Thursday, December 7, 2017

Life

Well.  Long time no posting, eh?  I have missed you.  I have missed quilting.  I have missed my sewing machine.

I have been playing sherpa.

One month ago, my DIL was admitted to the hospital with severe upper abdominal cramping.  Later that day, they removed her gallbladder, and did a hernia repair (necessitated by the gallbladder surgery).  She was prohibited from lifting anything over 10 lbs for a month.  Little Addison weighed 12 lbs at the time.  (Today, she weighed in at 13 lbs 12 oz.)  I put on my cape and played SuperGrammy for the month.  wow.  What a month!!
 We took a few baths, and we picked out a Christmas tree.
 We taught Mama how to English Paper Piece, and she made a couple of ornaments.  (I made one too, as I demo'd technique.)
 We did have a bit of a mis-step, but it was easily corrected.
 Addy's tree was decorated, and the stars hung with care.
 Back home, the gingkoes glowed yellow with the changing seasons.
The Christmas lights went up, and we added deer!
We've never had anything so grand.  I wonder if they will last the season, or if they will be stolen.  They were there again this morning when we woke up, so that was exciting.
Today was our guild meeting and annual Christmas party.  I began my term as Block of the Month chairman.  I introduced the first block, which was a Rail Fence.  I wrote the pattern and sewed it up this morning, then raced by FedEx Office on my way to the meeting.  I am excited because I made 40 copies and sold every one of them.  I am hopeful that next month's return will be stellar.  For each block turned in, you get a chance to win them all.  My directions make two blocks, so we have the potential of receiving 80 blocks back.  That would make a quilt 64" x 80", which would be quite a nice size.
As long as you keep the segments oriented correctly, this goes together very quickly.  (4-1.5" strips, stitched together then cut into 4.5" segments, can be sewn together to yield 2-8.5" blocks.  easy peasy)

And that's what I've been up to this past month.  I love my family, but I'm looking forward to a bit of Happy Quilting!!!

P.S.  The texture is on the walls, and I've painted the dining room and half of the bedroom.  If I can get some good pictures, I'll share them next time.  Goals are good!!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Quilt Retreat!

I have finished stripping wallpaper.  I have washed down the walls, all but the four in the kitchen.  I am ready for someone to come texture the dry wall.  I may be waiting for a while.  The earliest I've been told is "end of November."  November looks to be a long month.

I finished the wallpaper work Wednesday night, and headed for the foothills on Thursday morning.  Valley Oak Quilt Guild had a retreat, and boy, was I ready to retreat!  I got more quilting/sewing done in those four days than I've done in the past ten months!

On Thursday, I pieced the bulk of a baby quilt for my new granddaughter.  I finished the top before breakfast on Friday.
 I spent Friday cutting and placing 1.5"x3.5" rectangles to make the frame for this 2016 quilt from the Katie Pasquini Masopust online class.  It looks so finished, I am ready to finish it!
 On Saturday, I pieced together some Grandmother's Flower Garden pieces.  I have a top that I began back in the late 80's, so the flowers were already assembled.  I added leaves and pieced them together.
 My plan is to add them to the bottom corner of a quilt that I have been working on for the past 3 years.  I started it in a David Taylor class.  I am excited that it is finally coming together.
 And finally, on Sunday, I finished quilting this Tartan landscape.  It was another project from the Katie Pasquini Masopust online class. 
I may end up adding a bit more quilting in the sky, with Sulky, to add some shine to the implied rain.  I've thought of adding the car and road sign from the original photo, but they might distract from the landscape.  This quilt is all about the landscape.

And there you go.  More quilting in four days than I've done in ten months.
I've been back since Sunday afternoon, and I've yet to get the urge to get back on that ladder and wash down the walls in the kitchen.  I will, eventually, but most certainly not today!

Friday, October 27, 2017

A 6" Finish

After yesterday's post about stripping wallpaper, I felt guilty.  I should be sewing something, anything.  I want to be sewing something, anything.  Our Itty Bitty friendship group met at my house yesterday morning, so this time, I pulled out a piece of handwork.  It is the recent edition of our 6" mounted quilt challenge.

 I finished the beading on the piece, then painted another group of canvases black.  I use glossy paint, and let them dry overnight before attaching the quilt.
 Here is the finished piece.  It has quickly become a favorite.  Actually, I like most of the little pieces quite a bit.  There's only one that I'm not happy with.  I may have to do another improved version of that particular one.
 In the meantime, I've moved into the last room.  Yesterday, I made it past the door on the right, and one third of the way across the adjacent 8' wall.  Today's goal is to finish that 8' wall, turn the corner, and make it up to the last remaining 14' peak.  I will be SO glad when this project comes to an end!
If nothing else, having to move every piece of furniture and every piece of clutter in 4 rooms has been enough to convince me that I either need to have a serious yard sale, or take a major donation trip to Rescued Treasures.  Goals are good!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Trip to PIQF, and Stripping

I'm sorry I have not been posting.  I've sewn on a button, but I don't think you're interested in that.  Quiltwise?  I made it to PIQF.  We took a day trip, up and back, zoom, zoom.  I really wanted to see Sherry Reynolds and her new quilt, Eternal Beauty, at its debut.  I knew it would be a stunner, but up close?  It was more incredible that I could possibly imagine.  Just incredible. 
 Look at that amazing detail!  You might think that those silk wedges are large, but they are not. Oh no, they are not.  Look at the full image, to see the scale.  I was entranced by the border.  All those little squares were pieced together with sashing.  With sashing!  And that strip, between the squares border and the quilt?  Those are pieced 1/4" squares.  really.  They are.  I think she might have been a bit obsessive?  Then again, this is why she won Best of Show.  This is why it took her 4 years to make/finish the quilt.  It truly is a Beauty!
 And I really do know Sherry.  I met her years ago, when her first quilt debuted at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival.  We primarily touch base at different quilt shows, but we always make a point to visit for at least a few minutes.
Sherry was not my only friend to win big at PIQF.  Sharon Schlotzhauer won two awards with her quilts:
 "Jars of Clay" won Best Wall Quilt.  I'd seen pictures, but I think this was my first time to see it in person. 
 Licorice Ribbons won Machine Workmanship, in the Modern category.  The quilting on Sharon's quilt is exquisite.  Sharon was unable to make it to the show, and was quite surprised when I texted photos of her quilt.  She was in the midst of babysitting, and did not know that she won.  woohoo!  I'm guessing she did some happy dancing in front of the grands.  :D
Not all of my quiltie friends live in other states.  Judie Fleming lives across town.  Her quilt, A Nighttime Garden, won Best Handworkmanship in Wall Quilts.  Congratulations, Judie!!  Congratulations, Sharon!  Congratulations, Sherry!

I walked around the show beaming, like I was the winner.  I didn't even have a thing in the show.  Just very very talented friends, getting the recognition they've worked hard to earn.

I also shopped.  oh my, yes, I shopped.
 Lots of King Tut thread, perle cottons, olfa blades, painted lace...and two pieces of fabric.  I have a plan for the thread, but the rest?  Just stash building.  As if it needs it.

The thing that has kept me from sewing is stripping wallpaper.  We've been in this house for 24 years.  When we first looked at it, I told my husband I hated the wallpaper.  He told me I could change it out, but wow.  No money, no time.  FINALLY, I have both, and I'm doing my best to make progress.
 The master bathroom had 4 walls, covered with two kinds of wallpaper.  Two of the walls have 14' peaks.  Not easy to reach, but I did it.  Yes, it is a mess.  You're supposed to be looking at the walls, not the mess.
Once the bathroom was naked, I moved to the kitchen.  Again, two 14' peaks.  But with crazy angles.  This was not easy, but I finished.




Twenty years ago, I knew I didn't have time to strip the walls, so I found a strip to cover the pink border.  oh, look.  There's that pink again.  When we first moved in, EVERYTHING was that pink.  Even the beige carpet had pink tones.  Hated it.
 There.  Isn't that much better?
The dining room was easy.  It only had two papered walls, which I had stripped and repapered back in 2000.  Eight foot walls?  Piece o cake.
 Before, and half of after.
I think I began this project on October 7.  Fourteen walls to strip.  12.5 down, 3.5 to go.  I am down to the master bedroom, which again, has two 14' ceilings.  I spent 8 hours stripping on Tuesday, and was unable to finish the first (biggest) wall.  I have grand plans to be done by Sunday.  After that, the contractor sends his texture crew to texture the walls, then they need priming, and painting.  The plan is to have it done by Thanksgiving.  Goals are good!!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Two Tiny Finishes

Last week, when I dug into my card-making box, I found a second tree piece that I'd begun to quilt.  It was long and narrow, and primarily river.  I didn't know what I wanted to do with it, other than to finish it.  I doubled the quilting in the water, then thread-painted the batik trees.  Then I set it aside.

When I came back to it, I measured it. 6.25" tall.  Not large enough to face it, if I wanted to cut off a 6" finished piece, but binding?  That would work.  I'd already sliced it off and trimmed it, before I remembered my camera.
 What do you think?  Is it better as two pieces?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  As two pieces, it fulfills two requirements.
 I finished the 6" piece by binding, adding a fish, and mounting it on canvas.  This is #7, of the 6" mounted pieces for Sew Eclectic.  I'm pretty pleased with the way my collection is coming together.
 This larger piece is for my niece.  I didn't have any appropriate animal charms, but she's a big fan of steam punk.  I'd purchased these gears and sequins, thinking that I would use them on something for her.  I think it's kind of fun, in a funky sort of way.
I've also been out to the walnuts, to check the trees and walk the dogs.  I don't know if I've introduced you to my son's new dog, Sandy.  She's a hoot, still in the puppy stage.  She has a sweet disposition, which offsets her mediocre brain capacity.  She's definitely not as smart as Roscoe or Pixel.
 My son makes them sit, before letting them loose in the orchard.  They can barely keep their bottoms on the ground, they are SO excited.
 And once in the orchard?  They hunt for nuts.  They LOVE walnuts.  Look at Roscoe.  "I spy!!"  And then he cracks it open in his jaws and gulp!  All gone.
And I guess that's it...oh wait!  That's not it.  I've made great progress on my quilt from the David Taylor class I took three years ago.  I have soaked the finished applique in the tub, which was a very good move.  Both the red and the black bled heavily, despite prewashing.  Here is the quilt, as it soaks in the tub.  Thank you, Vicki Welsh, for your cure for bleeding fabrics!!
 I then hung the top to dry.  I am SO glad I covered it with this sheet.  I left it out overnight, and a gust of wind caught it and sent it crashing to the ground.  The quilt itself stayed clean.  whew!
I have one more little bit to add to the top.  Once I make a decision, I will be able to baste it and begin quilting. 

This year's quilting goals have fallen by the wayside.  If I can just finish this quilt, it will be enough for 2017.  I know that I am running out of time, but I'm going to give it a valiant effort.  Goals are good, and all that.  Putting them in writing?  Even better.  Here's hoping that I've got something to show you in the not-too-distant future.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

6" Quilt...and a Baby!

My youngest son and his wife have been expecting for the past nine months.  The official due date was October 4.  Little Addison Marilyn made her arrival on Thursday, September 28.  My husband and I were blessed to be allowed in the delivery room for the birth.  It was an absolute miracle, an experience I will never forget.
 In the morning, as momma labored, I was meeting with my Itty Bitty quiltie group.  I had gone through a box of spare parts, and unearthed a leftover block from my 2012 Hoffman Challenge.  You can see that quilt here

I spent Thursday morning adding embellishments, as well as Friday.  Miss Addison spent two days in NICU, so she was off limits to Grammie.  Seemed like a good idea to put my extra energy to good use.  The 6" finished block is mounted on canvas.  (The green background is not part of the quilt.)
And there you go.  I have other things underway, but I suspect that my quilting time is going to be squeezed once again.  Knowing me, I would rather play with a baby than needle and thread.

Oh happy day!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Little Quilt and Germany, pt 1

The list of cards I owe is really long.  As you know, this has not been a very productive year for me, quilt-wise.  I dug through my card bin, and found this narrow piece.  It has lots of thread painting, echoing the trees of the batik.  It called for something to finish it off.  I looked through my treasure bin, and found this moose pin, that I'd purchased at an estate sale for $1.  Perfect!
 This image shows the accurate colors, though Mr. Moose and his enamel sure reflect the glare of the flash!  I'm not sure I can get a proper picture, with both accurate color AND no reflection.  This will have to do.  sorry.
Our next-to-last stop on the cruise was Germany.  We signed up for a tour of "Hanseatic League Cities."  This involved visiting two historic cities involved in an economic league centuries ago.  The first was Luebeck, the second was Wismar.  Today, I'll introduce you to Luebeck.  (It's actually spelled with an umlaut, but I can't find a tab to insert the character.)

Luebeck was the seat of the Hanseatic League.  We drove for about 90 minutes west, crossing over the now invisible border dividing East/West Germany.  The drive took us through miles of agriculture, primarily grain crops. 
 When we parked and disembarked the bus, this was on one side of the parking lot.
This was the view on the other side.
 The city gate still stands, though it is now flanked by busy roads.  I love the brickwork.  There are stripes, of black and green, that aren't apparent in this photo.  The colors were achieved with glaze.  It was a beautiful day.  Look at that sky!!
 The city is both modern and historic.  It was bombed during WWII, so relatively new structures stand next to Gothic cathedrals.  Beautiful!
Modern graffiti, historic buildings.  Such is life in the west, i.e., not newly freed from Soviet oppression.  (26 years is recent history in Europe)
 Look at this church, stretching to the heavens!
 Can you see the flying buttresses?  I'd studied them in several Art History classes, but this was the first time I actually saw some in person.  So THAT's a flying buttress!
 This was a walking tour, and walk we did.  We moved around the historic paths, with cobblestone walks and soaring brickwork.  This was a very dramatic change from the countries we'd visited earlier.  Those with Russian influence had palaces build from stone. Prussian influence?  Clay/brick seems to be the construction material of choice.
I know I tend to go on and on, so I'll leave you here.  Luebeck = lots of soaring brickwork.  Gorgeous!

Next stop:  Wismar, Germany