Monday, April 23, 2012

Nothing New to Report

Very Vibrant Violet

I had a fairly busy week.  Sewing time was limited.  Plus I wasn't really focused on things ( as I mentioned last week.)  I laid out some scrappy blocks, but didn't get them assembled.  I cut some borders, but didn't get them sewn on.  I did some "therapy sewing" with strips from my scrap bag, but don't have enough to do anything with yet- and need to figure out what I'm doing with them!  So this little piece is my only accomplishment.  It was started some time last year in a meeting of the "ArtCGirlz".  It uses Susan Carlson's "cut loose" collage technique.  I didn't know what I wanted to do with it, but finally decided I'd just layer, quilt and bind.  Simple, done and off the design wall.  I couched a thread with sparkles around the edges, then used some glitter as "pollen" in the center.  It's a fun technique I will use again.  Not sure how yet.  Stay tuned.

This is what I woke up to the morning.  (shaking my head) Eighty degrees in mid March and a "blizzard" in late April.  Maybe Mother Nature is suffering mood swings???
My poor crab apple- it was just starting to bloom!

Tulips and bleeding heart

Creeping Phlox
At any rate, I'd rather be pulling weeds like I was last week!

For a neat green tip, look at how to reuse a cd spindle here!  Re using something that would end up in the landfill is one of the simplest things we can all do!  Yes, eventually it will get thrown out.  But think of the number of items that will NOT go in the trash if you reuse one thing many times!

I am grateful for:
Guild meetings
Laughing until my ribs hurt
Salad for dinner
Saturday movie night
Music, and finding the right music for the right mood!

Monday, April 16, 2012

An odd feeling!

 So here it is the middle of April and I have been out working in the gardens today!  Not a normal thing this time of year.  And even if it's nice enough to go out to the gardens, the soil is so wet I can't do much.  Today it's almost too dry to work in some spots!
Isn't Als' Bridal Veil Spirea pretty?  (It's Al's because I hate this type due to the wild way they grow, but he loves them and found them on sale....)
The creeping thyme is always a favorite.  Not sure why the lavender one is dominant.  The pink one has disappeared.
Behind it are some snapdragons that survived the winter- another oddity of this year's weather.

 I did indeed finish the "Liberated" project last week.  This is what it looks like laid flat. 
 This is the little shelf unit in the studio it was made to camouflage when there are guests.

Isn't this better?
I'm trying to figure out how to enter it in the October quilt show.  I'd have to bring the shelves, too!

I find myself in an odd place at the moment.  Plenty of UFO's to be attended in the hope of having things to enter in the show, but nothing that I'm ready to work on.  One needs a border, another needs me to learn a technique before I quilt it, another requires moving the table out of the dining room so I can layer it!  I'm working on 3 or 4 scrap quilts all of which are in varying stages of construction.  So I have either too much to do or nothing to do depending on how I looked at it.

  I decided to work on the May calendar quilt ahead of schedule just to get it out of the way. I enjoy these little quilts once they are done and hanging on the wall.  But there are times the "zen" of machine applique eludes me and I am just plain bored with that part of the process!

I took a break from the beads on the rule breaking quilt long enough to make myself this pretty little bracelet.  I saw it at "Let's Bead" in East Rochester, but found the pattern online.

It's almost Earth Day.  There are lots of activities during the week in many places.   I missed the e-waste collection this year already.  So I'll have to find a place for disposing safely of the bits and pieces I had saved for it.  Just a reminder- you don't have to do it on a special day.  Just do your best to take care of our planet!  If possible, keep it out of the landfill!

I am grateful for:
BFF time
Getting answers to help me relax.
Eating on the screen porch.
Having the nature channel in my back yard.
When someone else knows why I'm laughing.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weekend update

I was the lucky winner of a pattern and fabric kit from Jane Sassaman's blog a couple of weeks ago.  The prize was delivered last week.  Since I'm a pre-washer, the fabrics went right into the washer.  Liza found them fresh from the dryer.  Cats seem to have evolved a special sense so they know when there is fabric or a quilt they haven't slept on yet in the house, don't you think?

I decided the "Rule Breaking" quilt did indeed need beads.  So I've been playing with that a lot of evenings this week.
I add a little then look at it and say

 Maybe a little of this,

then look again and say Now it needs....



Now that I've gotten started, I'm not sure I'll know when to stop! One friend from the Guild said if the quilt is too heavy to lift, I'm done!

I am finally quilting the last 2 sections of the "Liberated" project.  (Are you sick of this project??? I know I am ready to be done with it!)
Leah was talking about layering and basting using elastic a while back.  I decided to give it a whirl.  This long skinny piece wasn't the best first thing to try it on, but I can see where it will save wasting the masking tape once I get more elastic!

If you look closely you can see the pin securing tools my friend Dodie devised. (not sure what name she decided on.)  I've looked at "pinmoors", but am too cheap to pay those prices.  Dodie came up with the idea of cutting up the thick craft foam in the kids' crafts section of Michael's and JoAnn's instead!  Works like a dream!

I am leading an activity for the ArtCGirlz tomorrow evening.  As part of that, I made a color wheel (sort of) out of scrap therapy squares.  I may sew them together and use them as a reference for future projects!

Thinking Green this time, I want you to ask the fishermen in your life to please be careful of where they leave their fishing line and other fishing gear when they go out on the lakes to enjoy their hobby this time of year.

I am grateful for:
The patience it took to get blogger to put my pictures where I wanted them. :-)
Taking the first step in getting to visit Guy this summer.
All the useful information one can find on the internet.
One week of no meds and no pain!
A more gentle change of seasons.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Who is Edith, again?

No one asked after my last post, but Edith is my dress form.  She is very old, but serviceable.  She's purely decorative, but does help model my new creations for me. 

I mentioned this jacket last time, and the fact that I had never put pictures of it here when I finished it.  I had lots of the pieced fabrics left over, since they didn't play nicely together on the jacket.  That's how I ended up with the skirt- then the bag.  The mola I bought from Priscilla Kibbee.  People in Lancaster were actually asking if I had made it myself!

 I had a good sewing week last week.  I hate to say it, but it was mostly because my hubby was away a lot.  (Dinner for me takes 20 minutes and I do dishes when I run out of spoons!)  It's also easy to get lots of sewing done when there's nothing on tv to distract me.  NOTHING!
So, what did I get done?
April calendar quilt, pattern by Kim Schaefer

 First, the next in the calendar quilt series I am making to hang in the office.  The umbrella in the pattern was black.  I would never personally own a black umbrella.  :-)  The panels of this one are all cut from a single piece of batik fabric.

Holiday Stars, pattern by Joan Ford at Scrap Therapy
I finally got this top pieced.  I started it as a teaching sample back when I was teaching Scrap Therapy.  I have used it as my "Leaders and enders" project for some time now.  It finally got to the point where I had to finish piecing it and start a new secondary project. 

no title yet- a "Rule Breaking" quilt

I posted pictures of this in progress after I got Kathy Schmidt's book and started playing.   I would never have guessed how long ago it was!  But I finally got the quilting done.  I just played with some different designs on this- and practiced some new techniques I'm trying to master.  Now I'm trying to decide if it needs beads or crystals or not.  And how many it needs if it does.

By the way- the new set up in the sewing room is working out GREAT so far.  Much more comfortable than the old one was.

You may remember a couple of weeks ago, I was pondering what to do with old or unloved quilts in my collection.  Today I found a way to repurpose one of them.

 I have always wanted to try and replicate this little purse I was given as a gift.  By laying the purse next to the quilt and cutting and fitting, I think I did a fair job.  Only took about an hour, too! (but I didn't add the zipper since I never use it)

Thinking Green this time has me looking forward to Earth Day, which is in just a few weeks.  As part of their festivities at Genesee Community College, there is a household e-waste collection.  If you have old electronics you can safely dispose of them at this collection, rather than tossing potentially hazardous materials in the landfill.  Check with your local government office to see if there is such a collection in your area as well!

I am thankful for:
Mad Men is back and as good as ever!
I have time to spend doing the thing I love best.
A date with my hubby
The sleeves for my sweater look better the second time around.
Steak, roasted potatoes and ice cream for dessert.