Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Yes, I've been Missing In Action this month.  I've had such a busy month! 

My quilt studio looks like a disaster happened in there.  There's stacks of fabrics everywhere, and there's stacks of plastic bins (with more fabric in them) stacked in the way too.  My design wall fell down.  I had a piece of flannel pinned to the wall over the closet and when I was looking for a book, I pulled the pins out.  Rats.  The problem was that, when I moved in 4 years ago, I just unpacked the books and shoved them on the shelves in the closet with no organization.  I was going to get back to it one of these days and never did.  So I took the opportunity and organized my large quilt book collection. Much better!  Now the design wall is hanging from a curtain rod and can be pulled back out of the way to get into the closet.  However, I just need to find a stronger curtain rod, because this one is cheap and is bowing badly. 

But in spite of the fact that I've accomplished very little this month, I do have a few finishes and other things to show you.

Back in September, I started playing around with a Halloween version of the Scrappy Trip pattern by Quiltville.  I cut my strips at 3 inches, instead of 2.5 inches, just to show off the fabrics better and have the quilt go faster.  So these blocks will finish at 15 inches. 

I was making myself a kit of something to sew for after I have surgery on my former broken arm, but that surgery hasn't happened yet.  I wanted needed something to sew one day, and finally hauled this out.  So far I have 5 blocks made (I did one after I took this picture).  It's taken me 3 weeks to get this far, as I've had so little time in the quilt studio.  I have to make 20 blocks total, so I don't know if it will be done for this year!

I finished my applique from the class with Gwen.  But then I wondered: does this need some leaves on it?  What do you think?

I finished my wool basket project.  Now I just need to decide what I'm going to do with it.  Initially I was going to frame it, but I can't find a needlework frame of the right size.  So, the way I see it, I have 2 options.  1. wrap it around a stretched canvas and staple
2. make this the center of a wallhanging.
I can't decide what I want to do right now, so this will be percolating for a bit.

I finished the June Block Lotto blocks and posted them just barely in time!  Wow, the whole month has just flown by.  I'm not quite sure where it went.  But I almost missed this!  I'm hoping to do better for July.  I love the way these blocks turned out.  I love the colors, and the block is easy, fun and has some interesting possiblities for setting. 

Here are some of the potholders that I've made for my guild's quilt show this fall.  The red one in the back is my first attempt at chenille.  I think it came out pretty good.  The black and white was a practice Disappearing 4-Patch and the cow fabric is on the back of those.  And then 2 selvage potholders, with some selvages that my friend K in Calif sent me.  I think they're so cute! 

I have 2 more potholder in process, and will probably be making some more too.  The ladies in the guild had never heard of using selvages before, and I think they thought I was a little nuts.  Now they're giving me selvages!  Yay!

Last September, I started this Disappearing 9-Patch I Spy project.  It was supposed to be for a guild challenge, but I didn't get it finished in time.  Now, I've finally got all my 9-patch blocks for my GD's quilt made and sliced up.  They're ready to be trimmed to the same size and put up on the newly-functional design wall.

I'm still stalling on my guild's "Element of Nature" challenge and it's due mid-July.  I know I'm not the only one that hasn't started yet.  But I mostly know what I'm doing and am all ready to start.  I just need a few days with no other commitments.  I've had jury duty this week, so that has pretty much kept me either busy or too distracted to do anything.  I'm hopeful for next week!

This is a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly that DH found in the front yard on the rhododenron.  At least I think that's what it is, based on what I saw on Google images.  If you know better, please let me know.  Isn't it beautiful? 

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Gettin' Wooly Around Here

Here's my first blooming Rhododendron of the season.  We've had the coldest spring on record, and things are slow to get going.  Except, of course, for the pollen, which is about to kill me.  It's pouring tonight, and still cold enough to need a sweatshirt, with the heat running.  June???  Hard to tell!  But by Saturday, we're actually supposed to be in the mid-70s for the 1st time!!  Maybe DH can get his poor tomato plant in the ground soon, instead of on top of the china cabinet!  (otherwise the cat will chew it.  Dumb cat.)  And I really don't mean to complain.  At least we're not having floods, tornados, snow or any number of ugly weather events that other places are experiencing.  Not to mention way-too-hot temps!  Guess I'd better not complain, huh?  Sorry 'bout that, chief. 

Here's where the Wooly comes in. . . .

My sister sent me this table mat - just because!  I love it!  It's perfect for the table where we eat all the time.

Look at all the fun she had!

Now I just have to keep the cats off of it.  Apparently, her cat Zoe was on it and it smells like her, which the boys find very interesting.  Lots of sniffing going on, and some sitting/laying on.  So far it's only on the coffee table.  Maybe when the good smell wears off, I can actually put it on the table.  *grin*

Here is some wool applique I've been working on.  I've really been searching for the pattern,  because I'm ready for the next step.  I just could not find it!  After searching through everything twice, I finally found it "hiding" on the cutting table.  Egads, I hate when I do that.  But now I can get this done!  The pattern is from the book "Farmhouse Quilts: Baskets & Patches" by Liberty Homestead

My friend K~ did the embroidery for me in exchange for some pottery.  I used some hand-dyed wool (grape!) I bought in January, and the base fabric is a light blue linen that I was originally going to make into a top.  I'd rather do quilting with it!  It's really nice to work on. . . I love the way it feels.  I can't decide if I'm going to frame this or make it into a little wallhanging.  The pattern is for a pillow, but I don't want to make it a pillow.  And it's not very big, so a pillow that small will get lost at my house.  Soon it will be . . . something!

Here is the state of my applique from my class with Gwen Marston.  I decided to go with fusible (Misty Fuse), and I'm doing a running stitch around the appliques.  Very folk art-y and fun.  I don't do much hand work, and haven't done it for quite awhile.  So, this is something different, and I'm enjoying it.

Now I'm trying to decide which stitch to use on the outside edges of the flowers.  Can you see the stitches?  I'm tired of the blanket stitch, and think I'll go with more of the running stitch.  But I think I'll increase the number of threads I'm using so the stitches will show up better.  This is getting closer to done, and I'm starting to consider border options.  I haven't quite decided what size I'm going for here.  So, I'll be thinking of all the options for my projects while I finish up all this stitching.

And really, all of this handwork is "busy" work while I avoid working on my challenge quilt.  Ahem. . . .cough, cough.  Just a little stalling, eh??