Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Do Over

Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find tomorrow on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday's defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, If I had my life to live over again. Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again. 
Og Mandino


Sometimes in life we get the chance to do things over again.  Not very often. Perhaps as quilters and sewists we do.  The seam ripper is a great tool sometimes for eradicating mistakes.  Sometimes things turn out better the second or third time around.  Words and actions in relationships are a bit harder to correct.  Hopefully you don't have to correct many of those situations in your life.

This week I changed the hem on a pair of pillowcases.  I made these for my Mother a few years before she died and gave them to her with a new set of pillows.  After she died they came back home to me.  They are made of a wonderfully silky feeling lawn.  It might be a Liberty print, I don't remember.  Since I have a king size bed I decided to take the hem out and add an eyelet edging that I had in my stash so they would be long enough for king size pillows.

  
There are still a few creases that would not iron out but that will disappear in the wash.  They will be a nice memory for me when I use them.

I was so excited that the hand dyed fabrics I ordered from Vicki Welsh arrived.  They will be used in part for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2015.  I spent some time yesterday looking at the patterns I had planned to work on for the year.  Now to get up the courage to actually cut into these beauties.  There will be no chance of a do over when that happens so I want to be sure of what I want them to become.


I also figured out that I need 5 more of the checkerboard blocks I showed in the last post.  I got the strips sewn for them and now just need to make the blocks.  Then I can play with the layout on the design wall.

Guess I need to get on with it.  Hope things are going well for you without the need for a do over.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Rainbows and Fun

Walk in the rain, jump in mud puddles, collect rocks, rainbows and roses, smell flowers, blow bubbles, stop along the way, build sandcastles, say hello to everyone, go barefoot, go on adventures, act silly, fly kites, have a merry heart, talk with animals, sing in the shower, read childrens' books, take bubble baths, get new sneakers, hold hands and hug and kiss, dance, laugh and cry for the health of it, wonder and wander around, feel happy and precious and innocent, feel scared, feel sad, feel mad, give up worry and guilt and shame, say yes, say no, say the magic words, ask lots of questions, ride bicycles, draw and paint, see things differently, fall down and get up again, look at the sky, watch the sun rise and sun set, watch clouds and name their shapes, watch the moon and stars come out, trust the universe, stay up late, climb trees, daydream, do nothing and do it very well, learn new stuff, be excited about everything, be a clown, enjoy having a body, listen to music, find out how things work, make up new rules, tell stories, save the world, make friends with the other kids on the block, and do anything else that brings more happiness, celebration, health, love, joy, creativity, pleasure, abundance, grace, self-esteem, courage, balance, spontaneity, passion, beauty, peace, relaxation, communication and life energy to...all living beings on this planet. 
Bruce Williamson

Doesn't this list look like a great one for New Year's Resolutions?  I have already done the first one a few times and a few others.  Our year has been pretty soggy so far with more rain coming today.  That's OK you need the rain to get flowers and rainbows but I hope it stops before I get too blue.

I started the year off with a trip to the movies with my two younger children.  We had been trying to find a day when we were free to see The Hobbit and finally did.  Dear husband wasn't feeling up to it.  He has been a little under the weather the last few weeks but is finally feeling a little better and is planning to go see it today.

The movie of course was great.  I was a little sad when it was over because I have enjoyed all of Peter Jackson's journeys into Middle Earth so much and they are over now.  They have made me want to take a trip to New Zealand too.  If only it weren't so far away.

I will just have to focus on trips I can make for now.  This year I plan to make a trip around the Rainbow again by joining the Rainbow Scrap Challenge again.


I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of a hand dyed packet of fabrics from Vicki Welsh to use in my monthly blocks.  I will also try to make some progress on two of the other projects that I had planned to work on last year.  Here are some pictures in case you have forgotten what they were.


A Storm at Sea variation and this Amish Batik Beauty.



You may remember that I made blocks for this one.  I still need to add the corner triangles and work on the border units.



Here is what they were looking like one of the last times they were on my design wall.  Just in case you need to refresh your memory.  I made more including some green ones but I don't know if I got a picture of them all together before I took them down.


Right now I have the whole set of the ones below on my design wall.  I need to get of picture as soon as I am done swapping them about for the final layout.  I made a total of 31 blocks.


I was surprised that my husband said he really liked them.  They are very bold and modern.  I think I am almost over my solid fabric faze for a while.

Of course the top I did get finished was my Soul Searching one.  I had so much fun with that one that I might have to make another one this year.  Do you think I should?


I know you probably aren't interested in the clothes I wear.  Honestly, I think it would be a little strange if you were.  However I wanted to share this fun shirt I found while I was Christmas shopping a few weeks ago.  If you have been reading my blog for very long you know I have a thing about owls.  This one just flew into my hands and had to come home with me especially since it was the right size.


Isn't it a Hoot!  Love the glasses!  By the way it is laying on my bed.  I'm not that flat.  LOL

I'll be back with more to tell soon.  I need to get to my studio and work on something to share with you.  I haven't even made it down there yet this year.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Looking Back

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. 
Mark Twain


Welcome 2015!  Whether I'm ready for it or not it is here!  2014 in now just a sweet memory so I thought I would reflect on some of the things I got done in the last few weeks as it drew to a close.  This  is a picture heavy post to make up for not posting much lately.

We had a very nice Christmas getting to spend some time with all of our children and grandchildren.  Here is what the decorations were like.


The Tree


The Stockings and Presents


I found a cute snowman to sit on the mantle.  I have a Santa collection but I didn't put it out this season.  Maybe next time.



I found some Snowflakes to add to the tree.  They were cheap but I liked the way they sparkled so much I went back for some more.  $4 for 20 of them but they added a lot to the tree especially at night.  This little tree won't hold my Hallmark ornaments so we haven't even unpacked them for several years now.  I used to do 2 big trees in our old house but there just isn't room in this one.  I miss having separate living and dining rooms.

Moving on to what projects I managed to finish.  I made my younger daughter 2 pair of pj pants.  One long and one short pants from the same fabric.  I am going to try to use up more of my older fabrics.  This was a piece of T-shirt knit that I had for years.  If I'm not going to use these garment fabrics up I need to get rid of them.  With my serger it doesn't take very long to make a pair of pull on pants.  That used up a several yards and made her happy too.
No picture, I didn't think about it soon enough.

I finished up a bib for Maggie Rose.  I had it embroidered for a few weeks before I sewed it up.  Bibs are a good item to stitch off a design.  It was made from another scrap of knit.  I learned that I need to lighten my tension a bit on knits by making it.


That info helped me get this onesie to turn out pretty good.



I thought this design was just prefect for little Miss Maggie.  It is one of the designs that came in my Brother Dreamweaver machine.  Here is a close up.




I had hoped to get a couple of quilts finished for gifts but that didn't happen.  After spending some time looking for a backing I knew I had pieced I have been trying to put away some things in my studio.  I found it after a couple of days in the 'to be ironed' bin.  I seldom lose backings because I keep them on the same hanger as the top along with the binding fabric.

One of the things that surfaced in my search for that backing was this class sampler from when I took a class with Pam Clarke.  I wrote about it here.  She had finished hers off with rick rack and since I have quite a bit of it I decided to try that also.  I played around with different stitches to attach it.  Some I liked and some I didn't.  I also put some at the edge to be caught in the binding.  It didn't turn out too straight.  This is just a sampler of free motion stitches for me to look at in my studio and jog my brain.  It will not be used for anything else.  If you have seen a tutorial on how to get that to turn out neatly please let me know.  I was not satisfied with the look at all.


Sorry about the shadows from the window but the quilting shows up really well.  The rick rack covers lines that were printed on the fabric to divide the sections to stitch in.  No they were not evenly divided.



Of course it is impossible to achieve perfection in a 3 or 4 inch square when stitching something out for the first time.  Added to that is the fact that it was purple thread on brown fabric.  The backing fabric is the green and white the bib above is on and the bobbin thread was white.  



In a group class like that you learn a lot but you are working on a machine you are not familiar with and you are usually sharing it with one or two other people.  Some of the squares turned out well while on others I can still use some more practice.


The best way to practice is to draw the design over and over.  Then I like to fill a baby quilt with it.  I keep some pre-printed panels that work well for this.  I donate them to the local crisis pregnancy center.

Regardless of the level of perfection this sampler is finished and bound.  Yeah!!!

Well, if you have made it this far how about one more?  This one is an almost finished.  I made this top back when I had my shop.  I quilted the center several years ago but could not decide what to do on the borders.  It surfaced as I was trying to put away some things and I decided to get it done.


I was going for a glamour shot but I had not trimmed it yet.  



Misty wanted to inspect it for flaws.  She might have found a few. ;-)



The print is saddles, boots, ropes etc.  Great for a little cowboy.



I just went with a piano key border stitching.  I quilted this on my domestic machine with a walking foot.  I'm glad I don't have to do all that twisting and turning on my longarm.  Yes, I'm spoiled but I can still stitch in the ditch better on my domestic machine.  Ruler work on the longarm is still not something I have mastered yet.



If you use a large buffalo check gingham flannel on the back like this don't expect the quilting lines to align with the plaids.  I thought the flannel fit the cowboy theme of the quilt but the crooked lines bother the perfectionist in me.  Yes, I know, I am trying to just be happy it is done.  It is trimmed and awaiting the binding.  I know I have it, it just hasn't surfaced lately.

I'll be back soon.  I'm trying to decide how much planning I want to do for this year.  I'll share what I decide soon.

Linking with: Crazy Mom Quilts and Richard and Tanya Quilts and
 Confessions of a Fabric  Addict and Fort Worth Fabric Studio
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