Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gone Fishing

It was my intention to tackle some WIPs yesterday and today but this happened instead.
 No 38 has gotten the fishing bug of late which means drop everything and head to the lake.  We don't own any lake property but have cultivated friends that do and they don't mind if we use their dock.  I don't fish but would rather sit back and enjoy the serenity of the lake or read.  Also, I'm the mule to help carry the chair and the worm bucket down to the dock.  There are about 32  steps down to the dock which isn't so bad going down, it's going back up that can be a challenge for No. 38.  It's best that someone is along just in case there's a slip or a dropped wallet in the drink.  That happened a couple of years ago.  He didn't realize that his wallet slipped out of his back pocket and went into the lake until we got home.  We went back but didn't find it anywhere in the water and pretty much gave  up on it.  Just as a whim I waded through the waters several cabins down and saw dollar bills washing up to shore.  Sure-nuf, there was the wallet rolling in and out on the waves and the cards and money were washing out ahead of it.  He only lost $2.

Back to our morning..temps have been on the cool side but it's perfect for bobber watching.

And catching Sunfish.
 I tried for a side picture of this but it kept turning on me.  Trust me, these were nice pretty Sunfish.  Why don't I fish?  If I did, it would mean bringing two limits home to clean which is one limit too many.  It also means we can go home sooner so I can putter around the garden and sewing room. Maybe tomorrow?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Today I finished quilting the The Blue Beast  I'm practically giddy.
All that's left is the binding.  Woot-Woot.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rainy Day

Little Boy Wearing a Slicker Holding an Umbrella clipart 

We are finally getting some needed rain.  Almost two inches so far which means I'm able to hole up in the sewing room for a bit and do some odd chores around the house.  I even weaseled out of making dinner by convincing No. 38 that it was too wet to cook and my back hurt so let's go out for a burger.  Now if I can only get out of making supper...

The critters don't mind the rain.
  I can never seem to get a side view with the camera.  He either has his back to me or he's on the other side of the feeder.

We just had a big bang of thunder which made me jump and set Minnie off.  It would probably be wise of me to get off the computer if there's lightning.

I am making headway on the Blue Beast.  I'm finally seeing the end in near.  When that happens, you'll see it here in all its glory and if there were sound effects, I would send off fireworks.  

Back to the sewing room.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Birthday 2012

It was a birthday weekend at my house.  Yup, I made it another year and I'm still feeling like a young chick.  My back issues have been resolved, at least for the time being, and life is good.  Yesterday was my actual birthday and it started out rather gloomy and drizzly.  We decided to head to Town to do the grocery shopping since there was nothing but crumbs in the breadbox.  I generally don't care to do the grocery shopping on Sunday because it can be too busy and chaotic but we went early enough and got the job done.  By afternoon the rain clouds cleared out and it started to shine up.  I went out to the yard and took pictures.  I've never had my garden blooming on my birthday so I had to record this momentous event.
 Not even June 1st and everything is in bloom.

Later, No. 38 and I went out with our friends Greg & Tammy for supper to a fabulous restaurant called The Ranchero Supper Club in Webster, MN.  Wonderful food and not so fancy that you have to wear the best thing you have in your "Sunday Go To Meet'n" clothes.  I ordered the Fillet Mignon and broiled shrimp.
 It was to die for.  The shrimp (the white stuff at the top of the plate) were large and split open in their shells and trust me, they tasted like lobster.  Best I've ever had.  The steak was done to perfection.  Yum.  My cholesterol shot up to 1,000.  
This is a picture of Greg and Tammy and me on the right.
 No. 38 took the photo and he's a bit camera shy and very-very web shy so there will be no picture of him.  Sorry, you'll just have to imagine what a hunk he really is. 

To top off the perfect birthday, there was a solar eclipse.
 (credit; Kevin Schwartz)

What a day!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday Morning Bark

I took yesterday afternoon off and spent it with my BFF Sandy.  She treated me to lunch to celebrate my birthday coming up on Sunday and I treated myself to something totally wild and crazy.
 Yep, a swim suit.  Finally, they're making swim suits that even 66-year-old women with one breast can wear and not feel self conscience.  I've always loved to splash around in the water but pretty much gave it up after the mastectomy 15 years ago because I couldn't come up with appropriate swim attire.  I know.  There are suits out there just for us but they come with a hefty price tag.  This one wasn't cheap by any means but the two pieces are separate and I was able to open up one of the cups to accommodate the breast form.  Even No. 38 thought it was passable.  I'm not so sure Minnie thinks so, however.
Can't you just see the wheels turning in her head?  "Are you kidding me?" or "What were you thinking?" or "You're gonna look great in this, mom.  It matches my kerchief."  'Nuf said.

I set aside the Blue Beast for a couple of days and decided to experiment with a block that's been swimming around (still thinking about the swim suit) in my head.  I haven't made a bear in such a long time.  After all, my blog should be about bear making but not much of that is happening.  Anyway, this is a different kind of bear making.
I saw this pattern in The Quiltie Ladies' Scrapbook.  You can read about this book here.  It was meant to be a pieced block but rather than struggle with all those tiny pieces, I appliqued it to a 8 1/2" square of muslin then satin stitched  around it and the details.  I think it's kind of cute but not sure where I'm going with this.  Maybe more blocks in different fabrics and a scrappy border.  It could work up into a cute baby/crib quilt.  Hmmm.  That might be a plan.  Any more ideas out there?

Off to mow the lawn dandelions then it will be time to fix dinner.  Tonight is quilt guild where I'll be showing off the doll quilts I've received so far from swap partners at Doll Quilters Monthly.  

Have a great day and thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

FMQ Challenge - May

Leah Day was the guest instructor for this month's FMQ Challenge.  Leah instructed us on how to do foundational quilting.  She first demonstrated the double stippling.  I did this on the FMQ sampler quilt.
 I'm showing the backside of the quilt because the stitching shows up better.  She also demonstrated another foundational design which she called railroad tracks.
 This was very similar to the double stippling except that you square off the stipples, thus the name railroad tracks.  I used the larger of the blocks on the sampler quilt and did half double stipples and half railroad tracks.
 And this is how it looks on the front of the quilt.  
 This was a very easy tutorial.  Thank you, Leah.  I would use this design on utility quilts.  Or, as a background for applique. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

It's been an incredible busy week so haven't kept up with blogs and very little time in the sewing room.  Our neighbors are nearing the last days on the block.  I spent several days helping them by hauling clothing to the thrift store, helping with the garage sale and hauling stuff home to my house.  I don't need more stuff but the price was right and what I got was an upgrade.  Closing will be on Tuesday and then they won't be on our block any more.  However, they are spending the summer at the lake only about 12 miles away so we will still hang out from time to time.  No. 38 will be fishing while I might be floating around herding the fish toward him.

The weather finally cooperated and I got the garden tilled and ready to go.
 A picture of a square of dirt is pretty interesting, don't you think?  As of this writing, I have half of it planted already.  There will be updates in the weeks to come.  Of course, I have other little friends watching closely.
 I'll have to keep an eye on Sunbunny Sue.  After I snapped this picture there was a dark flap of wings and I caught sight of this rare visitor.
 A Piliated Woodpecker has been visiting the black walnut tree in the backyard.  I took this picture from the house and the tree is quite a ways away.  These are incredible birds and I feel so lucky to have one in the neighborhood.

The only sewing I've been doing, when I find a few minutes, is quilting the Blue Beast.  It's becoming very tedious so I'm thinking about putting it aside for a week and starting a fun project.  I'm heading out to lunch with my friend Sandy on Wednesday, quilt guild is on Thursday night so we'll see how much I'll get accomplished.  

I'll leave with this image of the Mother's Day card I received from my daughter.  I hope everyone has a great day with your families.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Morning Bark

The sun is shining.  Yay!  And we are both in tact from yesterday's dance.


As stated yesterday, if we last for 2 polkas and a couple of waltzes, we'll be doing good.  We held out for 2 1/2 polkas, 2 waltzes and a Lindy.  Can you tell which couple is us?  I think the average age at the dance was kidding.  I kept asking myself, "Do I look like I'm 70?"  My hair is not white, my clothes match.  Apart from that, here I am.  And, we were the first ones to leave.  All the "oldsters" were still rocking on and having a good time.  That's what made it special.  People older than me still able to go out on a Sunday afternoon and dance with their partners (some didn't have partners but they were looking).  Later, No. 38 took me out for supper.  He said it was my birthday supper (not until the 20th), but he wanted to be the first.  I think he wanted a good meal after all that dancing and I wasn't up to making one.  He even ponied up for a glass of wine and the tip.  Be still my heart.

This week I'm heading to the greenhouse.  If it stays dry, the garden might get tilled.  I hemmed some jeans with Mr. More last night and my neighbor found the owner's manual.  I discovered that good 'ol Ken can drop his feed dogs.  It was a hidden lever in the bobbin area which I never would've found if not for the owner's manual.  

Hope the start of your week goes well.  Thanks for visiting today.   

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Enough already

We needed rain but it can stop for awhile.  Almost 4 inches since Thursday.  I would love to get the garden tilled but, oh boy.  Did anyone get a glimpse of the mega-moon last night?  I tried but too much cloud cover as thunder storms were moving in.  

The orioles returned last week and are loading up on grape jelly.
 One has to be quick with the camera to get these shots.  I was just taking a shot of the bird on the left when the other guy flew in just as I clicked the shutter.  They just can't share.  It's been a challenge to keep the feeders full with all the rain.  Everything gets soaked or, in the case of the jelly, it becomes jelly water.  

The orioles aren't the only ones who like grape jelly.
 As if there's not enough bird seed for these guys to get, he still has to climb up to the second floor deck to raid the jelly dish.  Gotta love 'em.

No. 38 and I are headed off to a Sunday afternoon dance.  We haven't danced since last summer so I hope I remember how.  After a polka or two and a couple of waltzes, we're pretty much done.  But, you never know.  The old boy might have a couple more dances in him than I thought.  

Hope you're having a good weekend.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Meet Mr. More

I have a new roommate for Bernie.  His name is Mr. More..Mr. KenMore.  

 He's a basic kinda dude, not too many bells and whistles, and has very few miles.  My neighbors are moving and liquidating their household.  So Ken came to my house.  When Bernie went into the shop in January for what I thought would be a quickie tune up,  she wasn't back home for ten days and I was wishing I had a backup machine that could do basic, reliable piecing.  I have a 1950s black Singer which sews the heavy fur pelts and fabric for my bears.  I also have a little Singer Featherweight for emergencies.  

I played around with him today (that sounds obscene, but you know what I mean) to get the tension set.  I happened to have some generic bobbins that will work and I found a walking foot in my stuff and a Big Foot.
 I got this way back when I started to do some serious quilting.  At the time I had a White but I didn't like the way it performed so I sold it and invested in the Bernina.  I kept the Big Foot and almost got rid of it a couple of times but decided to hang on to it just in case.  Lo and behold that "just in case" day arrived and it works on Ken.  I don't know if I'll do much FMQing with him but if I ever want or need to, it can be done.  

Another cute little feature on this guy is the handy little gadget and bobbin container on the front.
 You have to remove it to get to the bobbin case but it's no big deal.  It pops right off.  So, I'm pretty happy with Mr. More.  It's getting a little crowded in the sewing room again.  No. 38 looks in and just shakes his head.  Sort of like when I look at all his stuff in the garage and shake my head.  

We had rain and hail this morning.  I made it back from my morning walk just in time.  It was thundering the whole time I was walking but no lightening.  Halfway through, it started to drip a little and I didn't know if I was going to make it home before getting drenched.  I no more than got in the house and the heavens opened with small hail to boot.

The hail was small, which was a good thing, but it lasted quite a while.  Then, it cleared off and got very warm.  Finally, summer-like temps.  I'm itching to plant.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day

Here is the fabulous doll quilt I got from my Doll Quilters Monthly 
swap partner, Linda, in California.  You can visit her blog here. 
It was so fun to receive this in time for May Day.  Guess what the  theme for May was?  Okay, I won't make you's May Flowers.  I have it hanging on the wall behind my computer desk where I reserve the spot for monthly wall hangings.  It fit there perfectly.  Now, the pressure is on.  I have to finish quilting her quilt so I can get it in the mail before much more fills my calendar.