Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My First Wholecloth Quilt

I was blessed with my Gammill Classic Plus in 2004 - For those of you wondering, it is a longarm quilting machine. I practiced for a few weeks and decided to try my hand at a wholecloth quilt. This is the result.


It is my own design entitled 'Simply White' - I am not real creative when it comes to naming things. I had never entered a quilt in a show, but decided to give it a whirl with this one.


It was a wonderful surprise when I won a Teachers Ribbon at MQX 2004 - awarded by Karen McTavish and also won the 2004 VQF (Vermont Quilt Festival) Bernina Best Machine Quilting Award.

Then, as if that wasn't enough - Karen McTavish e-mailed me and asked if I would consider submitting my quilt for an upcoming book she was working on. I gladly did and it was published in her book entitled 'Mastering The Art of McTavishing'.

After my head came out of the clouds, I started another wholecloth quilt that I will post next time. Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Past Yankee Swap Quilts

Each Christmas my family has a yankee swap. The past few years I have started giving quilts for my gift. I haven't made any for the past two years but thought I would post a couple that I made from before. The first year I hand quilted an American Flag quilt, but alas - I never took any pictures. I really should have to prove that I can hand quilt (but mostly machine quilt because of the time savings).

This is a carpeneters wheel that I made in 2005 and my oldest brother ended up with this one.
I had fun with some threadplay on my quilting machine.

This is the one I gave in 2006 and my Mom ended up with it.

This pattern is "A Little Romance" from the book entitled "Simple Quilts that Look Like a Million Bucks" by Nicole Chambers. If you are in need of a quick quilt for a gift, this designs works up really fast.

One of my New Year Resolutions is to be sure to get a quilt made for the Yankee Swap for 2009 - which means that I need to start it a little earlier than a week before Christmas! Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, December 26, 2008

Better Late than Never Stocking

Christmas has past for this year, but I didn't have a chance to post this Christmas stocking that I made. It took me forever to get my jingle bells 'rusted', and that held up this project.


The pattern is in 'Quiltmania Magazine No. 68' and is by 'Lake View Primitives'. I am glad that I waited until my bells were just right, as I think it needed that little bit of 'primitive' touch.

On a different note, the following pictures are of my faithful companion 'Delila'.


She has a mischevious side and loves to shred paper. Here she is Christmas Day having a grand time with some wrapping paper.

She has quite the personality and we all love her dearly! Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, December 20, 2008

New England Ice Storm

Living with New England weather can be a challenge at times and this last ice storm was a testament of that. We lost our power for 8 days - it was just restored yesterday afternoon. We are fortunate in that we have a generator and were still able to run our necessities, but it is amazing how much we depend on electricity! I was able to snap a few photos around my house.


Even with the inconveniences that we have had, there is nothing like the beauty of a tree covered in ice with the sun shining through it, and a forest of ice laden trees is truly a breathtaking sight.

In true New England fashion, we were hit with a snowstorm last night which gave us a nice 6" blanket of snow. It is actually snowing right now too! And the weather channel says that we are going to have another snow storm tomorrow that could bring anywhere from 1 to 2 feet more of snow. It looks like we will be having a 'White Christmas'. Life is good! Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wood Stacking Bentwood Boxes

I keep my 'lotions and potions' in some stacking paper mache boxes on my bathroom counter. I have been wanting to replace these boxes with some antique wood shaker boxes for the longest time, but I haven't found any that I liked so I decided to make my own. I purchased some 'wood' bentwood stacking boxes at the unfinished furniture store.



These came pre-painted with a nice shade of green. I then stenciled the boxes with some black paint.



I wanted these boxes to have a nice 'aged look'. For this effect, I sanded the paint off all the sharp edges with sandpaper and my electric nail file (a dremel wood work as well), sanding in an uneven fashion. My husband made me a 'wood distressing tool'. It looks kind of medieval, but does a really great job. It's basically a 12" piece of chain with nuts, bolts, washers and other assorted metal items that are bolted through 5 or 6 links at one end of the chain. I simply swing the chain and hit the wood with the metal pieces. It's a great stress reliever too!



This is how the beat up areas look after the box was painted.

My painting technique was using a rag, I wiped black paint over the entire painted surface and really rubbed it into the 'nooks and crannies'. Then, I wiped off the black paint (the beat up areas retained the black paint) and let it dry for an hour. To finish it off, I applied a coat of polyurethane.


This is the completed set of boxes from the front. They are not as shiny as they look in the picture. I used a 'satin finish' poly and they have more of an aged patina feel to them.



This is the boxes from the back.



This is a closeup of one of the stencils. When I wiped the black paint on, it also wiped off some of the stencil - but I liked the effect and so I kept it that way. All in all, I am pleased with my 'antique bentwood boxes' and will enjoy using them, but I will continue my search for some true 'antique shaker boxes'.
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Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Greenery

I have been busy with daily life stuff the last couple of days, but I was able to make up this Christmas arrangement for my window.


I am going to try to get out to the woods today and find some dried grasses or flowers to add to it. Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another WIP

I got some more cutting done on a quilt that I am making for my youngest son.



The pattern is called Aunt Maggies's Dancin' Shoes by Primitive Pieces by Lynda.

And this is the 2 blocks that I have done so far.


I think it should be nice when it's done. Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, December 1, 2008

Quick Star Ornaments

Wow - The first day of December already! Yesterday, I decided that I had better get something done to prove my theory that this blogging idea would motivate me. I started sorting my fabric scrap boxes, as this is something that I have been meaning to do for a while. I have another huge bag of scraps not shown in the picture. As you can see, I didn't finish!



I got sidetracked looking at my little Christmas tree, and decided it needed some more ornaments. Time being of the essence, I grabbed some of my scraps and headed to the sewing room. This is what I came up with.


They worked up very quickly and I was able to make up 13 of these cute little stars in a snap. I would have used twine for the hanger, but alas - none was to be found so I used some black ribbon instead. I used a small zigzag stitch to sew together a sandwich of fabric, batting and fabric. Then, I trimmed the edges with a rotary wave/pinking blade. This was my end result.



And this is how they look on the tree!



That's all for today.



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