Tuesday, March 29, 2011

UFO Challenge - March Finish!

First of course is a photograph… a flower. A Bird of Paradise or as they are known here, a Crane Flower.


I don’t just have one finish…. I have TWO. Actually I did quite a bit of sewing in March.

There are 2 small items I can’t show you yet. One is a Sparkly Chickens Group ‘Receivers Choice’ swap block, and until the receiver receives… I can’t show it. The other is a surprise for the recipient and well showing it would ruin the surprise. I also messed around with creating a new luggage tag. I made a couple for DH… before he went to Rwanda, which is when I realized ours were all out of date… In the states I would just print new ones up and laminate… but I left the laminator in storage… (wish I had brought the thing with us). I made 2 prototypes, then the 2 for DH and yesterday I was messing with it again… and am half way through making 2 more. Of course you learn each time you make something… and this time I wanted to use button holes instead of eyelets (since I am almost out of large eyelets). I have only made them once on the Janome… and couldn’t remember the start/stop… on the automatic ones… every machine makes them differently!!! but I think I am liking these luggage tags. I still need to figure out how I am going to attach to the luggage…

The number drawn for March was Number 1; a hand appliqued hand quilted baby quilt, begun for my sisters oldest daughter, sometime in 1988.cr-C-quilt

It’s been a long time getting to this point. Lots of reasons for it -Like my life changed direction several times… The center wreath was taken from a Judy Martin book/ pattern. Once it cr-C-quilt-app-detail

was done I thought it needed more and not just borders, so I created the corner vines. The stumbling block was the hand quilting and the cross hatching. It’s crooked, something I learned- mark cross hatching before you start… the top will stretch and shift and the lines won’t be in the rightcr-C-quilt-back place on the other side. Finally worked it out… but well I would do it differently now. The other stumbling block was I had marked one corner of the border with a cable…. and in one of my ‘life direction changes’ I disposed of the stencil… that was used. I found another and thought it was the same… but it wasn’t… anyway done is done and I am hoping Christie will still enjoy it as something to look at rather than sleep under it. Of course getting it to her… is another matter all together. I cannot ship it from here… So it will have to wait a little longer. I may add some more line quilting in the corners 2” cross hatching… and the label well need to be done, but since I still have some cogitating time… I will think on the added quilting and make a label and add a hanging sleeve.

***One other thing I want to share about this quilt. The quilt was marked with a blue washout marker, way back in the late 80’s, and it stayed there until sometime in 2009, when I worked out the fix. It was re-marked with a blue washout marker… As you can see none of it remains. I will tell you also that it was pressed in some place with the blue marker still in… and it also washed out! I have never had a problem getting blue maker out… of a piece. Of course items marked were not exposed to long periods of light or heat, and stored well over the decades.

Remember the February project that was stopped before it started with the need for a design wall? Well it has gone from this:


To this!


So February UFO is done as well. I really wasn’t keen on using the brown stripe used as the posts as the border, but I didn’t have another brown to use (that I liked)… so this is it. I am thinking about adding some additional chicken things in the border… a fox, or a foundation pieced barn, or maybe some chicks, or eggs…

Well the list as usual could go on and on and on. But I am happy to report I got some things done, or at least as I stated when I started the UFO challenge to the next step!

As always…. MOre LAter!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mail Call

Before I get on to the mail…. let me just say tell you about the rain this morning. It started with a T-storm rumbling in the distance at 4-ish. Linzy was bothered by it, so we got up just in time to be downstairs to see the deluge start. The heavy rain and T-storm lasted for 4 hours. We must have gotten between 4-6 inches of rain. The rain finally stopped around 2 and we had a beautiful warm afternoon.
A Morning Glory
cr-prp-morn-gloryThe week before last the mail was slim… really slim. Like the only personal mail was the usual JUNK. How does that stuff find you even though you don’t even live where it would be useful?
Then this week a deluge. On Tuesday, I was notified that I had 6, yes 6, boxes in the mail room. So I drove back over to the Embassy to pick up my mail - I just couldn’t wait until Wednesday!
2 of the boxes were from my sister. She did a little shopping for me! There were 2 boxes of Graham Crackers, for making S’mores or pie crust, a 7 pound bag of brown sugar (for somethings it has to be the real thing), several bags of shredded coconut, 2 packages of corn tortillas, a 16 oz bottle of vanilla, a large container of Chicken Bullion cubes, and a Sams Club tub of cornstarch. There are some more goodies on the way, as my sister is sending one more box!!! I know for certain there are marshmallows in it, but the rest will be a surprise.
2 other boxes were from Joanns. I ordered a Die Cutter. Not the recently popularized one, but the one from Sizzix. It has a motor so no cranking to cut and it will take dies from the other machines, so for me it is the best of all worlds! It’s the Vagabond. Of course I didn’t order any dies to go with it… But I have a few on the way. I also got a bolt of Peltex.
I also got several squishie packages. 2 from Hancocks of Paducah. It should have only been 1, but will now be 3. In my comments, I asked that they not do any backorders, with instructions to pick something close to the backordered (regular priced items) or cancel them. The chances of a backorder being filled is slim to none, and the last time I waited 10 weeks only to be told sorry in the end. I am thinking Hancocks of Paducah is going on the list of online shops… of only if the price is really good!
Cheryls-PaisleyThe last squishy was the best!!! It was another Paisley block from a Sparkly Chicken. This one came from Wyoming and was made by Cheryl. I have 3 of them now!!! and they are turning out FABULOUS. Don’t you agree?

cr-linzyLastly, I will end with one last picture. Linzy at 11 months. She is a lady now… and next time she will be spending her time at the kennel.
As always I will have more later-

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Last Weekend

On Saturday I took a Workshop. the quiltersA quilting workshop. It was on piecing without a pattern using curves. It was sponsored by the Jacaranda Quilts Guild, of which I am a member. Another group was having a small quilt show so I wanted to go to that. I spoke to the ladies manning the table and there was still 2 spaces available, so on the spur of the moment I signed up!
Now I must confess that on Fridayimprov 1 I considered myself a little insane. I had plans in my sewing room with 2 other ladies… so packing up on Friday afternoon was not possible. I had to be at the venue by 8 on Saturday morning!!! It wasn’t far… but  I had not been there before… and the GPS is not always reliable and I had to get my stuff from the car to the space and set up…. Whew… I made it. I must apologize for the photo clarity… I used my iPhone again, and they are not the best.
P SchutteThe instructor was Paul Schutte. The workshop was on Improvisational Piecing. He is rather well known here and does some interesting things, that appear to be mostly abstract. I was the only non-Afrikaans speaker in the room, and he graciously accommodated me and my poor language skills by using English. I had a great time being in a room full of quilters! I don’t have much to show for my day… but I will work on it later in the week. It does have a plan and a place to be. But more on that later.
On Sunday, I had plans with some co-workers and the young lady I am sponsoring. We drove out to a small village called Dullstroom, which I have been to before… several times as a matter of fact. It has (had) many small interesting shops, restaurants and a Bird of Prey Sanctuary, which was my goal. The others hadn’t been there before so it was all good. I got some great photos of birds. Not really what I was after… but next time… I might get the shot I really want! In the mean time… enjoy these guys.
cr hawk
A Jackal Buzzard. This bird in nearly identical to the Redtailed Hawk in the US,  although it is really classified as a buzzard.
cr- thistle
A thistle.
Acr-blu dfly
A blue Dragonfly
CR-Brd Sanc sptd owl 1
A Spotted Owl
CR-Prgrn Falcon
A Peregrine Falcon. The bird show is awesome and very enjoyable.
DH has reported in, he is enjoying his work and has gone shopping for me. He sent some pictures, he is doing and awesome job, but so far no fabric.
As always… there will be more later -- Beth

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February UFO

Well I didn’t get my February UFO done. I really didn’t even start it. One of the things  I didn’t realize when I joined the challenge was that sparkly-chix2I don’t have 10 quilt stores with in a 25 mile radius, and that I can’t really run out for the perfect fabric in just a few hours or be inspired in a direction based on a fabric. I did discover that I didn’t really have a fabric in my stash that fit where I thought I wanted the blocks to go…. The other thing I realized and spent the last 20+ days trying to fix, is the lack of a design wall. I was getting frustrated just trying different fabrics, ideas, and settings only to not be happy with the plan because to make an adjustment was just too many steps. In the first picture I posted on the blog regarding UFO #10 I was using a flannel backed table cloth hung from a cord…. some of the block were to heavily embellished to stick to the flannel on their own and needed a pin to keep them in place. Of sparkly-chix-2course to move anything became a major ordeal… and that is when I decided to make a design wall, and making the design wall was a whole design process of its own and took up most of the available space in my sewing room studio.  The room is so small I really can't have 2 projects going at once...

I like to put it, put a pin in (stick straight in to the wall) to keep in place if needed… and move around as needed with little or no hassle. Which I did today. I did have a fabric I ordered come in and I think I like it… as a sashing, and I am thinking the brown striped as a border will work too. What do you think? Any other ideas????
amri-artIn the mail, my friend, my artist friend AnneMarie, sent along with the Paisley block a couple of pieces of her ‘painted, melted, fused’ bits. I’m not really sure what I am going to do with them… I will put them in with my collection of favorite things until the right place comes along.
zim-fabric-1And lastly, my DH was in Zimbabwe. He is such a good quilter’s husband. I have a mandate to please bring me back me back some fabric… if he can find it when he travels. (Can mandate and please be used together; aren’t the mutually cancelling?). Any way, he gets out and about while trying to fulfill my wishes…. and it wasn’t any different in Zimbabwe. He zim-fabric-2found 2 stunning fabrics in really wonderful designs. He knows enough to ask for 100% cotton, but since, fabric for him is like golf for me…. he did not know when they didn’t have a clue about content either. So the the first one is nearly a 100% poly and the second one does have some cotton in it. He was so funny telling me about trying to get something different. They kept trying to sell him fabrics like I already have. He then pointed to the lady’s skirt and told her like that!!! I am thinking that the second one will make a nice table topper, quilted along the design. I guess my UFO list is growing again. I must say I am very lucky that my DH goes looking for me… and I am grateful to have it. I will find a use for it… or a trade
So, what is next? Judy L drew UFO #1 for March, stay tuned there will be more later.