Monday, February 23, 2015

Playing, visiting, and futzing around

I'm still here - not sure what I've been doing with myself!  Certainly, not posting anything!
 
Below are two unusual purses/totes I bought locally.  I've seen similar at quilt shows but never expected to find them in our local gift shop!  I kept one for myself. 


This is Mary, one of my dear sisters-in-law, retired art teacher, at their home near Denver.  Mountains in the background have only small amounts of snow, not a good thing.

This is me, my engineer brother, and my boatmaking husband during a recent visit, when weather was warm! 

This is my current project, "Lady of Shallotte"  on my Design Floor for tooo long, because I haven't figured how to deal with the corners and the flying geese do not fit properly - lack of planning on my part!  But, I WILL figure something!  This is a large quilt, folded to fit the Design Floor.   I am planning on hand quilting this one.



My Quilt Guild friend Sharon and I will be working on quilt show ribbons again this year.  The theme is SUN, so we are each playing in prep for a July quilt show.  My first effort did not work well - waaaay too fiddly, too many wedges, too fussy, too large, etc.  The ruler worked perfectly but not suitable for this project.  I tried inserting little white "rays" of foldy things, more of "tooooo fussy"! 

Than I tried a  45 degree ruler and cut wedges, but moved the ruler down a bit, still using a 2.5 inch strip.  OK, size is better, just 8 wedges (hard to see), has possibilities.  Of course, using a variety of yellow/gold fabrics would have been better.  Still needs something on the back though, but it's a beginning.  Yes, I dislike the center but ...

Sometimes you just have to play to find answers!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Clean drawers and TWO Owlickens!

Can I get some whoot-whoots here?  ALL of my fabric drawers are neat and tidy, for now anyway.  In the process I pulled some that were unloved, packed them in bags for the next quilty gathering, and they can find new homes.  I LOVE pulling out the drawers and feeling good about this small accomplishment!!!



Below - just playing with making 9 inch blocks. 


Yesterday at a funeral we sang a delightful old-timey song about coyotes and "Owlickens" -- a cross between owls and chickens!  (Something like that Jackalope critter in Douglas, Wyoming!)  That prompted me to look again at our pine tree today to see if Mr. Owl was there.  Yes, he's there, (center, bottom) but .wait ... there is a mate, Owl #2   I tried numerous  photos, but could not get them in the same one.  She's there, above #1, -- you can only guess if you are seeing her in the center, above #1 -- looking exactly like the pine tree bark.  This is most likely a mated pair.  Happy Day!!! 




Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Warm days, hoops, owl, and a hat

 
Today is a very warm end-of-January day - an unusual 70 degrees.  (yes, while the East part of U.S. is buried with storm Juno!, we are sitting outside, enjoying the warmth)  Do you see what is in the middle of this green foliage?  8-)))  We haven't seen this owl for a long time - they apparently like another roost better than this one in my yard but, for now, here he/she is!  


Here is an almost- finished quilt top, a scrappy T-block.  The Z setting really coordinates all the scrappy fabrics.  I will put a plain border on it, then hand quilt.  ( haven't figured how to edit it)


For my husband's birthday I had a silver hatband made for his favorite hat.  The size had to be modified several times.  The element of surprise was lost because measurements had to be taken with his hat on his head.  He likes it!




Below is the 14 inch beautiful quilting hoop that just arrived from Barnett Quilts.  Oh my, it is a beauty.  My father always told us to purchase good tools.  8-))  Mr. Barnett has a wonderful variety of items, but I wanted just the hoop.  I can't wait to get a quilt in it!  It's a piece of art in itself. 


I am still wandering around, trying to use the camera disk in the laptop - I only accidently got these loaded, not sure how I did it.  Very annoying! 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Other side of the Studio, Kaleidoscope Variations, and a Fire

From time to time I add a photo of DH, working on his boats, on the other side of the studio we share.  This is a small room and we each have a corner.  If we roll our chairs back at the same time, we bump.  I have bits of wood  dust in my quilts, he has threads in his boat.  We deal with it.  8-))

He now has his "stash" of left-over wood bits, despite him swearing he'd never stash his wood like I stash my fabric.

Below is progress on my Kaleidoscope.  The beautiful RED that looked so great in the large triangles, previously posted, was overpowering!!!  It was too pretty, too red, and when I put several blocks together, I hated it!  Wow, ya never know!  So I found something softer, that might look more "background" and after sewing away, I discovered that the creamy check was overpowering in its own way.  But I REALLY like how the strings look like squares behind the creamy check.  The camera does funny things to those checks.  Below is the layout I have settled on.  I might need to lightly tea dye it when finished - I am going to call this project, "Que Sera, Sera"  (spelling unknown).or something like "What will it be when it grows up?" 


 If you have never made this version of a Kaleidoscope, the numerous settings and color placements offer many are variations.  I fiddled on Quilt Pro, but still needed to actually DO it with real blocks.  Here are just the brown cornered blocks.   

 Here are the beautiful RED corners. 

And now I have 15 blocks made of needed 35  (5 x 7) , so I have to come up with something clever for the outside rows.  I don't have enough of the creamy check to make the same blocks so will use what I have for half blocks and find another darker choice for the outside wedges.  (Clear as mud?) 

These blocks are coming together so well - each one sews together well, lays flat, etc.  I spun the center seam.  The phone book paper is still on the string wedges. 
 


-------------------
New subject ... You know how, when you come home, you always look to see there are no police cars, no blue lights, no trouble happening at your home?  Yesterday, after grocery shopping this is what I saw!!!  My entire street was blocked  by police cars, EMS, and fire trucks!  There were some heart palpitations for a few seconds.  A car fire!  I couldn't get TO my house via the normal route-   This poor guy was just coming home from work, and parking his car between snow piles, as I was leaving for groceries - I noticed how tired he looked, poor guy, and when I came home his car was burnt to a crisp. He was OK.  This yard is next to our garage.  

DH had been watching TV, and noticed what he said were huge blobs of "snow" falling, and peered outside and saw all the lights.  The blobs of snow turned out to be fire suppressant, so he  hobbled carefully outside, with phone and camera, around ice and snow, to take photos but in the process, slipped on the treacherous deck stairs and buggered himself up.  He said, while he was in the middle of the fall, "at least the EMS are already here if I break my neck".  Funny how many thoughts can go thru your mind in the middle of a possible emergency.  He is OK today -- just sore, and is very proud of himself for not breaking the camera.   








Thursday, January 01, 2015

New project, old strings

December 30, 2014
 

I'm trying to use my strings - have you noticed that over time, the strings left in the bin gets uglier and uglier???
 
I added a few better looking strips and strings to my recipe and decided to make a version of a Kaleidoscope Quilt.  Because my bits were of various lengths, I sewed them to a phone book paper foundation.  The paper was cut casually, to a triangular size.  I sew on the various bits, press between each new string, the trim clean with a ruler.  These are 45 degrees wedges, and 6.5 inches in height.   One reason I like the paper cut almost to size is that there is no measuring of the strips - this saves a LOT of time.  Just lay them on, sew (smaller stitch) then cut carelessly at the end. and start again until I run out of the string.  I'm trying to stick with foresty, darkish, rich woodsy colors, adding an occasional "sparkle."  
 
Ok, what background??
 
I have several yards of this one ... it's a good piece of fabric,  3 yards, but kinda blah.


Below is a pretty piece - those dots add some character, I don't have enough but my LQS usually keeps it in stock.  But, it still doesn't have the "zing" I am wanting.

 
 
I think I found just the right one!  I need 2 yards more, but it's a MODA and my LQS should have it in stock.  8-))  


My resolution this year was to be less judgmental, in addition to my last year resolution, "with purpose" which means to concentrate on what I plan.  People who are artistic, if that's what I lean towards, tend to let a lot of things get them off main track. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tumalo Trails/Cowboy Up top is done

Happy New Year 2015 everyone !!!  VERY cold in western Nebraska - we are at zero today, with 10-12 inches of snow on the ground. 

I'm fiddling through an unfamiliar method to add photos - always confusion --I accidently DID IT! 

Above is my finished top, Tumalo Trails, aka Cowboy Up, because those plaid look so ... country and western-like.    This design is from Quiltville.com - many thanks, Bonnie!  Not shown is another medium value 2-inch finished blue border around the last edge.  Dimensions now are approx. 86 x 105.  It will take up about 4 to 6 inches each way after quilting.  Binding will be dark blue, same as that narrow dark blue flange in the photo.  That wiggly looking fabric is really a tiny blue and white stripe.   
Here is a corrected corner - I was so engrossed in the border I did 3 of the corners wrong.  LOL

Another subject - a mystery -- below is my favorite cake pan that I love because it has the metal top that snaps into place. and the aluminum is heavier than other cake pans.  I don't do much cooking any more.   However, look at those holes!!!  Where did they come from????  I had just finished baking ribs and poured off the grease, then baked with BQ sauce.  I don't see any puddle of grease in the oven, I didn't smell any grease smoking or burning as I slow-cooked the ribs.  When I went to wash it - OMGOsh and there are even MORE, not seen in the photo!  I tried to stab a hole in the pan with a knife to see if the pan was actually worn thru, nope - I couldn't make a dent, much less a hole.  Dishwater just dribbled thru those holes.  This metal is not thin and wimpy.  Note the holes are not where one would cut bar cookies or a cake.  A mystery!  DRAT!