Tuesday, April 29, 2014

bit o' fun

Some fun stuff going on here in our house today--
I finished the quilting on this one.
It's for Debbie, to be displayed at the store for an upcoming class.
The pattern is turnovers by Freckled Whimsy.  The photo on the left is more accurate coloration.  The other picture has been edited to show off my quilting better.  This was a fun quilt, totally freehand stitching, and a much more contemporary design compared to other things I have done recently.

I'm a little late getting it to her, since it should already have the binding and be hanging along with all of the other class samples.  I have spent quite a few hours quilting 10 small quilt, wall hanging size, for Stacy West, pattern designer for Buttermilk Basin.  And there was a deadline on those, too, in order to get photographs done and patterns printed in time for Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh in 2 weeks. 
When she releases her patterns I will share some pictures of them.

I have been kicking myself for not getting done sooner, but I have some good reasons.  

There are those sweet little grandsons, who I need to visit often to hug and play, since we all need time to play more.  Ian doesn't sit still for very long, so to entice him I placed a tiny pink play-doh puppy on my knee.  Whatever it takes!

And then there's this:

demolition of our kitchen and main bathroom started today.
The 80's were alive and well until they collided with 2014 today.
Packing up everything, doing some culling while I went, sorting what to keep handy in our temporary kitchen and what to stow away in boxes--it all takes time that I really don't have, hence my quilting delays!  Oh well, it all gets done in the end.

Bathroom Before
Bathroom After

wallpaper hidden in the bathroom
little pink flowers
what was I thinking?

The workmen are very nice and hard-working.  They hung sheeting and tarps all around to keep the dust contained as much as possible, and laid plastic on the carpet where they will need to walk.

Kitchen Before
Kitchen After

I'm feeling very nostalgic today, but I'm pretty sure that I will get over that!  Our new cabinets are going to be sooo much better!  These old ones met our needs for a long time and I hope to outlive the new ones!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


A bunch of odds and ends today....
Little Jack, sleeping angel, snuggled into the blankie that my mom made for Brita when she was a baby.  That blankie has seen her through all of life's challenges and is still hanging together in one piece, although a bit tattered and frayed.  I guess Jack still likes it!
With a birth weight of a smaller number than we expected (6# 4oz.) we are all happy to see that he is making big strides in poundage, already up to 7# 10oz. after just about 2 weeks!  He still is a tiny tater tot, with plenty of room in those newborn cloths that his brother hardly used at all!

And yesterday was a fun day for big brother, because he got to visit Choo Choo Bob's in St. Paul!  If you are anywhere near the city, and have any sort of young child in your acquaintance, you would be wise to take them there.  It is a shop full of train-related toys, and in the back of the store there are several tables open for play with lots of little wooden train cars and tracks and buildings.  Ian is a big fan of Thomas the Train and all of Thomas's friends, each of which he knows by name!

In this picture, you can see his special little train hoarding technique that comes from his experience at the daycare center.  Not a lot of sharing goes on among the toddlers, so it is best to clutch onto any cars you want to have handy!  Hold as many in one hand as possible while playing with 2 or 3 more on the table.

I (we) have embarked on another big project--a long-awaited remodel of our kitchen and bath!  All new cabinets, some rearranging of things and emerging from the 80's into the 21st century!  Choosing countertops, paints, cabinet doors, tile, fixtures, etc.

I find myself wandering around Lowe's or Menards taking pictures of things to possibly use....

Our stove will be positioned in an island so instead of having an under-cabinet range hood, I need to find something to hang from the ceiling.  So many decisions!  Also looking for a good wine refrigerator and not finding good reviews on the ones that are in my budget.  Might have to ask Santa for one next Christmas!  And bring it filled with wine, too, Santa!

In a moment here and there, I am exploring some English paper piecing possibilities like this block---

All of those little pieces turn into something that looks like this--

At least I hope it will look like that sometime within my lifetime!  All of this doesn't leave much time to write on this page, so I will keep trying to tuck in a little bit here and there.  So stay tuned!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Switching gears

The only freedom you truly have is in your mind, so use it.

M.T. Dismuke

My mind had been occupied by my amazing little grandsons during the past 2 weeks. Two (2) grandsons! Little Jack Robert is almost 2 weeks old already. Big brother Ian is adapting fairly well, but he is only 2, after all, so don't expect miracles!  
Now it is time to get my mind engaged in creative endeavors and back to the backlog of quilts awaiting my attention. Yesterday brought something that I don't often see--
A quilt made of vintage fabrics!  These  are fabrics from the 1930's from what I know. I am not sure of the history of these blocks but I know they were resurrected by my friend, Maggie. The Dresden plates were stitched by hand and the blocks were assembled with many little bits of collected vintage fabrics. Some of these prints might be considered real oddities by today's standards, but are so interesting to see. 
This one, for example, combines some shapes and colors that I would never willingly combine!  Makes me stop and think about what was in the mind of the person who designed it! I mounted this with batting and backing on my longarm frame and basted the layers together. Now Maggie will spend a few minutes (or months!) hand quilting it. Maybe I will get a picture of the finished product some day down the road to share. Now off to get creative!