Feline Friday is hosted every friday and HELP for Hexie-aholics is hosted on the 17th of each month. We hope you'll join us!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday



It's amazing what a little organization, tossing and putting away can do for the mojo. Cheapo baskets to organize projects were a great help.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More Houston Quilts

Hmm...well...I was going to pick a "theme" for today's quilts but I can't decide on one so just enjoy some eye candy...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 11/28/11

Gosh...I'm still working on Quarter Square Triangles...can't wait for some free time this week to bang these out and get started on Orca Bay Step 2. I did pull out some phone book pages and my paper trimmer. I am almost ready...I just need to cut some blue strips since I don't do strings :)

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Feline Friday - 11/25/11

There is nothing better here at CasaGrande (according to 3 of the occupants) than a batch of fresh catnip toys. I was really making them for the craft sale this past weekend but the pussycats knew what I was working on and let me know it. They just wouldn't leave me alone.

Pepper and Midgie like to eat their nip but they all like to roll in it as well...hence the leaves ground into the carpet. Midgie also liked licking the new toys. I only sell Kitty tested and approved toys! Squeaky likes to carry them around but it's impossible to get a picture of that.

Later, the empty box became a great toy for Squeaky to play with: putting toys in and out, scratching, sniffing and the like. Midgie just wants a turn at the box...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Talkin' Turkey

To my American readers - I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

To everybody else - Happy Thursday and remember that tomorrow is TGIF!

What are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

Mother nature is confused again...

Yesterdays high was 32F and it was raining buckets. Last night it was freezing in rivulets on my car and this morning my back yard is flooded again even tho the Village claimed the tiling done in the park behind my house would eliminate that problem.

This morning we are already at 34F but it's snowing flakes the size of a small dog.

I have no idea if this poor confused Delphinium will get to blossom again or not.

But don't worry Friday and Saturday will be in the 60s again.
If you don't like the weather in WNY - wait 5 minutes.  :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Houston Classes Continued...

Keep your fingers crossed that Blogger will be a little friendlier...

My second class was Saturday morning and called "Fantasy Flowers." Again we spent a lot of time on the prep work and not the stitching. For me that was fine because I have a "little" experience on the topic but there were some newbies that had no idea what they were doing. I think another hour of class might have helped - the newbies to learn the stitching and the rest of us to get more done on the project. Also, where as I baste in a manner so that I don't have to take the basting stitches out later, she uses freezer paper patterns and must remove the basting to take out the patterns. I think I'll stick to my way but I'm glad to have had the chance to try hers. The real premise of the class was using pieced fabric to create alternative designs within the paper pieced project. The teacher sews strips together and places a certain section of the template along those seams to get the spiralling designs. She gave us plenty of extra strips to go home and play with. AND as teacher's pet for this class, I got to take all the leftovers home. Wootwoot!

Teacher on the far right. Yes, those are my diamond hexies on the display wall along with the teacher samples.

Our class project - we were supposed to learn all three flower designs and the prairie points.

As far as I've gotten on my class project. It needs a good pressing and then to remove the basting stitches and the freezer paper. Luckily the class kit included the supplies to make the rest of the flowers as well as the background and other fancies.

Another possibility - leave out one of the "bishop" or jewel shapes for a different flower

Fussy cutting fabric for the center or adding embroidery add plenty more details.

Houston Classes

Wow - 10 comments yesterday - for this little blog that is definitly a lot of visitors. I hope some of you will come back again! I realized I never finished this post. I hope you don't mind hearing more about Houston - I am sure you have been inundated all over blog land with pictures and stories. I do have more quilt pictures if anyone is interested - lemme know...

I was able to take 2 classes at Houston - one on converting a photo to a quilt using fabric and threadpainting and the other on English paper piecing (Teacher was British and she said they call it English Patchwork). Sorry, can't remember the teacher names at this point as all my papers are at home - let me know if you want me to look anything up.

My Friday class was an all day affair titled "Start with a Photo." The teacher provided us all with the same photo of a red barn and the three pages we could tape together to create the pattern. She also told us how to create a pattern for when we get home and begin work on our own designs. The pattern was then traced onto clear vinyl to create a placement guide for the fabric pieces and some of the quilting. We used a light box to transfer the pattern pieces to the fabric and then fused them to the background with Steam a Seam 2 Lite. Mine isn't sticking so well at the moment but I think it's from being rolled up in my suitcase. I can certainly re-iron it but them I'm worried my chalk lines will disappear for the quilting. I'll have to iron a test area first. We spent most of our day prepping the pieces so we didn't get to spend a lot of time on the thread painting but I took a number of pictures of her sample quilt as well as the others on display. She said that her pieces take 20-40 hours of FMQ at the minimum. One of her quilts even took 48 spools of thread. Yowzer! Luckliy she now has a deal with one of the thread companies and trades product for patterns. Lucky her. Superior Threads - If you are listening - I can barter just as well!!

Teacher on the left with a portion of her samples.

This was the teacher's class sample

NO Laughing allowed - this is my class project and it clearly needs LOTS more quilting. At least 19 more hours of quilting according to the teacher.

Alright - I've had enough of Blogger's shenanigans...I'll try to put the second class info in another post...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 11/21/11

Wow - look - I have all of 50 of these pairs done for Bonnie's Orca Bay mystery. Only 400 more to go! Which will be done when they are done - I never stress about getting Bonnie's mysteries done before the next step is posted. I do what I can and enjoy the journey.

I also made some zippered pouches, catnip toys and bookmarks for a craft bazaar I attended this weekend. It was a bit of a bust but it was nice to see friends and know that one of them (Hi Chris!!!) is actually a lurker on my blog. Now to figure out who the other 337 lurkers are ;)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Feline Friday Continued...

Based on comments and subsequent email conversations today regarding this morning's post with Squeaky in the pot of wine corks and maybe she needs to consider rehab...I think I have isolated the source of her "problems."

Squeaky's 1 year Gotcha Day will be next Tuesday (yah for us!!!). Prior to her having been rescued by a local business owner who had her fixed and cleaned up she was a skinny bit of a thing who lived behind the business next door to my office... A LIQUOR STORE.


Really - I can't make this up!

Feline Friday - 11/18/11

I know - this has got to be the world's worst photo - you try to get White Lightening herself to hold still when she thinks she's about to get in trouble...

I collect corks - corks made of cork, not that plastic stuff. The liquor store next to my office shares corks from their sample bottles. My uncle, who seems to have a penchant for red wine, brings a ziplock of corks when he comes up for a visit. Jean, who likes local wines, also saves corks. Real corks are getting very hard to find and it appears that all the brands I like have gone to the plastic jobbers. Pity. I'm not 100% sure what I'll be doing with them but I would love to make a corkboard or cover the soffit above the kitchen cupboards or or or...

Any way...Rex came up for Veteran's Day weekend and brought me a quart bag full of corks.

So one day earlier this week, I'm in the kitchen and I notice that Squeaky is nose deep in the huge flower pot that houses all these corks. She must have smelled the fresh corks on top! I've caught her at least one other time but not fast enough to grab the camera. I'm waiting for them to become kitty toys...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Houston Quilts I would consider making

As of this moment - we have at least an inch of snow with a weather warning to get at least 1 more inch by 5:30pm. I may not have thought to wear boots today but I do have the scaper in my car to clean her off...

Never fear - it is also supposed to be 50F this weekend :)

No plows out yet but I just saw a county sherriff slide down mainstreet, lights and sirens on, trying to slow down but not stop for a red light.

Back to Houston - below are the top five quilts that I would consider making myself. Ok - you know this list is in addition to the quilts in yesterday's post, right?!

This would be my second most likely to recreate. I love feathered stars but haven’t made one yet.

My closeup of this quilt is actually in focus and this is probably the first quilt I would like to make because I think the basket is so different than most I’ve seen.

There were many cat quilts but I do think this was my fav - it's made with thread painting.

Which one would you copy first?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

I missed a few other hotshots ... next time!

What I did do, instead of carting a lot of books around, was to bring large address labels and a sharpie pen for signatures.

(Denise - check out the quilt/ruler in the background - I sew wanted to make that quilt but I resisted the ruler. Lucky you!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Houston Quilt Show - hexies

Sorry - today has to be a quickie post - lets stick with yesterday's hexie theme...

This was an antique quilt for sale on the vendor floor. A lot like the diamonds I am working on but I liked the setting. I couldn't open it up but I have a feeling it's set as a very large star. Even if it's not it's a place to start when I play with my hexagon graph paper...

I have a lot of 30s fabrics to use up but not so many solids - anyone want to trade something for some 30's solids?

The first day I meandered around the show floor (meandering was the best I could do - didn't care for the show setup and there was no map to carry around) I ran my camera battery into the ground. I can only assume that's why I never got any more pictures of this quilt nor any closeups. When I got back to NY I was completely disappointed to discover I didn't spend any more time studying it... Check out the baskets and the stars and the flowers...

This quilt was quite easy to find and I did spend a lot of time taking pictures of this one. I think these are 1/2" hexies and I just love the way the colors bleed into one another. Up close sometimes you wonder why 2 fabrics were together but from a galloping horse they are just beyond words. I have a lot of closeups that I would be happy to share with anyone who is interested...

Can you believe this is a miniature quilt?? It's made with 1/4" hexies and it looks like a bead has been added to the "petals" of each flower as part of the quilting process.

This is just a quarter of this quilt. The center appeared to be a 4 sectioned panel but I thought the hexie and other pieced borders added a lot to this quilt, especially since the panel didn't have a ton of color. Check out the hot-fix crystals too.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 11/14/11

I'm not sure how much longer I can call this a hexie obsession...there are just too many other shapes to play with besides the hexagons! When I finally get my Houston class photos posted you'll see that we played with the Bishop shape (called the jewel by paperpieces.com, which of course I have ordered!).

The Martingale catalog I found in Houston had this photo on the cover so I've started a little doll quilt with some of my Cherrywood scraps and the honeycomb papers. They have a very sharp angle on each end which I had to devise a way to deal with when basting. I do like that the Cherrywood fabrics don't seem to slip on the papers like some fabrics. Batiks also don't slip. I wonder if it has something to do with the hand/dye process? I think the catalog sample actually looks more like elongated hexies (I have some of those on order too!) altho the book is about using charm squares.

I even bought these kits at Houston which came with all kinds of shapes to make Texas wildflowers with. I hadn't planned on the pieces being so tiny but they are cut from recycled paper which is nice.

Don't worry tho - there are still hexies to be had everywhere!

I'm still working on my hexie diamond project - love these bright colors I dug out of a box.

And remember the fabrics I bought in Houston to try fussy cutting? Well I finally made a template, which as I'm typing I think I need to adjust. The blue template is cut from a 2" square of heavy plastic (the fabric size I use) and then I cut out a 3/4" hexie from the center. This template works great to make sure a fabric design will fit in/on the hexie BUT I think if I want to cut out the butterflies, all in the same position, I'll need to make another template in clear plastic that I trace the hexie shape in the middle and the shape of the butterfly so I can cut them all out in the same position.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Feline Friday - 11/11/11

Look Momma - it snowed again!
But no birdies in the birdie-vision yet...

Yeh - but I've got the best (and warmest) seat in the house - Momma's lap!

Hey dudette's - You forgot to say Thanks!!! and wish everyone a Happy Veteran's Day!