Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Back Home

If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life, that we give to the question of what to do with two weeks' vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days. 

Dorothy Canfield Fisher


I'm HOME!!!  Did you miss me?  We took a nice long road trip somewhere we've never been before.  I'll tell you more about it in another post.  The pictures below are as close as we got or wanted to be to the BIG CITY. 





We haven't been that far north since the early 80s.  Raising kids takes a chunk of your life and the years fly by way to fast.  We had never been further north, I hadn't at least, DH had as a child.  So we waved at the city and drove on.  Do you recognize the skyline or the Interstate?

Today I thought I'd share my April finishes with you.  I took photos before leaving town but didn't get to write a post.  We were off the web mostly and the nights we were in hotels I was too tired to put words together.


Pink Poodles Baby Quilt 

I FINISHED the flannel quilt.  After washing it fluffed up and is nice and soft.  It shrank about 2 inches in both directions so it's about 34 inches square now.  



Scrappy Back and Binding

Cute and Cuddly


Tumbler Top Finished

I finished the plaid tumbler top.  Now to get it quilted soon.  Another top to use on my new machine.  How shall I quilt it?  Any suggestions?

I have a lot to tell you this week.  The name of Innova is yet to be unveiled.  I still haven't been down to the studio yet.  I've been trying to get things put away, laundry done and food bought.  I have to post about my new projects started for the month.  I have some things to share about my trip too.  I'll soon have the tutorials I've been working on finished too so stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Smiles and Tears

Ah, Hope! what would life be, stripped of thy encouraging smiles, that teach us to look behind the dark clouds of to-day, for the golden beams that are to gild the morrow. 

Susanna Moodie


The comments you left with suggestions of what to name my new longarm brought some smiles.  There were some names that were worth consideration and some that I just couldn't think about.  Don't be upset with me, I feel the same way about some of the possible names being mention for my soon to be grandson.  That naming will not be my decision but the naming of my longarm will be.  I think I've made up my mind but I'll let you know what it is on another day.


Name to be revealed soon.

Today, I'm sure we are all grieving over the senseless violence that happened yesterday in Boston.  In this country we take our peace and safety in daily life as a granted state.  Events like this show us it can disappear in seconds.  I'm sure you will join me in praying for the victims and their families.  May the ones responsible for this chaos be found swiftly.




Now I'll bring a smile to one of my followers!  There were 65 comments left on the What's Her Name? post.  Random.org picked #59 this morning.  Congratulations to Elle.  You box full on goodies with a value of over $100 will be on it's way to you!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Today and Tomorrow

Dreaming is wonderful, goal setting is crucial, but action is supreme. To make something great happen you must get busy and make it happen. Take that action step today that will put you on your path to achievement. 
Greg Werner


Are you the kind of person who does everything possible today because it needs to be done so you might as well do it OR are you the kind of person who puts things off "because tomorrow is another day" and there is something else that you would prefer to do today?  Just call me Scarlett, you know that famous Georgia Girl don't you?  LOL  This attitude is evident to most anyone who enters my home.  Housekeeping just doesn't rise to the top of my priority list as often as it should.  There's always something more interesting to do, besides why do something that just needs to be done again almost as soon as you are through with the chore?  For example, I really need to dust.  It is the height of pollen season so if I dust today you'll never know it after another 3 days so it can wait right?  After all I have a new longarm to play with and a quilt for the coming grandson to get made. Surely those are more important than dusting!

I'm sure you can see that this attitude, which began when I was much younger, has led to many late nights of study, finishing reports and such while in school.  As a wife and mother it has led to flurries of frantic activity before company arrives or Holiday feasts.  I have improved over the last 40 years.  Dishes are done daily and with my husband's help and an empty nest most of the necessary things are taken care of.  I'm NOT going to talk about the CLUTTER!  LOL

There are several words for this.  Here is what Webster has to say:

pro·cras·ti·nat·edpro·cras·ti·nat·ing

Definition of PROCRASTINATE

transitive verb
: to put off intentionally and habitually
intransitive verb
: to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done
— pro·cras·ti·na·tion  noun
— pro·cras·ti·na·tor  noun
Why am I talking about this now?  I have a LONG LIST of things that MUST BE DONE in the next few days and cleaning up is just one of them.  SIGH!!!  The good news is I made progress yesterday and will today if I get off the computer.  

OK, ENOUGH!!!  NEW TOPIC!!!

Back in February I linked up with this Party.

Photobucket


I link my blog posts to a number of blog linky parties on a regular basis.  This brings me NEW readers (I'm SO GLAD YOU CAME!) and occasionally there is an opportunity to WIN a prize by linking up.  I have a LINKS page at the top of my blog where I park the badges of the blogs that I link with.  One of the blogs that I have linked to is Pigtales and Quilts she has a Monthly To Do List Linky.  The first week of March she emailed me that I had won a prize for the monthly linky party.  Weeks went by and I didn't think about it much.  A couple of weeks ago it dawned on me that I'd never received anything from her.  I decided I would email her and ask politely if it had been shipped.  I always like to hear from my winners when they receive their packages.  It's a relief to know when/if a prize arrives.  

The next time I went to check my email I was going to write her but there in my inbox was one from Thearica asking if I had ever received my prize.  Apparently the wonderful USPS has lost it.  ;-(  Thearica was quick to respond that she would send another one right away.  What a great Blogger!!!  A few days later a nice plump package showed up and look what was inside!


Wonderful Lace Medallions and Pearl Cotton 
A Closer Look at the Charms

Thearica and I have several things in common.  We both longarm, do Crazy Quilting (she's really into it) and of course blog.  We even know some of the same people!

She has a great blog with several linky parties going.  She really loves Crazy Quilting and has a online shop where she sell supplies like the ones above.  You can check it out here: http://www.crazyquiltingsupplies.com/  

Thanks Thearica for a lovely prize.  The charms are so cute I have to find something to use them on!  The laces and threads will be handy too.

We have agreed that if the missing package ever shows up I'll offer the contents in a giveaway here.  Maybe the USPS will find it soon!

In the meantime don't forget to go sign up for my current giveaway.  If you want to you can share me on this post what you PROCRASTINATE the most about.  No prizes for it but lots of empathy!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Baby Steps

We pay a heavy price for our fear of failure. It is a powerful obstacle to growth. It assures the progressive narrowing of the personality and prevents exploration and experimentation. There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure all your life.  
 John W. Gardner


My first quilt on my NEW Innova!  Wednesday I decided to get over my fear of failure and jump right into quilting on a REAL quilt instead of a practice piece.  I am taking baby steps though until I get used to the machine and all it's features.  This is a little 36" square flannel baby quilt that I pieced from some scraps of flannel a friend gave me a few years ago.  It had been surfacing frequently in my quilting room over the last few months so there must be a little baby girl out there needing it.  It isn't from a pattern I just cut as many 6 1/2" squares as I could get from the scraps and then made a few 4 patch blocks to finish it up.  I would have made it bigger but there just was not enough of the flannel left.  I could have added some white squares but they didn't look right.


Pink Poodles Flannel Baby Quilt


Instead of batting I just used a layer of flannel.  The back is flannel, pieced from more scraps, too.  It should be a nice a soft after it's washed.  I'll have pictures of the whole thing front and back after it's bound.  The pink poodle print makes it a happy little quilt.

I chickened out on doing something elaborate with the quilting and just meandered it.  Baby steps learning the new buttons and the sound of the machine.  I'm liking the M size bobbins.  They last a long time!

Spring is here for sure now.  You can tell by the coat of yellow pollen covering everything outside.  We had a storm Thursday night that cleaned the air up a bit but the pollen is back today.  There are a few things still blooming in the yard.


Flowering Quince

I love the color of the blossoms.  The bush isn't too attractive the rest of the year.  My older sister gave me the rooted cutting several years ago. 



White Bachelor's Buttons

This one limb of the Bachelor's Buttons was still in full bloom.  The rest of the bush is past it's prime.  The cool - warm - cool - warm weather has extended to blooming for a few weeks.  We've had several days in the 80s this week but the nights have dropped back into the 40s.  This make some nice cool mornings which I like.  Not a fan of heat even if I am a Southerner.

Yesterday I pulled fabric for backs on a few more baby panel quilts.  I'll be working on them as I continue to get acquainted with What's her name.   

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New FO's for March

I asked the zebra,
Are you black with white strips?
Or white with black strips?
And the zebra asked me,
Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with sad days?
Or are you sad with happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on
And on and on he went.
I'll never ask a zebra
About stripes
Again.
 

Shel Silverstein, Zebra Question


Do you ever feel that you are so behind that you will never catch up?  Here April is almost a third over and I'm just getting around to posting about what I did in March.  Oh well, I have pictures so I'll share and stop flagellating myself.

Now that my new machine is set up I want to play on it.  I also have a number of projects that need attention in the piecing and binding stages.  I MUST learn to prioritize my time better!  I'm constantly amazed by how much some of the bloggers I follow get accomplished.  Maybe that's the problem, I'm spending too much time reading blogs!  LOL   See why I like the quote above?  Do I have too much to do or not enough time to do it?

I know, I know we all have the same 24 hours each day.  God made us equal that way.  I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING BIG in the last few weeks!  Just look at the pictures in the previous post.  It is something I've been dreaming of for at least 15 years.

So what else did I do last month.  I shared a picture for a hint back in this post.  Have you started one yet?

Six Strip Sets all Sewn

 Yes, it's a Scrappy Trips Around the World.  I have a lot of 2 1/2" strips cut.  I went through them and pulled the short ones (mostly) any that were at least 16" long and started matching up sets of 6.

Do you like the way they are turning out?  I'll share my approach and color theory about making scrap quilts if you'd like.  Just leave a comment if you are interested in how I do it. 


Six Blocks all Sewn

Not sure how big this one will be.  I have a good many strip sets matched up to sew.  The directions can be found here on Bonnie Hunter's site.




Monday, April 8, 2013

What's Her Name?

Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words. 

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn


Introducing my NEW Innova Longarm and my 100th post


Blogging has definitely lead me into a different realm in the past year.  I've been getting to know quilters from around the world.  I find it comforting to know that I have so much in common with so many people.  I hope you are enjoying getting to know me too.  I would love to meet some of you in person, maybe someday some of us can get together.  Quilt Shows and Retreats are good places to meet up.

So this is my 100th post.  I know that many post 2 or 3 times that much in a little over a year but I think it's a good number since I only had four posts before June last year.  I'm thinking I need to have a GIVEAWAY to celebrate but I'll have more about that at the end of the post.

I know I haven't been posting too much in the last few weeks but I've had my hands full.  New babies are so demanding, you know.  Want to meet her?


12 Foot Long Frame and 26 Inch Machine Head 


Sleek Adjustable Handles and Light 


My Personal Additions

Lightning Stitch Regulation


Red Bobbins


Just a FEW of the several HUNDRED Nuts and Bolts I Turned
Yes, I'm too cheap frugal to pay to have it done for me!


I finally loaded fabric and played a little.
Testing, One, Two, Three

Maybe I Can Do Feathers After All!!!
Just Needed the Right Machine


I must have retained something from the Jamie Wallen Classes!
Look at the cute little one at the bottom right.

So I think she needs a name.  I've wanted a NEW Longarm for many years with all the bells and whistles.  She is a dream come true.  What do you think I should name her?

To celebrate my NEW arrival and my 100th post I'll be giving some lucky commenter an assorted grab bag of goodies.  

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

TO ENTER:
  1. TELL ME what you think I should NAME her.  If you name your machine(s) tell me what you call them.
  2. If you FOLLOW ME leave another comment.
  3. If you POST ABOUT MY GIVEAWAY on your blog let me know by leaving a link for it.  
This GIVEAWAY will be open until APRIL 15TH midnight EST.  (I'm married to a CPA so the timing is appropiate.)







Thursday, April 4, 2013

April Goals


There is no time like the old time, when you and I were young,
When the buds of April blossomed, and the birds of spring-time sung!
The gardens brightest glories by summer suns are nursed,
But oh, the sweet, sweet violets, the flowers that opened first!
There is no place like the old place, where you and I were born,
Where we lifted first our eyelids on the splendors of the morn
From the milk-white breast that warmed us, from the clinging arms that bore,
Where the dear eyes glistened o'er us that will look on us no more!
There is no friend like the old friend, who has shared our morning days,
No greeting like his welcome, no homage like his praise:
Fame is the scentless sunflower, with gaudy crown of gold;
But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.
There is no love like the old love, that we courted in our pride;
Though our leaves are falling, falling, and were fading side by side,
There are blossoms all around us with the colors of our dawn,
And we live in borrowed sunshine when the day-star is withdrawn.
There are no times like the old times, they shall never be forgot!
There is no place like the old place, keep green the dear old spot!
There are no friends like our old friends, may Heaven prolong their lives!
There are no loves like our old loves, God bless our loving wives!
 
Oliver Wendell Holmes




A lovely choir of Iris is singing of Spring
in my yard this week.

When I was looking for a quote for my previous post I found the one above.  I really love the imagery!  I don't think I've ever read it before.  Spring does make me a little homesick for times gone by.  I went by the farm where I grew up a couple of weeks ago.  I wanted to take a few pictures of the flowers.  Mother always loved to make things grow.  The irises above were transplanted from her yard.  The following flowers were blooming at the farm.


A trio of late daffodils


Fluffy pink azaleas

Pale magenta azaleas
A few white ones were peaking out

These intrigued me because the freckles and deep shades
were only on half the blossom
This Spring has been a little slow coming here in Georgia.  Just when it starts to warm up we get another cold snap.  This week had so far felt more like Spring but it's raining and cold again.

Love the artsy bokeh shot
of the forsythia
I haven't been using my new camera much for blogging but I took these flower shots with it.  I had forgotten how much I love it.  It's just a bit of overkill in file size for blog pix.  Bokeh, for those who don't know, is the word for the blurred background in photos.  My In Laws had a huge forsythia bush when they lived in Georgia 30 years ago.  This one at the farm is rather small.  We have planted a couple in our yard but they have died each time so my husband has given up on them.  The only time I like them is when they bloom anyway.  They aren't very attractive the rest of the year IMHO.

April came in bearing bad news.  My Mother in Law has been suffering from Alzheimer's for a few years now.  She is now in the last stages and hospice has been called.  She will turn 80 on the 12th of this month if she lasts that long.  This is a horrible disease.    





Mother loved Camillas.  Most of them were past there prime but I found a few.  The one below is the palest of pinks and the petals are waxy feeling.






Enough with the flower show.  I guess you cold people up North are drooling for Spring now.  LOL
If it's any comfort it is in the low 40s here today.

Now on to some quilty content.


Goals for March:
  1. Hand stitch binding on Mystery Quilt - not a stitch made
  2. Get Borders on Kid's Quilt - still on the list
  3. Finish Orange and Blue Tumbler Top - still on the design wall
  4. Quilt small Charity quilt on Longarm to see how knee holds up to the movement - DONE!!!
  5. Finish Baby Blanket - do a tutorial for blog on the technique - almost finished
  6. Get started on quilt for new grandson coming in May - STARTED but not liking it for the baby


Goals for April:  I'll make it VERY light this month.  We will be doing some traveling this month, some planned and perhaps some unplanned as yet due to the situation above.  I'll be surprised if I get to turn on a machine a dozen times.
  1. Hand stitch binding on Mystery Quilt - this will travel well
  2. Finish Orange and Blue Tumbler Top - I need to move it out of the room so DH can paint
  3. Finish Baby Blanket - I should be able to finish it in less than 30 minutes
  4. Make a NEW start on a quilt for new grandson - he might show up this month
NOW, I've been dropping a few hints and some of you have guessed what else I purchased at the Expo.  They say nice things come in little boxes but I know that some pretty great things can come in BIG BOXES too.  This is what showed up in my large enclosed storage space garage last week.


The LONG and TALL and very HEAVY

How about a closer look


Contents are assembled and will be revealed after a few finishing touches are completed.

So whatcha think about my NEW TOY and post?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

Join the fun and share your blog by participating in the the following Linking Parties!
Linking with Lets-get-acquainted and Patchwork Times and Pigtales and Quilts and Live a Colorful Life 

Monday, April 1, 2013

April is Here!

April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers. 

Edna St. Vincent Millay



I know I have been missing in action blogging lately.  Did you notice?  I have been so bizzy I haven't had the energy to blog.  I have taken a few pictures so as soon as I can get them edited I'll share what I've been up to.  I haven't even been reading any of my favorite blogs.  This morning I was behind on almost 450 posts.  Yikes!!!  I will be trying to catch up on them this week.

I have been wishing for an invention to speed up stitch removal for those random times when things go wrong.  Look what I found in my email today!  This is SO EXCITING!!!  I'm sure you will want to get this right away!





Thanks Alex for starting my month off with a smile!  I'll be back SOON to share what I've been working on.  It's something BIG!
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