Saturday, April 28, 2012

Piecing Progress & an Impulse Purchase

I have the color strip portion of the quilt top pieced, along with the large triangles that surround it.
 These are almost all the colors in the hand dyed strips I cut (and showed you) earlier in the week.  I've picked out a name: Sunshine to Blossom.  I'm pretty sure I want to add white panels on the left side and at the bottom, but I'm bouncing around a couple of other ideas too. And of course, I'm thinking about big areas to fill with quilting.
 My friend and I stopped at Trader Joe's before we left town on Friday. My purpose in going was to buy some marmalade.  As we walked through the door I saw this beautiful hydrangea for a fantastic price.
It came home with me, and I've been admiring all the beautiful colors in the petals and wondering how they may change once I get it planted outdoors.  I've wanted a bush for years, but figured there was no hope since the little bit of time I have had at home is hardly conducive to basic maintenance, let along caring for my plants. I don't know how long this one will survive, but I'll certainly enjoy every minute of it.
Of course, I almost forgot the marmalade!

The coming weeks are filled with a myriad of appointments, so I'm sure I'll treasure the time I have at home.

I'm going to join a couple of linky parties:
Sarah's Can I Get a Whoop Whoop (although just a little soft applause would be adequate)
Karen's Sew Darn Crafty

Please take a look at some of the other projects that are linked at their parties, and leave a few encouraging words on a few of their blogs. A little encouragement can bring a lot of joy!

Happy quiltmaking...and have a blessing filled Sunday.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Little Adventure

It was a moving adventure--officially known as an Equi-test.
(If you're here from a linky party, you might want to skip this post and move on to the quilt posts!)

 I was strapped into a lovely vest-type thing and assured it would catch me if I fell.  Doesn't it look glamorous--and don't I as well?
 Yep, I did great with my eyes closed.  Opened them and  my stomach, head, and the rest of me felt just like that blur!
Good news is that I exceeded the norms for my age--except when my eyes are opened and the painted landscape was moving!
It's the only machine like this in the entire state and was developed for NASA back in the 50's and 60's but now has medical uses.
The fact that I did not do so well with my eyes open documents some of the problems I'm having with visual processing.

I also saw the speech therapist and began testing for my evaluation--and burst into tears after the third little test (in which I had to perform a task by listening to numbers, and pushing a button when I heard two numbers, the second of which was one less than the first, and sorting that information out from background noise).  Hmmmmmmm....that says a whole lot right there.  Next week: more tests in a bunch of areas and a bit of therapy if I'm lucky.  Guess I have a new almost-full-time job that I would never have guessed I'd have!

Hopefully, I'll fit in at least a little quiltmaking......

I'm linking to Karen's Find a Friend Friday.  According to one of my best friends, I'm much less social since the kick in the head! I hope any new visitors read beyond this post to the real quilting stuff.  (I didn't even have a label for this one, and my brain isn't up to creating one--besides, who wants more adventures like this anyway!)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Quilt Work in Progress

 Strips cut.
Just a teeny bit of the center stitched.

Sweet Teen sat down and made a list of as many behaviors as she can think of that have changed since I was kicked in the head.  Among many other things, she says I have a hard time staying focused and that I do things much more slowly.  Yes, I've noticed those, but I guess those behaviors are much more intense than I realized.  For years I've had to advocate for greater patience, more strategies, more time to complete tasks, and sometimes just waiting until the next day with general ed teachers who just don't understand the realities of traumatic brain injuries and how they can limit the productivity of students with TBI.  Now despite all that, I have to admit that my understanding was very limited too.  First hand experience is something we don't want, but I have to admit that it's certainly a growth experience. (And my injury is much less severe than those many of my students have had!)

Okay, now to get at least a little bit done before heading to the city.....
Although first I'm going to link to some other blogs so you can easily go see other people who are making more progress than I...

Esther's WIPs on Wednesdays
Connie at Quilting by the River
Lee's WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Do visit some of the very interesting blogs in their Linky Parties and leave comments for the quiltmakers.  I've found some absolutely wonderful, little known blogs that way.

Happy quiltmaking......

Monday, April 23, 2012

Liebster Award


Rosemary Dickinson of The Knitting Quilter has awarded me the Liebster Blog Award. Thank you, Rosemary

What a surprise--frankly, I didn't even know there was such an award until a few days ago, so it really is a huge surprise.

"The Liebster Award (German for favorite) is for bloggers with 200 followers or less. As a recipient
of the award, you have the chance to thank and link back to the blogger who gave it to you as well as
pass it along to five other deserving blogs.

The Liebster Conventions say:
1.  Thank your award presenter on your blog and link back to him/her.
2. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
3.  Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that you think deserve to be recognized.
4.  Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
5. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too.
 As instructed, I'm passing it on, to some other small sewing and quilt-related blogs with great posts.
In no particular order:

Pokey Davis at Pokeydot Quilting

I'm honored to have the award.  I've seen it on a couple of blogs--happened to be there at the right time--and thought, "How interesting."
So, when Rosemary informed me I'd received the award from her, I decided to follow it backwards.
I only followed it back about 12 or 13 generations, and if everyone who was awarded it then chose five recipients, the number of bloggers with this award would be 1,220,703,125.  I'm absolutely certain I haven't seen it on that many blogs. (How many blogs exist, anyway?  Does anyone know?)  I remember my mom insisting I do this math when I received my very first chain letter when I was a child!

Know what?  Makes no sense that this award is still being passed around and is seen on so few blogs, but I'm still glad to have been recognized and would be glad to recognize more people. There are so many tiny little quilting blogs out there that deserve a lot more notice than they are getting, often simply because we haven't found them yet!

I started blogging because I live in the Middle of Nowhere, and I wanted to keep in touch with a few friends and to share mostly my quilting activities.  Sometimes life has gotten so complicated that there was no way I could post.  Now that I'm home for a while because of a work injury, blogging helps me keep more organized and helps me be more productive.  Furthermore, I treasure the friends and acquaintances I've made because of blogging, the knowledge I've gained, and the opportunity to share knowledge with others.  (Back when I began making quilts, any kind of quilt-related knowledge was very hard-won. I'm quite willing to help make that knowledge much more available.)

Happy quiltmaking.....

Quilts in Progress

I've been back to work on Baby Blanche's Robin's Song. 
It has been sitting and waiting patiently while I made some decisions about the robin's egg blue rectangles, and I finally took some action..
 Twenty years or so ago, I almost always wrote on the small quilts I created.  I'd pen on favorite quotes or encouraging words.  Back then I most often used a brown Sakura Micron Pen.  However, now that I have personally owned some of those quilts for a couple of decades, I know that despite what anyone says about the permanency of the ink, it does fade.  Therefore, I decided to use black ink on this one.  I finally assembled a list of positive attributes and penned them onto the quilt.  My goal was that as Baby Blanche grows into a young girl and then a young woman, when she has some of those down moments that are part of everyone's life, I want her to be able to identify some of her positive attributes to help restore her balance. She's not even three months old yet, so we can only guess what her strengths will be, but I'm sure, given the strengths of her parents, that down the road, she will possess many of these.

Next design project:
I have shelves full of hand-dyed fabric that I began creating in the mid-1990's.  I've used only bits and pieces of them.  Most of those pictured below are on the agenda.
I've been looking at blogs of "modern quilts" and challenging myself to do some stretching.  Of course, one of the most powerful motivators for doing some stretching is that so many designs of the MQ movement have huge areas for quilting freedom.I'm guessing the quilting itself will be less modern than the patchwork.  (Now, why would I think that?!)

I'm linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times, and, depending on my productivity today, may link to some more parties later this week.

With visits to the orthopedist and the rehab specialist this week, I'm not even going to hazard a guess about how much time I'll have in which to be productive.

Happy quiltmaking......

Friday, April 20, 2012

Finished Quilt: Sweet Spring Baby Quilt

Finished except for laundering and mailing.
 Simple little 4-patch strippy quilt created from an aged to perfection charm pack: Eclectic by Moda as well as some yardage of one of the prints  along with a big of a Mary Ellen Hopkins fabric (very well aged) and some solid aqua, probably a Kona Cotton.
 Piped binding--except it's not really.  I cut two strips cross-grain: 1-3/4 inches of aqual, 1-1/2 inches of violet, sewed them together, ironed seam allowance toward the aqua, folded it in half and pressed so that a scant 1/8 inch of aqua showed.  Then I sewed it to the back of the quilt, turned it to the front, and stitched with "invisible" thread where the aqua joins the violet.
 I have a friend who does something similar except she presses the seam toward the narrower strip so that her binding has more of a flange.
 This is the second time I've done this, and next time I'll try cutting the "piping" 3/16 inch wider than the "binding" and see if I like that a little better.

The next four pictures who how I dealt with the quilting at each of the corners.
 There is a bit of symbolism here about the corners we turn in life and how even our new journeys re connected to the old.
 The quilt was pieced, partially quilted, and bound with my treadled Necchi BU from the late 1940's.
 The quilting was done on the Necchi and on a treadled Singer 15-88 (or whatever the number for the "convertible" was) from 1936.
This was quilted with one or two well-aged Madeira threads and my new Fil-Tec Glide. (That Fil-Tec Glide just gives me so much enjoyment both while I'm using it [absolutely no tension issues] and when the quilting is done!)
The batting was a Hobbs 100% cotton batting that's been in my stash for quite a while.

And since a party seems like a good idea I'm going to link to some.  (Actually the party I should be having is a car washing party.  We had a storm yesterday evening with only a tiny bit of rain.  However, after an afternoon of high winds, there was plenty of dust in the air, so my car looks like someone was spitting mud at it!  Ahhhh, spring in New Mexico!--At least it's a beautiful sunny day so far today!  That's good since I did come to NM in large part for the 301 days of sun a year!)

Please visit the following parties to see what other quilters and crafters have been up to.
Sarah's Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Karen's Find a Friend Friday
Amanda's Finish It Up Friday at crazy mom quilts
Amy Lou Who's Show and Tell Fridays
Richard's Link a Finish Friday

I love to visit these blogs and discover more inspiration.

I've also linked to Karen at Sew Many Ways Sew Darn Crafty #62.  Lots of inspiration in those links!.

Happy Quiltmaking.......

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sweet Spring Baby Quilt - Almost Finished

I've been working away on this quilt and am now finished with the quilting.
 Size prior to washing: 43" X 49"
 Quilting Threads: Fil-Tec Glide and some Madeira Poly Embroidery thread (the latter of which has been in my stash for well over 10 years).
The 1/2-inch inner dark orchic inner border is a Mary Ellen Hopkins for SSI fabric--from more than 20 years ago.
Batting:  Hobbs 100% cotton.  It too has been in my stash for years.
 Charm squares:  Eclectic by Moda--in the stash for several years.  The border fabric was some extra from the same line.
 The darker aqua setting triangles are a solid that has been in the stash for years--most likely a Kona solid.
 Pieced on a treadled Necchi BU from the late 1940's. Fancy leg Singer treadle from 1919.
 Quilted on the treadled Necchi and a 1936 Singer 15-88 (actually it's a higher number--whatever the number is for the one that was convertible between treadle and electric).  Straight leg treadle. 
 The back of the quilt:  pieced from extra 4 patches, a bit of the Eclectic aqua print, a blue print gifted to me by a friend, and a Hoffman batik purchased almost 20 years ago.

Next steps: label, binding (same Mary Ellen Fabric--but I haven't cut it yet), laundry, post office.

Bonus Quilting Tip:
The Madeira thread was cross wound, so I needed to use my thread stand, but the thread kept tumbling off the cardboard core.  I just put another, larger spool on the thread stand and slipped the troublesome spool into the opening.  Worked fine. 

Linking to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sweet Spring Baby Quilt - Progress Report

I've made some progress on the quilting of the Sweet Spring Baby Quilt, although I still have a distance to cover.  So far I've used Fil-Tec Bobbinline thread for a bit of stabilizing, some turquoise Madeira thread I've had for years for some of the quilting, and Fil-Tec Glide in pale orchid, medium orchid, and some white.
I've quilted on both the Necchi BU treadle in my living room and the Singer15-88 treadle in my sewing room.

 A bit of the back:
 Sweet Teen, who is on spring break, and I made a stop at Busy Bee Quilts in Edgewood, where I succumbed to the temptation of a yard of pale orchid 1930's style fabric, and some fatquarters that will go into at least four different projects.  I also purchased a Pigma Pen so I can get the writing on the Robin's Nest baby quilt.
And the surprise vintage goody in the mail [apparently sitting in the local post office since last Friday when, for some reason, they failed to notify or gave the notice to some other customer, was a pillowcasewith white and pink crocheted lace.
We have a sunny day here east of the Sandias with a couple of windows open.--I'm hoping we don't get our usual high winds in the afternoon

I'm linking to Connie Kresin's Quilting by the River,
and to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story

Happy quiltmaking, all.....

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Prayer Quilt: Song of Summer

This is one of the prayer quilts Judy passed on to me this week--it was all basted and ready to be quilted.

 I used Fil-Tec Glide thread in "Pearl".  Truthfully, the color of the pearl is so close to the cream, that either would have worked.
 It's just loaded with feathers.  I did toy with the idea of switching back and forth between pearl and a minty green thread, so I tried the green in one small portion and decided I liked the cream better. (That will make the recipient curious, won't it?)
 I quilted it on my 1936 Singer 15-88 treadle, sometimes known as "Vernice."*
 Vernice was sixteen in 1936 when she was given the treadle.  She used it for many years making clothes for her children, but she also acquired some always-electric sewing machines, that is, "machines with tails," as the members of Treadle On call them.
The backing is a red allover rose print.  I'm not sure why the color shifted to orange, and I did try, but was unsuccessful, editing it back to red.
The pearl thread really helps those feathers show up.
And here's one more attempt at the photo of the quilting--I tried to move the color out of that ugly orange range and closer to what the fabric really is.  I was partially successful, and the quilting shows up a little better.

*And, for the purists [or people with more expertise than I have], the treadle looks and acts like a Singer 15-88, but it came as a "convertible" so it could be switched back and forth between electric and treadle. I can never remember which of the numbers from 15-89 to 15-91 applies to the "convertible" model. My whole aim in acquiring it was to use it as a treadle, along with several other motors and parts I'd removed from machines that will be PPMs (people-powered machines) as long as I have them, its motor was donated to Rocky Campo, the "Sewman" for the Estancia Valley. (I do wish I had a link for him.  He retired after years and years of working for Ann Silva's Bernina in Albuquerque, and he services machines from his home, in customer's homes, and in his shop in Moriarty.  He is incredibly knowledgeable--and his two sons still service machines at Ann Silva's.)

I'm so grateful to Judy for passing these quilts on to me when I really needed some quilting therapy and none of mine were quite at that stage. I'm thinking my Sweet Spring Baby Quilt will be next.

I'm linking to some Linky parties.
Karen has her "Sew Darn Crafty" linky party beginning each Sunday.
  (And for those of you whose blogs aren't housed on Blogger, I added a Linky follow button.--I've had so much fun the last few days finding and reading quilt blogs that are new to me!)
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