Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Bit of This, A Bit of That

I really need to get my sewing room under control and I think the only way to do that is to finish things. In an effort to finish one project, I have been working with my leftover triangles again. I got them all sewed together into half square triangles units. Got all of those trimmed up and put them together into Broken Dishes blocks and then added them to all the blocks I have made in the past. 

I saw a quilt somewhere online using rows of blocks of various sizes. It had either grey or tan as strips in between those rows. I counted all the blocks and figured out how big a quilt I could make and it was going to be pretty big so I adjusted and decided to make two smaller quilts, thinking they would be easier to sell or give away or something. I sewed the blocks together by size into strips around 45-50" long and took them to work to lay out on the floor. As I laid them out I was talking to my boss about the upcoming Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner and Talent Show at the church and she mentioned having a silent auction also. I offered to add a quilt so I picked up what I started and took it all home to adjust the lengths of the strips to something more like 70-80".

Here is a picture of the rows hanging on the drying rack after pressing.
 Here are the rows laid out at work. As you can see the rows varied a lot in length depending on how many blocks I had of each size.
I took a few of the blocks to the fabric store to see what I could find for the 'in between' and my favorite was an apple green. I added green to each row to make it 85" and then put 1" finished strips between the rows. Here is a picture of it on the floor for basting.
I backed it with a barn red flannel - a king-size duvet cover that my husband got at a garage sale for $5 last summer. Here it is all finished and hanging at the church. 
I did a medium stipple using a variegated green thread. Here is a picture of the two smallest rows. There are 4 little 1/2" Broken Dishes blocks and then a strip of 25 - 1" blocks.
Tuesday was craft night next door and Sally had Linnea's quilt finished for us to see. Isn't that a cool panel?

Linnea also brought her quilt from Mary from one of the previous exchanges. Mary hadn't been able to finish all the blocks and get it put together so we didn't get to see it at the reveal and then Linnea brought it one night to craft night but I wasn't there so I asked her to bring it so I could see it. It is quite beautiful in person!

I finally finished my grandson's baby quilt. He is now 7 months old!
It was made from blocks I cut out of the quilt I made for his mommy almost 30 years ago. While pregnant I had embroidered the 12 old-fashioned babies on a piece of pale green fabric. When I had them done I just quilted around the embroidery and then between the babies. It was a pretty boring quilt though she loved it. When we talked about a quilt for her little one I suggested redoing her quilt and she was open to that. She told me she likes the 30's prints so I got some and cut 2 1/2" squares to frame the blocks. When I cut the blocks I left the original hand quilting around the babies and just cut through all the layers and used them that way. I machine quilted diagonals through the small squares and added another round of hand quilting about 1/4" out from the original. The back I used was fabric I purchased in Sitka when I visited my daughter when she was in college and I thought it was appropriate since little Karl visited Sitka when he was just one month old.
I have had everything done but the label a month ago but just didn't get to the label. Finally this week I wrote out a label and got it stitched to the back.

I have pulled out my denim now and hope to work my way through that next. That would mean at least two large bins will be emptied and I should be able to get rid of some backs and batting that has been given to me too!

I am hoping my next post will be an update on denim quilts.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Failure?

Well, I guess the weekly thing is just not going to happen! I wish it would but it just isn't. I guess I have to be satisfied with every two weeks or so!

I have two 'finishes' so far this year though! The first was finishing the border on a round robin top. I will be taking that to Idaho for the reveal in about a month.

On January 6th we had our 5th and final reveal at my neighbor's house in our quilt exchange. Luckily, she emailed a reminder on the first or I wouldn't have had this one done for Cindy (on the right).
Nadine (left) made this one for Mary (right). Some of the black and whites were the same ones she used in this one for me.
Mary made this huge one for me! It really isn't that orange in real life. As you can see, my grandson took part in the festivities.
Nadine (left) got this lovely quilt from Cindy (right). 
A great pattern and I love this focus fabric!
Linnea (right) created this Bargello Beauty for Sally (left). When she had the quilt loaded on her machine she discovered a mistake and had to take it off and fix it before quilting this. 

Sally ran into problems while quilting Linnea's so she just got to see it partially done. I will post pictures as soon as I get to see it finished.

My little Grandson had fun playing with his mommy - he had just pulled her glasses off in this picture.
Here are a couple of parting shots of my little buddy. The first is taking a short nap in Grammy's sewing room and the second is playing with my tote bag under the ironing board. He has started crawling so I will have to either clean up the sewing room or keep a close eye on him when he is helping. Which do you think is more likely?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Be it resolved...

I normally don't make New Year's Resolutions but I think I need some this year to help me get motivated again. Following the broken ankle and subsequent surgery I got in the habit of sitting around a lot and that needs to get turned around!

So let's see...

I want to get more sewing/quilting done. I have lots of projects that are partly done that need finishing and lots of projects that are in the idea stage that need to be tackled. 

I would like to post more here at Lucy's Quilts. I get a lot of responses to the denim quilts and when I send out the pattern I ask folks to send pictures of the quilts they make using the pattern. I have gotten some pictures so would like to do a follow up post. Also, I think that if I post more I will need to get more sewing done so I have pictures to post. I am going to shoot for weekly but more would be great!

I want to get more done in the yard/garden this year. I think this will be a bit easier this year as long as I don't break any bones. We have started getting seed catalogs that are inspiring us to start thinking about what to plant and where so we need to get going. 

I really need to lose a few pounds but I hope that getting more active outside will help with that one.

So those are my resolutions for 2015, we will just have to see how it goes.

Here are a few pictures to add a little color.

Karl giving Ginger a little love.

Ginger and Mandu hanging out as I do some hand sewing.

Ginger cuddling her baby while he naps.

A little selfie with my buddy.

My 'new' car - a 2012 Buick Enclave -
We went looking for a service vehicle for hubby and came home with this!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dizzy! I'm so dizzy, my head is spinning...

Unfortunately, it isn't just a song for me right now, I have been dealing with a case of vertigo since last Wednesday night/Thursday morning. This means I am not feeling up to getting my sewing room in order so I can do some sewing but it does mean I can spend some time getting you all updated with the goings on around here for the last 1 2 3 almost 4 months! 

The big story is that we have the cutest little baby boy living here! Our new little grandson has stolen all our hearts. He is a happy little guy who smiles and giggles so amazingly. Then you throw in our little poodle, Ginger, and life is so fun and crazy around here! 

Here are a few pictures of them. First we have Ginger taking a nap under the blanket I crocheted for her out of small bits of yarn I had on hand. She had fallen in love with the blanket my sister crocheted for the baby so I gave her a replacement of her own.
Next up is our little man taking a nap on my lap and holding his little face. It is so hard to not take pictures of this guy every second or so!
Here are both of our babies having a nap. Ginger wearing her cone of shame following her 'little' surgery a couple of weeks ago. She does love her playmate - can't wait till they are both a bit older.
So for probably about 7-8 years I have been returning calls to the customers of our appliance repair business and scheduling them for service. Two years ago I added on the job of secretary (or administrative assistant) of my church without too much difficulty juggling the two jobs at the same time. In the last year or so, a couple of our competitors have closed their doors which led to more business for us. Our son-in-law started training with my husband in the hopes that we could have two trucks on the road at some point. The calls were starting to be overwhelming and then I added on a third job in July - the bookkeeping position at the church opened up and I took it on as an interim position while a new person was found. It was pretty intense trying to keep things running at church and also keeping the guys busy with calls. 

Something needed to change and the change came when our daughter decided not to go back to school bus driving right away this fall, so she took over the phone calls for the business and has improved the process immensely. 

Need to take a break to share this new photo that just arrived on my phone. Ginger over visiting at the neighbors and guarding her baby as he sleeps.
So anyway, she took over the phones at the beginning of September and on October 1 the new bookkeeper started at work and is doing an awesome job and I am back to just one job and I am loving it, except for the last couple of days with vertigo, that is.

I have had very little time in my sewing room since July though there has been a little activity. Most of the last month has been getting projects ready for the October quilt retreat which was last weekend - yes, the vertigo started when I was heading to the retreat - I had four projects kitted up and some other options to work on so I was set. 

We had planned for my niece to ride up to the retreat with me from my eldest daughter's home last Thursday but she ended up driving instead since I was dizzy. We arrived and got set-up by about 1 and I was feeling a bit better so I got started on the first project - finishing up a Bento Box quilt top that my eldest daughter started for herself made from Japanese fabrics she had picked out. She had started the sewing so I had the blocks done in no time and before bed I had the top together. I may rearrange the blocks to make it a little wider and less long and then add a border once I do a little math.

The next morning I was dizzy again and stayed in bed until almost 1 pm. I tried Dramamine to control the dizziness and it helped some so I was able to get the baby quilt top done for the grandbaby and get started on the next project. It was a simple one - just adding some strips around some vintage crazy quilt blocks - and I almost got that done before bed the second night. In the morning I took the drugs right away and was up and sewing by about 10! I got the vintage top together and got started on my last major project - the last of the quilt exchange quilts with the ladies at Tuesday craft nights. I was happy I got all the blocks done and was able to lay out the top so I can get it put together as soon as my head is on straight again!

I don't have pictures to post because I haven't had the energy the last two days but I will post them as soon as possible.

Aside from all that...
  • I have graduated from physical therapy (I'm not 100% but I am getting there and just need to get the ankle stronger)
  • our son-in-law is now a certified appliance technician (which is good since hubby's knee is giving him problems and is likely facing surgery again so isn't going out on the road so much)
  • the garden was neglected again this summer (not a surprise with everything else going on) so I hope to get some time this fall and winter to get things cleaned up
  • we had quite a few visitors for a night or several over the last few months (that little baby is quite a draw).  
That is a quick synopsis of the last few months. I am hoping I will now have more time and energy to sew and keep this blog a bit more timely.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

It's a dirty job...

Yesterday, I was 'forced' to hold this little bundle while his mommy took a shower. And then he was still sleeping so well, I had to hold him while his mommy watered her flowers. Oh, the burdens I bear for my children and grandchildren! I must say I really like having them living so close! It is so fun to see the changes in him each day!


This afternoon after work I ran some errands. One of those was to pick up some bird netting to keep the birds away from my blueberries and gooseberries. After finding the netting I took a peak at the plants and found some that I thought would work in a 'new' planter I have so I picked them up along with some garden soil to add to the planter. 

It was hot today but I was excited about the plants so I went out and cleaned out the planter, added the soil and some compost and added the plants. This planter used to be in the greenhouse that was attached to the garage but it was old and decrepit so it got torn down a few years back. Since the planter was part of the foundation and that didn't get taken out I decided I would put it to use. 
After getting things planted I was inspired to clean up the rest of the greenhouse space which meant pulling a lot of grass and weeds out. Luckily they were easy to pull. As you can see from this picture there are some portions of the cinder block foundation still in there but they can stay until we decide how to proceed. Meanwhile, we can enjoy the Black-eyed Susans, Mexican Heather and the other perennials I planted as we sit in the chairs and watch the puppy play.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Quilt Exchange And So Much More

It may have been a while since I have posted but at least this one will have lots of photos...and not all will be of the new puppy!

We will start with the quilt reveal at the neighbors. Here is the quilt that Cindy made for Linnea. 
This was the one I received from Sally. You can't tell from this picture but the black and white blocks are a print of women with purses and various adult beverages. It is all flannel and very snuggly. 

This is Nadine's from her sister, Linnea. The main print is a shoe print in red and black and white. Nadine does love her shoes!


Mary wasn't able to be there that night but I got word that she did like this blue and yellow lap quilt that I made for her.

I think you can tell from this picture that Sally was pleased with her quilt from Mary. It was the only really big quilt that evening but it seems Mary doesn't know how to make a small quilt!
Sally just wanted to cuddle up in it!
Last, but not least was Cindy's quilt from Nadine. it was the third with the red and black theme!
Little Ginger slept through most of the reveal on my lap. (I said they wouldn't all be of her, but there has to be a few!)
Last Sunday, we welcomed my new grandson, Karl Andrew into the family. We didn't care whether he was a boy or a girl but we all were hoping for red hair and we got that! 
Here he is shortly after he got home from the hospital, stretching out.
This one was taken when he was a couple days old. A request from a friend's 2 year old for a picture of the baby with me.
My eldest daughter and the grandkids came for the 4th of July and here is my granddaughter holding her little cousin. She thought he was pretty awesome!
My oldest holding the puppy back. Ginger gets pretty excited about the baby.
I made tie-dyed shirts for all three of the kids so here is that photo op. The baby was awake and happy for the occasion even!
Mandu and Ginger wanted to be a part of the excitement.

Kissing Cousins!
We celebrated Clara's birthday last night since we won't be with her for her real birthday. She was pleased with her birthday cake since she is very interested in plants.
Here is the picture from the end of May next to a picture I took this morning before the kids headed home. See how much Ginger has grown!
Our final baby/puppy picture was take this morning. I was cuddling the baby and Ginger really needed to get up close. She really wants to play with that little baby but no one will let her so she has to be satisfied with some snuggles, albeit restrained snuggles.
I have been enjoying being able to get back outside again. I have even roto-tilled the garden twice. The first time with our old roto-tiller that hubby repaired a couple of weeks ago and then with the brand new tiller. The garden isn't weed-free but I think we can tame it still. The strawberries are about done and the raspberries have taken their place! I bought a couple of boysenberry bushes last year and discovered this week that they are actually very healthy raspberries! So a little later this fall I will transplant them into the raspberry row and I will have to look for boysenberry bushes elsewhere!

Yesterday I decided it was time to prune the 'jungle' across from the deck. It is an old planting of lilacs, beauty bush, mock orange, forsythia, and a couple of other types of bush. I usually prune them to some degree each year but the last two years it wasn't too drastically due to health issues. They are done blooming so it was time again and I did about half of it yesterday. There are now three distinct bushes of lilac, beauty bush and forsythia on the right side. It looked a lot like the left side before I got started. 
Clearing out allowed us to see a bunch of junk at the end of the garage so hubby was inspired to clean it up a bit and put that gate there to hide the propane tank that is used to heat the shop. Through the bushes you can see the chairs we've been sitting in watching the puppy play and also the garage shed. Once I finish the pruning we will look into getting bark to spread underneath. We might have to pull the old bathtub out of there also and put it in a better spot. My vision for that is for it to be a water feature with a shower head spraying down.