Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Scrappy Mountain Majesties Finish

Last year fellow quilting buddy Marei asked if I wanted to make a Bonnie Hunter quilt along with her.  I was totally on board with the idea, and we picked out one of Bonnie's free patterns that neither one of us had made before.  The Scrappy Mountain Majesties quilt was the agreed on choice.

Our flimsies were finished about a year ago (you can see Marei's HERE).  Then mine went off to the local long arm quilter for a few months' vacation.  It came back a few weeks ago and I finished the binding on it.

My trusty assistant and retired husband has a new, legitimate gig as official "Quilt Holder-Upper."  The pay sucks, but there's a decent benefit package.  He seems like a natural.

Sandy did a nice all over, swirly floral quilting motif.

A glimpse of the backing and dotty binding.

In other happenings, we spent a pleasant afternoon at the Museum of Wisconsin Art again recently.  
(Jim Liedtke: A Well-Ordered Society: The Super Rich, The Seemingly Devout, The Rest of Us Poor Day Laborers)
 I'm often drawn to the pieces with a sense of humor.
("Maybe we ain't got culture, but we're eatin' regular"~Carl Sandburg, 1914)
Later that night, unfortunately, I became violently ill and "did an Elvis."  Meaning I executed the King's second most famous move and passed out on the john.  Ba-dum-bum!  

(Love the quote on this one too.)
I can't be sure, but I suspect it was food poisoning.  Which is too bad, because the grilled chicken salad with tequila-lime dressing was one of my favorites at the place where we had lunch.  Not anymore, though.  Not ever again.
(Pat Kroth: Gypsy Rhythm - closeup)
Norm woke to a crashing thud (me too—nothing like coming back to consciousness with the sound of your own fall echoing in your ears).  His first thought was that we were having a home invasion.  As he made his way down the dark hallway to see what was happening, I eeked, "I'm so sick," and he found me lying there on the bathroom floor. 

(Aaron Bohrod: The Shadow)
Long story short, I felt like death for the next 24 hours, and to top it off, I had a contusion above my left eye and stiff neck.  Thankfully, I recovered in a day or two and am very grateful for that. 

(Andrew Acker: Crow Dreaming of Becoming a Man: Will I Still Fly?)
What wakes me up most days lately is a pair of crows, plus a few of their friends, that have taken up residence in our yard.  They often meet for a confab in the big river birch outside my bedroom window.  Starting at daybreak, with the sun barely over the horizon:  "Caw-caw-caw-caw-caw!" and various iterations thereof.  And so on, and so on, and so on.

I first thought they were nesting in the pines far back in the yard, but the other day I hung sheets out on the line for the first time this spring and watched a crow with a beak full of sticks fly into the ash tree right off the deck.  Yep, there it was, the crow's nest, about 40 feet off the ground.

Last spring it was mallards, this year it's crows.  It's going to be an interesting summer!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Flimsy and a Finish

Behind the scenes of this somewhat quiet little blog space, I've been sewing on a few things during the past couple weeks.  Let's catch up!

(The crocuses are popping up!)
I've been following along on Sarah's Nifty-Nines Quilt Along and was inspired to start a nine-patch quilt of my own.  I hit up the stash and pulled a few color combinations that spoke to me in a scrappy kind of way.

Pretty soon I had a design wall of nine-patches.  (That subtle checkerboard pattern is my design wall, which is the fuzzy side of a vinyl tablecloth pinned to the wall.)

Then it was time for some snowball blocks in between those nines, and again I turned to the shelf of stash for a background for those snowballs.  Nothing really spoke to me there, so I started looking in some more out of the way spots in my sewing room, eventually opening a thrift store bag to find this.

A vintage but never used muslin sheet I'd scored at Goodwill sometime in the past couple years.  It's more of a robin-egg blue than the above picture suggests.

I washed it up and cut 9.5-inch squares for the snowball blocks.  A day or two later, I had them all done, and a few days after that, the top was together.  And I had enough sheet left for a pieced backing!

This will be a quilt for Hands2Help, the annual charity quilt drive Sarah coordinates.  I look forward to making something for it every year.  Head over to Confessions of a Fabric Addict to read about this year's H2H Challenge and join in!  It's fun, it feels good to give, and there are prizes!

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

Recently, Sandy, my local long-arm quilter, brought back two of my quilts.  It is said that "absence makes the heart grow fonder," and I think that's true for quilts.  Especially when they come back beautifully quilted!

This was my living room a few days ago, with WIPs on the floor and furniture.  We manage to navigate along the edge in that narrow walk space—balance training, you know! 

[Aside:  That little corduroy and flannel HST quilt on the left is actually not a WIP; I finished it last year.  The chair is holding a recent thrift store find, one of those "start the car!" moments when I snapped up a piece of salt-glazed Rowe Pottery from the employee cart at Goodwill before it even made it to the display shelf.]

Yesterday, I finished the binding on one of the two quilts that came back from the long-armer.  I had started this 16-patch and X-block quilt last year about this time.  It was one of two 16-patch quilts I made, the other one being donated to last year's Hands2Help charity quilt drive.

This one will stay with me (at least for a while).  I used some gorgeous hand-dyed fabrics by Vicki Welsh in this quilt, on a background of dove gray.

I made two backs for this quilt—which is what happens when you can't remember you've already made the first one.  I gave the second backing to the quilter, and then about six weeks later found the first underneath something in the sewing room!  

I called Sandy to say, "Stop the presses!"  Fortunately, she hadn't started quilting it yet, so I was able to take her the first one, which was my favorite.

That's a little of what's been happening around here.  What have you been up to?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

February Circles for Quilty 365

The circles made in February for the Quilty 365 project are a vibrant group of reds and pinks!

Once again, there were a couple of fussy-cut circles, like this flower.

And some hearts, of course!

I enjoyed going through my red/pink scraps and choosing the ones that appealed to me.

Since I started on January 1, it's been easy to keep track of what number I'm on:  31 for January + 29 for February = 60.

Plus the few I've got started for March, which will be shades of green.

I haven't sewn any of the circle blocks together yet and probably won't until they're all done.  That way I can mix the colors around in an appealing way.

Also allowing for other ideas to percolate as the project unfolds.

Hop over to Quilty Folk to see what the Quilty 365 folks have been working on!