Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What's going on.....

What's going on in my little section of the world? ?

I've been outside playing in the dirt! My DH built me some nice little raised beds so I could plant my tomatoes and peppers in the ground instead of in pots. I worked this past Friday getting those in the ground.
These plants have really grown over the weekend because we've had lots of rain. Nothing like rain water for plants to really take off growing! I'll take pictures again soon because I did add some marigolds along the edges of the beds to make them look nice in addition to providing some tasty tomatoes and peppers.

DH and I also went to a nursery this weekend to look at some materials for some additional landscaping we want to do. I saw this bleeding heart...and since the plants were 25% off....I had to have one for my little shade garden. I have a hosta and a clematis growing here also. The clematis already has buds on it!
I plant impatiens in this bed too. I still have to buy those.

One of the nice things about this house is my view out the back. My neighbor loves to work in the yard and his yard is beautiful. I enjoy seeing these dogwood trees in bloom each spring. The windows in my sewing room are upstairs and look out in this same direction.
And now.....for what I've been stitching lately. I have a niece getting married at the end of the month. I make a set of tea towels for nieces and nephews when they marry. I include some knitted dish-cloths and give them money to use on something they didn't get. I have 5 of the 7 towels completed, and only one and half to stitch yet. I've got to get them done as the wedding is May 30. We may not be get to go to the wedding since it is in TX, so I have to get them done in time to mail them.
I hope the bride will like these. I made a set for her sister who married last year. Someday I want to make a set for myself. These are the old fashion flour sack type fabric. I've bought some at one of the large stores...they come in packs of 5....but they are thin and not good quality. I ordered these from www.colonialpatterns.com and I'm very pleased as they are heavy weight and good quality. I have no affiliation with them......I'm just a very satisfied customer.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My favorite quilt

Amy is hosting the Bloggers Quilt Festival. I'm going to try to get this post all correct with the proper links back to her site. Be sure to go there and check out all the others who have already posted and linked to pictures of their quilts.

Here's a picture of my favorite quilt. It's lap size. I made it using scraps from a Trip Around the World that I had made for my daughter's twin size bed. I cut the squares with scissors...not a rotary cutter. I handpieced the entire top and then handquilted it. I did the handpiecing as I watched the Winter Olympics in 1988. I loved to watch the figure skaters. I remember Debi Thomas was skating for the US that year. I have no specific reason for this being my favorite top other than I love some of the old, traditional patterns and I enjoy working with pastels.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter was a nice and relaxing holiday at my house. With the kids being so far away, it was just DH and myself. It was raining here and we were housebound.

Being in the house....well, I could have cleaned, but nope....I sat and stitched. I finished the green on blue background! Here it is along with the pink one I finished some time ago.
I'll trim these down to size when I get all of them finished. I think the colors look good so far. The next one I'm going to work on with the blue background will be a rust batik with touches of pink and blue. However, I'm not starting on that right now....I started stitching on the last block with the dark gray background. I'm going to try to finish that little quilt before I do anymore on the blue.

When I snap this picture, I also took a picture of the back so you could see my stitches. I'm so proud of them. In the applique classes I took, we learned that your stitches should be fairly even and they should be straight like the stripes on the highway. I'm getting mine pretty consistent and straight. There's still room for improvement, but I'm much better than I use to be. Hope you can click to enlarge and see the stitches.

One thing I've heard many people talk about is the needle they use for applique. In the classes I took, we were encouraged to give straw needles a try. I hated them at first. They were so long and they bent so easily. But I kept trying and I soon grew to love them. At first I wanted to throw away a needle as soon as I bent it. I was told not to do that because the needle was bent to my hand. It was broken in...... like a pair of favorite shoes..... once it was bent to my hand. Now that seemed crazy to me at first because I was used to hand quilting, and I do throw those needles out when I bend them. I made myself applique with that bent straw needle and soon realized the teacher was right! When I applique is also the only time I do not use a thimble. Any other time I am doing hand sewing....I use a thimble.

Hope I can keep up the progress with stitching and have that next block ready to share before the end of the week!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Record posting day for me.....3 in one day!! I've had visitors and I thought I would share some photos.

I am busy with laundry today. As I was taking a break, I walked over to look out my back windows at the pond by my house. Look who is back!

The Blue Heron. I've posted on this blog about a single heron that visits the pond by my house for about 3 years now. I'm assuming this is the same one. Just before I snapped this shot, he caught a fish, and you could see it wiggling as he swallowed it. I'm sorry the photo isn't better, but I snapped it through the window and I didn't want to scare him. Maybe I should say him/her. I need to look closely at the identifying marks and then get my book on birds and figure out if it is a male or female.

The finch have also been visiting my bird feeder today. I love these little birds!

Looks as if some lazy homeowner needs to get outside and fill the other feeder for the little birdies. Maybe spring really is coming to my little corner of the world....and the birds are telling me so.

Papercut Progress

Stitching with my Wed. sewing group was a lot of fun. I took my camera, but there really wasn't anything to photograph. We were all stitching away, but no one had anything to show. Some of ladies are working on some things that will be beautiful....and I will take pictures when they get a little more done. I enjoy this group so much. If any one of us has a challenge with their project, there is always someone that can help them. Quilters are such wonderful people.

I am slowly stitching away on my papercuts. Since I haven't shared any pictures of those in a while...here's the one I'm almost finished with. I still have four more little cutout areas to stitch. If you look closely at the block, you can probably see the areas that I need to work on.

I have a collection of batiks similar this one that I am using, and I'm planning to make a queen size quilt with these. This is a project that I have set no time limits on, and I lay it aside when I have other things I need to get done. I'll be putting it aside to work on 2 baby quilts soon.

Some time ago I showed some papercut blocks that I'm calling Licorice and Rainbow Sherbert. I haven't worked on them in a while because I had not decided how to put them together. There are 4 completed blocks, but I decided I wanted to set them on point. In order to do that, I needed another block....and the problem with that is I have no more of the rainbow batik. Some of my friends suggested I use a fabric close in color....and put that block in the center......then use that same fabric again in the borders. I have decided that is the right thing to do, so as soon as I finish the block I'm working on, I'll start on this 5th block. Here's my blocks as I'm thinking of laying them out. Can you tell that the fabric in that center block is different from the batik in the other blocks? As I have mentioned before, these papercut blocks are Garden City Gateworks patterns,and you can find them on Dinah's website at www.gardencitygateworks.com. I'm not affiliated with her...just a friend and satisfied customer.

I was going through patterns in my sewing room and found these that my mom gave me. She used them to sew for me when I was a little girl. Since I'm now in my mid-50's.....you can understand why the envelope is yellowed. And.....look at that price!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring....maybe not

Good COLD Monday morning! I thought spring was coming, but maybe not. Yesterday there were snowflakes in the air again and it is 29 degrees F as I write.

I have tons to do to recover from our recent trip, but one of my friends called last night to remind me that today is the day our monthly sewing group meets. I've not been the last 2 months because of other commitments or weather. So today I'm dropping everything I was going to do, and I'm going to sit, sew, drink coffee and talk! There are only 7 of us in the group. I'll take my camera and if someone has something to show, I'll ask permission to share it. Some months there is lots shown and some months nothing. We all enjoy our time together so much while we stitch.