Sunday, March 30, 2014

Flu and Inspiration

I have the flu.  Back in September I was the 12th person in my Dr.'s practice to get the vaccine, so naturally I though I was protected.  Then we went on our cruise and I came home with some kind of bug, so I told myself that it hadn't been long enough since I got the shot, but I was definitely protected now.  Immune system and all that.  Friday morning I woke up with a sore throat, a fever and all the rest of it.  So where are those antibodies when you need them?

But here is the news portion of this blog:  a friend of mine has it too and went to the doctor, who told her that the CDC had sent out a warning about a very new and bad strain of flu going around.  And guess what?  We didn't hear about it on the nightly news because they are so busy reporting on a missing airplane.  Now I know the plane went through a wormhole, but we'll never get the government to admit that.

Today I started feeling better, not well enough to go over to the studio and sew, but well enough to drag out my sketch book.  I signed up for a craft show next month and decided maybe I'd make a few table runners to fill in the blank spaces in my display.  First I started a Pinterest board on Quilted Table Runners, then I searched that site.  I found a grand total of 4!! that looked interesting.  Then I looked on Etsy and found a grand total of 0!! that looked interesting.  Where is my inspiration?  I guess I'm going to have to design them myself.

While looking, I found this blog with a really simple runner.


If all else fails, I can make this one.  I'll just be sure to use fabric with shells or blue crabs on it, that always sells around here.

If you are a new follower, here is a link with instructions to an Easter table runner I made a few years ago for kids to color.


You've got plenty of time to make it, if you don't get the flu.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Midnight Sun II


I just mailed this off to the the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival today.  I wasn't surprised that it was accepted in the show, but I'm anxious to see what kind of reaction I get.  It took me two years to perfect this technique, and even thought I've looked everywhere, I can't find any other example like it.  The water and the sun are actually weavings in the quilt.

I'd love to hear any comments you might have about it and if you are able to attend the quilt show, please look for it.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thinking Ahead a Few Weeks




I know that tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I'm ready for it.  The turkey is thawed, the cranberry sauce is made.  I've got all the ingredients for the rest of the feast, and now I'm almost ready to start thinking about Christmas.  Actually, I've done more that think about it, I've done about half of my shopping and wrapped everything that I've bought so far.  I've also wrapped about 25 empty boxes to be used in the window of the thrift shop where I volunteer, but that window won't get done until next week.  As a result, my dining room looks like I'm more ready for Christmas than I am in reality.

Thinking back over the blog-posts I've done in the past, I decided to revisit some of the Christmas ornament tutorials in case you are wanting to make something after the turkey and parade tomorrow.

The tutorial for this little sewing basket ornament can be found here http://weirwoodstation.blogspot.com/2011/12/sewingknitting-basket-ornament.html



The tutorial for this little tutu ornament can be found here http://weirwoodstation.blogspot.com/2011/12/tutu-cute.html



This little heart can be found here http://weirwoodstation.blogspot.com/2011/12/heart-ornament.html



This is the easiest one of all, especially those of you with a large "stash" of fabric scraps.


The link to the tutorial is here http://weirwoodstation.blogspot.com/2012/04/easy-ornament-tutorial.html

Hope these will inspire you to do a little sewing in the upcoming weeks.  Happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

View from my Porch



Each morning when I get up, I look across my yard and see the cotton field.  It looks like snow, especially on these early fall mornings when there is fog.  Actually, I walked down to the road to take this picture because there are trees and plantings between my porch and the road, but its quite beautiful.  The farmer, who I have known since childhood, alternates this field each year between cotton and soybeans.  He'll probably be harvesting it in a few days and there will be huge bales of cotton sitting there.

And speaking of fields, I thought I'd share a picture of Dan standing in a pineapple field in Hawaii eating pineapple.


When we first talked about going to Hawaii, Dan said all he wanted to do was stand in the middle of a pineapple field and eat a pineapple.  I told him that I didn't think you could just do that and I was right.  First of all, there is only one working pineapple farm left in Hawaii.  Its on Maui.  All the other farms have closed due to high labor cost.  All our pineapples are now grown in Costa Rica or the Phillippines.  Fortunately, there was a tour available to tour this farm so of course, we had to take it.  The guide was great and let Dan and others eat all the pineapple they wanted.

Here are a few other pictures of our trip.


Farmer's Market in Hilo.  






Saturday, October 26, 2013

Some Things I've Been Doing



I spent most of the summer experimenting with fabric painting techniques.  When I was in graduate school, I worked with Procion Dyes and painted my quilts with them.  Later, I became worried about the adverse health effects for long term exposure (I'll admit I was not always as careful as I should have been.)  I used acrylics for a long time, but did not like the texture that they left on the fabric, so this summer I tried a variety of inks. The six quilts or paintings above are the best of the results.

I pieced the backgrounds,using mostly 1"to 1.5" strips and then "drew" the shells with my sewing machine.  I then painted the shells using the inks.  Finally, I stretched them on 16" canvas stretchers.
This is now hanging in my bedroom over my bed.  I painted the wall that pumpkin color when we moved in the house, but had not found just the right thing to hang there.

We've just returned from a trip to Hawaii and I'll post some pictures of our trip later.  Right now I'm recovering from a terrible cold that I caught near the end of the trip and trying to get all the laundry finished so that I can get back in the studio next week.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

End of Summer



When I was in school and later, my kids were still in school, I always felt that the first day of school was the end of summer.  After I became a "mature" adult, I began to mark it by my birthday in mid-September.  This year I decided that today was the end of summer.  Two of my daughters and their children came for a brief weekend visit.  The kids all made one last trip to the beach yesterday (it was too cold for me!) and Dan and my son-in-law when on a 4 hour kayak journey.  Dan got stung by a wasp, twice, but other than that I felt somehow, that summer ended.

I haven't been blogging this summer because I've been doing a lot of experimenting with surface design.  Soon, I will be posting some of the results, but I still haven't had time to take any good pictures.  Also, along the way I had a few failures i.e. marbling.   I'll attempt that again.

We did have one little summer trip to Asheville, NC.  I rented a cabin about a mile from the Skyline drive.  The cabin was fantastic, but the driveway was a nightmare.  We got there after dark, I was driving, and I came to what I thought was the edge of a cliff.  I got out of the car and looked and the drive went straight down.  I've been driving since I was 15, but I could not drive down that road.  Dan had to do it with me hiding my head in my lap the whole way!

Here are a few pictures of our vacation.  The hot tub was on the porch of our little cabin and the kid teenager in it is my grandson, Steven.  He and his mother and father and his other set of grandparents all came to Asheville at the same time (but sanely stayed at the Hampton Inn), so we had a nice family reunion.


That's the Biltmore, not our little cabin.  It's well worth the trip to Asheville for a visit if you're never been there before.  We went about 15 years ago and wanted to go back.

I'll be back soon with some pictures of my summer's work and a new tutorial.

Hope you are having a good end of summer and beginning of fall.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Jeans Upcycle

I am finally getting around to writing again.  The past two months have flown by and each day, I tell myself to go to the computer and post this tutorial and each day something else takes over before I can began.



This is a new version of a recycled jean's purse.  The size is approximately 16" by 21".  I've made 3 of these with different strap lengths varying from short to long (this one).  For the straps and the D-rings that attach them to the bag, please refer to my blog post on the Valentine Kiss bag that I posted back in February.

Materials needed:
Pair of jeans (you can get 2 bags from one pair)
strips of fabric various widths from 1 1/2" to 3" by width of fabric.
1/4 yard fabric for pocket inserts
Material for straps (see above)
4 D-rings (1 1/2 " to 2")
1/2 yard of fabric for lining
Piece of muslin or other plain fabric 22" by 36"
Piece of study batting 22" by 36"
Thread and other notions.

Lay muslin on cutting board and top with batting.  Cut jeans apart so that you have one back pocket and one front pocket with enough leg fabric to sew them together as shown above.  Watch out for metal studs, zipper placement, etc. because you are going to be sewing along the edges.  The pair above are about a size 14 women's jeans and had enough extra fabric to leave a good margin for the seams.  Since I did this bag, however, I have made one with a pair of children's jeans and it worked out fine.

Cut a piece of fabric that will fit behind the top of each end of the jeans to make a pocket.

I can't really give you a dimension for this, it will depend on your jeans.  Now stitch down the sides and across the bottom, just below the jean's pocket, to make a pocket behind the jean's section.

Add strips of fabric, as shown, using a "flip and sew" method.  Press each section as you go.

I used wider strips on either side.  Square this up and trim edges.

Cut a lining the exact size of this finished piece.

Sew up the sides of the bag, and square the bottom corners as shown in the Valentine Kiss bag tutorial.

Sew the sides of the lining and also square the corners.

At this point add the D-ring holders to the outside of the bag.  Then insert the lining into the bag and pin around the top.

I used a bias strip to bind the top of the bag and then added the straps.  You could also follow my instructions for lining that I used on the Valentine Kiss Bag or add pockets to the lining.

Here is the finished bag.

I've been collecting jeans recycling ideas on Pinterest.  You can view my board here.  Save all of your left-over jeans parts to use later with some of these ideas.