Wednesday, March 31, 2010

a little bitty quilt...

I've been fiddling around with a little bitty quilt to try out a few new techniques. First step was to print my fabric. I use the sun blueprint fabric, in this case the cheddar yellow and I "dyed" it in the sun.  My DH just happened to have a great selection of metal washers so I placed them all over my fabric piece and put it out in the sun to print.....

 Voila! after rinsing and drying I now have this fun cheddar yellow print. I decided to hand embroider in some of the circles. I like hand work and haven't embroidered anything in a while. I chose magenta, bright blue, bright lime green and yellow to embroider with. I am using pearl cotton with the exception of the magenta, which is a lovely wool fiber.

 Here's a little closer look.... I am now machine quilting it. I have a layer of thinsulate batting right under the fabric and then I fused it all to Fast-2-Fuse and then fused my backing fabric to the other side of the Fast-2-Fuse and I am quilting through all of it. I am quilting around all of the circles individually - Yikes talk about a bunch of thread tails! I leave the tails long and then thread the tails on a needle and bury them in the layers. So....even though it's an itty bitty quilt it's slow going. That, and I am still catching up from all the time I took off to have fun with my family and friends while they were here.
I miss them and can't wait until I see them again.

I'll keep you posted on my it's off to bed and tomorrow I have another friend visiting from out of town....that means out to lunch and shopping, oh my.

Monday, March 29, 2010

swamp thing

I finally downloaded the pictures from my week of goofing off while my parents were here visiting and thought I would share some with you. I won't bore you with them all but I thought you may enjoy seeing a few.
I must say that I was inspired anew after getting out and playing tourist in my own town. I guess we all tend to get too comfortable in our surroundings and it's a good thing to view things through the eyes of a visitor for a fresh look at the world around us.
Let's head into the swamp......

I never tire of seeing these majestic cypress trees. (below) That's a small strangler fig that is wrapping itself around this cypress tree. This is in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. I love this place and we try to go a couple times a year at least. The scent of the swamp is so primordial and unique.

hmmm, is this where the swamp thing lives?????

 This snap was taken outside of Clyde Butcher's gallery in the Everglades.
Those are cypress knees that are sticking up out of the water like little castles.

The snap below is of a root from a large strangler fig. 
It reminded me of a concrete curb, don't you think?

Gator bait????
This was one of about 5 alligators that had come out into the sun to warm up from the cool morning. This guy was almost a bit too close for comfort but perhaps he had already had breakfast or was still too cold to be very active. Lucky for us.

On our way back to town we had to stop and take a snap of this post office. I've gone past it many times. This is the smallest (still operational)  post office in the United States. It is in Ochopee FL.
Isn't it adorable???

I hope you enjoyed this short excursion into the swamp.
Later this week I'll share a few vibrant scenes from the botanical garden visit along with the new giveaway announcement....finally.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Button Thursday - belly button

I have been making - and eating - way too many treats around here lately,
So today's button is my belly button. I embellished it with a fun button of course.

Other button news.....
The Heritage Button show takes place this weekend in Sunnyvale CA , if you happen to be there.
Want a fun button project? Check out this post at Design Sponge. I love this idea.
Want to shop for some unique button accessories? Check out this etsy shop!

I hope to catch up with my blog (and facebook) in the next few days. My parents were here visiting for 10 days and as much as I love to share with you and hear from you, I just didn't want to spend the time on the computer while they were here. I only get to see them twice a year, so we make our visits count!
We did all kinds of fun stuff and I will get some pics up this weekend but tonight we had more guests from out of town over for dinner! 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Quilt Day download

What are you doing to celebrate National Quilt Day??? 
Do you have plans to attend an event, get together with friends to stitch,  go shopping for fabric, or start a new project? Maybe you're participating in one of the many group charity projects.
Here are just a few projects you can get involved in:
In celebration of National Quilt Day, I did stitch up a great little table topper and.....
 you can download the instructions for free from my website! It's a fabulous way to spread the joy of quilting so tell your friends too.

Also.... on Monday I will be starting a new giveaway! Spread the word.
OMG, I have been out goofing off with my family that is visiting and have been so bad about blogging. I will have some fun stuff to share once I sit still long enough to share it! Hope you have a wonderful quilty weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

all buttoned up......

I was busy last weekend at our annual quilt show.
When I wasn't busy shopping, visiting or gazing at quilts I did remember to snap a few pics to share with you. I am so bad at remembering to take pictures when i am out running around. I guess I must not have what it takes to be a photo journalist! Anyway here are a few highlights that I captured.... This gorgeous whole cloth quilt by Joyce Novak won best hand quilting with good reason! Her quilting is beautiful and so is the quilt. The feathered cables are stunning. congratulations Joyce!

This is a detail of a quilt by Betty New and her exquisite machine quilting. This was done free hand on her regular sewing machine! She is truly amazing. You keep wowing us Betty!
This quilt is an adorable mini quilt made with felted wool. it was from a commercial pattern (Primitive gatherings) and this one was made by Peggy Johnson. She did an excellent job with all the tiny pieces and details which is why it is wearing a blue ribbon.... speaking of blue ribbons here is another quilt that Peggy made that is also sporting a blue ribbon, but this one is bed size and beautifully appliqued and beautifully hand quilted.
It may look familiar to some... it's made from my pattern "A Florida Album" but Peggy adapted it by adding setting triangles to the blocks and also adding solid blocks and enlarging the borders to make it big enough for her bed. I saw her working on this at retreat some years ago and was excited to see it done and in our show.

This I thought was a cute quilt. The embroidery is really nice and the colors remind me of a French farmhouse kitchen - not that I've ever been in a French farmhouse :) This was made by Jacky Hargreaves and it is sporting an Honorable mention ribbon.

Here is a detail from a quilt made by Jo Anne Powell. It is the alphabet done in Fraktur with a brush and is beautifully done. The quilting is very nice too. Well done Jo Anne! Love it.

We have such boundless talent within our guild..... this stunning orchid quilt was made by our show chair person Veronica Von Zwehl. She is an accomplished art quilter and I am always waiting to see what she will create next. She had numerous quilts (with numerous ribbons) in the show.

This mark Twain portrait quilt was made by my friend Naoma. This is her first portrait quilt - awesome job Naoma, I didn't have to read the label to know it was Mark Twain! 
She also had 2 small Baltimore Album quilts in the show that were wearing blue ribbons but alas the pics didn't turn out, but trust me they were lovely.

Here's a birds eye view of the show... pardon the window grid in the foreground.

Here is the mini-quilt auction in progress. We make mini quilts, etc. and auction them to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Our auctioneer is a lot of fun and a good sport. Here he is auctioning off an art bra. A first for him.

This is the mini quilt I made for the auction. I adapted it from my "tealightful" quilt pattern.
So another quilt show is buttoned up.....(see how I snuck button-button Thursday in ~  LOL) and congrats to all who entered their quilts.....ribbons or not.... thank you for sharing your art and your passion to awe and inspire others to pick up a needle and thread and create more wonderful quilts to share.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

seeing red

It's button-button Thursday already! Gosh that was a quick week.
Well dear friends, during this weeks journey into the button tin - red caught my eye and I found a tresaure trove of glorious red buttons.
I love seeing the buttons with little pieces of thread still looped through them. You know they were sewn onto something at one time. Did one fall off and never get sewn back on, or was it taken off when the garment was worn out and discarded? Maybe it was even passed on in the button tin from the grandmother or mother-in-law. There are some buttons that show a lot of wear. They must have been used on a much favored garment that got a lot of use.
Then, there are the buttons that still have the metal "staple" that holds them onto the rack cards you buy them on. You know these were never used. Why not? Was it a blouse or dress started and never finished? Were they purchased for something particular in mind or just as a whim? Heaven knows I have buttons in my own button box that fall into all of those categories!!!
So many buttons - so many stories...........

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Frozen Frogs - it's all relative

Okay, technically this is still winter but OMG it's just not usually this chilly -  in March - in South Florida.
Hopefully it won't get as cold as it did the morning I took this picture of our frozen bird bath! The frogs BTW were a hostess gift from my dear SIL Lisa and her sisters, Dorrine, Linda and Joyce that came to visit us. Aren't they a hoot!
Now I'm not complaining about the below average's just that if I'd have known, I would have stocked up on some warmer clothes! Most of the year we are wearing about the same type of wardrobe, and it is a nice change to finally get to wear a sweater - without sweating! Of course visitors from the north don't find it chilly, they're even wearing shorts - I guess it's all relative.

Speaking of relatives....... my dear cousin Cindy is in town this week and we haven't seen each other in years (like maybe 10) so we spent the day together doing lunch and shopping (no I didn't buy a sweater) and catching up and giggling, it's like 10 years had never passed. While I was growing up I guess she's the closest I ever had to a sister and it did my heart good to see her again.
After I moved away to Florida it took me some time, but now I have a cherished group of friends that I also consider my sisters. They are a joy and they happen to be quilters too - imagine that!
Do you have actual family sisters, chosen sisters or both??