Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pulling fabric for the Color Palette Chal….Oh look,a New York Beauty!

I had such good intentions for Saturday. Pull some fabrics from the stash for the February challenge, then do some work around the house.February-Figs-582x600

I chose some hand dyes and batiks. So far, so good.

Color Palette February2

Checked the values to make sure I've got a nice range. Okay.

Color Palette February

Time to get some chores done! But, my Google Reader was open and I was scrolling through my favorite blogs.

Read a few and left some comments. You know the routine.

Oh, a quilt-along! New York Beauty. Pretty! 


Looks like fun, but I have other priorities right now. Well, it certainly couldn’t hurt to search for a free NYB pattern. Just to look at it, you know.

Well, you probably know what happened. This is all I have to show for Saturday, after refreshing my memory on paper piecing. For all the good it did. I un-sewed a lot of seams!


The trouble was, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. On Sunday, I had to try a couple more blocks using the challenge fabrics. Suddenly it was Monday evening. I lost an entire day somewhere. Ye-gods! (Channeling my inner Zaneeta Shinn, my only college musical role)

NYB batik 4

NYB batik 3

Three blocks in three days. I’ll have to chew on that one for a while.

As there was a self imposed sewing ban for today (it is Tuesday, isn’t it?), I did get some necessary things done around here. But, I’m still thinking about that QAL. And the Marion the Librarian...


Marion the Librarian from The Music Man


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Loose ends

I’m just popping in with some things I’ve been meaning to share.

(Edited to add to Sarah’s Whoop Whoop Fridays.)

This is the Teflon sheet I mentioned here that I use for paperless fusible web. Walmart has two sizes and this is the small one.

teflon matteflon sheet

I’ve been making my own laundry soap since last summer.

laundry soapIt consists of:

1 cup Arm and Hammer washing soda

1 cup Borax

1 bar of grated Fels Naptha soap

I use a big tablespoon per load of laundry and it works really well.

I’ve seen different ratios of these ingredients, so it’s not an exact formula. You can grate the soap with a cheese grater or in the food processor which is what I do. The pictures show a double recipe that I made up today.  There’s no strong scent… just nice and clean! We’re also trying some homemade fabric softener made from water, vinegar and hair conditioner with pretty good results. I found both of these recipes at Pinterest and do not know the original source. Do you make any of your own cleaning products?

laundry soap3

A few more bars of felted soap. I used some wonderful lavender scented bars from an awesome Etsy shop.

felted soap Feb

This is a handy way to block bowls after they’ve been felted.

blocking felt bowls

You saw these crocheted bowls a week or so ago.

crocheted bowls

Here they are all felted up! I added a contrasting rim to the square ones.

square bowls

No sewing going on, but lots of trim and window frames are getting another coat of paint. I’ll be done with this soon!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Project Quilting Challenge #3 - Tool Time

drywall Project quilting 2

I knew I wanted to do something other than sewing or quilting tools, so this is my interpretation of finishing drywall. With pink mud. Because white mud on white drywall is no fun.

The metal part of the knife is silver leaf. I cut out the knife shapes in Wonder Under and fused them to the piece. The leaf was positioned over the adhesive, covered with a press cloth and ironed slightly to adhere it. It was difficult to get the press time just right so the leaf stuck properly. The first one was the best, possibly because the iron was cooler.

I’ve been trying to finish the binding on these small pieces by machine. For this one, I used a single layer of binding cut 1 1/4 inches wide and sewn on the back after pressing one edge over a quarter inch. It’s then flipped to the front and sewn down with a blanket stitch. The single binding is easier to manipulate for me than the doubled up kind, so this process works pretty well. I still prefer hand stitched, but I’d rather not spend the time for these challenges.

I added a personal message in the corner. Can you read it?

drywall close

“I’d rather be quilting”

Here’ the Flickr page for all the entries if you’re so inclined. Once again, there are some pretty amazing quilts!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

I wish…

..I had something sew worthy to blog about, but it’s not to be. There are some pretty awesome quilt-alongs happening, but I have to resist and get my house repairs done! Rats.

I did win some scrumptious batiks from Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works! Amy at Amy’s Creative Side was the sponsor, so thanks to both lovely ladies for this new addition to my stash!



We made a quick road trip to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. Four days of driving (from Middle Tennessee to the Black Hills of South Dakota) and one day to visit, but it was worth it. Here’s the birthday girl with some of her flowers. She’s a peach:) We saw sisters and brothers and nieces and great nieces and great nephews…I’m so glad we went!


If you’ve never made the drive across South Dakota on I-90, you’ve never seen the “Man Walking Dinosaur” sculpture.  A little prairie humor.


I did a lot of the driving on the way since Mr. DJ was working, but I made a few of these on the way back. Round crochet got tedious, so I gave square and triangle a shot.

crocheted bowls

Now to weave in the ends and felt them in some hot, soapy water and see how they turn out.

Thanks for all the well wishes for my stubborn brother:)  We were able to see him (and my other brother and their wives) on the way back from SD. He seems to be doing quite well and he didn’t need the sister sermon…he’s heard it from all sides already.

The next Project Quilting challenge theme is Tool Time. Paint rollers and brushes have been my most used tools of late, so I’ll have to toss that around and see where it lands.

And just to include something quilty, here’s some little bows I was playing with a couple weeks ago.


Okay, back to sanding! I’m itching to do something creative today, so I’d better get some jobs checked off the list!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Color Palette Challenge for January

The first of the month I decided to participate in the Color Palette Challenge sponsored by Vicki Welsh and Judy Laquidara. This is the palette for January.


Here is my challenge piece. It’s pretty small… 8.5” x 10.5”.  As planned, I used fabric from my hand dyed stash except for the purple, which is from a commercial batik. I enjoyed the process of making a little art piece, but I have a lot to learn!



The background and the binding were cut from two of the deconstructed prints I made back in November.

deconstructed prints

over dyed screen

This gave me an opportunity to try Mistyfuse which doesn’t have a paper backing like Wonder Under. To use it, you need a non-stick surface so it doesn’t fuse to your iron or ironing surface.  There are brands specifically made for applique, but being the thrifty (cheap) soul I am, I bought the one that is used in the bottom of an oven to make clean up easier. Walmart – $4.97 – in the baking section. It isn’t transparent, but it works like a charm.

Mistyfuse is lightweight and doesn’t add a lot of bulk to your piece. Once I got the hang of using the teflon sheet it was great. No pulling paper off tiny pieces which sometimes makes the edges ravel. It also comes in white and ultraviolet.


If you click on the photo below, which is the February Color Palette, you’ll go to the linky party for all the January participants. image

I didn’t have time for Project Quilting last week since I’ve been up to my ears in more drywall finishing, hole patching and painting. The living room is finished except for another coat of paint on the ceiling. This house project is really cutting into my play time which gives me nothing much to blog about. February will likely be more of the same…my list is very long. The good news is that most of the jobs now are cosmetic and not structural like the kitchen remodel. My goal is to have all the painting done by the end of February. Wish me luck!

On a personal note, my brother Randy (the wheat farmer in Nebraska) is having some health problems and could use some prayers and healing thoughts sent his way. He had a heart attack yesterday and had a stent inserted today. Apparently this isn’t the first episode he’s had, but always thought it was heartburn. If all goes well, he’ll get to go home tomorrow  - hopefully they’ll beat the snowstorm that’s brewing in Colorado where he had the procedure done. I’m afraid he has a long road of lifestyle change ahead. He’s overweight, diabetic and extremely stubborn. He’s also very lucky, because his Dr. indicated that many people don’t survive an attack like this one. If I thought a sister sermon would do any good, he’d get one.

Take care my bloggy peeps!