Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Please Help if You Can...

While checking my business email this morning I came across this email post and felt I needed to share it right away as time is of the essence. 

I know there are lot of you who may have attended the International Quilt Show in Houston last week so I hope my posting this will jar your memories or you will post this on other sites to the word gets out to as many people as possible.

I really get sad when I read things like this because I think theft of personal property, especially handwork, is like stealing someone's soul.
Having been a victim of theft like this, although not on this scale, I know how it feels and while it's not crippling, it is heartbreaking.  I hope and pray their trailer and all contents are found in original condition.  

If any of you hear or see anything regarding the property related to this post please call the authorities at the Houston PD and share any information you know so these items can be returned to their proper owner.

I am re-posting this message so that more people may be able to help a valued
member of our quilting community.

Thank you all for your help and assistance--

Debra <3

Hi All,

I am sad to say, that sometime between 9:40AM and 4:10PM today, November
4th, someone cut the lock on the ball hitch of our trailer and removed
it from the limited access parking compound at the George Brown
Convention Center in Houston Texas.

We have lost all the quilts and quilted items that were not on display,
our tools, storage bins, customized crates, electrical equipment,
lighting, tie downs etc. For us this is a severe setback. We will have
to rent a U-Haul tomorrow to try and get our things home. We have filed
a police report but we need the help of the public too!

The trailer is a white 14' Trans American brand with a double axle (two
wheels each side). IT has a back door that drops down into a ramp and a
small side door on the passenger side near the front. The license plate
is 76Z TCN.

It is being treated as an auto theft by the Houston Police Department.
If you should see this trailer or have any information that might help
us find it, please call them!

We will be busy tonight and tomorrow trying to secure a trailer to rent
to bring our things home. The Convention Center is letting us leave
things here overnight, but we are not sure if it will cost us anything
or not. We have been able to get discarded boxes to pack a lot of our
stuff and one of the longarm companies gave us their sewouts to wrap
some of our fragile items.

Thanks so much. I keep praying that the police will find our stuff and
the trailer in one piece. Happy quilting!

Ellen Munnich
Pattern Designer, Instructor and Consultant - Quilting Robotics Specialist
Munnich Design's Quilt Recipes - Home Page
Current SpecialsOur 10th anniversary took place on September 19th, 2012. We will be at the Houston Quilt Festival in booth 757 with some

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Falloween 1

Good Morning!!

Aren't these BEAUTIFUL flowers and perfect for an October Falloween Post?!  My friend Linnea grows Dahlia's and competes in Dahlia shows with her beautiful flowers.  These particular flowers weren't hers, they were grown by a friend of hers, but she shared the photo on Facebook and I had to borrow it Ü  I LOVE them!!!  I don't have much of a green thumb...  I enjoy everyone else's efforts though and all I can about these is WOW!!!

I love it when my brain engages-- I feel like I'm finally making some progress.
I credit my friends Ü  They inspire me sooooo much!!

Last night we got together to work on our Dear Jane blocks.  I'm up to three-- woo hoo!!
I finished my third in the wee hours, but it's done.  I'm not sure I like my fabric choice for this one though.  I changed the center piece to a dark stripe but I still might have to re-do.  My hand-piecing is coming back though and my new needles were a huge help!! 

I  made some sandpaper boards for last too.  The fabric doesn't shift on the sandpaper and that helps to make your template tracing more accurate.
I bought canvas boards from Jo-Ann's in the art section then I went to Lowe's and got a package of extra-fine sheets of sandpaper and an adhesive spray from 3M. 
I took everything outside and sprayed the back of the sandpaper with the adhesive spray then centered the paper on the front side of the canvas board.  They worked perfectly and are really lightweight, so they won't add much when you take it along to your classes or retreats. One thing I still intend to do with them though is paint the edges with an acrylic paint so if the edges get soiled from handling, they will be easy to wipe off.
I know my table cover is boring, but I learned a lesson on Friday when Wendy came over and we worked on our blocks.  I initially had a cloth down to protect my kitchen table, but it was distracting and it made me crazy to have that backdrop and then try to really see what I was doing.  I felt like my eyes were going buggy!!

So, I decided I needed something neutral and still protective.  While at Jo-Ann's, I picked up a piece of the padded plastic (only white was available), and it worked out perfectly.  Last night I think everyone could see their fabric choices for their blocks so much clearer without all the noise in the background. 
I had so much fun with everyone here!!  (I forgot to take a picture of last night ;-/...)
This week I need to pick out my next three blocks Ü

Sunday was my monthly Rug Hooking Guild meeting--
Stacy got on a "felting" thing over the summer and as you can see, she's still going strong!!  This is a box of Santa's and Gnome's.  She puts so much detail in these adorable little people.  Two months ago she was doing small circus animals.  I LOVE THEM ALL!!!
Here are a few photos from around the room...
I loved the blend of blues and greens on this rug.
Helen's flowers reminded me of "Hullabaloo".  Remember that TV show?  I'm dating myself ;-/  LOL
This was a lightweight frame this girl's husband made for her out of pvc pipe.  Clever Ü
This girl had a "folder" she made out of zip-lock quart size bags and a placemat.  Each bag held a different color of worms and it was a great organizer Ü
She had sewn a wide ribbon on each edge of the placemat so she could pull it up together and tie it in a bow.  I may have to make one of these for me!!
I LOVED the colors in this rug!!!  That starburst pattern was really speaking to me...
This owl was AWESOME!!!  She was doing the edge around the owl's face and the feathers on the body in Proddy syle.  This was the highlight of my afternoon Ü  I NEED to do this!!!!

Be back in a few!!
Stay safe and stay tuned--  I'll be asking a very important question in my next blog...

Debra <3

Monday, October 15, 2012

These last few days...

October is breast cancer awareness month.  This is part of a larger wall-hanging (Q 202 With Faith) I did for breast cancer a few years ago.  Please support and pray for all affected.  One day there WILL be a cure Ü

I joined a year-long swap with my online rug hooking group.  It was a seasonal swap so we didn't need to make 12 mats-- thank goodness.  We only had to make 4  Ü
I decided that all of mine would feature the same tree but with different seasonal birds on them.  I liked having a theme to work with and it made my decision easier when it came time to come up with a new design for the next mat to swap.

This was my winter swap--   R 197 Winter Bird

This was my spring swap-- R  198 Cherry Blossom

This was my summer swap-- R 199 Summer Crow

And this is the Fall mat (8" X8") I just finished and mailed off this last week-- R 200 Night Owl.  I have to say, this one was my favorite of the four I did. 

Ok-- not the SAME exact tree, as the first tree is a Cherry Blossom tree (I live in the DC area), and the last tree is an oak tree, but the trunks are same Ü  I want to do them all over again but together in a long piece. 

I received adorable mats in return--




Fall--  I'm still waiting to receive it but will post it when it 's here!!  Ü

On Friday, I finally started my Dear Jane blocks.  If you are unaware of this exquisite quilt (Dear Jane quilt by Brenda Papadakis), the blocks in the quilt are 4 1/2" finished blocks.  There are 225 blocks to this quilt-- very tedious to do but amazing to see!!!  The outer border 'Pies" are about 6' long maybe-- I haven't measured one of those yet.  For the past two January's, I've said that would be one of my New Year Resolutions-- to start a Dear Jane something.  Another January is almost here and guess what???  I still had not started it ;-/  So, I mentioned it to my Quilt Guild, Hayfield Country Quilters and a few showed interest.  YAY!!!
Wendy came over on Friday morning and we selected three blocks to start-- an easy block, an applique`block, and a challenging block.  
I didn't say "quilt" earlier because, to start, I'm thinking maybe just a table runner (how many bed quilts do I really need?????) LOL!!  Also, neither Wendy or I know how many blocks we want to make, so blocks it is.
Of the three blocks we decided on, I finished one while she was here (the green block) and another (the pink block) that afternoon.

What I learned about myself is that I am SOOOO out of practice for hand piecing ;-(  I haven't hand-pieced a block in years!!  I've been rug hooking and doing punch needle for the last two years almost exclusively and just the small little bit of piecing that I did on Friday sure let me know how rusty I am...

I didn't have the right needles, I put a hole in my finger from where  the eye of the needle rested while I made my stitches, and I couldn't find a thimble to save myself.  I did have good thread though Ü  Woo Hoo!!!
I will probably re-make the green block and pay more attention to my seam allowance or my cutting... 

Another note about Dear Jane-- last year my online rug group did Dear Jane rugs!!!  I didn't get around to doing that one either... (read slug).  I have always loved these blocks though and I hope to make a small showing of my appreciation in one form or another.

Along with my hooking and my piecing, I'm in the middle of punching a new design...  I posted a picture of the back a few days ago with a plea for help Ü.  I had drawn the design off a while back and was just getting to punching it.  I decided I didn't really want an owl on it and threw it out to the world to see what suggestions would come up.
A bird was the overall winner and it's punched in!!  I've got the background to go and then fini Ü

 This summer I joined another needlework group "Nelly's Needlers", which is a service organization that supports Woodlawn Plantation. George Washington gave the property to Nelly Custis Lewis, his step-granddaughter, who was an avid stitcher.  The "Nelly's" as they are called, make and sell needlework and operate a Tea Room, with all profits going to the preservation of the Woodlawn home.

Since I live in the DC area, I wanted to take advantage of the historical handwork societies that surround me.  It's a wonderful group of ladies and I'm excited to be a member of the group Ü

I brought home a cross-stitch ornament to stitch and donate-- it's a beast!!!  It has soooo many color changes after every few stitches...  it's driving me nuts!!!  I think I need to find another way to donate my time to this group-- this ornament has taken me forever to do and I'm only 1/2 way done!!
I think the wreath will only measure not quite 3 inches across-- it's tiny!!  Am I insane??  (yes.)

Back to Dear Jane--

Today I'm on block 3...

Until next time...

HapPy StiTchIng!!!
Debra <3

Monday, October 8, 2012

Just a quick one--

I am trying to get a large Punch Needle project finished and I'm at a stall.

I drew this design a while back and at the time I wanted to put an owl on it.  Now I'm thinking I want to have a bird instead.

Owl or Bird?

Please help me out and share your feedback to me either on here (comment box below). 

Or, because I know sometimes it's hard to leave a comment on here for some of you because of the security thing, you can also email me your preference from my website page--  just click on the "contact" link. .

Thank you tons!!!

Debra  <3

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Summer's End

How was your summer?  Seems like it came and went for me Ü
And, it's Indian Summer now... and this is my favorite time of the year.  Right when the air gets crisp and the days are clear, and you might need a sweater or a light neck scarf to take the chill off... the leaves start to turn, you get the soup recipes out... 

This is the soup I made yesterday-- it was sooooo yummy last night and even better as leftovers for tonight's supper Ü

I know it's been a while since I posted...  shame on me ;-/   
Geez!!!  I haven't posted since MAY and now it's OCTOBER!!!!!

I've had a ton of company and have been traveling as well and those are the biggest reasons why I've "been away" from you.  Ü

I had so many things I wanted and needed to work on and now the summer's gone and I didn't really accomplish all that I planned-- I hope y'all did better Ü

Lately though, I have been back to stitching and hooking A LOT --I'm on a mission to make up for lost time Ü

I managed to "finish" a few projects that just needed that final touch.  I finished hooking my "I Do" rug.  The photo doesn't show it "complete" but the hooking is DONE Ü  Only the binding left to do and now I think I've decided to call it something else.  I also decided not to hook the words "I Do" on it and instead hooked another phrase.  The photo looks over-exposed (Read, I NEED a new camera!!) I hope y'all like it Ü

BTW, any ideas for a new name on this one?  I'm stumped (as usual!!) Ü 
I'm going to need names for a lot of my new projects so please get your thinking caps on.

I went to "Fiberfest" in West Virginia with Susan Feller in August.  (She had great advice for me on my "I Do" rug Ü  I love how it turned out!!)
The drive out there was SO beautiful!!  Totally sunny and you could see the ridge of the Shenandoah Mountains off to the east as we drove...  then, as we got closer there was a clear brook along the road too.  It was prettier than a post card and I didn't take a picture.  Can you believe it?????  I ALWAYS take pictures!!!!

I had such a great time that day reconnecting with friends I hadn't seen in a while and getting in some valuable hooking time.
While roaming the room and seeing what the other hookers were up to, I came across Keri Sue and her spiral chair pad.  I thought it was a fun way to use up odd worms and would fit in with just about any decor.  I have a TON of worms in bags and this looks like the perfect project to put them into Ü

This was Keri Sue's bowl of worms-- I see lots of creativity brewing in there!!  Ü

I have done a little bit of cross-stitching too...

This is a tiny sampler I did for dear friends from the UK.  They have a farm there and Penny shows horses drawing a carriage.  She and her husband Ray dress up in period clothing and go through a challenge course.  The horses and riders are graded on every aspect of the course and how they navigate through.  I would love to see them compete one day!!  This sampler is added to my "need to frame" pile...

This cross-stitch design I did with my daughter Jordan.  It's a design from Kathy Schmitz and we each made one.  Jordan's colors are gorgeous (deep blue with almost a neon pink thread-- looks SO cool!!!) and she's a little over 1/2 way done with hers.  I worked on this exclusively from May until about mid-June and I love love love how it looks!!!  The whole bird is stitched with the motifs left undone-- I really like the concept of reverse intent Ü
This is really a huge design, I want to say maybe 15" or 16 " across and it was a beast to stitch...  I won't lie.  LOL
I'm going to add a pretty piece of fabric to one side of it and then off the to framer's it goes!!

I've also completed a couple of other punch needle projects Ü  Ive decided to bind these like I do my rugs.  It's a different look and I like it Ü  It does take forever to do, especially on the larger projects but the look of it bound, really tailors it and I feel makes it even more versatile with so many different home decors, be it primitive, modern, traditional, etc.  It's cool!!

As you can see, the one with the watering can on it has been around a while without finishing or a name ;-(

I have the hardest time "naming" my pieces...   I need names for these three projects-- the acorns, the watercan, and the little basket with the owl.  I put a call out on my Facebook page for the one with the house on it and I got a few good ones to choose from.  I finally settled on "Hills Prairie Home". My mother grew up on a farm in Hills Prairie, Texas.  I saw the field where the farmhouse was once and it was so beautiful...

Please feel free to share anything you think of Ü

I did my Friendship's Offering rug as a punch needle also.  I did this one with 6 strands of floss as well as the one above with the house on it.  They're both pretty big pieces and they feel so heavy and wonderful... like super heavy mats.  I LOVE THEM!!!

I'll post more pictures when they're ready Ü

Until next time,
keep your needles threaded up-- you never know when you'll get a few minutes to stitch!!

Debra <3

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Motivation Ü

OK.  I have "it" now Ü I have motivation to start getting my needlework UFO's finished. 
It's tough having that hanging over my head.  I think after Jordan was here and she's such a fireball, I decided to quit studying the stuff and just start finishing the pieces.  What a great feeling this is Ü
Since my last post... I have tried to be SO busy!! 
I jumped into that "I Do" rug, fixed the ribbon and now my tree is almost finished Ü  I even got a little bit of the background started. YAY!!!  I'm giving myself a June-ish deadline on this one...  Y'all better keep me honest!!!  LOL

I realized I am on a tight schedule from now till the end of May and I don't have a second to waste so I'd better get on it.  As I was having my pity party for not completing very much in the past 5-6 months, I decided to block the punch needle designs that I did this past year sans framing or other finishing...  as it turns out, I've been a busy cowgirl after all!!!  Woo Hoo!!!  I did all of these Punch Needle patterns this past year.  In fact, the witch on the right end, I thought I had lost.  What happened was I hid it from myself while cleaning up one day and I forgot where I put it.  The last time I saw it was when I was visiting Ashley in Switzerland.  I figured since I didn't remember seeing it after that trip that I must have lost it on the plane or something... St. Anthony came through though -- lucky me  ^i^

I've been playing around with my punch needles-- using the various brands and studying the fine differences between them.  I've also been doing a few 6-strand projects.  Pushing the needle with 6 strands is a little tougher on the hands.  I find I need to take more breaks with the 6 strands than with the 3.  The larger projects are definitely fun to do and depending on which needle you use, they can look a little clumsier and I like that rough look a lot Ü   

I made some cross-stitch samplers for my 3 daughters a while back too--  I had posted pictures of Ashley's and Jordan's samplers but not Lauren's.  I finally got hers framed earlier this month and wouldn't you know... I don't think I took a picture of it framed ;-O!!  I DO LOVE how they all turned out though!!!  I'll have to ask Lauren to send me a picture of her sampler framed.  I'll post the photo when I get it.  Now to make one for ME!!  Ü

Till next time,
Blessings to all,
Debra <3

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Progess is S L O W . . . Ü

I have been really busy with company and traveling these past few weeks.  I love having people visit and us journeying off-- besides making beautiful memories, or traveling to some of my favorite places, it makes me clean my house!!  Lord knows, I need me some "house-cleaning" time!!  LOL

In fact, I took pictures of my clean house so my one daughter could see that it actually happens that I don't have rug worms, needles and thread all laying about.  She's the "minimalist" of the family and has completely empty drawers and cabinets at her house.  Who actually "lives" like that?!  It's like going to a showroom where the cabinetry are fixtures so there's nothing in them ;-O hahahaha!!!  Just kidding Dootie... I LOVE YOUR HOUSE!!!  Ü

Anywho, with all the company and traveling, that makes for less needlework time with one exception...  When Jordan (minimalist daughter) came to visit, we had a week of nothing but needlework time-- OH YEAH!!! Ü

I only got a little bit completed but I worked on a lot.
I made these table runners for Christmas gifts to my family in December but hadn't quilted them yet so they were on the top of the list.  I got 3 out of the 5 quilted and bound that week.  They are now with their owners and out of my hair.  I'll post a picture of the other two when they are completed.
The lighting is bad on these and didn't really capture the colors very well ;-(
They are really pretty cute!!

At the end of March, I got to attend the Virginia Rugfest in Mechanicsville, VA.  It was fun and the displayed rugs were total "eye candy" Ü
I took a few photos of the ones I liked.  I was drawn to the primitive style of them Ü  Enjoy!!

A little background information on this sampler rug...  It's inspired by a Dear Jane quilt but it's a RUG!!!  My "Yahookers" rug group members took this project on.  Rug Hooking Magazine even did an article on the group Ü  They signed on to do it and complete by a certain date.  The design of the blocks and the border was strictly up to the hooker as well as the color-way.  So far, from the completed rugs I have seen, they are all different and BEAUTIFUL!!! Ü  Such creativity in that group.  This rug is gorgeous!!!!

I loved the stone wall on this one Ü

My prim faves...

I LOVE anything Karen Kahle!!!  Ü

These handbags are fantastic!!  I NEED to make one of these for me!!!  Ü

Last one...

As for my hooking...

I'm still at the same place on my "I Do" rug but I love how it's looking so far Ü  I've gone out of my box for the color-way-- I hope you like it too Ü
I accidently hooked a place on it in green that was supposed to be tan so I'll need to do some "reverse hooking" on this one before I proceed any further ;-(
I'll keep posting my progress on this one as I go...

While Jordan was here we had some quilting fun!!!  This is her "Jelly Roll".  She combined all the fabrics herself from pieces she had purchased individually.  I LOVE her color sense!!  
  Her Jelly Roll became this "Jelly Roll 1600" quilt-- this was so much fun to do!!!

 She likes "Modern" quilting and I've always been more of a "Traditional" quilter but she's tugging at me and I'm strongly leaning to the dark (Modern) side Ü.
I love mixing and matching these bold prints together!!!  I bought this bunch of fabric while she was here and I'm excited to see what comes out of it Ü

Punch Needle
I'm almost done with this large project-- it measures 5 3/4" X 9".  I think I'll go back to some smaller Punch Needle projects Ü  This has taken me forever to do.  I think maybe because I'm doing it with 6 strands might be the reason.  It's way more tedious getting the 6 strands of floss punched through as opposed to 3 strands or fewer.  I only have the grass to do now and wa la... it's finito!!!
My last bit o' news is...
This week I treated myself to a dyeing class from Karen Rose, a beautiful wool dyer in my rug guild (Colonial Rug Hookers of Northern Virginia).  There were 10 of us in the class and we all did a different type of dyeing with a 1/2 yard of wool.  At the end of the all day session, we cut the wool into 10 pieces and traded with one another so everyone had a piece of everyone's dyed wool.  
It was a GREAT class and I learned so much.  Karen is an amazing teacher and a gracious hostess to boot!!  Here are some pictures of the dyeing in process, some finished samples of our wool.  

This was my piece Ü  I loved all of the movement and texture in this piece--

 These are the pieces I came home with--

Karen presoaks her wool in these extra large white detergent buckets.  They are the perfect container for yards of wool and today I went to Home Depot to find some big white buckets of my own so I can get started here at home Ü  They are 5 gallon buckets and I can't wait to get started.  The only thing holding me back now is...  I need some dye.  

Till next time-- Ciao baby!!!

Debra <3