Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

About 2 weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to "Gourd Gathering" at my sister's house.  This is what I painted.

I think it is a dipping gourd.  I cut out a circle of black felt to make her hat.  She isn't exactly scary but you gotta love her "blind" eye!

Sick children update

Fevers have broken evidence that the Tamaflu has kicked in.  Both of the children have congested breathing but my granddaughter is starting to feel a lot better.  Alex is still about a day behind her but not having the fever surely makes a difference.  My son has disinfected everything he could, did many, many loads of laundry and last I heard was making up a bleach bath for Alex's toy cars. 

Thank you all for your comments, prayers and good thoughts.  Now, back to purses!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sick grandbabies...

My oldest son just called.  His two children have come down with H1N1.  They just got vaccinated yesterday and apparently were already infected.  My granddaughter was spiking a fever of 105 and my grandson at 103.  Since their momma is in her first trimester of pregnancy, she has left the house for a few days and is starting on a pro-active course of Tamaflu.  The children are both taking it along with ibuprophen to bring down their fevers.  Alex has asthma so he is in a high risk catagory.  Grammy's heart hurts because she can't be there to help care for the children.

Please add them to your prayers.

Thank you,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In case you were wondering...

No, I was not taken in the night by a band of marauding pirates! I haven't posted in over a week because I have a case of the "blue funk", purses are now the bane of my existence and I am surrounded by half-finished projects. I have less than 4 weeks before the show and 35 bags more to make. I have to take a weekend off and go to Virginia for my son's award (Virginia Teacher of the Year for Physical Education...have I mentioned that before?!?) so I will miss one weekend of serious bag making. My dear mother has offered to come and iron and fuse for me. I will be dragging her into my pit of despair (also known as the studio) on Saturday. It will take her a while to climb the 2 flights of stairs so she better be committed before she makes the ascent!

So...I did get the "Hazelnut Hill" site up on blogger with a slide show of about 8 or 9 bags. There are more that I will add when the weather clears and I can get outside to take photos. As I have mentioned before, no two are alike. I only buy enough fabric usually to make 2 bags and each of those would be from a different design or the color placements are different. At some point I have to throw a couple of diaper bags into the mix. I have designed one that I think is terrific but it is still on paper with no prototype.

That's the update, folks. Here's hoping I get a whole lot done this weekend!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Productive Day

I came down with a cold in the middle of the night but I still managed to be productive today – even if it meant a tissue stuck in the sleeve of my sweatshirt all day!  The weather here is awful – cold, rainy and gray.  I was supposed to be sewing at my sister’s house but several of our friends were going to be there and I didn’t want to drag my nasty germs over and infect others.  Truth be told, I really didn’t want to get out of my sloppy sweats, either!

I have spent the entire day in the studio.  I have 8 bags cut and pieced.  I cut all the fusible interfacing so that is next.  I find that if I do them in sort of an assembly line fashion they go faster.  The worst part is constantly changing thread color.  I try to group fabrics by color so there isn’t quite as much of that.

My big accomplishment is this


I didn’t have anywhere to hang it it the studio so this is the best photo I could take.  Here are some close ups of the quilting


IMG_7279I love this tail!  This quilt is complete down to the label.  


Monofilament is not easy to use. However, if you use a top stitch needle, loosen your tension and don’t go too fast, it works out fine.  I did not have any thread breaks from start to finish.  I finally think I know how to use this thread!  I have also been practicing a lot of the stitches that Leah Day demonstrates in her tutorials and I find that my free motion quilting is improving every time I quilt.

Hope your day was productive and you were warm and dry wherever you are!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Quilter’s ADD

I’ve got it, people and I’ve got it bad!  I need to make many, many more bags.  They weigh heavy on my mind.  They have been taking up all my time in the studio.  I think I may have snapped.  Instead of bags, last night at midnight I was doing this

IMG_7272(Sorry about the photo quality.  It’s difficult to take a photo in my studio when it is black as pitch outside and I am not using a flash!)

Fish!  I was making fish for a quilt based on a McKenna Ryan pattern.  I have made this little wall hanging before and loved it.  I dig through my stash of batiks and make little fishy pieces.  I have two large pieces of blue batiks that I am going to audition with the fish on them to see which blue makes the best background.  I will just fuse the fish onto the “water” and then add a narrow inner border and a wider outer border.  The quilting on this is the most fun.  I will use a smoke colored monofilament thread to anchor and outline the fish and then make long wiggles of stitches to represent water movement. 

This project will, no doubt, occupy me for about another three or four hours and then back to the bags.  I think I really just need some diversion.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Here’s what I saw on Tuesday

Turns out that without a software package I cannot download photos directly to my computer from my phone.  I also cannot send photos directly to my email.  So…I emailed my photos to my friend’s iPhone and then she forwarded them to my email.  After all that, I only have one that I want to show you.  This is what Fabric Mart looked like when I walked in on Tuesday morning.  photo4

All the fabric down the center of the shop is the 3.99 fabric.  There is even more to the right, two more tables behind me and all the way at the end and around the corner are the jelly rolls and layer cakes.  See, THIS is why I stood there with tears in my eyes!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I need to win the lottery!

I walked into the fabric store and nearly cried.  I was the first person there and they let me in a little early.  (Nice folks, by the way!)  Bolts and bolts of beautiful, first rate quilt fabric.  One of the women working told me that someone spent just under $1000 in there the first day.  I can understand that.  Truly.  I spent all that I could afford and I wanted to spend so, so much more.  They had Joel Dewberry and Amy Butler in home dec widths.  Regular quilting cottons were standard bolts but they had so much Moda it was crazy.  They will be putting some of the fabric on line at reduced prices because they have much more still in the basement.  I don't know when that will happen but add them to your shopping sites.  They purchase designer fabrics for apparel but have lots of odd things there.  Right now they have silks that are used in ties, linings, etc. and they are $1.00 a yard.  I actually took photos of the shop to share but I can't figure out how to download them from the phone to my computer. 

Here’s what I bought


The fabrics in the back are for bags.  The fabrics in the front are for stash with the exception of the floral on the left.  That will be a bag.  The rest are for stash and a Christmas quilt and table runner that I am making…if I EVER finish these darn bags!!

I was so overwhelmed in the shop that I really could not make any additional decisions about exactly what I wanted.  You have no idea how badly I want to go back and I just may do that!  I can’t decide if I should grab more Christmas fabric since they had all of the Peace on Earth in the red color palette.  They also had so much fall fabric that would be great to save for next year.  There was so much more fabric that would be great in purses.  I am so confused!!  They close at 5 and are not open on the weekend so if I can manage to leave the office early this afternoon…

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Because I like to share the love...

For anyone who reads my blog and lives in the "Reading area" or near Berks County, PA...

FABRIC MART in Sinking Spring just brought in 20,000 yards of quilt fabric (mostly Moda) and it is on sale.  Sale!!  $3.99 a yard.  I could not go yesterday (first day of the sale) but I will be there when they open today.  I gave my best quilty friend, Pam, the news yesterday and she went after work.  She said it is FABULOUS!  They even have Christmas prints.  Oh, my!!  I am hyperventilating just thinking about it.  I am going into work early this morning (so I don't feel guilty about leaving the office) and will be at the shop when the doors open.  Now, if you read this and are there at the same time I am, be nice to me.  I only have 45 minutes to shop before I will have to return to work!!

For everyone else who reads my blog and is far, far away - please disregard the prior notice.  I know you want to be here!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Adventure Saturday

I know, I know...I should be sewing, however, today is the last day of the little shop hop and I want to win one of the prize baskets! We are going to a shop that is new to me. It is in Morgantown and called "The Hayloft". I heard that it used to carry lower end quilt fabric but it has been revamped and they carry the "good" stuff now. I also know that they have reasonable prices and that is always a good thing! Out in Morgantown they have something called MOM. I think it stands for Morgantown Outlet Mall. There is a fabric store in there that has home dec fabric at crazy reduced prices. I don't know if they have end lots, overstocks, seconds or whatever. All I know is that local decorators pick up Waverly fabric there for about $8 a yard and charge their customers the going rate - roughly $30 a yard. I am looking for toile for my kitchen windows and something pretty for the little chair in my living room that I want to re-upholster. I don't know what else is in that mall but you can be sure I will be poking around! After that I think we are going to zip over to my favorite used furniture store in Ephrata (Garden Spot) and then our last stop will be at Weaver's Dry Goods near Brickerville. I love Weaver's. They carry new fabric but also have lots of fabric left from a couple of years ago. (They still have 2 partial bolts of Vienna Nights on their shelves! If you are still looking for some Peace on Earth or Roman Holiday, they have it.) I have been playing with the idea of making myself a Christmas quilt this year. I have some fabrics already but want to add more to the mix. I love that I can buy different lines of 3 Sisters fabrics and since they often have the same color palette, they all play together so nicely!

Tomorrow is quilting with S4 but I am begging off this time. I really need to seriously dedicate some time to purses. If I can finish 10 by the end of the weekend, I will be a happy girl!

Hope your weekend is wonderful!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sewing for fun

I know I should be working on purses but I need to do something different!  I purchased some autumnal looking fabric yesterday when we were out doing the little quilt shop hop. (Little because there are only 4 quilt shops participating in this one.)  My mother commented a couple of weeks ago that she would like a “fall” table runner for the hutch in her dining room.  I have a super easy, super quick pattern that I am going to do for her today. 

I have been watching the videos on Leah Day’s blog.  This gal is amazing and has so many helpful hints.  Please go look.  She is trying to do a different free motion quilting filler every day and there are videos to watch her do the stitching.  How she manages to talk and sew like she does is a mystery to me.  I can barely BREATHE and free motion! 

Here’s another link I would like to share.  I LOVE this woman!  Kim makes me laugh, makes me think and makes me cry.  She is a fellow Episcopalian on a spiritual journey that is both heartwarming and heartfelt.  She creates beautiful quilts.  Her eye for color and design is unique and I love seeing what she is creating.  Pop over and see.

OK – time to start yakking about sewing and actually do it!

Friday, October 2, 2009

New Photo

I have updated my profile photo.  Marlene from Living on the Spit assures me that it is very freeing.  I loved my old photo.  It was taken 4 years ago when I was in Hawaii on vacation with my son and his family.  I was tan and very blond and I think I had consumed a couple of glasses of wine at that point. 

I took the new photo this morning in my second floor hallway in front of a mirror.  It is a little fuzzy and not because I fooled around with effects!  I could not hold my hand still enough.  As soon as I can talk someone into taking a "real" photo of me I will put that one up. 

Until then - here's me at 57.  Sheesh!

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