Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Been out of town...and a few lace pictures

First I want to say a big, big THANK YOU! to everyone that has visited my blog and left such lovely comments. It's so nice that so many of you took the time to take a look :-)

I've hardly been home the last three days, having a big family get together for my husband Steve's side of the family in Humboldt, Iowa (1 1/2 hour drive) on Sunday, worked all day Monday and taught a class that evening. Tuesday we were back to Humboldt for a dinner in honor of Steve's aunt and uncle who celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary. Whew...I am ready for a few evenings at home.

I've got a few odd pictures of some freestanding lace ornaments and motifs that I've made recently. They were made on my Huskavarna/Viking Designer SE/embroidery machine. I got my machine last summer and have enjoyed making Venice-type lace motifs with designs from Criswell Embroidery

The pictures are bad, taken quickly before I had to take the snowflake ornaments to Humboldt to share. I'll be keeping the smaller moifs for embellishing cq blocks. As time allows, I hope to experiment with rayon dyes to see how my homemade motifs take the dye.

The image below shows a FSL doily in progress. It still needs to be sewn together and to have the wash away stablizer removed.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bead Show Report

Here are a few pictures I snapped of my finds at the bead show yesterday. I had planned on looking at seed beads, but I got side tracked by other pretties and items I wanted for my jewelry making.
My first stop was at Artistic Bead from Des Moines, Iowa. I wish I had taken my camera along as the owner, Cheryl Erickson, was working on a large crazy quilt! It's been fun to follow the progress on her quilt the last few years. Cheryl has several areas with large elaborate seed bead flowers. I'll have to take my camera to the next show which is in mid October.

I was able to find some nickel free antique colored brass and copper findings and wire from her shop. I have a nickel allergy and I'm always happy to come across these findings. Also pictured is a small purchase from another favorite vendor, Bokamo from Kansas City. the small silver findins will be used for finishing off cords on necklaces. My next stop was at Papio Creek Gems and Gifts of La Vista Nebraska. In talking to the family, I discovered that it would not be too far a drive to their shop when I'm in town for the CQS Retreat. I spent the most time at their booth, picking up several strands of dyed mother of pearl shapes. I was soooo drawn to the flowers! those will be used in both crazy quilting and jewelry.

I also purchased two strands of stone beads to go with the polymer clay art bead shown in the center. I believe the stones are jasper, but I forgot to ask! The art bead came from etsy from Gabriel Studios on etsy:
I really enjoyed my all too short time at the bead show. It takes me so long to shop that these were the only vendors I visited. Many will be at another show in Des Moines Iowa next month As I shopped, I did hear many of the vendors talk about how slow sales had been-a sign that the economic recovery is slow in coming to the bead industry.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Crazy Quilted Christmas Ornaments

These are some Christmas ornaments I finished recently. The pattern I used came from CQ Mag Online, and you can find it in Vol.7, Issue 04. Sorry, I am having trouble posting working links today. Google "cq mag online" and you will find it.

Rather than making my ornaments two sided, I chose to cover the back with upcycled dupioni silk from a thrift shop dress. It was rather plain looking to me and then the idea hit to add some of my small needle tatted motifs. This was done after I had completed the ornaments, so they are just glued in place. Next time I make ornaments, I'll take the time to sew them in place. Thinking I'd like to make a set for the Iowa State Fair next year.
Adding the tassles was also and afterthought and was kinda tricky, but I managed. I took pre-made tassles and threaded them through the burgandy wood bead and a brass beadcap. I tied off the tassle loop and cut the ends. Using beading thread, I sewed up through the tassle and through the trim to hold the tassle in place. Next time, I'll sandwich the tassle between the front and back of the ornament.

I am off to the Central Iowa Beadbash in Marshalltown, Iowa today. I'm hoping to find some new seed bead colors and some bead shapes to make some beaded flowers that I've been wanting to try out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Crazy Quilt Retreat part 4, friends, shopping and such

Okay, I'll admit it, I am a cq shop-a-holic. Every year I PROMISE myself that I will not bring home more cq goodies, that I have enough for 3 or 4 lifetimes already. But then you see the stores, the cute displays the vendors have set up in their rooms. Oooooo...look at that, I don't have one of those....oh, I could use that in my next project! As the saying goes, "Resistance is futile!" Here's a sampling of the goodies I couldn't live without.

The beads came from International Bead Market, a great Omaha bead shop that is not too far from the hotel in the Rockbrook Village shopping area.

On the left, beautiful hand dyed goodies that were available in Mary Anne's class. On the right, beads from Sherrill Lewis's Bead Ranch store, and on the bottom threads from yet another vendor. I just love using Caron threads for needle tatting. A huge bag of threads and fibers I purchased at the auction. This will keep me busy for a very long time!
Fairy packs purchased from Kathy K and Donna J's store. Simply stunning dyed laces from Kathy K, painted buttons and vintage lace from Donna J. Both Kathy and Donna blog about their crazy quilting:
Hand dyed trims, vintage images and beads from De Crow, owner of Diva's D'este. The cd and lace were gifts from De. Let me just say that if you love vintage images, De's online shop is THE place for you! De has both cd's and high quality printed image sheets (paper and fabric) in her shop.

One of the wonderful things about crazy quilters is their unending generosity. I was so fortunate to receive gifts from friends I've made at the retreat over the years. Here are just a few that I took pictures of. Hand dyed lace from Donna J, a Victorian lady from my roommate Martha Green, and pretty fabrics from Freda.
More gifts from Donna. Painted buttons, embossed velvet and velvet ribbon.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Seeing old friends...

And making new ones...

I'm already looking forward to next year's retreat!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Crazy Quilt Retreat part 3

Sunday was my day to relax and enjoy taking a class from my good friend Mary Anne Griffin. The class was Needle Felting for Crazy Quilters and it was a lot of fun! Mary Anne is a wonderful instructor that provided us with both beautiful kits and instructions on cd to take home if we did not finish our project in class.

Here is Mary Anne showing us samples of some of her beautiful work.

This was the project Mary Anne designed for our class. Beautiful!!

A variation of the project...

Mary Anne arranged for each student to have Babylock embellisher machine to use in class.

Mary Anne, hard at work...

Next post, random photos, friends and the shopping...oh, the shopping!

Crazy Quilt Retreat part 2 Saturday

Saturday was the day that I taught my Fantasea Reef wallhanging class. Everyone seemed to enjoy the project, and I sure enjoyed teaching the class.

Saturday evening was the time for the autions which bennefit the American Cancer Society, and breast cancer reseach. The auctions also provide funds for scholarships to the next Crazy Quilt Retreat. This year there were also several special quilts made in honor of our friend Dee, who passed away from cancer after attending last year's retreat. Dee's quilts were put together by Kate Hollifield.

Another quilt for Dee (above)and the lable added by Kate.

A few of the beautiful auction items....

In addition to the traditional style live auction, there is a silent auction. Bids are written on slips of paper and put into paper bags. High bidder wins the item.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Crazy Quilt Retreat part one, Friday

I feel bad about how long this is in coming, but here it is, pictures and commentary from the Omaha Crazy Quilt Retreat.

After some not so fun car troubles (having to switch cars along the side of the Interstate is NEVER fun) I arrived late on Thursday evening. I roomed with my good friend Martha Green of Oklahoma City, which is always a good time! We stayed up each night well into the wee hours of the morning talking, eating, and catching up from the last year.

Friday was my day to teach my Springtime in Paris box. I had 20 or so enthusiastic students who seemed to really enjoy the project!

Two great events were held on Friday evening, the fiber swap and the ever popular prom dress swap. For those not familiar, the fiber swap is where each participant brings 25 one yard pieces of fancy fiber to swap with the other participants. Fibers are put in small baggies and then put into a large bag. The participants stand in a circle and pass each large bag to the next person, taking one baggie of fiber out to keep. The large bags are passed around until there are no fibers left. It's always a lot of fun and a great way to add fun fibers to your stash.

After the fiber swap is finished, we moved on to the Prom dress swap. Those wanting to participate brought an item of clothing, often a prom style dress, wedding dress, or other garment made of fancy fabric to share. Before the swap began, we were treated to a comical fashion show by several members of the group.

On the far left is our Kate, who wasn't supposed to be able to attend this year. It was such a nice surprise to see her!

And on to the main event...

After Nancy announces the start of the swap, the scissors come out. Did your mom ever tell you not to run with scissors? Yes? Well, you might not want to share the next pictures with her ;)

As you can see, many treasures can be found at the swap! That's it for now. Next time, Saturday's class and the Auctions.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Long Time No See....

It's been waaayyyyyy longer to post than I intended. Another blogger recently said that the longer you stay away, the easier it is to just let things go. But I've been thinking about this for so long that it was time to just sit down and do it.

I had so many pictures on my camera to edit that it took 2 solid evenings to get through them all, and I STILL have to take my camera in to get pictures made from the card. I'm always so nervous that I'll loose all my pictures when I insert it into the computer. Silly, yes, but I still worry and it holds me back from doing what I need to do.

I have so many things to post about that I'll be posting at least once if not 2 times a day now. I think the easiest thing for me will be to start with the newest thing first, especially since I'm so excited to have a finished quilt to show off!

This is my newest sane quilt, Bohemian Bulls Eye, which I finished over the long Labor Day weekend. It's a sample for a class I'll be teaching at the Quilting Connection in Ames, Iowa in October and it is one of my all time favorite patterns.

Here are a couple of detail shots so you can see the machine quilting on the quilt.

Upper right corner detail.

Border quilting detail.

This is the 2nd version of Bull's Eye that I've made. I gave the first one to my eldest son Andy a few years ago and unfortunately I don't have pictures of it. Hope to get some next month when he is home on leave from Afghanistan.