Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thursday - Catching Up 2015

I am trying to get all of my 2015 quilt photos into the right galleries on this blog.  I am splitting the Quilts of Valor and the Project Linus quilts into their own pages - hopefully without losing some photos!  I apologize for those that Follow or get the RSS feed if there are too many updates ...

2016 is to continue shortly!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What's on the Back Wednesday

More often than not, I put fairly plain fabric on the backs of my quilts and save the cute stuff for piecing the tops.  But, sometimes you run across a cute fabric on sale and it begs to be used as a whole piece.  The dinosaurs made it onto the backing of the blue quilt shown in the last Saturday Sewing post:

They are at home in the "forest" of the Retro Leaves quilting!

And they reminded me of a dino quilt I made a long time ago for a baby shower gift.  Please forgive the photo-of-a-photo from my scrapbook album, but that was before digital cameras.  This was a cute pattern and easy-peasy so I might make one again.  The quilt photo is shown on the right on top of the polka dot scrapbook page paper with a small piece of the fabric looking it over!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday Musings

Dogs are magical. Not because of the special connections they have with humans or the fact that evolved from that mythical, magical trickster, the wolf - dogs are magical because they can sleep anywhere.
This dog's asleep. Wait, I mean "This dog's a-sheep." 
After your hound is planted, expect puppies to sprout in six to eight weeks. 
I'm actually not sure if this dog is asleep or just having a vulnerable bonding moment with the table leg.
Because really, isn't every water dish just a very small pool? OH does that mean that every pool is just a large water bowl?! 
Hey, I'm just gonna see if my Kong went under the couch 
All 2016 Hondas will have puppy sleep handles as a standard feature. 
Sorry, your patio furniture is now a dog bed. 
No, seriously. Your patio furniture is a dog bed. 

"I didn't fall asleep in the food bowl!" 
Somebody doesn't understand the concept of a pillow. 
And that was the day he discovered his dog had a shoe fetish. 

Although he loved music, it was Spot's greatest secret that he was actually tone deaf. 
Bitsy built her own version of Temple Grandin's hug machine. 

He didn't even rinse himself off in the sink before getting in the dishwasher.
Shifting into sleep mode. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Saturday Sewing

I’ve been concentrating on getting a few more of the tops quilted from my on-line group’s retreat at Lake Tahoe.  I quilted up this one today using a panto called Simply Hearts.  Look at all of that lovely “reclaimed fabric” in those crumb block centers!!

And earlier this week, I quilted up this pretty blue one with a panto called Retro Leaves:

We had played golf last Thursday since the area weathermen were calling for rain and my husband wanted to get a little practice in.  There was a line at the golf course:
Cormorants being supervised by the White Heron
But we didn’t have to wait – lol!  It started out overcast and looked like Old Florida there for awhile with the wind blowing the Spanish moss:

But then the sun came out and it was a beautiful day – the sandhill cranes tried to give me golf tips but mostly they were concentrating on eating bugs:
Since this was a regulation course and I’m pretty much used to playing on the shorter executive course, I was pretty much pooped by the 14th hole – and apparently, so was this guy!
Wood Stork
You’ll notice, my golf game consists of a lot of nature shots – I assure you that’s because I don’t have much of a game.  But I sure have fun!

So does anyone else see the chicken in this cloud - it's facing to the right?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday Musings

I was mentioning recently that I needed a teenager to help me navigate my new Kindle Fire – I have it all set up now, but we all know kids are the best at that kind of thing!  And then last weekend, I was wondering what happened to all of the teenagers that used to be in neighborhoods “back in the day”  - the ones that would mow lawns and do odd jobs for extra money … hmm.  I guess they are all now glued to their electronics.  The reason it came to mind was that I was outside digging a hole:

And believe you me, that counts as exercise!  We have mostly clay soil and the hole had to be 18 inches deep.  That pigmy palm is now in the ground and looks nicer than sitting in that pot like it has been for a month.

A quick update on the quilty front.  This one (from this post) is now a completed top:

And this one is bound and waiting for a full box to go somewhere:

And this one is on the frame:

Now for the periodic segment on this blog known as “Seen on My Walk”.  This is a poor picture (no – I won’t complain about my camera again - you've heard enough of my whining) of a pair of Hooded Mergansers:

These are uncommon in my area and very cool to see.  They were skittish and kept going to the far edge of the little wooded pond.  They can raise or lower their hoods.  In the above, his is lowered and hers is partially raised.

This is a better stock image so you can see the male more clearly:

Lovely and wild. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

WIP Wednesday

Today is Three King’s Day, aka Epiphany, aka the 12th Day of Christmas, and is the day celebrated in much of Orthodox Christianity as the day that the Magi delivered gifts to the Christ child and later as the day of His baptism.  In many countries, hay is left out for the camels (much like cookies for Santa Claus) and in return Christmas gifts are left for the children.  I didn’t put out hay and didn’t get gifts, but I sure can count my many Blessings of late!

And Wednesday’s are the day that I will be showing what I am currently working on.  My WIP (work in progress) for this Wednesday was on the frame until this evening when I finished quilting it.  I first showed it in pieces in this post on New Year's Day.  The digital quilt design is called Surf’s up by Karlee Porter:

The pattern was a New Year’s Eve Mystery that was originally designed by CindyCarter in 2011.  Link to the Jelly Roll Mystery:

I especially like this pattern when the jelly roll and the background have high contrast.  Mine doesn’t since some of the jelly roll fabrics are almost identical to the background (I didn’t open the jelly roll to know that until after I had picked my background fabric).  I did substitute a few of the most egregious offenders with some of the leftover pieces of the jellyroll (rip it – rip it), and I think it is better  now.  But, as I've said before, you would certainly have to like orange!  This one is now in that ever-growing “to-be-bound” pile.

Nature shot of the day:

This guy is in a pond that I sometimes walk by.  Don’t know if he is a Koi or a giant Goldfish.  Both of those are a type of carp.  According to Wikipedia:  “In general, goldfish tend to be smaller than koi, and have a greater variety of body shapes and fin and tail configurations.  Koi varieties tend to have a common body shape, but have a greater variety of coloration and color patterns. They also have prominent barbels at the lip.”  I haven’t been close enough to this guy to see if he has barbels!
Goldfish that outgrow their tanks often grow larger when released into ornamental lakes.  Guiness Book listed the largest known goldfish in the world in 2003.  A fish from the Netherlands that measured 18.7 (47.4 cm).  It seems that the record still stands.  The second largest was a goldfish named Goldie that was kept as a pet in a tank in England.  That fish measured as 15 inches (38 cm) and over 2 pounds (0.91 kg).   On the other hand, Koi can reach length of about 1 meter (39 inches).  I expect this guy is really a Koi since he appears to be about 18 inches.  I like him and I’m calling him Nemo, just because …

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Lovely Package

Packages are fairly rare around here.  We are not big internet shoppers - although a few fabric sales have caught my eye in the past and my husband is getting entirely too savvy on Golfsmith and LostGolfBalls dot com sites - lol!

But I did receive this wonderful package today from a fellow Sunshine On-Line Quilt Guild member in New Jersey:

It was chock full of goodies:
my watch bear was enthusiastic!

Lots of extra fabric (think Backings) and fresh longarm needles and even a little extra surprise.  And lots of quilt tops that are now patiently waiting in line for that pesky longarmer to get on the stick!

I still have the below from my friends' retreat to quilt, so the above will have to wait a short while.
quilts at top of photo - backing at the bottom

And I was surprised this morning to see the robins stop by on their way South.  Some years we see them and some we don't.  They were very skittish so I didn't get good pictures, but I had to document their arrival (and departure soon thereafter):

My beloved dog is really not allowed in my sewing room on the second floor.  I have a baby gate in the stairwell to assure she stays out and doesn't get stuck with pins dropped onto my Berber carpet up there.  She has been scanned, pawed over and poked so much recently as they test for reasons why her liver enzymes are elevated, that I relented and let her up with me recently: She was fascinated by the view from the second story!  Too funny:
She had an all-day vet visit today to have a blood test every four hours - testing for Cushing's disease, an adrenol gland disorder that allows too much cortisol in her system.  We'll know the results next week.  Meanwhile, I'll sew and wait ...

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Hot Tea Month

I love tea.  I have always loved tea – it is my “go to” beverage.  It can be warming, comforting, relaxing, healthy for you, celebratory or just plain tasty!  This month is great for new beginnings or to revisit old friends (in the tea category, of course).  This month:
*        Try a new black tea like Assam.
*        Or go caffeine free with a unique and flavorful herbal like Roibos.
*        Maybe it’s time to detox with a Tumeric Ginger Herbal tea (always consult your doctor before detoxing)
*        Spice up your tea for winter by adding Cardamom to black teas.
*        Or bring in the tropics with a touch of lemon or orange zest to your tea.
*        Revisit an old tea-friend that has been in the back of your cupboard – I like both the dark Prince of Wales or a very light Oolong!
*        Experiment and enjoy hot tea all month long …

And speaking of new beginnings, I began the construction of the Simply Woven pattern from Moda Bake Shop.  And two blocks that are assembled wrong have been corrected (all corner blocks should be small)!

It is actually fairly easy to assemble, but a little time consuming.  I made enough blocks for a kid-size quilt and decided to call it a day on this pattern and change it up a little.  This won’t become a larger quilt, but it will make a wonderful donation with its cheerful colors.  

This isn't the final design (they are now in two columns, and I’m auditioning a border to bring it to the right size today, then into the UFO pile to be quilted!