Friday, December 31, 2010
As 2010 ends, I'd like to take a minute to thank my family, friends, and students for a simply stupendous year. There are some surprises in store for the new year--you'll have to stay tuned to find out what.
Thank you to the readers of the blog--and a special thanks to those of you who comment. We are coming up on the 300th post--I feel a give-away coming on!
My wishes for you? Health, happiness, family, friends--and enough--for 2011 and beyond.
"See" you next year!
Big hugs to everyone!
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Remember the blue snowflake batik behind the wristers a couple posts ago? Well, here's what I did with it. Three Black Spruce blocks from Judy Hopkins' 501 Rotary-cut Quilt Blocks. Nine inches finished, two inch sashing and two-and-a-half inch borders. Binding will be the same fabric as the borders. Nice long wallhanging and not too seasonal.
A detail shot of the blocks. Looks hard, but really isn't--shhhh, that's our secret!
I wanted to do a little something to put in a friend's holiday card. Raw edge ornaments are lots of fun and I don't feel bad if kids or animals (or naughty adults) give them a rough time. I papercut this pattern and then hand quilted it with Hobbs bleached cotton batting. I used Sulky Blendables in 12 wt. for the outside, and 40 wt. Mettler quilting thread for the detail work. Folk art fun!
Friday, December 24, 2010
I finished these "wristers" for my mom a couple weeks ago. Nice washable wool.
And a detail. Thank you to my lovely hand model...heehee, it's me! (Sorry, I think I'm a bit giddy!) See the blue batik in the background? That will be showcased in a different post with machine piecing. Lovely backdrop for winter wristers, don't you think?
Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night. Spend quality time with your loved ones, remember our troops in your prayers, and tell people how much you love them. Don't assume they know.
Special hugs to each and every one of you,
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Yes, that's right...a stink bug!!!!! THAT's what stunk! The official name of this prehistoric-looking bug is Western Conifer Seed Bug, but it still stinks when startled! Needless to say, the Zen moment was gone, there was much flailing of arms and the stink bug finally released his hold on my pouf (they are quite tenacious). The shower was successfully concluded, sans the Zen, and the stink bug lived on.
Yes, I know this was probably way too much information, but really, when your day starts with a stink bug in your pouf, things have got to get better!
Here's hoping you never have to find out personally. This is one experience that is way better lived vicariously.
Next post will be some finished stuff and a bit of other stuff. Stay tuned!
P.S. I'm listening to Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts and reading Needled to Death by Maggie Sefton. And I'm watching National Velvet (the original with Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor). 1944--Wow.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Plus...Nona rocks!!!! She won Hell's Kitchen. Russell was a sore loser--nobody would have wanted to work for him--and then he threatened to blackball his whole team if they tried to work in any city he is. A perfect example of poor sportsmanship. Proving yet again that "if you can't be a shining example, you can serve as a horrible warning"!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
A peek at my chandelier and its resident. I am in the process of replacing the plastic prisms with real glass ones. I got 10 at an auction recently and thought that would take me quite a ways--until I started replacing them and found I need at least 31 more! So it is a work in progress. None of the real prisms show in this pic.
And this is an up-to-the-minute picture of my Christmas cactus in bloom. Only one flower opens at a time--but they are so beautiful.
Hope your day has been productive--or not--whatever the best one is for you.
I just finished listening to The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry and am now listening to Lost Empire by Clive Cussler. And Christmas Glee.
Hugs to all,
Monday, December 13, 2010
A few weeks ago, several of us who meet to quilt were asked to do quilts for a hospital nursery. The quilts were supposed to be 36 inches square, machine quilted and sturdy. I made the two that follow. The other ladies used smaller squares and borders--beautifully done. But they all wondered why they hadn't thought of doing the bigger squares--thirty-six 6.5 inch squares. I cut and pieced both tops in a couple hours. The machine quilting took a couple hours each and I machine topstitched the binding in place. Not a single hand stitch!
The quilting on the first one is done with (sort-of) straight lines on the diagonal as well as horizontally and vertically. I used variegated King Tut thread in both needle and bobbin.
Same fabrics, just arranged differently. Each quilt has a couple "different" squares because I ran out of a couple. All the fabrics were from my stash; I used muslin for the backs and an old Jinny Beyer print for the binding.
A close-up of the quilting on the second one. Just started on one side and drove a crooked path to the other side. No lines match or mirror each other. Whenever something went a bit wonky, I told myself that some wee one would love it despite its faults. Two good things.
And now Just Stuff: First, birds...lots and lots of birds. This was taken in November. I think they were all smart enough to head south. Or I definitely would have seen them in the snow. Okay, we've had enough winter. We are going to be so lucky to get lake effect from now until early Thursday, with high winds and bone-chilling wind chill temps.
I haven't forgotten the window story--just need to get the window painted and the curtains up to show the before and after pics at the same time.
Last Saturday I hosted the annual make and take ornament class at the local library. Twelve people came and made tree ornaments complete with hand quilting, buttons, stars and imagination. I think I figured out this was the 11th year--and each year is a different ornament.
Guess I'd better close for now. If you can, stay in and do some quilting--it's perfect weather for that!
Hugs to all,
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Yes, snow. Every tiny branch was coated. This is the view from my new sewing room window! More on that in another post. And a detail of the first snowfall in December. (It's not the first of the season.)
Hugs to all,
P.S. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Truly a time to be thankful for so many things.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Here's what Donna Hopple had to say: "So here is my take on Charley Harper's "Herondipity" with thanks to my husband and Cincinnati in-laws for making me aware of this great artist, and to Sharon for teaching me how to create it!"
Donna's workmanship and attention to detail are stupendous. This work includes needleturn applique, hand embroidery, folded flowers, "fun fur" yarn to make the breast feathers, sequins and hand quilting. Here is a close-up of the head and neck.
And of the embroidery and other details.
Many thanks, Donna, for sharing this. You should be very proud--I know I am.
P.S. I'm listening to The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson and Martin Dugard. Still reading Julie and Julia--very different from the movie. Next up: Burn by Nevada Barr.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Built in 1891, it has 56 box stalls surrounding a great hall. Until 1939, it had the largest unsupported span of any building in existence.
The view from the other side.
The structure you see in the middle of the barn in the photo above, seen from the side.
The windows you see along the roof-line are huge, opening all the way to ground level. Imagine that natural light pouring in as you were riding in the building. Almost a "cathedral" feeling to it.
This is a photo of a photo showing the inside of the Breeding Barn. See the stalls on both sides? The measurement from side to side and front to back, of just the open area, is 360 x 72 feet. All the horses could be in front of their stalls and one could still ride easily through the center.
Plans are underway to use the barn for special events. I was unable to go inside the building, but during the summer, tours are available. The stalls have been removed, leaving only the support beams, and the space is very open.
Better pictures of this and other spectacular barns can be found in a new book: Stables: Beautiful Paddocks, Horse Barns, and Tack Rooms by Kathryn Masson. It's a feast for the eyes, whether or not you love horses.
I am planning another trip to Shelburne Farms when tours are available. Maybe I'll see you there--I'll be the one with the camera, with my mouth wide open and eyes agog.
And there you have it--a mini tour of Shelburne Farms' barns. I can honestly say that my photos did not do them justice.
Hugs for now,
P.S. Next up is "Hot Donna" with her fabulous new quilt.
P.P.S. What I'm reading: Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. I loved the movie so much that I wanted to read the book. I'm loving it--and it is different from the movie in many ways. I am listening to Whiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas, Foreign Influence by Brad Thor, Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb.
Monday, November 8, 2010
P.S. Are you remembering how special you are? I know that several people probably need a reminder--so here it is. YOU ARE SPECIAL! (Sorry to yell, but some people don't hear so well!)
Sunday, November 7, 2010
At about 8 AM, I was following Sally's car along a winding drive. At every turn in the road was something new and exciting to see. The mist was coming in off Lake Champlain and the sun was turning everything golden. As we rounded a bend, we were right on the Lake and then you see the mansion. And then you see: The Coach Barn.
Built around 1901, it is huge! We actually judged inside the barn. It is finished with beautiful wood, arched windows and some of the floors are brick. (I think my mouth hung open for quite some time!) It is said that late at night one can still hear the horses nickering and whinnying; one of the quilt ladies said she had heard them. This shows just a small portion of what was once stalls. Now there are special events held at the barn--what a fabulous place to be.
This is the inside of the courtyard, taken from inside a small enclosure on the front side of the barn. The clock works and strikes the hour. We were working on the quilts in an area to the left of the big green door.
Wait til you see the next barn! Stay tuned!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
The address is 1611 Harbor Road, Shelburne, Vermont. www.shelburnefarms.org
Both the show and the farm are worth seeing--it's a trip you won't regret. For more information, go to www.cvqgvt.org and click on the 2010 show tab on the top.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Doesn't everyone look so serious?
At the end of the day--happy smiles all around. Thank you, ladies, for a wonderful day. You made me very proud. Special thanks to Maria for hosting this quilt fest and for the pictures. (And the trip home was uneventful!)Where in the world is Sharon Stroud, you ask? You just never know!
P.S. Many thanks for the supportive comments on the last post. They meant a lot.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I look forward to comments--it means a lot when someone takes the time to respond to what I've had to say. And I don't mind if people disagree with me--if it does not take a right turn toward mean.
Imagine my surprise tonight when reading my new comments. Especially to my "Lucky Girl" post. I have deleted the offensive text, which was left anonymously. It was rude and mean-spirited. I sincerely hope that I got it off before any of you saw it. It makes me angry that someone would use my blog as a vehicle to strike out at someone. And shame on them for doing so anonymously.
On a much happier note, please check out Janet's comment on "Here Today". Janet, your words made my heart sing--thank you. And heartfelt thanks to all who comment in the spirit of friendship and lightheartedness that I try to bring to the blog. You are appreciated--each and every one of you. (I especially pointed out Janet's comment because I read it just before the "other" one. From high to low with a mouse click.)
Next post--back to our regularly scheduled good cheer.
Lots of big hugs,
Sunday, October 17, 2010
This is the result of only a bit of knitting. It is the feather and fan pattern, with three knit stitches on each side, 8 rows on the top and bottom to keep it from curling. Only four pattern rows total. (For the feather and fan pattern, please visit: www.allfreecrafts.com/knitting/feather.shtml. You can knit lots of things in this pattern with different needle sizes and weights of yarn!
A close-up of the pattern and yarn.
I have been quilting as well and will share those pics over the next few days. I actually started and finished something in less than 24 hours! (Okay, haven't I warned you about keeping chocolate by your computer in case you are overcome with vapors at what I'm up to? Consider this your second warning.)
It's been beautiful here the last couple days--but windy and cool. Better than snow! And the furnace is fixed--Yahooooooooo!!!!
Hugs to all,