Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Challenge Revealed

This year's challenge was to find 3 paint chips whose name started with your initials and then to make something with it. You could add up to 2 additional fabrics. So, as I've already mentioned in a previous post, I struggled with this one. After multiple false starts, I finally hit on something.

My paint chips -- pardon the blurry photo: 

Reading all the blogs with the countdown to Tonya's book release inspired me. Lynne's journey with this quilt was my light bulb moment. I borrowed her idea of playing with fonts first and then trying to copy them.

I really wanted to include all the serifs in Antique Ruby, but quickly discovered that wasn't going to happen. You can see from my "A" that it didn't come off too well. Overall, I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, considering it's only my 3rd attempt at doing letters freestyle like this. Altho, I'm not so sure this is considered completely freestyle since I was trying to copy the feel of the fonts.

I decided to use this as a good practice for doing feathers so the top and bottom are quilted with feathers. I can actually say I think they turned out ok.

All I can say is, I'm sure glad this one is done. Next year's should be a bit easier since I've got it all figured out already. More on that at a later date.

Friday, December 03, 2010

No. 5, No. 5, No. 5

....feels like a Revolution*, or should that be resolution? I'm just thankful that it's Number 5 and not Number 9. It's THAT time of year know, the time when all good QB's are scrambling to finish their Christmas Challenge because, well, you know, TIC TOC -- 18 days!

So, this year it's the paint chip challenge. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Find 3 paint chips whose paint colors start with your initials and make something. Yeah, right. After starting and abandoning attempts Number 1 - 3 I finally realized I wasn't "feeling the love" with one of my colors. Back to the big envelope of paint chips I had accumulated. Find another one that will work with the 2 colors I already have AND whose name starts with the appropriate initial, then off to find fabric in said paint chip color. Attempt Number 4 -- abandoned. I guess it would help if I had started with an actual plan.....

So here I am today, working on Number 5. And you know what, I LIKE IT! Yes folks, she really does like it! Hopefully that means that she might actually finish this one. She better, since TIC TOC, time is running out....18 days left to the QB Christmas party/challenge reveal. Stay tuned, eventually Number 5 will actually be revealed here, and maybe even Numbers 1 - 4 if I can find them.

* Credit must be given to the proper source who supplied the references to the bits & pieces of the Beatles song that was rattling around in my brain this morning. Thanx PJ -- as always, your music trivia amazes me!

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's a Christmas Quilt!

Another UFO bites the dust. This Christmas quilt was started two years ago (blogged about here). Since I seem to be in "finishing" mode, I decided it was time to bring this one back out and finish up. This makes finish #2 in the last month or so -- I know, where's finish #1 you say. You'll just have to wait till after Christmas to see a picture of the completed project. There have been some sneak peaks posted here awhile ago.....

Check out the pillowcases that match the border of the quilt! I used the leftover border fabric for them. As usual, I backed this with nice, cozy flannel and used wool batting -- my favorite combination for a quilt. It's nice and cozy and just in time -- we're having unusually cold, and snowy weather here in the Pacific Northwest.

I quilted it with an allover meander with loops and holly leaves.

And here's what it looks like outside! A certain Spotted One isn't too crazy about the cold weather and has spent an awful lot of time just staring out the patio door.....have I mentioned that he's a weather wussy?

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Spotted One Says....

....Vote for me!

Quilting Gallery is having their weekly contest. This week it's pets. The Spotted One, Arlo, all wrapped up in his quilt is asking for your votes. He says "don't let those silly cats beat out a handsome, smart, dog like me. Please vote for me." Perhaps the suggestion of treats from the magic cookie jar might or might not have had something to do with this......

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Practice What You Preach

Among my weekly quilting friends, the QB's, I'm kinda known for always being the one to preach at anybody who puts down an open rotary cutter or does something stupid like cutting towards themself rather than always cutting AWAY from yourself.

Well, I'm sure you can guess where this post is going....uh huh, I did it. I was trimming up something and cut towards myself. Only my finger happened to be in the way. It is now a skinnier finger than before. I never realized just how much a finger can bleed -- WAY more than a head wound, at least in this case. But, I suppose that when you slice off a chunk of skin about 1/2" x 1/4" from the side of your finger tip there will be some blood involved. No blood ended up on the fabric but the bathroom, well, that's another story....

The Spotted One thinks it is his duty to try to lick the bandage off my finger.....thanks Arlo.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Acer palmatum 'Dissectum Viridis'

So, we have this corner of the yard that we've been working hard to clean up. For the first 16 or so years that we've lived here, this corner was inhabited by 4 very large pine trees. 2 of them came down in a large rain and wind storm about 4 years ago. We lost another tree in yet another wind storm the following year. We're down to the one last tree.

Last year I tried to keep the weeds out by filling the bank with pumpkins. This year, since we had so little summer weather, the weeds won. As you can see, we've finally managed to get the area cleared. So now that means it's time to plant something other than weeds. Along with the viburnum, I've also put in a rose of sharon, a forsythia and a couple other ornamental shrubs. But, the latest addition this weekend is this beauty:

It was love at first sight when I saw this tree. We had originally gone out in search of a red Japanese Maple but, when I saw the color of this Green Cutleaf Japanese Maple it was all over. For the past two weekends a local, wholesale only nursery has been open to the public. They have an incredible variety of stock.

Of course the Spotted One had to help. He thinks he's the official inspector.

And to all my quilting friends, yes, I realize that the main color of this tree is ORANGE. Please, you don't have to point it out to me -- it has already been duly noted. The Bearded One thought it was quite amusing that the one tree I liked the most had ORANGE foliage.....

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yes, She Really Does Quilt!

In which I prove that I really am doing some quilting:

This is a UFO that's been around for a couple years. I was recently challenged to "get 'er done". The challenger is holding hostage some recently purchased fabric. That was pretty good motivation for me to finish piecing the top. Now it's sat for over a month and I am FINALLY getting around to getting it quilted...........See, I really DO quilt, sometimes.

And yes, it will be a Christmas present so I don't know how much more of this you will get to see. But, since I KNOW the recipient doesn't read my blog and is probably too young to even know what a blog is, maybe you will get to see when it's done....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Is it just me...

WARNING: Rant to follow it just me, or does this make you angry too?

A couple years ago I joined FaceBook. I did so mainly to connect with some old friends from back east. I admit, in the last couple years I've gotten caught up in playing some of the inane time-waster games. But, the cool thing has been staying in touch with friends and family.

I've set my privacy settings pretty high because I'm that sorta person. (I guess that's a little bit of my mother's internet paranoia coming through.)

Anyway, this morning I received an unsolicited personal message from somebody that I don't know. This person was sending out private messages to quilters to promote her business. How did she get my name?

Maybe it's just me, but I find this a huge violation of my privacy. I think it's as bad as the idiots who come ringing my doorbell trying to sell me something, blatantly disregarding my "No Soliciting" sign. That's the only time I truly enjoy having a dog that goes totally bonkers when the doorbell rings.....go get 'em Spotted One! (Only kidding, sorta.)

So, what are your thoughts? Am I the only one that finds this offensive? Would you do business with a company that you heard about in this manner?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

VW Wanderings

We spent 8 lovely days wandering eastern Washington, eastern Oregon and the western edge of Idaho. We saw some amazing scenery, visited with good friends and celebrated our 20th anniversary. All in all, an absolutely wonderful week.

Our week started out in Shelton at a farewell party for Peter, our nephew who is off to spend a year studying in Japan. From there we made it to the last nite of the Star Gazing Party outside of Goldendale. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it hadn't been SO COLD. The stars were absolutely amazing and the members of the Seattle Astronomical society were so eager to share their knowledge. The good  news, all the hard work on installing the new furnace in the bus paid off. Not only did it work, it cooked me out! I have never asked The Bearded One if I could turn DOWN the heat before. Only the Spotted One didn't think it was too warm.

After Goldendale our wanderings took us to Pendleton to visit with an old friend who was not able to attend the Catherine Creek ReUnion campout. It was a good visit -- amazing to see how quickly Margaret's kids are growing up.

The following morning after a few detours to a quilt shop and the Pendleton store, we were on our way again.

A slight detour on our way to Lewiston took us to Palouse Falls.

After spending our Anniversary at Hells Gate State Park, we took a scenic route south through Idaho. Our original intention had been to do Hell's Canyon Scenic Bypass. Unfortunately, due to some serious washouts, the road is closed in a couple places. So, we did 95 south, through some of the most scenic country I've ever seen. The route had everything from recently cut wheat fields, to beautiful, rolling "hills", farm land and beautiful canyons following the Salmon River. Despite the rain, it was a beautiful drive, accompanied by a captivating audio book.

Our journey ended at Catherine Creek State Park in Union, Oregon. After setting up camp in the rain, well, showers, we settled in for 3+ days of relaxation and visiting. By Saturday we had about 34 VW buses.

Between the friends, food and wonderful bluegrass music, it was another successful gathering. The folks at the Oregon Parks and Recreation Blue Mountain District go out of their way to help us make this such a great event. Hats off to them!

Here's what a certain Spotted One spent most of his time doing:

Hoping and wishing that he had thumbs so that he could open the magic cupboard in which the cookies were imprisoned.

Friday, September 03, 2010

So Many Colors....

At long last, all the work from the last month has been completed -- well, almost. Now I want to replace the front door. The painters have packed up their ladders this afternoon and the Spotted One has finally realized there is nobody outside for him to bark at anymore. The painters dubbed him "el perro loco -- muy loco." 

So, several weeks ago there was an interesting discussion in our house on color. After spending more hours than I can count using Sherwin Williams online paint chooser and looking at other houses in the neighborhood, I had the new house color narrowed down to 5 colors. Off I went to the paint store I went to get little quart samples. Each was painted on the house with a corresponding number.

Me: So, what do you think?
Him: Looks like paint.
Me: Do you like any of them?
Him: Well, I don't like number 4.
Me: Ok, how about number 1?
Him: Anything but number 1 or number 4.
Me: How about number 3?
Him: Anything but number 1, 3 or 4.
and so on and so on.....

Needless to say, we finally came to an agreement, more or less. Number 2 won -- Perfect Griege. Ladies, take my word for it, DO NOT try to explain subtle things like shades, tints and tones to your husband.

Then it started all over again with the trim. Do you have ANY IDEA how many different shades of white there are??? And forget even asking the Bearded One which one he likes. So, I did the next best thing, took my sample of house color and the chips to some of my quilting friends. On the way home, I happened to notice a house that was very close to our main body choice. It had trim just a couple shades darker. It looked wonderful. So, back to the paint store I went. Because, naturally, the next shade darker on my paint strip was way too dark, it was almost charcoal. Eventually I found the right shade, hammered silver. We tested both colors on the house and actually agreed.

So, here's what it looked like yesterday, once they started on the trim. I don't have a picture of it completed yet. I will do that after the door gets replaced. The new door will be painted a burgundy/wine red.

Meanwhile, we are off for a much needed campout, ending up at the annual Catherine Creek ReUnion campout with the rest of our VW group.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Yard Art & More

Yesterday this lovely new piece of yard art was delivered.

Shortly after that, scaffolding was erected around all four sides of the house. This morning the crew showed up around 7:30 (I'm usually still asleep at that hour!) By 9:30 the front of the house looked like this:

Yes, we are having new siding and windows put on the house. After peeling off the old siding it was discovered that they "cheated" when the house was built some 31 years ago -- you will note there is no sheeting or anything under the attic portion of the house. The original siding was just attached to the studs!

As you can imagine, it's been quite a stressful morning for the Spotted One. But, the "happy pill" has finally taken effect and hopefully he will sleep through the rest of the day. He's not quite sure why he's staggering around like a drunk but I'm sure thankful that the incessant barking and howling has ceased.

I have finally managed to get out of the quilting slump I've been in. Back in June Crazy Mom Quilts started a Quilt-Along. I resisted for a couple weeks but finally caved after deciding that the pack of Bali Pops that I've had for over a year would be perfect for the project. Naturally, I chose to make the quilt queen sized instead of twin. Once I got started I didn't stop to wait for each week's new step. I'm too impatient, besides, I was on a roll.

I quilted this with Plumage pantograph by Jodi Beamish. The backing is flannel and I used Quilter's Dream Orient for the batting. This is WONDERFUL batting. It is a blend of bamboo, silk, tencel and cotton. It is super soft, lots of drape, no fuzz, warm yet breathable. I will definitely be using this batting again.

Oh yeah, while working on piecing this quilt, I also started another quilt, using the leftover Happy Camper fabric from the bus curtains from last year. Sorry, no pictures yet.  I've also pulled out a UFO from a couple years ago that I was challenged to's coming along but I need to find something to use for the setting triangles since I ran out of fabric and cannot find a match. Everything is close, but not quite.

Now I must get back to playing with paint schemes for the house.......

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's Not My Fault!

Greetings -- I haven't been very motivated to do much quilting lately -- the job hunt is still going on. The stress from the last 6 months of uncertainty has definitely taken it's toll and I've been in a major quilting slump. I've been doing more virtual quilting than anything else. But, I did start another new project. But it's not my fault, really. I saw this and fell in love. I didn't want to start another English paper pieced hexagon project. I already have one that's been hanging around for longer than I care to admit. I've been following Cathi's blog for over a year now. She uses Inklingo for all her quilts AND hand pieces them.

It was Cathi's blog that inspired me to hand piece my nosegay blocks for my Fruit Ladies Christmas  challenge last year. I discovered that I really enjoy hand piecing. So, I took the plunge and tried Inklingo. Naturally it meant that I HAD to upgrade my ancient ink jet printer to a newer one that didn't jam like my ancient one liked to do. In case you can't tell, these little hexies are .5"! Yes, I am crazy. And no, it's not going to be a full sized quilt.

I can finally show pictures of the graduation quilts. This one is for my niece in Colorado. It's Moda's Spring Magic jellyrolls.I had a hard time giving this one away.

Next up are the quilts for the high school seniors at church. We had 5 this year. The other quilters were not too happy with me....there were a LOT of half square triangles in these babies. Here they are hanging over Sally's railing.

Here's the one I did. My senior was a runner so the border fabric has running shoes. I quilted this with daisies (her favorite flower) and running shoes.

Keep your fingers crossed for us that the RIGHT job will come along -- SOON! 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This & That

I know, I've been MIA lately -- but, well, life hasn't been worth writing about lately. Not a whole lot of quilting has been happening, or much that I can show here yet (graduation gifts).

First up, as you can see by the picture above, Red & White Snowballs are DONE! Quilted, on the bed and doggie approved. Doesn't The Spotted One look cute? Reality is he would much rather prefer to be UNDER it than on top of it.

Last year Janet gifted me with some spotty dog fabrics to make a quilt for Arlo. Well, I finally got around to it.
 The border fabric, red & black were from Janet, "thank you Janet". All the rest came from my stash and we won't talk about the embarrassing amount of doggie themed fabric still awaiting use.......

 Do ya' think he KNOWS it's his quilt?!?!?

If you're reading this, send some good thoughts our way....we certainly need them.