Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Good light makes a difference

I am always seeking good lighting.  Our house faces N.N.W. and gets no direct sunlight through the windows between Nov. and the first part of Feb.  I am excited when the slivers of sunlight peek through the dining area window at last.

My sewing space is downstairs and as you know subterranean spaces are darker anyway.  We bought this house from an electrician and so one would think that it would have an abundance of light with outlets everywhere.  

The thing that is everywhere is light switches. 

This picture is with regular light

I bought a new lamp yesterday.  It is a torchiere lamp like we purchased for the missionary apartments when we were in Wisconsin.  It gives off great light.

This picture is with the new lamp.
 It is subtle but the brighter light (even better than my Ott lamp) gives me the clarity I need to quilt at the frames.  I haven't quilted for hours yet but I'm curious to see if my eyes don't become as tired.

Notice the bank of 8 light switches on the wall 
 The top picture shows the regular light that consists of three fixtures with three 60 watt bulbs in each. The picture below shows the 150 watt light at it's finest (in addition to the other lights which can be turned on by choosing the 2nd, 5th, and 6th switches - each fixture turns on one bulb at a time.

I know. . . . . . 

Isn't it glorious?  At last, good illumination in my downstairs retreat!!!

I bought a bunch of "Potluck" fabric by American Jane when we were in Wisconsin a year or so ago.  I've always wanted to do something with her crayon box colors and finally took the plunge.

I am making blocks for this quilt (based on an exchange) by Betsy Chutchian.
I am in no hurry, mainly because I have so many other things calling for my attention quilting-wise.
I'm just going to cut it out the blocks ahead of time and assemble one or two when I have some small pieces of time.

I don't know about you but sometimes I just want to sit at the sewing machine for a 1/2 hr. and it will be nice to have some mindless sewing waiting for me.

   I just thought I'd add this picture from Sunday morning.  Our apricot tree and daffodils are in full bloom and that's snow you see on the ground.  Spring is so fickle.

And one last thing - I made one of my favorite comfort foods a few days ago.  It is the easiest thing in the world.  I can't eat it without smiling.  Silly me, it's lime cottage cheese jello with crushed pineapple and chopped walnuts.  I don't know why I like it so much, I just do.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I finished the next border on my Welsh Quilt Study.  I have been interrupted so many times today that I'm having a hard time motivating myself to keep on quilting.  

It has been months since I could just go into the studio and be creative with whatever my little heart desired.  It's hard to stay on course when the enthusiasm has waned.

My time is so measured right now.

Thanks for listening,

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Nine blocks done

I finished blocks 8 and 9 of the 1857 quilt this week.  I am doing back basting applique so my blocks are mirror image of the original pattern.  But, they all look okay to me.  That plane and saw block was quite the challenge!  I loved doing the sunburst block (in purple).  But, I don't think I'm going to do block 10 with the fiddly pieces surrounding the center hearts.  It just doesn't appeal to me so I'll have to come up with something else.

Here are all nine finished blocks.  Sentimental Stitches released another block (a dazzler) today in celebration of National Quilting Day.  Can't wait to start.

I've been cleaning out closets.  It's that ole spring cleaning bug that sometimes bites this time of year.  "What's a person to do with all that stuff?"  I say!

 I have boxes and boxes of family pictures from the time photography was invented to today.  For whatever reason, my house seems to be the family repository.  I can't let another year go by without compile and organizing.  (And throwing away) It's going to take HOURS!

I cleaned out the crafty supplies and put all my oil painting things into one location.  I think I'm going to blame the bug on my husband because he decided to turn the back room of the shed into a greenhouse and I had to take my stuff out and away.

"Where to put it?"


Monday, March 14, 2016

Something happened while I was quilting this morning that has never happened before.  I was just stitching along when I pulled my needle up through the layers and the thread was not attached. No problem, I'll just rethread the needle.  I clipped off the end of the thread and positioned it to glide (I wish) through the eye of the needle.

Now, I don't have the youngest of vision and sometimes I have to take my glasses off rather than put them on to insert the thread.  So when I didn't see the eye immediately I figured my eyes were acting up and I blinked really hard and focused again.

But, there actually was no eye!  The tip-top of my needle had come off.

I was bummed.  I had grown attached to the feel of this particular needle and had put up with it's slightly bent alignment for quite a while.

Into the trash it went as I softly whispered; "you served me well. . . "

We've got a big and much needed storm coming through.  I love it.  You can no longer see the grass.  The snow is piling up.  It hailed earlier this morning.  The mountains could receive as much as 3 ft of new welcome snow.

 I made up this cake stand block last week.  I've had the fabric to do a little quilt for over a decade.  It is from the scraps of a beautiful print I used to make my oldest daughter the cutest two piece outfit when she was in high school in the 90's.

I matched up some tone on tone prints and bought some Kona black and then I've been aging it over the years - ha!

Well, the block didn't turn out to be as wonderful as I had envisioned.  It would look better with solid blue triangles, I think,  But, the whole point of using these fabrics was because they blended so well with the print.

Some rethinking is in order.

This is the front of the card

I gave the plaid quilt to my sister-in-law.  If you recall, she asked my to make the quilt out of her son's shirts.  He passed away last June.  She sent me a card to thank me.

Isn't that what quilting is all about?

Wheel Quilt completed

I completed my Wheels quilt.  It's hard to see because it is hanging in my hall and the lighting is very poor.  But, it looks terrific. ...