Friday, April 30, 2010

And then the electricity went out...........

What a day yesterday was.  It started out good.  I received the hand dyed fabric that I won in Vicki Welsh's retirement count down give away, first week drawing.  Isn't it beautiful?

Here is a close up shot of one terrific area.  Thanks Vicki!  I'm going to have fun playing with this.

This is the hand made card that accompanied my gift.  She has shown them on her blog but it is so much more beautiful in person.  The metallic paint was hard to photograph.  It either caught a shine and didn't have color or didn't have enough shine.  This is the best photo I got of it.
Then I got a great shot of the ring neck or collared doves that visited my back yard.  The redbud trees are dropping their petals.

One of the doves flew up to the tree right outside my kitchen window.  I was afraid I would scare it away but he/she just sat there and posed.

I decided to eat lunch early and then go sew the preemie quilts before I took Dad to his Dr. appointments.  I just got down to the basement and turned on the TV to listen to the noon news and the electricity went out.  It was still out at 2 when I had to leave.  I had to disengage the garage door opener and lift my garage door myself.  The Dr. appointments took 2 hours and then on to the pharmacy and then I took Dad home.  The electricity had come back on while I was gone.  I needed to unwind after all of the Dr. speak I listened to so I worked on the Kaffe triangle quilt.
I didn't want to move all of the triangles that I had on the first wall from last week so I brought one of the other walls over and set it at an angle next to the first one.  Because of the pipes along the ceiling, I can't get 2 walls side by side in that location.  I need to cut some more lighter fabrics to finish the edges.  I may do some rearranging on it too.  I was able to lose myself in this project and unwind so I could get a good night's sleep.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Choosing fabrics and patterns

I have joined a local group that works on Quilts of Valor.  I went to a friend's house where the donated fabric lives and helped coordinate groups of fabric for chosen quilt patterns.  I took one of Karla Alexander's books and chose this pattern.
Here is the pile of fabric that I chose for it.  I brought the fabrics home to cut for a future sew-in date.  The next meeting is  Tuesday and some servicemen will be coming to pick up a pile of finished quilts during our work day.

On the way home I stopped at a store and found some flannels on sale for $2 a yard so I picked some up for the preemie project at church. 

Today I have to take my dad to 2 dr. appts.  His blood count has been abnormal since he had pneumonia so he is going to see a Hematologist.  Sometimes I wonder how necessary these check ups are for a 96 year old who feels fine and is getting along well.  I guess I will find out later today.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Preparing for preemie quilts

I took advantage of my clean cutting table in the basement and cut all of the scraps from the preemie layettes (that we make at church) into squares to make into little quilts for the preemie ward.

I sewed all of the littlest squares into 4 patches to pair with plain squares.

I will get 4 little quilts out of all of that cutting.  I also pieced some backings out of the larger scraps.

This is how I store all of the squares that are left over.  By putting them in separate boxes that are marked with the sizes, I don't have to go back and measure all of them when I cut the next batch to add to them.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nature walk, garden progress

After my art quilters' group left I went out for a garden walk and some close up pictures.  Here is the same Jack in the Pulpit I showed yesterday.

I couldn't tell from the kitchen window that this other group of 'Jacks' also had blooms.  There were 2 of them on the cluster of plants.  I couldn't get a good angle for a photo on the other one.

Even though I dug out a bunch of Lily of the Valley there is still another huge patch of it in another spot.  They are so sweet smelling.

There are several large patches of violets as well as others randomly scattered throughout the shade garden in the back yard.  They have quite long stems.  Do you know how long it takes to pick a bouquet of violets?

I picked a little of each of the flowers in the back yard.  I may go out again today and spend more time and get a bigger bouquet.

I tried growing several different plants in this little garden and I just couldn't seem to keep it filled in.  I finally resorted to more hosta, coral bells, lilies and cranesbill and they seem to be doing well.  I also have a little hydrangea bush in the background.  It is at the top right and I cut most of it off in this shot.  It only had 5 blooms last year so I'm hoping to see a lot more this year.

Monday, April 26, 2010

finished cleaning and baking cookies

This isn't the greatest photo but it was taken with my zoom lens from my kitchen window.  It is the first
'Jack' of the year.  You can see another new plant starting just to the left of it.

Today my art quilters' group is coming so I finished cleaning and baked 2 batches of cookies yesterday. 
I tried to print from my new laptop and there was no printer listed in my computer.  I had specifically asked the 'geek' whether my network wireless printer would still work from my new laptop even if the desktop computer died.  He said yes but the answer was really no.  I had to uninstall the link he had put in and reinstall the printer software and have it connect to my network.  It was successful but the batch of cookies I was mixing at the same time wasn't.  I had the butter in the mixer bowl softening, but forgot to add the half a stick of Crisco.  I kept thinking the batter looked funny but didn't figure it out until after I had added the chocolate chips.  I started baking them anyway (low fat cookies!) but after 3 trays I tried one and decided the rest of the batter wasn't worth saving. They were about equal to grocery store packaged cookies. My friends know I can bake better cookies than that so I started over again.  So much for mulit-tasking.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cutting and sorting

I sorted through all of the Kaffe's and Philip Jacobs fabrics for all of the yellows plus a couple pinks and lavenders.  I showed a quilt in Kaffe's newest book a few weeks ago that I might try to make.

I pulled the fabric for the borders for a Kaffe Trip Around the World that I made a couple years ago.  The fabric has been laying on the cutting table for a week so yesterday I finally cut it.  It is a 2" and an 8" border.

The cardinals and mourning doves have been regular visitors to my backyard this spring.  The cardinal is such a bright spot with all of the brown on the path and green plants.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Garden tour, computer update

This is probably my favorite hosta for leaf color.  Its flower is nothing special but the leaves are neat from the time it pops out of the ground.

I never remember what this one is going to look like.  It is a hosta although it looks a little like a Romaine lettuce heart right now.

The red penstemon contrasts nicely with the green lily leaves.  The penstemon will reseed in a couple new places each year.

This is the cranesbill in my front flower bed.  The flowers are a pale purple.  The plant is bigger this year so I guess it liked all of the snow cover we had last winter.

I added a few more pieces while I was waiting for my printer software to load in my old (slow) laptop.  I feel a little geeky....I installed the wireless printer that is on my network.......and it worked, I printed a picture from the computer in the basement on the main level printer when I was done.

My desktop computer stopped working 2 days ago.  It turned itself off while I was outside digging plants.  I am hoping it is just the power supply unit that is bad.  I picked one up and my son will install it when he has time.  I am sure glad I bought the new laptop last week and transferred most of my files.  If the desktop is dead, I'm still OK.  My son knows how to get any remaining files off the hard drive.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I can only leave the design wall blank for so long.........and then

I was still putting away all of my clutter in the basement, and I had used a lint roller on 4 of the design walls.  I ran the vacuum cleaner in about a third of the basement, and then it was time.........  time to play with the other set of Kaffe triangles for another charm quilt.  I will allow myself a little time each day to add to it until I run out of space.

Another freecycler wanted some plants so I dug some more hostas and split them and also gave her cone flowers and 4 volunteer redbud trees.  So far everyone has had luck planting these little volunteer trees.  At the nursery they always say redbuds are hard to grow.  I have dozens of new volunteers every year and they are hard to kill.  I'm just glad to give some away instead of just cutting them down or digging them out.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Procrastination deluxe....

Every day I looked at this top on my design wall and then walked away.  I kept putting off the decisions.  I sewed the last 2 long seams last night and thought I would start border auditioning.  First I tried the strip that I used for lattice strips or sashing, whichever you call them. It is six inches wide.

Next I tried the setting triangle fabric. I still haven't cut the corner triangles, but at least I have started working on it again.

The third choice was about 2.5" of the setting triange fabric and 6" of the sashing fabric.  At this point I wonder if it doesn't just need a binding
(and no border) and be done with it.

Meanwhile I continue cleaning the basement.  I have the doll house furniture packed in a box and I'll move the design wall to get to the storage area so I can put the dollhouse there.  So you see.........I had to finish sewing the top together so I could move the design wall and end my procrastination.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cleaning the basement

The art quilters group is coming on Monday so I need to get the basement cleaned up again.  When I was painting the wall where the gas meter used to be, I had to move my daughter's doll house.  Now it is time to move it back to a storage area.
One of our good friends made the doll houses and there were several styles to choose from.  Another friend sold the furniture at her shop and I traded patchwork pillows to her to sell.  The drawers all open in that tiny chest of drawers.  We never got motivated to paint the house.  My daughter says I can try to sell all of it so I hope I can find a buyer.  It is all from the early 1970's.  

I pulled some more thistles and dandelions for my daily dose of gardening.  It was in the high 60's today so it was really pleasant outside.  We need rain though.  Some areas are like concrete.  I left the dandelions there until after the rain this weekend.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Finally I turned the sewing machine on..........

I was suffering from stitch withdrawal so while moving things around in my basement I spied the piles of star blocks and pieces of green sashing from a couple months ago.  I didn't have enough strips cut to do the top and bottom but at least I have this much sewn together.

Remember the Dutch Wax fabrics I showed a couple weeks ago?  Yesterday morning I looked through my navy batiks and found four that will work well with this blue and white assortment.

In the afternoon I went outside and dug out some more lily of the valley that is crowding out some of my other plants.  I transplanted a coral bell that was hidden in an area with taller plants.  I also pulled thistles so I feel like I have gotten started on my spring gardening.  I didn't want to rush it and irritate the hip that had been hurting.

I found the CD for my Canon camera.  I knew the last time I used it was when I loaded both cameras' software into my old laptop when I was going to have overnight company and would not be able to use my desktop which is in the guest bedroom.  It was right with the disk for the Olympus and I had just overlooked it.  Meanwhile I cleaned out a lot of unnecessary stuff in the computer desk while looking for it so that is a good thing.

Monday, April 19, 2010


The redbuds are in full bloom and the sky was so blue yesterday.  We had unseasonably warm weather in the beginning of the month but now we're back to normal, a little chilly.  It sounds like we won't have rain until the end of the week so the flowers on the trees will be safe for a little while longer.
Yes, this picture is blurry!  I took it from inside the house with the zoom lens and it was hard to hold the camera still enough.

I spent a lot of time sorting and putting things away in my computer desk.  I can't find the CD that came with my Canon camera so I'm sorting through everything, throwing away a lot of unnecessary papers.  Maybe I'll actually get organized and put labels on folders in the file drawer.  It meant no sewing or petting fabric though.  I had to make the recovery disks for my new laptop too last night.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

More backyard photos

This is the only bloom in this group this year.

I have 3 colors of violets.

There are a lot of white ones growing in the grass as well as in the garden.

LOVE the color of this one.

Pulling fabric

I was looking through a book and found a quilt that only needed 4 fabrics, but that seems so boring so after choosing four I continued to add fabrics.  The 5 pictured here are rich looking.

I kept looking until I found one more even lighter fabric to add to it.  I don't have any idea what I'm going to make out of them.  I'm going to continue looking for a different light fabric in my stash even though I like this one with the others.

A freecycler asked for Lily of the Valley so I contacted her and dug a bunch up for her.  I took some more pictures in the garden.  Here are the beginnings of Jack in the Pulpit.  I can't tell for sure how many of those green shoots are Jacks or if some are hostas.  In a few days I'll know.

This is my earliest blooming coral bell.  I caught a dandelion and a lot of dead leaves in the picture too.  My gardens are more natural rather than groomed.  I have found that the leaves turn to compost and the soil is easy to work in.

The Forget me Nots are are in full bloom now.  The plant is the biggest it has ever been.  I need to dig it out and move it back a little so I hope I don't kill it.

All of the hardy geraniums have buds.  This is the first one to bloom.  I have about 5 different varieties of them.

The sun was shining brightly on the rest of the buds on this plant.  It is big and bushy too.  I guess our winter wasn't too hard on the perennials.

The last Amaryllis is blooming inside.  It has just 2 flowers.  Soon it will be time to set all of the pots outside for the summer.

I added another picture to my 'colorwash' page and 2 more to the 'Kaffe fabric quilts' page.