Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What Happens When CQers Get Drunk?

What happens when Crazy Quilters get drunk (or have too much to drink)???
Answer: They manage to whip out a Sane Quilt!

Pictured L-R: Ingrid, Janet, Theresa, Carolyn, Leslie, Claudina, Debbie Q, Cathy, Gerry K, Gerry H, Diane M, Kerry, Connie. Photographer was Lauri B (not pictured). Lauri was gracious enough to take everyone's cameras and attempt to work them while we crazily posed.



Friday, September 18, 2009

Z is for Zinnia Flower Fairy Block

I finished the work on this Flower Fairy block for Wendy in our CQInternational Round Robin. All Wendy's blocks were in shades of pink, and she wanted only that colorway with other colors in the fabrics and white (no ivory). I selected the Zinnia Flower Fairy because I'd never done a zinnia before. This is a 6" block.

It's a pretty straight forward piece; stitches include fly stitch lace, twisted herringbone, chain, herringbone, straight stitch, cretan, and feather. The Zinnia is just silk ribbon layered in two rows and two colors with variegated cotton french knots in the center.

One flower is an oya, another a piece of vintage rayon tape which I gathered into a double flower. Some are dyed lace and some are crocheted; flower centers are buttons (some vintage) and beads. I enhanced her tiara with beads and added lots of German glass glitter to her wings. Her petaled skirt matches the flower.

Our Challenge for September in CQI is to try a new-to-us flower or technique. I'll be able to post this picture in the Challenge album because it was my first zinnia.

Until next time,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Preparations for Retreat

One week from today our Crazy Quilting International Retreat begins in Breckenridge, Colorado. This is our second annual retreat, and this year promises to be bigger and better than before. Most of last year's ladies are coming back, and this year we even have two Canadians joining us! We've rented a large house for the duration, so you can imagine what wild and crazy fun we're going to have!

What is really different, is that there really aren't any formally scheduled classes. There will be lessons arranged on a staggered, "I feel like it" basis, and are optional. Participants chip in a bit for materials, non-participants just stitch or shop. Gerry K is going to show us how she paints her lovely birds, roses and cottages on buttons. Leslie will lead a group who would like to experiment with or learn (new) different dyeing methods. I'll have a group experimentation session on Angelina fibers. Another thing we'll do is make and play with molds and polyclay or paperclay. And make ribbon flowers and leaves. And learn punch needle. And we're hoping someone knows how to tat and can teach us, LOL. So much to learn!!

On Tuesday I spent the afternoon with my DGD London, and snapped some pictures to share. She is already two weeks old. I don't think there's anything more precious on earth than a sleeping infant ...

Although some great cuddles are a close second!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Great Estate Sale & My New Treadle Machine!

For years I've been patiently waiting for the right treadle sewing machine to come along. My preference was for a Singer, in good condition (relatively speaking; some work is always expected. I just didn't want a "beater"). And the price had to be under $300. In past years, we ran into some here and there, usually in the $225-275 range and in poor condition. I haven't seen ANY at all in the last year. But on Friday morning I saw an ad for an Estate Sale here in Murray that started at 10:00 a.m. and mentioned a treadle sewing machine.

I work until noon and decided to go after I got off; if it was still there (and met my requirements), then I might get lucky. Well, I got lucky, indeed! It was there, it was a Singer, it was lovely (although it needs to be cleaned up!!) and they were asking..... $175. After checking it out for about 20 seconds or so (hehehe) I asked the sale manager if it was sold. He said no, so I told him "I'll take it!".

I wish I could've staged these pictures better, but I had to get it down in my studio, and I haven't yet rearranged everything to accommodate it.

The belt is broken, but it can be replaced. It's not difficult to replace the parts (at least it won't be once I remember the name of the website that sells them. I guess I need to join the Yahoo treadle machine group...)

I also need to learn the proper way to clean it up, because I don't want to lose any more of the goldwork (decals) on it.

They were even kind enough to load it in their truck and deliver it to my house!

It might be difficult to see, but the side panels have some lovely carvings attached. This is a Model 127, and per the serial number, was manufactured somewhere between 1916-1918.

Included with the machine were a box (the tea tin, above) of parts and extra feet, as well as the original instruction manual. They also threw in a round tin of "goodies", which includes lots of vintage buttons (including some mother of pearl), diaper pins, and other treasures.

And then they kept on giving! This fabric was displayed near the sewing machine, and they just threw it in free when they realized I was admiring it. It's about 25 x 60 inches and must've once been a curtain panel. It dates from the twenties to forties (I'm not that "up" on my fabrics" and almost looks like a barkcloth, except it's not quite that heavy.

I also bought a cute little suitcase for storage. You can see the inside (blue) is very nice. The crystals were sitting in a jewelry box full of costume jewelry. I grabbed them and the earrings. They charged me a dollar for the earrings and threw in the crystals!

On top of the suitcase (below) are a group of 11 cards of vintage buttons. They were in a cute jar (which I've since washed and saved) for $5.00.

There were lots of nice linens there, but all appropriately priced as (nice) vintage pieces. For my work, I generally look for "cutters" - those that have been well-loved and may have some stains or rips. I don't feel so guilty about cutting those up, and they're more in my price range, LOL! The set below (and I forgot to include the 36" square tablecloth) was $2. The vintage spool of wool thread was $5.

This table runner was badly stained, but I couldn't resist the embroidered lady. Definitely a woman of the fifties, wouldn't you agree? And it washed up soooooo beautifully, LOL!!! Worth all of the $3 they charged. The three stains that remain are in the middle between the identical motifs at each end. You can't see them in the picture, but they're several inches above her head in a section that will eventually be cut away.

And I ran across a wad (literally) of aprons in the kitchen...... They were asking $5 each, but I offered $20 for all six and they accepted.

The apron above has a hankie pocket. I'm not sure it was ever worn - it's still so crisp!

The lavender apron above has two wild pockets; I've wanted an apron like this for a long time. The pockets are cotton fabric & the body is chiffon (or organdy, or whatever. I admit it - the terms confuse me). What excited me about this apron is that I have some vintage trim identical to that around the pockets, only in black & white. Now I know how to use it!!!

The lavender apron above has pansies and rick-rack. I believe most of these aprons were for a large woman.

The two aprons above are identical, although one is unused and crisp (although needs a wash to remove the yellowing along the fold lines). The right one is limper and stained. I wonder if she worked in a diner and these were part of a uniform??
And this cute little girl's apron was in like-new condition. They will all be great additions to my collection and provide lots of inspiration and a source of some interesting patterns!!

On the next morning, Saturday, Bruce and I went back to the estate sale together, because I had seen a mirror that I thought would look nice in our newly-redecorated bedroom. I'll tell you the story of that in my next post after I get some pictures of our bedroom. I'll just say ..... dang, I'm good! LOL. The mirror looks great! :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Late Season in the Garden

I haven't really posted many pictures of my garden this year. Which means, to me, that I haven't really taken many. And I need to rectify that, because I like keeping pictures of our garden (meaning vegetable garden, flowers, yards & beds - all of it) by year. It's always nice to be able to go back and see how much a certain tree or shrub has grown, or how things were arranged in the past. In the old days, many gardeners did this through a written journal supplemented with occasional drawings or snapshots. I'm taking the digital way out, LOL, consistent with today's lifestyle. However, those tomatoes still taste just as sweet!

Every year we plant some pumpkins. Sometimes they're regular pumpkins, other times they're miniatures or other hybrids. This year we have our Jack-be-Little's. My favorites. In the past we've enjoyed inviting neighbor kids to our pumpkin patch. Now we save them for children in our extended family (and someday our own grandkids will be old enough!).

I love the way the pumpkin vine got tangled up in the corn; the pumpkin has grown suspended above the ground!

Some tomatoes....

Below is some of the last of the corn. DH plants them in circles (like the Indians did). Sometimes he plants beans around them (after the corn has had a couple-week head start) and then the beans grow up and around the supporting corn stalks. He didn't do that this year, though. You can see part of the grape arbor behind the corn, and behind the grapes is the patio. The arbor provides us lots of shade from the afternoon sun, making evenings out on the patio very pleasant.

The grape plant on the north end of the arbor always seems to wrap around and grow into the patio, practically hiding the bird feeder. It'll all get cut back in another month or so.

We've got a bumper crop of juicy green seedless (Himrod) grapes this year. We've been sharing them with family, neighbors, and co-workers. And I've really got to get out there and pick another basketful or two! You can see lots more bunches hiding in the shadows if you look closely.

And then there are the Concord grapes ripening. They're so fragrant, and almost ready! We'll probably share some and juice the rest.

Corner of the yard under an apricot tree...

And a fuzzy visitor to the hollyhocks, below....

I love the angle and intensity of the bright sunlight in September and October here in the Salt Lake Valley. It creates lots of interesting shadows and infuses garden growth with a sort of luminescence.

And last, but not least, a sad note. Aretha died. Not Ms. Franklin, thank goodness, but my tree that was named for her (it was a Golden chay-chay-Chain tree, LOL).

It was a healthy, thriving tree through last year. But earlier this year we had the huge pine tree in our front yard taken out (which you can read about here), and we think that perhaps in digging out some of the major roots of the larger tree, it affected the roots of this lovely ornamental tree. We'll be on the lookout for her replacement, Aretha II, during the fall sales.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Another Flower Fairy Block

I finished my work on Marci's Flower Fairy Block in this round robin we're doing. Most of Marci's blocks were in blues, which is a challenge for me. But I selected the Cornflower Fairy because I wanted to do at least one "male" Flower Fairy block. Not that it's masculine, really, but what the heck - it's different!

This block was so much fun to work on. His wings are Angelina fibers with stitched & inked "veins". The cornflowers are eyelash fibers, and the bird nest is made of a nubby fiber. It looks to me as though the Cornflower Fairy is rather delighted to see the nest, don't you think?? I sewed in beads to represent eggs (robin eggs, I guess), but then I felted a bluebird. Hmmmm, go figure THAT one out, LOL. (don't you think that bluebirds should have blue eggs??) The bluebird has a fancy fiber in his mouth that leads your eye down to where the snail is traversing the rock path. In the lower right corner is a little patch of blue fantasy flowers.

I really had fun with this block and hate to part with it, even though it's blue, LOL. Next, I'll be doing one of Wendy's blocks, but I haven't selected it yet.....

London Arrives & I'm Sick with Flu

Wow, its been awhile since I posted. August was so hectic for me, that after the baby shower was over, as well as our bedroom and hall remodel and summer camp at Wheeler Farm...... well, my body just went on strike. I've been down with the cold or flu or whatever it is for almost a week. But it's nice to sleep in my lovely new bedroom. Will post photos of that, plus my studio re-do in the near future.

BIG NEWS in our family - My first grandchild, Miss London Elizabeth Flox, was born on Monday, August 31 at 12:03 p.m. at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. London weighed 7 lb 11 oz, was 20" long, and had an Apgar score of 9.9.

Momma Heather (my DIL) did great and my son Shane got to cut the cord. And yes, she has very healthy lungs!

First Cuddle

Aren't baby feet cute??

Heather is tired after a job well done!

Father and Daughter

I laughed when I saw this picture. London looks like she's fingering the fretboard of a guitar. Maybe she'll be a musician!

The nurses taught Shane to dress London.

Family Picture

Everyone in the whole fam-damily has visited her and held her except me (because I'm sick - the hospital said NO, which is totally understandable). So, I've got whining rights until I get well.

The new parents will learn to take their rest whenever they can get it! Here is Shane "practicing" his sleep with London.

Until next time,