Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On with the ALQS...

Here is the results a few days ago...

And now we have a whole bunch of concentrated zig-zag hoding down those petals...

And this is the rest of the story. A lot of different quilt clases involved in each part of this ensemble...

Don't want to say too much more til I have more to show. Got a lot more to do and then the question of what exactly should the border be. Simple mitered, in one of the main colors, or something a bit more complicated. Any thoughts???
I'm considering that pretty lime green of the leaves as an accent and keeping with the spring theme I am hoping for.

Meanwhile, out in the yard the flowers are opening up daily, and the dark purple Iris, my fav, are just starting, right after the little lighter-colored ones.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Found a sweet!
Hardly any time left, but I think I made it to this charming lady's giveaway. This is the first time I have ever seen this and find it to be such a kind thought as well as a way to invite folks to one's blog. I was taking a rest and reading up on more bloggers in the ALQS group and I found this.

Been working on the quilt finally, after a few days off to work on other bigger things. -- like a few tons of gravel for our driveway area!!! I have been asking my DH to help me change the garden strip on the far side of the driveway, by eliminating the small scrappy plants, and widening this area to comfortably hold a visiting car. Now that I see it, I may park MY car there as there is more shade most of the day. With summer coming, I like the idea of getting into a coooooler car!

Here's my clemitis that made it through it's first winter. I have 'killed' a few in the past and am so glad to see this one succeeded.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Gotta start over... DARN

My ALQS came out way bigger than what is allowed. It went over 35 inches because my basic block needed to be on point. I'm "inventing" as I go, and before I got too far it was obvious it was coming out BIG. So I'm re-inventing the idea on a smaller scale. Which means it is totally different from the original plan! Same color scheme, and even same basic idea - but different!

I'm getting a bit nervous as some of the ladies have already finished and MAILED theirs, and they are gorgeous and so much full of talent. No more work on the Ann. sampler til I finish this baby.

I did start the backdrop for the fancy work, so I feel a bit better than I did yesterday. So far it is 18x20 -which works.

Went to my neice's candle party this afternoon and saw the latest work they had done on their little house. The place was practically comdemn-worthy when they bought it from a relative. They have worked really hard in the last couple years with her father and my husband doing some of the more complicated stuff. It's so nice to see young people taking the time and energy to improve their home from a mess to a really comfortable little castle. It's not one of the mini-mansions so many young couples seem to feel they must have. It's quite small for them and their two boys, but very satisfying for a starter home that makes them feel like a real family established on their own.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sampler quilt is moving along...

...and I am doing less and less ripping and repeating. Thank goodness. I've never worked much with star points of any kind in the past so this sampler is a real learning process for me.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I did it, I DID it...

Finally got a square done on the anniversary quilt that didn't get ripped apart even once!

I noticed some ladies have taken pics of their sewing areas, so I thought I would share my little space.

This is looking down the small alley my husband calls my "craft cave" -like "you comin' outta that cave sometime today??? I'm hungry!"

I keep all my material in boxes by basic color. But my stash is growing a bit faster and I may have to just put the pieces in piles as soon as I figure out where to put some of the not-so-necessary stuff in another spot. There is never enough room!

This is the corner between the windows that I hung fabric post cards I received in a couple swaps. There are more in the pic before this one on the left side.

This is the window on the front of the house with the serger and lots of stuff including a cd player to keep me motivated and happy in my cave! The house is old and shaped kinda funny so this little room in an L shape is actually the very front of the house, and the entrance to the main room is off to the far side of this room. My kids all loved the chance when this became their bedroom, because it is tiny but very private from the rest of the house, and actually has a great deal of storage space. I don't know if you can tell, but there is a double closet at the end of the tabel the surger is on. And it is stuffed too!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

More of the yard while it is so pretty...

This is the view out my kitchen window. This decrepit cherry tree has been there since we moved here 37 years ago. My DH wanted to cut it down when we had some others done. I said as long as it is capable of blooming every spring, I want it.
That is Hershey Kiss, enjoying the new grass. She is one of my son's mate's three horses. We get to enjoy them in the scenery without the work and upkeep.

In the quilting arena, I tackled two more of the Ann. quilt, and did a little less ripping out, so I guess I am beginning to get the idea. I love the colors, even though they are a different direction than I usually go. That lime color is the hot thing right now and it did a nice job of picking up the color in the other pieces.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

More of our beautiful spring yard...

Lost some of the shots I had resized yesterday. Thought I had put them in the right folder and they dissapeared. Found them in My Pictures instead of the designated folder.

This is one our Bridal Wreath plants in full bloom with the corner of the garden shed showing. Love this plant but it grows towards the sun and I wish it would be a bit straighter, rather than bending over my little garden near the path. I'm considering letting the creeping phlox take over on the ground, and the Bridal Wreath let loose. The only plant I would bother moving from that patch is the astilbe. Gotta go get some annuals for that arch with its two planters.

This 'birdhouse?' is a stump from trees we just had removed on the other side of the yard. My DH thought I might like it as an accent in the garden. I think it looks kinda cute there, but it is a very close-to-the-ground birdhouse, so maybe it could be a new home for a toad???

Now to my latest quilting... Here are my eight blocks I am submitting to the Block Lotto for May.

Right away Maggie decided to lay down on the pretty new spot on the rug!!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Spring has SPRUNG 'n' the grass has rizin'

...AND THERE IS NO DOUBT WHERE THE FLOWERS IZN! I got out in the yard with the camera and thought I'd share some of the best shots on my blog with you. Here is Maggie 'in flight' as I was taking a pic of the cute little 'butterfly bath' I picked up at a craft show last year. It's a teacup upside down with a bit of rafia and little glass stones in the saucer to sparkle and keep the water too deep supposedly for the butterflies to land and take a sip.

Maggie just loves it when we are out in the yard with her. We got one of those electric units that gives her a little shock to keep her in her 'circle' She does so well with it I can leave a door open and let her come and go as she wishes. She comes in to check on me and then pops out again. But now I'm working in the yard and keeping her company.

Here is a shot of my first year with this flowering almond. I planted it last year but don't consider it really mine 'til it makes it though it's first winter. It's blooming great in spite of Maggie finding it just the right height to nibble on. She actually bit off a blossom and settled in the grass to munch on it. shiish!

I took my annual shot of my garden shed and it needs work. The flower box rotted off and left a bare spot under the window. And the clock and thermometer don't work anymore and hardly show under the ivy. I LOVE how the ivy is creeping over everywhere. So the clock and thermo go and the ivy stays. But gets trimmed when it gets carried away. Each year it got a little better as I made improvements. It looked so barren when it first arrived, but now it fits right into the yard scheme and color of the house. After this last year, though, it got a bit tattered and needs an uplift. Now I am finding the energy to do just that.

My DH put in the cinder block patio and stairs and built the lattice for the ivy. I need to refresh the paint and I think I will paint the door that pinky purple you can see on the milk cans at the side.

OOPs, it's supper time and I have to post this and go!

Maybe it will work as a grocery bag?

This is my laptop computer's new traveling bag, for my trip to the beach. If you read my last couple posts you know that is on hold. I frantically worked on this a few weeks ago to get it done before April 25- my departure! Now it sits there looking pretty, but with nowhere to go.

I do most of my groceries on Peapod which is online shopping with home delivery from the food chain here called Stop & Shop. I started using it when I was so very anemic the thought of shopping made me want to go to bed. Now I am so delighted to use the couple hours in some other fun way, -like gardening or quilting- I still use the online for groceries. But once in a while it is worth going for some special items, or just to see what is new, or I need to go to the fabric store around the corner -so I might as well pick up some food. There is a push to not use those plastic bags we all got so used to, so I am trying to remember to bring various tote bags I have made. This one though, is not as deep and has big flat pockets for the computer stuff that won't especially suit food.

On shorter vacations I wouldn't bother to drag along the laptop, but a whole month made it worth taking. I still have high hopes for a reprieve on May 12. Better late beaching than no beaching.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Puddles everywhere!!!!!

...and I'm not referring to the inches of rain we had the last couple days. I may NOT have my month at the beach. There is a tiny slim chance it may start late, as the judge may decide in favor of the renters for this year getting what they were promised. The husband is trying to declare the cottage as his 'residence'. We shall see.

Meanwhile, I got over my frumps and got on with things. In the last post I mentioned the block lotto contest and boo-hoo- I didn't win that, either. And that was in spite of the fact that a whole bunch of the ladies offered their block chances to us newbies. I am sending my blocks out accordingly and starting to work on the next month's design. I LOVE that new design as it involves green and purple- my faves! I already have one in the making from our quilt retreat last Nov, 2007. that came out bigger than I expected. I think it will fit our daybed, even. Here is a shot of the top...

Again meanwhile, I am finally inspired to start my 'little quilt swap' quilt, as we have until the first of July, and I know how I am. Gotta get going, or I will be frantically pushing something together and not happy with the results.

Here is a pic of the parts - so far...

Got a clue as to where I'm headed??

Here are my first two blocks of the anniversary quilt for last year. I came in at the very end and thought this is great, do one a month. Only I am starting it six months later and doing more than one at a time. But this took a good deal longer than I expected. I rippppppped and ripppppped out parts as I tried to figure out which direction I was supposed to be sewing them together. I have never done a sampler like this and at this rate it will take a couple years to get JUST the squares done. Here they are hanging in front of me for motivation.

Now to get back to work on the 'parts'.