Friday, July 13, 2012

New technology leaving me in the dust...

It took longer than expected going to town yesterday to get our new cell phones and I didn't get to go to the quilt group work day/meeting. I had my stuff in the car but by the time we got done with the errands it was around 1:30 and I just didn't feel it was worth it to go as many leave shortly after lunch. I did manage to cut out all the pieces of the blue and white quilt. I had 2 magazines that had the same quilt in it and one had you cut out all the individual pieces and the other told you how to do it with strip piecing. Guess which one I chose to follow. The measurements were all the same for the blocks for both quilts so of course I chose the fastest method, the strip piecing. I have 2 strips sewn together already and all the pieces cut apart to create the rest of the strips. This will go together pretty quickly. (Spent 30 minutes trying to upload photos from the new phone.) Well, I guess I will have to learn the new technology of my I-Phone before I can upload pictures for you. There's always a learning curve with any new gadget we get.

I do have a photo to share of the dragonfly wallhanging that I am also working on.
You can see how the decorative stitch adds the contrast that this piece needs. The background and the applique are too similar that there isn't enough contrast. The stitching fixes that problem. Now to just finish it. There is a second one like this to do also.

Today, I am going with Tina to Niles to pick up several bolts of bamboo/cotton blend fabric for our fabric dyeing. It takes the dye so well and the hand of the fabric is so soft. We will also be stopping by Domestic Sewing Center in Warren to drop off 2 of her machines to be cleaned and serviced. I can't forget to take some show and tell or I will get yelled at. LOL.

DH got a phone call yesterday from some friends and went on a fishing expedition with them. They went up to Lake Erie last evening to do some fishing, stayed overnight there and were heading out again this morning to do some more fishing.

I need to go try to figure out how to use all of this techno stuff so I can share some more pictures with you. Have a good day and remember to be thankful for something and kind to someone.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Quilted projects 1,2,3,4 finished.

Here are the projects that I promised to share with you that I quilted last week/end. The first is a table runner made with squares that were given to me by my friend and roommate at January's quilt retreat.
I sewed them all together first and then did a little slicing and dicing and resewing to get this. I added the dark blue border, then quilted the center with a swirl design, I think you can see it show up in some of the plainer areas of the fabrics. The outside border is quilted in a swirl and feather plume design, all freehand, no marking done on the piece at all.
I also finished a piece up that was part of experimenting with fabric dyes on shaving cream that Tina and I did together.
It is a small wallhanging done to showcase the center that has marbleing and then a stencil motif placed on top of the marbleing. I think the quilting motifs play off the center nicely. I am really pleased with how this piece turned out.
The next piece was also created during that same day.
The tree stencil was placed on a light blue hand dyed background fabric and the dye and shaving cream were applied over the stencil, we then moved the stencil just a bit so it would give us the illusion of the tree branches moving a bit. I added the beads after quilting it to add a little more spark to the piece. I enjoyed quilting this too. This is the piece that the thread color detracts a little in the background area. The color was a very pale blue but en mass I can see that it wasn't pale enough. I should have used white for this piece.
The last piece was a project for an online class. It was the second piece I created for that class. I did finish the first one during class but I never enjoyed the finishing process so it sat for quite a while.
It is finished now and I won't be doing another like this any time soon. Not my favorite. My goal this year is to finish some of my UFO's before starting any new projects.

Well, I did start the customer quilt yesterday although it is not turning out as nicely as I would like. It is an 80" x80" quilt made up of 1" squares, so all those seams do cause problems when trying to quilt over them. I need to reconsider how I am going to do this one.

Today, DH and I are going to town to get new cell phones. My camera won't work as of yesterday (one too many drops) and I use my camera a lot on my phone for gathering the photos for this blog. Also my phone is a hand me down from DD who had it while at school and she has been out for 2 years. I am looking to get an I-phone as I have an I-pad and it will sync together nicely. After we get back I am heading over to our quilt guilds meeting and I would like to work on that blue and white quilt I mentioned yesterday. I can start cutting it out there and no need to take my machine with me. I might even cut out that Hawaiian block out for the pillow cover. That will get me a good ways along with that project.

I need to go get all that ready so I can have it in the car before we leave. It is going to be a good day. I am really excited about today. Remember to be kind today. It is our way of taking our eyes off of ourselves and seeing others as we would like them to see us. Have a great day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Enjoying the outdoors a little more...

There is so much to post today picture wise. I will have to break it up into 2 posts or else it will get unbearably long. I will give you all the outdoor pictures today and then tomorrow I will show you the pictures of the quilted projects that I promised you the other day, was that only yesterday that I alluded to those? Wow it seems like last week. Any how, here is were I am sitting this morning posting this.

I bought this patio set last summer and I haven't even used it much. I need to come out here more often and enjoy the fresh air and the sounds of the birds singing. I even heard a hummingbird earlier buzzing through. I think that he is a little upset with me because I am sitting a little too close to his feeder for his comfort. He went up and lit on a branch and just watched me for a while. Don't worry, there are 2 other feeders he can go to for his breakfast. He won't starve.

I switched up the order in which I do my blog this morning. I got a rather late start due to a bad headache that I have been battling with over the past 3 days. I am going through caffeine withdrawal. Need I say more? So I went outside to work in the dirt pile first before it got too hot. This is what I did yesterday, the second pile of dirt was conquered.
I don't know if you can even tell how much was done but let me tell you it was enough. I had sweat pouring down into my eyes, stinging like crazy, and my feet were black when I was done. DH brought the stepping stones around that we made with DDIL and DGD.
Aren't they cute. I can't wait to put them in the place. So here is the pile I attacked this morning.
And here you can see how much I managed to move.
It looks like Georgie is trying to take credit for all the work that was done this morning but don't let her fool you. She had me throwing the tennis ball for her and if I ignored her for too long she let me know by barking continually. She wants to play all the time. I would try to make her hunt for the ball by throwing it in different directions but after a couple of times of doing that she wised up and waited for me to throw it before starting to run. She still has me throwing the ball for her while I am doing this.

The rest of the day I am going to go back into my studio and work on more projects. I have to get another customer quilt ready to quilt. I have been putting it off long enough. I also started another redwork piece yesterday. It is on a linen napkin. It will be beautiful. I also need to start a Hawaiian pillow cover too. I have a quilt that I have collected fabrics for since DD#1 was at the Air Force Academy and I would like to start it and do a Hawaiian pillow to go with it. The quilt will be made with indigo blue batiks and white. That will be really nice in a pillow top too.

Well, I best get myself back inside to work. It has been fun posting the blog from outside today, although the heat is beginning to pick up now and I am in the shade so I know that I would not have gotten much done in the big dirt pile had I waited. Good call.

Have a wonderful day and be thankful for schedules that can be flexible enough to allow us to get done that which is important and not just what has to be done. Our to do lists can always be tweaked to allow time for what is most important to us.

(I think I have created a monster with Georgie, now she is going to want me to sit on the patio all the time so I can throw the ball for her. She has not stopped since I came out here. She should be ready for a nap though soon.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Small progress is part of larger wins...

I managed to get some cleaning done in my studio yesterday, not as much as I had hoped for but a good start none the less. This morning before the sun gets too hot I am going outside and work in my flower bed. I still have dirt to spread around. My morning energy levels have been pretty low of late but I think I can get out there today and get a good bit done before I crash. The air conditioning will feel real nicde when I come back in.

There are lots of things that need to be done before next weekend. I am hosting a fabric dyeing day with my friend Tina for our quilting group and friends. This is our 3rd year I think of doing this. We have a great time, everyone brings a covered dish to share, we work outside dyeing fabric and/or other projects for those who don't want to dye fabric. This year our theme is a Hawaiian theme and so I need to get my projects all lined up and make sure I have enough supplies on hand. We have had around 12 each time. There is always good food and lots of sharing going on. That's one reason I want to have the flower bed done.

I finished up 3 small wallhangings over the weekend along with one table runner. I just have to hand stitch the binding down, good projects for evening TV watching. I will get photos of these soon. Once I get the studio cleaned up (another of those things that need done before next weekend) I am going to pull out another customer quilt and get it started. I have been alternating doing some of my projects with my cusomer's quilts so that I don't feel deprived of getting anything done for myself.

Well, I think I have procrastinated long enough this morning, if I don't get outside soon it will be too hot to work for long. So I best be getting out there.

Have a great day and do something kind for someone today, that could be just giving them a smile and a warm greeting. These small things can mean more than some grand gesture.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fun with the grandbebe...

The joys of having a two year old around are many. We had a great visit with our DGD and DDIL. On Friday we went to town to get supplies for making stepping stones to put in my new flower bed. We also visited some of "Nana's friends" which Avery was a little shy at first to do but once the secret stash drawer was opened and a piece of yummy chocolate was located everything was pretty ok. Once we got everything, we came back home and stayed in the house for a while. It was so hot that you would be drenched in sweat after just 5 minutes outside. We also bought some sidewalk chalk to create some masterpieces on the driveway. Avery did not mind the heat so much so we headed back outside to play with the chalk and to blow bubbles. She could spend hours blowing bubbles and then chasing them. We drew and then blew more bubbles. Here is some of our works of art.

Once it cooled off more in the evening we went outside again to make the stepping stones. Here DDIL and AV are sitting in the driveway with the starts of our supplies around them.

We even enlisted Papa's help in measuring out and mixing the Kwik-crete.

Avery very carefully added glass marbles to one of the stones.

Meghan created a beautiful stone too.
Avery's foot prints and hand prints were put in several.

This is a fun and rather inexpensive activity to do with the kiddo's. The bag of Kwik-crete was less than $5.oo and the forms are inexpensive plastic dishes used under a potted plant to collect the water. They were about $1.25 a piece. I bought 4 of those. All the items we used to decorate I already had in my craft supplies.

Avery brought her tent to show Papa. It is a puppy tent. It is adorable. I even climbed inside with her. Too bad it was already pretty dark so the photo isn't the best.
We finished off the evening by watching a movie. Avery said she was hungry so I made some popcorn and we enjoyed the cool of the air conditioning.

Along with all the cute and adorable things Avery said during the visit and everything she could imagine to do inside we had a very entertaining weekend. One of my favorite things she would say was, "I am going downstairs now to my workshop." Also "Don't worry, I will fix it." She is such a sweet and loving child (in between her self admitted-fits) and so smart. I had bought her a book while we were in Hawaii called Chameleon's Colors and when I handed it to her she looked at it and said chameleon. Very smart. Very determined. Very active. Very adorable.

Well, that was my weekend fun. I hope you had a good fun weekend too. Everyone needs time to decompress from the stress of the work week and I think we can all learn a lesson from the children in our lives and play a little more.

Have a great week and remember to be thankful for something. I am very thankful for the sweetness of grandchildren and that they go home after a visit. LOL. I used yesterday to catch up on my rest.