Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Birdsong Quilt Top




I've just spent the morning before a "Storm Of The Decade" crawling around the floor pinning the top of my completed Birdsong quilt. It seems in the past ten years, that the weather people are always expecting the sky to fall, and it never does. So, I bought extra batteries in case of a power failure, and that's the end of my preparation. I hope that they're correct about a lot of rain. 





My only other preparation would require the power to remain on. I've pinned the three layers of the Birdsong quilt together to start basting. I baste by hand, just like I quilt by hand. I like doing it. I love the way it turns out, and most of all I love that I've included a bit of myself in every stitch. Someday when I'm gone, my family will look at my art and know that I thought of them while I worked. 








Anyway, I need the light to see my stitches, and even to pull the pins out. So, if I can see, i have a project to work on. It will take me all winter to do the quilting, and if we get snow, I will be warm and cozy while working on my quilt. I use a hoop, so the quilt is on my lap. Such a perfect winter project. 

Happy stormy weather everyone. I hope you are surrounded by warmth and family.



Monday, December 8, 2014

Surprise



I certainly hope I didn't startle you, because I'm writing a new post this fine cool morning. We are getting prepared for a large storm later this week. The all knowing weather people are telling us to prepare for five to possibly ten inches of rain, very heavy wind, falling trees and power outages. I spent the summer praying for rain, and I think it worked. I have books to read, and projects to work on, but those may have to wait if we have no lights. I bought myself a little book light that fastens to my book, and has a battery, so I'm good to go.


We had such a wonderful time with all of our children and grandchildren over Thanksgiving. Turkey and pie and fun kids. Nothing could be better. Family is such a blessing, and we gave thanks for all of them.





I've finished the top of my Birdsong applique quilt. I'm planning to go shopping for backing and batting today. Next post I will show you the completed top. So exciting... If you aren't totally sick of the Sugar Kisses quilt, I can also show you photos of the new squares I'm stitching.

 Guess what? I had to order my quilting thread, because no quilt shop in my area sells hand quilting thread any longer. They informed me that "No one hand quilts any longer". Well guess what? I do, and so do my friends. What would we do without computers?





Speaking of my friends, it was my turn to be the hostess for "Bee" last Wednesday. I  am always the hostess the week after Thanksgiving. It's my encouragement to get all of the Christmas decorations out and set up. It's a quick transformation from autumn and Thanksgiving to Christmas. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blazing Color







I just can't help myself. I keep taking photos of our maples. The color is just the most beautiful thing that it's almost indescribable. We have a storm (yea) coming in tomorrow, and I think the leaves will be gone until next year. So, the finished wrap gets its photo taken with the tree...








Back to the wrap. It's blocked and ready to show. I think I'll wear it on Saturday. I'm going to a Day Of The Dead Celebration, or if it's way too rainy, then I'm going to a theater performance. What to do, what to do?? Hmm...



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

One Knit Done








Today I am blocking another finished Wrap/Shawl. It is knit with Noro Silk Garden Lite. I'm not exactly sure why it's light, because it feels just like regular Silk Garden. I can't tell the difference. I love the dark blue and the purple colors, but I'm not very fond of the brown and the orange in this project. I love Noro's color changes as a general rule, and I tried to get away from the red and pink that I always seem to gravitate to. It's sort of hard to see, when its blocking on a very bright yellow, blue and green towel, so I think you will have to wait until I show the finished shawl to see the true colors.




It's a fun, quick drop stitch pattern. Trying to get the dropped stitches to "run" was rather difficult. Noro yarn is a little sticky, and grasps on to itself. I had to sit and pick the dropped stitches apart. It took a whole afternoon.




The pattern is the Waldorf Wrap from the book, The Divine Drop Stitch by Kara Gott Warner.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Coloring





















Mother Nature is putting on her yearly show. A show that I look forward to all year long. As much as I love stormy weather, I'm sort of glad when the storms don't hit too early, because the wind and rain knock the flaming leaves off of the maples before I'm done looking at them. Don't you just wish that these beauties could stay a bit longer? Just a bit, because if they were always like this, I think we would stop seeing their beauty.


My husband is the gardener of the family. He has planted and taken care of our maples, and this year was a huge challenge. We were on major water restrictions because of our drought, but he was able to keep our garden alive. It wasn't nearly as lush as usual, but these flaming maples are as pretty as they could be.


I've finished a knit wrap, and as soon as I weave in the ends and block it into shape I'll play "Show and Tell".

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bee Day At My House


 Bee is at my house today. I have a few minutes before my friends arrive. I've been cleaning since Sunday, and I spent all day yesterday baking. I made two kinds of cookies and apple cider donuts. I always make the donuts at this time of year for my friends. They are very, very bad for you. Little baked muffins that are dipped in melted butter and tossed in cinnamon sugar. See what I mean? My friends love them, and look forward to them. You can't eat kale and drink green juice all the time. As for all the cleaning, when you live with Golden Retrievers, there is a lot of extraneous hair. It needs to be removed before my friends arrive with their fabric and yarn. I don't think they would be very happy to weave my best friends hair into their projects. Do you?













I'm sure we will have fun. We will catch up on all the news and gossip and work on our projects with a little tea and dessert break. After they go home, it only takes me about a half an hour to clean up. Then I'll be watching the World Series. Go Giants!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Birthday Party and Christmas






Today is my husbands Birthday. I baked him a favorite chocolate cake. It's my Grandmothers recipe. She used to bake it for all of our Birthday parties. It's a light chocolate with chocolate frosting. The frosting has coffee in it, so it's almost like a mocha. The frosting is more chocolatey than the cake though, so not truly mocha. Does that make sense? We aren't doing anything special to celebrate. Just the usual. The usual with cake.






I have started sewing a little project for Christmas gifts. My Granddaughters would like to start a teacup collection. I'm so excited. Any excuse to have a tea party, and a party with my girls is just about a perfect day. 









I thought it would be fun to stitch these little tea pot squares for little quilt panels for each of them. I'm using their favorite colors as the backgrounds, and machine buttonhole stitching around the pots. I'm going to machine quilt them when I'm finished. Maybe they can hang them on the wall, or use them as dresser scarves? Actually, they can do whatever they want with them. I just hope they like them. Just a little something handmade by Nana. 


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Still Quilting




I don't want anyone to be surprised, but I'm back... Actually, I never went anywhere. I've been putting the last finishing touches on my house. Moving a few things around and doing some more organizing for autumn and winter. I'm a nester. I know that isn't a word, but it should be. I like to be in my house in stormy weather, all warm and cozy. Stitching on a quilt or knitting. A lovely cup of tea at my elbow. The picture also has cookies or cake in it too, but those I don't need. Actually it's still hot here, and my air conditioner is on every afternoon, so my favorite season is still only in my imagination.




I have been working on this quilt that I started a few years ago. It's a no- big-deal little autumn quilt that is going to be on the back of my couch for a few months a year. It's the perfect size for a little something to take a nap under. It has cute applique pumpkins and leaves and some pieced squares. I added a plaid border to frame it.






 Today I made my label. I drew a pumpkin on a square of plain off-white fabric with Micron Pigma Pens. I set the ink by ironing it with a hot iron. I will turn the edges under about 1/4 of an inch and applique it onto a corner of the backing. I'm still finishing up tacking down the binding. I hope to be finished by the end of the day, so I'll post the finished quilt soon. Promises, promises...


Friday, September 12, 2014

Living Room Re-Do



Right at the beginning I'm going to apologize for the amount of photos in this post. There are a lot. I tried to show everything from all the angles so that you could get an idea of where everything is. I've been dreaming of this for so long, and arranging the furniture in my mind in the middle of the night. I'm happy to say that everything fit where I thought it would.

 We still need a light in the new dining room, but unless we have company it's alright for now. We usually eat at the counter when it's just the two of us.








Now for the living room. No more carpet on the walls. No more ugly handrails from the eighties. I can easily fit eight people on the chairs and sofas without moving in more furniture. So, that means the grandchildren and Papa and I can all sit while we have movie marathons. My friends can all fit when it's my turn to have Bee, or my book group. I'm so excited. We can see out of the windows now without having to stand on tip-toe, because the windows are too high.






















I even decorated for Autumn, while I was at it. Now I'm going to pretend that it isn't supposed to be in the nineties all weekend. I think I'll have to skip the mulled apple cider for now and stick to iced tea. That Autumn quilt up there on the sofa is waiting for me to pick up my needle, so I'm going to go get busy.

Happy weekend!