Saturday, May 29, 2010

Working on my Planting

With the onset of some early hot weather, it has been really different trying to get my plants and get them in the pots. I do not do heat well - and I know I have said that before - and find it almost impossible to work in the hot sun. I would rather be all bundled up in a heavy sweatshirt. Since all my gardening is done mainly on my patio, it is in the sun all morning and lots of the afternoon, so, unless it is cool or cloudy or really early in the morning, I just don't do my planting until evening. (Early in the morning is another thing I am not good at! I don't sleep late, but I don't get serious until after ten o'clock, at least. Any appointments I make for anything are always in the afternoon. I am much more likeable then!) However, on Thursday I did go during the morning to three nurseries and picked up some plantings. Then yesterday it was on to K-Mart where I found more, plus two nice hanging basket mandevillas that were half price. I think those will go in the pots on each side of the patio door.
The mandevilla is above - it's a red one.
Thursday evening I planted the long pot I have on my front stoop. Left out the impatients this year since the deer loved those so much. They didn't touch the New Guinea impatients so I hope they have not developed a taste for those over the winter.

I bought a pretty hanging basket of NG impatients and planted them in the pot between the bushes under the window. Added some sweet allysum and a pretty star jasmine (I think) so that should be pretty. Used the Miracle Gro soil with the fertilizer in it and that should get them up and filling in shortly.
Last evening, I did some by the patio. This one hangs on the privacy fence. There were some great scented geraniums that I bought. Reminds me of the ones that my dad planted. I also found some bushy little delphiniums and have one here and a couple in the pot coming up. Sweet allysum is in this, also, and it should be pretty when things get growing. Right now it is pretty "green".
Another with a scented geranium, petunias, allysum and another trailing plant. Still have five or six pots to go and will work on them this evening. In addition to the heat, my knee has been acting up, the old back aches from bending over and I huff and puff sometimes. I guess it's true what they say - old age is not for sissies! But, I have been and still am very fortunate and at least I am able to get out and buy my pretty plants and get them planted even though not as quickly as I could some years ago. There's no hurry anyway! (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Too Hot for May

After I got my haircut late this morning, I decided to stop and start buying some flowers for my patio containers and also hanging baskets. There is this feeling that I am way late and really I'm not - most people don't plant here in Michigan until after Memorial Day. Even planting at that time, you still might have to cover everything up at least once. However, I doubt if anything is going to have to be covered around here at least in the immediate future! It is way too hot for May. And, as I probably have said before, I am not a fan of hot weather at all. I got so hot looking at the plants under the plastic roof that it was no fun! So I will have to make some more trips to get more plants and potting soil.
I found these gorgeous double cascade petunias that should be good for pots or hanging baskets. I also bought a flat of sweet allysum that I always love with it's dainty white flowers and two pots of pretty yellow daisy like flowers that I thought would be so pretty with the pink and/or purple. The rest of the purchase today was the beautiful big hanging basket of Hawaiian bridal veil shown first in the post that has such delicate little white flowers. I discovered years ago in Illinois that you can pinch off some of the stems, poke a hole in the wet soil of a pot or basket of flowers, put the stems in and firm the soil around them and they won't even wilt. They will take root and grow nicely over the side for a lovely, lacy piece of greenery with little white blooms.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Another Change of Mind

The last couple of days have been kind of busy. I didn't do anything on the cogs and gears and, to tell the truth, I just am not satisfied with the way it has turned out. Quite a bit of work in it but I'm just not crazy about it and don't want to put anymore time in the one with the polka dot background. That sort of thing tends to keep you humble, don't you think? So I laid some of the pieces out on the fabric I bought in the first place and think I like that so much better. I would just do them random and not cut them up. Will have to cut out some more pieces but that isn't hard and, after laying them out on the size background I decide upon, it is just a matter of fusing, layering and quilting. Not everything always turns out as we expect.

It has turned way too warm here for still being May. It's forecast to be better by the end of the week so I will do some plant purchasing Thursday and Friday and then do some planting this weekend. I am getting kind of anxious to pretty things up now that it is warm.

Are any of you Dancing with the Stars followers? Tonight we find out who wins. Last year I was so unhappy that Donny won, but this year any one of the three couples can win and it will please me. It has been a fun season. Also, I watched Idol and they have the last two tonight so will have to tape it. Most of the shows that I watch have had their finales except The Good Wife is still on - and that is a great show.

If it's hot where you are, keep cool!! (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cogs and Gears

Aren't these beautiful? What great color choices for the class taught by Carolyn on Friday.
I would give credit where credit is due, but I am not sure about which is which.

One great group of cogs and gears after another.
There was a lot of tracing and a lot of cutting and, for those of us who were paperdoll addicts, it was right up our alleys. An amazing choice of fabrics and backgrounds and an amazing display of blocks. There should be some very pretty pieces come from this class.
I love my polka dot background but almost went back to the black with the smaller dots. However, I have decided to go with it and think it looks pretty good albeit a bit busy. These pictures are just to help me decide which layout. Half of the blocks shown. The first one is a snaky finish and could be laid out several ways. The extra pieces are just things I laid out where the seams meet. That is a possibility.
This layout is one that I have used on New York Beauty quilts and it seems to work pretty well, also. For the binding, I plan to use a multicolored pieced strip. Since we are supposed to have the onset of a heatwave today (88!) I plan to get this all together and maybe even do some quilting. I am certainly not ready for temps almost 90 degrees! This old hag is a cool weather gal and I especially don't like it going from the cooler than usual weather to hotter than hades in such a short time and for the first time. I read an article that said this will be like going from the end of March right to July. And it is supposed to hang around. I haven't bought any flowers yet since just last week or week before that we were having frost every night. Oh, well, I am sure there will be some flowers left for me when I get there, and I have my ac to keep me cool and in good humor inside. In Kansas and Illinois, my planting was always done about the first of May if not a little before (there were times things had to be covered, though) but this isn't Kansas and most people plant around Memorial Day which used to be May 30th, right? So, stay cool out there if you are in the heatwave! (Click to enlarge)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fashion Friday

This is Betty and her little girl, Liz Ann. Betty was the young sister of Aunt Della, who married my mother's brother, Harry aka Ham. Betty and Della's mother died when Betty was still in elementary school and my aunt and uncle took her and raised her. This picture probably was taken in the early fifties and Betty wears a lovely summer frock, pearls and earrings, and cute hat.
Liz Ann is all dressed up for something - maybe a dance recital. She is wearing ruffled pantaloons and a darling dress with a scalloped finish around the hem. Such a pretty white collar and ruffled trim on her sleeves. It may have been a ballet recital since her shoes look so soft. A pretty ribbon choker completes her outfit. It is so evident that she feels just as pretty as she looks! (Click to enlarge)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Grey's Anatomy is

driving me up the wall tonight! And it is two hours long! I can't turn it off and I can't sit and watch it. I have to find out how it ends but I keep getting up and coming in here where I can still hear it, but then going back to the living room to see what is going on. I am just not made for all that suspense, gore, etc. Wow, what a season finale. Who will be left?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Some Things Old, Some Things New

From the old cedar chest - this is a piece of redwork I bought at a flea market in Germany when I was there about 8 or 9 years ago. I am not sure what it is, but it is fairly long and just has the embroidery on one end along with a fringe trimming. I don't know what it says!, but it is very prettyFour cute potholders, especially the dress. Can't remember where I got them, but they are so cute. Not place for displaying them in my little kitchen, but maybe one day one of the girls will love these also.

This, and the picture below, are from Ray's mother's things. She had pinned a note to it saying "This belonged to my mother". I don't think that her mother embroidered it, but really can't say that with absolute certainty. It is all done in a chain stitch.
The rest of the piece - it is very pretty. As with the first redwork, I don't know what this one was for. It is too large for a pillow.
I do know about this little piece - it is something I did fifty years or more ago and is stamped cross stitch. It was framed and hung in my kitchens for a long time, but finally I took it out of the frame and used the frame for something else. Fun to look through the old things.

On to the new - I was looking at someone's blog the other day and she was talking about a foot that shirred or gathered ruffles. I have seen some darling quilts made with the ruffles. One of our guild members just made one in blues. My Bernina did not come with that attachment. I entered a phrase in the search box that I thought would send me to a site that had these little gadgets. Bingo! I found one. The attachment wasn't too expensive - with shipping and all it was a little over $20. That's not too much for a new toy. It was here in less than three days. So, I have done some ruffling!
Once you get your strips prepped, it's amazing how fast and perfect the foot does the ruffling. It takes some time to do the edges of the strips, but it's not that bad. I just did a close zigzag along each edge. I searched for how to do a ruffled quilt and did find instructions for one done on a Babylok serger so that gave me guidelines on sizes, etc. Don't you just love the internet?
(Click to enlarge)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Looking Forward to a Fun Class

On Friday, the guild is sponsoring a class by one of our members, Caroline, that will be held at the same place we have our Sit and Sew each month. This class sounds like a lot of fun - no need to bring our machines. Yeah!! It's a class in fusing and from the sample I think it will be so cool.
It's called "Cogs and Gears" (I think) and is mainly picking out our colors, using patterns or we can design our own, and then fusing the designs down. I would call it kind of like a New York Beauty only fused. When I signed up, I figured I would use the hand dyed prints I did in Jana's class last summer that was such fun. First of all, I found the black with the multicolored dots that really look cool with the dyed fabrics. Then, just the other day I was in Joann's and "spotted" this really neat fabric. Figured it would look smashing with my pretty dyed fabrics. So game plan has changed. After fusing, I can see some embellishment with pretty Sulky thread and then machine quilting. Looking forward to this class very much!! (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Antique Crazy Quilt

In connection with our guild meeting Tuesday night which was a program on embellished quilts, I brought along an old crazy quilt I bought at an antique show in Peoria in the 1980's.
The fabrics are wools and some crepelike pieces and all the embroidery is done in yarn. Some of the yarn is broken where it has been folded. I have no idea how old it is, but the fabric on the back looks very old. It is not bound and there are a couple of holes in it. However the embroidery is beautiful - very even and very nicely done. When you enlarge the pictures, you can see how pretty it is.

I also brought along this old piece of crazy quilting that I found in Ray's mother's things. It appears to have been a pillow and feel sure that it had a lot of velvet pieces. However, it has been really used and the nap is mostly worn from the fabric. The embroidery is pretty on this one, also, and I think there was a painting of a flower in the middle of the piece. At a later date, I will post some more pictures of some of the examples shown. It was a nice program. Don't forget to (click to enlarge)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fashion Friday

This morning for Fashion Friday I will post a pretty picture of my late husband's mother and aunt. Ray's mom, Clemie, is the little girl and Leatha is the eldest. Clemie is wearing a long sleeved light dress with a little band collar while Leatha's dress appears to be a dark colored velvet with three-quarter length sleeves. The neckline features a lacey applique. She also wears a neclace and bracelet. Their mother died when Clemie was still very young and Leatha, who was nine years her senior, always "mothered" her along with being her sister. She was like a second mother to Ray and a very nice woman. (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

One More Word on Tisket A Tasket

While I was looking around on the internet this morning, I was on the blog of Anne Sutton, the lady who designed this quilt. What a surprise when I read the article and the comments. Makes me feel all "Aw Shucks"! Seriously, very nice words from the designer. And I also love the fact that it was recognized at our quilt show. Here's the link if you would like to read the post she did.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An Old Quilttop

After we had moved to Michigan, there was an sale in the house across the street from us. When I went over to the sale, I found a box with some old fabrics which I didn't really look through very well but paid $5.00 for the box. This was in that box. Obviously, someone had no idea that there was anything worthwhile in the contents. I have no idea how old this is, but the fabrics really do appear to be older. No matter - it is a lovely old top and I should have it quilted one day. For the past few years, I have taken this and another old top that was given to me by an old classmate to our show to be used to cover the tables at the door.

Don't forget to click each picture to enlarge if you would like to see the blocks closeup. Aren't digitals cameras just awesome!! I have another old quilttop out to take to guild tonight that ties into the program--will photograph that and post pictures of that in my next post. It's pretty awesome, too.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Really Old UFO About Finished

The week before last when I was going through things in the basement and finding some of my unfinished projects, I came across this applique piece that I did way back in the 80's. The pattern is by Nancy Pearson, a designer who does beautiful work. I hand appliqued this piece and never did anything with it. I also found some some old striped fabric that I had bought to go with it and just about sent it with the fabrics to the quilt show bazaar, but pulled it out at the last minute. What I thought was so wonderful twenty- five years ago didn't have the same effect on me now. The other day, I got out the applique and the striped fabric and cut out a border.
I attached it and mitered the corners! Don't do that often but it's not that bad. Actually that stripe looks pretty darned nice with the basket of flowers.

Then I did my machine quilting. Used the invisible thread all around the appliques in the ditch followed by some loopy quilting in a cream sulky in the background.

Switched to a dark red sulky and did the wavy stitch that I love on the borders. I thought I was going to have a lot of trouble with the border being wavy, but it seems to be okay. The wavy stitch looks really cool especially in the lighter red. Part of the wonder of the quilting is the pretty shadows that it creates. Then I tried something new in binding and made a long continuous strip and finally figured out how to turn the corner and have it mitered.
I still have to sew down the binding. Glad that I pulled this out of storage and happy with the way it turned out. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, May 7, 2010

For Beth at The Best Hearts are Crunchy

To all you moms out there and for Beth at on Friendship Postcard Friday. Hope it's okay just to find a pretty one on the internet to post. And I think this is a very pretty card. :-)

Fashion Friday

In all of the activity last week, I completely forgot Fashion Friday, but here is a picture of Dan and Maggie and their friends, Sherm Hunt and wife, for this week's photo. The occasion, I believe, was a long trip taken by the two couples. I have no idea where they were posing but they all look splendid. Dan, on the right, is wearing his hat at a very jaunty angle and the chain to his pocket watch is showing on his vest. He has a cigar in his hand in a lot of the pictures, but I don't think he is holding one this time. Sherm, as is Dan, is dressed in a nice dark suit and hat and tie. The ladies, Maggie and Mrs. Hunt, are looking very pretty in their very fashionable outfits. Maggie stands next to Sherm on the left. She is wearing a darling hat with a very pretty plumb. Mrs. Hunt is clad in a lovely outfit, also, and wears a dark hat to complete her ensemble. Both ladies are carrying gorgeous bouquets--I wonder what they were all celebrating. The old pictures really bring up things to think about and wonder about where they were, what they were doing, etc. Hope you enjoy these old photos. (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Our Quilt Show Continued

I was able to get to our show on Sunday afternoon before it was closed and did get a chance to take some more pictures. This top one is so pretty and I think it was featured in a magazine. I also think I know who made it, but don't want to make an error. It's a beauty.
These two were done by Kathy - who has absolutely mastered the beauty of machine quilting. Her work is incredible. The little hanging below is the one she did in the class I taught on machine buttonhole applique a few months ago. Glorious. Her colors are wonderful. To the left, you can get a glimpse of a gorgeous applique quilt that took best of show in Bay City, our neighboring town, just weekend before our show. Another masterpiece.

We had so many quilts they had to do some creative hanging. This lovely going around a corner is Leslie's and it is wool and hand buttonhole appliqued. What a gorgeous quilt it is. A lovely bargello is one one side and a sampler quilt with embroidered centers in the blocks that is really eyecatching. Janna, the one who supervises the hanging of the quilts, has an eye for color and coordination and really gets it right when putting the quilts together. She has done it every year and always does a masterful job.

This little cutie is Amanda, and, I think, our youngest member - if not, than one of the youngest.
She made this incredible scrap quilt that has over 8000 pieces in it in the form of little triangles forming little squares. Amazing! It's so nice having her in our guild - she's a joy.
Now you have a little idea of some of the work done by our members. If you would like to see more, find the little yellow duck on the sidebar to the right, click on it and go over to Pass the Tiara, the guild blog that Julie and I have going. There is a slide show that you can click on and go to Flickr where the pictures I took are posted. It was a great show and the most successful one we have had out of seven. (Click to enlarge)

More Old Pieces

With getting my entries ready for the quilt show and our weekend in Ann Arbor, I haven't been doing much else lately. In rummaging around through my pictures, I found some I had not put up on my blog. The first one is probably three or four years old and came from a book by Judy Sisneros called "9-Patch Pizzazz".

The feature fabric in this quilt was a fabric that is probably twenty or more years old. It is so very pretty. The quilt was fast and easy to make and I did my quilting with invisible thread. I used that a lot as I learned to machine quilt and still use it in some situations. Love the way going around the petals of the roses and other flowers creates a puffy look.

The one above is done in batiks and is another of the first ones that I machine quilted. This is also one of the few quilts I've done where the corners are mitered. Actually, that is not such a hard job if you don't need to match lines. I can't recall the name of the block - but it is a common one.
This is just a little one that I did from a block I found on
which has tons of patterns for blocks. That website has been there a long time and is fun to look through. The music tends to be annoying but that can be muted, I think. Lots of paper piecing and that is how this one is done. I just used some not so great batiks I had and it turned out not too bad. It would make a pretty cool large contemporary quilt. (Click to enlarge)