Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tornado Quilts: Want to help?

Here are more photos from my area, though we were so lucky not to take a direct hit from the tornadoes.
Above is damage done to the chapel of our church.

What's next?
Make quilts! The death toll in Alabama alone is up to 248 this morning, but I also heard there are more than 400 missing in Tuscaloosa still. Hundreds, maybe thousands, are homeless now. I so want to do something to help. But I can't drive a bulldozer to remove debris. And I can't build a house. So I will make quilts. Because that's what I CAN do!

I will somehow get these quilts to those who have lost their homes. And loved ones. And all their worldly belongings. One quilt at a time.

Want to help? If you have orphan blocks, ufo's, or (even better!) finished quilts you'd like to donate, leave a comment and I'll send you my mailing address. Maybe you have batting or backing fabric. Together we can make a difference and provide some comfort to those who have lost so much.

If you have a blog, please spread the word about the Tornado Quilts. Quilters always come through when needed, and I know they will now!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Electricity is Back

After 3 days, our power came back on this afternoon. I'm grateful, but also guilty for having so much when so many lost everything. I spent yesterday cleaning out all the food from the refrigerator. I saved a few things like ketchup and mustard in an ice filled cooler. There is a BIG grocery trip in my future!

I also spent a couple of hours picking up the limbs and debris from our yard. Last night hubby and drove around our little neighborhood to check out the storm's aftermath.

It may be hard to see through the car window, but this is a huge tree on a house.
Streets are lined with twenty foot long logs, waiting to be hauled away.
And Alabama Power trucks are everywhere.

I just heard that a member of our guild lost her home. So sad. There are sad stories all over our state.

Deadly Tornadoes

A quick blog post. We are fine. Our house was not damaged. We are on our third day without electricity - not expecting it to come on for days. Lots of trees down in our area, but we can't complain considering all the death (more that 210 dead as of this morning) and destruction caused by 140 tornadoes in the state of Alabama. My family is very lucky. Praying for those who weren't so lucky. Pictures to come.

We have no phones or internet, so I'm posting from our library.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Going Green Again

Look what's on my design wall. Yes, another garage sale! If I could go back in time, I would have saved all my girl's cute little cotton rompers and dresses. So many memories there! It's too late now, but if you have young kids, put aside some of these outfits - you'll be glad someday!

I went to a garage sale a few blocks away earlier this month. I couldn't resist these cute plaid boy's shorts and pants, and the little skirt.
Such fun Spring colors!
I'm in the process of cutting them up to make fabric (for a quilt, of course).
The skirt had built-in shorts underneath. It has so much fabric! The only waste was the elastic waist band. Waist waste.

Looking forward to playing with this!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Quilting Helper?

Back to quilting today! Last week I was a bit out of sorts. A bit sad - for no reason. A bit stressed - again for no reason. Do you have weeks like that? I'm back on track now, I think.

Hubby and I hosted the big family Easter lunch after church yesterday. It went as well as it could - we both were on edge hoping that grandfather A didn't offend grandmother B, and that Grandmother A doesn't hurt anyone's feelings. You know - the typical family dynamics issues. We bring both our families together each holiday, which can be awkward at times. But for the most part, the day went well. When everyone left mid-afternoon, hubby and I sighed and took a nap. We are thankful that both sets of parents are still living, which is rare these days.

As you can see above, I basted the house quilt today. Then I immediately started quilting it. I was having a great old time.

Then I heard a noise. Behind my HQ16. It wasn't the machine.
Oh dear. I had a little friend. A wasp or hornet or yellow jacket - one of those stinging bugs. I've only been stung one time and it wasn't fun. It started swelling and I felt really weird until I took a dose of Benedryl. I must be allergic or at least sensitive to stings.

So I backed off. The on/off switch to the machine is on the back of the machine. So now, 2 hours later, the machine is still on. I'm not sticking my hand back there!
When hubby gets home, I'll send him up try to get the buggy. I hope it doesn't go to sleep in the quilt.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Another Garage Sale

This is becoming a habit. While out running errands this morning, I stopped by an estate sale. I bought this display case. I put the pin cushion on top to give you an idea of the size. There is a crack in one section of the glass, but I only paid $2. I also bought the contents of said display case:
Thimbles, thimbles, and more thimbles. You can tell a lot about a person by their collected thimbles. You can tell where they traveled (Germany, Paris, London, Fort Worth, Branson, Graceland). You can tell some of their interests (flowers).
And check this one out. It was so appropriate that this was in the bunch, especially on Easter weekend. Click on the picture to get a better view.
And I also rescued several vintage quilt blocks. I always feel like I'm saving these purchases when I buy them. I mean, if I didn't take them home, who know what their fate might be? I almost feel guilty if I don't give them a good home. It's the same mentality I've used in the past with dogs - we've rescued more than our fair share from shelters.
Here are all the block spread out. The Spring colors and hand-piecing make me smile.

Happy Easter to you all!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Food in the Fridge

Isn't this a well-stocked refrigerator? Hubby and I went a bit crazy at a garage sale at our church last Saturday. Of all things, I fell in love with an old toy stove and refrigerator.
The inside of the fridge not only has the cool food on the inside of the door, but it also has a vegetable drawer and a spinning shelf.
And the color - too cool! It's a shame about the rust. Any tips on rust removal and restoration would be appreciated!
Here's the oven; it's not as rusty. I couldn't go home without both of them. They seemed to want to stay together. They are made by Wolverine, in case you're interested in that sort of thing. I have a friend who has the refrigerator in pink. From a bit of research, I learned that these were made in the 50's.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

House Quilt Top Done

Yay! I finished this quilt top yesterday. I'm anxious to get it quilted and hung. You may remember I won the nine house blocks on another blog earlier this year. I'm planning to do simple straight line quilting on this one.

The tree service came this afternoon to take a look at our broken, leaning tree. As we figured, it's going to be a BIG job. $1500. Ouch. But we've used this company before, and we really trust them to get it down safely. So we won't get any other estimates. They are behind schedule because of all the storm damage, so it will be next week before they get to us. Homeowner's insurance won't cover it since it didn't fall on a fence or house. Oh well. So many people have it so much worse, so we can't really complain.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Storm Damage

We realized yesterday that we didn't come out of last week's storms unscathed. Look closely off our deck - do you see that leaning tree?
Here's another shot from the kitchen window. This is one BIG tree. It's broken off about 6 feet from the ground. The other large tree kept it from falling completely to the ground. So now it's resting precariously on another tree or two. I'm guessing the fallen tree is at least 20 feet tall, maybe more. I'm calling a tree service ASAP.
One of my projects today is putting the final borders onto the house quilt. I think I've been putting it off because I was dreading pulling the paper off my calculator tape strip pieces. This morning I spread them out on the counter and squirted them down with water. After a few minutes, I was able to peel off the paper easily.
Here's the after shot. It wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting! The water made all the difference, but I don't think I'll ever be much of a paper piecer.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Joined the Frenzy!

I couldn't resist! I've been drooling over other bloggers' photo of Denise Schmidt's newest fabric line, available at Joann's. I was worried it would go the way of her Flea Market Fancy line - sold out! So I went there this afternoon after church to grab some.

For now I will just enjoy looking at it - too many other projects at the moment.
I finished my thrift store coffee table yesterday. It looks great with my love seat and is a nice spot to place things (like my new stack of fabric).

We spent hours in front of the TV Friday listening to weather reports as the storms made their way across Alabama. We had tons of rain, wind, lightening, thunder, and a bit of pea sized hail. But the worst weather was to the south. Many houses were destroyed, and 7 people died in our state. We were lucky, but many were not. Prayers for them...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Here's the "before."
And here's the fun "after."
A better shot of the fabric. Love me some polky-dots! The webbing underneath was dry rotted, so they redid all that. And they built up the cushion so that it fit better. I'm a happy camper. Now I just have to complete the refinishing of my thrift store coffee table to go in front of it.

By the way, I found the cute round flower rug at a local store for only $35. The garden stool to the right of the love seat is something I bought at Olde Time Pottery for $10 and spray painted to match my metal garage sale cabinet.
And finally some quilting updates. The April Lollypop block is coming along nicely.
And here's a peak at a new hexie project - sorry for the blur, I think my eyes aren't ready to focus this morning.

The dangerous line of storms that's making its way across the country (causing tornadoes and some deaths) is arriving here today. Apparently the storm that came through Monday night while we were away has been confirmed to be an F1 tornado that touched down nearby. So I will hunker down today and keep a weather eye.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Back Home Again

Home again, home again, hippety hop. With lots of licks and cries of joy from the doggies. They were SO glad to see us. I think Prince aged while we were gone - in three days he is so gray! He must have spent the time worrying about us!
I'm sharing a few photos I took along the trip. I know. I photograph odd things. Neon signs. Vintage coke bottles.
And clouds. This was an amazing sight in South Carolina. A huge black cloud and a white puffy cloud making a sandwich of a sliver of blue sky.

I didn't sew nearly as much on the trip as I thought I would. We stayed busy most of the time, and by the end of each day I was ready to collapse. As soon as we arrived home, I took off to the grocery store to restock my kitchen.

Here's a tease for tomorrow's post. This antique love seat lived in my bedroom when I was growing up. It's had the same faded green, crushed velvet fabric ever since I've known it. When my parents moved to Birmingham several years ago, the love seat came to live in my attic.

All the while I was working on The Great Studio Makeover, I had in the back of my mind thoughts of the sad love seat. It would be so happy living in my studio. Especially if it had new fabric. Happy fabric.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In the Mountains

The reason I've been away a few days is because...we're away for a few days! Hubby and I are in the mountains of the Carolinas - absolutely gorgeous. We are renting a house instead of staying in a hotel like we usually do. This is the view from the back of the house. WOW! What a view to wake up to every morning!

The real purpose of the trip has been to see Daughter 2 get inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at Furman University - Congrats, Elizabeth! Plus, she's been really sick, so we were able to get her to a doctor and get antibiotics - yay!

Hubby's dad is back at home taking care of the doggies. Since we've been gone, there was a really bad storm back home. Apparently our power was off for about 18 hours - just as well that we're not there, though there may be some refrigerator clean out in my near future.
Yesterday we spent the afternoon in Asheville, NC, eating a nice lunch (veggie burger and sweet potato fries) and visiting a few art galleries. I spotted this lovely nine patch quilt at one of them.
Upon closer inspection, I realized it is made of old metal. Cool!
And I found hexies - on a crosswalk of all places!

Today hubby is playing golf on top of a mountain, and I am relaxing in this beautiful home on top of another mountain. I brought along all my applique projects and haven't had a chance to pick up a needle. So this morning, I will sew while I enjoy the view. This afternoon (after golf and sewing), we will explore the area a bit more. And tomorrow we'll head back home to the doggies.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Masterpiece!

I went to a bee meeting Thursday - this was the highlight of 'show and tell.' WOW! Made by Becky L.
Needle turn applique.
The scalloped border just makes it! Triple Wow!

I'm plugging away on my projects. Lots of evening applique for me. But today I'd better take some time to do laundry and vacuum. Rather be sewing! But if I plan well - there will be time for that, too!