Monday, December 30, 2013

December in the Garden and Sewing Room

We have more blooming in the yard than I expected. Below is new growth on the yucca. The picture doesn't do it justice. It is a fresh, spiky new appendage. Brave to arrive in the middle of winter.

My new obsession is Christmas cactus. I bought one, got one, and then bought more 50% and 75% off. They are so striking in the winter garden.

 Our yellow Angel's Trumpet is blooming. I love this plant. It is so bizarre. We have a pink one that is in a pot. It hasn't done much and will be planted in the ground this spring.
 Coral berry. I just love these little purple/pink berries. The plant is slow growing but it is starting to make a statement in the flowerbed.
 The Dutchman's Pipe has bloomed through the month. This bloom looks like it is in jail behind the chain link fence. Another bizarre plant that I love.
 We now have 3 Japanese Lanterns. I can't stand to just throw cuttings away. I need to find people that want them or get over throwing the cuttings out. They are all in bloom. The one by the pergola is amazing. The blooms are so much fun.
 My sewing adventure includes Bonnie Hunter's mystery. I decided to shift from the king sized to the smaller quilt. That decision came after having to breathe into a bag because I was overwhelmed. I ditched the Tri-Recs ruler for my Accuquilt. Good decision.
 I love my new rotating cutting mat. This is a Matilda's Own. Much, much better than the Olfa. The Matilda's is sturdy. The Olfas kept falling off their base.
 I finally started sewing on my new, old Featherweight. I bought it this summer. I don't what took me so long to bring her out. Such a great machine. I'm so glad I bought her. I wonder who sewed on her in the past. Did she make dresses for girls to wear to school? Clothes and pretty things for the lady of the house? She just keeps stitching. Amazing.

I'm sewing my Leaders/Enders project which is red/neutral half square triangles. They will go together to make a Lady of the Lake/Ocean Waves quilt.

I'm off to sew clue #2 for the mystery quilt. I'm way behind but it will get done.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Celtic Solstice Start

 I got a slow start on my Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt. I had the whole week off with a Thanksgiving trip in the midst. Along the line I caught a bug/cold so took a few naps. Honestly, I would have taken the naps even if I didn't have a bug. Slow start, but I did get started.
I had some ripping to do to get to 3 1/2 squares. I even had to find the seam guide to put on the machine. Don't know why I was having issues with that.

I need more blues to have some variety. I'm very pleased with the orange.

Back to work and the balance of trying to have energy in the evening to quilt. Perhaps I need to do it anyway.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bonnie Hunter Mystery Fabric and a Rooster

I certainly don't need another project to start but after watching the Bonnie Hunter mysteries for 2 years, I vowed to do it this year. She selected green, yellow, blue, and orange. I just couldn't do the orange so I chose a pumpkin gold color. I'm in love with this color this year. Two of my knit/crochet scarves are this color. I made a couch quilt with pumpkin colors. I like the colors I'll be working with and can't wait for the first clue.


I went on a retreat at Creations Quilt Shop in Kerrville. Susan Carlson was the teacher. I've been an admirer for quite a while. She has a playful way of just gluing fabric strips to create. No fusible. No turning under edges. Slap it on with a little glue. Very freeing. I'm still working on my rooster. I need to add more strips in areas to bring out the feathers. It is covered with red tuile (spelling?). What a difference with the hue of red.

It's a cold, rainy day in Texas. I'm here with the dogs and cat enjoying my coffee, reading blogs, and watching morning tv. Life is good.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

French General Stars and YELLOW

 I'm in love with all things French General. Yesterday I finished this top. I'm trying to decide how to quilt other than stitch in the ditch. I have a habit of stitching the ditch just because I can't think of something that would go well. Then I start stitching those ditches and think I'll die of boredom.

 I picked up a couple of Tapestry by Fig Tree layer cakes when they were on sale. I love churn dash blocks, especially turned on point. I picked out some subtle yellow....ignoring what I know about yellow. A little goes a LONG way. When I put all these blocks together there is a LOT of yellow. My subtle yellow doesn't seem so subtle anymore. I got some Eggshell by Kona yesterday to try to lesson the yellow. I don't know if that will work. Lesson learned....think before you use any yellow.

Rollo is so proud of himself. He tore apart his new elephant toy in record time. The pure joy that a dog exhibits is a good life lesson. Simple things make them so happy. Look at that mess!

This is my sewing room, thanks to Rollo. The carpet was old but Rollo had a couple of accidents and I couldn't stand to be in the room with the nasty carpet anymore. We had planned on tiling so the time seems right. My wonderful husband is going to build shelves in the closet. The walls will get some fresh paint and the old blinds will be replaced.

When I move everything back in I'm going to give everything a home so that there are clear surfaces. I let it get so cluttered that I couldn't concentrate in there.

The house is a disaster with my sewing stuff in a spare bedroom and the dining room. Fabric everywhere. Stuff everywhere. It shows how much stuff I have. Too much! I'm going to have to let some projects go and cut up the fabric for scrap quilts. I would have to live another 100 years to finish it all!

Three of my plumeria are blooming. This one has several branches this full of blooms. Just lovely.

Today I'm off to a Begonia Society meeting. I'm sure I'll come home with new plants. Luckily, I kill a few so there is always room for more.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jacob's Ladder

One of my favorite blooms is the Dutchman's Pipe. These giant, alien blooms emerge. I think they are so much fun. It grows along a chain link fence that I am using as a trellis for a variety of vines.

My camera battery died so I only have one picture of my sewing progress. I put blocks of my Jacob's Ladder on the design wall. I like this layout. I'm going to add one more row and a border.

King sized quilts sure are a commitment but that is the size of our bed. I want to have a variety of quilts that we really use. So, I need lap quilts and king sized. One extreme to the other.

My progress on my paper pieced stars is slow but steady. I've bought more fabric for them but we aren't surprised by that!

Happy Sewing,

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Mother Nature has created so many distractions. It is impossible to stay in the house and sew.

The nun's orchids are starting to bloom. They are so dramatic.

Even the cactus is blooming. Who knew?!!
 This is on the flapjack kalanchoe. Is is a bloom or seed? It is reaching for the sun. It's telling me to move to a more sunny location.

The plumeria are starting to leaf out. This year I tried to propogate. I'll record the victory or fail here.

 Bougenvilla is finally blooming. I still have one that isn't....but I'm not giving up.
 The oleander has gotten better with age. It isn't in the best location but I need something tall and bushy there. It has found a way to be happy.
 Clerodenrum something. Love this plant.
 Amaryllis. This is one that the dogs haven't trampled.
 The gardenia makes sitting outside heavenly.
 I would sit outside and work on my block-a-day challenge. Except for this. He literally comes running and lands in my lap with one leap. He's lots of fun but I can't really stitch with an incoming dog.
 I've made some Jacob's Ladder blocks. I love the Indigo Crossings fabric.

 I've begun to commit to the background fabrics on my stars.

Slooooow progress but I really like these stars.
One from Blueberry Crumbcake fabric. Love it.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Block a Day Challenge

Well, maybe it's half a block a day. I figured out that I need to have a choice of blocks. I thrive on novelty so I'll consider another block to add to my block a day. That way I will have a choice. As the weather gets nicer I will be outside until late so I need to have a half-a-star goal as well. Progress is being made and I've enjoyed visiting the blogs of the others in the challenge. 

These are all the stars so far. Seems I like red. I'll need to add a little variety. Certainly greens.  I think I'm ready to add some cream as the connecting fabric.

Happy Sewing,

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Indigo Crossing

I've had a curious reaction to one of the recent national tragedies. I was starting to branch out to art quilting but have a sudden compulsion to work on things that require far less thinking. Safe. Easy. Completion. Go figure, but it is what it is.  A jelly roll and some charm packs mean little thinking about cutting. I guess there are things in life I don't really want to think about either. As I've gotten older I think that is healthy. So much I can't control so I'll focus on sewing together squares and triangles.
Thus, my Indigo Crossing precuts and inspiration from a Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial. I love the blues and beiges in this line.  I'm working on a Jacob's Ladder. The final layout will be scrappier than this. I laid these out to get an idea of what a block will look like.

Peaceful Sewing,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Block a Day

I've been away from this blog for a very long time. What I missed was the chronicle of my projects, blooms in the garden, and what I've been learning. My ongoing goal is to spend some time each day doing the things I love doing. I still struggle with that. Often I spend time reading blogs about others doing the things I love doing.

Hence, the Block a Day challenge. I made that goal for myself and lasted about 5 days. Joining a group will hopefully help me meet that goal.

I've recently been inspired by Dutch blogs. The SuperGoof blog,, by Petris Prin was the launching place.  The magazine Quiltmania has much inspiration also. I'm drawn to the colors and the quilt patterns. They have a mix of maching and hand piecing. For Christmas my husband bought me A History of Dutch Quilts by An Moonen.

 My block a day will begin with paper pieced astericks or stars. I'm not sure what I'll do with them but I'm sure something will come to me. I bought a fat quarter bundle of French General La Belle Fluer. I need to figure out what the background fabric will be. I find I don't buy enough creams or shirtings.  

Off to make today's block and watch an episode of Downtown Abbey.

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