Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quilting Done

Tomorrow I will do the binding. I have decided that I will "applique" the tucks down on the back so they don't show too much. I have to say that I am very excited about the quilting I have done on this. It is true that one has to practice, practice, practice: darn.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Things I have Learned

Things I have learned this week: #1 Ponce is a great foot rest. Not a great shot of me but look how patient he is being. His mommy wrote that they have put a contract in on a new house with a big back yard so Ponce is beginning to get excited about his move next month.

#2 Watermelon, after what seemed like a very long winter, is WONDERFUL!

I am the only one here who likes watermelon so all of this little one is for me. I hadn’t been home for 15 minutes when I had to slice into it. Mmmmm, good!

#3 Even with it’s faults, I really do love this quilt (see above). I quilted two more blocks this morning and some of the sashing.

Two more blocks, sashing and borders and the quilting will be done. I guess it is about time to look for binding. I used to know what I wanted to use but now I am not sure: it will probably be green since that is the predominant color. Since tomorrow is the last day of April I don’t see this quilt being a finish for this month. I have another one I want/need to get done in May and would really like to see the B/W log cabin done before summer so I guess I have my “work” cut out for me.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ever hear of a White Tailed Ponce?

This is Ponce out in the woods: Big tan hunter of the South.

Isn’t he a beauty?

So you know how the best laid plans sometimes go awry? Well, a couple of days prior to Ponce, our granddog, coming to visit, Abby went into heat. Ponce is fixed so we have no fears of puppies but we have a couple of very friendly dogs.

I had already said that they would be very good friends but I didn’t expect them to be this good of friends. They run, play, and spend lots of time hanging out on the deck.
While the puppies were playing I was working in the studio and got four blocks quilted.

Now this may not seem like much but with each one I had to spend some time figuring out how to quilt it. I do have a problem. The backing is stretching and thus I am getting tucks . If this was someone else’s quilt I would take it all out (oh what an awful thought) but since it is mine and will only be seen by me, I am seeing this as a practice quilt. I am really liking the quilting and even with the messy back I will love the quilt.

Friday, April 24, 2009

On the road, again

A little quilting was done here on Thursday. I quilted some of the sashing and this block:

Lots of ruler work and some not so straight lines. With only one more petal to do, I have decided it looks pretty good and will look even better when it is washed and dried. LOL

I crawled under the frame again and can see the flowers and leaves I am stitching in the sashing. So far I am still pleased but with 8 more blocks, sashing and the borders to go, I may be at this for a couple of months. LOL, again.

Today DH and I met up with DS#3 to pick up our granddog, Ponce.

We drove 150 miles to get him and then, of course, 150 miles home. He will be here for a month and since he has been here before, he settled right in.

Abby, however, is uncertain about how excited she should be. She is acting just like our older dogs did when she arrived. She is stand-offish and watches every move Ponce makes. I don’t think she has ever seen such a big dog. But since both dogs love to play, I am sure they will be fast friends in no time. They are getting closer and closer to each other all the time.

Tomorrow I will quilt in the morning and go to Skylar’s birthday party in the afternoon. What a mad social whirl I am living in. LOL, yet again.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Once again I have been gifted by other bloggers and am really excited to share. The first were a set of vintage I Spy squares from Amy at Diary of a Quilter .

I had thought I would do an I Spy quilt with them but they are so vintage that I have another idea. Last year my mother gave me a box of my baby clothes, some she had made. I have had an idea to make a shadow box display with them and since the clothes, and I, are vintage, too, I may make a baby type quilt to be a background to the shadow box. Anyway, “thank you, Amy” for the beautiful squares.

My other gift is this Koala Quilt from Ros at Ros-The-Quilter .

Isn’t it wonderful? I have never been given a finished quilt before. It is quilted with leaf quilting and it looks so good. I plan to hang it in my studio as soon as I find a clean wall space (not easy in my place).

Despite the title of my blog, there has been no quilting in this part of the South. Yesterday I was mowing the lawn, doing dishes and cleaning the house. Today DH and I drove 140 miles to buy a wicker chest of drawers that I saw on Saturday but didn’t buy (pictures later). Ever do that? See something, decide not to get it and then have to turn around and go back to get it after thinking about it for several days? This happens to me all the time: practical one day and foolish the next.

Anyway, no quilting while on the road. Tomorrow or Friday I am driving 200 miles to pick up our granddog who will be visiting with us for 3-4 weeks. We really love him and he is going to be a great play pal for Abby, the sleepy daschund in the above picture. And you will probably see lots of pictures of them in the weeks to come. Tomorrow or Friday I may get some quilting done. Saturday there is a birthday party for our great grandson: Skylar will be 1 year old. I can’t believe it has been one whole year. And Sunday will truly be a day of rest. For someone who isn’t planning on taking a vacation this summer, I am certainly on the road a lot.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What a great weekend we have had. On Friday I spent most of the day in the studio working on a Mother’s Day gift: finished it today. I figured if I didn’t get busy on it I would be trying to do it at the last minute and then the problems I had would have seemed much bigger. Of course, again this is something I can’t show until next month but pictures have been taken.

Saturday DH and I went to pick up our two antique clocks that I had taken to be cleaned, repaired and to get new keys.

The first one was my grandpa’s clock. It moved from the Kansas dust bowl to Idaho with my grandparents and five of their seven children. My father had the clock until his death and then my Mother gave it to my sister. I had always wanted it so I asked if I could borrow it but it came with no key. Now it is in my quilting room, ticking away. It has the most lovely “bong” on the hour and half hour and I am loving the sound. And next to it is Grandpa’s bible, well worn, carried to church every Sunday and read every day. Also on this shelf are some of Grandma’s diaries. She was a quilter and quilted for many of her neighbors and church friends.

This clock was purchased several years ago in an antique store.

Again, I love the ticking sound and the chime and since I hadn’t gotten Grandpa’s clock I bought one of my own. However, when we evacuated from Hurricane Ivan the glass was broken and the key was lost. Then man who cleaned it up said he had to “make” a key but it is running great. I didn’t have him get a glass for it as I plan to etch the glass myself and may even try my hand at a little gold leafing.

The last thing I want to share is my entry into the Blogger’s Quilt Festival where we are supposed to display our favorite quilt that we have made: this is mine. This is Flight To Alabama.

I made this in 2006 while we were relocating back to AL from FL. We had moved to FL to finish our work lives and then to retire there. I love FL and was happy there until Hurricanes Erin and Opal came in 1995. We survived well then with only one more evacuation but resettled down to our retirement plans and then along came Ivan in 2004 and then Dennis in 2005. Well, that was enough for me. We lived in a mandatory evacuation zone and I knew that the older I got the harder it was going to be to pack up and leave. At the same time this decision was being made my guild had a quilt challenge and this was my entry. It shows the beaches of NWFL, the hurricanes that drove us out of there and the red clay and trees that we live on and with now. I love my 5 acres in the country and am happy with where I am and I can still get to the beach whenever I want, just not as often or as easily.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yesterday was tax day. I had the returns done Tuesday and put them out for DH to read over and make comments. He shuffled the papers, did not look at them, and left them on the table. So Wednesday morning I sat him down to sign them and then took them to the post office. Both the stress of doing the taxes (and writing the check) and the irritation of being alone in the enterprise was too much to be productive,
so I jumped in my car and headed for the beach (90 miles away). The beach (sand, surf, sun, etc) along with some food and a good book has always had the most calming influence on me. And yesterday was the perfect beach day.

After about 2 hours of this I did do a little shopping. I looked at a couple of telephoto lenses for my new camera, didn’t buy one yet, and then picked up spaghetti for dinner from one of our favorite places.

No quilting – I didn’t even open up the studio- but still a very satisfying day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, Monday

Monday was a great day, I got several blocks quilted on the quilt under the title of this blog. I had planned to do an overall, edge to edge, panto on it but when I got it out of storage and looked at it, there was no way. So I have been “forced” to plan a custom design for each block. This is really testing my skills. In order to show what I have done I have had to get down on the floor (remember, I am old) and shoot up from under the quilt frame. Down was not too bad, up was a little more difficult.

I started with the checker board blocks doing leaves and flowers in alternating blocks. I did SID outlining the block and then the pattern.

I did all 8 checker boards and then moved on to the poinsettia block. I had drawn it out first:

and then quilted. It looks pretty good, if I do say so myself.

I have started on the tulip block but have not finished it yet, I had to leave for WW.

Today is the day I have to finish our taxes, tradition, so I don’t know if I will get back to the studio, or if I will be in any mood for it. LOL Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter = new life

I went for a walk today, hoping to be able to take some flower pictures. However, after all the rain of last week, most of the garden flowers were missing in action. God, however, provided.

I love the little flowers that come with the weeds.

Honeysuckle is one of the sweetest smelling flowers. It grows on some of our trees and I love it when the whole yard is scented with it.

And the different ways the trees grow: isn’t it amazing?

Even free food grows wild.
What a great way to get quilting inspiration!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Isn’t this looking good?

I have gotten the first and second borders on and I am loving how it is looking.

The name for the quilt is “All That Jazz” and the instrument and piano keys fabrics are perfect for it. One more border and this top will be done.

This is the fabric that I have planned for the final border.
I love the contrast between the straight lines of the log cabin and the curves of the cathedral windows print.

I have been trying to quilt on the Spring Garden quilt but am having trouble with the monofilament thread. The first day it worked like a dream but since then it has been frequently breaking. I have tried everything I can think of but will keep trying. This thread has worked perfectly in the past so I know there is something I am doing wrong, I just can’t figure out what. Fortunately, I have other projects to fall back on but someday I will need to get this quilted so I can get on to the others.

Oh, and the most important thing. I recently won a giveaway from Terri at Purple and Paisley: a hand crocheted pot holder.
Isn’t it beautiful? I used to crochet but couldn’t figure out how this one is done. It is too pretty to use as a pot holder but it will really look good as a kitchen decoration, especially in my yellow kitchen. Terri also sent two patterns: one 5 yard quilt and a mini bag. Thanks, again, Terri.

I hope everyone has a good Easter weekend. Ours will be quiet as our only local child will be working all weekend. I thought about haven’t an Easter egg hunt with the puppies (using milk bones, of course) but we probably won’t try to do that. Eric says that only one of the dogs, Abby, would find all of them while the other two wandered around wondering what we were doing. ;-)