Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stripping…The Rest of the Story

My brief but enjoyable career as a stripper is over…for the time being, at least.  Never did I think that at this stage in my life would I even be able to attempt this new venture but I did…and quite successfully, I think.


Remember this?


Well I was having such a great time so I took your advice and continued to strip and here it is now…


It’s a perfect size for our kitchen table…


Or I can hang it from one of the glass doors on our pine  step back cupboard…


I’m not quite sure whether to hand quilt it or have it machine quilted.  Do you have any suggestions?


Although stripping is not hard work, I did need to take a respite and during those breaks, I managed to complete the first block of the Civil War Bride Quilt. 


I blanket stitched around each of the elements…

DSCN1451  DSCN1452

and am now ready to move on to the second block.

String Quilt CWBQ Block 2

I hope to get the all the pieces prepped and cut out today so I can begin to stitch them tonight.


Although my stripping career was short lived, I hope to take it up again in the not-too-distant future.  If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to use up some of the scraps that you’ve accumulated, I highly recommend that you try stripping.  Heck, if I can do it at my age…anyone can!  *wink*

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wool Crazy Sew Along

About a week ago when I was blog hopping, I happened to see a photo of this new book on the market…


and I fell in !

A crazy quilt done entirely in wool!  Be still my !


I immediately emailed Brenda at at Pumpkin Patch Primitives to see if she could order the book entitled Wool Crazy by JoAnn Mullaly for me.  Well of course she could and a couple of emails later and before we knew it, the Wool Crazy Sew Along blog was born.  We thought that there are probably many more of you out there in blogland who, just like us, working with wool, the primitive style and would some company as we sew along and create our future heirlooms.


So if you’d like to join us for some fun & friendship, drop in and set a spell at the Wool Crazy Sew Along.   I’ll be your hostess-with-the-mostess for our sew along.  *wink*


Our goal is to complete this quilt and with each others help, we can do it!

Are you Wool Crazy?  We are!

Kaaren ♥


Thursday, January 21, 2010

And The Journey Begins…

As soon as I saw it, I knew it was something I just had to make . 


I put off ordering the pattern until all my other commitments had been fulfilled.  At the end of November when I could finally see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, I placed the order for the pattern.  Two weeks later, it arrived from Australia and I promptly set it aside until  just yesterday.  That’s when I took it out and I can now say that finally the journey of creating my version of the Civil War Bride Quilt has begun.


Even before I ordered the pattern, I knew I was going to make one major change.  Rather than complete the quilt in the traditional needle turn applique method, I decided that I was going to do mine in wool on cotton. 

Last night I cut out the required number of blocks and this morning, I cut out the wool shapes for the first block…


and affixed them to the background fabric using Steam-A-Seam 2.


Later tonight, the fun part begins…the stitching.  I don’t know about you but I cannot sit in front of the television with idle hands.  Most of my stitching is done in the evening while listening to the television and raising my eyes only when it sounds like something interesting is about to happen.


There are 20 good sized blocks to this quilt plus the four borders.  This is definitely going to be a long term project but I do know one thing for certain…it’s going to be a long journey with many starts and stops along the way.  But I also know that it’s going to be a pleasurable one.

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Stripping Weekend

What a fun weekend…shopping and stripping!  Can it get any better?


On Saturday morning we decided to head over to Ogdensburg, NY to do some shopping.  We left bright and early and were back home by 2 p.m.  We did our usual Walmart, Price Chopper and Joann’s.  I didn’t buy too much at Joann’s…sewing machine needles, some inexpensive muslin to use as a stabilizer backing for stripping and a few other odds and ends.


I was in the mood to sew so off to the studio I went.  I had completed all my stripping the day before so all I had to do was cut out the muslin backing squares.  Once I completed those,  I decided to take a little detour en route.  By Sunday morning, I had completed these…


Four needle books.  Since I had never stripped before…*wink*…I decided to try something small first.  I had a blast!  Easy-peasy and oodles of fun.


2010 is my year for RAK’s, so you never know what might show up in your mail box.


I continued to strip on Sunday.  Time to move on to bigger and better things.  All this stripping and I wasn’t even getting tired.  I even got to asking myself why I didn’t start my stripping career earlier in life?  Gasp!

I added the last border this morning and here’s the result.


I haven’t decided whether I’m going to stop here and make  it into a table topper or to continue until it’s a decent throw size.  I have plenty of strips left so I’m inclined to continue.  What do you think?


If any of you are on the fence about trying this, go for it!  Not only is it easy but it’s fun and totally stress free.  And what better way to use up some of those scraps? 

It was almost like taking a trip down memory lane.  Every time I’d pick up a new strip I’d say to myself, “Oh yeah…I remember where this was from”.

And the best thing is that there are NO rules and anything and everything goes.


If you’re unsure about how to get started, Robyn has a great tutorial that she wrote about a couple of days ago.  Pop over and have a look.

Give it a try.  Who knows?  You too can become a stripper!

Happy stripping…I mean stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Friday, January 15, 2010

No Strings Attached

I’ve been stripping…doing lots of stripping as a matter of fact.  No, not as in taking my clothes off…perish the thought…but as in cutting strips of fabric in all different shapes and sizes.


I joined Stephanie’s “No Strings Attached” challenge and today’s the day I’ve set aside to start piecing these guys.

String Quilt Blocks

I think Stephanie has over 100 people who have joined in the challenge so if you’d like to find out more about it or join in, click here and that will take you over to Loft Creations.  There will be prizes along the way too!


But you’d better hurry because today is the last day to sign up for the challenge.  Just think…you too can become a stripper!  *wink*

Happy stitching…and stripping!

Kaaren ♥

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First Friday Freebie

Fooled you, huh?  *wink*

Nope, I haven’t lost track of time because it’s not February 5th yet.  But I will say that next month’s FFF (First Friday Freebie) is finished and is ready to go…well almost.  With Robyn’s assistance, I am trying to learn how to create the PDF files on my own so I won’t have to bother her every month…and I’m almost there.   I’m determined to create this one on my own…grrrr.


Several gals have asked me if I would consider setting up a Flickr gallery where you can post the completed projects from my FFF designs.  I think that is a super idea because I would to see all your creations.  I especially like to see how many of you have taken my designs and have altered them in such a way as to make them uniquely your own.


If you click here, it will take you to the First Friday Freebie Gallery on Flickr where you can upload the photos of your projects.  If you’re not a member of Flickr, it’s easy peasy to join…just follow the directions.fff button_sml[1]

I will also place the FFF button on the left sidebar with a direct link to the FFF Gallery to make it easy for future use.


In the interim, I’d like to share this photo with you of the latest “Let It Snow” project that Susan sent to me.


Now how cool is that? 

Susan made a pillow and added some piping to coordinate with a gorgeous quilt which she just completed.  A perfect winter gathering!


So don’t be shy.   Please feel free to go ahead and add your FFF creations.  We’d to see them!

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥


Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Rest of the Stories

I guess I had never written the final chapters on a couple of things that happened during the last few months of 2009 because I’ve had several emails asking me, “Whatever happened with…?”  So…

The rest of the stories.


Remember my dream house which I wrote about here?


Just last week we received a call from our realtor to tell us that the house had finally sold…but not to us.  Sigh.

After much deliberation and number crunching, Mr. Painted Quilt and I decided to let our dream remain just that…a dream.  The final nail in the proverbial coffin occurred when we found out that the listing agent inadvertently forgot to tell us about the “extra” $600-$800 yearly  heating cost for propane.  The two original fireplaces in the house had been converted to propane a while back and the costs would be reflected in the frequency of use, determined by the severity of the winter months.  This additional cost put the monthly carrying charges for the house over the top for us.

So the final chapter on this particular dream house has been written.  I now have a sense of closure and can put the dream to rest.  The End.


Then there was the story of a copyright violation which I wrote about here.

If you recall, I saw this in the advertising sales part of the Country Sampler magazine.


The flag pictured in the center was painted by an artist who stole portions of three of my original paintings, changed the elements around a bit, painted his/her version and then sold the design to a licensing company.  Several of the design elements including the line drawings appeared in this volume of one my published decorating painting books below.  The decorative design that I painted on the crock was something that |made up and even this was copied.


I forwarded a copy of my original blog post along with a letter of explanation to the editor of Country Sampler magazine.  They responded almost immediately to advise me that they would be contacting the company that was selling the flags to tell them that they would have to change the advertising photo as they would not be running that particular ad again because of obvious copyright violations.  They gave me the contact information for the company as well.

At this point let me reiterate that I bear no malice to either Country Sampler or the company that manufactured the flag for reasons that I spoke about in my original post.  I decided that I would seek advice from our attorney before proceeding.  

My worse fears were answered at that meeting.  He advised us that unless we were willing to spend thousands of dollars to pursue the matter, we would be wise to drop it and chalk it up to experience.  Even a “Cease and Desist” order would cost piles of money to execute and the little or no remuneration that might be recovered would not even put a dent in our costs.  Sigh.


Hopefully the manufacturer will go after the fraudulent artist because yes, they can still sell the remaining stock on hand hoping that I won’t sue them but they cannot use the flag in any of their promotional advertising either which will ultimately affect sales.  If and when this happens, then justice in my mind will have been served.  I have also been able to put this issue to bed.  The End.


I have been very busy in the studio as well although I have nothing that I can show you…yet. 

Just last night I finished working on my February FFF (First Friday Freebie) but of course you can’t see that until February 5th  and March’s project is almost done.  I also started the design for March this morning and that’s progressing well.


In December I designed a quilt that I completed last week and it is now in the capable hands  of my friend Nancy, longarm quilter extraordinaire, who will be casting her magic spell over it.  I’m hoping to have it back by the end of the month at which time I’ll decide what I’m going to do with the design.  I’ve got a couple of ideas in mind but won’t make the final decision until I get it back.

Thanks for stopping by and as always…

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

More Christmas Blessings

Two parcels arrived on Christmas Eve, both from far away places that I could only dream about before blogging.  I know I’ve said this before but the world has become a much smaller place since I started blogging and I am truly blessed with the friends I have made.


Who or what comes to mind when you think of Sweden? 

BB (before blogging) I had visions of snow, blonde hair, Volvos, and red-cheeked children playing outdoors.  Now when I think of Sweden, Stina immediately comes to mind.  You can only imagine my delight when I opened the parcel from Stina and saw these wrapped packages.


Inside, I found these treasures…


A wire angel with a red woolen heart that now rests close by my computer desk keeping watch over me and a scissor fob with tiny woolen strawberries.   Simply gorgeous!  Thank you sooooo much, Stina for these unexpected, wonderful gifts.  I will treasure them always.


And who or what comes to mind when you think of Australia?

BB, I had visions of kangaroos, koalas, sheep and people who spoke with funny accents.   Now when I think of Oz, I think of two of my dear Aussie friends, Julie…and her husband Joe.  The second parcel was from Julie and Joe.


I felt like a kid in a candy shop!  Fabric, x-stitch pattern, soap, candle, the cutest sewing-themed brooch, coaster, a hand made tree ornie done in wool-on-cotton and a simply gorgeous wool-on-cotton pillow with my favorite…a sheep!  Julie’s stitching is amazing and the photo does not do it justice.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And this was only half of what was in the parcel.  There was also a wrapped pressie for Sam, Mr. Painted Quilt with all kinds of Oz-themed goodies inside.  One of Sam’s gifts was a tea towel with a caricature of a “A Typical Aussie Bloke” and a bunch of Oz sayings.  Well if you could only have seen him going around the house trying to repeat them with an Aussie accent.  Honestly, it was hilarious.

Thank you again Julie and Joe not only for your gifts but more importantly, your friendship.  You guys are the greatest!


2009 was an amazing year made brighter by new friendships from around the globe and close to home as well.  I can’t wait to see what 2010 has in store!

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥