Sunday, August 2, 2015

Lazy Sunday walk, another Cole Caper

Ah, what's better than a slow walk on a hot summer's day? Time for a walk, we three decided it would not be in our boring neighborhood, we'd go to Annapolis. Always pretty on the eyes, always full of interesting people and sights...
Like this really tall planter in a brilliant blue... or this rusty gate leading to really old stairs leading to a really old home...
When you enlarge the picture you can see all the rusty texture that attracted my artist's eye.
Or you might enjoy another fresh iron railing...
The city is old but alive and lived in. I love the spirals...
A hot threesome might want to rest a moment by the harbor while listening to a guy playing his guitar. Not for money, just for fun. I tried to engage him in conversation but he wasn't interested. 

I told him my husband right there, just started playing guitar, giving the two of them an opening...

they were both men, so not a lot was shared.

Cole said he didn't know that song anyway, and doesn't have thumbs so he can't hold a guitar, that every moment Daddy plays his guitar is one he isn't using to throw a ball or rub a poodle's ears. Whatever.

We did just one shop while there... a terrific place full of vintage and new items that feel vintage, called
"The Vintage Weekend" (their link is here)
I want the airstream cookie jar, the yellow and white striped canister, the, oh who am I foolin'
y'all know I want it all!
I settled for these cutie pies...
Squeeee! Teensy little one of a kind notebooks made from old ruled writing paper, the one we learned to write in cursive with, or did math on. and....
playing cards! Hilarious! At $2 each I got all three! I didn't realize until I got home, they were lucky numbers as well. Wiki says:
" the Queen of spades is considered to be a sign of intelligence. It is representative of judgment that is practical, logical, and intellectual. It represents a woman who is creative and makes her plans ahead of time"

I love a notebook, don't you? I also love art deco period art. Cole was great in the store. The couple recently moved here from Oregon with their three aging Boston Terriers. They petted Cole, and he said I could look around as long as I liked. Just make sure I was in his eyesight the whole time.
He worries I'll get lost. (Or eat something and not share it)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The working title is Batik Starburst

The working title is Batik Starburst. This is the quilt made with the binding tool pattern, the one discussed HERE click to read about it later if you like.

I sewed the whole center section before I found out the black fabric was rotten. Since then I have heard many horror stories about black fabric gone bad.
I took the blocks apart, then ripped out the black from the batiks, leaving as much together as possible. When I found stable black fabric and recut each piece (insert curse words here) I began the process of resewing,  like partial seams. It worked but was a bit tedious. I learned something then...

I sewed that part on my Janome Gem travel machine. I finished on my beloved aging Bernina 1630.

The two blocks did not match. I am a stickler for cutting correctly. I am almost a stickler for sewing a good quarter inch seam. But... the two machines were just off by a bit, enough to make a difference. It explains why your friend's blocks aren't always the same as yours. The Bernina's seam is better, so I went back and tried to unpick the poor joins and match better.

This particular one was not having it.

I tried every trick in the book, and after 7 un-sewings of this particular join, I gave in and said, apparently this one, will. not. be. right.

I am not new, I am not without skills, but I ran out of patience! Quilt police, have at it!

Some seams just do not want to match, not with pinning, not with pressing opposite, not with anything.

Anyway I pressed the the blocks well, and trimmed the blocks down to 16 and 3/8 before the final construction began. They are sewn together in three sections at the moment ready to be quilted.
After all the hassle I decided not to border it to make it King sized. It's fine, just the way it is.
Now I want you to do something... Look at the top picture, see the top and bottom center blocks? The blue and green ones? On the first picture the two blue ones are together and the green ones together.

On this picture I mixed them up.
This is the final layout... it just felt better, know what I mean?

All pictures are pre-ironing and pre-trimming of blocks, it looks nice and regular and flat and square on the wall now, but I haven't taken more pics.

What I love...
1.the shading of my scraps from light to dark.
2.The fact that I used scraps not yardage (and the bin is still too full)
3.Color! Brilliant color, glowing color, not organized by rainbow order.
4.I salvaged the quilt when there were times I considered tossing the whole mess away
5.It's a pattern I never would have made but for wanting to do a project with my bee

What I learned
1. Scraps chosen carefully can do a great job in a quilt
2. Black fabric is often more unstable because of the chemicals used to make it
3. Use the same machine to piece the whole quilt if possible
4. It's okay to use a pattern even if one is an art quilter and works originally, ahem.
5. Sometimes good enough is good enough and one moves on

I am now busy figuring out how to best quilt it. I want to try black batting this time, and will quilt the whole center top to bottom sewn together into one 8-block section, the side four blocks as separate sections then join as usual.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The unexpected gift

What a surprise!
My good friend Nancy pugmom sent this cutest flamingo wallet to me. She said she is making something for my May birthday but this will take it's place. I can hardly wait to see the treasure she's making as she is just a party on two legs! How did she know I like a flamingo (smirk)
Look how it came wrapped too. Her special card, and that's a great idea in and of itself, right?

That sparkly pink folded box, pink tissue paper, and this inside...

Well, it's just perfect. A perfect gift and a perfect surprise! I feel loved!
Then out of the blue yesterday my bee mate Diana surprised me with this...
It's a leather flamingo wristlet purse!!! In purple! Perfect! Perfect surprise!
She said she wanted to thank me for all I do for her, which is just being her friend, which is easy.

Look at it dangling from my fingers... note the pink plastic flamingos guarding the yard behind.

Check out the little leather legs!
The zipper, handle and it came with a lucky penny inside. Diana and I are Southerners. I think that's a Southern custom of including a penny. Another beemate said her Japanese roots dictate a 5 yen piece to go in any purse.

About two months ago another bee mate came in with this...
She found this funky beaded poodle at a yard sale and said she knew she had to get it for me. HA!
How'd she know I love poodles (double smirk)       Surprise! A gift for no reason, just because.
Because she's thoughtful.
So to keep this surprise gift thing going I made something for my friend recently seen again in Ohio, Maria
(see post HERE)  It will be winging it's way to her soon. She loves blue, so a blueberry pie pin cushion is her surprise gift.
my friend QuiltSwissy is doing a project giving away quilted items at random. Given or gotten any surprise gifts lately?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Cole manages to find mischief even in Ohio

On our next to last day in Ohio, we three headed to Cincinnati to see what we could see.

Along the way we stopped at a few quilt stores (ahem) as it's a good way to see areas of the country.
(that's my story and I'm sickin' to it)

We stopped in lovely Glendale Ohio, a planned village from 1900's. It was awesome. Gorgeous little homes, great town square with lovely little shops, a train station, gas lights, park, oh my. Of course I went into the quilt store (Stitches) where there are great supplies. Then we decided we three needed refreshment.

Cole first, " Will you look at that!

Why they knew I was coming and built this antique watering bowl, top for humans, middle for little humans, and one just right for me! So very perfect and boy did that water taste good"

You know how towns do  statue projects? DC had donkeys and elephants... 
well Glendale had squirrels. This beauty is outside our lunch shoppe called the...

 Bluebird Cafe.
That's right... and the bluebird of happiness flew into our lives with curried chicken sandwiches and salads to share. Shade, breeze, low humidity, good food, and I swear I saw Barney Fife drive by. Well it was a policeman probably looking for lunch since the town was so stinkin' cute I felt like I was at Disney World.

The mischief comes in with Cole. We were so very happy and content. He on the other hand complained about the service. Here he is to tell you all about it...

Cole: "Well it all started when I wanted to lay down in the park, not watch momma shop for more quilting supplies. Then they expected me to pose like an actor with that circus freak of a squirrel. Momman knows how I feel about squirrels. Well I wasn't cooperative. hmph. grrrr.

Then they start eating that good food, and, can you believe it??! They plop down a bowl of, wait for it...
dog food for me. What an insult! Just because I am allergic to chicken. And wheat.

Oh they eventually shared their chips but I have my figure to consider even if they don't.
I acted like I was having none of that dog food, until they obviously finished their whole meal and I realized that was it.

There is taking a stand..... and there is going hungry, and a poodle has to know what's what.
As we were walking back to the car (OMG not the car again!!!) I spied a cutie in the window of this establishment. Wowie Zowie! Cute right?? Just the kinda girl I could play ball with. She was so content there I didn't want to disturb her.
Don't tell the folks, but I had a right good time on this trip. Even more pics to come.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Red Dishes

Just to round out the month at superscrappy  a few dishes to go with my growing mismatched scrappy set.
Pretty much like the dishes we use.
We just replaced our worn out set of cobalt blue stoneware, pitted, chipped, scratched... with a few items from Crate and Barrel....
These are china instead of stoneware, lighter weight and hopefully stronger. We have four china plates white with a modern black line swoop that I got at the outlet and now blue sandwich plates and celadon green bowls. I like the mix of color! For china these were a bargain which is important to me.
It matters that my everyday plates make me happy. I seem to need replacements about every two years.
Well, they chip almost immediately, but we use them for another two years! lol! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

My how time flies!

My gosh!
Time flies when you're having fun!
Feels like just yesterday my boyfriend Drew asked me to marry him. Three months after we met. Standing in the doorway while my labradaughter Chelsea was in the back yard taking a break.
We met at a contra dance.
The first card I ever gave him said, Love is like dancing, when you find the right partner it's easy.
We married after one year almost to the day of meeting and went to a contra dance after the reception.

Here we are 21 years later, through all the ups and downs of life, we are each other's best friend. 
We still like each other, and as one of my valentine quilts says, he's the one I want to tell my stories to at the end of the day. 
We make each other laugh. 
We support each other. 
 We fit together. 

We are thankful. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

handwork on a trip

When we take a really long car trip, I set up shop!!
Welcome to my nest in the van. My good husband drives while I work in the sweatshop.
The front seat moves just enough in the van to irritate my spinal nerve problem so I sit bolt upright in the second row and put the front seat in closed position. It give me a wee table.
We remove the other seat so Cole can jump in and out. His nest is in the third row bench seat where he stretches out.
The cd player went out, the van is old so we just got a boombox to play our book on tape. The third in the trilogy Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Oh boy! 10 hours on the road both ways and we didn't finish the last book! But It's good....

I have a hexie project I have been doing for 10 years on car rides and at bee. It was to be a small piece...

It's now in 5 sections and fits the king bed! I am doing borders at the moment, and have lots of batiks basted around plastic templates (cut from yogurt lids) ready to choose from. Right here they are in a cleaned cheese tray just their size. I love a re-use of a container!!
Of course when the car starts up fast, the stuff slides onto my feet!
While at the hotel, Cole and I sat under the patio umbrella and I beaded.
I am ready to work for the day. Aren't they pretty?
I am designing something very exciting for me. I tried to learn a particular beading technique on youtube but it's just easier to do my own thing. I've done 7 pieces so far and each one is exciting. I drew out some designs on graph paper and am doing even count flat peyote. I have learned so much about color, line and texture by experimentation. It has become the best way to learn for me.
And it's fun.
Each piece is different, and I swear I could make 50 more and still learn with each piece.
I have plans for them....

While my husband was toiling away at work, I was either going from quilt store to quilt store or in the room re-sewing my batik-on-black blocks. I ripped the rotten black away and left the batiks sewn together if possible. When I add back in good black fabric, I then go back and resew the partial seams. It's working well.
I took my Janome Gem along. The white bag holds the sewing tray and extra bits and pieces.
I made that bag  l o n g ago with a Mary Englebriet transfer and it's still strong. I drew around the transfer with paint.

 It says
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes
M. Proust

Well, I saw new landscapes and also looked at things with new eyes. We are trying to decide where to move.

The trip was a way to experience new landscapes and try them on for size. We loved the open fields in Ohio, the friendly down to earth people who had time to chat with a person, the parks, the calm, and at least I liked the quilt shops!

 We found out our values still match as we both want more peace in our every day lives.

Do you take art projects along on trips??