Monday, January 25, 2016

Finally Finished--and Gone!

The amount of quiltmaking I've managed over the last six months is absolutely mind-blowing--in its absence, not because I've accomplished much.

This critter languished for months before I got her bias binding attached:

 The straight borders were warped in the holding and by the camera.  They are straight in real life!
This was made from a fabric pack I picked up somewhere.  I added the border and setting fabrics.

 We made these nine-patches at a Victory Prayer Quilt Sewing morning many months ago.

It afforded the opportunity to play with some freshly designed quilting motifs.

Between my job and my vision, my energy just wafted away over the last several months.  Of course, I had no idea that my cataracts were siphoning so much energy.  A lot of that energy is now going into putting glasses on and taking them off, switching to a different pair, trying to remember where I last placed them; you get the idea, I'm sure. I ordered a new pair of progressive lenses this week, and I'm hoping their arrival will be like adding some very nice magic to my life!


Happy quiltmaking......

Saturday, January 23, 2016

January Friday Night Sewing

I've been trying to snatch minutes to piece and quilt and have been almost notoriously unsuccessful.
Last night I worked on these:





I started these at last Saturday's Victory Prayer Quilts sewing morning, and tried to grab a few minutes during the week in the evening to work on them.  However, since I really lacked energy, most of the sewing was done last night.

These are pieced from 10" squares with a quick cutting method that produces a negative and positive block if there is a lot of contrast in the fabrics.

The fruit and veggie fabrics are from a Riley Blake line, if I remember, and were inspired because for years the College Girl has been telling me to make some food-themed prayer quilts for guys "because guys always like food" and because I seldom get inspired by "guy fabrics."

The floral blocks are leftovers from some other prayer quilts and a layer cake that was a big disappointment because I'd ordered it expecting purer colors.  With rare exceptions, peachy pinks are not appealing to me (or on me).  I realized a few months ago that in addition to my being allergic to most orange flowers, my parents often dressed me in orange tones, which were the opposite of flattering with my skin tones.  Seems somewhat comical now.

 We've had a bit of snowmelt since our storms, but probably more evaporation.  There's a crust over the top of the snow, which means it's slowly being absorbed by the earth, and that's a good thing.

With the big snow storms hitting the East this week, I hope all the quilters have plenty of fabric, thread, and, if they lose power, a working treadle machine and a source of supplemental light.

I linked to a Friday night Sew-In earlier this week, then updated my computer (which took hours and hours over the course of a couple of days), and resulted in the link being lost.  So if you've come here from that site, please leave me a comment so I can post the link.

Happy quiltmaking and knitting,

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2 Days Post Blizzard

Last night when I turned in, it was -5F.  I was concerned about how low the temperatures might fall, and I left a lamp with an old incandescent bulb lit beneath the kitchen sink,  the only sink on an exterior wall. When I awoke to discover the temperature was +17F., I was surprised.




Apparently the front had moved into our area during the night.  It stayed cold all day, although we did get some sun late in the afternoon.

I'm getting some organizing done, and some cooking, of course, but there is nothing being finished on the quilting front--and there needs to be.

Happy quiltmaking and knitting....

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Snowy Sunday

This was a few hours ago.  The winds are bringing more horizontal snow and are still moving around what has fallen.  I-40 remains closed for many miles--and many miles of other other roads are closed or dangerous. We are still within the "Blizzard Zone."

The pharmacist at Smith's texted me that a prescription has been filled.  I will not pick that one up today.

I still haven't read my new magazines--but I'm getting some fabrics, including scraps, moved around.  I hope to finish some binding.  I may start sewing some leftover patches from other quilts together.

Stay warm, dry, and pleasantly occupied, everyone.....

This is the NM Roads map as of 8:15 this evening.  However, it hasn't been updated.  I-40 is closed across the entire state--and I'm guessing there are more closed roads.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Goliath Creeps Into My Town

The National Weather Service has named him Goliath. Locals are calling it Snowmagedden. This storm is twisting and turning here in our state and not going anywhere for a while.  The thing is that it's huge and stretches across many states.

We had to go to the grocery/pharmacy for  prescription refills and a few things to create multiple meals and pots of soup this morning. We waited in line for 20 minutes for the refills and another 30 minutes or so for grocery checkout.

This is one hour into the storm.


This is six hours into the storm, and the last daylight photo.


We were up to only about six inches accumulation.


But with the snow blowing horizontally, looks can be deceiving.
Yes, it's true; in New Mexico, snow is often horizontal.


This is what NMRoads is reporting at 8:00 p.m.--except there are reports that the roads are worse.  I'm thinking the state can't keep the website up to date due to so much activity.

I just received a message from a friend saying, "I just heard about the accident that closed I-40: 2 Semis, 3 Cars, 2 Fatalities. Praying for everyone involved."

One of her relatives is an EMT, so I suspect the message is correct. A lot of travelers and families need our prayers tonight.


I'm grateful for a warm house and pajamas fresh from the dryer.  Three new magazines, some knitting, beautiful music playing, and a College Girl who didn't dare suggest going out in this are keeping me happy--and feeling fortunate.  (The homemade chicken noodle soup and homemade rolls probably helped too.)

 I'm offering prayers for all those being impacted by this huge storm.

Stay home, stay safe, stay warm.
If you can sew, quilt, knit, or cook instead of going out in it, you are truly blessed.


10:00 p.m. update: We're now being told this storm will not be out of here until 6 a.m. Monday.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Felted Socks - OOPS!

I finished a pair of teal green socks a several weeks ago.


Saturday they came out of the laundry shrunken and felted--despite the fact that they had come through previous laundering under exactly the same conditions with no problems at all.

Sunday I ripped them out and wound them into little yarn cakes.  I decided to make some wristlets--since I'm pretty sure they will be warm.  I've managed only several rows of ribbing so far.



I'm taking it easy because two days ago I had cataract surgery; the surgery itself and my recovery are truly amazing.  Because I chose distance vision, I can see things without my glasses clearer than at any time since I was a very young child.  The cataracts in my left eye were larger than in my right, so my left eye received the attention this week, and my right eye will be done next week.

I've been playing a few Christmas programs on You-tube, thinking I'll reminisce about sweet old television Christmas specials--Julie Andrews, Andy Williams, and more.  But, I haven't gotten much knitting done.  I did finish quilting a prayer quilt I began quilting last winter and then had to un-stitch because the tension was messed up and I hadn't realized it.  The next quilt blessing is January 10, and I'd like to quilt some prayer quilt tops that have been sitting around here for months while I've had no time to quilt.

Stay warm!

Happy quiltmaking and knitting,....

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Candy for Quilters

When something like this arrives at the post office, I know I'm in for some good times.


Let's peek inside:


New color card with Fil-Tec's expanded line of colors and thread types...



Bobbins for the quilt that has been waiting since August (of course, there are quilts that have been waiting even longer)....


including two metallics waiting for their opportunity....


a new selection of some "small" cones to try.  (Small means only 1000 yards.)


Cheery reds for a quilt top that doesn't exist yet....and more staple colors.....


These remind me of that glossy ribbon candy that was so popular many decades ago.  Of course, these are much better because these are free of corn syrup, and the only way they will add any weight to people's hips is if they wrap themselves in one or more of the resulting quilts before stepping on a bathroom scale!

Yes, some lovely quilting joy ahead.

Happy quiltmaking,

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Quilt Think III - Making Winter Warmer

I bought these Frost by Benartex Fabrics months ago in a charm pack.



They are adorned with silver metallic.  And because they've been sitting here since last winter, they took a bit of tugging to get apart.  There are two charms of most prints.



In fact, I vaguely remember that I may have purchased two charm packs.  I hope I'm right.



I also have Kona Snow charms.

Interior decorators usually caution not to put blue and white in a north facing room because they will make January feel awfully cold.  My experience is that I love blue and white after Christmas--and I'll take every glimpse I can get of blue skies--probably since I've spent all but the last 25 years or so living where gray skies are more common than blue ones in winter.

I purchased these because I just like the prints.  They could become another prayer quilt, but they are just as likely to become a keeper quilt.  It will depend on whether I can get organized enough to remember if I really did buy two Frost charm packs.

I'm slowly moving some of my sewing things into our tiniest bedroom--so we'll feel less squished in our living room now that I've added a television.  But the stuff is heavy.  And my house has quite a few things in common with a Rubik's cube when I try to rearrange.

I'm very, very, busy with rehearsals for Christmas music right now.  I play piano for our church's Jubilee ensemble (flute, trumpets, clarinets, etc.), am part of the Jugband (as in J.U.G.--Joy Under God), sing in our main choir, and a quartet/quintet.  All the church music groups will be part part of a combined mostly-music service this Sunday.  The Jugband will also be doing music programs for a couple of assisted living/rehab centers and the Breakfast with Santa.  I do have a few more things going on--and a couple weeks until first semester ends.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow evening since my college girl should return home.  She's so incredibly busy that I hear from her if something is wrong (like a repair-engine light coming on in her car--a filter needed to be cleaned), but it seems she's barely getting a chance to rest--I'm hoping she's eating well and did an outstanding job on her finals!

Happy quiltmaking,

Monday, December 7, 2015

Quilt Think II--Inspired by the Ladies of My Childhood

While I love color, there are certain colors that appeal to me more than others.  For over two decades my favorite colors have been violet and teal.  I've made a lot of quilts in other colors, but when I come home, it's to the heavenly shades of violets and teals that comfort my soul--with some blue/yellow in the kitchen because I love those colors, and they're great for a kitchen.

A short while ago, Missouri Star Quilt Company featured Robyn Pandolph 10" inch squares that were so reminiscent of the homes of elderly ladies I admired when I was a child, that I knew I needed to design and make another quilt that honored those lovely women and brought some of those colors into my home--even if they don't blend all that well with the rest of my decorating.


Here's a glimpse of the fabrics in the set of ten inch precuts. I figured the colors were probably not true on my computer screen and guessed they would be a bit dustier in tone, which they are.  I also thought I wanted the plum or rose large florals for borders.  The only large floral in stock was the gold, so I settled for that one, but put the other two on my wishlist at Missouri Star.

A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail notice that those fabrics were now in stock.



So what I did was order a couple of yards of each.
No, I haven't had a chance to design or piece anything with them--but I'm fondling them.


Yes, they are delightful; however, one of my Georgia friends ordered the same pre-cut and was disappointed.  I think it's the inspiration of all those lovely ladies that makes these fabrics speak to me.

Happy quiltmaking,

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Quilt Think I--A Quilt Inspired by Dr. Chroma

Yes, I've been missing from the blog for a long time, but life has rushed on.
Most days I've come home from work too fatigued to do much of anything; although since I convinced the doctor I was on waaaay too much blood pressure medicine, I'm doing better.
So, I've been imagining and dreaming lots of quilts that haven't gotten made.
However, I imagine most people would say it's getting the inspiration that's essential,
So, here is inspiration number one.

A year or so ago I purchased these musical fabrics, planning to make a quilt for my dear friend Gwen Carlton.

Gwen spent her long career playing double reed instruments and teaching band to young people in Illinois in Peoria Public Schools.  Well, there were those years in the 1970's when the district decided to seriously curtail art and music classes except for minimal band and forced all those teachers into general education classrooms.  Because her mother had been teaching kindergarten, the powers that were decided Gwen should teach kindergarten too.  Although she has always been enchanting to young children, it was not a good fit; she did her best, continued playing in community orchestras and ensembles, and after several years was reassigned to be a band teacher--although she had to cover five or more schools.  Last winter Gwen suffered a stroke, went into surgery that was declared a success, suffered another far more devastating stroke in the hours after surgery, and passed away a few weeks later never having regained consciousness.

Therefore, this fabric has been lingering for even more months.

In October, Busy Bee, the shop a couple of miles north of I-40 in Edgewood, held some special days for quilters.  I carried the musical fabrics to the store, and came away with some new companions for them.


These are Michael Miller Fairy Frost fabrics in not quite pure colors.  They spoke to me because our sixth graders were reading The Phantom Tollbooth, and one of my favorite parts is the chapter about Dr. Chroma--probably because my brain just can't separate music and color.


So I came home with these, thinking the yardage would be perfect for the background/skies.
(Yes, that's the presser foot of my vintage Necchi BU on the right.  It's one of my favorite sewing machines; I removed the motor and treadle it--feels much healthier than sitting with my foot on an electric control.)

However, they sat in the bag for weeks because I didn't have time to even consider using them; furthermore, although I'd thought I had quite a few leftovers of Fairy Frost from other quilts,  it turned out I had much, much less than I remembered.

Recently, I found a lovely sale on Michael Miller 10" squares at Over the Rainbow, one of my favorite on-line shops.

These were in the Crayon Box collection--just what Dr. Chroma needs.

Of course, I'm not sure when I'll get these to the designing/piecing stage.

I've spent the last several months trying to find moments when I've had enough energy to add quilting to a quilt for a friend's daughter--and at this point, I'm hoping she can have it by Christmas--but I'm not sure that will be possible either.--Her mom pieced it (we designed it together), but it will be up to me to put on the binding, etc.

In the meantime, my brain is working on possibilities for Dr. Chroma's world of color and symphony.

Happy quiltmaking,
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