Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Heart Batiks

Yesterday afternoon I made a little shop hop to the two local quilt shops and picked out some luscious batiks to go with the little strippy quilt I am working on.  I wish I could afford a half yard of each and every one they have, but of course that is not feasible.  I picked out the above - love the "dirty" colors!

Wanted more variety in the neutral backgrounds of the strips and found these four - especially love the one with the wavy stripe and dots. 

I am really pleased with the way all of the fabrics go with each other and with the first strip that is now all machine appliqued.  Lovin' this one!  Now to cut lots and lots more leaves.  To make drawing them on the fusible web much easier, I cut a stencil and it's a snap to run the pen along the inside.  Much easier than trying to hold a little template with your finger and trying to draw around it. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Playing Again

A blog I check every day is Exuberant Color which is written by Wanda Hanson who really makes many beautiful super colorful quilts and wall hangings.   I think she must have tons and tons of fabric and it appears that she is quite efficient in the way she stores it - even cutting strips, etc., to have on hand.  She uses lots of batiks, Kaffe, and other gorgeous fabrics.  Quite a gal!!  A few posts ago she posted the above picture of a quilt she started in I believe it was 1999.   Noted that she was going to do it for a class - but somehow or other it never happened.  She also said she would probably never finish it.  I thought it was a very neat, simple layout.  I have been wanting to do something in batiks again with lots of different fabric and thought this might be just the thing.  (I know I have the big rainbow piece all sewn together and I am trying to figure out how to turn the long, skinny piece into something bed sized - will work on that later!!!)

I am using different neutral batiks in 3 inch strips sewn together.  The stem is a one inch strip of fabric that I ironed in half than sewed it with the raw edge toward the middle seam.  After it was stitched, I pressed it over the seam and then did the invisible machine applique stitch with the invisible thread.  Have cut lots and lots of leaves and will need lots more.  Doing my usual machine buttonhole stitch on them. 

Here are two more strips lying on either side of the one I have made.  I am also planning to put a strip of something or other between each of the vine strips.   Have not decided what that will be yet.   Kind of deciding as I go along.

Probably tomorrow I will go to Park Bench and pick up a few more pieces of neutral batiks and maybe a few pretty prints.  I think I am going to like this piece.

I called my doctor's office yesterday and was so happy to find that it is iron deficiency anemia that had me feeling so sluggish and tired.  The treatment is the iron supplement with a blood test in three months to check it out.  That was good news.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Back in Time--Rerun

I am getting close to having my blog for five years now and have done posts on just about everything I have made, my family, my gardening, etc., etc.  Sometimes I find I try almost too hard to do a post just because I think I should which is absolutely silly!  I do notice that some of the other bloggers I have followed for a long, long time (feel like I know them!) seem to be posting more infrequently, also.  

This is the very first quilt that I posted on Funoldhag.  It is called Attagirl Carol! because it is the first time I ever did any curved piecing.  Some of the fabric in this quilt is butt ugly, but it all works out well and blends very nicely.  Figured maybe I would bring some of the older pieces forward since I am sure there are many different folks looking in on my blog than there were in 2008.  My guild buddies who have known me for a long time will probably remember some of these. 

I am not nearly as productive now as I was in the past years, but I am still very enthused and love my quilting as much as ever.  Still want to do everything I see but know that is not realistic.  However, I will do as much as I can for as long as I can.  Will absolutely not stop buying fabric!!  And on another note, since I had the transfusion at the beginning of last week I feel soooooo much better.  I am able to get so much more done - had really been dragging my butt!  Yesterday I spent the afternoon in the basement putting away the fabric I had scattered all over - could not have done that last week.  It really is like night and day.  I am so thankful to feel better and will be glad to hear what the tests say.

Here are some pictures of the very first quilt I ever finished.  I quilted designs I found from various sources on large blocks of a beautiful cotton sateen.  It was quilted lapquilted style - I did it by rows - that is a pain in the neck, I tell you!   But it worked.  Also quilted each border then sewed it all together - hand sewing the backing together.  Big job, but it is a beautiful old quilt.  I finished it in 1984. I am quite proud of my hand quilting - didn't know I could take those tiny stitches.  However, I could not do that anymore. 

If you enjoy my old work, I will post more when I run dry on other things.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hollyhock Dolls

While looking around Pinterest, I spotted a picture that took me back to when I was a little girl in Rome, Illinois.   There was a picture of a hollyhock doll!  We had hollyhocks along the fence way back at the end of the yard and I made many little hollyhock dolls back in those long gone days.  Decided to see if Youtube had a video on making the little dollies - it certainly seems to have a video for everything.  Sure enough, there were two.
I chose this one - but she doesn't do it quite right-------at least the way it was done in Rome!!  She just uses the tight bud for the head of her dollie.  The next picture will show you the kind of bud to use.
A fuller bud, with the green peeled off gives your little girl eyes!  Isn't she sweet?
Another pretty little doll that I found when I googled the dolls.
And here is a lovely, lovely illustration of two little girls playing with the hollyhock dolls they have made.  This appears to be of the era or just a little earlier than the time that I made hollyhock dolls on summer days back way back when.   I wonder if little girls still make these little cuties.   You actually don't see many hollyhocks anymore.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Very Pretty Bedroom in KC

Quite some time ago when Bill and Ann (my son and wife) were here for a visit, I gave them this quilt and some wall hangings to take home with them.   Since that time, Ann has done quite a bit of redecorating and this is the guest bedroom where this quilt made mainly from Kaffe fabrics is looking mighty pretty against the gorgeous plum walls.  The picture over the bed is a cross stitch that was done by my husband.  Thought you might enjoy the picture.

I have been running back and forth between labs, doctors, etc. the past few days.  I am evidently pretty anemic - hence, the reason for the lack of pep and ability to get hardly anything done.  Taking iron now, and today had a transfusion which I think will get me up and running much better again.  Now will wait for the lab work results to find out what has caused the drop in hemoglobin.  Didn't feel really bad, but my get up and go got up and went!

Going to be a cold, cold night tonight!!  Brrrrrrrrrr! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Something New

Thursday after Hannah and I went to lunch, we went to Best Buy and I bought a Kindle Fire and the necessary item to have wireless in my house.  I have been wanting to be able to watch streamed movies,etc., sitting on my couch or in bed and not here on my pc.  It is taking me a while to know how to get around on it, but I think I will really love having this.  The picture is beautiful!  I have started watching Downton Abbey and am hooked on it for sure.  Have always loved English movies.   I was going to get an Iphone but decided I would like this better.  Hannah hooked things up for me and got the accounts all set up.  It was so good to spend time with her again!  We spent lots of time around the computer when she was a little thing.
I have found my blogs, Pinterest, kind of found Facebook, and also my e-mails on aol.  Hope I can figure out how to navigate on this little gadget. One of my e-mails was from Sherry with a picture of Annie in it, and  somehow or other I was able to save it to photos.  This will be just like learning to use the computer - most of it was just stumbling on to how to do things.  
Here's the picture of Annie - an honest to goodness smile!  Probably won't watch anymore Downton Abbey tonight since Good Wife and The Mentalist are on.  Good Wife is really good!  Getting better all the time.
Our really warm January weather is over - I think it is snowing now.  Yesterday it was in the fifties!  That happens - January thaw. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Jelly Roll Piece

Sometime before Christmas, I bought a batik jelly roll (for you non-quilters, that is a roll of 2 12" assorted fabric strips - probably around 40 of them) but had never done anything with it.  In fact, I was not too excited about some of the fabrics in the roll.  Today I ran across it - I had been thinking of doing something with strips - so decided just to sew it together the way it was in the roll.  Some of the fabrics I love - others I never would have bought at all.   When I got started sewing them together, I was so pleasantly surprised at how pretty the fabrics are as they work off each other, even the ones I don't care for. 

Here are some of the last ones to go on.  It is not going to be big enough for a quilt so I think I will stop by the Park Bench next week and see if they have another one and that would make a generous - easy - quilt with a border of some kind.  I love, love, love color!    If there is not another one, it can be a pretty wallhanging or throw.  It felt good to do some sewing again - I have been rather draggy since I came home but feel much peppier today.  It usually takes a while to get back into a comfy little "rut" after the holidays. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!!

I returned home from Portland several days ago but have been pretty lazy and tired and have not settled down to do a post.  The trip was surprisingly easy, although tiring because of the long day going and the long return.  Everything went so smoothly - weather, flights, etc. - but five hours in the car to Chicago and then a four plus hour flight to Portland was still tiring for an old woman.  The wheelchair deal was absolutely the way to go in the terminal - and it got the three of us past the main security line and on our way in nothing flat.  I had kind of dreaded how getting through the airport would be and it was comparatively easy. 

I am sure all of you that follow my little blog know who is in the picture above - sweet little Annie, the newest member of our family - and Hannah home from the Peace Corps after two years in Mozambique!!  How good it is to have her back in the United States!  Seeing both of them was so very wonderful.   It would have been perfect if Norah, Chad and Henry could have been with us.

Ah, but in a way, they were!  Skype!  That is wonderful when you are distances apart.  Who would have ever imagined that you could sit around, look at a computer, and watch each other open gifts, talk to each other, almost like being there.  Never in my earlier life would I have anticipated doing anything like this.
And here are some of the family watching Henry open his gifts.   Sorry about the fuzzy picture.
The stockings were lots of fun and everyone spent time and thought on the gifts to stuff in them.  One of the stocking stuffers was a dvd that Bill finished of my 80th birthday at Sherry and Barclay's cabin that featured an impromptu Olympics done in the pool.  A riot!  What a bunch!  Pure fun.  Sherry brought along the paper laterns that you light and let go which we were going to try and do at a park, but the weather in Portland did not cooperate!  It rained all day Christmas but Christmas was still way merry and bright!!!! 
Little Annie Lewis! 

Happy New Year, my blogging friends!!