Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Where's Spring

I know the calendar says it's spring. . . but why was there snow on the ground yesterday morning? Please spring - come my way. I promise that I will welcome you with open arms. I know it's getting close. The pussywillows are out of their bush, and I have some daffodils blooming along the front fence. There are little leaves on the lilac bushes, and the fish are swimming slowly in the pond.

I'm gearing up for the Lancaster show this weekend. We're leaving Thursday evening to go as far as Bedford. Then Friday, after a good breakfast, we'll go to Lancaster (only about three hours). I'm in the market to buy a new sewing machine. I'm looking at the Marie Osmond Quilters Companion manufactured by Janome. If feels like sort of a luxury since my old machine is still in working order, but it's not servicable by anyone in my area since it's a machine I purchased from HSN. I'm going to wait and try it out at the show, and then make up my mind.

I'm still working on the Prairie Sweets quilt for Kristin, and trying to finish the batik attic windows quilt top for Mary. I've never had a top that has given me fits like this one. If the pieces don't fit right, my machine is running out of bobbin thread at very inopportune moments. But, I shall perservere and be the victor. No quilt top is going to get the best of me!!!! Have a good weekend.

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring?????

The weatherman says that spring arrives in less than 1 hour, but you couldn't prove it by me. Although we've had some pretty warm temps lately, this A.M. it's only 26 degrees. But a warm-up is expected this weekend. Just two weeks from today I will be on my way to the Quilter's Heritage Celebration in Lancaster, PA. I'm really excited since I haven't been to a quilt show for a while, and I need a fabric/notions fix. I've been working on my wish list.

I have unofficially named the month of April as FIU month (finish it up). Right now I'm still working on Mary's batik quilt, and have been hand stitching on blocks for the Prairie Sweets quilt (which Krisin has claimed). But after Mary's quilt is sent to the quilter, I really need to finish up some projects. I need to finish my Log Cabin Insanity quilt which I worked on with my Sloanie cybergroup last February. I also need to finish my Farmer's Market quilt, which was also a Sloanie project. I've always used fleece on the back, but I'm finding I really love the feel of the batting and fabric backing. So, I plan on using fabric on the back. I figure that this will be a good chance to practice with my Flynn quilting frame, which I've had for two years and have never used. http://www.flynnquilt.com. I wanted to make a nice lap-top bag, and found a pattern I liked. I've received it and decided to make it with the African animal fabrics I had leftover from Krissy's quilt. But now I'm not sure if I have enough. So, before the quilt show, I need to measure all the fabrics, and add some to my quilt show wishlist, if necessary.

So, this weekend, I hope to finish Mary's quilt and have it ready to send to the quilter. But, I got new glasses, and although I'm seeing better with the bifocals, the top part seems to be pulling my one eye. So, I called the eye doctor, and have to go Saturday morning to have them checked. So, although I didn't want to leave the house on Saturday, I'm going to keep this appointment. Hope your weekend is a great one.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top o' the Mornin' to Ya

St. Patrick's Day Graphics
Happy St. Paddy's Day to all. I've finished the first two blocks of my new Prairie Sweets quilt. It's great fun to be piecing it by hand.

I know that the photo isn't the greatest quality, but it's too early in the morning to fuss with the camera. I'm using Pat Sloan's Nikki collection for this quilt, and I love the bright colors. It really makes me feel "springy".

How's the weather where you are? Here it's swinging from really nice to cool and gloomy. But today is supposed to be a real keeper. I bought some nice ham slices this past weekend (Rod loves ham), and I'm planning to grill them this evening, and I'm thinking that some potato salad would taste really good with them. Rod put up the baby gates on the deck this past weekend, so if it gets really nice, the kids and I can go out to sit on the deck for a while today. The fish in the pond made it through the winter, and are swimming but still pretty slowly. Guess the water must still be pretty cold. The pond looks really nasty right now since out cattails exploded over the weekend.

Welcome spring!! Please stick around.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm Getting There

I finally finished putting the sills and posts on the batik blocks for Mary's quilt. It wasn't easy, but I just made up my mind that since I hadn't seen the original quilt, I could do my own thing.

This is the top part of the quilt. I think the lady who designed it meant for the blue to be sky. But, since I'm a libra (everything in balance) and mother of twins, I had to add them to the bottom, too. Just call it water, you know ocean.

And here's the bottom half. Today I'll sew the blocks together and get ready for borders. Mary chose a black batik with pink for the small inner border, a beautiful turquoise blue for the larger middle border, and an orchid for the large outer border. The girl knows what she wants, and although she may not have realized it, the colors she chose are in the blocks somewhere.

I've been following Mary Burn's blog
(http://mary-myneedlethread.blogspot.com) and have fallen in love with the quilt she made for Mandy. So, I ordered the pattern and have been trying to decide which fabrics to use. I want something bright, and then remembered that I bought a FQ assortment from Pat Sloan that I've never used. It's her Nikki fabrics, and I think I will use them. Here's the photo of the ones I've chosen. I love these colors, and it should be fun to see them come alive in a quilt. The pattern by the way is called Prairie Sweets and it's by Fig Tree Quilts. Guess I'd better get off her and onto the sewing if I want to get anything done before Izzy gets here. Have a great day.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hurricane Monday

Saturday was a beautiful day. High's in the high 60's, lots of sun, and a family dinner to celebrate Kristin's birthday. To celebrate the beautiful day, I did a cookout complete with burgers and sausage, macaroni salad and of course baked beans and deviled eggs. She loves Chocolate Upside Cake, and the twins showed up early to bake the cake. We had a wonderful time, and the kids all seemed glad to be outside playing. Sunday was the complete opposite. So much rain and dreary weather. I hemmed three pairs of pants for my mom, who's still in the skilled nursing home. And I also went down to the train layout to see what Rod did this week. He's been a busy bee, wiring in all the street lights, and now he even has working traffic lights. We got all the cars out of their packages, and are so pleased with all the classic cars we've bought. I feel a car cruise coming on the layout. He put two umbrella tables outside the ice cream shop, put a baggage handler coming out of the train station, a bench on the front porch of one of the farmhouses, a mailman and policeman on the main street, and a John Deere gas pump and tractors at the farm. It's almost like playing with a large doll house. He's in the process of changing out the track on one of the loops, now.

Today the weatherman said it was like a "hurricane" out there. The wind has been howling all night, and the news had several reports of downed wires. But we know that summer is just around the corner. We went to our favorite ice cream place last night and had our first hot fudge sundae of the season. Mmmm it was so good. Have a good week.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What I'm working on

I have a terrible history of joining BOM's and never finishing them. While taking my sampler class, I joined a BOM that was to be an attic windows quilt made from batik stars. DD Mary loves batiks, and I figured that the quilt would go to her. I started piecing the blocks by hand, but batiks are really hard to hand sew. I put it away, but when I decided that 2009 would definitely be a "Finish It Up" year, I pulled them out again. I have one last block to finish piecing today, and they will be ready to put together into a top. Unfortunately, I never saw the finished quilt at my local shop, and now it is closed. I emailed the owner for the finishing directions, and only got 2 of the 3 pages (just a mistake I'm sure). So now I'm sort of flying blind with the finishing of this quilt. According to the directions, it was supposed to have medium and dark brown sills and posts. But DD Mary didn't want brown on her quilt, so she chose her own colors. And although I didn't like them at first, she made some really good choices.

This is the block I've finished with the sill and post that Mary chose. The colors of the quilt are in those pieces, and I think she made a great choice.

Here's another of the blocks.

And still another block. I'll have to post photos of the finished top when I get it done.

But, here's another project that I've nearly "Finished Up". Go Me.