Monday, May 31, 2010

Welcome Sister!

I have to drive into DFW in a few minutes, to get my sister, wahoo!  We both had the same daddy but different baby mamas, long story and nice and juicy too! This is our daddy and her mama.

We have 4 brothers. Georgie is the oldest, then 2 bros, theb me and then 2 more bros! We also had a sister, last one on the list, but she went to live with God in 1959.
Her mama and our daddy getting married. And this is my sister!

The best part of sister and I haven't met face to face...yet! Geez, I hope she likes me, lol! We are gonna try to stay out of prison for the next 10 days, but there is no guarantee! The poor girl, don't stand a chance with ME!!

Here is a pic of our daddy holding a baby, our grandpa and our great- grandpa. We don't know for sure who that baby is, but what an awesome pic!

Wish me luck in that traffic, later chicklets, Elaine

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A really cool giveaway

Hey, check out this giveaway, sounds fun...and I love it when someone else picks the pattern, does all the cutting and chooses the right fabrics!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wool applique embellishments

First of all, I wanted to thank Amy for a brilliant move, the BQF, what an awesome turnout of quilts! The stories behind each one are wonderful. I must be a dreamer because I often wonder what "she" was thinking when she made "that" quilt. You know, the incredibly artistic genius that some would call a quilt, and I call a Picasso. I love, love the stories!

Now on to embellishments on wool. The really cool thing about wool is the ability to use any type of threads, buttons or beads. I have seen some with silk ribbon but have not done that. Sometimes the wool or even the piece, speaks to me about what to do with it.

I like to see what others have done on their wool quilts, wall hangings and even penny rugs. I don't copy their techniques, but keep them in the back of my head, put a twist on them to my liking and go from there. Sometimes I use the blanket stitch. Very basic and probably the most often stitch used. I thread my needle with @ 18" of floss or thread, knot one end and either go up from the bottom or under another piece of the wool, and make my stitch.

The thickness of the piece you are appliqueing will determine the thickness of the thread. I like to use #8 pearl cotton most often, but have also used #5 or #12 pearl cottons. If I run out of a color or just want a different look, I will use what I desire. I also mix up different fibers on the same piece.

If you knot your thread on the back or your stitches show, you will have to cover it. Most of my penny rugs are covered on the back with cotton quilting fabrics. You could use linen, upholstery fabrics or just about anything you can think of!
I put pennies or pen wipers on the edges of my rugs. I also leave some areas without those added elements.                                                                  

Penny rugs are supposed to be fun, dig out some fibers, beads, old buttons or even some fair ribbons and get creative!
I have had fun with my giveaway, meeting new friends and reading everyones comments. I do appreciate them and have went to the individual blogs to see what you ladies are up to. My week has been full and I haven't answered each comment but please know I have read them and loved each and every one! Thanks ladies for visiting me, Elaine

Friday, May 21, 2010

And the winner is...

Peaceful Piecer said...

cool giveaway...I read about it on quiltsalot

Anna from Peaceful Piecer...wahooo! So we get two winners! Email your addresses please and Janet from Australia...send yours for sending Anna! Thanks ladies, I enjoyed reading your comments, Elaine

Quilt Festival time!



I joined in the Quilt Festival that Amy is once again hosting.

I have been quilting @ 30 years. I signed up for beginner quilt classes but grew weary of the instructor after the 2nd class and self taught with books and magazines after that. I collected fabric for a few years before learning how to quilt. I have made numerous baby sized quilts for friends and relatives, gifting most out. I never counted them. I have a box full of tops I haven't quilted yet, but first I have to decide HOW I want to finish them.

The quilt I am sharing is a navy print with a bleached muslin bearpaw. It is the first large quilt I ever made. I used templates and drew around each one,  to inexperienced enough to not realize you CAN rotary cut the pieces out! I also used a navy thread to hand quilt in the white areas and a white thread for the navy areas. I still don't know why I did that....but never did/will again!

I pieced the top, layered and basted it, even quilted a few rows...then put it in a bag and forgot it for @ 17 years. While working as a travel nurse in Arizona, I went home to New Mexico for the Christmas holidays. My son and I went to the local thrift shop, and while cruising the vintage fabric bundles...there it was...THAT navy blue fabric, the same as THE quilt! I bought the little bundle as a reminder, rummaged around at home, found the bag it was in and squirreled it away to finish in Arizona. I thought I remembered doing at least a third of, just a few lines! Our anniversary was the 31st of Jan, so in between work, I quilted. Made excuses why I couldn't come home, and quilted. I finished it, washed and dried it and FINALLY got home on the 31st of Jan @ 5 pm. with my husbands 17 year quilt. He loves it. It was my first, I love it too.

Giveaway and chook update

Giveaway winner announced tomorrow! Or I should say YOU and the PERSON who sent you!

My little chooks are getting food scraps, veggie peelings, over ripe fruit, stale crackers and milk. They LOVE milk. Gracie Mae, the 2 pound (uhh, @ 1 kilo for you quilters/chook lovers, down under) chihuahua, has gotten in the habit of following me to the chook party yard. She has been thoroughly chastised about chasing 2 legged sisters, so she resists.

I only wish you could have been there today as she decided cabbage was her most favorite food in the world. She watched while I poured out the veggie scraps and the chooks descended on the peels. With the speed of a stealth fighter jet and the cunning of a teenage mall sale shopper....she snagged a lenghthy cabbage heart and sped off with it....with several chook sisters in hot pursuit! Truly better then TV. Thank you Gracie Mae for the cheap entertainment...I hope your mama never knows!

Back to quilting..the shelf pillow above, is another rescued and up-cycled quilty shelf sitter pillow, made using cookie cutters as templates . I have made numerous Christmas sofa pillows using cookie cutters and tree ornaments. Tomorrow is the drawing winners announement...but first, we need to talk embellishments...I know, anticipation has you on the edge of your seat!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Giveaway update and felting wool at home

Giveaway still going on...send your friends and have them tell who sent you...then you each get a kit! Don't forget~~~~~If you don't have a blog, please leave your email so I can get in touch with you in case you win.

I found a book on penny rugs so long ago that I can't remember what it was or by whom, I hate that! But it caught my attention. The history is fascinating. Now I don't know for sure, do any of us, where penny rugs originated. But I do know that (for the American colonists) the settlers who came here from other countries brought everything they owned...including woolens from Europe and coins from England, France, Italy, and all the other countries out there who had people immigrate to this country.( I am not forgetting anyone, I promise).

The ladies of the houses cared for everyones clothing in the home and when the woolen clothing and/or bedding wore out, the ladies would use the coins for templates, (are ya visualizing this one...?), and cut out pieces of the wool. They used different sized coins for different applique pieces. Thrifty little women, eh? They would make rugs of different sizes for what they needed them for. The rugs were NOT made for floors....they were what WE call table mats, runners or just little quilts. They were made for tables! Now can you imagine what that thrifty little crafter must have done to the husband who put his coffee down on THE RUG!! Oh Lord!                                           
Back to the action. Ya'll know I'm cheap...! I wanted to try this wool myself. So I hit the thrift stores and yard sales and bought woolen skirts, jackets, coats and blankets until I couldn't believe the amount I had! Brought it home, removed the buttons (saved them) and took the items apart, removed as much facing as possible. Then I washed the wools in hot water, rinsed in cold and tossed it into the hot dryer for at least an hour. The process of washing, agitating, rinsing in all contributes to felting the wool. Be mindful of the article,. Try to stick to 100% woolens. I have bought mixtures of wool and other fibers because I knew I loved THAT color. Sweaters work very well, they felt up like crazy!

It seems every country has thrift shops, or op shops (is that right?) and isn't it time you tried something new? The next time you go into one of "those" shops, really look around and check out the different sales for clothing.

VERY IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US OVER 30: When you pick your wools out of the box, make sure they are ALL either blue or black, not a mixture! And can you believe I sewed them on and still didn't notice! Ahhh no, I am not changing is niave, right??    Elaine

Wool applique on Cotton quilts...giveaway alert

I love combining various elements together. melding them into something unexpected and fun. I also enjoy doing the felted wool penny rugs, using wool and no cotton fabrics. The chook rug with eggs is all wool and so are the chili pepper pin cushions. The profile pic I have on my etsy shop is wool on fabric.

 I am working on a table runner now that is patchwork with wool on top, this is the work in  progress pictured above. If you notice, the lazy me  simply staples the wool down and then hand embroidery is added. I  hand dyed the wools for this project. The pattern is
by Buttermilk Basin and is Seasonal Spring Runner, 12"x36". You put the patchwork together then applique the wooly pieces  on. I have a ways to go.

The little chook piece is wool appliqued down to a chunk of vintage quilt. I was dismayed to find a box of tattered quilts, way to damaged to salvage. Rather then throw them out, I cut the usable pieces out to make little shelf pillows. I always cut the background first, then cut the wool to fit. For the backing of the pillow, I use vintage linen or a thicker cotton then I normally use for quilting. If I have strips of leftover batting, I pull it apart, fluff with my fingers  and stuff, closing with a running stitch. I like to put a row of feather stitches around the edges to finish it off.

I was able to glean several pieces of this one. This is only the back of the bad quilt, the front is much worse!

Here is a closer pic of the chook on the vintage quilt piece. Just a free form cut...I have left some staples in the piece, blow them up to see better.
I hope this answers some questions about the wool and cottons together. If anyone has any more, feel free to ask. If you would rather have this little chook on the quilt piece, I'll toss it in too....that way you can add a backing for a pillow or maybe some binding for a table can choose!     Or, you can choose one of the kits in the prior post.
Keep your entries coming in, it's so nice to see so many ladies from NZ and Australia entering. Thank you for making this fun, Elaine                                                                                  


Saturday, May 15, 2010

A rainy day and a giveaway!

I did ask for a rainy day, didn't I? So be it. At least the morning is. I just wish it wouldn't be so harsh for our neighbors in Tennessee.

Have you worked with wool before? Well, why not? I love the simplicity of it. The wool doesn't fray, unless you find some with a percentage of "unknown fibers" and you can't toss it because it's the RIGHT shade of yellow! You don't have to turn the edges under when you applique...bonus! You get to try out different embroidery stitches and different threads, buttons, beads...lots of leeway to get you out of your predictable routines.                                        

Does the price of the kits keep you from trying the felted wool? So how about a giveaway....? I love to spread the love....if you are International...Canada too, jump in and enter.

1. Tell me which kit you would like for yourself and why you haven't tried felted wool before.
2. Blog about it and tell your blogger buddies to enter.
3. If your friends say they were sent by and your friend each get a kit!
4. I will draw the winner (s) on Friday 21 May.

Get going and enter, just once please. Now, back to ironing..Elaine
The rottie has nothing to do with the giveaway. But really, not counting the hair on the carpet and anything cuter then this>>>>>>>

Have a great weekend, now go get your buddies to enter, Elaine

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Busy with my scraps

I am not sure I knew exactly how many scraps I had when I started...but I know I won't run low, lol. I picked this top up at the flea marketp. I heart this quilt top. Very much a scrap quilt, no pattern, just strips. I would love to hand quilt this for me  soon.

Here are a few scraps and bigger pieces. I love the Southwest colors and patterns. I sorted the Christmas into one basket.
     Now the wool needs to be steam pressed and sorted. It's getting to hot to work with it now...  I might wait for fall or at least a cooler day. Did you know Kellie from Don't Look Now also has a mini quilt with pattern in Whip Up Mini Quilts? I am loving this book. Along with all the quilts and patterns, there is a mini bio on the artists along with thier blog perfect! This book is so awe inspiring. Back to my ironing and sorting.


My book arrived!

I won this fantabulous book on a giveaway on the Victoria's blog 2 days ago. The book came from San Francisco and arrived at my house in Texas this morning. I cannot put this book down! Please go to this publisher for your online business...they are awesome!

Now, to decide what to try later today of my stripping adventures, Elaine

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Strips, strings and Christmas

I've taken all my little scraps and ones that are odd shaped, after washing, drying and ironing them...and cut them into random widths, nothing over 2", for log cabin quilts. So, if you're related to me and are expecting a quilt for's going to be a surprise, so act surprised, k?

I may have to save some of the littlest pieces for a few dolly quilts for Kayla and the earth baby.

Stay tuned, pics tomorrow...Elaine

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Don't forget to honor yourself too

I called a close friend a few weeks ago, left a message, phone tag for a while, then, she popped by last night to visit. Another girlfriend called this morning to say she was returning a call from a week ago. I saw another friend on Thursday, she's been to busy to return calls or to visit.

It made me very sad for them, and for me. We need to nurture ourselves as well as our girlfriend relationships. Our girlfriends are very important. They can keep us sane and on track. When our families stress us, they can calm us. We need to celebrate our girlfriends more often.

That friend you've been thinking of lately....pop a quick note in the mail to her, it may be just what you both need to jump start yourselves into spending a few minutes together. I'm just saying is all.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just checking in

So the chickens are doing very well, no more are missing, thank you to everyone who inquired. I am not really sewing on anything at the moment, but don't tempt me! I have been de-cluttering and cleaning my sewing room. I am busily washing, drying and ironing my scraps. I will probably pre-cut some squares and strips from some, then pack them neatly in my Ikea baskets. I may toss some of them. I haven't decided yet. That is my biggest problem, what to do with my "stuff", yuck!

I do alot of felted wool applique. I love to use wool. If you have never tried using it, you must try it at least once. Wool doesn't fray, no need to turn the edges under and you get to try different stitches and threads.  I only wish I could draw...different patterns, but I can't draw. So I cut. Just the scissors and the fabric. I think my fingers see. Am I just's always been that way for me. I just cut the fabric and it seems to make sense. But no drawing.                                                                   Oh I can see it now, as soon as I get to the wool to organize it, I'll be lost, again! I will resist as much as possible.

I am expecting company at the end of the month and need to organize before her arrival. I don't want to show her my disorganized mess. I want her to think I am brilliant, artistic and I'm laughing.

It's the sister I haven't met yet. She has met the brothers but not me. I am very nervous about her visit, but very excited too. She has grown up in Canada but we are very much alike, as in:

We were both born in the same hospital....just 4 years apart. In January. We both work in health care. She paints, I quilt. She knits and is prolific at it. I can knit, but love quilting more. We have both broken our Left forearms. We have talked on the phone and sent emails and have gotten to know each other very well via the internet. But, have not met yet. This is going to be very exciting, don't you think?

My thoughts are all over the place right now. I can't stay on the pc very long, my impatience drives me to the sewing room to get it finished. I am not writing to my bloggy friends like I have in the past. Is it just Spring that makes me want to do something else? I am not tired of the blog or others' blogs, I just seem to be limiting my time online. Like now, I have to get back to my sewing room. Please have a great week, I'm going to be busy, cleaning, sorting,, go quilt something!