Sunday, March 31, 2013

Design Wall Monday

scrap blocksHere is what is on my Design Wall this morning.  I started making these scrap blocks several months ago and then they got put aside for more organized projects.  But right now I am between projects so out they came.  I hope to have another comfort quilt ready to quilt by sometime next week.  The blocks still need to be squared: some even need an additional strip or two.  But I think they are going to make a fun little quilt.

how to quiltI put this on the frame last week and there it sat until yesterday.  I had a terrible time coming up with a quilting plan.

plan 1I played with my plexiglass and finally came up with a plan so the quilting started yesterday afternoon.

startedEven though this is a small quilt, it really took me a long time to get started on this.

a little moreI am liking what I am doing in the borders and the large triangles.  We’ll see how I do when it comes time to stitch on the star.

one uncertainWe have been overrun by wild cats.  We started out with a couple and even got two, who chose to be sociable, spade.  However the others shy away from us but not each other.  Right now we have four dark gray cats and a light gray older kitten.  AND this past week we saw two small gray kittens come out from under the house.  It is time for them to go.  We have tried to think of how to get them together and off to the shelter and just this past weekend an idea came.  This is a birdcage we haven’t been using.  I have put it on the deck and we will be feeding the cats in there for a few days.  Also I will be sitting on the deck while they eat so they get used to me being around. 

hiding catTwo of the cats went in to eat but the rest refused.  Here is one who is hiding behind the Norfolk Pine, peeking out at me to see what I am doing.  I don’t think he trusts me.  Flirt male

cat in cageAnyway, for a first day I think we made good progress.  I don’t want to harm these cats, I just want them to live somewhere else.

And then there were 5One thing that is living here and making me very happy is my Christmas Cactus.  We now have 5 blooms coming.  Two are very big, one is ready to begin growing and two are just starting.  They weren’t open for Easter but I am just so excited to see real blooms.

I spent a lot of the weekend repotting plants and attempting to resuscitate some of the plants we had wintering in the house.  I think all but one will live (looking a little rough) so we will have hanging baskets and a few deck plants.  I do not have a green thumb but I do like the look of healthy plants decorating my house and deck.

I will be linking up with Patchwork Times where creativity lives on Mondays.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Carol Doak Week

8000 Mem table topper
Because I all of a sudden decided I wanted to put this on my table for Easter, this Carol Doak 8000 member block turned table topper went on the frame.

how to quiltHowever, once on the frame I realized I have no idea how I want to quilt it.  But since Easter is only 4 days away, I have got to come up with something, SOON.

one inner borderAnd, of course, this is still the Carol Doak mystery quilt with all the blocks sewn together.  Do you see all those points?   I love Carol but, oh those points.  Anyway, after I put the blocks together I cut the inner border fabric and got one side border sewn on.

I have to add that since this is Spring Break week for DH, I have had trouble staying in the studio.  He has had me out to eat (no problem there), out for some shopping as well as bringing me coffee so we can sit and talk. 
We also got our taxes completed so we can stop thinking about it.  For years I did them and waited until the last minute.  Now we have a really great lady who does them for us and it has taken all the stress out of April 15th.

view blockedI am getting some rest.  I took this picture last night, right after climbing into bed.  I slid under my Easy Street quilt, turned on the TV for a restful decorating show, looked up and what did I see?  Ms. Murphy, planted not only in front of the screen but also in front of the remote sensor.  And does she look like she is prepared to move?  Not until she was good and ready.  Fortunately she strikes me funny.

Have a great rest of the week,  Gari

Monday, March 25, 2013

Nothing but BOMs

001My design wall today is devoted to  Carol Doak’s Mystery BOM blocks.  I have moved these blocks so many times I get confused.  And it isn’t easy because these are paper pieced, with the paper still on, and they don’t stick to the wall like regular blocks. 

layout 2This was the wall on Saturday.  Not a lot of change but enough to make me happier. 

After I finished rearranging the blocks I spent some time planning the quilting what will become some very large negative spaces.  This is kind of me sticking my toe into the modern quilt “fad” but not making a real commitment.  Anyway, today I hope to cut the cream fabric to fill in the blanks and then begin sewing the blocks together.  I plan 3 small borders and then it will be ready to get into the queue for quilting.

owls 1 & 2I also got the second of the FatCatPattern Owls done or at least finally fused onto the background fabric.

I also did the applique stitching on the three FCP fish that we have gotten so far this year.

fine drivingI had planned to get a lot of the above sewing done Sunday but it was a beautiful day (sun and 84F) so when DH suggested we go for a drive and get some yogurt at Chills, off we went.  It was a wonderful afternoon of warm sunshine and the wind in my hair.

And now I need to make up some of that really fun time by getting some blocks sewn together, some borders put on a couple of quilt tops, and piece a backing so I can get another quilt on the frame.  Oh, and I also need to bind the quilt I finished last week. 

My, that’s a lot to do.  Maybe I’ll go lie down first.  Angel

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Little Studio Time

For some reason I made the decision to put in some time cleaning in the studio.  And I actually found the top of the cutting table on Wednesday.  I don’t think I had seen it for a month so I got really excited.  I got so excited that I wound up cutting the fabric for the last of the Carol Doak BOM blocks.  In fact, I was so excited that I forgot to take a picture of that last block.

Doak blocksBut  here are all of them (except for 3 of the little corner blocks).  This is not how I plan to set them but I did want to see them all together.  This weekend I will be cutting the 6.5x12 plain strips that will act as sashing between the blocks and then we will begin to see how this quilt wants to look.

owl 2 Today I worked on Owl #2 of the FatCatPattern BOM.  I have collected several fabrics to audition for each owl: I have filled 2.5 plastic bins.  It is funny how long it takes me to decide what fabrics to use and where.  Anyway, so far I have made 2 owls but I have not put them on the background fabric, they are residing on wax paper, waiting for me to get on the stick and cut their “home” fabric.

The last thing I worked on this week was to start the applique stitch on the fish blocks.  fish 2

Look at all those in and out spaces.  It took quite a while to go around everything but I got this one done.

003I just have to share what I think is going to be a bloom on my Christmas Cactus.   I bought this last December and it has stayed very healthy (a first for me).  And this week I saw this bud, actually I have two of them).  I have never been able to keep one of these alive let alone have it re-bloom so I am very excited. 

Lake LidhAnd lastly I present Lake Lidh.  This is a little hollow that fills up with heavy each rain.  This time we had only one inch of rain and it was full again.  We have had a lot of rain this winter and the ground is soaked so it doesn’t take much to get a good puddle.  We are certainly not complaining, everything is green and growing.  Now if it would only warm up and stay warm.  I’m ready for some Spring/Summer.

Tomorrow there will be no sewing/quilting as it is DH's birthday.  He chose to go to Olive Garden and the movies: we will be seeing Jack, the Giant Killer in 3-D.  Can you tell he is going to be 72 years "young"?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Morning

Design Wall?  What’s a design wall?  I haven’t even seen mine for a week but if I remember right, it is empty.  I did show my last finish in this post but then I hit the road for a great visit with my mother, also written about on my last post.
Then we went to the Arts Festival in Fairhope, AL.  It is an annual affair that we try to get to every year but had to miss last year. 
The first place we went was where I got these:  festival 2013 buys

The yellow and green ones are overalls (my 4th and 5th ones)  I had been buying one every year so I had to make up for being AWOL last year.  The lucky thing was that they were both last year’s models so they were on sale.  And, because I am a regular customer and “quite cute” they gave me the orange t-shirt.  Anyway, my overall wardrobe has been enhanced.

new chairs
We also bought two of these chairs.  We bought a couple about 25 years ago and used them until they fell apart.  We were really excited when we ran into the people who make them so we could finally replace the old ones.  These are very comfortable and will be greatly appreciated this summer.

festival 2013 earrings
Lastly, I picked up these earrings.  I try to buy new earrings whenever we attend arts shows because I like having original and handmade items, if possible.  And, since I collect owls, these were just perfect.  They are brass coated with a copper finish: I am looking forward to them being my “go to” jewelry. 

Now, I must get off this computer and see if I can’t get something made so I can fill up my design wall for next Monday.  Open-mouthed smile

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sewing Withdrawal

I have been out of town since Tuesday and am suffering from sewing/quilting machine withdrawal.

ES scrapsHowever, on Monday, knowing I wouldn’t be able to stitch a stitch for awhile, I put this little leftover piece from Easy Street on the frame and quilted it.  Then I cut it in half (two little pieces)

ES Mug RugsAnd made these: two great mug rugs.

travel foodThe next morning I filled my car with travel food and hit the road for a visit with my mother.

Home Sweet HomeI got a very nice hotel room and decorated it with one of my favorite quilts.

017I even have a sitting room where I am using one of my new mug rugs (hidden on the side table).

Ha HaAnd in the bathroom I found this.  Now I have never taken towels but apparently others have since this card was prominently displayed.

For two days Mother and I have visited, shopped and fed our faces.  We have laughed a lot and even spent some time with her doctor, who smiled and laughed along with us.  It has been fun but both of us are very tired.

Right now I am getting my things packed so I can leave early tomorrow morning.  And hopefully I will be able to rest enough to be able to get some sewing done soon.  Sewing withdrawal can be really tough.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mid week BOMs

chickens n 1st border
I got the first border on the chicken quilt and I really like how it is toning down all my brights.  I can’t decide if I want to use the same yellow as in the 9 patches.  So, just in case I plan to do a little fabric shopping while I am out with my daughter tomorrow.

fish 3Then I started on my BOMs.  The first thing I worked on was my Fishy’s from FatCatPatterns.  I had a hard time deciding on the fabric this time because my first choice was too much like one I had already used.  I just gravitate to yellow and orange, I can’t help it.  Flirt male

Then came these parts.  As I was getting ready to put them together, I saw what a funny puzzle they make.

teapot 8
But when they are put together they become a teapot.  I still have to work on the shading but that will come a little bit later.

last 3 teapots to applique
So now that I have three ready it is, again, time to get busy doing the applique.  I will probably take a week to do just that.

comfort on the frameIn fact I may not be doing any piecing for a while.  I finally got my comfort quilt on the frame.  For some reason this quilt has been standing in the wings for a very long time.  I am going to use it to practice some background stitching

Table decorationI don’t have an Easter tabletopper so this is our decoration for this month.  Tigger is supposed to be a chocolate bunny.

in the basket
In the basket are mini Pooh plush toys, about 2.5” high.

Plush Tigger Egg
And they are Easter Eggs.  Aren’t they cute?

I'm not getting up
I was met by this when I went to make my bed yesterday.  It was clear that she was saying “I am NOT getting up!”  So I left her there and all was well.

Tomorrow no one will be staying in bed as I will be leaving early to spend the day with my daughter.  DH will be on his own for lunch and then get back at me by having lunch with a former student on Friday.  So I guess that means that there will be a lot going on in the studio that day.
Have a great week and don’t forget to check out all the creativity that is being displayed on the blogs listed to the right .


Monday, March 4, 2013

BOM’s Galore

bad border choiceLooky, looky, the chickens have a home.  This is the center of the quilt (layout plan shown here).  I had not sewn partial seams in some time but it was quite easy and this top went together very quickly. 
While I was sewing this together I spotted the fabric hanging to the right.  I immediately thought of using it as the second border.  I could see it as “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence”.  However, I don’t like the look so I will be saving that fabric for another day.

ready to loadOver the weekend I finished the backing for this comfort quilt and it will be loaded on the frame today.  I am going to use it to practice some freemotion quilting while viewing the Craftsy quilting class.

March owl & fishThe last thing I got done was prepping these two FatCat BOMs.  I windowed most of the pieces so it kind of looks like paper spaghetti.  I have not figured out the fabrics for either one but that will be part of the fun this week. 

And then, of course, I still have the Teapot BOM to do and the last block for the Carol Doak BOM mystery. 

 And, oh, I have a girls day out with my daughter on Thursday.  We are going shopping to celebrate her new job and buying birthday gifts for both of our husbands.  Gee, this is going to be a busy week.

Buffy & MurphyBut, as you can see, there will be rest times and boy do we have the quilts for that.  Yea!