Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Daisy Monogram - B

The "B" is embroidered with Fly-Stitches. The small daisies are bullion knots (eight wraps) done in sz-5 perle cotton. The large daisy is done in Straight Stitches that cross in the center. I then tacked the center a couple of times and added more straight stitches between the pattern layout lines at about 2/3 the length of the main ones. Each Staight Stitch has a French Knot at the end. The leaves are done in Detached Chain Stitch.
This is the overall design.
This is the layout for tracing.

Monday, July 29, 2013

This is just too cool for words!

Seriously, it is! Doesn't this just look good enough to just sit down and eat the entire bowl?!?
Well, don't.....cause it's not cake icing...it's laundry detergent!
Okay, here's the deal "I do not make soap or do any really great "savings" kind of tricks...but, this weekend I found a great website. It is chocked full of wonderful tips and cost busting ideas. The site is Budget101 and I joined just to read about there Super Laundry Sauce which was supposed to be enough to wash 128 loads of laundry...and cost less than $2.00
Seriously, have you seen the cost of laundry detergent!! Outragious! So, I wanted to give this a try...but, also had to make a few changes. 
I encourage you to go to the site and check out the original recipe and read all of the comments and chat about the "sauce". It is free to join the site. International folks might not find the exact ingredients that we use in the states...but surely you can find some alternatives.
Anyway...here is my recipe and how I put it together to create 2 quarts of creamy laundry detergent...and you only use 1 tablespoon per medium/large load of clothes (or 2 tablespoons for oversize loads or extra oil/grease based laundry). This is a non-suds recipe...so you won't see loads of bubbles...but the soap is doing the job! Don't increase your amount or you might have issues in rinsing all the soap out of your clothes! Hugs!
1/2 bar of Fels Napha Soap
1 1/2 cups of boiling hot water
1/2 cup of hot water
1 cup of Twenty MuleTeam Borax
1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
You will need two quart size jars with tight fitting lids. It is okay to recycle old spagetti sauce or mayonnaise jars...or use canning jars with lids/rings.
STEP ONE: Grait or finely chop up the Soap. (I just cut mine into about 1/4 inch chunks...but think that grading would be even better.) Put soap into one of the jars and cover with the boiling water. Let this set for at least ten hours...longer is fine. Here's how it looks after ten hours.
STEP TWO: Loosen the soap mixture from the bottom of the jar by breaking it up with a spoon/fork/etc and pour the mixture into your stand mixing bowl. Using the wire wisk attachment (or beaters for a standard mixer) and low speed...begin to cream the soap/water solution. Once it starts to combine well (looks like cream cheese) then increas the mixer speed to medium.
STEP THREE: Add the cup of Borax and continue to mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium high for about 3 minutes or until creamy without any noticable lumps.
STEP FOUR: Add the cup of Washing Soda and continue to mix. 
STEP FIVE: Slowly add the 1/2 cup of hot water (just let the tap run for a few minutes) and whip until fluffy like whipped cream....about 3 minutes.
STEP SIX: Spoon the finished "Laundry Cream" into two quart jars. If you have extra and I had about a cup too much for the jars...just put that into a bowl for the next few loads of wash this week (cover the bowl with plastic wrap). Keep the jars sealed tight and the laundry cream will last for months!
STEP SEVEN: Use an old Tablespoon measuring spoon and place a level scoop of the Laundry Cream into your load of wash. Do not put into the dispenser...put directly on the clothes. (I just load my washer (top load) and start the water...then the spoon of laundry cream goes under the water and it washes out my spoon. Dry off the spoon on some dry laundry and put it away)) Think I'll tie a ribbon around my spoon and jar to keep them together. :)
You will have enough ingredients to make two batches with the purchase of one bar of soap. I decided to purchase 3 bars of soap because I didn't want a lot of extra Washing Soda and Borax on hand. So, with 3 bars...I didn't want to make an extra trip just for soap for a long time! These will be enough for me to create soap for my family as well. I have enough supplies to make the recipe six times (Thats 12 quarts of laundry cream)!! Here is my cost yesterday at Walmart for enough laundry soda for about 350 loads of laundry...
3 bars of Fels Naptha - $2.91 (.97 each)
Washing Soda - $3.24
Borax - 3.38
TOTAL: $9.53
OR about 3-Cents per load of laundry!
Woot! Woot! 
Edited to Add: Well, I've done laundry all day...and everything looks and smells wonderful! I even threw in the dog's bedding and blankets...and they are clean and fresh!
So, I can earnestly say that this mixture works at cleaning laundry really well and does not leave any kind of "yucky" smell behind. Just fresh and clean smelling! And, my laundry is caught up for the week!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Beaded Hat Pins

To relax last night...I got out some glorious Swarvoski crystal elements and other beads and made these hatpins. I love working on beaded objects as it satisfies the need for bling in my life!
These will be a beautiful addition to a velvet pin cushion...but, I'll have to make one as all of my current PCs are full of sewing pins! Do you ever make hatpins?
Updated to add: I went and looked...and Firemountain Gems does still carry hatpins (search for stickpins). The closure at the bottom are seperate so you have to order those too. They also have the "sweater pins" discussed in one of the comments as well. Just info for you...just in case you want to try these beauties yourself!
Edited to add: The beads are placed on the hatpin and a drop of E-6000 glue holds them in place. Hugs! 
p.s. I've also done this with straight pins...and they make a great little addition to special pin cushions. Especially when I make the pin cushion as a gift for someone...just adds that extra touch! If you want to learn more about the different types of straight pins available check out this post on DoYouSew.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Daisy Monogram - A

Here's the first in the Daisy Monogram series. For this "A" the letter is done in a varigated gray 5mm perle cotton using the Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch, (instructions are on Mary Corbet's Needle'n'Thread site if you need them and the link is broken). The flowers and leaves are detached chain stitches done in varigated green, pink, and peach.
Right click and save the photo file for the design...
...and the layout.
No need to draw out all the lines and chains for the flowers...just use "dots" for placement of the center and ends of the individual stitches.

Winter/Christmas DYB Round Robin

Finished up a block for the CQI Winter/Christmas DYB Round Robin. This block is Melody's and I loved working on her blue/white/silver winter block. I filled it up with stitching of metallic and shiny fibers then added tons of crystals and beads. Some snowflake sequins finished off the winter theme.

Catching Up

Well, the sinus crud is still here...but much better. I'm trying to catch up on some stitching and other things. I have a new set of monogram designs for you...almost ready. Here is a sneak peek...and I'll post more when the first one is stitched up...half way there. 
The design is traced on my linen, and I'm about half done with stitching the A portion.
Sorry for the dark bottom on the above photo...but I just can't get a decent photo with this Ipad4 phone! I want one of those Canon Rebel cameras...but, they are so expensive! I've saving my pennies!
Yesterday, Aidan and I also made more paper ballerinas and hung a little mobile from the ceiling in the sewing room...
...for Brady to enjoy!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Baking Day

The baking bug bite Aidan and I this week. We made yeast rolls, twisted lemon bread,
 cinnamon rolls, 
and she made chocolate cupcakes with coconut pecan icing. 
We had fun...and agreed not to do this too often...it was too much work! And, too much bread! Luckily I have mother and sisters to give some too...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Erma's Block is Ready for the Mailman

My portion of this block for Erma is the center tree and the left bottom corner seams and silk ribbon work. I also added a few butterflies and beads here and there to finish out some areas.
It has been a fun monochromatic round robin over at HGTV Message Boards and I hope we do another robin soon.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Do you Have this Fabric?

This fabric is Benartex Heritage Prints #02587.  I have a friend that is looking for 1/4 yard (or even a fat quarter would work) to finish out a quilt, if you have some....and would not mind selling it, please contact me so that I can try to help her out. Thanks.


Seriously Mom...

Remind me again...why can't I bite her?
Aidan is truly lucky that Buddy is a very tolerant cocker spaniel!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Is it time for her to go home yet?

Can't you just tell that Buddy just 'loves' to have Aidan visit? Ha!

Jenny Does It Again....

If you have not noticed before...I just love the designs from Jenny of Elefantz. She has the cutest Shabby style Block of the Month starting today. To quote her blog: "

Every month on the 19th, from July 2013 to March 2014, I will releases two block patterns. In April 2014 I will releases the final block plus the quilt assembly instructions.
The blocks will vary in size and design, and will be shared randomly, not in a b c order.
The blocks are FREE for the their month of release only. 
When the next month's blocks are released the previous month's blocks will be $2 per set from my Craftsy Shop - so please download them to your computer in their month of release to enjoy this entire quilt design for free."
They are TOO Cute not to stitch! So, jump on over to Elefantz and check out this beautiful new pattern...get the free downloads for blocks 1 & 2 this month!...AND you can also enter to win a prize in her give-a-way today!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

A little embroidery done...

Last week was wonderful...this week...not so much. I have a terrible head full of "well let's not say"...and it's slowly moving into broncils and lungs. I'm coughing, sneezing, and drowning. Hopefully, it won't be for many more days...the allergies are really stirred up!
Last week, I managed to do a little embroidery piece. This is the motif on page 142 of Embellishing Crazy Quilts if you have the book. I just combined all of the circles into a long curved blossum of french knots, the leaves are fly stitch, and the stem is well...stem stitch. There is a tutorial on making the leaves on the blog...just check the tutorial page.
I did manage to get a little stitching done this week on Erma's block for the HGTV Round Robin that I'm in...a tree in the center of the block. More to do on this, then I'll post another photo for you. The tree is also from the ECQ book partly...the limbs and trunk are on page 143.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Back in the Saddle Again.....

Okay, if your are young...or not a fan of American Western movies...you might not get the title...which is a part to a cowboy song. But, I'm back home again. The trip to Huntsville was so very much fun for me! Kim was a wonderful hostess and has the coolest family! The ladies at the Madison guild were very gracious and I really enjoyed sharing my crazy journey with them on Thursday night. The gals that signed up for the crazy quilt class on Saturday just were a hoot! I enjoyed the class even more than them I think! We had a wonderful time stitching and laughing....at and with each other!
I also did my part to help the local economy...and found some treasures!
My Jingle applique quilt was in need of some additional red, yellow, and green...so I'm thinking these will be just great!
There is a plan for a Sunbonnet Sue mini-quilt...so I needed some 30's fabrics to create that.

My ideas for the applique medallion pattern include using batiks for the flowers...and I really scored with these colors!
Lastly, I found some beads for hatpins and even a couple that will make great cabochons! Plus, some needles, glue pen, and other treasures! It's nice to have a chance to shop and actually touch the fabric...instead of buying on-line. 
Oh wait, I almost forgot...these lucious fibers and threads! I'm just going to love working with these on my crazy quilt projects!
Thanks again Kim and all the ladies of Madison/Huntsville for such a wonderful visit!