Wednesday, April 30, 2014

wow, its raining on my worktable!

The wall hanging for this month, April Showers, is almost done.  I did the diagonal stabilizing lines and I plan to intersperse rain .  But I thought I should go back and stitch in the ditch between the strips.  It'll pucker nicely when washed.

I have a plan for using Nina's settings to make raindrops.   I will settle for the smaller very light blue raindrops.  I should finish it up later today.   I shall have a finished and hung quilt to show for next Wednesday.

I am also thinking ahead to May and I want to use the coloured polka dots.  May to me, is baskets, empty baskets as flowers won't show till June.  To continue with dots I did a stash search  with not too many mini dots. So Connecting Threads can help me out with 16 different mini dots.  I need 16 baskets sew...  ;^)

I found an idea in one book and the right size block in another.  Now I need to wash up the fabrics and get ready for May Baskets!  If I could fill my May baskets with warm sunshine I would truly be showered with blessings!  :)

I wonder what kind of showers are happening in the rest of Canada!  Check out The Needle and Thread Network.

Monday, April 28, 2014

I wonder what we'll see this week???

                                           I wonder what we'll see in this coming week???  ;^)

Friday, April 25, 2014



 I've decided to join the hysteria over at Field Trips in Fibre.  This post and this post has  lead to HSTeria.  A question was asked and the HSTeria Quilt Along has come into being.  I have succumbed!

There are a couple of reasons.  I do like triangles.  I have a die for cutting half square triangles and I need to learn how  to use it.  I have fabric options; boy, do I have fabric options!  I need a deadline.  The Rooster wants a 'bigger' quilt than the last few I've been doing.  lol  This feels like a good fit.  sew...

The modified Irish Chain wall hanging is half square triangles but I cut squares of fabric and then cut them again with a rotary cutter.  I'm ready to try precision piecing with trimmed tips.  :)  I hope to make a nice lap quilt for the fall weather as we wait for chilly nights to sit by the stove.  This is a safe fabric ensemble.  Light/dark.  Bali's and a nicely patterned chameleon green.  It is nice to play it safe!  But then...

Do I, once again, want to play it safe?  I do like this.  A three inch triangle...

Could this be piecing/living dangerously?  Will all the bits connect and form fall flowers in the viewer's eye?

What the heck!  It is a quilt top.  No need to get hysterical!  Live dangerously and try the what if...

Fabric decisions are now, gulp, made and next will be starching the fabrics for precise cutting and piecing.  Let the HSTeria begin!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

wow, fabric options

My worktable is covered with lots of stuff.  So is the computer desk.  The spare room has two projects spread over the bed and any available flat surface.  I hope the grand kiddies don't make a surprise visit!  ;^)

April Showers must wait for a rainy day!  I do have the batting cut and some backing picked out.

The mother/daughter memory project has fabrics that remind me of my mum before she succumbed to navy and brown.  How does that happen?   She didn't like purple but I remember lots of maroon and she combined it with dark green.  She also decorated with gold and her 'mother of the bride' dress was gold brocade.  I won't use all but I have a good base for my fabric box and the loose pages.

Then I have a new (vbsigh) project that will use a kit of Bali fabrics.  I'll be making half square triangles.  One half will be the Bali's and the other half is the background.  Which background???  This needs to come from my stash.  I would really like to bump up the modern look and these will be arranged in a non traditional layout as I play and move around all the HST's so...

1) I think this may be too light and I am also thinking I would like a contrasting fabric, not another Bali.

2) But then there is this.  But the HST's are three inches.   ???

3) This one worries me because the pattern is actually directional.  ???

4) I found this oldie but goodie in a designated quilt pile and with somewhat similar fabrics.  I probably have enough for both but do I want two similar quilts considering the brevity of my quilting life time?  ???

5) This is an afterthought and doesn't photograph well.  It is almost tone on tone and the medium large floral with a swirl is a chameleon green.  ???

Here is a chance to vote.  I need to pretty much decide by Friday because that'll be commitment day.  :)

Perhaps the gals on TN&TN will have something to say.  Maybe even something I haven't considered.  6) 7) 8)  I usually post on Wednesdays but I think I'm gonna need some time to tally the votes!


The birthday boy arrived and Sweat Pea was all for having a party!  ;)  Josh is six and says he 'feels' different.  LOL

Lots of birds are arriving and these are not colourful so they fade right into the grey/brown ground.  No robins yet!  But the chooks are delighted to be OUT!  But I hope they don't break out as these are fliers and won't want to stay once they realize that the world could be theirs.  My flower beds!!!  :(  Time to give this fence some attention.

All this water was waiting for the ditches to open and the far fields drained during the afternoon! 

I am working away on projects.  Some successfully and some not so successfully.  I really need to devote some serious time to learning my Photoshop program.  If I don't use it then I forget even basic techniques.  I can follow tutorials but I need to understand what is happening.  :O

And to keep up my strength I have bumped up the exercise program to walking to some lively music.  I do like moving to the 'beat'!  I bought a juicer and I'm thinking green but apples go well for sweetness.  And of course water!

I'm moving with the current!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mood for leftover Easter eggs

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend with fun, food, and family.  Now it is on to the clean up and the leftovers!  ;) 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hopping right along

I hopped into the big city  Thursday for a few supplies.  I decided in the midst of rush hour traffic to go to an old fabric store on my way home.  This is an old business in an old building.  I luved the character and was surprised by the wonderful inventory.  They didn't have the interfacing I was looking for but I did get two pieces of fabric and some double sided fusible.

In the basement is an whole 'nother section!  Good thing I'd already done the check out!  I just luved this centre section and the ones on the right.  I think I may have hit on something good with the monthly wall hangings.  It may be more home dec next year. Pillows???  Chair cushions???

Friday the Rooster tackled our tree. It has two trunks and one was fixed when it split but the second has to go.

The job went better than expected but now we need to think about how to safely tackle the next problem.

It is up quite high.  The darn prairie winds are pretty strong.  We don't want to take out too much of the remaining trunk as I have my shade plants under it.  I suspect this pretty tough willow will be all the better for the pruning but the Rooster needs to be able to still crow when it is all done.  ;>)

I have learned that trees need pruning.  Had we done some many years ago this tree wouldn't have spread and leaned so close to the house.  I think tightening it up will help it withstand the winds better also.  It is a semi weeping silvery birch and is a feature tree. 

I should sketch it.  This week we were to go sketch outside.  It is darn cold but the thought was also to do it out in public.  I chose the town library and they are right;  hardly anyone pays attention.  I wish I'd remembered my little watercolour kit.  Next time!  :)  I must say this class has been worth the money.  I am no capital A artist.  But I am really liking making quick representational sketches of things that will remind me later of what I did this particular week.  And then there is always the hope that the end of this sketchbook will be better than the first!  ;^)

So I shall keeping hoping and hopping!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

wow working on strings and knots

The April Showers wall hanging has all the strips joined together.  The seams are pressed open and I think it is wide enough.  I trimmed the length and dug out the batting and a possible backing.   Next will be some diagonal lines to portray rain.  I hope it doesn't distort.  This is even more low volume than it shows but I'm liking it.

I did get the French knots on the Rose of Sharon block finished.  The next block has a lot of fiddly pieces so I need to get a head start on it.  May baskets!

And here is the modified Irish Chain up on the wall.  I'm deciding if it is the right shape although I had no more background fabric so it is what it is!

I wonder if the TN&TN gals have any knotty problems to work out!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The black and white of it

I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row this week and I don't think I have time to be distracted by any pretty colours.  Here's hoping!  ;~)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Lo the winter is past...

Remember that buried fence!  The snow has been moving down and back pretty rapidly this week.  Some snow and rain forecast for tomorrow but I'm believing we are over the hump.  Welcome Spring!

I am away at Sketchbook Skool and it is not too bad.  No detentions and I'm trying to do all my home work.  We aren't allowed to rip out any pages but I'm hopeful that the end the book will be better than the front.  ;^)  I am no sketcher but I'm finding that everyone has their own unique way of seeing, interpreting and then expressing what appeals and it can be very ordinary things but they need to be something the sketcher actually connects with-  my doll's glasses,  my very comfortable flip flops.
 (I understand 'thongs' is no longer politically correct).

I'm starting to make the DYLP my own and finding my groove.  This week was monochromatic.

The April showers wall hanging is about ready to have the strips attached.  I wonder how much it'll shrink on the sides.  :O

I have long wanted to do something with my grandmother's book that she pasted newspaper clippings of poems into.  I also found a sure fire cure for diptheria!  I found some newspaper quilt block patterns also.  I thought they were my mum's but she'd have been seven years old when they first began to be published and my mum didn't make any quilts.  My grandmother again.  She died when my mother was a teenager.  I wonder if she took this suitcase with her when she was in the hospital?   The wooden stationary box was my mum's and I always coveted it.  She kept odds and ends of old jewelry in it and obituary notices.  ??? Anyway, I'm combining an old idea and some new insight with a new to me technique and I'll be posting all about it next month. 

So as you can see, I have lots of reasons to spring ahead!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WOW Not a Random Act

April Showers has been quilted and I went with a hidden edge.  The envelope finish works here as the wall hanging isn't too big.  I also like the idea of unending chains.  ;^)

I had picked a palette for April Showers, my next wall hanging.  I was tempted by some cute umbrellas that I saw but I stuck with the stash, a low volume selection.  I cut slices after roughly figuring amounts.  My math is most always all over the place so we'll see.  I don't have a lot of these kinds of fabrics and I'm feeling stingy!  lol

I tried just sewing strips randomly end to end but I spent a lot of time unsewing.  :(  It would maybe work on a much bigger project but I do find I am very happy auditioning strips and then going off to sew them together and then whacking off where the next one should go.  Now as I'm nearing the other edge I need to get some not so random balance happening.  This is my favourite way of working.  I don't stress but I like to feel I am getting some flow happening.  Hopefully I can get the strips joined to each other by next Wednesday.

My friend Sherry, who shares her creative bliss here tells me this is the month to write letters.  I thought about it last year and this year I am going to do it.  Here are my first postcards.  I'm thinking quick, easy, and that soon there will be blue sky and green grass!  :)

If you  want to see what the gals scattered randomly across Canada are doing you can visit them by clicking on TN&TN and then with purpose or randomness you can click on their thumbnails.  It would be a kindness!

Monday, April 7, 2014

What mood?

 What will this week reveal as it unfolds?

I'm in the mood for some surprises!!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Take a deep breath!

First I will exhale and catch up on the finding outs and the finishing ups.

I am happy to report I have edited out two pieces of furniture and I have some bare walls and better yet bare floors.  The dust bunnies that were reading my books have to find another library. lol  I dispersed the books to pertinent rooms, put brown paper covers on some to eliminate visual clutter and boxed up those who might better bless somebody else.

Disregarding the future of  'when we...',  I repositioned the stove for an outside vent,  made the fridge a bit handier and have commissioned a long rolling counter that the kitchen table can butt up to or run alongside.  Best event was adding some more colour.  Who knew the Rooster's red coffee pot would be so affirming!  I'll refinish the wee coffee bar and make a more colourful teacup wall hanging!  I'll leave some space between the upper cabinets and above the big farm sink (which is patiently waiting in the basement)  for a colourful apple or two! ;^)

I think I need a couple more glass shelves for glasses.  They aren't so handy to the fridge anymore but what the hey!  I can possibly spruce up the aqua paint on that old cafeteria table and refinish this old wood unit a similar red to the hutch or even an espresso stain.  I'm short and pouring water down into the coffee pot without standing on tippy toes is a bonus!  lol

I did work on the Irish Chain and as I was finishing up the straight line quilting I got to thinking that I might want to consider the less is more principle.  I think the curved echo in the coloured triangles would be too much.  But I went ahead and I practiced some free motion leaves.  When I drew in the actual area I saw how small it was.   Hmm, maybe a shamrock?  Four leaf clovers were too big and the three leafed clover was pretty tight.  Sew...

I bound it up. I'll throw it in the wash, add a hanging sleeve and call it done.  I have my fabric cut for April Showers so as to be ready for next week.  Perhaps it will more readily accept some free motion stitching but I'm thinking rain is kinda linear.  oops!  May Flowers are coming!  ;~)

The block of the month called for more little yoyo flowers.  Not.  I was checking out old shows on The Quilt Show and Judith Montano inspired me to do some silk ribbon flowers.  I'd forgotten how much fun silk ribbon embroidery is!  :)

I have been kinda busy doing the cleaning and not writing about it but the DYLP is caught up for this week.  It has finally dawned on me that the extra leaf on the right should be flipped to the next set of pages. Oh well.  I'm starting to get the hang of layering.  Phew!  Good thing because...

I started Sketchbook Skool this morning with much fear and trembling.  A waste of time because of course the whole faculty and the classmates are very affirming and encouraging.  I do think these next six weeks will be life changing!  :O  I may change my sketchbook to a soft cover and a lighter weight paper as we'll be near Staples tomorrow.  The size is good.  I learned cursive with a dip pen but if the skill needs revisiting I'll stick with the uniball or pigma pens.  Pencils are not allowed as we need to really commit to the line.  eek! 

There is a hint of spring in the air.  I'm hoping winter doesn't blow back with any kind of bluster. We had snow last night.  But I won't be holding my breath!  ;^)