Saturday, October 8, 2011

How Camp Nana Got It's Name

You've heard "kids say the darndest things"? Well, I guess they never grow out of it.

Camp Nana is wherever Nana and Papa live. It used to be in rural Illinois, now it's on a mountainside in Southwest Virginia.

Camp Nana is also a foster home to 2 misbehaving dogs, one from my brother and one from DD an 1 cat with special needs (I swear she's autistic).

No children live here, but there are toys in the yard just waiting for grandchildren to visit. Now that they are in school it's summer camp and school holiday visits, but they are never long enough. Camp Nana has become a creative retreat for me. You can see my creations here and in several retail galleries (Heartwood Artisan Center, Appalachian Art Center, and The Golden Palette Gallery)

DD gave Camp Nana it's name when she told her dog to behave or it was going to Camp Nana and the name stuck. But we all know that Camp Nana is not a punishment, but a place to be spoiled and live the good life.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hop hop hop

"It seems to me that today the art and craft of Quilting is like a great tree with many branches. Its roots are in the past but today It has flourished and developed and extended in various directions. Some people prefer to perch on one branch, some on another, and others elsewhere even on the far out twigs.". Joy Miller

This was posted in a quilting group and I think it is spot on. I'm trying to figure out just where I want to be in the quilting world. As a mostly self taught seamstress I've tried many different things but only a few that I care to do over and over again. As I learn I skip around from the traditional to the liberated to the modern I'm finding inspiration everywhere. on the quilting tree, I've found no permanent home. I'm having a great time climbing around the tree branches and very thankful that there are some strong roots down there keeping the tree standing. When I find my spot, I'll build a nest. For now it's hop, hop, hop.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Birds of a Feather

I visited my Aunt in January and she asked me if I could make a quilt with the birds she has cross stitched. When I asked her what she had in mind she said "I don't know, do whatever you want......I'm not fond of purple"
I immediately called on my online quilter friends for advice. I didn't find anyone who had done it before. Someone said to line each section of aida cloth so the batting won't beard through the holes, so I started with that. Then the blocks spent a lot of time on the "design wall" (that's a flannel sheet hung on the wall with a curtain rod, not fancy but it works). It was a challenge to arrange them; mixing the various styles and colors of aida cloth and then filling in the gaps to get columns and rows. I selected fabric from my "stash". I started with greens, browns, looked for some florals (got a little purple, but I think it's OK) I wanted the fabrics to be varied as the cross stitch panels were varied. I was hoping this would draw attention away from the differences in the birds. I think matchy matchy fabrics would have accentuated the differences in the cross stitch panels. I played around a lot with the fill-in pieces. I probably made twice as many as I needed and then chose from those. The scrappy border was an after thought, but it needed something. I chose the quilting design because it reminds me of puzzle pieces (something else my Aunt enjoys) It's a basic meandering. The stiffness of the aida cloth gave free motion quilting on my basic sewing machine a whole new feel and I was glad it wasn't any bigger than it was. The label on the back lists the name I gave it: "Birds of a Feather" (My Aunt and I have a lot in common. My mother once said that maybe I should have been her daughter. I think it was when I was learning counted cross stitch, too funny!). I just love the way it turned out and hope they do to. I will happily take it back at any point.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Graduation Gifts


Maryville detail


Cincinnati detail
  • color palette: Both students are going to universities that have red and black as their school colors. 
  • theme:  Out of the Box
  • computer printed school graphic
  • I tried 2 new-to-me FMQ designs (I want to increase my repetoir)
  • machine stitched binding practice (I want to get good at this for quilts that expect heavy use)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Brianna's quilt is finished

For Brie:
Color palette -  robin's egg blue and brown (not turquoise)
Theme - "more mature"  she's a teenager now! 
backing - flannel for the fuzzy/cozy factor
For me:
time to experiment with a new FMQ quilting stitch, I like it!
binding done by machine using different stitches (mixed results here)
Label contains a smartphone TAG

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More Placemats; great for FMQ practice

Placemats teach table setting

Each placemat features a novelty fabric personally chosen for each child/grandchild. The appliqued pieces show how to set the table for dinner. The back of the placemat is the same novelty fabric, making them somewhat reversible.

Applique is NOT my thing, but this turned out OK.  I glue basted the fabrics after I starched the dickens out of them.  I used machine applique.  The stitch I used looked like a combination of a narrow satin stitch and buttonhole stitch.  I'm hoping it will wear a little better than the buttonhole stitch alone and it didn't get too stiff or puckery like the satin stitch (and it didn't hang up on the foot either).  Thin batting and no binding, I turned them pillow case style so there would be less chance of a cup tipping if it was set on the edge.  I was afraid binding might make a bump that could cause spillage. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Reusable gift bags

The girls received new earrings for Easter and they were wrapped in these reusable gift bags with Easter themed fabrics. I remembered them after a facebook friend suggested yesterday's bags could be used as reusable gift packaging. I love the idea of passing on the gift bag or consider it a bonus gift.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Zippered bag

Two little bags to carry or store whatever you want. The smaller bag shows the pattern on the fabric as it was. The larger bag features a portion of the same fabric carefully cut out and reassembled into a six pointed star. What would you put in these?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

waste not, want not!

I sorted some scraps by color and started sewing them together.  these are the rainbow colored squares I created.  waste not, want not. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Look Ma, Cameron's quilt is done!

a little small on my queen sized bed, but should fit nicely on his double

The Label on the back
close up of the fabric on the back

Coleen's request, dark fabrics on the back

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fun in the snow attic windows flimsy

Instead of playing in the snow I prefer to showcase the snow.  This is not a great picture, but it's not finished yet.  I'll take a better pic later.  for now just thought it was a good time to show the snowy beginnings of this wall quilt since it has to come down from the design wall to make room for Brianna's quilt (that I started piecing Tuesday when the quilting on Cameron's Monkeys blew up).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

a little of this, a little of that

Nana was knitting and crocheting like crazy before Christmas, yarn stash decreased (but not depleted yet).  Scarves were added to clothing gifts, stuffed in water bottles and otherwise distributed to family and friends.  Some soft, some furry, some plain, some twisted (potato chip pattern- funny name for a scarf pattern, but fun to make).