Friday, August 31, 2012

Just a Taste

I don't know if anybody else is this way or if I am just weird, but I don't like to show unfinished work.  They have been lovingly tagged as UFO's or WIP's, but I still have problems in sharing them.  It is not, however, very fair to you that I continue to say working on the crazy quilt or the this or the that and never even give you a glimpse of the project.  Sooo, I am trying to break out of my box - okay maybe just peeking out from a very small hole, but nonetheless, I am showing you a little sampling of where my efforts have been focused for the past few weeks.
I kinda feel like this some days when I look in the mirror.  She was just a fun little addition.
I shared one photo a while back of my favorite little spider.

 By now you can probably guess the theme of this quilt.  I have always wanted to do a Halloween quilt so finally got with the program and am doing it.  It's a hoot to think of the silly things to add.  I don't want it to be a scary quilt, but a happy quilt - one that makes people chuckle when they see it.  Do people still use that word?  Hmmm, I like chuckle. I will share just a couple more pictures then go get busy so I can finish it and show you the whole thing.

Pretty scary huh?

This photo isn't perfect, but you can see that it's one hot cauldron.  I can hardly wait to finish it and hang it up.  It might be up a little longer than Halloween - we'll have to see.
Have a splendid holiday weekend & until next time,
Nimble fingers and even stitches.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Well, hello there.  I am back from the quilt show.  It was very nice, and you are not going to believe this, but I left my camera in the car.  I looked and shopped freely.  I didn't take a single picture all weekend.  The quilts were fabulous of course.  I was surprised to see that there were not a lot of quilts, and there were quite a few vendors - kinda the opposite of Baker where there were lots of quilts and not so many vendors.  That's why it does us good to hit a variety of shows.  Hood River has some Beautiful! historic houses.  I have been in the fun room playing.  I tend to stick pins in my shirt as I am working away, not to remember them until later when they demand attention with their sharp points into my side.  I made one of these for myself and decided they were fun so made a few more to put in the etsy shop.
This is the one for me.  I made one more like it and a few others.  Now I can stick my pins in this.  It clips onto my shirt rather than pins - I love that I can put it down low on my shirt where I usually stick the pins.  It also holds my scissors when I am not using them so acts as a fob. 

I love playing with vintage jewelry.  Oooh, aaaah - pretty.

 I am usually drawn to old fashioned styles - like really old as in Victorian, golden hues with deep rich colors, but who can resist the happy reproduction fabrics.  I will just refer to it as out of my box - any excuse will work really.  I am not to choosy.
 Aaaaand, it can be a name tag as well.  Or it can hold a note with a measurement, name, pattern, scribble, or just any ol' thing that needs holding onto so I don't loose it:)
These are now in my Etsy shop & I am hoping to get a few more made in the next couple days in different styles.  I have a couple more ready to rock and roll.  I am having waaay too much fun.  Hope you enjoy!  Have a marvelous Monday morning.
Nimble Fingers & Happy Needles

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hey Cutie

A quick note to let you know about a little secret.  But first, isn't he just a cutie?  He is my pencil sharpener and sits right next to my computer screen to keep me company:)
I am actually packing to head over to the Hood River Quilt Show.  I have never been to this one so am anxious to see what-all they do. 
Now - for all of you who are stitchers and who especially love wool, I will be sharing some exciting news next week so no heading off early for that Labor Day Weekend - got that?  Hee hee 
I hope you all have a most glorious weekend - enjoy the slightly cooler weather and those last couple weeks of summer.
Until next time ~ nifty stitches

Monday, August 20, 2012


Just a quick post to let you know what is new.  I was fortunate enough to happen by a sale that was at the home of an artist.  I found typing paper, water-color paper, a bunch of cookie cutters, and several odds. 
The gold medals have already been removed from the board and cleaned and might become the 'pulls' for some creative bell-pulls.  I have a bit of a collection of tea cups & tea pots.  My dishes are all white (one of the smartest moves I've made) so this little sweetie just fits right in.  There were several fabrics - old small prints :)  and an antique compass that still works! 
I am still stitching on the same projects so won't bother with those, but will share with you a wonderful gift from God.  As I was looking out my front window to see how the sprinkler was doing, I spied this view.
That's mama eating my plum tree.

*One of the fawns*  I took these photos through my front window - I didn't want to scare them by opening the door.  The fun thing is - this doe and her twins have made their home in our yards.  Our neighbors (within a couple miles) and ourselves - have all been watching out for them since they were born.  They have enjoyed spending time in the middle of the road.  Either the pavement was warm for the babies or they are just suicidal.  We have 'shooed' them off the road more than once.  I hadn't seen them for a few weeks so was glad to see that all three are still kicken'.  We don't even mind them being in the yard - until they start destroying things.  It's all part of living in this beautiful place.  If I wanted a town yard, I would live in town.  We also saw a bear cub yesterday - think we spooked him.  He raced right up a tree and held on tight!  I didn't have my camera out and ready so no picture - sorry.  Just in case you are wondering, you don't try to get too close to cubs or spend much time trying to get their pictures.  Where there is a cub, there is a mama who doesn't want you bothering her cub.  It's best to leave them alone. 
Off to work on my challenge quilt - hoping to finish it up this week - will share after the show.  Until then, happy stitches and nimble fingers. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cathedral Window Quilt / Coverlet

Good Morning Everybody,
I have began a project I shouldn't be working on just yet.  I have a challenge quilt due by the end of the month, and I started on my 'Cathedral Window' quilt.  Baaad me - shame on me.  I just couldn't help myself.  Our bedroom is in a sorta pumpkin spice color as well as antiqued bronze, and I am making it for our bed.  This will give you a bit of an idea what it should look like.
The ladies in Baker are making one for next years raffle which inspired me.  I love the hand work.  Nothing like having a needle in hand.  Most Cathedral Window quilts I have seen have either a white or unbleached muslin background fabric (of which it takes 25 yards.)  With such a requirement, it is easy to understand why muslin is so popular for the background.  I chose to use a dark for the background then have the 'windows' be vibrant.  I am using several background fabrics all of which are a very dark brown/black.  They start out as a 9.5 inch square. 

That is actually pretty easy - other than the mass quantity needed.  I am somewhere between half and two-thirds of the way with this step.  I think I need about 10 more yards of background fabrics.  Anybody considering making one of these, be advised: there is A LOT of ironing.  Once all of the 9.5 inch squares cut, I fold them up using an iron to become a four inch square that looks like this.
I have 97 of the 396 needed that are completed to this stage.  (that's 1/4 of the way:)  I am stacking them so I can keep track of how many I have.  I had to have some way of organizing them.  Once I get them all ironed, I will have to stitch the 4 corners together - yesss, on all 396 of them.  Actually, I am looking forward to that stage as it will mean the ironing is finished.  Then I will get to ladder-stitch them together side-by-side to create the real background for the windows.  I will probably do this in sections (as I was advised to do.)  After that (we are so in future tense now) comes the making of the windows.  I need 696 2.5 inch squares for the windows.  I have about 3/4 of what I need for those. 

I am using a variety of different prints for these as well - but all in the same color range.  You notice I am using the 'make a pile' organization method for these:)  I will be putting them in a basket here shortly as I don't want them to fray or scatter etc. while the background pieces are being finished.
Then at last, I will get to make the windows. 
They will look something like this.  The 2.5 inch square is placed in each 'frame' and the edge is folded over to create a scallop shape and stitched in place.  I can hardly wait!  I have also learned that this is actually considered a coverlet because of the fact that it has no batting.  I have a feeling that it will be plenty warm enough considering the fact that there will be 25 yards in background plus the windows over us.
Soooo, now I am off to work on the challenge piece - I really am making headway on it and am enjoying working on it.  The UFO's are calling my name.
Until next time ~ Happy Stitches & Many Smiles.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Serious Problem

Okay, so here's the problem.  I have these things that are needing to be done like laundry, floors, lawn, etc.  You know the kinds of things that I am talking about right?  Weeeell, we went to a couple of quilt shops yesterday, and now in addition to what I am already working on, I have new fabric beckoning me to come play.  How ever does one put her needle down?  I couldn't handle the pressure.  I went and cut some blocks for a cathedral window quilt I am planning on doing - 396 background blocks using 25 yards of fabric - yikes.  The fun part will be post ironing stage when I actually get to sew.  I also got a couple of other pieces just for hoots and giggles - like this one. 
Isn't it wonderful?  And, notice the naughty fella in the background taking a peek.  I just loved it, have no idea what I will do with it, but loved it still.  Here's a little closer shot.

I did go out and mow the lawn and will soon begin laundry, but had to get some fabric time in.  I think between loads, I have a couple stitches to put in place:) So, I was thinking - no laughing, eh go ahead and laugh, because I came up with a few indicators that it's time to set the needle down:
It's time to stop stitching when...
*you can't look out the window and see the children playing in the yard, because the grass is taller than they are.
*your laundry pile it taller than your fabric pile.
*on your phone under emergency contacts, it has the number to your local quilt shoppe.
If you can think of more, please leave them in comments so we can all read them.  I love to hear from you.

Many Smiles & Even Stitches 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Diamonds in the Dust

*First, I would just like to say that I think my computer is being abducted by aliens.  We will see what happens when I try to make a post.
I hope everybody had a fantastic weekend.  I was lucky enough to get some stitching time in.  I love the folklore of having a spider in a crazy quilt so usually try to add one or more into the works.  By doing so, I have made various types and styles of spiders, but I have to say, "This just might be my favorite."  I can't even tell you where I got the charm.  I have been known to buy 'odd' garments at a yard sale etc. just for the buttons.  About a week ago, I ended up with about a measuring cup full of single earrings, odd pieces of jewelry, and 'imperfect' miscellaneous pieces for a dollar.  I was thrilled.  The folks running the sale were kinda looking at me funny.  There was an older fella there, and he asked what I was going to do with them.  I told him I like to make crazy quilts so I like to have little treasures on hand.  He smiled and said, "Crazy quilts huh."  We didn't get to chat as others were needing his attention, but I am just guessing he had a story. 

Friday, I went to a downsizing/moving sale and found this beauty. 
Now hang on a minute.  Look closer.  I gave 50 cents and look what I got.  I wasn't after the polyester gabradine with the stain or even the fashion statement of the 1960's elderly population.  It was this.

It took a matter of minutes to remove them from the dress, and I now have these beauties to use on some fun project.

A couple of other goodies I found at the same sale:
This recipe book has a copyright of 1882 & includes instructions like, "use a piece of butter or over the eggs pour the lot."  I was having a blast reading it.  Our language has certainly changed over the years.

The point of all of this is that 'junking' has become quite fashionable within recent years, and we are eager to dig into what appears to be... well - junk.  Maybe, we should do that more often with people.  It might only take a moment to offer a kind word, and our treasure might not be tangible, but it will be priceless.  Think about your friends.  How many of them were introduced to you, and how many began simply as strangers then a smile and hello were made?  Please don't mistake me - People are not junk, but there are millions of them around & isn't it just amazing when we pick one and turn them into a friend?

Until Next Time - Even Stitches & Many Smiles

P.S.  I didn't mean to tease you with only the picture of the spider.  I will show you the rest of the quilt when it is finished:)