Friday, March 29, 2013

One More Done

I finished quilting and binding the second of Beth’s quilt tops.  This one has the fish with snorkels and masks that I posted about yesterday.  I had some fun with this one and tried a template and the chalk Pounce pad that I’ve never used … the template kind of reminded me of fish, tail-to-tail!

The center is meandered and the strip below the template has clamshells that can barely be seen here.  The outer borders have wave-like channel quilting.
It was fun to do this one.  I’ll have to take another detail shot that shows the binding – it is a yellow/white stripe that looks good with both sides.  Another photo in daylight tomorrow…

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Today’s Quilting

Today’s quilting was actually Quilting!  A friend in the Sunshine Quilt On-line Guild sent me three of her finished tops to quilt and send on to Wrap-a-Smile.  These are such cute fabrics to work with … if I had seen them in the store I would have snatched them up, too.  This was the first one that I finished up today:

The fabric with those colorful jungle animals is just so soft.  And I had a confetti print for the backing that seemed just right.  It is just meandered in the middle panel and channel quilted in the borders.  Done!

And this is the next one up to quilt:

Aren’t those fish with snorkels and masks a hoot?!!  And I have multi-colored sanddollars for the backing that is just perfect.  I might finish another one tonight – I’m on a roll today!

Be sure to check out Beth’s Beachgirl’s Blog for some wonderful quilts and nature shots.  This photo of a barred owl posted last year is one of my absolute favorites:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Possum Sighting

Our house backs up onto a conservation area and we get lots of the usual – squirrels, raccoons, armadillos, deer, etc.  You would think that we would have seen possums before, but really we’ve had no sightings to speak of.  So when I looked out of the window and wondered why a cat was eating my birdseed, I had to look a little closer.

Possums would actually be kind of cute if they didn’t have those creepy rat-like tails.  This one was fat enough to look pregnant, so I don’t begrudge her a little protein from sunflower seeds – eat away little mommy!

And my Attic Windows illusion is starting to look a little better.  It's time to sew the blocks together.  I think I’ll call it “Windows into the Robot Mind”.  This is a close-up of the circuit board fabric window:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Brrr! This is Florida?

We can’t believe that we’re still downright chilly - way down south as we are …

This is the time of year when it’s supposed to be warming up, not getting colder!  Maybe by this weekend.  But looking at other parts of the country, I'm certainly not complaining (much...).

We had a fun birthday lunch for a friend yesterday and I can now show the tote bag that I have been working on.

I especially liked the colors and I think my friend liked them, too.  I used a pattern by Pink Sand Beach Designs, but if I were to make another one, I think I would lengthen the straps a great deal.  And not put so many pockets in, since it's a tote not a purse.  So now I fancy myself a designer, right?!!

My Attic Windows are progressing nicely and actually starting to look like windows:

Here’s a closeup of the robot fabric:

Too cute!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Treading Water

 Do you sometimes feel like you’re just barely keeping afloat?  Fortunately, that little rodent  and I both have itty-bitty life preservers to help us out.  Thank heaven for friends and family.  I haven’t been blogging much but I have been trying to do a little something each day.
These are the nice bundles I made up for our next Quilts of Valor meeting.  Each is marked for what should be cut from them and the sizes (blocks, bindings, borders, etc.).  That way if I have to miss the meeting due to family medical issues, our members can just pick up a bundle and the ball will keep rolling (and I will feel better about not letting them down).

And I did take a walk or two (well, maybe one) to see what was blooming.  The bottlebrush trees are especially full around my neighborhood.
You can clearly see how they got their name!   It has been a funny Spring, with cold snaps that last 2-3 days then it warms up – the plants are confused.  This was early March when it should have been warmer – check out the gloves on the stylish cabana boy (aka my husband).  Maybe the cold nights next week will be our last for the season.
 I have been eating myself out of house and home and decided to make something that was at least on the reasonable side.  This pie is really good (and low-cal) if you like light and fluffy things.  Very quick to make – it’s the time waiting for it to chill that gets to you!  It’s easy to take to potlucks and looks fancy if you garnish it.
It’s an older WW recipe for Key Lime Pie but you can substitute many flavors for the lime.  This time I used cherry jello and cherry yogurt (I only had strawberries to garnish though!).  And I only had one container of yogurt on hand instead of the 2 the recipe calls for – it worked fine.

Key Lime Pie
1 box (0.3 oz) sugar-free lime flavored gelatin
¼ c. boiling water
2 containers (8 oz each) key lime pie flavored light yogurt
1 container (8 oz) fat free whipped topping, thawed
1 prepared 9” reduced fat graham cracker pie crust

In large heat-resistent bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water.  With wire whisk, stir in yogurt; with wooden spoon, fold in whipped topping.
Transfer mixture to prepared crust; refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours.
Eight servings =  3-4 Pts+ depending on ingredients (FF or not)

And on the track for children’s quilts, I have an Attic Windows in the works that uses robot and circuit board fabrics for what you'll see in the "windows".  This photo doesn’t do the fabrics justice, but I think it’ll be kewl and trendy!  OK – old people just shouldn’t try to use slang … LOL.  Or "LOL" either ... ha!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St Patrick’s Day

 Beside’s the wearing of the green, today seems to be a good day to relate some of my favorite Murphy’s Laws as they relate to sewing.

What are Murphy’s Laws, you ask?  Well, the scoop is that the saying (“anything than can go wrong, will go wrong”) originated at Edwards Air Force Base in California in the late 1940s.  It was named after a real person, Cpt. Edward Murphy, who was an engineer working on a project and discovered some incorrect wiring.  He blamed the technician and claimed that if there was a way to do something wrong, that technician would find it.  The project’s contract manager then began calling it “Murphy’s Law” and the title stuck. 

Of course, Murphy’s Laws can be found everywhere on every subject, but these are a few of my favorites pertaining to sewing:
  • The seam you meant to rip out is invariably the other one
  • When you are in a hurry, the needle eye is always too small
  • If you drop something out of your sewing basket, it will be your box of pins -  with the cover off
  • Whenever the construction process is going well, the bobbin thread runs out
  • The magnitude of the goof is in direct proportion to the cost of the fabric
  • Your lost needle will be found by your son, husband or brother-in-law, while walking around barefoot
  • Pinking shears get dull just by looking at them!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

National Quilting Day

Today has been designated as National Quilting Day
and the theme this year is “Celebrate America”!
I had my Quilts of Valor meeting yesterday so the day before I had to lay out some more blocks into Bonnie Hunter’s Fourth of July pattern to take for another member to sew the rows together.
Why is it that you can spot the mistakes in a photo that you didn’t see with the naked eye?  Before I picked up and numbered the rows, I did fix that 4-patch that was sewn wrong  - it had two blues and 2 reds side-by-side rather than in opposite corners (it’s in this photo wrong at the bottom left).  Always something, right?!
And I also finished up the last of the little tissue covers and took them over to my mother.  She has fifteen to give out as bingo prizes.  I hope she remembers to actually take them to the Activities Director and doesn’t plan to secretly keep them all!

I also spotted another free pattern that I might consider making as my next personal contribution to Quilts of Valor.  I like stars and I loved this design that uses 10 inch blocks and finishes at 80x80:
This quilt called “Cayuga” was designed by Michele Scott and the pattern can be found on the Fons & Porter website:

It looks great in the muted neutral colors as shown, but I think it would also look fabulously patriotic in red, white and blues.  I’m adding it to my pattern collection right now!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Daylight Savings Time Tonight

This might be my last rant on this subject … everybody knows my low opinion about Daylight  Savings time … I'm NOT in favor of it.  I think I'll just sleep an hour later like this little guy:
But here are a few more travel tissue covers for the bingo prizes for the senior citizens.  They’re breeding like rabbits!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Back at the Ranch

I haven’t felt like sewing since I scratched the cornea of my eye, but I finally went up there today since it's feeling better and whipped up these little travel tissue covers.
They are so quick and easy to make.  Some are quilted and some aren’t.  I used the dimensions provided by Sue’s Blog from Alderwood Quilts that has separate contrasting strips at the top opening, but there is another tutorial by Melinda Quilts that uses a larger and smaller piece of fabric so that it makes self-binding.  I think I’ll try that next.

I made these because my mother is in an assisted living facility and they always need bingo gifts.  They asked the participants if they had any extra, unwanted stuff that they wanted to donate as prizes.   My mother was adamant that she was not going to give up any of her Easter ducks and bunnies (cheap plastic junk for the most part – but then again, it’s not my stuff so who am I to judge?), so I thought I’d take over something for my mother to contribute.  These should fill the bill nicely.  I’ll make a few more in various colors and then get back to real quilting!

Here’s one last item from the Feather Princess Quilt Show last week.

Real Feathers!!
This art quilt was made by Elaine Chapman based on a pattern “Flying Owl Gypsy Soul Art” by Sue Kluber.  I’m sorry I didn’t get a better picture of the whole piece because it was amazing, but you can tell that from the detail.  It’s no wonder this owl took First Place in the art quilt category!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Feather Princesses Quilt Show

Last Friday and Saturday the Feather Princesses presented their Quilt Show with the theme “Reflections”.  The FPs are a very active and friendly appliqué quilt guild in the Tampa Bay area and the work that they presented was fabulous.  I don’t usually do appliqué myself, but I am an ardent admirer of the delicate work and the time that goes into these wonderful productions.  Here are some of my favorites from the show:

I loved this presentation of the Quilt Show Theme, called Lady in the Water.  The detail was amazing.  It was an original design made by Kathy Turner.

Lady in the Water Detail
This example of a Baltimore Album type presentation was striking on its black background.  It was called Hearts of Many Colors and was also made by Kathy Turner (I must have been drawn to her beautiful work …) and quilted by Bobbi Raines.
My photo doesn’t do this Ginko quilt justice – the colors and workmanship were both marvelous.  The fabrics selected were perfect to enhance the original design.  It was designed and made by Alicia Gierula and quilted by Cissie Arvidson.
This next Baltimore Album type quilt was titled Rice and Beans – Ybor’s Garden.  Ybor City (pronounced ee’-bore) is an old cigar-making city next to downtown Tampa with a strongly Cuban and Hispanic influence.  In this quilt, the blocks are set on a light background – it was a collaborative effort by The Three Circles Quilt Group within the Feather Princesses Guild.  The pattern was by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins; Aunt Millie’s Garden; Piece O’ Cake Designs.

Rice and Beans Detail
This exquisite wall-hanging, called Orchid in Bloom, was an original design by Sandi Snow.
And a personal favorite of mine was called Snugly Bugly!  This darling bed quilt was made by Patrice Neville from an Amy Bradley design.  What a hoot!

Snugly Bugly Detail
I’m glad I was able to make it to the show on Friday - and I wanted to go back to the mini-quilt auction on Saturday, but that didn’t happen because by Saturday I needed one of these:
Cute Kat Sleep Mask
I somehow scratched the cornea of my eye and had to go to a walk-in clinic to see what in the world I did to it.  They told me it should get better quickly with eye drops as the scratches were shallow, but you sure can’t tell that by how much I’ve been moaning and whining.  My husband is keeping me supplied with tea and cinnamon toast (for medicinal purposes, of course), but I think it’s to keep my mouth shut.  No quilting for me this weekend, but I have great plans for next week!