Saturday, October 19, 2019

Meet the dolls

 I've been wanting to do  post on all the dolls I have been making lately

they are such a relief from some of the projects that I do that take me forever to finish

Some of them you will have seen before Like this lady with whom I made a tutorial


Witchi-poo for whom I've made a new skirt

I gave her old skirt to candy corn as it fits her better

There is Springtime, who was my first dolly and a little lumpy but I didn't know about using a fusible on her parts to prevent that.
I also made the mistake of using black thread to sew her together, oops.

There is sugar plumb who was last years Christmas doll And the wearer of the first hat

And the Patchwork girl

I used a bunch of my leftover pieces from other quilts to make her.

She turned out quite well don't you think?

And then there are the mystery legs.

I haven't quite decided what to do with these yet but something will come to me eventually

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Scrappy appliqe

 It takes a long time!

I started on this pattern in April

 I liked it because it combined applique with embroidery

 And got the sunflower and the birdhouse done first

I also added more bees and ladybugs
to it

there just didn't seem to be enough!

Then the bird on a mushroom

The frog & butterfly

not to be mistaken with the Heart song


Why is it

Applique seems to go so much faster at the beginning of a project, than at the end?

Is it because I picked the easiest panels to start with?

To be fair we traveled a lot at the beginning of this year

what I brought along with me couldn't have too many moving pieces.

So the patterns with the biggest parts, were the ones I chose to take, so I was less likely to loose a piece.

Frog and turtle each went to Chicago on separate trips

dragonfly was done at home between and owl was done mostly in the car on a weekend trip to wine country

I've one more panel to do and that one seems to be going fast this time I may have to design something to even out the whole as things are not quite coming together like the picture on the package

  There are gaps and the whole isn't quite long enough

 but that's ok I didnt follow the directions exacly

Surprise, surprise as I was trying to use all my odd scraps of this and that

I do like a scrappy quilt

And using up your larger scraps in an applique panel like this is fun.

I'm thinking more borders & birds
maybe even a rotten rabbit

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

one hellova month was may

So No pictures here for the moment BUT lots of life, or not, have been happening.
I'll explain.

First, way back in December my MIL requested to come live out by us as she NEVER wanted to live through another Chicago winter! OK. we bought her a very nice trailer in the 55+ park, about a mile from us, in February bUt we had to wait until mid march, when the former occupants decamped, to start to clean it out and fix it up.

So far so good, right? mmmmm, no.
The trailer was a wellspring of turkey-bird engineering and sloppy housekeeping. Ugh!
Think, why vacuum up wood shavings, when we can throw a new rug over them?
Why put actual shelving paper on the fiberboard shelving, when ELMERS GLUING Wrapping paper is so much cheaper.

And my personal favorite, using hot glue to fix the shower and the smoke hood to the stove.
THats right, Hot glue. On the stove. Brilliant.
There was much more, like the hideous color choices on the walls and the myriad nails, staples and thumbtacks that were used to hold up EVerything and the state of the carpets but those were things I could fix myself. The rest we had to call in a contractor for.
Good thing we have a great one, on speed dial, for the occasionally found spaghetti engineering in our own home.
SO. Everything was set to go off mid May for Mom moving in.

Second, in February we also found out that moms 89 year old sister, was dying of cancer and cirrhosis(?). As she has never had a drink in her life, this was a bit of a shock. Aside from the dying thing. So we called her once a week or so to talk and see how she and uncle were doing.

Mom was supposed to go see her in Indiana over mothers day and was trying to ignore her symptoms when she came down with a severe flu. That knocked her out and sent her to hospital for 2 days, the week of mothers day. ugh. A trip out to Chicago to make sure everything is OK and on track otherwise.
Back home to finish painting the trailer.

We had Mom stay in a hotel, as we don't have a spare room, for a few days while she waited for her stuff to catch up. When it got here the move went smoothly and fairly quick, Yay!

AANND Auntie dies 2 days later, ugh. crap.  We were all hoping to get out there to see her before. foo.

Now all go to Indiana for the funeral. and stay a bit to visit Uncle (92!) who is taking it hard.
Not that you would expect anything different He and Auntie were married for 72 years, right out of High school.

Auntie was a quilter so....Yep you guessed it, will be finishing the stuff she was working on. No big there because she used big bright cheerful colors, and after all isn't it fun to paw through someone else's color choices?

Now back home, still sad and exhausted.  I need to sew but can't just yet.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Post show rant explaining my previous rant.

I feel the need to add an addendum to my quilt show rant.

It seems I may have come off as, a self involved snooty know-it-all. I'm not, mostly. I will cop to excessive, research, study and immersion into and of all the various and sundry techniques that I use till I can teach them to others, which I also do a bit of.
I am passionate about CQ though and think it's a shame, when we get lumped into a mega category, that doesn't really adequately cover our craft. Even worse when we have 2 or 3 categories that overlap. It leads to confusion and hurt artistic feelings. (que the swooning, hankie waiving and pearl clutching here.) We end up being pitted against, Perfectly lovely, quilts that use maybe 2 of the dozen or so techniques we would.
Am I whinging? Yes, that could be. To be fair this IS a relatively new (this was their 4th year) show and they probably didn't even think CQ might possibly need it's own category. I also think this show might be open to new ideas, so there is that. They are a baby show, even though they are gaining in popularity and recognition.

I don't mean in any way that, the judges didn't give me a fair shake, they did.
Their comments are invaluable! the quilts they chose were beautiful works of craftsmanship.
But I can't ignore the fact that our little corner of the universe is regularly passed over for consideration, And this is my opinion, garnered over many years from many quilt shows from many people who know.
I think its because Crazy quilts are such a niche art and those of us who practice this art are in a constant state of learning and research. We challenge ourselves, constantly, to new exciting techniques to throw at our "hobby" (I know I do!) so that our pieces are not only crammed full, of visual goodies but they end up being very personal and intimidating.
I don't think the average judge has an adequate frame of reference or time to spend to look deeper at one piece, with completely different criteria, when the vast majority of work can be more easily assessed.

Notice I say average. Real judges tend not towards the average BUT, and its a big but, when you have 300+ quilts to judge in a day how much time can you really spend per piece? Then there is the the fact that 95% of quilts in a show are some flavor of, mostly traditional quilt, you begin to see the conundrum.
My quilts were the only CQ in an international show of 300+. I get the getting picky about the flat and the straight. I will know better next time.
Doesn't mean I'm not chafed my babies got passed over for some perfect, beautifully, pieced, flat, straight ( I could have cut myself on the corners!) but ultimately Machine Embroidered (!!!!) nicely quilted in all the accepted ways, quilt.  I admired it for its perfection.  It deserved the ribbon it got. 
I'm not chafed at all, we got passed over for MACHINE EMBROIDERY, (humeh!) no really I'm not. 
OK, maybe a little. 

The more we get out there the more CQ gets recognized as it's own special, Individual craft, The more opportunities to show what we can do, and be rewarded for it, the more people will put their stuff out there. why show it, if you get lumped in with an amorphous blob of a category, that overlooks what you want looked at in the first place? There are places that do this much better than other places. Here at lest one does have to hunt-and-peck shows. We are lousy with them but they all have their quirks.

Am I being unfair to the judges? I don't think so. I do truly appreciate the comments that they left me.  I needed that constructive criticism. That was the point of having my pieces judged in the first place. I do need to take more time making sure my quilts are flat and straight. ALL my quilts. 
I don't do a great job there at the best of times and by the time I get to the binding, I'm sick of looking at it and having it done is better than having it perfect. So yes, more attention paid there if I'm going to waste someones time, having it judged.
Do I think shows need to have a specific category for CQ, weather or not they get any? Yes, yes I do. 
Do I understand, that if I bring this issue to the attention of the committee, I will be volunteered for the position of CQ inspector? Maybe, there are more qualified people out there surely, there have to be! I'm just some opinionated schmuck from po-dunk Washington.  Though I am willing to go get training, to be qualified. DO I want to be that somebody, there's the real question. I'm an introvert by nature, I think I deal well with others but I'd rather not have to. I just don't like crowds.
I know the time effort and skill, that goes into coordinating this sort of thing, has got to be enormous! And goes largely unappreciated when it goes off without a hitch, which this one did. Impressively.

I do think we need to get more out there, take the chance, put our precious CQ pieces on display, in all their overworked dripping in embellishments, visually overwhelming glory! 
Even if they are not perfection, even if they (the judges) nitpick over the unimportant (my opinion) Flat straight parts of our quilts. Even if, our pieces are just, a tiny square. Hey, we put months into that square!
We need to advocate for our craft. Even though we are but a tiny % of the community. 


Friday, May 17, 2019

Show results

So I got my quilts back from the show

and all the notes from judging

All I have to say about it is

They have no idea how to judge a crazy quilt.

No, really.

They seemed to have ultimately judged my quilts on the sole fact that they aren't perfectly straight and don't lie flat.

Because they were simply over the moon about everything else!

The quilts were all considered for a ribbon and descried as, beautifully done over all, exquisite use of color, Impeccable embroidery, excellent beadwork, amazing silk ribbon embroidery. Embellishments over the top, Too much to look at was one of the admonishments, Fussy cutting well done and beautiful sequin work?

Those last three comments made me realize, They don't have any idea what a crazy quilt is.

there was no fussy cutting on the quilt at all unless you mean the lace and the sequins come with the motifs that I then sewed in place, in other words not mine. as for too much to look at (!?!) reminds me of prince someone or another telling Mozart he used too many notes! Not that I compare myself to Mozart.

So now I have a decision to make because if I point out that they need to make a category for crazy quilts or at least a section for hand work as defined by Hand embroidery using one or more stitches to define a seam. cause there was a dearth of felt work at the show too.
Their own definition for mixed work was too broad, contained everything and they ultimately gave the ribbons to people who made traditional quilts with a twist. sigh.

If I do this I am going to be volunteered as their resident "Expert" and do I want that?

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Everette Quilt show #2

All 3 faeries
So, I entered this show

Nice to see people stopping and examining my work!

Sorry the pictures are so blurry but I only had my cell phone and people kept bumping me.

Ladies of elegance

Here are my entries3 faerie wall hangings

and a full quilt I called "ladies of elegance" 

Faeries en rouge
By the time I got there all the ribbons except the viewers choice had been given out.

Alas not for me!

I had been warned by others that judges don't receive crazy quilts well for a variety of reasons,
none of which seem to be consistent across all shows.

which is unfortunate because they sometimes will discount crazy quilts entirely, because many of them have no batting or "real quilting"

 Faeries en violette

Faeries en lavande
Even though I did use my long arm to quilt them in the ditch around each panel

Mine were the only crazy quilts there

The best category I had to enter into was  "mixed technique" They had a "hand quilting" and "Hand pieced" selection but not a "hand work" selection.

I was ready for the disappointment, though

because every one wants to win right?

Yes they also switched the signs, but whatever

Still fun to see my quilts on the wall with official signs on them.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Everette Quilt show

I was putting it off but now it's here and I am having a serious bout of WHADIDIDooo!
I have entered 4 of my crazy quilts in the Everette quilt show this weekend, April 25th-27th.
I am to be judged and I am nervous! Will this be good? bad? will no one notice?
why do I feel like I'm going out on my first date on live tv? Oh and I'm 14 again. UGH!
I do this as a challenge to myself. One doesn't know if one is any god until you go out and show other people right? the worst they can say is, Meh. Right?

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Applique a little

 This is what I do when I'm busy doing nothing

That is to say Binging on a favorite show or watching TV in the evenings with my Hubbs

I am trying to use all my big scraps from my bin

in a bid to empty the sucker out
but it keeps filling back up

I don't get it

I've 3 of 9 panels done so far

Lets see how far I get before
"short attention span theater" hits again

 I still have that felt rug to finish

2 more charity quilts to quilt

The hawaii panels to sew

my self-imposed "scrap bin of doom" project

A new skellie

2 done quilts to bind

I can never die, I have to much to do

I joke but its true, who else is going to use up my fabric stash?

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Hawaii Shop-Hop Pineapple quilt for 2019

So you all have seen some of these pictures before

These are just some of the fun I brought back from our trip to Hawaii's big island in February

If you can go to Hawaii, I recommend going in February,

The hotels are not full of tourists,

The weather is cooler than the summer but still beats the hell out of snow

And the Big Island Shop-hop goes on for the entire month!

For anyone familiar with Western Washington's annual Shop-hop. ( june 21-29)
It's the shops way of thanking customers for their patronage.

You go around to all the shops,
         that are left, (Grumble, grumble, fuss, fuss)
gather a free pattern or a kit if you spend x$ and you have a fun project to do.

Here are all the patterns from the 5 shops around the Island

Row #1 red

Kiluea Kreations in volcano village

BTW each kit had up to 5 full fat quarters to work with so this could all have been done any which way with fabric to spare

Row #2 the yellows

Fabric and Quilting Delights in the Kona hills

And as you can see I did mess  bit with their color way

There was more orange in this row

Row #3 the greens

Top Stitch in Honoka'a

Row #4 the blues

Quilt Passions in down town Kona

 Row 5# the Purples

Kiluea Kreations in Hilo

Here's the flimsy all done with top and background

The top all quilted up pretty,

No binding yet, I'm thinking a dark green

Here's my close up Mr. DeMille!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Stripping for relaxation

organizing the pile
Now, now what did you think I meant?
Ms.Mollyfuzzybutt helping
Nap time
So much helping!
I'm not that kind of girl.........  Really 
Though she might be

When one quilts a lot one is faced with a pile of oddments, so,

when the pile starts to get overwhelming one must do something with them

  I get rid of so many 1/2" to 1 3/4" strips
by either piecing them width wise on an 8"or 10" square or making log cabins out of them
 when there are lots of small pieces to deal with

but it all ends up looking like Molly played in the pile while I'm working on it

Y you clean my bed?

She is very insistent that she be  involved with every quilting decision

Here's my newest challenge

A pattern by Christa Moser

She calls it Entangled Sky if you want one go to her web page Here

I suggest going anyway to see her other quilt patterns too

Lots of fun on that page.

'Scuse me I has a hungry

 Here are the fabrics I will be using for mine

I even have a few blocks done

see easy peasy!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

What is going on when I'm not busy sewing

Sun room cabinets
We just bought my MIL a trailer, in the 55+ park,

down the hill from us. As she has expressed a desire to nEver live through another Chicago winter!
Its a basic trailer nicely laid out with a sun room in the front, moving into the kitchen to the living room down a hall with, 2 bedrooms and a bath. A nice little cozy nest, for an 87+ year old lady, to putter in.
Close to shops/doctors and transit to get around or us to drive her and it puts her a mere mile away instead of the 2010, in case she needs us.

The trailer park is snuggled into a nice wooded space, with manicured walks between trailers and a waterfall! Very pretty and very clean. I've even met a few of the neighbors, in the process of cleaning up.  I think Mom will like it here.

Kitchen cleaning in progress

My youngest DD and I have spent the better part of 5 days cleaning the sucker out.

Bless her fuzzy little soul, for helping out with her step-grannies new place.

The husband/wife we bought the trailer from, seem to have never heard of the concept of cleaning under/around/behind things, or in fact to have ever moved anything TO clean.

DD#2 washing walls and a wood stove!
Not that they left much behind except a few things scattered in random drawers, which you would expect, the dirt on the walls, shelves and that old "cooked chicken" smell, in the fridge, which I didn't.
Owing to the assiduousness with which the wife sprayed fabreez EVERYWHERE.

I now understand why. *deep sigh*

How does one get rid of thAt smell?
That smelly, smell. That smells,.........smelly.


View from the hall
Though It took most of the day the Fridge is now clean and free of the crusted on dry "stuff" that was under/between the holders for the glass shelves. Yeccchhh!

Then there was the christmas wrapping paper and in one case, part of an old pick-nick cloth, with the fuzzy side elmers glued to the shelves!

The stovehood has been HOT GLUED o0! in places,
there is that expanding foamy stuff under both the kitchen and bathroom sinks
Oh! your taking the picture now? Really?
and the "new" shower surround has been repaired with caulk. o.0!

I expected a degree of deep cleaning was gong to be in order and a bit of things that need to be fixed, It is a 45 year old trailer after all.

But not having to scrub down the walls/ceiling of the cruft of years!

You know your in trouble, when the walls change color as you clean.
When the pine-sol your using makes runnels that are a different shade of grey from the one you are currently working on,  Eeeeew!

Did I mention they had 2 yappy dogs and a parakeet? No? Well they left us Something too in the way of a few feathers and enough dog hair,  dug so deep into the carpet and the rugs they left behind, to make another dog.

ThAnk goodness for the rug cleaner we got, years ago, to tackle the 20 year old carpeting in our own house!
Bedroom #1 small

I used 2 bottles of carpet cleaner on what amounts to 4 rooms of carpeting.
And I still have to vacuum one more time, to get rid of the dog balls left behind by the carpet cleaner.

This all amounts to what my Ex-hubbs used to call "Turkey-bird" engineering and has me muttering dire things under my breath.

All that being said, It's still a very nice trailer.

I would live in it.

Having had to clean a myriad of apartments in Chicago before moving into them this one was a 3. On a scale of, 1 being very clean to 5 being, OMG! fuck you people!

So all in al not too bad.

Sorry for the rant but I needed to vent,
Bedroom #2
or I'd explode all over someone who, probably won't deserve it.

This is when you start sizing up all the things you don't "get around to"at home and just how much does it bother you that you've never cleaned behind/around/under that?
I have come to the conclusion that other peoples dirt bothers me way more than mine

and Id rather sew.


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