Friday, May 30, 2008

preview of fun

The last time Alice came to play was on Mother's Day-and we spent time doing her favorite thing as you can see. The swings are also a hit and I tried catching a photo of her in action-not so successful doing that. The last few days have been jammed packed-work has been extra busy and then last night I drove over to my favorite (read dangerous, spend too much money) nursery for a few plants-my boss was going and it was the motivation I needed-a bit of company on the errand.
I loaded my car which had limited space with two huge bags of super potting soil, two tomato plants, 2 flats of marigolds and petunias, and a lot of nastursiums-just to kick off my planting spree. I came home, unloaded, and had a bit of supper. Then I changed and headed outside. Those weeds just keep on coming- so I did a bit as I spread that garden compost I had shoveled a week or so ago into heaps around the front side-and planted most of the purple petunias. I tried to only spend an hour, but, once I got going-well, I quit when it was too dark to see the weeds. I dug up and liberated my Russian sage from one side of the front to the other. I sure hope it survives-I separated it into two plants as well. I have star creeper taking over one front area and literally washed it all out of the Russian sage before transplanting it. I will keep an eye out for any signs of it showing up-I do not want it taking over this other side of the front yard. A lot of what I planted is on the side where it won't be so obvious as you drive by-however I walk that path constantly to go through the side gate from the front of the yard to the back where the garden shed etc is located. I decided why not throw in a lot of purple to enjoy this late spring/summer. Once I get done on that side- I am about half way done now-I will take a few photos to share- I know fellow gardeners want to see! The weather has been on the coolish side and damp/misty wet so it is perfect for doing as much gardening as I can fit in.
I am still stitching binding on the last quilt-yes, two more were finished, and that one remaining quilt to be quilted-well, remains. I leave work early today (hurray) to pick up Alice to spend the night. I cleared all the lovely quilts/fabric from her crib and it awaits. I have to watch whatever is within arms reach too now from that crib as she can get busy pulling and getting into things when she wakes up! I think teddy bears,quilts, and fabric surrounding her won't be a problem.
Tomorrow, Alice and "help" me do more planting and weeding..I have plenty of small trowels for her to dig in the dirt with and what child can resist having fun playing in dirt? Of course she will also insist on walking over to the park and playing on the equipment-after all she knows that path well. A very fun day with Daddy coming at the end to have supper with us and take her home. Concert for us once he leaves and that will conclude what I know will be a very full and fun day!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

one down...4 to go

this was once a double bed size donated top to our charity group. Half of it has been a quilt and long ago passed along to headquarters. I found this half and another one when I was going through a bag on the charity shelf in the garage I stuffed at least a year ago. It is now bound and ready for a label {M2M} see my link to Pam on my sidebar if you want to learn about quilts for Mexico. I have rounded up at least 5 to 10 quilts that will be shipped to the mission headquarters that Pam is helping out. One of my goals before leaving for vacation in mid June is to have all these quilts out of here. I also have a stack ready to send to wraptheminlove headquarters too. Our group has been busy! and we have another get together this coming Sunday.
A sweet old lady made this top out of clearly scraps and whatever fabrics she had-as many of these fabrics are not 100% cotton. I think it has a very appealing maverick charm. It will keep a child warm and enjoying the bright colors. It is nice to have a finish and a ufo at that!


Sunday, May 25, 2008

current quilting status

Yesterday morning I started quilting on this quilt.
It's a UFO from last November when I was at a retreat in southern Oregon. I didn't get too many blocks made and it sat for quite a while. I had a lot of fun working out of the string bags to finish up these blocks and putting the top together went fast. I added various leftover strips to side border it up to the size I wanted. I am doing what I have called "zoom" lines. I start at a corner and put pedal to metal until I reach the end. I pivot and do the next line. Eventually all the squares have a diagonal line quilted through them and I am done. I am using a large cone of variegated black to white thread. I think I bought this thread as an online special and added it to the thread stash. I figured it would be good to use it on this quilt-the cone is sitting behind my machine-you only see the large top of the stand in this photo. To the left of my top is a print out of the FABS next pattern, guild challenge fabric, and a few stacks of Christmas charms. Plus various odds and ends that get shoved over to the side as the days pile up. A few more pinned quilts wait on the floor on the lower left of the photo too. You can see I have no problem working in the midst of chaos. Yesterday was spent mostly doing other non-quilty stuff. I spent some lovely quality time with my dil shopping for Alice. Upcoming birthday party items (she is turning 2, how did that happen???) and then new summery clothes. This works out so well for me-we did the same thing last year shopping for clothes. I went overboard last year and this year restrained myself to only two outfits. She will get them as part of her birthday presents.
I raised two sons and those of you who are moms can appreciate the joy of shopping for a little girl I am experiencing. I like going with my dil as she has very decided ideas on fashion etc for Alice and I am happy to spend my money on clothes I know she likes-that means Alice will wear them and that's a win-win I like. Alice is due to come spend the night this coming Friday. I can hardly wait!


Friday, May 23, 2008

current class project

here is the start of my version of Judy Niemeyer's Indian Summer pattern. The link is in a previous post, so I am not giving it again. I pulled from my stash shelf of autumn type fabrics and shopped to fill in more lights (21 strips needed) and just a few more tie-ins to all those autumn focus type fabrics I seemed to have fallen for in my early stash building days. The leafy type fabric I have maybe 3 yards of - for example-the other two-I bought half a yard for this top. Already you can see my progress as a stash enhancer-half yard cuts rule! I have a ton of autumn yardage left over and no interest in making too many more autumn-y quilts-solution? I am going to send some of the excess fabric to a dear friend and some of it...maybe quite a bit will end up as my first crocheted rug. I caught up reading Finns blog (see sidebar) and loved her rug tutorial-finally all the bits of information handy to dive into this project that has caught my fancy for quite a long time-years in fact.

Back to the Indian Summer quilt- it takes 42 blocks and as you can see-I have 3 done. I paired all my darks/lights together and have about half my strips cut. I wanted to spend at least half my time learning Judy's method of paper piecing-of course-she was fabulous and I learned a huge amount. She gave a great slide show and her trunk show of her quilts were amazing. She has cranked out a huge amount of finished quilts-over 700 according to her husband and they are all wonderful. Now to keep working on this project, continue doing my handquilting homework (which I have done very, very little of) and pick back up on quilting the stack of waiting quilts for charity. I also finally sent out the pattern inspired by the tile floor at my gym, known now as CGF's pattern to the FABS-thanks to LJs help. She has EQ6 and a flair for writing up the directions-I do not own EQ6 or any quilt software and feel I have zero time to take on learning that skill -so LJ to the rescue. This works great for me *vbs* Our quilt-in will be June 28th and sure to be a fabulous day of fun. The king size Shakespeare in the Park quilt has come home from the longarm gal and was thrown on the bed minus binding-just trimmed. It has turned from 90 plus degree weather to about 65 degree weather in two days...chilly! no problem, just toss a few more quilts on the bed, add a hot water bottle for those cold feet and bring on the chill factor. This is typical Oregon spring weather.
Monday I spent wheelbarrowing 25 loads of garden compost and prepping for Judy's class. Tuesday was spent all day taking the class going right into guild meeting that night. Wednesday night was go over and enjoy some Alice time-gosh, she just gets more adorable every time I see her-and last night? Finally some online catch up chatting time with a few of the FABS .
Tonight I have promised my sweetie- pizza and movie night. We used to dedicate Friday nights to doing that-and it has been far too long since we last had one. Of course my plan is to put in some hand quilting time during the movie watching part. Doesn't this sound like a great evening plan? I think it will be perfect for kicking off a 3 day weekend off. Hope your plans for tonight are as fun!


Monday, May 19, 2008

new photo at last

I know I need to change photo programs because making this set of photos accessible took over 30 minutes of trial and error using the program that came with my camera. I dumped everything on my card into what I thought was a new folder -turned out the program put it somewhere very strange. I promised a photo back in this post. It occurred to me that I could finally post it. This quilt is for a baby we are calling TheLittleGuy-as the parents are not telling the name until after he is born in about a month.
I failed to take my camera to Portland Quilt Market-thinking no photos would be allowed of the Hoffman Challenge and other displays-boy was I wrong. A friend is supposed to email me photos but in the meanwhile I remembered this photo needed posting.
It was a great event to work for and if you get a chance they seem to always need new worker bees at the various cities where they are put on. I did some serious shopping on Sample Spree night and will take photos soon of my loot. I am about halfway through doing the prep work for the class tomorrow from Judy Niemeyer on Indian Summer -look here if you want an idea of what I will be making. I still have about 20 strips to cut, more washing/ironing/cutting as well and make my templates. I really appreciate all the pre-work we are doing-I like to hit a class ready to put the pedal to the metal.
I also had 3 yards of garden compost delivered today-they ran late and I have only wheelbarrowed 10 loads of probably 30 total. Too hot out now for that work! I am going to walk Zoe around-she has been ill and not big on walking too far especially in the heat, poor boxer baby. She may have an ucler-and she is getting over a case of roundworm-yuck! You never know what your fur babies are going to do in the health department and she seems to run on the delicate digestion side of things. We have always kept her on a very strict diet-however, a chat with the vet and we have cut out all her small treats...boy is she depressed over that! She is also taking all sorts of medications and I am happy that is not part of my job. I don't mind walking and feeding, but, when it comes to all those other necessary parts like taking care of the toenails and giving of medications-that is my sweetie's job. Right now it is time to walk Zoe, despite the heat there is business to do.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

a new week

I had a lovely day yesterday- my son and granddaughter came over and while my son worked on my computer-I took Alice to the park. Once she was fed and down for her nap-we focused on tweaking and making sure everything was ok on this new computer. I am a check list type person when it comes to doing tasks that I do not do often or are new to me. It is how I learn best.
So, we had lots of time and I did my best to think of every little thing I could use help with. Here is something neither of us caught; we never heard any sound. We failed to even NOTICE we were NOT hearing anything. I think it is another hardware issue-the video card he added fixed the visual problem we were having and I think this falls into that same bucket. There is no blame being assigned here-I signed up to be a guinea pig for building a computer which he has not done in quite a while. It has been a great learning experience for both of us and I feel a bit annoyed that we both missed this obvious detail and at the same time, amused that we did. All the time in the world to work on this problem and we just missed something have to laugh.
I have taken some new photos-I still need to load them from the camera to this computer. After dinking around in control panel and trying various troubleshooting suggestions I was ready to take a break from being on the computer and just do something else.

Saturday I took a class in hand quilting from Suzanne Marshall, who doesn't use a hoop, which is the same style I enjoy. I spent a relaxing day learning her method and visiting with wonderful quilters. She brought her quilts and invited us to handle them and really look them over.
She is an amazing quilter and I would suggest if you ever get a chance-invite her to speak at your guild or take a class from her or go see her quilts on display. She has been a first place winner at Paducah and has a few quilts in their museum. So, every day I have homework of hand quilting for fifteen minutes. I put in my time last night. This is one homework assignment that I do not mind one bit doing! I have a nice size sample of four different templates I drew on the fabric to stitch on. I can now hold a size 10 quilting needle and I am trying to tolerate wearing a thimble (not doing so well on this).
I have a small pre-printed whole cloth quiltlet hiding out in my quilting stuff somewhere-this homework should be a great warm up to starting that project.

I will spend my fifteen minutes of computer homework tonight loading those photos :-)
Baby steps right now as I have extra work at the office to cope with!

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

old photo from 2003

I am playing with finding photos...looks like a whole lot of work ahead as my labeled photos seem to be in hiding. I made this as a charity quilt on a retreat with my group-using a pattern from More Quilts for Baby by Ursula Reikes.
ok...time to get on with this work day-no more computer stuff!


losing your computer, losing your mind

I know I posted about my computer crashing-so you get my title...and of course there has been other stuff on top of the computer crash to add to the sense of being overwhelmed.

Of the many, many joys of being a mom to full grown adult men is having one of them being a computer guru. He built my new computer! And, he came over and recovered the old data-which means with a few more hours of effort on my part-my photos will once again be available.

He was cheerful and wonderful about doing this for me too, even after putting in an eleven hour work day!

I am checking in to say as I keep loading stuff onto this new computer and tweaking it to get it back in the form I like best-I am hand stitching binding on a large-ish quilt. I spent Sunday pinning a stack of about 4-5 quilts to quilt with my charity group. I learned how to fix my fluorescent light fixture from one of the gals who used to be an electrical engineer too. See? another time sucking task on my to do list. I will state for the record-I enjoy learning a new skill that adds to my sense of being NOT helpless. I will enjoy that feeling of accomplishment, once I find the time during daylight hours to unscrew the rest of that fixture and get to the innards. This is where my other son would come to the rescue. The one that took everything apart as a child. Oh how I miss his help- another cheerful and wonderful son who loves helping his mama.
He is a Texan now and calls me mama-took me a while to adjust to a new name you know.

It's May-two quilting classes coming up. A hand quilting class and a challenging paper piecing class. One is this Saturday (hand quilting ) so that takes up that day. Sunday is Mother's Day...and I will spend some time with close by son.

Once this detour of time has concluded I so look forward to picking up on the summer class project I pulled fabrics for. Plus, there is a new FABS quilt in in June - LJ and I have worked together on a new pattern inspired by the tile flooring at my gym.

Oh the is calling my name loudly too. The dogwood is a late bloomer and it is nearly ready to burst into full pink glory any day now. I will be getting some plants on Sunday to add more color as well. This is the time of year when I am always in conflict- inside and quilt, outside and garden- I want to do both at the same time!
Well time to load up another program. Nice to have a much faster computer and as I add my favorite stuff I certainly appreciate using them.
thanks for stopping by and being patient about the lack of photos.