Saturday, March 31, 2012

FO Challenge

Hard to believe it's the last day of March already.  I started a few new projects for March..

This first one might end up being the doll quilt for May so I'm not going to show too much of it.  Just a snippet.

This is a scrappy Delectable Mountains from  my excess blue fabrics.
 One more block on Sunbonnet Sue is finished.  I thought I'd be moving along faster on her.  At least my months are up to date.
 I received a beautiful sampling of fabric from my friend Pat when she visited San Diego in December.  It's called Dark Chocolate & Lavender by Sara Morgan for Blue Hill Fabrics.

She didn't buy me all of this (wish she had) so I had to go in search of more.  Of course, I couldn't find it anywhere so I contacted the shop in San Diego.  Rosie's Calico Cupboard Quilt Shop
doesn't have an online catalog but I emailed Rosie and she responded immediately and found the fabric I needed.  Only $8.75 a yard and she sent it right out.  I ordered on Friday and it was in my mailbox in Minnesota on Monday.  Anyway, I decided to make a Sister's Choice quilt for a very special person.  

 I thought there was something else but I guess this is enough.  

I should get busy now.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Dealing with the Shoulds

I've been ruminating about everything I should be doing the past couple of days.  And what it ended up doing is almost paralyzing me.  I didn't get my walk in this morning because it took me almost an hour to check email, blogs and get the printer to working again.  Besides, the sun wasn't shining so I just stayed in my jams until after 9:00.  However, I did go out for that walk after lunch and decided that if I made a list of all my shoulds I would probably get some of them accomplished.  So, I'm going to publicly share my list, print it out, and revisit it in a couple of days..okay, see what I've done and left undone.

Here goes.  I should:

Wash the windows

Clean the house.  Easter Sunday dinner will be held at my house this year so I should get busy.   You know what will happen?  I'll get the kitchen floor scrubbed, bathroom cleaned, living room and dining room dusted and vacuumed and to heck with the rest.  Good enough!

Get a haircut.

Go to the flooring store and start the process of replacing the laundry room floor.  Once that starts, I'll have to shop for a new washer as mine is slowly dying.  I hate shopping for anything that costs hundreds of dollars that I can't cut up and sew back together to make something beautiful with.  $$$

Start quilting the Blue Beast.  I did get it pin basted.  
 I just need to come up with a design.  

Clean out the closet.  I can't even show you a picture of that.  I'm too embarrassed.  Let's just say it use to be a walk-in closet.

Make the doctor appointment to see what is really going on with my back.   $$$

Transplant those Hostas I've been meaning to do for two years.

If I do everything on this list, when will I have time for the sewing room?  You see my dilemma?  Do you have a should list?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Morning Bark

I wasn't going to "bark" this morning because it's a dark, cold day and I didn't feel very positive in my brain.  Minnie even went back to bed and stuck her head under the covers.  However, I always walk in the morning and decided that what I needed to do was to put on my winter jacket, hat and scarf and brave the elements.  Walking always cleans the cobwebs out of my head.  The temperature is 42 degrees but, with a northeast wind, it feels more like 32.  Our plan was to work out in the yard today.  That's not going to happen.  Perhaps it would be best to head to the city and do our hunting and gathering.

The sewing room saw some action over the weekend.  I did a second block on the Dark Chocolate and Lavender quilt.  I don't think I've blogged about this yet.  My friend Pat brought me a sampling of this line of fabric from San Diego and I've been saving it for a special project.  Of course, I needed more so the hunt was on.  I'll give you the whole story on a future blog sometime this week.  Wait until you see this fabric.

I also started another scrappy mini quilt.  Yikes!  What am I doing?  Like I don't have enough projects going on?  After we get our shopping done today, I will do some quilting on the doll quilt for the monthly Doll Quilt Swap.   Then, get some applique pieces ready for my evening hand sewing.  It might be a good day to bake cookies, too.  

There's always something to do.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

FMQ Challenge for March

I really liked the March tute by Ann Fahl.  It flowed so easily out of me.  The only part that didn't look to well were my circles and I'm not even going to show those.  However, the stars and flowers were my favorite.  This is how it looks on my sampler
 This is the front.  Pink thread on white flannel.
This is the light green flannel backing.

I decided this would be the perfect quilting pattern for that scrappy star quilt I did in January.  

 I quilted the loopy stars on the main part of the quilt. 
 I did  clam shells on the inner border and vining flowers on the outside border.  The flowers were done in a variegated thread.

I think this has been one of my most satisfying quilts to make.  I used scraps throughout.  And, the quilting just flowed.  Thank you Ann Fahl for an inspiring lesson and thank you, Sew Cal Gal, for bringing all the wonderful teachers to our homes every month.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Just Had to Share This...

This was my "Astrograph" this morning:

TAURUS  It may not be smart to push for certain things, such as matters that affect your material affairs, if you sense the timing is bad.  Listen to what your instincts are telling you.

All you Taurus people, watch what you add to your stash today.

Wednesday Morning Bark

I've never posted from bed before but I am this morning.  Everyone is still asleep and I'm wide awake so decided I'd be constructive.  I will not make a habit of bringing the computer to bed with me, however. 

I haven't peeked outside but I think it's kind of rainy.  I could use one more day inside doing domestic chores and finishing up some FMQ projects.  I have yet to post the lesson for March by Ann Fahl.  I picked up her copy of Dancing With Thread from the library yesterday and got a few more tips.  The FMQ Challenge has been such a wonderful learning experience for me.  I feel more confidence in my free-motion quilting than ever before.  I should be ready to post this month's lesson this week.  

Time to wake up Minnie.  She's a late sleeper if she doesn't hear the bread wrapper rattling.  She loves toast and will bark when the toaster pops up.  That's how I get by calling her a service dog. 

Hope your day goes well.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Out and About

St. Patrick's Day was a non-sewing day for me.  I didn't go to the parade and hang out in the local watering hole.  I'm half Irish but I tend not to  revel with the wanna-be Irish on St. Patrick's Day.  Instead, my  BFF and I went to a quilt show in the neighboring town. 

The Prairie Quilters put on a show every two years and it has grown dramatically.  There are approximately 30-40 members in the group and the show was held in a very large ballroom.
 You can see there were a lot of quilts on display for 30+ members.  

I didn't take too many pictures.  I couldn't get back far enough from any quilt to get a good shot.  Here are just a couple.

     I think these were 4-5 inch blocks all minutely pieced.

Paper pieced and embellished with beads and beaded fringe.

Appliqued moose with pieced border
Appliqued runner.  The swirls were done in variegated thread.

Hope you enjoyed this abbreviated quilt show.  We stopped at McDonald's for shamrock shakes afterwards.  That's how I celebrated St. Patrick's Day.  Hope you had a great one, too.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day Is Done

I know you've all been waiting on the edge of your seat to see how I made it through the day.  You can relax.   All went well.   I think Minnie feels better.  Enough about that.

I started work on the deck and got half of it done.  Up and down on that ladder is tough on this old body so I stopped around 2:00 and relaxed in the sewing room.  Finished putting the binding on the paper-pieced table runner.
 I had enough rainbow fabric for the binding which set it off perfectly.  It's ready for the Easter table.

Hope your day was good.  I'm ready for bed.

Wednesday Morning Bark

I'm the only one barking today.  Minnie hasn't barked the last two mornings and I can tell something is up with her.  I suspect it's the dreaded anal glands that need attending to.  I really, really hate this.  Actually,  I've watched the vet do it and there's  nothing to it except to pay him.   But, it's a disgusting job.  I'm not sure I can do it by myself.   I'll give it a try.  She's acting pathetic and when Minnie's not happy, I'm not happy.

Okay, enough poop talk.  Spring has busted out all over in Minnesota.  Temps in the 60s and pushing 70s.  Too early for yard work, thank goodness.  It's tempting but common sense tells me don't do it.  I have to stain the deck this year as I procrastinated on it last year.  This is the perfect time to do it so I will begin that project today.  I think the last time I stained it I rolled my ankle and ended up hobbled for six weeks.  It was Memorial weekend three years ago.  Now I worry more about my back and hope I can get this project done without breaking any body parts.  I don't allow 
#38 to help as he's older than I am.  'Nuff said.

I'm off to attend to Minnie.  Wish me luck and have a great day.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Musings

I planned on doing a Morning Bark but Minnie didn't even do one.  She got up and had her breakfast and, because it was a cloudy morning, she went back to bed.  She's still on doggy time while us humans have to contend with dumb daylight saving time.  What are we saving daylight for?  Makes no sense.

It wasn't raining but looked fairly mild so I grabbed the camera with the thought that there might be something interesting to snap a picture of.  As I said before, it was a dreary morning but fairly mild with no wind.
 Remember, this is Minnesota on March 12th.  When I got home I saw this in the garden.
 It's a gorgeous lily I planted on my kitty's grave last year.  I hope it doesn't freeze off.  And, there are green buds on the lilac bushes.
 I did some scrappy projects over the weekend.  I saw this idea on one of the blogs I visit but I didn't write it down as to who it was.  Sorry.  It's the paper piecing technique of using telephone book pages and making a string block with your scraps.  What better use  for the yellow pages.
 This worked slicker than snot.  The paper tears off easily and I like the idea of using these phone books.  I certainly don't use them for the reason they're published.  I used strips I was saving for fabric baskets someday.  You know what I mean about those "someday" projects.  These worked perfectly for these blocks.
 I made an 8" block and cut it in half twice to come up with four 4" blocks.  I did another 8" block in light fabrics for the half-square triangles.
 I think this will look kind of cute on my table for the Easter centerpiece.  I'm hosting Easter dinner this year for No. 38's family.  I'll have to do an Easter basket to put on this.  

This was another scrappy experiment.  
 I saw this in the recent Keepsake Quilting catalog.  It's a pattern by Kathleen Brown and I used 1 1/2 inch scraps.  I'm not sure where this is going but I'll add to it at some point.  Very easy.

I finished one more block on Sunbonnet Sue.
 I have all the embroidery done.  It's the piecing that takes the time.  There are 36-1 1/4" light pieces around the 6 1/2" Sue squareOne block at a time is enough.

All this while listening to Celtic Thunder.  They are coming to Minneapolis in October and I would give anything to be in the audience.   Love this group.

Until next time...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Morning Bark

It looks to be a good day ahead.  The sun is blinding me as I write this.  Actually have to pull the shade.  I managed to finish the crossword AND the word search so I know it's going to be an exceptional day.

Replaced the batts in the camera and got the picture of the finished quilt I posted about yesterday.
 Check another one off the Finish list.  

Did you catch sight of the moon last night?
I couldn't stay awake long enough to see if I could see any northern lights.  

Today I'm going to get started on the christening bonnet and try to get that finished this weekend.  I have a couple of scrappy projects that I started yesterday.  One I had to try was the Disappearing Nine Patch (DP9) that Connie over at Quilting By the River 
had as a tute yesterday.  You all probably know about DP9 but, as you know or may not know, I live in a void (black hole) sometimes.  Another great way to use up scraps.

I'm off for a walk.  Have a great Friday.  I'm looking forward to some mild temps this weekend.  Minnie and I will be hitting the pavement.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Morning Bark

A new feature is starting on Bearly Wild today called The Morning Bark.  It may not come up every morning..only when I have the urge.  After all, this is my blog.  It came to me just this morning.  You see, after Minnie has her breakfast, she hops up on the couch to settle herself down on her pillow throne and looks out the living room window and barks.
 She surveys her backyard kingdom to be sure nothing has violated her domain.  And, she'll give out a few warning barks just in case.  This happens every morning.  If I didn't hear Minnie do this, I know she isn't feeling well.   For me, I'll do the "morning bark" to start my day.  It works for Minnie.

Tuesday was a balmy day in Minnesota.  The birds are returning and critters are showing up along side the roads..some with their feet in the air.  (No pictures here).  My friend Pat has tapped her maple tree. 

She makes the best maple syrup and depending on the amount of sap she's able to collect, she will share.  (hint-hint).  The weather is perfect for tapping the trees.  Warmish days and freezing nights.  Yesterday was cold and miserable with a drizzle most of the day and strong winds.  We went to a funeral and decided not to go to the cemetery as we were half frozen sitting in the church for an hour.  No one thought to turn on the heat until the service started.  There was a thermometer hanging on the pillar in front of me (you heard me, in front of me.  It's an old church) and the temp was 52 degrees.  We went straight to the KC Hall for lunch after the service to unthaw.  I just looked up and I see a few snow flakes in the air.  Suppose to be in the 60s by this weekend, however.

I have been in a semi-funk the last couple of days as I learned my neighbors closed a deal on their house and will be moving.  They spend their winters in AZ and summers on my block.  They are Minnie's first parents and if you recall earlier posts they gave Minnie to us when they started going south for the winter.  Their condo community didn't allow pets.  Minnie became ours permanently when they returned that first winter and she has been the joy of our life ever since.  No. 38 refused to having any dog ever again but when Minnie came into our lives, he changed his mind.   Anyway, the neighbors decided they needed a smaller home when it's just for six months out of the year.  They will return to Minnesota the first of May and pack up.  It made me sad..still does.  To relieve my sadness, I holed up in the sewing room and finished up the flannel quilt I started in Dec. or Jan.  I quilted it with the leaves I learned from Frances Moore in the FMQ Challenge.   

I finished off the borders with a vine-like motif in the light green border and just a loopy design in the wider dark green border.
 I was going to show you the finished quilt here but the batteries decided to die in the camera.  I'll post it another time.

Time for my morning walk to nowhere on the treadmill.  I'll be hitting the pavement one of these mornings.  

That's all my barking for now.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Some Finishes

A nice sunny Sunday in my little Minnesota town and a chance to finish up a couple of projects.

I finished the christening gown.  The first picture is a view of the front and the second is a view of the back.  

 This is what the wedding dress looked like. 

 Phew!  I'm glad that's done.  I still have to make a bonnet but that shouldn't take long.

The other project I finished was the Easter doll quilt.  

 I asked whether I should put flowers in the baskets and the responses were about 50-50.  In the end, I decided to quilt the flowers in the baskets.
 I kept the quilting simple.  Basically, I stitched in the ditch and outlined around the applique border.
 Busy week ahead.  We have a wake and funeral to attend for one thing.  I hope to get one of the scrap quilts basted and ready to quilt.  The temps are suppose to get warmer.  I feel so bad for the folks in Indiana and Kentucky that were struck by tornadoes.  Very sad.  They are in my prayers.  

Have a happy day, everyone.