November 26, 2012

A Special Announcement

I have the most amazing daughter! Her creativity and imagination have always been an inspiration to me. From the time she was little, her artistic talents were quite obvious and it came as no surprise that she went on to pursue her art in college by majoring in metalsmithing.

Today, she is following her dream of having her very own small business by launching her Etsy shop featuring fine handcrafted silver jewelry. Her work is beautiful and sophisticated, elegant yet casual. Each piece is equally at home when worn for a special occasion or as a unique touch of class with casual attire.
Perfect as a gift. Perfect for yourself.

Please stop by her shop, EmilyClaireStudio, for a visit and help spread the word about her wonderful jewelry.



These are a few of my favorite pieces. I'm hoping I get one for Christmas.
Hint hint Emily dearest.  : )

This is my favorite. Beautiful natural pearls.

This one looks great with jeans.

Beautiful for a special occasion with your favorite dress.

October 31, 2012

Bloggers Quilt Festival

It's time for another Bloggers Quilt Festival put on by Amy over at Amy's Creative Side. Some amazing work is being shown and I can't wait to settle in with a glass of wine and start visiting all the beautiful quilts. I've been out of town for the past 6 days and am just throwing together my post to get it in under the wire. I do hope you'll take the time to explore my blog a little too along with visiting many of the other quilts being shown.



The quilt I've chosen to show all of you is one of my favorites. First of all I love the colors. Lots of cool and calming aquas and greens with a splash of purple. It's a scrappy quilt made from mostly Kaffe Fassett prints. He is my all time favorite designer. I just love his use of color and pattern and can't have enough of his fabrics along with those of Philip Jacobs.



The design for this quilt hung above my desk for months before I finally decided it was time to give it a try. I knew I wanted to try a scrappy look and when my daughter decided on greens and purples for the bedroom of her first real apartment, the fabric selections just fell into place from my stash. All the aquas and green prints which are mostly florals and vegetation of some type along with the blue/purple tumbling triangles remind me of a hanging garden or looking out from behind a waterfall. That's why I named it Cascade.

After finishing this original quilt, I liked the design so much I played around with some other variations and ended up making at least 6 other quilts using the same basic design. Eventually that lead to publishing the design as my second pdf pattern. You can read more about it here and see it over at Craftsy if you're interested in the pattern.

Even with all the variations I've done from the basic design, this one still remains my favorite by far. The colors are so refreshing and calming to me and yet the variety of fabrics always keeps me engaged. Luckily for me it's come home for awhile as my daughter lives here now and I couldn't be happier. I love having the quilt around, but more than anything I LOVE having her around.  : )

Bloggers Quilt Festival Stats
finished size: 60 x 85
designed and quilted by: Anne Deister
category: throw/lap, scrappy, two-color, home machine quilted



October 13, 2012

"Fitting In" the Finished Tetris Quilt

Do you ever get so lost in the linky parties that you actually forget to write your own post about something? I think that's what happened with my finished Tetris quilt. I wanted to include it in the parade Melissa had so I took pictures in a hurry and added the final quilt to her site and simply forgot to write about it. 

I was reminded today that I hadn't posted about it here when I got an email from Priscilla asking about the colors I had used. For the record they are Kona cotton in Deep Blue, Pacifica, Lagoon, Jade Green, Chartreuse, Kiwi, Clover and White.

So here's the finished quilt. 



I'm calling it "Fitting In" which is appropriate on a couple of levels. The little side pieces in the border are trying to fit in and, as a newish blogger, I'm trying to find my best fit within the huge blogging world of quilty goodness. 



I love how it turned out. Simple straight line quilting so as not to distract from all the gridded pieces coming together.



You can see all the finished quilts in Melissa's Tetris Parade here. Have you finished your Tetris quilt? Hope so. : )

September 26, 2012

WIP Wednesday

These WIP Wednesdays sure do come up awfully fast. The weeks are just flying by. With the end of September just around the corner I thought it finally time I got serious about the quilt(s) I'd like to submit for QuiltCon. The deadline is the end of November. You can get all the info here if you are thinking of entering a quilt or two.

I've pulled these fabrics from my stash to put to use in the first quilt I plan to make.


Won't be showing too much here on the blog but here's a little hint of what's in store.



  • it's definitely modern
  • it's an idea I've had for some time now
  • it's minimal in design
  • I'm having fun trying something new
Are you planning to enter a quilt for the QuiltCon next February?

September 25, 2012

Fall Sunflower Quilts

If you've followed along for awhile, you probably know I have a collection of dishes in the shape of flowers, fruits and veggies that I've mostly picked up here and there at thrift stores. Each season I like to switch it up and now that fall is officially here it's time to bring out the tomatoes, corn, pumpkins and sunflowers.



I always struggle a little with making this change because I really really love the summery flower, fruit and veggies dishes. They are all so colorful, bright and cheery. I just hate to put them away. You can see some of them here (veggies) here and here (fruits). Plus it's a reminder that summer has past for another year. But once the fall stuff is up I love it too.

Along with the dishes come a couple of fall quilts to complete the decor. I posted last week about the sunflower quilt that I've hung for years even though it was un-quilted. Probably no one but me ever really knew because it's at the end of the room and seen from a distance so most people probably wouldn't have noticed or were certainly to polite to say anything. Now it's finally done. Wahoo!!!  It looks so much better finished. More real if you know what I mean. Definitely a sight I've got to keep in mind to help me stay motivated to finish all the other UFO's.

Anyway here's the finished sunflower quilt I'm calling "Sunflowers for Vincent". It turned out relatively well if I do say so myself. I just have to spend more time practicing the free part of free motion.



The other quilt is a bit smaller and was also done years ago based on a pattern called "21st Century Bull's Eye" in a book called Quilts from Aunt Amy. The book's been around for awhile but has lots of great patterns many of which would look terrific done up in more modern fabrics. The bull's eye pattern uses a raw edge applique technique and is very easy to do. I fussy cut large sunflowers from several different fabrics for the centers and then used smaller scale sunflower prints to surround them. The backgrounds for each block are made from an assortment of green leafy prints. Every so often I threw in black, white and a touch of red. The black gave it contrast. The white added a little sparkle. And the red helped expand the color palette and add more depth. Without these extra colors everything would have been just a little too flat.


I did minimal quilting with a single free motion flower in the center of each block. Hard to see in the picture but easy to do.


So, do you switch up your quilts with the season? What do you do with them? I'd love to hear how you use all your beautiful quilty creations. Keep on stitching.

September 19, 2012

It's The Cat's Fault!

It's the cat's fault . . . I swear it is. You know how last week on WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced I said I was going to finish my sunflower quilt? The one that I've been hanging up for years every fall even though it's never been finished. Well do you ever have those quilting days (or weeks) when you're sure the quilting Gods are against you? Either the cat or the quilting Gods apparently liked the quilt the way it was . . . just a top. But I was determined to turn it into a finished top. And I wanted it done by last Friday.

Had I known what was about to transpire, I might have thought to photo document the steps so as to save you all the same frustration, but alas this was going to be a quick finish and then on to more tops just waiting to be born from my sketchbook.

First off came the quilting design and whether to mark or not. I'll admit right now that quilting is not my favorite thing. I LOVE to design. I pretty much love to piece. I do not like to quilt. And I tell myself it's just because I don't do it enough. If I do it more often it will get easier right? Every time I get my quilting mojo up and actually get a top quilted it's not as bad I think as long as the machine cooperates. Which it does half the time. The other half, I fiddle with the tension, the thread, the cat . . .

Anyway, I found an all-over leafy design that would be just fine but this quilt has no blocks to guide me and I just wasn't that confident in keeping the leaves the same scale and position so I decided to mark. But what method? I tried a stencil and pouncing with chalk. The lines were hard to see and once I pinned and did a little anchor stitching in the ditch the chalk lines were barely visible. So how about drawing over the chalk with another white marking pencil? Seemed like it was going to be ok . . . but the fabric has lights and darks. Still too hard to see.

Can you see those chalk marks?
Finally, I fell back on the golden tissue paper method. Now this works for me somewhat but it is more work to draw the design and pin in place and then tear away etc etc etc. But at least I know the design will be somewhat consistent.

Just some of the tissue paper mess on the floor afterwards.

One of these days I'm going to freely free-motion. I've done it before. I know I can do it again. It's just that quilting mojo thingy you know? Some days you have it . . . others not so much.

Next came the thread in the perfect shade of green that my machine did not like. No problem, I had an older spool that was "close enough". Until I ran out. Still no problem, the local sewing shop sells that brand so hop in the car and rush out to get it before they close. Next day I'm quilting away and getting a little frustrated that it still isn't done when I just happen to notice that I'm almost out of thread again. And it's almost closing time for the store again. At this point I really didn't want to buy another spool for the little I had left so found another green that was "close enough". No one will even know.

Did I mention that I was planning to get this quilted in a day and be done with it by Friday?

So it's Monday afternoon, but the quilting is done . . . finally.  There are a few tension problems in one area but it's done. Wahoo!!!



All that's left is to cut the binding and sew it on. No biggie, no problem right? I'd already decided to stitch the binding down by machine instead of by hand which is my norm so the end was in sight.

This is where the cat took over. She insisted on taking a bath and nap on top of the quilt while I was attaching the binding. Every corner meant taking her on a little spin as I rotated the quilt around to sew down the next side. She didn't seem to mind at all as long as I left her alone. But at this point it was dinner time, the fam's hungry and well, since I'm stitching the binding down by machine the last part will go fast. I'll just do it tomorrow. . .

She's cute but a serious impediment to quilting.
Leave me alone, I'm trying to nap here!

So now it's Tuesday afternoon and the binding is attached. Just need to fold the binding to the back and machine stitch down. No biggie, no problem right? I'm just a few days past my personal goal. It's almost finished. Take it to my big table to fold the binding to the back and notice something strange. The binding is stitched to the back instead of the front. I can't fold it to the back when it's already on the back. How did I not notice that I was sewing the binding to the wrong side? This is where I really blame the cat. If she had been bathing on the front of the quilt I'm sure I would have noticed and taken more offense and shooed her away. But she was on the back so it didn't bug me so much and it obviously didn't occur to me that I was attaching the binding to the wrong side.

Now thankfully, just last week I had done a little binding research and read about the method where you actually sew your binding to the back, fold it to the front and then stitch down with an edge stitch (most of you probably already know about this). I gave this and another method a try but didn't love the results. I guess that's why hand stitching is my norm. Kind of like machine quilting. I need to practice more and be less perfectionist about it all.

But it's Tuesday late afternoon and I'm going to finish this d___ quilt one way or another so edge stitching from the front will have to do.

And you know what? It worked! And it looked just fine. The binding fabric really helped hide the stitches and while it took longer than I thought, it was way way less time than hand stitching. I just might try it again.

So what did I learn?

  • I need to loosen up on my perfectionist tendencies.
  • my free-motion skills aren't so bad after all and if I just keep quilting it will most certainly get better and better.  I'll still have to work up my free-motion mojo every time though.
  • the type of thread does matter when doing free-motion with my machine.
  • the color of thread doesn't matter quite as much on busy prints. I can't even find the place where the thread color changes now that it's done.
  • check my tension on the quilt back more often.
  • machine binding can look good. I think I'll try it again.
  • And most importantly, it is possible to sew while the cat naps on top of your quilt.

It's finally done and ready to hang for this fall. I'll post about it and my other sunflower quilts next week when I put them up with my fall dish collection.

One less UFO . . . not telling how many more I have to go
. . . just keep finishing, just keep finishing.

Now if only my family would notice it's finally finished instead of just a top.   : )

September 12, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Time for another WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. Yesterday was my turn on the Let's get Acquainted Blog Hop hosted by Beth at Plum and June and I admitted there that I have many many UFO's piled up. Sadly my family is so used to seeing quilt tops hanging up around the house that they don't even know what a quilted quilt looks like. But not any more! After whipping up a little table runner tutorial for the hop and quilting it and putting it to use already, it seemed time to finish the original table runners that sparked the tutorial.

Fat Quarter Table Runner made with this tutorial.

Original table runners not yet quilted. I'm working on it.

Plus I'd like to get my fall sunflower quilt actually finished. I'm embarrassed to admit that I made this quilt years ago and hang it up in the fall even though it's not yet quilted. And even though it's not so much my style anymore, I still like the fall feeling it brings to the room. So the time has come. The backing is ready. The batting is cut. Basting right now, quilting this afternoon. Fingers crossed.



This quilt is like standing in a field of sunflowers in Kansas. It's busy busy but makes me smile. Now if only I can manage to keep smiling while I quilt it.

September 11, 2012

Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop


Hello all you bloggers hopping in to visit. Today is my day on Beth's Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop. I'm so very glad she put this together for newbie bloggers like myself. I've found many inspiring blogs through participating in the hop. Hope you have too.

So welcome to my little corner of blogland. Please take a few minutes to explore some other posts and get to know my style. And be sure to hop over to Kristy's blog at Cotton Addiction today for more quilty goodness. Don't you just love her blog's name? Then on Thursday, stop by and visit Julie at That's Sew Julie and Chelsea at Pins and Bobbins.

Now for a little about me. My name is Anne and I live in sunny Colorado. I'm a graphic designer turned stay-at-home mom who has now become an empty nester turned quilt blogger/pattern designer. I've quilted for at least 15 years, but it's been an on/off affair in the midst of raising kids that resulted in lots of UFO's. Last fall our youngest left for college and it became the perfect time to fully commit to my quilting. So this year I started my blog, decided to finish some of those UFO's and ventured into the world of pattern design.

I love color and pattern so when the two are combined into gorgeous fabrics I'm definitely addicted.  : )  I'm a huge Kaffe Fassettt fan, love the new modern prints, and have become a true convert to solids. I like working with traditional blocks in a new way and I like going totally modern with more abstract designs. I've got more sketches than I can manage to sew into finished quilts but that's ok because I love the design process.

When it comes to designing a new quilt, my design background takes over and I find myself exploring all kinds of possibilities. With all the exploration and variations I was dreaming up, I decided to start publishing patterns that included those extra options. Right now I have 2 patterns available through Craftsy.com. Each one includes 2 basic quilts plus several optional ideas. You can make several quilts and no two would be the same.





As for a blogging tip, I feel like I'm still figuring it all out but the one thing I'd say is find a QAL or something to participate in. You'll meet lots of nice people and learn/try something new at the same time. And please leave comments. Something I've come to truly appreciate. I love to respond to other quilters and find those little connections we might share. I wish I had known about blogging years ago. The work being done out there is always inspiring, and it definitely motivates me to get more done. But be careful about comparing yourself. Lots of people seem like super sewers who get loads done every week and have a bazillion followers. Another bit of advice . . . be yourself and sew what you love instead of simply copying other quilter's work. Or if you're inspired by their work give them credit. I've realized I just need to be me and do what I love. I need to stick to my own style and continue to develop my own vision. So be yourself.

If you've visited my blog before, you know I have a collection of fruit/veggie dishes along with a fabric collection to match. Each month during the spring/summer/fall I put up one of several quilts I've made with these fruit/veggie fabrics. A couple of years ago I made a series of tablerunners from a simple design I came up with and thought I'd share that with you today. Of course those original tablerunners are still technically UFO's, but this one for fall is finished. Wahoo!!! Thank you Beth for motivating me. One less UFO.



The design works perfectly with whatever fabrics you want to use. It requires just 2 fat quarters and a few strips. Easy peasy. So here goes . . .

Fat Quarter Table Runner
finished size: 15" x 48" (shorter if you prefer)

Fabrics required:
Focus fabrics:  2 fat quarters - 1 each of 2 different fabrics.
Works best if fat quarter is 18" wide but you can adjust later to accommodate a slightly narrower fat.
Narrow accent strip:  3 strips 1 1/2" x 18+"
Wide accent strip: 3 strips 2 /12" x 18+"
NOTE: I've listed the length with a + because it's best to cut your strips a little longer and then cut to size after they are sewn.

Step 1.
Layer the 2 fat quarters face up on your cutting board.
Cut 3 strips 6 1/2" wide across the 18" side for a finished size of 6 1/2" x 18+".
NOTE: if the fat quarters aren't a full 18" wide it's ok as long as you have 17" to work with. You can adjust later.
layer both fat quarters right side up.

18" side of fat quarter runs top to bottom in picture.

Step 2.
Arrange 1 strip of each fabric into a strip set as shown below. Place the focus fabrics on the outside and keep the accent strips in the center. Arrange 3 of these sets using one strip of each fabric for each set. Be sure to keep the same order for all 3 sets. Before sewing read the following if you have directional fabric.


If either of your focus fabrics is a directional print and you want them all to read the same direction, then cut each strip of one set in half so you have 2 strips 9+" long per fabric. Flip the directional fabric around keeping the same order for the strips. Make one full 18+" set and one 9+" half-set per arrangement. This will make more sense when you see the pictures below.

Strip set with pumpkins facing to the left.

Notice that the pumpkin fabric is flipped around in the bottom photo
but the other fabrics remain in the same position.
Step 3.
Sew strip sets together and press all seams to one side.

Step 4.
Cut sets into 4 segments 4 1/2" wide per segment.
NOTE: If your fat quarters were under 18" then just cut your strip sets into 4 equal width segments across the width of your strip set. It just means your finished runner will be somewhat shorter than 48".


Step 5.
Rearrange by flipping every other segment around so that the focus fabrics alternate along the sides. This is the point where the directional issues come into play. If you made the alternate sets all your directional fabric should be facing the same way. If not they will look like this. Absolutely nothing wrong with this but I just want you to be aware of what happens.

This photo shows what happens when you arrange the segments
without flipping your directional fabric.
Note the pumpkins go in 2 different directions.

Step 6.
Sew segments together into pairs and pairs together until runner is finished. Using a pin at the far side of each seam intersection helps to match the points. Otherwise pins aren't really needed unless you're a pinning kind of quilter. Press these seams open to reduce bulk.

TaDah!  Your runner is finished. Quilt it, grab a cup of tea and enjoy your newest creation.

Here's a look at two earlier runners I made. The proportions are slightly different but it's the same concept. This design works nicely with focus fabrics that come in both a dark and a light background. The lemon one is one of my favs.


Here's another one using just 3 fabrics instead of 4. Same basic construction. Just make one of the focus fabrics shorter so that when the accent strip is added on this combined measurement is the same width as the other focus fabric.  This way when segments are flipped the accent strip is staggered down the middle.

Well, that's it for my stop on the hop. Hope you've been inspired by some of what you've seen here today and I really do hope you'll come back again. It's been fun getting to know all of you.

Keep on quilting . . . Anne   : )

September 5, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Wow! These WIP Wednesdays at Freshly Pieced sure do come up fast. I've been wrapping up a couple of projects plus starting another small one. And I'm trying to set time aside to start working on a quilt to enter in the QuiltCon show. Hopefully more than one.

I finished up and shipped off my off my project for Stitch magazine. First time I've had a project published and it's pretty exciting. The spring issue seems so far off though. I'll be anxious to share it with you as soon as I can. It's made from these fabrics. Love the Amy Butler print!


This week has mostly been spent wrapping up the Tetris QAL quilt. Just about done with the quilting and then all that's left is binding. I'm pleased with how this one turned out and could be tempted to make another in a warm colorway. Stay tuned for the final quilted reveal in a few days. Hop over to Melissa's blog and see how everyone's quilts turned out. Some nice work happening.


Last thing this week will be a small project that I'll write up as a tutorial for my turn on the Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop next week. I think it will feature these fabrics since there's a bit of fall in the air.  But then I've changed my mind several times already so don't count on it. Check back next Tuesday for the tutorial.



September 3, 2012

Tetris QAL Top Finished

Got a little sidetracked last week but want to quickly post my finished Tetris QAL top. I added a white border and whenever my empty spaces fell on the outer edge I pieced in a "missing" square to pull the blocks out into the space. Am hoping to get the quilting done in time for Melissa's parade next week. Fingers crossed. Then I'll post better pics, but for now here it is. My first QAL and I had a terrific time and forced myself out of the pre-planned mode of operation. Thanks Melissa! Great job hosting.



August 22, 2012

Another WIP Wednesday, Another Tetris Block

Week 3 for me and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
Last week I posted about my Tradewinds quilt and runner getting finished and you can see more final results here. Love how both projects turned out although I'd like to get some better photos.


Also finished up my Stitch project and it's ready to ship. Wish I didn't have to wait till spring 2013 to see it in print and share it with you. I'm very excited.

Last but not least is the ongoing Tetris WIP. Week 6 of the Tetris QAL by Melissa over at Happy Quilting and this is the last block. Melissa has done a great job of mixing up the shapes and colors every week and this week was no exception. Staying true to playing by the rules of the game, I tried several arrangements before settling on this one.



With the other blocks already done, I was able to see which layout played nicely with the rest before I committed to sewing up the final block. At first I wasn't too happy with having 2 blue squares right on top of each other and tried several other block possibilities. There seemed to be just a little too much dark blue going on near the top half of the quilt. But after consideration, I realized these 2 blue squares provide a valuable resting spot for the eye amidst the randomness of all the other shapes. So stacked blue squares got the go ahead and it's just right. Now all I have to do is sew the blocks together.



Next week will be border considerations and after that quilting and finishing up. I already have  good idea of how I'd like to finish this up. Looking forward to my final quilt and seeing what everyone else does with theirs.

I've also got piles of fabric on my counter as I try to decide what to do for an upcoming tutorial for the Let's Get Acquainted blog hop by Plum and June.  This blog hop has been a great way to get to know more newbie bloggers like myself.

Keep quilting   : )

August 21, 2012

Tradewinds, a quilt and table runner finished!

I posted earlier about buying a layer cake of the fabric collection called Tradewinds made by Moda. Now I rarely buy a whole line of anything. Not so much because I don't want to, more because my budget just doesn't allow for all my wants. Besides, I keep telling myself I need to work with all the glorious fabrics I already own. But this time I splurged. And then, instead of adding it to my stash, I made the top and actually quilted it! Probably no big deal to many of you but quite out of my norm. I tend to be a topper all too often instead of a true quilter. Working on breaking that bad habit.



I used a variation of my own pattern called Cascade (available here) to make the quilt. The fabric with the lattice design said napkins to me and the triangles in the quilt design made me think of folded napkins tucked under a plate. I bought additional yardage of the lattice prints and used the layer cake squares for the main blocks. Didn't plan on a border when I started but once the blocks were pieced they just wanted to be contained and given a little breathing room to set them off. Plus adding a border made the quilt finish at a better size for a tablecloth. I used a 2-color extra wide binding to echo the colors in the corners of the quilt. A little red check for the backing finished off the summery tablecloth/picnic feel.



One of the extra features in the Cascade pattern is the use of leftovers to make a second project. I thought I'd use the bonus blocks to make some coordinating napkins but just wasn't feeling any of the layouts. The thing about the bonus blocks is they are a result of the trimmed corners from the larger quilt blocks. Easy peasy to make as you sew the quilt blocks, but what you get is a result of the fabric combinations used for the quilt. Lots of layout options to consider with these extra blocks but I just didn't like them as napkins. When I abandoned the napkins and tried a zigzag layout I knew a small table runner was the answer. Love how the chevron design fell into place.  I decided to skip the border on the runner once I realized it fit perfectly on my side table as is, plus I had just enough leftover quilt backing to back the runner. Gotta love when that works out.  : )



Then my daughter pointed out how well the fabrics went with my colored vase collection. She's got a good eye for design don't you think?




I also posted earlier about the frustration of trying to quilt the top.  : (   Since I envisioned this as a tablecloth, I thought I'd make it lighter weight and thinner than a normal quilt. Didn't quite turn out as I imagined though. I used a piece of flannel instead of batting. Thinner, yes . . . lighter weight, not so much. As a matter of fact, it's rather heavy which was part of my quilting frustration. That and a kitty who wanted to help by sitting on top while I tried to move it around under the needle. The two just do not work well together. But she sure is cute. Meow!



The frustration level went down when kitty left and I had a day to regroup and relax. I quilted a grid on point in the inner red/pink area and then straight lines around the blue/green outer edge. The border got some free motion loops that echoed the design elements from one of the fabric prints. The eclectic bazaar feeling of the prints seems to call for some hand work as well. Now I'm not one to do hand quilting. As a matter of fact I've never done any hand quilting. But there are so many beautiful things being done by some of you that I feel inspired to give it a try. I might try some pearl cotton hand stitching in the borders. What do you think? Red? Blue? Green? Pink? Small pointed half circles between every two loops?



So this about sums up my Tradewinds experience:
Loved the Tradewinds collection and all it's variety.
Will definitely look for more fabric collections to work with.
Won't use flannel instead of batting again unless it's something small.
May try hand quilting but for now other project deadlines take priority.

All in all, I'm very happy with how both these projects turned out. Now it's time for afternoon tea in the backyard. Ta Ta . . .