Thursday, September 29, 2005

I really liked how the beaded centers turned out on the crazy heart so I used them on the center of the bottom smaller heart too. I tried to match the coloring of the centers as well.

The lazy daisy flower swag was made with variegated ribbon and filled with beads for centers.

The butterfly was tacked down with beads also. The spider has 6 legs now (i know he's supposed to have 8 but I didn't think there was enough room) if it weren't for Kay Lawrence he still wouldn't have any legs...she came to the rescue with the black embroidery thread!!

The web has entrapped a silver dragonfly and now has clear dew crystals on it to add a little glitz. The big empty brown space that was driving me crazy, has been filled with twisted yarn and buttons and beads. Not sure I'm quite finished with it yet though. Still feel like it needs some more embriodery but it's starting to go over the top...more later...

Monday, September 26, 2005

This is the latest picture of the crazy heart. I've used the Elegant Stitches book for the grape vines done in stem stich and lazy daisy for the leaves. The grapes were made from Miyuki fringe beads.

The buttons and beads were added as well as the ribbon flower - ribbon is Fabulous Fibers Ribbon Glitz in Bronzite. I also used seed beads for flower center pistils and green glass leaves. The red cat head from Oriental Treasures was added just for fun.

I've added all types of beads to the red ribbon and a bone butterfly to the flower fabric.

Red lazy daisy with bead centers were sewn along the edge.

I've started the spider and he has a head and body but no legs black floss so he may be legless for awhile!!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

3 pitbulls and a weiner dog oh and 2 boys too!!

Today was going to be spent sewing but you know what is said about the best laid plans of mice and men....Instead I went and picked up the grandpuppies and brought them to the house for a playdate...Gracie fellinto the pond (at ast count) 3 times...fortunately Gracie, unlike most pitbulls loves the water...

Charlotte is my lazy girl and you might see her do a little running every now and again but, don't count on her for ball chasing at all...Wilbur has never seen a frisbee before but Gracie is well aquainted with one...

Flash (formerly known as Bopper) is well suited to his name...he had the tennis ball (after it had it's bath in the water bowl) in the house before I could catch him....All in all I think they had a good time...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Here's a closeup of the finished weeping willow. I used Judith Baker Montano's Elegant Stitches book as a guide. However, I used a chain stitch for the tree trunk and branches instead of satin stitch. The feather stitch was used for the feathery branches in a light and darker shade of green. I took her advice and started with the darker stitches first and then did the lighter green. I really like how it turned out.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

still crazy

Now I did say that I'm steady working on this crazy heart and have to have it done in time for our Quilt Show October 21st & 22nd. I took these pictures on Monday night but camera and computer have not been playing well so they are just now getting blogged.

Today, well today was spent running the roads. Oh and did I mention having to run to my husbands work and unlock his car...I'm so glad I'm not the only one who manages to do that. And I was a very nice girl and brought him lunch too. He does nice things for me so sometimes I have the opportunity to reciprocate. I then went and checked on my grandpuppy baby and her little brother who, I might add are quite the pair. She is a pitbull puppy and he is a hotdog puppy. Well the two of them had managed to rip out the screen door and pegboard so I spent a few minutes rescrewing the panel in place and fixing the screen. Finally made it back home and tried to blog the pictures but the camera and the computer were not playing nice...AGAIN!!! Okay, so I got over that trauma, and started plugging in the information to go in the Quilt Show booklet (which I really needed to be doing more than blogging anyway).

In these pics I've sewn down the larger heart with the buttonhole stitch...I really like buttonhole and love the variegated thread that I used. I worked off and on all day yesterday on the spider web, using 6 strands of grey embroidery floss for the larger web strands and wrapping a sparkly monofilament sulkky thread to couch and then make the small er threads. It was a little tedious but I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. My favorite so far is working on the weeping willow tree (which is just a trunk and some branches in the darker brown. I used the chain stitch on the trunk since I don't do the satin stitch to any of my own liking. Chain stitch seems to fill in and give it some texture that I like better too. I've also lightly couched down a really pretty ribbon that I will decorate with beads later on.

I've also included pictures of Charlotte, with her mouth full of rawhide and tongue hanging out the side and a picture of Wilbur as he's guarding the steps and watching the front door...they are so entertaining!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Crazy Heart #2

Since my mother received the first Crazy Heart that I made for Mother's Day, I wanted one of my own. This time I wanted to create it in the folk art colors that I have come to really like and want to be surrounded by. This needs to be completed in time for our Quilt Show in October so, that gives me 31 days to be done in. No pressure!! I did get on a real roll for the first one so hopefully I will with this one too. For sure I will finish the button hole on the smaller tonight and at least start on the button hole for the larger one.

Update on RR blocks

Well the 3 blocks are finished and ready to be mailed on Monday!! I have been busy machine and hand embroidering them. Adding beads to the peach blossoms and stuffing the noses and peaches. The peaches were made from fabrics I hand painted.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Mary Lou Weidman Round Robin 2005

This is the first round robin I have participated in and it has been lots of fun...of course I am behind in my blocks but am working hard to get caught up...these are some of the blocks that I have already received from Australia and all over the U.S...the blocks were made by Michelle, Karen, Karen Mc, and the two Robin's...great blocks aren't they?! We are also including post cards with our blocks from our state/region/country...Robin even included a magazine of things to do in the area for visitors and newcomers...made me want to go visit Washington...

My husband and boys went camping this past weekend and took my truck with them...I hate that part...I mean taking the truck part....however, the up side is that my husband fills my gas tank and washes my truck for me...woo hoo! Soooo, that being said, I finally got my Intergallactic Bead Show sticker put on the truck (my daughter Brandy and I had gone to the show in Newark, DE back in July)...Well that wasn't the only thing I managed to accomplish either, I machine stitched on 3 of my swap blocks for the Mary Lou Weidmand group I'm in...I'm doing puppies with peaches for the state of Georgia...We are also sending postcards from where we are from and to add something in our block to show where we are from...I've been sewing together the peaches a and started stuffing them...yes stuffing...we are to embellish any way we want and I'm incorporating stuffed peaches and noses and embroidering vines and flowers and beads for centers.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Wilbur & Charlotte

All things considered my puppy babies have been very good today. They spent a good deal of it crated while I was at the guild meeting, then helping with Project Linus, and later taking pictures and blogging. If they could speak they would probably tell you that they don't like blogging. Blogging keeps momma from playing with them. Don't be worried, Wilbur is the master of play and so he manages to entertain Charlotte and also himself at the same time. I keep thinking I should replace the carpet with asphalt so they could get better traction especially in the hallways and on the stairs. They both supervised taking pictures and waited patiently on the stairs for me to finish. Finally when they felt they had played enough and waited long enough, they got into bed. Now to make them move and give me some space. Charlotte is sleeping on my side of the bed she knows!!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Lydia Lee Hobbs

I dug out the quilt my great-grandmother, Lydia Lee Hobbs made in 1959. She was almost completely blind and my grandmother, Martha Hobbs Fee, would tell me stories of Lydia piecing the quilt and quilting it by hand, feeling her way across the quilt. The stitches aren't perfect, the rows aren't either, the quilt is done in white and black thread and it is probably the most beautiful quilt I've ever seen. It's the one that made me want to quilt as a kid. Lydia inspired me in that she was so adept that she could make a quilt when not being able to see what she was doing at all. She just knew how to do it. WOW!

The quilts that both Lydia and Martha made were purely utilitarian, using old clothing for patches and leftover material from when making clothing. It wasn't until I was grown and married that I realized there were fancy crazy quilts, dresden plates, etc. but the utilitarian quilts were the ones that whispered in the back of my mind to one day learn how to quilt. In January 2003, my dear friend Pamela Kervin patiently taught me how to make a design, cut, piece, sandwhich and finally quilt and bind my first 'real' quilt. Since then I have almost ravenously started stash building. Mostly I fell in love with every kind of quilt I saw, it has only been this year that I have started to develope a style of my own and really refine the look I want in my quilting.

As a side note on Lydia's quilt, the binding was originally a light blue. My mother replaced the binding a while back because it had started to deteriorate. Yes, she machine sewed it which would mortify all purists I know, but in the spirit of my grandmothers, they would have done the same today too. Remember, this was a utilitarian quilt and if my great-grandmother could have used a sewing machine she would have to have made the quilt in the first place. The neatest part of this is, when I repair the seams that are pulling apart, add a sleeve and a label, 4 generations of women in my family will have worked on this quilt. Cool, huh?!

Donna's book

I've been practicing embroidery stitches on the book for Donna, working on stitches I've never tried before (sorry Donna). Have to practice somewhere and with my lack of organizing and time management I don't have time for practice runs if I want this done for Christmas.

I was using the wheat ear stitch around Pat's graduation picture.

I looooved doing the double feather stitch...I think this will be one of my favorites!

The scroll stitch was used to frame the picture of Pat at Niagara Falls and I used the spiny chain stitch around the cat/dog saying.

The chevron stitch was more difficult and I had a harder timer with it...guess I need to practice it a whooole lot more.

Linus top

Well, I finally took the top I made for Project Linus off the railing and gave it to Gloria to finish (of course she had to ask or it may have hung there another 6 It was just too big to try and finish on my machine without my losing my mind. I desperately want a new machine and am seriously thinking of the Janome 6500 since it has come highly recommended.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

In the garden clean-up - what fun!!

Well, the pups and I started out, me pulling and cutting down vines that were wrapped around the deck railing and all through the garden on the side of the deck...gracious was it overgrown! Of course Wilbur wanted in on the action too and was weaving himself in and out of the vines. The flower bed when all the vines were yanked out, the mint thinned out and the butterfly weed seeds dispersed throughout in hopes that it will spread, looked, as my friend Denise would say, a bit ratty-tatty. Well hopefully we will get a shower soon or I may even turn the sprinklers on to help out. I did find some wild strawberries in there, the creeping jenny that looked so pretty down at the Riverwalk that took forever to find, some ferns transplanted from the back, leggy stems from the windflower that have long since bloomed. The violets are propagating very well and I've even 3 crepe myrtle trees that were 'give mes' know, the ones that seed themselves (maybe the birds helped with that one). I do know for sure that the squirrels have planted my backyard full of oaks, hickory and those hateful sticker ball trees too which I spend forever trying to rip out by the roots before they get too big.

I dug up the cactus (sorry mom) that my mother had given me (I do believe I gave her the original starter piece) and planted it in one of the deck boxes instead. I have let the flower bed it was in overgrow so badly since the cactus was in there...remember that cactus your mom had on the kitchen table or in the window sill that looked sooo fuzzy and cute and you just knew she couldn't be telling the truth when mom said it would 'bite you', well let me tell you...this big cactus that has the gorgeous yellow flowers in spring, is the granddaddy to that hateful thing your momma had in the kitchen. I wouldn't touch it and used the shovel to transport and plant the thing in the box...and yes I jumped out of the way when it looked like it would fall in my direction...I'm not stupid ya know!!!

It was finally a decent day to be out in the yard...a little sun, not too much heat and a slight breeze...the makings of a fine work day outside in Georgia. It's hard when I think of yard clean-up and weed destruction, I can't help but remember growing up in Cape St. Claire in Maryland. The house we lived in started out as a summer party bungalow and was updated and winterized when my mom and dad bought it. The place was in a waterfront beach community and the yards were full of sand and seashells and bitty rocks and pebbles. It was quite delightful but my mom wanted grass...daddy was content with green stuff so...I grew up appreciating anything that was in the yard and what if our yard 'bloomed' every summer..I was quite fascinated with the pretty little blue flowers, lavender ones, white ones and I think my all time favorite were the ones that made my chin turn yellow and said that I liked butter...what fun memories of childhood.

ON the other hand, I now live in a much more civilized community with paved streets and sidewalks, street lights that come on at dusk and much smaller yards and all the houses have numbers on the mailboxes and houses and even the curbs out neighbors probably think the Beverly Hillbillys moved in next door (did I mention that my ancestors were Virginia Hillbillys??) and much to their probable dismay I still don't have the heart to kill the pretty flowering grass...

Well, onto the garden clean-up...Keep in mind that I am originally from up north in Maryland...I was not familiar with the wild and wide assortment of bugs, critters, and foliage that grows down here in the south. We moved here in 1999 and it took me until last summer (yes 5 whole years) to realize that that intrusive yet pretty little vine that kept trying to overtake my backyard flower garden, draping itself ever so tightly around the jasmine and porch window boxes, not to mention the deck railings and even up the siding and around the windows , was kudzu...yeah, go ahead and laugh I did...okay remember the grass story, kudzu has pretty little white and lavendar flowers that resemble morning glories...and the vines start out as such pretty little heart shaped leaves...who'd have thought it was that great big honkin vine that drapes the highways and interstates covering all the trees, shrubs and plant life and effectively strangling it all to has such cute little flowers!! Well all that being said, I think I will go out tomorrow with that big bottle of round-up and take care of the weeds in the yard!

Wilbur and Charlotte help too...

Wilbur and Charlotte, not to be left out of this yard clean-up, supervised and inspected the job I had done...okay, so they didn't supervise...they did however sneak back under the deck (they have chewed 4 panels of lattice out from under the duck to play in the dirt underneath...Doug keeps putting up more lattice and they keep eating holes to get back in...wanna place a bet as to who finally wins this one????

Assorted critters

Okay, so when you are pulling out weeds, vines and other assorted rubbish, you are very likely to find assorted critters too...a little bug was more than willing to have his picture taken, the ugly catterpillar thingy was under the pile of yard gunk in the raised flower bed and the toad (ain't he sooo cute!) kept trying to hide in the greenery but I finally was able to snap a shot of him...the little baby anoles (there were 2) were entirely too speedy (or I may be too slow) to catch a photo of...however both were more than a little irritated at my yanking their vines out from under them...sorry, but they will just have to find a new place to hide...there are still plenty of plants to take cover in...