Saturday, July 31, 2021

Sid's Trucks

      My grandson, Sidney, just turned three. He just got a new twin bed as he will have a sister in November who needs the crib. I bought him some Monster Truck sheets for his birthday in June. He loved them. Of course, he needs a quilt for his new bed. My daughter likes to have things done real fast, so I had to come up with an idea that would not take long. He wanted trucks. Applique would have taken me forever and I could not find a truck pattern.
     I found a pattern online called "Flight Quilt" that I thought would be quick and I could incorporate trucks. It was too small, so I got out the graph paper, ordered some truck fabrics (hard to find), pawed through my scrap stash, ordered some Grunge. I bought a dump truck panel for the backing.
    I worked with all the pieces on the design wall. Rechecked math, good thing, made mistakes.

Started with grunge side pieces

Arranged truck fussy cut fabric

Sewed borders around truck fabrics

Sewed it all together

Added pieces from stash to build backing. I knew saving that gradient piece would come in handy someday. Had to piece the brown, but I think it adds to the construction feeling. 

     On a somber note, my family was supposed to leave early this morning for our annual vacation in the Adirondacks where we rent a house. Yesterday, we found out from the owner about a house explosion across the street. When she got there today, there is structural damage and we cannot stay there. We are all packed with nowhere to go. Frantically calling any leads for accomodations. Watch the video. 24 hrs. later we would have been on the deck overlooking the lake, chilling out. Good thing we were not there 24 hrs. earlier.


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Upstairs, downstairs batik- webbing time

      First of all, I want to say THANK YOU. To all the readers of my blog and the ones I follow and read every day, THANK YOU. It is a crazy, sad world. I know bloggers who are generous with compliments, resources, fabrics,  and more. You are so precious to me, even though most of you I have not met. I am so grateful for you. We all have struggles and heartaches. Quilts bridge the gap and I am so grateful I am a quilter and my comfort quilts find recipients who just eat them up. Thank you for friendship and caring.

      After finishing all eight sets of 6 blocks each for the Upstairs, Downstairs quilt (which A Left Handed Quilter addicted me to), I stared at them and then thought about which set should be the center and contemplated placement. All the blocks were pinned up on the diagonal in the order I was thinking. What? It looked perfect to me. I shot a couple photos of it and still I thought it was working.
     The next day, I lit the wall with my photo lights, and still I did not believe anything could be moved to improve it. I felt guilty, like I was cheating, but I numbered the columns and took down the blocks ready to web when I have a chunk of time.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Blue Bargello- Halfway

     As blogged a few posts ago, started with these (used 4):

     After lots of strip sorting and sewing, half of the quilt is sewn. The other strips are sorted and numbered and ready to make strip sets. The other half will be sewn next to this piece, where the pincushion is. Glad I used numbered painters tape.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Floral 2 x 4 Package

      The quilting had to be done quickly although the top was done awhile ago. I received a referral for a woman undergoing chemo and right after I dried up all the art show stuff, I started quilting the floral 2 by 4. So far, this is the third quilt I have made with this pattern. It uses strips and is so adaptable to any style of fabric. I believe the backing came from a donation by Gwen.
     I did a different type of quilting in each row the long way. I figure if you are sitting for hours during treatment, the varied fabric and quilting might occupy the mind for a bit. I handed the package off and hope the recipient, whom I don't know, is comforted by it.

The whole Comfort Quilt Package which is then put in a giant Ziploc bag for delivery

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Diamond Surprise and Plant Surprise

      The second quilt to turn into a comfort quilt from Julie was the one that Julie tells the story of on this link. It was made by Lynne Tyler of The Patchery Menagerie. She sent it to Julie as a trade for her quilt named Partly Sunny.
      After taking it out of the box, I put it on the wall and drooled over the fabrics. Oh my, what florals. I thought it needed to be just a tad longer in proportion to its width. After raiding my floral stash in the cupboard (and making a huge mess), I chose three lights and three darks- for the top and bottom rows. I found a nice dark blue- does have a water ring pattern on it (why did I not buy more of this?) for the corners. I thought I was better at inset points, but I persevered and there was only minor ripping.
     I found a large dark floral with purple roses for the backing. It is such a rich quilt, can't stop looking at it. I  have a large dark black and purple floral that I have enough of for the back. Yahoo.

     My neighbor had an Open Garden- just spectacular small space,  as part of our town's Garden Walk. I asked him what some of the plants were and he said he did not know. I told him I knew of a plant app, but it was by subsciption. He said, "Give me your phone". He went to Google, next to the microphone on the search bar, clicked on it and the camera opened. He clicked on the plant in question and Google gave us some choices and all the care info. Maybe most people know this, but I was totally surprised. You can bet it will get a work out from now on.

     Here is the window you need on the smart phone after you open Google. It is called "Google Lens". It was downloaded on my new (hated) iPhone already. Look at the icon in the red circle and click on it:


Friday, July 16, 2021

Comfort Quilt Seeds

      Wow, I received 2 quilts in the mail from Quiltdiva Julie to use for comfort quilts. The first was the Plaid HSTs. I knew I wanted to make it bigger to be a better comfort size. When I buy fabric I think I may want to use for borders, I buy a half yard. Not a good plan. If I need it wider, it is not enough. Note to self- buy a yard or more, it will get used.

As done by Julie

     I found the perfect light green with white dots design, but only had enough for a finished 2.5" border. I tried a bunch of other solids, but this green worked real well, but it was short. I found a hunk of green plaid with other colors from the quilt in it and made cornerstones. Still not enough. I added more squares on one side as a little aha spot. Now it is about 63 x 72 and will cover someone well who needs it. On to find backing. It is so fun to take a quilt and tweak it to the comfort level. Sorry for photo color discrepancies, you get the idea

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Bargello time

      I received a gift of 4- 20 strip jelly rolls that were blues of graduated values. Back in the recesses of my mind and hard drive, I remembered a pattern for a blue bargello. It has been almost a decade since I made the Heart Bargello for my bed (my one and only bed quilt for me). That was when I was a newbie and it was extremely difficult. I had no clue what I was doing. I finished and gave away the book.

   Fortunately, this time I have some sewing experience and a lot of hints and help from A Left Handed Quilter. After sorting and following the printed pattern carefully, I sewed all the strips in pairs in one direction and then the pairs to the pairs in the other direction. I used numbers on blue tape on evey strip so it would not get out of order due to various causes including Tugger the cat. There is another whole section of strips to sew for part 2. All those strips are sorted and blue tape labeled.
     After sewing the massive tube, I marked all the lines on the back for cutting as each strip is a different width. I cut the strips with my Quilter's Select ruler that does not slip and most of my lines were ok, I corrected as I went along checking the pattern chart and numbers. All the strips, all 19 were hung on the longarm that needs to be loaded up.
     Carefully, I opened each strip, laid out the pattern and then pinned all the strips on the top on a foam board that I will take with me to the sewing machine when I am ready. 

All numbered to be sewn in strip set for tube 
Strip set before tube
Tube cut into strips

Now for another whole strip set

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

After the rain and sulking

      The outdoor Riverwork art show that I exhibited my watercolors on Sunday was a soggy, disappointing time. I got half the artwork hung up and it started to rain. I plastic dropclothed everything and did not put out all the artwork. I had to mix our work to get it all covered. I wanted to go home, but I had committed to the show. It kept raining. My son was sick and I sent him home. The show is located on a popular bike/walk path along the Niagara River where the Erie Canal flows in and is normally very busy. But not Sunday.
     After the awards were given out at 2:15, it rained even harder and my husband helped me take things down and kept me from just pitching everything in the van. I came home, put on dry clothes, laid on the couch with an afghan over my head and slept for over an hour. Later, I dried all the plastic sleeves on the paintings and let everything air out and get dry. Not sure I will ever do another outdoor show.

     My son did win an award. Don't know how much the cash prize was, he is a man of few words.

     I pulled out some pinned Upstairs blocks and sewed some more, just one set to sew before it can be laid out. I am just sinking my teeth into quilting and forgetting about the weekend.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Flowers on Parade

     Well, on parade in my yard, I mean. Since my yard is small, I plant alot of pots and containers with annuals to make a color splash.  Yes, you do have to water more. Yes, you have to plant new ones every year. Yes, I think it is more than worth it to live among them.
     Here are some lovelies, more to come another day.

I love geraniums- especially pale pink ones

Potted cyclamen from a tiny Christmas arrangement gift- it is getting happier

This big coleus was from a successful cutting in the fall that rooted, first time ever, the puny one next to it is an unsuccessful one. They were both the same size in the fall.

Two fancy leaf geraniums that I have wintered inside for the past couple of years. They look pretty scraggly by spring, but they fill out when they get back outside.

I found this begonia this year, and I knew it had to go in my new yellow pot.
I am going to try and winter it inside.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

It is all in bloom

     I never want to go on vacation this time of the year, because this is when everything is in full bloom in the garden. When it is ugly gray and dead outside, then I want to go.
     I thought I would show some photos of my gardens and the next post will have closeups of flowers and pots. I have a small yard, 55' x 145'. That is fine, except I have to be extra creative to get all kinds of plants in. Lots of times, I have had to take out things- like the blue spruce we chopped down at Christmas. It always changes. I am grateful for rain this year, not so much for the red lily beetle carnage.
     My husband does all the stone stacking, block placement. I plant, weed, and take the photos.

This is where the spruce was cut down, so I need to refigure this area. It is cleaned out and mulched right now. The little pots are perennials I am nursing along till fall planting.

Windows of our back addition- a family room

Tiny pond, 4 goldfish, snails and chicken wire to keep out cats and birds, now a fox.

Open area where spruce tree was, added patio blocks along fence to help keep area clean of leaves

Patio with fire pit now fixed

Patio, then the small deck