Friday, August 30, 2013

Catching Up With The BOM

 I was a month behind on the 35th.Ave BOM, but as of today I am caught up! 
Four sets of twelve FG were last month's block, we were out of town.
Twelve of these blocks now bring me up to date, well ahead of the due date. I don't remember when this BOM finishes, I think by December. I already have the black batting and I think I will quilt it with a golden thread, but not a metallic.
Last weekend I planted some seeds in pots for Fall greens, Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach and Arugula plus some chives.  The germination was supposed to be 10 days but the shoots began to appear by about the third day and now after only 5 days all but the chives are up. Arugula is about 2" tall already, probably tomorrow it will be 3" !
 Lots of Kale............
 The spinach, and the bottom row is Swiss Chard  just barely appearing 
I have harvested the basil several times and have a good supply of pesto in the fridge, we like it on our salads. I had half a packet of seeds in the fridge left over from a few years ago so last spring I threw them in the large pot that holds the little Mexican lime tree and they have thrived! It will be interesting to see how long I can keep it going once the nights get chilly, of course that is a long way off here in Arizona. We also enjoy a handful of fresh basil in salads so we have plenty of uses for it.
I have one of those Nutri Bullets-
making lots of healthy green drinks, one reason for planning ahead for plenty of organic greens this Fall and maybe even into the winter.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Quilting Easy Street

This is the most recent Bonnie Hunter Mystery, another will be released in November I think.
Although the colors in this quilt are quite modern, the design is a traditional one, so I decided to try out the Circle Lord Baptist Fan design. Previously I have always quilted this freehand so I was anxious to see how it went.
 I am happy with the result and it was pretty fast.
 As is often my method of constructing a backing, this one is pieced with two different designs. The strip in the middle was left from the backing of a quilt I made in 2005. I have enough of the main fabric for binding. It's quite large quilt, around 98" square and that size quilt is always a challenge to photograph.
On Sunday I joined a few friends to sew and I always like to do something sort of mindless so I am not distracted by the chatter into making mistakes! Binding is pretty mindless and now the Craftsy BOM from last year is all done!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's Raining!

Linking with Wordless Wednesday
 In the desert...........
 a rare occurrence!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Quilting On The Farm

We had fun this week, sewing, catching up, and generally just "visiting"! I miss my friend and always take the opportunity when presented to spend time with her. Gale has a gift of making one feel special when with her, even though I know she has a many good friends and a myriad of people who love her.
One of the reasons is that she has a heart as big as Texas, and is just a truly nice person as well as a ton of fun!
Just one example, she took a a couple of bags of western shirts that belonged to a friend's deceased husband to make a quilt for the widow for the first anniversary of her loss. Just after her own major surgery and with a stack of client quilts awaiting her expert handiwork on the longarm machine she made a great effort to do this loving service.
Here's the quilt ready for the longarm, the red stop border was also one of the man's shirts you can see the label top left side! I think it turned out terrific with the cowboy border and no doubt the widow will be very emotional, but she will love to snuggle with her DH's shirts. Gale backed it with a chocolate brown minkee blanket to make it extra cozy for those cold Colorado mountain nights.
  Gale hard at work quilting it on her Prodigy. She built herself a great studio from a small storage building, insulating against the cold and covering the floor with wood laminate herself! There isn't anything this pint -sized lady cannot do from hanging a ceiling fan, fixing the plumbing, roping a steer and driving a Big Rig, to heirloom award-winning quilting!
Her quilting expertise is well known in the area and beyond and won the top prizes for machine quilting at the recent Black Canyon Quilt Show.
Here are just two of the winning quilts from two different and very talented quilters both of whom love  hand applique and chose Gale to quilt their works of art.
The exquisite needle-turn applique in this quilt was done by a local CO. quilter, Peggy Maynes.
Gale's heirloom quilting enhances the design and lifts it into another realm.
 The beautiful needle-turn applique in the Fairy quilt was done by my friend Leslie in Texas, the design is her own creation and I know that it was a project she worked on for several years.
 I encouraged her to send it to Gale whose artistic gifts I knew would complement the design.
Quilting with several different colors helps bring the scene to life and the tree is created entirely by thread painting.
 Tiny fairies and little dragonflies and a lizard are nestled among the branches.
 Fireflies flit here and there. 
A work of art by both women.
All of these women work at a level of expertise I admire but to which I do not aspire as I have no desire to devote years to the creation of one piece or weeks to quilting one, but my hat is off to those who do!
If you are interested in Gale's quilting please contact me through my blog and I can put you in touch with her. There is a blog I set up for her but it needs updating which I had hoped to do this week, it is one thing my dear friend does not do!
 So here am I happily working on one of my projects in a corner of Gale's studio, all the blocks are pieced and I have begun to construct the top on one of my trusty Pfaff machines.
The batiks are from a Jelly Roll Gale gave me and the WOW is from a bolt of a Marcus Brother's gingko leaf by Faye Burgos. Recently I have become very much attracted to the more modern, simple style of quilting and this seems to fall into that category.

The Booby-Trapped Chicken House!

 Visiting my friend Gale, longarmer supreme, in CO. for a few days this week, I have a funny story to tell, but first a little background information! Gale had major surgery a couple of weeks ago and I thought to come keep her company and we would sew and chat!
There are assorted critter-pets on her little farm,
 Two chubby miniature donkeys...........
 and Pepe, because Gale always wanted to be able to say "I have a Rosie little ass and a Pepe little ass"!
 Their rodeo horses.............
 A buck drinking from the pond....ooops no that's just a lifelike statue!
 cats x three and corgis x two, no pics.
A fake cow to practice their roping skills...........
and some steers in the back fourty!
 Here are a few of the hens, which brings me to the point of this post!
I decided to get the eggs from the hen-house for Gale,
ah, three lovely fresh organic eggs, I thought -as the door slammed behind me and I was plunged into darkness!  
I discovered that I appeared to be locked in the chicken coop, no latch to be seen on the inside of the door but after banging, pushing and thumping at the door to no avail, to my great relief I found my phone in my back pocket. I called Gale and said "You will laugh your head off when you hear that I seem to be trapped in the chicken coop!"
Of course she laughed, but added that there was a way out in the form of a wire poking through the wall to open the latch from the inside because Gale herself had the same thing happen when they were building it. Her DH was there to rescue her and they decided they had better manufacture an escape route because no human could fit through the little opening the hens go through!
I find the latch and whew, daylight and I am free,
and here is my reward, three lovely eggs an aqua, a brown and a white!
So be very careful next time you go into the henhouse!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Sunday Finish.

This is the New Year's Eve Mystery from 2012. Only seven months later and this top is now a completed quilt. Woohoo! Looks better doesn't it, trimmed and bound.
 The Circle Lord Swirls design turned out nicely and it was pretty fast.
 And now I can add professionally printed labels to all of my quilts.
These were made by "Fabric On Demand" and it took a couple of tries to get it right but it was worth the wait, they will be more permanent than those I have been printing on the computer which are washable but I have no idea just how many launderings before they fade away!
In order to get the bright blue background they had to print on a 54" polyester satin and I ended up with about a hundred for around $30. The company is on the east coast and is very responsive, helpful  and cooperative.
I first tried to get the labels through "Spoonflower" but unfortunately they are unable to work with PDF files whereas Fabric On Demand was able to convert my file to their format.
Both companies will print your design to order in any arrangement, color, fabric weight and content etc.
It might be a fun way to make your own family designs or something for a family reunion, the possibilities are endless.
Either company will usually ship your fabric in about ten days.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saturday Bits And Pieces

Yesterday, wanting very much to get back into quilting after being in withdrawal for two weeks, I made a backing and loaded the New Year's Eve Mystery quilt top on the LA.
A few months ago I invested in the Loricles Circle Lord so I thought I would put the Swirls boards to work and this is the result.
This is how a quilt looks when it comes off the longarm before trimming and binding, a bit messy! I will get a better picture later in the week, but I can see I like the Swirls design, it seems to be a good choice for a lot of quilts where there is no real theme and no necessity for custom.
 Today the mail delivered more orphan blocks this time from my friend Meredith.
Quite an assortment, this will be a very interesting car quilt!
This evening DH helped me to place the car cover I bought for a base for the quilt onto my vehicle-it isn't a wonderful fit and I will need to make some adjustments, but I chalked in rough outlines of the windows for the clear vinyl and also the front doors thinking I may need to make a velcro opening so I can get in and out of the car since I plan to drive it in a parade. Perhaps I may even begin appliqueing blocks this week.
Remember this kit, purchased  few weeks ago at 35th. Ave store? There are a couple of patterns expanding the design from the simple panel, adding a border of stars. 
This one was my choice but the instructions are for the green collection so I had to sit down and choose fabrics from what were available in the blue.
The pale blue is for sashing the panel and the center of the star blocks, the points will be in the silver on white fabric on the far right. The squares between will be made from the snowflake fabric and the swirls and stars will be the background of the star blocks.
Next weekend we are heading north for a week at the Colorado house-my BFF up there had a big surgery last week so I will go keep her company and we can sit and sew and chat in cooler weather, it will be fun! I plan to take this Christmas project to work on, I think it will go together fast and will be an easy piece to work on while we visit.