Saturday, January 31, 2009
The only string attached to this is that I need to do it too! Believe me, it's not a bad string at all- I can't wait to make stuff for other people!
So here's the deal-
*Leave a comment on this post telling me that you want to participate in the Pay It Forward! Please also tell me what your favorite color is in the comment.
*I will randomly select 3 people from those that sign up by February 6, 2009 (at 12 noon US Central Standard Time) and send gifts to them! How fun is that!
*The gifts made to send to others can be anything, as long as it's homemade! A quilt, something knitted, paper crafts, woven... maybe something tailored to their likes (according to their profiles on their blogs)...or just something you enjoy making!
*The gifts from me will be sent out sometime in the next six months.
*In return, you need to make the same Pay it Forward promise on your blog. I'm not too fussed about when you host your Pay It Forward - perhaps three months from now, six months or even next year.
*You must have a blog to participate and when you do host your Pay it Forward you have up to six months to send out your handmade gifts.
*Don't forget to post about the Pay it Forward gift you receive!
So, if you want to get something homemade from me, and you are willing to turn around and Pay It Forward, leave a comment!
Friday, January 30, 2009
I decided to answer here, since I don't like pestering people by e-mailing them stuff like that. I figure anyone who reads my blog is doing it because they want to! So, here goes...
1: Favorite Color- Teal
2: Favorite Place- the Finger Lakes region of New York
3: Favorite Book- "Persuasion" by Jane Austen
4: Favorite Song- "Missing" by Evanescence
5: Favorite Pastime- a toss up between quilting and knitting!
6: Favorite Food- Pizza
7: Favorite Movie- "Love, Actually"
8: Favorite Pet- I only have one, so my Lucky kitty is it!
9: Favorite Technological Gadget- my i-Pod!
10: Favorite Season- Autumn
11: Favorite Ice Cream- Butter Pecan
12: Favorite Candy Bar- Heath
There you have it! Me in 12 categories!
These were also funny, in a sad sort of way. I had had the impression that one needed to be able to speak in clear, comprehensible English to be a Senator. I guess was sadly mistaken! Almost all of them, regardless of their sex or race, made ghasty grammatical errors and used words that don't actually exist. It was rather sad to see the language being so abused and misused, especially by so many highly educated people! Most of them were reading pre-written statements, so it's not like they were speaking at the spur of the moment and were grasping for words.
Then the vote- unanimous in favor of impeachment. It was astonishing how fast everything changed after that. The State Police that guarded the former governor were gone within minutes!
After that came the swearing in of Governor Quinn. I really liked his speech! I think he's going to be good. It is apparent he's not as arrogant and as full of himself as our former governor was! And he's going to live in the Governor's Mansion, which is something the former governor didn't do- he chose to stay in Chicago and be as disconnected from the actual capitol as he could. Not the new governor, though... he moved in to the Mansion last night!
During his speech, Governor Quinn quoted a letter that was written by an admiral about his father. In the letter the admiral stated that his father was "happy, cheerful, cooperative, frank and honest". Wouldn't it be great if we were all like that?
Now I need to "happily and cheerfully" go do all the chores and housework that I blew off yesterday to watch the impeachment!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Today my friend Julie came over (also a Stampin'Up! demonstrator, but unlike me, she does do parties and stuff), and we made stuff! She was making some cards, and I played with lots of different stuff to come up with this!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
I think it's because I've been interested in knitting since I was a child, but I never "got" it. It was frustrating to those who tried to teach me, too, because I am left-handed. So it was hard for me to grasp what they were showing me, and I can't do anything with my right hand, so I couldn't switch hands.
I also think it's because I can make a hat or a scarf or something in an afternoon, whereas a quilt of any size takes a lot longer than that. Plus, it's so soothing to just sit, listen to music or an audiobook, and knit!
I made my first mitten last night- the lady at the knitting store in town said I should feel comfortable with that before I tackled socks. It's too small for me, but I have the pattern down now. I think I am going to felt it and applique it to a background- my first knitted/quilted combo project! I made a felted bag, too. it's drying right now. It's big, too- I had to use my canning pot to form it! I plan to use it when I take my knitting places. The knitting store has a knitting night every Monday evening. I can't go tonight, but I definitely plan to next week!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Later Friday morning, I was walking out to get the mail and saw this. I couldn't get a very clear picture, but what I got is below.
There is one set of small tracks that lead straight to the tree. There are several sets of bigger tracks that lead to the tree, and then around the tree, and there are several small broken branches all around the tree!
I didn't see anything else, so I am hopeful that whatever took refuge in my tree escaped!
I am working on a new mini. It's not an original pattern, but it is rather difficult to render this particular pattern into a miniature. I hope to post a picture of it tomorrow!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Same pattern as above, done with a Paton 100% wool yarn. I worked part of it in a seed stitch because I wanted to try it.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
But I have been doing something... I finished 2 knitted hats yesterday alone, and I have another one going that I'll finish up tomorrow! I'll post pictures when they are all done. Which should be tomorrow afternoon sometime!
I am feeling much better than I have the last couple days. I'm going to my quilt guild meeting tonight- the first I've left the house since Tuesday morning!
Monday, January 19, 2009
It's 9" x 12"... I took a piece of fusible web, free cut it with my rotary cutter (no drawn lines!), and then fused the pieces of web to the various fabrics. These pieces were cut out and fused to a piece of muslin, and then I put fusible bias tape over all the edges. I then layered it, and sewing down the bias tape became the quilting!
I am having so much fun!
Hubby and I also went shopping yesterday... one of our stops was Joann's. They had all their packaged batting 50% off... and boy, did I stock up!
Hubby kept joking that we were buying panda food... it's all the Fairfield 50% bamboo/50% organic cotton blend batting. I LOVE this stuff! It quilts beautifully, it's so soft, it drapes very nicely, and it's warm! I do pre-shrink it though... I don't like wrinkly quilts, and the first one I did got a bit wrinkly, since the batting shrunk. Oh, well! I just pop it into my washing machine, fill with cold water, let it soak for a few minutes, spin all the water out, and dry it in the dryer. Never agitate it in the washer, and check the lint trap a couple times while it's drying!
According to Fairfield, the bamboo they use in their batting it not the same kind that pandas eat. So no pandas were starved to make this product! But bamboo is sustainable, renewable, and good for the environment! It takes in 2/3 more carbon dioxide and puts out 2/3 more oxygen than any other plant on earth, and some bamboo species grow at the rate of 4 feet a day! It's also naturally anti-bacterial. It also helps wick moisture away from your body.
Lots of bamboo products are available now. I am wearing bamboo/cotton socks right now, and working on a knitting project that's made with a bamboo/silk blend yarn. Bamboo is very soft. It's so lovely to have next to your skin!
Can you tell I am totally on board with this stuff? :-)
I'm off to Quilt In Joy in a bit... I have to wait till they open... :-) They have fat quarters and charm squares on sale today and tomorrow. They also have the new "Zippity-Doo-Dah" collection from Sandy Gervais in stock. I have been waiting for that to come out!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Quilt In Joy, Huntley, IL: This little quilt shop has an amazing array of fabrics! They just celebrated their one-year anniversary last month. They have the best selection of batiks in this whole area, and the staff is so friendly! I love going there- they just make you feel so welcome- like you came to their house for a day of sewing! They also have one of the best selection of notions. I like that- they have a lot of notions that you can't get at the big, scary box store. Quilt In Joy is the closest quilt shop to my house. Love it!
Tammy Tadd Designs, Sycamore, IL: This not-so-little quilt shop is the brightest, happiest place! Their selection of bright fabrics is out of this world. They have one of the biggest selections of 1930's reproduction fabrics in this area. One of the ladies that works there does an amazing job of decorating and keeping everything looking fresh! They teach some innovative classes, and carry embellishment items that are hard to find, like jumbo ric-rac. They also do long-arm quilting on site, and the turn around is pretty fast! Tammy Tadd Designs is the next closest shop to my house.
Quilter's General Store, Rockford, IL: This fantastic shop is THE place to go if you want Civil War reproductions, and darker fabrics like Kansas Troubles by Moda. The staff is so friendly, and they are very knowledgeable about the stuff they carry. They carry whole "collections" of fabric, which is very nice. They make samples for just about everything, and they make a lot of kits, which is so nice! They also have space devoted to "softer" fabrics and children's fabrics. They get nationally-known designers in for lectures and workshops, too, which is so much fun! Quilter's General Store is a bit of a drive from my house, but totally worth it!
There are some quilt shops that are not in this area that I really like, too. They are Mill House Quilts, in Waunakee, WI: this quilt shop has the most fabric I have ever seen under one roof- and all sorts, too, from flannel to batiks! And last but certainly not least is Ivy Thimble Quilt Shop, in Victor, NY (my hometown!!). I only get back home once or twice a year, but this shop is always on my intinerary. They have a great selection of batiks and "basics", like Moda Marbles and Kaufmann Fusions.
There you are- a few of my favorite things!
Break Out: Escape From The Quilt Police
Here it is! My first abstract quilt- and my first quilt that's smaller than 30" square! And I LOVE it!! It's 15" square. The quilting is done in the ditch around the bias strips.
It was so liberating to make this quilt! I kept thinking things like "oh, so-and-so would say that it needs more quilting" and "most people probably won't think this is any big deal". But it's a really big deal for me- ask anyone who knows me! I have never made a quilt like this before. And I also realized that it's MY quilt: I designed it, I made it, and I think the quilting is fine!
2009 will be my year to break out of the box that I climbed into. I am looking forward to making another one... ideas are flowing like water!
Friday, January 16, 2009
So yesterday, I thought that it was pretty darn cold at -22°F. And it was. But this morning... it was colder yet! Our thermometer said it was -31°F!! That's -35°C for my Australian friends... in other words, too cold! Another day of sticking close to the house. I don't actually need to leave the house again until... well, next Thursday! I am sure I will go somewhere between now and then... but not today!
I have been chosen!! Ann over at A Good Yarn is doing a "Pay It Forward", and I have been chosen to recieve a gift from her! I am so excited! I will host my Pay It Forward next month. I am looking forward to it! How fun to give, and receive, with no strings attached (well, I have to host a Pay It Forward, but really, that's more like fun than an obligation!)! Just being chosen to participate in this makes me feel warmer!
I am almost done with my stitchery version of the Bunny Hill Designs free block of the month. I'll post about it when it's done... it's turning out super cute!!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
It says it's -22°F!! The wind chill is not bad right now (only -25°F), but the winds are supposed to pick up later and get it down to -40°F!
Seems like a pretty good day to stay inside and sew!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I joined a mini quilt swap group on Flickr. I was too late for the January swap, but I am in for the February swap! I'm really excited- I think it will be a lot of fun to get to know other people through making them a quilt!
I am still fighting a cold off... so far I haven't actually gotten sick, but I know it's there, just waiting for the time I get over-tired or forget the orange juice! I just feel kind of blah. The weather is no help. It's supposed to be 20 degrees below zero tonight, with a windchill of 40 below! Time to start piling the extra quilts on!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
But that was really inconvenient, especially when I only wanted to make one or two cards! So, I took a desk that was in our bedroom doing nothing but getting heaped with clutter and put it in a corner of the dining room. And on this I organized my stuff!
Believe me when I say this is FAR from being all my stuff! A lot of it is still in the storage room, but enough is out here. And I know what's in storage, because I made a catalog of the stuff that's back there. I pulled out all the stamps I thought I'd use most and put the rest in storage. But again, I have a stamp "catalog" of all the sets I own, and I marked which ones were out here, and which ones were in the back room. I borrowed a cabinet in my buffet for bigger stuff like my Big Shot, Big Shot dies, paper cutter, and ribbon box. All my punches fit in the big drawer, and I can actually see them all! Little boxes on the desk top hold my envelopes and adhesives.
So now I can sit down and make cards and stuff without it being a huge hassle to haul everything out! I am so excited! Now I need to sit down and make all those birthday and Christmas thank-you cards... better late than never, I suppose!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Here it is! My first finished project of 2009! I am really happy with it! It's going to hang on my sewing room wall. Aren't they bright and cheerful? It was a lot of fun to make!
1/14/09: The pattern for this quilt is called "5 Golden Sunflowers" by Bee Creative Studio. I had blogged about this project earlier, and given the name of the pattern then, but since that post is on the "island of older posts" now, I want to make sure to give credit where credit is due!- Jennie
Friday, January 9, 2009
The top shelf is mostly fabrics that are intended for specific projects, placed together so I can keep track of them. The last 1/3 is miscellaneous bolts that I couldn't fit on top of the dresser! The pile in the middle of the bottom shelf is my insane purchase of the "Cider Mill Road" line by Nancy Halvorsen.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I made a silly, stupid mistake, and now I am short of fabric. If anyone has any of this fabric and is willing to sell it to me, I would be so grateful! I need 1/4 yard. Even a fat quarter would work!
It's from the "Spring Fling" line put out by Terry Atkinson and Liz Lois. It's the blue tone-on-tone pictured above. I think it's from 3 or even 4 years ago.
I really, really don't want to have to substitute something else. I don't have anything that would work (I've been through ALL the blue fabric I own and nothing looks right). So if you have this fabric, and are willing to part with a quarter yard, please leave me a comment with your e-mail address and I will contact you.
Thanks! And please pray that everything goes well, and that baby will stay put for right now- it's too early for him to come out!