Saturday, November 29, 2008

It seems like time is slipping away. Already it's the holiday season, & I have a few dozen projects I would like to get finished, & doubt I'll have time for any of them. I listened to Christmas movies today in the studio, while working on a scarf for a class sample. I have to have the samples done & paper work organized by the 10th. It's a lot of thread-play on top of Angelina Fibers. There is white wash-away stabilizer behind it here. The Angelina is an Opalescent with a purple shine.
Warren got his rock work finished today. He still wants to put some sort of trim around it, & then we'll call the fireplace guys to come & install the stove.
We had a lovely Thanksgiving at the Meyn's. Lots of food & fun. We stayed up late & slept until 11 a.m. the next day. I never sleep that late anymore. It was strange for me, but it felt good.
It's been snowing like crazy here, all day today. I've started putting up the Christmas decorations. It'll probably take me all week to get them done. I still have shopping to do too. I wish I were as good as my DH at Christmas shopping. He starts in January.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Progress Note

Poor Warren's finger tips are raw & bleeding, & he's just a little over 1/2 done on his rock wall. He is going to take the next 2 days off to let the fingers scab over a bit.
My project is finished. I just have to turn it in to Gail, & she will mount it on felt & finish the sleeve. There was one block in this group that the woman used Hot Glue & something so sticky that I am POSITIVE it isn't supposed to be sewn through. I ruined 4 Topstitch (16/100) needles on her block alone, & my poor Bernina nearly choked on her block. It was glued layers of denim & flannel & at least 3 different kinds of glue. Argh..!

I also found a small hole that had probably been made when the lady was cutting away her stabilizer. It looked like she tried to fix it with some sort of fusible web, but nothing was behind it, & if the felt that Gail put under it is white, I figured it would show, so I put a white iron stabilizer behind it, then colored it green. The green was too green, & I couldn't gray it down enough, so..
I stuck a piece of black stabilizer on top of the white, then
did a little subtle thread play on top of the hole. It barely shows now.
On the blue blank, I put salmon, in 3-D.
I made them out of some of my wool.
I also found a spot for some of my polymer clay halibut that I made a few years ago.
It's all done, so now I'm taking it back to Gail!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Projects started

Today both Warren & I got started on a project. His is the stones for behind the woodstove in the basement. He mixed the cement,
then put the stones on the wall. This is as far as he got. I did the stones upstairs, in the kitchen, & I can tell you it's a lot harder than it looks.
My project was one I volunteered for over a year ago. It will be Alaska's 50th anniversary for statehood in 2009, & quilters from all over the state have made panels that are being pieced together into bigger panels to be hung at the Anchorage museum, & other venues around the state, then will end up in the state capital, Juneau. As always, when piecing together the works of several different people, it is a challenge.
This is as far as I got today. I still have to add an outer border, & that blank blue rectangle above the right lower corner is going to get something special.
Can you tell I don't have any large space to work in?
After picking these blocks up yesterday, we went to dinner & the movies. We saw "Changeling". Warren liked it. I didn't. It was based on a true story, & if you are like me, & go to the movies for "feel good" entertainment, you won't like it either. It's sad, & there is no closure.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Week in Fast forward

Where does the time go? It seems like this week has just whizzed by. Thursday was quilt guild, & we had demos done by some of the gals that went to the AQS show in Idaho recently to share what they learned. I have built a separate blog for the ALCQ, as this year's webmaster. I am having a hard time following Winnie's lead, the gal who built our original web page. She used html, & even though I am vaguely familiar with it from messing with my blog template, I have no idea how to even begin to get into the template on the web-page, to add & change it, so I've chosen to switch to blogging, making it easier to pass on the job in the future too. I just have to get Winnie to add a link to it for me.
Friday I met Cyndi Campbell at Seams Like Home to give her the quilt that I finished quilting for her. She had made such a beautiful top, I was nervous that she might not be happy with the results of my quilting, but she said she was thrilled with it.
She sent me a few pictures to share.
I didn't dare lay it out in my house to take full pictures, as Broccoli the cat would have taken that as an invitation to investigate. I didn't want gray Broccoli hairs all over her white quilt. I love the pattern of her lattice piecing.
When I quilted it, I did rows of small leaves on the colored strips only, so as not to detract from her beautiful piecing. If you click on the photo below you get a close up of the back.
My DDIL Laura sent this picture of DGD Carys, enjoying a slice of watermelon. I love how intent she looks here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Satin Sunday

The light is soft this time of year. The sun runs low across the southern sky. It snowed just a little today. It was a good day for staying home in my red satin pajamas & spending a quiet day. After my 2nd cup of coffee, I started a fire in the wood stove, & stirred up the start for a batch of bread. I sat in the living room waiting for the dough to rise, while I studied for my ACLS class, coming up this week.
The bread turned out beautiful.
& tasted great! 2 loaves of cranberry & 1 plain.
& Broc is still enjoying the fire.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Turkey & Talk

Progress has been slow on THE QUILT that I have been quilting. I've spent more time UN-quilting this past week than quilting!
After a particularly productive day last Friday, I discovered a pleat in the backing, & had to remove the quilting from 4 blocks. It took me five days! All is well now though, & I'm back on track.
On Sunday my youngest son Corey showed up. He spent 3 nights with us until he found an apartment to move into. He comes back to Anchorage for the winter months, then works mostly in Nome, & some of the other villages during the summer. He's looking good. It was nice having him here for a few days.

Here is the How-to on the turkey like Stu made when I was in Salem.
Ilene's rub is made of equal parts Garlic-Pepper; Oregano; & Paprika. Just mix a cup of each together in a jar or container. Give the thawed bird a nice message with Olive oil, then powder him inside & out with the mixed spices.

NOTE: the Garlic -Pepper is a mix of other spices including onion powder & salt. Don't try to use just plain garlic & pepper, it won't turn out so good, believe me I tried it!
Once he is well powdered, tuck him into a grocery bag & roast him in the oven on 325F until the last 1/2 hour (follow the directions on your bird's package & roast time according to his weight).

Peel the bag back & bake uncovered for the last 1/2 hour to crisp him up.
It is easy & yummy, & I don't like dressing anyway. I always stuffed them before because the spices add flavor, but this way is easier & just as good!
Yesterday we had Calendar Girls at Jackie's house. That's Jackie on the left. Rena, on the right made this quilt for Jackie from Jackie's baggie of fabric & "stuff". We Will be exchanging our completed baggie challenge quilts next month, Rena just got so excited she had to give it to Jackie. It really turned out beautiful.
Today we had an icky snow storm early in the day, but it let up later, 4 of my 6 students braved the weather & came in to play with embellishments with me. We had a lot of fun, but came to the conclusion that we need to do this again.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yippie! Yippie! No More Skippies!

Here is what Lily was doing. Don't worry the ink is on a practice piece, not the customer quilt. That dot in the upper right corner is a permanent dot in my camera. I can't clean it off. Every time I'm headed into the 11 o'clock position I got the big skipped stitches.
I had tried all the trouble shooting suggestions in the book, & on the DVD that came with Lily. Finally I called Megan Best, & her first suggestion worked!
I managed to get a whole side done !
We are HAPPY!~D
I was doing a curvy leafy design like the leaves in the print fabric. Apparently the problem was the white on white fabric, it has a slightly rubbery coating to the print, & it was enough drag on the needle to cause trouble.
Such a simple & elegant solution. Sewers Aid added frequently to the thread guide just above the bottle here, & an occasional dab with a cotton swab, on the needle itself, & life was SEW MUCH BETTER! I've always used it on metallic threads, I just never thought to use it on cotton!

Now if I could just fix my camera!

I am on call for the hospital tonight. I spent most of the day trying to quilt on a customer quilt on lily, & Lily isn't in the mood apparently, because she keeps skipping stitches. I've put a cry for help out to Megan Best, but told her not to call tonight as I could get called in at any time.
I spent the evening wasting time in front of the TV. I watched a few 3rd Rock From the Sun reruns, & flipped to election results during commercials. It was interesting watching history in the making. Obama & McCain's speeches were both very moving. It was odd seeing them an hour before the voting even ended here in Alaska. Not that it would make any difference, Alaskans vote pretty consistently. Our senator Stevens was just convicted of federal offences of fraud in Washington DC, & Alaskans re-elected him anyway. Go figure. I guess they won't be changing the name of the Ted Stevens International Airport.
Yesterday I did a little thread play on another class sample, & "Time" project, for a show I'll be a part of next July. This blah looking thing is all thread, stitched on a wash-away stabilizer, using Grilon thread in the bobbin. The Grilon is heat sensitive, so after I washed out the stabilizer, & let the piece dry, I then heated it with a heat gun to shrivel up the piece & give it more texture.
I then cut it into bits, & stitched it on to this piece.
Here is a close up of the area as it is after adding some beads too. The dark gray bark looking texture is Xpandaprint, a heat sensitive goo that I'd painted on to the surface a few weeks ago. I may yet add some moss to it.
There is more work to be done, but I had hoped to get going on the customer quilt. I had tried to start it earlier, & had trouble with the thread shredding. I thought it was a rotten spool of thread, but now that's fixed & the stitches are skipping. Sigh!!!
Oh well. I'll have it done before Christmas if I have to use my Bernina!!!!
Thanks for all the kind comments on my postings. I feel very fortunate to have the freedom to spend time being creative. I have the best husband in the world, & I am very spoiled.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Working on Embellishments Class Samples

Today I worked in the Recovery Room for 6 1/2 hrs doing inventory. Mind numbing as it was, it was pretty easy money, so I can't complain.
I wanted to show this beautiful fly that my friend Ilene made. It's mounted in a frame. She gave it to us as an early Christmas gift, so I could hand carry it home. These flies take her several hours to tie. They really are a piece of art.
This evening I started working on some small samples for the next embellishments class. This first picture is from the last class, & it's my friend & student's work Rachel Korshin. Rachel used all of the things we were playing with & put them into one fun little piece. It's foiling for the stars, with some painted dryer sheets, Angelina fibers, Embossing powders, & some felting, & layering sheers.
I was doing some rubbings on fabric with Shiva Oil Paint sticks for the next class. I used a small piece of black fabric to peel off the dry ends of the sticks before using them, & ended up with an image that reminded me of a rose, so I stuck it on to a small ATC size bit of Fast2Fuse, & added a little free-motion stitching, & ended up with this little crazy card.
The next thing I played around with was some fun yarn, on a wash-away stabilizer. I wanted to make fuzzy 3-D flowers for embellishment.
Here's how they look after washing. I'll add them to a surface later. They were still a little damp here.
This is just a little dreamy abstract piece. It's several layers. There is my hand dyed fabric on the back layer, with a piece I stamped with glue & foiled, some strips of Angelina, 2 layers of tulle, 1 dark green, then the top is black with flecks of red sparkles. On top of that I quilted with a hand dyed (Oliver Twist) thread, layered on one of Mindy's fused glass pieces, & entrapped it with a scrap of a gold & black mesh fabric. A few beads found their way across the surface too. I'm not sure how I'm going to finish with this piece, but I think it may find it's way on to a cover of a notebook of some sort.