Sunday, August 30, 2009

Blue Flower Quilt

Finally finished my blue flower quilt last week. Not too bad, for starting it in June. I needed some handwork to do for a long car trip, so I bought this blue flowered print. Yes, technically this quilt is a cheater! I quilted all around the scalloped edge of the flowers, and the inside dark blue circle.

I found some cute blue polka dot fabric for the backing, and I think it shows off the quilting quite nicely.

I really enjoy hand-quilting; I find it very relaxing. And very satisfying. Thanks to the great Clover Black Gold needles that SisterStitches gave me, it went quite smoothly.

I'm going to keep this quilt at my house for when BabyStitches comes to visit. It will be her quilt for when she's at Nanna's (MissesStitches's) house. It's not real big--a good size for a lap quilt or a snuggle quilt.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Obi Quilt

This is a quilted wallhanging that I made using a Japanese obi. A couple years ago I went to a vintage kimono sale, and picked up several kimono and obi, thinking to use the nice (mostly silk) fabric in quilting and crafts. This obi is a very deep purple/maroon color (almost brown), with a pretty texture woven into it. I attached it to a piece of raw linen, and that in itself was a challenge. The obi is actually made up of quite a few thicknesses, some of which are all sewn together in the long obi, and some of which are not completely sewn together. I sewed the parts that I could on the machine, and the rest I tacked down from the backside of the linen, so my stitches wouldn't show. I wanted to do my best to ensure that this wallhanging doesn't go limp on the wall and sag. So I reinforced the back with fusing and heavy fabric, before echo quilting around the obi. It makes my shoulders ache just to remember it! Quilting that baby was really tough. It was very heavy and hard to manage, as any large quilt is. I used the walking foot on my machine, and had to pivot and rearrange every so often. But now it's done and I'm happy!

It's now hanging in our guest room. From a bamboo pole, which I think fits the "mood" perfectly. Plus, bamboo is lightweight (good for something overhanging a bed in earthquake country) and strong (good for a heavy hanging like this).

Here is a close-up of the obi, showing the beautiful texture in it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Summer Traveler

I made this cute little guy(?) for my DGD, BabyStitches. It is called a Summer Traveler, and I found the tutorial on It was fun to make! I altered it just slightly from Whosie's directions, but I like the way it turned out. BabyStitches, upon being given the Summer Traveler, immediately hugged him (it? her?).

And here's another shot, showing the fabric I used for the back. I like the little spiral that I embroidered for the belly button.

It's just a cute, fun, floppy toy to throw around.

"Quote" Day

I had lunch with dear MisterStitches last week at an Italian restaurant in San Francisco. On the table were small cards like the one below with a short poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. You can click on the photo to make it bigger, but it is a little difficult to read, so I've reprinted it below:

Recipe For Happiness In Khabarovsk Or Anyplace

One grand boulevard with trees
with one grand cafe in sun
with strong black coffee in very small cups.

One not necessarily very beautiful
man or woman who loves you.

One fine day.

It's just such a nice and
simple sentiment. So I'm
sharing it with you!
Khabarovsk, by the way
is in Russia.

This quote was in the SF Chronicle last week, in a column that always has a "public eavesdropping" item. Tim Lincecum is a fantastic young pitcher for the SF Giants. It is always a joy to see him go out to the mound. Although I'm not one to usually have an imaginary boyfriend, I think Timmy would probably make a good one. I have to say though, that given my age, I'm a lot more likely to adopt Tim than have him as a boyfriend!

Naked Ladies!

When MisterStitches and I came home the other day we found some Naked Ladies in our yard! These beautiful flowers (also known as Belladonna Lilies) sprout up here and there this time of year. I think they are absolutely lovely, but I have no idea how they got this name. It can be the source of some amusement, though. Several years ago, before I knew the name of this flower, I drove by the local garden store and saw their sign: "Naked Ladies For Sale." Really made me wonder!

A lot of people have been seeing whales going by, and I finally saw some spouts yesterday. (Need to spend more time staring at the ocean.....) We see mostly humpback whales here, but blue whales have been sighted recently, too. I can't usually see enough of the whale to even introduce myself, let alone tell what kind it is.

Right after seeing the whales, we drove into town for dinner. On the way we saw a bobcat walking along the top of a wooden rail fence. We actually turned the car around and went back for a second look. At first I thought it was just a large cat, then I saw it's cute little bobbed tail. He (she?) was very handsome, with sort of light-colored tabby markings.

A good day for nature sightings! Oh, the deer were in our yard in the morning, too.

All for now.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bloomers for Aurora

I made some cute little bloomers for baby Aurora. (They are actually white--don't know why they look greenish in this photo.) I used McCall's pattern #M5916. But the ruffles were my own idea! And believe it or not, I made these bloomers from a t-shirt of mine. I just found I wasn't wearing it much, and I cleaned/sorted one day to get more room in my closet. The bloomers were quite easy to put together. I have enough of the t-shirt left to make another pair, including ruffles.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pillows for Alexis

I finally finished these two pillows for my dear DaughterStitches's friend, dear Alexis. We went shopping for the fabric together, and she chose this beautiful light blue silk with stitching lines in it.

I had one false start, when I discovered that I couldn't make the cool brown/blue piping work. :-(

But then I found some nice tassels to put on the pillow corners. I was looking at Britex Fabrics, and couldn't find any tassels that were the right color. Then I looked at the braids/trims and found the perfect tassels! Every third tassel was just the right blend of light blue and brown. So I bought enough length that would give me eight tassels. I cut each blue/brown tassel off the braid (the way it was constructed made it super easy!) and sewed them to the corners of the pillows. Voila!

Now I have quite a few light blue tassels (9) and brown tassels (8), so I will have to find a place for them! Anyone reading this have a need for tassels? Because I would be glad to give them to you. Just let me know. Not sure if any use can be made of the braid, as it has all the loopy threads protruding from one side.

Duvet Cover From He!!

In a previous post, I mentioned my duvet cover that I'd been working on. It was kind of a Goldilocks and the Three Bears story. First it was "too short." Then it was "too long." But this third attempt is "just right," so I laid down and took a nap!

You can see that I got up from my nap to take a photo of the bed, but Athena (the cat) hadn't gotten up from her nap! Actually, I don't think she got up from a nap all day long, except to go somewhere else and take another nap. What a life!

Here's another view, showing the stripes a little better. All I can say is, "Glad it's done!" It was one of those projects that had been lying around for a long time. Not my favorite thing to work on because, face it, it wasn't being a fun experience! But at last I powered through and finished the job. Got 'er done!

Shibori Fabric Dyeing

Last week I went to a class on Shibori fabric dyeing. WOW!!! It was great. Given as a partnership between the Museum of Craft and Folk Arts, and The Craft Gym, it was a small evening class located at the Museum. CG is offering a class there once every month, and it's a great way to dabble in something new, and come home with a nice completed project.

The photo above shows my one-yard piece of silk that was dyed in crushed black walnut hulls; it came out a light tan. My old tie-dyeing skills from the 70's came into use again, as I made little pinches in the fabric and secured it with thread.

This second photo shows my two "practice pieces," one dyed with the walnut, and the other dyed with regular old cumin like you buy at the grocery store. The yellow one I prepared differently. I folded it accordian-style on the bias. Then I secured my little "square" with wooden skewers placed above and below the folded fabric square and held them together with rubber bands on the ends. So it made these interesting little squares.

The whole evening was a lot of fun, and it was nice to learn the technique. Check out
Craft Gym's website to see their up-coming classes in San Francisco.

Monday, August 3, 2009

One Pretty Thing

Hey there...

Check this out! I was actually featured on the website,

They put up a link to my tutorial about making wine cork placecard holders. This is really exciting to me--I know, it doesn't take much!

I really like the oneprettything website, as they have so many great ideas. I dream about making everything there! Feel free to look at all their posts, not just the one with MissesStitches in it!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Great Stitching to go with Great Pitching

Monday night was Stitch-n-Pitch Night at the Giants game. It was really intended mostly for knitters, I believe, and people who had bought a ticket for that specific night all sat in one section. But I already had my ticket, and I don't knit. I decided to take my stitching with me anyway. So here I am, hand sewing some of my diamonds together into tumbling block squares. I thought, why not take advantage of an opportunity to do a little sewing. Dear SonStitches took this photo for me, and he came up with a great title, so I'm using that for this post's title. It was great pitching, too, as Tim Lincecum had something like 15 strikeouts against the Pirates. It was a great game. I didn't really think I would get much sewing done, as a night game is usually pretty chilly. But as you can see, I never even put my coat on, and it was simply balmy that night. I only got a few strange looks from people! Go Giants!