Thursday, May 18, 2017

I found a friend in the garden

We are finally enjoying a few days of sunshine.  It hasn't rained a LOT this week, so the soil is even getting dried out enough to work in some spots.  One spot in my rock garden that needed immediate attention was where the cactus Al brought me from Wyoming lives.  It had been overrun by the sedum, and the ground ivy that creeps into the gardens every chance it gets.  (It's evil stuff, put on earth to punish us for our sins, apparently.  Like many of the worst weeds, the original European settlers of North America brought it with them.  Gee, thanks.)

Anyway, armed with my weed digger and a fish hook extractor I got at the sporting goods store, I went out to do battle.  As you can see these cactus have spines that you really don't want to get close to- unless you're a snail!  This guy happily crawled over the leaves (are they called leaves??) as I worked.  (Okay, I looked it up- those parts are actually considered the stems.)  When I get pricked by a spine, it stings, and often a piece breaks off and I have to perform surgery later to remove it.  But if you're a gastropod, I guess you just ooze on by with no worries!
I think I've mentioned before I detest slugs.  But I find snails  interesting and will go out of my way not to harm them.  I don't know why.
 I've done almost no sewing in the past few days, owing mostly to the fact that I STILL don't know how to quilt that damned quilt, and the nicer weather.  Hubby's annual fishing trip is next week, so I may treat myself to a personal quilting retreat while he's gone- if the weather is bad. 
 I know there are a lot of links in today's post.  I figured it might make it more interesting, since really this is about me watching a snail. 

 There are people "resisting" who can make a bigger difference.  I am very grateful for them!!!

I am also grateful for:
Hugs from Jonathan
Being able to make it work so the nice man at the shelter got to take his kitty home yesterday!
Sleeping with the windows open and listening to the toads and frogs singing for mates.
The hummingbirds have arrived.
36 years with a very patient and devoted man.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

I'm really enjoying this deconstructing thing!

Remember this quilt I made for the "Architecture" challenge?  I was terribly so disappointed with how it came out.  When I got it home after the challenge I folded it up and hid it away.  I ran across it months later, and decided to use it as a table runner.  But then I had to look at it and remember how it was supposed to look, but didn't.  (You can read the blog post I did about it here)
 So, it needed to go.

Meanwhile I had been trying to decide what fabrics to use for a new purse, using a pattern my friend Anne used for a bag I absolutely loved.  (It's not a commercial pattern. Her friend designed it)  I did some measuring and figuring and decided I could use the quilt for the purse, making it just a bit smaller.  

   It's sort of a bag within a bag.  I am thrilled with it, because the part of the original quilt I hated the most is inside the part I liked!  I used the binding from the quilt to bind the tops of  the bag, and had enough of the same fabric to use as the handles and lining of the bag. 
Look at all those pockets!

So, one of my least favorite quilts is now going to be one of the best purses I have ever owned!

I should look back through the pile of unloved quilts in my collection for more opportunities to turn "trash" into treasure!  I could have a whole new career!

I decided to share some good news environmentally speaking.  They are doing this kind of project in many places due to public demand for it.  We can make a difference when we join our voices together!

I am grateful for:
A wonderful day with Jonathan
Wine o'clock on a really bad day.
The perfect day for a bowl of Irish Stew at O'Lacy's (sorry if this won't work for those not on facebook)
Cold weather means I can bundle up under my pile of quilts in bed. (too soon I'll have to give it up)
A perfectly timed gift from a friend

Friday, May 5, 2017

Another UFO becomes FO!!!

 I am pleased to be able to say that so far this year, I am averaging one item crossed off my UFO list each month!!

My April completion was not completely done until May 2, but I'm counting it.  This was my teaching sample from the days of being a "Scrap Therapist."  The pattern is called "Star Light, Star Bright".  I call the quilt Christmas Under the Stars.

I had a bit of trouble getting this one finished.  I was fine until I got to the red border, when suddenly my machine decided it was unhappy.  I rethreaded, changed needles, cleaned under the bobbin case, tried different bobbins, and changed needles again.  It was just not stitching properly no matter what I did.  So I turned the machine off and decided it was wine o'clock! (no, it wasn't 10 in the morning!)  The next day I did some different sewing- pieced some blocks and such- before setting up to quilt again.  It was still a little fractious, but nowhere near as bad. 

Here's a  better look at the different designs I used.  I could wish the last border had come out a bit more dense, but it is finished. And, with all the trouble I had, there are plenty of nests on the back and skipped stitches I didn't go back and fix.  So this one will be for me and hubby- who really loves it.  If I had known that, I might have made it queen sized.

Since I used solids on the back, the quilting shows up nicely.

So, now it's on to the next items on the list.  The numbers called this month were 12 and 27. My 27 is a kit, so I am going to leave that one for another time.

Number 12 is another Scrap Therapy sample I made.  I have been doodling designs to figure out how to quilt it.  I'm keeping it simpler this time and using a faux pantograph from this book. The weather is supposed to be cold and cruddy all weekend, so I'm hoping to make significant progress on it- assuming the machine is happy.  I hate feeling like I'm entering the lion's den every time I sit down to machine quilt.  Does this ever happen to you??

After yesterday's health care vote, I am feeling rather hopeless.  I feel a bit sick that our country has come to this point.  I will continue to do what I can to make my voice heard.  You should too.

I am grateful for:
Oma time with Jonathan
When sewing is peaceful and meditative
Taking some quiet time to read ( I don't do it often enough)
My tulips survived the deluge.
I'm not alone in the resistance.