Friday, October 27, 2006

BROKEN DISHES


I am back in Blogland! My computer guy came over last night and cleaned up my computer! Yay!! Everything that I had messed up while trying to “fix” things, is put back in order. What would I do without him? Let’s not even think about it.

I have been playing with HSTs this past week. I love them, actually. I used up little scraps of triangles that I had trimmed off things over the years, added some new ones, and started making Broken Dishes blocks. I never have enough organizing space and found that I can put the lids to my plastic boxes to use. I set out my little HSTs on one and used a larger lid to arrange the finished blocks. The blocks are 3” finished. I got the blocks sewn together, borders and all, and decided to add a little focus block in the center like in the Dutch Doll Quilts. So I picked out the center and sewed the little appliqu├ęd bird in. (Remember the bird from a previous post? When I find something I like I just keep making it!) This time it is wool sewn on a cotton background. I love it! I will make one to exchange and one to keep! Now, back to the sewing room! Have a great weekend!
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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

THE COMPUTER FROM HELL


My computer has really been giving me problems. Or maybe I have been giving it problems, I'm not sure. I had trouble getting on line, then couldn't get on line at all for a few days. Verizon came out and put a new box on my house and now I am back on line. But I have really screwed up some other stuff in the meantime. Have you ever had a problem with your computer crashing after loading pictures onto your blog? I get that some times. I have wondered if Blogger distributes any problems, such as virus, worm, trojans, spyware??? I don't suspect them of doing it on purpose. But there are so many creeps out there who take pleasure in creating problems for others. My husband works for the government and was recently alerted that they are not to use any MP3's on office computers. Apparently McDonalds in Japan awarded MP3s as prizes and they contained a trojan horse. I doubt that McDonalds knew that, but the problem still remains. It stinks to be at the mercy of hackers.
OK, how about something pleasant!
I completed my Buggy Barn Geese quite a while ago (not quilted) but never got it posted. It is really a different style quilt. When you cut the pieces you stack layers of fabric together and cut the same shape from all layers. There is virtually no waste. Then you rearrange the pieces in the stack so each layer is different. Because you layer the lights and the darks together, you end up with half the blocks in dark background and half in light background. I couldn't quite get the whole quilt in the photo, but you can see that the blocks with the dark background are all in the center of the quilt, and the outer quilt has the reverse. I have never made anything quite like this before. It wasn't difficult. You trim up all the blocks to size, so everything fits. It did take lots of space due to the size and the diagonal set. It was fun to try something new. I think Buggy Barn does cool stuff!

I am playing with triangle pieces left from old projects, some from many years ago. I have been making them into Broken Dishes blocks that finish at three inches. I actually had to make more HSTs to add to the pile, so it is a nice mix of old and new. I am tying to get a jump on the season that must not be named in October. The LQS always has a party and gift exchange for employees and teachers. Everyone brings one gift and then a big fight breaks out to see who gets to keep the best one. It is actually a game that I find embarrassing, but of course I want my item to be awesome. We shall see.

I have over 200 blogline entries showing up, so obviously I haven't been keeping up! I will have to do some speed reading! Wishing you well!

Friday, October 20, 2006

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please be patient until I get someone who knows computer code to set this up right! In the meantime, enjoy twice as many photos! (Now you've done it, Ollie).

Thursday, October 19, 2006

WOOL INFO


Finn asked me questions about working with wool and I answered her to the best of my untrained ability. I decided to post the info here as well, in case anyone else was interested.
Finn also had an interesting comment about "gleaning" wool from bushes! Nancy actually knows someone who did that! It is a funny thing, but it seems to me that the older one becomes, the more recent the past becomes. Why is that? I think it is because when you find yourself at age 50 or 60, you realize that 100 years ago was not that long ago any more. Now about wool felt. I am sure some of you remember that years ago we could buy really good quality felt squares for crafts. I still have some! Then one day, overnight it seems, it was no longer nice felt, but cheesy synthetic stuff. Well, now wool felt and wool fabric is all the rage for crafts again. If only I had some of those old wool skirts back! They are overdying it for projects!
I don't know if I can answer Finn's questions adequately. I am new to this thing myself, and have never put my wool pieces through any process. I have been told that most of the books with wool projects will give you directions. The wool felt that you have is stiff. Am I right? You can use it that way, or you can "full" it. Fulling it produces a softer product. To full it, place it in hot-hot water. Soak it, press the water out, soak it in cold water, press the water out, then put it in the drier.The colors will probably bleed. Be careful not to swish it too much because they are not woven fibers, but compressed, and can fall apart. When it is dry it should be fuller-hence the word "full".
You can use the felt without this process, but it will remain stiff. You can also use this process on woven wool, and it will shrink up, as I am sure you know.
Directions vary with the applique, but the gal who taught me prefers using Heat 'n Bond fusible web. It helps keep the edges from fraying. I like that also.
My previous entry linked to a shop in Wisconson called Primitive Gatherings. It has kits and patterns, etc. (As do many others). Give it a try-it's lots of fun!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

GATHERING WOOL




Did you know that in years past they (read: women) used to collect bunches of wool from the bushes where it had rubbed off the sheep? I read that somewhere. I love learning those little tidbits from the past. I feel drawn to the past in many ways, but truthfully, I wouldn't want to live there.
I took a class last Saturday where we made a little wool table runner. It is from Primitive Gatherings. The LQS does lots of primitive stuff, and I love it! This project came in a kit, and the red wool is a little on the dark side. It doesn't photograph well. There are two crows on a branch at each end and the word Simplify embroidered above them.
I couldn't stop playing with wool, so I decided to make a pincushion. Well, I actually made three! I will be needing a few gifts in the near future. It is so nice to have something to work on in the evenings now that it gets dark earlier and the temperatures have dropped. Jo Morton's book, Prairie Flowers, shows this as a pincushion in wool, and it was just what I was looking for!
I also taught a class this week. It is a cute little brown churn dash quilt that I call Table Scraps, because I was literally picking pieces of fabric off the cutting table and adding them to the quilt. It is scrappy and has some cute little mavericks in there. I love that little churn dash block!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

SPOOLS QUILT


Remember when I posted a photo of a few spools I was sewing on in Minnesota? I finished about 3/4 of the blocks while at my daughter's house, then finished the rest when I came home. This week I got the top done! I love it! I made it for ME! The design is so simple and I do like simplicity. The blocks are 9-1/2" finished. Teri Christopherson, from Black Mt. Quilts, is the designer. It's in the book Sunflower Patch. I surrounded it with 3" cut squares and then a rust-red border. It measures 56" x 75". I was at the LQS on Monday and found the perfect backing fabric on the half-price shelf!
I spent today cleaning and organizing--still! But I have made real progress! The spare bedroom is once again useable. I removed all the boxes of fabric and stuff and got it all put away in my sewing room. I am loving my new cabinets! I can actually find things and put things away! What a concept! DD #1 is coming to visit tomorrow, so that was the incentive I need to get it done, I guess. :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

AMAZING STORY

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my little treasures and my quilts. It is nice to be able to share and have people appreciate the things we love and enjoy. I gain so much from all of you as I peruse your blogs and see your talents and feel your enthusiasm for "our craft" and for life in general. I am not posting a picture today, but instead, I want to share this story and video that my brother sent to me. It is heartwarming and beautiful! You will want to share it with your friends and family. Go to http://cjcphoto.com/can/

Sunday, October 01, 2006

MOSTLY OLDER THAN ME


I guess those of us who like old quilts also like other old stuff! Finn was showing her lovely antique dishes, and it made me jump right up and take a picture of a few of my favorites. I really should do some close-ups for my family, because most of them are family treasures that I am lucky enough to own. Mainly because I am the one who is interested in them! But they need to be labeled. When my mom passed away I realized how little I knew about the things that she held dear. I need to learn from that!

The three dishes are Johnson Brothers. All have different pictures on them. They were my mother-in-laws. The little houses are not antiques (yet). They are by David Winter, and they were my mom's. On the lower shelf is an enamel tea set that belonged to my great grandmother, Libby Winspear. On the bottom it says "Germany", but no other clues. I would love to decorate my whole house in this manner, but I have a husband. 'Nuff said.

Another favorite display of mine holds a big platter that was a wedding gift to my great-grandparents (Lemon Chambers, yes, Lemon) in 1888. It is a treasure! The silver colored mug on the right might be pewter. I don't know enough about antiques, really. It is engraved, and says, "Won as 2nd Prize at Delaware Street Church Spelling School by John North, May 3, 1875". He was my great-grandfather. Two iron banks, one of my grandfather, Wally Winspear, and one from my husband's father. You probably can't see it, but around the neck of the little baby dress is a birth bracelet from when I was born. It says "Winspear Girl" in little bead letters. Anybody remember those? I guess that is an antique now too! Oh face it, I guess I am an antique now too!