Thursday, June 29, 2017

I Like #6

Visiting with Family

We have missed visiting with family over the last nine years.  Now that we don't have jobs and invalid care tying us down, we hope to make up for lost time.

So earlier in the week we headed out to see the Arkansas crew while the grands were between trips and camps.  Our main objective on this trip was to deliver grandfather's rocker-recliner to Son-2.

He's a work-from-home freelance journalist who stands at his computer (and cycles while he works).  But everyone needs a comfortable place to relax and put the feet up once in a while, don't you think?

I like tabletop games ... and there is never a shortage of game-playing in this family! They interrupted their annual summer tabletop tournament to allow Grandpa and Grandma to play along.  First on the bill was 3Up/3Down, an easy, fast-moving card game -- so fast I didn't have time to take a picture. 

Next up was Ticket to Ride/Heart of Africa, a train-building geography lesson.

Ticket to Ride / Heart of Africa
We finished off the day with Codename.  Basically a word game that I can't begin to describe.

I like live theater.  Especially musicals!  Out first night in Arkansas we were treated to an in-the-round production of The Music Man.

Aside from the fact that the performers were excellent (I cried at the end), I was fascinated by the choreography of the set changes right before our eyes.  I enjoyed every minute of the production!

I like local boutique restaurants.

Located next to a college campus, Mosaique had a clean, modern, family-friendly atmosphere and a nice variety of dinner choices.  Absolutely no pretenses .... aside from the name ...

Linking up with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Life on the Hill

Wildlife, that is ...

I glanced out the kitchen window a couple of days ago and saw something big and brownish moving on the neighbor's driveway.

Hard to tell from this angle if it's a boy or a girl.

Frontal view doesn't reveal much more, either.

But the slight flare of the tail tells me it's a wild turkey.

Hardly a dull moment here on The Hill.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

June's One Monthly Goal (OMG)


My OMG for June was to catch up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and I have done that!

I made a second Scrap Jar Star in yellow earlier this week and today I whipped out a green one.

Scrap Jar Star - green
It's not very colorful, but I found I had a lot of yellow-green scraps so decided I should group them together.  I have squares cut for a brighter green one that will have to wait.  I'll try to get all the pieces cut so that I can use them as leaders/enders in July.  Actually, if I did that every month I wouldn't be scurrying at the last minute ...

I finished my round robin border in time for the June Music City Modern Quilters meeting.

Round Robin - Marcia
We have now gone to every-other month so even though I have received the next one, there wasn't a deadline for this month as I had anticipated.  I can't show the next one because it's Jayne's (Twiggy and Opal) and she wants to be surprised.

With the extra time I was able to complete Scrapapalooza.

Thanks, Cynthia Brunz, for the inspiration and the name.

The month was far more productive than I anticipated.  I added side borders to Poppies ...

... and I finished the center of 9-Patch Bonanza.

9-Patch Bonanza
The borders will have to wait for the S'mores retreat in August where I can take advantage of large tables to properly measure.

So that's pretty much it for June.  I'll be on the road this week and probably won't get any sewing done other than some binding ... lots of binding ...

Linking up with Cynthia for Oh Scrap!
And Patty D at Elm Street Quilts for OMG.

Have a great week, Y'all!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

RSC Yellow

I love yellow.  I love the sparkle it brings to a quilt.  It will be hard to see this month end.

Early in the month I knocked out a bunch of Chunky Churn Dashes ...

... and one Scrap Jar Star.

Today I whipped out another SJS and put it on the design wall with all the others.

I love the secondary pattern that appears when the blocks are all put together.  Seeing this picture, however, reminds me that I still need to make at least one green star, part of my One Monthly Goal for June.  But I still have a few days to accomplish this!

Thanks to Angela at soscrappy for hosting the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2017.  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Oreos and Milk

A Saga

Do you, like me, have trouble getting your Oreos to last as long as your milk?

Or maybe it's chocolate cake, or apple pie ... but you know how it goes.  You finish the cookies/cake/pie and there's still a bit of milk left.  So you get more of said treat, then run out of milk.

My quilting is much like the Oreo-milk situation -- I need a bit more to finish a quilt, make too much, then I have too many leftovers so I upcycle them into anther project and it all starts again!

This saga begins in 2014.  I was scheduled to teach at Peg Bingham's Fall Quilt Camp.  One of the classes was Wink & a Smile.  The pattern shows the quilt in 30s fabrics and I was using a friend's quilt in brights to promote the class.  When I taught I always liked to show alternative fabrics as inspiration, so I stopped at Whittle's in Bowling Green, KY on my way to West Virginia to pick up a few half yards of something I could use for demonstration purposes.

I selected a lovely Vintage Farmhouse collection by Kim Diehl for Henry Glass.

Wink & a Smile
I think I only got a quarter yard of each piece, certainly no more than a half yard, and proceeded to cut them all into 2-1/2" strips for the 9-patches.  I had no clue how many I would need; I just needed something to demo and also something to work on during the 2-day class.

That quilt is yet to be finished -- story of my life -- but I had so many excess 9-patches that I was able to throw together this quilt, recently back from the LAQ (yet to be bound):

Chexx Mix
In order to get the proper mix of light and dark backgrounds with the fabrics I had on hand, I had to make a few more 9Ps.  I decided to make the remaining 2-1/2" strips into 9Ps so there were STILL more than 20 9-patch blocks left over, not to mention partial, unfinished blocks.

I asked my loyal readers to make suggestions on what I should do.  In the end I decided to run the excess pieces end-to-end for an inner border, but I was afraid I didn't have enough to go around the quilt I was planning so I used some excess strips to make stripsets which I cut into twosies, then made foursies.  And while I was at it I made a few more 9-patch blocks!

Bear in mind this was the last thing I had planned to work on this week.  It just kinda fell off the shelf and wouldn't go back.  Does that ever happen to you?  I just wanted to do something quick to get it out of the way so my plan was to do a straight set with 2-1/2" sashing so that my scrappy inner border would fit without any exotic math.

I had seven rows of six blocks sashed together and started working on the horizontal sashing.  BORING!  Even though this is likely to be a charity quilt, I just couldn't make myself continue with something so uninspired.  

What if I set it on point?  Well, of course, that has involved some disassembly and reorganization.  This is the current status:

I tried to use the finished rows as-is, but in the end I've had to break apart some of the rows.  

The excess 9-patches are going on the back or they may become hot pads.  I PROMISE!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Scrappy Week

Class Prep and a Question

There's this quilt I've wanted to make since I saw it in Fons and Porter's magazine in 2009.

Granny's Stars by Nancy Mahoney
I thought it would be pretty in batiks with every star being different.  So around 2012 I started setting aside bits of batiks I thought would work.  However, every time I would get out the box to get started on it, I would get muddled up trying to make decisions about fabric placement.  Back in the box it would go.

Fast forward to 2017 and it so happens that Nancy Mahoney is teaching this very class at Tennessee Quilts Fest in Johnson City in July!  I figured if I was EVER going to make this quilt, this would be the time to start so I registered for the class before I could change my mind.

I had cut all the background pieces in February and finally this past week I started cutting the batiks.

I gave up on making decisions and just started cutting.  Little star points, big star points, on-point squares, and 9-patches.  I had piles of batik remnants all over the studio.  I had to carefully label everything because there's not much difference between a 2-1/2" square and a 2-5/8" square!  Lots of little bits and, while not totally scrappy, every star will be different (except for the center square).

Granny's Star mockup
Sure am glad I started cutting early!  My friend Nancy has been wanting t make this quilt, too, so she's going to the class with me.  Nothing like a support system to keep you going ...

Now, changing the subject, I have a question for my Dear Readers -- and it's kinda scrappy-related.  I have about 16 partial 9-patch blocks.

Incomplete 9-patchkes
In just a few cases I have sufficient fabric to make the third row.  Otherwise I would need to disassemble some units in order to complete others.  Is there any way to salvage these bits? 

Should I make totally scrappy 9Ps with the bits I have?  How about taking a square off each to make 4Ps - some would be coordinated and some scrappy (or all scrappy).  Or string them together in long strips and use them as an inner border on a quilt I'm making with the 25 complete 9-patches?

What would you do?

It's time to take a look at other scrappy projects at Oh Scrap.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Dancing on Sunshine

Whoo hoo

So far this month I've pieced together a few Chunky Churn Dash blocks ...

Chunky Churn Dash

... and one Scrap Jar Star.

Scrap Jar Star
I have one more SJS cut and currently buried next to my machine.  Last weekend I managed to get a bunch more Scrapapalooza blocks put together.  (Kinda felt like I was cheating, combining two Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors in one block.)

I'm about two blocks shy of a quilt, though.

Head over to soscrappy to check on RSC progress.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Where's O?

The O on my keyboard is being cantankerous.

So I thught I wuld write a blog post without correcting anything.  Nw lk, the o is working at least half the time.

Spmene recently apologized fr autcrrect.  I tld her nt to wrry; I've gotten very god at reading autcrrect.

May I Whine?

On Thursday I revealed some things I Like.

Today I'm going to vent about somethings that are really bugging me.  So feel free to tune out now.

If a business is going to have a web page, then please keep it up to date.  "News" items from 2012 just don't cut it.

If said business gives the reader an opportunity to "contact us," then, by golly, be ready to respond.

If said business provides a phone number, then at least do me the courtesy of calling me back, even if you cannot accommodate my request.

And if I take the time to actually stop by your establishment to request service, and I'm dressed neatly, and I ask nicely, and I spell things correctly on the service request, then please make sure "your sister" gets said request and schedules someone to assess my situation and give me a quote.

I know this is a busy season for builders, home improvement contractors, and landscapers, but at least call us to let us know you are, indeed, busy.

I Like #5


Diann at Little Penguin Quilts recently remarked on how she likes hiking in the mountains.  Well, that got me thinking about how much I like mountains.

I've never been much of a seashore kinda gal.  Probably has something to do with the fact that the very first time I stepped into the Atlantic Ocean at the tender age of 5, it grabbed me and pulled me under.

I do enjoy the occasional trip to the shore, the walks on the beach, the search for shells, margaritas under an umbrella ... But I'm not drawn to the sea like some folks are.  Put me on a mountain top -- heck, I big hill will do -- and I'm content.  The higher I go, the closer I feel to Heaven.  Maybe that's why I've enjoyed our hillside retreat the last 9 years!

I like mountain vistas.  I know I can see a long way at the beach, but it's mostly just the horizon.  Whereas from a mountain top I can see valleys and distant mountains.

Makes me think of those song lyrics:  On a clear day you can see forever!

And the changing moods of the mountains.  If you don't like it, just wait a day, or a half day, or a few hours ...

I like geology.  My mother instilled in me a love of geology, and where better to observe the action of the earth's surface rising and being sculpted than in the mountains?

Just think -- at one time these layers were horizontal.  And they represent thousands, probably millions, of years where sand and silt were deposited and compressed into rock, capturing forever bits of flora and fauna in the process.  Imagine the forces it took to lift these layers into a vertical position and the years it took to expose them.  Well maybe a front loader was involved, but you get the idea.

Speaking of flora and fauna ...

I like mountain flowers.  I love to observe the changes in flora as the elevation increases.  My mother used to talk about getting above the tree line.  While it's unlikely to get above the tree line east of the Mississippi River, there are distinct changes in what flourishes at higher elevations.

Mountain laurel and flame azalea
In Spring there is an explosion of color among the emerging green leaves.

Pale pink mountain laurel
Waxy white rhododendron
Stop by Not Afraid of Color to see what LeeAnna, Diann, Jocelyn, and a bunch of others like.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

I Like #4

I Like to Take Quilt Classes ...
... In Person

I am a traditional quilter, for the most part.  Over the years I have attended classes with many of the big names and some golden oldies:  Bonnie Hunter, Alex Anderson, and Jinny Beyer, for example.

But I think the ones who made the biggest impression on me were
Joan Wolfram (color), Ricky Tims (Caveman quilting),
My Chantal - Ricky Tims class
and Gwen Marston (liberated quilting), all who have influenced the modern quilting movement.
Gwen's House - Gwem Marston class
I know, the trend today is to learn online.  Between YouTube and Craftsy, there's hardly anything you can't learn about quilting online.  Not wanting to be judgmental, I also realize that both time and circumstance play a part in one's decision to take online classes or watch YouTube tutorials.  While that's better than nothing, I believe there is little substitute for learning directly from the teacher.  In person.  And this doesn't mean the teacher needs to have "national" standing; there are many talented "regional" teachers with excellent skills and original ideas.

I like to study at the knee of the master (or should it be mistress?). In the presence of The Master you get "the rest of the story," in the words of the late Paul Harvey.  The one who developed the technique or pattern will share so much more of her/his experience in person than you can ever get in an online class.  You will get extra tips about the process being taught and so much more, based on the teacher's personal experience.

Recently I attended a class at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium taught by Ann Holmes, a NC resident and former stained glass artist, who developed a fused, turned edge applique technique that is stabilized with the quilting.

Asian Bullseye
Even though she has a DVD and online tutorials, I don't believe I could have completely comprehended her technique without one-on-one instruction.

I like to learn from others in the class.  I am always impressed and sometimes amazed at the fabric selections of other students in the class.  So many times I see (and like!) color combinations that I would have never considered .

Nieta's Bullseye in browns
Two more Bullseye variations

Yet another Bullseye under construction
Other students will also offer tips about shortcuts they have learned from experience as well as new products they've discovered.

I like the social aspect.  It's hard to beat a day with other quilters.  'Nuff said!

Well, I hope I've convinced you to take advantage of the opportunity to take a class from a qualified teacher when it is available to you.

And I encourage you to hop over to Not Afraid of Color to read about what other bloggers like.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

One Monthly Goal - June

Catching Up

Having a potential move facing me in the next couple of months, I'll be grateful for any sewing time I can squeeze into my schedule.  Therefore, my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for June will be to catch up with my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks.  With my recent sewing frenzy, I'm up-to-date with the Chunky churn dash blocks.

Chunky Churn Dash
But I need to do at least one or two green Scrap Jar Stars and possibly anther multicolored SJS.

Scrap Jar Star 
There will also be another round robin block to add my contribution to, but I won't know what that entails until the middle of the month.

And there's that Scrapapalooza project on my design wall ...

Maybe ... but I'm not commiting.

However, I will be linking up with Patty D at Elm Creek Quilts to declare my OMG for June.  Check out what other quilters will be doing in June.

Making up for lost time

Trips and gardening may have put me behind in the sewing arena, but I've used the last few days to catch up.  First I churned out some Chunky Churn Dashes in the June Rainbow Scrap Challenge color yellow.

Chunky Churn Dash blocks
In the CCD box I found parts leftover from the May color green so I decided to whip out a few more.

Actually, a LOT more!!  I now have enough green chunky churn dashes to make a small quilt!

Next I directed my attention to the other block I'm making in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2017:  Scrap Jar Stars.  In the SJS box I discovered bits and pieces of the February color aquamarine so I set about finishing them up.

Scrap Jar Stars in aquamarine
You'll notice my design wall is littered with other incomplete projects ...  And, finally with what remained of today, I squeeked out a yellow SJS.

Scrap Jar Star in yellow
I have enough pieces cut to make a second star in yellow.  But I realized I missed making a green one.  Alas, the green scrap box is back in the closet so that may have to wait ....

Monday, June 5, 2017

Where's Libby?

New week, new month, new home
(We hope)

I noticed a lack of comments in my in-box.  Then I realized it's been a week since my last post!

I've been spending at least an hour every day working in the garden, trying to spiff things up before we list this house to sell.  Well, I've discovered muscles I didn't know I had!  With all that squatting, up-and-down stuff, even my butt hurts.  After I come in and get all cleaned up, I'm too tuckered out to even think about sewing.  But it's been worth the effort.

Last week I was working on a post for "I Like" Thursday and needed to retrieve some photos from the laptop.  That's when I got one of those alarm-going-off-your-computer-is-infected messages which I learned a long time ago (i.e., paid the "stupid tax") is a scam.  But it locked the laptop up long enough that I couldn't finish the post.  So I'll just show you a picture of what prompted that post.

Asian Bullseye
While at the NC Quilt Symposium, I took two classes.  The first was exercises in improv and there's really not much to show for that one.  The second class was with Anne Holmes, a former stained-glass artist who transferred those techniques into a folded edge fusible applique technique.  Top-stitching and quilting are done in one step.  I'll give more details later but wanted you to see what I accomplished in this one-day class.

DH and I took an unplanned jaunt to Johnson City on Thursday to see a house that looked interesting online.  Let me attest to how distorted photos can look in online real estate listings!  It was tiny, tiny but had fabulous views.  Oh, well.

So we decided to revisit the house that has been #1 on our list for months now; we even took detailed measurements of the basement to see if we can fit our pool table AND my sewing studio into the space.  Bottom line, we're going to make an offer.  If all goes well, this will be my fabric storage room:

Fabric storage and cutting room
The room is 10' x 11.5' so there will be space for a cutting table in there.  My sewing table will go in the area behind the existing pool table (which we don't need):

Sewing studio space
Our pool table will go in the area at the foot of the stairs and I'll put a cutting/ironing station under the existing lights.  The views to the lake will be refreshing for eyes tired from sewing.

There is another large mechanical/storage room off the garage where I plan to put a washer and dryer just for fabric and quilts.

Garage storage area
I did manage to crank out a few yellow chunky churn dash blocks yesterday to recharge my stitching batteries.

Have a great week, Y'all!