Friday, April 21, 2017

New Resident on the Hill

Snapping Turtle?


This creature showed up in our driveway this morning, just as I was getting ready to run some errands.  It "clammed up" the minute I got near so I can't be positive in my identification.


Or it could be a box turtle, though the pictures of them on the internet are more colorful.


The only other snapping turtle I've seen around here had more of a
prehistoric look with a spikey back and long tail.

It was long gone by the time I got back from Kroger.


Monday, April 17, 2017

The Queen Mother has left the building

RIP Angela

My beautiful, talented mother-in-law passed  away peacefully Saturday morning; her son, daughter, and faithful caregivers were by her side.  Angie would have been 97 in July.  She was the second oldest of eight sisters (one arrived after the photo below).  Now only the two youngest remain.

Family of Josephine and Ignacio Flores
circa 1940
Isn't that a classic photo?  Angie is seated second from the right.

She majored in art at the University of Kansas (go Jayhawks!) and got a job during WWII as a draftsperson at North American Aviation where she met her husband.  Once the war was over, she never plied her art professionally, instead putting her talents to use behind the home sewing machine, with a needle in hand, knitting sweaters, or wielding a paintbrush.

Sisters Quilt
This is one of many quilts she hand-pieced and hand-quilted over the years.  Each of the 8 sisters was to make 8 of their chosen block and distribute them to each other.  Well, all were not as talented as Angie so she ended up making a lot of the blocks herself.  She even made a second set for herself so that she could have matching spreads on their twin beds.  (I don't think she ever accepted that I am a real quilter because I do it all by machine!)

She did impeccable needlepoint, crewel embroidery, and cross-stitch work.

 Needlepoint bell pull
Crewel bell pull detail
One of many cross-stitch angels
She rekindled the painting gene in her later years -- that is, before she forgot how to paint.

Oil portrait of my Son-1 and family

Water color water lilies
She was always generous with her creations so the entire family has quite a legacy to remember her by.  She will be missed by many.

Thanks again to all of my loyal readers for lifting Angie and the rest of our family in prayer during these last difficult days.




Friday, April 14, 2017

Taking a break ...

... from taking a break

It was refreshing to have my son and daughter-in-law bring a picnic lunch today to celebrate birthdays for both me and my sister-in-law.

Son-1, SIL, DH, and Me!
SIL and I enjoyed our repast on these plates.


The Queen Mother continues to hang on by a thread.  I have not been able to even sew an accurate quarter-inch seam in the last two weeks.  But today I was inspired by Jo Kramer at Jo's Country Junction to break out what I have finished on this year's Bonnie Hunter mystery, En Provence, and see if I can make something with the bits I have done.

My first attempt was to simply put the nine stars with the yellow corners together.  It wasn't big enough, even though my blocks are bigger than Bonnie's (because I didn't read the directions on the first clue), and it left all the other units I had made needing a home somewhere.

So I decided to use some of them in a sashing.  First in a straight set ...


... and in an on-point setting ...


I think I'm favoring the on-point.  What do you think?  I'll come up with some creative way to use all the neutral 4Ps and purple 4Ps in the corners.  But I won't sew a stitch until life returns to normal here on the hill.

Thanks to all who have expressed concern and offered prayers.




Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sunday, April 2, 2017

One Monthly Goal - April


I don't expect to have a lot of available sewing time this month.  Or, better said, if I get time to sew I'm neglecting what I SHOULD be doing.  So I wasn't going to declare a One Monthly Goal (OMG).

Until I remembered I do have one obligation this month -- my addition to the round robin block that was passed on to me in March.  I've been derelict in reporting about these blocks, mainly because I wait till the last minute and forget to document my process along the way.

To bring you up to date, Music City Modern Quilters decided to try round robin quilts this year.  Two groups of six quilters are participating.  Each person started with either a block or row of their own making which was passed on to the next quilter on the list.  Each month we add to what we got and then pass it on to the next person on the list at the next guild meeting.

This was my starting block:

Libby's starting point
It's an antique block design called Rolling 9-Patch.  I thought it had a modern vibe and offered some options in terms of colors and directions.  Well, I was thrilled with the coral flying geese that Emily added in the second round (forgot to get a photo of it) and I'll look forward to seeing what happens next.

This is the first block I received:

Maria's starting point
The maker threw me a curve right away  because I had already anticipated putting whatever block I received on point!  After thinking about it for most of the month, I was up against the deadline, whimped out and opted to just add a plain multicolored border to the 15" block to give the next person more color options (forgot to photograph, again).

Here's what came my way in March:

Katie's starting block
Maria's additions
I like the wonkiness of the star and the dancing square border, but I thought continuing with the wonkiness could get messy.  I also felt the green needed to be brought out into the next border, along with the pointiness of the star.  So here's my solution:

Round three - Libby's additions
All this circuitous rambling to say that my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for April is to finish my additions to Katie's round robin block.

Joining the monthly link-up with Patty D at Elm Street Quilts.








Rainbow Scrap Challenge - April


Multicolor

When Angela at Soscrappy announced the "color" for April, it gave me pause.  Multicolor.  Really?


But, like Angela said, we all have those scraps that can't be classified as a particular color because no color dominates -- especially florals and multicolored stripes.

Knowing my sewing time this month is going to be extremely limited, I immediately went down to the studio mess in my basement to think about my approach which was inspired by Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.  I felt that her recent Scrap-a-Palooza quilts, where she combined 2-1/2" and 1-1/2"  strips to create 9" blocks, would translate well into the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

My 1-1/2" bin had a big stack of yellow strips so I decided to make that my starting point, but I couldn't find enough coordinating multicolored 2-1/2" strips in sufficient lengths to execute my plan.  On to the FQ bin where I found a collection called "Arabesque" -- black background with a lot of bright action.  Ah-ha!  I have tons of black with bright on the shelf I can add.

So here's where I stand, two days into the multicolor month.


Since the blocks finish at 9", a 7x8 setting would yield a nice 63" x 72" comfort quilt.  That's 46 more blocks to make.  It's the kind of mindless sewing that I should be able to handle this month while I tend to much neglected housekeeping and yard work.

Be sure to stop by Soscrappy to see what other quilters are doing with this month's challenge.