Sunday, February 16, 2020

sunday stories... a writing challenge

The challenge words for this week's story are from sundays whirligig
feelings, dirt, metal, many, clock, stuck, turned, one, meal, forty, lint, let

My story is:
                                               The clock on the mantel
 How quickly the dust piles up, she thought. Seems like I am always chasing dirt.

the clock ticked loudly on the mantel, tick. tick. tick. Time ticking by, minutes turning into years, as if turning forty wasn't reminder enough.

She felt stuck at the same time she felt carried along the timeline against her will. Like a solid crowd of people so close, she can lift her feet and be carried along wherever they are going.

tick tick tick.

She wiped the metal table with her dust cloth and looked out the window at snow. Why did she feel like this? Like she was stuck between time stopping and rushing by?

Her feelings were often too strong and too many for her to understand, even if  they came from her.

The clock sent out a loud reminder that it was one o'clock. Fine she thought, fine. now what? It's one o'clock what does that matter now that the days felt long and lonely. Cleaning the house gave her a sense of control, but she couldn't control the movement of time, or the disconnect she felt, or how her only son had just left for university.

Seems like he had always been with her.  She had her only child when she was just 19, and now she had to let him go into the big world with his own clock to tick tick tick.

She lifted the dry towels into a basket and cleaned out the lint tray of the dryer. Less clothes to wash, but she still had laundry. And dust, meals to fix, a dog to let out to play.

Nothing was different and everything changed, tick tick tick.

Can you relate to my words? To a fictional story that comes from my imagination and heart? I never had children but this is how I think one might feel. I am a woman who struggles with loneliness, and wants her time to matter, to create something larger than myself, to relate to others.
What do you think? I'd love to know...

Linking to

Saturday, February 15, 2020

sewing saturday

I know I posted about sewing and showed three quilts yesterday, but today is my usual Sewing Saturday so I'll show you the design wall. I made some bright green improv log cabin blocks to go with the two colors from Rainbow Scrap challenge so far.

I made one with a mix of orange and green, just because.

I really like this process, adding strips and seeing how it develops.

I've been going through UFO's and found these
On this first pass through the UFO piles, I'm tossing obvious outdated projects, and putting things like this in a bin labeled (for now) parts dept.
Some cool stuff has found it's way into that bin!

ooo I like them spaced out on the table cloth... hmmmm

I discovered these little EPP hand sewn tumbling blocks. You need three shades of a color for the effect, so with the orange bin already out, I made up some block sets and sewed them while watching tv (and snow pile up)

They are amazingly fast to baste behind the diamond papers, and to whip stitch together.
I think I'll make more.

don't we all?

Friday, February 14, 2020

V-day and I love a hexie!

Happy V-day! 
I'm going to tell you what I learned making this year's valentine quilt but let me start with a little story.... 

I make a Valentine quilt every year since our marriage.
One year I didn't finish and my husband cautiously asked if that meant something.
LOL! Yes it meant I lost my way somehow in the finishing.
I've been going through my UFO boxes, some projects go back to my quilting beginning in 1984!
Here was the old V-day quilt, all crinkly and buckling from an overabundance of quilting, circa early 2000's
step one: decide not to throw it away
step two: block it by spraying with water, lining it up, and weighting it down to dry
step three: remove a lot of weird quilting (metallic thread is hard to unpick)
step four: add in appropriate quilting to balance the the load
now that it was flat, square, and evenly quilted, I put on a binding

It isn't my favorite by a long shot, but I'm glad the 25 years of quilts is continuous again!
what I learned: my tastes have changed, and if quilting is going wrong it probably won't help to just add more...
Not everything should be saved, but even ugly quilts can sometimes be salvaged if they are important

Back to this year's work.
I did a post on the making of this see it here
since then I added in more hexies, and joined them after quilting.
What I learned
whatever size hexie you want, make the backing 3/4" larger on all sides. I laid the print on my background and a ruler on the 5/8" or 3/4" line and cut adding this on all sides.
use your stiffer batting,  a wall hanging done this way needs body
take your time with pressing  the backing to the front, as this is your finished edge.
I used this project to try different ways to sew this edge, zigzag, straight stitch near the edge, specialty stitches. I like the look of a matching thread and straight stitch.
When all the little quilts were quilted and bound, I put them together experimenting with  two different stitches by hand
1. whip stitch like I connect EPP hexies... not as smooth as it takes up a tiny bit of seam, not important before quilting but this is after quilting and that pulled the edges a bit.
2. ladder stitch
A. little hexie quilts facing each other, then take stitches along the top
B. hexies laying flat but next to each other, take small stitches pulling taut each time.

The flat alignment worked the best of all, no thread showing and secure without distortion.
I stitched on tiny star sequins at the end, see?
then hung it on the wall. DH even said he loved it there so it may stay for a while!
I'll try this technique again with my cow collection, to make a bed runner. I might keep the whole background the same in that one however.
Since this is Paint Party Friday, I'm sharing my painted face quilt, and the start to a new painting... so pretty I hated to start inking over it! DH said, maybe you can just paint something to ink... I said, that's what this was to be!
 so I might actually use tissue paper and experiment with flowers before inking...

Linking to
Pink Saturday!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

I Like Thursday #180

I like this V-day quilt on my picture easel in the family room
Welcome to Thursday's list of likes
As the kids say, I'm not gonna lie.... it's been a very difficult week and I'm about to dig deep to find likes.

the week has been about distractions mainly

some good shows on right now, Project Runway, New Amsterdam, The good doctor, This is Us, the bachelor (altho I yell at the tv a lot when that's on), Biggest Loser, Say yes to the Dress ( national wedding)

Time Team, Murdoch Mysteries, Mrs Maisel, Grace and Frankie, Great British Baking show, Reel history with 6 celebrities in England going back to survive 4 days of Victorian times, Restoration House where they restore castles and ancient buildings, Donna Reed show, That Girl.

this is a copy of a draw along page copied from the book, and we add in pencil, then go over in pen
youtube drawing videos
still learning from Johanna Basford's "Inky school" videos... she's my new friend lol
Doing some sketching and drawing along with her


Outlander current season now on disc at the library, binge watching as they don't let you keep DVD's for long. I read all of the series in book form, and it's very condensed but the show is awesome.

listening to Susan Wiggs in the studio, and reading Ellie Alexander series in bed. Requested a number of  library books on quilting, beading, and drawing, so I can send them back.

what's easiest?

I love fresh organic pears!!
 Fabric news
love these new ones and gifted flamingos
sorting UFO's and a post to come on that process and what it's taught me

finished this year's Valentine quilt and hung it up. Finished a V-day UFO as well. Hand stitching on some tumbling blocks, made more improv log cabins in green.

puzzles and games
I have favorites on the ipad like spider solitaire, backgammon, mahjong, marbles. I also love doing kakuro math puzzles. I go to jigsawplanet for puzzles of quilts.

xfinity has a swing music channel on cable, and I also like the 70's channel there (#947??)

It's been snowing for over a week now, gray, piling up in the streets because our part of Colorado doesn't seem to find value in plowing. Oh our car insurance rates are sky high... correlation? I am stuck in the house because I can't risk falling on hidden ice and my car is older and not 4 wheel drive. Or a tank. I've had major nosebleeds that slow me down too (I like afrin to stop it and Ayr to heal)
 Can't meet anyone if I can't leave the house, but I've been very happy to have email chats, and a couple phone chats with friends.

To go along with my newfound love of baby elephants, here are some more babies...
Absolutely the sweetest animals taking care of each other.... awe....

Misadventures of Milo
 sorry to say y'all but I'm bored. SO bored.  Oh I walk with mama during the day but no one's out. I love heading out and running into pals but, it's too cold I guess. Not for me, I live by the postal carrier's code... "neither snow nor rain nor dead of night will stop me from my walks"

At night, I take Daddy for his last walk, and to help him exercise I have him throw the ring toy. 
Degree of difficulty right now? 10 because it hides under snow. When I eat snow I fro up. Still... a Daddy's got to be  kept exercised or he gets testy. 

now sit, stay! visit mama's friends who wrote lists too!


Saturday, February 8, 2020

sewing Saturday improv log cabins

Welcome to this week's sewing round-up

These are some cool log cabins done in an improvisational way.

When looking through my orange scrap bin to keep with the color of the month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, "Orange" , I noted a lot of strings.

thin small or long, strips, often ragged often fraying and uneven.


Off to the white and beige bin for similar strips, sit at the machine and piece the puzzle pieces together
don't overworry size of blocks, keep pressing between strips, let the centers vary, allow for it to be perfectly imperfect because the odd  tilts are more interesting to me than straight little soldiers.

Oh let's make a couple more blocks...
and move them around on the wall.
I think I'll go back and do this with the bright greens from last month!

Friday, February 7, 2020

paint party Friday Blue Bird

Here we are again, watching paint dry!
I enjoyed learning from Johanna Basford, Ceeceecreations, and Shayda Campbell this week, along with sketching a flower from someone's blog photo.
Want to see what I've been doing with ink and paint?
Well, I got out a new tablet of  Fluid brand paper gifted to me at Christmas, and painted a background with KOI paint and a large flat brush. The style of brush makes a big difference in effect.
mixing colors, blending, watching them dry into new colors is meditative.

 Pencil lines, then .05 pigma black ink, white gel, dabs of blues and greens, a bit of ochre for the ground. I like the dashes of white and black on top to look like ground cover. Dots to add shade.
sketchbook for three days, see the idea of a little bird there?
I liked how the little border of fishes surrounding the words looked
On this day, Johanna was demonstrating how to draw in pencil, a basic shape to sketch around, leaving it open for words
 I was reading a blog bemorewithless and saw a close up of a flower that inspired me.

I loved the idea of tiny blossoms creating the center.
I also like to take notes after a sketch to remember what I learned.

I did very little pencil first, basic petal shapes, two circles to give an idea where to do the inking, then erased (or tried to) pencil guidelines.

I love the current look of this year's sketchbook.
I love black ink in a bold line, don't you???


Thursday, February 6, 2020

I like Thursday #179

roosevelt park in Longmont CO
Welcome to this week's list of likes. It's been a good week, and a hard week both, but we're here to list the things I found enjoyable this week. I wrote about connections made on Tuesday's post, and would love you to read about them too:together-tuesdays.

I liked seeing red long-johns hanging on a line to dry
then looking closer and seeing pink flamingos too!
speaking of flamingos Diann gave me the greatest flam. fab that same day!
I liked seeing a chandelier hanging from a tree outside
loved the crystals hanging from the watering can, to represent water

These people made a sign post of their important destinations, and miles to it. I liked seeing GA tech, Purdue, and beaches! Great idea I thought, as well as seeing the dog statue
I liked glancing at this house and noting the curving staircase inside the lovely window
I loved the homes in this historic area and that so many had signs that said they were about love and acceptance not hate and walls.

I liked this tree sculpture made with wood and bike chains
see the chains?

my fascination with elephants and humans continues....this is the piano man playing with a baby...

then there is this tiny baby who is playing got your nose, or wondering why this woman doesn't have a trunk...

 I liked finding this toy at the local farm store. And I liked sniffing all the bags there too.
It has a really good squeaker and it flops around when shaken
Now sit!! Stay! visit mama's friends to read their lists!