Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Agile as a Gazelle

This morning at 6 dark thirty I tripped on the broken sidewalk while walking the dogs and dislocated my baby finger. A small thing, but it put me in the ER. I fell on my side and I am SORE, but took myself to bed for the day and am feeling much better.
Can't type very well with the splint, but should be OK in a day or two.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Up the Street

Up the Street
Hand dyed cottons, silks, commercial cottons, fused, hand embroidered, machine quilted. 14" x14.5" $250 Email me. SOLD
 French knots and bits of silk.
Living where there are new houses under construction daily, I see walls and roofs going up in a wink. Our little neighborhood is growing by leaps and bounds.
The men that are on the rooftops, shingling, are under the blazing sun all day and I really feel for them, in my cool studio. So I had to join in the construction.

PS. My friend and fellow fuser Deborah Boschert has published her book Art Quilt Collage:

and she gave me a lovely compliment. Thanks Deb!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

October Gift #3

October Gift #3
Hand dyed silk and cottons, fused,  hand embroidered, machine quilted. 11.5"x 24"
$300 Email me. SOLD

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Lovely Do Nothing Weekend

These beads, which have been sitting around in my jewelry box for years, were finally made into a necklace and it's adjustable so I can squeeze it over my head and then push the big bead up. And then I made a pair of pants. Too big ( hurray!!!) and were taken in to fit better. I am between sizes at the moment, but these will do for the interim. Cotton spandex mix.

The rest of the weekend I just relaxed and read, watched Netflix, (St. Vincent, Inspector Morse, Endeavour) did laundry and knitted. It rained quite a bit and then got steamy, but this morning on the doggie walk it was in the 60's and nice and chilly. Can fall be approaching? I hope so. The kids go back to school mid August and after this hot dry summer I'll bet even they are glad to have something to do inside where it's cool.
I feel a transition coming on in the studio, and have put clothing-making on hiatus until I figure out what is next.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Kaffe Pillow for Brooke

Quilt as you go seemed like a great idea to make a pillow cover for the shop display. For an 18" insert, I cut a 19" square of batting and a slightly larger piece of muslin for the backing, and drew diagonal lines onto the batting so that I could place the square on the center. Strips of differing widths were added, courthouse square fashion.

The back side of the pillow started the same way, only this time the center square was a four patch. Quilting was added to that four patch afterwards, but only in the ditch. The two sides were joined with a zipper and then sewn all around.
 The finished pillow.  At my house the corners are delicious treats for our doggies and would be gnawed into oblivion, so I am happy to hand this over to Brooke for display. 
I must say that sewing a QAYG log cabin is so satisfying. All the pattern and color and the quilting is done when the piecing is done. I fantasized about making a quilt this way, 12 blocks, with 3 blocks by 4 for a nice sized nap quilt, 54 x 72. Hmmm. Just sayin'.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Construction Zone

 Outside my studio window the foundation for the house next door has been poured and it won't be long before the floors and walls will appear. I look forward to this two storey being finished because with any luck it will block two very bright lights which shine into our house at night. The light on that building and in the parking lot intrude into my bedroom and needless to say I don't like it.
But it won't be long and they will be blocked. Hurray!
On the worktable today, some pretty fabrics to make a quilted pillow. Better get started as we have a vet visit on the schedule at 11;30.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Kaffe Kimono

This kimono is a sample I made for Brooke's Kaffe Fassett fabric display, using the directions from this book. It was easy, fast and fun, all the things I like. It was made in the morning and delivered after lunch, and then I picked up some more fabric and an 18" pillow form to make another project for the display.

More Sister Stuff

This is the whole unquilted version of the quilt I was finishing for my sister's store display. I chose a pink cotton for the binding. It has lots of Kaffe Fassett fabrics in it, from a charm pack,  and I will be lending it to the store until such time as I make something new from their new line of KF fabrics to be arriving soon-ish. Her store is giving me a reason to make a quilt, or in this case finish one that was already made. 
I was asked by Lynne P to say more about where Brooke works, which is Ready Set Sew,
and it has recently become a quilt shop as well as a sewing machine store (and wonderful repair shop too). I have lots of photos from my first visit, but it has changed so much in the last three years, with loads of wonderful fabrics, many more quilting machines, besides all the fancy sergers and embroidery machines. I like to go and play with all the features on the new machines, and dream about upgrading someday.
I am tempted to go back to teaching because the classroom is just great and they have a digital projector which I always used in my past life on the road.

 These old photos from April 2013 don't show the wall to wall shelves of quilt fabrics, so try to imagine the density of all these machines and thread and then the fabric too. One could get lost in the color alone.
 Just a bit of the Kaffe Fassett fabrics in inventory.

This was the only wall of fabric back when I took these photos. ha!
Now Brooke is the store manager, which makes it wonderful for her new life. It is close to her house, and she can even ride her bike when the weather cooperates.
It is really great for me to have my sister and niece in the same town. We go to church together and Glory sings in the choir. Often Sunday dinner is shared too. But now that Brooke is newly single we have become even closer and share so much of our lives, that it has truly enriched us both. Lucky me.

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Loaded Monday

The sofa was moved on Sunday to Brooke's house and  here it is in her third bedroom/TV/music room. Nice trip around the world quilt, eh? She has three cats. I am certain they won't cause as much slipcover washing as my outside-walking-doggies did. I moved our Poangs and ottomans into that empty space and we are happy to be watching TV with our feet up and a dog in each lap. (that part, not so much)

The left side of this picture is the drawer unit that Brooke gave me, full of her fused fabrics. I am emptying each drawer and consolidating the larger pieces into rolls, and keeping the smaller scraps in my scrap drawers. Then I am filling the orange drawers with yarn and sweaters which were difficult to reach, because they were still packed in Rubbermaid bins. Those bins will revert to the garage.

On Saturday I began quilting this lap quilt, to be used as a Kaffe Fassett sample at Brooke's store. I just happened to have it on hand when she mentioned needing one. Three borders and the binding are left to do today.
She has also given me lots of batting scraps in large pieces which I will be cutting down to the sizes I most frequently use. So much easier than dealing with a huge batt for a small work each time.
Today is also the day that the repairman comes to fix my oven control panel. He just called at 7:20 am to see what parts he needed to bring. Yay!
Then later today my internet service provider repairman is coming to see what is wrong with my spotty reception. It's been a frustrating few days but the end is in sight. Mustn't grumble but we are so dependent on marvelous electronic things that cause misery when they don't work correctly.
One more thing: I have now lost 20 lbs!! since June 25th. Seven weeks, averaging 3 pounds lost a week. Must be those early morning doggie walks.  Wish that meant I was skinny, but alas, I have 20 more to go.
So I have lots to do today and plenty of caffeine to fuel my work. Ta Ta for now.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sisterly Sharing

Is it like this in your family? We have stuff and suddenly need to get rid of it and so we give it to one of the family, knowing we can always get it back if necessary.
At this moment I have a carload of stuff from my sister Brooke, which she cleared out of her space to make room for other stuff. One of the other things she is putting in that space is my Ektorp sofa.

I have two too many sofas, so when this one goes to her house tomorrow, I will only have one too many sofas. Nice.

A few weeks ago, she gave me back this shelving unit, which is still unassembled in its original box, but I was happy to have it, because if it ever stops being 90+ degrees, I plan to dye some fabric on it. Brooke really doesn't have time to dye fabric since she works full time and wants to spend her free time doing everything but dye fabric.

So today I volunteered to help her clear out her storage space and make it into a nice music playing and TV watching room and home for the new Ektorp. As a team we are unbeatable and got that room cleaned and organized in 90 minutes! The coffee helped.

We discovered a full bolt of dyeable muslin, (50 yards! ) and batting that could be used for new work, and pretty soon she thought of other things that would be useful to me, and relieve her of the guilt for never having time or space to use them.

I came home with EVERYTHING to get back into dyeing, including dyes, squirt bottles, a Rubbermaid soaking bin, soda ash, Styrofoam panels AND two drawers full of already fused hand dyed fabric scraps!!! O happy Mel!
Just FYI, I already have dye and panels and fabric and soda ash, but alas no squirt bottles and would you believe that they were the only things holding me back? Well, I do have to assemble the shelving, and do have to wait until the air is bearable, but that will come.
There was a time in 1985 when I gave my mother all my quilt fabric, as I was never gonna make another quilt ever again. But of course things change and I got it all back and went on to make the kind of quilts that got me excited again, and that was a GOOD THING.
Still full of caffeine, I cleaned up my room and moved my chair to the other side so I can plop right down and watch TV or read my book. No more work today. Move over Tony!

PS. TODAY 50 yards of Nature's Way Dyeable muslin is on sale online only at Joann's for $123.74, which is $2.48 a yard. Can't beat that price.