Saturday, September 26, 2009

Non-Stitching Acquisitions at Quilt-A-Fair

In addition to all the stitching and quilting items, I found a few other items that I 'needed' to bring home with me.....I couldn't resist these two handmade purses...isn't that lizard just adorable?!

This next photo is blurry, and no matter how much I tried, I could not get these items to photograph well!  I collect the QAF pins each year, which will get added to my already crowded Guild nametag.  One is a really cute stork scissor pin, and the last is a sampler-looking stitching pin. 

Last, but certainly not least, is the absolutely awesome basket.  This vendor imports hand woven baskets, made in Ghana, Africa.  They are made from a straw called "Elephant Grass."  The colors are mostly from plant extracts that will not run or stain.  The handle is covered with goat...handles are a nice red and done in a woven style.  The basket I chose is about 15 1/2" wide, 7 1/2" deep, and 10" high.  This is going to be displayed on the top of the big hutch on my desk.  I had a terrible time choosing from the dozens of baskets they had!

We met with an old friend and went out for a nice dinner after all the shopping.  I was exhausted by the time we got home!  But, I have lots and lots of great new things to stitch! 

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!  My DH's favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals, are playing the Colorado Rockies in Denver this weekend.  We talked about getting tickets and going to the game tonight, but eventually decided against it. 

Happy Stitching! 

Vicki in CO

Quilt-A-Fair Revisited

OK, here's photos of the various quilting-related stash I acquired at Quilt-A-Fair.  I found some GREAT stuff!!  I am collecting 5" charm packs to use for a tumbler quilt I'm planning.

I was excited to see one of my favorite vendors, Pincushion Boutique, from Davis, CA once again.  They have what they call 'sweet treats' - packets of 8 color-coordinated fat quarters.  They also have quilt patterns especially designed to work with the sweet treats, along with a coordinating border, binding, and backing fabric.  This time, I found the gorgeous fabrics on the left, I believe they are from one of the Imperial Gardens fabric collections.  I chose one of their patterns to go with this sweet treat.  I also picked out three other sweet treats--two are batiks for a batik quilt I'm planning, the other one (the oranges) for a sunflower/autumn quilt I got the pattern for a few weeks ago.  Their fabrics and the way they put them together is just yummy!

At the vendor from Brooklyn, NY, Come Quilt With Me,  I found some very nice templates--one is for a mini tumbler quilt, the other for one of my favorite blocks--Card Trick.  The other item is from Whistlepig Creek Productions, located in Arvada, CO (suburb of Denver).   The tote bag is just adorable in person.  She had models of a couple of these bags--the top right one with the cat photo really caught my eye.  She said that particular kitty passed away recently at the age of 19!  It would be fun to do a simiilar tote with a photo transfer of my Oreo Cookie kitty (she is my 'helping' kitty who always tries to help me sew, grab my threads, steals my thimbles, etc,).

From 1-3 pm. my DH helped out with the 'hospitality'--taking a cart of ice and water around to the vendors.  While he was busy with that, I continued shopping.  One vendor I don't remember seeing before, Glenda Sha, who designs as Liberty Homestead, from Kingsville, MO, really caught my eye!  She designs all sorts of quilts, wall hangings, pillows, stitchery, banners, placemats, etc.  I absolutely couldn't make up my mind, and ended up with three of her books!  She designs using cotton fabric, flannels, wool applique, embroidery 'colored' with delicate marker colors or crayons...some very cool items!


One of the highlights of her booth was the lucious hand-dyed cotton fabrics she dyes and sells!  It is also called 'sueded cotton' and is in a variety of wonderful solid colors.  I purchased a couple yards of tans for use as backgrounds, a fat quarter package, a scrap pack of wool, a packet of wools for projects in one of the books, and a fat quarter of a very nice flannel. 

Still more to show, but I'll save that for another post.  I also need to take a couple more photos to share.  Looking at all this new stash, I think I better get busy stitching!  Unfortunately, I also need to get busy working on the October edition of the Guild newsletter.   

Happy Stitching! 

Vicki in CO

Friday, September 25, 2009

Quilt-A-Fair

Today was the first day of the annual Quilt-A-Fair event, put on by the State quilting group, Colorado Quilting Council (aka CQC).  I'm on the CQC Board this year, acting as Chairman for Volunteer Recognition.  Anyway, Quilt-A-Fair is a giant vendor mall (88 different vendor booths this year!), quilt show, silent auction, food court, great chance to network and catch up with friends. 

A few examples of vendors:
  • A lady from Brooklyn, NY, who makes acrylic templates for cutting various quilt blocks
  • A lady who takes vintage quilts, takes them apart and stitches pieces of the quilts onto denim shirts, t-shirts, etc. to make one-of-a-kind clothing items
  • Vendors selling various vintage quilts, quilting notions, quilt display racks, ladders, furniture
  • Many many vendors from local quilt shops, shops from NE, OK, TX, CA...all with a wide variety of model quilts, fabric, patterns and notions
  • Several sewing machine vendors, long arm quilters and long arm quilt machine vendors
  • Our local needle shop (aka LNS)
  • A couple vendors selling handmade jewelry
  • Several vendors with huge supplies of buttons and different sorts of embellishments for crazy quilting and ribbon embroidery
The affair is held in a large exhibition hall at a county fairgrounds about 40 miles from our house.  DH and I arrived at about 10 am (it started at 9 am).  As expected, the parking lot was crammed with cars.  We found a parking spot and made our way inside.  The hall is an explosion of color, sounds of conversations and people.  Truly sensory overload in the best way possible!

We began making our way down one row of vendors after another, DH patiently waiting while I looked at what was offered for sale by each one, jockeying our way through the crowds of quilters...a day in paradise!  We saw lots of people we know, had many conversations along the way.  Here are some photos of my stash acquisition from today (I am a shameless shopaholic, and loved every minute of it!!)

Top left is a Hob-Nobb Designs that matches the Quilting one I'm getting ready to start on.  The new one says "I Love Stitching".  Top right are two little decorative items I thought would add a nice touch to one of the shelves on my desk hutch, a Vera Bradley tape measure, a Lizzie Kate Snippet that says "Housework never killed anyone...but why take a chance?" (love it!)  The bottom right is a Just-Nan design  I found in their clearance rack - "M is for Mouse" (but 'M' is also for my last name).


Next is another Lizzie Kate - "Tiny Tidings XIV' with the embellishment pack included.


One more Lizzie Kate - "Santa Wants to Know" and the Magic by Mona (from Silver Needle) finishing kit for it, a mini ORT/pin cushion for my desk, and the cutest little design in a plastic case called "Doodles" for leftovers.  This one says "Quilting is a Work of Heart" and includes a heart button.  This is also by Hob-Nobb Designs.


One last cross stitch stash item...a design from Homespun Elegance called "Sheep Button Sampler."  It includes brass 'Wooly Sheep' buttons.

OK, that's my cross stitch purchases from Quilt-A-Fair.  I'll give you a tour of my quilt-related purchases in another post tomorrow.  I'm worn out from all this shopping and need to get some sleep!

Oh, one last thing.  Last week I took advantage of the Joann's sale on Ott lights and got the rechargeable, battery-operated one to use on my desk.  It comes with the recharger and A/C adapter.  I really like it!  It is very compact, folds up nicely, and has a carrying handle.  It'll be great for travel..when we go visit our son, etc.  Here's a pix of it on my desk: 



Okay, that's it for now from my corner of the world...Happy Stitching!

Vicki in CO

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Finish and a WIP Revisited

Yeah!  I have my very first cross stitch finish for 2009!  I decided to get back into stitching by doing a small project--a free SAL by Dyan Allaire from Kustom Krafts--offered on her Yahoo group.  Dyan's intention was for the design to be finished into a gift bag. 


However, once I got the design stitched, I decided to go in a little different direction with it.  I decided to stitch it onto the side of a tote bag so I could carry my current stitch project in the tote.  One thing led to another, as I was putting borders around the design, I thought, "Ok, what if I lined the stitching and made it into a pocket on the outside of the tote bag?"  This is what I came up with:

I think it came out pretty good.  If you look closely, the dark fabric I used for the cornerstones (and also for the lining of the pocket) has butterflies in it.


So.....first project for the year finished.  What to stitch next?  I'm torn between starting something new, :^) or working to finish one of my WIPs (or more correctly UFOs!).  So, I decided for right now I am going to begin stitching on an old project.  It's called Fall Y'all by Lizzie Kate.  Here's a photo of how it currently looks:

According to the photo file, it was last worked on it on 9/20/07, so it has definitely been a while!!  Here's what the finished project should look like:

Now I can't guarantee that I won't also start a new project soon.  I have been eying something I bought a while back at our LNS.  It's called  "I Love Quilting" and it's by Hob Nobb Designs. 



Here's a close-up of the design itself:


It comes with very cool clay embellishments.  Only thing slowing me down from starting this one right away is that I need to find the right 28 count fabric and dig out the appropriate GAST threads! But, watch this space for updates soon....

Until next time, Happy Stitching!  Vicki in CO

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lap Quilt FInish

OK, my blog IS about my life and stitching, so that includes my quilting as well as cross stitching.  In my excitement to be cross stitching again, I totally forgot to show you the lap quilt I finished recently.  It was done for a class for the quilt guild I belong to.  The technique used was from the Beth Donaldson book "Block by Block" that is now out of print.  So, here it is draped over my hubby in the recliner. 

The class taught you how to complete a quilt with a quilt-as-you-go technique; machine quilting (or hand quilting if you choose) one block at a time.  After the blocks are quilted, you assemble the blocks into rows, joining each section and quilting the joined sashings and cornerstones.  After that, borders are added and quilted if you want, with binding put on last, as you would with a traditionally assembled quilt. 

The beauty of this technique is that it makes it much easier to machine quilt on your regular sewing machine because you aren't trying to maneuver a large amount of fabric at once.  I'm not explaining this very well, but trust me, for quilts you plan to actually USE rather than enter in a contest, this is a wonderful technique rather than spending big bucks having your creation quilted by a longarm quilter.

Happy Stitching - Vicki in CO

Halloween Giveaway!

I am SO happy to be back cross stitching once again, and so happy to have reconnected with so many old friends from ILCS!  In my intense delight to once again be putting needle to fabric, I somehow purchased TWO copies of the Halloween Issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine. 

In honor of this, it only seems fitting that one of these magazines should be offered as a giveaway. Anyone interested in receiving this great magazine that includes at least 13 designs for Halloween and 12 Autumn projects, please leave a comment on this post, including your e-mail address. 



In addition, anyone who also becomes a 'Follower' of my Blog will receive a second entry for the drawing. 

The drawing will take place next Wednesday, September 30.  That should give the winner plenty of time to stitch up one or more of the goodies from this magazine in time for Howl-o-ween!  Don't be surprised if at least a couple of surprises find their way into the package when it goes into the mail to the lucky winner!!

Also, stay tuned, I have my very first stitching finish for 2009 completed and will post photos soon.  I was so excited to have accomplished the project, I'm ready to get stitching on something else.  I have hopes of digging out some old WIPS (Okay, okay, I admit they have been gathering dust long enough to definitely be UFOs).

Good luck and thanks for reading my ramblings!

Happy Stitching - Vicki in CO

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day Trippin' and WIP Update

Those of you who read my previous blog at Multiply, will notice the new photo I'm using for my new blog.  Yes, I stopped dying my hair a while back.  It just didn't make sense to keep spending all that money to cover up the white that I've had in my hair since my mid-20's (leaves more money for stash!)  So, yes, this is the 'real' me!  I'm also sad to say, I've gained about 20 lb. since my back injury. 

I want to share some photos from a day trip my hubby and I went on today.  We live in the beautiful state of Colorado, just a short hour drive from the gorgeous Rocky Mountains.  Today we took a trip to Estes Park, and into Rocky Mountain National Park, over Trail Ridge Road to the summit at Alpine Visitor Center...12,183 feet! 


No matter how many times we make this drive, it always seems like the first time.  The views are simply spectacular.  This is some of the snow left from last season on the mountain right beside the Alpine Visitor Center at the summit.


This is a view of the Gorge Lakes, Mount Ida and Mount Julian from Trail Ridge Road.


This is the view from Rainbow Curve, looking down at the curves up the side of the mountains that make up Trail Ridge Road.


Rocky Mountain National Park is a great place to see the wildlife up close!


On other occasions, we've seen herds of bighorn sheep.  Today we saw many groups of elk.  This group were grazing near the Fall River entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.  Look at that rack on the elk on the left!

The group below were at Moraine Park on our way out of the park, as we made our way back down into Estes Park.


We stopped in Estes Park after our nice drive.  Walked around a bit and bought some yummy caramel corn to munch on the way back home through Big Thompson Canyon (scene of the flood in 1976 that killed 144).  See an excellent presentation about the flood by the Coloradoan.

Oh, I almost forgot....on our way back to where we'd parked the car in Estes, we stopped in to take a look at the old-fashioned 'Five & Dime' store.  Guess what I found in the back corner?  A pile of all sorts of crafting pamplets!  A quick look through them, and I left with a couple bargains....Prairie Schooler "Garden Beasties" and "A Gardener's Life" by Karen Avery for Dimensions, for the bargain price of $3 for both! 

This stash addition makes me realize I really should dig out my Excel spreadsheet and update my stash list once again.  Dang, something else I need to do.


I also thought I'd post an update to my current project...It's the Gift Bag Melody by Dyan Allaire from Kustom Krafts.  I must admit, it feels GREAT to be stitching again!


Dyan's intention is for this to be finished into a gift bag.  I must admit, I am leaning toward putting the finished stitching on the side of a tote bag; we'll see how I feel once I get it finished up.

Once again, Happy Stitching...Vicki in CO


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Another Week Almost Over

I played around with Blogger a year ago; decided this time maybe I'll change to it instead of the Multiply site for blogging.  The only thing I don't like so far is the inability to have photo albums...have to think about that a while.  Blogger does seem more flexible in other ways though.

Wanted to show everyone the goodies I got in the mail today from 1-2-3 Stitch, and also a clearance find from yesterday at Hobby Lobby.  I couldn't resist the 2008 and 2009 Prairie Schooler Santas and I just love the Lizzie Kate Giggle Boxers...it says "You can touch the dust...but please don't write in it!"  If anyone has been to my house, they can definitely relate to that! 
Here is a photo of my lap quilt in progress.  It has 12 Ohio Star blocks (a very simple quilt block). The quilt was made for a class on a quilt-as-you-go technique by Beth Donaldson from her Block by Block book that is now out of print.  The class was taught by a friend in the Quilt Guild I belong to.  I still need to assemble, quilt the borders, attach them and then bind the quilt.   I hope to have this all finished up by next Tuesday night's Guild meeting; we'll see how productive I am this weekend.
I also hope to get busy with the Kustom Kraft September Mystery Stitch.  It is a very cute butterfly and flower design that goes on a gift bag.  If you're interested in this, it's not too late to join her Yahoo group and get in on this free design.  I really like Dyan's designs.
Here is one very small finish from this spring.  This little wall hanging has been on the wall in my office at work.  Time to work on October I think!!

That's about it for today.  Looking forward to a great weekend.  Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'm Baaaackkk!!!!

Hi Everyone!  I can hardly believe it has been over a year since I updated my blog. Life certainly gets in the way of fun. Only a day back on the ILCS list and I feel like I've come 'home'---so great to see all those familiar names. I didn't realize how much I was missing everyone! Wow!

This past year, life has centered around getting back to the routine of working full time, and coping with the chronic pain from my back injury.

In January, I decided I needed to get out and DO something again, so I re-joined the local Quilt Guild, That has kept me busy, since I have been newsletter editor this year. I've taken several classes through the Guild and have learned some fun new quilting things.
We have spent lots of time and money on our home this past year...lots of new landscaping and flowers, new garage door and opener, interior and exterior paint, new storage shed, new desk for my office/sewing room, and on and on.....I'm great at supervising these projects, but the majority of the physical labor falls on my sweet hubby.
We have a new fur baby... a golden retriever we named Murphy. He was born on December 14, 2008. He is such an energetic, fun addition to our family! I did obedience training with him this spring and he graduated Puppy Class on April 22.

I will post more photos in my photo area when I get a chance. Meanwhile, I can't wait to get back to doing some cross stitching again! I am in the process of finishing up a lap-sized quilt from a class I took on Saturday; still need to do the borders and binding. I'll post photos once it's complete.

Till next time....Happy Stitching!