Monday, May 25, 2009

finished charity quilt

I put the last stitches in this quilt last night. We have been on the go all day today- we went out and visited a friend who has three new baby goats, plus a two month old foal. Sweet animal babies! We ate breakfast out, then came home to do various things. It was over to my sons for a wonderful meal of grilled steaks and the best potato salad with plenty of yummy desserts we brought along. A very good time was enjoyed by all. We came home on the early side to be able to take care of the dog and wind down for the evening. My sister and I enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles together, we just completed a 1,000 pieced this afternoon and are about to tackle a new 750 piece one in a short while.
I did the last of the stitching last night when my sister and M were relaxing and reading. We are all huge readers and have already swapped some books and made promises to finish the current book so the other person can have it next. I am currently reading a book M really enjoyed and will pass it along to my sister for example. It's called The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- I am halfway done so should easily finish it before the week is over. I said I would post a photo of the finished guild charity quilt and is both a photo of the front and one of the back. The front is the side with all blocks and black/white polka dot sashing. I used the rest of the go with fabric from the kit given, plus the extra blocks and a bit of stash to bring it up to size. The stash also yielded the perfect fabric for the binding- I am pleased with how it turned out. I did simple straight line stitching so you hardly notice it- but can really see the fabrics.
A visit to Saturday Market on Sunday has resulted in a few sewing commitments for M and my sister to be done before Sunday when my sister flies home. Stay tuned to see what they fell in love with and of course, I had to say I could make them for a lot less! Although, honestly the gal did an awesome job on hers. Mine will be a similar idea/style but with my own approach to fun.

hurray for being on vacation the rest of the week is what I have to say!


Saturday, May 23, 2009

5 hours and counting down...

My sister arrives from the other side of the country in about 5 hours. We have been cleaning and clearing out big time - it's amazing how inspiring company coming can be. It turns out that my hand strength is running at about 40% of what it "should" be. I could understand my recovering broken hand being on the weak side, but apparently my left hand is not much stronger! So, my landscape guy finished doing all the drip sets - along the way making some improvements as I pointed out a few changes that needed to be made for the reality of what I have in that part of the front garden. Yesterday they did all the digging for the stage two of drainage work - now the other side of my front yard looks like giant moles have taken up residence! I need to go snap a few photos before they come back and finish putting in the French drain and so on.

However, I am up early to finish doing the last round of floor cleaning inside. The guest/fabric room is all ready for my sister to move into-and the bathroom nearby is spotless. I shut the door to keep Zoe (the dog) from wandering in and leaving very short hair behind. It is shedding time with the very warm weather we have been having and more on it's way. Thank goodness for vacuum cleaners sucking up dog hair! I think this will be one of the rare visits my sister has made here when we are having really nice weather.

M has done an outstanding job of helping- my side of the garage has grown to about four feet high of "stuff" to be sorted through and much of it will go away for good. I put Alice's toy container and then stacked quilts on top of it in the floor space at the foot of the guest bed. There are 5 quilts on beds with another 6 bed size quilts stacked plus the fleece yardage I had to have last winter.
And, another 4 quilts lying around elsewhere in the house. ( I just counted at least 2 quilts out in the garage). I love them all but boy do they take up inside space. My plan to stack them all on the guest bed when it is not in use will help the storage situation however.

I am almost done hand stitching binding on the framed horse block quilt. Photo once it is totally done.

I keep changing my mind on what block to make for my favorite outgoing guild president. I need to just decide and get it done! And the last block I need to make and mail is a string block. I just need to sit down and work on that.

With those two blocks done I will be at the end of my "have to's" and can turn my creative energy loose on several ideas I have been considering over the last few months. Plus, keep cleaning/clearing out around here too.

I probably won't do any sewing while my sister is here to play with. So don't be surprised if I disappear for a week - I will be reading but...only during my morning coffee time-I expect to be hanging out with my sister the rest of the time. She leaves on the 31st-a lovely long visit.

Lots of great quilting and knitting and other creative stuff going on at the blogs I have been reading of late- thanks for the inspiration everyone!

Keep sharing the joy....


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

if I am not quilting, I must be gardening

Right up there with quilting as a passion is gardening. I have loved digging in the dirt and growing stuff since childhood. Both my grandmothers were amazing gardeners-with fabulous gardens that I played in or admired all my growing up years. My aunt is also a fabulous gardener. That green thumb skipped my mom and found me.

I am showing before and in transition photos of the front left side of our home-as last fall I decided to re-do that area. I converted from a regular sprinkler system to a drip one. (saving so much water!) took out the ground cover/weeds, and relocated some plants.

before photo was from July 2008- after photo I took this morning. A few minutes ago I planted a butternut squash plant in the box closest to the sidewalk/driveway. I added two more plants into the front as well.

Last Sunday I was fired up to clean up and finish setting the drip system in the front deck area, do the rest of the front weeding and figure out where a few more plants needed to be re-located, plus plant the four new plants I actually allowed myself to buy. One was for the bleeding heart section, so that was easy to plop in. The other three were waiting as M came home and pointed out the umbrella I had put up needed to be weighed down or it would most likely tip over with any gust of wind. I put one cement block on but thought the other side should look

See that rock?

I decided it was perfect to help hold down the umbrella. Turns out whatever it weighs was beyond my lift it up and carry it strength. It got away from me and smashed my left index finger where the knuckle joint is located-on the inside of the hand. oh, major ouch! that ended my day plan of gardening. I spent the rest of the day icing 15 minutes, not icing 15 minutes-literally until around 7 pm. I knew it was not broken - but boy oh boy was it painful and yucky looking. Monday I checked with my doctor and was told-I did all the right things-it will remain swollen for about a month but go ahead and do whatever I can manage with it. I did win a tetanus shot as a result of this accident.

Admitting I needed some muscle help, my landscape guy came by last night and put that rock where I wanted it, plus finished using up all the tubing I had for setting drips. He ran out pretty fast-not even making it out the front deck area! He will be back today to finish up plus start the new french drain on the right side of the front yard.

The boxes will be planted with mostly veggies- the large pot is ready for the tomato plant we are getting from a co-worker's mom, and I still have plenty of weeding to finish up.

I am thankful I only lost a few days to my latest "body accident" and know how to rehab the left finger as well.

I can hardly wait to come home tonight and see how the front yard looks after my guy has done more work. will only be black tubing done...only exciting to me ! :-)
but a big step towards the next planting time-in another week or so-we tend to have one more freeze in late spring and I am waiting to plant after that happens.

You all make it a joyful day!


Friday, May 08, 2009


I worked on these letters the other night. My intent was to do big and leaning-the big part was no problem..the leaning a bit more tricky. It will finish out around 18 inches...I used some hand dyed fabric I had but not sure where I bought it. I will have to backtrack and fix the h...I was going to chop off the longer leg, but, the more I look at it, the more I like it being longer, so I will have to back up and fit some background fabric in to make it work out. I think I played more with it being angular than leaning...still, all in all I am happy with this word. My goal is to have it in the mail on Monday.

Click on my sidebar on Tonya's name to go read and join in making Halloween words to send to her!

Last night I was at a meeting until far too late to have the energy to finish these into a block. I have a dinner date with my dil tonight-our idea of celebrating Mother's Day. I am really looking forward to the one on one time with her. I think she is a wonderful person, a fabulous mom, and a terrific wife to my son. And, lucky for me, she loves me too. We don't always agree, but, we do respect each others opinions.

And, I forgot to mention that Gwen and Freddy's latest book arrived on my birthday too! Or maybe I just did not post how much fun I am having reading through it. Amazing that they have made 61 quilts for both of their books - wow! I am inspired by their self portraits. I have to do a portrait type block for an outgoing president of my guild that includes both of us. Thanks to these books, I have come up with an idea for this block project.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Alice sleepover in the big girl bed

My son reminded me- where are the Alice photos Mom??? You know her fans want to see and hear how the sleepover in her new big girl bed went! Alice will be 3 in about 50 days...she is the one and only grandchild of mine and lives close enough I get to see her at least once a week or more. More than quilting, she makes me wish I were independently wealthy so I could not work and play with her every day!

Anyway- here she is the day after sleeping in her new bed- I put the mattress on the floor and as you will note, the top bed is where I "slept" for the hour it took her to fall asleep. I think she did fabulously well with the change and I slipped in the early morning before she woke up and enjoyed watching her sleep and then wake up. She slept through the night and I think it was Zoe's chain collar that actually woke her up - that jingling sound is loud! Zoe was pacing because I had the door shut and she could not personally come in and check on Alice-after all, that is her main priority when Alice is here-keeping a close personal eye on Alice, and sneaking in slurps when Alice allows, or sometimes NOT.

When I was shopping at a favorite lqs-I picked up a few Alice gifts-and this one I opened up and showed her how it worked. Lacing cards are a great way to introduce the concept of sewing-and Alice had such fun she did a little on each one. I want to find another set of cards that have shorter laces and larger holes-I think she would enjoy them on her own better.
(blogger would not let me move the lacing card photo...)

The blocks I showed in my last post are all stitched into a top now. I checked in with the gal and she said go ahead and quilt and bind it-so sandwiching the top is on my agenda tonight.

Photo of the finished quilt when I get there.

It's another wet Wednesday here...very soggy outside...good for inside quilting once I am home from the office!

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Monday, May 04, 2009

something else quilty

At the last Clark County Quilters guild meeting I took a look at the charity kits and one bundle called my name. I knew immediately what I wanted to do with the main focus fabric so I brought it home and cut up the panel-pulled colors to work with the squares and did some strip cutting. Today I got back to this started project and completed all the blocks. You could make a top and backing and turn them in at the June meeting- but-once I make a top that I like, I want to have the fun of quilting it as well. I did some birthday fabric shopping a week ago and picked up a lot of black and white and dots fabric. I was moved from the waiting list for a class with Freddie Moran and the class is like a fun class with curved piecing and plenty of opportunity to play with all my favorite bright eye popping fabrics. My stash was low on dots and low on b/w and we had to go to a quilt shop I do not get to very often. Lucky me they had lots of fabrics I needed.
The black with large white dots was part of what I purchased that day. I happen to agree with Freddie Moran's idea that black and white are perfect to tie bright blocks together with. These blocks would have gone together faster had I not tried to distribute colors and horses evenly. I think it turned out fun and will make some child happy. I have not quite decided how I am going to quilt this yet-but I know it will be something simple and fast.
If you click to enlarge the photo you will see the small black and white dots in the panel also inspired using the larger black/white dotted was meant to be!

Alice sleepover photos later in the week- Little Miss Alice Wonderful fans...we all had a grand time together.