Friday, March 3, 2017

The 100 Pound Rule

Hello there, March is here and boy have we ever gotten some dandy sand storms.   Like we had to put all the outdoor furniture on the patio rug to keep it flying around like Aladdin's magic rug.    Of course if the rug would really take us on a magical trip that might have been fun also.  The temps have been very warm for us this time of year but you don't hear hubby and I complain at all.   Love warm weather.    The next post or so I will tell you what we are trying to do about that.   An adventure for us and I guess I should have been keeping a little log about it.   Hummmm, might have to conjure that up.  

I am not going to mention February except for it was our beautiful granddaughter's 25th birthday.    Now all I have to say is wow !!!!!!    I cannot believe she has approached that magical age.  Way to go Princess.   Now I know some of y'all might be numerologists or thinking in that line, so please    get this in your noggins.    Hubby will be 75 in April, baby daughter will be 50 and our granddaughter just turned 25.    There has to be something magical going to happen to all three of them this year.  Right?   Can't wait to see if any of you have a thought on that one.

I was thinking ( oh oh Annette was thinking, that could mean trouble) the other day that I should take a few pictures of one of the Crazy Quilt blocks I was doing.  Sort of a step by step of why and what I did.    A received a block from the talented Brenda Sandusky on the theme of Downton Abby.   Now I don't watch  that at all, I know I guess I am the only one in the world who doesn't watch it, it was a fun block to embellish.  

First off I usually don't use the pretty soft colors she uses so that alone was a challenge for the bright colored Texan. 

So here goes----what I did and what it looks like during the process and some of my thoughts.

The block came beautifully sewn together like this.  Brenda had attached the Shibori ribbon at the top.   I added the pale green pleated ribbon and the pretty wired ribbon on the lower left.  I forgot to take a total from scratch pic.   I wanted some more of the darker color of the ribbon at the top somewhere else on the block, to me it just makes it flow better.   Do have to say this couple look pretty serious, I will see if I can jazz them up and maybe the will smile? 

The next thing I did was add some of the pretty purple family lace in the lower left corner.   I just was afraid the darker color of the fabric might draw the attention off of the pretty ribbon and the unsmiling couple.  

Time to start adding stitches and playing with the block.  I really had to use my noggin' on this block, remember I usually don't use such soft pretty colors.   The ribbon on the lower right was first.  I folded it over and  pinned it on.   Rayon thread I love, lots of sheen to it.   I used a Y stitch, the lazy daisy stitch and just a straight stitch on this part.   Sometimes this is my cop out stitch combo.   

I then went to my pearl thread and made a vine sort of,  I never usually sketch it off,  well in my head I do.  Lots of twirls and wiggles and some lazy d. stitches.  I do like this green with the purple fabrics.  I guess you could call it sage? Maybe?

Now it is time for the upper right corner.  I dance around the whole block and don't stick to one section for very long.  I guess a good waltz dance.    I did want the thread to stand out some on the block.   Still looking plain to me.  

I did do a little stitching on the girls hat and the guy's tie, I didn't think I could anything to make them smile so I thought ok will make Brenda smile.    On the Shibori ribbon I did little roses of coordinating silk ribbon.   I really like that stuff and the Fargo roses and french knots just filled in nicely.  I am surprised I had any of these colors.    

On the pleated green ribbon I did a little stitching so it doesn't feel left out.   Then as you see some more vines and french knots on the fabric under neath it.   I used more thread for the flowers and then just could stand it any longer and added some darker silk ribbon Fargo roses and BEADS !!!! Gotta have my beads-whew I was having withdrawals there for a second.   I did have some purple family tiny bugle beads so added them on the lace.  


I did some little rose buds to the left vine with little Lazy D. stitches with silk ribbon.  The upper right flowers grew as did some clear sequins.  I am about to say ENOUGH !!!! I need my beads.   Now I did work on the  Shibori ribbon and fixin to show you up close.  This block still looks so plain.  REALLY PLAIN.    I am fixin' to put my 100 pound rule I give myself.    The block needs to have BEADS !!!!! LOTS of them.  

 A close up of the upper dark colored ribbon.   I had to make myself stop with this, the pink just added pretty and notice I put purple beads to the pretty fabric on the right and around the Downton Abby fabric.   I am losing control here.   

The lace needed bling and a tea pot  so buttons were perfect for this English type embellishing.   

These photographed a weird color but had to show again.  Making sort of a trail with the buttons and then added more BEADS !!!

See the difference the buttons made?   I would have been so plain and look at the green pleated ribbon, it is nude.   No beads.    Well we will fix their little wagon.   Beads to the rescue.

 I bet you sneaked a peek with the other beads---on the green pleated ribbon and on the flowers in the upper right.   I was going to put on more, not quite the 100 pound limit in beads but I knew this was part of a Round Robin and didn't want it to yell    "LOOK AT ME"

So here you go the finished block for Brenda.   I forgot to take more pics but bet you got the idea how my brain works when I play with CQ.   

Thank you for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world.  


Sunday, January 8, 2017

How I made my book !!!

Hello there, well I am fixin to write how I made the pretty lace book.  Annette style,  the instructions of how I created the book and there are many many ways to put a book together.  This is just how I put this book together.  The ugly puuple book in a couple of posts back?   Well it is getting an overhaul.  I do believe replacing pistons in a 1955 Chevy was easier than making a lacy girlie book look prettier.    I am not kidding.  My hands were smaller than Hubby's hands so they could fit in and around engine parts easier that his would in different areas.  I am sure the manicure was messed up and I am laughing big time here.   I am not a manicure girl.  Oh sometimes I would get a manicure but by the next day my pretty nails looked awful and to this day I can ruin a manicure quicker that a bunny can run out of the yard with two dogs chasing it at full speed.

Whoops I am wandering.

Just a reminder of the back and front of the book.   I did just dig around in my laces and doilies I had purchased at  estate sales and knew the sweet ladies who made these would be proud, I think, that they were re purposed. 

  Now I used some thicker fabric for the inside of the book, the one that holds the weight of the pages and the pretty lace on top.   I stacked the pages that were going inside the book and just guesstimated how thick to make the backing .  I did allow a couple of inches more on the back side for "growth"  of the book.   They always seem to get fatter than you imagine.   I guess it is all the lace and stuff.  

I did use some flat lace first on the outside of the cover and wrapped it over the edge to the inside.   I also sewed a little pocket to the inside for any notes of in this case a Round Robin booklet the ladies wrote in.  Some of the lace on the front of the cover I used a sewing machine and some I hand tacked it and with the beads.   Of course they were hand tacked.  Remember don't sew up the inside pocket with your stitches and then you have to go back and cut them loose and resew the lace on the front.  Just saying from experience.

I chose some heavy muslin to back the block and used a piece of lace over the muslin.  I then put the overlay of lace on the muslin before making a little sandwich of the layers with the block.  Pinning the wrong  sides together of the lace, muslin and the CQ block.   When finished it looked kind of like a little pillow case.   I made the muslin and lace about 2 1/2 inches longer on the what will be center of the books

The birds eye view of the lace and muslin being folded over the block.  I didn't worry to much about the mitering of the corners, not with two layers of lace over it.  

I did not put any batting or anything between the layers.  You can of course if you want to.   

When I first was going to do this I didn't know about putting more lace on the block but you can never have to much lace in CQ art.   So I have been told.

The lace on the block is sewn on top of the block and on the bottom of the block.   

The block will look like this, sort of.  The 2 1/2 inches are to the left . The extra will be folded over and sewn on .   Now this litte book I sewed the pages directly to the back of the cover.   The last piece of lace I sewed on was done by hand so it would cover the spine where I sewed the blocks on.   

I pressed the extra fabric  with a little for seam  to fold over onto the block and then where I was going to sew it onto the book cover.   I would give more measurements but everyone's blocks are different sizes and that would lead you astray.     I sewed thru the muslin and the book cover with the ends not folded over.

This is sewn on to the book cover.   Now after you place the first one on the cover about every1/4 inch is a good measurement to sew the next block on.  Can be less if you want but just not butt the blocks together or it might make it stiff to open.   Just speaking from experience there.  Or it might look like the spine is jammed up and the open end part of the book just flares out.  It just doesn't lay flat if you jam them in super close.   Now on the purple book I did more than 1/4 inch, still learning here, and I used a purple marker to cover up the lighter fabric.  

 Now here is one of the blocks with the extra fabric folded over onto the block and then I use the machine to sew it over the block.  Notice when I sewed the flap over I folded in the ends and then they look nice and neat.  Please also notice at the top of the fold over is the little blank spot I told you about so the book lays nice and flat.  

One more page with the flap folded over, not yet sewn down.    I do have to mention, the page on the right has one lace  with the fold over flap and the back on the page before it has a different lace.   Note to self when you are making a book at two different times please save enough lace lace so they all look alike.   Lace this loose ( on the right ) is a bear to sew with for this purpose.   Please notice the tiny little void of anything in the center , that is the little space I was talking about. 

                             One more look at a page sewn in looking at how it is at the spine.   

See how pretty the pages lay in the book .  It is kind of a Coptic binding  or it may be.   When I make my art journals I use this type but it is done differently but the same results   Pages laying pretty and flat.  My fabric books are not done this way.  I learned those techniques from Pat Winter and Suzy Quaife.  Such talented ladies.  


The spine of the book with the extra piece of lace to hide my seams .

It sits nice and fluffy now.  Ready to look at and treasure.   They are not sitting in a drawer but I can enjoy them anytime.   

Reminds me of an old time pantaloons, nope I didn't wear them and just saw pictures of them.   

There you go I hope this helps some.  I am not an instruction person.  If you have any questions I will try to answer them  either here or on facebook.

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world today.



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

We are going to busy this year for sure

Hello and Happy New Year and wow is it going to be an awesome year.  I can feel it in my bones.    Now the last few days I wanted to finish up a project that has been in the working part for almost 2 years.  Yes, you read right.  Two years, this is not Annette to have projects looming over me but when see it you will understand.   It takes time to create a heirloom.   

I have been in a Round Robin with a wonderful group of artists.  They are great !!!!!!   I make5 or 6 blocks and send to them and they pick one to embellish. They  each do the same and we have blocks floating around in the mail to each other.  Like little elves or faeries carrying around our treasures.   By the time one year was over I thought ok I think I am going to make my second round of blocks kinda sorta the same theme.  So I am finishing them up.  I did actually take working photos and will post a new post with how I did the book for these treasures .   Sooooooooooo here you go.   My blocks of pretties and who did them.  I hope you enjoy the blocks and the little lace book I just finished.  

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world.  I just feel like great things are going to happen this year for us all. oxox

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Scant instructions on how I put my books together

Now you know I am not a dyed in the wool person.  Shocking  news isn't it?   Making my Crazy Quilt block books is no different with my loosey goosey style.   I am working on my third CQ book right now and fixin to put the mother of all books my Alice in Wonderland book.  I think these books below were my learning curve for the Alice book.  I will try to take good notes and pics of how it goes together.  

Soooooooo here is some notes and pics of 2 1/2 books I have put together. 

 The Crazy Quilt book I did.   I was not sure how to make the spine like I had seen in pics but I came up with a way.   Will share in a minute.   I did get carried away with the front and back of the book.    Now I make the all  lace books and put them together differently.  My sweet friend Pat Winter did a little tut on that and love it and I have taken and not had time to do it yet an on line class from Suzy Quaife.   Both  ladies are such experts in their art and look them up, it will be well worth your time.

                             I tied this book with some pretty ribbon

 I sewed the blocks like little envelopes and sewed on fabric,  better instructions I hope below.    I didn't like the way it looked and it needed to be fancier so lace came out of the bin and said " I want to be in this book"   So there ya go.     I did fold over the fabric of each one to help make a hinge.  I think better instructions below.  

My method of making the smocked looking spine.  I gathered up some soft fabric and on the wrong side just tacked little pieces of it together, bunched up I guess.  I did several areas and turned over to see what I did and taadaa it looked like I wanted.  Now this has been a while ago but I know it takes extra fabric and then I sewed it to the spine by hand I believe .   I just looked soft and pretty and seem to go with this book.   

This is the second book I made.   I had this pretty curtain I bought at an estate sale and the owners had whacked it up to fit a window.  They were surprised I bought them,  hey they don't know crafter artists for sure.   I layed it out and after stacking the blocks together and wrapping the fabric around them to see how much I needed.   Of course I added extra length and width to tuck in edges and just to make sure I wasn't short on the fabric  and thinking RATS.   On the spine I just added little charms and ribbon and lace.   No two books are alike and knowing me they won't be and it is a learning process to me.   The lace and charms and ribbon just added some motion and a little jingle noise.   

I added some tucked soft fabric to the spine to cover where I sewed the blocks onto the cover.  

How the blocks look sewn on.  Now I had the brain storm to use a color, one color to back all the blocks.  I hate it, but just to lazy to change it at this point in time.  Maybe when I get bored I will change it.  Maybe..........


Close up of the block with the mistake of fabric.   If I change it I will show you.  Looking at the pic I am thinking it will be sooner than later to change it.  Oh well live and learn. Now if you don't put tons of pretties on your blocks you might maybe put some thin batting or something between the block and it' s backing.  Mine have plenty on them and it gives the blocks BODY !  Weight also.  

The next  book I am working on, well sort of.  These are some blocks of a round robin I was in last year.  I did the blocks, the theme was big hat ladies, and fellow artist embellished them.   I did that for this year but haven't gotten the blocks back.  I just wanted to put all the blocks together.  Then the big hat ladies can have a good time together.  

I backed the blocks with lace and white fabric and instead of making a little envelope type of the blocks I cut the fabric a little larger that the block.  I then folded it over and sewed on top of it leaving the edge that will be the center open with extra fabric to fold over.   

This block was embellished by Fitzy,   whole names will come when the book is finished and she did so good and girlie.   I sewed the lace/fabric over the edge and you can see I added a darker baste line to make the blocks sort of uniform.   I left the center edge open    I wanted this whole book to be girlie, I am not a girlie girlie person but do love pretty and not blah colors.   The girls know me well that embellished the blocks.   

I made sure the inside edge was longer because it is the hinge so to speak of the page.   I sewed it to the cover fabric .    

I then fold it over and under to cover the basting of the block.  I did add lace to the outside edge of each page also.  This beauty is embellished by Lydia.   I am so lucky to have such talented ladies in my corner.  

This is the first page, embellished by me, myself and I with the fold over and lace on the inside front. On the opposite page I have sewn a lace tag with the creator's name and where they live and when we did this.  

 In the center of the fabric I used to line the cover,  I marked little lines about 1/4 inch apart to sew each page on.  Well in the general area anyway.  As close I follow my own directions lol   Now the first blank page on the left  and last blank page on the right is also covered in lace and this will be sewn on to the cover fabric.   I will also sew close to the pages on the cover center.   Now I will do all of this BEFORE I start adding the lace and trims to the back.   I will also will add some lace trim to the first and last blank pages.    The pages and blocks are a little smaller than the cover fabric and a good excuse for more girlie trim. 

This is what the back side looks like with pages sewn in.    If I were making a journal to do art in or write in there would be stitches with waxed thread.  A Coptic ( I think that is how you call it) style so the book lays flat.   

I mark the center of the whole cover.  When I get my last blocks I will show all assembly of the last of the book.  


My friend gave me some beautiful cream/warm white fabric and it is perfect for this project.  You  can see  one of the tags I am putting in the book just a little info on what in the world is going on with this book.   Now I do have to say this needs pressing all have been in a plastic sack just waiting to be finished.    I have faith, my girls will make it home to their book.   They are probably off having tea or an adult beverage.   Off the subject but when did they start calling wine, beer or some other alcohol and adult beverage?  Ok back to the subject at hand.


I just pinned some pretties on so you can sort of get the picture of where I am going with the cover.  I am using trim from a wedding gown, crochet work and lace and ribbon and just anything I can get my hands on.    

Alright, I hope this gives you some idea of how I put my books together.    I just follow my muse and how to put together.  I love making them.   

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world today