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Posts Tagged ‘Funky Monkey’

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Greg’s funky monkey quilt is done, completely done.  I finished the label tonight and got it sewed onto the back.  I don’t know exactly how long this has taken but it seems like…forever.  Seriously, why can’t I complete a quilty project faster?  Answer…I don’t sew often enough.

The quilt has been called Greg’s Funkey Monkey quilt but I changed it on the label.  It is now (drum roll, please) “For The Love of Monkeys”.  TaDa  It is kind of a play on “for the love of money” and I thought it sounded cute.  After all, it is his love of sock monkeys that created a need for this quilt.

"For The Love of Monkeys"

"For The Love of Monkeys"

pieced back

pieced back

Hanging from the line

Hanging from the line

Hopefully, we will travel down the beginning of next week and present it to him.  I’m giving Vanessa the “tote bag from hell” which she commented she really liked the last time they were here.  On top of that, I have several outfits for Ella that I want her to have before she outgrows them.

Only 3 weeks until we all go to camp.   That will prove to be interesting; hope it all goes well.

Only 43 days till retirement; that will prove to be interesting as well.

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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A new label

Finally, I actually had time to play with fabric and thread.  I have finished Greg’s monkey quilt with the exception of the label.  I would have posted a photo but as soon as I got everything set up in front of the garden it started to rain, again.  So instead I worked on the label.  Today I surprised myself with my superior computer skills.  ha, not quite.  I scanned a piece of the fabric so that I could use one of the monkey designs.

label printed on plain fabric

label printed on plain fabric

I cut a piece of the monkey fabric and placed it behind the label, matching the monkey print.

label on top of fabric

label on top of fabric

I thought that by doing this the monkeys would appear to be a watermark on the label.

I will attach the label with a satin stitch, then fold under the raw edges and use a decorative stitch to hold them in place.  After that I hand stitch the label to the back of the quilt.  Unfortunately, I ran out of time today so I didn’t get it completed but tomorrow is another day.

This seems like a lot of work for a label but I don’t usually like my printing and I think this finishes it off nicely.  After all the work in the quilt itself, I don’t mind spending a little extra time on the label.

I’ll get a completed photo posted within a couple of days.

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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Anyone reading this blog knows that I have sold my condo and moved into Bill’s house.  Finally, the closing took place on Thursday and was bittersweet.  I have mentioned in earlier posts that I hated to sell my little piece of the world but now that it’s over and done; I can look forward to retirement in the fall.

The garage looks only slightly better than it did in an earlier post and the sewing room looks worse.  It will probably be at least a couple of weeks before I get it cleaned up enough to get some sewing done.  That makes me grouchy.  Unfortunately, another post with no quilting news.  Oh wait!  I got Greg’s monkey quilt back for the LA quilter and it looks great.  Now to find the time and space to get the binding on.  He will be here for the weekend but he won’t be getting it this time; maybe before the summer ends.

It rained for most of the month of June, effectively cutting our short Maine summer even shorter.  GGRRR!  Many of the potted plants, along with those in the garden, are moldy and being eaten by slugs.  GGRRR!   The sun finally came out yesterday and I was able to shake some slug bait into the gardens.  Hopefully that will slow them down.

Bill has been wanting to have a cookout for the past several years and tonight is the night.  I am working all day but he recruited Wendy to help get things ready.  He is grilling steak tips and turkey tips, along with smoking some ribs.  There will be several salads plus whatever our guests decide to bring along.  I told everyone that all they really needed to bring was chairs and a beverage if they didn’t want beer or soda (pop for those of you west of the Mississippi).

We spent some time yesterday getting the yard in order and putting some lights up around the canopy.  The weather has cleared since our weeks of rain.  We had a thunderstorm yesterday afternoon but the evening was perfect.  I’m hoping for the same tonight.  It is not as hot today and the radar doesn’t show any storms approaching.

We have a nice firepit for a campfire and the yard is surrounded by torches, which we hope will keep the bugs down if they become a problem.

I’m not much for parties and look forward to it being over and everyone going home.  However, once I get home and everything falls into place, I will have a good time along with everyone else.

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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Ella Bella's Funky Monkeys

Ella Bella's Funky Monkeys

Just in the nick of time.  I completed Ella’s quilt around 1:00 in this afternoon.  Her birthday party is tomorrow so I was cutting it pretty close.  I have mentioned previously in this blog that her quilt was actually a companion quilt to the one I’m making for her dad.  He loves sock monkeys, which I just recently discovered, so I made him a quilt using sock monkey fabrics.  Her quilt was made using one of each of the monkey fabrics in her dad’s quilt, along with some black and whites that I had.  Unfortunately, her dad’s quilt is still at the LA quilters but since it was her birthday, I gave her the one made for her so I guess that will make her dad’s the companion quilt.  He doesn’t know that he is getting one so I couldn’t even till him the story.

The back of Ella's quilt

The back of Ella's quilt

Ella Bella's Funky Monkey label

Ella Bella's Funky Monkey label

quilting patterns completed on DSM

quilting patterns completed on DSM

I’m especially proud of this quilt as it was completely my design, inspired by Project Improv.  I traced the patterns onto some iron-on paper and did all of the quilting on my DSM.  The biggest problem is pulling out all of the paper once the quilting is completed; very time consuming! One of these days I will attempt the quilting completed freehand.  I just have to work up my courage and not worry about ruining anything.

This is the first quilt that has been my own creation but I made a small wallhanging years ago that was also my own design, made from some leftovers from one of my first wallhangings.

Leftovers Again

Leftovers Again

Thanks for stopping by…

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Yesterday Bill and I drove to MA to visit with Ella and her parents.   Her dad (and my son) Greg offered to keep her home from daycare for the day.  We arrived around noon and were able to spend the afternoon “babysitting” while Greg got some work done from home.

We fed her lunch and found they she loves vegetables.  They buy frozen veggies then heat some up in the microwave.  She enjoys feeding them to herself as finger foods.

feeding myself veggies

feeding myself veggies

We read some new books that were delivered by Amazon.  We took movies of her new crawling skills as well as sitting from crawling.  We played with toys, fed her a bottle (which she absolutely inhaled) changed a really disgusting diaper (don’t miss that at all, they had given her asparagus the evening before…P  U!) and put her down for a nap.

Vanessa arrived home from work about 4 while Ella was napping and the three of us were chillin downstairs.  Bill and Greg were reading and I was kind of napping.  After Ella woke up, G & V went for a driveby to look at a potential house to purchase.

Greg prepared a new fish and mushroom entre for dinner which was very good and was served with quinoa, a grain cultivated in Chili and Peru.

We left about 7 while V was nursing Ella to put her to bed.  We had both driven down and left my car on Rt 1 so that Bill didn’t have to drive back from ME for work today.  I headed home from there and he drove back to the firehouse.

I’m still dealing with conjunctivitis, 2 weeks now.  Went back to the Dr. on Wednesday and got another prescription for eyedrops.  She advised me not to wear makeup (ARGH!) for 5 days and buy everything new.  Great…it is going to be hard to keep my “no discretionary spending” pledge for the month.   I have to admit, I can’t go out and about without makeup; however, I’m home today and tom and I will be makeup free.

2 1/2" black and white strips

2 1/2" black and white strips

I finished cutting the black and white fabrics into 2 1/2″ strips for the improv border that I’m going to make for Ella’s FM quilt.  My plan is to get started on that today, right after I pack up my good china to move to Bill’s shed.  Then I can get rid of the piece-of-junk hutch that sits on the wall opposite the dining room table and that will open up the room and make it look more spacious…appealing to potential buyers.  *finger crossed* I hope.

Happy Spring everyone; thanks for stopping by…

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Well, it’s been a long time since I actually finished a project.  I don’t remember when I started this one but it’s done.  Actually, there are a few loose threads I need to take care of and I need to add a hanging sleeve.  I had prepared a sleeve but it was not wide enough so I’ll do another.  For all practical purposes…it’s DONE.

Oriental Flower

Oriental Flower

Close-up of echo quilting

Close-up of echo quilting

Because it’s my wallhanging and I can do whatever I want (it’s really Bill’s), I decided to quilt a “ghost flower” in some of the echo quilting.

"ghost flower"

"ghost flower"

I spent most of the day on Thursday working on the companion quilt for Ella.  It has one square of each of the Funky Monkey fabrics that are in her dad’s quilt.  I added the black and white because I know small children see them better and she is only 9 months old.  I used the improvisation technique which I really enjoyed.  I started to sew on the borders but didn’t like the fabric choice, AT ALL, so I took them off.  I’ll have to search for a different fabric to use as the borders.

Ella's FM quilt w/o borders

Ella's FM quilt w/o borders

Yesterday Bill and I took a little trip in the car looking for a quilt shop that I have been to a couple of times.  I knew it was quite a drive and I knew the road but I didn’t know exactly where it was located.  We drove more than “quite a drive” and never found the place I was looking for.  However, we did come across another little quilt shop so we stopped there instead.  I didn’t find any of the FM fabric I was searching out but I did manage to find some bee fabric along with a pattern (POORHOUSE Quilt Designs) for a cute little tote that I may be able to sew together fairly quickly and put into my Etsy shop.  I like it because it has a lobster applique on the front.  There are also patterns for a crab and sand dollar. If I get it done, it may be the first item in my shop, which is currently set up but empty.

Thanks for stopping by…

"quilting bee" fabric

"quilting bee" fabric

tote bag pattern by POORHOUSE Quilt Designs

tote bag pattern by POORHOUSE Quilt Designs

photo of starfish tote bag (from pattern)

photo of starfish tote bag (from pattern)

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Good to be home

A title that is a little misleading; it makes it sound like I have been traveling or working all the time.  Here’s the story.  Bill and I have been in a relationship for nearly seven years.  He has a place, I have a place.  I have been content to keep my place because it’s MINE and I can be here whenever I want, alone, all by myself.  My “free”, quiet time is very important to me which is the main reason that we have not moved in together.  I am comfortable with myself and don’t need constant company or entertainment.  In fact, I don’t want either.

As firefighters, we have a different schedule than most people.  It’s too complicated to explain; however, I have four days off every week and Bill works on my third day off, which I generally spend at home.  For the past several years, I have spent three of my four days off at Bill’s house.  That means packing a little bag and dragging my stuff over there, spending the night, coming home, then spending the last day together.  I’m tired!  It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to spend time together, it just means that I miss having time at home.  Imagine trying to accomplish everything that you need to do and everything that you want to do in one day a week.  It becomes very frustrating.  The things you need to do take too much time away from the things you want to do.  As you can imagine, some things aren’t getting done.

This week I told Bill that I wanted to spend my four days off at home.  I don’t think he ever really understands my need for alone time but he didn’t object (which is probably a good thing).  We met one day for coffee and today we went grocery shopping.  Those were my ideas so it was okay.

It was a wonderful four days off.  I actually feel like I had four days off, which is not usually the case.  I’m relaxed and ready to go to work tomorrow.  I did lots of sewing, listed some things on eBay (still no bids), cleaned the bathrooms and got all the laundry done.  It felt so good to climb into my own bed at night and wake up in my own place in the morning.  I didn’t have to pack anything or think ahead about what to take to wear for the next two days.

I’m not complaining about my relationship, just about the fact that I don’t get to spend much time at home.  My condo is for sale (who else tries to sell property in the worst real estate market in years?) and when it’s sold I will move to Bill’s house.  At least then I will be home on my days off which I think will be much easier for me.

Now for sewing content…I worked on the FM quilt and completed sewing the large blocks together.  I got the small inner border cut and discovered that the original fabric I was going to use for the outer border won’t work.  I found a different fabric to use but don’t have enough of that!  DRAT!  Now I have to try to find it online because the LQS doesn’t have any.

Funky Monkey top w/o borders

Funky Monkey top w/o borders

Yesterday I worked on a companion quilt for Ella.  I used a 2 1/2″ block of each of the different fabrics in her dad’s quilt.  From there I did a half log cabin in blacks and whites.  I used the Project Improv method and it was very fun, free, easy and liberating.  No measuring, just sew and trim.

Ella's improv blocks

Ella's improv blocks

Ella's improve blocks close-up

Ella's improve blocks close-up

I’m having trouble deciding on a sashing fabric. I was thinking of a predominately black with small white polka dots.  But then I’m thinking, maybe a red, or orange or some other color that’s incorporated in the border fabric…

a little blurry

a little blurry

My concern is that if I choose a color that is contained in one of the blocks, the block will fade into the sashing, which is why I was thinking black with a little white but orange might work.

That’s what I spent some of my “at home days” doing and it was very enjoyable.

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Last night while searching the internet I came across two blogs that both support and encourage creativity and working “outside the box”.  Heaven knows that I need a big, giant push in that direction.  I know there is creativity in me but I find it hard to take that first step away from patterns and directions and someone else’s vision.  I’m hoping that by joining these two groups I can move in that direction.

First there is “Today’s Title is…”  and you can check out the welcoming details here.  It is hosted by Helen Suzanne and she will post a new title every weekend.  The idea is to post whatever comes into your mind first referencing the title.

This weekend’s title is suspended. At first I thought it had to be an item made to represent the word but when I read the details again, that is not the case.  It is just the first thing you think of and can be represented any way that works.  Here is my first post to “Today’s Title is…”

universe suspended

universe suspended

This is a glass and metal piece depicting the universe.  It was given to me by my best friend, Su a few years ago.  It hands from the ceiling by clear fishing line and appears to be suspended in midair.

The next group is Project Improv. It is hosted by Jacquie and can be found on her blog…Tallgrass Praire Studio. The intent is to promote and support quilting outside the lines; to be improvisational; to find your own voice.  She also asks that each new participant put together a quilt block for charity using one of three colorways.  Those are due by April 1 so that should get me moving.  This is something I want to do but have found it difficult to “just do it”.  I’m excited to get started and will keep updates on the blog.

In quilting news, I have actually made some progress on the FM quilt.  I attempted to post these photos the other day but was having lots of trouble so saved them for today.

first row of three assembled blocks

first row of three assembled blocks

each large block has four rectangular blocks surrounding one square block.

each large block has four rectangular blocks surrounding one square block.

To date I have completed four large blocks with no further sewing planned until Tuesday.  It is going together very quickly (when I actually sew).  I’m also excited to start on Ella’s coordinating quilt which will be my own design.  Stay tuned…

One more thing…I opened an Etsy store today.  There isn’t anything in it yet but there will be at some point.  I wanted to have the same name as the blog: BeeWitchinStitchin so decided to go ahead and sign up.  Once I have something to sell I’ll provide a link.  In the meantime, check out Etsy.com for lots of handmade gifts.

That’s all for now.  Bill and I are picking Trevor up in Portland this morning and he will visit with us until Monday when we take him back to his mom.  Wendy is visiting with Greg, Vanessa and Ella this weekend.  More snow today, up to 12″.  Oh joy!!!

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Since my condo has been on the market since October and I recently lowered the asking price, I know that sooner or later it will be sold and I will make the move to Bill’s house.  Considering that I have had several months to clean out things, I haven’t moved very quickly.  I did clean out a couple of closets but that was it until today.  Bill unexpectedly worked overtime which meant I had another “free” day at home.  Yeah!  I decided to tackle the mess under the sewing table.  For the most part, I knew what was there; no surprises.  However, what to do with it all.  I didn’t take any “before” photos but I did take one once I moved everything out from under the table…

the-mess-from-under-the-table-209What a mess.  There were several kits and collections of fabric…Lonni Rossi, brights, orientals and so on and so on.  There were assorted framed pictures that I move around the house during the year depending on the season.  Not to mention the cross stitch supplies.

I sorted out the spring/summer pictures and will take the others to Bill’s.  For the most part, the kits and collections can go to Bill’s since I’m working on the funky monkey quilt and binding the oriental flower.  I also plan to make a coordinating FM quilt for Ella (small,  so she can drag it around).  I managed to fill up one trash bag with stuff that I don’t want, don’t need.  The big problem is what to do with the larger pieces of fabric, one or two yards, that don’t fit anywhere.  Of course, they will find a new home at Bill’s.  I did text him to see if it was too late to put on an addition.  He laughed.

the pile for Bill's house

the pile for Bill's house

There were a few things that went back under the table, mostly thread and bags with scraps cut into strips.  I also cleaned off the top of the table, which was just as bad as underneath.  Why can’t it stay clean?

neat and clean

neat and clean

I did come across the comforter that Su made for Greg when he graduated.  He gave it to me years ago to repair because the border was fraying.  I put it out of mind because I’m not sure how to go about fixing it.  Guess it’s time I figured it out.

gregs-comforter
needs repair

Lastly, I spent yesterday sewing…all day.  I got the small FM blocks assembled and three of the larger blocks put together.  I also decided to bind the oriental flower in a red fabric that I came across.

Two productive days; back to work tomorrow.  boo hoo

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I spent this morning cleaning out one of my closets in an effort to get more organized before eventually moving.  I managed to fill three trash bags with clothes that I haven’t worn in ages and most likely won’t wear anytime soon, if ever again.  I also emptied out a knitting bag and filled it with shoes.

misc-033

My “fancy” clothes I’ll move to Bill’s because that’s where they will end up anyway.  I threw out a few things, put some others in the attic storage and some stuff just went back into the closet.  It definitely looks 100% better than it did this morning before I started.  I even have room to hang some of my quilting projects.

misc-0221

I came across some things that I just can’t make my mind up about…two teddy bears that were made out of my dad’s clothes after he died, newspapers from days to remember (9/11, the Challenger explosion, the end of the Hussein regime in Iraq and a couple of others).  For some reason I think they should be saved, but I don’t have a concrete reason “why”.   So for now, I put them back in the closet.

Yesterday I talked to my real estate agent and advised her that I was very disappointed in the communication I was (not) receiving from her or the agency itself.  I don’t think I have heard from them since before Christmas.  I suggested some changes to the listing on the website, asked for a current mortgage analysis and offered a monetary incentive to get this place closed before the listing agreement expires.  We’ll see if that precipates any action.

I realize that it is traditionally a slow time of year but I hope that with these changes, once the market picks up I will see some traffic.  I’m praying that the market does pick up within the next 6 weeks or so.

I spoke with the HR Director last week and there is no way I can make these payments once I retire without working another fulltime job.  What’s the point of retiring if I have to work more hours for less money somewhere else.  By the time I pay the 20% in taxes and the $500 a month for insurance, there won’t be much left.  Pretty discouraging!

I spent the rest of the day working on my blooming 9-patch.  I got two more squares sewn on each row.  My plan was to continue sewing until the bobbin ran out, then work on the monkey quilt since I would have to change the bobbin anyway.  I guess there was more thread on it than I thought because I finished the two rows of squares and still hadn’t run out.

I had my hair done last night and my hairdresser always gives me a nice hand massage while I’m under the dryer. The skin on my hands is very sensitive and I have to be careful what kind of hand cremes I use but generally I don’t have any problem with what she uses.  I don’t know what she used yesterday but I woke up during the night scratching like mad.  My fingers were itching like crazy, enough to wake me up.  I slathered on some prescription creme I have but tonight they are driving me crazy again.  I’ll put the creme on again with a pair of cotton gloves when I go to bed and hopefully they will feel better tomorrow.

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