Thursday, November 29, 2007

Small Quilts and Hard to Part with Paintings

Small quilts and hand stitched pieces have always been a weakness of mine. So have baseball uniforms and dirty work clothes, but that is another story. I won’t let my guy when he is dirty nor my dogs near this little vintage piece. I scooped it up for $8 at an antique store. It is roughly crib size, with a wide range of baby blues, ambers, yellows, and prints. The careful hand stitching evident on the back of the piece is so wonderful.

I adore this yellow printed fabric that I discovered while flea marketing in Maine. The fabric is made of the softest, but strongest cotton. I want to stretch it over a large canvas and hang it so that I can admire it all the time. When I was 16 my boyfriend at the time made me a super large (6x8’) acrylic painting. It is mainly primary colors and the design is a modern abstract one. Just lines and colors filled in between intersections. Sort of nice, but not when you have been hanging on to it for 10 plus years. Mainly it is just large, akward, and doesn't go with my current decorating theme.

So I've debated for years about getting rid of it. Plus, I’m always reading about “outsider art” becoming hugely valuable. I’d hate to part with it and then find out my ex hit it big and the painting is worth like a million bucks. Also, as avid yard saler I am always picking up once loved quilts, books, and photos just thrown out by family members. See it says my name on the back and “with love.” I can’t just put that on the still good table at the dump, now can I? So maybe I will put this fantastic fabric over the front of it and protect my assests.

I made this small blue piece quilt and plan to border it with huge off white borders. What a great waste of fabric eh?

A little more Christmas spirit.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vintage finds

100_1138 This great vintage quilt is one of my most recent finds. I paid around $70 for it, but it was worth it. This Little Red Riding Hook square is darling and looks to be made from scraps of pajamas or sheets. Little Red Riding Hood is doing her usual things like seeing the Big Bad Wolf and going to Grandma’s house. I’ll post more of the squares soon. Some of the other interesting squares are football squares, valentine’s day type squares, and other great prints showcased.



I purchased these tulips squares on ebay recently. They are not that vintage, probably early 60’s. So that makes all the fabrics 60’s- some paisleys, flower power type stuff. The ones that really catch my eye are the two beach ones. One is a Mexican looking man sleeping on the beach and the other is a parrot at the beach on his post. Such unusual fabrics to go with such a traditional applique design. Now that is truly original. I want to try to pair more untraditional types fabrics together.


I semi decorated for Christmas with this small red grouping. This picture includes my thermos collection, which I almost parted with to allow more room for other things, but at the last minute decided to keep. I purchased the toy sewing machine on ebay.

The NOEL stitching piece is so fabulously retro. At first I found it slightly hideous, which is always how I you find good retro stuff. I have completely warmed to in now. The Squeaky Squirrel was the first book to my vintage children’s book collection. The Penny Puppy and other dog stories is equally lovable, even my dog and to put her paw in on it.

And time to play outside

Spending time outside is as necessary as making things for me. I kayak in my little kayak (calypso from LL Bean), which I love because I can get it on and off my car by myself. I got it in July of this year and it has since seen a lot of miles. Mainly I went to small ponds and lakes in NH and Maine. I love everything about the water- I am in it all summer long. Swimming everyday, kayaking, floating on my tube- ahh now that spells summer to me.

That is what is so great about getting Misty. She is such an active dog although she doesn’t like the water that much- but that is for another day. I am hoping this next year, to teach her to run near me while I mountain bike. She is still a little jumpy around the bike, but I warmed her up to it a little this summer.

This is my other dog Mollie. She is very old (almost 12 years old). She has a little ring around the collar here, but she is still cute. She often helps me with my quilting projects by sitting on them. Any slight bit of fabric of cushion that ends up on the floor she takes as an invitation to put her fat little rump on. The project she is actually laying on is a quilt that I feverously made for a friend of my boyfriend’s and I’s wedding. I spent many crazy evenings piecing it together and trying to shove the thing under my small machine to machine quilt it. Since then I have been hanging on to it as I did not have their address to mail it to. My boyfriend got it then lost it then got it again. So this week I hope to send it out. It is also based on the pattern in Denyse Schmidt’s book Quilts.

I think kind of blurry pictures can be fun because they show life and movement. So here is one.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Embroidery Rocks!

100_1192 I had to take my sewing machine in to be serviced. It gets this really pesky squeak that I just can't take care of on my own. Anyway, the sewing machine repair shop does a great job and when I get it back it sews like buttah- so I don't mind. What I did mind was having nothing to do. Believe it or not, I actually work both a full-time and a part-time job and still have time to make. I am just one of those people who cannot and will not, sit idly and watch- my- TV life away. So when I wake up in the morning I generally sew or whatever for 45 minutes and I get another 45 minutes in at night before I go to sleep.

So I picked up a little embroidery while I awaited my machine's make-over. I have had Jenny Hart's book Sublime Stitching for several months staring longingly at the pages. See I originally tried a little embroidery when I first got the book, but I had a hard time with it. I think my trouble was that I had chosen too big of a needle for the weave of my fabric.


I got that all sorted out and now had the time to practice. The first thing that I ever embroidered was this cute little owl (all of these are from Jenny Hart's book Sublime Stitching). He is so feisty. His stitches are a little rough, but that seems to suit his character. Then I did the little lemon- how delicious. I think I may add some embroidered touches to the back of the lemony quilt that I am making for my mom for Christmas.


The most recent thing that I completed was the little spaceship an aliens. I did this while waiting for my boyfriend to get up one morning. I'm thinking of making a pillow or maybe small quilt of spaceships and stuff for the little nephew. I now totally love embroidery. It is so rewarding for a quilter because I am so used to things taking weeks. These all took under 30 minutes and my stitching definitely improved fast.

I think I may pick up some new transfers also at Jenny's Site. I like the El Diablo ones. I also found this website that has free downloads and tons of really good tips. Lastly, I really found this blog called Primrose Design, really excellent. She has a Stitching School with great informative posts that are easy to follow.

Monday, November 26, 2007

This Dog's Life

All the animals we own are black and white. We didn't plan it this way, they just sort of came to us one by one, until we realized they resembled a very well dressed family. Misty is our newest addition- a hound mix, who appears to be mainly German Short-haired Pointer. She is a rock star.

We got her from a shelter- where she was given up for adoption not just once but twice. She is the kind of dog people write books about she is that cool. She is originally from the south, she loves squeky toys, she has only barked or growled four times since we got her, she loooooves other animals, and she loves being off leash.

She is best friend's with Lucky our cat- also from a shelter. Misty loves hiking as you can see in the above photo. As soon as she gets into the woods she becomes much more happy and perky. When you adopt pets, you always sort of wonder what they did in their other life and how they were treated. We joke that she has southern drawl and was an escape artist.


Sock Monkey Weekend

I also did a little Christmas decorating this weekend. I've seen this idea all over. I took a large branch and stuck it in a jar. Then I decorated the branch with vintage glass ornaments- mainly blue and silver. Underneath I placed a vintage blue polka dot tablecloth, and then finished out the table with the extra ornaments and select book. It looks way better that my photos will allow. It is nice to walk in the door and immediately see something fun and festive.


Went a little sock monkey crazy this weekend making Christmas presents for the nieces and nephews. I ordered this great sock monkey fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop. The reds, blues, and green one will be for little nephew who is going to be 15 months old. The pink one will be for his sister. All I did was sew the squares together! I will be adding some nice borders and probably some silky soft blanket binding too.



My idea for the back is that I want to make a pocket out of soft flannel and put a little sock monkey in it. More to come on these.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


So the first quilt of my quilt-sickness problem (the one where I constantly quilt, think about quilting, and buy fabric whe-hoo) is this cute one I call Little Red. It is from Denyse Schmidt's book called Quilts. My favorite part about this quilt is that is was completely created from scraps and freebies.

The prints are cowboy fabrics, florals, strawberries, and hawaiian flowers- what a mix huh?
The Causing of it All..