Thursday, August 21, 2014

Stack-o-quilts


I finished two more quilts, making a stack of 14 quilts to deliver.  

Thanks Tove!  I'm still quilting all the tops she gave.  I also have a few that I pieced to quilt in the queue as well!

I pieced both of these consecutively on one big backing.  
 

I made a special little baby quilt for Dr. Kaufman's soon to be arriving grandson.  

I used a piece of silk (at least I think it is) for the backing that I had in my stash along with the leftover silk batting trimmings from our summer bed quilt.

Yesterday afternoon we took a short drive to the viewpoint for the dry salt lakes to the east of us.  



They have a good bit of water in them from all the rains we've gotten.  I can't remember ever seeing the hills around so green!  Amazing what a normal monsoon rainy season will do for the natural vegetation.
 Roads on either side of ours are lined with flowers!  I finally checked the settings on my camera with the manual.  I had noticed my pictures were all coming out grainy.  I was able to restore it to better settings, and also found I have a "wide" option.  Guess I should spend more time with the manual!   




 

Monday, August 18, 2014

I really like paper piecing?


I no longer hate paper piecing!  I took a great class Saturday with Barbara Gary teaching Judy Niemeyer's One for All Seasons table runner.

I've tried paper piecing before...Shelley taught us Judy Mathieson's freezer paper piecing method at one of the early yearly retreats I attend in Phoenix.  I made a pillow with my finished piece, but didn't really love the process to want to do more.

Craftsy was having a sale and I signed up for Carol Doak's paper piecing class.  It didn't really inspire me--and I didn't get very far.  

So when the opportunity to take a two-day class being offered 60 miles away, with no one I knew, presented itself...I signed up!  I thought well, this will either make or break (forever) paper piecing for me.

Look what I can do!


With detailed cutting instructions and some prep the night before, I got half of the large arcs done at the class Saturday.  Sunday morning I finished the large arcs.  Sunday afternoon I got all the small arcs done.  I'm looking forward to learning how to put it all together.

When I first started quilting I fell in love with NY Beauty style quilts.  I hoped to do one, but that seemed beyond my reach since I didn't take to paper piecing.  Now I'm considering doing a bed sized quilt with a Judy Niemeyer pattern.  

I couldn't post without a couple of colorful cloud pictures.  The storm cloud ablaze at the top was directly east of the setting sun Saturday evening.
 
    

Friday, August 15, 2014

Early morning color!


The skies were ablaze this morning!  There is also a feeling of fall in the air but with all the moisture we've had, everything is thriving...


We let flowering "weeds" have the run of the place.  A small sunflower variety started outside the front door, and it has now completely taken over.  I don't mind.  There is so much color. 
 
As I was coming back into the house, I spotted this "monster" by the picnic table.  It was just a mushroom that had broken through the soil.  We've had a few giant ones by the back door; the spores hanging around for favorable weather.  I wish I knew if they were edible.



On the quilting front, I finished quilting and binding three more tops from Tove.  This first one had a little accident...  It picked up color when I washed it with a batik quilt.  It uniformly dyed two of the fabrics, while leaving the one of the white background fabrics untouched!  

This alphabet quilt is my favorite!  Pat found an alphabet book to go with it!
 I was able to get two done on one long backing--a great rockets print.  It's nice to have some more quilts for boys!
 Trying to finish a few more before delivering quilts to Dr. Kaufman next week. 


 

Friday, August 08, 2014

More finishes!

We've continued to get rains which has now pulled this area out of the "exceptional" drought status we were in!  All the vegetation is thriving.

This is the last quilt top from Kathy F.  I've had it since early April after coming back from house sitting for our friends in Tucson.
 Tove is going to keep me busy for a while with all the tops she sent.  

Besides the tops she sent, she also included these two completed quilts!  

I'll be making a big delivery soon to Dr. Kaufman, thanks to all my quilting friends!


Sunday, August 03, 2014

Clouds, rain, & quilting

Finally, I think we're coming out of the extreme drought!  Right here in Willard we had over 6.5 inches of rain for the month of July.  It's so spotty though, and sometimes too much in some areas to cause flooding.

These threatening clouds didn't actually give us much rain.  You can see a tiny sliver of moon on the left, and a jet contrail poking out of the cloud at about 3 o'clock.


I finished the quilting on Tove's quilt.  This is such a bright, cheerful quilt, featuring Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  
 
She wanted a simple Clouds panto on it, but since her backing was solid, I thought it would be better to have something with a bit more design.  I opted for Mandarin Garden. 

I'm now working on the donation tops she sent.  They'll keep me busy until my surgery date.  Finally I'm getting a fix for my total knee.  The patella is not riding right making a (painful) clunk at the end of extension.  Hopefully it will be a quick and fairly easy fix, and I'll be on my way to actually using this new knee.  
 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two more

The hummingbirds are here in full force.  The Rufous are noisy and guard what they now claim as their territory--our two feeders.  I love to see them feeding from plants, and I hope soon, we'll have trumpet vine flowers for them.

I finished two more quilts for Dr. Kaufman, the last of the stack Patty E. gave me.  I have one more from Kathy F. to quilt, and two that I put together.   I used Feng Shui Fans panto from Dave Hudson and also  had a backing with fans for this top with Oriental fabrics. 

I used my other new panto, Pharoah's Collar from Judy Lyon.  I can't say enough about her designs.  I used to be intimidated by them, but now I revel in their complexity.  I do prefer them on solid colored backings where they'll be more visible.

Thanks to friends, specifically, Tove, I have a lot more tops to quilt before I have to resort to piecing more.  I received a box yesterday with ten tops she is donating to our cause along with a quilt for my longarm services.    

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sewvivor--hilda's hideout--Hilda


I've been looking for a challenge in my quilting work.  In looking over things I had made in the past, I felt they were a little more creative and I missed challenging myself.  On my early morning blog hopping I came across Rach's Sewvivor Season 3--Quilter's Edition.  I wasn't familiar with her previous season challenges, but this seems perfect for me.



Here is my audition, my just recently finished summer quilt.  I'd been meaning to make a summer quilt for our bed and finally got it done, using my recently acquired Kaffe Fassett stash.  

The stats:  The quilt measures 89 X 94" after shrinking quite a bit in the wash.  I used 100% silk batting which said should be dry cleaned only.  That's rather impractical and anyone who knows me, knows if it doesn't survive the washer and dryer, it doesn't last at my house.  I did take special care, washing it in cold water, and low heat drying.

I used 100% Egyptian cotton king size sheet for backing which was just a bit too short for the top, but I had quite a few flying geese leftover, and was able to use them to grow it some.  

I used Meadowlyon's Coils panto on it, and I love the texture it gave the quilt without standing out over the piecing.  I used So Fine thread on top and Fil-tec magna glide bobbin.  This quilt turned out light and perfect for summer.  This was my first experience with silk batting, and I love the loft of it.  

I hope I'm able to go on and compete in this!  I already have some ideas for some of the challenges!

 
 

Friday, July 11, 2014

More insects!

These two moths were hanging out on the garage wall.  I think they are a type of Sphinx moth.  They look like they'd blend in better in a more wooded area.  


I finished this great quilt from Kathy F.  I used my new Judy Lyon panto, Coils.  While it is very dense, it's not overly difficult.  The texture is wonderful.  

Our plants are doing well.  Finally the Spanish broom is flowering.  It really needs the protected east side of the house.  The gaillardia (blanket flower) beside it is a wild volunteer.  
The bird of paradise started blossoming.  I don't think it will ever get very large because of our winters, but at least it's surviving.  
 

Friday, July 04, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!

This was Pat's Christmas present.  Not an original idea--but borrowed from my friend Rosie with permission.  I have a little washboard to make one for me, but I have nowhere I can hang it.

I've been working on getting my summer quilt finished.  Just had the last border to do which I was too tired to do last night.  Being refreshed this morning didn't help me avoid several mistakes, and I'm reworking it for hopefully the third and final time!  

As I came out of the sewing room, this beautiful grasshopper was outside the door.  Daughter Lindsay was familiar with the breed, Dactylotum bicolor--Rainbow grasshopper, but this is the first one I've seen.  I'm not fond of bugs (major understatement) but admired this colorful guy.

Hallelujah!  We had two rainstorms in the past few days, first with a half-inch of rain, and last night with five-eighths-inch.  I hope it's the start of a real monsoon season.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Since delivery...

In the past week, I've finished two quilts to start a new batch for Dr. Kaufman.  Both of these were made by Patty E. and are nice bigger quilts great for teenagers.




I also picked up a project I had started some time ago...


A cover for my sewing machine.  I quilted it all on the domestic machine, and it really didn't take long to get it done.  


I finally have started on our summer quilt using my Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  I saw a pattern on Quilt Inspiration blog that caught my eye and I'm trying to recreate it.  Since I don't really love complex piecing, a four-patch block seemed right up my alley.

We also fostered these three sweet dogs that showed up at our place, a momma, and two puppies.  We don't have a fenced yard or these might have become permanent residents.  They just showed up out of the blue, drinking out of the bird water.  We took them to the animal shelter and hope they'll be adopted quickly.

I also finally started and finished Pat's Christmas present.  I was just waiting for inspiration and after a false start, I restarted and got it done.  No pictures since I'm going to surprise her with it tomorrow.