Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's Progressing

Coming right along with this one.  Amazing how the quilting calms down the puffy background without making pleats.  Well, at least so far, that is!

Just had a couple of reasons for a short post.  First of all, I think you know that where I live we have lots of critters!  Deer eat our flowers, skunks have dug up our yards at times, turkeys trot up and down our streets looking for food beneath bird feeders, little ground squirrels chatter on our stoops and there have even been sly little foxes from time to time.  This summer we have another critter creating a nuisance - or at least I think I know which one it is.  Blaming it on racoons - they have taken to getting into the trashcans in our carports, dumping them over and, if the lid comes off, having a feast at what they find amid the contents.  Mine has been dumped several times and I even bought a new one with a locking lid.  Didn't work!  So now I have a double bungee cord over the top and have been putting some ammonia in the sacks.  So far, so good on that.  This morning when I looked out my across the street neighbor had been visited by the roaming racoons.   The can was overturned and things on her carport floor - not a lot, but some.   Today is our yard cleanup day and the crew is in here doing the lawns. Looked out the window and there was one of the young fellows who has been trimming the sidewalks turning the trashcan up and putting the spilled contents back in.  How nice is that for a random act of kindness.  I am sure that is not in his job description, but good for that young fellow!!   Warmed the cockles of my heart, as the old saying goes!!!!

Then later on I made myself feel bad.  Realized I had forgotten my hair appointment yesterday and OMG how I needed it.  Can't get in until next Wednesday.  I am to the point where I feel like going into hiding.  Well, I guess you win some and lose some, right!  Luckily, that is not something I have done except for a couple of times in the fifteen or more years I have been with my beautician.

So remember that, Carol!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Quilting on the Flower Garden Quilt

 After quite a bit of hassle, I am starting to get this piece quilted.  The hassle came in the pinning process - which, like thread basting, is not one of my favorite parts of the quilt making process.  The wall hangings are done on the big door on sawhorses that my husband rigged up for me to use as a worktable and it has served me well.  I tape the backing wrong side up on the table with painter's tape then layer the batting and top on that and proceed to pin.  I was able to get most of the piece on top of the table with just maybe six inches overhanging on each side.  As with my little sunbonnet girls, I used wool batting. I had had no problem at all with that top.  After the pins were all in and closed, I took off the tape so I could finish each side.  When I looked at the back, it was all pleated and just plain awful!!  Nothing could be done but unpin all those @#^?!!! pins and start over again.  Took out the wool batting and found some cotton and started all over again.  That turned out fine!  The top and back did not cling to the wool like it does to cotton.  But cannot figure out why the little girl quilt gave me no problems.  Anyway, it was a hard fight, Mom, but I won!!
Here is a part of the center of the piece - I have had the bright idea of some buttons in the little blocks outlining the center.  These bright ones would work well, but I am also thinking I may just cover some small ones with different fabrics and use those.  I think that would add a lot.  My loopy quilting is kind of small but I it seems to be making the applique stand out nicely and it goes along pretty quickly.  Also thinking about putting some french knots in some places.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Finally Quilted!

Finally finished quilting on Sue has a Crush on Kaffe!  I have been working on this for most of the past week and just put the final stitches in a little while ago.  Quilting the rays on the triangles was giving me fits - the thread kept breaking and I was using a bunch of choice words!  I changed the needle (I am bad about keeping the same one in my machine for a long time - shame, shame) and that seemed to help immensely.  The block backgrounds and outlining the little girls went very smoothly, thank goodness.  Finished up the border today so it's ready to be trimmed and bound.
Here is a corner of the quilt so you can see what I did to the border.  Nothing fancy, just some meandering up and down. I really do like the way the triangles look even though they gave me fits.
Hope no one examines them closely since they are not spaced very evenly and are wavy, but overall look pretty good.   

Tuesday I went to Saginaw with Leslie, Linda and Kathy to go to a art quilt exhibition whose juror was Janna, one of the long time members of our quilt guild.  Not a very big exhibit, but it was lovely and well worth going to see if you are in the Saginaw area.  It's at the Saginaw Art Museum until September 6th.  Here is what greeted you as you walked toward the area -
This is all done in one inch squares that end up as one-half inch squares after being sewn.    Hard to imagine how a person can do this.  Her name is Deb Hyde and she also had two other pieces in the show.  I found this on the internet.  Why I did not take pictures is beyond me!  I found another picture similar to the won she won first place with -
Her work is awesome.  We had four of our members represented at the exhibit - Kathy M. was one of them.   Also showing work was Kathy A (the girl who did the racoons that I showed from our guild show), Nancy S and Janna.    We went from there and had a nice lunch at a Chinese restaurant.  Great little road trip with some great gals!   

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quilting on Sunbonnet Sue

I have had this little piece done for probably a year - even had the backing made.   The other day I decided it was time to get it together and get it quilted.  Worked first on the middle block with the little girl and knew just what to do with it--outlined everything then did my loopy quilting on the background.  Then the triangles were the next to figure out.  Deciding what to do where is, I think, the hardest part of quilting.  I tried several things and did several rippings
Then I gave a go at the rays coming from the center and pointing to the feature blocks.  By George, I like it!  It's kind of a wrestling match but if Idon't do too much at a time, it's fine.  Sue's hat was kind of bumpy from the fusible web so I did some lines on it and that calmed it down well.   The little girl blocks quilt up quickly but the triangles take a while but I think it will be worth it.

Had Sit and Sew this week.  It's been a spell since I've seen some of the girls and I really looked forward to Tuesday.  It was a really fun day.  It was Leslie's birthday - wish I had known it beforehand.  Leslie is so much fun and one of my favorite people!  What a great bunch of quilters in our group!!   So a big, belated happy birthday to one great gal!!!

Today is the "garage sale" at Park Bench!!   Can't miss that!   Looks like they are going to have stellar weather for it this weekend.  I am going to eat some lunch, get cleaned up a bit and go garage saleing!!!   Will show you later what I buy.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July is Scooting By

This morning I trimmed the excess batting and backing from this quilt.  This is the one that started with a rainbow batik jelly row sewn into a row quilt and ended up being cut up into blocks and combined with Kaffe prints.  Really hodgepodge but bright and pretty.

Here is a close up of some of the fabrics in the quilt and
here is another one.  What a delight to work with the rich colors in batiks and the Westminister fabrics.   Some of them are absolutely really ugly but it all seems to work so well.

I have had a big week - my nephew and his wife were here for a visit from Florida and it was so good to see Michael again and to meet Molly, his wife, for the first time.  They both are retired from the service and are taking a big trip in their new motor home through the northeast.  Sherry came over, too, and we all went out to dinner later.  While we were at dinner, Sherry started to get texts - I had forgotten to put my phone in my purse.  Well, good, good news which I'm not going to elaborate on just yet but let it suffice to say that I am tickled pink!!

Next day I had an appointment with my pulmonoligist which I was rather dreading from last visit.  However, it was a good outcome and I will have another scan and visit in December.  I have actually been feeling pretty darned good although my stamina is not nearly what it used to be.  However at almost 86 that would probably be the case anyway!  I can't walk a long way anymore but could push a cart around Target or the grocery store all day and be fine but occasionally a trip up to my mailbox tends to fluster me.   All in all, I would say I don't have much to complain about!!   I'm still as excited about my quilting as I ever was and enjoy the things I do on the computer.  Pretty fortunate old woman!

The weather we have been having is amazing!!  No real heat yet this summer - I mean the bad stuff.  Yesterday it was so cool and the air was dry.  Tends to be repeating itself today.  For me, that is so welcome since I am not a hot weather girl!!!!   It's different now then it used to be, however, because I don't have any outside work to take care of anymore so can just stay in when it's hot.

Guess I will take a trip to the mall and take back some shoes I ordered online from Kohl's.  I bought another pair of sketchers which are so comfy, but this pair is too big.  Have done a lot of rambling on!!  See you next time.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!

Hope you are having a bang-up time this July 4th!  And it would be nice of your weather is as nice where you are as it is here in Michigan.   Things are quiet at my house but all is well.

Have been going on a cleaning out spree that started on last Sunday's power outage when I cleaned some drawers.  That has gone on to the bottoms of my closets in the bedroom that were a mess and also to the shelves above where the clothes hang.  Even did some shredding of old bank reconcillation sheets which had gone way beyond the seven years needed to keep them for tax purposes.  The basement is pretty much back to where it should be so some things have been accomplished.

On Monday, I will get to see my nephew and his wife, Molly, who are on an extended trip in their motor home and I so look forward to that.   They live in Florida and have been on the road for some time.

Yesterday I had another visitor!!

My friend, Kathy, brought her little granddaughter, Alexandria, over to see me.  Grandma Kathy was taking her around and showing her off - and rightfully so!!  This is one adorable little baby doll.  Such a sweet, friendly little girl - she actually took a little nap on my lap.  She is a little older than my little cutie pie greatgranddaugher, Lauren, but they aren't that far apart so Lauren is most likely doing similar things in the way of noises, etc.  

Happy 4th from Funoldhag!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Powerless Afternoon

The blocks are all sewn and sewn in rows waiting to be joined row to row.  Probably would have had this accomplished this afternoon except for the fact that the electricity went off after some rather heavy rain! Don't you just hate it when that happens?  You are pretty well out of business with everything you do since most of it requires the power.  Back in the old days, a treadle could run any time you wanted - electricity or not.  You can't go on line, watch Netflix, etc., etc.  So I spent some time cleaning out some drawers which 
actually was a good thing.  Then I had a really good nap!  The power came back on a little bit after I woke up - so it wasn't a bad day at all.  Now the sun is shining brightly and I think it's pretty warm out there, but it certainly looks nice.

Here is the top left corner of my quilt - you can see the swirly white on white patterned fabric that I got at the Park Bench yesterday.  I think it's going to be a good addition to the piece.
A few more rows laid out on the bed.  just the first two are joined.  The ones in the middle part are really, really long so it will be lots and lots of sewing.  I cut the setting blocks extra big and will leave maybe 3/4 to 1 inch of the white past the points.  Binding will be the white.  

And I also got all the stuff that I had scattered all over the basement put away!  In some of the rubble, I found my circle template that I have had for probably 30 years!!  Missing objects usually do turn up.    I did accomplish a little more than usual today.  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Sixteen Patch

My Flower Garden is almost done - just need to tweak the rows of the sides and sew them on.  Will post a picture of it when it is finished - should do that tomorrow!  Working with all the pretty Kaffe Fassett fabric got me thinking about another quilt and - yes - I started another one!   I have noticed some really pretty 16 patches and after doing the Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt, I knew that it is quick to sew the four strips together, then cut them in four more strips and sew those together.
Here are three blocks in their first step of coming together.  I so enjoy picking the fabrics.   I'm using at least 90% Kaffe with some dots, stripes, and a few other compatible pieces thrown in.  The colors are light and medium.  There are a few I'm not sure about but they can be discarded without a problem.
Some of these I have had for a long, long time.  Doing a pretty good job of using up some of my pieces.  Of course, most of my pieces are less than one-third yard and some of them look like swiss cheese because of the fussy cutting I have done on them.  The Flower Garden quilt came mainly from a box of just plain scraps!
Here are the blocks on the wall in the basement.  I have them set on point but don't think I will make the top that way.  I have about 65 blocks made - they are 8 inches - and I would like to make this big enough for the bed in my sewing room.  I may make it 72 by 80 so figure I have about 35 more to make, but I won't put on a border - just bind it.  As you can imagine, my basement is a mess again - but I won't take anymore pictures.   Just remember what it looked like in a previous post - it is pretty much in the same messy condition as it was back then.  Only way to work - except it's so hard to find anything.

Happy First Day of Summer!!!!   Hope it was a good one for you.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Sunday in June

A cute little three year old girl getting ready to blow out the candles on her birthday cake!   It's Sherry, my daughter, back in Chillicothe in 1954.  Happy Birthday, my dear daughter!!!  Her cake is on the blue hobnail cakestand that many, many birthday cakes stood on over the years.  I love the way Marsha, the little girl on Sherry's left, is all puckered up to blow, too, as are at least two others.  Marsha is Sherry's cousin who is one year older.   Where, oh where have the years gone!

And it is also Father's Day!!  I am going to post a couple of pictures of my dear father who has been gone many years.  Dad was such a hard working man - he and Mom both worked so hard to raise my siblings and me.  Here is a picture that I had never seen until a few years ago.  It is so precious to me - there are hardly any photos of Dad at that time and not many of Jo and Bud.  I was the first grandchild in Peoria so there are lots of pictures of me.
Jo is sitting on the left , Dad holds Bud and I am on the right.  Another thing that is amazing is that Dad wore white pants.  I am sure he got all dressed up to come to my grandparents' home since that is where the picture is taken.  There are a lot of other ones that were taken that day, but this is the only one with him.
This is the way I remember my dad a lot.   He did a lot of hunting and fishing - and we ate what he caught!!  I was not crazy about wild duck but you ate what was presented by your mom!  I am sure the reason Dad is beaming is that he probably has the limit that day.  The next step would be to dress the ducks.  I can still see him in the kitchen with a washtub, pulling the feathers off the ducks and putting them in the tub.  Then I seem to remember Mom lighting some newspaper and singeing the pinfeathers, etc., off the carcass.   A mess, but the ducks coming out of Mom's oven were always beautiful - even if I didn't care for them.  I only liked the little legs that were moister than the rest of the meat.  

So on this Father's Day, I think of my Dad with so much love and look back on my childhood with happy memories and a feeling of love and security, thanks to my dear parents.  Being poor and not having a lot of 
"things" just isn't that bad!   And I am also thinking of my Ray, who was a great dad, also!!   He would have been so thrilled with the three little great grandkiddies!  He adored little ones.   

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Short Post - Three Cute New Pictures

 Annie!!  Love her skirt, her pigtail, her dimple and her big grin!  A little over 18 months, she is a doll baby.  According to Hannah, Annie is like a little parrot!
And Lauren!  What a happy little cutie this baby girl is.  She just beams cutemess.   Likes her little toes, too.
What a darling size and she looks so cuddly.
Oh, Henry!  You are one handsome little fellow.  This is a picture from a card made at day care for Father's Day for Chad!   Super clever idea along with a cute little poem.

Could not resist posting these pictures of my three great grandchildren!!   Both grandparents and great grandparents love to show off the pictures of the younger generation.  Wish they were closer but I so enjoy the videos and pictures of them and the facetime, also.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Flower Garden - Both Quilt and Actual

I bought two of these gorgeous begonias on Sunday along with the pretty lavendar flower and some licorice foliage that hangs down but can't be seen in this picture.  This is one of the three things that I actually planted this year.  The rest are hanging baskets I bought.  Nothing is down where the deers could dine except the big pot along the side of the house and I don't think they will like the flowers in that one.  Could be wrong.
 This is a beautiful ivy geranium basket I have on my privacy fence.  Love the hot pink and it is full of blooms and buds.  I did stick a few sweet allysum plants at the edge and hope they flourish and hang down the sides.  I love that little plant so much.
 Not a flower!!  When we were at the big gift shop at Warmbiers (a wonderful wonderland of stuff) I found this ceramic pink flamingo.  Today I got out my awl and hammer, made a hole and put in a small screw.  Also have a nail that comes through one of the holes in the lower part so it will hang straight.  I have had pink flamingos in my gardens for years and thought this would be fun for the summer.   They make me smile.
This is the flower garden vase fused down ready for applique.  I may change the three big flowers.  It has a lot of blue in it, so maybe just the tulips might be changed out.  So many options.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Bit of This and That

Bambi was in my front yard last evening.  Walked past the door and looked out to see this little thing in my yard.  It didn't stay long but I got a picture before the little baby left.  Don't know where her (or his) momma was -- it left soon after this was taken and went across the street.  Such a little, lanky thing - could not be very old.   I think the deer had a hard time this winter with all the snow.
 Working on my flower garden.  In the process of cutting and fusing the flower pot which will have three big flowers on the empty stems plus some leaves.  The little squares at the top are to see if I want to put a little border all around the center panel.  I also have at least three more blocks to make, and I do have all of these shown machine appliqued now.  Still don't know how big I will make it.   I really, really like this one.  Stay tuned to see what comes of it.    Yesterday I did some real gardening -- planted and hung a couple of baskets.  Stupid me left the nozzle on the hose all winter and now it's on there to stay, I think.  I bought a new nozzle but can't get the old one off the hose, so now I will go buy a hose.  Anymore, I just don't sweat that sort of thing as it's just not worth it.  Will consider it a lesson learned to take the nozzle off the hose for the winter.  I do undo the hose from the faucet as I know that's bad news if you leave it on.

Here they are - Henry and Lauren and both are lying on their quilts.  Their mommy labeled the picture something like Trouble One and Trouble Two.   They are absolute cutie pies - and so is their little cousin Annie.  Will have to get a new picture of Annie and get it up.  I am so well pleased with my three great grandchildren!!   I love the pictures, little videos and Facetime that we do with the families - and with Hannah, too.  Keeps you so much closer to them when they are far away.