Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Quilter’s Journey

How do you start your vacation?  Ours started by taking a dog to the vet (spayed) and then DH visiting the dentist while I loaded the car.  All that accomplished, we were off.  25 miles into the trip DH announced that he had forgotten his phone and Nook.  Back we went to the house and an hour later we were off, AGAIN.  And this time we kept going.

 Oh, did I mention that 25 miles into the second “going” DH announced that he hadn’t forgotten his phone, it was just in a different pocket? 

Anyway, the trip to Gastonia was pretty uneventful after that.  We made several stops at gas stations, antique malls, rest areas, etc, finally arriving at our first night’s destination.

Bright and early the next morning I was up and ready for my day: DH continued to sleep like a baby.

Long Creek Mills 1

First stop: Long Creek Mills, a wholesale thread store, along with other crafty things.

Long Creek Mills 2

I first visited here 16 years ago but had never had the opportunity to come back until today.  And I must say that the volume and choices are quite overwhelming.  However, I did manage to come out with a nice supply of new threads for quilting.

Mary Jo's 1

And then, just a few exits down on I85 and I was at Mary Jo’s fabric store.  I have been here twice before.  The first time as a new quilter.  That time I walked in and hyperventilated.  This time I had a plan, went right to work carrying out my fabric buying plan, picked up two fabrics that were not in the plan and then just walked around admiring the fabric choices that were not coming home with me. 

All of the above was completed in 2 hours and then I was back at the motel to pick up DH and be on our way for our day in Charlotte. 

Wanda's Show 1

First up was Wanda Hanson’s (Exuberant Color) art gallery show.  Oh my, the brilliant color on those walls.  Of course I had seen all of these quilts online but it is ever so much better seen in person.

Wanda's Show 2

Some of the quilts really didn’t need lighting, they just seemed to glow all by themselves.  I bought a mug with the picture of the quilt on the right.

Eric & Wanda's daughter

And one of the real highlights was being able to meet Wanda’s daughter, an mosaic artist. 

We were able to see some of her work (sorry I was being so impressed that I forgot to take pictures of her work) and visit her studio in the back of the gallery.






Mug Rug's Mama

The quilt on the top is my favorite of all the quilts left in the show and I bought a mug rug that was made with leftovers from that quilt.  I will be showing all my purchases in a later post.

After leaving the Ceil Gallery we did some antiquing (no buying) and began our journey up into the mountains of NC.  After a freeway, highway, narrow road, and even narrower paved “path” we found ourselves at the cabin we are to share with our youngest son and his wife.


It’s kind of hard to get a picture of it as it is covered with trees.

cabin 2

Here we are a little closer.  There are two decks plus a hot tub, two bedrooms, a sun room and a living room-kitchen combo.  And it is all alone on a hilltop.

lounge & horse

Here is a view from the far end of the yard.  In the background is the horse, 2 donkeys, and 3 goats, all of whom are beggers of the first order.

The only downside of all of this is that I can get no phone service here.  I am writing this now but will have to drive into town to get an internet connection to upload it.  I am not sure I can live without internet and phone service for 4 days.  But then, I do have my dragon to play with.  Open-mouthed smile


Monday, June 25, 2012

We Have Cover

We have real cover!!  35’ of roof over our heads.  This was just our deck but now it is our real front porch.

And we are enjoying it already.  We need to clean up the building debris and put some order out here but that will have to wait until we have enjoyed this respite from the sun for just a little while.

We will be removing the little blue thingy to the back yard, but again, will have to wait.

No sewing or quilting this weekend.  However, I have packed up the hexies, some blocks that need embroidery, and the dragon and the thread I am using to applique him so that I have something to work on while on vacation. 

And I do have a finish to show.  Yesterday was my mother’s 90th birthday and, of course, I had to make something special for her. 
Mother 90th birthday  She collects all things chicken and Fat Cat Designs’ Funky Chicken just seemed perfect.  And she was so much fun to create.  Mother says her eyes follow her around and seem to remind her that the dishes need washing.  Sarcastic smile  So, again,
                 HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOTHER!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stuff Is Happening


We have construction worker #1. 


And we have construction worker #2

And from that we now have the bones of the new deck roof.  Tomorrow we are supposed to have the tin on and then we will have shade and shelter from the rain.  To say I am excited would be an understatement.

Now, do you see a problem?  No, not the cat eating her dinner.  Look at the closed umbrella.  We didn’t move it before they started building but it is slightly taller than the roof will be there.  I am thinking we will need to pull it out of there before the guys get back tomorrow.

And see, Ms. Murphy is already checking this new thing out.  She went back and forth up there for about an hour before deciding it was time to come in for dinner.

And lest one thinks that I just spent my day watching construction workers (Rolling on the floor laughing), I have decided to do the Funky Chicken BOM from FatCatPatterns.  My mother collects chicken things and for that reason I am drawn to them.  And these are so funny and the best part are that they are free.

I even drew and cut out all the pattern pieces for the first three chickens.  I was going to begin picking fabrics but then I remembered that Tuesday I will be at Mary Jo’s in Gastonia, NC where I will have the opportunity to increase my stash, especially batiks.  Open-mouthed smile

And, I am thinking about this…….

I was looking for some handwork to take on vacation with me and thought I could probably work with these while visiting with our son and daughter-in-law.

So I prepped a few more.  I cut the hexies out with my GO but I had to cut the cardstock hexies by hand (ouch).  I think I will do a bunch more to take with me but if I don’t enjoy stitching them together they will be machine sewn together and will become a mug rug!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

It’s Monday

Guess what!  It is Design Wall Monday, again.  And although I feel very accomplished this week, all I did was get the top for a table topper done.

June Color Challenge
As I am sure everyone who reads Judy’s blog, this is the color pallet for June’s challenge.

8000 member block
8000 member block - Copy

This was my plan…..

And this was my finished block.

Next came the project plan.
corner triangles 2
June project
This was the plan and ….

This was the block with the corner triangles.  I hadn’t intended for the block to float but I couldn’t remember the formula for cutting the triangles, decided to err on the side of being too big and then liked the floating effect and left it that way.

Color Challenge TT June

And lastly came the completed top: two borders with on point square in a square blocks in the corners.  The top really is square but I was taking this picture this morning in the bright sunshine (couldn’t really see the image) and while I was talking to my daughter on the same phone.  Anyway, I am really excited with how this has come out and hope to begin quilting it later this week.

I am not a pink fan and am always surprised when I run across this fabric in my stash.  I plan to use it again for the binding but that will not even come close to using it up.  The backing will be the same as the striped background fabric in the block.  The topper measures 32” square and will sit on point on our table.

One of the reasons I didn’t spend as much time in the studio this week is that we had a repair (handy) man out to fix the leak we had around the microwave vent.  He found that the shingles are stapled down and the wind and heat had encouraged some staples to pop up and the wind had torn the shingle and allowed rain water to FLOOD in.  He also said that although our roof looks to be in really good condition, several other shingles/staples are popping up.  We had him pound them back down and today he is coming to add a nail or two to all the shingles on the roof to help with this problem.

Then, while he was here we talked to him about putting a roof over our deck (read front porch).  I have always wanted a fiberglass corrugated translucent roof to allow light while still giving shade and respite from rain.  Well, they don’t seem to make that anymore and the “plastic” stuff is awful (read very poor reviews).  So after searching the internet we spent Saturday afternoon at Lowes and Home Depot looking at what they had and have pretty much decided on a heavy gauge tin roof.  I will be talking to the handyman tomorrow as well as checking out what the local builder’s supply places have and the prices.  Then I think we will start the process of building a cover for 33’ of decking.  How neat to walk out the door and not get wet or hit by the sun.  Open-mouthed smile

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Color Challenge in the Works

8000 member block
Today I am showing a partial finish.  This is the 8000 member block (Carol Doak’s yahoo list) I blogged about on Monday.  I am so happy with how this block turned out and hope to work tomorrow on the table topper it will become.


I also wanted to share the last two boot blocks.  I plan to finish the applique tomorrow.

Proposed setting 6-14-12
This is my current plan for the boots.  The center medallion is planned to be a wagon wheel.  However I am also looking at another possibility.  That will be a job for another day.

Last Saturday and Sunday we had RAIN.  We got 10+” and lots of wind.  And we also had rain in the house, a first for us.  I walked into the kitchen to find water all over the floor.  On closer inspection I found the top of the stove covered with  water and some dripping from the microwave above it.  Inspecting further I found that the microwave was flooded and there was a waterfall coming down the venting to the roof.  We filled the microwave with towels and rotated them through the dryer for 2 days.   Tomorrow we have someone coming to fix the problem.  Again, we have never had to have anyone work on our roof, or anything on it, so we are holding our breath that it doesn’t cost a whole bunch of money to keep the rain out of the house. 

Anyway, while the guy is up on the roof, I will be in the studio sewing. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fun with Fabric

DW 1
Here you can see 1/2 of my design wall.  The blocks from last week are still up: no setting ideas have come, yet. 

Next to them are two of the 4 Boot Bash blocks that I prepped and these two have even been appliqued to the background.

Boot a
I started this BOM, from Molly, in Jan 2011 but somehow didn’t complete the last 4 blocks. 

Boot b
These are fun blocks to make and they let me play with mixing fabrics together. 

I hope to have the other two blocks finished this week and then I have a very large medallion I want to make to completed this quilt top.

June Color Challenge
My next project for last week was the color challenge from Vicki and Judy.  These are the colors Vicki chose for June.

8000 member block

And this is how I plan to use it.  This is a paper piecing block designed by Carol Doak for having 8000 members on her yahoo list. 

June project

I even have a plan for it: a table topper.

More bright colors for the summer.

pp block pieces

So I cut ALL of the little pieces for this project.  Oh, my, how I really don’t enjoy cutting fabric.

Of course I did have a little problem.  My printer didn’t want to print the cutting directions so I sent the PDF to myself, brought it up on my iPad and was able to see all the directions and get it all ready for sewing today.

tweezers & sizzors 2

Oh, and last but not least, I wanted to show the new toys I got for the studio from my LQS.  These are a pair of tweezers and scissors.   Aren’t they cute?  And they work, too.

Well, after writing all of this I am ready to get back into the studio and get some more stitching going.  How about you?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Worthless Wednesday

OK, I know it is Thursday but I am explaining yesterday so I can understand why I am doing Wednesday’s chores today rather than quilting.

Monday:  Did morning housework and then headed to the studio.

There I began working on the feathers lessons Judy is teaching over at Patchwork Times.  This is my plan for the outside border.  I like the idea of the feathers fanning out from the middle so this is how I drew them.

possible middle border and inner border
This is what I am thinking about for the middle and inner borders.  Not too clear about that at this time but one has to have a plan.

I should say here that I have a stitch regulated machine but the regulator isn’t working well so I have been forced to stitch slowly in order to have even stitches and the control I still haven’t mastered. 

outside border stitched
Here is the top border stitched.  Not as good as I would like but doesn’t show too much on that busy fabric.  Guess why I chose it!

backing side
Then I crawled under the machine to see how it looked on the backside and I was not too displeased.  Not perfect (never will be) but better than I thought. 

Unfortunately, by the time I got that far I had to quit for the day.

Tuesday is a full day of Weight Watchers.  I leave at 7am, do a class 60 miles away and then hold an “Open All Day” for the WW center until 3:30.  I get the paperwork done for both and try to get to the bank before it closes at 4.  Then a 45 mile drive to the next town over where I do another class at 5.  I leave there between 6:30 and 7 and get home between 7:30 and 8:30.  It is a very long day for this older lady.

Then came Wednesday.  I usually feel worn out after Tuesday so I don’t plan strenuous activities for the next day.  However I didn’t sleep well Tuesday night and Wed. morning I was tired, weak, dizzy, and feeling unwell (listless).  After taking the dogs out I went back to bed but their barking to get into the bedroom drove me back to the living room…where I laid down on the couch.

what ARE you doing
What you see here is me and two doxies.  Abby seems to be wondering what I am doing and me, too, since I really wanted to sleep.

one napping
Here we have Sadie, sound asleep, and me, not so much.  However she makes me smile so it was all right.

two napping
I really didn’t sleep but I rested all day (with periodic trips outside for the dogs).  I was finally feeling some better in the evening and this morning I am much better and have been working on the things I should have gotten done yesterday so I can spend the afternoon in the studio.

I won’t be getting back to the quilting today as I have BOMs and some piecing that is on the docket.  I am trying to balance my time in the studio so I get things done and don’t have too many things crying out for attention.  It can get very noisy over there sometimes.  Punk