Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow In Georgia

The future lies before you, like paths of pure white snow. Be careful how you tread it,  for every step will show. 
Unknown




We got a little snow this week.  The weather reports were for it to not be bad in Atlanta.  If you have watched the news you know that the roads turned into parking lot and thousands of cars were abandoned on the interstates and surfaced roads.  Today it will finally get above freezing and things will move back to normal.  Our area didn't have bad roads and they dried out completely yesterday.  

We didn't even get 2 inches.  It is always pretty.  I enjoy looking at it but I think it looks even more beautiful when it is a little deeper.  Winter isn't over yet so it may still happen.  The deepest snow I've ever seen here in Georgia was in March - 10 inches.

We didn't get much sunshine yesterday.  The cloud cover was too thick.  It made for a pretty picture though.




I have been trying to get something done for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I have wanted to make several quilts that have lots of color.  I keep notebooks full of designs that I have ripped from magazines.  I finally got a chance to look through them and pull the designs I want to work on.  That's as far as I got so far other than looking for some of the background fabric I can use.  


This is a nice Storm at Sea Variation.  I have the Marti Michell templates for it too.  I'm not sure I will do the Monkey Wrench border. 




I've always loved quilts with black backgrounds.  This one looks like a good one to make a few blocks at a time.  I have plenty of black for the background.  I will enjoy using some of the batiks I have been hoarding. My only problem making this on will be that it is so much harder to see to sew on black than it used to be.  Isn't growing older grand!




I have a small collection of 30's prints that I want to use.  I'm trying to decide whether or not to make this background scrappy white on whites.  I have a variety of pieces that I could do this with and this would be a good project to use them in.  I also have plenty of yardage that I could use to make the background all the same.

I hope to finish pulling the fabrics for these quilts soon and get them underway.

Then on a couple of blogs I saw a block that intrigued me.  It is very simple but large.  I had been wanting to start using the Accuquilt Studio cutter that I got for my birthday and this looked like the perfect way to use it!  With just a few passes through the cutter I had way more strips than I needed for the project's first block and background for the whole quilt or more.  These two stacks are my leftovers.  Maybe I should make more than one.


This is my first block.  I don't know the book or the name of the block.  It was one I could grid out from a picture.  If you know the title please let me know.  This is my NewFO for the month.  
** edit - Thanks to Teresa at A Quilt and a Prayer for letting me know the book is Making Quilts by Kathy Doughty.  The quilt's name is Soul Searching.  She is making one too.




I discovered something rather shocking.  My collection of White with Black Prints is so limited that you are looking at pretty much the entire collection here.  I obviously will have to rectify this soon.  I would have liked to have been able to have 24 different ones so there would have been no repeated fabrics like I did with blues but the only way to have done that was to include prints with grays, which I did not want to use.  You'd think with a stash the size of mine nothing would be in short supply.  I know better.  There's always a reason for buying more fabric.  Don't you agree?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog

Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful. 
Mark Victor Hansen





2 Bags Full


Welcome to all the new visitors here for the 
Grow Your Blog Party!!!

I'm so glad you have found your way to my little corner of blogland.  I hope that you will look around and get to know me a little while you are here!

Let me start off by introducing myself.  My name is Patricia and I am a quilter.  I started sewing before I started to school and haven't stopped yet.  Quilting caught my attention in the mid 70s.  I took my first class in 1979 and haven't stopped yet.  I began teaching quilting in the early 90s and opened a quilt shop in 1996.  Before I closed the shop in 2002 I had begun 'stand up' quilting.  I own a longarm quilting machine and enjoy quilting the tops that I have made as well as doing a little quilting for friends.

If you want to see some of the quilts I have made over the years there are a few under the Finished Quilts Tab at the top of the blog.  This is not by any means ALL the quilts I have made.  There are more scattered throughout the blog posts as well as pictures of many in process. 

My Favorite Quilt

Blogging is my way of reaching out to the quilters around the world.  I try to share some of the knowledge I have learned over the years.  I also love taking pictures and reading.  This year I have joined a couple of reading challenges.  You can find out more about them by clicking the tab at the top of the blog or here (Reading Challenges).  I am also trying to share a photo each week to fit a theme for the 52 Photos Project.  You may have noticed I started my post with a quotation.  This is something I try to do on each post.  I love quotes and make an effort to find one that relates to something I have to say in my post.  I guess you could say that is a personal challenge for me.

Now would you like the chance to win a little gift for visiting my blog?  I tried to come up with something that would be nice for quilters or non-quilters.  I found this nice little pewter key ring.  It has a basket quilt block on it but I think that many people like baskets and almost everyone needs a key ring.



How to win?

Anyone can enter a comment and might win here's what to do.

Leave a comment below about why you like to read blogs.  Anything you want to share about what kind of blogs you like to read or what content makes your favorite blogs appeal to you.  Is it personal tidbits, common hobbies, humor, food, etc.

If you are a follower of my blog, new or old, leave a second comment for a second chance to win.  

Be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you if you are a 'no reply' commenter.

Drawing will be held and winner announced February 15.  That gives you until midnight, February 14, EST to enter.
  
Thanks for stopping by!

My Reflection

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


This week's 52 Photos Project is 'My Reflection'.  I had looked at it a couple of days ago and remembered it as being 'Reflections'.  I went through my pictures and selected one I liked, got ready to load it and blog about it... when I opened the link I saw I had it wrong.  Oops!

Rewind and try again.  Now I have an appropriate picture.


My Reflection
On our vacation in October 2012 went drove through the Southern Utah mountains.  I took hundreds of photos from the car as we drove along.  I shared one of the ones from when we had stopped last week.  This one was on the road.  There's nothing like the blue sky out west.

Linking with: Live a Colorful Life

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Progress

If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. 
Frederick Douglass


This week has zoomed by!  I have been able to spend some time in the studio and made progress on several projects.  I have the top together for the grandson's quilt but it still is in need of borders.  "What shall I add?" is now the question.

I thought you might like to learn a little about the book I used for this quilt.  It is from, with a slight change, Angles with Ease by Heather Mulder Peterson.   You can read more about the book and see better pictures of the projects at her blog HERE and HERE.




In order to make the projects in this book you must also buy the Triangler Ruler that she designed.  Many of the projects in the book are based on cutting the triangles out of strip pieced units by aligning the lines on the ruler to get shapes like this one below.  The only other ways to make designs like these is to either use templates or paper piecing.






The change I made in the pattern was to make 8 blocks instead of the 7 pictured in the project below so my arrangement of blocks is different.




So here is what I have so far.  Like I said it's time for a border.  I could leave it off.  The book shows a small inner border followed by one made of squares.  





I could also just add one made of the the animal print below that I'm going to use for the backing.  What do you think?  I plan on using the stripe for binding.





Here is the setting for a larger quilt in the book made with the same block.  You can see better pictures from the book at Heather's blog.  Looks a whole lot different with the background changed.





This method does leave you with some scraps from cutting out the triangles.  Because I wanted to use 8 different pairs of fabrics I wound up with enough for 16 blocks.  I am about half way through making the other 8 blocks but I am putting 4 different fabrics in each block instead of 2.  I'll share pictures of them soon.

Scraps!
I don't know if I am up to making something else from the scraps or not.  Even though I like the fabrics 2 quilts out of them may be all I can handle.  There is a project in the book using the scraps from on of the projects.  It's the Calypso quilt at the bottom of the page above.  I may cut out the triangles and set them aside to deal with later.



I have enjoyed making these blocks and would recommend the book and the ruler. If kaleidoscope type quilt blocks intrigue you it is a good method to use.  The blocks have all bias edges so you do have to be careful and not stretch them at all.  I did not have any problems with them but I've made a number of quilts with bias edged blocks before.  I did not use spray starch but most of my fabrics were unwashed and nice and crisp.

I have a tip on how to avoid having mountains or valleys in the middle of blocks like this that I will be sharing soon.  

What would you do about the border?  Any ideas for the scraps?

Linking with:  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Richard and Tanya Quilt and
                         Sew Many Ways and Let's Book It at Vroomans Quilts

Wide Open Space

The extent of your consciousness is limited only by your ability to love and to embrace with your love the space around you, and all it contains. 
Napoleon Bonaparte


This week's theme in the 52 Photos Project is Wide Open Spaces.  I thought I'd share a picture from our trip to Vegas and Utah a couple of years ago.  That's about as far into wide open space I'd ever been able to see.




This picture was taken from the top of a long high plateau looking down into the canyon.  The yellow trees in the center are along a creek and are way, way down.  They are full grown hardwoods.  The top of the photo show land miles and miles away.  The canyon and the lands beyond opened before you in this view.

In the foreground is a small green tree that is twisted and stunted in growth from the harsh dry conditions there.  You have to take a lesson from the tenacity of such a stubborn little tree that grows there despite the difficulties.

This was a great trip filled with landscapes unlike any I had ever seen before.  I think I'm ready for some new adventures now.

What is the most memorable trip you've been on?  Maybe your comments will send me there.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reading Challenges

Often while reading a book one feels that the author would have preferred to paint rather than write; one can sense the pleasure he derives from describing a landscape or a person, as if he were painting what he is saying, because deep in his heart he would have preferred to use brushes and colors. 
Pablo Picasso




As I have confessed previously here on my blog I am a serious bibliophile.  This obsession started as a child.  As I was reading one of my favorite blogs last week, I was reminded that there are blogging worlds out there that doesn't involve quilting.  Deb at A Simple Life was telling about the reading challenges that she has decided to participate in this year.  I think I may have stumbled over one of these before in the last couple of years but I didn't investigate it at the time.

After reading up a little on the subject of reading challenges on several blogs I have decided to participate in a couple of them.  I may decide to add more but I'm starting with just 2.  I have been making a list of all of the books that I read or listen to for the past 4 years.  This has been interesting.  Things really changed a couple of years ago when I got a Kindle for my birthday.  I have been listening to audio books for quite a few years while I quilt, sew and ride in the car.  The Kindle has changed the number of paper books I read.  I mainly read FREE books and have downloaded over 700 of them from Amazon.  FREE ebooks are a mixed bag of quality.  Some are self published and suffer from a lack of editing.  Some are free for a short period of time when a new one by the same author is being released.  I wouldn't say they are always great quality but I usually just download from the Top 100 List.
My local library has a great collection of audio books which I can select from.  I frequently pick up NEW books from there too.  I buy only a few books each year since I can get more than enough from the library to fill my needs.  The ones I buy are usually non-fiction.  Quilting books of course top this list but I buy a few other genres also.

So what Reading Challenges am I going to do this year? I decided to do the Monthly Mix Up Mania. This challenge you to read a book for each letter in the year. That's right, a title for the J in January and the A in January, etc.... 74 books total!

The other challenge that sounded like fun is Color Coded Reading Challenge. What quilter wouldn't want to play with color? This one will take some research and planning. Looking at my list from last year there were only 2 books that would have fit in.

As soon as I have the time to type it, I will be adding a page at the top of the blog that covers these challenges.  Since the first one started last year I have filled in the list from what I have read then.  I still have some work to do to finish it up and I will have to be on the look out for books that will fill in the missing letters.  
Got any recommendations for it (E, J, N, R, U & Y) or the Color Challenge?

By the way I thought you might like to know how much I read last year.  Here's the breakdown and total.  Maybe if I didn't read so much I would get more quilting done but I mostly read (books or the Kindle) at night when DH wants me upstairs with him or when I can't sleep which happens way more than I would like.

2013 Total 121
Books:  25
Audio Books:  47
E-Books:  49

This doesn't include a number of Quilting Books that I bought and read.  I need to start tracking those too.





Thursday, January 9, 2014

Small Things

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Marianne Williamson



52 Photos Project



For the past few years I have been wanting to improve my photography skills.  I feel that my blogging has been helping me do this since a picture certainly makes my posts more interesting.  I have wanted to do one of the many photo challenges on the web and I have been watching this one for a while.  It is just to take a picture that fits a simple theme once a week and post it.  I missed the first week of the year because it was to take a picture on New Year's Day and I didn't.  This week's theme was for something really small.


New leaves on the schefflera 

One of the things I like about my schefflera plant is the each new leaf bracket starts out as a small but perfect version of the full grown ones.  The new one in the center of the picture is about the size of a dime.  It's so much fun to first see them start out even smaller than that and watch them grow and the green change from lime to a deeper forest shade.

It's been cold here but today is better.  Maybe up to the 50s.  Not a fan of the single digit temperatures.  The heat runs and runs and the air is so dry.  We went out to eat Friday night and it had dropped down into the 20s the night before.  The fountain at the restaurant had frozen.  This is not a sight common to Georgia.  I only had my cell phone with me so the pictures aren't too great but I thought I'd share anyway.





I'm sure after this week's low temperatures the pool below the fountain was frozen too.  I didn't go back just to check it out though.  My son, who lives in an apartment complex, said that the swimming pools had a solid layer of ice across them there.  Even the one that was supposedly heated was frozen.  I told him not to try to walk on them. ;-)

No quilting pictures to share today.  I did get the blocks for the grandson's quilt trimmed and the fabric cut for the sashings and fill blocks.  I need to put the blocks on the design wall to decide on the arrangement and then I can get the top finished.  

I also prowled around the stash to find the backing for 2 of the quilts I need to get quilted. They are bigger than I thought the were but I'm determined to get them done.  I had to restitch a few seams in them.   The lady that made them is deceased and they are made from double knit, yes that indestructible fabric from the 60s and 70s.  The blocks are simple bowtie blocks but they are about 14 inches across.  Needless to say the fabrics stretch and the tops are not square.  They are actually well made and have a very modern look.  I'll try to remember to get permission to share some pictures.  One thing about knit quilts that you may not know, they well keep you very warm in very cold weather.

I have been negligent to post that I WON a lovely prize back during the Blog Hop Giveaway a few weeks ago.  My prize arrived during the holidays.  Thanks Sharyn!  I'm looking forward to using them for something special.  Sharyn's blog is Quilty Pleasures


2 Charm Packs
Well that's about all for today.  A little something small, something cold, something old and something lovely.  I hope you have enjoyed a few little somethings lately too!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sharing the Joy This Year

Joy, rather than happiness, is the goal of life, for joy is the emotion which accompanies our fulfilling our natures as human beings. It is based on the experience of one's identity as a being of worth and dignity. 
Rollo May

Yeah! I got a little done in the last few days! Progress is slow but welcomed. I got 10 Churn Dash Blocks pieced Thursday at the Charity Group Sew In.  Saturday I got them pressed. This block is also know as Monkey Wrench. 





They are not all different, there are several duplicates.  I have pieces for 2 more but they would be scrappy so I think that I will cut enough new pieces to make the parts match like the rest do.  I plan to add the fabrics below as sashing and borders. 





This project will get a few more of the old calicos out of my stash.  Most of these prints are from the 80s or early 90s.  I know many quilters who have given or thrown away all their fabric prints like these.  I think it's better to use them for charity quilts.  I did buy them and I still think they make up into pretty blocks.  As I was sewing at the group several people said how much they liked them.  Hopefully the quilt will bring comfort to someone undergoing chemo.

These blocks were cut with the Accuquilt Churn Dash Die at the Group.  If you would like to make some of them you can find my directions for cutting them with the Easy Angle HERE.

It is really cold, for Georgia, here today.  It may dip down into the single digits tonight.  I know it is much colder in many places to the north of us.  That's Global Warming for you! LOL The average temperature for this time of year here is 52 degrees.

My house plants think it is Spring apparently.  Here are a few pictures of what they are looking like today.








I have the four violets hanging the the dining area.  Two of them have been in bloom almost constantly since last May. They are all in 4 inch pots but as you can see 3 of them more than double the size of the pot with their leaves.  The smallest one hasn't bloomed in a long time.  I nearly killed it somehow and it was down to only about 8 leaves.  It's coming along nicely now.

The begonia was one of my Mother's.  She had such a green thumb.  It has been with me, along with 3 others, for about 5 years now and it has never been so big and healthy.  I'll share pictures of the others soon.  

Have you remembered to change the year on your copyright notices on your blog or pictures?  I did the blog on New Year's but I had forgotten to change the one on my pictures.

I also got a backing pieced and the corners on the blocks for the Grandson's quilt.  I'm hoping to get the top finished in the next few days.  I'm planning to share my review the book and template with you.  That will fall into the category for a New Monthly Linky Party that Vroomans Quilts is starting.  Maybe you want to join in actually making something from some of those quilting books you have collected.  It's called Let's Book It.

 and Sew Can She

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year is Here

A good beginning makes a good end. 
English Proverb


HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2014



I took some time today to give the blog a NEW LOOK for the NEW YEAR.  What do you think about the changes? I think it looks a little better organized.  I still have a few things I want to tweak.  I'm just so slow at doing this sort of thing.

I've taken a look back at 2013 and now it's time to look ahead.  What will the year ahead hold? I know there will be joys and sorrows, good times and bad times for these are the things that life is made of.  We plan to take a few trips and there is a new grandbaby due in June so those are things to look forward to.

These blocks need attention

In the studio I need to finish up a few things ASAP.  So here is the list of what I need to focus on for January 2014:

1. Grandson's quilt finish top, quilt and bind. I really want this one finished!
2. Tribble Trouble quilted
3. Bow Tie #1 quilted
4. Bow Tie #2 quilted
5. Applique quilt quilted
6. Charity Plaid Tumblers quilted
7. Do some embroidery on my machine.  Still haven't played with the new toy, sigh.
8. Design baby quilt. Baby comes in June, need to get started.
9. Cut out a quilt with the Accuquilt Studio cutter. Maybe I can combine these last two.

That's a whole lot of quilting!  Hope I can get most of it done!  All of it done would be a great start for the year!

Have you made plans for the month yet?

Linking with:  A Lovely Year of Finishes and Something Old, Something New and 
                         Confessions of a Fabric Addict
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