Monday, July 18, 2016

Chelsea's Light and PUPPIES

I have recently been exploring and really appreciate all that Ravelry has for it's users! It's amazing! Needle and hook inventory, stash and what you're making, notes, queues for the things you want to make, and that doesn't begin to touch the incredible and comprehensive pattern library!
I think it's a little scary to see all the WIP's I have (frogged, hibernating.... Ahem!) but so rewarding to see that "Finished" appear and even just to move that tracking bar farther along.
I am 5 repeats into the edging for my red Chelsea's Light Foundation Rivington Cowl. I am so excited to see this finished! It has been a simple and beautiful knit, but not boring. I found these kits on sale at Webs... You get not one, but two Gorgeous Dream In Color Jilly yarns and the pattern, and they have two colorways, each named to reflect the spirit of this amazing young woman who was tragically killed by a horrible whacko.  A portion goes to support a great cause! Chelsea's Light Foundation, which as I read Chelsea's story, I just knew I had to support. The blue is Poise, the coppery red is Enthusimistic (my new favorite adjective!) and the tan, Indomitable! As I read more about Chelsea, I can see how fitting these aee. I will remember as I wear them and remind myself to be Indomnitable, Enthusimistic and Poised. All good things!
As I look at this - almost completed- cowl, my mind screams,  Bead it!! I am not up to frogging it all, and I don't want beads just on the edge, but I will definitely be looking at adding them to the Poise (blue) one!
And I finally took some pictures, but Blogger is being difficult and although the light is awful, I dis put them on my Ravelry page. I've got to do more pics of everything!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Continental Knitting Demo - Fix My Purl Technique???

I remember learning to knit when I was about 8 years old sitting beside my Grammie who was just so good at every craft you can imagine.  She even had award winning Dahlias!  But I stuck with the crochet as a child, thinking (wrongly) that it was easier to rip out tons of stitches if I had a mistake than it was in knitting.... until I learned to do "Knitting Surgery" and just drop down to the mistake, correct it and go back up... but that was years later!

When I met my friend Laura she inspired me -  actually, now that I think about it, she just ridiculed my crochet -  until I picked up knitting again.... Of course, La knits English, or "throws" with her right hand.  I caught back onto the knitting pretty quickly as she is an amazing woman and a great teacher (but No, I don't knit socks inside out! Ahem....) ... many of the things Grammie taught me as a kid began to come back... I just had to hold my yarn in my left hand like I did in crochet. (and I'm not knocking crochet, I still do a little from time to time!)

So, I began figuring out how to do it with the yarn in my left hand.  This was before the age of the world wide web and youtube and everything else we have to learn from.... this was the dark ages where we actually read books made of paper and talked to our friends face to face....

I have over the years developed a way to purl that works and I am reasonably fast at it. I'm not trying to brag, but I am a pretty darn good knitter! For being mostly self taught and learning from articles like Interweave Knits and later on, Ravelry and various websites, I feel like I could do just about anything I wanted to make.  I have done all kinds of things, my favorites being intricate lace with beads and Moebius! However, I have always felt I could find a better way to purl... I've tried all kinds of things, read articles, watched other knitters who also knit Continental (who knew my weird left hand way of knitting had a name!) and still, I kept going back to the weird way I was doing the purl... I remember Grammie was smooth and fast and couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.  Unfortunately, despite several communications with our great Lord and Savior, she hasn't whispered any advice in my ear. Or if she did, I wasn't getting it.  

Today, I found this video with Lorilee Beltman, owner of City Knitting in Grand Rapids... She makes purling look smooth!  I am excited to grab some yarn and get to purling!  I never thought I would say that!!!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Holy Smokes!

I just realized that the whole summer has gone by like a flash! I have been busy creating, both in the sewing room and knitting, I just haven't been posting. Unfortunately, a lot of things have already been given away, so I may never get a good picture of them. I will make an effort to photograph what I can this Sunday and put it online.

I am hating these barometric changes. My ears are ringing and my head absolutely wants to explode! These migraine headaches are impossible when they get like this. The UW Headache Clinic now recommends a Cefaly device, $400.00 USD not covered by insurance... Yeah, great. It's like a TENS unit... I tell them that I already have a TENS unit, but of course, "This is not the same."

I am also excited about some videos I will be shooting with my friend Cheryl from Stitchin.Quiltin. I will post links back to my blog and YouTube. I am also starting more Dog Training videos! These will be in with my dog blog at

Did I mention I passed the CPDT-KSA exam! Yay! Woooohoooo! Yippee! That was tough!
Just in time to order more business cards!

The gravel pit above our house has been burning for 7 days now. It started last Tuesday night around 6 PM. The firemen say it's the "rubbish heap"  (would that be the old abandoned house that used to be back there? hmmmm.. )  and that it is "under control" but how big is this thing? For Heaven's sake! And did it just happen to catch fire or was this unofficially planned? Thank Heaven smoke rises!  I would not have been able to stay in my own home (just like the 4th of July) because of the smoke otherwise. It's a pretty huge cloud of smoke to be going for a whole week!

Monday, May 04, 2015

Panels : cheater quilting or another way to make something beautiful?

I frequently get excited about making a quilt, or even small projects like table runners, placemats, etc., but forget the amount of time it takes to actually finish the entire process. Yes, you can send out a quilt to any number of wonderful big machine quilters who will take your pieced work of art and give it dimension and beauty. Great, beautiful quilting adds so much to the pieced top in addition to practical stability. Some will even bind it for you.

I tend to want to do the entire thing, but often am honestly in way over my head. I can't do those beautiful fans and feathers, YET... Someday, sooner than later I hope, but not yet. I have been working on quilting straight line, repeats, and getting creative using the fabric, the sewing lines and the contours of the prints, flowers, lines, shapes, etc., to do my quilting. I think it's important to be able to do that before I start all-over designs like stippling (which is one design that doesn't really appeal to me much) or other repetitive thing like stars, arrows, etc..  I love the freedom that free motion gives a quilter, and some of the quilts I have seen, well,  it's just amazing what the quilter did with the free space and design!

I am just beginning to really appreciate negative space, usually white, black or gray background for the piecing process as well as what can be done in it for quilting!

A few months ago, I picked up a panel quilt and some coordinating fabrics at the local fabric superstore and made a fun baby set. I thought that because I didn't need to piece it, that it would be a very fast project and I would finish it up in a few days.... Well, no.

The panel didn't require any piecing, since I wanted a baby or crib size, all I had to do was sandwich it, quilt and bind.

I was having trouble with my bobbin tension (not easily adjustable on most machines and I certainly didn't know how to fix it) so FMQ wasn't working. I did a little of it.... Most of which I ripped out. So I put on my walking foot and I just got creative. I let the picture be my inspiration. Talk about learning to make definition! It had a baby Elephant, Tiger, Monkey, Lion, and Giraffe (and hiding behind the Elephant was a Hippo, which appears in the coordinate fabric, so I figured it was just hiding in the quilt top!)

I started just doing contour quilting.  I started stitching along the outlines in matching color threads, and then detoured out  along the lines that gave the ears, feet, noses and stripes, a dimensional look. I found it really gave it a cool 3 dimensional feel.

I filled in the bigger areas with repeating lines, using my walking foot. Babies, I read, like the feeling of textures, so I made the elephant trunk in ¼ inch echoing lines down the full length, following the curves of the outer trunk image. Cool!

I am quite pleased! The big open sky needed something, and I found a decorative curve stitch which mimicked a cloud or wave feeling. One of the most fun parts was giving the animals 'hair, which was drawn like ribbons the 3D definition. I finally had to say ENOUGH, or I would still be doing definition on the grass or Tiger stripes, or something!

I had enough leftover material to make several burp cloths and a changing table mat. It was fun! I didn't have to design it piece it, I just got right into the quilting. I got great experience and opened up my creativity in a new way.  My  friend got something very unique that hopefully she and her baby will enjoy for years to come.

And to think,  I was actually feeling like such a cheater because it was a ready made top!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The little extra features and Tip:Threading Needles

I am fortunate to have two sewing machines. One is a nice, not super fancy, but quality nonetheless, a Husqvarna Viking Lily. It's quite old now, but in great shape. I will never sell it, because I could never get anywhere near the value of it's usefulness to me. Used machines just don't seem to have much resale value.  It's got 6 menus for different stitches and can even do 3 small alphabets. Decorative stitches for applique and just having fun as well as the utility stitches, quilting, etc.  It's a workhorse. I have been using it while my Designer One was in getting a tune up. Now, I cannot complain about Lily in the least! She's reliable and a great sewer. I did some piecing and quilted a baby quilt for a client's grand baby who is coming soon. I will show that in the next post.

What I can say is, that I am spoiled by all the little extra features my Husqvarna Viking Designer 1 has that Lily doesn't.  Lily has a fix and stop stitch, as does my D1,they secure the threads at the beginning and end of sewing, similar to the way we stitch and back stitch a little to secure the seams.

What I first missed was the little needle threader my D1 has. Thankfully I can still see well to thread these things, but convenience! Wow.

Quick tip:  when threading a needle, it works best to prepare your thread. Thread is spun, twisted, to keep the strands together. Lay your thread across your left palm, (I am right handed) with the spool end towards your fingertips, cut end towards your wrists. Take sharp scissors and cut the thread from left to right at a diagonal angle to the thread, not a blunt cut across. Grasp the end near the tip so it remains pointed, not floppy. Do not lick the thread, just thread the needle. It helps to have good light and a white background behind the needle.  You can always use a thread assister, self threading needles which have a slotted top you pull the thread into, or a Clover needle threader. I actually use the thread cutter on the Clover threader to cut my chain pieces apart.

Another feature I am very happy to have back with my D1 is the automatic pressure foot lifter and lowerer.  I tried to stitch with it up on my Lily, just because I am so used to it lowering when I start to sew.

The third thing I missed, although this was much less significant, was the thread cutter. Yes, Lily has a thread cutter on the back like most machines do. My D1 has a button that you touch and it cuts the thread down in bobbin area. Even better, if you touch it while you are still sewing, but will stop, tie off the thread with the STOP feature and cut the thread. It leaves a nice inch long tail, saves thread and you don't have long strings in the way.

I love my Lily, she's a workhorse, but I am looking forward to doing some free motion quilting as soon as I finish a few quilt tops that are almost done on my D1.

The new fancy machines are Designer Diamond and Designer Ruby. I can't imagine all the cool stuff they have, but for now, I am thrilled with the old, fabulous machines I have now!

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Another year? Seriously?!

Ok, this is nuts... Well, I AM anyway...nuts that is! I constantly think, "I need to blog about this."  But do I? Hmmm, last published post 3.3.14 and this is 3.8.15. I guess the old "When I get a round Tuit" expression applies, I just need that Round Tuit!

So, we'll see how much better I do in 2015. I will say that this year I am feeling better and having less bad days, although the past 2 days have been migraine headache nightmare! I can't sleep and I can't lay still, and I don't want any bright lights, so only the phone on the darkest setting, no quilting, no sewing, no knitting.

I can however share pictures of a few projects that  I have been playing with these past 12 months. Fun gifts and goodies that I meant to blog about and never did.  Now, how to upload the pics...?

Monday, March 03, 2014

Almost finished!

I have been working on my Chantilly Jelly Roll Race Quilt and finally finished the quilting and weaving in the tails, er, I suppose that is a knitting term... hiding the miscellaneous threads. Now I just need to trim it and bind it and it will be done! I just did some simple quilting, first I stitched in the ditch and then did a line at about a 45° from one corner across, echoing the lines 2" apart across the whole thing. I decided I wanted more when that was done, so I did the same in the other direction. Turned out like little puffy diamonds. Far from perfect, I really struggled with the bulk in the small throat of my machine, but I managed.

I let Art pick the thread color for the Quilting, telling him that I really wanted it to pop. He went with the yellow, not my first choice. He usually nails the colors and is much better than I am in choosing color for embroidery. I used it for the ditch stitching and then switched to red, I really like it. I could have gone with the green or the turquoise blue and almost did on the second diagonal, but thought it would wash out with the red. Since the border, backing and binding are turquoise and red, I wanted to accent those colors. I am still contemplating additional quilting in another color, perhaps a ¼“ echo line? oh, the work! But it may just be the thing! I did turquoise in the bobbin for it all, which blends really well and, yet you still pick it up against the red flowers.

I have to find a way to stretch, or rather smooth the backing better before I pin baste. There are little folds and the back is a bit wavy. No big deal, it's just for me and I love it! I just want to do a better job next time.

I cut and pieced the blocks for Kristina's quilt. It went really fast! I cut a layer cake of Marquis by Robert Kaufman fabrics and some yardage to make it bigger than the pattern. I like the fabrics much more in person than I had online. I hope she really likes it. The colors are what she asked for. I got the pattern at the Moda Bake Shop, it's called Basic Math Quilt. I really love patterns that leave some big squares of fabrics so you really see how pretty the fabric line is. I also prefer precuts, so you get a full selection of the coordinating prints.

Now that I have played with the pallette, I kinda wish I had ordered a little extra yardage of the brown prints, there is some beautiful greens in it that I didn't realize were there. I may have to look and see. I was thinking about just a solid backing, but I think a pieced one would be cool, too. I should have enough leftovers from the extra yardage I bought to also make some pillows.

I really need to get my design wall hung! It is really difficult to lay out a quilt top and make sure you like it before sewing it without one. I just let the blocks be put together by random and a balance of light and dark. but putting it all together... Need more space!

Tomorrow.... please?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Maci's My Sunshine Quilt

One of the best things about being a dog trainer is all the wonderful people and dogs I get to know. Many of them become dear friends. Last year I began working with a very nice young couple who have one of the coolest Yorkies I have ever known! I was delighted when they called to tell me that it was time to get the dog ready for a new baby sister!

I had just finished making my first Sleepy Jean Crib Quilt by Springwater Designs available on the Moda Bake Shop, using the pastel portion of two Baby Talk by Benartex charm packs and I really enjoyed the pattern! It is easy for a beginner (me) yet looks complex and much more advanced than I am. So, I found a My Sunshine charm pack on Missouri Star Quilt Company's Daily Deal @ for some ridiculously cheap price, like under $2 and using leftovers of the Moda Porcelain yardage from the Baby Talk quilt, and some backing and border fabric, I whipped out a new Sleepy Jean Crib Quilt for baby Maci. They loved it! I got more creative with the quilting this time, doing each section in a slightly different style. I had just gotten a walking foot and had to play a bit!

I wasn't super happy with one of the sections quilting design, but my friends loved it. In fact, the hubby remarked that he liked the different textures that the quilting made... I hadn't thought about this from the view of stimulus for the new little lady and how they like that sensory feel. I definitely learned something valuable from that!

Today I am going to work on the next baby quilt for a friend, whom we shall call Velvet, who I know from AMTC. He and his wife just just welcomed a new baby girl into their lives. Velvet is an incredible man, and while I have only just met his wife once, I am delighted for them. I hope they like the colors I used this time! Velvet is a great actor and musician, funny, spiritual and just an all around excellent guy. I have no doubt that he will make it big and that God is doing great things through his life. I am just privileged to have gotten to work with him and to call him friend!

I am also going to hang the design wall I got and can't wait to start using it! Well, I am using it, but it's not convenient... it's draped across a desk and stack of fabrics! I was hoping to get some of the wrinkles out after I opened up the package yesterday.

And I have to say, aren't the Olympics, in Sochi for the Winter Games right now, incredible? I love how it makes it a small world again. It was heart wrenching to see Evgeni Plushenko have to make the decision to not skate yesterday after injuries. He may be Russian, but everyone was pulling for him and sad to see him go out without getting to finish the competition. And then the whole thing with the Russian Cross Country Skier who had broken a ski and a Canadian coach who came out to give him a replacement, who's wife won gold after her teammate in a relay, it turns out, had been helped by a Norwegian coach in her Olympics in 2006. It's the Spirit of The Games! 

From my experiences racing, every racer I have ever met would rather beat you on the track, even if they have to push you to the starting line themselves, or give you parts, and even help you install them! Why can't we help each other out more off the track? Keep the spirit alive!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My first Candle Mat!

As I went through some pictures of the projects I am working on, I found that I have lots I can blog about! That's always good, and even better, some of them are done! Between quilting, sewing, embroidery, knitting and crochet, I have enough UFO's to last a lifetime! Whatever will I do?

Start something new and exciting, of course! Duh! Isn't that what you would do? Honestly? Yeah, that's what I thought. ;-)

So, since I keep telling myself I want to blog about them, if for no other reason than to be able to look back at the accomplishments when I get old, here is one I really enjoyed making. It's a birthday gift for a very special lady and goes with the table runner I gave her for Christmas and coasters I made for her the previous Christmas. The colors are just "her"  and it's always exciting when you know that you found just the perfect fabrics (or yarn) for someone you love. After all, Gifts is one of my Love Languages... Now that I read the book, I understand the driving force behind my constant need to be making or buying gifts for other people. Of course there is a bit of self love going on, too... just look at the stash I have of fabrics, yarns and notions!

I have discovered, or rather. finally admitted that I have a propensity to make things that have no pattern and using the most difficult textile available. More on that later, but I will point out, in order to present evidence to support that claim, that there is no pattern, per se, for this and I used fabrics from a Scrap Bag, which is guaranteed to be all different lengths and widths. However, I am delighted with the results!

It all started as I played with some trimmed off corners I had in the scrap pile for this fabric line, which, BTW is Holiday Medley by Kansas Trouble Quilters for Moda. I love Moda... sigh...

So I began playing around with the scraps and making HST's and Hourglass blocks, but on a very small scale. Then, I got inspired to make a Candle Mat for MJ. Then I added a border and going Log Cabin style, just kept adding borders of contrasting colors and values and varying widths until I was satisfied. I pieced together strips for the back and added Warm and Natural batting (a large scrap I found in my batting box) sewed it right sides together, turned it and quilted it.

In hindsight, I wonder if I should have quilted it before I closed the opening, at least as much as I could have without messing up the edge? I had a little bubble of fabric that had no where to go, but it's so small she will never see it. If I had sandwiched it like a quilt is usually done, I wouldn't have had the bubble, but I thought adding binding to something so small was kind of silly, especially since I was making a last minute gift - not from lack of planning, but January birthdays are hard, especially so close to Christmas!

I echo quilted three lines ¼ inch apart, forming. inverted V's based off of the X of the hourglass center all the way to the edge, then skipped about an inch, echoing three more V 's in each quadrant, then spaced out another ¾ inch and echoed three more then skipped about ½ inch for 3 more small V' s. It was fun! I didn't have a Walking Foot but it went very well. I will have to make another candle mat or some mug rugs to practice on. I can really get into the Quilting side of this deal! I have some finished Baby Blankets also. I quilted them on Husqvarna Viking machine, one with the Walking Foot, the first without. I am excited to try FMQ, too!

So much to learn! But I am having a lot of fun!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Why Don't I Do This?

Seriously, I know no one reads my blog, but I like the idea of it, having never been one to keep a journal or diary, but just a place to remember and look at pictures and maybe see how far I have come... It seems like I take a fair amount of pictures of my sewing and knitting and, of course, the dogs that I would be able to blog all the time, yet I don't make the time. So here it is, another January and I feel like writing...

I have to say that I am glad that 2013 is over! I am not a superstitious person, but since the fall of 2012, this family has just been hammered. MJ was injured, then Art, my mom, AG was ill,  I broke my arm and all the while Boomer was fighting cancer.

Oh,  Boomer, we miss you. I miss you, Dad misses you and Dancer, well, I think he misses you most of all. But he is going to be ok. We've been keeping him busy, taking him lots of places with us and he has an open invitation to stay at Grandma's anytime.

So Boomer, here's to you!

On July 7, 2007, while reading the Evergreen Golden Retriever Rescue report, I learned about a young adult male Golden coming from Wenatchee via  volunteers on the coming Monday. EGRR had sent out a priority request for a foster home to take the dog. Something told me to say yes, despite knowing that we had too much going on and the timing wasn't convenient, I had to say yes, which I did, then called Art to inform him of our new resident. He agreed, after reiterating all the reasons why we should not, but something spoke to his heart, too and we did it. This would be our second foster for EGRR. Hank had been a great foster dog, easy and laid back, could we be so lucky a second time?
Monday night as planned, the volunteers transporting Boomer arrived at my dog class to make the exchange. Eighty pounds of exuberant joy in a Halti head collar greets me and proceeds to drag me across the training room. (In front of a class full of new students whom I am supposed to teach them how to NOT let their dogs drag them across the room!) He just put his head down and powered through! He had only three speeds we found out later, asleep, bored and GO! Thankfully, I had a Dolan's Wonder Walker with me, which immediately gave me some control. Boomer, I am told grew up on an apple orchard in East Wenatchee where it seemed he ran away frequently in order to find companionship. The local shelter had contacted EGRR after picking Boomer up several times, apparently the previous guardian was tired of bailing his best buddy out of doggie impound. Art arrives at class to meet him and we both agree that we really like the dog. Boomer is overweight but very active, full of joy. We still have to get Amber, by then our 12 year old Samoyed/Golden to agree to let Boomer in.
Arriving home, we quickly realize that Boomer must not have ever been let into a house before. He certainly didn't know what to do with himself, and at first just stood in the doorway with a look of "Really? You sure about this? I can go in?" on his face. Well, house trained or not, he figured it out pretty quick, standing in front of us and panting excitedly until we took the hint. He loved to sit on the back deck and stalk the neighborhood feral cats. He caught a kitten once, trapped it along the fence, holding it gently in his mouth. After a moment, in which he had to figure out what to do, he released it, backing up a step so the kitten could escape over the fence.
We took him fishing at Flowing Lake, in our bass boat and discovered that he was indeed a hunter. Floating amidst some old pilings and docks was a flock of ducks. To our surprise, Boomer took a flying leap off the platform of our bass boat, landed on a dock a few yards away, raced down the dock, along the shoreline to the third dock, down the dock and with a great leap landed in the midst of a dozen squawking ducks. He was in paradise.
His bravery was evident and he always carried himself with the grace and nobility due a proud member of the Golden Retriever breed. He was gentle with Amber, protecting her the more she aged. Amber said that she found him very entertaining, except for the one time, after getting a new orange Cuz, he squeaked it non stop for over an hour. He politely stopped after her first "request." She walked right up and got in his face and barked, sharply, once. Only once. He stood frozen for a few seconds, looked at me, I am pretty sure I had the exact same expression on my face, and then gently set the toy down. After that, he was a little afraid to play with that Cuz.
Boomer loved going to the dog park and the swimming pool at BowWow Fun Towne. He liked to retrieve two or three balls each time and patiently waited while Dancer learned how to swim. Which at first meant trying to keep his head above water while pounding the surface with his paws as close to or on top of Boomer as he could get. He was gentle with his new little brother, teaching him all the most important things in life. But next to home,  Boomer's favorite destination was to Grandma's house for sleepovers and cookies, special scrambled eggs and lots of love.
He looked forward to his annual vacations at Aunt Ann Marie's where he could play with the little doxies, Apollo, Tess, Daisy, and brother Dancer. Ann Marie loved and cared for him as her own, especially during his last visit while a tumor was rapidly growing out his leg.
After more than a year of fighting what was suspected to be osteosarcoma in his right rear leg, a mast cell tumor rapidly grew in, erupting through the skin of his inner thigh. After several brave weeks, this proud, handsome, abundantly joyous boy has gone on to join the rest of our pack, awaiting us in the ever after. Thank you, Boomer, you walked into our lives and forever changed our hearts. We miss you, and look forward to holding you again soon. Have fun up there, you can't get hurt sliding into a big white fluffy cloud.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

No pattern, no problem!

I swear I wasted years of schooling in which I could have enjoyed art class, definitely should have at least tried my hand at it after those miserable attempts in grade school, but alas, I shrunk away, claiming that I would never be able to draw a stick figure that was remotely recognizable. Having both grandmothers who taught crafting professionally, everything from sewing, quilting, needlepoint, crochet, knitting, even ceramics, I should have known better. Since the talent skipped my mother, perhaps I believed it also skipped me? Or perhaps it was that horrid experience in paper mache, making a distorted blob that discouraged me? 

I admit, I am no artist, of the traditional type, anyway, but I did discover during my fun employment at Mud Bay that I can look at something and do a fairly decent job of recreating it. I think my second favorite thing about working at Mud Bay, next to playing with the puppies who shop(lifted) there (out of the cookie bins!) was getting to play with colored markers and pencils to make signs and tags. Perhaps I was too good, for they don't allow the copies of logos and such there any longer. Nah, I still don't think I am that good, but I certainly did enjoy it! 

Anyway, I have discovered that I am not without talents, having gotten really good at things like knitting, crochet, needle arts, and machine embroidery. I have dabbled in sewing, yet although I have an amazing sewing machine, I have not used it like I thought I would. I have always wanted to try quilting, as I love fabrics, and am so happy that I have started!

I just finished my second The Dog Is Hungry wall hanging & sign, this one all by myself! This is also a gift, for another Tracy, ironically, and at the moment it is proudly hanging in the Blue Collar Doghouse in Edmonds, where I teach dog classes on Saturday mornings. I love teaching there, it is a great facility, with great people and great dogs.... BTW, Thanks Karen for bathing and grooming Boomer and Dancer! They are very handsome and smell delightful again! 

So, is it confidence or craziness that makes me jump right in to these quilting projects, without a pattern, without learning and forge ahead, learning as I go? I found a charm pack on sale online and bought it because I liked the colors. It was not by Moda, who has 42 charm squares in each pack, but by Fabric Editions, in Citrus by Fabric Palette and only had 20 squares. Had I realized that, I would not have thought it such a great deal. However, I like the fabrics and decided to make a couple of throw pillow shams for a friend.. The friend who I thought of when I saw the fabrics. After an intensive search, I could find no other Citrus fabric of the same collection, but I did discover a gorgeous soft peach at Keepsake Cottage, my LQS, that looks gorgeous with it for backing. So, again, without a real pattern that I could go on, I whipped out a couple of nine square blocks.  That left two unused squares, which I thought would be cute as accent corners... Which they are, but I certainly learned a lot in figuring out how to get them there! Thank heavens for my very sharp, high quality Clover seam ripper! I could not have done it without you! As ye sew, so shall ye rip! 

Last night, I got as far as quilting the first block. I realize now that I failed to square them uploaded before adding the trim pieces, but I am learning and I hope that the fluffiness of the pillow will disguise some of the mistakes. They are not too bad, and I am proud of how well most of the corners align! I have only ever quilted once before, with my Grandma Crofoot, when I was probably ten years old and it was by hand. I started off with a simple stitch-in-the-ditch technique, but it wasn't long before I was having fun! And I was having fun! I can hardly wait to see how I do when I have a pattern to tell me what to do, the sizes to cut, what order to do it all in. Makes me appreciate You Tube and everyone who makes tutorials. I really should watch a few and learn the right way to do it. I have decided that I am going to take a quilting class. I figure that after all these years, I am long overdue and perhaps I can learn to make things that don't look like a 3 year old made! Happy stitchin'!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fun blogging again!

Is it ever too late to start blogging again? I've blogged on my business blog, but haven't really been sharing personal and creative things in years. Not that I have many readers, nor does that matter...I just like having a timeline of finishing projects. I don't journal, obviously, or this blogging stuff would probably be easy. Plus, with Google+ taking over, it is nice to have things linked.

I have been quite busy...lots of knitting, a little crochet, some embroidery, a bit of bunka sishu, and recently I have finally began to quilt! I have always wanted to quilt! combining embroidery with quilting...triple fun!

So much to learn! Oh my!

I made this on a chocolate brown t-shirt for a client's daughter for Christmas. I don't give many clients a gift for the holidays, but this family is special, besides I think kids in particular should get spoiled a bit at Christmas.

With the help of this particular family, or shall I say the mom who is an amazing quilter and is a great teacher,we finished this wall hanging for them.

I designed it, embroidered the pieces, and after days of working on it took it to their house and she showed me a million shortcuts on putting it together! Of course, she accomplished it in no time. Very cool!

 I am attempting to make a few more, as I'd like one for myself... but my dogs would figure out how to flip the bone so it always says "Hungry" on it! Maybe I'll even post a pattern when I perfect it. If anyone wants info on it, please leave a comment and I will happily send it to you.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Whazza Goin' On?

Wow! It has been a very long time since my last post, and it was sparse for some time before that! Losing George really out me in a state of sadness that has taken a long time to recover from! There's been lots going on around here, tho!
An Adoption Announcement will be posted soon and updates on my dog training business as well as training tips and thoughts will soon be found here!
Take care,

Thursday, January 04, 2007

2007 Goals

I've never believed in making resolutions. I do believe in setting goals and that in order for a dream to become a goal, it has to be recorded and expressed. So here goes...

My goal for this year is to eat healthier food and explore the types of foods I choose to put into my body, possibly becoming vegan or vegetarian, with the ultimate goal of losing at least 50 pounds from my current weight. I enjoy the process of this new healthier me and the way I look, feel and act as I become healthier and more fit.

I will take an animal communication workshop and enjoy a deeper and more meaningful relationship with my animal friends.

I will listen to my body while working out, walking and exercising to push it to work hard but within safe boundaries for steady improvement.

I will walk, swim, yoga or do some sort of exercise daily.

I will capitalize on marketing opportunities for my business and follow up on things that need completion.

I will knit for the sheer pleasure of it and finish projects I have already started.

I will not find other things to do to avoid cleaning house!

I will use my embroidery machine and make something beautiful to wear!

I will take and pass the CPDT exam!

I will attend the APDT conference this fall.

I will tell my family, dogs and friends that I love them every day!

I will go fishing!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Santa Paws

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Farm,

The creatures were stirring, but not in alarm!

Am-Moo-Lance was loaded and stuffed with care,

With knowledge that animal-lovers soon would be there!

The AARFF dogs had nestled all snug in their beds,

Until visions of tennis balls danced in their heads;

When Rover decided he could stand it no more,

Out he went to play and explore.

“They’ll be here soon!” cried Prince with glee.

“I just can’t stand it! I’ve got to pee!”

“Home for the HOWLidays,” Georgie explained to the pack.

“They’re delivering gifts in the morning, then coming back!”

“Everything goes to a special, needy pet,

Dog houses and beds; stuff their people can’t get.”

The dogs sat for a moment, watching the stars,

A moment of quiet, grateful to be where they are.

Then the chorus began as the dogs howled,

The farm animals joined them - and my, they were loud!

“What a great way,” they cried, “to spread Christmas cheer!

Please get here soon, we love volunteers!”

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Big Storm

We lost 5 big, beautiful Cedar trees in the big storm and while it certainly could have been worse, the loss is painful for us. These trees were special to us. They had a spiritual quality to them and provided us a sanctuary in our yard along with peacefulness, shade and beauty. Our dogs loved them every bit as much as we did. We are glad that in their fall, they did as little damage as possible - will miss their energy and presence. My Gramps was fond of reciting this poem, which I will always remember:

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the Earth's sweet flowing breast
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of Robin's in her hairUpon whose bosom snow has lain
Who intimately lives with rainPoems are made by fools like me
But only God can make a tree.-Joyce Kilmer