We enjoyed a cozy rainy day today. Nice for sewing. Not so nice for photography. Pictures are dark. I've been having to depend on my iPhone for over a month to take pictures - yup, lost my cameral charger, A-gain! It's somewhere around here.....
My iPhone camera, for some unknown reason, leaves a black blob in every photo. Grrrrr.... See it above? When I photograph something, I try to move around the phone to position the black blob in a dark area of fabric. Doesn't always work.
Any-hoo, I finished the appliqué on the Sue Spargo Block 5 last night - ready to embellish! And in a moment of sheer weakness, I did what I said I wouldn't do. I signed up for the 2013 Sue Spargo block of the month. I know! Tell me about it! I'm so behind now!
But it's these adorable birds! Oh they are so cute! They were tweeting to me, "Stitch me! Stitch me!" I'm a sucker for animals.
The 2013 Sue Spargo BOM is only open to current BOM participants now; but soon it will be open to all who want to sign up. Spaces are limited and always fill up, so watch her blog to make sure you don't miss out if you're interested.
And here's today zig and zag. As promised I used the wavy lines as a light fabric today.
Tomorrow, I'll try to remember to tell you about my new jeans. After having a "mom" body for 25 years, I can never find a pair of jeans that fit well AND are comfortable. But I finally found them! And I bought FIVE pairs!
Do I feel productive? I'll say! Here's my zigzag of the day. The fabric with the wavy lines would work for either a dark or a light, depending on what fabric I pair with it. I used it as a dark here. I think I'll use it again tomorrow, but make it the lighter fabric.
And I did two more of the these wonky log cabin Gee's Bend inspired blocks from the shirts. They won't be arranged like this, I'm sure - just threw them on the design wall.
In addition, I sewed all the blocks together for Secret Project Number 1. Yay! A finish!
AND, I worked hard on Secret Project Number 2.
And no, I'm not done. Tonight I had a nice shower and then a jucuzzi. I'm hunkering in front of the TV with hubby - ready to spend the evening making more hexies and working on my guilty pleasure: the Sue Spargo project.
By the way, I would love to respond to all your comments. But when you are Anonymous (I'm talking to you, Sue G!), I have no way to reply. Sign up for a free Google account here, and when you leave a comment on a blog click on the Google Account button. Thanks, Sue!
I've been playing today. With Dad's shirts. We all called him Gee. (Short for Gee-Daddy which is short for granddaddy). And coincidentally enough, today I decided to try my hand at Gee's Bend inspired piecing. Oh, this is fun! And it goes so fast!
I have all but finished the first quilt top from the shirts - just working on sewing the blocks together. Can't show it here - it's now a secret project.... :)
With all the excitement of yesterday (and the fact that I had workmen here from 10am until 8:30 pm), I never did make a zigzag block. Today I decided a mish mash block would be in order. I keep this bin on my sewing table and toss all the leftover half square triangle pieces in each day. So I grabbed at random.
And here is today's block.
No football game this weekend. I plan to spend tomorrow SEWING!!!! Another zigzag. Another Gee's Bend block. A bit of Sue Spargo. Sewing blocks together for first shirt quilt. And maybe even another project...
How many projects do you work on at one time? Are you a "one at a time" quilter, or are you more like me, a "the more the merrier" quilter?
Okay, let's get the mundane part of this blog post done first. Scrolls and girlie hats! This is yesterday's block - haven't done today's yet.
But the BIG news of the day is our new book cover! AQS sent us the image and we are so excited! (I'm jumping up and down!) Peggy is the cover girl - that's her quilt you see. What struck me first was the color - GREEN! I'm greenQuilts! I've got a good feeling about this.
But the best news of all is the publication date: SPRING 2013!!! That's only months away! (Jumping up and down again!)
Do you want me to teach you to hexie the "Quick and Easy" way? I'd love to come to your guild! I can lecture and/or teach, whatever you want. Email me for details or to schedule. You'll love our hexie technique: no papers, no templates, no basting! Quick and easy!
Another black and white. Hope you don't get tired of seeing these! I may have to start making two per day just to get them done. We'll see how my time goes.
I'm also hard a work on some secret projects for the next book. Can't wait to share those!
Check out my avocado pit - oh, it's growing! So fun to watch!
I have an early allergist appointment in the morning. After one month on the nasal inhalant, I think I can safely say this doctor has SOLVED my allergy problems!!! He told me to take Zyrtec as needed when I have a problem. I've only taken one Zyrtec in the entire month. I feel like I have my life back. I'm so much more productive since I haven't had any bad days spent sniffing and sneezing. And even though I now know I'm allergic to dogs, I haven't given up any time spent cuddling Prince and Mickey. They sleep in their crate in the living area and have adjusted well to being out of the bedroom. Life is good.
I thought you might like a peek at the 5th (May) Sue Spargo Earth and Twig block. This one goes across the top of the others, so it is long. Here's the right side.
And here's the left side. I'm almost done with the appliqué on this, so embellishing will come soon. This is the last block of this type. Next will come some birds and other creatures and a border with a winding vine.
I got back on the zigzag train - here's the first of the black and white blocks. This one only has two fabrics, but once I've cut more, there will be lots of mish mash blocks coming!
I'm still tired from the weekend, but I have accomplished a lot today, nonetheless. I'm winding down now. Time for some recliner/hand sewing/TV time.....
You might notice there is no zigzag block. No time to sew on Saturday! Our weekend began Friday afternoon with a visit to Auburn's Raptor demonstration. Auburn has a phenomenal vet school and a center to rehabilitate injured raptors. Raptors are birds that eat meat, FYI. Some of the injured raptors can never be released to the wild again, so those remain at the facility, babied by a host of volunteers and Auburn staff.
The school's battle cry is "War Eagle" and above is one of those amazing creatures. This is Spirit. Spirit and his buddy, Nova, take turns flying into the stadium just before our football games. Spirit's "issue" is a broken beak. But he seems very happy living at the Raptor Center and performing at the games.
Note: excuse the extremely bad hair day!
Friday night we hopped over to Opelika for a Taylor Hicks concert! Lots of fun, but a late night for us.
Saturday afternoon: Off to campus to lunch at the Alumni tent, see Tiger Walk, and meander around campus.
Saturday evening: A continuation of the afternoon on campus - Football game!! Another late night.
Sunday morning: Off to Atlanta for the final day of the Fed Ex Cup Championship.
Yes, I was sitting under a shade tree at the golf tournament stitching hexies as the golfers worked their way around the course. :) Yes, I did get a few strange looks. But did I care? Not one little bit!
We return to our regularly scheduled quilting on Monday.
At quilt guild last night I was called up front near the beginning of the meeting and presented with this comfort quilt - someone had heard my Dad had died and they did this for me. WOW. These ladies don't even know me yet. I've only briefly met a few of them since I'd only been to 2 other meetings. I was (and still am!) truly touched. They wrapped it around me and I felt so blessed by their kindness.
I still get chills and goosebumps just thinking about this special gift. I will always treasure it and yes, it will COMFORT me!
As I prepared to make the last colorful block for the zigzag today, I studied the other blocks. My favorites are the mish mash ones, especially those that have more than two fabrics. So I went through my precut triangles and made another one. Love. It. Period.
I thought I had it arranged well, but as I look at the image on my computer I see that there are a couple of blocks I need to move.
Of course, the quilt is not nearly done - I still have to make black/white blocks to go around the border. If I'm counting correctly I'll be making 26 more blocks, so about one more month until I have a quilt top.
I used up most of my brain cells designing a new quilt this morning. Angles, geometry, teeny measurements.... By the time I finished I had to take a nap so I could think again. :) This quilt is for my next book - I'll be ready to write the proposal soon I think.
I'm hearing LOTS of small planes today - it's amazing how many people fly in for football weekends - I had no idea! Hubby and I have a BIG and BUSY weekend ourselves: a bit of football, a dash of golf, and a smudge of Taylor Hicks. Sounds like fun to me!
Another mish mash block. I finished off the Polynesian triangles and the bright purple, adding a a couple of other triangles to "make do."
I had a busy day: Newcomer's Luncheon and then quilt guild meeting tonight. This was only my second meeting as a member of the guild and I was given the most special gift you can imagine. I still have goose bumps thinking about it. I'll share more tomorrow.....
Today's zigzag! I liked yesterday's block so much with the conversational print (horns) that I dug into my stash to find another fun fabric. That light print may just look like a cute floral, but click on it and look closer: it's very Polynesian with little people dancing around. A happy fabric indeed!
I've begun to cut up Dad's shirts and play. This was my first attempt. :( Too busy. Not enough contrast. Hard to see the pattern. Nope, this won't work. But maybe I'll use this square to cover a pillow?
This is much better. Simple. Graphic. And how could I not make some hexies for Dad!? I want to make 3 quilts out of the shirts: one for me, one for my mother, and one for my brother. This is a 9 inch finished square. I'm not sure how many I'll need per quilt yet. I'm not making BIG quilts, just lap sized. I'm just going to dig in and start making blocks and worry about the final count another day.
It was time to cut more triangles for the old zig zig. How about some brass horns and a bright, bright purple?
Oh yes! This is a nice one!
I could hardly wait to wake up this morning to sew these blocks together. I finished them last night. The way these BOM's work is complicated. I finished Block 1. Then in the instructions for Block 2, I'm told to go back and do such-and-such to Block 1. So then I get to Block 3. Go back and do such-and-such to Blocks 1 and 2. Then I get to Block 4. You guessed it. At the end of the instructions I was told go go back and do such-and-such (lots of french knots) to all 4 blocks.
Now I'm ready for Block 5 which will go across the entire top edge.
When we went to bed last night, look who we found stuck to the outside of the window! Yes, that's my reflection in my purple nightie. :)
Thanks to both Millie and Gerda for telling me the name of the plant from yesterday - Beauty Berry!
Another block done, again with leftover triangles. Why not use them up?
And now I have a nice looking design wall. Every time I make a new block, I rearrange a few others. I'll be doing this a lot before all is said and done. I'm thinking I'll do five more colorful blocks and then start on the border. I'm thinking I'll use blacks and whites to make more zigs and zags to go around the outside. My Birmingham Bee gave me a stack of black and white fat quarters when I moved and this would be a great place to use them. It would also provide a border without letting the pattern stop.
Hubby and I took a nice long walk with the doggies at Kiesel Park today. We'd never been there and it was absolutely beautiful. And huge! There were quaint gardens, lots of walking trails, a koi pond, a couple of fenced dog play areas, a dog agility course, and more. Very peaceful.
Does anyone know what this plant is? It was tree-like in shape. I would love to plant one in our yard, if only I knew what it is.
My favorite shot of the day was this lovely scarecrow wearing pearls, no less!
And to end the day, we cooked a couple of chickens on the rotisserie. Oh, they were yummy! With lots of leftovers for the week ahead, I'm a happy camper tonight.
Has it only been two weeks since I made a zigzag block???? Seems like longer.. Yesterday I sat myself down and got back to it. I didn't feel like cutting new triangles, so I worked with what I had, mixing dots and olives with a couple of different golds.
Here's the group shot - one more and I'll have 25. I'm planning on making plenty more.
While I have the drill and wall anchors handy, I hung my Accuquilt Die organizer in my studio closet.
And I hung one honeycomb bind. This was a very important window to cover - as you can see it's right by a toilet and overlooks the street. Finally I can actually use said toilet without giving the neighbors a peep show. I'm sure the neighbors appreciate it. :)
I'm waiting to hang the rest of the blinds until next week. They are much easier to hang than the curtains since they screw into wood - no wall anchors needed!
Hubby also helped me unpack the last of the boxes yesterday. Did you hear that??? NO MORE BOXES! I'll drink to that! Not to say that everything is exactly where it needs to be. Not to say that the entire house is organized either. But I think we'll be there very soon.
We had a blast at the street party last night and also at the football game today. Our team pulled through with a win in overtime. It was scorching hot and we all came home a bit pink around the edges. After a dinner of frozen pizza (I know, kind of pitiful) hubby and I are settled in to watch more college football on TV, me with a Sue Spargo block and a doggie in my lap.
Yesterday was Curtain Day. This has been on my list for a long time! I'm sure you know what a job this is. First I had to hang the curtain rods which involved lots of measuring, drilling, wall anchors, up and down on a ladder, reaching and stretching. I decided to hang just one panel on each window. Next step will be to mount some honeycomb blinds to control the light as needed. This is a guest bedroom. Curtains and rods from Ikea. Bedspread from Target.
A dark picture, but here is the other guest bedroom. Corner windows. Rods from Ikea, curtains from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
Hubby and I took a lunch break at Irish Bred Pub in Opelika - here's an interesting tree I saw along the way. I wonder what came first - the tree or the building?
Hubby spent time organizing the garage, a project that will continue today. My plans include hanging honeycomb blinds, cutting up some of Dad's shirts for quilts, and maybe...just maybe....a zig zag block!
Tonight: going to street party on Toomer's Corner! We're excited - Auburn's first home game (since we've lived here) is tomorrow!
I promised that something CHEERY would be coming soon and here its is! CHEERY CHERRY ICE CREAM!!!!! While I was in Augusta with my mother over the weekend, her neighbor brought her some of this. It is SO good. Before I left I got the recipe. The best part: you don't make it in an ice cream maker! But you'd never know it from the fluffy, creamy texture.
CHEERY CHERRY ICE CREAM
1 (10 oz.) jar Maraschino Cherries, undrained and chopped into pieces
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
1 cup heavy cream
In a large bowl, combine chopped cherries and their juice, sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and lime peel; mix well.
In a medium bowl, beat heavy cream with mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into cherry mixture.
Pour into freezer safe container. Cover. Freeze until firm or overnight.
If this isn't CHEERY, I don't know what is!!!
Last night after it got dark, we tried out the newly working fireplace. Works like a charm. Fire lover, Prince (AKA, Lizard Lips) immediately got on a Pouf and made himself at home. He was sad we only had it on for five minutes.
Here is a recent visitor (outside, thank goodness). Have you seen these before? It's a Zipper Spider. You might have to click the picture to see her better, but I'm sure you can see her signature zippered web. If you're wondering what that is in the background, it's hubby back. I had him squat on the other side of the web so it would show up in a picture. Yesterday I watched Miss Spider wrap her egg sac in webbing. I read that after they deposit and wrap their egg sac that they eat their web and go off to die. Sure enough, today there is no sign of her or her web. Zipper Spiders are big and scary looking, but they are not poisonous to humans and they eat bugs like mosquitoes, so I liked having her around, as long as she's outside, of course.
I'm determined that tomorrow I'll have a sewing/quilting photo to share!
Here we go again. The first name I drew lives out of the county. Please know that I feel so bad about not being allowed to send the box to her, so I'm sending her a personal giftie. Daisy Chain, I'll be sending it later this week.
The second name I drew has not responded to my e-mail. I feel I've given her ample time.
So, maybe three is a charm??? New winner is Lynn. Lynn, I've sent you an e-mail. PLEASE send me your address so I can get rid of this blasted box!
Sorry to rant, but this has not been a great experience. There was someone looking over my shoulder every step of the way, telling me I was doing it all wrong. And of course, my Dad died right in the middle of everything which has left me grieving, sad, and befuddled.
So, please Lynn, e-mail me!
I got back from Augusta last night. Should be home for now. Ahhh. I returned with another bag of Dad's shirts for quilts and a box of his personal belongings. Nothing valuable, just memories. His watercolor painting supplies. And old clock. A piece of wood he used to test different stain colors - he build windsor chairs during his retirement.
I couldn't talk my mother into coming home with me. She has been very strong through this, but after I left yesterday, it finally hit her. She had a rough afternoon. She wanted to stay there though, so that when the death certificates come in, she can proceed to take care of all the business necessary.
I got the nicest phone call this morning. It was from someone I don't know - she is a member of my new home quilt guild - the Cotton Boll Quilt Guild. She had heard from mutual friends in Birmingham that my father had died and wanted to call to express her condolences. I felt so blessed to have her take time out of her day to call me. I have only been to one meeting, yet she sought me out to comfort me. Wow.
Hopefully, tomorrow I'll be back with personal quilty goodness, pictures, and cheery news. Hubby is taking off from work this week. We're having a stay-cation, working on little projects around the house. We're also going to try some local restaurants, go for a couple of bike rides, maybe a hike.
I really don't have my act together AT ALL! I got an e-mail overnight saying that I goofed and gave the Traveling Stash Box to someone (Daisy Chain) who live out of the US. Whoops! Against the rules! So sorry to Daisy Chain!
Okay. Here we go again! I drew again this morning. The new winner is:
Here is the finished 3rd (March) Sue Spargo block. I really do love those woven picot stitches around the big pink circle.
Can you see them? I'm better at them than I am at the bullion stitches. Though I think I'm finally figuring out some little tricks to make my bullions better. It's about time! Click on any of these photos to see them bigger.
Here are the 3 finished blocks together on my design wall. I cut the pieces for the 4th block the night before we left for Augusta and worked on it by my Dad's bedside at the nursing home. Do you know how when you are working on a project, it holds memories of what you were doing at the time? The 4th block will always make me think of Dad.
We are all doing better today. Catching up on lost sleep. Not crying at the drop of a hat. Getting back to normal. I haven't gotten into my routine of a zig zag block per day yet, but that will come soon. I'm packing up the 4th block (still in progress) along with some hexies to have with me in Augusta this weekend. I'm hoping I can convince my Mom to come back to Auburn with me - we'll see. Either way, I'll help her get a lot done. She has boxes of Dad's stuff she wants us to go through.
I am a wife, mother to two daughters, an avid art quilter, cooking contest entrant, and dog lover. My book, FABRIC PHOTO PLAY, AQS, 2005, demonstrates my original technique for making portrait quilts. My second book (with Peggy Rhodes), Quick and Easy Hexie Quilts was recently released.