Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring is here

I am sitting out on the screen porch as I write this enjoying the spring - finally! (It's a tadbit cool, but I won't admit it.) The wind chimes are chiming, the birds are cheeping and Big T is installing some outdoor landscape lighting. It doesn't get any better than this.

I posted two more quilts on Hummingbird Treasures this morning. My Hummingbird table runner and the contemporary quilt art - A Study in Purple. I am quite pleased with both of them. I finished the wall hanging in a free shape format instead of the traditional squared form. We'll see what kind of response they get on Etsy.

Yesterday I opened Konda's blog for the jelly roll winner for block 2 and there was my block. I'm afraid my shout was not very lady-like. I won a gift certificate from Debby Maddie, the designer of block 2. Thank you Konda.

My Christmas Cactus is putting out one more bloom. I will have a Christmas flower by Easter Sunday. It must be getting just the right amount of sunshine through the window.

Hugs to all! (I'm off to find a long sleeve shirt for my adventure on the back porch.)


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Life's Lessons Continue

Learning lessons the hard way does not mean I did it wrong - right? I think I would rather say "well I won't do it that way ever, ever again". And learning valuable lessons is a good thing - right? If that's true, I must be really, really good right now. There's just one itsy, bitsy problem - I learned what I did wrong, but I didn't learn a better way to do it.

I sewed all my strips together just like Barbara at said and then I cut them all apart in various widths to reassemble and sew back together. (Ok so far!) When I sewed the seams to reassemble all my newly cut strips, all my original seams were coming apart. (Not ok at this point!) After reinforcing (resewing) all those little horizontal seams (mutter, mutter, mutter) I was able to sew the new seams reassembling in an entirely new look. (Not ok at this point either!) That is when I realized that I should have used the 'sew as you go' method and sew my long, varied-width strips onto a muslin backing to support and reinforcement. It is very difficult to sew long strips together without that extra support.

Now, I realize the rest of you have already figured this out and are sitting there shaking your heads at me. The only thing I have to say is - "I won't do it that way again." Meanwhile, you can all feel free to comment and tell me everything I did that was wrong. (Oh by the way, I do like the way it turned out - just not the process of getting there.) Today will be sandwiching, quilting and binding. (Ambitious aren't I.) I'm hoping to be able to post it to Hummingbird Treasures tomorrow.

Hugs to all of you who are sharing my life's adventures (and the lessons learned - but do they always have to be learned the hard way?) You are a very special part of my life.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Completed Projects

I've neglected my blogging for a few days to finish a couple of projects underway. Here is a picture of the Butterfly Garden Wall Hanging that I just posted. I like the way it turned out so all in all, it's ok that my first attempt didn't work out because this one is 100 times better.

I also completed a Hummingbird Table Runner but have not yet posted it to Hummingbird Treasures. I need at least one more good photo to go with it and I think this one calls for Big T. I need a full length photo and it is 54 inches long. But here is an idea of what it looks like.

Spring is in full bloom around here. I have a pollen headache after we went for a short ride and out to lunch. The North Carolina Red Bud trees are just popping out in the most beautiful shade of hot pink. (Alyssa, you would love the color - I wish I could capture it for you.) Also the Bradford Pears and the Forsythia everywhere you look. And of course daffodils. I also saw the first tulips on our ride.

I love our new ceiling fans. This should really help my studio which faces directly south. Of course, it's still a little early to have them on but I had to test them now didn't I?

Oh before I forget again - here is my second block on the jelly roll challenge from Moose on the Porch. I am so excited, I can hardly wait for the third block. Now I have to remember how to put it out on Flickr so I get an entry in the drawing. Hmmmm - where did I put those instructions?

Hugs to my friends who read this faithfully and are truly becoming a real part of my growing up.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Dude!

It's The Dude's 14th birthday. Do you remember back to "14"? What a year he has ahead of him!! Happy Birthday, Dude!

Ok, so the trip to Joann's to get batting was interesting - the shelves were so bare it wasn't worth the trip. I did get the batting but am seriously thinking about just doing the Joann run via the net from now on. They only had a very small package of WonderUnder and a limited selection of #10 needles. About the only thing I can say is - I got a lunch out with Big T.

I just found out about 'self-threading needles' from Melody at FiberMania. What a great invention, especially for burying threads. Thanks, Melody. I owe you one for this one. If you haven't been to Melody's site, please stop by and check it out. She is a magician with colors.

My second quilt block for the jelly roll challenge is finished. I will post it to Flickr today. Both blocks are displayed on my design wall waiting for block # 3 which won't be announced until April 1st.

I spent yesterday playing "paper dolls". I drew the patterns, cut out the templates, ironed the templates on WonderUnder and fabric for my butterfly garden. I made VERY SURE this time that I used only WonderUnder for fusing. It only takes one fiasco to teach me a lesson (usually - sometimes two). So today - I cut fabric shapes, fuse to my background and THEN I can machine applique. Now you know where to find me the rest of the day. I will either have a photo of it tomorrow or you will never hear about this project again.

Hugs to you all for sharing this part of my life with me. You are all treasured highly.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Great Finds

I love it when you're not looking for something special and find something out of the ordinary that makes your day. I was in the Dollar store over the weekend and happened across this great little bag for the Little Miss. We had already bought the purple bunny and this is exactly the same shade. I just had to have it even though it wasn't even close to what I went in there to get. AND - the best part of all - it was only $1.00.

Then Monday we went to Lowes to buy 5 ceiling fans. Big T decided that we need fans in the rooms without - so off to Lowes we went. While walking through the paint department, I spotted these pamphlets with the most gorgeous color charts. These are so inspiring to me, both the colors and the photos. AND - the best part of all - they were all free.

I am out of low loft batting! How can a quilter be out of batting? I think the gremlins have been back again (remember the white thread episode). I am going to have to figure out how to get Big T to drive the 30 miles (each way) to Joann's so I can use my coupons. I have several tops waiting for batting before I can finish them.

I started my "jelly roll challenge" block #2 last night. Looks good. I like the coordination of the colors in a single jelly roll. I just have to assemble the pieces and then post it.

My "tuck and roll - Illusion" wall hanging is ready for the hand stitching on the binding and then I can post it to Hummingbird Treasures - hopefully later today.

Hugs to all of you who continue to stay with me as I continue to 'grow up' and also to the new visitors. Come back frequently and stay awhile.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Disaster and Completion

An early movie and a dinner out afterward - it doesn't get any better than that. A nice end to a day that started with a dental appointment. Maybe that's the way to schedule in the future. Gives me something to look forward to instead of something to dread.

I worked on my applique 'adventure' last night and am ready to scrap it this morning. Somehow my fusibles got mixed up and I did not use what I wanted to. As a result, my sewing machine started skipping stitches like mad (gunk buildup on the needle) and it quickly became a disaster. Of course, I did the routine 'rethreading', rewinding the bobbin, cleaning extra thoroughly, changing needle (that's when I noticed the gunk) and then read the manual again. My piece of applique looks like an absolute beginner with huge needle holes and lots of skipped stitches (blanket stitch) - well, maybe a little better than when I was that beginner. Needless to say - there is not much to salvage from that project.

Now on to the next project. But for today it is a day away from the sewing studio. Other things take priority today.

On the positive side, I did get my puzzle finished (minus one piece). Big T swears up and down he did not take it. So I have one 999 piece puzzle completed and ready to put back in the box. I think next time, I am going to count the pieces first.

I also finished my block for the jelly roll challenge from Moose on the Porch Quilts. I love the shades of hot pinks and the chocolate browns. This is my first time to participate in a challenge. I can see where if you don't stay on top of it - you could easily fall further and further along.

Have you checked out the Spider Web quilt at Melody's Fiber Mania site? She definitely raises the bar for quilt art. I love her use of color and the total lack of inhibition she displays.

Hugs to all! Thanks for staying with me as I discover what I want to do when I grow up? :)


Sunday, March 7, 2010


I have been so self-disciplined the last few days - no new 'fun' projects until I get the custom order for the embroidered panel on the bedspread finished. It is about 45 minutes from being completed. (I am sitting here with one eye on the machine and listening for strange, forbidden sounds.) And now the decisions, which one do I play with next?

Here are my choices of new, unplanned color groupings. Which would you dive into first? Interesting question isn't it.

I have my jelly roll sampler block cut and ready to assemble - maybe that should be first. Or then there's the applique sunset garden - ready to be appliqued then quilted. Or the morning mist is staring at me from the design wall saying 'you promised that I would be next.'

Why do we do this to ourselves? I am really, really surprised I was able to not pick up anything else until I finished the bedspread. (Is that a double negative? I don't care.) More than likely, it was the self-imposed deadline that made me stick to it.

Whatever it was - it's finished. AND NOW I CAN PLAY!!!

By the way "Hollyhock Gardens" has been renamed "Fractured gardens" and has been posted to Etsy. Please give me your feedback on this beautiful wall hanging.

Thanks for visiting in my world. Hugs to all!