Friday, December 30, 2011

I have a favor to ask of all you quilters & artists...

Thank you to all of you who sent us your concerns over the fire. It really wasn't that bad, & my blisters are healing quickly. 
Now for my question. ..I am presenting a lecture in February. It is "Inspired Design-Finding your Own Voice". Part of it will include photos of design inspiration, along with some of the things that I have made from that inspiration. I was thinking it would be fun to include the work of others in the photos. If you have a photo of something that inspired a piece that you made, & would like it to be shown in a slide presentation during my lecture, please email your pictures along with the info you want shared. I intend to make a handout with web addresses for folks to take home, so they can explore more too.

My email is

For each person willing to share, I put names in for a drawing. I will make 2 quilted clocks, to be sent to 2 people whose names will be drawn January 20th.
We have been getting a lot of snow falling this winter. My brother said there was nothing for cross-country skiing in Michigan this year. You should all come to Alaska if you want to play in some snow!

I thought I should show a couple of back side views on the 9 patch quilt that I made for my DH.

I got a wonderful pile of beautiful stuff from my girlfriend Kathy (the Woodland Quilter) in Michigan, for Christmas. It is a Crazy Quilt just waiting to be made. It was all wrapped up in a yummy silk Pashima that goes perfect with my favorite brown slacks.
The little bags held, beads & trims,

There was a pair of little scissors, with a thimble (that fits perfect), & a needle case, & a luscious bundle of velvety fabrics, in my favorite color group.

Below is my cup of tea,(fancy tea from my DD for Xmas). The tea bags are so cute, they make me happy just looking at them. It's "Tea Forte". In front of the tea, is my Kindle. I'm still loving it 3 years later. Just under the Kindle is the new gift from my DH, an iPad 2. Yes I will still use the Kindle. The iPad is something like a fusion between the Kindle & my computer. I'm still learning how to use it. I haven't been able to set-up my email account on it yet, but have realized that it will make keeping up with all the blogs I like to read much easier.
I loaded my Kindle contents on to the iPad, & bought a guide book to help me learn my way on this cool tool!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas is over...

We had a nice Christmas weekend, starting with friends on Friday evening. We did our annual ornament exchange/Chinese auction style.  Above is the glow-in-the-dark snowflake that I made for the event.
Ethan, Hope's boyfriend (below right) ended up with it.

After eating & exchanging ornaments, we played Pictionary-man. Much fun & silliness ensued.
The crowd left about midnight. We blew out the candles & crawled into bed until... (I'll finish this story at the end of the post.)

I wanted to share other things I've done for Christmas first. I got a blank PFD white silk scarf for one of my gifts from Jan at my Calendar Girls group. I used it to make a gift for my friend Kathy, who always exchanges with me.

I finished up a customer quilt for Tracy Trasky. This bear who I think should be called "The Guardian", because that's what he felt like to me, when hanging on my studio wall, waiting to be bound.

I also quilted the top that I gave to my DH for Christmas last year. I was a day late fining it, because of the rest of the story....

At 4 a.m. on Christmas eve morning, we were awakened by the electronic voice of the fire alarm screaming "FIRE! FIRE!" along with it's obnoxious alarm that even the hard of hearing can't ignore. I grabbed my robe & ran up the stairs, & found we indeed did have a fire blazing on top of the bookcase where earlier there had stood a candle. It was burning the cotton batting that was snow for the nativity. My first stuporous impulse was to smother it with my robe. Well, I found out that fleece burns quite well. Now I had a fire right by the Christmas tree, that was burning a package & a robe along with the cotton snow-batting... I ran to the kitchen & grabbed my tea kettle & a pan of water, & ran back pouring it over the fire, putting about 2/3 of it out. I think this is when I carried the flaming robe, & burning foot stool, which were melded together, out on to the snow covered porch, & got more water to put the rest of the fire out. Warren was working on damage control at that point, & I think that's about the time that I realized my hands felt like they were on fire. The right hand fingers got the worst of it. We went to the ER where they gave me drugs & attempted to bandage my wounds, but I couldn't stand having my hand out of a cold bucket of water for any longer than a few seconds before I had to plunge it back in again. It was about 24 hours before the fingers no longer felt like they were still in the flames. We felt very fortunate that so little was damaged, & we are safe, & healing. My hand no longer hurts.

The final photo that I am posting is another piece of silk that I dyed when I did the scarf. I think it looks like fire.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas gifts

Here are all 4 stockings, finished & now shipped to the girls.

I free-motion quilted each girl's name into one side of the stocking, & then first initial into the other side, & painted the letters in, after the quilting was done. I used a white rabbit fur pelt that I bought from a local bead & leather shop. Yes, I know, poor bunny..but don'y you own a pair of leather shoes, or a leather purse or belt? Poor cows...

I put a glass bead on each one. For Alex's stocking,  I used part of a lambs wool collar that Aunt Ethel gave me years ago, "to make something with". Now it's heading back to Florida, where it came from.

On the back, there was an overlap, that I decided needed a button.

With satin scraps left over from the stockings, I made ornaments to put on cards. I used wire around the edges to give them stability & to make the hanger.

Another little project I did, was these wine bottles. I stuffed strings of lights into them, added a hair scrunchie around the neck & some tulle on top, & they are setting in Warren's bar.

Here is his wroght iron tree with his collection of Hallmark Eskimo figures. His art work is on the wall behind the tree.

The teddy bears are flanking the stairs again this year.

I've already received some great gifts too! My pal Judy Evans made this nice reversible bag for me.

My other friend Judy Wedeimayer made this great little wool felted bag.

This little gold zipper bag was a party favor at my Quilt Guild party today. It was full of all sorts of fun bits.

& this last bag was made & given to me by one of my best customers, Dr. Shirley Fraser.

Thanks for all of you kind comments!
Happy holidays!
Now I've got to go finish several more projects & the decorating, & cook, & get those holiday letters in envelopes & mailed....etc, etc..

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas stockings

My DD called me recently, asking if I might be able to make a stocking for her SO's little girl Sylvia. It reminded me that I hadn't gotten stockings made for 3 of my other DGD's either, so I after I finished Shirley's quilt, I decided I HAD to get these stockings made. I had a nice chunk of red satin fabric, that I loaded on to Lily, & made a pattern from a piece of newspaper. I stitched the outlines of 8 stockings first, then quilted them all today. I was fun doing a free motion job that I didn't have to worry about what anyone else thought!
Sylvia wanted pink, so I trimmed it in pink.  On one side I quilted her initial, & colored it with pink paint.

On the other side I wrote her name. The tassel sticks out in the photo because of gravity. I tipped the camera to get the full stocking in.

I added some pink bling with beads. I hope it's enough pink for her. I have a little hand work to do on the others, so I'll finish them & show them later. I just wanted to post this for my DD to see, & know it's on its way soon!

Here is Shirley's latest quilt. I quilted up fairly easily.

Here are a couple of group shots from our Calendar Girls Christmas party at Betty's house. Sorry you couldn't come Margaret & Jean, & Cheryl.

Betty made this pretty Jello dessert. Light & fun to eat!