Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Heart Bargello, Part 2

Well, I've been chugging along on the Heart Bargello quilt. We gals get together next weekend to sew these up. They want me to teach, so I've given myself a huge head start. Besides, I'll probably have something else to sew while there and that way I can get up from my machine often for interruptions from the "students".

Here is the first dozen or so rows on my design wall. The small wallhanging on the left is for my "new" kitchen. I'll show it to you later when it's quilted.

Remember, you can click on the picture to enlarge it.

Here is a very good closeup of the tiny squares that make this picture happen! It is so cool sewing it up and I am loving it. Already looking forward to when I can do another one. It's not a pain at all!

And below, it's on my machine. I've already sewn the vertical rows and now I'm putting them together. Easy peasy. Honest.

Stay tuned for more of the Heart Bargello.

Have a safe Halloween. I'll be passing out candy and Gospel tracts. No sense in letting this pagan holiday interfer with putting the Gospel into tiny hands, huh?

Take care everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Church Stories, Part 1

DH and I have embarked on a "project" that everyone should do who is a regular church goer to one church only. We have decided to "see" what everyone else is doing in their churches. So, off we go.

The first Sunday, which was about 2 months ago, we went to a local church called The Bread of Life. From the moment we got inside before service started to the time we walked out the door after service....was a total of 55 minutes! Couldn't believe it. We're used to starting Sunday School at 9:30 and stopping at 10:15 and then service starting at 10:30 and going til noon.

The hymnal they used was called "Heaven's Highway Hymnal" or something very similar. In essence, it was twangy country music hymns. I knew one of them would be "I'll Fly Away", which I personally like, but not that twangy. And, lo and behold, we sang it that morning. DH and I grinned and bore it!

The message the pastor delivered was short and to the point. I don't remember what point, but it was short. He didn't seem like he had the "calling" to be a pastor, but who are we to judge. He looked like someone who was at a church board meeting and lost the vote on who would be pastor. Ah well.

After that we tried an Assembly of God in that little town. We liked it alot. We liked it so much that we accidently went two weeks in a row. Do you have any idea what happens when you attend a new church two weeks in a row? They tried to give us the "permanent" Sunday School book and the Pastor wanted us to come to his house for ice cream and talk. Yikes!

Last Sunday, we went to the Baptist church in that small neighboring town. The Pastor that spoke had been their Pastor from 1962-1967. He was there for a visit and so preached. The message was all about "holding fast" to faith, to Jesus, to what we've been taught and to not let false teachers lead us astray.

He told this amazing story of the Snapping Turtle. Growing up as a young boy, his father used to catch snapping turtles and sell their shells. These turtles were huge. As large as a washtub. So, the Pastor explained that one day when he was small, his father "drug" home a huge snapping turtle and rolled it on it's back (to prevent escape). His father would then hold out a large pair of pliers so that the turtle would latch onto it with it's mouth. As the turtle was "holding fast" to the pliers, his father would stretch it's neck out really far and then "whack", cut off it's head! I've got to tell you, EVERYONE in that congregation looked at each other and grimmaced. It was gross! And then the Pastor continued as if it was nothing. He said that after that his father would hold up the pliers and the turtle's head was still attached to it! Picture it! The Pastor said that "we all need to hold fast like that turtle to the pliers". Then he continued to say that his father would then take a hammer and hit the turtle's head until he crushed the head enough to get the jaws off the pliers.

I kid you not.

We were all so grossed out by then.....

On the way home, I asked DH what he thought of the service. He replied, "I could have gone an entire lifetime without hearing the Snapping Turtle story".


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Heart Bargello: Part 1

Next up on the quilting scene is a quilt called Melinda's Heart. It's more commonly called "Heart Bargello". I looked up the word bargello...."to hand stitch in a zig zag pattern". That was not the definition I would have given a bargello. So, it shows you I'm no Noah Webster.

I wanted a wallhanging to put on my "new" living room walls which were recently painted brown. I also wanted to "shop my stash". So, after having Cindy Rang (Fabric Patch owner) help me (Thanks Cindy!), I present to you these fabrics below and the pattern. Cindy bundled them all up for me in a nice presentation package, even though 9 of the 16 fabrics are mine!

Below, here they are all laid out and numbered. The numbering on this quilt is essential to success. The lightest are the creams which slowly turn green which slowly turns dark green, which slowly turns brown till they end up light brown again.

Picking the colors for this quilt is really challenging. Hence, Cindy's help was needed.

Ok, I've followed the instructions "to the letter" and cut my strips. Here they all are on my sewing machine extension bed.

They look so nice, all in order and what not. I can't resist constantly looking at them.

So, below I've sewed my "panels". The largest set is colors 1-16 (all of them). They're on the bottom left. On the top are the darks....numbered 7-13-8. IOW, strips numbered 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8. In that order. And the last panel not shown is 13-6-6.

Ok, now the story. A group of us gals are getting together next weekend to sew. We've selected a secret location and there are eight of us. Four of us want to do this quilt. They've bought their kits (sold at the Fabric Patch) and are ready to go. They want MOI to teach them. Yeah, right I said. So I decided to get a head start because I don't want to get to our sewing "retreat" and learn myself AS I'm teaching them.

So, I sewed my panels which was easy enough. Then I started putting the strips all together to make the quilt. On my next post, I'll show you the strips and how they come together to make this heart bargello. The other gals won't mind that I've gotten this far. This quilt looks complicated and I'm sure they're just glad they can *gulp* rely on me to show them how to do it. And I needed a head start so that I can figure it out. And I've discovered it's not difficult at all.

So that's what's been going on around here. DH just left to run a few errands and asked me "what are you going to do while I'm gone?" I said "I don't know...." YEAH RIGHT! I'm off to my sewing studio.

Have a great week everyone! Be watching for Bargello, Part 2.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Blue Skies Smiling at Me...

Nothing but Blue Skies, do I see....

Am I the only one here who recognizes that Irving Berlin song? I hope not and if I'm not alone, shout out to me about it.

Well, I've gone and done it. I "upgraded" (the proper techy talk) to a new digital camera and as you can see, it's B L U E !

It's officially called the Panasonic Lumix DMC FX10 digital camera. It's 6 mp. Not alot anymore, but twice as much as I was using. It's smaller and most importantly, is FASTER. My Fugifilm A330 was/is great, but it takes forever to start up. There were times when I'd miss a shot because I was still waiting for the green light!! ARRGGGHHHH. So, problem solved.

Sorry for the flash in this one. And those scratches aren't on the LCD screen as they appear. I put a protective cover over the screen by buying some screen protectors that are actually made for some sort of video game thingy. StuffMart...$6.88. Cheap insurance, huh?

So, from now on, you may notice a difference in the shots I take. Then again....

Have a blessed weekend everyone. See you in church!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What Time is it Anyway??

Ok, this is what my local quilt shop has me sewing this week. They gave me this book called Fast Fun & Easy Creative Fabric Clocks and told me to get anything out of the shop that I needed to complete the clock. With the book, they gave me the clock mechanism to make it work.

I had them give me 1/2 yd of Fast 2 Fuse which is Timtex that is fusible on both sides.

I went through the book several times trying to decide which clock to make. I couldn't. I always have problems because most of the clocks in the book were done freeform. IOW, the clockmaker designed the shape of the clock on her own. I prefer a pattern. I'm not good at freeform.

But I finally decided on a dimensional circle clock because it was easy. And I was tired of having this project on my "to do" list. The quilt shop is doing a class on these clocks and the owner has one unassembled for demonstrative use. She wanted me to make one so that she could use it as the "ta da" clock. Well, it's not much of a Ta Da clock, but I guess it will do.

Overall, it was very easy to do. I used a compass and drew the circles on the Fast 2 Fuse and then cut out the circles. The largest circle needs backing fabric. I just grabbed some ivory tone-on-tone and used that. For the purples, I used my scraps. I took a marker from my Stampin Up supplies and ran it around on the edges to give it some more purple color. I also used varigated purple thread to quilt each circle individually. Then I stuck them all together and attached the clock mechanism. I also put the 12, 3, 6 & 9 numbers (they glue on) on the face. I put a battery in it and TA works!'s done in my favorite colors!!!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Christmas Apron

I've been working on TONS of sewing projects. So, I thought it was about time to show you some of them. Below is a Christmas apron and potholders on a panel. They're from Debbie Mumm. The panel consists of the apron front, two potholder fronts and 5 strips (2 of one fabric, 3 of another) for apron ties and potholder bindings. But I wasn't aware that two of the strips would be for potholder bindings, so I used them for the back of the apron ties.

You see, my quilt shop wanted me to make this reversible instead of just turning back the sides and stitching them down. So they picked out this cute red/green plaid. It was very easy. I first cut out the apron from the panel, making sure to leave 1/4" seam allowances. Then I laid the apron right side down on top of the plaid right side up. Then I cut out the plaid and took it to my machine and stitched all the way around it leaving an opening on the bottom of the apron. I figured when it came time to close the opening, no one would notice it because it's at the bottom.

Then I had to open up the stitching to allow for the ties on each side and the neck strap. I measured the neck strap from an apron I had already done and cut this one the same length. Then I fit them inside the seams and closed over it again. Make sense?

Here are the potholders. As stated, I didn't realize that two of the strips were for binding, so I cut the plaid on the bias and used it for binding. And, of course, plaid on the back. I put regular cotton quilt batting and insul-bright on the inside of the potholders. And finished it off with a loop for hanging.

Now they're on display at the quilt shop. The panel is $9.00 there.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Chairs Have It!!

Well, the long awaited chairs have arrived! We've been waiting for our finishing touches to arrive since I've redone the living room with new carpet and paint.

Below, Emily has totally made herself to home on one. We haven't even had time to remove the tags!!!

And here is Gadget (in the chair) and Gizmo checking them out. New smells. Gizmo says "Well Gadget, are they going to be comfy?" I think Gadget is saying "I don't know about comfy, but they smell like they were made by a German Shepherd!"

And now all we need is an interior decorator. I've got the carpet I love, the walls painted the way I like it and new chairs. Now for some wall hangings and other misc. trappings that decorators are known for. But alas, that will have to wait until....hmm...I don't know when. I have no taste in decorating and DH probably would not be thrilled to have a decorator in the house. So...I'll just have to do it myself. I have in mind to do a smaller bargello style quilt for the wall.

Time will tell. But until then, the chairs are winners!

Have a blessed week everyone!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

More Purses

Well, as you can see from these photos, I've not quite burned myself out on sewing purses (this link takes you to August entries where I did a three part series on sewing purses). I bought this really nice quilters cotton from a quilt shop in Odessa, WA. I hadn't seen this line of fabric at my local quilt shop, so I scarfed up several fat quarters.

My intent on making these two purses was to give one to Charisma and to sell the other. I had made her a bright pink purse and decided she needed a "winter" purse. It also gives her a chance to *ahem* wash the first one I gave her. I allowed Charisma to have her pick yesterday and she chose...drum roll please...the one on the left in the shot below.

And here I thought all along that she would chose this one below. Oh well.

They are fun to sew and hardly take any time. I can get two done in a couple of evenings.

Keep sewing everyone!