Friday, July 31, 2009

Super Give Away Alert!

Pam at MamaSpark's World is having a great give-away - a $50 gift certificate for Bunny Hill Designs! Go look and enter - woohoo! I am SO in!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My It's Quiet Around Here

You'd think someone had forgotten about you or something. But no. It's just been very, very slow in Allie-land. Between the rain-induced migraines and the camera batteries not holding a charge, and of course the machine putzing out on me, I've had nothing to blog about!

The other day, I met my friend Kathy-No-Blog for lunch. I needed to give her her quilt. It's been done for quite some time. It was a birthday gift and our birthdays are in March! She loved it, but the biggest surprise was what she made me:

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A kimono!!! She did a fabulous job on it, too. There are crystals and beads, put on by hand!

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And here's a picture of it on, with a truly scary pic of my face too, because Terri [who has a blog now, yay!] wanted to see how I cut my hair.

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Please ignore the truly messy sewing room.

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Isn't that just a gorgeous kimono? I love it Kathy, thank you so much! I'm so glad I'm friends with someone who can make garments. Personally, I'm genetically incapable of doing that.

I've been working on tracing these applique patterns.

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And of course, my Shabby Roses.

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I sure hope I get my machine fixed soon - I'm dropping it off this Saturday. I swear it contains half my brain, I can't seem to think without it.

This picture is for Susan, because she did a great post about Nancy Drew. But then, all her posts are great - she makes me laugh constantly! And totally inspires me with her lovely work. Look what I found, Susan!

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And this next picture is for Patty who left a comment on my quilt for the Charming Girls Quilt Club. This is the pattern I used for my quilt:

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I just added the sashing, because my rows weren't lining up properly. Patty, I tried to get to your blog but it said it couldn't be found, and I had no way to email you. I hope this helps.

That's all for now [oh stop, I hear you sighing with relief] - go check out my friend Terri's lovely new blog and leave her some encouragement, ok? She is just the sweetest gal you'd ever want to meet. She lives in South Carolina, and I live in Michigan - we met on a machine-embroidery yahoo group, and her and hubby got to stop by my house one time. I sure wish we lived closer! I'll leave you with a gratuitous nature shot by my younger son, Sam. Have a wonderful day!

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

So Blessed

Sweet Darlene from Quilting Daze had a give-away, and I was one of three lucky winners! It was a surprise, and look what she sent me:

Now, I have a LOT of Aunt Martha transfer patterns - but I did not have this one! Isn't it darling? I think the one of the pup with the corn is my favorite, but it's hard to pick. And these towels are just wonderful. So big and lovely for drying dishes! Seriously, they're 33x38" of cottony goodness. Thank you Darlene, you're a dear! I'm not letting my boys anywhere near these towels. You should see what they did to my .49 Ikea towels. Or, not.

Go check out Darlene's blog - she makes the most darling quilts and has a wonderful blog!

Nothing much is happening in Allieland. I'm getting some hand stitching done, working on my Shabby Roses and just got Jenny's new patterns from her Etsy shop. I made a coaster by hand the other day, and all I could think about was how I could've had 20 of them done by machine by the time I finished one by hand. I MISS my machine. I have to set up a road trip to take her to the Dr., the shop is an hour away but near the beach, yay! I'm hoping we have warmer weather soon - last time it was only in the 50's and I don't want to do that again! I hope someone is having summer somewhere - and if you are, could you send me some? I'm freezing!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I Need A Beach Party

Cuz I ALWAYS need a beach party. Fortunately, I just finished one. And here it is.

The wonderful fabrics from Jennifer at Sis Boom set the blocks off perfectly.

The fabric line is called Dance With Me. And I'd love to wallpaper my house in it. Inside and out. And clothe myself in it from head to toe. Thank you Jennifer for being such an angel - and so creative and talented too!
This is what was left.

You KNOW I'll find a use for these.
To make the wallhanging, I put 2" strips between and at the ends of the blocks, then sewed them together, then added a 2" strip at the top and bottom. I added 2.5" strips as a frame around all that. The binding was more 2.5" strips. I quilted very simply, in the ditch. I didn't want the quilting to detract from the fabric. Flannel for the batting, of course, and muslin on the back.
Designs are available (edit: no longer available] , if you need a beach party too.
Unfortunately, my machine decided to act up. During the last quilt, which was a jelly roll, it got packed with fluff from the jelly roll and started squeaking. I cleaned it out best I could, and it stopped squeaking, but now is skipping stitches. Both machines have to go to the shop, but finances being what they are, it'll have to wait. I'm on a machine sewing hiatus for now. That will give me lots of time to work on my Shabby Roses and some new designs - my sketch pad is out and pencils are sharpened, just waiting for inspiration. By the way, check out Jenny's Etsy shop - she has some new Shabby Rose designs! They are really lovely!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Two Posts in One Day?

I had to - the naughty quilt is done, and ahead of schedule! I had until the end of the month to finish this - SO glad it didn't take that long. I just had to post it. I couldn't wait.

This is my finish for the Charming Girls Quilt Club.

It still needs to be washed. But - guess what I did today - I finished my Portholes top! I even got the binding ready. Tomorrow I'll quilt it and possibly by Sunday I can show you! I guess I should've entered that one in the quilt club as well. Darn.

The Epic Tag Post

I have been tagged by three people. THREE! So get ready, cuz you're about to find out all kinds of things you never wanted to know about me. *giggle*

First up is Lauranie. Check out her blog, she is a creative whirlwind! She gets more done in a day than I do in a month. I don't know how she does it. She tagged me to post six unimportant things that make me happy.

1. Moose Tracks Ice Cream. You might see this one a lot.
2. Rainbows after a storm [just saw one today!]
3. New fabric.
4. The color of the ocean, right next to a sandy beach.
5. The sound of my boys laughing uncontrollably.
6. My kitty purring on my lap.

Next is Cheryl. You have to tell your readers ten things about you they may not know, but they have to be true. This one is called Honest Scrap, and I can't seem to link the picture. And then you have to tag ten people, but I never know who to tag, so if you're reading this and want to be tagged, go ahead and post - link back to me and let me know, so I can come read it!

Ok, my ten things:
1. I Love Lucy is my all-time favorite tv show. I own all the dvd's and like to watch incessantly.
2. I'm 50 and still think I'm a teen-ager. I don't know when I'll grow up. Maybe never.
3. My idea of camping is the closest Sheraton.
4. Sticking with that theme, I have a horrible bug phobia. I really, really hate bugs.
5. I've always wanted to live in a caboose.
6. I hate to cook. Even opening a can hardly seems worth it.
7. I have an embarrassing [to my kids] habit of taking a popular song and making my own lyrics, on the spur of the moment. The lyrics are usually about my kids.
8. I'm mostly Irish with a squeak of American Indian.
9. I didn't become a mom until I was 33.
10. Any time I've ever gone for a job interview, I've gotten it.

Whew. That was hard.

And now, last but not least, Kelly from Charming Chatter has tagged all the members of the Charming Girls Quilt Club. You get an extra entry in this month's draw if you answer it. How could I pass that up, lol? I have to share five things about myself. Five more?? Hope you're up for it, lol.

1. My Favorite Fabric Is: Anything Sis Boom! Jennifer Paganelli is a genius with color and design. Check out her beautiful blog.
2. The pattern I'm most looking forward to sewing is: one of my own!
3. The food that is my weakness: Moose Tracks. See above.
4. If I knew I couldn't fail, I'd: open a quilt shop and design my own patterns.
5. The best "life" advice I know is: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Ok, that's it, the end of the epic tag!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Final Porthole!

This is the last porthole block. And my personal favorite. I added stripes to the umbrella, and a bunch of french knot flowers in the windows. Practice makes, well, not perfect, but better! So, get your needlebook and floss and come sit by me on the beach - I brought a seat for you! We'll stitch to the sound of waves on the beach and listen to the trade winds blow through the palms.

You can get it [edit: no longer available].

PLEASE ignore the embarrassing threads left everywhere.

I tried to get some close-ups of the flowers.

I think I need a better camera for that, lol. I like these little flowers so much, I'm tempted to go back to the other portholes and stitch some on those as well. Maybe a climbing flower bush? We'll see. I hope you enjoy stitching these with me!

And now, the naughty quilt that caused me so much grief. The quilting is done, the binding is on the front, and stitching on the back has commenced.

I used another vintage sheet for the back, it is incrediby soft. A very pale yellow. This quilt may have caused problems, but it's going to feel lovely.

I used a fashion stitch to quilt it. It's like a zig-zag with a little triangle at the top. Can't really see it in these pics, and on parts of the quilt - I was in a hurry and pushing it through the needle so fast, sometimes it missed the little triangle, lol!

I found some red fabric in my stash for the binding. I thought I had some red polka-dot, but couldn't find it - but that's ok, it was horrible stuff, frayed like mad. I like the plain red JUST fine.

I think it brings out the reds in the fabrics, and ties it all together. I'll post a final pic when I'm all done with the binding.

Yikes, more embarrassing threads, lol! Funny how you don't see that stuff while you're taking the picture. This quilt is my entry for the Charming Girls Quilt Club, click here or the link on my sidebar to join. Kelly has tagged all the members so that will be my next post.

I hope you all have a lovely day of stitching!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Such A Busy Day

This quilt had just made it to flimsy stage when I took the picture. It’s now basted and halfway quilted. And it was no fun. It was tense and anxious and frustrating.

I wanted to do this quilt without the sashing. The quilt looked great on my design wall without it. It had impact – it was bold and colorful and happy - the sashing took that away. But without it, the piecing was hopeless. I stitched one block together, and it was awful. It wouldn’t even lie flat. You’d think I never quilted before.

I learned a lot about myself while making this quilt. I learned that I hate piecing. It does not thrill me to have perfectly matched points. Yet, it makes me anxious when they don’t match. I admire them in other quilts, and wish I could do them, but it’s not the reason I quilt. I have no interest in doing them well, other than to still the quilt police voices in my head. Although I love and admire traditional quilts, I have no desire to do them. It’s not my thing.

I also learned that I don’t like jelly rolls. The pinked edge slides around under my ¼” foot and I end up with a crooked seam. Since I usually have a crooked seam anyway, it magnifies my problems.

So – what kind of quilting shall I do? I thought a lot about that while I worked on this. I had the tv off, no music, no phone calls – a lot of time to think.

When I started quilting, it wasn’t really quilts I was doing. It was quilted pictures. And I miss that – I miss the creativity, the drawing, the painting, the slap-dash hurry hurry of catching an idea in fabric before it flew away. So this poor quilt will be the last, at least for awhile – I still have hubby’s quilt to make – but I want to get back to my first love. I want to rediscover quilting for fun. I want to stop being frustrated that my quilts don’t look like the picture on the pattern. I want to create my OWN pictures.

Yep, this quilt taught me a lot. But it didn’t just teach me. It set me free.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Portholes Thursday

I went to an art fair yesterday, and this is the only picture I took. Why? I love the lettering.

I have that font somewhere on my computer. I love art fairs, they re-charge my creativity - but not this one. But it was a great day to be outside - a cool breeze from the river, beautiful sunshine, and great company.

And now, without further ado, Porthole Two......

You can get it [edit: no longer available]. (I scanned it a bit crooked - sorry!)
Get your feet wet and hang ten with me. You know you want to. And don't worry, there are no sharks in these waters - it's not allowed in my happy little world.

Jennifer Paganelli from Sis Boom sent me these wonderful pieces from her new fabric line, Dance With Me. I really wish you could touch these, they are WONDERFUL. So many of her fabrics are made into wearables, and I can see why. I can't stop touching them. The colors are fabulous, like always, and they go perfectly with Portholes. As soon as I saw them, I knew I would have to use them for this.

Have you ever seen anything so yummy!

Sorry, I couldn't stop taking pictures. These colors make me SO happy. Thank you Jennifer!!!

And now, what would a post be without a picture of Hermoine. My oldest son is going to a family reunion today in another state. He didn't mean to pack the cat, but apparently she's feeling the need for a road trip. Either that, or she realized her kitty box cleaner won't be here. Her nose is pushed into a sock roll. Cats are so subtle.

WHAT a life.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Charming Girls Quilt Club

Time to have some fun! Kelly, from Charming Chatter, has started the Charming Girls Quilt Club. Each month, you submit photos of a project you want to complete that month. Then, on or before the end of the month, you submit photos of the finished project. It doesn't have to be quilts! If you finish it, you'll be entered in a drawing to win a $25 gift certificate from her store. You can get extra entries too - go read all about it, and sign up!

This is my entry.

I had the blocks made, but completely stalled. So this is a good opportunity to get it in gear! The thought of ironing and cutting all the fabric for sashing has had me sitting on my keister.

My oldest son, John, went into the bathroom last night and found this.

This is Hermoine. And yes, she owns the joint.

Was she sitting in there because it was nice and cool, surrounded by porcelain? No.

She was waiting for a human to come and give her a drink. Apparently bowls are no longer good enough, she wants a freshwater stream.

Next, she'll be demanding coffee in the morning.


Have a safe and happy 4th!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


It's July, and I'd like to introduce Portholes, a series of three stitcheries I designed for you. This is the first. Let's celebrate summer!

You can get it (edit: no longer available]. I was going to release these monthly, but summer is here and these are summer stitcheries - so it will be a weekly release. I hope you like them!
Summer, to me, means beaches and palm trees and cute little cottages, where you can get sand on the floor and nobody cares. With bathing suits flapping on the line at all times, meals eaten on your beach blanket, and the sound of waves playing like a soundtrack in the background of your days. Simple and carefree living - I love summer!

I'm not going to give you a pattern for the final product. I'm not sure what *I'm* going to do with them! Maybe a small wallhanging. I also think they would look good on a beach tote. If you have any questions, be sure to email me! Use whatever colors your imagination can come up with - and I would LOVE to see what you've made! Also, I'd love to see you add things to your summer beaches, I added a bit of grass. For the doorknob I used a french knot, but a small satin stitch would also work [probably better, you don't want a close-up of my french knot, lol!].
Wait - I hear the ice cream man - must run - go celebrate your summer!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

I hope you enjoy this video sent to me by my girlfriend in London, Ontario, where the clip was filmed. Have a safe and blessed Canada Day!


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