Monday, April 26, 2010

Having Fun As Usual!

Yippee! Winter is over. The tomatoes are coming back. And just look at the huge bouquets of Italian parsley and basil. We've been eating Salad Caprese for days. The apples were a little beyond, so I made hubby a pie. I keep so busy in my garden! Ha ha! It's all produce market stuff. I killed a rosemary plant. I think that's impossible, but I did it.

Experimenting with the hexagon craze. This is a little mini I made for someone. I have the 60 degree ruler figured out finally! Yay!

My ticker tape quilt. Meh. It's okay. It didn't turn out as cute as the others I've seen. But I tried it! I can use this as a spare doll quilt for one of my swaps.

More progress on the Hexagon quilt along. I like these better than the first batch. Wonder what is next? I guess that's why they call it a quilt along! I hope everyone is having fun. I'm going to be MIA most of the week. Work calls.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Progress on Some Fronts

I had big plans to do big and thorough spring cleaning this spring. Unfortunately, my workload is not cooperating. I did get a chance to put some books away and get rid of a few. I probably need to get rid of a few more wouldn't you say? It does look much better. I should have taken a before shot. At least they're off my desk and put away. Let me know if you want to borrow anything!

I also had some goof off time this morning to work on my Conehead portrait. I'm not a Conehead anymore! Check out that polka dot 'do. I wish my real hair looked like that. If you want to see some other quilt portraits, check Bumble Beans Portraits.
Back to work for me! I hope you have a fun weekend. It's supposed to be pretty here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day Graphics

It's hard to believe it's only the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Listening to the media and "Oprah" today you would think everyone would have been more aware of the things that happen or have happened to our planet and atmosphere. Yikes, it was really hairy before the EPA got on board.

I'm no environmental extremist, but I have a hard time seeing certain things. If we were a little more aware and open minded, I think it would make a world of difference. Perhaps 40 years of "celebrating" and the usual media frenzy will make people think. Today sure had me thinking of additional ways to recycle, reuse, repurpose, eliminate waste, save the Dolphins, etc. Someone tell my kids we're having leftovers. I'm skeered!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The shuttle landed beautifully this morning. I couldn't hear the sonic booms and I tried to catch a glimpse of it flying through the sky. Nope. But while I was outside waiting I did see this little gem.
Flat Stanley the snake. A flat snake is a good snake! I ditched work this morning and worked on Bumble Bean's Say Cheese! project. Hop on over there and join in on the fun. There are some really creative portrait creators out there. Here's my step one.
Anyone remember SNL's skit? You know the one I'm talking about! Okay, I'll go work now. Have a fun day!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Perseverance and Fred

My quilting buddy Rene' blogged about a fun quilt along involving hexagons. It seemed easy enough. And fun! I've had a jelly roll of  "Snippets" by American Jane that has been collecting dust, so off I go on step one. Maybe I should have paid attention to the "a bit above beginner level" comment in the instructions.

Everything was going along swimmingly until I started piecing my pie pieces together into halves. They weren't halves. Turns out the ruler I thought was equilateral was not. Oopsie. It only took me about 10 blocks and 80 cut pie pieces to figure it out! Aaargh! I love those projects that turn into learning sessions!

Things I learned: The ruler below is NOT equilateral and now has a fancy label reminding me. Here's the sad part, I've tried these hexagons once before using this ruler. It didn't work then and still doesn't! It all came back to me. What the heck is this ruler good for? Scraping ice off your windshield? Slicing snakes in half?
Needless to say, I spent a considerable amount of time un-sewing and then trimming my triangles into equilateral triangles. Live and learn, baby! Hope I notice that label next time I need 60 degree triangles. Just goes to show you that fancy rulers are overrated!
I don't think I have enough blocks yet, but I sewed what we were supposed to in step one. I'll see what the next step brings. I'm very proud of myself for not tossing everything in to the trash yesterday!

In other weekend news, my husband cut all the shrubs around the house yesterday and remarked that he didn't see "my buddy." My buddy is the black snake that hangs around our house. Or on the pool deck. Or in the garage. I've named him Fred. Today I walk out to let the dog pee and lookie what I see...
Looks like "my" snake has shed his skin. It measured 44" long and there was another piece that was about six inches long. Yuck, he's over four foot long and growing. I may never go outside again. Hubby showed me where Fred hangs out normally when he isn't trying to give me a heart attack.
And just so you know, I live in a suburban neighborhood, not the woods. We have sidewalks and everything! The mayor lives across the street! LOL! Oh well, snake magnet me is going to celebrate by making pot roast and drinking the leftover wine. Hope your weekend went a little smoother than mine!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax Day

Can I get a collective groan? I know taxes are important to keep things running, but can't they make the process more simplified? Gee whiz, government people. Okay, enough with that!

Lookie what came for me! I never win anything, so I was floored. Wish you could see the beautiful detail on this quilt in person. Wow!

I've had lots of work this week, so there hasn't been a lot of time for sewing. I did make a spiderweb block from some of my selvages.
And started more hexagons to make a quilt block like this one.

I'm hoping to get caught up today and tomorrow so I can attend the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild's sew day Saturday. Maybe I should quit reading blogs and getting distracted with fun projects! Right, like that's going to happen!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oh Come On!

Believe it or not, this is not my first snake sighting of the season. If you don't already know, I am a snake magnet. Always have been. The stories are legend. I've stepped on so many snakes and seen even more during my lifetime. Granted, I was born and raised in Florida (lots of snakes here), but I believe I've encountered serpents a little more than the average Joe. And I HATE snakes! Even on vacation in Tennessee, I stumbled upon a mess of tiny copperheads as I was climbing down a river bank.

This "little" sucker was out on my pool deck this afternoon. I went out to take pictures in the sunlight. Needless to say, the balance of the pictures were shot from the safety of my home. And I really shouldn't be so cocky, there was once a snake inside the house! Hmmph! It's just a harmless black snake, and I hear they keep away the "bad" snakes, but still. And as my son explained it to me when he was little, "mom they'll still bite you, but you won't die." Super.

So I finished these two little minis. The one with the apples has been washed and is all crinkly. I think the other one will look better washed. I'm starting to really love that look of washed quilts.

And guess what? I won something! Linda from All Stitched Up had a 500th post giveaway. I'm so excited to receive one of her beautiful creations. It almost makes dealing with snakes a little more tolerable.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Under Construction

I'm building more house blocks for an upcoming swap. These are based on Tonya's Wonky Houses tutorial. I reckon these house blocks are like potato chips. You can't just make one. I'm sure I'll be able to fit a few more in today. I want to make a teeny, tiny one, maybe two to four inches.

Mrs. Packrat strikes again. Do you save your trimmed triangles? Egg cartons, margarine bowls? Kidding about the egg cartons, but I did have a large collection of tiny triangles I have trimmed from blocks, binding joins, etc. Anyone Can Quilt gave me the crazy idea to work with mine. So off we go using the teeniest of the triangles in my triangle box. I barely made a dent!
 Then I had to square up the HST's. Note, I did not save these trimmings. Progress, eh?
I did lay them out on my handy dandy new design board, but I bet the finished top is different. I get all turned around. Since I was going for a scrappy look, it didn't really matter. That's why I love scrappy quilts!
Here are all 81 HST's together with borders added. The finished "blocks" are one inch square. This top measures 13.5" x 13.5". I hope to quilt this today.

This little top is going to be for a doll quilt swap. I started out with some leftover charm squares for the hour glass blocks, then decided to add some modern applique. I finally used my Clover bias tape maker. That's a cool little gadget! I made enough stems for 600 flowers! I just cut the "flowers" free hand from scraps that sort of match. I'm thinking of trying some trapunto quilting on the flower heads. Eek!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and creative weekend.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I find it so refreshing that quilters and crafters have this fascination with gnomes. You see it in fabric lines, quilts, crafts, and more. I think it's wearing off on me! I've been wanting to try cross stitch again, so after seeing Badskirt's teeny gnome, I thought it would be fun to give it a try. As you can see, I depend on use a needle threader. Those little holes in the Aida fabric are also murder on my old eyes. I think I need 4-count Aida cloth these days! For now, this worked to save my yard from a cute little ceramic gnome. I'll try to stay out of the gardening stores in the meantime!

Getting funky with the Dresden plate. This little miniature is for a swap. I'm also playing with hexagons again. Well, I cut my paper shapes! Did I mention there are too many distractions in blogland?

We had our second Orlando Modern Quilt Guild meeting yesterday. What a talented and fun bunch of quilters! The meetings are held at a local fabric shop which is new to me. Let's just say, I'm really enjoying this monthly excusion. Hope made me buy the fun black and white prints above. The others just jumped into my hands.
I worked for our local newspaper 12 years, so I'm always fascinated with newspaper prints. They're going to be rare some day don't you think?! I didn't plan any of the matchy-matchy, but the pairs kind of worked out. Maybe I should leave my wallet home for the next meeting! Naw!

Bowling, anyone? I'm still making house blocks. I need six for a swap that need to be a certain size, but I keep making odd sizes. I made this one into a mini quilt with some fun retro bowling fabric.

I hope everyone is enjoying good weather and not sucking in as much tree pollen as I have been! I've never had allergies before, so this new allergy stuff is driving me nuts.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lift Off!

The shuttle Discovery lifted off beautifully this morning. This is the view from my pool deck, through the pool screen. Too dark for bare feet out by the pond. You know me and snakes! Being a Florida girl whose dad worked at the Cape, the space program has a special place in my heart. There are only three more shuttle missions left. Godspeed, shuttle crew.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter, Passover, and introduction into spring! It's really a wonderful time of year and the weather has been gorgeous here (minus the tree pollen). I didn't have much time for sewing over the weekend, but I did manage to make a little something. On the other hand, I cooked up a storm. If someone could come get my leftovers that would be great. I have more things to cook!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's Never All Black and White

Finally put the black and white flying geese together. Meh...Maybe I'll add some turquoise or red borders to jazz it up. I figured out I did the the geese backward. The white "arrows" were supposed to be the black and white prints. I will get some much-needed practice quilting this flimsy.

I may have been going through a black and white stage. I think it's over. I'm dreaming of colorful houses today. I joined a swap and need to make six wonky house blocks. Poor me, huh? I love making those blocks!
I made a crinkle ribbon toy to decorate a baby gift. I found a neat tutorial that uses a candy wrapper for the inside.

I've received two beautiful quilts this week! The batik quilt was made by I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts. It's my first "guy" quilt. Isn't it beautiful? The second quilt is from a gal from the Quilting Board. I host a monthly doll quilt swap and am constantly amazed at the creativity these quilters have. I'm ready for Easter now!

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative is starting their April auction today. This is a great organization that accepts miniature quilt donations and organizes the sales. The profits are sent directly to Alzheimer's research. Take a look around their site if you'd like to help.

Have a wonderful Easter! I hope the Easter Bunny brings me Martha's new encyclopedia of sewing and fabric crafts.
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