Monday, September 29, 2014

I've Gone Dotty

 Our trip to IKEA yielded my longed-for dotty duvet. The minute I saw it in the catalog, I knew it had to be mine someday. The curtain and chair fabric was something I already had, made into a twin coverlet, so I undid it and reused it for the window and the faked chair cover. I don't have enough to really cover it so I will keep my eyes open for another fabric in the same vein.
 Tony feels he must be included in this post, as he presides over his spot in the bed. Ah! Spot! Eek.
I enjoy reading at night and find this the perfect spot to peruse my fave Pinterest images in the mornings too. Of course I have red glasses and a glass of red at the ready. Can't have too many puns, can we?
 We are practicing our cute doggie poses.

 This one hits the spot.

Salon de Artistes

 In my ongoing crusade to get the right furniture arrangement, I have cleared up some space in my studio upstairs for a Salon de Artistes. That means I can have my quilting friends over for an evening of arty-talk, arty-noshing, and even artier show and tell. I have plenty more chairs around the house that I could add, but we'll do that only when necessary.

Here's my sewing corner, tucked in next to staircase. Since I mostly make small works, I don't need to have a lot of space around my machine. 
My fused fabric is in the red chest, and the scraps reside in that lovely drawer unit. I even have my serger and stereo at my right hand.
I'm waiting for Dave to bring up the heavy tv so I can knit and watch a bit of Netflix, of an evening.

 I'll be dealing with this clutter today. Argghhh.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fig Season

 I am so excited to have ripening figs on our five little trees already this year. I have been plucking and popping them into my mouth, do not pass go, and enjoying their sweet juiciness.
Then I went to my local Publix Super Market and saw they had fresh figs in the produce department. I bought a container ($6!) and brought them home.
 Guess which fig I grew.  ha! Of course it is the runty one. Nevermind. It's only the first year.

Decorating Uphill

 I put off doing anything in the house until the pups outgrew their puppy behaviors. I am still hoping the end is near. But it seems to be an uphill struggle to keep anything nice from being undone.
EKTORP Chair IKEA The cover is easy to keep clean as it is removable and can be machine washed.
We went to IKEA to get these Ektorp chairs to match our couch, and came home with Poangs instead. We're glad we did. Vanilla leather and no skirts to attract the leg-lifting dogs (bad doggies!) We did get some furry pelts to add a bit of cushy luxury to the seating. Yum.
But I have to cover the Ektorp couch with sheets to keep it clean. While the slipcover is washable, I don't want to do that load daily. That 'carpet' is a plastic outdoor version. Guess why?
 This throw pillow has been dragged into every room. It is Chumley's one true sweetheart and he makes passionate love to it until he drops from exhaustion.

 I have made major mistakes in my furniture purchases over the years and this monster of a red sectional couch is one. When we got it (in like, what, March?) I said if it lasted two years, it will have served its purpose, but it didn't. Tony the little bad doggie chewed the corners of the top cushions until he got the stuffing out. Polyester leather is not the same as real leather, nor did it cost as much. We are keeping the chewed up half and giving away the intact half.
While this may sound wasteful (and it is) I can't let that keep me from trying something else. Facing the fact that I can't buy anything that stays nice forever, is my boulder to push uphill.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Family/Guest Room

 We had an overnight guest this week and had to clean house, finally put up the blinds in the guest room and rearrange furniture, which I confess was something I had put off way too long. Now we have a very clean house and the guest has left, so I decided NOW is the time to address all that decorating I have delayed. It's only been 8 months since we moved in and the most important room, my studio, is just perfect, so of course changing my focus to the rest of the house requires concentration.

 I wanted to brighten up the living room and get the red sectional separated and assigned to new digs. This half went in the guest room and I had planned to put the other half somewhere else. But alas it is too big to fit through any other door way. The fact that we damaged the frame on the guest room door attests to that fact.
O dear.
We did move the Ektorp sofa out of Dave's room and into the living room and decided on a trip to IKEA for Ektorp chairs.  I love the fact that the white slip covers on the Ektorps are washable and bleachable. The know.
Inline image 2Inline image 1

So now that we live an hour closer to IKEA...just imagine how happy I am today to be going there. Woowoo!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Garden Update

 We have loads of figs on our five fig trees. I have eaten two and they were delicious, and can hardly wait to have more ripen. Even the smallest trees have loads of fruit on each branch. Such easy plants, they don't seem to mind not getting watered regularly and show no signs of pests either.

 Late in the season I bought a small tomato plant and put it in a bin after pulling out the cucumbers. It is growing lavishly and has many green tomatoes.

We also are enjoying a second planting of green beans and the hyacinth bean vines are finally looking enthusiastic. What a great summer for the garden.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Rainbow Quilts

While looking through my quilt closet ( yes, a walk-in closet full of quilts...eek!) I found two unquilted tops and wondered why they never got finished. I probably made them before I was convinced to retire and assumed I would be teaching the designs in a workshop, somewhere in the future. But then real life intervened and they got put away for about eight years.
Today I decided that they needed to be quilted so I would have something finished this week, beside the big studio clean-up.
They were both made with rainbow dyed fabrics that I used to make for my students. I have none of those left and don't imagine I will be dyeing anymore.

Blocks on Parade
Hand dyed cottons, fused, machine quilted. 17" x 23"
$150 SOLD
Squares on Point
Hand dyed cottons, fused, machine quilted, 16.5x28.5"
$150 Email me.

Why I like Wonder-Under Best

My 100 yards of Wonder-Under has arrived. I am ready to fuse, big time! While at my AQS exhibit I was often asked what fusible I used, since there were quilts on display from as early as 1997, still in perfectly fused condition. Many had never thought of Wonder-Under as a quilt notion, and I explained why I liked it the best. Here are my answers:

Why Wonder-Under?
1. it is the widest product of its kind
2. it is the most readily available at fabric stores or Wal-Mart
3. it is the least expensive
4. it works even if it peels off the paper
5. the paper is the best for assembling fused fabrics
6. it rarely bleeds through the surface of most cottons

Why not use Heat n Bond?
1. it is not the same kind of fusible and is thick and waxy
2. stitching shows with each needle hole and sometime this may bring up the bobbin thread
3. the waxiness shows through on the fabric surface
4. it is stiff, even the lite version

Why not use Steam a Seam?
1. it is sticky and leaves glue residue wherever it is moved
2. it is narrower than Wonder-under, which is nearly 18” wide
3. it is much more expensive
4. it gums up the needle when it is quilted.
5. storage is a problem for scraps, as they stick to everything including lint.
 I have a lot of hand dyed fabric waiting to be fused and will spend a few hours each morning working through the stacks, filling in the colors that I have used up in my recent work. Turns out I use a lot of orange and turquoise. Who knew? Next would be green, of which I have everything from light to dark, yellow green, blue green and all in between. Such a useful color.

I roll my fabrics up by similar colors and have a drawer for silks and a drawer for cottons. I re-rolled everything yesterday as sort of an inventory of what is on hand and what needs to be added.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Problem and the Solution

When one is a fuser every little scrap is usable. So one saves eensy weensy bits of fused fabric until the amount the of scraps reaches a tipping point. Today was that day. I was on a massive clearing out and rearranging binge and before I could go one step further I had to do something about the scraps which had covered every surface in the studio.
Coincidentally I had seen these multi-colored storage bins on wheels, on sale at Michael's for half price. I had always wanted one, but couldn't think of a reason why I needed one, and we all know that the more storage furniture one has, the more junk one keeps!
But if I wanted to find a certain color I would have to dig through piles of scraps and that takes forever, so I elected to make the purchase and spent the rest of my day dividing the scraps into drawers, by color. Notice there is no yellow drawer? Wha?

Here's the breakdown
1. yellow
2. green
3. orange
4.  pastels
5.  red/pink
6. silks
7. turquoise
8. blue/purple
9. brown/neutral
10. prints
The top bin has scraps that are fused starts, multicolor pieces, and leftovers parts that work for triggers for new work.

The scraps that got tossed out. Hurray!

Monday, September 15, 2014

And now the News!

While I am busy in the studio I am surrounded by a chorus of snoring. If the dogs are not sleeping, they are eating or barking at passing dogs being walked in the street. They smell them, if the blinds are closed, but it doesn't stop the barking.
 The garden is slowing down and we have ripped out the cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe and tomatoes, and replanted tomatoes and green beans for a second harvest. One tomato plant is all I really ever should have planted, as most rot before I can eat them all. My neighbors have their own.
Dave stays awake most of the night and sleeps in the day so I can more easily give him his meds. His idea, not mine. When he is not sleeping he plays golf across the road at the country club, which he joined in the Spring. He has made so many wonderful friends, who treat him like the gentle man that he is. His golf game has been a real boon to his life, and he continues to improve. 
His health is good and bad and this week we have a new neurologist to see and our hopes are high.
Since our move, I have made so many quilting friends and it has really changed my outlook on life. One of the reasons I blogged for ten years was that I was lonely. Not so anymore. My social life is so wonderful and after the quilt show, I feel I have arrived! 
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My niece glory has joined a FRATERNITY! She is a sophomore at UT and a music theater major. The fraternity is for music students. 
My sister Brooke has a new job in management at the big Joann's in town. How wonderful for us both, as she can let me know when something I would want is in. Woowoo! Plus she is much happier in the world of sewing where her talents are understood.

With the new blog, I wanted a fresh start and made it the place for all my old and new work, in one site. I felt that if I wanted to show a gallery my work I could just refer gallery directors to one address, leaving out all the personal stuff so I would present the work more professionally. 
But you know, I don't really need to be in a gallery, since my work sells right off the blog, so here we all are back to normal.
And now the work.
So Easy Being Green
Hand dyed cottons, fused, machine quilted, 12" square, mounted on painted cradled panel. $100. Email me. SOLD

 Less is More #14
Hand dyed cottons and silks, fused, machine quilted, mounted on painted cradled panel, 9x12". $100
 Then these three pieces were some of the ones sold at the show. Lettuce Begin, Hidden Wells, and Less is More #15.