Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wish our son could be here

All the projects are finished. Baking is done. Prime rib is seasoned and ready for the rotisserie over the grill. Presents are wrapped. Our daughter, Amber, arrived safely... But, our son, Brit couldn't get here from Japan. It's a long way... We miss him. This is the third Christmas he's missed. The US Navy keeps him busy.
To all of you who are missing loved ones around the table tomorrow... I send you my warmest hugs. I know how you feel.
Merry Christmas and a most wonderful New Year to all.
Hugs from Mary

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Little Vacation

Well, DH thought it would be fun to head down to Hilton Head Island for a little golf... We have friends visiting from CA, and they think it's also a grand idea.  I do too, but none of them smiled when I asked if I could take my sewing machine. DH thinks the golf clubs will keep me busy. DOES NO ONE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS THE BUSIEST TIME OF THE YEAR FOR A QUILTER???  Smile, Mary... Take a deep breath, Mary... Remember, no cooking dinners for the next 5 nights... Oh, yeah ;-)  That's a good thing. Besides, think how satisfying it will be to picture DH's face on the golf ball every time I hit it! (just kidding - I love him dearly)

Here's a poor picture of my latest art quilt that sold for $150 at our garden club's charity auction... I'm very happy about that! The pine boughs were FMQed with a double needle using two tones of green thread. I also left loose threads on the egret to look like feathers blowing in the wind.

Keep stitchin' for the ones you love. (I'll be hitting golf balls.)
Hugs from Mary

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wooden Quilt Address

The quilt block is finished and attached!

The darling DH getting the job done! 

The big picture...

Our sweet little dream cottage on the golf course; near the beach 
now has a beautiful quilt to showcase the house numbers!
The neighbors probably think it's part of the Christmas decorations.
Won't they be surprised when it stays in place forever!

BTW... The window above the quilt block is my sewing studio.
I get the whole room over the garage all to myself!
I'm just a happy camper up there ;-)

Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!
Holiday Hugs from Mary

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wooden Quilt Block... Finished... almost

I'm finished!!! After lots of taping and delicate painting, I can now say... "I love it!" Our address numbers will stand out bold and proud on this quilt block.
 The exterior of the house is the same color as the center light sage green.

So, drum roll please... here it is...

The next step is to spray a clear satin polyurethane to seal and protect the paint. After that DH and I will seal the plywood edges with a waterproof clear caulking and put a wood fame around the edges that will be painted the maroon/brown. 

When I get the barn quilt square hung on the house with the numbers I'll post it.

By the way...Head on over to Tops and Bobbins for a "Thankful" give-away!

Keep stitchin' for those sweet loved ones.
Hugs from Mary

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wooden Quilt Block for my house.

Earlier this fall my DH and I were in the NC mountains, and adventured into Burnsville to find Needle Me This, a quilt store that had been featured in a quilt magazine. The entire shop was wonderful, but the entrance was spectacular. Right beside the front door is a beautiful painted 3'x3' quilt square, typical of what you see on barns in the NC mountains. I fell in love with that quilt block and knew that I wanted to do a smaller version of it with slightly different colors.

 Here is the beautiful quilt block at Needle Me This. I am staying in the same color range, however I am not using the white and light blue. On those points I am using the light and dark gold.... And then where you see the golds in the picture I am changing that to the light and dark greens. My quilt block will be 2'x2', and our house numbers will be displayed in the center diamond.

So, here is what I have to this point... Yes, I'm painting in the kitchen... on the granite counter-top... I think the blue tape is a nice touch! I painted the gold in just to help me eye it all and get an idea for what it will look like. I will tape it and paint it correctly... (don't worry) :-)

That's it for now... I'll post the finished block when it
is firmly attached to our house and proudly displaying the house numbers.

Keep stitchin' for the ones you love...
Hugs from Mary

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Proper Dress Attire for Quilting

So Dick, my DH, comes home from golf... (which means he left 4+ hours ago)... looks at me and informs me I'm still in my PJs at 2:00 in the afternoon.  I of course tell him that I'm dressed..(I've even pulled on a pair of shorts). But he won't accept that! It seems I'm still in the t-shirt I slept in.  Now here's the part I like... if you pull on a bra, technically you could go outside, so technically you're dressed... Right??? I've even brushed my teeth, had coffee, cleaned the kitchen... Hey! I'm more creative in a comfy t-shirt! Miss Puny Puss, my quilting buddy, is quite content with my appearance.
I've got a plan... someday soon Mr. Dick is going to come home from golf and I'm going to be dressed in that cute little black dress, cute black strappy sandals, dangly earrings, make-up, the whole nine yards! This will by my attire for the quilting studio!
Who on earth am I kidding? I'm sticking to the comfy t-shirt and pull on pants! We ought to have survey about what quilters wear! Maybe there needs to be a line of comfy quilters clothing. I think it's already made, but nurses wear it and it's called scrubs!

Keep stitchin' in your comfy duds for the ones you love!
Hugs from Mary and Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Hang it on a tree" Postcards

I needed to write several thank you cards to friends. I decided to send them each a quilted postcard. I fused a fabric Christmas ornament onto a crazy quilted background and then started having some fun...

Using free motion quilting, I stitched in some pine boughs. However, here's the kicker... I used a double needle!!!! How do you like that?! What a fun discovery. I used two different colors of green and went to town with a back and forth motion. It was easy to do and I love the effect. On one of the postcards I stitched in the branch with a variegated brown/black polyester thread. On the other card I just drew in the branch. Do you see the difference? I also discovered that by going side to side with a double needle I got one thick line of the two colors. Just curving slightly gave another effect.

For the back of the card I fused muslin and wonder under together. I then trimmed the edges to 8.5" X 11" and ran it through my printer to get the tiny label at the bottom of the postcard as shown in the picture. I zig-zagged metallic gold around the edges as the final step.

The post card in the previous blog entry did make it all the way from me in NC to Elizabeth in CA. It arrived in great shape. She couldn't believe it. I really am loving this sending postcards idea. It is great fun.

Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!
Hugs from Mary

Friday, November 18, 2011

Completed on time... Beef Wellington!

I did it! I got down to task and completed the Beef Wellington... despite numerous interruptions from my sewing machine. Every time I went upstairs to grab something my sweet sewing machine would make me lose track of what I was doing... Hours later I would think, "Oh, the gourmet group is coming for dinner tomorrow night! Shouldn't I be cooking and cleaning rather than sewing?"
So here is my proof that I stayed on track, cleaned, cooked and set a beautiful table. Yeah!

I look so cool and calm... Ha! What a joke!
Keep stitchin' for the ones you love
Hugs from Mary

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sidetracked by a postcard!

Gee... wasn't I going to clean the house and then prepare the Beef Wellington?? It's only 11:10, I still have time. I was sidetracked by my friend's birthday. It's all Elizabeth's fault!! I went upstairs and there was my sewing machine begging for a few minutes of my time. I started thinking Elizabeth would love a postcard for her birthday. She would really love a picture of an egret in the salt marshes... it will only take a few minutes...
I can justify anything!

What fun! I think she will be very surprised! I'll be grateful if it even makes it!

Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!
Hugs from Mary

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Birch Tree Grove, continued

I'm working on the Birch Tree Grove. I want it to look like the end of summer; the leaves are just starting to turn. As you saw in the previous post, I have bits of golden yellow mixed in with the green..... But, it just looks like a big blob of green. The trunks look great (I think), but the green mass of leaves doesn't allow the eye to see separate trees. It needs more dimension...

        See what I mean?.........
 I want the tree with the largest trunk to come forward. I think this is where I need to know about shadowing. I did it fine on the trunk, but I'm not sure what to do with the leaves. I'm pretty sure I want to keep the center part of the green the color that it is, but as the green moves to the left and right of center it needs to get darker.  Does that make sense or am I in La La land yet again???
I think this is where the fabric pens and oil pastels come in handy. The worst that can happen is that I totally screw this up. Right?

     One other thing... I have some of the trees at the edge of the dark woods and some of the trees more in the open with a lighter, sunset type background. I should have shadowed the trees on the right side of the trunks. Am I learning from my mistakes or what?
What a crack-up!

Keep stitchin' for the ones you love.
Hugs from Mary

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

Ladies and Gentlemen... we could do this...
I received this as an email from a good friend, and thought, "This is the perfect post for the blog.
If you would like a copy of this article to put on your blog or email to friends just leave a comment and I'll make sure you get it!

> As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking 
> into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of 
> cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at 
> the expense of American labor. This
> year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift 
> of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an 
> excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is 
> produced by American hands. Yes there is!

> It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift 
> needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced 
> wrapping paper?
> Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift 
> certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

> Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking 
> about some health improvement.

> Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, 
> American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell 
> you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

> Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of 
> plunking down the Benjamins on a Chinese made flat-screen? 
> Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway 
> sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all 
> winter, or games at the local golf course.

> There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift 
> certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what
> about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. 
> Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is 
> about supporting your home town Americans with their financial 
> lives on the line to keep their doors open.

> How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck 
> or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

> Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the 
> services local cleaning lady for a day.

> My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some 
> young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

> OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts 
> people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make 
> jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

> Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants 
> and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to 
> see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

> Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

> Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand 
> Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string 
> of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have 
> those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or 
> babysitter a nice BIG tip.

> You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets 
> so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is 
> now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses 
> to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care 
> about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the 
> benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

> THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.
> Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to 
> discussion groups -- throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants 
> and Raves section in your city -- send it to the editor of your 
> local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments. This is 
> a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what 
> Christmas is about?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Ghastly Party... It's BYOB!

Welcome to Crooked Gulley's Ghastly Project!

If you go into the city tonight you're in for a scary surprise!
For every Ghastly that ever there was
Will gather there for certain because...
Tonight's the night the Ghastlies are having their GALA!

What's that you say?? It's BYOB?
I need a wine carrier that's made just for me?
I've got it! I've found it!  

It screams, "LOOK and SEE!"

It's chic and carries the best Chardonnay,
There's even more room for Merlot and Cabernet!
Sparkly with pockets and secure compartments.
And think of all the marvelous compliments!

There's room for a cheese board, knife, and bread,
Oh what a marvelous, delicious spread!
Check out the pockets for napkins and corkscrew.

How about the backside? It's cute and chic, too.

It's simply sublime, and I'll look divine!
And... now, I'm done with this silly rhyme!!!

     Well... I can hardly wait for the next BYOB party at my golfing community.

No more brown paper bags for moi. 
I now have the end all in party carriers.

     I could have used basic fat quarters, but had to buy a yard of the green to get the perfect placement of the pictures. I also double lined all four sides with quilt batting. I wanted the protection and the insulation to keep my chardonnay cold. The carrier's width is the same as a wine bottle on it's side. That way if I'm taking just one bottle (which is usually the case... I'm not a lush!) it can place it on it's side. The bag is also a wine bottle tall. So, basically it is a square. The handles are just strap webbing material sold by the yard at Joanns or Walmart. I used metallic silver thread to quilt the lovely ladies hair, the knives... and the candles.

     That's it, that's all. Just a cute sassy, classy BYOB party bag. Hope you enjoyed seeing it.

And... don't forget to visit the other Ghastly Blogs for today
Mrs. Jane Ghastly
Mrs. Mary Ghastly
Mrs. Michelle Ghastly
Mrs. Dawn Ghastly
Mrs. Mary Ghastly... That's me... you're here

Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!
Hugs from Mary

Birch Tree Grove

I'm back to being artistic and adventurous with fabric... This is where I like to be... playing with colors and pretending that I know what I'm doing!
So... Here's my newest endeavor...

I have several landscape art quilt books that I've noted in previous posts. Both books advise to cut out shapes and use a regular glue stick to temporarily hold them on the background. Then you use invisible thread to attach permanently. Next you shade the tree trunk sides with oil pastels. Well... and this is where I usually get into trouble... I got to thinking... why attach with invisible thread and then shade with pastels... Why not shade and attach in one step. So, I used an irregular zig-zag stitch on my machine and stitched the left sides of the tree trunks with a dark poly thread and the right sides with a light gray poly thread... I love my results! I think it is shaded better than what I did on previous work with the oil pastels. And, I loved being able to thread sketch some definition into the trunks.

For the tree tops... Well I have a long way to go. But for now I'll say that rather than use the glue stick to attach I went back to fusing. AND... I cut the irregular shapes with my pinking shears! That was an incredible "ah, ha" for me.

 I'm going to fine tune the area; possibly bring the leaves lower on the trunks, and then start thread sketching details and layers. Scary thought... I don't want to be queen of the seam ripper again, so I may do some research on techniques and experiment on scraps... (What a novel idea!)  I also want to use the fabric markers and sketch in more tree trunks in the background so that it all looks more three dimensional.

That's it for now... I'm off to walk and then clean house.
Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!
Hugs from Mary

Monday, October 31, 2011

Funky Bear is finished

I have finished Emma Kate's baby quilt and will get it in the mail to her tomorrow. I added a bumble bee on one of the flowers because this summer we had a family reunion and called it the "Buzzin' Cousin" Reunion. Everything was bumble bees... even on our tee shirts that we made. Well, Emma Kate will be the newest "Buzzin' Cousin" when she soon arrives.

I also took the scraps from the quilt, added a daisy flannel fat quarter and made a mini quilt to keep in the diaper bag. That way Emma Kate's mommy will always have a clean place to put that cute pink bottom when changing the diaper on the go.

So here is Little Funky Bear all finished...

He is so very cute!

Now I'm free to start working on my art quilt projects. I'm anxious to get back to the trees!
Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!
Hugs from Mary

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Little Funky Baby Bear

     Oh I love this sweet little bear... Even if he is a little funky. I just need to bind - which is the lime green/pink flowered strip, launder, and mail him to sweet Emma Kate.

     Little Miss Emma Kate is due to arrive any day.  I'm hoping Funky Bear will give her lots of hugs and love. I put soft, soft flannel on the back side of the quilt. It should all puff nicely when out of the dryer it comes.

I love stitchin' for the ones I love.
Hugs from Mary   PS... Don't forget to enjoy the Ghastlies Blog Hop... The blogs are in the right margin.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

FMQ Rule #1

Free Motion Quilting Rule #1.....
NEVER sew a stitch that is too small to be ripped out!  
Learned that one the hard way.
I'm working on a darling baby quilt for my niece.
 I was doing free motion on the bear and decided it didn't look right... 
The picture says it all:

I've always used the seam ripper and trimmer shears for undoing the mistakes...
My new favorite tools include tweezers and the tape roller for picking up the
tiny pieces of thread.

Didn't really accomplish what I wanted to... Off to the grocery store.
Hugs from Mary

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ghastlies Sneak Peek...

I've just finished my Ghastly project for the Blog Hop over at Madamme Samm's
beginning  October 24th. I'll be featured with other blogs on November 2nd. 
Here's the sneak peek of my project....

 Any ideas on what I might be making???

It's functional, chic, and I will use it often, especially through the Holiday Parties coming up.

Such fun fabric to work with. Love the pea green soup background color.

I may need a new LBD... (little black dress!)

Hugs to all,

Monday, October 10, 2011

Crooked Gulley??

I thought I better mention where my blog name comes from... I live on Crooked Gulley Circle! It's the name of my street. AND... I'm not the one who misspelled gulley... Maybe the post office? Maybe the plantation developer? Maybe some lackey sign maker? Who knows... But, the important part is:  yes, there really is a crooked gully!
By the way, the wedding was beautiful and the bride loved her garters.
Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!
Hugs from Mary

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

For the Bride

This weekend we are going to the wedding of our daughter's friend... a very good friend from 5th grade. I wanted to make her something special to wear on her wedding day... Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

It's all wrapped up in these garters. The 'old' is a penny for the year the bride and groom were born. The 'new' is a new 2011 penny for the year of their wedding. Both pennies hang from the bow of the top garter in tulle 'pockets'. Something borrowed... well, I'm still working on that one... Something blue is, of course, the blue garters. I also added a small bit of rice for the traditional rice at the wedding. (Don't tell the bride, but it really means fertility, or, in other words... start making babies!!!)

I make two garters for the brides because the top one is a keepsake and the bottom garter gets thrown to the bachelors.  I once did garters for a wedding on the beach. The center of the bow had tiny sea shells glued on. At a Scottish wedding I made garters with tartan plaid ribbons. All garters I've made had pennies from the bride and groom's birth years and a penny for the year of their wedding. Pennies also add the Good Luck factor to it all.  I always include the rice. Mothers of both the bride and groom love that part.

I need to get started on my Ghastlies Project. I have a great idea for it and can hardly wait to show y'all.
Hugs from Mary

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Autumn Birch Trees - Confetti Method

Hello dear friends... I have really jumped into the deep end. I'm not sure I'm still on Planet Earth! I took a leap of faith today and tried confetti style landscape quilt art! You have to take all your precious batik scraps and cut them into the tiniest pieces and then sprinkle them where you think they might go! Shut the front door! Has someone lost their mind? How can you just sprinkle little fabric pieces and think it will work out??? Well, let's take a look...
I haven't even stitched and enhanced the trunks yet... and, I plan to "sprinkle more yellow leaves along with a few orange and red. I'm anxious to see what is going to happen... But, that will have to wait...

My sweet husband, Dick, and I are leaving tomorrow morning for the NC mountains and a wonderful week at Lake Lure with hiking, golfing... dining out... yum! I guess I have to leave my machine at home. Darn!

But, while we are out sight seeing, I have a planned route that will take us by two great quilt shops!! :)  Shucks, darling DH will have to ... who cares... I'm going in the quilt shop!

Keep stitchin' for the ones you love! I'll be back in 10 days with lots of new great ideas.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My, oh my! Hot Apple Pie

I've just got to tell y'all about the apple pie recipe in the September edition of Southern Living. Just feast your eyes on this...

My DH found it and made it!!!

This luscious pie is made and baked in a cast iron skillet.  Before you put the crust in you make a caramel sauce. A nice gooey caramel sauce. Then you put the crust right over it in the warm pan. Add the apples according to the recipe, put the crust lid on top, paint it with an egg and sugar mixture and bake.

My, oh my... Hot apple pie!
Here's the recipe link:

Hugs from Mary

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another Sunset Beach Wall Hanging

Welcome Autumn weather! Our humidity is nearly gone and we now have cool nights. So, that means take picnic dinners to the beach, walk, swim, relax and watch the sunset. How on earth can that happen on the east coast of NC? When you look at the map of the eastern USA, you will see that a part of NC juts in and faces south. That's where we are. We sit on the beach and realize the sun rises on our left and sets on the right. Very weird feeling when you're trying to get your bearings.

So... with all this lovely evening beach time I start thinking about a quilt hanging. Here's the beginning. Not much to look at yet. I've done several things. I want a calm evening ocean, so the free motion stitching in the blue is relaxing simple lines. Perhaps I'll only stitch in a few white caps with the white silk thread. I'm also going to add a small amount of the white foam at the edge of the water with the same thread.
The dunes are not going to be as large as the area appears. I want to try softly folding that fabric to give the illusion of the dunes. I have also put extra layers of batting under the dune area to make them look puffier. Somehow I want to shadow in a very soft pink from the right side so that it will appear that the evening pink sky is reflecting on the dunes. Gulp! Noble idea, but how the heck do I do that??? Experiment, Mary, experiment. Never mind that the fabric cost a fortune... play with it. Maybe I should talk with the art teacher down the street. Of course the dunes will also have the ever famous grasses and sea oats. This should be a fun one the fiddle with.
Keep stitchin for the ones you love.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tree Tops is Finished!

This is it! I'm finished... well, almost. My DH needs to make a wooden frame so that I can wrap the edges around it and staple gun it all in place. About a quarter inch will show of the outer border on the front and then it will wrap around and show on the sides. I also need to clean finish the border edges with a nice quarter inch hem so that it looks finished and neat on the back. I take lengths of grosgrain ribbon and glue it down to cover the staples.  This piece is going into a local art gallery for sale and I want a professional looking back.

One of the things I've done on this since last posting it was to create more contrast in the trees. I made the right side shadows on the trunks darker. I also used a white oil pastel and made the left sides of the trunks brighter. I then took an olive green oil pastel and added mossy areas to the trunks. The trees seem to pop more from the background and I like that better.

This has been a great experiment, and I gained confidence in using the fabric markers and oil pastels. I would never had tried it without reading The Art of Landscape Quilting by Zieman and Sewell. I guess I'm ready for their next project.

Or maybe I need to start making my Ghastly project for the Ghastlies Blog Hop!

You know what to do... Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!

Monday, September 5, 2011

In the Tree Tops Project Lesson

I'm working my way through Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell's book:
The Art of Landscape Quilting.

 The first project spins off of Sewell's art quilt In the Tree Tops. These talented ladies claim it is an easy one to start with as there is no ground cover and it is a close up view. As they recommend, I used only three fabrics. They do a very good job of teaching you how to enhance the tree trunks and background with fabric markers and oil pastels. I'm not disappointed with the book. However, I may be overly criticizing my first attempt, or.... maybe not.

 I shadowed the right side of the trunks with black Sharpee Marker and black oil pastels. It takes a lot of nerve to draw on a lovely batik with a black marker! I found I could soften the effect by going over the stark black with gray oil pastel. Then I took a deep breath and forged on. It was very scary! My background trees do not look like the authors. I guess when they do I'll write a book.

The authors advise you not to FMQ the tree trunks. Stitching the sides in place is all that is necessary. I do have to admit that they seem rounded and three dimensional. So... they must know what they're talking about! I did FMQ the drawn in trees, but left the tiny drawn branches alone.  ** I didn't FMQ any of the blue background. Do I need to? The picture shows ripples. Maybe I should stretch this on a wooden frame. (Oh, honey... build a frame for me.) I've got to research and see if this calls for background FMQ...Maybe it would make it too busy. SCREAM! I need a glass of wine, you say?? Sensational idea.

I plan to use a black/brown batik as the binding. I think that will help draw out the tones in the trunks and bring them back to life. I was also glad to see I hadn't forgotten how to do mitered corners. My borders are from the ever beautiful Stonehenge collection.

Keep stitchin' for the ones you love... I do.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Long time, no blog.... Company, golf, gardening...
And, I did. Here's my latest progress on Elizabeth's "Early Riser".  I did the leaf and vine free motion quilting around the border, and stitched details into the mountains.

I was also able to get to my latest art quilt. I thought the trees needed more shadowing. I added charcoal oil pastel down the right sides. I also drew in more background trees and branches. I think I'm ready to look for the border fabric. Oh Goody! I get to go to a quilting store. What a wonderful was to spend a Saturday. Of course I also have to help Amber, my daughter find a pair of silver dress shoes for a wedding she's going to be in. I think she should just buy some metallic silver spray paint and cover a pair of shoes she already has. :-)

Hey... Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!
Hugs from Mary

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Early Riser

We're making progress!! "Early Riser", a pattern by Mckenna Ryan, is now past the fusing process. You can see Elizabeth doing the final steps for the little salmon swimming up stream.

While Elizabeth was busy with the fusing, I was over at another work area doing my own creating. I have been wanting to do an art quilt that uses fussy cutting and drawing with oil pastel chalks, fabric markers and what ever else works. So here is my morning endeavor:

This is from "The Art of Landscape Quilting" by Zieman and Sewell. The book has wonderful instructions and pictures. This is the first project they suggest. So, I can't believe it, but I'm actually following directions. How about that? The leaves are fussy cut, and I enhanced them with a yellow fabric marker. I shaded the tree trunks on the right sides with a black sharpee marker. I drew in additional smaller trunks in the background, and highlighted some of the background fabric with a red/orange oil pastel. Oh, and... the leaves and trunks a attached with a good old glue stick! 

Now we continue with the free motion quilting... I think that huge salmon needs to be stitched in a gold metallic. Make that big guy flashy in the morning sun.

So much fun...
Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!

Hugs from Mary

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Newest project

Here it is... A Mckenna Ryan pattern. Just the beginning...
 I'm working on the free motion quilting, my friend, Elizabeth, is doing the intricate cutting and fusing. Next we add the spectacular fish! This is a beautiful, fun pattern.
More to come... 
Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!
Hugs from Mary

Floor Cloths Can Go Anywhere!

This is just a post script to the floor cloth idea... I would love to make one to fit inside our "wooden" rug in the foyer. I originally proposed to my husband that we sand the center and paint/stencil it. I watched a grown man cry!! The vinyl floor cloth will be much easier on him. :-)  I also want to use a toilet rug as a pattern and make vinyl floor cloths to use around the toilets... so much easier to clean and I can get a tighter fit.  Just think how cute they could be in the kids' bathroom! Floor cloths are not just for the kitchen!
Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!
Hugs from Mary

Monday, August 29, 2011

Make a Classy, Sassy Cell Phone Cover... Part 2

This is the cute, sassy cell phone cover I  started making several years ago. It is my own pattern that I'm giving to you because everyone needs to pull a cell phone out of a Classy, Sassy Cover!

We're going to make this one today...

You need:  1  crazy quilt piece that is 8.5" x 9".
                                           1  8.5"x9" lining fabric in a contrasting color or print
                                             1  8.5"x9" piece of fusible lining like Wonder Under
                                 1.5" of hook and loop closure  such as Velcro

 If you don't know how to crazy quilt, take a look at the blog entry just below:
Classy, Sassy Cell Phone Cover Part 1 .
It has the "how to" for crazy quilting.

So, here is what my crazy quilt fabric piece looks like. I didn't quite have the 8.5" length, so I added a strip of the gold star fabric at the top of the piece.  I am also using that same fabric as the lining.  The 9 inches is the side to side measurement, making the 8.5" the top to bottom measurement.

You want to make sure all seams are well pressed. Put your iron on the dry setting and fuse the Wonder Under piece to the back of the crazy quilt piece. Make sure you iron along all the seams. When the piece has cooled, peel the paper off the back. It should look something like the picture below.

Now we're ready to add the lining.  Put the right side of the lining against the right side of the crazy quilt piece.   Here is the only tricky part... If your lining fabric has a one way pattern, make sure that you place it so that when you turn down the cuff at the opening of the cell phone cover, the pattern will be going in the correct direction... Take a look at the orange and black fabric I used as the lining... I wanted to make sure the cats were not upside down  or sideways when I turned the cuff down at the top of my finished cell cover .

You are going to stitch around the edge using a 1/4" seam allowance. Because we want to leave a small opening in which to turn the cell cover to right sides,  we want to start sewing and back tack to secure the stitch. I also start sewing on a side rather than the top or bottom. Go all the way around and stop about 2.5" from where you started. Back tack again to secure the stitch. Clip the corners and turn your cell cover so that you have right sides out. I like to take a rounded stick to push all the corners and sides out. Now you're ready to press with a dry iron. This is going to fuse the lining and the crazy quilt piece together.

I also like to press down the cuff at this time. The fold line lets me know where to start my fancy stitching so that the bobbin threads won't show when I turn down the cuff.

So, the fun begins.

 This is where you get to use those fancy stitches on your machine. You also get to choose thread that is going to stand out on your fabric. This is the classy, sassy part. Have fun, be bold! You want this stitching to WOW! You are going to fancy stitch along all the seam lines on the crazy quilt side.

After you have finished all your fancy stitching you want to fancy stitch at the edge of the cuff on the lining side. Using the pressed fold as your starting point, fancy stitch around the edge of the cuff.

We're nearly done!

With the cuff up, fold your cell cover in half, carefully lining up the sides, and press.  Open the cover up and sew in velcro right below the cuff fold line. I use the 1" velcro. I cut about 1.5 " length and then cut that down the center, making  narrow strips, and enough for two cell covers. Making sure the velcro pieces will match, sew them in, remembering to back tack at the ends. When the cell cover is completed the bobbin thread will not show because of the cuff being turned down.

Now you're ready for the final stitching. You will need the same thread in the bobbin for this last step. Fold the cell cover closed, making sure the sides match. You can straight stitch or fancy stitch. Sew at the edge of the cover. Starting at the bottom corner, stitch all the way around. If possible, pivot at the corner and then stitch up to just below the cuff fold line. Back tack several times.

Fold the cuff down... Do a good finger press... Find your cell phone... Drop it in...

You now have a Classy, Sassy Cell Phone Cover!
Aren't you just something?
Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!
Hugs from Mary