Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Visits

This year at Easter I had special visitors.

Lizz and Rachel came over for lunch on Friday and brought their sons Lane and Madden

The boys used the table that was mine as a little girl.  They liked the teapot that comes with it.

Sweet boys.

 Madden especially liked my Teeny Beanie Baby 'mingos.

He and Lane invented a new game - they moved the vanity bench next to the guest bed, climbed up onto the bed using the bench, and then jumped off the foot of the bed, over the footboard.  Such fun.

On Saturday, I went to my sister's for the traditional Easter hamburgers and pinata bash.

We also had an egg hunt, an egg toss, and cascarones to smash on each other's heads.

Then on Sunday morning, I was visited by a real bunny - what a surprise that was!

Glad my garden has raised beds.  Wonder how high he can hop?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sally Collins Workshop

Last weekend I went to a two day class held by the Austin Area Quilt Guild.  The teacher was Sally Collins and the subject was precision piecing.
I've been quilting for a bazillion years, and precision is not my forte.
For this class, I was determined to really pay attention, to try to do things exactly as the instructor directed, and to actually learn something instead of just going for a good time and maybe an idea or two.
Sally is a really good teacher.  I was able to do really good piecing as long as I followed her rules and processes.  It's slow.  Very slow.  But accurate.

Because my car had some problems, I caught a ride with a fellow guild member.    So, when I set my machine up and it wouldn't go, I had no choice but to sit and listen and make do.  I managed to get most of my three inch basket block pieced by turning the wheel by hand.  Talk about slow - this is REALLY slow.  But it looked good.

That evening, I finished the basket using my Singer Featherweight.  And I looked at my block and realized that the colors I had chosen were too pale for its intended use as a pincushion.  So Sunday morning I proceeded to piece another block.  I went to the class in the afternoon and pretty much finished the pincushion.  It is not perfect, but it looks damn good.

I put the pale block on my design wall and let it speak to me.  It said that it didn't have enough contrast.  I had just seen a post from a friend about a class that SHE had taken, in which paint was used on fabric.  I had also read a blog post from a quilter I admire in which she talked about accenting a block with paint.  And I said what the heck.  So I got out the fabric dye that I bought at quilt festival probably 10 years ago.  There was no pink, but I diluted the scarlet and carefully added a little dye to the 3/8 inch triangles that needed more color.  It looks better to me now, and I know that I can continue to make it darker if I need to.

Will I continue to use her processes?  I don't know.  I'd like to think so, but I do know my limitations. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring is here

I've never seen ajuga blooming so well.  Must be all that attention I give it.  Yeah, right .

I found the chair out by the trashcans in the alley and nabbed it.
I have purple iris along the west fence; this yellow one is next to the garage wall, as is this poppy.

I planted some herbs in a pot - hoping that at least the basil will do well.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Handbags for Hope

The county Sheriff's Department is sponsoring a drive to collect new or "gently used" purses. 

The purses will be cleaned if needed and a tag with  the domestic abuse hotline number will be sewn to the lining.   Local children who might be  in difficult situations will be given a chance to choose one to give to their moms on Mother's Day. 

My daughter and I thought this was a great idea and easily found nine to add to their collection.   I've invited the ladies in my quilt class to bring theirs to class next Friday and I'll go deliver them.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Valentine Table Runner

Whooops - forgot to show the Valentine Table Runner that I made this year to fit my coffee table.  The centers of several of the blocks are leftovers from Kaycee's PJs.  The other centers are chocolates and flowers.  I used leftovers from Ari's PJs, too.

The fun thing on this one is the edge - instead of binding it, I twisted several yarns together and zigzagged them on.  One was an eyelash yarn.  I didn't have any left, so I ripped out a few inches from a scarf I had made; I rarely wore it, anyway.

It looks good.  Next time I'll zigzag the edges shut first.
And maybe I'll spell out "love" with the lighter fabrics.

Or maybe not.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Quilt for Buddy

Buddy is one of my first husband's brothers.  The summer after he graduated from high school, he stayed with us.  It was nice to get to know him better.  He and Dick had lots of fun.   He had a hollow leg and could eat almost anything.  Which was good, because I wasn't a good cook.   He was always good-natured and easy going.
Somewhere along the way, Bud became a preacher.  He is happily married to his second wife and has four kids.  He's in his mid to late fifties, I guess.

Somewhere later along the way, Bud developed lung cancer from second-hand smoke.  It spread to his spine and caused a lot of pain, which he attributed to being older and overweight.  But in January, he had an accident and broke his back.  The MRI showed a number of tumors in his spine.  He's now undergoing radiation and will do chemotherapy.

So.  Where does "Everyday Art" come into play?   With a quilt of course.  I had a huge pile of flannel dumped  donated to me by a friend who moved to Arkansas.  So I cut squares and made a fuzzy-edged quilt for Bud to take into chemo with him.  I hope that it will keep him warm and remind him that he is loved.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Beginning Brady

My middle grandson, Brady, will graduate from high school this May (the good Lord willing and the creek don't rise.....).

Last weekend, I started making blocks for a quilt for his graduation present.   I now have sixteen blocks made.  Only 54 to go.

Note - these are just smoothed up on the design wall, they're not sewn together yet.  Some of the brown intersections look too dark to me. And that's easy to fix.  So I will.