Sunday, October 31, 2010

A London Halloween

London celebrated her second Halloween this weekend.  (Last year she was a 2-month old Ballerina and didn’t know what was going on).  THIS year, as an Indian Princess, she was very aware and really got into the celebration!


No, that candy never touched her lips!  She much preferred her orange “purse”!!


Carving pumpkins with her mommy’s family



I would love to know what was going through her head...


Can I eat it now?


  These aren’t REAL jewels!!


Enjoying the autumn leaves with Mommy 
  



Tomorrow I’ll have CQ pictures.  Really.   Today just got away from me - I even ended up having to go in to work for a couple hours.  ARRRGGGHH!

Cathy maroon
Saturday, October 30, 2010

Random Things



It’s been a mostly rainy day here in the Salt Lake Valley, but it did hold off until I was done working outdoors this morning.  It was finally time to bring in the patio furniture, deadhead the roses one last time, put the garden decorations away until spring, and bring in the hoses.  Among countless other chores that pop up as you begin.

But look at that bouquet of roses (and a single delphinium.... what’s up with that?) that I gleaned from the bushes in the yard.   My garden’s “Last Hurrah” of the year.
I didn’t even put the flowers into a vase, instead preferring to just keep them in the bucket.  


Bruce and I ran a few errands today.  We had a blast at Toys R Us looking through all the toys, LOL.  We decided it was time to update our own toybox for the grandkids.  Winter is coming, so they will be indoors when they come to visit.  Since they’re all over age 1 now, it was time to get some building blocks, plastic animals (good sized ones, not tiny) like farm animals, jungle animals, etc.   We like to play and teach simultaneously.


And then a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up some canned pumpkin so I could make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  And it’s a good thing I did, because we ran out of Halloween candy tonight.  The kids witches, princesses, vampires, etc, were out in force tonight.  I ended up giving cookies (after getting permission from the parents who accompanied the kids).  We still eventually had to turn out the lights and retreat downstairs when we ran out of cookies.


I’ll give you that great AND EASY cookie recipe later in the post.

Check out what I bought on Ebay this week.  These vintage rocking chair pin cushions have been all the rage at Crazy Quilting International for the last year or so.


I finally got one on Ebay... $2 is all I paid for it (which is great since the postage was almost $8!!)  It will be really easy to re-cover the chair upholstery with CQ.  I have several finished blocks and pieces to choose from.  Perhaps I’ll save that for a fun little project over the Christmas Holidays...

Let’s see ... so much to share ... DH bought me a new Epson printer this week.  It does a great job on paper, but the “acid test” is when I print on fabric, but the printer has great reviews, so my hopes are high.

I just added a PAGE on the Crazy Quilting International Blog (see link in sidebar) that gives information for 2011 quilting contests and shows.  The reason I mention it is because Blogger’s formatting issues are so prevalent, that it is nearly impossible to get the information to look decent.  GRRRRRR.  It’s hard enough getting a regular blog post to format the way you want.  Eventually you learn the quirks and get it mastered.  HA!  Everything goes out the window on a subsequent page.  All I can say is that it’s a good thing it doesn’t cost anything, because it’s certainly worth what we paid for it.

If anyone is interested, I have several bolts of ruffled lace (yes, the poly stuff. Think 1980’s or dolls or girls clothes).  There are three styles of mint green, some dusty pink and some white.  Full bolts, probably 20+ yards on each.  I really don’t want to unwind them to measure them (to list on Ebay), so if you know anyone who would like to buy these for cheap, please contact me.


And finally - here is that recipe for the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  Sorry I don’t have a picture.





PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

1  15 oz. can of pumpkin
1  Spice cake mix
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix pumpkin and chips into dry cake mix.   Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (for soft, cake-like cookies) or 15 minutes (for more conventional texture).  Makes 48 cookies.   (Or you can make 24 larger ones).  If you’re on Weight Watchers, each small cookie is only 1 point.

I’ll have some pictures tomorrow of my Tea Time wall hanging, and some Autumn CQ blocks.  Happy Halloween!

Cathy maroon
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tea Time Progress - A Problem Solved

I have been working on my Tea Time wall hanging, and wanted to show you how I solved one of the problem areas.   In the last TT post, we saw how the piecing issues were fixed.  It still amazes me how much tastes, preferences and styles evolve over time.  


Anyway.  The Victorian Lady silkie was voted off the island, but left a big white hankie (with remaining pinholes from stitches) behind.  What to do? I auditioned vintage millinery, thought of embroidering over it, adding lace, and killed a good afternoon deliberating.  Finally, I thought I’d try a teapot applique.


First of all, here’s the area in question, before:



And here is the “after”.  Yes, I drew the teapot all by myself.  As proof, I offer up a spout whose proportion is too heavy for the handle, LOL.  Oh well, this is my Tea World, right?  LOL



And in my Tea World, pink floral teapots pour pink floral sequined tea into floral cups.  And vintage millinery mingles with dyed lace, velvet leaves, crocheted flowers and vintage crystal earrings.  


Meanwhile, some of the dark patches are getting their florals enhanced. Nothing too exciting there, but overall it just adds a bit of zip.  HA!  This piece is zipping all over the place!




And now it’s time for me to zip off to bed.  I’ll show you some more progress in a day or two.


Hugs,
Cathy maroon
Monday, October 25, 2010

Art Nouveau Blocks Return Home

I have been participating in an Art Nouveau-themed round robin at Crazy Quilting International.  The RR is beginning to wind down, and I have received back four of my blocks.  In this RR, we all pieced our own blocks and each other participant stitched one entire 6x6” block.  One is still out to be completed and will return sometime next month.  But take a look at this beautiful work that came home this weekend.




The top left was stitched by Hideko in Japan; the top right was stitched by Ritva in Finland.  Then, on the bottom, the left one with roses was done by Margreet in the Netherlands, and my dear friend Gerry K from Washington State stitched the Iris Lady in the lower right.   Click on the picture to see their amazing stitching and the details they added.  Thank you, ladies, for your lovely work!


Kerry from Canada, who kindly stepped in as an Angel (replacement stitcher for another person who had to withdraw) has another block and will squeeze it into her busy schedule this fall.  She is amazing and I don’t know how she runs our round robins and still manages to do Angel work.  


I have two more Art Nouveau blocks pieced that I will hopefully get to stitch on sometime this winter.  My intention is to make a fabric book of these blocks.  Won’t it be lovely?


Cathy maroon
Sunday, October 24, 2010

A $70,000 Crazy Quilt

And it’s not Monopoly money, either!  It’s genuine Australian dollars, and the money is in the bank, per Robyne Melia, the seller.  Check this out:


To find out more about this amazing quilt, as well as study some of the details and history of its making, visit her CQ blog at:  


Her current blog, below, announces the sale:


Hugs,
Cathy maroon
Friday, October 22, 2010

Tea Time Piecing Tweaked

I’m going to try to make this a short post .... it’s late.   I finished “fixing” the Tea Time piece.  When Gerry mentioned that it was the dark blue that would lead the eye, that realization hit me like a ton of bricks.  OF COURSE!  I already knew the two things I wanted to get rid of (the gold velvet embossed teacup and the Victorian lady silkie) and the two things that needed camouflage (the hot pink and bright blue).  I covered the pink with lace and replaced the blue with light blue.


Then I broke up the two big blocks near the bottom, getting rid of that straight line (which would’ve been covered anyway, but this STILL looks so much better).




Those vintage millinery flowers I have pinned on the hankie in the upper left are not permanent.  You can see that I WILL have to cover (stitch over or whatever) that area.  The 90 degree angle of a hankie corner was not right for that spot, so I tucked it to get a tighter angle.  Either way, it’s a white area that will need to be covered, so no big deal.


And I hope to get some time to really make progress on it this weekend in order to have a progress photo to post on Monday.  We have family coming over tomorrow.  Bruce’s daughter Stacy, her hubby and son are coming over.  DGS Hunter (age 18 months) is the only one of our grands who hasn’t been through the hay and corn maze at Wheeler Farm.


And that leads to my visit with my DGD London yesterday.  We had a great Girls Day Out, and here are a few quick pictures from our visit to the Farm.


Grammy and London visit with friends at Grammy’s office.   
(notice the WTWW Art Bra Calendar hanging over my desk?)


This is fun!
  
 Grammy says I’m way too nimble for 14 months old! 

 Studying the decorations 

 Some Quality Time on the ground 

My Pumpkin and an Orange Pumpkin

Ready to go home and take a nap!
  
 * * End of Shameless Grandmother Showing-off Pictures * *

Hugs,

Cathy maroon
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dusting Off a UFO

Lest you think from the title that I’ve been off doing housework with aliens, I will clarify right up front that a UFO, to those of us in the needle arts, means “unfinished object” or project.   And I must admit that after I dug this old project up, it did seem rather alien to me.


At Crazy Quilting International, we do an annual charity project, and this year’s project is once again for the purpose of raising money for breast cancer research.   I originally started this CQ wall hanging in 2001, a year or so after I began crazy quilting.   On another list (Quiltropolis, I believe), I had hostessed a tea-themed swap.  Although I loathe tea in any form, I love teapots, teacups, tea cozies and the whole ritual of “taking tea” .  I can’t help it if my mother felt the best way to get rid of nausea when I was little was to make me drink tea.   It worked in reverse, and now the smell makes me gag.   


Back to the story - I pieced this wallhanging with snippets (machine embroidered teapots and fabrics) received in the swap, except for those that I used in this tea cozy.  


Top Left


I usually try to stay away from the color blue, but too many of the fabrics had a predominance of blue, so I thought a pink and blue (with variations in intensity) would work.  And then somewhere in there I started adding gold.  Sigh.  I wanted to use that velvet-embossed teacup.  


 Top Right

So, after piecing, I added tatting and lace and began stitching basic seams.  I even added a doily over which I planned a silk ribbon floral arrangement.


Lower Left

And in the big gold patch in the lower right, I planned to embroider a quote about tea.  It was a four line verse and I ran out of steam on the first line and just frogged it (today, LOL).   Now I don’t think I want a verse there anyway...  And that doily has got to go, or at least be moved...


Lower Right

I took these pictures so I could see on the computer what it looked like overall at this stage.  I know, I could’ve just used a reducing glass or design board.  But by doing it on the computer and posting it to my blog, I am committing myself to work on it.   (OK, no jokes about me needing to “commit" myself, LOL).

So, this is the overall “before” shot, and when I finish, I’ll do an “after” shot. 


My feelings at this point are that I can work over the two navy floral patches.  With silk ribbon, I can probably bring the flowers forward and cover or let the background recede.  Perhaps I can do that as well with the loud pink and blue patches, but I think they’ll need to be covered with lace or tulle to tone them down.    

And Lazy Me wants to keep the gold teacup patch, but Artistic Me thinks it’s gotta go (and speaking of needing to be committed...) .  I want flowers coming out of that teacup on the pink patch near center right.   And I do plan to add more layers to the stitched seams (at least some of them) - layers that will include threads, ribbon, beads, etc.  Maybe even sequins. Maybe.  



And then I ran across this picture I took at Anthropologie last summer and began thinking of getting rid of the Victorian silkie on the block and perhaps give it more of a country spin.  Less of a formal "tea-with-proper-posture-and-pinkie-finger-raised" feel and more of an "informal-tea-in-faded-overstuffed-floral-chair-in-Costwold" feel.  


So, is any of this making sense?  I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on it!  Not on my mental state, LOL, but on my “vision” for the Tea Time piece.  


Cathy maroon


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crazy Quilting Retreat in Colorado

Wow, did we ever have a blast at our 3rd Annual Crazy Quilting International Retreat in Estes Park Colorado from September 30-October 3, 2010.  We affectionately call it our “September Stitch Shenanigans”, and it definitely lived up to its name this year!

This was our cabin.  There were something like six or eight bedrooms and three bathrooms.  Three of the ladies stayed in a separate, smaller cabin nearby.  The cabins are run by the YMCA, and other than a power outage once (only noticed by those of us with C-paps in the middle of the night) and the need to acquire lots more toilet paper (19 women, LOL), things were perfect!  We were even visited by elk every evening!


On Thursday evening after everyone arrived, we ate homemade soup (courtesy of Leslie and Lauri).  Yum!  Then we all sat in the living room, introducing ourselves formally and giving a little bit about our stitching backgrounds.  We had a Show & Tell, and everyone shared beautiful crazy quilting (and other things, too) that they had made.   What a way to get fired up!


Ingrid brought the Piecemakers Bird Quilt (see full quilt on their website here).  Here are just a couple pictures (I photographed every block, including detail shots).



I definitely want to include birds and flowers in my CQ by 2012.   However, if I don’t get started on it soon, I’ll have to call it my CQ by 2022....   But I digress....   Isn’t this lovely??



I brought my vintage (1882-1885) crazy quilt for viewing as well.  For detail shots, see my posts in June of 2008 (there are 5 of them) here.


On Friday morning, we had a visit from the Fabric Fairy to kick off our Stash Dash.  PAY NO ATTENTION TO ANY RESEMBLANCE YOU MAY SEE BETWEEN THE FABRIC FAIRY AND MYSELF!!   The Fabric Fairy had wings and a tiara.  She was draped in luscious fabrics and trims.  Her ample bosom diminished during her short visit as she grabbed and threw out fabric samples to all the good crazy quilters in attendance, even Connie!  (LOL).   However, I  knew she wasn’t real because her wand was only a spatula with gold lame’ !!




There were loads of fabrics (from pieces to yardage!), cottons to silks, satins and velvets.  Trims, laces, buttons, more!  Everyone attacked the piles eagerly, and managed to stop just short of running with their scissors!




Below, Lauri Burgesser, Ingrid Gardiol and Gerry Hookstra cut up a wedding dress.  Lisa Boni is in the background.




During the afternoon on Friday, we had a large dyeing and painting session, where everyone played and experimented with dyes, Adirondak inks, Shiva paintsticks, Easter egg dyes, etc.  We produced a lot of lovely fabrics, laces, ribbons and threads!  


Here, the Owners/Moderators of Crazy Quilting International pose (and I use the term loosely) for a picture.  Left to right are Hideko Ishida (Japan), Leslie Ehrlich (Colorado, USA), Kerry Leslie (Alberta, Canada), and Cathy Kizerian (Utah, USA).



The following two shots are of most (not all) of the group who went to the Dunraven Inn in Estes Park for dinner on Saturday night. 



I have pictures of everyone in following pictures, so I won’t try to caption these group shots. 




The highlight of the Retreat was the Chinese Auction, where everyone selects a number (from 1-19 in this case, since there were 19 of us).  The first person selects and opens a gift.  Person number two can either open her own gift or steal the gift from number one (number one would get to open another present).  It goes on this way until everyone has a present.  However, a particular gift can only be stolen twice.  The second “thief” (the third owner) gets to keep it permanently.


Kerry drew Number One and the gift she opened was a stunning crazy quilted teddy bear made by Lauri Burgesser.   Here she is, loving it (briefly), already heartbroken because she knew she wouldn’t be keeping it!



Hideko was Number Two.  She naturally stole the bear from Kerry and was very happy!  At least for a few moments.

Josie Trevino was Number Three, and there was no doubt about what her intentions were!  She stole the bear from Hideko, giving it a permanent home.   See how happy she is???  



Here is the (as yet unnamed, but Josie is working on it) bear, front view.   Don’t short out your keyboard by drooling on it too much!



And the back was as meticulously stitched as every other square inch of the bear!



And so the Chinese auction went on with lots of stealing and laughing and fun.  Here are Janet Popish and Freda Butler. 



Below:  Diane Matheson looks on as Connie Kalina opens a gift.



And Shari opens a gift while Jacque looks on.  There was alot of that going around, LOL.



Juli Levine shows off a vintage rocking chair pin cushion she won.  It’s been re-covered in crazy quilting.



Here’s Claudina Hruby.  Yeah, she looks demure and innocent, but don’t believe it!!  She was my "partner in crime" in the hot tub last year, so I know better.  (We constructed makeshift swimsuits of fabric scraps).




Leslie shows Ilys the beautiful tea cozy she won.  It was made by Diane Matheson. 



Sweet Colleen Anderson shows off the CQ heart and other goodies she won.  Did I tell you that Colleen’s hubby (they live in Nebraska now) and my hubby went to high school together in Utah?  It’s a long, goose-bumple-y story - one that I won’t tell you now - on how we discovered that, but we think it’s sooooo cool.  We see “reunions” in our future, LOL!



Hideko kindly gifted each of the other moderators with a vintage kimono and obi from her collection.  Here she is helping me put it on.  The obi is lying in the foreground, aqua with lovely bright pink roses and gold butterflies.  Yeah, it looks lovely over my jammies, eh??



If we weren’t already on fabric and gift overload, the Ugly Tie Swap clinched it.  Actually, all ties, ugly or not, were welcome.  Everyone just brought theirs, and we all cut pieces off the ones we liked.  If you’ve ever disassembled a tie, you know how much fabric they contain.




I’d like to thank everyone who took pictures and posted them into the CQI photo albums in our group.  That was where I got these photos (I was one of the planners of the event and was so busy that I never got my camera out).  There were alot of activities and fun that aren’t captured here, but many of the other ladies have posted them on their blogs.  Check my sidebar for links to Connie’s Stitching Like Crazy, Ivory Blush Roses (Lisa), and I’m Going Crazy You Come Too (Janet).  Plus, I know Kerry (Kerrykatiecakes2) will be posting hers soon.


Hugs,
Cathy maroon