Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Feathers, not quite a Fail.

I've had a lot of time to think about the feathers, but not a lot of time to practice them. Excuses:
Machine was in the shop for a week getting pampered
I was away (had to go to Key West)
I had company
Short month
I was intimidated

That last one is a big one for me. I have just a little story. Many years ago, visiting a friend of mine who is a fabulous quilter, I asked her what this sewing on her quilt was. She said it's stippling, it's easy and fun, and she sewed some for me, yep, easy and fun.

Jump ahead about two years and I'm still not even thinking about quilting, but making pictures out of fabric sounds good to me. I had a book of Patrick Lose applique, so I made this:

Please excuse the wrinkles and dirt, it's been a box with other craft things for years. Anyway, after I outlined all of the applique, I decided to stipple it, easy and fun. Even now looking at it, I think I did a pretty good job for a first time effort and only going on my friends two minute lesson. I even did swirls on the stork.

Now jump ahead a lot of years and on to feathers. I've done a lot of free motion and just approached them with the same easy and fun mind set, but feathers is a whole new ball game. I tried to just do them

Ridiculous, and I walked away to get on with all of those other excuses. Times running out, so today I revisited them. Taking a more careful approach, here's what I did.

Better, but I need a lot of practice and I need to make them my own, so they flow. Diane's instructions were so very clear and in depth, I could hear the words in my head while I sewed shapes that looked like bad toes. It is true, practice works. In the few I sewed I could see improvement, so I will stick with it, but I don't think you'll be seeing feathers in any of my quilts anytime soon.

Thank you to SewCalGal for this challenge and a huge Thank You to Diane Gaudynski for taking the time to make this tutorial, I think you're amazing.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brady and I Won!! and Your Opinion Please

If you've been here for awhile, you know that I love and adore my two furbabies Brady and Maya.

I started my blog just so I could show them off in the Pets On Quilts Show over at SewCalGals.
I am definitely one of those "don't get her started people" when it comes to them.
So when I saw a post on Facebook from The Quilted Kitty, to post pictures for National Love Your Pet Day, how could I resist? 

First I posted a Maya baby picture:

Then went back and posted a before and after of Brady Bug

The Quilted Kitty picked two people for a $25.00 gift certificate and Brady was one of the winners. Yeah!

Now here's where I want your opinion or ideas. Remember this?

I made this for a local Cat Rescue Group for one of their fundraisers. When I gave it to them they asked if I would make another for the next fundraiser, which is rapidly approaching in April. I do have another of the original panel which I cut up, so I could make another similar quilt. The framing fabric is long gone, but that's not a problem. So, do I make this as a matching quilt or does anyone have any ideas for a really cute cat quilt, or maybe a link to some ideas? They have some cute cat fabric at The Quilted Kitty, but I really have no idea how to use it, I think the pressure is getting to me and my mind is blank. I've pretty much decided that whatever I make I'll use the gift certificate towards the charity quilt, that feels right. 
Anything you think might help is appreciated. Thanks.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, February 20, 2012

It's that time of year again when SewCalGal hosts the Golden Quilter Awards. Your chance to recognize the people who make a difference in this crazy passion of ours. You have a chance to nominate your choices for each of the following:

  1. Best Quilt Designer 
  2. Best Quilt Teacher/Instructor 
  3. Best Quilt book Author 
  4. Best Quilt Store (physical) 
  5. Best Quilt Store (online) 
  6. Best Longarm Quilter 
  7. Most Innovative Product (physical) 
  8. Most Innovative Product (software) 
  9. Most influential person in the world of quilting to-date, aka "Lifetime Achievement" 
  10. Best Quilt book publisher
I've always enjoyed this one, it feels like a chance to say "Thanks" to some of the people who have inspired me. You have until March 4th to make your nominations. Then go back on March 12th to vote.

This year SewCalGal has it set up as a survey, so try to have your answers ready for each one you want to nominate. 

So think about it, then head on over and give your opinion, we all love to do that, now don't we?

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Foto Finish - The Way I See It

The optional theme for Cat Patches Foto Finish is "The Way I See It". I've seen these words a lot lately in political monologues, so it's nice to use them creatively instead of boring. Here's mine:

We have a lot of fireworks in the Keys and the best way to watch is from a boat on the water, they always shoot them off from a barge out on the water, so you see the fireworks and the reflections from the water, beautiful.  The boat must have been in the spa, or we were lazy and I took this picture from land. I really like the way the palm trees lit up and the layers of smoke. Different and beautiful.

I hope you jump over to Cat Patches and check out the other photos. Fun as always.

As a little aside, does anyone know why so many of the blogs have those horrible new word verification's? Is this something new with Blogger?  I'm talking about the two words with a black and white background. I can't see them, I'll try once but if it doesn't work, I'm gone. I guess I'll be leaving less comments, which means more time for quilting.  

Thanks for coming by,

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I had this post in my head and planned it for Valentine's Day, but had to go to Key West (I know, poor Dana had to go to Key West :) , so I missed Valentine's Day. 

This is the first "real" quilt I made, the first one that I took pride in and just kept looking at saying "I made that". I still do that and hope I never lose it.

Goofing off,  taking a break at work one day I saw an animation on how to make a log cabin block, came home and started this. So easy, so pretty, I love Log Cabin.

I call this my first "real" quilt because I had made a few with embroidery blocks and sashing, which were pretty and honestly I had no idea what I was doing. I was pulling quilts to donate when I found one of those originals. 

See the block separating from the binding? I guess I didn't want to minimize the size of the block, so I sewed the bare minimum.

Here's the binding. I sewed a tiny hem on both sides of a strip of fabric, then sewed it on. I made this a little over two years ago and I'm pretty amazed at how much I've learned in that time. This quilt has been cut apart and I've sewn the blocks into another quilt which will make it's way to the local women's shelter. 

Meanwhile, I've made the original log cabin in different colors by request. Here's a pink and green which is much loved in England right now.

I made it just recently again in pastels. This could be my favorite because I love mint greens and blues together and I really like the all over stippling that softens it. The others were all stitch in the ditch, it's all I knew how to do.

So, there are my hearts. One of my goals is to show more of my quilts here, I get caught up in the sewing and quilting and don't think about the blog. Then it's on to something else and the blog stays in my head. I'm working on it. 

Happy Belated Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Foto Finish - Doors

It's time for Foto Finish at Cat Patches again and this weeks optional theme is Doors. I'm going to stretch that a bit and show you what was at our door back in Oct. of 2008. Some of you know the story of Maya and Brady, our two rescues and you may also I'm passionate about rescue.

This is Maya right after we took her in. Someone had dumped a litter of puppies on the side of the highway, don't worry, they all found homes and none of them were injured. Could you say no to that face, when you're asked if you can take her?

A few days later exploring her new yard

A couple of weeks later, helping Daddy do the yard work.

Now. This is where she spends a lot of her time, watching the world go by out of her window when she isn't bossing us or her little brother Brady Bug around. 

Want to help shelter pets and have a little fun? On the right of my blog near the top is a bling button for Free Kibble. Everyday they have two new trivia questions, one for dogs and one for cats. They aren't always easy, but right or wrong when you answer the question, they donate food to shelters. You can even have a reminder emailed to you everyday. They never spam and don't give out your email. It takes about 30 seconds and I enjoy starting my day with a little bit of trivia.

I hope you enjoyed my version of Foto Finish and go on over to Cat Patches to join in the fun.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, February 6, 2012

Adding a Button to your Blog

My how to use the linky post was a success and I've had a couple of requests for another on how to add a button, or as I call it adding Bling To Your Blog. I'm going to use SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilt Challenge button with her permission. This is for Blogger which is what I use. 

First you need to go the page with the button, you'll see a box under the button with the code.

Place your cursor at the very top left corner and while holding down the left mouse button, drag it down to the bottom right corner. You'll see the side arrow slide down as you go. The words will all turn blue.

Now right click anywhere in the blue and when the menu opens left click on COPY.

Now go to your blog and click on DESIGN


This menu opens. Go down until you see "HTML/JAVASCRIPT and click on the + box

In the content box, right click and from the menu left click on PASTE, the code will be there. Go up to the title box and type the name for the button. Of course, this one is Free Motion Quilt Challenge.

It should look just like this. Click Save. This will take you back to your design page.

You'll see the name of your button. At the top you'll see "design element added", you can click view page or preview to make sure it's really there. Then click SAVE at the top. You're done. 

Go wild and dress your blog up. I like to keep the current activity at the top and at one time I had three things going on. You can move them around by just dragging and dropping. As you can see I didn't type the title of each in when I put them up, so I need to go back and fix that since I have no idea which is which. 

Easy Peasy, right? Let me know if you have any problems, or better yet if you have success.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Foto Finish - Through The Window

The optional theme for Foto Finish over at Cat Patches is Through The Window. Here's mine:

I've always loved this picture of our back deck after a rain storm. The textures and colors plus the almost gloomy feel really appealed to me. We have a lot of sun, so gloomy is unique. I used this picture for my blog header since it suited the Stormy Days name and just retired it when I revamped my blog, so I'm happy to share it one more time.


Friday, February 3, 2012

How To Use The Linky for the Free Motion Challenge

Hey! Welcome! Do you like my new look? My old look was just slammed together and I never really liked it. 
A few emails back and forth with SewCalGal and here I am. Yeah! I know I'll be playing with it more now that I like it. Funny how that works.

As a huge THANK YOU to SewCalGal, I offered to put together a tutorial on how to use the linky for the Free Motion Quilt Challenge. There is a facebook page, plus the blog and there has been some confusion. So here goes my first ever tutorial (I thought it would be a quilt). Let me know how I did.

After you've written your blog post or uploaded your photo to Flickr you will need to get the web address for that specific post or picture. For a blog, make sure you're at the post. Flickr will follow these directions, but I do have a few pointers for new Flickr users at the bottom.

Notice that it says "Free Motion Quilt Challenge", that's the name for the blog post, so I know I'm just on that post, not my entire blog.

Right click anywhere ON THE WORDS. 

The words will turn blue and a menu will pop up. Left click on COPY.

Now you need to go to the linky. This will be under the current month's tutorial and will change as the tutorial's change month to month. For February here's the link:

Here's what you're looking for, it's way down under the tutorial

Click it and and this opens

Right click in the URL box and this menu appears, left click paste

You're address will be in the box. Now fill in your name, email address and click Submit Link. DONE!
Your name will appear in the list of names above the linky, if you don't see it refresh the page.

For Flickr, you will need to find your picture. Click on the YOU at the top of the page if you're not already there. 

Find your free motion picture and click on it, that will open a page with just that picture. That will be the address you need for your submission on the linky.

Follow the directions for blogs from above and you should be fine. If you have any problems I will be more than happy to help you through this. Just ask. I'll just be sitting here practicing FEATHERS??!!