Thursday, August 25, 2011

One does what one has to do ...

The urge to sew - no sewing room - staying with DS, DIL, and grands, all teens. No wait, the oldest is now 20 - the dining room table? no, very traditional and sits in all it's glory, unused. The kitchen table? no, the kids have their school books and school work out on it. The eating niche? no it is too high for me as they use bar stools to sit at it. Ok so where? Wait the oldest grand's computer desk, he has gone to college. Oops, online video game set-up here so ...
One does what one has to do ...
unplug the monitor, sew, plug monitor back in. Round and round we go. And don't bother sewing in the evening as the monitor is being used. Still I managed to get the second side of my bag and the bottom done and today I will be doing the sides and straps. Hopefully done by tomorrow night. This mixed in with all the other things that need to be done.
very traditional (except can you find the scraps?) which monikers needlework - precise and traditional - whereas the other side is for the wannabee liberated quilter.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rainbow Jane

Yesterday my mail arrived and along with it was the first of many Rainbow Jane BOMs. The fabrics are wonderful and so bright. Oh my goodness. It really will be a rainbow of colours. Off I went to get the small needles that I read you need for hand-sewing. Got size10. They look awfully small - hopefully I will be able to manage them with hands that are definitely used to the bigger needles of needlepoint and cross-stitch.
Fabrics: [the white across the top is the background]
and first block - A-1, yellow - but which yellow? I guess I make the choice. So here goes ...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Needlework update ...

The one type of project that has worked well with my being "homeless" is needlework. As you all know, I currently am working on Santa ornaments, Christmas Blocks, and a cross-stitch Enchanted Sleigh.

The Christmas blocks were somehow routed to the back of the pile as I had left some of the necessary threads packed in storage. But I have them now - found them yesterday, so I can once again go to work on them. I am working on the A; have the embellishments for the M coming in on Monday; and still have the S, Santa, and Happy left to do. They will be finished, hopefully well before Christmas so that I can get them in to the finishers.

And then there are the Santa Ornaments, which are coming along nicely, thank you. I continue to work on them a section at a time. However, I am finding that the ones that aren't painted could have probably used more threads for coverage. White does show through at time. They look good however, and I think that I will have them finished with a red fabric behind them to try and minimize the white. They definitely will be finished, hopefully before I leave for Colombia so that I can send them off to the finishers from the USA. When sending things such as this from foreign countries, it is sometimes hard to guarantee delivery.

As for the Enchanted Sleigh, nothing new since the last update. It too has been regulated to the bottom of the pile. But I will be flying on Monday week, all day, so more will definitely get done.

I have also mounted my Wild Woman now on stretcher bars. I also picked up some threads the last visit to The French Knot in Ft Worth. I have strong loyalty attachments to places that I gone the extra mile for me, and these ladies have done that.
She won't get started until I am in Colombia and finished the Santa ornaments.
And now you know about as much as I do ...

Just had to do it ...

Since leaving Quilter's Connection in Dallas, I simply couldn't get one of the panels that she had hanging on the wall out of my mind. I kept going back and back and back to it. How could this be? I have enough and more to keep me busy for the next few months. Does one's mind play games with you? Mine sure is and I have learned to listen up.

So off I go, on my way out of town, on a re-routing that the GPS must think "you are crazy" for. I return to the shop, an hours drive out of the way, but hey, it doesn't add any more time onto the rest of the trip. During the visit, I learn that this frequently occurs to the stores customers as well a the owner. [ah ha, I am not going crazy!] I walk out with the fabric on my mind. IT took all of about 30 minutes from start to finish and, to boot, I added another prepackaged table runner. Help, I don't have a place to live, but my stash continues to grow!
Laurel Burch's Holiday fabric, but only select pieces:

As I rumble around the hotel room, trying to decide what will go and what won't go with me to Colombia, I keep wanting to go back to the sewing machine and get started on my carry-on bag.
So far, I have:
a. framed the wonderful Alma Lynn squares that I received:
The quilting one will be liberated a little while the needlework one will be regimented, at least that is how I see it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Getting down to the nitty gritty here...

And so it begins ... took my DH to the airport real early this morning and he is now off and running in his new position in Colombia. He officially starts on Monday and the rest of the week before, he will get to know the area and perhaps look at some apartments. Still again, maybe not ...

And, you might ask, what does this have to do with my creative side? Well, it leaves me here in the US with lots, and I mean lots of time on my hands. First thing right out of the box - what am I going to take with me to Colombia? Ahhhh, how about a sewing machine? Yes, went out and bought a basic machine that will do the job just fine. Now I have to take it out of the box and ensure that it actually works. (this is a hotel, no less) :)
Brother SQ9000 -

Next up? Quilting shops, of course. So a list is compiled of the Dallas/Ft Worth area and off I go. It is such a joy to be in these shops that I manage only 2 today, but there are more days to come.
#1 - JoAnn's for the basic supplies - pins, needles, interfacing, blenders, insul-brite, and so the list goes. As I wander the store, I keep remembering things that I need that are in the motorhome in storage. Down on the list they go! I have to take the car back before I leave, so I can pick these things up.

#2 - Quilter's Connection in Dallas. I was salivating in here. One of the owners was very helpful in trying to put together some fabrics for children's quilts. She appears to specialize in a very basic quilt using a feature focal panel in the middle and coordinating it with 4-5 inch squares. The packet is sold as a beginner's quilt and includes long-arm quilting of the quilt. Didn't get a price as I am not interested in them quilt the quilt for me but the idea for give-away children's quilts is a good one. So I picked up 3 different focal fabrics, some coordinates, flannel for backing, and of course, some 80/20 batting. Could have spent more time and more $$$$ but hey, one has to draw the line somewhere and leave more for other places.

Ordered the delivery of my mail - yes, along with it will come my first Rainbow Jane BOM installment. To be delivered early next week. I now have the CD and the template, but can't fin the book. I wonder where I left that? No matter, I have the wonderful help of the a couple of blogs that I have joined. Can't wait to get started. Keep checking back for updates.

Lastly, on one of the online groups that I belong to, a mention was made of an interesting blog: This was described as: "...each month at the block lotto there is a new set challenge block directions posted. We make them, take a photo and post on the site and earn a chance to win enough blocks to make a quilt. " Something to check out and think about.

That's it for the quilting ... more updates coming.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

They arrived ...

I am so excited - when our mail came in yesterday (we only get mail every so often) my Halloween squares were there. They are a monthly club from Pocketfull of Stitches, and represent the many, many hours of bus riding both in Panama and on our holidays to Colombia, Spain, Canada, and the US over 2 years. Finished with faith on both sides, [I sent them with faith, she finished them with faith, I paid with faith], they are absolutely perfect.

Now all that is left is to decide how to make them into a mobile. Marlene [the finisher] of Marlene's Custom Pillows of San Francisco, did exactly as I requested - all by email - right down to the wonkily placed miniature cup holders to attach each unit to the mobile. I wanted them to hang wonky, as befitting a Halloween motif. They are also flat on the bottom to enable me to line them up, say on a mantle piece, as well. Thank you Marlene.

Unfortunately they will remain in the box for this October as I won't have the space to take things like this with me. They will join my witch and table runner [UFO] decorating stash. I am currently collecting a Hallowe'en village monthly series from Chandail Needlework in Houston that I want to do when I am back in the US.
They are pretty big and need to be put on stretcher bars which disallows accompanying me on most of my travels. Also, the canvas only has the front of the house so I will need to design and add the side walls onto the canvas, as seen in the photo.

I had wanted to design a North Pole village but that will no longer be a viable project for this year, now that I have taken on another Peace Corps assignment: one that will no doubt keep me busy most of every day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

only those that travel well ...

We have spent the last few weeks traveling while waiting for the arrival of the required papers for re-entry into Peace Corps. My craft room goes with me in the car, but alas on a much smaller scale
no sewing machine, only those items that can be done by hand. [Hopefully I will be getting the first of my BOM for Rainbow Jane in a week or so.] When we actually fly even this is reduced.

Part of the fun of traveling, time permitting, is stopping and visiting various shops. I still am having trouble when I go into a quilting shop with the choices. There are simply too many things to choose from and make decisions about. I did go into one in St Charles, MO and all I walked out with was a cutesy pattern and my name on the list for the fabric.
Ok, so now I have 2 different patterns that I thought my DGD would like. hmmmm This one where I have not, as yet, bought the fabric ... or this one [sorry, is hard to see] which has these fabrics
and I already have the fabrics. hmmm guess I will send pix to her and let her choose.
Basically, I am leaving quilting alone until I make the decision as to what I will be taking with me to Colombia.

On the other hand, however, "don't put me in the briar patch" when it comes to needlework places. While in Tulsa I found a small shop and was able to get some of the fibres for a belt that I want to make as well patterns for small Christmas ornaments.
The fabric is 28 ct white with silver metallic in it. Of course, can't start these as I do not have my thread stash with me and I am NOT going to buy more.

Of course, traveling in the car allows me a little leeway as to using a frame. So I have been working a little on the Santa ornaments. All three at the same time. Do one section on the pattern, then follow it with the same section on the other 2. Slow going but then I haven't done a lot either. [I do a lot of the car driving].

And then there is the airplane riding. This really limits what one can do, so here I simply take a cross stitch project as I don't use a hoop or frame for these. I took my Santa and Sleigh with me and then all I did was read on the plane. How lame is that? But I did do some work on it as I sat with my parents, usually in the early mornings and evenings. The fabric has a opal metallic through it which really doesn't show up. And all the gold leaf, well it really doesn't show the fact that I am using metallics throughout to give it the gold-leaf effect. Not much more to do and then I can start on Santa.
While in Edmonton my mother took me to her favourite needlework shop. Here I discovered how wonderful it is to actually see the colours of the fibres first hand and not on a computer screen. Of course, I had to purchase some.
And then I found the Nora Corbett patterns for all the reindeer that I had been wanting. Not sure yet as to what I am going to do with them, but ...

And last but not least, I have bought the wonderful canvas, and starter fibres, that I call "Wild Thing" that I read about on another blog. I have to mount it before I take a photo of it as it is currently rolled up inside my traveling craft room. This beautiful lady is going to be made into a handbag at some point.

I have been truly on a stash building jaunt along with the visiting. Now I have to decide what I want to take along with me to Colombia, besides my Rainbow Jane quilting squares BOM. I wonder how much I will be able to stash into one suitcase as that is ALL that I am allowed this go around. Even that will cost a fortune. I also have to take into account just how much time I think I will have for these loves. Working, studying Spanish, staff wifey things, and loves ... hmmmmm could be a tight schedule.

And so the saga continues ...