Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snowflakes All Around

There are snowflakes outside and these are inside!  New fleece scarves with embroidered snowflakes that are going to be gifts and available on my etsy site.  

and matching gloves...

a close up of the embroidery

and soon a photo of my biggest project to date...stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Time for Gifts

I am making something for Christmas for each of my children.  I can't show them here because my kiddos check in here every once in a while to see what I'm up to.  Here is a baby gift that I made recently.  It turned out so cute that I put it in my etsy shop.

And this is a gift for a friend who doesn't even know I have a blog!  It is at the frame shop.  I like it so much I may have to stitch one for me (and I rarely stitch something twice!).

I have a new "toy" that I'm going to go set up...more on that later...stay tuned!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Be Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you have as much to be thankful for as I do!  

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Wrap That's a Snap


My first SWAP piece is complete.  It's a wrap skirt made from a black and white mini dot that is 100% wool. When I looked at the fabric I realized that I liked the "wrong" side of the fabric too.  So I made it reversible.  I used snap tape at the waist for my closure.  I copied this from a RTW skirt that's in my closet.  Split the snap tape somewhere near the center back and sew it going in the other direction.  I have always loved wrap skirts because I could adjust them with my weight by moving the buttons.  Now I don't even have to move the buttons...I just have to re-snap!  Now on to my SWAP pants...stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Storyboard-First Draft

I have spent way too many hours making up this SWAP storyboard, but I learned a lot!  I have started my sewing and finished my first piece.  It's a wrap skirt drafted from two different RTW skirts that I love.  I will get some photos taken and post later...stay tuned!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Busy Weekend

What a wild weekend.  My husband arranged for 3 of our 4 kiddos to come home for a visit to surprise me.  Of course, he couldn't keep it a surprise so he told me on Wednesday that they were coming.  It was fun to have them sure broke the spell of peace, solitude and cleanliness that we were getting used to!  
I finished my Sedona sweater.  It's almost a coat it's so warm.  I'm ready for the cold weather that is showing itself here in western NY.

Here is a scene from the weekend...pumpkin carving!

I am working on my SWAP ideas.  I have set a couple of personal goals:
1.  One of the garments has to come from Burda World of Fashion magazine.  I subscribed a couple of months ago and have yet to have the courage to try any of the patterns.
2.  One of the items will be hand knit.  I do love knitting and want to incorporate it into the SWAP.
3.  I am taking an online course in how to copy a rtw pair of pants, so one of my pants will be a copy of something I already own.
4. Jeans...I am going to try to make a pair of jeans.

I am tentatively planning two pairs of dress pants, black and a plum colored herringbone wool, a pair of black jeans and a skirt.  My tops will be a knit sweater set, a cross-over style long sleeved t-shirt, three plain t-shirts, and a sweater with a turtleneck.   I am now gathering the fabrics and I'll make a storyboard to help keep me straight. By the way, this is all subject to change...stay tuned!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sewing With A Plan

Well, I have gone and done it now.  I just joined the 2009 SWAP at Stitcher's Guild.  You can check out the rules here.  I have some ideas already and I hope I can incorporate some of my pieces into the ASG contest for 2009.  I have some lovely stash fabrics that I think I will use.  I am getting my patterns together and then I will decide on the fabrics.  I have a list of Vogue patterns that I intend to pick up tomorrow when they go on sale at JoAnn's. 
Here is one dress...and a great cross t-shirt...and one I think my daughter will like...and a few more.  I also bought some great sweater knits last week that might just make the SWAP to follow...stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Quilting Weekend

The Material Girls took a road trip this past weekend to Watkins Glen, NY.  We stayed at the Upstairs Inn and sewed all day and night.  The Inn is conveniently located over one of the nicest quilt shops around, O'Susannah's.  Some of us also found time for a hike in the state park, some geocaching and and stop at the local yarn shop.  The above photo shows the results of our group project for the weekend, Ricky Tims Convergence Quilt.  Today my goal is to get the sewing machine back in the sewing room and have some time to sit at it...stay tuned.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Go Bills

We love our Buffalo Bills.  4-0 for the first time since the glory years.  It's making Sundays fun again!  Go Bills!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Knitting Like Crazy

The chicks have flown the nest.  We delivered son #3 to college on Thursday and son #2 took himself to his college on Monday.  Boy is it quiet (and clean) here!  I think hubby is having a harder time with this than I am.  After all, isn't this what I have been preparing them for all these years?  To leave the nest and begin to live on their own?  Yes, it is! (Oh dear, there's a tear in my eye).
To keep myself busy I have been knitting up a storm.  The Sedona jacket is moving along.  It is worked on #9 needles so it's a quick one.  It's a boxy jacket so there's no shaping...just big knit rectangles.  I know the picture doesn't do it justice, you'll just have to trust me.

While I was taking the Sedona jacket class at a LYS.  I saw another project that I just couldn't live without, oh, and isn't it convenient that they were having a class on it!  The Puffy Swing Coat is made with Puffy yarn from Karabella.  This one is worked on #13 needles so it really moves along.  I have had to start it over twice and I still have this much done.  Again it doesn't look like much, but it's a beauty.
I also have some sewing projects calling to me...stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Shop Hoppin' in Ohio

The Material Girls spent a few days last week shop hoppin' in Ohio.  We traveled to Amish country and boosted the economy of the area.  What fun!  I was choosing fabrics for a quilt for my son #2.  He wants a quilt that looks like the Scottish flag.  He's very particular about what he wants so I hope what I come up with will make him happy.  
I will begin that project when I get my boys off to college.  Right now I am making lists and checking them twice.  It's keeping me busy and my mind off of the fact that the house will be empty after the weekend.  I think that might be something I can get used to...I'll let you know...stay tuned...

Friday, August 15, 2008

A New Knitting Project (or two)

Yesterday I stopped at a yarn shop on the other side of town, just because I was out that way and wanted to see what was new. I ended up signing up for a jacket class!  Now, I have to explain that it must have been fate, because I saw the sample for this jacket well over a year ago in said shop and had missed the class.  I purchased the book at that time figuring I would do it on my own.  Then I got their newsletter and saw they were repeating the class, but it was on my birthday so I didn't sign up.  Well, here's the fate part, the class had to be postponed so it doesn't start until Tuesday.  Ta da...meant to be!  
It's the Sedona jacket (which looks terrible in the booklet photo and great in person), a short, boxy jacket with a little stand up collar. It uses three colors of Manos del Uruguay, two solid and one varigated.
I had some hot pink Manos and thought I could use that...nope...didn't like it...had to buy more.
I ended up with a more muted mauvey color and a dark purple.  Here's the swatch (which also looks better in person).
I got out my favorite knitting reference book to refresh my memory on a long-tail cast on (I usually do a knit cast on) and have to tell you that if you don't own this book you need to.  If you are a beginner it is great and if you are advanced you will love the easy projects and they are all done with the knit stitch (duh) no purling anywhere in sight. If you want purling you need to buy her next book The Purl Stitch. Oh, by the way, the author of these books is Sally Melville. Her last book so far is on color...I own that one too, but won't get it out right now because I don't need any other ideas for knitting projects! 
Like this one:
and this one:
and this one:
Yikes, I'd better get knitting, I have a lot to do...stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More Vermont Quilts

Here are some more of my favorite quilts from the Vermont Quilt Festival.  Click on the photo to see a larger view.  Can you tell I love the scrappy quilts...probably because I have so many scraps!  Maybe I'll have some beautiful quilts someday too!

For Goodness Sake

Lots of goodness around here today...

mail goodness...Jalie patterns

Farmer's Market goodness...fruits and vegetables


and a $10.00 bouquet...lovely!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thinking About Sewing

I may have never mentioned this before, but I am a great thinker.  I'm a better thinker that a doer (are those even real words?!).  And all I can think about right now is garment sewing.  The problem lies in finding good quality fabrics to make these garments that are swirling around in my head.  I have ordered some french terry from the fabric fairy.  Don't you just love that name!  Yesterday I went to a local fabric store that carries some garment fabrics and purchased an embroidered linen and a white worsted wool that were in the remnant bin.  I also got a 4-way stretch to try a new t-shirt pattern.   Now all I have to do is stop thinking and start sewing.   Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Milestone

Yesterday I celebrated a big birthday.  I spent the day with one of my sisters at the spa.  I had a facial, a pedicure and, of course, lunch!  Wonderful gifts came my way and this video which came from my kids and will tell you how old I am and will make you laugh!  I'm still smiling!!
Ever since I created my entries into the ASG Creativity contest I have been thinking about sewing some more garments.  These came in the mail a few days ago...
I have been eyeing these patterns for a long time and finally decided to order them.  I also placed an order for Burda's World of Fashion magazine.  Anywhere I go to read about people sewing things BWOF is mentioned so I'm going to give it a try.   I'll let you know...stay tuned...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Quilting Closeups

I've added these photos again in hopes that you will be able to click on them to see a large view of the quilting.  I can't seem to figure out why I sometimes lose that ability in my posts.  Hopefully this works.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Quilting Goodness

I haven't been able to spend much time with my sewing machine lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about sewing!  I attended a lecture by Marti Michell, but forgot to bring my camera so you'll just have to trust me that it was great.  I also went to a talk given by Jennifer Keltner, the editor of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.  We saw the quilts from the current issue and some from upcoming issues.  It was very inspiring!  You know how much better quilts look in person than in a magazine.
My most recent quilting adventure was a trip to the Vermont Quilt Festival.  What fun my friends and I had!  The quilts were wonderful and the shopping even better.  I also attended an EQ6 class so I could learn more about my quilting software.  Here are some of my favorite quilts from the show:
This quilt is by Mary K. Ryan from Rutland, VT.  She was one of the teachers at the show.  It's called Stars of Vermont I.  She also was a vendor at the show and had some lovely things.

The next one was my vote for Viewer's Choice.  It is by Patricia Delaney and it's called Inspiration Draws from Nature's Art.  I have a close-up of the quilting, but I know it doesn't do it justice.  It won a prize for best machine quilting.  WOW!

I loved the graphic look of this black and white quilt by Suzie Elliot.  It's called April 1550 and it's based on blackwork embroidery (which I also love).  Beautiful!
That's all for now...there will be more...stay tuned...

Friday, July 04, 2008

A Wicked Weekend

Happy 4th of July.  It's a day for picnics, fun and family.  That's what I'm about you?My mother, two sisters, sister-in-law and all of our daughters are going to see Wicked tomorrow. My daughter and I have seen it twice, but none of the others have even heard the music.  It will be so much fun!  Here's hoping your weekend is wicked too!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summertime and the livin is easy

I love Summer. No special is good. I just recovered my patio furniture. Unfortunately I didn't take a before photo. You'll just have to trust me when I say it was dirty, faded and only the black furniture had matching cushions. Now they all do!  We have two patio areas.  The white furniture is under an awning.  It's lovely in a summer rain storm to sit and listen to the rain on the awning.
I still have some accent pillows in a coordinating stripe to add to the loveseats. So, as much as I would like to sit in that overstuffed chair with the ottoman, with a glass of lemonade on the table next to me and a good book, it's off to the sewing machine I go.  (I also need to plant some flowers for the patio).  Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

A Busy Week

What a fun and busy week I had.  I took two needlework from Ann Pettit and one from Merry Cox.  The French Bon-Bon Box by Merry is almost finished and the Good Fortune piece by Ann is only just begun.  Check out their websites for all of their designs...they are both very talented needlework designers.

My daughter was home for her youngest brother's high school graduation.  That's right, my baby has graduated from high school.  Another big change in my life and his too!

Aren't they a handsome bunch!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Look Ma, I'm an Artist

I took a fabric painting class with Linda Visnaw last week.   We used Tsukineko inks to create these flowers on fabric.  We then did machine quilting to add thread details to the flowers.  I only finished one because I had to give my piece of batting to someone else in the class (I have lots of batting pieces here at home!). 
I haven't had time to do anymore painting, but I've got lots of ideas.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another finished project

The last few days have been spent finishing this quilt.  The embroidery designs are originals that my friend and I created using our embroidery software.  We then taught classes on how to create each block.  This represents a whole year of teaching!  Today the quilt is going to competition for the Husqvarna Viking convention.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Life Changing Experience

Last year Alex Andersen told my friend that she needed to attend the Ricky Tim's Super Seminar. She said it would change her life. How can you resist something that will change your life? We joked about it and signed up. Four of us traveled to Glens Falls, NY and all I can say is "wow". We received a spiral bound book with all of the instructions for every technique that was demonstrated. There were three days of instruction and so much shared that our heads were spinning. We didn't know what we wanted to try first when we got home! Check out Ricky Tim's website and get to a Super Seminar if you can. He does four of them a year in different parts of the country.
Ricky Tims
Libby Lehman

Alex Andersen

What a talented group of quilters...and now my life is changed!