Monday, September 23, 2013


A beautiful example of the changing season, this sunflower head is ready to be served up for the birds. It spent the past few months as a bright yellow blossom. Now the transformation has continued. 
The texture and shape and color is amazing.  Someone who is a more contempory quilt designer than yours truly could probably translate it into fiber for a fantastic 3D picture. Anyone game?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Phone home

We are having a quiet evening with this sweet little guy and his excellent uncle Dan. Dan just arrived tonight from Montana for a well deserved vacation and we have all sorts of fun ideas for things that we want to do with him. So there may not much sewing going to share with you. I will try to capture some fun pictures. 

Also, I am on a steep learning curve on one of those newfangled smart phones, so this is my first official blog post from my phone! With pictures, too! And punctuation!  Stay tuned for amazing things. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

sewing up some buckets

Just a couple of things to share with you...

Erika, one of the other Piecemakers members attending this retreat, has assembled this very appealing quilt from flannels.

We all love it!  What a good combination of colors.

I have spent my day making these 4 containers from the Bucket Brigade pattern from Atkinson Designs.  The pattern covers all 4 sizes.  Very well-written pattern.  We all like them!  Soon on display at Bear Patch with fabric kits and patterns available.

One more evening of sewing fun, then tomorrow it is back to real life.  Sad.  But at least I will get to hang out with my best little guy...

Friday, September 13, 2013

home sweet gnome home

"Hi Ian!  Let's play!"
Just a little silliness for my best little guy, since he has a little gnome buddy in his backyard.  I saw this little bit of fanciful fabric and knew that it would be just right for an 18 month old!

Also, his parents can't be left out, so the busy bees pictured below make the perfect pillowcases for them!  So appropriate for their monogram--BBB.

More specially themed fabric is being used for a fabulous prize for a 2014 fishing trip contest yet to be determined.  Biggest fish?  Smallest fish?  Ugliest fish?  Most fish eaten?  Biggest fish tale?

I had made the selvage section of this at home and quilted it on my machine, just brought it along to finish up the pillow back---

It was made using the Creative Grids 30 degree triangle ruler.  Worked slick!

I finished the quilting on 2 things last week--

This orange and white quilt is a variation of the traditional feathered star pattern.  I had never seen it before, but the pattern came from a magazine so it is legit!  I think it was called Pierre's Star?

Another star, and again with the orange--

This is a baby quilt, mostly white, with this one big star placed off-center for a different effect.  And look at this backing--

Love it!

I am enjoying a few days away from home for a quilting retreat, and I have spent a lot of my time so far working on a machine embroidery project.  I still consider myself a newbie with this skill, learning more each time I take on a new pattern.  This one combines some applique with the embroidery.

Peppermint Candy by Claudia's Creations

For a little bit better perspective, each of those ornaments is 5" in diameter.  This is what it looks like as it is being stitched--

Amazing machines!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

a cool breeze

A very welcome change in our weather brought back the pleasure of open windows!  I do like to be able to enjoy the outdoor sounds, the birds calling, the leaves rustling, the trucks on the highway 1 mile away!  At least there is no hum of the A/C!

We did have the hum of a blender a couple of days ago.  We wanted to make some frozen fruit drinks with our new Zoku cups--
This picture makes it look much bigger than it really is, those are a child's hands there.  And I think they used the same photography technique that I use when getting pictures of the fish we catch, extending the fish out to the camera to make it seem appropriate for a big fish tale.
Anyway, Debbie introduced me to this fun kitchen accessory and I spotted a booth at the State Fair and couldn't wait to get my own!  I asked the booth guy for 2 of them, one to give to Brita and one to keep.  And as a surprise, since I was the first customer of the day and so enthusiastic about Zoku, he gave me another cup for free!

Back at the ranch, I unearthed my old blender to whirl up some fresh fruit to use in our slushie, and it was a sorry sight.  

That was 1975.
It was a wedding gift, avocado green Osterizer, front panel peeling off, rubber gasket as stiff as cardboard!  The motor was really straining to get moving when I turned it on, but it did slowly get the job done and the slushies were a success!  But we decided we could qualify for an upgrade, so now we are the proud owners of a shiny new blender!  This one should last us until se are done needing a blender!
This is 2013.
 I have been trying to kick the feeling of lassitude that has been plaguing me lately, not feeling like I have accomplished much, and then I remember why I don't care if my projects are reaching completion.  This little guy--

He just soaks up the world and everything in it, and spending time with him is a reward of its own!  Just look at the way he can slurp up a pasta noodle!  Have you ever seen anything so wonderful?!  He just passed the 18 month mark, another milestone reached.  By the end of this meal, during which he devoured his linguine, there was pasta and garlic and olive oil all over him and his surroundings.  A great way to experience a meal!

I wanted to share a couple things that I have finished (or nearly)--
Here's a little baby quilt that I put together from a bundle of sports themed fabrics that I had collected.  I used a tumbler ruler from Creative Grids.  I used the ruler before for a class that I taught at Bear Patch on a much larger scale.  This little one was much quicker, and the size was dictated by the amount of that blue fabric that I had on hand!  It has a little black and white striped binding that still needs to be hand stitched in place.

 I tried to put in quite a few different sports, this has basketball, golf, soccer, football and baseball represented.
 This doesn't have a recipient yet, but will be ready for some sweet little guy.

I did a spell of handwork putting together this little clamshell piece using English Paper Piecing techniques.  These are 2" pieces, measured from side-to-side.  I started it 2 years ago when I attended Quilt Market in Houston and took a class from Sue Daley to learn how to do it.

I used this nice little acrylic template to help cut the shapes that I glue-basted to paper pieces, then hand stitched row upon row.

And, I did a real easy knitting project, too!  This slouchy hat, which was really hard to get a good picture of without a head handy!  I think you get the idea, but the picture of the guy on the cover of the pattern booklet shows it off much better.  Notice the title, Celebrity Slouchy Beanies, which must mean that this is hip and cool, right?!

I used this really nice yarn, which was a pleasure to work with but has only one drawback--it's not machine washable!  I think this one has been claimed by Bob, so I can make sure it doesn't get tossed in the wash accidentally!

Oh, one other thing I got done--

lawn mowing!  Bob is not allowed on our riding mower until his back is better healed, so the task has fallen to me.  I did mow the lawn occasionally back when we first moved here, but it has been a job for the kids and Bob for a long time.  I had to have a little refresher on the proper mowing techniques, but now I am back on track.  Luckily, our lawn is far from pristine, I would call it more of a rustic style, which fits well with my style of mowing!  Let's just say I will be happy to have Bob back on the mower in the future!