Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm Finished!

I'm finally finished with this beautiful strawberry wool penny rug! I was able to finish attaching the tongues this morning, then gave it a really good steam iron to press it out. I followed the instructions on the pattern, which had a different way of attaching all those tongues/tabs. After button hole stitching all around the outside oval edge, I pinned all the tongues in place. The tongues had already been stitched around the curved edge, and had the open straight edge turned under so that the backing fabric edge was hidden. I whipped stitched the tongues to the backing. I like the fact that all the edges of the green backing fabric are turned under ~ no raveling.
I think I'll put this on my selling blog. I was able to keep track of the hours I spent on it, but didn't include the extra time it took to re-do the strawberry caps. I think if I do another one, it will go a bit quicker. Maybe I should do one with a cranberry/red color instead of pink?

It's a gorgeous day outside today! Couldn't ask for better weather during spring break! :-)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Break

It's finally spring break! I started a spring penny rug with pink strawberries. I have everything sewn on, with the exception of the strawberry stems/toppers. I didn't like the way the button hole stitching looked on the green tops, so I'm not sure what I'll do next. I'm going to try whip stitching it, and trying different floss. Then to add the stem stitched stems to connect the tops to the oval vine.

This past Thursday, our new Dell arrived! Our old computer was 10 years old, so it was time for a new one. It's amazing to see the difference in technology. With a new large, flat screen, I can see the entire page, without having to scroll to the edges. I'm still getting use to finding files on Windows 7. So, I'm forcing myself to learn and navigate.

Last week Rachel decided to clean her room ~ yipee! It's still mostly clean and picked up, which is totally amazing. (it usually only lasts 1-2 days) She and Matt decided to switch desks in their bedrooms. Rachel took a desk with drawers. I might have to give it a new coat of light white paint this summer to make it fit into her room, as the dark blue just doesn't fit into the green and pink room. Matt thought this desk was just too small for him, and wanted to get rid of it. He took Rachel's old IKEA table instead. He liked the extra leg room. He pushes all the furniture together since the photo, and he likes it. There's now a few extra inches in front of the window, and the table fits his laptop and speakers. I love being able to move things around without spending money!
We have no big plans for spring break. I started cleaning out James' closet. But that will take another day or so to finish. I now have a huge pile of clothes to sort and get rid of. That might be a trip to a thrift store to unload. Now to get to all the old toys and sort them this week....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rotten Pear???

I was punching this bird in a pear tree, and was using my overdyed floss. While I liked the overdyed on the leaves, background, and part of the bird, I didn't like it on the pear. After looking at it for a day, I decided it looked like a rotten pear! So, I tore it out and started on that section again.
Much better this time!

I finished this punch piece into a cupboard hanger. I used a plaid wool for the front, and an overdyed brown for the back and the hanger.
I'm waiting to see if a shop will buy any of my recent items, and those that aren't sold to the shop will be listed on my selling blog. I keep meaning to make more items for the selling blog, but I end up putting them on Ebay. I guess it's a little more exposure/customers. Plus, I find it more difficult to determine a set price. On Ebay, I can begin with a starting price, and see what happens.

It's such a gorgeous day outside. I might see if the kids are interested in taking a drive. It's free cone day at Ben & Jerry's. Who can pass up a free cone? :-)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Auction Day!

My local quilt shop had an auction this afternoon! For the past few months, we could earn bucks for every dollar spent at the store. Of course, there are specials where you could earn double bucks. Since I've only purchased wool and some backing fabrics there, I wasn't expecting to win anything. (I know some avid quilters can spend BIG bucks for fabrics, batting and backings). So, I took my bucks and scoped out what items that had. I manged to bid and win on a set of fall wool applique patterns! Yipee!

I also won a set of 6 punch needle patterns, plus a CTR threader. I don't have a CTR punch needle, so if anyone is interested in some threaders and a gripper, let me know. I would be glad to send it out ~ no charge. (I hate to see something go to waste!) The owner mentioned that the punch needle instructor had disappeared. Then I started thinking, do I go back in and see if they need someone to demo punching? I think I could teach beginners, and gear it towards the prim style. I'm not sure if they are looking for someone else or not, but I might ask. This shop is for quilts, some wool, and just a couple punch projects. There is another cross stitch store 2 towns away that carries a lot more punching supplies/projects. But, many quilters don't think of a cross stitch store. Many don't know what punch needle is. Even a demo would give those customers and idea if they would like to take a class or not.
I have a bird punch project started, and it should be a quick finish. After that, I want to work on this strawberry table mat. I found some pink wool and some pretty green fabric backing.

I had an idea of turning it into a round table mat, so I did a quick trace and draw on freezer paper. Once some pieces are cut, I'll see how I like it as a round mat. One more week until spring break, not that I'm counting! :-)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A few finsishes

I have a few finishes to show. The first is the birdhouse penny rug. I ended up putting mini tongues/tabs around the edges. I could see the birdhouse as a long table runner, with one on each end.

I also finished a couple mini penny rug candle mats. It's only about 7 3/4" across ~ perfect for those small spots or small tables.

This one is a rectangular penny rug. The edges are really scalloped. I think I prefer a straight edge, but this one looks nice with a row hanging off a shelf.

I also whipped up a couple candle cozies/wraps. These are 12" x 3 1/2" but you could make them for any size jar candle. It covers the label, and the soot that collects on the inside of the jar. (I trim the wicks, but still sometimes get soot).

I still need to finish one more rectangular mat. It's all cut and layed out, just need to finish the stitching. Then the next project is a strawberry penny rug. The pattern is for a larger table runner. I'm going to try playing around to see if I can make it into a round candle/table mat. I found some gorgeous pinkish wool at the local quilt shop today for the strawberries. I can't wait to start on it.

Yesterday was a gorgeous day - in the 60s. We woke up this morning to this ~ snow. Makes me glad that I was out working in the yard this week. I put down some grass seed, fertilizer, and raked. At least this snow didn't stick to the streets or driveway. Hopefully this will melt soon so that it will look a little more like spring. :-)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Whatcha Working on Wednesday

This is what I'm currently working on - a penny rug for spring. After tearing out some stitching, and re-doing it, I can finally start working on the tabs to finish it. It's a LOT more work to take a stitchery pattern and try to make it into a penny rug. The overlapping wool pieces aren't the issue, it's deciding on floss and colors. Then it's the size of floss ~ do I go with the size 8 or 12 or 5? Do they make it in the color I want in the size I want? It's all trial and error, as there are no rules to follow. But, it's fun to see the end results.

Now that I've started accumulating pearl cotton floss, I don't have a storage container for it. I have all my regular floss on those cardboard floss winders, and in a larger plastic storage box (and an extra ziploc bag for all the new skeins). But these larger spools of pearl cotton are a different thing to store. I ended up putting them into some mason jars, and leaving them on an antique secretary in my living room. The quilt shop where I buy some wool has their floss displayed like this, so I took the idea and am using it at home. It's easy to see the colors. Now to expand the "collection" so I don't have to keep going back to the store!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Patriotic Punch Needle

I only have one finish to show this week, but it's a good one! This punch project is a bit larger than some of the others I have done - the punch piece measures approx 6 1/2" x 6 1/4". I mounted this one on a hornbook that I cut from some wood, which was painted and stained. The flash makes it look more red, but it's a cranberry color. There's no sunlight outside, so I'm stuck with the flash. Spring and summer will get here one day, then I can get some photos outside in natural light. I'm going to list this one on Ebay later tonight.

I started a small penny rug, but don't want to show it yet. I had to stop and re-sew some pieces that I put a little too high on the background. It's an experiment of turning a stitchery pattern (by Rhonda at Primitive Stitches) into a penny rug. I'm not sure if it will turn out or not, but I'm going to give it a try!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A goodie for me!

I just finished stitching this snowman penny rug (design from Cath's Pennies Designs).This one isn't for Ebay, but for me! I had previously cut the pieces, and put them aside for several weeks. I just finished stitching them together today, and found a home for it. I have it on one of the end tables in my living room. The courting candle allows all the details to show. I used a black background, and ecru snowmen. Even though I want to snow to go away outside, I like this snowman inside!

This past Sunday was the Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts. There's not enough room to hold it at the church where the Scouts meet, so the banquet is at a local banquet hall. The good part is no one has to cook, and no one has to clean up! :)

I need to pull the next project out and start working while I'm on a roll. Should I start one of the punch projects that I have already traced? Or another penny rug or runner? I'll let you know later!