Thursday, November 20, 2014

I've been busy....

 These are stockings I've made to sell at Grand Valley Books this year. Some are western boot shaped, and some are more traditional.
 These two (below) are not for sale. My younger grandson is a dog lover, so when he saw the silkie of the little dogs sledding he asked if he could have it. I added his name and the date, and then let his older brother choose one as well. They're just a good size to hold a gift card.

 I tried to make some of the western ones a little more masculine, so they'd be suitable for men or boys. Some of the traditional ones have non-Christmasy colors, like the one below on the left. The colors of the silkie are what I try to use to choose the fabrics and threads.
 The one below on the right is my favorite. The pine branch and pine cone stitching around the silkie is so much fun to do. It takes a lot of time and thread, but it's fun.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mesa County Fair

I hadn't entered anything in the fair for many years, but this year I had two small projects finished in time to enter. The elk scene piece is 21" x 15" including the 2" border of brown moire taffeta (my favorite CQing fabric!). The block was pieced out of fabrics I chose in the stash dash at the last CQ retreat I attended in 2010 in Estes Park, Colorado, along with a hand-painted (by me) patch with an elk on it. Each fall, Estes Park hosts the Elk Fest, taking advantage of the many elk that frequent the town and surrounding area. The vintage crocheted butterfly was purchased from a vendor at the retreat (sorry, I don't remember who). So this is a memory quilt for me, even though most of the work on it took place over the 3+ years following the retreat.
I won a blue ribbon on it, and my friend Lauri, who was observing the judging, told me that it was one of five quilts in the running for Best of Show as well, but was not chosen.

The chicken piece's central patch came to me in a donation box that one of the local guilds shared with our CQ group. It appears to have been drawn on fabric with crayon; perhaps an original drawing, or maybe taken from a coloring book image. Nobody else wanted it, and the more I looked at it, the more it said, "Take me home," so I did. This took quite a bit less time than the elk. I pieced, embellished, and finished this one in just a few months, and it ended up being 15.5" x 14". It also won a blue ribbon! While Paul and I were at the fair admiring all the entries, we overheard an elderly gentleman comment on the proverb I stitched on it: Don't count your chickens... before they're stitched. He seemed to get a big kick out of it.

Hearts and flowers shower hearts

We had two ladies who were recipients of H&F showers this month. The one on the left went to Judy D., and the one on the right went to Alice M.
Alice is a very special person. One might actually call her "Looney." Go ahead, everybody does. And she wears the title proudly. She has a special building in her back yard for her crafting room, which she has christened, "The Looney Bin." Whenever anyone in our CQ for Newbies group has a life challenge, she says she's going to rattle chicken bones, burn sage, and maybe even sacrifice some virgins (I think that depends on how difficult the challenge is...or is it on the availability of virgins?). So for her heart, I tried to incorporate all three. If you look closely, you'll see a chicken skeleton rattling his own bones along a flowered path on the horizontal seam. The upper left seam is alternating volcanoes and virgins. The vertical seam on the right is done in sage green. And the hand-dyed lace motif was added because my daughter Michaela said, "Just because you have virgin sacrifice on there doesn't mean it can't be pretty."
Alice's response was, "I guffawed all down my leg..." which is exactly the response I was going for. They say laughter is the best medicine!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

One more wedding photo and some butterflies

One more wedding photo. This was taken just before the ceremony, where the girls were waiting in the bride's room while Paul and I dashed home to find the ribbon sash for Trystan's gown that had been misplaced. She looks pretty calm and confident, doesn't she? And, as a friend of hers said, she looks like a painting....Rachel took this using our digital camera.

We have had lots of tiger swallowtails butterflies the past few summers. They have been attracted to the day lilies here.....

...and the pansies here. I also often see them flitting around down on Main Street when I'm working at Grand Valley Books. There are lots of flowers in the planters downtown.

Trystan and Matt, married at last....

We celebrated the wedding June 7th, at Covenant Presbyterian Church here in town. Matt's mother is a Presbyterian minister and performed the ceremony for them, which made a special occasion even more special.
Here is Trystan's garter, complete with her favorite animal, a bat.
The wedding party included (L to R) Rachel, Evelyn the flower girl, Michaela, Trystan, Matt, Zack the ring bearer (or as he kept saying, the ring burier; we didn't let him near a shovel), Matt's brother Denis, Corbin, and Trystan and Matt's college friend, Graham.
The girls wore red shoes, each in her own style.
The guys in their cool "snapping" photo.
Paul and I in our wedding finery. The church was decorated for Pentecost, so much of the red d├ęcor wasn't done by us, and we didn't plan it that way; just a lucky coincidence.
The happy couple at the reception. I guess that arm you see on the right is Rachel, demonstrating that Trystan's wedding gown has pockets....
One of the things I made for the wedding that I was most pleased with was Trystan's fan bouquet. I made the fan out of a doily that my mother had crocheted years ago by adhering it to a fan frame I got at Hobby Lobby. The flowers were all silk, which was nice as they were purchased at Christmas time and I worked on them when I had time from then through June. I finished Trystan's bouquet after she came home for the wedding, so she could have more input on the details. Here it is modeled by Zack.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Grey/gray color study round robin

I waited a long time for this color study RR to come about, and it's been great fun. These are the last two blocks I've worked on. This one belongs to Hollie:
 And this one belongs to Tahlia:
And this one is mine! Thanks to Hollie, Tahlia, Jo and Rita for their great work! I had them leave the center patch blank for me to do, hoping that during the RR I'd get some kind of inspiration regarding what to do with it. I'm still waiting....and I'd welcome suggestions.

CQ hearts for friends

It's been a rough winter so far for my CQ friends. On the CQ for Newbies yahoo group, we send comfort hearts to our friends who have experienced a death in the family or a serious illness. Since the first of the year I've sent out 5 hearts. While they are a labor of love, I am aware while working on them that the recipient is in pain, and I'd like to never need to send another one.

An extra special crazy quilted cat

A very nice lady who ordered a specially-made cat for a gift for a friend last fall asked for one to be made for herself this winter. She sent me hand-made lace and vintage buttons to include on a tuxedo cat. The pink lace and the blue that is on the white part of the cat's chest are hand crocheted, and the extra pink that I didn't use along the seam was gathered into the rose at the cat's neck. I added a bit of vintage lace of my own, along with some buttons and leaves to make the cat's collar. The buttons she sent are worked into the pink lace seam.