Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bring on 2009!

My wish for you all is that 2009 will be filled with good health and happiness.
May you have many hours of quiet stitching time in the New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday Greetings!

From Our House to Yours
Merry Christmas to All!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Comfort Quilt for my Brother

A quick post here to let you know that I'll be gone for awhile. We are headed in the morning to AZ to spend some time with my brother who has stage 4 lung cancer. He is my only sibling and our parents passed away in the early 1990's. He has 4 children who have all arrived ahead of us in AZ.

I originally started this quilt for him to be used for chemo treatments. However, the doctors have decided he is too weak for chemo and he is now home under Hospice care.

Would you believe I had enough cat prints in my stash to cut 59 different 6" blocks? I only used 45 unique ones in the quilt; one of the corner blocks is an accidental repeat! The back is fleece and if you click on the picture it will take you to my Flickr pictures where you also can see the label I made for the back. It has pictures of my brother's two exotic Chaussie cats named Bonnie & Clyde.

So, I don't know when I'll be back, but I will be back blogging soon. If I don't make it back before Christmas, I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas if you celebrate the holiday. And may all your stitches be snug!

Stitch On!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

November theme BOM
Originally uploaded by lasassone
For those in the USA I want to say Happy Thankgiving. This picture is sort of like me today. I'm cooking a full dinner including turkey, dressing (with italian sausage and mushrooms), riced potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes (with crushed pineappld brown sugar and marshmallows), green bean casserole. And there's pumpkin pie for dessert. I cheated this year and got the pie from Costco. Their pies are way bigger than any pans I have, so there will be lots of leftover pie.

Our eldest daughter is bring the rolls and driving in from the Sierra mountain foothills. It will just be the 3 of us and it will be a casual and leisurely afternoon dinner.

If you one of the readers of my recipe blog (link on the right) then your next visit will make you happy. I plan on having a photoshoot of our dinner and posting it tonight or in the morning to the recipe blog. And maybe some recipes too!

I've sort of lost my blogging groove the past couple months due to a lot of things, but I plan to be playing catch up very soon-maybe this weekend - so don't give up on me yet, okay? I've lots to show because the one thing that has kept me sane recently is my stitching, crocheting and knitting!

Bye for now!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Round Robin work on Laura's Block

This is the 2nd of the two blocks I worked on for our local group's recent round robin. I was last to work on this block also. This picture is on a double run of cretan stitching I did with a varigated pearl cotton thread. Embellishment was done with seed beads and gold flower sequins I recently purchased from Cartright's.

Laura will be turning this block into a pillow for the couch in her newly decorated "Old World" style family room. It's really going to be a lovely pillow!

Below are 2 more picture of the work I did on Laura's block. The first is a row of hearts and alternate designs I did in the center are of her block. The hearts are made of fly stitches. The 2nd is a seam with herringbone stitchinig decorated with straight, fly and detached chain stitches.

Round Robin work on Sandy's Block

RR work-Spider on Sandy's
Originally uploaded by lasassone

Today I finished my work on two blocks in our local group's latest round robin. I was the last one to work on these two blocks. This post is about the first block which belongs to Sandy.

I did this spider and web on the back of Sandy's block which she will be making up into a small album cover. I don't usually use a bead when I embroider spiders, but I tried it with this one. Not sure I like it, but it's different from what I usually do and I was trying to make it unique.

Below I have added 3 more pictures of what I did on Sandy's block. The first is a row of a cretan/Chevron stitching embellished with beads and copper flower sequins. The 2nd picture is of a row of Wheatear stitch I did on what will be the front of Sany's album cover. the 3rd picture is a double run of cretan stitch done with the same varigated cotton pearl thread and embellished with beads.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Anniversary Flowers

Anniversary Flowers
Originally uploaded by lasassone
Yesterday morning this is what I found waiting for me on the kitchen counter. What a guy! 41 years and still the sweetheart I knew him to be back when we were dating.

We actually celebrated with a dinner out at Olive Garden last Saturday night, so this was a good surprise. He actually bought the flowers the night before on his way home from his sub job and hid them in the garage!

I'm enjoying the flowers because Fall in our garden is rather drab. We have one tree that will change color later before Christmas. Mostly everything out there in the beds, both in front and back, just needs an incredible amount of trimming. I'm building up steam to get some of that done this weekend.

Meanwhile I'm stitching like crazy to catch up on the last couple round robin blocks from our local group's recent round robin. Then I have Leslie's Breast Cancer Wedding block to finish and get in the mail. I'm having trouble finding some heart motifs I KNOW I have here somewhere. Picture me going through drawers and boxes tossing stuff left and right!


Stitch On!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Fall Block #1

Fall Block #1
Originally uploaded by lasassone
Well, Fall is definitely in the air here in No. California. G has been trimming our neighbor's huge tree that hangs over the fence and shades our side patio in the summer. This time of the year it starts to lose it's leaves and it's a daily, almost hourly, chore to keep up with their disposal.

He was doing that this weekend while I took to my "bed and bath" with a 3 to 4 day flu bug, of which I was very glad to be rid of this morning! All the leaves made me remember and search out the four large autumn-themed blocks I pieced over a year ago. I got started on stitching the seams with "Golden Glow" YLI Pearl Crown Rayon thread. I love that color of the YLI Pearl because it has such a vintage look. On these blocks I think also that it blends well, but doesn't distract your eyes from the fun fabrics.

The fabrics I used to piece the four blocks were given to me a few years back when a decorator in a local town closed her business. I've plenty of fabric still to piece more blocks, but when I had the 4 done, I decided perhaps I would just make a 4 block wallhanging, so I started stitching the seams. About the same time I was in Wal-mart one day buying some DMC thread for another project and I found the leaf appliques in a bin drastically discounted. I knew they would match the blocks, so I bought them all! I have a lot more of those too!

The beads you see scattered on the block are some I had purchased to embellish the stitches. I have others, including a few colors of seed beads, but these beads were in the project envelope with the 4 blocks.

I thought this was a fitting project to show for an Autumn blog post. And I also wanted to let you all know that I'll not be posting again for a week or so. I'm going to Arizona to visit my brother. My niece from Alaska will be visiting him and I haven't seen her in years, so I look forward to catching up with her and her husband.

All of us plan on going to some community organized garage sale extravaganzas while we are there, so perhaps I'll have some wonderful things to show you when I get back mid-month.

Until then.......Stitch On!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

And the Winner Is..........

Random Stash Picture
Originally uploaded by lasassone

The winner of my 3 year Blogiversary is Wendy of the blog named Stich Duchess Crazy & Sane Quilting World. I have left a comment on her blog because that was the only way I found to contact her.

The picture here is just a samplying of what she could receive. I never posted a picture of what I was giving away because I decided that I wanted to personalize the prize for the winner. So I have asked Wendy to tell me some of her favorite things, colors, etc. As an aside, the crinkly looking fabric that the thread spool are on, is one that was shared by a member of our local crazyquilt group when they met here at my home this morning. And, yes, Wendy! I will share!

I want to thank you all for the many kind comments you made on this blog. Also you all probably had something to do with the increase in the number of hits on my recipe blog "Lulu's Girl". That was a nice surprise! I tried to visit some of your profiles and from there your blogs, but I was surprised at how many folks have their profiles blocked. I wasn't able to see very much although I had hoped to find some new blogs to read. This was just a surprising observation; I mean nothing negative. I would suppose there are many reasons why folks would want their profile and blog blocked from view.

This was fun! Can't wait until next year! Stitch On!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Blogiversary to Me! A Drawing!

Round Robin Pillow Block
Originally uploaded by lasassone
Today is the 3rd anniversary of this blog! Time flies when you're having fun. I cannot believe it's been 3 years! I still haven't perfected the art of blogging very often. Life just plain gets in the way sometimes.

In honor of this Blogiversary I will be having a drawing for a stash enhancement Squishie, a picture of which I will upload after this weekend is over. I'm a little under the weather at the moment, but will get the crazyquilt fabrics and other stuffs pulled and photographed at the beginning of the week. The Squishie will include fancy fabrics, trims, beads, faux silkies & such!

Soooooooooo...........Just make a comment on this post to be included in the drawing which I will do on September 27th. That's the day our local crazyquilt group meeting will be here at my home and I WAS going to have someone from the group do the draw. But I have learned how to use the random number generator site, so I'll be using that to do the "draw."

The temporary picture I have put up here on this post is of a round robin block I pieced & sent around some years back. I actually pieced two similar blocks the size of those travel pillow forms that JoAnn Fabrics carries. I did two round robins back to back, so YES, I have the finished blocks, but have yet to make them up into pillow covers. Just the tip of the iceberg of my UFO pile.

The great number of UFO's I have was brought home more than a little this past week when a friend of mine visited and I gave her the grand tour of my 2 room studio set up. She and I had gone fabric shopping recently in Reno when our husbands were playing in a golf tournament. We both bought many of the same fabrics and, unlike me, she had made something with some of hers and she ran out of one particular fabric. We traded some fabrics and both ended up happy.

She does mostly traditional quilting and has made the cutest baby quilt, a picture of which I wish I had taken! Duh....ANYway, she is really interested in learning to crazyquilt and also appreciates and does redwork-type embroidery. When I started to show her all the embroidery block sets I have made, I realized that I MUST make myself "buckle down" (as Mum used to say) and get these blocks made up into the quilts for which they were intended.

So, as soon as all this filing of Redwork/embroidery patterns is done, that is my plan! I would like to begin my 4th year of blogging by showing some actual progress on my well organized UFO pile!

Stitch On!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nana's Kitchen FOUND!

Nana's Kitchen FOUND!
Originally uploaded by lasassone
As I unpacked my stash over the past few months, everytime I opened another box I hoped I would find it. Recently we decided to bring home a few more boxes and a couple pieces of furniture. I decided to bring home all my boxes of dolls and their "things" as well. I planned to go through them and perhaps find a few things for G's garage sale on Saturday. Sort of a 2nd downsizing were my thoughts.

After dealing with almost all the boxes, I slit the tape on this one and opened it with a sigh. And then a scream! There was my "Nana's Kitchen" project along with the project's other fabrics! I had used the finished block and the other fabrics for the wallhanging I had planned as CUSHIONING for some of my more fragile dolls. And then I didn't say so on my very detailed inventory.....heck, it didn't even say "some fabrics" under that box number. So much for being organized!

After about 6 mos. of looking, I can't stop looking at this block and stack of fabrics. Needless to say, this project has moved up the list of my UFO's - near the top it is now! Color me SO Happy!

Stitch On!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ruby Doll #2

Ruby Doll #2
Originally uploaded by lasassone
Last night I finished this doll for the Sunday school teacher of my grandgirl (Izzie). I made Izzy's doll for her when she went to the hospital to have her tonsils out. She took it to Sunday school at least one time and the teacher sought out my daughter to find out where the doll came from.

My daughter and her family are moving to a new church home in September and my daughter subsequently asked me if I could make another Ruby doll so they could give her one.

This morning Ruby #2 began her journey via Priority to Texas.

I made this one with the same fabrics as I made the last doll, but I did a few things differently. For her cheeks I appliqued 2 of the dots from the fabric I used for her legs. I also made a pocket on the bottom of her "dress" that is supposed to look like an apron. You can see a corner of a little yellow card peeking out. The card says "Hi, my name is Ruby!"

I also made a little scarf for her neck this time and fastened it with a brown 1950's house dress button. If I had time, I would have sewn on a beaded choker since this doll was for an adult. However, as usual I was working down to the deadline. If you'd like to see what Ruby#2's back looks like, click on the photo and you can see the next photo in my Flickr photostream.

I'll be gone for a few days now as I accompany my dh, aka G, to Reno, Nevada where he will play in a golf tournament. Fabric /quilt shops, thrift shops and antique shops brace yourself. Here we women come led by "little Marge" with her new knee. I'm sure I"m in for some stash enhancement of some sort! Last year, remember, I found those WONderful vintage embroideries on velvet. Can't wait to see what this year brings.

I'll be taking some stitching with me. I've got a complicated image I'm stitching on a fairly naked block and I'm working on block #7 of my Redwork Life Quilt which is all about how much I loved starting school oh so many years ago!

Stitch On!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Life Quilt Block #6

Life Quilt Block #6
Originally uploaded by lasassone
This is a seaplane very similar to the one that my Dad took me on for my very first airplane flight. It was 1950 or 1951 and we were traveling with my Dad on a business trip to far Northern Minnesota. I was 8 or 9 that summer. We had been to Lake Bemidji before to see the Paul Bunyon and Baby the Blue Ox statues and I loved that park. As I recall it was directly across the street from one of my Mum's favorite places to eat called Maid-Rite Hamburgers. I think that is the proper spelling. I've been told the place is still there today. They made very unusual hamburgers we had to eat with a spoon!

I don't know why, but this trip Dad decided I should have my first plane ride. Maybe we were a bit more flush economically or he had made a big sale that day. Mum stayed on the ground as she wasn't much for heights. What I remember about that short flight was how it seemed you could see forever and I was amazed at this new perspective I had been treated to. Before I knew it the flight was over and I remember begging to go again! It would be many years before I would ride in any airplane again and I have never been in such a small plane again.

After we moved to California one of my Dad's favorite things to do on Sundays was to take me to the airport where we would watch the planes take off and land for what seemed like hours. When I was in high school I was all prepared to start learning to fly and was about to start ground school when my Dad lost his job and my dream of learning to fly became a luxury my parents couldn't afford.

I am not very pleased with this embroidery and wonder if the ache of the osteoarthritis in my hands is affecting my stitching more these days. In person the block looks okay, but in the photo I think it looks very messy. I think I am going to go back and fill in the design streak on the pontoon in the foreground and also make the foreground strut solid as well. I may even fill in the design streak on the side of the plane.

I traced this from a drawing of a seaplane I found on the internet. I think it actually came from the Bemidji, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce site, which I thought was very appropriate. And I also was rather pleased to think that kids apparently can still get their first plane ride down at the lake by Paul & Babe!

I may be taking a bit of a break from the Life Quilt blocks for awhile. I have several crazyquilting obligations I need to concentrate, not to mention a couple sewing projects I must finish too. Our local stitching group's (Delta Crazy Stitchers) August meeting is coming up this Saturday and on Sunday G and I are leaving for Reno, Nevada where he is playing in a golf tournament. I'm not sure what kind of stitching I will take with me, but there's lots to choose from and I never travel without needle and threads. Everything except crocheting or knitting is up for grabs. Boy, I'll be glad when the coolness of Fall arrives so I can get back to working with yarn!

Stitch On!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cats Flap!

I am trying to play catch-up during this heatwave. It helps to concentrate on precise cutting and piecing and not think about how I will NEVER EVER complain about winter's cold again. It cannot come soon enough for me! Bring on Fall!

Cats Quiltlet/Flap
Originally uploaded by lasassone

A long while ago (maybe last year?) I promised to make this for my brother and today I finally finished it. Finished? Well, maybe not. I think I still need to run a line of quilting along the inner edge of the outer border to prevent sagging, but I took the finished photos already, so here you have it!

In my brother's motorhome there's an empty space in the cabinetry that used to house a television. His 2 cats use it now as a hidey hole and a place to store their toys. He had this piece of upholstery fabric hanging and when I saw that, I suggested that Bonnie & Clyde deserved something a tad more decorative and elegant. I don't think he thought I would embroider a portrait of his 2 Chaussie cats, but on our next visit this past January he saw me doing the embroidery. He has been very patient, but truth be told, he may have given up on ever receiving this.

But now, after the line of stitching is done, this will go in the mail to Arizona. It measures, by the way, approximately 12" by 16" and if you click on the picture you can see another picture of it that shows the backing which is a different fabric from the front.

My brother will be putting 2 eyelets in the top and it will hang, as the upholstery fabric did, on 2 cup hooks. Thus it will be a cat flap! However, down the road should they not have a need for it anymore, it could be easily displayed on a wall in their home as art!

Now it's on to completing the also-very-late Scotty pillow I promised my #3 granddaughter!

Stitch On!

Monday, August 11, 2008

My 3 Girlies! aka Lulu's GrandGirls

My 3 Girlies!
Originally uploaded by lasassone
Today is a great day! I received pictures taken of our 3 daughters while they were together in TX last month. This is actually a picture I took of one of the pictures I got in the mail today. I seem to be the techy in the family. I never get many digital pix from any of them. Maybe they are just old-fashioned girls!

Left to right they are Cheryl (46), Gabrielle (34) and Nicole (39). they are gonna hate for me to have listed their ages like I used to do when they were little kiddos, right?

I was SO happy to see their smiling faces in my mailbox today! We miss them and their families so much!

tearing up here.......

Sunday, August 10, 2008

August TIF Sneak Peek!

Here's a sneek peak at what I've done so far on my August TIF block. At first I was stumped as to what I might put on this block, but then the Olympics began and I slapped my forehead...DUH! I found an Olympic flag on the web and also the little image of the Chinese character for Harmony. I'll be adding a flagpole for the flag and I still have to do the center spider and web too. The print in the middle this month has a bit of a gold web already in the print, so I'll be continuing that into the center. The silk ribbon I have laying there will be used to make a few (maybe 3) SRE sunflowers in that patch above the month's name of "August". Yes, I am going to do some SRE again. I have one of my books out that shows different flowers and I think I can handle a few small ones.

Stay tuned & Stitch On!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Take It Further Challenge July Block

Only 4 days late, I finished my July block for Sharon's Take It Further Challenge last night. Again this month I have used cottons from my stash even though I now have access to my fancy fabric stash. Matching the colors Sharon posts each month to my DMC floss stash has become something I look forward to along with taking the 5 floss choices into my fabric room and pulling the fabrics from my quilting cotton stash.

I am not too sure how I ended up with the cottage garden print when I was pulling fabrics. I think I was looking for something that would make that lime green color fit in with the other colors. I do remember that I tried hard to find one of JBM's Ornamentation fabrics that would fit into this block, but I couldn't find one.

When I found the gold print that looks like stone, I know that I would continue the cottage's pathway down onto the stone so as to look like a patio. This suddenly seemed very appropriate as during the month of July we were involved in trying to mentally move ourselves back into Hydrangea House while physically cleaning up the yard and patios. Since we sold most of our patio furniture last year during our 4 pre-move garage sales, we even found ourselves cozying up the areas with a new table & chair set with an umbrella and a couple of Adirondack chairs with a small table for enjoying the cool summer & fall evenings when they happen.

I digress....back to the block. I used some outline stitch to continue the cottage walkway onto the patio and then to soften the line between the cottage fabric and the purple and green, I did some feather stitching with assorted colors of detached chain stitch additions.

I have never been very good at the buttonhole wheels, but I recently saw some on an old crazyquilt block that were made to look like fans, so I tried them on the seam between the lime and purple. See the handles are a double row of seed beads. Not sure I would do them that way again, but the way I put the beads on was a tad sloppy and that may be why I don't like them.

Up in that same corner is the summer sun again - we had that here in No. California the whole month despite some periods of smoke filtered sunshine from the fires. Then in honor of the 4th of July holiday, I did some fireworks in gold with the same thread I used for my spider web in the center. At lower right in the name of the month and a little flag for the 4th of July as well.

For the seam between the patio and the lime center patch I did a double run of cretan stitch with the two blue floss colors in July's challenge. The flowers are actually sequins shaped like flowers and anchored with blue seed beads. The rest of the seed beads on the cretan stitches are copper colored.

On the seam on lower right along the blue "fairy frost" fabric, I actually did a couple vintage seam combos from my book of stitches copied from vintage crazy quilts. The base stitches were done with this month's floss colors and then I added to the seams with additional silk pearl thread stitches and seed beads.

On the patio, the cat named Peanuts, who thinks he lives here, sits waiting for G to come work in the garden. He follows G around like a dog and sometimes is too much help like when G was digging holes to plant seeds in. After digging for a few feet, G turned around and Peanuts was covering over the holes as he followed along!

During the month I broke down and actually bought a new beautiful hydrangea bush, but, still holding out hope that we will be moving, I put it in a pot instead of into the ground. I stitched the flowers of my little potted hydrangea on my block's patio with blue and purple colonial knots. I did the leaves with two widths (4mm & 7mm) of green silk ribbon. You all KNOW how I love to do SRE, right? This is as good as it's gonna get!

Now I'm going to try to put in the 4 close up pictures below. Wish me luck......... It worked! Below are the close ups of the July block!

Lower Right corner:


Lower Left:

Upper Right Corner:

Stitch On!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Life Quilt Block #5 - My Trike

I don't recall when I actually was given this trike except that it was sometime after we moved into town from the country where there were no sidewalks to ride on. It isn't my first memory of that time and I'm pretty sure the trike wasn't new when I got it. However, I thought it was very special because I was the only one on the block that had a trike with two steps on the back. I'm sure it wasn't the safest thing in the world but I used to carry 2 other kids on the back from one corner of our block to the other.

Those were the limits of our world in those days; you didn't cross any streets. You stayed on your block. There were only a couple girls my age on our block and when we all started kindergarden one went to a different school than I went to. The other girl was my very best friend Betty Jane Nelson and we went to Lincoln Elementary. I often wondered what happened to her. I lost touch with her when our school was remodeled or rebuilt and we all had to go to other schools for 3rd grade. I lost touch with everyone again in 1952 when my father got a job in California and we left Duluth, Minnesota. In high school I reconnected by mail with a couple girlfriends from Duluth right before graduation in 1960 but we quickly lost touch again as we all began our lives.

My brother was in high school when I was small enough to ride a trike and I was like an only child. I always wanted a little brother or sister so I was inclined to play at times with some of the younger children on the block. We played school a lot and other outside games, but I remember they really loved those "back of the trike" rides.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tooting My Own Hown, but fun links too!

As Jo has said today on her blog post today, this is a shameless promotion post! The new issue of the online CrazyQuilt magazine is up - and it's here!

There are several pictures of my CQ work in the Reader's Gallery and I wrote an article on stitching spiders and webs. There are many, MANY great articles in this issue as always AND some wonderful and inspiring pictures in the Reader's Gallery!

This is a great online source for inspiration and it's the only magazine, online OR in stores, that is exclusively for crazy quilters. Go now! Go visit Jo! Most importantly......Go here!

Stitch On! (SEE? I DO know how to put hyperlinks in my posts! LOL!)

Crazy Quilt Puzzle Finished & Framed!

Crazy Quilt Puzzle
Originally uploaded by lasassone

I have had this wonderful puzzle depicting an antique crazyquilt done for some time. G just finished framing it for me and soon it will hang in my workroom where it will daily offer inspiration.

I purchased this puzzle at a store called Big Lots for only $4 and I ended up doing the entire thing myself. G, who loves puzzles, sat out on this one and never did even one piece despite a few fits of frustration on my part.

According to the box, this is a depiction of a crazy quilt from the Shelburne Museum and manufactured in 2003 by Ceaco, Inc. of Watertown, Massachusetts. Their website is This type of puzzle is called "a double". The box contained 600 pieces, but 300 of those are small pieces that fit into the center of the other 300 pieces. Once you get the larger 300 pieces together, then you are faced with the challenge of finding the places for the tiny 300 centers.

The puzzle is 27" x 20" (69cm x 51 cm). I put it together on a piece of foam core board because I knew I wasn't going to take this puzzle apart and put it back in the box. When I had finished it, G put 2 coats of Matte Liquid Puzzle Saver on it. Then we started the hunt for a frame.

After going crazy looking, we discovered the only way was to purchase the frame in pairs of frame pieces. We found the sizes only available at our local Michael's Craft Store and yesterday G got it put together yesterday.

Isn't it great? Wanna see closeups? I will take a few tonight perhaps and post them on my Flickr site. So, come back here later and click on this picture. That will take you to my photostream where you can see the close ups.

I'd really like to see this quilt in person! If I ever get back to Vermont, I will make it a point. I visited Vermont in 1990, but we never got to the Shelburne area.

Stitch on!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Delta Crazy Stitcher's Latest Round Robin

Our local stitcher's group is doing another round robin right now and the first block I received was actually Andrea's little tree skirt for the mini-tree she has on her desk at work for the holidays. She had pieced it and done a little work on it already.

This picture is of one seam I did. I used silk pearl thread and made the beginnings of what usually ends up as what I call "Fly Stitch Lace". However, this time I stopped after two rows. Then I turned each peak into a Christmas tree by adding a star on top. Lastly I used some back stitching to make trunks for the trees.

I don't know where I got those little stars, but I didn't have any gold ones which I would have preferred to use. Still I really like how this came out.

There are 3 other close up pictures of what I did on this little tree skirt on my Flickr site so if you click on this picture you will be taken to where you can see the other things I did.

I'm working on the next block in the rotation right now and it was pieced by our group's resident art quilter. I am finding it a liberating experience to work on this unusual piece. When I see the free spiritedness (is that a word?) of her work, it makes the crazyquilt work I usually do seem very structured in comparison!

Just wait till you see it!

Stitch On!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Standing Guard

While taking my regular morning walk through the back gardens this morning, I was astounded to see how tall these sunflowers are getting. Every day they seem inches taller. Funny thing is that the package said they'd be getting about 5 feet tall. When G measured last, the tallest was 12 feet high. The flowers also don't look much like the picture that was on the seed packet.

Early this summer I read in our newspaper about the honey bee crisis and it was suggest that one thing gardeners could do would be to plant sunflowers. Next time we were at the home improvement store, I picked up a package. Every last seed germinated within a week of when I poked them into the dirt in a row behind G's zucchini garden.
All I expected was some lovely 5 foot tall yellow sunflowers that I could maybe cut and make flower arrangements. Above is a close up of what I got. Some are yellow, but most are red or dark rust-colored like this close up shows. Gorgeous is the word that comes to my mind when I begin my walk each morning.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tone On Tone - Beige to Brown

While searching for something else the other day I ran across this 8 inch block that I made a few years ago. Actually I never quite finished embellishing it. It was made for a project in our local crazy quilt stitching group and when that project never quite materialized I stopped working on the block. At that time I had thought of a project for myself in which I could use it.

Tone on tone blocks are fun to piece and stitch on and I thought perhaps I'd do a few more colors in that scheme and maybe eventually have a color wheel wallhanging of sorts. So I put it away with that intention and then forgot about it until I found it this past weekend.

Last night I finished the spider and his web and did the featherstitching on the bottom middle seam while I was watching tv. I also beaded some of the stitches which I think you can see better in the two pictures below this post.

I may do a white on white block next before I move on to blocks in yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, burgundy, red and finally orange. Upon completion of the orange or last block, I would have 10 blocks which would make a nice wallhanging. I may not do the blocks in that particular color order because sometimes working in a particular color is set by my mood at the time.

At present I am working on a large white on white block for Leslie Erlich's Breast Cancer Project quilt. Leslie pieced the block for me to embellish and she and I are calling it "the tornado block" because she actually pieced it the afternoon a tornado ripped through her town of Windsor, Colorado.

I think I'll piece an 8" block to work on along with Leslie's block and perhaps I can try out a few stitches on my little block before I do them on the big block.

Stitch On!

Brown Spider and web

Brown Spider and web
Originally uploaded by lasassone

Center Bone Ring Motif

Center Bone Ring Motif
Originally uploaded by lasassone

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Take It Further Challenge June Done!

Only 8 days late! My June TIF block is done. As usual, if you click on this picture, you can see detailed pictures of each corner and the center in my Flickr album.

This block again uses two fabrics from Judith Baker Montano's Ornamentations design line. This month they are the center and the top right corner fabrics.

All of the seam stitch combinations are copies of stitch combinations that I've collected over the years from vintage crazyquilts. I really used my notebook of stitches on this block!

In the upper left corner is a beaded summer sun which in the guise of a heatwave really started our month of June here. This is another of those motifs that I found at that garage sale a couple weeks ago. The center is again a vintage Swarovski Lochrosen rhinestone with a center hole.

In the upper right corner I have hand appliqued an image for Father's Day that was a freebie offered by Janet at Father's Day here was a barrage of phone calls from our 3 daughters and pretty much otherwise an ordinary day. G lost his father back in 1949 and his step-dad Papa Tuggle has been gone for a few years now. My dad passed away in 1992 just short of his 91st birthday.

In the lower left corner is a rose charm rather like a bush that I've had for some time. Last year we removed the rose garden in our back yard because the bushes were over 20 years old and were not doing well. The space just became a flower bed which was attractive when we were showing Hydrangea House to sell and move. Since we've been unable to sell and have decided to stay here a couple years in the hopes of the housing market recovering, we decided to replant the rose garden. In June we saw our first Mr. Lincoln tea rose!

In the lower right corner is the month name and some garden tool charms because G's vegetable garden fairly bolted in that heatwave and we have been deluged with all kinds of squash. I did the little zucchini outline picture with one strand of floss, but may still do something more to it because I am not liking it at all. At the very end of the month we also started getting tomatoes from the many vines, but July looks like when we will received our multitude of tomato blessings.

In the center I have done the spider web with 1 strand of DMC floss in one of the colors (#3033) Sharon picked for the TIF June color palette. The spider is also done with one of the colors (gold #436) from the June palette.

So there you have it. I'm halfway through the year of this challenge and I really LOVE all the blocks I have done. I have learned a TON about color by participating in the challenge, much of which I think will enhance my crazyquilt work in years to come.

Each and every month as I have pieced the blocks in the colors that Sharon has chosen for the month I almost always have failed to really like the naked block, However, as I have finished each of the 6 blocks, in turn each has become my favorite. I can't WAIT to have all 12 months done and get these blocks together intp a wall quilt that will be MINE, ALL MINE!

Stitch On!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Coming Soon!

This picture of my Tuscan Zucchini Salad is just a coming attraction of sorts to let you know that soon my recipe blog will be up and running. Called "Lulu's Girl", it is a place where I will share my original recipes and also many recipes from my Mum's handwritten recipe book.

The recipes in her book range from ones from my grandmother and Aunt who worked in food service from the 1920's to 1950's and ones my Mum collected for her own cooking beginning in 1925 when she and Dad got married.
Hit the link and stay tuned if you love new-to-you recipes!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July - Independance Day - for those readers in the USA!

The image above was a freebie from Dover books in one of their sampler newsletters. I don't know when; it could have been years ago or just last year. I just found her on my computer this morning and thought you would like it. By the way, if you click on it, you should be able to save it or print it out.

Today won't seem like a holiday to G and I because it will be just us two here. In years past we always had all the family & sometimes friends here for a swim, barbeque dinner and table games or cards. But sadly friends and family move on or pass away. Both G's and my parents have passed away and our 3 daughters are married and scattered across the USA as are the 7 grandkids who will be enjoying the holiday in their own ways.

There will be no barbeque dinner even for G and I. We will be enjoying the bounty from our garden. Here's a picture of the great zucchini flood of 2008:

And this is what's left after multiple deliveries to friends and neighbors yesterday. The 8-ball zuchinni in the back there will be what we are having for dinner tonight. We had hamburgers a couple nights ago for dinner and there were patties left over. They will become the core ingredient in a stuffing I will make for the 8 balls. Half of one each makes a meal for the two of us usually, but maybe I will jazz up some store-bought potato salad with hard boiled eggs and a little mint to have with the stuffed 8 balls. I will stuff and cook all of them because they make make a great quick lunch warmed in the microwave. No sandwiches this week!

Are you hungry yet? Well, stay tuned here to see the announcement of my new recipe blog called "Lulu's Girl" where you can find the recipe for the stuffed 8 balls and more. I started out wanting to blog recipes from my Mum's handwritten recipe book, which I'm lucky enough to own. A lot of the recipes are from as far back as 1925 when my parents got married. The blog will be a mix of her recipes and mine and you'll be able to tell the difference - Trust me!

Well, now it's back to stitching on my Take It Further Challenge June block. I've gotten carried away and done all 4 major seams with the proper colors of thread but also with 4 vintage stitch combos from my collection of stitches from antique crazy quilts. I'll post a sneak peek soon!

Stitch On!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Take It Further - May block

Take It Further - May block

Well, here is my May TIF block finally finished! Still behind, I must move on now to embellishing the June block which I have already pieced. But first a few details.

Firstly, this is the first month that I have not used ANY of JBM's fabric line. When I considered the colors, this iris print almost jumped off the shelf and landed on my cutting station. It has two of the May TIF colors in it and I found it to be just perfect. Fabrics in the upper right and upper left corners simply were obvious choices and matched the posted colors. The batik in the lower left fell into place as did the pale blue from the Fairy Frost fabric line.

Now for some detail pictures....

Here you can see this month's spider and web done over the iris print. I used blue metallic Kreinik blending filement for the web and stitched the spider using 1 strand of navy blue silk floss.

Here you see in the upper right a beaded summer sun. I found a bag full of these metallic trim pieces at a garage sale a few days ago and thought one would be most appropriate for the May block because May was a tremendously hot month here in Northern California. The center of the sun is a vintage gold Swarovski Lochrosen rhinestone. The rest of the beads are just gold seed beads. The seam treatment below the sun is one from my collection of vintage stitches.

On the upper left of the block I have appliqued an image on cotton that was an online freebie from Janet at Vintage Vogue some time back. Mother's Day for me was a quiet one this year with the exception of 3 phone calls from the 3 daughters. I really miss not having my Mum around to send flowers to and make calls to on Mother's Day.

On the lower right area of the block I placed a remembrance yellow ribbon and flag for Veteran's Day in honor of all our veterans but especially for the many men in my family who have fought long and bravely in wars from the Revolutionary War to present. There are too many names or I would have stitched them all in this patch. A few of the recent ones are Papa T, Uncle Roy, and my brother.

I think the seam treatment shown here turned out particularly well. It is also a copy from my collection of vintage stitch combinations.

Scroll down to my posts from the past couple days to see more close up details, ok?

Stich On!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Another sneak peek at May TIF block

Upper right seam
Originally uploaded by lasassone
This is a seam treatment I have just finished on my May Take It Further Challenge block. I had this seam stitch combo in my notebook where I collect interesting stitch combinations that I see on vintage crazyquilts. I used a size #8 silk pearl thread which I think was a Rainbow Gallery thread. The beads are unusual in that they aren't the usual silver lined seed beads. They are opaque and I wish I had other colors of that type of bead. I really like the look of them.

Tomorrow I have a couple more things to do to this block and hopefully tomorrow evening I'll unveil the whole sheebang!

I downloaded the TIF July challenge colors this morning and struggled a bit with the colors. I have pulled 5 DMC colors, but am not sure they are the final ones I will use. I sure wish the color bars in my DMC chart were removeable so that I could lay the colors directly on the screen to compare with the chart.

I guess though I'm lucky that I even HAVE a chart. I read the other day that DMC has stopped making the charts with the actual thread samples in them, so if you've been thinking about buying one and you can find one, you should seriously do it now. I've heard from one of my thread sources that the new charts which are only printed are not so nice.

Stitch On!

Monday, June 30, 2008

May Take It Further Sneak Peek!

Here's a little sneak peek at the work I've done on my May Take It Further Challenge block. I have fallen behind on this challenge for a couple reasons but am now trying to catch up and hope to have this block done this week. I already have the June block pieced, so it's all about embellishments until I catch up and move on to the July challenge which Sharon will post on July 1st.
And here's a little bearded iris motif. This is one of the 4 designs included in the Summer Creativity Challenge on the Hand-embroidery list at yahoogroups. When I needed a motif for this iris-centered block (another hint there....) I copied the iris motif at 50% and it fit perfectly! It is done with one strand of silk floss and I back stitched it. I am less than happy with how the backstitching through tissue paper turned out. It was kind of an experiment. Next time I'll use outline stitch for sure.

Stay Tuned & Stich On!

Delta Crazy Stitchers 2008 Round Robin

Our local group decided some time ago that we'd like to do another round robin together. With the summer upon us, we could only get 5 stitchers interested though, so this will be a quick one!

I decided what I really NEED now is a cover for my sewing machine, which is just inside my new workroom AND one of the first things a visitor will see. I know, I know - I haven't posted pictures of the 2nd room in my 2 room studio-suite here. The problem is mostly that I can't seem to find a time when the room looks neat enough to take pictures. It's embarrassing, but I'm constantly working on the work table and now I"m in the midst of a total bead re-organization project that is gonna take me quite some time. I use those screw-together little towers for my beads and have used them for years, ever since made beaded skating dresses for my 2 girls and a couple others. Back then you could buy these towers in the drugstore where they were touted as pill containers.

Now, however, there appears to be at least 3 companies in China making them and, let me tell you folks, the little jars that screw together cannot be interchanged! So, as I've bought beads it's been a mess and now I have towers that are not just one color of beads nor even one type of bead. When I want yellow beads, for instance, I must go thru the whole cupboard of towers and most likely will find 6 or 7 towers with some yellow beads in them.

The idea of this project is to unscrew each little jar, store the beads in ziplock baggies and then re-store them in the towers by color. This was all brought about by my purchasing a couple expandable 3 tier things for inside my bead cupboard. Right away I found that some of my towers were too tall fpr the back shelf because I'd combined too many little jars. I return the tier thingees or do I re-organize my beads. G thinks I should do the reorganization and even volunteered to help me. Hmmmm, wonder how many beads will end up on the floor instead of in ziplock bags when he does this while watching television...............

So, back to the picture of my block.....I pieced this block to join in the round robin but I did it in a way completely different than I've ever done before. I actually determined the size I needed, drew the dimensions with a ruler on artist's newsprint paper. I then started drawing a crazyquilt block using a 5 sided piece in the middle. I did this because I knew what fabric I wanted to use as the theme. The faux cq print I have used in the center and all corners is the fabric that I will use for the front, top & sides of the new machine cover.

After I had drawn (and REdrawn) the block to my satisfaction, I laid a sheet of tissue over my drawing and traced it. I then cut up the tissue into patterns to be used on the fabrics that I had pulled to coordinate with the faux cq print. When I cut the fabrics out I added some seam allowance - usually about 1/2 inch in case I needed some ease one way or the other.

For construction I pieced everything but the corners and center first, then I fussy-cut the faux cq to fit. I love some of the curves I managed to get on this block and it will be interesting to see how the other stitches handle them. I may just have to apply this method of block construction again in the future!

Stitch on!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I've beem tagged

I have been tagged by Lil of crazyseoulsister. I have never done anything like this before because most seemed to have included a logo that I couldn't figure out. So, Lil, I'll give this one a try, okay? I tried the copy and paste with Lil's post, but egads, I got her whole blog, so here I go to try to delete and reorganize this dealy bob:

This tag by Lil is really just a challenge to name 6 unimportant things about myself so here goes...

First the rules-

1. Link back to the person that tagged you. ( I did that above!)

2. Post the rules on your blog. (You are reading them!)

3. Share 6 unimportant things about yourself. (See below)

4. Tag 4 people at the end of your entry. (See note below)

My List:

1- I have really bad sweet tooth and crave fast food. I've had the sweet tooth all my life and it might have something to do with Mum's love of baking, but it's a struggle to stay away from candy, other sweets AND the fast food. When I was younger I could eat ANYthing and never gained any weight so I would have some boobs! In FACT I used to drink milk shakes and the occasional beer before bedtime in order to GAIN weight. It didn't work. I weighed 92 pounds when I got pregnant with my first daughter, 142 pounds the day I had her and, alas, 92 pounds the day I took her home from the hospital. 12 years later I had finally had made it to 105 pounds and after our 3rd daughter was born I never quite lost the last 10 pounds I had gained. That was just the beginning and now, despite going to the gym 3 times a week where I have actually gained pounds from lifting weights, I tickle the 150 pound mark!

2- I was once told by a mentor who was one of my college professors that I was a Renaissance Woman. I'm not sure exactly what he meant by that; at the time I wasn't doing any work with textiles or anything else except trying to finish another year of college. I'm a closet writer and from that time of my life I have a couple unfinished novels for young persons sitting in my file cabinet. And a whole lot of research notes that I'm thinking need to be shredded! I view myself as very scattered and easily distracted. I keep multiple projects going simultaneously and flit from one to the other. Does that scream Renaissance Woman to you? And then there's the writing which I wish I could be more dedicated to, but then I wouldn't have time for stitching or reading or..........

3- I have 23 fair size binders full of Redwork patterns that I have printed off over the past 10 years from the internet. I'm sure I won't be able to stitch all of them in my lifetime, but I view them as a valuable library for my and my student's use. I'm hoping soon to have the time to downsize the designs (pulling duplicates) in each category and move them all into a lateral file cabinet I just bought. Come to think of it, many of you might know this about me because I recently shared pictures of my new Fabric Aging Room where those binders live. If I can downsize those binders, I can buy more fabric, right? LOL

4-I LOVE ironing and at one time when my girls were young, I even considered taking ironing in to make a little extra money. Does anyone iron anymore or do they just pay a laundry to do it? Perhaps with the current downturn in our economy ironing your own clothing will have a rise in popularity?

5- I've recorded a record.....don't get too excited. It was a gift for family members only and to listen to it first you'd need a turntable and 2nd I would be leaving the room! LOL! When I was a kid I wanted to be the next Dinah Shore. I took all kinds of gymnastic, dance, voice and piano lessons thanks to my parents. But when it came to performing on my own, I had truly awful stage fright. In high school I actually performed in duos and groups and went on to college to pursue anything that would get me to Broadway or Hollywood. Remember I said I was easily distracted? Well, marriage and children put those ambitions on the back shelf where they've grown old and moldy!

6- Like Lil I kinda hate tags and if you blogtag me I will probably not answer. lol It mostly is because of a lack of time to learn enough about blogging in order to do things like that quickly. I usually ignore a tag but but this one seemed easy. However, I'm not tagging anyone individually.

If you are reading this and want to play, feel free to copy and paste my posting!

And Let Me Know!!!!

Stitch On!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

CQ Stash Acquisition 6/14/08

On 6/14/08, Flag Day in the U.S., we traveled to Placerville, California to visit our eldest daughter and her 2 girls (17 & 19). On the way there while my dh, aka G, was driving, I noticed a new bead shop when we stopped at a Michael's in Folsom, California.

After lunch I asked my daughter if she had been to that bead shop yet and she said it was a really good one and I would like it because it has an amazing number of charms. She immediately turned & apologized to her father who had hoped to return straight home after our visit. LOL!

Since it was my turn to drive home, it's clear that we stopped, right? After 30 minutes and MUCH self-restraint and $30+ removed from my stash money, here is what I purchased.

I got the purple seed beads because I have always had a difficult time acquiring purple ones for my stash. I think it must be a difficult color to manufacture.

The snips are especially for beaders and are very similar to a pair of surgical steel thread snips that I bought years ago at a flea market. That is why, when I spied them hanging on the wall, I put them in my tray. I'm constantly losing the older pair, so now perhaps I can at least find one when I need to snip stuff. These say that they are good for thread AND thin wire!

I could not resist the mop leaves even though they were a bit pricey! I love anything that is mother-of-pearl.

The charms on the left are for my Mum's family quilt block. They are a set of measuring spoons, a cupcake pan and a rolling pin. She loved to bake, but as she got older she also loved to play games like yahtzee and pokeno, so I got the tiny little dice too. Now I just have to find a little deck of cards. She and I and my girls used to play a lot of cards. I'd venture to say my girls learned to play 500 rummy and poker before they learned to play children's games like Life and Monopoly!

The brass findings in the center are something that I just thought might somehow to be used to make fittings for victorian fans on future cq work.

The 3 very special rhinestone yellow flowers were made by hand by someone else and I bought them in order to include them on my "Yellow to othe Max" quilt in progress.

The strand of drop beads were in a sale area and I thought they looked a little like tiny chili peppers. They are red glass with a streak of yellow in them. Since my brother and his wife live in Arizona and we also hope to in the near future, I'm always on the lookout for things with a southwestern feel.

Playing a bit with these new things has sparked some interest in resuming stitching for me. I've been in a funk for about 3 weeks and am even way behind in the Take It Further Challenge.

In the next couple days (before Saturday at least) I have to piece something to take to our next local CQ stitchers meeting on 6/21. I measured my sewing machine today and I think what I will piece is a back of a sewing machine cover. I am still rearranging my workroom and it would be nice to have a pretty machine cover since the machine is right inside the door as you enter the room.

Smiles to you all!

Stitch On!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'm honored!

Yesterday the blogger behind Feeling Stitchy featured my spider and web work! Was a big surprise and I am delighted someone else loves my spiders as much as I do. Check out her blog and Stitch On! I've been out of town all day and now must spend some time catching up on things around here so I can find some time to stich myself!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Take It Further - April Block

Still trying to catch up around here with all the organizational activities and stitching obligations. Today, while G was away for the whole day playing golf, I managed to move my computer system into the workroom onto my new much-smaller desk. Talk about crowded! Let's call it cozy, okay?

So, I finished the April TIF block a few days ago. If you click on the picture here, you can also see more detailed close ups of the 4 corners and center of the block in my Flickr pictures.

The JBM fabrics in this block are in the center and at the lower left. The center spider web this month is made of copper metallic machine thread and Mr. Spidey is brown made with one strand of cotton floss.

At upper left is some simple silk ribbon irises. Simple is the only SRE I do. Our iris gardens began blooming in April much to the delight of the hummingbirds who also came home to almost daily drain the feeders in April.

The fabric at upper right was not only chosen because it was one of April's colors, but also because I thought it could represent G's vegetable garden which he planted in early April. In fact, just yesterday, Memorial Day, we harvested our first squashes - 2 eight ball zucchini and 1 yellow zucchini. Now the fun begins trying to keep up with the squash production. No tomatoes yet, but the bushes are 3 feet high already! Squash and tomatoes are the only things G grows. When I used to do the garden we had beans, beets and radishes, but he only grows what he likes to eat!

The birthday image at lower left was a freebie posted by Janet of Vintage Vogue and seemed most appropriate because on the last day of April I turned 66. One year on Medicare and I'm still kickin'.

On the lower right corner I tried to reproduce a seed pod from Mabel, our Maple tree. When we moved into this house, Mabel did little to shade our front window in the hot afternoons of summer. Now she is huge and every year in April she showers us with the "twirly bird" seed pods that the girl used to call "helicopters" and loved playing with.

The center stitching looks a little wierd I know, but I was doing my best to camoflage the fact that the center piece of fabric was not cut straight. You might not see it, but it's the only thing I could see after the block was pieced. Too lazy to repiece the block, I set about trying to hide the fact. There's not much special stitching on this month's block. I played a bit the my fly stitches on top of the birthday corner and the green line of stitching over Mabel is a stitch I found on an antique crazy quilt this month that I had not seen before.

Enjoy the close ups!

Stitch On!