Archive for December, 2008

Sad News

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

My Bernina died Sunday.  It has been terminally ill for over a week but I have been able to coax it to perform anyway up until Sunday afternoon when it just plain quit. So yesterday I took it in for repairs and hope to get it back on Friday. In the meantime I got out the Pfaff that I won in the Sulky Challenge.  It is a nice machine, but I am not one with it like I am with the Bernina.  I struggled to finish the bottom of the fawn quilt, but I am not prepared to tackle the sky with an unfamiliar machine. Skies are hard enough in the best of times!

I can use this time to plan and perhaps start some new projects, clean things up and  dare I say, work on the books?

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

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Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

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And a prosperous New Year…..

Quilting Progress

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

When I do machine quilting, I tend to put an inordinate amount of stitches in so it takes much longer than I think it should. Pair that up with the fact that this is the season which has more demands on one’s time than usual and the result is not as much progress as you might hope for! This piece requires a lot of thread color changes and I have to bury all of those ends as I go.

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This shot of the fawn’s head shows that I will need to go back in and add some more quilting yet.

In response to Sarah’s wish to see more detail in the tree, here’s a shot of that area.

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When I started to quilt the trunk and branches, I noticed that the offshoot branch had gotten larger at the top than at the bottom!¬† Apparently an error in the piecing of the top part as the drawing was not like that!¬† What to do?!¬† Once I find an error it must be corrected as it will only nag me until I do. I must admit I momentarily considered using a black pigma pen to darken the lower branch, but only momentarily.¬† I removed quilting stitches, opened the seam and inserted more fabric to thicken that area. Not perfect but much better now. Ideally, I should redo the top of the branch, but that is not going to happen!! There is a LOT of quilting here but this shot does not really show most of it.¬† I haven’t even started the sky area yet.¬† I find quilting skies to be quite difficult, needing to put in a lot of stitches to balance the work and still maintain a light airiness in that area.

Finished Fawn Top

Monday, December 15th, 2008

OK – Now the top is finished!

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Yesterday I got all of the rest of the paper off the back, added the wire to the fence posts with a very narrow zig-zag, gave it a good press and squared it up, and prepared the backing and the batting. Today I will layer, baste and begin the quilting.¬† It’s three degrees outside so quilting will be the best way to spend this day….

It is currently 48″ wide and 43″ deep and I think the addition of a few more inches really did help.¬† I especially like how the rock wall goes to the edge, and the area under the fawn’s belly since I changed a few things there. I know that the quilting will add another dimension and that the binding will contain that bit of sky that goes right off the edge. Now it needs a name, I can’t call it the fawn quilt forever!

Christmas Preparations

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Unfortunately there is no progress on the fawn quilt to report.  Yesterday we went to town for lunch and the Potwin Parlor Tour. Potwin Place is an area of Topeka that is on the Historical Register and is a community very active in Holiday happenings throughout the year. At Christmastime it is essential to drive through in the evening to see the lights but they also offer the Parlor Tour one weekend where ( for a fee, of course)  you can walk through the lower level of some of the homes to see the Christmas decorations.  It is always an inspiration to see the many ways folks decorate for Christmas.  These old homes with their beautiful staircases, fireplaces and high ceilings are perfect showcases and it gets me in the mood to come home and do something about my own house!

So yesterday when we got home we put up the tree, wrapped some gifts and generally got a little Christmas happening.

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Many of my ornaments are handmade, like this purchased Komondor one, the beaded ones that I made and some gotten as gifts.

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My husband made the walnut bowl That holds the poinsettias, the snowman plate was a gift from a friend and the little unicorn is a souvenir from the year that I made about 100 of them to decorate a tree for the Festival Of Trees fundraiser.

Today I MUST get back to business!

Finished?…Or Not!

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

I’ve spent several days tweaking and making changes and yesterday morning I was ready to complete the final seams and be done!

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However, when I measured it, it was about 40 x 44″. I need for it to finish at least 40″ and I know quilting will make it smaller so I tried adding a border to the bottom.¬† This gave it an almost square to vertical orientation and I had envisioned a more horizontal look.¬† Adding another vertical border to make it wider looked like just that .. adding a border to make it wider.¬† I decided what it needed was to have more fabric added from within so another day was spent ripping out and adding in. I think that achieved a much more pleasing composition and the piece is currently off the wall having all of it’s freezer paper removed so that I can layer and begin the quilting.¬† This has been a much longer than usual process for me. but sometimes that happens. They can’t all be like “Just Dandy”¬† which went from concept to completion in just one week!

More progress

Monday, December 8th, 2008

I think replacing the lighter background with this darker grass helps to make the fawn stand out better.¬† I was able to use several of the hand dyes that I made last month, in the sky. It’s hard to find leaves on sky color and sky colors to coordinate with the leaves that I DO find!

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I was very flattered to be nominated for ‘Kreativ Blogger’ recently, but unfortunately don’t have the time to try to figure it out, technologically challenged as I am! I did have the computer guru out to calibrate the color in my monitor so that is hopefully better now.¬† I have not found the time to change any of the pictures in my website yet, though.

Christmas cards are starting to come in and I have not even started yet! Can it be that Christmas is less than three weeks away?¬† I guess my blog is about a year old as I was in the throes of last year’s shopping when I started it. All I need is more time, like everyone else!

Seeing Spots

Monday, December 1st, 2008

I resolved the problem of the fawn fabric by going back to the stash, finding this piece that I had dismissed earlier as being too orange with indistinct spots.  It had areas of less orangeness, though, that I thought had possibilities.  I cut the body from an area that had nice sized spots, but on the wall they were not showy enough.  I decided to try bleach discharge with the Clorox Bleach Pen on the spots, first playing around with an edge of the unused fabric. Bleach direct from the pen ran and made the spots too big, but applied with a Q-Tip, I was able to control it and I think I got really nice spots!  I neutralized the bleach with Hydrogen Peroxide, then washed it thoroughly with Synthrapol. You can see lower on the belly, the original spots before bleach, I felt like that was good for that area to leave them alone.

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I am not happy with some of the background fabrics and am in the process of changing them.