Saturday, March 21, 2015

Baraboo and 55 rabbits


Here is a quick peek at my Baraboo quilt.  These colors are just so fun to see as I sew them together.  These are 5 of the colors that will be circles in the quilt.  I have 10 more.








Easter seems to have exploded at my house.  I set out some of the Easter decorations and it looks like I'm in a gift store.  I should make more of an effort  to display things creatively but I probably won't.


My mama rabbit with her seven little baby bunnies.  The ceramic bunny on the left is so adorable, she stands on a penny.


Seven crocheted bunnies in potteryware from Seagrove, North Carolina.  My oldest daughter made these for me last year while we were in Wisconsin.  I had them in the supply room but I didn't display them out for anyone else to see.  So cute. . .


My Roberta doll dressed in a similar Easter dress that I wore in the 1960's.  My hair was short and my mom tried to keep it curled including those dreaded permanents but my straight hair always won out.


This is still a flimsy but I hung it up anyway.  It's too cute to hide away. (Pattern my Jan Patek)


Have you see anything lovelier than this?  My geraniums inside are in full bloom and so is the forsythia outside.  Spring just glows, doesn't it?

Robin

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sweet peaceful day


Still plugging along on Birds of a Feather.  You can see the top border in the upper left hand corner so I'm getting closer to being done.  I was looking in my fabric closet for my grandmother's partially crocheted bedspread and I found a box marked bindings which I had forgotten about (because I was gone for 18 mos).  Inside was the binding I had set aside for this quilt.  I love it when things like this happen.  I didn't even have to go hunting for it!

I've decided I don't do things fast any more.  My mother used to accuse me of working in low gear.



The Baraboo quilt is coming together.  I've been seeing a lot of circle quilts in blog land the last few months and I decided to join the throng.  Go here and here from Audrey at Quilty Folk Blog and here  from Kathy's Quilts blog to see some of them. I bought the dotted stripe years ago not knowing what I would do with it but loving it all the same.  I purchased fabrics that pick up all the colors of the stripe and gleefully squirreled them away.

A week ago Saturday I was creating quilts in my subconscious when "Eureka"! I figured out what to do with my preciously purchased treasure.  I'm making it 7 X 8 which makes 56 circles I need to hand applique.  I've cut out all the blocks and machine basted the circles to the backing.  I finished 6 blocks so far.  It's so pretty. I'm not sure what will come next, a border, some more piecing, the binding. . . ?  I'll just play as I go along.

See the empty space behind this pile of neutrals?  It used to be occupied by a rather large bag of neutral scraps and cast offs.  I decided I was tired of the bag using up the space and I wanted to cut out 5" squares for a future Nickel quilt project.




So, I sorted through the bag (which is now empty) and pressed the pieces so I can continue cutting.  I'm cutting 5" squares, 3" squares (for 2 1/2" HSTs) and strips for a future string quilt.  If it doesn't fit in one of those categories it's going in the trash.



Here is my small stack of neutrals.  It will be bigger very soon and it feels so good to have that scrap monster bag out of my closet.


This is what I woke up to this morning along the Wasatch Front.  It was delightful.

The good looking fellow in the background is Grandpa.



We went to Sam's with my daughter and kids.  They talked me into a box of ice cream sandwiches.  It was a small price to pay to insure that the two yahoos below would stick close by.



The sky continued to dazzle through out the day.




The apricot tree is in bloom just like the sky.


Guess I'll go do some handwork.  It's almost time for dinner but we didn't eat lunch till 2:00 so neither one of us are very hungry..
Robin

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I am feeling a bit saintly. . .

or maybe just smug because I have only purchased 1 yd. of fabric since October.  It feels so good to see some of the stacks of fabric go down.  Perhaps I'll be able to fit everything into my sewing room at the rate I'm going.

And then my sister hired an organizer to help her clear out stuff she doesn't use or need and I received 2 large boxes of fabric.  So, I guess my fabric non-purchases have left room for some of this.



One box contains Christmas fabric, chicken fabric (I really thought I was done with chicken fabric), lots of unmatched FQs, a quilt all cut out and in progress, and even some clown fabric.



The second box is lots of CWs.  It has FQ medlies, 1/2 yd shirtings, pieces over a yard long.  It's all lovely and I'm tickled to have it.


As I rounded the corner I noticed the light dancing in the living room. The little anniversary clock was sending rainbows all around the walls.  There was just a sliver of sunlight peeking between the wall and the curtain but it was enough to make me stop and admire the show.


I'm continuing on with my bird quilt.  It's been 9 wks. now - why is hand quilting so satisfying and frustrating at the same time?  As I got to this block I noticed something amiss.  Can you spot it?


Here let me push up from underneath.  (Hey, How did that camera strap get in the picture?)


How frustrating!  That's all I can say.

I decided to refrain from quilting around the wing and wait till I'm all finished with the rest of the quilting and the quilt is off the frames.  I will unpick my applique, scoot the wing well under the breast of the bird, and re-applique it down.  Then I will quilt around the edges.

I'm just glad I found it now so that a repair can be made and not have it be a worn out spot at some future time.

I've started cutting out a new applique project.  I'm going to call it "Baraboo" because the Circus World Museum is located in Baraboo, Wisconsin and the colors in this quilt remind me of a circus.

Baraboo, Wisconsin

Audrey at Quilty Folk inspired my choices for this new project. (Pictures at a later date)
Robin

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Done, done, and done

Measures 75" X 75"

I finished the "Block in the Spotlight" quilt top yesterday.  I didn't really know how it was going to turn out because I made it up as I went.  I think it needs a 3" or 4" blue border to repeat the center and other border and I have enough fabric (Wiscasset by Minnick & Simpson) but I was ready to call it a day so it is neatly folded and in the bottom drawer of the downstairs dresser.  It turned out busy but quite delightful, I think.



We drove to Cache Valley on Thursday to visit my cousins.  It was great to finally see some snow along the way.


This is a picture of the Weber valley (I think that's what it's called) looking toward Ben Lomond.

The reservoir looks so peaceful and placid.

And here we are in Mantua, a lovely little community nestled in a corner of Sardine Canyon.


While we were eating lunch this beautiful male pheasant perched itself upon my cousin's shed roof.  And then it posed long enough to be photographed.  Such rich colors.  His head is in the shade or it would be a beautiful gleaming hunter green.

We were served homemade Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches with real Provolone or Swiss cheese melted over the meat under the broiler.  There was Apple/Grape fruit salad, Broccoli Bacon salad, and a Rotini pasta salad with the fudgiest brownies and chocolate chip ice cream for dessert.  We all over induged!


There are an abundance of wild turkeys at the south end of Cache Valley.  My cousin said there are no longer any natural predators so the population is exploding.


Notice the orange in the background - possible next project

And finally, I have something to admit.  I'm sure it will sound familiar to many of you.  When I am collecting fabric for a specific project I have a tendency to energetically accumulate way more fabric than I could ever possibly use.

The plastic bin above is for my Minnick and Simpson fabrics and I took this picture when I FINISHED the quilt top.  The lid still won't close without some considerable effort.


There are a few non-Minnick and Simpson pieces in there too.

Just too many wonderful choices out there.  I also have a box labeled patriotic prints that has more red, white, and blue waiting for it's turn.

It feels good to be done but there is also and emptiness.  I'm not sure what to do with myself this afternoon because I am no longer in the middle of a project.  Do I start a new one, find another UFO to get busy on, or learn how to use the new Legacy 8.0 software I just purchased.

I know what I should do - I know what I'd like to do. . .
Robin

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fast, I'm not!



I finished hand piecing the center for the 'Block in the Spotlight' quilt.  I thought I would just whip it up but it has taken me over a month to hand piece the diamonds and then assemble and applique the hexagon units.  I think it turned out lovely though.  I am using numerous lines by Minick & Simpson.



I have been really nervous about the distortion from all those bias edges, especially the long ones on the center star.  So, I pin basted it to another piece of yardage to stabilize it while I work on the inner border and then sewing on the outside blocks.  I notice a little bit of stretching on the outside gold diamonds.  But it isn't much.

I probably should have starched it but I always think I can get away without going the extra step and so far - so good.




I managed to get 3 more outside blocks done the past two days.  OOPS!  I put the heart block out for the picture and that isn't one of the new ones.

The gold isn't really as bright as it is in this picture.

I made a bowtie border around this block and didn't like it at all.  I had used 3 different backgrounds and it just muddied the whole block up


So I unpicked the red bowties, used the same background as the gold blocks, and replaced all the blue blocks.  The unused blue blocks above will go into the Orphan Block box.  Tisk Tisk*


The pruned apricot branches that I brought in last week eventually bloomed.  They were pink.  I thought apricot blossoms were white.  Who knew?


My sister is doing a major purge at her house.  She is going through everything that has been boxed up for 3 moves.  I'm glad she's finally getting it done, she'll feel better and be able to relax knowing what she has and where it is.

As she is going through boxes she came across two gifts that I made for her years ago.  The first (above) is a crazy quilt style neutral wall hanging with lots of embellishments.  It is adapted from a pattern in one of my first quilting books and still a favorite.  I have made so many things from that book.

It is called "Quick Method Quilts" and is a Leisure Arts hardbound book.  Copyright 1994.




This is a little needlepoint picture of English robins that I made and framed in a grapevine wreath to give the appearance of being inside a next.



We put a puzzle together this week that has been in the back of the closet for a long time.  It was fun and I didn't stick my finger and make it bleed like I do when I'm hand quilting.


This is a clearer picture of the basket quilt that the puzzle was made from.  It is so sweet.  I love the little rosebud vine twisting around each block.  It says on the box that the baskets were woven using velvet ribbon.


Here is the whole puzzle.  The quilt on the lower left is all appliqued wool - amazing.

We are celebrating our 42nd anniversary today.  Whew!  So much has happened in that span of time.
Thanks for checkin' in~
Robin