Showing posts with label plants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label plants. Show all posts

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Playing with Flowers and Fabric


The weather here has been just beautiful this week . . . up to 84*, sunny and so beautiful.  All the rhododendrons and azaleas are blooming and are so gorgeous.  So, instead of doing much sewing, I went and got seduced by the pretty plants at Home Depot!  I've gotten half of the plants in the ground, and the rest are sitting out on the deck, waiting for me to do something with them.  I'm so easily swayed into buying the flowers, and am not really good at the planting part.  Most of them will go in the pots on the deck, which won't involve me getting on my sore knees. 

I'm discovering that many of the plants that I've put in in previous years aren't doing very well because we have too much shade and not enough sun for them.  So, now I'm rethinking what I'm getting AND where I'm putting it.  

Tonight the weather is starting to change, and we're supposed to have rain and highs only in the 60's by Saturday.  So hopefully tomorrow I can get some of those pots planted.  I've got a guild workshop tomorrow afternoon, so I'm not sure how many I can actually get done.  On second thought, I guess some rain won't hurt them.  hee hee!  

I made seven of the Bars blocks that Block Lotto is doing this month.  I found them difficult to do accurately, but I prevailed.  I'm going to be donating these this month.

This is where I am at now with my Cherrywoods project that I showed here.  I've got blocks for another project on the design wall, and so these were on the floor of the quilt studio.  I got tired of walking on or around them, so I finally got them sewn together.  Now I'm stalled until I go get some more of the brown fabric that I'm using for the sashing.  I only had 1/2 yard to start with, and I don't have enough left to finish those two edges that don't have the brown.  Not a problem (I LOVE buying fabric!), but it involves a trip back to the store where I bought it and that is about an hour's drive from here! I know I could put another brown on those two sides, but I want the entire outside to be the same fabric to "float" the blocks.  

Here is Shade inspecting my work.  This should give you an idea of the size of the piece.  Shade seems to approve!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Almost Done

Well, after all that whining, I finally got the color challenge quilt quilted. Whew! That was tough. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I was torn between meandering all over the background or straight lines diagonally across the quilt. I really wanted to do the lines, to emphasize the diagonal chains, but I was afraid that would obscure the stars. I was also afraid that my meander quilting wasn't good enough to do a whole quilt. So, I practiced a lot and finally "meandered" the quilt. (Is that a verb??) I think it looks alright, but don't look too closely. I crossed some lines here and there, and did a few sudden turns, but all in all, I'm pretty happy with it. I also ended up quilting a square in the middle of the stars, as they looked too "poofy" to me. I quilted straight lines in the border area, just to differentiate the border from the body of the quilt.

But, I had a "Doh!" moment. I practiced so much with the "good" thread that I only got about 1/2 way done and I ran out of thread. I was using the Mettler silk-finish thread, and didn't realize how little thread is on there compared to the spools I'm used to using. So, I had to go back to the fabric store for more thread. Needless to say, I bought two spools the 2nd time! And I hope I remember this the next time I'm buying this thread for quilting! I really like this thread. It works in my machine beautifully, and it shows up nicely. Kind of sits on top of the fabric instead of sinking in too much. So I will be buying more of it.

I think I need to do more quilting more often, so that it's not so stressful and I can be more comfortable with it. I'm planning on quilting a few small items around here that are waiting for quilting, now that I'm "warmed up". I was hoping to get one thing quilted every month this year, but so far that hasn't happened. My big quilts will still be going to my long-arm quilter. I just can't handle a big quilt, and she does such a wonderful job for me. (Hi, Shari!) But there's really no reason to dawdle on my small projects. We'll see how well I do at this. *grin*

I got about 3/4 of the binding sewn down the other evening sitting in a lovely air conditioned room at the local library, but now am waiting for the weather to cool off some before I work on it again. Yesterday it was at least 91* and the day before it was 89*! Way too hot to sit under a quilt stitching. The color challenge reveal is next Friday, so I have a few days to get it done.

After all that precision and exactitude, I HAD to do some liberated piecing! I'm using mostly dark blue for the backgrounds - don't know if you can tell that in the picture. And I'm using my hand-dyed fabrics for the points on the stars. I got 2 more done last night, but no photo yet. I'm not entirely certain where this is going - I'm just playing and letting it tell me where it wants to go. Much more fun than those little 4 inch stars in the color challenge!

The other day DH and I made this little woodland garden (and I use the term loosely). It's on a stump in the backyard. These are all little plants that we found in our yard: a small fern, a tiny hosta, a little violet or two. So far, it's staying alive. That's a foxglove flower in the foreground that's growing by the stump. They're wildflowers here. About a month or so ago, they were absolutely everywhere. I used to struggle to grow them in California!

Yesterday we went to the county fair. That was fun, in spite of it being hot enough to melt metal. I really enjoyed seeing all the animals - that's my favorite part of the fair! The quilt display was disappointing - not very many quilts there, and the lighting was poor. But we had a good time.
On the way home, we took a side trip to investigate a road we've never gone down. (You can see we live out in the country, as this is about 5 miles from where we live.) We found this great shot of Mount Rainier. The mountian is starting to lose its snow, but there's also glaciers there, so parts of it are white all year round. You can see there's still some snow on the shorter mountains - that fell the last time we had rain, over a month ago!

It's California weather here this summer - hot and dry. There was a grass fire near here the other evening. And no rain predicted for the next 10 days at least. My DH is very happy with the weather, but I could do with it being cooler and damper, at least once in a while! But, I've got a tan (without trying) for the first time in 3 years!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Two Little Charmers

These two ducks often come into our yard. They just kind of wander around, then go back into the lake. They seem to be "paired". They're always together, wherever we see them. They look a little mis-matched to me, but I won't tell them because I don't want them to think I'm "duck-ist"! *grin*

My poor hostas took a beating last night. They have held up really well throughout the crazy weather we've been having (rain, hail & snow). Unfortunately, they don't do so well after being trampled by a Labrador! We had somebody's Lab in our yard last night who apparently had what DH thinks was the Blue Heron "cornered". He was running in circles, yipping at something around 11:30 last night. I kept hearing him and wondered what was going on. So DH went out with the flashlight, and saw something big fly off into the trees on the island. The Lab was very proud of his bird-finding skills, but had to be asked to please go home. I didn't know until this morning that he had squashed the poor hostas!

Just this morning, we had sunshine, then rain, then hail, then snow and then sunshine during the snow! DH is fed up with the weather and wants to go back to California. He's tired of being cold. This is crazy weather! I guess I spent too long in California to recognize real weather, because now I'm starting to remember that this is what April in Michigan and Germany was like.

I finally got some photos of the quilt tops that I completed at my Quilt Retreat a few weeks ago. Wow, there must have been a disturbance in the space/time continuum for it to have taken me so long!
The first one is Spring Meadow. It was a charm packet from Moda by that name. I actually used 2 charm packs, and just put them together rather randomly. You can see some of the fabrics a little better in the closeup. (You can see the edge of the matching pillowcase in the upper right hand corner as well.)

The second one was another (2) charm packs by Moda, called Strawberry Lemondade. This was also put together randomly. And it has a matching pillowcase too. This one is my favorite - it's such bright, happy colors!

I made these for my granddaughters to use for their naps when they're over at our house.

I'm real happy with the way these two quilt tops came out. Now I just have to go buy some flannel fabric for the backs. I think I'll quilt these myself. They're not real big so, hopefully, it won't be too hard. Amazingly, these two quilt tops came out almost exactly the same size! I didn't plan that, and I'm not sure how that worked, but I'll take it!