Thursday, April 10, 2014

Taking Care of the Essentials

The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
Joseph Addison


I am enjoying the warmer weather although it has still been cool.  That's fine with me because I don't like hot.  It is to get into the 80s this weekend.  Spring is definitely here because my world is covered in a yellow haze of pollen.  My sinuses can attest to this also.  I know from some of the blogs I read that snow is still around in some of the Northern Hemisphere so I'll share some more flowers to help warm your day or give you Spring envy at least.  My irises have been putting on a great show! 



 This is my smaller patch.  They have been blooming for over a week now.  I was happy to see more purples this year.  When I planted them they were in a single row about 4 feet away from the crepe myrtle.  They will soon surround it if we don't thin them out.




Here is a closer view.  The purple is much deeper than this.  I couldn't get it to show true color even with a little adjusting.




This is the batch in the center island.  They have just started opening.  This picture is several days ago.  Yesterday all those buds you see were open.  I'll try to get more pictures today.  I think a few purple ones should be open in this group today too.

I have one more batch of colored iris that blooms later.  I'm hoping I won't miss them while we are on vacation later this month.

Ready for some more purple?  Here is my Rainbow Scrap Challenge block.  The colors in it are much richer than they show here too.  Some of these look blue but they really are purple.
I have flourescent lights in the studio that just change colors even though they are daylight bulbs.  There is too much pollen to lay it outside.  It would turn yellow I'm sure.  LOL



Here is a peek at what I'm working on at the longarm.  Not too fancy but it is getting
DONE!  Yeah!  



I haven't done the wavy lines this way before.  I'm really liking it!  One day I won't chicken out of doing the ruler work.  Still more skills to master.  I'll get there one day I hope.  This is a good thing - refer to the quote above.  LOL

How's this post for a Happy Trifecta? Flowers, quilts and something for the Grandbaby.  I hope your day is a happy one too!





Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Learning to Change

Change is the end result of all true learning. Change involves three things: First, a dissatisfaction with self -- a felt void or need; 
second, a decision to change to fill the void or need; and 
third, a conscious dedication to the process of growth and change -- the willful act of making the change, doing something. 
Leo Buscaglia


I took some time in March to step back and look at how things were going in my life.  I know I haven't been blogging much but the time away gave me a chance to think about what I want from blogging, quilting and other areas in my life too.  I was surprised that my blog continued to get a number of hits even when I was absent.  Thank you, my readers, for the support!  I am approaching the 100,000 hits number and would have probably been there already if I had posted a little more in the last couple of months.  I will be having a drawing for my readers when I get there.  It will probably happen in June but could be in May.

I have not been idle.  I have been working in the studio and will share more about that later.
I don't intend to stop blogging, I just want to make sure I am doing it for reasons that are important to me.  I have always enjoyed sharing my skills by teaching quilting and the blog is a great way to do that.  I want to get more tutorials and tips posted but that does take a chunk of time.  I have one of those big, ending in '0', birthdays coming later in the year.  Those always make you do a little navel gazing about the important things in life and how time is so fleeting.  I'm trying to get a little smarter about how I spend mine. 

So what have I been doing?

Last month I took a few classes at the Sewing Expo.  I once again took a class from Dustin Farrell.  I have taken a number of his classes and this one was a repeat but I enjoyed it anyway.  Here is some of his work.

Dustin Farrell's thread work

Dustin's quilting

Dustin's Spiro Quilting and Feathers

More Spiro Quilting

I'm hoping to play with the Spiro Quilting soon.  I couldn't get in that class but I bought the DVD and tools.

I also took several classes with Gina Perks.  She was a delightful teacher!  She is a very talented quilter and has written a book.  She also is a very good photographer and pastry chef.  She has a blog that shows a little of her talents HERE.

Gina Perks
Gina is holding the class sample of applique done on the longarm.  That was a really fun class and I will have to share my version of it later.  I still have a little more to do on it but it was a great class with a number of techniques in it.  

One of the things I did make progress on during March was my NewFO from February.  I had shared my dissatisfaction with the jelly rolls when I was cutting them in this post.  I did get the blocks sewn now I need to find some time at the design wall.



Nothing complicated about these blocks for sure.  Just two seams.  You can't get much faster than that!  Here is the link for the Falling Charms pattern.

I did manage to find a few new black and white prints at the show also.  I will be using some of these in my Soul Searching quilt blocks soon.  I have this month's made but will have to get a picture made to share.




That's a little of what I've been up to.  There is more to share but I'll save that for another day.  I have a quilt calling me from the longarm ;-)
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