Monday, September 24, 2012

A family outing!

I didn't have much time for creative endeavors last week.  The high point of the week was spending some time at Robert H Treman Park  in Ithaca while Guy was here for a few days.  It was a little bonus visit since the whole family is usually only together on Christmas. It's a beautiful place, full of beauty and inspiration.  So I thought I'd share those pictures instead of talking about the same projects as last week.

This is one of my favorite spots.  I love the visual texture of the rock wall here! 


 Doesn't this look like the kind of place fairies would hide?

I'm sure these falls have a name.  I think the whole place is called Enfield Glen.

In the city of Ithaca, all of the light signal boxes are painted.  Isn't this one gorgeous?

Sadly, there is also evidence of the carelessness of people who would spoil this beautiful place by leaving their garbage behind!
No "Green tip" this week.  Just this.

I am grateful for:
A day with all of my favorite men in the world.
Chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven.
Fall weather, and being able to sleep!
Soup season.
Finishing the One Block Wonder - the last unfinished piece I registered for the quilt show.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A focus on UFO's

Yes, there is a chair under those piles of projects  and hubby's shirts that are waiting to be ironed.  George was keeping me company as I worked the other day.  It didn't take her long to find the coziest spots in the house!  I'm happy any time she isn't chasing the threads as I try to sew.
The One Block Wonder I showed last week is coming along.  I'm doing more of the "Dream Feathers" on it and having fun doing it.  Hopefully it will be done Wednesday.  I have pieced three OBW's.  This was actually the first one, so I'm happy to be crossing one UFO off the list.           I'm hoping to get to at least one other one this weekend!

This one has to be at least five years old, probably more like  7 or 8.  It's a Betty Alderman pattern. The Guild had her come teach a class at some point and this was the class project. It's the satin stitching that has held me up on it.  I started doing nice stitching on it, so I can't leave the rest of it now.  ( can I?)  So this one will need more than one weekend to finish.  But I still  like it well enough to finish it.
This one is only a year or so old.  It's a technique called Illusionary Bars.  Fun way to use one of those big prints I like!  This will be a table runner.  I'll shape the ends around the fused appliques.

 This one is probably my oldest UFO.  It is a very old JoAnn block of the month- maybe even their first one.  (there's a prize for anyone who can tell me what year that one was originally sold)  The original kits were done in blue, but I didn't like the blue, so each month I used the pattern provided to make my own. I'm going to hand quilt this one over the winter when it's nice to have a quilt over my lap in the evenings.  It has a flannel back on it, too.  Extra cozy!

(sorry about the spacing on this post- blogger is behaving badly today)

Being "Green" at the office:
1- Print only what you HAVE to.  Use narrow margins and both sides of the paper when ever possible.  These simple steps could reduce your papre usage by up to 60 %
2- Pack a litterless lunch by using reusable containers, a lunch bag or box, reusable cutlery and a reusable water bottle or thermos.

I am grateful for:
The change in the weather that has allowed me to be more comfortable the last week or so>
Thirty years with Guy.
MASH still makes me laugh.
Weird fungus in the garden.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Counting down to the "Big Show"!

The Museum Quilt Guild, of which I am a member, holds a quilt show every other year. The Next one is ONLY FIVE WEEKS AWAY!  (Oh, sorry, I panicked there for a second)
I registered three pieces for the show which were not finished at the time. I never do that.  I work well with deadlines, but not under pressure.
The piece on the machine is the last of the three.  It's actually the first of three One Block Wonder quilts I pieced.    I struggled with this one, because I  just couldn't find a layout I liked for the blocks I made from this fabric.  The final solution was a layout from the second book, I think. Make two separate panels of the kaleidoscope blocks

Then I had to decide how to quilt it.  I turned to Leah for help, as I often do.  The pattern she calls "sunflower seemed to look like the flowers in the original print.  So that's what I have so far.  I hope to do some feathery things in the purple parts.  Stay tuned.

This piece is the last of three "Mosaics" made from a techniques Kathi shared with us at art group.  I have been playing with random piecing and more free form sort of settings and this is the result.  The quilting is meant to look like the sun shining on the lower parts of clouds.  It also looks like fire. Maybe that was done subconsciously as there were wildfires in the news that week.

Once I get finished with the deadlines, I'm going to do something just for fun!  I've been reading Robbie Joy Eklow's book.  She tells how to design an art quilt from free motion quilting designs. But I'm thinking this "zentangle" tile might make a really interesting quilt!

Thinking "Green" this week allows me to tell you I have made the digital switch.  When I renewed one of my magazine subscriptions, I chose the digital only version.  Saves me some money and reduces the burden on our resources on two ways:  No paper used to print the magazine, and no energy required to deliver the paper copy to me.  If I want  pattern or picture to use in the sewing room, I can print ONLY that page!

I am grateful for:
Some cool nights where I can sleep under lots of covers!
A new recipe soon to be a favorite.
Time spent with a friend.
A call from one son and a visit from the other!
I think that young cardinal found his way out of the garage!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hanging the Monthly "Quilt Show"

September Calendar Quilt, by Kim Schaefer
I am lucky to have a wonderful space in my upstairs hallway to display my quilts.  I try to change the display every month to reflect the change of seasons, and so they all get a chance to be out of the closets!  (most of them anyway) 
 By the way, the monthly calendar quilts I'm doing this year are for my office.

So I started today by changing the display for September.
This process actually takes me about an hour every month. I have some of the quilts rolled or stacked in order of use, but not all of them.  So first I have to decide which quilts I am using for each month's display.  This month I had some help.
George decided none of these were right for this month!

 I don't take everything down, I sort of start with one I know I'll be using then go from there.  It ends up being a bit like hanging a quilt show, since I have to find the right "fixtures" (dowels) for each quilt.  The hangers I have are based on the first set of quilts I hung here, never realizing I'd be changing it so often!

The flower in this picture is a sort of giant "Kanzashi" flower I was inspired to make when I  made the sunflowers for the quilt show. 

It hasn't found a permanent home yet.  It just sits in this pitcher- part of a very old set from a "commode"/ washstand in my grandmother's house.  ( I even have the chamberpot!)

The final display.  Not the most interesting display I have throughout the year, I admit.  But even the designer's of calendar quilts can only come up with back to school for September.
The cat in the quilt here represents my Liza, who I lost last spring.  This piece was made for a Museum Quilt Guild challenge.

To save the Earth this week, I will remind you to use the smallest appliance or utensil needed for the job.  Use the microwave for small items, instead of heating up the oven for one baked potato.  Your crock pot can make a great pot roast and will use a LOT less energy.  Heat up a piece of pizza in a frying pan for a crispy crust, rather than the oven.
How can quilters can use this idea? Do you have a clover mini iron? Use that to press one or two seams rather than heating up your full sized iron!

I am grateful for:
A kitty on my lap again. (I hope she outgrows the love of chasing my yarn when I knit though)
Loving and supportive friends
Football season starts this week!
Potato salad for dinner
Putting things in perspective