Thursday, August 30, 2007

Restoring a "sane" quilt for a change

This quilt was done for a customer through Laura's Home, the restoration business that I've been working with for the last 6 months or so. Laura sent me the last two crazy quilt restoration jobs, and this is one that came to me from a fellow that my sister worked with. I was happy to do it with Laura's help and her vintage fabric stash!
There was a hole in the center of this quilt, where 3 of the diamond shapes were missing, as well as two of the white squares and two triangles. In order to keep the blocks looking as well planned as they originally were, I removed 8 diamond shapes from one block and used 3 of those to fix the damaged block. Then I had to replace the 8, which I did with a vintage pink floral print. The four center blocks had either never had or had lost their batting and quilting stitches, so I replaced the batting and hand quilted all four blocks to hold it in place. Lastly, I put a new binding on it.

This is the finished quilt with all but the top row of blocks visible. It is a beautiful pattern, with some of the stars done in a variety of prints, which gives the impression of pinwheels, and some done all in one print, which looks more star-like. It was originally made by the owner's grandmother and even though it's a family heirloom, it is now usable again as a quilt.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


This is Zackery, who is just over 3 months now. He's filling out, especially in the cheeks. I'm still telling him I'm saving up to buy him a butt. Poor little guy definitely got shorted in that department.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

More moon flowers and Engineer Pass

These are some shots I took on our recent drive over Engineer pass. The pass is a 4 wheel drive road that goes from Lake City, Colorado, to Ouray or Silverton, Colorado, depending on which fork you take near the end. It goes up to 12,000 feet in elevation, into the tundra of the Rockies. We saw a black bear while on the drive, though he wasn't black, he was what my husband calls a "cinnamon" bear. I thought he was more honey colored. He definitely didn't blend in well with the bushes; the sun on his coat really made him stand out.

And I just thought I'd show you how moon flowers reproduce themselves so prolificly. The spiky little balls are the seed pods, which, when dry, will curl open and drop seeds all over. They are less lethal than they look at this point; the spikes are fairly soft, but once they're dried, they stick like velcro.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Great Button Buy!

On Monday of this week, which was my first day without the responsibility of children since May, I went to mail a package and stopped into our local Joann's. They had some buttons on clearance with red tags, so I picked out a few, about $10 worth at the clearance price, and took them to the register. When they rang up, they were coming up at 10,25, or 50 cents each. They totalled $4! So I went back later and really looked them over. I ended up spending another $20 for buttons that, when I totalled the retail price, came to over $106. I got hand painted kitties, a tiger, and a moose. There are 3 different Mary Engelbreit styles, fancy filigrees, Scotty dogs, roses, bunnies, pumpkins, strawberries, and mother of pearl ones. Take a look; click on the picture to see them larger.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Restoration and resizing of an antique quilt, part 2

This restoration project was on a beautiful but time-damaged pineapple log cabin quilt done in silks, with a crazy quilted border. The owner just wanted to save the good parts of the cq border, so I took it off of the main part of the quilt and rearranged it on a new foundation. That sounds so much easier than it was, LOL!
Much of the original embroidery was worn and had to be replaced, as well as the new seams created by "puzzling" the pieces together in their new form. The date, 1887, however, was still in good shape and on a good piece of velvet, so that is original, as well as maybe 30% of the rest of the seam embroidery.
Some of the fabrics used were ribbons, including the beetle jacquard that came in two color variations. One was black and orange, the other burgundy and orange. It was quite worn in spots, but I was delighted to find when I turned it over that it was vibrantly colored on the back side, just in reverse of the front. So several of the pieces I turned to the "back" side to get the brighter color and less worn look. It really gives this little quilt a pop of color!
The finished quilt will be a wall hanging, and it's just the perfect size for it. It came out to just under 24" square, with a pillowcased (or knife, if you prefer) edge. It still has its original batting and backing, which is a soft dove-lavender sateen. All together, I think this took me about 4 months (taking some time off this summer), but what a gem it turned out to be! I hope the owners will enjoy it for many many years!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Those last two posts are from Blogthings, which has an uncountable number of little "tests" you can take to tell you more about yourself. If you want to waste a few minutes or a few hours, try them out. They're kind of fun. I would never have guessed my element was metal, but the last sentences sure do sound like me. And I already knew my brain was blue.... and it has a patchwork zone in it.
Your Brain is Blue
Of all the brain types, yours is the most mellow.You tend to be in a meditative state most of the time. You don't try to think away your troubles.Your thoughts are realistic, fresh, and honest. You truly see things as how they are.
You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about your friends, your surroundings, and your life.


Your Power Element is Metal
Your power colors: white, gold, and silver
Your energy: contracting
Your season: fall
You are persistent (and maybe even a little bit stubborn).If you see something you want, you go for it.You have a lot of strength, and it's difficult to get you down.Very logical, you tend to analyze everything going on in your life.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sassa Lynne threads.

These are some special hand dyed threads that I purchased from another Cqer named Susan Nixon. They have the most beautiful color variations within each strand! I think if thread could be eaten, these would be delicious. I'm determined to use some on my 3rd fall block, which I've decided is going to be an experimental block. I will just try new things on it, since I have no definite plans for its eventual use.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Season to season fall blocks.

Well, the first block I made for this swap was so much fun to work on that I ended up embellishing it all myself. It is meant to be seen on point, but I could photograph it a little closer with it squared, so if you tilt your head a little to the left...... It has 5 bats, 2 of which are printed on the fabric, and the other 3 are embroidered in satin stitch. The little grey blob in the tree on the right is an owl charm, which I neglected to position correctly for the photo (oops). The upper patch has the spider on her web, and in the lower left patch is a crescent moon and a ghost, also satin stitched. I felt I needed the ghost there, because the seam embroidery on the black patch looks like a line of terrified stick people running with their hands over their heads. There's a very private cemetery in the black print on the right, under the owl's tree. Someone has left a red rose on the there's a story there. And then there's a wild pumpkin patch on the red patch in the front (when you have it on point).

The second block I did, which is somewhat similar to the first, has the very last bit of my batty print fabric. It also has a moon, lightning, and a sinister tree. I did this tree with a few leaves left; they're done in black beads that have an iridescent coating that make them shiny blue, maroon, green and gold. The pumpkin patch is right under the tree in this block. And this is where I absolutely must stop, so I can send it on to the swap hostess, Gerry, with some work left to be done by whomever my partner will be.

This is the third block I've done for fall. I've started embroidering it, but have no plans for the final outcome. Maybe I'll practice a little more SRE on it. The shiny leaves are on some fabric I bought at Walmart. The fabric itself is like organza, very sheer, and the leaves are heavily embossed onto it, so I put some purple fabric behind it to set them off. It doesn't scream purple, it's just a hint. I really love to be able to use orange (HONKING ORANGE, to some) in the same block with royal purple. The fabric in the upper right corner is royal purple, though it looks sort of blue in the photo.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Halloween block; progress

I've done a few seams on the block, and identified some that will not have regular seam treatments. The seam between the print and the red fabric on the left is held by the tree branches I added, so it doesn't need anything else. The seam between the print and the shiny burgundy on the right is held by bats and lightning. Lightning and tree branches also covers the seam to the right of the shiny burgundy. I don't know if you can tell from these photos, but the tree on the left is printed on the fabric, except where I've extended the branches into the red and blue patches with embroidery. The tree on the right is entirely embroidered.

There's a fence done in embroidery that goes around the cemetery. The large spider web in the upper corner is bordered by a straight stitch done in a fan shape and embellished with black beads with an iridescent coating. I am finding it rather hard to come up with seam embroidery that looks spooky. Any suggestions?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The costumes; fall of 2000? 2001?

I'm not sure how this photo will look enlarged on here. The print fabric that I used in the fall swap block is a scrap left over from the two costumes that are in this little photo. Michaela, on the left, is about 6 in this photo, and has a witch dress with a bodice of the fabric, with black sleeves and skirt. Trystan, on the right, is about 15, and has a fitted top of the fabric, with shiny burgundy sleeves and a black skirt.

The frame is a little wooden one that I got at JoAnn's and painted.

Egyptian blocks received!

Here are the blocks I received in the Egyptian theme swap on CQ for Newbies. In the first picture, the one on the left is from Julie Coates in Big Spring, Texas. The one on the right is from Thelma Bradshaw.
Both blocks in the second photo are from Lauri Burgesser from right here in Grand Junction, Colorado. I was hoping I'd get at least one of hers, so I was thrilled to get two! I got to see all of her blocks in person, as we spent some time working on them together.
The last photo is of a block done by JK Alvarado from Calimesa, California. She was the hostess for this swap; she set the theme and collected all the blocks, then swapped them around and sent them out to their new homes.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Season to season swap for fall.

The Crazy Quilting for Newbies group is doing a "swap" for each season of the year beginning this fall. We are to piece an 8" block and embellish approximately 1/2 of it, then send it to Gerry who will assign us a partner. The partner will embellish the other 1/2, then the block goes back to Gerry, and she sends it back to us. There's been some confusion about this process, I think since it's called a "swap", but the swapping is temporary. We will get our original blocks back, just 1/2 embellished by our partner.
Mine is Halloween themed. That orange, burgundy and black print near the center is the last bit of some fabric I've had for about 7 years. I originally bought it to make costumes for my two younger daughters. The piece I had left was so narrow that it didn't have a whole tree on it. I went ahead and pieced it in, using red, burgundy, black, a bit of honking orange, midnight blue, and purple. I love putting purple next to orange, so I did that here. It's not something one can do just anywhere, but for a Halloween block, it seems appropriate... sort of a colorful BOO! to you.
When I started embellishing it last night, I got the idea to have the black bat silhouettes extend out of the print and onto the neighboring shiny burgundy fabric. I satin stitched a third bat on the seam line, so it looks like one bat is escaping the confines of the print. Then I thought I should do the same thing for the branches of the tree, so they extend into the red and blue patches to the left. Then I got out my gold thread and extended the lightning! I am having so much fun with this block...

So come on, take a walk with me....we'll follow the dark path beyond the red and black hills, toward the setting see what lies behind the purple hill.....I dare you!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

County fair results!

This is my daughter, Michaela, with her award- winning drawing, which was inspired by K.T. Tunstall's song, "Big Black Horse and the Cherry Tree." Michaela is a horse lover and collector. She has about 36 My Little Ponies and uncountable numbers of other horse toys.

The drawing will now be on display in its usual location; her bathroom wall.