Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Hand Sewing to Country Music

I've had the scrappy diamond Magic Carpet quilt ready for binding now for many weeks, but since I spent much of my vacation time in California, I didn't get it done then. Usually I work on the binding while I "watch" TV.

This week, Country Music, the documentary by Ken Burns, started showing, so I've been sewing the binding on the quilt while I watch it.

See that quilt that is hanging on the wall behind my TV? That's a quilt by my quilting idol, Wanda Hanson, who blogs at Exuberant Color.

I'll tell anybody who'll listen that in my not so humble opinion, NOBODY, but NOBODY in the quilting world knows color like Wanda does. There's a reason why her quilt dominates my living room. It is that good. Wanda is that good.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Golden Zebras, Quilted

Here is the Golden Zebras quilt, quilted. You can really see how beautifully YELLOW it really is!

Here is the quilting closeup. (I actually used the same quilting design as on The Parade of Zebras. I felt I could do that because the Parade of Zebras quilt lives in California.)

Here is a slightly wider view.

Look what I put on the back!

When I was at Quilted Threads on Saturday, this butterfly fabric was on sale. I bought everything that was left on the bolt. I will use it as the binding on the quilt.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

I Went Shopping... and Another Thing.

I needed more pinks for the pink barn, so this morning I got up early and drove to my favorite quilt shop, Quilted Threads.

I really like the pink in the middle with the little bursts of color. I'll use one or more of these for the body of the barn. I haven't decided yet.

These three were in the sale room, and I may use one or more as accents.

 I know the batik I looked at the other day would be nice, but I really liked the happy feel of this fabric, which I will probably use for the sky. Remember, we don't want to be TOO LITERAL!

So now my fabrics are taking a spin in the washing machine. I'll get to work on the barn later, but first, a confession.

Last week, I needed something from the top shelf in one of the kitchen cabinets. I'm five feet tall, so I have to use a stool. Instead of getting the step stool, I grabbed a small footstool from the living room. I got what I needed, but my foot caught the edge of the stool, overbalancing it, and I fell. The upper half of my body landed on the counter, and my left wrist hit first. I couldn't grab anything to steady myself, and I fell over backwards onto the floor.

Aside from feeling stupid, I wasn't hurt. My left wrist was sore, but I could move all my fingers and hand in any direction. I took some ibuprofen and put some ice on it and then continued about my day. My wrist was swollen, but that was to be expected.

Most of the swelling went down after a day, but some remained, a funny kind of bump. My wrist only hurt when I bent it far backwards.

After several days, the swelling was still there, and I knew I'd have to get medical advice. I have osteoporosis as well as arthritis. Sigh.

So yesterday I went to the local Urgent Care facility and got it looked at and X-rayed. Blessedly, there is nothing broken. "But you have a lot of arthritis in your hand," the nurse practitioner told me, "and that interferes with the swelling going down, so it may take some time." She checked my grip and mobility and told me to go home and treat the symptoms. If the swelling doesn't go down in 2 to 3 weeks, I'm to give them a call. The radiologist will review the X-rays on Monday and will call me if something is discovered.

Yes, I know. I am lucky.

Friday, September 13, 2019

A Little Trim...

I've added a thin strip of the decorative stripe I showed you a few days ago to the edge of the barn roof. I like it a lot. It just goes to show that you have to really LOOK at your fabrics to see the possibilities. I wrote a tutorial about that, and you can get it here. It's everything you've ever heard me say about fabric all in one place.

I also like the blue batik as the sky. It's sky-ish and looks windy and cloudy, which happens here in New England.

And I still prefer this geometric print of all the fabrics I currently have for the body of the barn. It also reminds me of the siding in many barns. I know several of you liked the white stripe better, but this is going to be a PINK barn. (But there's nothing that says I can't use it for the barn doors....)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A Vast View

On the way back to the cabin in the mountains we stopped to look out toward Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. It was quite a sight. When my son picked up his daughter to show her what was what I knew it would make a good photograph if I could get it right. I took about a dozen, and all but this one were blurry and fuzzy. Persistence certainly pays off.

I have (finally) finished my binge watching of all six seasons of Downton Abbey so I am ready for the movie, but I am pretty sure I'll never binge watch that much of anything else again. This is my way of explaining that finally I will be going back into the studio tomorrow to work on the pinkish barn and get going on the Oh So Modern variation of the Zebras quilt. (Here is another post about it.)

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Thinking Pink

This is a garage I pass on my way to the grocery store. I like the reddish trim. This reminds me that less can be very much more.

So I decided to add a contrasting trim to the top half of my pink barn, but that leaves me a conundrum. Now that I've added so much blue, the options for the bottom half of the barn have (of course) changed.

Before I added anything blue, I had chosen this fabric which has woven elements, but now I am not sure.

So I decided to audition some other fabrics. This one is too much the same value as the pink stripe for my taste.

This stripe seems a bit busy. There's already a lot going on in this barn.

I wanted to try it with a blue door. It's too many stripes, but I wanted to see if a blue door would work.

I like this grunge pink, but I don't have enough of it. I have to decide if I want to wait while I order more.

I really like this geometric print. Pretty sure I'll use a white door, but I will definitely use a few bits of blue to tie the bottom part of the barn to the top part.

And one last thing, the blue along the top of the barn will be significantly narrower than it is right now, so it won't be QUITE as dominant as it appears right now.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Adapt & Improvise...

When I am making a barn out of my head, like this one, I don't draw it out first and I don't plan it. I just "wing it." I had not planned to add this LARKSPUR element to the upper part of the barn, but when I arranged the windows underneath the butterfly panel, there was a lot of space between them.

So I looked through my stash for something that would fit that space in an interesting way. I've had this fabric for several years and the colored words were just the right size...

As I laid out the pieces, I thought it might be more fun to make the stripes go sideways instead of vertically. (Besides, I had a couple of fabric scraps I could use...)

So here is the (untrimmed) roof section.

I might add a thin strip of this stripe above as an accent. I haven't decided yet.

Friday, September 6, 2019

A Pink Barn Starts

I hate leaving for a vacation trip with a project half started, so I deliberately didn't do much sewing before I left for California. Once home, I knew I needed to get into the studio to do something, even if it wasn't a "big" or "important" thing. 

I'd been toying with making a pink barn, so when I finally decided to get up off the couch (at about 4 PM yesterday afternoon), I headed into the studio to make some windows. When making a free-pieced barn or any other kind of building, it's best to start with the smallest details first.

 Hmm, maybe not this pink stripe. It's too orange-y in real life, and I want PINK!

I'm going to use this butterfly as a decorative element in the peak of the pink barn.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Some Family Photos

Here are some pictures we took the last night I was in California with my son and his family.

We had a great dinner at Nick's.

After dinner, we went to the beach.

Woo Hoo! I got a kiss!

We are a Dino-sty!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Selvage Fairy

This is the Selvage Fairy. She keeps an eye on Millie when I travel. She came over before I left to pick up the key and go over what I call "the care and feeding of Millie." After we went through all that stuff, we looked at quilts, because even though you see pictures, they are much different (and much better) in real life.

We looked at a lot of them, and when I unfolded Dark Majesty, the dark diamonds quilt, she said, "I think this is my favorite."


As we folded up the quilt, I handed it to her. "This should go home with you." The look on her face was priceless. She literally didn't put it down until she walked out the door, and only then to give me a hug.

Quilts should always go to where they are loved.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

A Side Trip

My son’s family decided to take me on a little side trip. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going.

Except it was a lot like this. Lots of traffic. 

We stopped in Redlands and it was 96F at 6 PM. Sure it was dry heat but still. Checking the weather for this are a told me that on Sunday it is supposed to be 105F.  By then I knew we were headed toward the mountains.


We had dinner at Noodle21, then headed up the mountains. We are here:


where, paradoxically, it will be hotter than if we had stayed in MB, but the lake is down the road and I’m pretty sure swimming is on tap for tomorrow. 

PS, I’ve had a cold so I’ve been sleeping and reading and binge-watching Downton Abbey. I still think the best line in the entire series came at the end of series two when Richard Carlisle said they’d never see him again and Violet piped up, “Do you promise?”

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

It’s Nice

It’s nice to wake up under one of your own quilts. This is Jewel Box, one of the diamond quilts.

I went for a walk around the neighborhood then we went to a farmer’s market where there were so many varieties of pluots I couldn’t believe it. I sampled several. Like 12. Bought three varieties.

I am on a taco binge. Yesterday alone I had carne asada tacos, two kinds of fish tacos and a carnitas taco.

My granddaughter is sixteen kinds of adorable. She knows who I am and calls me “Memere,” which is pronounced Mim-May. It’s fun.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Monday, August 26, 2019

Mad Money!

Every household has one, a jar for all the coins that collect in your pockets or purse. Mine got so heavy I decided to bring it to the bank and cash it in. Turned out their coin counting machine was on the fritz. I could bring it to the local grocery store that had a machine - but it would cost me 11%  - or I could take my jar home and count and wrap them myself.

So I counted. 

I had almost fifty bucks, which will come in handy on my vacation. It's always fun to have a little mad money.