Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Putting the stitching on hold.....

Not quite finished with this piece, but I will be putting it aside for a while while I...........

get started on binding 7 (yes seven) quilts.

(Five of them are mini quilts and I have all summer to get them done - so you don't need to feel sorry for me.  Plus, binding is my favorite thing to do.  I'm looking forward to quiet time with needle and thread.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stitching Wisdom

Slow, slow progress on my CCN The Book Store – BUT…….
at my advanced age, I am still learning.  I wanted to get this piece done so that I could start in on the new things I purchased.  When I hurry, guess what happens?  Yep, you are right.  I get knots and snarls.  Then I try to undo the knots and snarls......then I get mad........then I fling my work across the room – which makes me look like a mad woman.  It makes me hate stitching and I vow I will never stitch another thing for the rest of my life. So there!

That happened the other day in my peaceful, quiet living room.  I got up from my chair, turned out the lights, and did not return to the room for several days. 

When I felt somewhat sane again, I returned, picked up my Q-snapped project, calmly cut out the huge snarl, undid the work back to where I had enough thread to weave it into the back, and checked to make sure I had not damaged anything.

So, what did I learn?  I learned to be mindful of my stitching – to feel the thread on the back as I pull it to the front checking that it is not forming a knot – watching the stitch on the front making sure that it is lying flat.  Stitching is not something to be done quickly or mindlessly.  Yes, this is about the twelve-hundred and umpteenth time I have had to learn this lesson. 

I hurry because I’m always in a rush to get to the next thing.  It would be so much better if I focused on the moment, enjoy what I am doing, and be more present in my life. 

Maybe a nice cup of tea will sooth my hurried ways and help me enjoy my stitching time.

Monday, May 16, 2011

More binding

Finished binding a quilt for friend Betty.  
 It is a lovely, scrappy blue log cabin quilt.

Saturday, my friend Brenda and I took a short road trip to Inspired Needle in Lemont, IL.  I bought two small projects -
and also got the thread/button pack for the Button Up Birdies and some Weeks Dye Works floss for the Jardin Prive.  Now I have the necessary task of finishing up some projects before I allow myself to start in on these new fun projects.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Book Store

The progress on my stitching project - CCN The Book Store - is slow.  The door is stitched in two shades of brown and the colors are so close it is almost impossible to see the difference between the door frame and the door panels.
I didn't like the look, so I decided to add one strand of black and backstitch around the panels.
I like this much better.  It looks more like a door, and now you can actually see the different shades of brown.    Lots more to do on this little piece, but guess where I am going tomorrow.....Yep - a needlework shop.  I'm just looking!  Seriously.

Binding finished

At last Blogger is back.  It was down for two days.  Did you notice?

The binding for my cousin's quilt is finished and I am ready to get started on another binding for a friend.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Old tree

This old tree that lives in my side yard faithfully blossoms in the spring with beautiful white blossoms.  Every year I think that it won't bloom.  The tree seems partially dead in some of the center sections and by the end of the summer it looks tired and ready to give up.  The next year April comes and the other trees start to show specks of green - but this tree has black, gnarled branches.  There is no green showing and I fear that I will have to call the tree removal people.  Then a few days later I walk out to the garage, glance to my left, and am totally surprised to see the tree in full bloom.  It seems to happen overnight.

As soon as it rains, all the blossoms will be gone, and I will have to wait another year for the miracle to happen again.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to be that beautiful at least once a year?

Monday, May 9, 2011


It was Play Day in my Quilt Studio today (self-declared).  I played with fabric scraps, working on ideas for artist's trading cards and quilted journal pages.  Then I spotted a little kit that I recently acquired - a "strip zip" bag to make using the Atkinson Designs Cash & Carry pattern, and I was able to put it together quickly in spite of having to re-read the directions eighty-seven times.
Kinda cute.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Problem and Solution

My cousin made a quilt and gave it to me to bind.  She is pretty new to quilting so I was not surprised when I found a common mistake - her backing fabric did not completely cover two opposite corners of the quilt.  Of course the easy solution was to make a label to cover one corner, but what could I do about the other corner?  I tried to figure out how to patch some backing fabric, but it all seemed like a lot of work for a tiny little mistake.  Then it came to me - make another label  (see below) that celebrates her free spirit and sense of humor.
(Click on picture to enlarge)

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Currently I am reading Finding Water by Julia Cameron (of Artist's Way fame).  One of her suggested weekly disciplines is to have what she terms an "artist's date".  Translated, it means taking yourself to a museum, an art gallery, a park, a book store, a fabric store, or any place that has beautiful things to inspire you.  

In the chapter I read today, she suggested that you go to the children's section of a book store and spend an hour looking at the colorful artwork and charming stories.  I did just that and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  The best part was that the only other customers were a mother and child. They were seated at a small table and the mother was reading a book out loud to the child.  The child was enthralled.  It made me smile.

As I drove home and passed a doctor's office I saw another mother with two small children. The children had discovered the tree at the edge of the parking lot.  It was a tree with two trunks and the V it formed came right down to the ground - a fascinating structure for small children to explore.  Ah, to be observant and curious like a child.  It made me smile.

Even though it is May, the weather is still cool and I am still wearing sweat shirts.  Now that really makes me smile!

Monday, May 2, 2011

This and That

As I sat down to do some knitting this morning I discovered that I was almost at the end of the current ball of yarn.  Having no yarn winder, I employ the old fashioned way of using a chair.  It works like a charm.

Starting a postcard swap has me finding it hard to think about anything else.  I spent quite a bit of time today looking up things on the Internet and working on an idea for the May swap.  Can't show anything except this as my swap mates see this blog.

Unfortunately the camera does not do justice to the yarn in this picture.  It is black and white with a strand of silver metallic which makes the knitting sparkle.  Yes, this is a scarf and I made up the pattern with six rows of straight knitting and then a row of a yarn-over/drop stitch.  Truly, it looks much better in person.

In a This and That day, I also worked on some binding, and did some planning for the next artist's trading card exchange.  

It was a merry Monday making more and more.