Sunday, June 1, 2014

Quilt Blaster!

It's always nice when your husband says to 'bring your sewing machine in case it rains", when we're going on vacation for two weeks to Maine. Like I'm gonna argue??! NOT!!

I did, along with some projects. You know... those UFOs that you almost forgot you started and then found in a drawer or a box. I also have a baby shower quilt that needed to be done soon. This is the baby quilt, called "Jelly Belly Bucks". It was a buck a block challenge with a local quilt shop, where you buy the navy and white fabric strips, including thangles and instructions for a buck, then add one contrasting fabric (in my case it was the wacky jelly bean fabric. I had it pin-basted, and had the binding all set, so I set off machine quilting the individual blocks around certain parts of the HSTs. I meandered a curvy stitch along the light blue sashing, then added pink binding.

 The next project with I had all these blocks from a swap at my old guild.
  I decided to add yellow sashing with a navy blue fabric that had daisies in it, but used one daisy per square at the corners of the blocks.
 Then so it wouldn't get too yellow, I added a blue border. (I had all this fabric in a bag with the blocks, so I never had to shop for anything-- except I DID get some deals on fabric at Marden's in Ellsworth and Sanford, ME.
This is some of the fabric I got....these were all an additional 10% off.
 Some Christmasy type fabrics... very rich looking.
 Then I did have one more quilt to put together, I found these three fabrics for the backing and made a pieced backing. I used the purple as the main backing, put a tomato red stripe down the back and inserted some straggler blocks from the front's leftovers, then used aqua for the binding. I didn't have batting, so that's as far as it got.
 I did buy this just because I thought it was interesting.
 This autumn panel was adorable.
 then I got some Dr Suess fabric, and other fun fabrics, .... just because.
The last project was to connect the jar blocks together (we'd had them pinned to the back black fabric), and then I found the wood slat fabric, for the pantry shelves. This will be fun to finish (plan to work on it this weekend at a 6 hr event).
Very productive vacation.... kind of glad it rained/overcast for a few days.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Cleaning!

Okay, I know it should be kept up and all, but I use the sewing room for various things...not alot, but it stores my 'gifts' before they are wrapped, mending. But if I don't get in there and clean, it can get out of hand. I sometimes think someone goes in there and moves things around. How do I know this? Well, I find things that I can't even remember working on, or things I don't want to finish (those are the things I donate to the quilting group, www.Peacebypiecequilters.blogspot.com.

before
This is the sight that I see when I enter....That old quilt on the floor is almost not worth bothering to 'repair', but I will be cause it was made by Lee's grandmother. The box on top needs to be returned to my church group's closets (done). I have several fabrics I need to cut strips from on the cutting table, and they will get done by the end of this weekend.... Second photo is the room a little more organized and clean

after



This is the actual sewing area, storage of projects, design wall, etc...
before

before

I have a few projects I'm not sure I'll be working on for a while, so I have organized my fabrics so well now that I have extra boxes to put them in (will get done this weekend.) This is also my gift-giving area (bag on floor on the right and the giant airplane on top of fabric- those will be gone in a week or two).
after
I still have the table on the back left to organize and the tv table (it's got fabric on it that needs a home), but that will be done. It's so much better than it was!!
before
This was the worse of the area, mending, strips cut but not put in the proper boxes. Now it's so much easier to work in.... Feeling so cleansed......
after


Thursday, April 24, 2014

UFO's are flying again!

Okay.... I haven't been on here in a while and I know I've had things to write about. My mom (Alzheimer's issues), my returning to work (hopefully) on May 5th after a long layoff (Dec 20th), my husband's upcoming retirement (May 16th), our upcoming vacation (May 17th), my birthday (60th- today), our upcoming birth of the twins (Emma and Jason) in November!

But the thing that makes me happy is finishing things that I put off. Oh. Did I not say I procrastinate? Noooo. Not me. I have less than a week to clean out the house (because I'll be thinking of all the things I didn't get done when I go back to work), but I work best under pressure (due to my procrastinating) at getting things done. BTW, this is not a recent issue, I was hemming the bridesmaids dresses the night before I got married (the first time- 1975) and I believe I was doing the same to my prom dress in 1972. I sewed back then as well, just clothes, not quilts. (I prefer quilts).

I have finished machine quilting two quilts that I had in MY stash (vs. the Peace by Piece Quilters stash that I always seem to work on), machine stitching the binding (rolled) on one and my mom, who loves to bind by hand, will get to work on the second one.
This is the wild striped fabric I'm using to bind my selvedge quilt.
 This is the one mom will get to bind. We bought this fabric at Marden's and I love it!!! I'll post a photo of it finished and laid out flat.
Binding is just pinned on.

This shows the binding with the backing of the quilt...pieced wildly.
 Unfortunately, I haven't thought of a name for it... Something to do with selvedge, Floral prints, diamonds, wild...etc.
 This is my nine-patch pizzaz pattern, using African prints. Love it. I machine quilted along the outer edge of the 9-patch squares, while randomly machine quilting the flowing lines of the dresses and the pots of the panel print.
Some of the beautiful prints used.


This is the backing fabrics (used leftovers from the front pieces made)
Notice the "Wild Olive" (hot pink/teal) tab? That's my signature fabric.

I also have one small quilt that I was hand-quilting some parts of a panel (angel), but decided to finish the panel quilting by machine. It's a donated quilt, not for 'show', so as long as it stays in place (batting-wise), it just doesn't matter. I also have one more quilt (mine) to machine quilt (Diamonds in the mud). The binding is already pieced and ironed and ready to sew on when it's trimmed. Yippee!! Can't wait. Maybe

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mom's Diagnosis

After spending the week with mom in VT I noticed some things more prevalently than I would just visiting her occasionally. Her forgetfulness, for one. And WHAT she tends to forget. And how quickly.

Since that week, I've gotten together with my siblings and another meeting with  my mom, and we made an appointment for her at a geriatric psychiatrist in Glastonbury (Dr Harry Morgan) for an evaluation, MRI and bloodwork. The MRI and bloodwork came back "pretty normal", but they said something definitely is 'going on' in there. She has had some slight white batter shrinkage and has been diagnosed with minimal onset of Alzheimer's disease. She is taking medicine, denoprazil every day, to slow down the progression. We'll see how that works in the next 6 weeks for her follow-up visit. (Dec)

I have alerted a few family members (not her sister, Ellie, as she'd have the news all over Cromwell), but her brother Richard and sister Lolly, my aunt Norma and my mom's best friend's (who my mom doesn't want to know-the best friend, that is) daughter, Regina.

My sister, Janet and I differ at this point on her driving at night. She's afraid that she'll be confused and get lost. She has never gotten lost so far, day or night, so I don't feel the need to 'manage' her driving habits yet. She would be upset to have EVERYONE catering to her, so she does nothing for herself. Usually, she will call when she's leaving her 93 yr old boyfriend's house (Amby) and say she'll come over for dinner (bring grinders or such), and watch a movie, or play cards. She will sometimes leave at 9-10pm. She's very comfortable doing it so far and hasn't mentioned concern about it. So I'm not concerned... yet. Janet wants to keep her in a little coccoon.

I'm going to a support group at our church, will see how I like it.There are others around, just not tried them yet.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hello, again, my friend....

Wow...

Has it really been that long since I last posted here? I seem to post more things on my Facebook page, my PbPQ blog, or my PbPQ FB page. Sorry, I didn't mean to neglect you.

I just returned last Sunday from VT. You remember, the cabin? VVV? Vermont Venison Villa? It's a cabin that has belonged in the family for ever. Or at least as long as I can remember. I have pictures of my dad walking up the hill, hand in hand, when I was three and my mom was pregnant with my younge brother.(that would be in 1957). I usually drive up towards the end of the week and help my mom close up the cabin (sister usually goes up to start the cabin up). It's only a one room cabin, so not much to do, but this year my sister has a new job and couldn't take the time off. I was on an extended layoff from Century Color so I went for the whole week.  I also decided this was the year I'd drive my mom UP in my car so she wouldn't have to drive (follow) at all. It worked out fine, but I may have to do this every year as she's 85 now and getting VERY forgetful!! We only had one 'kerflufful" all week,... I couldn't get the broiler gas pilot light lit and didn't shut the gas OFF while running up and down the street (only two houses around) to see if anyone was available to help. Finally got Don Wood from the farm down the hill to help although he said he probably shouldn't have lit the grill lighter before he bent down o the floor as he could smell gas pretty strong! (I could have blown up the whole cabin!)



We survived the 'opening' and had the most perfect week (weather-wise) I can EVER remember. There may have been two days where we started to perspire (humidity) a little more than 'comfortable', and one day when the rain came on Thurs at dinnertime, but no lightning and only distant rumble of thunder, and it was gone in the morning.
This is the storm a'coming....from the northeast.

This is real early in the am....5:45-ish

The clouds are starting to part.... Yea!
Woke up to puffy rumbling clouds LEAVING quickly....and the sun trying to force it's way onto our back field. Then it finished the week with a very cool breeze that was so refreshing, I almost didn't want to go home.

Saw the usual deer in the back field, one with spots still vaguely on her back side and a few down the road. A few turkeys...


I even got to work on some quilts (brought my sewing machine in case of rain).  Named one of them "Pawlet Mountain Trails" (finished the top on i VT) and the other "Cycling in VT" (still in the' design as I go' stage). They are charity quilts so I'll post them here when I get them done, but here are some photos of them in progress.
The design process of "Cycling in VT"
 
Pawlet Mountain Trails
 Nice to have some company... my brother, Bob, his son Jonathan and wife Paula...They showed up real late the night we got there, and stayed over. We went for a hike the next morning (my first hike up this mountain).



Loved this freak of nature. Wonder where the tree thought HE was going...

 It was a full moon the night we got there...beautiful.

 This was the start of our dinner.....Loved this wine.

 Took off on a day trip to Castleton, VT via the back roads(aren't ALL roads inVT 'back roads'?). We had such a nice trip... got corn at a stand.
Heading to Castleton, VT

 
Great to just enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountain peaks... dinner on the deck.

 
Taking a walk to my mom's good friend, Vivian Waite. Known each other for years. The fram in the background used to be Vivian's, now is her daughter Joyce's and husband, Don Wood.

 
Mom & Vivian... she is so sweet. I think she's 83.

 
See the hummingbird under the cross of the lines? They were so prevelant!!


This is the view from Viian's house (livingroom).
This is how we spent most every morning....then by 10:30am, the sun would move around the cabin putting us ithe shade for the rest of the day.

Our buddy the chipmunk! Love his shadow...

 This is the pond way down in the backyard....
 Turning around after the last photo, you see the cabin from the pond.

Love the water lilies by the pond at old Michael's house (former, RIP- house is no longer there).

Last night at the cabin.... Lee came up on Sat afternoon, and followed us (or didn't--lost us going around the rotary in Manchester, VT) home. Last walk we took there. Nite VVV.