Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Weekend....

My weekend just wasn’t long enough. But I guess you worry about people say, ”Gee, I wish the weekend would hurry up and end…..” I’ve been working on my punchneedle project. It’s almost complete. Pictures coming soon.

Projects for the weekend…I’m always seeing those mismatched placemats. There’s got to be something to make with them. So I found a $2.00 bargin and made a case to keep my punch needle stuff in. I like it.

Don gave my sewing machine really well. It needed it badly. I was a nervous wreck while he worked on it, but I wouldn’t have trusted to anyone else. She’s back in service, purring like a kitten.

My birthday presents…I bought these mugs for myself. I love the birds. I got a set of four on sale.

My sister in law gave my quilt money and I purchased Summer Gatherings. There are several small projects in the book. I have no stash of wool fabrics..they’re pricey and I’ve been hesitant to commit. But I’m in love with the ease of them. I’m even kicking around taking a class to learn all the tricks using them. I got a small bag of scraps. Here’s hoping they’ll be used for pin cushions, journal covers, postcards, and a table runner or two. Honestly, I could just stack and fold and restack them and have fun doing it.

The skies have been beautiful, but the winds have been howling. Today things settled down and I worked on a project for Chelsey after church. She purchased a table and four chairs for $40.00. I finished the table—forgot to snap a photo. But I did get one of the mismatched chairs done. Should have gotten a before picture. Don added a couple of staples and a little wood glue. I found the fabric at Walmart – the only place in town to find any fabric at all. I think it turned out pretty darn cute….

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My First Class...

It’s what got me through the winter. Back in November a friend and I scheduled a Punchneedle class at Primitive Gatherings in Menasha WI. It’s something we’d always wanted to learn to do and I had never taken any kind of sewing class so it was an opportunity to try something new.

On the day of the class we left early and stopped at a couple of shops on the way down. I kept remembering to pace myself because our destination was ..Primitive Gatherings. We arrived about 3 pm. We had the shop to ourselves so my friend and I thrived on being the center of attention. When we had signed up for the class they had put hoops, needles, and threaders aside for us. For the class, we could pick any needle punch design they had in stock. There must have been 30 samples to pick from. I picked the Blue canning jar. Tired of snowmen and pumpkins by February, I knew it was the right choice.

We literally knew NOTHING about needlepunch. The ladies talked to us about which patterns were easy and which were a little more challenging. There were three types of embroidery threads and we learned about each. Keep this in my this was like the “free’ class before the class.

We scooted out for a quick bite of supper and returned ten minutes before the class started There were six other ladies in the class. Everyone had a different project, so it made things really interesting.

Lisa Bongean, shop owner taught the class. She’s nothing like I thought she would be. But the real deal is even better. An Artist is the first thing that comes to mind. I tried to be quiet and poised… but about thirty minutes into the class I broke out like a TV reporter on a request for the evening news. She told us how she started. We learned how important family was to her. She has two sons and a husband that believe in her business, along with a houseful of uncles, brothers, nieces, nephews, and cousins that all help. Perfection was never a word in her vocabulary. She even talked about how lack of perfection in Primitive crafts is what gives it its charm.

She told us of her travels and the seminars she does --- and all I kept thinking was…” Wow, and I’m getting all of this for $15.00…” We learned what is involved when she creates a pattern. She let us try different kinds of hoops with our projects. She talked to us about forgiving ourselves when you make a mistake. She even talked to us about different ways to use punchneedle projects.

I have to get busy on my project now.

When the class was over she even walked us to our vehicle. It was a chilly 19 degrees that evening and she said we should have let her known how far we were coming from…. We could have stay with her. Yep, she was inviting complete strangers to stay at her home, saying she has empty rooms with her sons grown up now.

We had traveled the farthest so we got first pick at a drawing of free punch needle patterns… I couldn’t help myself… It’s probably an addiction – I picked the crow on a pumpkin piece :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm Blushing Quilt

Not posting as often as I should, Busy living I guess. It’s like every quilt catalog and every quilt magazine I see something that Chelsey needs. It’s fun. It’s a chance at playing with fabrics and styles I don’t normally get to sew with. I believe it’s one of the reasons God gave me Chelsey.

Here’s the piece I just completed. I’ve never made anything with a jelly roll. I used a gift certificate and purchased the fabric line Blush on a jelly roll. I used muslin as the alternating fabric. I pieced the ’I’m Blushing’ quilt from the Moda Bake Shop line of free patterns. The instructions and photos made it easy.

My needle turn applique skills are not the best in the world. I wanted this piece to withstand years of machine washings and along with tugs and hugs from popcorn, movies, and late night study sessions. I tried a new way of stitching the applique. I used dryer sheets as a backing and stitched and flipped the pieces. It made the applique a breeze.

Maybe it’ll be on the quilting frame by this weekend.

OK---- when your son walks in wearing this:

What do you say??????? He got it at a relay for life event he worked at and raised $300.00 for the cause….I was just--- well a lot---surprised. But the shirt is eye catching and makes a point.. I think????


I cleaned up my garden for spring planting. I just let if fall by the wayside last fall, deeming that it would be someone else’s garden this spring. It looks like it’s still my garden. I really love that garden – weeds and all. It was a lot easier to rid the dead plants after a winter of rotting. It seemed like the Good Lord was just checking to see if I was willing to give it all up ---only to say, “Nahhhh, you don’t have to…”

I’ve got tulips, chives, oregano, and lavender coming up….. just another sign life goes on……

Thursday, April 01, 2010

My Luck is Changing...

My Grandmother all told me, “If you need to change your luck playing cards… stand up and walk around your chair. Then sit back down. Your luck is about to change…”

I don’t know that the chair strategy necessarily works, but things have been pretty good lately. I won Bonnie’s drawing for treats right around my birthday. There are great fabrics for surprises for my daughter. She omitted the pattern book and emailed apologizing.
I was so thrilled with the bag, pen, and fabrics I hadn’t noticed, so getting mail this week made the gift last that much longer.

Saturday I received this pattern set from Melissa who was doing her spring cleaning getting ready for a move. I spent the afternoon on Saturday with my coffee studying each pattern like they were novels. I have some of them—I guess we like the same things—so in keeping in the spirit of giving. My favorite is on top. I’m going through my cabinet and will set up some to pass on next week.

I drove downstate to Eric’s ‘White Coat’ ceremony for Pharmacy school last weekend. Chelsey is moving into her own apartment—no roommates. She came and got her brass bed out of her room. It kind of left me with a lump in my throat. I guess I always knew the kids would move out. They have sort of moved out already. But it was one of those defining moments when you say---‘This is it’….

We’ve had a couple of hammock days (judging by the photos). Temps reached 75 degrees today. Robins are everywhere.

Thanks again Bonnie and Melissa… your friendship is pretty important.

I’ve been quilting up a storm for Chelsey’s apartment. I used a gift certificate to get a Blush Jelly Roll. Here’s the pattern to use it on. Photos coming soon.




That Hammock on the Covered Porch