Thursday, December 17, 2009

I need to do better for 2010

Glitter Graphics
It's a new year...
It has been awhile since my last post. I am a slacker...a post slacker...I'm not proud...been busy with the holiday sewing and just not into it.
I need to do better for 2010.

I have had some new ideas for quilted items in my shops swirling around in 2009. Somehow, they just never got made.
I need to do better for 2010.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed and get anxious and then nothing gets accomplished, personally or professionally.
I need to do better for 2010.

I have the most awesome and supportive husband and family. I should let them know more often how special they are.
I need to do better for 2010.

I also have great on-line friends and friends that surround me in my everyday walk of life. (You all know who you are.) Have I told you how much I treasure your friendship?
I need to do better for 2010.

I no longer make new year resolutions. There is already too much guilt in the world. None of us are perfect, we all can use improvement. The saying "be patient, God isn't finished with me yet" sums it all up for me.

I do, however, wish to give many thanks and blessings with this coming New Year. I have a wonderful life filled with love, family and special people. I have an income from a part-time job that contributes to the household. I have the freedom to create my sewn and quilted items which is my passion.

This quilt quote pretty much sums it up for me....
Our lives are like quilts - bit and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.

May you have many bits and pieces of the
good life for 2010. I wish that all your dreams for 2010 come true.
Blessings~
Cindy

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Creations ~ Reversible Table Runners

I made these lovely tablerunners in the last two days. That includes the cutting, sewing and quilting. They actually make up pretty quick if you don't have to get the dreaded seam ripper out! Like my mats, they are all reversible (to the fabric you see on the flip side.) Click on the picture for a close up of the detail of my work. Shhh....these are for Christmas gifts, but if you would like a similar one...just use my contact form on the top right of this blog.

Love the colors in this sweet gingerbread fabric~

Poinsettias are always a fav of mine~


I like to watch the birds in winter, so this fabric is one of my favs~

Who doesn't love snowmen~
See more tablerunners, mats, baby gifts and other creations by me under the header My Creations in this blog (scroll down on the left side).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Can you weave barefoot?

well...I can't weave with a shoe on OR off....

Our friends Bill and Miki from Potsdam, NY came for a visit this weekend. Miki and I were discussing my etsy and artfire shops at the computer. She showed me the shop of a weave artist friend (of hers) called Barefootweaver.

Turns out Kait is also from northern NY, further north than me, but closer to the area where I grew up. I am the proverbial country gal.

Her weaving is very impressive. I invite you to have a look at some of her eye candy.

Visit her blog here and see more of her work in progress.









Monday, September 21, 2009

~Sewing Hints~

About your feed dogs~

I would like to share with everyone that sews and pieces their fabric a mistake that I have been making while sewing. I hope that it prevents you from making the same error and avoids sewing machine repairs.

When I sew quilts and table mats and other projects I very often chain piece, which saves both time and thread. Chain piecing is feeding one sewing unit after another through your machine without breaking the thread. View this great video from Marguerita McManus from Crazy Shortcut Quilts on chain piecing. Marguerita has many helpful videos, you should check them ALL out, (like I did).



I had to have my feed dogs AND my throat plate replaced on my sewing machine due to my error in chain piecing. As you can see from the video, when you chain piece you should have one unit butt up against the next while sewing your units. Your units should be only about ¼ inch from the foot as you come off the last piece. I was often chain piecing with space between my pieces, sometimes as much as an inch. (See the picture below on how NOT to do it.) You can see in the picture that my needle isn't even in that next piece of fabric yet. That means that the foot of my sewing machine was traveling over top of my feed dogs metal to metal, wearing down the feed dogs over time.

Another hint~ (This IS something that I do.) ALWAYS use your quilting foot when you machine quilt. And always use your quilting foot when you add your quilt binding to your quilt. Basically, use this foot whenever you are sewing more than 2 layers of fabric or batting. This is what your quilt foot is made for, to pull layers of fabric through your machine with ease. It puts less strain on your feed dogs.

One more hint~~ Whenever you quilt (including free motion quilting) you should ease your sewing pressure. Most machines have an adjustable pressure gauge. Mine is a dial at the top of my (Janome) machine. The normal setting is 3, but NOW when I quilt, I release the pressure to a 2. (See the picture below of my pressure gauge.) Most commonly, when you quilt you are sewing through at least 2 pieces of fabric and a batting. You don’t need as much pressure for this thickness, so it is wise to lighten your pressure gauge. It takes the pressure off, guess what? Yes you got it, your feed dogs.



The reason my throat plate needed replacing is because the feed dog problem was causing my needle to hit the throat plate.

I want to thank Marsha at AGR Sewing Machine Sales and Service (Central Square, NY) for helping me realize the mistakes I have been making while sewing. They were subtle, but over time caught up with me. So thank you, Marsha for setting me straight on chain piecing and pressure gauge and all the other great tips you have given me over the years with my Janome machines.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sewing Ghosties and Pumpkins for Fall

Brand new from the sewing cave ~~

I've had this folk art pumpkin pattern for a long time...sweet little mat to use in the kitchen or hang with the little plastic ring. It really dresses up a table when you have company and want to set your hot dish on something with that little extra "pizzazz". I have several mat patterns for that! Be sure to click on the pic for a look at the detailed stitching!

FRONT




BACK




Loved this "ghostly fabric" and was anxious to make somethin! It reverses to a leaf pattern fabric to take you into the fall...don't u love the little stain glass candle holder and fall candle I have it displayed with? Can you imagine how pretty that will be when lit against the glass and the colors of the table mat?

FRONT

FRONT CLOSE-UP

BACK


BACK CLOSE-UP

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fresh Off the Machine..a New Sewhappydesigns Pattern!!





Back of mat reverses to a lovely fall print...
You can use the mat front for Halloween and the back
for fall...how cool is that?? This mat design is by SewHappyDesigns
all rights reserved.


Been doing some sewing while on vacation in the Adirondacks...sew lovely here...great view and peaceful...my favorite place to sew. This is our fifth year of renting this cabin.

I created this mat here...from the pattern to the finished project. I have two completed. I've also gotten some pumpkin mats and my regular patterned mats sewn..will finish them at home.

Be sure you click on the pic for a close up of the detail of my work. Love this spider web fabric!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Making quilted mats!!!

I made these four 12 inch mats today. Each front has the same fabrics, but not all the centers are the same. Each one has a different back. The fronts are Halloween colors and each reverses to a fall fabric. You will be able to get two seasons from these mats! Click on the pictures for close-ups of the detail of my work.

FRONT W/Orange Center


BACK

FRONT W/Orange Center

BACK

FRONT W/Pumpkin/Crow Center

BACK

FRONT W/Black Center



BACK


FRONT CLOSE-UP WITH A SKYLINE BHR CANDLE



I've been sewing mats like crazy for my artfire shop and my consignment shop and have many more planned. Last week I made these two new ones. These are approximately 15 inch and make a lovely addition to any table. Match them up with a tall candle, candy dish or plant and you have an awesome centerpiece.

FRONT


BACK


These 15 inch mats have sweet pumpkins and witches and bats (in the orange fabric) for Halloween and reverse to fall fabric. The second one is perfect for a Thanksgiving table.









FRONT
BACK

Thursday, July 23, 2009

~Our Vacation in France, July 2009~

We are home from a two week vacation of a lifetime….we went to France. It was the first time for me and the second for my husband. The first time he was a 17-year old high school exchange student there for a summer. We have kept in touch with his/our French family for over 40 years (we were high school sweethearts). Members of his French family have visited us over the years, including his "Maman" who is still alive and doing well at 87, but this was the first he has gone back. We spent our vacation with different members of that family, except for the last three nights in Paris by ourselves. We arrived in Paris July 14th, Bastille Day (Independence Day) for the French!

Steve's/Our French family members live in various parts of the country. Bernard in a small town in Normandy, Bernadette on the east side of Paris and Edith on the west. We were fortunate to have all three of them and their families as our tour guides for various parts of the country. It allowed us to visit many of the places they knew well and avoid lines and waiting. We saw many parts of Normandy and places near Paris, such as Versailles with ease. We were on our own in Paris for 2 full days and 3 nights and then left for home. We had a great hotel that came with a package of sightseeing venues in a location close to everything. I constantly asked to be “pinched” because I couldn’t believe we were there. For example, one night we had dinner with Bernard and his lovely wife, Beatrice outside in a restaurant just (literally) a stone’s throw from the site of where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. It was very moving to visit the D-Day sights and the countless crosses at the American Cemetery. The first night we were in Paris we were on a boat on the Seine in front of the Eiffel Tower watching the fireworks for their July 14th Independence Day. It was the 120th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower, so we were told the fireworks were extra spectacular. The following pictures are a very short synopsis of over 1000 pictures (yes, really, can you imagine?) taken during the course of the two week vacation, culminating with a video of the fireworks. It is the job of “moi” to get them edited and sorted the best way for viewing.

Our thanks to Bernard and Beatrice, Bernadette, and Edith, Michele and Clemence for showing us the most wonderful time!

Here are a few of the pics we took. Just a few highlights to give an idea of some of the wonderful places we visited.

The picture below is a strategy map of the landing at the beaches~D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.
The picture below is of the American Cemetery at Coleville S'Laurent. There are 9,386 Americans buried here and 4,410 Americans buried at Saint-James Cemetery. Everywhere you look you see graves. Many of them are marked "Here rests in honored glory a comrade in arms known but to God". Upon looking through our many pictures here, I was happy to find one that gives the impact of the continual rows without a single person walking in the area. There were many people there on this day. It is a sobering place, but an honor to be there.



The picture below is of Cathedral Notre-Dame of Rouen located in Normandy. This is a massive Cathedral that took nearly 400 years to build. It was captured by many artists, including Monet, who was so obsessed with the west facade that he painted it 30 times in all kinds of weather. The inside of this was incredible as well.



In Rouen, we also visited the Eglise Jeanne d'Arc, the site of Joan of Arc's martyrdom. We had dinner one evening at a restaurant literally a stone's throw from this site.



McStevie was big on taking pictures of signs at the various sites we visited.


We visited Giverny, the home and gardens of Monet. I love lavender. The picture below is of one of the pathways covered with lavender. I was inspired by the gardens and hope to make a quilt of flowers.


The picture below is of Monet's home. We were able to go through it, but could not take any pictures of the inside.



The picture below is of me and McStevie near one of the gardens at Versailles. The grounds, gardens, rooms and statues found here are just massive and impressive. I urge you to look up some of the history and pictures of these places on the internet for yourself. I couldn't possibly put all the pictures and videos we took here on my blog.

I had to throw this picture in so that you would believe we actually went to France, and I didn't just list a bunch of pics from the internet....


The picture below is of the Louvre in Paris - the glass pyramid entrance. It was featured in The DaVinci Code movie with Tom Hanks. We spent several hours here and never came close to seeing it all. The paintings were incredible. The detail astounding. I guess we need to go back to get it all.

Below ~ One of the ceilings that enthralled me in the Louvre. There were many like this.

Below is lovely Mona Lisa in the Louvre. There are always crowds around her taking pictures. I had to wait patiently and do much maneuvering to be able to get a shot of just her in the picture.
It' amazing how small the picture actually is.

Below is the lovely Venus de Milo statue in the Louvre. Again, there are crowds around, but I managed to get a pic with no one else in it.


We devoted the last day to shopping on the Avenue des Champs Elysees...where all the large stores are. We shopped in Nike Paris for a few treasures. They love Lance Armstrong there as you can tell. Of course, Tour de France was happening while we were there...what luck!


The picture below is of the big Louis Vuitton shop in Paris. I promised our daughter Mandy that I would get some pics of it. We walked a little on the first floor and then left. The prices were crazy. Mandy has the picture, nothing else...

Below are a few of the treasures we brought back. McStevie got me some Channel #5, oo-la-la. He hasn't bought that for me since before we were married. We got the fabulous linen tablecloth and matching napkins for less than half price bartering with about a 12 year old boy at a typical French market in Normandy. I love it!


Below is video taken from a tour boat on the Seine our first night in Paris. Our first night in Paris was the 14th of July, France's Independence Day ~ called le 14 juillet. The video is of the fireworks from the Eiffel Tower. France was celebrating 120 years of the existence of this wonderful monument.
video

Thursday, June 25, 2009

~~I'm Featured~~ WOOTS!!

I am sewhappy to report that I have been featured on Tami Murray Cline's (AKA TMCPhoto) blog called TMCPhoto-peanutbutterpie .

THANK YOU TAMI!!!

It is always sew wonderful how crafters meet by chance. I made a little hanger for fun one day after chatting up a storm in an artfire chatroom about tiaras. I put it on my blog as a give-away and Tami of TMCPhoto won the little gem! Read about that here:

http://sewhappydesigns.blogspot.com/2009/06/and-winner-is.html

I checked out Tami's blog and saw that she was on a wonderful family vacation at the time, sew I emailed her a little note and told her to let me know when she was back and I would get her tiara in the mail. She emailed me when she got back and asked if she could do a feature on me. Heck yes! You need to check out this very talented gal from Canada (not one, but TWO etsy shops) and enjoy her writing and the adventures of her "little peanut" on her blog.

Tami's Etsy shops:

See her awesome greeting cards at: PeanutButterPie

See her awesome photography at: TMCPhoto


Keep track of what she's up to at twitter.com/PeanutButterPieFollow and Facebook at www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Tami-Murray-Cline/19882647549?ref=ts

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

~~They're Here~~BHR Coasters~~

As many of you know I am the proud #1 FAN of blockheadradio.com.

I've been working on the design of these coasters for about 2 weeks now. Thanks to the graphic genius of Annette, AKA HuckleberryArts over at Blockheadrodradio.com getting the graphic(s) on a regular size sheet of paper for me. Thanks Annette!

From that, I was able to print the graphics on paper backed material and TA-DA! You can find them in my artfire shop with FREE shipping! Perfect as a hot mat under that BHR Brew Ha Ha cup of coffee in the morning! You have a choice of colored notes on black background OR black notes on white background. Both are quilted in black with a "block" decorative stitch.

BHR coasters not your cup of tea? Please note that I have many material choices for coasters and would love to do a custom set for you, just contact me at icanquilt@aol.com