Wednesday, March 28, 2007

return from retreat...

Here is what my iris painting may grow up to look like:

when I get done with my two jigsaw puzzle quilts and spend some time finishing up this idea.

This class was taught by Melanie Chang who is a member of my MPS guild-a wonderful artist and able to help a totally inept non-art person with a brush paint. It was great to learn new things and I look forward to playing around with paints more in my some point. I have a good start and will add a bit more paint to mine perhaps. The circle you see around it is the tracing line we used to guild us-it will be the cutting line plus around the top of the flowers. The real drawback to fabric painting is once it's on the pretty much have to work around any oops you make. I doubt I will paint any more real life objects-rather I am drawn to the abstract-so that I will look forward to playing with more..I came back from retreat pretty exhausted due to staying up all Saturday night-and then on top of it, I became ill at work on Monday afternoon. I stayed home Tuesday and took it easy by stitching the fifth row blocks together after putting my sewing room back in working order. I am reading blogs as I find some time...enjoying discovering a few new ones and wish I could devote much more time to quilting and related subjects. I am so far away from retirement, it's just not something to write about.
Ok...I still have not upgraded my photo skills, so you will find my iris at the top of this post and Melanie's down at the end...I simply do not have the time nor desire at this point to make it prettier. I already have another post in mind to do-plus want to follow up on showing my sewing / stash as suggested. my oldest ufo? yes, that too perhaps.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Retreat !

In case anyone stops by and misses me....I have left this morning (Friday) for a weekend retreat-going with a friend and everything is packed by the door. I included my camera and will take lots of photos..including all the cutting I did (yes, until 3 am last night/morning) to be ready for today. I have lots of sub-cutting left but the strips are all cut and stacked neatly. I am only taking the two quilts I have cut for- being queen/king size I think all that piecing and additional cutting I will need to do-is more than enough for the short time I will be away. Luckily we have most of today to sew, once we arrive and settle in. I promised M I would actually sleep tonight-to make up for the lack of sleep last night. That may be a challenge as I get so pumped up..I just keep going and going...however...I don't want to wear myself out so I do intend to sleep-some of the time. The sewing room looks very bare- ironing board put away, no sewing machine nor fabric stacked on the table. How nice to be all ready to go and still have enough time to post and do some reading...have a wonderful weekend everyone, back Sunday night!


Monday, March 19, 2007

a weekend of family and gardening

Saturday being Saint Patrick's Day-included a visit with Alice my grand daughter, as you can see her mom was in the spirit! So, I couldn't resist sharing this photo of her wearing of the green. And, I was finally able to get a good shot of her two bottom teeth showing. A top tooth is on the verge of making an appearance next! Then I went by my aunts and kidnapped her for the rest of the day - which included visiting a local nursery and buying a coral bark maple tree for my front yard. We were enjoying a gorgeous day of blue skies and warm enough to sit out on the new back patio in tee shirts and visit. She took us to dinner and we had a great meal and then back home for more canasta playing. We are about ready to move on to actual score keeping next time-it was her turn to be the big winner. And that pretty much shot Saturday for fitting in anything quilty. I may have done a smidge of cutting but not much. Sunday morning I got more cutting in until I decided it was "misting" outside and perfect for planting the tree. Out I went and five hours later I had a planted tree and a transplanted huge hydranga shrub in the ground. Digging in our clay and rock soil really gave me a work out. At least it was softened by all the recent rain and time of year. In another two months what soil I have not amended will harden into cement-good luck trying to pry out anything once it gets like that! So after that gardening stint, it was time for a shower and a meal. Then, family phone calls to catch up on and baking and soup making took over. The last cookie came out of the oven at about 10:30 pm- a huge batch of what M's sister calls buffalo chip cookies-and the end of the movie -the new Bond one at almost midnight. During take cookies out of the oven breaks, I cut fabric, so I did manage a little more progress on that. and by the way I made chicken vegatable soup this time-a new recipe I had to try out. In a few minutes I will be pressing fabric and cutting during the fifteen minutes or so before I need to stop and get ready for another day at work. Tonight, I will be in cutting mode. I sketched out a color design for these quilts and now I need to make sure I have all the colors washed and ready for cutting. I am not cutting up my scraps as I go in case I have to go back and use a fabric a second time. I am saving them in a very colorful stack and that is a photo waiting to be taken! I am gone on retreat next weekend so having this weekend of doing family and gardening etc worked out well-I won't feel any guilt about being gone.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

what kind of quilts are me?

this was a birthday gift back in 2000. I worked sixty hours a week and most of my quilting was shopping for fabric and dreaming of the quilts I wanted to make. This friend took my situation to heart and this was the first of several bright quilts she made and sent to me. The result was I lost my own motivation to make myself a bright quilt and instead worked on other color ways. In fact, though I have all of Jan Mullen's patterns and at least one book-I have yet to make any of them myself. This is a wonderful example of Jan Mullen's designs-being a butterfly fabric collector - well-this was the perfect gift for me-and another friend quilted it- the quilting continues to amaze me to this day. I aspire to become this great at machine quilting...this is a small quilt..perfect for hanging up on the wall and enjoying. It just needs a sleeve...which maybe this year I will do.
So- when I think of a quilt that a person could say, this is a Cher quilt...well this would be a great example. Meanwhile, I am in a cutting frenzy of bright fabrics. I intend on taking a photo soon of the variety of fabrics I have been cutting - another wonderful example of a bright quilt I am making for long last. Thanks Ton! for the suggestion of topic for this post.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

completed wall hanging

inspiration strikes in different ways. I have noticed my friend Pam whipping through many small projects and when I was going through my stash of ufos...the friendship star swap blocks seemed a good choice to complete in a quick fashion. Sure enough, last night I put in the last stitch on the binding and made a point this morning of taking a photo to share. I never seem to pin things up straight-sorry about the uneven-ness of the photo. With that ufo finish-which I believe now really finishes 1999 projects started-I can work on a current project I have been stalling on cutting for.
I may need some nagging from close friends to actually follow through. And, thanks to a suggestion I have a new post simmering on the back burner to share later this week.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

something to brag about

Today I put the very last stitch in the challenge wall hanging. I am considering making a tube to roll it up in and store until it hangs in my guild show. I am especially pleased with the label I made for it as well. I did this while my aunt had her hair done. She is not allowed to drive yet and after a month of being in hospital/assisted care-a hair cut was just the pick me up she needed! She looks quite gorgeous now. We went grocery shopping and then I brought her back to our home for a nice supper. Her diet is still limited-but she enjoyed oven baked chicken, rice and fresh asparagus. Afterwards I showed a few of my quilts and stitched a little. Then we played some canasta and laughed the whole time. It is so wonderful to be able to spend this fun time with her after all the health challenges she has been through. I drove her home and then came back to work on the blocks that were up on the design wall. I promised Linda I would post a photo once they got to the finished top stage- or flimsey as some bloggers are fond of calling a completed top. Click for a larger view.

This project is back from 1999 and 2000 - I combined swap blocks and siggie squares - as I posted earlier, Linda helped me out by sending a siggie square as I was one short and needed one from her to pair up with her swap block. Pam and Veronica-you are also on there! I was framing siggie squares while my aunt visited with me-and I have to say this is the fastest top I have done in a long you suppose it's because it's only 42 inches by 26 inches?? It will be a wall hanging for the sewing room once it's finished. Of course I was able to pull the perfect sashing and setting triangles from stash-I think I have about three to four different bee fabrics as I knew someday these blocks would need bee fabric. The list name we all swapped on was A Cozy Quilt Bee....sadly it's been gone for several years now. When I joined, I think I had just made a few of my first blocks as a returning quilter. I really was a beginner - and that group taught me so much. Plus, I made friends that I still enjoy to this day! I like doing a small project-what instant gratification they are. Pretty soon my oldest ufo will be crossed off the list.
And the un-brag part: I still have not done the cutting I keep swearing I am going to do any minute now....well, there is tomorrow. I did wash and dry more fabric for the next up quilts-so I have even more fabric waiting to be cut.

Life is Good!
cleaning up the sewing room
spending time with loved ones
daffodils flowering

Monday, March 05, 2007

warning: baby photos

someone nagged I haven't put up Alice photos in a while-so I nabbed two shots until my card filled up and because I was particularly inept-I could not figure out how to delete some (not all) of the photos even reading my manual. I need to write a short version of how to do...for myself.
She wasn't having any of wearing her cute hat however-it was much more fun to wave it around as a toy.
We did some clothes shopping for her and after raising two boys, I had so much fun buying little dresses and rompers and such. Now that I have cleared the camera, I can take some quilty photos as much of the weekend was quilt related. Patti took a few photos of the string quilt I quilted but as she sliced into her left index finger with her rotary cutter ( sporting a new blade for all the cutting we did) in the early afternoon-she has not been able to send them on to me. I am sure you all join me in saying a big OUCH as it took 3 stitches to fix that owie. A reminder to all of us just how easy it is to have that cutter bump over the ruler and get you. I was so sorry to have such an event cut short our time together. I am gearing up not only to finish cutting those scraps I got half way through with Patti, but on to a twin new project. And, as a final side note, I am at the hand stitching binding/sleeve/label on the challenge wall hanging. Again, no photo of that until April 16th.