Saturday, September 29, 2012

Water, Water Everywhere

Woke up early Friday morning (4 a.m.) to rain that was coming down hard and was non-stop for at least two hours.  We got about 3.68 inches of rain before lunch on Friday. (according to our newspaper)  When I left my house around 8 o'clock Friday morning, knowing I would have to cross a couple of rivers to get to work, I looked out over the "lake" outside my house and saw that it was fuller than I had ever seen it.  I couldn't see the buffaloes at all!!  Water was about 2 feet from the fence and my house is an alleyway and a back porch from the fence!  The following pictures is what it looks like as of about an hour ago.  (11:00 Saturday morning)  I can now see both of the buffaloes, even though I can't see all of them.  I can see the sidewalk in front of them and even the sidewalk on the other side of the tree - couldn't see any of that yesterday.  (I would have taken a picture, but it was dark and cloudy yesterday morning, along with the rain still coming down.  You wouldn't have been able to see anything but water and maybe the tree shape)  The ducks are loving scavenging through the debris left after the waters have receded. 

The picture below is closer to my house.  This statue was mostly underwater yesterday morning.  I could see the chest and up of the boy in back and the heads of the other two children.  I have never seen it under like that before.  You can see all the trash and debris that were left when the water receded leaving the ground brown and ugly.  There is green grass under all that brown.  You might be able to see a couple of black ducks pecking away at the leftovers.  These small black ducks have been working hard all morning eating the bits and pieces before the mallards, geese and other brown ducks float over to grab a bite and then leave. 

Last weekend I was at the Ogallala Quilter's retreat and had a great time.  I left my camera at home so I don't have any pictures to share of the fun that was being had by everyone.  I finally got my piano key border on my spiderweb quilt - might get a picture taken of and posted by tonight.  I worked on the retreat project, disappearing 9 patch with a twist.  I like how it was turning out, but want to add more blocks so I still need to work on that and will post it in progress as soon as I put it up on the design wall.  My friends Kathy and Gerrie and I worked on another round robin (oh, yes, I added another border to mine) for a friend in our group whose robin went missing somewhere along the way.  We each had two rounds (well I only had one since I made the center square) so we finished that top as well and plan on giving it to her at our October quilt-in.  I HAVE to get my proposal for the classes I would like to teach at the festival done and in to the chairperson by the end of this weekend, so that is what I will be working on after a quick lunch.

 Just wanted to share a bit of my world here today and keep you updated on my quilting progress.  Got to get started on my list of HAVETOS, but it's so nice sitting here at the computer with the window open and the nice cool (64 degree) breeze.  Guess I will have to open the window in my studio after lunch.  OH, wait, my first order of business is my quilt proposal.  Guess I get to sit at the computer after lunch, too.  That makes me smile. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Journal Cover

DONE, DONE, DONE.  I have finished a journal cover and I have something made for every month of the Stocking Swap.  Now I just have to decide if I want to make another one of the items I have made or go with what I already have.  Since I have a few months, I will probably make some extra items so I can pick and choose which gift I send to my swap partner.   I have choices in every category except the stocking, ornament, journal cover and pillow cases.  Oh, yes, and the table runner.  I really, really like my table runner and I might just have to keep it.  Which means, I will make another one to swap.  The pictures below are my journal cover.  I started playing earlier this week and just sewed some fabrics together, added some more sewn together fabrics, quilted it and tonight, I bound it and hand sewed the inside flap down.  (that doesn't sound right, but the part of the cover the journal slides into) 

This cover has no definite front or back so the user can decide which side he/she likes best.  I may try to make another one that has a definite front to it, just to see if I like it better than this mixture of fabrics.  I may also look to see if there is a pattern or suggestions to making a cover to see if there is an easier way to put the binding on those open edges - light bulb!!!  I guess I could have treated it as a quilt and done just one binding all the way around the rectangle.  Huh.  I didn't do that - as you can tell by my rambling and talking in my head to myself.  I put a binding on the two ends - different fabrics - and then added a top binding and a bottom binding totally separate from each other.  Then I had to leave a bit of fabric to each end, turn the ends in, tuck them under and stitch them down.  Would have been way, way easier if I had just done one continuous binding all the way around.  Okay, it's a definite.  I will be making one more journal cover, just so I can get the binding done properly.  I won't say correctly, because the way I did it worked and it looks good.  Plus I love having two different bindings on the front and back flaps.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Snowman Stocking

 I finished my stocking for the stocking swap today.  I used batting for the snowman and the flower on the hat.  I put black buttons for his/her eyes and a burgundy one for the center of the flower.  I did not use any type of adhesive for this applique.  I just pinned it on and sewed around everything.  I used perle cotton for the hand stitched mouth and arms.  I couldn't find my black perle cotton so I used a dark navy blue thread for those areas. 

I think I will make another copy of the pattern for this stocking and stick it inside the stocking so whoever gets it can make a matching one if they want or use the pattern anyway they like.  This went together really fast and easy.  I cut out the stocking front and back, cut some batting to go with it and quilted the two together with a wide crosshatch.  Then I added the snowman and all of his/her accessories.  Cut some lining and a hanging tab and it is all done.  Not much time, but great results.  

One of the projects marked off the list. Now for the ornament - I think I know what I am going to make for this one and might already have one made - just have to look around the studio to see if I can find it or not. I may have already given it away. I did find a couple of older ornaments I made many, many years ago and I might use one of those to go in this swap. Then I don't have to make anything another one and can move on to the journal cover and making another set of pillow cases.  (hey, I have a set already made up I can use if I run out of time!!  Pluses all around) 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sewing in the Rain

This is the view out my window this morning.  I am sitting here with the window open listening to the rain coming down, the ducks quacking away and the sound of traffic driving through rain soaked streets.  Thank goodness the rain is coming from another direction and I am able to have the window open.  The picture looks a little blurry, but that is because I am taking it through the screen.  It really is a beautiful sight.  The park is once again decked out in thousands of American flags in remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  That one flag that is all stretched out is caught on the little tree and it made me smile this morning so I thought I would share it with you. 

I slept in a bit this morning and then hit a couple of estate sales around 10.  (I love half price Saturdays!) Yesterday I got a small Le Crueset skillet they had already marked down and spotted a cut glass serving tray however, I didn't want to pay the full price of it.  I had planned on getting there early this morning to get it for half, but I slept in.  I did get some other great cut glass/crystal pieces to use as serving pieces for the restaurant. I have quite a collection now since I added four more trays, a wonderful heavy bowl and a crystal (yes, real crystal) candy dish.  I also scored on some unopened ink pads for rubber stamping.   I don't do much of that anymore, but I do like to make some cards from time to time and a lot of my ink has dried up.  I am hoping this ink is fresh since it is still shrink wrapped.  However, for a couple of dollars for about 8 packages, I couldn't pass it up.  Below is the my spiderweb quilt.  I will be working on adding an outer border this morning - okay, this afternoon.  Didn't realize it was already after 12.   I am thinking I will add a piano key border using my leftover strips - I still have a full box of multiple size strips that I cut over 12 years ago for a Fons and Porter Crazy Cabin quilt and this is my third or fourth quilt I have made from that box of strips.   When I bring the box to our Bee meetings and work on a strip quilt, my friends come and dig through the box and take what they want and then add more strips to my stash.  It's fun to pull out a fabric and wonder where it came from since I know I didn't buy that fabric.  I have boxes that are designated to 1 1/2", 1 3/4" and 2 1/2" only, but in this box, I have from 1" to 4" strips.  I don't worry about the width when I am working on a strip/string quilt.  I just use whatever I pull from the box. 

My friend, Molly, introduced me to one of her quilts that is string pieced and I am going to start this week.  However, I want it to be in some of the modern fabrics and none of those are in this stash box.  However, any leftover strips from that quilt will join this box when I finish it.  It also, is paper pieced.  I have a ton of little paper pieces all over my studio floor and I have got to get the vacuum out before I get back in there today. 

Okay, I may not get this quilted before Thursday to take with me for the Botanical Conundrum so I thought I would post a picture anyway.  This is from a challenge by the Modern8Create group.  I took a picture of my Puffs tissue box and then stretched it out, to make these "flowers"  I added a bit of yellow/gold flat piping that really gives it a boost of color.  Who knows.  I might get a some inspiration and start quilting it tonight or tomorrow.  If not, it can wait until the perfect time. 

The other item I need to get quilted is my round robin wall hanging.  This one had a hard time in the rounds and was totally re-made at one point in the rotation.  The center block is about 5 inches so it's not a large wall hanging.  I am not sure how I want to quilt this one either, probably something simple.  I might even add a dark border before I do that.  (that thought just came to me.  I hadn't planned on adding anything else, but I might like having that Kaffe Fasset fabric on the outside.) 

Along with all of this, I desperately need to get going on my September (July, August and March) Stocking Swap items.  How are you coming along with these?  Aren't you glad now that November and December are non-sewing months?   Push to have everything done, collected and packaged by the first week in December so when you get your exchange partner you can ship off that week!! 

Have a great day sewing in the rain - or whatever the weather is like where you are.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Once again, I had a hard time logging into Blogger.  I don't know why I can't remember my password.  It's a sad, sad world when we have way toooo many passwords to get into everything.   Thank goodness I finally remembered the sequence everything goes in and didn't have to re-set it again.  

I went to the fair tonight and demo-d some English paper piecing I have been working on - well, really more off than on - for the past year or so.  It's a grandma's flower garden pattern in muted batiks - very modern!  I added about 7 flowers this summer - along with the garden pathway.  It's still not very big.  I think the hexagons are about 1 1/4" so it takes a bit to make anything large.  I prepped enough hexagons to make 4 more flowers, but didn't take the right color thread to put them together or even attach them to the quilt. 

While I was there, my friend took me to try out this wonderful vibrating machine.  I was on it for ten minutes and since it was on high the majority of that time, it said it was the equivalent of walking 8.4 miles and using up 420 calories.  (not many calories for all that jiggling going on!)  Now, I am tired and ready to go to bed.  Well, it is my bedtime anyway.  So, I will have to say goodnight.  (I am going to dream about owning one of those machines - a bit pricey, but I am considering it!) 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Long Time Coming

You know it's been a long time since you last blogged when you can't even remember your password to log into blogger.  I tried three times, then asked for help, tried again, asked to re-set my password and finally, finally I got in.  (I wrote it down so the next time I can have a bit of help remembering)  I know I turned 50 this year, but this is ridiculous.  I couldn't even spell ridiculous correct and had to look it up.  Maybe it's just because I am tired.  I was on the computer earlier playing Words With Friends and was nodding off.  I should have gone and gotten in bed right then, but I think 6:30 is a bit early to go to bed if your not an infant. 

In the missing time from the blog, I have gotten absolutely nothing accomplished.  NOTHING!!  I have been a lazy slug.  (well, not all the time - more on that in a bit) I look in my quilt studio and then walk on by.  I have even, on some occasions, gone and sat at my chair, but have yet to produce more than a couple of pillow cases.  I think I am avoiding working on something, but once I figure it out I will snap out of this funk and continue on.  Maybe it's . . . no, nothing is coming to me.  Oh, well.  I need to get things together for this weekends meeting/workday with the Bee Friends Quilt Group so I can't continue on much longer in this slumpy mess.  I did work on finishing up the top for my modern8create challenge (I am not a member - just used their challenge to challenge myself.  I think I will quilt it and enter it in the botanical conundrum challenge for the Ogallala retreat.  (so, no, I will not show it yet)  (the retreat is toward the end of September so you don't have long to wait)  That may be what I am avoiding.  I don't know how I want to quilt it yet and am stewing that in my head.  Along with about 10 other things so it's a big jumble up there.  Speaking of which, anyone know a great recipe for a marinated vegetable sandwich?  Or what about wonderful sandwich recipes - vegetarian or not.  Our first opening for the restaurant is in a couple of weeks and I haven't decided on a menu yet.  (haven't even gotten the students in the kitchen yet)  Lots of things going on, just haven't made the time to sew.  Maybe if I do that, everything else will come together.  I will plan on getting into the studio tomorrow night and see what happens.  If nothing else, I have a few movies I need to watch.