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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

Well, it's pretty obvious I'm back to work this week - no updates until today. I have been working on a couple of things, but I just don't seem to make the progress when I'm working that I do when I'm on vacation. :)

In cross stitch, I've worked some more on my Autumn Maiden, and I decided to take a picture of the progress on the entire project. It's looking good, and the Autumn Maiden's dress is nearly finished (thus, that panel is nearly finished!). Maybe I'll finish her up next month.

All of the Maidens so far

In quilting, I've stitched a few of the melons to the center "squares", but I haven't quite finished row 4 yet. I also have another milestone in CC's Flannel 4-Patch - the binding is sewn to the front! Now I just have to finish attaching it to the back, then the quilt will be done.

Binding fabric
Binding strips
Binding sewn to front of quilt

The fabric I chose for the binding has green, purple, and brown colors in an odd pattern that almost seems like wings from butterflies. The colors really match nicely the colors in the quilt. I've sewn the binding to the front of the quilt, and now I'm attaching it to the back by hand.

I hope you all have had a fantastic weekend, and I hope to report that quilting happy dance by next weekend!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Beads, beads, beads!

I finally got around to scanning in some of the jewelry I've been making over the past couple of weeks. I thought I'd start off with the earrings I made. On the left, I used some molded pressed glass cat head beads along with some A/B finish pressed glass crystals. On the right, I bought some really pretty celtic heart beads and paired them with some red picasso beads, both of which I just purchased from Land of Odds / Be Dazzled beads. I'm very pleased with them both.

Blue cat earringsCeltic heart earrings

Next are a couple of necklaces. My favorite is the one on the left, and anyone who knows me will understand why (autumn colors). On the left, I used tranparent-brown barrel glass beads that I paired with some A/B finish pressed glass crystals. I also made some earrings to match this necklace. The scanner didn't pick it up very well, but these are very shimmery, and look very glitzy around the neck. On the right, I used some teal-colored pearl beads with some teal-lined square-cut gold beads and some 6/0 silver-lined gold beads. I didn't make earrings to match, but I did make a bracelet in the same pattern.

Brown barrel bead necklaceTeal and gold bead necklace

My bead mojo is back, baby!

End of a great vacation

Great for me, that is. It might not be everyone else's taste, but I thoroughly enjoyed my week at home, playing with quilts, etc. Thanks to everyone for your compliments on Chris's Bear Chase. I took it to the quilt shop this morning, and they also oohed and ahhed over it, so my ego is sufficiently stoked! I remembered to take a photo of the backing fabric before dropping it off, so here is what I chose - a nice, vibrant geometric pattern, and the fabric, while not flannel, is really soft (soft like the backing fabric on your quilt Amy Beth!). I also made a pillow to go with his quilt.

Bear Chase backing fabric
Bear Chase pillow

I did manage to get some time in on the Double Wedding Ring, as I'd hoped, Thursday and Friday, and I completed the third row and started the fourth.

Double Wedding Ring quilt progress

One last quilting update: my Afternoon Tea BOM - block 6 in two different color variations.

Afternoon Tea, block 6

Now I'm going to try to finish up the quilting on the Flannel 4 Patch quilt. I'm soooo close!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Christopher's Bear Chase quilt top

The quilt top is completely assembled, and now I just have to piece the backing fabric so that I can take it to the quilter, yippee!!

Christopher's Bear Chase quilt top completely assembled, yay!

Tomorrow I think I'll start out by testing a little quilting on my new machine (and hopefully get the pillow top to match CBC quilted). Then it's DWR time!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Quilting projects

This weekend was the Super Second Saturday, and this time we are piecing the Churn Dash. The picture doesn't quite show off the colors, but again they're nice and warm.

Block 5, Churn Dash

Here is the progress I made today after going through some of the tutorials on my new machine. I worked on Christopher's Bear Chase, and got about 40% of the quilt top assembled.

Christopher's Bear Chase quilt top, approximately 40 percent complete

You can just barely see the Double Wedding Ring behind the Bear Chase top - I plan to work on it some more this week if I get Christopher's quilt top finished in time. The DWR has been sorely neglected. And of course, there's the 6th set of blocks for my Afternoon Tea BOM quilt to do too! So many pretties, so little time, eh?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

My mom is the most generous and loving person. Today she and my dad came over to visit us for Mother's Day. She brought me a gift - a new Pfaff Quilt Expression 2046, a major upgrade on the Pfaff she had just recently traded me (for my older Elna). So I traded her back the Pfaff 1471 for this one. I'm so glad I have this week off - I'll need the extra time to play around and figure everything out. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Pfaff Quilt Expression 2046

Friday, May 11, 2007

My beaded rings

Here are the three woven beaded thumb rings I made earlier this week. These pictures aren't the greatest, but they do show off the three styles. The first ring uses three colors (gold, rose, wine) in an offset pattern. The second ring is a black, gold, black concentric pattern. The third ring is three shades of blue - light, medium, and dark. All of these rings were made with delicas.

Woven Ring #1Woven Ring #2Woven Ring #3

More beads!

A friend and I were also discussing beadwork Sunday morning. We were talking about some of the bead books and catalogs we used to have (Janet Coles' Book of Beads and the old Beadbox catalog specifically - the ownership of which has since changed hands). They were the most beautiful bead catalogs I've ever seen, and they had some of the most unique and affordable beads. We were talking about the picasso beads (some of which I bought and made into bracelets and earrings), and I got to wondering if those still existed. I hadn't seen them in any other catalogs then or any time I had searched for them up through a couple of years ago. So I searched via Google Monday, and came up with a web site for a shop that carries what they call picasso beads, and what look similar to the beads I think are so pretty.

Bracelet I made with picasso beads 10+ years ago
This bracelet is the last piece of jewelry I have that I made with the picasso beads from Beadbox so long ago. It's also my favorite bracelet.

I ordered some - I was so excited! And then when I was checking something else on their web site, I realized - this bead shop (Land of Odds) is here. In Nashville. What? You're kidding, right? So I called them, and they said they'd be happy to pull my bead order and hold it for pickup. It's really close to my LNS too. I can't believe my luck! I'll be playing around with them as well as quilting on my vacation.

A hundred years...

Earlier this week, I was commissioned to cross stitch a poem for a co-worker's wife. I thought I would share it with you.

A Hundred Years poem finished
A Hundred Years poem framed

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Too many interests - now beads again!

wink I have way too many interests for my own good. Oh well, I just deal with it, because I love to do so many things.

Of course, I'm still really excited about my quilting / piecing. But this is how it goes: we were at the mall Sunday walking around before going to the movie. I've been thinking about getting a band ring for my thumb for a while now. We walked into several jewelry stores, but I didn't see anything I really liked (and virtually nothing in my price range anyway - geez!).

After we got home, I decided to check out the QVC and HSN web sites. I actually found a couple of rings that I liked, but they weren't available in the size I needed for my thumb. Oh well, I'll just keep checking around and eventually I'll find something I like.

And as I was going to bed Sunday night, I thought, "What about a beaded ring?" You know - something small, made with seed beads or delicas, or a combination of the two. As much as I wanted to get up immediately, I made myself stay in bed and go to sleep, with the promise that I could work on it first thing after work on Monday.

And that's what I did. It has been a while since I've done any bead weaving of any kind. I started out using a really fine gauge wire. Didn't like the results. I think my bead choices were fine, but I couldn't get the beads as nicely and tightly woven as I would have liked. So my next attempt was with some nymo thread. Much better. I created with three different patterned rings with the nymo thread and delica beads before going to bed (alas, and that's why there's no photo yet - hopefully soon!). I'm wearing the black and gold one today. Maybe the shades of blue one tomorrow. YES!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spider-man 3

I just have to say - it's as good as 1 and 2. It was awesome!

I've come down with the quilting bug

I haven't done much else lately besides quilting in my free time. Well, except for yesterday. I spent most of yesterday researching and addressing notes to go out to classmates for our high school reunion. The internet has really come a long way since I was first exposed to it in 1995. I could never have done the research I did yesterday back then. Well, if I had tried, it would have involved a lot more time and money. Of course, our class had less than 50 people, so that helps too. big smile

I've worked a little more on my GFG quilt this week. I got my box of crayons out, and have used them to color in my little graph. I'm sort of planning as I go, so I thought it might help to have a little reference when deciding on my next flower. One thing I noticed is that I don't really have a good solid apple green fabric, so I might look for a fat quarter of that somewhere. It would make a nice punch of bright color in my mostly pastels-to-medium-colors quilt. I do have some red, navy, and black that I am using in it for just a little more contrast too.

I now have all of the various parts of Christopher's Bear Chase quilt pieced, and I plan to begin assembly next week. Yes, I will be on vacation May 14-18 again, just for me, quilting and doing whatever I want to do! I have Janet Evanovich's Two for the Dough ready for listening, and I'm hoping to be able to finish Christopher's quilt top during this time.

I did manage to pull out Maidens of the Seasons and work on it just a bit this week - no new picture yet, but if I make some decent progress in the next week or two, I'll post it then. I have also knitted a few rows on my new hat, but not enough to warrant a new picture there either.

Thanks to everyone for your comments on my recent wips and my new layout. I'm slowly making my way through the web site, but at least the blog, home page, and quilt pages are done!