Loose Threads

Monday, October 24, 2016

It's Halloween Outside

It will be Halloween in a week, and we have been doing some decorating outside.

I love fall and Halloween.  I have decorated for both fall and Halloween at the same time.  I kind of went into panic mode when I saw someone on Facebook post that there are only 10 Fridays until Christmas.  

The cellulitis that I wrote about earlier was really shingles.  I got a wrong diagnosis from the nurse practitioner.  The Dr. is treating the nerve pain.  I feel a bit better and haven't been doing a lot of sewing until lately.  I'll show you what I've been up to later.  

I love these pumpkin topiaries.   I don't have any real pumpkins and haven't for several years.  These are mostly from Hobby Lobby.  It is probably late enough in the season that they are on sale now.  You can read an earlier post on these pumpkins and see what I did with some of them here.

Here is a better look at the pumpkin topiary.  You can see my tutorial here.  My husband put holes all the way through the two bottom pumpkins and part way through the top one.  Then he ran a dowel rod through them that is long enough to hold the pumpkins and stick into the dirt in the flower pot.  

I've had these lighted jack-o-lanterns for several years.  My husband ran the cords to get everything working.  If you look in the photo above, he has something that works with a remote control.  So all I have to do to turn everything on in the evening is push a button from inside the house.  

This pumpkin is in my sewing room window and is from my days working in ceramics many years ago.  

I changed out my fall door swag for a scary wreath with spiders.  

I've added another tomato cage ghost this year.  I had used one of the cages as a Christmas tree in a flower pot, but it is so top heavy that when the wind blows the pot and tree both overturn.  So I'll do something else on the porch at Christmas time.

The ghost is made from a piece of fabric approximately 2 yards X width of fabric.  One of mine is from fabric, but the others are cut from old sheets that either had a stain or hole.  

Here's a quick tutorial, but there is a better one in an earlier blog post here and another one here.    The last link shows how I decorated faux pumpkins with duct tape.  

I used 100 indoor/outdoor mini lights and wrapped the tomato cage.  

The other tutorial doesn't show this, but over the years I've learned that in a strong wind, those cages don't stand by themselves.  So I bought a package of tent stakes available at one of the big box stores where you would buy camping equipment. 

Also, in a strong wind sometimes even though the tomato cage is anchored the sheet blows completely off of the cage, so I fasten the back of the sheet to the tomato cage with binder clips in a couple of places.  These are found at one of the big box stores or office supply store.

I use a permanent marker to draw the face.  I never know quite how they will turn out.  This guy looks a bit angry, I think.  Maybe it's his eyebrows.  The ghost in the earlier photo just looks surprised like he can't figure why anyone would put him out in this chilly, rainy weather.  

Thanks for stopping by for a visit. 

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Sewing, Road Trip and Shopping

Hello Dear Readers
 A lot has been happening since I last posted so thought I would give you a quick update.  This Sunburst Dresden Table Topper is made from my new pattern.  This is a quilt as you go table topper, and it goes together quickly.  This is my go to pattern for gifts, and I have one for every holiday that I use on my table.  The Dresden plate is made using the Easy Dresden ruler.  

Last week, I drove south to Kentucky to stay with my friend, Michele.  She, Barb, Meredith, and I were planning to head out on an adventure on Wednesday morning.  We had mapped out 6 or 7 quilt shops that we wanted to visit down in Tennessee, and were going on a road trip/shop hop.  Before the big road trip Tuesday afternoon, Michele, Barb and I drove up to the north part of Cincinnati to a shop called Home Grown, Home Sewn.  Diane has a cute shop, and I bought the Farm Fun animal panels to sew.  There are 4 different animals with 2 babies each.  The Handmade charm pack is called a treat and measures 3 1/2".  This is the first time I've seen this size.  It was a nice shop, and I plan to return next time I'm in the Cincinnati area.

The trip moved to IKEA.  We don't have an IKEA in Indianapolis yet, so Michele always takes me there to get my fix and buy some goodies.  I bought another cart to put "stuff" in.

We started out bright and early Wednesday morning headed for Greenback, Tennessee.  That's about 30 miles south of Knoxville.  The first shop on our list was Mountain Creek Quilts.  Michele and I both had been to Teri's shop before at different times, and we didn't want to miss a chance to get to stop there again.  Here are photos from the shop.

If you look closely, you can see my pillow pattern hanging there on the side of the thread display.

Here's the display of Sue Spargo thread.  I had stopped at Mountain Creek quilts when we were in Tennessee on vacation last May.  I bought just one spool of the thread then to see what it was like to embroider with it.  Well, it was really nice, and I couldn't wait to get back to buy more thread.  (I know you can buy it on line, but there is something fun about going to the mountains to buy thread.)

The wool was just beautiful, and I think each of us came home with a nice little bundle or two.

This is the Christmas room.  Mountain Creek has lots of fabric including lots of Moda lines.

Here is what I bought.  I bought Sue Spargo wool and thread and a few other things.

We were headed for shop number 2 over toward Pigeon Forge when a car pulled out from a side street, and we couldn't avoid hitting it.  Michele was driving and did a great job of defensive driving because we all walked away from the accident.  The other car had four 20 something year olds.  The girl that was driving and one of her three male passengers were taken away in handcuffs.  She was arrested for DUI....drugs.  She couldn't walk the center line of the road or even touch her finger to her nose when the State Trooper asked.  Passersby saw her run from the car and throw a bag into the weeds, and they were kind enough to stop to wait to talk to the police.  Several officers and a K9 unit were called.  It was a long wait to get it all straightened out and get someone to bring a rental car to the scene, but we were lucky even though Michele's car was totaled.  

Meanwhile, I had some sort of raised places on the side of my face that looked like bites before I left home.  It was either go to the doctor to get it looked at or go on the road trip.  Of course, I chose the road trip.  I've never had anything that looked like this before, but most things like this have gone away on their own.  I got to the Dr. as soon as I got home, and I have cellulitis.  It is pretty painful, and there is still swelling in my head and neck.  I feel a bit better and spent today cleaning up my sewing room a bit so I can get back to doing some stitching soon.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Pillow Class and A Sale

The class on my Charming Hexie Pillow was great.  I really enjoyed the group of girls.  I can't believe that I didn't take one single photo of the girls working on their own versions of my pattern.  So when I came home, I stacked all of the samples I took to class and took a photo.  

My friend, Nancy, was in the class.  She came in to class with this cute Halloween version already completed.  She reminded me that when we shopped together at the Kokomo One Stop Shop Hop, I bought a mini charm pack just like the one she used.  This is really cute.

Then we met to go to a sale on Friday, and she had made this cute little pincushion for me using the pillow technique.  I think this is too cute to stick pins in.

Nancy worked on this pillow in class and had part of it sewn.  We sewed at a Quilter's United sew in on Saturday at Back Door Quilts, and when we got there she had this second pillow finished.

Ahhh.   The sale.  I received an email early last week from a man who had lost his wife earlier in the summer.  He was selling her stash at a sale at a church on the northwest side of town.  I forwarded the email to Nancy who responded "Let's go!"   

Here are some photos of her stash.  Yes this is just one woman's stash.  We were some of the first ones into the room.  Admission was a $1 donation to help toward clean up after the sale was over.  They were selling her fabric for 60 cents an ounce.  A fat quarter weighs 1.5 ounces (yep, I have a postage scale, and I weighed a few just to be sure).  That makes the fabric around $4 a yard.

Everything was sorted according to color or type.

More and more people came in to shop.  

 Now there is really a crowd.

By the time we finished, it was really crowded.  I forgot to take photos of her UFO room.  I need to take photos of what I bought to show you.  The UFOs were 20 cents an ounce.  All of the proceeds went to the Indianapolis Quilt Guild and to a church. 
 I bought all of the Patriotic fabric I could find to make pillowcases and lap quilts for our DAR sewing group to donate to veterans.  I also bought some kids prints and a couple of background pieces and black and white polka dots.  I didn't know the lady that owned this stash, but I have a feeling that she was looking down on all of us with a big smile on her face knowing that so many of us were having so much fun with her things.  

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.  

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Mountains and Pillows

We just returned from a week in the Smoky Mountains.  That is one of my favorite places to visit.

This is the view from the balcony of our cabin.  It's a great place to just get away from it all and relax, and there are lots of things to do that are close.

I visited several quilt shops.  Here are some of the things that I found along the way.  These fabric packs are from Lella Boutique for Moda.  I love her fabrics.  This time we ventured quite a distance to Mountain Creek Quilt Shop in Greenback, Tennessee.  My friend, Michele had just been there and thought I should check it out.  What a fun shop.  I hope to return there sometime!

I made this pillow from my Charming Hexagon Pillow Pattern.  It's available from my Etsy shop or from Back Door Quilts.   

Here's another done in Little Red fabric by Moda.  I added a flange to this pillow.  

 I also made my grandson's these cloth books from panels that I bought at the Kokomo One Stop Shop Hop.

That's the update for now.  Time seems to be flying by, and I can't keep up.  I do some sort of stitching each day and will be back soon to show you some of what I've been up to.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.  

Friday, September 2, 2016

Dresdens, Pillows, Brinton Hall and Christmas

Hello Everyone

I've been absent for a long while again.  Part of the reason for my absence is that I've just been really busy.  The other part is that I've been in a tizzy since I found out that I can no longer use Picasa to edit and email my photos to my blog.  Putting photos in the old way takes way too long to put together a blog post.  Does anyone have any suggestions of a photo editing program that I can use?  

I've published this Sunburst Dresden Table Topper pattern.  This is a quilt as you go project, and it is available in my Etsy shop here.  There is a partial tutorial that you can find on line, but there isn't really enough information there to make the table topper.  Besides my knit mitered square blanket pattern, this Dresden plate table topper is my most pinned photo on Pinterest.  

Did you know that you can see what people are pinning on Pinterest from your blog by putting in the following URL:

https://www.pinterest.com/source/the name of your blog including blogger.com

The table topper above is the one I just did for the pattern cover.  It is done mostly in Little Ruby fabric by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.  The one that is pinned a lot is the Halloween table topper below.  As you can see, I have one for every holiday and have made several for gifts.  

I'm still plugging away at my UFOs.  This is the center of Holly and Mistletoe from the Blackbird Design book When the Cold Wind Blows.  I think I have appliqued' all of the berries onto the center.  The blocks have been done for several years awhile.  The inner border is red flying geese.  I somehow looked at the photo and made half square triangles, and all of them are too big.  I'm beginning to see a "UFO Trend".  Whenever I make a mistake (the over sized HSTs) or get to a part that I don't really like to do (making and appliqueing a LOT of circles), the whole thing goes back into the 2 gallon Ziploc bag.  Some of my UFOs have been in and out of the baggie so many times that the zipper part doesn't work anymore.

You can see my blocks and a photo of the quilt from the book in my blog post here.  

I've also finished the center part of my Brinton Hall quilt.  The pattern is by Leigh Latimore and can be found in Quiltmania Magazine #107 and #108. You can see my process for making the center hexagons and individual photos of my blocks here and a photo of what the entire quilt would look like in my blog post here     Right now I'm pretty happy with the way this looks with the border fabric, so I think this is a finished top.

Those border corners are mitered.  There are just some borders that look better mitered instead of squared off even though it is a little more work.  Take a look at the photo below.  This is how I always do my mitered borders.  I measure the same as I would if I were going to do a regular border.  After measuring, I pin and sew to the corners but leave a lot of extra fabric to do the miter.  I pin the corner as shown, press, and either hand applique' the corner, or in this case I machine appliqued' the corners.  I forgot to take a photo of the finished corner.  

 My daughter really liked the pillow I made for the cover of my Charming Hexagon Pillow pattern which is the shop sample at Back Door Quilts, so I made this one for her.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sewing and A Busy Summer

I'm having a really busy summer and have been having a lot of fun.

I've been doing a lot of sewing and went to the Kokomo One Stop Shop Hop a couple of weeks ago with friends to do a little stash enhancement.  I didn't take one single photo.

 My friend Michele picked up this row by row for me from a shop in Kentucky because she knows how much I love English Paper Piecing.  I was just going to make this one row and quilt it, but I may rethink that and do a small quilt..  There are a lot of really cute rows out there.

I always have fun at English Paper Piecing Addiction Group at Back Door Quilts.  This Oh My Gosh quilt belongs to Marlene.  She is even making a second one.  It is just gorgeous.

I've been doing a lot with DAR friends including sewing for our DAR fund raiser.  One of the girls bought a lot (somewhere between 8 - 10 yards) of the red and white striped fabric you see in the photo below.  She asked if I could make something out of it.  So I made 16 placemats.  There is red and white stripe on the back, too.

Then I used the smaller pieces to make 36 travel tissue holders.  They are all lined with red and white stripe.

I made this little flag quilt earlier, and I backed it with the red and white stripe and made some napkins.

And there was still some left......so I made a 10 minute table runner which takes a little longer than 10 minutes.

I'm still working on finishing up some of my UFOs.  These hexagons are for my Aunt Sarah quilt.  The pattern was in Quiltmania Magazine #82.  It looks like that issue was published in 2011.  The hexagons are 3/4".  There is a large oval center that is applique'd and looks a little like the center of the Auntie Greene quilt.  I've made several "tries" at this quilt before.  I have always liked the quilt but wasn't totally sold on the center.  I think I have another idea of what to do there.  If you go back to my post here, you will see the photo of the quilt from the magazine.  The two hexagons that I show in that post must have been used in another project because they weren't in the UFO bag with the quilt center.  

I'm still making pillows from my Charming Hexie Pillow pattern.  The pattern is available in my Etsy shop here.  You can also purchase the pattern at Back Door Quilts.  I am enjoying choosing 39 hexagons and glue basting them.  I will soon have enough pillows made that I may sell some in my Etsy shop.  Stay tuned.  

I made this one as a present for my daughter.  It's made from the same mini charm pack that I used to make the shop sample for Back Door.  

I've also spent some fun Grandma time.  Here is Malcolm who is 5 months old.

Daniel had a lot of fun at the Indianapolis Children's Museum.  He really enjoyed the Hot Wheels exhibit.  These two guys just make me smile.

I have been posting some over on Instagram.  You can follow me there at:

I still enjoy reading blogs, but I see the attraction to Instagram.   It's easy and quick to just post a photo and a few words.  But, for now, I'll keep writing as long as you are still stopping here to read my ramblings.

Hope you are finding some time to stitch today!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

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