Still Waiting

Here is the scoop:

  • We sold our house in Chattanooga 26 days ago.
  • We have been in Florida for 24 days.
  • We have 11 days till the closing on the new house (unless Fortune moves the timetable up).

That is pretty much all the news. It occurred to me a couple of days ago that I could have entertained you with reviews of all the restaurants we have eaten at since we have been kitchen-less, but now I am not sure I even remember them all.

I think I am getting use to being back in Florida. I love the weather especially when I see what is happening further north. I forgot how immense the sky is when you don’t have mountains on all sides limiting the view.

Oh, here is a picture of a little quilt I finished in December that I never got around to mentioning. I made it for our friend Sam’s birthday.This wall hanging is in his favorite colors features some Adinkra symbols that I felt were appropriate for him.   If you search up Adinkra online you will find many different sites with more information on these and many more symbols.  In a nutshell:

“Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Ashanti of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa. They represent concepts or aphorisms, and are extensively used in fabrics, pottery, logos and advertising.  The symbols have a decorative function but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages that convey traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment.”

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These particular symbols represent Supremacy of God, Justice, Leadership and Wisdom which fit Sam perfectly.

That’s all for now. Happy Day!

 

In The Merry Month Of May

Seems like each month finds me busier than the last with little to show as far as finishes. Well, here is what I have been up to:

Sewing Vest

I made this sewing vest for my Chattanooga Quilter’s guild exchange gift. It is based on a pattern called the “Mae West Bomber Vest” and has a bunch of pockets on the inside and outside to hold all your tools and even a pocket for scraps. I altered the pin cushion from a plain square pillow of fabric to the little hexie flower, but the rest is just like the pattern.

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I was so happy that I had this button in my stash — it looks like a rolled up measuring tape and goes with the sewing fabric perfectly.

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My friend Vicky got the vest and I think she liked it.

Paper Pieced Place Mats

I have been enjoying taking a paper piecing class taught by my friend Denise. We met once a week for eight weeks ending last Thursday.

Here are my second set of place mats — winter of course.  I had trouble with the nine patches in the one and decided to skip them in the other.  The trees were a little tricky, but I got them done. The snowflakes are fused applique on a paper pieced snowball block. These place mats are not quilted yet.

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are not quite assembled, but the paper piecing is done. I decided that rather than make two of each of these that I could make one of each and they would serve as our spring and summer set. That little flower block seemed to take forever, so one is enough.

Birds and bees — a fine combination.  I will probably take one of the bees and one of the cardinals and make them into coasters.

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Spiced Pumpkin

I started a new hand applique project – a kit by Jan Patek called “Spiced Pumpkin.” The picture shows the center block. When completed it will be about 40″ square.  Civil War reproduction fabric is a different style than I usually use, but I think  this wall hanging will be a great addition to the autumn decor. I have the leaves and one of the vines stitched down already.

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Sweet Hearts

I made these heart pot holders for my friend, Vicky’s, birthday gift and managed to get them to her only about a week late.

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More Hexies

Here is a new hexie experiment in progress. I had a bundle of fat quarters of the same print in different colors and thought they might work for this with a solid grey thrown in for balance. Not sure what I think about it yet.

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Quilt of Valor

I sewed a bunch of strips together in this red white and blue lasagna quilt. It needs nice solid borders, probably navy blue which I hope will calm down all the action of the fabrics and make a quilt that will comfort a veteran.

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Well, that pretty much catches me up for now. I hope your spring is full of love and creativity.

 

Zipper Bag & Hexie Update

I wrote this post yesterday and posted it — or thought that I did. Turns out that somehow I deleted it right after the posting. A couple of people on Facebook saw it, but then it was gone. So here it is again.

Zipper Bag

I made this little bag for my friend Sharon’s birthday. This picture was taken before I put the zipper on top. Somehow I forgot to take one of it completed. Maybe I will get a chance next time she and I are together.

This bag was assembled differently. I wanted to put  hexies on the outside, but didn’t want to fiddle with lining them up along the side seams, so instead I sewed the hexies into a ring and sewed the background into a tube to fit it. I didn’t quilt it at all because it is small enough to be too cumbersome to fit under the sewing machine. If I had started sooner I probably could have hand-quilted it, but this is what I did and I think it turned out fine. Sharon said she likes it and that is the important thing.

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Hexies

I think I showed this before — can you see the colors spiraling from the center out?

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I also showed you a few of these hexie hearts before, and now I have six of them. Don’t they look pretty in a circle like that?

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Next, I put the spiral and hearts together. Here is what it looked like after that:

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If I were to do this again, I think I would stick with one value of the colors instead of mixing them. I think the spiral would be more visible that way. Or I might start with the lightest fabrics in the center and progress through medium and darker shades toward the outside with the hearts being outlined in the darkest fabrics.  That could be interesting. Wouldn’t this design look interesting in shades of one color? I can see it in browns. Hmm, I think I have some brown hexies. Maybe that will be next.

Now, I am filling in the corners.  I tried a few neutral fabrics as a background, but couldn’t find anything in my stash that was just right. Instead, I decided to use the complimentary colors (red & green, blue & orange, violet & yellow) next to each other in the corners.  This picture shows the red and green corners finished and the yellow nearly finished.

I work on this in the evenings while we are watching television.

??????????When it is finished it will be about 40″ across and look like a big hexagon. I am debating on whether to add a row of half-hexies around the outer edge, maybe in black or white, to create a straight edge for binding, but I may leave it jagged.

That’s pretty much what I wrote yesterday. Sorry to those of you who already saw it and had to read it again.

Now for November and December

I realize this is a lot to put in one post, but I want to get caught up before next year begins, which is only a few hours away now.

In November, I finished the scrappy Xmas quilt. I am not sure why, but I love looking at all those odd blocks. They just make me smile.  Now that Christmas is over, I don’t even want to put it away! I may just keep it out all year.

2012-11-08 Xmas quilt

My sister came over for a few days at Thanksgiving and brought this quilt she was making for a friend’s baby. It’s partly made with minkee and she has more minkee for the backing. I have never worked with that fabric and it seems a bit fiddly.  I helped her with the butterfly applique. I am looking forward to seeing it finished.

2012-11-24 lauras baby quilt

Here is the cutest pin cushion that my friend Vicky made for me for my birthday. I love it!

2012-11-25 little owl

and here is a darling little change purse I got from my friend Sharon.

2012-11-25 little change purse

Here are some stockings I got finished to turn in at the December Crazy Quilters Guild. We always make stockings for charity.

2012-11-26 xmas stocking

I decided to join in on Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt called Easy Street. I don’t think I can keep up with everyone else but I will get it finished eventually. Here are the fabrics I pulled for it.  Gray, black-on-white prints, purples, teals and limey greens. I am very curious to see how it will turn out. For more information, go to

http://quiltville.blogspot.com/p/easy-street-mystery.html

The first step is to make four patches out of the gray and black-on-white prints.  The gray I had the most of may not be dark enough to contrast with the other fabrics, but I didn’t realize that till this step was done.  I can live with it.

2012-12-02 easy street fabric and four patches

Here is our little Christmas tree and the paper pieced mariners compass quilt I made earlier this year.

2012-12-04 xmas tree

These look like ornamets, but they are big enough to serve as placemats. I gave a few sets away as gifts and kept a couple that we used during the holiday. They were fun to make and turned out pretty cute.

2012-12-10 placemats

Next is the UFO for December.  I started this one several years ago and all it needed was quilting which I finally  managed to  get around to. I think this will go in the dining room on the wall. Seems like an appropriate place.  I was so anxious to get the binding on when the quilting was done that I forgot to add a hanging sleeve, so still have that to finish.

2012-12-12 cornucopia

This is the last pair of socks finished this year. I think they were the third or fourth pair that I started, but when I was burying the yarn ends after finishing the first one, I accidentally snipped a hole in it. You can see the irregular spot on the cuff of the top one in the pictue. It was also my first attempt at darning and I must admit, I am ‘darned’ proud of it. Once I fixed that little hole, I was ready to make the second one.

2012-12-24 socks

These socks are from the same pattern that I have made all my socks from so far – the same one I learned from, but they are the first I ever tried with worsted weight yarn. I like the bulky look and feel of them and have worn them a couple times already. They are nice to wear around the house and fit in my crocs to go outside.  I think I will make some more socks with the thicker yarn. They sure stitch up  a lot faster!

Next, are the flying geese for step two of Easy Street.   I used my favorite method to make them – the purple geese are sewn in one seam and are somewhat dimensional.

2012-12-27 easy street step 2

Here are some of the four patches fro step one. That one print has a cream background instead of white, and I hope that doesn’t cause too much trouble with the overall look of the quilt.  I tried to use a lot of different prints and have had to trade fabrics with my friend Sharon to increase the variety.

2012-12-28 easy street step 1 close

Here are all the four patches. Wow that is a lot of them. It fills up half my design wall.

2012-12-28 easy street step 1

That’s all the pictures, all the finishes and starts for 2012. In 2013, I plan on getting more organized and to finish a lot more projects.  I also hope to post more regularly.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I wish you the best of luck, fun, peace, love and happiness in the coming year. Oh and lots of creative productivity! Happy New Year!  God bless you.

 

Buddha

My son, Christopher,  is the hardest person to find a gift for. He has every toy or gadget a grown man could want and tons of clothes and books. So for his birthday this year (January 1st) I made a coat for his dog, Buddha. Here Is Chris and my grand puppy —

Buddha is a great dane and is about 2 years old now. He is very smart and probably the best behaved dog I have ever met.  Chris likes to take him to the doggie park to run and play with the other dogs, and mentioned that in the really cold northern Illinois weather Buddha’s short hair does not keep him very warm. So I found a pattern and made this coat —

Chris wanted black, so of course it does not show up well in photos. The top is a water resistant outerwear fabric I found at Hancock Fabrics.  The underside is black fleece. It is not very bulky, but I think it will add an extra layer of warmth. There is some hook-and-loop tape on the sticking out parts so the coat can wrap around Buddha’s chest and waist. Here is Buddha wearing it —

Again, because the coat and the dog are black, it is hard to tell which is which, but you can see how the coat drapes around the back. Looks like it fits ok.

September in Review

Well, doesn’t it seem like this has turned into a once a month blog? No doubt that will change, but it works for now. Here is what I have been working on this month.

I put together a couple cuddle quilts for Choo Choo Quilters. Some of us members got together one Saturday and stitched like crazy.  Here are a couple I pieced from kits put together from blocks we all made as homework. I like the contrasting values.

More of the same blocks, different layout. What a dramatic difference. Both of these quilts are sandwiched and ready to quilt.

This one is also from blocks we made as homework. I made all these and got to put them together at the cuddle quilt workshop. I love all the browns and how the wild animal print goes perfectly as sashing and border. This one is quilted and turned in. I hope the kid who gets it likes wild animals.

This is the last of my puppy panel fabric. I had just enough to make a quilt for each of my three guilds. This one went to Choo Choo.

This is a little block I made for Raymond for his birthday this month. It is a moon over the mountain block, but I used a brick like fabric and shaded it with crayon to make it look more like a pyramid. He hasn’t decided where to hang it yet, but I think he liked it. It is about 16 or 18″ square.

This is a little bag I made to carry at the East Cobb County Quilt Show this month. It was a wonderful show. I wanted a small bag that would just hold my essentials: keys, money, phone and camera. The pattern is sometimes called origami bag or sometimes called folded pocket purse. I learned how to make it via Seaside Stitchers in Florida. I made the strap long enough to go over my shoulder across my body so I could have my hands free. I used the latest fabric I bought at Sew Bee It. It has cute little buttons and stitching comments on it.  It worked perfectly.

I finally finished these socks. Seems like I have been working on them all summer. They will be nice and warm. I like the tweedy yarn, although it did seem kind of boring without any stripes. Maybe that is why it took so long to finish them.

In this picture one looks larger, but I think it is just because I had been trying it on more than the other so it is a little stretched out. It will go back to shape once it is washed.

I used a different technique on these socks. I saw a tutorial on Melody Johnson’s blog called  an “afterthought heel’ and decided to give it a try.  What you do is knit all the sock top to toe as a tube. Where the heel is supposed to go, you stitch in a couple of rows of waste yarn, and after the sock is done, you take out the waste yarn and put those stitches back on needles and knit a heel kind of like knitting the toe section. I will put Melody’s blog on my list of links and you can go search up afterthought heel and see what I mean. It was pretty easy, but I think I will stick with the regular way for now.

So, I finished those socks because I wanted to get working on my next pair. I got this beautiful yarn last time I was at Sew Bee It and wanted to see how the different colors would stitch out. I did this much in a day. Wow that was a lot of knitting. Then I noticed that I had too many stitches on and decided to take it out and start over.

I also decided to try knitting a simple pattern into the leg portion of the sock – a basket-weave pattern where you knit 4, purl 4 for four rows then purl 4, knit 4 for four rows.  I had thought that would look good in the previous pair of socks. Since they look kind of like a solid, I thought the pattern would make them more interesting, but I didn’t want to unstitch as much as I had done at the time of the idea.

When the new sock had gotten to the point that I noticed my error in the number of stitches on the needles (how I managed not to notice that for so long is a mystery), and I knew I had to unstitch it and start over anyway, I had seen enough of the stockinette pattern to know it would look good with the basket-weave. So, I decided to give it a try. And I am very happy with the result.

See the difference? I really like it. And I got so carried away with the pattern, that I finished one whole sock in about 4 days!  The rows of color are very interesting.  I have about 1/2″ of the cuff done for sock #2, too!

The bands of color are so wide though, that I don’t know if I can get them the same on both socks. I pulled out enough yarn to start with the bright pink at the top of the second one, but I don’t know if it will shade into that dark blue or go to the purple next.  Or, it may do something else entirely too.  I guess they will be fine however they come out.  They will be fun to wear, that’s for sure.

Here is a 10 minute block quilt I am working on for Chattanooga Quilters charity, Ronald McDonald House. It needs a back and quilted.

And Finally, although not quilt related, we saw Alton Brown at the Chattanooga Market last weekend. He was hosting a cook-off between local chefs. This is before the contest when he was signing autographs. We didn’t get one – the line was a hundred people long, and we didn’t stay for the cook-off, but it was fun to get a glimpse of him. He seems to have as much energy as he does on his TV show.

September is a wrap. I wonder what will show up here in October. I guess we will both have to check back to find out.

Thanksgiving Adventure

Raymond and I decided to go to Illinois to visit the kids and my sister for Thanksgiving. According to my map program, it was 628 miles and would take around 9.5 hours to drive (it was way off). We decided to leave on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in the afternoon and drive till we got tired and stop for the night. It was fun packing clothes and goodies. I made three kinds of cookies and put them in containers: one for Christopher, one for Jennifer, and one for my sister, Laura. I also took the fixings to make pumpkin ginger bread, although I never got around to making it. Oh, and I took the Christmas tree skirt that I showed you in the last post.

Traffic leaving Chattanooga was very slow but after a couple of hours it thinned out and we could go the speed limit. We drove till Paducah KY and stopped for the night at a Holiday Inn Express. When we got up Wednesday, it was drizzling rain and ended up raining almost all the way, which slowed our progress.

We had one memorable experience in Paducah. In the hotel lobby, I found a brochure for the Paducah Quilt Museum. It was just a short ways and even on the exit we had taken. If we had had more time, I would have liked to stop, but we would have had to wait for it to open and that would have us arriving late. Happily, we will be going that way again and can plan around a stop at the museum.

Then when we leaving the hotel, Raymond turned to the right toward a gas station to fill up before we got on the road. As we were leaving the gas station I glanced across the street and saw the legendary Hancocks of Paducah, a fabric Mecca! It was open and we got to go in and browse. What a wonderful store. So many bolts of fabric. Wow. It was hard to leave, but again, now that I know where it is, we can go back. You saw the pictures of the fabric I got there in a previous post. It was a wonderful little side trip.

Back on the road, the rain was steady slowed us a bit. We didn’t get to Jenny’s house till after three pm. The next couple of days were spent between Jenny’s house and Christopher’s house where we slept. Thanksgiving day was great. There was so much food, and we ate and talked and played games, and talked some more.

Joe and James, my grandsons, are both taller than me! That was such a surprise. I can’t believe how much they have grown.  And of course, they have gotten more handsome too. I wish I would have thought to take a picture of the three of us. I also got to meet my two grand-puppies, Dexter and Buddha.  Dexter is the beagle and Buddha is a great dane. He is only 10 months old, while Dexter is a year or two older. Both pups have the sweetest temperaments and are quite lovable.

Here are Buddha and I hanging out at Chris’ house. What a big puppy!

The weather was not much cooler than it was in Chattanooga at the time, but we did appreciate having heavy coats and lots of layers of clothing. Sight seeing was at a minimum because the real purpose to go was to be with the kids. We did take a little trip across town to Robert’s Sew and Vac, where I got a couple more pieces of fabric. And I got to show Raymond all the high points of Joliet. We got food one evening at Portillos. http://www.portillos.com/, a great restaurant with a pretty good version of an Italian Beef Sandwich (which I have searched for in vain here in Chattanooga and previously in Florida).

It was so good to see my kids and grand kids and grand puppies. They are all happy and doing so well. I love them more than I can say.I also got to spend time with my friend Lynn, whom I also love.

We planned on leaving Saturday morning to have time to hang out with my sister before heading south again. We stopped at her house and the three of us went out to breakfast at the Chick o Dee restaurant in Wilmington. That was where Laura and I would have breakfast with Aunt Lena and Aunt Mae on Sundays before going to visit Gramma Webster at the nursing home. It was quite a tradition for several years. After Gramma passed, we still had breakfast with the Aunts.

After that we drove all over Wilmington, showing Raymond all the significant places of our childhood – where we went to school, all the places we use to live and hang out. He even got to see the giant astronaut at the Launching Pad drive-in http://www.il66assoc.org/attraction/launching-pad-drive were we use to get ice cream. Laura drove us over to Morris where we got to visit our friend Lorraine in her shop, The Birds and the Teas.

This is my sister Laura, Lorraine and me. Laura and Lorraine have been friends since they were in sixth grade. I think that is very cool to have a friend for so long.

The last leg of our tour took us through Mazon and to Verona to the farm where Aunt Mae and Uncle Paul use to live. No one lives there now, but it is a place full of wonderful memories of summer vacations and ponies and horses and sheep and tractors and corn and soybeans.

Eventually, we had to say good bye and headed back home. The day was bright, the weather was clear and we made good time, ending up staying in Paducah again, at the same Holiday Inn. Again, we got up and on the road too early to try to visit the museum, but one day I will get there.  Traffic slowed down again as we neared Chattanooga.

As much fun as it was to go and visit and all that, it was also wonderful to get home. We had left the cats with lots of food and water and an extra litter box, and they managed fine without us.