May 27, 2015

checking in

I noticed a huge spike (like 500 people???)  in page views for some reason. Maybe some friends and/or family members are checking in to see if I have updated the blog. Or looking for the photos from yesterday's quilt meeting. (Lois had 5 quilts to turn in and 2 to pin---and they are beauties!) The reason doesn't matter, I'm just speculating, LOL.

There were only 4 of us at the meeting yesterday for various reasons.  It being so close to the Memorial Day weekend, I have in the past cancelled the meeting but we still had a good time together and left for lunch back in town since the three of us going live in the mid and northern end of the county.  Wouldn't you know we ran into Bev coming out of Wendy's and she had left a few minutes earlier than we had!  Terri joined us when Jane was able to get her on the cell.

Bev had been busy making yo-yo's while I was cutting diamond sections from the strip sets I had sewn last meeting.  Jane and Lois teamed up at the pinning table.  Below is one of the tops---Lois got her diamond quilt done while I'm still piddling around with strip sets, LOL.    This is "Maddie Bea's Quilt", designed by Phyllis Anderson using her Sweet 'N Sassy templates and featured in her book Diamond Quilts.  Love it in the fall tones.   Lois said she was not happy with the bias edges that resulted in the left and right hand sides cutting it as written.  I told her we should be able to figure out how to make a template that is on straight of grain.  She told me in essence "to go for it", LOL.  It will be awhile before I personally need it but I know she'll make another of these from our conversation.

Lois asked me if I had brought my camera when she came in as she had quilts to turn in.  I had but had almost forgotten it in my rush to get out the door.  I had not packed up the night before as the stuff I thought I might cut was still sitting on the kitchen table while the camera was elsewhere in the house.

 Knowing I would ask, this time she had a note attached to this quilt.   Funny!  The outside blocks are "Pinwheel Fancy" by Bonnie Hunter while the inside section are "Triangle Tango" by Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company fame and featured in "Block" magazine.   There is a video tutorial for that but she calls it Falling Triangles and it uses layer cakes.  I'll have to see about doing it with charm packs for  special little lady in MY life.

This is a Bargello quilt and I am fairly sure it uses the Billie Lauder pattern as I have one similar to it playing off the butterfly fabric with a black background.

The picture does NOT do this one justice.  Emily's Wedding Quilt from Fons and Porter.  The quilt has taken the fancy of more than one area quilter and was first spotted at a retreat some went to in Attalla.

This is Anita Grossman Solomon Arrowhead. How about that monkey border fabric?  Too cute.  BTW, the pattern is still available for download.   I know a couple of online friends got into making these after I mentioned and linked to this a few months back, LOL.  Gene combined his with an Old Italian block alternating and it can be seen HERE with some of his amazing quilting.

This is Lois' version of Pioneer Sampler designed by Eleanor Burns.  The dogwood print is lovely but that yellow piece with the pink really pulls the whole quilt together.  Well done, Lois!

There you have it for today's quilt show, LOL.

Today I have mainly done errands and walked.  I am continuing to walk 6 days out of 7 and usually 7 laps for 1.96 miles.  Then I come home and walk Oscar who is waiting (outside) for his breakfast but then so am I, come to think of it.    I am still more or less "thinking" about sewing but not actually getting to it.  Read quite a bit over the weekend doing the "Advocate Series" by Teresa Burrell.  4 books had been free on Book Bub or OHFB but I started the 5th one last night.  That's how they get you hooked, I guess but still good that the others were free.  Not complaining.

Around the neighborhood, they finally mowed the yard across the lane but they did not clean up any of the brush on this side of the fence in the easement.  If anything, they added to the sticks and branches as they got the lawn tractor stuck on the combination of sloping yard and tree "droppings".  Robert kind of mows what he can even though it is their yard.  The painting crew is still busy working almost daily though.  I still think they are going to flip this house but we'll see.

Next door, had a tree removal crew in but they basically just cut away all the volunteer trees and took down the tree that had split and landed on their fencing.  Good riddance for that thing as it still could have taken down our lines again had it fell the opposite direction.  The tree I thought they wanted down to put up the carport still remains UP.   Hmmm.

The house across the main road is still for sale.  Kids are done with school as graduation was this past Thursday.   Robert and Glynda are into gardening this summer so I see them out watering the various plantings a good bit.    We have had rain in the forecast every day since Sunday and clear up to next Monday but it has not really been anything much measurable at my house.

The only thing I see flowering in my yard is the angel trumpet lilies under the Rose of Sharon bush.  There are day lilies in that mess too but I don't see them yet.  Gardenias should be coming out sometime but that thing might still be recovering from the severe cutting back I did last year.  I have also managed to just about kill the house plant that DJ had nutured for 30 plus years.  Not even sure what it is but a common house plant that hangs down.  It was a plant that his son had gotten when he was in the hospital in the early 80's, DJ said.  We'll see if it manages to bounce back or if I should not be trusted with any growing thing besides my critters, that is.  The aloe vera plant survives in spite of me.

Guess that is it for this installment.  Hope you all had a safe holiday weekend.

May 21, 2015

Thursday check-in

This probably says it all---"I'd Rather Be Quilting".  (The T is a needle and thread and does not show up so well.)  Alabama does not require a front and back license plate so the front is open to showing off your team spirit, hobbies, your grandkids, whatever. Naturally I want mine to say something about quilting or sewing.  For years I had a heavy plastic type "license" that read "Quilter on the Move" that I had gotten at Quiltmaker's Workshop in Trussville buying it with some birthday money.   When I sold the 2nd car after DJ's passing, it was showing some cracks and I taped it up with packing tape and continued to use it on the Pontiac.  Well, last month when I was going to pick up Janet at the ATL airport, I noticed only a few pieces of the plastic remained.  The car looked naked!  I found this at Cafe Press , aluminum and sturdy.  Back in business, so to speak.

Mostly I have just been thinking about quilting.  Oh, I have had the machine sitting out since the Belles meeting 9 days ago but did not touch it till yesterday---and then it was only to swap out to the one I quilt with.   The grandmother had called to make arrangements for me to drop off the quilt on Tuesday.  She decided that I needed to put a couple quilting lines through her embroidered piece after all.  I drug it back home but also came back with a robe she needed hemmed up.  She knows I hate to do mending and/or alterations but this time I agreed to do it.  I set up the room to quilt which took longer than it did to actually do those two lines.  Then un-did the process, put on a walking foot, knit needle and fixed the robe.    I met her halfway and handed off the quilt on Wednesday morning as she was going to her daughter's in the ATL area for the day.  Tomorrow, I'll hand off the robe.

I did one other thing last evening on the machine when I put a buttonhole in the little bag I haul around with me when I walk to accomodate headphone jack.  The bag is just big enough to hold my cell phone, my drivers license, a small container of Purell,  lip balm, whatever.  I have also attached a lap counter (really a Clover knitting counter re-purposed)  to a decorative button hiding the Velcro closure, dangling by a piece of matching rat-tail trim.  My ipod shuffle just died and I don't know if they even make them anymore with the prolieration of cell phones with music apps.  I'm going to miss that thing!  Phone service is not so realiable for streaming, I am finding.

This chromebook is acting up too.  Keeps shutting itself off, the F key sticks but always has.  Last night the cursor got stuck in place and I couldn't power down.  I had to let the power run down completely and then this morning I was able to start anew while it recharged.  Isn't technology fun?  I see replacement coming its way at this rate.  I love this tablet's features and barely turn on the desktop anymore but do not love the aggravations!

Now that the park is no longer a muddy, puddly mess I decided I better get my behind out walking.   I've been at it for a little over a week going 6 or 7 laps each time out in addition to the 3-4 times out walking the lane with Oscar.  The park is a little over a quarter mile meaning I am going 1.68 or 1.96 miles.  The lane measures 0.36 round trip so add another mile to the daily totals.  I better be seeing that scale needle making some movement downward!!  Lately it is up a pound or two, then down, then up---aggravating.   I drag out of bed, feed Skyler, put Oscar outside till I get back, walk and feed him, hit the shower, eat breakfast, do laundry if needed.  A routine is established.

Monday was routine checkup day at the doctor's.  He congratulated me on the strides in the weight department,  "I knew there was something different about you today", he says. Then he was teasing me about getting ready to find some male companionship.  Mentally I am not ready for that!  Not even if I dropped another 30 lbs would I be ready for that physically.  Sheesh.   His long time nurse commented on the new hair-do.   I told the Doctor that the haircut might be part of the change in appearance.

Tuesday was binge cook day.  And laundry.  I re-set my phone, updated the desktop.  I'm keeping busy, just not sewing much.   I have been knitting a bit on this Mary's Blanket that Susan T suggested to me some time back.  Not sure which baby might get this as I know my sister Janet is apt to make her grandbaby one.  I just piddle with this anyway.   She made a beautiful feather and fan one that I think went to my nephew's baby girl.   I helped her figure out the pattern awhile ago and she ran with it!   Here is the POST where I showed and told about it.

Day is half over and I am still not sure what I want to do today.  I'll figure it out, LOL.  Read, sew?  No errands to run.  I've done the Dead Red series of books on Kindle by RP Dahlke recently on my friend Gene's recommendation.  THX for that!

May 12, 2015

Meeting day

I was awakened early as some guy was out bush hogging at 6 a.m. a few houses away in the subdivision. Had I not had problems getting to sleep in the first place it would not have been so irritating. I know others had to get up to go to school and work but not me. Also he was out working in the rain, as in "didn't have enough sense to come in out of it"? Once I got the critters fed and watered, I headed out to the meeting site early today.  By then it was cloudy and clearing.

There ended up being just 5 of us there.  Lois had quilts to turn in and probabl at least 4 or 5 to pin.  Beverly was working on binding a quilt for a great-grandson.  Marilyn, Jane and Lois kept busy pinning and I was sewing.  Show you that in a minute!

First the quilts----

I told Lois that I thought this block looked familiar--was it one of the Pioneer Sampler blocks perhaps?  She couldn't remember but did recall that she had been asked to demonstrate making some blocks for a group at JOY Quilt Guild.  It could have been this one as they had done classes using Eleanor Burns' Pioneer Sampler book last year.  Others of us had done this years ago when the quilts shop was open in Pell City as a Block of the Month so books were out on loan.  I pulled out my copy to see----yep, Missouri Star is the name.

This one is Lemoyne Star.  I know for a fact that Lois used Deb Tucker Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star ruler to accomplish this lovely quilt.  Actually she was ready to turn this in late last year but then Marilyn asked if she would share the technique with the JOY group.  I handed it back to her and said she would need something completed, top or quilt, to show the group.  She made another in red, white and blue so those must have been her demo blocks, LOL.

Isn't this one perfect for a young girl?  Pink and purple are nice for girls of any age, if you ask me!  Disappearing 9 patch but set on point.

Now this one has me stumped just a bit.  It has a bit of Farmer's Daughter look but that uses 9 patches.  Debbie Caffrey has one she calls "Rancher's Daughter" that has a Delectable Mountain like border but done in strips which book it is in I do not recall.  (Actually I found that one as a free pattern on her website--scroll down and here is the LINK that will get you to the pdf file. )  I've also seen it done with 4 patches and the stars pieced into the sashing. Theramae did that one and I have found the magazine article it was in and clipped it for my files.  BUT this is 16 patches.  Lois doesn't remember the source or tells me she had too many scraps and this is how she used them.  Got any ideas??

And this one---at first I thought it might be one of the Missouri Star patterns--like Disappearing Hour Glass or Disappearing Pinwheel.  Now I am not so sure and I may be revisiting it from when she stumped me with the pattern last time.  I may have even drawn it up in EQ as it has so many elements going on with it.  If I didn't, then I am going to draw it up, LOL.  Lovely in fall like tones.  For my quilt document I will probably just call it "souped up Pinwheel"

ED. NOTE:   Connie commented and ID'd the pattern.     "Love all the quilts. The last one is the same as Bali Sea Star in Kim Brackett's book, "Scrap Basket Surprises". I really enjoy Kim Brackett's series of books for making quilts from 2 1/2" strips - lots of nice patterns. " 
THX for that.  I remember wondering about it months ago now!  I think Lois even knew I would ask and told me the name!  The memory bank takes longer to come up with some of that anymore.  I even found the POST where I talked about it once Connie shared the information.   
Jane took a couple pictures of me---this is one of them.  My outfit is getting too baggy and I should quit wearing it.   She wanted me to show my folks the weight loss but also the new hair do, dried smooth instead of scrunched curly.

So, I drug in my 2 1/2 inch strip box and the New Home machine.  Though I am wasting fabric trimming it down the pattern says 2 inch or bigger and some overcut strips from my Popstix quilt will find some use.  I've got a container of 2 inch strips but the colors would not be as bright and fun as this bunch.  I sewed some strip sets in different combinations but it seems like some strips in here started off with my fellow Belles.  They were probably just happy that they didn't take them home OR we in essence swapped strips!

I was playing with those Sweet 'n Sassy Rhomboid templates I got last week.  10 blocks done and one itty bitty one.  What is left from trimming out the skewed 4 patch deal can be sewn and then cut with the smallest of the three templates to make a doll quilt.   (Mattie Bea quilt designed by PJ Anderson.)  I wanted to see how many I could squeeze out of 22 inches approx of strip---3 blocks and also how they turned out.  I may do the first cuts from the remaining strips sets here in the kitchen so Oscar doesn't get shooed back outside.

Lois got busy with her book and ruler after JOY group met last week and she has 90 some completed and said we need 130 or something like that to get it WTIL sized (around 40 x 60).   What do I know??  She was the math teacher.

The others took off for lunch at Olive Garden.  I could have gone but came on home instead.   Not my favorite place. They even offered to pick another spot but there was no need to change their selection.  It always takes a while to build consensus in the first place, LOL.  I had brought my lunch but ate it here at home.   Honestly, the only thing that even sounds good to me at the moment is pizza!  I may have to order one as I don't feel like turning on the oven to make a homemade one.  Or wait till I get some of those mini bread shells and stick it in the toaster oven.  HMMMM

That's it for this installment.  Oh, wait.  My local friend Gene says that those wormie looking things I showed you yesterday are actually called catkins and quite a few trees produce those dangling things.  I googled trees "indigenous to Alabama" and "trees with catkins in spring" and it is possible this is an alder tree.  I'll ask Glynda or Robert next time I see them outside.   Still no idea about the tree(s) between the properties.   Now I'm done, LOL.

May 11, 2015

seen on the lane

There are some folks that seem to have some pretty roses growing right now but that would not be MY yard where all manner of flowering weed etc seems to be flourishing.  The ground is quite dry and whatever comprises my yard is crunchy underfoot.  A good bit of clover is growing though.   Rain is apparently due in later this evening and tomorrow as well.  We'll see!

The ivy bushes at the end of the lane are quite large---and full of honeysuckle.  Smells good but makes my sinus tracts unhappy.

Still growing fire ant mounds though this one looks a little abandoned.  Get my stick and poke it and they'll surface.  Rain, and the ground gets softer and they dig more.  I read somewhere that these things are 3 foot down and by the time you see them on the surface the hill underground is three times the size of what you are looking.  (I think that's right , trying to remember what I read.)  Some even have multiple queens.  I should have bookmarked the article to link back too.

Buttercups are everywhere too.  These happen to be at the vacant house across the lane.  There have been a lot of workmen in and out just about daily that seem to be drywalling, painting, flooring what have you but NO one has bothered to mow the yard or pick up all the sticks on either side of the fencing.

And here you have the scourge of the South, kudzu.   See those shoots inching out?  They will attach to anything in the way and can grow 10 inches a day.  I need to push them back towards the road, hoe them, cut them or something but it was far too hot out there to want to even think about it.

I don't know what kind of tree this is but it has been shedding leaves like crazy.  The neighbors are considering taking this down and probably a large cedar in front of it as well to put up a car port.  Fine with me.  It is planted on the property line from what DJ told me.  We'll see.

Earlier today when Oscar and I were out walking these things were falling down like it was raining.  Looklike they are some sort of seed pod and pulverize when you step on them.   Oscar was patiently waiting for me but in the shade and a little breeze blowing at that spot in the lane.

They came off this tree--- whatever it is--- at my neighbor's house.   I don't know how well you can see it but I asked Glynda the other day what kind of plant it was that looked like giant asparagus.  Yucca, she said.  That little bed you see to the left of the tree. 

The combo shot---all manner of weeds, tall grass, honeysuckle, kudzu and buttercups.  The county has yet to mow and the grass almost looked like wheat blowing as I looked north up the lane this morning.

And the magnolia tree is blooming too across the lane.

No sewing today.  I had to go for lab tests this morning in preparation for a routine 6 months checkup.  Didn't sleep well and the overslept but for once I did not have to wait for an hour or so to have the blood drawn.  Errands were ran, groceries obtained. The dog walked.  The kitty loved on too.

I drug out my basketweave blanket knitting yesterday afternoon and binged watched "McLeod's Daughters" episodes till "Call the Midwife" came on PBS.  Skyler curled up behind me and Oscar napping on the couch with me nudging me with his back paws as he is known to do.  I had hoped with it being up to 90 and the a/c working hard to keep up that he would scoot away from me a bit, LOL.  Still not sure what I want to work on at Belles tomorrow but I'll figure it out at some point.  Supposed to rain so probably won't drag the sewing machine.

THX for stopping by-------