Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Cleaning vs. Design Wall

And with any luck, Spring cleaning will win this week.

I am planning on buying a new mattress and decided that before it arrives I want need to clean out the bedroom and rearrange the furniture.  So this coming week I am going to apply the “30 minute” rule to my sewing/quilting and keep myself in the house doing what needs to be done.


This past week I got a little done in the studio.  005

I did start working on a small mystery project on the Carol Doak yahoo list.  We are to make 10 3” paper pieced blocks and then step 2 will be revealed.  I figure that this is a great 30 min. project and I should be able to have them all done by the end of the week.


I also completed my machine embroidery project, a shirt for DH’s birthday.  It can be seen here


I did start quilting on my Quilt Diva but my machine decided to not want to run the stitch regulator so it is sitting as idle as the dragon.

So, I am counting on seeing a lot of quilting gems over at Patchwork Times to keep my quilting mojo going.  How about you?

002 (2)

On Saturday we celebrated DH’s birthday as well as our SIL’s birthday with dinner at the Golden Corral, the home of the chocolate fountain.   This is our “great” grandson, Skylar, experimenting his concoction, a chocolate covered marshmallow.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

His Big Day!


Today was his big day, the big 71He got to sleep in until 11am and then he chose a Chinese buffet for his birthday lunch. 

I gave him a personalized shirt (picture taken prior to pressing).  Eric collects B Western memorabilia, a whole house full of it, so I put this really cool cowboy boot above the pocket on the front.  I got the design from ATW.

And here is the back.  The “western” letters are currently free at Nita’s Place: they were digitized by Becky McNeil.  Once this shirt was pressed it looked even better and got rave reviews from the birthday boy.

Eric had rehearsal for The Sound of Music this afternoon so I got busy in the studio. 
Here are the petals for a new applique BOM from Esther Aliu. 
I really want to do applique and I have been doing raw edge-fused applique, but have decided I want more of a needle turn look (arthritis won’t let me do handwork).  So I have a wash out stabilizer ironed onto these fabrics.

And here is the beginning of my first sunflower.  The funny thing is that between pressing down the edges and putting the petals together, two petals have disappeared.  It’s not like I can’t make two more, but where can they be?  I think they may have jumped off the ironing board, much like jumping off a bridge, in an attempt to get out of being in my flower.  And just for anyone’s information, there are 28 petals in this flower….and there are two of them!  What have I let myself in for?

And, what have we here?  The first rose of summer!  It has been 86F every day this week so the plants already think it is summer….and me, too.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Stalled Wall

Did you know that there is a legend that dragons sleep for 25 years at a time?  Well, whether or not that is true, my dragon seems to be sleeping: nothing has changed on the wall.


So this is what I am showing.  She is called the Quilt Diva, first seen here over 1 year ago.  I completed this flimsy 2+ years ago but couldn’t decide how to quilt it so it has kind of hung around, waiting for inspiration.  Well, I decided it wasn’t ever coming so today I will begin ditch quilting around her and then “something” will get quilted in the empty space.




The funny things was that as I was getting ready to put her on the frame I found that there were 7 small “spools of thread” that I had never appliqued down.  So I got that done, the backing-batting-and top on the frame and chose the top and bobbin threads.  I am all ready to start the quilting process. 





Last week I took some time to DSM quilt two placemats that have been sitting around since December 2010, again waiting to be finished.  I had made placemats for family members (6 families) and just didn’t get around to finishing ours. 




The funny thing is that the binding has been ready all this time so it won’t be too long before they are decorating our table.



And for those who remember, I am almost through with my machine embroidery project.  I will probably be posting about it later this week.


So what did you do on National Quilting Day?  I went to a quilt show in Pensacola.  The guild there has some very talented ladies and I really enjoyed myself.  I did take some pictures for inspiration but haven’t had time to go through them yet. 




And I did spend a little money, just to keep the various quilt shops in business, you know.  Two batik backings and a set of precut strips of fabric.  I don’t usually buy fabric at shows but this time they were just the right thing for projected projects.  I also got four spools of Glide thread.  I really like quilting with poly and am partial to pale colors for quilting.  I have never tried this thread but I know the lady who was selling it so I’m giving it a try


Well, up and at’em.  I have a few housework projects to get done and then I plan to spend most of the day in the studio.  Maybe this will be my National Quilting Day, ya think?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hub’s Birthday Month

This is my husband, Eric.  We have been married 51 years and later this month (March 22) he will be turning 71.  He has been teaching for 48 years.  He retired in 2006 but because he is so popular with students, peers and even administrators, he has continued to teach on a “part-time” basis.  He teaches at two different community colleges and for a couple of years at three (each of the presidents has been a peer instructor at one time or another). 
The pictures now showing on the blog header are all of Eric at various stages in his life.  In 2004 I made a family calendar and this is the photo page for March.  I wanted his children to know and remember him in all his childhood/adulthood stages (which have not been too different from each other).  The women in the top left picture are his mother and grandmother.  His mother died when he was 11 and his grandmother not too long after.  The next picture over is of Eric and his sister: they are one year apart with Eric being the elder.  Next, to the right, is Eric as a pre-teen and then you see the boy I married.
The bottom pictures are of Eric when he visited his father in FL in 1961 and again in 1989 years later when we went looking for the house.  Even though it had been so many years later, Eric was able to give enough direction that we found the house and he was so pleased to see it looking much the same.
The picture furthest to the right is Eric dressed in a sweatshirt with knitted band I made him and pants given him by our DS#3 and DIL.  He put them on for this picture and they have been in my studio ever since (15+ years).  I keep thinking I am going to make vests out of them but so far nothing has happened.

Eric = 3D TV

NYE 2011
real geezer

A you can see, life with Eric has never been dull.  Not all peaches and cream but never dull.

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A March Finish


This is my Design “Wall” for this week.  It is also my Color Pallet Challenge finish for March.  And, it is the first mug rug I have made.  Some of the fabrics I used were from a set of fat quarters Vickie sent me several months ago.  I got the crazy quilt block from EQ7 and elongated it to be more practical.





034After I sewed the the decorative stitches between the patches I marked curves on each of the patches, except one.  These I used as the quilting and did it with my DSM.








curlers (2)

After the quilting was done I put the binding on, a leftover binding from an earlier quilt.  And do you see my new binding clips?  When I got them on this I thought they looked like the curlers we used to use to get curls in our hair.  Cool, huh?



And here it is, all done and ready for coffee.









This is the back, fabric left over from an earlier quilt.  Pretty much this also matches the color challenge, don’t you think?









I also have started a new, nonquilting project, but this is as much as I can show for now.  I hope to have it done before the end of the month.






And, as a final thought, I thought I would share why it takes me so long to get anything done.  I took this while I was “working” on an EQ project.  As you can tell, it is not easy to get anything done.  And, of course, aren’t my babies beautiful? 


Now, it is time to go to Patchwork Times and see all the quilting creativity going on over there.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Another new orange toy!!

Nosey & new chair

Look what arrived at my house today.  The FedEx man really laughed when he said “looks like you have to put this chair together,” and turned around and left me with the box in hand.  Well, I was on my way out to lunch with DH and then I had to go to the bank and the post office to get rid of the WW paperwork for the week.  So I didn’t get back to the box until almost 1:30 pm.  I opened the box and very carefully put the parts on this pallet in preparation for the great assembly.


instructions-no words

Then I pulled out the assembly instructions.  Do you see any words on that sheet?  Me neither.  But I plowed on (see “plow”?  That’s because this chair has a “tractor seat.”).








And just 12 minutes later, I had a chair with wheels and 5 height levels.






ready to roll

And here she is in the studio, ready to roll.  Unfortunately, my schedule for today doesn’t call for loading a quilt so maybe that will be on the list for tomorrow.  I really need to break this beautiful baby in.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Godda Code

This is the first time I have had a cold in years.  Last week I thought DH had a cold but he assured me it was sinus’.  Well, I don’t think sinus problems are catching.  Anyway, he is almost better and I am working on it.



And this is what I am using.  Isn’t this a pretty basket?  I found it in an antique shop probably 20 years ago: it is something I have never seen before.








pot in basket

I had decided that I needed to be drinking hot tea in my effort to thwart this cold and get it gone.  The interior of the basked it all insulated so the tea stays hot for quite awhile.










And isn’t the pot pretty?  The handles are wire and fold down flat so it all fits into the basket.  Really a great tea pot for this coffee drinking person.








Dragon almost done


And did you see this in the background?  Sunday I worked on fashioning the head (you did realize it was going to need a head, didn’t you?).  As a mostly traditional quilter, this has really been a challenge. 






Dragon head


I have an eye made and a patch where the nostril will be.  The big red strip is there to see what the flames will look like or if they will show up.  I have some ideas of how to shape the tail but that may have to wait until after some other things get  attention.



blue blocks done


I did get all the blue stripe blocks sewn so now I need to figure out what to add to them.  Right now it is only 36” x 48” so I will probably sash the blocks as well as add borders.  Of course that may mean …… buying more fabric.





March color challenge

I did take a little time out to pick my fabrics for the Color Challenge at Vickie’s and Judy’s.  I am going to make a mug rug.  I have one that is becoming well used and it needs a mate to take it’s place while being washing.  All oranges are my colors and I really like crazy patches.  Should be fun.


new cover


And this is my new orange toy.  Can you guess what it is?  Well, this time I am not keeping you in suspense.




white keyboard

Not only a neat cover for my iPad but with a pretty white keyboard, too. 






side view

And look how cool they all look together.  Both the iPad and the keyboard come out of the cover so nothing is restricted.  And it is ORANGE.  That is almost the best part, aside from the fact that it was on sale and with free shipping. 


Well, that is what has been happening in my little part of Alabama.  What’s going on in your part of the world?