable for a bedroom.


I think I'll make another one of these soon for another location in the house.  Or maybe for a gift...hmm...




I Love Banners

I finished a cute little banner for a friend's baby yesterday.



I love banners.  Such a fun way to use up small pieces of fabric.







Those letters were a lot of stitches!  I'm grateful he has a short name. ;-)




Late Winter....

Winter feels like it's dragging on and on.  I suppose it isn't really, since it's normal to see snow around here in late February/early March.  I think it just feels long because there has been so much snow this year. 

Just. So. Much. Snow.

I wonder when we last saw the uncovered ground?

Albert is growing and has taken to climbing up to the back of the couch and looking out of the window.  He is too little to ever know what warm weather is like and yet he seems to be asking when it will be Spring.



He goes outside a several short times each day but doesn't venture past the big snow banks surrounding the house.  I suppose I should be grateful for this long deep-snow winter since he seems to be a brave little guy and I know the great outdoors and all of its hazards will be something he will be eager to explore as soon as he can.  It will be much different having him here on our farm compared to our independent, low-maintenance big dogs.  I will have my work cut out for me.

                                                      .......................................................


I embroidered a little bit a week or so ago and made a pillow to replace my Let It Snow pillow I had had on display.  I thought a nice floral design would do the trick.


It did do the trick of brightening up the sofa but it didn't seem to have any effect at all on the weather.

Huh.  Imagine that.


Today I am stitching up a little St. Patrick's Day decoration. 

I'll post a photo later if it turns out nice.

Stitching Project for Today

Today's quiet afternoon project is a monogrammed pillow for the living room.





I have monogrammed all kinds of things.  Embroidered, appliqued, ...you name it.

I think I will make another pillow, or maybe a slipcover, for the existing "Let It Snow" pillow on the left.  I think we may have had enough snow now.

I think.

And as always, there are new puppy pictures every day.


Albert loves to snuggle with Elsa.  I don't blame him, she is super soft.  Bunny soft.  And warm.

Pick on the Puppy Monday

What do we do to the puppy who is on the couch and is too small to jump down?  We show him that we can steal his toy squirrel and tease him about not being able to reach it, that's what.


A New Baby!

Guess who has arrived here at the country bungalow!  A new puppy!

He came last week to live with our family and boy-oh-boy, is he adorable.  So much fun in such a small package!


As you might have already guessed, he's a Yorkshire Terrier...or Yorkie.  He's the smallest puppy we've ever had, although he's not as small as some of those yorkies out there.  We did not want a tiny "teacup" variety of yorkie, as they are just too scary small for me.  I have big dogs and probably a million other hazards that would be incompatible with a forever 2 1/2 lb. dog.  He should weigh a healthy size of 6-7 lbs. when he's full grown.  That's about the size of our dog who passed away a little while back.  She was big enough to keep up with us when we were outside, but small enough to take on trips and sit with us when we watched a movie.


When I first picked him up, I thought in my head of one name in particular, but we still took the time to live with him for a few days and make a list of 50 or so names that we liked and thought suited him.  As a family, we narrowed the list down to half...and then down to our top ten.  We just kept coming back to one name that everyone liked...and no one disliked.  And lo and behold, it was the name I thought of the moment I saw him.  Isn't that how it always goes?

His name is Albert.  Or sometimes Bert.  Or Bertie.  Or Prince Albert.... but mostly Albert.  And he definitely knows his name.

Our other small dogs came to us as adults with personalities very much established.  Unfortunately that meant they brought small dog syndrome with them.  They hated our big dogs and would growl or bark every time one came in the house or got too close.  Every. Single. Time

That was a lot of noise.

Now the leader of those two small dogs, the female, has passed away and the other of those two is elderly and pretty blind and pretty deaf and guess what that means? It means he doesn't even notice when a large dog comes in the house or peacefully walks past his warm little bed.  He just sleeps a lot and the world is a quieter place.  So. Much. Quieter.



And now there is Albert.  He hasn't barked really much yet, even when the big dogs hear something and bark.  I'm sure he will find his voice eventually.

I thought it would be great to have a puppy that grew up with the big dogs, and therefore not a Nervous Nellie every time they're around....and it is, so far.  But what I forgot about is that while the other small dogs had a natural aversion from getting anywhere near the big dogs, darling little Albert is just the opposite!  He loves them!  He's fearless and curious and doesn't mind them at all, especially Elsa the German Shepherd.  The Labradors are older and have let Albert know to leave them alone, and he does, but Elsa is willing to play a bit and he climbs all over her.  She is the calmest dog we've ever had and she lies on the floor and nuzzles him and plays gently. 

We aren't leaving Albert alone with the big dogs.  He will be protected when we leave the house, just in case.

He is friendly, not pushy, but affectionate.  He plays hard and then sleeps hard.  He seems to be housebroken too which is no small thing in that every time we had to take him out for the first week he was here it was a windy -10 below or worse!  Housebreaking a puppy in polar vortex week in not something I'd recommend!  I have to say it for him though, his visits to the outdoors can be measured in seconds...which is lovely when you're out there with him in your pajamas!

Hanging out with me, sleeping, while I arrange quilt squares...
I am sure I will be posting more about our new family member.  In this age of cell phones, someone is always snapping a picture or video of him. 

Oh and have I been my usual crafty self with him around?  Yes...I've already embroidered a blanket and 3 little toys for him.












New Embroidered Pillows

Today I have added two more items to my tiny etsy shop. 

First I have an off-white heavy cotton pillow with an appliqued flower wreath design.


I love anything that reminds me of folk art and quilting.


I made another black pillow also.  I really like the old world, folk art feeling of flowers on black.





I think I will be making some more variations of these in the winter weeks to come. 

A Cute Winter Cottage Banner


I just thought I'd share a picture of this cute banner I stitched out today.  I love cottages and I love snow so I couldn't resist.



I haven't decided where I'm going to hang it yet.  I have to hang it quickly because next thing you know, I'll be hanging up little valentine banners.

Let it snow! 



In the hoop snow covered cottage banner pattern by Big Dreams Embroidery


My Vintage Singer 201 Sewing Machine Cover

The weather this week has been a bit extreme with lots of snow and very cold temperatures.  Since there is little chance I will be venturing out anytime soon, I decided to make a little sewing machine cover for my vintage Singer 201.

 First I embroidered a cute sewing machine design.  I save all of these designs with hopes of finding a use for them.  The hoop size is 200 x 360 mm.  (I really need to clean my hoops!)
73,400 stitches!

I made some patchwork sections and made one large rectangle to fold over the machine from the bottom front to the bottom back.  I then backed the large rectangle and two side rectangles with scrap batting and backing pieces.  I didn't have a pattern so I took a guess and held up my pieces to the machine a lot.  I quilted the pieces on the 201 and then trimmed the two side pieces into an arch shape.

 I sewed them all together and found some scrap binding and lace for trim and viola!  All finished.






The machine does fold down into the table but I use it so often that I don't close it up that much.  Now my shiny black machine can stay cozy and hopefully dust free.  

Now back to enjoying this winter weather!  Stay Warm!


Highlights from Autumn/Early Winter 2013

First of all, a Very Merry Christmas to you!

I haven't really been blogging much.  I haven't had much in new things to say...and instead my hands keep busy creating and cooking and keeping house here in our country bungalow. 
 
 I did my first very small craft show this past October.  It was not a well publicized event and had a pretty low turnout, but that worked out fine and it made for a good experience in seeing what the selling side of craft shows is like.  I sold a few things and felt pretty good about it.  There is much to learn in the crafty world, that's for sure.

I took lots of banners to the craft show and sold a few.  I made so many!  I love them.  Most of the designs are from Big Dreams Embroidery and are made in the hoop on the embroidery machine.
Laying out just some of the banners in preparation for the Fall 2013 craft show

I used a few bows in my own Autumn decor around the house.
I have made quite an assortment of mug rugs too.  They're fun to make, like little quilts!  My daughters all asked for some and they make great last minute gifts too.



I made some crafty, quilty goodness for my own home too.  I made a simple small quilt in warm Autumn colors.  It looks nice on my brown couch.





For Halloween we used a few of the banners to decorate and I embroidered some earrings for my girls too.  They were a big hit!



Monograms are big this year and I added my own to one of my winter purses.



While out and about Christmas shopping in early December, I spied this lovely beauty in the candle shop/ antique store.  She is a beautiful Singer 201-2 in wonderful condition.  She needed to come home with me.  She is amazingly quiet and smooth.  I tried out some free motion quilting with her and it's like butter.  We are going to be very close friends, she and I.

Here she is at the shop...calling me....telling me to come and take a closer look...

Free motion quilting is a piece of cake.
I made a couple of patchwork pillows for the sofa with some Christmasy fabrics and did some very basic stippling to give them depth.




I finished a red and white quilt in time to be displayed for the Christmas season.  I didn't take any pictures of it specifically, but you can see it in the first photo of this blog post and also in the background of this photo of one of my nosy dogs, Maggie.


My kids wanted to do a homemade Christmas this year, which was a wonderful idea.  But the joke was that for all of the things that I make, they actually did better than me in making all of their gifts.  It was wonderful.  They were extremely creative and put a lot of time into their gifts.

One of the things I did manage to make was a sewing machine cover for my daughter-in-law.  She has the same sized sewing machine as my newer Singer, only mine is black (The Singer 160) and hers is white (The Singer One).  This made it easy for me to make her gift and try it out to make sure it was a good fit.  With no pattern, it can be a guessing game, but it turned out to fit nicely.




My 160 and my adorable little Featherweight on the right.


 I also managed at the last minute to embroider a hoodie for one of my boys who loves all things Poland.



I made a quilt for my youngest boy, who is 14 and hadn't received a quilt from me yet.  I quilted it on the frame (Next Generation Grace frame) with my Viking Mega Quilter.  It's not my dream set-up, (read: it's not a long arm)  but hey, it works well for all-over quilting.

I've made lots of things this year but I am the worst for taking pictures of it all.  Maybe one of my New Year's resolutions should be that I take the time to get out the good camera on take better pictures!

A Happy New Year to everyone!  And my you have a blessed and safe 2014.

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