Friday, August 31, 2007


I like to visit this blog because it reveals daily life in "slices".

Thought I would serve up a few slices of what I've been up to lately.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

sailboat for sale.....

I just made these pillows for Colleen at Saffron and Genevieve. The fabric was handpainted by a local artist. I think they are so cute.

The artist has an after-school art program not far from my house.

One of the things I enjoy about my work is getting to know so many people in the "tri-county" area. I have met so many nice and interesting people, and have learned my way around the "neighborhoods". My husband, who works with people who are replacing their windows, also goes to a lot of different houses. We have an unspoken contest going on..."Do you know where THAT street is?" Often we even have done work for the same people.

Well.... sew, I must.... so that's it.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

unexpected guests

I haven't planted a garden in years. There are a few flowers in pots, and I have put in quite a few hens and chicks. Every time my thoughtful neighbor trims hers, she asks me if I want the trimmings. But this spring I put in a few cosmos and zinnias in my little retained area. As I was planting the flower plants, I noticed that there was a pile of black sunflower seed from the hanging birdfeeder, where I was digging. I think I picked some of them up, but for the most part just ignored them.

No one will admit to spilling them there about 12 feet from where the feeder hangs... Mysterious... What is not so mysterious is that they sprouted into sunflower plants. I'm not sure what I thought. That because they weren't officially invited, they wouldn't actually show up? The thought of planting seeds stresses me out because it has been so long since I tended a garden.
It would be so disappointing if they didn't sprout.

I did move them around a little bit after they were strong enough. They are so cheerful, and now I am looking forward to planting some more seeds. I have been wanting to put some forget-me-nots under the manhole tree.

I was just reading about forget-me-nots, and it seems that they are almost considered a weed. In that case we should get along just fine.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Something old, something new.....

....something borrowed... a canoe. Actually it was a kayak. Two kayaks. The something old was, or is, our marriage, but in a good way. Maybe 30 years isn't really THAT old, but it does feel like an accomplishment. We went to Morro Bay to celebrate, which is getting to be a tradition. We love to visit there. It has aspects we both love. Surf fishing for Tom and shopping in quaint shops and the beautiful quilting store for me. And now, something new, we discovered that we love to kayak (in the blue water).

We also discovered an awesome restaurant in a neighboring town. Tom, being the man of wisdom that he is, talked with the "quilting man" (he actually teaches quilting ) while I was drooling around the store, and found out where the "locals" go.

The locals have good taste.

I wish I had taken a picture in my favorite store. Favorite of just about all stores, not just in Morro Bay. It is a vintage trim, millinery flower, button, applique, yarn, etc. store. She has a website, but it really doesn't compare to the narrow aisles of floor to ceiling beautiful vintageness of actually being in the shop. The next time I go there, I will have some sweet feminine projects in mind. I have been so focused on my truck quilt that I didn't get any specific inspirations while I was there. I did buy a couple of bunches of millinery flowers.

One last fun thing that happened... We ate breakfast in this little bay-side coffee shop a couple of times, and the second time noticed that there was a shelf of books by the front door. We asked the owner, a very nice man who personally serves coffee to the customers who are outside waiting for a table, and he told us that it was his book. We bought one. It is a moving story about his life as an orphan in China and how he came to the U.S. The name of the book is "Double Luck" by Lu Chi Fa.

I've had a couple of days to readjust to the routine, so....the piles and rolls of fabric are calling me, and I must go to them and do what I do.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Buried Treasures

When my son was little and I would bring a client's chair home to slipcover, he would always search the "cracks" for change.

The most interesting thing I ever found in the crevices of a chair was a big scary looking pocket knife. (I returned it of course)

The other day I found all these things in one chair along with some crumbs, a piece from an airplane glider, and some misc. paper bits. I'm not sure if this remote is being missed, since it was under the old slipcover. (I'd better call and find out.)

Does this make you want to go and search your furniture for lost treasures?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Freezer Paper Applique

As promised, here are the instructions for doing "freezer paper" applique. (Also can be found on the freezer paper container.)

Freezer paper has a plastic coating on one side, making it shiny. On the non-shiny, or paper side draw or trace your pattern , just how you want it to look, not reversed. ( I am making an applique of a surfboard) , then cut it out.

Lay your cut out pattern, shiny side up ( this will be the back) onto the wrong side of your fabric. Cut out the fabric, adding about 3/8 inch or so. Cut slits up to the paper in curved areas.

Then fold the allowance onto the paper and press. It will stick to the shiny side of the paper.

I left the bottom of my applique open because it will be covered by another fabric. That is where I will remove the paper after I have sewn it on. (I will show you another way to remove it.)

Now place the applique where you want it to go and press. It will stick to the fabric.

I usually pin it as well, so it doesn't shift. Then sew it on using an invisible stitch, or you can use the blanket stitch.

You can leave an unsewn space, preferably a straight part, and pull out the paper before you finish your stitching, or you can turn the whole piece over when you're all done, cut a slit and pull it out from the back. Just be really careful when you're cutting so that you don't cut your beautiful handiwork.

Have fun appliqueing. When the holey jeans go out of style just cover the holes up with appliques!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Just truck'n.

Driving home on the freeway the other day we saw an old black pick-up with big blue-flowering plants in the back. It would have made a great photo if we hadn't been driving 65mph and if I had had a camera. I really wanted to capture the image on paper somehow, but knew if I tried, I couldn't make it look how I remembered it. So, I decided to combine the inspiration with my desire to make a quilt using my ties and suit fabrics. (my last post). I decided to put different things in the backs of the trucks.

I have my squares in progress pinned up on a bulletin board on my workroom door. I have seen in catalogues huge pieces of felted fabric that you put up on the wall, and then your squares, etc. can be put on it, like a flannel board. That way you can move them around and decide how to put it all together. I have a hallway wall that I really want to do this to.

I hadn't used the freezer paper method for applique until now, and it works really well with these thin silk tie fabrics. I may try to do a tutorial later this week.

This "license plate" tag came from the tie I used on this square.

My husband and I are going on a short road trip and I am so thankful that I don't have a problem with motion sickness. I am looking forward to having some sewing time in the car.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I feel the urge to craft.

Don't the side-effects of medicines that are advertised on TV crack you up? They usually sound as bad or worse than the ailments they are meant to treat. I heard one today that said "If you experience increased urges to gamble, notify your doctor." Now that could be dangerous. I hope there are safeguards in place to prevent this substance from falling into the wrong hands. (Say, in Las Vegas.) If I were on this medication, I would more likely have increased urges to shop. My husband would be continually saying to my teenage daughter, "Your mother's not answering her cell phone. She must at the fabric store again. You have to go down there and bring her home."
At the store I go to for thread, pins and other necessities, there is a huge table in the back piled high with discounted fabrics. I can't seem to go in that store without checking the "flat folds" as they are called. I try not to, but it's just too hard.

These are the latest treasures that I found there.

A couple of years ago at our county fair I saw a quilt that was made from ties and suit fabrics. I loved it so much that I started collecting ties and wool fabrics to make one. I was so excited to find these fabrics on the discount table. I was told that they are actual silk tie fabrics.

I love the polka dots and other patterns used in making ties.

I haven't come up with a pattern for this quilt yet, but I hope to test a couple out this week some time. (I have been able to cross several things off my work list and had one postponement, so a reward in the form of crafting time is in order don't you think?)

I found this pile of pockets at a garage sale. They are too small to be actual pockets. I think they must have been for some type of quilt. I may be able to incorporate them.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Throw it out, throw it on.

Looks like I am becoming a weekend and late night blogger, at least until I get caught up on my work projects.

I put in a few hours of work on a Saturday every now and then, like yesterday, but taking the weekends off has become such a habit, that I can't make myself do work work. "Home" work is another thing altogether. As I was cleaning out the garage, or actually, moving boxes and other stored items from center of garage to outer edges of garage, I came across a project that could be finished in an evening, so that's what I did. The squares were all sewn together, I just had to sew the back on, turn it right side out, pin it together with safety pins, and then add the buttons while I watched TV.

Most of these fabrics were scraps from slipcovers, cushion covers, and pillows. The buttons are all mother of pearl. Mmmm...I might have to curl up under it with a book in a little while.

After I sort through a couple of piles in the garage and decide what to throw out.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

This is your brain..........

It was late at night when I came across this site. So I had to go back in broad daylight to make sure It wasn't a dream. I am glad that we are cautioned not to use this artwork as a guide for neurosurgery.

It IS an encouragement to explore new realms of creativity using fabric, yarn, beads and zippers, and that is a good thing.