Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Ravens quilt top is done

This is Block #4 that I just finished Monday.  I added the little bird so there would be 12 blackbirds on the quilt or as my DIL says; "A Murder of Crows."

I finished this one last week.  It is Block # 7. It is one of my favorites.   I love the big full moon.  And the flower in the upper right matches the border.

 And here is the top completed.  It is a delightful quilt, such a fun design by Blackbird Designs.  And another "someday" quilt off of my bucket list.

I'm considering taking December off from quilting and just enjoy the baking and candy making and family.  I wonder how long I can stay out of the sewing room.  .  .  .

I've got company coming tomorrow so I need to motivate myself to clean and make a dessert.


Friday, November 4, 2022

Here you go

I realize Halloween is over but I'm continuing on by finishing these blocks.  I've done two in the last two weeks  Blocks 8 is on the left and Blocks 3 (which I am putting in the #9 spot) is on the right.  I only have two more blocks to go.

I know it isn't that noticeable in the pictures but the two seemingly identical black birds/ravens are done in four different black fabrics.


This one is done with a mottled black on the body and a stripe on the wing.

And this one is a script print on the body and a dotted piece on the wing.

I really enjoyed Gone2thebeach recent post.  You should go visit.  I love her cartwheel quilt.  I've seen a number of them this Halloween season.  I sure would like to make one with the lovely black background.  Yet another "wanna make quilt".

This is a table topper I started about 2003 and finally finished last year.  It has two of my blackbirds on top.  Yes, blackbirds are a staple at my house.

I put a quilt on my couch that has some autumn vibes to it.  I definitely need more fall themed decor.

I also put this falling leaves quilt on my kitchen table.  Don't worry, we take it off before we eat.

And speaking of falling leaves. . . I love it when we have a hard freeze which we did last night.  The English Walnut trees hold tight to their leaves until the temperatures plummet.

 And then they drop all their leaves at once.  It's like magic.


Saturday, October 22, 2022

I have been asked to make 200 cinnamon rolls for an upcoming party in December.  So, I made up one batch of my favorite recipe to see how long it would take (4 hrs.), how many it would make (75+), and if I could make them ahead - would they still taste fresh.  We'll see how they are fresh-wise tomorrow.

Rolls all put together and rising.

The problem is that I need to have these made for a breakfast.  I may need to stay up through the "wee small" hours to get them all done.  

My husband volunteered me for this.  Part of me feels complimented and part of me thinks it's a lot to ask.    Oh well, they are pretty yummy.

Here they are frosted and ready to eat.

 I finished block #1 for The Raven" quilt.  I've got five blocks done so far.  This is like a full time job.

We had a beautiful sunrise this morning before the big storm blew in.  Winter has pushed autumn aside and we're expecting snow.

 I put the picture in my header above.


Monday, October 17, 2022

Who's up next?

Well, I finished a fourth block.   This is what it looks like with the four of them together.  The lighting wasn't very good so it's a bit dark on the right side.

I'm not going to get done by Halloween (of course) but I'll probably get another block done by then and that will mean only four more to go.

 Here is the finished block by itself.  It's Block #9 but I'm going to use it in the #3 space.

I still haven't got my Halloween decorations up.  The boxes have been sitting out for 2 weeks, I'm not sure why I'm so unmotivated.  I might dig out my ghost snowglobe that plays the Phantom of the Opera and call it good.

I put apples in the dehydrator this morning.  I think that is the last of the food preservation for the year.  It always feels good to see that come to an end.


The Age of Remembering

 I knew this would happen someday.  

I just realized today was the day.

I knew that someday I would be still and it would be quiet and I would just want to remember.

I would want to remember the little things;

My mother's smile

My favorite coat - the green one or the fur one?

Playing with the neighborhood kids after dark

Slurping grape Shasta and eating snowballs at Adams park

Swimming lessons at the old high school pool

My Dad behind the wheel of our green & white Chevy station wagon

My first crush

I am finally at the 'age of remembering'. 

The part of my life where I have more time . . .  than things to fill it.

I've been looking forward to this for years.


Monday, October 10, 2022

3 done and 6 more to go


I finished Block #2 for the Ravens quilt.  I'm not doing the blocks in order.  I'm just doing the ones I feel like doing at the time.  This one looks different with the darker left side of the pumpkin but it all blends in well when the other blocks are around it.  I was thinking about doing purple berries but that will have to wait for another block.  It feels good to have 3 of the blocks done.  I might be done by Christmas (wrong holiday!).  

I've got to get busy and decorate for Halloween or the night will have come and gone.  I have a few fall decorations out but I need to get serious.

My husband (the garden gnome) picked all his pumpkins last night for the grandkids to come and claim.  They are all close to the same size this year instead of giants or tiny ones.  Seven of them have been spoken for already.

 One of my previous quilt  tops got some piano key side borders recently.  It measured 60" X 90" and I wanted it wider so I added 12 1/2"  X 1 1/2" strips.  It looks like it got spilled into the living room.  I'm just going to tie it for a picnic or camp quilt.  Someone will like it, I'm sure.

I love the slant of the sun in October and I am really enjoying my mornings in the sunshine while I do my applique.  November will come soon enough with it's clouds and cooler temps but for now I'm just soaking it all in.


Thursday, September 29, 2022

Block 6 of Ravens Quilt done

I finished the applique for Block 6 of Blackbird Designs "Ravens" quilt.  It was a much easier block than Block 5 (see previous post).   I've decided to do Block 2 next (another complicated one).    The fabric for the wing has the poem "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe written all over it.

And because I've been spending so much time working on this Halloween quilt . . . when I saw this Art Gallery post on Instagram, I immediately pictured it made with black, orange, and purple fabrics.

Wouldn't it look terrific in those colors.  It's a free pattern on their site.

Two friends and I went to Midway yesterday to stop at the Christmas store - Kringles. 

It's not at the peak of autumn color yet but the red scattered over the mountains was sure pretty.

Kringles is  a sweet store.  I should have taken more pictures.  Isn't that hydrangea pretty with it's pink hue.

After  about 18 texts back and forth between my son and I - I bought this little gnome snow globe for him.  It has rainbow glitter for the snow.

At another store my friend modeled this Cleopatra-like necklace pillow.  There were earrings to match - ha!

After Kringles and the pillow store the skies opened up and we really got rained on.  We haven't had much rain in the valley this summer (Midway is up in the mountains) so the big drops of cold water felt good.  I had on sandals and didn't feel the cold till much later when the rain had stopped.

There were a lot of cute little houses in the small town with gingerbread trim.  Fun to see.

 We ended up eating lunch at a Mexican restaurant that was really slow but the food was sure good.  We were in no hurry and enjoyed just visiting and some new food items.

I should have taken more picture but the restaurant was dark and then I forgot about it.  

It was a lot of fun being together and taking some time away.


Friday, September 23, 2022

Ravens - Block 5 done

 I finished Block 5 of the Ravens quilt by Blackbird Designs.  The pattern came out in 2016 and I am just now getting around to making it.  But, to be honest, there are many more things in my sewing studio that are much older than this.

The colors are a bit unusual and they kind of clash in a good Halloweenish way.  It's almost like listening to music with discordant notes..  I love the purple fabric that I used for the house with it's images of orchids on it.  Very different from what I'm used to using.

I included my interpretation of this plant (on the lower left of the block) that comes up each autumn in the garden.  I have no idea what it is.  Large green leaves come up in late spring and die back about mid-summer.  Then in the fall the leafless stock shoots up with these bright berries.  It is really an intense orange color.

I'm going to work on Block 6 next.  It will go much faster because there aren't as many pieces; one large bird, a pumpkin, stems and leaves.  I will still need to make berries but they will be larger.

I did the house block first to get the busiest block out of the way.

I've been going through my fabric to find big pieces to sew together for backings.  I am normally a wholecloth backing type of quilter but I've got a number of large pieces left over from other projects that don't really go with anything and need to be used up.  

Upward and onward.


Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Ravens quit by Blackbird Designs

I'm prepping the center of the Ravens quilts by Blackbird Designs.  BB produces such unusual fabrics and the purple for the body of the house is no exception.   It is from the fabric line Wild Orchid.  

I love the background fabric, it's a current fabric by Deb Strain

I have a few of the other blocks that I've prepped below.  It's not the greatest picture but it gives a feel for what this quilt will turn out to be.

I've been busy trying to get the bodies of the Ravens all appliqued so I can baste the wings on and figure out if I've got the colors well distributed.  

The blocks are spread out over my bed which has the 'Birds in the Air' quilt on it.

This quilt is a gift and I can only work on it for little spurts of time.  I'm not trying to complete it for Halloween this year.  It will be a year long project.

The garden, after 10 days of 100+ degrees last week, is continuing to produce.  I've bottled tomatoes, dried basil, and put some corn in the freezer.  Production should slow down a little this week with temps in the 60's and 70's. This picture isn't representative of the volume of vegetables my husband, the garden gnome, has picked and brought in this summer.

(Picture a tall gnome with a green thumb - ha!)


Monday, August 29, 2022

Isn't she the cutest?

 Here she is, my youngest daughter, quilting a quilt in a frame for the first time.  She has tied quilts and stitched quilts in her lap but this is the first in a frame.

She makes everything so fun.


Monday, August 22, 2022

Lots of things

I've been meaning to post for over a week and just couldn't fit it in.  I finished this little Florence Peto quilt.  I machine stitched around the blocks and then used big stitch to outline the applique and the setting triangles.  The small green border looks like it needs some quilting too.

I used one of the leftover blocks for my label.  It took me 11 years to complete this little quilt.  Not my oldest UFO but definitely waiting a long long time.


I finished sewing this Red & White quilt top together this morning.  It is from the Aunt Daisy SAL 
I'm a little disappointed in my craftsmanship on this project.  I couldn't seem to press it correctly to make all the points line up.  I didn't really cut points off as much as I didn't line them up properly.  I've decided to name this quilt "Pointless".  I'm not really sure I want to put a label on it  for posterity to know who made this wonky quilt.  

But, in spite of all that it is still very pretty and will really add to my Christmas decorating

I want to make Christmas quilts for all six of my kids.  Three of them already have one so I need to make 3 more.  I purchased Vera Mosquera's pattern called "Noel".  And then promptly got out the book above to make the "Ravens" quilt by Blackbird Designs.  

I guess it's because it's almost fall - not almost Christmas.  It doesn't make any sense but I need to go with the project I have enthusiasm for.  

I bought a number of pieces from the Wild Orchid line by Blackbird Designs when this pattern first came out.  It's a really unusual color scheme and takes some getting used to.

I prepped Block 6 for applique.  I'm still trying to decide if I like it or need to change it.  The wing on the bird is not basted down but it is cut out of the fabric below.  It's current fabric with the Edgar Allen Poe's poem "The Raven" written on it.

My husband and our son (the one that is living with Us) have been working hard for over a week to clean out the garage and scrub the floor.  The have washed it with soap and water, they have scrubbed it with something called "Krud Kleaner".  The have used wired bushes on drills to grind down some of the stuff that has been spilled on it.  They sealed it and put epoxy paint on it. 


But, as you can see, it's done.  And now Mr. Fix-it wants to paint the garage walls.  GASP!

 My neighbor's zinnias are so beautiful I had to share.  Wish I could grow them like this.

Have a wonderful late summer day.  The concord grapes are starting to turn purple so I know autumn will soon be here.


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Baraboo Quilt

I finally finished my "Baraboo" quilt.  It is named after a city in central Wisconsin.

The Baraboo Chamber of Commerce states; "Baraboo is a charming small town in Wisconsin known for its colorful circus history, Devil's Lake State Park and a historic downtown square."

It has the Circus World Museum and was the wintering spot for Ringling Bros. (I think).  Correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, it seemed like a good name because of the bright intense colors in this quilt.

It's hard to see the turquoise dots in the border that I made circles to match in the body of the quilt so here is a picture.

I've been quilting this in my living room and the oranges just pop out at me when I walk through.  Not in a good way though, it definitely doesn't go with the rest of the d├ęcor.  I got out this needlepoint picture that is a good companion to the quilt.

I'm not sure who is going to get this quilt.  But, I'm glad it's done because it has been waiting it's turn for quite a while now.

I also finished this quilt that I have wrapped around my settee.
Wouldn't it be fun to have it upholstered in this quilt?

I had it machine quilted earlier this year but never got the binding sewn on till now.

It is from Temecula Quilt Co. and is called Beyond Baskets.  It has wonderful reproduction fabrics in it.

 You can see my previous post about it here.

After finishing the other two quilts I got out another UFO to finish.  It is the Florence Peto block exchange I participated in with my friend Marlena in 2011.  It past time to get it done.

It won't take long.  I've already sewn around the individual blocks by machine and now I'm big stitching around the designs.  It's almost like doing embroidery.  

It has been so hot here that I haven't accomplished much other than holding still and stitching.  My house desperately needs some attention.

Hope the heat hasn't sapped your energy and you are getting a lot done.

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. ...