Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!

How great would it be to be a child again. To have one night to dress-up in cool costumes and go to neighbors', friends', and families' homes (and they are expecting you!) to receive a boat load of candy!

view of my front window - I hope it isn't too dark

To have a night like that when you're grown-up! To go to other people's homes to receive, perhaps in may case: fabrics, matching threads, pins and sewing needles. Just one night isn't asking too much, is it?!

But back in reality, we try to make fun and happy memories with our children. We have the inside of the house decorated and the jack-o-lanterns placed on the front porch.

I hope you and your families have a fun and safe Halloween!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Einstein Has Arrived!

Done at last! I know I could have finished a week ago, but one thing that I hate to do is buttonholes. There is five buttons running down the lab coat. Buttonholes are fast and fairly easy to do, but the slightest mistake can make them look really funky. So, before it got too late, I got down to it and finally got the buttons and buttonholes done.

Then I added some straight-line stitching to the upper pocket so he could add a pen and a memo pad for a geeky look!
The school was having a Halloween Walk this morning. The students, all in costume(along with the teachers who were also in costume!), were to walk up and down Main Street businesses to collect candy. The temperature this morning was a chilly 38 degrees! Quite a cold walk for all that candy!
Next year may be the time that he decides that he is too big to go trick-or-treating! Until he realizes that might mean he doesn't get any candy!
I can't forget my little one. He had to have the "purchased" costume. : ( But he promised that he would allow me to make his costume next year!!
We're gonna be busy this weekend with Halloween. We've got more trick-or-treating to do as well as carve some pumpkins!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quilt Labels: Part Four

At last, the label is finished. I am planning to use a red and white check fabric for the backing of my Round the Block quilt. I think the bold red border on the label will stand out on the back of the quilt.

Once the quilt is quilted, I usually applique the label to the lower left hand corner.

Some other information that can be added to a quilt label is name or names of other people who helped construct the quilt, name of the quilter (if it isn't yourself), or the source of pattern of your quilt.

For example, in my Granny's Garden quilt, I had added the name of the quilter and the name of the quilt I had copied it from (I wouldn't necessarily use the word "copy." The pattern was in an issue of Quilter's Newsletter). I had embroidered that information half the size of the other letters.
I used fabrics that I had used in the quilt top to border the label. The ladybug was added because I had appliqued ladybugs to the quilt top. And the heart was added for Granny. I will miss her.

Brye Lynn, from her blog/pocast Sew Stitch Create (, she had mentioned adding your maiden name on the label. I had never thought of it and I think it would be a great idea. With my married name, history will not link it to my maiden name family, nor will it link it to my mother's family. So, perhaps, I might start adding my extended name on the label:
Jannie _______ Stamper (____)
That's gonna take up a lot of space on a label!
Halloween is just around the corner and I have to finish the lab coat my son will be wearing. I still have to think of a way for him to have the fuzzy eyebrows and mustache.
I'm gonna have to get back to sewing.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quilt Labels: Part Three

Once the front-facing fabric is securely pinned to the aida cloth, I can start on the letters.
Please excuse the appearance of my hands. Once the photos were taken, I couldn't believe how my hands looked. I should have gave myself a manicure beforehand.

I may not use a hoop, but some people may feel more comfortable with a small hoop.

I can either work from the back using the marked letters as my guide.

Make sure to flip it over to the back side, to make sure there aren't gaps between the stitches.

Or, I can work from the front, This way, I can have a good view of the result. I will need to take a peek at the back to see where the stitches should be placed. *this is the method I prefer*

The holes in the aida cloth will show me exactly where to place my needle.

From the front, I make sure they are no gaps between the stitches. I'll place the needle in where the last stitch ended.

The letter "n" with gaps (what not to do).

The letter "n" without gaps.

The finished hand embroidery. I decided underline the name of the quilt to make it stand out more.

I should have the border placed in the next post.


The Next Book

I had just got a phone call from my local library that they had just received the latest Elm Creek Quilt series, The Aloha Quilt. I feel as if I still have tons of things to do, but I'm gonna have fit some reading in there somewhere!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quilt Labels: Part Two

On my quilts, the information I like to include is:
  • quilt name
  • my name
  • date finished
  • my location
I hand embroider my labels using 14 count aida cloth (used for cross-stitching).
Using a grid, I'll draw out my lettering.

Since it will be centered on the label, I have to count the squares in each line and then divide that number in half. This number will be the center point of that line.
Using a 6 inch square piece of aida cloth, fold it in half to find the center. Mark the center line and lines with a pencil.
The only awkward thing now is to draw the mirror-image of the lettering on the aida cloth. This will be the backside of the label.

I will use a 6 inch square piece of white or off-white fabric as the front-facing fabric of the label. Securing the front-facing fabric to the aida cloth with safety pins, I'll start embroidering the letters with DMC floss. Remember, the letters will be embroidered backwards on the back so the front side will be legible.

Part three up be up soon!


Quilt Labels: Part One

I really don't know when I started to put labels on my quilts. I know that my earlier quilts don't have labels. At that time, I guess I didn't think it was that important. I may have started when I was entering them into contests.

But what to name them?? I was clueless and sometimes, even now, I'll have no idea to what to name my quilt. In my first quilts with labels, I made it easy. I named them according to what was going on in my life, at that particular time.

When I was working on this quilt, which I named Sandy's Journey, my aunt had died from cancer when I was finishing it. I was thinking of her journey through chemotherapy and the hardship the family had gone through.

In this next quilt, which I named Jordan Fishies, my son, who was only two years-old at the time, would run his little fingers over the shapes and call them his "fishies."
There are unlimited ways to label your quilts. In my next posts, I'll show you how I, personally, make my labels.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Elm Creek Quilt Series Update

I'm still into my Elm Creek Series books although I am doing more listening to audio versions than reading with book in hand. I can get more done with housework or quilting, with the earphones in, than sitting on the couch and doing nothing but reading to myself. But don't get me wrong, I am old-fashioned. I would prefer to read each and every one if I had the time.

I had read all but two of the series. I have yet to read New Year's Quilt and The Aloha Quilt. Both are in modern day time version verses the historical version, which I enjoy more. The author, Jennifer Chiaverini will another book out early next year. I'm not sure of the title. I'm looking forward to it very much.

I have an audio version of The Aloha Quilt on order at the library (through the Interlibrary Loan Program because our library doesn't have it) along with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. It was a classic book and Jane was a quilter, as well. I've been told that it may be difficult to read so I thought that if I had someone reading it to me (audio version) may be easier.

As I wait for these book to come in, I am in the middle if listening to The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson. It is a mystery and the main character is an art quilter. So far, it is pretty good. It's hard to stop listening to it sometimes. I'm be listening to it while I working on the lab coat. It should be done for the next post.

p.s. I had just visited Jennifer Chiaverini's website: It is announced that her next book will be titled The Union Quilters and it will be released February 2011. You can read the first chapter on her website (I will doing this soon) and it looks as if it is based during the civil war era. YAY!! I've loved the other books during this period. I hope this one will be just as good!

Deadline Among Us

Although, Spring is my favorite season, Autumn follows a very close second. I love the cooling of the temperature. I love jacket weather.
But most of all, I love the color change the tree demonstrate this time of year. I have lived in California and Florida, which are both known for their favorable weather, but neither can compare to the beauty that we have here in Indiana this time of the year.
After school yesterday, my sons and I drove around town to take some photographs of the colors outside. I'm feeling a bit of urgency because all the leaves may disappear the next morning, if we should have some sort of wind storm come through during the night.
Just recently, I have come across some interesting information about trees and their colors.
During the spring and the summer, the function of the leaves is to collect sunlight with their chlorophyl, which is the color green we all see. During autumn, as the temperature drops, chlorophyl production also drops because the tree will soon become dormant when winter's snow and ice arrive. As the green chlorophyl diminishes, we see the true color of the leaves: the yellows, oranges, reds, occasional purples and peaches.
It seems a little unfair that the Lord only allows us the enjoy all these beautiful colors for such a short period of time! It feels as if there is a hidden deadline. We are never sure when autumn will end and the winter weather will unofficially arrive.
And speaking of deadlines, me and my boys have just successfully met a deadline. At my husband's work, they produce a safety calendar, that they pass out to their employees, using their children's artwork. Specific categories are specified for each age group - such as "slip and fall safety" or "poison/chemical safety." They have done this each year that my husband has worked there and my sons have participated each year.
We are usually given a good month before the deadline to work on their drawings. But this year, my dear husband had brought the entry forms home this last Tuesday. And just guess the deadline, they needed to be turned in by the following Friday! That's just 4 days! (he says that he must have missed the memo announcing the contest and brought the forms home when he found out) And combine it with school, homework, dinner and showers, there isn't much time left over. In the short amount of time, we did finish them on time but I had to help them a little bit. I'm hoping that it isn't too noticeable that Mommy had to helped them this year. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed. The expression on their faces when they win is just priceless!
Next, I'm planning on working on a lab coat for my son's Einstein costume. I'm hoping that it won't too much time, it look simple enough. Will have photos of that once it's done.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Applique Quilt

A while back, I was browsing through some quilting blogs and I located this beautiful quilt - Reminiscence designed by Lydia Quigley. I fell in love with it and it wasn't long after that I had the pattern home with me!

A close-up of the sampler blocks. Not sure what I like better, the block style itself or the color scheme that was used??

My older son will be starting basketball practice next week and I had thought that some applique would be perfect to take with me - if I should decide to sit in during his practice.

Block 11 almost done.

Still need to baste Block 3.

I am using some of Nancy Halvorsen's fabric that I had left over from another quilt top. I still don't have enough of the greens and tan/browns, so I see another visit to the quilts shop in my future.

I didn't know it at the time, but this same quilt was at the at the 2009 AQS Quilt Show and Competition in Paducah, Kentucky and it was featured as a second place winner in the magazine.

See, I'm not the only one who fell for this quilt! ; )


I had intended to just crochet a small sample and look what happened...

I purchased some new yarn (since there wasn't enough of the white) and started again. I just couldn't stop! I had finished this scarf in just two days! I know that it's a very simple pattern but I was so surprised on how quickly it came back to me.

I need to thank Rebecca for helping me, though. She is a crocheting WHIZ! I may know the very basics, I still don't know how to connect the yarn from one skein to the beginning to another or what do you do with the tail once you are done?? She had shown me what to do so that I was able to finish my scarf. And now, I will be visiting Jo-Ann Fabrics soon to purchase some more yarn to make a hooded scarf next time. I'll probably be visiting Rebecca some more!

Crocheting would be a great distraction from those times when I get into a quilting block. I can start on a crocheting project. They seem to go pretty quickly - perhaps I won't have to many UFO's. Or I may have to designate another part of my house for my new yarn stash. Just what I need! More stuff!!