Tuesday, July 31, 2012

FO Challenge for July

This month has flown by and when I think of all the days I was confined in the house because of the heat, I really don't have too many new starts to brag about.  One top that I finished piecing was the kaleidoscope pattern by Marilyn Foreman.

This is as far as its gotten.  I do have the backing for it, however.

Last month I didn't get anything accomplished on Sunbonnet Sue but I got caught up in July.  I even finished the August block.
 Can I get a big Whoop-Whoop here?

I also finished the embroidered sewing room blocks that I started last month and did one block in a crazy quilt style just to see how it looks.  I figured if I didn't like it I could stitch a new block.

 But, I think I'm going to like this design.  I better watch how close I trim on the other blocks.

What else?  Oh, this is what's emerging from the garden.

 Aren't they beauties?  I've been picking every day and eating as much as my body can take.  I think it will be time to can some of these beautiful mamas up in the next few days.  

Those are the highlights for July.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday Morning Bark

What a difference a day makes.  Yesterday was another unbearably hot day.  The humidity was high again which meant I was confined to the inside and bowing down to the AC gods.  I washed the "Disaster Quilt" for the fourth time  (see previous post)I did the ice treatment on Monday as suggested by my friend Sandy.  She heard about this through a class she took whereby putting ice on the affected area and leaving it on for several hours would remove the stain. 
 I iced this sucker for 12 hours, then  treated it with Oxy-Clean and washed it.  After all that there was still some stains left, though not as bad.  One more time in the washer with the Oxy.  I was determined to save this piece or at least make it passable.  I have to confess that I was on the brink of giving up quilting altogether.

After drying and inspection, I decided to put the binding on and let the owner decide whether she wanted it or not.  There is still slight staining on a couple of the white triangle units, but barely noticeable. 

This is the finished product.

 As I was sewing the binding on, No. 38 exclaimed that there was a rainbow and sure enough, this beautiful rainbow was visible over the treetops.
This is the first rainbow I've seen all summer as we haven't had much rain.  Oddly enough, we didn't have any yesterday, only a few drips, so this rainbow was exciting to see.  I dashed out down the street with my camera and captured the beginnings of a second rainbow over the first.
You can barely see it starting to the left.  I headed on down to the end of the street to get the full view and the batteries in the camera took that moment to die. 

With rainbows come new beginnings and this morning the humidity has lifted, the birds are happily feeding at the feeders and Minnie is barking up a storm.  I'm ready to head out for a walk which I can do without fear of passing out and will most likely be spending some time in the gardens today.  Have a great day, everyone

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Why I Am Not a Brain Surgeon

It was one of those weekends.  Plans were to get a project done for a client and it was going well until I rinsed the piece to remove the marking pen.  

 I have no clue where this color is coming from.  The quilting thread is white, the backing is white, the batting is white, yet there's a orange colored stripe running down the side of several half square triangles in the piece.

You can see some of the color on the lower white triangle and the upper right.  If this block looks familiar it's because it's leftover from The Blue Beast.  My friend thought that I could come up with something to hang on the wall.  I worked most of the weekend on this and was happy with the quilting.

 However, it's now ruined.  I washed it with a couple of Shout Color Catchers..no change.  Now you can understand why I'm not a brain surgeon.  When things go wrong with brain surgery you can't walk away from the patient and say "Oops, I goofed" and sleep at night.  I hope my friend will forgive me on this one.  I still don't understand what made the orange streaks.  Anyone have any ideas?

Friday, July 20, 2012

FMQ Challenge for July

It's time again for the FMQ Challenge sponsored by Sew Cal GalThis month's instructor is Angela Walters and she showed us how to do tiles.  This looked pretty simple to me so I went ahead and quilted one of the larger blocks on my quilt sampler.  Shame on me.  I should have done some practice first.  I found myself boxed in much of the time so had to stop, cut threads and get out of the tile.

 I managed to get it done but I should've spent more time on this technique.  Thank you, Angela, for your interesting tutorial and thank you, Sew Cal Gal, for giving me the opportunity to expand my horizons with free motion quilting.  I am enjoying this challenge very much.

Monday, July 16, 2012

When it's hot...

Here's what I do when it's 96 degrees with a 104 heat index.  I stay inside bowing to the AC and finish up some projects.  This was a kit purchased by my friend Tammy a couple of years ago.  She got the pieces cut out and fused last summer, then left for AZ in Oct.  When she came back in April, she and her husband packed up and sold most of their household, since they sold the house, and moved to the lake for the summer.  This project ended up on my pile of things she gave me.  Today I quilted and finished it.

 This was fun to quilt.  I left some of the petals free of stitching so they became three dimensional.
 Those petals just naturally curled over.  It's hard to see the quilting but the inside of the sunflower is densely quilted with little circles.
This will be going back to Tammy so she can take it to AZ when they leave in October.

It's hard to believe that this is my 100th post.  I never thought I would be doing this much posting when I started blogging last November.  I didn't think I had that much going on that would be of interest enough to write about.  Well, maybe it's not interesting to anyone else but I enjoy looking back on older posts.  After all, this is my blogging journal.  

Tomorrow is going to be hot again.  I think I'll  practice this month's FMQ lesson.  Wednesday No. 38 and I are going to the fair to see if I won any ribbons, Thursday night is my quilt guild meeting.  Have a good week, everyone.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Whew, I'm Glad That's Over

The garage sale happened on Friday and I have to say it wasn't the best attended sale I've ever had.  It was hot...need I say more?  After all was said and done, we did manage to move several items out of our house and into someone else's house.  No. 38 was happy to sell all his canning jars, even the old blue ones.  I didn't sell any of the Fire King, however.  Sigh!  I've been systematically wrapping it up, packing it into boxes and putting it in the storage room instead of back in the cupboard.  

There's a box ready for the thrift store.

 Today I'll get the garage cleaned up, tables returned to the neighbor and get my car back in at night.

The county fair begins this week in the neighboring county.  A friend and I are entering our quilts and knitting for the first time.  I'm entering three quilt items of which I'll show later this week after the judging on Tuesday.  Someone suggested not to post these things until the event has been judged because you just never know who's lurking the websites.  But, I can show the beautiful quilt I got from my swap partner, Lizzie, in Sweden.
 The quilt is 13"x13" and those little HST blocks are 3/4".  Cute as all get out.  I had the Dala horse in my cupboard for years.  Being that I'm Irish and German, why keep a Dala horse?  I guess this was the reason.  Life is quirky that way.

I'm hunkering down in the sewing room today.  It's unbelievably hot and tomorrow will be another 100 degrees.  It's getting pretty brittle in the yard.  I water what I can, veggie garden and pots, bird and critter baths need to be checked and refilled twice a day.  That's all I can do.  The rest will have to survive on its own.  Hope you all have a cool week.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Morning Bark

Garage sales...gotta love 'em.  Going to them, not having them.  I've been to a lot of garage sales over the years but not so many of late.  I have more stuff than I need and it became apparent when I started looking for a pair of lights I knew I had but couldn't find.  While on the hunt, I realized it was time to de-clutter.  I've been working on this since I retired a year ago but couldn't part with some items.  Now, I'm ready to give these precious treasures up.
See those Monopoly games?  There are 5 of them.  We haven't played this in ten years.  
 This came out of the sewing room closet.  No wonder I couldn't find anything.  Yup, some of my Bearlywild Bears are going to have to find new homes.  When I made that big guy you see, it was like wrestling with a small child while stuffing it.
 This is store room clutter.  The wooden ironing board came out of the laundry room.  I used it as a shelf mounted above the washer and dryer.  I redid the laundry room in April and the ironing board never went back.  
 There are dishes.  Fire King dishes to be exact.  These were popular in the 50s and 60s and came in a variety of colors and patterns.  I started collecting these about 15 years ago and now have a cupboard full top and bottom.  I should probably check the antique shops to see if they would be willing to buy everything but I thought I'd try the garage sale first.
 Blue Willow Ware was another weakness and I have about 112 pieces.  Mostly plates & saucers and other pieces.  My grandmother used her Blue Willow everyday.  I can remember our visits in the summer and we ate off dishes like this.  I don't know where her dishes went but I guess I started collecting these with those memories in mind.  I need to pass them on to another home.

Now that I have it all in piles, I can start pricing.  I have a week to get it done.  The sale begins Friday the 13th.  Any of you visitors living nearby, come to the sale.  

I hope it's not as hot next week as it has been this week.  I had to do some watering and bean picking but the mosquitoes are the size of B-52s which prompted me to put on my haz-mat outfit.
 I know you're all falling down laughing about now.  Remember, the temp at this point is about 98 degrees with a heat index of over 100.  I'm not laughing, believe me, but I'm close to falling down.  Tonight promises to be the break in the heat with thunder storms predicted.  Hope we get the rain but not the wind or hail.  My garden is fabulous.  I'm picking zucchini, lettuce and beans and the tomatoes are getting a little tinge of yellow which means ripening will soon begin.
 This picture was taken 10 days ago and the tomato plants are a foot taller, if not more.  See those tepee stakes on the left side?  The plants are well over those and loaded with tomatoes.  

Best get back to my pricing job.  Have a great weekend, everyone.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

FO Challenge for June

The month of June has flown by and it doesn't seem I've accomplished much in the sewing room.  I did, however, manage to start two new projects.  It's getting ridiculous.  What can I say?  I purchased a couple of patterns that called to me. 
 An embroidery project for my night-time hand sewing.  This is a Sweet Seams pattern I purchased through AQS but I see that these patterns are also available through McCalls PatternsI decided to do this in blue.
 I can easily do one block in an hour or so if I have no interruptions.  

My other start was the kaleidoscope quilt design by Marilyn Foreman.  I blogged about it here.  Here is the result but it's not backed or quilted yet.
 I ordered some batik for the backing.  Hope the color works out.  It's so hard to tell when ordering online.

I made no progress on Sunbonnet Sue blocks.  
 Maybe I can catch up in July.  I tried to get the June block yesterday as I was invited to a SWOM (Sewing WithOut Men) day.  I took Ken More with me to do the job but he was a naughty boy.  He fought me with all those tiny pieces.  I worked on the Sister's Choice blocks instead. 

This went better except I sewed the right side onto the wrong side once and another strip unside down.  Not a productive SWOM day.

That's it.  It's breathlessly hot out today so I'm going into the sewing room and make up for yesterday.  No. 38 is napping in the recliner and Minnie has all four legs up in the air.   No actual images here, use your imagination.  Stay cool.