Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

I have been looking for something to use for a table in front of the wicker sofa on my porch. The sofa was a Christmas present I bought for my dad to give me. He lets us do that since he can't do any shopping anymore. I'll show it to you once I get it reupholstered.

I wanted to find a base for a slab of marble I rescued from the porch next door when the bank emptied the house upon foreclosure. It would have gone in the trash! The slab had been my temporary solution, but I had to use my recycling bin as a base since it was the only thing low enough and sturdy enough to support it. It wasn't ideal.

But then I found this great wicker table at the Briarwood sale the end of July. And it was already painted black, which made it much easier to purchase. That and the price.

wicker coffee table = $15.00

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Patriotic Diamonds

Fourth of July, friend Gwen was working on a patriotic quilt with some blocks she won at guild a few years back. It inspired me to revisit the patriotic stars that I had started over two years ago. The pattern was an adjusted version of the Stars and Stripes quilt in Kaffe Fassett's Passionate Patchwork.

Having not had a lot of time to sew in the last two years, I dove in to the project head first and was determined not to come up for air until it was all done.

There were a large variety of Aunt Donna scraps to use for the stars and I was glad to get this fussy cut diamond of the Pledge of Allegiance.

I found this little hometown toile in my stash and love the little flags in the windows even if some of them are hung improperly. When hung vertically, the blue ground should always be to the upper left facing in the direction of the largest audience.

The plan was to set all the stars together with navy prints. I had quite a few from Aunt Donna and added a couple of my own fabrics to make up the difference. Once everything was on the design wall, I couldn't stop until it was all assembled because I was not going to place those navy diamonds more than once!

Rounding out the navy prints was this lovely blueberries on a black ground. And it gave the quilt its name...

"Hooray for the Red, White, and Blueberries!"

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

I have lots and lots of thrifty finds to share in
the coming weeks. I'll start with these.

One can never have enough of these wooden stands.
Glad I spotted this one.

I don't know why I bought this.
I think I was on an owl kick at the time.
It's been leaning up against the backsplash
in the corner of my kitchen for months.

I've been collecting cute little tins that
close well to jazz up my sewing storage.

My rotary blades, new and used, all fit in here perfectly.

The price on this quilt rack wouldn't let me pass it by.

It's nice and skinny to fit in a tight space in
my sewing room to hold works in progress.

carved stand = $0.59
owl mold = $0.99
Thumper suitcase = $0.25
quilt rack = $3.99

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Retreat 2011 - Land's End

So, remember the block on the right? Bed of Peonies.

As I began the assembly of the center portion of the Land's End,
I discovered yet one more block that was the wrong size.

Arrrggghhhh! It's supposed to be 15.5 inches unfinished. And of course it has eight-pointed stars on three corners. If you are going to have something go this wrong, you want it to happen in the presence of many experienced quilters who are quick to both sympathize and give advice.

Deconstruction of the outer corners commenced. I employed the same technique that I used on the Heavenly Stars block.

And friend Gwen just happened to have brought some lightweight interfacing. Who brings that to a quilt retreat? But the interfacing plus a skinny seam allowance and some tight stitching did the trick.

A couple of coats of spray starch and a hot iron and I was back on track.

Once the center was together, the borders went on.

And here is the completed top.
It took two guys standing on chairs to hold it up.
I was so glad to hand it off to the quilter.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Retreat 2011

I did not get as much done as planned and did not take as many pictures as usual. Seeing as how I had forgotten what theme I was going with this year for my blog posts until I pulled out of the parking lot to come home, I'll just have to save that idea for next year. And it was a good one, too.

I set up in a different spot this year, but not in a new spot. I was still in the dining hall, but closer to the big corner windows. And I still had a spot to hang my design wall.

Remember Pat's project from last year?
Well, here it is completed. What an amazing thing!

Love these colors Cyndi has used.
I believe this fabric was from France.

And she took the motif from the fabric and
blew it up for the border applique.

So glad that Catherine A. was able to come to retreat this year.
She let me help layout these blocks done in the Flutterby fabrics.

Catherine has been working on this cute thing
in 30's prints for quite a while.

I think she is about finished.

This was Peggy's block-of-the-month from last year. It's done up in beautiful Christmas fabrics. The side setting triangles are done in a lovely angel print. She worked really, really hard to get her striped borders mitered just right.

Nancy D. always works on something lively.
I loved the colors in this contemporary piece.

This incredible applique quilt took
Rebecca L. two years to complete.

She does beautiful work.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

So, as I was saying...

Blogging takes a lot of time for me.
Taking and editing photos.
Coming up with catchy titles and pithy commentary.

Work projects consumed my energy and my
posting trickled down to nothing after March.
But I'm intent on working my way back now.

So, while I could just skip the past few months and start
with today, I'd prefer to backtrack and catch you up on:

- quilt retreat back in February
- lots and lots of thrifty finds
- a road trip with the guild in March
- a week at the beach
- the guild quilt show
- and the trip of a lifetime in June

Monday, May 9, 2011

Birthday Girl

Sweet Maisy Belle - 11 in '11

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, March 19, 2011

In Fields of White

The stand of irises at the corner of my yard reminds me of my visit to the Heian shrine in Kyoto, Japan, some years back. There, cluster after cluster of irises lined the banks of the peaceful lake within the walls of the shrine. They were everywhere, providing a calm and peaceful refuge in the middle of a busy city. I loved my visit to Japan and want to return some day.

My irises were salvaged from the alley about three years ago. When I planted them I had no idea what color they were or whether they would even make it in my newly carved out bed. But last year they bloomed for the first time. I was expecting the classic purple, but found, to my surprise, beautiful white petals instead.

This year there are more flowers than ever. They have bloomed very early and their timeliness weighs heavy on my heart. Kyoto, of course, is far away from the physical devastation, but ever close in heartache for their countrymen lost to the earthquake and the tsunami.

Flowers have long been ascribed meanings in world cultures. The iris has held a place as a sacred flower. In Greek mythology, the iris is associated with death. To the Japanese it symbolizes faith, valor, and wisdom. It is an important symbol in Japanese art. The iris is also believed to purify evil energies or to provide protection.

In Eastern cultures, white is the color of death, while in Western cultures it represents purity and peace.

Every day my irises remind me of the courage with which the Japanese people are facing terrible suffering and death and the heroism shown by the workers at the nuclear power plant in the face of grave danger. But my flowers also call me to prayer for the Japanese, for peace in the midst of the chaos and for wisdom to face a future beyond such difficulty.

For the people of Japan...Father, protect them from evil and give them hope.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

I have been off work this week for spring break. I had high hopes when the week began that I would accomplish great things, but my left eye has been quite troublesome for the last two months and it was no better this week. I do go to see the doctor in the morning and hopefully can get some answers.

I had started the week telling myself I would not go to the thrift stores this week, but feeling discouraged in other areas, I decided maybe it might perk me up. So after an errand downtown, I kept on heading west to hit the three stores on the other side of town.

And I have to say, it was worth the effort.

I never find my glasses at the thrift store, but today I found three iced teas and one old fashioned. I'm particularly in need of the iced teas.

The cabinet in the basement is full of canning jars, so I shouldn't have bothered, but you rarely see the taller quilted jars and this one came with a non-rusted ring as well.

The lemons on the one quart pitcher are in perfect condition and my Tang pitcher lids fit this as well. It's really cute.

And, of course, I couldn't pass up another one cup measure. This one has the measurements molded with the glass so they won't wear off. And check out the spouts on three sides.

I have a fabulous tin that friend Gwen gave me a few years ago for Christmas that I use for my on-the-go quilting project. But I am on the hunt for another tin to take on a trip this summer where I can't use my other one. This one was cheap enough even if I don't end up using it.

3 iced tea glasses = $2.97
1 old fashioned = $0.20
tall quilted jar = $0.25
lemonade pitcher = $1.49
1-cup measure = $0.99
cookie tin = $0.15

Total for the day = $6.05

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

In early January Peggy, Gwen, and I made a trip down to Alabaster to the thrift store. I had never been to this store as it is very much out of my way. And I have to say the prices were quite high. Not something that would encourage me to make frequent visits.

But I was able to pick up a 1-cup measuring cup with a full handle. As I have mentioned before, I don't like the stick handles you find on new ones. I waited till the woman who had set it back on the shelf turned her back before I snatched it up.

As we were leaving, we had to question why someone would turn in a perfectly good measuring cup to the thrift store. Who couldn't use a clean, well-marked measuring cup? This makes the fourth 1-cup in my cabinet and I use all four when I cook.

Another store on another day yielded this retro platter. Even though I'm not really collecting 70's, I couldn't resist the cheery flowers and happy colors...or the price.

measuring cup = $3.88
retro platter = $0.99

Wednesday, February 2, 2011