Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rain, Rain, Rain

And it continues to rain, rain, rain. 6+” last weekend and at least 2.5” today. Now, I really like rain and have no problem with it raining except for one little thing. I bought a new camera yesterday and really wanted to go out and try it out on the new blooming spring. I did get this one shot before the rain got going hard.

So, how did I do? It is going to take some getting used to looking through the view finder and then there is the figuring out what all the settings are. This is a low end SLR camera but the first one I have ever had that I can get accessories for (opps, more money?). Why a new camera you may ask. Well, I tried to get a close up shot of something last week and the camera, which I really like, would not focus on it. Since I started blogging I have been taking more pictures and I keep seeing things I want to shoot, either for me, the family, or the blog and DH and I decided it was time to upgrade: he is also going to use it. We bought a SD card for each of us so there should be no mix-up with pictures.

I have not been in the studio for three days. Sunday DH and I went shopping and antiquing. All I bought was two more pair of Crocs. I do love those shoes and have several: here are a few.

This is my “shoe tree.”

Monday we took clothes to Goodwill and then shopped for fabric (oh, shock) and the new camera. Today was laundry day and I got it all done along with some computer work. But I still wanted to use the camera so I have decided to share my glass owl collection.

This is my dining area. I bought the wicker buffet top at a consignment store and it allows the light to come from behind the owls so the color shows up nicely

These are in my bedroom, also up against a window. Every once in a while I rearrange them, moving owls from room to room.

And these are in the bathroom. I love the little owl shot glasses. We don’t see many of this kind of glass so I tend to hyperventilate when I find them. There are more: they have been collected over the past 26 years. There are owls in every room in the house and even in the studio. I have other owls also but they are scattered rather than grouped. I have been collecting them for over 40 years. But when someone gave me my first glass owl creamer, I was hooked.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I am so excited, I have finished the quilt top that I can’t show yet. And not showing it is killing me. But so this isn’t a wasted post, let me tell you about our weather in SO AL. This is what I woke up to this morning:

This was the third day in a row that I woke up to the emergency siren and the weather man telling me that we were under a severe thunderstorm and tornado warning. And, over the last three days we have had over 6” of rain.

When I was out taking these pictures of the water not going down into the ground, my husband asked what I was doing. I told him I was taking pictures of our swamp. And what was really funny was that after today’s rain the sky completely cleared and the temp went up to 82F, and was very muggy from all the water on the ground. Tomorrow it is supposed to only get up to 65F: do you think we are having variable weather?

Tomorrow DH and I are going on a road trip to check out some hiking spots and Monday we will be making a trip to Goodwill to give away some large clothes and, hopefully, get some smaller shorts just in case the 80 degree weather comes back again. LOL

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Mother

My mother really likes shoes. When I was a teenager, she, with her size 4 foot, could buy sample shoes for $1 a pair: for $20 she would get 20 pair of shoes and for a similar $20 I would get 2. For the last several years she has been collecting the little ceramic shoes, and other shoe stuff like a shoe chair, lamp, etc. So, in 2003 I made her a “shoe quilt.” Now, you know how much work it takes to make a quilt, especially when you are a beginner. But I was both proud of the idea and how this one turned out.

So a couple of weeks ago I was talking with my mother and mentioned this quilt. She said she didn’t remember a “shoe quilt” but that I had made some towels with shoe embroidery on them. So this week I found the picture of the shoe quilt and emailed it to her. Would you believe that she said she has no memory of the quilt? So I guess it wasn’t a very impressive quilt, was it?

The other quilt I made her was this one (picture taken before the blocks and sashing was sewn together) :

She also collects all things chicken (note the backing on the shoe quilt). I chose the sashing colors to allow the quilt to fit in either her kitchen or living room. What I tell her is that I make utility quilts that are made to be used but she saves them hoping to be able to hang them: I don’t think they ever see the light of day. But my philosophy is that once something is given as a gift it is the recipient’s to use or not use, as she pleases.

I have been working on a gift quilt all week. I am going to do as much as I can today and then I am going to give myself permission to do something else for a while. I have a spring quilt top I finished four years ago that I really want to quilt so tomorrow it is going on the frame. And for top making, I still have some work to do on my black and white challenge quilt. I would like to get that done next week. These two quilts are for me, I think, and will look good in my room as a reminder that these spring showers (thunder and tornado warnings this morning) will be bringing flowers (I do have at least one bud on my rose bushes). Have a great day!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Tonight was THE weigh in: I made Lifetime at Weight Watchers. I have lost 60# and am wearing size 10 slacks. Am I proud of me? You bet I am!!!!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Forgetful Blogger, Me

I forgot to show the gifts I got for winning a giveaway from Jenny.

These are Thimbleberries fat quarters. Most are sewing related which is really neat since I have been saving FQs of sewing related fabrics for some future project. Maybe this is the time to decide what I want to do. I may think about covers for my machines: 6 sitting out and used regularly.

Two of the fat quarters are food related.

I know I am going to use this one:

as strips on kitchen towels.

I have been collecting misc. chef stuff since getting this.
It is a wine rack but I use it as a plant shelf and then for other stuff: it sits at the end of the island.

The other chef things in the kitchen are:

Pretty neat, huh? Since I don’t like to cook, this is just another room to decorate. LOL

Thanks again Jenny!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

There has been no sewing or quilting here since Monday. Monday I did get the last of 28 appliqué blocks finished and began looking at the additional fabrics (by the way, this is still a secret so can’t show anything yet). I had decided on the coordinating fabric some time ago but a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t find it. So, since I was so close to being ready for it, I decided on a different fabric that I also really liked for this quilt. Then on Monday I found the original fabric so was in a quandary that took up the rest of Monday.

Tuesday I went to a class for embroidery software. Even at my advanced age I try to keep up to date and learn the new things that come with upgrades. But by the time I left Monday afternoon my head was spinning. Yet, to keep learning, I signed up for a class on EQ6 on April 3.

So today I had planned to do the laundry, a never ending job, and play with the above mentioned software. However, yesterday afternoon my son from CO called to say his son, who is in the Air Force, is just 75 miles away and will be there until today at 8 when he will be leaving for Afghanistan and would I be interested in going to visit with him. So of course off I went this morning. This is Chris

And this is me with him.

Also with us were his other grandparents. We had a good visit and then lunch. I left them after we took Chris to Best Buy to pick up a power cord for his laptop (he seemed to think it wouldn’t hold a charge for 6 months) and then the others were then on their way to the AF base so he could get a belt he also had forgotten to pack. Our prayers will be going with Chris.

So, tomorrow I HAVE to do laundry (how boring) and will play with the software, but if I can I must sneak over to the studio to get some fabric ready to make “hundreds” of half square triangles. Oh, my!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

So my husband said “I am doing a paid project and I thought I would share with you so you can have some money to buy that quilt table you keep talking about.” After asking the polite questions about his project I asked how much money I could expect. I unfortunately “snorted” when he said “$100 – 200.” “So how much is the table,” he asked. “$2500,” I said. “Oh, I thought it would be around $500 – 700.” I guess he just had not been listening.

On the good front: Saturday I completed the strips for my March calendar challenge, including the potential appliqué for it. I wanted to get it done so I didn't have to do it in April. LOL

I had gotten up early so I got these done, just prior to DH’s decision that we should drive to Pensacola (100 miles) to get bird seed and dog toys (and of course eat out). So off in the rain we went and had a good time.

This morning I spent some time working on a guild challenge idea. We have two “ugly” fabrics that must be used and can add 4 more. It is not due until September but an idea came to me in the middle of the night so I started drawing. I will share pictures of the fabrics next time (forgot to take pictures)

This afternoon I practiced on my first

I did pretty well on the first pass.
And the second pass was part of the first pass, so no problems there.

But when I had to advance I didn’t do so well: missed it by about 2 ½ inches.

I was able to adjust and the last 2/3rds was ok.

I also noticed that I got more comfortable with it and was not as tense toward the end. I think I will use the good part of this to make a notebook cover to go with my datebook.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This week has been great. Monday my daughter made Lifetime at Weight Watchers.

She was so excited and I wasn’t very far behind her. Two more weeks and I should be smiling just like that.

Tuesday was quilt guild where the guild is starting to make plans to do a quilt show. I love those shows but they sure do look like a lot of work. Fortunately we have about 18 months to get ready.

Wednesday I got the kids quilts ready to go.

I felt a loss when my daughter picked them up but it was time to get back to other things. I had a long list of things to work on but for some reason I couldn’t get started and I even went to bed early but

not before I saw this:

But today was different. Up at 6, I was in the
studio by 7. On the way out I saw the moon

Once I stopped looking at the moon I got busy and spent the morning completing the 12 swap blocks.

Then I made a datebook cover. I have been wanting to make one but hadn’t gotten to it. The cover is made from a practice piece. I went to MQX (Machine Quilter’s Exposition) in NH last April where I had my only hands on training on my machine. Anyway, the cover is cut from the practice piece I did there and shows my first attempts at quilting feathers.

And the last thing I did today was to do the Eleanor Burns BOM.

By the time I was done with all of that it was time for dinner and some puppy time. We sat on the deck, listened to the birds and enjoyed the beautiful weather. So far this has been a really good week.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Done, Done, Done

Done, I’m done. All three of the kid’s quilts I am giving away are sewn, snipped, washed, dried, rewashed and redried and are ready to go to three little kids (see story here ). Last night I finished the third quilt for the older boy, 3 ½, and washed and dried it once.

Then I washed and dried it again this morning. I was very impressed with how the border blocks fit right to the body of the quilt and were neither lighter or heaver, especially since I used flannel for the blocks and polyester batting for the body.

Also last night I decided that there should be a quilt for the mother also so I am going to include this.

I have had this one in the studio for a few months, see posting about it here, and it just kind of jumped out at me saying “I need to go along with the rag quilts.” So this is what I will be sending with my daughter on Wednesday.

I am taking them all to Weight Watchers Monday since I snipped all through the meeting last Monday and was asked if they would be able to see the finished quilts (non-quilters there). I will also be taking them to guild on Tuesday (showing them off) and then to my daughter on Wednesday. I believe she will be taking them to the family on Thursday.

Today I tried getting back to some of my neglected projects. I am in an internet machine embroidery block swap. I had already done the embroidery part prior to the above tragedy so today I prepared the rest of the parts to the block.

I will probably sew them together tomorrow. I have two BOM’s to do, one due next week, and a quilt ready to be put on the frame. I am thinking about trying my first pantograph on it and am procrastinating, one of my finer accomplishments.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rolling Right Along

Look at what I have accomplished:

This is the little 1 year old girl's quilt and it is done. I am very happy with how it fringed.

And this is the 2 year old boy's quilt. In this
picture it had not yet been snipped. Now it has
been and is in the dryer for the second time: it
looks really good.

This is the quilt for the 3 year old. I quilted it traditionally but will be putting rag blocks all the way around the outside. I have the blocks cut and half sewn. Once again, tomorrow is another day.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Winter’s Still Here

I went out with the dog on Sunday morning and saw this.

The flakes were small and few but came, off and on, until early afternoon. We had strong winds (35 – 40 mph) so it stayed cold even though the temp went up to 42F. Today we have finally gotten into the low 50s but it still feels like winter.

With all the cold outside I have been busy on my rag quilts. I cut and cut

And sewed and sewed

and sewed and sewed. Here is the front and back.

Now I am snipping this little quilt. And I have cut all the squares for the second quilt and am starting the sewing on it.