Thursday, September 12, 2013

Houston …. 2013

First a picture. A sparrow.


I mentioned at the end of my last post that we have been back in the states for year now. I can still remember the anticipation of our move to South Africa! and when we left we thought that we would be gone at least 3 years, and possibly 5 years, and returning would be to Chicagoland. Isn’t it amazing how things can change?

I figured that we would settle down… here and get quiet… and back into a routine. OK, for the record, I never have a real routine… I don’t know how some folks do it, because I don’t do the same thing from one week to the next, never mind day to day!

I was happily unpacking, putting things away and basically finally settling…thinking that my adventures are over for awhile -when an email arrives early in the new year. Would I consider going to Houston for Quilt Festival this year? Escorting and helping a friend around the city and venue? I know you are all thinking a friend from South Africa, but no. A friend I have known online (-A Pickle-) from a Yahoo Group, that hails from Sweden. Yes none other than Wolfie!!! (she blogs here).

We have been working out the logistics and details… and are in the final count down. For me, the trip is hop and a skip, but for her, somewhat longer…. We have planned classes, shopping, viewing the quilts, site seeing and anything else we can cram in to 5 days!!! Are you going to Houston for the Quilt Festival this year?

and last another picture.


For lunch he had Spaghetti-O’s. How he got it on his forehead I have no idea, but I at least had the foresight to cover his clothes with a towel.

More later- Beth

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sewing Progress

So no progress on the toaster front and since everyone appears to be in the same boat as I… poor quality toaster… I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and try not to waste too much bread.

In the sewing room I have cleaned up the cutting mess from the strip swap and pulled a baby quilt together. The baby quilt is awaiting quilting… but I will hold off on that for a few more days… The baby is due this month sometime.

Between the really hot days, sight seeing, and the local flower gardens I also made another “Initial” piece, for my sister. I was unable to talk about it,


because it was a surprise for her birthday, so now she has it and I can talk about it. Her favorite color combo is blue and white. So naturally, it is blue and white! I used many of the same techniques that I used on the Black and Red “H” (see here).  However, in this one I did not use a wool batt. I used the standard cotton and lots and lots of thread.  A bit more detail in this picture, you can click on the picture for a larger view


 As a side note, I have recently begun using the new Pellon batting product and I think I like it better than the Warm and Natural. It has a bit more loft and doesn’t seem to shed quite as much… I have used it in several baby quilts and it washed up very well after quilting too.


I am working on another ‘Initial’ piece, but… I started it the same way as the original “H” but didn’t like it. So midway, I switched it to a variegated cotton thread (King Tut) in neutrals, and I like it much better. You can see on the upper right where I still need to add some King Tut. More of what I had in mind from the beginning. I wanted it to appear lacey. But we are stalled on this while I play with the baby quilt and the Chickens.

I haven’t gotten too much more sewing done, since the DGS is visiting again for a few days.

Saturday marked our 1 year back in the states from South Africa. There is not often a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t miss some aspect of living there.

More later!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Strips, Duty and Wasps

Lately… I have not spent much time in my sewing space… other than to make a bit of a mess. I actually had a mess in several locations… I mentioned before that I was organizing and participating in a strip swap. I had the cutting and sorting station in my sewing room, the arrival station in a spare bedroom and the shipping station on the dinning room table. I have shipped out the strips to everyone, so now I can play with mine!!!!


I needed these additional strips so I could have a bit more variety to make some blocks. I have made a test block… and this is where we are going…. with all those fun bright strips. Gave up trying to rotate this guy straight… you get the idea! I was going to mix the fabrics regular cottons with batiks, but I think now it will be all batik.


And, Ouma Duty. The 2 year old DGS (darling grandson) had a break from Daycare with his Ouma from Wednesday evening through Friday evening. I just didn’t want to waste the time or gas driving back and forth daily so he stayed the duration. The other reason, is that he would be staying over for 4 days next week and I thought he might need to be eased into …. time away from his parents. Nope. He adapted beautifully.


I did get the camera out a couple of times lately, in my own back yard! First up, some Red Aphids on my basil. It was interesting… they all stayed together… and if I moved the plant they would all move, nearly as one to maintain their location.


My backyard is pretty sparse as far as plants go, but I do have a rather large hydrangea. I love to look at the flowers and complexity of the different types of Hydrangeas blooms. There are so many different varieties now. In this picture with the Black and White Wasp known as the Potters Wasp- black and white body with blue wings, you can see the disturbed pollen falling.


I also saw this wasp on the same plant. Called a Northern Paper Wasp- who would have guessed that there are so many different kinds of wasps? In this picture you can see the centers of the hydrangea flower… large petals, with a much smaller center flower.


Yes I like nature…