Friday, May 6, 2022

Stitching and Stuff

 I have the first half of the quilt sewn together and just have three more rows to do on the second half. I had thought I was going to quilt it in two sections, but changed my mind. I have often quilted large quilts in sections and then sewed the quilted sections together but they did not involve matching seams. This has a lot of seams. so I am going to quilt it in one big piece, which will measure eight feet by 42 inches. I did quit another big pieced quilt a few years ago, Brown Planet, a collaboration with Kathy Loomis that was the same size. I did it on my dining room, table which gave me lots of room to spread out. That one was done with free motion quilting and this one will just be straight lines a quarter inch from each seam using the walking foot. So hopefully it won't be too formidable.





I almost always have fresh flowers in the house, being so readily available at the super market. I also love tulips, but am dismayed by the fact they they only last about 5 days. I saw these faux tulips in Amazon and can't believe how realistic they are. They are called Real Touch, Faux Latex Tulips. They even feel real. They come ten to a bunch and I bought two bunches of each color.



The white ones in the living room are in a clear glass container.  I put water in the vase because you could see the stems. The stems are totally encased with the latex so I don't have to worry about them rusting.

This glass basket was my mother's and  I always use it for tulips. For these bunches I cut about 3 inches off the bottom. No need for water because you cannot see thru the basket. 

I ordered two other bunches from a different company and sent them back.


And on a less cheery note, I have Covid. Yes, I have been triple vaxed . I started feeling bad on Wed. afternoon. My cleaning lady was supposed to come on Thursday morning and I had an appt. at the hairdresser. So I took an at home test and it was positive. I don't feel good, but I don't feel horrible either, pretty much like a bad cold. Very sore throat, achy, coughing. I had a viral visit with my doc and he said to quarantine for 5 days at home and then for the next five days, wear a mask and social distance. 

My sister, who lives two houses down from me, also has it. I think she feels worse than I do. So just when we thought we could let our guards down, I guess we can't. I haven't been wearing a mask for awhile except at the doctor's office. 

So not much getting done here. I vegged out on the couch all day yesterday, watching TV and reading, same today. Things for which to be grateful.....this is not 2020, when you had to stand in long lines to be tested and then wait two days for the results and then quarantine for 14 days if you were positive. I did not have to go the hospital and this, too, shall pass.

I asked my doctor if I should do another test and he said not to because these tests are very reliable.

Cancelled plans for the weekend...a party for a neighbor couple moving away, Friday night dinner out with the "girls" and Mother's Day dinner with my sister and her daughter. 

Anyway, Happy Mother's day to all the moms out there.

I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday.


Friday, April 29, 2022

Putting it Together

 I admire some people whose blogs I read that have full time jobs, family and gardens to which they attend and still have time to produce prodigious amounts of art. Well, that's not me. I seem to get slower and slower and less productive the older I get. Or is that just an excuse?

But I am putting together my big circles in a square piece. I am piecing it in two sections and will quilt it in two sections that will then get sewn together to make one big piece. Each half measure 40" x 45" and sewn together will be 80" wide.








 

I finished piecing the first half and am working on the second. I am very much enjoying looking at the squares again. Sometimes I can't remember how I did that stitch or admire how those colors worked together. It is fun, even if am am having to match seams, something not much done in art quilts.


These next three photos were taken of my car's windshield on a drizzly day while waiting in the car for someone. I thought the patterns were so beautiful and each droplet unique. If you click on the picture for a larger view, you see even more patterns surrounding the bigger drops. Then click again for an even closer look. Hmmm...a quilting design?



I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Home again, home again

 I returned home last night from my Florida home to my CT home. In other years we came home to dreadful weather, but this year it is glorious, warm and sunny with Spring flowers and trees starting their magic. 





I didn't do a lot in Florida that was creative. I did a little watercoloring and a little hand stitching, but not a lot. It was so easy to be lazy down there and we throughly enjoyed ourselves soaking up the good weather. 


I thought I had taken a picture of my little circles in squares, but I only had a partial. It was vey hard to get good color. It was either too dark or too washed out. Here is the best I have. 



I thought I should do some samples to see how to piece this thing. I am going to do it in two sections, eleven squares wide which will sew down to 42 inches.


On the first one I sewed some left-over squares together with a walking foot and a quarter inch seam. Seams were pressed to one side and then machine quilted a quarter inch away from each seam. I didn't like the way it looked. Too bulky in the center.



Then I pressed the seams open. Much better.


 This will be an ongoing project, but I want to get it finished soon. It occupies my whole design wall and I have two art quilts that are due soon.

I'm glad to be back blogging and will try to post once a week. I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Daily Stitching and Cards

 I'm down to the wire. Only ONE MORE square to do. I wasn't very diligent about my stitching, busy doing other things like undecorating the house of Christmas things. Big job and I'm glad it's done.

I like this design from the Japanese book, but not my stitching. Why can't I get that stitching more even after all this practice?



A little satin stitch for a change, pattern from my stencils. I like the orange and hot pink, a throwback to the 70's.


Also from the stencils. It had circles gradating in size from larger to smaller. I made a French Knot in the center of each circle, going from five times around the needle to one time, and connected them with a straight stitch. This reminded me of my mother's chenille bedspread.

                                  Again in different colors and going in the opposite direction.


A friend gave me some handmade papers that she had made. They were the perfect size to use in my cards. I started with some 5" x 7" blank colored cards. I had to pare the handmade papers a bit to let some of the colored cards show.

Then I cut a piece of watercolor paper and used the smooshing method using Distress Inks. to get that nice mottled affect. Added either some stencils or paint spatters. I then stamped the design with VersaMark and used black embossing powders. The last step was to machine buttonhole hole stitch around the edge of the watercolor paper, going thru all layers.

I did not put a sentiment on the outside, but will on the inside. I think they are suitable for any occasion. I made quite a few on a rainy day. Here are  just a few.






That's it for this week. I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope that you all stay healthy. Wear those masks, get vaccinated if you haven't already done so and stay home if you can. A good time to get those projects finished or start a new one.

I am linking up to Off the Wall Friday, a week late.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Daily Stitching and Christmas

 I did get a little stitching done this week. Some running stitch and satin stitch with Perle cotton and some stem stitch with two strands of floss.






 Tomorrow is Christmas and my son will be coming home from the west coast. He is hoping that his flight won't be canceled as some are and that he doesn't test positive for Covid. He has had one in home test  (negative) and will take another before he leaves. I thought we were so over this, but here we go again.

We will not be going into NYC for a day as we have always done in past years except for last Christmas when he didn't come home (Covid). He is worried about the train ride into the city and back and all the cases that are popping up there. Another tradition down the drain.

I'm off to make an apple pie, his favorite, and start the prep for my Beef Wellington. Who doesn't like that?

So Merry Christmas to all and hoping for a much better 2022.

Linking up with Off the Wall Friday.


Friday, December 17, 2021

Bah Humbug!

For the past several years (except for last year) I have hosted a ladies luncheon for fifteen at Christmas time. I was so glad that things were back to almost normal and I could do it again this year. After all we had all be triple vaxed.  So I decorated, polished my silver, put the leaves in the tables, ironed the tablecloths, set the tables, put the party favors on the napkins, got the extra chairs from the basement, set up the folding table with another tablecloth for the buffet, and cooked and cooked. All set for Thursday at noon.

THEN more than half of my guests went to a book club meeting on Tuesday evening and got the news  Wednesday morning that the hostess had tested positive for Covid.  What to do, what to do? Most of them went running to get a test on Wednesday, but from all the info I could get online and elsewhere, you should wait 3-5 days after exposure or you might get a false negative result.

Sooooo, altho it broke my heart, I canceled. I did not want to take the chance of exposing anyone. Hopefully they are all fine and not sick at ll, but I just couldn't take the chance. 

Better luck next year, I hope. Today I spent part of the day, dismantling the tables and putting things away. As for the food, I can freeze some of it and the rest will have to be tossed. 

                                                                      Dining room


                                                         Party favor on the napkins.



                                                                                Kitchen


I have a friend whose daughter works in the hospital and she told her to wear her mask everywhere. The hospitals are filling up again with Covid cases. Just when we thought we could relax. Then I remembered that this is not the end of the world for us. We were not affected by the horrendous tornados in some parts of he country. Just a little social setback. Hopefully I can do it next year and I will save those party favors.



Suffice it to say that I got very little sewing done this week. Just this one from the Japanese design book and another almost finished.

I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

Daily Stitching

 I am loving the designs in the Dover book of Japanese designs. The two that I did this week were a little bolder so I was able to use the Perle cotton again.





                               This last one was an easy peasy one from my stencils. Did it in no time.






What I did spend time on this week were these party favors for my annual (except last year) Ladies Christmas Luncheon. I have fifteen guests for a sit-down meal, altho I have to split it between the dining room and kitchen. It's the only time I wish I had a bigger house, or at least a bigger dining room, but it all works out.
For the past few years I have made a snowman favor of some sort so when I saw these felt ornaments on Pinterest I knew I had to make them. They weren't hard to do....some gluing, a little hand embroidery, lightly stuffed and hand buttonhole stitched around the outside.




Since we are wearing masks again inside stores, I hand painted this little Christmas tree on a blank mask that I  bought at Joanne's this summer. Added a little bling with stick-on jewels. Who knew we would be wearing mask this late, but I was glad I had saved this blank. I had painted flowers on them this summer.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

All Through the House and a Little Stitching

 Stitching took a back seat this past week because I was busy decorating. If you read my blog, you will know that I love to gussy up the house for the holidays. I did a few things different than last year and some the same. Here a a few pictures.

My Santa tree that I do every year in the family room. I started this tradition many years ago and for several years it was just a four foot tree that went on a table. For the past few years it has been this 7 1/2 foot tree. It is pre-lit, but this year it would only blink white lights, enough to give you a migraine, so I had to put 6 strings of 100 lights on it. (swear word, swear word). Most of the ornaments are glass Santas, but I had a lot that I wasn't using, mostly smaller wooden, cloth, etc, from that 4 foot tree so I put them in a shopping bag and took them to Savers. Hopefully someone else will find joy in them on their tree. I do love my Santa tree.


Mantle in the family room with one of my Christmas quilts made many years ago. It is machine pieced and hand quilted with gold metallic thread.



This is where the changes begin. I used to put a tall slim tree in the living room with silver, white and gold ornaments,  but last year because the pre-lit lights were not working AGAIN I threw the tree away and decided to go for something simpler. This is a twig tree with mini LED lights. From my vast collection of ornaments I put on the former tree, I chose only silver birds with real feather tails. I love the look and it takes up less room and doesn't fight with my big Paula Nadlestern ornaments on the coffee table. More about those later on.




                                                     At the base the tree.



The large ornaments made using Paula Nadlestern fabric and lots and lots of sequins and beads. They took forever to do, but I really enjoyed making  them. One of the reasons that I put the simpler tree up was that I wanted these ornaments to be the star in the room. I wound some mini LED lights around the base of the containers for some added sparkle.



These five crystal angels used to go on the dining room table, but this year they are on the small hall table, again with the tiny LED lights.


Some of my Santa collection on the bakers rack. The bottom shelf will be used for wine glasses when I entertain.




These mercury glass trees used to go on the coffee table in the LR, but now are on the side table in the DR. More of those LED lights around the bases.



                            Dining Room table with red ornaments hung on the chandelier.



Centerpiece.



I did do a little stitching.  I mentioned last week that a friend had given me a Dover book of Japanese designs. Many of them are circular and are perfect for my squares. Some are quite delicate and I switched from size 8 Perle cotton to two strands of floss. 






I am linking our with Off the Wall Friday.