Monday, July 23, 2007

Haven't gotten very far....

Julie asked to see the fabrics that I am using for my hour a day. So here they are, the hummingbird print, the eggplant, and some of the fabrics that will be in the ‘pastel’ blocks. You may not be able to tell from the photo that the dark with light little figure is eggplant and not brown or black, also, the brighter colors are colors that are in the hummingbirds, not just randomly chosen. I’m quite behind in this quilt, started late, caught up and then fell behind again, but I am doing it!

Friday I had Miss Thang again. This time she was in the mood to work on her purse again. We still need to press, attach the handle and do a finishing edge or two, but here it is so far. She’s excited about it, now that it looks like something, and hopes it will be finished in time for her to take with her when school starts on Aug. 6.

Friday, July 13, 2007

After finishing that Christmas gift top... and Judy, Judy, Judy

I made my BOMs for this month and mailed them off. I like the blocks for this month-simple rail fence, exactly what I needed. Something easy and quick to get done and into the mail. I wouldn't mind winning this month, I can see putting a bunch of these together into a top. The Moda Marble black is the required background, then for this month a shirting and a red. I like it better than the last few months with odd looking flowers. This BOM is something that I kind of wish that I hadn't committed to. It means a monthly 'gotta do' whether or not I have time or like it. It sounded fun, and sometimes is. I have learned a few things, done some things I hadn't tried before. However, it is a 'gotta do'. With something like Judy's hr a day, I can see the quilt ahead of time, and if I don't like it, I can pass on it. .......Not that that's happened yet. She keeps doing these terrific ones that I have to try, even though I should be starting another Christmas top. If I don' t have my quilts done for Christmas, it will all be Judy's fault; that's my story and I'm sticking to it! So, I do an hr a day for me, a Christmas gift top for one of the family, an hr a day for me, a Christmas get the idea.

Speaking of the hour a day quilts, after I put the BOM in the mail, I cut strips for JudyL's July hour a day. I have also sewn strips together, but that's as far as I have gotten so far. I love the one that Judy did, would love to do that nice black and white and either pastels or brights, but that's not what was in my stash. So, I'm doing a Judy quilt in a Judy challenge kind of way. In place of the black is a fabric that has been in my stash for years, sort of an eggplant color. It was supposed to be part of something else which never was made (surprised, anyone?) In place of the white is a fabric I bought because it was just so pretty and I loved it, then was afraid to cut into it. Man, has it been cut into now! They are ok together, and then the colors will be scraps and some FQs of colors that happen to be in the pretty print, to brighten things up. At least that is what I am hoping. We will see how it all works out, but in the meantime, I'm getting 2 pieces of yardage and a number of FQs out of my stash. Of course, I'll probably have to buy backing, but we'll see. I've done all of the hour a day quilts so far and from a relatively small stash. So tell me, when should I be able to notice that my stash is getting smaller??

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Progress !

Well, its been another eventful week around here. (Get some cheese out while I serve up a little whine before I get to the good news). This weekend it was my turn to visit the ER. I took an over-the-counter med on Friday, by Saturday was having an allergic reaction for which the Dr. told me to take benadryl . Sunday morning things were worse, went to the ER and was put on iv for a while. That stuff worked quickly and well! Since then I have been on pills, and they work fairly well, but I can tell when they are starting to wear off and it takes a good while after the next dose before they start kicking in again. Things get really colorful and itchy during those times. Of course, I must count my blessings that it is only hives/rash/itches/general discomfort and not breathing problems, true pain or the like. The meds also have the side effect of drowsiness, or sleeplessness. I think I am seeing improvement, sure hope so.

Anyway, on to the good news. I have finished one of the Christmas gift tops. I was so eager to get a picture outside in the sun (while it lasts) that I didn't even pull off threads or press it. The wind is delightful today, expect for silly quilters trying to get a good photo. Please forgive the shadows and breeze, I'm just so glad to have it finished this far. Now I have to think of how I want to quilt it. I'll be using my mid-arm. I could always stipple/meander, or clamshell, or Baptist fan, some sort of swirl. I sort of like the idea of making use of the sq in a sq instead of all over, though. I don't want to bite off more than I can chew, but I am so tempted to try something new. Ideas anyone?

PS - I notice that once again, since the contrast between the blues is much less than I originally thought, you will have to click on a photo to be able to see the difference.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Ok, I'm back...and I have a question for you

Would you believe NO chocolate in the house? Actually, the cupboards were pretty bare of everything. I've been on a diet (lost 50 lbs.) and now am trying to maintain the loss for a while before trying to lose more. In order to facilitate dieting, I haven't been buying anything which could tempt me to cheat. On top of that,my son has been home and cooking and eating up a storm. He is a creative cook. He is fearless, imaginative and always seems to hit the mark, taste wise. However, creative in his case also means messy and disorganized. We really have to clean up after he cleans up! LOL And we never seem to know that he has used the last of something. I can't complain, I enjoy eating his meals, and on the nights he cooks and dh cleans up, I am happier than if I went out to eat. I am amused by it all, perhaps bemused is a better word. He is also very health conscious and will get after me if I eat something 'wrong'.

What he doesn't know is that when I have my granddaughter on Fridays (just for the summer) we usually manage to stop for a treat some where. According to my sage cutie, "Grammy, cookies make everything better". Pretty cool- I have lots of frustrations, but far more blessings.

Now- to quilting: I'm attaching a few pictures of the Christmas gift quilt that I am currently working on. Can't mention the intended "giftee" in case they happen to see this. I've gotten the individual rows assembled and now need to finish pressing and then join them. Two borders will surround the blocks. The inner one will be the blue from the toile sq in a sq, the outer border will be the darker print from the 9 patch sq in a sq. When I picked out the fabrics, I loved the combination. I still do, but now that the pieces are assembled, there isn't as much contrast between these to blues as I thought. (you may have to click on the photo to enlarge it to actually see the 2 fabrics) I would have preferred more contrast, but I still like it.
This is as much as I could get onto the design wall for now.

I have discovered that I love 9 patches and 4 patches. I have noticed that many of the quilts or patterns that I am drawn to have 9 or 4 patches in them. I wonder why that is? Also realized that a few years back I would have loved making them by strip piecing and getting them done quickly, now I prefer to do them square by square. (it helps that, for me, the results are also more accurate this way- I really, really like accurate) Anyway, that made me wonder, what kind of pattern appeals to you? (stars, hsts, medallion, appliqué, 4 patch..etc.)

Slow going

Over the last few weeks I have been making slow progress on one of my Christmas gift quilts. Slow for a couple of reasons....lack of inspiration and, generally, life.

About 2 weeks ago we woke up to a phone call from a neighbor apologizing for callling so early, but the silver car in our drive way had just rolled down the drive, across the street, jumped the curb and rolled into another neighbor's yard. That would be my son's pride and joy that did fierce combat with our mailbox and several pinetrees. NOT the way to start your day! We have been dealing with getting that all corrected.

Then there was a trip to the ER with dh (ok now) . Arrived home from that and managed to grab a few hours sleep before taking mother for some diagnostic tests. She has some dementia and can't understand that she had some tests, she woke up thinking she had had some sort of attack or accident and that she is sick. She also can't understand that she isn't 'contagious' because she isn't sick. FRUSTRATING.

Added to that, my boss has assigned me to another (read that additional) job, which is ok, it looks quite interesting and the people involved are nice. However, in order to do that job, I have to do some training and get more clearances. Fine, I like learning new things and gaining new skills. I apply for clearances following the prescribed procedure and get rejection notices because I didn't use the proper procedure. They refer me to the correct procedure, which just happens to be the procedure I followed. DUH Will someone please introduce the right hand to the left hand!?

Sometimes I just want to lock myself inside the sewing room and not come out. Oh- wait- I'm in "lack of inspiration" mode. Maybe I can lock the door and just slash and wack away at stuff till I blow off some steam. LOL Of course, I could straighten up the sewing room, stuff is pulled out from chosing fabrics to use in the above mentioned Christmas quilts. And things that were organized on and under a table are all over because my son (also mentioned above)needed a table to use. Hmmm, no, that would be too much like cleaning, definitely not one of my favorite things. Even more definitely not inspirational! I would try some retail therapy, by the LQS is closed for the 4th. Instead I will try some chocolate therapy. There must be chocolate somewhere in the house, I'll be back after I scrounge up some chocolate!