Friday, April 30, 2010

and up front we have...

I call this the front room because sometimes I move the dining table into that adjacent room where the two chairs are which is kinda small but is the original dining room. At some point the pantry was made into the bathroom and they stole a foot from that smaller room. We are kitchen table people so the larger room works well for entertaining company where we can now sit and watch the flames flicker as well.

The two metal shelves were positioned so I could see how two tall glass doored cabinets would work. I really like that but I'm thinking lower is ideal. The quilt on the wall was my first spring decor inspiration. It could go for a throw in the sitting room because I want the dogwood double wedding ring up there.

Across the room from the stove is that hutch. Again, I luv open shelving. Such deco opportunities.

The runner is fabric, green on one side and the same print as the sitting room on the flip side.

Curves are the spring shape and as I showed earlier this week, I did some drunkards path blocks, 3 inches. Too cute and the options for arranging them will keep me busy until I get them sewed in place.

Spring is going to be in full swing as those April showers have arrived and we May have weeds arriving. lol So I better keep springing!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Step right in!

I'd like to invite you to step into the 3 Creative Studio's Challenge- Passage . There are some wonderful examples of fibre art and the thoughts in the process. Very enlightening and provocative.
I finished up mine but I feel like I whimped out and went into default mode as this is a 'wall hanging' more than fibre art. Fibre art needs that muse. It shouldn't be chained to a multi functional item that fills as many requirements as possible on the inevitable to-do list. So the next challenge will be turned over to A Musing with only the word as the constraint. And I hope it won't be a laughing matter as I have given myself a serious upbraiding for being whimpy!
What if.... I just dared?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Musing!

One thing for sure; if I've identified my muse she likes the fun stuff! LOL

I really have been working! The Passage Challenge made it thru the portals. I need a good photo opportunity so I can post for the deadline.
Then I started the quilt show challenge because I thought I could practice the leaves for the Wind and Water wall hanging at the same time and ho, ho, HO! We have some kind of jungle tree. The leaves are cut from the challenge fabric which is Wings of Desire by the Woodrow Studio, London, England. It's looks like parrot feathers to me in blues and greens. Somehow I kept thinking leaves. Now the grand kids have a jungle theme happening in their room and I thought, "what the hey...". I have a striped blue and a green polka dot for the undersides. Fun! I might need to squeak in a few fuchsia flowers for the girl side. But I was just practicing leaves and it'll be all put together later. So now I'm thinking, maybe not so big leaves and maybe some metal leaves for Windy.
I have my bargello flapped out and a backing is awaiting approval. I'm set up for MQing so this should go quickly except I need a super inspiring quilt scheme. yoo hoo, A musing???

Whipping up leaves.

It's a fast and furious pace this week. I need to reconcile the top and hope I've enough of that theme strip. I'll probably go for a denser stitch all around the outside edge. Then I need to whip up more leaves, bigger I think so I can cover some flat spots in the main area. I'm trying to figure how to get the beads scattered about; maybe a dangly fringe on the bottom edge. I wonder if I should see about some metal leaves ? oh, oh! And they need to be finished nicely as the back is already on. hmmm!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When is okay, not okay

When you say it will be okay, that is the time to stop! Because it will NOT be okay and forging ahead will only mean *%~+$!` in the end as you manhandle the quilt and the seam ripper as you reverse sew! What if... I actually remembered this before the fact?

Monday, April 26, 2010


I've definitely not been doing what I need to do but I have definitely been fiddling. Now these will lead to a focus project but there really are more pressing projects on the current time line.
So muses... do you follow them or do you stick to the plan?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Taking time to think!

I'm not really known for forward planning but this whole blogging business has been so enlightening. I think it is the journal concept that works for me because scribblings in a book don't seem to excite me. I think adding photos really makes me SEE things and I'm willing to examine the consequences of what I've planned and said I'd do.
So I have been thinking an whole week in advance as far as the deco stuff goes. Kitchen place mats done, next will be sitting room; then I think about it thru the week as deco day approaches. I also scatter fabric bundles around as I'm editing.
Facts: The sitting room has big sliding doors to view nature. It is to be a neutral, restful place. Whenever the deck happens it'll be a pass thru for the outdoor eating. It is very connected to the front room. I have saved forever a goodly chunk of a dogwood floral that is destined to be a double wedding ring quilt with solid dogwood arcs for this sitting room. I have two main wall focal points, one in the sitting room and another in the front room which feature a grouping of 4 framed pictures and a wall quilt on a rod. But the quilt is best suited to be over that big black pellet stove in the front room. The 4 pictures then need to be over the small gate leg table in the sitting room.
Fiddling: I have the DWR stash. It is not like the modern fabrics I'm using for the spring look but the front room has a traditional feel to it so it still worksand it has lots of a peachy yellow to it. I have a yellow peachy modern fabric that would work in the sitting room for a runner, pillow or lap quilt. I also have a yellow green and brown modern FQ that I've tried to work in. I also have a lap quilt that is a tone on tone minimalist look to it that I made a few years ago for the spring decor that is currently hanging on the rod above the stove. I've also had the dining table and the soft seating in both rooms but I luv the table and hutch in the bigger front room and the 2 cosy chairs looking out the big window.
Focus: 2 chairs and gate leg table will stay in this smaller sitting room. I'm scrapping the FQ as it is not neutral and the colours lead in an whole other direction. I have an old skirt that would work for a pillow. A runner for that table top in the yellow modern fabric works as I rather like bare legs for the spring furniture look. Another lap quilt is not realistic this year. A friend found me 3 gorgeous pillows at the 'vintage shop'. Said they were me. Yup, but where to put these and not totally change the plan. The golds could work in the sitting room. So a pillow or two and a runner are in the que.
But no sewing today as I NEED to focus on the great outdoors. I will also be thinking about the front room in the coming week as it is so visible that the two rooms are really one and need to co-habit.
I'm SO impressed that Triple F works!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Time to Spring into action

... and find my wallet! grrrr I'm having a senior moment as to the last moment I had it.
Timmy's! ...
But not there nor anywhere else I've looked. Hence no progress but the playroom is tidier although why I'd have it here, beats me!

So here are some very current photos of what we look like in spring. The weeping willow at the house is coming along.

These little tiny bright blue flowers are bulbs of some kind, chinadoxia, I think.
'These yellow flowers are crocus but not our native variety which is purple.
The other colours of the cultivated varieties come much later.

This native willow is part of the view to the fields and where the new fence will be making the boundary for the yard. This is a pretty typical prairie slough and I have no business making ruts back here so the sheep are going to be coming to spend some time here.

And speaking of sheep, we've had our first lamb yesterday. I neglected to ask the sex but alive, unassisted, and bonded is a good start! Just wait till the grandson arrives! 8^)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

hum, hum, happy

I am producing stuff. YAY! These ACT's had me slightly terrified but they are coming along nicely. I hope I can figure out how to get the last bits on them.

Then I have some stuff that needs finishing so my first Wip is back up. Wind and Water. It was the heavy satin stitch I didn't like so I am using the herringbone stitch. And it isn't quite right but it is all the pieces I have so I'll just have to get some more creative ideas to bring out its best. I've been doing some beading and I'm feeling a bit more competent. I am wanting to add beads and some leaf shapes and whatever else it may need to look like leaves stirred by the wind. I see them floating lazily down to fall on the pool that reflects up to the sky. And this is gonna be on the finished list before May 1st even if I have to make it up into a tote bag or something.
hmm, how many ATC's would I get?

B is for beads and beautiful

The technique for my page x page challenge was beading. Now I spent a good part of the day on this and it isn't finished. I think I need to elongate the clusters more and make them a bit looser. I also need proper beading thread but the thread I'd gotten definitely showed so I used monofilament thread which I gather is a no/no. But this is all about practice and learning. I learned if I can persevere with thread I can't even see, I can probably do this. Actually, I rather liked it! I liked it a LOT! oh, DEAR!
Now this blog is about my creative efforts. I had nothing much to do with this. But my goodness, CUTE!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lunch is ready

My kitchen is in dire need of renovating. I am really hoping it will happen this year. It has had a few temporary fixes, well, maybe a lot. The main floors all need redoing as well. These IKEA cupboards are at least 25 years old and were reconfigured a couple of years ago. I'm losing doors as you can see but that means you just get more creative. I'm not very tall so I'm not impressed with overhead cabinets and I luv rearranging open shelving. Place mats were just the thing for a quick seasonal change.
Vicki over at Three Creative Studios has an excellent tutorial for 6 place mats and some napkins that is pretty quick and easy. I wanted to make mine reversible because I had some really neat peacocks but I only had enough for 4. I'm pretty pleased with them though.

Friday is for...

... all those f words!
Flinging! I seem to have been accumulating piles of stuff that are here, there and everywhere. I'm also thinking that I have piles of plans and thoughts that are stacking up in the nooks and crannies of my mind. So it is time to plug in the vacuum and suck up froth, sweep away the frivolous and sort focal points.
Vacuuming is one of those chores that engages the mind and hands but frees up some part of me to refocus, evaluate and inspire. I'm feeling like a lot of things are leaning on me but I'm not sure what pile will be solid enough for me to use to realign myself. So the vacuuming kinda exposes the solidity of the foundations. As I move thru the rooms I can be evaluating where I want to be when Spring is over.
I have figured that Spring is a busy time for me so I need to make sure that the flower beds are all ready in the fall. The weather is uncertain and often I have quilt show deadlines that collide with perfect spring days. I have received a reminder that the 165 tree and shrub seedlings I ordered last year are arriving in May and I need to find where I put the landscape plan that tells me where they will be putting down their roots. I have flung all my elaborate plans for less than hardy greenery and hot house flowers. These are from the agricultural department and are native to my prairie. Now my farmer has done the math and knows how long it takes to dig holes, plant, water, weed and maintain for their initial start. I didn't listen real well and even I am a bit horrified. 165? Whoa! So it would be good to find that diagram as moving them twice is really going to be frowned upon by 'he who digs the holes'!
A closing out sale at the local quilt shop means I need to have a plan for Fabric buying. I do have the spring deco plan somewhat nailed down and summer is usually easy to do with the quilts and fabrics I have on hand. Fall is going to be wonky and quirky so I can be thinking about that as I move from room to room.
The laundry baskets will be passing each other as rumpled replaces neatly folded. I do need to consider the current Fashions. I felt a little dowdy as my good friend and I whisked around town the other day. A new pair of summer sandals, some kool shades, and a spiffy tote bag would help. I've added a garment sewer to my blog roll. The cute kiddy pattern stuff I really hope to pass on to the sewing mother of my grandkids. And since they'll be looking 'too cute' how can I look any less! vbsigh
Recipe books are not my favorite read. But I need to avoid gluten and adapting recipes and experimenting with substitutions is something I find very painful. I have been copying and saving recipes that appeal. I should focus on food at some point this spring so I can get some quick snacks in the freezer.
I also need to fling a few of my commitments. I like the Three Creative Studios challenges. The Common Threads Quilt group is not negotiable. But I'm thinking that is enough and I'll just have to finish up the rest and try to keep my hand down in the future.
In spite of the "awk, I'm feeling scattered", I do feel that focusing and flinging are really the words for me as I continue on thru the seasons of 2010.
Now, what if... I just focus and fling and forget about following my feelings?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Old Ladies and doilies

When I began to quilt I began to appreciate things that were handmade. My paternal grandmother crocheted doilies. Oodles of them! I don't use too many as decor items but I couldn't bear to just let them go when we downsized my parents. The Technique of the Month is painted lace. Now my Granny had a love affair with the variegated coloured doilies but also many white ones. Any that were in sad shape I can use for projects. I also got some stuff from a shirt tail relative. His mother obviously liked touring in the Asia as I have got lots stuff that is meant for very fancy garments. I have no idea of the fibre content so I was rather apprehensive of painting some of it but it seems to have took. This piece is about 16" square and I have need of some ATC's so I'll be processing them later this month. I was a bit frustrated at first as my first sample looks like some kindergarten project. But I'm catching on that at this point I like to work in colour harmonies that are analogous. These are colours that are side by side on the colour wheel. So if I do subtle, I am way more satisfied.
Next on the deadlines is the Quilt Challenge. I had a thought. Then I had a better thought. But after rereading the requirements I shall set aside the latter and rush ahead with the former. Now both will be done but I need to try to meet that deadline. This week's agendas aren't conducive to single minded determination but we'll see what we can do. Drat, I wish I could shake procrastination!


I have been working on some of my deadlines. The BOM is first on the list. I am really liking these. I am also considering changing the way I would construct these were I to start again. Like most new quilters I followed the rules. I do 1/4" seam allowance and press to the dark side. I did learn to press the centre of 8 point stars so the seams spread around a bit. But if I am going to do a larger quilt... I really don't like all those bumps.
What if... you always pressed seams open? Are they still easy to butt up together and match?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The wind beneath my wings!

Spring has been blown in on a typical gale force wind. It knocks the wheel barrow over and sets the straw and debris to blowing all over the place.

I had a helper for the chicken coop cleaning. This keeps up and my little grandson could become quite useful since all the other chicks have fled the coop and my dear Rooster has bigger and better nest eggs to search for. But now 'he who crows' is home and he has bigger and noisier toys then I do so Josh's off to ride shot gun on the tractor.

That leaves me with the wheel barrow and the flowerbeds. I have served warning that any more chickens remodel my flower beds and there'll be new feather pillows and chicken soup simmering.

Monday I shall have the feathers flying up here in the Coop and Saucer Playroom. I have major fabric related deadlines looming in these next few weeks.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sailing into Spring

The garden beds are beginning to wake. I'm feeling the call of the garden. Things are still very brown but the green is emerging.

The spring decor begins with the bathroom. I've put up the old shower curtain because I gave away the spring greens patchwork one to my daughter. I should have taken a photo. But the bathroom reflects a nautical theme and the new picture has a chair amongst the beach grasses and sail boats on the lake. Fitting for sailing into the spring season.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sheer Frustration

These sheer curtains for my daughter's living room window are a pain in the patootie! By the time I figure out all the tricks it'll be all done. There is a slight danger they may become valances. I keep trying to straighten the hem. I decided I'd just take them as is. They can get them all level and I brought home the grandson so they can do that. He co0nsiders this window his. It looks out onto a school playground and the whole world of emergency, work vehichles, and school buses drives by. When they have all level I'll sew the final seams and hopefully the drapery part of my sewing career can come to a close. But we went to the thrift shop and well, yes, I can dye those cotton pillows for you! awk! What was I thinking!
I did take our quilt show posters with me to disperse. I held my breath in the quilt store and resisted all efforts to laden me down with fabric acquisitions but one. I do like writing on fabrics. Then I learned that they are moving so... Now I need to save up for the 'soon to be announced' sale as they carry good qualityfabric, fresh modern prints and great blenders! They wanna be gone in 2 months. oh, dear!
It also looks like I need to get my camera manual out again.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Still Wipping

Super busy weekend. There aren't quite as many roosters trying to wake me up and the hens are looking a little less harried! The sausage patties will be much appreciated for busy summer brunches.

I did get the major part of the spring decor in place and tweaking continues.
And I do believe the hubby out did himself in the meal department for Sunday's dinner.
We had some April Showers on Good Friday and that is totally predictable; kind of a local phenomenon as to the future weather conditions for the next 40 days. We'll see. I can't let the dandelions get ahead of me now that the chooks have stopped looking for early worms. But I do have arks I can make!
Monday night had regular quilting at The Common Threads group. There was lots of talk about the upcoming quilt show and I'm designated to deliver posters to the nearest quilt shops. (That'll bring on some angst as I try to drop and run instead of schmooze and shop I don't need anything, well, maybe some black and whites???) But I did take the ark fabrics to work on after general discussions and ooohs, and ahhs were done. I tried to cut wonky with the predetermined blocks. There wasn't much room to shift the angles. It is a start and I am thinking maybe some hour glass ones next. Then perhaps a row of boats and one should definitely be upside down! 8^) Then I'll need to see if I have anymore focus fabric. Surely both selvedges had arks and I've only found one. Then I could really wonk any additional fabric choices as I've not cut any more fabric. I'm trying to not get too small. I have two quilts to make and I'd like fairly fast. I noticed the black and white dashes so I pulled some of those as options. Maybe checker boards?
That is this week's wip and I also need to be looking at the quilt show wannabe's which were probably all previous wips! oh, dear! The ark will be going into dry dock after tomorrow.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Springing

Spring on my personal calendar begins April 1st. No fooling! So I have been hard at the spring cleaning. And the flinging! The good reasons I had for keeping stuff have been brought into the bright light of day and examined. The what if's... Most of the reasons were pretty poor and pathetic. So I'm happy to report that I am a liberated woman. The house is feeling fresher as well as lighter and brighter!

Decorating has been my first luv. But now I have seconds, thirds, fourths... And time just seems to be whipping around the clock face, thru the calender pages, and slamming the yearly journals shut at the same speed as poles pass by a train window. So these luvs need to be given their day in the sun and not much more. So this week I have been focusing on the spring decor. I can hardly believe I spent one whole day in my corner of the basement. But that is where I've stored my accessories and where I have newly collected most of the donations for the local thrift shop. Dear hubby is right! When something comes in, something needs to go out! And I do have my favorites and usually they just move about the house rather than spending time in their parking garage with all the other STUFF. Most visitors won't notice any difference but I know the difference. Drawers aren't bulging, shelves aren't groaning, and closets are no longer avalanche hazards. Yay for spring flings!

I'll be posting the rooms most Fridays. That is usually my cleaning day and things are looking pretty chic for the weekend.

The April showers are surely here. So I need to be turning my thoughts to the flower beds. The chickens have been out and rearranging them. They need to be rounded up and escorted to their summer home. Then there will be the inventory check to see what has survived, then raking, and mulching. I will also need to spread about all the garden accessories. I'm really hoping to be ahead of the dandelions this year but it is really all about playing around, isn't it!
Now my Carly, (big sister) shouldn't really be out on her bike. Joshua has broken her glasses and she can't see too well without them. But I do have a big yard and the chickens need scaring away. Emily Hannah (the tomboy) is checking out the new bookcase that needs assembling. She tends to hang out in the Sunshine room and it will be going in there to hold Joshua's books. Little Mariella has taken off her tea party dress and put on her windbreaker because she wants Carly to let her try riding this year.
So April showers are washing away the dust, freshening the air and showering down blessings. I hope I'm not the only one with a basketful.