Thursday, May 29, 2014

Friday Flimsy

I have a flimsy to show you today, and it's a colorful one!  This is the chevron baby quilt top I've been working on for a friend.

Ooh-wee, ain't it purdy!  Though you can't see the second row of chevrons from the Pac Man fabric, it is there, on the other side of the railing.  Yep, I was able to squeak out two rows from the piece that a generous fellow quilt blogger sent me (and thank you again so much!).

I think mom and baby are really going to like this quilt.  Hope so, anyway!  Now to get the backing sewn together and the whole thing quilted and finished up.

It finally seems like spring-going-on-summertime here.  It was only today that I finally potted up some annuals and arranged a little warm weather vignette on the front porch (nothing fancy).  It was good to get my garden-gloved hands in the dirt.

The purple parrot tulips are on their last days, so I thought I'd capture a shot before they say farewell.  Like the sun stake?  Norm picked that out at Jo-Ann while he waited for me to buy fabric.  It is solar powered and glows all night long.  Yes, we are easily entertained around here.  ;)

I love these sparkly looking blooms, but I can never recall what they are.  They're pretty, is what they are.  Don't last too long, but they shimmer in the shadow of the irises for a couple weeks anyway.  The giant yellow irises themselves will be popping into bloom soon and will steal most of the thunder in the flower bed for a time.  It looks like I've got some purple salvia that will sing backup, though.  I can't remember planting that, funny enough.  Doesn't mean I didn't do it, but it could also be something that self-seeded from the neighbors, in which case it picked the perfect spot to land.

Speaking of backup singers, have you seen the movie, Twenty Feet from Stardom?  Loved it.  Two thumbs up here. 

More music to enjoy...I'm going to insert this YouTube video here to see if by NOT putting it dead last, it doesn't become the thumbnail in your feed reader.  It irks me that I can blog about other pretty things, but Feedly will grab the video thumbnail. Oh well, can't control everything, but I can give this a try.  Anyway, this is a fun song.  These guys remind me a bit of Little Feat in the 1970s.  Remember "Dixie Chicken," anyone?

The Lily of the Valley I excavated from the north facing flower bed has found its way back and is blooming.  Not that I didn't like it, but it tends to take over the joint, you know?  I guess I haven't been vigilant enough in pulling up the stray plants over the past couple years, and now they have a pretty good foothold again.  Oh well, if you can't beat 'em, at least pick a few of 'em.  This tiny vase is a vintage Pyrex salt shaker.

They smell divine and remind me of my Grandma Frieda.  I don't specifically recall whether she grew them, but she had a pink glass powder jar on her dresser with a Lily of the Valley scented cake and puff in it.  

What's a-poppin' at your house?

Linking to Whoop-Whoop Fridays!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Miscellany

Hello again!  I guess I sort of disappeared into my own distracted world for the past ten days.  Just...things, ya know? 

I did start the commissioned chevron quilt for my friend's newest grandson (one of two).  So there's some colorful goodness in the works.  All the pieces ready to be put together.

I tell you what, though.  I had a devil of a time futzing around with the fabrics on this one.  Norm helped, or tried to, but we both ended up walking away in frustration.  The next day I woke up with the idea to take out half the fabrics we were trying to get to play nicely together.  You know, separate the poor sports and all.  I replaced those with a strip of Kona white in between, and now I like where we're headed!

When in doubt, simplify.

There was a garage sale down the street that I passed on my walk on Friday.  The 90-year-old gentleman who lived there passed away a couple months ago.  There was a lot of vintage outdoor sportsman type things in the sale, and I picked up a couple of antique handmade push paddles for my dad, who knew this gentleman.  A push paddle is a pole about 10 feet long, carved of a solid piece of wood, with a paddle shape on the business end.  It is used to push a boat or skiff through shallow waters or marshes where one doesn't want to or can't use a motor.  Sort of like what a gondola pilot uses, except the paddle doesn't do any rowing, it just pushes off against the muck on the river bottom.

I also bought this old occasional table from the same sale.  What do you think, 1930s?  Earlier/later?

My plan is to chalk paint it, I'm thinking a rich red.  Or maybe turquoise, or coral...

Cool shape to the top, huh?  It's been a while since I revamped a table, and I've never used chalk paint and a wax finish before, so it'll be a new experience.  If you have any tips or advice, feel free to leave them in the comments. 

It's rhubarb season here, and I've got a rhubarb-strawberry crisp in the oven right now (recipe found HERE).  Here's how it looked going in—in Pyrex, of course!

I was filing away some random old photos this week and came across this one, circa 1978, which made me laugh.  My cousin Kerry and I were having a food fight, chasing around his kitchen in Ocala, Florida.  Looks like it involved something whipped creamy, judging from the stuff on my cheek.  I've got him cornered and smushed his face with whatever it was.  Hee-hee! 

Kerry still loves to instigate good, messy fun.  He makes a living traveling the country, producing professional paintball events!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tea Towel Quilt Top

The Tea Towel Challenge 2014 quilt top is done. Woot!
I went with some square-in-a-square cornerstones and a piano key border to finish it up.  I had sketched out a couple other ideas that looked good on paper, but in reality they just seemed muddle things up.

"Keep it simple" seemed to be the way to go.  No need to get all fussy for fussy's sake.

We'll see; maybe I can fuss-up the backing a little.  Or not.  I do have some corner triangles trimmed from the square-in-a-square blocks and a failed curvy piece or two, and you know how I love leftovers.
All those cool Georges Briard shapes I had hoped to translate to fabric didn't, uh, materialize.  However, I have an idea to quilt some of them into the cornerstones.  That ought to be interesting and fun.  

(Am I making up the cornerstone verbiage?  Are the blocks in the corners called something else?)

I still need to edge-stitch around the appliqued pieces.  They're just fused on at the moment.

And all that blather in my last post about shaking things up, well, as it turned out, there's not so much shaking here in the end.  There's a definite symmetry, control, and balance.  I think a little whimsy and fun, too.  Overall, I'm quite happy with it! 

On to the quilting of it now, although I may take a break and do something else for a while first.

Join me for the Tea Towel Challenge 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Really Random Request

So I've been commissioned to make a baby quilt for a friend whose daughter just had a little boy, and I'm excited to get started.  The pattern has been decided upon (chevrons) and the color scheme (primary-ish).  I've heard the baby's room has a vintage Pac Man theme.  Does that sound cute or what?

I would love to be able to find some of this fabric to incorporate into the quilt.
It's called Ghost Geo by Timeless Treasures and it's apparently out of print and out of stock everywhere I've looked.

I'd be happy with a quarter yard (not a FQ, but a true quarter yard), if I could find it.  Does anyone have any in their stash they'd be willing to part with, or know whether it's still available at your local quilt store or an online shop?  I'm willing to pay a reasonable price plus domestic postage to me in WI.

If don't find any in the next couple weeks, I'll happily go ahead without it, but thought it doesn't hurt to ask.

Last evening, I did some fusing of the feathers (or leaves; tomato-tomahto) onto the Tea Towel Challenge Quilt.  Doesn't it look like the barnyard exploded?  Like BAM!  What just happened?  Maybe someone threw a tomato at the hen house or who knows what mayhem is in the works.  I'm sure everything will be all right, though. 

Anyway, the thought made me giggle.   It adds a fun element to the control of such a stylized tea towel, while still seeming to maintain overall symmetry.  Eegads, listen to me, talking out of my tail feathers!

Anyway, I think it's good to ruffle a few feathers here and there.  Shake things up, rock it out.  I was watching American Idol as I stood at the ironing board last night.  Contestant Caleb Johnson knows what I'm talking about.  I think I enjoyed watching judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban really get into the song at about the one minute mark, as much as anything, but the kid has got some pipes!

Linking to Really Random Thursday at Live a Colorful Life.