Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Today is the day Americans in the USA honor first our fallen military and next all persons who have served our country in the military. For me I firstly remember my father who served in the Navy during WW II. He was a Quaker who chose to enlist rather than be a conscientious objector. My father-in-law also served in the Merchant Marines. Our next family military service came when our second son enlisted in the Air Force. He was still serving during the first war with Iraq occured but was not called to serve there. And lastly, one of our grandsons is in the Air Force. He has served both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Currenty he is in Japan and is due to be discharged in August. Needless to say, I am very proud of them all.

And now to my design wall, which today is really my design table.

This is my design loosly based on a quilt design, Peaches and Dreams, by Judy Laquidara. Mine is called Going Dotty. I have had the fabric for a couple of months but didn't allow myself to start it until I had some other projects completed. I will be cutting the fabric tomorrow as well as some other fabric for a DNP baby quilt. How about that, two new projects with all those UFOs sitting around. Oh, well. Be sure to check out Judy's blog to see what everyone else is working on.

And here is my final completion for May: Baskets & Lace. I am really happy with how this has turned out and as of now am planning to hang it in my studio where I can enjoy it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Good Ol' Boy Harvestiing

Meet my son-in-law. He called me last evening and asked if I would go into the backyard and "measure the worms on the worm tree." OK, what is a "worm tree" and why do I have one. He said he had looked at it when he was mowing my yard Friday and the worms were only about 1/2" long but if they were big enough he would come get some to go fishing this morning. "Worm Tree!?!" I said.

Well, I went out and found these guys all over the beautiful leaves of the little tree. I had been really upset last year when over night all of the leaves had been eaten off. Now my SIL says that the "worms" (read catapillers) live and breed in the ground under this tree. When they hatch they climb the tree, eat and grow, go back into the ground and then become butterflies. Who knew. Anyway, here are just a few of the "worms" he harvested: see how they are trying to escape his bag.

So, above you see how they are eating the leaves and below you can see the results of more than a hundred hungry catapillers having a feast. And to think, all this activity has been going on right in my own backyard.

And you may be asking what I have been doing while all this activity has been going on. Well, I have been eating out, runing around with my daughter, and not sewing (except for working on the binding of Baskets & Lace). After some housework today I plan on a four day sewing marathon. Yea!!!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

It Is Summer in AL

Saturday night it was 82F at 10:30 pm and Sunday it got up to 97F. For this reason I have spent a lot of time in the studio.

This is my design wall, today. I have had stuff on and off of it for the last week. Currently there are 10 string blocks and 4 Snowbound blocks (Bunny Hill BOM). I am almost caught up with the snowman, am only one behind. I figure I will make block 5 after block 6 comes out, do the two of them together.

Along with the above blocks I finally got the binding made and put on Purple Rails. I am very pleased with how this quilt turned out.

My big accomplishment is getting the quilting done on Baskets & Lace. Not only that but I embroidered a label and made the binding for it. I have the binding all sewn on the front and pinned down so I can hand sew it to the back.

Did I mention that these blocks are also Bunny Hill designs?

One of the advantages of summer is the flowers. I am in no way a gardner but each year I have tried to add a little something/color to our yard. We live in the middle of the woods and have done little to civilize it but I do like to add a few cultivated plants, now and then. I am especially proud of my hydrangeas. Isn't that a beautiful blue?

My roses are Knock Out roses and once they start blooming, all one has to do is water them and dead head them when the blooms fade.

Be sure to stop by Judy's blog so see what other quilters are up to.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have finished quilting the blocks on Baskets & Lace.
And, I believe I now know why I was having so much trouble with the bobbin. I believe the culprit was the thread seen to the right. This is some thread I bought when I first started longarming (I don't know where I got it). It is cotton and I have never seen anything as "linty" as it is.

Here you can see the lint both on the thread and attached to the bobbin itself. I was having to clean out the bobbin with each block and would come up with enough cotton lint to weave a sheet.

I even found some lint sewn into the quilting on the back of the quilt when I rolled the quilt.

I have taken some steps to make sure this doesn't happen again. Firstly I got a Bobbin Genie to put in the bobbin case. It is a DSM size but if it seems to help with tension problems, I will order the M size.

And secondly, I threw out the offending thread.

Now I just need to quilt the corner stones and the borders (with poly thread) and this quilting will be done.

When I get frustrated or tired from quilting I turn to the sewing part part of quilting. On the left you can see Block 6 of the Jelly Roll Sampler. I quite enjoyed making this block.

I also made up two more string blocks and finished appliqueing the flowers on the last border of the Eleanor Burns BOM (Egg Money Quilts).

My, my, I seem to have been busy, don't I?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday, again

The design wall has not changed, much. I have added one string block. Actually there are two new ones but the picture was taken just before the second one was completed.

I have now completed three of the four appliqued borders. I plan to get the fourth done this week and then sewn on. It should be easy peasy after that, just complete and sew on the piano borders and the top will be done. Quilting will be another matter.

I started quilting Baskets and Lace and almost immediately had tension problems. First I was getting bobbin thread poking up on the top. And now I am occasionally having the bobbin thread just jump out of the bobbin and not have any tension at all.

I have gotten 8 of the 12 blocks quilted, with occasional stops to clip out the affected thread, reset the bobbin thread, and start again.

I am really happy with the look this free motion quilting has given these little baskets.
I don't know how much I will be getting done this coming week or two. DH has two weeks off between semesters and I am planning/hoping to get some house projects done. I guess we will see how many projects get done: at home or in the studio. ;-)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Design Wall Monday

My design wall is only a little different from Wednesday. I have two borders appliquéd with two to go. I did get one more string block completed and a sample rose log cabin block. Check out the other design walls at Judy’s blog.

Not on the wall is this quilt I am now calling Baskets and Lace:

I put in some time on Saturday stitching the batting together and then the backing. I had planned to start quilting on Sunday but DH surprised me with plans to return to Pensacola for brunch and time at the beach. We had a wonderful time. And we got to watch lots of other people having a great time, too: lots of laughing going on all around us. At the beach the water was clear, the sky was blue, the temp was mild with a cool breeze and there were even dolphins going by. Who could ask for more?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The good and the bad

The good: I have gotten all the stems appliqued on my borders and have started on the flowers. The three borders on the design wall only have their flowers pinned on but I do have one border completed: all appliqued.
I appliqued the stems with a green thread but the flowers are being done with mono-poly.

Just seeing the flowers on the borders really makes me happy/excited. Doesn't it look like spring?

The bad: yesterday the light didn't come on with I opened the refrigerator. And, it didn't come on when I opened the freezer. Fortunately we have two refrigerators so I moved everything into the smaller one (everything but what needed to be thrown out anyway). I checked the circuit breaker but all were still on. Then later in the day I discovered that one of our lamps also didn't come on. So I have decided that we have a bad breaker. Tomorrow I will check it by switching a good breaker and if that is the problem, will get a new one and we will be back in business.

Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to clean the refrigerator. Top picture is the very clean, and smelling of bleach, refrigerator. The picture to the right is the many containers that were cleaned out during the purge. Not a fun afternoon but certainly well worth while.

Tomorrow, after my electrical experiment, I will be back in the studio. I want to get a backing put together but I am being called by those borders.

Monday, May 3, 2010

OPAM finish/Design Wall

This is my design wall for this week, my outdoor mannequin and the purse I finished Saturday.

This purse was created using the fabrics from City of Roses so I call it City of Roses 2.

I should explain that not only is the fabric covered with roses but I was born in the city of roses, Portland, Oregon, and have a very soft spot for it.

Anyway, again there was no pattern so I am not sure how I wound up with this but it is a little bigger than the purse I made earlier, more square.

Even the handle was made using some canvas strapping that I found somewhere and covered with the yellow rose fabric.

I probably won’t start carrying it until June but, if I can find the right outfit, will carry it to the end of the year dinner at guild.

This weekend I have been on the road for three straight days. Thursday DD and I went shoe shopping in Pensacola, FL (180 miles round trip) and bought her some Sketchers to wear to work: nursing in a nursing home. I got mine a couple of weeks ago and really have enjoyed walking in them. While we were in town I just happened to stop in at Joann’s and bought one piece of fabric (R). It is a printed canvas that I am going to use to recover some outdoor pillows that have seen better days.

Friday DH and I drove down to Mobile, AL (240 miles round trip) to see if we could purchase something. He had called and found they had the item in stock but when we got there they were sold out. Not only that but we found that the Mobile Barnes & Noble is closing, not relocating but closing. We don’t frequent there often, note the miles, but when we are there it is one of our “must” stops. So sad!

Saturday DH and I returned to Pensacola. I picked up a pair of Sketchers sandals and he got a new computer. Not being the brightest computer bulb in the pack, he is now having to learn Windows 7: really funny. Oh, and I stopped at a favorite fabric shop and got this beautiful black and white piece (and little shades of green) (M). I have no idea what I will do with it but it was so very different from everything else I have.

And to finish off the weekend, on Sunday we drove to Crestview, FL (110 miles round trip) to have dinner, and visit another fabric shop that is celebrating her 39th business anniversary. My fabric purchase was this hydrangea print (L) that will be used as the backing for this as yet unnamed quilt.

Despite all that driving, I did get one more string block done and even have done most of the appliqué of the stems for the appliquéd borders I am making. Tomorrow I should have the stems done and will start appliquéing the flowers. And, oh, by the way, I don’t plan to go anywhere for quite a while!!

One last thing. Please pray for the Gulf coast. The oil slick is going to cause another devastation to the area, this one covering four states. It seems our area has more than it’s share of this sort of thing.