Monday, May 29, 2017

A New Project

 I'm making a huge bunch of half square triangles (HSTs)  for my demo on Friday. I decided that I would do a once a week thing at my sister's store and this will be my first lesson. A lesson for myself as well as the participants. 
Beginning with a set of STARCHED charm squares, all in solids, the HST blocks are made 8 at a time. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner, both ways and then stitch 1/4" seam on each side of the drawn line. Cut on the lines and then carefully cut again into two. Voila! a nice half square triangle. The lesson for me is to carefully trim the blocks so they all measure the same, in this case, 2".
I hope to have a small quilt finished by Friday and there are so  many possibilities. See my Pinterest board.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Finished Bosna #4

 Bosna #4. Hand dyed and commercial cottons, machine pieced and machine quilted. 66.5"x 64". This turned into a rather long and involved quilting project. After quilting the first orange square and its borders, I was faced with deciding what to do with the rest of the piece. Hmmm.
The second block was the purples and since it was more rectangular in shape, I decided on two circles. Using the smaller dinner plate as my circles, I dinked around with more feathers. I photographed it hanging slightly off my table to catch the shading. Dark colors are hard to shoot.
Next was the green square, and I was feeling adventurous. I used a soap sliver to denote the squiggles and quilted next to them, leaving the squiggles empty, but they kept looking messy, so eventually I returned and quilted them too, in a lighter green. This photo is tweaked in Picasa to show the texture.

 The last square is a hand dyed blotchy teal, and was quilted in offset rings of plumes.

And then lots and lots of skinny rows of border quilting.

  Bosna #4 was quilted on my Janome 6500P, so I guess I am convinced that I don't have to have a fancy schmancy quilting machine...O well.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Trying Traditional Quilting

 I have been trying to do more traditional designs for quilting this simple quilt, Bosna #4.
I used a big round platter for the largest circle, and a sliver of dried soap to mark the line. Then a dinner plate, salad plate and small glass for the center. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Arts and Crafts Room

Some months ago Dave started playing around with drawing, using my art supplies, mainly colored pencils, with surprisingly good results! He had never sketched or drawn anything before, but time and insomnia gave him patience and now I am encouraging him with a studio of his own.
For Mother's Day I took my Joann's coupon (for 40% off my entire purchase) and got him paints, mediums, a palette and canvas paper (to experiment on, sans fear of stretched canvases). Then went to Target to get this indoor/outdoor carpet which can be hosed off when needed. This room gets a lot of traffic to the screened porch and patio, so we are instilling the habit of removing our shoes, except for the dogs.
The room is equipped with his stereo and a few guitars, plus a rolling cart for storing and drying canvases. I intend to give him tips on oil painting, which is the easiest of all paints for beginning, imho.
The ceiling has a central light and recessed lights all around for shadow free creating. Let's hope the paint stays on the canvas...

In other news, the new quilt is on the bed, just for photos. I'm kinda liking the center strip of patchwork. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

QAYG Hot off the presses!

Last week I became determined to finish this quilt and quilt another one by today, for our Arty Girls meeting. But life got complicated and I only got this one done, just now.
It's made from scrappy blocks that I pieced at my old house about two years ago. I quilted it in sections and used narrow connecting strips to join the sections. Then I decided it wouldn't be wide enough to cover my 14" deep mattress, so I add a six inch strip down the center. Now it measures 70x96", just right. 
I refer to this as an ABC quilt...meaning already been chewed, which it hasn't been yet, but I presume it will join a closet full of other quilts with little doggie holes from our Tony.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Teaching Again

Mini-Spiderweb block
As many of you know, my sister Brooke is manager of Ready Set Sew, a local quilt shop and sewing machine heaven. I have been doing a little teaching there and decided that this is really fun! We have discussed doing a small 2 hour demo/class, once a week and it will be for new quilters, or folks who just want to learn the tricks of making some great quilt blocks.
I've been watching Youtube tutes and looking at online patchwork tutorials and am excited about the fun shortcuts and clever ideas I have found there, and want to share them with folks.

And at the same time, I felt I needed a deadline of some sort to get motivated to finish some tops that I made months ago. Starting with my arty quilt pals, we are meeting this week to discuss having regular get-togethers to share finished works, of our own design. Knowing I will have a 'reason' to get something done, will help me focus.
The weather has been sooooo beautiful and my garden patio so enticing, that I find myself lounging in the warm Spring sun for hours! That's where I've been and why I have neglected checking in here. No gardening left to do, no knitting, no sewing, just relaxing.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Closet Cleanup

It took most of two days, but was so worth it. I took everything out of the storage room and washed the floor and then dumped everything out of the half-empty bins, then condensed and consolidated until I ended up with only one bin of scrap yarn balls. It was a total surprise that the orange drawers fit in the space between the big unit and the wall. Neato! Just about everything here is yarn, and one bin of fused fabrics. The motive was to just be able to walk in the room but the result also gave me a better knowledge of what yarn was where and an ease of access. 

 On the opposite side of the closet, I have a much less crowded shelf unit, for art supplies. Since I haven't been using them, I left everything as is, until such time as I feel the urge to paint or collage again. Now there is a great amount of empty space which makes me happy. The basket of bags is jammed with all varieties of satchels and plastic zip-locks, and other things that I will need now and then. I have a huge container of batting scraps which I have been plundering regularly, since I am doing quilt as you go. Under that bin is a full selection of painting canvases. Then the surprise of the day. My back up sewing machine was not working right but I forgot why, so I re-threaded it and sewed for a while until whatever was wrong showed itself. Nothing ever happened. It sews smooth, quiet and trouble free,  so I guess it doesn't need fixing after all. Duh!

 The smaller shelf unit is nearly half empty, but a good space to find the art work that soon will be hung in my studio and bedrooms. Two empty shelves...oooooh! Sometimes empty is just as good as full.
The inside corner of the closet, behind the door,  is full of larger framed artwork, some of it from college days. A few large canvases, paper pads, and drawing boards are stacked there too. I could put them in the attic, but the minute I do, I'll want them again. The little drawer cart is messy but full of fused scraps. Perhaps I will get back to fusing, as soon as my current quilting phase ends.
I felt so good having cleared that storage space that I gave myself a 20 minute nap in the sun on the patio. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Gardens are In...this time I mean it.

Today I added an outdoor (plastic) carpet and while it has rained and left a puddle, it is still dry in that shady corner.
To keep the dawgs inside the patio and prevent them from running after cars in the alley, I made a quickie fence from concrete blocks and landscape timbers. The flag string is the thing that really keeps them from the edge, as it is confusing to them, as well as noisy, flapping in the breeze.

 New coneflowers in red, yellow and orangey yellow have been planted today and in the veggies, two new peppers, Poblano and Mammoth Jalapeno.

The first little Big Bertha pepper has formed. It will probably drop off before long, but it is encouraging nonetheless.
Dave power-washed the mats on the floor of the screened porch, so we are 'party ready' but too tired to have one!

All of this began because of the hosta, which we dumped there last fall, and whoda thunk we'd have such a nice set of specimens this year? Dave is digging in a trench for those bricks to form an edge to fill with more plants outgrowing their pots this year.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Adding a Veggie Garden

  The front flower garden is pretty much planted, with trees, annuals, perennials and seeds just sprouting. I still have energy, so I decided I could add one more bed, out behind the house in the four feet alongside our patio.

 Twelve feet by four feet, and snugged up onto the edge of the patio, so as not to infringe on our neighbor. Today I covered that weedy grass with woodchips (yay!) which I got free, since they were dumped in the weeds. I'll be filling the brick cubbies with flowers to make the bed prettier, and have started with Lantana and have zinnias and marigolds to add.
I have seeds for green beans and zucchini, basil and nasturtiums, plants include Marconi Peppers, Big Bertha peppers,
2016 --  Giant Marconi Pepper that I bought already started from Bonnie. It wasn't in the original plan... but we had to pick another plant for the best deal.... :):  
Bush Goliath and Celebrity tomatoes, both determinate varieties, meaning not huge trailing plants.
Bush Goliath Tomato
So I am going out to plant now. Woowoo!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

QAYG Progress

 Four of the six planned quadrants are quilted but unconnected at this time. Instead of keeping at this project until I finished it, I have been distracted by gardening, knitting and room rearranging. I am usually focused on completing one project, but not this time. And surprisingly, it is working for me. For example, the quilt gets the morning, the garden gets the afternoon and at night I knit, now that the furniture arrangement is set. Somewhere in there I shop for plants...but even that is almost finished, and it's only early April!