Thursday, April 27, 2017

aw ... come on!!!

almost to the end of sewing on a side of binding 
and the stinkin' bobbin runs outta thread...

it happened a coupla times...
two table toppers, three wall hangings, one tree skirt, three baby not-gender-neutral quilts, two table runners, and one quilt
this stack of twelve 
yes, TWELVE!!! can you say PROCRASTINATE? 
are bound 
and a few are even labelled...
most of the dirty dozen are small 
still - ALL of them had four corners 
and i only complained about how long it took to do the hand sewing four hundred thirty-seven a coupla times...

i solemnly swear hope that i will never again let the Needs Binding Pile of Stuff take up more than one shelf ... never never EVER!!! 
cuz i do not like not liking sewing down binding 
and by the last stitch of that pile i was really, really not liking it...

and now i'm gonna fill some bobbins...

I just had an 
"out of bobbin" 
experience.
It was scary.
quote from National Quilters Circle

Thursday, April 20, 2017

quilting bees

 woo hootie hoo!!!
the buzzing bee table runners that i was working on back in august 2016  are done... 
good advice
the bee's knees... 
can't ... reach ... any ... higher
and the bee's knees, too..
no ... more ... stretching ...... too ... tired 
Liz Bowman quilted them with a buncha bees buzzin' around...
bzzzzzzzzzz

i thought i might bee done 
humm munnie humm 
but there's a buncha leftover Bee Creative fabric (by Deb Strain for Moda) from the fat quarter bundle that i used for these two ... if i add some of the new Bee Inspired (also by Deb Strain for Moda) fabric there just might be another sumpin sumpin or two waiting to bee made
may bee so 
or may bee no
humm munnie humm...

no bees
no honey
no work
no money
proverb

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

dusty rose

a loooong time ago i found a wreath with little red silk roses on it
 i love red roses, but i LURVE pink roses
 so i changed out the little red roses with little pink roses and hung the wreath in my bathroom...

a month or three went by 
and i realized that the little pink roses had changed from rose pink to dusty rose...

literally...

bathroom dust is different from other dust ... damp air makes dust stick with a vengeance
so i vacuumed the roses
and they lost a few petals...

i tried putting the wreath outside to see if the breeze would blow off the dust 
and it did
along with a few more petals...

then i tried a blow dryer
and those little pink roses looked so sad that i replaced them...

and was rewarded with more dusty roses...

i tried shaking them in a bag with kosher salt...
lost petals

spraying them with canned air...
lost petals

spraying them in the shower...
 wet lost petals

swishing them in a sink filled with soapy water...
soggy lost petals

and just about every brand of silk flower cleaner on the market
ugh - that stuff is just nasty

so i gave up trying to clean my silk roses
and decided that i would just have to keep putting up a new wreath when they started looking sad...
and i was okay with that
till wreaths became so doggone expensive
even when they are 50 or 60 per cent off

anywho...

look what i made...
la vie en rose ... pieced and bound by me
quilted by Liz Bowman
a pink rose wreath!!!
and when it gets dusty
i can take it down and WASH IT!!!

now Melissa wants one for HER bathroom
but she wants RED roses...

i can do that...

You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.
Pablo Picasso

Thursday, April 6, 2017

done ... done done done

done...
all of the crayon wallets are done
phew...
and they are packed into their reusable treat bags
there's another box just like this one - they barely fit in the car, lemmetellya...
along with some other puppy/dog-themed stuff 
and delivered to little miss k who will be six in june 
to give to her kindergarten classmates and siblings and friends
and i was done two months early
which is pretty much unheard of around here...

also done...
asking a quilter to mend is like asking Van Gogh to paint the kitchen
LuLu's long-sleeved shirt which seems to be worn to shreds well-loved - i'm just sayin' is now a short-sleeved shirt
four lemon microwave-a-bowls
four sunflower microwave-a-bowls
two sunflower coasters
the moon tree skirt trimmed to a circle from a square
binding machine-sewn onto quilted things that will join the ever-growing pile of quilted things that need binding hand-stitched down...
the front and back lawns are raked and ready for the aerator except for what's left of the five inches of snow that fell tuesday...
and some of the house appears to be clean tidy enough...

 now i can get back to what i wanta do 
instead of what i oughta do...
till guilt kicks in again...

I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done.
Lucille Ball

Thursday, March 30, 2017

vernal discontinuity

LuLu came to stay with us for a few days during Spring Break 
and Life with her has been a lotta fun!!!

 first up - movies!!!
before Melissa and LuLu went to see Power Rangers, they watched the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie at home... 
and, of course, they had to watch the original Beauty and the Beast before going to the new Beauty and the Beast movie...

all that movie watching led to empty bellies, so there was a trip to Red Robin and to P.F. Chang's...
no grilled chicken?!? seriously?!?
LuLu was not impressed with either...

 she is the only second-grader i know who doesn't eat junk food... 
no fries, no chicken nuggets, no ranch dressing, no mac & cheese, no hamburgers... 
yeah, it would be quicker to list what she WILL eat at a restaurant:

grilled chicken and fresh fruit 

when we came back home, i made pancakes so she wouldn't fade away...

next up was the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the special exhibit - Vikings - that Melissa really, really, REALLY wanted to see...
a viking we will go...
we thought that tuesday would be the museum's slowest day 

and so did everybody else 
and their neighbors... 
the museum is next to the zoo and, since it was raining outside, the zoo-goers decided to be museum-goers - it was SO CROWDED...
stormy weather...
even with the crowds, the Viking exhibit was excellent

and we had a lotta fun spending money in the gift shop, too...

in between outings, LuLu crocheted and sewed...
what do you MEAN it isn't done?!? when WILL it be a quilt?!?
look at those corners!!! and she did all the pinning and sewing herself!!!
 
and read
 and drew
 and played videos games
 and colored Easter eggs...
oooo!!! puh-retty!!!
her birthday is on Easter Sunday, so we celebrated a couple of weeks early...
red velvet Nothing Bundt cake with extra cream cheese frosting
'thar she blows!!!
you're no bunny till some bunny loves you

she's going back home today, and i am gonna miss her...
sniff ... sob ... sniff


Holy Cow! In the course of one week, I feel like I've lived about a year!
Karlie Kloss

Thursday, March 23, 2017

sum day

me: you really need to get started on those crayon wallets.
myself: yeah, i'll get to them.
me: when?
myself: someday.
me: there are seven days in a week, but someday isn't one of them.

i hate it when i guilt myself into things...

anywho... 

someday ended up being sunday
and monday 
and tuesday
and wednesday...
puppies and daisies and crayons - what's not to love?
it's a good thing that i DID start on them cuz i don't have enough Puppy Love fabric
so i ordered more from Over the Rainbow

buttons are sewn on all the fronts
 eight are turned and ready to press and topstitch
 two are done 
and three more can be finished before i run outta fabric...

yep...
two down 
and thirty to go...


Stop counting crayons, just draw pictures.
Mark Scharenbroich

Thursday, March 16, 2017

raising rays

after spending waaaay too long drawing out the diamonds for paper-pieced rays
i was feeling pretty good about my plan ... till i realized that they were gonna be backwards once they were paper-pieced... 

sigh...

 i didn't want to redraw the angles for the diamonds to go the opposite direction 
cuz drawing accurate angles isn't my idea of fun and this Quilting Thing is supposed to be about fun, innit?!?
  so i wasted even more time than redrawing would have taken figured out how to use the mirror image function on the printer
 and took my precious paper copy of diamonds facing the right way which was actually the left way to kinkos...

here's the first ray...
war
 the second one...
peace
and here they are together...
peace and war 
the colors are a lot more vibrant In Real Life  
and the tipis are flannel that looks and feels like chamois...

now i've just gotta raise some more rays
 till i have a star...


We've begun to raise daughters more like sons ... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.
Gloria Steinhem

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Thursday, March 9, 2017

goof proofing

if the goof on the left-facing buffaloes
 thank goodness i'd made only two lefties before i realized the design was goofed up 
taught me anything, it's to PROOF my drafting before i commit it to Kinkos
 and their eleven cents per copy policy...

and so i did...
i sense a disturbance in the Force
i think it's gonna work... 
i tried War and Peace together, but i don't like the peace pipe and the tomahawk on the same ray
so that's gonna change...

the last time i made a lone star quilt, it was for my oldest brother's sixtieth birthday...
he's gonna be sixty-nine this year - good grief! how did THAT happen?!?
i used the strip piecing method and must have cut some of the units too narrow or too wide

when i put it all together, it wouldn't lay flat

i tried pressing it into submission, but it thumbed its nose at me...

so i held it up and asked Melissa to run by it at top speed - she said it looked okay... 

i didn't argue with her... 

and my brother didn't seem to mind
okay, i'll admit that i didn't actually TELL him - and i didn't tell him that i loaded the backing on the quilt frame upside down and didn't notice til i was taking the quilted quilt off the frame - which is another reason why Liz the Longarm Quilter is my favorite Real Life Super Hero...

anywho...

 i do NOT want to goof up another star - so i've decided to paper-piece the rays
which means more drafting
 and more goof proofing...

i SHOULD be making microwave-a-bowls and crayon wallets...

don't tell my conscience...

Conduct is the best proof of character.
unknown

Thursday, March 2, 2017

2550

pieces of fabric on the wall
2550 pieces of fabric
take 17 down 
and sew them around
2533 pieces of fabric on the wall...
yes, yes those ARE boxes of Irish Spring - i put the leftover slivers that are too small to use in the shower into the new bar's box, and then place it in with stuff that i don't want getting stinky
and if i had made the 150 buffalo that way
i might have gone a little cuh-ray-zee 
and started trying to write new lyrics to 100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall...
okay, okay - a little cuh-ray-zee-ER...
i'm just sayin'

anywho...

after making the first four beasts 
and finding that i SHOULD HAVE TESTED the left-facing pattern - i'd made 50 copies already - ugh - there is no way they could have survived on the quilt prairie with their humps on backwards and their front legs where grass was supposed to be
i knew that i had to come up with some kinda plan...
i wanted to use scraps and stash that i've been hoarding saving - which meant that i couldn't just cut four 2 browns for the buffalo, green for grass, and blue for sky pieces of yardage into 17 groups of workable pieces...
so...
i measured and tested, just to be sure the sizes for each of the 17 pieces
head - middle - butt ... cuz i'm a yes-butt-er
and made labels for 17 envelopes to hold the cut fabrics
legal-sized envelopes - cuz that's what i had
chain stitched
what a tangled web we weave
trimmed each of the seams
how ever in the World did i live without that add-a-quarter ruler?!?
trimmed the completed parts
slice and dice
laid them out to sew together
your left ... your left ... your left your right your left
and
we have the BEASTS!!!
 TA DA!!!

the boxes of beasts are going sideways for a while ... i've gotta work on microwave-a-bowls and crayon wallets and other fancy stuff for a bit...

The difference between a hero and a coward is
 one steps sideways.
Gene Hackman


Thursday, February 23, 2017

stompity stomp stomp

the buffalo found their way outta the Great Pile of Stuff... 
i put it all away last year
when i couldn't find any beads that i thought would work for buffalo horns 
cuz we all KNOW that i am not gonna applique itty bitty horns onto a gazillion buffalo 
and then, when i DID find beads
 they had to swim all the way from the Philippines
 and got stuck in Customs for a couple of months...

anywho...

here's the word on the herd...

after redrafting this pattern from Golden Quilt Company's 2016 Row by Row, i've paper-pieced one hundred little buffalo...
and used thirty-two of them to surround the white buffalo calf...
which leaves sixty-eight to roam the quilt prairie
and that oughta be enough little guys...
they won't get their horns or tails (from embroidery floss or perle cotton) till after they are quilted
and that won't happen for a loooong time...

 i'm gonna work on paper-piecing MEDIUM-sized buffalo for the rest of the month 
and then put all the buffalo away in the Great Pile of Stuff cuz this...
is calling my name...


Keep Calm 
and... 
SKWIRL!!!
anonymous

Thursday, February 16, 2017

i am groot

it's no secret that i LURVE Guardians of the Galaxy...

and it's no secret that my favorite Guardian is Groot...

when Melissa was going through her twisted phase (more on that another time) she decided to twist Baby Groot for me... 
she found a pattern (on etsy, maybe?) for a simple cross stitch of Baby Groot
 and pieced him together with fabric 
instead of stitching him with floss... 
she cut him apart with the Lil' Twister tool...
 put him all back together...
and sent him off to Liz the Quilting Wizard (who lives in Milan, Michigan with my most favorite donkeys in the Whole Wide World) to quilt with vines and leaves...
and now he hangs out in the Space room...
 across from the computer 
so i can see my big little buddy when i sit here 
and compute...


I ... AM ... GROOT!!!
Groot / Guardians of the Galaxy

Thursday, February 9, 2017

on again ... off again

on again...

embroidery is one of my favorite ways to use my hours 
and i can get lost in it
 just like getting lost in a book...

but...
i have delusional optimism about embroidered quilts that totally defies my Reality...

 an embroidered quilt around here, anyway is gonna be years 
not months
 in the making...

i KNOW this...

when i started working on Crab-apple Hill's Susan's Dresden Garden 
i should have known...

i traced out all the embroidery and started with the petal outlines...
one hundred forty-four petal outlines...
it was tedious and boring
and i wanted to get on with the fun stitching
but i ALSO wanted all of the outlines to be the same 
so i plodded along till the outlines were done 
and then i put it all away in the Great Pile of Stuff...

fast forward...

i was looking through the Great Pile of Stuff for something else when i stumbled across the Dresden petals...
ooo!!! the tedious and boring stitching is done!
and i started the plaid petals...
they were tedious and boring, too
but i wanted all of the plaids to be the same
so i plodded along till the plaids were done
and then i put it all away in the Great Pile of Stuff...

fast forward...

i was looking through the Great Pile of Stuff for something else when i stumbled across the Dresden petals...
ooo!!! the tedious and boring stitching is done!
and i started the lily of the valley petals...
they were tedious and boring, too
i wanted all the lilies to be the same
but i didn't want it enough to actually plod through them
i put it all away in the Great Pile of Stuff...

fast forward...

i was looking through the Great Pile of Stuff for something else when i stumbled across the Dresden petals...

ugh!!! these are tedious and boring ... i don't think i'll EVER get these stitched ... do i even WANT this quilt anymore?!?

yes.

yes, i do...


it is gonna take years 
and i will get bored with it 
and when it becomes so tedious and boring that i just can't look at it anymore...
i'll put it away

and that's okay ...

eventually i will be looking through the Great Pile of Stuff 
and stumble across the Dresden petals...


Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
Philip K. Dick

Thursday, February 2, 2017

hand me down

it was Cyber Monday...
there was a cyber sale at a cyber site
 on air fryers... 
and i bought one... 
a glossy black air fryer that sat on one of the kitchen counters and collected dust when it wasn't frying french fries or egg rolls... 
so i decided that it needed a cover... 
i found the box labeled "kitchen appliance covers" in the Great Pile of Stuff
looked over the patterns and decided the one that might fit it was the same pattern that i'd used for the Monster in the Kitchen...
just to be sure, i slipped the Monster's cover off...
 slid it over the top of the air fryer...
and it fit! 
woo hoo! 
so i tugged the cover back over the Monster...
and grumbled about it being a bit too tight and a lot too short...
and had a light bulb moment...
if i was gonna make a new cover, why not make it for the Monster?!? 
and make it FIT this time?!?
so i did...
i made a little mat with a tab on it so i can slide the Monster out from the corner without it screeching like a banshee... 
and made the pockets a little taller so they don't sag with the weight of the paddle and the dough hook...

the air fryer is wearing the Monster's hand me down cover...
and the little mat was such an improvement that i used up all the rest of the quilted fabric making little slider mats for the blender
 and the air fryer
 and the food processor...

and everything was hunky dory... 

till Michael Myson gave me a waffle maker for Christmas... 
a glossy black waffle maker that collects dust when it's not making waffles...

sigh...

anywho...

someone celebrated a birthday this week...
which meant that Melissa baked someone's favorite little muffins...
and since the oven was already hot, someone baked herself a LXVth birthday cake...
and it was SO GOOD!!!

The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.
Frank Lloyd Wright