Monday, January 31, 2011

What We Love

This coaster was a breeze to make. The letters are from the built-in fonts in Bernina V6, and the heart was made using the heart vector drawing tool in Corel (also part of the V6). Add a couple of borders to make the coaster look more like a Valentine, and...time to stitch. If any of you would like to have this design, let me know and I will get it to you in plenty of time to stitch out a Valentine of your own! If you don't have an embroidery machine, yet really want one, also let me know....I just may be able to make one for you. Two? That will cost you. Benjamin's last night is tonight. His folks get in really late and coming straight here. I have already been informed that Katie hopes he wakes up when they go into the room he is sleeping in. The first time away is always the hardest. Carl and I love it now when we can get away without any of the kids! Oh, wait, they don't live with us. We always are without the kids. LOVE it! (But, we really love them, too!) Jerilynn

Sunday, January 30, 2011

And Now an Important Message from our Sponsor (alternative title....This is How I Text Message!)

At the end of our hallway, painted pickle green, there is a little end table that Carl made, painted red, of course. Years ago I plopped down the Scrabble board with the tiles in a little basket and just started making messages with the letters. Special guest welcomes, holiday wishes, clever phrases. Sometimes I get surprised, too, with something that someone leaves for me! Similar to those refrigerator poem magnet thingies of a few years ago. Sometimes I run out of certain letters that I need, but there are always the good old blank tiles that can be used to fill in the spot. I try to keep it to one or two trays (it is a small table), but sometimes there is just much more to be said. Next time you come over, be sure to check the message table. It may say something special just for you! Jerilynn

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sit Back, Take it Easy and Have Some Grub

Not much sewing going on today. Just a bunch of watching and running after. I know you have seen this Buckaroo Bib a few times, but since I don't have anything else to show you, I thought I would show you a happy little cowboy enjoying some food. He has perfected the elevated feet, relaxed eating technique, for sure. Jerilynn

Friday, January 28, 2011

Making Merry

What did I make today? I made Merry! Yep, birthday today, and, as you can see, I received beautiful flowers! And cards! And a nice gift certificate to Fatquartershop! And a Swedish spatula! And many wishes. We didn't go out tonight - snowy and we still have the little guy with us, so we just stayed in. In my honor, however, I got out one of those pre-made apple pies from the freezer and the three of us had birthday pie! All in all, a good day. I did sneak in to the sewing room, though, and try out yet another zipper insertion idea. On the small sample it worked. Now I just have to do it in a bigger, real bag. Tonight, though, The Red Chair is mighty comfy for this tired grandma. Jerilynn

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Can You Tell This is Supposed to be a Bobbin?

I have been trying to come up with a series of sewing related coasters, not sewn with an embroidery machine, but just with a regular sewing machine. This is one of the first attempts at a bobbin coaster. I like it, but there are some changes I want to make. I want the "thread stack" on the bobbin to be flipped topped to bottom. I think I need "holes" in the bottom part of the bobbin. Stitching needs to be more even. Although, there is a bit of a funky look to this. A bit primitive and free-form, maybe. I will give it another try and see what I can come up with. I also figured out a zipper solution today. It worked as a small sample...hopefully when I do a real project, full-sized, it will still be good. Another day with Benjamin. He was a very good boy today. Only cried when we took him out of the bathtub. He really likes those baths! I hope this summer is nice and hot so he can go in the water at the cabin. Our shore is pretty shallow and clear. We haven't been up there much this winter. Obviously things around here are a bit busy and intense. We know, however, that we have walls on the third level, which is the sewing studio. Trusses arrived yesterday, so we shall soon be enclosed. With all that has been happening around here, it has taken my thoughts away from the Cabin Project. How wonderful it will be when we can go up for a night or two to see the progress! Jerilynn

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stitches, Hugs, and Kisses

This is a pretty Big Bottom Bonnie Bag. Woolfelt, of course. I love the stitches, not embroidered, just stitched with sewing machine decorative stitches. Simple. The inside lining and the little trim pieces on the outside are cotton. This is the first time I combined the cotton and the woolfelt. I think I will do more of this. I finished it right after we put Benjamin down to sleep. We are watching him for 5 days while his parents take their first trip away from him. So far only one text from the dad, Peter, and one call from the mom, Katie. He was a fun little boy tonight. I don't remember laughing this much in quite a while. I think this is just what we needed for a few days...playing and being silly. Jerilynn

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sunkissed in the Snow

Usually this time of the year we are getting ready to head south to the Gulf Coast of Florida - St. Pete Beach. We have rented various places right on the beach for many years for the months of February and March. Lazy, sunkissed days of walking on the white sand, visiting the multiple beach bars, sipping rum runners, listening to live bands play music that we actually know. This year we had decided months ago that it probably wouldn't be a good year to plan a long trip. As it turned out, that decision was a good one. We are needed here, and the snow doesn't seem so bad so far. It has been snowing enough now and then to keep things nice and white. If I squeeze my eyes together, it almost looks like the sugar sand on the beach. I love this new fabric line from Sweetwater, Sunkissed. Fresh and springy. I get labels every month from them through the label crew and this month they have great heart labels. They also send a label with my name on it every time. I thought this month's would look great on the bag pocket. I wanted to photograph it today outside with better light, but it was a bit gloomy, and, of course, there was all that snow. Or, maybe it is sand. Jerilynn

Monday, January 24, 2011

Trying New Things

Here's a new shape of bag I am working on. I got the general shape idea from a "famous" soft quilted bag. They are not too hard to put together, but one step in the construction is a bit difficult to photograph and explain, so I need to work around that little problem. In the meantime, I will just keep trying to figure it out. Carl has been remodeling a bath for Peter and Katie. It is almost done and looks really, really good. He said he ran into some glitches - old things not fitting into new things, new things higher than old things. He had to find out a way to make things work and I think he enjoys the challenge of doing that. Sewing is like that, too. Especially when you are making something up, not following a pattern. You know how you want it to work/look. You just have to enjoy the challenge of making it work out. It usually does. Life usually works out, too. There are challenges, glitches, dead ends sometimes. You just have to think about possible solutions, try a few ideas, and, get lucky. Jerilynn

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lots of Clothesline Totes!!

New Folk Art Clothesline bags made from Jelly Rolls. In the past I hadn't used Jelly Rolls, which are one color each of a designer's new collection and are 2.5 inches wide. That width is a bit wider than I usually use, but it seemed to work out great. Usually the rolls have 40 strips. I used 30 for each bag. This left 10 to use for handles and/or pockets. I will need a bigger pieces, of course for lining. The upside of using these pre-cut strips is, well, they are pre-cut! The downside is that there is usually only one strip of each fabric in the collection and it it hard to get wider and narrower stripes of colors that you can get when you use fewer fabrics. I tried to still get that look by grouping like colors together. It is hard to see in the picture, but the middle tote was stitched with a multi-colored thread. In person it had a very nice effect. I made all three of these in one day - the day I finished the muted color tote. Zoom. Zoom. I think I have figured out how to make the lining have a zippered top. I will let you know if my idea actually works! Jerilynn

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Hearted This Day

I have signed up for the Martha Stewart Craft of the Day email at Some of the ideas I get are a bit too Martha for me, but once in a while something catches my fancy and I bite. This one was such a craft. Love making potholders, still have some Isul-Brite in my stash, had some cute new funky fabric! 30 minutes later I had a potholder! Seriously, so fast. I made mine a bit different, of course. I can't seem to just follow instructions without trying to do it "my way". The two printed sides of the potholder are little pockets that you can put you hand in to grab something. The back of this potholder is more of that great print. I used a regular bias cut binding like I make for a quilt. The outer point and the inner point were a bit tricky, but I just kept futzing with them and they turned out okay. I think the pattern called for bias tape, which would have been a bit easier, but I didn't have any on hand. I think I may need to make a few more. I am sure after about the 4th one I will have those corners figured out. I went over to a friend's house for dinner tonight. She had a girls' day out with her daughter and daughter-in-law and invited me over for lasagna and wine...sure! I will be there! I took over my box of glass tile stuff and they all seemed to love that craft. In fact, I just left the box there for them to make more tiles into the evening. I left them happily looking at all the graphics my sister put together. And I left with a loaf of artisan bread...have you seen that book? Also, Jan, the mom made me a great apron out of two men's shirts. So adorable! A Mary Mulari pattern gave her the idea, but she made it her own, too! The pattern also shows how you can make a wine bottle bag out of one of the long sleeves. Just up my alley. I have some of my dad's woven shirts left over from the quilt I made him. I may just have to dig them out and repurpose. A trip to the new apartment to help my folks a bit, a new heart potholder, a great dinner, some early birthday gifts. Now a bit of red wine while sitting in The Red Chair looking at Carl enjoying "The A Team" movie while sitting on The Red Couch. Not a bad day at all. Jerilynn

Friday, January 21, 2011

Folk Art Clothesline Tote Improved!

Nancy from my Folk Art Clothesline Tote class sent me some pictures of a new tote that she made. She modified the interior by adding many pockets on the inside lining. From the top picture, it looks like she added the pockets in place before she stitched the sides to the bottom. The middle shot is the lining with the pockets done. (Great photography, Nancy!) The bottom shot is her finished bag. That is the second one she made (or, seeing how fast she is there is probably more already done). I love it when the students take the basic information and just run with it! Zoom, zoom. If I ever get famous and need a Vanna assistant.... By that time, though, I think Nancy will have her own show! Thanks for sending the pictures to me. I don't have a picture of anything of my own to show you tonight. I worked on something all day, in between a couple of trips to the new assisted living apartment. In my mind, my new idea was just perfect! In the execution of the idea, however, several road bumps were revealed. So, I gave up for the day, made some popcorn with parmesan cheese on top, sat in The Red Chair, and watched a Netflix movie on my computer. Tomorrow is a new day, and I am sure some new idea will work out just fine. Jerilynn

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Do the Muted Colors of This Tote Make Me Look Thinner?

Hmmm. I have a slight pattern happening in this blog. For two nights I have blogged about something that I had blogged about two previous nights ago. Wow. I am really tired and that sentence does not make any sense. Anyway, I finished the Folk Art Clothesline Tote that I showed you on Tuesday. I love how it turned out. Again, so unlike me! Calm, muted, a bit sophisticated, even....not my usual style. I am surprised at my reaction to this bag. I am thinking that maybe I need to take a look at my taste. Maybe I need to have our brightly colored walls painted soft greys, taupes and beiges. Maybe I should take another look at some of the clothes that are out there that have hints of color rather than shouts of color. More linen? Cream shirts? Tea rather than coffee? Give up The Red Chair? Who knew that a tote could start something like this. I better get some good sleep before I make any rash decisions. Jerilynn

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Buckaroo Bib in Action 24 Years Ago!

A fellow blogger, who also happens to be a former neighbor of mine, read the post about the cowboy bib a couple of days ago and sent me this photo she has of her now 24-year-old son blowing out the candle of his first birthday cupcake. She says, "Still have the bib. One of my all time favorites also". I love seeing all the faces of those little neighborhood kids. Both of my sons are there watching the birthday boy, but they are mostly hidden. My daughter, however, is the girl in the middle with what looks to be cake on her chin. What I think it is, however, is a big scrape. Her first day of Kindergarten she took a nose dive off the monkey bars. As they were carrying her bleeding and crying into the school, she pronounced "I hate this place and I am NOT coming back!" Until this picture was sent to me I did not have a photo of the Buckaroo Bib in action, nor the result of the fateful first day of school for my daughter. The bib continued to protect from messy foods through two more little boys at my neighbor's. The little girl did, in fact, continue to attend school. Great picture and memories. Jerilynn

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Can you believe it? I am making a new Folk Art Clothesline Bag and I am not using any red fabric! What is going on??? Well, as I have maybe mentioned before, I may be in a rut...I tend to pick all the same fabrics over and over and over again to make things. Red...check. Black...check. Gold....check. So, I decided to pick a palette that is very unlike what I usually work with. My stack has muted colors, with some woven stripes and some linens. The picture isn't all that great - night photo again and I am a bit too tired to fiddle with color corrections. The tote is only partially done, but I am liking the results so far. In person it looks like a faded rag rug made into a bag. A faded Swedish rag rug made into a bag. A faded Swedish '30's rag rug made into a bag. I can't find more specific words. I am looking forward to being able to work on finishing this project. Tomorrow is looking a bit full. We'll see. Today I had the second class with the ladies I talked about last week. Again, I must say, "what a great group"! They all came to class with their bag all sewn. Some of them came to class with a second bag sewn. Some of them came to class with a lined bag with a handle! Guess the pattern wasn't too hard to follow! We worked on linings, pockets and handles. Since each bag is very dependent upon many variables, the finishing is unique for each person and each tote. Most got the bag very close to completion. Most said they would make another bag. As usual for all my classes I learned much more from the students than they learned from me. I am a bit sad that there isn't a third class next week. I will look forward to running into these fun ladies again. Jerilynn

Monday, January 17, 2011

Time for Grub, Buckaroo!

We are going to be watching our youngest grandson, Benjamin, for a few days and I thought I better make a couple of new bibs to keep at our house. I have one just like the new one I made today, but it has seen better days. It was made for Benjamin's father, Peter, and was used after that for our next youngest grandson, Jonah, when he was a baby. I tell you, those little boys look so darn cute with this little cowboy bib on! When they are done eating, you can just wipe their face with the bottom washcloth. Easy! Also easy is how to make these. Buy a bandanna, cut in half along the diagonal. This new bandanna was stiffly starched so it was very easy to turn the raw cut edge under twice and stitch. Place the bottom angle on the washcloth and stitch around the edges and the top in a triangle shape. Done. That was fast. To make it even more personal, you could embroider or applique a name or a cute, cowboy hat, spurs, etc. I think I am going to leave this one plain. I am thinking more grandchildren might be in the future someday, and even little cowgirls get messy when they eat! Each bandanna makes two bibs, and I did buy two red washcloths today, so maybe I will stitch something on the next one I make. Dunno. Jerilynn

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mama's Got a New Bag

It isn't done yet, but I wanted to show this off. I still need to figure out a closure. I think I am going to do a covered button, maybe even put a little embroidery on the woolfelt before I cover the button. I had to adjust the size of the Big Bottom Bonnie Bag pattern so that the little zip bag would fit in the bigger bag. I think this is going to be fun to use, I just hope that the button closure doesn't look dumb. I tried a magnet, but the magnet I have just doesn't seem to be strong enough. I am sure something will work just perfectly. I have managed to do the stitched squares in between running back and forth to the assisted living. Things should settle down pretty soon and life will get back to some sort of new normal. Jerilynn

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What Does This Picture Mean?

I found my camera! I had taken a few new shots of my parents' apartment and the camera slipped out of my bag. I thought of looking on the car floor after I was cozily in bed...a quick, cold check of the car confirmed my thought. So, today when I designed this new coaster on the Bernina V6 software, I could take a picture and show you what I made! I didn't design it to be an applique, but I thought it might look good. The first step was to hoop the cream and charcoal felt and place a square of red felt on top. Then I stitched the red stitching. I removed the hoop, trimmed close to the stitching and put the hoop back on the machine. I then placed a square of green felt on the top and stitched with the green thread. Remove from machine, trim, replace on machine. From that point, I could just keep stitching, changing colors as necessary. When all finished, I trimmed the cream felt close to the blanket stitch and let the charcoal felt show a little. I plan to use this in my sewing room. I have made tons of coasters, but I have noticed that I don't have one currently to use while sewing. What is that all about? Charity begins at home, you know. Jerilynn

Friday, January 14, 2011

Have You Seen My Camera?

Yep. Somewhere between the new assisted living apartment and our home I have lost the Jerisew camera. Can't take pictures of what I created today. So, I will have to tell you. I worked on the machine stitched squares that are going to be a new bag. I helped my mother go through some drawers and bags and further organize their new place. Other than that, we went out to dinner with good friends, and went to their house to play a couple of hands of cards. Lots. of fun, good treats and a little wine. I read a blog today that talked about being creative and how he figured out at some point in his career that he couldn't just sit around and wait for a fabulous idea to hit him. He had to practice his art everyday and keep working at it and keep getting better. It was his job. So, I guess if I just keep creating something everyday, I will get better at what I do, and maybe create something good. I bet you also create/make something everyday. Maybe you make a co-worker smile, maybe you make a good meal for your family. Maybe you put together an interesting outfit, or try a new make-up technique. Blog readers are creative people, I think. So, today, instead of showing you a picture of what I made, I want you to think about what you created today. But, I needed to have a picture to show you, so I thought a nice summer sunset would be a good idea. Hopefully, my camera will appear. If not, I am not going to be very happy. Jerilynn

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Your Color is Not Broken on Your Monitor

So, what did I create today? Well, I am getting a pattern ready for publishing and the format that I originally created the pattern in is not the correct format to send in. After multiple tries to just change it an easy way, it was decided to retype the pattern in a Word document. The pattern is five pages long, so it took me a while to accomplish this. Then I edited 36 photos to be uniform size and removed the color. I still need to proof the new pattern, add the photos where appropriate, and add reference numbers to the photos. Not as fun/exciting as creating something new, but it is going to be good when it all comes together. This was after a day of continued help for my folks. Today we solved the problem of the dueling tv's. Previously at their condo, my folks watched their own tv's in different rooms. Dad is hard of hearing, so he wears headphones to keep the noise level down for mom. In their new apartment, both of their tv's need to be in the same room. My dad thought that with his headphones on, they both could still watch what they wanted. Well, problem. Both tv's are Samsung. When dad switched channels on his tv, they switched on mom's also. Mom changed her chanel, and dad's changed too. Ooops. Not happy campers. After a few phone calls and some internet research, it was determined that there was nothing that could be done to fix this. Sooo, we switched our tv, a different make, with one of theirs. The remotes now only work with the tv that they are supposed to work with, and a potential tv war has been avoided. Lots of adjustments are taking place, emotions are running high. Technical work on my pattern is probably a good thing for me to be doing right now. Jerilynn

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Too Old/Broken/Mismatched to Use, Too Colorful to Throw Away

Knitting needles have greatly improved since my early grade school knitting days. I taught myself to knit while I was in grade school - I think around third grade. I made a sweater for my Barbie doll, and I think it has survived with the other Barbie stuff I made - mostly by hand because I didn't get my own sewing machine until fourth grade. I remember those first needles were plastic, I think I got some metal ones later. Anyway, I have accumulated a bunch of old knitting needles. I tend to buy homemade felt rolls of needles at garage sales and there are usually a few old needles and some broken-tipped needles, and a few stray single needles. Like me, the old owners of the needle collections just couldn't bear to throw them away. So I decided to give these old and orphaned and injured needles a new purpose in life. Sewing room decoration! My red buttons (favorite color, remember?) are the perfect keep-them-standing-up-straight material. I swear I saw the yellow needle with the red head smile with delight. Jerilynn
Hi, me again! I re-read this post and a couple of thoughts came to mind. One, is a story about my dad's second day at assisted living. I arrived this afternoon to move in more stuff and help them get settled. I noticed the center's van parked in an odd spot, full of people. What was blocking the driveway to the front door was a white van. Hmmm, I thought. Odd that someone would just leave their van in the driveway. They must be inside delivering a quick something. I parked, went to their apartment and began to make a long list of what they still need. Knock, knock. "Does anyone here drive a white van?" "No, oh! Wait! I drive a white van", says Chuck, the new resident. "It is blocking the driveway!" "What?" (Chuck is hard of hearing, you see) "Oh, oh, let me look!" Their apartment overlooks the front of the building and driveway. "Oh, that is me!" As I look out, I see the activity director get in the van and drive away. It seems that Chuck also left the keys in the van. So, he hops on his Scooter Chair and heads off downstairs to reclaim his keys. I fear the nice assisted living place will never be the same. The other thought I had after reading the blog title was: maybe that applies to my parents. Too old/broken/mismatched to discard....too crazy and colorful to ignore.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy Folkart Clothesline Bag Makers

Today I taught 14 students how to make the Folkart Clothesline Bag - I had 5 in the afternoon class, and this is the evening class, with lady seems to be hiding! Everyone seemed to like the bag and class and most all are planning to make another bag. I love teaching this pattern because it is so easy and almost no matter what fabric you use the bags turn out really good. Next week they all come back to the classroom again and I show them how to line the bag, make a zippered inside pocket, and make a handle. It was so fun that some of the students turned out to be ladies I hadn't seen in many years! How come I have aged and they haven't? No fair! We had some laughs and some treats. I am looking forward to the show and tell next time. In the meantime, my folks got moved into the assisted living apartment today - wouldn't you know that I had a class! Anyway, most things went smoothly. A few communications break downs, but I think after a bit of a rough start for my mom it will get better. Tomorrow I will help them further get settled. So with all this going on, what did I create? I made a batch of 7 layer bars for the students to munch on. I have found that if I bring a treat people think I am a better teacher! Jerilynn

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Heart These Glass Tiles

My mom has been enjoying having a ton-0-tiles to choose from each day. In fact, the wonderful aids at the facility she is at fight over who gets to pick out the tile for the day to match her shirt. They have been very good to her and I think she she will miss them when she moves tomorrow. She has a lot of Christmas/Winter tiles, but I thought she needed some Valentine tiles. The little robot couple reminded me of them for some reason. They kinda look like robot old people, so maybe that is why. I found the puffy glass heart tiles at Sun and Moon Crafts The tile is a bit puffy and magnifies the graphic underneath, which I think is fun. A few of the blog readers have expressed interest in learning how to make these. I will look forward to having a craft day very soon. It will be a good relaxation day after these next few weeks. I will give my mom these when I go over to their new apartment at the assisted living facility. Tomorrow is move day, and, wouldn't you just know it, I have two classes tomorrow that have been set up for a long time. Carl, in his Carl way, told me not to worry, he will be there for the move and the first day settlement. I guess that is another thing I like about that robot tile. Love happens even when you get a little old around the edges. Jerilynn

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Made a Pie Today

Well, actually, I made the pie several months ago, when the apples were fresh. A family friend, Jeana, took me under her wing years and years ago and taught me how to make apple pies. She and her husband would work together and make dozens of pies for themselves and for their family. The crusts would be rolled out and fitted into the pans, the apples would be cut and the apple pie stuff would be added, placed in the unbaked pie crust, covered with the pie crust top, and then quickly wrapped up and placed in the freezer. Then, when the snow swirled, and a hot apple pie scent would be just heaven, you pop them out of the freezer, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and yum. So, last fall my daughter-in-law Katie and I bought a huge box of Wealthy apples at the apple orchard. Wealthy apples are hard to find, but they make the Best Apple Pie. The lady at the orchard told us that Wealthies are the only apple she will use to make pies. In a pinch, you can use McIntosh or Golden Delicious, or a combo of both. Anyway, we spent the day making lots of pies, 16 I think, then baked two and froze the rest. Her half of the pies are all gone. Youth. So impatient. We still have four pies left. Like money in the bank, only much better. With the move of my parents going on, I haven't spent a lot of time in the kitchen planning great meals. Tonight was deli roasted chicken, Bob Evans mashed potatoes, and frozen mixed vegetables. BUT, once I decided to pull out one of those pies and bake it...dinner suddenly was not so shabby. The house smells good, and I do believe there is breakfast pie in my future. Fruit of the day. Jerilynn

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ordinary Time

"Ordinary Time falls between Christmas and Lent, and between Easter and Advent." I got this quote by googling the meaning of "ordinary time" in the church calendar. Putting up all the Christmas decorations is so fun and I love waking up in the morning and seeing all the cute, festive stuff. But, after the new year starts, all of a sudden there is a day, or an hour actually, that you look around and say "enough"! So, you drag out all the boxes that are labeled Christmas this or that, now holding the stuff you put away to put out the holiday stuff, and you make the switch. Only the holiday stuff much outnumbers the ordinary stuff, which is just perfect. Once the Christmas memories are tucked safely back away until next year, and the simple everyday items are back in their place (somewhat - I never can quite remember where I had is fun to re-arrange!), you look around and say, as Carl just said, "it looks crisp and clean around here". Ordinary time. Quiet. Calm. Even the towel drawer is back to the regular dish towels and dish cloths. Some of them are looking a bit worn, so I think I must make some newly decorated ones very soon. I have already found two Christmas items that didn't make it into the boxes, and I am sure I will find more things as the weeks go on, but soon all traces will be put away. This current sense of accomplishment and calmness will help us face the moving of my parents from their house into assisted living. They are both happy and excited about this new time in their lives. I am thankful for this and I am thankful for them. When it comes down to it, the best times in life are the most ordinary. Jerilynn

Friday, January 7, 2011

Stitches on Wool

As you may recall, blog readers, I have been playing with the decorative stitches on my machine, using the favorite woolfelt as the fabric. I was asked to see what I thought about using overdyed, felted wool, rather than the wool blend felt. I got some wool pieces in the mail today and tried to see what a square would look like. I purposely picked one of the lighter colors (the rest are beautiful shades of blues and greens) to see if the cream stitching would show up. If I used a black thread, it would look good on this, but wouldn't show on the majority of the other wools. Anyway, the first outer row of stitching I did without stabilizer, because I don't have to use any with the woolfelt. Even though the stitch I used wasn't a dense stitch, the fabric still distorted a bit. For the subsequent rows, I used a light tear-a-way and the stitches did much better. Even though the stitches are fairly subtle in spots, I think it may look good with all the darker wools stitched and then sewn together. I will be able to show you what I have been mostly working on in a few weeks, hopefully. I just wanted you to know that I was actually trying a different base fabric for once. I feel I am cheating. I hope the woolfelt squares understand. Jerilynn

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Keys to my Heart

There are many. Friends that just magically appear on your doorstep and listen to the laundry list of woes (even though they have a list themselves) and simply say "give me something that needs to get done". Children that call for each grandparent update and also temporarily become the parent and offer a shoulder and advice. Friends that know the system and where to go to get help for aging parents that suddenly need lots of help. Blog friends that give me an opportunity to sit in the Red Chair for a few minutes and let me talk about being creative and patiently sift through the odd creations to find an occasional cool craft. The true key to my heart, however, belongs to my husband, Carl. He keeps promises without complaint, listens without judging, digs in and does whatever has to be done, is endlessly positive, and is my very best friend. My heart, though heavy with hard changes that must be made for both my parents and for Carl's former mother-in-law, is full with thankfulness for what we all still have. Each other. Jerilynn

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Posy Penny and 100th Post!

Just looked and saw this was my 100th post! That is pretty cool, if I do say so myself! For those of you that have plodded along with me, thanks! Today's other accomplishment was the Posy Penny Table Runner pattern. I am teaching this table runner at Sew Complete in Eau Claire, WI, in March and needed to get the model to the store, the class sheets done, and the pattern written. I have been a bit preoccupied with some health issues of my folks, so sewing time is slipped in when it can be. But, I got the runner done, start to finish, the supplies list all figured out and printed, and the first draft of the pattern printed. The mistakes take a day to bubble to the top, so I am waiting until tomorrow to proof read it again. It was a fun runner to make, and obviously not too difficult. I think it took me about 4 hours to make, and then a few more to do the paperwork. I hope it is a class that people will want to take. If not, I hope it is a pattern that people will want to buy! See you for 101. Jerilynn

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Molas, Hmongs, Hugs, and Kisses

Molas are sometimes used to describe a type of reverse applique from the Panama region of the world. Hmong, originally from China, applique is also a reverse applique technique. What is that? That is where you build up layers of fabric and cut away the top layers to reveal the color underneath. The heart coaster in the picture (made out of woolfelt, of course) was made by putting three layers of felt together, the white was on the top. After designing and stitching the simple swirly heart and zig-zaggy border, I cut away most of the white to reveal the red and charcoal grey layers. I started out trying to make a Swedish looking design. Oops. Guess I didn't quite get the look right. But, I could say I wanted to make a Hmong heart mola coaster, and I would have been pretty spot on. The other coaster needs no explanation. I am still on that tilted "O" kick, and I love doing cross stitch on the embroidery machine. Crazy how entertaining it is to watch a machine automatically make perfect little "x's". Oh!!! X's and O's!! Hugs and Kisses. I like the coaster even better now! Jerilynn

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday Beading

I went to The Bead Monkey today on Grand Avenue in St.Paul, MN. They had some African Trade Beads that caught my eye, and one strand, a strand of very tiny copper beads jumped in my bead tray! I knew that those copper beads would be great with some of my most favorite beads from Loupiac at Etsy. I used the copper Trade Beads, some copper washers, and some copper eye pins that I coiled. The beads are so pretty in person...I think I like this necklace a lot. The earrings are simple, but easy to wear. While on Grand Avenue I had to stop in the Bibelot shop. I met some friendly ladies there that said very complimentary things about the bag I was carrying. It is the woolfelt bag that has the machine stitched blocks. I have a very good start on the pattern writing and hope to have it finished this week. I should make some of the bags, keep them in my car. When I get compliments I should quickly run to my car and make a sale! I really could have had fun shopping, then! I also discovered a fabric store just down the street...but...horrors! Closed for inventory! Don't they know I could have helped them with that? By reducing the inventory, of course. The snow started to fall and I thought I better just head on home. Even though a pattern was waiting to be finished, and I had some class models to finish, I could help but put the copper necklace together. Tomorrow is a new day, and in between visiting with my mom and watching Benjamin for just a bit, I can tackle the sewing to-do list! Thanks for stopping by. I love watching the visitor number go up ! Jerilynn

Sunday, January 2, 2011

And the Beads Go On

This time of year I think of beading. My sister originally started my interest in beading, but it wasn't until I found Buttons, Bangles and Beads in St. Pete Beach, Florida that I started to bead in earnest. I liked the owner, Sally, right away. She's the kind of person that has a sunny disposition, always patient no matter how dumb the customer question, and has great style. We would visit St. Pete Beach every spring and over the years we became friends. Quite by coincidence, we discovered that our cabin (yes the Cabin that is being increased) is on the same lake as her daughter's cabin. Yes, in Florida we discovered that we had a huge Northern Wisconsin connection! Small world. Even more interesting is the fact that Sally and her husband were planning on building a cabin on their daughter's property so that they could spend summers at a Wisconsin lake. Isn't that wild? Well, their cabin got finished this fall, and they now will be summering in Cumberland. Her bead store is just wonderful, and I am trying to talk her into starting a shop, just for the "season" up here. So far she just laughs at me, but I think that is her good nature just bubbling forth. Anyway, the necklaces above are some that I have created, with most of the beads from her shop. The top one is called "Not a Rolling Stone". It is made from turquoise, crystal, jasper, and antique brass. The middle necklace is "Abundance" and is made from Czech glass, amber, seeds, African trade beads and copper. Di, the bead shop manager (hugely talented!) taught me how to make this. The last necklace is "Yippy Ky-ay". It is jasper, and antique brass. I might put these on Etsy, although I am not sure anyone would find them there! We will see. Jerilynn

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Rose Bowl Bummer and More Shiny Fun

Carl and grandson Aaron watched the Rose Bowl while daughter Barb and I made lots of shiny glass tile pendants. I ran into the living room when something exciting happened with the game, but, as you all know by now, the Badgers didn't win. Aaron is a freshman in high school and a smart kid and a good football player. His goal is to play for the Badgers. He will miss the 100th Rose Bowl, however. He will still be a senior. It would be fun to have a family member in school there again. As is well known, red is my favorite color and it is fun root for the red team. As you can see from the picture, Barb had fun making the jewelry - her pile is on the left in the bottom picture and a bit closer in the top shot. We both made some St. Pete Beach, Florida, tiles. That is one of our favorite places to go and is a usual family trip in the spring. Don't know yet if we can go this year. My folk's health continues to be not great, and the cabin addition will require attention. We just might have to wear our beachy tiles on a chain and make some fruity drinks with umbrellas. Not the same. Jerilynn