Sunday, October 15, 2017

And even MORE Halloween on Slow Stitching Sunday...

Well I wasn't sure I could finish it ...but I DID!!!  And now I have even more Halloween to display...







My  Prairie Schooler Trick or Treat .... ta dah!!!    Again I used 32 count linen that I painted with Rit dyes.  The other week someone asked again how I painted this fabric and I'll recap that in a minute.  I'm very happy with this. I did brighten up the little trick or treaters  at the bottom...




I turned the little witch into Elphaba... and I know someone is going to ask what green I used and I don't have a clue. I had a little baggie with 3 different skeins of DMC greens and none of them have number bands so I just don't know which green it it. I made her broom gold (DMC 729) rather than black, I used a little bit of each of those un-numbered greens in the pumpkin head girl's dress and I stitched the candies in a bit of purple. Also I did the owl's eyes in DMC 729... I liked it better than the orange that was charted. 

If you make the first picture bigger you can see a bit of my "framing/finishing"... I took all my cues from Priscilla's blog which you can see here. Here's close up of the upper corner...




I used an 8" x 10" frame from Hobby Lobby ...half price... I took the glass out and put it aside... I took the foam insert that was in the frame and wrapped a piece of purple/black diagonal check fabric (got at Joanns) around it and just taped it on the back ...no one is every gonna see it. Then I took the cross stitch and mounted it on sticky board and attached it to the fabric "mat" with double sided foam tape and put the whole piece back into the frame. To jazz it up I added the bow in the corner... that was marked down at Micheals and it is wired ribbon... my hint of the day...if you can get ribbon with wired edged buy that spool... it is much easier to make fat poofy bows with. I tied it in the middle with some black and orange twine (Dollar spot at Target) and added that little broom (pack of 3 at Hobby Lobby)... I did make the handle on the broom black...used a Sharpie.  I think the addition of the bow adds a lot to the piece. My take away from Priscilla's blog is that she does embellish her framing with ribbons and cotton bolls and other items and it looks so good.

And since I finished this cross stitch piece I decided it needed a Halloween quilt to sit on... and the day before I finished the stitching I found this pattern...Halloween Haberdashery by the Polka Dot Chair ... and I loved it!! You can find the pattern here.


I made a mini with just 4 hats... and it was all out of my stash!  A FREE quilt!!!   I quilted it in the big wavy line grid in black Sulky thread...



The pattern maker used an Accu - cut die to do the hats  and she includes a template for the hat. I made a template out of cardboard. Now the way she makes the triangle into a square has you adding 2 pieces of fabric to each side and then folding them back and squaring up the block. I didn't want to deal with the bias that would result from that method so I made a template for that part of the block too. I cut it bigger so I could square it it and all my hats laid nice and flat. I may do  a bigger version of this next year.

As for how I paint the linen... and I paint it with a brush... I'm using artist paint brushed but if you are doing a big piece I don't see why you couldn't use the cheap foam brushes.  I start with dry white linen and place it on a piece of cardboard... old Amazon boxes are great. I use the Rit dyes in the bottles... shake them up...and then pour out a bit... I could actually measure but mostly I just eyeball it. I put it in a cup (using old Mason jars) and dilute it with water. I read somewhere it is suppose to be hot water but I do my painting outside on my patio and I just use bottled water.  I will say that the colors are pretty intense before you dilute them ... you can brush a bit of the mixed dye onto a paper towel to get an idea of the color... or I just paint a little on the edge of the linen. I've been cutting my linen beforehand to the size I need for the chart I'm going to stitch and it has at least 2" extra all the way around and that part will be cut off when I "frame" the piece.

With all the Halloween pieces I've done I go for the splotchy blotchy look.  The linen I used for these pieces was an old piece of Charles Craft and it if very stiff . I assume it has a lot of sizing on it. That keeps the dyes from going evenly through to the back so these were definitely one sided linen.   I painted another piece of linen... a Wichelt Edinburgh... and it did allow the dye  to go completely through the fabric...and it turned out I liked the back of the piece better than the front I painted...you can see it here...


I'm going to do all nine of the Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers  "For the Birds" series on this piece but this is as far as I've gotten.

I'm hoping to do some more painting this coming week. I have several pieces of linen cut and want to  do an olive green piece for LHN Autumn ABC's and some aqua/blue pieces for some Christmas Lizzie Kate ....and I saw a Barbara Ana chart I want to play  with too.

Now Rit doesn't have every color but if you go here to their website they've put together a library file for how to make other colors... 

I hope my explanation helps. This isn't hard to do ... I think the scariest part is just jumping in and trying it. It has opened up a whole bunch of new possibilities for linen for me.  I'm very fond of the mottled splotchy look on linen and painting lets me control where the color is and use more than one color on a piece.

Well the weather is taking a turn today...started out around 80 and will be under 60 before the day is over.  A front is moving in and it is beginning to rain. Tomorrow's high is predicted to be 59 and the rest of the week in the 70s... I like the 70's...LOL.. temperatures and the decade!!! I wish Fall would go on for as long as possible. I'm hoping for another mild winter like last year but we are due for a bad one...

Hope you are having a good Sunday... not too much on my agenda next week so maybe along with the linen painting I can stitch and sew... I started a Christmas quilt project... just thinking ahead.

I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape on Monday.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, October 1, 2017

All in for Halloween on Slow Stitching Sunday...

If today's weather is a harbinger of what is to come for Fall, bring it on!!! From the woman who always complains about the weather, I have nothing to harp about on this glorious Sunday. I have all the windows in the house open ... the sun is shining...and there is a gentle breeze... I'm gonna park my butt in my easy chair and stitch stitch stitch...

But before I do that I will overload you with pics of my Halloween decor. Don't know what got into me this year but I have gone all in for Halloween.  So here's a tour of my house, starting with the main event...



I made the quilt back in 2013... you can see more of it here... there are 88 different Halloween prints in this quilt...no duplicates. I picked up the Spooky banner at the Dollar Spot at Target... it was three dollars but I'm not quibbling. The colors are perfect for this display and they are glittery... I love glitter... you can click on any of these pics and make them bigger to see the details.

Down in front we have the Halloween 3 tier tray... oh I had so much fun putting this together...


I've got close up of lots of the goodies in this tray starting at the top...


I've have two new pieces of cross stitch here... Halloween piece is Lizzie Kate's Pumpkin Pocket... this came as a kit but all I used out of it was the chart and one black button. I stitched it on 32 count linen I painted and used DMC flosses.


I took my embellishment cues from Priscilla and added that polka dot ribbon bow, a sparkly bat and that little broom stick.

The little green girl is from Prairie Schooler's Trick or Treat... she wasn't green on the chart but this is my homage to Wicked which I saw again last week... great show!!


I finished these little pillow using some vintage Debbie Mumm fabrics. I put polyester fiberfill in the top and added crushed walnut shells so they'd sit up nicely. I added about an inch of fabric at the bottom as I thought the base might get lost in the tray and I'm glad I did it that way.


Onto the middle and bottom trays..



More cross stitch and a bat and a skeleton and those cone shaped pieces are witches' hat made from pipe cleaners with a back brim... hard to see. Anyway close ups of the cross stitch...


This little guy is also from the PS Trick or Treat chart... and the filler in this tray is that sparkly black and orange garland... my carpet is covered with little bits of orange and black ... gotta vacuum.

And this is from the bottom of the PS chart...



And last but not least on the bottom tray is the Pumpkinhead Girl...


All of the cross stitch pieces were stitched on linen I hand-painted... I really love the look and I'll be doing more linen painting soon.

As we pan around the room we see that the Lizzie Kate Boo Club has returned from the framer... and I LOVE that purple frame....


It was a very good thing that I mis-counted and ran out of linen... this piece wouldn't have fit where I wanted to hang it if it was any longer or wider. I did have them leave a generous border on this piece as I wanted to show as much of the linen as I could. Also I asked them to frame this over a piece of fleece/batting which I took them and they did a great job. I really like how a cross stitched piece looks when it is slightly padded. Now you can do glass with this technique but I don't do glass on my pieces so it works fine for me. I'm going to take them my Lizzie Kate Christmas piece next week and have them do that one padded too.

Here's a view from my of the front door...


See how the Boo Club just fits... and the Gourdy Guys are hanging in there... the quilt is my Halloween Swoon from 2011... you can see more of it here. I was gung ho for Swoon blocks when the first hit the scene and I have 7 more big ones done for another quilt but this is the only Swoon I've completed... need to go look at that UFO again.

The bookcase has a large helping of pumpkins and quilts and some Fall cross stitch...


And the table is set...



Now I can sit and stitch... I picked up the Prairie Schooler Trick or Treat that got me started on all this Halloween stitching...


I usually wait to put in the back stitching but there was so much of it I decided to go ahead and get some of it done. It does add a lot to the piece.  I didn't fill in the windows, I think the linen looks good showing there.  I'm about half way done... I'd love to have this piece finished and displayed by Halloween and there is a chance I can do it. If I get it stitched I'll just "frame" in myself  in a Priscilla like fashion... she shows some wonderful pieces and I could do that.

So have I over stimulated you with Halloweenie stuff??   I am really enjoying it this year... LOL...can't wait for the hordes of Trick or Treaters that will come to my door.

Today I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts and on Monday I'll link with Super Mom - No Cape...hope you are having a slow Sunday. I'm going to sit and stitch  and enjoy the lovely weather. No dinner to make again this week... will probably go out for  a quick bite later...



don't want to waste away like this guy...LOL!!!


happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Some Fall Finishes on a Slow Sunday Stitching...

Fall officially arrived on Thursday...Mother Nature  didn't get the message and cranked the temps up to 90... thank goodness for AC. Nevertheless, I have persevered and pull out all my pumpkins... there is orange-y goodness every where you look ... and I have my favorite Spiced Pumpkin Yankee Candle burning...let the leaves commence falling!!


So a lot of what I displayed was pretty close to last year..and the year before...and the year before... so I'm only showing what is new this year. If you want to see what I did the other years just type Fall decor in the Search box in the upper left hand corner of the blog... you'll see it all whether you want to or not...LOL

Let us begin...


Love the quilt... love the tray...love the cat!!!

The quilt I made in 2014. I started with a panel with the birds and then improv'd pieced the filler blocks. All of the fabrics are from Sandy Gervais' Fall collections... love her Fall stuff!!!

A closer pic of the 3 tier tray...


This year the tray has new cross stitch accents... I shamelessly stole the idea from Priscilla's blog...which you can check out here.

First, this cute Lizzie Kate Autumn piece from the chart Seasons...



I'm gaga over the different framing/display ideas that Priscilla shows... I've been buying those clipboard stands whenever I see them and I really like this one as it came with the burlap.  I mounted the stitching to sticky board and made a "frame" for it by mounting fabric (Sandy Gervais stuff) to sticky board.  I topped it off with some wired burlap ribbon and some cotton bolls.   I have noticed that Priscilla uses lots of cotton and it does "fluff" the piece nicely.

Also in the tray is a little Lizzie Kate Snippets piece Autumn ABC's. I stitched this years ago and never did anything with it because I didn't know what I wanted to do with it. Glad I waited, as I like this finishing a lot.



And this is my newest finish, Prairie Schooler's Autumn from the chart Prairie Seasons. I got this chart as a reprint.




I have no recollection of where I got that shallow fluted metal tray  but I found in it my stash of decorating bits and pieces and it worked out perfectly. Again I took my cues from Priscilla and mounted the stitching and the back frame on sticky board... added some burlap ribbon and some woven Fall-ish ribbon (notice the polka dots) and added a bit of cotton. I plan on stitching all 4 of the season from the PS chart and this is going to be a perfect  way to display them.

Here's where it resides right now... this is the lower part of my TV cabinet... and yes that mercury glass pumpkin on the bottom is enormous...LOL



And this is my newest pumpkin purchase... a square polka dot pumpkin!!! I picked it up at Hobby Lobby...




Fall is my favorite season and I LOVE decorating for Fall. I collect pumpkins...along with snowmen and birds and chickens... and I'm trying to be selective in an additions to my collections... because... I'm running out of space!!  But for a particularly cute item I  find a spot.  My son did a count of how many pumpkins I have in the house the other day...he came up with  50... I thought I had more...hmmmm... perhaps a bit more shopping won't hurt...LOL


I'll be linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape tomorrow. I have a quiet day this Sunday...we're doing carry out for dinner so no cooking for me. Perhaps I can get a bit more done on my Halloween stitching. I want to put out my Halloween decorations starting October 1  which I just realized is next Sunday....gotta stitch faster!!!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, September 21, 2017

And now some Gourd Guys....

Yes last week I showed some Grungy Gourds and today I have some Gourd Guys... there seems to be a theme here... vegetables on parade perhaps?? As I've said before, I'm gaga over wreaths and I saw one on Instagram about a month ago that I just HAD to make...



Aren't they a hoot????  The idea came from  My Paper Crane... you can see her blog here.   And you can see more of these wreaths here on Instagram.  She gives instructions on how to paint the faces which you can see here and make the wreath here.

That said this is a very labor/time/$$ intensive wreath... but like I said before ... I HAD TO MAKE IT!!! And what follows is my experience and what I did and what I  would probably do differently if I made another...but right now I'm thinking this one will be it... but we'll see, we'll see.

I started with 4 bags of foam pumpkins from Michaels... 2 bags of "big" ones and 2 bags of  "small" ones.  She used a 16" wire wreath form... I had a 20" wire wreath form so mine is bigger and took more pumpkins.  You also need paint... black and white...  the craft stuff in the little plastic bottles ... and get 2 kinds of brushes ... a flat one and a small tapered one... and to speed up the painting process get  2 of each brush so you won't have to constantly clean them (ask me how I know).  You will need floral wire and a glue gun... and I hope yours in is better working order than mine was... I had to push the hot glue out all day long till I broke down and went back to Michaels and bought a new one.  And I almost forgot the noses are clipped from those fake spring of Christmas berries... this may be the only time I was happy they had Christmas stuff out so early. When you clip off the berry hold onto it...so it doesn't go shooting across the room and under the couch ... or wherever some of mine went to... those babies really fly...LOL

Okay you start by painting the faces... the way I went about this had me handling each pumpkin 5 times ... in retrospect I could have gotten it down to four times if I had done it in this order.

1.)  Start by painting the black mouth shape and the white eye shape... the eyes are going to take 2 coats of white.
2.)  When that dries you can go back and give the eye shape a second coat and add the teeth. I made the teeth with the wooden end of the paint brush  which seemed to speed the process along.
3.)  When that dries go back and do the  black part of the eye.
4.)  When that  dries add a little dot of white for the pupil...this adds so much to the faces.


Now onto wiring the pumpkins... take a length of floral wire... about 8"... fold back an inch or so at one end, twist it and shove it into the back of the pumpkin... apply a little hot  melt glue where you inserted it. When I got to this point I couldn't decide whether to wire all the pumpkins up a one time or wait till I decided where they were going to go on the wreath. I opted for waiting till I placed them and this did slow down the process.

As I started putting the pumpkins on the wire wreath form I wasn't happy with how much of the wire form was showing so I glued some silk leaves from a garland I got at Michaels to the form... they were black with orange glitter...oooooohhhh....I love glitter!!!  It took quite a while to get them all the pumpkins wired onto the form...and then I filled in here and there where I could glue little pumpkins.


I'm not convinced that a wire wreath form is the best base. I'm thinking a grapevine wreath that is kinda flat ...perhaps spray painted black... and then use black floral wire...might have been easier to use.  Also I contemplated cutting the backs off of the pumpkins so they would lay flatter but decided I was too far into the project to change things then. Flat back pumpkins would give you more surface to glue...just saying.

I finished the wreath off adding some sparkly ...orange glitter again...plastic feather-y kinda  garland I found at Micheals... (they should give me a kick-back here... I spent quite a bit there but they had  the best Halloween stuff in this area). .. I cut pieces off of the feather-y kinda garland and stuffed them in here and there.


Here are some close ups.. and yes I took the pictures with the wreath hanging on two different doors... the blond wood one is  an interior door and the white one is the back of my front door and that glass in the top of it is a bit distracting...









I ended up using about 32 pumpkins total... I had 4 left over and I suppose I could have squeezed them in but by 11 o'clock last night I had had enough of these gourdy guys and just wanted to clean up and call it a day.


So my Fall and Halloween decor is multiplying... however the Fall temps I so enjoyed have gone elsewhere ... it is 88 degrees here today... gotta crank up the AC again...ahhh the weather... it always gives me something to be crabby about...LOL

happy crafting...
carol fun 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Bloggers Quilt Festival... Fall 2017 edition...



I was so happy to see that Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side was hosting another edition of the Bloggers Quilt Festival. I always see so many wonderful quilts in this event... so much inspiration! I looked back through my blog for this year and I had no hesitation in picking this quilt as the best one I've done this year....hey it is perhaps the best quilt I've done in a long time... LOL!!



Scrappy Happy Tulips

I love everything about this quilt... the chunkiness of the tulips. the scrappy fabrics, the bright colors and that lovely yellow border. The glamour shot was taken on my neighbor's porch... I like staging quilts there for pictures... she has a great railing.

And here is a pic of the whole quilt on my lawn...not as glamorous but it shows all the tulips...


This quilt will  look lovely on my full size bed this coming Spring. It will be so nice to have tulips as I don't plant any in my yard... they are my favorite flower but it turns out that they are also the favorite dining choice of the deer in the neighborhood.  I made the mistake of planting a lot of them the first year I lived here... it was a giant buffet... not doing that again...LOL!


The pattern for this tulip is from Lori Holt's Scrappy Project Planner.  The fabrics are all from Sandy Klop's American Jane collections... I LOVE LOVE LOVE her fabrics. They have a vintage vibe with bright clear colors.  I had so much fun sewing these blocks... sorting though my stash and finding just the right fabrics for each one. And it stretched me in that I didn't make every single stem and leaf combo green... the purist voice in me said "tulip leaves are green"... but the artist voice  said "hey girl,  blue red and yellow are perfectly acceptable leaf colors"... the artist voice is a lot of fun!!  I chose a Baptist fan quilt panto  and my long arm quilter Terry Finnerty did a lovely job ... I really like the variegated thread... such a pretty accent.

Here are a couple of my favorite blocks... 

My favorite flower is a yellow tulip... this is the purist take on the block ...notice green leaves and stem!


And here is the arty version... blue leaves...oooooohhhh.....aaaahhhh....LOL!


And I didn't have a lot of the aqua fabrics... I think they've only appeared in one American Jane collection.... notice the cat who is sewing in the middle square.... I love little details like that!


When I started this quilt I thought I'd make every tulip just one color... red, orange, yellow, blue, pink or green... and then one day I thought  "why not make a mixed color tulip?"... wish I had thought of it sooner as I LOVE how they turned out and wished I had made more..


Love the little chicks in the red square..



And this one has that cute tape measure print...


While I was taking these quilt pictures I accidentally got a nature shot in...



I know a cricket on the hearth means good luck and good health...do you think that hold true for a cricket on a quilt???  I hope it does!!

And here is one last picture of my Scrappy Happy Tulips... my dear son struggling to hold the whole quilt up above his head... he tried really hard but it was just more quilt than he could wrangle. He's a good son!!



I hope you enjoyed looking at my quilt post ... please go and look at all the other wonderful quilts that are part of the Bloggers Quilt Festival...you can find them here. And a big thanks to Amy for hosting this wonderful event.

happy quilting - 
carol fun 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Results of National Jelly Roll Day...

Well lunch was tasty...Chinese dim sum...and then I came home and put the pedal to the metal and made  some 50 some blocks... I thought I had cut out more but we all know how poor my math skills are.




This pile turned into this layout...



I want to make it square so I need 10 more blocks... which I can do using my stash ...but not tonight... I'm pooped... gonna go get some dinner and work on this again next week. Plans for tomorrow don't include sewing time...oh well...

It was fun to devote a day to just one project... I was very focused ... a rarity for me...LOL!

I'm sure I'll move the blocks around some more... it did turn out very very scrappy... but I think it is very very happy and I am too!

happy stitching-
carol fun


Its National Jelly Roll Day!!!!



Hello all you hungry quilters... it is National Jelly Roll Day... the fabric kinda jelly roll...not the bakery kind, although I could really go for a slice of a pumpkin cream cheese jelly roll...just saying.

I've been thinking about this for a week or so and decided what my plan of action would be...

First this is the jelly roll I've selected from my stash...



Spring - a - ling by American Jane



As for the pattern, I'm using...


Two Step from Missouri Star Quilt Company

I've been wanting to start this quilt for a while so National Jelly Roll Day has given me the perfect excuse, justification, reason to play with this pattern. 

Now the pattern calls for 56 plain 5"  squares, and I'm not capable of doing plain squares so I'm using  charm squares from the many many many charm packs of American Jane fabrics that I've collected.



I rarely use the lights from a collection as I usually pick just one to use for the background. Now I'm glad I've done that as I have a wide assortment to use... love the novelty ones...zipper  and letters and punctuation marks and adorable little chicks...along with polka dots and flowers...some cute stuff here. 

I've opened the jelly roll and realized that there are some light strips I don't want to use in this quilt, so I've cut some additional strips from my stash making a hybrid jelly roll. It is good to have stash, isn't it? 

Now I've sewn some of the strips together and sliced them up and make one block to be sure this is going to work...



and it does!!!! Happy happy little blocks!

You can see the video tutorial for this quilt here.

Okay, I'm off to a lunch engagement but I'm going to hurry back to sew more blocks... I'll update later today when I have more than one measly block to show.

Start your sewing machine and show the world what you are creating today!

happy stitching -
carol fun