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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Gifts Complete

I finished my last Christmas gift yesterday. I made a table runner for Sherri my awesome reflexologist. She has made me feel awesome all year so I was very happy to make her something to show my appreciation. The table runner pattern is called a 10 minute table runner. It is the same pattern I used to make Beryl's runner except I made hers a bit wider. I had bought these two materials separately and when I was looking through my stacks I thought they would be great together. I was trying to download her business graphic to convert to and embroidery file but I just couldn't get it to convert. So, I looked through some embroidery designs online at Ibroidery and found this beautiful Japanese script which is the symbol for Love. I used a purple varigated embroidery thread and it really turned out beautiful. I then sewed on two buttons and added two dark blue tassels. Sherri really loved it and she is going to hang it in her office area. I think this is one of the favorite things I have made.
This is my embroidery machine in action. I really love this thing!
Here is the Japanese Love symbol. It turned out really pretty with the verigated purple thread and with the yellow background it really pops.
Here is the runner all sewn together. This is a really easy project. The middle panel is 10 inches across and the other is 18 inches across. Both are width of fabric long minus a couple inches to even up the ends. You sew the 10 inch material to the 18 inch material right sides together along each long edge. It will make a tube. You then center the 10 inch material and the extra 18 inch material will make the border for the 10 inch material it is about a 2 inch border. I then did a decorative stitch on each end so when you fold into the points you have a nice finish.
This shows the runner with the ends folded in to the points. I used an adhesive fabric glue to tack the points down and then I did the same decorative stitch straight across the folded line.
I hand sewed two buttons near the end of each folded point and then finished the ends with a tassel hanging from each button. This picture shows the finish project. It is called a table runner but I think this one looks nice as a wall hanging.
I had to stop at JoAnn's on the way home yesterday to get the buttons and tassels for the runner and there were these huge snow mountains all over the parking lot! Yesterday I also finished Mark's and Jaclyn's surprise gifts. I have them packed and ready to be taken to the post office. Once I know they received them I will post the pictures. Supposed to go to a couple quilt shops today with Clarinda. Creative Fires in Springfield has 20% all your fabric cuts. We were also going to go to Sulphur Grove so that Clarinda can see Lenny the cat. We might make Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's but will depend on how much time she has. Her dad is in a nursing home following a surgery and she goes to see him everyday. Plus we had more snow last night so need to check the road condition My plan this weekend is to work on JoAnn's quilt and possibly get it quilted in the next four days. (wish me luck) All right that is all the news for today!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!! It has been a busy few months since the retreat. I've been working on Christmas gifts since then so haven't posted because I couldn't post any pictures or talk about what I was making. It has been the year of the scarf here in the Pigeon household. I had thought to make a few larger projects but time just ran out on me so most people got scarfs. I had a wide range that I made, some of the easier ones were the ruffle scarfs which are really easy to knit. I also sewed some scarfs out of fake fur and other materials, I got a real easy pattern from one of the quilt shops in Cincinnati. I also made one infinity scarf that I got from another quilt shop in Cincinnati. Here are a few pictures of all the scarfs I did. I missed taking pictures of 2 of the scarfs I made but I think the grand total was 10 scarfs!
Here are the pretty scarfs all in a row.
I finally bought myself an embroidery machine. I've been looking for awhile and finally settled on one. I forgot to take a picture of it but will have one for the next post. But I do have pictures of what I have embroidered. The first one is a little Christmas design that was built in design from the machine. The next one is from a disc I bought with lighthouse designs. I made my friend Ann (who is also my chiropractor) a wreath made with a rag rug technique with the embroidered lighthouse in the middle. It turned out really good and I will make some more with different themes to give as other presents.
I also made a Christmas wreath using the rag rug technique. I made it before the light house one and thinking i will make a design to go in the middle to jazz it up a bit.
I made Beryl a table runner from a kit I got at a quilt shop in Indiana. It has the purples that she likes. I have another one I want to make her for her birthday but you won't see the finished one until February since her birthday is in January and I can't post it here until after that.
I made this applique lighthouse for Rachel for her birthday, but didn't get it to her until Christmas. I was only a few months off! This was my first applique project. I really enjoyed it and will try to do others in the future.
This is the bunny I made my friend Melissa's son Jack when he was born. He is now several years older and a little worse for wear. He occaisionally comes to Miss Nanci's hospital to get sewn up. In his last visit he had some major ear work done because sister Clarissa decided to pull his ear thread out and start unraveling Bun-Bun's ear. I am very sad now because Melissa moved to New Mexico this past week and I am going to miss her terribly. I am not sure how Bun-Bun will get along, there will have to be some long distance visit to Miss Nanci's hospital.
I have been sick a couple of times since October. I had a bad flare up of my diverticulitis and was out of work for about a week. Then in December I was sick with cold/flu symptoms and missed work and had to cancel our anniversary trip to Washington DC. The puppies kept me company in bed and on the couch during my illnesses and I snapped a few pictures of them. David and I celebrated 28 years this year, hard to believe it has been that long! He got me some beautiful carnations.
Here are a few pictures of our Christmas. Pictures of Jack and Puppy and our snow storm.
Finally, I am on version 3 of the quilt I am making for my friend who got married in Oct. I started two other quilts and then didn't like them. This is the third and final version. This is the one! I have it all sandwiched and ready to be quilted on the long arm. I have had to put it off while I was making all of the Christmas gifts. I have one quilt to finish up for Christmas and it is for Mark. I can't show a picture of it or his girlfriend Jaclyn's present until after they get them. Once I get Mark's done, I will start quilting this one and hopefully have it done soon. I am hoping to work on it this weekend, I am not sure how long it will take me since it will be my very first quilt that I will fully quilt on my new machine.
Well, that's all the news for now. I need to get working on the bindning for Mark's quilt. I want to get it in the mail tomorrow. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and will have a Happy New Year!! Nanci

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ohio State "O"

I had another good retreat! We shopped all day on Thursday and sewed until about midnight. We didn't stay up as late as we normally do I think we were all happy to get some extra sleep. I worked on the Ohio State "O" that I am making for the silent auction at the retreat. If you remember I realized I made the "O" the wrong color, black instead of red. So, I worked on making the red log cabin blocks the first evening and into the next day. Last night I put the border on it and tonight I did the backing, batting and top sandwich to get ready to quilt it tomorrow. I am going to make a hanging sleeve on the back and make a wire hangar for it. I need to go to JoAnn's tomorrow and get a dowel to put through the hanging sleeve and attach the wire to. I will hopefully get it done tomorrow. I also worked on JoAnn's wedding quilt. I like the center block but not so sure about the two blocks I made for the top piece. I am going to pull those blocks off and put the pink border color on instead, I think the pattern is too overpowering and needs some solid color in there. I hope that will make the difference, I really would like to get it done. I am still waiting for my long arm quilt machine. They told me it would be two weeks when I bought it and I think we are on about 4 weeks now. I called last night and they said 3-4 more weeks. The manufacture underestimated how popular this new model was going to be and are swamped with orders. I hope I get it soon because I wanted to use it to make some of my gifts for Christmas. I still have to finish up something I am making for Rachel. There just isn't enough time in the day!!! That's about all the news for now. Below are some pictures of projects and some quilts that others brought for show and tell at the retreat.
This is the clock tower in the town of Berne, Indiana. We went there on Thursday to visit a few quilt shops in the area before we went to the retreat.
This is the sign outside of the retreat center. This is the first time we had seen our retreat listed on the sign. The quilt shop we go with is called the Mason Jar Quilt Shop and the owners name is Michelle Mason.
This is a quilt one of the ladies made for her husband who is retired Navy.
I really like the colors in this one, it was very pretty.
This is the "O" as I completed it at the retreat. I had to make the red log cabin blocks at the retreat. I had the gray ones complete all ready.
I put the black border on last night. The dotted fabric in this picture is the backing.
Here is the "O" all sandwiched with backing, batting and top. I will quilt it tomorrow.
This is what the backing looks like.
This is JoAnn's quilt. I am not happy with it. going to pull off those two top blocks and try something else, I think it looks too busy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Retreat Time!!

Well, it is time for another retreat! We are going a day early this time. We normally go Fri-Sun but the place was booked on Sunday so we are going Thurs-Sat. We are heading out at 9:00 tomorrow morning and plan to go to a few quilt shops before getting to the retreat place. We can't check in until 1:00 so it all works out good. I am not as prepared as I normally am going to retreat. I've been working on projects on and off and just couldn't get around to cutting and prepping for the retreat so, I am just taking about 5 projects and will get done whatever I get done. First on the priority list is getting the wedding present done for my friend JoAnn, she got married Oct 5th so I am way behind but what else is new? I am also taking the material to do the Ohio State wall hanging that I am donating to my work for a silent auction they are having next month. I thought I had it pretty much done but not sewn together and then I realized I made the O for Ohio in the wrong color, it should be red and I made it black with a red border so I have to make a few more blocks and switch it around. Then I am taking another little Ohio State project that will also be donated. I am taking two baby blankets to work on and a bag that I am making for Mark's girlfriend. I hope I can get everything done! I have also picked up my knitting needles again. I told Rachel I was so happy to get to knit again, I do really love to knit but my hand just isn't as strong as it used to be so I can only do a little at a time, hopefully I can build up some strength over time. Jack is doing really well in his college classes. I am really proud of him, he has turned into a very good student and is acting very responsibly. He has been doing most classes on his own but I have been helping him with English Composition. They don't really teach kids about writing papers in high school any more, I don't know why because that is the first thing they have to do when they get to college! All they teach them now is how to pass the state test. Dave has been really busy with his Jeep, while I am gone this weekend he will be at a Jeep event so he has been getting ready for that. He just put a new light bar on the top so I am sure there will be some night rides in the future. Mark is also doing well in school. He is getting those credits knocked out. He usually has two classes going at once, they are shorter classes and they have classes that start each month so hopefully he can get done within the next year. I think he is trying to find a hospitality job in Lompoc, I hope he can get one. He is still very much into his Anime and he found a girlfriend who also likes it so that is good. I made a big splurge about 3 weeks ago, I bought a sit down long arm quilter! I have been waiting for it to come in to the shop so I can go pick it up. I am so excited to be able to quilt my own quilts, I should make the money up for it after I quilt about 30 quilts! LOL. I have quite a stack building and I hope it will come in next week. I have to move my room around to accomodate it and I might have to kick Dave out of the big room so I can have more space but we will see, I kind of like my little room. Okay, got to finish packing, below are some projects that I am working on.
This is the center piece of the quilt I am making for JoAnn. It is in the log cabin style.
These are the leftover strips that I have that I am going to make the borders for JoAnn's quilt. I have sewn them together end to end and this is the pile on the floor as I am rolling them up.
This is the roll of strips. What I will do now is find the halfway point of the roll and cut it then sew the strips side by side, cut that in half and so on until I get a patchwork made with the strips. This will be added to the top and bottom of the centerpiece to give it the length it needs. The quilt should end up being 60"Wx80"L
This is the Ohio State O that I made wrong, tells you how much of a fan I am right? I've bought some green and yellow and am going to make an Oregon O for Britney.
This is my knitting. This is going to be a washcloth. I have a bunch of different verigated yarn. I bought some really nice soap in Amish country and will put the two together to have little gifts to give out for Christmas.
This is the material I am going to use for Jaclyn's purse. It is really cute.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Memorial's and Pork Festival

It was a busy end of August and beginning of September. Rachel flew out before Labor Day and we drove to Missouri for Mom and Grandpa Branson's Memorial services. We met my dad and Uncle Jack there in Mt. Vernon. Grandpa's service was on Saturday, it was raining most of the day and there was a bit of drama because the place they had dug to place the ashes was no where near my Grandma's ashes. So, the service was held at the wrong spot and by the time we were ready to leave the coordinator for the graves had called out the workmen to dig the hole in the proper spot and he was laid to rest next to Grandma. He had a military service with the Army Honor Guard firing a salute and playing Taps. They also folded the flag and gave it to Dad since he was the oldest surviving son. It was a very nice ceremony. We also spent some time looking at places we had lived and other locations that brought back a lot of memories of my childhood in Missouri. On Sunday, the sun came out and it was a really beautiful day for laying Mom to rest, she was shinning on us that day. She was laid to rest in the Whittenburg family plot in the Ozark Prarie Cemetery also known as the "Brick Cemetery." Her mother and father are there as well as her grandmother and grandfather. We got a really pretty box to put her ashes in and we included pictures of the family, a porcelain shoe, and a People magazine, all her favorite things. We then went to eat at Golden Corral one of her favorite places to go. I think she's very happy now and I feel happier now knowing she is at rest. Rachel came back with us to Dayton and she and I went up to the Ohio Reformatory and to Amish country. We really had a good time in Amish country. We could have stayed another day I think but I don't think our waistlines would have recovered. They have some might delicious food there, if she could have smuggled a case of Fry Pies on the airplane I think she would have. I took her to several quilt shops there and some back down here. She got to go to the infamous Fabric Shack in Waynesville but I think we were most impressed with the Zinck's Fabric Warehouse we found in Berlin, OH. It is definetely a place I have to take Clarinda and Melissa, lots of good bargains there. I am still working on purple quilt for JoAnn's wedding. I've made several mistakes on it and I am losing my enthusiasm for it. I also need to finish the pink baby quilt. I just really need to get my butt in gear, it is going to be Christmas before I know it and I won't have anything done. I have a quilt retreat next month and I have to start thinking about what I want to take to work on. I'll probably cut and take the quilt for Beryl. Today was the annual Pork Festival in Eaton, OH. We had our buffet of pork and had a look around at the crafts. The meal was just as delicious as last year. The craft booths left a little to be desired though, it was almost like we stepped back to last year. All the vendors were in the same place with the same stuff so we just did a quick look around, I got a carmel apple and we came home. I got home in time to watch the end of the early football games so perfect timing. Jack's birthday was yesterday and we had got him tickets for the Bengals game so he was there today and thankfully they won. Well, that is all the catch up news. I am sorry I am taking a long time to post these days. I am still not sure how to post from my Ipad and this little notebook that I got from Jack is not the best running computer. Hopefully, I will get it figured out sooner or later. Here are some pictures to enjoy.
Grandma and Grandpa's grave.
Mom's grave.
Aunt Ruth (mom's sister), Rachel and me
Rachel and I at the Miller Fall Festival.
Rachel and I visited this castle near Cincinnati. It was built by an eccentric man. He built it with the help of some boy scouts. He built it with the stones from the nearby river and worked on it into his 90s.
Castle and terraced garden.
Castle courtyard.
Me and the castle.
Rachel and the castle.
Standing in line for the all-you-can eat buffet at the Pork Festival.
You really only need one plate for all-you-can eat!
Meal included homemade pie. This is blackberry.