In promptu light box and show me the blocks

Friday, September 30, 2011

I've taken the day of and had plans to apply for a new passport (mine is out of date), do some grocery shopping and then sew some more mini-blocks. Well - I won't go to the passport police cause I look like a fright. The entire left side of my mouth is swollen, mostly on the outside and a bit on the inside - I kind of look like a hamster :-( No matter steroid cream or heavy anti-allergen pill :-( :-( :-(

In between TV shows (British Masterchef and Navy CIS) I sat and transferred embrodiery designs to the blocks I already sewed. After tried to use the coffee table (frosted glass top) with a small but strongly lit lamp from IKEA last year with not satisfactory results, I asked The DH to make me a light box. But then I read somewhere "use glass topped tables or acrylic ones" it struck me that the extension table for the Horizon is clear acrylic and than tiny lamp would fit under it. Said and done and - it worked! Picture will be posted later.
Now I really need that floss and silken threads.

So far I have one large "9 mini-block-sewn-together" block and 9 mini-blocks that are single. All are lacking their embroideries and appliques, they just have the transferred designs and the parts for the apppliques in small zip-lock bags, pinned to each block. Now I wonder - are you interested to see the unfinished blocks or do you want to wait until they are completely finished?

Need to fold some laundry before I start my day in ernest.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yesterday was first a trip to IKEA; bought a new thin protective mattress for our bed, two sets of all white duvet covers for John (his own idea - the all white), a nice large basket for keeping the fabrics for my projects at hand and easily over viewed plus some lovely, fabric covered storage boxes - the same series as I bought earlier for FQs and notions.
So now my scraps are sorted in 8 different ziplock bags that fitted into the largest box:
Then I organized all the fabrics I have selected so far for the Butterfly Garden BOM into that basket:

And then - in the mail, my latest order from Fat Quarter Shop (got here in less than a week) with a collection of FQs that I intend to use in said BOM:

Know what? Gave up a happy whoop, since I think they fit right in :-)

Still waiting for the floss and silk thread though......

Glorious Indian Summer Day here in Sweden.

More on threads

Monday, September 26, 2011

The sewing machine dealer was closed and in their store
window was no longer YLI threads, but something else I don't know anything about.
But Gung Ho - there is eBay and some sellers had these nifty tubes each holding 7 colors of YLI's silk thread. Some at better price than others (Aussis are almost as expensive as Swedes :-O), so I went for two tubes with different colors, thinking these threads must last long enough to see me through a lot of applique work in the future LOL.

So while I wait for books, fabrics, floss and thread to arrive......maybe stitch the 9 mini-blocks together and do the applique and embroidery later?. S-t, I really am going to need an embroidery hoop and that soon.

Lovely sunny fall day here in Sweden. I'm going to take oldest son for PRAO (practical work place training) hunt after he finishes school. This term it's only 4 days and if you ask me, that a bit on the downside - how much can he accomplish and learn in such a measly time ????? Sometimes I found school things hard to understand.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

OK, I fess up - I have never been that much into embroidery or applique ;-o, therefor I lack of tools to make them little mini blocks in the Butterfly Garden BOM. Like embroidery floss and a great one for sewing appliques. The few times I have worked with DMC floss, I never really cared for them - snagging, knotting sad excuses they are IMHO. But I've only read great things of Cosmos floss from Lecien, so after much searching I found an online store with a great range at great prices. And ordered some.

I know that the sewing machine dealership down at our very small mall (they sell mostly machines for industries etc.) are selling YLI threads, so I hope they have the silk ones - hopefully I need only one beige spool.

Needles I have and a small bottle of basting glue, but I don't have a really good hoop. I have one inherited from my Grandma, which puts it round 50 years or more and it don't hold the fabric firmly, so you have to re-adjust if ever so often. Then I have a small Clover all plastic one and that don't cinch the fabric tightly either, just make it slither around :-( In the latest issue of Vignette Magazine I read about a new hoop form Lecien, so I set my hope that I will be able to find one. Well I think I have, but there will be one to get closer to home, which will make it arrive here a bit faster.

Time to re-read "Applique, The basics and beyond" by Janet Pittman in bed, hopefully to enhance my knowledge of this art form :-)

Night from Sweden.

First selection

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Here is the first selection of fabrics for the Butterfly Garden BOM:
and from that I made the very first mini block, very, very simple to make
Typical me, I forgot just to press, so it looks a bit wobbly. Hopefully I can press it into submission later ;-o

The first mini block will have an appliqued heart, I did cut it out only to realize that 1) I only own a very narrow selection (color  wise) of ordinary sewing threads and 2) they are all Gütermann polyester ones.
So I need to order a nice little selection of all cotton sewing threads too :-D I think I'm going to make all the 9 mini blocks and sew them together before I do the appliques and embroideries. This is fun!

It's a glorious fall day here in our parts of Sweden

Doggie world

Friday, September 23, 2011

I was going to show a pic of the bits and pieces I have put together for the BOM, but the quality was no good. Confession time though - I did place a "small" order with Fat Quarter Shop last nigh with bits I think will fit in :-9

So instead this:
Quilty as charged :-o OK Mom, I know that I'm old enough (10 yrs coming October) to know better, but making your bed is sooooo much fun. Or rather - unmaking it.......sorry, couldn't help myself there.

True to our origin, we do love to bask in the sun. Somehow we know that these warm, sunny days are soon over, so we take every chance we get to bask. And if there isn't enough sun on both beds, we love to snuggle up on one ;-)


Thursday, September 22, 2011

This afternoon I finally mustered up the courage to open the first bag containing the instructions for the first Butterfly Garden BOM. What was I afraid of? I understood it all :-) After reading it through I just had to start auditioning fabrics and I started with the big floral that is going to be the focal point and color setter for the entire quilt.

Even before I go the BOM pattern I had a vision of what colors I wanted to use - ruby red, mossy green and some yellow thrown in. Going through my piles of fabrics I realized that I own very, very few big floral prints. Started with the reds-burgundy-pinks:

Coming this far it struck me - Wolfie these are your so you colors and honestly - a bit of a bore!
Working my way down the stacks without anything screaming "pick me", I decided to have a look at the    lighter greens and found this:
and this one practically yelled at me ;-) The colors in the pic doesn't do justice to the actual fabric. I felt this little twirp of happiness, talk about going outside the box/comfort zone. Next to that fabric was these:

Once again - the colors in the pics are a bit of...sigh. But they match the chrysanthemums perfectly!

Delving into the FQ box rendered this collection:
Went through the box of charm packs and found a few bits. I started to go through the scrap bags, but when I finished the yellow and was into the red, I heard some ominous sounds from above and right - these danged dogs of mine had played in our bed and thin mattresses and covers has all on the floor - grrrrrr! The beasts has sought sanctuary in Sam's room, otherwise I think I would have shut them in the boiler room :-O Nahh, would never do that, but put them outside maybe?

Anyhow, I now have a little collection to start of with, but if I know me - I will probably make some online purchases for more supporting actresses LOL. I absolutely need some more fabrics (FQs will do) for the hearts, strange that I don't own just the color that sing with the chrysanthemum fabric ;-) But I absolutely need a hoop and embroidery floss if I will be able to make the first block. Gawd, this is soooo exiting!! 

Yet one more

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

All done free hand (without any wine), which shows LOL. Decided to do some butterflies but only one look so-and-so, the rest looks like ???? Well, next time I draw these little buggers first;-)

Happy yayy

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

At the same minute I parked my car outside our gate, a postal van drove up alongside and a guy asked if I was living "there" and yeah, I am. So I got me a package and not any old package, but the one from Aztek Rose in Holland containing these goodies:
Issue No 3 and 4 of Vignette Magazine, the full set of Butterfly Garden by Leanne Beasley, one piece of Kona solid fabric and one piece of ironing on muslin (there must be a reason why I did order that.....), two package of embroidery needles (my mistake - I wanted one package of each embroidery and applique needles and one bottle of Roxanne's baste glue.
I have browsed through the magazines and looked at the needles, remembering that I have a package of small appliqués needles in my toolbox. But I have not yet opened up the BOM package.....I want to be of somewhat crisp mind when I do so - bear in mind that I have never done anything like this, so I want to be able to understand the instructions for the first BOM ;-)  Right now I'm not there at all.

I got an email from the sweet Karen at Aztek Rose this morning, telling about an exiting new project that is a joint venture between Australian and European designers called Quilt Aid - check it out, it looks great! Don't you just love the colors of these Moda fabrics? :-)

Persistently I continue with my FMQ samplers and yesterday I used an old leftover block:
It looks a bit better than the others and I find it somewhat interesting that the white parts that on the un quilted block lays flat along with the other bits, but when quilted this way, the look like they have risen above the rest ???

Once upon a time

Monday, September 19, 2011

I have my own website and a blog in Wordpress. I created all the graphics myself in PSE (PhotoShop Elements) and some was quite good -
like this:
Or this:
Kind of dark and sinister both of them - huh?

And then my logo:
The logo isn't the sharpest you have seen, but heck if I can find the good version on our LAN disc where all my stuff is backed up :-(

So why are I showing you this? Well.... the above graphics are made in PSE for Windows (I thought myself everything) and now I'm using PSE 8 for Apple and to cut it short - we are not on friendly terms. Far from it.
I have a wast collection of brushes, fonts and layer styles from the Window time and they do work in this fruity version too. But it's been some time since I played around and now when I was struck by the urge of creating my very own header for this blog, I just can't find these danged layer styles. They don't show up on the screen at all. There is probably some button to push, but heck if I can find it.....Honestly, I'm on the verge of highjacking The DHs gaming 'puter and install my good ol' Win PSE for and copy all them xtra goodies that are stored on the LAN disc. Ohm, of course I have them copied to the fruity version of PSE :-) I just can't access the layer styles....brushes and custom shapes shows up though.

Well I have no clue on what to cook for dinner, so I have some more time to "play" around. If this PSE was a living creature I would for sure strangle it's scrawny neck ROFLMA.

Scrappy clean up

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Back when I had a website for my Botanical Perfumery, I taught myself not only to design and create a website, but how to change things within a WordPress blogg theme. I have tried in wain to do the same with a Blogger template - anyone who knows how to work the HTML editor to import your own header and sidebars and change the colors, please give me a holler. I am utterly frustrated :-(

So - while looking for some left over jelly roll strips to make some FMQ sandwiches of, I realized that my (rather small) collection of scraps was in an unholy mess and decided to do something about it. I mean - I'm not a Virgo for nothing am I? Said and done; sorting everything by color, throwing away bits way too small to use for anything, putting them all into ziplock bags (which is not as easy as you would imagine to get hold of larger over here), pressing out the surplus air before putting them in a spar box.

In that large paper shopping bag I also found a whole bunch of left over blocks from my niece's America quilt, some spare melon wedges from my MILs Double Wedding Ring quilt and some blocks that I only had one of. So why not use these single ones as FMQ test pads?? They are now spray basted and just wait for me to decide on how to do it. I probably need to do as yesterday, have a nice glass of wine while I do it.

Oven rosted chicken (stuffed with ginger, lemon and hot chili) and gratin aux potatoes for dinner. Standard for every second Sunday dinner around here :-)

Feathers and mushrooms

Yesterday The DH came home from another mushroom hunt with 5kg :-o  (round 10lbs I think) Autumn chanterelles:


We sat down on the patio and spent round 2 hrs cleaning it all and got a nice dose of fall sunshine too :-)

After spending round 1hr to parboiling and packaging, I sat down at my Horizon with a glass of wine within easy reach (suggested by quilting people who really know their stuff ;-) and played some more with FMQ and this time I am kind of pleased with the outcome:
because I am in fact, a total noob at this .

Well first put a load in the washer machine, then sewing some unwanted jelly strips (that is strips I will never use cause I simply don't fancy the) together for more  FMQ test sandwiches.

Oh - almost forget to tell the best news of all (well from a quilting perspective that is) - my package with Butterfly Garden and basic stuff for embroidery and the two latest issues of Vignette magazine is on it's way from the shop with the best customer care I have ever encountered - Aztek-Rose in Holland. How exiting is that? :-D Wonder how fast/slow it will take for it to make the journey from Holland to Sweden??

Have a lovely Sunday.

Practice, practice and practice again

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I said it before - FMQ is not my strongest forte. But after doing my quilting the easy way out (in the ditch and shapes cut out of freezer paper, iron them to the top and sew along the edges) I have come to a point where I would like to better my skills. And - you can't do that without practice....even though it's not one of my favorite pastimes.....

I do consider myself really good home cook, most of the food I put on the table is made from scratch and from the way food disappears form my table, family and friends thinks I'm good too. But you know, I can cook coeur de filet provencale without batting an eyelid, but when it came to fry and ordinary egg or - make pancakes (the Swedish way) has been such a hassle and I ended up with more pancakes for the dogs than for us :-o.

But darned if I gave up and even though I still think it's a bore to fry enough pancakes (the Swedish way) to feed a family of four, when I feel in my most generous and caring mood I do. So during family powow on Sunday on this weeks menue, The DH wanted crêpes, so said and done, I made enough batter and fried away - round 23-25 pancakes.
Then a prawn stew with dill to fill them with - look enough food to feed a small army!!

I think there was  3 crêpes left when we where finished.

So I toil away on my small practice sandwhiches, most look like sh-t, but I hope that if I continue to make at least one per day, one of these days they will start too look better.

And maybe I ought to stop being so hard on myself and admit that everything don't have (or can't) be picture perfect at once ;-)

Look what I found

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

in a tiny drawer down in the basement:
I made these when I was in my later teens - outlined a bookmark and an ad for cat litter ;-o on a piece of muslin and embroidered away with ordinary sewing thread cause I had nothing else. The some severe laps of tiny zigzag round the edges. I know I made several more (one with Pooh holding a baloon), but I think I gave them away.

And here I was worrying that my embroidery skills wouldn't be up to par for the Butterfly Garden project ;-)

Treasure hunting

Sunday, September 11, 2011

You know I think we Swedes has a very strange relationship to mushrooms. Well not any ol' mushroom, but the wild ones found deep in the forests and to obtain them we go on serious hunts. And - you never ever tell a living soul outside the closest setting of your family where to found the mother load of mushrooms. You just show up at work on Monday morning gleefully telling everyone that you found XX kg of this or that kind of mushroom :-O

We "inherited" our place from my in laws, who generously took us to their favorite spot away from habited environments and we always found a lot of mushrooms there when it was a good year. No wonder, we where the only ones there. But as all things come to an end (minor one) if you see a car parked on the edge of the road close to a forrest, you know that the owners is probably on a treasure hunt. So one thing leeds to another and yesterday The DH took the dogs in the wee hours of the morning and drove down there and when they arrived they where the only ones, but when he left there was 5-6 car parked. And he said that there are clear sings that there are plenty of people who has been there.

But he went the furthest into the forrest than he had ever been and look what he came home with:

A plastic bag full with wild chanterelles - I think they weighted at least 5 kg!! Mostly fall ones but also round 10 big ordinary, yellow chanterelle = happy days :-) And no - I wont tell you where he found them LOL.

It took us some hours to clean them and then I parboiled them just enough to be able to deep freeze them - in my freezer now resides 4 containers with enough chanterelles to be used when November darkness turns our souls to mush;-)
For dinner yesterday we had a large serving of stewed chanterelles along with "Hasselbacks potatoes" and leaf beef (like minute beef). Must have turned out good, since there wasn't a smidgen left of anything ;-9

Today is the day when all media even here in Sweden reports on that 9/11 happened 10 years ago. Many "what do you remember" and "what did you do" from all sorts of celebrities, politicians and folks high up in financial institutions. I do recall what I did - I had just been put on sick leave and was laying on the couch watching some day time soap :-o when The DH called me and told me to put on CNN. I watched the first plane crash into one of the Twin Towers and then the next, with a great sense of unreality.....was this a movie shoot or?? But considering it being CNN I realized that it had in fact happened IRL, with devastated consequences worldwide.....and it still affects our world as it is.

Ka -BOM!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ok, confession time - I've never felt a slightest interest in participating in either a NY Mystery (or any other mystery) quilt nor  any BOM (Block Of the Month) ones that there is plenty of "out there". I really can't put my finger on exactly why, it maybe has something to do that a lot of quilters worldwide does the same thing. Or almost the same, most choose their own fabrics.

That was until yesterday when I checked out Kvilt Stinas blog where she shows her latest creation - a BOM called Butterfly Garden by Leanne's House by Leanne Beasly. You got to check it out - it's stunningly gorgeous (Stina is so talented that I almost turn green with envy LOL)

and I knew that I just have to make one too. With my own fabrics and colors - of course ;-9 

So I finally found a use of the FQ bundle I showed in my last post, I'll probably need some more fabrics and - I need to go shopping for a good embroidery hoop (the Clover one I got is probably too small), embroidery floss, great needles and - the full 10 block pattern. I did some research and there is a very limited number of shops outside of Australia that sells that pattern and the Aussie shops asks for a whopping 196 AUD (1 AUD = 7,30 SEK). But I found a place in Holland that sells it for 92.95 € (1 € = 9.50 SEK). Not a huge difference, but some SEK saved that can be spent on the supplies mentioned above.

But first - order the set and then wait until it gets here, before I go shopping for anything else. Now I'm not very experienced in either embroidery nor applique, but now I'm going to have a project where I learn something new, that cheers me up and keep me occupied during the dark ages aka the horrifying Swedish late fall and winter. A period of the year that makes any sane person start to despair and long to migrate to warmer climates, hibernate or driving of a cliff ;-o

So I'm gonna grab my CC and purchase that pattern. Tallyhooo!!!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

I can't say that I have very many WIPs (work in progress), but the few I have tend to neglect totally for a period of time. Like the place mats and the headboard cover. But ever now and then inspiration hits me and I manage to finish the project to my liking.

So after having brought out the headboard cover for our bed and found it really good (and The DH agreed) and yesterday I finally sat down and finished it. To get it in place was not that easy, the bed is a double spring mattresses one and heavy as xxxx and sits tight agains the wall, so I had to ask The DH to go upstairs and pull it out a bit for me. In his kindness he put the cover in place and put the bed back and......that's why it's not on straight.... ;-)
I have to admit, I am rather pleased with the result though :-D

So - no more WIPs in this house - hurray!

What to do next? After some time with no creative ideas at all, last night after the cover was in place, dinner eaten and wine drunken, I suddenly was hit by some inspiration: I have a full collection of FQs

that I so far had no idea what to do with. I thought they where very cute when I bought them, but IRL they was kind of too girly for my taste. But - the star blocks I used for my niece's USA quilt are not too difficult to make and with a flying geese border and maybe some other pieced border, some of them FQs can be put to use in a snuggly, girly girl quilt with a long haired fleece as backing. So I have to go and search through my quilt books to find the measurements of the strips to form these stars, I do think they are 2.5inch ones and then decide which FQs to use.

The DH surprised me with breakfast in bed this morning :-), fall has truly fallen upon us early this year = blaaaaaahhhhh but I try to spend as much time as I can outdoors to kind of store up on sun rays and fresh air before the coming dark season. Often I get company on the porch swing
- a 68 lbs heavy lapdog :-D Am currently reading Maria V. Snyder "Inside out". I read her Glass trilogy and enjoyed it very much and I find this one equally good. I see that she also have written the Study trilogy = yet one more "trip" to


Friday, September 2, 2011

Imagine - my oldest (15) very heremit like son came home after school, threw some stuff together, got some money, fetched his bus ticket, his grren card and swoched out the door in record time. To go climbing indoors at the climbing centre with some of his friends at school. Hurray i say - finaly he's doing something! "I'll be back later" was the last thing I heard :-)

Before quilting

Thursday, September 1, 2011

there was perfumery. Natural Botanical perfumery that was. After a life as a "perfumaholic" (first came the scent and then came me LOL), suddenly (due to a severe illness) I could no longer stand and comercial, synthetic laden "fumes".

One thought about handmade soaps lead to lotions and potions and - botanical perfumery. What a magnificent world that opened up...........such a wonderful raw materials there are out there and - some you can produce yourself if you have the imagination and curiosity - tinctures of all kinds. Andf I was hooked for quite some years

Until - I took ill again, my olfactory system went from sensitive to overly so. To that extent that I can lie in my bed on one side of the house at the top floor and smell the DHs shower gel and what toothpaste he uses in the bathroom one floor down on the other side of the house. So I found quilting (or it found me) and kind of gave up on perfumery. I do have created some blends over the last years for a very special group of fellow botanical perfumers, but not much else and not for myself.

And so - today - while reading a review of some comercial perfumes, the memory of different raw materials started to tease my olfactory system - vanilla, tonka, coumarine heavy grass tincture................and what do you know - I'm sitting here with a small list of essential oils, absolutes and concretes, just waiting to be experimented with.

Later - and I did. Created a new base chord without any real formula thought out in advance ( to the above was added some patchoulis and a wee bit of sandalwood vanuatu) and right after blending the scent smelled more than ok on a scent strip and after 30hrs it still was there.

Now I do know from experience, that what smells good upon blending can turn to murky eau de mud after a while. So it will just have to sit there (the beaker is tiny, it just holds a couple of mils), maturing for some time before adding some florals in the heart. I have neroli and orange flower absolute down for that and after browsing Arctander's "bible" (Perfume and Flavor materials of natural origin - an absolute must) maybe the tiniest amount of a gorgeous Tuberose absolute..... I might even delve into the treasure chest where all my rare and special samples of that mostly came as gifts from my very dear and über generous friend L in SF are stored, since this scent is just for me :-D

So cross your fingers and pray that this will turn out, well not magnificent, but at least quite good ;-)