Friday, January 31, 2014

Women's Winter Wellness Warmer

I went to the Women's Winter Wellness Warmer hosted by Natural Awakenings of Central Ohio.  They had all sorts of booths from various vendors such as  health food, essential oils, yoga, chiropractor, etc.  They had a lot of demonstrations running as well, such as personal meditation, Pilates, ballroom dancing, and personal bra fittings.

Pictured is Saira Priest who was selling her book Seek Joy Find Beauty, Share Love. The book is filled with beautiful nature photos and calming words and inspirational essays.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Clothes Horse

When I was taking a shower the other day, I noticed that I was sharing the bathroom with a horse, dog, cow, or some combination thereof.   These are just my clothes hanging off the towel rack. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Improv Quilt Continued

This photo was taken on the same day as the previous post, so it is somewhat cheating.  It is also a lie since we had lots of snow last night so the tree doesn't look like that today.  It has been extremely cold outside - below zero, and the streets are slippery.  Between making sure I don't fall and the dog doesn't get frostbite, the goal is to go outside and come back in as quickly as possible, leaving no time to stop and take pictures.  I am reminded of 1977 when we had the Schools Without Schools.  It was below zero for a long time, and there was an energy crisis.  In an effort to conserve energy, schools were closed, and classes were held in other places like bars, Governor's Mansions, and office buildings.

The following year 1978 was the great blizzard.  This year we have cold and snow, so it is somewhat of a combination.  Not as bad as either year, but I think it is pretty bad all of its own. We can be grateful that we have energy now.

I have been working on my Improv Quilt. The blocks are done and I am putting the rows together. Since they aren't straight, it does require some finagling on my part to get the blocks and rows to cooperate. Having never done this before, it is challenging my brain.

I hate that I can't show you what I am doing, because I think it looks great. Also, since it takes me a long time to make a quilt, showing the process along the way is what gives me something to write about.

Now, I can simply keep complaining about the dog who constantly wants to go outside, but has to keep coming back in because his poor paws are cold.  He has cabin fever and inspecting my progress on my quilt isn't giving him enough to do. Either that, or he hates the quilt so much that he wants to get as far away from it as possible!


blue car in snow

Dog in snow

Yes, another backdated post.  I liked both of these photos for January 25. It was snowing that day.  As soon as a little bit was shoveled, more was there to take its place.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Improv Quilt

Sherri Lynn Wood at is writing a book and she put out a call for people to make a quilt following her "scores" and 160 quilters agreed to participate .  I am one of 20 people who are assigned to do this quilt, and only 1 or 2 will be selected to be published in the book.  I'm sure some people will drop out, and some won't be able to finish the quilt on time, and it is possible that someone may make a quilt too close to hers, and someone won't understand the guidelines correctly, etc, but I am also sure she will get quite a good number of usable quilts that she will have to choose from.

It is challenging - usually with an improv quilt, the only person you have to please is yourself, but I want to make sure that my quilt fits what she wants.  But it is a lot of fun too, since it is making me try out techniques I haven't used before.

Although I have changed patterns, I haven't actually made a free spirited improv quilt.  It is scary, but by taking it one step at a time, I am managing to trust in the process and make something without a pattern. Except that I am combining at traditional pattern in an improv way.

Since this could go in a book, I cannot say anymore, nor can I show you the finished product until next year.  (Which means the end of the year recap could be short a quilt!)  I may show you what I am doing with the leftover scraps.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Reading the Newspaper

When we were on our daily walk, someone walked by and said "Reading the newspaper."  It took me a while to understand since there wasn't a newspaper in sight.  He was saying that the dog was sniffing around to find out about community happenings.  Here his nose is deep in the snow smelling something interesting.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

School Crossing

A neon green school crossing sign reminding students to look left, right and left again before crossing the street.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Shoe Print in Snow

This shoe print in the snow makes an interesting texture.  The newly fallen cold snow looks like dandruff.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I've been organizing my sewing room.  We rearranged some rooms last year, and truthfully,  everything was dumped in there because we were cleaning for some event or other and it now looks like a bigger version of the former junk room. We don't need a junk room.

This is not acceptable, so I have been cleaning and organizing and creating a better space for the quilt studio.  When my sister and I went to Michaels before Christmas, I came across some plastic boxes that were approximately the size of shoe boxes.  I asked her to get those for me, not really knowing how I would use them.  I love them, and they fit the shelves perfectly.  I wound up filling all of them up.  I went out today and bought some more.

The picture is a small set of drawers made out of cardboard. I bought it a long time ago - 15 years? - probably from a Current catalog. Each drawer holds about a ream of paper.  I thought it would work great for a project I was working on, but it didn't work for that.  I have tried to repurpose this box a couple of other times.  It just looks so useful.  You can see the words where I tried to come up with a system to organize paper. That didn't work either.

But I think I may have found a real use for it.  I have been looking at Bonnie Hunter's scrap saver system. She says to cut up your scraps into usable pieces instead of keeping them in random sizes. Cutting them ahead of time keeps them from getting all wrinkled, and makes you much farther ahead when making quilts. Cutting scraps is a tedious process, and if you can make it a part of the cleanup of the first quilt, it will make it easier.  So anyway, I am using these little drawers to hold my cut up scraps. 

The liberated part of me doesn't like sticking to these limited number of sizes (if I can get 1 3/4" out of a scrap why should I cut it 1 1/2?), but overall it looks like it is going to work just fine. The box can hold a lot of pieces, but the relatively small size of the overall box means that I need to use the scraps up and keep the fabric moving.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Tuxedo Diamonds Quilt Reveal

Ta da. My latest finish.  I continued another row of echo quilting, which made the quilting pattern take on a rough diamond shape. I was going to call it diamond in the rough or mention the jagged teeth, but realized my rough diamonds were already wearing bow ties and therefore decided to call it Tuxedo Diamonds.  You have to dress for the higher level you wish to achieve.

The back is a piece of fabric my mother gave me.  It is a printed jeans patchwork. It is a nice surprise for the stark red and white on the front, and shows how rough the diamonds are underneath the surface.   When I was in high school, I made a wrap around skirt with this fabric.

The label was supposed to repeat the block on the front.  I was initially going to write my information on the light corners.  I had run out of the white fabric so have a tan fabric.  The center was too big to not use, so I decided to write the label on the red.  I was afraid the red wouldn't show the letters, but going over it with the pen a couple of times is just fine.

Here it is on the wall to show the relative size. It is about 12 1/2" x 17 1/2". It shares fabric with the Optical Illusion and Snowbird.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Photography Project 365

Every year, I write a little newsletter that explains the status of the family and the big events that happened during the year.  It is just the highlights, since everything has to fit on one side of a sheet of paper.  I don't mail it with the Christmas cards, and I even do it when I don't mail any Christmas cards, but it helps me document the current events for the family for genealogy posterity.

Sometimes, at the end of the year, I wonder what I even accomplished that year.  In 2013 for example, I didn't finish many quilts, didn't write many blog posts, didn't write many hubs on HubPages.  Yes, I know I spent time working on the other house, but I know there were large chunks of time that are not represented.  Did I spend all that time playing Bejeweled and Killer Sudoku.  I certainly hope not!

Ever since I found out about Project 365, I have been wanting to join. It is where you commit to taking a photograph every day for the whole year.   I actually did join one year and did it for a few months.

I have decided that for 2014, I will try again to take a photo every day, or as often as possible and post it here.  I would prefer to keep it here instead of starting yet another forum. I hope you don't mind.  I'm sure many of the posts will be quilt related!

So here are my rules, intended to keep things as flexible as possible.  I will try to take a photograph every day and post it every day.  If I took a photo and didn't get a chance to post it, I will back date it to the date it was taken. (Yes, this means there is likely going to be some backdated posts already!)  If I missed a day, a week, a month, I will just post the next photo that does manage to get taken.  The goal is to show the regular, every day things.  I'm not required to post a description or explanation for the photo, but I probably will!

Today's post shows the snow on the grass, the icy street that never gets plowed or salted, and the path I shoveled on the driveway. It is raining today, and hopefully we will not get much snow tonight since we it will be really cold starting tomorrow.  Hardly anyone ever uses this driveway, especially when the street is icy, so I don't bother shoveling the whole thing when it snows. The neighbor across the street is much more diligent and shoveled his twice on the same day.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

January 4

Beautiful blue sky, wisps of clouds, bare trees with birds nest, sliver of moon above it.  There was a golden hue below, but it doesn't show in the cropped photo.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Snow on Red Bench

Photo taken during my daily walk.  I walk my dog every day.  This amazes my neighbor from Cuba especially when the weather isn't what she considers to be walking weather.  She is a veterinarian.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Show and Tell

Happy New Year!  Another year finished, and it is time for the annual "what did you make this year?" show and tell.

This year, I didn't do a lot of quilting.  I was busy working on remodeling a "handyman special" property, which was quite a challenge since it required me to learn how to be a handyman.

I did manage to make a few small quilts though.

The snowbird quilt was the most recent finish.

The red and white one was made at the same time as the snowbird.

In September, I finished some simple curtains for my bedroom and the guest room.  The photo shows the guest room curtains.  I've read about the trick of having big curtains to make the windows look bigger, but my walls are really small, and big windows like that would dwarf the room and make it look smaller.   I got new curtain rods after this photo was taken.  The willow is a stencil on the walls that were made by the person who lived here before me.

Tulip Pillow made at Viking Sewing Event

I made this pillow cover at a class at Joann's in the summer.

I finished Blushing Bride in January. I am still debating whether to add some more embroidery to it.

There are a couple of quilts that I have been working on recently. The end of the year trunk show really serves as a motivator.  I didn't finish these in 2013, but they are well on the way.

This is another red and white quilt so I can have a collection. It doesn't have a name yet. When this is finished, I will have two red and white quilts!   It started out as a copy of a quilt I found on Pinterest, but I lost the pin amongst my millions I have on the board, and decided to wing it on my own. So many choices! Should I add sashing? Border? Red or white? They all changed the look of the quilt, and were all perfectly acceptable choices. In the end, I decided to not to add a sashing or a border and leave it as is.

I think that the main difference between my quilt and the one I found was that the original quilt is bigger, and my white triangles are proportionately bigger. They are small, and I was afraid they would all get lost in the seam allowance.  This makes it look completely different from the original, but it looks okay and I decided to keep going with it.  I could always make another one that looks closer to the original. I am going to add at least one more row of echo quilting before binding it.  I decided that I'd rather not skip the extra row of quilting just to have another finish in 2013.

This is the Daisy quilt I am making from a kit. It is all put together and sandwiched.  It needs quilting.  I was going to free motion quilt the red and white one so I could test out that feature on my new machine, but I wound up doing straight line quilting on it to keep it simple.

I hope you have enjoyed my 2013 Show and Tell.  I hope you have a wonderful New Year, full of happy memories, good health, peace and relaxation, a large circle of loved ones, lots of money and even more time to do the things you want to do!