Tuesday, September 19, 2017

How to run errands the easy way

I had a few errands to run today. It's was such a beautiful day, too. Perfectly sunny with a little breeze. Maybe a little warm for my preferences, but that's what the shade is for. 

A lion keeping watch over the train as it rolled through Bunkie.

How to make the best of a chore I normally dread? Turn it into a beautiful day. Really. Just appreciate the scenes, especially the ones I wouldn't normally notice.

A corn field harvested and plowed before winter

Along the way I looked around and found a few especially interesting scenes around our little parish and thought I'd share them. 

A cotton field after the machines made their passes

Can I do this all time? Of course not. But I can make an effort much more often than usual. Because if we look closer and think about the places and people we do see, we can find beauty and feel joy. And what can be better than that?

Water lilies on the bayou outside of Cottonport

Before saying goodbye, I need to say "Happy Birthday" to our sweet grandson, who is 17 today. And take a look at these two silly girls who helped us celebrate with him last night. 

 Millie is growing so very quickly, but then who would believe that this boy, who we call Puppy when he was her age because he did his teething on the furniture, is now a young man? The beauty holding the tyke? Jolie, who is now in high school. Are yours growing up too fast? How do we slow them down?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: T H R E A D

Analogous. photographs of cotton reels, photocopied to make layers for final pirce geological layersWho doesn't love thread? Maybe people who have no use for thread. Even they use thread without thinking about it: clothes, bags, home decor and so on. 

Thread is a fairly important commodity. Once it's woven into fabric it becomes even more important, but it's when the fabric is sewn into a ready-made product that most people begin to appreciate thread.

thread in color by allpeoplequilt.com by better homes and gardens

Well, not us quilters! We can appreciate thread in it's simple forms, can't we? Turns out those simple forms aren't so simple when you begin looking at how thread is created from raw fiber. 

Here's one of my favorite videos showing how cotton is turned into thread using highly specialized machinery, How It's Made - Cotton. 

Here's How It's Made - Silk. Yes, there are silk worms.

For the knitters out there: How It's Made - Wool.

Thread Holder http://onlinecoolgifts.com/images/products/baumann/mid/65-2020.jpg Does anyone sell these? Link goes to Never Neverland...                                                                                                                                                      Moreorganize embroidery floss with clothespins - Sewing Hacks - Threads - Embroidery - Sewing - Storage - Craft Room - Craft Studio

Long Arm thread storage custom made by the quilters hubby.

Of course, there are a few quilts with thread on them. Wait, I should write that "quilts about thread." No, I still don't like the wording. How about "quilts depicting thread" or "quilts showing spools of thread"? That last one might do, but I imagine that you get the idea. On to the quilts...



Thread and Pincushion quilt row designed by Sandy Gervais of Pieces from My HeartNiceThreads, inspiration

Technically it's not a mini but that is what we call them at our guild. Next year we have our Penn Oaks Quilt show and one of the main ev...



Do you SEE those little tiny "x" squares that look like cross stitching? Be still my crafty little heart! :)


Spools Selvage Quilt -- love the use of the 'selvage' as the 'thread'!

I would love this in miniature to hang on the wall in my sewing room!

This last one is currently hanging in my studio. I hope they inspire you to look at thread in a different way. 
My version of Wendy Gilbert's "Spools and Tools" pattern which I purchased from Quilt in a Day.

Friday, September 15, 2017

How to start a quilt (in the midst of a mess)

There are two kinds of quilters: those who have every tool and scrap of fabric organized and put away, and those who haven't a clue what she has, where it is, or how to find it. 

Can you guess which one I am? If you said clean, organized, and put together, you'd be right. 

Unless you came for a visit right now. Or last month. Or maybe for the next couple of months. There are so many things "stored" in my studio, that I now have to walk through a pathway to get from one door to the other. I was at the point of giving up but, as I am wont to do, I turned my problem into Richard's problem. His promise is as good as done, and I've got his promise to clear out some of my problem. (Did I talk myself into a circle?)

In the meantime, I'm ignoring as much of everyone else's messes and sewing around their piles. How is it possible? Ah, it is. Just clear out a little corner of the worktable, the sewing table, the ironing board and the floor. No kidding! 

I got tee shirts over the weekend and began working on a customer's tee-shirt quilt. I have a small window for getting it completed. But I also got an injection in my right shoulder yesterday. 

Unfortunately, that closed the window quite a bit since today I cannot raise my right arm. I cut most of the shirts Tuesday and Wednesday, and I began organizing and pressing them today.

A few of the shirts could be prepared by hand, so I pulled that off.  Also, I managed to sew a few panels together. When the pain got too serious, I left the machine and made decisions about some of the more puzzling shirts.

One puzzle was this karategi, or karate uniform jacket, which I've decided to treat in a special way on the quilt. I try to do something surprising on each memory quilt I make. I like the idea of giving the customer something extra to show to friends and family--a conversation starter with two conversations to share.

I had hoped to finish my cutting today, but using a rotary cutter is almost impossible with this shoulder. These soccer jerseys will have to wait until I can move again. 

And this football jersey is going to take even more thinking before I make the first cut. Tee shirts, which are worn only a few times or as a common everyday item, do not intimidate me. Oh, but something like this...oh, yes! Imagine the memories that this football jersey holds. 

The recipient is going to look at these shirts and remember his glory days at East Ascension High. If you look closely at the jersey, you can see that it was torn and ragged in a few games. The seams go from neck to hem--battle scars, if you will.

For me, it's not just measure and cut. It's choose carefully the best technique for the item. Cut just as carefully, and sew with a professional look in mind. 

Each shirt gets one chance when the rotary cutter goes to work and no one likes to rip seams. The worst, though, is thinking of a better way to present an important shirt after it's been cut and sewn.

When you need more time or you don't have the space (or body ability) to accomplish what you want, do as I did today. Clean some of your work surface. Put tools and extras away. Sweep the floor. Luckily, those are jobs that I can do without the use of my right arm and will help resolve the storage problem that I've had since the kids moved in. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Pin It Weekly #214

How are things in your Pinterest? My little corner of Pinterest has a follower by the name of Blinking Cat who has many boards that you may well enjoy.  These few come from his/her tatting board, but there are boards for knitting, sewing, crafting, quilting, kids, blogging and, oh, so many more. It's just easier if you go there.

Down the Garden Path by sarahwood8Tatted bookmark - Hearts Desire

He's beautiful. And I got the pattern for free at the linked website!

I have been pinning some fun pillow covers...

Pillow Cover, Decorative Pillow Cover, Living Room Decor, Rainbow Nursery, Patchwork Pillow, 18 x 18 Inches, Rainbow Patchwork Triangles

Mint Pillow Set - (12x20) Stripe and (20x20) Color Block  by JillianReneDecor - Modern Home Decor - Turquoise

Quilted pillow idea .... Fun! Love the colors!


Ooooo isn't this Fab.#patchwork Love the the different colourful diagonal stripes. Simple but effective

And some fine art readers...

The Library ~ Elizabeth Shippen Green (1905)
The Library ~ Elizabeth Shippen Green (1905)

Louise Catherine Breslau (Swiss, 1856-1927) - Reading, c. 1889:http://classicalnovels.blogspot.com/p/toc-width99-margin5px-auto-border1px.html
Louise Catherine Breslau (Swiss, 1856-1927) - Reading, c. 1889

Sunday Afternoon by Malcolm_Liepke (367×559)
Sunday Afternoon by Malcolm_Liepke (367×559)
And one of my favorite painters...

The old mill - Vincent van Gogh - 1888 - Place of Creation: Arles, France
The old mill - Vincent van Gogh - 1888 
Place of Creation: Arles, France
And finally some button diy crafts...

Button Art Seahorse on Recycled Wood with Acrylic Paint Background #button #art #seahorse4 Seasons Button Tree Wall Art by Amanda Formaro, Crafts by Amanda

Bijoux Buttons Large Anchor Button Art & by bijouxbuttonsltd

button christmas ornaments diy-christmas-ornaments

Looking for a some fun craft ideas? How about BUTTONS! They come in so many colors and sizes and you can do so much with them! Don’t believe me that the craft options are endless? Check out these 35 cool diy craft projects! Kids can even do some of these!   Unicorn Flower Bouquet Pipe …Button Idea bought to you by The Half Moon Button Club of the Capital District on FACEBOOK. #buttonlovers

Have you been pinning lately? Leave a comment with the link to one of your boards so the rest of us can enjoy your work.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Two new pillows finished

Only two and a half weeks to go till the craft fair at our guild quilt show. I've slowed down the sewing and amped up the preparations for the booth. Today Richard and I pulled out the Easy-up top and tried to figure out where and how things would fit in the available space. 

There's good news and bad news. What I envisioned in my head will fit in the booth. Good! It's going to take much more work, (Bad) unless I can con Rich into doing some of it for me (not so bad). 

Everything needs to be cleaned. The dust and dirt that gets on anything sitting in Richard's shed is unbelievable. So it's not just dusting but washing and scrubbing. Maybe even a bit of dealing with spiders--not my favorite chore. 

The blue pillow is one that I will use as a display and take orders only since the address is personalized. I do want to make one more in a more modern colorway using my parents' old address. That is what I wanted to begin with but couldn't work on at the time, so I made this one with our address.

The neutral pillow is one I made a couple of weeks ago but didn't get to photograph and write about. I think there are two more that I haven't photographed. Maybe I'll get to those later in the week, although it's already Wednesday.

How is it that when I was working, days and weeks seemed to drag along but now they seem to fly along at a warp-speed? I don't seem to be able to keep up with my own plans. 

And that's been most of my week. Sewing, cleaning, and preparing for my first craft show in a very long time. If all goes well, a friend and I are thinking of having a booth at another local show and friends have encouraged me to consider shows in their towns. I'm not making any committments, though, until I see how this one works. 

I did not enjoy the show we did in Natchitoches a few years ago. It was so very cold, which definitely added to my misery. Then there were the dismal sales and not knowing what or how to manage anything. Hopefully, planning will help and the weather will cooperate. We'll see.

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