It’s Friday, Y’all!

It's Friday, Y'all!

I’m back with some fun things to share with you today from when Eric and I went to the State Fair back in October.  You know seeing the Creative Arts and Textiles building is always high on my list and it’s always fun to see the pieces people have entered.  I hope you enjoy getting to see some of the pieces I thought were “highlights”. 

I’m always a sucker for a sparkly Chatelaine Designs piece, and this one is no exception.  This is one of her Christmas Mystery designs. 

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A little closer so you can see the detail.
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Sweet little mini quilt that looks like a Jo Morton.
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And the hooked rugs always get me.  I have two kits that I bought many years ago, and I really need to make it a priority to learn how to hook. 
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Pretty applique quilt.  I thought the border was interesting as well, with the dark fabric and then the triangle pieces.  It’s kind of shame that they folded the sides in to display this piece, because I think that border probably changes the look of the quilt completely with the dark surround. 
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Cathedral Windows quilt – I’m always in awe of these due to the amount of time and skill they require.  This one is a more traditional looking quilt with the white background, whereas the one I showed you last year was done in very modern fabrics.  Interesting to see the comparison. 
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A little closer for detail.
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I love the texture created from the windows.  
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Another mini quilt, but opposite end of the spectrum from the one earlier.  I love the fabrics and colors in this – especially the grey background and binding.  It makes the stars really pop.  Hard to see in this photo, but the quilting was done in multi-colored or variegated thread. 
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The miniatures are always fun to look at too.  I love these little individual scenes, and I totally cannot resist miniature desserts!!
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A little closer…look at the yule log way down at the bottom.  Too cute!!
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Another hooked rug. 
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This quilt I thought was interesting because of the shapes.  It reminds me of “tongues” like you’d see in a penny rug, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quilt like this before. 
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Mini Dresdens!  It’s amazing the effect when you take a bunch of these and assemble them together.  
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Closer…
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I am so in love with this tiger.  It’s so different from the usual sheep you see in hooked rugs.  I seriously want this in my house.  Someone come make it for me!
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Beautiful jewel tones in this rug. 
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Now, I have to admit that I totally don’t get these entries.  There’s always a ton of “stuff” that have been entered and often with ribbons, but I don’t get what the point is.  The pieces are interesting, I’ll give you that, but why enter something you pulled out of your attic or bought at a antique shop?  If anyone knows, I’d love to be enlightened!  But, I took this photo because I thought the old Oz books were cool – brought back some memories. 
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Fun frame for this BOAF piece.  I love how it brings out the blue in the stitching. 
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I wish I’d gotten a better photo of this one – very pretty sampler.  No idea what sampler it is though.
 
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This piece was stitched by one of the ladies in my guild and won Best in Show.  This is the second year in a row that we’ve had a member with that honor.  This is all Blackwork.  And let me tell you, it is gorgeous in person.  Plus it makes me think of the Boleyn girls, so I love it.  And you can’t really tell here, but this is a big piece!!
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This was a fun hooked rug.  I really love this and of course, since it’s depicting a Dallas landmark, it makes it even better.  Beautiful rail fence pattern in the background. 
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Of course these HAED-type pieces are amazing to look at.  I started one HAED years ago and I think I managed to stitch about a 40×40 stitch area and called it quits.  I absolutely applaud anyone that can finish one of these because they are not easy – mainly I think because it’s really impossible to see what you’re stitching because it’s usually such a small area it just looks like pixelated color until you get a good chunk of it done – then the image starts to form.  
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Here’s a closer look.
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Another beautiful sampler – this looks like a Moira Blackburn to me, but not sure if it is.  Beautiful stitching.
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Another miniature – look at the moose head on the wall.  
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Look at the little dog!  And the tiny jars and mirror.  Amazing!
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Love this applique quilt.  Looks like this is all done in batiks, which gives it those pretty jewel tone colors.
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Check out this painted Halloween box.  Most of the Halloween stuff doesn’t interest me usually because it’s usually too cutesy for me, but this I love. 
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As you can see, the whole thing is painted, not just the top.  So fun.  Wonder what the inside looks like??
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And this was a little blast from the past for me.  This is a Just Nan piece that was a limited edition piece for The Silver Needle years ago (like maybe 10??).  Mine’s still in the original packaging, never stitched.  And it may or may not be accompanied in the box by like four other limited edition pieces.  Maybe. 
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It really is a super cute piece.  It’s a little ort box, with the attached felt pumpkin pincushion.  I swear, put the words “limited edition” on something and I’m all “SOLD”!  Maybe after I learn rug hooking I’ll start working on some of this stuff that’s in my “archives”.   
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And finally, one last quilt.  I think this is such a fun, bright quilt.  The fabric is all vegetable/fruit fabric.  How fun is that.  And what drew me to it as well was that when I went up to my LNS a couple of years ago to spend the morning cutting my fabric for my Kiss Kiss quilt, there was a woman there working on a quilt with this same fruit/veggie fabric.  No idea if this is hers or not, but it was so fun watching her work with those fabrics. 
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See how fun?
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So there you have it.  Another year at the fair.  I hope you guys enjoy seeing these photos.  Like I said, I love wandering through the exhibit every year and every year it’s different.  
I am grateful for the end of a hard week. 

Nightshade and Nightmare

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If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you probably already know of my love affair with Tula Pink‘s fabric.  When Miss Tula released her Nightshade line a couple of years ago, matching her amazing design talent with an utterly gothic take on Halloween, I was instantly sunk.  This line is probably one of my all time favorites of hers and I have some carefully hoarded cuts in my stash.  I don’t share my Tula stash lightly, but when my niece’s birthday rolled around, I knew I had to make an exception.  
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My niece and I are surprisingly like-minded and she loves anything dark and creepy and cool, so I decided that a pillowcase made from some Nightshade would be the perfect thing for her to bring to sleepovers and such.  
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I made each side different so that I could use two different pieces from the focal Coven print.  I pulled some fabric out of my stash for the sashing around the focal prints, and then a different tone on tone for the edging of the pillowcase.  
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And I absolutely had to use the Spider Blossom fabric for the background.  It’s full of little hidden “Tula treasures” like skulls, lightning bolts, moons, and spiderwebs.  Plus, it matches the case on my phone, so I thought a little nod to us matching was a good thing.  
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If you’ve ever heard a twelve-year-old girl squeal with delight, you can imagine the reception this gift got when we celebrated her birthday.  It holds a place of honor on her bed, along with her One Direction blanket.  lol
And just when I thought I’d have a little break and get back to doing some stitching and quilting for me, I got a call from my niece asking for help with her Halloween costume.  You may recall last year she went as the Mad Hatter?  So, this year she wanted to go as Sally from the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas.  I swear this kid and I are sharing brainwaves.  So, in case you haven’t seen the movie, here’s Sally…
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Being a Tim Burton movie, it’s thoroughly dark and creepy.  But, here was my dilemma.  When you do a search online, what comes up is a plethora of horridly garish and brightly colored versions of Sally’s dress.  Well, no thank you.  So, a few weekends ago, my gothic twin came to spend the night and we went over to a resale shop.  I started pulling shirts off the racks that fit in with the color scheme I had in my head.  I wanted the overall feel to be dingy, muted, while still keeping with the patterned patchwork look.  We found a dress that could be used as the base, and then I began cutting up the shirts we got and sewing them on.  And here’s what I ended up with.  Trust me when I tell you that she looks super adorable (in a very cool gothic way) in the dress. 
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I sewed all the scraps onto the base dress, and then I went back in and added some big decorative stitches for effect. 
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Here’s the back.  We lucked out to find a dress that only fastened by a button at the top, so I wasn’t having to work around zippers or anything of that nature.  
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I can’t even begin to tell you how much work went into this dress.  Probably 90% of it was done by hand.  I did attach some of the larger pieces by machine, but I was trying to work between the lining and the dress itself, which made that a bit difficult. 
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I’m really please with how it turned out and so is she.  I brought it to her yesterday and she immediately went to try it on.  She paired it with some black and grey striped knee-high socks, black ankle boots, and grey wool wristwarmers.  Love that kid!  
But now that I have birthday and Halloween done, I’ll be getting back to my stitching and quilting.  I can’t wait to see pics of her on Halloween though.  
Thanks for stopping by, and you may have noticed that I’ve changed the template I’m using for the blog.  Hopefully this fixes the issue with commenting since I’ve switched it over to a template that isn’t dynamic.  Let me know if you’re still having problems though.  I absolutely love reading your comments and they are important to me!  
Happy Halloween!
I am grateful for matching macabre sensibilities.