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!