Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tip for the day Sometimes..things happen and you just want to slap yourself upside the head cause it took you so long to figure it out. In the process of changing a needle out on the sewing machine that broke, it occurred to me that it always worries me what to do with the bad needle. Being a diabetic taking insulin, part of the process is disposing of the used needles. At the time, following doctor instructions, I went to the local pharmacy, and for a mere 5 dollars, I purchased the bright red small plastic bucket with the lid that says danger all over it, to dispose of my needles. And as part of the deal, you save the box it came in, along with the label, and mail it in to a company that disposes of the needles as part of the service of buying the container. You may own the container for twenty years or for a year...but just knowing you have a place to put the pin and needles and other sharp objects you use in your projects and knowing that you can dispose of them if you have too, and no one should get hurt in the process.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ideas and where they come from..

Out of the upper regions of my brain floats a fog...and out of the fog, stuff drops. And if I am very lucky, I manage to grab some of the floating stuff before it hits the ground and it becomes a floating thing, an idea, a modified floating thing, working toward concrete and then one day I put it to paper to see if it has merit and then eventually it turns out to be something you touch and feel. Such is how it goes...

Here is the pic of the wall hanging that inspired the bear quilt...

and the design that came out of it..

and if you look at the finished quilt, you will see the frame around the bear carried forward, the green background and in the stitching, the leaf pattern and in some cases the pine cone.  I had the bear pattern inserted in the border above and below the bear.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am sitting here sipping my morning coffee, and it occurred to me that I really am quite excited about this quilt being almost done. There is a light over the rainbow showing. That is such an exciting time. What crossed my mind this morning was how I felt years ago, in the 80's, when I entered a cross-stitch piece I had completed in the County Fair. I ended up with a Third (may have been fourth .. cause I think Pink is fourth) Place Ribbon for my work, which was exciting all by itself. The funniest part of the whole thing was when I was entering it to be shown and judged. I filled out all of the paperwork, talked to all the people, signed all of the waivers and etc's, I then had to hand over the framed piece I had done. I had the piece in my hand, I handed the piece to the lady, She grasped the one side to take and pulled slightly like she was going to take it. My hands would not let go of the frame. She tugged two or three times. She finally said, "Honey, I know it's hard to part with it, but you have to let go." I was so embarrassed. I told her, "I'm trying, but my hands won't respond." We both just looked at each other, chuckled, and then my hands let go. And then I felt as if I had abandoned it to the forces of nature and God knows what. And that is how I feel every time I make something and then give it away.

When the fair was over and I had the piece back, I gave it to my daughter as a gift ... since I made it for her in the first place.

In the land of pale moonbeams
awaits a castle made of dreams
It's not far, just close your eyes
and float through twinkling
starry skies
The moon dust sprinkles as your guide
And flying fairies by your side
For happy lands you now depart
To find the vision in your heart

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Very excited today. I spoke with the lady that will be doing the quilting for the Bear Quilt. We meet Friday to discuss the how to's and etc. Just so exciting watching a project come to completion. I was thinking last night about some of the other projects I have done over the years and thought I should post some things on them. I have a baby quilt I made that I made from 20 fat quarters. Was actually quite fun to make. When I have tried to explain it, it sounds complicated, but really is so easy to do. I will sit down, write out the instructions and maybe even make a drawing or two and put it up here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

stuff I know.

Ok..Pieces of stuff I know..

Back in the day..when I was in college, I was studying to become a teacher. Part of the methods classes we took involved a class in How to Teach Social Studies.

We had to create a unit that we would teach from that would include grades kindergarden to grade nine. Due to my avid interest of quilting at the time, I decided to teach a unit on quilts and its various aspects that would and could include math, science, english, history and art.

In teaching, a teacher creates for each subject a three week teaching project for each subject. I had to gather enough information to put together classes for all the grades mentioned and subjects. At the end of the semester, I was asked to teach a 20 minute class for the fourth grade and in week two the second day.

I received an A for a semester grade. I have since given away all of my teaching aides and information, but I learned so much from what I gathered.

Todays bit of wisdom:

 1. Martha Washington used to take George's old silk hose stockings and slowly pull the threads until the entire stocking was unraveled. Silk thread can be used several times before it wears out.

 2. The Boston Tea Party happened because England decided that they needed to raise the tariff costs on textile products. That meant that any fabric or thread that would come into America would be taxed. The women of the new Americas objected to the higher complaining to their husbands that if they wanted clothes, they would need more money. Husbands objected.

 3. When I begin any sewing projects in which I need to keep track of fabrics and steps .. I grab a small stack of printer paper, cut into 2 inch squares or close to it...use a paper punch and punch two holes an eighth inch or so apart. That gives me a scrap of paper to write notes or write numbers or letters or whatever I need to know. I then pin the paper to the fabric in question using the holes to push the pin through. When done, I throw the paper away.
Well, good intentions and all..go no where if I don't get off my butt and do posts or share information. After 5 years of planning and drawing out ideas and buying fabric and sewing and getting torqued and starting over, I finished the top of a quilt I was asked to make for a friend. I spent three years in the phase one part of planning, buying fabric, cutting it out, trying to put it together; only to be unhappy with the results and start over. I finally got serious about it two years ago..and still was tearing it apart every time I turned around. Finally two months ago, it seemed perfect and I just started sewing. Yesterday, I finished the top. Now I need to contact the quilter so I can schedule a time for her to do it on her long arm. The blanket will be for a King Size Bed. The quilt will go to the floor on three sides. The man I am making this for is a retired Navy Captain and a lover of all things Bear. I showed up at his house a few months ago and told him I needed to lay the panels out on his bed to make sure they would fit. He loved what he saw. Told me that with exception of Polar Bear, all the Bear colors were present. Anyway, here is the top.