Friday, December 31, 2010

Final Count Down to 2011

Happiness is completing a task, or two, or three!
Shelly of  Prairie Moon Quilts has made a 3 day challenge for us quilters.  Each day before New Year's Day she has published a task for us to complete to get ready to begin the New Year.  To read more about Shelly's final countdown visit her post for today and look back at the ones she wrote on Thursday and Wednesday

Since I am starting late I will have to divide it up differently.  There are three tasks so I will need to do one this morning, the second at lunch time, and the final this afternoon.  Then I should be ready to celebrate 2011 by this evening!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Have a peaceful and joyous Christmas today.
vintage image from

Here's a bit of what it is like here in Wisconsin.  See how the shrubs are nearly burried in the drifts.  We will take off for Rochester Minnesota for the day.  Good thing it is only 1 hour away.

Our little cottage home... while it was snowing ...December 2010

Have a blessed Christmas one and all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

that artist woman: Snowy Owl Ornaments

Here is a link to a very cute tutorial for making the most wonderful mixed media snowy owl ornaments.  I know that I will be making these in the very near future and you can be sure that they will look super cute on my white wintery tree. 

that artist woman: Snowy Owl Ornaments

I love everything about the details on this little bird.  I am pretty sure I will be able to locate all the supplies for this treasure.  I even have a bag of the black and white guinea hen feathers on hand.  Don't you just love the page of text from an old library book used as the center body with the gold sequins catching the light? 

I may not even wait until next year.  This particular ornament may even become real for this Christmas.  Thank you kindly, Gail aka That Artist Woman!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mug Rug Set

About a month ago these rolls of fabric were passed out at a Thimbleberries meeting.  The shop was calling them Cinnamon Sticks.  Rolled up inside were 2 layers of fabric, a light and a dark, as well as some half square triangle paper.  We were to sew them up and trim them for an exchange. 

Ironing the seams and ripping the paper

Playing around with the pieces

4 mug rugs are in the works today

Four mug rugs are now quilted.  Now all that's  left to do is the bindings on the las two.  But first, I have to have a little break with the coffee and cookies!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snowman Angel Ornament

SnowAngel Ornament made with AccuCut

I trimmed off the edges of the foam tray before sending it thru the Accu Cut machine.

They popped out very easily.

Snowman Line Up

Cemter one has the hat trimmed off.
I trimmed off the hats, because we were planning to create a halo effect above the head with a button attached by a twisted wire. 

The next step was to paint the top with a dark acrylic paint.  We tried them in coffee brown, teal blue, violet, black, and forest green.  Once that was dry, we brushed on the clear gel medium that would produce a crackle effect. Finally, when the crackle medium had dried, it was time to over paint with the white acrylic and then the crackle effect happened. I think the trick to using that successfully is to apply it quite heavily.  We had such a variety of crackle effects.  Some of the crazing was minimal and you could hardly notice it and others got a nice deep crackle effect.  I think if the medium was spread too thinly, it wasn't as effective. 

Then we used a variety of buttons to decorate the snowmen's fronts.  A large white button was threaded with white wire and twisted tightly to hold the button above the head as a halo.  A bit of Tacky Glue (PVC) anchored it into the small hole we poked in the top of the head. 

The faces were drawn with orange paint pens and black sharpie markers.

Lastly, the stick arms, wings, and the string hangers were glued to the back.  We sandwiched them all and hid the hot glue under the wings on the back of the ornament.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

After Thanksgiving Sale at the Quilt Corner

My mom, a friend and I went on a special outing to the Quilt Corner, a cute shop in Sparta, Wisconsin. 

Here we are in our special pajama outfits that were required for the sale shopping.  My mom snapped the picture.  We didn't purchase too much, but had a good time wandering around the shop in our jammies and robes. 

Our crazy outfits for the discount

Here is a list of what was required to reach the full discount:

  1. arrive between 6-6:30
  2. food item for donation
  3. children's mittens
  4. P.J.s
  5. slippers
  6. robe
  7. at least 3 curlers
  8. join Thimbleberries Club for next year

Thinking through her purchases

Waiting at the cutting table
I was lucky to be able to get 2 pieces of extra wide backing fabric for my 2 most recent Thimbleberries quilts.  The soft beige one with the floral print will be for my 3's Company back and the tan plaid print will be for the back of the Village Green quilt that is nearing completion. 

Recently Completed Thimbleberries Tops

My Haul for This Year
 Love the Bliss charms by Moda.  I want to make them into one of the Schnibbles quilts.  I've got this pattern and 2 others waiting to be used.   
Isn't the vintage machine fabric cute?  Deb and I were thinking it might make some cute pincushions. 

After our shopping was complete, we went out for pizza, minus the robes and the curlers; but still in our jammies.  We were all pretty hungry and our pizza was delicious.  But of course no one would eat the last piece, so I took it home for Steve.

Next weekend, on Saturday we will be going to the Christmas Party.  We're hoping for clear roads, as these last 2 weekends have been nothing but snow storms.  It's getting to be a bit too much snow for us teachers.  If these same snows had come on a week day, it would have cancelled the schools around here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Farewell to Fall

It seems only just a few short weeks ago that we were enjoying our last days of beautiful autumn weather.  Only at the end of November did I cut down these lovely mums and put them in the yard waste bin.  It turned out that the city was done picking up yard waste, so on Saturday December 6th, the day of the big snow, I took them to my friends compost bin.  All winter we plan to dump our pulp from juicing and we have high hopes of getting some rich compost for our spring gardens from our efforts.  Having all these mum blossoms in the bin, really filled up the bin. 

We had a nice time in the Oktoberfest Torchlight Parade this year.
Here I am with my father-in-law, Norbert.  We are fastening on the maple leaf garland to the Dive Rescue rig.  The lights on the boat were already put on earlier in the week. 

Steve in the Dive Team vehicle (photo by GP)
Dive Team Boat decorated in lights

We had a nice Thanksgiving and some good cheer with homemade cranberry wine from Norbert, my father-in-law.  The pumpkin was still in good shape from Halloween, so I poked in my wooden set of feathers and turned it in to a turkey.   Our real turkey was wonderful and so were all the side dishes.  For a while the lid was askew on the Nesco roaster and all the steam was escaping.  After we got it adjusted, the turkey browned up nicely. 

To see my post about fall artwork please visit my other blog, Gallery 2404 and read about how we've been creating some fine projects at school. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Upcycled Vintage Block Runner

Here's a little thing I've been working on lately.  I put it together with 3 vintage blocks that I purchased at the antique store for only 3 bucks each.  I used Moda petite 4's and other 2.5 inch squares to border the edge.  Many of them were pieces of the Prairie Paisley line that was a favorite of mine.
This little runner is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  I was planning to just machine quilt it and be done with it soon.  But plans changed and somehow I am now hand quilting it.  I had it along on a bus trip to Minneapolis for a play and shopping.  I got the center image quilted on 2 of the vintage blocks.

I'm hooked on doing this type of upcycling project!  I purchased another set of blocks at the same antique store to do it all again in a blue and white color scheme next!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Little Doll Quilts

This little gem has been made with a tumbler block and I really like the fancy edge of the untrimmed blocks.  I don't use it as a doll quilt, but do like displaying it in my kitchen.  It is a nice contrast for the dark paneling that is on the walls. 


.  It is the second mini quilt I made with the tumbler block and I really like the old fashioned charm of this classic single block quilt.  It is the right proportions for many doll beds and would fit an 18 inch doll very nicely.  I put corner triangles in the back to catch a hanging rod, but lately I've been using it as a sewing machine placemat. 


Collections for a Cause a Moda fabric was used as a starting point for this little gift quilt.  It is actually used as a doll quilt for my teacher friend.  She recently retired and I presented her this quilt to use for her cute little doll collection.  She saved her own favorite doll and the doll bed given to her as a little girl and she let me know how perfectly this quilt looks for her display. 


I made this reversible doll quilt for my niece, Morgan.  I gave it to her for her 2nd birthday this year and she started using it right away.  The binding went on quickly because I put it on with a machine embroidery stitch.  I figured that way it would stand up to lots of machine washing. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2010

Welcome to my Gardening and Quilting blog.  Today it is all about quilting, since it is the beginning of Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival.  Amy writes the blog "Amy's Creative Side" and she has been doing a bloggers quilt festival since the spring of 2009. My post for today will tell you more about one of my treasured quilts. 

My entry for this season's Blogger's Quilt Festival is one which I made for Thimbleberries Club.  Once it was finished, it became one of my favorite quilts.  I have not always been drawn to such a traditional and dark color scheme since I usually favor brighter hues.  However, once I saw how nice the throw looked in my living room, I was hooked!  I am on my third quilt now with this same dark palette. 

A little work once a month is an excellent way to make the dozen blocks over the period of the entire year.  Each of the blocks was fun to put together.  However, if the directions suggested using paper piecing I would have skipped that and found a way to make templates or remeasured and cut the small pieces with a rotary cutter.  I never can seem to get the hang of how to paper piece correctly.  It seems I don't know what side of the paper to sew on and which way to place the fabric.  I really have to get better at that technique.

corner view showing quilting close up


My sewing friend made this quilt too and we had a great time with the photo shoot last week.

When Margaret of Sewing and Quilt Gallery was getting started in her quilting business called Mainely Quilts of Love, my friend and I got in on a special offer as she was building her clients.  We got a very good deal on pantograph quilting.  She even offered to do custom quilting on it, but we both liked the stitch pattern called popcorn, so that is what we asked her to stitch.  We just loved how they looked when we opened the package that came in the mail just a few short weeks later.  If you ever need something quilted by a long arm artist, she's your gal. 
The only thing better than seeing the quilt just out of the mailing box, was when we took it out of the dryer after the first washing.  Unless of course, you count taking a nap with it!

I hope you will be able to enjoy the quilts of the season by visiting the many blogs over the next week or so.  The entire list will be archived by Amy at her blog, enabling you to go back and check them out even after this event ends.  She has a list of great sponsors that are offering many wonderful prizes so check them out too.

Look up quilts of past festivals by clicking on these links:  Spring of 2009, Fall of 2009, Spring 2010.

link for My entry from Fall 2009

link for My entry from Spring 2010