Monday, September 30, 2013

America's Oldest Yarn Shop

After all of our hard work in the sewing room, my Dad drove us to Provo to visit Heindselman's Yarn shop.  What a feast for the eyes!  My Mom is working on some crocheted vests and needed more yarn.  I was just tagging along for fun, but did end up getting a skein of yarn to make a scarf.

This is an awesome yarn shop, with all kinds of knitted and crocheted sweaters, scarves and socks providing oodles of inspiration.  The only things I knit though are dishrags and ruffle scarves.....
My Mom was a little worried about being able to find everything in her newly cleaned sewing room so I gave her a tour today after we finished up.  Hopefully it will be helpful to have all of the painting stuff together, as well as the yarn, counted cross stitch, fabric, batting etc.  She seemed to like it.  As she uses things she can always move them where she wants them - that is if she can find them!  I think she will be able to :)  I found a piece of fabric in her sewing room today with a saying about being creative and messy or something like that.  I will post that tomorrow.

And I have to report that my husband googled Kip Quilter in Park City and I did spell his name correctly!  How cool is that name?  Apparently he is quite the athlete competing in soccer and winter sports in the Park City area.  I wonder if he ever got teased about his last name?  I wonder if his Mom is a quilter?  Maybe someday he will be a quilter!  I do think it is a cool name.  And I was impressed with him as a young man too.  I enjoyed the talk he gave in church on Sunday.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

There Comes a Time

There comes a time in every quilter or crafter's life when they need to sort through their stuff, maybe purge a bit, and then find a place for everything they decide to keep.  We need to decide which UFO's to keep and finish and which ones to pass along to someone else, which tools are useful and need to stay and which can go, what size scraps of batting and fabric do we keep and which do we get rid of?  I always feel better after I clean and organize my sewing room.  I usually do this between major projects, as it gets my creative juices flowing for the next project, but sometimes I REALLY clean my sewing room, emptying
out cupboards, dusting and cleaning, finding things I forgot I had, and renewing my excitement for my UFO's (Un-Finished Objects).
Today, my Mom and I did this with her sewing room!  Here are the "before pictures".  She has a lot of WIPs (Works in Progress), and she had already begun sorting through things, hence the boxes on the floor.  Our goal was to keep only the things she wanted to finish and would use, and move things around in the cupboards to make it easier for her to get to them.
We are about half way done.  We still have some work to do tomorrow.  Here are some boxes and piles of things she decided to part with.  I mentioned before that my Mom can do everything.  Well today she said she felt like she got into too many things.  I think she enjoyed all of the creative activities she did, and does, but I guess the downside to that is storing all of the supplies to support all those hobbies.  Today we sorted through stuff for scrapbooking, cross stitching, tole painting, knitting, crocheting and doll making, as well as sewing and quilting.

I will be taking the "get rid of pile" home to share with friends and/or taking to our guild's White Elephant Sale in November.

It's beginning to look better already!  I don't know about my Mom, but when my sewing room is nice and clean, I can hardly wait to get in there, begin a new project, and mess it all up again!

My Mom has a lot of containers too - maybe that is where I got my love of containers from :)

I went to church this morning too.  They introduced a young man who was to speak and his name is Kip Quilter!  Now, I do not know if that is how it is spelled - I doubt it, but that is how it sounded.  I looked around for a program so I could see the spelling because I was so curious, but I couldn't find one, so we will be left guessing.  Regardless of how it is spelled you have to admit that is one cool sounding name!  He gave an excellent talk too, by the way.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I Am Feeling Very Olympic Today!

I am visiting family in Utah this weekend and today we went to Utah's Olympic Park in Park City.
Here we are waiting to receive our medals:  Megan - silver, Landon (Megan's husband) - gold, and Michelle and I sharing bronze.
They were training for ski jumping today which is awesome to watch.  I am not sure of the correct name for the event, but they ski down, do all of these amazing flips and twists and turns and then land, usually on the snow.  But here at Olympic Park they practice all summer long landing in the swimming pool!
They water these slopes down and in full gear, ski down, do all of their amazing stuff and then land in the water.

I have to thank my son Jonathan for all of the photos since none of the rest of us brought phones or cameras or anything.

These guys and girls are amazing.

Such a beautiful day in Park City! Yesterday, when I drove up, it was snowing!

They bubble up the water just before they land to kind of cushion the landing a bit.  It probably isn't much harder than landing on hard packed snow though.  I cannot even imagine doing this.
After watching the ski jumping, we all rode the "Extreme" Zip line, which was really fun!  Here are Megan and Landon coming in for a landing.

When the 2002 Olympics were in Salt Lake City, there were many commemorative quilts made to honor the event.  I have seen several of them and they are fantastic!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Paradise Stitched

I taught a class at Laura's based on the book "Paradise Stitched by Sylvia Pippen.  The techniques I taught were back-basting hand appliqué and sashiko.  Only two ladies signed up for the class, which would have normally meant cancellation, but these two ladies drove over an hour to get there, so canceling was out of the question!  We ended up having a great time, just the three of us, and I ended up making two new friends - always a bonus!  Monika chose to start off with a kit, for practice.  She appliquéd the flowers in the center in beautiful bright colors and then sashiko stitched the corners in orange thread.  She finished that one and two others!

Sharon chose a beautiful butterfly design from the book.  Unfortunately she did not have a lot of time to work on the project between classes (as happens to many of us!), but she did get the butterflies appliquéd.  She will be adding shiny thread to their wings and then filling in with a LOT of sashiko stitching, which she already has all traced on the back.  Sharon has some bead work planned as well, so many good ideas!  She promised to send me a picture when it's completed so I will post that.

Here you get a glimpse of the sashiko she began on the lower left corner.  It will be very subtle but add to the overall design beautifully.  I can hardly wait to see it finished!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Annie's thimble display case made from wooden thread spools reminded me of something my Mom made for me using wooden spools long ago.  A canister set for my Barbies!  Look how cute these are!  She painted them, then glued beads on top for the handle of the "lid" and wrote "Flour, Sugar", Coffee and Tea" on the various sizes.  You can barely make out the writing now because remember these are about 45 years old!!  Two of the beads are missing too.  After I played with these ages ago, my daughters played with them not so long ago and I still have them!  It may be time for a re-paint job, but they will be around
for my granddaughters to play with.  It is too bad they do not put thread on wooden spools anymore - the plastic ones just are not the same.  I haven't seen wooden spools for years!  Antique stores maybe?  If you have some, don't throw them away - there are all kinds of things you can use them for.
While digging through the Barbie stuff looking for the canister set, I found another creative thing my mother made for me - this adorable little baby bassinet.  She made it from an Ivory dish soap container (just the bottom part only), punched holes and crocheted around it and threaded a
ribbon through the edge.  Is that clever or what?  I also have a blue one, for Barbie's baby boy of course.
My Mom made me a bunch of Barbie clothes too.  Look at these from the 60's!  Fringed leather vests for Ken and Barbie, bell bottoms and a fur coat.  These are only a few of the incredible teeny tiny clothes she made.

Here are some Barbie dresses that she crocheted.  My girls not only reaped the benefits of the 1960's clothes I had, but she made more 1990's clothes for them as well.

Yes, my mother is pretty amazing and I am quite a lucky gal!!

Happy Quilting - or dress making or spool painting - or however you decide to create today!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Big Scary Monsters

 There are big scary Monsters under the bed,
And every night they must be fed.
They love to eat fabric, it's their favorite food,
It puts them in the very best mood.
So the lesson is clear, consider your plight,
Keep buying more fabric or be dinner tonight!

I made this quilt several years ago and it was my first venture into Back Basting Hand Appliqué.  I learned the technique from a magazine article by Jeanna Kimball.  I love this method- it makes needle turn appliqué so easy!  The poem above is machine satin stitched around the border of the wall hanging.  I made the quilt 3/4 the size of the original "Monster Quilt" pattern.  Right now this is hanging in my sewing room just for fun - although there is plenty of fabric in there for the Monsters to eat.  I don't need to buy anymore at the moment!

I had a lot of fun embellishing this quilt too, which was also new to me at the time.  I looked at the label so I could write exactly when I made it and guess what?  I DID put a label on it this time, but I did NOT put the date I completed the quilt on the label!  Ah!  I need to get so much better at labeling my quilts.  I'm learning a good lesson here ....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Progress on Market Fresh

Today was the last "Market Fresh" class at Hi Fashion.  Heather taught the class and did a great job.  It was a ton of fun and I enjoyed getting to know the other ladies in the class better.  I like taking classes because I ALWAYS learn something new, a new technique or a great tip for making a technique I already know easier.  Classes also get me going on a project that may otherwise sit on the shelf.  And .... it is just so much more fun sitting and sewing with friends!
Here is the progress I made on my quilt today - it is about half pieced together and I am loving it.  It is such a fun, bright, happy pattern :)

Here I am sewing at my kitchen table, which I hardly ever do, but my smaller "class" machine was all set up for machine appliqué with invisible thread so it was easier to just finish the process on that machine.  Then I moved upstairs to piece it on my bigger machine (with the even feed, which makes piecing so much easier).  I ended up laying the quilt out on my design floor and started sewing at home.  Not wanting to move my blocks, I went to class just to show what I had done so far and to see everyone else's progress.

Marlene, here, had a great idea that I wish I had thought of.  She lay her blocks out at home too, then took a picture of them and printed it out on 8 1/2x11 paper, so she would remember what blocks went where as she sewed it together in class.  Great idea!  I will have to remember that in the future.  Here is her quilt, with a light background, colorful wedges and a gray sashing - beautiful!  You can see her printed out photo "map" in the picture below.

This is Truly with the progress she has made on her quilt.  I love her dark chocolate brown background with beautiful colored wedges - it looks so elegant!

Here is a thought on classes for all of you teachers out there.  Classes give us a great start on a project, but rarely do we actually complete the project by the time class is over.  So we need to have a 3-4 month later "class reunion", so we can see at least everyone's completed top.  That would give us a deadline, so we're more likely to finish it, and I REALLY want to see all of these quilt tops finished because they are all going to be so different and beautiful!

Here are the top two rows of Truly's - this quilt is going to be stunning. I don't know why it reminds me so much of chocolate, but it looks good enough to eat!

Sue chose a light background also, with pinks and browns for the wedges.  I love the pink and brown combination!  I think her sashing is cream and she is considering pink cornerstones.

Sharon chose multiple browns for the background and many different fabrics for the wedges.  My original plan was to use multiple browns for the background too, but I just could not find enough browns in the shade I liked to make it work, so I ended up using the same brown for all the blocks. Sharon's is going to be very pretty - I can hardly wait to see it finished!  We need to start planning the Market Fresh Class Reunion :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wool Gatherings

I got the rest of my wool banners fused together and ready to stitch!  I am going to visit my Mom later this week and like to have some handwork to do while we visit.  I'm hoping to get these all done, since I have been about a month behind (for example it's almost October and I haven't finished September's yet :)  My Mom is working on some crocheting so it will be fun to visit while we work!  I have big plans to finish up some projects this Fall.  I am in the finishing mode.  No more starty until I finishy.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

How To Foundation Paper Piece with Freezer Paper

Here are my first ever how-to videos!  My sister-in-law, Cathie, wanted me to teach how to foundation paper piece using freezer paper to her guild, who are all going to be working on the Dear Jane quilt this year.  She lives about five hours away and they wanted to learn the technique soon so she suggested I make a video for them.  My first thought was, "uh....OK" but my wonderful hubby said, "Sure, we can do that!"  So, with his help, this is what we did!  Be kind, because this is a first attempt for both of us!  I stuttered a bit and moved my pieces out of range of the camera, making it hard for him to keep up, but overall I think it is not bad for a first attempt.  We will do better next time!  I'm already planning my next "how-to"!  Any suggestions?  (Oh by the way, we uploaded them to YouTube for easier viewing and were limited to 15 minutes, so there are two videos about 13 minutes long each.)  Let me know what you think, and what we can improve on!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sew Savvy

Today my friend Michelle and I went to the Sew Savvy Club meeting at Hi Fashion.  It is held once each quarter and they tell us what classes are coming up, what is new in the quilting world, do demonstrations on techniques and sewing machines (today it was machine appliqué and the binder foot tool), and have show and tell.  It is always really fun!  I took a picture of this cute little pumpkin pillow made by Trista, who works there.  Fall is definitely in the air!
Check back tomorrow for my first ever "how-to" video on Freezer Paper Foundation Piecing!

Friday, September 20, 2013

More About Containers

Here are the three containers I bought for my sewing room at The Container Store.  My wool stash was getting way out of hand and was stored in a bag.  It made it difficult to see what I had, and to get to when I needed it.  These pretty, yet see-through, containers are just right and will make getting to my wooly bits much easier!

The smaller container is for my Valdani threads, making them much easier to see and get to as well.  Much better than the previous Ziploc baggie.

The containers came with lids and there are carrying handles on the sides.  They are surprisingly light, even with all the wool in them!

I did not get this at The Container Store, but I had to share my Worm Bag from Bass Pro Shop.  I met a gal in class once who used it to "organize" her traveling projects that she took on trips or to classes.  This is an awesome little bag that is a little smaller than notebook size and cost about $14 on their website.  It's great for taking your projects to work on when you travel.

Here it is open and you can see why I like it so much.  There are many zippered pockets inside the cover to hold your scissors, thread etc., and then dozens of Ziploc bags held together by a two ring binder to hold your project pieces.  This bag is awesome!  You will never find worms in my bag!  I am not a fisherman so I cannot even imagine putting worms in those Ziploc bags....

You can see how nicely my new containers fit on my shelve.  Now all of my wool is stored nicely and is easy to get to.  I should have taken a "before" picture - it was a mess.

Here is Mike's find at The Container Store (the chair).  Occasionally we both work in the office at the same time and we only have one chair.  This will be our back-up chair!  It is along the lines of those balls that are supposed to help you sit up straight while you work at the computer.  It is actually quite comfortable!  I will not be using it for sewing however - a little too unstable for that I believe.  My stitching lines would be pretty wobbly.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Second Favorite Store

Yesterday we went to visit my son in Denver and Mike ask if there was anything I wanted to do while we there.  I said, "Yes!  I want to go to The Container Store!"  I was probably absurdly excited to go to this store.  It must be because it is my inherent nature to be "organized".  It is almost a joke in the family because it seems like that is the nicest thing people can think of to say about me - that I am organized.  OK, I will accept that and hope it is a compliment!  Once when my Denver son was in elementary school he made me a little Mother's Day bookmark with the letters M-O-M going down the side and a word using those
letters going across.  The three words he chose were:  Marvelous (love that one), Organized (heard that one before), and Makes Good Food (not sure that one is true).  Even at the tender age of about seven, that is one of the nicest things he could think of to say about his Mom :)  I don't think I'm obsessively organized (OK maybe a little) but I do like containers!  I say this is my second favorite store because my first favorite is of course any and all quilting stores.  I do love buying fabric even more than I love buying containers.  But I love buying containers more than I love buying clothes, or even food.....
Luckily my hubby likes containers too!  He was quite happy to go along with me, much happier than he would have been in a quilting store!  Here he is pushing our cart full of lovely containers (more on those tomorrow :)
After our delightful trip to The Container Store, which is awesome, you must go sometime - we went to the Denver Library and got library cards.  Now we can BORROW e-books!  Just download them on the Kindle app for three weeks!  I was very excited about this because besides loving fabric and being organized, I also love to read!  Thanks to my smart son for this great tip :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Annie's Thimble Collection

My friend Annie, who lives just down the street, and is in my Little Bits miniature quilt group, has a wonderful collection of thimbles which inspired me to start my collection.

I had to post these pictures of her display case, made by her son-in-law Jeff!  Annie said that she gave Jeff a bag of old wooden thread spools and this is what he made with them!  It is really quite amazing.  From what I understand he is a very talented wood worker.  I have seen some of the other beautiful items he has made.

Here is a close-up of the frame and corners. He cut the spools into whatever shapes he needed to fit them together.

Annie has a wonderful collection of thimbles, some beautiful ones for display only, and many very old, but useful thimbles as well.  In her collection, as with mine, each one has a special memory attached to it.
I had to take a picture of these signs!  "Annie's a-Quiltin" and "Al's a-Cookin".  Al, who is Annie's 92 year old husband, is indeed the cook at their house which does give Annie more time to go a-quiltin! He has a big garden he tends to as well.  They are such a fun couple!  I see Al out walking everyday. He compiled a book of his Cowboy Poetry and gave each of us Little Bits ladies a copy.  It is even more fun to hear him recite the poems in person, by memory.  They are amazing, both of them, and we love them!