Saturday, September 30, 2006

September Ends

The evenings are cool and the days are not so blazing hot... Fall is here! Oh, sure, we will have more hot days, but the worst is past.

I've been playing with tatting a dragonfly. Some are better than others, but they're cute. Practice, practice!!

I made a printed image of 'friends' to use on one of my hearts to try it out, then circled the image with beads. Neat!

I took Pixie to the groomer today. I remembered that the Stitch & Frame was having a Tent Sale, so I went by there. I got a couple of bargains, then went inside to find some threads - the real reason for stopping in.

I got a BDE Needlecase Kit for $1.00. It has a spiral bound instruction book, fabric, padding, threads, beads, and needles!! I may not use it for its intended purpose, but the pieces are great.

I also got a group of cross stitched items in a bag together - not a kit but a blank placemat, a baby blanket, some Aida, a premade Aida 'gift' bag, and at least five yards of wine/burgundy and cream trim for $2.00...

And then the threads. Now Susan, I didn't get a haul like you, but just a few to try. The one at the top is "Needlepoint Silk", and the lower two are Crescent Colors. After I got home I read that the CC threads are not colorfast... Well, they'll go into something delicate...

Saturday, September 23, 2006


I received a heart from Margreet in Holland, and with it she included a bookmark with some paper cut butterflies. It reminded me that I have not yet posted anything about this craft.

Scherrenschnitte (Scherinschnitte) can be defined as German paper snipping. I have seen many beautiful pieces, although it is not a wide-spread craft. Some people use scissors, and some use small, sharp blades, or Exacto knives. I use small scissors. A friend, Cora, shared it with me many years ago, and as many other crafts, have given away most of the things I did without taking photos. One of my favorites was a set of Columbus ships, the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. I could kick myself for I don't think the recipient appreciated the work that went into them, and probably tossed them!

Here is a set of rocking chairs that I have displayed in my family room.

And these are a set of Minstrels in my dining room.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wool Hearts

Someone mentioned that they would like to see how the wool hearts turned out. You can see three of them on my Flickr pages.

The other day I went to the fabric store looking for wool in pastel shades. I had seen wool fat quarters online, but the store didn't have any, and the sales clerk said she hadn't heard of them. I then headed for the local thrift store and bought a jacket and three pairs of slacks (plus a long, purple silk dress) for less than the fat quarter packet. The colors were not pastels, but it is a start to see if I like working with wool.

I took a tip from a comment Beth Anderson made (thanks, Beth) on the Hand Embroidery group list and cut one of each color, then used a rotary cutter to cut them into sections.

Next I put the pieces together on interfacing to hold them for stitching with zig zag stitching.

I started embellishing last night, and the stitches glide through the fabric!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Dying with DynaFlow

Playing just a little with a sample pack of DynaFlow dyes. Mixed with water, and the directions say that ironing after 24 hours will set the dye. See the cups for mixture of dye content for sample saturation. I'm not positive about the lace content, but some synthetic.

Coming of Autumn

It is so hard to believe that the First Day of Autumn is only two days away - September 22.

The Village
Someone commented recently that the term 'village' isn't used much in certain areas of the country. My mom says it once in a while when reminiscing. As a child growing up in the south, textiles was one of the primary means of employment. The houses were clustered around the mill, in fairly close proximity since there were not a lot of cars. This clustered community was referred to as 'the Arcade village.'

The Super
Some of the tales I've heard... Many of the superintendents were total tyrants - they would make a family move (the mill owned the homes, and employee paid them rent) if you didn't do things exactly as they said, or didn't shop at 'the mill store' ... meaning you lost your job as well as your home.

And of course there was the Arcade-Victoria Elementary School to which I walked every day. Everyone probably remembers those new school clothes - fall colored with long sleeves - and no matter how hot it was, one had to be worn that first day. The weather, like these pre-Autumn days, the morning was cool, so they felt fine, but by the afternoon it was hot! That was during the time when dresses were required, and I remember having to wear pants, and undershirts of course, under my dress during the cold winter morning walk. Those undershirts didn't come off until the 1st of May no matter how hot it was - and bare feet were allowed then, too. I don't remember very much about those days at school - but one is the 'lunch room' (food of course) in what was probably the basement/shelter. Having vegetable soup and peanut butter mixed with syrup/honey sandwich was my favorite.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

SC Flag

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Some Crazy Things We Do

Someone was telling about an incident with her four wheeler yesterday, and I thought -- you think that's bad. Of course, hers was of a dangerous nature, but she played it off as being dumb.

I've had my car for about 10 months. A month or so ago I was at the gas station ready to fill the tank. The cover is one that you just push in to release the latch. It wouldn't open after many attempts. I had the keys in my hand, so it wasn't that they were in the ignition. Maybe someone had tried to open it and bent it? My card wouldn't get through the space to manually open it... Ah Ha! I realized I was across the street from the dealership. I drove over and met a young man in the parking/service area. I told him my dilemma and he seemed puzzled as well. He tried, then got inside the car. He flipped to door locks off, and sesame! Now I still don't understand it, but all doors have to be unlocked before the gas tank cover can be opened -- yes, someone could open the door on the other side and grab your packages or purse, but what the gentleman said was, "After you open the tank, lock the doors again." Of course, it must not be something I'm TOO concerned about since this was the first time it had happened in 10 months - for that long all the doors had been unlocked; right?

I've done some stitching this week, but just haven't taken the time to put up any pictures.

This pink heart is one for the Have a Heart project. One got lost, so this will be its replacement.

My practice of tatting with beads. Turned out pretty good!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Encrusted or Minimal Crazy Quilt

I tend toward the minimalist side. However, it helps me to take a picture of a block and look at it in that format to see if it still looks naked. Someone just suggested taking the piece to a mirror to accomplish the same. Believe it or not, my blocks do tend to have a bit more on them, but still wouldn't call them encrusted. One reason is that I usually LOVE the fabrics (texture, color, image, or sentimentality), and do want these to be a part of the overall view. I am hoping Sharon B's class in October will help me with that 'eye movement across the block' skill. I look back at some of my first blocks and see that there is SO much open space on them.

Gifts for the non-crafter. I get so frustrated with my mom. She is one of those who puts things in the drawer to protect and save them. I'm sure I would feel worse if she washed the car with a throw that I made for her, but there HAS to be a middle ground. I have told her that I will not make her anything else until I see some of what she has received being used or at least making an appearance once in a while. Then I feel guilty - I gave it to her - now it's hers. Why should I tell her what to do with it? I hate to admit this, but my love of hand-made items has grown along with my love for doing them myself. I have a quilt that Grandmother made for me that was left on the couch many years ago when I had a Doberman puppy. She 'nursed' on the corner of that quilt until it became tattered. You get the picture. I did try to sew/patch it back, and maybe that is a part of its character, but I will always wish I had taken better care.

Design: I'm certainly not a pre planner. I usually start with a color scheme idea, select the fabrics, put the block together, then let it talk to me. Hey, maybe that's it -- if it is a shy block, it gets less embellishment. If it's a chatter, it gets more encrusted!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hand Embroidery Discussion

Following the discussion of casket covers, etc. I thought there may be intereste in Linda Carlson's book, ** Quilting to Soothe the Soul. If this subject interests you, as well as memorials and celebratory quilts, this is quite a good book. There is lots of information as well as beautiful pictures.

"Crazy quilt coffin cover owned by Carole Samples, Omaha, Nebraska. It is backed with casket lining and was made in the last 19th century by the Libertine sisters of Missouri. They never married and always lived together. Each made their own fan, and the cover was to be used at each of their funerals." ** page 18

"Funeral pall in honor of the life of Reverend Charles Carter's father made by Bets Ramsey, Nashville, Tennessee." ** page 21

"Countryside Casket by York Casket, York, Pennsylvania." ** page 40

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

Today is Labor Day -- and many in the US don't work... Hum...

Do you carry a fan in your purse? The weather has been hot and I have been hot, so there is a need for fans. Mine gets whipped out once in a while when I have a heat surge! And of course there is the paper one on my computer desk, another by 'my chair' for TV and stitching, and I would like to have one in the sewing room... I'll be on the lookout for another.

The fan I carry in my purse is one bought in Williamsburg, Virginia, as a souvenir that is wooden and carved (probably stamped). When the heat surges started for me, I wished for a fan in my purse and thought of this one stored away.

This morning before the dew dried, I spotted this beautiful web over the well attached to the front porch and maple tree. I'm always amazed at the distance those two little threads make it to the web -- until someone walks by and get them in their hair or face. :-)

There was one I saw a couple of years ago that looked like an angel - what do you think?

Jonathan is to visit today, and Aunt Mack has invited us over for home-made barbque (sauce and all). Sounds very good now - it's past lunch and I'm hungry!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Sharing Photos

I was sorting through photos stored on the computer and found some that I'd like to share. I took a digital camera class a while back, and though my instructor was never impressed with my photos (nor I especially with him), they're pretty good to me.

This windmill is in a pasture I pass on the way to the recycling center.

This cardinal was perched in the neighbors' tree - should I say posing?

I do love a full moon, but the crescent is so special, too. Notice the pear trees to the left?

Here's a pic of my 'craft room' when it was initially set up - there's no way I'd post a pic of it now!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Chains of Hearts

Today (Friday) I decided to shape into a heart a block I've been working so anxious to get in on the swaps! This blue heart will be my first offered on the Chains of Hearts list.

I finished another heart today (Saturday) to swap.

Hoops, Frames, and Hearts

There has been some discussion about using hoops and frames in doing hand stitching on the Hand Embroidery list. Here is a picture of one I bought for about $15 at Collections Etc. The first time I tried to use it was upsetting to me because I stitched the block to a piece used to hold it in place - but now I've realized that it ok - I just left my foundation piece a little longer and am ready to give it another try. [I tried it again and still wasn't satisfied 9/06.]

I have started some hearts for the Chains of Hearts Swap group, and they are rough around the edges as yet, but they'll be cut more into shape as they're finished. They may be a bit too busy as the ones I've seen are more simplistic and elegant... HappyHeartsHearts

With the rains for the last couple of days have come a few fresh blooms...


It has been cooler with rain the last couple of days -- right now it is about 70 degrees, but the humidity is 95%... It still feels a lot better.

I've gotten some fascination with a weed that is growing in the Wisteria bush. Julie in FL told me the name of the weed is 'gallberry.' They've ripened into a dark purple color...

It'll soon be time for the hummingbirds to take off for the year, so here are a few shots. Aren't they precious? Can you see the one sitting it the tip top of the tree?

Here are a few of the last hybiscus for the year as well. The buds are from yesterday, and the flowers this morning.