Well, despite the problems I'm been having with my hands I have managed to almost finish my block for the quilts being made to honor Dee from Holland that Kate is gathering. She will be making the many beautiful blocks she has gotten into at least a couple wall hangings I think. You can see the blocks sent to her at www.fairykate.eboard.com
As I struggled with my painful handsd I saw a note from someone else on the CQI list that is having the same problem with her hands. She has decided to divest herself of much of her stash in anticipation that she will have to eventually discontinue her cq work. I truly hope I am not ever faced with having to make that choice. Since becoming immersed in the art of Crazy Quilting, I have found the work so challenging, pleasurable and satisfying. My life would be incomplete without crazyquilting.
My Mum had the same problems with osteo-arthritis in her hands. Hers was aggravated in her 50's by an accident with a wringer washer and she eventually did less and less embroidery. When asked to make a set of pillowcases for someone like my daughter the first year she was married, she produced them, but she was no longer as prolific as she had been when she was younger. She gave away so many wonderfully embroidered gifts that I sometimes wonder when I see when others score beautiful things at thrift shops, etc. if some of them were done by her. I have the last pair of pillowcases she made for me and I have never used them. I also have many thread bare pillowcases with perfectly good embroidery work on them from her that I hope someday to make into a little wallhanging.
The picture shown here is just one corner of a block I have made for the memorial project for Dee of Holland that Kate Hollifield is coordinating. I hope to finish the block and get more pictures posted over the weekend as I plan to post this to Kate on Monday. If you click on the picture after Sunday, it should take you to my Flickr pictures where you can see more closeups.
Some good news here is that I am going to be a Great-Aunt in October. My brother's only granddaughter is expecting her first baby and now all of you who have been laughing at me for making all those baby things, can stop laughing! I'm ahead of the game now!
I finished this scarf for my eldest daughter, so I thought I'd take a picture of it and post it. I love how it turned out and hope she likes it. I had finished the actual knitting of a couple days ago, but this afternoon I blocked it a bit and now it's all ready to pop in the mail to her on Tuesday.
This pattern is called Feather and Fan and there are many free versions of it on the internet. I cannot seem to find the exact one I printed off, but there is a very similar one at this website. Look down on the left for a link to the free pattern.
I think this pattern is very feminine looking and looks especially pretty done in variegated yarn. I cast on 42 stitches with #8 needles and made it 50" long as my daughter requested. The yarn I used is called Red Heart Collage in a color called "Ice Storm." For a 50" scarf it took about one and a half of the skeins which are 3.5 ounces each. If you'd like more length, using two full skeins would give you a nice long scarf.
I'm waiting for the reaction she gets from her daughters, my 2 eldest granddaughters. If they like it perhaps I can make 2 more. If I did that, I'd use the long #8 needles and make both at the same time! The pattern is THAT easy!
Blocking a scarf was pretty easy. I'm still trying to figure out what configuration of tables I'm going to need to block the bias knit baby blanket I finished a couple weeks ago. I've always said procrastination is my middle name, but more and more I'm thinking that I am just plain lazy.
However, today I got so much accomplished that I'm pretty proud of myself. Besides blocking the scarf, I did a load of towels, added a patch over a rip in some golf pants for G, cleaned my stove front panel, cleaned both bathrooms and all the mirrors and glass shelving in the house. Then I unpacked my miniature chair collection and set it up for display before making a run to Costco aka "the $100 store."
Right now G has gone off to buy us a take-and-bake pizza for dinner and I'm going to prep some redwork squares or perhaps work on the block I'm making in honor of Dee for the Omaha Memorial quilt. I really need to get the block to Kate ASAP!
My morning started by discovering that G had snuck off to the gym early and when I went into my studio I found that he had left 3 giftees and a card on the chair! One is a box of chocolates which I don't dare open right yet but it appears they come from See's! The 2nd thing is my own copy of Randy Pausch's book "The Last Lecture." I have already read this book, but it was a borrowed copy and I have wanted my own copy to keep. My youngest daughter and I agree that it's a book that should be read at least once a year. The 3rd thing, on the desk and not on the chair, was a red miniature rose! A few years ago I put a couple miniature roses in one of our gardens and so this deep beautiful red one, after I enjoy it inside for awhile, will join them!
I hope your Valentine's Day is great. If you don't HAVE a "valentine", treat yourself to something special today because you are special!
The image at the top of this post is of my class sample for a class I taught in Omaha in 2004. Called "Crazy for Redwork" the class combined my 2 loves and was a joy to teach.
The block's center originated in a basics of Redwork class at the yearly NQA annual conference/show when it was in Reno, Nevada in perhaps 2001. It sat in my UFO box until some of us in our local CQ group began thinking of doing monthly themed blocks. I pulled it out and used the class piece for the center of my February block. I think it's among my favorite pieces I have done over the years.
And I think it's totally appropriate for today's post!
On this 200th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, it seems only appropriate to remember him by posting the redwork portrait I did a couple years ago. The iron on image block was a gift from an internet friend who loves all things Lincoln as I have since I was a child. I have collected books and newspaper memorabilia for many years.
I did this portrait all in outline stitch with the spooled Sulky cotton thread that is size 12. It's a lovely thread to use for hand embroidery, makes a fine line of stitching and comes in a wide range of colors. Quite easy to find on the internet and in shops, I have bought most of mine at Creations in Kerrville, Texas which is an awesome and very friendly quilt shop a morning's drive from my youngest daughter's home in San Antonio. When we drive there for a visit, we always spend out last night on the road in Kerrville - for 2 reasons.
One is so that I can visit Creations and the other reason is that I'm a "foodie" I guess. That is what my late brother called G and I. You see, in Kerrville there is a Culver's restaurant in the front of the local Super Wal-Mart, so G is happy - he loves to visit the Wal-Marts wherever we go. My stomach starts growling the minute I see the Culver's sign! I was introduced to Culver's in Minnesota by my good friend Mona.
I wish Culver's was closer to us; I'd give up In and Out Burger in a heart beat! Their ButterBurgers and frozen Custard are to die for!
Gosh! I must be hungry; it appears I must need breakfast!
Have you ever just had a string of mishaps and they never seem to end? I have finally managed to upload my February free BOM design to Flickr where, if you click on the image above, the click will take you to the design and you can print it off. OR, choose all sizes, pick large, right click on it and save to your desktop or file where you keep designs to later print off.
*** (I can't seem to make paragraph breaks so this is my solution for now!)
If you prefer to download a .pdf file, here is a link to one:
*** Again this month I designed this stitchery to be 7" high and 7" wide, but you can print it off in your own software any size you like.
For a hint last month I asked you what kind of quilter I am and thus for February I am offering a crazyquilted heart design. There are many ways you can use this design. As far as stitching, if you know the stitches portrayed, by all means stitch away. If they are unfamiliar to you, just use straight stitches, stem stitching and lazy daisy stitches.
The little hearts on the top left seam are actually just fly stitches if you know how to do those. When I catch up with things around here, I will no doubt do this design two ways. One will be totally red stitching on white or cream and the other way I will do some crayon work and use colored embroidery floss. The chocolate truffle at the bottom I think would look neat colored brown with pink zigzagging around it to represent the paper cup and then white chain stitching for the icing squiggle.
Further embellishment of my design is up to you and I would love to see what others come up with. I think even adding charms in place of the words "love" and "be mine" might be fun. And how about perhaps sewing lace around the whole thing when it's done?
I had to include a chocolate truffle on this heart because on Valentine's Day I always think of my Mum, Lulu, who used to work in a candy factory dipping chocolates and knew what all those little squiggles on the chocolates meant. She always helped me avoid the pieces with nuts in them; I do NOT like nuts in my chocolate! As an aside, you can see many of Mum's recipes on my other blog; there is a link up top here.
Next month, March, might not be much of a surprise to anyone. St.Patrick's Day is in March and also the First Day of Spring! *** What are the first flowers that bloom in YOUR Spring garden? *** Stitch On!
Sunday we had rain showers and periods of sunshine so I took a very short walk around our gardens to check out how the plants have been faring with our recent cold temperatures. I was surprised to find a few signs of the garden waking up and getting ready for Spring.
Always the first to bloom, you can see in the 2nd picture that the snowdrop bulbs are up and waving their sweet blossoms in the wind. We were given a large clump of these by our next door neighbor almost 25 years ago when we first moved in. A couple years ago G divided up the clump and replanted these in the beds around our swimming pool. This year they are looking more well-established and the old clump, still there, even looks like it could be divided again!
Since the first year the Snowdrops have reminded me of the Lilies of the Valley that I remember as a child. Unfortunately I've tried to grow those here, but for some reason I cannot get them to grow.
The 1st picture is of the berries on a plant I think is called Heavenly Bamboo. This plant is at least 20 yrs old and this is the first time I recall ever seeing such pretty red berries on it. Nearby in the same area is a potted jade plant that is also blooming. I thought I took a picture of it's pretty pink blossom clusters, but I couldn't find it on my disk this morning and it's now raining again, so you'll just have to take my word on it. The jade usually blooms at Christmas time, but perhaps because it got left in the garden in it's pot instead of being brought in under the patio cover, it was too cold to bloom until now.
For those looking for my February BOM free redwork pattern, please be patient. I'm having a couple technical issues which I hopefully resolve later today and get it posted. For now I am off to my yoga class to rejuvenate!
A lot of you know me as a fiber artist of sorts. I have been teaching crazy quilting and embroidery for years now, but I also love good food. I have collected and experimented with recipes for over 45 years. I have even edited a cookbook for our local garden club. I also am happy to say that I own my Mum's handwritten recipe book which contains recipes from my grandmother and recipes Mum collected since she and my Dad wed in 1925. When I was searching for a name for my recipe blog where I will be sharing a lot of Mum's recipes this blog name just popped into my head. When I was a child I used to hear ladies at church functions like weddings, potlucks & picnics ask "who is that little girl sitting over there all by herself?" Someone else would always answer "Oh, that's Lulu's Girl; she is very shy!" Some of you know that I've overcome the shyness, but, believe me, it took a very long time!