Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What's In YOUR Pantry?

 As promised in my last post, here are the closeups of my Witch's Pantry shelves.

Top shelf, left to right:
Shrinking Solution, Frog Legs, Flobberworm Mucus, Nettles, Eyes of Newt

Second shelf, L to R:
Draught of Living Death, Dust Bunnies, Spider Legs, Treats, Snake Fangs

Third shelf, L to R:
Boomslang Parts, Fluxweed, Tubeworms, Black Beetle Eyes, Lizard Gizzards

Bottom shelf, L to R:
Glumbumble, Magical Mess Remover, Lacewing Flies, Murtlap Tentacles

Some of these spell ingredients came from a Harry Potter website, some came about because of the fabrics I had, some were suggestions from my son and some just came out of my crazy brain!  It was fun finding fabrics that "looked" like the ingredients.  

You may find it difficult to read the labels.  I have a font that looks like spidery writing (called Rebuffed), which I thought was perfect for my witch to use. (If you like it, you can get it here at Urban Fonts, for free!)

I've been stalling on getting much more done on the Witch's Pantry, and decided to finish my blocks for the Block Lotto this month.  I'd really like to win this one, so I made the maximum number of 9 blocks.  This month is "Cool and Cream" - Jacob's Ladder blocks in "cool" colors (blues, greens, purples) with a cream fabric - and these are my favorite colors.  The block is pretty quick and easy to make, so they went fast.  I'm hoping to have good luck this month!

The other day, I took a deep breath and entered 3 quilts in the Western Washington Fair.  They'll be Officially Judged.  *gulp*  I hope the judges will be kind.

And now, back to working on the rest of the Witch's Pantry.  Wish me luck - my Quilter's ADD wants to start new projects instead!  I'm having to be quite stern with myself, and it's painful.  Aaaggghhhh!

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Scattered Thoughts

The weather has cooled off here, and we're back to our usual weather of cool and cloudy.  *Whew!*  Some of us like it hot, but it's not me!  The little flower was happy to be cooler too!

Here's a present I made for my friend K's birthday.  It's been delivered now so I can show you the photo.  This is the Open Wide Zipper Pouch that I found a tutorial for over at Noodle Head.  The tutorial is so well written and easy to understand that this went together with no problems at all!  Go take a look over at Noodle-Head - Anna has a whole bunch of tutorials for cute, useful things.

I used that great fabric that I found at Walmart, and I also found the lime green zipper and cute striped and dotted buttons there too.  K really likes lime green!

And this pouch really does open wide!  You can see into the very corners, so nothing will escape your scrutiny.   I made the small size and it's just right for carrying your cosmetics.  Next time I think I'll make a bigger size - Anna has directions for 3 sizes!

I'm still plugging away on my Witch's Pantry.  Here I'm tea-dyeing the computer-printed labels for the spell ingredients.  I did a test first to see if the printing ran in the dye process - it didn't!  The printer fabric was so white that it looked weird on the jars, so I was hoping the tea dye would tone it down and make it look "older".  I think it looks pretty good.  Ooops, forgot to take a close-up shot of the jars and labels.  Next time, OK?

So, now my jars are labeled and on shelves.  That wasn't too bad.  Now I'm working on making a chair.  I made a rough sample, just to understand how it was going to work.  No, you don't get to see it - it was really rough!  I learned a lot though, and hopefully will have something to show in a few days.

This weekend I need to turn in some quilts for the Western Washington Fair, and I had the sudden thought that maybe those quilts should have some labels on them!  So I'm trying to get some labels made.  Why do I wait until the last minute??

This weekend is also the big Pacific Northwest Quilt Show in Tacoma.  I had to miss it last year, so I'm looking forward to going this time!  I understand it's a good show, and pretty big for this area.  Whoo hoo!  Anyone else from this area going to be there on Friday?

Happy quilting!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Grandma's Comforter

I'm going to try to do a quick post here.  It's supposed to be mid-90's today, the office is upstairs and in about an hour the sun will be on the window and it will be almost as hot as the face of the sun in here!

Anywho, this post is to show Nifty Quilts my Grandmother's comforter, which is similar to the one she found last week at Goodwill.  Once I got this out and really looked at it, it's a much simpler pattern than the comforter she found, but there are some similarities in the fabrics and the stitching.

Here's an overall picture of the comforter. This past spring when I went to visit my sister, she gave me this comforter that my Dad's mother made.  We never knew Grandma, as she passed away before I was born.  Mom always had this around and we often used it to cuddle in when we were sick.  I hadn't seen this comforter in many, many years.  I was somewhat surprised to find that this isn't as big as I remembered it.  Isn't it funny how we do that?

Here are 4 blocks.  On Grandma's comforter is the same embroidered stitching on every seam, just like on Nifty's, with what appears to be perle cotton.  Also, Grandma tied all over with wool yarn - the same pattern all across the quilt.

Here's the back, with the silky fabric.  It seems like rayon to me, but I'm not positive.  It's gotten pretty faded at the edges.

A closeup of the fabrics.  The plaid is a twill fabric (unknown content, but I don't think wool), and the dark blue seems to be a lightweight wool.  

Here's the only "make-do" block in the comforter.  The patch is a dark green velvet, which I think my Mom added.  It looks to me like the fabric my sister used to make a prom dress one year.  In Real Life, it's not such a stark contrast to the rest of the fabrics.  Maybe you can see that there is knife-edge finish on the comforter too.

Here's a little peek into the inside of the comforter.  The poor old thing is getting a few holes in it!  Anyway, this looks to me like a cotton batting that is encased in what appears to be cheesecloth!  The batting doesn't go all the way to the edge of the quilt, but the "cheesecloth" does - all the way around the quilt.  Interesting, no?  I've never seen batting quite like this.

I don't know when my Grandma made this comforter, but it had to be sometime between 1903 when she married and the late 1940's when she passed away.  I suspect she made this in her later years.  Any help in dating this would be very welcome!

Hope you enjoy this, Nifty!

OK, now I'm going to try find a cool spot to spend the afternoon.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Finish!

String Thing 2
50 x 66 inches

 This quilt is finally finished - Yay!  I made these string blocks waaayyy back in the spring of 2009, during my retreat that was "The Great Spring String Fling".  My friend Katie and I made sooo many string blocks during that retreat.  We were trying to finish off those strings that I've toted around for 20 years or so.  I still have enough blocks like these to do another quilt, after making  I-don't-know-how-many quilts with strings.  I've got a bunch and Kate has a bunch too.

This photo doesn't do the quilt justice.  This quilt is pretty "loud", as my Mom used to say.  The strings aren't that bright, which is what led me to make this so loud.  I'm getting pretty tired of some of these strings and wanted to jazz them up some.  So, I went with this wild batik, a la Freddy Moran.  Trouble is, this batik will knock your eye out!   When I was showing my friend, she asked me if I was on drugs when I made this quilt!  Hee hee!  I still haven't decided quite how I feel about this quilt.  It may be one only a mother could love.  But it is filled with all sorts of memory fabrics.  So I'll enjoy looking at it.

As usual, Shari did a super job of quilting this.  I asked her for something that "went" with the batik and then something that didn't clash with the strings.  So she did this wonderful leafy vine on the strings....

...and then did this great swirly bit over the batik!  I love it!
(click for the closeup)

Here is the backing and the binding.  The backing was something from the stash that I had enough of.  And for the binding - well, I went through a lot of different colors trying to figure out what looked the best before I settled on this black & white plaid.  It gives an over-all impression of kind-of-grey, that I think works pretty well.

The other week The Kid and I went to W*lmart for some things.  I always check the fabric dept. - just in case.  Well, this time was a good one!  I found these 2 black & white dots that are good quality.  Check out the year on the selvage!

Then, doing some wandering around, I found these cool stickers that are for laptops.  I had the idea that maybe I could cut them apart and jazz up my machine with them.  They're removable stickers, so no long-term commitment, right?.

front with stickers and "jewels"
Well, here's my machine, all jazzed up.  I had fun doing this, and so far I'm enjoying looking at this too.  It gives me a flashback to my hippie youth.  (Ooops, just gave away my age!)

the end piece

The sticker doesn't fit perfectly, due to the curve in the machine, but it's close enough for government work, right?

the back of the machine

 Hope you have fun this week!