Saturday, September 3, 2011

Swoon Block 2 and Replying to Comments

Still in love with Swoon. Block 2 is done. I wonder if I can get them all done by the end of September. I'm going for king size so I need more blocks than the pattern suggests. I have to be careful while cutting since it uses most of the fat quarter. There is little room for error. Of course, I know that from the cutting error I already made.

I don't think this picture shows the fabric is the star very well. It is elegant. William Morris knows pretty.

My project for this weekend is to figure out how to reply to comments. I've always just gone over to the person's blog. I tried to reply but I was led astray. I hate techy stuff. I want things to just work. But I'll tackle it this weekend.

I'm off to the LQS to buy supplies for the class I'm taking tomorrow, Dancing with Threads. It is based on Ann Fahl's book.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Swooning over Swoon

I love this block. I fell in love with the pattern the first time I saw it. Love, love, love. I didn't realize how big the blocks were until I observed others in blogland as their blocks came together. It is big and so much fun to make.

I chose Willam Morris Tapestry because it would be perfect in my bedroom. I don't know how some of the other color combos are going to look next to the white. We'll see. The blues in this block are so soothing to me.

Iris has taken up crochet. I put it away because I was so lousy. Apparently, she found it.

She has trouble finishing her projects...just like me. Wish she would get it done because that blue would look great in my bedroom along with my Swoon.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Guiltless Nine Patch

I've started a new project. Of course, I didn't finish a project and then start another one. That would be too sane. I took 3 weeks off from work. It was much needed. I was mentally worn out, forgetting things, running into the back of cars, and overall an irritable person. I didn't want to go anywhere for a vacation. I wanted to spend 3 weeks at home getting my life in order, tackling sewing issues, reading, and cleaning out closets and overloaded drawers. The clutter is the result of moving into my husband's house a while back. I basically just crammed a lot of stuff in closets and drawers. There was no system. He never had one either. We were living cluttered and unorganized. Now the closets are cleaned out and the drawers organized. Goodwill is full of our junk. Aaaah!

This does relate to quilting. During my vacation I sewed and sewed. The stress relief and joy derived from sewing can't be explained to anyone who doesn't sew. One afternoon I got a wild hair to start something simple and cheap. Hobby Lobby has Kona Cotton for $6 something a yard and it is always 30% off. I have a bolt of Moda Bella White. So, technically, I was sewing from my stash. Almost. This is so cheap I call it my Guiltless Nine Patch.The blocks are so quick and rewarding. It's cheap fun. The hum of the sewing machine soothes.

I'm spacing out the blocks on my design wall with space between which will be a simple piece of white.

Machine binding was on the list of things to concur during my vacation. I finished up the Aster Manor Disappearing Nine Patch. It has found its place under the cat.

While I was taking this picture, Iris was outside. She is so jealous of the cat. Doesn't she look pitiful? Poor Iris.

Have a restful Sunday!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

HST Audition on Design Wall and Blooms in a Drought

A few months back I just needed to sew something quickly and productively. Just sew, not necessarily finish anything, as is my pattern. Charm packs made into HST's seemed to fit the bill. I need something for my office about this size so I pulled these out of unfinished projects storage. I have coordinating fabric in one of the blues. There are just so many ways to do HST. I love to search Flicker and see what folks have done with theirs. We are in a 100 year drought. The state has been declared a disaster. I think farmers would agree. I feel for those folks. I can't imagine linking my paycheck to the weather.

Succulents are about the only healthy thing around here. This basket hangs on the pergola. After many attempts with blooming annuals, I finally got smart and put in something drought tolerant.

Lowes had bowls of Pink Siam Ginger. They were $22. I'm supposed to be on a budget so that was just too much. Also, buying plants during a drought is not highly intelligent. We are struggling to keep what we have. So, I passed them up, regreted it, went back to buy them, they were gone, drove to other Lowes, nothing, and was very sad. Then I walked in this weekend and they had $22 Pink Siam Gingers! What a bargain. I love them. They make me happy when I look out the window and see them in their pinkness below the tree.

A little mallow showed up yesterday after a little rain. I forgot its name. It was a nice surprise this morning.

The mandevilla is still blooming. The leaves at the bottom look burned but it is still producing.

Duranta is loving the sun. It is so pretty with its dainty flowers.

Abelia is a new find for me. I have a couple of varieties. This one is an evergreen with a nice splash of color.

Yellow cestrum is just a blooming monster. I trim it back every few weeks.

They say it may rain tomorrow. Fingers are crossed.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Resurrection and A Woman 40+

I wish my mother was still with us. I would talk to her about what happens to a woman's brain around the age of 40. Why didn't she warn me? Why didn't she prepare me for this stage of life? My brain just isn't reliable anymore.

I few months ago my trusty, beloved Bernina 1080 died. The engine would rev but no action, no sewing. (You probably know what the issue is...if your brain is still reliable.) I grieved and ran out and bought a new Bernina. I love my new machine. But it did cost a pretty penny and there was drama. Useless drama.

Yesterday I had this epiphany. Or the hormones leveled and the brain began to work for a small amount of time. (I grasp these windows of lucidity when they occur.) My old machine wasn't broken...the bobbin winder was just on. Therefore, it wasn't sewing but winding.

So, I turned off the bobbin winder, plugged in the old girl, and began sewing. Resurrected.
Here she is quilting my Lil Twister. It took me forever to figure out which walking foot was for which Bernina. I will mark them so I don't have to use that kind of language when putting on a foot.

My Quilt Festival catalogue came and I'm registered! I've signed up for an Eleanor Burns, Sassy Stars, because I vowed to take a class with her when given the chance. She's such a legend and always so postivie. I also signed up for a Jean Wells Keenan. I love her book Intuitive Color. I need my view expanded. The last class is a thread sketching with Susan Brubaker-Knapp. It's an intermediate class but I'll slip in and see if they notice I'm not quite that yet.

Have a wonderful Wedneday!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ridiculous Quilting

I'm being so brave, for me. I am tackling machine quilting. I did a couple of wall hangings without incident. Larger quilts are a totally different story. The picture below is so beloved Bernina and beautiful Verna fabric. The real action is RIDICULOUS. Who can cram a full sized quilt into that little hole on the machine?! Yes, I know...plenty of people. I read their blogs. I think I will need a longarm machine eventually. Don't you agree?
It looks so easy here. It's not.

Below are some hourglass blocks. I so loved the fabric when I bought it. I pulled the blocks out to see why I never put them together. Now I know. Blah! No punch. I'll stare at them all night to see if I get inspired. If not, I'll store them again to see if something magical happens to them when they are sealed in their bin.

Still in love with wool applique. I added beads to the berries. It's so easy and the textures feel so cozy as I stitch.

I'm on vacation. Sewing until I need a break on the couch. Iris the dog mimicks me.

Off to see if the mail brought the catalog for the Houston Quilt Festival. I think class sign up is a competitive sport.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wool Applique- Yet Another Obsession

I live in Texas where it is currently over 100 degrees. Anything with wool just sounded silly. I can't recall what drew me to wool applique but I am addicted. I think all kinds of applique are beautiful but I'm not a very patient or exact person. Wool applique is so forgiving- no needleturn, etc. It is so fast and rich looking. My favorite part is the variety of textures you work with as you stitch. Luscious.

My bird piece is kind of leaning but I think I can position it in a frame so it is more balanced. So much fun to do.

This is next in line for stitching. It is a Block of the Week, yes I said week, from Primitive Gatherings. Lisa Bongean is the designer. I think it is ridiculous for me to think I will keep up with it each week so I think of it as a Block of the Month for me. I just love the colors she is picking for us and I've become a proponent of kits and BOM programs. I become weary when I have to drive around looking for just the right fabric or thread.

We are in a drought down here. After months of no rain we got 3 days of showers. My rain lilies finally bloomed. They have been dormant for 2 years. Just a little bit of pretty when there are floods and fires across the country. It is certainly easy to count your blessings when you listen to the news and hear of so many struggling.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pineapples and Peonies

I finished my Pineapple Block Wallhanging. At last year's Houston Quilt Festival I was amazed at the display of pineapple quilts. When I saw a class using Gyleen Fitzgerald's ruler, I jumped on it.

I was a very bad student. I wasn't careful with my 1/4 inch seam but I held to my principles of using only scraps for this project and "letting it go." The result is far from perfect but lots of fun to make. I just love the pineapple block. Gyleen is coming to my guild next Tuesday. I can't wait to be inspired again.

Above is a snapshot of me sewing the border. I still don't know the best way to mark a quilt. I tried the Pounce with chalk. I couldn't see it after I wrestled the quilt under the machine. I've heard such different stories about marking with pens. A quilt teacher told me they don't come out. I think I need a class.

My fused applique Peonies didn't turn out as I planned. I bought a kit and I'm not thrilled with some of the fabric choices. The flower on the far left is the one I need to somehow fix. I'm thinking if I do some embroidery stitches it might balance the flowers. Still a work in progress.

It's hot outside and great for sewing. I'm off the play with a stack of half-square triangles.

Today is Father's Day. I can't help but think of my dad today and how he enjoyed working on creative projects. He was always learning something new. Such a good model for keeping the brain young and creative.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I've been in search of coasters that I felt were worthy of my living room. I say that because I "misplaced" the ones my new husband brought to our relationship. I must have been tired of the ones I owned in the past. So, we have been putting drinks on magazines and living without coasters.

My search for something that matched but wasn't overpriced resulted in nothing. I found a great tutorial at 2 to make the coaster below. Cheap and easy!

All you need is tiles ( 16 cents at Home Depot), Mod Podge, scrapbook paper (59 cents at Hobby Lobby), varnish, and felt circles.

And here is the final product. This will be a handy gift to have on hand.

Geranium Wall Hanging

I've had this pattern for a while. It's one of Edyta Sitar's for raw edge applique. I love the colors and it fits right into the geraniums on the patio.

I learned how to do raw edge applique from a workshop with Edyta last March. I think applique is beautiful but know that I don't have the patience for needle turn. Edyta showed how to use fusible web and machine applique around the edges. I was sold.

Here is the near finished project auditioning on the mantel. I'd like to frame it but it isn't a standard size. I'm begging the hubby to build me a frame.

Off to stitch it down. There is a slight possibility I will finish a project in less than a year. But let's not get our hopes up...the pressure to perform is too much for me.

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