Monday, September 28, 2009

Winner! And some fall decorating at last

Well, as promised, this was a really EASY giveaway to win. While I had a record number of comments, it was still a small group -- 6. So I made 6 tiny little pieces of paper with names on them and drew a winner -- Loralynn from My Art and My So Called Life. Please send me your address and I will get the package off to you. And I am hopeful you can make it look great where ever you decide to put it!

Meanwhile, I have been doing fall decorating with things I can manage! I like to do plain fall in September, Halloween in October, and Thanksgiving in November so this is plain vanilla fall for the most part. I saw a quilt on Nancynoblogblogs last year and fell in love with it. I realized I had one of the panels and made this small version to fit on the wall over my pantry. I even love my version.And here is the dining room table ready for fall. We found the little wooden crows thrifting a few months back and this seemed the perfect time to use them. The cranberry bowl is a new (yes, really new) purchase from Art in the Park which is a huge affair put on every year by the Boise Art Museum. It has the alphabet around the rim. It's funny because I don't usually pay much attention to the pottery booths but for some reason, walked into this one and found the only bowl like this. Karma. The runner is a couple of years old. It was a kit I picked up at the Utah show a few years ago from Whimsy Cottage, a great shop that used to be in Heber City. It closed but has been reborn somewhere in SLC. I just haven't had time to get down there to hunt for it.
This is a new shelf that Mr THQ painted and put up for me. I had to move the houses from their normal perch for a new thrifted purchase that I will share in a sec and the light coloured berries looked perfect on the pegs.
Here is a little more of that ivory berry stuff. I like it here, too.
Time to bring out the autumn bear.
Sunflower runner bought on sale from Gooseberry Patch last year and another stolen idea. This time from Kim at Kim's Big Quilting Adventure. That would be the Thimbleberries' Autumn book. If you haven't seen that book, it has some great pictures. Really inspiring. Mr THQ laughed out loud at the pumpkin hat on the other bear. And I thought it was cute.
Apples for fall
And updating the entry bench for fall with one of my favourite fall quilts and MS Pumpkin doll.
Sorry for how dark this one is. It suddenly got quite cloudy this afternoon. In fact, the weather report says frost at a minimum on Wednesday and snow in the mountains! Anyway, this is the shelf where the houses used to live. At Salvation Army one day they had a half off sale on orange tags and we found an orange tag on a big sack of wooden bits. When Mr THQ finished emptying the sack, this entire train emerged. I love all the different woods. There were other great things in the sack too, but this was the absolute best. And all for 5 bucks!
More apples for fall. Leaf bowl also on sale from Gooseberry Patch off season. Hmmm. I am noticing a theme here...
My mantel. You've already seen the scarecrow cross stitch. And, ta da, my primary garland success. This is where I tried to use the giveaway and failed dismally. But I am okay with this. More sunflowers. I LOVE sunflowers. Bet you could tell. Funny, this was a spoon holder that came from a pottery booth at Art in the Park quite a few years back. Maybe I look at the pottery booths more than I think I do....
And I love this floral bunch. There is a super-duper primitive store in town that I rarely visit because it is so spendy but I did and this is what I came home with. The pumpkin dish towel is a favourite of mine as well.
And I have been sewing a bit. I have to take back all my bad mouthing of pre-cuts, well, at least charm packs, because I love, love, love this. It is two charm packs, one Bound to the Prairie and one Bound to the Prairie 2. It is a Schnibbles pattern. I missed the sign ups for 12 months of Schibbles so decided to do my own. Don't you just love it too? Now, to get it pinned and quilted.
See you next time.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The ever popular giveaway

is in order today as this is my 50th post(!) and it seems customary in blogland to celebrate by thanking those of you who stop by to see what's up at the tall house. While it's pretty amazing that I am up to 50, the even more amazing thing is how high the counter thingie has climbed. Seems like it took forever to get to 1000 and now it's over 12,000! (Probably broken...)

So, what will you win? First, I have to apologize for the picture. You already know what a bad photographer I am, and this picture is so bad that you might not even want the prize. I didn't realize how bad it was until it was already uploaded and since I had packed everything up ready for shipment, I will have to supplement with a description.

So, what is it? In honour of fall it is fall decorating in a box. It includes beaded fall veggies including a fairly large pumpkin. (I guess the beads and the flash were incompatible.) It also has two large leaf and berry branches, and a bunch of little pumpkins and extra leaves. It is actually quite nice and it is new, not thrifted. Along with being photography challenged I am garland and branch challenged and although I tried, I just could not make it look good anywhere in my house. So it needs to go to a better home than I can provide.

In addition I am adding a Halloween book that has some pretty cool ideas in it.

So, if you manage to get past the picture and decide you would like to give this a good home, here's what you need to do. Leave a comment. As simple as that. I see lots of folks offer extra entries for linking on their blog but I am just not up for anything that complicated these days. Next Friday, September 25th, I will choose a comment at random. Oh, and US only please. This is a pretty good sized box and postage is spendy and getting spendier.Geez, looking at this again, I couldn't even pose it nicely for the pic. Sheesh!

Now, how about a regular post about what I have been up to while you were looking at all those quilt show pics the last few weeks.

Here is my first September finish. Hope you will accept that it is cross stitch and not quilting. I used to do tons of cross stitch and recently have gotten back into it. Mr THQ made the frame for me and I laced it over batting covered cardboard. I had read about lacing on cross stitch blogs and it sure is neater than using duct tape!

Okay, back to quilting, well, sort of.

As you know, thrifting is one of my favourite things to do and not long ago I found this big comforter bag full of scraps. I recognized a couple of the fabrics and for 4 bucks (less 20% for my senior discount) it came home with me. This is what I saw when I opened it. Wow, look at all that! Unfortunately, along with the huge pile of fabric that burst forth so did a totally lethal dose of fabric softener smell. I just can't handle the smell from those dryer sheets and we never use them but the previous owner of this stash must have adored them. So, first up, everything had to go into the washing machine. Twice.

While not everything in the pile was quilting fabric, I managed to get 26 fat quarters out of it. Here they are and some of them are super cute. A little out of my normal fabric rut but those birds on top are the definition of super cute. I have been doing some sewing, but I since I was having a hard time trying to figure out what to work on I decided to pull out a kit I had gotten from Fons & Porter a few years ago. Talk about outside my normal fabric rut, just look at these colours.

Circles and dots appeal to me as you know, and I decided (even though it was really hard) to only use the fabrics from the kit and not replace any I didn't like much or thought didn't go with the others. I love to do fusible blanket stitch applique and this was lots of fun.

Here is the finished top. I then spent way too much time online looking for the perfect backing fabric. Have you used the search? You put in what kind of fabric you are looking for, in my case, green circles, and it brings up tons of thumbnails from shops all over the country. What fun! A bit dangerous though. I ended up buying several possible backings and after dithering back and forth today I finally decided what to use. But you don't get to see it until I get this quilted. Now I just have to decide how to quilt it. I feel another round of dithering coming on..

Then I decided to pull out a jelly roll of Bound to the Prairie 2 that I have been aging for a year or two. I think I have mentioned in the past that I don't buy many kits or precuts. This is the first jelly roll I have ever used. I was really shocked to see how un perfect the cuts were. I can manage to get the bends at the fold line like this all by myself.

And look, not even really 2 1/2". I had to do lots of trimming.

So, what did I make? An elongated 9 patch. Here is the back. Yes, I confess, I am an open seam presser whenever there are lots of seams crossing each other. A friend of mine a few years ago said she was going to press every seam open on every quilt she made for a whole year. She did and the quilting police never visited her even once. So I think it is okay to do and use this technique whenever I think it will make the seams lie flatter.

And, here is the front. Why is it that when you lay out blocks everything seems perfect but once you have them sewn together you see the boo boo instantly? Look at the two blocks right next to each other that are mirror positive/negatives of the same fabric. I only had to take apart a couple of blocks to get it fixed. Sometimes I would have to take so much apart that I spend probably as much time trying to convince myself that it doesn't matter and only I will notice.

Now this one is all together, the back and binding ready to go. I have quite a few small quilts that are ready to be quilted. Have to motivate myself to have a Saturday morning pinning party. The pinning is always the hardest part for me. I will just have to visualize all the fun I will have quilting them. That should work, shouldn't it?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Summer must really be over now

because this is the very last of the pictures from the summer quilt shows. Let's finish them off, shall we? This is an interesting basket quilt because it is one BIG basket. It makes me think of a guy who worked for me a while back. We were remodeling our kitchen in the old house we lived in (spurred on by the fact that the ceiling fell down) and were stove shopping. I was telling at work about how our old one had only one big burner and he kept looking at me funny (funnily?). Finally we all realized he was picturing a stove with one big burner literally -- not the usual 3 small and one big that I was trying to improve with 2 small and 2 big. He drew a picture of what he was thinking and it looked just like this -- one big one dab smack in the middle! Here is a closer look. I love the use of fabrics, too. Look at how cool the "weaving" on the basket is.
I am always drawn to house quilts and I also love blanket stitching. So it is only natural that I would want a picture of this one. This is a Little Quilts pattern, isn't it? Or certainly similar.
There is a little stage in the room where they show the quilts and they always have a feature on it. I didn't realize until this year that they feature quilts that represent the next year's theme on the state. So, baskets it will be next year. Isn't this one cool? I lovethe way the baskets are made.
I like this one, too. I am not a very good photographer -- probably not news, now is it? It's hard to tell on this one if I was trying to get the quilt or the exit door. LOL.
What you are supposed to be seeing in this one is the long narrow quilt with the 4 baskets. The flowers in each one were done on an embroidery module. Cool idea. I bought the embroidery module when I got my new machine quite a few years ago now. We won't talk about how many times I have used it. But if I were to use it I might want to do something like this.
Not sure why I have this one. Maybe because it is so colourful. The striped (piano key?) border sure seems to be popular as it has been on many quilts. I have done this once or twice but have a hard time keeping all the stripes as nice and straight as these are.
I like the dark colour background on this one. Definitely a starry, starry night.
Here I am again taking pictures of pastel quilts. I really, really like this one. The colours and fabrics are just so pretty and blend so well. It was on a short side aisle so I had a hard time getting a picture of the entire thing but this one gets most of it.
Here is the center.
Just look at some of these yummy fabrics. Not a one that I own. I love to look at quilts at shows and in magazines, and yes, on other blogs, to see if I own any of the fabrics. Some kind of taste validation thing going on I guess.
Ta da -- the end. I think it is always fun to see quilts and certainly if you have stuck with me for all these quilt show posts you must too. I get lots of ideas. I like to think that taking pictures of quilts that strike me at the time is a good way to broaden my horizons. I love primitive and do tend to get into a bit of a rut. Of course, when I make something a little different I have issues finding a place to put them in my house. But that's a good problem to have!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Two days in a row

now, can you believe it? Back with more Kuna show pics. I think this is the second to last batch, then you will be stuck with just my self. First up, look at this kitty quilt. This is absolutely amazing. The story indicated it was in honour of a departed kitty named Grace. I have a few close ups of some of the blocks, too. Here is Santa Kitty. We once had an orange marmalade cat named Kelsey. She was a very skittish kitty. We always described her behaviour as "pet me but don't touch me". Her mother adopted us when she was pregnant and we had 3 of the kitties for quite some time. Until they disappeared as kitties often do.

I like this ticking kitty, too. Our current kitty was actually my daughter's. She has been with us for years though. She is quite old and slow now. She is a tiny long haired white cat. Just walking in her vicinity in black guarantees you will be covered in white hair.

Here's a few more of the blocks.

Now this one is "something completely different". It's kind of hard to see in the picture but see the covered buttons? You can open and close flaps with loops in strategic places. 3-D plus interactive.

I took this picture because I liked the fussy cut cabins and geese. Or ducks. Not sure of my fowl identification right now. Since I live in the Pacific northwest there is usually at least one cabin or lodge type quilt at every show.

Here is one from Tenderberry. This one is in flannel. these fabrics and panels are always so cute. I have the one with Frankenstein and other Halloween characters. The blocks are nicely cut and awaiting the proper time to be assembled into a quilt. Actually I made one of those raggy flannel quilts from a Christmas Tenderberry a few years ago. I didn't really like it and I REALLY did not like the mess it made in my washing machine and dryer. I sold it to a co-worker who admired it. Now if it ever needs to be washed again she can play with all the strings and fuzzies!

Tonight we have a little bit of variety, don't we? This one is sweet. Remember when you were a kid and your mom wouldn't let you wear pink and red together? Well, at least my mom wouldn't let me. Nor wear white shoes before Decoration Day and after Labour Day. I think that now the fashion police have gone on a permanent vacation.

I like pink and green together, too. This one not only has that nice colour combination but it also has cool heart quilting.

See what I mean? Looks really nice I think. I like the use of the heavy dark thread, too.

Here is a cool Christmassy log cabin. I love the use of colour. I am definitely going to have to do this. I have lots of Christmas fabrics, many I bought years ago at JoAnn's. I never want to use them because they are just too cutesy. This would be a great way to use them up and disguise the cutesy.

Not sure I like the strippy border, though. That may be just a bit too much for me. But I really do love the concentric blue and green around the red star in the center.

Of course, now I have to start cutting my Christmas prints into strips. That seems to be all I am doing lately -- cutting. I don't seem to be able to decide what it is I want to make next. I have quite a few tops again that need to be pinned and quilted so maybe it is time for another pinning party. But then I have to move the semi finished fall centerpiece on my dining room table. I can't seem to get that finished either. I guess I am just in one of those funky periods when nothing seems do-able. Or finish-able. Oh, well.

Here is another thirties-ish quilt. I like how clear the colours are on this one.
My mother in law decorated in an Oriental style. This one made me think of her.
Here is a closer look. I think it is very effective with the circles. Looks like moons in a night sky.
Well, that's it for tonight. It is a school night after all. I will get the rest of the Kuna pictures posted in a few days. Best of intentions at least.