Friday, March 22, 2019

Quilting the Tablecloth

Here's my sister's lovely find from an estate sale. Hand embroidered and appliqued with cut work too! She got this gorgeous linen textile for only $12!  It's been sitting at my house waiting for me to quilt it for months, and finally I acquiesced. Brooke ordered bamboo batting and some really nice 108" wide cotton backing fabric and I basted the top with pins and jumped right into the center.

 It was like riding a bike, altho I did have to unpick a few tentative stitches at first, but then it was smooth sailing. White is so forgiving. FYI, the handwork done by some Chinese person/s is so perfect and so sad at the same time. What a shame to undervalue this splendid artistry.

 I have a twin bed and put on the quilt to see how it fit. Plenty of drape, and lots of extra at the top for a pillow tuck, but it will never see my doggie's feet. I made sure of that.

 I took it to the church quilting room for final photography, because we have a huge wall and great lighting and the quilt was wider than the pin up wall. which is 96". Wow!

 So Brooke is trying to decide whether to follow through in selling it or keeping it. She wants $500 or best offer for it. If you are interested or care to make an offer, email me.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Garden Planning

It's early days, but I have been out in the garden looking for signs of life. This photo was taken last May 6th, and I can already tell what did and didn't work. At this point the weeds hadn't shown up in force and I was delirious to be finally getting these new beds planted. Now they are just showing what lived and what didn't. Must say I am disappointed to see no lupins, but I am determined to try again.
The coneflowers are coming back in full force, and that thrills me. These are last year's pics.

I promise to give the new 2019 plants more room to grow, and will mulch immediately to keep down the weeds. Nick my reluctant gardener has promised a load of mushroom compost and I will be topping off the beds which will nurture and prevent the terrible weeds I had in the flower beds last year.

I will definitely do marigolds again, and of course lots of basil. The day lilies are looking good and in between, them, I see sprouts of peonies bursting through.
I got more peony roots, bleeding hearts, and Asiatic lilies, plus daylily roots, and they got planted already.

What didn't work was where I planted sun loving plants only to see them get spindly from being in the shade too long. This time I have transplanted my hosta to that space and am confident they will prosper.
I also made an expensive mistake with my eleven hydrangea. I had Nick build a berm around the fence and I put them in there and while they did fine during the season, the massive rains we had washed away their soil, exposing the roots and killing many of them. The few that do have leaves will be transplanted to a safer spot. Darn. We live and learn.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Transitioning back to quilting

A stack of brand new solids, all Waverly, from Walmart. Why not? Good quality and nicely priced, and already cut for me. I stood there looking and thought, "Won't have to drag out all the colors I already own, and iron them, and cut them, and ..." before I realized it, I had a handful, well, two handfuls and was looking for more. 

My downstairs sewing room space has been arranged for use again, and I can start cutting, piecing and sewing. I will begin by re-discovering what I already have, including big bolts of this very brand of cotton, in red, yellow, and pink, and white for the backing. I've been inspired indirectly by Sujata Shah, and Marla Varner of Penny Lane Quilts, both of whom reminded me of the first class I taught (before Fusing!) back in the early 90's. The idea is to stack four layers of contrasting colors, cutting through all several times and reassembling the pieces, carefully, to sew back together. Wonkiness occurs! But it is fun and addictive and the results are just what I love to see and make. Some long gone examples:

 But  before I get too involved, I have a big quilting project promised for my sister. It's a hand appliqued tablecloth, linen, with embroidery and cutwork, and she wants it quilted. Fancy stuff, of course. I am up for it. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Rescue Quilt

There I was minding my own business, wasting time on Pinterest, when I saw a quilt top that led me to Ebay...and then saw this neglected, pack away,  quilted Grandma's Flower Garden which had been found in one of those storage lockers, in Waco, Texas and was up for bidding. They had a price listed, like $39, and also would accept a best offer. Hmm. On a whim, I bid $28 and won. Amazing. I never win anything, mostly because I never bid or enter, or try anything.
So today it arrived and I washed it, dried it and here it is on the floor of our sunroom.
It is hand pieced and hand quilted. It's in pretty good shape, a few stains, and some faded fabrics, so I am guessing it is 20-30 years old, but I am only guessing. It went on my bed, and is too long in the corners and would invite our bad little doggie, Tony,  to either lift his leg or chew on the corners. The good doggie, Chumley is sleeping on the floor in this shot.
The hexagon edges are faced, with a polyester cotton liner, yellow gingham. All that hand work, O my!
 Below you might see the faded pieces, and a few stains, or not. Doesn't matter. It is safely  out of the 'dungeon' and now it will live on the couch in the sunroom, making that place more homey.

 Pretty good deal, eh?

Friday, March 8, 2019

Commissioned Cards

 Twelve envelopes and cards made by request for my pal Patsy. 

At this point the cards have not been collaged or had additional marks made, but that is to come, and is my fave part. 
As I was arranging them on the table to photograph, I thought that they would look nice mounted on a panel and hung on the wall. Flap side visible and usable to tuck in notes, or ephemera....not bills to be paid. ha!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Lenten Banners

 Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, was the first time my new banners were on display in the sanctuary. I am so thrilled to see them. And even more thrilled that they were done three days early! 

 The background is purple felt, with silk shantung circles, plus a few hand dyed cotton circles, all fused on. Then the crosses are iron on foil. All these fabrics, minus the felt, have been sitting in a drawer, already fused, for about 10 years, waiting for a use. Finally found one. 
The only sewing on these was the rod pocket. and I used my machine at church in our quilt room. Funny thing, I rearranged that room to make it easier to function and now I am thinking about making something in fabric again. Tiny ideas are creeping in. Mostly I gotta do Easter banners, and then Epiphany and Regular time...and finally Advent. No more felt tho. That was a pain.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Mail Art

 I've been making a bunch of card collages, and painting envelopes to match. Each one is unique, altho related design wise. Painted papers, stamped, stenciled and ink and crayon drawing. I thought I'd make them available, do I have a real reason to keep making them. For this offering there are eight cards, 6x6.25" with coordinating painted envelopes, ready to mail or whatever you might want to do with them. All are signed and dated, including signatures on the occasional paint smudge on the interior. Collect them all! as they as say at McDonald's. $5 each, $40 for the set. Email me.
 Sent in an articulated painted envelope, which means it has depth to fit all the cards.
Here's a view of the set.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Soon to be Stuff

 It may only be here on this blog that I can record all the garden-y things that will be going on in the near future. And when it begins, you know that I become mega-obsessed. Dirt is everything to me in the Spring. And Seeds and Plants and Trees and MULCH.
Here's our side yard, with the veggie beds on the right. Between the driveway and the first bed I have planted four figs. Yay Figs, they already have leaf buds turning green. Those white X's are where I hope Nick the Reluctant Gardener will plant something, perhaps Leyland Cypress.
Image result for leyland cypress
Aren't these lovely? They would make a nice foil for the rest of the yard and soak up some of the wet that exists between my neighbor's yard and mine. It floods every time it rains.
I am also planning on having him plant dogwood, and redbud, and bring in more MULCH to cover the ground.
Image result for pink dogwood Related image
I am building up the soil, I tell him, since it is really concrete-like when it dries out and wood chips are good organic material, and available locally from our park district. Wood chips require no mowing. And if the dogs should poop on them, more organic material!

This is the week that he will come and do a walk around with my check list in hand. I want to be on the top of his list of projects.

Thanks for your blogging encouragement.

From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember├Ęd—
We few, we happy few, we band of bloggers;
For you to-day that reads this blog with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;

Adapted REALLY FREELY from Shakespeare's history play Henry V, in Act IV Scene iii 18–67

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Instagram via Laptop

Well, my little darlings, I have finally found out how to post to Instagram using my laptop instead of a cell phone. I do have a cell phone, a burner, which I don't ever use, and have put somewhere safe...I will find it eventually. But I digress. 

Here's the thing. I realize that nowadays (doesn't that sound like an old lady is talking. As if!) nowadays people are not reading blogs as they once did. Everything and everyone is on their phone, and I wanted to get my work out there to more viewers. Listening to my arty pals (who rarely if ever even read this blog!!)  it was made clear I needed to be on Instagram. 

But I am funny about my photos. I like to edit them and make them the best they can be, so I use my digital camera and Picasa 3 to do that, but then how to get them on Instagram which is made for directly posting from a cell phone. arrrggghh. Enter the ever ready to help Youtube.
Here's the url of the tutorial that solved my problem. Hurray. So of course I went on a posting frenzy and voila got oodles of practically instant views and comments and followers. Fabulous!

As some of you may know I have had a blog since 2004 and while that is a good thing, I think it is a dwindling platform. I can tell by my page views that only you worthy faithful few are seeing my posts. I can do better and reach more eyes if I use the most up to date platform that isn't icky facebook.

So that's it. In the sidebar at the top is my linking photo to Instagram. Just click and see stuff you've already seen here, but will see new stuff in the future, there first. The blog will stay here, but cease to be my main posting place. One must stay current. 
Hoping you'll come along,