Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sashiko Pillow

WOW Challenge #12 theme: Japan

I made a Sashiko pillow.  The hardest part was chalking the first lines.  After those were stitched I used a pencil to mark the wrong side of the fabric for the rest of the lines.  That was easier to do and it was also easier to follow with the stitching.  Next time I try this I'll do all the marking on the back as it's more precise and the pencil isn't as messy as the chalk.  My stitches aren't uniform in length but they got better as I went. This was relaxing and it really turns out pretty.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Deep In The Middle

No finishes yet - just in the middle of lots of projects.

I did most of the work on this quilt, Ramblin' Rose in February.  This weekend the ric-rac stems have been sewn down.  I'm working on the flowers, then it needs to be bound.

I have a good start on my version of Sashiko for this week's WOW challenge - the theme is Japan.

Sharon from Kentucky made this Quilt of Valor.  I always audition several thread colors before starting to quilt.  White / off-white is seldom my first choice but with the red, white and blue quilts it usually seems to be the best.

The final Project Quilting challenge of Season 2 is large scale prints.  This looks large, doesn't it?  A striped or plaid fabric still needs to be added. 

These are pieces for a Quilt of Valor that is going to a wounded hero that I know.  108 rectangles that have one bit of blue and 54 rectangles of white/blue/white will yield sets of little triangle that will make 216 HST that are 1 3/4" square.  I'm still working on what to do with them.  Several red and white blocks are already finished... no pic.

This is probably the reason I have so many middles and no finishes ;)   It's almost finished.  Tonight?  Tomorrow?  Then I plan to have a week full of finishes.  

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Feeling Lucky?!

Enter the giveaway for FOUR tickets to Legoland Discovery Center.  But hurry, tomorrow is the last day.  If you've never heard of the Legoland Discovery Center you can learn all about it at the giveaway. 
It's in Schaumburg Illinois, so I guess if you live in another part of the country it won't do you much good.  Unless you want to plan a vacation.  Legos are enough to plan a vacation around, aren't they?

That's all Legos... isn't it cool?!
Legos were a favorite at our house when the kids were little...
I loved playing with them! 
(I let the boys play, too)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

IC#11 and Lessons Learned

Iron Craft #1:  something green

I made a mini green pincushion.  And I learned a few things. 

1.  Hot glue is HOT!  'nuf said.

2.  Cotton balls are the not the best option for stuffing a pincushion. 

Detour:  I have a whole bag of cotton balls for my Brown Paper Bag, of which I only used two.  I have another large bag for medicinal purposes.  Did you know that about a gazillion brands of alcohol wipes (the kind you use to prep the skin for an injection) were recalled about two months ago and they still didn't have more on the shelves when I looked last week. So we use cotton balls and a bottle of alcohol (no, not that kind - that comes after the shot).  Okay, back on track...

So I wish cotton balls worked well for stuffing pincushions.  But they don't.

3.  Bigger is not always better.

In the case of mini stuff I think a smaller glue gun would be better.

4.  I learned, again, that I like mini stuff!

I really do!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mini Bunting

WOW Challenge #11 theme:  Birthday!

I made itty-bitty birthday bunting.  Red felt squares have fusible web appliqued purple fabric letters.  The squares were zigzag stitched to a piece of white yarn.  Enough yarn was left at each end to make hanging easy. 

It's just the right size for hanging on the refrigerator or maybe on a mirror.

Hang it on the wall,
or even down the hall.
Hang it on a door,
let me think some more...
maybe on a hook,
in a cranny or a nook.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mini Quilt Exchange - Practice Piece

Jennifer of All Things Belle (and the force behind Make It WOW) has started a flickr group for a mini-quilt exchange.   It sounds like fun!  Of course I joined.  And of course I'm impatient to get started, so I made a practice mini quilt.

I had one lonely flower made from a log cabin block.  It was one of my cast-offs from last season's Project Quilting.  All that was needed was a stem, with a leaf.  Fusible applique held the pieces in place while they were stitched down with an applique stitch.  No binding this time, just the front and back RST with the batting behind the front, stitch and turn inside out.  Echo quilting was done in one of my new favorite thread colors - antique.  A length of embroidery floss stitched to each side of the top for hanging completes the mini quilt. 

It's just 3" x 5" which is the smallest size in the mini quilt exchange.  The largest size is 15" x 15".  I might just make a practice 15" mini quilt tomorrow.

Want to join the fun? Just one project per month.  That's doable.  Come on.  Join in.  You know you want to. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

MS Awareness Month - I'm So Done With It

A few days ago Facebook statuses started popping up with "Tomorrow starts Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. Copy and repost this if someone you know/love is affected by MS....."  I'm paraphasing but you get the point.  Not being satisified with just copying and reposting I thought I'd make up a few (31 really) little snippets about MS that involved the letters M and S and post one each day of the month of March.  Just to bring a little more awareness and maybe a bit of humor at the same time.  Here's a few examples...

MS makes Minestrone Sipping difficult.
MS causes Missteps and Stumbling.
MS causes Mishaps and Staggering.
MS is a Merry-go-round of Symptoms.
MS can Minimize your Self confidence.
MS got My Sweetheart

As you can see the humor was sadly lacking.  Just two days of posting quick thoughts on FB and I'm rethinking that idea.

Before you think I'm whining, please know that I know that we have been so incredibly blessed that we had so many, many years when MS was just lurking in the background and was not a large, everyday part of our lives.  With the first mention of it as a possibility nearly 35 years ago, things could have been so different if it manifested itself more quickly and more powerfully.  Being able to raise his kids was always Scott's prayer and it was answered.  And so much more.   Listing tidbits about this Maddening Scourge of a disease makes Me Sad and gets me nowhere and doesn't really make anyone more aware of what this disease is or does.  It's like so many other diseases or disabilities - you 'get' the two-line-basics of what it is.  But each disease or disability has its own heartaches and challenges.  You don't really understand - or need to understand (who has that kind of time or strength) - the implications and nuances until you or someone close to you is affected.  

With MS, when you do really understand, one of the hardest things is hearing about someone young who is newly diagnosed.  It's heartbreaking. The best you can do is pray that MS takes its sweet time to manifest itself fully, that they have time to live a full, active life (and truly appreciate it) with just occasional inconvenient attacks before it all goes downhill. 

So. Be aware. MS exists.

And now I'm done.  Time to focus once more on the positive.

And the sun is shining again today.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

He Leads Me

The theme for Make it WOW #9 was spiritual.

I made a mini-quilt.  Just 6" square quilted with ribbon paths and "bound" with couched ribbon.

and titled it "He Leads Me"

There are so many paths to take in life, so many choices to make.  I'm not always sure of His reasons, but I do believe our Lord leads me.  He puts up roadblocks to the paths I should avoid, and I try my darnedest to get around them sometimes.  He guides me down the path I should take.  I don't always go along willingly, with a smile and glad heart. Sometimes I go kicking and screaming.  But when my tantrum is over and I calm down I realize I have taken the best path, that He has chosen well.