Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sunshine + Mulch=One Flower Wednesday!

It's been so lovely these last few days! There has been this golden orb in the sky surrounded by blue...with occasional white fluffy marshmallow like things called clouds. It is simply marvelous!
I have not done much actual quilting the last few days. I took advantage of the break in our non stop rain and worked on the flower bed in front of our house.  A few years ago, we took the sad looking yews out that had probably been there since our house was built back in 1964.
Not our yews, but your get the idea...
  From, there I needed to develop a plan for the flower bed. Unfortunately, at about the same time, I became quite depressed and did not have the mental or physical energy to work on the flower bed.   I am not anal about most things, but I am a firm believer in having a general plan when starting a flower bed. I am flexible...but there needs to be a general plan. Unbeknownst to me, my husband decided to take one of those packets of "wild flowers" and scatter them over the flower bed.
 That was not even close to the plan I  had. In my depressed state, I kind of gave up on for that year.  The whole thing looked like weeds and most did not flower, as anyone who has  used those seed packets knows!  By last year, I was healthy and more energetic.  The flower bed  is in the shade of our maple tree most of the day, so I planted hostas and hydrangea's and other shade loving plants.
 The hydrangea's do not seem too happy this year. Too wet maybe? Here are the efforts of my son, the gardening teenager (yes, there is such thing--he LOVES to garden), myself and our supervisor, Thimble. If you look carefully--I think you will find my "One Flower Wednesday" entry also!

First,  the cat "out of the bag" for her supervising responsibilities

Then, climb to her supervisory post

Did they get enough mulch around the fox glove? 

Yup! They look great!

Hmm...looks like an okay job below me...

An ugly (but don't tell him) garden guardian
Hey! Is that turtle trying to take off with my latest hexie? 
I hope to get more quilting done later this weekend. Until then, I am working like crazy.  I have decided to have a garage sale so need to focus my energy on that for the next few days...then my reward...time for sewing!! 

Slowly putting the pieces back together,


Sunday, June 26, 2011

What Do You Mean No Pictures?

Following a morning that defied description, and I finally got to the Omaha Quilt Show, I discovered I had forgotten my camera.  Wah! Wah!
So, no photos...yet.

I did have my cell phone with me. I am  in the process of trying to figure out how to get the pictures from my phone to the computer. It  is not the newest of phones, so  it doesn't have the easiest/friendliest of ways to upload pictures. So far the ones I have uploaded "successfully" are still floating around in cyberspace!!
Those pictures are where?

However,  after my phone recharges, I will once again set to work to up load the photos.

A quick summary: beautiful quilts, vendors with luscious fabric, patterns and notions. A Cluttered Quilter with a thousand new ideas!

Trying to keep my pieces together!
PS:  Rain continues to fall here in the Omaha area; another 3 inches last night. The Missouri River is flooding its banks; friends are having to evacuate their homes. Please send out your thoughts and prayers to all the people up and down the river in need of help! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

One Flower Wednesday...Summer Style

Despite all the rain and flooding effecting Omaha/Southeast Nebraska and Southwest Iowa, the flowers keep blooming! Since I have been inside with all the rain, I have been busy working on my fabric flower garden.

I have sewn the six whole hexagons together.

I have sewn half' hexagons to fill out the rows. They look like little smiles!

To make a complete 24 inch block, I will need a total of 12 whole hexagon flowers and 4 half hexagons. If I made the sashing about 2.5 inches, then 4 blocks would be a big wall hanging or small quilt. I may go for 9 blocks. That would make it about 79.5 inches square. 80 inch square fabric flower garden!! Weed free? We shall see, she giggles wickedly...knowing that in her stash she has some lovely fabric with dandelions on it!!

My friend Zippy says that sound like a plan!!
Have a fabulous week! Don't forget to check Karen's site at Journey of a Quilter  for more One Flower Wednesday postings!

Piece Be With You!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Phoenix Rising

I must first start this posting with a confession. I have been coveting other people's quilts as I surf the Internet reading quilting blogs. I LOVE reading what others are doing...and occasionally, a teeny part of me goes..."oh man, I wish I could make something like that!"  Well, yesterday, as I was reading the blogs of Dawn at Collector With A Needle   and Kathie at Inspired By Antique Quilts.    I found myself having those thoughts.  Then I remembered, back before I had multiple children, I used to make mini quilts! Lots of them! I was one of those prolific quilters! Somehow, having my last 2 sons sucked the time/energy out of me and I haven't sewn as much since.  That's my story and I am sticking to it!!
My dear friend Zippy really likes my little quilt also!
One of my favorite mini quilts I titled "Phoenix." I made it in 1993. How do I know? I actually made a quilt label for it!!

I love the story behind it.  I was snooping around an antique shop in downtown Omaha and found this old dirty quilt top tied into a comforter. The squares of the top were large pieces of 1900 era fabrics. I WANTED that quilt. I went home and discussed it with my husband, Quail. A few days later, we went back to look at it. My eyes  lit up!  Because ugly and dirty as this quilt was, I knew it's potential. Quail  looked at it and then looked at me. I think he thought I had truly gone over the deep end this time. (My family seems to think that about me frequently---usually quilt related).  "Why would you want this?"  It was obvious to me...all those great squares of vintage fabric...all for $25.00! And, I had a money making scheme in the back of my mind.  Reluctantly, my husband agreed I could purchase the quilt BUT I could not bring it in the house because it was so filthy. I grabbed the quilt...proudly walked to the cashier who looked at me. Looked at the quilt. Then gave me one of those "why would anyone buy this?" looks.  Or maybe more of a "there's one born every minute" kind of look, it was hard to tell exactly.

I took the quilt home...grabbed my scissors and started clipping. And yes, Quail made me do the cutting outside!  I cut out each square and triangle. It was a square in a square block. Then (and don't be too startled) I put the fabric in the washing machine on gentle to clean it. The water proved how filthy the quilt was.. Ugh. I rinsed it several times until it was clear, then let it dry.

I used the scraps to make a small mini quilt--possibly a churn dash (?). I took it to my monthly quilt meeting and two of my fellow members wanted to buy it. I sold it for $20.00 to one, made a second one for the other (also sold for $20.00) and then made the third for me. So, for $25.00 investment, I had made $15.00 plus gotten my own "free" mini sampler AND still have some scraps left over!! By the way,  I made these little mini quilts before I knew the perfection of paper piecing. Sigh. If only I knew then what I knew now...those little points would all be perfect!!

I called it Phoenix because out of the scraps (ashes) of an old, worn out quilt,  a beautiful little mini quilt came to life.

Happy piecing to you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Is It Still Wednesday?

Hello! I am sneaking in my Wednesday Flower at the last minute!!  I wish I could say I have been so busy sewing and quilting and sewing and quilting, that I didn't have time to post my flower until now. Unfortunately, it is something less craft related. Since I have rediscovered my public library, I've turned into Book Lady! In the last week, I have read  three mystery books by Charlaine Harris--

I have almost completed Smoke, Mirrors and Murder by Ann Rule.

 I seem to be on a murder mystery book spree. Which also means, I haven't gotten much done in the way of sewing. 

But, I did decide on how I am going to arrange my hexies! Yippee! Hooray!! isn't any of the original ideas I had been contemplating. I was strolling through blog land, and came across a unique (at least to me) setting for hexies and I decided "AHA! That's it!!" It is at Sew Sara. This is her photo and her setting:
 I am going to make it all with 1800's type repro prints. I think my blocks will be larger than hers, but I am not entirely  sure how big  my blocks will be until I get the first one completed. Then, I will know how many blocks I will need to make a nice size quilt. So, until I find the blog or complete the first. block--I guess the mystery continues!! 

I have also been shopping and chopping. I have 125,  5 inch squares for a red and white fabric exchange through Karen at Sew Many Ways . When I initially signed up, I thought "piece of cake!" I'll just go through my stash and cut up all my red and white fabrics. Guess what...I had very few actual red and WHITE fabrics. I had many red and dark cream. Red and white and other colors. So, I had to go to the quilt shop. I know. So sad. I felt quite tearful also. There I discovered the same dilemma. Lots of red and cream...not as many red and bright white. It took me several shops to get an assortment. I didn't really need an assortment. I could have just bought a bunch of one fabric. But what's the fun in that? So, I finally got enough and have been cutting away. Aren't they lovely?
And finally, I WON a give a way!! Yippee! Over at Alone In The Studio, I won four Moda candy bars. Yum!! They are the first candy bars I have ever had...they are so dang cute. How will I ever be able to use them? :)  Thank you Ali!! I love them!! 
I have actually been working on my poor cluttered sewing room, but progress has been so slow, there really isn't really much to see. Hopefully, there will be enough progress soon to actually photograph it. 

Until then, keep your pieces right side  together!! 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Go Cutter Give Away!!

I was just visiting Samelia's Mum blog and discovered she is giving away a Go Baby Cutter! Oh, my heart be still! I have been wanting a GO Baby Cutter for multiple reasons. 
# 1 They are really cool!! What quilter wouldn't want the newest, coolest quilter gadget? 
#2  I have arthritis in both my thumbs, making using a rotary cutter painful at times. My days of marathon cutting sessions are over.  The price I pay for winning so many games of "thumb wrestling wars." 
Accu Quilt has offered her a chance to give away a free GO Cutter and three dies! Go check out her blog and sign up for a chance to win...although I must warn you, I have a psychic sense I will be the winner. Okay, maybe not. But a girl can hope!! 
Yesterday, I mused over the phrase "see you in the funny papers."
 I found some interesting tidbits.  Most Google reports (and one of my readers) mention it is a line from the movie Its A Wonderful Life. So, I am pretty sure it must be. Apparently, it came about in the 1920's and then become popular again in the 1950's.The origin which made the most sense to me, is that upper-class people might be mentioned in the society pages. The flip side for folks who aren't so elite...ending up in the "funny pages" or comics section of the paper. Frankly, I read the comics section everyday and I find a lot more of my friends there than I ever did in the society pages!! What does that say about me and my friends? I like to think it's because we are more fun!

Good luck to all you who enter the Go Cutter give away! 


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm Just A Bloomin'...Quilter!!

Ha! You thought I was going to say something else? Happy One Flower Wednesday!! Be sure to check out Karen's collection/weekly listing of participants over at Journey of a Quilter. I love seeing what everyone is doing. Such a variety of ideas! Thank-you Karen for hosting this!
I must make one correction from last Thursday's post. Apparently I am unable to count. I thought I had enough kits to make a total of 25 hexie flowers. Unfortunately, it turned out to be 20. With these last two hexies,  I now have all 20 done.

Decisions...decisions. Do I make more? Do I sew together the ones I have?

I saw a table runner last week made of hexies. I could make that.
Please excuse the background, just a rough idea....

I could also make it into a round table cover.

I have LOTS more fabric to make more repo hexies. I am loving mixing them together...adding in the conversation prints.

Meanwhile, I might make a needle/pin holder likeTerri at UFO's & UBI's.  I love it! And perfect for working on hexie's. It is a large hexie...go look at it. I'll wait.   Are you back? Okay. While I was reading her blog, it made me wonder...what different methods do people use for making their hexies? Next Wednesday, I will talk about my method...hint: I have used 2 different methods while making mine. One I prefer over the other!

I guess you will find out next week what I decide to do!!

Until then, see you in the funny papers!! (Who used to say that?)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Quilt = Group Love

I was reading  LaDonna's post at A Sisterly Connection today. She discussed a project Theresa at The Confessions of a Craftaholic posted. It is about a group effort to make a quilt for child at Texas Children's Hospital. It's just a small project. One quilt (or more if depending how many become involved).  Read her post--she has a fun idea about  how to make it a group quilt, full of love for the recipient...starting with just simple steps, like answering her polls.

And isn't that what quilting all about? Spreading the love?

Piecing together love, one block at a time,
PS:  Heart photos courtesy of Google apologies to who ever created the quilts. If I knew who you were, I would give you credit. Your quilts/blocks are beautiful!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Multi-tasking for the Modern Quilter

Coffee, audio book & hand piecing. Multi-tasking for the modern  quilter!

Despite not feeling well for the last couple of days...I'm not sure why. My body is just unhappy with me--I did get some sewing done. Additionally,  I stopped at the public library yesterday and made a discovery. Our local library now carries something called Playaway. It is an audio book...with the audio device included. One just supplies the AAA battery and her own ear buds. It's portable like an MP3 player. I checked out Craig Ferguson's American On Purpose, a book I have been wanting to read. It's so cool!  I can listen with my ear buds...while I sew...and not be bothered by the background noise of two teenage boys, a Collie, and my husband! Normally, listening to CD's I am competing with a ball game and a video game in the back ground. Did I ever mention having boys is a noisy undertaking?

So, despite feeling crummy yesterday, I worked on my hexagon flower blocks and got 2 done for this week. For those interested in the One Flower Wednesday, it is over at Journey of a Quilter blog

These are my two blocks: 

I especially like the one with black petals...she has a chicken in the center carrying a little note care that says "Bon Jour"! 

Two other blocks I like are mirror images of each other. One has a little squirrel in the center, surrounded by beige swirls. The other, the beige swirl surrounded by squirrel petals. 

I also took a picture of my "flower garden" thus far...I think I counted 19 blocks. 

I have "kits" made up for 6 more blocks. Total: 25. Then I I want more? Do I make more flowers? They are addicting...especially now that I have discovered Playaway audio books at the library and can tune my family out while I hand sew!! should I set them? Traditionally? Clustered together (my original plan)? 

Have a great day stitching--I hope to get to working on string blocks tomorrow. Oh much fabric can a quilter sew when a quilter sews string blocks? (sung to the rhythm of  "how much wood can a wood chuck, chuck...)