Saturday, December 5, 2020

sewing saturday


 the color this month is dark neutrals so I finished up the lozenge blocks for the year and put them with last months blocks. 

here they are just the dark ones and they were fun to make. I looked through the scrap bins of black, gray, and brown to pick these

click to see detail

here are the tiny hst's from the current blocks, nothing done with them yet

This has been a good project for the year's focus. It provided me with not only a way to showcase color each month, that didn't take big decisions, but a small creativity exercise each time to use the tiny cutaway waste half square triangles. What more can you ask from a block ?

the design wall is overcrowded... I like the way the uneven log cabins look around the endless star blocks so I can't move those yet... and the flying geese are waiting for some detailed filling in work

 so I had to enlist the aid of my portable design wall to show you the blocks. I also asked my assistants to hold up a star ornament I made

My friend Diane sent a link to this tutorial on making stars... I made them with fabric strips cut at 1.5" 

I tried three widths of strip to start with, and like the 1.5" size best for this. I also first tried fusing the strip closed before stitching over it but it's not needed, just press the fabric to enclose raw edges, stitch closed, then start the weaving.     The paper there is the folding template.

I made some Christmas fabric masks... and started gathering blocks from old holiday quilting magazines to make a stairway banner.

I've already been considering next year's blocks... it's a great way to not only use scraps but to have something to do each month, like sourdough starter kind of. A jumping off place. 

 I wanted some more clips but they seemed expensive til I found this set on amazon. Terrific colors and size for all kinds of uses.

I've been including older quilts like the kaleidoscope in posts all week... take a look won't you?

watching on youtube:

 I loved all the containers and organizational way this woman had of keeping her supplies 

I finished my orange endless diamond block and am working on the lime green one now
pattern is found HERE

that about wraps up this week's sewing adventure!... onward in creativity!

Let's go to a party!

 scrap happy Saturdays

Thursday, December 3, 2020

I Like Thursday 221


welcome to this week's list of likes... 

I like decorating for Christmas but I can't find all my boxes from the move (I didn't even try last year) 
I am slowly putting up colorful things as I find them. That's our baker's rack where we keep masks and keys and stuff for walking

I found this little ceramic tree I made in my teens!!! All it needs now is a replacement light

This quilt was made for Christmas the year before we left Maryland. I LOVE it and the pattern was from Ricky Tims kaleidoscope where he has you draft it out yourself. Click on the image to see details
I did a post on Tuesday with lots of Christmas photos... it's HERE if you missed it!

seasonal fun

Jacquie Lawson's advent calendar (HERE)  is out and it's chock full of beauty and fun for $5. Every day there is a new beautiful moving graphic, tons of unusual games and puzzles, you can decorate trees or cookies or wreaths. I look forward to it all yearlong.


 I liked two Hallmark movies last weekend... sometimes they are just too sappy but both of these had snappy dialogue and good realistic acting. Hope they are all that good this season!

I love the new bachelorette and she has a lot of really great men to choose from but love is something you can't see with your eyes so it will come down to what her heart wants. 
Escape to the Chateau...we are on the last season 2019, but it's coming to HGTV this month!
Amazing race is so much fun to watch!


I painted a pretty poinsettia last weekend, that post is tomorrow. I think I'm a pointillist.


two librarian mystery series by different authors... kind of confusing. 
reading on ebook at bedtime

 but the library is about to take it before I'm finished so I'll move back to this one that came back around

 listening to this book on audio

 finished Origin by Dan Brown and it was wonderful, can't praise it enough for content and writing.

I enjoy the blog

and saw this there...

instead of presents this year, I'm giving everyone my opinion

 I was struck by this little film, find it on a blog who shows cool indie films and old films


 I liked that DH went to pick up Milo's meds and our meds (a big wine order) yesterday, so I spent that hour and a half making minestrone soup. 


I love this Christmas song best... it captures the idea of giving what you have to the world little drummer boy


 Milo's Moments

I was just thinking .....

Milo: Oh my dog y'all! you will NOT believe what I saw on our really long walk last week. The very BIGGEST giant dogs I've ever seen in my life! I used to play with a giant malamute that was almost 200 lbs but there were big and black and...

Mama: They were cows. Those are called cows.

Milo: K A -- O W S

Mama: cows... are you making fun of my accent? I was raised in Florida but I've been away a long time

Milo: Fla rid ahh

Mama: oh stop it! We live in Colorado now anyway

Milo: Ohhhhh..... COWlarado! 

That explains it !
Oh to my dog friends out there, don't pee on any trees you find inside the house! 

These fine folks will continue the story with their own lists!     


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

T is for Tuesday


T is for chooseday.... what will we do with this day? Milo is thinking.... he will probably think about what to put on his Christmas wish list for SantaPaws

Thanksgiving has come and gone, unlike the snow we got a week ago which is still here. There is more predicted for the entire day so it's gray and foreboding. Then bitter cold temps to come. 

I  got out the Christmas dishes to use all December. How I love them! 

I also have a set of cutlery with little Santas on it to use!

This morning it's strong coffee with milk in our snowman cups in honor of the snow today

The little coaster was made by cutting up a quilt I didn't like, but I like the individual coasters that came from it! 

no pic of the pecan pie debacle of Thanksgiving 2020. I've made this for the past 30 years and this year, in the high altitude of Colorado it blew up. Yep began to rise, like a volcano, like the raft in the closet on Dick Van Dyke show. I punctured it with  a knife and it dropped. The crust was broken, we basically served it with an ice cream scoop and it was still delish!

We had our traditional Thanksgiving food except no turkey this year, and enjoyed this almond champagne all weekend... sadly it's gone now. I think we need to make another curb side pick up at total wine, don't you?

We began decorating the house, and here's one of my older quilts that I put on the sofa

I'm not done but I am enjoying the outside porch tree and 1940's wooden cutout from my computer perch each day!

this was a lovely pre-lit tree til the lights failed. I picked the strands off last year, and replaced them with two normal strands that twinkle. It's as good as new except for the green wire, but who cares when it's the hap hap happiest season of all! Whee! I love vintage things, and we found this cut out on the trash back in MD. DH was less excited than I about dragging it home but I love it. 

 It's time for Santa to come back from his Hawaiian vacay and get busy... we all need some holiday cheer about now!

and just for silly fun.... something very different in the way of a Christmas song from the past sung by Dinah Shore... a polka!


Saturday, November 28, 2020

sewing Saturday


Welcome to this week's sewing round up! I make art quilts, even if I'm using traditional patterns like log cabins my intention is to make something that expresses my spirit, that is individual to me, and that looks at design in my own way. 

Rainbow scrap challenge this month is to use our neutral light scraps and I continued with a few blocks.

I spent the first part of the week finishing up some more light neutral log cabin blocks. I do these in a very improvisational way,  starting with any shape or size center in the color of the month, and doing two rounds, then the next two are white/cream/almost solid light fabrics.

and I want the strips to be different lengths and maybe uneven in width, I don't care if they are frayed, I place the right sides together and sew. As long as the long straight seam allows them to lay flat when pressed, it adds to the surprise in the block. I make them til they are about the same size. 

To work this way you have to release your critic, you have to find joy in the unexpected, and believe it will all work out in the end. And it does. Sometimes I need to trim a bit off one to make them go together, or add a little to another. 

Nature is ordered in a random way and so are these blocks.

I also auditioned fabrics for the geese quilt

I don't have many gray fabrics, and really liked the medium blue-gray of the design wall with them. I pulled out what I have, and pinned it up on the wall to be able to get a feel of how it will work pieced in. 

I turned one piece to the back, I rejected many for being too light, too dark, too patterned, wrong tone but in true Murphy's law, the ones that work the best I have the least of!!

It occurred to me, if the block is called flying geese, then I could add in some feathers and birds... heh heh what fun! I think I'll figure out how much and where to put it in.

I painted this week, the pictures were on yesterday's post ( HERE )but I wanted to mention to the quilters out there how I used these sheets in the printer...

and a digital picture of my own painting 

to print some fabric for a small art work.

It is printed twice, once in black and white because an update to my computer unhinged the printer and it refused to print in color. DH had to uninstall the printer, and reinstall the printer and we found out this happens with windows updates.
 Technology... a double edged sword
so I realized I love printing my paintings on fabric, and should pursue printing them larger with spoonflower or another company . For now I am enjoying doing mantel art on peltex so I'll do that. Later. 
I am continuing to hand sew these star blocks from Deb. She found the design in an old 80's book and redrafted it, changing color placement to make it her own. She is doing it in multi colors each time, I chose to focus on one color a month. I needed some bright color so I made a dark green one, this orange one, and cut out a lime green one organized and ready for nightime sewing.
Now I am moving on to Christmas... I have some UFO's to finish and want to make little felted sweaters for this year's tree. I also plan to make another stairwell banner in Christmas scrap fabrics with some cool old patterns I saved from magazines. 
It's about to get colorful in here again, the neutrals can wait for January!


design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts

oh Scrap Sundays 

 scrap happy Saturdays 

Friday, November 27, 2020

watching paint dry


It's been a while since I took out my watercolor paints and paper.

My friend Sonja in Hawaii sent me this enticing video, which caused me to want to paint again

So there was no pressure, I tore up one sheet of watercolor paper, got out two paint sets, a big fluffy #8 round brush, water and a paper towel. 

I apparently forgot my patience because you need to let the first pale petals dry before painting over them, so I got more blending than I like. 

I was very critical of them, until the next day. Then I took some pics and cropped them... I am always surprised at the value of cropping. Changing the visual focus in a picture, changes the amount of negative space, and moves the focus to one part of an image. 

for my quilt making friends, it's a difference between appliqueing a whole flower, or engaging the borders which allows the viewer to complete the picture in their minds. 

Imagine painting/appliqueing a woman holding a flower in her hand, complete and near the center of the quilt. Then imagine moving the focus to just a portion of her arm, her hand and the flower. 

the viewer now wonders who is holding that flower, maybe imagining herself holding it. Making an instant story in their mind's eye. They now become part of the experience. 

In a painting like quilted art, the border becomes integral. Ask yourself if you want to contain your painting or if it's better when there is no "fence" or finish, or separation from the viewer. Many quilters now do not add a binding, which is a final covering of the edge of a quilt. They pull the scene to the back of the piece so the viewer sees the cropped image continuing on. 

After cropping these in photo form, I decided to do a cross over art project, by printing the photo of my painting onto fabric

we found out the latest computer update messed up the printer causing it to print in black and white. We learned after updates to windows one needs to uninstall the printer, and re install it. Grrrrrrr. 

I use these sheets of fabric, with a coating on them to make permanent the printed image. They have paper on the reverse side to allow the fabric to go easily through the printer. (Amazon) 

I think the color came out beautifully on the color print, and after recovering from my hissy fit at "wasting" a sheet of fabric on the black and white... decided it may be an interesting quilted art piece...

the color was very saturated so the image is dark but... you still get an exciting effect. Lights and darks even in a black and white image... I thought how will it look when sewn into other fabrics

 this fabric scrap was on the design wall to be pieced into the flying geese in progress.

auditioning possible fabric choices to complete the design

Very pretty.... and interesting. Will I keep the white border? 

Linking with

Thursday, November 26, 2020

I Like Thursday # 221 especially Thanksgiving Thursday

yep! almost melted already!
Welcome to this week's list of likes...

we like snow around here
, as it's been dry. We woke on Tuesday to about 4-5" but it was a wet snow and started melting with the sun's appearance. I didn't get a pic til 3PM but Milo the model, said it's still high on his boots and hiding the toys. 

Fine Dining

When I cook, I think of what flavors will go together. Last week we made a "greek" flavored dish. 

Olive oil, lemon juice, white wine, minced garlic, chicken breasts, Oregano and thyme, artichoke halves, mushrooms, and sliced lemons on top simmered together. Add cooked orzo til it melds. Serve with a cooked green vegetable

so good. Good the next day too, with a side of asparagus. 
 while we're at it, I am having trouble finding mayo without soy. Soy causes me so much trouble. I found some at Stonewall kitchen. While there I also ordered some other things like this wonderful condiment, mayup... good as dipping sauce or on sandwiches.

I made a wonderful pecan pie without corn syrup by substituting maple syrup for our little special dinner... 

watching someone else cook

I fell in Love with this man cooking Italian food, and he makes me think I can do it too!!!
thank you to my friend Sonja in HI for telling me about him!

To Do list

decorate the house for Christmas 

Painting then Sewing

Sonja enticed me to try a new technique she enjoyed seeing on youtube... she got me to paint again, making 4 small works. 

I printed one cropped image onto printable fabric, in black and white and in color and hope to make two art works from that soon

story tomorrow on paint party Friday

printed onto fabric
I like hand sewing and preparing hand sewing for TV time in evenings


same books as last week



"Wine Country" with about 10 of the funniest ladies in entertainment at the moment, a friend group celebrates a  birthday with a trip... hilarity ensues. It made me so happy and long for my own friend group that I may have to watch again. (netflix)


new to us is The South Westerlies a fun show featuring a woman and her son in England undercover for work, with lots of characters and lovely scenery. Very engaging but a typical short-ish Brit tv season (netflix) 

The Great British baking show is still dropping an episode a week, we're on the last episode of The Crown last season but the new season is now showing, Secrets of the Castle (youtube) a series exploring how a 14th century castle was built, by three current anthropologists using historic techniques. As always I watch 90 day fiance (TLC) (glad I'm not them) and real housewives of Potomac, Salt lake city, and Atlanta, Southern Charm (Bravo) is back about people in Charleston, Amazing Race (CBS) Finding your Roots (PBS) A million little things (ABC) is back

I love this song by Bing Crosby "I'VE GOT PLENTY TO BE THANKFUL  FOR"


keep up with friends by FT and zoom.... I mentioned to dh that the signal in my studio was weak for that and he researched solutions and ordered something to correct it. I need to feel connected to friends

I zoomed with Mary on Tuesday and had not one moment's reception problems so I think zoom has failed in the past because of so many students on it. What fun to see my long time friend, tour her work in progress, talk art +dogs+entertainment+life. I had a wonderful long conversation with Diane in Texas and Cindy in SC last week.

Milo's Moments

yep, melting and sticky

Milo: Hi ya! I'm baaaack! I like snow and playing in it but not having to goinnakennel when I come inside

Mama: well you have to thaw out before running all over the house!

Milo: what's a little snow in the house? So I wanted to tell you guys that I like Mama and like keeping a keen poodle eye on her so when she disappears into the house I go looking for her. 

This week I found her in the little room we take baths in but... and it's a big problem, the door was closed. 

closed. that's right, shut. I pushed and pushed with my rock head and hear Mama say my name but the door was still shut. Do you understand??? Something kept me from getting to the Mama! Why anything could happen to her in there and I'd be out here and not in there. 

Mama: honey, there is no way out, relax I'll be out in a moment.

Milo: sheesh! Some mamas.... she did it again this week, this time disappearing into the studio and the door was shut again! I mean what is going on around here? I bashed and bashed it til I got that one open and trotted right in to see what was going on in there. Know what? she was sewing. I mean who needs privacy from your bodyguard just to sew? 

Mama: I didn't try to keep you out, the door just shut.

Milo: well you should be more careful. 

now sit! stay! visit with mama's friends who have lists of likes too. And happy turkey day y'all. And be grateful if you have a cat or dog to look out for you. You're welcome.    


rosie and the boys nature pics 

  friday smiles at a stitch in time