Friday, November 30, 2018

Thanksgiving to Christmas

Oh my gosh my sewing friends; it's been 4 years since I wrote here.  So much change in my life.  Being 71 is - among many other things - amazing!  I am alive.  And well.  And my medically burdened DH is still a part of our life.  I still relish his smile, his oh-so-lovely voice particularly on the phone ( I think that's how I got to say YES...27 years ago!).  Oh my...

I hear the Amtrak tooting its horn in the distance - such a mournful sound; yet...reminiscent of traveling days gone by - places we visited, people shared with (oops - English teacher ignore please - MAY...have made a dangling participle).  English class?...never mind - too many years, too many miles, too many wrinkles, too many new generations.  But as usual, I digress so!  The point --- he continues – after 28 years, to be my angel-in-residence...my strength, my dearest soulmate! Oh my...

Life is amazing through these aging eyes.  So many memories to cherish, people to recall - MANY...whose 'footprints' are set in my heart's 'cemented places of freeze-frame memories.

I had a tiff with a long - time friend awhile back; we are re-united, brought back together by the power and humility of forgiveness and Love.  Yet - another friend lost... through my inabilities to take out the "guard guys', the protectors who keep me safe; from what?...too complicated.   And...too sad, for us both!

DH rests, as his pain subsides, pain given to him by a human doctor...whose ego rose above his humility and responsibility to learn new ways to practice...comfortable in his medical power to 'heal'. 

Humanness...the bane of existence, isn't it?!






 A new 'kitty-kitty' graces our property - a Loving, cuddly, combination of need-to-be-Loved...but scared as well – bundle of creation.  As I sat in the dried up garden and he cavorted in numerous variations of rubbing, snuggling, twisting and turning under my 'petting hand'.. his capacity for Love and closeness...soothed my low mood - reminded me that Love - is the ultimate bond that gathers us all together in an Earth-Recipe that can boggle the mind and... mostly, fill the senses with awe, wonder, mystery and hardship.

This is by no means an easy life. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the new Captain of the show Cosmos which was originally charted so amazingly by my hero and mentor - Carl Sagan, does a pretty good follow-up job.  But I digress; when asked if he believed in God, his response was something in the order of..."No Loving God I can imagine would put us on such a dangerous planet!"  Please note - MY memory (not so credible at 71 sometimes...).  But the gist...a dangerous place to live.  And indeed, it can be.  When one begins to ponder the numerous manners in which one could 'pass on' even in their own home - well, it's craziness. We are so fragile and yet so strong....all of Creation.  The complexities of life...on Planet Earth.  Oh my...

I'd rather recall the new chicks crawling out from under Mama's wings.  The new-born foal struggling for purchase on brand new, not-so-cooperating, shaky legs!  A new bird cracking through the prison/bassinet of pale blue shell - aching to spread it's wings - taste it's first beak full of clear water, yearning for the moment of first flight - through the pale blue and white wonder of the space we call...sky.

But this is a sewing blog.  Oh my...

These past few weeks, I am conjuring...you know that creative state of mind where those video type, constantly moving - 3D mind games, begin to grab images and place them in puzzle-like randomness...as a new 'creation' from the depths of human imagination - begins to slowly merge into a hopefully...'creatable' piece of clothing?!  A new Shawl is coming together in this space between by grey strands.  It will be crafted with artisan hand-sewing using #10 crochet thread...placed along the edges of seamed pieces of used, earth-colored (with some brighter pastels) pieces of old sweatshirts.  The SOFTNESS of the double-knit fabric calls me; the slight stretchiness...soothes my rough emotional edges of late.  It will be comfortable, warm and of little stress to my financial reserves.

I'm imagining... some of the lovely embroidery left on older sweatshirts - still intact and lovely...added as patchwork in a few places...   Yes!  Coming soon....

I can find no similar YouTube videos on such uses of these plentiful thrift-shop goodies. This may be something new to pass along......

here...

on POTHOLDERSPLUS.BLOGSPOT.COM.


Stay tuned!

Danielle

Friday, November 7, 2014

Special Tribute: SNOWSHOE Kitty Korner

In memory of our dear LILYLOU, Snowshoe kitty extraordinaire, 18 year friend and companion, I post this tribute to her dear paw-prints that fill my heart...forever.








http://www.pawnation.com/cats/breeds/snowshoe

If you desire more information on our Lilylou, please find my post here:

http://trailsofnature.blogspot.com/2014/05/trails-of-love-my-lilylou.html

To our Lilylou, Oh so special Snowshoe kitty friend....

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

CRAZY, SCRAPPY QUILT PICTURES


The pictures below are pretty, artistic examples of this Scrappy, Crazy Quilting way to play with fabric. I've requested a guest post/tutorial from Emily; we'll see if she can squeeze us into her busy schedule.



IMG_4673

Pinks are my passion so this block got first billing.

 IMG_4674

This one above is so balanced; all the strips 'feel' like they link together in a flowing interlude.  More pictures are available here.

Let's hope Emily will oblige our invitation for a tutorial to take us from start to finish with her Scrappy, Crazy Quilt project.

Of course, any of these blocks would make worthy potholders to grace any kitchen!

There is...always room for one more!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Crazy, Scrappy Quilting Tips


I garnered a few quilting tips over the past week while surfing through some Scrappy Quilting sites. I've pulled out three and expounded on them below.  Hopefully, they may help your next project achieve a higher finish to perfection. I know these tips will give my Scrappy, Crazy Quilting a new touch.

With many of my Crazy,  Scrappy Quilting potholders, I find it cumbersome at times when sewing on the binding because the pieces of fabric on the edge tend to move around.  Andie Johnson runs a stitch line around the backside of her block to stabilize these edge pieces.  Great tip, Andie...and your Scrappy, Quilting block is lovely, as well!

Jennifer has a Scrappy, Crazy Quilted table runner on Etsy that shows a nice arrangement of interlocking strips.  She arranged her pieces so they gently flow from the typical 5 sided center beginning, into an interlocking directional flow of 2 basic angles aiming toward the ends.  This arrangement gives a sense of motion, direction and added length to the overall look of the finished piece. Nice touch of creativity, Jennifer.

Judie gives a short, precise tutorial on a Crazy, Scrappy Quilted block.  Though I've seen numerous explanations on how to keep the original angles going as you work out from the center piece, this simple tute leaves no mystery to making a perfect Scrappy block. And your embellishments are stunning, Judie!

Added note:  Some videos and tutorials suggest that you sew down (usually 1/8 inch from the edges) all 4 or 5 sides of your center beginning piece onto your foundation block fabric.  I find that using 505 spray adhesive (or your favorite brand) on the back of this piece, saves time and serves the same purpose.  As an added bonus, spraying keeps the entire piece of fabric stable, for whatever quilting you do afterwards.

We'd love to see and learn from your quilting tips and short cuts you use with your Scrappy, Crazy Quilting method.  Feel free to leave a comment.

Potholders are an easy, quick method of quilting - trying out your new-found skills.  Practice brings perfection oh-so-much-closer, and with a minimum of fabric, time and energy.  And you now own a lowly potholder - an indispensable part of the kitchen team.

Here at Le Petit Chat..... ...there's always room for one more!

                                  Not ANOTHER flash in my eyes!




Wednesday, February 20, 2013

CALLING ALL CATS


In tempo with our kitty corner expansion here on potholdersplus, (Le Petit Chat), you can now indulge yourself with all sorts of cat fabrics to create your latest and greatest scrappy quilted cat projects.  Several web-sites sell lovely fabric filled with kitty pics of all varieties.

www.quiltedcatfabric.com/shop/Just-Cats/NEW.htm has Christmas cats, Vintage cats, bad cats, realistic cats, cats for children and variations therein. There are large prints to center your favorite cat picture inside a random scrappy quilted potholder, as we did for our February giveaway.

   

Or, you can combine all sorts of random cat fabrics and allow your creativity to run amuck..okay, at least run a tad wild?

For $33.15 you can belong to the quilted cat quarters club and receive up to 3 coordinating colors to enhance any project that may be percolating in your quilted imagination. And if you are anywhere near Blandon, Pennsylvania, hop in your little mobile and stop by the store;they would so enjoy helping you discover your heart's delight!

www.meowscape.com...known as Katbeary's Fabric Shoppe, takes their cat-staff very seriously! (too funny!)  I'm particularly attracted to the "head clerk", near the bottom of the page:

 Photo of Kohanna, below, taken from Katbeary's Fabric Shoppe at www.meowscape.com.




Kohanna: Head Clerk, Katbeary's Fabric Shoppe
Though still in training, Kohanna vows
to make Katbeary purroud.
She knows she has big paws to fill!


"Hello Kitty" brand name has an interesting origin, according to Wikipedia;  "Hello Kitty (ハローキティ Harō Kiti?)[3] (full name Kitty White (キティ・ホワイト Kiti howaito?))[2] is a fictional character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio, first designed by Yuko Shimizu. She is portrayed as a female white Japanese bobtail cat with a red bow.[1] The character's first appearance on an item, a vinyl coin purse, was introduced in Japan in 1974 and brought to the United States in 1976."

Many fabrics use this kitty logo and can be found at Sy Fabrics, the find, the fabricworm as well as Hobby Lobby, and many other online stores.   

NOTE:  I favor Hobby Lobby whenever I can, as I respect their willingness to stand up to the government to protect their religious values.

So pullout your scrap box/drawer/jar or wherever those anxious little leftovers live.  Take stock of your colors and pick out a matching cat fabric from any of these websites and begin your new and exciting scrappy quilted cat creation.

Now don't forget to share your works of art with us here at potholdersplus.  We will gladly show off your lovelies; let us know when you're ready.

 

Potholders...there's always room for one more!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

PINK ANYTHING!


Pink is pretty; it's gorgeous; it is the color of angel wings, little butterflies and soft puffies before and after sunrises and sunsets. I love pink! I digress.

The Pink Penguin, Ayumi's website, is all about pinkish colors in her perfect tute on scrappy quilted place mats. At potholdersplus, placemats are a part of the plus.  They go with potholders, oven mitts, etc.  And besides...scrappy quilting...IS scrappy quilting - an unlimited palette of design and colors.

Ayumi takes scrappy quilting to an organized, more classy height than my scrappiness thus far.  And since I quiver at even the thought of bindings (I just know I will die at the hands of a binding creature that will eat me in the night!), Ayumi's easy, clear instruction on her binding, gives me hope. 

Her tutorial is so clearly defined - each step is an organized direct result of the previous step; even a beginner could follow her lead and finish a place mat worth showing off.

The simplicity of her center machine quilting sets off the sidelines; it gives a beautiful linear contrast that actually connects the stark white with the perpendicular direction of the colorful side pieces. And the addition of the potholder...is the perfect finishing touch to an awesome, yet easy project.

Nice job, Ayumi! We'll be watching your site for some more scrappy quilting projects.

If you have a scrappy quilted project you want to show off - here's your chance.  Leave a comment and we'll post your picture(s).  Send them to daniellesimone0@gmail.com.

The lowly potholder...there's always room for one more!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

WINNER!


We have a winner for our first DRAWING on PP; congratulations June! The pair of kitty cuties pictured below will wander over to your kitchen.

Since we have some extra potholders this month, we also have a 'runner up'; congratulations Jan!

Thank you both, for taking the time to stop by.

Our next drawing prize will be announced shortly.

With potholders...there's always room for one more!