Monday, April 28, 2014

Rainy Monday

This is a good day to stay inside -- we're getting the rain and potential severe storms that hit Arkansas last night.  I'm happy to report that Son #2 and family incurred no damage; they are about 5 miles from Mayflower, AR.

So while it would be a good day to be sewing, I have two upcoming lectures, one class, and a guild program to prep for.  One lecture is a new topic (fabric selection for stacked repeats) and the other (Six Ideas for 6" Squares) is an oldie-but-goodie that needs to be updated for PowerPoint.  The class is Irish Grandmother.  I typically offer new classes to my guild free of charge if they will be my Beta testers.  I have until October to iron out any wrinkles.

"Playing With Blocks"
IF I were sewing today, I'd be Playing with Blocks.

You may have noticed a button on my right side bar that says I am a certified teacher for Quilt with Marci Baker.  Periodially we teachers are asked to test a new pattern and comment.

You may be thinking, "that's not a new pattern."  No, it was originally published by Marci as "Not Your Grandmother's Tumbling Blocks."  Later, when Marci teamed with Sara Nephew, it appeared in ABC 3-D along with a number of Sara's more popular 3-D patterns from Big Book of Building Block Quilts.

Because it is sometimes difficult to require the purchase of a book for a class on just one project, Marci is now re-issuing some of her older patterns, along with some new designs, as stand-alone patterns with improved graphics.  Frankly, when you get right down to it, the 16 projects in ABC 3-D are a much better value.  Just sayin'.....

"Playing with Blocks"

If you click on the Quilt with Marci Baker button, it will take you to her website.  She has an outstanding series of videos that not only cover using the Clearview Triangle 60-degree ruler, but also binding and other basics of quilting.  Check it out.

And while you are surfing, hop over to Patchwork Times to see what other quilters are working on.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

What a Difference a Week Makes ...

Both in Nature and in my Stash.....

AQS Show Entrance

When I left for Paducah last Sunday, the flowering trees were at their peak and the leafing trees were just showing signs of life.  Every day on my trip into town from our cabin at Kentucky Dam State Park I noticed more and more green.  I'd say now, a week later, that the trees are full.  So nice to see so much green after the winter we had. (And I know so many of you had it SO much worse than we did.)

When I left, the rhododendron looked like this:

Rhoddy 4-20-14

When I returned today:

Rhoddy 4-27-14

It has not been nearly as robust the last two years as it was previously.  I hope I have not done anything to adversely affect it.  I really think the biggest issue is the groundwater that comes from the hill, under the retaining wall, and through the bed where it lives.  We investigated fixing the groundwater issue but it's out of our budget.

Stash when I left for Paducah a week ago:
     Net Used 2014:       -41.75 yards   

Stash report this week:
     In this Week:            53.5 yards
     In year to Date:      157.25 yards
     Out this Week:          0.0 yards
     Out Year to Date:   62.0 yards
     Net Used 2014:      -95.25

I tried to shop with a purpose, but I'm sure you know how it goes ....

Quilt In A Day 

At Eleanor Burns new location -- looks like an old firehall -- I bought several reds as potential ribbon candidates for "A Pretty Package".  Also got 4 yards for a potential stacked repeat project.  I'm just hooked on One Block Wonder quilts, but I might end up using this one for a Sara Nephew/Marci Baker Serendipity quilt.  And a few silvery grays snuck into my bag for a Christmas wall hanging.

I could not resist Hancock's of Paducah great deals on Bali Crackers (10" squares) and Bali Pops (2.5" strips).  Plus I simply HAD to have a kit for "When Bali Met Sochi."  Add a few cuts of reds and blues and I had already shot my budget by Monday.

And, frankly, the rest of the week I only added a yard here and there.  About 2.5 yards of  black and white FQs, 3.5 yards of a unique batik border from a Vermont Shop Hop, a yard of Effervescence for bargello...

I am so sorry that my path did not cross yours if you were in Paducah last week.  Would have loved to at least share a "Hi" and a hug.  Should we look forward to Chattanooga in September?

In the meantime

Keep Calm
Quilt On

 Linking up with Judy L at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!!

Wishing you
The kind of Easter
That refreshes your spirit
And renews you
With the blessings of His love.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday

Springtime on The Hill - Redbud

Though we both say we're from Music City (Nashville), there's a whole county separating me from Teresa in Music City.  I've long admired Teresa's lovely blog, A Quilt and a Prayer, so I asked if she'd meet me halfway to share some blogging pointers with me.

Tuesday was the appointed day; we decided to meet at Micky Ds in my old neighborhood where we knew there would be WiFi.  I couldn't remember what time we had set, and Teresa had her days mixed up.  But we finally made connection and am I glad!

Teresa was able to affirm that I am doing many things right.  And the serious questions I had she was able to either show me or point me to other blogs with tutorials. 

One that I think will be particularly helpful is Sew at Home Mummy who is doing a weekly series, "Beautify Your Blog".  She is doing screen-capture videos, starting with how to back up your blog and inserting a button in your post or on the sidebar.  I plan to watch the videos on my laptop while performing the exercises on the tablet.

So you may see some changes here in future weeks.  The first thing you may notice (if you've been a frequent visitor) is the "Follow Me" button on the right sidebar.  When I dropped out of Google+ (the reason I was showing up as a "no reply" blogger, BTW), I lost that list of friends.  I'm not sure that they were getting notified of new blog posts like "followers" will.  So please take the time to click the button and become a follower.

Dust to Dawn

Also Coming Soon

So many of you commented on my original design "Dusk to Dawn" that I am planning a tutorial/quilt along beginning sometime in May.  I have to learn how to make pages and set up a linky party first!!  All things that Sew at Home Mummy and others have covered.  So start thinking about what fabric you want to use.  It takes just two contrasting fabrics.  But you can also use many different fabrics in two different colors.  Fat quarters work especially well.  Ah, something to shop for at Paducah ..... just sayin'.

And Another Thing

Look at my rhododendron bud -- just about to pop open.

Rhoddy Bud
They are usually at their peak around Mother's Day.  I hope I don't miss it being gone all next week.  Also, note the lovely lavender azalea in the background.  I love the color.  Too bad they are hidden behind the rhododendron.

Lavender Azalea
And, Finally, a Question

What is this?  The leaves are quite large and the back of the leaves is a deep crimson.  It gets a scraggly yellow bloom on a tall stalk later in the summer.

What is this?
Here's hoping you're finally enjoying some Springtime where you are.  We had what should be our last frost earlier this week.  Bring on the blooms!

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!

I had a beautiful day Monday.  Big Brother emailed, Middle Brother called, #2 Son called, (dinner out with #1 Son Saturday), a candy bar bouquet, cards from all corners ....

The day was spent at guild.  I was late preparing for the program, basic flying geese, but it went well.  The series is Back to Basics - Quilting 101.  I am trying to lay a foundation so that even the most experienced quilter can recognize they have the ability and knowledge to do anything, even without a pattern.  Yes, there are skeptics; but I have a loyal group of 6 or 7 who are following along and doing a great job.

An update on stash:  Nothing in, nothing out, no change.

An update on design wall:  While my Main Man was out of town last week and I was on MIL duty, I made major progress on "A Pretty Package".

A Pretty Package
I need to find a suitable red for the ribbon and bow when I'm in Paducah next week. 

And I started this One Block Wonder from fabric I purchased at Pappy's in Maryville, TN last month.

One Block Wonder

I just slapped blocks up on the wall as I made them; final layout may have to wait until guild retreat next month.  I knew it would be monochromatic, but I didn't get as much variety in the blocks as I had hoped. So I'm going to add some 3-D cubes for variety and to make it a little bigger. Since red is my accent color in the living room, I've decided this will be a throw for the sofa.

Thank you for visiting.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is one of my favorite days in the church, even though I know what the end of  Holy Week portends.

I love the triumphant parade of palms.

I love the hymns we sing.

But mostly it makes me remember my mother.  The Mama (as we kids called her in the 60s when everyone had a nickname) always made sure I had a new Easter dress and whatever else I might feel was important for the occasion.  She, herself, would not wear anything new on Easter; however in her mind it was OK to wear something new for Palm Sunday.

That is one of her quirks I wish I had asked about while she was living.

She was a leader of women in two of the churches we belonged to, but she declined to be nominated as Elder after women were being admitted in the Presbyterian church.  Another thing I wish I had asked about.

Today was Palm Sunday.

The kids processed with palms accompanied by the brass ensemble. The choir sang a special anthem.  Two young people were accepted into membership.  And the handbells played "For the Beauty of the Earth".

I left my camera at home so I can't show you the impressive display of bells.  We play mostly easy stuff, but we make an impression with additional bass bells and doubling up the upper octaves.  As long as my notes fall somewhere on the staff, I'm OK -- one of the hazards of aging.  That, and I need good lighting to see the notes.  ;-)

Today was Palm Sunday.  I am restored.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Another Monday

The ole design wall was kinda empty.  The sewing room was a mess.  Lethargy had set in.

"A Pretty Package"
What's a girl to do?

Why, start a new project,
of course!
An early Christmas gift for me.
Pattern and fabric purchased in Pigeon Forge.

I know, I'm breaking my self-imposed rule of finishing two UFOs before I start a new one.  But Self gave me permission in order to get me out of first gear.  Or was I in reverse?  Hmmm ....

Sometimes that's what it takes to jumpstart the sewing mojo.

And, technically, I did have two finishes last week (see Friday and Sunday posts), albeit both were new projects.  Uh oh, I think I see a pattern developing here.

The important thing is I'm sewing again and there will be fabric going out of my stash, right?

I couldn't get a picture of the deer herd yesterday because my camera battery was dead, dead, dead.  But after a quick charge I snapped this creature as it waddled through the woods.  She was sitting for quite a while under the burning bushes (no, they were not on fire) overlooking the driveway.  By the time I got the battery charged she had moved on and blended into the woodsy backdrop.

Wild Turkey
Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Has Sprung .....

... in a big way.  And my head knows it.  And my chest knows it.

I'm not usually so adversely affected by spring pollen -- maybe a day or two of watery eyes or runny nose.  But this year it went straight to my lungs, giving me a non-productive cough accompanied by a dull headache.  That, combined with malfunctioning internal plumbing, sent me to the doctor and imaging center.  Nothing serious, as it turns out.  Continue with allergy pills and lose weight.  I could have told him that and saved a lot of money, too!

The bottom line is the last two weeks have not been very productive ones, in the house or in the sewing room.  I made 18 blocks for Kevin the Quilter's QOV block drive -- should've been 24 but I mis-cut 6 squares ;-(.  I'm also sending him 2 yards of patriotic fabric to use for binding.  So my total out for the week is 4 yards.

Yesterday I also finished a full-size flimsy based on Kevin's block, but at a smaller scale.  Since the fabric came from my guild's charity stash, I can't count any of it out of mine.  We have a good supply of lap and nap quilts on hand, but in a disaster big quilts are needed.  This is a nice size for a twin spread, but will also fit a double if just used as a quilt.  My blocks finished at 8" and it's set 9 x 10.  I'll leave it to someone else at guild to finish up.


In this Week:            0 yards
In year to Date:      103.75 yards
Out this Week:          4.0 yards
Out Year to Date:   66.0 yards
Net Used 2014:       -37.75 yards
Back to Spring ... The daffodils have been very prolific this year; maybe our harsh winter was good for them.  But all the ivy has browned out, I assume from the multiple hard freezes.  Time will tell.  The helibores (Lenton roses) are blooming and the arum is poking through the mulch.  It's snowing cherry blossoms on the back patio, redbuds are in bloom, and the dogwoods are loaded with buds.  In about 2 weeks we won't be able to see across the street because of leaves on the trees.
And our 7 deer just grazed their way across the back hillside.  I can see evidence that they have been munching on the day lily foliage; time to break out the Deer Off.
Thanks for visiting today.  I know many of you find me when I link up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Another Friday Finish

I have a knack -- no, an outright talent -- for screwing up the easiest task.

Take Kevin the Quilter's "Pathway of Valor" block.  How simple:  cut a rectangle, slice that rectangle, insert a strip of contrasting fabric.  Two seams!!  (You can read about Kevin's block drive and get the complete directions here.)

First, I made the mistake of using the lines on my cutting mat to cut the 12-1/2" strip.  All the strips were shy of 12-1/2".  I did better on the 11" sub-cut after I located my 12-1/2" square ruler.

Next, in spite of Kevin's admonishment to be careful to slice the 11" side, I managed to cut a stack of 6 on the wrong side.

And finally, because I could get three squares and 3 strips from one strip of the four fabrics, my intention was to insert a strip of every different color.  Instead, I put nothing but red in the blue squares.

In the end, I know Kevin just wants the blocks to make as many Quilts of Valor as he can.  It just frustrates me when it takes days to accomplish something that should take hours.

So here's my only finish this week -- 18 blocks.  Once the storms clouds clear this morning, I'll take them to the post office.

Pathway of Valor Blocks for Kevin the Quilter

At least I'll have something to report for Sunday's stash report!  LOL

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Keep Calm
Quilt On