Sunday, June 17, 2012

dock decor

I have just returned from a weekend away at my friend, Debbie's, lake cabin near Chetek, WI.  We had such a good time and some fun memories.  I like to walk down the path and steps to the lake in the morning when I wake up, just to check on what's happening on the water.  The first morning, this is what greeted me---
Maybe a Northern Water snake?
Kind of stopped me in my tracks!  I ran back to get my camera and zoomed in to get a decent picture without venturing too close.  I have looked at some pictures and think it is a pretty common water snake, but the distinctive markings that would prove it are on the underside of the body.  No way was I going to be looking at the underside of that body!  We never saw him again out in the open, so I am hoping he found some other bit of lakeshore to call home.
We did some sewing, I was working on a new quilt that will be written as a pattern soon.  I enjoy writing up a few patterns, but have no intention of making it a career.  But something happened recently that involves my pattern, Hocus Pocus, that I designed and wrote back in 2009.  
Hocus Pocus
Much to my surprise, I found that this quilt is shown on the Timeless Treasures website.  It is a digital rendition using their batik fabrics, and really looks nice!  I guess it's a good form of advertisement for me, but very unexpected.  I'll be communicating with them to see if they like any more of my patterns!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

puppy love, etc.

Here is an update on what's been happening around here lately--

I have been spending a bit of my time in my sewing room developing ideas for new patterns and projects that make use of the 2012 Quilt MN fabrics.  We have bolts of the fabric at the shop which can't be sold until August 3, but I am using them now to come up with some good ideas for our customers.  Here's a sneak peak at some of it:

4 large printed panels will have 4 border choices

the 'words' fabric makes a great decorative border
When not in the sewing room, I have continued to work on the photo wedding quilt that I shared in my last post.  I guess scotty dogs play an important role in the lives of this couple, so Tiffany designed a custom pantogram for me to use.  This is a continuous line drawing on paper that fits two border areas.  I was a little skeptical of how successful these would be, they are more detailed and smaller scale than other pantos I have worked with.  It can be hard to capture the detail when converting from paper to fabric.
But I gave it a shot, and looked how nice they look all stitched up!  The only change I had to make was in the little boy dog's collar, which was drawn as a bowtie to complement the little girl's collar of beads.  The bowtie came out looking pretty much like the beads, so I converted it to just a straight collar.  Much more manly.  Looks like puppy love to me!

But the sewing and quilting comes to a halt when it's time for family--
We had the pleasure of a weekend at my parents' house in Iowa, and Brita, Ben and Ian made the trip, too.  It was his first big journey and 2 nights away from home.  Ian did a good job of entertaining his great grandparents with his little smiles and baby noises.  He is 3 months old now, and I love watching him develop new talents all the time!

He also visited several of the other side of the family when we attended a wedding party for nephew Andy and his bride, Kira.  It was a fun event held out on the farm where Bob grew up, and 5 of his siblings were there, too.  Many thanks to Larry and Denise for putting it all together!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

fabric photos that work

I finally have some plantings in the cement pots I made at retreat in April.  I made a stop at Bachman's, a well-known local garden center, to find the appropriate plants.  Little teeny ones for the 4-holer, and a beautiful textured larger one for the other pot.  I like the looks of these.  I have one more pot to use and I want to put a hen & chicks plant in there.

I started working yesterday on an interesting quilt for a customer.  Tiffany Boeson designed and constructed this as a wedding gift.  She incorporated several beautiful large photos in B&W and sepia tones, and had them printed on fabric by Spoonflower.  This company will take your original artwork, prints, photos, etc., and create your own personal fabric.  The quality and texture of these pictures is excellent, feels just like regular fabric.  And if you notice that yellow ruler in the picture, it is 12" long, so you can see that this works on a large scale, too.  So far, I have been carefully outlining all of the pictures and applique work that she has done, next will be the scotty dogs in the borders!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

oh deer!

Yesterday I woke up, wandered to the kitchen to start the coffee, not really awake yet.  Until I glanced out the window and discovered that I was being watched!  

I know there are deer wandering around but this is the first time that I have seen one bedded down on our lawn!  He/she slowly got up, continued to stare at me, then ambled off into the bushes and trees.  I wonder what was going through that head?

I've been cooking up some new sewing projects and patterns for the new Quilt MN fabric.  Nothing far enough along for pictures, but I'll get some of the work-in-progress soon.
In the meantime, I wanted to share something else that I learned in the finishing stages of this scarf.  I started to do the usual standard bind off, but wasn't happy with the look of it.  I think it was due to the fact that every other stitch was a slipped stitch and made a funny little loopy edge instead of the nice smooth edge that I wanted.  So, I consulted my favorite local knitting guru, Thora Lee.  She is the best knitter I know, so I wasn't at all surprised when she referred me to Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off technique.  Although it took more time, it turned out fine.  And then I had all the loose ends to deal with, and decided to turn it into a braided fringe.  Finally, all done!

Mini Mania
If you are curious about the size of this, you might like to know that I cast on roughly 300 stitches, used size 6 needles and sock weight yarn.  It measures a little over 1 yard long, not including fringe.  I quit at 4 1/2" and barely made a dent in the yarn remnants!

One more thing to share--I caught a portion of the CBS Sunday Morning show (one of my favorite shows) and saw a very interesting segment about the Royal School of Needlework.  That place takes hand embroidery to a whole different level!