Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sisterly Quilts--The First One

I finally managed a bit of time with lovely fabric and two of my favorite machines.
This is what can happen to a photo when the cloudy, rainy light is horrible and one asks another quilter to hold the quilt. This was made with leftover 10-inch squares from a layer cake.

Much of the quilting was done with Glide Strawberry Lemonade; but I used a few more colors too.

What looks like muslin is a very low-volume white-on-off-white nature print.

I have five more pieced blocks left over for another prayer quilt.  Hence, this is Sister I and next will be Sister II.

Here's the sight I caught outside my window this windy afternoon.
I don't know what kind of birds these are, and I've never seen them around here before.  Clearly they are mates.  At first I thought they were a decoration my neighbor had put up on her wall; then their eyes and heads moved.  They were gorgeous enough to make anyone fall in love with the variations of beige.  They are all puffy to keep warm against the wind.  Then I think the sun's reflection on my camera when I moved scared them off.  They were so beautiful and made me feel blessed that I happened to look out the window at just the right time.  (I do wish I'd been able to get more and better pictures.)
edit:  A friend says these are ring-necked doves. They used to be birds that were kept in cages, but they escaped and are now breeding in the wild.

Happy quiltmaking...and knitting,

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Quilting Inspiration

The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is a little over 100 miles from where I live.
Allen W. Sanders took this amazing and inspiring photograph in the pre-dawn light.

I think these colors would be wonderful in a quilt!

There are plenty of other awe-inspiring photos on the Bosque del Apache's Facebook Site. The site features the works of many gifted nature photographers.
Just something to consider whether looking for quilting inspiration or an escape to nature

I did quilt a prayer quilt this weekend, but haven't yet taken a photo.  I'd like to get the binding on first--and binding is the part of a quilt that I struggle with.  The binding and quilt are both ready for me to get with it!

Edit: This photo of predawn in the bosque can be purchased in a variety of forms at the following link:

Happy quiltmaking and knitting,.....

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Chop, Chop, Softly!

I thought today might be another PJ Quilting day.  But I received a text from the College Girl encouraging me to go to the post office, so I had to get dressed.  I do see a lot of people wearing PJs at our post office and a few other places, but I just can't bring myself to do it.

However, I did spend most of the day quiltmaking.

The are blocks I began making at our last Victory Prayer Quilt sewing day and finished a few seams at a time over the last few weeks. This is the same piecework pattern I used in the Chop, Chop, Sew quilt. These soft colors created a very different looking quilt.

The fabrics began as squares left over from a layer cake from another quilt. I searched my stash for a quiet, almost-solid, off-white to use for the sashing and border.  The pink corner stones were another left over, and I plan to use the rest of that fabric for the binding.

The white-on-white print is barely visible in the photo; it too speaks softly.

I made this one smaller than the last top because I had only ten patches--so I have one left over for something; it might get pieced into the backing.

This project kept me busy all day, and I haven't yet cut the binding.  The top finished at 39.5 inches, a good size for a prayer quilt for someone to use for napping or reading. I do wish I were capable of cutting and piecing a whole lot faster!

We're having a beautiful spring-like day.  The last of the snow that has lived in my yard since before Christmas is finally melted.  However, we can be pretty sure this is Faux Spring and that we'll see more of winter.  We'll enjoy the sunshine while we can!

Happy quiltmaking,....

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Chop, Chop, Sew

I decided today should be a quilting and pajama day.
I worked on the fruits and vegetables.  I had planned to piece at least one block each day this week, but that did not happen.

My daughter suggested years ago that since I have a difficult time enjoying a lot of the colors that make more masculine quilts that I should buy fabric with fruits and vegetable because "all men like food."

Today I reached block 12, cut some sashing, cornerstones, and borders, and have a small quilt top finished.

I pieced it on my Necchi treadle.

 I do love the gentle "music" of a treadle sewing machine, although I was listening to Frank Ticheli music for concert band.

I couldn't find a print I liked for the sashing and the border, so I pulled a black solid from my stash.  It should provide a great space for fun quilting.....whenever I manage to get to it. I need to check at church and see if we have anything in our fabric supply that would work for backing.

My favorite blocks are the carrots and onions, which is interesting because I don't usually like those colors and I usually eat them only in soup.

This evening a woman in one of our local FB groups was looking for someone to make a quilt that would be "not too expensive" and she'd buy the material.  She'll probably find someone who will volunteer. I wouldn't. I know I have at least twelve hours in this top.  I'm certain she wouldn't be willing to pay even $10 per hour. I confess I don't understand the women who sell their quiltmaking services for less than minimum wage.

Happy quiltmaking and knitting,...

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,....
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