Welcome to my blog, we're talking about quilting and other good stuff. I'm glad you stopped by ... look around, add a comment, become a follower if you feel inclined, tell your friends about me, and come back soon!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A good thing or two

Three things to be happy about:
(1) being highly motivated
(2) steamed green beans
(3) selecting a new book to read

About three weeks ago my neighbor three doors down dug up my yard and planted grass (remember that scary picture?), he's done the yards for four other neighbors on the street and they all look nice.

Looking good!  He hasn't turned it over to me yet, he wants to fiddle with it until he's satisfied it has a good start.   Fine by me!

I'm really enjoying my iPod, because I get to listen to books that would take me a LOT longer to read if I had to hold the written book in my hands, with the added advantage of being able to listen while I do my quilting. 

Every now and then when Audible has a book sale, I'll try a new author or a series, a book that probably caught my eye for some reason.  I just finished listening to Room, by Emma Donoghue, and I highly recommend it!

This story is about a young woman who was kidnapped at age 19 from her college campus and held captive in an 11x11 tool shed for 7 years.  She had a son (Jack) by her captor, who just turned 5 years old.  The story is being told from Jack's point of view; his whole world consists of his mother, the man (who they call "old Scratch") and the things in the room.  There is a skylight but Jack has never been in the sun, never felt the wind on his face or smelt the breeze, but he's full of questions and has a quick, logical mind. 

In their limited space they have gymnastic games every day; she's taught him to read and sound out words, and use his memory.

I won't tell any more about the book but if you're looking for an interesting read, check this one out!

That's it for today, I just wanted to share my find - have a great Thursday! 

Sew forth and sew on

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Yard birds

Three things to be happy about:
(1) getting a pedicure
(2) celebrating your happiness
(3) triple-word Scrabble scores

I did finish the Yard Bird quilt top I started a couple weeks ago -  I really like this little pattern, those little eggs were too cute!

I liked that they could be posed different ways, I even did one sitting down with his legs splayed out.  Three are running, some have glasses ... some have two-part beaks and some don't.

Some time ago I bought a little pose-able artist's figure that I never got around to using.  I knew I wanted the chick to look like he was running, but for some reason I just couldn't get the legs to look just right.  My little figure came in handy for this one!
The pattern used a background cut at 10 x 13, but there was a large center block that I opted not to go for.  To bring the quilt up to the size I wanted, I used a 5" vertical sashing; it finishes at approximately 50 x 60.  I wasn't too sure about it at first but heck - it's a quilt!  I don't think the child who gets this one will look at it and say "take it away! the sashing is too wide!"
When I was searching my stash for ideas about the sashing and border, I saw this piece:
it's cute as all get-out and would have been great for the theme, but the color was all wrong! 

So I re-stashed it for another time.  Since the birds themselves were all different blues, I went with blues for the sashing and border, and I wasn't too particular as long as they were pretty much in the same color range - no greeny or purply blues.  This helped me use up scraps, and I think it made an interesting border!

The back for this won't be a big deal, I can use some of the fabric I got at Hancock's last December. 

Well, enjoy your Wednesday, so forth and sew on til later

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

By popular demand...

Hi everybody, lookee here, a post!

I haven't posted in a very long time, so when I started hearing "when are you going to blog again?" and "I see you haven't posted lately" and "did you give up your blog?" -- I knew it was time to get back to it!   I haven't been sick or away from home... I just went through a phase where for some reason I just didn't wanna update my blog...  has that happened to anybody else??  (Please say yes!)  I was shocked when I saw it was two weeks this time!   Anyway, I'm right proud to be back with ya   :o)

At my bee meeting on Saturday we surprised one of our members, Charlene, by making her Queen Bee!  Char is always willing to share, she's a great teacher and so generous with her time, so we wanted to do something nice for her.  She also teaches one day a week at a local senior center.

The queen's throne
 We were busy bees getting the room ready for the surprise; bee members got an email telling us the meeting would start an hour later than normal, but everybody except the honoree knew it was a fake.

It was so funny... we were ready to roll by 1 pm but where was our honoree??  We finally saw her and her best friend Shirley Royal pull into the parking lot just before 2 o'clock, then we saw her go back to the car for something... we were cracking up!  Yetunde went out to speed them up a bit, and finally they walked through the door -- Charlene with her sewing stuff and a dish for lunch!  When we yelled Surprise, Char didn't know what was going on or who was being surprised.  It was a Kodak moment!

After the official proclamation and Charlene was crowned, everybody buzzzzzzzed as she was seated on her throne.  Felicia did a hilarious rendition of  "She's Our Queen" from the Eddie Murphy movie Coming to America, then Charlene was presented with gifts and each member presented her with a yellow rose and a card.

It was a really nice banquet, there was so much food... cabbage, ribs, chicken wings, rotisserie chicken, deviled eggs, collards, green beans, chicken salad, two kinds of brocolli salad, a rice dish, chili, two pasta dishes, butternut squash, beets, fish, fresh cut fruit, apple pie, two cakes, home made cookies... whew! did I miss anything??

Our official cake maker and vice president Carolyn Burgess made two cakes - a beehive and a bee - they were too cute!

Here Miss Queen prepares to cut the beehive cake

Charlene was "roasted" by several people while we ate; Carolyn showed the jelly roll quilt she made in a bee session where Charlene taught us the jelly roll race.

Carolyn used Christmas fabrics that turned out really well!

Unfortunately, my camera's batteries died before it was over, so I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted to.  Among the gifts she received were beehive-shaped signature blocks from bee members in black and yellow/gold.  I didn't get a shot of all the blocks, but this is the one I did...

You can read more about the bee and see more pictures on Felicia's and Charlene's blogs - The Slow Quilter and Quilting with CharBee.

Until later, sew forth and sew on

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Credit: CBS News; AP Photo/Susan Walsh
A visitor to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial touches the name of a fallen soldier etched on the wall of the memorial in Washington, DC. Today, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall begins the national commemoration of the Vietnam War's 50th anniversary.

A special thank you note to everyone currently serving our country, and those who have served our country. Let us not forget those who have sacrificed for our freedom.

As you travel about to the various events and activities taking place or participate in family gatherings, have an enjoyable, safe and blessed Memorial Day!

Sew forth and sew on

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

No-sew day and knocked for a loop

My post is going out a little later today, I usually set it up the night before but I didn't do it last night. 

My neighbor two doors down has really pretty grass in his front yard - he swears by Pennington - so Friday I talked with him about planting the same grass in my front yard.

Yesterday he was out there bright and early!  I didn't even look out my front door til around 10 am and he'd already been at work for hours digging up every bit of the old grass and weeds, and he'd trimmed back my azalea bushes and the glads.  Although it was rather chilly (to me) he was barefoot, in his undershirt and some baggy shorts - scary! 

I was supposed to take him to Home Depot to get the grass seed and some mulch but I'd just taken a dose of Benadryl - the bottle said 2-4 tsp for an adult, I took 4 tsp - and it was knocking me for a loop!  Whoa!  I told him we'd have to go around 3 o'clock.  I went upstairs and lay down and I tell you I slept til 2 o'clock!  I don't think I'll do that again...

To help take away the scary vision of Walter in his baggy shorts, I'll share a few more pictures from the Faithful Circle quilt show. 

I believe there was a flamingo challenge because there were several flamingo-themed quilts in the show.  Some were made with traditional blocks, some were children's quilts... this one really grabbed my attention for some reason.  Could it be that gorgeous pieced background?  It really adds interest to the quilt!

The two quilts below are cute ... well, the monkeys in the tree are cute but the civil-war themed quilt is attention-grabbing!  I like pictorial quilts, although I don't have a finished one - still haven't finished my Story of Christmas quilt that I dismantled two years ago!

And last but not least, there was this beautiful teapot quilt!

See that beautiful closeup!  The tea pouring out of the pot was made with glass beads on each of the panels.  This is definitely a winner, I'll have to put a teapot quilt on my to-do list.  Gwen in my Wee Bee group would love this one because she does such beautiful bead work!

Well, that's it for now, sew forth and sew on til later; what will you do with your Tuesday?  I might even get some sewing done today...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Testing and resting

Three things to be happy about:
(1) optimistic weather forecasts
(2) a visit from Prince Harry
(3) celebrating your happiness

Hi everybody, hello followers! 

Today Prince Harry (singing "I'm just wild about Harry...") will visit our city to receive a humanitarian award.  I think if Princess Diana were alive, she'd be pleased about the award and very proud of both her sons!  As we all know, Diana was a great humanitarian.

I managed to pull a muscle in my chest over the weekend and I KNOW it was from lifting several bins of fabrics down from my shelves.  I think I need to do as so many of you do, and set times every day to cut my scraps, ugly fabrics and concrete (unmovable) yardage into usable strips, squares and rectangles, whether I sew something that day or not!  I was doing it regularly at one time, but I sorta drifted away from it after I got my strips cut for the cruise last November.  So much for that!

After doing more testing for my yard bird blocks, I decided to go with a range of blues, rather than trying for all bright colors (or colors all over the place)...

Some will have glasses, and some won't.  I think the one on the left looks way kewl... sorta like the official Joe Cool of the barnyard!  Those colorful stars are as wild as it will get for this quilt, I want to have the colors close to each other.

These are cute blocks to make with the added attraction of using scraps, but I'd have to say my least favorite part was sewing those skinny legs!

I'm using a raw-edge applique method and trying to keep it neat around the toes is a bit challenging.  I want to catch all of the foot with the thread so it won't unravel from washing.

These are the bodies I'll use, just keeping it blue!

If you were a Mayberry (Andy Griffith show) fan, I just heard that Goober Pyle passed away at age 83 - he was Gomer Pyle's cousin on the show.  I still watch that show on TVLand; I know exactly what's going to happen on every episode, but I still like watching it anyway!  So that's Aunt Bee, Otis, Barney, and now Goober ... so long Goober, Judy-Judy-Judy!

Have a great Monday everyone, I'm going to take it easy on my strained muscle!

Sew forth and sew on

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

Yesterday my friend Eloise and I decided to check out the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival at the Howard County fairgrounds ... just because it was there! 

It was a really beautiful day for outdoorsy stuff, a little warm but it was one of those days that just plain felt good being out and about!

I'm not into knitting or crocheting or felting, but if you are and had been there, you would not have been disappointed. 

There were booths and booths of the most beautifully dyed wools, as well as the raw wool that you could do your own thing with.  

Just look at that raw wool!  I believe we saw as many people laden with sacks of the raw wool, as we did with the dyed skeins (or is it "hanks"?   I dunno, I'm a quilter!)

And aren't these hats gorgeous? 

Some of these were wool and some were a wool blend, but they were all pretty. 

There were hand made shawls and scarves, leather handbags, spinning wheels, felting tools, and some things I had no name for (but if you work with wool, you'd probably recognize the tricks of your trade).

Of course, there was lots of food ... mostly lamb, bless em!  Lamb kebobs, lamb sausage links, roasted lamb... how could they, at a sheep festival!!?

We stopped by The Bee Folks booth which had a large variety of honey and honey-related products.  These are bags of "honey dust" - powdered honey mixed with cane sugar. 

They also had honey combs, and jarred honey; little beeswax candles shaped like animals... little trinkety stuff.  I only bought some honey sticks; there were five different flavors and I bought one of each ... big spender!

We watched the sheep in the show ring for awhile, I have no idea what I was looking at. 

I didn't realize there are so many different breeds or classes - Cotswald, Rambouillet, Lincoln, Jacob, Corriedale, Black Lincoln, Karakul, Border Leicester - it boggles the mind! 

So, from a nice banjo player to beautiful baskets ... we had a pleasant afternoon at the festival, but we both agreed we don't need to revisit next year!  (I'm not into yarns, and Eloise isn't into the fiber arts at all!)

On the way home we saw signs for Jenny's produce and figured, why not? 
We each bought a couple items we could have lived without, and made our way on home... 

Sew forth and sew on

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Foto-finish Saturday - red

First I want to wish all the May for Me Bingo players lots of luck as you fill out your Bingo quilts!  I like bingo but I never win, though.

Barbara at Cat Patches chose the color red for today's foto-finish topic.  I've always liked red, and I always like the strawberries I get from Costco!  I had a few left in the fridge, so I snapped a picture before I finished them off, by now they're long gone - time to get some more! 

Why is it my reds don't look truly red when I take a picture? 

Years ago I used to look forward to strawberry season at Butler's Orchards at the end of May; then I'd go pick oodles and oodles of strawberries to make jam!  As time went on I didn't like all that stooping, bending, or moving about on my knees that you have to go through to pick the berries, so I would wait for blackberry season the end of July, because they grow on bushes -- not hard on the knees or back, plus they pick faster.  Because of the unusually warm weather we've had lately, I understand Butler's strawberries will be ready early, maybe in a couple weeks.  Maybe I'll do apples this year.

I believe Barbara's weekly themes are always interesting because you never know how the theme will be interpreted. Go visit her blog at Cat Patches, where you'll see other foto finish links.

Sew forth and sew on, have a great Saturday!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Drop one, pick up another

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a room with a view
(2) knowing what not to wear
(3) blue-and-white seersucker
I could add a 4th thing and say "a good ole tanning booth tan that makes your skin look like leather, your lips look like Lord knows what and are so stiff you can't even open your mouth, and people all over the world are jealous of you"... but I won't though.   Just saying...

Years ago when you used to get fabric from Sears - and before I became a quilter - I was looking at some summer fabrics when this little old lady next to me says "I'm a sucker for seersucker!"  I thought it was hilarious.

I got tired of diddling around with the string stars, I wanted to do something a little more diverse for a change!  Although creating scrap yardage has it's merits, I wanted to do something different.

Since I have to make children's quilts anyway, I found this Yard Birds quilt in my quilt bucket list and thought I'd give it a whirl.  I'd like to give credit to the designer but I don't know who she is other than the name Rhonda; I've had the pdf a pretty good while and at this point I don't remember where I found it.

 It's surprising how industrious you can get at 5:30 am when you're wide awake and don't really have a desire to lie abed!  I got up and traced a few sets of chicken feet and beaks onto fusible, then ironed them to a bright yellow fabric.

Just to make sure I was pointed in the right direction, I grabbed two fabrics for the chick body and added fusible to the back. 

On our quilters cruise last November, Pat Sloan taught us a method of using a thin line of fusible just inside and outside the drawn line of a shape, rather than covering the entire piece solid with fusible.  This makes it more flexible and easier to work with, especially if you're working by hand, but I'll be using my machine.

This works okay but you have to be sure that the inner part of the fabric is pressed smoothly.  I don't think it will make a difference in this piece, but can you see the wrinkle on both pieces?

I think I can smooth it down pretty well during the ironing process. 

I laid out one chick on the background fabric I intend to use... it's right cute but I think I'll switch the legs to a brown fabric!

You can just barely see the feet against that background fabric, I think changing the color of the legs will be easier than trying to find background fabric that will go well with whatever fabric I choose for the body. 

All of them will have the same yellow beaks and red comb, but the body will be different for each one.

That's all for now, have a great Friday.

Sew forth and sew on